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Happy Boss’s Day to Bruce Springsteen (Rocking Nova in 1973?)

Bruce Springsteen

Happy Boss’s Day to the Wildcat supervisors out there, and to one special, non-Villanovan: Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen.

Before he was “Born in the USA” or “Born to Run,” Bruce was born to play at Villanova a whole lot. He rocked the campus three times in 1973 alone! From all accounts, he crooned to mere dozens back then, and the photo above, from the 1974 Belle Aire yearbook, didn’t even caption whether this is actually Springsteen strumming.

The Library staff is divided on the identity of the singer in the photo too.

The hair, beard, silver cross, and guitar model and strap closely match this image, also from 1973.

So what do you think? Did we find a long, lost Springsteen photo or bust out with a basic Bruce-a-like?

 

While you’re pondering, head over to our Digital Library and check out our other amazing yearbooks from yesteryear.


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Cat in the Stax: Fall Films for the Faint of Heart

By Ethan Shea

""

It’s finally October! That means it’s time for haunted hayrides, horror movies, and pumpkin spice lattes (now available at Holy Grounds Falvey). Many people thrive in spooky environments, but if you’re anything like myself, you try to keep the ghosts and ghouls at arm’s length.

I may need some extra convincing to partake in frightening festivities, but I know I’m not the only one who prefers when houses aren’t haunted. That’s why I’ve curated a short list of fall films for the faint of heart. Just because they’re not scary doesn’t mean they’re not in season!

""Fantastic Mr. Fox

I could have added a few other Wes Anderson films to this list, but I chose Fantastic Mr. Fox simply because it’s my favorite. It’s also especially fitting because fall imagery is found everywhere in this movie. From the foliage of the tree Mr. Fox calls home to Mr. Bean’s alcoholic apple cider, Fantastic Mr. Fox is steeped in autumn.

Despite the fact that, aside from food references, there are few direct links to fall activities, Wes Anderson is not subtle with references to this nostalgic season. For example, the film is almost entirely orange. Just like Mr. Fox’s fur, the cinematography of this stop motion animated film is the color of autumn leaves.

Even the sentimental score features a twangy, acoustic sound that makes one feel like they are striding through a grass field with their feet covered in dew on a cool October morning.

The Princess Bride""

The Princess Bride is one of the most quotable films I’ve ever watched, and it’s hilarious too. This is a movie choice that will never disappoint because it has something for everyone.

As the movie’s group of lovable characters travel over cliffs and through the woods, one can’t help but feel in the mood for fall. The colorful leaves covering the forest floor and the story’s romance are perfectly fit for the season.

I’m not sure if it’s the visuals or the comfort of having a bedtime story read to you, but something about watching The Princess Bride on a calm autumn evening just feels right.

Coco""

This movie actually has something to do with the season directly. Because it’s centered around Día de los Muertos, this Pixar film is literally made for the fall season.

As Miguel attempts to return to the Land of the Living after he is cursed for stealing from the dead, he makes unlikely friends and learns about the importance of memory. The orange marigold petals that are essential to the film’s imagery are reminiscent of autumn and traditional of Día de los Muertos.

Coco is actually one of the highest-grossing films with an all Latin American principle cast, and given that it is Hispanic Heritage Month until Oct. 15, the time to watch watch this film is now!

The Goonies""

This classic story of a few kids with a treasure map and a taste for adventure is not just about pirates. The cool atmosphere of the group’s quaint Oregon setting is full of autumnal nostalgia. According to a newspaper found in the film, the events of The Goonies take place from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25, which is partially why this movie feels like sweater weather.

Although there are some suspenseful scenes, this movie is definitely not one I’d call scary. Even though I used to cringe at that one scene with the blender when I was younger (don’t worry, it’s not bad), there is not a whole lot to be afraid of. If you somehow haven’t watched this movie before, make sure you put it at the top of your list!

