C-Minor Moods: Chamber Music of Strauss and Fauré

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

12:00–12:50 PM | Paley Library Lecture Hall

Celine Jeong Kim, violin

Shannon Merlino, viola

Chen Chen, cello

Nam Hoang Nguyen, piano


Richard Strauss, 1864–1949

Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 13 (excerpts)

  • Allegro
  • Andante


Gabriel Fauré, 1845–1924

Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15

  • Allegro molto moderato
  • Scherzo (Allegro vivo)
  • Adagio
  • Finale (Allegro molto)

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.

Nineteenth-century composers, Beethoven in particular, had particularly complex relationship with the key of C minor. In his monumental, five-volume Oxford History of Western Music, eminent music historian Richard Taruskin observes that Beethoven’s “C-minor mood” (a term coined by the late Joseph Kerman) has remained “a touchstone of music’s full potential within the European fine-art tradition.” The key is well-known for its mood swings, from abject moments of Beethoven’s “Pathétique” piano sonata, Op. 13, to ecstatic heights in the finale of his fifth symphony, Op. 67, where doom and gloom are irrevocably dispersed by electrifying jolts of C-major fanfares, scales, and batteries of thickly-textured chords. The influence of Beethoven’s C-minor symphony was so pronounced that few nineteenth-century composers dared approach this hallowed terrain in their symphonic works. Brahms bravely took up the task with his first symphony, his Op. 68, though pressure to follow in Beethoven’s footsteps drove him to labor on its movements for two decades: while the first known sketches date from 1854, it was not premiered until 1876.

Richard Strauss in a photo dated October 20, October 1886, almost a year after the premiere of his piano quartet, Op. 13. Public Domain.

The music of Brahms held enormous sway over a young Richard Strauss, who later characterized his early works as products of his Brahmsschwärmerei, his infatuation with Brahms. Many of the younger Strauss’s works were cast in a Brahmsian mold and bear influences of the elder composer’s penchant for dense textures and contrapuntal devices. And yet, they were far from derivative. Movements of the quartet heard on today’s program were penned in 1884 only a few years before Strauss embarked upon a new stylistic path with his celebrated tone poem Don Juan, Op. 20. His aptitude for constructing dramatic tension through manipulations of texture and harmony is evident from the first page of the Op. 13 quartet which begins in media res, dropping listeners into what seems like the middle or end of an idea rather than the beginning of one. This brief and understated reverie is upended, almost immediately, with an eruption of texture—marked fortissimo and appassionato—that propels the movement into its main idea and main key, C minor.

But Strauss’s C minor is restless: a cadence in the relative E-flat major (relative because the key signature of three flats “looks like” C minor) veers toward G-flat major without warning (a mediant relationship in theory-speak), which is then re-spelled enharmonically (the equivalent of a musical homonym) as F-sharp major. As before, this luminous moment is short-lived and storms back into minor—C-sharp minor, that is—with a violin melody fitted over galloping piano accompaniment. The angst is briefly dispelled in the latter half of the movement by rays of C major, but the minor mood generally prevails—one could easily mistake this for Brahms! Yet for all the resemblances to Strauss’s formative models, there is an emotional and impassioned intensity in both this and the third movement, a richly expressive “Andante,” that mark Strauss as a distinct voice. However, the most striking contrast between Strauss’s C minor and C major would have to wait another decade until he penned the opening of Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, immortalized in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Gabriel Fauré photographed by Emile Tourtin in 1875, around the time he began drafting his piano quartet, Op. 15. Public Domain, courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

As evidenced by the opening measures of his piano quartet, Op. 15, the “C-minor moods” of Gabriel Fauré were shaped by his exposure to the colors of modal harmonies gleaned from years of improvising plainchant accompaniments as an organist. His fondness for deft modulations and long, singing lines—one would expect nothing less from a respected composer of mélodie—once compelled Marcel Proust to characterize Fauré’s style as “dangerous intoxication”! The first movement of Op. 15, marked “Allegro molto moderato,” opens with a folklike melody played by the strings with a sturdy piano backbeat which makes for a rather jaunty effect; later, there are even a few jazzy episodes that seem to foreshadow Gershwin. The rhythmic energy of the first movement is carried into the second movement, a scherzo, whose nimble melody and pizzicato accompaniment are contrasted with expansive melodic arcs.

