2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Awards

The University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) will welcome eleven new Goizueta Graduate Fellows beginning in July. Hailing from institutions across the United States, the 2017-2018 cohort of fellows is comprised of historians, literary specialists, and ethnicity scholars.

2017-2018 is the eighth year of the CHC’s graduate fellowships program. In 2015 the Goizueta Foundation made a $1 million gift to endow graduate fellowships at the Cuban Heritage Collection.

The Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program provides assistance to doctoral students in the U.S. who wish to use the research resources available in the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries. The goal of the program is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the CHC and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban, Latin@, hemispheric, and international studies.

For more information about fellowship opportunities at the Cuban Heritage Collection or to learn about past fellows, click here.

Graduate Research Fellows

Elizabeth Cerejido
University of Florida (Art and Art History)
Cuban (American) Art: Beyond Nation and Diaspora

William Kelly
Rutgers University (History)
Revolución es [Re]construir: Housing Policy and Everyday Life in the Cuban Revolution, 1959-1989

Sara Kozameh
New York University (History)
Harvest of Revolution: Cuban Agrarian Reform and the Politics of Consent, 1958-1970

Catherine Mas
Yale University (History, Program in the History of Science and Medicine)
The Culture Brokers: Medicine, Anthropology, and Transcultural Miami, 1960-1990

Corinna Moebius
Florida International University (Global and Sociocultural Studies)
Transnational Racial Politics of Public Memory and Public Space in Little Havana’s Heritage

Rosanne Sia
University of Southern California (American Studies and Ethnicity)
Performing Fantasy in Motion: The Hemispheric Circulation of Women Performers, 1940-1960


Graduate Pre-Prospectus Fellows

John Ermer
Florida International University (History)
The Lebanese Mahjar in Cuba

Lilianne Lugo Herrera
University of Miami (Modern Languages and Literatures)
Transnational Black Bodies: Caribbean Perspectives on the Theater of the Cuban Diaspora

Rodrigo del Rio
Harvard University (Romance Languages and Literatures)
Cuban Urban Imaginaries: Writing the City on the Verge of Revolution

Asiel Sepulveda
Southern Methodist University (Art History)
City Impressions: Frédéric Mialhe and the Making of Nineteenth-Century Havana

Alberto Sosa Cabanas
Florida International University (Modern Languages)
Racism, Celebration and Otherness: Depictions of Blackness in the Cuban Cultural Discourse (1790- 1959)

A Conversation with UM Faculty: Dr. Leslie Knecht, Ph.D., Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

In the fall of 2016, Dr. Leslie Knecht co-taught with Dr. J. David Van Dyken, assistant professor of biology, a Chemistry (CHM 113) / Biology (BIL 152) integrated laboratory course made possible through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The HHMI courses provide opportunities for first-year students from underrepresented minorities to conduct scientific research and explore career paths in the biomedical sciences.

A member of the 2016 Faculty Learning Community, Dr. Knecht was introduced to the services offered in the University of Miami’s pilot Learning Commons, located on the first floor of the Otto G. Richter Library. The Learning Commons supports creativity and experimentation, including designing and modeling 3D objects. Doctors Knecht and Van Dyken decided to incorporate opportunities for the students to use the 3D printing service in the Digital Media Lab, one of the many academic service partners participating in the Learning Commons.

In this conversation with Dr. Knecht from January 2017, Kelly Miller, associate dean for Learning and Research Services, found out more about the design of the course and assignments, the tools and services used, and what the students were able to discover and learn during the semester.


Can you briefly describe the course you taught with Dr. Van Dyken and what you hoped the students would learn?

The course is an introductory laboratory course that integrates both biology and chemistry. The goal is to give students an authentic research experience at the introductory level so we can demystify science for the students and, hopefully, excite them to begin pursuing other research opportunities in a STEM field. We want to take a true interdisciplinary approach to research so they can see that what they learn in their biology class can be relevant to the topics they learn in chemistry, physics, etc.

