IUPUI Emeritus Professor of History Earns Statewide Recognition

Robert G. Barrows, IUPUI professor emeritus of history, was announced as the winner of the Indiana Historical Society’s 2018 Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award. The former Department of History chairman has contributed to an awareness and appreciation of Indiana’s history — locally, statewide, regionally and even nationally — for decades. In publication, teaching and service, Barrows has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of Indiana’s history.

The award is given annually to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the field of history. Barrows was honored during the Indiana Historical Society’s annual Founders Day dinner Nov. 5 at the Glick Indiana History Center.

Barrows received his undergraduate degree from Muskingum University before earning his graduate degrees at Indiana University.

Read the original article from IUPUI News

Studying Black Catholics: Testing My Patience, Faith, and Community

Despite a history of conflict and racial marginalization in the Church, Black Catholics are among the most engaged and religious groups. Black Catholics have had to struggle to be recognized as authentic Catholics. Based on his book, Perseverance in the Parish? Religious Attitudes From A Black Catholic Perspective, Dr. Davis will highlight the important findings and examine the challenges involved in researching and writing about Black Catholics.

Start: Thursday September 27, 2018 06:00 PM
End: Thursday September 27, 2018 07:00 PM
Location: Holy Angels Catholic Church 740 W 28th St, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Contact: lauren chism
Contact Email: lchism@iupui.edu 

Wilma Moore’s Memory Honored With Scholarship

An Indiana University alumna and an Indianapolis leader in education, libraries and history, Wilma Moore’s impact was felt in several institutions — IUPUI, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University, the Indiana Historical Society and Indianapolis public libraries, just to name a few.

Wilma Moore. Photo courtesy of the School of Informatics and Computing

Announced about four months after her April 18 death, Moore’s memory will be honored with the Wilma Gibbs Moore Graduate Endowed Scholarship with the goal of making libraries more diverse.

“Mrs. Moore dedicated her life to building a more inclusive history, and, in recognition of that and the 50th anniversary of IUPUI, we would like to keep her legacy alive by building a more inclusive profession in her honor,” said Andrea Copeland, chair of the Department of Library and Information Science.

For information about donating to the scholarship, contact Stacy Zearing, director of development for the School of Informatics and Computing, at .

Read the original article from IUPUI News

Indiana University and Uffizi Gallery unveil website featuring first set of 3D, digitized artifacts

FLORENCE, Italy — As a result of a collaboration between Indiana University and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, it’s now possible to view some of the world’s most admired ancient artifacts and sculptures in 3D without traveling overseas. A newly launched website, www.digitalsculpture-uffizi.org, was unveiled Tuesday  in a ceremony at the historic Uffizi Gallery attended by IU Vice President for Research Fred H. Cate, as well as other IU faculty. The site currently contains over 300 digitized sculptures and fragments from the collection.

A sculpture at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, is scanned as part of the process to digitize the art in 3D. Photo by Indiana University

The project was announced in 2016 at the Uffizi Gallery in a joint presentation by IU President Michael A. McRobbie and Uffizi Gallery Director Eike Schmidt.

“As we accomplish the goals set forth in this unprecedented and enormously ambitious project, the unveiling of this new website marks a first major milestone in a collaboration that will generate unparalleled opportunity for scholarly engagement with materials housed in one of the world’s oldest and very finest galleries,” McRobbie said. “By leveraging IU’s scholarly expertise in ancient art and culture, as well as our extensive technological capabilities, this collection of magnificent, inspiring and irreplaceable classical antiquities can now be viewed and studied in an entirely new and fascinating way by scholars, museum professionals, students and the general public.”

In summer 2018, the IU team digitized 61 statues in the Uffizi and in the Villa Corsini, the complex where the Uffizi stores works of ancient art not on display in the galleries. The team is led by Bernard Frischer, IU professor of informatics, director of the university’s Virtual World Heritage Laboratory and one of the world’s leading virtual archaeologists. A key partner on the project has been the Politecnico di Milano, under the direction of professor Gabriele Guidi.

