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Kevin Warstadt, Edward Connery Lathem '51 Digital Library Fellow at the Dartmouth College Library, muses on his experiences with television, inspired by articles in the latest issue of the Journal of E-Media e-media_logo-2Studies.

In the recent special issue (vol. 5, 2016) of the Journal of E-Media Studies published by the Dartmouth College Library, contributors explore the early history of television from a number of different angles, promoting a comprehensive view of the medium and its societal impact.

I can only inadequately express the impact of television on my own life. How many nights I spent camped out, snacks in hand, mesmerized by those flickering images on the wall, I can’t say. Though often taken for granted, television was a persistent presence in my life. It entertained and informed, provided continuity and structure.

Beyond my personal interactions with television, it was also a social thing. I remember when my family would gather around the screen weekly to watch the latest big show. It became a ritual, a time to think about people and morality. It became a kind of instant mythology that gave meaning to a world which often seemed frightening and inconsistent. When I grew older I watched "The Sopranos" with my father, one of the few things we were able to bond over. And it left the home as well. We spoke about the goings-on of our favorite shows over the water cooler. We saw horrors and beauty. It was hatred and fear and love and hope, everything art should be. We felt pride when we saw men walk on the moon. We felt the terror as the twin towers fell. We had these visceral, unifying experiences, all because of television.

Elihu Katz discusses this unifying effect of television in his interview with Doron Galili. “…television truly lived up to its promise—the occasions of uniting a whole nation, allowing everybody to feel part of some great national event, burying differences for the moment, feeling a thrill of simultaneity—of actually being there.” He also makes note of the formation of hegemony, the drawback of such a powerful force. As the founding director of Israeli television, Katz can speak to that power as much as anyone.

Television_EMedia_Image1
Television weatherman Nils Curry Melin painting a van Gogh-inspired weather forecast. Skit from Multikonst—hela Sverige går på utställning (1967). Still image: SVT—Sveriges Television AB.

Whereas Katz covers the social influence of television, Åhlén writes about the medium as a tool for cultural education. In the case of the Swedish program, Multikonst, television proved an innovative means of spreading appreciation of modern art. However, the creators of Multikonst saw television as only this; a tool. Åhlén writes, “Television was thought to be able to become an important part in the contact-making but never to actually substitute this contact; it could provide information about art, bolster engagement for and create interest in art, but it could never actually be art, because art was chiefly considered a product of an artist's work.” They can hardly be blamed for failing to recognize the potential of the fairly young medium, but to the contemporary eye it’s clear that television can be art in its own right.

It seems that the devotees of the high arts are quick to dismiss television. I must admit that when I talk about its influence on my own development I do so with a hint of shame. Even the word itself, television, seems disconnected from the old, artisanal world. It’s a product of mechanization, of industry, and it’s easy, especially with the advent of ubiquitous reality television and product placement, to dismiss it as a kind of opiate of the masses. But it’s so much more than that.

It is surreal to look through the images of old TV sets on McVoy’s website for the Museum of Early Television, and see the art deco style of them. They have the whisper of optimism, straight lines going up up up to the skies, suggesting infinite possibilities. There is magic in those old boxes, that made living rooms, homes, and neighborhoods center around them. Even in photos they possess an inexplicable weight, and in their dim glow is the specter of a past wonder that was lost in the trudge through postmodernism.

Television_EMedia_Image2.jpg
Image from La photographie électrique à distance, directed by Georges Méliès, 1908, Star Film Co., France

It is enchanting to peruse Koszarski and Galili’s filmography and watch the dancing ghosts of Georges Méliès and Fritz Lang. The figures within seem alive with their explosive movements and exaggerated facial expressions, and yet, in silence, they seem so far away, trapped in the past.

And there they remain. As visual media advances they’ll grow farther away, moving ever nearer the first shadows on the wall. But they’re not lost. The studies of early television presented within this edition of the Journal of e-Media Studies and others like them allow us to hold on to the optimism of the past. And like those artists who dreamt of a technological age, we can use that past to look in new ways ever toward the future.

About the author:
Kevin Patrick Warstadt holds the Edward Connery Lathem '51 Digital Library Fellowship for 2016-2017 at the Dartmouth College Library. He studied film and history at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and holds a BA in Science, Technology, and Culture.  He is a student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at Dartmouth, and is completing his thesis on Theodore Roosevelt and American Expansion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Recent publications include the short story "In the Desert" and the poem "Response to Xanadu," both published in The MALS Journal.
In his work as Digital Library Fellow, Kevin handled the mark-up for each of the articles in this issue, and this article was inspired by that deep work with the texts!

