Event | Laura Stokes on Composer Fanny Hensel

On Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, Laura Stokes, Performing Arts Librarian and Head of Orwig Music Library at Brown, will give a talk based on her book Fanny Hensel: A Research and Information Guide.

Free and open to the public. Q&A and reception to follow the talk.

Laura Stokes

Laura K. T. Stokes is the Performing Arts Librarian at Brown University, where she has also been a Lecturer in Music. She holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Indiana University. Her scholarly work examines music and cultural politics in the nineteenth century, including music for public ritual, opera, sacred music, gender and composition, and music publishing history. Her current projects are on the composers Fanny Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, and Giacomo Meyerbeer, as well as music and politics, historiography, and nineteenth-century medievalism. From 2012–2018, she was an Assistant Editor of the journal Notes.

Fanny Hensel

Drawing of Fanny Hensel by Wilhelm Hensel

Fanny Hensel née Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1805–1847) was one of the most prolific female composers of the nineteenth century. The sister of the famous composer and conductor Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and granddaughter of the Jewish Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, she was educated alongside her brother, including in music composition. Upon reaching maturity, however, she faced restrictions on the pursuit of a public career—restrictions based on gender and social status. Hensel nonetheless continued to compose, with an output of over 450 musical works, and she became the organizer and hostess of a famous salon/private concert series.

After her death, Hensel’s work as a composer and musician was largely forgotten or dismissed; however, inspired by the field of women’s history, new research from the 1980s to the present day has promoted awareness of Hensel’s life and work. Fanny Hensel: A Research and Information Guide helps researchers navigate the vast world of research on Hensel. The author will talk about Hensel and her music as well as challenges and conundrums in this research area.

Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect St, Providence

A Student’s Journey through Special Collections and the Creation of “Fields of Hay”

A student-driven project led by undergraduate Shira Buchsbaum ’19, the recently launched website Fields of Hay offers students a guide for making use of the John Hay Library and Brown’s special collections resources.

Written by Shira Buchsbaum ’19

Mary Elizabeth Sharpe and My First Foray into Special Collections

My journey to the John Hay Library was meandering and inconsistent. My first semester at Brown, my writing professor, Kate Schapira, assigned a piece that required drawing from any archive in Brown’s libraries. I picked the Mary Elizabeth Sharpe collection, which ended up being 20 boxes of letters, blueprints, photographs, contracts, and designs from Sharpe’s life.

Mary Elizabeth Sharpe was married to Henry Dexter Sharpe, the Chancellor of Brown from 1932-1952, and she was a go-getter. Sharpe designed much of the landscaping on campus, including for the then-new Sharpe Refectory and, later, the Sciences Library. She was a critical player in establishing India Point Park and fighting oil money in Providence.

I learned all of this about Sharpe in a few afternoons at the Hay, sitting with her papers and imagining the fierceness of this lady who took meticulous notes about trellises and leaf piles on our campus greens. I kept Mary Elizabeth Sharpe in the back of my head throughout my first two years at Brown, marking the John Hay Library as the place where I learned about our highly manicured campus and the woman behind it.

“Howard terrace, Pembroke College, Providence, R.I.” (1960). Landscaping directed by Mary Elizabeth Sharpe. Images of Brown. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.

A Reintroduction: Shakespeare’s First Folio and Working at the Hay

My junior fall, I stumbled back into the building during a reception and met William Shakespeare’s first Folio on the second floor of the John Hay Library. Brought to tears as I turned the pages of this nearly 400-year-old volume, I asked the lady behind the table, “Do students, like, work here?” The serendipity of that moment landed me in the midst of archives and collections once again, this time as a collections assistant.

John Hay Library’s copy of Shakespeare’s first Folio. Photo by Shira Buchsbaum.

