Tag Archives: Middlebury Community Interest

Celebrating Hispanic American/Latinx Heritage Month

From September 15th thru October 15th, the United States celebrates Hispanic American / Latinx Heritage Month. Read below to find out how some of the people at Midd engage with these identities. Also come by the Davis Family Library September 18th-29th to see the display. Many sincere thanks to Marlena Evans :) for her committed work in developing banner designs.

Names of Respondents; Hometowns; Roles on Campus:

Zarai Zaragoza, a Mexican American Middlebury College senior and studio art major sits in front of colorful art pieces.

Zarai Zaragoza, a Mexican American Middlebury College senior and studio art major sits in front of colorful art pieces.

ZZ: Zarai Zaragoza; Chicago, Illinois; Studio Art Major with Education Studies Minor – Part of Alianza, WOC [Women of Color], DMC [Distinguished Men of Color], Anderson Freeman Center Fellow, and so much more.

MRM: Marcos Rohena-Madrazo; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Assistant Professor of Spanish / Linguistics.

KS: Katrina Spencer; Los Angeles, California; Literatures & Cultures Librarian.

XM: Ximena Mejía; Salisbury, Vermont; Middlebury College Counseling Director.

Time at Midd:

Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics Marcos Rohena-Madrazo, born and raised in Puerto Rico, poses for a photo at the Davis Family Library Research Desk.

Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics Marcos Rohena-Madrazo, born and raised in Puerto Rico, poses for a photo at the Davis Family Library Research Desk.

ZZ: 3 years, going on the 4th.

MRM: 6 years.

KS: 7.5 months.

XM: 9 years.

What do you know about Hispanic American/Latinx Heritage Month?

ZZ: Hispanic Heritage month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. It is a time to show the love one has for their culture, traditions, and the many identities that make up the Hispanic community.

MRM: I don’t know a lot about the month, per se, but I know that it’s important in the United States context and I’ve been learning more about it since I’ve lived “here” [on the mainland and not the island of Puerto Rico]. When I was living in Puerto Rico, there wasn’t a need to actively identify with either of those labels. Only recently have I started to engage with them.

Literatures and Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer, whose father is Afro-Costa Rican, poses in her office while preparing books for the Hispanic American/Latinx Heritage Month display.

Literatures and Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer, whose father is Afro-Costa Rican, poses in her office while preparing books for the Hispanic American/Latinx Heritage Month display.

KS: Unlike many other commemorative months, this one starts in the middle of September and ends in the middle of October. These dates were chosen in remembrance of a variety of Latin American countries winning their independence from colonial powers.

XM: It commemorates the diversity of the identities that encompass “Hispanic” and Latinx.

How do you pronounce “Latinx” and what does it mean?

MRM: In English, [lə.ˈthi.ˌnɛks]. In Spanish, I’m not sure because grammatical gender is much more complex. I’m still figuring it out. For me, it means a person of Latin American descent in/from a U.S. context.

KS: La-teen-x. Three syllables. You pronounce the “x” just like the letter “x.” To my understanding, the “x” is meant to draw attention away from gender specificity. In Spanish, grammatically speaking, the default term is “Latino,” an adjective that inherently prioritizes the masculine and invisibilizes the feminine. The “x” is an attempt to acknowledge the ways in which language, depending upon how we use it, can be inclusive or exclusive.

XM: Well said Katrina! Breaking down the gender binary.

Middlebury College Counseling Director Ximena Mejía, of Ecuadoran and European ancestry, poses for a photo.

ZZ: Laa-Tee-Nex. I love the way Katrina describes it. It is meant to be more inclusive since the Spanish language is structured to be more gendered.

How do you identify ethnically?

ZZ: Both of my parents are from Guerrero, Mexico. I was born in the U.S, but am very connected to the traditions of my cultural. I am Mexican-American → Latina.

MRM: Puerto Rican. If there is one identity that I can unproblematically claim, it is Puerto Rican. Where were my ancestors “from”? On my mom’s side from Cantabria and Mallorca and on my dad’s side general Caribbean Afro-Euro combo.

KS: My mother is African American and Creole; my father is Afro-Costa Rican. So. . . I’m black. ;) With some cultural, historical and social connections to both Central America and the Caribbean, broadly defined. Not one of these, however, for me, is an “ethnicity.” (Or are they?)

A map depicting the many departures from the African continent and arrivals to the "New World." The image is taken from David Eltis' Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, on display now in the Davis Family Library. See the circular information desk.

A map depicting the many departures from the African continent and arrivals to the “New World.” The image is taken from David Eltis’ Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, on display now in the Davis Family Library. See the circular information desk.

XM: Multiethnic / Mestiza a combination of North Ecuadorean indigenous people and European (German and French from maternal side and Spanish from paternal side).

Why is it important to have a display to commemorate this month?

ZZ: It’s a beautiful thing to take pride in your culture, your family’s culture, and how these traditions, stories, and art impact your interests and your sense of self. It’s very important to give identities that are sometimes overlooked, ignored, or marginalized, some space of confidence, openness, and growth. Speaking from experience, it is not always easy to take pride in one’s apparent (sometimes not apparent) identity, and it can often be thrown in your face that you’re different. I am hoping that this display will show differences but will shine it in a positive, wholesome light.

The cover of Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Díaz's 2012 book This Is How You Lose Her is depicted here. His work regularly engages what it means to be both Dominican and American.

The cover of Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Díaz’s 2012 book This Is How You Lose Her is depicted here. His work regularly engages what it means to be both Dominican and American.

MRM: It’s important in order to counter hegemonic discourses of who the people living in the United States are.

KS: I want more students of diverse and non-dominant/non-hegemonic backgrounds to know what materials we have in our collections that mirror their experiences, lives, and struggles. If we don’t highlight them, they may never know that they’re there. The library is theirs, too.

XM: Make visible to our larger community that there are students, faculty and staff who identify with this heritage.

What are some of the challenges in preparing a display such as this?

ZZ: Often times there can be an misrepresentation of a group of people. What I hope this display will do is bring together a true, multifaceted array of stories, backgrounds, and talents that make up the Hispanic community at Midd.

MRM: Choosing who and what to represent. It’s by no means a unified and easily portrayable group.

KS: “Who is Hispanic?” “Who is Latinx?” “Who is not?” For example, do we include Brazil and Brazilians? And how? How do we include works that represent all of them? Are all my choices generational and based on what I liked growing up? Will students even recognize these items I’ve chosen?

The cover art for 2013 Venezuelan feature-length film Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) is pictured here.

The cover art for 2013 Venezuelan feature-length film Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) is pictured here.

What readings/music CDs/DVDs might you recommend that your peers check out to commemorate this month?

ZZ: Recently… Latinoamerica by Calle 13 has been my jam, my motivator, my sense of pride. Give it a listen, look at the music video if you can. Internacionales by Bomba Estereo is also a great tune!

MRM: Junot Díaz. Rita Indiana ‘cause she’s got diaspora all over the place. Daddy Yankee. That’s very Caribbean, but that’s my experience. Ooh, ooh, also Brujos — queer-of-color geekstravaganza!

KS: All things Junot Díaz. Contemporarily, he’s likely the most famous writer who represents the Hispanophone world transnationally. Also Achy Obejas, writes on themes touching the queer Latina world. I’ve been wanting to see Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) for quite some time. We have it in the library on Bluray. I believe it studies hair straightening, a practice that often favors western European features, a discourse that continues to be relevant in the Afro-Latinx world today.

XM: Music: Bomba Estereo, Los Cojolites, Gina Chavez, Perota Chingo, Calle 13, Manu Chao, Cultura Profetica, Onda Vaga.

Books: Umami by Laia Jufresa; Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera; Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra; Bruja by Wendy C. Ortiz; Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera; Among Strange Victims by Daniel Saldaña Paris, and more.

Anything else?

MRM: The more we talk about what “Latinx” is and what it isn’t, the more we understand ourselves and each other.

A screenshot taken from a Pero Like video of producer Julissa Calderón who often discusses her Dominican heritage in her work.

A screenshot taken from a Pero Like video of producer Julissa Calderón who often discusses her Dominican heritage in her work.

KS: There’s an Afro-Dominican actress and filmmaker, Julissa Calderón, regularly featured on Pero Like and a comedian and filmmaker who’s black and Honduran who produces content on “Callme Choko.” Aside from being hilarious dramatists, they both give greater representation to minority populations that too often go unseen.

ZZ: Thank you for providing the space… <3

If there’s a work you’re interested in seeing and feel the library should own, visit go.middlebury.edu/requests to let us know!

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Fayza

Fayza Rahman '20.5

Fayza Rahman ‘20.5

I Know What You Did Last Summer! This is the first of a series of posts highlighting the work of the Summer 2017 Digital Media Tutors (DMTs) from the Wilson Media Lab found in the Davis Family Library Room 220. We’ll begin with Fayza!

Birthplace: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Current Residence: Oberlin, Ohio
Year at Middlebury: 1
Major:  Film
What’s a DMT and what you drew you to this job on campus?
A DMT is a digital media tutor in the Wilson Media Lab who is knowledgeable about an array of softwares in order to help others with their digital projects.  As an intended film major, I love editing softwares and was inspired by the tutors that helped me through many of my film projects to take this job.

 

What type of training have you received?
I have received training in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, iMovie, Audacity, WordPress, Panopto, Scalar, and so much more, it’s awesome!

 

Do you have a strong talent with any particular software?
I love video editing and working in Adobe Premiere! I love combining Premiere with AfterEffects or Character Animator to give my movies more variety.  I could edit films all day.

 

What software tool would you like to learn better and why?
I really want to further master Adobe Aftereffects because that software is an endless pit of editing opportunities.

 

Tell me about some of the projects you worked on this summer. Were there any that were especially interesting or challenging?
I am currently working on developing a website for a first year seminar based on Dan Brown’s upcoming novel Origin. Working on that project has been really fun because Professor Beyer is passionate about the books Brown has written and I can 100% relate as someone who has read most of his work myself.
I will be starting another project where I am creating instructional lab videos for the physics department.  I am excited to do camera work for that project and it’s also cool because the lab works with lasers!
What advice would you give to any other Midd student interested in becoming a DMT?
I think the main thing is self motivation, if you want to make the most of this job, you need to be willing to dive into new softwares and familiarize yourself with them when you get the chance.  Self teaching during the slower days in the lab and becoming well versed in as many programs as possible will make you a better tutor.

 

Click here to read more about Fayza’s projects. For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Welcome (back!) to the Libraries!

Welcome (or, welcome back!) to the libraries! Whether you’re new to campus or returning from summer break, we’re looking forward to seeing you.

Want a virtual tour? Watch the video called Davis Family Library: 5 Quick Tips in the Midd Libraries Quick Guide. While you’re in the guide, take a look at all of the other advice we provide for navigating the libraries.

Want a deeper dive in our collections? Find your favorite research guide (there’s one for every subject) at go.middlebury.edu/guides:

Subject guides

go.middlebury.edu/guides

Welcome!

ACTT Notes: Canvas Evaluation

ACTT Extended Team Meeting August 29, 2017

Agenda

Instructure, the company that hosts Canvas, will be presenting an Executive Business Review, sharing data pertaining to Middlebury’s use of Canvas in the first year. This presentation will provide us with insights into how Canvas is being used and supported, and lay the groundwork for future evaluations.

 

Notes

Kelly Jerome, our Customer Success Manager from Instructure presented.

  • Stats are per-month, due to rolling on and off of terms, the data isn’t always reflective of a particular term.
  • Can get details on sub-accounts.
  • Includes support details, SLA compliance, support mechanism (phone, chat, email), and user-type.
  • For real-time reporting, the Canvas data-API would need to be used. For much custom reporting this would require our own developer time to leverage. Instructure has several pre-built reports that could be purchased that wouldn’t require local resources.

EBR

A copy of the report can be seen here. Please log in with your Middlebury username and password to view.

Academic Technology Fall Kick-Off Series

Members of the Academic Technology Group, Librarians, and Media Services are hosting workshops to help faculty learn about and use various services for the teaching toolkit. We are hosting a number of workshops on Canvas and Panopto, as well as an introduction to new services. We have also set aside time for faculty to get specific technology for teaching questions answered.

Please be aware that you must be logged into Google with your Middlebury username and password to fill out and submit the form.

SIGN-UP FORM

You may sign up for as many sessions as you would like to attend.

Please note that all sessions are about 60 minutes, and that they take place in the Wilson Media Lab.

Open – Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team 2017-08-18 15:34:11

The ACTT has been evaluating MIddlebury’s services for video streaming. This summer, Middlebury has adopted Panopto, a service to manage and distribute video in a private space, as part of the solution. Panopto provides Middlebury faculty, students, and staff with a space to upload and sort their media, and share with their colleagues and classes. Panopto not only provides flexibility for who can see a video, it also includes a variety of sharing options. Some of these options include the ability to sync with presentations and other media, and providing a space to discuss video.

 

Also a Recording Service

In addition to the media management features, Panopto also provides services for capturing media directly from your computer or mobile device, with a direct upload to your Panopto space. Panopto has features that allow you to record and sync presentations (PowerPoint, KeyNote), screen captures, video and audio. Some possible use cases include: students assigned to record themselves as they practice presentations with slides, then and sharing these recordings to a class-only folder for peer feedback; creating brief instructional or tutorial videos based on tasks using specialized software recorded directly from your screen to be shared with students and colleagues.

We have created a welcome page with links to curated Panopto resources, such as a quick start guide, at http://go.middlebury.edu/panoptohelp. Panopto also provides extensive documentation, with written instructions and video demonstrations.

 

On the Horizon

We have already implemented integrations between Panopto and the Course Hub, Canvas, WordPress and Drupal that allow for the embedding of single videos and playlists. Panopto has recently developed deeper integrations with Canvas that will allow students to submit Panopto media as an Assignment Submission, and allow you to provide feedback to students using the SpeedGrader. Look for announcements in Canvas as these features become available.

 

Long Term

We will be moving away from a number of media hosting solutions, including MiddMedia and Muskrat, over the next few years. We will share more information as planning for the migration projects proceeds.

Katrina, Atlanta, and NCAAL

 

Katrina poses in front of the National Conference of African American Librarians’ banner.

Middlebury’s Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer attended the National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL) in Atlanta, Georgia. See a brief video from the opening session shared on Twitter and read more coverage of the event in American Libraries’ Magazine.

 

How was your conference?

OMG, great! I feel like this conference was Middlebury’s personal gift to me. It fed my soul, which was hungrier than I expected.

What made it great?

For the first time ever, I actually got to stay on site where the conference I was attending was being held. That makes a huge difference– to not have to catch a taxi, bus or train to the conference site and navigate inclement weather/downpours of rain, and also to be able to retire to one’s room to take breaks between sessions was a blessing!

There were beautiful people in the city. Beautiful black people. With braids, twist-outs, locks. . . And it was the first time that I’d seen black and white people voluntarily spending time together on such a scale. When I’ve seen this in the past, it has been rather exceptional and episodic. There I saw people from both groups treating each other fraternally. I can’t say I was expecting that and I can’t say, after 30 years, that I’d seen it before as such a normalized part of a landscape. But, to see that and to juxtapose it with the news from Charlottesville, Virginia is mind-boggling. Progress in terms of racial politics in this country, to say the very least, is spotty.

With much help from Davis Family Library’s Marlena Evans, the banners to be used during the February 2018 Black History Month display have been designed. Katrina’s presentation posed the question, “What do I put on display?” and encouraged librarians to think critically about their choices.

What was your presentation on?

The title of my proposal was “What I Wish I Would Have Known” and referred to my education on black history and blackness as a child growing up in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Succinctly, the Transatlantic Slave Trade impacted almost the entire Western hemisphere, not just the United States; the struggle for civil rights and social justice did not end in the 1960s; and black peoples are not defined by the violent scenarios and oppressive societies we encounter, yesterday, today, or tomorrow.

Katrina (far left) poses with librarians and archivists who all graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with library and information science degrees.

A screenshot from the Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library website.

What did you do?

I visited historic and cultural sites, for example, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History and the Atlanta University Center’s (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library that serves Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. I also spent time with several alums from my library and information science alma mater, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

What did you learn?

  • Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College are all served by the same library.
  • The AUC’s archives currently hold Dr. Martin Luther King’s briefcase.
  • Malcolm X wrote postcards home from Lebanon and signed them “El Hajj Malik El Shabazz,” also held in the AUC archives.
  • Despite the fact that many HBCUs are suffering in terms of securing funds to properly maintain their grounds and facilities, the AUC is tremendous, popular, and well maintained.
  • There’s a published book of photos on Muhammad Ali’s life and fights that weighs over 70 pounds! A copy is held in the Auburn Avenue Research Library’s archives.
  • The library and information science field is more intimate than you might think!
  • Black librarians are interested in revamping the ways in which we teach about black history.
  • Tom Joyner is famous and funny. And he says he met his wife in a library.
  • BCALA is interested in recruiting new members to its body.

Were you inspired to pursue new projects? Come up with any news ideas?

Screenshot of an image published on the 3rd National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) website

Absolutely!

  • First, Leo and Kathryn were essentially looking for ways to recruit and retain people of color within their libraries at their respective institutions. As someone from that target demographic, I have thoughts, strategies and insight I want to share with them.
  • Second, I learned that BCALA publishes its own seasonal newsletter, BCALA News, in which, among other pieces, literary works are reviewed. I’ll pitch an idea to the editor.
  • Third, in every conference bag, there was a save-the-date type of invitation to 2018’s Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. I wasn’t aware of the meeting but now I want to attend.

Anything you might do differently next time?

It would be great to have my presentation entirely prepped before departing for the conference site so that when I’m there, all I have to be concerned about is showing up.