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David Oberhelman's picture

ACRL WESS Research and Planning Committee Meeting - Topics in European Studies Papers


ACRL WESS Research and Planning Committee
ALA Annual Meeting, Orlando
Saturday, June 25, 2016
4:30-5:30 P.M.
HIL Clear Lake

 

I. Welcome and introductions
II. Papers (Discussion to follow at the end)
- Brendan Fay, Emporia State University
"The Specter of Kultur: Music, Culture and Society between Weimar and the Third Reich"
This talk examines the fate of classical music in Weimar Germany, and offers a reexamination of the relationship between conservative music culture and the rise of National Socialism over the period 1919-1933. Previous work on the subject has tended to emphasize affinities between cultural conservatives and the Nazis over such issues as anti-Semitism, nationalism, and the ‘scourge’ of modernist art, to name only three. While acknowledging the merit behind such claims, my research seeks to highlight some of the ways in which the straight line leading from Weimar’s cultural conservatives to their Nazi successors was crooked, uneven or altogether broken in important ways. Weimar historiography was once dominated by an array of studies purporting to show continuities between Weimar and The Third Reich, which had the effect of depicting Weimar as a mere prelude or dress rehearsal for the violence and destruction unleashed by Nazism. And yet while the last several years have witnessed a flood of scholarship emphasizing rupture in the political and social lives of the two periods, the historiography within musical culture has curiously lagged behind compared to these other domains. Drawing upon a rich and innovative source base comprised of music scores, critical essays, satirical cartoons, concert reviews, and memoirs of contemporary musicologists, music critics, and performers, my research seeks to challenge the association between cultural conservatism and reactionary politics in interwar Germany
- Kelsey Corlett-Rivera, University of Maryland
"Colony in Crisis: Where Do We Go From Here"
The Colony in Crisis digital history website (https://colonyincrisis.lib.umd.edu/) evolved from the French Pamphlet Planning Project, sponsored by a grant secured through CIFNAL and the University of Florida. Many WESS members participated in that project, and we are indebted to the group for help promoting the site, which has seen steady traffic. Now were are deciding where to go from here. Given the small project team (one librarian and two graduate students) we can only accomplish a limited amount. We have already identified another six pamphlet batch to add as Issue 3.0, but we are considering three options to make the site more interactive.
1) Add an interactive map using StoryMaps
a. This would require the addition of significant context to make it more than a historical map.
2) Add an interactive timeline
a. This would incorporate major historical events alongside the featured documents. One consideration here is that our collection is but a small sample, so may not be representative when displayed chronologically
3) Increase the focus on crowd-sourced correction of OCR in Wikisource
a. The scanned French documents have been available to correct in Wikisource since the beginning of our project, but we have not advertised this at all. We would need to identify a target audience, market, and determine use cases for the corrected full text.
We cannot undertake all three of these initiatives at once, and so are trying to determine what would be most impactful – for our project, for scholars, and with a view to securing additional funding.
- David Lincove, The Ohio State University
"Data for Peace: Armaments Year-Book and Disarmament, 1924-1940"
Armaments Year-Book was part of the League of Nations’ program for compiling and publishing national data on armaments holdings, arms trade, and natural resources used to make war. The data sharing program, mandated by the League Covenant incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, was intended as an information tool to help reach a disarmament agreement among member states and to provide the public with information that would combat propaganda. Idealists who supported disarmament after the war believed in internationalism that was rooted in European and American progressive ideas on maintaining world peace. They believed that publishing and sharing arms data would contribute to an environment of greater openness and international trust and cooperation. The yearbook was international in scope, but Europeans nations which dominated the League were most influential in developing and maintaining the publication from its conception in in the early 1920s until it ceased in1940 after a new war had begun. Although League members approved of the data collection and dissemination, disarmament had many doubters, particularly Britain and France, but also the United States which never joined the League or even ratified the Versailles treaty. National sovereignty and distrust among nations proved to be the most important issues undermining collective disarmament, but also contributing were the extremely complicated nature of defining and measuring armaments as illustrated in the yearbook. I will discuss in brief the philosophy behind the development of the yearbook, the response from government and public commentators, and show sample pages.
- Meredith Levin, Columbia University
"'How Beautiful the World Is!': A Social-Network Analysis of Anglo-American Travelers in Europe, 1880-1910"
Analyzing a collection of unpublished correspondence at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, I will trace the Anglo-American social networks of upper-class travelers throughout Europe at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. The letters, written by such luminaries as Mark Twain, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Mary of Teck, Queen consort of King George V, were sent from all over Europe (and beyond) to their friend and expatriate American physician, Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin, who split his time between Florence and Rome for more than three decades. A veritable treasure trove of social history, this voluminous body of correspondence covering a geographical expanse from Ansonia, CT to Zanzibar illuminates the scandals, illnesses, politics, traveling customs, and burgeoning/dissolving friendships among Anglo-American elites with the money and means to travel extensively on the Continent. Using two open-source tools, CartoDB and Gephi, I plan to map these social networks, to visualize where and when Dr. Baldwin’s correspondents crossed paths, and to explore previously unknown or understudied relationships between the great writers, artists and cultural figures of this rich period. This project is an independent extension of my department’s initial exploratory Digital Humanities initiative, the Developing Librarian project, in which our entire team (Columbia’s Humanities & History librarians) researched and built an Omeka exhibit, a Digital History of Morningside Heights.
III. Other Business
IV. Adjourn