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Archive for April, 2010

Raul Hilberg Profiled in ‘The Nation’

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Raul Hilberg, the late professor emeritus of political science and author of the masterwork 1961 book The Destruction of the European Jews, was profiled this month on TheNation.com.

Drawing on documents of Hilberg’s gifted to the UVM Libraries upon his death, the article, “A Conscious Pariah: On Raul Hilberg,” reveals his complex and scholarly antagonistic relationship with Hannah Arendt, political theorist and author of Eichmann in Jerusalem, a book about the man responsible for implementing the Final Solution.

“As Hilberg read Arendt’s articles about Eichmann, he noticed a number of striking similarities to his own research (published in his book two years previously),” the article recounts. “He tallied them on an accounting spreadsheet stored in the accordion folder with the New Yorker issues (where Arendt’s writing on Eichmann was serialized). At the bottom of the spreadsheet he divided the instances into “cert.” and “prob.” and penciled hash marks next to each category.”

While Hilberg was vocally critical about the work of several Holocaust historians, “no one who wrote about the Holocaust nettled Hilberg more than Hannah Arendt,” the article notes. It goes on to reveal the deep contributions Hilberg made to his field, and the ways in which much of his work from The Destruction of the European Jews permeates Arendt’s writing.

Read the profile in full on TheNation.com.

Release Date: 04-14-2010
Author: Amanda Kenyon Waite
Email: Amanda.Waite@uvm.edu
Phone: 802/656-8381 Fax: (802) 656-3203

Student Research Conference 2010

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The UVM Student Research Conference (SRC) is a daylong event highlighting the quality and breadth of undergraduate, graduate and medical student research being conducted at the University of Vermont. The purpose of the conference is to promote and facilitate the exchange of interdisciplinary perspectives, and to encourage student intellectual growth. The Conference is scheduled for Thursday, April 22, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., in the Dudley H. Davis Center.

Over 200 students are participating this year and will be presenting research in disciplines ranging from molecular genetics to environmental science to digital art. Their work reflects the scholarship that routinely takes place at the University of Vermont, where the opportunity for inquiry and discovery is available to every student. Their efforts, and especially the support and direction provided by their faculty mentors, represents the activity of an engaged scholarly community that is central to UVM.

All students working on a research or creative project with a UVM faculty member are eligible to present some aspect of their research at this forum. Research and creative projects at any stage of completion are welcome. The event also serves as a resource for students who are not yet involved with research but wish to learn about how to engage in research pursuits.

The 2010 UVM SRC is sponsored by the Graduate College, Honors College, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and co-sponsored by: Center for Teaching and Learning, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Social Services, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, College of Medicine, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Graduate Student Senate, Living/Learning Director’s Office, Living/Learning SURF Suite, McNair Scholars Program, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, School of Business Administration, Writing Center, and Writing in the Disciplines Program.

For more information, see the SRC website at www.uvm.edu/~uvmsrc or contact SRC Coordinator Andrea Elledge at uvmsrc@uvm.edu.

Calling all faculty!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Do the UVM Libraries have the collections you need? Are they available to you when and where you want them? How do you go about research and literature searching in the 21st century?

Help us learn more about how to support your research needs.

The UVM Libraries are holding focus groups the week of April 26th. In the spring of 2009, the Libraries conducted a LibQUAL survey of library users. Results show the faculty dissatisfied with library holdings, and the means of accessing them.

We want to learn more about what’s missing, and what we could be doing differently with the resources we have.

Faculty are invited to join us at focus groups on:

Tuesday, April 27th, 1PM – 2PM
Thursday, April 29th, 9AM – 10PM
Thursday, April 29th, 4PM – 5PM

Refreshments will be served, questions will be brief, and your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

To volunteer, contact Selene Colburn at selene.colburn@uvm.edu, 656.9980.

Voice Changer Megaphone by Archie McPhee Seattle, used in accordance with Creative Commons.

