September 2011 Archives
The Los Angeles-based brothers self-published the first issue of their best-known comic book series, Love and Rockets in 1981. The series was picked up by Fantagraphics Books, publisher of the Comics Journal in 1982, and became a major force in alternative comics. Love and Rockets includes several long-running serial narratives, such as Gilbert Hernadez's Palomar stories and Jaime Hernandez's Hoppers 13. The series discontinued in 1996 but resumed publication in various incarnations over the years.
Love and Rockets is a provocative mix of Latin barrio life, punk rock culture and magic realism. Many experts on comic arts have lauded their original ideas and intelligent approaches.
The brothers have distinctly different styles and seldom collaborate on a single work. Gilbert and Jamie also write comics and graphic novels. Some of these works are also featured in the display and are part of the library's Comic Arts collection.
- Artist bio and background, official publisher's information
- How to Read Love & Rockets, an advisory from the publisher
- The Artists on Video. Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez talk about Love & Rockets and Citizen Rex; moderated by Kristy Valenti and filmed by Justin Bloch and Eric Nath at the Comic-Con International: San Diego 2011.
- Reliving Love and Rockets, a June 2011, in-depth interview by Mother Jones magazine with Jamie Hernandez
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept.15 - Oct. 15) is an observance of the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Latin Caribbean.
Currently a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, Feshbach has donated his papers to VCU Libraries.
The collection includes some 23 linear feet of papers, including research and teaching materials from the later part of the 20th century. The papers are in Russian and English, and cover Feshbach's research into the population, health and environmental crises of the Soviet Union and Russia. In addition to the papers, Feshbach donated approximately 400 books and statistical volumes, including materials from the Soviet and Russian census. Many items in the collection are unique and out-of-print, including personal correspondence with Soviet and Russian researchers and government officials, representing a priceless resource to scholars and policy analysts world-wide.
Feshbach's research in the demographics of the Soviet Union--the health and welfare of its people--offered insight into the closed society of the USSR during the tumultuous years of the Cold War. He retired from government service in 1981, some 10 years before the collapse of the Soviet Union and before Gorbachev, perestroika and glasnost. He was a research professor at Georgetown University until 2000 when he retired as professor emeritus. He continues to publish and consult with government agencies, both in the United States and around the world.
His prominent scholarship combines an intriguing educational background: Feshbach studied history at Syracuse University, holds a master's degree in diplomatic history from Columbia University, and earned his doctorate in economics at American University.
The Feshbach Collection strengthens holdings at VCU that focus on recent U.S. history and support teaching and research by VCU faculty in related fields. President emeritus Dr. Eugene Trani, who retired in 2008, published extensively on 20th century Russian history, and Dr. Judy Twigg in VCU's Wilder School is an internationally recognized expert in health and demographics of contemporary Russia. According to Twigg, "Murray is the undisputed global authority on matters related to human capital in the former Soviet Union and Russia. He has served as a mentor to so many of us who strive to emulate his meticulous data collection and analysis. The donation of these materials is just one example of Murray's continual intellectual and personal generosity, and it's an honor for VCU to benefit from it."
The 9/11 Commemoration at Cabell Library, which ends Friday, Sept. 23, has generated much talk about 9/11 itself, but also much talk about sound art. Stephen Vitiello speaks about sound art and reflects on his piece "World Trade Center Recordings: Winds After Hurricane Floyd," a central component of the Commemoration, in this brief documentary, "Listening with Intent," from ABC Arts Online.
John Priestley of the VCU School of Medicine, who is also a sound artist, referred to footage from the film in his presentation on Vitiello's World Trade Center piece at the 9/11 Commemoration opening reception Sept. 9. For those who were unable to attend or who wish to revisit the background information that he provided, he has made the presentation available on his website, where he archives many of his experiments in sound art.
The interactive wall of memories was set up as part of 9/11 Commemoration, a group of art installations and exhibitions. It started with one dry-erase board. Now, one week after the exhibit opened, there are five boards filled with notes. Some are simple notes or drawings. Some read "like," "agree" or have an arrow pointing to another comment.
