Hey Temple Grads: Visit Us During Alumni Weekend!

Congrats to all the new Temple graduates! Did you know you still have lifelong access to the Libraries as a Temple alum? Services include borrowing privileges, entry to programs and events, Ask A Librarian reference services, use of electronic resources while on campus, and more.

Photo courtesy Ryan Brandenberg for Temple

Boathouse Row, from the Special Collections Research Center

We also want to invite all alumni back to the Libraries during Alumni Weekend (May 18–20, 2018). We are offering self-guided tours of our current exhibits, which include the Special Collections Research Center’s “Inspired by the Archives: An Exhibition of Student Work,” “Celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Russell Conwell’s Birth,” “Boathouse Row,” and “History of a City: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Urban Archives,” all in Paley Library.

from the Charles L. Blockson Collection

You can also visit the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection to view “The Music of Black Africans in Philadelphia”.

Please note that Paley Library is open all weekend long, while the Blockson Collection is only open during the week.

We can’t wait to see you!

Posted in Uncategorized

So you’re writing a dissertation, Part 3


On Feb 24 2011 I spoke to the Religion Graduate Student (RGS) for the third time. She has now been working on her dissertation for approximately one year. She explained that it was going well but in “fits and starts,” more than she had anticipated. Though it was a little unconventional, she began writing the introduction first because, as she explained, she was having trouble with the overall argument. When she received feedback from her women’s studies group, it was clear that her introduction was not a genuine introduction but different pieces of the chapters she intended to write.

When I asked her to define her topic, it was interesting to hear her say that this used to cause her anxiety. Now she is comfortable in explaining that she is working with an archive, focusing on Nationwide Women’s Program (at the American Friends Service Committee) during 1970 and 1980s. These primary sources will tell us things about blending of the religious and secular in the women’s and the anti-globalization movements.

We talked about the major challenges she was facing, which can be summed up as “time and money.” Struggling to support herself, find time (and mental focus) for her research, while at the same time squeezing some enjoyment out of life takes great effort. We also talked about her various support networks and the roles they play in facilitating her research process and keeping her sane.

This was a fun interview. We laughed a lot. Unfortunately I had to cut some of the laughter due to static…I laugh loudly.

—Fred Rowland

Posted in Uncategorized

Crunch Time Cafe at Paley Library: Therapy Dogs, Yoga, Food, and More!

Visit Paley Library between May 1st and 8th for our semi-annual Crunch Time Café. This is our gift to you to help you relax and refuel during study days and final exams. Read about all the upcoming events, and join us in the Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk, Ground Floor.

Stretch Your Way to Success
Tuesday, May 1, 2:00–3:00 PM
Take a break near the end of your first study day and join us for yoga in Paley Library! Mervin Lumba from Campus Rec will lead us through poses to relieve your stress and help you relax as your prep for exams. All levels welcome. Mats provided.

Crafts & Games
Wednesday, May 2, 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
Thursday, May 3, Noon–1:30 PM
Friday, May 4, 10:00–11:30 AM
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.

Rise and Shine with the Libraries
Monday, May 7, 7:00–11:00 AM
Start your final week of the semester off right with breakfast on us.

Coffee and Pastries for the Win!
Tuesday, May 8, 11:00 AM–Noon
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 summer break.

Starting at 8:00 AM on April 26 through 8:00 PM on May 9, Paley Library is open 24/7. You can also book study spaces ahead of time at paleystudy.temple.edu.




Posted in Uncategorized

Musical Theater @ Temple Library!

Musical Theater banner

Wednesday, April 18th
11AM – 2PM

Wednesday, April 25th
12PM – 2PM

Paley Library Lecture Hall

In 2016 Temple University’s School of Theater, Film and Media Arts inaugurated a new Master of Arts degree program in Musical Theater Studies. Under the leadership of Associate Professor Peter Reynolds (Artistic Director of Mauckingbird Theater Company, Philadelphia), the one-year program prepares candidates for commercial, nonprofit, or educational positions in the musical theater industry. Its students—actors, musicians, and dancers alike—gain valuable experience in aspects of performance, production, and administration. The five graduating students whose work is featured in this installment of Beyond the Notes together represent an impressive array of professional experiences and interests, an early testament to the program’s vitality and commitment to community engagement.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

11 AM–2 PM


Alexandra Garcia

An Exploration of the Musical Theater Ingénue: Roles that Challenge the Historical Stereotypes – Alexandra Garcia 

Alexandra Garcia received a BM in vocal performance from Florida Atlantic University. A trained soprano and an experienced presenter of ingénue roles—more than a mere “damsel in distress”—her thesis examines a collection of ingénue characters whose roles not only present more than meets the eye, but also challenge established historical stereotypes.



