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Weekend Recs: Latin Music

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. 

I don’t know about you, but with the bad weather and the start of the semester, I could use a little more pep in my step, and for me, Latin pop music does just that.

Latin music is a catch-all for music from Latin America, Spain, Portugal, Latinos in North America, and music in the Spanish and Portuguese languages. Songs ranging from the classic “La Bamba,” sung by the late Ritchie Valens to “Despacito” all make up this diverse genre. This weekend’s recs will explore some recent Latin music (and as a bonus, will be a fun way for Spanish learners to practice their skills).

If you have 3 minutes and 11 seconds…and like Bad Bunny, one of the biggest names in Latin music right now, watch his SNL skit with Please Don’t Destroy. Although he did great in all his skits, this one was my personal favorite.

Bonus: if you want to check out Bad Bunny’s acting chops further, watch him (briefly) in the 2022 movie Bullet Train.

If you have 3 minutes and 46 seconds…and want to listen to the Latin American Music Awards Song of the Year winner, listen to “MAMIII” by Becky G and Karol G.

Bonus: if you want a little throwback, listen to “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

If you have 15 minutes…and need to practice your Spanish, do a lesson on your favorite language-learning app or website. Personally, I’m a Duolingo user, but if you want a premium experience, you can sign up for a free Mango account with your Villanova email. Check out our access instructions here for more info.

If you have 44 minutes…and want to check out a new album, listen to Kali Uchis’s genre-crossing album Orquídeas, which was released this week. Kali Uchis is one of my go-to artists, and I’ve had “Munekito” and “Labios Mordidos” on repeat all week. As a bonus, given the slower tempo of her R&B influences and her Colombian dialect, her music is great for beginners learning Spanish.

If you have 2 hours and 7 minutes…and need a movie to watch, watch Selena, available through inter-library loan. Selena is a biopic, starring Jennifer Lopez, following the late and great Selena, a 90s Mexican pop singer.

If you have 3 hours…and want to discover some new songs to add to your rotation, listen to Spotify’s Viva Latino playlist.

If you have 5 hours…and want to learn more about the genre, check out Latin Music: Musicians, Genres, and Themes, available online through Falvey.


Annie Stockmal is a second-year graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant in Falvey Library.


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Weekend Recs: American Folk Music

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.

With legends like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and recognizable songs like “This Land is Your Land” and “The Sound of Silence,” folk music has a lively, rich history in the U.S. Although folk music’s status today is nowhere near its popularity in the 1960s, it’s still a beloved genre. Even contemporary artists like Hozier pay homage to American folk and its influential figures. This weekend’s recs will dive into the folk genre a little deeper and help you explore everything it has to offer.

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Photo from Rowland Scherman on Wikimedia Commons

If you have 2 minutes and 7 seconds…and want to show some ‘Nova pride, listen to “Photographs and Memories” by Jim Croce, a Villanova alum and famous folk singer (among other genres).

If you have 4 minutes and 13 seconds…and are feeling sentimental, listen to “When I’m Gone” by Phil Ochs, one of my personal favorite folk songs. If you’re more into the protest song side of folk, Phil’s got plenty of those as well.

If you have 15 minutes…and need a quick introduction to the (American) folk music genre, read this article.

Jim Croce sings to a female student

Photo of Jim Croce courtesy of Villanova’s Digital Library

Bonus: if you want a more in-depth look into folk music, read Slobin’s more thorough Folk Music: A Very Short Introduction, available online through Falvey.

If you have 1 hour and 51 minutes…and like old movies, watch Alice’s Restaurant, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Alice’s Restaurant is an 1969 movie based on Arlo Guthrie’s famous folk song of the same name.

If you have 2 hours and 22 minutes…and are a Martin Scorsese fan, watch his documentary chronicling Bob Dylan’s 1975 tour. It’s a truly unique documentary made by a film legend about a music legend.

If you have 7 hours and 21 minutes…and need to switch-up your playlists, listen to Spotify’s Essential Folk playlist. Personally, I think it’s great to throw on in the background while studying.

Bonus: if you want some newer stuff, listen to Spotify’s “Roots Rising” playlist.

If you have 9 hours…and prefer books, read Bound for Glory, a (partially fictional) autobiography, available at Falvey, written by folk legend Woody Guthrie.


