Commencement Forum | Brown University’s Slavery and Justice Report with Commentary on Context and Impact: Presenting the Revised and Expanded Second Edition

Commencement Forum

Willis Reading Room, John Hay Library
20 Prospect St, Providence, RI
Saturday, May 28
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

In 2006 Brown released its groundbreaking “Report of the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice,” confronting and publicly documenting the University’s complex history with the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies of inequity and injustice. A newly released expanded edition, available through an immersive, interactive digital experience and as a printed book, offers insights into the Report’s persistent and evolving impact both on campus and across the world.

Join Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice Director Anthony Bogues; President of Alliance for Justice and AFJ Action Rakim H. Brooks ‘09; and Brown University Library Digital Scholarship Editor Allison Levy for a demonstration and discussion of the enhanced and expanded report. Welcome remarks by Joukowsky Family University Librarian Joseph S. Meisel.

The Power of Words: Banning Books in the United States

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition

From April 8 – May 6, 2022, the Sorensen Family Reading Room on the first floor

April 8 – May 6, 2022
Sorensen Family Reading Room 

On two shelves at the entrance to the Sorensen Family Reading Room on the first floor of the Rock, books held at the Brown University Library that have been banned at least once in the U.S. will be on display for on-site perusal. This sampling shows a range of titles that demonstrate the variation in publication dates, topics, and genres of books that have been met with calls for censorship.

Book banning has a long history in the United States, beginning before the founding of the nation and carried out for many reasons. In 1637, Thomas Morton’s critique of Puritan society garnered him the honor of being banned in the colonies. From The Bible to more recent young adult fiction like The Hate U Give, thousands of books have been challenged or banned in the U.S.  

Since 1982, the American Library Association has compiled an annual banned book list, which consistently includes classics, contemporary fiction, children’s books, young adult fiction, and graphic novels. Recent years have seen books challenged for “sexual content, presence of LGBTQ+ characters, and content unsuitable for age group.”

Virtual Talk on Book Banning with Dr. Emily Knox

On Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Emily Knox will give a talked, “Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Understanding the Discourse of Censorship,” for the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center’s Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy. Dr. Knox, author of Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), will discuss the underpinnings of contemporary book bans and will provide recommendations for how to address book censorship in schools and public libraries.

Immediately following the lecture will be a Q&A moderated by Dr. Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Brown University Library.

RSVP at: https://tinyurl.com/DexterLecture22

More information

Banned Books on Display at the Rock

The Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy presents “Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Understanding the Discourse of Censorship” a Virtual Talk by Dr. Emily Knox

Thursday, April 7 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. EDT

RSVP at: https://tinyurl.com/DexterLecture22

Book Banning

The censorship of books has long permeated our political and cultural landscape. Books at the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender have been particular targets for censorship at school districts and libraries across the country. In this talk, Dr. Emily Knox, author of Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), will discuss the underpinnings of contemporary book bans and will provide recommendations for how to address book censorship in schools and public libraries. Immediately following the lecture will be a Q&A moderated by Dr. Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Brown University Library.

This event will be remote captioned.

About Dr. Emily Knox

Emily is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. Emily’s next book, Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association), will be released in Fall 2022. She also serves on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Sponsors

Brown University Library, LGBTQ Center, Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender, and the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy

Event | Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy: a Virtual Talk by Dr. Emily Knox

The Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy presents
“Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Understanding the Discourse of Censorship,” A Virtual Talk by Dr. Emily Knox

Thursday, April 7, 2022
6:30–7:30 p.m. ET

photo of Dr. Emily Knox
Dr. Emily Knox

The censorship of books has long permeated our political and cultural landscape. Books at the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender have been particular targets for censorship at school districts and libraries across the country. In this talk, Dr. Emily Knox, author of Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), will discuss the underpinnings of contemporary book bans and will provide recommendations for how to address book censorship in schools and public libraries. Immediately following the lecture will be a Q&A moderated by Dr. Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Brown University Library.

This event will be remote captioned.

Please RSVP at: https://tinyurl.com/DexterLecture22

Co-sponsored by the Brown University Library, LGBTQ Center, Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender, and the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy.

About Dr. Emily Knox
Emily is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. Emily’s next book, Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association), will be released in Fall 2022. She also serves on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

WWII Art Collection Talk by Peter Harrington

Greenhalgh, Robert F., “Aboard aircraft carrier ‘Belleau Wood’ on raid on Wake Island: view from starboard fantail on flight deck, two chiefs in foreground, ‘talkers’ in rear ” (1943). Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:247094/

The Brown University Library is pleased to share an open invitation to view a presentation by Peter Harrington, Curator, Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, to the Continental Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States on Thursday March 24 at 7 p.m. EST

The talk will be broadcast live on the Continental Commandery’s YouTube channel. Discover more information about this and other events from the Continental Commandery.

