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Rutgers librarians provide web-resources for international conference

When a Rutgers faculty member or academic department hosts a scholarly conference at the university, the events present a wealth of opportunities for the university to make valuable connections and demonstrate its strengths in the broader scholarly community. As one recent conference demonstrated, the occasion also offers a vital opportunity for the Rutgers University Libraries to partner with faculty members and develop valuable scholarly resources.

In April 2012 Carlos Decena of the Women's and Gender Studies and the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies departments, in cooperation with the Center for Latino Arts and Culture and a number of other cosponsors, organized the Transnational Hispaniola II: Bodies, Commodities, Cultures and Regimes of Mobility conference. The conference was held in the School of Management and Labor Relations auditorium on the Douglass campus in New Brunswick.

One of the goals of the conference was to challenge the traditional division within Caribbean Studies which separates areas of the region according to language and colonizing nations. Advocates of the Transnational Hispaniola approach assert that the island of Hispaniola, where both the Dominican Republic and Haiti are located, can best be studied as one complex whole despite differing histories of domination.

Professor Decena of sought to create a website that would provide conference participants with online scholarly resources in support of the conference's theme. He turned to Kayo Denda, Libraries liaison to the Women's and Gender Studies department, and Melissa Gasparotto, Libraries liaison to the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies department, to create such an easily accessible web-based platform.

Working within a limited time frame, Kayo and Melissa created a Transnational Hispaniola research guide for use at the conference. The guide's sections contain links to scholarly information online and information on print resources in the Libraries on the Dominican Republic and Haiti on the topics of Diaspora; Migration and Citizenship; Dictatorship, Occupation and Revolution; Race; Slavery; Subjectivity and Bodies; and Women, Gender and Sexuality. Other sections of the research guide include a bibliography on transnational studies on the two countries and a listing of related centers, departments, and groups at Rutgers.

Professor Decena greatly appreciated the Transnational Hispaniola research guide, mentioning it in his opening remarks at the conference and thanking both librarians for creating it in an article about the emerging field of Transnational Hispaniola studies that he subsequently published in the Radical History Review's winter 2013 issue along with co-organizers April Mayes, Yolanda C. Martín, Kiran Jayaramand, and Yveline Alexis. The research guide was also listed in the printed conference guide.

The Libraries commend Kayo and Melissa for their exemplary service to the conference and the departments and centers involved in the planning. And we invite other faculty members, who may organize professional conferences at Rutgers in the future, to consult with their Libraries liaisons to develop similar online research guides.

To view the Transnational Hispaniola research guide, please see:

Posted January 29, 2013