Fantastic Mr. FoxThe Princess Bride, and Coco are all available for viewing with subscriptions to Disney+. The Goonies is available on Hulu.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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TBT: Brian Westbrook Leaps Into the Villanova Record Books

For our Throwback Thursday, we honor Brian Westbrook ’02. It has been 20 years since Villanova played the above nailbiter against James Madison University, and has also been almost two decades since Villanova legend Brian Westbrook suited up for the Wildcats. Westbrook is arguably one of the most successful players in Villanova history running and catching 9,512 all-purpose yards, an NCAA record.

As a professional, he enjoyed a seven-year stint with the Eagles earning him a spot in the team’s hall of fame.


Elijah McDow is a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences undergraduate student.


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Cat in the Stax: Running to the Library

By Ethan Shea

""

Running is a hobby I’ve had for a while now, but during the past couple years, I’ve become very passionate about the sport. Aside from the obvious physical benefits of exercise, running has been essential to maintaining my mental health. There’s truly no better feeling than finishing a long run on a crisp October morning.

The most difficult part of being a runner, at least for me, is motivation and consistency. Its easy to fall into a rut where you begin running less frequently, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing lately. New trails, schedules, and opportunities have made the last month exciting, but coping with the loss of my treasured running routes back home hasn’t been easy.

Here at Falvey, we know the best motivation is found in a good book, so I recently ran to the library for help with getting my running back on track. If any one else is planning to hit the track or trails, here are a few books I’d recommend.

"Once a Runner"

Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr.

Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr.

This is one of those classic running books your dad would probably recommend to you. Published in 1978, this novel thrived off the energy of the first running boom in the 1970s. It channels the gritty mindset of a runner who wants to be the best and is willing to do anything, even 60 consecutive quarter mile repeats, to achieve his goal.

The athlete in question is a fictional collegiate runner named Quenton Cassidy. Cassidy is a top-of-the-line athlete and four-minute miler, but he has lots of work to do before competing against John Walton, who holds the world record in the mile with a blazing time of three minutes and 50 seconds.

Admittedly, Once a Runner isn’t the most eloquent book I’ve ever read, and it will probably be most appealing to those who are already into running, but that’s what makes so called “cult classics” special. There’s just something about this story that stuck with generations of runners. The copy of this text I own was actually gifted to me by a former semi-pro runner I used to work at a running store with, so maybe I’ll continue the tradition and hand it off to another eager runner a couple decades from now.

"Advanced Marathoning"

Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger

Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger

Pete Pfitzinger is a former Olympic marathoner with a personal best time of 2:11:43 over the 26.2 mile distance (that’s about five minutes and two seconds per mile). Needless to say, Pete is fast, and that’s why I trust his training advice in Advanced Marathoning.

This book isn’t the most exciting read if you’re not a running geek, but it provides a lot of valuable information that any runner can benefit from. It really digs into the science of marathoning and the physiological changes that your body undergoes during training. The training plans provided are fairly advanced, but that doesn’t mean everyone can’t apply their principles to their own routines.

If the marathon isn’t your favorite event, Pfitzinger also has a book titled Faster Road Racing that provides similar sorts of information as Advanced Marathoning but focuses on distances from 5k to the half marathon. I’d say if you want to nerd out over some running science, Pfitzinger’s books were written for you.

"Born to Run"

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

This is without a doubt one of the most influential books about running out there. The true story follows members of the Tarahumara Native Mexican tribe as McDougall himself learns how the community is able to run distances of over 100 miles without injuring themselves.

One of the more controversial takes found in this book is McDougall’s belief that modern cushioned running shoes cause injuries. He points to the minimalist shoes worn by Tarahumara runners as evidence of the inferiority of traditional running shoes. The popularity of this book even led to a minimalist running craze. You may remember those Vibram foot-shaped shoes that people were running with a few years ago. Those are (unfortunately) an indirect result of Born to Run. Interestingly enough, minimalist running is not the main focus of this book. The text only spends a couple chapters talking about the benefits of minimalism, and the rest explores other aspects of training with the Tarahumarans.

I could go on about why I passionately disagree with McDougall’s opinions on running shoes, but I’ll let you read and make a decision on your own. Shoes aside, this story captivated millions, and it’s certainly worth reading if you’d like to dive into the running shoe debate for yourself.


