Spring “Beyond the Page” Series further explores the American Idea

The Libraries are now finalizing our spring public programming “Beyond the Page” series. Once again this semester’s talks, panels, lectures, and programs explore the “American Idea.” The series kicks off on Friday, February 8 at the Great Court in Mitten Hall with a book talk by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer on their recent publication, Envisioning Emancipation. Other programs include conversations on American main streets, American drinking traditions, and a special National Library Week program on Walt Whitman, American Icon. We will also have exhibitions on civil rights activist and Philadelphia hero, Father Paul Washington (at the Blockson Collection) and American Poetry (at Paley Library).

Here’s all of what we’ve got to offer this spring:

Spring 2013 Public Programs

  • Envisioning Emancipation: A Book Talk and Signing With Deb Willis and Barbara Krauthamer

February 8, 3:00 PM, Mitten Hall, Great Court, 1913 N. Broad Street

In their pioneering book, Envisioning Emancipation, renowned photographic historian Deborah Willis and historian of slavery Barbara Krauthamer have amassed 150 photographs—some never before published—from the antebellum days of the 1850s through the New Deal era of the 1930s. The authors vividly display the seismic impact of emancipation on African Americans born before and after the Proclamation, providing a perspective on freedom and slavery and a way to understand the photos as documents of engagement, action, struggle and aspiration. Envisioning Emancipation illustrates what freedom looked like for black Americans in the Civil War era. From photos of the enslaved on plantations and African American soldiers and camp workers in the Union Army to Juneteenth celebrations, slave reunions and portraits of black families and workers in the American South, the images in this book challenge perceptions of slavery. They show not only what the subjects emphasized about themselves but also the ways Americans of all colors and genders opposed slavery and marked its end. Filled with powerful images of lives too often ignored or erased from historical records, Envisioning Emancipationprovides a new perspective on American culture.

  •  On American Main Streets: A Conversation with Miles Orvell and Sandy Sorlien

February 21, 2:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall 1210 Polett Walk

What is an American Main Street? Is it a memory or image that has been perpetuated through American writing and art? A real space within new urbanist town planning? Or is it a place where some are welcome and others are shunned? Perhaps it is all of the above. Join us to examine these real and imagined notions of American main streets with Miles Orvell and Sandy Sorlien. Orvell is the author of The Death and Life of Main Street: Small Towns in American Memory, Space, and Community (University of North Carolina Press 2012) and professor of English and American studies at Temple. In 2009, he received the Bode-Pearson Prize for lifetime achievement, awarded by the American Studies Association. Sorlien is the author of Fifty Houses: Images from the American Road (Johns Hopkins 2002), and is finishing a book about Main Streets in America with the working title The Heart of Town.

Annual Women’s History Program at the Blockson Collection

  • Women Activists in Philadelphia: From Civil Rights to Black Power

March 7, 3:00 PM, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Sullivan Hall, 1330 Polett Walk

Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection’s annual program honoring women who have changed history. This year’s presenters and honorees include veterans of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, all of whom reside in Philadelphia. Join us as these women share their moving and powerful stories about their roles as activists.

  • Drinking History: How Beverages have Changed America

March 26, 3:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk What is American drink? Is it warmed-over traditional British beverages, such as tea and ale? Or is it versions of ethnic beverages brought by successive waves of immigrants—sangria, tequila, bubble tea? Or is it the fiercely marketed creations of America’s beverage industry—Kool-Aid, Snapple, Coors, Coca-Cola? Andrew F. Smith, author of the just released Drinking History: 15 Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages (Columbia University Press) will discuss how beverages have changed American history and how Americans have invented, adopted, modified, and commercialized tens of thousands of beverages. Involved in their creation and promotion were entrepreneurs and environmentalists, bartenders and bottlers, politicians and lobbyists, organized and unorganized criminals, German and Italian immigrants, advertisers and consumers, prohibitionists and medical professionals, and everyday Americans in love with their brew.

  • Walt Whitman: An American Icon

April 18, 3:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

Walt Whitman’s legacy—iconoclast, celebrity, and the father of American poetry—is unparalleled in its influence on American writing and culture. Join David Haven Blake and Michael Robertson, professors of English at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and co-editors of Walt Whitman, Where the Future Becomes Present to discuss the impact that Whitman has had on American culture—an impact that reaches far beyond his influence on poetry. Blake is also the chair of the English Department at TCNJ, and author of Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity. Robertson is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships and author of the award-winning book Worshipping Walt: The Whitman Disciples (Princeton UP, 2008). This program will be moderated by Katherine Henry, associate professor of English at Temple.

This program takes place during National Library Week. Join us, and celebrate Temple’s Libraries!

