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Dig Deeper: Noel Coward and Villanova Theatre’s New Comedy “Fallen Angels”

Fallen AngelsNoël Coward was a teenager 100 years ago when he began writing plays. Among the more than 50 plays he published, several continue to be performed and to draw audiences, including Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit. When a skilled and capable director prepares a Noël Coward play, audience members enjoy an entertaining and memorable experience.

The Villanova University Department of Theatre’s production Noël Coward’ Fallen Angels promises to give audience members such a hilarious and memorable experience. The Rev. David Cregan, OSA, PhD ably directs a cast of talented, charismatic performers in this lively comedy.

Order your tickets soon before performances become sold out.

Noël Coward, in addition to creating enduring plays, wrote numerous songs, musical theatre works, poetry and short stories. Sarah Wingo—liaison librarian for English, literature and theatre—has assembled the following resources about this prolific playwright:


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Noel Coward

Official website: http://www.noelcoward.com/

Noël Coward Society: http://www.noelcoward.net/

Resources at Falvey: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/MyResearch/MyList/2588

IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002021/

Artists Rifle
In light of the 100th anniversary of World War I, it is interesting to note that in 1918, Coward was conscripted into the Artists Rifles but was assessed as unfit for active service because of a tubercular tendency, and he was discharged on health grounds after nine months.

 


Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.

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World War I Centennial: Watch this Space!

"Postcard, U.S. soldiers tips the Kaiser's helmet, [n.d.]". Great War. Digital Library @ Villanova University. Date Accessed: 23 September 14, 9:22 AM.

Postcard, U.S. soldier tips the Kaiser’s helmet, [n.d.]. Great War Collection. Digital Library @ Villanova University. CC-BY-NC. Accessed 23 September 2014, 9:22AM.

This year marks the centennial of the beginning of the Great War, now more frequently known as World War I, the first truly world-wide war. On June 28, 1914, a Serbian zealot, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of the emperor of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Sophie, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where the Archduke was inspecting troops. On July 28 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and within a week Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Serbia were united against Austria-Hungary and Germany. On Aug. 4 German troops invaded Belgium and attacked Liege with cannons, capturing the city by Aug. 15.

From there the German army moved into France and fought the First Battle of Marne, Sept. 6-9, against French and British forces. World War I was fully underway although the United States did not enter the conflict until April 6, 1917. The war continued until Germany surrendered on Nov. 11, 1918. This Great War occurred after a long period of peace and prosperity; it left a lasting impact on the world.

To commemorate the centennial of the beginning of World War I, Falvey Memorial Library has two exhibits, one on the first floor and another on the second floor. On the first floor is “Home Before the Leaves Fall: Lost Memories of the Great War,” an exhibit of materials from Falvey’s Special Collections. Currently under construction, the exhibit for the second floor Learning Commons reference section is “World War I, One Hundredth Anniversary: Lessons to be Learned.” This exhibit was created by Merrill Stein, liaison team leader for political science/history/geography and the environment and Jutta Seibert, a team member and liaison to history and art history. Graphics for both exhibits were designed by Joanne Quinn, Falvey’s graphic designer.

On Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. in room 204, Jeffrey Johnson, PhD, professor of history, will speak on “From the Pistol of June to the Guns of August 1914: Beginning the Self-Destruction of Imperial Europe.”

During the next few months, various librarians will write World War I blogs related to their areas of expertise. Watch this space for further news! And check out Home Before the Leaves Fall for additional information about World War I.

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Dig Deeper: Kevin Spacey at Villanova

Kevin-Spacey-as-Clarence-Da-528x7061

Parents Weekend offers an opportunity for the parents of students, new and seasoned, to visit Villanova’s campus. Parents Weekend 2014 will be held from Sept. 19-21. This year’s guest speaker for the Saturday evening program is the inimitable Kevin Spacey. Spacey, an Academy Award-winning actor, currently executively produces and stars in the hit Netflix original series House of Cards. He is perhaps most known for his breakout role in The Usual Suspects and his memorable characters in American Beauty and L.A. Confidential.

But Spacey’s involvement in the arts does not end at producing and acting—he also funds emerging artists through the Kevin Spacey Foundation; has his own production company, Trigger Street Productions; and since 2004, he has worked with The Old Vic Theatre Company in London as Artistic Director.

If you’d like to learn more about Spacey, or delve into his filmography here at Falvey Memorial Library, check out the resources compiled by Sarah Wingo, liaison librarian for English literature and theatre.

