Category Archives: Collections Highlight

What to Read this Month: September 2022

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here is a selection of books you will find in these collections!


The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan. Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Until Frida has a very bad day. Because of one moment of poor judgment, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion. Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good. An “intense” ( Oprah Daily ) page-turner that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of “perfect” upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another; the systems that separate families; and the boundlessness of love. Using dark wit to explore the pains and joys of the deepest ties that bind us, Chan has written a modern literary classic. Watch Chan discuss her novel on the Today Show and listen to her on the Lit Hub Radio podcast.


Nuclear Family by Joseph Han. Things are looking up for Mr. and Mrs. Cho. Their daughter, Grace, is busy finishing her senior year of college and working for her parents, while her older brother, Jacob, just moved to Seoul to teach English. But when a viral video shows Jacob trying—and failing—to cross the Korean demilitarized zone, nothing can protect the family from suspicion and the restaurant from waning sales. Struggling with what they don’t know about themselves and one another, the Chos must confront the separations that have endured in their family for decades. Set in the months leading up to the 2018 false missile alert in Hawaiʻi, Joseph Han’s profoundly funny and strikingly beautiful debut novel is an offering that aches with histories inherited and reunions missed, asking how we heal in the face of what we forget and who we remember. Learn more in The New York Times Book Review and NPR’s Book of the Day podcast interview with Han.


Tell Me Everything by Erika Krouse is the mesmerizing story of a landmark sexual assault investigation and the female private investigator who helped crack it open. In the fall of 2002, Erika accepts a new contract job investigating lawsuits as a private investigator. Erika knows she should turn the assignment down. Her own history with sexual violence makes it all too personal. But she takes the job anyway. Over the next five years, Erika learns everything she can about P. I. technique, tracking down witnesses and investigating a culture of sexual assault and harassment ingrained in the university’s football program. But as the investigation grows into a national scandal and a historic civil rights case, Erika becomes increasingly consumed. When the case and her life both implode simultaneously, Erika must figure out how to help win the case without losing herself. Read The Washington Post review and listen to her Colorado Public Radio interview to learn more.

 


We should have known the end was near. So begins Imbolo Mbue’s powerful second novel, How Beautiful We Were. Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells of a people living in fear amid environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold on to its ancestral land and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom. This New York Review of Books article asks the hard questions about oil extraction, climate change, and the intersectionalities in Mbue’s visionary novel.


Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty is a riveting debut collection about what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century and what it means to live, to survive, and to persevere after a tragedy. In twelve striking, luminescent stories, a boy unearths a jar that holds an old curse, which sets into motion his family’s unraveling; a man, while trying to swindle some pot from a dealer, discovers a friend passed out in the woods, his hair frozen into the snow; a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s projects the past onto her grandson; and two friends, inspired by Antiques Roadshow, attempt to rob the tribal museum for valuable root clubs. Night of the Living Rez is an unforgettable portrayal of an Indigenous community and marks the arrival of a standout talent in contemporary fiction. Listen to Talty, a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation discuss how these stories came to be in his NPR interview.

What to Read this Month: August 2022

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy! Here are a selection of books you will find in these collections!


Carolina Built by Kianna Alexander. Josephine N. Leary is determined to build a life of her own, and a future for her family. When she moves to Edenton, North Carolina from the plantation where she was born, she is free, newly married, and ready to follow her dreams. As the demands of life pull Josephine’s attention- deepening her marriage, mothering her daughters, supporting her grandmother- she struggles to balance her real estate aspirations with the realities of keeping life going every day. She teaches herself to be a business woman, to manage her finances, and to make smart investments in the local real estate market. But with each passing year, it grows more difficult to focus on building her legacy from the ground up. Moving and inspiring, Josephine Leary’s untold story speaks to the part of us that dares to dream bigger, tear down whatever stands in our way, and build something better for the loved ones we leave behind. If you’d like to learn more about Josephine N. Leary’s life, we have some of her papers in the Rubenstein Library.


Sticker by Henry Hoke. Stickers adorn our first memories, dot our notebooks and our walls, are stuck annoyingly on fruit, and accompany us into adulthood to announce our beliefs from car bumpers. They hold surprising power in their ability to define and provoke, and hold a strange steadfast presence in our age of fading physical media. Henry Hoke employs a constellation of stickers to explore queer boyhood, parental disability, and ancestral violence. A memoir in 20 stickers, Sticker is set against the backdrop of the encroaching neo-fascist presence in Hoke’s hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, which results in the fatal terrorist attack of August 12th and its national aftermath. We have other books in the Object Lessons series, if you are interested in exploring the cultural context of everyday objects.


In The Last Days of the Dinosaurs: An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of our World, Riley Black walks readers through what happened in the days, the years, the centuries, and the million years after the impact, tracking the sweeping disruptions that overtook this one spot, and imagining what might have been happening elsewhere on the globe. Life’s losses were sharp and deeply-felt, but the hope carried by the beings that survived sets the stage for the world as we know it now. Picture yourself in the Cretaceous period. It’s a sunny afternoon in the Hell Creek of ancient Montana 66 million years ago. A Triceratops horridus ambles along the edge of the forest. In a matter of hours, everything here will be wiped away. Lush verdure will be replaced with fire. Tyrannosaurus rex will be toppled from their throne, along with every other species of non-avian dinosaur no matter their size, diet, or disposition. They just don’t know it yet. Check out this New Scientist book review to learn more.


Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde. In the bustling streets and cloistered homes of Lagos, a cast of vivid characters–some haunted, some defiant–navigate danger, demons, and love in a quest to lead true lives. As in Nigeria, vagabonds are those whose existence is literally outlawed: the queer, the poor, the displaced, the footloose and rogue spirits. They are those who inhabit transient spaces, who make their paths and move invisibly, who embrace apparitions, old vengeances and alternative realities. Eloghosa Osunde’s brave, fiercely inventive novel traces a wild array of characters for whom life itself is a form of resistance: a driver for a debauched politician with the power to command life and death; a legendary fashion designer who gives birth to a grown daughter; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a wife and mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her world. As their lives intertwine–in bustling markets and underground clubs, churches and hotel rooms–vagabonds are seized and challenged by spirits who command the city’s dark energy. Whether running from danger, meeting with secret lovers, finding their identities, or vanquishing their shadowselves, Osunde’s characters confront and support one another, before converging for the once-in-a-lifetime gathering that gives the book its unexpectedly joyous conclusion. To learn more, you can read an NYT review and a Guardian review.


Pandora: A Novel in Three Parts by Susan Stokes-Chapman. A pure pleasure of a novel set in Georgian London, where the discovery of a mysterious ancient Greek vase sets in motion conspiracies, revelations and romance. Dora Blake is an aspiring jewellery artist who lives with her uncle in what used to be her parents’ famed shop of antiquities. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, Dora is intrigued by her uncle’s suspicious behaviour and enlists the help of Edward Lawrence, a young antiquarian scholar. Edward sees the ancient vase as key to unlocking his academic future. Dora sees it as a chance to restore the shop to its former glory, and to escape her nefarious uncle. But what Edward discovers about the vase has Dora questioning everything she has believed about her life, her family, and the world as she knows it. As Dora uncovers the truth she starts to realize that some mysteries are buried, and some doors are locked, for a reason. Here’s a review from the Guardian.  You might also enjoy this YouTube video where the author discusses the Greek mythology that inspired this book.

A New Addition to Duke’s Uyghur-Language Collection

This post was co-authored by Sean Swanick, Librarian for Middle East, North Africa, and Islamic Studies, Luo Zhou, Chinese Studies Librarian, and Ernest Zitser, Librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies.

Many people in the West have heard about the sad fate of the Uyghurs, the Turkic-Muslim minority group that is being systematically persecuted by the Communist government of the People’s Republic of China. However, very few people know the backstory of this slowly unfolding genocide. And fewer still have access to relevant research materials, especially ones published in Uyghur (ئۇيغۇرچە‎), a Turkic language written primarily in a Perso-Arabic script (though Cyrillic and Latin scripts are also used by Uyghurs who reside in the countries of former Soviet Central Asia).

“Map of the Western and Southern Parts of Kashgariia” from B. L. Grondchevskii, Otchet o poezdke v Kashgar i iuzhnuiu Kashgariiu … (Margilan [Uzbekistan], 1888). Source: Gunnar Jarring Central Eurasia Collection, Swedish Research Institute.

The reason for this information gap is the colonialist past of the area of the world inhabited by the Uyghurs, who live on territories that stretch across the boundaries of different countries, primarily along the ancient Silk Road leading from China to Central Asia, and then heading west to the Middle East and Europe, and south to India and South Asia. For millennia, this region has been the epicenter of a global struggle between different colonial empires (most recently Russia/USSR, Britain, and China).  And the Uyghurs have been among their primary victims.  Since it is the victors who tend to write history, and to do so in their own language, it is not surprising that works in Uyghur are rarely represented in the library collections of imperial metropoles.

In order to redress this imbalance, and to contribute to the global effort to de-colonize the library collections of former (and current) imperial powers, the librarians of Duke’s International and Area Studies Department have been collaborating on acquiring materials about this part of the world in general, and the Uyghurs in particular.  This blog post is about one recent example of such cross-regional collaboration: the joint purchase of a rare*, early 20th-century Uyghur language book by Luo Zhou, Chinese Studies Librarian and Sean Swanick, Librarian for Middle East, North Africa, and Islamic studies.

Title page and colophon of A Sequel to the ABC Books. Second Part (Kashgar: S. M. F. [Printing Office of the Swedish Mission], 1922). Source: Duke University Libraries. Photo by Johnny Shanahan.

This new library acquisition is a 111-page Uyghur-language manual called A Sequel to the ABC Books (ا ب کتسبى نينک تدريچى ايكنجى جز / a-b kita:bïnïղ tεdri:ʤi ikinʤi ʤůzε). It was published in 1922 by the Printing Office of the Swedish Mission in Kashgar, a city situated in what is today known as China’s Xianjiang Province.  As the title page indicates, the book is the “Second Part” of a primer first published in 1920 by the Missionary Press, which operated between 1901 and 1938.  As one would expect, the main focus of the Missionary Press was to disseminate translations of the Bible in an effort to convert Kashgaris and, more broadly, all the people of the region (including the Uyghurs) to Christianity. In order to accomplish this task, the Missionary Board in Stockholm sent a printing press and related printing equipment to Kashgar soon after the Swedes arrived in town, in 1894. The print shop contained the necessary equipment along with metal-type in Arabic, Cyrillic, and Latin.

“The City of Kashgar,” 1915. Source: Lt. Col. Sir Percy Sykes photograph album, Duke University Libraries.

Although the Swedish Missionary Press was the first printing press in Kashgar, A Sequel to the ABC Books was itself part of a long tradition of Turkic-language instruction in the region.  In fact, one of the earliest such manuals, a comprehensive dictionary of the Turkic languages known as Compendium of the Languages of the Turks (Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk), was written as far back as the 11th century by Mahmud ibn Husayn ibn Muhammed al-Kashgari, an influential Kara-Khanid scholar and lexicographer from Kashgar.  As in other parts of the Muslim world, most instruction was conducted on a one-on-one basis, between a religious teacher and a cohort of young pupils, such as those pictured in this black-and-white photograph of a “Kashgar School.”

“A Kashgar School,” 1915. Source: Lt. Col. Sir Percy Sykes photograph album, Duke University Libraries.

This photograph comes from the early 20th-century album of Lt. Col. Sir Percy Sykes (1867-1945), illustrating the British officer’s travels through “Chinese Turkestan, the Russian Pamirs, and Osh,” between April and November 1915.  Sykes’ photo album was acquired last year by Duke University Libraries to complement its growing collection of Uyghur materials, including a few language manuals. Now Sykes’ photos of the city of Kashgar and its school serve as a primary source for understanding the historical context, and for visualizing the possible original users of the recently purchased copy of A Sequel to the ABC Books. Such cross-referencing is not only the product of thoughtful collection development and description.  It is also a concrete example of the way that the intervention of area studies librarians can help contemporary researchers read the imperial archive against the grain and, thereby, restore the humanity of marginalized indigenous groups who have been, or like the Uyghurs, are in danger of being erased from the historical record.

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*As far as we know, the only other existing copy of A Sequel to the ABC Books is held in the Gunnar Jarring Central Eurasia Collection and has been digitized by the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey.

Further readings:

 

What to Read this Month: July 2022

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy!


Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen. How do we take stock of a life–by what means, and by what measure? This is the question that preoccupies Alice, a Taiwanese immigrant in her late thirties. In the off-hours from her day job, Alice struggles to create a project about the enigmatic downtown performance artist Tehching Hsieh and his monumental, yearlong 1980s performance pieces. Meanwhile, she becomes the caretaker for her aging stepfather, a Vietnam vet whose dream of making traditional Chinese furniture dissolved in alcoholism and dementia. As Alice roots deeper into Hsieh’s radical use of time–in one piece, the artist confined himself to a cell for a year; in the next, he punched a time clock every hour, on the hour, for a year–and his mysterious disappearance from the art world, her project starts metabolizing events from her own life. Moving between present-day and 1980s New York City, with detours to Silicon Valley and the Venice Biennale, this vivid debut announces Lisa Hsiao Chen as an audacious new talent. To learn more, check out this San Francisco Chronicle review and this NYT review.


Noisy Autumn: Sculpture and Works on Paper by Christy Rupp. Christy Rupp emerged as an American artist and activist in Manhattan in the late 1970s, using commodified materials to construct three-dimensional, sculptural works imbued with a dynamic sense of life. Noisy Autumn contains her recent sculptures and works on paper anticipating the dawn of late capitalism, and the Anthropocene. Rupp is primarily concerned with humans’ perceptions of nature: where do the borders of the “natural” emerge? The work aims to deconstruct harsh divisions that separate humans from our environment, while addressing the intersection of geopolitics, culture, and economics, as they impact the vulnerabilities of ecosystems. Her sculptures and works on paper alike leave readers pondering human engagement with the natural world amid rampant consumption–and how they may take action. Check out her website to learn more about Christy Rupp.


Don’t Cry for Me by Daniel Black. As Jacob lies dying, he begins to write a letter to his only son, Isaac. They have not met or spoken in many years, and there are things that Isaac must know. Stories about his ancestral legacy in rural Arkansas that extend back to slavery. Secrets from Jacob’s tumultuous relationship with Isaac’s mother and the shame he carries from the dissolution of their family. Tragedies that informed Jacob’s role as a father and his reaction to Isaac’s being gay. But most of all, Jacob must share with Isaac the unspoken truths that reside in his heart. He must give voice to the trauma that Isaac has inherited. And he must create a space for the two to find peace. With piercing insight and profound empathy, acclaimed author Daniel Black illuminates the lived experiences of Black fathers and queer sons, offering an authentic and ultimately hopeful portrait of reckoning and reconciliation.  There’s an interesting review in Southern Review of Books. You might also be interested in this video from the Georgia Center for the Book that shows a conversation between Daniel Black and Julian Winters.


Unprotected: A Memoir by Billy Porter. “This is not a coming-out story. It’s not a down-low story either. I never could have passed for straight, even if I’d wanted to, and so I never had the dubious luxury of living a lie.” From the incomparable Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winner, a powerful and revealing autobiography about race, sexuality, art, and healing It’s easy to be yourself when who and what you are is in vogue. But growing up Black and gay in America has never been easy. Before Billy Porter was slaying red carpets and giving an iconic Emmy-winning performance in the celebrated TV show Pose; before he was the groundbreaking Tony and Grammy Award–winning star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots; and before he was an acclaimed recording artist, actor, playwright, director, and all-around legend, Porter was a young boy in Pittsburgh who was seen as different, who didn’t fit in. At five years old, Porter was sent to therapy to “fix” his effeminacy. He was endlessly bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather, and criticized at his church. Porter came of age in a world where simply being himself was a constant struggle. Billy Porter’s Unprotected is the life story of a singular artist and survivor in his own words. This audiobook is also narrated by Billy Porter himself!


The Invisible Kingdom : Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O’Rourke.  Drawing on her own medical experience as well as fifteen years of interviews with doctors, patients, researchers, and public health experts, O’Rourke’s incisive new work speaks to an urgent subject: the epidemic scale of autoimmune disease in America (even greater with the advent of ‘Long Covid’) and where we go from here. O’Rourke reveals crucial, subtle complexities about the American struggle with chronic illness and autoimmune conditions, and offers new reasons for hope, as well as a new framework for thinking about infectious disease and autoimmune response going forward. You can read reviews in Slate and the Los Angeles Times.

What to Read this Month: June 2022

Looking for something new to read?  Check out our New and Noteworthy, Current Literature, and Overdrive collections for some good reads to enjoy!


The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America by Deepa Purushothaman. A deeply personal call to action for women of color to find power from within and to join together in community, advocating for a new corporate environment where we all belong—and are accepted—on our own terms. Women of color comprise one of the fastest-growing segments in the corporate workforce, yet often we are underrepresented—among the first, few, or only ones in a department or company. For too long, corporate structures, social zeitgeist, and cultural conditioning have left us feeling exhausted and downtrodden, believing that in order to “fit in” and be successful, we must hide or change who we are.  Deepa Purushothaman  met with hundreds of other women of color across industries and cultural backgrounds, eager to hear about their unique and shared experiences. In doing so, she has come to understand our collective setbacks—and the path forward in achieving our goals. To learn more, watch this interview or read this article outlining five key insights.


Taste: My Life through Food by Stanley Tucci. From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia ; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. You can read reviews here and here.


The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird by Jack E. Davis. The bald eagle is regal but fearless, a bird you’re not inclined to argue with. For centuries, Americans have celebrated it as “majestic” and “noble,” yet savaged the living bird behind their national symbol as a malicious predator of livestock and, falsely, a snatcher of babies. Taking us from before the nation’s founding through inconceivable resurgences of this enduring all-American species, Jack E. Davis contrasts the age when native peoples lived beside it peacefully with that when others, whether through hunting bounties or DDT pesticides, twice pushed Haliaeetus leucocephalus to the brink of extinction. This book is a cultural and natural history that demonstrates how this bird’s wondrous journey may provide inspiration today, as we grapple with environmental peril on a larger scale. You can learn more through this review and and this review.


The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections: A Novel by Eva Jurczyk. A stunning debut following a librarian whose quiet life is turned upside down when a priceless manuscript goes missing. Soon she has to ask: what holds more secrets in the library–the ancient books shelved in the stacks, or the people who preserve them? Liesl Weiss long ago learned to be content working behind the scenes in the distinguished rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she’s left to run things, she discovers that the library’s most prized manuscript is missing. Liesl tries to sound the alarm and inform the police about the missing priceless book, but is told repeatedly to keep quiet, to keep the doors open and the donors happy. What Liesl discovers about the dusty manuscripts she has worked among for so long–and about the people who care for and revere them–shakes the very foundation on which she has built her life. If you want to visit a real-life rare books and special collections, make sure to check out our Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.


Joan is Okay: A Novel by Weike Wangoan. Joan is a thirtysomething ICU doctor at a busy New York City hospital. The daughter of Chinese parents who came to the United States to secure the American dream for their children, Joan is intensely devoted to her work, happily solitary, successful. She does look up sometimes and wonder where her true roots lie: at the hospital, where her white coat makes her feel needed, or with her family, who try to shape her life by their own cultural and social expectations. Once Joan and her brother, Fang, were established in their careers, her parents moved back to China, hoping to spend the rest of their lives in their homeland. But when Joan’s father suddenly dies and her mother returns to America to reconnect with her children, a series of events sends Joan spiraling out of her comfort zone just as her hospital, her city, and the world are forced to reckon with a health crisis more devastating than anyone could have imagined.  You can read an interview here and a review here.

5 Titles: What Is It Like to Be an International Student?

Stephanie FordThe 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by Evening Research Services Librarian Stephanie Fordand they all relate to the experiences of international students in higher education.


What Do International Students Think and Feel?: Adapting to U.S. College  Life and Culture (Michigan Teacher Training (Paperback)): Gebhard, Jerry  G.: 9780472034062: BooksWhat Do International Students Think and Feel? Adapting to U.S. College Life and Culture by Jerry G. Gebhard (2010). This collection gathers personal stories from international students studying at schools throughout the United States. Students write about their cultural adaptation, including their challenges, problems, and accomplishments. Topics include the experience of the U.S. classroom (the comparative informality of it, customs around class participation, and even eating/drinking inside the classroom as accepted practices); student residential life; making friends with students who do not share their culture or language; encountering prejudice; and strategies for adapting to one’s new environment.


Succeeding as an International Student in the United States and Canada,  Lipson, GoodmanSucceeding as an International Student in the United States and Canada by Charles Lipson (2008). This is an American professor’s how-to guide designed to help international students make the most of their study abroad experience. It offers practical advice on how to secure a visa, what to pack and what to leave behind, how to secure housing, the first ten things to do upon arrival in a host country, and useful guidance on how to succeed academically in classrooms in the U.S. and Canada. Some of the advice seems geared toward wealthier international students, as it directs incoming international students to bring $2,000.00 in traveler’s checks, and some of the references (to bringing a Blackberry and an iPod) date the volume’s advice to technology of yesteryear.


Cross-Cultural Narratives: Stories and Experiences of International Students  by Ravichandran Ammigan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®Cross-Cultural Narratives: Stories and Experiences of International Students, edited by Ravichandran Ammigan (2021). This book features international student stories from the University of Delaware, including a graduate student from Ghana who appreciates the mentorship from her professors and the organization and quality of equipment in the lab where she conducts research, but is shocked by how brazenly undergraduates “talk back” to professors who teach them. Other stories describe the difficulty of acclimating to American food, including a German student’s surprise at the taste of American bread purchased from Walmart and the challenge of understanding colloquial English, as a Russian student encounters with her American roommate.


Amazon - Understanding the International Student Experience (Universities  into the 21st Century): Montgomery, Catherine: 9781403986191: BooksUnderstanding the International Student Experience by Catherine Montgomery (2010). This book aims to help those who work in higher education, or those who study higher education, to understand the “social and academic experience” of international students. The author studies the social networks of international students in the UK and the impact of the social network on their learning experience. The author concludes that international students build strong social groups in their host country and (concurrently) demonstrate fierce independence, breaking away from these groups at times to travel solo and even to form different social groups at will. The international students she studies also perceive themselves to be more mature than the students they encounter in their host country; this comparison, along with incidents of prejudice in the host country, sometimes impedes the formation of friendships between international students and students living in the host country.


Improving Library Services in Support of International Students and English  as a Second Language Learners – ACRL InsiderImproving Library Services in Support of International Students and English as a Second Language Learners, edited by Leila June Rod-Welch (2019). This is a collection of individual articles by different authors on subjects pertaining to library services as they relate to international students and ESL students. Each article stresses a different theme. In “Talking about the ‘Culture Bump’: Using Student Voices to Increase Cultural Sensitivity of Library and University Staff,” authors Olga Hart and Carol Olauson describe a panel presentation by international students, educating library staff about the difficulties and prejudices they have encountered. Other essays include “Let’s Travel the World Together via the Library”; “The Diversity and Global Engagement Exposition”; and “Libraries as Cultural Crossroads.”


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

What to Read this Month: April 2022

Congratulations on making it through another academic year! Now that we’re just about done with final exams, why not catch up on some reading? As always, our New & Noteworthy and Overdrive collections are waiting for you!

On a somewhat sadder note, this will be my final What to Read post, as I will be leaving Duke next week. I’ve had such a fun time curating this series for the past couple of years, so I’ve decided to leave you with some of my favorite titles I’ve selected for this series. Enjoy, and have a great summer! What to Read will be back soon with a new author.


My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir | IndieBound.orgMy Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland. In this genre-bending memoir (not a biography, though it contains elements of one), Shapland comes to understand facets of her own life as a queer and chronically ill person while studying the life of Carson McCullers, the renowned 20th-century Southern Gothic novelist, and herself a queer and chronically ill person. McCullers, perhaps best known for her novels The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and The Member of the Wedding, empathetically wrote of outsiders in her fairly short lifetime, drawing on a personal experience that Shapland finds to have been largely overlooked by her biographers. Her experience with McCullers begins with an internship at the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center, an archive in which she discovers a number of McCullers’ love letters to another woman. What follows is a strong investigation into McCullers’ life as a lesbian in the mid-twentieth century, interspersed with Shapland’s personal anecdotes about coming to terms with her own sexuality. Throughout this intense discussion of McCullers’ life, Shapland readily questions her own perception of the author, and her personal identification with her, making for an engaging and self-aware read. You can read reviews here and here.


The State Must Provide: Why America's Colleges Have Always Been  Unequal--and How to Set Them Right: Harris, Adam: 9780062976482:  Amazon.com: BooksThe State Must Provide: Why America’s Colleges Have Always Been Unequal–and How to Set Them Right by Adam Harris. In this book, Atlantic staff writer Harris takes an incisive look at the resource-related disparities that often exist between historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly white institutions, focusing particularly on the policy decisions–historical and current–that underpin them. Harris reveals that so many HBCUs were essentially set up to fail from their inception, with federal and state governments working to maintain segregation in American higher education while also deliberately underfunding predominantly Black institutions. These issues of chronic underfunding persist to this day, leaving many HBCUs egregiously lacking in resources. In chronicling this history, Harris also provides compelling portraits of the many Black scholars across generations who have worked to rectify these imbalances, and also weighs the benefits of many potential solutions to this systemic problem. You can read a review here and listen to an interview with Harris here.


The Disaster Tourist: A Novel: Ko-Eun, Yun, Buehler, Lizzie: 9781640094161:  Amazon.com: BooksThe Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun (translated by Lizzie Buehler). In this dark satire of late-stage capitalism, originally published in South Korea in 2013 but published in English for the first time in 2020, Yun tells the story of Yona, an employee at a travel company that specializes in disaster tourism, arranging tours to locales devastated by all kinds of momentous crises for the perceived moral betterment of their customers. Yona has worked for the company for 10 years, coordinating tours and assessing what locations would bring in the most clients, but is on the brink of quitting after facing the sexual harassment of her boss and getting demoted for no clear reason. In a last-ditch effort to keep her in the company, she is directed to travel to an island called Mui, the company’s least popular destination. There, Yona discovers a seemingly ludicrous plot being carried out by the company: to bring in more clients, the company will create a disaster on the island, one that will surely kill a significant number of its inhabitants. From here, Yona must make some critical decisions, and Yun portrays her subsequent period on the island in a terrifying and yet darkly humorous way. You can read reviews here and here.


Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner: 9780525657743 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: BooksCrying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. In this memoir Zauner, founder of the band Japanese Breakfast, depicts her often complicated relationship with her mother Chongmi, as well as her grief following Chongmi’s death from cancer in 2014. Though Zauner describes a childhood and adolescence in which she attempts to distance herself from her and Chongmi’s Korean heritage (Zauner’s father Joel is white American), she finds that her ties to her mother always remain in some form, and often hinge upon their shared love of Korean cuisine. Just when Zauner begins to increasingly reconnect with her mother in her twenties, Chongmi is diagnosed with cancer. Zauner describes the futility of the treatments and her mother’s slow death, and spends the rest of the book depicting the ways in which her intense grief shaped her life and musical work. In describing these emotionally wrought events, the memoir serves as a unique meditation on the relationship between food and identity, as well as grief. You can read reviews here and here.


Chouette: Oshetsky, Claire: 9780063066670: Amazon.com: BooksChouette by Claire Oshetsky. Oshetsky’s debut novel tells the otherworldly story of Tiny, a cellist living with her reliable–if somewhat boring–husband, who inexplicably has an affair with a female owl and even more inexplicably becomes pregnant with a hybrid owl-human baby, the eponymous Chouette. Despite the child’s obvious strangeness, which isolates Tiny from others in her life and evokes dire warnings from nearly every doctor who sees her, her mother immediately loves her unconditionally. She is fully supportive of Chouette and seeks not to change her, even as she is forced to give up her career and even as Chouette’s undeniably owl-like behavior completely upends all normalcy in her life. She faces a tough battle in this determination as her husband seeks exactly the opposite, pursuing “cures” for Chouette at every turn. In tracing Tiny’s pregnancy, Chouette’s early childhood, and her later independence, Oshetsky, who is herself autistic and a mother, offers a unique meditation on the nature of neurodivergence, pregnancy, and motherhood, the fantastic elements of her story providing a unique lens through which to view and understand these massive topics. You can read reviews here and here.

Greetings from Egypt! أهلاً في مصر

International and Area Studies at Duke University Libraries

Greetings from Egypt! أهلاً في مصر

Egypt, known in Arabic by its sobriquet “Mother of the World” (Umm al-dunya, أم الدنيا), remains the most important and -studied country and culture in the South-West Asian/North African region. A recently acquired collection of 163 postcards (dating from the 1880s to the 1930s) provides an immersive overview of some of the wonders and joys of Egypt, from the north of the country in cities like Port Said and Alexandria to iconographic places like Cairo and Luxor along one of the most important waterways in the world, the Nile River.

Cairo

Cairo (القاهرة- al-Qāhirah), the capital of Egypt, is a megacity, with a current population of more than 20 million people, or about one fifth of the country’s total population.  This panoramic view of Cairo (French: Le Caire: Vue panoramique) depicts the city’s Citadel complex. Originally built in the 9th century, it has had many additions throughout its history. In the 12th century, Saladin (Salah al-Din, 1171-1193), the Kurdish-born sultan of Egypt and Syria, fortified the complex to stave off the attacks of the Crusaders. Successive Muslim rulers have since then added to the Citadel. The large alabaster mosque in the upper-right corner of this image is named after Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian-born Ottoman governor and the de facto ruler of Egypt from 1805 to 1848, who is considered the founder of modern Egypt. He is also credited with the development of the Bulaq (Bulak) Press, one of the most important printing press operations in the Middle East.

The Mogamaʻ (مجمع)

This striking image is a photograph of the Mujamaʻ, or Mogamaʻ in Egyptian dialect (مجمع التحرير).  The Mogamaʻ stands over Maydan al-Taḥrīr (ميدان التحرير) in the bureaucratic centre of Cairo. The building was constructed on the orders of King Farouk and was designed by Muḥammad Kamal Ismāʻil, an Egyptian engineer and architect to be a government building—see this map for an overview of different offices. Ismāʻil also designed the expansion of the Great Mosque of Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. The Mogamaʻ was completed in 1952 shortly before the ‘Free Officers’ coup and the rise to power of Gamal Abdel Nasser. It stands at 14 storeys as a towering figure over Taḥrīr square, its architecture garners many debates from those who consider it magnificent and those who object to its utilitarianism. For better or worse, the Mogamaʻ recently closed, in part due to its dilapidated state. It is now being refurbished and remodeled into a luxury hotel.

Maydan al-Taḥrīr, from where the Egyptian revolution of 2011 took place is in the foreground of the photo and to the right of the Mogamaʻ is the Omar Makram Mosque. Omar Makram was a political leader of the late 18th century, his mosque was designed by the Italian architect, Mario Rossi. Rossi designed or helped design several important mosques in Egypt.

The Nile

Cairo sits on the headwaters of the Nile River, which has provided the water for not only the capital but also the entire country from time immemorial.  The importance of water and the Nile is apparent in the following postcard, which references to one of the historically more important jobs, that of the water bearer (saqa, سَقى). Water bearers, a profession dating back to ancient times were generally young, healthy men who, according to this al-yawm al-sābiʻ article had to prove their endurance and strength by carrying a 67-pound bag of sand for 3 days and nights without sitting or sleeping. Once passing this test, a saqa delivered fresh drinking water to the public water fountains (sabil, سبيل) for locals to drink freely. The profession no longer exists, at least in the traditional form due in large part to the founding of the Egyptian water company in 1865.

Qahwah (قهوة)-Kahve (Turkish)-Coffee

 The fascinating history of coffee has been condensed by the rappers Omar Offendum & Thanks Joey suggest in this YouTube video, the Story of Qahwah ☕️ is the story not only of Egypt, but the entire Middle East.

This postcard depicts a typical Cairo street scene, showing men playing backgammon next to a large coffee stand manned by a young barista. The coffee stand includes a representation of a Turkish coffee pot (Turkish: cezve, Arabic: جذوة), a small, long-handled pot with a pouring lip designed specifically to make Turkish, Arab, or Greek style coffee. It is traditionally made of brass or copper, occasionally also silver or gold.

Duke University Libraries’ Egyptian Postcard Collection: https://archives.lib.duke.edu/catalog/egyptpostcards includes many more fascinating images. For more information about the collection, contact Sean Swanick, Librarian for Middle East, North Africa, and Islamic Studies.

 

 

5 Titles: American Foodways

Jodi PsoterThe 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by Librarian for Chemistry and Statistical Science Jodi Psoter.

Food and flavor connect us to a place, telling a story of where we come from. For the south and ultimately the entire United States, the influence of enslaved Africans shaped the region’s food. Food and people continued their impact as different waves of immigration influenced the culinary history and culture of the United States. Learn about this significant impact with these five titles that celebrate American foodways. The titles explore food’s significance and its impact in a historic context on capitalism, in culture, on economics, and within gender studies.


