JSP Scope

Thursday, December 13, 2007

JSP Student Ashley Aubuchon Wins a 2007 UC Berkeley Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

This year Ashley Aubuchon is a first year JSP student. Last year however, she was a double major in history and legal studies and wrote two honors theses, one in each field. Ashley's history thesis was one of the four winners of the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research and was this month featured in the library newsletter.

The prize committee wrote:

In her History 101 project entitled "A Means to an End: The Role of Religion in Eastern State Penitentiary during 'The Experiment,'" Ashley Aubuchon investigates the crucial and novel ways in which religion helped to define the rhetoric of prison experience, as well as a substantial part of the prison experience itself in Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary between the years of 1829 and 1849. Her project makes ample and effective use of some of the more obscure and fascinating primary resources in the Doe Library, the Environmental Design Library, and Boalt Library, including annual reports of the Penitentiary inspectors and chaplains, state penal statutes, articles in contemporary journals and newspapers, and various accounts of contemporary visitors to the prison, including Charles Dickens and Alexis de Tocqueville.

Her advisor praises Ashley's "fine and evolving historical sensibility," her "ability to carve out of this massive body of material a well-designed and very smart historical essay," and her ability to find her "own historiographical and critical voice within a variety of literatures."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

JSP Student Larisa Mann's Blog posting on the New Anti-File Sharing Law that Endangers Funding for Higher Education Gets National Attention

Writing on the youth news website "WireTape Magazine", JSP student Larisa Mann addresses a recent bill reported out of committee in the House that would use federal educational funds to compel universities and colleges to take proactive measures to discourage illegal student file sharing.

Glory be, the big copyright owners have found yet another way to threaten students' access to education -- this time by going for the biggest support of higher education -- federal funding.

On Nov 22 the House Education and Labor Committee approved H.R. 4137, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act (COAA). The name sounds like something everyone can support -- but the devil is truly in the details.

Page 411 of this 747-page bill is "Section 494(A): CAMPUS-BASED DIGITAL THEFT PREVENTION" wherein the bill's meaning takes a serious detour from its title. To prevent college students from illegally accessing copyrighted material, the section says all schools shall (when you see the word "shall" in a law, it's a requirement, not a suggestion):

1) Have "a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property"


2) Have "a plan to explore technology based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.”

Read the full posting on WireTap Magazine.

Larisa's posting has been reprinted (or reposted) on the webpage of the Nation and in the Chicago Tribune.