Friday, April 13, 2007

Thomas Mayer to Speak in Glasscock Center Lecture Series: “How Do We Keep Knowing”

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research is pleased to announce the next public lecture in our continuing Glasscock Center Lecture Series, “How Do We Keep Knowing.” Professor Thomas Mayer of Augustana College, will present his paper entitled “Trying Galileo” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 in the Glasscock Building, Room 311.

Professor Mayer has published widely on many aspects of Early Modern Europe, including the study of Cardinal Reginald Pole, the Tudor Commonwealth, and early modern Catholicism. His publications include The Correspondence of Reginald Pole (2002), Reginald Pole, Prince and Prophet (2000), and Thomas Starkey and the Commonweal: Humanist Politics and Religion in the Reign of Henry VIII (1989).

In his talk, Professor Mayer will discuss the 1633 trial of Galileo by the Roman Inquisition and offer a “political and procedural interpretation” of the opposition between the famous scientist and papal authorities. Mayer suggests that Galileo’s punishment – internal exile – was not enough to prevent publication of his work in northern Europe or to erase its influence on thinkers like RenĂ© Descartes. Galileo is thus directly implicated in the separation of reason and feeling in Western thought. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, see our website Activities/ , or contact the Glasscock Center at 979-845-8328.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tamara Sumner to Speak in the Glasscock Center Digital Humanities Lecture Series

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research is pleased to announce this Spring’s third public lecture in the Digital Humanities Lecture Series. Tamara Sumner, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Lifelong Learning and Design at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will present her work entitled “Transforming Digital Content into Learning: The Potential and Challenges Facing Educational Digital Libraries” at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007, in the Evans Library, Room 204E.

Sumner is Co-Editor of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education and designer of the Digital Document Discourse Environment Project. She has published widely in the areas of cognitive science, educational technology, and interactive publishing.

Current challenges facing science education have generated interest in designing distributed library networks that support science, engineering, technology, and mathematics education at all levels. Today these efforts seek to provide computational infrastructure, content, and services to support development of rich and engaging learning environments. Tamara Sumner will discuss the National Science Digital Library and the Digital Library for Earth System Education, both in Boulder, Colorado, and the conceptual frameworks that guide the development of content-rich, adaptive learning environments powered by digital libraries. She will present concrete examples of this infrastructure and discuss her research activities, which are investigating how machine learning and natural language processing techniques can be employed to personalize learners’ interactions with digital content, based on the learners’ current conceptual understandings.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, see our website or contact the Glasscock Center at 979-845-8328.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Evans/Glasscock Digital Humanities Project Fellowships Call

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research and the Texas A&M University Libraries’ Sterling C. Evans Chair announce a new program to assist the early development of projects in digital humanities. This program will support tenured or tenure-track scholars in any department in the university by providing up to $10,000 to a project in digital humanities (collaborative or singly directed). Preference may be given to untenured or newly tenured faculty applicants.

This program is meant to offer significant but flexible assistance to faculty – as individuals or in collaborative teams – whose current scholarly project depends on or is fundamentally inflected by information technology, computer-aided research, and/or the ‘digital revolution.’ The program is especially aimed at those who have embarked or who are keen to embark on research in the humanities that is ‘born digital.’

Applicants for this grant must provide the following:

- title of the project

- a 500-1000 word statement describing a) the nature of the project, b) the general uses to which the Evans/Glasscock funding will be directed, and c) the expected research outcome from this support, including grants to be sought, publications and presentations anticipated, and so on;

- an itemized budget;

- a curriculum vitae of no more than three pages noting accomplishments and qualifications germane to the project at hand;

- contact information: email, campus address, telephone;

- description and amount of other sources of funding for this project, current, anticipated, and applied for.

A committee comprised of faculty from various disciplines will evaluate applications on the basis of their originality, feasibility, and potential for external funding and for publication.

Recipients will be expected to provide an account of how the funds awarded were expended, to submit a report on the progress this award made possible, and to give a presentation about their funded project as part of the Glasscock Center’s annual Digital Humanities Lecture Series.

It is expected that an award will be made in each of the next three years.

Please address questions to The deadline for applications is 5:00 p.m., Monday, 30 April 2007. They should be directed to the Glasscock Center, MS 4214 or electronically to Decisions will be announced by mid-May.

Glasscock Center Names Internal Release Fellows for 2007-2008

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research has named its 2007-2008 Internal Faculty Fellows. They will be resident in the Glasscock Center in Spring 2008, pursuing scholarly projects under the theme “How Do We Keep Knowing?” This broad question will allow exploration of the ways in which knowledge is defined, produced, communicated, hidden, renewed, preserved, studied and in other ways made a part of societies and cultures, present and past. We anticipate that conversation about how we keep knowing may include interrogation of any and all those terms by scholars from all the humanities disciplines and from the social sciences that adopt humanities perspectives. The recipients of these fellowships will be released from teaching during Spring 2008 and will receive a $1000 research stipend. The Center is pleased to announce the following Fellows and their projects.

Lauren Clay, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, will explore how the organization, representation, and social meaning of business changed in 18th century France. While scholars have recently approached this issue by examining debates among intellectuals, her work will delve into the cultural history of commerce in the urban context, using archival sources to reconstruct legal, social, ceremonial, and cultural interactions. Approaching the commercial revolution as a lived experience, this project will investigate the ways urban communities confronted the opportunities and the challenges that accompanied profound economic change.

Leor Halevi, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, will be focusing on commercial relations between Muslims and others. Historians of religion have not studied this topic due to the disciplinary barrier that has kept them from exploring economic matters. Economic historians have written a great deal about it, but they have focused on material exchanges while neglecting Muslim views on forbidden goods and cross-cultural trade. These views are interesting from a religious perspective, especially when they involve complex reasons based on a search for religious knowledge; they are also interesting from an economic perspective, when it can be shown that knowledge of Islamic laws prohibiting the consumption of foreign goods affects economic behavior.

Colleen Murphy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, will examine political reconciliation, the process of repairing damaged political relationships which remains one of the most important challenges for societies in transition to democracy. She will examine why and in what way the past must be known for reconciliation to be possible in order to develop a theoretical framework for assessing the effectiveness of promoting political reconciliation through alternative ways of defining, preserving, and communicating the past and also to use this theoretical framework to evaluate the effectiveness of truth commissions, criminal trials, and memorials.

Christopher Swift, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, will study selected German writings on the relationship between rhetoric and aesthetics. Many scholars of the humanities question the relative instrumentality or constitutivity of language: on the one hand, the extent to which language functions as a tool for communicating knowledge that pre-exists its own expression, and on the other, the extent to which language creates the knowledge that it expresses. The popularity of these questions across disciplines has, however, brought with it a great deal of confusion. By analyzing a tradition of scholarship that more rigorously separates the questions of instrumentality and constitutivity from one another, he seeks to help sort out this confusion.

Other activities around the theme “How Do We Keep Knowing?” will include a lecture series by that name. The Center anticipates naming further Internal Faculty Fellows for 2008-2009. A call for applications will be made in the spring of the 2007-2008 academic year. For further information contact James Rosenheim, Director, at, at 979-845-8328, or visit the Center’s website.

Layne & Gayle Druse Renew Support for Graduate Scholarship in the Humanities

Gayle S. and Layne E. Kruse (73') have renewed a $25,000 pledge over the next five years to the Texas A&M Foundation in support of graduate student scholarship at the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University. The gift supports the Glasscock Graduate Scholars Fund, a non-endowed account that may be used for fellowships, scholarships, and travel and research grants. For more information or to read about current and past winners of the Glasscock Graduate Scholar Award click here.