Celebration of Learning

A collegial mood settled upon the guests of the Celebration of Learning for the Buchanan Library Fellowship Program on December 8, 2022. The afternoon gathering in Central Library’s Community Room brought together 23 fellows, their mentors, faculty, friends, library administration and Vanderbilt community to celebrate their work and show off their creations. Almost every fellowship engaged some form of multimedia to tell the story of their research journey. After a warm welcome from University Librarian Jon Shaw and Associate University Librarian of Teaching & Learning Melissa Mallon, fellows presented their semester’s work to an academic audience. Guests caught a glimpse of the themes, concepts and methods that guided the fellows’ projects.   

Fellow Danni Chacon, Class of 2025, shared about her experience: 

“I plan on utilizing the knowledge and skillset gained through the Buchanan Fellowship throughout my remaining time as an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt, as a grad student elsewhere, and one day as a practicing professor myself, teaching these topics to future generations of students.” 

 Not jazz, Autophysiopsychic 

The showcase started with a live performance of Lateef’s “Meditation,” by fellows and current students at the Blair School of Music, a piece intended to underscore Lateef’s efforts to push the definitions of the jazz genre. His suggested attribution? Not jazz, but Autophysiopsychic, from which his 1977 album draws its name and inspiration.  

“How to deconstruct art without throwing soup at art?” 

Tennessee Triennial fellows then took us on a tour of how active and functioning galleries can engage with scholarly practices. Students provided video and images of a students responding to Emily Arthur prints in the Fine Arts Gallery, following by pointed conversations about the dissonance between contemporary critique and traditional art pieces.  

“Bad game of telephone” 

Next, Misinformation fellows offered a spirited look into the medium of podcasting as a lens for telling stories of academic significance. Students presented their podcast episodes and talked about the sometimes-conflicted connection between their personal passions and their professional goals. This Buchanan fellowship on misinformation created a path forward in blending the two together.  

A sombrero galaxy and a virtual pumpkin 

Fellows working in the Digital Commons and Visual Resources Center then took guests on a journey through the realm of virtual reality, 3d printing, and the augmented world where the future of design and animation are taking shape. Students presented different methods of production by demonstrating animations designed from scratch and scans of found objects. A pumpkin produced using a 3d printer was shared with the audience.  

Digging into university history 

Fellows then took us back in time to present on their findings on university life from 1895-1905. Students curated three exhibition cases featuring pamphlets, photographs, hand-written accounts, and other university memorabilia in what the fellowship deemed the university’s “coming of age” decade. The exhibition will be available to visitors in the 2nd floor Gallery of the Central Library Building through the winter and early spring.  

Citing 500 students and 7,000 pieces of art 

The final presenters of the day shared what they learned during their Fine Arts Gallery fellowship which focused on assessment and access to collections.  Fellows conducted a survey of over 500 students to help the Gallery better understand the needs, preferences and expectations of their student audience. Additionally, Fellows expanded access to collection objects to online audiences by creating an open-education resource for teaching with objects from the Fine Arts Gallery.

A note from the Buchanans 

After the celebration, attendee and daughter of Fellowship benefactors Dr. Richard and Poppy Buchanan, Lizzie Buchanan, noted of the event:

“I continue to be overwhelmed by the brilliance, creativity and passion of the Buchanan Fellows and their mentors. My father would be so pleased by the stewardship of his and mother’s gift to the Vanderbilt Library. He believed the search for truth and knowledge is followed in importance only by the willingness to share that knowledge with the community. Buchanan Scholars exemplify the best of those practices, and our family is so honored to be included in celebrating each student’s journey and success.” 

 The fellowships program is actively seeking faculty mentors and partners. To learn more about how to get involved, contact Associate University Librarian of Teaching & Learning Melissa Mallon.