It’s National Library Week!

Celebrate National Library Week with us! Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April, National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians in transforming lives and strengthening communities.

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:
Monday, April 8, 12:00–2:00 pm
Wednesday, April 10, 1:00–3:00 pm

We’re also teaming up with the Office of Sustainability for Campus Sustainability Week, so check out their Surplus Pop-up outside Paley on Monday.

Finally, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see how we are celebrating in real time. Tag us and #NationalLibraryWeek to join the conversation.

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So you’re writing a dissertation, Part 7…The End

The Religion Graduate Student (RGS) passed her dissertation defense and graduated “with distinction”. In the lead-up to her oral defense she reread her dissertation twice, came up with potential questions, and then performed a mock defense with some of her graduate student colleagues. It was a bit hectic bringing her committee members together on November 14, 2012 and one member skyped in, but in the end everything proceeded smoothly and at the conclusion attendees raised glasses of champagne mimosas to toast the newly minted PhD.

In our (bittersweet) concluding interview on February 22, 2013, RGS had just graduated and I had read her dissertation beginning to end. First she filled me in on the details of her big defense day. Then we discussed the content of her dissertation, the writing process, her thoughts about graduate education, and her immediate post-graduation life. In contrast to my medieval notions, the defense did not resemble an inquisition. RGS was satisfied with what she had accomplished but identified a few areas of her dissertation that needed work. She had some trouble describing the writing process and she mourned the many dozens of pages she had written that never made it into her dissertation. The routine she tried to establish at the start never quite came together. In the end it was “tasty treats” that helped her to the finish line. Graduate education is definitely not sustainable and RGS was still struggling to balance her monthly budget, now on an adjunct’s wages. It’s tough to be a scholar in the twenty-first century.  

This interview occurred almost three years to the day from the first time RGS and I spoke about the journey awaiting her. In my first blog post of this series, I described the dissertation as a “ritual initiation in which the student is dropped deep into an unfamiliar wilderness area with nothing but a compass and asked to find her way out.” Having now completed my seventh and final interview with RGS, I am thrilled to know that RGS found her way out of the wilderness. She has now entered the world of scholars. I congratulate RGS on her achievement and thank her for allowing me to share in the journey.     

(Listen to previous interviews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

—Fred Rowland  

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Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Improving Content on Cis and Trans Women, the Arts, and Feminism

Did you know that, according to a Wikimedia Foundation 2011 study, less than 10% of the editors on Wikipedia are women? When women aren’t represented in the writing and editing of the stories and records of people, the stories get mistold. We lose out on the real history.

Join us next Tuesday, March 19 from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm for the sixth annual (and Temple University Libraries’ fourth!) Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, a global project improving content on cis and trans women, the arts, and feminism on Wikipedia.

We will provide tutorials for the beginner Wikipedian, reference materials, and refreshments, and invite people of all gender identities and expressions to participate, particularly transgender and cisgender women. We hope you’ll also join us in the evening for a panel discussion on the intersection of art, feminism, technology, and history.

We’re holding the event in the lobby of the Tyler School of Art and the schedule is outlined below:

Registration at 10:00 AM

Training sessions at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM

Panel at 6:00 PM (in the Architecture Building, Room 104)

Registration is encouraged and please BYO laptop!

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So you’re writing a dissertation, Part 6

Good news! The Religion Graduate Student (RGS) handed her committee the final rough draft of her dissertation! We met on October 17, 2012 for our sixth interview (and, boy, was I relieved to hear about this). Her defense was set for November 14. I was surprised to learn that she felt “one part relieved and nine parts nervous” because she was not exactly sure as to what constitutes a dissertation. Hers contained some personal narrative and first-person usage and she wondered whether this was consistent with the stereotyped notion of scholarly objectivity. This highlighted the ambiguous and solitary nature of dissertation research and writing.

Since we met in February, she explained that she had been doing nothing but writing. Her reader-friend, Susan, kept telling her to stop working on the introduction! You’re stalling! Plough ahead, write, write, write. In addition to the archival sources from the AFSC’s Nationwide Women’s Program (NWP), most of her other sources came from previous course readings and recommendations from advisors and committee members. With the exception of family life, she emphasized that she had ZERO social life during this latest interval. Did I mention that she had ZERO social life? 

Surprisingly, RGS wrote her chapter 4 on religion, which had been causing her the most anxiety, faster than any other chapter. She argues that Quaker positions on authority and personal testimony infused the NWP long after its early Quaker members had been succeeded by more secular feminist ones. This Quaker perspective allowed the NWP to register the voices of women in far off places (South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan, Mexico, Philippines) who were subjected to the early phases of globalization.

