Exhibit | Greek Life – A Brief History of Phi Beta Kappa at Brown

Greek Life – A Brief History of Phi Beta Kappa at Brown                                Selected Items On View From the Brown University Archives

For over 200 years Phi Beta Kappa has celebrated academic achievement and advocated for freedom of thought.  It is the oldest and most prestigious academic honors society in the United States.

The Rhode Island Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was founded at Brown University in 1830. Brown students elected to Phi Beta Kappa join a tradition that exemplifies the Phi Beta Kappa motto “Love of learning is the guide of life,” symbolized in the gold key.  Membership is diverse, connecting U.S. Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Nobel Laureates, authors, diplomats, athletes, researchers, actors, and business leaders.

Dates: February 6 – March 30, 2018
TimeJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Hours
Location: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Lincoln Recordó en America Latina

LINCOLN RECORDÓ EN AMERICA LATINA

Selected Items on View at the John Hay Library:

“Canción a Abraham Lincoln” Lady’s Fan, c. 1865
Havana, Cuba
Brown University Library, Special Collections

Latin Americans observed, mourned and commemorated Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy in a number of ways. Argentinians named a city in Buenos Aires Province for him. Statues of Lincoln can be found in Mexico, Cuba and Ecuador. Avenida Abraham Lincoln is a main thoroughfare in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Shown here is a more personal object: a lady’s fan, thought to have been produced in Havana. It commemorates Lincoln’s life and assassination in both English and Spanish.

Vida de Abran Lincoln, décimo sesto presidente de los Estados Unidos
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1811–1888)
Nueva York, Estados Unidos: D. Appleton y Ca., 1866
Brown University Library, Special Collections

In May 1865, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento arrived in New York to take up his post as minister plenipotentiary to the United States from the newly reunified Argentine Republic. Arriving from a country in triumph to a country in deep mourning, Sarmiento heard a great deal and thought deeply about Lincoln, whose ideas about government he found engaging and with whom he felt he would have had much in common. Before the year was out, he had written a full length biography of the assassinated leader, whom he had never met, publishing it in his native Spanish in New York. “In the life of Lincoln,” Sarmiento wrote, “we find commonalities of existence in both Americas, and in the facts relating thereto must deduce lessons and useful warnings for our own government.”  The copy shown here was originally presented by Sarmiento, hot off the press, to the Library of Congress.

Dates: January February 6 – 28, 2018
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Annual Address of the Carriers & Newsmen of the N.Y. Herald, 1851

 

Annual Address of the Carriers & Newsmen of the New York Herald:  On the Opening of the Year 1851

Carriers’ Addresses were published by newspapers and local newsboys delivered these greetings in verse each New Year’s Day to customers who understood that a tip was expected.  Lasting for more than two centuries in the United States, the custom originated in England and was introduced during colonial times.

The poems, often anonymous, describe the events of the past year, locally, regionally, and nationally, and end with a request for a gratuity for the faithful carrier. Often the poem referred to the carrier’s diligence and hardships during winter weather. Illustrated with wood-engravings and decorative borders, carriers’ addresses are distinctive examples of popular publishing in nineteenth century America.

Dates: January 5 – 31, 2018
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Works from Modern Architecture

Works from Modern Architecture: A Course with Dietrich Neumann 
On view, architectural models created by students in Professor Dietrich Neumann’s lecture course, “Modern Architecture,” which surveys the “classic” period of European and American modern architecture from the turn of the century to the 1950s.  Works are based on a building or industrial design object from the time period.
                                                                                                                                            Dates: December 20, 2017 – April 6, 2018
TimeJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Hours
Location: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | The Choreography of Things with Sydney Skybetter

On Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab of the Rockefeller Library, Sydney Skybetter, Lecturer of Dance and Fellow of Public Humanities at Brown, will give a talk entitled, “The Choreography of Things.” This event is free and open to the public. A light reception will follow.

Skybetter will discuss his research into ways that movement generates meaning, for people and for machines. By tracing the commingling histories of dance notation and affective computing, exploring a gamut of emerging technologies (including drone swarms, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and robots) and ranting about the premonitionary qualities of the movie Minority Report, Skybetter will argue for the importance of choreographic method and metaphor for our emerging technological future. 

