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Archive for August, 2010

What to Read After Funny in Farsi

Monday, August 30th, 2010

If you enjoyed Funny in Farsi by this year’s Convocation speaker, Firoozeh Dumas, you might enjoy these books as well:

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

Marjane Satrapi

Call Number: PN 6747.S245 P4913 2004 (3rd floor)

This memoir, told in  graphic novel form, picks up where Satrapi’s earlier work, Persepolis, left off. Sent by her parents to live in Vienna, this young Iranian woman struggles to find her place and eventually returns to live with her family in Tehran.

Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran

Azadeh Moaveni

Call Number: E 184.I5 M63 2005 (2nd floor)

In this memoir, Moaveni, an American born to Iranian parents and a reporter for Time, moves to Tehran. While ostensibly reporting on the pro-democracy student movement and the concomitant backlash, the most interesting story to emerge in the book is her own story of  discovering the real country her parents had left behind.

The Inheritance of Exile: Stories from South Philly

Susan Muaddi Darraj

Call Number: PS 3604.A75 I54 2007 (3rd floor)

A collection of  fictional stories about four Palestinian-American women and their families.

Saffron Sky: A Life Between Iran and America

Gelareh Asayesh

Call Number: E 184.I5 A8 1999 (2nd floor)

Asayesh, a joournalist for the Miami Herald, writes about her lifelong struggle to find balance between her Iranian and American selves. She deftly deals with the issues of race, immigration, and cultural assimilation as they relate to her own life and the larger context of American society.

Typical American

Gish Jen

Call Number: PS 3560.E474 T9 1991 (3rd floor)

This first novel by Chinese-American author, Jen, is a funny and poignant story of three Chinese immigrants who inadvertently find themselves stuck in the United States in 1948 and their attempts to live the American dream. The family’s story is continued in the equally wonderful, Mona in the Promised Land.

The Namesake

Jhumpa Lahiri

Call Number: PS 3562.A316 N36 2003 (3rd floor)

Lahiri won the Pulitzer for her first book, The Interpreter of Maladies, and this, her first novel, is a winding tale about a young American man born to Indian parents. Named Gogol, after the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol, the endearing  protagonist of this novel rejects not only his name but culture of his parents as a teenager. Later, when he becomes a successful architect in New York city he finds a way to reconcile the world he grew-up in and world he inhabits now.

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Diary of a very bad year : confessions of an anonymous hedge fund manager with n+1 ; introduction by Keith Gessen

“This book is a series of interviews with an anonymous hedge-fund manager (HFM) by the co-editor of a literary magazine (who admits to being ill-informed on finance); he sets out to understand what is happening on Wall Street. The HFM offers a brilliant financial professional’s view of the economic situation in real time, from September 2007, when problems in financial markets began to surface, until late summer 2009, when the financial meltdown generally subsided and the financial community went back, in HFM’s view, to business as usual.” –Booklist

Antidiets of the avant-garde : from Futurist cooking to Eat art by Cecilia Novero

“Discussing an aspect of the European avant-garde that has often been neglected-its relationship to the embodied experience of food, its sensation, and its consumption. Cecilia Novero exposes the surprisingly key roles that food plays in the theoretical foundations and material aesthetics of a broad stratum of works ranging from the Italian Futurist Cookbook to the magazine Dada, Walter Benjamin’s writings on eating and cooking, Daniel Spoerri’s Eat Art, and the French New Realists.” –Publisher’s description

Here’s looking at Euclid : a surprising excursion through the astonishing world of math / by Alex Bellos

“What Bellos calls “the wow factor” of mathematics leaps out at the reader from every page of this remarkable foray into the realm of numbers. Beginning with a visit with an Amazon-basin tribe who never count above five, Bellos launches a fascinating journey of discovery, probing numerical riddles ancient and modern. Readers ponder the ingenuity of the early Sumerians, who pioneered the keeping of records by inexplicably tallying their inventories in sixties, and contemplate the resourcefulness of a third-century Chinese sage who manipulated many-sized figures to calculate an accurate approximation for pi. Readers even pause to marvel at how a ninth-century factory mechanic beat the casinos of Monte Carlo by breaking the code of chance. The stories prove so engaging, the personalities so colorful, that readers may forget they are mastering some powerful mathematical concepts.” –Booklist

Street art San Francisco : Mission muralismo edited by Annice Jacoby ; foreword by Carlos Santana