 


Dig Deeper:

Fun fact: Spacey’s Wiki page notes that his “first professional stage appearance was as a spear carrier in a New York Shakespeare Festival performance of Henry VI, part 1 in 1981.”

Falvey Memorial Library has two articles and two documentaries.

Here is the full list of films on VHS & DVD at Falvey.

And see how even Kevin Spacey pixelated can steal the show in an upcoming video game.

 


Sarah

Dig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre. Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

 

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: Villanova’s 10th President was first college librarian

Rev Thomas Middleton

According to an article written by Rev. Dennis Gallagher, O.S.A. and Laura Hutelmyer, electronic resource and special acquisitions coordinator, in a 2006 edition of the “News from Falvey” newsletter, the Rev. Thomas C. Middleton, O.S.A.,Villanova College president from 1876 to 1878, was also the first college librarian, serving in that capacity for 58 years, from 1865-1923.
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Dig Deeper: Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month fetes “Platero y Yo”

Domesticated donkey, ass, asinus vulgaris or Equus africanus asi

Mercedes_Julia

On Thursday, September 18 at 3:00 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library, Mercedes Juliá, PhD, professor of modern and contemporary literature and cultural studies in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures will be presenting a lecture in honor of Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month. Her talk is titled “The Inner Exile of Juan Ramón Jiménez.” Following Dr. Juliá’s talk, a bilingual presentation of Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Platero y Yo will be given. This event is part of the celebration of the Año Platero, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Platero y Yo.

This event, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Sigma Delta Pi and the Hispanic Honor Society, is free and open to the public.

Juan Ramón Jiménez

Juan Ramón Jiménez

In preparation for the presentation of Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Platero y Yo and to help commemorate its 100th publication anniversary, check out the following resources provided by Susan Ottignon, the liaison librarian for Romance Languages and Literatures.

 


Dig Deeper:

Falvey Memorial Library offers resources to assist you in researching and appreciating Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Platero y Yo.

Looking for criticism? Try searching one of these databases to find critical analysis in journal articles about the work. You can search “platero y yo” to pull up results

MLA International Bibliography (ProQuest)
This database consists of bibliographic records pertaining to literature, language, linguistics and folklore. It includes citations to articles from over 4,400 journals and series published internationally, as well as monographs, collections and various types of reference works.

Literature Criticism Online (Gale)
LCO is an extensive compilation of literary commentary reaching back 30 years and covering centuries of critiques on authors and their works that span all time periods, types of literature and regions. The cross-searchable collection brings together the most acclaimed literary series Drama Criticism, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Poetry Criticism and Short Story Criticism providing criticism on the major authors, dramatists and poets.

JSTOR
A searchable and browsable archive of full-text core journals in the humanities, social sciences and mathematics.

Sometimes, a summary or overview may provide insight into the author’s writing. By searching one of these resources, you can pull up a concise article.

MagillOnLiterature Plus (EBSCO)
Provides access to editorially reviewed critical analyses, brief plot summaries, and extended character profiles covering works by more than 8,500 long and short fiction writers, poets, dramatists, essayists and philosophers. Coverage includes sources Cyclopedia of Literary Places, Masterplots and European Fiction Series.

Literature Resource Center (Gale)
Full-text articles from scholarly journals and literary magazines are combined with critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, biographies and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works and literary movements.

“Hear straight from the horse’s mouth!”

The Library has a documentary on Juan Ramón Jiménez in which he talks about his book “Platero y Yo”? Just ask for the VHS, “Platero y yo Radio Televisión Española”—PQ6619.I4 P62 2000 (VHS)—at the circulation desk.

Don’t know Spanish? No problem!

Falvey has an English translation, Platero and I, available in the main collection on the 4th Floor with call number PQ6619.I4 P633.

 


RS4540_FML164_SusanOttignon_018_EDIT---ed

Dig Deeper links selected by Susan Ottignon, Research Support Librarian for Languages and Literatures. Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

 

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Dig Deeper: Jill A. McCorkel, PhD, researches a major US women’s prison

Breaking Women

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 2:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library, Jill A. McCorkel, PhD, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, will deliver a Scholarship@Villanova lecture about her recently published book, Breaking Women: Gender, Race and the New Politics of Imprisonment. Dr. McCorkel will discuss how her four years of research in a major U.S. women’s prison helped her to uncover the reasons tougher drug policies have so greatly affected those incarcerated there, and how the very nature of punishment in women’s detention centers has been deeply altered as a result. Lauded as “prison ethnography at its best” (Lorna Rhodes, author of Total Confinement: Madness and Reason in the Maximum Security Prison), her book is published by New York University Press and was a finalist for the 2013 C. Wright Mills Book Award presented by the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

This event—co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Sociology & Criminology, the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, and the Center for Peace and Justice Education—is free and open to the public.


