Category Archives: Collections Highlight

Whitman and the Civil War

In honor of the “I Sing the Body Electric: Walt Whitman and the Body” exhibit (drawn from our extensive Whitman collection) on display until October 28th in the Biddle Rare Book Room, I will be writing several blog posts about Walt Whitman and his life.

One of the cases in the exhibit is about Whitman’s experiences during the Civil War because it greatly influenced how he thought about and wrote about the body.  You can see this in his writing, particularly in Drum TapsSpecimen Days, and Memoranda during the War (selections from his journal entries)

Here are several resources related to Whitman and the Civil War, if you want to learn more:

“Daybreak Gray and Dim”: How the Civil War Changed Walt Whitman’s Poetry

Traveling with the Wounded: Walt Whitman and Washington’s Civil War Hospitals

Walt Whitman In Washington, D.C. : The Civil War And America’s Great Poet by Garrett Peck

Walt Whitman and the Civil War: America’s Poet during the Lost Years of 1860-1862 by Ted Genoways

Now the Drum of War: Walt Whitman and his Brothers in the Civil War by Robert Roper

The Better Angel : Walt Whitman in the Civil War by Roy Morris, Jr.

Walt Whitman’s Civil War,  Compiled & edited from published & unpublished sources by Walter Lowenfels, with the assistance of Nan Braymer

Walt Whitman and the Civil War; a Collection of Original Articles and Manuscripts edited by Charles I. Glicksberg

To find out more about Whitman, check out the previous blog posts in this series: Reading Walt Whitman and Whitman and the Body.

October Collection Spotlight: Learning Innovation and the Future of Higher Education

October marks the start of Duke NextEd Festival, a series of 30+ events celebrating learning innovation at Duke organized by Duke Learning Innovation (comprised of the Center for Instructional Technology and Online Duke). To coincide with the festival, we put together a Collection Spotlight that features some of our top reads on innovation and change in higher education.

Through these picks you can learn how the university as we know it came to be, investigate the many forces affecting higher ed today, delve into the latest research on effective teaching and learning, get great ideas for making education more effective and relevant, and explore some radical rethinking of what education should do and be.

A top pick from the October Collection Spotlight is The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux by Cathy Davidson, Duke’s former Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. In this book, Davidson argues that the American university is stuck in the past and shows how we can revolutionize it to prepare students for our age of constant change. Davidson will give a talk on the book on campus on October 11 as part of NextEd. She will be joined in conversation with Edward Balleisen, Professor of History and Public Policy and Duke’s Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies.

If you like some of the ideas you’re reading about in our selections (or hate them), we encourage you to tweet about it using the NextEd hashtag, #DukeNextEd. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni can also join the conversation about the future of education at Duke by attending one of the many NextEd events happening in the coming weeks.

If you have questions, contact Courtney Lockemer, Communications Manager, Online Duke/Center for Instructional Technology, at courtney.lockemer@duke.edu.

 

Whitman and the Body

In honor of the “I Sing the Body Electric: Walt Whitman and the Body” exhibit (drawn from our extensive Whitman collection) on display until October 28th in the Biddle Rare Book Room, I will be writing several blog posts about Walt Whitman and his life.

Since the theme of the exhibit is the body, it might be useful to examine how scholars have discussed how Whitman wrote about the concept of the body.  Here are several scholarly works that are related to this theme:

Walt Whitman and the Body Beautiful by Harold Aspiz.

Whitman’s Presence: Body, Voice, and Writing in Leaves of Grass by Tenney Nathanson.

Whitman’s Poetry of the Body: Sexuality, Politics, and the Text by M. Jimmie Killingsworth.

So Long! Walt Whitman’s Poetry of Death by Harold Aspiz.

Whitman between Impressionism and Expressionism: Language of the Body, Language of the Soul by Erik Ingvar Thurin.

If you’re looking for something more general, both Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia (has a chapter called “Human Body”) and The Cambridge Introduction to Walt Whitman (has a section called “The body” in chapter two: Historical and cultural contexts) are great resources.

To find out more about Whitman, check out the previous blog post in this series: Reading Walt Whitman.

 

2017 Banned Books Week

This week (September 24th-30th) is Banned Books Week.  To help you learn more about what kinds of books have been challenged or banned over the years (and why), we have a Collection Spotlight on the first floor of Perkins near the Circulation Desk devoted to these books.  Here is a just a selection of what you will find there:

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.  Reasons: language and sexual content

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Reasons: religious viewpoint, violence

Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Reason: Sexual content

Habibi by Craig Thompson. Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Reasons: degrading, profane and racist work. conflict with community values

For more information check out these websites here, here, and here.

If you use Twitter, you might also enjoy participating in the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament!

Lilly Spotlight-Cuban-Americans, the Duke Common Experience and Beyond

Cuban-Americans, the Duke Common Experience and Beyond

Need some new reading material or just interested in seeing what’s in Lilly Library’s collection that you might not know about? Check out Lilly’s Collection Spotlight!

Lilly Spotlight on Duke Common Experience

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month and the Duke Common Experience Reading Program selection of Richard Blanco’s The Prince of Los Cocuyos, our spotlight shines on books and films relevant to his and the Cuban-American experience.  Blanco, the inaugural poet for Barack Obama in 2012, writes in his memoir of his childhood growing up in Miami as a son of Cuban immigrants. The memoir finds Blanco grappling with both his place in America and his sexuality, striving to discover his identity.

Our collections include books on Cuban Art, the Cuban-American immigrant experience in the United States, LGBTQ communities in Hispanic culture, and several books of Blanco’s poetry. Here are a few highlights from our Lilly Collection Spotlight:

Books:

Adios Utopia — Art in Cuba Since 1950
This exhibition catalog covers Cuban art from 1950 to the present viewed through the particular lenses of the Cuban Revolution, utopian ideals, and subsequent Cuban history. The collection covered in this book will be on display at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis starting in November.

Latinx Comic Book Storytelling:Latinx
An Odyssey by Interview by Frederick Luis Aldama

In this book, scholar Frederick Luis Aldama interviews 29 Latinx comic book creators, ranging from the legendary Jaime Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame to lesser known up and coming writers/illustrators.

Matters of the Sea / Cosas del mar by Richard Blanco

This bilingual chapbook contains a poem Blanco wrote and read for the reopening of the US Embassy in Havana in 2015. Blanco writes in the opening lines, “The sea doesn’t matter, what matters is this: we all belong to the sea between us, all of us.”

Films:


CubAmerican (2012)  DVD 28418
Exploring the causes leading to the exile of millions of Cubans from communist Cuba by depicting the journey of illustrious Cuban-Americans to their new life in the United States

 

Finally the sea (2007) DVD 12185
“The wreckage of an empty Cuban raft is the catalyst for Tony, a successful Cuban-American businessman, who files from Wall Street to Cuba to discover his roots. His journey develops into a striking love story where politics and romance collide

Mambo Kings (1992) DVD 27116
Musician brothers, Cesar and Nestor, leave Cuba for America (NYC) in the 1950s, with the hopes of making it to the top of the Latin music scene. Cesar is the older brother who serves as the business manager and is a consummate ladies’ man. Nestor is the brooding songwriter, who cannot forget the woman in Cuba who broke his heart. This is an unrated version of the film, with one restored scene.


Visit our Collection Spotlight shelf, in the lobby to the left of the Lilly desk. 
There are many more titles available to you, and if you want more suggestions – just ask us. Stay tuned – We will highlight our diverse and varied holdings at Lilly with a different theme each month.

