Category Archives: Humanities

Duke Announces Winner of 2018 Juan E. Méndez Human Rights Book Award

Award Goes to There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia by María McFarland Sánchez-Moreno

The Duke University Human Rights Center@the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Human Rights Archive at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library have named María McFarland Sánchez-Moreno’s book, There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia (Nation Books, 2018) as the winner of the 2018 Juan E. Méndez Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America. McFarland will visit Duke University during spring semester 2019 to accept the award.

There Are No Dead Here is a deep dive into key human rights cases that exposed the murderous nexus between right-wing paramilitaries, drug lords, and Colombia’s military and political establishment. Through dogged reporting, in part as a Human Rights Watch researcher, McFarland unravels the links that led to the murders of Colombian rights investigators by powerful interests that reached as high as military leadership and even the Colombian presidency.

When notified of the award, McFarland stated, “It was a joy and privilege for me to tell the stories of some of the many Colombians who stand up for truth and justice every day. So it’s tremendously satisfying that those stories are now getting the recognition they so deserve, thanks to the Mendez Award, which itself is named after a brave fighter for human rights.”

First awarded in 2008, the Méndez Human Rights Book Award honors the best current, fiction or non-fiction book published in English on human rights, democracy, and social justice in contemporary Latin America. The books are evaluated by a panel of expert judges drawn from academia, journalism, and public policy circles.

“Colombia is often portrayed as a place where violence is endemic and unstoppable,” said Robin Kirk, the Committee Chair and co-director of the Duke Human Rights Center@the Franklin Humanities Institute, “McFarland’s riveting story shows that the truth is much more complex. Again and again, Colombians step up to fight for justice even though they face daunting odds. Their story is well told in her astonishing book.”

Other judges include Holly Ackerman, Librarian for Latin American, Iberian and Latino/a Studies at Duke University Libraries, who commented, “McFarland’s’ book highlights a fundamental tool in the struggle for justice — people who will not look away. The determination and sacrifice of three individuals moved Colombia toward historical truth and a still-fragile peace. There Are No Dead Here demonstrates a clear linkage between individual courage and the collective awareness that creates the possibility for justice to triumph over impunity.”

James Chappel, Hunt Assistant Professor of History at Duke University, also offered praise: “McFarland does a wonderful job contextualizing the stories of these human rights defenders. As we focus so incessantly on the structure of unequal neoliberal globalization, human rights progress depends on incredibly brave men and women on the front lines.”

Other judges include Kia Caldwell, Associate Professor of African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill; and Kirsten Weld, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of History at Harvard University.


About the Author

Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno is an activist, writer, and lawyer. As the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Maria is at the helm of the leading organization in the U.S. fighting to end the war on drugs in the United States and beyond.

Previously, Maria held several positions at Human Rights Watch, including as co-director of its U.S. Program, guiding the organization’s work on U.S. criminal justice, immigration, and national security policy; and as deputy Washington director, working on a broad range of U.S. foreign policy issues. She started her career there as the organization’s senior Americas researcher, covering Colombia’s internal armed conflict and working on the extradition and trial of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.

Maria grew up in Lima, Peru, and now lives in Brooklyn.


Previous Méndez Award Recipients

  • 2017 – Matt Eisenbrandt, Assassination of a Saint, The Plot to Murder Óscar Romero and the Quest to Bring His Killers to Justice
  • 2016 – Chad Broughton, Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities
  • 2015 – Kirsten Weld, Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala
  • 2014 – Oscar Martínez, The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail
  • 2013 – Jonathan M. Katz, The Big Truck That Went By: How The World Came To Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster
  • 2012 – Héctor Abad, Oblivion: A Memoir
  • 2011 – Kathryn Sikkink, The Justice Cascade
  • 2010 – Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes, with Jorge Enrique Botero, Hostage Nation
  • 2009 – Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz, The Dictator’s Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet
  • 2008 – Francisco Goldman, Who Killed the Bishop: The Art of Political Murder

For more information, contact:

Patrick Stawski
Human Rights Archivist, Rubenstein Library
patrick.stawski@duke.edu
919-660-5823

Take the Library Home with You

handout

As you are preparing for your much needed break, I hope you remember that the library will still be here for you!  Maybe you already know that you can access many of our online resources from home or that you can check out books to take home with you.  We also have movies and music that you can stream and some e-books that you can download to your devices.  Here are some of the resources we have to do this!

Streaming Videos

Alexander Street Video Collection: Find and watch streaming video across multiple Alexander Street Press video collections on diverse topics that include newsreels, documentaries, field recordings, interviews and lectures.

Docuseek2 Collection: Find and watch streaming video of documentary and social issues films.

Films on Demand: Find and watch streaming video with academic, vocational, and life-skills content.

Kanopy: Watch thousands of award-winning documentaries and feature films including titles from the Criterion Collection.

Go to bit.ly/dukevideos to access these video collections.

Streaming Music

Naxos Music Library:  Huge selection of classical music recordings—over 1,925,000 tracks!

Jazz Music Library:  Access a wide range of recordings from jazz classics to contemporary jazz.

Contemporary World Music and Smithsonian Global Sound: Listen to music from around the world, including reggae, Bollywood, fado, American folk music, and more.

Metropolitan Opera on Demand:  For opera fans, a large selection of opera videos from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

All of these streaming music sources can be accessed at library.duke.edu/music/resources/listening-online

Overdrive Books

Go to duke.overdrive.com to access downloadable eBooks and audiobooks that can be enjoyed on all major computers and devices, including iPhones®, iPads®, Nooks®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindles®.

What to Read this Month: December 2018

As we head into the end of the semester and the holidays, you may be looking for something new to read!  Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good titles.  And if you are traveling, don’t forget about our Overdrive collection for e-books you can easily download to your devices.


84K by Claire North.  The penalty for Dani Cumali’s murder: £84,000.  Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office.  He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.  These days, there’s no need to go to prison – provided that you can afford to pay the penalty for the crime you’ve committed.  If you’re rich enough, you can get away with murder.  But Dani’s murder is different.  When Theo finds her lifeless body, and a hired killer standing over her and calmly calling the police to confess, he can’t let her death become just an entry on a balance sheet.  Someone is responsible.  And Theo is going to find them and make them pay.  You can read reviews here and here.


The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester is an internationally bestselling World War II novel that spans generations, crosses oceans, and proves just how much two young women are willing to sacrifice for love and family.  1940: As the Germans advance upon Paris, young seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee everything she’s ever known.  She’s bound for New York City with her signature gold dress, a few francs, and a dream: to make her mark on the world of fashion.  Present day: Fabienne Bissette journeys to the Met’s annual gala for an exhibit featuring the work of her ailing grandmother – a legend of women’s fashion design.  But as Fabienne begins to learn more about her beloved grandmother’s past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and family secrets that will dramatically change her own life.  You can read an interview with the author here.


The Emperor of Shoes: A Novel by Spencer Wise. Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory.  Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line.  When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift.  She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow laborers.  Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?  Deftly plotted and vibrantly drawn, The Emperor of Shoes is a timely meditation on idealism, ambition, father-son rivalry and cultural revolution, set against a vivid backdrop of social and technological change.  You can read a review here, and read an interview here.


The Clockmaker’s Daughter: A Novel by Kate Morton.  In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames.  Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity.  But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.  Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.  Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie?  And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?  You can read reviews here, here, and here.


The invention of Ana by Mikkel Rosengaard (translated by Caroline Waight).  On a rooftop in Brooklyn on a spring night, a young intern and would-be writer, newly arrived from Copenhagen, meets the intriguing Ana Ivan. Clever and funny, with an air of mystery and melancholia, Ana is a performance artist, a mathematician, and a self-proclaimed time traveler.   Before long, the intern finds himself seduced by Ana’s enthralling stories, and Ana also introduces him to her latest artistic endeavor.  Following the astronomical rather than the Gregorian calendar, she is trying to alter her sense of time–an experiment that will lead her to live in complete darkness for one month.  The Invention of Ana blurs the lines between narrative and memory, perception and reality, identity and authenticity.  You can read reviews here and here.

What to Read this Month: November 2018

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


#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line by David Hogg.  From two survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting comes a declaration for our times, and an in-depth look at the making of the #NeverAgain movement.  On February 14, 2018, seventeen-year-old David Hogg and his fourteen-year-old sister, Lauren, went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like any normal Wednesday.  That day, of course, the world changed.  By the next morning, with seventeen classmates and faculty dead, they had joined the leadership of a movement to save their own lives, and the lives of all other young people in America.  The morning after the massacre, David Hogg told CNN: “We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Get over your politics and get something done.”  This book is a manifesto for the movement begun that day, one that has already changed America–with voices of a new generation that are speaking truth to power, and are determined to succeed where their elders have failed.


The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump by Michiko Kakutani.  How did truth become an endangered species in contemporary America?  This decline began decades ago, and in The Death of Truth, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani takes a penetrating look at the cultural forces that contributed to this gathering storm.  In social media and literature, television, academia, and politics, Kakutani identifies the trends–originating on both the right and the left–that have combined to elevate subjectivity over factuality, science, and common values.  And she returns us to the words of the great critics of authoritarianism, writers like George Orwell and Hannah Arendt, whose work is newly and eerily relevant.  You can read reviews here and here.


The Witch Elm by Tana French.  Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead.  Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo.  Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.  You can read reviews here and here, and read an interview here.


Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes. Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award-winning author Richard Rhodes reveals the fascinating history behind energy transitions over time–wood to coal to oil to electricity and beyond.  People have lived and died, businesses have prospered and failed, and nations have risen to world power and declined, all over energy challenges. Ultimately, the history of these challenges tells the story of humanity itself.  Through an unforgettable cast of characters, he explains how wood gave way to coal and coal made room for oil, as we now turn to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy. Rhodes looks back on five centuries of progress, through such influential figures as Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, Benjamin Franklin, Herman Melville, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford.  In Rhodes’s singular style, Energy details how this knowledge of our history can inform our way tomorrow.


The Red Word by Sarah Henstra.  A smart, dark, and take-no-prisoners look at rape culture and the extremes to which ideology can go, The Red Word is a campus novel like no other.  As her sophomore year begins, Karen enters into the back-to-school revelry–particularly at a fraternity called GBC.  When she wakes up one morning on the lawn of Raghurst, a house of radical feminists, she gets a crash course in the state of feminist activism on campus.  GBC is notorious, she learns, nicknamed “Gang Bang Central” and a prominent contributor to a list of date rapists compiled by female students.  Despite continuing to party there and dating one of the brothers, Karen is equally seduced by the intellectual stimulation and indomitable spirit of the Raghurst women, who surprise her by wanting her as a housemate and recruiting her into the upper-level class of a charismatic feminist mythology scholar they all adore.  As Karen finds herself caught between two increasingly polarized camps, ringleader housemate Dyann believes she has hit on the perfect way to expose and bring down the fraternity as a symbol of rape culture–but the war between the houses will exact a terrible price.  This novel recently won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Awards.

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.

Remembering Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange, Reid Lecture, Women Issues Luncheon, Women’s Center, November 1978

Ntozake Shange passed away last week at the age of 70.  If you would like to read more about her legacy, please read here and here.

She is most well known for For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is EnufYou may be familiar with the 2011 film featuring an all star cast (Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Hill Harper, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, and Macy Gray).  Still if you haven’t seen it, the 1982 production starring Ntozake Shange, Patti LaBelle, and Alfre Woodard (among others) is worth a watch!  We have access through Theatre in Video.

Many of her plays can be found in Black Drama.  She is also known for her poetry and wrote several novels.  Here’s a sample of some of her work:

Some Sing, Some Cry

A Daughter’s Geography

Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo: A Novel

Nappy Edges

I Live in Music

Betsey Brown: A Novel

You might also enjoy this New York Public Library interview in 2015.

This post has been written by Arianne Hartsell-Gundy and Heather Martin.

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 

New Exhibit! Duke Kunshan University: From the Ground Up

On exhibit through February 3, 2019
Chappell Family Gallery, Perkins Library, Duke West Campus

Public Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 pm; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Please check our posted library hours for the most up-to-date information.

About the Exhibit

A new exhibit in Perkins Library celebrates Duke Kunshan University, a partnership between Duke University, Wuhan University, and the city of Kunshan with the mission to create a world-class institution embodying both Chinese and American traditions of higher education. The continued process of learning how to strike balance between differing cultures has made Duke Kunshan’s brief history quite complex.

Duke Kunshan  has integrated the study of kunqu, one of the oldest classical styles of Chinese opera, into its humanities curriculum and extracurricular activities. On display: a gown worn by DKU students in the Kun Opera Club.

This exhibition offers up the story of Duke Kunshan’s development – its accomplishments, opportunities, challenges, and risks – and brings an important perspective to our understanding of how international partnerships can address the changing needs and challenges of global higher education.

Walking through the exhibit, a visitor can explore a timeline of key events, read articles on the collaboration, and explore the rich curriculum that has come out of Duke Kunshan. The sounds of new and traditional Chinese music against the backdrop of a beautiful, architectural mural welcomes visitors to partake in their own peaceful, contemplative discovery of Duke Kunshan.

Reception Celebrating the Exhibit: Please Join Us!

Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Time: 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Location: Rubenstein Library Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room 153

The reception program will begin at 5:00 p.m. with welcome remarks by Provost Sally Kornbluth. Mary Brown Bullock, Executive Vice Chancellor Emerita of Duke Kunshan University, will speak about the internationalization of China’s higher education system and current China-US education relations. Peter Lange, Provost Emeritus of Duke University, will discuss the development of Duke Kunshan.

Light refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public.

Frankenstein Lives On!

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that there have been a lot of adaptations and works inspired by Frankenstein.  In today’s blog post I’m going to share some film and novel adaptations that you might be interested in taking a look at.

Let’s start with some of the film titles!  The titles that I am sharing with you can be found at our Lilly Library.  In fact most of them are currently on display in their collection spotlight!

Young Frankenstein:  A finely tuned parody of the old Frankenstein movies, in which Gene Wilder returns to the old country to clear his family name.  This classic comedy was directed by Mel Brooks and has a screenplay by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks.

Frankenstein: Still regarded as the definitive film version of Mary Shelley’s classic tale of tragedy and horror, Frankenstein made unknown character actor Boris Karloff a star and created a new icon of terror.  Along with the highly successful Dracula, released earlier the same year, it launched Universal Studio’s golden age of 1930s horror movies.  The film’s greatness stems less from its script than from the stark but moody atmosphere created by director James Whale.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: This 1994 version is a more faithful adaptation than some of the older versions, though it still takes some liberties with the plot.  It was directed by and starred Kenneth Branagh.  It also features Robert De Niro and Helena Bonham Carter.

I, Frankenstein: Set in a dystopic present where vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons rage in a battle for ultimate power, Victor Frankenstein’s creation Adam finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality.

In addition to films, Frankenstein’s monster has inspired directly and indirectly many authors.

A Monster’s Notes by Laurie Sheck. What if Mary Shelley had not invented Frankenstein’s monster but had met him when she was a girl of eight, sitting by her mother’s grave, and he came to her unbidden?  What if their secret bond left her forever changed, obsessed with the strange being whom she had discovered at a time of need?  What if he were still alive in the twenty-first century?  This bold, genre-defying book brings us the “monster” in his own words.

Frankenstein Unbound by  Brian W. Aldiss.  Joe Bodenland, a 21st century American, passes through a timeslip and finds himself with Byron and Shelley in the famous villa on the shore of Lake Geneva. More fantastically, he finds himself face to face with a real Frankenstein, a doppelganger inhabiting a complex world.

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi.  From the rubble-strewn streets of U.S.-occupied Baghdad, Hadi–a scavenger and an oddball fixture at a local café–collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse.  His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and to give them proper burial.  But when the corpse goes missing, a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, and reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, though shot, cannot be killed.  This book was a Man Booker International Prize finalist!

Destroyer by Victor LaValle.  The legacy of Frankenstein’s monster collides with the sociopolitical tensions of the present-day United States.  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein beseeched his creator for love and companionship, but in 2017, the monster has long discarded any notions of peace or inclusion.  He has become the Destroyer, his only goal to eliminate the scourge of humanity from the planet.  In this goal, he initially finds a willing partner in Dr. Baker, a descendant of the Frankenstein family who has lost her teenage son after an encounter with the police.  While two scientists, Percy and Byron, initially believe they’re brought to protect Dr. Baker from the monster, they soon realize they may have to protect the world from the monster and Dr. Baker’s wrath.

The dark descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White.  Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks.  Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.  Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works.  But her new life comes at a price.  As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved.  Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

If you want to find out more about adaptations of Frankenstein, try the website The Frankenstein MEME.

This post is part of a series.  You can find older posts here, here, and here.  Don’t forget to sign up for Frankenreads on Halloween!

 

Life of Mary Shelley

I’m continuing my series of blog posts about Frankenstein with some suggestions about how to learn more about Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.  She was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and Wiliam Godwin, the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and she wrote Frankenstein when she was 19 years old!  I think this recent article gives a good sense of why she is such an important literary figure.