Ana Belén Croston

Latinos y Broadway: Nuestras Raíces, Representación y Legado  (Latinos and Broadway: Our Roots, Representation and Legacy) – Ana Belén Croston

Born and raised in Panama City, Panama, Ana Belén Croston holds a BS in Management from Florida State University. She has performed professionally in Panama, including in the Original Panamanian Company production of Hairspray. As an artist, she strives to give voice to those who have been silenced, and leads audiences to explore aspects of acceptance and community. Her MA thesis explores the role of the Latinx community, specifically Latinas, in Broadway musicals. Beginning with Operetta and traveling to the peak of Latinx involvement on Broadway with In The Heights and On Your Feet, her presentation will focus on Latinx characters in musical theater, Latinx performers and their accomplishments, and well as the misinterpretation of the Hispanic and Latinx culture in Broadway musicals.

Further reading:

Dominguez, Robert. “Journal Entry: Hispanics on Broadway,”  Hispanic; Miami Vol. 11, Iss. 1/2, (Jan/Feb 1998): 80-86.

Hoffman, Warren. The Great White Way Race and the Broadway Musical. Piscataway : Rutgers University Press, 2014.

Sandoval-Sanchez, Alberto . José, Can You See?: Latinos On And Off Broadway . U. Wisconsin Press, 1999.

Sandoval Sanchez, Alberto . “West Side Story: A Puerto Rican reading of “America” ” Jump Cut, no. 39, June 1994, pp. 59-66.

Paige, Elaine. Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story. New York :  DK Publishing, 2015

Telgen, Diane. Notable Hispanic American Women. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.


Ashleigh Summers

The African American Actor has Seen the Greatest and Most Consistent Development in the History of Musical Theater – Ashleigh Summers

Throughout the history of Broadway and musical theater, the African American actor has seen the greatest and the most consistent development. However, initial roles constituted an extremely demeaning history, namely in the form of minstrelsy. Her her thesis presentation, Summers examines the historical timeline of the black performer on Broadway, especially how this development has itself been represented in scholarship and reception history.

Summers received her baccalaureate degree in Integrated Studies with concentrations in music and theater from Delaware State University, and aspires to a varied career as a musical theater performer, voice-over artist for children’s cartoons and commercials, as well as a professional singer.

Further reading:

Elam, Harry Justin and Daviid Krasner. African-American performance and theater history.  New York : Oxford University Press 2001

Hill, Errol and James V. Hatch. A History of African American Theater.  New York : Cambridge University Press 2003.

Jackson, Ronald L. Encyclopedia of Identity.  Los Angeles : Sage, 2010

Lane, Stuart. Black Broadway: African Americans on the great white way. Garden City Park, NY : Square One Publishers, 2015.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

12–2 PM



Jackie Leibowitz

Now You Know: How the Dissolve of the Sondheim-Prince Dynasty Shaped Musical Theater – Jackie Leibowitz

In a combination lecture-cabaret, Leibowitz will discuss how the flop of the musical Merrily We Roll Along and subsequent deterioration of Stephen Sondheim and Hal Prince’s legendary collaboration actually led to their respective masterpieces—Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods for Sondheim, and Phantom of the Opera and Parade for Prince. Central to her presentation—under the musical direction of Patrick Tice-Carroll—are some of the big hits that “made” their respective careers after they parted ways, as well as some of the small works that flopped financially, but soared artistically. Leibowitz received her BA in theater from Temple University in 2016, and enjoys an active career as a performer, stage manager, and musical theater historian.

Further reading:

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, a film by Lonny Price.  (documentary)

Prince, Harold. Sense of Occasion. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2017.

Prince, Harold. Contradictions: Notes on Twenty-Six Years in the Theater. New York : Dodd, Mead, 1974.

Six By Sondheim, a film by James Lapine (documentary)

Sondheim, Stephen. Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principals, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes. New York : Knopf, 2010.

Sondheim, Stephen. Look I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes, and Miscellany. London : Virgin Books, 2011.