Headshot of Ethan Shea

Ethan Shea is a first year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Tony Awards Take on Adaptations

By Ethan Shea

""

On Sept. 26, the 74th Tony Awards took to the stage. Having been delayed an entire year, the ceremony was a welcome sight on Broadway. One aspect of this year’s Tony Awards that stuck out is the prevalence of adaptations among the winners and nominees. Falvey Library has access to many of the works that inspired these award winning shows, so if you would like to learn more about how this year’s Tony recipients came to be, check out the links below.

Additionally, feel free to browse a complete list of the winners and nominees here.

The Inheritance and Howard’s End

The Inheritance became one of the biggest winners this year by taking home the coveted award for best play. Matthew Lopez, the playwright of The Inheritance, stated that E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End is his favorite novel, which is unsurprisingly why he took inspiration for his play from it. In Howard’s End, Forster tells the story of three conflicting families living in England around the year 1900. Critiques of social conventions and discussions of economics surround an unconventional love story between two members of opposing families.

The Inheritance is far from a strict adaptation of Forster’s novel. Rather than England, the play takes place in New York a generation after the height of the AIDS crisis. E.M. Forster was a closeted gay man when he wrote Howard’s End, so The Inheritance uses the text’s queer subtext to create a play fit for the 21st century. The performance is a whopping 6 hours long and is presented in two separate three hour performances. Although the plots of these two stories are very different, if you are interested in theater and what inspired this award-winning play, I’d recommend you check out Howard’s End while keeping in mind the underlying themes that brought its theatrical offspring to life.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Moulin Rouge!"Moulin Rouge! Play Image"

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a more direct adaptation of its source material. Rather than a novel, this play was inspired by the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film of the same name. The over-the-top nature of the film translates beautifully to the stage. As a result, this play was the biggest winner of the 74th Tony Awards and walked away with 10 prizes. A few of the awards Moulin Rouge! won are for scenic design, costume, lighting, and sound design, which are similar to some of the Oscars won by Luhrmann’s film that celebrated the extravagance of the costumes and set.

One point of departure between the film and play is that the songs used are distinctly different. In the film, Luhrmann famously mixed modern pop songs with the score, and in the same vein, this adaptation used songs that were written in the 17 years since the film’s release.  For example, Katy Perry’s hit song Firework and Sia’s Chandelier are both incorporated into the show’s musical performances.

"A Christmas Carol"A Christmas Carol and A Christmas Carol

This play needs no introduction. The adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella is truly timeless and has been adapted countless times. Nonetheless, this most recent production became the first holiday play to win a Tony. Not only did A Christmas Carol win a Tony, it won five, including best score, making it the first play to beat every contending musical in that category.

The reduced competition due to the COVID-19 Pandemic certainly affected the Tony Awards this year, but that should not take away from the achievements of these shows. Regardless, theatre-goers worldwide are certainly looking forward to a much more crowded theatre schedule in the coming months, which should make next year’s installment of the Tony Awards all the more exciting!

 


Headshot of Ethan Shea

Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


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Weekend Recs: All Things Fall

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back 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. 

Fall is my ABSOLUTE favorite season, and I have a feeling that a good number of you would agree! Even though we’re a little over a week into the season, the weather has started to drop and I’m seeing more sweaters and flannels popping up around campus. In honor of the BEST season’s arrival – here’s a list of recs to get you in the fall spirit.  

If you have 7 minutes… read this article from PureWow about the best fall Starbucks drinks you can order, both hot and cold! 

If you have 45 minutes… watch an episode (or 10) of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. This feel-good show fits into the fall season perfectly and is a good way to relieve stress before, during, and after midterms. 

If you have 2 hours and 20 minutes… watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on HBO Max. Why does Harry Potter feel like a non-negotiable when fall rolls around? I’m not sure, but I’m not complaining! 

If you have a day… visit Linvilla Orchards! A quick 20-minute drive away from campus, Linvilla Orchards offers all of your classic fall activities from apple picking and a pumpkin patch to corn mazes and hayrides. 

