Emergent Research Series at the University Library

Emergent Research Series events seek to examine all aspects of the research lifecycle, with a critical focus on ethics, access, and innovation, and with an interest in emerging topics that are relevant to our local and global communities. These events are aimed at better understanding the new ways in which research relies on the work of libraries and information professionals, and where cutting-edge research pushes past what libraries currently support. Jump to past events.

Events take place on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 2:00-3:30pm in the Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery (unless otherwise noted).

Upcoming Emergent Research Series Events

Clark HeadshotIt’s Not Rocket Library Science: Reconceptualizing American Librarianship as a Design Field

Rachel Ivy Clarke
Thursday, April 4, 2019 from 10:30 - 12pm
Hatcher Gallery

For thousands of years, libraries and librarians have made artifacts to enable access to and use of information resources—everything from cataloging rules to sensory storytimes. Yet despite this focus on creation, American librarianship has positioned itself as a social science. Although many different scientific approaches have been used in the field, few since the beginnings of the 20th century have approached librarianship as if it was not a science at all. In recent years, a well-established record of research has demonstrated that design is a fundamentally different epistemological approach to science.  While science observes and describes the existing world with the goal of replicability and prediction, design creates artifacts intended to solve problems and, ultimately, change the world from its existing state to a preferred state. This presentation will discuss the implicit role of design in librarianship and its effects on user services and professional values, culminating in a provocative reconceptualization of contemporary librarianship as a design field, with recommendations for explicitly incorporating this new perspective into library research, education, and practice.

Formerly the cataloging librarian at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Rachel Ivy Clarke is currently an assistant professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Her research focuses on the application of design methodologies and epistemologies to facilitate the systematic, purposeful design of library services and education. Her multiple-award-winning dissertation argues that librarianship is more appropriately viewed as a design field rather than a scientific one. Current projects include the IMLS-funded Designing Future Library Leaders, which investigates the integration of design methods and principles in graduate level library education, and The Critical Catalog, an OCLC/ALISE funded project using critical design methodology to provoke the exploration of diverse library reading materials. She holds a BA in creative writing from California State University, Long Beach, an MLIS from San Jose State University, and a PhD from the University of Washington.

Past Emergent Research Series Events

2017 Emergent Research Series Events
2016 Emergent Research Series Events
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)

Allen Flynn Headshot

Nontrivial Pursuit: Exploring the Potential of Compound Digital Objects to Support Interactive Scholarly Communication Services and Record Continuity 

Allen Flynn
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Hatcher Gallery

Scholarly communication is generally undergoing rapid change. In part, this is because the forms of scholarly communication are diversifying as its production expands and accelerates. Scholars are starting to publish the materials of research, e.g., data sets, analytic code, and intermediate results. These types of artifacts complement published monographs and journal articles. Besides, communication of research results can take the form of scholarly code. In some cases, results arrive first as machine-executable models, which are only later reiterated and described in natural language for people to read.

These changes in scholarly communication are impacting the global advancement of biomedicine. They have sparked conversations and debates about the replicability of scientific experiments and studies. They challenge us to understand more deeply the value of integrity and continuity for the biomedical scholarly record, in particular. A record which, for many decades, has been used to disseminate evidence that is needed to advance medical practice. Indeed, for all professions, making published scholarly code findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (the FAIR principles) seems necessary to advance practice through mass action.

Formerly a hospital pharmacist at Trinity Health and Michigan Medicine, Allen Flynn is currently an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School in the Department of Learning Health Sciences. His academic teamwork generally focuses on the research and development of technical knowledge infrastructure for managing and deploying computable knowledge throughout health systems. Current team projects include the Knowledge Grid, an open source prototype platform and testbed for exploring ways to mobilize computable biomedical knowledge and thereby improve human health and safety. He holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a Doctorate in Information Science, both from the University of Michigan. 

