Molly hails from Rochester, NY, and has taken quite a few turns on her way to graduate school at the University of Michigan. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (BS Computer Science, BA History), she's spent several years in diverse regions of Japan - the rural suburbs of Fukuoka, a slum in Yokohama (with a commute to one of the wealthiest areas of the Tokyo region daily), and one of the most decidedly uncool wards of Tokyo. She has loved almost every minute of it. Molly taught English at a Japanese high school on the JET Programme for a year, attended the advanced Japanese language program at the Inter-University Center in Yokohama, and did field research in the basement of Nihon University in Tokyo.
International travel aside, Molly earned a PhD in Japanese literature (Department of Asian Languages and Cultures) in 2012 and an MSI in Library & Information Science from the School of Information in 2011, both at the University of Michigan. Her plan from the beginning has been subject specialist librarianship, building up language and research knowledge along with the many, many areas of expertise involved in academic librarianship itself.
Appropriately, Molly's research is on Japanese book history in the late 19th century, using knowledge developed in both programs - she's covering both the authors and literature involved in anthologies of the time, and the impact of that organization and control of knowledge on literature itself. She counts herself lucky every day to have found the amazing, interdisciplinary, and welcoming field of book history in her graduate studies.
Currently, Molly is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's Reischauer Institute, and also the Archive Development Manager at Harvard's Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters (JDArchive). As a postdoc, Molly is continuing her academic research and working on turning her dissertation into a book on 19th-century writing practices, authorship, books, and media. Meanwhile, as Archive Development Manager, she manages the technical development of the JDArchive, specifically working to integrate content from partner institutions and projects around the world. Her daily work ranges from serving as a liaison to content partners, to writing code that imports metadata via both web APIs and XML documents. Lately she enjoys relearning Python and learning to use Git.
Starting in July, Molly will be pursuing her dream job as the Japanese Studies Librarian at the University of Pennsylvania. Her career direction is to serve as a subject specialist in Asian studies in a university library, and she's excited to be beginning this journey after entering graduate school with just this position in mind.
Currently, Molly is continuing her research into book history at the turn of the 20th century in Japan, working on turning her dissertation into a book manuscript. You can find both the full dissertation and a detailed abstract on the projects page of this site. One major addition to the project is a new final chapter on the reception of anthologies, a topic neglected in the original dissertation but vital to understanding their function and impact at the time they were published. She is also engaged in long-term planning of a project that will be an visual representation of the world of Meiji literature, specifically the literary social life of Higuchi Ichiyō and figures that surrounded her. Apart from research and digital projects, teaching some courses on truly contemporary literature and the horror genre in Japan, not yet constrained by a canon or even a body of scholarship, is also a dream she would like to make happen.
Molly is also a visual artist and photographer. Please do visit 'Non-Euclidean Atelier' for projects featuring the best of her photography and links to her Flickr feed.
This site exists to provide information about Molly's professional activities, research, and tools and guides that she develops to enable richer and broader inquiries into Japanese literature and the field of book history. The site also serves as a place to make public her research projects, past and current, to a wide audience in freely accessible forms. Finally, it exists as a venue for thinking aloud about current events relating to information, authorship of all types, communities of artistic and literary practice, libraries, and current events.
A primary concern in designing this site is first and foremost accessibility. The inspiration for the site was to make the organized knowledge that Molly has been working to accumulate in the course of her research available to the public in an easy-to-use format. However, accessibility is not simply "availability" of information, a fundamental principle for web site structure. The aim is to make information viewable and processable by as many people as possible. Thus, the site does not depend on images, animations, Flash, or PDF files to be functional (aside from my CV and dissertation, which I am working on turning into HTML for web viewing). If you notice accessibility issues that have been overlooked in the design process, please don't hesitate to contact Molly at email@example.com. There is always something new to learn.
Please note that there are a variety of issues with Internet Explorer, and each page of this site displays incorrectly in a different way. As IE generally doesn't follow Web standards in the first place, the site will probably not be modified to work in this browser at the expense of others that do comply with current standards.
rights reserved, and those not
Please see the bottom of this page for the terms under which all of my work here is licensed, unless otherwise specified. In simple English, you can re-post anything here, and edit or build upon it, as long as you attribute it to Molly by name, preferably with a link back to this site, don't use it for commercial purposes, and use the same CC license. If you have questions or concerns, or want to request additional rights for specific content, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss it.
The best way to contact me is via email, at email@example.com, or on Twitter @mdesjardin. I love to hear from visitors to my site! Collaboration, scholarly or otherwise, is one of my favorite things, so I quite welcome suggestions on that front too. I also have a Facebook page, but to get ahold of me anytime soon, I recommend email and Twitter. Not kidding about that - I get messages straight to my phone, so you're @messaging me in real time! If you're interested in more of my photography, go ahead and visit my Flickr page. I appreciate your comments there!