Event | Playing the Past – Archaeology and Video Games Play Well Together

On Sunday and Monday, January 27 and 28, 2019, Eva Mol and Carl Walsh, Postdoctoral Research Associates in Archaeology and the Ancient World at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, hosted a conference and workshop at the Rockefeller Library entitled, “Playing the Past – Archaeology and Video Games Play Well Together.

Conference

On Sunday, speakers discussed the state of the field in gaming and archaeology with a specific focus on how interactive, virtual media function as a differential space for theory-crafting, historytelling, and public outreach. Seven presenters spoke about topics ranging from a case study of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which is set in ancient Egypt, to the pedagogical uses of games set in ancient time periods, to the participatory creation of historical video games and environments by both experts and the public.

The presentations took place in the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, which is equipped with a large-scale, high-resolution video wall comprised of twelve 55-inch high-resolution LED screens, allowing for crisp and responsive visual presentation of video games and other media.

Workshop

On Monday, Angus Mol and Aris Politopoulos of Leiden University and the VALUE Foundation taught workshop participants, including archaeologists, designers, critics and consumers, how to use Twine, an intuitive and powerful tool for digital storytelling and game design. The group made use of what was learned by building video games in the Library’s Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio. The Studio’s flexible space allowed the attendees to break into smaller groups and collaborate while using the room’s screen and whiteboards.

Date: Sunday and Monday, January 27 and 28, 2019
Time: All day
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab & Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street

Exhibit | Works from “A Global History of Art & Architecture”

A course with Professors Sheila Bonde and Lindsay Caplan

Examine models and artwork created by students in Sheila Bonde’s and Lindsay Caplan’s lecture course, “A Global History of Art and Architecture”, which presents art, architecture, and material culture from cave paintings to installation art.  The works exemplify forms studied in the class.

Dates: December 20, 2018 – May 31, 2019
TimeJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Hours
Location: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Announcement | New Project Selected for Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative

Shahzad Bashir, Director of Middle East Studies, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, and Professor of Religious Studies

The Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the University Library, together with the Digital Publications Advisory Board, are pleased to announce the selection of the next long-form scholarly work to be developed under Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative.

Islamic Pasts and Futures: Horizons of Time, by Shahzad Bashir, Director of Middle East Studies, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, and Professor of Religious Studies, probes the functioning of time as an aspect of human experience. It focuses on Islam, understanding it as an element of human imagination made real in an illimitable array of physical objects and linguistic traces. Attending to this evidence instantiates Islam’s entwining in stories of human lives over more than fourteen centuries. Relying on theoretical discussions from fields such as philosophy of history and anthropology, historiography, and cultural, visual, and literary studies, Professor Bashir asks that we look beyond the commonplace view of Islamic history that is predicated on seeing time as a one-way stream. Rather, ‘Islamic time’ is a vast matrix of ‘present’ moments that fold pasts and futures into themselves. Artifacts of human endeavor, such as texts, paintings, buildings, and so on, are symptoms of these presents that contain diverse understandings of selves and the world. For materials pertaining to Islam—produced by Muslims and non-Muslims alike—analytical horizons connected to time generate new frames for comprehending Islamic phenomena.

The Digital Publications Initiative, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is establishing an infrastructure to support the development and publication of scholarly works that incorporate the capabilities of digital tools and technology to advance theory, method, and argument. Editorial and digital development of these works is supported through the University Library for eventual review and release by academic presses that are increasingly publishing digital monographs. Anchored in the University Library and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, this initiative extends the University’s mission of supporting and promoting faculty scholarship, while also helping to advance digital scholarship in the humanities.

In addition to Islamic Pasts and Futures: Horizons of Time, by Shahzad Bashir, current digital scholarly publications supported under this initiative include Italian Shadows: A Genealogy of Virtual Reality, by Massimo Riva, Professor of Italian Studies; Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618) with Scholarly Commentary, by Tara Nummedal, Professor of History, and Donna Bilak of Columbia University; and The Sensory Monastery: Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, by Sheila Bonde, Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Professor of Archaeology, and Clark Maines, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Wesleyan University.

