Book Discussion: Jacob Riis’s “How the Other Half Lives”

Stephanie Carpenter (HU) and Allison Neely (Michigan Tech Archives) will lead a discussion of “How the Other Half Lives” (1890) by Jacob Riis. The event will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 12) at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock.

This program is in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Humanities On the Road exhibit “Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives,” on display at the Keweenaw National Historical Park’s Calumet Visitor Center (98 5th Street, Calumet) now through Oct. 20.

The discussion will focus on Riis’s verbal and photographic imagery. Questions to be considered include:

Black and white photo of three children sleeping on the street.How does the book depict “the other half”—and who is included (and excluded) from that category.

How does Riis encourage us to see the subjects of his book
What parallels can we draw between Riis’s presentation of new immigrants and urban poverty and depictions that we see today,

Participants are encouraged to view the exhibit prior to the discussion—and to read the book. Copies of “How the Other Half Lives” can be purchased from the Calumet Visitor Center. Scanned excerpts are available by emailing Carpenter.

The event is free and open to all. RSVP by calling 482-2333 by tomorrow (Sept. 11). The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock.


Megan Hughes, Humanities Internship at Portage Lake District Library

Portage Lake District Library PuppyAfter spending a summer volunteering at a small-town library, I was lucky enough to get a fall internship at the Portage Lake District Library. As their first student intern, I was their test dummy for a lot of ideas that they wanted to try out, and every one of them was brilliant. I entered the internship with a decent amount of training under my belt, but still found myself leaving each day having learned something new about what goes into running a library.

I was led by the hand the first two weeks, which acted as my training period, but after that most of my work was self-reliant. I would check in with the staff supervisor to see where they needed me, and I would get to work. The major project I was involved in was that I organized a community learning event, doing everything from creating posters and press releases to hosting the event in the library’s community room. While I was in charge of developing the event, it was overseen by the staff supervisor and library director, both of whom were integral in the learning experience.

The event that I organized was centered around digital art software and equipment. Patrons were encouraged to test out programs that I and my co-presenter had installed on our laptops and explore an art medium that many people refrain from testing. The event came together well, and despite having only a small group of individuals attend the event, it was ultimately a great success.

This experience has heightened my interest in library science and offered me opportunities to work with the library community. Before this internship I found myself lost about what it is that I wanted to do with my life, but seeing how dedicated every staff member was to spreading the love of literature has made me realize that I too would love to share that passion with others. Being able to get hands-on experience with patrons and staff members, developing a community event, and seeing the impact that this small group of people had on the community as a whole was nothing short of amazing to me.


Tyler Morgan, Student Media Writer with Michigan Tech Alumni & Friends

Alumni HouseMy time as the Student Media Writer at Michigan Tech Alumni & Friends has been the most thorough and engaging experience I have been able to take on as a Scientific & Technical Communications major during my college career.  I’ve been able to experience much of what I have been craving for work as an undergrad whether it be content production, copyediting, interviewing professionals and Tech alum, or  becoming professionally ready with programs such as the Adobe Creative Suite, web development tools such as WordPress, or collaborative tools to work with others across the office.  I have been creating Alumni Profiles on the Michigan Tech website, creating social media content, and so much more.

It’s warm and cozy walking into what used to be the University President’shouse, now an office building.  The first floor is renovated into an incredibly welcoming room with couches, fireplace, and all.  The further you delve, the more you’ll see incredibly modern offices, standing desks, and hardworking Michigan Tech employees!

It’s here I’ve been able to grow my portfolio to its finest, meet and get to know professionals in my field, and make connections that’ll last a lifetime.


Dana Van Kooy at Yale University

Dana Van Kooy, associate professor and director of the English program (HU), was a 2018-19 fellow at the Lewis Walpole library at Yale University in May-June. While there, she gave two presentations about her research for her book project, Atlantic Configurations and the Aesthetics of Disappearance. One presentation was given at the Lewis Walpole library and another at the Yale Center for British Art.

Her essay, “Speculative Tragedy and Spatial Play: Scaling Byron’s Sardanapalus,” was published in Studies in Romanticism (Spring 2019). This essay explores how Byron reformulated the conventions of tragedy during the Romantic period, creating an alternative—speculative and utopian—framework that provided audiences with more expansive rubrics of heroism, history, and empire.


Growing Up In East Germany

Dr. Thomas Werner, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, presented his story to about growing up in East Germany and living a political double life in a socialist country at an event hosted by Modern Languages on April 10th. Werner talked about what it was like for him to have a personal spy who tried to send his parents to prison, and how his home country dropped out of existence overnight.

After the Berlin wall fell, Thomas studied Biology in Jena, Germany, and then moved to Umeå, Sweden, where he did his PhD in cell and molecular biology. He moved to Madison, Wisconsin as a postdoctoral fellow studying the evolution and development of color patterns in fruit flies. Thomas is now a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Tech. He lives in Houghton with his wife Megan, daughter Natalia, and sons Oliver and Oscar


Van Kooy Selected to Receive Fulbright Award

Dana Van KooyDana Van Kooy (HU) has been selected to receive the 2019-20 Fulbright National Library of Scotland Award. She will spend six months at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh researching topics relevant to her current book project, “Atlantic Configurations of Modernity and the Aesthetics of Disappearance.”

Van Kooy will also contribute to the library’s public lecture program, and reach out to several universities in Scotland to facilitate conversations about her research.


New work from Dana Van Kooy

Dana Van Kooy‘s (HU) review essay, “Re-printing, Re-citing, and Re-circulating Romanticisms and the Question of Commitment” has been published in European Romantic Review, Vol. 30, Issue 1. Dr. Van Kooy also recently attended the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Study (ASECS) in Denver, Colorado where she presented her paper, “The Plantation as Modern Configuration, Infrastructure, and Literary Form,” on the panel, “Ghost Acres: Climates and Ecologies of the Georgic.”


Savage Vision: Of Maroons, Black Men, and Violence

Paul Youngquist, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, will deliver the talk, “Savage Vision: Of Maroons, Black Men and Violence” from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Thursday (April 4) in ChemSci 102.

This talk will focus on how Maroons were depicted by white colonial settlers in Jamaica in the aftermath of the Second Maroon War (1795-96) and connect these portraits to how young black men are represented in the news media today.

This talk is sponsored by the English program in the Humanities department.