About the Dartmouth College Library Publishing Program:
The Dartmouth College Library’s Digital Publishing Program focuses on providing open access, online publishing of scholarly publications that are created by Dartmouth faculty or students, or are published by Dartmouth.

 

By now, you’re convinced that writing your documents using LaTeX is the way to go. Your papers, presentations, and even homework assignments will look publication-ready with its fancy headers, section numbering, and beautifully typeset mathematical equations. You’re ready to make the leap from MS Word, but how do you begin? First, you have to decide […]

latex_handoutBy now, you’re convinced that writing your documents using LaTeX is the way to go. Your papers, presentations, and even homework assignments will look publication-ready with its fancy headers, section numbering, and beautifully typeset mathematical equations. You’re ready to make the leap from MS Word, but how do you begin?

First, you have to decide between online versus offline use. There are pros and cons to each, but the major difference is if you plan to have internet access while you’re working on your documents.

Certainly if you don’t want the hassle of downloading the software and choosing an editor, go with one of the web options (all of these allow for collaborative writing as well):

  • writeLaTeX — instant updating of your new content or edits
  • ShareLaTeX — watch your collaborators type (like google docs)
  • Authorea — version control through git

But if you do want your own installation, start with downloading the right software distribution for your operating system here and follow the instructions to install. You should allow for at least 30 minutes for the whole process. Factors to consider: internet speed, size of the software (varies), speed of your computer, etc.

You may notice that your distribution may or may not come with a starter editor, which is your interface to writing. For example, MacTeX comes with TeXShop. You’re not obligated to use it and you are free to choose whatever editor you want. You may already be using an editor to code in other languages; e.g. Vim or Emacs. Check out this table for comparison.

Now you’re ready to make your first document! If you’d like a suggestion, try writing your CV/resume. I will be holding a workshop on formatting tips for your CV/resume in LaTeX on Thursday, October 30 at noon in Kresge Library. Save the date and bring your document!

The 40th Dartmouth Medal was awarded by the American Library Association on January 26 to Mammals of Africa, a six-volume magnum opus that describes in detail every land mammal on the continent. Since 1974, the Dartmouth Medal has been awarded annually...

The 40th Dartmouth Medal was awarded by the American Library Association on January 26 to Mammals of Africa, a six-volume magnum opus that describes in detail every land mammal on the continent. Since 1974, the Dartmouth Medal has been awarded annually (except on two occasions) to the most significant reference book published that year. Past recipients have included Encyclopedia of Human Rights (2010), Women in World History (2001), Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (1990), and International Encyclopedia of Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Neurology (1978). This scholarly acknowledgement is better known in the academic and library communities than among the general public. The authors are honored, and their publishers use the award to help market and promote books that appeal to a more limited market, mainly libraries and scholars.

The Dartmouth Medal was the idea of Dartmouth's Dean of Libraries, Edward Connery Lathem (1926-2009) who was a member of the library staff from 1952 through 1978.  In 1973, Lathem proposed that Dartmouth establish "a national award 'to honor achievement in creating reference works outstanding in both quality and significance.'" The Trustees authorized the award that year, which also marked the 200th anniversary of the appointment of Dartmouth's first Librarian. Ninety-year-old Rudolph Ruzicka (1883-1978) who was then living in Norwich, Vermont, was commissioned to design the medal.  Born in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), Ruzicka immigrated to Chicago in 1893, studied at the Hull House School and the Art Institute of Chicago, and then moved to New York for further study. Ruzicka was renowned as an accomplished illustrator, printmaker, and book, medal, and typeface designer.

Instead of the more conventional circular medal design, Ruzicka chose an oval shape having a flattened the top and bottom for the Dartmouth Medal. The resulting edge allows it to be stood upright for display unlike a circular form.  On the obverse, Ruzicka placed the profile of Athena, the warrior-goddess of the arts.  Wearing a battle helmet, Athena is surrounded by olive branches that acknowledge her gift of olives to Greece.  Although the olives create an appealing, stylized backdrop, Ruzicka acknowledged that olives don't grow that way.  However, "I did find a Greek vase with just such treatment," he said, "so I had a precedent, you see." The pine sprig at the bottom, an ancient symbol of creativity, can also be seen as a reference to the place where the medal originated.

For the reverse, Ruzicka created a border by adding an interior oval that echoes the shape of the medal.  The American Library Association is linked to the award in the border.  For the primary design, Ruzicka eliminated an image in favor of text identifying the characteristics of a book for which the Dartmouth medal is awarded.  A designer of typefaces and a graphic artist, Ruzicka understood that a clear, elegant typeface that expresses a noble idea was as effective as an image. Having spent a lifetime exploring the appearance of things and words, Ruzicka's design for the Dartmouth Medal combines both with clarity and beauty.

