Library & Research

Open Education Week 2017 — The Failure of Access: Rethinking Open Education

In celebration of Open Education Week 2017, Simon Fraser University is honoured to be collaborating with the University of British Columbia, BCcampus, Public Knowledge Project, and British Columbia Research Libraries Group to host a discussion on The Failure of Access: Rethinking Open Education.

Please join us on Tuesday, March 28th at SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC) from 5:30pm-8:30pm. This event is open to all and free, but seating is limited and registration is required.

The Failure of Access: Rethinking Open Education

The use of open re-use licenses and Internet technologies have long promised to reduce barriers to education by making it more distributed, equitable, and open. Indeed, the promise of open education can trace its roots to the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations 1948, which states “everyone has a right to education.” There is little formal evidence, however, that open education has an impact on increasing access to learning or making education more equitable.

This event will explore the goals, failures, and successes of open education. Join us in exploring such questions as: is open education succeeding in being a transformative movement that makes learning more accessible? What are the criteria and successes that should be used to measure if the open education movement is a success? What more needs to be done?

Our discussion will be led by keynote speaker Dr. Ishan Abeywardena (Advisor – Open Education Resources) from the Commonwealth of Learning and panelists from SFU, UBC, CAPER-BC, and SPARC.

Panelists include: Juan Pablo Alperin, Assistant Professor at the Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing and the Associate Faculty Director of Research with the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University; Tara Robertson, Accessibility Librarian, CAPER-BC; Jenna Omassi, Strategic Support Advisor, VP Students’ Office at UBC; and moderator Brady Yano, Assistant Director of Open Education, SPARC.

For more information, including full speaker bios and to register, please visit:

Introducing the Digital Humanities Café

The DH Café presents a series of short introductory workshops and informal discussion on topics relevant to the basic theories and methods behind digital research in the humanities. The courses cover a broad range of topics, from larger issues in digital research in the academy to specific tools and research techniques.
The DH Café is a partnership between the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL) and SFU Library’s Research Commons. The DH Café is also affiliated with KEY, SFU’s Big Data Initiative.
Beginning March 1st and running until April 5th, the DH Café will meet Wednesday afternoons from 3pm – 4pm, alternating between SFU Burnaby and SFU Vancouver (see individual workshops to confirm location).  Workshops can be hosted at other locations by request.
Workshop schedule:
The workshops are free and open to to all, but registration is required.  Please register via the Research Commons Workshops page.
For further information or questions, contact the

Print Culture Speakers Series—Slow Print: William Morris and Socialist Print Culture

Dr. Elizabeth C. Miller will be presenting her talk “Slow Print: William Morris and Socialist Print Culture” in Special Collections and Rare Books on Friday, February 10, as part of the Print Culture Speakers Series. Dr. Miller’s talk will reference items from the Library’s Robert Coupe Collection of works by and about William Morris.

This talk situates William Morris within a flourishing, late-nineteenth-century radical print culture that Miller terms “slow print” due to its purposeful rejection of the strategies of mass print production. While Morris’s work as editor for the Socialist League’s newspaper Commonweal in the 1880s has sometimes been considered at odds with his founding of the Kelmscott Press in the 1890s, the two print adventures are united by a shared goal to reclaim the means of print production from a newly consolidated late-Victorian mass print industry.

Simon Fraser University’s outstanding Morris collection, inclusive of radical ephemera as well as Kelmscott volumes and other examples of fine printing, will be on display in conjunction with the talk so the audience can examine the works for themselves.

• • •

Dr. Elizabeth Miller is professor of English at the University of California at Davis. She is the author of numerous articles and essays on Victorian print culture, radical politics in 19th century England, Oscar Wilde, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and more recently ecocriticism and Victorian studies. Dr. Miller’s first book, Framed: The New Woman Criminal in British Culture at the Fin de Siècle (University of Michigan, 2008) examined late Victorian crime narratives to understand the figure of the glamorous New Woman criminal.

In Slow Print: Literary Radicalism and Late Victorian Print Culture (Stanford, 2013), Miller explored Britain’s radical press from 1880-1910; Slow Print won the award for best book of the year from the North American Victorian Studies Association and was an honorable mention for the 2014 Modernist Studies Association best book prize. Her newest work is on ecology and capital in 19th century British literature and culture.

This talk will take place on Friday, February 10, 2017 from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm at W.A.C. Bennett Library [SFU Burnaby], Special Collections and Rare Books, Room 7100.

Free event, no registration required.

Robert R. Reid Exhibition & Curators Talk at SFU Library

SFU Special Collections and Rare Books is pleased to announce the Robert R. Reid: “Allied Arts” Affirmative exhibition produced by the CAUSA Research Curators, and located on the 3rd floor and 7th floor of the W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby) from January–March 2017.

A fifth generation Canadian (b.1927), Robert R. Reid, at age 14, taught himself to operate a ‘hand press’ –so as to channel his absorbing interest in the practicalities of letterpress printing. His subsequent association with architects, landscape designers, poets, graphic artists (and editors for magazines and journals) has become emblematic of a post-WWII ‘Allied Arts’ Movement in Canada. In 1962, he became the first ‘design practitioner’ to be awarded a Canada Council Visual Arts Award.

DATE CHANGED: Join SFU Library on Monday, March 20, 2017, 12:30 to 2:30 pm for a curators talk and reception in Special Collections, Room 7100, W.A.C. Bennett Library. Please email Melanie Hardbattle to RSVP.

The Robert R. Reid: “Allied Arts” Affirmative exhibition presents an assemblage of documents generated between 1949 and 2017. Components of the present exhibition will be intermittently replaced (and/or rearranged), in order to maximize the scope of an exploratory curatorial initiative.

Join poets Stephen Collis & Juliane Okot Bitek for a lunchtime reading

Join SFU Library for a lunchtime poetry reading in Special Collections on Thursday, January 26, 2017.
Room 7100, 7th floor of the W.A.C. Bennett Library, SFU Burnaby, BC.

Stephen Collis’s most recent, and seventh, book of poetry is Once in Blockadia (Talonbooks 2016). Currently he is visiting and writing about poet Phyllis Webb. He lives on Coast Salish Territories and teaches poetry at Simon Fraser University.

Juliane Okot Bitek was born in Kenya to Ugandan exiles and now lives in Vancouver. A teacher and UBC doctoral candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies, she is also an essayist and poet whose work has been anthologized and published widely in literary magazines, online and in print. Her powerful and critically praised book of poems responding to the Rwandan genocide, 100 Days, was recently published by University of Alberta Press.

Digital Student Showcase

The upcoming Digital Student Showcase features papers and demonstrations by more than twenty students from SFU and UVic on their work with Digital Humanities tools, theories and methods. A draft of the programme may be viewed here. The event is sponsored by the SFU-UVic Digital Pedagogy Network.

Where: Room 1410 of the Joseph and Rosalie Segal Centre (500 Granville Street)

When: January 26, 2017 from 9:15AM to 3:15PM

You are invited to attend all or part of the day. Please RSVP to Deanna Fong: deannaf AT sfu DOT ca

Digital Humanities Innovation Lab – Spring 2017 Update


Get in touch with DHIL

Learn more about the activities of DHIL through our recently launched website:  The site profiles current projects, provides information and registration for lab events, and details the ways the lab can support researchers.
The website also links to the DHIL consultation request form. Researchers are welcome to submit a consultation request for any campus and during regular service hours (9am-5pm, M-F).  In addition to bookable consultations, the lab also holds office hours on Tuesday mornings (10am-12pm) in Burnaby and at least once a month in Vancouver (times and locations vary).  Updated office hours and locations can be found on the Contact Us page of the website.


Propose a digital research project – deadline January 15th!

DHIL is accepting project proposals until January 15th.  Information about proposing a project is found on the Work with DHIL page of the website. Please be in touch if you have any questions about the proposal process or are seeking feedback on a potential project.
DH Skills workshop series – Spring 2017
DHIL is pleased share the first two workshops in the Spring DH Skills workshop series.  This semester we will offer an intermediate podcasting workshop focused on creating an audio brand, publishing your podcast, and engaging with your audience. We will also offer an introduction to the theory and practices of digital storytelling. The workshops are free and open to to all, but registration is required.
The DH Skills workshop series is a partnership between the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL) and SFU Library’s Research Commons and is affiliated with the University of Victoria (ETCLDHSI, and UVic Libraries) and the University of British Columbia (UBC Library and UBC Advanced Research Computing).
Intermediate Podcasting 
January 25, 2017
SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre, Lab 2960)

This Intermediate Podcasting workshop is the first workshop of the new year hosted by SFU Research Commons and the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab and follows the successful introductory workshop on Podcasting for Scholarly Communication held in the fall. Led by Hannah McGregor (Assistant Professor, Publishing @ SFU), this workshop will move beyond the basics of recording and editing audio to discuss creating an audio brand, publishing your podcast, and social media engagement. Activities will include building episodes from interviews, using music and sound effects to create a distinct audio palette, and using different platforms to maximize your online reach. Participants are encouraged to bring samples of audio they’re already planning to work with. Attendance is limited to 21 participants, so please register early to reserve your place.

Digital Storytelling using Twine
February 6, 2017
SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre, 1520)

Whether you use Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, or WordPress, how you share your stories is just as important as what you share. This workshop offers a brief introduction into the theory and practices behind digital storytelling and provides participants with the opportunity to build their own story, using Twine, open source, interactive storytelling software. Via examples and hands-on instruction, participants will leave with a better understanding of digital storytelling as a genre and a short poem of their own to publish to the web. This workshop will be led by Dr. David Gaertner (Assistant Professor, UBC First Nations & Indigenous Studies Program) and will feature research presentations by Dr. Gaertner and Simone Hausknecht (PhD student. SFU Education).  The workshop will be held at SFU’s downtown Harbour Centre campus, and is open to graduate students, faculty, and staff at SFU, UVic, and UBC.  Participation is free, but registration is required.

Playful Generative Art: Computer-Mediated Creativity and Ephemeral Expressions

WEDNESDAY, February 8, 2017
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Room 1800 (SFU Harbour Centre)
Fee: Free (to reserve a seat, please email

“Generative art” is a blanket term for any creative work produced in part through programmatic or algorithmic means. “Playful generative art” makes use of highly technical disciplines—computer programming, statistics, graphic design, and artificial intelligence—to produce chat bots, digital poetry, visual art, and even computer-generated “novels.” These pieces may be motivated by serious social or political issues, but the expressions are decidedly unserious, often short-lived or quickly composed. Creators working in this medium are rarely artists first—as programmers, designers, game developers, and linguists, they use the tools of their trade in unexpected and delightful ways. Generative art also has much to teach us about issues at the intersection of ethics and technology: what is the role of the artist in a human/machine collaboration; what is our responsibility when we design programs that talk with real people; how do we curate and study ephemeral digital works? Digital artists, writers, technologists, and anyone interested in media studies are invited to attend.

Guest Speaker:

lizadalyLiza Daly
is a software engineer and occasional corporate executive who lives in Boston. She is currently focusing on providing technical assistance to non-profits that work to uphold civil rights and protect vulnerable populations. Her personal projects revolve around digital art, interactive narrative, and digital publishing. Formerly she was CTO at Safari and prior to that, founded a digital publishing company called Threepress, which Safari acquired. Her new company is World Writable. She has been quoted about “Digital Detox” and the effects of the iPad on reading (NYT, 2010), ebooks in the cloud (Wired, 2011), and on strategies to help introverts network (FastCompany, 2015). Liza has presented about great engineering teams and digital publishing. She wrote a short book on Next-Generation Web Frameworks in Python (O’Reilly, 2007), which, she says, is “out of date so please don’t read it”.

Digital Humanities Innovation Lab: Indigenous media and texts


The SFU Digital Humanities Innovation Lab, in partnership with the Departments of English and First Nations Studies, is pleased to invite you to several upcoming events focused on Indigenous media and texts.  The events are free and open to all, but registration is required. Spaces are limited, so please register soon.  Please share this information with others who  may be interested in participating.
We hope you will be able to join us!
Indigenous Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (with a focus on Film and Media) – 6pm-9pm on November 23, SFU Surrey Campus (Galleria 5, Rm 5080)
Professor Deanna Reder (SFU English and First Nations), a leading scholar of Indigenous literature and culture, will lead SFU’s first Indigenous Wikipedia Edit-a-thon.  Students of Professor Reader’s MATE course (English 851, Introduction to Indigenous Media and Film) will be the central participants in this workshop, using their knowledge of indigenous film and digital media, including podcasts, online installations and video games, to enhance Wikipedia’s coverage of Indigenous media arts. For this workshop, Professor Reader will be supported by technical experts in Wikipedia editing, Sara Humphreys (St. Jerome University), Heather De Forest (SFU Research Commons Librarian), and Rebecca Dowson (SFU Digital Scholarship Librarian). This workshop will provide hands-on guidance that will allow everyone to edit and add to the world’s largest encyclopedia.
Digital Gaming and the Decolonization of Indigenous Texts – 12pm-2pm on November 24, SFU Burnaby Campus (Research Commons, 7th floor SFU Library)

Dr. Sara Humphreys is currently building a “gamified” academic edition of an Indigenous text that reconfigures the colonial practices endemic to academic publishing and editing. This scholarly game edition offers an alternative to often exclusionary academic publishing standards, by creating an interactive edition of Mourning Dove’s Cogewea (1927). This edition of Cogewea (1927) uses digital gaming affordances and protocols, which break from the Eurocentric forms of editing and publishing that stifle or even silence the Okanagan knowledge systems crucial to the novel. She is building this edition using Twine, a digital storytelling platform, which is open access and offers opportunities to tell stories (even archival stories) beyond traditional print and publishing conventions. This digital edition challenges the western educated reader to move beyond the conventions of academic texts and engage with Cogewea in ways that empower and privilege Indigenous knowledge.

Would you like to “play” this digital edition and help to develop this project? Dr. Humphreys will provide guidance on using Twine and give you the opportunity to build the edition and also develop your own sections of the edition. No previous experience with digital gaming, development, or scholarly editing is required.

One Book One SFU: The Argonauts

SFU Library has announced Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts as the next pick for One Book One SFU.


The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of ‘autotheory’ offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author’s relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes the author’s account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making.

“Maggie Nelson is one of the most electrifying writers at work in America today, among the sharpest and most supple thinkers of her generation.” —The Guardian

Join the library for an evening of reading and conversation with Maggie Nelson and local author Amber Dawn as they discuss Nelson’s powerful and genre-bending memoir on January 26, 2017 at 7pm.