Wilmeth Lecture & Exhibit | “Actors and Other Monsters: Graphic Satire As Blood Sport, 1789–1830” with Joseph Roach

Crowding to the Pit

“Crowding to the Pit,” print by Theodore Lane, 1821 (after Robert Dighton).

On Monday, March 21, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the John Hay Library, Joseph Roach, the Sterling Professor of Theater at Yale University, will deliver the 12th Annual Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship in Theatre and Entertainment entitled, “Actors and Other Monsters: Graphic Satire As Blood Sport, 1789–1830.” The lecture is complemented by an exhibit curated by Professor Wilmeth.

This event is free and open to the public.


Attendees will discover how monstrosity thrives in the golden age of graphic satire, and how few monsters of caricature surpass actors for appearing not only with warts and all, but also as all warts. Politicians do rival them in ridicule, however—as fat as Richard Brinsley Sheridan (himself a politician as well as a playwright), as cadaverous as John Philip Kemble, or as Lilliputian as child star Master Betty—convened alike by John Bull as butts of national laughter in a Parliament of freaks.


Accompanying the lecture is a special exhibit curated by Prof. Wilmeth on “The Golden Age of British Theatre Caricature” with dozens of examples of prints—etchings, engravings and other popular visual forms depicting popular theatre during the late Georgian and early Regency periods in Great Britain. Among the artists represented in the exhibit are Robert Dighton, James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, the Cruikshank family, Samuel de Wilde, and others who entertained the public with their satiric magic on paper, highlighted by several special events during this period (the young acting prodigy Master Betty, the Old Price riots at Covent Garden Theatre, and the actor Edmund Kean’s scandalous escapades, among others). In general, these delightful visual pieces serve as instruments of journalistic ego deflation of these subjects. This exhibit is installed in the Willis Reading Room cases and in the Lownes Room cases. Please ask at the front desk for access to the Lownes Room.

Professor Joseph Roach

RoachA theatre historian, stage director, and performance studies scholar, Joseph Roach is the author of The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (1985), Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (1996) and It (2007). He is the editor (with Janelle Reinelt) of Critical Theory and Performance (2ndedition, revised 2007) and Changing the Subject: Marvin Carlson and Theatre Studies, 1959-2009 (2009). His publications have been recognized by the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association, the Barnard Hewitt Award in Theatre History, and the Joe E. Calloway Prize for Drama.  Before coming to Yale, he chaired the Department of Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre at Northwestern University, and the Department of Performance Studies in the Tisch School of Arts at NYU. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Theatre Research and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which funds the World Performance Project at Yale. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Warwick (UK) and the Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellowship from the Huntington Library.

Date: March 21, 2016
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

"Opinions respecting the Young Roscious (Master Better)," engraving by Thomas Rowlandson, London, 1804.

“Opinions respecting the Young Roscious (Master Better),” engraving by Thomas Rowlandson, London, 1804.

Brown in the Great War

A new digital resource that highlights materials from the University Archives and Special Collections is now available: “Brown in the Great War.”

The website focuses on Brown community members who participated in, fought, and died in World War I, as well as the social landscape of Brown from 1914 to 1921. This eloquent resource was researched and developed by Robin Wheelwright Ness (Senior Library Specialist, John Hay Library) for a practicum requirement towards her master’s degree in Public Humanities. 

As part of a second practicum, Robin is compiling a list that will reflect the John Hay Library’s primary resources pertaining to World War I. Additional University Archives and Special Collections material can be found through subject guides, Collections A to Z, or the online Library catalog (Josiah).

For more information please contact Jennifer Betts, University Archivist, at jennifer_betts@brown.edu.

Event | Roger Schonfeld Talk on Libraries and Scholarly Practices

sr_roger2-306x255-c-defaultOn Tuesday, March 8 from 12 – 1:30 p.m. in the DSL, Roger Schonfeld, director of Ithaka S+R’s Libraries and Scholarly Communication Program, will give a talk about his work with libraries and scholarly practices. A light lunch will be served.