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

The possessed: adventures with Russian books and the people who read them by Elif Batuman

“Odd and oddly profound . . . Among the charms of Ms. Batuman’s prose is her fond, funny way of describing the people around her . . . Perhaps Ms. Batuman’s best quality as a writer though—beyond her calm, lapidary prose—is the winsome and infectious delight she feels in the presence of literary genius and beauty. She’s the kind of reader who sends you back to your bookshelves with a sublime buzz in your head. You want to feel what she’s feeling.” -Dwight Garner, The New York Times Book Review

Tammy Wynette: tragic country queen by Jimmy McDonough.

“Tammy Wynette, along with Loretta Lynn, represented the female face of country music in the last decades before top-40 country became midtempo rock with fringe and steel guitars…McDonough’s first full-scale supplement to the autobiography Stand by Your Man (1979) and daughter Jackie Daley’s Tammy Wynette (2000) is a crucial acquisition for pop-music and American studies collections and absolutely essential for country-music collections. -Mike Tribby, Booklist

My brain made me do it: the rise of neuroscience and the threat to moral responsibility by Eliezer J. Sternberg

“At some point in our lives, we get puzzled about how we can be held responsible for actions seemingly initiated by brain chemistry. My Brain Made Me Do It is a terrific guide for those who are ready to confront this puzzle in its full scientific and philosophical complexity. It clearly explains the fascinating scientific advances in our understanding of the brain-behavior connection, and carefully considers their relevance to the free will question making these complicated theoretical issues come alive in vivid case studies.” -Jerry Samet, Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Brandeis University

The art of plant evolution by W. John Kress and Shirley Sherwood

“‘Art meets science’ in this beautiful book that aims to give readers a sense of some contemporary scientific discoveries that are changing our understanding of plant relationships. 136 botanical paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection, by 84 artists, cover 50 orders of plants in 118 families, and a total of 133 species, providing a sweeping overview of the evolution of plants on earth.” –Publisher’s information

“Living in a Wired World” video available

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Video from the UVM Libraries sponsored lecture, “Living in a Wired World: Can Personal Privacy Survive in the 21st Century?” is now available via CCTV/Channel 17.

Watch the video online:

Or when it airs on channel 17, later this week:

  • Thursday April 15, 11:30 PM
  • Friday April 16, 4:30 AM
  • Friday April 16, 10:30 AM

Imagine waking up one day in your own personal terrarium, where everything you do and say can be seen by anyone passing by. Sound scary? In a world of Web cams, social networking sites, and GPs-equipped phones, your dorm walls may be more transparent than you realize.

The University of Vermont Libraries presented a lecture and book-signing by Burlington-based attorney and computer forensics expert Frederick Lane, about the challenges emerging technologies pose to one of our most controversial rights, on Wednesday, November 18th at 4:30 PM, in Billings North Lounge.

Lane’s American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right was published by Beacon Press in the fall of 2009.

Lane is the author of numerous books and articles on issues of intellectual freedom, including freedom of speech, privacy online and in the workplace, the impact of technology on our rights and liberties, and the separation of church and state. His work has been featured on Nightline, 60 Minutes, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Maple for the Troops, a Longstanding Tradition

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

The Whitehill sugar house in Ryegate.

Operation Maple Sweetness, a collaboration between Vermont maple producers, various Vermont maple organizations, state agencies, and the Vermont National Guard, sends Vermont maple syrup to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.  This tradition extends back to the Civil War, when Vermont soldiers welcomed sugar from home.

UVM’s Special Collections holds a number of Civil War letters and diaries that document the soldiers’ enthusiasm for maple sugar shipments, including the letters of William Henry Harrison Whitehill, a private from Ryegate, Vermont.  Whitehill, who served in the 10th Vermont Infantry, Company A from 1862-1865, regularly corresponded with cousins Quincy and Louisa Whitehill back home.  Four of the twelve Whitehill letters include sections on maple sugar.

