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Feb. 21, 2013

The New York Times covered Assistant Professor Carol Tilley's recently published research on Fredric Wertham, a psychiatrist and anti-comics critic whose 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent inspired federal hearings that decimated the comic book industry. Tilley's research is based on a review of Wertham’s personal archives, which were made available to researchers in 2010. During her review, she found numerous inconsistencies between the case notes of children treated by Wertham and the content in his book. An excerpt from the full article:

Carol L. Tilley, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, reviewed Wertham’s papers, housed in the...

Feb. 18, 2013
Shameem Ahmed poses next to the award-winning poster

At the recent iConference, a group of GSLIS students and faculty earned an Honorable Mention award for their poster, "Identifying Claims in Social Science Literature." The group included doctoral student Shameem Ahmed, Associate Professor Catherine Blake, Assistant Professor Kate Williams, doctoral student Noah Lenstra, and master’s student Qiyuan Liu.

The poster presented initial findings from the application of the Claim Framework to social science research:

The Claim Framework was developed to capture how scientists communicate findings from an empirical study. Although the framework has been evaluated in biomedical literature, the framework has...
Feb. 12, 2013

GSLIS Assistant Professor Carol Tilley has been appointed to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Common Core Implementation Assistance Task Force. She will serve on the task force for one year.

“School libraries and the librarians who work in them are integral parts of the K-12 education community. The near-universal adoption of the Common Core State Standards in the United States presents new challenges and opportunities for everyone in this community,” said Tilley. “I look forward to working with this task force to find innovative, pragmatic resources and strategies that school librarians can use to support students, teachers, administrators, and parents as they implement the Common Core.”

The charge for the task force is:

To research and develop recommendations and identify existing AASL resources and link to such resources as well as identify additional resources and activities for AASL...
Feb. 11, 2013

The U of I News Bureau recently interviewed Carol Tilley, GSLIS assistant professor, about her research into the personal archives of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, an anti-comics critic whose 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent inspired federal hearings that decimated the comic book industry.

Tilley's research is based on a review of Wertham’s personal archives, which were made available to researchers in 2010. During her review, she found numerous inconsistencies between the case notes of children treated by Wertham and the content in his book:

“From a contemporary standpoint, ‘Seduction’ is horribly written because it’s not documented,” she said. “There are no citations, no bibliography. He quotes a lot of people, refers to lots of things, but there’s no really good way of knowing what his basis is for any of this.”

“Lots of people have suspected for years that...

Feb. 8, 2013

Jana Diesner, assistant professor, has received a start-up allocation award from the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). This award provides Diesner and her co-PI Brent Fegley, a doctoral student in the Informatics program, with time on XSEDE’s high-performance computing resources and help from XSEDE staff members with parallelizing their code. The overall goal with this project is to build prediction models for an entity extractor that covers and goes beyond the set of entity classes that are typically considered by entity extractors such that the resulting technology becomes particularly useful for applications in the social sciences and humanities. Once these entities have been extracted from (large-scale) corpora, they can be linked into network data based on additional characteristics of the texts. The team uses natural language processing techniques and supervised machine learning for their work...

Jan. 28, 2013

Carol Tilley, GSLIS assistant professor, is an invited speaker for the Colloquia Series at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. Tilley’s presentation, “Children, Comics, Critics, and the Researcher,” is scheduled for January 30.

In the mid-twentieth century, comic books were extremely popular but also a highly contested form of print. In her presentation, Tilley will draw from her archival research on Fredric Wertham, a prominent critic of comic books, and the 1954 Senate hearings on comic books, which revealed letters from young readers providing insight into how they disputed the way adults understood comic book reading. Tilley writes:

I did not expect to find letters from young comics readers when I explored these collections. The discovery of these narratives has prompted me to extend this investigation into locating more...

Jan. 28, 2013
Rafea in the village with her son and daughter. From the film Solar Mamas. Photo courtesy ITVS.

Assistant Professor Jana Diesner has received a $150,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to develop, evaluate, and apply a computational solution for measuring the impact of social justice documentaries.

For the grant, “Impact Assessment of Social Justice Documentaries,” Diesner is supported by JustFilms, a division of the Ford Foundation that supports documentary filmmakers, particularly those that address issues of social justice. Diesner, the principal investigator on the grant, was approached by Ford to help them understand the broader impact of such media productions.

“Documentaries are produced, screened, and perceived as part of large and dynamic ecosystems that involve...

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