The third movement, marked by the increasing complexity of the piano part, begins with the same harmonic richness of the first two movements. These colors gradually fade, leaving the movement’s conclusion covered by a thick pall of C-minor. The effect is at once tragic, yet hauntingly beautiful. The fourth and final movement begins in the same low range where the previous movement left off, though now with a running C-minor arpeggiation reminiscent of the final movement of Beethoven’s “Pathétique” sonata. Like the trajectories of Beethoven’s fifth and Brahms’s first symphonies, the final movement of Fauré’s quintet offers a narrative progression of tragedy to triumph, of darkness to light that finally breaks through in the last few minutes with soaring strings buoyed by cascading arpeggiations in the piano part.

Though there is no direct evidence to suggest that Strauss and Fauré were as apprehensive about C minor as Brahms, their essays in this particular key nevertheless offer ways of hearing this nineteenth-century topos in their own respective ways. The relative ease with which they depart from the period’s formal and harmonic conventions also serve as markers of the new paths they would later explore, as well as the new directions and styles that appeared in this liminal space between the dusk of Romanticism and dawn of modernism.


Violinist Celine Jeong Kim graduated from Seoul National University of Music in Korea and has received awards in numerous competitions including the Busan Munhwa Broadcasting Music Competition, Mozart International Competition, and the Osaka International Music Competition. She has also appeared as a soloist with an international roster of orchestras including the Yongin Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian Symphony Orchestra, and Hankook Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she participates frequently in the Moritzburg Festival (Germany) and Seoul International Music Festivals. While at Seoul National University, she was active in leading the Agnus Dei Ensemble in an effort to raise awareness for pediatric cancers. In 2013, she performed as Concertmaster of the World Bridge Symphony Orchestra with Deutsche Oper Berlin. Ms. Kim currently studies with Dr. Eduard Schmieder at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Born and raised in the greater Philadelphia area, Shannon Merlino began violin studies at the age of nine, earning her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance at Rutgers University as a student of Matthew Reichert and Lenuta Ciulei. She continued her violin studies as a scholarship student at Mannes College, earning a Master of Music degree while studying with Lewis Kaplan. Finally she completed doctoral coursework under Mikhail Kopelman at Rutgers University. After making the decision to focus primarily on viola, she began private studies with Kerri Ryan and is now in her second year of doctoral studies at Temple University. Her competition awards include second place in both the Miami String Quartet and South Orange Symphony competitions, and her solo credits include several appearances with the Lustig Dance Company. She has appeared in recitals as both soloist and chamber musician throughout the New York City metropolitan area, and maintains an active freelance performance career in the Philadelphia area as both modern and Baroque violist. Ms. Merlino has also given pre-concert talks on viola technique and pedagogy, most notably at the Library of Congress. Ms. Merlino performs on a viola by Clifford Hoing and a bow by Malcolm Taylor of W. E. Hill and Sons.

Chen Chen is a doctoral cello student of Professor Jeffrey Solow at Temple University. She previously studied with Mark Kosower at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she received a Professional Studies Certificate and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in performance. Past teachers include Merry Peckham, Richard Weiss, Natalia Pavlutskaya, Alexander Ivashkin, and Jin Zhang. Additionally, Chen has a foothold in the world of journalism: her interview  with cellist Yo-Yo Ma was published in the spring 2014 issue of Mandarin Quarterly, Chicago edition. Chen has participated in many prestigious music programs with fellowships and scholarships, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute, the International Holland Music Sessions, Banff Music Centre for the Arts, and the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop. Chen has also participated in  masterclasses with Itzhak Perlman, Steven Isserlis, Colin Carr, Raphael Wallfisch, Joel Krosnick, Andres Diaz, Reinhard Latzko, Lluis Claret, Maria Kliegel, Peter Wiley, and Alisa Weilerstein, as well as  the Tokyo, Takács, Jupiter, Miró, St. John’s, London, Haydn and Chilingirian String Quartets. As cellist, chamber musician, Baroque cellist, and dancer, Chen has appeared in numerous renowned venues: Buckingham Palace, Wigmore Hall, LSO St. Luke’s, Windsor Castle, The Kennedy Center, Severance Hall, Verizon Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Banff Centre, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. Beyond her musical activities, she enjoys community engagement, hiking, reading, and writing. She is a frequent contributor to Mandarin Quarterly.

