Rauner NERFC Fellow Talk: Renzo Baldasso from Arizona State University

Renzo Baldasso, Assistant Professor in Arizona State University’s School of Art, is one of Rauner Special Collections Library’s New England Regional Fellowship Consortium Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. This Tuesday, October 17th, from 12:15-1:15 pm, Baldasso will give a brief lecture, “The Coming of the Book: Graphic Notes from Rauner,”which will explore the graphic dimension of early printed books, from the Gutenberg Bible through the early 1480s, using the incunabula holdings in Rauner. His talk will be followed by a question-and-answer period and an open exploration of the primary sources he is examining while at Dartmouth. The session will be held in the Bryant Room at Rauner Library in Webster Hall.

Trained in Art History and History of Science, Renzo Baldasso is a historian of Renaissance and Baroque art. He studied mathematics and physics for his bachelor, and history of science and history of art in graduate school. He received his PhD from Columbia University, and his research has been funded by fellowships, including at the Folger Institute, the Huntington Library, the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Newberry Library, and the Smithsonian Institution. His research interests are diverse and interdisciplinary, including art theory, naturalism, early prints and printing, and the relationship between art and science. Currently he is working on a monograph on the emergence of the visuality of the printed page during the incunabular period. He has published several articles in edited collections and journals, including The Art Bulletin, Arte Lombarda, La Bibliofilia, Centaurus, and the Gutenberg Jahrbuch.

For the past several years Baldasso has been researching the efforts of early printers to become masters of the page and to develop an independent print aesthetics. His resulting monograph will offer a detailed analysis of the design choices made by influential early printers — from Gutenberg to circa 1485 — whose books shaped the rise of the visuality of the printed page and set the basis for the graphic grammar of print culture. At Rauner, Baldasso is exploring two of our incunables (books printed in Europe before 1501): the only surviving copy of Ovid’s De Arte Amandi, known today as the Ars Amatoria or Art of Love, printed circa 1472; and Johannes Balbus’s Catholicon, printed sometime in the early 1470s.

Please join us next Tuesday at 12:15 pm in Rauner Library for an engaging discussion and exploration of both Baldasso’s work and Rauner’s materials. Please contact Morgan Swan at morgan.swan@dartmouth.edu if you have any questions.

Rauner Exhibit: “Revolution!”

One hundred years ago, the October Revolution initiated a social and political experiment that unleashed waves of hope, optimism, angst, and horror across the globe. The initial excitement of artists and intellectuals eager for a new world turned to despair as the realities of a new form of tyranny became manifest.

“Revolution!” draws on Rauner Special Collections Library’s rich collections to show how the products of the Russian Revolution expressed the varied reactions to the rise of communism.

The exhibit was curated by Jay Satterfield and Wendel Cox and will be on display in the Class of 1965 Galleries from September 19th through November 10th, 2017. To learn more about the exhibit, visit its webpage: https://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/rauner/exhibits/revolution.html.

Undergraduate Thesis Library Research Award

This last Tuesday at the Senior Honors Thesis Showcase reception on Berry Main Street, Dartmouth College Library presented its first Undergraduate Thesis Library Research Award. Eligibility for the award is open to any student who writes a senior thesis and is majoring in the humanities, social science, and interdisciplinary fields. This award is analogous to the Library Research Award in the Sciences which has been awarded at the Wetterhahn Symposium since 2015.

Winners of the award demonstrated exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources (including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases, collections, web resources, and all media) and to use them in the creation of a project. They also displayed evidence of significant personal learning and the development of a pattern of research and inquiry that shows the likelihood of persisting in the future.

This year, the winners of the Undergraduate Thesis Library Research Award were Emily Burack and Megan Ong, both members of the class of 2017.

Emily’s thesis was supervised by Jennifer Miller in the History department. Its goal is to understand why the Jewish Defense League (JDL) emerged in 1968 as a Jewish militant group in Brooklyn, New York. Her thesis contributes to the existing scholarship on Jewish extremism by examining the factors that combined to pave the way for the formation and success of the JDL from 1968 to 1972.  Above all, the JDL believed that America in 1968 was a time of crisis for American Jews and they saw their group as filling a dire need in the American Jewish community: going at any length necessary to fight for Jewish survival. Emily’s thesis hopes to fill a current knowledge gap in scholarship by presenting a comprehensive look at the emergence and self-construction of the JDL. For her research, Emily found Dartmouth’s Summon search tool to be the most consistently helpful and dependable resource that she used, and she also relied heavily upon the library’s resource sharing programs such as DartDoc and BorrowDirect.

Megan’s thesis was supervised by Jeffrey Friedman in the Government department. Her research question was, “Can a more predictive model of terrorist attack rates during interstate war be formed if more specific factors are added? If so, which factors have the most effect?” Her thesis hypothesizes 26 potential risk factors, broken into categories describing the country itself, the opponent country, and the relationship between the two, and tests all hypotheses against a dataset of directed dyads at war from 1972 to 2008. Megan’s thesis has important implications for political scientists and policy makers. Not only does it provide a predictive model that can be used to better inform policy-makers’ decisions, it provides important insights into common assumptions that have often shaped political thinking. Megan utilized numerous electronic databases as well as a statistical analysis package that she learned to use by relying on free guides on the library websites and consultation with James Adams, the liaison librarian for the Government department.

We congratulate Emily and Megan for their excellent accomplishment and look forward to collaborating again with the Senior Honors Thesis Showcase to honor students who demonstrate exceptional research skills and a high level of intellectual inquiry with regard to their theses.