hartsea's blog

Down in Mississippi



Miami University's production of Down in Mississippi: A Gospel Play with Music by Carlyle Brown starts October 1st and continues through October 10th.  This perfomance will be the world premiere.  The production is part of the events surrounding the "Freedom Summer, Unity, and Change: Then and Now" conference scheduled for October 9th-11th.

You'll find a lot of great information about Freedom Summer in the Western College Memorial Archives.  You'll find photos and documents there.

In addition you might want to check out our Digital Collections.  You'll find a useful African-Americans at Miami University Collection.  You can also browse some of the Freedom Summer Collection.

If you're interested in learning more about African-American theatre, you might want to check out Alexander Street Press's Black Drama 1850 to the Present.  You might also check out a couple of these book titles:

The Fire This Time: African-American Plays for the 21st Century by Harry Elam and Robert Alexander.  King Library PS628.N4 F57 2004

Best Black Plays: The Theodore Ward Prize for African-American Playwriting edited by Chuck Smith.  King Library PS627.N4 B47 2007

Black Heroes in Monologues by Gus Edwards.  King Library PS3555.D925 B55 2006

Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African, African-American, and Caribbean Drama by Tejumola Olaniyan. King Library PS338.N4 O43 1995

Reading Contemporary African-American Drama: Fragments of History, Fragments of Self edited by Trudier Harris.  King Library PS338.N4 R43 2007

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week will be celebrated from September 26th to October 3rd.  Here at King Library we are getting a head start with two displays that will be shown starting September 21st and lasting through most of October.  There's a display called "Banned in America" on the first floor of King in the vestibule.  Among other things it features this interactive map.  The map shows where all the book challenges from the last year took place.  On the ground floor of King in the Instructional Materials Center (IMC) there's a display of children's books that have been challenged and/or banned over the years.

If you can't resist reading a "forbidden" book, you can see a list of  some challenged books that we own at King Library by going to our GoodReads site and finding our Banned Books Display 2009 shelf. 

Miami University Libraries's banned-books-display-2009 book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Almost as good as a trip to the British Library

Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures Under Ground

The British Library has a neat collection of virtual books on their website.  You can look at the books using their "Turning the Pages" software.  This software allows you to leaf through the books and magnify the details.  Books include a Bible for Ethiopia, the first atlas of Europe, an early work of Jane Austen, and selected sketches from Leonardo da Vinci.  My favorite one is Alice's Adventures Under Ground.  Click on the picture above to see it.

Citation Practices for International Students Workshop on 9/14

This workshop, jointly produced by the University Libraries and the Howe Center for Writing Excellence, will provide an overview of the citation process, geared especially to international students.  Kate Francis, Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, and Eric Resnis will be presenting.   We will talk about why citations are needed, how to cite, and resources that can be utilized.  Feel free to come with your questions.  The workshop will be on 9/14 from 4:00-5:00pm in King 27.  You can register here.  Space is limited to 15, so register now!


Update: A second session has been added on 9/24 at 1:00pm.  You can register here for that session.

New Collection of Autobiographical Writings

We have a new collection of autobiographies in our collection.  It's called Gay American Autobiography: Writings from Whitman to Sedaris.  It's edited by David Bergman and can be found at King Library PS508.G39 G39 2009.  The collection draws from letters, journals, oral histories, memoirs, and autobiographies from the last century and a half.  It includes American men of African, European, Jewish, Asian, and Latino heritage.  The experiences portrayed are varied and fascinating.  You'll find writings by Henry James, Minette, Edmund White, David Wojnarowicz, and many others.  The collection includes many out-of-print and hard-to-find works and is well worth checking out!

Zany Serial Story, Website to Launch (or why I want to go to the National Mall)

I really wish I could be at the National Mall in D.C. on September 26th this year.  As part of the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival, Jon Scieszka is leading "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure."  He'll start out a chain of celebrated authors writing a serial adventure story with the following words:

This story starts with a train rushing through the night.  The full moon lights the silver rails winding around dark mountains, through deep woods, and over steep gorges of jagged rock and one freezing cold rushing black mountain river.  I wish there was enough time to describe all of the funny (and touching) twists and turns – especially the Elephant Clown Party – that led up to now. But there isn’t. Enough time. Because there is a ticking clock. And the two passengers we care most about don’t know anything about it.

