FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY



You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > Library News

Susan Markley retires after 35 years service to the library

Susan-edited1Falvey Memorial Library lost one of its most valuable and devoted librarians with the retirement of Susan Markley on May 30th after 35 years of service to the university. Serving most recently as the head of the Resource Management Team, Susan also worked on the Nursing Liaison Team teaching library skills to returning graduate students.

Susan started at Villanova University in May 1979. She worked as the part-time Government Documents Librarian in the Technical Services Department until asked by the Library Director to assume the position of Head of Periodicals, a position she held for the next 27 years. Susan saw many changes during these years and recalled, “When I took over the management of the Periodical Department, the Library subscribed to approximately 3,000 print journals. Today we have subscriptions and access to well over 10,000 mostly electronic journal titles.” In 2007, when the Periodical Department and Technical Services merged, Susan became the team leader for the newly created Resource Management Team, currently located on the lower level of the Library.

At her retirement party, Susan reminisced about the library of the 1970s. She said, “In 1979, the Library had only one reference librarian and offered no instruction classes. The cataloging/acquisition department had eight librarians, with another one in Interlibrary Loan, one at Circulation and one in Instructional Media. There was only one male librarian on staff. The Library had only two computers, both in Tech Services, and those librarians had to sign up for one hour time slots in order to use them.  Patrons located materials by using the card catalog and blue binders listing the holdings of every journal in the collection. Both women and men dressed for the job and staff members in offices were permitted to smoke at their desks.”

Susan noted that her biggest challenge was converting the print journal collection to electronic format, tracking database payments, learning to deal with vendors, both domestic and foreign, and maintaining access to a growing print and electronic collection. However, her greatest pleasure was working closely with the various librarians and library staff.

As part of her professional development activities, she was active in numerous local, state and national library organizations, including serving as treasurer for the Tri-State College Library Cooperative, secretary for the Association of College & Research Libraries, Delaware Valley Chapter, and as a board member of the College & Research Division of the Pennsylvania Library Association.

Susan is a Philadelphia native and a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She earned a B.A. in History from Boston University, a M.S. in Library Science from Drexel University and a M.S. in Liberal Studies from Villanova University. Before coming to Villanova, she was a librarian for the American Law Institute. She plans to continue spending time as a volunteer for the Women’s Resource Center in Wayne and to participate more in local politics. A long-time supporter of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Susan also plans to attend more of their special concerts and lectures. A world traveler, she and her husband, Tom, will be returning to Russia and the Baltic countries this summer and either Japan or India in 2015.


Article by Laura Hutelmyer, photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management

Like
1 People Like This Post

VuPop 2: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online

VUPOP POSTCARD PRUF

VuPop 2: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online, a conference sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, takes place in the Library today. VuPop 2 is the second in the series of annual conferences exploring popular culture and mass media.

VuPop begins at 9:30 a.m. with registration and light refreshments and ends at 4:30 p.m. Attendees will be welcomed by David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, and Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator.

Demian Katz

Demian Katz

Demian Katz, library technology development specialist and an avid collector of gamebooks, is presenting “The History of Gamebooks.” His collection is featured in the exhibit, “Interactive Fiction: An exhibit where YOU are the hero,” adjacent to the Speaker’s Corner where the conference is meeting.

The exhibit, curated by Katz, displays six cases of his gamebooks (plus one loaned by Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant). Each case contains one or more informative placards. The gamebooks are divided into categories such as “Choose Your Own Adventure” which, among other works, has Cinderella’s Magic Adventure open to an illustration and text where the reader makes his or her choice of how to continue. The exhibit will remain on display through the summer.

Other cases show collections of “Infocom,” “Multiplayer Gamebooks,” “Fighting Fantasy” (a British game) and “Lone Wolf” which share a case, and “Oddities,” “Role-playing Games” featuring Dungeons & Dragons, and “Tie-Ins.”

VUPOP2-books-onlyIn the morning session, Rebecca Slitt, PhD, will discuss “Viking, Gunslinger and Madam Midshipwoman: Gender and History in Interactive Fiction.” Dr. Slitt, who taught medieval history at several universities, is now the managing editor at Choice of Games.