Briefly, in the course they genetically engineered knockouts in yeast. This means that they chose specific genes to delete or replace in the DNA of the yeast. They had to research the genes and make their own hypotheses on the effects the deletion would have on some testable characteristic of the yeast. They then tested these hypotheses using traditional lab techniques (petri dishes, microtiter plates, test tubes).

For the second half of the lab, they were tasked with creating new analytical platforms to perform their analyses. Each group noted shortcomings with the traditional techniques and created a device or platform that could overcome that shortcoming. They were able to use a 3D printer, a polymer, and a wax printer to create their designs. After the initial creation, the students had to optimize many parameters to get the yeast to grow because there was little literature precedent using these types of platforms for yeast.

Ultimately, we want to show students that science is truly an interdisciplinary subject, and sometimes that does not adequately come across in our normal curriculum. We want students to learn that it is okay to break the boundaries of a discipline and use unique and creative collaborative ideas to solve problems. In short, we hoped the course and project would excite the students about science and teach them to not just be analytical, but also creative in their problem solving.


Left to right: M3D Micro 3D Printer and the lab group’s first printed mold. Image credit: The Lab Journal.

In what ways did the “Create” portion of the Learning Commons’ service model (supported by the Digital Media Lab ) enable you to create new or different types of assignments for the course?

We could not have completed the project if not for the Digital Media Lab. Before becoming a member of the Faculty Learning Community, I had no idea that the Library had a 3D printer we could use. The staff there, specifically Morgan McKie, was instrumental in allowing the project to move forward. They were more than willing to come to my class and give presentations on how to use the available software to make the 3D models. Morgan helped to troubleshoot some of the design flaws my students had (walls that were designed too thin, models that were out of the size range of the printer, etc.).

One student, who was really involved in the 3D modeling software, would go to the Digital Media Lab in her spare time to learn the software. To me, that is what teaching is all about — to inspire students to learn something new that can translate to transferrable skills in the future. Without the support of the Digital Media Lab, this project would not have been as successful as it was.


Top to bottom: Original model design and the finalized 3D printed Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) platform students created to be able to analyze the competition of wild-type and mutant yeast. Image credit: HHMI General Biology Laboratory Group 1.2.

How does 3D printing, in particular, enable your students to learn in new or different ways?

By allowing the students to make their own analytical platforms, they had complete ownership of the project. It was THEIR design. They were invested in the outcome of the project. Technology like 3D printing allows for students to bring creativity to the classroom. They had to really think about what they wanted to achieve and carefully design something to reach their goals. No two designs were the same, even though some of their goals were the same. 3D printing their own analytical platform enabled the students to truly think about what they were doing in the lab, not just go through the motions of getting an experiment done so they can leave lab for that day. Again, by being able to 3D print, it showed students that there is a creative component to science. It demonstrates that you are not confined to what exists, but you can create new things to solve your specific problem. To me, that is what science is about.


How did you, as the teacher, learn about the students’ experiences? What did you ask them to share with you?

One thing I pride myself on is the relationship I have with my students. They often speak to me about experiences on campus with the various resources that we offer. For example, my students told me early in my teaching career that there were no tutors available for my class at the Camner Academic Resource Center. I went to the center to speak with one of the directors to shed light on the situation and they were very helpful, making accommodations for the students who needed it. For the HHMI laboratory course, I frequently spoke with the students about their experience in the Digital Media Lab. There were good lines of communication between employees in the Lab and my students. The employees, namely Morgan, went above and beyond to assist my students. I think the common theme with the Learning Commons is that they are here to help and will do whatever is possible to facilitate the students’ learning.


In your view, why is it so important to increase representation of minorities in the biomedical sciences research community? How might the Learning Commons contribute to this effort, do you think?

