Exhibit | Entwined: Botany, Art and the Lost Cat Swamp Habitat

The exhibit showcases the rich history of art and science in Providence and provokes you to consider the consequences of environmental change on local biodiversity.  Premiering original watercolors of plants by Edward Peckham together with matching specimens from the Brown University Herbarium, collected by William Bailey and others, explore the lost Cat Swamp habitat of the Wayland and Blackstone neighborhoods on the East Side.

This exhibition is the collaborative work of the Brown University Herbarium, Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS), Rhode Island Wild Plant Society (RIWPS), and John Hay Library.

Opening reception:  Thursday, January 10th, 4-6 PM

Dates: January 10 – April 30, 2019
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Exhibition Gallery, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Transcultural by Design: Iranian Ceramics

Transcultural by Design: Iranian Ceramics from the Minassian Collection
Curated by Rhodes Scholar Rhea Stark ‘18.5.

From where exactly do the Islamic arts originate is the question at the center of this exhibition. While the answer perhaps seems intuitive— the Islamic Middle East—the reality is far more complex. The Islamic arts have from their beginnings existed in circulation and conversation with an array of work originating in China, India, and Europe.

Explore Iranian ceramics from the Joukowsky Institute of Archaeology’s Minassian Collection and learn about their transcultural aesthetic references.

Exhibit Lecture

Expanding the Field, Disrupting Canons:
Iranian Ceramics, Trade, and Collecting Practices

Martina Rugiadi, Associate Curator of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art will explore the historical techniques and trading practices of Iranian ceramics.

Please join us for the talk and Q&A. The lecture and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Exhibit Dates: December 14, 2018 – December 16, 2019
Exhibit TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Exhibit Location: Willis Reading Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Lecture Date: Friday, December 14, 2018
Lecture Time: 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Lecture Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | In Solidarity: Exhibiting Civic Engagement, Protest, and Activism on Campus

On Wednesday, December 12, 2018 from 12 – 2 p.m., the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice will present In Solidarity: Exhibiting Civic Engagement, Protest, and Activism on Campus. The Brown University Library is taking part in this campus-wide, end of semester open gallery event, during which students and members of the community are invited to experience different perspectives on issues of social justice.

Each exhibition on the self-guided tour examines civic engagement, activism, and protest through archival documents, contemporary artwork, historic photographs, and music.

The Library’s exhibit, Protest & Perspectives: Students at Brown 1960s – 90s, was created by the Brown University Archives Fellows and can be viewed on the wall outside of the Patric Ma Digital Scholarship Lab in the Rockefeller Library.

Seven locations with eleven exhibits will be available on the tour. Click here for the list of spaces and exhibits and click here for a map of the participating galleries.

Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Time: 12 – 2 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI and other locations on campus

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

Exhibit | Blooming in the Noise of the Whirlwind & Puerto Rico en mi corazón

Blooming in the Noise of the Whirlwind & Puerto Rico en mi corazón on view at John Hay Library, exhibition gallery.

Blooming in the Noise of the Whirlwind

This exhibition focuses on a small selection of the many extraordinary women poets represented in the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays. From women writing in the colonial period, to nineteenth-century working-class women documenting their everyday lives, to young activists writing in the aftermath of the 2016 election, through four centuries these poets have all used their work to celebrate their identity, express desire or anger, preserve memory, and amplify a message.

Puerto Rico en mi corazón

Puerto Rico en mi corazón is an anthology collecting forty-five contemporary Puerto Rican poets, both emerging and established, writing in both English and Spanish, living both on la isla and in the diaspora, afro-boricua, white, mixed, indigenx and of all genders. Organized by poet, printer and Brown faculty member Erica Mena, the fifteen displayed bilingual broadsides demonstrate collaborations between poets, translators and letterpress printers across the continental United States.