In May 1863, Whitehill, writing from Camp Heintzelman near Poolesville, Maryland (where, according to the regimental history, “life was one heyday of listless, almost ideal pleasure” and the soldiers were “yet strangers to war”), Whitehill told his cousin, “I am much obliged to you for the cake of sugar you sent me.  I have got some of it yet.” While Whitehill appreciated the taste of home, he also remarked on its value as a commodity.  “Maple sugar sells first rate.  It is worth 25¢ a pound. I sold one cake about like the one you sent me.”

The following spring, Whitehill decided to take advantage of the local demand and a potential supply from Vermont. He wrote to his uncle, Andrew Whitehill, from a camp near Brandy Station, Virginia, asking “I want to know how you are getting along making sugar this spring.  I want to know what you could afford to send me.”  He hoped for “50 or 60 pounds run in small cakes from ½ to 5 pounds each.”  Whitehill asked his uncle to tell him the cost of the sugar and the shipping, and promised to send the money as soon as he heard from him.  He also advised him to “be sure and mail the box up tight so that it will not break open.”

A few weeks later, Whitehill let his cousin know that he had the money and expected the sugar would arrive soon.  Luckily he had been able to meet the immediate demand with 50 pounds of maple sugar that his father’s folks sent.  He worried that the unit might move out before his uncle’s sugar arrived, and he was relieved that “the rest of the boys run all the risk.”  Whitehill complained, “The suttler is selling sugar in little cakes at the rate of nearly a dollar a pound,” a price he could not bring himself to charge.  In a letter later that fall, Whitehill admitted to some hard fighting in the summer, but quickly turned the letter to agricultural activities back home, asking about the apple crop and the current price of sugar.

In January 1865, Whitehill wrote from a camp near Weldon Railroad in Virginia to answer his cousin’s inquiry about sending more sugar.  Although he acknowledged that if “I had it here now it would sell very well, the likelihood of troop movements make it risky to send it.”  He sounded a bit wistful, knowing that he “could sell it for 50¢ a pound in cakes,” twice what he sold it for in the spring of 1863.

After the war, William H. H. Whitehill emigrated to Iowa while his cousin Quincy took over the family farm in Ryegate.  Like many Vermonters who went west, William may have continued to depend on his cousin for annual shipments of maple sugar and syrup.

For more information about Civil War letters and diaries, see Jeffrey Marshall’s Vermonters in the Civil War: Manuscripts in the Special Collections Department, Universityof Vermont Library.  Wilbur open stacks, Z692.M28 U57 2004

To see more photos of the Whitehill farm in Ryegate, visit the Vermont Landscape Change Project.

Celebrate the Centennial of the Green Mountain Club

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Bringing roofing in to Glen Ellen Lodge


Pete Antos-Ketcham, Green Mountain Club

Daniel DeSanto, Bailey/Howe Library, UVM

John Abbott, Outdoor Programs, UVM

April 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM, Special Collections Reading Room, Bailey/Howe Library, UVM

The Green Mountain Club (GMC), formed in 1910, is the founder and maintainer of Vermont’s Long Trail, the country’s oldest long-distance hiking trail.  Throughout the GMC’s history, University of Vermont (UVM) staff and faculty have played instrumental roles in developing the Long Trail and advancing the GMC’s mission.

William Monroe, a summer instructor at UVM in the 1910s, was responsible for creating the Monroe Skyline portion of the Long Trail.  Herbert W. Congdon, official photographer of UVM’s Old Buildings Project, helped map the Long Trail and served as GMC president.  Roy Buchanan, an electrical engineering professor, headed up the Long Trail Patrol from 1932 to 1967.  In recent decades, the University has worked closely with the GMC and the State of Vermont to protect and restore the alpine meadows on the summit of Mt. Mansfield, which UVM owns.  Special Collections holds the papers of GMC founder Theron Dean and Herbert Congdon, as well as a rich collection of GMC correspondence from 1916-1919.

To celebrate the GMC centennial, Special Collections will host a presentation highlighting the history of the GMC/Long Trail and two current UVM connections.  Pete Antos-Ketcham will provide an overview of the first hundred years of the GMC and the Long Trail.  Daniel DeSanto will talk about a new digital collection of lantern slides that document trail building and maintenance between 1910 and 1930 (available at http://cdi.uvm.edu/).  John Abbott will speak about the current role UVM students play in the maintenance of the Long Trail.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 656-2138 or e-mail  uvmsc@uvm.edu. Parking is available at the visitor parking lot on College St.