Mary Fishburne

Rumspringa: Excerpts from an Original Musical about Searching for Love, Meaning, and Community – Mary Fishburne

Closing this year’s Beyond the Notes series is Mary Fishburne and her excerpts from her original work Rumspinga, referring to the Amish right of passage before the Amish (primarily) teenagers elect to either join the church or be shunned from the community. Set nearly a decade after the West Nickel Mines school shooting that took place in Lancaster County in 2006, Fishburne’s work explores topics of forgiveness, simplicity, community, and the Divine—however and whatever it may be. Fishburne received a BM in vocal performance and BA in organizational development from Vanderbilt University and has participated in workshops and productions at, among others, Manhattan School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Broadway Dance Center, several companies in New York City and South Carolina.

Anne Harlow is research librarian for music, dance, and theater at Temple University Libraries. 

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. 

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




The post Musical Theater @ Temple Library! appeared first on Performing Arts News.

Posted in Uncategorized

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Temple University Libraries congratulates the winners of the 2017-2018 Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards, which honor the most outstanding scholarly and creative work of our undergraduate students. The Awards are named for generous donor John H. Livingstone, SBM ‘49, who has supported undergraduate research for more than a decade.

Join us on Tuesday, April 17 at 4:00 PM in Paley Library to celebrate these students and their wonderful accomplishments. Please RSVP to kaitlyn.semborski@temple.edu on or before Wednesday, April 11.



Award Winners

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in the Humanities
Blond or Blonde? Frank Ocean and Identity Construction
by Kerri Rafferty
Faculty advisor: Shana Goldin-Perschbacher

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in the Social Sciences
Gender Quotas as Strategy: Exploring the Relationship Among International Perceptions of Democracy, Transnational Influence, and Female Representation in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Paige Hill
Faculty advisor: Sarah Sunn Bush

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in the STEM disciplines
(Z)-Selective Isomerization of Terminal Alkenes using an air-stable Mo(0) Complex
by Owen Glaze
Faculty advisor: Graham Dobereiner

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in Creative Works and Media Production
Monumental Change
by Jacob Segelbaum and Brooke de Zutter
Faculty advisor: Kristine Weatherston

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award for General Education Courses
Protesting the Internment of Japanese Americans: Dissent as a Duty of Citizenship
by Anna Manogue
Faculty advisor: Ralph Young

Livingstone Undergraduate Research Award in Sustainability and the Environment
Choosing Permeable Pavement Design to Maximize Stormwater Management Capabilities
by Elizabeth Shaloka
Faculty advisor: Joseph Danowsky

The Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards are generously sponsored by John H. Livingstone, SBM ‘49.

The Award in Sustainability and the Environment is generously sponsored by Gale, a Cengage company.

Posted in Uncategorized

Celebrate National Library Week at Temple

Join Temple University Libraries this week for the 60th anniversary of National Library Week, a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

At Paley, we’ll be tabling (outside if weather permits!) and there will be snacks, swag, and photo booth opportunities. Stop by and talk to us about the Libraries!

Library Table Hours at Paley:
Tuesday, April 10, 12:00–2:00 PM
Wednesday, April 11, 2:00–4:00 PM

Photo courtesy Brae Howard


Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see how we are celebrating in real time. We’ll be raffling off gift cards to the bookstore for anyone who follows us on social media. Stop by our table to enter! Tag us and #NationalLibraryWeek to join the conversation.

Posted in Uncategorized

Settler Colonialism and the American West

Andrew Isenberg

Lawrence Kessler


The Fall 2017 issue of The Journal of the West is devoted to the concept of settler colonialism as it applies to the American West. Settler colonialism describes a form of colonialism in which settlers seek to eliminate the indigenous people from their land and replace them with settlers from the metropole. It has been used to describe many historical and contemporary encounters, including those in the United States, Australia, and Israel. Settler Colonialism differs from accounts of, say, the British in India, where the colonizers were intent on subordinating the native population and using it as a labor force to extract wealth.

Historians Lawrence Kessler and Andrew Isenberg contributed an article to this special issue, “Settler Colonialism and the Environmental History of the North American West,” (access restricted to Temple affiliates) which adds nuance and complexity to the standard settler colonial account by using an environmental history approach. The European conquest brought deadly microbes (smallpox, typhus, cholera), domestic animals (horses, sheep, cattle, pigs), and a market-based economic system. Kessler and Isenberg illustrate the ways that both whites and Indians were often responding to unexpected environmental contingencies. They show that between the arrival of Europeans and the eventual US removal of American Indian tribes to reservations in the nineteenth century, there were hundreds of years of trade, negotiation, cooperation and accomodation, in addition to warfare, between the various colonial powers and the natives. Most importantly, the two authors restore some of the agency to Native Americans that settler colonialism accounts often gloss over.