If you are looking for a short bio of her, this page on the Romantic Circles Edition is a good place to start.  You might also be interested in this entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  You can also find several useful entries in the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

You might also be interested in these longer biographies:

Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl who Wrote Frankenstein by Fiona Sampson

Mary Shelley by Muriel Spark

Moon in Eclipse: A Life of Mary Shelley by Jane Dunn

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is also going to be the subject of National Geographic’s Genius Season Three!  Here’s an interesting recent article from their website.

You might also be interested in viewing a recent film about her starring Elle Fanning.

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for Frankenreads!

A Conversation with Legendary Editor Bob Loomis, Oct. 24

Many of the books Bob Loomis edited during his career at Random House continue to be read and discussed decades after their publication.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 24
TIME: 4:00-5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room (Rubenstein Library 153)

Join the Duke University Libraries and Department of English for an informal conversation with Bob Loomis, the legendary Random House editor and Duke alumnus (T ’49), as he discusses the lively literary culture on campus during his post-war undergraduate years.

Loomis worked for Random House from 1957 to 2011, eventually rising to Vice President and Executive Editor. He holds a revered place in the publishing industry as an editor known for nurturing writers whose books went on to great success, including Maya Angelou, William Styron, Shelby Foote, Calvin Trillin, Edmund Morris, Daniel J. Boorstin, and many others.

Loomis’s fellow students at Duke included Styron, Guy Davenport, and New York Magazine founder Clay Felker. He was also a student of celebrated Duke English Professor William Blackburn.

Refreshments provided. Please register to help us estimate attendance.

Free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English.

More about Bob Loomis:

Register to attend this talk.

Finding Frankenstein Online

Since Frankenstein is 200 years old, it’s firmly in the public domain, which means you can find many editions and versions online.  Today I’m continuing my series of blog posts with a list of several resources that I think will be of interest!

First you can read the text at Project Gutenberg!

You can also trace the evolution of the novel with images and transcriptions of the notebooks at the Shelley-Godwin Archive.  This archive  provides the digitized manuscripts of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft.

There’s the Stuart Curran’s digital edition in the Romantic Circles Editions.  It provides both the 1818 and 1831 publications of Frankenstein.  It also has a link to a comparative text tool through Juxta Commons for both these years.

The Pittsburgh Frankenstein Project is working on a new digital edition that builds on and expands the work done by Curran and others.

The Frankenstein Bicentennial Project has several fun projects worth looking at, including Frankenbook (a collective reading and collaborative annotation experience of the original 1818).

I also discovered what looks like the beginning of a mapping project involving the novel.  It looks incomplete, but an interesting experiment (pun intended) nonetheless. You can see both the Creature’s journey and Victor Frankenstein’s journey.

Let’s end on a fun note with the web series Frankenstein, MD, a collaboration between Pemberley Digital and PBS Digital Studios.  You can find links to all the videos here.

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for Frankenreads!

What to Read this Month: October 2018

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is on my mind this week, so we’re highlighting books about climate change.  Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for more titles!


Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawken.  A team of over 200 scholars, scientists, policymakers, business leaders and activists share the hundred most substantive solutions to combat climate change that together will not only slow down the growth of carbon emissions, but reverse them altogether.  Put into action together, these solutions will mobilize society into taking the climate change conversation from problem definition to problem solving, from fear and apathy to collaboration and regeneration.  You can find out more about Project Drawdown at their website.  Also, see this interview.


We’re Doomed. Now What?: Essays on War and Climate Change by Roy Scranton.  The time we’ve been thrown into is one of alarming and bewildering change – the breakup of the post-1945 global order, a multispecies mass extinction, and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it.  Not one of us is innocent, not one of us is safe.  This book addresses the crisis that is our time through a series of brilliant, moving, and original essays on climate change, war, literature, and loss, from one of the most provocative and iconoclastic minds of his generation.  You can watch a forum with the author here.


South Pole Station: A Novel by Ashley Shelby.  South Pole Station is a place with an average temperature of -54°F and no sunlight for six months a year.  Unmoored by a recent family tragedy, Cooper Gosling is adrift at thirty and–despite her early promise as a painter–on the verge of sinking her career.  So she accepts her place in the National Science Foundation’s Artists & Writers Program and flees to Antarctica–where she encounters a group of misfits motivated by desires as ambiguous as her own.  The novel also centers on clashes between scientists and conservative politicians who rely on campaign contributions from oil companies over the causes of climate change.  You can see reviews here and here.


Coasts in Crisis: A Global Challenge by Gary Griggs.  Coastal regions around the world have become increasingly crowded, intensively developed, and severely exploited. Hundreds of millions of people living in these low-lying areas are subject to short-term coastal hazards such as cyclones, hurricanes, and destruction due to El Niño, and are also exposed to the long-term threat of global sea-level rise.  These massive concentrations of people expose often-fragile coastal environments to the runoff and pollution from municipal, industrial, and agricultural sources as well as the impacts of resource exploitation and a wide range of other human impacts.  Can environmental impacts be reduced or mitigated and can coastal regions adapt to natural hazards?  You can read a review in the journal Coastal Management: https://doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2018.1426378 (access available through our library).


Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future by Mary Robinson is an urgent call to arms by one of the most important voices in the international fight against climate change, sharing inspiring stories and offering vital lessons for the path forward.  Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into.  Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people–people battling for food, water, and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate.  The faceless, shadowy menace of climate change had become, in an instant, deeply personal.  Mary Robinson’s mission would lead her all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself.  From Sharon Hanshaw, the Mississippi matriarch whose campaign began in her East Biloxi hair salon and culminated in her speaking at the United Nations, to Constance Okollet, a small farmer who transformed the fortunes of her ailing community in rural Uganda, Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change.


New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel.  As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.  For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city. There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear – along with the lawyers, of course.   There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building’s manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail.  Then there are two boys who don’t live there, but have no other home – and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine.  Lastly there are the coders, temporary residents on the roof, whose disappearance triggers a sequence of events that threatens the existence of all – and even the long-hidden foundations on which the city rests.  You can read reviews here and here.

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!

Low Maintenance Book Club Gets Spooky!

Get in the Halloween spirit with the Duke University Libraries Low-Maintenance Book Club! On Tuesday, October 30th, 5:30-7pm, we’ll meet to discuss three scary short stories by Shirley Jackson: “The Lottery,” “The Possibility of Evil,” and “The Summer People.”  Netflix’s new The Haunting of Hill House is based on one of her books!

The stories can be found in Novels and stories : The lottery, The haunting of Hill House, We have always lived in the castle, other stories and sketches, available in Perkins Library. One copy of this book will be placed on reserve for overnight loan.

Low-Maintenance Book Club: Halloween Edition
Tuesday, October 30th, 5:30-7pm
Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Please RSVP if you plan to attend . We’ll be serving light snacks!

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

 

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.

What to Read this Month: September 2018

Looking for something new to read? Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections!


Burger by Carol J Adams. The burger, long the All-American meal, is undergoing an identity crisis. From its shifting place in popular culture to efforts by investors such as Bill Gates to create the non-animal burger that can feed the world, the burger’s identity has become as malleable as that patty of protein itself, before it is thrown on a grill. Carol Adams’s Burger is a fast-paced and eclectic exploration of the history, business, cultural dynamics, and gender politics of the ordinary hamburger. You can read an excerpt of Burger here, and the author’s defense of the veggie burger here.

 


Buttermilk Graffiti : a Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New melting-pot cuisine by Edward Lee. American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavours. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories? A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. Listen to chef Edward Lee talk about his journey across America here.


Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer. Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is the groundbreaking moral examination of vegetarianism, farming, and the food we eat every day that inspired the documentary of the same name. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. You can read more about the book here.


Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating by Charles Spence. Why do we consume 35 percent more food when eating with one other person, and 75 percent more when dining with three? How do we explain the fact that people who like strong coffee drink more of it under bright lighting? And why does green ketchup just not work? The answer is gastrophysics, the new area of sensory science pioneered by Oxford professor Charles Spence. Now he’s stepping out of his lab to lift the lid on the entire eating experience — how the taste, the aroma, and our overall enjoyment of food are influenced by all of our senses, as well as by our mood and expectations. You can read a review of the book here.


The Potlikker Papers : a Food History of the Modern South by John T. Edge. Like great provincial dishes around the world, potlikker is a salvage food. During the antebellum era, slave owners ate the greens from the pot and set aside the leftover potlikker broth for the enslaved, unaware that the broth, not the greens, was nutrient rich. After slavery, potlikker sustained the working poor, both black and white. In the South of today, potlikker has taken on new meanings as chefs have reclaimed it. Potlikker is a quintessential Southern dish, and The Potlikker Papers is a people’s history of the modern South, told through its food. Beginning with the pivotal role cooks and waiters played in the civil rights movement, noted authority John T. Edge narrates the South’s fitful journey from a hive of racism to a hotbed of American immigration. He shows why working-class Southern food has become a vital driver of contemporary American cuisine. You can read more about the book–and the complexities to telling history through food– here.


 A Revolution in Taste: The Rise of French Cuisine 1650-1800 by Susan Pinkard. Modern French habits of cooking, eating, and drinking were born in the ancien regime, radically breaking with culinary traditions that originated in antiquity and creating a new aesthetic. This new culinary culture saw food and wine as important links between human beings and nature. Authentic foodstuffs and simple preparations became the hallmarks of the modern style. Susan Pinkard traces the roots and development of this culinary revolution to many different historical trends, including changes in material culture, social transformations, medical theory and practice, and the Enlightenment. You can read more about Pinkard’s exploration of french culinary history here.

The Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Roxane Gay!

Kick off the new school year with us at the Low Maintenance Book Club‘s upcoming meeting on Wednesday, September 26th, from 5:30-7pm. We’ll be reading selections from award-winning novelist and essayist Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women, her debut collection of short fiction.

Although we’ll plan to discuss “I Will Follow You,” “Difficult Women” and “North Country,” you should feel free to read as much or as little (we are low-maintenance, after all) of the work as you’d like.  We are featuring a giveaway–the first ten people to RSVP will receive a free copy of the book! You can also check out copies from Duke Libraries and the Durham County Library.  Light refreshments will be served.

Date: Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

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

What to Read this Month: August 2018

Welcome back to campus!  If you are looking for something to read, you have several options!  First we have our New and Noteworthy collection at Perkins Library and the Current Literature collection at Lilly Library.  You might also be interested in using Overdrive!  And now check out some of these suggestions on what to read this month!


Ambiguity Machines & Other Stories by Vandana Singh, who Ursula K. Le Guin described as “A most promising and original young writer.”  In her first North American collection, Singh’s deep humanism interplays with her scientific background in stories that explore and celebrate this world and others and characters who are trying to make sense of the people they meet, what they see, and the challenges they face.  An eleventh century poet wakes to find he is as an artificially intelligent companion on a starship.  A woman of no account has the ability to look into the past. In “Requiem,” a major new novella, a woman goes to Alaska to try and make sense of her aunt’s disappearance.


Daphne: A Novel by Will Boast.  Elegantly written and profoundly moving, this spellbinding debut affirms Boast’s reputation as a “new young American voice for the ages” (Tom Franklin).  Born with a rare (and real) condition in which she suffers degrees of paralysis when faced with intense emotion, Daphne has few close friends and even fewer lovers.  Like her mythic namesake, even one touch can freeze her.  But when Daphne meets shy, charming Ollie, her well-honed defenses falter, and she’s faced with an impossible choice: cling to her pristine, manicured isolation or risk the recklessness of real intimacy.  Set against the vivid backdrop of a San Francisco flush with money and pulsing with protest, Daphne is a gripping and tender modern fable that explores both self-determination and the perpetual fight between love and safety.  Read reviews here and here.


The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs.  A literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down–and protect–before others can get their hands on it.  Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail.  In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague.  But first, she must find where the equation is hidden.  You can read a review here, and an interview here.


Gun Love: A Novel by Jennifer Clement.  Pearl’s mother took her away from her family just weeks after she was born, and drove off to central Florida determined to begin a new life for herself and her daughter–in the parking lot next to a trailer park. Pearl grew up in the front seat of their ’94 Mercury, while her mother lived in the back.  Despite their hardships, mother and daughter both adjusted to life, making friends with the residents of the trailers and creating a deep connection to each other.  All around them, Florida is populated with gun owners–those hunting alligators for sport, those who want to protect their families, and those who create a sense of danger.  Written in a gorgeous lyric all its own, Gun Love is the story of a tough but optimistic young woman growing up in contemporary America, in the midst of its harrowing love affair with firearms.  You can read reviews here and here.


Song of a Captive Bird: A Novel by Jasmin Darznik.  All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest.  She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel–gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother’s walled garden, venturing to the forbidden rooftop to roughhouse with her three brothers, writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father, and sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glacé.  During the summer of 1950, Forugh’s passion for poetry takes flight–and tradition seeks to clip her wings.  Inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad’s verse, letters, films, and interviews–and including original translations of her poems–this haunting novel uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and conflicting desires of a brave woman who represents the birth of feminism in Iran–and who continues to inspire generations of women around the world.  You can read about the author’s inspiration for this novel here.

Launching Digital Projects from Scratch – Some Advice

Guest post by Adrian Linden-High, PhD student in Classical Studies, Humanities Writ Large research assistant with Digital Scholarship Services at Duke University Libraries in the spring of 2017.

Image tiles of Polygonal Wall: Zach Heater (CC-BY).

Getting a digital project off the ground by yourself can be challenging. With rare exceptions, digital projects rely on collaboration – for the simple reason that it is impossible to unite in one person all the skills needed to deliver a digital product of which fellow scholars will take any note. Still, if you come up with an idea for a digital project, you will almost certainly first have to build prototypes and mock-ups on your own to communicate your vision to potential collaborators. Even this preliminary work in the digital arena represents a challenge for most of us. In this post, I summarize what I have learned from going through the process of starting a digital project from scratch and offer some general advice that will take you to the next, more collaborative, stage of your digital project.

Set realistic goals

Especially if you are new to digital humanities (DH), your project will most likely take much longer to complete than you expect. There are always unforeseen hurdles along the way. Even simple tasks, such as transferring data from one hard drive to another, can be plagued by snags: the data volume in digital projects is often much larger than you encounter in day-to-day computing tasks; if you are working across operating systems (in my case, Mac and PC), you have to make sure you are using a compatible file system for your external hard drives. You get the point. For your project to be a success later, it is shrewd to set realistic goals at the outset. Be ready to scale back your expectations for the initial phase of your project. Just get something up and running. To be sure, this won’t be your final product!

An image stitching project I am working on easily fills 75% of a 1TB external hard drive. I formatted it using the exFAT file system, which is read/write compatible between Windows and OS X and also supports unlimited file size. Click on image for more info on file systems.

Seek out help

Tenaciously seeking out help is vital in the early stages of a digital project. Don’t be satisfied with one answer; get multiple opinions and choose the one that seems the best fit for your abilities, your project goals, and the current phase of your project. It’s worth exploring several tool kits and workflows. There are at least three pools you can dip into for opinions:

  • At your own institution you will most easily have access to students and faculty at your department who are working on digital projects. There may also be a DH unit embedded in your institution’s library (for example, the Digital Scholarship Services department at Duke University Libraries). Beyond this, most colleges and universities have IT professionals who can be extraordinarily helpful, though they may have less time for individual consulting or training (for example, Trinity Technology Services at Duke University).
  • Digital humanities training institutes and conferences are a phenomenal way to connect with people who can help you think critically about your project and connect you with other projects that have a similar vision. Don’t expect to be proficient at any digital technology after only a week or two of training. Most of these skills are acquired and honed over the course of years, not weeks. Premiere digital humanities summer institutes include the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria, Canada, and Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching (US). The best outcome you can expect from attending one of these institutes is to have your eyes opened to what is possible and to return home with a welter of new contacts in your address book.
  • Industry is another sphere worth exploring for solutions to your problems. When I was looking for a way to publish and annotate ultra-high resolution visualizations online, I reached out to a company called GIGAmacro that has created such a platform as part of an imaging solution it markets to entomologists, geologists, and manufacturing. I described my project to them and they agreed to let me use their platform free of charge (see GIF demo at the end of this post).

Generate prototypes

It is hard to overstate the value of generating prototypes, especially if you are starting your project as a one-person show and need to drum up interest and funding. Prototyping helps you get a more realistic sense of what is possible and on what time scale. In addition, you will quickly discover how much help you need for a full-scale product and in which areas collaborators are indispensable. Perhaps most importantly, a prototype gives you something to show and share. There is no better way to communicate your idea.

In an initial phase of my digital project focusing on a wall of inscriptions in Delphi, I built an admittedly somewhat clunky mock-up using Lucidchart. Despite many shortcomings, it allowed me to demonstrate what I had in mind and get key advice on how to move forward.

