Spotlight: Lauren Harland

Lauren Harland is a Greenhouse Studios Undergraduate Research Assistant.


Lauren HarlandMy name is Lauren Harland and I am a sophomore undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media & Design with a concentration in Business Strategies. Before attending UConn, I went to Averill Park High School just outside of Albany, NY. There, I was an editor of the school newspaper, the vice president of my class, and heavily involved in the art department. In my first year at UConn I joined the marketing team for UConn’s Human Rights Symposium. Next semester, I hope to join the American Sign Language and Paws & Claws clubs. Continue reading

By Our Love: Exposing Paradox in Political Tribalism

By Our Love Banner

 

The creators of “By Our Love,” an animated short video produced by Greenhouse Studios, will facilitate a dialogue in partnership with the Encounters Series, titled “Paradox in Political Tribalism,” which will be held virtually via Zoom on February 4, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Released on January 22nd, “By Our Love” is a thought-provoking animated short set to professor of music Earl MacDonald’s jazz ensemble arrangement of the hymn, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” MacDonald’s single, also titled “By Our Love,” is now available on all major music streaming platforms through the label Outside in Music. 

The nine-minute-long animation features several biblical quotations representing commonly accepted Judeo-Christian virtues, alongside imagery conceptualized by Cora Lynn Deibler, professor of illustration, to raise questions about the state of contemporary Christianity and its relationship to the polarized political climate currently dividing the United States. Production team members included illustrator Hal Tedeschi and animators Carly Wanner-Hyde & Miles Waterbury. The animation was produced by Greenhouse Studios Design Technologists Tom Lee and Brooke Foti Gemmell

The team’s goal of aligning emotionally powerful, musical moments with equally potent imagery led to the creation of images and text prompts which interact with the music, to enhance, reinforce, and expand the ideas set forth in the music. Produced over the last ten months as a completely virtual collaboration, the animation features work by student artists and serves as a springboard for thoughtful contemplation, discussion, dialogue, and commentary.

By Our Love Pink Coral

Rather than the common panel discussion with the standard audience question and answer period, “Paradox in Political Tribalism,” will foster a more audience-inclusive dialogue using individual breakout rooms to encourage and reflect upon group discussions about the ideas which arise from the music and their relationship to contemporary Christianity. This dialogue will be open to all members of the UConn community and is capped at 50 participants. Participants can register here.

Spotlight: Alyssa McDonald

Alyssa McDonald is a Greenhouse Studios SFA Graduate Research Assistant.


My Name is Alyssa McDonald and I am a first-year graduate Student at the University of Connecticut.  I am pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Design.  Before attending UConn, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and worked in the fine art photography industry for four years.
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Spotlight: Kenia Rodriguez

Kenia Rodriguez is a Greenhouse Studios CLAS Graduate Fellow


My name is Kenia Rodriguez and I am a second year MA/PhD track student in English at the University of Connecticut (UConn). In May 2019, I earned my  Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from California State University, Northridge. I am an HSI Pathways/Mellon Student Fellow who hopes to become a professor of children’s literature. I am a first generation college student and the first member of my entire family tree to pursue a graduate education. My research interests stem from my adolescent experiences with young adult literature (YA) and include contemporary American YA literature written by Latina authors, as well as relationships among gender, race, and citizenship.

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Spotlight: Lauren Cronan

Lauren Cronan is a Greenhouse Studios SFA Graduate Research Assistant.


My name is Lauren Cronan and I am a first-year graduate student at the University of Connecticut. I’m pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Design with a focus on digital culture, learning & advocacy. Before relocating to Hartford, I contributed service, design, programming and instruction in academic and public libraries in Richmond, Virginia. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography & Filmmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCUarts).

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Spotlight: Luisa Fernanda Arrieta Fernandez

Luisa Fernanda Arrieta Fernandez is a Greenhouse Studios CLAS Graduate Fellow


Luisa ArrietaI’ve always liked museums. But not in the contemplative way most of you might imagine. I like museums in the way a child likes his favorite truck; she looks at it, touches it owning every part of it, and pulls it apart over and over again. I like to separate every part of a museum understanding the ways it represents everything and everyone, except people who look like me. I am an Afro-Colombian woman, born and raised in the Caribbean city of Cartagena, port of entry of the slave trade in Hispanic America. Therefore, my relationship with museums and my research about them are influenced by national and global structures of power that establish a hierarchy of humanity based on race.

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Spotlight: Wenchao Lou

Wenchao Lou is a Greenhouse Studios SFA Graduate Research Assistant


I am very happy to be able to work with professors and students in Greenhouse Studios. I also learned a lot during this year. In my first year at Greenhouse Studios, I was involved in Overrated’s board game design by designing cards and tokens, and using laser cutting to create tokens and cards from cardboard and wood, which will greatly increase the interest of game players. I also worked to continuously improve and update the game rules during playtesting. One goal of the game is to let players get together, and starting discussions to help them better understand each other. 

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Greenhouse Studios Explores the Space of Collaboration

Greenhouse Studios has always been concerned with fostering meaningful work using digital tools as a medium. However, the members of Greenhouse Studios, and the Digital Humanities movement as a whole, often rely on physical space to cultivate collaboration as well. While Greenhouse Studios has always used virtual spaces such as Google Docs and Slack in our design process, having a physical space filled with whiteboards, screens, notepads, and other tools has been integral to the process of collaboration. Since the beginning of COVID-19 and the practice of social distancing, Greenhouse Studios has been searching for creative solutions to try to replicate the physical space of the design process. These efforts are exemplified in a recent 2 week fully virtual collaboration by the team.

The team took up the project with the prompt “Social Distance” and condensed the design process to fit a 2 week timeline. Throughout the early, discussion-heavy phases of the project, the team used WebEx, Mural, and Google Docs to replicate synchronous, conversation-based brainstorming. As the project progressed, the team also communicated through Slack and Mural asynchronously. The team even experimented with using the app House Party to try to simulate the random encounters in physical workspaces. All of these tools were used to help create a sense of a common “place” where everyone in the project could meet and share ideas.

Overall, the project was successful, and the team learned a lot about planning and managing online collaboration efforts. The result was a video that explores why people are driven, both voluntarily and involuntarily, to isolate through history and the present moment.

 


Garrett McComas

Fellow, Greenhouse Studios

Sourcery Team Receives $120,000 Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Sourcery beta logo

Greenhouse Studios at the University of Connecticut, in partnership with the Northeastern University Library, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a one-year planning grant in the amount of $120,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the continued development of Sourcery, a mobile application for sharing scans of archival materials.

Sourcery screen mockup Launched in December 2019 by Greenhouse Studios, Sourcery is an open source, community-based mobile application that expands access to non-digitized archival sources. With the Sourcery app installed on a phone or laptop, a researcher seeking a document can simply type in the citation information, and the app will notify Sourcery-registered researchers currently working in and around the repository where the document sits. One of these remote researchers claims the job, calls the document from the archive, takes a picture of it from within the Sourcery application, and sends it directly to the requesting researcher. A custom, enterprise version of Sourcery, for use by archivists – especially during COVID-19-related library closures – will launch in late-summer 2020. This enterprise version will offer special functionality for institutional users, such as a dedicated institutional account, customized pricing, and eventual integration with collection management systems and online catalogues. In addition to providing archives with a streamlined workflow and additional revenue stream, the enterprise version of Sourcery will provide patrons with a single interface for placing document requests across multiple repositories, even during a time when social distancing measures limit in-person access to collections and the ability to travel.

Funding from The Mellon Foundation will allow the Sourcery team to expand the geographical reach of the app, improve its user interface, and work with partners in libraries and archives to support the development of the enterprise version of the software. As a part of this effort, Northeastern University Library will host a virtual workshop series for institutional stakeholders in the fall of 2020, during which the team will solicit feedback and advice from stakeholders in the library and archives community. In addition, working in partnership with the Corporation for Digital Scholarship (CDS), which provides the legal and financial infrastructure for Sourcery, the grant will support develop plans for making Sourcery interoperable with CDS-supported projects, including Zotero, Omeka, and Tropy.

Courtroom 600 Team Immerses Users in Nuremberg Trials at the 2020 ED Games Expo

Members of the Courtroom 600 project team recently participated in the 2020 ED Games Expo in Washington, D.C., allowing students, educators, and others to dive into an immersive encounter with the Major War Criminals Trial (1945-46) at Nuremberg, Germany. The annual expo, hosted by the Department of Education, is described by the ED as a “public showcase and celebration of educational learning games as well as innovative forms of learning technologies for children and students in education and special education.”

Collaborators Clarissa Ceglio, Stephen Slota, and Ken Thompson presented an early-stage prototype of the virtual reality experience to crowds of all ages; attendees were able to wear the headset and engage with the project first-hand, while also discussing both the research and the process of creating the experience. Courtroom 600, which integrates collections materials from UConn Library’s Archives & Special Collections (ASC) into the learning quest, is supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities‘ Digital Projects for the Public grant. You can read more about the Courtroom 600 project and its other team members, here, and explore the ASC’s fully-digitized collection of materials from the U.S. Prosecution’s Executive Trial Counsel Thomas J. Dodd, here.

 

Images by Kassandra Thompson