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“Blood and Soul: The Russian Revolutions of 1917” Exhibit Opens Today

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The exhibit, “Blood and Soul:  The Russian Revolutions of 1917,” opens today with a 5 pm reception in Falvey Memorial Library. Archpriest John J. Perich, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of the Orthodox Church in America, and the Rev. Richard G. Cannuli, OSA, curator of the University Art Gallery, co-curated and mounted the exhibit which remains open through Sept. 1. The exhibit commemorates the one hundredth anniversaries of the Russian Revolutions and the enthronement of St. Patriarch Tikon of Moscow.

Preceding the opening of the exhibit, at 4 pm in Corr Hall Chapel there will be a memorial service for the victims of the Russian Revolutions.

Both events are open to the public.

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Call for Applications: Institute Vienna Circle – Summer School 2017: Genomics: Philosophy, Ethics, Policy


Genomics: Philosophy, Ethics, Policy
July 3–14, 2017


Lecturers:  Robert Cook-Deegan (Arizona State University)
Paul E. Griffiths (University of Sydney)
Jenny Reardon (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Since 2001 the University of Vienna and the Institute Vienna Circle holds an annual two-week summer program dedicated to major current issues in the natural and the social sciences, their history and philosophy. The title of the program reflects the heritage of the Vienna Circle which promoted interdisciplinary and philosophical investigations based on solid disciplinary knowledge.

As an international interdisciplinary program, USS-SWC brings graduate students in close contact with world-renowned scholars. It operates under the academic supervision of an International Program Committee of distinguished philosophers, historians, and scientists. The program is directed primarily to graduate students and junior researchers in fields related to the annual topic, but the organizers also encourage applications from gifted undergraduates and from people in all stages of their career who wish to broaden their horizon through cross-disciplinary studies of methodological and foundational issues in science. (General Information)

The schedule consists of morning sessions, chaired by distinguished lecturers which focus on readings assigned to students in advance. Afternoon sessions are made up of smaller groups which offer senior students the opportunity to discuss their own research papers with one of the main lecturers.

Application deadline: Mid-February
International Program Committee

  • John Beatty (Vancouver)
  • Maria Carla Galavotti (Bologna)
  • Malachi Hacohen (Durham/Raleigh)
  • Michael Heidelberger (Tübingen)
  • Martin Kusch (Vienna)
  • Paolo Mancosu (Berkeley)
  • Elisabeth Nemeth (Vienna)
  • Miklós Rédei (London)
  • Friedrich Stadler (Vienna)
  • Michael Stöltzner (Columbia)
  • Roger H. Stuewer (Minneapolis)
  • Thomas Uebel (Manchester)

Robert Kaller (Secretary of the USS-SWC, Vienna)


1917: The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Russian Revolution


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The “1917:  The One Hundredth Anniversary of the Russian Revolution” exhibit in one of the large windows separating the Library from Holy Grounds commemorates this world-changing event. Designed by Joanne Quinn, graphic designer and Communications and Marketing team leader, the exhibit was mounted by Kallie Stahl, team member.

In addition to a large “1917” sign flanked by two flags, the exhibit includes a  small collection of books about Russia, large snowflakes, two trees and a small bear, all set in a snowy background.

On the left is the large, colorful flag of Imperial Russia (from 1895-1917) with its intricate designs; on the right the flag of Soviet Russia, with a yellow sickle, hammer and star on a red background. Books, all drawn from Falvey’s collection, cover various topics such as art, the 1917 revolution and other history, and fiction, all related to Russia. This colorful exhibit serves as a precursor to a much larger exhibit which will be mounted in February.

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This exhibit is now closed, but the much larger Russian exhibit will soon arrive and will fill the various cases on the first floor.


Photographs by Alice Bampton, Communication and Marketing Dept.


2016—2017 Penn Humanities Forum on Translation

2016-17 Penn Humanities Forum on Translation

Topic Director: Bethany Wiggin
Associate Professor of German
Director, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities

Translation. Rendition. Revision. Rip Off. Where does one end and the next begin—and who draws the lines?  Was rock and roll a brilliant translation of rhythm and blues or an act of cultural and racial theft? Is translation inevitably an impertinence, a breach of faith with the original? Is it perfidious to relocate Dante’s Virgil to Belfast, Romeo and Juliet to Verona Beach? Or is the translation an original in its own right?  For that matter, what text or artifact is not, one way or another, a translation? Isn’t all culture, even language itself, predicated on translation?