It is important to increase minorities in the biomedical sciences and sciences in general because they are so underrepresented. As a society, we need to step back and ask ourselves why this is true. I am a minority in the sciences in several ways: I am a woman, I am African American, and I grew up with a very disadvantaged socioeconomic background. When I look back, the key thing that got me interested in sciences was the enthusiasm and encouragement from teachers and mentors along the way. As a professor, I want to demonstrate that science is not just what you learn in a textbook but also has a creative component. I want to be enthusiastic about science so my students will feel enthusiastic. I want to create an atmosphere for my students that encourage them to talk to me when they have problems and to find solutions for those problems. That is where the Learning Commons plays a key role. I have sent students to the Camner Academic Resource Center for tutoring and I have sent some of my best students to apply to be tutors at the center. Having a free tutoring resource helps break down those socioeconomic barriers some students may have.

My students commonly reserve study rooms at the library and study together as groups. This community builds relationships and confidence of the students taking the course. I have used the Digital Media Lab to encourage collaborations and creative thinking about science. All of these things help break down barriers and make science more accessible to everyone.


Groups of students researching primers to block the IRA2 gene, the gene they had chosen to genetically modify. Image credit: Hell Yeast.

How would you like to see the “Create” portion of the Learning Commons’ service model grow and develop?

I wish more classes would use the technology and the expertise that exists in the Learning Commons. There are a million things you can do with 3D printing, whether it be making a model for demonstrative purposes or making actual working prototypes as my students were able to do. Beyond 3D printing, I think educational game design would be interesting and serve as a conduit to finding more interdisciplinary approaches to subjects that you normally wouldn’t pair.

I would love to see a well-attended open house with faculty from across the University to converse and assist one another with coming up with innovative and integrative technology driven pedagogy. Of course, I would also like to see the Learning Commons get more resources (like more 3D printers) and gain a larger audience in the University. It truly is a valuable resource, but more faculty need support in understanding how to tap into the benefits of the resource.


What was the most surprising or exciting thing you learned during the semester?

I wouldn’t say I was surprised by the students’ enthusiasm for their projects, but it definitely excited me. Students were checking on their experiments on days when lab was not in session. They were coming together in their groups and excitedly discussing the project. When one of their ideas checked out, they would cheer and high five. During presentations, students in the entire class would collaborate and offer advice from their failures and successes to one another. It would be any instructor’s dream to see how involved and invested the students were in their learning.


Photos from a yeast test lab report. Image credit: HHMI Group 4.

How does this course reflect the way scientific experimentation in laboratories is changing in the 21st century?

Technology is continuously advancing knowledge in the scientific community. Technology has enabled us to see matter on the atomic scale, develop better diagnostics for earlier detection of diseases, and to characterize materials that we cannot even see with the naked eye. All of this technology comes from creative people coming together to create new technology or use existing technology in new ways to solve problems. That is what this course was meant to show students.

We need to train our future scientists to take risks, to be creative, and to think outside of the box to solve problems. We have so much technology at our fingertips and most students are aware of and have used the technology for non-science related things. We wanted to show them that they can take something that has a different purpose and repurpose it to solve a problem.

For instance, we had one group use spray-on deodorant, tape, and an adhesive spray on paper to perform one of their tests. One doesn’t usually think of using those things to perform science, but you definitely can use them.

Science is also becoming more and more interdisciplinary. This lab showed the students that sometimes it takes more than one scientific field to solve problems. Collaborative research and being able to work and communicate over different disciplines is of utmost importance for future scientific advances.


Can first-year students truly contribute to scientific research, and if so, how?

Yes, yes, yes! First-year students can definitely contribute to scientific research. Sometimes they don’t even realize how their knowledge can be applied to solve scientific problems. I think it is our job as faculty and mentors to help a student make connections between what they are learning in their courses and how they can use that knowledge in research. We also must show students how to use the scientific literature to solve problems. Once my students knew where to look, they found peer-reviewed scientific publications that gave them ideas for their projects.

