We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2021-2022 library writing and research awards. Every year the Duke University Libraries run a series of essay contests recognizing the original research and writing of Duke students and encouraging the use of library resources. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
Thang Lian for “Kan i ton than lai (We will meet again): A Lai Mi Family Oral History”
Tina Xia for “Waiting to be seen”
Join Us at the Awards Reception!
We will be celebrating our winners and their achievements at a special awards reception coinciding with Duke Family Weekend. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients.
The Water Defenders tells the story of courageous El Salvadorans who fought together to combat the exploitation of their country’s natural resources. As the writers note, while this story is about El Salvador, as importantly, it is “also about how global corporations—be they Big Gold or Big Pharma or Big Tobacco or Big Oil or Big Banks—move into poorer communities in countries all over the world.”
Broad and Cavanagh will accept the award and talk about their work at a virtual event on Tuesday, February 22, at 5:00 pm EST.
Robin Kirk, chair of the selection committee and co-director of the Duke Human Rights Center, noted that the book is both timely and representative of long-standing conflict around natural resources in Latin America. “Since Europeans first began exploiting the region’s wealth, native populations have fought back,” Kirk said. “But rarely have we been so well and intricately guided on how these fights take shape in villages and towns that rarely make the news. It is there, to paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, that human rights takes shape and gains real power to make positive change.”
The judges were unanimous in their praise. Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist at Duke’s Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, noted:
Broad and Cavanagh address how international global capital, particularly Big Mining, connects climate change and human rights in its pursuit of profit extraction at the cost of local communities. The authors tell this story by focusing in on a singular set of communities in El Salvador and the individual lives impacted by these vast processes. I liked how the authors historically situated the current fight for clean land and water as an extension of the long human rights struggles in Central America, and how those struggles created a very capable indigenous human rights movement. I was particularly drawn to the autochthonous nature of the activism that confronted the insurgent mining interests. The book underscores the agency of these activists, their intelligence and sophisticated understanding of the issues confronting their communities, as well as their agile deployment of human rights strategies to defend their communities.
Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, a senior legal adviser to Human Rights Watch and a former Méndez winner, noted that “This is an inspiring story about how people with limited resources were able to organize and protect their community. It’s well told, and highly relevant to current events, including protest movements over mining and environmental harm throughout the region.”
For Prof. Kirsten Weld, also a former Méndez winner and professor of history at Harvard University, the story was important and “told with brio, very readable and inspiring. It engages the politics of extractivism in a way that resonates beyond the Salvadoran case.”
When notified of the award, Broad and Cavanagh stated, “We are deeply honored by this Award which we accept in the names of the hundreds of environmental defenders who are murdered each year around the world for fighting for the most basic of human rights. So too are we honored by the fact that the Award is named for the venerable human right champion, Juan Méndez. May the victories of the Salvadoran water defenders inspire us all to rethink the possible.”
First awarded in 2008, the Méndez Human Rights Book Award honors the best current non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy, and social justice in contemporary Latin America. The books are evaluated by a panel of expert judges drawn from academia, journalism, human rights, and public policy circles.
We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2020-2021 library writing and research awards. Every year the Duke University Libraries run a series of essay contests recognizing the original research and writing of Duke students and encouraging the use of library resources. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
The event “Research as Process: An Undergraduate Research Showcase,” originally planned for April 20, was created by staff of the Duke University Libraries to highlight the exceptional work of undergraduate researchers who utilized library services and/or resources in a project, paper, or other academic work. The showcase put emphasis not necessarily on the impressive products of the nominees’ efforts, but the process of developing their research questions, exploring the existing sources and modifying their inquiry based on them, and learning best practices for academic research methods.
Although the in-person event was unable to take place, we recognize the noteworthy achievement of the nominees and their dedication to academic rigor and furthering knowledge. Conducting a large-scale research project requires developing the ability to effectively to search for and evaluate sources, work that takes time and no small measure of effort.
We extend our congratulations to:
Caroline del Real, nominated by Dr. Phillip Stillman for her essay “The Great God Pan and the Horror of the Hybrid” (English)
Katherine Owensby, nominated by Prof. Andrew Janiak for her project “Research for Project Vox: Studying Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz” (Philosophy)
Bryan Rusch, nominated by Sean Swanic, Librarian for Middle East and Islamic Studies, for his paper “In the Footsteps of Omar Ibn Sayyid: Materials Culture and Folklore” (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies)
Alex Damian, nominated by Prof. Lenhard Ng for his senior thesis “Theoretical Guarantees for Signal Recovery” (Mathematics)
Nominations are now open for a new undergraduate invited speaker event featuring students who have shown excellence in using the Libraries’ materials as part of their coursework, honors thesis, or other capstone project. Nominated students may be invited to present about the process of conducting their research at the event “Research as Process: An Undergraduate Research Showcase.”