Lawrence Kessler earned his PhD in History at Temple University and is currently a Fellow in Residence at the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine. Andrew Isenberg is a professor of History at Temple University. I spoke to them both on April 3, 2018.

—Fred Rowland

Posted in Uncategorized

The Hamlet Fire, 1991

Bryant Simon

Bryant Simon


A deadly fire raced through the Imperial Food Products factory in Hamlet, North Carolina on the morning of September 3, 1991. As the fire raged, employees found themselves trapped behind chain-locked exits, which led to the deaths of 25 people. The fire was big news. I was living in Philadelphia at the time and I can remember news reports and descriptions of desperate people frantically trying to escape.

Historian Bryan Simon was in a doctoral program at the University of North Carolina in 1991 and he often drove through Hamlet on his way to visit the research archives at the University of South Carolina. Birthplace of  jazz great John Coltrane, prize-winning reporter Tom Wicker, and former Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl wide receiver (and current Eagles radio color commentator) Mike Quick, Hamlet had been a prosperous railroad junction through the first half of the 20th century until the railroads went into decline. By the 1980s, the city government and its inhabitants were desperate to bring new businesses to town. It was during this time that a Pennsylvania company processing chicken parts into chicken tenders moved to Hamlet.

Bryant Simon’s most recent book, The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives (The New Press, 2017), as the subtitle indicates, is about much more than a tragic fire. Instead, Simon uses Hamlet as a microcosm to examine the larger economic and political forces that have transformed the United States. Where policy makers were once focused on creating an economy that produced high manufacturing wages, starting in the 1970s they increasingly turned their attention to an economic model of low wages and cheap products. The fire at Imperial Food Products is part of this story.

I spoke to Bryant Simon on January 23, 2018.

—Fred Rowland

Posted in Uncategorized

National Poetry Month Is Here!

What better way to bring in April than with National Poetry Month? Established by the Academy of American Poets, this month celebrates the enduring legacy and ongoing work of American poets and encourages us to support poets and poetry.

Wondering how you can join in the fun? Sign up for Poem-a-Day at poets.org, and you will receive a brand new, previously unpublished poem in your inbox every day. Check out today’s poem, “Agatha” by Dorothea Lasky.

If you’re interested in getting involved on campus, look no further than the Babel Poetry Collective, which is a collection of spoken word poets, musicians, vocalists, and emcees.

Another way to celebrate poetry is to share your favorite poem with a friend. Here, I’ll start: check out “Onset” by Kim Addonizio. Now, it’s your turn!

An Interview with Filmmaker Jonathan Olshefski

On Monday, March 26, the Libraries are screening Quest, a documentary by Temple alumnus Jonathan Olshefski, as part of our Beyond the Page public programming series. Filmed over a ten year period, the documentary portrays Christopher “Quest” Rainey and his wife Christine’a “Ma Quest” as they raise a family in North Philadelphia while nurturing a community of hip hop artists in their home music studio.

Join us at 5:00 PM at the Reel Cinema (Student Center South, Lower Level, 1755 N. 13th Street) to watch the film and hear from the director and members of the Rainey family in a Q&A afterwards. All programs are free and open to all.

I had the opportunity to speak with Jonathan ahead of the screening and ask him about his time as a Temple student, his experience working on Quest, and the films we all need to watch.

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

Jonathan: I grew up in Pittsburgh and started making little videos with borrowed consumer camcorders when I was in middle school, and then in high school I started making skate videos with my brothers and some friends that included a little bit of skateboarding and a lot of random craziness. We called ourselves Loathly Lady Skate Company. We started selling VHS tapes locally and on the internet. By the time I graduated from high school in 2000, I wanted to go deeper and continue to make movies. Temple had a film program with a great reputation and I was able to get in-state tuition so I moved to Philadelphia and have been here ever since.

As an undergraduate I double majored in Film and Media Arts and English Literature. I ended up making a bunch of experimental videos and was introduced to interactive New Media, which really captured my imagination. My senior thesis project was an interactive narrative that weaves a number of related storylines together called Memoir: The Oral History. Technology is changing with Flash going out of style, but it can still be accessed online—http://whispersinthestorm.com/memoir/.

