Exhibit | Tripping the Light Fantastic: Experimental Optics in the Victorian Era

Opt1cIn 1704, Isaac Newton published the first scientific work on light. Working carefully but not very cautiously, Newton began compiling the results of hundreds of experiments he performed in the quiet space of his own rooms at Cambridge over the course of four decades, from the 1660s forward. Many of these experiments involved Newton using his own eyes as the experimental apparatus, through such risky maneuvers as staring directly at the sun and slipping a small knife around the side of the eyeball to see how the additional pressure he exerted would affect his sight. Despite having to spend months in the dark to allow his eyes to recover from the stress of these activities, he gained enormous insight from these and other, more standard, experiments. The resulting book, entitled Opticks, broke new ground in science and led to the establishment of a new field for study of the physical properties of light.

Opt3e

The devices on display at the John Hay Library date from the second half of the 19th century and were purchased for use by faculty and students in the Brown Physics Department. They were eventually transferred to the Library once technological advances had rendered them obsolete for instructional purposes in the field. Still, their mechanical precision was important at the time of their creation and would have been the envy of Newton and his 17th century colleagues at the Royal Society. After all, if only Newton had had the automatic spectroscope, he would not have had to stick that knife into his own eye!

Dates: March 29 – May 15, 2016
TimeLibrary Hours
Location: Lobby Cases, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Cardboard Revolution: Cartoneras, Literacy, and Sustainable Publishing in Brazil

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On March 31, 2016, the Brown University Library will host the reception for the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA) annual conference. As part of the conference, the Library is mounting an exhibit featuring two independent publishers from Brazil: Dulcinéia Catadora and Mariposa Cartonera, entitled “Cardboard Revolution: Cartoneras, Literacy, and Sustainable Publishing in Brazil.” The exhibit will be installed in the Finn Room cases at the Rockefeller Library.

Drawn from the diverse materials of Brown University Library’s Brasiliana Collection, the chapbooks in this exhibition showcase the vibrant productions of two independent Brazilian publishing collectives, DULCINÉIA CATADORA and MARIPOSA CARTONERA. The collectives are representative of the widespread Latin American practice of cartonera—an alternative publishing and art venture committed to social activism, economic justice, cooperative creativity, and literacy. The books of poetry and prose feature prominent and undiscovered writers and are bound in distinctive covers crafted in workshops by the collectives, community members and artists.

Date: March 30 – May 2, 2016
Time: Library Hours
Location: Finn Room Exhibit Cases, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | Tom Elliott on “The Pleiades Gazetteer Data Model: Going Off-Road in the Spatial and Digital Humanities

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On Friday, March 25, 2016 at noon in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, Tom Elliott, Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, will discuss the Pleiades Gazetteer of the Ancient World, a community-built gazetteer and graph of ancient places.

Tom will unpack the Pleiades data model and the content curation process that supports it, highlighting the major decision points and criteria in its development history. A key theme of the talk will be conceptual flexibility and reinvention in a digital humanities project.

This event is part of the Spatial Humanities Lecture Series and is sponsored by Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4), the Brown University Library, and the M. B. Mandeville Lectureship Fund. It is free and open to the public.

Pleiades publishes authoritative information about ancient places and spaces, providing unique services for finding, displaying, and reusing that information under open license. It publishes not just for individual human users, but also for search engines and for the widening array of computational research and visualization tools that support humanities teaching and research. It embraces the new paradigm of citizen humanities, encouraging contributions from any knowledgeable person and doing so in a context of pervasive peer review.

The project arose out of work on the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. It now provides open access to the most comprehensive geospatial dataset for antiquity available today; it serves as a key component of at least 40 other important digital humanities projects; and it constitutes a core resource for classroom activities focused on ancient geography.

Since its inception, Pleiades has been repeatedly been re-conceptualized in response to technical challenges and opportunities. The resulting digital publication can be hard to characterize by genre or function. Is it historical? Is it archaeological? Is it a GIS or a digital gazetteer? Is it an “Un-GIS”? A reference work? A controlled vocabulary? A Linked Data graph?