“I am very pleased by the progress of our work on this five-year project both in terms of quantity and quality,” Frischer said. “We’re about halfway through the project and are on target to finish the job, as foreseen, in 2020.

“We have already digitized more works of classical sculpture than has ever been done in a single museum. Even more impressive than the quantity of my students’ work is its quality. I have shown the models they have made to many museum professionals in the United States and abroad. They have been uniformly impressed, and this has led to invitations to undertake new projects of digitization at the Getty Villa in Malibu, Palazzo Altemps in Rome and the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.”

The digitization project includes training IU informatics and art history students in the techniques of 3D data capture, digital modeling and interactive online publication; creating a limited number of 3D restoration models of works of interest to individual project participants; and publishing the 3D models on several online sites, including the Italian Ministry of Culture’s internal conservation database, the Uffizi’s public website and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory’s publicly available Digital Sculpture Project.

IU’s part of the digitization project is funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research as part of its New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities seed funding program, which supports faculty members in path-breaking programs of scholarly investigation or creative activity. The project is receiving technological support from University Information Technology Services.

“It’s exciting to see the progress of this ambitious project,” Cate said. “Not only does the website offer first-of-its-kind opportunities to a broad audience, ranging from scholars and museum professionals to students and the general public, but we’re creating a replicable model for other museums and institutions to use in digitizing their own collections.”

The Uffizi Gallery, adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in central Florence, houses some of the world’s finest masterpieces, including works by Botticelli, Caravaggio, da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian. It is among the most visited museums in Italy, with more than 1.5 million visitors each year.

Read the original article from News at IU.

From Humanities: American Poet W. S. Merwin Transformed Anger into Art

W. S. Merwin

W. S. Merwin, who twice won the Pulitzer Prize, first tried his hand at poetry as a child. Growing up in Union City, New Jersey, he was moved to bring pen to paper after hearing his father, a Presbyterian minister, read from the King James Bible at church. Young William realized that there was a “distant connection” between that kind of heightened language and poetry. “And that’s what I wanted to do, to write poetry. And the more I did it, the more I wanted to do it.”

Merwin developed an impersonal formalist style, but in time his poems trended toward a freer and more lyrical approach. His work, steeped in legend, the classics, and the Bible, is also anchored in the present, marked, above all, by a vigilance for all living things. Although he has been an angry poet at times, he has avoided bitterness by learning to transform his rage into art. Transformation is the key to understanding his work, as the hallmark of his poetry since the early sixties has been his mastery of “the turn,” the moment in a poem where an idea turns, often with a surprise, into something else.

His first books of poetry were marked by objectivity, elegance, and formal constraints. He wrote in meter and tried his hand at a variety of poetic forms, including the sestina. One critic observed that his first book, A Mask for Janus (1952), “exhibits a young musician trying out his instrument.” His diction was elaborate, using such terms as “anabasis” (a difficult military retreat), “koré” (an ancient Greek statue of a woman), “saeculum” (an Etruscan word for a specific period of time, usually the length of a generation), and “penates” (household gods in Roman times). To understand the volume’s first two poems, “Anabasis,” parts I and II, it helps to have read Xenophon. History-laden words, as in the poetry of his mentor Ezra Pound, had for Merwin a creative force all their own.

But erudition always vied with living things for Merwin’s attention. Plants, trees, and animals have been of particular interest…

[read more]

From the AHA: Benevolent Diplomacy

German boys line up to receive food from pots marked USA while a military official snaps a photo.

Read the original article from Kaete O’Connell

Last winter while leafing through the Official File at the Truman Library for material on Herbert Hoover’s 1947 economic mission to Germany, I was struck by a vibrant burst of color. The monochrome of telegrams and correspondence was replaced by colorful sketches of chickens, Lifesaver candies, and a family of beans marching to a can for preservation. The drawings were bound together with thank-you notes penned by young recipients of US food relief. German children clearly appreciated the “gift” of food, pleasing occupation officials keen to capitalize on American charity. German stomachs, particularly young ones, offered an alternate route to hearts and minds in the early Cold War.