"This is the first time we've offered this sort of interactive opportunity and I think students like it," says Gregory Kimbrell, who coordinates events for VCU Libraries. "We try to do so much to serve our students, who come to the library to study and research. But, this time, we're giving them an opportunity to participate not as passive observers of an exhibit but as participants. I think it's been meaningful to people. As I walk past, I've seen many students in conversation at the boards or people quietly reading the notes and others pointing out particular comments to their friends."
Since most undergraduate students were children in 2001, most entries are of the "I was in school" ilk. One poster said "I was in the third grade and crying. My dad worked at the Pentagon. He survived."
Others wrote they were in New York or Washington and saw smoke and fire. Another shared a memory of watching TV coverage in the VCU Student Commons with a close friend.
Given the international scope of the VCU community, some writers note they were far from Richmond, Va. -- in Kenya, Venezuela, Germany, Ghana or Cambodia. One was on a plane traveling from India. Another was "in Kuwait watching the planes crash. I was evacuated a week later." One posting noted the writer was in Nigeria preparing for national exams on that fateful day. There's a "me too" note beside that one.
Among the hundreds of Post-its are these that remembered it as the day:
- Good Muslims will begin to forever be slandered by extremists.
- I became a firefighter.
- I decided to join the FBI.
9/11 Commemoration continues through Sept. 23 at Cabell Library on the Monroe Park campus.
Question: The entire story seems constructed around secrets--secret sisters, secret love, beauty secrets, family secrets, secret stashes, secret promises, mother-daughter secrets--and how, so often, we put our secrets on display despite our best efforts to conceal them.
Answer: The thing about secrets is that we all have many, many secrets and by "secrets," I mean things that we keep private. And, yes, our secrets are often revealed but sometimes we end up taking our secrets to our graves. I am a little on the fence on the subject. Deception, of course, is terrible, but aren't we all entitled to private thoughts and feelings?
Still, I'm astonished at the complexity of the story in relation to every character's secrets, and how you revealed them over the course of the story. Can you tell about how you layered all of these secrets? Was it sort of organic - occurring as you moved deeper into the story? I'm imagining that some secrets surprised even you, the author.
There was one secret in the book that surprised even me. When I wrote the chapter in which the secret was revealed, I thought ... Well, look what we have here. That explains a lot! I am a writer who does not outline. As a writer, I like to have the same breathless feeling as a reader, eager to see what will happen next. It's what keeps me going. For me, writing the first couple drafts is very organic, but in the revising, I get more deliberate. I write the third draft with the awareness of knowing all the secrets already, so I can give hints and such.
Early in the book, Dana's father, James, tells her, that she is "the one that's a secret." Dana's mother, Gwen, tries to reset the encounter by taking Dana to spy on James Witherspoon's other family, who have no idea about Gwen and Dana. Gwen then tells Dana, "You are an unknown. That little girl there doesn't even know she has a sister. You know everything." Gwen draws a distinction between secret and unknown. What is Gwen's goal in taking Dana to watch the other family?
I think Gwen wants to make sure that her own daughter doesn't start to think of James's "legitimate" daughter as some larger-than-life figure. She needs Dana to see that Chaurisse is not better than she is, just more privileged. This is the real gift that Gwen gives her daughter. She wants her to see that it's just society that says she's a dirty secret.
"Silver Sparrow" is so rich in setting. Its cultural, historical and social details keep readers engaged. For example, Gwen Yarboro and James Witherspoon meet on the day of Dr. King's funeral. Mary Woodson, of the 1974 hot-grits assault on Al Green, comes into Laverne's beauty shop to get her hair done. For me, your characters' interactions with events of the times really enriched the setting of the book. How did you make those selections?