Dates: November 7 – December 14, 2018
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Exhibition Gallery, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Prayer (1934) by Princess Red Wing of Seven Crescents

Prayer, World Day of Prayer for Peace, February 16, 1934
Princess Red Wing of Seven Crescents
Brown University Library, Special Collections

Exhibit

The item on display is a written prayer delivered at an observance of the World Day of Prayer at the Westminster Church, Yonkers, New York, by Princess Red Wing of Seven Crescents, a Narragansett and Pokanoket Wampanoag Indian, speaking on behalf of the Indian women of America. The principal element of the prayer charts the quest of a young boy and leads to a call for reconciliation and peace based on a syncretistic Christian faith.

Princess Red Wing, or Mary E. Glasko (1896–1987), was an internationally known activist, “preserver of Eastern Native American traditions,” and lecturer who co-founded the Tomaquag Museum, the first and only Native American Museum in Rhode Island. She was awarded numerous distinctions and honors during her lifetime, including induction into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame in 1978.

Exhibit Lecture

On Monday, November 19, 2018 from 12 – 1 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, Lorén Spears (Narragansett), Executive Director of Tomaquag Museum, will discuss the life and legacy of Princess Red Wing who was, in addition to being a Narragansett/Wampanoag leader, a culture bearer, author, and educator.

Please join us for the talk and Q&A, we also invite you to view the exhibit across the street at the John Hay Library. The lecture and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Exhibit Dates: November 6 – 30, 2018
Exhibit TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Exhibit Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Lecture Date: Monday, November 19, 2018
Lecture Time: 12 – 1 p.m.
Lecture Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | Whiteness, Indigeneity, and Power in Amazonia with Michael Cepek

On Friday, November 2, 2018 at 4 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, Michael Cepek will give a talk entitled, “Whiteness, Indigeneity, and Power in Amazonia.” Sponsored by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Brown University Library, this event is free and open to the public. A light reception will follow the talk.

Click here to read the Watson Institute’s article on the event and view a video of Michael Cepek’s presentation.

This talk is part of the Sawyer Seminar series on race and indigeneity in the Americas. The event will be hosted Professor James Green, Professor of Modern Latin American History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, and director of the Brazil Initiative. Special remarks will be given by student Hugo Lucitante ’19, co-founder of the Cofán Heritage Project whose mission is to preserve the culture and history of the Cofán tribe of which he is a member.

Michael Cepek

Michael Cepek is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His research explores the relationship between environmental change, cultural difference, and political power at the margins of global orders. In his studies with indigenous Cofán people in the Amazonian forests, Andean foothills, and capital city of Ecuador, he investigates cultural politics, environmental conservation projects, and environmental justice movements from the perspective of longstanding concerns in social theory and emerging debates in the anthropology of Latin America.

In addition, he is a fellow in the program for Science Action for Conservation & Community at the Field Museum of Natural History, and he works as Book Review Editor for Environment and Society: Advances in Research, a publication affiliated with the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Cepek is also president of the board of the Cofán Survival Fund, a non-profit organization that supports Cofán-directed conservation and sustainable development initiatives in Amazonian Ecuador.

Date: Friday, November 2, 2018
Time:  4 – 6 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Visitors Enjoyed Brown’s East Asian Collection Open House

EAC work team and two Brown students (Left to right: Sam Chowning, Benjamin Davis, Toshiyuki Minami, Dr. Li Wang, Whitney Su, Milanca Wang, and Yanhoo Cho) Photo: Jenny Li

On Friday, October 19, 2018, as part of Family Weekend activities at the Rockefeller Library, the East Asian Collection (curated by Dr. Li Wang) hosted its Open House event. Many of the collection’s rare books, albums, and replications of famous calligraphic scrolls and traditional-style paintings were on display. The event was a major success, attracting large crowds of parents, faculty members, students, and those with an interest in the region’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors were enthusiastic to inspect the original Chinese ancient texts housed in the unique traditional-style cabinets of the Gardner Room of the East Asian Collection. Various beautifully bound texts from China, Korea, and Japan also captured the attention of visitors. The books covered a wide variety of topics such as Chinese printing culture, Tang and Song Dynasty poetry, Korean gardens, and Japanese children’s art.

Benjamin Davis, a 5th year master’s student in electrical engineering, when asked about his impression of the event, responded, “I originally came to the Open House event just because my friend who works there told me to, but being here, I’m really enjoying everything. I found this circular book on traditional Chinese currency, and even though I can’t read what it says, now I know what ancient Chinese money looks like, which is something I wouldn’t have known if I did not come here today!”

