Discussion with Temple Classicists

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On March 18, 2010 I had the opportunity to speak with Classics professors Dan Tompkins, Robin Mitchell-Boyask, and Sydnor Roy. I wanted to understand how Classics research–and humanities research more generally–had changed in the course of the past few decades in the wake of broad transformations in academia, technology, and society.

Dan Tompkins received his PhD from Yale University in 1968 with a dissertation entitled Stylistic Characterization in Thucydides. Robin Mitchell-Boyask graduated in 1988 from Brown University with a dissertation entitled Tragic Identity: Studies in Euripides and Shakespeare. Sydnor Roy is a 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation is entitled Political Relativism: Implicit Political Theory in Herodotus’ Histories.

We began by discussing their respective dissertation experiences: where they studied, what kinds of sources they used, the technology that was available, and the scholarly community that surrounded them. Since the three dissertations spanned the years from 1968 to 2010, the discussion revealed interesting similarities and differences in the academic environment over the past forty years. Below is Part 1 of our discussion. Parts 2 and 3 will follow.

Listen to the audio of the discussion, Part I

iTunes U link (for downloads)

Subscribe to this podcast series

 

—Fred Rowland

Jill Luedke is new Reference Librarian and Subject Specialist in Art

I am delighted to welcome Jill Luedke to Temple University Libraries. Jill joined us as the Reference Librarian and Subject Specialist in Art on Monday, August 10. Jill will work with faculty and students in art, art history and art education at the Tyler School of Art, providing them with instructional services and research assistance. Jill will also help develop and manage print and electronic collections in art-related subject areas, and will develop guides and resources for finding and navigating the rich resources now offered at Temple.

Jill comes to us from the Adam & Sophie Gimbel Design Library at the New School in New York, New York, where she served as a Reference and Instruction Librarian. Prior to that, she worked as the Visual Resources Assistant, and then the Electronic Reserves Manager, also at the New School.

Jill earned a B.A. in Art and Art History, with a specialization in German, from Fort Hays State University, in Hays, Kansas. She received a dual MS in Library & Information Science and the History of Art & Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She is active in the Art Libraries Society of New York, and recently published an article, “ It All Started with a Button…”, in the Urban Library Journal. Please join me again in welcoming Jill Luedke to Temple University Libraries.

With warm wishes,

Larry P. Alford

Krystal Lewis is new Coordinator of Information Literacy and Reference

I am delighted to welcome Krystal Lewis to Temple University Libraries. Krystal joined us as the Coordinator of Information Literacy and Reference on June 8. In this new position, Krystal will coordinate the Libraries’ various information literacy initiatives and the broad array of virtual and in-person reference services based at Paley Library.

Krystal comes to us from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she served as an Assistant Librarian and Assistant Professor in the Reference Department of the Richard J. Daley Library. Prior to that, she was an Acting Assistant Special Collections Librarian and Academic Resident Librarian and Instructor at the Library of the Health Sciences-Chicago.

Krystal earned a B.A. in History and her MLS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to her extensive reference experience, Krystal also has also worked with special collections and archives at the Library of the Health Sciences-Chicago. Please join me again in welcoming Krystal Lewis to Temple University Libraries.

With warm wishes,

Larry P. Alford

Thomas Heverin is New Science Librarian/SEAL Instruction Coordinator

I am delighted to welcome Thomas Heverin to the Temple University Libraries. Thomas started Monday, September 22nd, in the position of Science Librarian/SEAL Instruction Coordinator. Prior to arriving at Temple, Thomas worked at the Carlson Science and Engineering Library at the University of Rochester and the Center for Natural Language Processing at Syracuse University. Additionally, he served several years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Thomas received a MLIS from Syracuse University and a B.S. in Meteorology from Penn State. He will provide research and instructional services for science, engineering, and architecture students and faculty. Thomas will also serve as the coordinator of SEAL’s instructional program and its integration into the Libraries’ information literacy initiative. Thomas’ subject responsibilities will include mathematical sciences, earth and environmental science and physics. Please join me in welcoming Thomas to Temple Libraries. Sincerely, Larry P. Alford Dean of University Libraries