At a time when the future of foreign assistance programs remains uncertain and military rhetoric is ascendant, we might look back to the experience in postwar Germany, when the United States practiced altruism as a form of diplomacy. For a brief moment, before Cuba, before Korea, and even before Berlin, the United States cultivated an image that relied as much on beneficence as military might… [read more]

NEH Fall Feature: Poe’s Hatchet Jobs

Tony Award-winning Denis O’Hare portrays the author in Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive, an American Masters documentary.
—Photo by Liane Brandon

In October 1845, a short-lived New York magazine called the Aristidean published a review of Edgar Allan Poe’s story collection Tales. The article spouted praise like a dancing fountain. Poe’s detective story “The Gold-Bug” “perfectly succeeded in his perfect aim.” “The Fall of the House of Usher” was “grand and impressive.” “Murders in the Rue Morgue” was marked by “profound and searching analysis.”

And, overall, Poe wielded the kind of literary power that “can only be possessed by a man of high genius,” according to the anonymous reviewer—who was almost certainly Edgar Allan Poe himself.

Poe’s reputation as a major American writer is unassailable. He invented the modern detective story, successfully transported the gothic tale across the Atlantic, and wrote classic dark poems like “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” and “The Bells.” But, during Poe’s lifetime, such high points were intermittent, hard-fought, and rarely financial successes. More often, Poe made his living by toiling at now-forgotten magazines like the Southern Literary Messenger, Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, and Graham’s Magazine.

This struggle to make art amid his struggles—he was an orphan, an alcoholic, an academic bust at the University of Virginia and West Point, and often on the run from creditors—is the crux of the American Masters documentary Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive, which aired on PBS October 30. Through dramatic readings of Poe’s work and a moody performance of Poe himself by Denis O’Hare, the film captures an author scrabbling… [Read More]

Fellowship Opportunity at Washington College and John Carter Brown Library

Brown University's John Carter Brown Library.  Image taken from www.brown.edu
Brown University’s John Carter Brown Library.

The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the John Carter Brown Library invite applications for the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellowship, a unique research and writing fellowship. The deadline for applications for the 2015-2016 Hodson-Brown Fellowship is March 15, 2015.

The Hodson Trust – John Carter Brown Fellowship supports academics, independent scholars, writers, filmmakers, novelists and artists working on significant projects relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830.

Fellowship award: $20,000 plus housing and university privileges

Duration: two months of research in Providence, RI (any time between September and May) and two months of writing in Chestertown, Md. (any time between May and August)

Residence: In Providence, a private room in the John Carter Brown Library’s Fellows’ Residence; in Chestertown, exclusive occupancy of a restored circa-1735 house.

Work space: In Providence, space in the John Carter Brown Library; in Chestertown, a private office in the circa-1745 waterfront Custom House, home of the Starr Center

Deadline for 2015-2016:March 15, 2015

Further information and criteria:http://hodsonbrown.washcoll.edu

Questions may be directed to:starr_center@washcoll.edu.

Careers in History Symposium

unnamedRegistration is now open for the “Careers in History Symposium,” presented by the National Council on Public History, the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Public History Program, and the IUPUI History Graduate Student Association. Registration is $15.

Explore a sampling of careers open to those who want to be historians or use historical training directly in their jobs. The focus will be public or applied history, but the discussions will include more specific areas, such as museum studies, historic preservation, archives, policy, civic engagement, and business.

Undergraduate (and graduate) students should leave inspired and with information about graduate school, clear ideas about job possibilities that build off of their interests in history, as well as lists of resources and personal contacts they can call upon in considering their future.  Besides specific history/public history career information, we will offer fresh perspectives on the many ways in which professional historians, curators, preservationists, cultural resource managers, archivists, educators, government agencies, and small businesses work together. There will also be two optional behind-the-scenes tours offered.

