Date: Monday, 16 November, 2009 Time: 4:00 PM Location: Duke Women’s Center Lower Lounge Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)duke.edu
You know those issues of Greenzine you have stacked on your bookshelf? Now you’ll finally have your chance to meet writer and illustrator Cristy Road as she visits Duke’s Women’s Center for a reading and discussion.
Road, a Cuban-American from Miami, Florida, has been illustrating ideas, people, and places ever since she learned how to hold a crayon. Blending the inevitable existence of social principles, cultural identity, sexual identity, mental inadequacies, and dirty thoughts, she testifies to the beauty of the imperfect. Today, Road has moved from zines to illustrated novels, although her visual diagram of lifestyles and beliefs remain in tune with the zine’s portrayal of living honestly and unconventionally.
Also in honor of this Saturday’s football game against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we bring you this poem from the November 1893 issue of the Trinity Archive.
A Girl on Foot-Ball
A girl is not allowed to play foot-ball And to revel in the delights of a game. It is only for boys, large, strong and tall To win for themselves glory and fame.
And when the Trinity foot-ball team in honor roll They proudly exclaim, “The girls aren’t in it here,” But if they could see the “NORMAL” girls climb a ten-foot pole They’d conclude that they were up it there.
At Trinity the boys all think they know The reason the girls can’t play; Just let them look in the “gym.” room door And I guess they’ll believe what we say.
They say that we’re afraid to play Because we can’t kick the ball aright But I tell you don’t believe a word they say For, if we chose, we could kick it out of sight.
But though we do not choose to play, We can shout and wear the blue And be able from the depths of our hearts to say To Trinity we’ll always be loyal and true.
Three cheers for the boys who beat the “N. C. U!” Long may they be champions of the State And a girl that wears the Trinity blue May they finally choose for their mate.
We wonder what the author of this poem—it’s signed “Anon.”—would have thought of 1935’s Pink Pants by Ralph Y. Hopton. This novel tells the story of Brünnehilde “Pussy” Downing, the Amazonian star of Bowlby University’s football team. Wearing pink sateen pants, she single-handedly decimates Harvard’s team, finishing her pummeling of each linebacker with her trademark cry, “I think you’re me-ee-an!”
(N.B.: Established in 1887, The Archive is one of the oldest continuously published literary magazines in the United States and the oldest student publication at Duke.)
Since the first football game on Thanksgiving day of 1888 (we won 16-0), there has been a fierce football rivalry between Duke and UNC. Duke was the dominant team during the Wallace Wade and Bill Murray years, while UNC led in the days of Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice and in recent years.
The rivalry has not always been civil. In order to foster friendly relations and to eliminate vandalism between the two, Duke and UNC student governments created the victory bell tradition in 1948. That same year, Duke introduced a new fight song, “Fight, Fight Blue Devils,” which includes the refrain, “Carolina Goodnight.”
The problem persisted and, in 1954, Duke and UNC agreed to expel any vandals found on either campus in response to graffiti painted on the Duke campus by UNC students.
The UNC mascot, Ramses, has also been a favorite target of Duke students. In 1977, the bighorn ram was kidnapped and the following note left in his place: “Please understand that this action was consummated in the healthy atmosphere of intercollegiate competition and rivalry and was undertaken with the principles of sportsmanship in mind.”
The rivalry and cooperation between the Duke and UNC is well documented in the University Archives. Tomorrow’s game will add another chapter to our history of friendly competition!
Post contributed by Tim Pyatt, University Archivist and Associate Director of the RBMSCL
North Carolina Mutual founders John Merrick, C.C. Spaulding, and Aaron Moore
The company’s archives includes thousands of business documents, newsletters, commercials, photography and books which chronicle the vitality of Durham’s “Black Wall Street” in the early 20th century. During the Jim Crow era, North Carolina Mutual allowed the black middle class access to home mortgages, small business loans, and insurance. The archives may be the largest assemblage of African American corporate material in the nation.
Date: Thursday, 12 November 2009 Time: 5:30 PM Location: Rare Book Room Contact Information: Karen Glynn, 919-660-5968 or karen.glynn(at)duke.edu
Photographer Jennette Williams, winner of the 2008 Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, will speak about her recent work, which centers on women in the ancient communal bathhouses of Budapest and Istanbul. A selection of these photographs have been gathered for “The Bathers: Photographs by Jennette Williams,” currently on view in the Special Collections Gallery through 13 December, 2009. Her book, The Bathers, will be published this month by Duke University Press in association with the Center for Documentary Studies.