Keep a log

Yes, I know, this one sounds like drudgery, especially for folks from the humanities who aren’t familiar with lab notebooks. But keeping a log for a digital project will save you much time and frustration, believe me. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Tool comparison: When testing tooling options for your project, you will benefit from recording the positives and negatives of each potential digital tool, perhaps even in a table or spreadsheet. It is easy to get confused as to which tool offers which feature. A log also helps you keep track of which ones you have already tried.
  • Reproducibility: Once you have made tooling decisions and are working with the software solution of your choice, you might want to record all the settings you are adjusting in the program. This is especially advisable for things like image processing or stitching where it might take many iterations of fine-tuning settings and rendering to get the desired result. You need an exact record of what you did not only for the sake of convenience and reproducibility, but also methodological transparency. Some programs can generate logs. Take advantage of them!

    If specialized software does not allow you to save a log, consider making screenshots of your tweaked settings for later reference. In this case, I was experimenting with the sliders at the bottom and needed a record of which combinations I had already tried.
  • Project management: A more prosaic reason for keeping a log is that for many of us digital projects are not the main thing we do. They are often side projects and not our bread and butter, at least not yet. And when you haven’t worked on something in a long time, you naturally forget where you left off. A log entry can serve as a great springboard to get back into a slumbering project.
An excerpt from a log I kept while working a visualization of Delphic inscriptions. This entry reflects my struggles with file systems (I had to reformat to exFAT because I was working cross-platform) and preserves some code (a terminal command) I later referred to multiple times.

Start with a small sample of your data

As with any research project, digital or analog, test your idea with a small sample of your data. This is particularly relevant in the digital sphere where you most likely will not have all the necessary skills to tackle all the components of your projects. In the early stages, you can often bridge these gaps temporarily with mock-ups made with less than suitable tools. With a small sample, processing times will be shorter, and data will be more manageable. You are less likely, overall, to get overwhelmed right at the outset. Remember as well that you are testing whether a process will work or not. If you try to be as comprehensive as possible with the first iteration, you run the risk of wasting time and resources on a flawed approach. You can always scale up your project once something small works well. Starting with a small sample, finally, is a great reality check in terms of your hardware capabilities. If your current hardware configuration struggles to process a small sample, you know you will need to find more powerful computers to tackle the next stage.

The animated gif above illustrates how I progressively added more tiles to an image stitching task, going from three to ca. fifty. My laptop crashed when I attempted to stitch 100 tiles, whereupon I had to migrate to a lab with beefier machines. There I finally succeeded in stitching my entire batch of 600 image tiles.

Prioritize project components

Once you have determined the building blocks your project falls into, it is time to decide what to tackle first. Many variables enter this equation and they will be weighted differently from project to project, so it is hard to give general advice. One thing worth thinking about is what potential collaborators and funders are interested in. More likely than not, they will not be looking for a flashy demo, but solid ground in terms of planning and project feasibility. Some Digital Humanities grant programs focus on social infrastructure, planning, and collaboration as much as (or more than) technology per se. Having said that, a prototype of your project can be a phenomenally effective way to communicate your idea. If it is visually appealing, all the better. Above all, as I stated at the outset, remember to be realistic: you have time and resource constraints, and everything will take longer than you expect. Projects can get derailed by focusing too much on creating something flashy to the exclusion of more essential project components, like content creation, target audience assessment, data structuring, or rights/fair use assessment, to name a few.

A more advanced prototype of the visualization of the wall of inscriptions in Delphi using the GIGAmacro Viewer which includes features such as support for extreme resolution images, polygon annotations, and many more. Click on the image to have a look yourself!

 

Good luck!

 


Adrian Linden-High is a fifth-year Classical Studies PhD student at Duke University whose research centers on inscriptions and papyri that capture what everyday life was like in the ancient world. Currently, he is working on a rich archive of inscriptions from Delphi recording more than 1,000 slave manumissions (see digital visualization prototype). In the spring of 2017, he served as a Humanities Writ Large research assistant with Digital Scholarship Services at Duke University Libraries.

What to Read this Month: July 2018

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


Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch.   You’re British.   Your parents are British.  You were raised in Britain.  Your partner, your children and most of your friends are British.  So why do people keep asking you where you are from?  Brit(ish),  which is part memoir, part reportage, and part commentary, is about a search for identity. It is about the everyday racism that plagues British society. It is about our awkward, troubled relationship with our history.  You can read reviews here and here.


The Parking Lot Attendant: A Novel by Nafkote Tamirat is a haunting story of fatherhood, national identity, and what it means to be an immigrant in America today.  It explores how who we love, the choices we make, and the places we’re from combine to make us who we are.  The story begins on an undisclosed island where the unnamed narrator and her father are the two newest and least liked members of a commune that has taken up residence there.  Though the commune was built on utopian principles, it quickly becomes clear that life here is not as harmonious as the founders intended.  After immersing us in life on the island, our young heroine takes us back to Boston to recount the events that brought her here.  You can read reviews here and here.  You might also be interested in this interview with the author.


Creative Quest by Questlove.  A unique new guide to creativity from Questlove–inspirations, stories, and lessons on how to live your best creative life.  Questlove–musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary entrepreneur, professor, and all-around cultural omnivore–shares his wisdom on the topics of inspiration and originality in a one-of-a-kind guide to living your best creative life.  In Creative Quest, Questlove synthesizes all the creative philosophies, lessons, and stories he’s heard from the many creators and collaborators in his life, and reflects on his own experience, to advise readers and fans on how to consider creativity and where to find it.  He addresses many topics–what it means to be creative, how to find a mentor and serve as an apprentice, the wisdom of maintaining a creative network, coping with critics and the foibles of success, and the specific pitfalls of contemporary culture–all in the service of guiding admirers who have followed his career and newcomers not yet acquainted with his story.


The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past by Shaun Walker provides a deeply reported, bottom-up explanation of Russia’s resurgence under Putin.  By cleverly exploiting the memory of the Soviet victory over fascism in World War II, Putin’s regime has made ordinary Russians feel that their country is great again.  Walker provides new insight into contemporary Russia and its search for a new identity, telling the story through the country’s troubled relationship with its Soviet past.  He not only explains Vladimir Putin’s goals and the government’s official manipulations of history, but also focuses on ordinary Russians and their motivations.  He charts how Putin raised victory in World War II to the status of a national founding myth in the search for a unifying force to heal a divided country, and shows how dangerous the ramifications of this have been.  If you want to learn more, you might find this video of a talk he gave at the NYU’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.


Odd Girl Out: My Extraordinary Autistic Life by Laura James is a sensory portrait of an autistic mind.  From childhood, Laura James knew she was different.  She struggled to cope in a world that often made no sense to her, as though her brain had its own operating system.  It wasn’t until she reached her forties that she found out why: suddenly and surprisingly, she was diagnosed with autism.  With a touching and searing honesty, Laura challenges everything we think we know about what it means to be autistic. Married with four children and a successful journalist, Laura examines the ways in which autism has shaped her career, her approach to motherhood, and her closest relationships. Laura’s upbeat, witty writing offers new insight into the day-to-day struggles of living with autism, as her extreme attention to sensory detail–a common aspect of her autism–is fascinating to observe through her eyes.  You can read a review here, and learn more about the author’s experience here.

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.

What to Read this Month: June 2018

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


The Elizas by Sara Shepard (the author of Pretty Little Liars) is the her first adult novel.  It’s an Hitchcockian double narrative composed of lies, false memories, and a protagonist who must uncover the truth for survival.  When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt.  But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness. Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?  You can read an excerpt here.


Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds by Lauren Slater.  Although one in five Americans now takes at least one psychotropic drug, the fact remains that nearly seventy years after doctors first began prescribing them, not even their creators understand exactly how or why these drugs work–or don’t work–on what ails our brains.  Blue Dreams offers the explosive story of the discovery and development of psychiatric medications, as well as the science and the people behind their invention, told by a riveting writer and psychologist who shares her own experience with the highs and lows of psychiatric drugs.  Lauren Slater’s revelatory account charts psychiatry’s journey from its earliest drugs, Thorazine and lithium, up through Prozac and other major antidepressants of the present. In her thorough analysis of each treatment,  Slater asks three fundamental questions: how was the drug born, how does it work (or fail to work), and what does it reveal about the ailments it is meant to treat?  You can read reviews here and here.  You might also find this NPR interview interesting.


The House of Broken Angels: A Novel by Luis Alberto Urrea.  In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party.  But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend.  Among the guests is Big Angel’s half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life.  The story of the de La Cruzes is the quintessential American story.  This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border.  You can read reviews here and here.  You might also like to read about the inspiration for the novel.


The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-breaking Power of Strength and Resilience by Jennifer Pharr Davis, National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2012 and a a record holder of the FKT (fastest known time) on the Appalachian Trail.  She reveals the secrets and habits behind endurance as she chronicles her incredible accomplishments in the world of endurance hiking, backpacking, and trail running.  With a storyteller’s ear for fascinating detail and description, Davis takes readers along as she trains and sets her record, analyzing and trail-testing the theories and methodologies espoused by her star-studded roster of mentors. She distills complex rituals and histories into easy-to-understand tips and action items that will help you take perseverance to the next level.  You can read an excerpt here.


Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty.  Caddyshack is one of the most beloved comedies of all time, a classic snobs vs. slobs story of working class kids and the white collar buffoons that make them haul their golf bags in the hot summer sun. It has sex, drugs and one very memorable candy bar, but the movie we all know and love didn’t start out that way, and everyone who made it certainly didn’t have the word “classic” in mind as the cameras were rolling.  Chris Nashawaty, film critic for Entertainment Weekly,  goes behind the scenes of the iconic film, chronicling the rise of comedy’s greatest deranged minds as they form The National Lampoon, turn the entertainment industry on its head, and ultimately blow up both a golf course and popular culture as we know it.  It is at once an eye-opening narrative about one of the most interesting, surreal, and dramatic film productions there’s ever been, and a rich portrait of the biggest, and most revolutionary names in Hollywood. So, it’s got that going for it…which is nice.

The Great American Read on PBS

The Great American Read premiers on PBS tonight at 8:00 pm.  It’s going to be an 8 part series hosted by Meredith Vieira.  They have a list of the 100 titles selected (along with a checklist you can download) on their website, and voting opens after the first episode.  You can see how they selected the titles on their about page.

As you can imagine, we have many of the titles here in our library.  I’ve randomly selected a couple of titles from each of the nine categories to highlight some of what we own (these are no indication of how I will be voting).

Mystery/Horror

Romance

Classic

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Adventure

Coming of Age

Young Adult

Contemporary

Literary

You might also check if Durham Public Library and Chapel Hill Public Library have copies!

Join the conversation by using their hashtag #GreatReadPBS. I’m thinking about starting a campaign to include Mrs. Dalloway and Kindred!

What to Read this Month: May 2018

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


Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans, VICE futures editor and lead singer of the band YACHT.  She presents the first social history of women and the internet. These innovators, concentrating where computers have made our lives better, richer, and more connected, are the unsung heroes of network culture.  The book features women who have pioneered technology, like Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Stacy Horn, as well as database poets, desktop thespians, cyber-ingenues, glass ceiling-shattering entrepreneurs, and the self-proclaimed “biggest bitch in Silicon Alley.”  You can read an interview with the author here, and a book recommendation from the editors of Scientific American.


Circe by Madeline Miller.  In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.  With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.  Read reviews here, here, and here.  You may also like this interview with the author.


 How To Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price.  Packed with tested strategies and practical tips, this book is the essential, life-changing guide for everyone who owns a smartphone.  Is your phone the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch before bed? Do you frequently pick it up “just to check,” only to look up forty-five minutes later wondering where the time has gone? Do you say you want to spend less time on your phone–but have no idea how to do so without giving it up completely? If so, this book is your solution.  You can read some of her advice in this NYT article.


I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell.  Ann Patchett had this to say about this book: “I Am I Am I Am is a gripping and glorious investigation of death that leaves the reader feeling breathless, grateful, and fully alive.  Maggie O’Farrell is a miracle in every sense.  I will never forget this book.”  This astonishing memoir recounts the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life.   Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.  In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.


Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala.  In the long-anticipated novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences.  It explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles.  It is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people.  You can read reviews here, here, and 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.

Earning While They’re Learning: Getting in Tune with the Music Library

“Earning While They’re Learning” is an occasional series of stories celebrating our library student workers. The Duke University Libraries employ more than 250 undergraduates and graduate students every year, making us one of the largest student employers on campus.


Tucked inside the Mary Duke Biddle Building on East Campus, the Music Library is not like most other libraries at Duke. It’s small, quiet, and out of the way. Many students might not even know it exists. But for senior Rachel Thompson, the library has become something of a second home over the past three years.

Rachel is one of the first people you typically see at the front desk when you walk into the Music Library. As a student employee, she does a bit of everything—working with patrons, stacking and reshelving, sorting through books, scores, microfiche, and CDs. In all her time at Duke, she’s never considered applying for any other job.

“A lot of times people complain like, ‘Ugh, I’ve got to go to work,’ ” she says. “But I’m like, ‘I can’t relate!’ ”

As you descend the steps from the library’s main floor into the stacks and study rooms below, it’s not hard to see why. Perfectly peaceful and still, it’s a little oasis of sanity, tucked away from the chaos of academic life.

“I really like the aura of this place,” she says when asked about why she enjoys working here so much. “I typically only study in this library.”

For Rachel, a pre-dental philosophy major with a minor in chemistry, working in the library gives her a chance to get in touch with some parts of herself that can be hard to find other places. She played trombone in high school and has played piano for most of her life, and she’s currently part of Duke’s gospel choir. Working in the Music Library lets Rachel immerse herself in music—not just scores, she’s quick to point out, but also books on music theory, music history, and music’s evolution across different genres and cultures.

When asked about her future plans, in fact, Rachel says her work in music libraries may not necessarily end with graduation.

“I actually wouldn’t mind working in a library later in life,” she says. “I like books, I like music … and music libraries are fun because you get to see the scores, which is a little bit different than just your run-of-the-mill book.”

When asked about an especially good day on her job, Rachel has a hard time picking out just one.

“Well, towards the end of the semester, the person who’s over us typically will have an end-of-semester party, which is always nice—free food, you know… but, let’s see…” her voice trails off. “Most days are pretty good!”


About this Series: Students like Rachel are an indispensable part of our library workforce. Their employment provides Duke students with valuable financial aid to support their education, and they learn useful skills that enhance their academic studies and careers after college. This year, to encourage senior giving to the Libraries, George Grody (Associate Professor of Markets and Management Studies) has set up the Grody Senior Challenge. Every gift made by the Class of 2018 to the Libraries Annual Fund will be matched by Professor Grody. All funds will directly support library student workers who provide research and instructional help.

Happy National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate by reading some great poetry.  Of course we have a lot of poetry books in our circulating collection, including:

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith, the current Poet Laureate

The Magic My Body Becomes by Jess Rizkallah

Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems by Olena Kalytiak Davis

Bestiary by Donika Kelly

Lessons on Expulsion by Erika Sanchez

When My Brother Was An Aztec by Natalie Diaz

Whereas by Layli Long Soldier

Divinity School by Alicia Jo Rabins

The Academy of Hay by Julia Shipley

The January Children by Safia Elhillo

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Beast Meridian by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Breaking Poems by Suheir Hammad

Made in Detroit by Marge Piercy

Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patrica Lockwood

Finally please enjoy “The Universe is a House Party”!

What to Read this Month: April 2018

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


Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates.  The world building of Wakanda continues in a love story where tenderness is matched only by brutality! You know them now as the Midnight Angels, but in this story they are just Ayo and Aneka, young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. Their first assignment will be to protect Queen Shuri… but what happens when your nation needs your hearts and minds, but you already gave them to each other? Meanwhile, former king T’Challa lies with bedfellows so dark, disgrace is inevitable. Plus, explore the true origins of the People’s mysterious leader, Zenzi. Black Panther thinks he knows who Zenzi is and how she got her powers – but he only knows part of the story! COLLECTING: BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA 1-6.


Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble.  A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms Run a Google search for “black girls”–what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different.  Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities.  Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online.  If you are interested in more information,  here’s a review.  You might also be interested in the author’s presentation at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society at Berkeley.


The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara.  A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning.  Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness, and fierce yearning, The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit.  You can read reviews here and here.  You might also like to read this interview with the author.

 


Peach by Emma Glass.  Something has happened to Peach. Staggering around the town streets in the aftermath of an assault, Peach feels a trickle of blood down her legs, a lingering smell of her anonymous attacker on her skin. It hurts to walk, but she manages to make her way to her home, where she stumbles into another oddly nightmarish reality: Her parents can’t seem to comprehend that anything has happened to their daughter. The next morning, Peach tries to return to the routines of her ordinary life, going to classes, spending time with her boyfriend, Green, trying to find comfort in the thought of her upcoming departure for college. And yet, as Peach struggles through the next few days, she is stalked by the memories of her unacknowledged trauma.  In this astonishing debut, Emma Glass articulates the unspeakable with breathtaking verve. Intensely physical, with rhythmic, visceral prose, Peach marks the arrival of a visionary new voice.  You can read reviews here and here.