Laura Bang and Christopher Hallberg, library technology development specialist, are presenting an interactive reading of “Groom of the Tomb,” which will be followed by a catered lunch for conference attendees.

Afternoon speakers are Christopher Liu, Randy Cook, David Perlman, and Tom Rothamel. Christopher Liu’s topic is “On Writing, Interactively.” Liu is the founder of Adventure Cow, a recently created company which publishes interactive novels. Adventure Cow’s first work, Destiny Quest Infinite, will soon be released.

Randy Cook, whose first adventure game was published in the 1990s, still writes the Legendary Journeys Series and software. Cook’s topic is “Let There Be Light (or at least a simulated torch).”

David Perlman, PhD, the president and founder of E4-Eclipse Ethics Foundation, presents “Interactive Fiction: The Use of Two Forms of Pop Culture to Increase Public Bioethics Awareness.” Dr. Perlman is a visiting assistant professor at the University of the Sciences and a senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia.

Tom Rothamel, lead developer of the Ren’Py visual novel engine and the host of the largest English language forum dedicated to the creation of these works, has been involved with visual novels for over ten years. His topic is “Visual Novels and Ren’Py.”

The conference ends with a panel discussion and closing remarks followed by an “unofficial Game Night.”


Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Exhibit graphics by Joanne Quinn. Demian Katz photo by Alice Bampton .

Like

Curious about Interactive Fiction, CYOA Books or Gaming? Check out VuPop 2!

CAUTION!

THIS BLOG POSTING IS UNLIKE
any you’ve previously read.
Avoid reading this sequentially.
Rather, begin the first paragraph and continue
till you reach your first decision point.
Then skip to one of the paragraphs indicated,
and discover the result of your choice.
Each decision brings alternate possibilities.
Best wishes on your quest!

From 1979 to 1998, Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books became so popular among young readers that more than 250 million copies were sold. Each of the series’ 185 titles features an innovative structure, enabling the reader to function as protagonist, choose that character’s actions and, ultimately, determine the story’s direction.

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on gaming, go to Influence on Gaming

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on education, go to Influence on Education

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

VuPop—You, yes YOU alone, may decide VuPop 2’s destiny! Will this conference discuss gaming, scholarly applications of interactive fiction or something unexpected? To impact the fate of VuPop 2, you must be present—in FalveyMonday, June 9, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. and TuesdayJune 10, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

To register for this free event, click here.

To learn more about this event, click here.

To learn more about VuPop, click here and/or here.

Katz Interview—Demian Katz, library technology development specialist and a VuPop 2 organizer, wishes people knew how much variety exists in role playing games and interactive fiction—from Dungeons and Dragons to Ace of Aces, a flight-simulation book set (see Demian’s Gamebook Web Page). Katz also says the Choose Your Own Adventure publisher is donating a case of books; each VuPop 2 attendee will receive one free CYOA book (while supplies last).

Go on to the next paragraph.

Katz explains that VuPop events attract “people from a variety of places.” This year’s event, for instance, will be shown to interactive-fiction enthusiasts in Great Britain via live video. It will also feature the developer of an open-source computer game engine for building interactive fiction (Ren’Py).

To learn more about this event, go to VuPop

Libraries’ Influence—“The series of interactive ‘game books’ initially had only so-so sales, until some genius in marketing had the idea to ‘seed’ 100,000 books in libraries across the country … Overnight, the books became hugely popular” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

Influence on Gaming—Creators of video games and similar media credit the CYOA book’s structure, which offers the reader several opportunities to decide the story’s direction, as influential in the interactive design of their electronic games. In fact, “Japan’s popular Bishoujo video games, which combine narratives with gameplay, mark the beginning of ‘the trend in modern gaming toward using technology to allow players control over their stories … taking on characteristics of highly detailed Choose Your Own Adventure novels’” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on education, go to Influence on Education

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

Influence on Education—Educators attribute CYOA books to engaging and motivating reluctant readers. The books’ interactive quality appeals to these novice readers. The books’ interactive design has also been “used specifically in technology lesson plans in elementary, high school and college curricula, as well as in professional development tools” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on gaming, go to Influence on Gaming

To learn about libraries’ influence on CYOA books, go to Libraries’ Influence

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

Like
1 People Like This Post

Photo Essay: Alumni Reunion at the Library

The campus and the library have changed over the years and so have the students. We hope you enjoy this retrospective of campus spaces and faces! Welcome home, Villanova University alumni!

