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Literature and Film Resource Workshops

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Do you need to find “scholarly” articles and books about an author or literary work? Did your professor tell you not to include anything that was found using Google? Literature Resource Center and MLA International Bibliography can help.

Literature Resource Center is a portal to full-text scholarly articles, essays, and biographical sketches on authors worldwide (including selected filmmakers) and their works from every time period and literary discipline.

MLA International Bibliography is an important database of citations to scholarly journal articles, books, and book chapters on literature, film, and related topics.

Learn the basics of using these two important databases for your research. No previous knowledge is required for these introductory workshops.

Dates:

  • Literature Resource Center, Wednesday, September 14 : 4:00-5:00
  • MLA International Bibliography, Wednesday, September 14 : 5:00-6:00
  • Literature Resource Center, Monday, November 7 : 4:00-5:00
  • MLA International Bibliography, Monday, November 7 : 5:00-6:00

Location:

  • Library Classroom (main/1st floor of the library)

Questions? Contact: Patricia Mardeusz

New Book Highlights

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

God in the details : American religion in popular culture edited by Eric Michael Mazur and Kate McCarthy, 2nd ed.

“Exploring the blurred boundary between religion and pop culture, God in the Details offers a provocative look at the breadth and persistence of religious themes in the American consciousness. This new edition reflects the explosion of online activity since the first edition, including chapters on the spiritual implications of social networking sites, and the hazy line between real and virtual religious life in the online community Second Life. Also new to this edition are chapters on the migration of black male expression from churches to athletic stadiums, new configurations of the sacred and the commercial, and post 9/11 spirituality and religious redemption through an analysis of vampire drama, True Blood. Popular chapters on media, sports, and other pop culture experiences have been revised and updated, making this an invaluable resource for students and scholars alike.” –Publisher’s information

The hungry world : America’s Cold War battle against poverty in Asia by Nick Cullather

“A pioneering and transformative work that tracks the politics of hunger from the invention of the calorie to Asia’s Cold War ideological battlegrounds, The Hungry World explores, with a sharp, lively sense of irony, American scientists’ and policy-makers’ relentless and often futile efforts to transmute the conflictual politics of rural deprivation into a technocratic politics of agricultural production.” –Paul A. Kramer, author of The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines

Daniel by Henning Mankell ; translated from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray

“Set in the 1870s, this earnest and heartbreaking story opens with the unsolved murder of a mentally retarded Swedish girl, but this isn’t a mystery in the mode of Mankell’s international bestselling Kurt Wallander novels (Firewall, etc.). Hans Bengler, a Swedish entomologist, travels across southern Africa in search of undiscovered insects. In the desert, he finds an orphaned native boy, whom he adopts on impulse and calls Daniel. Bengler brings Daniel back to Sweden to exhibit him for money. A link eventually emerges between the girl’s murder and Daniel’s story, which dramatically illuminates the evils of colonialism (Bengler notes that he “had to make the important decisions for these black people”) and the cultural chasm between Europeans and Africans. Mankell fully understands Daniel’s radically different cultural perspective and indelibly captures the boy’s longing to return to his homeland and the tragic consequences of his forced exile.” –Publisher’s Weekly

Sheila Hicks : 50 years by Joan Simon and Susan C. Faxon ; with an essay by Whitney Chadwick

“Sheila Hicks (born 1934) is a pioneering artist noted for objects and public commissions whose structures are built of color and fiber. This volume accompanies the first major retrospective of Hicks’s work; it documents the remarkable versatility and dramatically divergent scale of her textiles as well as her distinctive use, and surprising range, of materials. Hicks deliberately and provocatively engages what are often considered mutually exclusive domains, rethinking and pushing the limits of generally accepted contexts, conditions, and frameworks. These include distinct objects and temporal, performative actions; studio works and commissions for public buildings; and textiles made in artisanal workshops as well as for industrial production in places as different as Chile, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Sweden, and the United States.” –Publisher’s information

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Fury : a memoir by Koren Zailckas.

In the years following the publication of her landmark memoir, Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, Koren Zailckas stays sober and relegates binge drinking to her past. But a psychological legacy of repression lingers-her sobriety is a loose surface layer atop a hard- packed, unacknowledged rage that wreaks havoc on Koren emotionally and professionally. When a failed relationship leads Koren back to her childhood home, she sinks into emotional crisis-writer’s block, depression, anxiety. Only when she begins to apply her research on a book about anger to the turmoil of her own life does she learn what denial has cost her. –Publisher’s description

Read an interview with Koren Zailckas in Smith Magazine.

Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty

Using minimal tools and a simple technique of bending, interweaving, and fastening together sticks, artist Patrick Dougherty creates works of art inseparable with nature and the landscape. With a dazzling variety of forms seamlessly intertwined with their context, his sculptures evoke fantastical images of nests, cocoons, cones, castles, and beehives. Over the last twenty-five years, Dougherty has built more than two hundred works throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia that range from stand-alone structures to a kind of modern primitive architecture every piece mesmerizing in its ability to fly through trees, overtake buildings, and virtually defy gravity. –Publisher’s description

See installations by Patricky Dougherty.

Delusions of gender : how our minds, society, and neurosexism create difference by Cordelia Fine

Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Cordelia Fine debunks the myth of hardwired differences between men’s and women’s brains, unraveling the evidence behind such claims as men’s brains aren’t wired for empathy and women’s brains aren’t made to fix cars. She then goes one step further, offering a very different explanation of the dissimilarities between men’s and women’s behavior. Instead of a “male brain” and a “female brain,” Fine gives us a glimpse of plastic, mutable minds that are continuously influenced by cultural assumptions about gender. –Publisher’s description

Friendship : a history edited by Barbara Caine

This volume aims to combine an analysis of the major classical philosophical texts of friendship and their continuing importance over many centuries with a broader discussion of the changing ways in which friendship was understood and experienced in Europe from the Hellenic period to the present. It is the result of a collaborative research project that has involved philosophers and historians with special research interests in Classical Greek philosophy and in the history of medieval and renaissance, 18th century 19th and 20th century Europe. –Publisher’s description

Learn more about Barbara Caine’s research.

John Lennon Book Returned After 40 Years

Monday, October 11th, 2010

After being checked out 40 years ago, In His Own Write, by John Lennon has been returned to the library after being found in an apartment in Burlington.

We’ve ordered a more up-to-date copy, but you can see the original, along with the letter that accompanied its return…just in time for what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday on October 9th.

The craziest thing? The book was originally checked out to Michael Breiner, who now works in the Libraries’ cataloging department!

Need Help Finding Articles on Literature or Film?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Do you need to find “scholarly” articles and books about an author or literary work? Did your professor tell you not to include anything that was found using Google? Literature Resource Center and MLA International Bibliography can help.

Literature Resource Center is a portal to full-text scholarly articles, essays, and biographical sketches on authors worldwide (including selected filmmakers) and their works from every time period and literary discipline.

MLA International Bibliography is a database of citations to scholarly journal articles, books, and book chapters on literature, film, and related topics.

Learn the basics of using these two important databases for your research. No previous knowledge is required for these introductory workshops.

Dates:

  • Literature Resource Center, Wednesday, October 20 : 4:00-5:00
  • MLA International Bibliography, Thursday, October 21 : 4:00-5:00

Location:

  • Library Classroom (main/1st floor of the library)

Questions? Contact: Patricia Mardeusz

What We’re Reading & Watching

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

We asked Ana Banu, a student who works in Bailey/Howe Library, to share some of her favorite books and movies from our collection and she delivered an eclectic mix of film, fashion, fiction, and art. Get them while they’re hot!

Here are her recommendations:

Yves Saint Laurent by Jéromine Savignon and Bernard Blistène

YSL is a brilliant fashion designer, although I could just call him a brilliant artist, without any further ado. He is also an inspiring individual not only for people who are intrigued by fashion. This book talks about his life in almost an intimate manner and presents it from different points of view, including his and the peoples who he worked with. You get to learn about his ways and also see how a character can become lovable through his actions, creations and way of living, right in front of your eyes. YSL dedicated his life to making women, and later on men, feel comfortable, powerful and stylish.

Zen in the art of archery by Eugen Herrigel

This book is one the shortest books, yet helpful and insightful, I’ve ever read. It is about Zen and it is about Archery. It is also about how the two go together in creating an awareness of the moment that is beyond words. Things, in general and in particular, begin appearing a lot simpler and natural after taking in what Eugene Herrigel says. And the way he says is accessible enough to keep you going.