Tour 1—Indiana Historical Society

Tour 2—Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Registration for the symposium, as well as updates and further information here.

Guest Post: In Search of Annie Parker by Professor Jack Kaufman-McKivigan

UntitledThanks to support from the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, the IU New Currents program, and several campus offices and departments as well as Indiana Humanities (the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), the Frederick Douglass Papers will sponsor a gathering of scholars, teachers, students, and the general public to examine the historical and literary significance of Douglass’s novella, “The Heroic Slave” (1853), on our campus in October.

In preparation for this symposium several members of the Douglass Papers staff have been engaged in a small piece of literary detective work. Douglass’s “Heroic Slave” was originally published as a contribution to the short “gift book” entitled Autographs for Freedom, published in Boston by the firm of John P. Jewitt. Besides Douglass, this collection of essays, poems, and short fiction features many well-known mid-nineteenth century writers and political and reform leaders including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Sumner, Horace Greeley, John G. Whittier, and Caroline Dall.

Among the diverse collection of black and white, male and female, American and British contributors to Autographs is the writer Annie Parker who published a poem “Story Telling” and the separate story, “Passages in the Life of a Slave Woman.” In the latter, the narrator, a slave woman, recounts the tragic outcome of a master/slave sexual relationship. In the past few decades this piece has been anthologized several times as one of the earliest works of fiction by an African American author. But who was Annie Parker? None of the anthologies or scholars writing about the story have ever been able to supply any biographical details about her.

Project assistant editor Jeffrey Duvall, graduate research assistant Rebecca Pattillo, and I have been at work trying to answer that question this summer. Frederick Douglass’s own Rochester-published newspaper contains a piece under Parker’s byline in the early 1850s and two other short journalistic pieces by her appear in a Geneva, New York-based temperance newspaper in that same era. Then the trail gets cold, very cold.

Genealogical sources turn up a few possible “Annie Parkers” in the upstate New York region but none of them has any known connection to the antislavery movement and all were white. Perhaps Annie Parker was not a runaway slave as others have speculated. This raises the possibility that “Annie Parker” was a pen name–but whose?

The most intriguing possibility is that Parker is none other than Harriet Jacobs, the author of the famous 1859 autobiography of her horrifyingly abusive career as a South Carolina slave. Jacobs had escaped slavery in the early 1840s and worked as a maid for the Massachusetts journalist Nathaniel Parker Willis, who is referred to twice obtusely in Parker’s own writings. In 1849-50, two years before the publication of the Autographs, Jacobs lived in Rochester and actually worked in the same building where Douglass edited his newspaper. While Jacobs had returned to working for Willis in Massachusetts by the time Autographs was compiled, those earlier connections might have led the gift book’s editor, Julia Griffiths, to have solicited a piece by Jacobs, although no evidence of such a solicitation has yet been found. The same year, Harriet Beecher Stowe also asked Jacobs to write a summary of her slave experiences to include in her Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a response to critics of her condemnation of slave mistreatment in her earlier novel. The Douglass staff is exploring whether Jacobs might have wanted to tell her personal story herself in a safer fictional form in the pages of Autographs.

The product of this research will just be a small part of the upcoming symposium, where Douglass papers staff will be joined by seven widely-published scholars from several disciplines to explore various contexts of “the Heroic Slave.” The event is free and open to the public and we hope will be well-attended by many persons from the central Indiana community interested in Frederick Douglass and his campaign against slavery.

About the Author:
Dr. Kaufman-McKivigan is Mary O’Brien Gibson Professor of History at IUPUI; Co-Director, annual Madame C.J. Walker/Frederick Douglass Public Lecture and Workshop Series and Past-Director, annual Midwest Peace & Justice Summit (2005-2011); and Project Editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers Edition.