You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > Falvey Memorial Library Blog

Ulysses, Zombies and Superheroines: The Graphic Novel Goes Digital at our 3rd Annual Event

From webcomics to iPad apps to same-day digital downloads of print comics, graphic novels and comic books have undoubtedly entered the digital age. While the majority of comics are still sold in hard copy, demand for and access to digital content is steadily increasing.

Our 3rd annual graphic novel event explores this trend, featuring a panel discussion with three Philadelphia comic book professionals who are redefining the way we view the graphic novel. In partnership with the Villanova University Writing Center, Falvey Memorial Library is proud to present “Graphic Novels in the Digital Age.” The event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 3:00 pm in the library first floor lounge.

Our panelists are developing some of the most exciting work at the forefront of the digital comics revolution:

Josh Levitas handles the graphic design, web design, iPad user interface design, production art, and hand lettering for Ulysses “Seen, an online graphic adaptation of James Joyce’s masterwork that has garnered attention from The New York Times, TIME, Wired and The New Yorker. The work was at the center of a storm of controversy when Apple requested that two images be censored before it could be released in the iPad app store. The attention garnered from this new censoring of Ulysses, 90 years after it was first banned in the United States, caused Apple to reverse their decision.

Ulysses “Seen” is the flagship project of digital media publisher Throwaway Horse LLC. As a founding member of Throwaway Horse, Levitas develops educational apps that unite literary classics, comic book art and scholarly research. Spring 2011 saw the release of Martin Rowson’s The Waste Land “Seen,” an iPad app featuring a graphic novel film noir-style parody of T.S. Eliot’s epic poem with full reader’s guide. 

Tony Trov and Johnny Zito
develop and write popular comic book series for publishers including DC Entertainmentand digital retailer Comixology. These comics include Black Cherry Bombshells, an apocalyptic future series about zombies and girls gangs, La Morté Sisters, the story of an all-girl vampire boarding school, and Moon Girl, a superhero comic set in 1950s New York.

Moon Girl was created for EC Comics in 1947, but the character has since slipped into the public domain.  Trov and Zito revamped her character for their series.  The digital Moon Girl comics proved so popular that they were printed and sold in hard copy at comic book shops nationwide.

Through their intellectual property studio, South Fellini, Trov and Zito have also put their visual storytelling skills to use creating films for Ford, as well as Alpha Girls, an independent horror film. They are set to film an adaptation of their scifi comic book series The Dogs of M.A.R.S. in 2012.

The event will feature presentations by the speakers, a panel question and answer session and an iPad gallery of digital graphic novels for attendees to browse.

Snacks will be served. The event is free and open to the public.



New Books in Communication

Fall book selections are beginning to arrive in the library.  See some highlights below, or check out the full list of new books of interest to the Communication Department.

Reporting live from the end of the world
by David Shukman

The culture of Al Jazeera: Inside an Arab media giant
by Mohamed Zayani and Sofiane Sahraoui
McFarland & Co.

Research methods in theatre and performance
by Baz Kershaw and Helen Nicholson
Edinburgh University Press

Violence in the media and its influence on criminal defense
by Cynthia A. Cooper
McFarland & Co.

The wrinkles of the city: Shanghai
a project by JR
JR is a photographer and street artist.  This book documents one of his projects.  Text is in Chinese and English.


Library Resources for Postcolonial Studies

By Alexandra Edwards

You may have noticed that several of this semester’s library events have focused on a common theme: colonial histories and postcolonialism. Visiting scholars Ambassador and Dr. Melady spoke on African heroes during the 1960s sweep of independence; Dr. Gastanaga gave an introduction to art from colonial Peru; Dr. Kolsky talked about violence in colonial India; and later this semester, Dr. Nagy-Zekmi will give a faculty book talk on Perennial Empires: Postcolonial, Transnational, and Literary Perspectives (Cambria Press, 2011). While this emerging theme was
unintentional, it does point to a growing interest among academics.

Postcolonial studies has developed in the past several decades, and largely stems from two main texts: Orientalism by Edward Said (Vintage Books, 1978) and The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin (Rutledge, 1989).

It has since expanded as an interdisciplinary field of study and is now a major academic concern, with a wide array of resources dedicated to the subject. As our variety of events show, postcolonial studies is a growing facet of a number of disciplines, including the study of English, history, Romance languages and literatures, art history and more.

Two good starting points for understanding postcolonialism are Post-Colonialism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press) and The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies (Cambridge University Press).  Like all volumes in the Cambridge Companion series, the latter is fully available online.

