Category Archives: Feature Articles

Adapting Shakespeare

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Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted for many different periods, countries, and media.

Most obviously his plays have been produced on the stage in a variety of ways.  Some stage productions try to perform  the play as close to the original as possible, some decide to work with all female casts, and some set their productions in specific time periods, like the roaring 20’s or World War Two.  One way to see the different kinds of productions is to read stage histories.  In particular you might enjoy Shakespeare: An Illustrated Stage History.

Of course there have also been many film adaptions, many of which we own at Lilly Library.  Don’t forget too the classical music, operas, other plays, television, and musicals that have been based on Shakespeare’s plays!

I personally enjoy fiction adapted (or even just inspired by) from Shakespeare, including the new Hogarth Shakespeare series.  We already have Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time: The Winter’s Tale Retold, and I’m especially looking forward to Margaret Atwood’s take on The Tempest.

Here are a few more titles to look for:

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley.  A successful Iowa farmer decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. An ambitious reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear cast upon a typical American community in the late twentieth century, A Thousand Acres takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride, and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity.

Prospero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez.  A brilliantly conceived retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest set on a lush Caribbean island during the height of tensions between the native population and British colonists.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.  The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there.

My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield.  This is a humourous and ultimately moving novel about sex, drugs, and Shakespeare. It tells the story of struggling UC Santa Cruz student Willie Shakespeare Greenberg who is trying to write his thesis about the bard.

The Madness of Love by Katharine Davies.  Takes inspiration from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and raises the curtain on the interconnecting lives and loves of an unforgettable cast of characters.

Mama Day by Gloria Naylor.  The story, which makes many allusions to the dramatic works of Shakespeare, focuses upon the tragic love affair of “star-crossed” lovers Ophelia “Cocoa” Day and George Andrews.

Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike.  Tells the story of Claudius and Gertrude, King and Queen of Denmark, before the action of Shakespeare’s Hamlet begins. Employing the nomenclature and certain details of the ancient Scandinavian legends that first describe the prince who feigns madness to achieve revenge upon his father’s slayer, Updike brings to life Gertrude’s girlhood as the daughter of King Rorik, her arranged marriage to the man who becomes King Hamlet, and her middle-aged affair with her husband’s younger brother.

Wise Children by Angela Carter.  In their heyday on the vaudeville stages of the early twentieth century, Dora Chance and her twin sister, Nora―unacknowledged daughters of Sir Melchior Hazard, the greatest Shakespearean actor of his day―were known as the Lucky Chances, with private lives as colorful and erratic as their careers.

 

Researching Shakespeare

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Has our series of blog posts celebrating Shakespeare inspired you to learn more more about him?  You are in luck because there are a lot of primary and secondary sources related to Shakespeare that you can use in your research!

In fact there is so much information out there that you will actually want to give some thought about how to narrow your research.  One way I would suggest doing this is to give some careful thought to the subject headings you use.  Here are some suggestions that I have:

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Biography

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Characters

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Comedies

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Criticism and interpretation

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Poetic works

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Political and social views

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Stage history

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616–Tragedies

There are also several very specific Shakespeare related sources to use, such as:

World Shakespeare Bibliography Online.  Provides annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media, and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare.

Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare. The complete text of eleven major editions of Shakespeare’s works from the First Folio to the Cambridge edition of 1863-6, twenty four separate contemporary printings of individual plays, selected apocrypha and related works and more than 100 adaptations, sequels, and burlesques from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

Shakespeare Quarterly. Founded in 1950 by the Shakespeare Association of America, Shakespeare Quarterly is a refereed journal committed to publishing articles in the vanguard of Shakespeare studies.

Shakespeare Studies. An international volume of essays, studies and reviews dealing with the cultural history of early modern England and the place of Shakespeare’s production in it.

Shakespeare Survey.  A series of Shakespeare studies and production. Since 1948 Survey has published the best international scholarship in English and many of its essays have become classics of Shakespeare criticism.

BBC Shakespeare Plays.  Click on “Institution Access” tab to access this database. Between 1978 and 1985, the BBC televised the entire Shakespeare canon of 37 plays. View these acclaimed productions streamed online, as each boasts some of the richest talent in 20th century British theatre and television.

You may also want to look at the historical context that Shakespeare lived in.  I have two recommendations for this.  One is starting with some of the literature resources I have listed on my Medieval and Early Modern page on my Literature guide.  Another is to go to the more complete Medieval and Renaissance Studies guide.

Another avenue of research is to check out some of the materials in the Rubenstein Library.

Finally there are several really great websites that you might find useful:

There’s a rich amount of information to be found on the Folger Shakespeare Library’s website.  A good place to get a sense of what is available is to check out this recent blog post called “Explore Duke’s connection to the Folger Shakespeare Library.”