Tom Elliott

miniTom Elliott graduated from Duke University in 1989 with B.S. in Computer Science and a second major in Classical Studies. Following service as a Communications and Computer Systems Officer in the United States Air Force, he worked as a software developer and program manager for AEgis Research Corporation (now AEgis Technologies) on a number of visual and engineering simulation projects. He received his Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2004, for research focused on the intersection of Roman documentary, administrative and geographic studies. His doctoral dissertation was entitled: Epigraphic Evidence for Boundary Disputes in the Early Roman Empire.

Tom has spent nearly two decades advancing the practice of digital humanities in ancient studies. In the late 1990s, he wrote database software that was used to prepare the alphabetical gazetteer and Map-by-Map Directory that accompanies the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (Princeton, 2000). During that period he also started the EpiDoc Community, which creates standards-based tools and guidelines for the digital encoding of epigraphic and papyrological texts like those published in the Inscriptions of Aphrodisias 2007or by the Integrating Digital Papyrology project. In August 2000, he was appointed as Founding Director of the Ancient World Mapping Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In February 2006, Tom stepped down from this position to assume full-time leadership of the Pleiades Project, which is developing an online workspace for ancient geography. In 2008, he brought this role with him to the Institute, where he is also responsible for developing and overseeing a spectrum of innovative digital projects and services.

Date: March 25, 2016
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | Candace Thille on “The Science of Learning, Technology, and the Role of Elite Universities in the Transformation of Higher Education”

cthilleOn Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 4 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab, Candace Thille, founding director of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon University and at Stanford University, will give a talk, “The Science of Learning, Technology, and the Role of Elite Universities in the Transformation of Higher Education.” This event is free and open to the public.

Using intelligent tutoring systems, virtual laboratories, simulations, social psychological interventions, and frequent opportunities for assessment and feedback, The Open Learning Initiative (OLI), first at Carnegie Mellon University and now at Stanford University, has been creating and evaluating open web-based learning environments for over fourteen years. The OLI environments also serve as a laboratory for fundamental research on human learning. In her talk, Dr. Thille will discuss how the OLI makes use of expertise from the science of learning to produce high-quality learning environments and how studies of student use inform both the next iteration of the environment and advance underlying learning theory. She hopes for a lively discussion about the role of places such as Brown and Stanford – elite independent research universities that have a strong commitment to exceptional undergraduate instruction – in the transformation of higher education.

Candace Thille is the founding director of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon University and at Stanford University. She is a senior research fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Her focus is in applying the results from research in the science of learning to the design and evaluation of open web-based learning environments and in using those environments to conduct research in human learning. Dr. Thille serves on the board of directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities; as a fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education; on the Assessment 2020 Task Force of the American Board of Internal Medicine; on the advisory council for the Association of American Universities STEM initiative; on the advisory council for the National Science Foundation Directorate for Education and Human Resources. She served on the working group of the President¹s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) for the Obama Administration that produced the Engage to Excel report and on the U.S. Department of Education working group, co-authoring the 2010 and 2015 National Education Technology Plans.

Date: March 23, 2016
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | New Directions in Scholarly Publishing and the Challenges of Evaluation

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On Monday, March 21, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in Pembroke Hall, three academic publishing professionals will participate in a panel discussion entitled, “New Directions in Scholarly Publishing and the Challenges of Evaluation.” This lecture series is intended to engage Brown faculty and students in a conversation about changes in the field of scholarly communication in the twenty-first century and will complement the University’s initiative for digital scholarship, which was recently awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

The panelists:

  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communications and managing editor of PMLA
  • Alison Mudditt, Director of the University of California Press
  • Tara McPherson, Founding Editor of Vectors, and creator of the new authoring platform, Scalar

The discussion will focus on the history and evolution of scholarly publishing, innovative publishing platforms, and how university presses can adapt to meet the needs of multimodal scholarship while continuing to provide the rigorous review processes that meet the needs of the scholarly community.

