Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Toni Morrison and Mark Twain: The Black and White Of It

Alabama Humanities Foundation Scholar, Dr. Elaine Hughes, will speak Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m., at the Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo. Hughes’s presentation will explore important parallels in the works of two important American authors and social critics: Mark Twain and Toni Morrison. According to Hughes, “Though writing a century apart, Mark Twain and Toni Morrison have dared to explore in their fiction the great truths underlying their cultures’ espoused attitudes and beliefs. From Twain’s indictment of the hypocrisy of the 19th Century to Morrison’s examination of contemporary society’s duality, their voices have provided readers penetrating portrayals of their fellow countrymen. An examination of the historical, political and biographical contexts of major works by these authors reveals the parallels in their social criticism—of the post-Civil-War era and the post-Civil-Rights period in America. ‘Morrison and Twain: The Black and White of It’ is a presentation that attempts to put before an audience those questions about ourselves that we have difficulty confronting: our beliefs, our prejudices, our fears. Through examination of works by two major American writers—writing during tumultuous times in our country—we can understand those elements in our society that shape us and perhaps seek a better understanding of ourselves. Racism was at the root of the problems resulting from slavery; racism remains today at the root of many of our social problems. Literature can provide the vehicle by which each of us, and thus our society, can make that painful journey to self understanding.”

For the past 35 years, Hughes has been a professor of American literature at the University of Montevallo, with a specialty in contemporary literature. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in Southern literature and in Alabama literature. She has delivered more than 200 lectures to varied audiences—from high-school honors students to retirees in UAB’s New Horizons—in many locations. In 1998-1999, she received the Carnegie Foundation CASE Professor of the Year Award for Alabama and was the 2007 Recipient of the Eugene Current-Garcia Distinguished Scholar Award. Hughes has been involved with the Alabama Humanities Foundation since 1978 and chaired the board of directors from 2004-2006. She holds the honor of professor emerita from the University of Montevallo.

Barbara Belisle, Mary Jo Buff, Lelia Mitchell, Robin Norsworthy, Mary Lou Williams, and Thomasyne Hill Smith will read from American authors Toni Morrison and Mark Twain. Event sponsors are the Montevallo Branch of AAUW, Alabama Humanities Foundation, and Parnell Memorial Library. All are welcome.

Monday, February 22, 2010

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 21-27

For the second year Carmichael Library is teaming up with the UM Counseling and Career Center to encourage awareness of eating disorders. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Among NEDA's efforts is the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The theme of this year's awareness campaign is "It’s Time to Talk About It." From confronting negative stereotypes about body image that are presented in mass media to reminding ourselves that we are beautiful, it is NEDA's goal that everyone who sees their message can do just one thing to raise awareness about these important issues.

Now through the end of the week we're displaying a selection of books about eating disorders. Our display also contains a number of ideas about how all of us can do just one thing to combat eating disorders.

Related Resources On the Web:

Image credit: © National Eating Disorders Association. Used with permission.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quick Bib: The Olympic Games

With the 2010 Olympic Games in full swing, we present a short list of books about this ancient athletic tradition. All of these items can be found in the library's Circulating Collection (Second Floor) unless otherwise noted.

Krzyzewski, Mike, and Jamie K. Spatola. The Gold Standard: Building a World-class Team. New York: Business Plus, 2009. Browsing GV885.7 .K79 2009

Payne, Michael. Olympic Turnaround: How the Olympic Games Stepped Back from the Brink of Extinction to Become the World's Best Known Brand. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2006. GV721.5 .P34 2006

Perrottet, Tony. The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games. New York: Random House, 2004. GV23 .P47 2004

Schaap, Jeremy. Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. GV697.O9 S33 2007

Spivey, Nigel Jonathan. The Ancient Olympics. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004. GV23 .S69 2004

On the Web:

The Ancient Olympics - Compare ancient and modern Olympic sports, tour the site of Olympia as it looks today, learn about the context of the Games and the Olympic spirit, and read about the Olympic athletes who were famous in ancient times. From Tufts University.

CTV Olympics - Complete coverage of the games from Canada's CTV.