Finally entering the last mile of her dissertation run, we talked about the alchemical nature of the writing process and the fragile nature of memory as one moves through the confusing and foggy middle part of the journey.

(Listen to previous interviews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

—Fred Rowland

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Deadline approaching! Apply for Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards by 2/18

logo for Livingstone Undergraduate Research AwardsAttention undergrads!

Have a research project you worked on for a Temple course between spring 2018 and now? Why not turn all that hard work into a prestigious award? But don’t delay—you only have until next Monday, February 18 to apply to the Libraries’ Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards.

These Awards honor the best in Temple undergraduate research, and categories include the humanities, social sciences, STEM disciplines, creative works and media production, diversity and social justice, and general education courses. Plus, there are cash prizes of up to $1,000 for winners in each category.

We are accepting online applications for the Awards through February 18th, 2019 at 11:59 pm. Send us your best work!

Please contact lura@temple.edu with any questions.

 

 

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The Classical Guitar: its Evolution and Appreciation by Italian Greats

Guitar Studio of Allen Krantz

Wednesday, February 27th, Noon

Temple University Paley Library Lecture Hall

Free and open to the public

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.

photo courtesy Beverley Goodwin

The guitar, currently a mainstay of popular music, has a long history and wealth of literature preceding its use in rock bands and college dorm rooms. The type of guitar that Allen Krantz and his students will be using is called the classical guitar (also known as the nylon-string guitar or the Spanish guitar). The main difference between classical and acoustic/electric guitars is the material of the strings. On a classical guitar the strings are made from either gut or nylon, whereas the acoustic or electric guitar have metal strings. Another difference would be the way that the guitar is held while being played. (For right-handed players) Classical is propped up by the left leg and the modern steel string guitar is played off of the hip.

Sometimes the term “classical guitar” isn’t even describing the instrument itself, but instead one of two concepts:

– The playing technique where individual strings are plucked with the fingernails
– The instrument’s literature

Music written specifically for this instrument dates back to the addition of the sixth string (the baroque guitar originally had five strings) in the late 18th century. In addition to these works written for the instrument, a classical guitar might play pieces originally written for lute, vihuela or the cello. The most well-known composer who did not write for the guitar is J.S. Bach; his baroque lute works are a mainstay in classical guitar literature.

Not many concertos were written specially for the guitar, however in present times there are numerous concertos that are quite well-known. Antonio Vivaldi and Mauro Giuliani are Italian composers who wrote famous concertos for the guitar. Allen Krantz and his students will be performing literature from the classical guitar’s extensive repertoire with a focus on a few of these great Italian composers.

A third Italian composer Nicolo Paganini, was also a guitarist. He once said “I love the guitar for its harmony; it is my constant companion in all my travels.” Paganini’s relationship with the guitar ha s only recently come to light – only a few of his compositions for the instrument have been published. The reason for this is disputed among scholars, but it appears to have something to do with the popularity of his violin works. Paganini’s work for violin seems to have overshadowed his guitar works during the time of his publications, when in fact Paganini work with technique was just as extensive on the guitar as it was with the violin.

The classical guitar has been cultivated over centuries, building its repertoire and technique as various schools utilized this flexible and well-rounded instrument. Allen Krantz and his students will be presenting many fine examples of this unique instrument and we hope to see you Wednesday February 27th at noon for our Beyond the Notes concert series.

For more information see:

The Classical Guitar: A Complete History. London, England: Balafon Books, 1997. Paley Library ML1015.G9 C547x 1997

Dobney, Jayson Kerr, and Wendy Powers. “The Guitar.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/guit/hd_guit.htm (September 2007).

Heck, Thomas F., Harvey Turnbull, Paul Sparks, James Tyler, Tony Bacon, Oleg V. Timofeyev, and Gerhard Kubik. “Guitar.” Grove Music Online.  January 01, 2001. Oxford University Press.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stephanie George is a second-year masters study in Music Theory at Boyer College of Music & Dance. Stephanie completed a B.S. in Music Education and a B.A. in Music (concentrations in clarinet and music theory) from Lebanon Valley College in 2015, after which she secured a placement with Harford County Public Schools as a music teacher for Havre de Grace Elementary. Her master’s thesis applies narrative theory to Chopin’s second piano sonata using a variety of analysis techniques. Her research interests include Sonata Form, Narrative Theory, Schenkerian Analysis, and Pedagogy. After completing her masters, Stephanie plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Music Theory.

