2014 Barlow Lecture in the Humanities explores ‘The Future History of the Book’

imagesINDIANAPOLIS — Is there a need to fear the death of the book in this age of digital readers?

This is the question that will guide the 2014 John D. Barlow Lecture in the Humanities at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Oct. 29. The event is free and open to the public.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, director of scholarly communication of the Modern Language Association and visiting research professor of English at New York University, will present the lecture, “The Future History of the Book: Time, Attention, Convention.”

The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in the IUPUI Campus Center Theater, 420 University Blvd. A reception precedes the lecture in the Campus Center Theater Atrium at 5 p.m. The theater is located on the building’s lower level.

Anxieties abound regarding the ostensible obsolescence of the book. Exploring whether the book is in fact becoming obsolete, and what it might mean if it were, requires thinking distinctly about the specific material form of the book — the codex, that is, stacks of paper bound on one edge with front and back covers — and about the content it has long carried.

Fitzpatrick asks, if the form were to change — becoming digital, for instance — would our interactions with the content still make the book a viable vector for the cultural interactions the codex has supported? Would it be possible for us to find the powerful identification with the electronic book that we long have had with the codex book? And what might need to happen in order to effect such a transfer of our affections?

“We’re very glad to welcome Dr. Fitzpatrick to Indianapolis to present this year’s Barlow Lecture,” said William Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. “This is a thought-provoking topic, and she is the ideal person to discuss it.”

Fitzpatrick is the author of two books, “Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy” (NYU Press 2011) and “The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television” (Vanderbilt University Press 2006). In 2006, she co-founded the digital scholarly network MediaCommons, a community network for scholars, students and practitioners in media studies that promotes the exploration of new publishing forms. Fitzpatrick’s articles have appeared in the Journal of Electronic Publishing, PMLA, Contemporary Literature and Cinema Journal.

The IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI hosts the Barlow Lecture in the Humanities in honor of Liberal Arts Dean and Professor Emeritus John D. Barlow.

To RSVP, email LibaRSVP@iupui.edu with “Barlow” in the subject line. Visitor parking is available in the Vermont Street Garage, attached to the Campus Center, for a fee.

IUPUI faculty and students help FBI identify cultural artifacts

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis anthropology and museum studies faculty and students are assisting the FBI in identifying and preserving cultural artifacts found in the home of a Rush County, Ind., man.

The FBI and its multidisciplinary team are working on repatriating items of cultural patrimony.

Larry J. Zimmerman, professor of anthropology and museum studies; Holly Cusack-McVeigh, assistant professor of anthropology and museum studies; and Charmayne “Charli” Champion-Shaw, director of the Office of America Indian Programs at IUPUI, are among the art, cultural and museum experts working as consultants at the site about 35 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

“Our job is to assist the FBI in the identification of artifacts, help as liaisons with Native Americans and take care of the artifacts in keeping with best museum practices and FBI evidential procedures,” Zimmerman said. Zimmerman also holds the title of Public Scholar of Native American Representation, a shared position with the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

Students and alumni of museum studies classes taught by Cusack-McVeigh, also Public Scholar of Collections and Community Curation, are helping to handle the artifacts as they are registered, photographed and packaged.

The IUPUI faculty and students participated in an FBI briefing April 1 and a press conference April 2 about the matter. At this time, the IUPUI professors and students are not available for additional media interviews.

Historic Deerfield, Inc. 2014 Undergraduate Fellowship Program in Early American History and Material Culture

Historic Deerfield, Inc. invites applications for an intensive Summer Fellowship Program in History and Material Culture in Deerfield, MA. Undergraduates enrolled as either juniors or seniors as of January 1, 2014 are eligible for 7 openings in the program, which is designed for students in American Studies, Architecture, Archeology, Art and Art History, Design, History, Material Culture, Preservation and Museum Studies. Each participant receives a full fellowship that covers all expenses associated with the program, including tuition, room and board, and field trips. Limited stipends are available for students with demonstrated need to help cover lost summer income.

Summer Fellows:

  • Live in the historic village
  • Explore history and material culture studies in hands-on classroom seminars, walking tours and room studies with Historic Deerfield staff and visiting lecturers
  • Learn to guide and interpret in Historic Deerfield’s furnished museum houses
  • Conduct original research on New England history and material culture
  • using museum and library collections
  • Go on behind-the-scenes visits to historic sites in New England and take a week-long road trip to museums in the mid-Atlantic and Virginia

Program dates: June 9-August 10, 2014.

Application deadline: February 7, 2014.

Applications are accepted online 

Contact: Barbara A. Mathews Phone: (413) 775-7207; email: bmathews@historic-deerfield.org