News & Notes

By: Shawn Vanness on: March 20, 2020 12:35 pm | dubbersa

Nine black and white portraits of the alumni and faculty featured in the exhibition Bearing Witness. Erich Franzen's image is outlined in blue with the text - Erich Franzen. 1892 - 1961. Political refugee and assistant professor of sociology. Miami University. 1940 - 1942.

Erich Franzen (1892-1961)

Political Refugee, Germany

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Miami University, 1940-1942

 

Erich Franzen was a well-known German literary critic and sociologist from Ems, Germany. He wrote for several progressive periodicals including Die Weltbühne, a radical publication that was banned by the Nazis in March 1933. An avowed antifascist, Franzen fled Germany in 1934 and emigrated to the U.S. with the assistance of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars. The Emergency Committee was established in 1933 to counteract the strict immigration laws of the Roosevelt administration by arranging placements in American universities for the most eminent German scholars fleeing political repression. Of the 6000 scholars who applied for aid through the committee only 6% were selected. Notably, Franzen was one of only two scholars from the field of “Letters” that the Emergency Committee placed. The other was Thomas Mann. Franzen taught sociology at Southern Illinois Normal University and later at Miami University from 1940-1942. During his time at Miami he gave several talks about his experience in Nazi Germany, before taking a leave of absence to work for the U.S. Office of War Information in July 1942.

 

Franzen’s story is one of ten extraordinary personal journeys of Miami alumni and faculty told in the exhibition, Bearing Witness: The Holocaust and Jewish Experience at Miami University, co-hosted by the Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives and Hillel at Miami University.

Three images of correspondence are side by side. 1. Letter from the Institute of International Education to President Upham, 1940. 2. Western Union telegraph from Erich Franzen to President Upham, 1940. 3. Letter from Erich Franzen to President Upham, 1942

Images:

  1. Photograph of Erich Franzen, Photo credit: Erica Loos

  2. Letter from the Institute of International Education to President Upham, 1940

  3. Western Union telegraph from Erich Franzen to President Upham, 1940

  4. Letter from Erich Franzen to President Upham, 1942 

Images 2, 3 and 4 Courtesy of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives

 
By: Shawn Vanness on: March 20, 2020 11:58 am | dubbersa

Nine black and white portraits of the alumni and faculty featured in the exhibition Bearing Witness. Robert Behr's image is outlined in blue with the text "Robert Behr (1922 - 2018). Holocaust survivor & Nazi interrogator. Miami University class of 1967.

Robert Behr (1922—2018) 

Holocaust Survivor & Nazi Interrogator Berlin, Germany

B.A. in Modern European History Miami University, Class of 1967

Robert Behr was born in Berlin, Germany on March 1, 1922 into a middle-class Jewish family. His parents, Alfred and Lilly Behr, divorced when he was young and his mother remarried Dr. Alfred Hamburger. Their lives changed dramatically with the passing of the Nuremberg Race Laws in September 1935, which stripped German Jews of their citizenship and required them to carry identity papers. Alfred Behr was arrested during Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938 and sent to Buchenwald although he was quickly released. Lilly, Robert, and Alfred Hamburger were not so lucky. In 1942, they were arrested and sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, where they worked in deteriorating conditions until May 5, 1945, when the family was liberated by the Soviet Army. In 1947, Robert immigrated to the United States and enlisted in the army. He returned to Berlin to interrogate former Nazis and care for his mother. Robert eventually settled in Dayton, Ohio after leaving the Army in 1952 and joined the United States Air Force civil service as an intelligence officer. He graduated from Miami University in 1967.

Three photos of from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Robert Behr. Left to right: 1. Robert Behr (a German Jewish survivor who later joined the US Army) and another American soldier pose outside the German-American Youth Club. After joining the US Army Robert Behr was tasked to run a German youth club to teach democratic values. 2. A young Robert Behr circa 1926-1929 sits on a log in front of two lion cubs at the Berlin petting zoo. 3. Robert Behr sits next to his mother at a table on an outdoor balcony in Berlin circa 1947-1950.

 

 

 
By: Nick Kneer on: March 13, 2020 3:49 pm | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

Ahead of her receipt of the Freedom Summer of '64 Award from Miami University, Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins will present "The Power of Our Story", a lecture in honor of Women's History Month on Thursday, March 12 at noon in King 320.

A 1974 graduate of Western College for Women, Jefferson-Jenkins served as the national president of the League of Women Voters of the United States — the first African American to hold the role — and chair of the League of Women Voters Education Fund from 1998 to 2002.

