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DepositWhat I’m Reading This Summer: Spencer Keralis

My research bridges my interests in media history, in particular history of the book, with my duties helping catalyze conversations around digital humanities, diversity, and social justice in an academic library at a large public university. This summer’s reading has gelled around a couple of slowly converging topics – information literacy and minimal computing in DH pedagogy, and representations of AIDS in late 80s-early 90s countercultures. I’m interested in theorizing DH praxis, as well as understanding how technology implicates its users in systems of power.

DepositVisualizing Flow and Movement for the Humanities

The University of Redlands proposes to host an interdisciplinary specialist’s workshop on Visualizing Flow and Movement for the Humanities, an emerging research area at the intersection of digital humanities, geography, and information technology. NEH funds are requested for participant stipends and travel, technology and event support staff time and minimal travel. This workshop will engage humanities faculty, computer programmers, and geographers in dialogue and mini-design sessions. Participants will articulate the intellectual and pedagogic questions on the nature and visualization of flow and movement, critique currently available tools, and identify the barriers and user requirements for creating an integrated and innovative technology solution. We will produce a report that describes the key issues and presents a conceptual design for a digital tool for visualizing flow and movement. The requested project start date is April 1, 2011 and end date is March 31, 2012.

DepositFrom Class Solidarity to Revolution: The Radicalization of Arsenal Workers in the Late Ottoman Empire

This article introduces a bottom-up perspective to the history of the Revolution of 1908 in the Ottoman Empire by focusing on the experiences of workers in the Imperial Naval Arsenal (Tersane-i Amire) in Istanbul. Drawing mainly on primary documents, the article explores, from a class-formation perspective, the struggles and relations of Arsenal workers from the second half of the nineteenth century until the revolution. The Arsenal workers’ involvement in the revolution was rooted in their class solidarity, which was revealed in a number of ways throughout this period. The workers’ immediate embrace of the revolution was spurred by their radicalization against the state; such radicalization stemmed from the state’s failure to solve the workers’ persistent economic problems, and its attempts to discharge them and replace them with military labor. The case of the Arsenal workers thus points to the role of working-class discontent in the history of the revolution, a dimension that has thus far been only minimally addressed in Ottoman historiography.

DepositMaking History: Applications of Digitization and Materialization Projects in Repositories

This project draws upon material culture, digital humanities, and archival theory and method in the service of public history investigations. After selecting an artifact and performing object analysis, I will digitize the artifact and materialize a new object. I will then perform another object analysis on the 3D printed object. This exercise will provide the familiar benefits of object analysis, but the decisions and interactions necessary to digitize and materialize the object provide a fresh perspective. I will propose approaches for performing similar investigations in repositories, along with a pedagogical argument for doing so. By emphasizing modularity, flexibility, and minimal capital requirements, I hope these approaches can be adapted to a variety of institutions and audiences. Researchers will reap the benefits of intellectual and emotional engagement, hands-on learning, and technological experimentation. Public historians will have the opportunity to engage in outreach and innovative education and exploration of their collections.

DepositEvaluation of Mechanical and Control Systems Serving the Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg

This NEH planning grant would be used to evaluate mechanical and control systems serving the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, with the goals of a) developing a plan to replace and upgrade systems and thereby improve reliability, performance and efficiency, and b) creating and sustaining a safer environment for the Colonial Williamsburg collections. Targeted areas include evaluation of: 1) the condition and performance of mechanical equipment, especially the 1984 air handlers and heating plant; 2) the condition and performance of the chiller plant, including assessment of plate heat exchanger fouling of modular chillers used with open tower condensing loop; 3) optimum control strategies and BAS programming to maintain museum environmental conditions with minimal energy use; 4) existing BAS operations and maintenance support; 5) lighting upgrade options to reduce energy usage and light exposure to the collections.

TopicCFP: Interwar Mysteries–The Golden Age & Beyond (Clues: A Journal of Detection)

CFP: Interwar Mysteries–The Golden Age and Beyond (Theme issue of Clues: A Journal of Detection) Guest editor: Victoria Stewart (University of Leicester) Submission deadline: October 12, 2018 “These things never happened before the War.” —Mr. Wetheridge, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928), by Dorothy L. Sayers Although the period between the World Wars is […]

DepositPreserving Mars Today using Baseline Ecologies

Current calls to protect the Martian environment with “Planetary Parks” maintain environmental merit. However, they lack a sufficiently urgent timeframe for initiating protection as well as a robust scientific method for the establishment of noteworthy Martian natural landmarks as natural reserves. In response, if we return to the seminal environmental preservation teachings of Aldo Leopold and John Muir, we encounter the importance of grounding Martian preservation efforts on the fundamental environmental science method of a base-datum of normality, or baseline ecology. This method establishes natural reserves that feature both minimal human interference as well as known origination dates, thereby providing longitudinal environmental control samples for scientific use. Applied before humans appear on Mars, preserved baseline ecologies thereby aid our scientific understanding of human environmental impacts, both now and well into the future, while they enhance a variety of other outcomes in terms of Martian protection. However, the baseline ecology method requires that, through international agreements, we establish these reserves as quickly as possible and certainly before humans arrive on the planet.

DepositÇatalhöyük 2004 Archive Report Database and IT

Work on further developing the IT Systems both in terms of on-site computing and database development work continued during the build up to the season and for a short period on site. During the close season since 2003 documents were prepared to put to IBM, the Project’s IT Sponsor, containing fairly detailed reports on the problems faced with the on-site networking (in terms of power, aging PC equipment, etc) and a wish list of equipment required by the project in order to continue to function properly on site. IBM kindly met these requests by providing 2 new servers (1 for on site work and 1 to assist project work from the Cambridge office) and 5 new laptop computers. The on-site technical work consisted of setting up the existing project equipment, with some minor configuration changes to prepare for the deployment of the new database systems and to provide some minor network enhancements. As a stop-gap measure pending the delivery of the new equipment from IBM the new central database server software (Microsoft SQL Server 2000) was installed on the existing server and the first of the new, centrally managed applications, was made available to site staff. Upon delivery of the IBM equipment work was undertaken to set up and configure the new hardware and then to perform a mass migration of all data files and databases onto the new server. This work was undertaken with minimal downtime to site staff.

DepositTransduction in religious discourse: Vocalization and sound reproduction in Mauritian Muslim devotional practices.

Drawing on ethnographic research on Muslim devotional practices in Mauritius, this chapter investigates material aspects of discourse circulation in religious settings, above all vocalization and transduction. I pay attention to the role Mauritian Muslims ascribe to sound reproduction technologies in safeguarding what they regard as the authentic replication of devotional poetry performances in ritual settings. In the particular context at hand, a certain aspect of the materiality of language, the qualities of vocalization, helps to minimize the gap between authoritative source and present performance. This process unfolds through transduction, which generates the sonic presence of the reciting voice in another setting through sound reproduction. The sonic presence thus generated becomes the occasion for beliefs on technology according to which the latter is able to faithfully “store” linguistic signs with their full spectrum of material qualities. In treating sound reproduction technologies accordingly, their users are guided by the assumption that sound reproduction, if working properly, is a medium that erases its own traces, despite the complex sequence of transductions it actually entails.

DepositCurtained Walls: Architectural Photography, the Farnsworth House, and the Opaque Discourse of Transparency

This paper studies the creation, circulation, and reception of two groups of photographs of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House, both taken by Hedrich Blessing. The first set, produced for a 1951 Architectural Forum magazine cover story, features curtains carefully arranged according to the architect’s preferences; the Museum of Modern Art commissioned the second set in 1985 for a major Mies retrospective exhibition specifically because the show’s influential curator, Arthur Drexler, believed the curtains obscured Mies’s so-called “glass box” design. Through comparative object-based analysis and in-depth exploration of the images’ discursive context, “Curtained Walls” finds both groups of photographs to be quasi-fictional portraits that are valuable today for how they engaged various modernist concerns rather than as reliable architectural representations. Ultimately, this paper complicates the history of a building famous for being minimal—and questions whether these photographs helped direct critical opinion of the Farnsworth House toward a transparency-focused narrative and away from other potential interpretations.