Born in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nam Hoang Nguyen studied piano at Vietnam Academy of Music before matriculating at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance where he is presently a doctoral student in Piano Performance. His principal teachers have included Ha Thu Tran, Harvey Wedeen, and Ching-Yun Hu; he also studied collaborative piano with Lambert Orkis. Besides playing traditional piano repertoire, Nguyen enjoys playing chamber music, participating in different ensembles of various sizes, as well as studying early keyboard music. He also has interest in music research, and has lectured on Vietnamese music for piano.

References and Further Reading

Caballero, Carlo. Fauré and French Musical Aesthetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Frisch, Walter. German Modernism: Music and the Arts. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005.

Keller, James M. Chamber Music: A Listener’s Guide. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Kerman, Joseph. “Beethoven’s Minority.” In Write All These Down: Essays on Music, 217–237. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1994.

Radice, Mark A. Chamber Music: An Essential History. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2012.

Smith, Peter H. “Intertextual Resonances: Tragic Expression, Dimensional Counterpoint, and the Great C-Minor Tradition.” In Expressive Forms in Brahms’s Instrumental Music: Structure and Meaning in His Werther Quartet, 234–284. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2005.

Taruskin, Richard. Music in the Nineteenth Century. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Trezise, Simon, ed. The Cambridge Companion to French Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Youmans, Charles, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Richard Strauss. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.


Chad Fothergill is a doctoral student in musicology at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, and is the graduate assistant for the concert series, Beyond the Notes, at Temple University Libraries. He is also the editorial assistant for the journal Eighteenth-Century Music (Cambridge University Press). In addition to research and teaching, he remains active as an organist in solo, collaborative, and liturgical settings in the Philadelphia and New York City areas.

The series Beyond the Notes is supported by Temple University Libraries and Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.

The post C-Minor Moods: Chamber Music of Strauss and Fauré appeared first on Performing Arts News.

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An Interview with Writer Kathryn Ionata

Photo by Stephen Brown

On Tuesday, February 20, Temple alumna and writer Kathryn Ionata will participate in the Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series as a featured artist in our Midday Arts Series. Join us at 12:30 PM in the Paley Library Lecture Hall (1210 Polett Walk, Ground Floor) to hear Kathryn read. All programs are free and open to all.

I had the opportunity to speak with Kathryn ahead of her reading, and ask her about her time as a Temple student, writing in multiple genres, and what she thinks you should be reading.


Beckie: Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences as a Temple student? When did you know you wanted to study writing?

Kathryn: I actually applied to Temple as a psychology major. Although I had always wanted to be a writer, I viewed that desire as separate from any academic or career interests I had. This may have been because as much as I loved reading and taking creative writing classes in school, I wasn’t crazy about Beowulf, for example, and mistakenly generalized the idea of an English major in that way. Once I visited Temple, I talked to professors about Hyphen and the Philadelphia Writers Conference and everything else that was exciting about writing and I realized that this was what I needed to be doing. I loved the electricity of the campus (and still do!) so much so that I decided to go for my MFA in Fiction, also at Temple, after I graduated. And I had a teaching assistantship, which is when I realized how much I like teaching as well as writing.

B: It sounds like Temple was a great place for you to develop as a writer. In terms of your work, you write and publish across genres, like poetry and fiction. How do you know when an idea is a poem or a story? What is your process like?

K: That’s a really good question and one that is tough to answer. I think the best way I can describe it is that poems come to me as more abstract feelings or moments that I wouldn’t be able to convey with a plot. Stories come to me as a larger concept, something more based in character and circumstance. And I suppose flash fiction is somewhere in between! Sometimes the same inspiration stays with me and lends itself to different genres.

B: Speaking of inspiration—set the scene for us! You are writing, and the setting is perfect. Where are you and why?