In his presentation, Peter will describe the Brown University Library’s World War Two Art Collection, which is part of the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, and how it was created over the last 25 years. The talk will include some of the collection’s highlights with a special focus on the Naval and Marine Corps artists represented.

Peter Harrington is an author, military historian, and archaeologist, who curates the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection for the John Hay Library at Brown University where he has worked for over 37 years. A native of Manchester, England, he studied at London, Edinburgh, Simmons and Brown, and his research over the past three decades has focused on artists and images of war. For many years he taught a distance learning graduate course on the subject. His other area of research is Conflict Archaeology. He has authored and edited a number of books including British Artists and War: The face of battle in paintings and prints 1700-1914; William Simpson’s Afghanistan: Travels of a Special Artist and Antiquarian during the Second Afghan War, 1878-1879The Castles of Henry VIII; and English Civil War Archaeology. His current research focuses on art and mural programs in U.S. training camps, 1941-1945.

Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO)

book with Ukraine flag

We invite members of the Brown, local, and global community to this hybrid work-in session to preserve Ukrainian cultural heritage online.

Join the Brown University Library in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library (10 Prospect St, Providence) on Thursday, March 10, 2022 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST or via Zoom as we come together in collaboration with the SUCHO project, a group of cultural heritage professionals — librarians, archivists, researchers, programmers — working together to identify and archive at-risk sites, digital content, and data in Ukrainian cultural heritage institutions while the country is under attack.

Registration Required

Register through LiveWhale, indicating in the comment field whether you will be attending in-person or via Zoom. Fill out the volunteer form. You will then be invited to join the project Slack page.

Registration is limited to 30 in-person participants. Registration to participate via Zoom is unlimited.

Please wait until we add you to the Slack to actually get started. If you want to read about the process, here’s our workflow and an orientation for new volunteers.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

Work-in Session

This work-in session will offer an overview of the types of work that you can do to help identify and archive at-risk sites, digital content, and data in Ukrainian cultural heritage institutions. We are using a combination of technologies to crawl and archive sites and content, including the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the Browsertrix crawler and the ArchiveWeb.page browser extension and app of the Webrecorder project.

Get Involved Prior to Workshop

  1. Visit our orientation page.
  2. Submit important URLs for collections in cultural heritage institutions in Ukraine
  3. If you can read Ukrainian or Russian, or if you can run the Browsertrix crawler (check out our Browsertrix documentation to see if it’s something you’d be up for trying), fill out the volunteer form.
  4. We are currently at capacity for people to help with Wayback Machine / Internet Archive tasks or manual Webrecorder tasks, but you can still help by submitting URLs.

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: https://brown.zoom.us/j/92773576774.

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

For more information, contact [email protected].

The HBCU Library Alliance and Brown Library receive IMLS grant for Leadership Development Program

Cultural sensitivity and organizational healing will be integral facets of unique partnership program to foster leaders at HBCU libraries and Brown University

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] The HBCU Library Alliance and Brown University Library have received a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to create a transformational leadership development program: Stronger Together, Leading Through Community. This two-year program for emerging library leaders is the first such program to intentionally unite two distinct communities of practice, HBCUs and Brown University. The curriculum and immersive exchanges of this intensive program will develop core leadership competencies such as change management, fundraising, and collection stewardship. The program will also focus on the leader’s role in promoting organizational healing from the disruption of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in ensuring that libraries are sites of intentional social justice work.

Mutually Beneficial Partnership

The HBCU Library Alliance is a consortium that supports collaboration across the libraries and between information professionals dedicated to providing an array of resources designed to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their constituents. This grant award marks the first project to be undertaken as part of the formal partnership between the HBCU Library Alliance and Brown University Library. The HBCU Library Alliance welcomed Brown University Library into its community of practice in February 2020 as its inaugural invited, non-HBCU affiliate member. This partnership is based on deep relational work that acknowledges and actively counteracts the historical power imbalance between HBCUs and the Ivy League. It is built with respect and investment in each other’s communities with the shared focus of mutually beneficial partnership activities. Sandra Phoenix, executive director of the HBCU Library Alliance, looks forward to working with Brown to foster strong, culturally sensitive library leaders: 

Collaborating with Brown University to support leadership development and to continue our mission to strengthen HBCU libraries and their staff sets the stage to advance our work together. We are grateful to IMLS for funding the Stronger Together, Leading through Community leadership development initiative. It is our goal to share skills and talents with Brown University, create and cultivate a diverse space for mutual teaching/learning/healing experiences and develop high-calibre library leaders to meet the needs of our communities.