Annie Stockmal is a second-year graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant in Falvey Library.


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TBT: Villanova 1964, Peter, Paul, and Mary Sing Out

Peter, Paul and Mary

For this Throwback Thursday, we rewind to 1964 when legendary folk band Peter, Paul, and Mary visited Villanova to play for a crowd of 4,500. Alluded to in the Belle Air yearbook simply as “The Folk Singing Trio,” Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers, sang their newly recorded hits like “If I Had a Hammer” and “Puff, the Magic Dragon.”

Peter, Paul, and Mary were a combination of entertainment and activism and sang “If I Had a Hammer” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” at the Million Man March on Washington shortly before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke, according to Michael Scott Cain’s Folk Music and the New Left in the Sixties, part of Falvey’s collection.

Check out this memory (page 64) and many others, courtesy of our Digital Library.

 


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Weekend Recs: K-Pop

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.

Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

Happy Easter Break, Wildcats! No longer relegated as a “fringe” interest, K-pop, or Korean pop music, has become a thriving mainstream musical genre with millions of U.S. listeners (and rightfully so). Built off the growth of 1990s and 2000s K-pop artists, groups like BTS, Blackpink, and Red Velvet (to name a short few) have demonstrated the thriving potential of K-pop, and newer groups, such as Gen Z favorites Stray Kids and NewJeans, have continued to prove their worth.

Truly a genre to be watched (rather than simply listened to), K-pop boasts masterful choreography, aesthetically-pleasing music videos, catchy hooks, and illustrious idols. Thus, unsurprisingly, you cannot understand K-pop without discussing the diehard fandom it fosters, who show their love and support through fan edits, merch, and even activism. This weekend’s recs are some fun ways to explore K-pop for seasoned fans and curious newcomers alike.

If you have 22 seconds…and have yet to see a K-pop fancam, or fan edit, on your FYP, watch this TikTok.

Photo from Mduangdara on WikiMedia Commons

If you have 2 minutes and 44 seconds…and want to listen to one of the most popular K-pop songs in the U.S. (from one of the most popular groups), watch the music video for “Butter” by BTS. This was one of the most popular songs of 2021, with a record-breaking run on Billboard’s Hot Trending Songs and a Grammy nomination. With its English lyrics and its catchy chorus, it’s also a decent introduction for newcomers.

Bonus: if you want to know more about BTS and its idols, read this book, available online through Falvey.

If you have 3 minutes and 26 seconds…and want to see a recent performance, watch Stray Kids perform “Maniac” on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Bonus: if you dig their blend of pop with hip hop, check out “God’s Menu” by Stray Kids, my personal favorite.

If you have 10 minutes…and want a quick introduction to K-pop and its generations, read this NPR article. Many of the “household” names, such as BTS and Blackpink, are a part of the 3rd gen, while more recent groups, such as Stray Kids and Ateez, are 4th gen.

If you have another 10 minutes…and want to learn a bit about K-pop online activism and the experiences of Black stans, read this article. K-pop stans received some media attention during the summer of 2020 for their comic yet effective actions during the Black Lives Matter protests. Yet, Black K-pop stans maintain that racism and biases in the fandom need to be addressed.

If you have 15 minutes…and don’t know much about K-pop and its fandom, read this Vox beginner’s guide, including all the basics, like context, lingo, and plenty of watchable examples.

Bonus: Stuck on some of the lingo? Check out this ultimate K-pop dictionary for a brief explanation on key K-pop fandom vocab.

Photo from Divine Treasure on WikiMedia Commons

If you have 33 minutes and 28 seconds…and haven’t heard of some of the darker parts of the K-pop industry, watch this Youtube video essay. The K-pop industry is notorious for its predatory-at-best (slave-labor) contracts and the control they have over its stars. (Trigger warning for discussions of suicide and SA).

If you have 1 hour and 14 minutes…and are a podcast person, listen to the 235th episode (or any episode) of the Ask Me About KPop podcast. This episode features a top 15 ranking to the K-pop of 2022. While many of their later episodes might be more geared towards K-pop fans (casual or otherwise), their early episodes are great for beginners.

