Library and Cogut Institute to Offer Certificate in Digital Humanities

instruction taking place in digital studio

In May, Brown’s Graduate School approved a joint proposal from the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) and the Cogut Institute for the Humanities to establish a doctoral advanced specialization certificate in Digital Humanities. Doctoral certificate programs allow PhD students to gain expertise in interdisciplinary areas that complement and expand upon their disciplinary training, both advancing students’ careers and promoting intellectual community across departments. Many graduate students have availed themselves of the training and learning opportunities provided by CDS, which serves as Brown University’s hub for faculty and students to develop and realize their ground-breaking scholarly ideas using the capabilities of the digital realm.

Establishing a certificate responds to the increasing interest of PhD students for more formal curricular recognition of their work to acquire methodological skills and theoretical knowledge in digital scholarship. It is also consistent with the Library’s goal to strengthen its role as a site for collaborative communities of scholars at Brown and build even closer linkages with campus teaching and research programs. Steven Lubar, CDS Faculty Director and Professor of American Studies and History; Ashley Champagne, Head of Digital Scholarship Project Planning; Tara Nummedal, Professor of History and Italian Studies; and Damien Maheit, Associate Director of the Cogut Institute developed the proposal in consultation with faculty and graduate students engaged in digital scholarship. Plans call for the certificate program to launch in the fall 2022 term. 

“Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analog World,” Brown Library’s Digital Publications Initiative’s Second Born-Digital Scholarly Monograph, Published by Stanford University Press

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] Brown University’s Center for Digital Scholarship, based at the University Library, announces the publication of the second born-digital scholarly monograph under the Digital Publications Initiative, a collaboration between the Library and the Dean of the Faculty. Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analog World, by Professor of Italian Studies Massimo Riva, explores popular forms of entertainment used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to transport viewers to a new world, foreshadowing present-day virtual, augmented, and extended reality experiences (VR, AR, XR).

Published by Stanford University Press, Shadow Plays examines themes of virtual travel, social surveillance, and utopian imagination through six case histories and eight interactive simulations. “The digital format was ideal for my project, which traces a genealogy of virtual reality through analog technologies such as the cosmorama, the magic lantern, the moving panorama, and the stereoscope, all of which foreshadow our contemporary digital technologies,” said Professor Riva. “I look forward to using my digital monograph in the classroom this fall for a course on immersive experiences.” Shadow Plays is an open access publication; it is freely available to anyone, anywhere. According to Friederike Sundaram, Senior Editor for Digital Projects, “The Brown University Library’s dedication to moving interactive scholarship forward has made this collaboration enormously fruitful, and I cannot wait for the project to find its way onto the screens and minds of its readers. I have no doubt it will teach and inspire many.”

Screenshot from Shadow Plays

Brown is in the vanguard of supporting and promoting innovative faculty scholarship that opens up dynamic new possibilities beyond the boundaries of the traditional printed monograph. “With projects including Decameron Web in the 1990s and The Garibaldi Panorama & the Risorgimento in the 2000s, Professor Riva has been expanding the horizons of digital humanities scholarship throughout his career,” said Joukowsky Family University Librarian Joseph S. Meisel. “Shadow Plays brings his innovative contributions to a new level, demonstrating yet again the possibilities for developing and presenting research in the digital realm and extending its reach well beyond the academy. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how a topic such as the early modern history of virtual reality could be successfully explored in any other form.” The development of Shadow Plays was supported by the Mellon Foundation through the Digital Publications Initiative and the Office of the Vice President for Research at Brown University.

With oversight from Digital Scholarship Editor Allison Levy and drawing upon the expertise of the Center for Digital Scholarship, nine additional born-digital publications covering a range of humanistic fields are currently in various stages of development. One is forthcoming with MIT Press in August. An area of distinction for the Library and Brown, the Digital Publications Initiative, launched with the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, activates and guides intellectual exploration and creativity with faculty and other partners across campus. The Initiative also collaborates with publishers to help shape new systems of evaluation, peer review, and scholarly validation for born-digital scholarship. Brown University Library and MIT Press recently launched On Seeing, a book series committed to centering underrepresented perspectives in visual culture.  

