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TBT: Vasey Hall in the Fall

Image of Vasey Hall in the fall of 1993.

Image courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library.


For this week’s Throwback Thursday (TBT), check out this fall image of Vasey Hall from 1993! The inscription on the side of Vasey Hall reads, “Originally known as the Commerce and Finance Building, this structure was later named for the Augustinian Provincial, Rev. Nicholas J. Vasey, O.S.A., 1918-1926.” Many theater productions were held in Vasey Hall before the new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts opened in 2020. Villanova Theatre’s newest show, Men On Boats will be running from Sept. 22 through Oct. 2, so be sure to get your tickets for this comedic satire!


Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS is a senior Communication Major from just outside Baltimore who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey.

 

 


 


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Villanova Theatre’s 2022 Season Debut: Men on Boats

On Sunday, Sept. 25, I attended the 2 p.m. showing of Villanova Theatre’s 2022-2023 season opener Men on Boats in the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. The show ran for approximately 90 minutes and included a post-performance talk-back with the Director, Kristy Dodson; the Production Dramaturg, Hannah Deprey-Severance; and Melinda Daniels, PhD, a research scientist at the Stroud Water Research Center who specializes in fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, and river ecosystem ecology. The talk-back reflected on both the impressive successes and the devastating impacts of Powell’s expedition and revealed insights on the creative process behind the production.

Men on Boats, written by living playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, is a historical satire of the real-life 1869 Grand Canyon Colorado River expedition of John Wesley Powell and his rag-tag crew. Adapting historical records into a script and portraying an excursion that only included cisgender, heterosexual white men, Backhaus created a satire that could succinctly depict an important historical event to audiences across the country while poking fun at the men who set sail in 1869 (and maybe even more modern figures).

As Dramaturg Hannah Deprey-Severance emphasized in the talk-back, Backhaus’s vision was to find a cast of performers that included everyone but cis-het white men. Villanova’s production stayed true to this vision and featured a diverse cast of talented non-male performers who brought the minimalistic yet beautiful set (created by Stefanie Hansen) to life.

Taylor Molt as Bradley (in particular), Reagan Venturi as John Colton Sumner, Genevieve “Eve” Windbiel as Hawkins, and Sara Buscaglia as Hall provided hilarity to the show and all kept me laughing out loud for the 90-minute duration. The brothers, often mistaken for twins (a joke Victorious fans will appreciate) O.G. Howland, played by Noelle Diane Johnson, and Seneca Howland, played by Abigail Little, portrayed a comedic yet compelling sibling relationship on stage. The tense and complicated friendship depicted by Alison Hyde Pascale as John Wesley Powell and Olivia “Liv” Morgan as William Dunn was grounded and gripping. Old Shady, performed by Crys Clemente, served as the crew’s resident slightly odd lone-wolf, who, of course, always had a song for every situation. Finally, Teya Juarez gave a truly endearing portrayal of Frank Goodman (with a seemingly well-practiced British accent).

A truly worthwhile production, the show runs until Sunday, Oct. 2. Tickets are available here.

More information about Men on Boats:

If you want more information on the performers and creative team who made this production possible, check out the online Playbill.

If you want a brief synopsis of Powell’s expedition and other key context for the show, check out the Educational Guide.

If you are interested in learning more about the play’s content information and advisories, check out the content guide for the play.

If you want to learn more about John Wesley Powell, check out Aton’s biography of Powell available online through Falvey (of course).


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

 

 

 

 

 


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Cat in the Stax: A Game of Chess

By Ethan Shea

"World Chess Hall of Fame"

The world’s largest chess piece and the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri

Last week I traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the Annual Meeting of the International T.S. Eliot Society. St. Louis is arguably the chess capital of the world, and Eliot, who was born in the city, was an avid chess player himself. In fact, The Waste Land, Eliot’s most famous poem, has a section titled “A Game of Chess.” This timeless piece, which was published 100 years ago, is available for pick up here at Falvey.