In his role as director, Roger leads Ithaka S+R’s studies of academics’ and students’ attitudes, practices, and needs, as well research on the changing role of the academic library, scholarly publisher, and learned society. He also consults with libraries and library consortia, digital humanities projects, distinctive collections and centers of excellence, and scholarly publishers.

Roger has served on the NSF Blue Ribbon Task Force for Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access and NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative. Earlier, he was a research associate at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where he worked on projects related to college athletics and scholarly communication. Roger has a degree in English Literature from Yale University.

Key projects at Ithaka S+R that Roger has led include the Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey; projects on the changing research methods and practices of faculty members in fields such as history and chemistry; studies of the impact and sustainability of courseware initiatives; the Ithaka S+R Library Survey of deans and directors; a number of projects on library strategy, economics, and collections analysis, with a particular emphasis on digitization, management, and preservation of library collections.

Date: March 8, 2016
Time: 12 – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | Celebrate the New Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio with Open Studios


Join the Brown University Library for “Open Studios” on Friday, March 11, 2016, to celebrate the opening of the new Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, located on the first floor of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.

Stop by anytime between 2 – 5 p.m. to learn how you can use the new studio. Tour the spaces and equipment. See examples of cutting edge digital scholarship from around the Brown campus and beyond. Meet members of the Center for Digital Scholarship and see brief demonstrations of the workshops they teach throughout the semester.

All are welcome. Cookies, coffee, and tea will be served. See you there!

Date: Friday, March 11, 2016
Time: 2 – 5 p.m.
Location: Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | A President Lincoln Hackathon with Parlor Monuments to the Illustrious Dead

lincoln hack

In honor of the 155th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration, join us in the Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio for a 3D hackathon at noon on March 4, 2016.

We’ll use a 3D scanner and other tools to study “Parlor Monuments to the Illustrious Dead,” a 19th century Lego-like children’s game about the Civil War. The game’s instructions are lost: can we recreate them and remix the parts, and how can the digital technologies help us?

We will be joined by Holly Snyder, Curator of American Historical Collections at the John Hay Library.

Date: Friday, March 4, 2016
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

lincoln cubes

Carberry Day | Leap Year


The Brown University Library celebrates Josiah S. Carberry Day every February 29, occurring only in a leap year.

In celebration, there will be fresh fruit and cookies available in the lobby at the Rockefeller Library and the Friedman Center at the Sciences Library.

Consider leaving your loose change in a Brown jug (AKA “cracked pot”). The jugs will be out near the fruit and cookies. All donations go toward the Carberry Fund.

Known to show up unannounced in unlikely places, Carberry has been seen but never verified on campus. Will you spot the elusive man himself? If you do, try to capture him with a photo and share on Twitter or Instagram with #JosiahCarberry.

To share on Facebook, friend Josiah Carberry and tag him in the photo.

Happy Josiah S. Carberry Day!

Event | The Story of Nova Persei 1901


A “new star” appeared in the constellation Perseus in 1901​ and was observed by Professor Winslow Upton at ​Brown’s ​Ladd Observatory. Eleven year-old H.P. Lovecraft also saw the cosmic sight, which inspired him to include the nova in his weird tales of horror.

Discover the story and history of Nova Persei 1901 through the collections of the Brown University Library and Ladd Observatory​ on Tuesday, February 23 at 3:30 p.m. in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library​.

Brown Professor Ian Dell’Antonio will discuss the modern astrophysics of novae; Observatory Curator Michael Umbricht will describe the historic observations and present a demonstration using the astronomical spectroscope used by Upton; and Curator Holly Snyder will display rare items from the history of science special collections of the John Hay Library.

Learn more at the Ladd Observatory blog and ​Ladd Observatory’s ​Facebook event page.

This event is part of the Ladd Observatory 125th anniversary and is sponsored by the Department of Physics and ​the ​Brown University Library.

