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Dig Deeper: Christians in the Contemporary Middle East Conference

Nova Conference: Middle East

Villanova University will host a conference on Dec. 5-6 titled Christians in the Contemporary Middle East: Religious Minorities and the Struggle for Secular Nationalism and Citizenship. With such wonderful speakers attending as Retired General Anthony Charles Zinni (USMC) and Ussama Makdisi of Rice University, the conference promises some elucidating conversation.

For a conference on such a particular subject, the presentations will cover a diverse range of topics. Attendees will hear such intriguing talks as “Christian Contributions to Art, Culture and Literature in the Arab-Islamic World” and “The Impact of the Shia-Sunni Political Struggle and Future Strategies for Christians and Other Minorities in the Middle East.”

Specialized lectures such as these sometimes require a little bit of background information, and some students may be wondering the relevance of these topics to their lives or academic development. I had similar questions and concerns and brought them up with Assistant Director of Academic Integration and Theology Librarian Darren Poley.

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(Cover of illustrated edition of Universal Declaration of Human Rights from website below)

 

“Religious liberty is not just an American or even an exclusively Western concept,” he began. “Freedom to practice one’s faith or belief system is an intrinsically human desire.”

Poley recommends taking a look at the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights if you’re interested in why the Villanova University should be concerned about the Middle East. It’s available here, and Poley reminds you, “especially since we live in an increasingly interconnected and globalized society: no one can afford to ignore any lack of respect for people, property, social justice or the integrity of creation anywhere in the world.”

Dig Deeper by investing these associations, centers and initiatives for social justice:

“It surprises most students to learn that the Middle East and North African were predominantly Christian lands for the centuries between the official toleration of Christianity in the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the rise of Islam in the 7th century,” Poley continued.

Cartouche

(Villanova University’s Arabic Cartouche)

It’s important for Villanova students to think about the decline of pluralistic spaces in the Middle East because so many of these early Christian societies remain today, albeit under different leadership and sometimes different names.

“Nestorian Christians in the Middle East established themselves in the 5th century and continue as the Assyrian Church of the East.” Poley highlighted, and “there are many different Eastern Orthodox churches often along ethnic or national lines that are affiliated with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, a Turkish citizen who resides in Istanbul.”

Patriarchate Banner

(Banner for the Ecumenical Patriarchate – website below)

In addition, there are Catholics outside of the Latin Rite tradition. The Maronites of Lebanon, the Chaldeans of Iraq, and the Melkites from Syria, Jordan and Israel represent the largest groups of such.

Poley said, “There are also small groups of Christians in the Middle East with doctrinal differences from either the Catholic of the Eastern Orthodox churches, which are collectively called the Oriental Orthodox churches; the three major ones being the Syrian, Armenian, and Coptic (Egyptian).”

Despite the complexity of their histories, you may find statistics and information on the individuals and groups of Christians who continue to “live, work, worship, and coexist alongside Muslims and Jews in Middle Eastern countries,” according to Poley, at these websites:

An encyclopedia of knowledge on the topic, Poley provided me with an exhaustive list of thinkers, theologians and writers who have promoted religious diversity in the Middle East. I’ve included just a few of those thinkers below so that you may familiarize yourself with them before the conference:

  • Saint Pope John Paul II
  • Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
  • Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
  • Catholic Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah
  • Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine William Shomali
  • Melkite Archbishop George Wadih Bakouni
  • Antiochian Orthodox Bishop George Khodr
  • Coptic Orthodox Bishop Barnibas El Soryany
  • Armenian Bishop of Damascus Armash Nalbandian
  • Father Kail C. Ellis, OSA, Villanova University.

Yes, that’s the abridged list. In case you were wondering if you should visit a subject librarian before collecting research for your next term paper: yes, you should. Poley, and indeed all of our subject librarians, work tirelessly to keep up-to-date on current events, research, and research methodologies.

Darren Poley resize

(This is what Darren Poley looks like, in case you go looking for him.)

They also keep tabs on the library collection and can direct you to books and journals available either here at the Falvey or through the library’s databases. I asked Poley: what library resources are available for students to learn about the prospects of and strategies for promoting piece in the Middle East?

