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Panama Canal Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary!

Panoramic image of the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal from the Library of Congress  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007663303/

Panoramic image of the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal from the Library of Congress. (Click on image to enlarge.)

The Panama Canal celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The 50-miles-long canal across the Isthmus of Panama officially opened on August 15, 1914, although a French crane boat, Alexandre La Valley, had already traveled the Canal’s full length from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, completing its journey on January 7, 1914. However, the Alexandre La Valley had traversed the Canal in stages during the Canal’s construction. On August 4 the SS Cristobal, cargo steam ship, made a test run through the Canal.

Sadly, the official opening held on August 15 was overshadowed by Germany’s invasion of Belgium on August 4, followed by Great Britain declaring war that evening. The grand celebration planned to mark the completion of the most expensive construction project funded by the United States became a modest, local event. No international dignitaries attended the ceremony.

William Howard Taft, half length, standing, facing right, with Col. George Washington Goethals and others, in Panama, 1910. Image from the Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b01935/

William Howard Taft and Col. George Washington Goethals, 1910.
Image from the Library of Congress.
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b01935/

The first civil governor of the Canal Zone, Major George Washington Goethals (1858-1928), who had served as the chief engineer for the Canal (1907-1914), observed the passage of the first ship through the Canal on opening day. Bellisario Porras, the president of Panama also attended the opening. A steamship, the SS Ancon, used by the Panama Railway to carry supplies for the Canal’s construction, made the first official transit of the Panama Canal on the opening day; Captain John A. Constantine piloted the SS Ancon’s passage through the Canal. The Ancon’s captain was G.E. Sukeforth. The toll charged the SS Ancon for its use of the Canal was 90 cents per cargo ton.

Editorial cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt  from Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013651586/

Editorial cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt
from Library of Congress
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013651586/

In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt had declared the need for a canal in Central America to join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He was not the first American president to see the need for a canal. In 1869 Ulysses S. Grant created the Inter-Oceanic Canal Commission and sent an expedition to explore possible routes for a canal. However, Grant’s hopes were not realized. Even earlier, in 1839, an anonymous author wrote two articles published in The Democratic Review advocating the construction of a “Ship Canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.”

On November 18, 1903, the United States signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty (Canal Treaty) in Panama; the treaty gave the U.S. the right to build a canal in return for an annual payment of $250,000. In June 1904 the Americans began their construction and the Panama Canal was completed in 1914, two years ahead of schedule.

Construction of the Panama Canal cost the United States about $375 million dollars. Of this, $10 million was paid to Panama and $40 million paid to the French company, Compagnie Nouvelle, which had begun construction of the Canal in 1879. In 1915, the year after construction was completed, the Panama Canal earned approximately $4 million in tolls. The building of the Canal under American administration cost about 5,600 lives, although the majority of these were not Americans.

Don't miss the various live webcams from the Panama Canal

Don’t miss the various live webcams from the Panama Canal

It takes eight to ten hours for a ship to travel the length of the Canal, and about three of those hours are spent going through its locks. (According to dictionary.com, a lock is “an enclosed chamber in a canal … with gates at each end, for raising or lowering vessels from one level to another by admitting or releasing water.”)

Tolls are determined by the size and weight of the ship and its cargo capacity or, for passenger ships, by the number of berths. For current tolls see www.pancanal.com. Since the 1970s many cargo ships have become too large to use the Canal, and beginning around 2001 suggestions were made to expand the Canal. In 2007 construction began, dredging the existing canal and constructing additional larger locks. The project is expected to be completed in 2015 at a cost of $5.25 million dollars.

In 1977 President Jimmy Carter signed a treaty giving the Canal to Panama. Under Panama’s ACP, the state-owned agency, tolls have increased, traffic through the Canal has grown and service has improved.

Dig Deeper:

Official Panama Canal website

Panama Canal Timeline

Panama Canal Museum

Selected Falvey resources:

Center of Military History. The Panama Canal: An Army’s Enterprise (2009)

Panama’s Canal: What Happens When the United States Gives a Small Country What It Wants. (1998)

Panama Fever: The Epic Story of One of the Greatest Human Achievements of All Time – The Building of the Panama Canal. (2007)

Considerations on the subject of a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by means of a ship-canal … (1836)

“Two Articles on the Projected Ship Canal to Connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.” Reprinted from The Democratic Review for October and November, 1839. Washington, 1839.