The Nazi Olympics, Berlin 1936 - From the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum an online exhibit of materials related to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

Rings - 2010 Vancouver Olympics - Olympics and Paralympics blog from the New York Times.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons license.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

UM History Professor Marks Somber Anniversary

In the spring of 2006, Clark Hultquist, UM Professor of History, was on sabbatical and living in Paris. During his stay, he traveled to Verdun and spent a weekend touring the area where German forces attempted to overwhelm the French army with a concentrated infantry and artillery attack. His visit coincided with 90th anniversary of the battle. Luckily, Dr. Hultquist took the time to relate his experience through writing, photographs, and video. With his permission, I've included links to his blog entry and media.

This Sunday marks the 94th anniversary of Verdun's opening salvo. On February 21, 1916, Germany unleashed a nine-hour artillery assault on the French stronghold. However, this bombardment was on a scale that world had never seen before. According to the Almanac of World War I, the barrage resulted in "284 shells for every 6 feet of the front" completely saturating the battlefield. The shelling continued at this rate for days and days. To put this in perspective, Dr. Hultquist states, "In the first week alone the Germans fired more than two million artillery shells on some twenty-five miles of French defenses. In the first three weeks alone, at Verdun, more artillery shells were fired by the German army in this sector than during the entire American Civil War by both sides." The battle continued for almost one year and resulted in more than 700,000 casualties (with as many as 420,000 dead). Ending on December 22, 1916, Verdun provides a perfect snapshot to a war that eventually consumed tens of millions of lives.

To read more about Dr. Hultquist's experience, please visit:

And to view his photos and video, click here

For further reading:

Almanac of World War I by David F. Burg and L. Edward Purcell (Ref. D 522.5 .B87 1998)

Fighting the Great War: a global history by Michael S. Neigberg (D 521 .N44 2005)

The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916 by Alistair Horne (D 545 .V3 H6)

Again, I'd like to thank Dr. Hultquist for allowing us to use his materials. His experience is a perfect example of how the University of Montevallo attempts to bring the world to its students on a daily basis.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Black History Month 2010 Events

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs has announced several events to commemorate Black History Month on the Montevallo campus.

On Tuesday, February 16th, Colonel Ernest Craigwell, Jr. will be on campus to speak about his experiences as one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Col. Craigwell, Jr. is a highly decorated retired fighter pilot who served in three wars--WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. With more than 400 combat missions in fighter aircraft, Mr. Craigwell received 26 medals for valor in combat on four combat tours. Col. Craigwell will speak at Ramsay Hall, room 106, at 6:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Multicultural Affairs and the Black Student Union.

On Monday, February 22nd, the Umdabu South African Dance Company will perform in Lebaron Recital Hall. Umdabu Dance Company is a South African dance troupe based in Birmingham, Alabama. Umdabu is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of traditional Zulu culture through dance. The company is directed by veteran South African dancer/choreographer, Johannes "Jomo" Xulu. Opening for Umdabu will be the UM NPHC performing a step tease. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. and is sponsored by Multicultural Affairs and the University Program Council.

Lastly, Calvin Johnson will give a talk on Tuesday, February 23rd. Mr. Johnson served over sixteen years in Georgia prisons for crimes he did not commit. With the help of the Innocence Project and the development of DNA technology he was finally able to prove his innocence and was released. Mr. Johnson will be sharing his inspirational story at Ramsay Hall, room 106, at 7:00 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

For more information on UM's observance of Black History Month, contact Robert L. Robinson, Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs at (205 665-6023.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quick Bib: The Language of Love

Look no further than the collection at your campus library for books about love on this Valentine's Day. A quick check of the catalog, using love as a subject, brings back 572 hits! Here are a few non-fiction items from our holdings in honor of the holiday.

Eugenides, Jeffrey, ed. My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro. New York: Harper, 2008. PN6120.95.L7 M9 2008

Hogan, Margaret A. and C. James Taylor, eds. My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 2007. E322 .A4 2007.

Howell, James W., ed. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship, & Sexuality through History. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2008. Ref. HQ21 .G67125 2008.

Krauss, Nicole. The History of Love. New York : Norton, 2005. PS3611.R38 H57 2005.