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Goodnight Lights at the Sciences Library


The Brown University Sciences Library

You might not expect a university library to be saying goodnight at 8:30 p.m., with many students studying into the wee hours. But for a few weeks now, the Sciences Library has been doing just that. Only, it isn’t saying goodnight to Brown students. It’s saying goodnight to patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

The Library joins a handful of other Providence organizations that flash their lights four times in succession for one minute at 8:30 p.m. each night, signaling “good-night-Has-bro” to the children looking out the hospital’s windows. Other participants in the initiative include the Biltmore Hotel, the Hot Club, and the Providence Steamboat Company. Known as “Goodnight Lights,” this initiative began when Steve Brosnihan, Hasbro’s resident cartoonist and board member of the Tomorrow Fund for Children with Cancer, began flashing the lights on his bicycle as a way to wish goodnight to the children he had visited. He noticed that this simple act lifted the spirits of the children who saw the light, and lifted his spirits in turn.

Brosnihan wanted to expand the program by involving organizations in buildings visible from Hasbro. The Sciences Library (known at Brown as the “SciLi”) is clearly visible from many patient rooms, making it a perfect fit for the program. Brosnihan explains, “The Library looks like a lighthouse from Hasbro Children’s Hospital as it is. I also love the idea of connecting Brown, whose [Warren Alpert Medical School] works so closely with [Hasbro Children’s Hospital] and with the kids who are hospitalized.”

The Brown University Library and staff at the SciLi couldn’t agree more. Currently, a security guard stands on the 14th floor of the Library and blinks a high-powered flashlight for one minute each night at 8:30. “On some nights, as soon as the signal is received we see lights flashing in the hospital windows in return,” says Harriette Hemmasi, University Librarian. “The children wait for us and know the flashing lights are meant for them. It may seem like a small way of connecting but it’s one way of letting the children know we’re thinking of them and that they’re not alone.”

View of the SciLi from Hasbro Children's Hospital

View of the SciLi from Hasbro Children’s Hospital

Exhibit | Thousands of Little Colored Windows : Brown University’s Stamp Collections

Katanga, 1961 George S. Champlin Memorial Collection

Katanga, 1961
George S. Champlin Memorial Collection

Thousands of Little Colored Windows : Brown University’s Stamp Collections is now on exhibit at the John Hay Library. This exhibition is curated by students in Professor Steven Lubar’s Museum Collecting and Collections class (Fall 2015). Over the course of the semester, the students delved into Brown University Library’s extensive stamp collections.

Their research uncovers the breadth of the collections and highlights the numerous ways in which postage stamps and postal history hold relevance to social history, political and cultural studies. Thousands of Little Colored Windows : Brown University’s Stamp Collections approaches the stamp collections through varied lenses, revealing narratives of design, production, use, and collecting. The exhibition includes an interactive digital gallery of stamps from the George S. Champlin Memorial Stamp Collection.

Click here to view the complementary online exhibit.

The stamp collections housed at the John Hay Library range from comprehensive national and global catalogues to thematic albums. The personal collections of George S. Champlin, Webster Knight (class of 1876), and Robert Galkin (class of 1949) constitute the foundation of the Library’s philatelic holdings. In addition, the library maintains specialized collections of postal, historical, and design-related interests, such as special delivery stamps, first day covers, a set of patriotic envelopes addressed to Abraham Lincoln, and rare printing errors.

Admission to the John Hay Library is free and open to the public. Thousands of Little Colored Windows : Brown University’s Stamp Collections will remain on view through May 13, 2016. For additional information and standard operating hours consult the Library website: http://library.brown.edu/hay/.

Dates: February 10 – May 13, 2016
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Exhibition Gallery, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | Panel: Experiments with Digital Education at Brown

Digital-Ed-Panel_emailableOn Wednesday, February 24, 2016 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. in List Art Auditorium (120), Maud Mandel, Dean of the College and Professor of History and Judaic Studies, will moderate a panel of four Brown faculty members who will discuss their own “Experiments with Digital Education at Brown.” This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

These faculty members have integrated digital tools into their teaching in different ways, including the substantial inclusion of digital technology in the classroom as well as the development of fully online and blended courses. Panelists will consider how this technology has changed their teaching and what opportunities and challenges they have faced in creating and delivering these courses. The discussion will also consider student responses and how learning outcomes have been affected by the introduction of online and digital components. The panel inaugurates a new lecture series entitled Teaching and Learning in the Digital Environment.