"Chess Exhibit"

World Chess Hall of Fame Exhibit

During my visit, I made sure to visit the World Chess Hall of Fame. The museum’s current exhibit focuses on the famous 1972 World Championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. Fischer’s underdog win made him the first ever American World Chess Champion and ended 24 years of uninterrupted Soviet chess dominance.

I believe it’s safe to say that almost everything people know about chess these days was learned from the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. This isn’t a bad thing, so if you’re interested in the show, check out this “Dig Deeper” blog that provides lots of resources on chess strategy that are available in the Library.

My visit was timely, as an ongoing controversy in the world of chess has been making headlines lately. Reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen recently resigned from a game against 19-year-old American Hans Niemann in the Julius Baer Generation Cup after playing only one move. This came as a shock, as having the world’s top player quit a legitimate tournament without even trying could be a bad look for the sport.

But the situation is deeper than that. It all started in St. Louis during the Sinquefield Cup. Niemann was entered in the tournament as the lowest seed and somehow managed to win against Carlsen, who even had the advantage by playing with white. The next day, Carlsen unexpectedly resigned from the tournament and posted a strange tweet claiming he can’t talk or he’ll be in “big trouble.”

"Grad Lounge Chess Board"

Graduate Lounge Chess Board

This led fans to assume Carlsen suspected Niemann of cheating. Although Carlsen has not directly said this, fans speculate his resignation against Neimann at Julius Baer essentially confirms Carlsen’s stance. Niemann does have a history of cheating and has even been banned from chess.com, the world’s largest online chess forum, so the accusations are not entirely out of the blue.

The St. Louis Chess Club has said they do not suspect there was any cheating during Carlsen and Niemann’s game, but the resolution to the situation remains a mystery.

I’d certainly describe myself as a fan of chess. I’ve even read a couple books on chess strategy in futile attempts to improve my skills at the game. Although I might not be the best chess player, I love the endless variations and strategies the game offers. They’re always entertaining and often beautiful.

If you’re a graduate student, there’s a lovely chess board in the Graduate Student Lounge on the third floor of Old Falvey. If you’re looking to play, check it out!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Photo Friday: Family Weekend

Image of Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager, with his family.

Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor.


We have a lot of Villanova families at Falvey Memorial Library! Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager, is celebrating Family Weekend on campus. His son, Colin, is a senior at Nova (’23 CLAS). Enjoy spending time with your loved ones, Wildcats!

View the Family Weekend 2022 schedule here.


 


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Weekend Recs: Deaf Culture

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.

Did you know that Deaf people have their own culture? Although often labeled as a disability by hearing society at large, Deaf people are fighting back against this notion. Instead, they contend that their supposed “disability” is actually the foundation of a rich culture here in the U.S. and elsewhere. In celebration of International Week of Deaf People, this weekend’s recs will highlight some key aspects of Deaf culture.

If you have 1 minute…and are unsure about the correct terminology, watch this TikTok. It explains why “Deaf” is the preferred label, and why “hearing impaired” can be viewed as offensive or outdated.

If you have 3 minutes…and want to check out some music made by a Deaf artist, listen to “Hanaa!,” or any song by Signmark. He is a Deaf rapper from Finland who often signs while he raps.

If you have 5 minutes…and are wondering how Deaf culture differs from hearing culture, read this article that explains some of the differences.

If you have 7 minutes…and were wondering why the “D” in Deaf is often capitalized, read this article about how people identify themselves as a part of the Deaf community. Spoiler: deaf and Deaf do not mean the same thing, and not all deaf people identify as Deaf.

If you have 10 minutes…and have some questions about deafness and Deaf culture, browse this Deaf culture FAQ page. It might save you from a potentially awkward or embarrassing interaction or from bothering a deaf person with frequently asked questions.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to learn more about the fight for a Deaf president at the only Deaf-centric university in the world, watch this TED Talk with Irisa MacAulay. Warning: although Irisa, the presenter, gives an absolutely amazing talk, the camera often switches angles, making it difficult to understand her ASL without using subtitles or listening to the interpreter.