Old College Steps Students

Students on steps of the old College building (now Alumni Hall) in the 1880s. (Photo courtesy of Villanova University Archives.)

 

Old Villanova College Library Depression Era

Students perusing magazines and newspapers in the Depression-era library once housed in Austin Hall. (Photo courtesy of Villanova University Archives.)

 

Reading Room known as Reference room 1964

Students using the Reference Room in Falvey Hall made good use of the real estate at large study tables in 1964. (Photo courtesy of Villanova University Archives.)

 

JQ graduation photo 1984

Joanne Quinn (far left), Falvey Memorial Library’s Communication team leader, and her now husband, Jeff Quinn (far right), are the “bookends” for this 1984 graduation photo with their friends (from left to right), Nancy Alberici, Len LaBarth, and Jim DeLorenzo. (Photo courtesy of Joanne Quinn, ’84.)

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the student teams, comprised of graduating seniors and honored as Falvey Scholars in 2009, included Jennie Kotschneff (back, second left), and her team members (front, l. to r.) Kristina Salcedo, Christine Matula, Patricia Abel, (back, l. to r.) Melissa Kay, Meghan Dwyer and Sarah Galvanek (College of Nursing); and their mentor: Marcia Costello, Ph.D., R.D.. Their project was titled “A Population Assessment of Chulucanas, Peru.” (Read more about the Falvey Scholars program on the library blog.)

 

Falvey recent grads 2014

Most of the students in this photo from the Falvey Memorial Library Student Employee Appreciation reception graduated in 2014. We miss them already! (Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with library happenings!)

 


Photo essay by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion Team and team leader of Access Services.

Like

Foto Friday: Alumni weekend (minus one).

Jim-Fox_alumni

This past week the library staff mourned the loss of a long time co-worker and devoted Villanova University alumni. Rest in Peace, Jim Fox, we will never forget you.

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Publications Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management

Like

“One Book Villanova” Turns Ten

1398353001099The One Book Villanova Program is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year!  In honor of this landmark occasion, the One Book Villanova committee has proudly announced the 2014-2015 book selection early: The Other Wes Moore by author Wes Moore. WESMOREThe book follows the lives of two young men who are about the same age, live in the same city and who also share the same name. Despite their many striking similarities, the young men’s lives take very different paths: one Wes grows up to be a scholar, war veteran, White House aide and prominent business leader while the other Wes becomes a convicted criminal serving a life sentence for allegedly committing murder. The Other Wes Moore leads the reader to contemplate how these two people turned out so differently despite some of their remarkably similar circumstances growing up in poverty-stricken Baltimore.

Throughout the past ten years, the Villanova One Book selections have varied greatly in topic and theme and have led readers through many diverse cultural settings and landscapes.
Good Kings Bad Kings took us to Chicago and showed us the harsh realities of institutional life for adolescents with disabilities.
Little Princes
exposed the human trafficking issues that orphaned children face in Nepal.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
described for us what the Japanese Internment camps were like for families during WWII.
The Unforgiving Minute placed us in the shoes of a West Point educated soldier as he led his platoon through the savagery and uncertainty of combat in Afghanistan.
Rooftops of Tehran described life in Iran under its oppressive regime.
- In The Glass Castle, we learned what it was like for the author to grow up homeless with highly dysfunctional parents.
Left to Tell poignantly described one woman’s experience surviving the Rwandan genocide.
- In Blood Done Sign My Name, we witnessed the civil rights struggle in the American south.
- In The Kite Runner, our very first One Book selection in 2004-2005, we traveled to both Afghanistan and America and experienced the harsh Taliban takeover of the country and felt the hardships of immigration.
Each of these book selections has helped to strengthen the ties of the Villanova Community and has also forced us to confront the sometimes harsh realities of human nature. The One Book Villanova Committee hopes to continue this tradition with the tenth anniversary One Book Villanova selection, The Other Wes Moore.