Participants will be selected from a variety of disciplines, featuring research conducted on varied topics and with different methods (from data visualization to papers to websites), all of which have unique processes for research.
Nominees must have conducted their research between the Spring 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters for consideration.
To nominate a student, faculty must submit a letter of support on the student’s behalf.
Every year the Duke University Libraries run a series of essay contests recognizing the original research of Duke students and encouraging the use of library resources. We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2018-2019 library writing and research awards.
Valerie Muensterman for “Did You Forget Your Name?”
Caroline Waring for “The Roof”
Blaire Zhang for “Sapiens”
Join Us at the Awards Reception!
We will be celebrating our winners and their achievements at a special awards reception coinciding with Duke Family Weekend. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients.
Guest post by Sarah Park, Librarian for Engineering and Computer Science, and Ciara Healy, Librarian for Psychology & Neuroscience, Mathematics, and Physics.
This spring, the Duke Libraries’ Natural Science and Engineering Group worked with the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering to invite Ruth Wolfish to give a presentation for Duke students. Wolfish is a trainer from IEEE, the world’s largest professional association in Electrical Engineering, Electronics, and Computer Engineering. Her presentation was titled, “How to Write a Technical Paper for Publication with IEEE.” The event aimed to answer questions such as:
How to select an appropriate IEEE periodical or conference, organize your manuscript, and work through peer review
How to structure quality work to improve their chances of being accepted
How to avoid common mistakes and ethical lapse that will prevent your manuscript from being accepted
The information was eye-opening for many of the students in attendance. Ms. Wolfish offered tips on how to scope a research paper submission, as well as emphasizing how to demonstrate “significant difference” between posters, conference papers, and journal articles. Students and faculty engaged in lively discussions and shared their own research publishing experiences.
Following the events, we visited workshop attendee Victoria Nneji, a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Victoria is a Durham native and was a member of the Duke Libraries Graduate Student Advisory Board. She graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham and finished her undergraduate work at Columbia University in New York City before earning her masters degrees and joining Duke’s Ph.D. program. During our tour of the Duke Robotics Lab, Victoria talked about her life-long love of libraries. Libraries have also been instrumental to her research accomplishments.
Speaking of her own publishing experience, Victoria explained that her first manuscript to an IEEE journal took over a year from the submission to acceptance. Victoria emphasizes the need for reaching out and proactively communicating with the journal and incorporating reviewer comments.
We asked if she had advice for incoming engineering graduate students, and she did. Here’s what Victoria advised: work with a team to publish; connect with your research advisor, a postdoc or a professor and learn to collaborate by writing drafts; and receive feedback and take ownership of your work. Given that faculty and postdocs are often busy and have little time for carrying the paper forward, students should expect to take the initiative, even following up with your contact at the journal.
In addition, Victoria suggests:
Learn how to receive feedback (maybe come back to it in a day or two) and integrate the reviewer’s comments to improve revisions.
Communicate in a way that is accessible to those who are not as close to your research as you are — this grows your potential audience of people from different fields around the world.
Publish early and often — this gives you a sense of how your research fits into the broader, ever-developing science community. It also helps others develop their research.
Victoria successfully defended her dissertation and is graduating this May. She will stay connected to Duke Libraries as an alum and is looking forward to the Durham Public Library’s downtown branch, where she began volunteering in 2002, reopening in the summer of 2020.
There Are No Dead Here is a deep dive into key human rights cases that exposed the murderous nexus between right-wing paramilitaries, drug lords, and Colombia’s military and political establishment. Through dogged reporting, in part as a Human Rights Watch researcher, McFarland unravels the links that led to the murders of Colombian rights investigators by powerful interests that reached as high as military leadership and even the Colombian presidency.
When notified of the award, McFarland stated, “It was a joy and privilege for me to tell the stories of some of the many Colombians who stand up for truth and justice every day. So it’s tremendously satisfying that those stories are now getting the recognition they so deserve, thanks to the Mendez Award, which itself is named after a brave fighter for human rights.”
First awarded in 2008, the Méndez Human Rights Book Award honors the best current, fiction or non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy, and social justice in contemporary Latin America. The books are evaluated by a panel of expert judges drawn from academia, journalism, and public policy circles.
“Colombia is often portrayed as a place where violence is endemic and unstoppable,” said Robin Kirk, the Committee Chair and co-director of the Duke Human Rights Center@the Franklin Humanities Institute, “McFarland’s riveting story shows that the truth is much more complex. Again and again, Colombians step up to fight for justice even though they face daunting odds. Their story is well told in her astonishing book.”
Other judges include Holly Ackerman, Librarian for Latin American, Iberian and Latino/a Studies at Duke University Libraries, who commented, “McFarland’s’ book highlights a fundamental tool in the struggle for justice — people who will not look away. The determination and sacrifice of three individuals moved Colombia toward historical truth and a still-fragile peace. There Are No Dead Here demonstrates a clear linkage between individual courage and the collective awareness that creates the possibility for justice to triumph over impunity.”