For me, history intersects with our real lives all the time. It's not a writerly device for me. My first novel, "Leaving Atlanta," is about my experiences growing up in Atlanta during the city's child murders in which 30 children were killed. This is history, but for me it's also as simple as memory. If James and Gwen met in Atlanta in 1968, leaving out the death of Dr. King would be a willful omission. I teach in an MFA program and I am always urging my students to set a story in a specific year and figure out how the moment in history affects the story. People think this is only important when you write about the distant past, but it is true for every story. I love looking in the almanac for the year the story is set to make sure I didn't leave out anything good.
Why did it work best to tell this story in the 1980s?
I decided to set the story in the 1980s because I was a teenager in those years. Part of my work as a writer is to leave a fictional history of a world I know to be real.
There are many interesting references in "Silver Sparrow"--to a Judy Blume book, to Richmond, Va., to Opelika, Ala., Debarge, Smokey Robinson, and so many more. I love that an author from Atlanta would refer to Richmond as a metropolis. Often, these little details are revealed with such affection that they feel to me like tributes. Are some of these references important to you even beyond their usefulness as markers of time or place?
I always love Opelika because my uncle married not one, but two women from that town. I always imagined it as the place where lovely women are born and raised. When I mention details in a story it's because they feel true to me. I don't plan them out or check them off on a list. If they are tributes it's because these places matter to me as a person, not just as a writer.
You split the book into halves, giving each sister half the book to tell her story so that the reader may have the complete story of this family. It would have been so much easier to tell only one side of the story. I think by structuring it this way, you gave all parties a legitimate claim. Did you experiment with other structures?
I have received mail from readers who are confused as to who they are "supposed" to like. To me, this is the biggest compliment. I really wanted to tell a whole story. A point- of-view switch is the most radical thing you can do in a story and I believe you should only do it if it is entirely necessary. In this story it was. There is a 50-foot wall between Dana's life and Chaurisse's. The only way to see the entire world is to get a look from each side of the wall. It just had to happen.
Jones was interviewed for VCU Libraries by Gigi Amateau, a Richmond-based writer and a member of the board of directors of James River Writers. She met Jones in 2008 at the Key West Literary Seminar, where they both spoke. The theme for the session was New Voices and Amateau recalls thinking then that Jones might be considered a new voice then but soon her work will be widely known. The complete interview is housed on the James River Writers Web page.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) jointly run the Leadership Fellows Program that prepares emerging leaders for director positions in academic health sciences libraries. As the program enters its 10th year, 18 fellows have assumed director positions to date, including two from the current 2010-2011 cohort.
The competitive selection process recognizes a substantial record of accomplishment and demonstrable potential. Fellows have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in a variety of learning settings, including exposure to leadership in another environment.
Fellows are paired with mentors who are academic health sciences library directors and will visit the libraries of their mentors for two-week residencies. Jones has been paired with a mentor at Yale University. In addition to the individual relationship with their mentors, fellows benefit from working collaboratively with other fellows and mentors in the cohort. The program uses a combination of in-person and virtual learning experiences offered by experienced faculty. More.
Tompkins-McCaw Director and Associate University Librarian Teresa L. Knott knows firsthand the value of the fellowship experience because she served as a fellow in 2005-06. Knott said, "Shannon Jones is a tremendous asset to the VCU Libraries and I am looking forward to seeing her grow professionally through the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program. Through the fellowship, I know that Shannon will bring valuable new knowledge to the Tompkins-McCaw Library and significantly contribute to her cohort in the program."
Writer, professor and historian Edgar Edgeworth MacDonald, who served
as Senior Cabell Scholar at the Virginia Commonwealth University
Libraries for more than 25 years, died Sept. 10 in Richmond. He was 94.
MacDonald specialized in Virginia history and literature and wrote extensively about Southern writers. Among his favorites was James Branch Cabell, of whom he is credited
with writing the definitive biography. He is also credited with
spearheading the movement to have VCU's James Branch Cabell Library on
the Monroe Park Campus named after the Richmond author in the 1970s.
After retiring from a 30-year teaching career at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland in 1974, he joined VCU as an unpaid Cabell Scholar.
