Updates from Around the Library | May 2018

As the summer session approaches, the Library is taking a look back at its many activities over the Spring 2018 semester. Here are a few:

Announcement | Winner of the 2018 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

L-R: Heather Cole, Librarian for Literary and Popular Culture Collections; Charlie Steinman ’20, Winner of the 2018 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research; Bill Monroe, Senior Scholarly Resources Librarian

This year’s Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research was awarded to Charlie Steinman ’20 for his paper: “’Martin Luther’s whore more than a pope’: Annotation, Disgust, and Materiality in the Reformation Reception of the Pope Joan Myth.” The paper was written for History 1964A: “Age of Impostors: Fraud, Identity, and the Self in Early Modern Europe,” taught by Professor Tara Nummedal.

The award was presented to Charlie at a celebration in the Digital Scholarship Lab in the Rockefeller Library on May 4, 2018.

Charlie’s paper examined at the myth of Pope Joan as it was received in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation Europe, especially as revealed in printed books of the period. He had discovered that the image of Pope Joan in Brown’s copy of the Nuremburg Chronicle was scratched out, and further searching revealed many copies of this and other printed chronicles have similar effacements, sometimes with marginal notes. He determined that these effacements were the work of Catholic readers, who were responding to Protestant uses of the Pope Joan myth to discredit the papacy and its purported apostolic succession.  The Catholics wished to show that Pope Joan did not exist and sought to remove her from the histories.

Charlie cites one example of defacement in a copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle in the Universitäts und Landesbibliothek Darmstadts in which the reader both smudged out the image of Pope Joan and left an annotation around it. “He/she writes: ‘Martin Luther’s whore more than a pope.’ (Martini Lutheri concubina potiusquam papa).”

One of the prize judges wrote, “This is a highly original, engaging, and readable work that makes impressive use of archival materials both at Brown and beyond. The affective reading of annotations is poised to contribute to future scholarship.” Another judge commented, “Both the description of the author’s process of research and the paper itself read like a mystery novel, and one can “see” his mind working (I wonder if defacement occurs in other copies…?) as he goes from text to text, engaging various languages and libraries in the process.”

Congratulations to Charlie for a job well done! The Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College and the Brown University Library.

This year’s panel of judges was composed of:

  • Claudia Elliott, Senior Lecturer in International and Public Affairs
  • Johanna Hannink, Associate Professor of Classics
  • Jessica Metzler, Associate Director, Humanities & Social Sciences, Sheridan Center for Teaching
  • Heather Cole, Librarian for Literary and Popular Culture Collections
  • William S. Monroe, Senior Scholarly Resources Librarian

Alumni Reunion Forum | Taking Action in the Public Square

Were you first engaged in organizing for change at Brown?  Are you engaged now? Join fellow Brown alumni to discuss the gratification and challenges of public engagement. Share your story about your participation in efforts to make your community a better place through social change, greater diversity, higher standards, and equitable structures.

Join the Brown University Library and the Brown Alumni Association for an Alumni Reunion Forum entitled, “Taking Action in the Public Square,” on Saturday, May 26, from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library.


  • Jane Beckett (Class of 1968), Jane Beckett & Associates
  • Bob Cohen (Class of 1968), Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
  • Katie Cohen (Class of 2013), North Shore (Massachusetts) Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Jim Dickson (Class of 1968), American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Ken Galdston (Class of 1968), InterValley Project
  • Rinku Sen (Class of 1988), Race Forward

Date: Saturday, May 26, 2018
Time: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Events | Pizza Nights

Mmmmmm…..It’s pizza time!

Just when you thought you couldn’t make it through finals, pizza nights arrive to give you a hand in the form of gooey, saucy cheese and dough.

At 9 p.m. on these two nights, let pizza be your spirit food.

  • Tuesday, May 8: Lobby, The Rock
  • Wednesday, May 9: Friedman Study Center, SciLi

Pizza Nights are brought to you by the Brown University Library and Campus Life.

Dates: May 8 and 9, 2018
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: Rockefeller Library and Sciences Library

Event | Yoken Lecture with Valerie Steele: Paris, Capital of Fashion

On Monday, April 30, 2018 at 4 p.m. in the Metcalf Auditorium of RISD Museum’s Chace Center, Valerie Steele will deliver the annual Mel and Cindy Yoken Cultural Series Lecture entitled, “Paris, Capital of Fashion.” This event is free and open to the public. A light reception will follow. A book sale and signing will take place during the reception.