Across languages, media, disciplines, places, and times, translation moves. It can bridge previously unpassable stretches, providing first steps toward discovering or recovering a language and its culture. Indeed, with the new tools of the computer age we can translate faster and bridge farther than ever before. Key to the establishment of a Lenape curriculum, for example, has been the creation of translation dictionaries facilitated by powerful technologies of machine translation.

Perhaps, then, translation provides the getaway car, allowing us to swerve past obsolete linguistic, cultural, artistic, and disciplinary divides. Maybe, as Bruno Latour suggests, the work of translation can help us to avoid the modern error of dividing the world into human culture vs nonhuman nature.  Seen in this way, translation provides a basis for some of the most exciting experiments in contemporary research: the environmental humanities, the medical humanities, the digital humanities. It directs our particular attention to the concept of anthropocene, the post-holocene geologic epoch proposed by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen to capture the profound mutual entanglement of human and nonhuman on a planet under ever-increasing stress.

As it moves, translation crosses lines of difference, sometimes blurring distinctions of race and ethnicity, class and religion, gender and sexuality. Translation can be a mode of passing. But translation can move otherwise, too; practices of queer translation may seek to accentuate and explore difference rather than efface it. Translation may be deployed as a feminist strategy, a subaltern strategy, a critical legal strategy.

Translation may simply fail inspection as a vehicle for safe passage. Beginning at the source, it steers toward the target, yet along the way its itinerary can change both origin and endpoint. A translation can corrupt, contaminate, or monstrously hybridize, as in translations of sacred or spiritual texts. Some faiths proscribe the translation of holy texts entirely. Martin Luther’s translation of the bible was so monstrous to his Catholic critics that it was for them the book of a seven-headed devil—that devil being, of course, Luther, the translator, himself.

There have been seminal historical moments, including that of the European Renaissance, when the work of translators provided vital springs of cultural renewal. For some cultural historians, this affinity between translation and renaissance is fundamental; it is through translation that newness enters the world.  From their perspective, the situation in contemporary America, where barely three percent of books published each year have been translated from outside English, may well be indicative of cultural retreat and decline. But other scholars have wondered whether translation itself is not part of the current cultural predicament. Where we do find many translated books, they can seem to diminish cultural variety, spreading a literary monoculture exemplified by the kind of “global” or “world” novel that is now featured in the bookshops of international airports.

These disputes over the meaning and value of translation are baked into the word itself, which arrives in English via a Latin rendering of the Greek word metaphorein. What we call translation is already a translation of metaphor, that most notoriously untranslatable of rhetorical figures, so often enlisted as evidence of what, in translation, must be lost. Etymologically, translation is a term at war with itself, always threatening to dissolve into paradox.

But this is just what makes it so a rich topic for our explorations. If translation is a metaphor, we take it as an apt figure for the work of the humanities today, for the scene of uncertain but productive struggle among our many fields and disciplines and modes of apprehension. We invite you to participate in a series of conversations across languages, cultures, historical periods, and systems of knowledge as we devote the year 2016-17 to the challenge of Translation.

April, 2015
Bethany Wiggin, Topic Director
James English, Director, Penn Humanities Forum


Today’s database: a powerful tool for research on MLK and African American and African History and Culture

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Falvey Memorial Library is fortunate to be able to provide access to hundreds of instructional databases for the Villanova Community. While the choices may be vast, each searchable collection presents a unique treasure trove of information. Today, in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we’d like to direct your attention to a uniquely browsable resource, the Oxford African American Studies Center. Touted as “the online authority on the African American Experience,” the Oxford AASC provides a wide array of primary source documents, educational resources and articles, and multimedia.

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The database provides students, scholars and librarians with online access to the finest reference resources in African American studies. At its core, AASC features the new Encyclopedia of African American History: 1619-1895, Black Women in America, the highly acclaimed Africana, a five-volume history of the African and African American experience, and the African American National Biography project (estimated at 8 volumes). In addition to these major reference works, AASC offers other key resources from Oxford’s reference program, including the Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature and selected articles from other reference works.

Feel free to contact a librarian if you’d like further help exploring and utilizing any of Falvey Memorial Library’s databases.

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 15 – “Gaudete”

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“Gaudete” is the Latin word for “rejoice.” Gaudete is theme of the third Sunday of Advent. This poem was submitted by Alice Bampton, a member of the Communications and Marketing Dept. in Falvey.

Gaudete by Brad Reynolds, S.J.

Because Christmas is almost here

Because dancing fits so well with music

Because inside baby clothes are miracles.