For more postcolonial studies resources, try library catalog searches for the subjects “postcolonialism” and “imperialism.”

Do you have a favorite book on postcolonial studies? Is there a text we should add to our collection? Let us know in the comments!



Call for applications: The Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie
politique de Montréal (GRIPP), spanning the departments of political science and
philosophy at McGill University, l’Université de Montréal, Concordia University,
and l’Université du Québec à Montréal, invites applications for its 2012
manuscript workshop award. The recipient of the award will be invited to
Montreal  for a day-long workshop in April/May 2012 dedicated to his or her book
manuscript. This “author meets critics” workshop will comprise four to five
sessions dedicated to critical discussion of the manuscript; each session will
begin with a critical commentary on a section of the manuscript by a  political
theorist or philosopher who is part of Montreal’s GRIPP community. The format is
designed to maximize feedback for a book-in-progress. The award covers the costs
of travel, accommodation, and meals.


A. Topic: The manuscript topic is open within political theory and political
philosophy, but we are especially interested in manuscripts related to at least
one of these GRIPP research themes: 1) the history of liberal and democratic
thought, especially early modern thought; 2) moral psychology and political
agency, or politics and affect or emotions or rhetoric; 3) democracy, diversity,
and pluralism. 4) democracy, justice, and transnational institutions.

B. Manuscript: Book manuscripts in English or French, not yet in a version
accepted for publication, by applicants with PhD in hand by 1 August 2011, are
eligible. Applicants must have a complete or nearly complete draft (at least 4/5
of final draft) ready to present at the workshop. In the case of co-authored
manuscripts, only one of the co-authors is eligible to apply. (Only works in
progress by the workshop date are eligible; authors with a preliminary book
contract are eligible only if no version has been already accepted for

C. Application: Please submit the following materials electronically, compiled
as a single PDF file: 1) a curriculum vitae; 2) a table of contents; 3) a short
abstract of the book project, up to 200 words; 4) a longer book abstract up to
2500 words; and, in the case of applicants with previous book publication(s),
(5) three reviews, from established journals in the field, of the applicant’s
most recently published monograph. Candidates are not required to, but may if
they wish, submit two letters of recommendation speaking to the merits of the
book project. Please do not send writing samples. Send materials by email, with
the subject heading “2012 GRIPP Manuscript Workshop Award” to Arash Abizadeh
<arash.abizadeh at mcgill.ca>. Review of applications begins 10 January 2012.
Contact Arash Abizadeh <arash.abizadeh at mcgill.ca> with questions.


"The Open House was a neat idea!" Winners of the iPad, Kindle and Nook

Three very happy students, the winners of the Open House drawing, recently met with University Librarian Joe Lucia and Instructional Services Librarian Barbara Quintiliano.  Four hundred students attended the Open House on Sept. 13 and 14 and, by completing a simple project to familiarize themselves with the library catalog, entered the drawing for one of the prizes: an iPad, a Kindle or a Nook.

Nick Pajerowski, a first-year mechanical engineering major from Annapolis, Md., won the grand prize: an iPad. “I was so stoked when I found out I won the iPad! It’s such a cool gadget, and it’ll definitely be useful for studying … and for Angry Birds,” Pajerowski said. He told his father he was going to take it apart. Engineers are curious people!




Abigail Demke, a first-year student from West Hartford, Conn., won the Kindle. Demke commented, “I was incredibly surprised to win … I was certain I would be disqualified because on the raffle form I wrote that I am too old-fashioned to read books on a screen… Even though I love books with pages, I am very excited to see if e-books are right for me. So far, I love how small and convenient it is, and I think it’ll be great for train rides home. Many thanks to the staff at the Library; the Open House was a neat idea.”


Lynnea Greene, a political science major from Philadelphia, won the Nook. She noted that her mother “has been trying to buy me an e-reader for so long, and I’ve always told her no. But winning the Nook has made me see the error of my ways. I love it and really appreciate it. Thanks so much!”

Students also visited the “petting zoo” where they could try out the iPad, Kindle and Nook. Snacks and handouts were available to visitors. And each day the first 100 registered Villanova student attendants received USB thumb drives.

Quintiliano and her committee planned the Open House.


Article and photographs by Alice Bampton


Eric Wagner is Falvey Student of the Month

Eric Wagner, a junior geography major from Fogelsville, Pa., was selected the September Student Employee of the Month for Falvey.

According to Phylis Wright, manager of Access Desk Services, “Eric is one of our best and brightest in Access Services. He is what might be known in baseball as a utility player. Eric is the first to volunteer … and his proactive nature helps our patrons better achieve their goals. His character is clearly evident from being creatively involved with the library music video to his suggestions involving services. Eric puts effort into every facet of his position. He adds a personal dimension and depth to Falvey.”

