Music in the Lobby: Spring Mix April 4

Music in the Lobby returns in April with a Spring Mix of classical, jazz and vocal music – provided by the students in the Mason School of Music Strings Department. Join us in Fenwick Lobby, April 4, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.!  You could win a Fenwick Library study room to use during Spring Finals. Free refreshments courtesy of Argo Tea Cafe.

For more information, please contact Steve Gerber,

Faculty: Apply for 2018-19 Fenwick Fellowship

University Libraries is now accepting applications for this year’s Fenwick Fellow competition. The Fellowship is awarded annually to a Mason faculty member to support a research project that uses and enhances the Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in his or her field. Read more: 2018-19 Fenwick Fellowship Announcement

Up to two Fellowships of $5,000 each may be awarded; expanded program guidelines include funding for an additional fellowship for a project proposal that specifically aligns with the Libraries’ activities in the area of digital scholarship.

Application deadline is Monday, May 7, 2018. The awardee(s) will be announced at the start of the Fall academic term. University Libraries sponsor a public lecture by each Fenwick Fellow in the Spring term following the completed fellowship.

For more information, please contact Debra Hogan, dhogan1 at

Research Reflections: Dr. Alexander Monea

On March 29, join us in 2001 Fenwick Library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Dr. Alexander Monea, Assistant Professor serving jointly in George Mason’s English Department and Cultural Studies Department, will present “I Know It When I See It” – An Overview of Google’s Safe Search & the Politics of Automating Judgment. In this presentation, he refers to such “I-know-it-when-I-see-it” concepts as extra-linguistic concepts because they contain an intuitive, inductive, and/or felt component in the classificatory logic that affords their generalization. This paper argues that contemporary machine learning applications have successfully operationalized this classificatory logic at mass scale, and he looks to Google’s work to filter Not Safe For Work (NSFW) images as a particularly compelling success story.

This presentation continues the Mason Libraries’ new Research Reflections series.

Playfair Book Launch – March 22

Join the University Libraries on Thursday, March 22 for the George Mason University Press book launch for Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World. The event will take place in the Fenwick Library Main Reading room, from 2 – 3:30 p.m.

William Playfair may be the most famous person you have never heard of. Best known today as the inventor of “statistical graphics”—the line, bar, and pie charts we all use today—Playfair was also a pioneer in strategic analysis, and a secret agent who carried out espionage and subversion against France on behalf of Great Britain.

This is the first book to uncover the full, true account of this remarkable, colorful man—undeniably brilliant, hopelessly flawed, and fundamentally important. Its pages reveal the astounding inventions and adventures of this larger-than-life swashbuckler, rogue, genius, and patriot.

“In addition to being a draftsman, inventor, company promoter, land speculator, economist, patriotic pamphleteer and bank-note counterfeiter, Playfair was a secret agent and international conspirator… He was adept at ducking and weaving from the truth, covering his tracks, mystifying his motives, and protecting his sources. Mr. Berkowitz’s Playfair is above all a work of ingenious detection and reconstruction.” —The Wall Street Journal

Books will be available for purchase at the event, and refreshments will be provided. The event is co-sponsored by the University Bookstore.

About the Author: Bruce Berkowitz is the author of several books and articles about national security, history, and international relations.

About GMU Press: The George Mason University Press supports the academic mission of George Mason University by publishing peer-reviewed, scholarly works of distinction, written by authors from a wide range of intellectual perspectives, for a diverse, worldwide readership. GMU Press publishes in a variety of disciplines with special focus on the history, politics, and culture of Northern Virginia and the wider District of Columbia metropolitan area, as well as other topics such as public policy, international affairs, and higher education.