James Chappel, Hunt Assistant Professor of History at Duke University, also offered praise: “McFarland does a wonderful job contextualizing the stories of these human rights defenders. As we focus so incessantly on the structure of unequal neoliberal globalization, human rights progress depends on incredibly brave men and women on the front lines.”
Other judges include Kia Caldwell, Associate Professor of African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill; and Kirsten Weld, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of History at Harvard University.
About the Author
Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno is an activist, writer, and lawyer. As the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Maria is at the helm of the leading organization in the U.S. fighting to end the war on drugs in the United States and beyond.
Previously, Maria held several positions at Human Rights Watch, including as co-director of its U.S. Program, guiding the organization’s work on U.S. criminal justice, immigration, and national security policy; and as deputy Washington director, working on a broad range of U.S. foreign policy issues. She started her career there as the organization’s senior Americas researcher, covering Colombia’s internal armed conflict and working on the extradition and trial of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.
Maria grew up in Lima, Peru, and now lives in Brooklyn.
Previous Méndez Award Recipients
2017 – Matt Eisenbrandt, Assassination of a Saint, The Plot to Murder Óscar Romero and the Quest to Bring His Killers to Justice
2016 – Chad Broughton, Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities
2015 – Kirsten Weld, Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala
2014 – Oscar Martínez, The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail
2013 – Jonathan M. Katz, The Big Truck That Went By: How The World Came To Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster
2012 – Héctor Abad, Oblivion: A Memoir
2011 – Kathryn Sikkink, The Justice Cascade
2010 – Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes, with Jorge Enrique Botero, Hostage Nation
2009 – Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz, The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet
2008 – Francisco Goldman, Who Killed the Bishop: The Art of Political Murder
Scroll down to the Comments section for the latest updates!
Guest post by Holly Ackerman, Head of International and Area Studies and Librarian for Latin America, Iberia and Latino/a Studies. This post is in Spanish as well as English. Scroll down for the Spanish version.
The photo below depicts thirty-two distinguished Colombian gentlemen whose individual and collective identities have been lost with the passage of time. We are hoping you can help us restore them. Are they politicians? Club members? Businessmen? Crusading newspaper journalists? Where did they fit in the life of their times? Where do they stand in history?
Take a look at the image made by Jorge Obando Carmona, one of Colombia’s most famous photographers, who specialized in panoramic views. We suspect the photo was taken in the 1930s or ‘40s, but Obando worked in the 1950s as well. He photographed primarily in Medellín and other sites in Antioquia. This photo is labeled Medellín.
The large photo (7.5” x 28.5”) was given to Deborah Jakubs, the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian & Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University, by Rod Ross, who prior to his 2016 retirement was an archivist with the National Archives. Jakubs describes the circumstances of the gift: “I did not know Rod Ross until we crossed paths purely by chance in January 2018 in Armenia, Colombia, at a small hotel. He later wrote and mentioned the mysterious photo, offering it to Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. He reports that his late wife discovered the rolled-up photo in a shoebox with other photos when she cleaned out her parents’ apartment following their deaths.”
Ross’s late wife, Clara Restrepo (1933-2010), was the daughter of Juan María Restrepo Marquez and María Luisa Ramos Restrepo. Juan María was born in Medellín, son of Pedro Restrepo, who served as a minister in the administration of his uncle, President Carlos Restrepo. Young John/Juan spent part of his very early childhood in the presidential palace during the administration of his great uncle. Ross knows nothing further about the photo but has an archivist’s curiosity about these men in suits.
If you recognize one or more of the Antioquia 32, please let us know. By clicking on the “+” symbol, you can enlarge the photos to see each person more clearly.
Send identifying information to Holly Ackerman, Head of International and Area Studies and Librarian for Latin America, Iberia and Latino/a Studies, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As identities are verified, we will update this post.
¡Ayúdenos a identificar a los Antioquia 32!
La foto de abajo es de 32 distinguidos caballeros colombianos cuyas identidades individuales y colectivas se han perdido con el paso del tiempo. Esperamos que nos puedan ayudar a restaurarlas. ¿Son políticos? ¿Miembros de un Club? ¿Periodistas de cruzada? Hombres de negocio? ¿Dónde encajan en la vida de la época? En la historia?
Echa un vistazo a la imagen hecha por Jorge Obando Carmona, uno de los fotógrafos más famosos de Colombia, que se especializó en vistas panorámicas. Sospechamos que la foto fue sacada en la década de 1930 o 1940 pero Obando trabajaba también en los años cincuenta. Hacía fotos sobre todo en Medellín y otros lugares de Antioquia.