Questions about the Library’s Digital Publications Initiative can be addressed to Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor ([email protected]).

Brown Library, Together with Emory University, Releases Report on Digital Scholarly Publishing 

Report presents key findings of a summit on digital monographs; calls for an increase in access, equity, and inclusion in the digital development and dissemination of humanities scholarship.

Baby baskets made by Molly Timothy (Granny Molly) in the early 1950s.
Source: Courtesy of Davis McKenzie Published by UBC Press in As I Remember It: ISBN 9780774861250 (HTML)

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] In spring 2021, Brown University Library and Emory University’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry co-hosted a summit on multimodal digital monographs – born-digital publications that offer unique capabilities beyond conventional formats, from multimedia enhancements and interactive navigation to community engagement and global reach. The objective was to survey faculty-led experimentation with new scholarly forms taking place across a number of libraries and humanities centers. Case studies of eight recently published or in-development works exemplified the spectrum and hybridity of innovation in this area and provided a lens through which to consider some of the most pressing questions around reimagined forms of humanities scholarship.  

The resulting report, Multimodal Digital Publications: Content, Collaboration, Community, presents the summit findings — on matters of cross-institutional collaboration, community engagement, professional development, open access, peer review, metadata and discoverability, preservation, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion — and points to promising ways forward as the process of establishing best practices for the development, validation, and dissemination of multimodal digital monographs continues to unfold.

Joseph Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University, lauded the summit as “an important landmark in scholarly communications, bringing into a common conversation several parallel initiatives that are advancing the possibilities for humanistic research through innovative practices and system-changing interventions, and producing outstanding work.” 

Although the summit, which included faculty authors, academic staff experts, and university press representatives, focused on a selection of projects supported by the Mellon Foundation’s Digital Monographs Initiative, the presentations and generative discussions that followed raised important concerns and opportunities that extend well beyond the initial aims of the featured projects. Of primary concern is promoting greater inclusion and equitable access of diverse voices as well as an expanded understanding of what constitutes authorship and readership of humanities scholarship in the 21st century. 

The in-depth, evidence-based report “serves as a starting point for next steps,” according to Allison Levy, Brown Library’s Digital Scholarship Editor and co-editor of the report with Senior Associate Director for Publishing at Emory Sarah McKee, “to acknowledge the work that is already under way, to learn what we can from it, and to seek viable, sustainable means of furthering our shared mission to increase the visibility and reach of humanities scholarship to audiences both within and beyond the academy.”

The report will be of interest to the scholarly publishing community, including library publishers and other scholarly communications professionals; designers and user experience specialists; technologists and software developers; digital archivists and preservation specialists; institutional administrators; and funding agencies and foundations. It will also be of interest to scholars wishing to explore innovative multimodal publication, particularly in collaboration with community partners.

Levy and McKee officially released Multimodal Digital Publications: Content, Collaboration, Community at the annual meeting of the Association of University Presses, on June 20, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

The Brown University Library is central to Brown’s academic mission to support teaching and learning at the highest level, and in a spirit of free and open inquiry. The Library is home to the Center for Digital Scholarship, a hub for the creation of new scholarly forms and other innovations in scholarly communication, including the Mellon- and NEH-supported Digital Publications Initiative, a collaboration with the Dean of the Faculty. An area of distinction for the Library and Brown, the Initiative activates and guides intellectual exploration and creativity with faculty and other partners across campus. It also collaborates with publishers to help shape new systems of evaluation, peer review, and scholarly validation for born-digital scholarship. 

The Digital Publishing in the Humanities initiative at Emory University, based at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry within the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, relies on robust collaborations with the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, Emory Libraries, and the Office of the Provost’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, as well as with academic presses. The program has two key objectives: to encourage conversations about open access and digital publication across Emory’s humanities community, and to support the development and publication of open access digital monographs with university presses. 

