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Weekend Recs: True Crime

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Given its popularity, you’ve likely encountered the media genre dubbed “true crime.” The name speaks for itself. Gory, vicious accounts of non-fiction crimes are recounted and dramatized for our education, and yes, entertainment. From podcasts to TikToks to docu-series, true crime proves its place as a mainstay in our cultural consciousness. But what might our obsession with true crime say about us? What happens when we look deeper? This weekend’s recs are for true crime fans and interested outsiders alike.

If you have 32 seconds…and you want to get on True CrimeTok, watch this TikTok that pokes fun at some of true crime’s staples. Every genre has its cliches, and for true crime, the “small town where crime never happens” is a consistent backdrop.

If you have 3 minutes…and are looking for a laugh, watch this SNL skit that pokes fun at our obsession with true crime. If you’re the designated true crime friend, this one is for you.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to learn more about the true crime genre and some of the questions and concerns it raises, read this article in The Ringer. Even if you’re a seasoned true crime audience member, it raises some good points and might help you become a more mindful consumer.

If you have 43 minutes…and are looking for a more ethical, guilt-free true crime podcast that aims to tackles some of the ethical concerns the true crime genre brings up, listen to this episode of the Truer Crime podcast. This one focuses on the Samuel Little case, but I highly recommend the entire series.

Bonus: if you want to learn more about the creator of Truer Crime, Celisia Stanton, and some of the issues the podcast aims to avoid, read this interview with Mashable.

If you have 12 hours…and want to binge-watch a new true crime docu-series, watch A Kidnapping Scandal: The Florence Cassez Scandal, which details a Mexican case that involves accounts of kidnapping, organized crime, corruption, and controversy. It’s truly a wild ride.

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.



Weekend Recs: Nostalgia

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

The end of the semester is upon us and the only thing standing between us and summer is a couple of exams and final papers. For many people, this time of year is a nostalgic one. Maybe you’re a senior and thinking back over your four years at Villanova and all the memories. Or maybe your nostalgic for your childhood home, knowing going back home for the summer will bring back a flood of memories. No matter what the reason, sometimes it’s just fun to take a stroll down memory lane. Keep reading for some ways you can play into that nostalgic feeling this weekend. 

If you have 2 minutes… read this article about what nostalgia actually is and the impact it can have on us and our mood.  

If you have 10 minutes… and are near Falvey, stop by between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to grab some baseball-themed treats, destress from finals, and reminisce on the school year with your friends.  

If you have 30 minutes… and want to go way back, spend some time digitally flipping through old Belle Air yearbooks, available in Falvey’s digital collection.  

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes… watch the new Netflix documentary “White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch” that does a deep dive into the company’s exclusionary marketing and discriminatory hiring practices. Just thinking about the documentary, I instantly get transported back to wandering the mall with friends in middle school and coming across the strong scent of their store. 

If you have 8 hours… and a lot of papers to write, visit your favorite study spot in Falvey. The semester is coming to a close and though it may not seem like it now, you may miss grabbing a coffee from Holy Grounds and having a productive study session this summer!

Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Black History in Documentary Films

February is over, but at Falvey, Black history is always part of our collections. One way to learn about facets of this vital component of American history is through documentary films. Read on to learn about some library-subscribed streaming video platforms, and to get some great film recommendations!

Falvey offers Villanova’s students, staff, and faculty access to thousands of documentaries via our streaming subscriptions. Most of our documentaries come to us via Academic Video Online (also known as AVON). AVON offers more than 70,000 films and documentary TV episodes from distributors including PBS, the BBC, Bullfrog Films, Ro*Co Films, California Newsreel, and many others. Most films include searchable full text transcripts. Browse the Film Platform and Black Studies subcollections to get a sampling of AVON’s contents.

Academic Video Online (ProQuest) – Images from the Black Studies film collection

We also license a changing set of documentaries and feature films on the Kanopy platform. You can think of these films as long-term rentals, selected on the basis of faculty requests. Once campus-wide access is purchased, the film remains available via the library catalog for up to three years. Click here to view the films currently available to the Villanova community via Kanopy.

Here are ten documentaries currently screening via AVON and Kanopy that relate to the history of Black Americans. Click the image to access the film.

Banished: A History of African American Expulsion (2007)


Black and Blue (1987)
On the history of race and policing in Philadelphia


The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2016)


I Am Not Your Negro (2016)


John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)


Let the Fire Burn: Tragedy in Philadelphia (2013)


Olympic Pride – American Prejudice (2016)
On the other 17 Black athletes who participated in
the 1936 Berlin Olympics… beyond Jesse Owens.


The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (2002; 4 episodes)


T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness: Queer Blues Divas of the 1920s (2013)


Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (2014)

Enjoy exploring these great films!

Susan Turkel is a Social Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

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Falvey Now Video Streaming Documentaries

By Darren Poley

The Docuseek2 Complete Collection (second edition) currently offers over 1,600 issues-based documentaries from leading film producers and distributors, and independent filmmakers from around the world. The streamed videos in this collection cover subjects such as global, area and women’s studies, psychology, health, environmental studies and sciences, history, political science, sociology and criminal justice, and the arts.

The other streaming video collections from Alexander Street Press made available by Falvey, in addition to Docuseek2 Complete, are Academic Video Online, Broadway HD, Counseling & Therapy in Video, and Filmakers Library Online. Surf the channels to browse thematically. Channels include Science, Nursing, Engineering, History, Global Issues, Literature, Theatre, Psychology, and Religion and Thought.

Read another recent post about Academic Video Online (AVON) and other streaming video collections available via Falvey Memorial Library.


Darren G. Poley is Associate Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, and Theology, Humanities, and Classical Studies Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library. 





Last Modified: March 13, 2020

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