Race and Video Games Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon Friday

What’s racial about a Nintendo character? Find out on Friday.

Interested in learning and writing about video games? Curious about game studies classes at Georgetown? Meet us at Lau and join remote participants at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Texas at Dallas in an afternoon of improving information about race and video games on Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons help to educate communities in how Wikipedia works, introduce new editors to the platform, and raise awareness about topics that need more coverage on one of the most-used reference sites in the world.

The Great Tiger, aka The Champion of India is one of a few South Asian video game characters. He appeared in Super Punch-Out!! (1985) and in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! (1987).

The Great Tiger, aka The Champion of India is one of a few South Asian video game characters. He appeared in Super Punch-Out!! (1985) and in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! (1987).

This semester, we would like to edit Wikipedia under the theme “Race and Video Games.” This means covering notable games designed by people of color, notable people of color in the gaming industry, notable controversies about race in gaming communities, characters of color in video games, and more.

No Wikipedia editing experience is necessary. We will provide training and support to all participants.

Some of the activities you may perform:

– Add new information, images, or citations to an existing article

– Clean up an article’s grammar, spelling, and syntax

– Create an article about a notable game, developer, or character

RSVP here if you are interested in attending:


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Restoring An Asian Cultural Heritage Collection

If you’ve taken Asian art history courses with Professor Michelle Wang, you probably already know about the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), an initiative based at the British Library to digitally catalog manuscripts, artworks, and archaeological artifacts from northwestern China and eastern Central Asia that are dispersed in museum and library collections worldwide. 

Example of a scroll from Dunhuang. Khotanese animal 'zodiac' The twelve-year animal cycle was not Chinese in origin. It was used throughout Central Asia and is found in Sogdian, Sanskrit, Tocharian, Gāndhārī and Turkic manuscripts as well as Chinese and Tibetan sources. This early ninth-century document from Khotan lists the animals in the cycle with predictions for people born in that year. This is the second of four panels which were originally glued together to form a scroll. For a man born in the year of the monkey it predicts many sons, servants and horses but he will have to live 'in a land far away'. Ink on paper The British Library, Or.11252/1

Example of a scroll from Dunhuang
Khotanese animal ‘zodiac’
Ink on paper
The British Library, Or.11252

The goal of the International Dunhuang Project is to make images of these objects freely available to scholars on a multilingual website, thereby consolidating disparate collections and making them available for study. To understand why these items have been dispersed throughout the world requires a bit of colonial-era back story.

Cave 16 at the Buddhist caves near Dunhuang. The piles of scrolls and tables were probably added to the negative by the photographer, showing the empty cave after his original photograph of this scene was double exposed. Photograph, M. Aurel Stein, 1907 ©Ruins of Desert Cathay, Fig. 188.

Cave 16 at the Buddhist caves near Dunhuang, with the opening to Cave 17, the “library cave,” to the right. The piles of scrolls and tables were probably added to the negative by the photographer, showing the empty cave after his original photograph of this scene was double exposed. Photograph, M. Aurel Stein, 1907 ©Ruins of Desert Cathay, Fig. 188.

Little was known of the archaeological heritage of the Silk Road, a network of trade routes throughout Asia responsible for tremendous cultural exchange from the beginning of the common era until explorers and archaeologists of the early twentieth century uncovered the ruins of ancient cities in the desert sands. Their discoveries revealed astonishing sculptures, mural paintings, and manuscripts. One of the most notable discoveries was the Buddhist “library cave” near the oasis town of Dunhuang on the edge of the Gobi desert in western China. This man-made cave had been sealed at the end of the first millennium AD and only re-discovered in 1900. More than fifty thousand manuscripts, paintings and printed documents on paper and silk were found in the cave itself. According to the IDP, thousands more items were excavated from other Silk Road archaeological sites. Most of these items were carted off to institutions worldwide in the early 1900s, forever altering the original sites.

This year, the IDP’s new joint project with Georgetown University aims to cooperate with North American libraries, museums, and private collections to incorporate any manuscripts, artworks, and artifacts from the region into its database. It’s a grand sleuthing operation and the first time that the IDP has concentrated solely on objects in North American collections. So, dear readers, if you work for a cultural institution with any of the following, please contact Miki Morita, the Georgetown-IDP Postdoctoral Research Fellow for North American Silk Road Collections and help restore the integrity of the dispersed artifacts.

And if you’re curious to see images from the Dunhuang cave’s first re-discovery by turn-of-the century archaeologists, you can explore the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive in Artstor.