Because some people love you

Because of chocolate

Because pain does not last forever

Because Santa Claus is coming.


Because of laughter

Because there really are angels

Because your fingers fit your hands

Because forgiveness is yours for the asking

Because of children

Because of parents.


Because the blind see.

And the lame walk.


Because lepers are clean

And the deaf hear.


Because of Christmas

Because of Jesus

You rejoice.




Dig Deeper: Christians in the Contemporary Middle East Conference

Nova Conference: Middle East

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


(Villanova University’s Arabic Cartouche)

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

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

Patriarchate Banner

(Banner for the Ecumenical Patriarchate – website below)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Queen of Peace

(Mary Queen of Peace)

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

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



Dig Deeper: Kerbel talks Election

On Thursday, Nov. 17, Political Science Department Chair Matthew R. Kerbel will visit the Falvey Memorial Library to give a talk about moving forward after this year’s turbulent presidential election. His background in studying the effects of media on American politics make him eminently qualified to be dissecting this year’s contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

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Kerbel appearing on a local media station (courtesy of

In 1999, Kerbel wrote, “We are prompted to think about the political system as the journalist tells us about it, as a place filled with people of dubious character bent on image manipulation at all costs. It becomes a challenge for us to sort our political information in the news from messages about the political system conveyed along with the facts–to learn about politics without acquiring an attitude.”

Written almost two decades ago, these words contain an even more powerful truth in today’s world. From his “Remote & Controlled: Media Politics in a Cynical Age,” this insight demonstrates Kerbel’s keen eye for the nuances of contemporary political discourse, a discourse which has shifted dramatically during Kerbel’s 30-year career.

Of course, Kerbel’s expertise on American Politics, the Presidency, and the media go back before the 1990s. Early in his career, he published on the presidency of Gerald Ford. In this piece he argued that a president’s news exposure varies with the political climate. He continued his research throughout the ’90s, even scoring coverage by Villanova’s own newspaper, the Villanovan in 1992:

Kerbel Villanovan

Based on the research discussed in this article, Kerbel published his “Edited for Television: CNN, ABC, and the 1992 Presidential Campaign.” He followed this book up with a number of books throughout the ’90s and early 2000s; he’s credited on all of the following:

These resources, available through the Falvey Memorial Library, will give you an excellent glimpse into Kerbel’s background as a scholar. He also maintains a blog called “Wolves and Sheep,” where he discusses current political issues in relatively short posts.

Whether you’ve been feeling confused and scared, or vindicated and elated by this year’s election, Kerbel’s talk, today at 1pm in Speakers’ Corner, will be the right place to find some answers about moving forward.

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2016 Election Retrospective: What Happened—And What Happens Now?


2016 US Presidential Election Series Lecture: Dr. Matthew R. Kerbel presents “2016 Election Retrospective: What Happened—And What Happens Now?”


Thursday, November 17th, 2016, at 1:00 PM


Speakers’ Corner

Event Description:

Please join us on Thursday, November 17 at 1:00 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library for a talk about the 2016 United States presidential election. Matthew R. Kerbel, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, will analyze the election results (presidential, congressional and state) and talk about the implications for politics and policy-making during the first months of the upcoming presidential term. He will also touch on President Obama’s legacy. His talk is titled, “2016 Election Retrospective: What Happened—And What Happens Now?”

Dr. Kerbel is a well-known expert on political communication – the use of traditional media such as radio, television and newspapers, and new media such as social media, blogs and web sites. Kerbel has been a television and radio writer for the Public Broadcasting Service. He is often interviewed about political communication and serves as an expert source for the Constitution Center.

This event, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Department of Political Science, is free and open to the public.

Dig Deeper:  Selected Books by Dr. Kerbel in Falvey’s Collection

Beyond Persuasion: Organizational Efficiency and Presidential Power (1991).

Choosing a President: The Electoral College and Beyond (2002).

Edited for Television: CNN, ABC, and American Presidential Elections (1998).

The Elections of 2000 (2001). 

Get This Party Started: How Progressives Can Fight Back and Win (2006).

If It Bleeds, It Leads: An Anatomy of Television News (2000)

iPolitics: Citizens, Elections, and Governing in the New Media Age (2012).

Party On!: Political Parties from Hamilton and Jefferson to Today’s Networked Age (with John Kenneth White) (2012).


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

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

Janice Bially Mattern, Social Sciences and Data Services librarian, provided this fascinating, informative (and addictive) website <> for BallotReady.

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

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

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

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


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Last Modified: November 7, 2016