“Mad Men, Mad World Talk” at Chicago Humanities Festival in March Now Online

In March of this year, Duke University Press published the first collection of scholarly essays on the critically-acclaimed television series Mad Men, entitled Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s. On March 26th, the Chicago Humanities Festival, in association with Time Out Chicago, The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University, and the U of I’s Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, hosted an hour-long talk about the book project with its three editors, the U of I English Department’s Lauren M.E. Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky, and Robert Rushing. The talk was moderated by WBEZ host Alison Cuddy. It has now been posted to the Chicago Humanities Festival’s YouTube page and can be accessed here.

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The Great Gatsby Now in Movie Theaters

The second-highest grossing film at the box office this weekend–trailing only Iron Man 3–was The Great Gatsby, which earned an estimated $50.1 million. Not bad at all for a film with no explosions, car chases, or vampires. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, this 3D adaptation stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the title character (Jay Gatsby), Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. The film is, of course, a star-studded adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s most popular novel, which was first published in 1925. A copy of the first English edition of the novel from 1926 is currently housed at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Fitzgerald is generally regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the Modernist period, and is the face of the so-called “Jazz Age,” a term he coined. Along with The Great Gatsby, he also penned such notable works as “May Day” (1920), This Side of Paradise (1920), “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” (1922), “Babylon Revisited” (1931), and Tender is the Night (1934). The Literatures and Languages Library has nearly 100 primary and secondary resources by or about Fitzgerald.

Fewer people are familiar Fitzgerald‘s flirtations with Hollywood. He wrote, revised, and consulted on numerous scripts in the 1920s and 1930s. Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation is the fourth full-length rendering of the novel for the big screen. The first version, released in 1926, has been lost. A 1949 version, starring Alan Ladd as Jay Gatsby, was made, as well as a more popular version in 1974, starring Robert Redford as Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan.

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April Exhibits Up at the LitLang Library

For April, the Literatures and Languages Library has installed two new exhibits on display in the Periodicals area on the South end of the Main Library Reading Room.

Cyberpunk is the focus of the first exhibit. Cyberpunk, a postmodern brand of science fiction that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s, often focuses on detritus-strewn dystopian landscapes where corporate interests dominate, leaving rogue hackers and outsiders to find ways of infiltrating and upending these new, technologically oppressive establishments. The grungy underworld in which these fictions often take place are contrasted with the use of incredible technology in ways unanticipated by its creators, blurring the line between actual and virtual reality. These tropes are especially intriguing to think about today as the Internet increasingly influences the lives of humans. Elements of Cyberpunk continue to influence literature and media in the genre of science fiction and beyond.

Since April is when the Major League Baseball season begins each year, we focus on The Literature of Baseball for our second exhibit. Known as “America’s pastime” for over a century, the exhibit focuses on fictional and non-fictional renderings of the sport and how it has played an important part in the myth of America. Widely known texts such as Bernard Malamud’s 1953 novel The Natural and Roger Kahn’s non-fictional account of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, The Boys of Summer (1972), sit alongside a book about Toni Stone, the first female to play baseball in the Negro Leagues when she debuted with the San Francisco Sea Lions in 1949, and a lesser known Philip Roth book, with the tongue-in-cheek title The Great American Novel (1973), about a home-less team that must play all their games on the road.

Both exhibits will be on display until the end of the month.

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MEMORY/MEMOIR: Readings and Discussion

Come to the Humanities Lecture Hall at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) Building (located at 805 W. Pennsylvania Ave.) at 7:30 p.m. on February 27th for MEMORY/MEMOIR: Readings and Discussion. Members of U of I’s Creative Writing faculty will read from their work. Readers include LeAnne Howe and Audrey Petty. Afterward, Robert Ramirez will lead a discussion on the role of memory and memoir in the humanities. For more information about the event, visit this link.

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February Exhibits at the LitLang Library

The Literatures and Languages Library has two exciting new exhibits up in the Literatures and Languages Periodicals area, on the south end of Main Library Reading Room, for the month of February.

The first exhibit, Black Science Fiction Writers, celebrates Black History Month by examining the contributions of African American authors to the science fiction genre. Works by writers throughout the 20th and 21st century–including Octavia Butler, George Schuyler, Walter Mosley, and Nisi Shawl–are on display.

To celebrate Presidents Day, The Presidency and American Literature is the focus of our other exhibit. It focuses on texts by notable literary figures–such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Adams, and Carl Sandburg–who wrote about the American presidency in one form or another.