To learn more about Brown’s digital scholarly publication program, please visit the Digital Publications Initiative website, or contact Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor (allison_levy@brown.edu).

dSalon | A Digital Interface for 17th Century Texts in the Aymara Language of Peru

Join the Center for Digital Scholarship on Wednesday, January 23, 2018 at 2 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a dSalon discussion on “A digital interface for 17th century texts in the Aymara language of Peru.” Nicholas Emlen, Digital Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library, and Patrick Hall, PhD Candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will give a short introduction to their collaborative project and then will lead a discussion of some of the technical and conceptual issues involved in this project.

This event is part of the Center for Digital Scholarship’s dSalon series of presentations and discussions around digital scholarship. Free and open to the public.

A Digital Interface for 17th Century Texts in the Aymara Language of Peru

The project creates a digital interface that allows users to explore transcribed, translated, and linguistically analyzed versions of two seventeenth century Peruvian texts in the Aymara language. The first text is a nearly 600-page narrative written by a native Aymara speaker. The second is a dictionary—which is still the most comprehensive source on the Aymara language even today—that was compiled from that narrative text. The two texts are digitized and available online, but they are idiosyncratic and difficult to interpret, and in practice remain quite inaccessible to both scholars and Aymara speakers today.

The interface aims to open up accessibility to the texts and to provide a host of new analytical tools. One innovative aspect of the interface is that it provides integrated access to both texts at the same time. The narrative text and the dictionary fit together naturally, since the latter was compiled from the former. Thus, through the digital interface, users can search for a particular word or grammatical feature and call up examples from both the dictionary and the narrative text written by the 17th century Aymara speaker. This integration of analytical information from the dictionary with a sample of how the language was used by native speakers from the 17th century creates a powerful tool that can be used by historians, anthropologists, linguists, and native speakers alike.

Nicholas Emlen

Nicholas Emlen

Nicholas Q. Emlen is a Digital Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library and a Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology at Brown. He is a linguistic anthropologist who has conducted extensive ethnographic research on multilingualism, migration, and coffee production on the Andean-Amazonian agricultural frontier of Southern Peru. He also works on the reconstruction of Quechua-Aymara language contact in the ancient Central Andes, and on multilingualism among Quechua, Aymara, Puquina, and Spanish in the colonial Andes, using texts from the John Carter Brown Library’s collection.

Patrick Hall

Patrick Hall

Patrick Hall is a PhD candidate in linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. His work is focused on new approaches to designing and implementing software for language documentation using the standard, ubiquitous technologies of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. His data models and applications are based directly on documentary practice, resulting in tools which are robust, but nonetheless simple enough to be archived alongside the data they are used to produce.

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: 2 – 3:15 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Event | RavenSpace: A Collaborative Model for Digital Publishing in Indigenous Studies with Darcy Cullen and Beth Fuget

Join the Brown University Library on Friday, November 30, 2018 from 12 – 1:15 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a talk entitled, “RavenSpace: A Collaborative Model for Digital Publishing in Indigenous Studies.” Darcy Cullen, Assistant Director of RavenSpace: Digital Publishing in Indigenous Studies at UBC Press, The University of British Columbia, and Beth Fuget, Grants and Digital Projects, University of Washington Press (Chair), will talk about this collaborative project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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

RavenSpace: A Collaborative Model for Digital Publishing in Indigenous Studies

As scholarship evolves to take advantage of digital forms and contexts and scholars seek new ways to reach the various audiences they want to engage, the scholarly communications infrastructure is responding and adapting publication practices to meet changing needs. RavenSpace is a new publishing platform for media-rich, networked, interactive books in Indigenous studies that provides a digital space where communities and scholars can work together to share and create knowledge. Based on Scalar and other open-source technologies, and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the platform meets the standards of peer-reviewed academic publishing and respects Indigenous protocols for accessing and using cultural heritage and traditional knowledge. It supports collaborative authorship and offers different paths through the work for different audiences. Darcy Cullen and Beth Fuget will discuss the development and goals of this new model of publishing.