Shapiro, David, ed. Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2007. Browsing HQ801.3 .S53 2007.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons license.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

College Night 2010 Display

Now on display in the library you'll find our annual tribute to the University of Montevallo's College Night. Check out the display just past the lobby, which includes original photos, sheet music, production books and College Night programs.

The College Night tradition is so unique in American higher education that it has been honored at the Library of Congress in a permanent exhibit in the American Folklife Center. Started in 1919 as a series of skits performed in the school cafeteria, the tradition has grown over the years to a week-long series of athletic contests and other homecoming events. As anyone who has visited the UM campus knows, the pinnacle of College Night week is a full-scale musical theatre production, which is written, directed, and performed entirely by students.

One of the perks of working in the library is the occasional chance to look at the production books and programs from past years. The library not only houses these treasures in the University Archives, we also share some of them with the UM community at this special time of the academic year. Following UM's College Night traditions, this year's focus is on class years that mark decades.

I learn something new about our homecoming tradition every year. Here are a few random facts about College Night that I found interesting:
  • 1921 marked the first year of Gold Side and Purple Side productions. The Gold Side claimed victory in the very first of these match ups.
  • Although men began attending UM (then Alabama College) in 1956, it was not until 1963 that co-leaders of each sex were elected. This tradition continues today.
  • The tradition of dedicating College Night to an individual or group of people began in the 1930s. Only two people have received the honor more than once: Dr. (and later Dean) Thomas H. Napier received the dedication in 1934 and 1944. Ms. Mary Frances Tipton, longtime Director of the library, received the honor in 1967 and 1980.
  • In 1942, the first College Night held after Americans entered World War II, the dedication was offered to "people in the service of the USA."
  • The Purple Side's longest victory streak was six wins in the years 1945-1951. The Golds own the longest streak in school history with seven victories from 1961-1967.
  • College Night performances were staged in Reynolds Hall in 1928 and 1929, after which they were moved to the new Palmer Hall. Palmer has been home to College Night every year since, with the exception of 2007, when the auditorium was closed for roof repairs.
  • The Purple Side owns the most College Night victories with 47 wins. There have been 42 Gold victories.
The display itself is the creative work of our Archives Assistants Dallas Hanbury, Jamie Rawls, and Kathy Ratcliffe . The photos in this post were taken by Joel Bullock. This blog entry was composed by Jason Cooper and updated by Carey Heatherly (who takes sole responsibility for any errors). You can see more College Night display photos on our Flickr and Facebook pages.

On the UM Website:

Also on the Web:
University of Montevallo's College Night - Library of Congress American Folklife Center web page

Monday, February 08, 2010

Original Tuskegee Airman Honored in Shelby County

One of Shelby County's military heroes and civil rights pioneers was remembered earlier today. Local media have reported that Harry E. Ford, Jr. was recognized by the Shelby County Commission, which gave Ford a posthumous honor as part of Black History Month. Mr. Ford was one of Alabama’s last two known surviving pilots of the original Tuskegee Airmen when he passed away last February at age 89.

Ford served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force and rose to the rank of Colonel. He later worked as a volunteer and technical adviser to the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham.

Below are a few resources to help you learn more about the life and times of Colonel Ford and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen:

Books in Carmichael Library

Bucholtz, Chris. 332nd Fighter Group: Tuskegee Airmen. Westminster, MD: Osprey Publishing, 2007. D790.252 332nd .B83 2007.

Scott, Lawrence P. and William M. Womack, Sr. Double V: The Civil Rights Struggle of the Tuskegee Airmen. East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State UP, 1994. UG834.A37 S36 1994. (This title is also available in an e-book format.)

Carmichael DVD

Markowitz, Robert. The Tuskegee Airmen. New York, N.Y.: HBO Home Video, 2000. DVD PN1995 Tuskegee 2000

On the Web

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Need a Tutor? Use the Learning Enhrichment Center

Tutoring began recently for Montevallo students enrolled in introductory language courses, world history, introductory biology, and several mathematics courses. The Office of Learning Enrichment and Student Transitions is located on the lower level of the library building. The office offers tutoring for specific courses in a block format, as well as small group and one-on-one tutoring sessions. They can also help you set up a study group.

Get more information on the office website, or by calling (205) 665-6113.