The Routledge History of American Foodways - 1st Edition - Michael D.The Routledge History of American Foodways, edited by Michael D. Wise and Jennifer Jensen Wallach (2016). A collection of essays from leading scholars, The Routledge History of American Foodways celebrates food’s journey to and within the Americas. Spanning the pre-colonial era to the present day, the writers combine history with research in food studies to tell food stories. These “twenty-five essays analyze not only how American foodways have changed over the last five centuries, but also how narratives about food in the past continue to shape our present-day food cultures and controversies.” A common theme unites each section of the work. The first section, “Cooking Times,” explores historic foodways during specific eras such as food’s journey during the precolonial period. Key ingredients such as grains and sugars, their arrival in the US, and their impact on how we eat today, are the theme of section two. Section three, “Recipes,” connects the food we eat to its presentation by discussing culture, holidays, tourism, and restaurants. Finally, “Appetites” looks at food in relation to immigration, race, gender, and regionalism. The textbook-style resource can be read cover to cover or on the individual chapter level.


High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America: Jessica B.  Harris, Maya Angelou: 9781608194506: Amazon.com: BooksHigh on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Jessica B. Harris (2011; also available as an ebook). Professor and author of twelve cookbooks, Harris’s work focuses on foods “originating all over the African continent.” Her research and teaching make her an expert in African American foods, foodways, and their influence on how we eat in the United States. In High on the Hog, Harris shifts her writing style, “construct[ing] an elegant narrative history that connects the culinary experiences of the African and American continents to show how African Americans shaped the country around them.” Written chronologically in chapter form, each chapter is themed and written in three parts. The first part of each chapter is Harris telling a personal story. Part two is really the subject of the chapter: “a topical analysis of African American contributions to American society and culture.” Each chapter ends with a look at a specific food related to the chapter’s theme and time. In 2021, Jessica Harris appeared on Time 100 – the list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. Ten years after publication, Harris’s work continues to teach, now as a food docuseries available on Netflix. Interested in reading more? Search the TRLN libraries to borrow other books by Jessica B. Harris.


Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original: Franklin, Sara B.:  9781469638553: Amazon.com: BooksEdna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original, edited by Sara B. Franklin (2018). In this collection of stories, the reader meets Edna Lewis (1916-2006), dressmaker, chef, activist, and one of five chefs whose portrait was featured on a stamp in the US Postal Service’s 2014 “Celebrity Chef Series.” Lewis was also a female, an African American, and a cookbook writer who focused on regional cooking. She cooked seasonally and locally, writing stories to capture memories that describe her childhood and document where she came from. This book is a collection of essays about Lewis written by family, friends, and food world celebrities. They talk of meeting Lewis, their impressions of her, as well as her impact and legacy in food, culture, and women’s history. The resurgence of Edna Lewis as a chef began in 2017 when her cookbook was rereleased on what would have been her one-hundredth birthday, and the television show Top Chef featured a challenge to have the contestants cook a dish inspired by Lewis’ cooking. This tribute to Lewis, viewed by millions, introduced her to a new generation. Lewis’s 1976 cookbook, The Taste of Country Cooking, was published at the same time that another famous female culinary star, Alice Waters, was promoting the farm-to-table movement on the west coast. As you read Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original, look for Alice Waters’s “menu to celebrate the anniversary of Edna Lewis’s birth.”


The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the  Old South: Twitty, Michael W.: 9780062379290: Amazon.com: BooksThe Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty (2017). Awarded the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year award, The Cooking Gene has been described as “a culinary Roots.” Twitty, a Black, gay, Jewish, culinary historian, seeks to know himself and his own history through the lens of food. This first person narrative focuses on African-American foodways and influence of slavery on southern cooking; an influence described in terms of the mixing of food traditions as cultures and genetics mix. To accomplish this, Twitty “traces [his] ancestry through food and genetic testing.” He writes that his genealogical research “…trace[s] my ancestry to Africa and follow[s] its lineages across the Southern map into the present day. Author of Afroculinaria, a food blog exploring the culinary traditions of Africa, African Americans, and the African diaspora, Twitty not only explores his heritages but also lives it by cooking in costume over a wood fire at historical plantation sites. He writes, “They call this a costume but it is my transformative historical drag; I wear a dusting of pot rust, red clay and the ghost smells of meals past.” Through his heritage, Twitty shines a new light on the traumatic and complicated history of foodways in the South.


Amazon.com: Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in  America: 9781324004516: Sen, Mayukh: BooksTaste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America by Mayukh Sen (2022). Mayukh Sen, self-described as a queer person of color and a child of Bengali immigrants, chooses to write about women to give voices to people our “culture skews away from.” In this well-researched and well-documented text, Sen introduces the reader, through biographical chapters, to seven immigrant women whose cooking and writing have influenced the “food establishment.” Spanning the period of World War II to the present, the taste makers include: Chao Yang Buwei and her 1945 book How To Cook and Eat in Chinese, Elena Zeleyeta, a Mexican chef who continued to work after losing her eyesight, and French chef Madeleine Kamman, a contemporary of Julia Child. The second part of the book shares the stories of Italian immigrant Marcella Hazan, author of The Classic Italian Cook Book: The Art of Italian Cooking (1973), “The Indian Culinary Authority” in the United States, Julie Shani, Iran’s Najmieh Batmanglij, who writes cookbooks “adapting authentic Persian recipes to tastes and techniques in the West,” and Jamaican chef Norma Shirley. By describing their journey and that of the food of their homeland, Sen shows how the women “used food to construct an identity outside their own country.” As described in the NY Times Book Review, Taste Makers “…embeds these themes within intimate, individual stories as a way to unravel how his subjects’ achievements — and struggles — have contributed to what and how we eat in America today.”


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

What to Read this Month: March 2022

Hello again from the library! I know what you’re probably thinking: it’s getting close to the weekend, and you’ve got absolutely nothing scheduled,  so now’s the perfect time to pick up a new book (what do you mean, there’s a huge game this weekend???). If that’s you–or even if you do have plans to watch something this weekend–I’ve come to help with some suggestions! I’ve personally been on a memoir kick, as you’ll see with these titles I’ve picked out, but if that’s not your thing, never fear. All of these titles come from either the Libraries’ Overdrive ebook collection, or the New & Noteworthy collection. These collections contain all sorts of popular reading, so do check them out! I can guarantee you’ll find something that grabs your interest.


Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School: James, Kendra:  9781538753484: Amazon.com: BooksAdmissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School by Kendra James. In this memoir, writer James recounts her time at the Taft School, an elite Connecticut boarding school. Despite graduating in 2006, James was the school’s first Black legacy student (her father attended the school and was a trustee during her time there), and much of her account details her experiences as one of the school’s only Black students in the early to mid-2000s. James describes an institution with near-countless opportunities for scholarly enrichment and connections to prestigious colleges and universities, but despite these features, she struggles socially due to the racism of her primarily white peers, despite arriving at the school eager to form lasting ties. Although the experiences she describes are markedly difficult, James frequently punctuates her account with humor, and thoughtfully examines the ways her time at Taft has shaped her present-day life. You can read reviews here and here.


Lost & Found: A Memoir: Schulz, Kathryn: 9780525512462: Amazon.com: BooksLost & Found: A Memoir by Kathryn Schulz. In this memoir, journalist Schulz recounts two major personal events that have impacted the trajectory of her life over the past decade: the death of her father and the formation of her relationship with her current partner. Although Schulz’s account of this former event is often fittingly sober and steeped in grief, it is also quietly hopeful and grateful in its contemplative tone; Schulz notes that her father was largely able to live a happy and intellectually stimulating life, as he so wished. She also meditates on the ways his life influenced her own, and finds solace in the fact that her relationship with him was both healthy and very much mutually beneficial. Shortly before her father’s death, Schulz met the woman who would become her partner, and the beginnings of this relationship form the backbone of the memoir’s second half. Here, Schulz discusses the serendipity of meeting her partner, and marvels at the chance circumstances under which the two were able to build such a meaningful relationship. You can read reviews here and here.


Pure America: Eugenics and the Making of Modern Virginia: Catte, Elizabeth:  9781948742733: Amazon.com: BooksPure America: Eugenics and the Making of Modern Virginia by Elizabeth Catte. In this book, author Catte traces the often obscured history of the eugenics movement in Virginia, contextualizing it within the broader history of eugenics in the United States, and centering a number of historical events and locations throughout the state, from which she hails. Writing that eugenics “is everywhere and nowhere,” Catte focuses both on the 20th-century initiatives undertaken by the state with directly pro-eugenics motives–including the history of Western State Hospital in Staunton, in which many disabled Virginians were forcibly confined, as well as the Virginia-based US Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, which sanctioned involuntary sterilization throughout the United States–and events that had indirectly eugenicist outcomes, including the forced uprooting of Appalachian families during the formation of Shenandoah National Park, and Charlottesville’s destruction of its most prominent historically Black neighborhood. Importantly, Catte also emphasizes the dangerous systematic erasure of these events, and calls on her readers to learn from the fraught history she discusses. You can read a review here and read an interview with Catte here.


The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness: O'Rourke, Meghan:  9781594633799: Amazon.com: BooksThe Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O’Rourke. In this book, writer O’Rourke makes the case for a radical reframing of chronic illness in both the medical profession and broader American culture, centering her argument in both extensive research and an account of her own experiences with chronic illness. Developing an unnamed autoimmune condition in her adulthood, O’Rourke painstakingly chronicles a near decade-long search for a medical practitioner who can accurately diagnose and address the complicated and troubling array of debilitating symptoms she faces, with many dismissing her outright when the tests she takes are repeatedly inconclusive in their results. O’Rourke likens this period of inadequately addressed suffering to being invisible, and she details how this experience of invisibility is distressingly common, with many chronically ill people taking, on average, several years to receive a correct diagnosis. Although O’Rourke eventually does receive the treatment she needs, she notes that she is still not completely well, and she urges her readers to understand the everyday complications of existing with chronic illness. You can read reviews here and here.


Amazon.com: Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful  Recommendations on How to Become American: 9780393867978: Ali, Wajahat:  BooksGo Back to Where You Came From and Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become an American by Wajahat Ali. In this memoir, author Ali recounts both his coming-of-age as a child of Pakistani immigrants, and his complex reckoning with American identity as an adult. Growing up in California’s Bay Area, Ali describes a 1980s-90s childhood in which he bears witness to his family and other members of the area’s Pakistani immigrant community as they chase the American dream, which Ali closely aligns with typical markers of whiteness. Ali more directly confronts his own racial and national identity in college after 9/11 happens, an event which, as illustrated by Ali’s observations, drastically changed white American society’s perception of Middle Eastern and South Asian people, particularly Muslims. Faced with a sudden swell of islamophobia, Ali feels driven to artistically make sense of his complicated feelings, but struggles until his college mentor, renowned playwright Ishmael Reed, encourages him to write a play. In the rest of the memoir, Ali discusses how his eventual work, The Domestic Crusaders, both launched his eventual writing career and assisted in his understanding of identity in the face of bigotry. You can read reviews here and here.

What to Read this Month: February 2022

We hope you all had a good February! While we at the library know full well that this is a busy time in the semester, we also realize that you might want to spend your limited free time in the company of a good book, or maybe pick up a new title just in time for spring break. If that describes you, then look no further! Here are some interesting titles from our New & Noteworthy collection. On the off chance none of these titles grab your attention, however, then don’t worry. We’re always adding new popular titles to both our New & Noteworthy and Overdrive ebook collections, so we encourage you to take a look at both of them. Happy reading!


Amazon.com: The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois: An Oprah's Book Club Novel  (Oprahs Book Club 2.0): 9780062942937: Jeffers, Honoree Fanonne: BooksThe Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. This debut novel by poet Jeffers, nominated for last year’s National Book Award for fiction, chronicles the multigenerational and multicultural history of the African American Garfield family, anchored by the late 20th century events surrounding its protagonist, Ailey Garfield. Interspersed with the main narrative thread of Ailey’s educational experiences and family research, in which she divides her time between an unnamed city and her family’s ancestral hometown in rural Georgia, are segments, referred to as songs, that delve into the histories of her individual ancestors of African, Creek, and Scottish origin. As Ailey learns more about these ancestors, so too does she come to understand her present-day family. As the title suggests, too, the works of W.E.B. Du Bois play a prominent role, informing both the content of the novel as well as its very structure. You can read reviews here and here.


Loot: Britain and the Benin Bronzes: Phillips, Barnaby: 9781786079350:  Amazon.com: BooksLoot: Britain and the Benin Bronzes by Barnaby Phillips. In this book, journalist Phillips offers a comprehensive and compelling history of the Benin Bronzes, metal plaques and ivory artworks dating from the 13th through 18th centuries in the Edo Kingdom, located in what is now southern Nigeria. Prior to 1897, most of the bronzes were kept in the royal palace of Benin City for the kingdom’s rulers, but this changed when British forces invaded, an act that ultimately led to the downfall of the Edo Kingdom and the establishment of the British Southern Nigeria Protectorate. During the invasion, the bronzes were sacked by the British and taken back to England as loot, where many remain today. Although Phillips notes that the Nigerian government has repeatedly called for the repatriation of the bronzes since 1974, this has largely been ignored. Today, most remain in Europe (specifically the UK), with still others scattered across Canada and the United States. In addition to relaying this fraught history, Phillips also makes his own case for repatriation and delves into the mindset of many of the institutions still possessing the bronzes in Europe. You can read more here and here.


Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch: A Novel: Galchen, Rivka:  9780374280468: Amazon.com: BooksEveryone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen. This novel, Galchen’s second, tells the story of Katharina, a German woman accused of witchcraft in 1615. Based on historic events–several hundred women were executed for alleged witchcraft throughout the Holy Roman Empire in the seventeenth century–Katharina finds herself the object of suspicion in her small town for a confluence of seemingly ridiculous reasons: she is a widow, perceived to be too independent by those around her, and is not particularly well-liked. Most importantly, she has been accused of poisoning a local woman. Though the accusation itself is baseless, Katharina finds that many people in her community are all too eager to testify against her, seemingly determined to portray her as a malicious witch bent causing harm to anyone and everyone. Though the novel is peppered with dark humor (often in the form of Katharina’s dry mental observations about those around her), the subject matter, and the course of the story, prove to be rather harrowing. You can read reviews here and here.


How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across  America: Smith, Clint: 9780316492935: Amazon.com: BooksHow the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith. In this book, Atlantic staff writer Smith studies the way the history and legacy of slavery in the United States has been dealt with at nine historic sites (eight in the US, and one abroad). As Smith observes, each site reckons with the subject quite differently—he contrasts, for example, the centering of enslaved people’s lives at Louisiana’s Whitney Plantation with the glorification of the Confederacy at Virginia’s Blandford Cemetery—reflecting the contradictory and tumultuous understanding of slavery present in American culture at large. Smith’s depiction of these sites is multi-faceted and richly described, in no small part because he interviews such a wide range of people, including tourists and tour guides, historians and other experts, and formerly incarcerated people. In presenting such a complex picture of historical reception in the contemporary United States, Smith offers a compelling and extremely relevant read. You can read reviews here and here.


Amazon.com: I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness: A Novel: 9780593330210:  Watkins, Claire Vaye: BooksI Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins. This novel, Watkins’ second, traces the story of one fictional writer named Claire Vaye Watkins as she travels away from her husband and newborn child in Michigan for a book event in Nevada (despite the character having the same name and a number of characteristics as Watkins, the novel is fictional). In the throes of postpartum depression, Claire finds herself in crisis, and she takes the time away from her orderly life in Michigan as an opportunity to reassess the decisions she has made, to confront a variety of personal issues she has been avoiding, and, more unfortunately, to unravel somewhat. Having grown up in the west, her travels reunite her with several relics from her past, including a group of living college friends as well as a dead ex-partner. As Claire grapples with her own grief and reckons with her own life, she acts a witness towards those around her who are struggling with similar issues. Though the novel is often disorienting, it remains a cogent examination of grief, depression, poverty, drug addiction, and a host of other themes. You can read reviews here and here.

5 Titles: Native American Women Anthropologists

Linda DanielThe 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by Librarian for Sociology and Cultural Anthropology Linda Daniel. Linda is also the head of the Social Sciences Section within the Libraries’ RIS department.

Native American women anthropologists have a rich history of analyzing and writing about ethnographic field work in their own communities. In addition to the challenges of academic scholarship, they face the complexities of how to be an anthropologist and also, as noted Native American anthropologist Beatrice Medicine wrote in 1978, remain “Native” and “a student in [their] own culture.”

These five titles highlight women anthropologists who have masterfully navigated these challenges and write about economic sovereignty, nationalism and nation building, urban communities, and everyday life faced by Native Americans. While differing in format and focus, they each provide a deeper understanding of the histories of these Native American cultures and how they are evolving.


Sovereign Entrepreneurs: Cherokee Small-Business Owners and the Making of Economic Sovereignty (Critical Indigeneities): Lewis, Courtney: 9781469648590: Amazon.com: BooksSovereign Entrepreneurs: Cherokee Small-Business Owners and the Making of Economic Sovereignty by Courtney Lewis (2019). Lewis’s research tells the compelling story of how skilled Native American small business owners thrived through the Great Recession and economic downturn of 2009. Her work follows the personal experiences of contemporary Eastern Band business owners, located on the Qualla Boundary, homeland to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. This ethnographic study provides stories, like that of Charla’s and Zena’s “Cherokee by Design” enterprise, that reveal the importance of their support networks and the difficulties that these American Indian small-business owners encounter as they work to remain financially stable. Lewis’s research reveals situations specific to Native Nations and Native American business owners. She focuses on economic sovereignty and self-determination as a way that these small businesses can reduce their precarious economic situations and support their community’s economic stability. In doing so, this demonstration of indigenous agency shows how these small businesses can provide their nation with cultural, economic, and political strength.

Dr. Lewis will join Duke’s Cultural Anthropology Department in fall 2022.


Colonial Entanglement: Constituting a Twenty-First-Century Osage Nation ( First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies (University of North Carolina Press Paperback)): Dennison: 9780807872901: Amazon.com: BooksColonial Entanglement: Constituting a Twenty First-Century Osage Nation by Jean Dennison (2012). Dennison, noted Osage anthropologist, focuses on the 2004-2006 constitutional reform process in the Osage Nation of Oklahoma and writes about the debates that ensued about biology, culture, natural resources, and sovereignty. It’s a fascinating account of the tension between the colonial entanglements of the Osage and their nationhood, and how indigenous sovereignty and self-determination offer a framework to understand how positive action can emerge out of Osage history that doesn’t mirror its colonial oppression. Dennison provides the reader with clear historical context for the entanglements, discusses what should determine citizenship for the Osage, and whether traditional patterns of governance should influence current policies. Dennison’s ethnographic research provides a compelling account of how indigenous sovereignty, history, identity, and politics interacted in this governmental reform of the Osage nation.


Waterlily: Deloria, Ella Cara, Gardner, Susan, DeMallie, Raymond J.: 9780803219045: Amazon.com: BooksWaterlily by Ella Cara Deloria (1988). Deloria, born in 1889 on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, was a specialist in American Indian ethnology and linguistics. Her work resulted in several books: Dakota Texts, Dakota Grammar, and Speaking of Indians. By the 1940s, Deloria was considered a leading authority on Sioux culture and language. Waterlily gives a portrait of 19th-century Sioux life and is unique as it is told from women’s perspectives. The story focuses on Waterlily, her mother, and her grandmother and provides a view of Sioux social life – the kinship system, the structure of society, and its daily responsibilities. The writing is based upon the ethnographic materials Deloria gathered over years of scholarly work. Deloria chose to write this work as narrative fiction as she wanted to share this culture with a wide audience. It provides an important personal record of the complexities and richness of Sioux life.


Choctaw Nation: A Story of American Indian Resurgence (North American Indian Prose Award): Lambert, Valerie: 9780803224902: Amazon.com: BooksChoctaw Nation: A Story of American Indian Resurgence by Valerie Lambert (2007). Lambert documents one of the most important eras in the history of the Choctaw Nation – the building of a new order with the 1983 ratification of the tribe’s constitution. She places this creation of tribal nation building in the context of her tribe’s history, the economic and political implications of the tribe’s location in southeastern Oklahoma, and the unique personalities of the leaders involved in this movement. Each of these elements influenced the rebuilding of Choctaw nationalism. Lambert’s ethnographic analysis examines specific events to reveal the rearrangement of power in the new order and the importance of tribal sovereignty. She describes the tribal election of a Choctaw chief to expose the diverse ideas of citizenship that define the tribe. She explores the building of a small, rural tribal economic development project to understand the links between Choctaws, non-Indians in the community, and the local tribal government. She analyzes the 2001 water-rights claim that the Choctaws own all the water in southeastern Oklahoma to document the conflicts between the tribal government, the US government, and the Oklahoma state government. These events show how the Choctaw have negotiated their sovereign rights and built new political structures that reflect their tribal identity and empowerment.


Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond - Kindle edition by Ramirez, Renya K.. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.Native Hubs: Culture, Community, and Belonging in Silicon Valley and Beyond by Renya K. Ramirez (2007). Ramirez’s ethnographic work focuses on indigenous people who live in urban areas, specifically in the San Francisco Bay area, where thousands of Native Americans were federally relocated since the 1950s. This research has significance as the US census shows that the majority of Native Americans now live in cities. Ramirez focuses on female interviews in her book as a response to writings about Native Americans that have kept women’s voices silent and to demonstrate the importance of their full membership in discussions about tribal sovereignty and nationalism. Ramirez uses the concept of “hubs,” geographic and psychological sites that bring people together, to show how identities of indigenous people can be created and sustained in locations apart from their tribal homelands. These hubs allow Native Americans to maintain a connection between their urban and tribal homes, provide a sense of belonging, and may increase political power. Ramirez’s work reinforces the concept of unity of tribal communities that span across geographic distances as a way to strengthen identity.


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

Lilly Streams: Documentary Films for Black History Month

Post by Danette Pachtner, Duke Libraries’ Librarian for Film, Video & Digital Media and Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

Black History Month is dedicated to the histories and stories of Black Americans and the African diaspora who have systemically been sidelined for centuries. Duke Libraries’ film collection has a treasure trove of titles to view and explore.

The Docuseek African-American Studies Collection is an interdisciplinary streaming video collection of over 80 award-winning films, featuring popular and classic films plus dynamic new releases, focused on social, political and cultural history and contemporary issues that are ideal resources for Black History Month.

Duke Libraries provides access to these streaming videos in The Docuseek Complete Collection, with Duke NetId/password authentication.

John Lewis
John Lewis: Get in the Way | dir. Kathleen Dowdey | 2020

John Lewis: Get in the Way tells the gripping tale of Lewis’s role in the vanguard of the Civil Rights Movement through never-before-seen interviews shot over 20 years.

Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution details the history of how Medicare was leveraged to desegregate hospitals. Before Medicare, fewer than half the nation’s hospitals served black and white patients equally, and in the South, 1/3 of hospitals would not admit African-Americans even for emergencies.
Power to Heal illustrates how Movement leaders and grass-roots volunteers pressed and worked with the federal government to achieve a greater measure of justice and fairness for African-Americans.

Film poster
Horror Noire: a History of Black Horror | dir. Xavier Burgin | 2019

Horror Noire traces the extensive history of Black horror films. Delving into a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and finally embraced them, Horror Noire traces a secret history of Black Americans in Hollywood through their connection to the horror genre.

Al Helm follows an African American Christian choir’s journey to the Palestinian National Theater to put on a play about Martin Luther King, Jr. A rousing portrait of the changes unfolding in the Middle East as a nonviolent movement grows in Palestine, this dynamic and complex work is born of a brilliantly simple and potent idea: what would happen if African American Christians—the same group who served as exemplars of the Civil Rights Movement—could witness firsthand the plight of Palestinians today?

Still of Lovings
The Loving Story | dir. Nancy Buirski | 2011
Film Poster
A Crime on the Bayou | dir. Nancy Buirski | 2020

The classic documentary film, The Loving Story, from Nancy Buirski’s trilogy profiling brave individuals who fought for justice in and around the Civil Rights era, is a heart-rending story of the Lovings and the ground-breaking court case that legalized marriage between interracial couples. A Crime on the Bayou, is the final film in Buirski’s trilogy, which outlines the extraordinary story of Gary Duncan, arrested for touching a white boy’s arm, whose civil rights case in Louisiana went all the way to the Supreme Court in the late 1960s.

River City Drumbeat chronicles Edward “Nardie” White’s instruction of ancestral Pan-African culture and drumming in Louisville, Kentucky. For three decades, Edward “Nardie” White has been leading the River City Drum Corps in order to instill a foundation of purposeful resilience within his neighborhood youth. Against the backdrop of the American South, Mr. White’s drumline and its multi-generational network of support has been a lifeline for many young African Americans. In his final year as director he trains his successor Albert Shumake, a young artist whose troubled life was transformed by the drumline and Mr. White’s mentorship when he was a teen. During this transitional year, Mr. White and Albert reflect on the tragedies and triumphs in their lives and the legacy of the drum corps.

Father’s Kingdom depicts the untold story of the remarkable civil rights pioneer Father Divine. Once a celebrity who was decades ahead of his time fighting for civil rights, he has largely been written out of history because of the audacity of his religious claims, Father’s revolutionary ideas on race and identity still resonate today.

Film still
Black Girl in Suburbia | dir. Melissa Lowery | 2016

Black Girl in Suburbia takes a look at the suburbs of America from the perspective of women of color. Through conversations with her own daughters, with teachers and scholars who are experts in the personal impacts of growing up a person of color in a predominately white place, this film explores the conflicts that many Black girls in homogeneous hometowns have in relating to both white and Black communities.

New Docuseek releases include Stateless, a film that reveals the dark and deadly history of institutionalized oppression of Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, and Oliver Tambo, about the man responsible for the release of Nelson Mandela and who helped to end the apartheid in South Africa.

If you would like to explore more streaming video brought to you by Duke Libraries, browse titles in Kanopy, Swank Digital Campus, Films on Demand World Cinema and Feature Films for Education as well as the Academic Video Online collections.

 

 

 

 

What to Read this Month: January 2022

Welcome back! As we’re beginning to settle into a new semester, we at the library wanted to recommend yet another set of titles from our Overdrive and New & Noteworthy collections. These collections are excellent places to look if you’re trying to find a new read, and these five books represent only a tiny fraction of all that you’ll find there. So by all means, if any of the below highlights don’t grab your attention, click either of the above links. You’ll be sure to find something!


Intimacies: A Novel: Kitamura, Katie: 9780399576164: Amazon.com: BooksIntimacies by Katie Kitamura. This novel, Kitamura’s fourth, tells the story of an unnamed woman who travels from the US to The Hague shortly after the death of her father. There, she works as an interpreter for the International Criminal Court, developing a strange yet compelling dynamic with an accused war criminal in her professional life and a series of confusing relationships with some of the city’s inhabitants in her personal life. She forms an unsatisfying romantic attachment with Adriaan, a man midway through a divorce, as well as a complicated friendship with art historian Eline and her brother, Anton. The titular intimacies refer to these inscrutable relationships, as well as the intimacy inherent in the protagonist’s work as an interpreter. Ultimately, though often puzzling and mysterious, the novel deftly tackles a bevy of complex themes, ranging from interpersonal relationships to neocolonialism. You can read reviews here and here.


The State Must Provide: Why America's Colleges Have Always Been  Unequal--and How to Set Them Right: Harris, Adam: 9780062976482:  Amazon.com: BooksThe State Must Provide: Why America’s Colleges Have Always Been Unequal–and How to Set Them Right by Adam Harris. In this book, Atlantic staff writer Harris takes an incisive look at the resource-related disparities that often exist between historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly white institutions, focusing particularly on the policy decisions–historical and current–that underpin them. Harris reveals that so many HBCUs were essentially set up to fail from their inception, with federal and state governments working to maintain segregation in American higher education while also deliberately underfunding predominantly Black institutions. These issues of chronic underfunding persist to this day, leaving many HBCUs egregiously lacking in resources. In chronicling this history, Harris also provides compelling portraits of the many Black scholars across generations who have worked to rectify these imbalances, and also weighs the benefits of many potential solutions to this systemic problem. You can read a review here and listen to an interview with Harris here.


Velvet Was the Night: Moreno-Garcia, Silvia: 9780593356821: Amazon.com:  BooksVelvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This noir adventure, set in the midst of the Mexican Dirty War, centers on Maite, a young Mexico City secretary who unexpectedly stumbles into intrigue after her neighbor Leonora goes missing. Though an enthusiast of wild and romantic stories, Maite herself is not a natural investigator, and she only embarks on the case because she had been cat-sitting for Leonora and wants to get paid for her efforts. The reader learns very early on that Maite is not the only one looking for Leonora; so is Elvis, a 21-year-old member of a paramilitary group targeting leftist university students and journalists throughout the city. Moreno-Garcia tells the story from both of their perspectives, and things ultimately come to a head when Maite and Elvis finally cross paths. You can read reviews here and here.


Doomed Romance: Broken Hearts, Lost Souls, and Sexual Tumult in  Nineteenth-Century America: Heyrman, Christine Leigh: 9780525655572:  Amazon.com: BooksDoomed Romance: Broken Hearts, Lost Souls, and Sexual Tumult in Nineteenth-Century America by Christine Leigh Heyrman. In this book, Heyrman documents a unique episode in the history of American evangelicalism, telling the story of Martha Parker. A young woman in 1820s New England, Parker ignited a series of tensions between prominent members of the local evangelical community, despite harboring an earnest desire to serve as a Christian missionary abroad. Fatefully Parker, in pursuit of her dream, broke her engagement to her influential second cousin, Thomas Tenney, to accept the proposal of missionary Elnathan Gridley. Heyrman chronicles Tenney’s subsequent efforts to ruin Parker’s name, including enlisting the help of another one of her former suitors and inciting an investigation into her character by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Ultimately, Tenney’s handiwork leads to the dissolution of Parker’s new engagement, and she eventually agrees to set aside her missionary ambitions and marry him. In relaying this sordid tale, Heyrman makes several cogent connections to the history of gender relations in evangelicalism, connecting this seemingly isolated event to much larger, more systemic problems within the movement. You can read reviews here and here.


Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith: 9780812993325 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: BooksBuild Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith. In this debut novel, Kupersmith fashions a mysterious and supernatural tale anchored in the experiences and eventual disappearance of Winnie, a young American woman who travels to Saigon in 2010 in order to teach English and better understand her Vietnamese roots. Winnie’s time in Saigon is exceedingly difficult for her; her general unhappiness is exacerbated by her inability to form meaningful connections with those around her, and her work suffers. Eventually, she forms a relationship, predicated more on mutual survival than romance, with Long, who works at the same school as she does. It is Long who initially discovers that Winnie is missing, and the subsequent events in the novel adopt a grotesque and often fantastical path, one that connects Winnie’s story to the stories of seeming strangers in Saigon, spanning the days and years leading up to and following her disappearance. You can read reviews here and here.

5 Titles: Pioneering Women in STEM

The 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by RIS intern Mikayla Brooks.

The science, technology, education, mathematics (STEM) field is full of breakthroughs and notorious accomplishments; big names like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Stephen Hawking immediately come to mind. The gentlemen have contributed notable achievements in the field and have had a lasting impact on history. But scientific history is about the women who also made incredible advances in STEM. Some of the names you might know and some you might not. But nevertheless, their contributions and advancements aided in understanding our world and making it a better place to live.

The 5 Titles are selected from Duke University Libraries; they reflect the stories of these women, their personal lives, and their struggles. These women had society’s expectations thrust upon them, in addition to overcoming personal, professional, and mental strife to do the work they did. The selected titles recognize five women, Rosalind Franklin, Hedy Lamarr, Kathrine Johnson, Jane Goodall, and Lise Meitner for their pioneering research and lasting contributions.


Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA: Maddox, Brenda: 9780060184070: Amazon.com: BooksRosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox (2002). Rosalind Franklin, called “our dark lady” by her colleagues, was all but airbrushed out of the picture. During her 27 months’ work at King’s College London, she was able to capture photographs of crystallized DNA. These photographs, shared with Watson and Crick without her permission, helped piece together the puzzle of the double-helix. Maddox’s book takes a critical look at the triumphs and tribulations in Rosalind Franklin’s life. “She paints a portrait of a complex, contradictory, fiercely passionate, and passionately fierce woman whose proper place in scientific history is still debated.”


Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World: Rhodes, Richard: 9780307742957: Amazon.com: BooksHedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Richard Rhodes (2011). Hedy Lamarr was born in 1913 to a Jewish family in Vienna as Hedwig Kiesler. Her natural beauty became apparent as a teenager and she soon started to appeared in German films. The first of her six husbands, a wealthy arms merchant, “was a man who entertained German and Austrian weapons developers. No one in their social circle was able to appreciate that Lamarr could keep up and contribute in “their conversations about submarine torpedoes and remote-control devices.” When her husband tried to make her give up acting, she divorced him. Kiesler moved to Hollywood, became Hedy Lamarr, and was soon a beautiful starlet in films. “But, Hedy Lamarr was always much more than just a Hollywood starlet.” The Austrian-American actress was also a tech-head, taking inspiration from the self-playing ‘player piano’ to create various inventions, like the frequency-hopping technology that became a precursor to the secure wi-fi, GPS and Bluetooth now used by billions of people around the world. Richard Rhodes’s biography, Hedy’s Folly, gives this side of her story its due, as previous works published have barely any (in some cases almost no) accounts of her work as an inventor.