Darcy Cullen

Darcy Cullen is Assistant Director, Acquisitions, at the University of British Columbia Press and the Principal Investigator for RavenSpace. She has written about the collaborative nature of publishing in Editors, Scholars, and the Social Text, and is an ardent supporter of new modes of book publishing that take account of digital, networked, and collaborative scholarship.

Beth Fuget

Beth Fuget manages grants and digital projects for the University of Washington Press, where she is currently launching their first open access books. She has also worked as an acquisitions editor at the press and before that, as a writer, editor, translator, and teacher.

Date: November 30, 2018
Time: 12 – 1:15 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Panel | Providing Global and Open Access to Research Publications and Primary Research Materials

On Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, come and celebrate International Open Access Week by attending a panel discussion and learning about two scholars who are providing global and open access online to research publications, primary data, and educational resources. The Open Access Movement encompasses making available online to the public research publications, resources, data, and tools that are free of many legal, financial (paywalls), and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared, and adapted. Light refreshments will be served.

Panelists:

  • James Green, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Professor of Modern Latin American History and Director of the Brazil Initiative
  • Carlos Pittella, visiting scholar in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Panel Description:

Professor James Green

Professor Green will discuss Opening the Archives, a joint effort he is leading with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, the Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Paraná, Brazil), and the Brazilian National Archives to digitize and index the U.S. government documents on Brazil between 1960-80 in the Library’s Digital Repository (BDR) and to make them available to the public on an open-access website.

 

 

Dr. Carlos Pitella

Dr. Pittella will discuss his project involving partnering with the Library’s Digital Repository (BDR) to disseminate and preserve access online to four open access, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies journals, including Pessoa Plural, an international journal dedicated to advancing criticism and scholarship on the poet Fernando Pessoa that is co-published by Brown, the University of Warwick, and the Universidad de los Andes.

Drs. Green and Pittella will provide models of ways that Brown students and faculty can partner with the Library on open access endeavors and raise awareness about the importance of open access to research publications and data on a global scale. Join us for this enlightening discussion!

Date: October 31, 2017
Time: 12 – 1 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street

Events | Mellon-Funded Digital Publishing Initiative Workshops

This fall, Brown University Library and the Program in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (REMS) will host a series of interactive, interdisciplinary workshops on digital humanities scholarship for undergraduates, featuring two pilot projects selected for Brown’s Digital Publishing Initiative, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The REMS Program offers students many opportunities to work with centuries-old books and pictures in some very modern ways, uncovering exciting research questions in the humanities, history, and the social sciences along the way.

Books without Pages: Project Atalanta

The first workshop, “Books without Pages: Project Atalanta,” will take place on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 12 p.m. Project Atalanta brings to life in digital form a multimedia seventeenth-century text, Michael Maier’s alchemical emblem book, Atalanta fugiens. The publication will consist of a dynamic, enhanced digital edition of the early modern book, including recordings of its fifty fugues, as well as a critical anthology of media-rich interpretative essays. Associate Professor of History Tara Nummedal, Digital Scholarship Editor Allison Levy, and Designer for Online Publications Crystal Brusch, along with the graduate and undergraduate students who have been working on the project, will present material from the digital project in conjunction with an evaluation of the printed early modern book from the John Hay Library.

Journey into the New World and Other Tales of Forgotten (Early) Modern Media

The second workshop, “Journey into the New World and Other Tales of Forgotten (Early) Modern Media,” will take place on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 12 p.m. Professor of Italian Studies Massimo Riva, Digital Scholarship Editor Allison Levy, and Designer for Online Publications Crystal Brusch will introduce undergraduates to the wonders of time travel by exploring several examples of analog media from the pre-digital age. How can popular forms of entertainment from centuries ago, such as the cosmorama, the magic lantern, or the “moving panorama,” help us better understand our own “brave new world” – our digital visual culture? This workshop will revolve around a set of digital simulations of eighteenth-century optical devices being designed for this project.