Camera lucida : reflections on photography by Roland Barthes

This is one other short(er) book, but so intense and powerful that every paragraph could be developed into pages. In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes talks about his own system of viewing and interpreting photography, beauty, history. It is both playful and academic and it explains things that are not easily explained, like why we get emotionally involved when looking at a photograph.

L’ećume des jours (translation: Froth of the Daydream) by Boris Vian

L’ećume des jours is a novel for the French speakers, only because it is in French, not because the story wouldn’t survive a broader audience. I, personally, read it in a different language and loved it. The images described in the book are so powerful and visual that they transcend language. Reading it in French might add some nuances to the strange and creative ways of telling Colin and Chloe’s story.

Malcolm X – Directed by Spike Lee

Based on The autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X is a movie directed by Spike Lee. It truly embodies both historical accuracies and the director’s admiration for the person that Malcolm X was. The story is brought to life by Denzel Washington, Spike Lee’s fetish actor, and probably the best choice for playing this character.

Bubba Ho-tep

I postponed watching this movie, because it seemed to have that silly and distasteful air some movies have. But it is not distasteful, nor silly. It is the story of an old “Elvis”, who may or may not be the Real Elvis, and a black old man (Ossie Davis) who thinks he is JFK, in fighting an Egyptian mummy trying to steal some souls. And as “Elvis” says: Ask not what your rest home can do for you. Ask what you can do for your rest home.

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Ain’t nothing like the real thing : how the Apollo Theater shaped American entertainment edited by Richard Carlin and Kinshasha Holman Conwill

“The Apollo Theater has provided a stage for performers and a setting for the creativity of black American music that has hugely influenced American music in general. Recognizing the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Apollo Theater, this book offers essays by entertainment historians, critics, and journalists chronicling the legacy of the storied theater.” -Booklist

How to grow a school garden : a complete guide for parents and teachers by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle

“In this groundbreaking resource, two school garden pioneers offer parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.” –Publisher’s information

Sayyid Qutb and the origins of radical Islamism by John Calvert

“Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) was an influential Egyptian ideologue who established the theoretical basis for radical Islamism in the postcolonial Sunni Muslim world. Lacking a pure understanding of the leader’s life and work, the popular media has conflated Qutb’s moral purpose with the aims of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. He is often portrayed as a terrorist, Islamo-Fascist, and advocate of murder. An expert on social protest and political resistance, John Calvert rescues Qutb from misrepresentation and follows the evolution of his thought within the context of his time.” –Publisher’s information

Three sisters by Bi Feiyu ; translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin

“In a small village in China, the Wang family has produced seven sisters in its quest to have a boy; three of the sisters emerge as the lead characters in this remarkable novel. From the small-town treachery of the village to the slogans of the Cultural Revolution to the harried pace of city life, Bi Feiyu follows the women as they strive to change the course of their destinies and battle against an “infinite ocean of people” in a China that does not truly belong to them. Yumi will use her dignity, Yuxiu her powers of seduction, and Yuyang her ambition—all in an effort to take control of their world, their bodies, and their lives.” –Publisher’s information

What We’re Reading

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Wonder what librarians do for summer reading? Here are Assistant Library Professor Selene Colburn’s recent picks:

A friend and I share a project to make it through the approximately forty titles neither of us has read on the Guardian’s list of the hundred greatest novels of all time. In between (largely eighteenth century British) titles, we read whatever we feel like.

Here are a few highlights:

Revelations

Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
The Guardian calls this “one of the longest novels in the English language, but unputdownable.” And though it did take me three months to read it, I was riveted by the still-shocking-today behavior of the novel’s arch villain Lovelace, and fascinated by the ways in which Clarissa is entrapped by the systems of class, gender, and family that he exploits, as he sets about romancing and abducting her.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
A friend said this slim book was “so tart it makes my eyes pucker” and truer words were never spoken. Muriel Spark’s brilliant prose lands like a dart in this devastating portrait of a single Scottish school teacher and the girls she takes into her confidence.

Coming Up Next

Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
I’m a little daunted by the Wikipedia entry (occasionally, when no one is looking, librarians turn to Wikipedia to see what they’ve let themselves in for in greatest novels), which says that “Tristram as narrator finds himself discoursing at length on sexual practices, insults, the influence of one’s name, noses, as well as explorations of obstetrics, siege warfare and philosophy…” But I’ll reward myself for finishing it by watching the incomparable Steve Coogan’s turn in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.