Wagner is a member of the Villanova University Tech Crew, Villanova Television (VTV)  and the Campus Activities Team (CAT). He is also a liturgical minister and a catechist at St. Thomas of Villanova Church in Rosemont, Pa. Wagner is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the University’s Running Club .  His hobbies include performing community service, reading, sailing, running and “learning to ride [his] unicycle.”

About Wagner, Bill Greene, a member of the Access Services department, added “He is humorous. He laughs at my jokes and has good comebacks of his own.”

Joanne Quinn, Falvey’s design specialist, will create a caricature of Wagner to be displayed on the pillar behind the main service counter. Check it out!

The University Staff Council at Falvey selects a Student of the Month based upon nominations from student supervisors.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


New Sage Journals – Sociology

Falvey Memorial Library recently subscribed to a large package of social science journals from Sage Journals Online.  These titles are now available in full text online through library resources.

The My Tools feature of Sage Journals Online allows users to establish email alerts, saved searches, marked citations, and favorite journals through personal accounts.  If you need assistance setting up a personal account or taking advantage of these tools, please contact Kristyna.

Here are some highlights from the newly acquired titles in the Sociology Collection.  Check this blog for more highlights from other disciplines!

Holdings: 2000 – present
Ethnography (ETH) is a fully peer reviewed quarterly journal now indexed in ISI – Impact Factor pending. An international and interdisciplinary journal addressing ethnographic findings and methods it bridges the chasm between sociology and anthropology promoting a pragmatic fusion of close-up observation, rigorous theory and social critique. It re-engages field-based research with theoretical sensibility representing how ethnography is actually practiced and written.

Theory, Culture & Society
Holdings: 1999 – present
Theory, Culture & Society is a highly ranked, high impact factor, rigorously peer reviewed journal that publishes original research and review articles in the social and cultural sciences. Launched to cater for the resurgence of interest in culture within contemporary social science, it provides a forum for articles which theorize the relationship between culture and society.

Latin American Perspectives
Holdings: 1974 – present
Latin American Perspectives (LAP), peer-reviewed and published bi-monthly, is a theoretical and scholarly journal for discussion and debate on the political economy of capitalism, imperialism, and socialism in the Americas. Offering a vital multidisciplinary view of the powerful forces that shape the Americas, most issues focus on a single problem, nation, or region, providing an in-depth look from participants and scholars.

Journal of Sport & Social Issues
Holdings: 1999 – present
Journal of Sport and Social Issues (JSSI), published monthly, brings you the latest research, discussion and analysis on contemporary sport issues. Using an international, interdisciplinary perspective, JSSI examines today’s most pressing and far-reaching questions about sport.

Journal of Sociology
Holdings: 1999 – present
Journal of Sociology is the official journal of The Australian Sociological Association. It carries peer refereed articles of sociological research and theory on issues of interest to Australian sociology and aims to promote dialogue and exchange between Australian sociologists and the international community of sociology.

Feminist Theory
Holdings: 2000 – present
Feminist Theory is an international peer reviewed journal that provides a forum for critical analysis and constructive debate within feminism. Feminist Theory is genuinely interdisciplinary and reflects the diversity of feminism, incorporating perspectives from across the broad spectrum of the humanities and social sciences and the full range of feminist political and theoretical stances. The journal is now indexed by ISI – Impact Factor pending.


Developing Your Teaching Portfolio

There are many ways for arranging your materials. One aspect to keep in mind is that you want to compile and format your materials in a way that is accessible and easy to use for exhausted search committee members who will be looking at your and 200 other candidates’ materials at the end of their Fall term. It may be a good idea to include a table of contents and use file dividers.

One way of organizing your teaching portfolio is

  1. Teaching Statement
  2. Past/Upcoming Course Responsibilities
  3. Course/Instructor Evaluations
  4. Examples of Course Materials

If there are particular courses that you would be eager to teach — especially in the area(s) the job ad mentions — but you have not taught those courses, it may be a good idea to include example syllabi that show how you would teach those courses.  A course description and list of weeks with texts are fine for this purpose.

The article below gives some advice on how to develop your teaching statement. It can be found at the teaching center at Ohio State U along with more information on teaching portfolios:

Nancy Chism’s five components of a teaching statement

In her article (Chism, 1998), “Developing a Philosophy of Teaching Statement,” Nancy Chism, former Director of Faculty and TA Development at The Ohio State University, suggests five major components.