Esta foto grande (7.5 por 28.5 pulgadas) fue presentado a Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway Directora y Vice Provost de Bibliotecas en Duke University por Rod Ross, hasta su jubilación en 2016 archivista en el Archivo Nacional de los Estados Unidos. Jakubs describe las circunstancias del regalo: “Yo no lo conocía a Rod Ross hasta encontrarlo por casualidad completa en enero del 2018 en Armenia, Colombia en un pequeño hotel. Más tarde Rod me escribió sobre la foto panorámica, ofreciéndola como regalo a la David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library de Duke University. Me contó que su esposa finada había encontrado la foto arollada en una caja de zapatos con otras fotos cuando limpiaba el departamento de los padres después de sus fallecimientos.”
La esposa finada de Ross, Clara Restrepo (1933-2010), fue hija de Juan Maria Restrepo Marquez y Maria Luisa Ramos Restrepo. Juan María nació en Medellín, hijo de Pedro Restrepo, quien se desempeñó como Ministro de la administración de su tío, el Presidente Carlos Restrepo. Juan pasó parte de su niñez en el palacio presidencial durante el gobierno de su tío abuelo. Ross no sabe nada más acerca de la foto pero tiene la curiosidad de un archivsta sobre estos hombres vestidos de traje.
Si reconoces a uno o más de los 32 de Antioquia, por favor háganoslo saber. Haciendo clic sobre el símbolo “+”, puede ampliar las fotos para ver a cada persona más claramente. Favor de enviar información a Holly Ackerman, jefa del Departamento de Estudios Internacionales y Bibliotecaria para Latinoaméria, Iberia, y Estudios Latino/a, email@example.com Cuando se verifiquen las identidades, actualizaremos este post.
“Working with the Library” is an occasional series of stories highlighting collaborations between librarians and the people around campus whose teaching and research we support.
Dr. Marion Quirici is a Lecturing Fellow in the Thompson Writing Program and a faculty advisor for the Duke Disability Alliance. This semester she is teaching Writing 101: Neurodiversity, Narrative, Activism. Her students are working on projects that fight stigma by educating the public about the social contexts of mental and psychiatric disabilities. Kim Duckett, Head of Research and Instructional Services, has been Marion’s course librarian for three semesters.. She recently asked Marion a few questions about how the library has supported her teaching and research in the area of disability studies.
What are your primary goals for your students working on their neurodiversity activism projects?
The goal is to train students to communicate an impactful message to a broad audience beyond the classroom. Their message should challenge mainstream assumptions and stereotypes about mental disabilities, and generate deeper understanding of the social contexts that make mental differences meaningful. The assignment is flexible in terms of format and medium. Students have a lot of freedom in figuring out what they want to say, how they want to say it, and whom they want to address. Some of their projects may involve more traditional forms of academic writing (articles, blogs, or op-eds), but students can also communicate their message through visual art, film, creative writing, posters, websites, social media campaigns, and dialogic forms of activism such as canvassing and teach-ins. What every project has to do is take the knowledge and skills cultivated in my course and transfer them into real-world situations. Through this assignment, I want students to come to terms with their own power and learn to use their research and writing skills to enact change.
What unique challenges does this assignment present?
Because my courses are situated in the field of disability studies, there are two main challenges that we reckon with as a group when designing these projects. The first is upholding the mantra of the disability rights movement: “nothing about us without us.” In the “disability rights are human rights” conversation, we must center disabled perspectives. While some of my students identify as disabled and incorporate their own experiences into their activism,
the majority identify as nondisabled and neurotypical. It is therefore essential that students rigorously consider the lived experiences of psychiatric consumers, survivors, and ex-patients in order to challenge their own assumptions. In advocacy work and activism, it is important not to place an onus of recovery on the individual. Instead, I ask students to research the social structures and cultural conditions that contribute to the challenges individuals face. To be good allies, students have to resist thinking of “us” and “them” — it’s just “us.”
The second challenge is accessibility. The activism project must be accessible not only to a general audience that is unfamiliar with the neurodiversity paradigm, but also to people with all kinds of disabilities. Students learned to use accessibility software to caption their videos, and create audio descriptions of the visual components of their projects. Some thought about ways to incorporate tactile elements into their artwork, while others created accessible maps and navigational aids to help guide participants to their events. I organized the projects into a website here: tinyurl.com/disabilityart.
How has the library supported your teaching?
The Thompson Writing Program follows a “writing in the disciplines” model, which means that every faculty member designs writing courses within a specific discipline in which they have advanced training and expertise. We each have an assigned course librarian with specialized knowledge of our discipline–you, in my case–who visit our classes once or twice a semester to train students in their research methods. This semester you visited twice: once to discuss non-traditional forms of research for the activism projects, for which students were expected to find first-person perspectives on topics relating to mental health, and a second time to train students to use the library databases to compile and analyze a variety of critical sources for their research papers.
Duke’s librarians have collaborated on a number of resources that are useful for the teaching of writing, which they organized into a “Library 101 Toolkit.” The toolkit contains worksheets that help students choose a topic, consider their audience by identifying stakeholders, and evaluate their sources. My favorite handout is called “Classifying Sources: The BAAM Method.” It outlines four different ways a student might engage with a source in their writing: Background, Artifact, Argument, and Method. I find that having students organize their sources into these categories during the research process helps them structure their papers, and situate their own ideas alongside the work of others.
