Brown Library’s First Born-Digital Publication Awarded Prize by the American Historical Association

Prize will support a companion website to amplify the pedagogical and public engagement possibilities of Furnace and Fugue.

The American Historical Association has awarded the Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Creativity in Digital History to Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618) with Scholarly Commentary, the first born-digital monograph developed by Brown University Digital Publications. Edited by Tara Nummedal, John Nickoll Provost’s Professor of History at Brown, and Independent Scholar Donna Bilak, the open access book was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2020. Furnace and Fugue brings to life in digital form an enigmatic seventeenth-century text, Michael Maier’s musical alchemical emblem book Atalanta fugiens. This intriguing and complex text from 1618 reinterprets Ovid’s legend of Atalanta as an alchemical allegory in a series of fifty emblems, each of which contains text, image, and a musical score for three voices. Re-rendering Maier’s multimedia masterpiece as an enhanced born-digital publication, Furnace and Fugue allows contemporary readers to hear, see, manipulate, and investigate Atalanta fugiens in ways that were perhaps imagined when it was composed but were simply impossible to realize before now.

Screen captures of interactive features from Furnace and Fugue

According to Professor Nummedal, “Furnace and Fugue makes possible the playful capabilities implied by Atalanta fugiens while also enabling and encouraging new interpretations of this early modern emblem book. The prize funds,” she explains, “will be used to build a companion website to amplify the pedagogical and public engagement possibilities of Furnace and Fugue.”

The interactive publication has attracted more than 16,000 unique visitors from across 167 countries since its launch just over two years ago, reaching specialist and non-specialist audiences alike. By contrast, the print run would have been 500 copies. “Born-digital publication is not only allowing scholars to realize their most innovative ideas in ways not previously possible,” says University Librarian Joseph Meisel, “it is also radically expanding the reach and impact of their work.” 

The Rosenzweig Prize, sponsored jointly by the AHA and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University, is awarded annually to honor and support innovative, freely available work that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history.

Furnace and Fugue was developed by Brown University Digital Publications, generously launched with support from the Mellon Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and, at Brown, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Social Science Research Institute.

Screen captures from Furnace and Fugue

Questions about Furnace and Fugue can be addressed to Allison Levy, Director of Brown University Digital Publications ([email protected]). 

About Brown University Digital Publications

A collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, generously launched with support from the Mellon Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Brown University Digital Publications creates exciting new conditions for the production and sharing of knowledge. Widely recognized as accessible, intentional, and inclusive, Brown’s novel, university-based approach to digital content development is helping to set the standards for the future of scholarship in the digital age.

Brown Library publishes five new volumes in the “Race & … in America” digital book series

Open access publication expands series delving into comparative perspectives on the roots and effects of racism in the U.S.

For the second year running, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown partnered with the Office of the Provost on the pioneering Race & … in America webinar series, a systematic investigation of the foundational and enduring effects of anti-Black racism in America. Over the course of the 2021-22 academic year, the series again served as a virtual platform for the Brown community to think through the myriad, complex ways that race defines American society and to share these insights with each other and the public at large. Exploring the arts more fully, five new panels featuring Brown faculty continued to generate critical engagements with society’s most fundamental and urgent questions. 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, now complete with 13 volumes, amplifies the impact and extends the reach of this important and timely panel series.

Developed by Brown University Digital Publications 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 critical conversations.

“As the Brown community continues to tackle the contentious and important subject of anti-Black racism, the Race & in America series allows us to increase awareness of the factors fueling racial injustice through the expertise of Brown’s faculty,” said Provost Richard M. Locke. “We recognize that all members of our community need the courage, dedication and willingness to work on transformational change. We fully support the digital delivery of this critical content for greater access and broader community reach.”

As an open access publication, the digital series provides enduring, barrier-free access to knowledge, 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.

“Brown’s long-standing leadership in the study of race in American society is matched by its pathbreaking history in the use of technology to convey innovative scholarship in new and newly powerful ways,” said University Librarian Joseph Meisel. “Like the initial volumes in the digital series, this new set of topics adds more penetrating insights by leading scholars that can continue to be studied and discussed, shaping how we think about some of the most challenging questions in our society and culture.”