My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir: Johnson, Katherine, Hylick, Joylette, Moore, Katherine: 9780062897664: Amazon.com: BooksMy Remarkable Journey: A Memoir by Katherine Johnson with Joylette Hylick, Katherine Moore, and Lisa Frazier Page (2021). Katherine Johnson was turned into an international star by the book (and then movie) Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Her story — rising from anonymity and discrimination to become a research mathematician whose precise calculations helped many vital projects, including John Glenn’s 1962 orbit of Earth — has inspired many. My Remarkable Journey was written with her daughters Joylette Hylick and Katherine Moore and completed after Johnson’s death. The memoir offers a more personal perspective with Johnson discussing some of the disparities between her life and what we saw on screen. “This book focuses on Johnson’s personal life, including many experiences that reveal insight into the United States’ tumultuous race relations in the 20th century. My Remarkable Journey showcases examples of relentless determination in the face of adversity that linger with the reader, showing what truly makes Johnson’s journey remarkable.”


Amazon.com: Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man eBook : Peterson, Dale: Kindle StoreJane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man by Dale Peterson (2006). “The iconic image is imprinted in our minds – the willowy young British woman with the blonde ponytail. She’s standing in the forest with a wild chimpanzee sitting by her side, a hairy hand tentatively reaching out to touch her khaki shorts.” Jane Goodall is a figure we all know and love; her notoriety and image has been splashed across magazines and articles alike. The draw of Goodall’s status does not lie in her being a movie star, politician, or influencer, but by working hard at issues she believes in. “In Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man, Dale Peterson provides an exhaustive chronology of her life to date.” This biography illustrates the complicated and fascinating woman in equal measures with the pioneering researcher. Dale Peterson created a work that provides a remarkable account of what a person can accomplish through courage and self-sacrifice — a reminder of what can be accomplished with commitment.


Amazon.com: Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (Volume 11): 9780520208605: Sime, Ruth Lewin: BooksLise Meitner: A Life in Physics by Ruth Lewin Sime (1996). Lise Meitner and other scientific trailblazers were able to unlock the science of existence at the very make-up of the physical level; their understanding of the atom and achievements made remain astonishing. All scientific pioneers must deal with obstacles, but for Lise Meitner, there were added personal factors. “As a woman in the early twentieth century, she struggled to be taken seriously as a scientist. In her later years, when categorized as a “non-Aryan,” she would become keenly aware that as humanity drew nearer to an understanding of the building blocks of our world, we were ever more imperiled by our capacity for destruction.” Ruth Sime presents an account of Lise Meitner’s life and scientific career from her formative years to the implications of war and the Third Reich on her personal and professional life. With expertise and finesse, Sime explains the value of Meitner’s research, and writes about the publicized and private aspects of Lise Meitner’s life and the ongoing work she did.


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

What to Read this Month: December 2021

As the semester begins to wind down, we at the library hope you’ll have some time to rest and potentially cross some books off your list! If you’re looking for new books to add to your reading list, look no further. One of these five titles, from our New & Noteworthy and Overdrive collections, just might do the trick! If not, though, don’t worry; new titles are being added to these collections all the time, so you’re guaranteed to find something that catches your eye. Have a happy and restful winter break!


The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story: Hannah-Jones, Nikole, The New York Times Magazine, Roper, Caitlin, Silverman, Ilena, Silverstein, Jake: 9780593230572: Amazon.com: BooksThe 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones. In the two years since Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project first appeared in the pages of the New York Times Magazine, it has become a household name, praised by numerous historians for its compelling and thorough reframing of the United States’ origin story while also igniting a vitriolic backlash among rightwing figures both within the US and beyond. This first book edition of the project includes the content of its original New York Times appearance while also expanding upon its aims with the inclusion of more details, notes, and seven additional essays. Although the Project was always sweeping and comprehensive in its examination of several centuries of American history, this edition builds on that, resulting in the fullest and most vivid iteration of the Project to date. You can read reviews here and here.


Amazon.com: Alec: A Novel: 9780374102609: Canzio, William di: BooksAlec by William di Canzio. Di Canzio’s novel is both a reworking and a continuation of E. M. Forster’s Maurice, which was originally written in the 1910s but remained unpublished until 1971 owing largely to the happy ending Forster provides to his gay protagonist, Maurice Hall. In this original novel, Maurice, a member of the English upper-class, ultimately finds himself able to forge a successful romantic relationship with the gamekeeper Alec Scudder, despite the rampant homophobia and classism permeating English society during this period. Di Canzio expands on Forster’s story in two major ways: first, he retells the events of Maurice from Alec’s point-of-view, which differs significantly from Maurice’s, and secondly, he confronts Forster’s original ending with the realities of World War I: in this telling, Maurice and Alec’s relationship is threatened when the two, now soldiers, are stationed apart from each other across Europe. With the addition of Alec’s perspective and these new events, di Canzio’s novel is an excellent complement to Forster’s. You can read reviews here and here.


Amazon.com: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel: 9780593132425: Mbue, Imbolo: BooksHow Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue. Mbue’s second novel, which was recently named by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year, focuses on Kosawa, a village in an unnamed West African country that has long been beset with troubles inflicted by Pexton, a massive American oil corporation. The year is 1980, and although Pexton has repeatedly attempted to placate Kosawa’s residents with periodic, unproductive visits by their representatives, it remains obvious that their operations in the area have caused the egregious levels of pollution and illness to which they are subjected. Things come to a head when, over the course of the corporation’s latest visit, the residents decide to take the Pexton delegates hostage, spurred on by Konga, who is known as the local madman. Witnessing these events is a young girl, Thula, on whom the novel eventually focuses. As Thula grows, she becomes determined to seek justice for her community, and her journey eventually takes her to the US, where she gains undergraduate and graduate degrees. Upon her eventual return to Kosawa, she seeks to mobilize her peers into fighting Pexton and the dictatorship leading her country, facing numerous barriers along the way. You can read reviews here and here.


Amazon.com: Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath eBook : Clark, Heather L. : Kindle StoreRed Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath by Heather Clark. Clark’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of Sylvia Plath recounts her life and legacy with both details and a level of care that have hitherto not been seen in the many previous accounts of the poet’s life. A lot of the work she undertakes in relaying the events of her life involves dismantling the mythologization surrounding Plath and her death, offering a fresh reexamination of her poetry, her mental health, and the numerous figures that influenced her, ranging from her parents to mentors to friends. All of these details contribute to one of the most exhaustive portraits of Plath published to date, one that appears astonishingly unscathed by the longstanding, often prurient public fascination with her personal life and death, making it an exceedingly satisfying and sensitive read. You can read reviews here and here.


Chouette: Oshetsky, Claire: 9780063066670: Amazon.com: BooksChouette by Claire Oshetsky. Oshetsky’s debut novel tells the otherworldly story of Tiny, a cellist living with her reliable–if somewhat boring–husband, who inexplicably has an affair with a female owl and even more inexplicably becomes pregnant with a hybrid owl-human baby, the eponymous Chouette. Despite the child’s obvious strangeness, which isolates Tiny from others in her life and evokes dire warnings from nearly every doctor who sees her, her mother immediately loves her unconditionally. She is fully supportive of Chouette and seeks not to change her, even as she is forced to give up her career and even as Chouette’s undeniably owl-like behavior completely upends all normalcy in her life. She faces a tough battle in this determination as her husband seeks exactly the opposite, pursuing “cures” for Chouette at every turn. In tracing Tiny’s pregnancy, Chouette’s early childhood, and her later independence, Oshetsky, who is herself autistic and a mother, offers a unique meditation on the nature of neurodivergence, pregnancy, and motherhood, the fantastic elements of her story providing a unique lens through which to view and understand these massive topics. You can read reviews here and here.

5 Titles: Military Women

The 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by RIS intern Emily Arnsberg.

Women have served in the military in various capacities for over 200 years. However, women in the United States were not given the option to serve as full-fledged military personnel until 1948, when President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law, officially allowing women to serve as full, permanent members of all branches of the Armed Forces. Even though women could serve as military members in all branches, they were still not allowed to serve in combat. It was not until 2013 that then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the ban on women in combat would be lifted entirely, and that female service members would be allowed to serve in ground combat roles. “In 2015, hundreds of thousands of jobs were opened to women, and ensured that as long as female service members completed the necessary training and requirements, they could now serve in almost any role in the U.S. military.” Though the U.S. military has taken strides to move towards a more equitable future, worldwide, women are up against roadblocks, harsh laws and cultural stereotypes that prevent them from playing a more active role in today’s military.

With the recent military withdrawal in Afghanistan, and with Veteran’s Day coming up (November 11th), we wanted to not only highlight the tremendous impact of women in the United States military, but those also fighting for military equality in other nations, specifically in places like Afghanistan and Syria. The following five titles illustrate various women fighting to gain an equal footing among their male soldier counterparts, from becoming a Special Operations warrior during the conflict in Afghanistan to an Afghan pilot searching for her place among the Afghan Air Force.


Amazon.com: Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield eBook : Lemmon, Gayle Tzemach: Kindle StoreAshley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (2015). Lemmon’s work chronicles the story of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command pilot program, called Cultural Support Teams (CSTs), which allowed elite women soldiers the chance to fight alongside Green Berets and Army Rangers in Afghanistan. The program, which began in 2010, was the first program to put women in special operations. It brought together a hand-picked group of women from the Army and National Guard, including 1st Lt. Ashley White, the first CST member killed in action. The job of these elite women was to “be the softer side of the harshest side of war;” to work with one of the largest populations in Afghan culture that was previously out of reach to male military members: Afghan women.

Ashley’s War illustrates a different perspective of combat – women on the battlefield. While women were “technically” banned from serving in combat positions, these CST members accompanied Special Operations forces into the heart of battle, on night raids, and in the middle of gunfire. The author conveys an underlying tension among the CST members as they prepare for nightly missions. Will the male soldiers embrace the CST members as one of their own teammates? Is it possible for men and women to coexist in battle? This book challenges your previous assumptions of war, as you witness it through the fresh eyes of women who have never experienced combat. These courageous soldiers play a critical role in advancing the conversation about women in combat, a discussion that is still under debate and talked about in the current military landscape. Ashley’s War is currently being developed into a major motion picture at Universal Studios with Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea producing.


Open Skies: My Life as Afghanistan's First Female Pilot, Rahmani, Niloofar, Sikes, Adam, eBook - Amazon.comOpen Skies: My Life as Afghanistan’s First Female Pilot by Niloofar Rahmani and Adam Sikes (2021). This timely book illustrates another perspective of women in the military, through the eyes of an Afghan woman struggling to serve her country. Rahmani tells her story as the first female-fixed wing Air Force aviator in Afghanistan’s history and the first female pilot in the Afghan Air Force since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. She weaves her “personal history into a broader review of Afghanistan’s past, detailing the years of war her family experienced. Her father was conscripted by the Soviets; the family fled the Taliban and fled in exile; then, after her return, the American invasion brought both concern and cautious optimism.” Rahmani skillfully describes the perils of life for Afghan women as they are forced to live within an oppressive, hostile, and dismissive culture. Her work shines light on another perspective that is rarely delved into depth, the experience of women in Afghanistan. It also highlights the many roadblocks and stereotypes of women in the military, especially for a woman fighting against harsh rules and limits in modern-day Afghanistan.


Amazon.com: Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War: 9781451668117: Thorpe, Helen: BooksSoldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorpe (2014). Thorpe’s narrative, spanning 12 years, follows three women from enlistment in the Indiana National Guard, through deployment, and back home again. These three women thought that in joining the National Guard their attendance and work would be minimal, occasionally attending training. In exchange, they would be given the best chances available for them to better themselves: by attending college, having a steady paycheck, and engaging in something bigger than themselves. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, these women found themselves in combat zones in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Similar to Ashley’s War, Thorpe illustrates the impact of war and how it changes women, a subject that is often focused on the male perspective. This book also details an important aspect of American history, discussing the cultural failings, resilience, and progress of the American way of life. In its chapters about the women’s return to civilian life, Thorpe illuminates the realities of being female and poor in this country. As one passage illustrates, being in a Target triggers an emotional moment for one of the women, as looking for toilet paper seems so superfluous and wasteful. Thorpe spent four years interviewing these three women; what she learned offers a moving portrait of both of the toll that wartime military life takes and the realities of civilian life when returning from war.


Amazon.com: Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience: 9781501162541: Bhagwati, Anuradha: BooksUnbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience by Anuradha Bhagwati (2019). Bhagwati’s memoir offers a distinctive lens on her service in the Marines, tackling various issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sexual violence, misogyny, and racism, among many others. Born an obedient daughter of Indian immigrants, Unbecoming tells the story of Bhagwati enlisting in the Marines after graduating Yale, to her later creation of the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN). Unlike the other books in this blog post, Bhagwati takes a deep dive into the politics of supporting women in the military. She takes her fight to Congress, illustrating her triumphs and struggles in dealing with politicians, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and California representative Jackie Speier. Her candid memoir shows her view of misogyny and gender segregation in the military, and her fight to make an impact on the gender equality issues of our time.


The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice: Lemmon, Gayle Tzemach: 9780525560685: Amazon.com: BooksThe Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (2021). Lemmon’s most recent title delves into the conflict in Syria and the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS). An all-female protection unit of Syrian Kurdish Fighters, known as the YPJ, fast became the face of the war against ISIS and gained a reputation as fierce and effective fighters. Through the stories of four female soldiers, Lemmon paints a picture of their combat against ISIS and their fight for women’s equality in the battle for the city of Kobani. Aided by U.S. intelligence and airstrikes, these women and the many other Women’s Protection Units helped to retake the city from ISIS. Lemmon, using the stories of these four women as a backdrop, elucidates the complex history of the region and the fight for equality among women who are performing the same tasks beside their male counterparts. Recently, this title was optioned by HiddenLight Productions as a future film adaption.


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

Native American Heritage: What’s Streaming at Duke Libraries

For Native American History Month, one of Duke Libraries’ streaming video platforms,  Docuseek, is highlighting a number of films about and made by Indigenous Peoples.  Docuseek presents an excellent collection of documentary films about Native Americans,  including National Film Board of Canada’s First Nations films, Women Make Movies, and distributors Bullfrog Films and Icarus Films.

These selections trace Indigenous activism, movement-building, politics, art, culture, language, astronomy, restorative-justice systems, and the fight to protect water and sacred lands.

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As Nutayuneaan (dir. Anne Makepeace, 2011)

 

As Nutayuneaan (We Still Live Here) 
Tells the amazing story of the return of the Wampanoag language, a language that was silenced for more than a century.
(Bullfrog Films; streaming with Duke netid/password)

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Conscience Point (dir. Treva Wurmfeld, 2021)


Conscience Point
Unearths a deep clash of values between the Shinnecock Indian Nation and their elite Hamptons neighbors, who have made sacred land their playground. (Women Make Movies; streaming with Duke netid/password)

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Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (dir. Alanis Obomsawin, 2015)

 

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
Examines the historic confrontation between the Mohawks, Québec police, and the Canadian army that propelled Native issues into the international spotlight and into the Canadian conscience.
(National Film Board of Canada; streaming with Duke netid/password)

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The Mystery of Chaco Canyon, dir. Anna Sofaer, 2015)

The Mystery of Chaco Canyon
Unveils the ancient astronomy of southwestern Pueblo Indians.
(Bullfrog Films; streaming with Duke netid/password)

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Skydancer (dir. Katja Esson, 2021)

Skydancer
Academy Award-nominated director Katja Esson explores the colorful and at times tragic history of the Mohawk skywalkers, men who leave their families on the reservation to travel to NYC to work construction jobs.
(Women Make Movies; streaming with Duke netid/password)

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Standing on Sacred Ground (dir. Christopher McLeod, 2015)

Standing on Sacred Ground
In this four-part documentary series from the producer of In the Light of Reverence, native people share ecological wisdom and spiritual reverence while battling a utilitarian view of land in the form of government megaprojects, consumer culture, and resource extraction as well as competing religions and climate change.
(Bullfrog Films; streaming with Duke netid/password)

Native Cinema Showcase 2021

If these titles whet your appetite for more great movies, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is coming up later this month. An annual celebration of the best in Native film, this year’s showcase is online  and runs from November 12-18, 2021. And Women Make Movies is screening online a selection of films by and about Native American women from November 19-30th; sign up here to receive more info.

What to Read this Month: October 2021

As the leaves are finally changing and the temperatures are finally resembling those of autumn, you might find yourself looking for a new book to read with your PSL or otherwise seasonally appropriate hot beverage. Well, look no further! Here’s a quick sampling of some recently added titles in our Overdrive and New & Noteworthy collections. Remember, we are always adding new titles to both of these collections, so be sure to frequently check back with each of them!


The Wrong End of the Telescope: Alameddine, Rabih: 9780802157805: Amazon.com: BooksThe Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine. Alameddine’s sixth novel tells the story of Mina Simpson, a middle-aged Lebanese-American physician who volunteers to treat migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos in the midst of a refugee crisis. The experience is very emotionally taxing for Mina, in no small part because her patients and their lives remind her so much of her painful childhood growing up in Beirut, clashing with the conservative culture in which she was raised—along with her abusive parents—before eventually attending Harvard, becoming a doctor in Chicago, undergoing gender transitioning, and adopting her current name. While dealing with these connections, she serves as a vivid narrator of all the people she encounters, painting detailed portraits of her patients to an unnamed Lebanese writer, and wryly criticizing the Western journalists and others who have come to Lesbos to gawk at the crisis as it unfolds. Indeed, the novel offers a thorough examination of Western attitudes toward the Middle East and the refugee crisis in particular, as Mina and the writer contemplate how her stories might be received in the United States. You can read reviews here and here.


Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence: Hill, Anita: 9780593298299: Amazon.com: BooksBelieving: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence by Anita Hill. In this book, Brandeis law professor Anita Hill discusses the current state of gender-based violence in the contemporary United States, describing its general pervasiveness and inextricable connection to other forms of bigotry, including racism and transphobia. Reflecting on her own allegations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and her subsequent testimony against him during his confirmation hearings thirty years ago, Hill remarks upon how little the myriad difficulties facing people alleging gender-based violence against those in power have changed, comparing her experience with that of Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged sexual assault by, and testified against, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, as well as that of Tara Reade, who alleged that now-President Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. In describing all these events, as well as several others, Hill focuses primarily on the numerous barriers facing those who experience gender-based violence, as well as the way this violence affects everyone all of ages, races, and social classes. With its informative—though often difficult—details, Hill’s book is a compelling read. You can read reviews here and here.


My Monticello: Fiction: Johnson, Jocelyn Nicole: 9781250807151: Amazon.com: BooksMy Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson. In this debut collection, Johnson tells numerous stories, most of which feature Black characters in contemporary Virginia (Johnson’s home state) reckoning with experiences of racism and their own racial identities, with the heavy history and culture of the state serving as a kind of omnipresent backdrop. The titular novella of the collection, which takes up the most space in the book and also arrives at the very end of the collection, sets itself in a near-future Charlottesville undergoing organized racial violence perpetrated by white supremacist militias (with Johnson’s imagery heavily alluding to the events of the 2017 Unite the Right rally that took place in the city). In this story, UVA student Da’Naisha leads a group of fleeing Black and brown Charlottesville residents (including her own grandmother) to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation located just outside the city; having previously interned there, Da’Naisha knows it to be a potentially effective hideout. As the characters hide there, they are continuously confronted with the links between the plantation’s history and their current circumstances as refugees from racial violence. For Da’Naisha, this link is particularly acute, as she reveals to her grandmother that they are both descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. You can read reviews here and here.


Americanon by Jess McHugh: 9781524746636 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: BooksAmericanon: An Unexpected U.S. History in Thirteen Bestselling Books by Jess McHugh. In this nonfiction debut, journalist McHugh traces the history of common cultural values and ideas of success in American society by examining thirteen bestselling books, all of which serve as instructional texts of some kind (with many resembling modern-day self-help books, despite preceding the advent of the formal genre). Ranging from The Old Farmer’s Almanac to Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, McHugh offers up a comprehensive overview of each title, explaining the varying cultural contexts and publication histories surrounding them. In so doing, she creates a fascinating work on the ways commonplace American values have changed—and not changed—over the past three centuries, and also offers a thorough examination of whose voices and values have been (and currently are) the most present and privileged in the popular market of didactic books. You can read reviews here and here.


Arsenic and Adobo (A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery Book 1) - Kindle edition  by Manansala, Mia P.. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @  Amazon.com.Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala. Manansala’s debut, the first entry in a new mystery series, tells the story of Lila Macapagal, a young woman who has moved back to her Illinois hometown following the emotionally-wrought breakup of her engagement. While she intends simply to assist her aunt in the running of her Filipino restaurant, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen, things quickly take a turn when her embittered ex-boyfriend from high school, restaurant reviewer Derek Winter, abruptly dies in the middle of a meal there. While these circumstances are enough to cast suspicion on Lila, making matters worse is the fact that Derek was dining with his stepfather, the restaurant’s landlord with whom Lila’s aunt had been having financial difficulties. Lila is quickly pinned as the primary suspect in Derek’s apparent murder, leaving her no recourse but to try to clear her name, which she does with the assistance of her friend Adeena and Adeena’s brother Amir, an attorney who also serves as Lila’s love interest. Though this mystery deals with a number of dark elements, the tone remains generally light throughout, and the events of the novel are brightened by Manansala’s detailed descriptions of food and the many ways it figures into the lives of the book’s characters. You can read reviews here and here.

5 Titles: Horror Films from African American Directors

The 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by Stephen Conrad, Team Lead for Western Languages in the Monograph Acquisitions Department.

With Halloween upon us, it seems like a fitting time to showcase five horror films from Black directors. The recent attention garnered by Jordan Peele’s films, and even more recently Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, is certainly warranted, but we’re here to take a dive into some older and perhaps overlooked spooky films lurking in the stacks.


Ganja & Hess - WikipediaGanja & Hessdirected by Bill Gunn (1973). A/K/A Blood Couple, a vampiric story of an old dagger’s germs infecting a couple with an insatiable taste for blood. Bill Gunn’s psychedelic, experimental and surreal saga eclipses all bounds of genre and form and has rightfully come to be acknowledged as a masterpiece. Playing the lead role of the anthropologist Hess Green is none other than Duane Jones, who was the iconic and tragi-heroic lead character in George Romero’s classic 1968 Night of the Living Dead. To quote critic James Monaco: “If Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is Native Son, Ganja and Hess is Invisible Man.” Also to note, it was remade by Spike Lee in 2014 with the title Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.


Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde - WikipediaDr. Black, Mr. Hyde, directed by William Crain (1976). In mid-70s Los Angeles. Dr Henry Pride (Bernie Casey) is a successful doctor who develops a formula to cure liver ailments, but with disastrous side effects, especially when he begins experimenting on himself. Once injected, the doctor becomes a murderous white-skinned monster, turning his evil intentions specifically upon pimps and sex workers. The director of 1972’s Blacula crafted his second Blaxploitation horror classic with this take on the Stevenson tale, updated for the streets of Watts. One of the coolest features is extensive inclusion of the Watts Towers towards the end, where Pride/Hyde meets his demise.


Def by Temptation - WikipediaDef by Temptationdirected by James Bond III (1990). A minister-to-be travels from North Carolina to New York City where he encounters a deeply evil succubus prowling on Black men, including his brother, in a swank bar. James Bond III’s only directorial effort, this Troma Films production features a cast that includes Kadeem Hardison, Bill Nunn, Melba Moore, Samuel L Jackson and Freddie Jackson. The neon-strewn sets, inclusion of the comedic and terrific period soundtrack elevate this above the typical Troma schlock fare. But don’t get it twisted, this is still bizarrely gory and gloriously off-kilter. And, it seems like an entire dissertation could be built on the cultural ramifications of Dwayne Wayne, in 1990, being consumed and regurgitated a-la-Cronenberg by a television set that has a cartoonish bust of Ronald Reagan sitting on top of it.


Tales from the Hood - WikipediaTales from the Hooddirected by Rusty Cundieff (1995). Four ultra-violent horror vignettes hosted by a Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III) in his funeral home as he gives a tour and tells tales to three hoods in search of stashed drugs. Director Rusty Cundieff (also at the helm of the riotous 1993 hip hop docu-spoof Fear of a Black Hat) unleashes the stories in classic Tales from the Crypt fashion but with a definite moral bent. Perhaps best of all is the one starring Corbin Bernsen as a flag-clutching racist politician named Duke, who is beset by a foul end at the hands of small dolls in his mansion that was formerly a plantation owner’s house. The segment even manages to tie in media manipulation, reparations, and ancestral folklore. Bonus points for an excellent soundtrack featuring the likes of Wu-Tang Clan and Gravediggaz.


Amazon.com: Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror : Jordan Peele, Rusty Cundieff, Ernest Dickerson, Tony Todd, Xavier Burgin: Movies & TVHorror Noire: The History of Black Horrordirected by Xavier Burgin (2019). A documentary survey through the history of Black horror films and the African American role in the genre from Birth of a Nation through the present day. This is a film version of the book by Robin Means Coleman, Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present. A terrific introduction that will surely leave the viewer wanting to watch and know much more.


If you’re looking for more horror films this Halloween, be sure to check out Lilly Library’s current collection spotlight on scary movies, also curated by Stephen Conrad!


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

Lilly Collection Spotlight: Scary Movies for a Horror-ful Halloween

Scary Movies for a Horror-ful Halloween

“Who are we gonna call” when we order films for Duke Libraries’ film collections? For Lilly Library, it’s not Ghostbusters but our guest curator, Stephen Conrad, that’s who! Stephen is Duke Libraries’ Team Lead for Western Languages in Monographic Acquisitions.  One of the hats he wears is “orders person” for new DVDs. Because of Stephen’s knowledge and interest in film, we invited him to curate (and order) new titles to give our horror collection a jolt! Enjoy Stephen’s horror-ful Halloween picks … if you dare!

Good Manners aka As Boas Maneiras

As Boas Maneiras Lilly DVD 34167
Translated into English as Good Manners, this is a Brazilian werewolf tale set in São Paulo, from directors Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra. A mysterious and wealthy woman hires a housekeeper/nanny for her unborn child. The two grow close but there are complications, to put it mildly. Part fairy tale, part musical, this beyond-genre experience is truly a wild one. (2017)

The Mutilator aka Fall Break

Mutilator  Lilly DVD 34199
Also known as Fall Break,  this North Carolina produced teen slasher was the first and only effort from director Buddy Cooper. Low in budget and high in gore, the picture is of particular interest for visitors to the NC coast, as large portions were filmed around the Crystal Coast locales of Morehead City and Atlantic Beach.

Season of the Witch Lilly DVD 34156

Season of the Witch  Lilly DVD 34156
One of George A. Romero’s earlier films, the retitled Hungry Wives is the tale of a suburban Pittsburgh housewife turning to witchcraft as an escape from her doldrums. Perhaps more social commentary than true horror, Romero is still a master and conjures dread and seediness from both roomfuls of shag carpet and boorish husbands.

House of the Devil Lilly DVD 34155

House of the Devil  Lilly DVD 34155
A truly creepy and terrifying evil-house movie, from 2009 but set in the horror/slasher epoch of 1983. Director Ti West continually ratchets up the fright as a cash-strapped college student takes a babysitting gig at a big old house outside of town. But, there are no kids. And it’s a full lunar eclipse. Oh yeah, and Satan’s in the house.

Messiah of Evil Lilly DVD 34200

Messiah of Evil  Lilly DVD 34200
1973. Quasi-zombies.  Art.  A bright Ralph’s supermarket at night.  ‘Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.’  JOY BANG! Suspended bed.  Proto Blue-Man-Group.  The director of ‘Howard the Duck’.  More art.  Fires on the beach. Undead Cult.  Point Dune.  Second Coming.  Electronic score.  Blood moon.  ELISHA COOK, JR.!

Without Name Lilly DVD 34171

Without Name  Lilly DVD 34171
Modern Irish eco-horror by director Lorcan Finnegan. A land surveyor and his assistant are sent on a job into a forest outside of Dublin, only for things to go eerily and dreadfully awry. The sound design is most notable, and to paraphrase the lead character: “I could say it is a doorway or frequency or dream….it is like those things, but not.”


Films and their descriptions curated by Stephen Conrad.  For another window into our horror collection, check out his companion post, 5 Titles: Horror from African American Directors

A Halloween Bonus Treat!
Seeking additional thrills and chills?
If you’re feeling brave, take a peek at our online
Screaming  videos!
Access these frightful films with
your Duke netid/password.

 


 

Powerful Documentary Films Honoring Indigenous Peoples

The Docuseek streaming video platform  provides a window into subjects and content from around the world and across disciplines. Here is a selection of titles that examine indigenous peoples of North America. Available through Duke Libraries with netid/password authentication, explore new cultures and topics through the lens of award-winning filmmakers.

Ama  Stream Online
A powerful look at the untold story of the involuntary sterilization of Native American women conducted by the Indian Health Service and lasting  well into the 1970s.
(Bullfrog Films, 2019, dir. Lorna Tucker)

 

Awake : a dream from Standing Rock Stream Online or Lilly DVD 31281
Moving from summer 2016, when demonstrations over the Dakota Access Pipeline’s demolishing of sacred Native burial grounds began, the film documents the story of Native-led  fight for clean water and the  environment. The film is a collaboration between indigenous filmmakers: Director Myron Dewey and Executive Producer Doug Good Feather; and environmental Oscar-nominated filmmakers Josh Fox and James Spione.

nipawistamasowin: We Will Stand Up Stream Online
The story of the killing of young Cree man Colten Boushie and his family’s pursuit of justice weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption. (National Film Board of Canada, 2020, dir. Tasha Hubbard)


Paulette
Stream Online
Follows the historic campaign of Paulette Jordan, the first Native American candidate — as well as the first woman — to win the Idaho Primary for Governor. (Women Make Movies, 2020, dir. Heather Rae)


Sisters Rising Stream Online
Native American survivors of sexual assault fight to restore personal and tribal sovereignty against the backdrop of an ongoing legacy of violent colonization. (Woman Make Movies, 2021, dir. Willow O’Feral)


Tribal Justice Stream Online

Anne Makepeace documents an effective criminal justice reform movement in America: the efforts of tribal courts to return to traditional, community-healing concepts of justice. (Bullfrog Films, 2017, dir. Anne Makepeace)


Without a Whisper Stream online

The untold story of the profound influence of Indigenous women on the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the United States. (Women Make Movies, 2020, dir. Katsitsionni Fox)

 

What to Read this Month: September 2021

Hello again! We at the library hope your semester has gotten off to a good start, and that you’re enjoying the great weather we’ve been having lately. I myself have been so excited about the apparent start of fall (we’ll see if it sticks this time) that I’ve nearly forgotten to recommend some great new reads for the month. Whoops! Fortunately, since our New & Noteworthy and Overdrive collections are adding new titles all the time, it’s easy to find something new to read, even on short notice. Here are just a few of these new selections!


Amazon.com: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel: 9780385545136: Whitehead, Colson: BooksHarlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. In this latest novel by Whitehead, winner of last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, furniture salesman Ray Carney finds himself at the center of a heist gone wrong in early 1960s Harlem. Specifically covering the years 1959 to 1964, the reader watches as Ray attempts to balance his slightly doubled life as an upstanding entrepreneur who occasionally fences stolen goods for thieves, a balance that is slowly unraveled by a heist at the locally renowned Hotel Theresa perpetuated by his cousin Freddie in the first act. Freddie, who is far more of a career criminal than Ray, arranges for him to fence the products of the heist, and this intrusion into his work has consequences that run the course of the book. Along the way, Ray also plans revenge against an unscrupulous banker, and this act brings with it its own host of various and sundry characters and events. As the story takes shape, too, it meaningfully engages with the contemporary history of Harlem, all the while maintaining its humor and gentle parody of 20th century crime fiction. You can read reviews here and here.


Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America: Washington, Kate:  9780807011508: Amazon.com: BooksAlready Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America by Kate Washington. In this book, Washington chronicles her own experiences of caregiving from 2016 to 2018 while linking them to the extensive, collective struggle of unpaid family caregivers in the contemporary United States. With often devastating detail, she describes the way in which her husband Brad’s sudden lymphoma diagnosis completely upended the lives of herself and her family, his rare illness repeatedly evading treatment and requiring Washington to devote all her time to learning how to care for him at the expense of her career and relationships, including with Brad himself. Washington deftly contextualizes these experiences by discussing how systemic barriers play out in caregiving situations, noting, among other things, how unpaid caregivers—who are disproportionately women—are routinely denied any kind of meaningful support in modern-day American society. Though she ends her account by discussing Brad’s general improvement after a stem-cell transplant (which it is by no means a full recovery), she uses her experience to call for increased structural support for caregivers. You can read a review here and listen to an interview with Washington here.