"For all of us on staff, Dr. MacDonald was an affable, witty and sophisticated presence, possessed of a sharp intellect that he delighted to use in the service of entertainment as much as scholarship," said John E. Ulmschneider, university librarian. "He drew our admiration and our respect, and he was always and foremost an inspiration. For our good colleagues in Cabell Special Collections and Archives, who worked with him and enjoyed his company nearly every day, Dr. MacDonald was a constant companion and a good friend. They cared for him deeply."
The Richmond native's many publications included "James Branch Cabell and Richmond-in-Virginia," "James Branch Cabell: Centennial Essays" and "Ellen Glasgow: A Reference Guide," as well as a newsletter on Glasgow that he edited for 10 years. MacDonald's scholarship on Cabell and Glasgow is showcased in part online in a library special collection.
He wrote for publications such as American Literature, the Southern Literary Journal, Resources for American Literary Study and the Mississippi Quarterly.
"As a longtime and valued member of the James Branch Cabell Library Associates, Dr. Edgar MacDonald was a light among the shadows. An authority on Virginia literature and genealogy, he acted as a vital link between the present generation of readers, students and scholars and previous literary giants," said Walter Dotts, president of the James Branch Cabell Library Associates. "Dr. MacDonald's biography of James Branch Cabell and his promotion of Ellen Glasgow helped secure their places in the American literary canon. His knowledge of the forces and the families that shaped Virginia history helped illuminate the contemporary social and political landscape.
"Dr. MacDonald's guidance and input as a board member of the Cabell Associates supported strategic Cabell Library initiatives and echoed his broader community philanthropic activity. Although he avoided recognition during his life, his effect on generations of students and his beloved city will be felt for many years to come."
MacDonald served with the 99th Infantry Division in World War II. He received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Belgian Fouragere.
During his career, he served as an English professor at Randolph-Macon College, a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the State University of Leningrad and as a board member of the Library of Virginia and the James Monroe Law Office Museum and Memorial Library in Fredericksburg. He also served as a trustee of the James Monroe Memorial Foundation.
Quoted on the Randolph-Macon College website, R-MC Humanities Professor M. Thomas Inge, a Randolph-Macon alumnus and former VCU professor, remembered MacDonald fondly.
"He was the professor at Randolph-Macon who first opened my eyes to the wide world of literature," said Inge. "He taught a class in world literature that reflected his own experiences traveling and studying abroad and shaped my worldview. But he also cherished the local and taught me about Southern writing and his own favorite, James Branch Cabell. I had the pleasure of co-editing with him a collection of essays on Cabell. He was one of the most erudite, widely read, witty and sophisticated men I ever knew. His congenial presence will be missed."
"Professor MacDonald, known for his idiosyncratic ways, had a strong and lasting impact on his students for over three decades," said R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren.
Among many accomplishments in a life of letters, he was a founder of the Virginia Genealogical Society, the Friends of the Virginia State Archives and the Ellen Glasgow Society.
MacDonald earned his bachelor's degree at VCU's precursor, Richmond Professional Institute, and his master's degree from the University of Richmond. He earned his doctorate from The Sorbonne, University of Paris.
He left no immediate survivors.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 1214 Wilmer Ave.
Can't open your PubMed or My NCBI account?
As of Friday, VCU and many other universities are experiencing problems with access to PubMed's My NCBI accounts. The problem is related to customized versions of PubMed that provide links to the libraries' online journal articles from PubMed citations. At VCU this problem occurs when accessing VCU Libraries' links to PubMed from off-campus locations - which includes VCUHS - or from a wireless Internet connection.
Until the problem is resolved, consider using the following option to gain access: Search PubMed at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?otool=vculib to gain access to My NCBI. This access point will include Get it@VCU with links to VCU Libraries' online journals.