Submitted by Ira King
Evening Reference Librarian & Supervisor
Lilly Library

 

 

 

Reading Walt Whitman

Young Walt WhitmanIn honor of the “I Sing the Body Electric: Walt Whitman and the Body” exhibit (drawn from our extensive Whitman collection) on display until October 28th in the Biddle Rare Book Room, I will be writing several blog posts about Walt Whitman and his life.  For this post I want to share where to look to find the works he has written. Reading Whitman for yourself will help you to see why he’s still such a large figure in American Literature.

First you can find a lot of Whitman’s poetry online, if you just want to get a taste of his poetry.   Here are two of of my favorite places to look: Poets.org and Poetry Foundation

Walt Whitman Archive

The Walt Whitman Archive, a project spearheaded by several important Whitman scholars, has a wealth of resources about and by Whitman.  It is well worth investigating all the resources in that archive, but of special interest is the Published Works Section.  It provides access to the six American editions of Leaves of Grass published in Whitman’s lifetime and the so-called deathbed edition of 1891–92.  If you want to really investigate the major changes and expansions that Whitman added to Leaves of Grass, this is the perfect place to look.

Books by Whitman

You can find many different editions for Whitman’s works.  Here are a couple of especially good versions in our general collection.

Leaves of Grass: The Complete 1855 and 1891-92 Editions

Complete Poetry and Collected Prose

Leaves of Grass and Other Writings: Authoritative Texts, Other Poetry and Prose, Criticism

Song of Myself: With a Complete Commentary

Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself

Drum-taps: The Complete 1865 Edition

Specimen Days, Democratic Vistas, and Other Prose

If that’s just not enough Whitman for you, you should also know that there will be talk and exhibit tour on September 21st from 11:45-1:30 in Rubenstein Library 153.  A light lunch will be served.

Collection Spotlight: North Carolina

NorthCarolinabooks

Since we know many of our Duke University community are either returning from summer breaks or joining us for the first time, we thought we’d welcome you with books about the state you live in.  You’ll find books about some aspect of North Carolina, novels set in North Carolina, and books written by people from North Carolina.   Check out our Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins.   Here’s a selection of some of the titles you’ll find:

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, who is from Asheville.  In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it. This novel is set in the fictional North Carolina town of Bascom.

To Hate Like This is to be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry by Will Blythe.  As one of our staff member explained when she picked this book, “When I first moved to North Carolina, I kept thinking, why is everyone so crazy about basketball? And then I read this book, and I started to understand.”

Weird Carolinas: Your Travel Guide to the Carolinas’, Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Roger Manley.  You think Duke is weird! Haunted places, oddities, North Karolina Kultur! This book also includes South Carolina, and fun facts on legends and pseudo history of the upper South.

These Same Long Bones by Gwendolyn Parker.  It’s set in Durham, more specifically in the “Hayti” black section, on the eve of integration and is told from the point of view of a leader in the black community. It’s a powerful family story and a great glimpse into Durham history.

Talkin’ Tarheel: How Our Voices Tell the Story of NC by Walt Wolfram.  Introduces the reader to the unique regional, social, and ethnic dialects of North Carolina.

Collection Spotlight: Library Staff Picks!

Do you ever wonder what people who work in a library like to read?  Well, it turns out our reading tastes here at Duke University Libraries are extremely varied!  For the months of June and July our Collection Spotlight is going to feature picks from our library staff.  You should come by the display near the Perkins Service Desk on the first floor of the library to see what they picked.  Here is just a sampling:

Valerie Gillispie from University Archives recommended Kitchens of the Great Midwest.  She said: “This is a story of Eva Thorvald, a girl raised in the upper Midwest, who loves food. As a child, she grows hot peppers in her bedroom closet, and grows up to become an extraordinary chef. This novel made me hungry, and nostalgic for Minnesota.”

Janil Miller from our Marine Lab Library picked Whale by Joe Roman, describing it as a “delightfully informative read on Earth’s largest mammal. Through historical illustrations & text, the reader travels from the beast of Biblical fame to today’s wondrous creatures and the many challenges experienced at the human/sea interface.”

Kris Troost from International and Area Studies suggested The Translation of Love, saying that it was a “fascinating depiction of immediate postwar Japan and the struggles faced by repatriated Japanese Canadians who were given few choices after being interned and Japanese Americans serving in the Occupation. Written by a Japanese-Canadian librarian.”

Benov Tzvetan from Access and Delivery Services recommended the classic One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.  Here is why he thinks you should read this book: “Ever felt that life is too hard & unfair? Been upset that store X has run out of your favorite brand of Y? Complained that there aren’t enough Z locally? This page-turner might offer you a different perspective on life…but you have to read it first.”

Kim Duckett from Research and Instructional Services submitted the graphic memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast.  Here’s Kim’s description: “Chast’s parents are REALLY old. In this engaging book she explores what it’s like to help your parents as they age, but also tells the story of a long marriage and the intricacies of family dynamics. It’s touching, sad, and darkly humorous.”

Bridgette Chandhoke from the Communications office in the library offered a perhaps less well-known work from the famous John Steinbeck.  She recommends Travels with Charley: In Search of America, saying: “In this genuine and intimate reflection, John Steinbeck details his cross-country road trip with his dog, Charley, to rediscover the beauty and truths of 1960s America. Through autumn soaked trees and dusty deserts, you’ll be right there with them!”

Our staff picked so many great books that it was hard to choose just a couple to highlight, so I do hope you’ll come see the rest soon.  Thanks to everyone recommended a title!

 

Collection Spotlight: Poetry

2017 National Poetry Month Poster

We’re celebrating National Poetry Month by highlighting some of the poetry books in our collection.  You can see them on our Collection Spotlight rack near the New and Noteworthy collection. Our previous  Collection Spotlight was for  Trans Day of Visibility!

Also be on the look out for our “Poet-tree” where you can add lines from some of your favorite poems.  For inspiration check out some of these Poems in Your Pocket.

Here is a selection of some of the titles that we are highlighting:

Beating the Graves by Tsitsi Jaji, a Duke professor!

Shallcross by C.D. Wright (review here)

The Prodigal by Derek Walcott (side note: there will be a Derek Walcott Memorial Poetry Reading on April 18th from 4:00-6:00)

Descent: Poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer, a former North Carolina Poet Laureate.

187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border: Undocuments, 1971-2007 by National Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, who did a wonderful reading at Duke on November 17th, 2016.

rack with poetry books

 

For the 20th time: It’s that time of year again!

 20th Annual Full Frame
Documentary Film Festival

Lilly Library offers a selection of Full Frame titles

Each spring since 1998, Durham has hosted international filmmakers and film lovers who flock to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Festival goers revel in the latest in documentary, or non-fiction, films which are presented in venues throughout historic downtown Durham.

Because it is the 20th anniversary, this year’s festival’s thematic program is a cinematic retrospective of the twenty years of Full Frame. Curated by Artistic Director Sadie Tillery,  notable films, filmmakers, and special moments that have distinguished Full Frame since it was founded in 1998 are to be highlighted this year.

Do you know that Duke University is a major supporter of Full Frame?
Of special note, because of his support and commitment to the arts, Duke University President Richard Brodhead will be honored with the Full Frame 2017 Advocate Award.  In addition, the Duke University Libraries support and highlight films from past festivals.   If you don’t attend the festival, consider the Libraries’ collections.  A major resource is the Rubenstein Library’s Full Frame Archive Film Collection, that includes festival winners from 1998 through 2012.  In addition, the film and video collection at Lilly Library on East Campus contains a selection of Full Frame titles available to the Duke community.

 

 

Comics and Graphic Novels at the Library

Underground & Independent Comics collection

Did you know that Duke University Libraries can provide you with access to a variety of comics and graphic novels?  Keep reading to find out more!