Jakobsen Lecture Available on iTunes U

Distinguished professor of women’s studies, Janet Jakobsen of Barnard College, lectured at Paley on April 7. Dr. Jakobsen is the Director of the Center for Research on Women at Barnard. Her research interests include: feminist and queer ethics; religion, gender, and sexuality in American public life; social movements and feminist alliance politics; and global issues of economics. Jakobsen’s research truly crosses disciplinary boundaries, and her engagement with a number of issues crosses the traditional lines established between the academy and activism. This lecture was part of a series presented by the Libraries and the General Education Program, which aims to bring interdisciplinary scholars in a variety of fields to Temple. The departments of Religion and Jewish Studies also played a significant role in sponsoring Dr. Jakobsen’s visit. Dr. Jakobsen’s lecture at Paley Library can be downloaded from iTunes U. When you see the Temple University page, click Paley Library at the bottom, then Janet Jakobsen, then click “Get” and wait for the download to complete. After the lecture, Dr. Jakobsen was interviewed by Professor of History, David Watt, and Professor of Religion, Women’s Studies, and Jewish Studies, Laura Levitt.

Daddy Grace and His House of Prayer

Daddy Grace was a flamboyant preacher of the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s who created a religious organization with churches situated mainly up and down the east coast of the United States, including Philadelphia. His church was pentecostal in orientation and known for extravagant rituals, parades, and festivals. Until now, Daddy Grace and his United House of Prayer for All People has been relatively neglected in the scholarship of religious studies. Temple’s Adjunct Associate Professor Marie Dallam has gone a long way in filling in the gaps in our understanding of this fascinating figure in American religious history with her new book, Daddy Grace: A Celebrity Preacher and His House of Prayer, published by New York University Press.

On March 10, Marie Dallam stopped by Paley Library to discuss her new book with librarian Fred Rowland. Below is a link to this audio interview.

 (mp3)

iTunes U link (for downloads)

Subscribe to this podcast series

Don’t forget that if Daddy Grace: A Celebrity Preacher and His House of Prayer is checked out from Paley Library, you can request it through E-ZBorrow.

—Fred Rowland

Blockson Collection receives collection from Dr. Jack Lutz, College of Ed alumnus

Temple University Libraries, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection recently received a generous gift of books on education, culture and the arts in Africa by Dr. Jack Lutz, a distinguished alumnus of the College of Education. The Blockson Collection is one of the nation’s foremost research centers on the study of the culture and people of Africa and its diaspora. The collection holds materials with a special emphasis on the experiences of African Americans in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley region. It is located in Sullivan Hall on the main campus of Temple University, and was donated to the university in 1984 by renowned historian, Charles L. Blockson. Dr. Lutz has travelled the world through initiatives and programs that brought a quality education to all. Dr. Lutz spent most of his time in Africa, and from that experience he gained a passion for its culture. He also began collecting books and materials that help tell the history and story of those he met overseas. These books and materials have since been donated to the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University Libraries. Here are excerpts of a broad conversation between Dr. Lutz and Nicole Restaino of Temple University Libraries.

Nicole Restaino: How has your training at Temple’s College of Education impacted your life? You’ve traveled all over the world to bring education to those in need. How did your time at Temple prepare you for this?

Dr. Jack Lutz: Temple’s College of Education, along with the Boy Scouts and my time at Northeast High School, are some of the major influences in my life. My years at Temple imbued in me a sense of service, and I knew that is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I received so much sagely wisdom from so many of the professors at Temple over the years. The tutelage I received while earning my BA, MA and doctorate were truly inspirational.

NR: What struck you about your time in Africa? Do you have any stories or anecdotes about a favorite place or experience? JL: As much as I served Africa, Africa served me ten times over.

