Summer reading: Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy
J.D. Vance
New York: Harper, 2016

Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir of JD Vance growing up in Middletown, Ohio—a town that has been through its share of economic transformations. After World War II, Middletown was a booming factory town with a thriving downtown, attracting residents from Kentucky’s Hill Country seeking a better life from the coal mines of Appalachia. By the time Vance was born, the factory had closed along with many downtown stores, leaving its residents in a state of poverty and social isolation. Hillbilly Elegy is the story of one family’s journey through the boom and bust cycles of Middletown. Along the way, it provides some insights into the way residents of Rust Belt towns (or at least one family) think about politics, work, education, and community and why many of them bought into the promises of Donald Trump in 2016.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

HathiTrust Research Center UnCamp 2018

HathiTrust Research CenterThe UC Berkeley Libraries are excited to host the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) UnCamp, on January 25-26, 2018.

HTRC UnCamp 2018 aims to bring together researchers, developers, instructors, librarians, and other information professionals to showcase innovative research, participate in hands-on coding and demonstration sessions, and build community around themes of digital libraries, metadata, copyright, digital humanities,  computational text analysis, and digital pedagogy. The UnCamp will discuss topics relevant to understanding and utilizing the HathiTrust Digital Library, including:

  • Demystifying HathiTrust metadata
  • Fair use, copyright, and non-consumptive research
  • HathiTrust development, news, and updates
  • Digital pedagogy and text analysis curricula
  • Scholarly tools and methods for text analysis
  • Corpus creation

Register now for UnCamp

  • Early registration price of $100 through November 29, 2017.
  • Standard price of $150 begins on November 30, 2017.

HTRC UnCamp 2018 Keynote Speakers

HTRC is excited to welcome keynote speakers Elizabeth Lorang, David Mimno and Leen-Kiat Soh!

Dr. Lorang and Dr. Soh will be presenting about their Image Analysis for Archival Discovery (Aida) project, supported by National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) and Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Dr. Mimno will be discussing his text analysis work utilizing HathiTrust and HTRC data.

Call for Proposals: Priority Deadline of October 15

HTRC continues to accept proposals for panel presentations, lightning talks, and posters (more information on the CFP). These may address any aspect of digital text collections, computational text analysis, copyright and open access, digital pedagogy, and related topics, especially as these relate to the HTRC.

Proposals should be submitted through EasyChair:

  1. Please create an account at EasyChair if you do not have one already and then
  2. Submit your HTRC UnCamp proposal here

UnCamp Pre-conferences

The morning of January 25 will feature several pre-conference activities, free for HTRC UnCamp registrants, including:

  • HTRC Crash Course: What Is It and What Can I Do with It?
  • Mastering Metadata
  • Text Analysis FUN!damentals: Methods, Approaches, Tools and Techniques
  • Working with Restricted Collections: Technologies and User and Library Needs

About the HathiTrust Research Center and the HTRC UnCamp

The HTRC is a collaborative research center launched jointly by Indiana University and the University of Illinois, along with the HathiTrust Digital Library, to help meet the technical challenges of dealing with massive amounts of digital text that researchers face by developing cutting-edge software tools and cyberinfrastructure to enable advanced computational access to the growing digital record of human knowledge.

HTRC UnCamp 2018 is being organized with partners at Indiana University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Illinois, HathiTrust Digital Library, and the California Digital Library. The UnCamp will be hosted by the UC Berkeley Libraries in partnership with the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS), the D-Lab, and the Academic Innovation Studio (AIS).

October: New Books in Art History

You can find these titles and other recent acquisitions on the Art History and Classics Library’s New Book Shelf.

Sister Wendy's grand tour : discovering Europe's great art :  Wendy Beckett.
Sister Wendy’s grand tour : discovering Europe’s great art / Wendy Beckett.  
Nina Katchadourian : curiouser
Nina Katchadourian : curiouser


Beyond wilderness : Chua Chye Teck.
Beyond wilderness / Chua Chye Teck. 
Il Portale dello Zodiaco alla Sacra di San Michele della Chiusa e l'opera alchemica del Maestro Nicholaus : Cattedrale di Ferrara, Duomo di Verona, Basilica di San Zeno a Verona, Cattedrale di Piacenza / Alessandro Turinetti di Priero.
Il Portale dello Zodiaco alla Sacra di San Michele della Chiusa e l’opera alchemica del Maestro Nicholaus.


Picasso primitif / sous la direction d'Yves Le Fur.
Picasso primitif / sous la direction d’Yves Le Fur.

Kazuo Ishiguro’s Books Disappear from Library Bookshelves

A mystery is afoot at the Library — British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s books are vanishing from library bookshelves in record time. Our best guess is that today more than one Berkeley literary fan decided it was time to brew some tea and settle in for a reread (and rewatch?) of Remains of the Day after this tweet announced Ishiguro as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Ishiguro quipped, “I do a very good Bob Dylan impersonation!”)


Survival by Design: A Panel Discussion on Natural Restoration, Vernacular Architecture, and Ecocities


Three books for the ENVI book talkTuesday, October 24, 7-8:30pm
210 Wurster Hall

Hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme heat and climate change necessitate positive visions. Three thinkers will discuss their work in environmental design, architecture and urban planning.

Mark Rauzon is the author of Isles of Amnesia: The History, Geography, and Restoration of America’s Forgotten Pacific Islands and Isles of Refuge. As a biologist he has worked in the field of island restoration, traveling throughout the American Insular Pacific. He will talk about the latest novel habitats he’s designing for cormorants on the new Bay Bridge and Bay Area support for wild birds.

Randolph Langenbach authored Don’t Tear It Down! Preserving the Earthquake Resistant Vernacular Architecture of Kashmir in 2005. This book makes the case for preserving earthquake resistant traditional architecture. He will elaborate the benefits and importance of wood construction: techniques for safety and esthetic harmony.

Richard Register is author of Ecocity Berkeley, Ecocities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature, and World Rescue: An Economics Built on What We Build. He explores how cities and regions might be designed for harmony with nature. His work is currently on display the Environmental Design Library exhibition cases.

In conjunction with the Ecocity Berkeley Exhibit (on display until December 15th).

Workshop: Scrivener — Software for Writers

Scrivener: Software for Writers

Scrivener: Software for Writers Workshop
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 4:00-5:30pm
305 Wurster Hall, College of Environmental Design Library, UC Berkeley

Want a better way to tackle your long writing project? Scrivener can help! Scrivener is a software program that breaks down your writing into manageable “chunks” and keeps all of your research, brainstorming, and writing in a single conceptual workspace. Use Scrivener for your thesis, dissertation, book project, or novel. Read more about Scrivener.

Scrivener Interface

A first-of-its-kind look at Chinese overseas treasures, scholarship

UC Berkeley's Chinese American archives, including photos, manuscripts and artwork, such as the piece shown here, is one of the largest in North America. (Image courtesy of The Bancroft Library, Chinese in California Collection. BANC PIC 1986.015:73--PIC)
The UC Berkeley Library’s collections include photographs, manuscripts, prints, and artwork, such as the piece shown here, of the Chinese in California and the American West. (Image courtesy of The Bancroft Library, Chinese in California Collection. BANC PIC 1986.015:73–PIC)

To trace the story of Asian American studies, you must go back to the 1960s. And any story about the genesis of the discipline would be incomplete without Ling-Chi Wang.

He was there from the beginning: In the late ’60s, amid student protests demanding diverse representation in academic programs, Wang helped establish the disciplines of Asian studies and ethnic studies at UC Berkeley.

Now a professor emeritus at UC Berkeley, Wang will deliver the keynote address Thursday at the Chinese Overseas Symposium, a first-of-its kind event focusing on UC Berkeley-oriented Chinese overseas scholarship and curatorship for an international audience.

‘Transforming American history’

With three other graduate students, Wang taught the first course in Asian American studies at UC Berkeley, in the winter quarter of 1969. Later that same year — and at the same time — the very first ethnic studies programs were born at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State. They were unlike anything the country had seen.

“Berkeley can justifiably be proud of its role in transforming American history and identity and making interdisciplinary American studies inclusive,” said Wang, who retired in 2006.

In just two years, in 2019, Berkeley’s Asian American studies program (now called Asian American and Asian diaspora studies) is marking its 50th anniversary — a momentous occasion for which Wang is involved with fundraising efforts.

“We have a proud legacy upon which we can build our future and engage the nation in the study of race and gender and in global diaspora studies,” he said. “We need to invest and change our priorities if we are to lead.”

‘Best of our highlights’

The event Thursday aims to honor that legacy — and to “sow the seeds of good will,” according to symposium co-chair Virginia Shih — while showcasing the Library’s world-class collections. The free, daylong event is a prelude of sorts to a conference Friday in San Francisco, called “This Land Is Our Land: Chinese Pluralities Through the Americas.”

And it’s a true collaboration, featuring an interdisciplinary group of speakers that includes librarians and professors alike.

“One of the exciting things about Chinese overseas is it spans the whole world,” said symposium co-chair Sine Hwang Jensen, who serves as Asian American studies and comparative ethnic studies librarian at UC Berkeley. “That’s why the perspectives that everyone brings — and we bring — contribute something unique to the topic.”

The Chinese Overseas Symposium's logo.
The Chinese Overseas Symposium’s logo

Harvey Dong, for example — one of the featured speakers — participated in the student strike in 1969 that led to the creation of ethnic studies and Asian American studies and will bring this perspective to the symposium in his talk about how the rediscovery of early Chinese American history has influenced generations of students. And Professor Emeritus Wang will talk about the past, present, and future of Chinese American studies at UC Berkeley and beyond.

In the afternoon, visitors will get a taste of what the UC Berkeley Library has to offer. The tours stop at four libraries — The Bancroft Library, the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, the South/Southeast Asia Library, and the Ethnic Studies Library, which boasts one of the largest Chinese American collections in North America. Tours will highlight the Library’s wide range of materials, including photographs, manuscripts, prints, and paintings documenting the experience of the Chinese in California and the American West, as well as materials from the vast collection of film critic and historian Paul Fonoroff — which is the largest Chinese film studies collection in North America — among other treasures.

“(The event) gives the people the best of our highlights — in one day,” said Shih, librarian for the Southeast Asia collections.

A relevant occasion

The symposium’s organizers hope that showcasing the Library’s resources will encourage scholars to take advantage of the materials — and perhaps even inspire scholarly collaborations.

But it comes a time when the country is in a state of deep division, with questions of identity and inclusion rising to prominence.

“Where we’re at politically, (the event) is more essential,” said symposium co-chair Jensen. “We’re having a national conversation about belonging.”

“It’s very relevant today,” she said.

Admission is free, and registration is closed, but those who show up will not be turned away, as space allows.

For details, including a schedule, go to the Chinese Overseas Symposium’s website.

Hadley Roff: A Life in Politics, Government and Public Service

Photograph of Hadley RoffNow available: Hadley Roff: A Life in Politics, Government and Public Service Oral History Transcript with video excerpts below. Hadley Roff (1931-2016) was a top aid and advisor to four San Francisco mayors from 1967 to 1992: Joseph Alioto, Dianne Feinstein, Art Agnos and Frank Jordan. He attended Stanford University from 1950 to 1954 where he was editor of the Stanford Daily. From 1957 to 1964 he was a night beat reporter for the S.F. News. He became a vocal advocate for firefighter safety and was beloved by the San Francisco Fire Department, serving on the Fire Commission beginning in 1995. In these interviews, Roff recalls the turbulence in San Francisco in the 1970s and 1980s: Harvey Milk’s and George Moscone’s assassinations in 1978, Jonestown, the early years of the AIDS crisis. He recalls events on the national stage as they played out in San Francisco: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and Watergate, among others. In 1992 Roff was press secretary for Dianne Feinstein’s senatorial campaign, and head of her California senate staff office from 1992 to 1995.

SAGE Research Methods

The UC Libraries now subscribe to SAGE Research Methods, a significant online collection of books, articles, and data tools related to qualitative and quantitative research methods in the social sciences. Some highlights: 

Browse resources in a number of disciplines in the social sciences including Anthropology, Communication and Media Studies, Economics,  Education, Political Sciences and International Relations, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, and more. 

For more on how to search SAGE Research Methods, check out this Research Guide. (Also, see the Public Health Library blog on this same topic.)


Summer reading: Dark Matters

Dark Matters

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness
Simone Browne
Durham: Duke University Press, 2015

Dark Matters is a fascinating book that deals with the way modern surveillance practices–ranging from CCTVs to facial recognition programming to airport security–have been formed through racial biases and the policing of Black life. Rooted in historical methods of surveillance and connecting to modern manifestations, it deals with the consequences of racially-motivated surveillance. It’s a really interesting and interdisciplinary combination of social theory, history, technology, and even pop culture.

I found out about this book as part of a connector course, Data and Ethics, taken along with Data 8, Foundations of Data Science. As data collection and surveillance practices have become intensely enmeshed into our daily lives, this is an important text to consider. Dark Matters is really compelling in how it situates technology in the scope of current, and historical, social and racial issues in modern America.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

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