K: A perfect writing day means that I will have conquered that terrible combination of procrastination and anxiety and the words are coming easily and it feels natural rather than forced. I’ve gotten some good writing done on the third floor of Paley library in those orange and wooden chairs. I’ve also got a spot at home next to a window where I work well. (Also, I think eating candy while I write helps. I’m sure a dentist would disagree).

B: You mentioned earlier how much you like teaching. How do you, as a writer, approach the teaching of writing?

K: I try to approach it with empathy, because I know the terror of showing something personal to others and not knowing if they will like it or not. I try to convey the idea that writing is a process we rarely perfect on the first try, and that there are many different, legitimate kinds of writers and writing. I also encourage my students to immerse themselves in other art forms, whether that takes the form of music, visual art, film, or anything else.

B: What do you consider required reading for students who want to study writing?

K: There are a few classic short stories that you’ll find in many creative writing classes (including some of mine) such as “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver and “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin. But the lessons they contain about structure and dialogue and character can be found in a great many other pieces. More than any list of texts, I think what’s most important is to read widely. Read writers of different races, ethnicities, and genders. Read fiction, poetry, and the unclassifiable. Here are some of my favorite authors and texts across genres that I’ve assigned recently or hope to assign soon:

  • Danez Smith, especially Don’t Call Us Dead
  • Kim Addonizio, especially What Is This Thing Called Love
  • Alice Munro, “Passion”
  • Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”
  • Dan Chaon, “The Bees”
  • Helen Ellis, “The Wainscoting Wars”
  • Sam Weiner, “Your Mass Shooting Thoughts and Prayers Are Accidentally Going to the Angry God of a Distant Planet”

B: I’m definitely going to check those recommendations out! Thanks for your time, Kathryn, and we are looking forward to your reading next week.

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Future Proofing Civic Data

Exploring the challenges of preserving open civic data for the long term

This past year, Temple University Libraries received a Knight Foundation Grant, “Knight News Challenge on Libraries,” to lead an exploratory research project, Future Proofing Civic Data, investigating the challenges of long-term preservation for open civic datasets.

Open civic data portals, such as OpenDataPhilly in Philadelphia, have been a growing trend in cities, states, and national governments over the last decade. Many governments and other civic partners began developing open civic data initiatives in order to make data originating from governmental agencies and civic organizations easily accessible online for immediate consultation, as well as for data reuse. Datasets can include anything from election results to operating budgets to an inventory of all the trees in a city. The hope is that these portals can help bridge the gap between citizens and government and stimulate civic engagement by making data of relevance to citizens easily accessible online.

However, portals do not always have fully formed or fully implemented plans to ensure the long-term preservation of those datasets, and best practices are yet to emerge in that domain.

The Temple Library project team interviewed over a dozen stakeholders about their use cases and needs and looked at several open civic data initiatives in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh, to compare practices and examine real-life examples. We wrote up our findings in a white paper where we explore ten important factors that need to be taken into consideration, if we are to tackle long-term preservation of civic data successfully. We also look at how libraries could take the lead, or at least participate in the process.

Please see the full white paper for more details.

The project team was comprised of Joe Lucia (PI), Rachel Appel, Delphine Khanna, Chad Nelson, Margery Sly, and Gretchen Sneff.

Author Dotty Brown to Discuss Boathouse Row and the History of Rowing in Philadelphia

Boathouse Row at night, photo courtesy April Saul

Boathouse Row is one of Philadelphia’s iconic must-see spots and a National Historic Landmark. But how much do you actually know about its history and the evolution of rowing in Philadelphia?

Join us Thursday, February 8 at 3:30 PM at Paley Library to hear Dotty Brown, author of Boathouse Row: Waves of Change in the Birthplace of American Rowing, speak about this fascinating history.

Dotty is an avid rower and former editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, and her book, published by Temple University Press, features beautiful photographs and provides a comprehensive history of rowing in Philadelphia as it evolved into the sport we watch along the Schuylkill River today. For a preview of Dotty’s talk, check out this video.

Brian Perkins, head coach for the Temple men’s crew team, will be on hand to introduce Dotty. Copies of Boathouse Row will be for sale in the lobby, and Dotty will be signing books after the program.