To see Rudolph Ruzicka's original drawings for the Dartmouth Medal, ask for D.C. History Iconog 201.

Posted for Richard Miller
   

   

Keeping you up to date with Library teaching and outreach activities.

Portuguese language film project supports teaching and research

Portuguese Language Films at Dartmouth
Portuguese Language Films at Dartmouth

Portuguese Language Films at Dartmouth (PLFD) is a new interactive discovery tool for the Dartmouth Library's Portuguese-language film collection. Collaborating on the project are Rodolfo Franconi and Carlos Minchillo in Dartmouth’s Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Nikki Boots in Educational Technologies, and Jill Baron in Baker-Berry Research and Instruction Services.

With this tool, users may search, browse, leave comments, and locate films in the Library's collections. Franconi and Minchillo both use the PLFD in language classes from Portuguese 1 to more advanced courses, as a means for both soliciting student feedback on assigned films, and as a tool for students to select films for their final projects.  More than a discovery tool, the PLFD contributes to language learning and cultural immersion by facilitating users' access to the Library's unparalleled collection of Portuguese-language film.

Teaching Technique: Send-A-Problem

Send-A-Problem
Send-A-Problem in action at Rauner Library

During the 2013 Winter Term, Morgan Swan implemented an active learning technique called "Send-A-Problem" that he had first encountered at the Librarians Active Learning Institute. “Send-A-Problem” begins by breaking a class into groups of 2-4 students. Each group is given a problem, tries to solve it, and then passes the problem and their solution to the next group. Without looking at the previous group’s solution, the next group works to solve the problem. After as many passes as seems useful, the groups analyze, evaluate, and report the best solution to the class. Morgan adapted the technique for an Animal Rights class taught by Catharine Randall that asked the students to generate compelling narratives about primary sources at Rauner Special Collections Library and then to vote for the best narrative.