If you have 1 hour and 35 minutes…and like (corny) old horror movies, watch Deafula. The film features ASL as the primary language with an English dub for hearing people and is available through inter-library loan.

If you have 1 hour and 51 minutes…and want to watch a more recent movie that showcases Deaf culture, watch CODA. This award-winning film specifically focuses on the story of a CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult) who discovers her passion for music.

If you have 12 or more hours…and want a deep-dive into Deaf history, read Gannon’s Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America. The book moves through Deaf history in America by decade and even features an entire chapter dedicated to Deaf humor.


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


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Cat in the Stax: A Summer to Remember

By Ethan Shea

Heat

Tomorrow, on September 22, summer will officially be over. This may be hard to stomach, but don’t fret. There’s plenty to look forward to in the fall!

If we’re being honest, summer really ends when the school year begins, but I understand the world does not revolve around our academic calendar. If you’re a meteorologist, summer ends when August does. Tomorrow’s autumnal equinox only signifies the end of Astronomical summer.

During the autumnal equinox, which signifies the beginning of fall, the sun is directly above the equator. This means the amount of daylight the Northern and Southern hemispheres receive is nearly equal. Because our Gregorian calendar is not precisely in tune with the Earth’s revolution around the sun, hence our use of leap years, the dates of equinoxes vary within a few days.

Essentially, the vernal (spring) and autumnal equinoxes are opposites of the summer and winter equinoxes. During summer and winter equinoxes the Earth’s tilt, either toward or away from the sun, is at its peak. During vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Earth has essentially no tilt relative to the sun’s rays.

"Heat Maps Summer 2022"

Data: NOAA; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Personally, I’m happy to welcome autumn and the cooler weather it brings. The hot summers are tough for this born and bred New Englander. But I wasn’t the only one feeling the heat this year, as the summer of 2022 was one of the hottest ever recorded. In fact, this summer tied summer 2020 as the hottest summer globally on record. Read this Washington Post article at Falvey Library’s website to find more stats about how this summer’s heat stacks up against previous years.

 

In addition to more temperate weather, we have fall’s vibrant foliage to look forward to. Check out  this TBT post which includes a picturesque autumn photo from the 1965 edition of Belle Air.

Let us know in the comments what your favorite season is! Are you someone who likes it hot, or are you eagerly waiting for a cool autumn breeze?


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Photo Friday: Art of War

Image of Falvey Library's latest exhibit, Art of War: Illustrated and Military Maps of the Twentieth Century on display in the library's first floor.


Falvey Library’s latest exhibit, Art of War: Illustrated and Military Maps of the Twentieth Century, is now on display on the library’s first floor and in select cases at the Prince Family Veterans Resource Center. “Both locations feature a selection of two types of imagery: maps that are illustrated, highly pictorial, and created for public distribution; and topographic maps that have been created by government war offices for use in military conflict.” Read more about the exhibit here.

The exhibit was co-curated by Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Archivist, and Christoforos Sassaris, Distinctive Collections Coordinator, with graphics created by Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Liz Roche Company’s “Yes and Yes!” Performance

By Ethan Shea

Yes and Yes by Liz Roche Company

On Tuesday, September 13, Liz Roche Company put on the first professional dance performance in the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. This performance, titled “Yes and Yes!”, is inspired by the 18 sections of James Joyce’s magnum opus, UlyssesThe show ran for a total of 70 minutes with no intermissions and was met with a standing ovation.

Formed in 1999, Liz Roche Company is an Irish contemporary dance group led by choreographer Liz Roche. In 2020, Roche herself was elected to Aosdána, an affiliation of artists whose work has contributed significantly to Ireland’s creative arts. Among other achievements, Liz Roche Company has produced more than twenty original productions and performed in several nations, from China to the United States.

Regarding Tuesday’s show, there were a total of four dancers who took on the demanding performance (Diarmuid Armstrong, Sarah Cerneaux, Grace Cuny, and Mufutau Yusuf), and each of them left everything on the stage.