Fields of Hay: An Undergraduate Research Guide to the John Hay Library

In our first conversation, Heather Cole, my new boss, and I discussed creating a guide for undergraduates to access the John Hay Library with more ease. I spent the next 18 months chatting with curators, requesting materials, conducting research, and honing how to convey the richness and variety of the materials here and their availability for student scholarship.

On March 7, 2019, World Book Day, we launched Fields of Hay, the undergraduate research guide to the John Hay Library. On Fields of Hay, students can learn about materials housed at the Hay, read about standing collections, find information on how to request materials, see featured projects by other students, and register student academic or activity groups for programs at the Hay. Fields of Hay aims to demystify the Hay by demonstrating its accessibility and breadth of materials to all students. It also seeks to promote student scholarship by showing that working with primary resources need not be an elite, selective process: it is as simple as finding one compelling item and spending time with it. The website aims to transform haphazard, wayward discoveries of the Hay into a far-reaching, common experience for Brown students. Fields of Hay is home base.

The Impact of Special Collections and an Invitation

I wish I hadn’t treated my interaction with Mary Elizabeth Sharpe as a one-off experience designed for a single class with no lasting implications on my life at Brown. Had I been able to return to the Hay through mechanisms designed for me – through a website that clarified how I could ingratiate myself with these materials – I would have returned sooner. As soon as students arrive at Brown, Fields of Hay can guide them to original, exciting research, or simply enjoying items connected to their interests – no strings or requirements or assignments necessary. Come on in and get started.

Shira Buchsbaum ’19 studied Anthropology and English Non-Fiction Writing and was the primary creator of Fields of Hay, under the advisor-ship of Heather Cole. She wrote her senior thesis about curatorial decision-making for the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays as reflective of changing conceptions of American literature. Any inquiries about Fields of Hay and materials or programming at the Hay can be sent to shira_buchsbaum@brown.edu.

Announcement | Book Published by Author and Performing Arts Librarian Laura Stokes

As part of the Music Bibliographers Series, Routledge has published Fanny Hansel: A Research and Information Guide, written by Laura Stokes, PhD, Brown University Performing Arts Librarian and Head of the Orwig Music Library.

The book is an important addition to the growing study of women composers and performers.

Publisher Description:

Fanny Hensel: A Research and Information Guide provides scholars in Hensel studies with a resource to navigate the research surrounding the composer’s over 450 musical works. As part of the larger blossoming of women’s music history, new research in the 1980s and 1990s promoted an awareness of Hensel’s output, in particular in the genres of the lied and the solo piano work. This research guide includes an introductory chapter, a summary paragraph at the beginning of each chapter, and annotations for more than 500 entries, focusing on scholarly works as well as selected articles from trade publications, catalogs, and Internet resources.

The Brown University Library congratulates our colleague on this remarkable accomplishment.

Announcement | 50 Year Anniversary of the Black Student Walkout: A Collaboration between Brown University Archives and WGBH

Produced by WGBH and reporter Gabrielle Emanuel, the video, “Fifty Years Ago, Black Students At Brown Walked Out For Change” is available on WGBH online.

Click here to read the WGBH story and see the video.

In addition to the video, the story will be told today during the “All Things Considered” afternoon broadcast, available at 89.3 and 89.7 FM in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Ms. Emanuel worked in collaboration with Jennifer Betts, Brown University Archivist and Interim Director of the John Hay Library and Special Collections, on this remarkable video that documents the Black Student Walkout at Brown on December 5, 1968. Today marks the 50th anniversary of this call to action by 65 Brown students of color, who demanded an increase in recruitment and admission of black students to Brown.

1968 Black Student Walkout

Part of a national movement by black college students, the 1968 walkout at Brown stands out for its longevity–students camped out at the Congdon Street Baptist Church for three days–and its success. As a result of this coordinated action and the serious negotiations between Brown administration and the student representatives that took place during the three-day protest, the University agreed to significantly enhance efforts around black student admission practices, with $12 million over three years earmarked for recruitment. According to a letter from President Christina Paxson to the Brown community:

The walkout ended on Dec. 9, when the students secured the University’s agreement to launch an effort to significantly increase the number of black students in each new class. Those students established a foundation for future generations of historically underrepresented students, including other black students, in advocating together for a better Brown.