This program is free and open to all and takes place in the Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk, Ground Floor. We hope to see you there!

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“A Finely Prepared Musician of Very Unusual Ability”

Pianist Clipper Erickson and the Music of R. Nathaniel Dett

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 | 12:00–12:50 PM | Paley Library Lecture Hall

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.



In 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson—sometimes referred to as the “father of black history”—declared the second week of February as “Negro History Week,” a nod to the customary celebrations within African-American communities for Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass that marked their respective birthdays on February 12 and February 14. Later that same month, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra performed a transcription of Nathaniel Dett’s Juba, the concluding movement of his 1912 piano suite In the Bottoms. Accompanying program notes lauded Dett as “the foremost among living composers of Negro music, and the first American to utilize Negro folk tunes for classical development.”

R. Nathaniel Dett, 1882–1943, in an undated photograph, ca. 1920, from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Public Domain.

This projection of Dett as figurative musical alchemist synthesizing folk and classic elements followed him throughout his career as a pianist, composer, and choral conductor. As we celebrate Black History Month in February 2018—an expansion of “Negro History Week” first proposed in 1969—it is fitting that we are treated to a recital of Dett’s piano music by Clipper Erickson, whose 2015 release My Cup Runneth Over: The Complete Piano Works of R. Nathaniel Dett was recently featured as an Editor’s Choice album by Gramophone UK.

In a richly-detailed study of Dett’s life and works, Anne Key Simpson describes the composer’s birthplace of Drummondville, Ontario, as “a slave-founded town … largely populated by former slaves and their families, many of whom had arrived there via the Underground Railroad.” Dett first learned to play by ear, but was soon compelled—sometimes by his mother’s peach tree switch—to read notation when it was found that he had been mimicking his teacher’s playing. From 1903 to 1908, Dett studied at Oberlin where he won the admiration of the faculty. In a sterling letter of recommendation, one professor wrote:

As a pianist he is very brilliant, his public performances always creating enthusiasm. His finger technique is finished and his natural musical ability is guided by the spirit of genius. He is a hard worker and a person of the highest character … a finely prepared musician of very unusual ability.

Dett’s meticulous preparation and impeccable character served him well in his pursuit of musical excellence—he later studied at Columbia, Harvard, Eastman, and with Nadia Boulanger—but conversely marked him in some circles as restrained and scholarly. For much of his career, his critical reception bore traces of tension between acculturation and enculturation. In his 2012 book Racial Uplift and American Music, 1878–1943, musicologist Lawrence Schenbeck summarizes the aesthetic approach of Dett and many contemporary artists:

Within the cultural sphere, black elites often resorted to an aesthetic based on European models as a vehicle for cultural vindication. Their response to white America’s pervasive minstrelsy-based constructions of blackness was to champion African American art that, while safely grounded in forms and styles derived from Shakespeare or Dvořák, was morally positive and politically inoffensive.

The cover of Dett’s Magnolia suite published in 1912 by the Clayton F. Summy Company of Chicago. Public Domain.

In Dett’s hands, melodies and images of African American folk songs and spirituals were grafted onto Western European forms. Though his piano suites carry characteristic titles—Magnolia, In the Bottoms, Cinnamon Grove—they brim with characteristics of predecessor composer-pianists such as Chopin’s expansive lyricism, Gottschalk’s programmatic virtuosity, and Debussy’s colorful harmonies. Mammy, the fourth movement of Magnolia, takes shape as the most nostalgic of nocturnes while the second movement of Cinnamon Grove, an arresting “Adagio cantabile” in D-flat major, can easily hold its own among any number of nineteenth-century compositions known as religious adagios.

photo of Clipper Erickson“Finely prepared musician” is also a fitting (and severely understated) description for Clipper Erickson. Following his debut at age nineteen as soloist with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, the Los Angeles Times wrote: “he played with extraordinary dash and power and never let flamboyance obscure art.” Erickson studied at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and Indiana University, and has won top prizes at international competitions such as the Busoni and William Kapell. He performs as soloist with orchestras throughout the United States in venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Space in New York, and serves on the faculties of Westminster Conservatory in Princeton, Temple University, and Rutgers University.