Sydney Skybetter is a choreographer. Hailed by Dance Magazine as “One of the most influential people in dance today,” his work has been performed around the country at such venues as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Boston Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow and The Joyce Theater. He has consulted on issues of cultural change and technology for The National Ballet of Canada, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Hasbro, New York University and The University of Southern California, among others. A sought-after speaker, he lectures on everything from dance history to cultural futurism, most recently at Harvard University, South by Southwest Interactive, TEDx, Saatchi and Saatchi, Dance/USA, NYU and MVR5. He is a Public Humanities Fellow and Lecturer at Brown University, where he researches the problematics of human computer interfaces and mixed reality systems. He is the founder of the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces (CRCI), which convenes ethnographers, anthropologists, speculative designers and performing artists to discuss the choreography of the Internet of Things. He produces shows at Joe’s Pub, SteelStacks and OBERON with DanceNOW[NYC], has served as a Grant Panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts, is a Curatorial Advisor for Fractured Atlas’ Exponential Creativity Fund, and is the winner of a RISCA Fellowship in Choreography from the State of Rhode Island. He received his MFA in Choreography from New York University.

www.skybetter.org

Date: Thursday, December 7, 2017
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | San Francisco General Hospital Pillowcase

From the Scott O’Hara Papers: SFGH Pillowcase

Scott O’Hara (1961–1998) was a sex radical, porn star, writer and publisher. Between 1983 and 1993, he performed in over twenty gay and bisexual adult films.  He also edited and published the quarterly sex-positive journal Steam and the short-lived cultural magazine Wilde.

O’Hara was hospitalized at San Francisco General Hospital with AIDS-related lymphoma in February 1998. He chose to leave the hospital on the afternoon of February 18, and he died at home that evening. He was thirty-six years old.

San Francisco General Hospital was at the forefront of the AIDS crisis. In January 1983, the hospital opened the first outpatient AIDS clinic, followed later that year by the first dedicated AIDS ward in the United States. The hospital became known for the “San Francisco model” of care, an approach to treatment that emphasized compassion and respect, centralized health and social services, and collaboration with community partners.

The pillowcase will be on view in recognition of World AIDS Day.

Dates: December 1 – 21, 2017
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Dancy Box by Caitlín R. Kiernan & Kathryn A. Pollnac

The Brown University Library recently acquired the papers of award-winning science fiction and dark fantasy writer Caitlin R. Kiernan.

“In April 2011, I wrote a story featuring my recurring character Dancy Flammarion. The story was titled “Bus Fair,” and it concerns Dancy having to play a riddle game with a werewolf to get back a cigar box containing her most precious possessions. The story became the basis for the first issue of Alabaster, the graphic novel series I scripted for Dark Horse Comics between 2011 and 2015.

In October and November of 2010, after I’d gotten the idea for “Bus Fair,” Kathryn and I created Dancy’s cigar box, because sometimes we do things like that. To pay bills, we auctioned it on eBay, where it brought a very respectable $785 from a longtime fan from Virginia. In July 2017, the fan offered to return the box to me, so that it could be kept with my papers at the John Hay Library. The New Testament in the box was donated by another fan (it had been her mother’s), and the cigar box itself was given to us by Kathryn’s cousin.”  —Caitlín R. Kiernan

The Dancy Box is currently on view.

Dates: November 3 – November 30, 2017
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

 

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 | A Conversation about Stephen Mopope, Kiowa Artist

Mopope, Stephen, “Sun prayer” (1931). Stephen Mopope paintings of seven Native American subjects. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 2 p.m., the Library will host a talk with Kiowa elder Vanessa Paukeigope Jennings, granddaughter of Stephen Mopope (1898-1974), about her grandfather’s life and work. Seven original paintings by Stephen Mopope held in the collections of the Brown University Library will be on display for this event.

The talk will take place in the Lownes Room on the second floor of the John Hay Library. A reception will follow in the Hay Lobby.

Date: October 25, 2017
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, Second Floor, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street

Related event:

On Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in room 015 at 85 Waterman Street, the Haffenreffer Museum will host a talk with Vanessa Jennings about her own work as an artist and designer in preserving Kiowa cultural traditions.

Event | Li Wang: A Trip to Cultural China 2017

Mt. Wutai, Buddhist sacred mountain

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, East Asian Curator Li Wang, Ph.D., will give a talk, “A Trip to Cultural China 2017.”

This is a new presentation on a series of talks in recent years at the Brown Library, sharing what Li has seen, heard, and experienced on his fruitful trips to China. The topic of this year is about “Cultural China,” in which he will focus on the pilgrimage tradition of Mt. Wutai, the primary Chinese Buddhist sacred mountain in Shanxi Province and the splendid cultural heritage of the Forbidden City in Beijing, as well as the fascinating art works of “China Museums Creativity” at the 2017 Beijing International Book Fair, the second largest book fair in the world, among other conferences and events he attended, and more.

This event is free and open to the public. Coffee and cookies will be served.

Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence