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Read the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Winners

Pen Award Winnersby Taylor Follett

The 2018 PEN American Literary Award Winners were announced on February 20th in PEN America’s 55th annual award ceremony. The PEN Awards pride themselves in their long history of bestowing awards to influential and diverse voices in literature, the grants they are able to award to well-deserving authors, and most importantly, the incredible books they choose to honor.

As a rule, the books selected by the PEN judges make wonderful reads. This year’s winners are no exception:

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March 1: Lunch Poems featuring Rosa Alcalá

Rosa Alcalá

Thursday, March 1
12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Morrison Library in Doe Library
Admission Free

Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, Rosa Alcalá is the author of three books of poetry, most recently MyOTHER TONGUE. Her poetry also appears in a number of anthologies, including Stephen Burt’s The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, her translations are featured in the forthcoming Cecilia Vicuña: New & Selected Poems. Alcalá teaches in the Department of Creative Writing and Bilingual MFA Program at the University of Texas-El Paso.

Workshop: Scalar for Multimedia Digital Projects

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

Scalar for Multimedia Digital Projects
Thursday, February 22nd, 4:10-5:30pm
D-Lab, 350 Barrows Hall

Developed by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, Scalar is a web platform designed especially for multimedia digital projects and for multimedia academic texts. Like WordPress, it is easy to create content, but it is distinguished by multiple ways of navigating through a project, annotation and metadata features, and image and video options. Choose it to develop born digital projects and books, or as a companion site for traditional scholarship. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll learn how to create a Scalar project, create pages and media, add metadata and annotations, and define paths. Register at bit.ly/dp-berk

Upcoming Workshops in this Series 2017-2018:

  • Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects
  • Omeka for Digital Collections and Exhibits
  • By Design: Graphics & Images Basics
  • The Long Haul: Best Practices for Making Your Digital Project Last

Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.


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Douglass Day 2018

Read & Transcribe

The famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass never knew his birth date, but he choose to celebrate it on February 14th. This year will mark his 200th birthday, and we invite you to commemorate the occasion by reading his works at the library:

In honor of the bicentennial of Douglass’s birth, the digital humanities Colored Conventions Project (CCP) will host a Douglass Day transcribe-a-thon, in which participants from all over the country can help transcribe the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers, documents that provide insight into the lives of recently freed people. The event will be hosted in conjunction with the Smithsonian Transcription Center and the National Museum of African American Culture. Join them from 9am to 12pm PST to help celebrate and memorialize African American history!


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Fun with the Library Collection: The EUA’s Student Book Club

English Undergraduate Association Book Club
by Taylor Follett

Calling undergrads! We all use the Library for study and research, but the collections are bursting with popular novels, collections from local poets, YA, graphic novels, and everything you might need for a cozy weekend of pleasure writing. The UC Berkeley English Undergraduate Association’s book club, EUA Reads is indulging this semester by reading and discussing three wonderful works pulled from Library bookshelves. Whether you want to follow along on your own or join the EUA for their fortnightly book club, please join us in reading these picks!

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Honoring Black History Month at the Library

Honor Black History Month at the library
by Taylor Follett

February is Black History Month! We’ve compiled a small sample of the incredible literary work African American poets, novelists, essayists, and thinkers have penned. Enjoy!

Explore novels by African American authors that came out within the past year:

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HTRC UnCamp 2018 comes to Moffitt, highlights power of digital humanities

Speaker gestures.
David Mimno of Cornell University gives the keynote presentation on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) UnCamp 2018 in Moffitt Library. (Photo by Cade Johnson for the University Library)

How important is a word to a particular genre?

Who initiates violence more often: protesters or police?

What if we could search for things based on shape, rather than keywords?

At a conference for the digital humanities hosted by UC Berkeley, computer scientists and humanists gathered from around the U.S. to discuss bold research questions like these, made possible by growing stores of data in digital libraries and a few new machine learning tricks.

One such library is HathiTrust, a digital database of 16 million volumes. The organization, co-located at Indiana University and the University of Illinois, also has a research arm: the HathiTrust Research Center, or  HTRC, which offers tools and guidance for researchers wanting to mine the collection for new discoveries in human language and history.

In late January, the center held its 2018 HTRC UnCamp, filling the fifth floor of Moffitt Library with project presentations and crash courses on textual analysis. The conference also included break-out sessions throughout campus, in the D-Lab and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, or BIDS.

Speakers present
Speakers listen to a question at the UnCamp on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the University Library)

The goal of the UnCamp was to pull together the diverse group of researchers using HathiTrust, from educators and librarians to community members, explained Robert McDonald, associate dean for research & technology strategies at Indiana University.

This conference in particular was exciting, McDonald said, because of a surge in community engagement and attendance as people have become more familiar with the database. About 150 people registered for this conference, he said, compared with about 30 at the last UnCamp, in 2015.

On its website, HathiTrust boasts several built-in algorithms that help researchers learn new things about texts based on their metadata — features such as word usage and page numbers. Most of the digitized texts in the collection are still under copyright, so researchers are cut off from studying them in traditional ways.

The benefit of HathiTrust’s database is that computers, not humans, are searching the texts, so researchers can still discover important linguistic clues without violating copyright.

The web-based tools on the site radically expand what researchers can do with their work. But perhaps more significantly, those capabilities also widen circles in the humanities, by introducing the need for new skills and surprising collaboration.

“Most humanities people, we just work alone — we sit in a room and write, or read,” said Loren Glass, an English professor at the University of Iowa who is using the database to study the relationship between where a writer is from and what they go on to write about. “I have enormously welcomed this collaborative laboratory dynamic where, instead, you sit in a room with other people with different skill sets and you’re able to all benefit from each other’s work.”

“The more of that, the better,” he said.

University of Nebraska researchers Leen-Kiat Soh and Elizabeth Lorang, who gave one of the keynote talks at the conference, are a good example. Soh is a computer scientist, Lorang, a poetry-loving librarian. Together, they created AIDA — a tool to search digitized images for specific types of literary content. At the conference, they showed how they’re using machine learning to find poems buried in historic newspapers.

Tens of millions of poems have been published in historic newspapers, but not all of them end up in the “poet’s corner.” They’re sprinkled throughout obituaries, marriage announcements, and advertisements. You’d have to comb through each newspaper by hand to find them — an impossible task.

Instead, the team tried to think about what a poem looks like. They measured the spaces between stanzas and the jaggedness of the right margins, and trained an algorithm to detect similar patterns across endless fields of black and white.

“The original idea was to find the poems, and then think about how to analyze the text,” Lorang said. “But now it’s become, let’s find them in order to make this possible for other people to do.”

“We could pursue this as a research project for years and years, but ultimately if there’s not uptake in the community, it’s not going to matter,” she continued. The conference, she said, was a chance to get feedback on their project, as well as get a better feel for where to go in the future.

The wider goal, she said, is to bring attention to lesser-known poems and correct some historical oversights. With our current search tools, we’re only ever looking for names and lines we already know about, she said.

Attendees chat at conference
David Bamman, right, and Laura Nelson chat at the UnCamp on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the University Library)

Many of the projects discussed focused on recovery work in our collective canon. Textual analysis and big data make lesser-known voices easier to find, giving us the chance to reshape the cultural record.

One conference guest, Annie Swafford, a digital humanities specialist at Tufts University, is curating a corpus of works by a group of British women who, in the 1880s, formed the first women’s literary dinner club. “Women didn’t just want to talk about clothes — they wanted intense, philosophical discussion,” Swafford said. She’s interested in how the vocabulary and themes of women’s writing of the time differed from their male counterparts.

Swafford came to the conference to discover new research tools for her work, but also to learn how to support others’ work. Swafford is Tuft University’s first digital humanities specialist, and next month, she’ll lead an introductory workshop on textual analysis. She said she’s excited to show people some of the HathiTrust tools. She particularly liked Bookworm, a simple program that compares the popularity of a word across place and time and can help teach students about how language is a changing phenomenon.

Participant speaks from audience
Jon Stiles speaks from the audience during the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) UnCamp 2018 on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo by Jami Smith for the University Library)

Audience members played with Bookworm on their personal computers during the conference. They also tried their hand at creating work sets with the HathiTrust database, and running simple text analyses such as topic modeling (where a computer sorts through word patterns and clusters related words together to give you an idea of what a text’s major themes are).

A major focus of the UnCamp was educating people about how to take advantage of HathiTrust’s digital collection. During the hands-on sessions, Chris Hench, a postdoc at the D-Lab and BIDS, presented an instructive module he built with Cody Hennesy, the campus’s information studies librarian, to teach people how to build worksets from the database. Teammate Alex Chan, a third-year computer science student, then showed attendees an example of the kinds of programs users can build to investigate those collections. He presented an algorithm he built that, after a bit of training, can automatically sort volumes into genres based on similarities in language.

The educational HTRC module, Hench said, was an extension of some of the data analysis training that Berkeley’s Division of Data Sciences has been offering around campus. Hench and the data science modules team visit a range of courses, working with students to answer relevant questions with crunchable data.

In an International & Areas Studies course, for example, students investigated different measurements of social inequality. The data team helped the class quantify the weight of societal factors such as education, wealth, and income, and plug them into an overall inequality assessment.

With all of the exciting content, most speakers barely finished their presentations in time, hurrying through their last slides, anxious to share final details.

Nick Adams, who works in BIDS, presented the web interface he developed to crowdsource the arduous hand-labeling work needed to train algorithms. Right now, he’s examining newspapers in 184 cities for stories on protests to analyze why and how police and protesters initiate violence.

In the last seconds of his talk, he turned to acknowledge his collaborator, Norman Gilmore.

“I’m a sociologist,” Adams said. “I’ve gotten into text analysis in the last few years … but I am not a software engineer. This would not have happened without Norman.”

 

Workshop: Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks
Tuesday, February 20th, 1:10-2:30pm
Academic Innovation Studio, Dwinelle Hall 117 (Level D)

If you’re looking to self-publish work of any length and want an easy-to-use tool that offers a high degree of customization, allows flexibility with publishing formats (EPUB, MOBI, PDF), and provides web-hosting options, Pressbooks may be great for you. Pressbooks is often the tool of choice for academics creating digital books, open textbooks, and open educational resources, since you can license your materials for reuse however you desire. Learn why and how to use Pressbooks for publishing your original books or course materials. You’ll leave the workshop with a project already under way! Register at bit.ly/dp-berk

Upcoming Workshops in this Series 2017-2018:

  • Scalar for Multimedia Digital Projects
  • Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects
  • Omeka for Digital Collections and Exhibits
  • By Design: Graphics & Images Basics
  • The Long Haul: Best Practices for Making Your Digital Project Last

Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.


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Twitter: @doe_lit
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Theresa Hak Kyung Cha at Berkeley

Dictee: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha in Berkeley

January 31- April 22 ,the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) exhibit, “Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Avant Dictée” celebrates the prolific, short-lived career of the influential Asian American artist and writer Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Centered around Cha’s magnum opus, Dictée, the exhibit will include extra-textual art and writing from Cha’s body of work which corresponds thematically to the ten chapters of Dictée. (more…)

New Books Added To The Graduate Services Collection In February

Three plays

Three Plays by Edward Albee

Death of a hero

Death Of A Hero by Richard Aldington with an introduction by James H. Meredith

Giovanni's room

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Somebody blew up America & other poems

Somebody Blew Up America And Other Poems by Amiri Baraka

The dream songs

The Dream Songs by John Berryman with an introduction by Michael Hofmann

Victory : an island tale

Victory: An Island Tale by Joseph Conrad with in an introduction by John Gray and notes and appendix by Robert Hampson

The enormous room

The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings edited by George James Firmage, an introduction by Susan Cheever, and an afterword by Richard S. Kennedy

The Ariel poems

The Ariel Poems by T.S. Eliot with an note on the text by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue

Mr. Mistoffelees : the Conjuring Cat

Mr. Mistoffelees: The Conjuring Cat by T.S. Eilot and Arthur Robins

Ferlinghetti's greatest poems

Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti edited by Nancy J. Peters

Concluding

Concluding by Henry Green with an introduction by Eudora Welty

Doting

Doting by Henry Green with an introduction by Michael Gorra

Image result for john hawkes travesty

Travesty by John Hawkes

Selected poems, 1966-1987

Selected Poems 1966-1987 by Seamus Heaney

The unfollowing

The Unfollowing by Lyn Hejinian

After the fireworks : three novellas

After The Fireworks: Three Novellas by Aldous Huxley with a forward by Gary Giddins

Christopher and his kind : 1929-1939

Christopher And His Kind 1929-1939 by Christopher Isherwood

Sioc Maidine: Morning Frost.

Morning Frost: Haiku by Jack Kerouac translated by Gabriel Rosenstock

Collected poems

Collected Poems by Galway Kinnell with an introduction by Edward Hirsch

The nothing

The Nothing by Hanif Kureishi

New selected poems

New Selected Poems by Robert Lowell edited by Katie Peterson

Waste of timelessness and other early stories

Waste Of Timelessness And Other Early Stories by Anais Nin with a foreword by Gunther Stuhlmann and an introduction by Allison Pease

A subject of scandal and concern ; &, Almost a vision

A Subject Of Scandal And Concern & Almost A Vision by John Osborne

Image result for The letters of Sylvia Plath / edited by Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil.

The Letters Of Sylvia Plath Volume 1: 1940-1956 edited by Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil

Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys with an introduction by Edwidge Danticat

Once and for all : the best of Delmore Schwartz

Once and For All: The Best Of Delmore Schwartz edited by Craig Morgan and an introduction by John Ashbery

Neil Simon's Musical fools

Neil Simon’s Musical Fools by Neil Simon, Phil Swann, and Ron West

The collected poems of Wallace Stevens

The Collected Poems Of Wallace Stevens (The Corrected Edition) edited by John N. Serio and Chris Beyers

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard with a new preface by the Author

Peter Taylor : complete stories 1938-1959

The Complete Stories: 1938-1959 by Peter Taylor edited by Ann Beattie

Peter Taylor : complete stories 1960-1992

The Complete Stories: 1960-1992 by Peter Taylor edited by Ann Beattie

Historians on history : readings

Historians On History (3rd Edition) edited by John Tosh

The complete works of Evelyn WaughnVol. 19, A little learning

The Complete Works Of Evelyn Waugh Volume 19: A Little Learning edited by John Howard Wilson and Barbara Cooke

Ann Veronica : a modern romance

Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells edited by Carey J. Synder

The invisible man

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells edited with an introduction by Matthew Beaumont

The essential W.S. Merwin

The Essential W.S. Merwin edited by Michael Wiegers

Summer

Summer by Edith Wharton edited with an introduction and notes by Laura Rattray

Lanford Wilson : early stories, sketches, and poems

Lanford Wilson: Early Stories, Sketches, And Poems edited by David A. Crespy with an afterword by Marshall W. Mason

The wild swans at Coole (1919) : a facsimile edition

The Wild Swans At Coole: A Facsimile Edition by W.B. Yeats with an introduction and notes by George Bornstein

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