He suggested looking at the Theology & Religious Studies and Cultural Studies subject guides and reading one, some, or all of the following:

For some students, including me, starting to read up on Middle Eastern Christianity would be difficult without some background on Middle Eastern geopolitics. I submitted the same question to Poley about library resources for looking at the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East. He suggested starting with the Political Science Subject Guide and the History Subject Guide, but also directed me to these books:

Mary Queen of Peace

(Mary Queen of Peace)

Speaking of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Poley said, “So in the middle of the 20th century, perhaps the bloodiest in history so far in terms of wars and other violence, people of good will came together to publically declare among other tenets that freedom of conscience and religion is a basic human right.” Described as “timely and riveting” by the university’s poster, this conference may be an excellent opportunity for the Villanova community to validate these tenets.


Website photo 2

Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


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Before you vote on Tuesday, check this out! Lots of good information on candidates.

BallotReady resize

Would you like to have a sample ballot before you vote? Are you still uncertain about some candidates or what referendums might be on your ballot?

Janice Bially Mattern, Social Sciences and Data Services librarian, provided this fascinating, informative (and addictive) website < https://www.ballotready.org/> for BallotReady.

“Every candidate and referendum, explained.” “Know what you are voting for by researching every name and issue on the ballot with BallotReady.” (website) “We founded BallotReady because we believe that no one should have to guess or leave blanks on their ballot. … [BallotReady] was founded as the movement to create a more informed democracy.” (email)

To get started with BallotReady, type in your home (voting) address and click “Get Started.” A list of offices which will be on your ballot appears, beginning with President of the United States and moving down in order of rank, ending with whatever referendums are on your local ballot. Click on the office you are interested in; for example, I selected President of the United States and four candidates – Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green – appeared, each in a box with a small photograph and a brief biography. At the top of the page are places you click to bring up a candidate’s stance (numerous topics here-education, economy, etc.), endorsements (publications, organizations), and news (articles with sources and publication dates). After reading available information, select “Add to my ballot” for the candidate you choose. After creating an account you can either print or email your list of chosen candidates and how you want to vote on any referendums. I found the explanation of the referendum (retirement age for judges) on my ballot very helpful because the language used is misleading.

Unfortunately, BallotReady does not work for all states. It is currently available for Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

For information about Social Sciences or Data Services, contact Janice Bially Mattern, room 229, 610-519-5391.

 


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It’s Open Access Week! Here’s how to find great OA journals to publish with

It’s Open Access Week, a global event organized to promote free online access to scholarship.  Research funders are increasingly mandating that underlying research data and articles for sponsored research are made available via open access.  Some universities have adopted open access policies encouraging or requiring faculty to deposit their scholarship in open access archives.  Many scholars are motivated to publish in open access forums for a range of moral (open access advances science and innovations) and self- interested reasons (open access results increases readership and impact via citations).

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Falvey Memorial Library supports faculty interested in publishing in open access journals via the SOAR fund and provides assistance with identifying reputable open access journals.  Your liaison librarian is able to guide you through these sources designed for finding high quality open access journals.


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The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an international organization dedicated to advancing open access and best practices in scholarly publishing.  It maintains a browseable and searchable list of open access peer reviewed journals.  The DOAJ doesn’t include so called hybrid open access journals that are subscription based but make individual articles open access in exchange for significant article processing charges.  Only true, sometimes called “gold”, open access journals with creative commons licenses, allowing authors to retain copyright and users to read, copy, download and reuse without significant restrictions are included.


Cabell’s Directory of Publishing Opportunities is a bespoke database for academic authors seeking just the right journal outlet for their scholarship.  The Falvey Library subscription includes the education, nursing, business and psychology modules.  Authors can use check offs and slides to find journals by topic, acceptance rates, time to review, time to publication, review type, impact factor and of course by gold open access.


SCOPUS

SCOPUS, Elsevier’s multidisciplinary search engine, provides multiple pathways for finding open access journals.  From the Source tool you can browse journals by subject and limit to open access or you can do keyword searches in journal titles and limit to open access.  To find cross disciplinary open access journals, searching Scopus on the article level and scanning the results to see which journals in the results list are labeled “open access” is another effective approach.  Scopus also provides journal level metrics and tools for comparing custom build lists of journals.


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Similarly, Web of Science, the Thomson competitor to Elsevier’s SCOPUS, has an open access check off on the article search results screen.  The Impact Factor, perhaps the gold standard for journal metrics, is only provided for titles included in the Journal Citation Report.