The Real Life of the Parthenon by Patricia Vigderman.  Ownership battles over the marbles removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin have been rumbling into invective, pleading, and counterclaims for two centuries. The emotional temperature around them is high, and steering across the vast past to safe anchor in a brilliant heritage is tricky. The stories around antiquities become distorted by the pull of ownership, and it is these stories that urge Patricia Vigderman into her own exploration of their inspiring legacy in this compelling extended essay.  You can read reviews here and here.

The Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award

Jumbled letters (photo by Laineys Repetoire – CC-BY)

What is the Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award?

The Rosati Creative Writing Prize is awarded each spring in recognition of an outstanding work of creative writing. All Duke undergraduate students are eligible to submit work for consideration. Projects may be any genre and take any form (audio/video, digital media, etc.), but must include a substantial creative writing component.  The Rosati Prize was established in 1978 by Walter McGowan Upchurch in honor of Rudolph William Rosati “to encourage, advance and reward creative writing among students at the University and particularly among undergraduate students.”

Prize: $1500

Is my paper eligible?

  • You must be a Duke undergraduate student
  • You may submit multiple, different projects in a given year but each project should be submitted individually with an accompanying application cover sheet
  • Submitted projects must have been written during the current academic year
  • At this time submissions must be written in English
  • No minimum or maximum length required

How do I apply?

To be eligible for the Rudolph William Rosati Creative Writing Award, email the following to Arianne Hartsell-Gundy by May 15, 2018:

  • application cover sheet (see form)
  • The creative work (send written projects as either a Word document or pdf.  If it’s a multimedia project, please send URL of the project or email Arianne Hartsell-Gundy for alternative means of delivery)
  • A faculty letter of support (see form)
  • The faculty member should e-mail the letter of support in a separate file to Arianne Hartsell-Gundy

How is a winner chosen?

  • The selection committee, consisting of two Libraries staff members and two faculty members, judges the papers
  • Projects are judged based on quality and originality of writing
  • The committee reserves the right to split the award among more than one author, or to award no prize

For More Information

Contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Librarian for Literature and Theater Studies (arianne.hartsell.gundy@duke.edu), for more information.

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.

 

What to Read this Month: March 2018

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


Brass: A Novel by Xhenet Aliu.  Celeste Ng described this novel as “”a fierce, big-hearted, unflinching debut.”  A waitress at the Betsy Ross Diner, Elsie hopes her nickel-and-dime tips will add up to a new life.  Then she meets Bashkim, who is at once both worldly and naive, a married man who left Albania to chase his dreams–and wound up working as a line cook in Waterbury, Connecticut.  Elsie, herself the granddaughter of Lithuanian immigrants, falls in love quickly, but when she learns that she’s pregnant, Elsie can’t help wondering where Bashkim’s heart really lies, and what he’ll do about the wife he left behind. Seventeen years later, headstrong and independent Luljeta receives a rejection letter from NYU and her first-ever suspension from school on the same day.  Instead of striking out on her own in Manhattan, she’s stuck in Connecticut with her mother, Elsie–a fate she refuses to accept.


Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake is the first comprehensive account of the growing dominance of the intangible economy.  For the first time, the major developed economies began to invest more in intangible assets, like design, branding, R&D, and software, than in tangible assets, like machinery, buildings, and computers.  Haskel and Westlake bring together a decade of research on how to measure intangible investment and its impact on national accounts, showing the amount different countries invest in intangibles, how this has changed over time, and the latest thinking on how to assess this.


Gnomon: A Novel by Nick Harkaway is a virtuosic new novel set in a near-future, high-tech surveillance state, that is equal parts dark comedy, gripping detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle.  In the world of Gnomon, citizens are constantly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of ‘transparency.’  Every action is seen, every word is recorded, and the System has access to its citizens’ thoughts and memories–all in the name of providing the safest society in history.  You can read reviews herehere, and here.


The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes offers a passionate and informative celebration of birds and their ability to help us understand the world we live in. As well as exploring how birds achieve the miracle of flight; why birds sing; what they tell us about the seasons of the year and what their presence tells us about the places they inhabit, The Meaning of Birds muses on the uses of feathers, the drama of raptors, the slaughter of pheasants, the infidelities of geese, and the strangeness of feeling sentimental about blue tits while enjoying a chicken sandwich.  From the mocking-birds of the Galapagos who guided Charles Darwin toward his evolutionary theory, to the changing patterns of migration that alert us to the reality of contemporary climate change, Simon Barnes explores both the intrinsic wonder of what it is to be a bird–and the myriad ways in which birds can help us understand the meaning of life.


The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures by Antonio Damasio.  The Strange Order of Things is a pathbreaking investigation into homeostasis, the condition of that regulates human physiology within the range that makes possible not only the survival but also the flourishing of life. Antonio Damasio makes clear that we descend biologically, psychologically, and even socially from a long lineage that begins with single living cells; that our minds and cultures are linked by an invisible thread to the ways and means of ancient unicellular life and other primitive life-forms; and that inherent in our very chemistry is a powerful force, a striving toward life maintenance that governs life in all its guises, including the development of genes that help regulate and transmit life.  Read reviews here and here.

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.

 

Read Longmire with Low Maintenance Book Club

At the next meeting of the Duke University Libraries’ Low Maintenance Book Club we will be heading west to Absaroka County, Wyoming with the reading of “Messenger,” a short story from Craig Johnson’s popular Longmire series (which has been adapted into a TV series on Netflix).  The story can be found in Wait for Signs: Twelves Longmire Stories, which is available at the Durham County Library and UNC Chapel Hill.  We also have a copy that will soon be arriving here at Duke.

Please register for this event.  Light refreshments will be served.

Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

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

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!

What to Read this Month: February 2018

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

If you’re looking for even more things to read, I have two other suggestions for you!  First the Low Maintenance Book Club this month is doing a special discussion called “Love between the Covers.”  It’s a chance for people to recommend a book they’ve recently read and loved and for other people to connect with new titles.  We’ll have snacks and some games.  Please join us!

Also, we now have access to NoveList Plus, which is a resource that can help you find lists of recommendations for fiction and non-fiction books based on genres, award winners, etc.  My favorite feature is the “appeal mixer,” which allows you to select several categories and then get recommendations based on it.  For example, if you select fast-paced brooding character with a mystical tone, you get suggestions like Alice Hoffman’s The Story Sisters.

In the meantime here are several selections from our collections!


In Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia, Michael Shermer sets out to discover what drives humans’ belief in life after death, focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality along with utopian attempts to create heaven on earth. For millennia, religions have concocted numerous manifestations of heaven and the afterlife, and though no one has ever returned from such a place to report what it is really like–or that it even exists–today science and technology are being used to try to make it happen in our lifetime. From radical life extension to cryonic suspension to mind uploading, Shermer considers how realistic these attempts are from a proper skeptical perspective. Heavens on Earth concludes with an uplifting paean to purpose and progress and how we can live well in the here-and-now, whether or not there is a hereafter.  You can read an NYT review here and the Washington Post review here.


Heartland by Ana Simo. In a word-drunk romp through an alternate, pre-apocalyptic United States, Ana Simo’s fiction debut is the uproarious story of a thwarted writer’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, blending elements of telenovela, pulp noir, and dystopian satire. It’s a hilarious, genre-defying debut that confronts taboos of race, assimilation, and sex through a high-voltage tale of love, language, and revenge. You can read a review here. You might also enjoy this podcast.

 


Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard ( with illustrations by Vanessa Baird and translated from the Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey).   Autumn, first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the four seasons, begins with a letter Karl Ove Knausgaard writes to his unborn daughter, showing her what to expect of the world. He writes one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. He describes with acute sensitivity daily life with his wife and children in rural Sweden, drawing upon memories of his own childhood to give an inimitably tender perspective on the precious and unique bond between parent and child. The sun, wasps, jellyfish, eyes, lice–the stuff of everyday life is the fodder for his art. Nothing is too small or too vast to escape his attention. This beautifully illustrated book is a personal encyclopaedia on everything from chewing gum to the stars.


Elements of Taste: Understanding What We Like and Why by Benjamin Errett. Celine Dion. Kanye West. Hamilton. Stranger Things. Wes Anderson. The Bachelor. Doctor Who. House Hunters. The Girl on the Train. We all have our most and least favorite things. But why? This smart, funny and well-researched book brings together the latest findings from the worlds of psychology, neuroscience, market research, and more to examine what taste really means–and what it can teach us about ourselves. Covering kitsch, nostalgia, “comfort food,” snobbery, bad taste, and what it means to be “basic,” this is the ultimate read for anyone who devours popular and not-so-popular culture.


The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom by Helen Thorpe is a powerful and moving account of how refugee teenagers at a public high school learn English and become Americans, in the care of a compassionate teacher. It follows the lives of twenty-two immigrant teenagers throughout the course of the 2015-2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, Colorado. These newcomers, from fourteen to nineteen years old, come from nations convulsed by drought or famine or war. You can read reviews here, here, and here.

 

Low Maintenance Book Club: Love Between the Covers

Have you ever fallen for a book? Want to shout your love from the rooftops, or *ahem* just share about it at a meeting? If so, join us for the February 27th Low Maintenance Book Club meeting to talk about your favorite reads from the past year and to get recommendations from others. If you tell us (aah39@duke) which books you’d like to talk about beforehand, we’ll try to have a library copy available for checkout at the meeting.  We’ll also have snacks and book-themed games to kick off the first meeting of the semester. We hope you’ll join us!

Date: Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Register for this discussion.  Light refreshments will be served.

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

Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin passed away last week, which is a great loss for both the science fiction and fantasy genres.  There have been some great retrospectives and reflections written about her in the last week.  I especially like The Subversive Imagination of Ursula K. Le Guin and Ten Things I Learned from Ursula K. Le Guin.  You might also want to see what Neil Gaiman had to say in his essay Ursula K. Le Guin: The Rabble-Rouser with a Gentle Smile.

Here is Le Guin’s response when asked what she wanted to see happen to her books after she died:

“I want them to be available, I want cheap paper editions of them, I want them to be continuously downloaded in forty different languages, I want them to be read, I want them to be argued about, I want people to cry over them, I want unreadable dissertations written about them, I want people to get angry with them, I want people to love them.”

In that spirit, here are several titles we have in our collection:

The Unreal and The Real: The Selected Short Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness

The Lathe of Heaven: A Novel

The Telling

A Wizard of Earthsea

The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena Stories and Songs

The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia

The Birthday of the World and Other Stories

She also wrote several collections of essays and frequently wrote about the craft of writing:

Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story

The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination

No Time to Spare: Thinking about What Matters

Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places

Let me end with this awesome letter she wrote in 1987:

 

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)

Earning While They’re Learning: Lessons Learned at the Rubenstein

Sophomore Gretchen Wright in the Rubenstein Library stacks.

“Earning While They’re Learning” is an occasional series of stories celebrating our library student workers. The Duke University Libraries employ more than 250 undergraduates and graduate students every year, making us one of the largest student employers on campus.


An undeclared sophomore with an interest in English and Classical Studies, student worker Gretchen Wright has found a whole new outlet for her passion for research and the humanities through the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Two hours a day, five days a week, this is where you’ll find Gretchen hard at work among the books she loves—shelving, sorting, and checking out the centuries-old manuscripts that have transformed her journey through Duke over the past two years.

“There are always things that are interesting to me,” Gretchen gushed when asked about her experience in the Rubenstein. “I like books, I like libraries, I like organizing things… I love it. It’s a great place to work!”

With an obvious excitement for history and literature, Gretchen never seems at a loss to find something to marvel at when she gets started talking about her work. Small wonder, too—Gretchen has interacted with some of the rarest, most engaging works in the world in her time at the Rubenstein. First edition Walt Whitman poems, complete with handwritten notes and edits; 16th-century prints of the Malleus Maleficarum, the first-ever witch-hunting manual; written exchanges between Alexander Hamilton and any number of people mentioned in the modern showstopper musical—Gretchen is working with documents that have changed the course of history, and her work at the Rubenstein remains a major source of inspiration for the research her classes often require of her.

“Duke has such a great collection of libraries, and the resources available are incredible,” Gretchen said. “Even though I work at the Rubenstein, we’re constantly interacting and touching and feeling books that I didn’t even know we had.”

Knowing about the documents available to her through the Rubenstein had a major influence on Gretchen. In her poetry class’s final project last fall, for instance, she incorporated a collection of late 19th-century photographs of Durham into a piece on the parallels between history and poetry. The semester after that, she enrolled in a course on the history of the book—held in the Rubenstein itself!

And although she’s not entirely certain where she wants to go in the future, Gretchen’s work in the Libraries has had a clear impact on the path she sees herself pursuing.

“I’ve definitely thought about going into library sciences as a career,” she said. “That’s definitely a possibility I could see myself going into.”

Overall, Gretchen seemed amazed at how much her perspective on research has changed since she began work in the Rubenstein. Before coming here, she had no idea how real and how powerful research in the humanities could be. Her work in the Libraries continues to thrill, challenge, and intrigue her, and the lessons she has learned here have changed her perspective on research forever.

“There’s so much, so many different directions you can take research of any particular topic,” Gretchen said. “Even if you spend hours and hours every day in the library, there will always be something else that you can look at—and I think that’s really great.”


About this Series: Students are an indispensable part of our library workforce. Their employment provides Duke students with valuable financial aid to support their education, and they learn useful skills that enhance their academic studies and careers after college. This year, to encourage senior giving to the Libraries, George Grody (Associate Professor of Markets and Management Studies) has set up the Grody Senior Challenge. Every gift made by the Class of 2018 to the Libraries Annual Fund will be matched by Professor Grody. All funds will directly support library student workers who provide research and instructional help.

What to Read this Month: January 2018

When it’s cold and snowy out, there’s nothing better than a good book (well maybe a hot beverage and some warm blankets).  Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads to enjoy!  Oh and if you’re not planning on leaving the house anytime soon, make sure to see what we have on Overdrive!


All the Beloved Ghosts by Alison MacLeod (a Booker-longlisted author) is a collection of short stories that blend fiction, biography, and memoir.  MacLeod’s characters hover on the border of life and death, where memory is most vivid and the present most elusive.  Moving from the London riots of 2011 to 1920s Nova Scotia, from Oscar Wilde’s grave to the Brighton Pier, these exquisitely formed stories capture the small tragedies and profound truths of existence.  You can find a review here, and you can find an excerpt here.


Before the War by Fay Weldon.  London, 1922. It’s a cold November morning, the station is windswept and rural, the sky is threatening snow, and the train is late. Vivien Ripple, 20 years old and an ungainly five foot eleven, waits on the platform at Dilberne Halt. She is wealthy and well-bred–only daughter to the founder of Ripple & Co, the nation’s top publisher–but plain, painfully awkward, and, perhaps worst of all, intelligent.  But she has a plan. That very morning, Vivvie will ride to the city with the express purpose of changing her life forever.  With one eye on the present and one on the past, Fay Weldon offers Vivien’s fate, along with that of London between World Wars I and II: a city fizzing with change, full of flat-chested flappers, shell-shocked soldiers, and aristocrats clinging to history.


Murder in the Manuscript Room is the second in Con Lehane’s 42nd Street Library mystery series.  It is a smart, compelling mystery in which the characters themselves are at least as interesting as the striking sleuthing. When a murder desecrates the somber, book-lined halls of New York City’s iconic 42nd Street Library, Raymond Ambler, the library’s curator of crime fiction, has a personal interest in solving the crime. His quest to solve the murder is complicated by personal entanglements involving his friend–or perhaps more-than-friend–Adele Morgan. No one else sees the connections Ambler is sure are there–not an unusual state of affairs for Ambler.


Careers for Women: A Novel by Joanna Scott.  New York in the late 1950s. A city, and a world, on the cusp of change…Careers for Women is a masterful novel about the difficulties of building a career, a dream, or a life–and about the powerful small mercies of friendship and compassion.  There are reviews from the New York Times and the Boston Globe Kate Atkinson described it as a “[…] spectacular novel about the dreams women chase, the choices we make and the power of those decisions to undo us at every turn. I loved it.”


The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden. From a new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humor.   Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.  Listed as a Book Riot Best Books of 2017 Pick and a Vulture “The 10 Best Fantasy Books of 2017” Pick!

Happy Birthday, Jane!

December 16th was Jane Austen’s birthday!  This year was the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death!  Check out the #JaneAusten200 hashtag for some of the conversations around this event.   Even an airline is getting in on the celebration! Also, did you know that Jane is now on British money?

