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CfP: The Legacy of Enlightenment and the Politics of Spectatorship (9/30/12)

44th Annual Convention: Northeastern Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 21-24, 2013
Boston, MA

Dramatic shifts in the realms of philosophy, art, economics, physiology, and jurisprudence during the Age of Enlightenment were predicated on a preoccupation with spectatorship. This panel’s inquiry begins from the proposition that a central “dialectic” of Enlightenment lies at the meeting point between medium and spectator. From Lessing’s theater to the philosophy of Adorno and Horkheimer, from Brechtian and Artaudian notions of viewership to the construction of contemporary museums, the visual legacy of  Enlightenment rationalism continues to affect the way we engage politically and culturally with the world around us.

We seek contributions that explore diverse manifestations of the politics of observation. How do “enlightened” performances and artworks construct or critique particular modes of viewing? What are the political implications of the work-to-audience relationship in the realms of gender, race, class identity, or other social categories? What spectatorial expectations underlie philosophical works by Leibniz, Kant, La Mettrie, and others? How do notions of the public and private spheres map onto concerns for spectatorship? And how do notions of “enlightened” observation change in the aftermath of the Age of Enlightenment strictly speaking?

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

·       – Theoretical and philosophical approaches to spectatorship in the Age of Enlightenment from Descartes to Lessing to Kant.
·       – The politics of spectatorship in medical shows and other events in the public sphere.
·       – Modern and post-modern approaches to Enlightenment spectatorship in film, literature, and art history.
·       – Implications of the philosophy of the Frankfurt School for contemporary spectatorship.
·       – Analyses of audience-work relations and the politics of the spectatorial gaze in visual or literary works.

We welcome abstracts for interdisciplinary papers.

Please send a 500-word abstract and one-paragraph biographical
sketch to Pascale LaFountain (lafountainp@mail.montclair.edu) and Tracy Graves (gravest2@msu.edu).

Submission deadline: September 30, 2012.


Transcriptions from the Elizabeth Hayes letters

Posted for Summer 2012 Digital Library Intern Gail Betz:

Over the summer, I transcribed a portion of Elizabeth Hayes’s personal letters. Elizabeth was Patrick Barry Hayes’ wife, and she devoted a great deal of her time to corresponding with her seafaring husband and traveling sons. While only a few of the letters that Elizabeth herself wrote are included in the collection, she kept letters from her sons and her husband, which now provide a glimpse into their everyday lives. As a history lover, I greatly enjoyed reading these primary source documents, trying to figure out what the different words could be, and deciphering the context of the letter. I discovered that it was much easier to read the younger sons’ letters, because they had much neater cursive than their father did. It’s possible that Patrick Barry Hayes spent much of his time writing to Elizabeth while at sea, which could account for some of the jarring script that made much of his letters illegible. In contrast, his sons’ handwriting was easy to read, and they used more modern vocabulary than their father did.

Having the opportunity to read personal letters from the early 19th century was fascinating for me. It was like reading a diary, but with multiple perspectives and a great deal of guessing about missing information between dates and locations. I enjoyed learning that one son had reunited with his love, and had written to her father to ask for her hand in marriage. I was worried for the son who was away at school for the first time, was ill, and clearly homesick for his mother. While these letters were written almost 200 years ago, the thoughts and feelings they related were contemporary and relatable.

Thank you to Michael Foight and Laura Bang for sharing their knowledge and advice, and providing me with the opportunity to learn about and work with digital libraries. I enjoyed seeing the “other side” of the digital library process, and look forward to using this experience in future digital projects!

Editorial Note: These transcriptions are in the process of being attached to the digital images and will be available for the public in the near future.


Meet Lisa McColl, Fall 2012 Digital Library Intern

Intern Lisa McCollEarlier this month, Lisa McColl joined the Digital Library team as the Fall 2012 Digital Library Intern. Lisa is currently employed as a cataloger at Norristown Public Library, as well as holding an appointment as an adjunct instructor in cataloging at Clarion University. She earned her MLS from Clarion and also holds a Masters in Music from Florida State University. Lisa plays the clarinet and she says that music is a big part of her life.

With regard to the internship, Lisa says she is most excited about working with metadata, which allows her to delve into the collections and learn about them. She will be working more in depth with a set of metadata as her internship project.

Next up on Lisa’s “to read” list is Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather. Her middle name is Abra, after a character in John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Lisa’s favorite color is deep purple, like tulips.

Purple Tulips by Selbe B
“Purple Tulips” by Selbe B on Flickr


The Library’s Business Research Team Relocates, Strengthening its Virtual Presence

The Bartley Business Information Office has closed, freeing up much needed space for faculty offices.  The Business Research Team has moved into Falvey Memorial Library’s new Learning Commons Research Center on Falvey’s second floor on a full time basis.