Headshot of Nicky AndrewsAn Emergent Research Talk with Nicky Andrews

Tuesday, January 22, 2019, from 2-3:30 PM
Hatcher Gallery

According to the American Library Association, 1.2% of ALA members are of American Indian or Alaska Native descent; and only 0.2% identify as Pacific Islanders.  As a Māori library student at the University of Washington in 2017, I was one of two Indigenous people in my cohort of 150 students; and had no expectations of being able to meaningfully engage with my culture as part of my professional work.  However, a chance visit to the campus' Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture revealed that the Pacific Voices exhibition had significant holdings of Māori taonga; and that the exhibition had not been updated in twenty years.  Additionally, the museum was preparing to move to a new building in 2019; prompting an opportunity to critically evaluate how the taonga were displayed.  I was also given access to 962 digitized albumen photographs of Māori; which the museum had little identifying information on, other than knowledge of the donor who removed these taonga from Aotearoa in the early 1900s and donated them to the museum in 1953.  Six decades later, I undertook an unpaid internship which may have been the first deliberate attempt to restore the mana of this photographic collection; and display them in connection to the people and land they came from.

Please join me for a discussion of my work with these taonga, my attempts to identify and care for the Rangatira in the photographs; and thoughts on challenges for Indigenous peoples within librarianship.

Nicky Andrews (she/they) is a member of the Ngāti Pāoa iwi; currently working as an NCSU Libraries Fellow at North Carolina State University.  Nicky is an alumni of the ALA Spectrum, ARL CEP, and ARL IRDW programmes; and is an ALA Emerging Leader for 2019.  Her research interests include Mātauranga Māori, Indigenous knowledge systems, and exploring meaningful ways of sustaining retention for minoritized people in librarianship.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from Auckland University of Technology; a Master of Library & Information Science from the University of Washington; and is a candidate for the Master of Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago.  

Headshot of Marisol Fila

Contesting invisibility through a collaborative production of knowledge: The Afrodescendant Presence in Argentina

Marisol Fila
Wednesday, December 12, 2018, from 2-3:30 PM
Hatcher Gallery

The discourse of national identity that emerged in Argentina during the formation of the nation state in the nineteenth and the twentieth century was constructed under a particular classist and racist vision that privileged white European migrants at the same time that turned invisible the presence of Afrodescendants and indigenous groups. By studying historical and contemporary self-representations of Afrodescendant groups in printed and digital culture, Marisol's research seeks to recognize the influence of the Afro community and culture to the formation of the Argentine national identity, and the necessity of locating Afrodescendants as social, political and cultural active subjects not only throughout the history but also in the present time. In addition to Marisol's dissertation research, she has been developing projects in partnership with Afro-Argentine activist organizations that since the 1990s have been raising their voices against the discrimination suffered.

In this talk, Marisol will discuss the projects she has been generating with the Afro-Argentine organization Xangô to explore the possibilities of a scholarly work conceived as a combination of theory and practice, that seeks to produce knowledge in collaboration and to promote participative and horizontal partnerships between academia and community-based organizations.  

Marisol Fila is a PhD Candidate in Spanish and Portuguese in Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. She received her BA in History from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Marisol’s research interest include twentieth century black press and contemporary online publications by Afro descendants in Lisbon, São Paulo and Buenos Aires. More specifically, her work examines the mechanisms by which Afro descendant groups contest and negotiate the dominant ideologies of national belonging and the dialogues established across time, geographies, languages and medias. Marisol is also interested in Critical Pedagogy and Digital Humanities and in the ways in which technology and digital media can serve as a tool to share her research and work to a wider audience, but also to develop digital projects in partnership with Afro-descendant organizations across Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries. 

Headshot of Ginger

Student Development of Information Literacy Skills during Problem-Based Organic Chemistry Laboratory Experiments: Research applied to Classroom Practice

Dr. Ginger Schultz
Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 2-3:30 p.m. 
Hatcher Gallery

Join us for a talk with Dr. Ginger Schultz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Michigan. 

Ginger will describe an investigation of how students apply information literacy skills when solving organic chemistry problems in different contexts. She will then describe how their findings were used to inform the design of a set of online learning modules developed in collaboration with Dr. Ye Li. Read more for a full description of this talk.  

Headshot of Sarah Beaubien

Emergent Research Series Talk with Sarah Beaubien

Sarah Beaubien
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, from 2-3:30 PM
Hatcher Gallery

Join us for a talk with Sarah Beaubien, Associate Dean of Curriculum, Research, and User Services at the Grand Valley State University Libraries.