The February 7 performance by Erickson begins at 12:00 PM in the Paley Library lecture hall, 1210 West Berks Street. The program is free and open to the public. And lest you cannot attend, know that Dett was also a poet—his works can be both read and heard!


“The Rubinstein Staccato Etude”

Nathaniel Dett


Staccato! Staccato!

Leggier agitato.

In and out does the melody twist;

Unique proposition,

in this composition.

Alas! For the player who hasn’t the wrist!


References and Further Reading

Brooks, Tim. Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890–1919. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

“Robert Nathaniel Dett” [Obituary]. Negro History Bulletin 7.2 (1943): 45, 47.

Schenbeck, Lawrence. Racial Uplift and American Music, 1878–1943. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2012.

Simpson, Anne Key. Follow Me: The Life and Music of R. Nathaniel Dett. Metuchen, New Jersey, and London: Scarecrow Press, 1993.


Chad Fothergill is a doctoral student in musicology at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, and is the graduate assistant for the concert series, Beyond the Notes, at Temple University Libraries. He is also the editorial assistant for the journal Eighteenth-Century Music (Cambridge University Press). In addition to research and teaching, he remains active as an organist in solo, collaborative, and liturgical settings in the Philadelphia and New York City areas. He may be reached at chad.fothergill@temple.edu.


The series Beyond the Notes is supported by Temple University Libraries and Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.


The post “A Finely Prepared Musician of Very Unusual Ability” appeared first on Performing Arts News.

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Dear Temple, Welcome Back! Love, the Libraries

It may be a new year and the start of a new semester, but the Libraries are here, as always, to help you learn and succeed, with materials, resources, and a whole slew of free academic and cultural programs.

Paley Library, photo courtesy Chris Kendig

For example, did you know you could save money and borrow your course textbooks right here in the Libraries? Check out Course Reserves and see if your instructor has placed any of your course materials on reserve.

From bottom left: Librarians Sarah Jones, Latanya Jenkins, and Urooj Nizami share information about library resources with students. Photo courtesy Chris Kendig.

As a member of the Temple community, you also have access to the Libraries’ vast collection of databases for your research, including Nexis Uni, which is back by popular demand!

Not sure where to start? We have comprehensive Research Guides for each of your course subjects, as well as our How Do I…? guides for help with basic tasks and services.

And don’t forget about the Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series, where you can find a variety of free programs, concerts, workshops, and more to keep you intellectually engaged this semester.

Here are a few more tips to help you start the new year off right!

  • Check out our Media Services, where you can borrow DVDs, audio and camera equipment, Chromebooks, iPads, and more.
  • Use the newly streamlined Library Search to discover books, ebooks, articles, and much more.
  • Discover who the Subject Librarian is for each of your courses and use our Ask a Librarian service to get in touch.
  • Explore all the cool things you can do at the Digital Scholarship Center, including 3D printing!
  • The Libraries are here for all your Printing needs.
  • This story from a fall issue of Nutshell has even MORE tips!

A workshop in the Digital Scholarship Center, photo courtesy Brae Howard

The Priest and the Prophetess, Part 1

Professor Terry Rey

Professor Terry Rey


Temple Religion professor Terry Rey is the author The Priest and the Prophetess: Abbe Ouviere, Romaine Riviere, and the Revolutionary Atlantic World. In The Priest and the Prophetess he tells unlikely story about Abbe Ouviere, a politically astute, shapeshifting French priest, and Romaine Riviere, a religiously-inspired, cross-dressing, slave-owning Black military leader, whose lives briefly intersected in the chaotic early days of the Haitian Revolution at the latter’s coffee plantation turned mountain redoubt. Their encounter spanned a few days in which they celebrated the Catholic mass and concluded a military agreement. The fates of Abbe Ouviere, later known as Doctor Pascalis, and Romaine Riviere, whose nom de guerre was Romaine la Prophetess, turned out very differently. While Romaine was soon lost to history, the Abbe made his way to Philadelphia where he launched his medical career by caring for the sick during the 1793 yellow fever epidemic.

In part one of this interview, Professor Rey tells the story of Abbe Ouviere and Romaine Riviere at the start of the Haitian Revolution. In part two, we will follow the Abbe as he sheds his priestly past to become Doctor Pascalis of Philadelphia and New York.