Protest & Perspectives: Students at Brown 1960s-90s

This fall, the Library presented the exhibit Protest & Perspectives: Students at Brown 1960s–90s, which included the 1968 Black Student Walkout. Installed on the wall outside of the Patric Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, the exhibit was created by the Brown University Archives Fellows during the summer. They are:

  • Amyre S. Brandom, Xavier University of Louisiana, Leadership Alliance
  • Kayla Smith, Spelman College, Leadership Alliance
  • Rachel Souza, Brown University ‘21, Presidential Scholar

Click here to see the online exhibit about the Walkout.

Days of Absence: The 1968 Black Student Walkout at Brown

In addition, the Library hosted the exhibit Days of Absence: The 1968 Black Student Walkout at Brown in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library in September. The exhibition, curated by Bernicestine and Harold Bailey, was created in conjunction with the Black Alumni Reunion.

Social Justice & Special Collections at the Brown University Library

The Library’s collections contain a vast source of material related to social justice on campus and throughout the world. Open to the public and easily accessible to all Brown students and faculty, the John Hay Library and its knowledgeable staff are available to all researchers interested in working with the unique, fascinating, revelatory, and, in many cases, priceless items waiting to be explored.

Collections of interest in this area of study include (but are not limited to):

Announcement | Curator Li Wang Interviewed by China Library Weekly

During the recent 2017 Beijing International Book Fair–the second largest book fair in the world–Dr. Li Wang, Curator of Brown’s East Asian Collection, was interviewed by China Library Weekly, the only library newspaper published in China. Dr. Wang spoke about Brown University Library as well as his professional activities and perspectives. In the special issue, dated August 25, 2017, a large picture of Brown’s John Hay Library was presented on the newspaper’s front page and a full internal page featured Wang and the interview, entitled: “Librarian Should be an Envoy of Cross-Cultural Exchange.”

Based on his recent study of the mission and vision statements that reflect the new strategies of knowledge services in North American academic research libraries, Wang briefly summarized his ideas on the relationship between libraries and teaching and research at universities. He stressed that, aligning with the educational missions and with the teaching and research goals of their home universities, libraries should further redefine themselves, assume a new role as an academic partner, and engage more actively in knowledge innovation and the research process. That is just what Brown University Library proclaims in its mission statement: “Partnering with students, faculty, staff, and members of the global scholarly community, we foster and guide the creation, acquisition, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge at Brown and beyond in a spirit of free and open inquiry.”

In terms of promoting cross-cultural exchange, Wang also shared his experience in recent years, especially through exhibitions, presentations, travel reports, and other activities in this effort. Wang says, ”The librarian should not only be a manager and educator of scholarly resources. We, as scholars of Chinese studies, should also become an envoy of cross-cultural exchange, creating a genial cultural ambience so as to facilitate cultural exchange and understanding in a global context.”

Click here to read the article in Chinese, or read the translation below (translated by Yanqing Shen ’18).

Continue reading

Retweets, Shares, and Likes: Increasing the Impact of Research Through the Preservation and Sharing of Data

Justine Allen, Derya Akkaynak (from http://news.brown.edu/articles/2017/05/cuttlefish)

Last week, an article co-authored by Dr. Justine Allen appeared in the scientific journal The American Naturalist. Dr. Allen received her Ph.D. from Brown University in 2014, completing her graduate work under Professor Roger Hanlon at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. The article describes the behaviors of two male cuttlefish fighting over a female mate, behaviors that were recorded on video and in photographs taken by the authors while on a dive off the coast of Turkey. The video has since been seen tens of thousands of times, demonstrating the impact of research through the preservation and sharing of data.