A really unique way that the library has supported my teaching has been their willingness to provide opportunities for my students to exhibit their work. Last year, the students who created visual art for their activism projects had their work featured on the Campus Club Wall in Perkins Library for a month, thanks to the help of Meg Brown. This year, librarians in Lilly helped one of my students organize a shelf display of recommended reading for Disability Pride Week and contribute a post to the Libraries’ blog.
How about your research?
The Duke Libraries have an online database called “Disability and the Modern World” that I have found useful for browsing for the kinds of resources I would not have known to search for, including periodicals, film and television sources, and archival materials. Resources are organized by subject, discipline, geographical
location, and people, which always makes for a really generative browsing experience. I was so excited to discover an Australian chat show called “No Limits,” which covers a range of topics on disability representation in the media, and features one of my favorite disability activists, Stella Young.
The Rubenstein Library also has an extensive History of Medicine Collection that has been useful to my research. When I was writing a lecture on Psychiatric Degeneration Theory for the Neurohumanities Research Group this past February, I was able to consult a first edition of Bénédict Morel’s 1857 treatise on the so-called “physical, intellectual, and moral degeneration of the human race,” and study the development of a harmful theory that would later be used to justify eugenics and racial cleansing.
What are three things you think that undergraduates should know about using information and the library?
First, to generate as many questions as possible about your topic before you start searching. It’s important at the beginning of the research process to consider your topic from all angles, and to keep an open mind about what you might argue until you’ve learned what other scholars have already written. The more questions students ask about their topic at the beginning of the process, the more options they will have for taking a unique approach on the subject.
Second, not to be overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. Disability is a topic people initially perceive as marginal, but this is a misconception, and there is scholarship connecting disability to almost anything you can think of. Students can feel daunted by this. But once they take the time to comb through what’s out there by engaging in distant reading, they find more sophisticated ways to articulate what exactly interests them. It can be really exciting to watch them discover the originality of their own ideas.
Third, to be comfortable asking for help. Research should never be done in total isolation. Having a conversation with a librarian, classmate, or professor can help you not only articulate your project to yourself, but also to get feedback on how well others are understanding your ideas. They might raise questions, introduce perspectives you had not considered, and help you define your topic. Think of the librarians as extra professors outside the classroom. They have many years of experience organizing research and gaining access to information, and students should take advantage of all that expertise!
Every year the Duke University Libraries run a series of essay contests recognizing the original research of Duke students and encouraging the use of library resources. We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2016-2017 library writing and research awards.
We will be celebrating our winners and their achievements at a special awards reception coinciding with Duke Family Weekend. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients.
Guest post by Ashley Rose Young, Ph.D. candidate in History at Duke and the Business History Graduate Intern at the Hartman Center.
My life has always revolved around the sale and distribution of food. My food-centric lifestyle is not all that surprising, as my family owns and operates gourmet food stores in Pittsburgh. By the time I was three years old, I was working behind the counter, standing on a plastic milk carton so that customers could see me while I earned my family “business degree.” After years of practice (and a growth spurt or two) I could easily reach over the counter to hand my family’s homemade kielbasas to customers. My grandfather made those sausages. He established the family business, too, by starting as an itinerant vendor at a roadside food stand in the 1940s. Over time, he worked his way towards opening a series of grocery stores with the support of my grandmother, mother, aunts, and uncles. Together, my family created a business committed to supporting small-scale local farmers and artisans while preserving the culinary heritage of Pittsburgh.
Inspired by my own experiences and those of my family, my dissertation research focuses on urban food economies in the United States. Specifically, I study street food and market vendors in New Orleans and the global influences on the city’s Creole cuisine. As a major Atlantic port city, New Orleans was connected to communities and food cultures throughout the Atlantic Rim, adopting ingredients like okra from West Africa and cooking techniques like starting soups with a French-style roux. Tracing those influences, I have visited archives and conducted fieldwork in countries like France, Italy, and Morocco, all of which influenced the development Creole cuisine. At the National Library in France, I studied the parallels and dissimilarities between artistic renderings of street food vendors in Paris and those in New Orleans. While the images were different in the ways they revealed cultural bias, in both places it was common for artists to pair images of food vendors with sheet music that captured their cries of “Piping hot rice fritters!” and “Beautiful cakes!”