Sarah will discuss, what’s next for the open access movement? Where do we go from here? This talk will challenge some of the assumptions in the OA community, while looking back on lessons learned, focusing on meeting researcher needs and developing mission-driven initiatives in order to meaningfully integrate open access and OER into positions across the library. Using examples of successful and unsuccessful initiatives, we’ll discuss shifting the conversation to a more adaptable, user-focused approach that authentically meets the needs of our community. Read more for a full description of this talk. 

Catherine Hausman HeadshotClimate change, methane leaks, and the natural gas industry

Catherine H. Hausman
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, from 2-3:30 PM
Hatcher  Gallery

Join us for a talk by Catherine H. Hausman, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economics Research, whose work focuses on environmental and energy economics.

Catherine will describe her research where she and her coauthor analyze the incentives that oil and gas firms face – or, just as importantly, do not face – to reduce their methane emissions, and what the implications are for climate change. Read more for a full description of this talk.

2018 Emergent Research Summer Series

Over the course of the summer, we’ve invited our Library colleagues to present 5 minute lightning talks on their recent publications, presentations, projects, or grants. As those invested in the production and preservation of knowledge, we work with a variety of research methods, including investigation, evaluation, experimentation, and careful study. Often, these projects take us beyond the day-to-day aspects of our jobs, encouraging us to solve unique problems and discover new possibilities. Talks will be presented in a casual format with plenty of time for audience engagement.

Wednesday, June 13

Ken Varnum
Justin Joque
Jesus Espinoza
Sheila Garcia
Edras Rodriguez-Torres
Emily Campbell

Wednesday, July 11

Jake Carlson
Hailey Mooney
Stephanie Rosen
Doreen Bradley
Ben Howell

Wednesday, August 8

Maura Seale
Alex Deeke
Emily Ginier
Dawn Lawson
Angie Oehrli
Mark MacEachern

Vicky Koski-Karell headshot photo

Decolonizing Aid for Health Justice: Water, Cholera, and Rice in Haiti

Vicky Koski-Karell
Monday, April 23, 2018, from 10-11:30 AM 
Hatcher Gallery

Many elements considered essential for life, such as water, health care, and food, become readily appropriated through neoliberal market logics as commodities available only to those who can afford them, leading to vast and ever expanding disparities across the globe—the consequences of which bear most heavily on historically marginalized communities. Despite a successful anti-slavery revolution that resulted in liberation from French colonial rule in 1804, Haiti has suffered tremendously at the hands of transnational structural racism, foreign military occupation, and mandated austerity measures.

This talk will discuss three elements of Haiti's contemporary history—water, cholera, and rice—and trace the ways that their interrelated narratives impinge on one another. Humanitarian efforts to ameliorate water, health, and food insecurity in Haiti often rely on top-down strategies—themselves constrained by funding mechanisms, internal mission and bureaucracy, and implicit bias—that, while sometimes effecting improvements, may perpetuate colonial dynamics. With generous support from the UM Library, and inspired by the radical potential of collective solidarity and mutual aid embodied in libraries and information services, Vicky Koski-Karell is embarking on a documentary film project about water access in a rural Haitian community still plagued by the cholera epidemic (Haiti's first) that started nearby in October 2010. In an attempt to decolonize the traditional aid model deployed in Haiti, the film also serves as a tool for extending Haitian voices and raising funds to support a community-directed water project where it has been locally identified as most needed.

Vicky Koski-Karell is a fourth-year MD/PhD student at the University of Michigan, currently in her second-year of the Sociocultural Anthropology PhD program and completing a graduate certificate in Science, Technology, and Society (STS). She has been traveling to Haiti for more than a decade, where she at various times conducts ethnographic research, assists in clinical settings, supports local advocacy and organizing efforts, and visits friends across the country.

After graduating from Harvard University in 2012 with a BA in Social Anthropology and a language certificate in Haitian Creole, Vicky served as the Cholera Advocacy Intern for Physicians for Haiti (now EqualHealth) and then as a research assistant to Dr. Paul Farmer at Partners In Health and Harvard Medical School. During her first two years of medical school at UMMS, Vicky was the Co-President of OutMD, Education Chair of the Latin American and Native American Medical Association, Student Director of the Sujal Parikh Memorial Symposium for Health Equity and Social Justice, and Scholarship Director of the UMMS Health Equity Scholars Program. This past year, Vicky has served as a co-coordinator of the STS Rackham Interdisciplinary Reading Group and of the Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society Colloquium Series, as well as an editorial assistant for inaugural “Case Studies in Social Medicine” series in the New England Journal of Medicine. In Fall 2017, she received a UM Library Mini-Grant for a film project about water access in Haiti.