Afterparties: Stories: So, Anthony Veasna: 9780063049901: Amazon.com: BooksAfterparties by Anthony Veasna So. This short story collection, So’s posthumous debut (he died in December 2020 at the age of 28), tells the stories of numerous Cambodian-American characters, young and old alike, in California’s Central Valley. The stories primarily concern themselves with generational and cultural differences between the characters as they each reckon with their Cambodian identity in various ways. At a donut shop, a wedding, a car repair shop, and still many other settings, So’s characters interact and clash over what this identity should mean and how it manifests in their lives. In all, the stories touch on themes of sexuality, the cultural importance of food, generational ties, and the enduring legacy of the Cambodian genocide, among other topics. You can read reviews here and here.


Craft: An American History: Adamson, Glenn: 9781635574586: Amazon.com: BooksCraft: An American History by Glenn Adamson. In this exhaustive survey, stretching some four centuries, curator Adamson covers the importance of craft in American history, emphasizing its universal presence in all the cultures that form the modern-day United States. In defining craft as “whenever a skilled person makes something with their hands,” too, Adamson’s reach is quite broad, studying everything from the effect of the industrial revolution on American craft to the much more recent impact of e-commerce and social media. Throughout this lengthy discussion, Adamson is quick to discuss the long and fraught relationship between craft and capitalism, noting the repeated tendency of American culture to characterize craft as unserious and lacking in value, and to characterize crafters—particularly those of marginalized identity—in exploitative, demeaning, and fetishistic ways. In all, the book is a nuanced and fascinating read. You can read reviews here and here.


The Disaster Tourist: A Novel: Ko-Eun, Yun, Buehler, Lizzie: 9781640094161:  Amazon.com: BooksThe Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun (translated by Lizzie Buehler). In this dark satire of late-stage capitalism, originally published in South Korea in 2013 but published in English for the first time last year, Yun tells the story of Yona, an employee at a travel company that specializes in disaster tourism, arranging tours to locales devastated by all kinds of momentous crises for the perceived moral betterment of their customers. Yona has worked for the company for 10 years, coordinating tours and assessing what locations would bring in the most clients, but is on the brink of quitting after facing the sexual harassment of her boss and getting demoted for no clear reason. In a last-ditch effort to keep her in the company, she is directed to travel to an island called Mui, the company’s least popular destination. There, Yona discovers a seemingly ludicrous plot being carried out by the company: to bring in more clients, the company will create a disaster on the island, one that will surely kill a significant number of its inhabitants. From here, Yona must make some critical decisions, and Yun portrays her subsequent period on the island in a terrifying and yet darkly humorous way. You can read reviews here and here.

2021 Banned Books Week

This post was written by Sydney Adams, current practicum student in the Research and Instructional Services department at Duke and second year graduate student in the School of Information and Library Science at UN Chapel-Hill.

This week (September 26th-October 2nd, 2021) is Banned Books Week, which is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. The theme for Banned Books Week this year is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” While censorship creates barriers between us, sharing stories allows us to forge connections with one another.

This year, we have compiled a collection of commonly banned and challenged books for Mystery Date with a Banned Book. Below is a list of books that were either banned or challenged during 2020, but instead of telling you the book titles, we’ve provided a summary of each book and the reason(s) why it was banned or challenged. If any of these books sound interesting to you, click on the “Mystery Book” link to check out that book from Duke University Libraries.

  • Mystery Book 1: In this novel, two teens—one Black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.
    • Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism and because it was thought to promote antipolice views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now.”
  • Mystery Book 2: Japanese animation is more popular than ever following the 2002 Academy Award given to Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. It confirmed that anime is more than just children’s cartoons, often portraying important social and cultural themes. This book will be the authoritative source on anime for an exploding market of viewers who want to know more.
    • Reasons: Challenged because it includes pornographic content in a chapter that explores the subject of bodies in hentai, a sub-genre of anime.
  • Mystery Book 3: This is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove—a Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others—who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
    • Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse.
  • Mystery Book 4: Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
    • Reasons: Challenged in North Carolina for being “anti-Christian” and on the grounds that the school’s use of the novel violates constitutional safeguards against government endorsement of religion.
  • Mystery Book 5: This autobiography charts the author’s journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.
    • Reason: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content.
  • Mystery Book 6: The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons their love, their sacrifices, and their lies.
    • Reasons: This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”
  • Mystery Book 7: Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas—and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.
    • Reasons: Banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.

Summaries courtesy of Syndetic Solutions, Inc. Reasons for ban or challenge courtesy of the American Library Association and the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

5 Titles: Environmental Justice

Janil MillerThe 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by Janil Miller, Librarian for Marine Science and Coordinator, Pearse Memorial Library at Duke Marine Laboratory, and Brittany Wofford, Librarian for the Nicholas School of the Environment.

Brittany WoffordBlack Americans and other minority populations have long been disproportionately affected by toxic chemicals in the workplace and communities. Multiple studies have found that race is a major factor in siting hazardous waste facilities. In fact, activists and scholars often identify 1982 as the start of the modern environmental justice movement when the residents of Warren County, North Carolina protested against the siting of the Warren County PCB Landfill in their county. Afterwards, organizers and activists moved so-called mainstream environmental organizations to include environmental justice as a priority and worked within the government to create the EPA’s Office of Environmental Equity, now known as the Office of Environmental Justice. Today, the environmental justice movement encompasses many issues that most strongly burden communities of color, including water access, sanitation, exposure to toxins, air quality, displacement and climate change.

These titles range from foundational texts to works by a new generation of activists, researchers and filmmakers. While different in format and focus, they all highlight the power of community activism in the fight against environmental racism and moving toward a more just future.


Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class, And Environmental Quality, Third Edition:  Bullard, Robert D.: 9780813367927: Amazon.com: BooksDumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality by Robert D. Bullard (1990). Bullard’s work is a foundational text in environmental justice literature, identifying a shift in the environmental movement, which had previously focused on wildlife conservation and pollution abatement. Focusing on the efforts of five Black communities, he details the social and psychological impacts associated with the siting of polluting facilities and the mobilization of those communities, empowered by the civil rights movement, to fight against those injustices. In doing so, he situates environmentalism as a key social justice issue. Bullard is currently a Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University, having previously served as Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. In 2020, he was honored with the UN Environment Programme’s Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award.


There's Something In The Water | Columbia University PressThere’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities by Ingrid R. G. Waldron (2018). In this work, Waldron, an associate professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University and the Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project, details the efforts of Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotians fighting racism and environmental hazards in their communities. Using settler colonialism as an overarching theory, Waldron unpacks how environmental racism “operates as a mechanism of erasure enabled by the intersecting dynamics of white supremacy, power, state-sanctioned racial violence, neoliberalism and racial capitalism in white settler societies.” This work is unique in its exploration of intersectionality and calls attention to the ways race can be excluded or downplayed in environmental justice work and narratives.


Waste: One Woman's Fight Against America's Dirty Secret: Flowers, Catherine  Coleman, Stevenson, Bryan: 9781620976081: Amazon.com: BooksWaste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret by Catherine Coleman Flowers (2020). Catherine Coleman Flowers is an extraordinary woman with a powerful story to tell. The book details the varied life experiences that shaped her into a tireless champion for the far-too-numerous poor Americans across this country that suffer from inadequate sanitation. Ms. Flowers’ story begins in the Black Belt of Alabama, a region that played a pivotal role in the fight for civil and voting rights in the mid-1960s. This struggle was deeply personalized through the witness of her parents’ commitment to and support of these social justice movements. Her activism and advocacy blossomed early and continued to grow organically out of persistent exposure to a wide spectrum of injustices. In 2008, she met and accepted support in her fight to reduce disparities in the healthcare system from Bryan Stevenson and his Equal Justice Initiative in nearby Montgomery. While her life’s work has exposed her to celebrities and numerous advocates, she keeps her focus on those whose daily struggle is safe and proper sanitation. Inspired by powerful role models like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bryan Stevenson, Ms. Flowers is surely inspiring the next generation in their quest for social justice.


Docuseek | Global Environmental Justice CollectionGEJ: Global Environmental Justice Documentaries. This platform is an academic streaming source for the best in social issue and documentary film, with hundreds of titles in all major disciplines. In browsing the titles, films newest to the platform are clearly highlighted. Films can be discovered through the subject index while advance search allows for limiting results by keyword, film length, language, awards, appropriate audience, etc. Guides associated with many films provide additional details, selected excerpts if time for viewing is limited, discussion questions and supplementary information. Two included works are:

    • People of the Feather (2011), directed by Joel Heath with the community of Sanikiluaq inhabitants of the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay. This film looks at the many changes to their way of life as upstream dams/hydro-energy facilities release warm, fresh water in the winter season, changing the sea-ice nature and currents.
    • Tar Creek (2012), directed by Matt Meyers. This film is “the story of the worst environmental disaster you’ve never heard of in northeastern Oklahoma,” the far, far reaching consequences of the transformation of the Quapaw Tribe’s reservation “into one of the largest lead and zinc mines on the planet.”

The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice (Routledge International  Handbooks): Holifield, Ryan, Chakraborty, Jayajit, Walker, Gordon:  9781138932821: Amazon.com: BooksThe Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice, edited by Ryan Holifield, Jayajit Chakraborty and Gordon Walker (2018). This volume “presents an extensive and cutting-edge introduction to the diverse, rapidly growing body of research on pressing issues of environmental justice and injustice. With wide-ranging discussion of current debates, controversies, and questions in the history, theory, and methods of environmental justice research, contributed by over 90 leading social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and scholars from professional disciplines from six continents, it is an essential resource both for newcomers to this research and for experienced scholars and practitioners.” The 51 chapters are divided into four broad sections: (1) “Situating, analyzing, and theorizing environmental justice,” (2) “Methods in environmental justice research;” (3) “Substantive issues” and (4) “Global and regional dimensions.” The online book allows for keyword searching; results can be further refined by selecting subject or geographic filters. The chapters are easily navigated by menu, are well referenced, and available as PDFs.

Chapter 30, Urkidi, Leire and Mariana Walter’s, “Environmental justice and large-scale mining,” looks at environmental justice in the climate of expanding global demand and rapid growth in the resource extraction industry. It is arranged in three broad areas: the biophysical characteristics of large-scale mining; the distribution of burden/benefits; and lastly a granular look at social “struggles, movements, and discourses” surrounding the industry.


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

What to Read this Month: August 2021

Welcome to the fall semester! We at the library know that this is a busy time for everyone at Duke (including ourselves), but if you have time to read, here are some new recommendations from our New & Noteworthy and Overdrive collections! The titles below represent only a tiny fraction of these collections, so be sure to follow those links to explore them in more depth. For the first time in a long time, too, you can visit our New & Noteworthy collection on the first floor of Perkins, inside the lobby by the Perk. Just be sure to wear a mask!


Amazon.com: The Aeneid: 9781984854100: Vergil, Virgil, Bartsch, Shadi: BooksThe Aeneid by Vergil, translated by Shadi Bartsch. Though there are numerous English translations of Vergil’s epic, Bartsch’s, which was published in the US earlier this year, sets itself apart by striving to be as close to the original Latin as possible in its content and presentation. Unlike most English translations, Bartsch largely preserves Vergil’s rhythm, resulting in often clipped English that starkly contrasts with other high-profile translations of the poem. Accompanying the translation is her introduction, in which she discusses the Aeneid’s continuing political resonance today, over 2000 years after it was originally written. In all, this new translation offers an innovative look at the poem, one that keeps close to Vergil while also rendering the poem accessible to modern-day readers. You can read a review here and an excerpt here.


How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across  America: Smith, Clint: 9780316492935: Amazon.com: BooksHow the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith. In this book, Atlantic staff writer Smith studies the way the history and legacy of slavery in the United States has been dealt with at nine historic sites (eight in the US, and one abroad). As Smith observes, each site reckons with the subject quite differently—he contrasts, for example, the centering of enslaved people’s lives at Louisiana’s Whitney Plantation with the glorification of the Confederacy at Virginia’s Blandford Cemetery—reflecting the contradictory and tumultuous understanding of slavery present in American culture at large. Smith’s depiction of these sites is multi-faceted and richly described, in no small part because he interviews such a wide range of people, including tourists and tour guides, historians and other experts, and formerly incarcerated people. In presenting such a complex picture of historical reception in the contemporary United States, Smith offers a compelling and extremely relevant read. You can read reviews here and here.


Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner: 9780525657743 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: BooksCrying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. In this memoir Zauner, founder of the band Japanese Breakfast, depicts her often complicated relationship with her mother Chongmi, as well as her grief following Chongmi’s death from cancer in 2014. Though Zauner describes a childhood and adolescence in which she attempts to distance herself from her and Chongmi’s Korean heritage (Zauner’s father Joel is white American), she finds that her ties to her mother always remain in some form, and often hinge upon their shared love of Korean cuisine. Just when Zauner begins to increasingly reconnect with her mother in her twenties, Chongmi is diagnosed with cancer. Zauner describes the futility of the treatments and her mother’s slow death, and spends the rest of the book depicting the ways in which her intense grief shaped her life and musical work. In describing these emotionally wrought events, the memoir serves as a unique meditation on the relationship between food and identity, as well as grief. You can read reviews here and here.


Amazon.com: Hearing Homer's Song: The Brief Life and Big Idea of Milman  Parry: 9780525520948: Kanigel, Robert: BooksHearing Homer’s Song: The Brief Life and Big Idea of Milman Parry by Robert Kanigel. In this biography, Kanigel tackles the life of classicist Milman Parry, who died young but proved to be monumentally influential on the field of Classical studies. Though some previous Classical scholars had proposed the idea that Homer, legendary author of the Iliad and Odyssey, was not in fact a real person, it was Parry who first fully fleshed out the idea that the epics were the products of generations of storytelling by countless performers. Kanigel discusses at length how Parry came to this conclusion, including his pointed observations about language and meter in Homer’s poems, as well as his travels to Yugoslavia, where he closely studied the oral traditions of the region’s singers and performers. In the midst of this discussion, Kanigel talks about the often difficult circumstances of Parry’s personal life, including his dysfunctional marriage and untimely death: Parry shot himself at the age of 33 in 1935, but whether this was a suicide, an accident, or a murder at the hands of his wife remains unclear. You can read reviews here and here.


Revival Season: A Novel: West, Monica: 9781982133306: Amazon.com: BooksRevival Season by Monica West. In this novel, West tells the story of teenager Miriam Horton as she accompanies her family on a summer-long tour of Baptist revivals in the South. Her father Samuel, once an exceptionally popular preacher and faith healer on the revival circuit, finds his audience evaporating as word gets out about his physically assaulting a pregnant teenager during the previous summer. This disappointment heightens preexisting tensions between the volatile Samuel and his family, but things get even more complicated for Miriam when she discovers that, unlike her father, she has a genuine ability to heal others. What follows is Miriam’s gradual coming-of-age, and the discovery of her individual spirituality, as she navigates her relationships with her father, mother, sister, and various others. In bringing Miriam’s story to life, West offers a thoughtful and enjoyable—though sometimes intense—meditation on African-American evangelicalism, patriarchy, and general spirituality. You can read reviews here and here.

What to Read this Month: July 2021

Looking for something new to read?   Check out our New and Noteworthy, Overdrive, and Current Literature collections for some good reads to enjoy!


Chatter: The Voice in our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross. Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we often hope to tap into our inner coach but find our inner critic instead. When we’re facing a tough task, our inner coach can buoy us up: Focus–you can do this. But, just as often, our inner critic sinks us entirely: I’m going to fail. They’ll all laugh at me. What’s the use? Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies–from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch, to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy–Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work, and relationships. You can read reviews here, here, and here.


The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix, author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. Lynette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre. For more than a decade, she’s been meeting with five other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, working to put their lives back together. Then one woman misses a meeting, and their worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to rip their lives apart again, piece by piece. But the thing about final girls is that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up. Read a review here, and an interview here.


How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones. In the tradition of Zadie Smith and Marlon James, a brilliant Caribbean writer delivers a powerful story about four people each desperate to escape their legacy of violence in a so-called “paradise.” In Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, Lala’s grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister. It’s a cautionary tale, about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers and go into the Baxter’s Tunnels. When she’s grown, Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. The book is an intimate and visceral portrayal of interconnected lives, across race and class, in a rapidly changing resort town, told by an astonishing new author of literary fiction. You can read reviews here and here.


I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way through the TV Revolution by Emily Nussbaum. From The New Yorker ‘s fiercely original, Pulitzer Prize-winning culture critic, a provocative collection of new and previously published essays arguing that we are what we watch. In this collection, including two never-before-published essays, Nussbaum writes about her passion for television, beginning with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show that set her on a fresh intellectual path. She explores the rise of the female screw-up, how fans warp the shows they love, the messy power of sexual violence on TV, and the year that jokes helped elect a reality-television president. More than a collection of reviews, the book makes a case for toppling the status anxiety that has long haunted the “idiot box,” even as it transformed. Through it all, Nussbaum recounts her fervent search, over fifteen years, for a new kind of criticism, one that resists the false hierarchy that elevates one kind of culture (violent, dramatic, gritty) over another (joyful, funny, stylized). It’s a book that celebrates television as television, even as each year warps the definition of just what that might mean.


The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights by Dorothy Wickenden. In the 1850s, Harriet Tubman, strategically brilliant and uncannily prescient, rescued some seventy enslaved people from Maryland’s Eastern Shore and shepherded them north along the underground railroad. One of her regular stops was Auburn, New York, where she entrusted passengers to Martha Coffin Wright, a Quaker mother of seven, and Frances A. Seward, the wife of William H. Seward, who served over the years as governor, senator, and secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln.  Through richly detailed letters from the time and exhaustive research, Wickenden traces the second American revolution these women fought to bring about, the toll it took on their families, and its lasting effects on the country. Riveting and profoundly relevant to our own time, The Agitators brings a vibrant, original voice to this transformative period in our history. You can read review here, and the US National Archives has a video (starts at about the 10 minute mark) of a virtual book discussion with the author.

5 Titles: Unsung Black Women in the Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

The 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by RIS intern Tashiana Scott-Cochran.

When one thinks of Black women in the Olympics, we might immediately reflect on the celebrity, acolytes, achievements, and athletic prowess of tennis prodigies Venus and Serena Williams. However, dating back to 1936, many Black women have competed and won in their respective sports. Tennessee State University, under the tutelage of Coach Ed Temple, has the distinction of being home to the first Black Women’s Track team. It is no coincidence that several Black women in the Olympics, including Wilma Rudolph and Wyomia Tyus both featured in this month’s 5 Titles selections, achieved the milestone due to Temple’s legendary coaching.

The 5 Titles selected from the Duke University Libraries reflect the stories of Black women who mitigated their race, class, gender, sexuality, and their expectation of White America, Black America, and the world at large. These women — Alice Coachman, Theodora “Tidye” Pickett, Wilma Rudolph, Wyomia Tyus, and Althea Gibson, among others — have made significant contributions in their respective sports without receiving their just due.


Before Jackie Robinson: The Transcendent Role of Black Sporting Pioneers:  Gems, Gerald R.: 9780803266797: Amazon.com: BooksBefore Jackie Robinson: The Transcendent Role of Black Sporting Pioneers, edited and with an introduction by Gerald R. Gems (2017). This volume, edited by Gerald R. Gems, is an important introduction to Black athletes. The title provides pertinent information on athletes, who, in many instances, have not received the treatment of full-length scholarly biographies. Gems’ work highlights the impact of African American athletes on US black-white relations from the 1890s to the 1940s. Robert Pruter, author of one chapter, examines the life of Theodora “Tidye” Pickett, one of the first African American women to participate in the Olympic games and a track and field star in the 1930s. Tidye Pickett is considered the first woman to compete in the Olympic games in 1932 in Los Angeles and one of two Black women (Louise Stokes the other) who competed in the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany.


Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story: Tyus, Wyomia, Terzakis, Elizabeth:  9781617756580: Amazon.com: BooksTigerbelle: the Wyomia Tyus Story by Wyomia Tyus and Elizabeth Terzakis, with a foreword by Joy Reid (2018). Worthy of examination of her overlooked monumental accomplishments, Tyus is the first person to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals, setting a new world record in both the 1964 and 1968 Olympics for the 100-meter track and field event. Tyus’ life speaks to growing up in Georgia during Jim Crow, to social activism, gender equity, and inclusiveness. A finalist for the Track and Field Writers of America’s 2018 Armory Foundation Book Award and A Women’s National Book Association selection for the National Reading Group Month Great Group Reads for 2018, it is clear why this book has been a contender for many accolades and awards. In the decorated imagery, for example, the readers can “see” Tyus loosening up, “shaking it off”, and dancing in preparation for a competition. The author establishes Tyus as a dominating presence, a graceful sprinter who possessed the focus and accuracy of a mercenary.


A Spectacular Leap: Black Women Athletes in Twentieth-Century America:  Lansbury, Jennifer H.: 9781557286581: Amazon.com: BooksA Spectacular Leap: Black Women Athletes in Twentieth-Century America by Jennifer H. Lansbury (2014). Jennifer H. Lansbury studies the experiences of six Black women who participated in competitive sports in the twentieth century through the lens of race and gender. “Lansbury places the biographical narrative of each woman in the social context and describes the increasing role of women in sport.” She aptly notes that these Black women, while breaking racial barriers, were simultaneously facing criticisms about their sexuality and femininity. In the 1940s, Alice Coachman participated in integrated meets while confirming her sexuality in an era when women in track and field faced concerns about being a tomboy or were described as mannish. This is a shared experience for Wilma Rudolph, whose coach Ed Temple implored her and her teammates to be “young track ladies first and track girls second” so that they would be “foxes” not “oxes” (pp. 132-33).


Amazon.com: Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History  (9781501137105): Schiot, Molly: BooksGame Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History by Molly Schiot (2016). Before the term “instafamous” and the immediate, instant gratification society we have become accustomed to, there have been many Black women who have made contributions to their chosen sport that have been unnoticed. This is the impetus for Schiot’s work. Her two-year endeavor is a full-length text consisting of extravagant illustrations and summaries, varying in length and depth. Her work is a conversation piece that does not dismiss the cultural context for these Black female athletes in lieu of twenty-first century revisionist perspectives of race, gender, and athleticism. Ironically, these Black women Olympians, women such as Ora Mae Washington, Wyomia Tyus, Wilma Rudolph, and Althea Gibson, would have continued to remain obscure were it not for the reach of social media.


Passing the Baton: Black Women Track Stars and American Identity (Sport and  Society): Ariail, Cat M.: 9780252043482: Amazon.com: BooksPassing the Baton: Black Women Track Stars and American Identity by Cat M. Ariail (2020). Cat M. Ariail’s work, as described by the University of Illinois Press blog, looks at how “black American women track athletes used the Olympic stage to insert blackness and femaleness into the image of Americanness.” It is in that vein that Ariail situates the pivotal role played by these unsung Black women, who shattered boundaries and created records, yet found themselves rendered invisible, with their contributions and sacrifices rendered null. In her work on Black female athletes, Ariail lifts many Black women Olympians’ names out of obscurity, thereby making their lived experience of race, gender, sexism and their athletic achievements inextricably bound to one another.


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

Lilly Collection Spotlight: Films to Help Fortify and Fight Back

April 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To commemorate the anniversary, we’re highlighting powerful films in Lilly Library’s collection that illuminate and interrogate this urgent, essential issue.

scene from documentary film, "On the Record"
On the Record (2020, dirs. Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering)

On the Record (2020, dirs. Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering)
streaming video | Duke netid/password required
On the Record presents the haunting story of former A&R executive Drew Dixon, whose career and personal life were upended by the alleged abuse she faced from her high-profile male bosses. The documentary follows Dixon as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward to publicly accuse hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct.

film still from "Primas"
Primas (2018, dir. Laura Bari)

Primas (2018, dir. Laura Bari) Lilly DVD 32294
Primas
is an evocative and poetic portrait of two Argentine teenage cousins who come of age together as they overcome the heinous acts of violence that interrupted their childhoods.

Image from documentary film, "The Bystander Moment"
The Bystander Moment (2018, dir. Jackson Katz)

The Bystander Moment: Transforming Rape Culture  at its Roots  (2018, dir. Jeremy Earp)
streaming video | Duke netid/password required
The #MeToo movement has shined much-needed light on the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and abuse and created unprecedented demand for gender violence prevention models that actually work. The Bystander Moment tells the story of one of the most prominent and proven of these models – the innovative bystander approach developed by pioneering scholar and activist Jackson Katz and his colleagues at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society in the 1990s. Check out this and other films on gender violence prevention in the Media Education Foundation collection. 

Graphic from "Breaking Silence: a Film"
Breaking Silence: a Film (2017, dir. Nadya Ali)

Breaking Silence: a Film (2017, dir. Nadya Ali) Lilly DVD 31056
In Breaking Silence: a Film, Three Muslim women share their stories of sexual assault–and, in a deeply personal way, they challenge the stigma that has long suppressed the voice of survivors. Throughout America, many Muslim communities persist in stigmatizing all discussion of sex-related subjects. This documentary takes a radical and humanizing approach to the emotional scars of sexual assault, giving women the space to share their voices without shame.

Film still from "Sisters Rising"
Sisters Rising (2020, dirs. Willow O’Feral & Brack Heck)

And coming soon to Lilly’s film collection: SISTERS RISING, a powerful feature documentary about six Native American women reclaiming personal and tribal sovereignty. Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women, federal studies have shown, with one in three Native women reporting having been raped during her lifetime. Their stories shine an unflinching light on righting injustice on both an individual and systemic level.

5 Titles: Southern African American Outsider Artists

 

 

 

 

 

The 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by RIS intern Megan Koslofsky.

This month’s 5 Titles highlights the visual art of African American outsider artists who lived and worked in the American South. These artists, working with traditional or unconventional materials, documented and commented on the world around them during the Jim Crow era and beyond. Their work visually preserves the stories and experiences of African Americans living in the American South contributing to a deeper and more inclusive understanding of our nation’s shared history.


Souls Grown Deep, Vol. 1: African American Vernacular Art of the South: The  Tree Gave the Dove a Leaf: Paul Arnett, William S. Arnett: 9780965376600:  Amazon.com: BooksSouls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South, edited by Paul Arnett and William Arnett (2001). This title is a comprehensive overview of forty African American artists living and working in the American South. The book includes 800 color photographs and autobiographical accounts of their lives and works. Essays by scholars, civil rights leaders, and individuals working in the art profession examine the importance of these artists and their works. No longer neglected or diminished as primitive, unschooled or folk art, the book places these artists and their work firmly in the pantheon of 20th century American art. You can find out more about the Souls Grown Deep Foundation here.


Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor: Umberger, Leslie, Marshall, Kerry  James, Stebich, Stephanie: 9780691182674: Amazon.com: BooksBetween Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor by Leslie Umberger with an introduction by Kerry James Marshall (2018). Bill Traylor, born into slavery in 1853, spent the majority of his post-emancipated life as a sharecropper near Selma, Alabama. Eventually moving to segregated Montgomery at the age of 85 in 1938, he began painting and drawing scenes of urban life during Jim Crow and remembered scenes of rural life, ultimately creating more than one thousand works. While his work received limited attention during his life, it was not until thirty years after his death, in 1949, that his work was no longer marginalized and received the consideration it deserved. This exhibition catalog of the retrospective of his work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2018 includes 204 color plates. The introduction by artist Kerry James Marshall considers Traylor’s marginalization as an African American self-taught artist and curator Leslie Umberger’s essay explores Traylor’s veiled and coded commentary on issues of race and class.


Clementine Hunter: Her Life and Art: Shiver, Art, Whitehead, Tom:  9780807148785: Amazon.com: BooksClementine Hunter: Her Life and Art by Art Shiver and Tom Whitehead (2012). Born in Louisiana in late 1886 or early 1887 at Hidden Hill Plantation, Clementine Hunter, at fifteen, left to work as a sharecropper with her family at Melrose Plantation. It was at Melrose Plantation in the 1930’s, using the leftover paints of a visiting artist, that Hunter began to paint her experiences of plantation life as a field laborer and domestic servant and documenting the culture of the local African American community. After the death of her husband, Hunter began to sell her work. Living to the age of 101, she had achieved significant acclaim with museum shows and honors. This book includes reproductions of her work, photographs of the artist and her process, and extensive biographical information. This book confirms her rightful place in the canon of American art. You can learn more about Clementine Hunter here and here.


Amazon.com: Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial (9783791350585): Cubbs,  Joanne, Metcalf, Eugene W.: BooksHard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial, edited by Joanne Cubbs and Eugene W. Metcalf with essays by Joanne Cubbs, David C. Driskell, and Greg Tate (2011). Thornton Dial, born in 1928 on a former cotton plantation in Alabama, gained prominence in the early 21st century with his monumental works inspired by the rural American South which have been showcased in numerous museum shows and collections. In the 1980’s, Dial committed himself to making large scale paintings, drawings, sculptures and assemblages utilizing found materials after the Pullman factory he worked at closed. Dial’s work explores themes of racism, class, war, poverty, and civil rights. This exhibition catalog, for a show featuring Dial’s work at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2011, features seventy of Dial’s works and includes essays by scholars of African American art. You can learn more about Dial’s works here and here.


Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts: Arnett, William, Wardlaw, Alvia,  Livingston, Jane, Beardsley, John: 9780971910409: Amazon.com: BooksGee’s Bend: The Women and Their Quilts by John Beardsley (2002). Located in the bend of the Alabama River, the area known as Gee’s Bend was settled in 1816 as a cotton plantation. The artists featured in this title are former sharecroppers and descendants of the enslaved Africans originally brought to the plantation. Working in isolation, the women created quilts reusing fabrics and designing their own patterns. This title, published in conjunction of the exhibition of the quilts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, includes 350 color illustrations. The traveling exhibit brought these artists to national attention, while the quilts, with their vibrant colors and abstract designs, established a uniquely American art form born from the experiences of their African American female creators.


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

5 Titles: Beyond Lucky Charms

Ciara HealyThe 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by Ciara Healy, Librarian for psychology & neuroscience, mathematics, and physics.

The Irish are a diasporic culture, though colonized by their nearest neighbors, the British, for almost 800 years. The urge to resist British rule lasted all of those years. Ireland became self-governing with the establishment of the Irish Free State on December 6, 1922. Prior to the establishment of the Free State, the Potato Famine led to the deaths of 1 million Irish, 12.5% of the country’s population. In the years after – 1845 to 1855 – 1.5 million Irish emigrated, many of them to the United States, forming one of the largest émigré populations in the US. Difficult times, colonialism, lack of industrialization, violence, and indifference to the health and welfare of the Irish by the British contributed to the diasporic dreams of the Irish. In the titles below, both Irish fiction and nonfiction, emigration, travel, violence, oppression and family are common themes. The 5 titles below include these themes across a diverse variety of fiction, nonfiction/research, and a current podcast.


How the Irish Became White: Ignatiev, Noel: 9780415963091: Amazon.com: BooksHow the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev (2009). “A Frenchman named Gustave de Beaumont traveled the country in the 1830s and wrote about his travels. He compared the conditions of the Irish to those of “the Indian in his forest and the Negro in chains. . . . In all countries, . . . paupers may be discovered, but an entire nation of paupers is what was never seen until it was shown in Ireland.” Initially, upon arriving to the U.S., the Irish were not considered white. Signs offering work read, “Irish need not apply.” Spoiler: How the Irish Became White is not a heroic coming to terms with their class, race or ethnicity.


Milkman: Burns, Anna: 9781644450000: Amazon.com: BooksMilkman by Clare Burns (2018). A novel set in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles” (1968-1998), the narrator is a nameless young woman coming of age in a claustrophobic house in the violent, politicized city of Belfast. She unwittingly captures the attention of a man called the Milkman, putting herself and her family in danger. Her attempts to avoid all contact with the Milkman and the Troubles is thwarted by her frequent walking around town while reading. This mild eccentricity draws attention and puts her and all of her relationships in danger. The book details how deeply The Troubles insinuated itself into every aspect of life, with nothing left untouched by repression, violence and dread. Milkman is saved from being entirely ominous by the narrator’s insight and dark humor. There is some echo of our own current, divisive political situation. Burns’ book won the 2018 Man Booker Prize and the 2018 Nation Book Critics Circle award.


City of Bohane: A Novel: Barry, Kevin: 9781555976453: Amazon.com: BooksCity of Bohane by Kevin Barry (2011). A speculative fiction novel set in 2053 in a Western city in Ireland is beset by violence, horrible fog, rival gangs and excellent descriptions of what everyone is wearing to the fight. This is a particularly delightful book to listen to via audiobook, read by the author. Surreal, stylized violence runs through almost every aspect of the novel. The action is fast paced and complex, with double-crossing, paranoia, rifts, grudges, treachery, murder and revenge.