Dig Deeper:

jill_mccorkelvillanova_edu

Resources by and about Dr. Jill McCorkel

Attending the lecture? Now read Dr. McCorkel’s new book: Breaking Women: Gender, Race and the New Politics of Imprisonment.

Find out more about the professor’s work and research interests by visiting her Villanova webpage

Keep up to date with the professor by following her on Twitter!

Check out Dr. McCorkel’s collaborative photo essay with prisoners from SCI Graterford @ Strongbox Magazine – Vol. 1 2009.

Becker, S. & McCorkel, J. (2011). The gender of criminal opportunity: The impact of male co-offenders on women’s crime.
Building on ethnographic research and feminist labor market analyses, this study explores how gender affects access to criminal opportunities. Using National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data, the authors examine the effect a male co-offender has on women’s offending. They find that the presence of a male co-offender broadens women’s criminal involvement in distinctive ways.

McCorkel, J. (2003). Embodied surveillance and the gendering of punishment.
This ethnography explores the enactment of “get tough” politics in a state prison for women and considers whether the implementation of seemingly gender-neutral programs and policies implies that women’s prisons are no longer operating as “gendered organizations.”

McCorkel, J. (2004). Criminally dependent? Gender, punishment, and the rhetoric of welfare reform.
This study relies on ethnographic data collected from a state prison for women to examine whether and to what extent welfare and criminal justice policies were coordinated during the drug and poverty wars of the past decade. Findings reveal that drug war policies did indeed transform punishment practices on the feminine side of the penal system, but such transformations were ultimately premised on changes to institutional interpretive structures that altered the ways state actors conceptualized gender, crime and women’s needs.

More Resources on Women and Imprisonment

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Women in Prison
The ACLU “fights to ensure that the criminal justice system treats women and girls fairly, that it protects the health and safety of women in its custody, and that it facilitates their successful reentry into their communities.” Check out this web resource for general information, statistics, videos and its personal testimony series called “Words from Prison.”

Women’s Prisons in the United States
A list of United States federal and state prisons which either currently or once did contain female prisoners.

Female offenders: critical perspectives and effective interventions
This classic text explores a variety of topics on female offenders from the nature of female offending, its patterns and explanations, power-belief theory and relational theory to institutional assessment, classification and programs.

Interrupted life: experiences of incarcerated women in the United States
This is a “gripping collection of writings by and about imprisoned women in the United States, a country that jails a larger percentage of its population than any other nation in the world. This eye-opening work brings together scores of voices from both inside and outside the prison system including incarcerated and previously incarcerated women, their advocates and allies, abolitionists, academics and other analysts” (see the full description at the University of California Press).

Women’s mental health issues across the criminal justice system
An accessible guide to women’s mental health in criminal justice systems, this text touches on meeting the needs of juvenile and adult offenders, measuring traumatic events in the lives of incarcerated girls, crisis intervention teams training, policy implications, and the ethics of justice and mental health systems.

A list of all books with the subject “Female offenders Rehabilitation United States.”

A list of all books with the subject “Women prisoners Services for United States.”

Explore more about corrections in the United States with this comprehensive list of print and online titles.


Alex Williams

Article written and links provided by Alexander Williams, research support librarian for the social sciences and the liaison to the communication, criminology and sociology departments. For questions or more information, feel free to contact him by email (alexander.williams@villanova.edu) or phone (ext.8845).

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September 11, 2001 Remembered

Since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, when many American lives were lost or changed forever, thousands of books and articles have been written on the subject. A small sampling of books, along with special issues of the Villanova magazine and a copy of The Villanovan, are on display on the first floor near the service desk. A basic search of the library catalog for “September 11″ will bring results of more than 5000 books and many more thousands of articles. An advanced search combining September 11 and terms such as terrorism, national security or emergency management will give you more specific results.

Never forget.

remembering 911 b

remembering 911 a

remembering 911 c

 

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In Honor of the Birthday of Our Lady, Sept. 8

attachment

Truly you are worthy to be blessed,
Mother of our God, the Theotokos,
You the ever blessed one, and all blameless one,
And the Mother of our God.

You are honored more than the Cherubim,
And you have more glory, when compared, to the Seraphim;
You, without corruption, Did bear God, the Logos;
You are the Theotokos; You do we magnify.

Higher than the heavens above are you,
And you are much purer than the radiance of the sun;
You who have redeemed us from the curse which is upon us;
The Lady of all people, in hymns, do we honor you.