The MIT Global Shakespeares Video & Performance Archive is a collaborative project providing online access to performances of Shakespeare from many parts of the world as well as essays and metadata by scholars and educators in the field.

The Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) is a non-profit scholarly website publishing in three main areas: Shakespeare’s plays and poems, Shakespeare’s life and times, and Shakespeare in performance.  Duke University Libraries is a Friend of the ISE.

The Shakespeare Quartos Archive.  A digital collection of pre-1642 editions of William Shakespeare’s plays. A cross-Atlantic collaboration has also produced an interactive interface for the detailed study of these geographically distant quartos, with full functionality for all thirty-two quarto copies of Hamlet held by participating institutions.

I don’t know how long this tool will be available, but JSTOR has this fun Understanding Shakespeare site where they are connecting digital texts from the Folger Shakespeare Library with articles on JSTOR.

Continue your exploration of Shakespeare by joining us on April 15th at the Shakespeare Everywhere reading!

 

Shaikh Zubayr

This guest post has been written by Sean Swanick, the Librarian For Middle East and Islamic Studies, as part of our series of Shakespeare related blog posts.

A man lost at sea, having drifted far away from his native Iraqi lands, comes a shore in England. In due time he will be nicknamed the Bard of Avon but upon landing on the Saxon coast, his passport reportedly read: Shaikh Zubayr. A knowledgeable man with great writing prowess from a small town called Zubayr in Iraq. He came to be known in the West as Shakespeare and was given the first name of William. William Shakespeare of Zubayr.

Or at least this is loosely how a story goes about The Bard’s origins. It was purportedly first suggested by the famous Lebanese intellectual, Aḥmad Fāris al-Shidyāq and later popularised by the Iraqi intellectual Dr. Ṣafāʾ Khulūṣī. Khulūṣī in 1960 published an article entitled “The Study of Shakespeare” in al-Ma’rifa (1960) where he paid homage to the Bard while also expanding upon al-Shidyāq’s theory. This perplexing theory has generated much rebuttal and discussion. This theory rested upon “that most of Shakespeare’s language could be traced back to Classical Arabic…[t]o give one example : the Arabic adjective nabīl which means ‘noble’ and which occurs, naturally enough, throughout the plays and poems.” (“Shadow Language” in Ormsby, Eric L. 2011. Fine incisions: essays on poetry and place. Erin, Ont: Porcupine’s Quill.) The former Libyan dictator, Mu’ammar al-Qadhāfī is also reported to have supported the theory of Shaikh Zubayr.

At Duke, visiting Professor Abdul Sattar Jawad of Duke Islamic Studies Centre wrote a delightful article in The Chronicle in 2011 about the popularity of Shakespeare in Iraq. He noted, “[i]n Iraq, Shakespeare’s works are regarded as the second Bible and the center of Western canon. He became a mandatory course in schools and universities alike. “To be or not to be,” “as you like it,” and “that is the question,” were frequently cited, even by the illiterate. They are heaven’s gift, backed by thorough knowledge of the highest professionalism put into poetry and the dramatic art” (Abdul Sattar Jawad, “Shakespeare in Baghdad,” The Chronicle, 2 December 2011).

A couple of additional resources for those with interested in Shakespeare in Arabic. MIT has a list of videos, all translated and performed in Arabic, freely available here: http://globalshakespeares.mit.edu/arab-world/#. A bit of further information on Shakespeare in Arabic may be found on this blog http://arabshakespeare.blogspot.com/, and the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/arabshakespeare/timeline.

عيد ميلاد شيخ الزبير—ʾeid mīlād Shaykh Zubayr, or Happy Birthday, Bill!

 

Explore Duke’s connection to the Folger Shakespeare Library

This guest post has been written by Heidi Madden, PH.D., the Librarian For Western Europe, as part of our series of Shakespeare related blog posts.

Did you know that Duke University is a member of the Folger Institute Consortium at the Folger Shakespeare Library?

The Folger Institute was founded in 1970, and is sponsored by the Folger Shakespeare Library , home to the largest Shakespeare Collection in the world, and a consortium of 40 universities in the U.S. and abroad. Duke University is part of this network which advances humanities research and learning through seminars, conferences, and colloquia.

Duke faculty and graduate students have benefited from this membership, and generations of Duke undergraduates in the Medieval Studies Focus cluster have had the good fortune of private tours and demonstrations. The materials held extend beyond Shakespeare to include materials in history and politics, theology, law and the arts. For example, the 2015 Focus Program trip to the Folger, accompanied by Duke Faculty and by librarian Heidi Madden, allowed students to explore early modern botanical books.

The best place to read more about the rich history of the Folger and its treasures is the Folgerpedia, which presents all things Folger. The Folger Institute offers fellowships, undergraduate research opportunities, and scholarly programming. Browse the Digital Collections to sample the holdings.

 

Relevant Links

Digital Collections  

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Shakespeare Portraits 

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Folgerpedia 

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Celebrating Shakespeare

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This year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and people around the world are celebrating his life.  You can check out some of the festivities happening in the UK on the Shakespeare400 website.  Also, there are special performances and events at the Shakespeare Globe (I have to figure out a way to get there).  Back here in the United States the Folger Library is getting in on the action with their The Wonder of Will program.  Another thing not to be missed is the Shakespeare Documented online exhibit!

On Twitter scroll through #Shakespeare400 to see what people are talking about!

Locally check out some of the events taking place around Raleigh. It’s not too late to attend the Carolina Ballet’s performance of Macbeth.  The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA is putting on a festival on April 23rd!

Here at the library we are celebrating in several ways.   All this week we will be posting blog posts related to Shakespeare, using the hashtags #shakespeareeverywhere and #shakespeare400.  Rubenstein will be featuring several Shakespeare related documents, including this document showing some of Whitman’s thoughts about Shakespeare.  And of course this Friday the first hour (10-11)  of Shakespeare Everywhere will be taking place in The Edge Workshop Room.  They will then be moving over to the Hanes Iris Garden Amphitheater in Duke Gardens from 11:30-12:30, and then the LSRC Hall of Science Atrium from 1-2.

Shakespeare Everywhere

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Since this year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare‘s death, you’re going to see Shakespeare popping up everywhere.  In fact next week on April 15th the English department is doing a marathon reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets on three stages, including the Edge Workshop Room in the Bostock Library!

The deadline to sign up to read a sonnet (or two or three) via THIS LINK is Friday, April 8. Simply indicate what timeslot(s) you are available and you will be schedule to read (anywhere from 1-3 sonnets) during that slot.  Feel free to contact Michelle Dove at michelle.dove@duke.edu if you have more questions.

You are also welcome to just come and enjoy the readings!  If you are interested in checking out the sonnets beforehand, we have several copies in the library.  Also, you can watch actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart and David Tennant read some of the sonnets here.

African-American Filmmakers Before Spike Lee

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

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

Solve a mystery with the Low Maintenance Book Club!

ArthurConanDoyle_AStudyInScarlet_annualFor our next Low Maintenance Book Club we will be reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes story called “A Study in Scarlet.”  You can download this story in a variety of formats from the Complete Sherlock Holmes Canon website.  If you prefer to read it in print, you can find several copies at Duke Libraries.

Join us as we figure out who killed Enoch Drebber and explore how the world was first introduced to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.  Not to give too much away, but this story has a bloody message written on a wall and a dead body with no visible marks, so get your magnifying glasses out!

When: April 12th  at 5:30 pm

Where: The Lounge @ The Edge

Registration isn’t required but filling out this brief form will help us to know how many people to expect.

If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at aah39@duke.edu.

 

What to read this month

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You may be slogging through midterms, but Spring break is just days away, so here are some beach reads from New and Noteworthy and Current Literature as well as ebooks and audiobooks from Overdrive* for those of you trying to save space in your luggage. And for those of you stuck on campus, check out Spring Breakers starring James Franco and Selena Gomez. It’s a cautionary tale that will probably make you really glad that you’re not headed to the beach.

  1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell is the story of a sitcom writer who discovers a magic telephone that lets her communicate with a past version of her husband.
  2. The Martini Shot: A Novella and Stories by George Pelecanos presents crime fiction with a wide range of characters from the expected (cops and criminals) to the unexpected (television writers for a police procedural).
  3. The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer is a political thriller that follows the wife of an assassinated diplomat as she tries to find her husband’s killer. (It’s also available as an audiobook).
  4. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (ebook) is a collection of narrative essays from humorist and North Carolina native David Sedaris on a wide variety of topics, none of which happen to be diabetes though an owl does make a brief appearance.
  5. Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo (ebook) is a suspenseful mystery that follows a contract killer in 1970s Oslo as he grapples with the nature of his work.
  6. The Room by Jonas Karlsson (ebook) is a quirky story about Bjorn, a compulsive bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works.

*You can find more details about how to download ebooks and audiobooks from Overdrive in our eBook FAQ and from this special help page.

Video Spotlight on Women Filmmakers

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Remembering Harper Lee

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In the days since Harper Lee’s death, much has been written about the iconic author and her small but influential body of work. The New York Times printed a collection of readers’ memories of the scenes that have stuck with them years after reading To Kill a Mockingbird. The editor of the Washington Post’s Book World penned a critical piece on the controversy surrounding the publication of Go Set a Watchman. And FiveThirtyEight posted this statistical look at Monroeville, AL, Lee’s hometown and the real-life city on which Maycomb was based.

Here at the library there’s something for everyone:

  • For those wishing to revisit Lee’s classic work or to enjoy it for the first time, you can borrow a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, listen to the audiobook performed by Sissy Spacek, or watch the movie adaptation featuring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Robert Duvall in his movie debut as Boo Radley.
  • For those not put off by the controversy surrounding Lee’s second novel, you can check out Go Set a Watchman (also available in large print).
  • And for those looking for a new perspective on Lee and her work, we have several books and collections of essays as well as a video or two that may be of interest.

What to read this month

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Presidents’ Day just passed, and primary season is getting underway, so here are some political picks from the New and Noteworthy collection. And don’t forget to vote early and often! (Get more information about voting in North Carolina here or check out the schedule of all the primaries here).  On and consider checking out Duke University’s Campaign Stop page for scholarly commentary, debate, and media resources.

  1. All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power by Nomi Prins starts with Teddy Roosevelt and chronologically works its way through to the present, shedding new light on the powerful alliances forged between those holding public office and those holding private wealth.
  2. Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy by Darryl Pinckney combines elements of memoir, historical narrative, and sociopolitical analysis to explore a century and a half of African-American participation in US electoral politics. Pinckney covers a lot of ground, from Reconstruction to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the ongoing debate over voter ID laws.
  3. The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House by Thomas F. Schaller, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This book contextualizes the nation’s increasingly polarized political climate by examining the connection between the GOP’s focus on congressional politics and the growth of radical conservatism since 1989.
  4. Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to Presidents Bush & Obama, 2001-2014 by Ralph Nader is a compilation of over 100 unanswered letters on a broad variety of domestic and international issues. This book even includes a letter on the dangers of mutating bacteria and viruses written from the point of view of E. coli and signed “E-cologically yours.”
  5. Nut Country: Right-wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy by Edward H. Miller. Taking its title from JFK’s remarks on Dallas just hours before his assassination, this book examines the role of the city’s ultraconservatives in the reshaping of the Republican Party over several decades.

First Low Maintenance Book Club meeting!

 

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Update (2/18).  We have already given out 10 free copies to the first ten people to respond, but we would still love for people to join us!  We’d still appreciate people filling out the form, just to get a feel for who would like to come.

Miss reading for fun?  Consider joining us for our first “Low Maintenance Book Club” on March 8th!  This book club aims to provide space for members of the Duke community to connect over reading.  Realizing how busy people are (and how much reading you probably have to do for classwork and research), we will focus on quick reads.  We will read texts like short stories, graphic novels, interesting short essays, poetry, etc.  You can find out more details about this club here.

For our first meeting we will be discussing several stories from Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, which Bookreporter.com says has “something for every type of Gaiman fan here, and those new to his work will find this to be a solid introduction to the type of stories he crafts: lyrical, literary, sometimes quite chilling, and always strange and provocative…This is a book to savor and enjoy.”

Light refreshments will be served!

When: March 8th at 5:30 pm

Where: The Lounge @ The Edge

How: Fill out this brief survey if you are interested in attending this book discussion.  The first 10 people to respond will receive a free copy of the book!

If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at aah39@duke.edu

what to read this month

 

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I don’t know about you, but I finally feel like I’m getting in to the swing of the new semester after the holidays and our snow day last week!  Though you may find the pace of the semester is heating up, make sure you leave yourself some time for reading.  As usual, we have some great titles in New and Noteworthy and Current Literature.

  1. Failure : why science is so successful by Stuart Firestein, a professor in the department of biological sciences at Columbia University.  This book examines how trial and error are an important part of the scientific process.  To find out more about this book, check out this interesting NYT review.
  2. Carry on : the rise and fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell is a really fun YA book that turns the common fantasy trope of the “chosen one” on its head!  In this book Rowell takes the Simon Snow world that she created for her Fangirl novel and makes it into its own standalone story.
  3. Lafayette in the somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell, who is the bestselling author of books such as Unfamiliar Fishes and The Wordy Shipmates and a former contributing editor of This American Life on NPR.  Her newest book is an account of the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette.
  4. America dancing : from the cakewalk to the moonwalk by Megan Pugh.  Using the stories of tapper Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, ballet and Broadway choreographer Agnes de Mille, choreographer Paul Taylor, and Michael Jackson, Megan Pugh shows how freedom–that nebulous, contested American ideal–emerges as a genre-defining aesthetic. In Pugh’s account, ballerinas mingle with slumming thrill-seekers, and hoedowns show up on elite opera house stages.
  5. Neurotribes : the legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity by Steve Silberman, winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.   You can find out more about this interesting book about autism here, here, and here.

What to read this month

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As you  prepare to head home for the holidays, make sure you are packing along some fun books to read!  Of course we have great selections in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections, but if you want to save room in your suitcase, consider using our Overdrive collection.  You can find more details about how to download books and audiobooks from this service in our eBook FAQ and from this special help page.*

Check out some of the books we have available in Overdrive:

  1. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion, which is the sequel to The Rosie Project.   Don Tillman, the main character in both of these books has been described by Matthew Quick as someone who “helps us believe in possibility, makes us proud to be human beings, and the bonus is this: he keeps us laughing like hell.”
  2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl.  If you are looking for something a bit darker (I couldn’t resist), this may be the book for you!  This book was recently made into a movie with Charlize Theron and follows the character Libby Day as she tries to find out the truth about the day in her childhood when her family was brutally murdered.
  3.  Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris.  Make your family wonder what you are reading when you begin giggling to yourself as you read this recent collection of essays.  You can read a review here.  Bonus: we also have Holidays on Ice, his holiday collection featuring the classic “Six to Eight Black Men.”
  4. Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz.  Read a biography about the woman who gave us classic cookbooks such as Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  You can read reviews of this biography here and here.
  5. Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora.  This debut novel is a series of linked stories set in an affluent suburb.  Alix Ohlin in The New York Times Book Review wrote that “Acampora seems to understand fiction as a kind of elegant design. As characters reappear in one story after another, Acampora reveals herself as a careful architect…accomplishes great depth of characterization, in no small part because Acampora doesn’t shy from the unpalatable…There is a barbed honesty to the stories that brushes up against Acam­pora’s lovely prose to interesting effect. Often a single sentence twists sinuously, charged with positive and negative electricity.”

*Pro Tip: If you are finding a lot of books that are already checked out by someone else, try filtering by “Available Now” to see the things you can immediately download.

 

What to read this month

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Before you leave for Thanksgiving break, consider bringing home a book to read.  We’ve got a lot of great titles in New and Noteworthy and Current Literature.

  1. The League of Regrettable Superheroes : half-baked heroes from comic book history! by Jon Morris.  You know about Batman, Superman, and Spiderman, but have you heard of Doll Man, Doctor Hormone, or Spider Queen? In The League of Regrettable Superheroes , you’ll meet one hundred of the strangest superheroes ever to see print, complete with backstories, vintage art, and colorful commentary. So prepare yourself for such not-ready-for-prime-time heroes as Bee Man (Batman, but with bees), the Clown (circus-themed crimebuster), the Eye (a giant, floating eyeball; just accept it), and many other oddballs and oddities. Drawing on the entire history of the medium, The League of Regrettable Superheroes will appeal to die-hard comics fans, casual comics readers, and anyone who enjoys peering into the stranger corners of pop culture.
  2. Keep it fake : inventing an authentic life by Eric G. Wilson.  This is an interesting philosophical exploration of authenticity and how we invent versions of ourselves.  To learn more about it you may want to read this review or this podcast with the author.
  3. For anyone looking for a thriller to read over the break, you might want to try Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls.  Lee Child described this book as a “A stunning family tragedy and a hold-your-breath pedal-to-the-metal thriller magically blended by Karin Slaughter’s trademark passion, intensity, and humanity.  Certain to be a book of the year.”
  4. The gap of time : the Winter’s tale retold by Jeanette Winterson.  This book is the first in a new series called The Hogarth Shakepeare from Vintage books.  It is launching to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and will feature stand-alone retellings written by some of today’s leading authors, including Jeanette Winterson and Anne Tyler (who will be taking on The Taming of the Shrew).
  5. The pleasure of reading edited by Antonia Fraser and Victoria Gray.  This collection features essays from 40 authors, such as Margaret Atwood, J.G. Ballard, A.S. Byatt, Kamila Shamsie, Ruth Rendell, and Tom Stoppard, about what first made them interested in literature and in reading.  You can read some excerpts here.

2015 University Press Week

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Duke University Press will be celebrating University Press Week November 8-15, 2015, along with the Association of American University Presses and its more than 130 members. University Press Week highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.  A number of local events are planned.

For the first time ever, The Regulator Bookshop in Durham will host a pop-up university press bookstore in its lower level. The bookstore will feature books and journals from local presses Duke University Press and Wake Forest University Press as well as presses from around the country. Browsers may be surprised to find how many books of general interest university presses publish, from cookbooks to music books to local history, memoir and travel. The Regulator Bookshop will also host two events during the week, a reading by Alejandro Velasco, author of Barrio Rising: Urban Popular Politics and the Making of Modern Venezuela (University of California Press) and a reception followed by a reading by Ambassador James Joseph, author of Saved for a Purpose: A Journey from Private Virtues to Public Values (Duke University Press).

Other events celebrating University Press Week include displays of Duke University Press books and journals in the Durham County Library and Duke University’s Perkins Library.  The Perkins display can be found on the first floor near the Duke Authors display. The Center for Documentary Studies will sponsor an artist talk and book signing at Duke University’s Rubenstein Library, featuring Nadia Sablin, whose book Aunties: The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila is the seventh winner of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography.  You can find more details about this event here.

Duke University Press will feature special University Press Week posts on its blog and will sponsor online contests during the week. Fans of university presses are encouraged to use the hashtags #ReadUP and #PublishUP to talk online about why they love to read, teach, and write university press books and journal articles and to use the #UPShelfie hashtag to share pictures of the university press books on their shelves.

 

What to read this month

 

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With the weather turning cooler, I want to highlight some fiction (and one memoir) books in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections to inspire you to curl up with a blanket and hot beverage of your choice.

  1. The shepherd’s crown by Terry Pratchett.  Pick up the final novel of Terry Pratchett’s classic Discworld series and be transported to a comic fantasy world.  Learn more about the characters of Discworld on his official website.  You might also enjoy this recent post from io9 to help you dive in.
  2. Almost famous women: stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman.  Dig into a collection of short stories about intriguing lesser-known women in history.  You’ll find stories about conjoined twins, a cross-dressing oil heiress, a daredevil motorcyclist, and the illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron.  You can find reviews here and here.
  3. Furiously happy : {a funny book about horrible things} by Jenny Lawson.  Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess, has a written an honest, funny, and inspiring book about her struggles with mental illness.  Here’s a description from an Entertainment Weekly review: “Her second book Furiously Happy is a firsthand account of living with mental illness, inflected with the wonderfully strange and frequently inappropriate dark humor you might expect from a woman who opts to put small taxidermied animals on her book covers.”
  4. Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor.  If you enjoyed Longbourn and Mrs. Poe, you might want to pick up this novel about Emily Dickinson told through the eyes of an Irish maid.  As described in this Washington Post review, this  “lovely novel, ‘Miss Emily,’ immerses us in the day-to-day drama of a fictional, spirited Irish maid who comes to work for the Dickinsons of Amherst in 1866 and stirs up their reclusive poet-in-residence. Told in alternating chapters by the title character and her maid, it pulls us in from its first limpid lines and then detonates with an explosion of power — much like Emily Dickinson’s poems.”
  5. Kitchens of the great Midwest: a novel by J. Ryan Stradal will probably make you hungry, but you may also just enjoy this novel about a chef with a once-in-a-generation palate.   You can read more about this book herehere, and here.

History Hackathon – a collaborative happening

Students in Rubenstein Reading Room

What is a History Hackathon?

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

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

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

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

Contact : HistoryHackathon@duke.edu


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

Contributor: Susannah Roberson

 

 

What to read this month?

newandnoteworthy1

I am starting a new feature where I will be highlighting some of the newest books in our New and Noteworthy collection.  Here are five books I think you should check out!

  1. The Altruistic Brain: How We are Naturally Good by Donald W. Pfaff.  According to a recent review in Frontiers in Psychology, ” Pfaff’s writing is very accessible to the non-specialist, whenever he employs technical terms and concepts from neuroscience, genetics, biology, or anthropology he makes sure to at least briefly introduce them to the reader. Much more important than the style in which it is written, the book provides one of the first—if not the very first—compilation of evidence from primary neuroscience research in favor of such a universal altruistic predisposition.”
  2. The book of Phoenix: A Novel by Nnedi Okorafor, whose previous novel Who Fears Death won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.  You can read reviews for this book here and here.
  3. The Girl from Krakow by Duke University’s own Alexander Rosenberg.  As described by a reviewer on Historical Novel Society, “novels like The Girl from Krakow are important because they remind us that no lie – no matter how white – no secret – no matter how small – comes without consequences.”
  4. Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman.  With several important elections on the horizon, this is a topic worth exploring.  You can find reviews and interviews  in the Chicago Tribune, NPR Books, and Rolling Stone.
  5. How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims.  As described in a review in the New York Times, “Lythcott-Haims’s central message remains worthwhile: When parents laugh and enjoy the moment but also teach the satisfaction of hard work, when they listen closely but also give their children space to become who they are, they wind up with kids who know how to work hard, solve problems and savor the moment, too.”

 

 

The First-Year Library Experience

Duke Libraries – Here to Help You

 

Lilly Library on East Campus
Lilly Library on East Campus

When is the library open? How do I find a book? Where do I print?*

Duke University’s newest students can find the answers to these questions (and more!) on the Library’s First-Year Library Services portal page.

Each August, a new class of undergraduates arrives in Durham ready to immerse themselves in the Duke Community.   Duke University Libraries serve as the core of intellectual life on campus. On East Campus particularly, the Lilly and Music Libraries have the unique opportunity to introduce our newest “Dukies” to the array of Library resources and research services available.

To help navigate the vast Library resources, we’ve created a portal especially for First-Year students. Through this portal page, new students (and even some not-so-new) can discover all that the Duke University Libraries offer:

Perkins-reading roomQuick Facts:  about collections and loan policies
Where:  to study, print, and … eat!
How:  to find and check out books & material, and get…
Help!:  Meet the  “who” – Librarians, Specialists, & Residence Hall Librarians
Research 101:  how to navigate the Research Process
Citation 101:  how to cite using recommended  styles
*And when is the Library open?
Find the answer in our list of the Top 12 Questions, developed with input from First-Year Library Advisory Board students.

Here’s to a great Fall Semester!

 

 

 

Step into the Spotlight: Dance Films

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

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

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

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

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

360 Degrees of Art: An Edgefest Recap

 

Starry
Starry Night

 

Last Thursday, we played host to Edgefest, an arts extravaganza that took advantage of the Libraries’ newest space, The Edge, by filling the walls with art. There was an amazing turnout, with hundreds of students flocking to sample the smorgasbord of tasty treats (everything from mocktails to cupcakes and mushroom sliders) and staying to add their own piece of whiteboard art.

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Just a few of the amazing creations we saw at Edgefest.

The walls of the Edge were covered from top to bottom with art–both doodles and masterpieces alike.  Duke’s unofficial artists had no shortage of creativity; from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to a full color map of Durham, Pacman to Pokémon; we saw all kinds of creations.

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The Poetry Fox types up a new poem for his latest patron.

The Poetry Fox (a local Durham writer who writes on the spot poetry based on a single word) cranked out poems all evening for many eager poetry enthusiasts. Student performers, including Inside Joke, #busstopguy, and DUI, entertained artists throughout the evening.

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A whiteboard rendering of a vintage book plate.

 

What is a vital Lilly Library Resource?

Meet Lilly’s Class of 2015 – part IV

If you’ve been in Lilly Library  over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our four seniors: NatalieSteven, Victor and Kenai.  All of our seniors  have worked at Lilly Library since they arrived as wide-eyed First-Year students on East Campus way back in August of 2011. Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.

Lilly Student Assistant Senior Kenai McFadden
Lilly Student Assistant Senior Kenai McFadden

Note: this article was published in the 2014 fall semester.  With Commencement 2015 in May,  reacquaint yourselves with Kenai, one of our treasured Lilly Library Class of 2015.

Lilly is at the heart of East Campus, the First-Year Campus for Duke undergraduates.  To serve our  community, Lilly Library remains open for 129 hours  each week! Our student assistants are an essential element in maintaining a high level of service, and we want to introduce you to one of our “Class of 2015” – seniors who have worked in Lilly Library throughout their four years at Duke.

Meet Kenai McFadden:
Hometown
: Orangeburg, South Carolina
Family: I have 3 siblings – one older brother, a younger brother, and a little sister
Academics: Pre-med, majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Psychology
Activities on campus: Vice President of the Class of 2015; ​FAC Board Member; President of The Inferno; ​Line Monitor
Favorite off-campus activity: Dancing at Cuban Revolution
Favorite on-campus activity: Cheering for Duke Athletics
Favorite on-campus eatery: Pitchfork Provisions
Favorite off-campus eatery: Sushi Love

Kenai at work
Top: Kenai, with his “assistant” Steven offering support Bottom: Kenai helping a student

Somehow, while the list above gives us basic information about Kenai, we believe there is so much more to reveal. Kenai is lively and engaging, so we asked another Lilly student assistant,  Kelly Tomins  (Lilly Class of 2016 ) to delve further and ask questions from one student to another.  Their interview offers a perspective beyond the facts – enjoy!

What Is your spirit animal? Explain.
I would have to go with a toy poodle. Toy poodles are not shy, have insane amounts of energy, are one of the smartest breeds of dog, and are agreeable with everyone. If only I could also be so easy to love…

If you could be any famous internet cat, which would you be?
NO

What are your plans for after graduation?
I’m a pre-medical student taking a gap year. I would love to continue volunteering as I apply to medical school, 

If you could have a sleepover in any of the 12 branches of the Duke Library system, which would you choose?
Definitely Ford or the Law Library because I’ve never visited them and it’d be fun to explore them at night.

What’s the strangest book you’ve come across in Lilly?
Lilly is the art library at Duke, so I’ve come across various dirty comic collections, abstract art styles, and books on ridiculous theories. It’s hard to choose just one. You’d be surprised at how many crazy books are in the stacks.

What is your favorite work duty at Lilly?
Book deliveries. It’s nice to deliver books for faculty to the various academic departments on East, especially when it’s nice outside. I can put in my music on, enjoy the weather, and get a great workout carrying books.