ONE-BOOKSAll rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors have received a copy of the 2014-2015 One Book Villanova selection in early May, and all incoming freshmen will be mailed a copy of the book over the summer. In addition, the One Book Villanova Committee has decided to change the format and timing of the program. The author’s visit will occur on Thursday, September 25, as part of the St. Thomas of Villanova weekend festivities. The entire Villanova Community is encouraged the read The Other Wes Moore over the summer in preparation for the author’s visit in early fall! Those students, staff and faculty who were not able to pick up a copy of the book in early May should visit the Office of Student Development (Room 214/217 Dougherty Hall), the Office for Multicultural Affairs (Room 102 Dougherty Hall), or Falvey Memorial Library anytime during normal business hours to receive a book. For students, the book is free of charge and for faculty and staff the cost is $6 per book.

Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore

Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore

The One Book Committee is also in the midst of planning a series of topical programs throughout the academic year in support of the 2014-2015 book selection and to promote the tenth anniversary of the program.

More information about the author’s visit and One Book Villanova tenth anniversary programming can be found on the One Book website.


News From Falvey Winter 2008 - Gina McFaddenArticle by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication and Service Promotion team and library events and program coordinator for the Scholarly Outreach team.

Like

Dig Deeper: About the artist Pietro da Cortona

Ajaccio_Da_Cortona_Autoportrait

Imagine this: Your organization discovers that a painting long displayed in your building could be a valuable work by a major seventeenth-century painter. This rare find gains national attention; it’s worthy of conserving. You want your organization’s communications team to explain this painting’s significance and to provide updates on its conservation. Now, imagine your good fortune that a writer for that team is a librarian who specializes in art history.

We don’t have to imagine.

Alice Bampton, visuals specialist and senior writer for Falvey’s Communication and Service Promotion team, has been an adjunct instructor of art history in Villanova’s Department of History. She has taught art history survey, ancient, medieval, the Renaissance and history of photography courses. Bampton, through words and photos, has been documenting the conservation process and explaining the history of Pietro da Cortona’s “Triumph of David.” In this latest installment, Bampton provides a research librarian’s curated links to the painting’s mysterious artist: Pietro da Cortona.


While Pietro da Cortona (1596 – 1669), the artist to whom Falvey’s “The Triumph of David” is attributed, is an acknowledged major painter and architect of the Baroque, surprisingly few monographs about him exist, even in Italian. What follows is an annotated bibliography of works held in Falvey plus an e-book available through Hathitrust.org. The most accessible information for those who do not read Italian is in the following two works:

Turner, Jane, editor. The Dictionary of Art, 7. New York: Grove Dictionaries, Inc., 1996. “Cortona, Pietro da,” pp. 905-915. N31.D5 1996, Reference – non circulating.

Zirpolo, Lilian H. Historical Dictionary of Baroque Art and Architecture. Lanham, Md., The Scarecrow Press, 2010. “Berretini da Cortona, Pietro,” pp. 93-95. N6415.B3 Z57 2010

Comprehensive works about Cortona (with my translations of the titles) are listed below:

Benocci, Carla. Pietro da Cortona e la Villa di Castel Fusano dai Sacchetti ai Chigi: Architettura, Pittura, Giardini, Paesaggio. [Pietro da Cortona and the Villa of the Sacchetti and Chigi (Families) at Castel Fusano: Architecture, Paintings, Gardens, Views.] Roma: Editoriale Artemide s.r.l., 2012. NA1123.P53 B46 2012 — Provides a comprehensive study of the “birth of the Baroque” in an “original architectural complex by Pietro Berrettini da Cortona.” (Petrucci, p.73). Covers the villa through the nineteenth century. Thoroughly illustrated.

Briganti, Guiliano. Pietro da Cortona: o della pittura barocca. [Pietro da Cortona: Or of Baroque Painting.] Firenze: G. C. Sansoni editore, 1962. ND623.B45 B7 — Includes a chronology of Cortona’s life with references to supporting documents. Also contains a catalogue raisonnè which identifies 152 paintings and a draft for a catalog of drawings. (A catalogue raisonnè is “a descriptive catalog of works of art with explanations and scholarly comments.” oxforddictionaries.com). Falvey’s painting is not listed in the catalogue raisonnè. This is the standard monograph for Cortona.