To view Dr. Allen and her co-authors’ data in the BDR please visit:

Akkaynak, Derya, and Allen, Justine J., “Dramatic fighting by male cuttlefish for a female mate” (2011). Data for Publications. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0PR7SX4.

In order to analyze the recorded behaviors, the researchers created a scoring guide to document the types and characteristics of the organisms involved and their actions and the duration of the actions at certain timestamps in the film footage and on each still image. Before Dr. Allen and her co-authors submitted their manuscript for peer review and publication, they reached out to Hope Lappen, Biomedical and Life Sciences Librarian, and Andrew Creamer, Scientific Data Management Librarian, to get help with their questions about copyright and licenses for publishing and distributing their data, and for assistance with curating and depositing the files (the video, images, and analysis data underlying their paper’s findings) into an online collection in the Library’s Brown Digital Repository (BDR).

The BDR is the Library’s platform for making digital collections available online. The BDR has a collection called “Data for Publications,” which is an online gallery for Brown researchers to preserve the supplementary materials accompanying their published articles or the data underlying their results and conclusions. The BDR also allows researchers to cite these materials and data in their publications and to make these files available to other researchers and the public online.

Andrew worked with Ann Caldwell, the Library’s Metadata Librarian and Head of Digital Production Services, to plan out the descriptive information for each catalog record associated with their data set and the minimum documentation necessary to interpret the data. This process is iterative and involves collaborating with the authors to collect these details and create their records in the BDR with the aim of facilitating search, discovery, access, and citation of these materials online. Ann’s staff also helped to convert the film and image file formats into ones that are appropriate for long-term preservation.

Upon deposit of the files in the Library’s BDR, Andrew and Ann work with Joseph Rhoads, the BDR’s Manager, and Ben Cail, the BDR’s programmer, to display the files according to the wishes of the researchers. For the cuttlefish paper, the authors wanted to be able to not only preserve the original video and image files in the BDR, but also to stream the video so that readers could view the video from its record the BDR.  After files are uploaded, Joseph and Ben provide the researchers with a URL and a unique identifier, called a digital object identifier (DOI), that they can use to cite these materials within their article so that reviewers of their paper or interested readers can have access to them. By depositing the data in the BDR and citing the data within the paper, the authors allow readers to learn more about the science and judge the rigor and validity of their published findings. This transparency can help move science forward.

So what is the big deal about making these materials public? In short, the answer is impact. Scientists want to spread knowledge and know that their research can resonate with the public. By depositing their video with the Library and citing and sharing their video, Dr. Allen and her co-authors were able to reach more people than they would have through the publication of their article alone. How many more people? One week after publication of the article, their cuttlefish video had been viewed by over 140,000 people online! In addition, the video had been reported on the websites and social media feeds of the New York Times, National Geographic, and Science and reported on the websites and on the Facebook and Twitter and similar social media feeds of media outlets in several countries, including Germany’s Der Spiegel. These posts have been shared, liked, and retweeted by people fascinated with the dramatic events the research team captured on film.

Dr. Allen and her co-authors are not alone. A team of Brown undergraduates led by Dean Adetunji, Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science, have deposited the file of a video in the Library’s BDR on the science of seeing color that has also has had over 100,000 views. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the National Science Foundation including broader and societal impact among the review criteria it uses to evaluate grant proposals submitted by researchers. The Library’s BDR plays a crucial role in helping to preserve and disseminate the digital outputs of Brown’s research community, including their broader impact materials that they have created for educating students or the public about their research. Videos, images, software, and documents that could easily be lost after the publication of an article now get cataloged by the Library and put online and discovered, accessed, and cited by other researchers and the public.

Commencement Forum | Word/Image/Text: Reading for the Philosophers’ Stone in Atalanta fugiens with Tara Nummedal

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Tara Nummedal, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department

The Library welcomes visitors to a Commencement Forum on Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab and Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio at the Rockefeller Library.