“With 600 stunning photographs, this comprehensive book showcases more than three decades of street art in San Francisco’s legendary Mission District. Beginning in the early 1970s, a provocative street-art movement combining elements of Mexican mural painting, surrealism, pop art, urban punk, eco-warrior, cartoon, and graffiti has flourished in this dynamic, multicultural community. Rigo, Las Mujeres Muralistas, Gronk, Barry McGee (Twist), R. Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, the Billboard Liberation Front, Swoon, Sam Flores, Neckface, Shepard Fairey, Juana Alicia, Os Gemeos, Reminesce, and Andrew Schoultz are among the many artists who have made the streets of the Mission their public gallery.” –Product description

Get Both Sides of the Story

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Writing a paper on a controversial topic? Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center is the perfect place to start your research. Opposing Viewpoints is a comprehensive database containing reference sources, news, academic journals articles, statistics, and pro/con viewpoints that will expose you to diverging arguments about a topic and give you the tools you need to write a well-informed essay on your chosen social issue. By searching in the subject guide or clicking one of the popular topics, you can view all of the information about a particular issue. To narrow your search even further, use the advanced search function.Whether you’re researching gun control, animal rights, democracy in the Middle East, or another hot topic, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center can provide you with a plenitude of information to get you started on your paper.

It’s a great source for generating paper topics and for getting started on a large project on a controversial issue.

Library Web Site > Find: Articles and More > General & Multidisciplinary > Opposing Viewpoints

Photo by: Peter Morawski on flickr

The Literary Book as a Work of Art–Lecture

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Book in a can

Since 1976 Peter and Donna Thomas have worked collaboratively and individually to create books. They are currently touring the country in a gypsy wagon, stopping to give workshops and lectures. When they reach Vermont, Peter will give a lecture at UVM on August 27 and he and Donna will teach a one-day workshop for the Book Arts Guild of Vermont on August 28 in Williston. The lecture will be held on Friday, August 27 at 5:30 in the Special Collections Reading Room, Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont.

“We live in exciting times,” Thomas says. “Because of the personal computer the book has been set free from servitude to information…free to become an aesthetic object, a work of art.” In his lecture, Peter Thomas will address such questions as: What is a book? What is an artists’ book? What are the aesthetic attributes of an artists’ book? What is the history of the artists’ book? Where does one find one? How does one look at one as a work of art? He will talk from the context of his own work, using books that he and Donna have made as examples. He will also sing a song or two on his ukulele book.

Under the previous imprint of The Good Book Press, and the current imprint, Peter and Donna Thomas: Santa Cruz, their books have been shown in individual and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, and have been purchased for collections around the world, including the University of Vermont.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information about the lecture, call 802-656-1493 or email uvmsc@uvm.edu For more information about the workshop, visit the Book Arts Guild of Vermont web site at http://bookartsguildvt.wordpress.com/

Cannery row

Explore World Cultures with Streaming Video Collection

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Adventure High (2004) Future Rememberance (1998) Burma Diary (1997)

Ethnographic Video Online is a streaming video collection that supports the study of the diversity of human cultures and behavior across the world. The included video is produced by many of the most influential documentary filmmakers and has wide applicability across many disciplines. Hundreds of hours of historical coverage ranges from the early work of Robert Flaherty in 1922 to the most current anthropological films from every region of the world and new material continues to be added.

Search for videos by keyword or browse by region, cultural group, people, subjects, date, ethnographer, and more. Each video includes a full transcript, can be browsed by viewing thumbnail images that can be adjusted to provide access at different timed intervals, and many include a detailed study guide.

UVM users can register to take advantage of advanced features such as the ability to create short clips from longer works (great for showing clips in class or embedding into Blackboard!), create play lists, and more.

Sample video: (Un)veiled: Muslim Women Talk About Hijab (2007): Ten Muslim women from various backgrounds who now live in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in a discussion about hijab, the headscarf (can be viewed on-campus or through UVM Proxy).

Library Web Site > Find Articles and More > Anthropology > Ethnographic Video Online

Environmental Information at Your Fingertips and on Your iPod

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

GREENR gives you access to a wide variety of information on environmental topics including agriculture, conservation, pollution, natural resources, sustainable agriculture, energy, international development, and more.

Types of material available include: journal, magazine, and newspaper articles (many full-text); statistical data; web sites; case studies;  images, videos, and even podcasts.

For many topics, specialized “portals” are available that group all available resources on that topic in one place.

GREENR can be located on the Library Web site at:

Library Web Site > Find Articles > Environment