University of Wisconsin–Madison


Spring 2017
Colloquia Schedule

The Shadow of Empty Shelves: World Literature and the National Socialist Pact with Books
Dr. B. Venkat Mani
Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic

Friday, March 10
4 p.m.

Drawing on his recently published study, Recoding World Literature (2017), in this lecture, Mani focuses on the role of the state in the construction of world literature. Mani argues that investigations of library and print cultural histories assist in understanding the relationship between the “republic” and its “reading public.” The lecture will focus on the first half of the 20th century, presenting Nazi Germany as a case study, sharing archival finds that have made into the book.


Fall 2016
Evening to Honor James Baughman
Thursday, October 27
5-8 p.m.
Wisconsin Historical Society
Please save the date for an evening honoring Jim Baughman’s personal and professional legacy, including his significant intellectual contributions to American history. The event is currently being planned and will feature a tribute to Jim’s scholarship by media historian David Nord, as well as a panel of former undergraduate and graduate students.

25th Anniversary Symposium
Thursday, November 10, 4 p.m.
Memorial Library, Room 126
Join the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture to celebrate 25 years of scholarship

  • John Cole, Library of Congress Historian
  • Wayne Wiegand, Historian and Co-Founder, Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture
  • James P. Danky, Historian and Co-Founder, Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture

Brownbag Talk
Thursday, November 10
4246 HC White Hall (SLIS Conference Room)

All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States since 1870
Jim Cortada
University of Minnesota

Spring 2016
“Gender and Big Data: Finding or Making Stereotypes?”
CHPDC Annual Lecture

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.10.54 AMLaura Mandell
Professor of English and Director of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture, Texas A&M University
Friday, April 15 at 4:00 p.m. Bunge Room, 4207 Helen C. White Hall
Reception with light refreshments to follow.
In his book Macroanalysis, Matthew Jockers argues that we have reached a “tipping point.” Now that we have so much digital data, we can use techniques and methodologies used to explore big data: text mining, topic modeling, machine learning, named entity recognition, etc. Two problems confront digital literary historians of women writers who wish to apply these methodologies. First, the number of women writers who published works before 1800 in Britain and America, as well as the number of their publications that have been preserved, is small compared to men, a problem compounded by how few works by early modern women writers are currently being digitized: roughly 4% of 307,000 volumes in the Early English Books Online and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online were written by women writers. Second, many of the data analysts currently comparing what they call “female writing” to “male writing” propagate rather than interrogate stereotypes about women and women writers. Sociologists have worked on such problems, and in this talk, I will outline some of their strategies and discuss how literary critics who wish to perform macroanalysis might make use of them. Data scientists in the commercial world have worked on the problem of representing minorities “fairly” even when they are represented by a small sample. Thanks to the robust history of feminist theory and criticism, we have the means for generating vocabularies, taxonomies, and ontologies for semantic searching and supervised topic modeling that differ from those generated through big-data techniques that naïvely privilege historically oppressive discourses. Second, the need to shift from quantitative to qualitative analysis (and back again) is augmented when analyzing textual data produced by minorities. I argue that, once again, the concern for social justice enhances intellectual work by effectively demonstrating the inadequacies of claiming “new” discoveries based upon “statistical significance” alone. DHRN is a part of the Borghesi-Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshops in the Humanities, sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with support from Nancy and David Borghesi and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 5.46.56 PMFiled Under Negro: Documenting Black Students at the University of Wisconsin, 1875-1940.
Harvey Long
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tuesday February 23, 12pm, Bunge Room, 4207 HCW

SLIS MA student, Harvey Long discusses his research on race and university archives via the process of searching for and discovering the records of students of color at the University of Wisconsin before 1940.



The Memory Exchange: Public Mourning at the National 9/11 Memorial Museum
Sarah Senk
University of Hartford
Thursday, March 10, 12 p.m., 4th floor Helen C. White Hall (4191F – SLIS Library)
The Memory Exchange- Public Mourning at the National 9-11 Memorial MuseumImplicit in the design of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum is the notion that its commemorative space affirms a pluralist collective of individuals who, despite their varying degrees of spatial or temporal proximity to “Ground Zero,” are encouraged to bear witness here and now. By radically broadening the notion of what constitutes a witness, the museum displaces a sense of unified historical time with the time of the individual subject, implying to visitors that the time that matters most is that of their own personal experience of “9/11,” even if that experience happens fifteen years later in the museum, and has no firsthand experiential antecedent. In this lecture, I examine how the museum produces an ostensibly all-inclusive notion of witness – a configuration whose inclusivity belies the ways in which it is premised upon the replication of the self-identical. If the traditional archive represents the past in isolation, the 9/11 Museum gestures to a fundamental re-articulation of what we think of as the there and then, constituting a new form of personal memory that is no longer based on proximal witnessing, but nevertheless comes to constitute historical knowledge.