If any student is interested in research, they should contact the Office of Undergraduate Research in the first floor of the Ungar Building. This office assists students with finding a research lab based on their interests. Even if a student isn’t sure what area of science they are most interested in, they should go to this office and find out more about the research opportunities on campus.


How did participation in the Faculty Learning Community affect your own approach to teaching the course?

I cannot say in words how much I appreciated my time in the Faculty Learning Community. I went because I wanted to make problem-solving videos for my lectures. I left not only learning about the One Button Studio to make the videos, but also learning about the 3D printers, how to do virtual office hours, game design and development, and a host of other things.

It was incredible to collaborate with faculty from other colleges in the University and to reimagine my discipline in a more interdisciplinary way. It was also wonderful to hear how other professors approached solving problems similar to what I have had in teaching and giving my advice to other faculty based on my experiences. I definitely felt like it was a community, and I made some great connections.


Left to right: Printing a test mini-manometer starts with the 3D modeling stage and ends with removing the finished print from its mold. Image credit: Yeastparalogs.

What courses are you teaching this semester, and will you do anything differently based on your experience in the Fall?

I am currently teaching an upper divisional analytical chemistry lab course (a lab course for chemistry majors). In the previous year, I had taught this course and did not have a authentic research component or a project. Therefore, I wanted to implement a project utilizing technology much like the students used in the HHMI lab course. However, unlike the HHMI course, I am allowing students to have more freedom to choose what type of project they would like to complete based upon their individual research interests. Thus far, I have seen that giving too much freedom can sometimes be overwhelming for students because they aren’t sure where to begin, especially when you are introducing them to things they have never been exposed to. I have had to take a more involved approach this semester and help guide the students. Having a more defined goal and guidelines is definitely something to keep in mind when trying to implement this type of project in the future. Although the students have seen these technological concepts, we are utilizing them in ways the students are not familiar with.


Is there anything else you would like to share with us today that we haven’t asked about?

I would just say to faculty that we have so many resources for our students on campus, starting with the Learning Commons. These resources aren’t always well advertised, and students sometimes overlook them. As faculty, we need to guide our students to the resources that give them the best chance to be successful. Further, we need to be advocates of innovation in the classroom. We are teaching a new generation of technologically savvy students and to engage them, we need to tap into their interests. The Learning Commons is a great place to get started, and even if they do not have what you need, they will definitely help direct you where to go.


Thank you for sharing these insights with us!

Join Us for “Vacationing in the Cold War: Foreign Tourists to Socialist Romania and Francoist Spain, 1960s-1970s” on June 16

Friday, April 28, 2017 | 12:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library | 3rd Floor Conference Room
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

Join Adelina Oana Stefan in a presentation of her book project based on ongoing research of the World Wings International, Inc. Records. Dr. Stefan, the second recipient of Special Collections’ World Wings International, Inc. Research Grant, is using the collection to examine how Pan American World Airways, Inc. played an important role in diffusing business practices and in enhancing tourist circulation between the United States and both Francoist Spain and socialist Romania in the 1960s and 1970s. Her book focuses on how international tourism shaped consumerist, consumption, and economic practices in socialist Romania and Franco’s Spain, and hence helped the two tourist industries integrate into a European and global network. In this presentation, Dr. Stefan will discuss the book project and highlight interesting and important discoveries from her work with the World Wings International, Inc. Records.

About World Wings International, Inc.
World Wings International, Inc. is the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants who seek to maintain the historic Pan Am tradition of global humanitarian assistance, safeguard Pan Am’s place in aviation history, and promote friendship among its members through cultural and civic activities. The organization’s records, housed at Special Collections, include administrative records as well as scrapbooks, photographs, membership and annual meetings files, correspondence, and financial records dating back to 1946.

Questions? Email richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.