Winners of the Library Innovation Prizes for Research Rigor, Transparency, and Reproducibility and Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize

For the second year the Brown University Library and the Carney Institute for Brain Science have partnered to recognize Brown students’ innovations in enhancing research rigor, transparency, and reproducibility. Andrew Creamer, Scientific Data Management Specialist and librarian for Computer Science and Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences (CLPS), and Dr. Jason Ritt, Scientific Director of Quantitative Neuroscience, Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, collaborated to develop prizes to honor innovations in reproducibility as documented by students in their theses and/or publications with Brown faculty.

Janet Chang

CLPS undergraduate student Janet Chang was awarded the Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize. Janet also received one of the three Library Innovation Prizes for improving the transparency and rigor of online-based research methods used in social and behavioral research. Janet’s thesis “An Online Behavioral Research Paradigm Using Amazon Mechanical Turk, JSPsych & PsiTurk: A Pilot Study Assessing Hierarchical Abstract Sequential Processing” was supervised by Dr. Theresa Desrochers, Rosenberg Family Assistant Professor of Brain Science, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize judges Professors Matt Nassar and David Sheinberg commented: “The project developed an online version of a sequential processing task that had previously been administered in a laboratory setting, and collected online data that reproduced some of the primary results from the original study. The submission responded directly to the award criteria in several ways, first by developing a tool that would enable easy replication of a published study, second by evaluating the degree to which the findings from the original study were reproduced, and third by sharing the entire codebase used to administer the task and collect data, validating that experimental procedures could be reproduced exactly by another researcher in another location.” Janet’s honors thesis is available via the Brown Digital Repository.

Alexander Koh-Bell

The second Library Innovation Prize was awarded to Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student Alexander Koh-Bell for the honors thesis project “The Aerodynamic Effect of an Active Gurney Flap: Giving a Wind Turbine Blade its Wings” supervised by Dr. Kenny Breuer, Professor of Engineering. Alex developed and publicly shared experimental protocols, data and code, enhancing the transparency and replicability of methods of data collection and analysis, and allowing future researchers to reproduce and adapt their work and potential to continue discoveries into the future. Alex’s honors thesis is available via the Brown Digital Repository. 

Benjamin Boatwright

The third Library Innovation Prize was awarded to DEEPS graduate student Benjamin Boatwright for the dissertation “CTX Stereo Digital Elevation Models of Noachian Proglacial Paleolakes and Pit-Floored Craters”, supervised by Dr. James Head, Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Geological Sciences, Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences. Ben also developed a public facing repository and website to publicly share experimental protocols, data and code. Upon receiving the news Ben commented “I am legitimately invested in making sure all of my research data is accessible – it’s a real problem particularly in my field where so much of the work is computational but the datasets aren’t always easy to find!” Ben’s dissertation is available via the Brown Digital Repository.

Library Innovation Prize panel of volunteer judges:

  • Emily Ferrier, Librarian for STEM, Social Sciences & Entrepreneurship
  • Dr. Oludurotimi Adetunji, Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science

Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize volunteer judges:

  • Dr. David Sheinberg, Professor of Neuroscience
  • Dr. Matt Nassar, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Congratulations to these students for their innovations and for the positive impact they have made on enhancing their academic fields’ rigor, transparency, and reproducibility!

Brown University Library Awarded Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to Create New Frameworks to Preserve and Publish Born-Digital Art

Brown University Library has been approved for a $20,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support “New Frameworks to Preserve and Publish Born-Digital Art.” This project will develop new frameworks for the long-term preservation and presentation of born-digital art. Brown University Library’s project is among 1,125 projects across America totaling more than $26.6 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2022 funding.