  • Annual Library Prize for Undergraduate Research and Library Prize for Undergraduate Research on Sustainability and the Environment Awards Ceremony

May 2, 4:00 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall

Please join us as we celebrate the best in undergraduate research at the annual awards ceremony for Library Prizes. This year’s winners will present their research, and afterwards, we will celebrate their tremendous accomplishments. Join us to finish the semester with our signature program at Paley Library.

  • Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Honoring Father Paul Washington Day

June 19, 3:00 PM, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Sullivan Hall, 1330 Polett Walk

Join us to celebrate the life and legacy of Father Paul Washington on Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Father Washington, the rector of the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia from 1962 until he accepted emeritus status in 1987, is part of the legacy of resistance and perseverance symbolized in the history Juneteenth.  Washington was a consistent voice in defense of the disenfranchised. He served on the city’s Human Relations Commission for seven years beginning in 1964, opened his church to the first Black Power Convention in 1968, ordained 11 women to the Episcopalian priesthood against the standard rules of the church in 1974 and has been called “he high priest of the progressive movement in Philadelphia.”


Upcoming and Ongoing Programs

  • Chat in the Stacks

The Libraries and the Faculty Senate Committee on the Status of Faculty of Color continue to host an engaging series of panels on timely topics with faculty from across the university. Join us at 2:30 PM on March 28 to learn about the history of African American women in the media. A second spring chat will be scheduled soon.

  • Temple Book Club

Join us the Temple Book Club returns this spring. On March 6 at noon we will discuss this year’s One Book, One Philadelphia selection, The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka. This PEN/Faulkner Award Winner and National Book Award finalist tells the tragic story of the Japanese “picture brides” who travelled from Japan to San Francisco in the 1990s. Now in its 11th year, the One Book, One Philadelphia initiative promotes reading, literacy and libraries, encouraging the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through a single book. On April 3rd,again at noon, the Book Club will discuss National Book Award Winner Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Could Cure the World


Co-Sponsored Programs

The Libraries support a number of additional lectures, forums, and symposia across campus every semester, helping to build dialogues across campus.

 Beginning Design: A National Conference

  • Keynote Lecture with Brian MacKay-Lyons

Saturday, April 13, Alter Hall, Room 31

Beginning Design conference keynote speaker Brian MacKay-Lyons was born and raised in the Arcadia village of Novia Scotia. After receiving his BA from the Technical University of Novia Scotia and his Master of Architecture and Urban Design from UCLA, MacKay-Lyons returned to Novia Scotia to make a contribution to place where his Arcadian ancestors had lived for over 400 years. Since then, he has built an international reputation for design excellence, confirmed by 67 awards, including six Canadian Architect Awards.  His work has been published in 164 books, journals, and monographs including The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture.

  •  “Dance the Orange”: A cross-disciplinary symposium on the intersections of Visual Art, Music, and Dance

Saturday, April 20, Conwell Dance Theater, Temple University 

This symposium will present cross-disciplinary conversations and performances coinciding with an exhibition of the works of Charles Searles (1937-2004), an influential yet understudied African American artist who practiced in Philadelphia and New York. A number of dancers, artists, musicians, and historians will participate. This program is organized by Prof. Susanna Gold, Department of Art History, Tyler School of Art.



—The Libraries and Temple Contemporary continue their partnership, presenting programs that creatively re-imagine the social function of art through questions of local relevance and international significance. This spring we will co-sponsor a February 7 program with poet Jen Bervin and other events throughout the season.

—The Libraries support The Center for the Humanities at Temple University’s Digital Humanities in Theory series. Upcoming speakers include John Palfrey of Harvard University (February 6), Kathleen Fitzpatrick of Pomona College (March 7), and William Noel of the University of Pennsylvania (April 25). All programs take place in the CHAT Lounge on the 10th Floor of Gladfelter Hall.


Spring 2013 Exhibitions

At Paley Library

  • Some American Poetry

This spring the Special Collections Research Center explores 20th century alternative and small press American poetry as told through the many archival and rare book collections in its holdings. This journey through American verse begins with Philadelphia-region forefathers Walt Whitman and Edgar Allen Poe.  Highlighting the works of Lyn Lishfin, the trailblazer known as the “Queen of the Small Presses;” Hawaiian Tony Quagliano, author of such sharp-tongued missives on language such as Semiotic Self-Deconstruction and Get Out of Poetry by Sundown; New York Poet’s Cooperative member John Burnette Payne; and Philadelphia-native-turned-West-Coast-vanguard Dottie Grossman, the exhibition will also feature regional poets and editors Louis McKee, Joe Farley, Jessie Sampler, and Robert Abrahams.

At the Blockson Collection

  • The Legacy Father Paul Washington

Father Paul Washington was a champion for the oppressed.  This exhibition features items from Father Paul Washington’s collection housed in the Blockson Collection that chronicle his legacy.


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