Expansion of the Canal:

United States Maritime Administration. Panama Canal Expansion Study: Phase I Report, Developments in Trade and National and Global Economies. (2013)

“The Panama Canal: A Plan to Unlock Prosperity.” The Economist, 03 December 2009.

“Agreement reached on Panama Canal dispute.” 04 August 2014.


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

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Dig Deeper: The Ramones

Guest blogger,  Rohanah Spatz-Mallory

Rohanah

 

On July 11, the last original member of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, passed away of bile duct cancer. Born Thomas Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungary, in 1949, he moved to Forest Hills, Queens, at the age of four and went on to found one of the most popular and enduring rock bands of all time. The death of Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the Ramones, marks the end of an era. The other three died recently: Joey in 2001 of lymphoma, Dee Dee in 2002 of a drug overdose and Johnny in 2004 of prostate cancer. The sad occasion of Tommy Ramone’s death is extremely significant to a certain large group of people, young and old: Punks.

Some have recently said that the Ramones are now finally dead—gone but not forgotten. Others, such as Legs McNeil, a close friend of the Ramones as well as other punk artists and bands of the original punk era, such as Iggy Pop and the UK group The Sex Pistols, think that the Ramones have been gone for a long time, citing their supposed artistic demise in the late 1980s. Even still, the Ramones were arguably the most influential punk band ever. They pioneered the simple, fast punk sound that many know and love.

image

The Ramones are still a fairly popular group with lots of people today, including the original punk rockers of the Ramones’ generation as well as a new generation of kids and young adults that like the punk style and music of the Ramones. As the past few weeks have gone by, many people have talked to me about Tommy Ramone’s death both on social media and in person. The day after he passed away I wore a Ramones shirt, and people of a wide range of ages complimented the shirt, asked if it was to remember Tommy, or said they loved the Ramones and were very surprised when they heard the news.

As a huge fan of the Ramones’ style, attitudes and music, I felt slightly upset about this death although I can’t really say why. There will always be easy access to Ramones music, and there are pictures, videos and interviews of them. I can say, as a young fan of the Ramones, I am disappointed that there is no way to ever see them. Of course there wasn’t any way to see them before Tommy’s death, but this just seals in the thought that the band all together is completely gone. Something about it just doesn’t feel the same, knowing that you’re listening to music where all four founding members of the band are not alive.

Dig Deeper:

People all over the world will always recognize the influence that The Ramones had on music and society. You can dig deeper into punk music and its cultural impact with these great resources from the Falvey collection:

For popular histories of punk rock that cover the Ramones, try these:

England’s dreaming : anarchy, Sex Pistols, punk rock, and beyond, by Jon Savage

Break all rules! : punk rock and the making of a style, by Tricia Henry

 

punk coverHere are a couple of region-specific histories:

Grinding California : culture and corporeality in American skate punk, by Konstantin Butz

It makes you want to spit! : the definitive guide to punk in Northern Ireland, 1977-1982, by Sean O’Neill and Guy Trelford

 

And finally, two more scholarly treatments of punk rock culture:

Punk rockers’ revolution : a pedagogy of race, class, and gender, by Curry Malott and Milagros Peña

Lipstick traces : a secret history of the twentieth century, by Griel Marcus

 

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Jersey Week: “I too many and many a time cross’d the river of old …” on the Walt Whitman Bridge

JERSEYPLANE

This week the Library News blog will be highlighting everyone’s second favorite mid-Atlantic state, New Jersey! So grab your flip flops and head east with us each day this week.

 

Walt_Whitman_Bridgetr

There are many river crossings to New Jersey, but if you’re at all of a literary bent, your favorite is probably the Walt Whitman Bridge. If you’re old enough, you may remember the construction and controversy surrounding its naming in the late 1950s. Known as the Packer Ave-Gloucester City bridge during its planning, officials sought to find a New Jersey resident equivalent in stature to Philadelphia’s choice of founding father Ben Franklin, for a second river crossing planned four miles south. The choice of Whitman, who lived the last 19 years of his life on Mickle Street in Camden, raised the hackles of several religious and community groups who disapproved of his bohemian and homosexual lifestyle.