In celebration of her birthday and the anniversary of her death, here are several new titles published this year about her:

The Making of Jane Austen

Satire, Celebrity, and Politics in Jane Austen

The Genius of Jane Austen: Her Love of Theatre and Why She Works in Hollywood

Jane Austen: Writer in the World

Jane Austen and Her World

Since Persuasion turns 200 this year too, here are some titles related to this novel:

Persuasion: Authoritative Texts, Background and Contexts, Criticism

Persuasion: An Annotated Edition

Persuasion

Liberty in Jane Austen’s Persuasion

A Revolution Almost Beyond Expression: Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Persuasion and Persuasion (film versions)

Some people (okay, me) contend that Persuasion is her greatest novel, so you might want to give it a try!

Finally, check out this Vogue slideshow inspired by Jane Austen!

 

 

What to Read this Month: December 2017

Looking for a great read for the last month of 2017? Drop by the New & Noteworthy Collection on the 1st floor of Perkins Library!  Also, don’t forget our Current Literature collection at Lilly Library. There you’ll find, among others*:

Where the Animals Go: Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps and Graphics by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti. Using new technology, Cheshire and Uberti peer into age-old patterns of animal migration and behavior. The perfect read for the cartography nut, the science geek, or anyone curious about the natural world! You can find excerpts here and read the NPR review of it here.

 


Eat the Beetles! An Exploration of Our Conflicted Relationship with Insects by David Waltner-Toews. If you’ve ever been to Cafe Insecta at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ BugFest, you might have sampled a dish made with bugs! Eat the Beetles focuses on entomophagy (people eating insects) throughout history, weaving cultural, ecological, and evolutionary narratives in a humorous tone.

 

 


After Anatevka by Alexandra Silber. Fiddler on the Roof, the story of Tevye, his wife, and five daughters living in turn of the century Russia, ends with most of the family leaving Anatevka for good…but what about Hodel, the second daughter, who departs the story early to join her fiance in Siberia? Alexandra Silber imagines Hodel and Perchik’s lives after they leave their village, making a life together away from other family and among political turmoil. You can read the NY Times article about the book and its author here.

 


Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives. A thirty-something museum curator investigates – hilariously – when one of her colleagues goes mysteriously missing. Check out the NY Times review of it here.

 

 

 


The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin. An anthology focused on the djiin/genie as characters in stories and folklore, Murad and Shurin collect tales from eminent writers such as Neil Gaiman, Amal El-Mohtar, Nnedi Okorafor, and more. Tor has a neat review of it here and Publisher’s Weekly’s shorter take on it can be found here.

 

 


*Selections and descriptions by UNC Field Experience Student Ellen Cline.

What to Read this Month: November 2017

Happy November, readers! Do you find yourself looking at the calendar and wondering where the time has gone this semester? Don’t worry – our New & Noteworthy collection on the 1st floor of Perkins Library is here for your reading pleasure year-round. This month we’ve* picked out five (well, six) new books we hope you’ll enjoy.


Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum by James Delbourgo. Though the scope of its collection has drawn fire over the years,  the British Museum has formidable holdings of artifacts from around the world. Curious about how it came to be? James Delbourgo’s biography of Hans Sloane recounts the story behind its creation, told through the life of a figure with an insatiable ambition to pit universal knowledge against superstition and the means to realize his dream. You can read a review here.

 


The Black Tides of Heaven & The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang. An introductory pair of novellas from JY Yang’s new Tensorate Series, each follows one of twin main characters. Akeha (the protagonist of The Black Tides of Heaven) struggles with his belief in a rebel cause and his desire to remain close to his sister, Mokoya (a prophetess and the protagonist of The Red Threads of Fortune) who spends her days hunting monstrous beasts in the sky. You can read Tor’s introduction to/review of the series here.

 


Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony: The Story of a Gamble, Two Black Holes, and a New Age of Astronomy by Marcia Bartusiak. Einstein predicted gravitational waves years ago, but only recently were scientists able to prove their existence! Bartusiak traces the quest of astronomers to build the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, the most accurate measuring devices humans have created, and the discovery of gravitational waves, revealing the brilliance, personalities, and luck required to start a new age of astronomy. Still curious about LIGO and recent cosmic events? You can read all about news from the observatory here.


The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Peter Devereaux. From the Library of Congress comes an ode to all things written and to the fading world of card catalogs. Packed with bookish information and full-color photographs, this is a work that can delight the new library initiate as well as the library aficionado.

 

 


Cold Pastoral by Rebecca Dunham. A lyrical look at our world and our place in it…and our effect on it. Dunham covers natural and man-made disasters, everything from Deepwater Horizon to Hurricane Katrina. This collection finds the intersection between moral witness and shattering art in poetry. You can find a review here.

 

 


*Selections and descriptions by UNC Field Experience Student Ellen Cline.

Upcoming British Music Performances at Duke

Upcoming British music performances at Duke
Upcoming British music performances at Duke

A weekend of British music begins this Friday, Nov. 3, with a performance by The Villiers Quartet at 8:00 p.m. in Baldwin Auditorium.

The Villiers Quartet is quickly establishing a reputation as champions of 20th-21st century British (and American) music. This concert in Duke’s Baldwin Auditorium, part of their 2017 North American tour, features a wonderful balance of the lushly romantic Delius (in its original 1916 version), the lyrical poise of American composer/violinist Andrew Waggoner’s recent score Every Sentient Being, and unusual British pieces from the 1920s (Bush’s Dialectic) and 1950s (Fricker’s Quartet No. 2).

The Villiers are currently Quartet-in-Residence at Oxford University. The Strad hailed them as among the most charismatic and “adventurous” players on the scene.  The Villiers Quartet has released several highly-acclaimed CDs on Naxos which are available from the Duke Music Library, most recently a recording of the Delius String Quartet (original and revised versions) and the Elgar String Quartet.

The public is invited to attend a pre-concert talk given by Daniel Grimley (Merton College, Oxford) at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Seminar Room, Biddle Music Building (adjacent to Baldwin Auditorium).

On Saturday, Nov. 4, at 5:00 p.m. in the Nelson Music Room on Duke’s East Campus, British composer Frank Bridge’s Piano Trio No. 2 (1929), widely considered to be one of his greatest chamber works, will be featured in a concert by violinist Hsiao-mei Ku, Professor in the Duke Department of Music and member of the Ciompi Quartet; pianist R. Larry Todd, Arts and Sciences Professor of Music at Duke; and cellist David Meyer of the North Carolina Symphony.  Listen to a performance of this piece through the Duke Music Library subscription to the Naxos online streaming service.

These two concerts are part of the symposium, British Music & Europe in the Age of Brexit, presented by the Duke University Department of Music and Franklin Humanities Institute: Humanities Futures.

 

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

Happy Birthday, Dylan Thomas!

Today we remember Dylan Thomas for his beautiful poetic gift to the English language.  “Poem in October” was written in memory of his 30th  birthday in 1944; it is  a hymn to autumn and to nature and a meditation on mortality:

Celebrate his birthday with his reading of “Poem in October”

Take a look at some of the books in the library:

Ugly, lovely : Dylan Thomas’s Swansea and Carmarthenshire of the 1950s in pictures

Discovering Dylan Thomas : a companion to the collected poems and notebook poems

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

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.

Hats Off to Our 2017 Writing and Research Award Winners!

This past Friday, October 20, Duke University Libraries was excited to host the reception of our 2017 writing and research award winners. With topics covering everything from the slums of Bangalore to medieval publishers to personal poetry and creative nonfiction, these student superstars ran the gamut of passions, questions, and creative impulses.

No matter how much their interests varied, though, all of the contestants were judged to have made major contributions to their fields. The response was warm, the students’ and advisors’ speeches were phenomenal, and we’re truly thankful to everyone who was in the audience for the pride and support you showed these winners.

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.

Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Alyssa Wong

 

To help get us all in the mood for Halloween, The Low Maintenance Book Club will be reading stories by Alyssa Wong, a Chapel Hill, NC writer who writes fantasy and horror.  She has won several prizes, including a Nebula Award, a John W. Campbell Award, and a Locus Award!

We will be reading two short stories and a short comic: Hungry Daughters of Starving MothersThe Fisher Queen, and The Auntie.

 

Date: Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm (note it’s an earlier start than previous discussions)

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Register for this discussion.  Light refreshments will be served.

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

 

 

What to Read this Month: October 2017

what to read this month

Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads* this month!


Universal HarvesterUniversal Harvester by John Darnielle. Just in time for Halloween, Universal Harvester tells the story of a video store clerk who discovers bizarre videos recorded over the store’s VHS tapes. Darnielle is also known for his work as a musician. You can read more about his local band The Mountain Goats here and find a review of this, his second novel, here.

 

 


Family LexiconFamily Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg. Newly translated from the original Italian by Jenny McPhee, Family Lexicon is an epic saga of family, language, storytelling, and war. First published in 1963, it is set against the backdrop of Mussolini’s rise to power and the tumultuous years of WWII. Ginzburg passed away in 1991, but her autobiographical masterpiece lives on. Check out the review in the New Yorker here.

 


MoonshineMoonshine: A Global History by Kevin R. Kosar is a part of the Edible series. From ancient times to the modern day, Kosar takes the reader on a voyage around the world of DIY distilleries. Stories ranging from amusing to dangerous complete this history of a unique beverage. Spanning the centuries and the globe, this entertaining book will appeal to any food and drink lover who enjoys a little mischief.

 


The ChangelingThe Changeling by Victor LaValle. A new take on a classic tale, this thriller/horror/fantasy novel follows a young father searching for his family. That simple-seeming quest takes him to a forgotten island, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest where immigrant legends still live, and dozens of other places in a wonderful and haunting vision of New York. You can read multiple reviews of The Changeling, from the New York Times, from NPR, or from Tor Books.

 


Affluence without AbundanceAffluence without Abundance by James Suzman. Ever been curious about southern Africa’s San people, also known as the Bushmen? Anthropologist James Suzman documents a proud and private people, introduces unforgettable members of their tribe, and tells the story of the collision between the modern global economy and the oldest hunting and gathering society on Earth. Read an interview with the author and review of the book here.

 


*Selections and descriptions by UNC Field Experience Student Ellen Cline.

 

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!

The Hobbit Turns 80!

 

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”

Happy birthday to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien!  Here are several articles commemorating the day:

The Hobbit at 80: Much More than a Childish Prequel to The Lord of the Rings

Picturing the Hobbit

The Hobbit at 80: What were JRR Tolkien’s Inspirations behind His First Fantasy Tale of Middle Earth?

The Hobbit Is Turning 80.  Here’s What Reviewers Said About It in 1937.

I’m also really fond of this article from the Oxford Dictionaries blog about the origins of the word “hobbit.

If you are interested in (re)reading The Hobbit, we have several copies in our circulating collection.

Here are some images from a lovely book called Art of the Hobbit.

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.

What to Read this Month: September 2017

whattoreadthismonth

It’s September and fall weather is settling in – why not settle in with a good read from our New & Noteworthy or Current Literature collections? We’ve* picked out a variety of titles for this month, from Ugandan novels to books about data visualization, and these few are reflective of a greater diversity within both New & Noteworthy and Current Literature.


The Book of CirclesThe Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge by Manuel Lima. Curious about information visualization? Love spending hours pouring over intricately detailed infographics? Manuel Lima explores historic and present-day uses of the circle as sign, symbol, graph, and more in his Book of Circles. It features nearly 300 accompanying illustrations covering a large array of topics: architecture, urban planning, fine art, design, fashion, technology, religion, cartography, biology, astronomy, physics, and more, all of which are based on the circle. You can also read a little bit about the author’s account of writing the book here.


EverythingBelongsToUsEverything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz. Yoojin Grace Wuertz spins a lively tale of two friends – one from a privileged background, the other from a lifetime of difficulties – as they enter South Korea’s top university in the 1970s. Mixing personal aspirations (to join the ranks of the rich or the ranks of an underground movement) with charming university students and a secret society, this novel is set against the backdrop of South Korea’s struggle for prosperity in the 70s. Everything Belongs to Us is well lauded in the NY Times and featured in Kirkus.


Alana MasseyAll the Lives I Want by Alana Massey. This collection examines the intersection of the personal with pop culture by looking at different female figures (Sylvia Plath, Britney Spears, Lana Del Ray, and others) in a series of essays that range in tone from humor to academic, but always remain honest. Massey is known for her columns and criticism, and you can read a review of this, her first book, here and check out an interview with the author here.

 


Eye of the SandpiperThe Eye of the Sandpiper by Brandon Keim. Curious about the natural world? Brandon Keim’s Eye of the Sandpiper looks at nature in four parts: the evolutionary and ecological quirks of our world, animals and their emotions, man’s interactions with nature, and finally ethics and ecology in an age of human ingenuity. Infused with a love of the wild, Keim’s work is scientific but written in delightful prose. You can read more about him here.

 


KintuKintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s doctoral novel Kintu won the Kwani Manuscript Prize and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature. It follows the descendants of a man named Kintu in multilayered narrative that reimagines the history of Uganda through the Kintu clan’s cursed bloodline. Find an interview with the author here and here, and read more about Kintu, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, and Uganda here.

 


*Selections and descriptions by UNC Field Experience Student Ellen Cline.

Remembering John Ashbery

John Ashbery

John Ashbery, an award-winning poet, died over the weekend.  In 1976 he became the only writer to win the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the same year for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.  You can see the opening of an early draft of this important work here.

If you’ve never read any of his poetry, now would be a great time.  We own many of his collections. 

To understand his place in American poetry, you might also want to look at some of the biographies and literary criticism that we have about him.

We also have several interesting items in the Rubenstein Library that you might want to explore.

For a nice biography and overview of Ashbery, check out this Poetry Foundation page.  You might also appreciate this recent write-up in the New Yorker.

Come Read ‘March: Book One’ with the Low Maintenance Book Club

The next meetings of the Duke University Libraries’ Low Maintenance Book Club will feature March: Book One by Congressman John Lewis (GA-5), an American icon and key figure of the civil rights movement.

We will be reading the entire graphic novel. Since it’s a bit longer than some past selections (and in the spirit of low maintenance), if you don’t have a chance to finish the entire book, we still welcome you to join us!

You can find a copy at our libraries.  Durham County Library also has copies available.

Please register for this event.  The first ten people to register will receive a free copy of the book.

Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room)

Light refreshments will be served.

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

What to Read this Month: August 2017

whattoread

Welcome back to a new semester!  While you’re exploring all that Duke has to offer, why not explore our New and Noteworthy or Current Literature collections?  One of the great things about the books in these collections is the variety of subject areas and genres represented—everything  from popular novels, political histories, and books about animals (and many things in between).


monkeytalkMonkeytalk: Inside the Worlds and Minds of Primates by Julia Fischer. Monkey see, monkey do–or does she? Can the behavior of non-human primates–their sociality, their intelligence, their communication–really be chalked up to simple mimicry? Emphatically, absolutely: no. And as famed primatologist Julia Fischer reveals, the human bias inherent in this oft-uttered adage is our loss, for it is only through the study of our primate brethren that we may begin to understand ourselves.  An eye-opening blend of storytelling, memoir, and science, Monkeytalk takes us into the field and the world’s primate labs to investigate the intricacies of primate social mores through the lens of communication.


mothstorytellingThe Moth Presents All these Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown, edited by Catherine Burns. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages. Alongside Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer, readers will encounter: an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, an Afghan refugee learning how much her father sacrificed to save their family, a hip-hop star coming to terms with being a “one-hit wonder,” a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill’s “secret army” during World War II, and more.


walkawayWalkaway: A Novel by Cory Doctorow.  From New York Times bestselling author Cory Doctorow, an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death.  Fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous, Walkaway is a multi-generation SF thriller about the wrenching changes of the next hundred years…and the very human people who will live their consequences.  You can read reviews here and here.

 

 


TheEvangelicalsThe Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald.  This groundbreaking book from a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America–from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.  Evangelicals have in many ways defined the nation. They have shaped our culture and our politics. Frances FitGerald’s narrative of this distinctively American movement is a major work of history, piecing together the centuries-long story for the first time.  You can read reviews here and here.  You may also appreciate this interview with the author.


fortunateonesThe Fortunate Ones: A Novel by Ellen Umansky. One very special work of art–a Chaim Soutine painting–will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.  This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths. Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, this book is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.

What to Read this Month: July 2017

What to Read this Month

Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads this month!


4 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster.  Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born.  From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast.  Read reviews here and here.


American Sickness An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal.  At a moment of drastic political upheaval, this book is an investigation into the dangerous, expensive, and dysfunctional American healthcare system, as well as solutions to its myriad of problems.  Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries–the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers–that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before.  You can read a review here.


Comfort FoodComfort Food: Meanings and Memories, edited by Michael Owen Jones and Lucy M. Long, explores this concept with examples taken from Atlantic Canadians, Indonesians, the English in Britain, and various ethnic, regional, and religious populations as well as rural and urban residents in the United States. This volume includes studies of particular edibles and the ways in which they comfort or in some instances cause discomfort. The contributors focus on items ranging from bologna to chocolate, including sweet and savory puddings, fried bread with an egg in the center, dairy products, fried rice, cafeteria fare, sugary fried dough, soul food, and others.