Both events will take place in the Digital Scholarship Lab on the first floor of Rockefeller Library. A short reception will follow.

Dates: October 26 and November 1, 2017
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street

Event | Dante in Real Time

On Monday, December 4, 2017 at 12 p.m., the Brown University Library and the Program in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (REMS), as part of the Journeys to the Early Modern World in Brown’s Libraries fall series, will present an hour-long workshop, “Dante in Real Time,” designed to introduce undergraduates to the extraordinary possibilities for undertaking engaged research among our special collections.

Dante’s Divine Comedy recounts the poet’s journey through the afterlife and back. From hybrid beasts and fearsome devils to friends and foes, Dante’s world has inspired generations of readers to envision what lay beyond the known world.

In this hands-on workshop, Christopher Geissler, Director of the John Hay Library, and Zoe Langer, 2017 Hay Interdisciplinary Fellow, will view different responses to Dante’s poem, including sixteenth-century maps of Hell and illustrations by Gustave Doré. The Chambers Dante Collection allows us to experience Dante’s poem as its readers encountered it through the centuries and to see how REMS students, working closely with literature, languages, and book illustration, can discover remarkable questions lurking in very old books.

“Dante in Real Time” will take place at 12 p.m. in the Bopp Seminar Room on the third floor of the John Hay Library. A short reception will follow.

Date: Monday, December 4, 2017
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Bopp Seminar Room, Third Floor, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street

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.

Scalar: Writing Digital Scholarship | Curtis Fletcher

The Library is pleased to host three events in the series, Scalar: Writing Digital Scholarship, this April, 2017. All events will be held in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library.

Curtis Fletcher, Associate Director of the Polymathic Labs at USC Libraries and Co-PI on Scalar

On Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 12 p.m., Curtis Fletcher, Associate Director of the Polymathic Labs at USC Libraries and Co-PI on Scalar, will give a talk entitled, “Beyond the Platform: Enabling and Supporting New Forms of Digital Scholarship.” A reception will follow the talk. Free and open to the public.

Beyond the Platform: Enabling and Supporting New Forms of Digital Scholarship

Fletcher will discuss his experience working on Scalar, an open source authoring and publishing platform designed for media-rich, born-digital scholarship. Highlighting specific Scalar projects, broader use cases, and ongoing development, he will discuss the ways in which the platform’s affordances attempt to move digital scholarly publishing beyond the linear ePub; how emerging scholarly workflows and practices for creating media-rich, archive-connected, scholarship have evolved alongside those affordances; and how the platform’s design relates to broader trends in digital scholarship and the digital humanities.

Curtis Fletcher

Curtis Fletcher is the Associate Director of the Polymathic Labs at USC Libraries and Co-PI on Scalar. His research spans the history of technology, the history of humanities education, science and technology studies, and visual studies. He specializes in digital research and writing in the humanities with particular expertise in new models for authoring, credentialing, and publishing born-digital, multimodal, humanities scholarship. Prior to his work at USC Libraries he was Associate Multimedia Editor for Urban History at Cambridge University Press; Administrative Assistant for the Center for Transformative Scholarship in the Digital Age at USC; and Project Manager for the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture.

These events are part of the Library’s series, The Future of Scholarly Publishing, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Previous events in the series:

On Thursday, April 13, Caroline Frank, Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown, gave a talk entitled,”Paths Across the Pacific: A Scalar Project of East-West Interaction,” during which she discussed her recent Scalar project, “Asia-Pacific in the Making of the Americas.” Professor Frank presented with collaborator Andrea Ledesma, a graduate student in American Studies.

On Tuesday, April 18, Elli Mylonas, Senior Digital Humanities Librarian, hosted an “Introduction to Scalar” workshop.