1. Conceptualization of learning

Ask yourself such questions as “What do we mean by learning?” and “What happens in a learning situation?” Think of your answers to these questions based on your personal experience. Chism points out that some teachers have tried to express and explain their understanding of learning through the use of metaphor, because drawing comparisons with known entities can stimulate thinking, whether or not the metaphor is actually used in the statement. On the other hand, most instructors tend to take a more direct approach in conceptualizing learning, i.e., to describe what they think occurs during a learning episode, based on their observation and experience or based on current literature on teaching and learning.

2. Conceptualization of teaching

Ask yourself questions such as “What do we mean by teaching?” and “How do I facilitate this process as a teacher?” Chism suggests that personal teaching beliefs on how the instructor facilitates the learning process would be appropriate for this section. Again, the metaphor format can be used, but a common practice is a more direct description of the nature of a teacher with respect to motivating and facilitating learning. Along with the questions above, you may also address such issues as how to challenge students intellectually and support them academically and how the teacher can respond to different learning styles, help students who are frustrated, and accommodate different abilities. Furthermore, you may talk about how you as a teacher have come to these conclusions (e.g., through past experience as a student or teacher, or as a result of literature reading or taking classes).

3. Goals for students

This section should entail the description of what skills the teacher expects her/his students to obtain as the result of learning. You may address such issues as what goals you set for your classes, what the rationale behind them is, what kind of activities you try to implement in class in order to reach these goals, and how the goals have changed over time as you learn more about teaching and learning. For instance, you can describe how you have expected students to learn not only the content, but also skills such as critical thinking, writing, and problem solving, followed by elaboration on how you have designed/planned individual sessions towards accomplishing the goals.

4. Implementation of the philosophy

An important component of the statement of a teaching philosophy should be the illustration of how one’s concepts about teaching and learning and goals for students are transformed into classroom activities. Ask yourself, “How do I operationalize my philosophy of teaching in the classroom?” and “What personal characteristics in myself or my students influence the way in which I approach teaching?” To answer these questions, you may reflect on how you present yourself and course materials, what activities, assignments, and projects you implement in the teaching-learning process, how you interact with students in and outside class, and the consequences.

5. Professional growth plan

It is important for teachers to continue professional growth, and to do so, teachers need to set clear goals and means to accomplish these goals. Think about questions such as “What goals have I set for myself as a teacher?” and “How do I accomplish these goals?” You can elaborate this plan in your statement of teaching philosophy. For instance, you can illustrate how you have professionally grown over the years, what challenges exist at the present, what long-term development goals you have projected, and what you will do to reach these goals. Chism suggests that writing this section can help you think about how your perspectives and actions have changed over time.

In summary, these are the main questions Chism suggests to answer in a statement:

  • How do people learn?
  • How do I facilitate that learning?
  • What goals do I have for my students?
  • Why do I teach the way that I do?
  • What do I do to implement these ideas about teaching and learning in the classroom?
  • Are these things working? Do my student meet the goals?
  • How do I know they are working?
  • What are my future goals for growth as a teacher?


Philadelphia Business Journal Trial

Think globally, act locally has been used in a wide variety of contexts.  For students and faculty at VSB it could be translated into keeping abreast of business developments in our town and around the world.  Reading the Philadelphia Business Journal ,the WSJ and Financial Times, the other national and international campus wide business papers, may be one way to do just that.  And it may get easier….

We have a month long trial to the Philadelphia Business Journal and  its 39 sister publications from the American City Business Journals.  The Philadelphia Business Journal is the only business paper in our region.   A subscription would provide full text searchable access to 10 years worth of archives, digital replicas of the print publications, and the rankings found in Book of Lists.  At present the library provides access to Regional BusinessNews via EBSCO, but unfortunately bizjournals and are not included there.

Please let me know if you think we should invest in a site license.


Theatrical History of Philadelphia Featured

Howard Shelley in costume

The papers of Howard Merrill Shelley, noted 20th century Philadelphian and playwright, are now being digitized and made available online through the Digital Library.  In addition to being a figure of the Philadelphia theater world, Shelley (1879-1956) was also descended from historic and famous inhabitants of the area, including David Rittenhouse and Benjamin Franklin.

The Digital Library’s Fall 2011 Intern, Karla Irwin, introduces readers to Howard Shelley and his illustrious family history, on the Blue Electrode blog. “Digitizing the Howard Shelley Collection,” she writes, “has been like working on a miniature time capsule of Philadelphia genealogy and theater history.”

Read more of Karla’s research about Howard Shelley here.


« Previous PageNext Page »


Last Modified: October 11, 2011