This lecture series is co-sponsored by the Brown University Library and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.

Abstracts

Kathleen Fitzpatrick:
Focus will be on the MLA’s platforms for supporting new forms of scholarly communication, including the Commons and CORE, as well as MLA’s guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship for tenure and promotion.

Alison Mudditt:
Scholarly communication is increasingly in flux as the academic community, scholarly organizations and research funders question whether traditional publishing models and norms are still appropriate in an increasingly open and digital age. As a vitally important and distinctive vehicle for communication in the humanities, how can monographs not only be preserved but also reinvigorated as we move towards open, digital models? Open access has enormous potential to increase the reach and impact of scholarship, but it will have disruptive effects on established norms, and raises some key questions – especially in disciplines deeply invested in the slow forms of knowledge-making represented by the monograph. Speaker will address the barriers, sensitivities and practical challenges surrounding open access monographs, and about the ways in which UC Press is addressing them via its innovative Luminos program (www.luminosoa.org).

Tara McPherson:
What are the particular affordances of the digital for scholarly knowledge production today? How might we imagine scholarship differently if we move beyond a focus on text toward multimodal expression and design? What audiences might such work reach? This talk will explore how we might envision scholarship along multiple scales and in varied formats, paying particular attention to the ways in which scholarly evidence might be engaged anew through the possibilities of the digital archive. By taking up the specific case of the online platform Scalar, the speaker will approach these questions through concrete examples of digital scholarship today.

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Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association, where she serves as Managing Editor of PMLA and other MLA publications. She also holds an appointment as Visiting Research Professor of English at NYU.  She is author of Planned Obsolescence:  Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (NYU Press, 2011) and of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television (Vanderbilt University Press, 2006). She is co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons, where she led a number of experiments in open peer review and other innovations in scholarly publishing.

Alison Mudditt

Alison Mudditt

Alison Mudditt has been Director of University of California Press since 2011, where she has focused on reshaping the Press’s strategy and structure to meet the needs of its diverse audiences in the digital age. Alison has twenty-five years experience in scholarly publishing which began at Blackwell in Oxford, UK, where she rose to become Publisher for the Humanities Division. In 1997, Alison moved to Taylor & Francis Inc. in Philadelphia as Publishing Director of the Behavioral Sciences Division. Alison joined SAGE in 2001 as Vice President and Editorial Director, and was appointed Executive Vice President in 2004 where she led the SAGE’s publishing programs across books, journals and digital during a period of tremendous growth. Alison is a regular speaker at industry meetings and is currently Vice Chair of the Scientific Publications Committee and member of the Open Science Committee of the American Heart Association, and member of the Board of Directors of K|N Consultants. She has also served on the Executive Council of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the American Association of Publishers, and was Co-Chair of the Dean’s Leadership Council at California State University, Channel Islands.

TaraMcPherson

Tara McPherson

Tara McPherson is Associate Professor of Critical Studies at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and Director of the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Studies. She is a core faculty member of the IMAP program, USC’s innovative practice based-Ph.D., and also an affiliated faculty member in the American Studies and Ethnicity Department. Her research engages the cultural dimensions of media, including the intersection of gender, race, affect and place. She has a particular interest in digital media. Here, her research focuses on the digital humanities, early software histories, gender, and race, as well as upon the development of new tools and paradigms for digital publishing, learning, and authorship.

She is author of the award-winning Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South (Duke UP: 2003), co-editor of Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (Duke UP: 2003) and of Transmedia Frictions: The Digital, The Arts + the Humanities (California, 2014), and editor of Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected, part of the MacArthur Foundation series on Digital Media and Learning (MIT Press, 2008.) She is currently completing a monograph about her lab’s work and process, Designing for Difference, for Harvard University Press. She is the Founding Editor of Vectors, www.vectorsjournal.org, a multimedia peer-reviewed journal affiliated with the Open Humanities Press, and is a founding editor of the MacArthur-supported International Journal of Learning and Media (launched by MIT Press in 2009.) She is the lead PI on the new authoring platform, Scalar, and for the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, http://scalar.usc.edu/. Her research has been funded by the Mellon, Ford, Annenberg, and MacArthur Foundations, as well as by the NEH.