 


Pints of MaltPints of Malt, a podcast (March 2019 to present). There has been a wave of Nigerian immigration to Ireland beginning in 2002-2006, and this podcast turns the diasporic Irish emigration narrative inward by discussing immigrants in Ireland and their Irish identity, among other topics such as race, popular culture, and growing up Black in Ireland. Per the Apple Podcasts description, “Pints of Malt Podcast is brought to you by four Nigerian/Irish lads. They share their experiences growing up and living in Ireland. The podcast is full of laughs from the get go: from childhood memories to day-to-day shenanigans, there’s never a dull moment on the podcast with Femi, Kenny, Charlie and Jibbz”.


Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics by Nancy Scheper-Hughes - Paperback - University of California PressSaints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland by Nancy Scheper-Hughes (2001). As the Journal Ethnography describes, “When Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland was published some 20 years ago, it was promptly made a classic of psychological and medical anthropology by academics in the United States and simultaneously broadly and heatedly criticized in the Irish press as an egregious violation of community and cultural privacy, a debate that has blown hot and cold over the intervening decades. Following a recent return to `Ballybran’ in the summer of 1999 which ended in her expulsion from the village, Nancy Scheper-Hughes recounts her attempts to reconcile her responsibility to honest ethnography with respect for the people who once shared their homes and their secrets with her, thereby offering candid and vivid reflections on balancing the ethics and the micropolitics of anthropological work.”


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

Announcement! Covid-19 Web archive is now live.

Earlier today, the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation announced the launch of a brand-new, web archive project entitled, “Global Social Responses to Covid-19 Web Archive (Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation).”

(Image: Shadi Ghanim, The National 9 August 2020.)

From the announcement:

“Created in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic — and curated by 29 librarians throughout the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation and beyond — the Archive documents regional, social responses to the pandemic, which are critical in understanding the scope of the pandemic’s humanitarian, socioeconomic, and cultural impact. With an emphasis on websites produced by underrepresented ethnicities and stateless groups, the Archive covers (but is not limited to): sites published by non-governmental organizations that focus on public health, humanitarian relief, and education; sites published by established and amateur artists in any realm of cultural production; sites published by local news sources; sites published by civil society actors and representatives; and relevant blogs and social media pages. At the time of its launch, the Archive featured over 2,000 websites from over 80 countries in over 50 languages.”

This is the largest and most diverse Ivy Plus web archiving project ever created under the auspices of the thirteen-member library confederation. The Covid-19 web archive contains a multitude of materials—most of which are born digital—in all fields of research. The task of preserving such materialsis essential for future researchers. That is why the task has been assumed by the subject specialists of numerous research libraries, including here at Duke University.  Four librarians from the International & Area Studies Department of Duke University Libraries are taking part in this digital initiative: Heather Martin, Miree Ku, Luo Zhou, and Sean Swanick. Each librarian also helped curate a subject guide hosted by Princeton University. The guide is divided by region and includes further information about the project and Ivy Plus Web Archiving.

Unfortunately, until the pandemic is over and some semblance of normalcy returns, this Ivy Plus web archiving project will continue to grow. If you have recommendations please send them along via this form.

5 Titles: Memoirs by African American Men

headshot of Kim DuckettThe 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by RIS head Kim Duckett.

This month’s 5 Titles highlights a variety of memoirs by African American men published in the last decade. These authors share their own unique life experiences while providing valuable insights into how racism in the United States has impacted not only their own lives and but also the lives of their families, friends, students, colleagues, and clients.


Image result for heavy an american memoirHeavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon (2018; available in print or as an Overdrive ebook). The “Heavy” of Laymon’s powerful memoir refers to many kinds of heaviness: the weight of his body, the challenges of his personal history growing up, and the complexities of being Black and male in the United States. He writes of the heaviness of his mother’s deep and challenging love and the heaviness of physical and sexual abuse and racism around him as a youth in Mississippi. From his single mother, a poverty-stricken professor who is abused by the men in her life, he learns the “gifts of reading, rereading, writing, and revision.” Now, a writing professor himself, Laymon has shared a highly personal account with a focus on the weight of truth, heavy as it is to look at it squarely. Heavy: An American Memoir was named one of the 50 best memoirs of the past 50 years by the New York Times.


Image result for Notes from a Young Black Chef: A MemoirNotes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir by Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua David Stein (2019). In this memoir Onwuachi shares his story of growing up in the Bronx, steering towards drug-dealing in college, and finding his passion in cooking and exploring his family’s roots through food. His cooking talent leads him from scraping the resources together to open his own catering business, graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, competing on Top Chef, and realizing his dream of opening his own fine dining restaurant in Washington, D.C. All by the time he turned 27! Throughout he learns from the knowledge, skill, and tenacity of his mother, also a chef, whose roots are in Louisiana as well as his Nigerian heritage from his father, including time he spent in Nigeria as a boy. Onwuachi’s story provides valuable insight into the ups and downs of becoming a chef while also exploring issues of race in a very white male dominated profession. Each chapter is paired with one of Onwuachi’s recipes, which creatively ties his life story to the plate, a major theme of his approach to cooking.


Image result for What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in EssaysWhat Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young (2019; available in print or as an Overdrive ebook). Young is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Very Smart Brothas, which the Washington Post coined “the blackest thing that ever happened to the internet,” and a columnist for GQ. In this insightful and often funny set of essays he shares stories from his life while exploring a wide range of issues that in one way or another highlight racism in the United States. Young’s self-reflection is notable for how insightfully he weaves together his personal experiences with commentary on systemic racism and reflections on masculinity.


Image result for Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and RedemptionStreet Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption by Jerald Walker (2010). In this memoir Walker, a professor of creative writing at Emerson College, traces how he turned away from drug use and crime in his youth towards education and a move into the middle-class. He was raised by two blind parents on the South Side of Chicago and grew up as part of doomsday cult that shaped his early life. He interweaves chapters from his early life and teenage years with stories of attending community college in his late-twenties, graduating from the Iowa Writers Workshop, finding his way as a writer and academic, becoming a husband and father, and traveling to Africa. Throughout he explores issues of race and identity while considering the impacts of choices he and others – friends and family – make. Walker’s most recent book How to Make a Slave and Other Essays was a National Book Award 2020 finalist for nonfiction.


Image result for just mercyJust Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (2014). Stevenson, the visionary founder and executive director of the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, is undeniably one of the most important voices in U.S. criminal justice reform. Even this statement feels like an understatement. In this powerful memoir, Stevenson recounts his work as a lawyer and tireless advocate for the wrongfully convicted, the unfairly tried, and the guilty deserving mercy. He weaves together details from specific cases to illustrate systematic failures in the criminal justice system with how he and his colleagues worked with their clients. His stories and the important historic context and legal background he provides are invaluable for shining a clear light on how the criminal justice system can be so unmerciful, so unjust, and so racist. Although a movie was made based on Just Mercy, nothing compares to hearing Stevenson speak for himself and give voice to the incarcerated he has worked with through reading his own words.


5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

5 Titles: Nonfiction on Neurodiversity

The 5 Titles series highlights books, music, and films in the library’s collection featuring topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or highlighting the work of authors from diverse backgrounds. Each post is intended to provide a brief sampling of titles rather than a comprehensive overview of the topic. This month, the five titles have been selected by RIS humanities intern Anna Twiddy.

In this first installment of our 5 Titles series, we’re taking a look at nonfiction* works on neurodiversity. As a concept, neurodiversity refers not just to the existence of a broad range of neurological disabilities, such as autism, dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia, and others, but also to the contributions people with these disabilities make to society and culture at large. Neurodiversity takes a wide variety of forms, and as an identity, it is inevitably intersectional, existing in conjunction with an individual’s race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. The titles in this post thus seek to reflect the diversity inherent to the neurodivergent identity, focusing on intersections with some other identities as well as the varying ways neurodiversity interacts with society more broadly.


Amazon.com: Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman eBook: Dale, Laura Kate: Kindle StoreUncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman by Laura Kate Dale. In this memoir, Dale, a British woman in her 20s, tells the story of her life as, per the title, a gay autistic trans woman. She describes the expectations placed on her from birth to become a neurotypical, heterosexual man, and all the consequences, positive and negative, of failing to meet those rigid expectations. The witty double entendre of the title, which at once alludes to Dale’s sensory issues regarding clothing labels as well as the labels that define her identity, foretells the humor with which she tells her story – while she is unflinching in her discussion of the myriad difficulties she has faced, she is also quick to note the humor present in her day-to-day life. In discussing the events of her life, including the mundane and the extraordinary, Dale richly describes the way in which her gender, sexual orientation, and autism all intersect and relate to each other. It is this discussion of the interaction between these marginalized identities, along with Dale’s unique voice and storytelling, that make it such a compelling read.


Teaching Strategies for Neurodiversity and Dyslexia in Actor Training:Teaching Strategies for Neurodiversity and Dyslexia in Actor Training: Sensing Shakespeare by Petronilla Whitfield. In this guide, acting professor Whitfield draws on the perspectives and experiences of her dyslexic acting students performing Shakespeare as case studies in constructing practical strategies for neurodivergent actors on the stage. Rather than seeking to minimize or ignore the ways neurodivergent actors differ from their neurotypical peers, Whitfield emphasizes working directly with the modes of processing, sensory and otherwise, that come with neurodivergence in order to bring out the unique, authentic voice of the neurodivergent actor. While the book derives much of its content from the perspectives of dyslexic actors in particular, its strategies are also largely applicable to actors with other neurodivergent conditions, as the title suggests. Though it is rather specific in its focus, being a manual on acting, Whitfield’s writing is noteworthy for its portrayal of neurodivergent people in the arts, actively challenging the assumption that acting is a realm exclusive to the neurotypical, while also avoiding over-dramatizing or fetishizing the experiences of her neurodivergent students. For these reasons, it is a worthwhile read for actors and non-actors alike.


All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism: Brown, Network, Inc., Autism Women's, Ashkenazy, E., Onaiwu, Morénike Giwa: 9780997504507: Amazon.com: BooksAll the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism, edited by Lydia X. Z. Brown. This anthology, edited by Brown and sponsored by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, features the work of 61 autistic writers of color from seven countries. Being the first published anthology to focus exclusively on the experiences of autistic people of color, the book explores the intersection of autism and race from a vast number of angles, and through a wide variety of mediums, including essays, short fiction, poetry, painting, and photography. The anthology melds the personal and the political, with many works expounding on the everyday experiences of their authors while also highlighting the compounded, systemic marginalization and disadvantages faced by autistic people of color more broadly. But while the subject matter of the book is often difficult to read about in its discussion of the intersection of racism and ableism, the authors are also eager to celebrate the existence of autistic people of color, focusing on the joy, passion, and resilience that defines their lives and experiences.


Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn't Designed for You: Nerenberg, Jenara: 9780062876799: Amazon.com: BooksDivergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed for You by Jenara Nerenberg. In this book, journalist Nerenberg provides a useful overview of experiences common to neurodivergent women, at once describing how various neurodivergent conditions tend to manifest specifically in women while also serving as a guide for neurodivergent women navigating a world primarily designed around neurotypical men. Nerenberg breaks down many of the systemic barriers neurodivergent women face when seeking support, writing extensively on the ways women have largely been excluded from studies on neurodivergence; in noting the diagnostic gap that exists between neurodivergent men and women, for example, she draws on her own experience of a late diagnosis in adulthood. As with many of the books on this list, this focus on marginalization makes the book a troubling read at points, but Nerenberg offsets this difficult subject matter by validating the experiences of her neurodivergent audience, and by providing practical pointers on living everyday life as a neurodivergent woman. In providing a clear overview on the history of neurodivergence in women, Nerenberg’s book proves to be a valuable resource.


Welcome to Biscuit Land: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero: Thom, Jessica: 9780285641273: Amazon.com: BooksWelcome to Biscuit Land: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero by Jessica Thom. In this book, British comedian and playwright Thom documents a full year of her life as a woman with Tourette syndrome, often with searing wit and humor. The book comprises excerpts from her long-running blog, Touretteshero, which documents her day-to-day experiences. These experiences take a variety of forms, but are uniformly punctuated by her numerous tics, both motor and vocal (her compulsive uttering of the word “biscuit” lends the book its title). Thom describes in detail what living with these tics is like, not shying away from the difficulty it brings her – ranging from incurring the judgment of strangers for her compulsive swearing to her regular use of padded gloves to prevent hurting herself – but at the same time, she does much to break down the stigma that often accompanies the disorder through her warmth and humor. In this way, the book is a vivid portrait of her experience with Tourette’s that proves appealing to those with and without the disorder.


*Mostly nonfiction. It should be noted that All the Weight of Our Dreams is an anthology that includes some fiction as well as nonfiction.

5 Titles is directed by the Research & Instructional Services (RIS) Department at Duke University Libraries.

Virtual Halloween Thrills & Chills

 

ghostieBoo!

 

 

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

DVD cover Hocus Pocus

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 virtual handout. Request DVDs of vintage vampire flicks, modern monster tales and Asian psychological scarers alongside musicals, comedies and silent era classics. Check them out the old-fashioned way, using Library Takeout for an extra- spooky experience.

And for those of you thirsting for streaming screaming, we have ghoulish titles available online. Curl up to Carnival of Souls or The Blob. Dip into a Bucket of Blood  or classic creepies like Bride of Frankenstein, The Birds, Night of the Living Dead and Rosemary’s Baby. Or enjoy newer frights like Us. Are you getting goosebumps just thinking about them!?

jackolantern

skeletonHere’s a chilling challenge: watch all the titles listed  on the handout by 11/30 and receive a FREE devilDVD!

As an added bonus, Duke faculty, Neal Bell’s recently published book, How to Write a Horror Movie, is coming online soon  … stay in a state of suspended animation or, better yet, R.I.P.!

 

2020 Banned Books Week

This week (September 27th-October 3rd, 2020) is Banned Books Week, which is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. This year I am going to focus on books by and about African-Americans that have been challenged or banned because they are often more likely to experience a challenge.

As explained in an American Library Association webpage about diversity and banned/challenged books: “While ‘diversity’ is seldom given as a reason for a challenge, it may in fact be an underlying and unspoken factor: the work is about people and issues others would prefer not to consider. Often, content addresses concerns of groups who have suffered historic and ongoing discrimination. For instance, a book that often recurs in previous years’ top ten challenges is Toni Morrison’s Beloved. While it has sex in it, and that’s often the complaint, many other books also have sex, and are not challenged. Is the underlying motivation for the challenge racism? Sometimes, it surely is. In other cases, of course, a complaint genuinely may be about precisely what the challenger says it is.”

Here are some examples of titles that we have in our collection that have faced challenges over the years (books are drawn from Banned Books Written by African Americans and Top 10 Banned Books that Changed the Face of Black History).

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin. Baldwin’s blunt prose rubbed people in New York and Virginia the wrong way, it appears. “Go Tell It on the Mountain” was banned in both states for being “rife with profanity and explicit sex” and including “recurring themes of rape, masturbation, violence and degrading treatment of women.”

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. After a parent’s public complaint at a school board meeting, the superintendent of Katy (TX) Independent School District removed the multiple award-winning book from all the school libraries in the district. Teachers and librarians argued against the censorship, which produced overwhelming media uproar. A Katy ISD student circulated a petition gathering over 3,700 signatures to urge reinstatement of the book. The Superintendent held firm in his claim that the book was pervasively vulgar and he was legally right to censor the book. Three months later the critically acclaimed novel about a black teen dealing with the aftermath of witnessing a police shooting that killed her unarmed friend was returned to the district’s high school libraries, available to students only with parental consent.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Challenged as a summer reading assignment in the Knoxville (TN) high school system because a parent claimed the nonfiction book “has too much graphic information.” Henrietta Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells – taken without her knowledge in 1951 – became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Banned in North Carolina prisons in February 2017 because it was considered “likely to provoke confrontation between racial groups.” The book was later removed from the list of prohibited books after the American Civil Liberties Union sent NC Department of Public Safety officials a public letter in 2018.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Though Time Magazine included the novel on its list of 100 best English-language novels published since 1923, not every English-language reader agrees. In 1997, parents in Brentsville, Virginia attempted to ban the novel from the Advanced English curriculum for “sexual explicitness.” Thankfully, the ban was overturned.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Winner of the National Book Award and ranked nineteenth on Modern Library’s list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man has nonetheless been challenged for its lack of “literary value.” In 2013, NCAC sent a letter to Randolph County Public Schools in North Carolina after they banned the book because of a complaint that it “is not so innocent; instead, this book is filthier, too much for teenagers.” Ten days after the original ban, the board held a special meeting to reconsider their actions and voted 6-1 to return the book. One member of the board expressed his shift after considering his son’s military career: “He was fighting for these rights. I’m casting a vote to take them away. Is it right of me? No.” Such reflections would even give the Invisible Man reason to step into the light of day.

Putting the ‘Global’ Back Into Global Pandemic, Part 2

Edited by Ernest Zitser, Ph.D., Librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, library liaison to the International Comparative Studies Program, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at Duke University.

This is the second in a series of blog posts on global pandemics by the staff of and/or subject specialists directly affiliated with Duke Libraries’ International and Area Studies DepartmentAs is the case with the first installment of the series, the librarians who contributed the following entries seek to offer suggestions for further reading, not a comprehensive bibliography on the topicFor additional resources (visual or textual, analog or digital) on plagues/infectious diseases/moral panics from around the world, please contact the appropriate IAS librarian. And if you have any recommendations of your own, please “reply” to this blog post below.

_________________________________

Danette Pachtner
Librarian for Film, Video, & Digital Media and Women’s Studies

Unless you are a die-hard fan of the genre, it may be too soon in our experience of COVID-19 to seek out movies featuring infectious diseases that inspire moral panic or plagues that end the world. And even hardcore fans might want to take a break from perennial favorites, such as The Andromeda Strain (dir. Robert Wise, 1971, U.S), 28 Days Later (dir. Danny Boyle, 2002, U.K.), Children of Men (dir. Alfonso Cuarón, 2006, U.S. & U.K.), Contagion (dir. Stephen Soderbergh, 2011, U.S.), or the cult classic (and my personal favorite) 12 Monkeys (dir. Terry Gilliam, 1995, U.S.).

However, as Duke’s Librarian for Film, Video, & Digital Media, it is my job to challenge patrons’ expectations of what/when/who is watchable by exposing them to visual resources that they might otherwise not know about or simply choose to ignore.  That is why I have compiled a short list of lesser known, but no-less-provocative foreign films that are all available, with English subtitles, in the Duke Libraries’ film collection. Precisely because of their variety of approaches—from bucolic (Wondrous Boccaccio ) to philosophical (The Seventh Seal) to apocalyptic (The Flu)—these films demonstrate that there are as many cinematic responses to pandemics as there are international movie makers and audiences. And these responses are as unique and culturally-mediated as the cinematic experience itself.

Wondrous Boccaccio

Wondrous Boccaccio (dirs. Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, 2015, Italy)
consumer streaming platforms | Lilly DVD 29001 | streaming in the Libraries [access requires Duke netid/password | licensed through 9-30-2020]
Based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s  Renaissance classic, The Decameron, this film follows the lives of ten young people who flee plague-ridden Florence in the mid-14th century, at the height of a pandemic that would ultimately kill over 30 million people, alter the European social structure, and influence the ideologies of those who survived. The Taviani brothers use Renaissance painting as a source of inspiration in their film. The cinematography evokes the vibrant colors of artists such as Botticelli in his scenes from The Decameron, as well as those of Masaccio and Giotto, moving from dark blacks in the plague-ridden city to vibrant colors of the countryside. The characters find refuge in an abandoned villa in the Tuscan hills and pass the time by telling each other tales of love, which range from the erotic to the tragic.

Image from film, Blindness
Blindness

Blindness (dir. Fernando Meirelles, 2008, Brazil & Canada)
consumer streaming platforms |Ford DVD #4943
Based on the bestselling novel by Nobel-Prize-winning Portuguese author, José Saramago, a city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant white blindness. Filmed on location in Brazil, Canada, and Uruguayalthough “the city” is never specifically identifiedthe story focuses on the behavior of  people who are losing their sight and are forced to survive in a sea of whiteness. The film depicts the ugliest side of human nature in a crisis; it offers a devastating portrait of institutional failure and government betrayal. The viewer can recognize chilling parallels with our current COVID-19 crisis, from the opportunism of corrupt governments to the neglect of the health-care system. Blindness is an end-of-civilization fable which is thought-provoking and topical in its indictment of declining social mores.

Image from film, The Hole
The Hole

The Hole (dir. Tsai Ming-liang, 1998, Taiwan) Lilly DVD 366
At the cusp of the 21st century, Taiwan experiences a torrential rain that brings with it a mysterious virus of epic proportions. Symptoms of “Taiwan Fever” include high fever and an acute sensitivity to light. Sections of the city are quarantined with essential services cut off by the government. The film is set in an apartment block in a quarantine zone where residents remain, against quarantine regulations. A plumber comes to fix a leak and instead leaves a gaping hole through which a tenant can see into his neighbor’s apartment below, and they develop a connection. The Hole presents a remarkable blend of aesthetic elements of science fiction, absurdism, and romantic fantasy, with musical sequences to boot. The film does not travel beyond the bounds of the apartment block. It explores the inward-looking aspects of an outbreakthe isolation it causes and how interactions with others become intensified.

Image from Seventh Seal
Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal (dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1957, Sweden) consumer streaming platforms |Lilly DVD 14846
Exhausted and embittered after a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight returns home to a land ravaged by bubonic plague. He encounters Death on a desolate beach and challenges him to a fateful game of chess. Focusing on issues of man’s relationships with death, life and God, Bergman’s story transcends simple metaphor in this now classic work rich in philosophical allegory that remains especially relevant today.

The Flu

The Flu (dir. Kim Sung-su, 2013, S. Korea) consumer streaming platforms | Lilly DVD 26447
This South Korean medical disaster film tells the story of panic, despair, and the desperate struggle for survival in a city that has been quarantined after the outbreak of a deadly virus.  The virus in this scenario is H5N1 influenza (commonly known as the ‘bird flu’) introduced by illegal immigrants from Hong Kong, arriving in a shipping container.  In order to prevent the spread of the virus worldwide, the government issues a national disaster and orders a city-wide lockdown. Citizens stock up on daily necessities, starting riots as mistrust of each other builds. In the meantime, politicians’ quarrels, powerless governments, and unwelcome U.S. involvement force the viewer to consider eventualities that might be even more frightening than a virus attack. Sound familiar?

___________________________________

Miree Ku
Korean Studies Librarian

Aside from scientific articles in medical journals about the most recent outbreaks of new strains of influenza and coronavirus, the issue of pandemics on the Korean peninsula has only recently attracted the attention from the English-speaking scholarly community.  That is why most of the publications on the topic are currently in the form of scholarly journal articles, dissertations, and theses, rather than academic monographs.

Korea Journal

For example, in 2011, Chaisung Lim, then Assistant Professor at the Institute for Japanese Studies at Korea’s Seoul National University, published an article on “The Pandemic of the Spanish Influenza in Colonial Korea” in the Korea Journal, a quarterly academic publication founded in 1961 with the goal of promoting Korean Studies around the world.  By examining the Spanish influenza, which was widespread during 1918-1921, Lim sought “to elucidate the structural aspect of disease and death in colonial Korea” and to “explor[e] its socioeconomic effects.” The author focused on the public health policies adopted by the Government-General of Korea (GGK)—the Japanese colonial ruling organ from 1910 to 1945—and the degree to which these measures contributed to the mortality of the general population.  He further probed how GGK’s policies were differentiated by ethnic group (ethnic Koreans and Japanese), as well as how much access each ethnic group had to measures for medical treatment. His research revealed a significant difference in the fatality rates between the two ethnic groups—a conclusion that reminds me of the differential effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups in the US. Interestingly, Lim’s study also posited that the social frustration caused by the pandemic and the ensuing economic hardships served as a source for the so-called March First Independence Movement in 1919, one of the earliest public displays of Korean resistance to Japanese colonial rule.

Pathogens from the Pulpit in DukeSpace

Another example of English-language research on the same topic comes from somewhere even closer to home.  Two years ago, a Duke undergraduate student named Alan Ko asked me, in my capacity as the Korean Studies Librarian, to assist him with his research on the Spanish flu during the colonial period in Korea.  He was then in the process of working on an honors thesis in the History Department and was looking for Korean-language primary sources.  Among other things, I suggested that he take a look at contemporary Korean newspapers, such as those made available in e-format by several different Korean newspaper archives.  He used those sources to examine how Western missionaries in colonial Korea perceived disease among the local populace and how public health efforts correlated with certain preconceived cultural and social factors.  Needless to say, it was very gratifying to learn that Alan not only went to graduate with honors, but that his honors thesis, “Pathogens from the Pulpit: Missionary Perceptions of Disease in Colonial Korea (1910-1940),” was deposited in DukeSpace—Duke Libraries’ online repository—thereby making the results of his research freely-available to other scholars.  It was also nice to see that the author publicly acknowledged the support that he received from Duke’s librarians, who not only helped him to locate “appropriate Korean language sources,” but also cheered him on with tea and pistachios, while he edited his thesis, during “work-study shifts” at Perkins library.

Plagues/infectious diseases/moral panics have also been a feature in Korean popular culture, appearing in several famous films, dramas, and novels.  One of the most recent films on the topic (The Flu) has already been mentioned above, in Danette Pachtner’s post on pandemics in international cinema.  Here, I would like to draw attention to another movie: “The Host,” a feature film directed by Bong Joon-ho—the Academy Award-winning director of The Parasite (2019).  Both The Host (2006) and The Flu (2013) were inspired by the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic of 2002-2004, which was caused by a different, but related strain of coronavirus than COVID-19.  Both films describe virus-related epidemic/pandemic situations and deal with the interplay between political and environmental issues. But only The Host has an American villain who is even more evil than the virus-spewing monster that he inadvertently unleashes upon the world.

The Host

The plot of The Host begins in a laboratory on an American military base in South Korea.  An American scientist working with dangerous chemicals orders his Korean colleague to dump them into the Han River, saying “who cares” and “it can’t really hurt anyone.”  Of course, turns out it can. The movie goes on to trace the havoc wreaked on Korea by a river-dwelling mutant created by the illegal dumping of chemical waste, as that monster begins to spread a deadly new virus, which can be transmitted (SARS-like) to humans through animals.

Despite its fantastic premise, this mash-up of medical disaster and monster movies actually has a basis in reality. In fact, the film was inspired by an incident from 2000 in which a Korean mortician working for the U.S. military in Seoul was ordered to dump a large amount of formaldehyde down the drain.  And, unfortunately, scenes from the movie have become an all-too-real part of our daily routine in the age of COVID-19.  In an eerie foreshadowing of the paranoia and anti-Asian racism that has attended the outbreak of the latest coronavirus pandemic, the movie depicts a world in which people who wear facemasks are so afraid of viral transmission that they come to suspect one another of deliberately, if not maliciously, hiding symptoms of the disease. The movie also highlights, if only by negative example, the critical role that the government can play during a national health crisis, portraying the South Korean government as bureaucratic, inept, and essentially uncaring.  Surely, there is no country in the world today where the government can be described in such unflattering terms. Now that is pure fantasy!

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day – April 22, 2020!

Earth Day 2020 – A Streaming Film Festival

H2Omx – Best Documentary Feature Film (Mexican Academy of Cinematography 2015)

Docuseek, a streaming video platform of high quality documentary films,  is showing its support  for continuing education during the COVID-19 crisis by offering 12 films for free online streaming starting today through May 1. The theme of all 12 titles is sustainability centered around the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and includes new films as well as popular classics.

The first documentary film to be screened is How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change by Josh Fox. Traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?

Come Hell or High Water: the Battle for Turkey Creek

Visit and bookmark https://docuseek2.com/earthday for the full schedule of the Earth Day 2020 Film Festival. Check out my commentary on  Lilly’s Twitter.

Don’t worry if you miss a date, you will be able to access films released on previous days until May 1st. For more online viewing, check out the Duke Libraries’ streaming video* offerings of subscription and licensed films.

The True Cost – an investigation of “fast” fashion

*Note: access to these titles are limited to current Duke students, staff and faculty.

Animated April

Animated April @ Lilly Library

Team Pixar or Team Disney?

Animated April @ Lilly begins Monday, April 13!

Animated April – Are you Team Pixar or Team Disney?

Brackets aren’t just for March!

Do you like Looney Tunes, the quirkiness of Wallace and Gromit, anime like Spirited Away, French comedies like The Triplets of Belleville? Are you all about Disney classics or the latest offerings from Pixar?

Lilly Library has 100s of animated films. In fact, we have so many animated films, it’s time for you to “toon” in and enjoy our very own Lilly Library Animated April challenge: Pixar versus Disney.

If it’s animated, Disney and Pixar are the dominant players, so we’re highlighting eight films from each studio to face off in a special edition of our Animated April challenge starting Monday, April 13th. Join in the fun, pick your favorites, and maybe  win a prize!

Here’s how:
Vote when you visit our  Lilly Library Animated April cast of characters HERE.

Make your selections and vote for your choice of hot titles in Bracket Fire versus films that landed in Bracket Earth to eventually face the coolest films in Bracket Ice, which challenge the animated gems making waves in Bracket Under the Sea.

Brackets with film titles
All the Characters in Animated April

Voting dates are listed below and on the contest page.
Updates will be posted on Lilly’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts as well as in our blog, Latest@Lilly :

Nathaniel Brown Media & Reserves Coordinator, Lilly Library
Bracketologist Nathaniel Brown

Enjoy Bracketologist Nathaniel’s insights for each round:

All votes are to be submitted via Lilly Animated April .

Animated April

  • Round 1: Stellar 16:  CLOSED
  • Round 2: Enchanted 8 : CLOSED
  • Round 3: Favorite 4 : CLOSED
  • Round 4: Perfect Pair VOTE HERE
    Voting opens Monday, April 20 9am
    Voting closes Tuesday, April 21 8pm
  • Champion Crowned:  Wednesday April 22nd

*Did someone say PRIZES?
Participants who provide their Duke NetID and vote for the animated movie “champion” will be entered into drawings for virtual prizes, as well as special prizes for Duke students.

Be sure to make your picks of your favorites  – Pixar or Disney!

Good News for Those with Their Nose in a Book

One of the things people always say they love about libraries is the smell of old books. There’s nothing quite so comforting as the slightly musty aroma of stacks upon stacks of so much accumulated knowledge. Of all the things our students and faculty tell us they miss most during this extended period of home isolation, that ineffable library smell is up there at the top.

Now, thanks to recent advances in digital publishing, we’re excited to pilot a new feature in selected library e-books that lets you recapture that odoriferous experience virtually.


Screenshot of Scratch n Sniff e-Book
Look for the green “Scratch-n-Sniff” button in selected library e-books.

The next time you check out an e-book through our library catalog, look for the green “Scratch-n-Sniff” button in the online interface. Clicking the button will activate a feature that artificially simulates the olfactory experience of reading text on vintage, yellowed paper. Just gently scratch your display as you read to be transported back to your favorite reading nook in the library.

The first time you use the “Scratch-n-Sniff” feature, you may need to lean in close to your monitor and breathe deeply to get the full effect. The application isn’t compatible with all browsers. But if your operating system is up-to-date, you should be able adjust the display settings in the control panel of your PC or mobile device to strengthen the smell.

Library users are also advised to scratch carefully, as sharp fingernails and aggressive scratching may damage your monitor and cause the “Scratch-n-Sniff” function not to work properly.

“Over the years, e-books have represented a larger and larger percentage of library collections, even as some researchers—particularly those in the humanities—continue to turn their nose up at them,” said Jeff Kosokoff, Assistant University Librarian for Collection Strategy. “We understand. Nothing quite compares to the age-old experience of immersing yourself in a physical book. But now that digital is the only option for a while, we’re doing everything we can to replicate the experience Duke’s world-class students and faculty are accustomed to.”

“We had to pay through the nose for this add-on feature,” Kosokoff added, “but it’s worth it to keep our Duke community feeling connected to their library.”

Fans of the classics will be particularly pleased to know that the earlier a book’s original publication date, the mustier it smells. For instance, clicking the “Scratch-n-Sniff” button while reading an electronic copy of David Copperfield (which happens to be our next selection for the Low Maintenance Book Club, by the way) is like holding a real first-edition Dickens up to your nose.

The “Scratch-n-Sniff” e-book feature is available for a limited time for selected e-books in our library catalog and works with most PCs, laptops, Apple and Android devices, and e-readers, including Amazon Kindle, Kobo Libra, and Barnes and Noble Nook. It does not work with Internet Explorer, however.

Library user sniffing ebook screen
Is this fragrant feature for real? Unfortunately it snot. Happy April Fools’ Day, Dukies. Smell ya later!

2019 Banned Books Week

This week (September 22nd-28th) is Banned Books Week, which is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Inspired by an article I read this year (More than half of banned books challenged for LGBTQ content), I want to highlight some LGBTQ related titles that have been challenged or banned to make us more aware of the need to include a variety of voices.  I hope that you will enjoy exploring these titles for yourself.

Angels in America by Tony Kushner.  Angels in America was challenged at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Massachusetts after protests from a community member who objected to its sexual, religious and racial content, and public attacks made by a local organization that called the play ‘pornography.’ However, after a major outcry from students and other community members, including a student who wrote an op-ed, it was decided that the book would still be taught in the Deerfield AP English class.

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden.  It was published first in 1982 amidst controversy because of its positive portrayal of the story’s gay protagonists. There have been several attacks on the book because it centers on two 17 year old girls exploring their sexual orientation, though there are no explicit sexual encounters in the novel. The book was also reportedly banned in some Kansas City schools.  The book was at the center of a high-profile 1995 case in which US District Court Justice Thomas Van Bebber ruled that the novel must be returned to high school libraries where it had been removed because it was educationally suitable.

Coming Out in College: The Struggle for a Queer Identity by Robert A. Rhoads.  It was one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas petitioned to have removed from school libraries. The parents formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children and objected to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in the book. They also accused librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a homosexual agenda. PPMC objects to this book because it promotes gay pride and a rejection of heterosexism.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel.  Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home is a graphic novel memoir of the author’s childhood, particularly focused on her relationship with her closeted gay father Bruce. As Alison grows older and realizes that she is a lesbian, she and Bruce are both forced to confront how his repression may have affected her own self-image and the way that she dealt with her sexuality. Time magazine named it the best book of 2006, describing it as “a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” The musical adaptation of Fun Home won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical. In 2018, two New Jersey parents requested that it be removed from the 12th grade honors curriculum because of its “sexually explicit nature.”

Gays/Justice: A Study of Ethics, Society and Law by Richard D. Mohr.  Gays/Justice was one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas petitioned to have removed from school libraries. The parents formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children and objected to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in the book. They also accused librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a homosexual agenda. PPMC objects to this book because it endorses stronger civil rights for gay people and opposes organized religion.

Geography Club by Brent Hartinger.  It has recently become one of the most banned and challenged books in the United States. It was banned in the author’s hometown of Tacoma, Washington. More recently, the book has come under fire in West Bend, Wisconsin, where community members object to its presence in the local library because of its ‘immoral’ gay content. Click here for the Kids’ Right to Read Project interview with Brent Hartinger.

George by Alex Gino tells the story a child who is born male and known to all as George, but identifies as female and prefers the name Melissa. The book details how Melissa comes out to her best friend, and eventually to others, through the help of a school play. Five elementary schools in eastern Oregon withdrew from an annual statewide ‘Battle of the Books’ competition because of the inclusion of George in the reading list. The book carries an age recommendation of grades 3-7 and the schools’ principals argued it was not appropriate for their third-to-fifth grade students who would be participating in the competition.

Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio.  In May 2005, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on public libraries to remove children’s books with references to gay characters or families. In response, gay and lesbian civil rights groups in Oklahoma donated copies of Lost Prophet: The Life of Bayard Rustin and Stonewall: The Riot that Sparked the Gay Revolution to local high schools. The donation was met with conservative outcry but the Oklahoma City school board voted to permit the donation.

New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein.  The New Joy of Gay Sex met various challenges including its being challenged at a Clifton, New Jersey library where the board voted to limit access to the book, keeping it hidden behind the circulation desk and requiring that patrons ask for it specifically by name. Additionally, a York Township woman in Medina County, Ohio quit her job as a librarian in protest over children being able to check out adult-oriented materials like The New Joy of Gay Sex. The library took no action maintaining that its policy was a parental responsibility to monitor which books children checked out.

Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse is a graphic novel about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality in the Civil Rights era American south. Themes include homophobia, racism and gay identity. The novel was attacked by the Library Patrons of Texas, who objected to its inclusion in local libraries. They forced the reclassification of the book from Young Adult to Adult, but the book was not removed.

The National Coalition Against Censorship has even more titles on their website.

Lilly Collection Spotlight – Native Voices: the Duke Common Experience and Beyond

Native Americans in the Arts

by Ira King

Book There,There
There There – The Duke Common Experience

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

To accompany the Duke Common Experience Reading Program selection of Tommy Orange’s There There, our spotlight highlights books and films that center Native American voices and perspectives. Orange, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma, writes in his debut novel about a dozen Native Americans travelling to a powwow in Oakland, California. There There focuses on urban Native Americans, exploring the beauty and despair these characters experience as they navigate life in the United States.

Our collections include books on Native American art, novels by Native Americans, memoirs of native experiences, films and documentaries, and historical accounts. Here are a few highlights from our collection:

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

Book Cover
Hearts of Our People: Exhibit at the Minneapolis Museum of Art

This exhibition catalog from the Minneapolis Institute of Art highlights a broad spectrum of art created by Native American women. Work explored ranges from textiles to painting to photography and video, and covers antiquity to contemporary work. If you’re interested in checking out some Native art in person, the Nasher Museum’s exhibit, Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, opens on August 29th.

Book Cover
Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich Louise Erdrich, an acclaimed writer and member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe, experiments with a dystopian setting in this novel. The novel follows Cedar Hawk Songmaker, four months pregnant, as she ventures out of Minneapolis and seeks out her Ojibwe birth mother against the backdrop of a security state cracking down on pregnant women. Check out Erdrich’s bookstore if you are ever in the Twin Cities.

Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong by Paul Chaat Smith Smith, an associate curator at the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, challenges mainstream assumptions about native peoples and cultures in this essay collection. This book blends memoir and cultural commentary to paint a more nuanced picture of native life.

Smoke Signals Based on a Sherman Alexie short story, this film follows two young Native Americans, Victor and Thomas, on a road trip to pick up Victor’s father’s remains. Smoke Signals is notable for having a Native American writer and director, as well as an almost entirely native cast and crew.

 

 

 

International and Area Studies Exhibit: Anti-Americanism: A Visual History

Come see a new exhibit from the International and Area Studies Department which displays anti-American materials spanning 130 years and four continents. Inspired by the recent acquisition of a Cold War-era comic collection from the People’s Republic of China, the exhibit expands to capture a broad range of responses to America’s presence on the world stage throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

The earliest materials on display date from the time of the Spanish-American War at the turn of the 20th century. These include famous critiques of American imperialism by Latin American thinkers like José Enrique Rodó and José Martí, as well as political cartoons from the period which reveal both Cuban responses to the war and dissenting voices from within the United States.

Moving through the 20th century, the exhibit features reproductions of Italian World War II propaganda posters which can be found in the Rubenstein Library’s Broadsides and Ephemera Collection. The bulk of the materials focus on the Cold War and the anti-American sentiment invoked by lingering U.S. military presence in East Asia. Highlights include the allusion-rich and satirically humorous Chinese comics from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as published photograph collections documenting anti-American protests in Korea and Japan.

From archival posters to reproductions found in secondary sources, the Duke Libraries’ collections provide a wealth of visual anti-American material to research and explore. Come to the second floor of Bostock Library by the Nicholas Family International Reading Room to view the highlights, and learn about the complex and competing narratives which have shaped international perceptions of the United States through the years.

Special thanks to Yoon Kim and to the Exhibit Services Department for their kind help in providing resources for the exhibit.

Upcoming International and Area Studies Exhibit

Stayed tuned for our upcoming exhibit of anti-American materials from around the world! The display will feature historic Chinese comics from a recently-acquired collection. These visual propaganda pieces were published in the People’s Republic of China in the 1950s and 1960s, when the Cold War drove tensions between the two nations to new heights. The exhibit will also highlight materials from Europe, Latin America and the United States itself. Take a look below to get a sneak peek at two items which will feature.

Entitled “Be Clear about the Nature of American Imperialism,” this comic illustrates American hypocrisy. A serene President Kennedy poses like the Buddha. On his right, arms reading “The Peace Corps” offer gifts of harmony and prosperity, including a sack labeled “Food for Peace.” On his right, arms reading “Preparing for war against Cuba and Lumumba” wield tools of violence.

This comic,  “Thus Is America,” vividly depicts the perceived vices of the United States, including the oppression of workers, the Ku Klux Klan, loose morals and international aggression. Can you spot General George MacArthur?

The exhibit will be displayed on the second floor of Bostock Library next to the East Asian Magazine Reading Room starting in July.

Last Chance to See Exhibit: Graphic Narratives from Around the World

Come explore the truly global popularity of graphic novels at the International and Area Studies exhibit on the second floor of Bostock Library, next to the East Asian Magazine Reading Room. The exhibit will be up through next Tuesday.

Since ancient times, human beings all over the globe have been bringing text and images together to tell stories. In this selection of graphic novels and cartoons from Duke’s collection, you will see retellings of classics and tales of adventure that have gained massive popularity in Japan and China. You will see stories of revolution and bold political movements from Russia, India, South Africa, and Colombia. You will see tales of atrocities, survival, and redemption in Germany and Israel. You will see humor, both lighthearted and political, in Turkey, Portugal and Spain, and everyday life in Korea and Côte d’Ivoire. This variety demonstrates the power of graphic narratives to reflect and lend new visual interpretations to all aspects of the human experience. We welcome you to explore one of the world’s most popular modes of storytelling in the Duke collection.

 

May 2019 Collection Spotlight: Southern Food

This month’s Collection Spotlight in Perkins Library explores foodways of the southeastern United States. People come to Duke from all over the world, and while they’re here, they will undoubtedly eat. We invite you to reflect on the cultural importance of food in this region, whether you’re here for life or just a little while.

We’re featuring books that explore the intersections of food with race and class and gender. We’ve tried to represent some of the regional diversity in southern food, from Appalachia to the Piedmont, the Low Country to the Gulf Coast, and some of the diverse cultures that contribute to southern food today. We’re thinking about politics and history and personal stories. And we hope there’s something for everyone, whether you’re interested in food studies theory and methods, a recipe for your evening meal, or even poetry.

Of course, some of the hottest titles are perpetually checked out, and for those you’re invited to submit an interlibrary request (tip: you can just use the green “Request” button when you search for a book and it will populate the form). Of course, we also have many eBooks you won’t see on display, so don’t forget to check the catalog.

Come take a peek next to the Perkins Library Service Desk, though we can’t promise you won’t leave hungry.

Lilly Collection Spotlight: Dear Duke

The Art of Writing / The Writer’s Art

Jane Austen book, Epicurus book, Letter from Birmingham Jail book covers
Collection Spotlight on Letters

Dear Duke,

When was the last time you wrote a letter or received a card in a real mailbox?
Before the Digital Age – and there was such a time – people wrote letters on paper and sent cards to each other. The latest Lilly Collection Spotlight shines on the disappearing art of letter writing, featuring a selection of books and films in which letters or ongoing correspondence play an integral role. Authors include literary and political figures such as Epicurus, Jane Austen, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Samuel Beckett.

3 DVD covers
Films about letter writing

The role letter writing plays in film, whether just as a plot device or as narration and explication helped us choose a few films from our collections. Relationships built through intimate correspondence, letters never received, mis-delivered or rediscovered frame many film narratives.  Steal a Pencil for Me, Mary and Max, Letters to Juliet and P.S. I Love You are among the films featured.

Accompanying our Collection Spotlight are two exhibit cases featuring artists’ correspondence. Displayed in the lobby case are volumes of Vincent van Gogh’s letters. He was a prolific letter writer whose writings provide insight into his work, his art, and his struggles.  Van Gogh often adorned his letters with drawings and sketches. The exhibit case in the foyer highlights  letters written by other artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Albert Eisenstadt, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

Notecard with written advice to Duke student
Duke Class of 2019 Notes to Duke 2022

p.s. 

In addition to the Collection Spotlight, browse the nearby interactive exhibit of handwritten notes from Duke Seniors, Class of 2019, to the First-Year members of Duke’s Class of 2022.

Feel free to pull out the notes from the board and read them. There is a bit of advice, personal observations, and even a little bit of wisdom on display!

Locus Collection Tracks the Stars and Universe of Sci-Fi

The Locus collection includes some 16,000 rare and noteworthy monuments of science fiction and fantasy, many in their original dust jackets.

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University has acquired the archives of the Locus Science Fiction Foundation, publisher of Locus, the preeminent trade magazine for the science fiction and fantasy publishing field.

The massive collection—which arrived in almost a thousand boxes—includes first editions of numerous landmarks of science fiction and fantasy, along with correspondence from some of the genre’s best-known practitioners, including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, Octavia E. Butler, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon), Dean Koontz, Robert A. Heinlein, and hundreds more.

Locus started out in 1968 as a one-sheet science fiction and fantasy fanzine. Since then, it has evolved into the most trusted news magazine in science fiction and fantasy publishing, with in-depth reviews, author interviews, forthcoming book announcements, convention coverage, and comprehensive listings of all science fiction books published in English. It also administers the prestigious annual Locus Awards, first presented in 1971, which recognize excellence in science fiction and fantasy.

Over the course of five decades in print, the magazine’s editors and staff have collected and saved correspondence, clippings, and books by and about science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers. What emerges from this trove of material is a tapestry of a diverse and thriving community of writers, publishers, and editors, all working to create new and modern genres of speculative literature.

This rare advanced reader’s copy of the first edition of Game of Thrones has a distinctly different look and feel from the popular HBO series.

Of the magazine’s original three co-founders—Charles N. Brown, Ed Meskys, and Dave Vanderwerf—only Brown remained after the magazine’s first year. He would continue to edit the publication until his death in 2009, earning the magazine some thirty Hugo Awards in the process and becoming a colorful and influential figure in the publishing world. A tireless advocate for speculative fiction, Brown was also a voluminous correspondent and friend to many of the writers featured in the magazine. Many of them wrote to him over the years to share personal and professional news, or to quibble about inaccuracies and suggest corrections. The letters are often friendly, personal, humorous, and occasionally sassy.

Reacting to a recent issue of Locus that featured one of her short stories, the science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler wrote, “I am Octavia E. Butler in all my stories, novels, and letters. How is it that I’ve lost my E in three places in Locus #292? Three places! You owe me three E’s. That’s a scream, isn’t it?”

One also finds frequent remembrances and retrospectives of departed members of the Locus community, such as Ursula K. Le Guin’s poignant reflections on the passing of Philip K. Dick. After Brown’s own death, the magazine continued publication under the auspices of the Locus Science Fiction Foundation, a registered nonprofit. The magazine launched a digital edition in January 2011 and has published both in print and online ever since.

In addition to the correspondence, story drafts, and other manuscript material (which has now been processed), the collection includes some 16,000 rare and noteworthy monuments of science fiction and fantasy from Brown’s extensive personal library, such as first editions of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot, Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, J. R. R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frank Herbert’s Dune, and hundreds more.

“Historical literary treasures abound in the Locus collection, from full runs of the pulps to vintage first editions to contemporary works,” said Liza Groen Trombi, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Locus Magazine. “And its preservation is deeply important. It is the product of decades of collecting and curating, starting in the 1940s, the Golden Age of science fiction, when Locus’s founding publisher Charles N. Brown was an avid reader with a deep love of genre, through his time working within the science fiction field, and up to the present day under the current Locus staff. Housing those core works in an institution where they’ll be both accessible to scholars and researchers at the same time as they are carefully preserved is a goal that I and the Locus Science Fiction Foundation board of directors had long had. I am very happy to see them in the dedicated care of the curators and librarians at Duke.”

In its new home in the Rubenstein Library, the Locus collection complements existing collection strengths in the areas of science fiction and popular literature, including the Glenn R. Negley Collection of Utopian Literature, and the Edwin and Terry Murray Collection of Pulp Culture.

“The opportunity to acquire the Locus Foundation library is a tremendous one for Duke,” said Sara Seten Berghausen, Associate Curator of Collections in the Rubenstein Library. “Because it’s a carefully curated collection of the most important and influential works of science fiction of the last several decades—most in their original dust jackets, with fantastic artwork—it complements perfectly our existing collection of utopian literature from the early modern period through the mid-twentieth century.”

Locus started out as a one-sheet science fiction and fantasy fanzine and grew into the most trusted news magazine in science fiction and fantasy publishing.

Berghausen notes that Brown and Locus created not only this collection, but a community of writers, and those relationships are documented throughout the archival collection as well. “The research and teaching possibilities are almost unlimited,” she said. “From political theory to history, art, anthropology and gender studies, there are materials in the collection that could enrich the study of so many topics.”

The collection is already being used in courses at Duke. This semester, English professor Michael D’Alessandro brought his class on utopias and dystopias in American literature to the Rubenstein Library to examine some of the Locus materials first-hand.

“It’s a curious strength Duke has that I didn’t expect,” said D’Alessandro. “I taught this course previously at Harvard, and even the archives there didn’t have anything like this collection, which adds a whole new breadth and depth to the class.”

Grammy Nominees – and Winners! – in the Music Library

Grammys at the ML
Grammy Awards Collection Spotlight

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards wrapped up in February, and now is your chance to catch up with some of the critically-acclaimed recordings that you may have heard about but haven’t had a chance to audition yourself. The Duke Music Library is pleased to unveil a new collection spotlight of recordings nominated for the 2019 Grammy awards, featuring more than 80 albums from just about every category you’ve heard of – and some you might not have!

In addition to some of the finest recordings from the last year in Opera, Musical Theatre, and Classical, this collection spotlight includes Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Kacey Musgraves, Beck, Fred Hersch, Drake, Joshua Redman, Kurt Elling, Buddy Guy, High on Fire, and many more.


Check out our very own “staff picks”:

Philippe Jaroussky and Artaserse, The Handel Album

French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky is among the most famous countertenors in the world right now, and it’s a voice range that has attracted growing interest in recent years. The high range of the countertenor voice and the manner in which its unusual qualities are produced results in a sound that has often been described as unearthly – it’s also a powerful and flexible voice type, able to handle music of stunning virtuosity and highly expressive pathos. All of these qualities are beautifully demonstrated in this album of arias selected by Jaroussky from among lesser-known Handel operas, highlighting pieces which he says “reveal a more intimate, tender side of Handel.”

Preview an incredible aria from the album, “Sussurrate, onde vezzose” from Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula, which evokes the limpid and gentle murmuring of waves. Jaroussky begins with an almost impossibly hushed suspended note on the word “whispering.”

-Laura Williams, Head Librarian, Music Library

 

Fred Hersch Trio, Live in Europe

Fred Hersch and company continue to find new and innovative modes of expression within the jazz piano trio context. Featuring new Hersch originals alongside fresh interpretations of a few standard tunes, this album really shines, both in recording quality and inspired live performance.

-Jamie Keesecker,  Stacks Manager and Student Supervisor, Music Library

 

High on Fire, Electric Messiah

Metal lifer Matt Pike gets the big nod after a year in which this release was not even the best thing he put out (that distinction would go to his other band Sleep’s album ‘The Sciences’). It was also a year in which he had a public struggle with diabetes that cost him a toe and grounded a large part of the tour for ‘Electric Messiah’. That said, when the award was announced early in the Grammy ceremony, the cameras spent many long seconds scanning back and forth looking for the winners in a mostly-deserted theater. Finally, from way in the back, Pike hobbled forward with the help of a cane, and accompanied by his metal peers, to accept his shiny statue. “We never really need an award for doing what we love…” was part of Pike’s on-stage comment, but the commendation was very cool all the same.  

– Stephen Conrad, Order Specialist for Music and Film and Team Lead for Western Languages, Monographic Acquisitions

 

James Ehnes, Violin Concertos by James Newton Howard and Aaron Jay Kernis

The new Kernis Concerto was written for Canadian violinist James Ehnes, and it really serves as a showcase for Ehnes’ strengths. He comes across as such an intelligent musician, really playing with (not just in front of) the other members of the orchestra – Kernis gives them some great moments of interplay here. This work also balances Ehnes’ ability to deliver beautifully straightforward, unfussy lines one minute and astoundingly virtuosic cadenzas the next. Oh, and apparently he watched his Grammy win on a live stream in his neighborhood grocery store parking lot. How much more Canadian and unpretentious can you get?

-Sarah Griffin, Public Services Coordinator, Music Library (and, yes, a violinist)

 


Come over to East Campus to see these and browse through many more on our display of CDs. Don’t have a CD drive on your laptop anymore? No, neither do we! Borrow a portable DVD/CD drive while you’re here.

Fans of accompanying visual materials may find these albums to be of particular interest:

  • Wayne Shorter’s immersive Emanon, packaged with its accompanying graphic novel by comic book artist Randy DuBurke.
  • The Berliner Philharmoniker’s 6-disc box set (4 CDs and 2 Blu-ray discs), The John Adams Edition, featuring the music of legendary minimalist composer John Adams, with photographic artwork by Wolfgang Tillmans. Recorded during the orchestra’s 2016/2017 season during which Adams served as Composer in Residence.
  • At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight, a massive 20-CD box set with 224-page hardcover book documenting the storied radio program broadcast live from the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana between 1948 and 1960. Includes a previously unreleased recording by Hank Williams, as well as rare gems from Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Elvis Presley, and many more.
  • Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War brings together an assortment of songs, news reports, public service announcements, and other spoken-word audio (including a plea for blood donations from Howdy Doody) on four CDs, accompanied by a full-color hardcover book featuring song and artist information, record covers, advertisements, propaganda posters, and rarely-seen photographs from the war.
Battleground Korea and Louisiana Hayride

April 2019 Collection Spotlight: Graphic Novels and Comics

This month’s Collection Spotlight shines a light on graphic novels and comics.  You will find a variety of graphic novels and comics from across our libraries on display.  Here are some examples:

Ms. Marvel, writer, G. Willow Wilson ; color artist, Ian Herring ; letterer, VC’s Joe Caramagna

 

 

 

I Kill Giants, [written by] Joe Kelly ; [art & design by] JM Ken Niimura

 

 

 

 

The Annotated Sandman,  by Neil Gaiman ; edited, with an introduction and notes by Leslie S. Klinger ; featuring characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg

 

 

Aya of Yop City, Marguerite Abouet & Clément Oubrerie

 

 

 

 

Wandering Son, [Shimura Takako ; translation, Matt Thorn]

 

 

 

 

French Milk, Lucy Knisley

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in finding out more details about finding graphic novels and comics in our collections, read on!

Comics and Graphic Novels in the Stacks

You can check out comics and graphic novels from our circulating collections.  We 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 ballNarutoAstro Boy, as well as the complete works of Tezuka Osamu.

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.

Overdrive

We have just recently begun purchasing some comics for Overdrive!  More titles to come!

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.

 

In the meantime, check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins to find your next read!

From Shipping Crate to Exhibit Case: The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection

Please join us for an event celebrating the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection and the work of our amazing staff!

Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.
Phillis Wheatly, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. Lisa Unger Baskin Collection.

Date: Friday, April 12
Time: 11:00-11:45 am
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein 153

In April 2015, the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection arrived at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. Comprising over 11,000 rare books and thousands of manuscripts, journals, ephemera, and artifacts, the Baskin Collection includes many well-known monuments of women’s history and arts as well as lesser-known works produced by female scholars, printers, publishers, laborers, scientists, authors, artists, and political activists. “From Shipping Crate to Exhibit Case” looks at the comprehensive work of libraries, including how we organize, conserve, describe, and exhibit, through the lens of this unique collection.

“Five Hundred Years of Women’s Work: The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection” will be available for viewing after the program, in the Mary Duke Biddle Room.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

Lilly Library March Movie Madness The Conquering Hero

Hail the Conquering Hero

This just in from the DYNAMIC DUO news desk…

All Hail the Conquering (super) Hero: Black Panther

From your friendly Lilly Library Bracketologist:

Nathaniel Brown Media & Reserves Coordinator, Lilly Library
Bracketologist Nathaniel Brown

Vibrationally speaking,  in the  final matchup, The Black Panther quivered and pounded The Incredibles into submission as it came out on top as the Best Superhero Movie, 80-59!

I must give credit where credit is due…The Incredibles had an incredible run to the finals toppling giants and proving they can run with the big dogs.

But this year’s bracket (and box office) belongs to The King of Wakanda! All Hail T’Challa!

This year’s Superhero Edition of March Movie Madness proved to be a Marvel, and an Incredible adventure. Thank you to all the students and university staff who participated.

As for the hopes of the vanquished,
just wait until next year!

Contributors:
Nathaniel Brown, Lilly Library Media and Reserves Coordinator
Carol Terry, Lilly Library Collection Services & Communications Coordinator

 

 

Lilly Library March Movie Madness: The Dynamic Duo

And then there were TWO!

Picture of Black Panther and The Incredibles as the two finalist in the March Movie Madness Challenge
The Dynamic Duo: who will be the Conquering Hero?

After three rounds of voting, the brackets are cleared, and just two Superhero movies remain standing – our Dynamic Duo  of Black Panther and  the family known as The Incredibles.

Are you surprised?

Lilly’s expert bracketologist, the man with super-vision and powers of prognostication isn’t … and, yet,  he is also “incredibly” surprised:

Nathaniel Brown Media & Reserves Coordinator, Lilly Library
Bracketologist Nathaniel Brown

This just in from the FANTASTIC FOUR news desk…

The Black Panther continues its meteoric path through the brackets, mowing down Thor: Ragnarok 95-40!

And in a complete shocker, The Incredibles, proving that blood runs thicker than water and that no one can take them out, squeak by Spiderman Into the Spider-verse, 70-65! I, your expert, for one did not see this happening! Stay tuned for the DYNAMIC DUO Champion Round:

VOTE for the Conquering Hero HERE

Round 4 Voting

Friday, March 29th until Monday, April 1st at noon.

Image of brackets for Lilly Library March Movie Madness showing results of Black Panther vs The Incredibles
Who will be THE Conquering Hero?

Results announced Monday, April 1st at 6pm

Who will prevail? Will you be fooled?


Contributors:
Nathaniel Brown, Lilly Library Media and Reserves Coordinator
Carol Terry, Lilly Library Collection Services & Communications Coordinator

 

 

Lilly Library March Movie Madness The Fantastic Four

Survive and Advance: The Fantastic Four

A collage of the Final Fantastic Films
Lilly Library’s March Movie MaDnEsS: The Final Four Superhero Films

Survive and advance –  that should resonate with our Duke Crazies!  Did your superhero Movie advance to the Fantastic Four?

Take that Fantastic Four to a Dynamic Duo – Vote HERE now!

Nathaniel Brown Media & Reserves Coordinator, Lilly Library
Bracketologist Nathaniel Brown

Lilly’s March Movie Madness Expert Bracketologist, Nathaniel Brown,  offers a recap of the epic battle waged between the remaining Exteme Eight Films:

In the Metropolis region, although Captain America did upset the hometown boy in the first round, he couldn’t handle the family of animated heroes!  Jack-Jack, who’s really coming into his powers, overwhelmed the First Avenger and helped his Incredible family destroy Captain America: Civil War 116-48!

The Black Panther continued to take care of Wakanda business as he thrashed all five of the Guardians with the tally of  108-56!

Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse overtook Wonder Woman and dethroned the first-born child of the Paradise Isle, defeating her 90-74!

And in a shocker, Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir, struck a fatal blow and edged the Dark Knight out of Gotham—and out of the Extreme Eight round— 84-80!

Updated Brackets of March Movie Madness Showing Fantastic Four winners: Thor, Black Panther, The Incredibles, and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
And then there were Four

Reminder: Round 3 voting
ends Thursday March 28th at noon.

VOTE

Can  you catch (the God of )Lightning in a bottle
and take the victory?

Contributors:
Nathaniel Brown, Lilly Library Media and Reserves Coordinator
Carol Terry, Lilly Library Collection Services & Communications Coordinator

Lilly Library March Movie Madness: THE SUPERHERO EDITION

BREAKING NEWS!
The Extreme Eight Now Reigns

Collage of 16 entries with 8 losing films marked out
Did your superhero movie prevail?

ROUND TWO: Vote at  https://bit.ly/2YbqBxg

Which is Your universe: Marvel or DC?

Who is the best superhero or superhero faction? Does the Marvel Universe or DC Comics reign supreme? The decision is entirely in your hands if you enter Lilly Library’s March Movie Madness! While the battles for the rounds of 64 and 32 occurred on Knowhere and Xandar respectively, we announce that Super Sixteen combatants remain. Now the war has arrived on Earth (or, at least, Lilly Library) and it’s time to crown our champion!

This year’s Lilly Library March Movie Madness begins Monday, March 18th. It’s YOUR turn to enter into the fray and vote in the evolving brackets to help decide our ultimate superhero! And, yes – there are prizes!

BRACKETOLOGY by Nathaniel Brown

Nathaniel Brown Media & Reserves Coordinator, Lilly Library
Lilly Library’s Expert Bracketologist Nathaniel Brown
  • In the Gotham bracket, will the hometown advantage aid the Caped Crusader to pull out the victory and advance to the Fantastic Four? Which version of the Dark Knight will advance – the sarcastic and brooding Lego version, or the equally brooding, looking to retire Christian Bale version? Will the God of Thunder electrify Gotham instead? Or will the King of Atlantis flood the city?
  • In the Metropolis bracket, will the animated family of the Incredibles overtake the Xavier led group of mutants? Will the Man of Steel preserve home field and annihilate the First Avenger?
  • In the majestic bracket of Paradise Island, will Wonder Woman continue her blockbuster success and dethrone the wisecracking Deadpool? Will the Spider multiverse pelt the suit of the Man in a Tin Can with his web shooters?
  • Lastly, in the Wakanda bracket, will the all-powerful Justice League defeat the Guardians of the Galaxy (who always seem to have their own personal agendas but come together when it counts)? Or will the King of Wakanda pounce and maul the opposition provided by the Web-slinger?

Join Forces in the Super Sixteen Brackets

  • The SUPER SIXTEEN:
    Vote March 18th until noon on Wednesday, March 20th
  • The EXTREME EIGHT: Vote HERE
    Vote Thursday, March 21st  until noon on Monday, March 25th
  • The FANTASTIC FOUR:
    VoteTuesday, March 26th until noon on Thursday, March 28th
  • The DYNAMIC DUO Championship Round:
    VoteFriday, March 29th  until noon on April 1st
  • The CONQUERING HERO will be announced Monday, April 1st

Summon Your Powers and Vote *

16 field brackets for Lilly Library Superhero Films
Lilly March Movie Madness: the SUPERHERO EDITION

Link to the brackets: https://bit.ly/2FfSMTo

Bracket Updates at
Lilly Library’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

*NOTE: Participants who provide their Duke netID and compete in all the brackets to vote for our CONQUERING HERO, will be entered into  Prize Drawings for Student CRAZIES and for stalwart Duke Staff.

Do You Have Nerves of
DVD cover image of Superman: Man of Steel
Superman: Man of Steel

To Take It All The Way?

Here’s to a great adventure as we all advance through the Lilly Library March Movie Madness Superhero Brackets to crown the Conquering Hero!

Contributors:
Nathaniel Brown, Lilly Library Media and Reserves Coordinator
Carol Terry, Lilly Library Collection Services & Communications Coordinator

March 2019 Collection Spotlight: International Year of The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements

Professor Molenium from the American Chemical Society

This month’s Collection Spotlight celebrates The United Nations International Year of The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.  It’s the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Chemical Elements in 1869.  To learn more, check out this collection of articles.  You might also enjoy reading through the posts marked with #IYPT2019.   Here’s some examples of the titles that we are featuring:

The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance by Eric R. Scerri

Reactions: An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe by Theodore Gray

Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

Vanity, Vitality, and Virility: The Science behind the Products You Love to Buy by John Emsley

Gold: A Novel by Chris Cleave

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table by Richard Morris

Check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins to see if any of the books there can spark a chemical reaction in you!

Meet Our Mystery Dates! The Complete Book List

Thank you to everyone who enjoyed going out on a Mystery Date With a Book this month! If you didn’t get a chance to check out our display, or if you’re just curious to know what books we selected, here’s a complete list of our mystery picks, along with the library staff member who recommended them. Add them to your Goodreads list. Happy reading!

Selected by Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Head, Humanities Section and Librarian for Literature and Theater Studies:

Selected by Sara Seten Berghausen, Associate Curator of Collections, Rubenstein Library

  • Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise“Love and loss in Nazi-occupied France.”
  • David Sedaris, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: “Dark and wickedly funny animal love stories.”
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me“A father’s heartfelt letter to his 16-year-old in an existentially unfair world.”
  • Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones“A teenage girl and her brothers strive to protect and love one another as Hurricane Katrina looms.”

Selected by Ciara Healy, Librarian for Psychology & Neuroscience, Mathematics, and Physics

Selected by Kelli Stephenson, Coordinator, Access and Library Services

Selected by Aaron Welborn, Director of Communications

  • Gabriel Garcia Maquez, The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor: “What it’s like to be lost at sea, fending off sharks, thirst, and insanity.”
  • Helene Hanff, 84, Charing Cross Road: “Heart-warming long-distance friendship develops over books and the lost art of letter-writing.”
  • J. L. Carr, A Month in the Country: “A gem of a book: a quaint English village, a WWI vet, and a shimmering summer of youth.”
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time to Keep Silence: “History, travel, and the pleasures of the quiet life. Best savored slowly and antisocially.”
  • Andrea Barrett, Ship Fever: Stories: “Beautifully written stories about the love of science, and the science of love, set in the 19th century.”
  • Lawrence Weschler, Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder: “The strangest museum you’ve never heard of is a real place, and you’re going to be obsessed with it.”
  • Ian Frazier, Travels in Siberia: “Despite what you read in the news, Russia is actually a pretty funny place.”
  • Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation: “Hilarious, irreverent road trip that brings American history to life (and death).”
  • Jan Morris, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere: “A love letter to a city 4,000 years old.”
  • Peter Brannen, The Ends of the World: “A deep dive into deep time offers a glimpse of our possible future.”

Selected by Brittany Wofford, Coordinator for The Edge and Librarian for the Nicholas School of the Environment

Selected by Andrea Loigman, Head, Access and Delivery Services

Selected by Holly Ackerman, Head, International & Area Studies Dept. and Librarian for Latin American, Iberian and Latino/a Studies

  • Leonardo Padura, Havana Red“The first of a 5-part detective series set in Cuba.”

Selected by Katie Henningsen, Head of Research Services, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

  • Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows: “Ocean’s Eleven meets Game of Thrones.”

Selected by Kristina Troost, Librarian for Japanese Studies

  • Lynne Kutsukake, The Translation of Love: a novel: A portrait of post-war Japan, where a newly repatriated Japanese Canadian girl must help a classmate find her missing sister.”
  • Ann Waswo, Damaged Goods: A higher education mysteryAn art fraud investigator based in Tokyo, responds to a request from an old friend and soon arrives at Thaddeus Hall, England.”
  • Min Jin Lee, Pachinko: “Follows one Korean family through the generations.”

Selected by Megan Crain, Annual Giving Coordinator

Selected by Sarah Park, Librarian for Engineering and Computer Science

  • Henryk Sienkiewicz, Quo vadis“Where are you going?”
  • Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek“A recipe for happiness: ‘a glass of wine, a roast chesnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.'”
  • Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise: “For a phenomenal woman.”

Selected by Lee Sorensen, Librarian for Visual Studies and Dance, Lilly Library

  • Collin Thurbron, Night of Fire: a novel: “John Banfield and I think this is the best book we’ve read in years. Zen meets Spoon River Anthology.”

Selected by Laura Williams, Head, Music Library

Selected by Keegan Trofatter, Communications & Development Student Assistant

  • Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant FriendBeing a smart (like really smart) girl in a rough Italian neighborhood is easier with a friend by your side—or is it?”
  • Neil Gaiman, American Gods, My favorite part of a cross country road-trip? A bunch of gods fighting one another.

 

Celebrate Black History All Year Round with “The HistoryMakers”

Duke historian John Hope Franklin (left) and political scientist Samuel DuBois Cook, both of whom are featured in the HistoryMakers database of oral history interviews.

Guest post by Heather Martin, Librarian for African and African American Studies

Looking for oral history interviews of African Americans? Try The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, a new subscription database available through Duke University Libraries.

HistoryMakers contains over 10,000 hours of video interviews with African-Americans distinguished in the categories of education, media, science, politics, law, the arts, business, medicine, the military, sports, religion, entertainment, and other areas of public life. Interviewees discuss memories from the 1890s to the present. The project currently includes original interviews of more than 2,000 individuals, with a goal of collecting 5,000 interviews.

By creating story segments from each interview, HistoryMakers allows users to find relevant discussions on specific topics. Interview transcripts are searchable, but you can also choose from a list of story topics (e.g., leadership, desegregation/integration, public health issues, philanthropy, role models, gender identity, faith, humorous story quality, and arguing a position). You can also create shareable playlists by selecting stories from your search results.

A search for “Duke University” reveals hundreds of interviews with noteworthy individuals, including Paula McClain, current dean of Duke’s Graduate School.

A search for Duke University retrieves 321 stories, including interviews with noted historian John Hope Franklin;  Samuel DuBois Cook, the first African American professor at Duke; Vera Ricketts, the first black female pharmacist at Duke University Hospital; and Paula D. McClain, current dean of the Graduate School at Duke.

HistoryMakers complements Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South and other oral history materials in the Duke Libraries’ collections. It is a substantial addition to our primary source collections.

To learn more about the creation of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, visit the organization’s website.

 

Warming Up to Winter in Lilly

Cold and dreary January doesn’t have to be the bleakest and grayest time of year. Visit Lilly Library’s new Collection Spotlight and exhibit to brighten your winter season! To warm you, the Lilly Collection Spotlight What’s Cooking in the Libraries? offers a serving of books and films in celebration of food, chefs, and international cuisine. To accompany our main course, feast your eyes on our latest exhibit Carnival, Carnevale, Carnaval, Karneval,  an overview and celebration of international Carnival traditions.

What’s Cooking in the Libraries?

Film and books for foodies

Food captured on-screen appeals to all our senses. Savor our diverse selection of foodie-films with favorites such as Ratatouille, Big Night, Tortilla Soup, City of Gold, Tampopo, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Chef, Eat Drink Man Woman, and many more!

Books about chefs, food history, and culinary traditions and cuisines complete our menu. Sample more books and films about food in Lilly and the Duke Libraries here.

Carnival, Carnevale, Carnaval, Karneval

Carnival Celebrations and Traditions

 

In addition to our feast of books and films about food, our exhibit Carnival, Carnevale, Carnaval, Karnaval highlights the variety and breadth  of carnival festivities celebrated throughout the world. Practiced over several centuries, the ancient tradition of a mid-February Carnival has evolved and become as varied and diverse as its many locales.  Originating from spiritual and religious traditions, present-day carnival festivities are exuberant and high-spirited affairs.  Venice, Rio, New Orleans, Bavarian towns, cantons of Switzerland, and the islands of the Caribbean are just a few settings noted for elaborate celebrations and revelry during the Carnival season. Explore films and books about carnival here.

Even though it is winter, Laissez les bons temps rouler!

 

January 2019 Collection Spotlight: KIE Staff Book Clubs

This month our Collection Spotlight is celebrating the Kenan Institute for Ethics Book Clubs for Staff program by featuring some of the books that have been read by the various book clubs across campus.  More than 50 books have been read across 15 departments.  Some of the titles that have been read by these book clubs include:

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Proud Shoes: The story of an American Family by Pauli Murray

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors by  James Edward Mills

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins to find some more thought provoking titles to read.  If you are a staff member interested in starting your own Ethics Book Club in your department or office, you can find details here about how to get seed money to set it up.

Collection Spotlight: Books to Take You Places

Winter Break is approaching, and soon our Duke community will spread out across the country and the globe, heading home for the holidays or partaking in some much-needed travel.

Even if you’re just planning on curling up with a good book at home (admittedly, one of our favorite activities), the Libraries have collected works to add some adventure into any kind of vacation. The newest display, located next to the Perkins Service Desk, features books on all things travel-related. The display combines traditional travel narratives with fiction, including journeys and time travel.

Here’s the complete list of “Books to Take You Places,” with links to where you can find them in our catalog. Read them now, or just add them to your Goodreads list for later. Happy reading!

Want to stay updated on book recommendations and other library news? Subscribe to our Bi-Weekly Newsletter!


Continue reading Collection Spotlight: Books to Take You Places

November 2018 Collection Spotlight: Hidden Service

 

Today Duke commemorates Veteran’s Day.  You can see a list of events going on here.  Here at DUL we’re focusing on “Hidden Service” in our collection spotlight by showcasing fiction and non-fiction books that explore the contributions and experiences of soldiers from a variety of backgrounds, including women, LGBT, African-American, Native American, Asian-American, and Latino/a soldiers.  You can check out this display at the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins.  Here’s a brief selection of the titles you will find there:

Code Talker by Chester Nez

Be Safe I Love You by  Cara Hoffman

Going for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers in the War against Nazi Germany by James M. McCaffrey

I’m Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen– My Journey Home by Shoshana Johnson

A Legacy Greater than Words: Stories of U.S. Latinos & Latinas of the WWII Generation by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Dien Cai Dau by Yusef Komunyakaa

The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers by  Elizabeth Cobbs

Our Time: Breaking the Silence of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by Josh Seefried.

This collection spotlight was partially inspired by the current World War One exhibit in Rubenstein Library and a recent talk in early November called ” ‘If We Must Die’: African Americans and the War for Democracy.”  Professor Adriane Lentz-Smith, author of Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I, gave the talk.

You might also be interested in this recent blog post about Trinity College during the Great War.

Scare Yourself Silly @ Lilly

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your scare on!

Check out Lilly Library’s collection spotlight on books and movies that celebrate Frankenstein’s 200th birthday and comprise a ghoulish grouping of truly terrifying titles….

Lilly Spotlight on Frankenstein image

Lilly’s collections include books on philosophy and ethics, graphic novels, art and visual studies, and film. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s enduring tale, Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheusboth Lilly and Perkins are highlighting their titles on the subject. At Lilly we’ve thrown in additional scary movies to add to the horror. Enjoy the holiday chills!

Lilly Collection Spotlight on Frankenstein image 2

 

 

 

 

 

“Hump? What hump?” – Igor, Young Frankenstein 

Expanded Access to Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)

We are pleased to announce that the Duke University Libraries have greatly expanded access to the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)!

This comes in response to numerous requests over the last few years. We have a new deal for all current JoVE titles (see title list and details below). While the official start date is January 2019, JoVE has already opened up full access to Duke IP addresses.

What is JoVE?

JoVE publishes peer-reviewed videos of people doing real-world scientific experiments. By letting you watch the intricate details of experiments rather than just read about them in articles, JoVE helps you understand how to recreate those experiments, thereby improving research productivity, reproducibility, and student learning outcomes.

How and why to use it

JoVE funded a study of the impact on student performance of watching their videos prior to lab classes. A description of the study and a link to download the resulting whitepaper can be found here.

The JoVE blog also has a number of posts giving examples of how faculty are using JoVE in their teaching and research. For example:

  • Dr. Dessy Raytcheva at Northeastern University uses JoVE videos as pre- and post-assignments in her undergraduate biology course, in order to save class time for higher impact teaching activities.
  • Marilene Pavan, manager of Boston University’s DAMP lab credits publishing video protocols in JoVE with significant increases in experimental success rate and reduction in errors.

You can see all of those case studies here.

Assessment

Given the high subscription costs for this product, we will be looking at usage statistics and impact stories to determine whether to continue after an initial three years. So if you use JoVE in your research or teaching, please let us know!

Journal Title List

  • Behavior2
  • Biochemistry3
  • Bioengineering2
  • Biology1,2
  • Cancer Research2
  • Chemistry3
  • Developmental Biology2
  • Engineering2
  • Environment3
  • Genetics2
  • Immunology & Infection2
  • Medicine3
  • Neuroscience1,2

Science Education Collection List

  • Advanced Biology1
  • Basic Biology1,3
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical Skills3
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Physics
  • Psychology

1 Previously subscribed
2 Perpetual access
3 Temporary access (2019 only)

Details of our access

Our new deal includes perpetual access to video articles published under most of the JoVE journal titles, even if we don’t continue subscribing to new content. For a few titles (those that are more clinical in focus or for which we have received the fewest requests), we will only have access through December 2019, unless we decide to expand even further. For the remaining titles, we will have access as long as we continue to subscribe.

Please contact DUL science librarians at askscience@duke.edu if you have any questions or comments. We are also happy to provide links to support documentation, such as instructions for embedding JoVE videos in Sakai.

Duke Celebrates Frankenstein’s 200th Anniversary

Did you know that Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein turns 200 this year?  Duke University is celebrating in several ways.  First, the English department is partnering with our neighbors at UNC to participate in Frankenreads, a marathon reading of the text.  It will take place on Halloween in Allen 314, and you can register to read here.  You can also just come and enjoy the reading!

Here in the libraries our Collection Spotlight  on the first floor of Perkins Library near the Service Desk is devoted to all things Frankenstein.  See the bottom of this post for pictures of this display!  We are highlighting books about Frankenstein, works inspired by it, and books about some of the science around it (think anatomy and grave robbing).  And the spiders are free!  Here is a sample of some of the titles you will find:

Making the Monster: The Science behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Mary Shelley, Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters

Frankenstein Dreams: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Science Fiction

Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film

Finally I will be writing a series of blog posts about Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and its legacy!  Follow along, if you dare!

2018 Banned Books Week

Happy Banned Books Week! Banned Books Week is a celebration of the freedom to read books that are frequently challenged and targeted for removal from libraries, and runs this year from September 23-29. This year’s theme, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” is a reminder that censorship not only infringes on our intellectual freedom–it harms our ability to create, tell, and share stories. Banned Books Week celebrates free and open access to information; though the books reported by the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom are frequently challenged, they remain accessible to readers in libraries throughout the country.

Duke Libraries owns many of these challenged books. If you’re interested in reading a title that has been challenged historically or in recent years, here are some selected titles:

You can check out a list of the most frequently challenged books of 2017 here.

The Dog Days of Summer at Lilly Library

Although classes have started and September is here, it’s still doggone hot outside. In honor of these waning dog days of summer, Lilly Library has curated a selection of dog books and films for you to enjoy (with or without your furry friends!) in the comfort of the A/C. Here are some of my personal favorites from our Collection Spotlight.

Best in Show

Best in Show Cover

One of my favorite mockumentaries, Best in Show lampoons dog shows and the people who obsess over them. If you’ve seen a Christopher Guest directed film before (Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind) lots of the usual suspects show up in this one, including Michael McKean, Jane Lynch, and Eugene Levy. Highly recommended for bloodhound fans.

Polaroids by William Wegman

Even if you’re not familiar with the name William Wegman, I’m willing to bet you’ve seen one of his photographs. Wegman is most famous for his many photos of his gray Weimaraner hunting dogs, who are often posed on furniture or wearing costumes. A wonderful book of phodography!

Wir kommen auf den Hund (We Go to the Dogs) by Michael Imhof Verlag

We Go To The Dogs Cover Image

An exhibition catalog from the Berlin Museum of Prints and Drawings, this book contains depictions of canines in art ranging from medieval times to the modern era. Recommended if you want to get a broad sampling of dogs in art.

Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon Cover

No actual dogs involved in this one, but it does feature the oppressive heat we’re currently facing here in Durham. Set during a steamy afternoon in New York City, this Sidney Lumet film follows two bank robbers (Al Pacino and the excellent John Cazale) as their plans go sideways and they are forced to improvise. This film is a must-watch masterpiece.

Drop by Lilly Library and check out the Collection Spotlight stand to the left of the front desk for more dog-themed books and films!

New Exhibit: Graphic Narratives from Around the World


A new exhibit on the second floor of Bostock Library, next to the East Asian Magazine Reading Room, explores the truly global popularity of graphic novels.

Since ancient times, human beings all over the globe have been bringing text and images together to tell stories. The term “graphic novel” connotes a full-length graphic narrative that uses sophisticated artwork to address serious literary themes for mature audiences. Starting in the 1980s, it gained popularity as an alternative to comics in Britain and America. However, this distinction between “lowbrow” comics and “highbrow” graphic novels is not relevant to Europe, Latin America, and Asia, which have long histories of narrative art that appeals to a wide range of audiences in many genres.

In this selection of graphic novels and cartoons from Duke’s collection, you will see retellings of classics and tales of adventure that have gained massive popularity in Japan and China. You will see stories of revolution and bold political movements from Russia, India, South Africa, and Colombia. You will see tales of atrocities, survival, and redemption in Germany and Israel. You will see humor, both lighthearted and political, in Turkey, Portugal and Spain, and everyday life in Korea and Côte d’Ivoire. This variety demonstrates the power of graphic narratives to reflect and lend new visual interpretations to all aspects of the human experience. We welcome you to explore one of the world’s most popular modes of storytelling in the Duke collection.

The exhibit was curated by Katie Odhner, a graduate student in the UNC School of Information and Library Science who is interning this summer with our International and Area Studies department.

Help Identify the Antioquia 32!

Scroll down to the Comments section for the latest updates! 

Guest post by Holly Ackerman, Head of International and Area Studies and Librarian for Latin America, Iberia and Latino/a Studies. This post is in Spanish as well as English. Scroll down for the Spanish version.

The photo below depicts thirty-two distinguished Colombian gentlemen whose individual and collective identities have been lost with the passage of time. We are hoping you can help us restore them. Are they politicians? Club members? Businessmen? Crusading newspaper journalists?  Where did they fit in the life of their times? Where do they stand in history?

Who are these mysterious men? Click on the image to see the full-size version.

Take a look at the image made by Jorge Obando Carmona, one of Colombia’s most famous photographers, who specialized in panoramic views. We suspect the photo was taken in the 1930s or ‘40s, but Obando worked in the 1950s as well. He photographed primarily in Medellín and other sites in Antioquia. This photo is labeled Medellín.

The large photo (7.5” x 28.5”) was given to Deborah Jakubs, the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian & Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University, by Rod Ross, who prior to his 2016 retirement was an archivist with the National Archives. Jakubs describes the circumstances of the gift: “I did not know Rod Ross until we crossed paths purely by chance in January 2018 in Armenia, Colombia, at a small hotel.  He later wrote and mentioned the mysterious photo, offering it to Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.  He reports that his late wife discovered the rolled-up photo in a shoebox with other photos when she cleaned out her parents’ apartment following their deaths.”

Ross’s late wife, Clara Restrepo (1933-2010), was the daughter of Juan María Restrepo Marquez and María Luisa Ramos Restrepo. Juan María was born in Medellín, son of Pedro Restrepo, who served as a minister in the administration of his uncle, President Carlos Restrepo.  Young John/Juan spent part of his very early childhood in the presidential palace during the administration of his great uncle.  Ross knows nothing further about the photo but has an archivist’s curiosity about these men in suits.

If you recognize one or more of the Antioquia 32, please let us know. By clicking on the “+” symbol, you can enlarge the photos to see each person more clearly.

Send identifying information to Holly Ackerman, Head of International and Area Studies and Librarian for Latin America, Iberia and Latino/a Studies, at holly.ackerman@duke.edu.

As identities are verified, we will update this post.


¡Ayúdenos a identificar a los Antioquia 32!

La foto de abajo es de 32 distinguidos caballeros colombianos cuyas identidades individuales y colectivas se han perdido con el paso del tiempo. Esperamos que nos puedan ayudar a restaurarlas. ¿Son políticos? ¿Miembros de un Club? ¿Periodistas de cruzada? Hombres de negocio? ¿Dónde encajan en la vida de la época? En la historia?

¿Quiénes son estos hombres misteriosos? Haz clic sobre la imágen para ver la versión grande.

Echa un vistazo a la imagen hecha por Jorge Obando Carmona, uno de los fotógrafos más famosos de Colombia, que se especializó en vistas panorámicas. Sospechamos que la foto fue sacada en la década de 1930 o 1940 pero Obando trabajaba también en los años cincuenta. Hacía fotos sobre todo en Medellín y otros lugares de Antioquia.

Esta foto grande (7.5 por 28.5 pulgadas) fue presentado a Deborah Jakubs, Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway Directora y Vice Provost de Bibliotecas en Duke University por Rod Ross, hasta su jubilación en 2016 archivista en el Archivo Nacional de los Estados Unidos. Jakubs describe las circunstancias del regalo: “Yo no lo conocía a Rod Ross hasta encontrarlo por casualidad completa en enero del 2018 en Armenia, Colombia en un pequeño hotel.  Más tarde Rod me escribió sobre la foto panorámica, ofreciéndola como regalo a la David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library de Duke University.  Me contó que su esposa finada había encontrado la foto arollada en una caja de zapatos con otras fotos cuando limpiaba el departamento de los padres después de sus fallecimientos.”

La esposa finada de Ross, Clara Restrepo (1933-2010), fue hija de Juan Maria Restrepo Marquez y Maria Luisa Ramos Restrepo. Juan María nació en Medellín, hijo de Pedro Restrepo, quien se desempeñó como Ministro de la administración de su tío, el Presidente Carlos Restrepo.  Juan pasó parte de su niñez en el palacio presidencial durante el gobierno de su tío abuelo. Ross no sabe nada más acerca de la foto pero tiene la curiosidad de un archivsta sobre estos hombres vestidos de traje.

Si reconoces a uno o más de los 32 de Antioquia, por favor háganoslo saber. Haciendo clic sobre el símbolo “+”,  puede ampliar las fotos para ver a cada persona más claramente. Favor de enviar información a Holly Ackerman, jefa del Departamento de Estudios Internacionales y Bibliotecaria para Latinoaméria, Iberia, y Estudios Latino/a, holly.ackerman@duke.edu  Cuando se verifiquen las identidades, actualizaremos este post.

Lilly’s Sizzling Summer of Dance

The American Dance Festival kicked off its 41st year in Durham this June 2018.  Lilly Library is celebrating with an exhibit and collection spotlight highlighting our diverse range of books and films related to dance.

Duke University Libraries house the ADF Archives, including its Moving Images Collection of approximately 2,000 films and videos from 1930 to the present. These videos capture dance classes, panels, performances, discussions, showings, interviews and special events. Many can be viewed on-site in Lilly.  Stop by and check us out!

What dance films does Lilly own and loan? Our Video Spotlight Archives includes Dance on Film. For even more dance-themed movies in our collection, browse an online list of titles on DVD and streaming video .

ADF Extra:
Saturdays in June and July, view Movies By Movers, at the Nasher Museum of Art and White Lecture Hall on Duke’s East Campus. This ADF series is a bi-annual festival dedicated to the celebration of body and the camera. A full screening schedule can be found here.

 

Forever Duke – Alumni in Literature and the Arts

Lilly Collection Spotlight

Duke Alumni Authors and Artists

Oh, the places they have gone!

Our Lilly Collection Spotlight shines on talented Duke Alumni including authors, broadcasters, researchers, as well as many who are accomplished in popular entertainment – both on screen and behind the scenes. Their studies while at Duke are varied, and for many, their majors were not directly related to their career. The featured books encompass a range of genres and styles – from sociological research to critically acclaimed fiction to sports journalism. Duke alumni working in film and television produce and appear in a variety of films including comedies, drama and thoughtful documentaries. Actors, directors, writers – they experience success both in front of the camera and behind. What they all have in common is their “Duke experience”.

Check out the entire list of books in the Lilly Collection Spotlight  and visit Lilly Library to view the exhibit Duke Alumni on the Screen and Behind the Scenes.

Among the Duke Alumni  Books in the Collection Spotlight:

Vinegar Girl: The Taming of the Shrew Retold

Vinegar girl : The taming of the shrew retold

Pulitzer Prize winner and American master Anne Tyler’s inspired, witty and irresistible contemporary take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies. Tyler graduated from Duke in 1961.

The Legends Club : Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an epic college basketball rivalry
In the skillful hands of John Feinstein (Duke 1977), this extraordinary rivalry–and the men behind it–comes to life in a unique, intimate way. The Legends Club is a sports book that captures an era in American sport and culture, documenting the inside view of a decade of absolutely incredible competition.

Dollars and sense : how we misthink money and how to spend smarter

Dollars and sense : how we misthink money and how to spend smarter
Bestselling author  (Predictably Irrational) and behavioral economist Dan Ariely  (PhD Business 1998) teams up with financial comedian and writer Jeff Kreisler to challenge many of our most basic assumptions about the precarious relationship between our brains and our money.

The Gaza Kitchen: a Palestinian culinary journey

This is a richly illustrated and researched cookbook that explores the distinctive cuisine of the area known prior to 1948 as the Gaza District–and that of the many refugees who came to Gaza in 1948 and have been forced to stay there ever since. In summer 2010, Laila El-Haddad  (Duke 2000) and Maggie Schmitt traveled throughout the Gaza Strip to collect the recipes and shoot the stunning photographs presented in the book.

Forever Duke: On the Screen and Behind the Scenes

Accompanying the books in the Collection Spotlight, the current exhibit in the Lilly Library foyer is Forever Duke: On the Screen and Behind the Scenes. The works of Duke alumni filmmakers, writers and actors featured  include films and series found in the Lilly Library collections. A few of the more well known titles or personalities:

We Were Soldiers – directed by Randall Wallace (’72)

We Were Soldiers
Directed by Randall Wallace (’72) Wallace wrote and directed We Were Soldiers. Nominated for an Oscar as screenwriter for Braveheart, he also worked on films such as Pearl Harbor and The Man in the Iron Mask.

Community and The Hangover

Community featuring Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong (’90) was a premed student at Duke.  A licensed physician, Jeong found fame in comic roles in both television and film.

Other Duke luminaries include actress and Baldwin Scholar  Annabeth Gish (’93) who stars in the current X-Files, Martin Kratt (’89), the co-creator of the beloved children’s series Zoboomafoo and Wild Kratts, Oscar and BAFTA nominee cinematographer Robert Yeoman (’73) , film editor Alisa Lepselter who has worked on Woody Allen films such as Midnight in Paris and Match Point, and documentary filmmakers Ryan White (’04) and Rossana Lacayo (’79).

The Duke campus and Durham have also been featured in film and television; productions include Bull Durham, The Handmaid’s Tale (the film), The Program, Main Street, Iron Man 3, Kiss the Girls, Brainstorm and the late 1990’s  coming-of-age television series Dawson’s Creek.  Whether it’s American Pie 2Mystic Pizza, The Squid and the Whale or Parks and Recreation, you will find a Blue Devil!

 

 

 

May 2018 Collection Spotlight: From Page to Screen

This month’s collection spotlight is “From Page to Screen,” where we are featuring books that have been turned into films or television shows in the last couple of years.  You can check out this display at the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins.  Here’s a brief selection of the titles you will find there:

You probably know that The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is now a Hulu television show, but did you also know that there was a 1990 film adaptation with scenes filmed here in Durham?

 

 

 


Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy was adapted in 2015.  It stars some familiar faces, such as Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen, and features some beautiful scenery.  There was also an 1967 film adaptation.

 

 

 


The Price of Salt was adapted into the 2016 film Carol starring the Academy Award Winning Cate Blanchett.  It was published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan but was written by Patricia Highsmith (author of the classic The Talented Mr. Ripley, which was itself adapted in the 2000 film of the same name).

 

 


I Am Not Your Negro is an interesting case because while the text is from James Baldwin, it was compiled and edited together by the filmmaker Raoul Peck.  He worked with Baldwin’s published and unpublished work, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews to piece together the fulfillment of an idea of a book that Baldwin had envisioned about Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King.  The resulting documentary was a powerful examination of race in American and garnered a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Documentary.


Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel was adapted into a 2017 film.  David Finkel is a MacArthur Fellow and Pultizer Prize winning reporter who embedded with the men of 2-16 after their deployment ended as a continuation of his work in the 2009 book The Good Soldiers.

 

 

 


You can find many of the films featured in our Collection Spotlight in our Lilly Library collection.

Click here, here, and here to see some of our previous Collection Spotlights.

Black Panther & The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

Black Panther and MCU

Black Panther tells the story of T’Challa (real name), king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. T’Challa possesses enhanced abilities garnered through ancient Wakandan rituals of drinking the heart-shaped herb. He also utilizes his proficiency in science, rigorous physical training, hand-to-hand combat skills, and access to wealth and advanced technology (through vibranium) to combat his enemies. The character was created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby when Kirby realized he had no blacks in his comic strip. “I came up with the Black Panther because I realized I had no blacks in my strip. I’d never drawn a black,” Kirby told the Comics Journal. “I needed a black. I suddenly discovered that I had a lot of black readers. My first friend was a black! And here I was ignoring them because I was associating with everybody else.” Kirby, though far from eloquent in his word choice, gets at an essential idea—representation and its importance in a reader’s view. They should be able to see themselves in the work.

Black Panther opened on February 16, 2018 to much fanfare and high expectations. It was the first standalone movie for the character in the Marvel cinematic universe, which includes Iron Man, Thor, Spiderman, and dozens of other superheroes. All of these prior characters’ movies have had success, but what distinguishes Black Panther is that it featured an almost entirely African-American cast—including Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Michael B. Jordan, and Angela Bassett, and a black director—Ryan Coogler (whose credits include Fruitvale Station and Creed). The storyline dives into topics of race, highlights the strengths of black women (as they are depicted as warriors, queens, and scientists in the film), and the roles and depictions of families and communities deviate from depictions in the mainstream media. These differences are particularly important as it debunks conventional wisdoms that black films and black filmmakers are unprofitable and impossible. A study done by USC concluded African Americans represented 13.6% of characters in major film projects, compared to 70.8% of white characters in 2017. Behind the camera numbers were worse, 5.6% were directors compared to their peers for the same year.

Black Panther took the box office by storm! At the time of this writing, it had smashed many previous box office records on its way to becoming the top grossing superhero film of all time in the U.S. as it passed fellow Marvel title, The Avengers. It grossed $623.4 million in 2012. To date, Black Panther has grossed $630.9 million domestic and $1.237 billion worldwide. So, why did it do so well? There are plenty of factors. Notwithstanding the outstanding cast, critically acclaimed director, and core audience of Marvel devotees, Black Panther benefited from a surge of people who don’t typically make a point to see Marvel movies. 37% of the audience were African American, followed by 35% white, and 18% Hispanic. Typically only 15% of the audience is comprised of African Americans for the Marvel movie demographic. Far and wide, African Americans treated the Black Panther premiere as a holiday. Many moviegoers dressed in traditional African attire, themed events with African drum ensembles, Afro-futuristic themed parties, and academic panel discussions sponsored by universities and churches popped up in many cities. Black Panther also benefitted from group ticket sales to schools and churches.

For some of these first-timers this was a one-off, whether it was for the political nature of the film in our current time and the hopeful agenda it could lead to, or just pure curiosity. For many, though, this could lead to a kinship to the MCU (especially since the Black Panther and company will return for future Marvel movies!). So one may ask, how can I catch up with the storyline? AMC Theaters are advertising a 31-hour epic Marvel marathon that will include 12 MCU films leading into the next venture: Avengers: Infinity War. The full list of movies that will be screened:

Iron Man (2)
The Incredible Hulk (3)
Thor (5)
Captain America: The First Avenger (1)
Marvel’s The Avengers
Guardians of the Galaxy (9)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (11)
Captain America: Civil War (13)
Doctor Strange (14)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (15)
Black Panther (17)
Avengers: Infinity War (18)

Why sit sleep-deprived in a dark theater paying high prices for concessions, when you can comfortably sit at home eating food you already paid for and watch at your own pace? GUESS WHAT? We own all of these movies listed above (except The Incredible Hulk), in addition to some notable absentees:

Captain America: Winter Soldier (8)
Ant-Man (12)
Iron Man 2 (4)
Iron Man 3 (6)
Thor: The Dark World (7)
Guardians of the Galaxy v.2 (10)

Thor: Ragnarok (16) released March 31!  It will be available soon!  The numbers beside the titles indicate their order in the cinematic universe.

Visit Lilly Library and get your MCU fix!!

Who Will Win? March Movie Madness @ Lilly

… It ain’t over ’til it’s over…

Rocky faces The Kate Kid! You may vote HERE

Rocky Balboa Takes on The Karate Kid

How about a stress free March Madness bracket and Final Game?
The results from the Final Four of March Movie Madness @ Lilly leave two classic films standing.  It’s The Italian Stallion, Rocky, facing Daniel  The Karate Kid, in the Championship!

Pick your favorite to win our sports movie brackets, and if you provide your netID, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a CRAZIE prize!

New voters are welcome – submit your  pick  for the Championship HERE and enjoy the final game!

Here is a look at the path our two title contenders took to reach the Finals:

March Movie Madness @ Lilly – Sports Films

Our original brackets featured a wide range of sports films, but Lilly Library has many more titles available. From the iconic to the obscure, check out On The Bench

Stay tuned: the Winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 4th!

Disability In The Modern World Database

Disability in the Modern World

Duke is celebrating Disability Pride Week.  If you would like to do research on disability studies, we have a database called Disability in the Modern World.  This database features both primary and secondary sources, including videos, diaries, brochures, advertisements, and more.  It also has the archive of the publication The Disability Rag and its successor The Ragged Edge.  You can browse by title, discipline, general subject, archival collection, place, people, organization, and publisher.  Key areas include:

  • Independence, education, and accessibility
  • Advocacy and rights
  • Legislation and politics
  • The media
  • Arts, sports, and culture
  • Theory
  • Race, class, sexuality, and gender
  • War, industry, and technology

For more readings about disability, check out this recent blog post: Disability Pride Week at Duke: A Reading List.

 

Disability Pride Week at Duke: A Reading List

Guest post by Cady Bailey, a student in Dr. Marion Quirici’s Writing 101 course Neurodiversity, Narrative, and Activism.


It’s Disability Pride Week at Duke! Two years ago, the name of this week changed from Disability Awareness Week to its current name. This represents an important shift from simply taking a week to say, “Hey, people with disabilities are here,” to sending a message of acceptance and celebration. We certainly know that a significant portion of the people that surround us have a disability, whether visible or not, but there is strikingly little representation of disability in literature, and even less in the way of positive representation. It is vital that conversations about diversity in literature and other forms of media include disability. Seeing positive representations of disability is a major way to encourage disability pride and acceptance just as Duke is doing this week.

Below is a list of recommended books with positive representations of disability. There are a wide range of genres to choose from: personal narratives, fiction, scholarship and history, poetry, and anthologies. While it is impossible for one work to encompass the experience of disability as a whole, these books are notable examples of positive representations of disability.