 

The post The Classical Guitar: its Evolution and Appreciation by Italian Greats appeared first on Performing Arts News.

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An Evening of Poetry at the Libraries

Join us next Wednesday, February 13 at 6:00 pm for an evening of poetry with some of Philadelphia’s most talented young voices. Members from Temple’s own Babel Poetry Collective will read original work and moderate a conversation with the current and former Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureates, Wes Matthews and Husnaa Hashim. Wes and Husnaa will also take the stage to share their poetry with us.

Wes Matthews is a Detroit-born, Philadelphia-based poet and essayist and is currently serving as the 2018-19 Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate. He is a 2x Brave New Voices competitor, a 2016 TEDx speaker, and winner of the 2018 Philly Slam League All-Star Poetry Slam. His work has been published in the Detroit Free Press, Eunoia Review, Dreginald Magazine, and elsewhere.

Husnaa Hashim is the 2017-2018 Youth Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, and author of the poetry collection Honey Sequence. She is a first year student at the University of Pennsylvania. Husnaa has competed with the Philly Youth Poetry Movement, performed at various conferences and festivals, and received numerous Scholastic Art and Writing Awards including a National American Voices Medal awarded at Carnegie Hall. Husnaa’s work can be found in RookieMag, KidSpirit Online, the Kenyon Review Young Writers anthology, the Voices of the East Coast anthology, and APIARY 9, among others.

This program takes place in the Paley Library Lecture Hall (ground floor) at 1210 Polett Walk and is free and open to all.

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So you’re writing a dissertation, Part 5

The Religion Graduate Student (RGS) and I got together on February 24, 2012 for our fifth interview. She was now entering the third year of her project and she appeared a bit more upbeat than the last time we met. During the fall break she had written productively every day and she subsequently sent advisor John Raines some work that he liked. RGS spent a lot of time reworking her introduction so she could properly frame her second chapter on globalization and her third on the sources at the Nationwide Women’s Program (NWP). She worried that this might not be the best way to go about writing (according to some advice that had filtered through to her) but she now accepted that this was the way that she worked.

Among her sources RGS was struck by the disconnect between masculinist and feminist narratives of globalization. From a masculinist (economic) perspective, it’s all about corporations, institutions, trade agreements, and finance, while the feminist perspective produces primarily ethnographies, highlighting the effects of globalization on women’s bodies. The NWP, as RGS was now seeing, served to bring together these universal and local perspectives, functioning as a clearinghouse of sorts. It’s a reminder that international communications did not start with the Internet. She would be handing in her third chapter a few days after our interview.

As is inevitable, life intervened as RGS was writing in the fall. The Occupy movement broke out spontaneously in September 2011 and Occupy Philly grew up around Dilworth Plaza. When RGS attended a few Occupy Philly general assemblies, she was surprised by the ahistorical nature of the conversations. She realized that her work provided historical context to the issues discussed at Occupy Philly and this strengthened her sense of purpose. References to Occupy Philly would find their way into her dissertation.

Though tempted to do more reading — always more reading — she was now focused on writing, writing, writing. We talked about emotional blocks, the struggle to establish a routine, the messy details of life, and the way the dissertation just hangs around her neck and, according to a friend, is like an abusive relationship. Sounds like fun, huh?

(Listen to previous interviews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

—Fred Rowland

 

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William Bolcom: Wide-Ranging Influences, Theatricality, and Fun

Beyond the Notes logo

Cabaret Songs and Piano Rags

by William Bolcom

Featuring faculty artists Charles Abramovic, Lawrence Indik, and Cara Latham

Wednesday, February 6th

12:00-12:50pm

Paley Library Lecture Hall

Light refreshments served. Boyer recital credit given.


 

William Bolcom

Like many other American composers who studied composition in universities in the middle of the 20th century, William Bolcom began his career composing serial music, the musical style most commonly associated with “atonality.” At that time, serialism was often seen as necessary tool to help composers avoid a tendency to recreate familiar patterns that represented a failed, oppressive system (Brindle 2003). Yet Bolcom gradually shifted toward employing a wider variety of compositional styles, often influenced by popular music. Today, composers and “new music” listeners and performers may see being forced into an academic, atonal style of writing as oppressive.  As a result, many of today’s younger composers have followed Bolcom’s lead into music that incorporates a wide variety of stylistic influences. Bolcom’s music, influenced by other forms of music, became the music for which he is known.  In this concert, we will hear some of his cabaret songs along with rags for piano performed by Boyer faculty.