Fascinated by the prevalence of street cries in New Orleans’ historic soundscape, I sought connections to modern day street food cultures. In order to do so, I conducted fieldwork in Palermo, Sicily—a city known for its musical food vendors. Although most people do not associate New Orleans with Italian food culture, in the late nineteenth century, the city had one of the largest Sicilian immigrant populations in the world. In fact, at that time, New Orleanians colloquially referred to the French Quarter as “Little Palermo.” The sonorous voices of Sicilian food vendors rang throughout the city. Folklorists captured their calls on the page in compendiums like Gumbo Ya-Ya: Folktales of Louisiana (1945). In that volume, an Italian vendor is described as singing while he hawks his wares: “Cantal—ope—ah! Fresh and fine, just off a de vine, only a dime!”
Modern-day Palermo’s urban food scene shares similarities with New Orleans’ historic one. Like the Big Easy, Palermo’s streets are crowded with food vendors who entreat passersby with humorous and delightful calls. One of their more popular grab-n-go foods in the city is sfincione, or street pizza. Sfincione is simple and economical—a tasty combination of spongy crust, tomato sauce, olive oil, and a healthy sprinkling of dried parsley. Commenting on those humble origins with a bit of humor, one of the traditional Palermitano street cries is: “Scarsu d’ogghio e chinu i prubulazzo!” Or, in English, “Lack of oil and plenty of dust!” Another more enticing cry is, “Uara u sfuinnavi uara! Chistu è sfinciuni ra bella viaro!”—“I’ve just taken it out of the oven! This is a very beautiful sfincione!” The street cries of Palermo work in similar ways to those of historic New Orleans, attracting the attention of potential customers with a witty, entertaining performance. For food vendors past and present, charm is a major component of their business strategy. I had witnessed the power of charisma so long ago, perched on my milk carton while my mother wrapped parcels of sausage and joked with customers.
Entranced by that charm and my newfound academic approach to food, a dissertation (or one might say obsession) was brought to life. Even when traveling without a research agenda, I was constantly analyzing the local food cultures around me to connect what I observed in New Orleans with what I witnessed abroad. There were a few surprises along the way. While in Peru for an academic conference, for example, I learned about a maize beer called chicha de jora that resembled a fermented corn beverage popularized by Choctaw Indians in colonial New Orleans. Although I had originally focused my dissertation research on New Orleans’ connections to Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean, the discovery of chicha de jora encouraged me to study Latin American influences on Creole cuisine as well.
Photography was a means of crystalizing these connections while also honoring the distinctiveness of community food cultures. Over the years, as I wandered through countless markets, I sought to capture the vibrancy of locally grown produce, the entrepreneurial spirit of food vendors, and the enduring presence of local food cultures in an age of homogenized industrial food.
I now have the opportunity to share these dynamic cultures in an exhibit I’ve curated for Perkins Library: To Market, to Market! Urban Street Food Culture Around the Globe. Through this exhibit, you can compare the texture and shape of ruby red radishes in Paris with their kaleidoscopic counterparts in Durham. Or you can draw parallels between curbside displays of fish in Essaouira, Morocco with those for sale at the Vietnamese Farmers’ Market in New Orleans East. The exhibit, which consists of twenty-four photographs, is loosely organized, encouraging you to create your own narrative of the interconnectivity of urban food around the world.
The exhibit is installed on the Student Wall on the first floor of Perkins Library, opposite the Thompson Writing Studio. It runs through March 31, 2017.
What: Research talks, coffee, and dessert Where: The Edge Workshop Room (Bostock 127) When: Friday, December 9, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
You’ve seen their projects around campus—come find out what these students are working on! Join us for a series of lightning talks given by students working on projects in the Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology and Collaboration (also known as “The Edge”) or with significant collaboration from Duke University Libraries. They will discuss their research and future plans.
The participating students are working on projects with:
What: Research-in-progress, coffee and dessert Where: The Edge Workshop Room (Bostock Library 127) When: Friday, December 4, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
You’ve seen the project teams in The Edge—come find out what they’re working on! In between LDOC festivities, join us in The Edge for a series of lightning talks given by Bass Connections project team participants about their team’s research work in progress and future plans. The participating teams are:
Congratulations to the 2015 Library Writing and Research Award Winners!
The Duke University Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014-2015 library writing and research awards. The Aptman Prize, the Middlesworth Award, and the Holsti Prize recognize excellence in student research using sources from the Libraries’ general collections, the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and primary sources for political science or public policy, respectively. New this year is the Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award which is given in recognition of an outstanding work of creative writing.
Chester P. Middlesworth Award
Undergraduate: Michael Sotsky
Honors Thesis: Charlotte Lee
Semester Paper: Jack Dolgin
Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award
Antonio Lopez, Jr.
We will be celebrating their achievements at an awards reception on Friday, October 30 from 3:30-4:30 in the Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients.
Note: In our original blog post about these awards, we inadvertently omitted Jack Dolgin’s name when we first announced the winners. Our apologies to Mr. Dolgin!