Campbell, Malcolm. Pietro da Cortona at the Pitti Palace: A Study of the Planetary Rooms and Related Projects. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977. ND623.P56 C35 — Specific to the Pitti Palace frescoes. Black and white illustrations.

Constantine the Great: The Tapestries – The Designs. N.p.: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1964. NK3055.A1 P47 — Exhibition catalogue of the Constantine tapestries from the Barberini Palace, Rome, donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Tapestries were designed by Peter Paul Rubens and Pietro da Cortona. Almost no information about Cortona.

Contini, Roberto, editor. Pietro da Cortona per la sua terra: da allievo a maestro. [Pietro da Cortona in his world: from apprentice to master.] Milano: Electa, 1997. ND619.T9 P45 1997 — Exhibition catalog for 1997 exhibit in Cortona. Numerous black and white illustrations, some color illustrations.

Dubon, David. Tapestries from the Samuel H. Kress Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. N.p.: Phaidon Press, 1964. NK3055.A1 P5 — Includes a small amount of information about Cortona’s personal style, designs for five panels of the Constantine tapestries and six sketches reproduced in black and white.

Fabbrini, Narciso. Vite del Cav. Pietro Berrettini da Cortona: Pittore ed Architetto. [Life of the Cavalier Pietro Berrettini da Cortona: Painter and Architect.] Cortona: Tipografia R. Bimbi & F., 1896. — Available as an e-book. Written at the tricentennial of Cortona’s birth. A comprehensive work, but without illustrations. Fabbrini includes a Berrettini family tree and Pietro da Cortona’s first will plus an addition he made near the time of his death. This is still considered an essential reference for Cortona.

Haskell, Francis. Patrons and Painters: A Study in the Relations between Italian Art and Society in the Age of the Baroque. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980. (1st edition 1963) — Not specific to Cortona, but an excellent overview of the relationships between artists, Cortona among them, and their patrons. N6916.H37 1980

Lo Bianco, Anna, editor. Pietro da Cortona 1597-1669. Milano: Electra, 1997. N6923.P458 A4 1997 — Exhibition catalog for 1997-1998 exhibition in Rome. Well illustrated in color and black and white. Text in Italian.

Lo Bianco, Anna. Translated by Oona Smyth. Pietro da Cortona’s Ceiling. Rome: Gebart s.r.l., 2004 (2006 reprint). ND623.P56 L6313 2004 — This pamphlet focuses on the ceiling fresco painted in the Gran Salone of the Palazzo Barberini, Rome. Color illustrations with numerous details.

Merz, Jörg Martin. Pietro da Cortona and Roman Baroque Architecture. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008. NA1123.C647 B58 2008 — As title states, the focus is on architecture and the frescoes used to decorate the buildings. Well illustrated.

Prosperi Valenti Rodináo, Simonetta, editor. Pietro da Cortona, il meccanismo della forma: Richerche sulla technical pittorica. (Pietro da Cortona, the Mechanisms of Form: Research on Pictorial Techniques). Milano: Electra, 1997. NC257.P46 A4 1997 — Well illustrated, numerous drawings reproduced.

Tiberia, Vitaliano. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pietro da Cortona, Agostino Ciampelli in Santa Bibiana a Roma – I restauri. (Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pietro da Cortona, Agostino Ciampelli in Santa Bibiana in Rome – The restorations.) Todi: Ediart editrice di Leonilde Dominici, 2000. ND2357.R6 T53 2000 — Covers the works of all three artists. Features a chapter on Pietro da Cortona’s works in the church of Sta. Bibiana. Good illustrations showing before and after the restorations of the frescoes by Cortona and Ciampelli (Bernini was an architect and sculptor who created no paintings in this church).


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.

Like

Dig Deeper: Remembering Maya Angelou

image

Whenever a public figure passes away, I can expect that for the next few days my social media will be abuzz with articles, remembrances and general mentions of said person. So it has come as no surprise that since Maya Angelou’s death on Thursday May 28 my Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr feeds, as well as many other websites and blogs that I frequent, have been brimming with content on the life, works and death of Angelou. However, as I have scrolled through the many posts and tweets in response to Angelou’s life and death over the past few days I have been struck by the genuine outpouring of emotions people are expressing. It felt somehow unique, somehow more personal than the usual “rest in peace” and “they will be missed” messages I usually see.