Valerie Steele

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, where she has organized more than 25 exhibitions. She is also the founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, and the author of more than 20 books including The Corset: A Cultural History; Fetish: Fashion, Sex, and Power; and Women of Fashion: Twentieth-Century Designers. Described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and by Suzy Menkes as “The Freud of Fashion,” Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D.) with the rare ability to communicate with general audiences. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Valerie Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion.

Paris, Capital of Fashion

Paris has been the fashion capital of the world for over 300 years. Even before the rise of haute couture, Parisians were notorious for their obsession with fashion, inspiring the latest styles around the globe. From Charles Frederick Worth to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent, fashion history is dominated by the names of Parisian couturiers. But Valerie Steele’s book Paris Fashion: A Cultural History, from which she will draw for this talk, is much more than just a history of great designers. Steele demonstrates that the success of Paris ultimately rests on the strength of its fashion culture–created by a host of fashion performers and spectators, including actresses, dandies, milliners, artists, and writers.

Paris Fashion: A Cultural History

Paris Fashion: A Cultural History will be available for purchase at the event. First published in 1988, Paris Fashion was acclaimed as “fascinating” and “original.” The captivating new edition has been completely revamped and brought up to date, encompassing the latest developments in fashion around the world. Lavishly illustrated and elegantly written, Valerie Steele’s masterwork presents with brilliance and flair her analysis of the reasons why Paris remains the capital of fashion.

Date: Monday, April 30, 2018
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center/RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, 20 North Main Street, Providence, RI

Event | Reception Presenting the Dr. Steven Ungerleider Collection of Haggadot

President Christina Paxson and University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi invite community members to a reception presenting the Dr. Steven Ungerleider Collection of Haggadot.

Join us on Monday, April 23, 2018 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. at the John Hay Library for remarks, cocktails, and Kosher hors d’oeuvres.

While this event is free and open to the public, we are asking for responses to help us plan effectively.

Please RSVP by Friday, April 6, 2018 to Jennifer_Braga@brown.edu.

Click here for more information about the Ungerleider Haggadot Collection and the current, related exhibit, Telling and Retelling the Story of Jewish Liberation – Selections from the Dr. Steven Ungerleider Collection of Haggadot. The exhibit is on display in the Exhibition Gallery at the John Hay Library through June 15, 2018.

Date: Monday, April 23, 2018
Time: 4:30 p.m.
LocationJohn Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Event | The Leyden Jar Project

Please join us on Monday, April 16, 2018 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the John Hay Library for a short reading of poems by Cole Swensen followed by a demonstration of artist Karen Randall’s new interactive book sculpture (touch the jar, hear the poem) and discussion of innovation book arts and the history of electricity.

More information about the project can be found here: http://propolispress.com/theleydenjarproject/

This event is sponsored by the John Hay Library and Literary Arts at Brown.

Reception to follow.

This event is free and open to the public.

Date: Monday, April 16, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m.
LocationJohn Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Event | Josiah S. Carberry Day Dinner & Talk

Join the Brown University Friends of the Library and Friends of Josiah on Friday, April 13, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the Brown Faculty Club for a dinner celebrating the legendary Professor Josiah S. Carberry and his special day: Friday the Thirteenth.

You can reserve your seat at the table by emailing Connie Worthington at c_worthy@verizon.net. The cost of dinner is $45.00, payable in advance by check to “Brown University.” Mail checks to Connie Worthington at:

240 Cole Avenue
Providence, RI 02906

  • 6 p.m.: Cocktails will be available from the cash bar
  • 6:30 p.m.: The buffet dinner, featuring recipes from the Carberry Cookbook
  • 7 p.m.: Josiah’s Ancestry DNA Report: Is There a Cracked Pot at the End of the Rainbow? A Talk by Nancy Cassidy

Date: Friday, April 13, 201
Time: 6 p.m.
LocationBrown Faculty Club, One Bannister Street, Providence

Event | 14th Annual Wilmeth Lecture with JoBeth Williams ’70

An Evening with Celebrated Actress and Director JoBeth Williams ’70

On Monday, March 19, 2018, the Brown University Library and the Friends of the Library will present the 14th Annual Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship in American Theatre:

Please join us at 7 p.m. in Martinos Auditorium in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Space is limited.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the talk.