Samantha IrbyWe Are Never Meeting in Real Life is a collection of essays by Samantha Irby, who runs the blog bitches gotta eat.  Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette—she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”—detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms—hang in there for the Costco loot—she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.


Fever of the BloodA Fever of the Blood by Oscar de Muriel.  New Year’s Day, 1889.In Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey.Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient–a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won’t she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition?McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill–home of the Lancashire witches–where unimaginable danger awaits.

New U.S. Poet Laureate: Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2017- 
Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Tracy K. Smith, the 22nd Poet Laureate, was appointed on June 14th.  If you are interested in reading her work, fortunately we have several collections of her poetry that you can read.

You might also want to explore some articles about her.  This great NPR profile discusses her appointment, her process as a poet, and a recording of her reading ‘When Your Small Form Tumbled Into Me.’  Here’s another profile from the NYT.  This PBS article lists four poets that Tracy K. Smith recommends you read: Solmaz Sharif, Erika L. Sanchez (coming soon to our collection) James Richardson, and Claudia Rankine.

Finally here’s a video where she reads from Life on Mars:

What to Read this Month: June 2017

Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads this month!


 The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes was named a “10 New Books we Recommend this Week” by the New York Times Book Review.  Tim O’Brien said that “The Afterlife of Stars moved me more than any other novel I’ve read in recent memory.” With dazzling storytelling and a firm belief in the power of humor in the face of turmoil, Kertes has crafted a fierce saga of identity and love that resonates through its final page. The Afterlife of Stars is not only a stirring account of one displaced family’s possibilities for salvation, but also an extraordinary tale of the singular and enduring ties of brotherhood.


 The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power by Joseph Turow is a revealing and surprising look at the ways that aggressive consumer advertising and tracking, already pervasive online, are coming to a retail store near you.  Drawing on his interviews with retail executives, analysis of trade publications, and experiences at insider industry meetings, advertising and digital studies expert Joseph Turow pulls back the curtain on these trends, showing how a new hyper-competitive generation of merchants–including Macy’s, Target, and Walmart–is already using data mining, in-store tracking, and predictive analytics to change the way we buy, undermine our privacy, and define our reputations.


Eveningland by Michael Knight is a collection of stories.  Grappling with dramas both epic and personal, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the “unspeakable misgivings of contentment,” Eveningland captures with crystalline poeticism and perfect authenticity of place the ways in which ordinary life astounds us with its complexity.   These stories, told with economy and precision, infused with humor and pathos, excavate brilliantly the latent desires and motivations that drive life forward.  You can read reviews here and here.

 


 I’d Die for You: And Other Lost Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a collection of the last remaining unpublished and uncollected short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Anne Margaret Daniel. Fitzgerald did not design the stories in I’d Die For You as a collection. Most were submitted individually to major magazines during the 1930s and accepted for publication during Fitzgerald’s lifetime, but were never printed. Some were written as movie scenarios and sent to studios or producers, but not filmed. Others are stories that could not be sold because their subject matter or style departed from what editors expected of Fitzgerald. They date from the earliest days of Fitzgerald’s career to the last. They come from various sources, from libraries to private collections, including those of Fitzgerald’s family.


 The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy.  In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances. A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.  You can read reviews here and here.

What to Read this Month: May 2017

In the summer I like to read the Duke Common Experience Summer Reading selection.  I am really excited to check out Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco this year.  I noticed something interesting though when I looked at the list of the finalists this year.  Lots of great titles, but all the authors are men.  So I thought I’d suggest some books written by women for your summer reading, just to balance your reading list!


Homegoing: A Novel by Yaa Gyasi traces traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel.  Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery.  You can read reviews here and here.


Lab Girl by Hope Jahren was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life–but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment.


Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien has been on both the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlists.  In Canada in 1991, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite a guest into their home: a young woman called Ai-Ming, who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests.  Ai-Ming tells Marie the story of her family in Revolutionary China – from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao’s ascent to the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s and the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989. It is a story of revolutionary idealism, music, and silence, in which three musicians – the shy and brilliant composer Sparrow, the violin prodigy Zhuli, and the enigmatic pianist Kai – struggle during China’s relentless Cultural Revolution to remain loyal to one another and to the music they have devoted their lives to.


Difficult Women by Roxane Gay is a collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.  The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail.  From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.  If you have never read anything by Roxane Gay, her website has a great list of the short stories, essays, and interviews that have appeared in a variety of online and print publications.   You might also want to check out this NPR interview.


Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age was written by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the founder of muslimgirl.com.  It was a  New York Times Editor’s Pick, where the book was described as a “blunt observation, reflective of the potent message she delivers to her readers, a skillful unraveling of the myth of the submissive Muslim woman and a timely introduction to those other, very American and largely unheard 9/11 kids who bear the destructive burden of that one day, every day.”   It is a harrowing and candid memoir about coming of age as a Muslim American in the wake of 9/11, during the never-ending war on terror, and through the Trump era.  You can read an excerpt here.


As always if you’re looking for even more interesting things to read this summer, we’ve got you covered in our our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.

What to Read this Month: April 2017

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As always if you’re looking for something interesting to read, we’ve got you covered in our our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.  In honor of National Poetry Month I’m highlighting poetry books this month. Also, check out our Collection Spotlight this month featuring poetry.  It’s on the first floor of Perkins near the Perkins Service Desk!


sythbookcoverSo Much Synth by Brenda Shaughnessy.  Subversions of idiom and cliche punctuate Shaughnessy’s fourth collection as she approaches middle age and revisits the memories, romances, and music of adolescence. So Much Synth is a brave and ferocious collection composed of equal parts femininity, pain, pleasure, and synthesizer. While Shaughnessy tenderly winces at her youthful excesses, we humbly catch glimpses of our own.  Check out this recent interview with Shaughnessy.


minotaurbookcoverWhosoever Has Let a Minotaur Enter Them, Or a Sonnet- by Emily Carr is part of the McSweeney’s poetry series.  How does a love poet fall out of her marriage and back in love with the world? What happens when you grow up to be the “kind of person who…”? These fairytales are for the heartbreakers as much as the heartbroken, for those smitten with wanderlust, for those who believe in loving this world through art.


poetryandprotestbookcoverOf Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin edited by Philip Cushway and Michael Warr.
Included in this extraordinary volume are the poems of 43 of America’s most talented African American wordsmiths, including Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Rita Dove, Natasha Tretheway, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Tracy K. Smith, as well as the work of other luminaries such as Elizabeth Alexander, Ishmael Reed, and Sonia Sanchez. Included are poems such as “No Wound of Exit” by Patricia Smith, “We Are Not Responsible” by Harryette Mullen, and “Poem for My Father” by Quincy Troupe. Each is accompanied by a photograph of the poet along with a first-person biography.


quarterlifebookcoverQuarter Life Poetry: Poems for the Young, Broke and Hangry by Samantha Jayne, who is the creator of the popular Quarter Life Poetry Tumblr and Instagram.  She captures real-life truths of work, money, sex, and many other 20-something challenges in this laugh-out-loud collection of poetry. Samantha knows that life post-college isn’t as glamorous as all undergrads think it’s going to be… because she’s currently living it. At 25, Samantha began creating doodles and funny poems about her #struggle to share with friends on Instagram. To her surprise, these poems were picked up by 20-somethings all around the world who agreed, “This is literally us.”


dotheadbookcoverDothead: Poems by Amit Majmudar is a captivating, no-holds-barred collection of new poems from an acclaimed poet and novelist with a fierce and original voice.  Dothead is an exploration of selfhood both intense and exhilarating.  From poems about the treatment at the airport of people who look like Majmudar (“my dark unshaven brothers / whose names overlap with the crazies and God fiends”) to a long, freewheeling abecedarian poem about Adam and Eve and the discovery of oral sex, Dothead is a profoundly satisfying cultural critique and a thrilling experiment in language. You can listen to an interview with Majmudar here.

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

 20th Annual Full Frame
Documentary Film Festival

Lilly Library offers a selection of Full Frame titles

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

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

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

 

 

Comics and Graphic Novels at the Library

Underground & Independent Comics collection

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

Rare and Original Issues at the Rubenstein Library

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

Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection

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

Comic Book and Graphic Novel Collection

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

The Underground and Independent Comics Database

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

Comics and Graphic Novels in the Stacks

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

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

Manga

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

Come Visit Us This Week!

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

Celebrate National Poetry Month with the Low Maintenance Book Club

In honor of National Poetry Month the Low Maintenance Book Club will be reading Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.  We will be reading the following selections:

“I” (pages 5-18)

“V” (pages 69-79)

“VII” (pages 139-161))

You can find several copies of this collection at our libraries.  Durham County Library also has copies.

When: April 11th at 6:00pm

Where: The Edge Workshop Room  on the first floor of Bostock

How: Registering in advance helps us know how many to expect

Light refreshments will be served.

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

What to Read this Month: March 2017

Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads this month!


A profound and dazzlingly entertaining novel from the writer Louis Menand calls “Jane Austen with a Russian soul.”  In her warm, absorbing and keenly observed new novel, Still Here, Lara Vapnyar follows the intertwined lives of four immigrants in New York City as they grapple with love and tumult, the challenges of a new home, and the absurdities of the digital age.  It was featured in The Millions’ The Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview.

 


My Life, My Love, My Legacy is the life story of Coretta Scott King–wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist–as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.  Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.


The Signal Flame by Andrew Krivak is the second novel from National Book Award finalist Andrew Krivak–a heartbreaking, captivating story about a family awaiting the return of their youngest son from the Vietnam War.  Beginning shortly after Easter in 1972 and ending on Christmas Eve this ambitious novel beautifully evokes ordinary time, a period of living and working while waiting and watching and expecting.   You can read reviews here and here.

 


A Life in Parts is a memoir by Bryan Cranston, star of Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle.  He maps his zigzag journey from abandoned son to beloved star by recalling the many odd parts he’s played in real life–paperboy, farmhand, security guard, dating consultant, murder suspect, dock loader, lover, husband, father. Cranston also chronicles his evolution on camera, from soap opera player trying to master the rules of show business to legendary character actor turning in classic performances as Seinfeld dentist Tim Whatley, “a sadist with newer magazines,” and Malcolm in the Middle dad Hal Wilkerson, a lovable bumbler in tighty-whities.  He has much to say about creativity, devotion, and craft, as well as innate talent and its challenges and benefits and proper maintenance.


Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life is by Helen Czerski, a a physicist and oceanographer at University College London. She provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. She guides us through the principles of gases, gravity, size, and time.  You can read reviews here and here.

 

Marathon Reading of Toni Morrison’s BELOVED

On Thursday, March 30, the Department of English is hosting BELOVED, a marathon reading of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel.   BELOVED will run 8 hours (9AM-5PM) in the Carpenter Conference Room (Rubenstein Library 249), where there will be a podium, microphone, audience seating, and T-shirts for all participants.  Sign up to read via THIS LINK by March 23rd.

The library of course has several copies of this novel available.  If this marathon inspires you to read more by this amazing author, we can help you there too!

 

From Kielbasa to Sfincione: A Personal and Academic Exploration of Urban Foods

Guest post by Ashley Rose Young, Ph.D. candidate in History at Duke and the Business History Graduate Intern at the Hartman Center.

My life has always revolved around the sale and distribution of food. My food-centric lifestyle is not all that surprising, as my family owns and operates gourmet food stores in Pittsburgh. By the time I was three years old, I was working behind the counter, standing on a plastic milk carton so that customers could see me while I earned my family “business degree.” After years of practice (and a growth spurt or two) I could easily reach over the counter to hand my family’s homemade kielbasas to customers. My grandfather made those sausages. He established the family business, too, by starting as an itinerant vendor at a roadside food stand in the 1940s. Over time, he worked his way towards opening a series of grocery stores with the support of my grandmother, mother, aunts, and uncles. Together, my family created a business committed to supporting small-scale local farmers and artisans while preserving the culinary heritage of Pittsburgh.

A profile of McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores featuring a photo of the author (age 6) with her grandparents, mother, and aunts.

Inspired by my own experiences and those of my family, my dissertation research focuses on urban food economies in the United States. Specifically, I study street food and market vendors in New Orleans and the global influences on the city’s Creole cuisine. As a major Atlantic port city, New Orleans was connected to communities and food cultures throughout the Atlantic Rim, adopting ingredients like okra from West Africa and cooking techniques like starting soups with a French-style roux. Tracing those influences, I have visited archives and conducted fieldwork in countries like France, Italy, and Morocco, all of which influenced the development Creole cuisine. At the National Library in France, I studied the parallels and dissimilarities between artistic renderings of street food vendors in Paris and those in New Orleans. While the images were different in the ways they revealed cultural bias, in both places it was common for artists to pair images of food vendors with sheet music that captured their cries of “Piping hot rice fritters!” and “Beautiful cakes!”

Fascinated by the prevalence of street cries in New Orleans’ historic soundscape, I sought connections to modern day street food cultures. In order to do so, I conducted fieldwork in Palermo, Sicily—a city known for its musical food vendors. Although most people do not associate New Orleans with Italian food culture, in the late nineteenth century, the city had one of the largest Sicilian immigrant populations in the world. In fact, at that time, New Orleanians colloquially referred to the French Quarter as “Little Palermo.” The sonorous voices of Sicilian food vendors rang throughout the city. Folklorists captured their calls on the page in compendiums like Gumbo Ya-Ya: Folktales of Louisiana (1945). In that volume, an Italian vendor is described as singing while he hawks his wares: “Cantal—ope—ah! Fresh and fine, just off a de vine, only a dime!”

A drawing and sheet music depicting a rice fritter vendor in twentieth century New Orleans. “The Calas Girl,” Cooking in the Old Créole Days: La Cuisine Créole à l’Usage des Petits Menages (New York, R. H. Russell, 1903).

Modern-day Palermo’s urban food scene shares similarities with New Orleans’ historic one. Like the Big Easy, Palermo’s streets are crowded with food vendors who entreat passersby with humorous and delightful calls. One of their more popular grab-n-go foods in the city is sfincione, or street pizza. Sfincione is simple and economical—a tasty combination of spongy crust, tomato sauce, olive oil, and a healthy sprinkling of dried parsley. Commenting on those humble origins with a bit of humor, one of the traditional Palermitano street cries is: “Scarsu d’ogghio e chinu i prubulazzo!” Or, in English, “Lack of oil and plenty of dust!” Another more enticing cry is, “Uara u sfuinnavi uara! Chistu è sfinciuni ra bella viaro!”—“I’ve just taken it out of the oven! This is a very beautiful sfincione!” The street cries of Palermo work in similar ways to those of historic New Orleans, attracting the attention of potential customers with a witty, entertaining performance. For food vendors past and present, charm is a major component of their business strategy. I had witnessed the power of charisma so long ago, perched on my milk carton while my mother wrapped parcels of sausage and joked with customers.

Sfincione vendor, Palermo, Sicily, 2014. Photo by Ashley Rose Young.

Entranced by that charm and my newfound academic approach to food, a dissertation (or one might say obsession) was brought to life. Even when traveling without a research agenda, I was constantly analyzing the local food cultures around me to connect what I observed in New Orleans with what I witnessed abroad. There were a few surprises along the way. While in Peru for an academic conference, for example, I learned about a maize beer called chicha de jora that resembled a fermented corn beverage popularized by Choctaw Indians in colonial New Orleans. Although I had originally focused my dissertation research on New Orleans’ connections to Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean, the discovery of chicha de jora encouraged me to study Latin American influences on Creole cuisine as well.

Municipal Market, Cusco, Peru, 2014. Photo by Ashley Rose Young.

Photography was a means of crystalizing these connections while also honoring the distinctiveness of community food cultures. Over the years, as I wandered through countless markets, I sought to capture the vibrancy of locally grown produce, the entrepreneurial spirit of food vendors, and the enduring presence of local food cultures in an age of homogenized industrial food.

I now have the opportunity to share these dynamic cultures in an exhibit I’ve curated for Perkins Library: To Market, to Market! Urban Street Food Culture Around the Globe. Through this exhibit, you can compare the texture and shape of ruby red radishes in Paris with their kaleidoscopic counterparts in Durham. Or you can draw parallels between curbside displays of fish in Essaouira, Morocco with those for sale at the Vietnamese Farmers’ Market in New Orleans East. The exhibit, which consists of twenty-four photographs, is loosely organized, encouraging you to create your own narrative of the interconnectivity of urban food around the world.

The exhibit is installed on the Student Wall on the first floor of Perkins Library, opposite the Thompson Writing Studio. It runs through March 31, 2017.

What to Read this Month: February 2017

Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections for some good reads this month!