Rare and Original Issues at the Rubenstein Library

The Rubenstein’s comic collection spans many decades, publishers, and styles: from Golden Age Batman to modern graphic novels, and everything in between.

Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection

With more than 67,000 comic books from the 1930s to the 2000s, this is our largest collection.  All of the comic book titles are in the process of being added to the library catalog, so you will be able to search the catalog for your favorite superhero!   The titles currently available can also be found in the catalog by searching for “Edwin and Terry Murray Collection (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library).”   You can try searching by genres, such as “Detective and mystery comics” and  “Underground comics,” as well.

Comic Book and Graphic Novel Collection

Contains thousands of additional comics and graphic novels with rich materials in international comics, especially Argentina and France, and comics created by women.  Find them in the Guide to the Comic Book and Graphic Novel Collection, 1938-2012.

The Underground and Independent Comics Database

The Underground and Independent Comics database is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of adult comic books and graphic novels. It features the comics themselves along with interviews, commentary, and criticism. Includes artists such as Jessica Abel, Jaime Hernandez, Jason, Harvey Pekar, Dave Sim, and many more. There are comics from around the world, including Canada, France, Italy, Spain, England, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Korea, Japan.

Comics and Graphic Novels in the Stacks

You can check out comics and graphic novels from our circulating collections.  We also have comics and graphic novels scattered throughout our libraries, with most of them housed at Lilly Library on East campus.  You’ll find everything from The Walking Dead to Persepolis.

There are several ways to identify titles.  If you want to browse, relevant call number sections include PN6700-6790 and NC1300-1766. You can do a title search in our library catalog for specific titles.   You can also use the subject headings Comic books, strips, etc. and graphic novels to discover more titles.

Manga

We have manga in the East Asian collection on the second floor of Bostock.  We hold about 600 titles in Japanese and 150 titles translated into English just in PN6790.J3 – PN6790.J34.  You can also find Korean manhwa in PN6790 K6 – PN6790.K64.  Popular titles held at Duke include One Piece, Dragon ball, Naruto, Astro Boy, as well as the complete works of Tezuka Osamu.

Come Visit Us This Week!

We’ll have a table outside of the Perk on Tuesday March 28th from 1-2 and on Wednesday March 29th from 11-12.  We’ll be showing off some of the works in our collections, demonstrating The Underground and Independent Comics database, and answering questions!

Collection Spotlight: Trans Day of Visibility

Inspired by the success of our Blind Date with a Book program, we are launching Collection Spotlight, a thematic pop-up display of materials in the New and Noteworthy section of Perkins Library near the service desk. Our first Collection Spotlight highlights the Trans Day of Visibility, celebrated on March 31 to draw attention to the lives and accomplishments of trans & gender-nonconforming people, as well as continuing challenges faced by the community. The Duke University Libraries actively collect fiction and nonfiction books, films, and other materials by transgender authors and about transgender issues. In addition to supporting the program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke and other interdisciplinary scholarship, these materials  may reflect and validate the personal experiences and identities of our diverse student body and broader Duke community. Learn more about our LGBTQ collections.

Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity also has a small lending library of books and DVDs, and offers social and support groups as well as trainings such as Trans 101. In recognition of this Trans Day of Visibility,  the Center is hosting a performance of Mashuq Deen’s “Draw the Circle”  (Friday, March 31 at 6:00 p.m. in White Lecture Hall), the story of a conservative Muslim mother at her wit’s end, a Muslim father who likes to tell jokes, and a queer American woman trying to make a good impression on her Indian in-laws, all performed by Deen himself. A Trans 101 training will be held on the afternoon of March 30 in advance of this event.  


Highlights from our Collections:

Seasonal Velocities: Poems, Stories, and Essays by Ryka Aoki (2012)

Nevada by Imogen Binnie (2013)

My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity by Kate Bornstein (2013)

Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to RuPaul (1996) and Stone Butch Blues: A Novel (1993) by Leslie Feinberg

Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques (2015)

Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family and Themselves edited by Zander Keig and Mitch Kellaway (2014)

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (2014)

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock (2014)

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano (2007)

Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Librarian for Sexuality Studies

 

Reel Politics: Focus on Elections

What film "ticket" will you choose?
What film “ticket” will you choose?

In case you can’t get enough of politics in this election cycle, Lilly Library’s exhibit Reel Politics: Focus on Elections highlights the wide range of political or politically themed films in our collections.  Duke students, staff and faculty can “write-in” their favorite film or choose from some of the titles represented.

Veep Lilly DVD 26598
Veep Lilly DVD 26598
reel-mr
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Lilly DVD 605

The American political process and environment are explored, celebrated and, yes,  deplored in all genres of film and television programs:  romances, satires, and searing dramas, cynical and sometimes insightful documentaries. Films available in the Lilly Library collections include classics such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or its cynical counterpart, The Candidate, idealized romances such as The American President, comedies such as Election, and documentaries such as Weiner or The War Room. Television series also portray the American political scene in a variety of ways – what starker contrast in depictions of the Presidency  can be found  than between that of  The West Wing and  the recent series, House of Cards?

What are the best films , documentaries and television series about American elections? The films and television series in the exhibit represent just a very few of the hundreds of films and series about American elections and politics that the library offers.   Explore the possibilities with a search of our library catalogue, peruse the Lilly Video Spotlight on Political Documentaries, and remember, just  like the candidates, films have their champions and detractors.

In keeping with the season, perhaps you can conduct your own  poll!

Reel Politics: Focus on Elections
Exhibit on display through October
Lilly Library foyer

 

 

Showing Our Stuff

kevin
An undergraduate studies the folio on display

The treasures of Duke’s branch libraries are often hidden.  The circulating collections and services of these smaller libraries often claim the pride of place.  Both libraries on East Campus, Lilly Library and Music Library, however, hold precious material relating to their subject collections.  Known in the library world as “medium rare” (as opposed to the rare materials located in the David M. Rubenstein Library) such primary source materials allow students to examine history first hand.

This fall the Lilly Library added a lobby display case to highlight its unique collections.  The inaugural display is one volume of our three-volume Vitruvius Britannicus, a large and early folio devoted to the great buildings of England to be seen in 1717.

displaycase
Vitruvius Britannicus

An outstanding example of a folio (book) format as well as the awakening of interest in British architecture by its own architects –  quoting from the Oxford Art Online – Vitruvius Britannicus was a cooperative venture that appears to have developed out of the desire of a group of booksellers to capitalize on an already established taste for topographical illustration.

Published in 1715 and 1717, the two original volumes each consisted of 100 large folio plates of plans, elevations and sections chiefly illustrating contemporary secular buildings.  Many of these plates provided lavish illustration of the best-known houses of the day, such as Chatsworth, Derbys, or Blenheim Palace, Oxon, intended to appeal to the widespread desire for prints of such buildings as well as  providing their architects a chance to publicize their current work.

We invite you to visit the Lilly Library on East Campus and to enjoy this  “medium rare” folio on exhibit. For more information about the Lilly Library folio or art and image collections, contact Lee Sorensen,  the Librarian for Visual Studies.

Homecoming Hours for Library Exhibits

Exhibits in the Mary Duke Biddle Room (shown here) in the Rubenstein Library will be open on Saturday for Duke Homecoming weekend.
Exhibits in the Mary Duke Biddle Room (shown here) in the Rubenstein Library will be open on Saturday for Duke Homecoming weekend.

The Rubenstein Library exhibit suite (Mary Duke Biddle Room, Stone Family Gallery, and Josiah C. Trent History of Medicine Room) will all be open on Saturday, October 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., for Duke Homecoming weekend.

Library visitors can see Virginia Woolf’s writing desk, a copy of the Bay Psalm Book (first book printed in what is now the United States), two of our double-elephant folios of Audubon’s Birds of America, and many other treasures from the Rubenstein Library.

Exhibits currently on display include:

Visit our library exhibits website to find out more.

 

Time Travel Films

The paradoxes of time travel are a never ending source of fascination for sci-fi film buffs. Lilly’s robust collection includes a few lesser known, but intriguing examples. In Timecrimes (2007) a man is drawn to a young woman who appears mysteriously in the woods near htimecrimesis house. The resulting events pull him into a series of time loops.

Primer (2004), which won primerthe Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, is the tale of two men who invent a rudimentary time travel device in their garage. The Navigator (1988) tells the story of a band of 14th centurynavigatorceline and julie townsfolk who, while trying to escape the Black Death, stumble upon a fissure in time and end up in the 20th century. Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating follows the evolving friendship of two women and their magical trip into the past as they attempt to rescue a young girl.

Explore the Duke Libraries film and video collection for more time travel-related titles.

 

African-American Filmmakers Before Spike Lee

In the mid 1980s Spike Lee opened the door for many African-spook who satAmerican filmmakers. It is sometimes easy to forget those who laid the groundwork for his success. Ivan Dixon’s 1973 film The Spook Who Sat by bush mamathe Door takes a look at discrimination within the CIA. Haile Gerima, the first important African-American female director, gave us Bush Mama (1975), which details the difficult life of a killer of sheepsingle mother.

Charles Burnett’s classic Killer of Sheep (1977) provides a glimpse of life in the Los Angeles Watts district. Melvin Van Peeples’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song (1971) exploded out of the Blaxploitation era of the late sixties and early seventies. Continue reading African-American Filmmakers Before Spike Lee

Focus on Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Full Frame DVDs
Past Full Frame entries available at Lilly Library

It’s that time of year again!

Each spring, international filmmakers and film lovers flock to the  Full Frame Documentary Film Festival to experience the latest in documentary, or non-fiction, cinema showcased in our very own historic downtown  Durham.  Film showings highlight new programming in competition, and other events include expert panel discussions and themed screenings. Tickets go on sale April 1st.

Duke University Libraries support and highlight films from past festivals.  One resource is the Full Frame Archive Film Collection,  that includes festival winners from 1998-2012.  The film and video collection at Lilly Library includes many more Full Frame titles available to the Duke community.

Focus on Full Frame: films in Lilly Collections
Full Frame 2015 exhibit

This year’s 19th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival  honors independent director and documentary cinematographer, Kirsten Johnson, with the 2016 Tribute Award.  Cameraperson, Johnson’s newest film,  will be screened and a retrospective of her work will be presented.   This year’s Thematic Program is a series titled “Perfect and Otherwise: Documenting American Politics,” curated by filmmaker R.J. Cutler, known for such films as The War Room and The World According to Dick Cheney.

FF16

When:  April 7-10, 2016
Where: Various venues in Downtown Durham

The festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies and receives support from corporate sponsors, private foundations and individual donors whose generosity provides the foundation that makes the event possible. The Presenting Sponsor of the Festival is Duke University.

Video Spotlight on Women Filmmakers

It’s Women’s History Month! Spend this March 2016 watching wonderful films created by talented women from around the world.

The Video Spotlight on Women Filmmakers, created by Lilly Library’s own audio-visual specialist and film aficionado, Ken Wetherington, can give you great ideas of where to start.

In recent years women in film have begun to be slightly better recognized, like Katheryn Bigelow’s oscar-winning direction (the only time for a woman!) of The Hurt Locker.  hurt locker

But did you know that in the early days of cinema, many women were powerful creative forces? Movies like Lois Weber’s SuspenseThe Ocean Waif by Alice Guy Blaché and Cleo Madison’s Eleanor’s Catch,  and other women pioneers of early cinema, can be viewed in Duke Libraries’ new subscription database, Kanopy Streaming Video.

WomenFilmmakers2

Check out Lilly’s foyer display exhibiting films by women in the history of cinema. Some of the titles just may surprise you…

Browse Ken’s Video Spotlight Archives for more topical viewing inspiration.

 

William Henry Harrison and Reform?

IMG_2161-1

Guest post by Carson Holloway, Librarian for History of Science and Technology, Military History, British and Irish Studies, Canadian Studies and General History

Why does this beautifully crafted lapel pin connect Harrison’s name with reform? Such questions provide a good deal of the appeal of fourteen campaign pins on display as part of the Kenneth Hubbard Collection of Political Campaign Ephemera in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In the current season of election news, Hubbard, a Duke alumnus and donor, has provided tokens of particular interest in contextualizing some notable presidential campaigns between 1840 and 1948.

William Henry Harrison’s is a name to ponder. Some might recognize that he was a President before the American Civil War. The alliteration of his name may sound familiar. Fewer could identify him as hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe, though more would recognize the campaign slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” referring to Harrison and his running mate, and successor.  Harrison, the oldest person elected President until Ronald Reagan, died from pneumonia contracted at his inauguration after serving fewer than forty days.

Harrison Lapel Pin

“Reform,” in Harrison’s campaign of 1840, was economic reform required as a result of a protracted depression known as the “Panic of 1837.”  Over a third of American banks in New York and elsewhere faltered and then failed after President Andrew Jackson’s administration decentralized the Federal banking system and British banks raised interest rates in response to perceived risk. Jackson’s Democratic successor, Van Buren, was unable to correct the economic course and prices for important agricultural export products like cotton plummeted. Whether Harrison’s Whig reforms would have been effective is questionable. The severe economic downturn lasted until 1844.

Like the Harrison pin, each of the items on display in the Rubenstein is interesting in its own right. A few have great aesthetic appeal like the Harrison pin. Other buttons illustrate powerful personalities and world-changing events. One particularly rare pin is from the only presidential campaign in which the candidate was running while serving a term in federal prison!

Horror in the Libraries

Getting ready for Halloween? So is Lilly Library! Come check out our collection of spooky DVDs and graphic novels, on exhibit through the end of October.

The H Word: Horror in the Libraries
The H Word: Horror in the Libraries
Future Imperfect: Dystopian and Post-Holocaust Cinema
Future Imperfect: Dystopian and Post-Holocaust Cinema

Our film exhibit features Dystopian and Post-Holocaust movies while graphic horror novels are highlighted in our The H Word: Horror in the Libraries exhibit. In addition, check out our guide to “Future Imperfect” for more dystopian movies. Last but not least, we have classic Halloween movie listings at the front desk, including a wide range of films from Ghostbusters to Paranormal Activity: Halloween DVDs at Lilly

No matter what you’re looking for, Lilly Library has something for everyone to get into the Halloween spirit!

History Hackathon – a collaborative happening

Students in Rubenstein Reading Room

What is a History Hackathon?

The term “Hackathon” traditionally refers to an event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively on software projects. But Duke University Libraries and the History Department are putting a historical twist on their approach to the Hackathon phenomenon. In this case, the History Hackathon is a contest for undergraduate student teams to research, collaborate, and create projects inspired by the resources available in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections. Projects may include performances, essays, websites, infographics, lectures, podcasts, and more. A panel of experts will serve as judges and rank the top three teams. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.

The History Hackathon will take place over a 72-hour period from October 23-25, in the Rubenstein Library and The Edge.  All the  guidelines, rules, and details may be found at the History Hackathon: a Collaborative Happening  site.Students in the Edge

  • When:  Friday, October 23rd to
    Sunday, October 25th

http://sites.duke.edu/historyhackathon/register/

Contact : HistoryHackathon@duke.edu


Sponsored by the Duke History Department,  the Duke University Libraries, the David M. Rubenstein Library, and the Duke University Undergraduate Research Support Office.

Contributor: Susannah Roberson

 

 

Step into the Spotlight: Dance Films

Dance on film: movies to get your groove on
Step into the Spotlight: Dance Films

The 2015 season of the American Dance Festival has now kicked off with fabulous performances through July 25th.

To help you get your  groove on, check out dance-themed highlights from Lilly Library’s film/video collection in the Lilly Video Spotlight: Dance on Film.

If our spotlight whets your appetite, explore Lilly Library’s large selection of dance DVDs to keep you tripping the light fantastic all summer long.  Don’t feel like tripping the light fantastic with Lilly?  The ADF Archives serve as an excellent resource for dance historians, and  this summer the International Screendance Festival hosts screenings at the Nasher Museum of Art.

Updated from a June 2014 post authored by Danette Pachtner,  Librarian for Film, Video & Digital Media and Women’s Studies

Multiple Choice? Cloning in Film

Lilly Looks at … Cloning in Film

Orphan  Black - DVD 25040,  DVD 26772
Orphan Black – Lilly DVD 25040, Lilly DVD 26772

The concept of cloning raises ethical issues, especially as it grows more feasible than fictional.  The popularity of the current television series Orphan Black (yes, we have it!) helps to shine a spotlight on this issue. Cloning, as a theme in film, makes for compelling, thoughtful and entertaining viewing.  We invite you to check out some of these films in Lilly Library’s DVD collection which explore the implications of cloning .

Moon - DVD 17687
Moon – DVD 17687

Moon (2009), a compelling and suspenseful film, follows an astronaut running a solo mining operation. When an accident triggers a series of inexplicable events he begins to doubt the real purpose of his mission. The film is a textbook example of how to make a thoughtful and good-looking sci-fi thriller on a low budget.

Never Let Me Go (2010) poses an alternate history in which clones are used for organ replacements for “originals.” This powerful and moving film follows three “donors” from childhood into their twenties.

When a person is cloned, what happens to his soul? The Clone Returns Home (2009) addresses life, death, love, and family. Those with patience will be rewarded with this deliberate, meditative film from director Kanji Nakajima.

And for those who prefer action, there’s always Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

Need more? Check here or ask our Lilly Film Guy!

Krazy Food and Kooky Books: Rubenstein Artist’s Materials at Lilly

Roden2
Steve Roden and Dan Goodsell. Krazy Kids’ Food: Vintage Food Graphics. Los Angeles: Taschen, 2003.

Steve Roden,  sound artist, painter, writer, and collector is in residence at Duke Rubenstein Library this month. Throughout the month he’s giving talks, performances and demonstrations at various Duke and Durham venues.  Whether you get a chance to hear Roden’s talks and pieces, his publications are well supported at Duke’s Lilly (art) and Music libraries.

Most engaging, perhaps, is his 2003 collection of retro advertisements for children’s products, Krazy Kids’ Food.  A retrospective of his work, Steve Roden in Between : a 20 Year Survey, is in the Lilly Library.  More aurally inclined?  Check out (literally!) Roden’s sound recording, Splitting Bits, Closing Loops, a CD at the Music Library.  Somewhere in between?  We recommend his edited book, Site of Sound : of Architecture and the Ear, exploring the relationship between sound, language, orality and hearing with writings on Vito Acconci, Steve McCaffery, Achim Wollscheid, GX Jupitter Larsen, and Marina Abramovic.

And don’t forget the Crazy Foam!

CrazyFoam2

Spooky DVDs for Halloween chills

 

Trick-or-Treat – Halloween DVDs at Lilly!

Boo! ghostie

When’s the last time you saw
An American Werewolf in London?

wolfie

 

Lilly Library has hundreds of horror films for your seasonal dis-pleasure. Don’t be timid. Check one out…if you DARE!!!

A sampling of our Halloween movies is available as a handout at the Lilly main desk. Try vintage vampire flicks, modern monster tales and Asian psychological scarers alongside musicals, comedies and silent era classics.

jackolantern

skeletonHere’s a chilling challenge: watch all the titles listed  on the handout by 10/31 and receive a FREE devilDVD!

 

 

Spotlight on Dance Films

Dance on film: movies to get your groove on
Dance on film: movies to get your groove on

The 2014 season of the American Dance Festival has now kicked off with fabulous performances through July 16th. See Dance and Visual Studies Librarian, Lee Sorensen’s, excellent post for more info about the ADF.

To help you get your  groove on, check out dance-themed highlights from Lilly Library’s film/video collection. Video Spotlight: Dance on Film.

And if our spotlight whets your appetite, search from a larger selection of dance DVDs in Lilly Library to keep you tripping the light fantastic all summer long.

Library Dances with ADF

1

The American Dance Festival and Duke Libraries have been ‘Fred and Ginger’ since 1977 when the Festival moved from Vermont to Durham.  Every summer, dancers stretch on the lawns of East Campus, perform at DPAC and bring with them their scholars and speakers.  The campuses are a space in motion.  Duke Libraries is part of the fun, providing an ideal place to explore the ADF and its great tradition—casually or in depth.

Duke Libraries’ rich collection of material supporting dance begins at the Lilly Library–across the street from ADF headquarters on Broad Street.  Sit in the ambiance of the oak-lined Kendrick S. Few reading room and glance at DanceView, Dance Teacher, Dance Magazine, DDD (dancedancedance, from Japan) and many other dance magazine current issues.  Lilly’s historic and contemporary books on dance cluster at the call number GV1588 or there about.  Read about your favorite ADF dance company or relax with Bust a Move: Six Decades of Dance Crazes  (itbooks).

Have a favorite ADF performance or ensemble?  A number of recorded performances dating from the 1930s forward are available for viewing.  For example, nearly every ADF performance of Pilobolus or the Paul Taylor Dance Company may be found in the Festival film archives at the Lilly Library.

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library on west campus is the home for the ADF archives.  Scholars and enthusiasts can delight to American Dance Festival Photographic Materials Collection, photos created and collected by the American Dance Festival, between 1930 and 2000.  Co-administrated by the library and the ADF, contact Dean Jeffery to request viewing original material, using the many finding aids http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/adfadfcob.pdf.  Browse the archives at http://www.americandancefestival.org/archives/.

Manga Fan? The Duke University Libraries Have You Covered! Part II

monstershelf2

Guest post by William Hanley, Library Associate in Electronic Resources and Serials Management, manga expert and fan extraordinaire

Don’t forgot to check out Part I of the series.

Manga: /ˈmaŋgə/
(from the Oxford Dictionary)

Noun:    a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children.

Origin:   1950’s: Japanese, from ‘man’ (indiscriminate) + ‘ga’ (picture) (translated as “whimsical drawings” or “impromptu sketches” in modern English)

While manga are enormously popular in Japan and are read by business people, university students and the elderly, as well as children, they have become a global phenomenon.  Many series have themes in academic areas such as psychology, environmental studies, gender roles, world history, cultural studies in general and, of course, Japanese cultural studies in particular.

In the summer of 2013, Lilly Library acquired several manga series of particular merit in these categories.

Yotsuba book cover

Yotsuba&!
by Kiyohiko Azuma
Meet Yotsuba, the most precocious girl ever!  This series chronicles the life of Yotsuba Koiwai, a five-year-old girl who is energetic, cheerful, curious and odd.  She is also initially ignorant about many things a child her age would be expected to know, among them doorbells, escalators, air conditioners and even playground swings.  This naiveté is the premise of many humorous stories where she learns about, and frequently misunderstands, everyday things. Besides being a comedy about the wonders of childhood, another key aspect of this manga is the myriad references to modern Japanese culture, such as Japanese cuisine, seasonal festivals and high school cultural festivals, as well as urban and rural landscapes.  Some Japanese terms are not translated in the manga but the publisher adds translations as footnotes.

 

Bakuman book cover

Bakuman
story by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata

A manga about creating manga, Bakuman follows talented artist Moritaka Mashiro and aspiring writer Akito Takagi, two ninth grade boys who wish to become mangaka (manga creators).  Although the main characters and their story are fictional, the process of creating manga and the business models for the publisher, Shonen Jump, are authentic.  Some characters resemble real authors and editors of Shonen Jump and many manga titles mentioned in Bakuman are also series published in Shonen Jump at that time.  Furthermore, each chapter comes with a bonus page showing an excerpt from writer Tsugumi Ohba’s rough-draft storyboard, artist Takeshi Obata’s reworking of the draft, and then the final product.  These pages answer the question on the minds of millions of manga fans, “how do they do that?”

 

Lilly Library also purchased three works, Monster, Pluto, and 20th Century Boys, by acclaimed manga writer and artist Naoki Urasawa.  In 2010, when a prominent Japanese magazine held a poll on the Mangaka that Changed the History of Manga, Urasawa was one of the top ten.  As a storyteller, he is known for his dense, multi-layered, interconnecting narratives and his mastery of suspense.  His works often focus on character development and psychological complexity.

 

Monster book cover

Monster
by Naoki Urasawa

“…as exciting as an action movie, but with an added element of thought-provoking ethical debate.”  I believe this quote, from ComicsWorthReading.com, sums up this work really well.  Winner of multiple awards for best manga, including the sought-after Tezuka Cultural Prize in 2001, this psychological thriller tells the story of an outstanding surgeon and his involvement with a serial killer.  What makes this such a powerful work, is how Urasawa weaves his complex plot around the theme of an ethical dilemma, the decision of whether to save a life or take a life, and the irrevocable consequences of such a choice.

 

Pluto book cover

Pluto
by Naoki Urasawa

Another of Urasawa’s award-winning titles, Pluto is a retelling of a particular story arc of “Astro Boy”, the famous groundbreaking manga by Osamu Tezuka.  As with his other works, Urasawa spins a tale of psychological and philosophical themes, particularly those of identity, what it means to be human, and whether robots can have emotions.  It’s the imaginative world of the “God of Manga” Tezuka, mixed with Urasawa’s darker shades of ethical dilemmas.

 

20th Century Boys book cover

20th Century Boys
by Naoki Urasawa

With adventure, mystery and Urasawa’s trademark layers of interwoven plotlines, 20th Century Boys is at heart the story of a gang of boys who try to save the world.  But within this simple premise lies several deeper questions.  Are some moments in history more important than others?  Can one chance childhood encounter have a cataclysmic impact far in to the future?  While one can never tell what will result from his or her actions, is it also impossible to discern which actions will have far-reaching implications?  20th Century Boys plays on our desire to know the answers to such questions as well as our desire to reconcile the nostalgia of our past with the fear of our future.

Other landmark manga titles that have been in the Library’s collection for some time prior to last year include:

Lone Wolf and Cub book cover

Lone Wolf and Cub
story by Kazuo Koike, art by Goseki Kojima

The genre of the wandering, avenging samurai is well known even to western cultures.  Lone Wolf and Cub is perhaps the most influential manga written on this subject.  The series chronicles the story of Ogami Itto, the Shogun’s executioner.  Disgraced by false accusations from the Yagyu clan, he is forced to take the path of the assassin.  Along with his three-year-old son, Daigoro, he seeks revenge on the Yagyu clan and they become known as “Lone Wolf and Cub”. First published in 1970, Lone Wolf and Cub became wildly popular (roughly 8 million copies were sold in Japan) for its epic samurai story, its stark and gruesome depiction of violence during Tokugawa era Japan, its detailed historical accuracy, masterful artwork and nostalgic recollection of the bushido code.

Akira book cover

Akira
by Katsuhiro Otomo

A science-fiction tale known primarily as one of the most famous anime in history, Akira was first a well-known landmark manga.  Set in a post-apocalyptic city called Neo-Tokyo, the story follows two teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, whose lives change forever when paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, making him a target for a shadowy agency that will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like the one that leveled Tokyo during World War III.   At the core of the agency’s motivation, is a raw, all-consuming fear of an unthinkable, monstrous power known only as Akira. While many remember Akira for its ultra-violent action sequences and unique pacing (A few seconds of real-time action may take up a full page worth of panels in the manga), at its heart Akira is a masterful character sketch involving themes such as youth alienation, rebellion against government corruption and identity transformation in adolescents.

A Drifting Life book cover

A Drifting Life
by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Manga master, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, is widely credited with starting the gekiga style of alternative comics in Japan, in which comics are used to tell gritty, introspective stories about the lives of everyday people.  A Drifting Life is his epic award winning autobiography.  Referring to himself as Hiroshi, Tatsumi begins his story with the surrender of Japan after World War II, when he was 10 years of age, and details the following 15 years of his life.  The manga involves complex family dynamics, Japanese culture and history, the intricacies of the manga industry and, most importantly, what it means to be an artist.

 

 

Cabaret Couture

la_revue_003
Composite photograph of cabaret star Josephine Baker and the cast of “Plantation Days,” a 1923 musical revue by African American jazz pianist James P. Johnson. Parisian cabarets featured comedians, clowns, acrobats, and a variety of other entertainments. But singers and dancers always attracted the largest crowds.

As you might have heard, the Duke Library Party has been resurrected after a one-year hiatus, thanks to the help of the Duke Marketing Club. The date: February 21, 2014. The theme: “Life Is a Cabaret.” Party-goers will be invited to enjoy a rollicking nightlife scene right out of late 19th- and early 20th-century Paris, in what was only hours earlier just another room in Perkins Library. Of course, one must always be fashionably attired when attending such soirées, so we have put together a gallery of cabaret fashions to inspire your inner Parisian of the Belle Époque.

But first, a note on the phenomenon of the cabaret itself. Cabarets took Parisian culture by storm. Until 1867, song lyrics and theatrical performances were carefully censored and regulated in France. By the 1880s, these restrictions had relaxed, and a freer, more risqué form of entertainment began to flourish in the bohemian, working-class neighborhood of Montmartre. Legendary cabarets like the Moulin Rouge, the Chat Noir, and the Mirliton were filled with comedians, clowns, acrobats, and—most importantly—singers and dancers. The songs were bold and bawdy, the dancing suggestive, and audiences adored it.

The historical, artistic, and cultural impact of cabaret life will be the subject of an upcoming library exhibit—Cheap Thrills: The Highs and Lows of Cabaret Culture in Paris, 1880-1939—which will go on display in the Perkins Library Gallery on February 19 and run through May. The exhibit will highlight the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s extensive collection of cabaret-related materials, including biographies, guidebooks, periodicals, and musical scores.

Now back to the fashion show.

 gil_blas_005

One of the more ladylike ensembles, this particular dress worn by cabaret star and modern dance pioneer Loie Fuller would have you floating through the crowd this February.

gil_blas_001

For a more scandalous look, this illustration from Gil Blas is classic cabaret, right down to the black stockings and abundant use of tassels. (Don’t forget the fan!) Gentlemen: note the top hats, high collars, and ubiquitous mustaches.

gil_blas_015

Prepare to dance the night away, just like this lovely lady in a flouncy, frilled frock.

josephine_baker_003

Though we can’t recommend this particular ensemble (the Library Party is a respectable event, and banana leaves are hard to come by in February anyway), Josephine Baker’s iconic “banana girdle” outfit is one of the most famous examples of cabaret style.

So there are a few ideas to inspire you, with more to come. Start assembling your bejeweled, ruffled, bohemian, mustachioed wardrobe and get ready to party in the City of Light!

(With the exception of the composite photo at top, all images are taken from two French publications of the time: Gil Blas, a Parisian literary periodical, and Le Mirliton, a weekly newsletter published by the famous cabaret of the same name. All come from the collections of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.)

 

Manga Fan? The Duke University Libraries Have You Covered! Part I

Lilly-Manga2

Guest post by William Hanley, Library Associate in Electronic Resources and Serials Management, manga expert and fan extraordinaire

Manga: /ˈmaŋgə/
(from the Oxford Dictionary)

Noun:    a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically aimed at adults as well as children.

Origin:   1950’s: Japanese, from ‘man’ (indiscriminate) + ‘ga’ (picture) (translated as “whimsical drawings” or “impromptu sketches” in modern English)

While manga are enormously popular in Japan and are read by business people, university students and the elderly, as well as children, they have become a global phenomenon.  Many series have themes in academic areas such as psychology, environmental studies, gender roles, world history, cultural studies in general and, of course, Japanese cultural studies in particular.

In the summer of 2013, Lilly Library acquired several manga series of particular merit in these categories.

 

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind book cover

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
by Hayao Miyazaki

When it comes to manga and Japanese animation (anime) on a global scale, no name is better known than Hayao Miyazaki.  The film director, animator, manga artist, producer and screenwriter had a career that spanned six decades during which he’s received several awards including an Oscar for his movie, “Spirited Away.”  Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind tells the story of Nausicaä, a princess of a small kingdom on a post-apocalyptic Earth, who becomes involved in a war between kingdoms while an environmental disaster threatens the survival of humankind.  Using her innate empathic bond with the giant Ohmu, insects, and animals of every species, she struggles to bring about a peaceful coexistence among the people of her world, as well as between humanity and nature. It is a tale of humans’ struggle with nature and with each other, as well as the effect war and violence have on society.   The manga is often noted as Miyazaki’s best work.  Mike Crandol of Anime News Network praised the manga stating, “I dare say the manga is [Miyazaki’s] finest work ever–animated, printed, or otherwise–and that’s saying a lot.  Manga allows for a depth of plot and character unattainable in the cinematic medium, and Miyazaki uses it to its fullest potential.”  The series is available in the Lilly Library in a deluxe box set containing two hardcover volumes with bonus interior color pages and maps.

 

Hikaru no Go book cover

Hikaru no Go
by Yumi Hotta
Hikaru no Go is a coming of age story written by Yumi Hotta, based around the board game Go.  Although highly fictionalized (the story involves a typical Japanese sixth-grader who finds a best friend in a ghost from Shogunate Japan), the production of the series’ Go games was supervised by Go professional Yukari Umezawa (5-dan).  When added to Hotta’s research on the game, the series gives many accurate glimpses into the culture of modern-day Go.  Since its debut, the manga has been largely responsible for popularizing Go amongst the youth of Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan.

 

Full Metal Alchemist book cover

Full Metal Alchemist
by Hiromu Arakawa

Set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques, Full Metal Alchemist follows two brothers in their struggle for redemption.  After a disastrous failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy, Edward and Alphonse Elric search for the Philosopher’s Stone.  It is the only tool that can restore their bodies.  The series explores the concept of equivalent exchange: in order to obtain something new, the person must pay with something of the same value.  Sacrifice is an ongoing theme throughout the story. As one of the best-selling (and possibly the most critically-acclaimed) series in the past 15 years, Full Metal Alchemist is an important pop cultural reference in manga.

5 Centimeters Per Second book cover

5 Centimeters Per Second
by Makoto Shinkai

5 Centimeters Per Second takes its name from the speed at which cherry blossoms – a symbol of transience in Japan – fall from the tree.  This manga adaptation of an anime of the same name portrays a love story where the central conflict is an epiphany: the realization that daily-life can separate people from one another, and that the slow passage of time can gradually deaden the deep feelings they may have for each other.  The work is filled with poignant images that come from two lives intersecting and the hope and disappointment that love brings.

 

 Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms book cover

Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms
by Fumiyo Kouno

A quote from the back cover of Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms sums up this historical drama quite well.  “What impact did World War II and the dropping of the atomic bomb have on the common people of Japan?  Through the eyes of an average woman living in 1955, Japanese artist Fumiyo Kouno answers these questions.”Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms brings together three short stories dealing with every-day people living in Japan and how the bombing of Hiroshima affected their lives.  With the first story taking place in 1955, the second in 1987, and the third in 2004 the work gives a unique view of how war impacts a country and its people throughout the years.

 

Twin Spica book cover

Twin Spica
by Kou Yaginuma

Twin Spica tells the story of a group of Japanese high school students training to become astronauts in the early 21st century after the country’s first human spaceflight launch ended in disaster.  A mixture of coming-of-age, science, and the supernatural genres, the series is a great example of the paramount theme in most manga for young adults and children: never give up in following your dreams.  Additionally, author Kou Yaginuma, makes various references to historical figures and events in space exploration, making the work both heartfelt and technically sound, a perfect blend of teenage melodrama and space science.

 

Genshiken book cover

Genshiken
by Shimoku Kio

Otaku is a Japanese word meaning “a person extremely knowledgeable about the minute details of a particular hobby; specifically one who is obsessed with anime, video games, or computers and rarely leaves home.”  Often used as a derogatory slang term in Japan — oddly enough, many American fans proudly self-identify as Otaku — this is the culture highlighted in Genshiken. Part comedy, part slice-of-life, Genshiken portrays a college club for otaku and the lifestyle its members pursue.  The series gives a surprisingly realistic glimpse into Japanese fandom and includes many excellent references to manga, anime, video games and other aspects of otaku culture such as cosplay, fan conventions, model building and figurines.

 

New Exhibit: Comics and Propaganda: France 1939-1944

French Comics and Propaganda Exhibit

The new student exhibit in Bostock Library explores the juvenile press in France from 1939 to 1945. The exhibit was designed and curated by students in Professor Clare Tufts’s Fall 2012 course, Comics and Culture: Images of Modern France in the Making (French 414/Visual and Media Studies 312).

When Paris was liberated in the summer of 1944, a beautifully illustrated, 29-page hardback comic book appeared on the market seemingly overnight. This publication, La bête est morte! (The Beast is Dead!), presented a pictorial account of war among animals who symbolized all of the major players of World War II. Hitler was portrayed as the big bad wolf, Mussolini as a hyena, and the Japanese as yellow monkeys. Meanwhile, the occupied French were glowingly depicted as docile rabbits and industrious squirrels beset by barbarian hordes from other countries. Their savior, a great white stork wearing a Lorraine cross, clearly symbolized Charles De Gaulle and the Resistance. The story does not touch on the subject of French collaboration.

During this time, comics provided French children and adolescents a regular diet of fact, fiction, and outright propaganda about the Germans, the Vichy regime, the Allies, and eventually the Resistance. The exhibit highlights a selection of representative publications, focusing on the messages they conveyed to their youthful audience. As an art form and means of mass communication, the comic book medium was used to form a post-war generation of young adults primed to accept and support the prevailing political ideology.

In particular, the student exhibit traces the history of the following publications:

  • Three weeklies available in France on the eve of the war: Le Journal de Mickey, Jumbo, and Coeurs vaillants/Ames vaillantes (Stout-Hearted/Brave-Souled), which migrated south to unoccupied France and underwent significant changes in content and format.
  • The comic Le Téméraire (The Audacious), which started publication in Paris during the Occupation; and the weekly Vaillant (Valiant), born with the Liberation and filled with realistic images of fighting and resistance.
  • The exhibit also includes presentations on the Nazi Propaganda comic Vica and the comic book La Bête est morte! Annotations written by students are available in English and French.