How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits?
Customer service is very relevant to pretty much any field in which you’re working with people. We’ve had some tough patrons come through Lilly, and I feel equipped to handle all sorts of people after working closing shifts and during finals week. I also became pretty good at suggesting DVDs for patrons to watch.

What will you miss most about Lilly when you graduate?
I’ll miss working with my boss, Yunyi Wang, and my coworkers behind the desk. Some of my best friends at Duke I’ve met through Lilly, and I love Yunyi! She’s like my campus mom. 😀

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly?
One time I took about 2 floors worth of books and shifted them one shelf – from one floor to the next. Crazy exciting stuff. It took the entire summer.

Have you ever locked anyone in the library when you work the closing shift? If not, were there any close calls?
I’ve had two or three close calls for sure, and one time I apparently locked someone in, but I don’t believe it. People get locked in pretty often though, so I don’t feel bad even if I did.

Thanks to Kenai, and to Kelly, for mentoring our newer student assistants and for keeping Lilly Library such an inviting and lively hub on East Campus!

Meet Lilly’s Class of 2015

Lilly Library’s “Final Four” – Our Class of 2015

If you’ve been in Lilly Library  over the past four years, chances are you’ve seen our four seniors: Natalie,  Steven, Victor and Kenai.  All of our seniors  have worked at Lilly Library since they arrived as wide-eyed First-Year students on East Campus way back in August of 2011. Get to know our seniors in these profiles, and you’ll appreciate them as much we do.

Natalie Hall:

Natalie at desk
Lilly Library’s Senior Natalie at the main desk
  • Hometown: Lansdale, PA (right outside of Philadelphia)
  • Academics: Public Policy Major
  • Activities on campus: Duke Chorale, and President of The Girls’ Club (a mentoring program serving middle school girls in Durham)
  • Favorite campus eatery/food: The Divinity School Cafe
  • Favorite off-campus eatery/food: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles
  • Hobbies or dream vacations: Hobbies are reading graphic novels, finding new music, watching YouTube videos; dream vacations in Istanbul, Hong Kong, and Prague

Q:  Why have you worked at Lilly Library for all 4 years?
A: ​I’ve chosen to work at Lilly for 4 years because of its atmosphere.  The patrons and staff at Lilly create a space where you can relax, be friendly, and open.  Although traveling from West can be a drag sometimes (especially with less buses on weekends), it’s always worth it!  Talking with staff, being with other Lilly student workers, and patrons is always a pleasure.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Lilly? Least favorite?
A: I think my favorite part of working at Lilly is how friendly everyone is.  Rain or shine, busy or slow day, patrons and staff here are respectful and patient.  I don’t think there’s anything about Lilly that I particularly dislike!

Q: What is your favorite work duty at Lilly? Least favorite duty?

Yunyi and natalie
Lilly’s Head of Access Services Yunyi with Natalie

A: My favorite duty is probably processing books–it’s a time where I can recharge.  My least favorite would have to be shelf-reading…sorry, Yunyi!

Q: What is one memory from Lilly that you will never forget?
A: I studied Chinese to fulfill my language requirement, so practicing speaking Chinese with Yunyi is something I’ll remember always.  Out of nowhere, Yunyi hurls questions at me in Chinese, and I often find  myself scrambling to respond!  Even so, I really appreciate her help–it definitely made me more comfortable in the classroom.

Q: What does a typical weekend shift look like for you? What  shift do you like most?
A: The typical weekend shift is pretty laid back.  I’ll first go to the Regulator Bookstore on 9th street to pick up the New York Times for Lilly.  Then I’ll come back to the library and work at the desk for most of the time.  I enjoy weekday shifts the most, because I feel like they are just busy enough where I don’t feel too overwhelmed.

Q: What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
A: At Lilly, the funniest thing that has happened to me recently is  getting to know our weekend security guard Patricia (she usually is at the desk on Saturdays).  Our conversations always make me laugh–last weekend she was helping me online shop for a graduation dress, and it was a lot of fun.

Q: What is your impression of Lilly’s film collection?  Any recommendations?
A: My overall impression of Lilly’s film collection is that it is very eclectic!  If I were to suggest a film, I would say you should check out the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A:  After graduation I plan on either participating in Teach for America, or working more policy/research orientated job in Washington, DC.

Q: What will you miss most about Lilly?
A: The staff, and just the feel of being there.

Q: How will your time at Lilly help you in your future pursuits?
A: My time at Lilly will help my with my multitasking skills, organization, and learning how to help people with any questions they have in a timely manner

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in Lilly?
A: Nothing too crazy…but if you are feeling tired and need a nap, don’t rule out the staff room couch (of course, never during your shift!)

Graduation in May means Lilly Library will say farewell to  Natalie and our other seniors, treasured members of our Lilly “family”. We appreciate her good work and dedication to Lilly and wish her the best!