Hannah Hart, a YouTube star, has written an at times very funny and very heartbreaking memoir called Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded.  She writes about her internet fame, her family, mental illness, love, friendship, sexuality, and more.  John Green describes the memoir like this: “By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Hannah Hart’s new book is a roaring, beautiful, and profoundly human account of an extraordinary life.”  To find out more about Hannah and her memoir, check out this NPR interview.

 


Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction by Mary Ellen Hannibal is a wide-ranging adventure in becoming a citizen scientist by an award-winning writer and environmental thought leader. As Mary Ellen Hannibal wades into tide pools, follows hawks, and scours mountains to collect data on threatened species, she discovers the power of a heroic cast of volunteers–and the makings of what may be our last, best hope in slowing an unprecedented mass extinction. Digging deeply, Hannibal traces today’s tech-enabled citizen science movement to its roots: the centuries-long tradition of amateur observation by writers and naturalists.  Read an excerpt here.


In Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service, journalist Devin Leonard tackles the fascinating, centuries-long history of the USPS, from the first letter carriers through Franklin’s days, when postmasters worked out of their homes and post roads cut new paths through the wilderness.  It is a rich, multifaceted history, full of remarkable characters, from the stamp-collecting FDR, to the revolutionaries who challenged USPS’s monopoly on mail, to the renegade union members who brought the system–and the country–to a halt in the 1970s.  This book is the first major history of the USPS in over fifty years.  Read a review here and here.


Refugee Tales, edited by David Herd & Anna Pincus, collects tales from poets and novelists who retell the stories of individuals who have direct experience of Britain’s policy of indefinite immigration detention. Presenting their accounts anonymously, as modern day counterparts to the pilgrims’ stories in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales , this book offers rare, intimate glimpses into otherwise untold suffering.  You can learn more about this project here.   Also check out this review in the Guardian.

 


 Just in time for Valentine’s Day, check out Love is Love: A Comic Book Anthology to Benefit the Survivors of the Orlando Pulse Shooting from IDW Publishing and DC Entertainment.  This oversize comic contains moving and heartfelt material from some of the greatest talent in comics, mourning the victims, supporting the survivors, celebrating the LGBTQ community, and examining love in today’s world.  Some of the talents include Cecil Castellucci, Damon Lindelof, Patton Oswalt, G. Willow Wilson, Steve Orlando, James Tynion IV, Gail Simone, and Dan Parent.


Speaking of Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for more things to read, check out our Blind Date with a Book.  You may need to hurry before all the matches are made!

Come Read the Novella that Arrival is Based on!

The Low Maintenance Book Club is going to be reading the novella Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang, which won the Nebula Awards’ Best Novella in 1999.  More famously this is the story that the recent movie Arrival is based on!

You can find several copies of the short story collection that contains this story at our libraries, including an e-book version.  Durham County Library also has a copy.

When: February 21st at 6:00pm

Where: The Edge Workshop Room  on the first floor of Bostock

How: Registering in advance helps us know how many to expect.

Light refreshments will be served.

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

What to Read this Month: January 2017

I hope you’re settling in to the new semester.   Why not pick up something new to read? Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.


The Sobbing School by Joshua Bennett is a “sharp and scintillating” (Publishers Weekly) debut collection of poetry, selected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series, Joshua Bennett’s mesmerizing debut collection of poetry, presents songs for the living and the dead that destabilize and de-familiarize representations of black history and contemporary black experience.  What animates these poems is a desire to assert life, and interiority , where there is said to be none.  Figures as widely divergent as Bobby Brown, Martin Heidegger, and the 19th-century performance artist Henry Box Brown, as well as Bennett’s own family and childhood best friends, appear and are placed in conversation.


I think many of us are still feeling the pain of losing Carrie Fisher.  One way to cope may be to check out her new The Princess Diarist.  When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved–plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naivete, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized.  With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, this is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time–and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty.  If you enjoy this read, I’d highly recommend reading the rest of her writings.


In Entanglement: The Secret Lives of Hair, Emma Tarlo travels the globe, tracking the movement of hair across India, Myanmar, China, Africa, the United States, Britain and Europe, where she meets people whose livelihoods depend on it. Viewed from inside Chinese wig factories, Hindu temples and the villages of Myanmar, or from Afro hair fairs, Jewish wig parlours, fashion salons and hair loss clinics in Britain and the United States, hair is oddly revealing of the lives of all it touches.  You can read reviews here and here.

 


 In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer?: The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis explores one of humankind’s oldest love-hate relationships–our ties with artificial intelligence, or AI.  It traces AI’s origins in ancient myth, through literary classics like Frankenstein, to today’s sci-fi blockbusters, arguing that a fascination with AI is hardwired into the human psyche. Zarkadakis explains AI’s history, technology, and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as–perhaps most tellingly–what AI reveals about us as human beings.


Unspeakable Things by Kathleen Spivack is a strange, haunting novel about survival and love in all its forms; about sexual awakenings and dark secrets; about European refugee intellectuals who have fled Hitler’s armies with their dreams intact and who have come to an elusive new (American) “can do, will do” world they cannot seem to find. A novel steeped in surreal storytelling and beautiful music that transports its half-broken souls–and us–to another realm of the senses.  To find out more read a Washington Times review, a Paste Magazine review, and a Jewish Book Council review.

Happy Birthday, Jane!

jane_austen_sketch_1050x700 Jane Austen, as sketched by her sister, Cassandra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is Jane Austen’s 241st birthday!  Since the film Love and Friendship came out this year (do yourself a favor and watch it ASAP), I think it would be appropriate to celebrate this year by reading some of her juvenilia and less known works.

Lady Susan (the story that the film Love and Friendship is based on)

Love & friendship: in which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon is entirely vindicated : concerning the beautiful Lady Susan Vernon, her cunning daughter & the strange antagonism of the DeCourcy family by Whit Stillman (includes Jane Austen’s novella)

Love and Freindship [sic], and Other Early Works (much of her juvenilia can be found here)

The Watsons

Fragment of a novel written by Jane Austen, January-March 1817; now first printed from the manuscript.

Northanger Abbey ; Lady Susan ; The Watsons ; Sanditon

Jane Austen’s “Sir Charles Grandison”

Catharine and Other Writings

The History of England: From the Reign of Henry the 4th to the Death of Charles the 1st (a very amusing early work)

Oh and if the image at the beginning of this post made you curious about Jane’s relationship with Cassandra, you might want to check out some of the letters.

 

What to Read this Month: December 2016

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It’s one of my favorite times of the year!  Yes, that’s right it’s “year’s best books” season.  Many places, including the NYT, Washington Post, NPR, Vulture, and many more.

I’m happy to say that we have many of these books in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections, though I’ll warn you now that you may have to get on the waiting list for some titles!  Here are a selection.


undergroundThe Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (appears on almost every list).  A magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey–hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

 


privatecitizensPrivate Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte.  This book is number three on Vulture’s list: “It’s a rare and bracing thing to see a debut novelist confident enough to pour acid on an entire system (in this case, the one we call meritocracy). The millennials have teeth.” The novel’s four whip-smart narrators–idealistic Cory, Internet-lurking Will, awkward Henrik, and vicious Linda–are torn between fixing the world and cannibalizing it. In boisterous prose that ricochets between humor and pain, the four estranged friends stagger through the Bay Area’s maze of tech startups, protestors, gentrifiers, karaoke bars, house parties, and cultish self-help seminars, washing up in each other’s lives once again.


thewonderAs described on the NPR list, “The Wonder: A Novel by Emma Donoghue is just that: ‘a wonder’ of a story about religious delusion and self-denial set in 19th-century Ireland.” Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

 


darkroomIn the Darkroom by Susan Faludi is featured on NYT’s list: “When Faludi learned that her estranged and elderly father had undergone gender reassignment surgery, in 2004, it marked the resumption of a difficult relationship. Her father was violent and full of contradictions: a Hungarian Holocaust survivor and Leni Riefenstahl fanatic, he stabbed a man her mother was seeing and used the incident to avoid paying alimony. In this rich, arresting and ultimately generous memoir, Faludi — long known for her feminist journalism — tries to reconcile Steven, the overbearing patriarch her father once was, with Stefánie, the old woman she became.”


secondhandThe Washington Post includes Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets: by  Svetlana Alexievich: “Alexievich turns on a tape recorder and listens to average Russians describing their lives amid the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Alexievich, who was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature, has produced one of the most vivid and incandescent accounts yet attempted of this society caught in the throes of change.  It is the story of what one character aptly describes as ‘our lost generation — a communist upbringing and capitalist life.'”

 


smallbombsThe Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan appears on both the lists of Vulture and NYT.   It is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in its empathy, dazzling in its acuity, and ambitious in scope.  When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their family’s television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bomb–one of the many “small” bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across the world–detonates in the Delhi marketplace, instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys, to the devastation of their parents. Mansoor survives, bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb.


Since it’s the season of giving, here are two other things you might find useful when selecting a good read.  The Guardian does a slightly different kind of end of year roundup.  They have various writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Julian Barnes select their favorite reads of the year.  Also, NPR has a really fun Book Concierge that lets you use filters to explore titles recommended by their staff and critics.

What to Read this Month: November 2016

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Want to find a good read for the Thanksgiving holiday? Check out our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections. Here are a couple of suggestions that might be of interest.


seaAll at Sea: A Memoir by Decca Aitkenhead tells the story of love and loss, of how one couple changed each other’s life, and of what a sudden death can do to the people who survive.  On a hot, still morning on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, Decca Aitkenhead’s life changed forever. Her four-year-old son was paddling peacefully at the water’s edge when a wave pulled him out to sea. Her partner, Tony, swam out and saved their son’s life–then drowned before her eyes. Here is a great review of the book and a little discussion of her writing process.

 


refugeesCity of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence. Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Rawlence combines intimate storytelling with broad socio-political investigative journalism, doing for Dadaab what Katherinee Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers did for the Mumbai slums. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.


microbesI Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong examines one of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin–a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.  Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. Look here and here for good reviews.

 


citiesCities I’ve Never Lived In: Stories by Sara Majka. Fearlessly riding the line between imagination and experience, fact and fiction, the stories in this debut collection give intimate glimpses of a young New England woman whose life must begin afresh after divorce. A book that upends our ideas of love and belonging, and which asks how much of ourselves we leave behind with each departure we make, these fourteen stories orbit the dreams of a narrator who turns to narrative as a means of working through the world and of understanding herself.  To learn more about this collection check out these two reviews.


gaslightBy Gaslight by Steven Price.  As described by Jean Zimmerman from NPR.org, “By Gaslight can be seen as Arthur Conan Doyle by way of Dickens by way of Faulkner . . . Intense, London-centric, threaded through with a melancholy brilliance, it is an extravagant novel that takes inspiration from the classics and yet remains wholly itself.”

Book Talk: Eric Fair, Author of “Consequence,” Oct. 13

eric-fair_credit-amy-cramerDate: Thursday, October 13
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library (map)

Eric Fair, an Army veteran, served as an interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor. He was stationed at the Abu Ghraib prison and in Fallujah in 2004. In his new memoir, Consequence (Henry Holt & Co., 2016), Fair writes about feeling haunted by what he did, what he saw, and what he heard in Iraq, from the beating of prisoners to witnessing the use of sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, isolation, and other so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

In this talk, Fair will discuss the fallout from that experience, from a war-strained marriage and a heart transplant to the moral struggle of speaking out publicly against his country’s use of torture on prisoners.

Free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Copies of the book will be for sale at the event.


More about Eric Fair:

Sponsored by the Duke University Libraries, Duke Human Rights Center@the Franklin Humanities Institute, Forum for Scholars and Publics, and Duke Chapel.

For more information, contact: Aaron Welborn, Director of Communications

What to Read this Month: October 2016

What to ReadThis Month

As always we’re highlighting our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.  Since we’re getting closer to the November 8th election, this month’s theme is elections and politics!


vote2 Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman.  Berman brings the struggle over voting rights to life through meticulous archival research, in-depth interviews with major figures in the debate, and incisive on-the-ground reporting. In vivid prose, he takes the reader from the demonstrations of the civil rights era to the halls of Congress to the chambers of the Supreme Court.

 

 


uninformed Uninformed: Why People Know So Little about Politics and What We Can Do about It by Arthur Lupia. Citizens sometimes lack the knowledge that they need to make competent political choices, and it is undeniable that greater knowledge can improve decision making. But we need to understand that voters either don’t care about or pay attention to much of the information that experts think is important. Uninformed provides the keys to improving political knowledge and civic competence: understanding what information is important to others and knowing how to best convey it to them.

 


clinton Who is Hillary Clinton?: Two Decades of Answers from the Left, edited by Richard Kreitner.  Contributors to this anthology include David Corn, Erica Jong, Christopher Hitchens, Michael Tomasky, William Greider, Ari Berman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Chris Hayes, Jessica Valenti, Richard Kim, Joan Walsh, Jamelle Bouie, Doug Henwood, Heather Digby Parton, Michelle Goldberg, and many more.

 

 


trumpTrump and Me by Mark Singer.   Recounts the Singer’s experience writing a profile about Trump for the New Yorker in 1996.

 

 

 

 


obama The Obama Doctrine: American Grand Strategy Today by Colin Dueck.  The Obama Doctrine not only provides a sharp appraisal of foreign policy in the Obama era; it lays out an alternative approach to marshaling American power that will help shape the foreign policy debate in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

 

 


womenvoteYour Voice Your Vote: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Power, Politics, and the Change We Need by Martha Burk.  This book is a manifesto for this year’s woman voter and for male voters who care about the women in their lives. Martha Burk empowers the reader to cut through the double talk, irrelevancies, and false promises, and focuses directly on what’s at stake for women not only in the 2016 election, but also in the years beyond. Where women stand, what women think, and what we need — with tough questions for candidates to hold their feet to the fire.

 


If you’re not registered to vote, check out Duke’s Student Affairs voter registration page.

Finally, the Libraries will be hosting an informal watch party in the Lilly Training Room (Room 103) for each televised debate. We will also plan to host an interesting discussion by two faculty experts on Wednesday October 19th. Watch out for further information!

Showing Our Stuff

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An undergraduate studies the folio on display

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

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

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Vitruvius Britannicus

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

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

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

Prayer and Meditation Room Open to All

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Members of all faiths are welcome to use the new Prayer and Meditation Room in Perkins Library.

With the fall semester now well under way, we thought this would be a good time to remind our hard-working students and faculty that the library is not just for studying. Earlier this year, in response to student requests, the Libraries opened a space on the second floor of Perkins specifically dedicated to prayer and meditation.

The Prayer and Meditation Room is available for students and faculty of all faiths. The room is a shared space open to all members of the Duke community to use either individually or in groups.

Room 220 in Perkins Library is located near the open study area with wooden carrels on the library’s second floor. (See map below.)

The Prayer and Meditation Room is located in Room 220 on the 2nd Floor of Perkins Library.
The Prayer and Meditation Room is located in Room 220 on the 2nd Floor of Perkins Library.

Anyone who wishes to use the space is asked to follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Prayer or meditation does not necessarily need to be silent, but it should be quiet enough not to disturb anyone studying in adjacent areas or rooms.
  • The Prayer and Meditation Room cannot be reserved and is not to be used for studying or for meetings.
  • If you use the room, please show respect toward others who use it. Keep the room clean, take your personal belongings with you when you leave, and do not sleep or bring food into the space.

We welcome members of all faiths who study and work in the library to use and enjoy this space!

2016 Banned Books Week

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Banned Books Week runs this year from September 25th through October 1st.  This year’s theme is about celebrating diversity!  If you’re interested in reading why diversity was picked this year, you might appreciate reading “Why Diverse Books are Commonly Banned,” which mentions that ” ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, has determined that 52% of the books challenged, or banned, over the past decade are from titles that are considered diverse content.”  I also appreciated this point of view from an article in Time.

If you’re interested in reading challenged books with diverse content, here is a list of titles. We of course own many of these books, including these selected titles:

You might also want to check out the 2015 list of the “most challenged” books.

 

Drama Online

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We now have access to the Core Collection of Drama Online, a resource for finding full texts of plays.  It Includes full texts of plays from across the history of the theatre, ranging from Aeschylus to the present day.  It also includes non-English-language works in translation, scholarly and critical editions, first night program texts, and critical analysis and contextual information. Critical interpretations, theatre history surveys and major reference works on authors, movements, practitioners, periods and genres are included alongside performance and practitioner texts, acting and backstage guides.

You can browse by plays, playwrights, genres, periods, context and criticism, and by theatre craft.  Advanced search options also allow you to search by type, playwrights, genre, period, theme, and setting.

Each play in the collection includes a production enquiry, which gives helpful information on who to contact to get performance rights for the play.  Many plays also include useful tools, like a Character Grid that can be used to see only the lines of a given character.

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Another great tool is the Words and Speeches tool that shows how many words and speeches are spoken in different acts of the play.

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Currently we don’t have access to all the Nick Hern plays or the videos, but it’s quite likely that our access will expand in the next year!