JoBeth Williams ’70

JoBeth Williams has starred in many provocative films with cult followings throughout her career, including Steven Spielberg’s Poltergiest I and II, Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill, Blake Edward’s comedy Switch, the Farrelly brothers’ Fever Pitch, and American Dreamer, Wyatt EarpThe Big Year, and Kramer vs. Kramer. She has appeared in well over twenty feature films, including Dennis Hopper’s final movie, The Last Film Festival.

She has received three Emmy nominations–for the television films Adam and Baby M, as well for the show Frasier, and two Golden Globe nominations. Her television roles have been extensive. She played Ken Marino’s mom on the NBC series Marry Me, recurred on the CW hit series Hart of Dixie as Candice Hart, played Bizzy Forbes Montgomery on Private Practice, starred in her own series John Grisham’s The Client, and played opposite John Larroquette in CBS’s comedy Payne.

Behind the camera, Williams received an Oscar nomination for her directing debut on the short film On Hope starring Mercedes Ruehl, for which she was also a producer. Following her nomination, Williams directed the Showtime original movie Frankie and Hazel starring Joan Plowright, as well as the Warner Brothers Television production Night Visions, starring Stephen Baldwin and Jane Adams.

Beyond her acclaim for on camera performances, Williams also has extensive theatre credits both in New York and regional productions. Her theatre work in New York includes Last Dance by Marsha Norman, Moonchildren, Ladyhouse Blues, A Couple of White Chicks, John Guare’s Gardenia, and The Vagina Monologues.  In regional theatre she is credited for her leads in Antony and Cleopatra at the Old Globe, Idiot’s Delight opposite Stacy Keach at the Kennedy Center, Threepenny Opera in Williamstown, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the McCarter Theatre, Uncle Vanya, Tartuffe, School for Wives, and two seasons at Trinity Repertory Company. In Los Angeles, Williams has appeared on stage at the Geffen Playhouse in Jane Anderson’s The Quality of Life, for which she received a Backstage West Garland award, at the Taper in John Robin Baitz’s play Other Desert Cities, at Pasadena Playhouse in The Night is a Child, and at the Odyssey in The Fall to Earth.

She is the president of the Screen Actors’ Guild Foundation, a charity that provides extensive programs both for working actors and for actors in times of need, as well as national children’s literacy programs. She also serves as chairman of the SAG Awards Committee, which produces the SAG Awards each year.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Williams is a 1970 graduate of Brown University. She and husband John Pasquin, who will conduct the onstage interview during the Wilmeth Lecture, have two sons.

John Pasquin

John Pasquin is an award-winning director and producer of film, television, and stage. His first play in New York was Michael Weller’s Moonchildren for which he won an Obie Award. He then worked for Joe Papp at the Public Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival directing original work by Thom Babe and John Guare as well as Comedy of Errors and Measure for Measure in Central Park. He has worked for most East Coast Repertory Theaters including Long Wharf, McCarter, Center Stage, and Arena Stage.

His television credits (over 100 half hour and hour episodes on all networks) include the pilots for Home Improvement, Growing Pains, Freddie, Cristela, and Last Man Standing. He has received a People’s Choice Award and was nominated for three Emmys for his work on Home Improvement and L.A. Law. He has directed four feature films, including The Santa Clause, Jungle 2 Jungle, and Miss Congeniality II.

This past fall he produced and directed the first four episodes of the re-boot of the Roseanne show with the entire original cast. It will air in March 2018.

John Emigh

John Emigh, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Speech and Dance and Professor Emeritus of English, will introduce JoBeth Williams and John Pasquin at the Wilmeth Lecture. He is a theatre director and performer who has written on the masked theatre and rituals of New Guinea, Bali, and India, as well as on Western theatrical practices. Works include Masked Performance: The Play of Self and Other Ritual and Theatre, and a film on the life of a Rajasthani street performer. Current research involves linking the concerns of those who make and study performances with findings in neuroscience and studying how performances function during times of crisis.

Don Wilmeth

Don Wilmeth joined the Brown English and Theatre faculty in 1967. He retired as Asa Messer Professor Emeritus, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Speech and Dance, and Professor Emeritus of English in 2004. The first endowed Wilmeth Lecture was presented in 2005.

Date: Monday, March 19, 2018
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, 154 Angell Street, Providence

Updates from Around the Library | February 2018

The Spring 2018 semester is off to a busy start! Take a look at what has been happening at the libraries: