The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Category: Announcements

Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries announces new annual fellowships, linking and supporting scholars working with material in SCUA’s collections. For the first time, fellowships are being offered for graduate students, early career professionals, and independent scholars interested in the spiritual dimensions of social change; the history of work, labor, and industry; and the value of human life. These new fellowships join the well-established W. E. B. Du Bois Research Fellowship and expand the breadth of subjects for researchers to delve into during short-term residential research appointments.

The Brother David Steindl-Rast Fellowship supports research that engages with the spiritual dimensions of social change. Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, scholar, writer, and social activist, has shared messages of peace, interfaith dialogue, social justice, and environmental stewardship worldwide for more than 50 years.

Eligibility: Graduate students and early career professionals (within five years of receipt of a PhD). Independent scholars and those outside of academia are strongly encouraged to apply.

Kenneth R. Feinberg Fellowships: Two annual fellowshipssupport research that touches on the theme of the value of human life or otherwise resonates with the legacy of Kenneth R. Feinberg. One of the most prominent and dedicated attorneys of our time, Feinberg has assumed the role of mediator in a number of high-profile complex legal disputes, often in the aftermath of public tragedies. Frequently these cases necessitate determining compensation to victims and survivors and also confronting the very question of the value of human life.

Eligibility: Graduate students and early career professionals (within five years of receipt of a PhD).

The John William Bennett Fellowship supports research in and writing on the history of labor, work, and industry, honoring the legacy of labor historian and activist John William Bennett. A labor historian, Bennett ’52 researched the history of the labor movement since his days as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst. A born collector, he began accumulating memorabilia associated with unions, drawn to their potential as a visual record of labor iconography and self-representation.

Eligibility: Graduate students and early career professionals (within five years of receipt of a PhD). Proposals by labor historians without academic affiliation will also be considered.

The Esperantic Studies Foundation Fellowship supports research in the history and culture of planned languages, with a strong emphasis on Esperanto and the Esperanto movement.

Eligibility: Graduate students and early career professionals (within five years of receipt of a PhD).

The Du Bois Research Fellowships are managed by SCUA’s partner, the W. E. B. Du Bois Center. For information and to apply, visit the Du Bois Center’s website.

Application Process

The 2020 Fellowship Application is due on March 6, 2020; awards will be announced on April 1. Fellows will be selected according to the scholarly merit of their proposal as judged by the committee of reviewers; demonstrated need to use SCUA’s holdings; and fit to the particular fellowship program.

SCUA uses a single, online-only application process for all fellowship programs. A completed applicant’s packet must include:

  • A brief biographical statement of not more than 350 words with a description of your larger research agenda to be used for publicity purposes
  • An overview of the proposed project not to exceed three pages
  • A current resume or CV
  • One confidential letter of reference

The UMass Amherst Libraries are partnering with the Center for Educational Assessment at the College of Education to publish Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation (PARE) through ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst, the digital repository for the scholarly output for the campus. Established as an open access journal in 1999 by Lawrence Rudner and William Schafer, PARE will remain open access with no article processing charges for authors. Volumes 1 through 24 have been migrated to ScholarWorks, and new issues will be published starting in January, 2020.

PARE is an online journal that provides access to refereed articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, and evaluation. PARE is committed to promoting fairness and equity in educational and psychological measurement and evaluation. Its editors are seeking papers that foster and support the development of high quality, inclusive assessments and assessment practices.

April Zenisky, associate research professor and director of computer-based testing initiatives for the Center for Educational Assessment, and Lisa Keller, associate professor and assistant director of the Center for Educational Assessment, will be the new co-editors.

One unique feature of PARE is that graduate students in the Research in Educational Measurement and Psychometrics program in the College of Education will be included in the peer review process; their names will be listed in the graduate student editorial board upon receiving journal review certification by Zenisky and Keller. Each journal submission will then be reviewed by one of these students as well as two or more professionals, drawn from either the editorial board or ad hoc reviewers.

The UMass Amherst Libraries are committed to supporting our colleagues at other institutions and to working with them to transform the way libraries license and provide access to scholarly content. The Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communications is a leading advocate for changes in the scholarly communications process, spearheading the adoption by UMass Faculty Senate of the University Open Access Policy in 2016.  

The UMass Amherst Libraries are pleased to endorse the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, a set of principles to guide library engagement with vendors and publishers, with the goal of advancing an open, equitable, and accessible scholarly ecosystem. The UMass Amherst Libraries are fully engaged in this process and espouse many of the principles set forth in the MIT Framework.  

UMass Amherst Libraries will continue to work with our national and international colleagues as well as vendors, publishers, and learned societies, to create and advocate for change in the scholarly communications system. As mindful stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us by the campus and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we will seek innovative and creative ways to provide access to needed resources in the most affordable and accessible way possible. 

Endorsed October 21, 2019 by the University Libraries Administration Team: Simon Neame, Dean of Libraries; Steve Bischof, Associate Dean for Library Technology; Leslie Button, Associate Dean for Research and Learning; Terry Carroll, Director for Administrative Services; Sally Krash, Associate Dean for Content and Discovery; Carol Connare, Director of Communication; and Marilyn Billings, Advisor to the Dean of Libraries on Scholarly Communication.

 

The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the launch of Translat Library, a new journal based at UMass Amherst and published through ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst in collaboration with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain. The journal is devoted to the literary culture of Europe from 1300 to 1600, with an emphasis on vernacular translations, the Romance letters, and the Latin tradition.

Translat Library stems from a long-term project led by a group of researchers based at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The project, which has received funding from the Spanish government since 2006, culminated in 2018 with the publication of a monograph as well as a database on medieval Catalan translations (Translat is the medieval Catalan word for both ‘translation’ and ‘copy’).

Inspired by the sections of notes and manuscript excerpts that were common in 19th century journals, the journal aims to offer a venue for research based on archival and documentary work. It seeks to publish short articles documenting the identification of a manuscript or incunable, the source of a text, archival information on an author or work, the paratexts of a rare edition, the complete or excerpted edition of an unpublished text, and published but neglected text, among other topics.

Albert Lloret, Associate Professor and Director of Spanish and Catalan Studies at UMass Amherst, serves as general editor of the journal, together with Barcelona Professor Alejandro Coroleu. The Editorial Board is composed of a roster of scholars from the UK, Italy, Spain, and the U.S.

The W. E. B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst Libraries has been selected for the 2019 Best of Amherst Award in the Education Center category by the Amherst Award Program.

Each year, the Amherst Award Program identifies companies and places that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These nominees enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community and help make the Amherst area a great place to live, work, and play.

The Amherst Award Program is an annual awards program established to honor the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Amherst area. The organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, and other business advertising and marketing groups. Its mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst today announced the acquisition of the papers of Daniel Ellsberg, one of the nation’s foremost political activists and whistleblowers. Following a decade as a high-level government official, researcher and consultant, Ellsberg distributed the top-secret Pentagon Papers in 1971, exposing decades of deceit by American policymakers during the Vietnam War.

The life work of Ellsberg, 88, as documented in an extraordinary collection of papers, annotated books and photographs, will be managed and made available to scholars and the public by Special Collections and University Archives at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst. Ellsberg, who holds a Ph.D. in economics and remains active as a lecturer and writer, will join the university community as a Distinguished Researcher at the Du Bois Library and as a Distinguished Research Fellow at the university’s Political Economy Research Institute (PERI).

A sampling of the collection can be viewed here. Official news release here.

The UMass Amherst Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (DSC) is assisting Eric Poehler, associate professor of classics at UMass Amherst, in completing the Pompeii Artistic Landscape Project (PALP), for which he received a $245,000 grant from the Getty Foundation.

The project is an online resource of images documenting existing artwork, such as frescoes and mosaics, in Pompeii, Italy. Embedded within these images are various types of metadata—data that provides information about other data—that describe the artwork as well as their locations in Pompeii, allowing scholars to search the database more easily and study the pieces within their architectural contexts.

The DSC is supporting this project by reviewing more than 150,000 images provided by Pompeii in Pictures and adding the metadata to them from Linked Open Data (LOD) resourced: publicly available, standardized data and terminology that interlinks with other data on the web to make searching easier.

“Contributing to the Pompeii Artistic Landscape Project really builds on the Digital Scholarship Center’s expertise with images,” says Brian Shelburne, director of the DSC. “It also allows us to develop new skills that we will use to support future projects by our students and faculty.”

The UMass Amherst Libraries, along with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Nevada-Reno, were recently awarded a $241,845 National Leadership Project Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to fund the development of an immersion program to train faculty and instructors on how to integrate the use of makerspaces, dedicated spaces with technological resources and equipment for project-based collaboration, into their courses.

The impetus for designing such a program comes from the results of a previous IMLS grant-funded pilot study entitled “Maker Literacies and the Undergraduate Curriculum,” which explored the impacts of academic library makerspaces on undergraduate student learning. The UMass Amherst Libraries were chosen by UTA and the University of Nevada-Reno as one of four additional university partners to participate in that study because of the Libraries’ Digital Media Lab (DML), a cross-disciplinary makerspace in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library open to all UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff, regardless of major or department.

The results of the pilot study demonstrated that academic makerspace instructors need training and support in order to collaborate successfully with faculty on designing makerspace lesson plans and assessing maker literacies. Developing the immersion program and making it openly accessible online would fill this need at both a community and national level with the potential to be built on and scaled as new makerspace practices emerge.

“This grant gives us resources to take what we learned about maker literacies and develop a curriculum for educators,” says Sarah Hutton, head of Student Success and Engagement for the Libraries. “We’re building a community of maker-educators across a wide spectrum that can continue to learn from and engage with each other.”

Sarah Hutton presenting at Creative Commons Global Summit. Photo courtesy of Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY 2.0.

UMass Amherst Libraries’ Sarah Hutton, head of undergraduate teaching and learning, and Lisa Di Valentino, law and public policy librarian, recently presented at the 2019 Creative Commons Global Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where nearly 400 attendees gathered to discuss ways to make knowledge sharing more open and accessible.

Their topic, “Students’ Perception of Their Self-Efficacy in the Creation of Open Access Digital Learning Objects,” explored what students in Associate Professor Paul Musgrave’s Experimental Honors Course, Politics at the End of the World (POLSCI 390EW), thought about their own abilities to complete the class’s final group projects. Students were asked to create podcasts discussing political considerations in various “end of the world” scenarios, with the understanding that the projects would be made freely available online, including to students taking this course in the future.

“When you think about what typically motivates students to learn, grades are a common or typical concern,” says Hutton. “We wanted to look at other areas for motivation, such as knowing that their scholarship would be used to teach future students, that it would be freely available to scholars across the globe, and that other scholars could use and adapt it.”

Upon surveying the class, Hutton and Di Valentino discovered that, with those added factors propelling their work, students had “greater than 70 percent confidence in their capabilities across all categories,” including identifying key course concepts and applying them to their own research and conclusions.

Hutton, who learned about the course through the Commonwealth Honors College Curriculum Council, and Di Valentino were drawn to this project as an opportunity for the Libraries to work with, and learn from, Musgrave’s students. “This assignment clearly aligned with several facets of collaboration within the Libraries,” Hutton explains, “including digital media production for which we provide support in the Libraries’ Digital Media Lab; our advocacy for open access publishing, creative commons licensing; and teaching students about the importance of understanding their role in the global scholarship landscape.” Additionally, with her subject specialization in public policy, government, and legal studies, Di Valentino provided key instruction and support regarding attribution licensing and open scholarship tailored to the discipline of the course.

“The ultimate goal,” Di Valentino says, “is to support students both as learners and scholars.”

Final projects are available here for listening.

 

 Adam Quirós, Digital Media Lab Desk Supervisor at the UMass Amherst Libraries, recently won two Telly Awards for his films: gold in general-promotional for Profile of a Brewer: Wunderkammer Bier and bronze in craft-promotional for Making the Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot.

Since 1979, the Telly Awards have honored "excellence in local, regional and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming added soon after. With the recent evolution and rise of digital video (web series, VR, 360 and beyond), the Telly Awards today also reflects and celebrates this exciting new era of the moving image on and offline.

The Telly Awards annually showcases the best work created within television and across video, for all screens. Receiving over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents, Telly Award winners represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world."