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Checking Beall’s List of “potential, possible or probably predatory publishers” is a must for any to do list for finding and evaluating open access journals.  In short, Beall’s list is a curated, vetted list of where NOT to publish.  Jeffrey Beall, a librarian passionate about integrity in scholarly communication, conceived of and maintains the list.   Beall’s criteria for inclusion in the list is inspired by theCommittee on Publishers Ethics’ (COPE) Code of Conduct for Journal Publishersand the Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing.  To apply similar criteria to a journal that is a promising candidate for publication try the Think Check Submit website.


Whether or not you choose to publish in an open access journal depends on many factors including whether the journal will reach your intended audience, handles the publication process in a timely businesslike manner, the availability of funding for article processing fees, and not least, tenure and promotion committee attitudes.  If you’d like a sounding board and assistance identifying reputable open access journals your liaison librarian is here to help.


Linda Hauck resize 2Article by Linda Hauck, MS, MBA, business librarian and team coordinator for the Business Research team.


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Call: 2017 Westminster Institute for Advances Studies-International Research Fellowships in Critical Digital & Social Media Studies

Call: 2017 Westminster Institute for Advances Studies-International Research Fellowships in Critical Digital & Social Media Studies

https://www.westminster.ac.uk/news/2016/call-for-applications-wias-international-research-fellowships-in-critical-digital-and-social-media-studies-2017

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AUN132/westminster-institute-for-advanced-studies-international-research-fellowships-in-critical-digital-and-social-media-studies-2017-call-for-applications/

The Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS) www.westminster.ac.uk/wias is an academic space for independent critical thinking beyond borders. It is located at the University of Westminster in the heart of London. Prof Christian Fuchs is its Director. The WIAS’ research focus is critical digital and social media studies.

The Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies has an open call for international resarch fellows who during a 3 month stay in 2017 conduct critical studies of digital and social media’s role in society.

The WIAS aims to contribute to bringing about a paradigm shift from big data analytics to critical digital and social media research methods and theories. Digital and social media research at WIAS uses and develops critical theories, is profoundly theoretical, and discusses the political relevance and implications of the studied topics.

The WIAS’ Critical Digital and Social Media Studies Fellowship Programme is aimed at current and future research leaders, who engage in independent critical thinking. It enables them to undertake independent and collaborative research on original topics in a stimulating academic environment in London.

Funded scholarships are only awarded as a result of open calls. Priority will be given to well-defined projects. The regular scholarship duration is 3 months (start between 9 January and 1 May 2017). Later start dates are not possible.

Application deadline: Friday October 28, 2016

More information, details and application:

https://www.westminster.ac.uk/news/2016/call-for-applications-wias-international-research-fellowships-in-critical-digital-and-social-media-studies-2017


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Want to Know More About the Olympics? Here is the Place to Start

Rio 2016 jpgIf you read Merrill Stein’s recent blog, “Next Best Thing to Being There! Great Links to the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” or have been watching or reading the news about the summer Olympics and have questions, Falvey’s collection can provide answers. This “Dig Deeper” features only part of our collection of books about the Olympics. And don’t forget, our very knowledgeable reference librarians (Ask a Librarian) are here to help you find materials. Or you may visit their offices on the second floor of Falvey.

Dig Deeper:

History of the Ancient Games:

The Ancient Olympic Games” (1984)

The Ancient Olympic Games” (1966)

The Ancient Olympics” (2004)

The Story of the Olympic Games, 776 B.C.” (1973)

 

Women and the Olympic Games:

Grace and Glory:  A Century of Women in the Olympics” (1996)

Their Day in the Sun:  Women of the 1932 Olympics” (1996)

When the Girls Came Out to Play:  The Birth of American Sportswear” (2006)

Women’s Sport and Spectacle:  Gendered Television Coverage and the Olympic Games” (1998)

 

Other aspects of the Games:

The First Modern Olympics” (1976)

Global Olympics: Historical and Sociological Studies of the Modern Games ” (2005)

100 Greatest Moments in Olympic History” (1995)

All That Glitters Is Not Gold:  The Olympic Game” (1972)

Historical Dictionary of the Modern Olympic Movement” (1996)

 

 


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Check Out the Works of Alvin Toffler, Futurist, in Falvey

Alvin Toffler Photo by Vern Evans/Creative Commons

Alvin Toffler
Photo by Vern Evans/Creative Commons

Alvin Toffler, a futurist and author of ten books, but most famous for Future Shock, died on June 27 at age 87. The son of Polish immigrants living in Brooklyn, N.Y., he knew that he wanted to be a writer when he was only seven years old. He graduated from New York University as an English major and held various jobs including several years with Fortune magazine before becoming a freelance writer.