While his poetry was beautiful and iconic—in fact, Leaves of Grass was hailed as the “Declaration of Independence of American Letters”—protests against Whitman were played out in the press via op-eds and editorials and in letter writing campaigns addressed to the Delaware River Port Authority. The name stayed, however, and scholars have since speculated that Whitman would have appreciated the democratic ‘airing of the grievances’ that accompanied his honor.

The kerfuffle inspired a poem by a member of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association on Long Island:

Well, Camerado, I guess you heard,
There was quite a tussle recently
In the Quaker City of Brotherly Love
About you and a bridge
Joining said city with the other city
Where you lived, talked, peddled your books, and died;
And where your memory is already somewhat perpetuated
By Walt Whitman Canned Tomatoes (a grade A line) and other choice groceries.
Your opposers were the usual public inflicters of private morality
That you were long in life familiar with;
And you were accused of the usual perversions:
Bestiality, immorality, verselessness, and the corruption of the kiddies.
Even another bard was puffed in your place –
Joyce Kilmer, for God’s sake.
Whose leaves are less tall that your leaves, to all
But the shielded eye.
An old story, no doubt.
But the funny thing about this case, Camerado, was
That they lost.
And that sparkling, soaring, two mile span of steel
Is all yours:
The Walt Whitman Bridge.
What do you dream of that, Walt?
Is it for real?

On summer weekends the suspension bridge carries as many as 150,000 vehicles across its seven lanes and full length of almost 12,000 feet, including approaches. The original structure cost $90 million dollars. Its two towers rise to almost 400 feet in the air and are suspended by two 24-inches-in-diameter cables, which support its weight of 36,500 tons. A one-way toll of $5.00 is charged for travellers going westbound from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. The fare from Philly to Jersey is free … as long as you don’t come back.

Dig Deeper:

For more information on the fascinating life of Walt Whitman, visit these links curated by Sarah Wingo, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.

Biography:
https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/535582

Whitman’s life during the civil war:
https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1230039

Cambridge Companion to Walt Whitman (book and e-book):
https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/419405

The Walt Whitman Archive (great free to use resource):
http://www.whitmanarchive.org/


SarahDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre. Article by Joanne Quinn, Team Leader for Communication & Service Promotion

Evening view of Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Photo taken by Jdnrite01 {{PD-author|Jdnrite01]] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Walt_Whitman_Bridge.jpg;

Sources:
 http://www.phillyroads.com/crossings/walt-whitman/ and

Krieg, Joann P. “Democracy in Action: Naming the Bridge for Walt Whitman.” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 12 (Fall 1994), 108-114.

 

 

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Don’t be a Buzzkill – Help Save the Bees!

BEE

Busy on the coreopsis in front of the Chapel.

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon!

- From “The Bee,” by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Although we may not necessarily think of the summer season as a time for work, we depend greatly upon one sweet friend to humankind that is always keeping busy in the sun – the honeybee. We use the Chaucerian phrase “busy as a bee” because these insects commonly fly three to four miles a day (although it can be twice as much) to gather pollen and nectar. It is estimated that a one pound jar of honey requires almost 10 million foraging trips to produce it. That’s pretty busy! Unfortunately, these gentle beings are often confused with more aggressive insects like certain hornets and wasps (learn how to tell the difference), so don’t fear if a honeybee lands on you. Stay calm and it will carry on. Otherwise, it can smell the pheromones that are released when we experience fear and anger; these can become a trigger for bees to sting.

Bees and honey have featured prominently in mythology, religion, birth rituals, weddings, funerals, traditions and superstitions for millennia. The ancient Greeks believed that a baby whose lips were anointed with honey would become a great poet or a mellifluous speaker. The Roman poet Virgil called honey “a gift from heaven” (Georgics, IV) for very good reasons becaluse honey not only tastes divine, but also contains many nutritional and medicinal properties. Gathering wild honey is one of the most ancient human practices, as rock paintings from circa 13,000 BCE indicate. However, there is a relatively recent phenomenon that is threatening the well-being of the honeybee and the viability of current agricultural practices.

