You may know that Middlebury uses what’s called a “purchase on demand” model for its largest collection of electronic books, EBL (Electronic Book Library). Under this model, we place the catalog records in Midcat but don’t pay anything for the ebook unless and until it’s actually used. Then, we pay a fraction of the list price for each of the first four uses, and on the fifth request, the title is automatically purchased. We have set up seamless access so there’s no delay when you want to use a title, but the library is billed for all uses longer than five minutes, downloads, copies, or printing. There’s a lot more to how the program works, but that’s the broad outline.
Unfortunately, the library has reached the end of its funding for this fiscal year, so we have had to suspend access to the resource until July 1. This is definitely a temporary suspension, and EBL will be back on July 1, along with any titles you may have used but can no longer reach. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and hope it doesn’t put a serious crimp in your work. Please feel free to contact Douglas Black, Head of Collections Management, for more information.
Has an ebook you’ve previously used disappeared from our catalog? Never fear! We’ve had to make some cutbacks at the end of the fiscal year (lots and lots of requests for new material this year), but if you need to regain access to something that no longer appears, we may be able to get you back in. Just email us the title at email@example.com, and if it’s still available to us, we’ll get you back up and running with it.
Please join us Tuesday, April 5th at 12:15 PM in the CTLR Lounge for a lunchtime discussion with Kevin Ferguson on some playful and interdisciplinary approaches to digital scholarship that use technologies developed in other fields (like the medical imaging software ImageJ) to answer humanistic questions. Lunch will be served, so please RSVP here. He also has some free time during the day on Wednesday, so if you’d like to learn more about ImageJ or chat with him email Alicia Peaker with your availability.
Most digital humanities approaches pursue traditional forms of scholarship by extracting a single variable from cultural texts that is already legible to scholars. Instead, this talk advocates a mostly-ignored “digital-surrealism” that uses computer-based methods to transform film texts in radical ways not previously possible. The return to a surrealist and avant-garde tradition requires a unique kind of research, which is newly possible now that humanists have made the digital turn. I take a surrealist view of the hidden in order to imagine what aspects of media texts are literally impossible to see without special computer-assisted techniques. What in the archive is in plain sight but still invisible? What in the cinema is so buried that our naked eyes are unable to see it? Here I present one such method, using the z-projection function of the scientific image analysis software ImageJ, to sum film frames in order to create new composite images. I examine four corpora of what would normally be considered rather different types of film: (1) the animated features produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, (2) a representative selection of the western genre (including American and Italian “spaghetti” westerns), (3) a group of gialli (stylish horror films originating from Italy that influenced American slasher films), and (4) the series of popular Japanese Zatoichi films, following the adventures of the titular blind masseuse and swordsman living in 1830s Japan.
Kevin Ferguson is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing at Queens College (CUNY). He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on college writing, contemporary literature, and film adaptation.