Emergent Research Series at the University Library

Please join us on the 4th Monday of each month, from 10:00-11:30am in the Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery (except where otherwise listed) for programs in the Emergent Research Series that address the research lifecycle. These events are aimed at better understanding the various types of research undertaken across campus, particularly as they relate to library services and support, opportunities for collaboration, data management and preservation, and beyond. 

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Twitter account: @UMLibRes
Events hashtag: #MLibRes

Jump to Past Events this calendar year

2015 Emergent Research Series Events (with links to recordings of events)
2014 Emergent Research Series Events (with links to recordings of events)
2013 Emergent Research Series Events (with links to recordings of events)

Upcoming Emergent Research Series Events

Digital Humanities and the Black Diaspora

Kira ThurmanKira Thurman is an Assistant Professor of German and History
Monday, October 24, 2016, from 10:00-11:30 AM
Hatcher Gallery

This presentation will explore how digital technologies such as web development and geo-spatial technologies can be effective tools in advocating for black diasporic histories. It will highlight the creation of the wordpress site, blackcentraleurope.com, which offers a repository for primary documents and images related to the black diaspora to Central Europe from the medieval era to the present. The presentation will then look the incorporation of undergraduate classroom instruction into the website. In the winter semester of 2016, UM's undergraduate course, "Germany and the Black Diaspora" collaborated with librarians Mara Blake and Justin Joque to use the mapping software CartoDB to think historically about Black migration to Europe. In so doing, they were able to make a history that has long been rendered invisible - the history of Black people in Europe - visible through data visualization technologies. Both of these projects - the creation of the site and the collaborative, interactive map of Black Central Europe - have encouraged new conversations on campus and on both sides of the Atlantic about German history and Black studies.

Past Emergent Research Series Events

Identification Wars: How Research Can Put Today's Documentation Controversies in Context

Cassius Adair
Monday, September 26, 2016, from 10:00-11:30 AM
Hatcher Gallery
Watch Recording

Cassius Adair uses three slices of archival text to explore how and why the relationship between government identification and U.S. citizens has changed over the last century. From early protests against licensing rural drivers, to the mysterious removal of race-- but not gender-- from IDs at mid-century, to flame wars about anonymity and transgender life on the early internet, disagreements about the role of the government in regulating citizen's identities are a reoccurring feature of modern U.S. life. In order to understand how "undocumented" became a powerful political term, or why Voter ID laws spark such intense debate, my research brings together an unlikely archive of minor "identification wars." Together, these scenes help illuminate the longer history of friction between state categorization and minority self-definition.

Cassius Adair is a PhD Candidate in English Language and Literature and a James Winn Graduate Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities. His areas of expertise are queer and transgender studies, ethnic studies, visual culture, and digital studies, and is completing a dissertation titled, at present, "Documenting Selfhood: Transgender Identity, Race, and State Identification in Contemporary Culture."‚Äč

Summer Article Discussions

From Biology to Conservation: Insights Derived From Remote Cameras

Photo of Dr. Nyeema HarrisDr. Nyeema Harris is Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan
Monday, June 20, 2016, from 10:00-11:30 AM
Clark Library Presentation Space

Dr. Harris will discuss her projects utilizing remote cameras in Northern Michigan and West Africa to better understand the temporal and spatial distribution of species, and specifically predator-prey relationships, within these ecosystems. In addition, she will discuss efforts to involve citizen scientists in this work through the Zooniverse crowdsourcing platform as well as her work with middle- and high-school students in Detroit.




Making Sense of Twitter Data: From Social Processes to Large-Scale Analytics

Photo of Dr. Josh Pasek

Dr. Josh Pasek is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Faculty Associate, Center for Political Studies, at the University of Michigan
Monday, May 23, 2016, from 10:00-11:30 AM
Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery

Data from online social networks are increasingly applied to pressing social questions.  But despite the widespread use of social media data, analyses to date have not been coupled with a clear understanding of what social media data represent.  This talk provides a brief look into an ongoing research project to understand how Twitter data, in particular, relate to other forms of social measurement.  In it, I discuss theoretical and practical considerations when comparing traditional forms of social analysis with social media data as well as results of some preliminary analyses.  These considerations provide a basis for thinking about what social media data can and cannot currently accomplish as a tool for social measurement.



The Environmental Hazards of Aging Infrastructure in Flint, Michigan

Photo of Dr. Martin Kaufman

Dr. Martin Kaufman is the David M. French Professor of Earth Science at the University of Michigan-Flint. He earned his PhD in Urban, Technological and Environmental Planning from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1994.
Monday, March 28, 2016, from 9:30-11:00 AM (Note: we will start promptly at 9:30.)
Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
Watch Recording

Dr. Kaufman’s research focuses on environmental risk assessment, water infrastructure, groundwater contamination, Geographic Information Systems, and science-based planning methods. He is the author of Critical Thinker’s Guide to the Environment (1996); co-author of Urban Watersheds: Geology, Contamination, and Sustainable Development (2011); and over 25 peer-reviewed scientific publications.  

