Amy Stidham

Penn Humanities Forum Undergraduate Fellow

20172018 Forum on Afterlives

Amy Stidham


CAS, 2018

Amy is a senior English major whose project for the Humanities Forum will focus on the afterlives of authors in later literary works, particularly 20th century poetry. She conducted research this summer with a fellowship from the Price Lab for the Digital Humanities, using text mining to look at the legitimacy of the claim that modernist poetry was particularly focused on 'the now.' She is also an editorial assistant at Jacket2 Magazine and a staff member at the Kelly Writers House where she sweeps, washes dishes, and regularly attends readings by her favorite contemporary poets. 

Literary Reincarnation

Ezra Pound’s mantra, “Make it new,” defined the modernist era as current and fresh. It is used often to justify modernism as a movement exceptionally of its moment. However, the ‘it’ that Pound and many other modernists transformed is timeless. That ‘it’ encompasses myths, histories, and literary works from the past that are reincarnated in many modern and contemporary literary works of the 20th century. For this project, I would investigate the nature of these transformations and reincarnations that appear in 20th century poetry, focusing on modern poetry, to see how these transformations keep the older works alive by injecting into their mythology aspects of the present.