In 2006, a syndrome called colony collapse disorder (CCD) was widely publicized because of a significant rise in the disappearances of honeybee colonies. In short, CCD is “a pathological condition affecting a large number of honeybee colonies, in which various stresses may lead to the abrupt disappearance of worker bees from the hive, leaving only the queen and newly hatched bees behind and thus causing the colony to stop functioning” (Dictionary.com). Although the exact causes remain unknown, scientists have proposed pesticides, mite infection, malnutrition, genetic factors, loss of habitat, changing beekeeping practices, or a combination of the above for the increasing occurrence of CCD.

beeportAs we depend upon these pollinators for many domestic crops, it is imaginable that we could live in a world without about a third of the food we are accustomed to eating. Although the disappearance of colonies has occurred in the past, it has not been on such a scale as in 2012-2013, when about half of the honeybee hives in the United States were thought to have been lost to CCD. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, predicted in a 1923 lecture that, if we continued to disturb the natural process of hive society and manipulate queen bees, a mass disappearance would occur within 80 years. Unfortunately, it appears that his prediction is coming true.

While research continues to expand our understanding of CCD, there are many ways we can help support the honeybee community and our own well-being. Below is a list of resources available online and at Falvey Memorial Library to help you become more bee-friendly.

Dig Deeper: Resources for You and the Honeybee

Online Resources

10 Things You Can Do to Help!

10 More Things You Can Do to Help!

Two lists of easy things you can do to make a difference. Whether it’s abstaining from chemical and pesticide treatments on your lawn, planting a few flowers, buying local, organic food and honey, or setting out a birdbath or bee-waterer, there are many ways you can combat the global bee crisis on a local level.

Queen of the Sun (DVD)

“Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.”

Find a copy in your area today with WorldCat or through one of our interlibrary loan services.

Best Bee Plants

Make your garden, outdoor containers, or windowsill planter bee-friendly! This list of beneficial plants includes everything from traditional garden flowers, fruits, and herbs to trees, shrubs, lawn tips, and more. The site also provides instruction on making difficult gardening conditions (e.g. clay soil) fruitful and eco-friendly.

Resources at Falvey

The Honey Bee 

This is a highly accessible and well-written Scientific American Library Series book by renowned author James L. Gould and his wife. Gould is known for the experiment he conducted that demonstrated how bees can communicate the location of food to other bees through a complex dance system.

Anatomy of the Honeybee 

Written and illustrated by R. E. Snodgrass, this is the classic text on the anatomy of the honeybee.

Colony Collapse Disorder: A Descriptive Study

This scholarly article is the first comprehensive survey of CCD-affected bee populations.

The Colony Collapse Disorder Progress Report

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s internal agency ARS (Agricultural Research Service) has published an annual progress report as they strive to increase our understanding of CCD as well as to promote more sustainable bee management practices.

Feel free to contact me by email alexander.williams@villanova.edu or phone (ext. 8845) if you have any questions. You are always welcome to leave a comment below, too.

 


Alex Williams theology liaisonAlexander Williams, ’11 MA, MS is the temporary librarian liaison to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a research librarian on the Academic Integration and the Information and Research Assistance teams. Bee photos by Joanne Quinn.

Our Dig Deeper series features links to Falvey Memorial Library resources curated and provided by a librarian specializing in the subject, to allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 

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Home Before the Leaves Fall: World War I Online Exhibit Launch

WIONLINE COUNTDOWN

Home Before the Leaves Fall: A Great War Centennial Exposition,” an online exhibit, will be launched Thursday evening, June 26, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Peter John Williams—an attorney, an amateur historian with a special interest in World War I, and a life-long Philadelphia resident—will speak on life in Philadelphia during World War I (1914-1919). Williams is the author of Philadelphia: The World War I Years. Both digital and physical materials will be on display at the launch and reception.

keep-him-freeVillanova University, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, American Philosophical Society, Chemical Heritage Foundation, College of Physicians, Library Company of Philadelphia and Swarthmore College are current participants in the exhibit, which commemorates the centennial of World War I. The exhibit highlights little-known primary and secondary sources held by various institutions in the Delaware Valley region.