Preserving born-digital work can be challenging because platforms, hardware, and software are often updated or replaced, changing and even degrading how the original art is displayed. Through “containerization” — a portable, low-cost method of preserving and presenting the code, operating system, and text for experimental, born-digital art — future readers will still be able to view, distribute, collaborate on, and experiment with the original work even if its infrastructure has been altered or discontinued. 

Dr. Ashley Champagne, Brown University Library’s Head of Digital Scholarship Project Planning and Public Humanities Subject Librarian, and Principal Investigator, is enthusiastic about the award and the impact it will have on the preservation of born-digital art:

We’re thrilled to receive this award that will help us work directly with born-digital artists to preserve experimental art that might otherwise be lost. The goal of this grant is to develop models that will not only preserve the work of the artists we’re working with but also provide models that others can learn from in the future. Brown University is the perfect place to work on this project as our Literary Arts program draws talented artists from across the world. And the staff at the Library and Brown’s Center for Computation and Visualization are skilled at containerization, which has the greatest potential for preserving and presenting the code for experimental born-digital works.

Brown University, one of the world’s leading institutions for born-digital art, is a central hub for artists experimenting with new digital technologies and producing a vast array of digital objects. There is no other institution that consistently produces as diverse a collection of born-digital art. For example, several students at Brown create exhibits and born-digital works that utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) to produce varying presentations depending on how the user interacts with the piece. Because the presentation of the work changes constantly, web archiving does not adequately preserve the work as that method cannot capture how the work constantly changes. Field-defining artistry like this requires new frameworks for preservation and presentation that can be used at Brown and beyond. With the support of this grant, Brown’s highly skilled technical staff will continue its work to develop new and standards-compliant frameworks to preserve and publish these born-digital artworks. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, including Brown University Library, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

Questions? Contact Ashley Champagne.

Brown Library Announces 2022 Cohort for NEH Institute on Digital Publishing

Fifteen humanities scholars from under-resourced institutions—60% from HBCUs—will convene for national training workshop focused on growing and diversifying digital publication opportunities.

Brown University Library is pleased to announce the 2022 cohort for Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Roadmaps, a three-week hybrid institute designed to expand the voices, perspectives, and visions represented in the practice and production of digital scholarship. Centered on diversity and inclusion, the summer institute—made possible by a $169,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)—will support fifteen scholars who lack the necessary infrastructure at their home institutions to pursue new scholarly forms that offer unique capabilities beyond conventional publishing formats, from multimedia enhancements to global reach.

Through the purposeful training and mentoring of under-resourced scholars, the institute will help bridge a divide that, without intervention, puts digital publishing—as a future of scholarship—at risk of becoming the preserve of only the most affluent institutions. “By making the born-digital publication process more accessible, transparent, and inclusive,” notes Allison Levy, Brown University Library’s Digital Scholarship Editor and the institute’s Project Director, “the institute will foster the elevation of underrepresented voices and subject matter, thereby diversifying the output of teaching and learning resources as well as expanding the readership for humanities scholarship.”

In recognition of its recently extended membership in the HBCU Library Alliance (the first non-HBCU addition to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Library Alliance), Brown University Library will welcome nine faculty and/or alumni—60% of the cohort—from member institutions. “This opportunity will certainly allow my subsequent work to have an immediate impact on my campus, in my local community-based research, and at other area HBCUs,” explains cohort member Marco Robinson, Assistant Professor of History and Assistant Director of the Ruth J. Simmons Center on Race and Justice at Prairie View A&M University. “PVAMU does not have a digital humanities center, digital humanities major or minor, or digital publishing department…. The institute’s reach and engagement with minority-serving institutions has the potential to transform the academy and the landscape of higher education.”

The cohort represents a wide range of humanities disciplines, geographic areas, and career stages. Their rigorous and compelling born-digital publication projects bring to the fore the history and future of Black philanthropy in the U.S.; forgotten radio recordings of African writers in exile in London in the 1960s; and the diary of Lillian Jones Horace, the first published African American novelist in Texas and one of the first Black publishers in American history. Foundational research examines the relationship between the life insurance industry and the transatlantic slave trade; the use of emerging media technologies by multiethnic American poets to create new forms of racial representation and political critique; and Indigenous community activism in relation to Pacific Island climate justice, to name just a few. The full list of cohort projects is available here.