UM is a smoke-free campus. Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »


Join Us for “Independent Internationalism in the Air: Pan American Airlines, the Pan American Union, and the 1928 Havana Convention” on May 26

Friday, May 26, 2017 | 12:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library | 3rd Floor Conference Room
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

Join Sean Seyer for a presentation of his book project based on ongoing research of the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records. Dr. Seyer is using the collection to place the origin, institutionalization, and application of the first civil aviation regulation in the United States within an international context, an analytical approach missing in the current domestic-centric narrative.

After World War I, Allied representatives crafted the 1919 Convention Relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation as part of the Versailles Peace Conference. This document constituted a regime—something political scientist Stephen Krasner defined as a set of “principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures”—that set the parameters for international civil aviation in the interwar period.  While the convention’s connection to the League of Nations precluded ratification by the United States, Canada’s adoption of it resulted in the unofficial acceptance of its operational and registrational standards among American engineering societies, insurance companies, and aviation organizations. The 1926 Air Commerce Act, drafted in consultation with these same industry and aviation interests, placed all interstate and foreign flights within the United States under federal jurisdiction and allowed for the formal adoption of the convention’s standards in the absence of ratification.

In this presentation, Seyer will discuss the book project and highlight interesting and important discoveries from his work with the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records.


About Dave Abrams and Gene Banning

After graduating from the University of Miami, Dave Abrams (1919-2005) joined Pan American Airways and worked for 42 years as a meteorologist, navigator, and Director of Flight Operations for Latin America. Abrams was instrumental in the formation of The Pan Am Historical Foundation after the company shut its doors in 1991, and he played a crucial role in finding a home for Pan Am’s archives and memorabilia.

Gene Banning (1918-2006) was one of the longest serving pilots for Pan Am. His aviation days started with the infamous flying boats in 1941 and ended with Boeing 747s in 1978. An avid researcher, Banning was a guiding member of The Pan Am Historical Foundation from its inception, and he is the author of Airlines of Pan American since 1927.


About The Pan Am Historical Foundation and Special Collections

The Pan Am Historical Foundation is a group dedicated to preserving the heritage of Pan American World Airways.

The Special Collections of the University of Miami Libraries preserves and provides access to research materials focusing on the history and culture of Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records consists of hundreds of boxes of materials and reigns as the most avidly consulted single resource in Special Collections.

Questions? Email richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.

UM is a smoke-free campus. Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »


Miami Zine Fair 2017

Did you know that Special Collections at the University of Miami Libraries has one of the largest zine collections in the country? From the incendiary writings of a 1770s revolutionary pamphleteer like Thomas Paine to the thoughtful and humorous works of current and former UM students, our zine collections cover just about any topic you can imagine…and they’re available for you to read, study, and spark inspiration! Best of all, Special Collections is open to the public. Want to study zine history? Interested in zines about flappers, science fiction, fashion, gender, sexuality, anarchy, punk rock, and culinary history? Our collections cover these topics and so much more.

Cover of Scam #7, by author Erick Lyle, also known as “Iggy Scam.”

Stop by and see us at the Miami Zine Fair at the Lowe Art Museum this Saturday, April 22, for a sample of our collections. Also, make sure to visit us on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library any weekday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to start your zine-ventures!

Join Us for “Mainly Mozart” Two-Part Lecture Series on Tuesday, April 11 & 18

About the Lecture Series
This two-part series will explore how all the breakthroughs in the arts and political world took us into the 18th century Classical era and 19th century Romanticism – both periods of enormous change and innovation. From Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven to Schubert, Brahms, and Berlioz – these lectures will prepare devoted audiences and new friends for the coming delights of the Mainly Mozart Festival.

Click the image to watch a video of Frank Cooper describing the lecture series.