We expect this change to be a winning solution for all constituents. You can still chat with us or email us for immediate assistance. Business team librarians Linda Hauck, Merrill Stein and Dennis Lambert are at your service.

For more information, see the Business Reference blog.


Need Help? Tips for The Chicago Manual of Style

Historians and students and scholars in other disciplines implement The Chicago Manual of Style to cite resources used in their research papers. Find out how to cite a sample source in the notes and works cited list (bibliography). Falvey created an online tutorial demonstrating how to do this.

See the History and Political Science blog post for more information and helpful contacts.


Trial to WARC

We have a limited time trial to Warc, a U.K based marketing and advertising database.  Warc offers:

  • case studies
  • creative campaign vidoes
  • best practice guides,
  • news
  • trend reports
  • top level advertising data

The case studies written by practitioners (typically a campaign insider) describe campaigns and their outcomes in detail.  The best practice guides are written by academics and professionals and in a page or two summarize current thinking on a wide variety of topics such as how to market to men, evaluate creative work or conduct immersive market research.  Suggestions for further reading are provided.   The campaign videos are particularly useful as they are accompanied by critiques.  The data offered includes top level ad spending, forecasts and a unique global advertising estimation tool.  Warc is a World Federation of Advertisers partner, publisher of several trade and scholarly journals and  a marketing and advertising conference organizer.

Warc is available from the Marketing Subject page until October 20.  Tell you students and let me know what you think!



SnapShot PA – Be Part of the Story

Oct. 3—See what’s happening and be seen at Falvey Memorial Library as we participate in SnapShot PA 2012. Be a part of our effort to represent in images, statistics and stories the library’s significance to our community.

SnapShot PA is an initiative to capture a day in the life of libraries across the state, sponsored by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries and supported by the Pennsylvania Library Association. This crowd-sourced event was last held in 2009 when libraries of all stripes documented the front-and-center as well as behind-the-scenes work done in libraries, collected stories from users and took photos of people at work and play in libraries. Similar “SnapShot days” have been held in at least 35 states. SnapShot PA is a fun way to show your love for the library and help libraries demonstrate their worth! Come to the library on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to have your picture taken, or leave us a comment!


Useful Resources for the Academic Job Market

Resources for the Academic Job Market compiled by Ryan Cordell. Some of the material is more directed toward the job market in English, but much of the advice is helpful across the humanities and even more broadly.



Need Help? "Finding Augustine in Falvey"

A fourth-century saint, a Catholic bishop of the North African city of Hippo, a Doctor of the Church, a biblical exegete, a philosophical thinker, an early Church Father and a writer of some of the most influential books in the history of Western civilization: Augustine is one person about whom every student at Villanova University, a Catholic and Augustinian community, will learn. But when students need to do library research on Saint Augustine of Hippo, where do they begin?

Question: How do I begin library research into Augustine?

Answer: You may want to contact the subject librarian for Theology and Religious Studies, Darren Poley. His office is Falvey 234,  phone 610-519-6371 or email darren.poley@villanova.edu.

Another first step is to think about what you are seeking. Are you looking for the writings of Saint Augustine in Latin or an English translation? Do you want books and articles about Augustine written by scholars? Do you just want to look up a short, authoritative reference article on an Augustine-related topic? Is your research centered on something specific to his life or place in history (Augustine as a Christian philosopher, for example)?

Question: Where can I find the writings of Saint Augustine in Latin or in English translation?

Answer: Augustine’s original writings, which are in Latin, can be read in print or online. The Corpus Christianorum Series Latina and the Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL) are series with critical editions of Latin texts. The “Patrologia Latina” series edited by Jacques-Paul Migne, which includes Augustine’s Latin works, is available in print (Falvey West stacks) and online.

Advanced researchers looking for an authoritative database of Augustine’s works in Latin should investigate the Corpus Augustinianum Gissense (CAG 2). The Past Masters database has most of his works that have been translated into English, as well as the complete works in Latin. The works in English in Past Masters are from the best series of translations in print: The works of Saint Augustine, a translation for the 21st century. Since most students are looking for English-language resources, Writings of Saint Augustine and the Ancient Christian Writers series are other good English translations of Augustine’s major works.

Question: How do I discover books and articles about Augustine written by scholars? (more…)


What do social networking sites and reality TV have in common?

Both are new entries in The Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, the second edition of which is now available online. Ideally suited for undergraduate students, each article delivers a thorough description of its topic and concludes with a recommended reading list. You can also browse the table of contents to generate ideas for paper topics.

Jutta Seibert covers the new edition in her Philosophy topic blog: “The interested reader encounters a brave new world expressed in neologisms such as Savior Siblings, Genetic Exceptionalism, and Open Source Software, terminology which largely did not exist back in 1998.”


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Last Modified: September 19, 2012