I was a professor at Glassboro College (now Rowan University) and was offered an opportunity to join UNESCO as an education advisor. I spent over 24 years in Africa in this position, developing teacher’s colleges. During my time in Africa, I am met my wife, Dr. Paz Lutz. A Fulbright Scholar and doctor of education herself, she served many years in Africa as well. While I was in the village of Abraka, Nigeria developing teacher training programs for UNESCO, I realized that only two universities in Nigeria offered master’s in education. Both universities were quite a way from Abraka, so I proposed the idea of starting a program at the University of Benin, which was much closer. I presented the idea to the government of Bendel State and the university. We all concurred that starting a graduate teaching program was a step in the right direction. And that is when I got Temple on board. I further proposed that Temple professors come teach in Abraka, and the new graduate program would be a joint venture between the University of Benin and Temple University. Shortly thereafter, the Dean of the College of Education at that time, Paul Eberman, along with late Temple University President Marvin Wachman, came to Abraka, Nigeria, to implement the cooperative program with financial help from UNESCO. This arrangement existed for six years, I am proud to say, and graduates were awarded a dual diploma from Temple and the University of Benin. Outstanding master’s candidates in the program were offered an opportunity to study for their doctorate at Temple’s campus in Philadelphia. I believe that many top educators in Nigeria have their doctorate from Temple, in fact. Another important part of my time overseas was my participation in communal life and the rites of passage of the diverse nations I lived in. I spent most of my time in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. I also lived in the Republic of Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia and Swaziland. In Nigeria I was named Chief Dr. Jack Lutz, the Ehele of Abraka; Ehele being a Uhroba word for an “old warrior, not afraid to stand up and fight.” The cultural practices I was welcomed into have made such an impact in my life. In fact, my wife and I were wedded by a female Muslim magistrate (that’s quite unique!), a Catholic priest, and a justice of the peace while living in Sierra Leone. The warmth and diversity we experienced overseas was extraordinary. When we came back to Philadelphia after our wedding, we were also blessed in front of the Torah at a synagogue by a prominent Philadelphia Rabbi. (We touched all the bases!)

NR: What was your impetus to begin collecting books and objects while in Africa?

JL: I began to amass materials related to curriculum and education in the countries in which I worked. My doctoral area of specialization was curriculum development and I helped to rework curriculum strategies in Nigeria, and documented that process. My interests later expanded and I started exploring materials on art and culture of local communities.

NR: How did you find out about the Blockson Collection? Why did you see this as a fitting home for your outstanding collections?

JL: I knew collection founder Mr. Charles L. Blockson from Norristown, PA, years back, and that is how I first learned about the collection and its mission. My ultimate respect for Mr. Blockson and the collection’s goals to preserve African, African American and African Caribbean culture, led me to make my donation to the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University Libraries. I’m proud to know, as a Temple grad, that the university prioritizes this amazing collection, which is one of the best around on African and African American life. I’m also proud that I could contribute to its mission with my donation.

NR: How can the Temple community benefit from your gift? Are there any specific ways in which College of Education students might utilize the materials now housed at the Blockson Collection?

JL: The materials I donated to the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection are good research tools for the Temple community as a whole. These materials will be of particular use to students in the College of Education, in the areas of comparative educational and cultural studies, in specific. Graduate students can use these primary sources for doctoral and masters level research, while undergraduate classes can have a directed experience with the materials; they can be closely tied to a course syllabus at the undergraduate level. Courses in many areas, such as Africana studies, American studies, International studies and regional/area disciplines will also benefit from the materials. Several of the books, which are on African arts and crafts, should be useful to students in the Tyler school of fine arts as well as students of art history and anthropology.

NR: Thank you so much, Dr. Lutz. Temple University Libraries and the Temple community are certainly thrilled by your contribution to the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. I can’t wait to see the materials myself, in the collection’s wonderful new home in Sullivan Hall. Thanks again. To finish off our conversation, what are you and Paz doing now?