I was particularly moved by a Facebook post by a good friend of mine who teaches high school English who posted late in the day on the 28th long after all of the initial posts of surprise and sadness had flooded my news feed, she said:

“I spent some time today thinking about what I love so much about Maya Angelou, and I’ve decided it’s the fact that she made me feel powerful, in all the positive connotations of that word.”

Go to Angelou’s Wikipedia page or any site detailing her biography and you can learn that “she published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies and television shows spanning more than 50 years” (Wikipedia). And Angelou’s resume was as varied and interesting as her writing. In her lifetime she was a poet, civil rights activist, dancer, film producer, television producer, playwright, film director, author, actress and professor, just to name a few of the occupations she held in her 86 years of life.

But put all of that aside; remove the titles, labels, accomplishments and honors, and consider a simple sentence: “She made others feel powerful.”

It’s hard to think of a better epitaph for a woman who once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Dig Deeper: Maya Angelou

If you’re interested in learning more about Maya Angelou, we have some resources to recommend:

Books in our catalog written by Maya Angelou

Books about Maya Angelou and critical companions to her works:

 

Maya Angelou’s official website (pretty bogged down right now, may not open due to heavy traffic)

 

Dictionary of Literary Biography (Available through Databases A-Z) has the following entry on Maya Angelou:

Maya Angelou (4 April 1928-). Lynn Z. Bloom

Afro-American Writers After 1955: Dramatists and Prose Writers. Ed. Thadious M. Davis and Trudier Harris-Lopez. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 38. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. p3-12.

 

JStor:

Remembering Maya Angelou: a 1977 interview in The Black Scholar.

 

YouTube:


SarahArticle by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.

Like
1 People Like This Post

Continuum: Summer is a Chance to Get Things Done

Darren

Darren Poley, Interim Library Director

Of course the academic year is exciting and, at times, intense: librarians aiding students and faculty in their research, patrons accessing Falvey’s collections and borrowing materials, the campus community utilizing the services of the Learning Commons and participating in the many meetings and events held in the Library, and so much more (see student satisfaction survey results). Falvey has worked hard to transform itself into a center for intellectual and cultural engagement while remaining a location for individual study and collaborative learning, and this aim does not stop in the summer.

So what do we do when most students have vacated the campus for the summer months? While cleaning and repairs are ongoing efforts, the summer allows us to make large-scale improvements to the facility. I would just like to highlight a few that are interconnected.

CAVE—Last fall the University received a grant from the National Science Foundation to construct a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment that will foster and promote tele-immersive teaching and research using 3D virtual reality technology. The CAVE will be installed in a large classroom in Falvey Hall, adjacent to the Library. Because this change will displace some academic space, Falvey Memorial Library has been empowered to move forward on its overall improvement plan to accommodate this.

University Archives—The University Archives is moving to its new home on Falvey’s basement level, giving it more space including compact storage.

New Classroom—The University can then revive the room where the University Archives have been for many years. A new classroom will be put into that space on Falvey’s fourth floor.

To minimize disruption, our plan is to complete these projects during the summer when far fewer folks are on campus. We look forward to providing improved facilities to our students when they return for the fall semester.

DARREN SIG2

Like

35 great summer reading picks from Department of English faculty

Hey blog fans, have you discovered the wonderful feed published by the Villanova Department of English? Not only is it an informative site for events, job leads and people news, it’s also a place for unexpected delights, like poems and photos of bright blue bicycles! Be sure to check it out regularly!

On a recent visit, we discovered a booklovers’s dream – a first-class summer reading list compiled by Department of  English professors, written in their own voices. Ranging from classics to books just under the radar, you can be sure that time spent with these picks will be worthwhile – and if you’re not careful, you just might learn something! We’ve reprinted their recommendations here, including either a link to their Falvey catalog information or to our super speedy E-Z Borrow and ILL services.


MICHAEL BERTHOLD
61S1VCVBqVL._SL1500_One of the first books I plan on reading this summer is Lydia Davis’ new collection of short stories, Can’t and Won’t.  I recently heard Davis read at the Free Library in Philadelphia, and her stories invariably manage to be both oracular and hilarious.  An entire story from Davis is sometimes only one sentence long.  Here’s “Bloomington,” for example: “Now that I have been here for a little while, I can say with confidence that I have never been here before.” EZB/ILL.