If you have 2 hours and 30 minutes…and want to explore the genre, listen to this Spotify playlist. With some of the current big hits, you might just find some new music to add into your next road trip or morning commute.

If you have 6 hours…and want to support K-pop academia, read Kim’s K-pop Live: Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance, available online through Falvey. In a highly mediated environment, Kim examines K-pop’s liveness, while broadly exploring the genre and its history. (You can find more K-pop books and articles available through Falvey here).


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

 


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Falvey’s Guide To Christmas Pop

By Olivia Dunn

With Christmastime approaching, it’s time to start listening and appreciating the season before it passes you by. Rather than opting for the classics such as “Jingle Bells” or “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” at every chance you get (although there’s nothing wrong with that), consider checking out the multitude of pop music various stars have offered over the years with the convenient broken-down guide provided below. Happy Holidays!

Classics:

These pop hits have stood the test of time and are just as likely to be heard on the radio as any other Christmas carol. Out of all the classics, these three are the best of the best.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey – Say what you want about this song, as it has gained a reputation for being overhyped, but it’s simply not Christmas without at least a few (or hundreds of) listens.

“Last Christmas” by Wham! – This song is the perfect choice for those who could do without the same cheery tone of most Christmas songs.

“Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber – Upon its release in 2011, this song easily became a staple for both middle school girls and non-Justin Bieber listeners alike.

Sleepers:

While these songs often get overshadowed by their more-famous counterparts, they are just as deserving of multiple listens throughout the holiday season.

“Cold December Night” by Michael Bublé – While Michael Bublé has become known for other famous tracks off his beloved holiday album simply entitled Christmas, “Cold December Night” deserves fame in its own right.

“Christmas Eve” by Justin Bieber – One of the more soulful tracks off of Justin Bieber’s Christmas album, “Christmas Eve” makes for the perfect listen during your family’s Christmas commute.

“Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson – Once you hear this song for the first time, you’ll never be able to get it out of your head, and you’ll enjoy every minute of it. 

Worthy Covers:

With a limited amount of Christmas carols in existence, it can be difficult to decipher which covers are the best. Over the years, these three have remained tried and true staples.

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Bublé – While it was hard to choose just one cover from Michael Bublé, this song sums up the simultaneous anticipation and nostalgia associated with Christmas perfectly. 

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Sam Smith – This slowed-down take of a classic Christmas song is a match made in Christmas heaven with Sam Smith’s vocals.

“Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Darling” by Pentatonix – Pentatonix gives a fun and unique spin of “Winter Wonderland” by pairing it with Bob Marley’s fan favorite hit, “Don’t Worry Darling.”

View my full holiday playlist below. From all of us at Falvey, we hope you give these picks a listen and have a happy and healthy Holiday season! 


Olivia Dunn HeadshotOlivia Dunn is a senior at Villanova University. She works in Falvey Library as a Communications and Marketing Assistant and majors in Communication with specializations in both Journalism and Public Relations.

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: Spotify Wrapped and the Digital Humanities

By Ethan Shea

"Spotify"

Image sourced from https://www.pexels.com/photo/listening-to-music-on-a-smartphone-5077404/

Last Wednesday was a big day for people who love to overshare.

That’s right, it’s Spotify Wrapped season! For the uninitiated (and Apple Music listeners), Spotify Wrapped is an annual recap of listening habits that Spotify sends to every user at the end of the year. This time around, there was greater focus on what your music reveals about your personality. Spotify wants the raw numbers we receive to teach us something about ourselves.

As much as I enjoy analyzing my annually released statistics, there’s something deeply personal about these numbers. How is this possible? What does my 58,293 minutes of music streaming say about me? Presumably a lot according to this article.

Everyone is much more than a collection of numbers, but focusing on data is helpful even in the humanities. For me, the overwhelming interest in Spotify Wrapped feels similar to the growing interest in the digital humanities.

"Digital Scholarship Lab Hours"

Digital Scholarship Lab Hours

The digital humanities, according to Falvey’s Digital Scholarship/Digital Humanities Subject Guide, “is an area of research, collaboration, teaching, and creation concerned with the intersection of computing, digital technologies, and humanities scholarship.”