As part of Brown University’s new Digital Publishing Initiative, Professor Tara Nummedal will present on her upcoming publishing project. Project Atalanta will bring a multimedia seventeenth century text to life in digital form. This innovative digital publication will produce a dynamic, enhanced digital edition of Michael Maier’s extraordinary text, Atalanta fugiens (1617/18): an alchemical emblem book that re-casts the myth of Atalanta—the fleet-footed virgin—as a series of fifty emblems. Comprised of text, image, and music, each individual emblem engages sound, sight, and intellect; read together, these emblems serve as an interlocking guide to alchemical theory and the production of the philosophers’ stone.

As a pilot project of the Digital Publishing Initiative, Project Atalanta seeks to bridge the gaps between the readers of today and their seventeenth century counterparts. By transforming the Atalanta fugiens into a dynamic digital object through the collaboration of historians, musicians, rare book curators, linguists, scientists, artists, and other scholars Project Atalanta reflects a dynamic, emergent form of interdisciplinary scholarship. The University Library invites visitors to come and hear about this unique multimedia text, and explore along with Professor Nummedal the implications of reading across time, cultures, and technologies.

Tara Nummedal is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department. She is the author of Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire and is currently completing her second book, “The Lion’s Blood: Alchemy, Gender, and Apocalypse in Reformation Germany.” Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and, most recently, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is Past President of the New England Renaissance Conference and a member of the editorial board of the journal Ambix. She teaches courses in early modern European history and the history of science.

Date: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | Tara Nummedal and Donna Bilak: “Tear the Books Apart: Atalanta fugiens in a Digital Age”

Atalanta emblem XI

On Thursday, April 21, 2016, at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, scholars Tara Nummedal and Donna Bilak will speak about their digital publication, Project Atalanta. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the talk.

Recently chosen as one of two pilot projects for Brown’s Mellon-funded digital publishing initiative, Nummedal and Bilak’s publication will bring a multimedia seventeenth century text to life in digital form. The digital publication will produce a dynamic, enhanced digital edition of Michael Maier’s extraordinary text, Atalanta fugiens (1617/18). An alchemical emblem book, Maier’s Atalanta fugiens re-casts the myth of Atalanta—the fleet-footed virgin—as a series of fifty emblems that outline the creation of the philosopher’s stone. With its combination of text, image, and music, the Atalanta fugiens represents an early multimedia work. In Project Atalanta, this historic text will be represented in dynamic digital form and be accompanied by newly written scholarship that will help elucidate the Atalanta fugiens’ many layers. 

In this lunchtime talk, Nummedal and Bilak will discuss their work-in-progress, share insight into the world of seventeenth century emblem culture, and help build a foundation for an open dialogue about the processes, opportunities, and challenges of producing digitally rich scholarly products. 

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Tara Nummedal

Tara Nummedal is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department. She is the author of Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire and is currently completing her second book, “The Lion’s Blood: Alchemy, Gender, and Apocalypse in Reformation Germany.” Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and, most recently, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She is Past President of the New England Renaissance Conference and a member of the editorial board of the journal Ambix. She teaches courses in early modern European history and the history of science.

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Donna Bilak

Donna Bilak is a lecturer at Columbia University in New York. Her research interests encompass early modern European history of science and alchemy, early modern emblem culture, as well as 19th-century jewelry history and technology. Dr. Bilak’s doctoral research reconstructed the life and times of a 17th-century Puritan alchemist who operated in England and America, and she was the 2013-14 Edelstein Postdoctoral Fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia where her research focused on analysis of the Atalanta fugiens(1618), an alchemical emblem book that encodes laboratory technologies using music and images. Dr. Bilak has lectured extensively on the topics of early modern alchemy as well as jewelry history throughout North America and Europe​.

