Upcoming First Readings Events


As part of the First Readings program, there will be three events at the end of September/beginning of October. The selection for this year’s First Reading program was the film Oil and Water which told the story of Hugo Lucitante (a member of the Cofan tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon) and David Poritz (Brown ’12) as they both fought to protect the Amazon.

Upcoming First Readings Events

  • Seeing With Two Eyes: Development and Environment in Ecuador | September 29, 2014 at 4 p.m. in Salomon 001 (Main Green)
    David Poritz’12, Hugo Lucitante, Craig Hammer, and Juan Carlos in a discussion with Brown faculty on the intersection of environmental conservation and development.
  • Film Screening: Oil and Water  | October 1, 2014 at 4:15 p.m. in Salomon 101 (Main Green)
  • Ecuador before Ecuador : Indigenous and Early Amazon | October 2, 2014 at 4 p.m. in the MacMillan Reading Room (John Carter Brown Library)
    The filmmakers (Laurel Spellman Smith and Francine Strickwerda) and film protagonists (David Poritz and Hugo Lucitante) will discuss early Amazonian history and resources at Brown for studying the indigenous past.

Exhibit lecture | Behind the Scenes of Elements of Tradition and Change with Rachel Shipps and Abigail Ettelman

Join Rachel Shipps AM’14 and Abigail Ettelman AM’14, both graduates of the Public Humanities program at Brown, for a behind the scenes tour of the exhibit “Elements of Tradition and Change: Brown University’s First 250 Years.” Ms. Shipps and Ms. Ettelman, who curated the exhibit under the direction of University Archivist Jennifer Betts, will highlight some of the the challenges involved when creating an exhibit that encompasses many years and topics. In addition, both will discuss their favorite aspects of Brown University history. This event is free and open to the public.

Date: September 18, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room | John Hay Library

Exhibit Celebrating the Rock’s 50th Anniversary


An exhibit honoring the Rockefeller Library’s 50th Anniversary will be on display this fall in the lobby cases of the Rockefeller Library. This exhibit will showcase various photographs, documents, and other ephemera from the building’s half-century of existence.

For more information about the Rockefeller Library’s 50th Anniversary please visit the “Rock 50″ website. If you have a Rock memory you would like to share you can submit it here or on social media using the hashtag #rock50memories.

Members of the general public wishing to to view exhibits at the Rockefeller Library should first check in at the service desk.

Location: Rockefeller Lobby Cases
Date: September 2, 2014–January 9, 2015

Contact: Jennifer Betts

The Great War 1914–1918 | A Centennial Exhibition

20140818greatWar The Great War, 1914–1918 Exhibit will be on display in the Hay Lobby Cases from September 2 – December 19, 2014.

The exhibit showcases items from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Items include: journals, books, etchings, posters, music sheets, and illustrations. All pieces are related to World War I.

One interesting feature in the exhibit is a sketchbook by Herman Fechenbach. In 1917, Fechenbach was involved in a grenade attack and eventually lost his left leg.

The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection is the foremost American collection of material devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering and is one of the world’s largest collections devoted to the study of military and naval uniforms. To learn more about the collection, please visit the collection website.

Date: September 2, 2014 – December 19, 2014
Location: Lobby Cases | John Hay Library

Contact: Peter Harrington


Transformations | Fifty Years of the Brown University–Tougaloo College Partnership

20140512tougaloo The Transformations exhibit examines the unique relationship between Brown University and Tougaloo College (Mississippi) over its fifty year history. Photographs and printed materials offer a glimpse of the early years of the partnership as well as the depth of personal change experienced by participants in the exchange.  From Civil Rights to the present, Tougaloo has provided the Brown community with an important perspective on social activism, lingering inequalities, and education.

The Transformations exhibit goes up on May 12, 2014 and will be on display until August 15, 2014.

Members of the general public wishing to to view exhibits at the Rockefeller Library should first check in at the service desk.

Date: May 12, 2014 – August 15, 2014
Location: Lobby cases | Rockefeller Library

Contact: Jennifer Betts


Music in the Ocean State Exhibit


The Music in the Ocean State exhibit was created to highlight Rhode Island music & musicians, in honor of the New England Chapter of the Music Library Association’s spring meeting (hosted by the Orwig Music Library on March 28, 2014). This exhibit will be up until the end of the summer.