Both the HBCU Library Alliance and Brown University Library have a long history of successful partnerships, which have laid the operational foundation for this pilot project to succeed and grow into a sustainable program that will deeply influence the trajectory of leadership development in libraries. According to Monika Rhue, Director of Library Services and Curation at Johnson C. Smith University’s James B. Duke Memorial Library, and HBCU Library Alliance Board chair, the grant-funded, partner-run program is well positioned to develop library leaders with expertise in social justice:

The program’s pilot will include a most-essential social justice component, where we will focus on leadership development from the lens of community members engaged in civil/human rights. There is such potential to learn, to share experiences, and to advance the development of leaders with this critical perspective. Thanks are due to Brown University for this opportunity to engage and to IMLS for funding this very timely initiative. Our transformative work continues!

The program will break new ground in library leadership development by prioritizing two guiding principles:

  1. Equitable Partnership: Intentional, respectful, and mutually beneficial partnerships across communities are essential for advancing the mission of academic libraries to serve as core resources for socially-engaged scholarship.
  2. Unique Value of HBCUs: HBCU Libraries are uniquely positioned as educational institutions that steward and preserve African American history and culture. It is the responsibility of all research libraries to support this work and advance the status and reach of HBCU libraries, thereby amplifying the cultural, social and scholarly value of African American history.

Emerging Leaders Cohort

The pilot’s cohort of emerging leaders is purposefully designed to be small, including a total of six participants drawing from HBCU Library Alliance member libraries and Brown University Library. The size will ensure deeply personalized attention to the participants, and the program directors — Sandra Phoenix, Executive Director of the HBCU Library Alliance, and Amanda E. Strauss, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, Brown University — will be attentive to how the unique qualities of this program can be scaled for broader impact.  

Program activities will include:

  • Personalized Leadership Development Plans: Each member of the cohort will have support to create a personalized leadership development plan.
  • Formal Mentorship during the program and beyond 
  • Virtual learning and coursework: The cohort will have access to a unique leadership curriculum specifically designed for this program.
  • Cohort connections in-person and virtual
  • Immersive Exchanges: Each emerging leader will participate in a multi-day, immersive site visit at either an HBCU library or Brown University Library. These exchange residencies will be tailored to individual leadership development plans created as part of the curriculum.
  • Leadership Symposium: The program will culminate in an invitational leadership symposium wherein the emerging leaders cohort will partner with the instructors and curriculum designers to share their learning outcomes with 30-50 colleagues drawn from HBCU libraries and Brown University Library. 

“The support from IMLS is a wonderful recognition of our partnership and the goals we share for advancing the next generation of academic library leaders,” said Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown. “Combining the distinctive strengths of the HBCU Library Alliance, its member institutions, and the Brown University Library on the basis of genuine reciprocity is a very exciting prospect.”

IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports the development of a diverse workforce of librarians and archivists in order to meet the information needs of their communities by enhancing the training and professional development of library and archives professionals; developing faculty and information leaders; and recruiting, educating, and retaining the next generation of library and archives professionals.

Announcement | Brown Library publishes “Race &” in America digital book series

Free and open publication documents and expands series exploring origins, history, and legacies of anti-Black racism in the U.S.

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] Over the course of the 2020-21 academic year, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown, in partnership with the Office of the Provost, undertook a systematic investigation of the foundational and enduring contemporary effects of anti-Black racism in America. Drawing on the expertise of Brown scholars from a range of fields and scholarly perspectives as well as the University’s historic strength and leadership in scholarship on race, the pioneering “Race &” in America panel series generated critical engagements with society’s most fundamental and urgent questions. Investigating the role that racism plays in American public health, democracy, punishment, and more, the informed and illuminating discussions deepened knowledge and awareness in the service of promoting a more just and inclusive community and world. The “Race &” in America digital publication series amplifies the impact and extends the reach of this important and timely panel series.