The target objects of this project can be defined as follows:

– Various types of media, such as manuscripts, woodblock prints,

Dignitary with beard Glazed earthenware and unfired pigments Cat.157; Victoria and Albert Museum, C.222–1034

Dignitary with beard
Glazed earthenware and unfired pigments
Cat.157; Victoria and Albert Museum, C.222–1034

   – From a geographical region covered by archaeological expeditions in the early 20th century (roughly corresponding to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, western Inner Mongolia, and Gansu Province of the People’s Republic of China). We are also interested in objects considered to originate from “Central Asia,” “Mongolia,” and “Tibet” as potential material for the database.

– From the period between 200 BC and AD 1400.

– Any archival records (ex. letters and photographs) related to
archaeological expeditions in the early 20th century which covered a geographical region defined above.

Exemplary pieces can be found in the IDP’s database. Please be reminded that the scope of the IDP database also encompasses possibly forged pieces.

If your institution holds pieces that are possibly relevant to the IDP’s database, please contact Dr. Miki Morita (mm3846@georgetown.edu).


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Counting the Ways We Do Research

Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July, video still from an interview,  San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July, video still from an interview, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

In 2002 artists Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July launched a web-based project entitled Learning to Love You More (LTLYM), the premise of which rested completely on audience participation. Viewers were invited to choose a creative assignment authored by the artists, complete it by following simple but specific instructions, and send in the required documentation, or report, which usually consisted of a photograph, a written description, a video, or sometimes a recording. All submissions faithfully adhering to the assignment’s parameters were posted on the website, creating a portfolio of completed projects. The first assignment asked the viewer to “Make a child’s outfit in an adult size,” followed by bunnydetails specifying the kind of outfit (a fuzzy pink pajama onesie with a hood) and the method of documentation: “take a picture of you in your jumper.”[1] Seventeen completed examples can be viewed online showing submissions that range from silly to stoic.[2] This whimsical inauguration belied the seriousness of a project that would span seven years, post over 8,000 projects, be hosted at venues from the Whitney to local galleries, and at its conclusion become acquired by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Fletcher and July’s project exemplifies a shift in contemporary art from late 20th century Postmodernism toward more conceptual and dematerialized practices, a period that began in the mid-1990s in Europe after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and which is distinguished by its reliance on the audience to create the work.[3]

This “new” art—referred to at first as participatory, relational, or dialogical—was often playful, typically performative and group oriented, and frequently occurred outside the space of the traditional gallery. As exemplified by the variety of assignments of LTLYM, this “new” art was not new at all, but could be categorized within art’s histories as Conceptual, performance, feminist, installation, instruction, or body art. grapefruitWhile the individual assignments of LTLYM are indebted to the historical precedents of these genres, the overarching work surpasses unilateral categorization and must be considered as a totality whose sum is more complex than its parts. The project has the additional layer of displaying the work through the Internet, utilizing the interactive format of Web 2.0 for perpetual exhibition and dispersion, a quality that distinguishes it from contemporary and historical precedents that typically happen in real-time.

Amid so many categories, how does LTLYM function as art and where can it be critically located amid bourgeoning theories of Do-it-Yourself (DIY) practice?

This research question drove me to ask a lot of questions, do a lot of research, and eventually, helped shape my master’s essay.

It required me to do historical and contemporary research in catalogs like: GEORGE

Databases like Communication & Mass Media Complete and Humanities Full Text.

Along the way I hit a few dead ends, in this case theories that didn’t adequately explain the complexity of this art project. Another frustrating component of the project was that no one else seemed to think this art work was particularly complex. But my gut said otherwise, so I kept asking questions. I often re-read style manuals (A Manual for Writers by Kate Turabian) to help me phrase these questions.

You might find Chapter 1 useful when you’re starting a project:

What Research Is and How Researchers Think about It

Next time we meet, we’ll look more in-depth at your research projects!


[1] The specific instructions inform the participant to: “Recreate this jumper in a size that fits you and wear it as much as possible. Try to use a very similar fabric, it should at least be pink. You will want to try very hard to make a precise enlargement, while not getting discouraged by mistakes, or daunted by lack of sewing skills.” Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July, Learning to Love You More (Munich: Prestel 2007), 150.

[2]  http://www.learningtoloveyoumore.com/, accessed October 25, 2015.

[3] Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (London: Verso, 2012), 1.

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9 Things To Do First At The Library

91.) Watch the Library video tour: Introduce (or reintroduce!) yourself to Lau with our Library video tour.

2.) Stop by a Library Open House!: How do you find a book? How late is the Library open? Who can help answer the million other questions you’ll have? Drop by one of our upcoming open houses to find out!

3.) Find your course reserves: It may only be the beginning of classes, but homework has already begun. Find your electronic course reserves on the Library website and borrow physical reserves from the Circulation Desks in Lauinger and Blommer Science Libraries.

4.) Schedule a research consultation with your subject specialist: As soon as you get your first research assignment, schedule an appointment with your subject specialist. They can show you how to search the Library’s millions of resources effectively and point you in the direction of the best resources for your topic.