The term “Hackathon” traditionally refers to an event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively on software projects. But Duke University Libraries and the History Department are putting a historical twist on their approach to the Hackathon phenomenon. In this case, the History Hackathon is a contest for undergraduate student teams to research, collaborate, and create projects inspired by the resources available in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections. Projects may include performances, essays, websites, infographics, lectures, podcasts, and more. A panel of experts will serve as judges and rank the top three teams. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
Beginning May 13th 2014, a Bass Connection project team of undergraduate and graduate researchers faculty and I began our collaboration, meeting in a dedicated space in Bostock Library and our project team will carry on there through early July. The Regulatory Disaster Scene Investigation project provides an opportunity to evaluate the process of assisting groups in focused research activities using the resources and expertise available through Duke Libraries. This project is in line with the projected opening of the Library Information Commons in 2015.
The broad intellectual question the group is investigating is “how does government best respond to crises?” The outcomes from this particular Bass Connections project will include a working visit to Washington D.C. to interview regulators and officials, producing a policy brief/ white paper, and possible conference presentations. This Bass Connections group work will make a contribution to a projected edited work which falls under the umbrella of the Recalibrating Risk working group in the Kenan Institute on Ethics.
The work group was convened in the Library by Professors Lori Bennear and Ed Balleisen and began with a discussion of assignments to investigate the history of government responders to crisis such as the NTSB, the Chemical Safety Board, the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, British Parliamentary Commissions and corresponding institutions in other countries around the globe. The group members were assigned the task of preparing annotated bibliographies about the institutions and their histories.
As the project moves forward, librarians with subject specialization and language expertise including Holly Ackerman on Latin America and Greta Boers who has expertise in Dutch are helping these researchers make the best use of their limited time. Only four more weeks- yikes! In the future it seems likely that the role of librarians will expand in assisting researchers in time-delimited participation in work groups revolving around new spaces like the Information Commons.
Carson Holloway is Librarian for History of Science and Technology, Military History, British and Irish Studies, Canadian Studies and General History
The Middlesworth Awards were established to encourage and recognize excellence of research, analysis, and writing by Duke University students in the use of primary sources and rare materials held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. This year the awards were presented in three categories: first-year students, non-first year undergraduates, and graduate students. The winners include:
First-Year Student: Ashley Gartin for her paper, “Unity and the Duke Vigil: Civil Rights Challenges at Duke University”
Undergraduate (non-first year): Chantel Liggett for her paper, “Divergent Priorities, Diverging Visions: Lesbian Separatist versus Gay Male Integrationist Ideology Surrounding Duke in the 1970s and 80s”
Graduate Student: Tessa Handa for her paper, “The Orientalist Reality, Tourism, and Photography: the Parrish Family Albums in Japan, 1899-1904”
The Lowell Aptman Prizes recognize undergraduates’ excellence in research, including their analysis, evaluation and synthesis of sources, and encourages students to make use of the general library collections and services at Duke University. These prizes are also awarded in three categories, one for first and second year students, another for third and fourth year students, and a final category reserved for fourth year students submitting an honors thesis. This year’s winners are:
First/Second Year: Theodore Leonhardt for his paper, “Finding a Role: The Decision to Fight in the Falklands and the Redefinition of British Imperialism”
Third/Fourth Year: Mary Tung for her paper, “Engraving the Nation: The Decimal Coinage Bill of 1959, the Mint and Coinage Act of 1964, and the Creation of White South Africa”
Honors Thesis: Jocelyn Streid for her thesis, “The Salvation Project: The Secularization of Christian Narratives in American Cancer Care”
All are welcome at the award ceremony, to be held October 25 during Duke Family Weekend. Help us celebrate and congratulate these students on their magnificent work!
Undergraduate Award: Adrienne R. Niederriter
“Speak Softly and Carry a Lipstick: Government Influence on Female Sexuality through Cosmetics During World War II”
Nominated by Sarah Hallenbeck
Undergraduate Award: Hannah C. Craddock
“‘New Self-Respect and a New Consciousness of Power:’ White Nurses, Black Soldiers, and the Danger of World War I”
Nominated by Malachi Hacohen and Adriane Lentz-Smith
Graduate Award: Bonnie E. Scott
“Demonstrations in the House of God: Methodist Preaching and the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina, 1960-1969”
Nominated by Laceye Warner and Kenneth Carder
And our congrats to the 2010 recipients of the Durden Prize for their use of resources from and services related to the Duke University Libraries’ general collections:
First/Second Year Award: Julia Sun
“The Myth of the Addict: Opium Suppression in Late Imperial China”
Supported by Vasant Kaiwar
Third/Fourth Year Award: Ryan Brown
“The Native of Nowhere: Nat Nakasa”
Supported by Karin Shapiro
and Eugenia Cho
“Architectural Acoustics of Symphony Hall”
Supported by Dewey Lawson
Honors Thesis Award: Andrew Simon
“Intertwining Narratives: The Copts and their Muslim Relations”
Supported by miriam cooke
I would also like to recognize this year’s finalists for the Durden Prize: Lindsay Emery, Rose Filler, Caroline Griswold, Brad Lightcap, Brianna Nofil and Eugene Wang.
