Shields Scholar

About the Shields Scholar

The Shields Scholar is a research position sponsored partially by the Library and is named for the Peter J. Shields Library at the University of California, Davis.

Shields Scholar Project 2011/12

Paper Takes, an exhibit by Jessica Mayhew

In 2011/12, the Library partnered with Carolyn de la Pena, Director of the Humanities Institute, Rahim Reed, Associate Executive Vice Chancellor (AEVC), Office of Campus Community Relations (OCCR), and the History Department to sponsor a Shields Scholar. The scholar would conduct research using the radical political pamphlets in the Department of Special Collections to create an exhibit. The 2011/12 Shields Scholar was Jessica Mayhew. Her work was part of a larger project sponsored by the Humanities Institute's Civility Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project was designed to engage in questions around civility on UC campuses, asking how we might better develop or refine a shared notion of civility, and foster the conditions necessary to nurture it. Co-directed by the Humanities Institute's Carolyn de la Peña and Jessica Loudermilk, the project incorporated research from the social sciences, humanities, and arts.

Working with the Special Collections staff, Jessica Mayhew selected pamphlets and wrote the text for the exhibit, Paper Takes, which explored the particular rhetoric supporting race-based hatred, gender and sexuality bias, and political divisiveness to better understand the dominant discourses that frames some of our most uncivil exchanges. The pamphlets were drawn from a radical political pamphlet collection of over 17,000 items in the Department of Special Collections—one of the leading such collections in the United States. The exhibit provided historical depth to our understanding of the language of hate and intolerance, traces of which remain potent today. The exhibit was displayed in the Buehler Visitor's Center Winter 2011 and later in the Shields Library, Spring and Summer of 2012.

Read more at:

Shields Scholar Project 2012/13

An Essay on Five Collections in Special Collections by Nickolas M. Perrone.

In 2012/13 the library partnered with the History Department to sponsor a Shields Scholar to develop a research topic of their own choosing, once again utilizing the holdings of Special Collections. Nickolas Perrone, a graduate student in history working under faculty adviser, Professor of History Eric Rauchway, focused on the individual archives of radical intellectuals, both academic and working class, as well as the pamphlet collections on the American Left. Nickolas Perrone is primarily interested in the convergence of labor and the environment in California. Working closely with the Special Collections staff, Rare Book Librarian John Sherlock, University Archivist John Skarstad, and Department Head Daryl Morrison, Nickolas explored five radical political collections and developed an essay about the collections and their research potential for graduate and undergraduate students.

The essay may be found here.

The collections studied included:

The opinions expressed in the essay are solely those of the graduate student. Some correspondent names found in documents were redacted for privacy concerns.