Toffler wrote his first book, Future Shock (1970), after five years of research. Future Shock sold millions of copies, was translated into numerous languages, made its author famous, and is still in print.

Farhad Manoo says, “It is fitting that his death occurred in a period of weeks characterized by one example of madness after another … It would be facile to attribute any one of these events to future shock. Yet … it seems clear that his diagnosis [in Future Shock] has largely panned out, with local and global crises arising daily from our collective inability to deal with ever-faster change.”

Dig Deeper:

Farhad Manjoo. “Why We Need to Pick Up Alvin Toffler’s Torch.” New York Times, July 7, 2016.

Obituary

Toffler Biography

 

Books by Alvin Toffler:

Adaptive Corporation resizeThe Adaptive Corporation (1985)

 

 

Creating a New Civilization resizeCreating a New Civilization:  The Politics of the Third Wave (1995)

 

 

Culture Consumers resizeThe Culture Consumers:  A Study of Art and Affluence in America (1964)

 

 

Future shock resizeFuture Shock (1970)

 

 

Learning for Tomorrow resizeLearning for Tomorrow:  The Role of the Future in Education (1974)

 

 

Power Shift resizePowershift:  Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century (1990)

 

 

Third Wave resizeThe Third Wave (1980)

 


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Call for abstracts: The science of evolution and the evolution of the sciences

Call for abstracts: The science of evolution and the evolution of the sciences

We invite submissions for papers to be presented at a two-day conference on The science of evolution and the evolution of the sciences, which will be held in Leuven, Belgium on the 12th and 13th October 2016.

Submissions should take the form of a 500-word abstract. Submissions on any aspect of the evolution of scientific theories are welcome, but contributions with a clear link to digital humanities are especially encouraged.

Aims and scope of the conference:

One of the longstanding debates in history and philosophy of science concerns how the sciences develop. Thomas Kuhn famously emphasized the role of scientific revolutions and so-called paradigm shifts. Other philosophers, including Karl Popper and David Hull, have offered a Darwinian account of the process of science. In their view, scientists create conjectures about the way the world works, and these conjectures undergo a process of selection as they are tested against the world. This is analogized with biological evolution: mutation and recombination creates novelty in the biological world, which then undergoes natural selection, driving adaptive evolution. In this conference, we will reexamine these ideas using new tools from cultural evolutionary theory and the digital humanities.

This conference explores recent attempts to move beyond mere qualitative theorizing about scientific cultures and their evolution and centers on the the question of the extent to which we can make quantitative predictions, extract quantitative data, or build quantitative models of and about scientific evolution over time. In addition to numerical models of cultural evolution drawn from the evolutionary sciences, quantitative data are also being extracted in the digital humanities. Cultural products like academic journal articles can be algorithmically mined in order to understand this body of work in a new light, offering data to help test hypothesis about scientific changes. By bringing together researchers with a common interest but with different disciplinary backgrounds and toolboxes, we hope to inspire cross-fertilization and new collaborations.

Questions addressed at this conference include:

*  What novel predictions do Darwinian accounts of science offer?

*  How can we test these predictions?

*  Can new work in the digital humanities, such as the automated mining and analysis of the scientific literature, shed light on Darwinian accounts of science?

*  Do formal evolutionary models or (quantitative) textual analyses permit a systematic approach to empirical issues in the realism-instrumentalism debate?

Keynote speakers:

Charles Pence (Louisiana State University)

Kimmo Eriksson (Mälardalen University and Stockholm University)

Mia Ridge (British Library)

Simon DeDeo (Indiana University & the Santa Fe Institute)

Abstracts must be received no later than June 7. Inquiries and abstracts should be directed to the conference organizers, Andreas De Block and Grant Ramsey, at the following addresses:

Andreas.deblock@hiw.kuleuven.be and grant@theramseylab.org

The conference receives financial support from the Institute of Philosophy (KU Leuven) and the FWO (Flemish Research Council).

_______________________

Grant Ramsey

www.theramseylab.org

grant@theramseylab.org

+1 574.344.0284


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Sarah Wingo and Kallie Stahl in the Classroom

Kallie & Sarah resizedSarah Wingo and Kallie Stahl

Sarah Wingo, Humanities II team leader and subject librarian for English, literature and theatre, taught an eight week honors course last semester. Her course, “Superheroes as Modern Mythology,” looked at comic books and their heroes as modern mythology. Wingo focused on the DC and Marvel comic books and movie franchises and also explored fan culture, history and other topics related to comic books.