Date: Thursday, April 21, 2016
Time: 12 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

Pilot Projects Selected for Brown’s Digital Publishing Initiative

The Dean of the Faculty and the Brown University Library are pleased to announce the selection of two faculty-led projects for the inaugural year of the University’s Digital Publishing Initiative. Supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Digital Publishing Initiative offers Brown faculty members the opportunity to explore new and innovative approaches to scholarly publishing and research. Produced through new partnerships between scholars and digital scholarship staff, these two pilot projects will be conceived and constructed over the next several years, leading ultimately to pioneering, interactive publications on the web.

MRiva

Massimo Riva, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence and Professor of Italian Studies, Chair of Italian Studies

Written by Brown University’s leading Italian Studies scholar Massimo RivaItalian Shadows: Casanova’s Polemoscope and Other Tales of Imaginary or Forgotten Media conceives of an archaeology of virtual reality. Through focusing on four curious pieces of analog media from the pre-digital age—including Casanova’s voyeuristic polemoscope (or jealousy glass); an eighteenth century peep show box, the Mondo Novo; the Great Belzoni’s Aggrescopius, an enhancement of magic lantern theater; and the travelling panorama—Riva will draw connections between old forms of reality-altering technologies and today’s virtual world. Taking advantage of the capabilities of the web, Italian Shadows will include rich, interactive illustrations that capture the effects of these long forgotten optical tools and cut a hypertextual path across a variety of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mediascapes. Mining the past for examples of “imaginary” technologies that provided a conduit for alternative imaginings, this study examines the complex relationship between technological innovations and the cultural imagination.

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Tara Nummedal, Associate Professor of History, Associate Professor of Italian Studies

The other pilot project is a collaboration between Brown University’s Tara Nummedal and Columbia University’s Donna Bilak. Combining the format of the scholarly edition with that of a critical anthology, Nummedal and Bilak’s Project Atalanta will bring a multimedia seventeenth century text to life in digital form. The digital publication will produce a dynamic, enhanced digital edition of Michael Maier’s extraordinary text, Atalanta Fugiens (1617/18). An alchemical emblem book, Maier’s Atalanta fugiens re-casts the myth of Atalanta—the fleet-footed virgin—as a series of fifty emblems that outline the creation of the philosopher’s stone. With its combination of text, image, and music, the Atalanta fugiens represents an early multimedia work. In Project Atalanta, this historic text will be represented in dynamic digital form and be accompanied by newly written scholarship that will help elucidate the Atalanta fugiens’ many layers.

These proposals by were selected by the Digital Publications Advisory Board, which is made up of Brown faculty members and administrators reflecting a broad range of disciplines, interests, and areas of expertise. These proposals were selected not only for their scholarly promise, but also for their innovative approaches to digital forms of research and presentation.

The Digital Publishing Initiative is a joint project of Brown’s Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the Brown University Library. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, this Initiative aims to extend the University’s mission in supporting scholarship of its faculty through engagement with new and emerging forms of digital publication. Each year for the duration of the grant, faculty members at the University will be invited to submit proposals for digital publication projects to be made in partnership with members of Brown’s Center for Digital Scholarship, which provides design and editorial support, and technical expertise.

In April, 2016, Professors Riva and Nummedal will speak in the Brown University Library about their Mellon-supported digital projects. The exact date and location of this talk will be announced soon. Later this spring there will be a new call for proposals issued to the Brown community, with proposals to be evaluated in the 2016 fall semester. For more information about the Digital Publishing Initiative, please contact the Digital Scholarship Editor, Liz Glass at elizabeth_glass@brown.edu.

The Digital Publications Advisory Board Members for 2015-2016:

  • Michael Satlow, Chair
  • Thalia Field
  • Harold Cook
  • Leslie Bostrom
  • Steven Lubar
  • Courtney Martin

Ex-Officio Members:

  • Kevin McLaughlin, Dean of the Faculty
  • Joseph Meisel, Deputy Provost
  • Harriette Hemmasi, University Librarian
  • Liz Glass, Digital Scholarship Editor