Kayte Spector-Bagdady headshot photoThe Google of Healthcare: Making Big Data Work for—As Opposed to Against—Our Patients’ Best Interest

Kayte Spector-Bagdady
Wednesday, March 14, 2018, from 2-3:30 PM 
Hatcher Gallery

Our data are collected at every turn: where we drive, who we email, what we google, what we buy. Perhaps a last bastion of expected privacy protections surrounds our health data—but while some systems (like healthcare providers) have stringent governance, others (like wellness apps) do not. Ready access and linkage of medical information can help us provide better care to our patients, but it can also serve to harm, alienate, and erode trust. This talk will explore how health data are currently being collected and by who, as well as ways we can both serve and protect our patients in the future.

Kayte Spector-Bagdady, JD, MBE, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Service Chief of the Research Ethics Service in the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine (CBSSM). She is a former drug and device attorney and Associate Director of President Obama’s Presidential Commission for the study of Bioethical Issues.

Marisa Parham headshot photoLost and Found in the Digital

Marisa Parham
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, from 2-3:30 PM 
Hatcher Gallery

As the number of digital humanities approaches continues to grow, libraries and other institutions must increasingly grapple with how to catalog, preserve, and present digital work, which means engaging big, time-critical conversations about standards and possibilities in the face of constant technological emergence. In this presentation, however, I will be asking us to think about the smallness of individuals, namely the interplay between the ephemeral and the institutional that has become increasingly recognizable as foundational to many scholars' intellectual growth. As the digital increasingly becomes part of the terrain, what will count as a scholarly legacy? What have digital affordances fundamentally changed about our potential relationships to the scholarly industrial complex? What has been lost? Who has been found? And how do these considerations fit into a larger conversation about digital preservation?

Marisa Parham is Professor of English at Amherst College, and directs the Immersive Reality Lab for the Humanities, which is a workgroup for digital and experimental humanities. She also serves as a faculty diversity and inclusion officer.

Her current teaching and research projects focus on texts and technologies that problematize assumptions about time, space, and bodily materiality. She is particularly interested in how such terms share a history of increasing complexity in texts produced by African Americans, and how they also offer ways of thinking about intersectional approaches to digital humanities and technology studies.

Marisa Parham holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and is the author of Haunting and Displacement in African-American Literature and Culture, The African-American Student’s Guide to College, and is co-editor of Theorizing Glissant: Sites and Citations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and formerly served on the founding Board of Directors for the Amherst Cinema Arts Center. She is also a former director of the Five College Digital Humanities Initiative, serving Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Dr. Missy Stults headshot photoWorking Towards a More Resilient Nation


Dr. Missy Stults, Sustainability and Resilience Specialist
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, from 2-3:30 PM 
Hatcher Gallery


Some analysts predict that the word of the year for 2017 will be resilience. But what does it mean, how is it operationalized (or not), and what do we need to do across scales and sectors to create a more resilient nation? Join us for this interactive discussion with Dr. Missy Stults to explore the meaning of the term and how cities around the U.S. are using it to guide their planning and implementation efforts. We'll also explore how the federal government and states are supporting or limiting efforts to enhance placed-based resilience.

Dr. Missy Stults works with local authorities on climate resilience and sustainability initiatives. Missy was one of the authors of the Adaptation Chapter of the 3rd National Climate Assessment and a contributing author to the Urban Technical Input. Before this, Missy was the national Climate Director for ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, where she worked with more than 600 local governments around the nation to advance their climate mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability efforts. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan in urban resilience, her M.A. in Climate and Society from Columbia University, and her B.S. in Marine Biology and Environmental Science from the University of New England. Missy serves on the City of Ann Arbor Transportation Commission, is a Board Member of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), and serves as co-chair of the Ethics Working Group of ASAP.


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Last modified: 03/18/2019