Institute participants will leave Brown with in-depth knowledge of the digital publishing process, familiarity with open-source tools and platforms, advanced project management skills, and top-level publishing industry contacts. Faculty presentations—by digital humanities librarians, digital designers and developers, press directors and acquisitions editors, and authors of published or in-progress digital publications—will be recorded and added to the institute website, which has been designed to serve as an open access, resource-rich hub for digital scholarly publishing. With its re-prioritization of how and for whom the development of digital humanities scholarship is taught, the institute will have far-reaching implications for humanities research and teaching.

“The opportunity to work with these outstanding scholars on developing their exciting research as born-digital monographs will significantly advance the state of the art for thinking about and realizing the innovative possibilities for publishing first-rate scholarship in the 21st century,” said Brown’s University Librarian Joseph Meisel.  

Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Road Maps builds upon the successes of Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative, a collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, launched with generous support from the Mellon Foundation in 2015. The initiative has established a novel, transformative approach to the development of longform, multimodal works that make original and meaningful contributions across the humanities. The initiative also collaborates with publishers to help shape new systems of evaluation, peer review, and scholarly validation for born-digital scholarship. Brown’s first project was published in 2020 by University of Virginia Press; two more publications are forthcoming this summer from Stanford University Press and MIT Press, respectively; and ten other projects are in various stages of development. Brown University Library and MIT Press recently launched On Seeing, a book series committed to centering underrepresented perspectives in visual culture.  

Questions about the institute or the Library’s Digital Publications Initiative can be addressed to Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor ([email protected]).

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

The National Endowment for the Humanities and Brown University together: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this press release and in the Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Roadmaps Institute do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Announcement | On Seeing: MIT Press and Brown Library Launch Book Series Centering Underrepresented Perspectives in Visual Culture

Brown University Library logo, MIT Press logo

From the MIT Press Blog:

Together, the MIT Press and the Brown University Library announce the launch of On Seeing, an experiment in multimodal publishing that will shape new conversations for diverse audiences about how we see, comprehend, and participate in visual culture. Uniting the Press’s global publishing experience and the Library’s digital publication expertise, the series will examine understudied questions at the intersection of visual culture and subjects such as race, care, decolonization, privilege, and precarity.

While the visual environment has always been central to meaning-making, technology has shifted its global stakes. Today, there is greater access and exposure to visual culture than ever before — outpacing society’s ability to reflect upon its impact. The diverse authors of On Seeing will investigate the ways that power relations are often inscribed in the visual and they will develop knowledge about how visuality is related to equity and justice.

Amy Brand, director and publisher of the MIT Press, notes that partnership with the Brown University Library feels like a natural progression of both organizations’ efforts to increase diversity in scholarly publishing. “For years, the Press and the Library have worked independently to break down barriers in the who, what, and how of scholarly knowledge creation. It is exciting to find a partner that not only aligns closely with our commitment to diversity, but also shares the Press’s spirit of experimentation — pushing the boundaries of what publishing can be.”

Defined by bold positions, rigorous research, and cultural relevance, books will be written in an accessible style to serve a wide audience. The series will be launched alongside a community engagement program tailored to each specific volume and supported by a postdoctoral researcher position at Brown University Library. Resources might include an online hub for knowledge-sharing, a downloadable community conversation toolkit, an author interview or podcast, or free-to-the-public events such as book readings and structured conversations in libraries, bookstores, or public arts institutions. With inclusivity and access as driving motivations, On Seeing will be published in print editions and in interactive, open access digital editions.

