Professor John Kasson’s new book reviewed in “The Atlantic” and other media!

Congratulations to Professor John Kasson! His new book The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America was recently reviewed in The Atlantic. Read the review here.

In addition to its review in The Atlantic, you can read reviews for The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Weekly Standard, and Newsday.

Professor Cobb’s Contributions to Two Volumes to be Published This Summer!

Congratulations to Professor Dan Cobb, who will have contributions to two edited volumes, Beyond Two Worlds (SUNY Press) and Native Diasporas (University of Nebraska Press), published this summer.  The chapters are drawn from his ongoing research on the life and work of Flathead author and activist D’Arcy McNickle and the the international context of Native activism, respectively.

Two-Year DIL Collaboration Culminates in Lebanese Migration Exhibit

American Studies-based Digital Innovation Lab began working with the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies (http://lac.chass.ncsu.edu) two years ago to map the migration and settlement of hundreds of families in North Carolina cities a century ago from what is now Lebanon, but was then a part of the Ottoman Empire.  The idea grew out of a casual conversation between Robert Allen, Professor of American Studies and Director of the DIL, and John Blythe, a staff member of the North Carolina Collection, whose mother’s family was a part of that immigration story.
 
By the time the digital map was unveiled as a part of the North Carolina Museum of History’s “Cedars in the Pines – The Lebanese in North Carolina: 130 Years of History” exhibit on February 21, 2014, Mapping Early NC Lebanese Households had involved more than a dozen students in two DIL-linked graduate seminars, hundreds of hours of labor by undergraduate and graduate research assistants, a technology collaboration with UNC’s Renaissance Computing Institute, and significant enhancements of the DIL’s digital humanities software platform, DH Press (the DIL recently received a national award for developing DH Press).
 
At the beginning of spring term 2014, the sixteen students in Robert Allen’s DIL-linked American Studies first year seminar on family history were introduced to the potential of digital history and to the wealth of primary source material available to UNC students through Ancestry.com and Newspapers.com by researching four Lebanese immigrant households and writing narratives around the census enumerations, immigration records, naturalization petitions, and city directory listings in which household members appear. They were able to take advantage of millions of pages of nineteenth- and early-20th century North Carolina newspapers recently digitized and made accessible to UNC students, faculty, and staff through a collaboration between the UNC Library and Ancestry.com subsidiary Newspapers.com.   The students presented their first drafts at a family history workshop for K-12 educators on January 21, 2014.  They are working with Mapping Early NC Lebanese Households project manager Stephanie Barnwell to revise their narratives with the goal of incorporating their research into “Household Spotlight” features that will be added to the project in the coming weeks.
 
American Studies major Anna Faison has worked as an undergraduate research assistant on the project, and contributed this spotlight narrative on the Baddour family of Goldsboro: http://digital.nclebanese.org/spotlights/baddour/ , which will serve as a model for the first-year students’ narratives.
 
With support from the First Year Seminar Office, the class will visit the exhibit in early April, meet and enjoy a Lebanese meal with Professor Akram Khater, Director of the Khayrallah Center. 
 
Lessons learned from the project and its data structure are currently being applied to new DIL community history projects, including the “reconstruction” of one of the largest cotton mill villages in North Carolina in the early 1920s, using census enumerations accessed through Ancestry.com, and historic maps provided by the North Carolina Collection.

DH Press Recognized in the 2013 DH Awards!

Posted on February 20, 2014 by Pamella Lach

I am thrilled to announce that DH Press came in as Second Runner Up in the “Best DH Tool or Suite of Tools” category for the 2013 Digital Humanities Awards. 511 votes were cast in our favor. This public recognition reflects the hard work and dedication of the entire DH Press Team, past and present, without whom the we would not have gotten this far.

DH Press Project Team

Project Manager: Pam Lach
Developers: Joe Hope (RENCI), Michael Newton (DIL/CDHI)
Current Project Team: Stephanie Barnwell
Past Members of Project Team: Jade Davis, Bryan Gaston, Chien-Yi Hou, with contributions from Joe Ryan (ITS Research Computing)
DIL Director: Robert Allen

And a big thanks to our Clients and Partners: Renee Alexander Craft (Communication Studies and DIL/IAH Faculty Fellow), Seth Kotch (Southern Oral History Program), Michelle Robinson (American Studies), Anne Whisnant (History/American Studies), and the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies at NCSU. Check out their projects!

Look for more good things to come with the upcoming release of DH Press 2.0!

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Lives Discovered: Prof. Robert Allen’s students use new digital resources to recapture details of Black North Carolina artisans’ lives from earlier centuries

Read the full story from the UNC homepage here.

Link to Digital Innovation Lab story on the course.

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This tiny mention of a train trip to school was unseen for 131 years until UNC student Thomas Haire found it through Newspapers.com, which is digitizing microfilms of newspapers in the North Carolina Collection of the UNC Libraries. Students in Professor Robert Allen’s first-year seminar researched the lives of black artisans, free and enslaved, from New Bern, N.C.

UNC Department of American Studies Statement Regarding the American Studies Association Resolution on the Academic Boycott of Israel

The faculty of the Department of American Studies convened to discuss the American Studies Association Resolution on the Academic Boycott of Israel. The spirit of our discussion was open and generous. At the conclusion of our conversation, we came together around the following statement:

UNC Department of American Studies Statement Regarding the

American Studies Association Resolution on the Academic Boycott of Israel

The Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill will continue our departmental affiliation with the American Studies Association.  We are committed to the object of the association as stated in its constitution, “the promotion of the study of American culture through the encouragement of research, teaching, publication, the strengthening of relations among persons and institutions in this country and abroad devoted to such studies, and the broadening of knowledge among the general public about American culture in all its diversity and complexity.” (http://www.theasa.net/about/page/constitution_and_bylaws/)

  • The department reiterates its support for academic freedom, including the right of scholars and students to study, discuss, assemble, collaborate, travel, and publish freely.
  • The department as a whole does not take a position on the recent resolution of the American Studies Association to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.  The department does affirm the right of individual faculty and students to speak and act on political and ethical issues according to the dictates of their own conscience.
  • The department plans to engage critical issues raised by the ASA resolution (the “call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions,” “academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars,” and academic freedom in a global context) in future departmental colloquia open to the larger university community.

Further information on the American Studies Association Resolution may be found at: http://www.theasa.net/american_studies_association_resolution_on_academic_boycott_of_israel

UNC-CH Chancellor Folt’s statement regarding the American Studies Association resolution may be found at: http://uncnews.unc.edu/2013/12/31/unc-chapel-hill-issues-statement-rejecting-boycott-israeli-academic-institutions/