Course Hub support staff who can view statistics now can see admin-toolbars with links to the statistics pages.
The Course Hub now has a nightly job that validates that enrollments have been passed off to downstream systems (Canvas, WordPress, O365, Panopto, etc). Incremental enrollment changes are still passed off within 15 minutes, but this nightly job will cover any rare cases where networking or system errors cause an incremental change to fail.
Creating a new “Offices” site for institution-wide anchor functions.
Creating new Drupal 8 sites for our schools and programs.
Post-launch improvements of the updated Course Hub.
Canvas-course start/end times now expand to cover section dates
When instructors create Canvas courses via the Hub, the Canvas course inherits the term dates by default. There are some cases where course sections have dates that don’t align with the normal dates of the term. To cover these cases the Hub now will now set an earlier start date or later end date when creating the Canvas course so that the Canvas section isn’t made inaccessible by following the term start/end dates. Sections that start or end within the term dates will still just inherit the term start/end dates. These dates will only be set when creating the Canvas course and can be overridden by instructors as desired.
MiddFiles resources can now link to folders from cross-listed sections
Most sections taught each semester have a single section with students enrolled and any cross-listed sections are for categorization purposes only and have enrollments disallowed. There are about a dozen sections each year however that have students enrolled in multiple sections. Often these are cases where one section is the normal one and the other meets a writing requirement.
There is now an option at the bottom of MiddFiles resources to choose which folder to link to. For most resources this will have a single option (the current folder), which is the default if nothing is specified. For cross-listed sections where multiple cross-lists have enrollments, there will be multiple options to choose from. Note that the system that auto-generates MiddFiles folders merges permissions into the first section (alphabetically) already. This choice in the MiddFiles resource just allows linking to this merged folder from the additional sections, it doesn’t actually assign any permissions.
It’s one thing when black people aren’t discussed in world history. Fortunately, teams of dedicated historians and culture advocates have chipped away at the propaganda often functioning as history for the world’s students to eradicate that glaring error. But when, even in the imaginary future — a space where the mind can stretch beyond the Milky Way to envision routine space travel, cuddly space animals, talking apes, and time machines — people can’t fathom a person of non-Euro descent a hundred years into the future, a cosmic foot has to be put down.
The seeds of this display grew out of frustration. I was the sort of reader who wanted to like science fiction and fantasy, but often struggled to do so, because it often felt like reading the same book over and over again. The appeal of speculative fiction, for me, is in finding a new lens through which to engage the human condition, even if the human in question is actually a robot or an alien or a… I don’t know, a halfling or something. But much of the canon of fantasy literature can come to feel like endless riffing on J. R. R. Tolkein ; the science fiction I grew up with was all by Robert Heinlen or Isaac Asimov. Not that those books can’t be satisfying reads, but I was just looking for something else. Something that came from somewhere else entirely.
Around that same time, Afrofuturism was beginning to push into the mainstream — not quite full on MCU, Black Panther-level yet, but more visible than its 1990s roots. So I read Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor, and re-read some Octavia Butler. And it was like someone had opened a window to let fresh air into a stale, stuffy room. These were voices that came from different perspectives, less familiar (to me) perspectives… but isn’t that the whole point of speculative fiction? To clear out the familiar in order to see the world through different eyes? Speculative fiction that treads the same ground over and over again, while it can be comforting, is useless as a medium for introspection. And without introspection, what’s the point of suspending the rules of our everyday lives in favor of new possibilities?
For me, this was about opening my eyes to perspectives that are different than mine; for you, it may be a chance to finally recognize your own experience in these genres. There are so many ways to be in the world, and so many perspectives from which to learn, and in which to recognize ourselves. And so, the search led from book to book, first one addition to our collection and then another. This display is our effort to bring some of these works out of the stacks and put them in front of your eyes. It represents only a starting point for your explorations; there are worlds and ideas out there still waiting to be discovered.
Here are some useful terms and sources to help you look for more books like these:
Anthologies can be a useful way to find works by authors from under-represented cultures. Websites like BookRiot and Tor.com also frequently publish lists of similar and related titles. If there’s a work that you think would be a valuable addition to this collection — or even just something that you’d like to read that we don’t own yet! — you can request any title at any time via go/request/. Many titles (for example, N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy) are also available as audiobooks at go/audiobooks/.
Many thanks to Katrina Spencer, and especially to Kat Cyr, for their help and support in pulling this display together.
Amy Frazier is the Film & Media Librarian at the Davis Family Library, and also a huge nerd.
The library blog is moving to a new platform in early January. This means that all future posts from the library will now come from a different URL, though posts will still appear on the library homepage. If you subscribe to an RSS feed of the library blog, or use a bookmark to access the blog, please note the change by updating with the new URL: https://www.middlebury.edu/library/news. We will post again when the switch to the new URL has been made.