The performance managed to fit an immense amount of material from Ulysses‘s lengthy body of text into the relatively brief performance. In a post-performance Q&A with Dr. Joseph Lennon, Villanova’s Director of Irish Studies, Roche explained that she was taken aback by how clear Joyce portrays location throughout the piece. “Yes and Yes!” strives to maintain that quality of the text through Roche’s choreography.

Liz Roche Company would not have graced the stage of the John and Joan Center for the Performing Arts without the help of the Center for Irish Studies. With study abroad opportunities, Irish language courses, and classes offered in seven different disciplines, Irish Studies at Villanova is full of exciting academic opportunities.

If you’re interested in learning more about Irish Studies, check out the Irish Studies Research Guide on Falvey Library’s website.

Moreover, Falvey grants access to ample amounts of information on contemporary dance. For example, you can learn all about contemporary dance with Marc Strauss’ book Looking at Contemporary Dance: A Guide for the Internet Age, available for viewing online.

Keep an eye out for more Irish events planned for the Fall Semester, including a musical performance by Ian Lynch of the Dublin folk music group “Lankum” on October 20.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Falvey Memorial Library Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Falvey Memorial Library is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 with a display case on the first floor featuring various literary works from Hispanic authors.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to history, culture, and achievements in the United States. Starting in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, the celebration was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to observe a 30-day period, officially being enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

Not only does Falvey have access to various literary works by Hispanic authors, but for a limited time, you can access policy, legal, and historical information through the Immigration Law & Policy in the U.S. database linked here. This database is included in the HeinOnline database, a subscription provided by the Charles Widger School of Law Library. Database trial ends Sept. 26, 2022.

Be sure to stop by the library and check out the display to gain inspiration for your next read in the spirit of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The display includes:

Also featured in the display is the 2022-23 One Book selection Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas. Save the date: Villanova University will welcome Vargas to campus to speak on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 5:30 p.m. in the Villanova Room, Connelly Center, as a part of our annual One Book Villanova Lecture during the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration. A book signing and light refreshments will follow the talk.

 


Olivia Dunn HeadshotOlivia Dunn ’23 CLAS is a current junior at Villanova, majoring in Communication with specializations in Journalism and Public Relations. She works in Falvey Library as a Marketing and Communications Assistant.

 

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: Queen Elizabeth II

By Ethan Shea

"Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee"

Image courtesy of History.com (Steve Parsons/Getty Images)

On September 8, 2022, the world learned Queen Elizabeth II had passed away at the age of 96. The death of the Queen marks the end of a 70-year reign that stretched from the era of Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, two British Prime Ministers who were born over 100 years apart.

Here at Falvey Library, there are countless resources that contain an abundance of information on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, and there are a lot more than just dates and statistics.

For example, here are a few interesting facts about the Queen that I was able to find through a quick online search…


  • Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II was actually never expected to become the Queen of England? When Elizabeth was ten years old, her grandfather King George V passed away, leaving the throne to her uncle, Edward VIII. While he was King, Edward fell in love with an American woman named Wallis Simpson, who had already been married twice. As the King of England, Edward was also the head of the Church of England, which did not approve of remarriage. Edward chose Simpson over the crown and abdicated as King of England, handing the title to King George VI, Elizabeth’s father. Suddenly, Elizabeth was next in line to become Queen, and sixteen years later, she ascended to the throne.

  • Queen Elizabeth II was the only head of state to serve during the Second World War. At the age of eighteen she worked as a mechanic for the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.

  • Elizabeth received an honorary award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) for her role in a short film created for the 2012 Summer Olympic opening ceremonies in London. In the film, Elizabeth plays herself alongside Daniel Craig, who takes on the role of James Bond. Elizabeth (definitely not a stunt double…) even skydives out of a helicopter in this action packed scene!

  • It is a well-known fact that Queen Elizabeth was fond of corgis. In fact, she had over 30 of them during her reign. This New York Times article reports that the royal pups will remain in the family.

Here are a few of the resources on Queen Elizabeth II you can find at Falvey!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Last Modified: September 14, 2022