 

 
By: Nick Kneer on: March 20, 2020 12:46 pm | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

Black and white portraits of the 10 Miami alumni who are featured in the exhibition

See the Exhibition

King Library, 3rd floor

Open to the public
Mon. - Fri.
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Featured Alumni

Robert Behr '67
Hedi Pope nee Politzer '42
John Macsai '49
Robert Diamant '49
Fred B. Lavin '45
Carl H. Lavin '48
Richard Bradford Elberfeld '47
John E. Dolibois '42'
Myron Shure '48
Erich Franzen

Hedi Politzer was just 18 years old when her father was arrested and imprisoned in Dachau during the Nazi Kristallnacht violence in 1938. Realizing the escalating danger in her hometown of Vienna, Austria, she and her sister fled to the United States. A year later, she found a new community in Oxford, Ohio, having been awarded a scholarship to attend Miami University by the International Student Service.

Hedi’s story is one of ten extraordinary personal journeys of Miami alumni and faculty told in Bearing Witness: The Holocaust and Jewish Experience at Miami University, a new University Libraries exhibition co-hosted by the Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives and Hillel at Miami University. Through personal stories, photographs, archival collections, and family records — most on display for the first time — the exhibition explores the ways the Holocaust and antisemitism intersected with the lives and experiences of the Miami community.

Some fled escalating Nazi violence in their home countries, making their way to the United States. Others enlisted in the military, suspending their Miami education to go overseas to liberate concentration camps and interrogate those who committed atrocities. Still others survived internment in Nazi concentration camps, emigrating to the United States after liberation and joining the Miami community.

In addition, Bearing Witness draws from the University Archives to trace the rise of antisemitism in the Miami Valley and highlight the responses of Miami students. Class diaries written in the 1940s give first-hand accounts of the reactions and emotions of Miami Jewish students as news reached the United States of the horrors of the Holocaust. In partnership with Hillel at Miami University, current student and faculty members of Hillel also wrote diaries reflecting on current events to include in the exhibition as contemporary companions to those from the 1940s. The diaries project was curated and coordinated by current Miami senior Emily Garforth and library technician Cody Sprunger.

The exhibition closes with a look at how the Miami community and Hillel responded to the Holocaust — both in the decades immediately after and through current forms of remembrance and Holocaust education on campus.

Bearing Witness is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on the third floor of King Library in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections & University Archives. The exhibition is curated by Alia Levar Wegner and Cody Sprunger and and co-sponsored by Hillel at Miami University.

By: Shawn Vanness on: February 26, 2020 2:21 pm | dubbersa

Fair Use Week - Guest Expert Carla Myers

by Shawn Vanness, communications specialist 

Miami University Libraries' Carla Myers, coordinator of scholarly communication, was recently featured by Harvard University as a guest expert for Fair Use Week, writing on Fair Use and Video Streaming. Myers helps faculty and staff navigate the complicated system of  U.S. copyright law. In September she will coordinate the annual Copyright Conference. This year the conference invites the new and experienced to join the conversation on “Becoming a Copyright Librarian”. 

Fair Use Week runs from Feb. 24-28, 2020 and celebrates best practices in fair use in academics. Myers’ piece on video streaming examines four factors that determine if content is considered fair use, and gives real-world examples of how films are used in-class instruction. Myers is available to consult on issues of video streaming to faculty, staff or students in person at King Library or by email.

Other guest experts for Fair Use Week include Brandon Butler from the University of Virginia and Kenneth D. Crews, a former professor of law at Columbia University. Tomorrow's post will be by Dave Hansen, director of copyright of scholarly communication for the Duke University Libraries.

 
By: Shawn Vanness on: March 13, 2020 3:51 pm | dubbersa

Out of an abundance of caution and in following the recommendations of President Crawford, Governor DeWine, and state public health officials to minimize non-essential group gatherings, the Miami University Digital Humanities Forum​ has been postponed. We sincerely appreciate your understanding as we take steps to ensure the continued wellbeing of all our Miami community.

 

Miami University Digital Humanities Forum

by Mark Dahlquist, humanities and social sciences librarian

On Monday, April 6, the Miami University Libraries and the Humanities Center will welcome Miami faculty, students and staff from across academic disciplines to the Miami University Digital Humanities Forum. 

Participants will join in conversation over breakfast and lunch, and engage in a series of workshops and conversations about digital humanities at Miami. No prior experience with digital humanities is required to register, and those curious about digital methodologies are encouraged to attend.