CHARLES CHERRY
85386John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels (Rabbit, RunRabbit Redux; Rabbit Is RichRabbit at Rest)—arguably the finest series of novels in American Literature. EZB/ILL

 

 

 

GAIL CIOCIOLA
life-after-life-e1364310158304Life after Life, Kate Atkinson.  All about the roads that could have been taken or, more to the point, all about the what-if when even the small life junctures might have been different. Title might be “life after life after life . . . ,” as the work reverts to the main character’s beginnings repeatedly and re-imagines different results. EZB/ILL.

The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner.  A very edgy work that merges a woman’s motorcycle escapades with art, romance, cross-country wanderings, and a European trek that flirts with violent politics. (Finalist for 2013 National Book Award.)

 A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki.  A lonely young woman bullied by her classmates and faced with dysfunctional behavior from her parents finds acceptance in her great grandmother’s Zen world.

Water by the Spoonful, Quiara Alegria Hudes.  An Iraqi war vet returns home to Philadelphia where he struggles to balance his life against PTSD and the dynamics of change and tragic circumstances within his family. (Winner of 2012 Pulitzer Prize.) EZB/ILL.

The Mountaintop, Katori Hall.  Play imagines the last hours of Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel on the night before his assassination. EZB/ILL.

Rapture, Blister, Burn, Gian Gionfriddo.  One woman: committed homemaker. One woman: committed careerist. Each wonders if she made the right choice or if she can have it all. Solution: change places with each other. (Finalist for 2013 Pulitzer Prize.) EZB/ILL.

Other Desert Cities, Jon Robin Baitz.  A writer returns home and announces to her parents that she is about to publish a memoir that reveals compelling family secrets. (Finalist for 2012 Pulitzer Prize.)

Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar.  Work explores attitudes toward religion and, in particular, the conflict between modern life and the way faith challenges cultural mores. (Winner of 2013 Pulitzer Prize.) EZB/ILL.

ALICE DAILEY
TolstoyWar&PeaceGiant1934.bigI recommend War and Peace.  It’s worth every hour (day, week) spent reading it and difficult to find time for once student life ends and summer vacations are no longer.

 

 

TRAVIS FOSTER
Asking me to pick just one is sort of like taking my son to the candy store and allowing him to buy a single jelly bean. Impossible! So how about three?

Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way.  I first read Proust on my Northampton porch in between junior and senior year of college, when a surprisingly well paying busboy position meant hours of daytime leisure.  The easy pace of summer allowed me to linger in Proust’s sentences and that lingering was maybe the most immensely pleasurable reading I’ve ever done.  (For what it’s worth, many people prefer Lydia Davis’s translation published by Penguin, but I’m partial to the earlier Moncrieff, Kilmartin, Howard translation published by Modern Library.)

Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother.  Living in the United States, it seems to me we can do one of two things: think long and hard about race and racism or, like Captain Delano in Melville’s Benito Cereno, work assiduously at making ourselves ignorant in the face of our own reality.  Hartman is one of the most insightful living scholars of slavery, a descendant of slaves, and an enviable writer.  She uses her memoir, Lose Your Mother, to describe her journey along a slave route in Ghana, allowing her personal experience to help her readers better understand our own location within the geography and history of the Atlantic slave trade.  I’d heard people talk before about the “legacies of slavery” and even used the phrase myself, but this book made me realize I can only ever begin to understand the full extent of what these “legacies” entail.

areyoumymother_bechdelAlison Bechdel, Are You My Mother?  A sequel to Fun Home, this graphic memoir describes Bechdel’s relationship with her emotionally distant mother in western Pennsylvania.  I love it for its painfully unflinching look at the relationship between mothers and children.  But I love it just as much for its exploration of the relationship between books and readers.  Bechdel turns to books whenever she reaches an impasse in her life–in this account turning to the psychoanalytic writings of Freud, Jung, Winnicott, and Phillips.  I recognize myself and many of my most avid students in her representation of reading as self-exploration, and I found that, like Bechdel and the reading she describes, I understood myself better once Are You My Mother? had come to a close.

