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. 

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

The Emergent Research Summer Showcase

Monday, July 24, 2017 from 10-11:30 am in the Clark Library Presentation Space.

Join the Emergent Research Working Group for a morning of presentations and conversations on current research projects happening throughout the University Library. 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.

We'll hear from the following colleagues:

  • Jackie Freeman, Informationists and Library Impact on Patient and Population Care: Strategies, Process, and Practicalities
  • Hailey Mooney, "Fake News" and the Frameworks: Information and Sociological Literacy
  • Emily Ginier and Patricia Anderson, From Qualitative to Quantitative: Data Extraction and Evidence Mapping to Identify Research Roles for Librarians in Systematic Review Methods
  • Linda Knox, Learning from Advanced Student Staff Experiences

Elizabeth LaPensée headshot photoIndigenous Self-Determination for Sovereign Games

Elizabeth LaPensée, Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University 
Monday, November 8, 2017, from 2-3:30 PM 
Hatcher Gallery

From Invaders (an Indigenous take on the classic arcade game Space Invaders that parallels imagined 8-bit alien invasion with the very real process of colonization in Turtle Island) to Thunderbird Strike (a lightning-searing, talon-tearing attack on oil consumption), Elizabeth LaPensée's games offer alternative gameplay from an Indigenous worldview. She will speak to these games and more with an emphasis on their intentions, self-determined design, inclusive development process, and community-focused distribution in the hopes of reifying sovereignty through games.

Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. is an award-winning writer, designer, and artist of games, comics, transmedia, and animation. She is Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish, living near the Great Lakes as an Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University. Most recently, she designed and created art for Manoominike (2016), a motion game about practices of wild ricing, as well as Honour Water (2016), an Anishinaabe singing game for healing the water. She designed and programmed Invaders (2015), a remix of the arcade classic Space Invaders. She also designed The Gift of Food (2014), a board game about Northwest Native traditional foods. She is currently working on Thunderbird Strike, a side-scrolling lightning-searing, talon-tearing attack on oil operations.

Past Emergent Research Series Events

Digital Self-Defense: Threats, Passwords, and Securing Your Accounts Workshop

University of Michigan Library's Connected Scholarship Team
Monday, June 26, 2017, from 10-11:30 AM 
Hatcher Gallery Lab

As more people keep private, sensitive, or research information in online accounts, the importance of keeping these accounts secure has become more important. In this hands-on session, we show how to perform a threat assessment of your online accounts and information, how to secure your personal accounts by creating and managing strong passwords, and how to further secure your logins by using 2-Factor authentication tools.

You will learn how to evaluate the risks and considerations of securing your online accounts and information through the use of threat modeling. You’ll also explore methods to secure your accounts by creating a diceware passphrase. Finally, you’ll see a demonstration of a password manager, and learn how to further secure your logins with the 2-Factor authentication tool, Duo Push.

This session is led by staff of the University Library’s Connected Scholarship team, accompanied by information security experts from U-M’s Information and Technology Services and LSA’s Information Technology team.


Photo of Daniel Eisenberg

Investing in Healthy Minds

Daniel Eisenberg, Health economist and professor at the University of Michigan
Monday, April 24, 2017, from 10:00-11:30 AM 
Hatcher Gallery

This talk will provide an overview of research in the Healthy Minds Network, a growing national initiative to collect and disseminate data and evidence related to college student mental health. The talk will address questions such as: Are mental health concerns increasing in college populations? What are the greatest needs in this area? What are the best opportunities to improve student mental health?

Daniel Eisenberg is a health economist and professor at University of Michigan. His goal is to improve understanding of how to invest effectively in the mental health of young people, particularly college age populations. He directs the Healthy Minds Network (www.healthymindsnetwork.org), which conducts a national survey of student mental health and develops digital media interventions.

Slavery and Children’s Stories: Implications for Schooling and Society

Picture of Dr. EbonyDr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Assistant Professor in the School of Educaiton at the University of Pennsylvania Monday, March 27, 2017, from 10:00-11:30 AM
Hatcher Gallery                                                                                                                                                      

Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is conducting empirical, digital, and archival research for a pedagogical monograph about traumatic historical events such as slavery and the teaching of literature to children.  Her talk will focus on her research process for this work, which is ongoing, and is an extension of her National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral research project. While atrocity in general will be considered, her work deals with the specific context of US enslavement, how it is represented in children’s stories, and what the resultant implications are for schooling and society.

Dr. Thomas is an assistant professor in the Reading/Writing/Literacy Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. A former Detroit Public Schools teacher, Dr. Thomas joined the Penn GSE faculty after completing her PhD in 2010 at the University of Michigan’s Joint Program of English and Education, and working as an assistant professor of reading, language, and literature at Wayne State University in Detroit.  Dr. Thomas’s program of research is most keenly focused on children’s and adolescent texts (broadly construed), the teaching of African American literature, history, and culture in K-12 classrooms, and the roles that race, class, and gender play in classroom discourse and interaction. Her forthcoming book is The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination in Youth Literature, Media, and Culture (New York University Press, 2018).