About the Speaker
Musicologist and Founding Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival, Frank Cooper is an award-winning Research Professor Emeritus of Musicology at the University of Miami. He has appeared in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe as a pianist, harpsichordist, and lecturer. To his credit are more than 100 published articles, annotations for recordings, radio and television broadcasts, and multiple series of public lectures. He created Butler University’s Festival of Neglected Romantic Music, and directed the Indianapolis Festival Music Society’s summer festivals of early music for thirty-five years. The American Liszt Society elected him to four successive terms as its President. He was Musical Director of the Coral Gables Mainly Mozart Festival for eighteen seasons. An Advisor to the Miami International Piano Festival, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Miami’s Vizcaya Museum have awarded him honorary curatorships. The National Federation of Music Clubs presented him its Presidential Citation, the Hungarian Ministry of Culture its Franz Liszt Centennial Medal, and the Frost School of Music its award for Excellence in Teaching. Two spaces in the Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios are designated with his name, and two guest-lectureships in the Frost School have also been created in his honor.

Delray String Quartet
Acclaimed as a “World-Class String Quartet” by the Palm Beach Post, the Delray String Quartet has clearly established itself as one of the cultural jewels of South Florida. Learn more »

Charles D. Eckman, Ph.D., Dean of Libraries, University of Miami

“We are thrilled at the University of Miami Libraries to have the honor of hosting a lecture series in collaboration with this year’s Mainly Mozart Festival.

Produced by the Miami Chamber Music Society, the Mainly Mozart Festival is one of the most beloved and respected chamber music series in Miami, consistently presenting exceptional classical artists to the South Florida community. The two lectures will be presented by Frank Cooper, University of Miami Research Professor Emeritus of Musicology. Professor Cooper is a world-renowned scholar, having devoted his life to studying the arts while simultaneously pursuing careers as a teacher, writer, lecturer and performer. Both lectures will take place at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion in the Otto G. Richter Library on the Coral Gables campus.

We look forward to seeing you at this new and important component of the Festival’s 24th Anniversary season!”

Questions? Email miamichambermusicsociety@gmail.com or call 786-556-1715.

UM is a smoke-free campus. Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »


Join Us for “Parallels of Practice: The Dialogue of Science and Philosophy” on April 11

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 | 5 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library | 3rd Floor Conference Room
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

“Parallels of Practice” will bring an expert panel of philosophers and scientists together to engage with each other’s work, discuss recent scientific critiques of philosophy, and to identify fruitful, and sometimes surprising, areas of interaction between the two disciplines. Organized and facilitated by Library Research Scholar and Foote Fellow Joshua Myers, the panel will be highly interactive and audience members are invited to ask questions and join the conversation.

Featured Panelists

About the Library Research Scholars Program
The Library Research Scholars program offers University of Miami undergraduate students a unique, librarian faculty-mentored learning experience involving a deep and active engagement with the University of Miami Libraries’ research collections and service programs. The program gives undergraduate students an opportunity to build upon their own interests, develop transferable skills, and create an intellectual product that is shareable with others. The program is jointly sponsored by the Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education and the Dean of the Libraries. Learn more »

Questions? Email richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.

UM is a smoke-free campus. Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »


Now Boarding | Explore Pan Am’s Digital Archive

Thanks to a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the first group of images from the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records collection have recently landed on the University of Miami Libraries’ Digital Collections website.

Left and center: Fly by Clipper to Hawaii brochure cover and fold-out map, 1949. Right: Miami to Nassau flight map brochure.

Housed in Special Collections at the Otto G. Richter Library, the Pan Am collection is one of UM’s most researched and extensive, containing historical brochures, newsletters, periodicals, correspondence, photographs, and many other records documenting the 60-plus years of aviation history and world impact of the iconic airline. “From gender issues related to the early hiring and treatment of female flight attendants to a local artist constructing a larger-than-life cardboard model of a jet fighter, the collection is vast and eclectic. It’s a source of continuous discoveries, most of them fascinating and delightful,” says Cristina Favretto, head of Special Collections.

