Month: December 2015

UCONN–NEWS RELEASE– Mellon Award Establishes Scholarly Communications Design Studio as Part of Digital Publishing Initiative


Contact: Clarissa Ceglio


Mellon Award Establishes Scholarly Communications Design Studio as Part of Digital Publishing Initiative

A grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help to expand digital scholarship at the University of Connecticut with the establishment of a Scholarly Communications Design Studio. The award is part of the Mellon Foundation’s digital publishing initiative, a multi-pronged effort to support and accelerate the evolution of academic publishing in the Internet age.

The start-up funding of $99,000 will bring together a collaboration among the Digital Media & Design Department in the School of Fine Arts, the University Libraries, and the Humanities Institute that will make a systematic intervention into the ways scholarship is researched, authored, presented, and published in the digital age.

The Scholarly Communications Design Studio will draw insight from the design disciplines to create, implement, assess, and disseminate a sustainable, collaboration-first scholarly communications process suited to an evolving publishing landscape, according Tom Scheinfeldt, associate professor of digital media and design and director of digital humanities in the Digital Media Center, who will lead the effort to develop the new studio.

“All too often, collaborators are brought on board to implement scholarly projects, not imagine them,” says Scheinfeldt, who previously helped lead the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. “UConn’s new studio aims to change this by pushing collaboration on traditional as well as digital scholarship upstream in the research and publication workflow, to the very headwaters of inquiry, imagination, and project conception. This ‘collaboration first’ approach will bring scholars together with designers, developers, editors, and librarians to start new projects, not merely to finish them.”

Faculty and staff who will be involved in developing the studio include Clarissa Ceglio, research assistant in the Digital Media Center; Greg Colati, assistant university librarian for Archives, Special Collections and Digital Curation; Brendan Kane, associate professor of history and associate director of the UConn Humanities Institute; and Samantha Olschan, assistant professor-in-residence in the Department of Digital Media and Design.


Scheinfeldt says “design thinking” models have been used in creative industries from Hollywood film-making to Madison Avenue advertising, to solve problems of complexity and scale similar to those faced by scholarly publishing.

“We believe that similar problems in academic publishing can be addressed by a design-oriented approach tailored to the needs of scholarly communication,” says Ceglio, the studio’s research coordinator and editorial faculty-member-in-residence. “During the planning period we propose to spend considerable time surveying the field of digital publishing at university presses, scholarly associations, and research libraries to help us better understand the varied terrain of digital publication efforts and capabilities.”

Following the survey of digital publishing, the planning group will develop a design process document outlining what will be needed to develop the Scholarly Communications Design Studio, establish an operational structure within Homer D. Babbidge Library and create a refined sustainability plan for the studio.

“The Scholarly Communications Design Studio is a strategic development for the University,” says Mun Choi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Not only will the studio constitute an innovation in its own right, it will further UConn’s academic vision by promoting collaboration across disciplines and contributing to the communication of breakthrough ideas. With this award from the Mellon Foundation’s Scholarly Communications program, UConn will set the foundations for long-term contributions to the ways in which knowledge is communicated and shared in our digital age.”

ABOUT THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT UConn is one of the top public research universities in the nation, with more than 30,000 students with more than 100 research centers and institutes that serve the university’s teaching, research, diversity and outreach missions. UConn has partnerships with 100 institutions worldwide and is one of only four U.S. members of the Universitas 21 network, the leading global network of research universities for the 21st century.

UConn Celebrates Humanities Authors

The UConn Humanities Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will celebrate 72 books, written by 63 UConn scholars and fellows, in its biennial Celebration of Humanities Authors this week.

The books range in topics across the humanities and interdisciplinary studies, from the philosophical virtues of happiness to accounts of strangers in colonial Boston, fascism in modern American politics, how photos of black children advance social justice, the diaries of a Cold War diplomat, and why detective fiction is so popular.

“These books represent some of the best work by some of the best scholars in the world on their respective topics,” says Michael Lynch, professor of philosophy and director of the Humanities Institute. “And they illustrate the sheer range of scholarship going on at UConn, from work on Africana philosophy to a history of Native American whalers.”

The Humanities Institute’s mission is to enhance research and creativity in the humanities, broadly defined. By enabling UConn scholars and students to explore the full range of humanistic inquiry and methodologies, the Institute calls attention to the many ways that humanities scholarship enriches general understanding of the human condition.

“These books, the product of years of study and writing by faculty from a wide range of disciplines, are an impressive contribution to our understanding of our culture and society,” says Jeremy Teitelbaum, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. more


New York, NY – 1 December 2015– The Modern Language Association of America today announced the winner of its fifty-second annual William MLA2015Riley Parker Prize for an outstanding article published in PMLA, the association’s journal of literary scholarship. The author of this year’s winning essay is Gordon Fraser, of the University of Connecticut, Storrs. His article “Troubling the Cold War Logic of Annihilation: Apocalyptic Temporalities in Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” appeared in the May 2015 issue of PMLA.
Please click here to download a PDF of the full press release.