The Gender Leadership Gap:
Barriers and Bias in the Academy and Beyond

Photo of Kevin MillerKevin Miller, Senior Researcher, American Association of University Women
Thursday, February 16, 2017, from 1:00-2:30 PM                                                                                                   Hatcher Gallery                                                                                                                                                     

This event is co-sponsored by the ADVANCE Program.

In almost every industry and institution, men occupy leadership positions at a vastly disproportionate rate. For instance, in the private sector workforce, white men in particular are nearly twice as likely to be executives as would be expected by chance. Women now receive the majority of university degrees at almost all levels, including the doctoral level, and women now make up the majority of junior faculty and instructors at many colleges and universities. But as in other sectors, leaders at universities are still disproportionately likely to be men. Will time alone close the gender leadership gap in the academy? What can be done to eliminate the barriers and bias facing women? Kevin Miller of the American Association of University Women will review statistical information and research on the gender leadership gap, with a focus on issues facing women in the academy.

Kevin Miller is a Senior Researcher at the American Association of University Women (AAUW). He holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and political science from the University of Illinois and received his doctorate in social psychology at the Ohio State University. He has authored publications and testified before state and city lawmakers on a variety of topics, including the gender pay gap and leadership gap; challenges faced by women in postsecondary education; paid leave and other workplace policies; implicit bias; and child care and early education. Before joining AAUW, Kevin conducted research at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and worked in the Provost’s Office at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He joined AAUW in November 2015.

Speaking Their Language: Connecting with Adolescents in Research using Social Media and Text Messaging

Photo of Dr. Tammy ChangDr. Tammy Chang, Assistant Professor Department Family Medicine
Monday, January 23, 2017, from 10:00-11:30
Hatcher Gallery                                                                                                                                                       

Programs designed to address the high prevalence of risky health behaviors among adolescents often miss the mark. Understanding adolescents’ thoughts and opinions is challenging, yet vital if we hope to create programs and policies that promote their health and wellbeing.  This talk will discuss our team’s journey to tap into adolescents’ everyday lives while minimizing research burden among our participants.

Dr. Chang is a health services researcher and practicing family physician with a passion for adolescent health, specifically, breaking the cycle of poverty and poor health among adolescent mothers and their children.  Her research is focused on improving access to reproductive health care and promoting healthy pregnancy weight gain among at-risk adolescents using text messaging, social media, and other emerging technology.

Quantifying Kissinger:
Data Visualization and Historical Interpretation in Digital History

Photograph of Micki KaufmanMicki Kaufman, CUNY Graduate Center
Thursday, December 15, 2016, from 10-11:30
Hatcher Gallery
Watch recording

In this talk, Micki Kaufman (CUNY Graduate Center) will offer an inside look at the digital tools and methods employed in her dissertation, "Quantifying Kissinger." Focusing on the use of computational approaches to large-scale corpora like the National Security Archive's Kissinger Correspondence, Micki's talk will detail the many facets of digital history 'at scale,' including problems of access, availability of evidence, and the practical limits in interpretation and verifiability using such methods. Micki will also focus on the use of data visualization to present computational findings, and the specific challenges of employing and contributing digital history methodologies, tools and research findings in a deeply contested historiographical context.

Micki Kaufman (MA, MPhil CUNY, BA Columbia) is a doctoral candidate in US History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her dissertation, "'Everything on Paper Will Be Used Against Me:' Quantifying Kissinger” is a five-time winner of the CUNY Graduate Center’s Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant, and in 2015 she was awarded both the ACH and ADHO’s Lisa Lena and Paul Fortier Prizes for best Digital Humanities paper worldwide by an emerging scholar. Micki is also a co-author of "General, I Have Fought Just As Many Nuclear Wars As You Have," published in the December 2012 issue of the American Historical Review. Most recently in 2016, Micki was elected to be a member of the Executive Council of the Association for Computers in the Humanities (ACH). 

Technology Adoption in the Community:
Switching from Keypads to Touchscreens for People with Visual Impairments in India

Joyojeet Pal, School of Information
Monday, November 28, 2016, from 10:00-11:30 AM
Hatcher Gallery
Watch Recording

Switching from keypad-based phones that offer tactile feedback, to gesture-based smartphones that individuals interface with through touchscreens present a significant learning curve as well as a number of continuing challenges for people with visual impairments. As keypad-based phones are slowly phased out of production, smartphone adoption is no longer a choice -- it is enforced by markets. New users rely on a range of institutional and community resources to adopt these technologies and deal with ongoing troubleshooting. Yet these resources may not always be easily available in various parts of the world where smartphones are still expensive for the average citizen. In this talk, we discuss the challenges that touchsreens present to users with visual impairments in India. The talk describes interface management issues for smartphones and situates them within the socio-cultural issues around disability and accessibility in contemporary urban India.

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
Watch Recording

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.

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."​

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 Denise Marie Foley
Last modified: 07/14/2017