Dr Roxana Preda

Digital Scholarship Visiting Research Fellow
Dr Roxana Preda

Digital Scholarship Visiting Research Fellowship, June - November 2021

Roxana Preda is a senior scholar of literary modernism specializing in the work of the American poet Ezra Pound. She received her PhD in Germany in 1997 and has been a member of staff at the University of Edinburgh since 2006. Her more recent publications include Ezra Pound and the Career of Modern Criticism (2018) and The Edinburgh Companion to Ezra Pound and the Arts (2019). She was President of the Ezra Pound Society (2013-2018) and senior editor of the society periodical Make It New. In this capacity she started her digital and editorial work by creating websites both for the society and the periodical. Her current digital work is now focused on the digital annotation of Pound’s The Cantos, a long poem in 117 sections. The Cantos Project has benefitted from a Leverhulme Fellowship (2016-2021) and is now mid-way in its development.

Project Title: The Cantos of Ezra Pound – Digital Research Environment

The Cantos is Ezra Pound’s mature poetic work, which started in 1915 and ended in 1969. In The Cantos Project, I have created a digital research environment for the poem by gathering bibliographies, annotating the texts of cantos, writing commentaries and collecting extra resources to enable readers to enjoy and study the poem both independently and in the classroom. As The Cantos is an encyclopaedic poem in several languages, delving into several fields of knowledge such as literature, politics, history, economics, the annotation work needs to be grounded in all the exegesis on the poem done in the past decades, in English and other languages, as well as on interdisciplinary study.

By June 2021 when my term at IASH started, I reached the so-called “Adams Cantos” dedicated to the life and works of the second president of the United States, John Adams (cantos 62-71). The Adams cantos were written at the start of 1939 and can be considered part of Pound’s wartime intellectual effort to make sense of contemporary history in the context of the Sino-Japanese War, the imminent war preparations in Germany and Italy, as well as America’s possible involvement in the European conflict. In the months of my fellowship I hope to complete work on the cantos written before 1945 and start on the Pisan Cantos (cantos 74-84).