 

Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, says “[T]his sprang out of an initial collaboration with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, with Villanova’s Special Collections and Digital Library team as the coordinators and hosts of this project. A large and growing number of institutions in the Mid-Atlantic currently contribute content as well as a number of academically affiliated and independent scholars and researchers, including several Villanova University faculty and graduate students.”

kaisar77-191x300

Foight explains, “The goals over the next four years include to prioritize digitization of little-known primary and secondary sources on the Great War held by institutions in the mid-Atlantic and to share descriptions of held content for both the public and the scholarly community. The website itself will host a set of curated shorter articles authored with illustrations drawn largely from this newly available content. A number of Digital Humanities projects, including an independent crowd-sourced genealogical data collection and mapping of the Great War dead of Philadelphia, will be worked on with the scholars involved in the exhibition.”

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania explains that the website will contain images, memoirs, diaries, periodicals, “contextual essays, news of commemorative events, interactive data, and geographical information system (GIS) mapping. The project aims to promote the use of these materials to students, scholars and the public, and to commemorate the services and sacrifices of soldiers and civilians a hundred years ago.”


Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Poster image from National Archives. Photo Kaiser William II. Digital Library@Villanova University

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Say Hello to Summer: What to Read on the Longest Day

2014-06-04 15.57.00After a long, blustery and snow-filled winter, many of us were more than eager to prematurely whip out the sunscreen and sandals and hit the beach this Memorial Day, which has been dubbed by most as the start of the summer season. However, what most people don’t realize is that summer doesn’t officially begin until the summer solstice, which takes place this year on June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere. This day is often referred to as “the longest day” because we experience the most hours of sunlight that we will all year long. The extra hours of light will be a welcomed gift for many, especially after the cold and dreary winter that we’ve had.

So, wondering how you can embrace impending summer and take advantage of the extra precious hours of light? Here at Falvey Memorial Library we can make one inspired suggestion: sit outside and catch some of those rays with a big fat book and an ice-cold drink! In fact, there are a number of books that you can check out directly from Falvey to help you properly celebrate the “the longest day.”

Several prominent authors have written stories that take place over the course of a single day. As you will discover after reading these books, a lot of action can transpire within a mere 24 hours!

Books that take place over the course of one day:

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Saturday by Ian McKellan

Seize the Day by Saul Bellow

Ulysses by James Joyce

Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

Or why not slow down and take on an extra-long book to help kick-off summer? You will have enough reading light to last you all day!

Long books that we suggest reading:

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Make sure to check out a book from Falvey and, if you’re feeling especially ambitious, even snag two from our shelves. You might as well take full advantage of the longest day that we’ll see all year and give a proper welcome to the summer season!

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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.

 

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Falvey Scholar program recognizes student accomplishments in research, innovation and creativity

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Interim Library Director Darren G. Poley presents Jerisa Upton with her award.

The annual Falvey Scholars Award—established by Falvey Memorial Library in conjunction with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and the Honors Program—recognizes and celebrates the academic excellence of some of Villanova’s finest undergraduate scholars. This year’s event, held on Friday April 25, honored six Falvey Scholars under each of the following categories: business, engineering, liberal arts, science, nursing and our new category, social science, which was added given the overwhelming response and volume of excellent candidates in the liberal arts.

Each of the Falvey Scholars presented a 30-minute summary of their winning project and were each presented with the Falvey Scholars Award by our Interim Library Director, Darren Poley.

Falvey is delighted to announce the following undergraduates as the 2014 Falvey Scholars:

Aurora Vandewark (nursing); mentor: Michelle M. Kelly, PhD, CRNP; Project: “Evidence-Based Practices to Reduce Psychosocial Distress Among Parents of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Patients.”

Jerisa Upton (social science); mentor: Maghan Keita, PhD; Project: “Understanding Bureaucratic Politics and the Origins of the Great Leap Forward.”

Mark Bookman (liberal arts); mentors: Maghan Keita, PhD, and Edwin Goff, PhD; Project: “Re-imagining Discourse: Shingon Buddhism and Western Epistemologies.”

