As I hope you all noticed, A Motley Vision went through a design refresh over the holidays. I hope you like the new look, but even if you don’t, it’s staying because the new WordPress theme that this look is built on adds a bunch of functionality that was missing in the old one. In particular, this new design uses responsive design, which means that it will display well on a variety of screen sizes and devices, including tablets.
The other change was so subtle you may not have noticed it: the tag line went from Mormon Arts and Culture to Mormon literature and culture. This is both an acknowledgement that, well, AMV isn’t quite as comprehensive as I had once intended. In particular, we don’t post much about visual arts and music. And that, with the addition of Scott Hales and Kent’s focus on literary history, what we mainly are about and want to be about is Mormon literary criticism and history. Now, we’re going to define those terms rather broadly. For example, by literature, I mean all narrative art: fiction, film, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction. By criticism, I mean any of the interpretive, evaluative or scholarly activities that are found in the overall field of literature. And culture is a nice catch-all that means we can really write about anything, but will almost always do so within the context of or in relation to the field of Mormon literature.
This change doesn’t mean that AMV is going to look a whole lot different on a week-to-week basis. But it does mean that I’m going to focus more on close readings of texts. And that we won’t be doing consumer-focused reviews (unless we really, really want to). We haven’t felt obligated to do so for a long time, but I’m making it more official now. Works will still be reviewed, but not so much in the journalistic “summary/interesting thing or two about the book/something I liked/something I didn’t like/should you read it or not” format.
So welcome to the slightly new but definitely improved AMV.