'Geese Book' manuscript focus of international pilot project

November 13, 2012

On Nov. 27, the Institute for Humanities Research and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will launch the international pilot project “Opening the Geese Book,” directed by Volker Schier and Corine Schleif.

The project focuses on the lavishly and whimsically illuminated, two-volume liturgical manuscript known as the Geese Book. Download Full Image

Produced in Nuremberg, Germany between 1503 and 1510, this gradual preserves the complete mass liturgy compiled for the church of St. Lorenz and used until the Reformation was introduced in the city in 1525. In 1952 the parish of St. Lorenz presented the book to Rush Kress for “the American people,” out of gratitude for the support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in rebuilding the church after the destruction of WW II. In 1962 the manuscript assumed its place in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, where it remains today – the largest book in this famous collection.

The volumes are renowned for their high quality decorative illumination including fanciful pictures, provocative and satirical imagery of animals, dragons, and wild people. The work takes its name from an enigmatic illustration showing a choir of geese singing from a large chant manuscript with a wolf as their choirmaster. A fox, who has joined the choir, extends his paw menacingly in the direction of one of the geese.

The ambitious aim of this pilot project is to exhibit and explore a multisensory work of the past using multimedia technologies of the present. "Opening the Geese Book" provides a critical model for both re-integrating the arts and recontextualizing them historically. The web-based presentation opens the book to scholars while it makes the work accessible to broader audiences. Internationally known media designers, performers, and scholars from many fields have collaborated in presenting the book, offering new analyses, and posing critical insights into the origins of the Geese Book, its makers and authors.

The project consists of several components and products. The centerpiece is a website that contains a digital facsimile allowing unrestricted access to its 1120 pages. Users can listen to chants characteristic of the liturgy of the early 16th century, performed by the renowned Schola Hungarica of Budapest. In its digital form, the Geese Book can return home to Nuremberg and indeed be available universally, without leaving the protective environment guaranteed by the Morgan Library and its conservators.

Through a series of videos focusing on the main historical protagonists, the site explains the complex setting for the production and use of this liturgical book. Over two and a half hours of video are delivered in English and in German. Material from associated manuscripts are published here – those discovered through investigations for the project can be seen for the first time. For scholars, the site provides complete codicological information, a requirement of the best printed facsimiles as well as photographs of archival sources hitherto unknown. The format facilitates and encourages scholarly exchange of new research through its open and extensible format.

It is hoped that such digital facsimiles with commentaries and sources might come to replace the far more costly printed facsimiles of past generations. Such limited luxury editions could only be purchased by exceptional libraries since copies were priced upwards of $10,000.

Leading scholars, media professionals, academic institutions, public broadcasters, and recording companies from the U.S., China, Germany, the Netherlands, and Hungary have collaborated to accomplish the project goals. Generous financial support from institutional and corporate sponsors in the U.S. and Germany make this endeavor possible.

Please join us at 8 a.m., Nov. 27 to explore the Geese Book with free online access, meet the participants, and discuss the project. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Click here for more information about the event, or for questions contact the IHR at 480-965-3000 or ihr@asu.edu.

For more information about the project, visit: http://www.public.asu.edu/~cschleif/.

The Opening the Geese Book project was supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Institute for Humanities Research, and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The Institute for Humanities Research and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies are research units in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


ASU Nutrition students open, operate nonprofit retail cafe

November 13, 2012

Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus has opened a public retail cafe in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, serving up economical and healthful menu items by students. 

Called the Kitchen Cafe, the nonprofit venue is an upper-division course staffed by nutrition students in the program's Management of Food Systems course and is required before students can apply for their capstone internships. The cafe is open four days a week for breakfast and lunch and located on the ground floor of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation Building I, 500 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix. Download Full Image

The program allows for students to gain experience working in a kitchen and retail environment while they hand-prepare, cook and serve meals at a reasonable price under the supervision of Chef Kenneth Moody, instructional retail kitchen coordinator.

“It has always been my belief that to properly manage someone, they need to have a basic understanding of their job,” Moody said. “The Kitchen Café gives students the unique opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in a real production kitchen, so when they go on to senior positions they are better able to manage their employees.”

Meals are prepared in the state-of-the-art, energy efficient and environmentally sound Nutritional Instructional Kitchens, which are attached to the cafe. The facilities are independent of the university's campus dining program, which is managed by Aramark. Menu items include salads, quiche, chicken, fish, soups, bread, wraps and fresh fruits.

The Nutrition Program educates approximately 800 students annually and offers four degrees: Human Nutrition, Dietetics, Food and Nutrition Management and Nutrition Communication. Career options in nutrition include becoming a registered dietitian, a food service director, a restaurant business entrepreneur, or a food industry professional.

“The Kitchen Café provides students with opportunity to practically apply the principles they learn in the classroom related to operating a foodservice organization and foodservice management,” said Simin Levinson, instructor for NTR445 Management of Foodservice Systems.

The Kitchen Cafe's days and hours of service are Tuesday through Friday, open for breakfast from 8:30 to 9:50 a.m. and for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cash and credit cards are accepted.  

Future plans call for start of an onsite garden that will supply Kitchen Cafe with fruits and vegetables.

Reporter , ASU News