What are the challenges facing communities with older water infrastructure? The talk will  present the results of recent efforts to map the lead-based water infrastructure in Flint, Michigan, using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and  the use of these maps to generate additional research inquiry. Linkages between hazard identification and hazard response during an environmental crisis will also be explored.

Humanities Tools for Library Resources

Hilde De Weerdt is a Professor of Chinese History at Leiden University.
Monday, April 4, 2016, from 10:00 - 11:30 am
Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
Watch Recording

In this presentation I will review recent efforts to connect text databases, biographical databases, geographic information systems, and tools generated from within the humanities community. I will argue that connecting databases and tools, open access as well as commercial, is an important mission for researchers and librarians in Chinese Studies and one that has been ignored for too long. In the first part of the presentation I will briefly discuss the limitations of well-known textual databases in pre-twentieth century and modern Chinese Studies with regard to search functionality, data discovery, exportability, and accessibility. Next I will demonstrate how customized humanities tools can help overcome many of these limitations, using as an example the basic and new functionality of the MARKUS platform. I will conclude that the generation of humanities-specific platforms and tools is necessary for the development of Chinese Studies and compatible with the goals and premises of philological inquiry. I will also emphasize that the realization of resources and tools that conform with academic standards and research flows requires far more engagement from within the Chinese Studies community and closer collaboration between librarians, computer scientists, and humanities researchers and teachers.

Take Back the Archive: Advocacy by Design

Photo of Purdom Linblad

Purdom Lindblad is the Head of Graduate Programs in the Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia Library.
Monday, March 7, 2016, from 10:00-11:30 AM
Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
Watch Recording

Starting with the premise that, for making to matter in the humanities, we must focus making in ways that encourage attention to—and advocacy for—the humane. Regardless of whether the act of making is one of production, praxis, theory, or a combination of the three, thoughtful making in the humanities should forefront reflection on human experiences and impacts. Centered on the Take Back the Archive project, this talk will explore what it means to make things in humane, empathetic ways—and how can we create spaces and foster relationships to focus on humane, empathetic making in the humanities?

Computational Analysis of Marginalized Cultural Production

Photo of Cora Johnson-Roberson

Cora Johnson-Roberson is a Ph.D candidate in Ethnomusicology at Brown University, pursuing a secondary master's in Computer Science. Their dissertation examines the embodied and mediated performances of queer and trans people of color, focusing on the vogue/ballroom scene of New York City.
Monday, February 22, 2016, from 10:00 - 11:30 am
Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
Watch Recording

What unique opportunities and challenges arise when applying computational methods to study the creative output of marginalized people? In this talk, Cora Johnson-Roberson will discuss the use of topic modeling to analyze over 18,000 texts drawn from the Original Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive, charting the geographical and temporal distribution of different themes within the corpus. This talk will address the practical issues and findings of this analysis; it will also explore the broader question of how computational methods can help us speak back to reductive narratives about black life and cultural production.

Doing Digital Humanities Projects with Sensitive Health Data: Opportunities and Challenges

Photo of Alexandra Minna SternAlexandra Minna Stern, Professor of American Culture, with appointments in Obstetrics and Gynecology, History, and Women’s Studies
Monday, January 25, 2016 from 10:00 - 11:30  am
Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
Watch Recording

How do you create an interactive and multi-modal digital platform about histories of eugenics and sterilization with restricted historical records? This talk will review my team’s creation of a dataset of 20,000 sterilization recommendations processed by the state of California from the 1920s and 1950s, and discuss how we are building digital platforms with Mapquest and Scalar that seek to convey complex demographic patterns, institutional histories, and personal experiences of reproductive loss. This talk will explore varied issues including interdisciplinary collaboration, document preservation and management, and digital storytelling.

Alexandra Minna Stern, Ph.D. is Professor of American Culture, with appointments in Obstetrics and Gynecology, History, and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She also is a core faculty member in the Latina/o Studies Program; the Science, Technology, and Society Program; directs the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Brazil Initiative, and co-directs the Reproductive Justice Faculty Program at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Her research has focused on the uses and misuses of genetics in the United States and Latin America. She is the author of Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America (University of California Press, 2005), which won the American Public Health Association’s Arthur Viseltear Award for outstanding contribution to the history of public health, and is coming out in a 2nd and expanded edition in December 2015. Her latest book, Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012) is a Choice 2013 Outstanding Academic Title in Health Sciences. She has held numerous grants for her work in medical history and health policy, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1 for digital archiving), National Institutes of Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is currently leading a project to create a dataset of 20,000 eugenic sterilization orders processed by the state of California in the 20th century and is principal investigator on 2 Ford Foundation grants to assess the status of reproductive justice and LBGTQ youth and youth of color empowerment in Michigan.

Page maintained by Ken Varnum
Last modified: 10/13/2016