Faculty create iBooks at Geisel School of Medicine

Myocardial and Pericardial Diseases
Myocardial and Pericardial Diseases, an iBook by James Bell, M.D.
In the fall of 2012, each incoming student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth received an iPad as well as a variety of productivity and content apps to aid learning. As part of the iPad initiative, faculty willing to investigate the educational value of the iPad also received a device. A number of faculty, after attending iBook Author workshops facilitated by Apple educators, decided to create iBooks.
Amanda Albright, Educational Technology Support Specialist at Geisel School of Medicine Computing Services, wrote an article about Geisel's iPad + iBooks pilot project. The comments from participating faculty and students gives us much to consider in the realms of scholarly publishing and teaching, and how the Library can collaborate on similar initiatives.

~~~

Baker Tower
Contributors: Jill Baron (Portuguese Language Films), Morgan Swan (teaching technique), Amanda Albright (iBooks).
Editors: Laura Barrett and Sarah Tischer Scully

Guest post by Amanda Albright, Educational Technology Support Specialist at Geisel School of Medicine Computing Services

 

In the fall of 2012, each incoming student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth received an iPad as well as a variety of productivity and content apps to aid learning. As part of the iPad initiative, faculty willing to investigate the educational value of the iPad also received a device. A number of faculty, after attending iBook Author workshops facilitated by Apple educators, decided to create iBooks.

The following are excerpts submitted by faculty describing the rational for creating iBooks, the experience of creating iBooks, and student reaction to the iBooks. For more information, please contact Geisel.Instructional.Technology@dartmouth.edu.

SBM Cardiology (Yr2) – James Bell, M.D.Myocardial and Pericardial Diseases

I give approximately 20 hours of lecture in the 2nd year Fall SBM Cardiology curriculum.  These lectures are supplemented by a series of fairly extensive lecture notes and PowerPoint slides.

In the past, some students have been confused as to where they should spend their study time: the notes, the slides, or reviewing the lecture on video. In an attempt to resolve student confusion, I constructed a series of iBooks for each of my lectures to integrate the key aspects of both the lecture notes and the most important illustrations from the PowerPoint slides.

I'm a bit of a visual learner, so I put a lot of emphasis on the juxtaposition of text and graphics on each page.  I particularly appreciated the ability to use video (e.g., echocardiogram) and sound recordings (especially helpful in describing heart sounds and murmurs).  I tried to make each page a separate entity, to minimize page turning when trying to make a point.  I was on a pretty steep learning curve, but I really enjoyed learning to create what for me was a work of science and art.

There were, of course, some problems.  I think the biggest was that none of the other (SBM Cardiology) lectures had iBook counterparts, leaving students with the previous dilemma of how to distribute their study time.  Another was that, despite my hope that students could just use the iBook and not worry about the notes and slides, many of them saw the iBooks as just one more study object to occupy their time.

Still, I think the iBooks were generally well-received.  The student evaluations were quite positive (mostly excellent or very good) with a 4.55 out of 5 on the evaluation form.  We asked specifically for comments on the iBooks, which proved quite insightful:

“The iBooks were incredible. The integration of pictures and audio files for the heart murmurs made for an excellent studying resource. Couldn't be happier with this use of the technology; it really made a difference.”

“They could be improved by incorporating "test your understanding" questions along the way. It would break them up a bit and help to reinforce important concepts.”

“The iBook is the perfect modality for presenting information, as it seamlessly blends notes and slides. I wish there was an iBook for every lecture.”

Medical Virology (Yr1) – Edward Usherwood, Ph.D.Enveloped Viruses

For the 2012 – 2013 academic year, I created two iBooks for the Medical Virology course for Year 1 medical students.  The books synthesized lecture notes and slides from the lecture, so they are together in one integrated document.

The ability to insert sets of sides as galleries in the iBook allowed students to review all the visual material together with the pertinent section of the text.  It also removed the inconvenience of switching between Word and Powerpoint files when reviewing notes and slides, respectively.

There was something of a learning curve when I began to create the iBooks, but the online tutorials on Lynda.dartmouth.edu were an invaluable resource when learning the interface.

Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, the most common comment being they liked the format as a single, integrated document containing all the relevant material in one place.  In response to this, for the 2013-2014 classes, we are converting all lecture notes in this class to the iBook format.  Currently, I am exploring inserting more video and internet-based content into the iBooks to enrich the experience for the students. The recent release of Apple’s OS X Mavericks will make iBooks even more accessible since they will run on a Mac laptop as well as an iPad.

Medical Physiology (Yr1)– Andy Daubenspeck Ph.D., Eugene Nattie M.D., Donald Bartlett M.D.Fick Principle and Mass Balance

The fall 2013 semester was the first year that the Medical Physiology 110 faculty were able to effectively prepare lecture notes (13 iBooks) and concept-specific materials (7 iBooks).

Lecturers were responsible for producing the lecture note iBook for their assigned topics. The responsibility for developing the concept iBooks that covered more basic material pertinent to multiple lectures was assumed by Andy Daubenspeck.

An essential aspect of the development of these lecture note iBooks was the summer assistance of Jason Laurita, a rising 2nd year medical student, who was able to massage the material from various lecturers into quite impressive iBooks. Hermes Yeh, chairman of Physiology and Neurobiology, was very supportive of this and found the funds for Jason’s efforts.

Based upon discussion with the Year 1 curriculum representatives, who gave us thoughtful insights about the effectiveness of the iBooks, we realize that preparing these materials is a process of continuing improvement. We may have unconsciously made the content of some iBooks unnecessarily difficult for first year students to follow and grasp. In addition, we may have underutilized linkages to available web-based resources that students found useful. We also have not fully responded to the difficulties facing incoming students for whom English is not their first language.

As a result, we anticipate substantial revisions to the iBooks for next fall to simplify the verbiage, to incorporate improved guidance as to the overall goals for each iBook and of each iBook within the overall course, and to incorporate more of the useful, web-based resources (e.g., Khan Academy offerings).

Human Anatomy and Embryology (Yr1) – Virginia Lyons, Ph.D.Human Anatomy and Embryology

Creating an iBook is not difficult, and you do not have to start from scratch as your existing notes and PowerPoint slides can easily be imported. The training videos on Lynda.dartmouth.edu provide everything you need to get started with iBooks Author.

I think what I like best about presenting our course materials in this format is the ability to make the material interactive. In other words, as students are reading the content you can insert questions along the way or diagrams for them to label so they are not just passively reading. The students really love having all the material in one place, and especially seem to like review questions at the end of the chapters. A typical comment from our course evaluation reads:

“The presentation of material in iBook format was extremely helpful. I really liked the scrollable galleries and the end-of-chapter review questions.”

If you plan to incorporate iBooks into your course be forewarned: once you provide some of your content in iBook format, the students will want all of your content in this format. Creating iBooks takes time and we were fortunate to have the assistance of Aaron Steen, a medical student who had recently completed our course.  However, once you create your books, it would be naïve to assume that you are done; iBooks offer so much potential for creativity in content delivery, you will find yourself spending your evenings tweaking your iBooks…but you won’t mind because it is fun!