Test New Resources in Literature, Anthropology, and History

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

The Libraries are testing some new databases, before making the decision to subscribe to them on a regular basis. If any of these look interesting to you, please try them out and let us know what you think. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Early English Books Online (EEBO) provides digital access to more than 125,000 literary and historical classics printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700. Through the Web, researchers can view images that accurately reflect the way the works appeared in their original printed editions. Subject coverage is multidisciplinary, covering literature, history, religion, music, art, science and politics.

Trial access runs through April 10, 2010. Please send questions and comments to: Patricia Mardeusz.

Ethnographic Video Online is a video collection that supports the study of the diversity of human cultures and behavior across the world. The included video is produced by many of the most influential documentary filmmakers; the collection has wide applicability across many disciplines. Historical coverage ranges from the early work of Robert Flaherty in 1922 to the most current anthropological films from every region of the world. This first release includes 254 videos totaling roughly 167 hours, and can be browsed by region, cultural group, people, subjects, date, ethnographer, and more.

Trial access runs through May 4, 2010. Please send questions and comments to: Laurie Kutner.

UVM currently has trial access to 2 full-text collections of historical periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society.

American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection: Series One
Includes content from most major American periodicals published between 1691 and 1820.
Subject strengths include but are not limited to Afro-Americana, agriculture, children’s literature, education, eighteenth-century imprints, leisure and hobbies, Masonic works, medicine, religion, science and technology, the trades, and women’s literature.

American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Series Two
Includes over 1,000 periodicals published between 1821 and 1837.
Topics covered include: Jacksonian Democracy era — agriculture, entertainment, history, literary criticism, and politics.

Trial access will run through June 30, 2010. Please send questions and comments to: Daisy Benson.

Reckoning with Torture

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Librarians, professors, students, lawyers, writers, and others will read from government memos and personal testimonies in a program “Reckoning with Torture” Monday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Lounge of the Waterman Building on the University of Vermont campus.

The event — free and open to the public — is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont and the University of Vermont Libraries. It is being held during National Library Week in recognition of the important work done by libraries to make information available to the public.

Much of the material to be read at the program comes from documents kept secret until the government was forced to disclose them through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests or court order. The ACLU obtained more than 130,000 pages of documents in 2009 after a protracted legal battle. The information in the documents provided Americans with the first comprehensive look at interrogation tactics used by the government following the events of 9/11.

The New York Times called the ACLU’s public records action one of the “most successful in the history of public disclosure.”

The “Reckoning with Torture” event will draw on those documents to relay the scope and breadth of the acts of abuse and torture taken against detainees, many of whom were never charged with crimes and some of whom were wrongly arrested, taken into custody, and later released.

Featured readers include:
• Philip Baruth, UVM English professor and writer
• David Budbill, writer
• Stephanie Farrior, Vermont Law School international law professor
• Robert Gensburg, Guantanamo detainee lawyer
• Traci Griffith, Saint Michael’s College communications professor
• Ateqah Khaki, ACLU National Security Program staff
• Trina Magi, UVM library professor
• Travis Nelson, UVM political science professor
• Hilary Neroni, UVM film and television studies professor
• Adelit Rukomangana, M.A. in theology and native of Rwanda
• David Sleigh, Guantanamo detainee lawyer
• Emma Vick, UVM student
• Sydnee Viray, social worker, advocate, and UVM staff member

Opening and closing remarks will be offered by Allen Gilbert, executive director, ACLU-VT, and Jeffrey Marshall, acting dean, UVM Libraries.

A list of the readings, and samples of the documents to be read, can be found at the ACLU-VT Web site — http://www.acluvt.org/news/torture_scripts.php

Read the 2009 New York Times story, “ACLU Lawyers Mine Documents for Truth.”