5.) Follow the Library: Keep up-to-date on the latest news and information from the Library by following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram! We post news, alerts and lots of interesting Georgetown history. Don’t miss out!

6.) Sign up for a Gelardin workshop: The Library’s Gelardin New Media Center offers a series of free workshops on everything from data visualization to social media marketing every semester. Sign up early because they fill up fast!

7.) Explore the Booth Family Center for Special Collections: The Library has a large collection of rare and unique materials in the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, most of which are available for research. If you’re taking a class requiring original research this semester, take a few moments to explore Special Collections, which includes the University ArchivesRare BooksManuscripts and theUniversity Art Collection. Don’t forget to stop by to see the latest exhibitions they have up!

8.) Make a lynda.com playlist: What are your goals this year? Want to become a master public speaker or an Excel ninja? Log in to lynda.com to find thousands of professional video tutorials on technology and professional skills.

9.) Reserve a group study room: You don’t have to work on that group project in the middle of Lau 2! Book a group study room instead. All group study rooms are equipped with white boards and monitors so you can work collaboratively. Reserve them online up to a week in advance!

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A still from Rainbow Narcosis, 2012, computer animated HD film, 9 minutes.

A still from Rainbow Narcosis, 2012, computer animated HD film, 9 minutes.

Unicorns in coffee shops, robots made of Beaux Art towers, and fleshy orbs. Mothership, the first Spagnuolo show of the season, looks like a futuristic Exquisite Corpse game. Jonathan Monaghan is an American computer animator and artist who received his BFA in computer graphics from the New York Institute of Technology and an MFA from the University of Maryland.

Mothership is a compact survey of Monaghan’s animations and prints created between 2013 and 2015. It includes the computer animated films Mothership and Escape Pod, printed wireframe studies from the films and printed works from the series After Fabregé. The work draws broadly for inspiration with references to ancient mythology, science fiction, architecture and corporate branding. The culminating work is mystical, humorous and satirical.

Monaghan (born 1986, New York) works across disciplines to create works that blur the boundaries between the real, the imagined, and the virtual. His work has been exhibited at The Sundance Film Festival, The Minneapolis Institute of Art and The Hirshhorn Museum. His work has been featured in several media outlets including The Washington Post, VICE, The Wall Street Journal and The Village Voice. Monaghan is represented by bitforms gallery in New York.

Mothership is on view from August 31 – October 16, 2016. An Opening Reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, September 22 from 6:00 – 8:00pm.

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Library Open House this Thursday!

There will be balloons.

There will be balloons.

Now that Club Lau has passed (you only do it once) join us at the library again for some legitimately beneficial orientations. We want to make sure that you know everything we have to offer to help you through the fall semester and beyond.

Drop by during our Thursday open house to learn essentials like where to find course reserves or how to set up a time to talk to a librarian about your next research project. Subject librarians as well as librarians from the Gelardin New Media Center, Special Collections, and Access Services will be on hand.

Brief orientations will provide the lay of the land, and tours will show you the ins and outs of the Great Lau.

See you on Thursday, September 8 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm in the Lauinger Library lobby!

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Duly Noted

The author retyping her notes. Kidding! I'm not that old....

The author retyping her notes. Kidding! I’m not that old….

The best note-taking advice I received in college was from an art history professor who advised us to take notes in class and afterward re-copy them up within two days. The repetition, she promised, would help cement concepts and dates and reveal any gaps in our notes’ coverage. She suggested we type our notes the second time, thus creating a tidy reference document. This particular professor was very serious about the work required of her class and her high expectations inspired me to take the suggestion seriously. And it worked! Brilliantly so.

While this was not too long ago it was still before everyone brought a computer to class. Taking notes on a laptop might not be the best strategy for learning–studies show retained

"Michigan Senator keeps in writing trim. Washington, D.C., July 17, 1939." Harris & Ewing photograph, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

“Michigan Senator keeps in writing trim. Washington, D.C., July 17, 1939.” Harris & Ewing photograph, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

knowledge is more superficial when students take notes by typing on their personal computer. More professors are banning laptops in class, too. Jeff Offutt, a professor of Software Engineering at George Mason University, has compiled a sensible list of why he’d rather see your attentive face in class than a glowing apple–and he cites the research studies to corroborate his concern that class computers do more harm than good.

If you’re still keen to type your notes in class–or if you’d like to try going long-hand and retyping your notes later, LifeHacker has just published a comparison of note-taking apps for students. Option five is my favorite.

bullet journal

A Bullet Journal.

Those enamored with pen and paper or with to-do lists might want to investigate the trendy Bullet Journal System.


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Paid Internship at Glenstone Museum


Split-Rocker, a sculpture at Glenstone. Photo courtesy of Julie Skarrett, RAFT landscape architecture.