When asked how a librarian with her background in Shakespeare and other early modern English playwrights became interested in pop culture comic book superheroes, Wingo answered, “[O]ne of the things that always fascinated me about Shakespeare … is that during his time Shakespeare wasn’t seen as the highbrow cultural icon that he is today. Shakespeare’s plays were a form of popular entertainment. … I’m interested in popular culture and popular entertainment, whether it be in Elizabethan England or 2015. I’m interested in what it says about us as a society and how we engage with it as a society.

Wingo went on to explain that she had watched the Batman, Spiderman and X-Men series in the 1980s and ‘90s and more recently her partner, who is interested in comic books and related media, has stimulated her interest in comic books and superheroes. She said, “It is easy to dismiss comic books and superheroes as childish, but just like Shakespeare they are responding to their times and dealing with cultural and societal themes that are important to the society in which they are created.”

As a finale to the course, Wingo invited Kallie Stahl, a graduate assistant to Falvey’s Scholarly Outreach team, to give a presentation on her current research on fandom. Fandom, according to Stahl and the “Urban Dictionary,” consists of a “community that surrounds a TV show/movie/book, etc.” The community may include message boards, online groups and other forms of communication.

Stahl is a second year graduate student, working on a master’s degree in communication. Her interests are popular culture, new media and cultural studies. Her research on fandom focuses on “Castle,” a popular television program.


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SAGE Trials

Falvey Memorial Library is currently running two trials from SAGE. Please check them out while you are on campus, and let us know what you think!

SAGE Video Beta

Access*: http://sk.sagepub.com/video
Ends: May 20, 2014

SAGE Video is a new product and is still in the beta phase. It currently includes three main collections: Counseling & Psychotherapy, Education, and Media, Communication & Cultural Studies. Video types include definitions, tutorials, interviews, and documentaries.

Benefits and features of SAGE Video

  • Almost 1600 videos and 400 hours of video in the complete collections (Beta includes 794 videos across 178 hours)
  • Video clip creation
  • Closed captioning
  • Change video size
  • Auto-scroll, searchable, downloadable transcripts
  • Multiple citation options
  • Save video to playlist
  • Embeddable HTML codes for web pages
  • Abstracts for each video

*Not compatible with Internet Explorer 10.

SAGE Research Methods

Access: http://srmo.sagepub.com
Ends: June 20, 2014

SAGE Research Methods provides access to 700+ books, encyclopedias, and journal articles, as well as innovative features, such as the Methods Map visual browse tool using a custom taxonomy of 700+ methods terms. Trial includes access to SAGE Research Methods Datasets and SAGE Research Methods Cases. Electronic versions of some SAGE handbooks and other reference materials, such as titles from the SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Methods series, are also included.

For help navigating the platform, please see the SAGE Research Methods LibGuide.

We welcome your feedback! Please leave a reply to this post, email, or call Kristyna at 610-519-5391.


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New Books in Communication and Sociology

Happy Fall!

In case you find some free time this semester and need a good book to read, please check out some of the newly acquired titles in the social sciences below that are available at Falvey Memorial Library. Be sure to check out the full list, too, for more new and unique titles.

Americans against the city : Anti-urbanism in the twentieth century
by Steven Conn
Oxford University Press, 2014

 

Cognitive media theory
by Ted Nannicelli & Paul Taberham
Routledge, 2014

 

Disability incarcerated : imprisonment and disability in the United States and Canada
by Liat Ben-Moshe & Liat and Allison C. Carey
Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

 

Doing a successful research project : using qualitative or quantitative methods
By Martin Davies & Nathan Hughes
Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

 

EXPLORING GREEN CRIMINOLOGY : TOWARD A GREEN CRIMINOLOGICAL REVOLUTION
by Michael J. Lynch
Ashgate, 2014

 

Imaginative methodologies in the social sciences : creativity, poetics and rhetoric in social research
by Michael Hviid Jacobsen, Michael S. Drake, Kieran Keohane, & Anders Petersen
Ashgate, 2014

 

Mainstreaming torture : ethical approaches in the post-9/11 United States
by Rebecca Gordon
Oxford, 2014

 

The social media handbook
by Jeremy Hunsinger and Theresa M. Senft
Routledge, 2014

 

I’d also love to hear from you! Please feel free to recommend other texts you feel are useful for your courses by email (alexander.williams@villanova.edu) or by telephone (ext. 8845).


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Last Modified: November 12, 2014