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Proposals for Workshops on Libraries and Digital Scholarship for NERCOMP

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Estimated Reading Time: 3.5 minutes  Do you work in or work with libraries or in scholarly communities, particularly at the intersection of technology (or changing technologies)? Do you have an area of technology that you would like to share your skills, practices, or struggles with OR that you really want to learn practice advice and guidance from folks working with that area? Then, this CFP is probably for you! I am reaching out to folks for any thoughts or ideas for day-long workshops or 1-hour webinars for  NERCOMP , the regional entity of EDUCAUSE , serving from Pennsylvania to Maine. We are planning for such professional development opportunities for the next academic year (Sept, 2021-June, 2022). We are considering different modalites, virtual, hybrid, and even face-to-face, depending on proposers' ideas and preferences. I’m currently the Program-Track Chair of Libraries and Scholarship in the 21st Century, which means I help to find folks who want to run these events and s

Review: Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

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Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall My rating: 5 of 5 stars Hall's historical exploration of women-led slave revolts is reminiscent of Maus by Art Spiegelman in its storytelling and some of its visual layering. It's an amazing work that ingeniously melds together the story of the history, Hall's story, and the actual history that she aims to cover.  As a Black, lesbian, mother who gave up her work as a lawyer to pursue a Ph.D. in history, Hall takes readers through the practices of historians as she dives deep into archives in the United States and England to unpack the history, the historiography, and the lapses in understanding by a field dominated by white men that made them blind to the fact that there were, in fact, numerous slave-revolts in the Americas and on the slave-ships in the Middle Passage that were led by women.  That mixture of storytelling itself is enough to warrant attention and to see how the

Review: Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation

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Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen My rating: 5 of 5 stars There's so much that resonated with this book.  Peterson manages to articulate so much of the frustration and challenges of being an adult in the current age and navigating the all-consumption mental and emotional demand of work that is bread into the culture, particularly for those labeled millenials (Side note: I think the generational categories are largely BS and hide much more than reveals about the complexity of life in any age to say nothing of the problematic assumed uniformity of existence, access to technology, resources, etc, but I digress). The forces of free-market capitalism unleashed with other forces inject a precariousness that makes what we have to feel ever-fleeting--just one layoff, firing, medical emergency, mental-health challenge, etc away from falling back down the socio-economic ladder. These anxieties mean

Review: The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

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The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by Bell Hooks My rating: 5 of 5 stars hooks offers a compelling critique about how masculinity is constructed in American culture and malformed due to the systemic effects of patriarchy.  However, because no one is willing to name patriarchy's negative effects on how we conceive of manhood, it inevitably denies men a fuller and more meaningful sense of masculinity. She traces out some of the ways in which this impacts different genders and sexualities, highlighting how many across both spectrums uphold a patriarchal and often, toxic masculinity regardless of their desire to do so since we have so few examples and scripts to work from otherwise.  Like much of her other work, hooks grounds this in her own experiences to illustrate how she has come to the topic and experiences it within her own personal history. With her, I always find this enhances the experience as she's never using her ide

Review: The New Huey P. Newton Reader

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The New Huey P. Newton Reader by Huey P. Newton My rating: 4 of 5 stars Growing up, the Black Panthers were given a negative connotation by the culture around me and Huey Newton was utterly unknown--not a name that came forward during Black history month or at any other point. His name arose in college, occasionally, but barely. Rather, he appeared on my radar in grad school and beyond, but still, never a full picture.  This book is that fuller and richer picture of his life, his work, and ideas, coupled with the counter-intelligence reports from the FBI that illustrate how much he was purposely maligned by the government for his efforts and ideas to bring about a revolution of the people, grounded in restoring power to Black people and everyone, ultimately.  Collecting a mixture of speeches, interviews, his autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide, published essays, and the like, this collection paints a vivid picture of the deeply rooted ideas o

Review: Learning Outside The Lines : Two Ivy League Students With Learning Disabilities And ADHD Give You The Tools For Academic Success and Educational Revolution

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Learning Outside The Lines : Two Ivy League Students With Learning Disabilities And ADHD Give You The Tools For Academic Success and Educational Revolution by Jonathan Mooney My rating: 3 of 5 stars Though slightly dated (from the turn of the 20th century), this book actually has a lot of great tips and ideas for nontraditional learners (read: everybody) to consider and utilize to maximize their learning in environments where educators come to teaching and learning with a one-size-fits-all model.  The authors provide a great many strategies for college success and I think in some ways, much of what they have said has been integrated in parts to first-year seminars and college-prep courses.  They manage to pack a lot about how to get the most out of any course and provide lots of practical approaches to learning.  In the wrong mindset, one could read this as "hacks" to college but realistically, they provide meaningful support structu

Review: Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

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Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo My rating: 5 of 5 stars Olou returns with another strong discussion about race, racism, and white supremacy in US society with particular attention on the dominance of white males in said culture. Her criticism is critical, biting, and on target.  Her central tenant is that in a culture that has actively cultivated white males as the center of attention in the public and private spheres for centuries, it has also created a culture where white males feel entitled to always rise and any changes to this, feels like a direct challenge to them--even though that by statistical fact, most of them are average or mediocre.  White male culture suffers from the Lake Wobegon effect where we're all trained to believe that we're above average and therefore, challenges to that on the individual or cultural level creates resentment and triggers deeply seeded racist views and actions. 

Review: In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action

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In Defense of Looting: A Riotous History of Uncivil Action by Vicky Osterweil My rating: 4 of 5 stars Osterweil writes a book that is likely to rattle many folks based upon the title but is definitely worth the read. Throughout the work, she makes a series of convincing arguments about the role of violence or how violence is mislabelled and misrepresented dependent upon who is doing it both in the present and through the lens of various historical movements (e.g. labor and civil rights).  For instance, when colonists seize land and take lives for their own benefit or when police seize bodies or personal property (asset forfeiture) without little or no consequence, looting is not a word that is used though it is quite evident in such work. Her strongest point is the illustrating of the questionable and blurred lines of distinction between violent and nonviolent, civil and uncivil, and how these lines are so easily manipulated by structural forc

Review: Tell Me About Me

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Tell Me About Me by Marc Predka My rating: 4 of 5 stars As personal as they are powerful, Predka unleashes a torrent of emotional punches in this collection of poems.  They evoke visceral, even gut-clenching, moments of pain in a way that can make many readers feel seen by words they may have never strung together but feel deep in the bones.  That's one of the most poignant elements of Predka's work; how his poems are corporeal leaving imprints in the mind and on the body. It makes a certain amount of sense given how much of the works are about bodies--being in one's body, escaping one's body, harming one's body, witnessing changing one's body, connecting or missing another's body, and how the mind and body may connect or disconnect. On that point, many poems explore mental health in bold or nuanced ways--a theme that Predka had taken up in a recent album as the hip-hop artist, The Traemarc (Blood Meridian, 2019). Like any good c

Review: Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

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Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha My rating: 5 of 5 stars Piepzna-Samarasinha's collection of essays is both foundation and ground-shaking. Through essays, reflections, interviews, and other written pieces, she defines much of the contours of a disability justice that is intersectional and informed and guided by the people who understand the work and navigate daily through an ableist world that constantly seems them as broken, messy, or unfixable. Beyond providing a variety of histories, accounts, and personal experiences of herself, friends, idols, and her locals, Piepzna-Samarasinha shows the reader time and again that there are vast strengths, resources, insights, and networks among queer, trans, lesbian, gay people of color communities that fight hard to keep them alive and have value and insight in ways that the larger culture largely ignores, disregards, and never chooses to ask. Further, she