I also developed a love for still photography and, after graduation in 2004, documentary photography.

Jonathan Olshefski, director; credit: Carina Romano

I started a photo essay with the Rainey family in 2006 and soon began to think that maybe there was a film there. In 2007, I returned Temple to make the leap from still photography to documentary film and started Film and Media Arts MFA program. This was the dawn of QUEST the film. I didn’t know at the time, but the journey would last longer than I or anyone else ever would have imagined.  


Beckie: I want to talk more about your experience filming Quest, but first I have to ask you about when you used to work here in the library! Can you tell us about that? Are there any ways it’s served you in your career?

Jonathan: I was a clerk at the circulation desk and I would work the evening shift that ended at midnight. I’m a night owl, so it worked for me and as things weren’t too busy, it was a good opportunity to do homework or read. I mostly remember conversations with co-workers. I do remember that I looked pretty wild back then. I pretty much wore rags that were safety pinned together all the time. I would get some weird looks, but I was super polite and helpful and that would win people over.


Beckie: That sounds like a pretty great student job! Back to Quest—you followed and filmed the Rainey family for a decade. How did you know the Raineys would be good subjects for a movie? What was it like being present for so many personal moments?

Jonathan: The Raineys are just incredible people. They are community builders who go all out for their family and their neighborhood. The Raineys and I wanted to showcase the beauty and strength of the neighborhood from the point of view of the people who actually live there. North Philly is often misunderstood, and this film provided us an opportunity to put the true story out there and really celebrate the strength of a community that is under siege from a number of angles.

Christopher “Quest” Rainey, Isaiah Byrd, Christine’a “Ma Quest” Rainey, Patricia “PJ” Rainey; credit: Carina Romano

The Raineys became like family over the years. They embraced me as an artist and a collaborator, but also as a friend. There were a lot of ups and downs throughout the course of making this film and there were many times where I was laughing behind the camera and other times where I was crying behind the camera. The friendship and the trust that comes with it is what made this film possible and I am really honored to have shared so many personal moments with the Rainey family and their community. I’m just happy that we all feel good about the final film and we are all working hard to ensure that the film has a real impact in our world.

In a lot of ways we are just at the beginning because we want to use QUEST to support the Rainey family’s mission to build community and bring healing to North Philly and places like it.


Beckie: It seems like part of what allowed you to finish the film was winning a MacArthur Foundation grant in 2016—congrats by the way! Where were you when you found out you won? What did that grant enable you to do?

Jonathan: I got word of this in December 2015. I don’t remember where I was exactly, but I know that it was a crazy week. To the point of being almost surreal. Not only did we get the MacArthur Grant, but we also received word that public TV wanted to support that project through a co-production with ITVS and I also learned that I was approved for tenure at Rowan University. I never had three long-term, high-risk investments pay off over the course of a few days like that before or since.

The MacArthur grant provided an incredible boost as it paved the way for us to jump full steam into our post-production process and really embark on editing the film.


Beckie: That definitely does sound like a crazy, incredible week! And thanks for mentioning the fact that you also teach filmmaking. For those of us studying or interested in documentary filmmaking, can you suggest any essential films or directors we have to check out?

Jonathan: Oh man! There’s so many.

I really connect to a film called  Dark Days. It was made by a first-time filmmaker. It is a really interesting example of what can happen when a filmmaker collaborates with his subjects to tell a story and takes his time to really convey the spectrum of human experience and not just parachute in for the sensationalized surface story.

So many amazing documentaries were released in 2017 alongside QUEST. I am just very proud to be part of such an incredible group of storytellers. See these films as most of them are now available!


  • Last Men in Aleppo
  • Strong Island
  • The Work
  • Distant Constellation
  • The Cage Fighter
  • The Departure


[[Editor’s note: We carry some of these films at Media Services! Check out the links above. Temple doesn’t have it? Try E-ZBorrow.]]


Beckie: Thanks, I will have to check some of these out! One final questionare you working on any projects right now you can share with us?

Jonathan: I started filming with another incredible family in 2011. I hope to introduce everyone to the Fiddler family in the next couple of years with a film that is currently titled Without Arrows.


Beckie: I look forward to that very much! Thanks, Jonathan, for sharing your time with us and I cannot wait to see Quest next Monday.


Posted in Uncategorized