If you have all weekend (or approximately 15 hours)… read The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. This murder/mystery novel sets the tone perfectly for fall and Halloween just around the corner. The book is available through Inter-Library Loan. 


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


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Cat in the Stax: Banned Books Week Hits Close to Home

By Ethan Shea

""

Sunday, Sept. 26 marked the official beginning of Banned Books Week 2021. This celebration of the freedom to read hit close to home this year when controversy surrounding a book ban in York, Pa., made national headlines.

Just a couple weeks ago, there were several protests against the Central York School District’s imposition of what was effectively a book ban targeting antiracist literature. Some of the banned material included a children’s picture book titled I Am Rosa Parks, a story of the life of Malala Yousafzai, a documentary about James Baldwin, and an episode of Sesame Street on racism. The Central York School District claimed these texts were merely under review, yet this “review process” nearly lasted a year.

These books were banned last October, but this August, teachers in the district received an email telling them to continue to avoid a list of texts that included several Black writers. This ban was recently lifted as calls to reverse the ruling became more widespread, but the fact that the ban endured for so long shows that the fight for the freedom to read is ongoing. Banned Books Week comes at an especially apt time this year, as the reversal of this book ban gives readers everywhere a special reason to celebrate.

It is worth noting that denying access to books through exorbitant costs can work as an effective ban against material. If students cannot afford to buy certain texts, they have just as little access to them as they would if the texts were banned entirely. This is why the Affordable Materials Project (AMP) collaborates with Falvey Library to assure all students have access to much needed educational materials. This project has saved students over $1 million since 2018, so if you’re a student at Villanova who has not heard of AMP, I would highly recommend looking into it here.

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

To conclude, here are a few famous books that have been banned at some point in history:

"Brave New World"

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou is one of the most banned writers in the United States. Since she published this autobiography in 1969, it has been challenged time after time for its depictions of racism and sexuality. Other works by Angelou have also been banned, such as her poetry collection, Still I Rise.

Brave New World

This classic dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley has been repeatedly banned for what some interpret as the glorification of sex and drugs. The 1932 work of fiction takes place in a futuristic society and warns of the dangers of industrialism and commodity culture.

"Go Tell It on the Mountain"

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by James Baldwin

Go Tell It on the Mountain

This 1952 novel by James Baldwin was also banned for portrayals of race and sexuality. The text documents the life of John Grimes, a teenager growing up in Harlem. Much of this story is based on the life of James Baldwin himself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced Along with Booker Prize Finalists

By Ethan Shea

""

2021 Pulitzer Prize

On June 11, 2021, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced the winners of prizes in Journalism, Books, Drama, and Music. This recent recognition of excellence in the aforementioned fields is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of truth and art in our everyday lives.

Pulitzer Prizes are traditionally awarded annually in April, but like most events over the past year and a half, the ceremony was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. The reason this prestigious prize is trending once again is because last month, on Aug. 27, a special citation and grant of $100,000 was awarded to journalists in Afghanistan to commend their efforts to give ordinary people access to truth amid dangerous circumstances.

"Person reads the New York Times"Villanova University is committed to giving students access to reputable sources of information. In fact, all Villanova students, staff, and faculty members have complimentary access to both The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. It is important to take advantage of these resources, especially during the current age of mass information.

Additionally, Falvey Memorial Library’s database tool makes research on any of the following topics possible. Innumerable databases that contain a wide array of scholarly articles are available here. Students are encouraged to be critical consumers of information and use these resources to do their own research on whichever prevailing topics may interest them.

To return to the subject of Pulitzer recipients, here are some notable winners from this year’s award selection:

The New York Times

The New York Times was awarded the prize for public service in recognition of their coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The organization’s reporting has directly helped individuals protect themselves and others against a virus that continues to challenge the global health care community.

Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing, and Christo Buschek

These reporters for BuzzFeed News were awarded the international reporting prize for bringing the systematic mass incarceration of Uighur Muslims in China to light. At least 268 internment camps or prisons were discovered as a result of their work, and recent reporting continues to reveal atrocities taking place at these locations.