Just as Spotify attempts to reveal information about our complex personalities through listening data, the digital humanities provides a new perspective of subjective literary texts. For example, what does it mean that James Joyce uses the capitalized word “National” in Ulysses eleven times but the same word in lowercase twenty times? With statistics provided by the digital humanities,  readers have even more questions to ponder!

If you would like to learn more about the digital humanities, in addition to our subject guide, you can find the Digital Scholarship Lab in Room 218A at Falvey. The Lab is open by reservation-only, so make sure to book a visiting time in advance!


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


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Peek at the Week: September 26

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger Rabbit said, “A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have.”

For many of us, we’re at the point where the semester is in full swing. Workloads are increasing, and you might be beginning to feel the effects of the semester. With midterms around the corner, it can be easy to get overwhelmed, overworked, and burnt out. (I know I feel like I’m practically army-crawling my way towards Fall Break).

With all of this in mind, try to give yourself a moment to laugh. Whether it’s a funny TikTok, one of your favorite movies, or a moment with your friends, a little laughter in your day can have the power to relieve some weight off your shoulders.


THIS WEEK AT FALVEY

Monday, September 26

Mindfulness Monday | 1-1:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to Villanova Students, Faculty, and Staff

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Tuesday, September 27

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Wednesday, September 28

Fall 2022 Falvey Forum Workshop: Present Real-Time Analytics with ARCGIS Dashboards | 12-1 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to the Villanova Community | Register Here

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

2022 One Book Villanova Author’s Visit and Book Signing | 5:30 p.m. | Villanova Room, Connelly Center | Free & Open to the Villanova Community

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas is available here.

Friday, September 30

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting | 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public

Sunday, October 2

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 3-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free


HOLIDAYS THIS WEEK

Do you ever feel like you’re absolutely confused in class and your professor is making no sense? Well, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, you can be festive and celebrate National Ask a Stupid Question Day by, as the name suggests, asking a stupid question. I promise you that we all ask stupid questions, and sometimes it’s even the smart thing to do.

For all our coffee-drinking readers, this week holds not 1, but 2 coffee-related holidays. Thursday, Sept. 29 is National Starbuck’s Day, and Saturday, Oct. 1 is International Coffee Day. Celebrate by picking up your favorite brew at your favorite shop. (Holy Grounds and Dunkin’ are definitely on my list of stops for the week).

Sept. 30 is International Podcast Day, a perfect excuse to tune out the world and listen to your favorite podcast. Although I’m not a huge podcast fan myself, but I might check out a new true crime podcast or the latest episode of The Leftovers.

Saturday is also International Music Day. Celebrate by listening to your go-to album, by checking out a new artist, or, if you’re musically gifted, playing an instrument you enjoy. (I’ll probably still be riding the wave of the My Chemical Romance reunion, jamming to The Skallywags, and relaxing with Hozier).

 


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


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Cat in the Stax: What are you listening 2?

By Ethan Shea

"Woman Listening to Music and Reading"

Nearly a year ago I wrote a “Cat in the Stax” blog titled “What are you listening to?”. At the risk of recycling old ideas one too many times, I’ve decided to bring the topic back for a “What are you listening 2?” if you will. 

This blog is especially fit for this week because nothing pairs with music like dance, and in a matter of days, Villanova will be welcoming a highly acclaimed dance company to our campus. Specifically, on Tuesday, September 13, the Liz Roche Company will put on the first professional dance performance in the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. 

"Liz Roche Company"

Photo Credit: José Miguel Jiménez

This performance, titled “Yes and Yes” celebrates the centennial of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The performance will lead the audience through the eighteen episodes of Ulysses, which are based upon Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.  You can learn more about Joyce’s Ulysses from this blog. 

On another tangentially related note, at the beginning of the year, it’s important to get acquainted with Falvey’s subject guides, so I recommend any and all audiophiles check out the guide dedicated to music. Here, you’ll find contact information for Falvey’s Subject Librarian, Robert LeBlanc, our First-Year Experience and Music Liaison Librarian. Especially if you’re interested in researching music in a more academic sense, Falvey has your back. 

However, at its core, this blog isn’t exactly academic. It’s a brief reflection on the music I’ve been enjoying lately, so without further delay, here are a few recently released albums I’ve been listening to! Don’t be shy, and share your favorite 2022 releases in the comments below!

