The occasion of the 100th feature of SyndicateMizzou is marked with both celebration and sorrow. Celebration because this publication now proudly has shared the work of over 100 members of the MU community; sorrow because the creator of SyndicateMizzou, John Miles Foley, is not here today to celebrate. Dr. Foley, who founded both The Center for eResearch and the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition, passed away in May of 2012. We continue our work in the spirit of Dr. Foley’s vision. Professor John Zemke has stepped into the role of Director of the Center for eResearch, and with his guidance we continue our mission of featuring the research and creative activities on the campus of MU.
In 2008, John Foley wrote, “We wanted to harness the 24/7/365 mode of the Internet to present people explaining their work in basic, non-specialist terms to a variety of audiences.” He very much had in mind an audience of prospective students who want to get a taste of our exciting research and artistic work, current students interested in knowing more about certain professors or fields, Missouri citizens wondering what their tax dollars are doing, national and international scholars, potential donors, legislators; the list goes on.
I was brought on board SyndicateMizzou in October of 2011, and I have been constantly delighted by the diversity of interests and offerings at this campus. During my time, English professor Devoney Looser invited me to my first roller derby match, where she skates under the pseudonym Stone Cold Jane Austen. The Esterhàzy Quartet, the University of Missouri’s String Quartet-In-Residence, moved me to tears with their performance of James Willey’s 8th Quartet Fiber artist Jo Stealey encouraged me to dip my hand in a trough of the primordial soup that becomes paper.
The excitement that these scholars and artists bring to the table is high; biological physicist Gavin King actually reached up to his head, plucked out a hair, and held it up to me as an example of the scale of the membranes he studies: “[I]magine taking that hair and cutting it into 10,000 equal thicknesses,” and that is the scale he works on.
What’s clear is that the boundaries of disciplines do not keep people from reaching across them as they further advances in scholarship and art. What’s more, these people are also teachers, and they talk with evident excitement about the intersections between their work and their teaching. Often students will ask questions they had never thought of or challenge them to look at a problem in a novel way; in a true educational environment, faculty can learn from the students as much as the other way around.
The mission of MU’s Center for eResearch is to “[foster] interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange via digital and internet-based media,” and we continue this mission of free online exchange with its various initiatives. The journal Oral Tradition, which is purely an online publication, offers open access to its academic articles to anyone with an internet connection. The Pathways Project invites readers to wend their way at will through a discussion the striking similarities between “humankind’s oldest and newest thought-technologies: oral tradition and the Internet.” The Center also supports an eEdition of “The Wedding of Mustajbey’s Son Bećirbey,” a Bosnian epic performed by Halil Bajgorić. Finally, the Center, along with the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition, hosts the newly formed International Society for Studies in Oral Tradition, which is an open society dedicated to the digital exchange of scholarship, information, contacts, and discussions on the topic of verbal arts.
We have assembled a sampler of the past 50 issues to give you a taste of what SyndicateMizzou has featured in the past few years. Please take a look!
The staff for SyndicateMizzou:
John Zemke, Director (2012-present)
John Foley, Director (2005-2012)
Darcy Holtgrave, Associate Editor (2011-present)
LuAnne Roth, Associate Editor (2005 -2010)
Kyle Burton, Editorial Intern (2012-present)
Kelly Washatka, Editorial Intern (2011-2012)
Noelle Buhidar, Editorial Intern (2009-2010)
Brittany Barr, Editorial Intern (2009-2010)
Christina Andrade, Editorial Intern (2009-2010)
Jessica Huang, Editorial Intern (2008-2009)
Jacqueline Lampert, Editorial Intern (2008-2009)
Tanya Sneddon, Editorial Intern (2008-2009)
Sean Powers, Editorial Intern (2007-2008)
Tammy Ritterskam, Editorial Intern (2006-2007)
Hannah Lenon, Administrative Associate (2010-present)
Kathy Andresen, Administrative Associate (2005-2010)
Mark Jarvis, IT Manager (2007-present)
Jamie Stephens, IT Manager (2005-2007)