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

This collection of poetry is described by The New York Times as “one of the most important poetry releases in years”. Diaz’s work focuses on the experiences of queer women of color and makes use of beautiful imagery that calls upon her own life as a Native American growing up in Fort Mojave in Needles, California.

Darnella Frazier"protesters crowd the streets in the wake of George Floyd's murder"

On May 25, 2020, Ms. Frazier used her cellphone to document the murder of George Floyd on video. Her recording fueled protests against police brutality across the globe and ultimately led to the conviction of Floyd’s killer. This profoundly impactful act of journalism was awarded with a special citation by the Pulitzer Prize Board.

A complete list of winners is available here.

 

2021 Booker Prize

""

Even more recently, the final shortlist of nominees for the Booker Prize was announced. The Booker Prize is a prestigious award given to the best novel written in English and published in either Britain or Ireland. In 2014, rules regarding the prize changed to allow any English-language novel to qualify. Rather than only allowing writers from Britain, Ireland, Zimbabwe, and the Commonwealth into the competition, the Booker Prize committee started to welcome writers of all nationalities.

This change was met with criticism in 2018 after prominent writers such as Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, and Zadie Smith voiced concern over Americans winning the award in two consecutive years. The group argued that in an attempt to diversify the prize’s pool of nominees, the Booker Prize actually became more homogenized. The proposed solution to this issue was to bar Americans from the competition.

This year, three of the six finalists are American, so some are worried the aforementioned concerns will be renewed. Critics of the suggested American ban assert that it is critical for literary circles to broaden their horizons and push for inclusivity. Therefore, calls to narrow the scope of Booker Prize applicants seem counter-intuitive.

Nonetheless, this year’s shortlist is comprised of several spectacular nominees. The list includes A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam, The Promise by Damon Galgut, No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood, The Fortunate Men by Nadifa Mohamed, Bewilderment by Richard Powers, and Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead.

You can find more information on this year’s Booker Prize nominees here.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


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TBT: New Beginnings for Theatre

By Ethan Shea

"Excerpt from Belle Air 1969"

“Excerpt from Belle Air 1969”

As Villanova Theatre’s 2021 – 2022 Season begins this week with performances of James Ijames’ White, this excerpt from the 1969 edition of Belle Air reminds us of another time Villanova’s theatre program changed venues. The snippet describes the theatre’s “new location in Vasey Hall” with an enthusiasm similar to current attitudes toward the upcoming inaugural performance in the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts.

This new beginning gives us an opportunity to reflect on the changes Villanova has underwent since 1969. Upcoming performances of White will challenge audiences to reckon with “racism, misogyny and cultural appropriation”, contrasting the lack of diversity in the image above and reminding us of the importance of continuously striving to embody an accessible culture of inclusion.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


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Bloomsbury Cultural Histories

By Jutta Seibert

Bloomsbury’s Cultural Histories are multi-volume sets that survey the social and cultural construction of specific subjects through the ages. All volumes in a set explore the same themes. For example, the Cultural History of Western Empires consists of six volumes covering antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, the Age of Empire, and the modern age. Each volume in the set includes a chapter on race written by an expert in the field. Compare the chapter on race by Cord Whitaker from the volume covering the Middle Ages in the Cultural History of Western Empires to the chapter on race by Vanita Seth from the volume covering the Age of Enlightenment to gain a better understanding of what the series has to offer.

The digital platform currently comprises 24 subjects ranging from animals to work. Recently added subjects include comedy, education, home, memory, and peace. Color, democracy, fairy tales, genocide, medicine, and sport are among the subjects currently in production.

The collection also includes a small selection of complementary cultural and social history books from Bloomsbury Academic, Berg, and Continuum. Among them are David Sutton’s exploration of the relationship between food and memory in Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory (Berg, 2001) and Mark M. Smith’s Sensory History (Berg, 2017), to give just two examples.

Visual resources from the Wellcome Collection, the Rijksmuseum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art round out the collection, which also includes an interactive timeline and lesson plans for the undergraduate classroom. Remote access is provided through the Library’s Databases A-Z list under B.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Last Modified: September 22, 2021