Matthew Basso is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in History and Gender Studies at the University of Utah. His research interests include the theory and history of masculinity, labor and working-class history, the history of old age, the history of race and ethnicity, the relationship of the military to society, U.S. Western history, the history of Pacific settler societies, and transnational history. He also offers courses that grapple with all these subjects. Professor Basso’s scholarship appears in both traditional venues, like books and articles, and in community-focused projects, like the construction of digital archives, the development of oral history projects, and the production of K-12 curriculum materials.
Project Description: I will use Digital Matters Faculty Grant funds to build the first iteration of an Omeka S website and linked mobile application that will offer new ways of visualizing and understanding the home front. As a whole my book and website project will do this through two related interventions. First, I center the experiences and achievements of a truly diverse cast of Americans – including women, gays and lesbians, disabled folk, Latin@s, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and African Americans. Second, I emphasize different research questions than previous WWII home front syntheses. My objective is to reveal a much fuller picture of gender and race relations during the war; to describe the shifting dynamics of unity and division and illuminate the ways power manifested structurally and how individuals and communities responded; and, finally, to attend to environmental justice questions (a topic virtually absent from previous histories), the role of the military on the home front, the interplay among workers and capitalism, cultures of resistance catalyzed by the war, and the perspectives of wartime Americans on government’s place in their lives. I have chosen to focus on these topics because they are important to me and because I believe they are of particular import to today’s reader.
Marnie Powers-Torrey holds an MFA in Photography from the University of Utah and a BA in English and Philosophy from the Boston College Honors Program. Marnie is an Associate Librarian at the Marriott Library, where she serves as head of the Book Arts Program. She is the faculty mentor for book arts designations and teaches letterpress, bookmaking, artists’ books, and other courses for the Book Arts Program and elsewhere. Her book work is held in collections nationally.
Project Description: Over the course of the past year, thanks to the support of the Fall 2020 Digital Matters Grant, I’ve led the project Opening Artists’ Books (OAB)— a public-facing website that facilitates use of a common, descriptive vocabulary in support of teaching, learning, cataloging, and curation. The website, index, dataset, visual exemplars, and links to additional resources aid in the discoverability of artists’ books from entry level (what is an artists’ book?) to advanced level (What artists’ books have employed wire-edged bindings?). The site provides information on artists’ books and directives for using the index to ascertain the appropriate vocabulary for further research and invites the public to submit commonly used terms that will enhance discoverability. The expanded, searchable index continues the work of the Artists Book Thesaurus (ABT), but with a wider target audience. We believe that OAB has met the goal of becoming a stable platform for this collective research. Presently, the site includes over 300 indexed and linked terms, and that number is growing weekly. Digital Matters funds are critical to complete the initial phase, including finalized design and testing, and best utilize the knowledge and skills of current graduate student Jonathan Sandberg, who plans to graduate next year.
Eric Handman is a choreographer and an Associate Professor at the University of Utah’s School of Dance. He earned a BA in English from Skidmore College in 1991, danced professionally in New York City during the 90s and graduated with his MFA from the University of Utah in 2003. He is currently on the editorial board for the Alliance for the Arts in Research Institutions (a2ru) and the board of directors for SALT Contemporary Dance. Handman is a Fulbright Specialist and a former member of the University of Utah's Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars. He is a winner of the New Visions Choreography Competition for Idaho Dance Theater and the Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition for the Northwest Dance Project. His ongoing research focuses on choreographic thinking as applied to live dance, virtual reality, games, and drones. He has been a Celebrate U honoree for his research in choreography and virtual reality and a recipient of the College of Fine Arts Faculty Excellence Award for research.
Project Description: Digital Matters funds will support a week-long (August 8-16, 2021) collaboration at the University of Utah with Virginia Tech-based faculty colleagues Zach Duer and Scotty Hardwig (University of Utah alumnus ’14). The focus of this residency will be to research and develop the hardware and software assets for an original, digitally enhanced, dance/theater performance. Merging our mutual interests in new technologies typically not used in performance with our need to move outside of traditional performance infrastructures, our goal is to develop an original, sustainable, and mobile dance/theater work adaptable to multiple indoor and outdoor locations. Over the course of this proposed residency, we will test the feasibility of a battery-powered, mobile, outdoor performance system incorporating a live performer with a drone and digital projections, controlled by a wearable inertial motion capture suit.