Susan Cooper, Kate Di Camillo, Nikki Grimes, Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket, and, Gregory Maguire are among the celebrated authors who will also contribute.

If you're like me, and are pretty sure you won't be able to make it to this event, you can console yourself by checking out the this website Lifelong Literacy on September 26th to see how the story progresses.

You might also check out books written by some of the authors listed above.  Many of their books can be found in our very own Instructional Material Center on the ground floor of King Library.

Here are a few titles you might be interested in:

Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka.  King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv.  PZ8.S3134 St 1992

Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems by Nikki Grimes. King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv.  PS3557.R489982 H67 1999

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Di Camillo.  King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv. PZ7.D5455 Be 2000


Native American Women's Theater


Miami University's Ann Elizabeth Armstrong, Kelli Lyon Johnson, and William A. Wortman have recently edited and published a collection of plays written by Native American women called Performing Worlds into Being: Native American Women's Theater (King Library PS628.I53 P47 2009). In addition to the plays this collection includes production histories, essays, and interviews. These works were first presented at a conference called "Honoring Spiderwoman Theater/Celebrating Native American Theater" in 2007 held here at Miami and have been edited and expanded for this book collection. A cd with video clips and photos is also included. Contributors include Murielle Borst, Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, Gloria Miguel, Monique Mojica, Julie Pearson-Little Thunder, Vincent P. Scott, Spiderwoman Theatre, etc.

If this fascinating collection piques your interest, you might also want to check out Miami University's Native American Women Playwrights Archive. The archives serves as the repository for Spiderwoman Theatre and can be found in our Special Collections on the third floor of King Library.



Watching What We Eat

Julia Child

Can't get enough of the Food Network? Mesmorized by Top Chef? Eagerly looking forward to the release of Julie and Julia in August?


Then you might be interested in a new media studies book called Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows by Kathleen Collins (King Library PN1992.8 C67 C65 2009). This book provides a history of cooking shows and their impact on our culture. As the introduction explains, "The following pages contain three essential ingredients: food/cooking, television, and consumer culture. The book is about how these ingredients interact, how they affect us, and how we affect them" (9). There is a chapter devoted to Julia Child (chapter 3) and to the Food Network (chapter 6), as well as a chapter on Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart (chapter 8). There are very helpful references and a selected bibliography at the end of the book if you want to learn even more.

Alice Munro Wins 2009 Man Booker International Prize

Alice Munro is the third winner of the Man Booker International Prize. She's a well-known Canandian writer most famous for her short stories. The panel made the following comment on the winner: "Alice Munro is mostly known as a short story writer and yet she brings as much depth, wisdom and precision to every story as most novelists bring to a lifetime of novels. To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before." If you want to read some of her works, here are some titles you might be interested in: Carried Away: A Selection of Stories (intro. by Margaret Atwood). King Library PR9199.3.M8 A6 2006 Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories. King Library PR9199.3.M8 H38 2001 The Progress of Love. King Library PR9199.3.M8 P7 1986 Here are also a couple of titles that are about her work: The Fiction of Alice Munro: An Appreciation by Brad Hooper. King Library PR9199.3.M8 Z695 2008 Alice Munro by Coral Ann Howells. King Library PR9199.3.M8 Z7 1998 The Other Country: Patterns in the Writing of Alice Munro by James Carscallen. King Library PR9199.3.M8 Z583 1993

Want to read a graphic novel, but not sure where to start?


Then check out 500 Essential Graphic Novels: The Ultimate Guide, which is edited by Gene  Kannenberg. You can find it in the King Reference Collection at PN6710 .K35 2008. This book is divided into 10 parts (categories include adventure, non-fiction, fantasy, humor, etc.). Each comic listed includes a representative graphic, a plot summary, a review, and further readings. The end of the book has a publisher's information section that will help you track down a particular graphic novel. There's also four indexes organized by appropriate age leve, artist, writer, and title.

It's fun to just flip through for suggested readings, but it could also be used for more serious research. What are you waiting for? Go find a new graphic novel to read....(I recommend Strangers in Paradise)

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