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.
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 arts.gov/news.
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 forBorn-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]n.edu).
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 neh.gov.
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.
In keeping with the theme of National Public Health Week 2022, Public Health is Where You Are, below are some relevant projects, initiatives, and resources from the Brown University Library.
Subscription resources available via the Library
A search for “public health” as subject retrieves these results in BruKnow, the Library catalog. You may use the filters on the left side to refine results by format, library, language, and more. Sign in with your Brown credentials to access or request any of the results.
Nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. KFF develops and runs its own policy analysis, journalism and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with major news organizations. KFF serves as a nonpartisan source of facts, analysis and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health policy community and the public.
Offers high-quality, relevant health and wellness information that is trusted, easy to understand, and free of advertising, in both English and Spanish. It is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which is the world’s largest medical library and a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Provides worldwide access to biomedical and public health literature produced by and within low-middle income countries. The material is collated and aggregated by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office Libraries.
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.
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.
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.
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]).
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:
Creating a Career in Digital Scholarship
Ashley Champagne (Head, Digital Scholarship Project Planning, CDS) and Allison Levy (Digital Scholarship Editor, CDS)
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.
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.”
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]).
Since the summer of 2019, with guidance from Professor Rae Gould and Lydia Curliss, Physical Sciences Librarian and member ofthe Nipmuc Nation, the team has been working with Native partners from twelve different tribal nations in the southern New England area. Together, the collaborators decided to change the project name to one that reflects the efforts and goals to decolonize the project and become more community and Indigenous centered.
Rather than simply make accessible the records of Indigenous people who were enslaved, the project is designed to offer a decolonizing framework that explores the 21st century impact of enslavement that has ruptured the relations of Indigenous people, families, and nations. In short, stolen relations. The project recovers the stories of Indigenous enslavement in order to bring to light the stories and to contextualize them within the larger context of settler colonialism.
Because the team is largely collecting archival documents about indigenous enslavement that are written by the colonizer, it is essential to indigenize the presentation of the database so that there is a decolonizing context around the language from archival documents. For example, rather than simply list “tribe” affiliations, as is sometimes listed on the original document, the database will provide information on how archival documents often include terms that diminish the nationhood and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples (such as the word “tribe”). And in many cases, the tribal/national affiliation of enslaved Natives was completely erased. The project intends to reassert the nation-to-nation relationship that tribes have, and center that context alongside the data.
In this early phase of the project, the database is not yet public — though the project website is public. The team is working with tribal partners and a group of researchers to identify, enter, and interpret relevant historical and oral historical materials, and is currently looking to partner with individuals and institutions who are willing to send materials they have or join the research team to input materials directly. Please visit the project’s Contribute page or contact Linford D. Fisher to learn more.
Stolen Relations has been generously funded and supported by the following entities:
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.
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)
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.