Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dr. Frank Felsenstein’s “What Middletown Read” Project Featured in the National Press

You may have heard of “What Middletown Read,” a database project that Dr. Frank Felsenstein has been working on for several years and that makes available for study library records from the Muncie Public Library–the database compiles records of what books were checked out from the library from the years 1891 to 1902.  For more information on the project, you can check out this article.  Now that the database has been made available to the public, the project has received national attention in several prominent publications.  John Plotz’s article, “This Book is 119 Years Overdue: The Wondrous Database That Reveals What Americans Checked Out of the Library a Century Ago,” appeared in Slate online in November of last year.  Later in the month, the project was featured in the Sunday Book Review section of the New York Times–you can click on the link below to read Anne Trubek’s article, entitled “What Muncie Read.”  This article seeks to examine the reading habits and trends of America’s “most average town” in an effort to prove that even in our emerging digital age, America reads in much the same way it did generations ago.   Check out the full articles from Slate and the New York Times below.


New York Times:

Ball State’s Immersive Learning Seminar at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Gains National Attention

Last semester, English professor Dr. Rai Peterson called for students from various disciplines across the university student body to assist her in a 33-week immersive learning seminar (to see our original post on this seminar, click here). Her project seeks to reshape and expand the reach of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis via several approaches, including new marketing, expanded advertising, and the preservation of original and rare Vonnegut artifacts. At this point in the semester, the seminar has set its sights on collecting and digitizing many Vonnegut artifacts, and these efforts have begun to gain national attention. The latest example is  from “The Digital Shift,” an extension of Library Journal, which discusses the seminar’s intentions to bring rare and unique documents such as Vonnegut’s letters and manuscripts to the library in digital form. This article, entitled, “Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Tackling Digitation,” also describes some of the future plans of Dr. Peterson and her student interns, which include a film project and “mobile library.” Continue below to read a short blurb from Dr. Peterson and click the link to view the full article from “The Digital Shift.”

Our seminar students will be creating digital manuscript and film/audio archives, re-designing gift shop products, and building a traveling museum for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.  Because of great publicity like this, we are already receiving requests for the products of our seminar, and we’ve only just begun.  Stay tuned because we have big things to unveil as our seven month-long project unfolds. Click the link below to view the full article from “The Digital Shift.”

“Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Tackling Digitation,” from “The Digital Shift:”

Semester at Sea: Exploring 8 Countries in 66 Days

In this post, English student Sarah Chaney takes a look back on her Semester at Sea study abroad program in which she embarked on a three-month learning expedition through eight countries in the Mediterranean. Sarah recounts several of her experiences and even goes on to discuss how her experience allowed for personal growth as a writer and learner. See what Sarah thought of her unique learning experience below.

Continue reading

Bridget Gelms on the Importance of GSAB

Photo courtesy of Bridget Gelms

In our latest post, first year graduate student Bridget Gelms discusses how getting involved is more important than ever as a Master’s student. She advocates for GSAB (Graduate Student Advisory Board) and its commitment to linking life in academia with the professional world. Bridget describes several opportunities she has been afforded through the Board, including a GSAB-sponsored conference, which will be held on February 10th this year. See the full post below.

Continue reading

Rhiannon Racy Interviews Michael Meyerhofer About Awards, Publishing, and Life in Academia

As we begin our new semester, we will reinvigorate our blog presence. In the coming weeks, look for a new design to our blog as well as more events within the department, and, of course, continued posts keeping you up to date and informed. To begin 2012 and a new semester, check out an interview by intern Rhiannon Racy with assistant professor Michael Meyerhofer about his recent publications and awards. The two also investigate Meyerhofer’s ever-evolving sense of himself as a poet and educator.

Continue reading