Terry Rey and I spoke on September 25, 2017.

—Fred Rowland

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The Priest and the Prophetess, Part 2

Terry Rey

In the second part of my interview with Professor Terry Rey on his new book, The Priest and the Prophetess: Abbe Ouviere, Romaine Riviere, and the Revolutionary Atlantic World, we leave Haiti and the Haitian Revolution behind. Romaine la Prophetess has disappeared and will soon perish in the flames of the revolution. That terrible conflict will continue alongside its European cousin, the French Revolution, until the early years of the next century. A hemisphere away, an exhausted Felix Alexander Pascalis Ouviere washes up on Philadelphia’s shores, having survived an attack on the British brig Catherine by a French privateer in Delaware Bay. Among his few possessions is a letter of introduction addressed to George Washington. Soon Dr. Pascalis will be treating yellow fever victims in that miasmic summer of 1793 in the company of such luminaries as Benjamin Rush. Abbe Ouviere is nowhere to be found.

Here is part two of my interview with Professor Rey. We spoke on September 25, 2017. I’m Fred Rowland.

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A Look Back at Fall 2017 Beyond the Page Programs

Thanks to those of you who attended and participated in our Beyond the Page public programming series this semester. It was a pleasure sharing these cultural and academic experiences with you. We hope to see you again in the spring! In the meantime, enjoy this look back at moments from our fall lineup of performances, readings, panels, and more.

Audience members enjoy Professor Jeffrey Solow’s performance of the Bach Cello Suites, as part of our Beyond the Notes noontime concert series.

Photo courtesy Brae Howard


Professor Laura Spagnoli opens our first Midday Arts Series program with a poetry reading.

Photo courtesy Brae Howard


Paley Library hosted its first-ever live podcast recording with Temple professors and the hosts of Book Fight!, Tom McAllister and Mike Ingram. We were also joined by guests p.e. garcia and Jason Rekulak.

Photo courtesy Chris Kendig


Professor David Organ and graduate students Keisha Weil and Dana I. Muniz Pacheco participate on the semester’s second Chat in the Stacks panel, which explored the Dakota Pipeline, climate change, and environmental racism.

Photo courtesy Brae Howard


After speaking about their new Temple University Press book, Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City, authors and urban observers Nathaniel Popkin and Peter Woodall sign books.

Photo courtesy Brae Howard


Klein College of Media and Communication students share their video work and research in two new media forms: 360° video and video for augmented reality. This was the final screening event for Media Studies and Production courses 4741: Emergent Media Production and 8741: Cybermedia Workshop with Prof. Laura Zaylea, in an innovative collaboration with MSP 4446: Psychological Processing of Media with Dr. Matthew Lombard.

Photo courtesy Brae Howard

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Therapy Dogs, Snacks, and More at Paley Library During Final Exams

Visit Paley Library between December 12th and 19th for our semi-annual Crunch Time Café and let us help you relax and refuel during study days and final exams. Everyone’s favorite therapy dogs will be back in action, so swing by and check out familiar and new furry faces! The full list of events is included below, all of which will take place in the Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk, Ground Floor.

Get Your Study On
Tuesday, December 12, 6:00–8:00 PM
Take a break at the end of your first study day and join us for healthy snacks and appetizers. You got this!

Crafts & Games
Wednesday, December 13, Noon–4:00PM
You’ve been studying hard—unwind at the Libraries with crafts and games the day before final exams begin.

Destress with Dogs
Friday, December 15, Noon–1:30 PM
Monday, December 18, 10:30 AM–Noon
As exams are in full swing, can you imagine anything better than taking a break with cuddly, sweet therapy dogs? Neither can we! Stop by to hang out and destress with some furry friends.

The End is Near!
Tuesday, December 19, 7:30–11:00 AM
You are so close! Join us one last time for breakfast treats and coffee to help you power through to the end of exams and propel you toward a much needed winter break.

Starting at 8:00 AM on December 7 through 8:00 PM on December 20, the Paley Library goes 24/7 for final exams. You can also book study spaces ahead of time at paleystudy.temple.edu.


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