Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Digital Humanities Center (DHC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Media and Idea Lab in partnership with Columbia’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER).
The Lab is comprised of several administrative and creative spaces including screening and seminar rooms and gallery space at CSER. It will host students, faculty and visitors for courses and programs that explore visual media as a mode of scholarly inquiry. Among the courses currently being developed by CSER are: Race and Visual Culture; Politics and Practice of Digital Media; and Video as Inquiry.
The DHC will offer support in the form of technological resources and staff expertise, plus space within the DHC for post-production and editing for Media Idea Lab projects.
“The partnership allows our expertise and infrastructure at the library to meet with curiosity and desire to do research on CSER’s part,” said Barbara Rockenbach, director of humanities and history and the Digital Humanities Center at Columbia University Libraries. “It also highlights the library’s capabilities and allows people to better understand what we have to offer.”
Staff and faculty projects will also be a major focus of the Lab. One recently completed project entitled “Small City, Big Change” is a video directed by Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Director of CSER, which conveys how the instrumental Latino leadership in Chelsea, Massachusetts played a role in the historical passing of the state’s Transgender Equal Rights Bill in 2012. Multiple other student projects are also currently underway; more information can be found on the Lab’s website.
The Lab’s public programs currently include The Raging 70s, an exhibition of photographs drawn from the Libraries’ recently acquired El Diario archive that feature historic images of Latino public figures at significant events and Latino citizens during everyday life. The exhibition is open to the public through May 15, 2014. The Lab will also host a lecture by Jeff Gomez, a leading figure in transmedia, on April 8, 2014.
Columbia University Libraries is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 13 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff and hosts over 4.7 million visitors each year. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.