This Forum features a presentation from MIT Literature Section’s Dr. Marah Gubar with her research assistant, Funing Yang, on her work in progress entitled “Archives and Algorithms: Analyzing Anne’s Monologues.” Marah will introduce the research she has been doing and her original hypothesis about Anne’s monologues and then share data she has been compiling and some slides about the dramatic version of Anne from her research at New York City’s Lincoln Center, explaining how they relate to her overall argument.
Keynote speaker Dr. Marah Gubar is familiar to Montgomery scholars for her 2001 article, “‘Where Is the Boy?’: The Pleasures of Postponement in the Anne of Green Gables Series” and is widely noted for her 2009 book Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature and for her articles “Risky Business: Talking About Children in Children’s Literature Criticism” (2013) and “The Hermeneutics of Recuperation: What a Kinship-Model Approach to Children’s Agency Could Do for Children’s Literature and Childhood Studies” (2016). I was introduced to Marah by email and was fortunate enough to have an exchange with her while she was away from MIT doing research in New York for her keynote address, titled “Anne’s Monologues and the Theatrical Cult of the Child.”
I asked her about her Montgomery allegiances first, admitting to my own partiality for Emily:
“I read both the Anne and Emily series pretty obsessively in my childhood, and continued re-reading them on a fairly regular basis through my teenage years and into early adulthood. I find it hard to choose between them; truly, I loved them both so much. Emily’s artistic ambition and deep friendship with Ilse was very appealing to me, and I liked Anne’s emotional intensity, and the way those books conjure up what the texture of everyday life was like in a very particular, vividly evoked time and place. Rilla of Ingleside was an especial favorite for me; it really made the history of World War One come alive in a way that stuck with me.”