JL: We continue to be deeply involved with service and education overseas. Most recently, our endeavors have taken us to Eastern Europe, where we served in the Peace Corps, which we joined in 1997, when I was 75 years old. We spent four years in Poland, working in a small town by the name of Nowy Sacz (about 100 miles SouthEast of Krakow), teaching English and instructional methods. Now we live in New Jersey, and ar
e still involved with Temple’s College of Education. I hope that Paz and I inspire others to teach and live a life of service.

Interview with Legendary Performers “Kittye” DeChavis and Trudy Pitts

In celebration of Women’s History Month, legendary jazz performers Katherine “Kittye” DeChavis and Trudy Pitts spoke and performed at Paley Library on March 5th, 2008. After the performance, Ms. DeChavis and Ms. Pitts joined librarian Anne Harlow for questions and conversation recorded on this Library Podcast.

In the podcast, Katherine “Kittye” DeChavis describes her earliest musical experiences. She recalls the musical environment of Philadelphia that provided many opportunities to learn, to perform, and to listen to various kinds of music. Ms. DeChavis describes her move to Montreal, and then to New York, working at the Paradise and the Apollo Theaters. She tells the story of how she unexpectedly came to record the hits “Hucklebuck” and “Be Anything but Be Mine.” Ms. DeChavis expresses heartfelt concern for young people today, and offers advice for students who are studying to be performers.

Trudy Pitts, a native Philadelphian, performs and records extensively on jazz organ. She has degrees from the Philadelphia Music Academy, Temple University, and Juilliard, and is currently on the piano faculty of the University of the Arts. In the podcast, Trudy recalls her extensive training in classical music, and how growing up in a musical family in Philadelphia influenced her music. She talks about her transition from classical music to jazz, and how she incorporates classical elements into her performances. Trudy shares her philosophies of being a wife, mother, and professional musician, and gives warmhearted guidance for aspiring young musicians.

Special thanks to Sebastian Derry, Media Services Librarian, for serving as the sound engineer for the podcast and to Dr. Diane D. Turner, Curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, for planning today’s program and reaching out and inviting these two extraordinary women to come to the library today. And thank you to Kittye DeChavis and Trudy Pitts for sharing their experiences and insights with us.

Get the audio here

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Ms. Kittye DeChavis performing at Temple University Paley Library on March 5th, 2008.

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Ms. Trudy Pitts takes a bow after her performance at Temple University’s Paley Library, March 5, 2008.

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Curator of the Blockson Collection Dr. Diane Turner, WRTI radio announcers Harrison Ridley and Bob Perkins, and University Librarian Larry Alford with Tracy Pitts and Kittye DeChavis.

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Kittye DeChavis, Anne Harlow, and Trudy Pitts

–Anne Harlow

Sandi Thompson is Head of Suburban Campus Libraries

s_thompson[1].jpe It is with great pleasure that I inform you that Sandi Thompson has accepted the position of Head of Suburban Campus Libraries, effective December 3, 2007.

Sandi began working in the Temple University Libraries in 1969 as a Bibliographic Assistant, first in the Acquisitions Department followed by service in the Business Library, Government Documents, and finally in the Mathematical Sciences Library. In 1985 after earning her M.S.L.S. at Drexel, Sandi was named the Bibliographic Services Librarian at the Ambler Campus Library. In that role, she has been deeply involved in the Ambler campus and its library as well as in many services and activities on the main campus. She has been very active professionally in regional and national library organizations. Since September 2006, she has served as the Interim Head of Suburban Campus Libraries.

Sandi looks forward to continuing her work with faculty and students at both the Ambler and Tyler campuses. She can be contacted at sandi@temple.edu or by telephone at 267-468-8645.

Larry P. Alford, Dean of University Libraries

Dr. Diane Turner is New Curator of Blockson Collection

Today Dr. Diane D. Turner joins the Temple University Libraries as curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection.

Please see an announcement from the university’s Office of Communications for more details about her appointment.

I welcome Dr. Turner to our staff, and I greatly look forward to working with her.

Larry P. Alford, Dean of University Libraries