“This transformative cross-institutional collaboration brings together distinctive research library and university press capabilities for common ends in the service of scholarship and public understanding,” said Joseph Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University. “By opening up broader and more inclusive conversations around scholarship and reducing barriers to access, we are modeling practices that demonstrate the public value of our mission and shared objectives.”

In addition to establishing a Diversity in Digital Publishing Postdoctoral Fellowship with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to establish a training institute for scholars from a variety of institutions, disciplines, and backgrounds who wish to develop enhanced born-digital publications but lack the necessary resources and capacity at their home institutions.

The MIT Press established the Fund for Diverse Voices in 2018. Its most recent initiative, the Grant Program for Diverse Voices, expands funding for new work by authors whose voices have been chronically underrepresented across the arts, humanities, and sciences. The Press also plays an active role in the Mellon Foundation-supported University Press Diversity Fellowship Program, which provides underrepresented individuals an opportunity to gain professional experience and build a network in scholarly publishing.

Editorial oversight for the series will be handled jointly by Victoria Hindley, Acquisitions Editor for Visual Culture and Design at the MIT Press, and Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor for the Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative, in collaboration with an Editorial Collective composed of Shahzad Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities and Professor of History at Brown University; Lisa Cartwright, Professor of Visual Arts, Communication, and Science Studies at the University of California at San Diego; Stefanie Hessler, Curator and Director of Kunsthall Trondheim; Trica Keaton, African and African American Studies at Dartmouth University; and Hrag Vartanian, Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

Two New Projects Selected for Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative

The University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, together with the Digital Publications Faculty Advisory Committee, are pleased to announce the selection of the next two long-form scholarly works to be developed as part of Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative.

Avery Willis Hoffman

Trojan Women in Performance by Avery Willis Hoffman, Inaugural Artistic Director, Brown Arts Institute, Professor of the Practice of Arts and Classics, surveys significant productions of Euripides’ Trojan Women (415 BC) across the 20th and 21st centuries, investigating the ways in which the play provides a unique forum for debating human responsibility in times of war. As the Classics and the Western Canon endure a new round of decolonization and dismantling efforts, along with the scrutiny of those wishing to make space for a diversity of storytelling and more widely representational literature, ancient works can offer a veritable platform for interpretation, for splicing and re-imagining, for the insertion of new voices and texts, and for the insistence on fresh perspectives. Featuring a flexible and interactive format, the multimodal book will open up new directions of exploration for scholarly and artistic communities.

Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar

The Ruin Archive: Art and War at the Ends of Empire by Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, Associate Professor of History, examines the formation of “Indian art” via the nineteenth- and twentieth-century extraction of art to European collections and museums from ancient and war-torn landscapes of the Indo-Afghan borderlands, offering a detailed account of the effects of such colonial extraction of objects on the multi-religious landscape of the Indian subcontinent. Developing The Ruin Archive as a digital publication will allow Zamindar to intervene in and disrupt colonial and national narratives through the creation of an interactive archive that juxtaposes material across geographies and temporalities such as government records, ethnographic dictionaries, military manuals, war albums, museum catalogues, photographs, colonial films, and contemporary documentation from the “frontier,” resources which have hitherto never been examined together.

Generously launched with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2015, Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative seeks to advance humanities scholarship by providing a university-based approach to the development, evaluation, and publication of born-digital scholarly monographs. With oversight from Brown’s Digital Scholarship Editor, projects that are selected by the Initiative’s Faculty Advisory Committee are developed as enhanced digital works that draw upon the capabilities of the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship. These scholarly works are then submitted to leading university presses that have corresponding academic interests and the infrastructure for peer review and digital publication.

The Initiative’s first born-digital scholarly monograph, Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618) with Scholarly Commentary, co-edited by Tara Nummedal, Professor of History, and Independent Scholar Donna Bilak, was published by the University of Virginia Press in July 2020. 

Two other projects are forthcoming at leading university presses:

  • A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures by Shahzad Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities and Professor of History (forthcoming with MIT Press); and
  • Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analogue World by Massimo Riva, Professor of Italian Studies (forthcoming with Stanford University Press).