Faculty Participants:

  • Pedro Dal Bo, Associate Professor of Economics
  • Gita Pensa, Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
  • Stephen Merriam Foley, Associate Professor of English, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature
  • Andy van Dam, Thomas J. Watson, Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education, Professor of Computer Science


pdalbo_thumbPedro Dal Bó, Associate Professor of Economics, received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2002. He works in the areas of game theory, experimental economics, and political economy. Recent work has examined the relationship between violence, corruption, and the quality of politicians; the effect of economic shocks and policies on social conflict; the determinants of cooperation in repeated games; and the effect of democracy and moral suasion on pro-social behavior.

GitaGita Pensa attended the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and completed her residency in emergency medicine at George Washington University. She was the chief resident from 2000-2001. Dr. Pensa returned to academics in 2014 after 13 years in community emergency medicine practice. She is currently Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine (Clinical) at Brown Medical (Alpert School of Medicine), directing the “Asynchrony” course in Emergency Medicine (online emergency medicine curriculum) for the Brown emergency medicine residency. She created the new Brown Emergency Medicine residency educational blog (and serve as chief faculty editor): http://blogs.brown.edu/emergency-medicine-residency/ and won the Brown Emergency Medicine Residency Award for Innovation in Education in 2015. Dr. Pensa is interested in the Free Open Access Med-ucation Movement (‘FOAMed’), and the intersection of digital/traditional/bedside learning in medical education. You can find her on Twitter at @GitaPensaMD.

sfoley_thumbStephen Merriam Foley is a graduate of Brown, with a degree in Classics and English. He received the M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Yale University, where he also taught in the Department of English. He is the author of a book on the poetry of Sir Thomas Wyatt, co-author of Conventions and Choices, a handbook for writers, and co-editor of Sir Thomas More’s Answer to a Poisoned Book, a work of religious controversy published in the Yale Edition of the Complete Works of Thomas More, and co-editor of a collection of essays on More and Erasmus in Moreana, the journal of Thomas More Studies. He has served as chair of the department of English at Brown, as the editor of Modern Language Studies, and as research editor for the Yale Edition of the Works of Thomas More. His research includes European renaissance culture and letters, classical traditions, literary theory, and aesthetics. His article on Sir Thomas Elyot’s Dictionary was awarded the Beatrice White Prize for excellence in Renaissance studies by the English Association of Great Britain.

AvDsummer2008smallAndries van Dam is the Thomas J. Watson Jr., University Professor of Technology and Education and Professor of Computer Science. He has been a member of Brown’s faculty since 1965, is a founder of Brown’s Computer Science Department, and was its first Chairman from 1979 to 1985. From 2002 to 2006 he was Brown’s first Vice President for Research. His research includes work on computer graphics, hypermedia systems, post-WIMP user interfaces (including pen-centric computing), and educational software. Over the last four decades he has worked on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in education and research.

He is the co-author of nearly a dozen books, including Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice with James D. Foley, Steven K. Feiner, and John F. Hughes (Addison-Wesley 1990). He received a B.S. degree (with Honors) in Engineering Sciences from Swarthmore College in 1960 and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966. He is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and is a member of National Academy of Engineering. His awards include the ACM Steven A. Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions to Computer Graphics and the IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal. He holds honorary doctorates from Swarthmore College and Darmstadt Technical University.

mmandel_photo__thumbnailMaud S. Mandel (Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1998; A.M., University of Michigan, 1993; B.A. Oberlin College, 1989) is Dean of the College and Professor of History and Judaic Studies. Her monograph, In the Aftermath of Genocide: Armenians and Jews in Twentieth Century France, was published by Duke University Press in 2003. Her book, Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict, appeared with Princeton University Press in January 2014 and has been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Philosophical Society. Her most recent article, “Simone Weil and Thinking Jewish Modernity after the Holocaust” will appear in the volume  Thinking Jewish Modernity in 2014. She teaches courses on many aspects of modern Jewish history, including history of the Holocaust, Zionism and the birth of the state of Israel, and antisemitism.

Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Time: 4 – 5:30 p.m.
LocationList Art 120, 64 College Street, Providence