We will be celebrating the achievements of our winners at an awards reception on Friday, October 22 from 3:30-4:30 in the Rare Book Room. All are invited to join us for refreshments and the opportunity to honor the recipients of and applicants for the 2010 Middlesworth Award and Durden Prize.
If you deal with large amounts of data and especially if you use spreadsheets to work with it, there is a new tool for you. Freebase Gridworks allows you to upload data and then examine, filter and do data cleanup for ‘grid-shaped data.’ Visit the Gridworks project site for more information and videos that more fully explain and demonstrate some of the functionality of this tool.
Short List of Gridworks Functions
Bring similar data together for normalization (CIT and C.I.T. or just plain old data entry errors)
Create facets based on any column of data
Make graphs of any two columns to quickly visualize relationships
Pull data from the Freebase database to add to your own data
Make external data sets more useful by creating linking
This is just a brief list, but visit the site for more detail and see how Gridworks could save you time in data cleanup or help to create visualizations you couldn’t before.
The new rules have driven confused and frustrated researchers to sources such as APA’s blog, which provides examples and attempts to explain the more complicated rules (check out the DOI/URL flowchart — yes, this rule requires a flowchart), or Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL), which hosts APA and MLA resources that received 3.5 million and 2.5 million hits, respectively, during September and October alone, according to the coordinator of OWL.
It is evident from these stats alone that librarians and faculty have spent countless hours supporting the researchers and students who have spent even more time formatting manuscripts to meet the unbending rules of CSE, APA, MLA and enumerable others.
As Barbara Fister posits in her ACRLog post, is this time well spent? Is research somehow made more valid when its footnotes are perfectly formatted, its works cited page spaced just so? Have we spent so much time agonizing over comma placement and tracking down database names that we’ve lost sight of the whole point of citing sources in the first place? Do our budding scholars realize that citing sources is not merely an academic hazing ritual of sorts, causing them hours of extra labor after their papers are written?
It would seem that the newest editions of APA and MLA are only muddying the waters, making it harder for researchers — especially novice ones — to achieve the true goal of citing sources: to give credit to the scholars their research builds upon and to make it as easy as possible for their readers to learn more about that work.
And if we can agree on that primary goal, how do we get back to emphasizing it rather than the arcane rules?
Name ambiguity is a recurring issue that impacts research accuracy and quality, career advancement and tenure, global collaboration among researchers, and identification and attribution of funding for institutions and individual authors alike.
There are a number of ways to analyze the impact of publications of a particular researcher (including yourself). A longtime favorite has been ISI’s (Social) Science Citation Index, which has come to the web as Web of Science. The web has introduced a number of other tools for assessing the impact of a specific researcher or publication. Some of these are GoogleScholar (don’t forget to set your preferences!), Scopus, SciFinder Scholar, and MathSciNet among many others.
Joining this group is Publish or Perish, with a slightly different take on this process. Publish or Perish uses data from Google Scholar, but it automatically does analysis on the citation patterns for specific authors. After searching for an author (works best with first initial and quotes, such as “DG Schaeffer”) you can select the papers you want to analyze and you get metrics such as total citations, cites per year, h-index, g-index, etc. Any analysis done can be exported to EndNote, BibTeX or a CSV file.
Most of the Duke Libraries’ web pages are now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike License. What that means in non-lawyer speak is that everyone is welcome to use, share or remix the pages so licensed, under certain conditions.
Look for the logo below the footer on every relevant page. A few pages are not licensed, because of various copyright or other legal issues; they will explicitly say so.
The conditions for use are: you give credit to the Duke Libraries for the used material, you don’t use our material to make money, and whatever you make from our material must also be available for sharing and remixing.
Sarah Wallace has some interesting comments on the process of getting IRB approval for using (interviewing) human subjects for her Ukraine project. Here’s an excerpt:
All week, I’ve been working hard on my application for Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of my project in Ukraine. …Procedures for protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects are the same, no matter who conducts the research; thus, student researchers like myself are held to the same standards as faculty researchers. If an undergraduate at Duke wants to conduct research that involves human subjects in any capacity, he or she must fill out a long, complicated application and send it to the Duke IRB before beginning the study.
..there is a chance that I won’t gain approval until after I arrive in Ukraine. … Although the form took a lot of time and effort to complete, I’m very glad I did it. It really made me think through my research approach at a level of detail that I hadn’t before.
See her full post here, or check out her Notes from YkpaïHa feed on the right.
And here’s her update:
The Duke IRB liked my protocol a lot. Flattery aside, however, they had “a number” (read – “a million”) suggestions for ways to improve my consent forms and other documents.
..[I must] also prepare a separate consent protocol for the interviewees that are Ark workers/ICARR participants. As the IRB pointed out to me, these people shoulder the most risk by talking to me, so I must take extra precaution to ensure that their interviews are kept confidential.
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