Date: March 21, 2016
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: The Cogut Center for the Humanities, Pembroke Hall, 172 Meeting Street, Providence

Exhibit | “Trash of the Veriest Sort”: Challenges to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Mark Twain published Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the United States in 1885 to mostly — but not entirely — favorable reviews. While the nature of the criticism has changed, there has always been controversy surrounding the book. This exhibit offers a look at how that criticism has changed from publication through the present.

Dates: October 16 – December 18, 2015
Time: Rockefeller Library Hours
Location: Lobby Cases, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Garland of Flowers

Poster for ExhibitGarland of Flowers (a selection of medieval manuscripts from the University collections) will be on exhibit at the Annmary Brown Memorial (21 Brown Street Providence RI) from Thursday evening April 9 through Commencement weekend.

The exhibit displays about two dozen manuscript books, letters, and fragments from the collections in the University Library. These artifacts date from the late 11th to the early 16th centuries, and include original letters of Sixtus IV, and two Spanish kings, as well as a small breviary made for a German nun, and illuminated leaves from a Neapolitan Antiphonal.

The exhibit opens Thursday evening April 9 in conjunction with a talk sponsored by the Rhode Island Medieval Circle. Lisa Fagin Davis (Brown class of 1988), Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America, will speak about “Medieval Manuscripts on College Hill” at 5:30 pm in the Annmary Brown Memorial.

A reception will follow the talk, and the exhibit will remain through Commencement weekend.

The Annmary Brown Memorial is normally open Monday through Friday, from 1-5 pm.

For more information click here.

Exhibit | Art of the Book

A folding book with hole in the center

Above view of accordion book A new exhibit is on view for Spring 2015 in the tall cases of the Laura and David Finn Reading Room featuring student projects from Lara Henderson’s Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 course “Art of the Book.”

Students in Art of the Book (VISA1240) examine the book, structurally and conceptually, as artist’s medium. Students learned the materials, tools and techniques of making books, as they explored the expressive and narrative possibilities of the book form.

Date:  February 27 — April 27, 2015
Location: Finn Reading Room Cases (Rockefeller Library)

Exhibit | In Flanders Fields

Poem: In Flander's Fields

Source: Brown Digital Repository

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Source: Brown Digital Repository

The Orwig Music Library’s new exhibit—In Flanders Fields: A Poetic and Musical Symbol of the ‘War to End All Wars’—draws on the collections of the Orwig Music Library, the John Hay Library, and personal heirlooms.

These collection pieces explore both the iconic 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields” (by Canadian doctor and officer John McCrae) and a selection of the many musical settings of this poem that were published in the waning years of the war.

Although this seemingly-pastoral work describes battle and death, it became a rallying point for recruitment of new troops and, in the U.S., the rejection of isolationist policy.

Location: Orwig Music Library
Dates:
February 10, 2015–May 15, 2015

Waterloo 1815: A Bicentennial Exhibition

Battle of Waterloo Exhibit

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, fought on Sunday, June 18th, 1815 in a village in present-day Belgium. A pivotal moment in history, this battle marked the end of both the Napoleonic Empire and France’s domination of Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Waterloo was the closing event of more than a quarter century of global conflict from the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, ushering in nearly fifty years of peacetime in Europe. The decisive battle has maintained a prominent place in public consciousness long after the final moments of combat.

This exhibition, drawn from The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, visualizes the history of this momentous event. It covers the major actors, precursory battles, public reactions, tourism and commemorations, as well as the details of the battle itself and its grim aftermath. The items on display range from texts and images that are contemporary with the battle to those created as retrospectives.

Location: Hay Exhibition Gallery
Dates: February 16th, 2015 – May 25th, 2015