Michael I. Allen Donates Rare Manuscripts to Honor University Librarians

To honor University Librarian Judith Nadler's "leadership and careful guidance for researchers", Michael I. Allen, Associate Professor in Classics, donated the fifth-century military science text De re militari or On Military Matters by Flavius Vegetius Renatus to the Special Collections Research Center. Because the book was shunned by the Church, it is extremely rare--approximately a dozen copies exist in North American and European libraries.  Allen was pleased to present his gift “in honour of Judith Nadler in recognition of her long, varied, and important contributions to the University through the Library.”

Earlier in 2012, Allen also donated Vita D. N. Jesu Christi, by Ludolphus of Saxony, in honor of James Vaughan, Associate University Librarian for User Services. This rare 17th-century text presents the life of Christ through meditations and prayers. Upon donating the book, Allen said: “I’m pleased to offer a special book in honor of Jim Vaughan.  Like all the library staff, he makes positive things happen."

For more news on events and exhibitions at the Special Collections Research Center, click here.

Jason Grunebaum Shortlisted For South Asian Literature Award

The Walls of Delhi, written by Uday Prakash and translated by Jason Grunebaum, Senior Lecturer in South Asian Languages and Civilizations, has been shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. For prize consideration, as the site explains, authors could belong to this region through birth or be of any ethnicity but the writing should pertain to the South Asian region in terms of content and theme. The prize brings South Asian writing to a new global audience through a celebration of the achievements of South Asian writers, and aims to raise awareness of South Asian culture around the world. The winner will be announced in January 2013 during the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in India, which Grunebaum and Prakash will attend.

To view the 2012 longlist and learn more about the 2012 prizewinner, click here.

MLA Prize Awarded to Larry Norman

Larry Norman, Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College, recently received the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Literary Studies from the Modern Language Association for his book The Shock of the Ancient: Literature and History in Early Modern France. According to the selection committee’s citation for the book, “Probing early modern reactions to the classical age, Norman’s compelling analysis highlights the value of art in bridging distance in human consciousness in any era.” Norman currently serves as Deputy Provost for the Arts at the University, and has curated exhibitions at the Smart Museum of Art and the Special Collections Research Center. The Scaglione Prize is “awarded annually for an outstanding scholarly work in its field—a literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography—written by a member of the association.”

More information is available about the MLA 2012 prizewinners.

Patrick Jagoda Discusses Time Travel, Video Games During Interdisciplinary Panel

On November 7 at the Field Museum, a multidisciplinary panel composed of University of Chicago faculty together with Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory researchers and engineers convened to discuss the topic of time. “Playing with Time” was the sixth in a Joint Speaker Event series organized by the Office of the Vice President for Research and for National Laboratories. Questions discussed by the panel included, “Did humans invent time to help explain everything around us? Was there time before the origin of the universe?” and “How does a virus experience time?”

Patrick Jagoda, Assistant Professor of English, noted the ways humanities fields like literature and new media grapple with the notion of time, such as in the novel Einstein’s Dreams. “Clock time makes ordered schedules possible, but bodily time is shaped by moods, desires and whims,” he said. “Another scheme imagines time as a current of water occasionally displaced by passing breezes.” Video games, he noted, have developed ways to allow users to manipulate time.

The question of time travel fascinated the panel. Joseph Lykken, a particle theorist at Fermilab, explained that travel to the future has been observed with particle accelerators. “Muons (subatomic particles), for example, usually survive for a microsecond, but when we speed them up they can survive a thousand times as long. They have traveled to the future.” For the humanities, time travel may involve fewer subatomic particles and more creativity. Jagoda noted that reading an old book or playing a video game can be an imaginative way to put oneself in another time.

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