Clockwise, from top left: Vandewark, Upton, Bookman, McGrane, Ferguson and Shaik

Clockwise, from top left: Vandewark, Upton, Bookman, McGrane, Ferguson and Shaik

Noor F. Shaik (science); mentor: Dennis D. Wykoff, PhD; Project: “Using Fluorescent Markers in Cells and Flow Cytometry to Measure the Selective Pressures in Yeast.”

Olivia Ferguson (business); mentor: Peter Zaleski, PhD; Project: “Metropolitan Manufacturing Decline, 1980-2005, and Subsequent Effects on Residents.”

Robert McGrane (engineering); mentor: Noelle Comolli, PhD; Title: “Chitosan Thin-Films for Post-Surgical Drug Delivery.”

Falvey Scholars is just one of the many events that comprise the Undergraduate Research Exposition, or EXPO 14: a week-long series of programs that recognize the research undergraduates accomplish throughout the year. Villanova is proud to highlight the contributions of its undergraduate student community!


Article by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication and Service Promotion team and library events and program coordinator for the Scholarly Outreach team. Photos by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.

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DH in the Classroom: Aurelius Digital Humanities Launches Second Project

During the spring semester, the Aurelius Digital Humanities Initiative launched its second project, a digital edition of El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte. The project was commandeered by Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Chad Leahy, PhD, who worked with his special-topics Spanish class to digitize and transcribe the text. Guidance was also provided by Laura Bang, digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications. Dr. Leahy explains that the materiality of text as object, the smell and feel of the item itself, has a story to tell us and digital humanities as a new technology has a way of opening this aspect of the text to the world.

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  El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte is a 133 page multimedia scrapbook that contains postcards, newspaper clippings, drawings—more than 160 distinct visual objects in all. In many cases, these entries are copied without original sources, raising difficult questions regarding authorship, provenance and purpose. There is no way to prove authorship, but Dr. Leahy speculates that the text may have originated through the Augustinian missions in Peru and was probably a gift. The latest internal date, 1924, suggests that the scrapbook was produced in the latter half of the 1920s. In addition to studying the Peruvian text, Dr. Leahy’s class had the opportunity to develop hands-on digitizing skills while scanning the text Los dramas de la Guerra, a serialized account of the First World War published in Barcelona during the war years.

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Participants loved the way the website reformatted for easy reading on hand held devices.

David Uspal wrapped up the event by explaining the development behind the website. Uspal said, “in addition to the transcription work by the undergraduate students, technical support for the project was provided by Falvey [Memorial] Library’s Technology Development Team, with a large contribution by technology graduate assistant Pragya Singhvi.  Pragya’s work on importing transcription documents and automatically producing TEI and HTML versions of these documents will both help reduce the work necessary on future translation projects (and thus, more likely to get more and varies projects approved) and allow these projects to adopt open standards which will allow for greater use in the academic community.”


Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Publications Team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management

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Want to Get Published? Attend a Workshop with Journal Editors

JOURNALS

Publishing articles is an essential part of every scholar’s practice. It can be confusing, though, to know just how to navigate the process of preparing, submitting, and revising articles, and getting them accepted. How do you select the best journal for your paper? What can you do to improve your chances of being accepted? What does it mean if your article is not accepted, or if you get “revise and resubmit” decision?

Next Tuesday, the editors of four journals in the social sciences and interdisciplinary studies will hold a workshop on academic publishing. Scholars in other disciplines are welcome to attend as well. The editors will discuss a range of topics regarding manuscript preparation, submission, and revision, and answer all your burning questions about the whole process. Just in time to get started with your summer research!

On hand to offer their advice will be:

Maria Toyoda, editor of Japanese Political Economy

Christopher Kilby, book review editor for Review of International Organizations

Connie Titone, editor of Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

Heidi Rose, past editor of Text and Performance Quarterly

Chip Folk, past editor of Visual Cognition

HYPATIAThe workshop is sponsored by Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and will take place on Tuesday, May 13, from 1-3pm, in the Hypatia Editorial Offices on the first floor of Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

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Last Modified: May 7, 2014