What to Read this Month: September 2016

What to ReadThis Month

Welcome back to a new semester!  While you’re exploring all that Duke has to offer, why not explore our New and Noteworthy or Current Literature collections?  One of the great things about the books in these collections is the variety of subject areas and genres represented—everything from graphic novels, political histories, and books about diseases (and many things in between).


Hamilton: The Revolution: Being the complete libretto of the Broadway musical, with a true account of its creation, and concise remarks on hip-hop, the power of stories, and the new America by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter.  I’m not going to lie to you, you may have to request this title, but it should still be easier than getting tickets to the musical!  This book traces the development of this blockbuster musical, provides the full text of the libretto, photos, interviews, and more.

 


indexPaper Girls Volume One, writer Brian K. Vaughan (author of Saga and other works) and artist Cliff Chiang.  In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.  You may enjoy this if you have been enjoying the Netflix show Stranger Things.

 


medicaldetectiveIn Adventures of a Female Medical Detective: In Pursuit of Smallpox and AIDS, Mary Guinan, PhD, MD, writes stories of her life in medicine, describing her individual experiences in controlling outbreaks, researching new diseases, and caring for patients with untreatable infections. She offers readers a feisty, engaging, and uniquely female perspective from a time when very few women worked in the field.  If you want to learn more, you mind find this review and this interview helpful.

 


vote The Fight to Vote by Michael Waldman, president of The Brennan Center, a legal think tank at NYU.  This book trace the entire story from the Founders’ debates to today’s restrictions: gerrymandering; voter ID laws; the flood of money unleashed by conservative nonprofit organizations; making voting difficult for the elderly, the poor, and the young, by restricting open polling places.  You can read this Washington Post article for more details.

 


millervalleyMiller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen.  For generations the Millers have lived in Miller’s Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty. As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Home, as Mimi begins to realize, can be “a place where it’s just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel content.”  You can find reviews here, here, and here.  If you enjoy this book, check out one of Anna Quindlen’s many other books here.

What to read this month

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I don’t know about you, but when it’s as hot as it’s been this week, all I want to do is stay inside in the air conditioning with a good book (assuming escaping to a lovely beach isn’t an option). If reading sounds good to you too, you might find some good titles in either our New and Noteworthy or Current Literature collections.

  1. The Queen of the Night by  Alexander Chee.  From a writer praised by Junot Díaz as “the fire, in my opinion, and the light,” a mesmerizing novel that follows one woman’s rise from circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva .  You can read a NYT review here.
  2. Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton.  Do you enjoy historical fiction?  Then you might like this dramatization of the life of Margaret Cavendish, the shy, gifted, and wildly unconventional 17th-century Duchess. The eccentric Margaret wrote and published volumes of poems, philosophy, feminist plays, and utopian science fiction at a time when “being a writer” was not an option open to women.
  3. The Fugitives by Christopher Sorrentino, a National Book Award finalist. He has written a book that is a bracing, kaleidoscopic look at love and obsession, loyalty and betrayal, race and identity, compulsion and free.
  4. The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline is a not to be missed New York Times Bestseller.  This debut novel about the Manson family murders has had a lot of good reviews, such as this, this, and this.
  5. The After Party by Anton DiSclafani.  Looking for more of a traditional beach read?  The check out the book O Magazine describes as “One of the 3 Beach Reads You Won’t Be Able to Put Down.”  This is the story of 1950s Texas socialites and the one irresistible, controversial woman at the bright, hot center of it all.

On the Road with the Frank C. Brown Collection

Guest post by Winston Atkins, Preservation Officer for the Duke University Libraries and Principal Investigator for the grant to digitize Frank Clyde Brown’s recordings of early twentieth-century folk music.

Frank C. Brown in the field, date and location unknown. Brown often used a car battery to power the recording devices he used.
Frank C. Brown in the field, date and location unknown. Brown often used a car battery to power the recording devices he used.

 

We are a nation linked by iHeartRadio stations playing “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones—that much is certain. I come to understand this as I drive the Frank Clyde Brown Collection’s 60 wax cylinders and 76 aluminum discs of folk songs and ballads to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Andover, Massachusetts. There, the NEDCC will use a new and highly innovative technology called IRENE to help us rediscover these performances, which have been essentially unavailable to scholars for nearly a century.

It’s almost too easy to contrast that single, frequently repeated song (unloved by me) with my cargo, but I do it anyway: it’s a 15-hour trip and I’ve got time. The 136 cylinders and discs hold an estimated 1,367 performances collected by Brown as he traveled across North Carolina between 1915 and his death in 1943. Brown, an English professor who also served as comptroller during Trinity College’s transition into Duke University, somehow also found time to drive into back areas throughout North Carolina to record this music. There’s a certain symmetry to me driving his recordings from Duke to Andover.

Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE. Image courtesy of NEDCC.org.
Because they are too fragile to be played as intended, the cylinders and discs will be digitized using a non-contact visual scanning technology known as IRENE. Image courtesy of NEDCC.org.

The wax cylinders are especially brittle, though, which is why Craig Breaden and I finally decided I should drive them to the NEDCC rather than ship them. Craig, the Rubenstein Library’s Audiovisual Archivist, serves as the Project Manager for this grant. We’ve taken special care in packing, and each cylinder is stored in its own box. Twenty cylinders are then housed in a storage box, and for the trip, each storage box is packed in a larger box and surrounded by foam packing peanuts. The single storage box of aluminum discs is packed the same way. Although not as fragile as the wax cylinders, some of the discs use an acetate “lacquer” for the recording medium, which can be damaged.

The care extends to the trip: I’ve rented a minivan, which provides the bonus of a separate air conditioning system for the back storage area. That helps keep the cargo at a uniform temperature—changes in temperature are particularly hard on wax cylinders. In fact, I decide not to eat dinner while the outdoor temperature is above 75 degrees because I don’t want to leave the air conditioning off for too long. I drive to Hartford, Connecticut, that night and when I check into the motel, I take all four boxes into my room, where I put them on the bed instead of on the floor, just in case the fan coil unit leaks. They look kind of cozy there.

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The boxed-up cylinders and discs, resting from their journey.

What makes the IRENE technology worth the trouble? Craig and I will write more about it over the course of this project, but IRENE is perfect for material like this. IRENE makes ultra-high resolution visual scans of a disc’s or cylinder’s grooves to create an image of the track; its software converts the images to sound files. Creating visual scans first means that we can get an accurate digital sound file without a needle or stylus. That provides two important advantages: we don’t risk further damage to the grooves of these fragile media, and IRENE can sometimes recover sound from cracked or broken discs and cylinders if it can get an image of the grooves sufficient to match up with the other pieces. It’s amazing, and only the NEDCC provides this service.

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Jane Pipik, Manager of Audio Preservation Services at NEDCC, demonstrates how IRENE translates visual groove scans into digital sound files.

All of us associated with this project feel like the Brown Collection is a great collection, the music a treasure waiting to be rediscovered. The recordings contain ballads and folk songs that can be traced back to England, songs that traveled to North Carolina from other parts of the United States, and songs like those around the murder of Laura Foster by Tom Dula (a.k.a. Tom Dooley) that originated here.

And that’s what distinguishes this music from the Stones’ “Start Me Up.” Although the same song might be represented several times in the collection, each performance is unique; each musician provided his or her own take on the lyrics and music, or of the people from whom he or she learned the music. Even though the title might be the same, each performance potentially offers insights to us about the culture of the musicians’ locale. That is what makes the trip worth it.


The grant to digitize Frank Clyde Brown’s recordings is part of the Council on Library and Information Resources’ Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program, a national competition that funds the digitization of rare and unique content held by libraries and cultural memory institutions and that would otherwise be unavailable to the public. The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. 

The program receives generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.  Additional information is available at mellon.org.

What to read this month

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Looking for something interesting to read this summer?  Check out some of the great titles in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.

  1. A Doubter’s Almanac : A Novel by Ethan Canin. Milo Andret is born with an unusual mind. A lonely child growing up in the woods of northern Michigan in the 1950s, he gives little thought to his own talent. But with his acceptance at U.C. Berkeley he realizes the extent, and the risks, of his singular gifts. California in the seventies is a seduction, opening Milo’s eyes to the allure of both ambition and indulgence. The research he begins there will make him a legend; the woman he meets there–and the rival he meets alongside her–will haunt him for the rest of his life. For Milo’s brilliance is entwined with a dark need that soon grows to threaten his work, his family, even his existence.
  2. Pablo by Julie Birmant & Clément Oubrerie ; translated by Edward Gauvin ; coloured by Sandra Desmazières. This award-winning graphic biography of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) captures the prolific and eventful life of one of the world’s best-loved artists. Pablo explores Picasso’s early life among the bohemians of Montmartre, his turbulent relationship with artist/model Fernande Olivier, and how his art developed through friendships with poets Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire, the painter Georges Braque, and his great rival Henri Matisse. Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie depict a career that began in poverty and reached its climax with the advent of cubism and modern art.
  3. The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship : Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell-Scott.  Pauli Murray should be of particular interest because of her connections to Durham!  In fact you might have seen some of these murals around town.  This book tells the story of how a brilliant writer-turned-activist, granddaughter of a mulatto slave, and the first lady of the United States, whose ancestry gave her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, forged an enduring friendship that changed each of their lives and helped to alter the course of race and racism in America.
  4. Ginny Gall : A Life in the South by Charlie Smith.  A sweeping, eerily resonant epic of race and violence in the Jim Crow South: a lyrical and emotionally devastating masterpiece from Charlie Smith, whom the New York Public Library has said “may be America’s most bewitching stylist alive.”You can read reviews for this novel here and here.
  5. The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data by Michael Patrick Lynch.  We used to say “seeing is believing”; now googling is believing. With 24/7 access to nearly all of the world’s information at our fingertips, we no longer trek to the library or the encyclopedia shelf in search of answers. We just open our browsers, type in a few keywords and wait for the information to come to us. Indeed, the Internet has revolutionized the way we learn and know, as well as how we interact with each other. And yet this explosion of technological innovation has also produced a curious paradox: even as we know more, we seem to understand less.

What to read this month

 

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Finally we’re moving into the summer months!  If you’re like me, you’ve got some vacation plans and other lazy days that are just made for relaxing with a book.  If so, you might want to check out some of the great titles in our New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.

  1. Uprooted by Naomi Novik.  This book recently received the 2015 Nebula award for best novel.  It’s rooted (pun intended) in  folk stories and legends and features a great female protagonist.  It’s been one of my favorite reads this year!
  2. The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and the author of many books.  This book explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race–as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama’s major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes?
  3. Half-earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life by Edward O. Wilson.  In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date.  Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature.
  4. The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery is translated from the French by Alison Anderson and is an inspiring literary fantasy about two gifted girls from the bestselling author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Life of Elves sings of the human spirit and conveys a message of hope and faith.  You can read reviews here, here, and here.
  5. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing. This book uses memoir, biography, and cultural criticism to examine the subject of loneliness.  She examines the lives of six iconic artists, such as Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, and Henry Darger.  You can read a very thoughtful review in the NYT.

What to read this month

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April is National Poetry Month, and everyone is celebrating, even Bill Murray. Obviously, you don’t want to miss out on all the fun, so here are some books of poetry and books about poetry from the New and Noteworthy and Current Literature collections.

Books of Poetry

  1. The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink edited by Kevin Young includes both classic and contemporary poems on food and the experience of eating.
  2. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine is a meditation on race and racial aggressions in contemporary American society.
  3. If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? by Matthea Harvey is a combination of prose poetry and visual artwork.
  4. Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising up from Brooklyn to Palestine by Remi Kanazi examines the lives of Palestinians living in the Middle East and around the world.

Books about Poetry

  1. The State of the Art: A Chronicle of American Poetry, 1988-2014 by David Lehman is a compilation of forewords from the acclaimed annual series, The Best American Poetry.
  2. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle is a compilation of biannual lectures delivered to graduate students studying poetry.
  3. I Too Have Some Dreams: N. M. Rashed and Modernism in Urdu Poetry by A. Sean Pue explores the work of N. M. Rashed, Urdu’s renowned modernist poet.
  4. The Alvarez Generation: Thom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter by William Wootten examines the cultural influence of poetry produced in the 1950s and 1960s.

And just in case poetry isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always Anders Nilsen’s sketchbook/graphic novel Poetry is Useless.

Shakespeare Celebrations Continue!

Last week we celebrated Shakespeare with a series of blog posts (which you can read here, here, here, here, and here.  We were also one of the reading locations for the Shakespeare Everywhere event! They had undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators participate!

In fact enjoy this video of the Brodheads reading in Duke Gardens!

Shakespeare celebrations continue across the world, with a lot of things happening tomorrow.   You can watch the live streaming event “The Wonder of Will: Sharing Shakespeare Stories” tomorrow from noon-1:30 ET.  More locally the Shakespeare Marathon begins tomorrow at the North Carolina Museum of History.

Let me also highlight a few articles and think pieces that are being written.  I  really enjoyed this article that has reflections from 25 authors about Shakespeare’s influence on them.  I thought this reflection on food in Shakespeare was really interesting.  Also, this article looks at why we are still obsessively talking about the bard after all this time.

Finally as you can imagine this year has been a banner year for new books about Shakespeare.  Here are a few in our collection (a couple of these aren’t out yet but are on order):

Shakespeare in our time : a Shakespeare Association of America collection edited by Dympna Callaghan and Suzanne Gossett

Worldly Shakespeare : the theatre of our good will by Richard Wilson

Shakespeare’s literary lives : the author as character in fiction and film by Paul Franssen

Selling Shakespeare : biography, bibliography, and the book trade by Adam G. Hooks

Teaching Shakespeare with purpose : a student-centred approach by Ayanna Thompson and Laura Turchi

Shakespeare, performance and the archive by Barbara Hodgdon

Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama Text and Performance by Pamela Bickley and Jenny Stevens

Shakespeare’s prop room: an inventory by John Leland and Alan Baragona

Shakespeare’s insults : a pragmatic dictionary by Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin

 

Charlie Hebdo Attack Survivor Philippe Lançon, Apr. 20

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WHAT: Talk and Q&A with French writer and journalist Philippe Lançon

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20, 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room, Rubenstein Library Room 153

Reception to follow.


French writer and journalist, Philippe Lançon, will speak at Duke University on the vital force of reading and writing in the face of terror attacks.

His talk, “Comment lire et écrire après un attentat (How to read and write in the wake of an attack),” will be in French with an English synopsis provided. The Q&A will also be conducted in English.  A reception will follow.

Lançon will be speaking on a subject he knows all too well.  A contributor to the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, he was participating in the editorial meeting the morning of the terrorist attack on January 7, 2015. He came out, injured, and ready to write again a week later.

Parisians rally at the Place de la Republique in support of the victims of the January 7, 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting. Photo by Olivier Ortelpa from Wikimedia Commons.
Parisians rally at the Place de la Republique in support of the victims of the January 7, 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting. Photo by Olivier Ortelpa from Wikimedia Commons.

Lançon’s writing as a critic of literature and the arts is widely known and respected. For his work in Libération and XXI, he has won the Hennessy award as well as the Lagardère Journalist Award.  Lançon has a particular interest in the fiction of Spanish America, especially Cuba.

Lançon is also the author of several novels and short stories, including L’élan  (2011) and  Les îles (2013), publishing playfully under a pseudonym as well.

In 2010, Lançon taught two courses on French literature and politics at Duke in the Department of Romance Studies. He first came to Duke as a Media Fellow in the Sanford School for Public Policy, now part of the Franklin Humanities Institute.

His talk is co-sponsored by the Center for French and Francophone Studies, the Department of Romance Studies, Duke University Libraries, and the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Read more by Philippe Lançon:

 

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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It’s National Library Week, so #ThankALibrarian!

ThankALibrarian Sidewalk Sign

What have we done for you lately?

That’s the question we’re asking Duke students and faculty today—and every day this week.

It’s National Library Week (April 10-16), and we’re celebrating by asking people to #ThankALibrarian and tell us how a librarian has helped them.

Has a librarian helped you with a paper or research project recently?  Or maybe someone helped you check out a book or a DVD? Or maybe someone came to one of your classes and taught you about a new tool or database?

If so, now’s your chance to say thanks! (We’ll only blush a little).

Look for groups of librarians all around campus (East and West) this week. We’ll be taking pictures, posting them on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts using the hashtag #ThankALibrarian.

Buttons!
Buttons!

You can also send us your own photo by downloading and printing this handy template. Write a message, take a photo, and post your photo with the hashtag #ThankALibrarian on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag us (@dukelibraries).

We’ll be giving away fun library buttons (because everyone loves buttons, right?). Plus you can enter a drawing to win one of our sweet Perkins-Bostock-Rubenstein library T-shirts.

T-shirts!
You know you want one of these.

So if you see us out there, take a moment to stop and #ThankALibrarian!

Time Travel Films

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

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

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