Whatever I Feel Like

In addition to local author Creston Lea’s fantastic short story collection Wild Punch (which I’m reading slowly, to make it last), I’ll be bringing Ivy Compton-Burnett’s A House and Its Head on my upcoming trip to the American Library Association Annual conference. But the book I’m most excited to read this summer is Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives, about which Francine Prose wrote, “Reading Roberto Bolaño is like hearing the secret story, being shown the fabric of the particular, watching the tracks of art and life merge at the horizon and linger there like a dream from which we awake inspired to look more attentively at the world.”

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Bottled and sold : the story behind our obsession with bottled water by Peter H. Gleick

“Tap water is safe almost everywhere in the U.S. So why does someone buy a bottle of water every second of every day? And where do the thousands of plastic bottles discarded daily end up? Gleick, recipient of a MacArthur fellowship and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, argues passionately for a new era in water management.” –Publisher’s Weekly

The heights by Peter Hedges

“Kate and Tim tell the story of their practically perfect life (he’s a history teacher in a posh private school; she’s a stay-at-home mom) in alternating chapters. Brooklyn Heights, their neighborhood, rife with social strata, rules, and conventions, is rocked by a newcomer, Anna Brody, the beautiful, mysterious wife of a very wealthy man who latches onto the couple…Hedges, of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1991) fame, demonstrates a sure touch with people and settings.” –Booklist

The unwanted sound of everything we want : a book about noise by Garret Keizer

“Garret Keizer has, not for the first time, helped us look hard at something we thought we understood and see that instead it’s rich, fascinating, full of political and moral and human implications. I’d say that his argument goes off like an intellectual explosion, but perhaps better in this context to summon the image of a bell, struck once in the silence. This is a book for our precise moment on earth.” –Bill McKibben

Decoration day in the mountains : traditions of cemetery decoration in the southern Appalachians by Alan Jabbour & Karen Singer Jabbour

“Written by internationally recognized folklorist Alan Jabbour and illustrated with more than a hundred photographs taken by Karen Singer Jabbour, Decoration Day in the Mountains is an in-depth exploration of this little-known cultural tradition…Richly illustrated and vividly written, Decoration Day in the Mountains presents a compelling account of a widespread and long-standing Southern cultural practice.” –Publisher’s information

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

The possessed: adventures with Russian books and the people who read them by Elif Batuman

“Odd and oddly profound . . . Among the charms of Ms. Batuman’s prose is her fond, funny way of describing the people around her . . . Perhaps Ms. Batuman’s best quality as a writer though—beyond her calm, lapidary prose—is the winsome and infectious delight she feels in the presence of literary genius and beauty. She’s the kind of reader who sends you back to your bookshelves with a sublime buzz in your head. You want to feel what she’s feeling.” -Dwight Garner, The New York Times Book Review

Tammy Wynette: tragic country queen by Jimmy McDonough.

“Tammy Wynette, along with Loretta Lynn, represented the female face of country music in the last decades before top-40 country became midtempo rock with fringe and steel guitars…McDonough’s first full-scale supplement to the autobiography Stand by Your Man (1979) and daughter Jackie Daley’s Tammy Wynette (2000) is a crucial acquisition for pop-music and American studies collections and absolutely essential for country-music collections. -Mike Tribby, Booklist

My brain made me do it: the rise of neuroscience and the threat to moral responsibility by Eliezer J. Sternberg

“At some point in our lives, we get puzzled about how we can be held responsible for actions seemingly initiated by brain chemistry. My Brain Made Me Do It is a terrific guide for those who are ready to confront this puzzle in its full scientific and philosophical complexity. It clearly explains the fascinating scientific advances in our understanding of the brain-behavior connection, and carefully considers their relevance to the free will question making these complicated theoretical issues come alive in vivid case studies.” -Jerry Samet, Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Brandeis University

The art of plant evolution by W. John Kress and Shirley Sherwood

“‘Art meets science’ in this beautiful book that aims to give readers a sense of some contemporary scientific discoveries that are changing our understanding of plant relationships. 136 botanical paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection, by 84 artists, cover 50 orders of plants in 118 families, and a total of 133 species, providing a sweeping overview of the evolution of plants on earth.” –Publisher’s information