The exhibit is located in the International and Area Studies exhibit cases on the 2nd floor of Bostock Library, across from the International and Area Studies Offices. (Map and directions available here.) It will be on display until March 15.

More information about the exhibit can be found on our library guide for French and Francophone Studies.  

Post contributed by Professor Clare Tufts and Heidi Madden, Librarian for Western European Studies

Book Talk: Selected Letters of William Styron: Feb. 13

Date: Wednesday, February 13
Time: 5:00 p.m. reception, 5:30 talk
Location: Gothic Reading Room, Rubenstein Library, Duke West Campus (Map)
Contact: Aaron Welborn, aaron.welborn@duke.edu, 919-660-5816

Join the Libraries for a public conversation with Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin, editors of the recently published Selected Letters of William Styron (Random House, 2012) at 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, in the Rubenstein Library’s Gothic Reading Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Styron Letters Cover
Photo credit: Alison Shaw

Born in Virginia, William Styron (1925-2006) was a graduate of Duke University (1947), a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and the author of numerous award-winning books. His first novel, Lie Down in Darkness, was published to critical acclaim when Styron was just twenty-six years old. His controversial The Confessions of Nat Turner won the 1968 Pulitzer Prize, while Sophie’s Choice was awarded the 1980 National Book Award. Darkness Visible, Styron’s groundbreaking recounting of his ordeal with depression, was not only a literary triumph but became a landmark in the field.

Styron’s letters contain some of his most memorable meditations on the craft of writing. They also open a window onto his friendships with Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, John and Jackie Kennedy, Arthur Miller, James Jones, Carlos Fuentes, Wallace Stegner, Robert Penn Warren, Philip Roth, C. Vann Woodward, and many of the other leading writers and intellectuals of the second half of the twentieth century. The book takes readers on a journey from FDR to George W. Bush through the trenchant observations of one of the country’s greatest writers.

Styron’s papers are held at Duke in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

 

New Exhibit: Caricature and the Dreyfus Affair

Detail from “Le Traître” (The Traitor), a lithograph depicting Alfred Dreyfus that is part of a new exhibit on caricature and the Dreyfus Affair in the Rubenstein Library.

Exhibit Reception—Please Join Us!
Date: Wednesday, January 30
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery, Rubenstein Library, Duke West Campus (Map)
Contact: Meg Brown, meg.brown@duke.edu, 919-681-2071

Few legal cases in French history have been so decisive, and so divisive, as the twelve-year trial, re-trial and eventual acquittal of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus, a Jewish military officer, was falsely accused in 1894 of selling military secrets to the German army. The trial sparked a flurry of anti-Semitism in the popular press and inspired Émile Zola’s famous open letter of outrage, “J’Accuse!”

A new exhibition in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke examines how the Dreyfus Affair was depicted in the French popular press, with a particular focus on visual illustrations in newspapers and periodicals that covered the trial. A Mockery of Justice: Caricature and the Dreyfus Affair encourages viewers to reconsider the significance of this historical episode that continues to resonate in the present day. As Zola pointed out, the Dreyfus Affair was about more than one man’s guilt or innocence. Also at stake were the very principles upon which the French Republic rested: liberté, égalité, fraternité. More than one hundred years later, the Dreyfus Affair offers a vivid lesson on the dangers of racial prejudice, blind loyalty to the military, and unthinking nationalism.

Cover illustration from “Le Petit Journal” (1895) showing Alfred Dreyfus being stripped of his military honors and titles.

Drawing on the Rubenstein Library’s extensive collection of  late-19th and early 20th-century French periodicals, the exhibit also features a rare series of colorful and attention-grabbing posters that were disseminated throughout Paris at the time. The posters, collectively known as the Musée des Horreurs, were published pseudo-anonymously and feature unflattering caricatures of prominent Jews, Dreyfus supporters, and other individuals involved in the Dreyfus Affair. Another set of posters, known as Musée des Patriotes, glorifies the so-called anti-Dreyfusards, who publicly condemned Dreyfus and sought to undermine his defense.

A complete original set of the Musée des Horreurs and the Musée des Patriotes was recently acquired by the Rubenstein Library and has been digitized in conjunction with the exhibit.

A Mockery of Justice: Caricature and the Dreyfus Affair was sponsored by the Duke Center for Jewish Studies and curated by Alexis Clark, Kathryn Desplanque, and Emilie Anne-Yvonne Luse, doctoral students in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies.

For more information, visit the online exhibit website. To see the complete set of images from the Musée des Horreurs and Musée des Patriotes, visit our digital collections website.

 

Exhibit Details
A Mockery of Justice: Caricature and the Dreyfus Affair
December 12, 2012 – March 9, 2013
Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Click here for map)
Duke University West Campus
Public Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am–7pm; Saturday, 9am–7pm; Sunday, 10am–7pm
Hours may vary during the holidays. Please check our posted library hours for more information.

An Interlude from the Golden Age of Radio

If you’re a fan of the NPR show “The Story” with Dick Gordon, be sure to tune in to today’s episode (“Sixteen Inches of Radio”) featuring Duke’s own Randy Riddle. Riddle is an Academic Technology Consultant in the Center for Instructional Technology. But in his spare time, he collects old radio transcription discs, a recording format dating from the 1930s. Not many of these original discs survive, since many were discarded over the years and some were made of experimental types of plastics that degrade over time.

On “The Story,” Riddle talks with guest host Sean Cole about his interest in old-time syndicated radio programs from the 1930s and 1940s—from popular shows like “Suspense” (which stayed on the air for 20 years) to less well-known gems like “The American Family Robinson,” a thinly-veiled propaganda series produced in the 1930s by the National Industrial Council (a front for the powerful National Association of Manufacturers). That show follows the life and times of Luke Robinson, a small-town newspaper editor, and his wacky family. The plot lines are typically pedestrian, but they are  frequently interlaced with diatribes against Franklin Roosevelt’s “socialist” New Deal policies and praise for lower taxes and less regulation for business and industry (sound familiar?).

Riddle has generously donated many of his original transcription discs to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke, where they are part of the Randy Riddle Collection of Race Records and Radio Programs. However, if you just want a taste of Riddle’s remarkable collection, you can hear selections of “Suspense,” “The American Family Robinson,” and many more old-time radio programs on his personal blog, where he writes about radio history and posts digitized versions of the transcriptions in all their original, scratchy glory.

Label from "The American Family Robinson" Episode 42
Transcription disc label for “The American Family Robinson,” from Riddle’s collection. The show was sponsored by the National Industrial Council as part of their mid-1930s propaganda efforts to combat FDR’s New Deal economic policies.

Library Supplies “Meat” for NPR

If you’ve been following National Public Radio’s summer series on America’s love affair with meat, you’re sure to have noticed the meat marketing billboards recently featured in NPR’s food blog, with images provided courtesy of the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University LibrariesDavid M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Billboard advertising grew apace with the interstate highway system, begun in the 1950s. These images were collected by the companies who created them, as demonstration to clients of the roadside advertising they developed. Today, they’re a sign of their times and the technology and economics that drove beef consumption in the United States.

You can revisit and research more of America’s commercial culture through digitized collections from the Hartman Center. The ROAD 2.0 collection contains all the billboard advertisements featured on the NPR blog, and thousands more of these markers of America’s advertising history. Celebrate the birth of our nation and the birth of billboard advertising by searching for “meat” across this collection!

A billboard featuring Fischer's deli meats, circa 1983, from the ROAD 2.0 collection.