These exhibits will be on display until the end of the month.

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Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month. To celebrate, U. of I.’s Native American House is putting on events all month. Here is a link to their schedule.

Four of our faculty in the English Department have published work on Native American literature. Associate Professor Jodi A. Byrd‘s chapter “(Post)Colonial Plainsongs: Toward Native Literary Worldings” appears in the Four Arrows (Don Trent Jacobs) collection Unlearning the Language of Conquest (2006). Professor LeAnne Howe‘s chapter “Ohoyo Chishba Osh: Woman Who Stretches Way Back” appears in Greg O’Brien’s collection Pre-Removal Choctaw History (2008). Professor Robert Dale Parker has published several scholarly works on Native American literature, including The Invention of Native American Literature (2003) and the edited collections The Sound the Stars Make Rushing through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (2007) and Changing in Not Vanishing: A Collection of Early American Indian Poetry to 1930 (2011). Professor Robert Warrior has penned Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions (1994) and The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction (2005) and co-authored Like an Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (1996, with Paul Chaat Smith).

The Literatures and Languages Library has numerous works by and about Native American authors. Our collection includes writings by such notable figures as N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Gerald Vizenor, and many others. We also have an extensive collection of critical texts and anthologies relating to Native American literature.

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Struggles in the publishing industry

News about the state of the publishing industry tends to be grim. Book sales are anemic. Profit margins are squeezed ever smaller by major retailers such as Amazon. Amidst unprecedented change and tensions, how can the publishing industry move forward effectively? Colin Robinson addresses this topic in his recent Guardian article, “Ten ways to save the publishing industry.” Though his suggestions are hardly novel, they are a great springboard for discussion about the future of publishing houses and platform building in digital publishing.

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Digital Humanities Symposium, October 4th

Digital Humanities Symposium

Library Scholarly Commons, 306 Library

October 4, 2012, 8:30 a.m. – noon

Please join us on October 4th for the Digital Humanities Symposium at the Scholarly Commons to learn more about digital humanities concepts, tools, and current research projects at UIUC!

This half-day morning symposium on October 4th will feature talks and break-out sessions by UIUC faculty pursuing digital humanities research, including Professors Ted Underwood, Dianne Harris, Donna Cox, and Mara Wade.  The symposium will cover topics such as:

– BiblioTech: digital humanities at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library

– Visualization tools in digital humanities

– Graduate education and digital humanities

– Emblematica Online: a NEH-funded collaborative project in digital humanities

– Text mining tools and research

– Omeka in research and teaching

– Library services and tools for data research and data curation

– Working with I-CHASS and finding funding for your research projects

– Images and digital scholarship

Participants may be limited due to space constraints. Coffee and breakfast refreshments will be provided. If you have questions, please contact Harriett Green at green19@illinois.edu or Sarah Christensen at schrstn@illinois.edu. We look forward to seeing you on October 4th!

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New Resource: SUR, 1931-1991

The UIUC Library now has full-text access to the complete run of SUR, 1931-1991. SUR, one of the most important and influential literary magazines published in Latin America in the twentieth century, is now available as a full-text searchable, digital archive. SUR, 1931-1991 contains images of the complete run of the magazine — including covers, photographs and advertisements — with an interface in both Spanish and English. Founded in 1931 by Argentine intellectual Victoria Ocampa, SUR is well known throughout the Americas and Europe for featuring writings from some of the best known figures in literature, philosophy, history and the arts. The magazine contained contributions from Virginia Woolf, Jean-Paul Satre, Jorge Luis Borges and many others as well as Ocampo’s own social commentary on political, governmental and economic affairs.This important literary title featuring the century’s principal authors and intellectuals is vital for historical research on all aspects of 20th century life.
To access the database, go to the Library Catalog record at http://vufind.carli.illinois.edu/vf-uiu/Record/uiu_6688164 and enter through the link “Online Access”.

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New resource: Nineteenth Century Collections Online

The UIUC Library now has access to Gale’s Nineteenth-Century Collections Online (NCCO), which at present includes four modules relating to European literature and culture: British Politics and Society; British Theatre; Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture; and European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection, a collection particularly rich in British, French and German literature. For more information, please visit http://gdc.gale.com/nineteenth-century-collections-online/.

To access NCCO, search the Library’s Online Journals and Databases index for “Nineteenth Century Collections Online NCCO” or access the database through the Library catalog.  For help in using NCCO, contact the Literatures and Languages Library at litlan@library.illinois.edu.

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