Online and on TV, images, videos and words about the meaning and memorialization of September 11 abound. For a deeper look and more scholarly perspective, turn to VCU Libraries search engine. Input any search terms you find interesting and see what turns up. You'll find a documentary "The Search for al Qaeda: Its leadership, ideogy and future" and the feature film "United 93" as well as the Michael Moore documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Here are 10 examples of what is available in VCU Libraries media collection. The service desk is located on the Third Floor of James Branch Cabell Library.
America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero. Documents the clearing of the wreckage of the World Trade Center from the perspective of the construction workers, firemen, and engineers who accomplished the task in the nine months following the Sept. 2001 terrorist attacks. Also shows the dialogue among community members, victims' families, real estate developers, architects, and city officials about what should be done with the site. Part two traces the progress made during 2002 to 2006 and continues to follow the discussion and plans for memorial space and other uses of the former site of the World Trade Center. Cabell Media and Reserves DVDs HV6432.7 .A63 2006 DVD/Video Loan
The Balancing Act: Security and Liberty Post 9/11. CNN journalist Frank Sesno moderates this energetic and informative program exploring the post-9/11 relationship between security and personal freedom in America. Seven distinguished panelists - including USA PATRIOT Act author Viet Dinh, bioterrorism specialist Margaret Hamburg, and Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor Juliette Kayyem - confront scenarios involving hypothetical attacks on American soil. Their discussions examine such critical issues as indefinite detainment, the rights of Arab-Americans, the relevance of the Freedom of Information Act, and varying interpretations of USA PATRIOT Act. Cabell Media and Reserves DVDs KF4850 .B345 2005 DVD/Video Loan
Divided we fall: Americans in the aftermath. 2008 Valarie Kaur was a 20-year-old college student when she set out across America in the aftermath of 9/11, camera in hand, to document hate violence against her community. From the still-shocked streets of Ground Zero to the desert towns of the American west, her epic journey confronts the forces unleashed in a time of national crisis--racism and religion, fear and forgiveness--until she finds the heart of America... halfway around the world"--Container. Cabell Media and Reserves DVDs JV6456 .D58 2008 DVD/Video Loan
Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero. Frontline illuminates the myriad spiritual questions that have come out of the terror, pain, and destruction of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and explores how the spiritual lives of both believers and non-believers have been challenged in the aftermath of September 11 by questions of good and evil, God's culpability, and the potential for darkness within religion itself. Internet Resources HV6432.7 .F35 2005 INTERNET
In Memoriam: New York City 9/11/01. An HBO documentary. At 8:47am, the city would be jolted into its worst nightmare as a chain of tragic events unfolded, changing the lives of New Yorkers and Americans forever. People from 115 different countries died at the World Trade Center. From still and video cameras of 118 people and 16 news agencies, much of it never-before seen, from in and around New York City, the attack on the WTC was the most documented event in history. The film features the Honorable Rudolph W. Giuliani, Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, Fire Commissioner Thomas von Essen, Operations Chief of City Government Joe Lhota, Communications Director Sunny Mindel, Executive Assistant to the Mayor Beth Petrone. The score, composed entirely of music by American composers, was recorded expressly for the film on April 2, 2002 by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Slatkin at Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. New York Center of the World. One of eight episodes. The first part of this final chapter of the series provides a powerful portrait of the events leading up to and following September 11, 2001. To understand the impact of 9/11, episode eight reaches back to when the idea of a "world trade center" was first conceived and the towers were constructed. You'll then explore the physical, economic, and symbolic aftermath of the attack--and what Americans can learn from the recovery effort. Internet Resources F128.3 .N563 2005 episode 8, pt.1 INTERNET
Inside 911. Originally produced as a television documentary for the National Geographic Channel in 2006. Examines the events of September 11, 2001, tracing a time line that led up to the terrorist attacks and the subsequent government response. Cabell Media and Reserves DVDs HV6432.7 .I55 2006 DVD/Video Loan