The digital series consists of 13 volumes:

Each of the thirteen volumes in the series includes:

  • A recording of one of the 90-minute panel discussions that took place throughout the 2021-2022 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

Brown University Digital Publications — a collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, generously launched with support from the Mellon Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities — creates exciting new conditions for the production and sharing of knowledge. Widely recognized as accessible, intentional, and inclusive, Brown’s novel, university-based approach to digital content development is helping to set the standards for the future of scholarship in the digital age. 

Questions about the Race & … in America digital publication series can be addressed to Allison Levy, Director of Brown University Digital Publications ([email protected]). 

The MIT Press and Brown University Library release A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures by Shahzad Bashir

Enter A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures by Shahzad Bashir

Discover more about the publication including an interview with Shahzad Bashir

Announcement of the publication from the MIT Press news site:

image of landing page with artifact and map

An interactive, open-access born-digital publication, this groundbreaking book’s interface encourages engagement with rich visual material and multimedia evidence

The MIT Press and Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative announce the publication of A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures by Shahzad Bashir. An interactive, open-access born-digital work, this groundbreaking book decenters Islam from a geographical identification with the Middle East, an articulation through men’s authority alone, and the assumption that premodern expressions are more authentically Islamic than modern ones. Aimed at a wide international audience, the book consists of engaging stories and audiovisual materials that will enable readers at all levels to appreciate Islam as an aspect of global history for centuries. The book URL is islamic-pasts-futures.org

book cover

In A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures, Bashir discusses Islam as phenomenon and as discourse—observed in the built environment, material objects, paintings, linguistic traces, narratives, and social situations. He draws on literary genres, including epics, devotional poetry and prayers, and modern novels; art and architecture in varied forms; material culture, from luxury objects to cheap trinkets; and such forms of media as photographs, graffiti, and films. 

“Ideas pertaining to Islam and other matters of social significance are enmeshed in structures of power. Understandings of history, including our own, are changeable; they appear and dissolve in tandem with particular human circumstances,” explains Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities and Professor of History and Religious Studies at Brown University. “This book urges us to see pasts and futures as fields of unlimited possibility that come alive through a combination of close observation and ethical positioning.” 

Through multimedia enhancements and an interactive navigation system, A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures allows for an exploration of and engagement with rich visual material and multimedia evidence not possible in a printed volume. The book encourages readers to enter Islam through a diverse set of doorways, each leading to different time periods across different parts of the world. 

“The MIT Press has a long and rich history of publishing books that give unique form to unique arguments,” says Amy Brand, Director and Publisher of the MIT Press. “We are thrilled to partner with Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative on this book, which creates exciting new opportunities to share knowledge.” 

“With A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures, Professor Bashir not only advances new ways of conceptualizing time as a human construct, but also puts theory into action within a dynamic digital structure that breaks free of the linearity that has always seemed an inescapable given in history writing,” says Joseph Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University. “To realize this reimagining of historical analysis in four dimensions, Professor Bashir has also enlarged how we can think about the possibilities and practices of digital scholarly publication.”

The publication of A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures brings together the MIT Press’s global publishing experience and the Brown University Library’s digital publication expertise. This cross-institutional collaboration extends to the recently announced On Seeing series, an experiment in multimodal publishing that will explore how we see, comprehend, and participate in visual culture. The series will center the lived experience and knowledge of diverse authors.

The publication of A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures is supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MIT Press, and the Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative.

About the MIT Press

Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press books and journals are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design. 

About the Brown University Library

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. An area of distinction for the Library and Brown, the Digital Publications Initiative is helping to set the standards for the future of scholarship in the digital age. 

“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. 

GIS Librarian Authors Article on US Census for American Library Association

As part of the Library Technology Reports series, ALA TechSource (an imprint of the American Library Association) has published “US Census Data: Concepts and Applications for Supporting Research,” written by Frank Donnelly, Brown University GIS and Data Librarian (vol. 58, no. 4, May/June 2022). Library Technology Reports help librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects.

From the publisher: 

US Census Data: Concepts and Applications for Supporting Research” provides readers with a crash course on the census: learn about the concepts on which the census is organized, the key datasets, accessing data online and through scripts via APIs, and considerations for using GIS, historical data, and microdata. Librarians will gain knowledge they can use for assisting members of their communities with census data and will see how the census can be used for library planning and research.

Donnelly’s summary article of the report, “Crunching the Numbers: What to do with the release of the 2020 Census data,” published June 1, 2022, is available in American Libraries.

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.

Join via livestream on YouTube

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.

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]