"Gemini Rights"Gemini Rights – Steve Lacy 

Alternative R&B and pop artist Steve Lacy is a multi-talented musician who got his start as a high schooler by producing viral hits on his iPhone. This sophomore solo album from Lacy is indicative of his eclectic taste. From the latin influence that drives the song “Mercury,” to the lovable, boyish hit “Bad Habit,” Lacy has a little bit of something for everyone. A personal highlight is the song “Amber,” which delivers Lacy’s storytelling skills over a charming piano medley. A crescendo occurs throughout the entirety of the track, culminating in a wailing guitar solo that cries in unison with Lacy’s falsetto ad-libs, perfectly encapsulating the regret this song portrays.

RENAISSANCE – Beyoncé "RENAISSANCE"

I don’t think anyone saw this stylistic shift coming, but per usual, Beyoncé delivered with her latest release “RENAISSANCE.” Almost every song has an irresistible groove, and the transitions from track to track are incredibly smooth, so the party never stops during the album’s 62-minute runtime. In addition to the record’s electronic and funk influences, Beyoncé’s vocal performances, especially on the song “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA” are top-notch. In spite of what might seem like a chaotic groove, you can tell this album was meticulously crafted, and each vocal inflection is calculated. If you’re looking for music to play at the gym or something to give you an energy boost in the middle of a long work day, I recommend giving this album a listen!

"Upstate"Upstate – Almeda 

I’d like to introduce everyone to Almeda, a band formed five years ago by a group who were undergraduates at Georgetown University at the time. Since then, the band’s members have gone their separate ways, but the music they recorded during their time together has been thoroughly mixed and mastered over the past few years. It wasn’t until recently that Almeda’s debut album, “Upstate,” was finally released after five years in the making. This R&B rock band features Adaeze Eze, an incredibly talented vocalist with a silky voice that glides over a range of catchy tunes. Danny O’Brien is both a guitarist and keyboard player for the band, and Dan Sheehan is featured on the drums.

One of my favorite songs, “Artificial Wings,” is one of the project’s jazzier cuts. It features a groovy bassline performed by bassist Nick Quirk and an impressive tempo change that highlights the band’s ability to perform complex rhythms in unison. If you’re into alternative rock and R&B, or even if you’re a fan of cover music (this album features a jazzy cover of Kendrick Lamar’s hit “Swimming Pools”), check this record 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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Weekend Recs: 2022 Oscars

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. 

Beyond the Wildcats clinching their spot in the Final Four, the weekend brought additional excitement with what was poised to be the first “normal” Oscars since pre-COVID. However, in actuality, the Oscars were anything but. From a big win for Deaf culture to the slap heard ‘round the world, we’re breaking down everything Oscars-related, whether you have 2 minutes or 14+ hours. 

If you have 2 minutes and 39 seconds… watch Megan Thee Stallion perform “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” 

If you have 5 minutes… read this article breaking down everything you need to know about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and why Chris Rock’s joke was problematic. Synopsis: You don’t joke about a Black woman’s hair. 

Bonus: On a lighter note, look up the memes that have resulted from the incident! 

If you have 1 hour and 14 minutes… Listen to Hans Zimmer’s score for Dune, winner of best original score category in last weekend’s awards. 

If you have 1 hour and 52 minutes… watch the 2022 Oscar’s best film CODA, a movie bringing Deaf culture and Deaf actors to the forefront. 

If you have 14 hours (and no work to do)… read the novel Dune. Because let’s be honest, the books are better than the movie nine times out of 10, and the movie had a pretty good showing Sunday night. 


Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.

 


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TBT: Miles Davis at Villanova

Miles Davis performance ad

Ad from The Villanovan in February 1974

miles davis playing the trumpet

Photo by William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

book cover about Miles Davis

Next Tuesday will mark the 47th anniversary of Miles Davis’s performance at Villanova! The ad above is from an edition of The Villanovan published in February of 1974. Check out his beloved music on Spotify or click here for a quick synopsis about “arguably the most influential jazz musician in the post-World War II period.” Be sure to look into more resources and information on this iconic performer in the Falvey Collection, or check out the books linked below.


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


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Last Modified: February 17, 2022

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