 Visit the event homepage

 

8:30 Breakfast

9:00 Hands-on introductory DH workshops on text and network analysis

10:00 Research in the Digital Humanities:

  • James Bielo (anthropology), “Collaboration and Creativity in Faculty-Student Research:  Reflections from Materializing the Bible”
  • Alyssa Fisher (media, journalism and film), “Commenting on Comments: Placing Topic Modelling and Relational Dialectics in Conversation on YouTube”
  • Collin Jennings (English), "At One View: Comprehensive Perspectives in Old and New Media"
  • Yuridia Ramírez (global and intercultural studies),  “Digital Humanities as Inclusive Scholarship and Public History”

11:00 Teaching and the Digital Humanities

  • Philippe Giabbanelli (computer science and software engineering), "Collaborations in Machine Learning and Digital Humanities"
  • Tim Lockridge (English), “Process Without Products: Writing Technologies, Difficult Tools, and Knowledge Work”
  • Jessica McCarty (geography), “Digitizing the Anthropocene”
  • Adam Strantz (English), "Data Visualization as Inquiry/Invention in the Digital Humanities"

12:00 Lunch/discussion

 
By: Shawn Vanness on: February 24, 2020 3:03 pm | dubbersa

LAURE - Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence

By Shawn Vanness, communications specialist

Submissions are now open for the Miami University Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence (LAURE). The LAURE recognizes and rewards students for their research conducted using library resources. This year, students are eligible to win a cash prize of $950 for first place or $300 for second place.

The submission deadline is March 15.  Entries require an essay detailing the student’s research strategies and use of library tools, resources, and services. Submission of a bibliography and project files are also required. A committee of faculty, librarians, and staff evaluate the submissions.

Students who have a research project they are working on as part of a credit-bearing course are eligible to apply. Faculty are encouraged to invite students to apply. Non-traditional research projects such as digital scholarship or maker projects are also welcome.

 

Ellen Strenstrom ‘19 won first prize in the LAURE last year, earning her a cash prize from the Libraries and recognition from the President and Provost at the Undergraduate Research Forum. Int he video above, Ellen talks about her process of using library resources in writing her LAURE submission. Her essay, “Reconsidering the Unreliability and Treatment of Mentally Ill Narrators” — along with all the essays from previous award winners — can be found on the Miami University Scholarly Commons part of the Undergraduate Sponsored Research and Scholarship Collection.

To learn more about the award, review the submission process, and read previous winning essays, visit the University Libraries’ LAURE webpage. The LAURE committee is happy to answer any questions about the application process, provide support in writing the essay or with submitting files. Please reach out to the committee at LAURE@miamiOH.edu


 
By: Nick Kneer on: February 05, 2020 9:07 pm | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

 

Ken originally joined the University Libraries as web services librarian in October 2019

 

Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?

I'm originally from Maryland, but I identify as being from Kalamazoo, Michigan. I started out as an English and theater major, but I got out of theater because I was enjoying the research aspect of theater more. My mother was in library school, and I got a job at the library. I was interested in it as a profession, so they put me in a few different positions. Then I went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to pursue a master’s degree in library studies.

 

What's your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries?

My title is Web Services Librarian. I have always been a front-of-the-house librarian but in my last position, I also did web development. Informed by my experience as a researcher, teacher, and collection development librarian, the problems that I want to solve are fundamentally library problems. My hope is that I get to bring my experience as a teaching and public service librarian to the website project. Currently, we are working in the design phase of the new website, but once we get beyond that we can get into more interesting problems. I am thinking of how we can personalize web services for the individual user.

 

What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?

I spent a lot of time in libraries. I have been working in Ohio for 21 years — most recently at Wittenberg University. Miami University is a place where a lot of great things are happening. Between OhioLINK and Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO), I have had a lot of exposure to what is happening at Miami University. I think there is a lot of good work here, and it’s the type of place I’d like to be at.

 

What's the best part of working in a library?

Librarians are pretty great. I like working in an environment where people are friendly, inquisitive and excited about learning new things.

 

What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?

Not only can you ask questions, but it’s also a really good idea to find out who the librarian is for the area you are excited about and ask them how to go deeper. Even if you are doing alright, find your librarian and ask, “What can I do to make this better?”

 

What are you most excited about tackling in your new role?

I am looking forward to working on a dashboard project to personalize the user experience.

 

What's your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?

If I had to pick just one, I’m going to say, “Prodigal Summer” by Barbara Kingsolver. It is a fictional story of three rural characters who are in their own way connected to the biology around them.

 

Any hobbies?

Mushroom hunting. I love any excuse to get out and take a walk. I also like contra dancing — which is like square dancing —and board games.

 

What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?

I still have a baby tooth.