Glenstone, a museum of modern and contemporary art located 15 miles outside of Washington, DC, is seeking applications for a Library Collections Intern position. As the “museum,” which includes acres of wild and landscaped art installations, prepares to expand the formal facilities, this would be a great opportunity to participate in a growing library collection with vision in spades.

Position Description:

Working under the supervision of the museum Librarian, the Library Collections Intern will be responsible for standardizing legacy library records in the museum’s collections management system, CollectiveAccess, and contribute to collection development. The projects will facilitate improved organization through the identification of items in the collection, as Glenstone prepares to transition the collection into the new library space in the future. Additional projects proposed by the intern are encouraged.

This is a part-time, temporary position of up to 30 hours per week, during regular business hours. There is flexibility in determining the intern’s weekly schedule. The rate of pay is $15.00 per hour stipend and/or academic credit in line with graduate school requirements.

Application Process:
For more information on the position and the application process, please see the Glenstone Jobs Portal.

Date posted: June 30, 2016

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Happy Birthday Getty Research Portal!

To celebrate its fourth anniversary, the Getty Research Institute (GRI) has launched an updated version of its research tool, the Getty Research Portal. A virtual library of art history texts, the newly redesigned Getty Research Portal offers more than 100,000 art history volumes–all for free!

The new catalog interface of Portal.

The new catalog interface of Portal.

Launched in 2012, and created in partnership with some of the world’s leading art libraries, the Getty Research Portal is a (free) online search gateway that aggregates the metadata of art history and cultural texts, with links to fully digitized copies (that are free) to download. There are no special requirements in order to use this resource and it is completely (free and) open to anyone with internet access.

“Thousands of people use this tool and our books have been viewed nearly 13 million times. This broad access is fundamental to the GRI’s mission to further the understanding of art and a core principal in our approach to art historical research,” said Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the GRI.

Gorgeous illustrations are available through Portal. Frontispiece from The costume of China, by W. Alexander. 1814. Hand-colored etching with aquatint.

Gorgeous illustrations are available through Portal. Frontispiece (plate 1) has title: The costume of China, by W. Alexander.

The new user interface features several key improvements, including new search filters that make results sortable by criteria such as date and language and a responsive design that allows for better use on phones and tablets.

New partners are greatly adding volumes to the Portal. They include the Art Institute of Chicago’s Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome, the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, the Menil Library Collection in Houston, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Library and Archives in New York, and the Warburg Institute Library in London. They join the Heidelberg University Library, the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Libraries, the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, the Library of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library, the Frick Art Reference Library, the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives, the New York Art Resources Consortium, the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives, the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, the Biblioteca de la Universidad de Málaga, and Gallica: Bibliothèque national de France. Getty partners include the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Publications Virtual Library, and the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative.

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Streaming News: Beyoncé and Criterion

Options for streaming two types of cinematic art–Criterion Collection films and Beyoncé’s new visual album Lemonade–have settled into two options. For better or worse, both require a subscription (but read on to discover similar material free from Lauinger).

beyonce-lemonade-album-5-640x354Beyoncé’s Lemonade, her recently aired album + music video opus, debuted on HBO recently, but is now only available on the video platform Tidal, a music video streaming service for $9.99 a month. Lemonade the album is available on iTunes and Amazon, but if you missed the HBO special Tidal is your only option for viewing the epic 12-song visual album.

In addition to charting Jay-Z’s marital infidelity Lemonade tells a particular story of black American women. Social justice themes run throughout the series, expressed in a visual kaleidoscope of Deep South iconography such as plantation porches, the Gulf shore, and antebellum dresses. One song features video portraits of seated mothers holding pictures of their slain sons–Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and others; in another song Beyoncé, quoting Malcolm X, joins a bus full of women painted in African designs.

A still from Lemonade that channels Daughters of the Dust.

A still from Lemonade that channels Daughters of the Dust.


Still from Daughters of the Dust , a 1991 film by Julie Dash.

If you want to understand some of the visual and creative references from Lemonade, check out Daughters of the Dust, a 1991 film about Gullah women migrating from their island home to the American mainland at the turn-of-the century that’s thought to be one of Beyoncé’s inspirations for the Lemonade videos. And guess what? Lauinger Library owns a copy of Daughters of the Dust, whose director, Julie Dash, has been touted as one of the “heroines of the modern cinema.” While we can’t stream it for you, Lau films can be checked out for zero dollars.

And speaking of amazing films, the Criterion Collection has just announced that it will stream exclusively through a new service, FilmStruck. Does this mean Criterion films will drop from Hulu and Netflix? That’s still unclear. Criterion films will still be available via educational streaming platforms like Kanopy and Swank, though many academic libraries have opted out of purchasing these collections due to their availability on commercial sites like Hulu (for a far lower cost). For now you can still find Grey Gardens and Tokyo Story streaming online…or on DVD at the library!


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