The media, books, and music on display represent just a tiny fraction of the talent found in Rhode Island. As you can see, some artists are from out of state, some are homegrown, and many are Brown alums. For the smallest state in the union, we’re not only blessed with a wealth of musicians, but also many musical venues and festivals.

Location: Orwig Music Library
Date: March 28, 2014–August 31, 2014

contact: Laura Stokes


Technologies of the Self | Jill Walker Rettberg | May 1


On May 1st, at 2:30 p.m., in the Rock Conference Room, Jill Walker Rettberg will present, “Technologies of the Self: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to See and Shape Ourselves”

In this presentation, Jill Walker Rettberg will look at technologically mediated self-representations in a variety of genres, from selfies, Facebook profiles, Tumblrs, automated diaries, and the quantified self movement with its many forms of self-tracking.

These modes of self-documentation are also “technologies of the self” in Foucault’s sense: techniques we use to shape and discipline ourselves, both individually and as a society.

Rettberg analyses today’s vernacular self-documentation in the context of the history and theory of visual self-portraits and textual diaries, and as an important part of today’s algorithmic culture.

Bio: Jill Walker Rettberg is professor of digital culture at the University of Bergen in Norway, and is visiting scholar at UIC’s Department of Communciations until July 2014. Her book “Blogging” was published in a 2nd edition by Polity Press in 2014, and she has also co-edited an anthology of critical writing on World of Warcraft (MIT Press 2008). In addition to work on electronic literature and social media, her recent work has also made use of digital methods to visualise network relationships in electronic literature. Her research blog is http://jilltxt.net. She is currently writing a book about selfies, social media, and algorithmic self-representations.

An Emerging Canon? | Scott Rettberg Talk | May 1st


On May 1st, at 12 p.m. (noon), in the Rock Conference Room of the Rockefeller Library, Scott Rettberg (University of Bergen) will present, “An Emerging Canon? Mapping a Field through Database Visualization.”

The Electronic Literature Knowledge Base is a cross-referenced, scholarly database containing entries about creative works of and critical writing on electronic literature, as well as information about authors, events, exhibitions, publishers, teaching resources and databases in the field. It was established in 2010 by the University of Bergen Electronic Literature Research Group, as an aspect of the seven-nation project Electronic Literature as a Model for Creativity and Innovation (ELMCIP ). This presentation will show how the Knowledge Base has been developed as a scholarly resource and how gathering humanities data about a creative field of practice allows us to see new connections and patterns through distant reading strategies, visualisations and network analysis. Through an analysis of all critical references to creative works in critical writing documented in the Knowledge Base, and visualizations, we are able to consider and contest the possiblity of an emerging canon based on more objective measures of citation analysis than previously possible.

Bio: Scott Rettberg is Professor of Digital Culture in the department of Linguistic, Literary, and Aesthetic studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. Rettberg is the project leader of ELMCIP (Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice), a HERA-funded collaborative research project, and the founder of the Electronic Literature Organization. Rettberg is the author or coauthor of novel-length works of electronic literature, combinatory poetry, and films including The Unknown, Kind of Blue, Implementation, Frequency, Three Rails Live, Toxicity and others. His creative work has been exhibited online and at art venues including the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum, Palazzo dell Arti Napoli, Beall Center, the Slought Foundation, The Krannert Art Museum, and elsewhere.

Date: Thursday May 1
Time: 12 p.m. (noon)
Rock Conference Room (Rockefeller Library)

Brown’s 250th Anniversary Opening Celebration


As part of Brown’s 250th Anniversary, the Library has created a new exhibit titled: Picturing Brown: Prints and Photographs from the Brown University Archives.

For 250 years, Brown University has been presented through a succession of printed views of the campus. The images display the history of Brown’s evolution from a small, Baptist-run college in Rhode Island into an internationally-ranked institute of higher education. The University’s campus has extended far beyond its original boundaries, when University Hall served as classroom, campus center, and dormitory.

The prints, photographs, and postcards in this exhibit are from the Brown University Archives and will be on display from March 8th to April 27th.

For more information about the images, check out the historical essay on images of the Brown University campus by University Curator Robert Emlen.

Exhibit Location: Lobby cases | Rockefeller Library
Date: March 8 2014 – April 27, 2014

Contact: Jennifer Betts