- Now with Bill Moyers. September 10, 2004. NOW analyzes the 9/11 Commission report and connects the dots of what happened that day and the warning signs leading up to it. This special episode highlights the agonizing close calls, missteps, and outright failures of two administrations and America's intelligence and security agencies in the months and years leading up to 9/11. Cabell Media and Reserves DVDs HV6432.7 .N14 2004 DVD/Video Loan
The Pentagon. Presents archival footage of the construction of the Pentagon, the largest office building in the world and its progress from the drawing board to today. Engineers reveal the reasons behind its unique shape and show off some of the innovative features that have helped the nearly 60- year-old headquarters handle the changing demands of its occupants over the decades. An all-access tour to rooms rarely seen by the public, and new footage documents the destruction of the September 11th terrorist attack. Internet Resources E173 .A729 Internet
Searching for the Roots of 9/11. "World is Flat" author Thomas L. Friedman tries to answer two of the most puzzling questions about 9/11: What drove 19 young, middle-class Muslim men to give up their lives to murder almost 3,000 people? And why does this violent act elicit so much support from millions of ordinary Muslims around the world? Cabell Media and Reserves DVDs HV6432.7 .T56 2003 DVD/Video Loan
Why the Towers Fell. A WGBH Boston presentation. For most people, the image of the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was not only a scene of unforgettable horror, it was a moment of unimaginable consequence. This follows a blue ribbon team of forensic engineers as they begin searching for clues that would tell them why the towers fell. From detailed examination of the buildings original design to the relentless process of searching the scrap steel yards and Ground Zero itself for evidence. Cabell Media and Reserves Film and Videos TA219 .N68 2002 DVD/Video Loan
"After 9/11, the Richmond faith community embraced area Muslims, says Imad Damaj, president of the Virginia Muslim Coalition for Public Affairs. But that unity has dissipated in recent years.
For Imad Damaj, it's been a decade of challenges. Seven years after the attacks of 9/11, for example, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal to build a mosque amid what Damaj recalls venomous rhetoric. Last month, the same body approved it. "Steps forward, and then steps back," he says.
Damaj, professor of pharmacology at the Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical Center, almost sighs while he expounds on the national conversation about Islam and the well-being of its local practitioners.
"After 9/11, a lot of people who practice the faith were asked to carry the burden of these hijackers," he says. "Bottom line is, these people misunderstood the religious tradition, took it out of context, abused it and then made life tougher for American Muslims and tragic for all Americans."
Sitting on a stone bench along Marshall Street, Damaj, a Lebanese expatriate, recalls the day. Like most, he saw the video of the second tower falling while watching televised news reports. "I felt numb," he recalls. And then, like so many others, he left work to spend the rest of the day with his wife and children.
Damaj, who's taught at VCU for nearly 20 years, is president of the Virginia Muslim Coalition for Public Affairs. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, he says that Richmond, especially its faith community, embraced local Muslims.
But slowly, those bonds and the sense of unity have dissipated. To re-establish them, he says, it will be just as necessary to look forward as look back. "We as a country cannot and will not forget the tragedies of the past," he says."
In celebration of Constitution Day Sept. 17, VCU Libraries recommends viewing "History of the Constitution," a DVD collection in 47 short segments, totaling two hours. Take a break and study our fundamental governance document in bits and pieces. As with all of the libraries collection of streaming videos, VCU eID patrons can watch anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection, headphones or speakers.
Throughout the week, VCU Libraries will feature a presentation and video montage on the large-screen monitors inside the entrances of James Branch Cabell Library and Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences. Catch trivia and fun facts as you visit the library. The video montage features clips from the "Schoolhouse Rock" Preamble to a segment of Barbara Jordan's famous 1974 "Constitution Speech."
Also, Sept. 12-18, stop by the main desks at the libraries and request a free pocket-sized copy of the Constitution--in English or Spanish.
For more information see our Constitution Day Web site.
The Tuesday, Sept. 6 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch featured 9/11 Commemoration, VCU Libraries collection of exhibits designed to offer the VCU community opportunities for learning and reflection 10 years after terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The multimedia presentation featured a moving video testimonial by a VCU student who witnessed the tragic events in New York City that morning. The article and videos