Developed by the Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative and in close coordination with Tricia Rose, Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives, and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the “Race &” in America digital publication series re-presents the compelling original panel discussions with expanded content and resources in an innovative, interactive format, designed to heighten understanding and broaden these critical conversations. “The ‘Race &’ series and its creative digital presentation reflect two core elements of CSREA’s vision: to foster dynamic intellectual community on crucial issues and ensure long-lasting access to ideas,” said Rose. “By offering an array of Brown faculty reflecting on the importance and complexity of the way race defines American society from slavery to genetics to art, and making it available through this interactive, digital platform with enhanced content, we’re able to contribute to ongoing conversations on these critical issues.”

The “Race &” digital publication is a remarkable example of Brown’s dedication to its mission of creating and sharing knowledge in service of society. According to Richard M. Locke, Brown University provost: 

Brown is committed to conducting and disseminating widely consequential research designed to elevate awareness of pressing societal issues and contribute to meaningful change. The “Race &” in America series is emblematic of this commitment. Over the course of a year, we have shared Brown’s faculty expertise in the interwoven areas that define and perpetuate anti-Black racism in the U.S., and through this engaging digital delivery, we’re able to amplify and extend the impact of these important contributions.

As an open access publication, the digital series provides enduring, barrier-free access to information, and has been developed with universal design principles for equitable use by all persons, including those with disabilities. In addition, the series features responsive design — readable on all digital devices, from smartphones to desktops — and robust highlighting, annotation, and sharing tools that encourage deep reader engagement and allow users to interact with one another.

Each of the eight volumes in the digital series includes:

  • A recording of one of the 90-minute panel discussions that took place throughout the 2020-2021 academic year
  • Student Voices podcast episodes in which Brown University students engage the panelists in follow-up discussion 
  • Recommendations for entry-point materials on the subject
  • Multimedia resource collections of readings, online exhibitions, podcasts, and other materials referenced during the panel discussions
  • Suggestions for further exploration

“The ‘Race &’ in America series is an important step forward for Brown’s leadership in both scholarship on race and digital scholarly publications,” said University Librarian Joseph Meisel. “It ensures that the penetrating perspectives and fresh critical analyses advanced through this remarkable academic initiative are not simply preserved as a video link on some website, but rather rendered more fully in a format that sustains and broadens the impact of this essential work for education, further research, and public understanding.”    

The digital series consists of eight volumes:

Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative — a collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, generously launched with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation — creates exciting new conditions for the production and sharing of knowledge. Widely recognized as accessible, intentional, and inclusive, Brown’s path-breaking Initiative is helping to set the standards for the future of scholarship in the digital age.

Questions about the “Race &” in America digital publication series or the Library’s Digital Publications Initiative generally can be addressed to Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor ([email protected]).

Event | Performing Objects and the Objects of Performance in the Global Early Modern: A Virtual Interdisciplinary Symposium

Join the John Hay Library and the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World for Performing Objects and the Objects of Performance in the Global Early Modern: A Virtual Interdisciplinary Symposium, taking place over two sessions on June 14 and 15, 2021 from 9 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Professor Holly Shaffer of Brown’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture will moderate. 

Register to attend.

Visit the Performing Objects and the Objects of Performance website for more information. 

Symposium

Symposium participants will convene to bring forward new or under-explored theories of performance in the study of the global early modern, with a focus on performance in relation to objects of historical analysis. These objects may be archival materials, the individuals or collectivities that produced these materials, or conceptual and abstract knowledge-objects.

Papers by invited scholars will be published on the Performing Objects and Objects of Performance website in advance. Each of the two symposium sessions will be divided between discussion of the papers and presentations by participants on relevant objects digitized from the John Hay Library’s collections.

Panelists

  • Claire M. L. Bourne (Penn State)
  • Frans-Willem Korsten (Leiden University) 
  • Matthew Melvin-Koushki (University of South Carolina) 
  • Anthony Ossa-Richardson (UCL) 
  • Kishwar Rizvi (Yale University)

Discussion topics

  • How can performance, as a theoretical rubric, illuminate the interaction within and among such categories of object, as well as between object and subject — both historical subjects and historian subjects?
  • How do objects represent, enact, or mediate performance? In what ways can one object surrogate or perform as another?
  • How do objects circulate performances across distances of space and time?

Kenneth Molloy, John Hay Library/Center for the Study of the Early Modern World Fellow

The symposium is the culmination of a fellowship project by Kenneth Molloy, PhD Candidate in the Department of Theater Arts & Performance Studies, the fourth John Hay Library/Center for the Study of the Early Modern World Fellow. Kenneth’s fellowship was conducted with support from Holly Snyder, Curator of American Historical Collections, Lincoln and Hay Collections, and History of Science at the John Hay Library.