By: Nick Kneer on: February 20, 2020 10:33 am | kneerna small twitter logo@miamiulibraries

A red banner stretches across the page, with a portrait of Samantha Diebel standing outside on Miami's campus in a square to the left. Text to the right displays the Miami University Libraries logo, and "Staff Spotlight - Samantha Diebel"

Where are you originally from? What's your educational background?

I'm originally from the wild west, also known as Nevada. I grew up in Reno, Nevada and headed down to Las Vegas for my college education. My educational background is in hospitality, specifically in meetings and events management with a minor in entertainment management. Hospitality led me to Advancement and building engaging online alumni resources. The common thread throughout my education and work experience is people. Broad, I know, but this has translated into developing programs and people, building community, creating engaging environments, and delivering the highest level of customer service just like the Libraries. 

 

What's your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries?

I am a project management specialist here at the Libraries. I'm working with the leadership team on five specific projects over the next few months: leading the strategic planning process, assisting with the ARL assessment, working with diversity and sustainability initiatives, developing a student leadership academy, and more.

 

What drew you to work in a library environment?

Not only do I find the projects I’m working on exciting and impactful but was drawn to the focus on inclusion of all and access to information a library environment offers. Additionally, I believe in the value of innovation and collaborative partnerships and was excited this is also a priority of the Miami Libraries. 

 

What's the best part of working in a library?

Being surrounded by colleagues that have a genuine passion for the work they do. In addition, seeing how this translates to benefit the student experience and positive campus partnerships.

 

What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?

It’s so much more than a great space to study and do research for a project or paper! Through the various workshops, programs, and initiatives the possibilities to achieve your goals, with the support of the Libraries, are endless.

 

What are you most excited about tackling in your new role?

Can my answer be everything? I believe all of the projects I will be working on will result in a positive impact and meaningful forward momentum. I am currently most excited about the strategic planning process our entire community is a part of. We are building an actionable road map that will shape our services, define our priorities, and ensure the continued strength and relevancy of our university library system.

 

What's your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?

Oh man, my favorite book is a hard one to pick. My favorite most recent read was Educated by Tara Westover. I had the opportunity to see her speak at a conference in April 2018 and was captivated by her life experiences and the impact education has had on her life.  

 

Any hobbies?

Any outdoor adventure with our dog, Watson, yoga, and exploring new places are at the top of the hobbies list. (We’re new to this part of the country! I’m gladly accepting suggestions on things we must do in Ohio and the surrounding areas.)

 

What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?

I’m not sure how surprising this will be, but a life goal is to touch all 7 continents in my lifetime. Summer 2018 I hit my 4th continent with a trip to Africa. The trip also checked off another bucket list item: summitting Mt. Kilimanjaro. Let me tell you, the oxygen is, in fact, much better down here. 

 

By: Shawn Vanness on: March 13, 2020 3:53 pm | dubbersa

Out of an abundance of caution and in following the recommendations of President Crawford, Governor DeWine, and state public health officials to minimize non-essential group gatherings, Games Nights have been cancelled. We sincerely appreciate your understanding as we take steps to ensure the continued wellbeing of all our Miami community.

 

By Shawn Vanness, communications specialist 

Games! Snacks! Prizes! The very popular Library Games Nights are back for spring semester and open to all. 

  • Saturday, Feb. 8 • 6-11 p.m. • King Library

  • Saturday, Mar. 7 • 6-10 p.m. • B.E.S.T. Library (Laws Hall)

  • Saturday, Apr. 4 • 6-10 p.m. • Wertz Art & Architecture Library (Alumni Hall)

  • Saturday, May 2 • 6-11 p.m. • King Library

Library Games Nights are a series of four evenings that rotate between the different library locations on campus. This event welcomes the Oxford community as well as Miami students, faculty, staff and their families. 

No other place on campus

"Library Games Nights are incredibly receptive to everyone,” said Oliver Miller ‘21,  mechanical engineering student and president of the Strategy Gaming Club student organization. Miller continued to describe the games night as welcoming “regardless of your board game experience. There is no other place on campus where students, faculty, and families from the Oxford area all come together to share a mutual love for something like board games.”

Find a Favorite 

With over a hundred games available, there is sure to be something for every participant. There will always be family games like Clue, Guess Who and Battleship. Student favorites include games like Splendor, Exploding Kittens and Ticket to Ride. Librarians have come to love Wingspan and Blood Rage. The games are provided through the Libraries’ games collection, which is available for checkout in the Instructional Materials Center (IMC) in King Library. 

Old Friends and New Friends

Starting in February, the Libraries will host one Games Night each month of the spring semester. Miller suggests, “if you get the opportunity, ask a few friends and check it out. You may end up finding a new passion and making lots of new friends, like I have!"