Many of the books below are available here in the Duke University Libraries. Any titles not available at Duke or currently checked out can be requested through Interlibrary Requests.

* Denotes author with a disability


Personal Narratives

Personal narratives, including memoir and autobiography, are one of the most powerful forms of disability representation. While it is not impossible for non-disabled authors to write well-done characters with disabilities, personal narratives come from a place of experience. They are real, raw stories that tell truths about life with disability and the societal constructs surrounding them. There are a wealth of personal narratives out there written by people with disabilities, so this is certainly not a comprehensive list, but here are some suggestions to get started.

  • Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure by Eli Clare*:
    Drawing on the variety of experiences at the intersection of disability, race, and gender, Eli Clare explores his relationship with the societal need to cure bodies and minds that are labeled as other. A combination of personal narrative, history, and theory, there is much to be learned about the intersectional nature of disability and the impacts of societal views from this book.
  • If you are interested in other personal narratives like this, check out Moving Violations by John Hockenberry* and Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha*

Fiction

While fiction isn’t always the best place to look for deep societal messages about disability, it is vital that people with disabilities are represented in fiction. On one end, disabled readers can find inspiration and comfort in reading stories with characters they identify with. On another end, representing disability in fiction can help to dismantle stigma surrounding disability by showing non-disabled readers that disability doesn’t define a person.

The problem with fiction that it often follows negative stereotypes and tropes about people with disabilities. These include but are not limited to: using disabled characters purely as inspiration for the growth of a non-disabled character, villainizing disabled and mentally ill characters, and implying the only two possible ends for the story arc of a disabled character are death or cure. While there is no perfect fictional representation, avoiding the aforementioned tropes can help readers to identify the better ones. Here are a few of the standout fictional novels featuring characters with disabilities:

  • Dregs Duology by Leigh Bardugo*: Consisting of the novels Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, this young-adult fantasy series has been described as Game of Thrones meets Oceans 11. The diverse casts of this series is lead by a morally-grey crime boss with a cane, characters with PTSD, and one who is implied to have dyslexia. This is not a story is not about disability or mental illness, but author Leigh Bardugo weaves it into aspects of the stories so that it is never erased or ignored.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon: The Curious Incident follows Christopher Boone, a fifteen-year-old with autism spectrum disorder, as he embarks on a mission to solve the mystery of the death of his neighbor’s dog. Despite adhering to some stereotypes of autism, this book presents an interesting first-person portrayal of autism. This book has also been adapted into a widely acclaimed stage production.
  • Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan, Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell, El Deafo by Cece Bell*, and Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank. Additional recommendations and reviews in the young adult genre can be found at Disability in Kidlit.

Disability Studies Scholarship/History

The field of disability studies has made important strides in understanding the societal constructs surrounding disability over the past several years. If you are interested in learning more about the scholarly field of disability studies, check out some of these books on the history of disability and theory surrounding disability.

  • The Disabilities Studies Reader, edited by Lennard J. Davis: A collection of the most important articles from the field of disability studies. For anyone looking to get started in the field, this collection serves as an excellent introduction.
  • Claiming Disability by Simi Linton: Linton examines the field of disability studies and critiques the stance that academic fields tend to take on disability: that it is a tragedy that must be avoided or fixed. Linton points out how the perspectives of people with disabilities often go ignored, and the only voices heard on the topic of disability are non disabled people. Through her analysis of the field, Linton sends a strong message of taking pride in disability.
  • For other titles like these, check out What Have We Done by Fred Pelka and Defining Deviance by Michael Rembis.

Poetry and Anthologies

The books in this category are all personal narratives, but they take the forms of poetry, short essays, and short fiction. Each of the works listed below also represent intersectional accounts of disability. It is extremely important to remember that a disability doesn’t define a person or their identity. Other aspects of identity, including race, gender, sexuality, class, and religion, can also affect a person’s experience in society.

  • All the Weight of Our Dreams by multiple authors (Autism Women’s Network)*: This collection features stories by people of color with autism. In a world where most disabled characters in the media are white males, the works in this anthology send important messages about what it is like to live at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities.
  • QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology by Raymond Luczak and others*: Much like All the Weight of Our Dreams, QDA features stories focused around identifying as both queer and disabled. These stories are all the more important given that a study from 2015 found that none of the top 100 movies featured disabled LGBT characters.
  • When the Chant Comes by Kay Ulanday Barrett*: In this collection, Barrett uses poetry to explore political and social constructs surrounding disability, race, and gender.

By choosing to read literature that positively represents disability, one can learn about the perspectives of people with different experiences and about social and political constructs that exist in the world that one might not otherwise know about. Additionally, choosing to support books featuring disabled characters and/or books written by disabled authors works to show the disabled community that their voices are heard and their voices matter. The next time you are looking for a read, consider choosing one from this list and support disability pride.

 

March Movie Madness@Lilly – Sports Films

What’s the best sports film of all time?

March Movie Madness @ Lilly

March Movie Madness @ Lilly  begins Monday, March 19th.

Lilly Library has 100s of sports films – ranging from iconic classics such as Rocky to quirky films like Shaolin Soccer to searing dramas such as Creed. In fact, we have so many sports films, we decided to select just 64 (sound familiar?) for our very own Lilly Library version of March Madness. You may not agree with our title selections (does that also sound familiar?), but don’t let that stop you from joining in the fun and having a chance to win a Crazie great PRIZE!*

Here’s how:

To vote, visit our 64-team Lilly Library March Movie Madness online field. Round two is now open for voting here!
To record your selections, vote for your choice of Heavy Hitters in Bracket A versus films that Go the Distance in Bracket B to eventually face those films that are Down to the Wire in Bracket C opposite the Full Court Press of Bracket D. Voting dates are listed below and on the contest page.
Updates will be posted in Lilly Library’s lobby  and on Lilly’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts in addition to our blog, Latest@Lilly.

Only votes submitted via Lilly March Movie Madness count.
Want a copy of the brackets just for fun? Download here.

*Did someone say PRIZE?

Participants who provide their Duke NetID and vote for the sport movie “champion” will be entered into a drawing for a Crazie fan grand prize!

March Madness @ Lilly: Sports Films

The details –  online voting dates:

  • Round 1: voting closed
  • Round 2: Thursday, March 22nd until midnight Sunday, March 25th
  • Sweet Sixteen: Monday, March 26th until midnight Tuesday, March 27th
  • Elite Eight: Wednesday, March 28th until midnight Thursday, March 29th
  • Final Four: Friday, March 30th until midnight Sunday, April 1st
  • Championship: Monday, April 2nd until midnight Tuesday, April 3rd

Results and Recaps

Result for Round 1:
Lilly March Movie Madness Round 1 Results
March Movie Madness Round 1 Results

There was lots of action in the 1st Round of Lilly Library’s March Movie Madness brackets. Looks like “The Dude” was “Blind Side-d”, Caddyshack may have what it takes to be a Cinderella story, the Karate Kid “waxed off” Hoosiers, and Talladega Nights did a “Shake’n Bake” all over the Field of Dreams.

Winner announced: Wednesday, April 4th!

Bonus: Extra Innings? Overtime?  Want MORE sports movies?

Some movies are so iconic that they are more suitable for the Hall of Fame. If you are wondering what great movies (and maybe not so great) did NOT make the field, check out the bench-warmers here at March Madness – On the Bench

At Lilly Library, now that it’s time for The Big Dance –
we hope you join in!

 

 

Lilly Collection Spotlight: They Came to Play | Women in Sport

To celebrate Women’s History Month 2018, Lilly Library is shining a spotlight on Women in Sport. Books and movies that feature women athletes are “teeming” in our collections. Come to East Campus and check out this month’s Lilly Collection Spotlight.  Click here for the complete line-up.

While you’re at Lilly, visit the exhibit in the foyer, On the Field, the Courts and Beyond: Women in Sports – TITLE IX, that complements our Lilly Collection Spotlight.

BOOKS

Book Cover, Game Changers: the Unsung Heroines of Sports History
2018 | Molly Schiott

Based on the Instagram account @TheUnsungHeroines, a celebration of the pioneering, forgotten female athletes of the twentieth century that features rarely seen photos and new interviews with past and present game changers including Abby Wambach and Cari Champion.

Book Cover, Kicking Off: How Women in Sport are Changing the Game
2016 | Sarah Shephard

There’s a battle being fought. It’s raging on the sports fields, in the newsrooms and behind the scenes at every major broadcaster. Women in sport are fighting for equality with more vigour than ever, but are they breaking down the barriers that stand in their way? Sarah Shephard looks behind the headlines to see whether progress is really being made and tells the stories that can no longer be ignored. It’s time for women to switch their focus from the battlefield to the sports field, once and for all.

book cover: Charging the Net, a History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson... to the Williams Sisters
2007 | Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose

Beginning with the Williams sisters, the authors examine the foundation of their development as tennis phenoms during the 1990s and the prophetic yet unabashed approach of their coach, father, and sports psychologist, Richard Williams, in crafting a world within which they would be groomed to be successful. a compelling examination of the impact of African Americans on the world of professional tennis and the various challenges and outcomes of that involvement.

book cover, Sportswomen in Cinema, Film and the Frailty Myth
2015 | Nicholas ChareFILMS

An overview of films about women in sport and a timely critical analysis of their role in shaping perceptions of female athletic ability. It examines themes of aggression, beauty, class, ethnicity, physical feminism, sexuality, synaesthesia and technology in relation to mainstream and arthouse cinematic depictions of sportswomen from Pumping Iron 2 to Bend it Like Beckham. 

 

book cover The Match: Althea Gibson Angela Buxton
2004 | Bruce Schoenfeld

50 years ago when Gibson and Buxton were two of the top women’s tennis players in the world. Coming from widely divergent backgrounds (Gibson from a poor black family in Harlem, Buxton from a well-to-do Jewish family in London), the two hooked up in the mid-1950s and became tennis partners and lifelong friends.

Book cover, Global Perspectives on Women in Combat Sports
2015 | ed. Alex Channon

Offers a wide-reaching overview of current academic research on women’s participation in combat sports within a wide range of different national and trans-national contexts, detailing many of the struggles and opportunities experienced by women at various levels of engagement within sports such as boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts.

FILMS

DVD case Offside
DVD 14381

During the 2006 Iran-Bahrain match, the Tehran soccer stadium roars with 100,000 cheering men and, officially, no women. According to Islamic custom, women are not permitted to watch or participate in men’s sports. Many of the ambitious young female fans who manage to sneak into the arena are caught and sent to a holding pen, guarded by male soldiers their own age. Duty makes these young men and women adversaries, but duty can’t overcome their shared dreams, their mutual attraction, and ultimately their overriding sense of national pride and humanity.

DVD cover Playing Unfair: the media image of the female athlete
DVD 21482 and Streaming Video

Examines the post Title IX media environment in terms of the representation of female athletes. It demonstrates that while men’s identities in sports are equated with deeply held values of courage, strength and endurance, the accomplishments of female athletes are framed very differently and in much more stereotypical ways.

DVD cover Personal Best
DVD 11362

A promising hurdler, played by Mariel Hemingway, finds needed emotional and athletic seasoning with a caring mentor. After the two fall in love, their relationship is threatened as both vie for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

 

DVD cover Grandes Ligas
DVD 25223 and streaming video

Members of the Cuban National Women’s Baseball Team discuss their passion for the sport and hardships they faced in Cuba’s society filled with machismo, prejudice and daily hardships.

DVD cover Watermarks
DVD 6270

The story of the surviving members of the  Viennese Hakoah sports club women’s swim team, a world-dominating competitor in the 1930s. The club was eventually shut down during Hitler’s reign, though all the women managed to escape capture. Combines historical footage and contemporary interviews to reconnect the women’s lives and memories.

DVD cover Edge of America
DVD 5579

The new man in town has just accepted a position as an English professor on a reservation in Utah. Finding it hard to fit in with the Native American community, he decides to take on the challenge of coaching the girls’ basketball team.

DVD cover Whip It
DVD 18946

Bliss Cavender is a small-town teenager looking for her own path. Tired of following in her family’s footsteps, she discovers a way to put her life on the fast track–literally. She lands a spot on a roller derby team and becomes “Babe Ruthless.” Co-starring Drew Barrymore in her feature film directorial debut.

 

Happy International Women’s Day!

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a good book!  I really enjoyed the New York Time‘s recent article “The New Vanguard,” which selected 15 important books by women.  We have most of the books in our collection:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel

Outline by Rachel Cusk

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

American Innovations by Rivka Galchen

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti

The Vegetarian by  Han Kang

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

NW by Zadie Smith

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Mislaid by Nell Zink

Also, today the Women’s Prize for Fiction announced their Longlist!

Here are some other reading list suggestions:

100 Recommended Books by Arab Women

All Around the World: Women Writers from Every Continent

25 Women to Read Before You Die

14 Debut Books By Women Coming Out In 2018

Search our book catalog to see if we have these titles.  Happy reading!

The Complete “Mystery Date with a Book” List

Thank you to everyone who enjoyed going out on a Mystery Date With a Book last week! If you didn’t get a chance to check out our display, or if you’re just curious to know what books we selected, here’s a complete list of our mystery picks, along with the library staff member who recommended them. Add them to your Goodreads list. Happy reading!

Selected by Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Head, Humanities Section and Librarian for Literature and Theater Studies:

Selected by Kim Duckett, Head of Research and Instructional Services:

  • Anthony Mara, The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories: “A collection of beautiful interlocking short stories dipping back and forth through 20th century Russia.”
  • Matthew Kneale, English Passengers: “Twenty narrators tell a fascinating story of Manx smugglers, seekers of the Garden of Eden, and the plight of Tasmanian Aborigines.”
  • Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles: “In this little town the real and the imagined blend together in a way you’ve never quite experienced.”

Selected by Brittany Wofford, Coordinator for The Edge and Librarian for the Nicholas School for the Environment:

  • P. G. Wodehouse, How Right You Are, Jeeves: “For everyone who thought that Carson was the real hero of Downton Abbey.”
  • Naomi Alderman, The Power: “An electrifying read about gender and power.

Selected by Elena Feinstein, Head, Natural Sciences and Engineering Section and Librarian for Biological Sciences:

  • Monique Truong, The Book of Salt: “Flavors, seas, sweat, tears – weaves historical figures into a witty, original tale spanning 1930s Paris and French-colonized Vietnam.”
  • Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife: “According to the author, the themes of the novel are ‘mutants, love, death, amputation, sex, and time.’ Many readers would include loss, romance, and free will.”

Selected by Jodi Psoter, Librarian for Chemistry and Statistical Science:

Selected by Hannah Rozear, Librarian for Instructional Services:

  • Mike Carey, The Girl with All the Gifts: “Zombie kiddo loves her teacher, and also spores!”
  • Stefan Fatsis, Word Freak: “Wonderful word weirdos. Glimpse inside the world of competitive Scrabble.”

Selected by Sarah Park, Librarian for Engineering and Computer Science:

Selected by Aaron Welborn, Director of Communications:

Selected by Katie Henningsen, Head of Research Services, Rubenstein Library:

Selected by Megan Crain, Annual Giving Coordinator:


Want another way to make a literary match?

Join us on Feb. 27 for the next meeting of the Low-Maintenance Book Club. Our theme this month is “Love Between the Covers.” We’ll share our favorite reads from the past year and get recommendations from others. All are welcome!

This Valentine’s Day, Go on a Mystery Date with a Book

Does your reading life feel like it’s lost that special spark? Do you find yourself staring at your bookshelves at night, brooding over old flames?

Don’t worry—our love experts here at the Libraries are here to help. This Valentine’s Day, they’ve hand-picked some choice selections guaranteed to improve your circulation, if you know what we mean.

From now through the end of February, sidle up to our Mystery Date with a Book display next to the Perkins Library Service Desk and get a peek at some of our secret suitors.

Now, watch yourself—these books are a bit of a tease. They come wrapped in pink and red paper with “come-hither” teasers to lure you in. Will you get fiction or nonfiction? Poetry or short stories? Travelogue or fantasy? No peeking until until you’re ready to “get between the covers,” nudge, nudge.

Give your date a chance, but if it doesn’t work out, no hard feelings. After the two of you have gotten acquainted, don’t forget to let our matchmakers know how it went. Each book comes with a card you can use to rate your date. Use it is a bookmark, then drop it in our Mystery Date with a Book box when you return your book to Perkins and pick up a little Valentine button from us.

This February, don’t leave our literary lovelies all lonely by themselves. Take one home with you—you might find a perfect match!

 

Rate your mystery date, and take one of our fashionable buttons! You know you want one of these.
Want another way to make a literary match?

Join us on Feb. 27 for the next meeting of the Low-Maintenance Book Club. Our theme this month is “Love Between the Covers.” We’ll share our favorite reads from the past year and get recommendations from others. All are welcome!

Best in Snow: Collection Spotlight

Collection Spotlight: Best in Snow

Contributors: Carol Terry, Danette Pachtner and Ira King

Winter Sports:  Skiing, Skating and Hockey

Winter Olympics and Sport

Tired of cold wintry weather? Don’t be snowboardcurl up with interesting reading, or peak at these films … what do you have to luge? (Are we skating on thin ice here?)

If you are ready for vicarious international adventures in spectacular snow and ice, Lilly Library’s collections will transport you. Our latest Collection Spotlight shines on winter sports, Olympic history and snowy landscapes inspired by the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Some winning titles are featured below, but judge for yourself and see the full list in Best in Snow.

Film

  • The Price of Gold (2014, dir. Nanette Burstein) ESPN 30 for 30
    The world couldn’t keep its eyes off two athletes at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer – Nancy Kerrigan, the elegant brunette and Tonya Harding, the feisty blonde who would stop at nothing to get on the Olympic podium.
  • Sister (2012, dir. Ursula Meir)
    Sister-Lilly DVD 27001

    A drama set at a Swiss ski resort and centered on a boy who supports his sister by stealing from wealthy guests.

  • Curling (2010, dir. Denis Côté)
    On the fringe of society in a remote part of the French-Canadian countryside, the fragile relationship and unusual private life of a father and daughter is jeopardized by dreary, unforeseen circumstances.
  • Of Miracles and Men (2009, dir. Jonathan Hock) ESPN 30 for 30
    The story of one of the greatest upsets in sports history has been told. Or has it? On a Friday evening in Lake Placid, a plucky band of American collegians stunned the vaunted Soviet national team, 4-3 in the medal round of the 1980 Winter Olympic hockey competition. Americans couldn’t help but believe in miracles that night, and when the members of Team USA won the gold medal two days later, they became one for the ages. But there was another, unchronicled side to the “Miracle On Ice.”
  • Blades of Glory (2007, dirs. Josh Gordon and Will Speck)
    Cool Runnings
    Cool Runnings Lilly DVD 7974

    In 2002, two rival Olympic ice skaters were stripped of their gold medals and permanently banned from men’s single competition. Presently, however, they’ve found a loophole that will allow them to qualify as a pairs team.

  • Cool Runnings (1998, dir. Jon Turteltaub)When a Jamaican sprinter is disqualified from the Olympic Games,he enlists the help of a dishonored coach to start the first Jamaican Bobsled Team.

Books

  • Speed Kings by Andy Bull
    Spped Kings
    Speed Kings – 1930s Lake Placid Olympics

    In the 1930s, as the world hurtled towards terrible global conflict, speed was all the rage. Exotic, exciting and above all dangerous, it was by far the most popular event at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. It required an abundance of skill and bravery. And the four men who triumphed at those Games lived the most extraordinary lives.

  • Artistic Impressions: Figure Skating, Masculinity, and the Limits of Sport by Mary Louise Adams
    In contemporary North America, figure skating ranks among the most ‘feminine’ of sports and few boys take it up for fear of being labelled effeminate or gay. Yet figure skating was once an exclusively male pastime – women did not skate in significant numbers until the late 1800s, at least a century after the founding of the first skating club. Only in the 1930s did figure skating begin to acquire its feminine image.
  • Two planks and a passion : the dramatic history of skiing
    Sochi 2014
    Sochi 2014 – Olympics in photos

    Roland Huntford’s brilliant history begins 20,000 years ago in the last ice age on the icy tundra of an unformed earth. Man is a travelling animal, and on these icy slopes skiing began as a means of survival. In polar exploration, skiing changed the course of history. Elsewhere, in war and peace, it has done so too.

  • Sochi 2014 : the Olympic Games through the lens of John Huet and David BurnettCommissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to create a personal record of the Olympic Games, Huet and Burnett  capture the essence and adventure of the Olympic Games through stunning and unconventional photographs.

So many more books and films  examine the Olympics from a range of perspectives – from pure sport and Olympic ideals to international political and social concerns and controversies. Explore further in our Collection Spotlight, and visit  Best in Snow.

Collection Spotlight: Contemporary African Literature

Contributed by Heather Martin,  Librarian for African and African American Studies

What is African literature? Is it literature created by Africans or about Africans? These are some of the questions students in the Duke Africa Conversations Club hope to spark in their selection of books for Duke University Libraries’ current Collection Spotlight on Contemporary African Literature.

The Africa Conversations Club encourages discourse at Duke about issues relating to the African continent and the African diaspora. Their selections (chosen in consultation with Heather Martin, African and African American Studies Librarian) highlight contemporary African fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Join Africa Conversations for a discussion of “African Literature and Its Place in Academia” with Dr. Tsitsi Jaji, Associate Professor of English at Duke, on Wednesday, January 31, 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Rubenstein Library 153 (Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room).

The Contemporary African Literature display will end in February, but books chosen for the display are available in the Duke Libraries any time.


Poetry

Beating the Graves – Tsitsi Jaji (Zimbabwe)

The January Children – Safia Elhillo (Sudan)

Madman at Kilifi – Clifton Gachagua (Kenya)

Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth – Warsan Shire (Somalia)

When the Wanderers Come Home – Patricia Jabbeh Wesley (Liberia)


Fiction

Aya: Life in Yop City – Marguerite Abouet (Cote d’Ivoire)

Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara

And After Many Days – Jowhor Ile (Nigeria)

Binti: Home – Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria)

The Automobile Club of Egypt – Aswany Al Alaa (Egypt)

Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue (Cameroon)

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze: A Novel – Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia)

Black Moses – Alain Mabanckou (Congo)

Blackass – A. Igoni Barrett (Nigeria)

The Book of Memory – Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe)

Born on a Tuesday – Elnathan John (Nigeria)

Chaos of the Senses – Ahlem Mosteghanemi (Algeria)

Confessions of the Lioness – Mia Coutu (Mozambique)

Every Day Is for the Thief – Teju Cole (Nigeria)

The Fishermen – Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)

A General Theory of Oblivion – José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola)

Graceland – Chris Abani (Nigeria)

The Hairdresser of Harare – Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe)

The Happy Marriage: A Novel – Tahar Ben Jelloun (Morocco)

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi (Ghana)

The Kindness of Enemies – Leila Aboulela (Sudan)

The Moor’s Account: A Novel – Laila Lalami (Morocco)

Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)

Period Pain – Kopano Matlwa (South Africa)

The Queue: A Novel – Abdel Aziz (Egypt)

We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)

The Woman Next Door – Yewande Omotoso (South African)


Nonfiction

The Lights of Pointe-Noire – Alain Mabanckou (Congo-Brazzaville)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone)

Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American – Okey Ndibe (Nigeria)

Nomad: From Islam to America – A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations – Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Somalia)

Queer African Reader

Sometimes There Is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider – Zakes Mda (South Africa)

Lilly is Making a List

How Do You Like Your Holiday Films?

Holiday Films
Lilly’s made a list: Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice?

The end of fall semester is near, and finals exams are even closer.  If you feel the need for a little winter holiday cheer or diversion, our librarians can help.  With over 30,000 films in our collections, our staff selected 100 holiday-themed films for December’s Lilly Collection Spotlight. There are traditional titles in the list such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Home Alone as well as other winter holiday films such as Eight Crazy Nights, Tokyo Godfathers, and Black Candle.   Animated classics, international gems, and a few offbeat films such as Bad Santa and A Junky’s Christmas  are waiting for you!

Want to see the entire list?
You decide what is Naughty-or-nice-Holiday-films-100 List!
In case you are wondering – yes, we have Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Lilly DVD 15343)

Don’t want to scroll through one hundred titles? Take a peek at some of our selections and sample the first Video Spotlight  on Winter Holiday films in our Video Spotlight Archives.

Happy Holidays!

November 2017 Pop-up Collections Spotlight: International Literary Prize Winners

This month’s pop-up collections spotlight falls on international literary prize winners.  The following books were selected by the staff of Duke University Libraries’ International and Area Studies Department.  These selections represent diverse genres (novel, drama, short story, poetry, memoir, oral history) and regions of the globe (Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East).  Taken together, the list below not only provides suggestions for entertaining reads, but also sheds light on one of the many ways that the Libraries’ collections and services align with the University priorities of “internationalization” and “interdisciplinarity.”

(click on book photos for links to books in our collection)

Winners of the Noble Prize in Literature

Gabriela Mistral (Chile, 1945)
“for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.”

 

 

 


Miguel Angel Asturias (Guatemala, 1967)
“for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America.”

 

 

 


Wisława Szymborska (Poland, 1996)
“for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.”

 

 

 


Svetlana Alexievich (Belarus, 2015)
“for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

 

 

 

 


Gao Xingjian (China, 2000)

“for an æuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama.”

 

 

 


Mo Yan (China, 2012)
“who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.”

 

 

 

 


Wole Soyinka (Nigeria, 1986)
“who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence.”

 

 

 


Dario Fo (Italy, 1997)
“who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.”

 

 

 


Patrick Modiano (France, 2014)
“for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”

 

 

 


Herta Müller (Germany, 2009)
“who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.”

 

 

 


Shmuel Yosef Agnon (Israel, 1966)

for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people.”

 

 

 


Ōe Kenzaburō (Japan, 1994)
who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today.”

 

 

 


Kawabata Yasunari (Japan, 1968)
for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind.”

 

 

 


Orhan Pamuk (Turkey, 2006)
who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.”

 

 

 


Najīb Maḥfūẓ (Egypt, 1988)

who, through works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous – has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind.

 

 


Winners of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction

David Grossman (Israel, 2017)

whose “ambitious high-wire act of a novel…shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality.”

 

 

 


Salman Rushdie (UK, 1981)
whose novel about India’s political independence offers a “fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people – a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy.”

 

 


Arundhati Roy (India, 1997)

whose novel not only “paints a vivid picture about life in a small rural Indian town…in magical and poetic language,” but also offers “a poignant lesson in the destructive power of the caste system and moral and political bigotry in general.”

 


Han Kang (South Korea, 2016)
whose “fraught, disturbing, and beautiful” novel is not only about “modern day South Korea, but also…shame, desire, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.”

 

 


Winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

UK prize awarded for best full-length novel written in English by a woman of any nationality

Lisa McInerney (Ireland, 2016)

whose “searing debut novel about life on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society…presents an unforgettable vision of a city plagued by poverty and exploitation, where salvation still awaits in the most unexpected places.”

 

 


Winner of the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award


South African literary prize awarded to writers who have never been published before. The word “dinaane” means “telling our stories together” in Setswana.

Kopano Matlwa (South Africa, 2006)

whose “audacious, lyrical and compassionate tale explores the grey, in-between, intimate experiences and dilemmas of a young girl who, like the society around her, is undergoing changes that call old boundaries, comforts and certitudes into question.”

 

 


Winner of the Commonwealth Book Prize for Asia

Literary prize awarded to writers who were Commonwealth citizens aged 18 or over and who have had their first novel published in the year of entry.

Nayomi Munaweera (Sri Lanka, 2013)

whose “sweeping saga” of the Sri Lankan civil war “offers an unparalleled portrait of a beautiful land during its most difficult moments.”

 

 


Blog post provided by Erik Zitser, Librarian for Slavic, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies

Whitman and Popular Culture

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 have been writing several blog posts about Walt Whitman and his life.  This last one will focus on how Whitman continues to appear in popular culture.  You can find mentions of him in movies, television, fiction, and music.  See this article for more examples.

 

Here are several fun examples of advertisements:

And here’s the poem “O Me! O Life!”

And here’s the poem “Pioneers! O Pioneers!”

You can also find recordings of poets and actors reading Whitman’s work.

I really love this recent project called “Whitman, Alabama“:

You might enjoy some documentaries about Whitman, including Walt Whitman: An American Original and American Experience: Walt Whitman.

You can also find books about Whitman’s influence on culture:

Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity

A Companion to Walt Whitman (part two “The Cultural Context” has a chapter called “Twentieth-century Mass Media Appearances”

A Race of Singers: Whitman’s Working-Class Hero from Guthrie to Springsteen

In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America From Itself

Hip, the History (as the summary of the book says, “Hip: The History draws the connections between Walt Whitman and Richard Hell, or Raymond Chandler and Snoop Dogg.”)

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

Lilly Collection Spotlight on Photography

Post contributed by Ira King, Danette Pachtner and Carol Terry. October has been declared Photography Month in North Carolina—come to Lilly Library and borrow a book or movie from our collection spotlight on photography!   In addition to the books available on our Spotlight shelf , Lilly’s focus on photography can be seen with our exhibits The f-Stops Here: Photography in North Carolina in the foyer, Duke: a Perspective – photographs by William Hanley III, and Mario Sorrenti: Draw Blood for Proof,  the “medium” rare book selected by Visual Studies Librarian Lee Sorensen.

With the advent of the smartphone and social media platforms like Instagram, photography has suffused our daily lives. You may shoot a pic of the Duke Chapel on the way to an early morning class, take a photo of your lunch at West Union, and get a snapchat vista from your friend on vacation in the mountains. If you’re obsessed with images, we’ve got you covered with this month’s Collection Spotlight at Lilly Library! Check out the wide range of photography books and films on display.

Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs
Adams, whose work was recently featured in an exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art, was one of the most celebrated landscape photographers of the Twentieth Century, renowned for his black and white depictions of the stunning scenery of the American West. This book collects photographs from across his multi-decade career. Recommended if you’re craving a reminder of the sublime beauty of the outdoors.

Toy Stories by Gabriele Galimberti
In this unique collection, photographer Gabriele Galimberti traveled around the world photographing children and their toys, spending thirty months on the road and visiting fifty-eight different countries. These striking photographs are fun, but also illuminate the social, economic, and gender issues that surround what toys children grow up with. Recommended if you’re missing your childhood room.

The Beautiful Smile by Nan Goldin
This collection, released on the occasion of Goldin’s 2007 Hasselblad Award, features intimate, diaristic photographs and portraits. Rising to fame as a member and chronicler of the LGBTQ subculture in 1980s and 1990s New York City, Goldin includes both photos from that era and newer works in this book. Recommended if you’re looking for photography that captures both the beauty and fragility of life.

Chromes: 1969-1974 by William Eggleston
One of our personal favorite photographers, Eggleston photographed “ordinary” objects and people around the South and his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Eggleston’s work in color helped legitimize the form in a field that was previously dominated by black and white photography. Recommended if you’re a Big Star fan and/or enjoy photos of old gas stations.

And don’t forget that Lilly has a great collection of films you can borrow.

Here are a few titles from our Video Spotlight: Photography on Film

Lilly DVD 8892

La Jetee (1962)
Since its release in 1962, Chris Marker’s La Jetée has emerged as one of the foundational texts of postwar European cinema. With its rhythmic editing, nostalgic voiceover and parade of black-and-white images, La Jetée exercises a hypnotic effect on its viewers. This short, experimental ‘photo-roman’ stays with you long after its 29 minutes are over.

Lilly DVD 6054

Pecker (1999)
John Waters’ film about a budding Baltimore photographer. Pecker (he got the nickname for pecking at his food as a child) photographs the mundane sights of his Baltimore neighborhood: the hamburger joint where he works, rats making love in the alley behind the diner, the oddball characters in his family, and the dancers in the local lesbian strip club.

 

Lilly DVD 29861

City of God (2002)
This movie takes place in the favelas or slums of Rio de Janeiro created to isolate the poor people from the city center. They have grown into places teeming with life, color, music and excitement–and with danger. One of the characters, Rocket, obtains a stolen camera that he treasures and takes pictures from his privileged position as a kid on the streets.

Lilly DVD 20755

Our feelings took the pictures: Open Shutters Iraq (2008)
Iraq-born Maysoon Pachachi’s film documents a project in which a group of women refugees from five cities in Iraq living in Syria learn to take photographs and present their lives to each other. Accompanying book is in Perkins Library.

Lilly DVD 26643

Through a lens darkly: black photographers and the emergence of a people (2014)
Filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris offers what he calls a “family memoir” via historical images of African Americans initially through popular and disturbing stereotypes such as those portrayed in D.W. Griffith’s classic 1915 film Birth of a Nation to more realistic and poignant photographs. Using a series of narrative images by African American photographic artists including Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Lorna Simpson, and Gordon Parks, among others, Harris sheds light on a seldom-told aspect of our culture.

As you can see,  Lilly Library offers a wide range of books and film about the art, science and history of photography which we hope you will enjoy.

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 crit