Those three, plus Teju Cole’s glorious Twitter feed.

HEATHER HICKS
cloud-atlas-book-cover1My pick for a summer novel for our students is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  It’s a beautifully written book full of interesting characters and ambitious ideas about time and history.

 

 

 

KAMRAN JAVADIZADEH
WORDSINAIRTwo books come to mind. Neither is a book of poems, exactly, but both get pretty close to being poetry by being about it so lovingly.  The first is Words in Air, a book that collects all of the letters written between the poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell . They lived thousands of miles apart for most of their lives, and this book, in some sense, isn’t just about their friendship, it is their friendship.

The other is a book I just picked up for the first time: Madness, Rack, and Honey, which is a collection of quite playful lectures by the poet Mary Ruefle.  I’m already stealing time to read it. Here is a representative moment, from a piece called “Short Lecture on Shakespeare”: “Yet there is one hard cold clear fact about him, a fact that freezes the mind that dares to contemplate it: in the beginning William Shakespeare was a baby, and knew absolutely nothing. He couldn’t even speak.”  Isn’t that wonderful?

JAMES KIRSCHKE
L'EngleTwo-Part Invention, by Madeline L’Engle, is a beautifully written memoir about an in-many-ways-wonderful 40 year marriage.

 

 

JOSEPH LENNON
joelenI’d highly recommend Claire Kilroy’s All Names Have Been Changed (about a group of Dublin creative writing students and their professor at Trinity College in Dublin) or her Tenderwire (an intelligent page-turner about a “reckless young musician’s obsession” with a very old violin).  Claire Kilroy is one of Ireland’s best leading young writers—and she’ll be the 2015 Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies, so you can take a class with her!

CRYSTAL LUCKY
51Fi5RWfOfLMy recommendation is James McBride’s Song Yet Sung.  A brilliant story teller, McBride sets his penultimate novel on the eastern shore of Maryland in the 1850’s.  And while the tale certainly asks readers to consider the concepts of slavery and freedom, it is as much an exploration of the contemporary moment.  One of my absolute faves.

MEGAN QUIGLEY
Wolf_Hall_coverI’m going to read Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and finish Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.  I’ve had the Mantel books for a year and I’m desperate to read them and we just read her really witty and biting essay, “Royal Bodies,” in my Contemporary British novel class.  You should read her essay if you want to have a different perspective on Kate Middleton’s, errr, body parts.  Donna Tartt—because The Secret History is just so so good. EZB/ILL.

EVAN RADCLIFFE
tinker-tailorI’m interested in spy novels in part because my father was in intelligence, and I highly recommend the novels of John Le Carré (I’ve recently re-read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).  Beyond being page-turners (and more complex than simply good guys vs bad guys), I’m told that Le Carré’s novels give an accurate portrayal of the world of spycraft at a particular historical moment.

JODY ROSS
the-round-house_custom-94ab45a1030026be0c3d76c1a9a6449b74be7a44-s6-c30Consider reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich.  I read this book over Christmas break and said to everyone who walked past me, “I just love this book.”  It’s a great work by an important author—it won the National Book Award in 2012—but it’s also an addictive page-turner, a murder mystery, and an escape to a different world with a different culture.  The Lit Fest novels this year were also excellent, especially Lord of Misrule and & Sons.

LAUREN SHOHET
51bho2K3nVLMichael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.  Set in a counterfactual future in which after losing the 6-day war, Palestinian Jews settle in Alaska, making a society alongside indigenous Alaskans, the novel explores worlds made of language as much as politics.

Robin McKinley, Sunshine. Not literarily significant, perhaps, but beautiful in its own way. Psychologically nuanced, surprisingly delicate novel of vampires and pastry chefs.  EZB/ILL.

Charles Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.  Mind-openingly wide-ranging study of the non-human as well as human facets of European-American encounter.


Reprinted with permission of the Villanova University Department of English, with much appreciation. The post originally appeared on their blog Friday, May 9, 2014. Follow their blog here. Introduction and links prepared by Joanne Quinn.

 

Like

« Previous PageNext Page »

 


Last Modified: May 28, 2014