Continuing the work of a previous NHPRC-funded grant completed in 2014 to re-process the collection in its entirety, the digitization efforts of this project will ultimately add over 100,000 pages of brochures, timetables, directories, annual reports, and periodicals from the printed materials series to Digital Collections, where the materials are fully text searchable and available to the public for browsing and research purposes.

Digitization Grant Project Manager Gabriella Williams.

“This ongoing project will not only help with improving the discovery and accessibility of the collection worldwide, but will also serve to foster collaboration with other airline companies and institutions,” says Gabriella Williams, digitization grant project manager. Williams has worked extensively with periodicals as Serials Technician at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and brings a strong background in digitization from the Florida Institute of Technology. She started with UM Libraries on February 20 and is supervising the 1.5-year project.

Directing the grant’s workflow, Williams is responsible for entering metadata, flagging duplicates, choosing the best copies for scanning, creating special handling instructions for large fold-outs and maps, and working with student employees to perform quality control checks on the digital images. The next group of boxes to be digitized includes publications that date from the World War II era. “Pan Am played a crucial role in aviation and global history during this time period, as the company was the leader in creating transportation routes and had already established a large fleet of aircrafts, which was invaluable to the war effort in the United States,” says Williams.

Williams reviews executive staff memorandums from the 1930s prior to digitization.

THIS JUST IN: Lions, Tigers, and Pegacorns, Oh My!

Age of the Womanimal, published for the Garden of the Womanimal/Caroline Paquita exhibition at the Booklyn Art Gallery from April 12 – June 18, 2014.

By Yvette Yurubi, Research Assistant

In following this year’s #BeBoldForChange theme for International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight one of our more recent and unique acquisitions from Caroline Paquita and Pegacorn Press. Caroline and her collaborators have been publishing zines together since the mid-1990s. These works showcase femininity and sexuality in a raw and brazen way, and capture the female body in all of its many shapes, forms, and sizes, while also tackling the experience of being a woman in today’s society. The exaggerated, cartoon-like designs blend with their uninhibited approach to art and serve to capture women not at their most demure, but at their most feral and expressive, unencumbered by traditional gender roles and society’s seemingly impossible-to-achieve beauty standards. There is an elegant absurdity to her work that completely divorces the notion of being a woman from any regulatory definition and instead represents women as untamed, unapologetic, and unashamed of their own female form.

Garden of the Womanimal, published for an exhibition at the Booklyn Art Gallery from April 12 – June 18, 2014.

On the moniker of her independent press, Caroline states that Pegacorn has “embodied the wild spirit that I wanted the press to embrace – a feral beast, and one that wouldn’t just print and release ‘boring’ work by ‘socially acceptable’ people who have always had opportunities to have their work put out. I wanted artists to feel there were no restraints on what they wanted to put out with Pegacorn Press, and that they had the freedom to make whatever they wanted – that they could be as weird or as wild as they wanted.” Her run of Womanilistic, in particular, with its unhinged and frenetic art style, perfectly encapsulates the ideas of unabashed freedom that she wants to encourage. The style achieves this by using close-up ink drawings of the female anatomy and women wearing bestial features in a manner that is explicitly treated as empowering instead of insulting.

Taco Time, from Womanilistic #3

Several women’s issues are conveyed through abstract images in this set of zines. The themes range from body image to sexuality and gender inequality, taking an evocative stance that emboldens readers to not shy away from these topics but rather to lay them all out in the open for discussion. The resulting images and text elicit a dialogue about modern perceptions of gender and trying to transform the norm by rampaging through the idealistic and encouraging self-expression in an unrestricted sense. These zines also offer a welcome glimpse into the celebration of being a woman in a society where the definition is ever-changing and where barriers are constantly being shattered.

We invite you to come enjoy International Women’s Day every day with us here in the Special Collections Department. Located on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, the department is a place where anyone can learn more about women’s history by exploring our growing collection of feminist zines and artists’ books.