The East Asian Collection, a branch library located on the third floor of the Rockefeller Library, was developed from the original 30,000 volumes (the vast majority of which were Chinese texts) of “the Gardner Collection.” Now the Collection holds nearly 200,000 volumes of East Asian language print books, in addition to a good amount of print serials, audio-video materials, electronic resources (e-books, e-journals, and databases, etc.) and other formats. It has been recognized as one of the most distinguished mid-size East Asian libraries in North America.

Prof. Charles S. Gardner (1900-1966 Source: Gardner family

The Gardner Collection was donated to the University by the renowned Harvard Sinologist, Charles Sidney Gardner, who lived in China during the 1920s and 30s and specialized in the study of Qing Dynasty history. Gardner not only collected a large number of ancient Chinese books, he also cultivated close relationships with many renowned Chinese scholars, including Hu Shih and Yang Lien-Sheng. There were items displayed regarding Gardner’s personal life, his publications, and letter correspondence with Chinese scholars at the Open House event. Some of these works were on display to the public for the first time, including Gardner’s family pictures, which were donated by his granddaughter, Professor Sarah Beckjord at Boston College, and some other materials recently discovered by East Asian Collection Curator, Dr. Li Wang.

The session concluded with a reading of a passage by Gardner on the importance of understanding China’s past and present to understand the power, presence, and influence it has in today’s world. In an article published in 1944, “The future of Chinese studies in America,” Prof. Gardner writes:

Whatever of evil has emerged from the present world conflagration, one good at least may be set against it: a new and rather startled awareness on the part of multitudes of Americans of certain fundamental similarity of outlook shared by the Chinese and ourselves. That bond may be in part expressed in terms of self-restraint, moderation, practical common sense, and respect for individual human dignity. There has come too a new awareness of our national ignorance, our insularity, provincialism; and with it a desire for light, for study of the Chinese civilization which we now increasingly see is superficially strange, but underneath so basically like our own. It is becoming clear that tomorrow will bring ever more insistent demands for those who can speak the national language of China, for those who can read her new living written tongue, and for those who possess the science to translate with precision her vast traditional literary heritage of twenty-five centuries’ growth. Against such demands of the morrow it is prudent to take thought and prepare today. The Chinese Library of the University will be the indispensable instrument of scholarship.

The East Asian Collection Open House event was a delightful experience for all. The room was abuzz with activity and excitement throughout the afternoon as people came in and out. The East Asian Collection is truly a valuable campus resource for anyone who wishes to learn more about all things related to East Asian culture.

Whitney Su ’22

Event | East Asian Collection Open House

Candi-avalokitesvara, Qing Dynasty, from Gems of Paintings for Water-and-Land Service of the Ming and Qing Dynasties

In celebration of Family Weekend, the East Asian Collection will host an Open House on Friday, October 19, 2018 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. in the Gardner Room. Come see various publications, rich book art, and printing culture from three East Asian countries: China, Japan, and Korea. 

Located on the third floor of the Rockefeller Library, the Gardner Room houses more than 9,000 volumes of bound books in traditional Chinese bookcases and is one of the most distinguished mid-sized East Asian libraries in North America.

The East Asian Collection was begun in 1961 with the valuable donation of Harvard sinologist, Professor Charles Sidney Gardner, who visited China during the 1920s and 1930s. Not only had he collected a large number of Chinese ancient books, but he also cultivated close relationships with many Chinese scholars, including Hu Shih and Yang Lien-Sheng. At the open house, there will be items displayed regarding Gardner, his works, and his friendship with Chinese scholars. Some of these works will be on display to the public for the first time, including Gardner’s family pictures, donated by his granddaughter, Professor Sarah Beckjord of Boston College, and some other materials recently discovered by East Asian Curator, Dr. Li Wang.

Click here to read a summary of the open house, written by student Whitney Su ’22.

Dates: October 19, 2018
Time:  3 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Gardner Room, Third Floor, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI