Is Dana Library Moving?

Yes!  The Dana Biomedical Library will be moving!  Twice!

Our first move will be to 37 Dewey Field Road.  This will be our temporary home in order to allow for the construction of the new North Campus Academic Center.  Our interim Dana Library will provide library services and student study space in a warm and cheerful environment. And, we are exploring the possibility of having it available to students 24×7!

This first move will not occur before April 1, 2013.  There will be no disruption of services at the current Dana Library during first term.

Our second move is now projected for the beginning of 2016, when the new North Campus Academic Center is scheduled to open.

During the interim period all of Dana’s print journal volumes and most of its books will be housed offsite;  reserve material and a few other books will move with us to 37 Dewey Field.  The material housed offsite will be quickly delivered to campus libraries upon request.

If you have questions about the moves, please contact us.  We’ll post more details here in the future.

Click on the image below for a larger view of the floor plan for the interim Dana Library:

(Click on image for a larger view)

Imaginary Places and Maps

Film Map

Film Map: The History of Popular Film Set to the Art of Cartography

I’m often asked “What’s your favorite map?” The problem is I don’t have one. My favorite map is the one in front of me. But we just received a new map that got me to thinking about imaginary places on maps. We just got Film Map: The History of Popular Film Set to the Art of Cartography. All of the cartographic elements on this map are movie titles! But wait a minute. There is no place like that. That is what makes this a map of an imaginary place. The map is real but shows “places” that aren’t. We have a couple of other maps like that including Atlantis-Dekapotamia and Atlanto-Karelia or Dekapotamia. We also have a couple of atlases such as The Atlas of Middle Earth and An Atlas of Fantasy.




Books Are Made Through Conversations

Writing a book can often feel like an isolating endeavor. It requires finding a wellspring of concentration, focus, and inspiration in the midst of a busy life. It is a process that involves quieting the mind as much as it demands finding and sustaining an intellectual spark – something that will carry you through long hours in front of the computer as you grapple with voice, character, or data as well as the slog of peer review-generated revisions or picking one’s way through an index. In this sense, books are very unglamorous things. They are at once beautiful and fragile, for all the ways they seem to be paragons of permanence, even in virtual form. Books are made through conversations – with oneself, with others, with ideas.

Sienna Craig working with two Tibetan medical doctors/colleagues in Mustang, Nepal

My latest book, Healing Elements: Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine (University of California Press, 2012), involved more than a decade of research and many conversations with interlocutors in Nepal and Tibetan areas of China. This ethnography is about the defense and transformation of traditional medicine in the 21st century and about what it means to say that a medicine “works.” It is about what Tibetans call their “science of healing” and about how and why we humans suffer and fall ill. At its heart, though, the book renders a set of relationships with people who have shaped me – as a scholar and as a person. In this sense, the book belongs as much to me as it does to my dear friend Gyatso, a fourth generation healer from the Himalayan region of Mustang, Nepal, or to Mingkyi, a vivacious Tibetan medicine practitioner and anthropologist who lives between Lhasa and Oxford, not quite an insider in either world but somehow, remarkably, at home in both.

Prof. Craig and her research assistant in Xining, Qinghai Province, China in front of the Tibetan Medical Hospital where she did research

Pieces of this book predate my arrival at Dartmouth in Fall 2006 and include fragments of my PhD dissertation. Other passages were first shaped for academic articles and then had to find their way, skillfully, into the book’s narrative in new ways. I wrote a great deal of the text by engaging in another sort of conversation with my field notes: writing my way through these rough and ready versions of ethnographic reality, polishing them, lending them a sense of structure and coherence. That is to say the process of writing one’s way from notes to finished text transforms the dynamic reality of fieldwork into something more fixed, if no less real. Experiences like butterfly wings pinned up against a spot in time, affixed to argument. Sometimes I find this process deeply creative – liberating, even. Other times I find it profoundly constraining. In both moments, though, writing remains joyful. It is a gift and a luxury as much as it remains a necessity, the currency with which I am valued and earn my keep as an academic.

The Dartmouth Library and its people helped to shape this book in many ways; I will end by mentioning one. I wrote much of this book and revised the text in its entirety on the second floor of Rauner Library. I found necessary solitude and solace in the calm of the room: empty first thing in the morning, filled with undergraduates dozing beneath chemistry textbooks or Russian novels by afternoon. Sometimes from this perch I felt like a bird nesting in one of the trees on the College Green. The building sheltered me, allowed me space to breathe, while its grand windows provided a certain glimpse onto lived reality – life beyond the book, outside of the text, in the world.

-Sienna Craig, Dept. of Anthropology

Prof. Craig’s latest book, Healing Elements: Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine, is included in the current Dartmouth Authors book display in the King Arthur Flour café in Baker-Berry Library.