This lecture examines French propaganda posters from World War I, an important but overlooked corpus of images. Unlike the situation in other countries, where governments initiated the production of posters, the appearance of posters in France in support of the war effort was largely the initiative of the artists who created them. In her lecture, Professor Le Men explores the shared motivations of this group and the iconography of the posters they created.
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Robert Hass’s books of poetry include The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems, Time and Materials, Sun Under Wood: New Poems, Human Wishes, Praise, and Field Guide. He has co-translated several volumes of poetry with Czeslaw Milosz. He is a former MacArthur Fellow, US Poet Laureate, Pulitzer-Prize winner, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and National Book Award winner.
Brenda Hillman is the author of nine books of poetry including Practical Water, Bright Existence, Cascadia, and Loose Sugar. She has received many awards for her work including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Poetry Society of America, as well as a Pushcart Prize and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. She holds the Olivia Filippi Chair in Poetry at St. Mary’s College, in Moraga, California. Both poets are active in the Ecopoetry movement which searches for ways to use language to better appreciate/understand the interconnectedness of human, animal, mind, matter and nature. Language not as an object but as a motion.
This talk examines the lesser-known work and legacy of Dennis Gabor. Gabor was a physicist famous for inventing holography. But he also applied quantum theory to sound, and in so doing offered an important corrective to prevailing interpretations of wave theories of sound derived from Joseph Fourier’s work. To prove his point, Gabor built a device called the “kinematic frequency compressor,” which could time-stretch or pitch-shift audio independently of the other operation, a feat previously considered impossible in the analog domain. After considering the machine, Professor Jonathan Sterne (McGill University) traces its technical and cultural descendants in advertising, cinema, avant-garde music, and today in the world’s most popular audio software, Ableton Live. Bio: Jonathan Sterne is Professor and James McGill Chair in Culture and Technology in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. He is author of MP3: The Meaning of a Format (Duke 2012), The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (Duke, 2003); and numerous articles on media, technologies and the politics of culture. He is also editor of The Sound Studies Reader (Routledge, 2012). His new projects consider instruments and instrumentalities; histories of signal processing; and the intersections of disability, technology and perception. Visit his website.
Award-winning investigative journalist Michael Blanding told the true-life story of map-dealer-turned-criminal E. Forbes Smiley III in his book The Map Thief. Blanding talks about Smiley's thefts and the rare maps that were stolen. Smiley stole more than $3 million worth of antique maps from rare-book libraries around the country. While U-M's Clements Library wasn't one of Smiley's targets, many other reputable and well-established libraries were.
Jim Ottaviani, librarian and author of non-fiction graphic novels, most recently Primates, interviews noted comics creator and Associate Professor Phoebe Gloeckner about her work in comics and the role of comics in personal artistic expression and in society. Phoebe's comic works, in the form of short stories published in a variety of underground anthologies, including Wimmen's Comix, Weirdo, Young Lust and Twisted Sisters, was sporadic and rarely seen until the 1998 release of the collection A Child's Life and Other Stories. This was followed by her 2002 novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which revisited the troubled life of the young character previously featured in some of her comics, this time in an unusual combination of prose, illustration, and short comics scenes. Her novel and many of her short stories are semi-autobiographical, a frequent cause of comment due to their depiction of sex, drug use, and childhood traumas; however, Gloeckner has stated that she regards them as fiction. Sexual content led to A Child's Life being banned from the public library in Stockton, California after it was checked out by an 11-year-old reader; the mayor of Stockton called the book "a how-to book for pedophiles.
Our panel of speakers dive into the various ways researchers, educators, and librarians are using video games to not only entertain but transform the user's experience into something more meaningful. Michelle Meade, associate professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, talks about her work using custom mobile games as a tool for behavioral change among those with spinal cord injury. David Chesney, lecturer in Computer Science & Engineering, shares experiences developing transformative games in his innovative computer science course. David Carter, video game archivist and coordinator for reference services at the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library covers library collections around games such as the Video Game Archive, resources on campus, and emerging trends. Most know video games for their role in entertainment, or through recent trends of "gamification" by courses, researchers, and businesses; however, video games in the traditional sense have seen tremendous growth and sophistication as a medium for researchers and educators to reach challenging demographics, serve as a tool for behavioral intervention, or generally provide a platform for computer scientists, artists, UX designers, and musicians to develop compelling interactive experiences.
A celebration of the University’s acquisition of the Tom Hayden papers, secured by U-M Library as a meaningful addition to the Joseph A. Labadie Collection. Library Dean, James Hilton and Curator of the Joseph A. Labadie Collection, Julie Herrada share a few brief words followed with comments by Tom Hayden. The Joseph A. Labadie Collection documents the history of social protest movements and marginalized political communities from the 19th century to the present. Exhibits and events in the library are free and open to the public.
Bestselling author John U. Bacon discusses his book, Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football, with Tyran Steward, historian of African American history and modern U.S. history. In search of the sport’s old ideals amid the roaring flood of hypocrisy and greed, Bacon embedded himself in four college football programs—Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, and Northwestern—and captured the oldest, biggest, most storied league, the Big Ten, at its tipping point. He sat in as coaches dissected game film, he ate dinner at training tables, and he listened in locker rooms. He talked with tailgating fans and college presidents, and he spent months in the company of the gifted young athletes who play the game.
Binding fragments from the U-M Papyrology Collection—including leather covers, papyrus cartonnage, sewing evidence and thread—are puzzles; few retain enough structural and decorative information to accurately date them and determine what they would have looked like when intact. View original fragments next to models constructed to illustrate the probable forms some of the fragments once took. Brendan Haug, archivist of the U-M Papyrology Collection and assistant professor in the Department of Classical Studies, leads a discussion about The Book in Graeco-Roman Egypt: Evidence from the Papyri.
Jesse Walker discusses his book, The United States of Paranoia, which presents a comprehensive history of conspiracy theories in American culture and politics, from the colonial era to the War on Terror.
The fear of intrigue and subversion doesn’t exist only on the fringes of society, but has always been part of our national identity. When such tales take hold, Walker argues, they reflect the anxieties and experiences of the people who believe them, even if they say nothing true about the objects of the theories themselves.