These stunning platinum prints of women bathers—which draw on gestures and poses found in iconic paintings of nude women, such as those of Cézanne and Ingres—take us inside spaces intimate and public, austere and sensuous. Over a period of eight years, Williams photographed, without sentimentality or objectification, women daring enough to stand naked before her camera. Young and old, these women inhabit and display their bodies with comfort and ease.
Williams is a photography instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has a master’s degree from Yale University and has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Copies of The Bathers will be available for purchase and signing at the event. The quad in front of Duke Chapel has been reserved for parking. Additional parking is available in the parking deck behind the Bryan Center (view campus map).
Blassingame’s path-breaking scholarship has had a profound impact on the American understanding of slavery and the African American experience. The collection includes correspondence, personal manuscripts and research files from Blassingame’s long academic career, and is particularly rich in materials drawn from his work on the Frederick Douglass Papers.
From the Duke University Archives, a 1951 photo of the Duke University Chapel fondly known as the “ghost chapel” photo. The staff of the RBMSCL wishes everyone a safe and fun Halloween! (And feel free to bring us candy!)
For more photos of Duke, visit the University Archives on Flickr!
No Umbrella (26 minutes) shows Fannie Lewis in action on November 2, 2004 as she struggles to manage a polling station in a predominantly African American precinct in Cleveland, Ohio. Facing record numbers at the polls, Ms. Lewis spends her day on a cell phone begging for the machines and the technical support Ward 7 needs to handle the throngs of frustrated voters. This documentary won the Jury Award for Best Short at the 2006 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
Please Vote for Me (58 minutes) is a portrait of a society and a town in through a school, its children and its families. In Wuhan, China, a 3rd grade class at Evergreen Primary School has their first encounter with democracy by holding an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year-olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents.
The RBMSCL welcomed the start of Parents’ Weekend with a Friday afternoon reception honoring the winners of the 2009 Chester P. Middlesworth Awards. Given annually, the awards recognize the authors of the best undergraduate and graduate student papers based on research in the collections of the RBMSCL. Funding for the awards is provided by Chester P. Middlesworth (A.B., 1949) of Statesville, NC.
2009 Middlesworth Award winners Samuel Lee Iglesias and Martin Park Hunter
Undergraduate student winner Catherine L. Daniel delved into the papers of well-known Durhamites, including those of James and Benjamin Duke (collection guides here and here), for her study, “Black Hospitals as an Avenue for Social Change: A Narrative of the Life of a Segregated Institution in the New South: Lincoln Hospital, Durham, North Carolina.”
Undergraduate student winner Samuel Lee Iglesias studied the papers of Vanderbilt economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (collection guide here) for his paper, “The Miscommunications and Misunderstandings of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.”
Graduate student winner Martin Park Hunter drew from a number of primary sources, including the United Methodist Church Records (collection guide here), for his paper, “The Names Have Not Changed: The Story of Caswell County Methodism.”
Just a reminder to all you Duke students busily scribbling away on term papers: you could be the next Middlesworth Award winner! Details about submitting your paper can be found here.
The artistic response to societal tragedy is always a difficult balance: how can art contribute to understanding and interpreting, without aestheticizing suffering? In the past decade, films, novels, and other creative approaches to events such as the Holocaust, 9/11, and the conflict in Darfur have provoked controversy and debate about art’s place in the discussion of international politics and personal suffering.
Shortly after the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s 2005 landing on the Gulf Coast, the RBMSCL acquired a unique artist’s book, Katrina by Beth Thielen, made in 2007. An opening supported by waves of paper reveals tiny human figures trapped in a whirlpool, begging for help. The text asks, “How do we make a just society when there is an underlying contempt for helplessness?”
In correspondence with this post’s author, the artist explained: “I made the work because the moment was such a clear and rare reveal of the darker undercurrents of our country…. During Katrina we all watched the images of people with outstretched arms pleading towards the sky. Is there any image more archetypal of helplessness? It is a crying baby’s pose. Reproachful disdain to helplessness… is as primitive as a school yard bully calling someone a crybaby after taking their candy.” She continues, “To feel with is to feel for. A civilized response.”
Thielen’s work joins another artist’s book in the RBMSCL’s collections, Habitat by Jessica Peterson, which explores Katrina’s destruction of Biloxi, Mississippi. Both works add to our collections of Southern Americana and artists’ books by women. Nearly 300 more works of fiction, films, essays, and scholarly works on Hurricane Katrina can also be found in the Duke Libraries’ online catalog (see these catalog records here).
Post contributed by Will Hansen, Assistant Curator of Collections
Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University