From the great multitude of my sins, ill am I in body, ill am I also in my soul;
I am fleeing to you, the one who is all-blessed,
The hope of all the hopeless,
Please come bring help to me.

Lady and the Mother of Him who saves,
Receive the supplications of the lowly who pray to you;
Mediate between us and the One you brought forth;
O Lady of all people, intercede for us.

More than a beautiful piece of ancient poetry translated into English, the above is a hymn of magnification (a megalynarion) to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which incorporates a prayer of earnest and humble request to her as the Mother of God. This liturgical ode to Our Lady is slightly modified in the Office of Consolation in the Byzantine Catholic tradition, a tradition which is an Eastern rite of the Catholic Church.

Although broken into stanzas above, the Megalynarion is sung as a whole in the service of Paraklesis in Eastern Orthodox churches. A beautiful recording of this prayer of supplication to the Theotokos is performed by Eikona on “PARAKLESIS – The Mother of Light.”

The first two stanzas are the  Ἄξιον ἐστίν = Axion estin (in Greek) or Достóйно éсть = Dostóino yesť (in Slavonic), a classic theotokion; a hymn-prayer to the Theotokos, Mary, Mother of God. For more on this title for Mary, read “Mary the Theotokos (‘Birth-Giver of God’),” Dr. Mary B. Cunningham’s chapter in the collection of essays entitled The Orthodox Christian World, p. 189 ff.

The first part of the Axion estin (the first stanza above) is a troparion revealed AD 980 by the Archangel Gabriel to a monk on Mount Athos. (“Mt. Athos is the monastic republic on the Chalkidiki Peninsula in Greece. It is in many respects the spiritual heart of the Orthodox world.” Clark Carlton, The Truth: What every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church, p. 15.) An older sticheron (the second stanza above and the second half of the Axion estin) was originally composed ca. AD 750 in honor of the Theotokos by Saint Cosmas of Jerusalem, the 8th cen. hymnographer, and Bishop of Maiuma the ancient port city of Gaza.

The remaining three stanzas are from the “Canon of Supplication to the Most Holy Theotokos” (aka, the Little Paraklesis), which originated with Theophanes of Nicaea who died AD 818 (and who is also remembered as Theophanes the Confessor). He is quoted as having written, “It cannot happen that anyone, of angels or of men, can come otherwise, in any way whatsoever, to participation in the divine gifts flowing from what has been divinely assumed, from the Son of God, save through his Mother” (Michael O’Carroll, Theotokos; a theological encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, p. 241).

The understanding of the Virgin Mary as Mother and Mediatress is further developed in the West by authors such as St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (in the 17th century). In fact her role in salvation history, the maternal love of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her spiritual maternity to the all the faithful was fully recognized by the fathers of the Second Vatican Council (cf., Chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium), and in the writings of many popes before and after Vatican II.

Pope Paul VI in the 20th century wrote, “The Blessed Virgin’s role as Mother leads the People of God to turn with filial confidence to her who is ever ready to listen with a mother’s affection and efficacious assistance” (Marialis Cultus §57) in an apostolic exhortation “For the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary,” which is included in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops publication Mary in the church[remove extra spave]: a selection of teaching documents.

St. Pope John Paul II, in the late 20th century, spoke often of the Mother of God (see Mary, God’s yes to man : Pope John Paul II Encyclical letter, Mother of the redeemer, and  Theotókos : woman, mother, disciple). Pope Benedict XVI, in the early 21st century, wrote in his first encyclical letter God is Love, “Mary has truly become the Mother of all believers. Men and women of every time and place have recourse to her motherly kindness and her virginal purity and grace, in all their needs and aspirations, their joys and sorrows, their moments of loneliness and their common endeavours. They constantly experience the gift of her goodness and the unfailing love which she pours out from the depths of her heart. The testimonials of gratitude, offered to her from every continent and culture, are a recognition of that pure love which is not self- seeking but simply benevolent” (Deus Caritas Est §42).

For a good introduction to the Byzantine Catholic tradition overall, see the DVD, “An Introduction to the Eastern Catholic Church.” Some useful books in the reference collection (on the Learning Commons in Falvey) that are good for exploring the Eastern Christian tradition are The Blackwell dictionary of Eastern Christianity, The encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and Creeds & confessions of faith in the Christian tradition.

Photo from the National Catholic Register http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/byzantine-beauty


darren_edArticle by Darren G. Poley, Scholarly Outreach team leader and theology librarian. 

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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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Last Modified: July 30, 2014