Other digital works currently under development include: 

  • The Sensory Monastery: Saint-Jean-des-Vignes co-authored 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; 
  • Standing Still Moving: Arts of Gesture in Lateral Time by Rebecca Schneider, Professor of Modern Culture and Media; 
  • Chika Sagawa, Japanese Modernist Poet by Sawako Nakayasu, Assistant Professor of Literary Arts;
  • Travels in Search of the Slave Past: Monuments, Memorials, Sites of Slavery by Renée Ater, Provost’s Visiting Professor of Africana Studies.
  • Imperial Unsettling: Indigenous and Immigrant Activism Toward Collective Liberation by Kevin Escudero, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies;
  • The Gospel of Resistance by Charrise Barron, Assistant Professor of Americana Studies and Music;
  • Art, Secrecy, and Invisibility in Ancient Egypt by Laurel Bestock, Associate Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World & Egyptology and Assyriology; and
  • The Sojourner Project: A Black Studies Mobile Academy by Tina Campt, Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Professor of Modern Culture and Media.

In addition to developing the Mellon humanities portfolio, the Initiative produces university publications such as the revised and expanded edition of Brown’s Slavery and Justice Report and the ‘Race &’ in America digital series. A new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will establish a training institute for scholars from a variety of institutions, disciplines, and backgrounds who wish to develop innovative born-digital publications but lack the necessary resources and capacity at their home institutions.

To learn more about Brown’s digital scholarly publication program, contact Digital Scholarship Editor Allison Levy ([email protected]).

Brown Signs Read and Publish Agreement with Cambridge University Press

No Article Processing Charges for Brown authors who wish to publish articles via gold open access with Cambridge University Press

Many authors would like to publish their scholarly articles gold open access (OA) but are deterred by the article processing charge (APC) assessed by the publisher — sometimes as high as thousands of dollars. With Brown’s recent Read & Publish agreement with Cambridge University Press, corresponding authors at Brown who have manuscripts accepted for publication from the 1st of January 2022 and publish in Cambridge’s journals will no longer have to pay the APC for gold OA, augmenting OA publishing options at Brown, providing Brown community members with free access to Cambridge titles, and enhancing global access to scholarly work by Brown researchers.

With gold OA, the final published version of the article — the “Version of Record” — is permanently and freely available online for anyone, anywhere to read. 

Read more about the Read & Publish agreement here and the process here. This agreement strengthens Brown’s commitment to OA and facilitates compliance with the Brown University Open Access Policy, adopted by the faculty in 2021.

Questions about Brown’s Read & Publish agreement with Cambridge University Press? Visit [email protected] or contact [email protected]

DH Salons at the Rock on Fridays

Rockefeller Library facade

Please join the Center for Digital Scholarship for a new DH Salon, launching Friday, October 29, at noon in the Digital Scholarship Lab in the Rockefeller Library or via the Zoom* link below. DH Salons will take place every other Friday.

At these informal “brown-bag” meetings, we invite discussion and exploration of digital humanities projects, scholarship, careers, and pedagogy. Each session will feature a different presenter, including graduate students, faculty and staff at Brown and beyond.

First two meetings:

October 29

  • Creating a Career in Digital Scholarship
  • Ashley Champagne (Head, Digital Scholarship Project Planning, CDS) and Allison Levy (Digital Scholarship Editor, CDS)

November 12

  • Taking the Reins, Harnessing the Digital: Enabling and Supporting Public Scholarship in Graduate Level Training
  • Sara Mohr (PhD candidate in Brown University’s Department of Egyptology and Assyriology, Brown)

*NOTE: All DH salons will take place on Fridays at noon in a hybrid format. Please do join us in person in the DSL in the Rock if you can, but those who prefer or need to Zoom in may using this link:

Our December meetings will take place on December 3 and 17 — additional information to follow.

For more information, contact [email protected].