In this 21st century, his work is still described as “running the gamut” of popular and classical musical styles (Lister 2006, 37). In an interview in The Opera Quarterly, Bolcom shares some fascinating details of his views on music:

“I’ve always been interested in character. I think pure voice is something that compels a certain sort of opera buff, along with the admiration of singers as athletes. And that’s okay; but I’ve always been interested in opera as theater.” (Horowitz 2006)

Bolcom could be seen as a rejection of the typical 20th century conservatory ethos, of music as an end in and of itself. Even today, many of those of us who are music students have been told at some point in our lives that to be a good musician means to engross ourselves in “pure” music and to ignore the “extra-musical” aspects of our lives, as well as to see popular music as inherently artistically inferior. One could trace this back to the 19th century German debate over so-called “absolute music,” essentially the idea that music should transcend life and exist only for its own, purely aesthetic pleasure. To be fair, vocal music was not usually framed as “absolute music;” it typically has text which suggests something “extramusical.” But in recent decades, musicologists and ethnomusicologists have noted that “absolute music” was never really a thing at all. For example, Henry Kingsbury’s influential 1988 work—which was published by Temple University Press—shows how the very idea of classical music is itself always part of the construction of a social and cultural system. Bolcom’s embrace of the theatrical rather than holding on to some idea of sanctity of “pure” academic music is one of the things that makes his music especially fun.

The rags, too, of course, reflect influences beyond the world of classical music. Ragtime music is characterized in particular by its distinctive syncopated rhythmic structure. A 1992 review by Barry Hannigan, then a professor at Bucknell University, writes that “care and craft distinguish the [Bolcom] ragtime pieces, giving evidence of Bolcom’s classical training” compared to other ragtime composers. Hannigan’s attitude seems remarkably condescending toward the earlier ragtime composers, and I am inclined to wonder if there is a racial dynamic here, since ragtime is a historically African American musical form, and Bolcom appears to be white[1] and trained as a composer in a historically predominantly-white musical genre. Nevertheless, while I would argue that ragtime’s traditional “care and craft” should not be measured by its adherence to contemporary classical music values, it is noteworthy that Bolcom incorporates traditional rhythmic ideas of ragtime, and uses them in more classically notated ways. For example, Hannigan notes that there is a higher precision in the way expressive directions are notated on the page than in traditional ragtime music. While I would not argue that this makes the music automatically superior—after all, as I argued in the case of Couperin in my blogpost for the first concert of last semester, level of notational detail in keyboard reflects social and cultural factors—it does give us something else to listen for. As in most music of the 20th and 21st century, there is clearly a lot to consider. Yet behind this all is a concert sure to be accessible and fun!

References:

Berlin, Edward A. 2001. “Ragtime.” Grove Music Online. 10 Dec. 2018. https://doi-org.libproxy.temple.edu/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.22825.

Brindle, Reginald Smith (1987) 2003. The New Music: The Avant‐garde since 1945. London: Oxford University Press.

Hannigan, Barry. 1992. “William Bolcom, ‘Piano Rags’.” Notes 49, no. 1 (September): 369.

Herwitz, Daniel. 2006. “Writing American Opera: William Bolcom on Music, Language, and Theater,” The Opera Quarterly 22, 3-4 (July), 521–533. https://doi-org.libproxy.temple.edu/10.1093/oq/kbn001

Johnson, Steven, and Lars Helgert. 2013. “Bolcom, William.” Grove Music Online. 7 Dec. 2018. https://doi-org.libproxy.temple.edu/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2248409.

Kingsbury, Henry. 1988. Music, Talent, and Performance: A Conservatory Cultural System, Temple University Press.

Lister, Rodney. 2006. “Review: William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and Experience.” Tempo 60, no. 35 (January), 37-39.

[1]To be clear, I cannot actually find any explicit mention of his race, and am saying this based on photos of him.

Ben Safran is a Ph.D. candidate in music at Temple University, where his dissertation focuses on contemporary classical composers’ uses of social justice and political themes within concert music. His compositions have been performed by various ensembles and musicians across the United States.

The post William Bolcom: Wide-Ranging Influences, Theatricality, and Fun appeared first on Performing Arts News.

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New Year’s Resolutions? No Problem! Let the Libraries Help

Happy 2019 and welcome back for the spring semester! Are you ready to make 2019 your best year yet? The Libraries have you covered. Read on to learn about new and ongoing initiatives and resources that will help you keep your resolutions and start off the new year strong.Image of tree blooming into spring

 

Exercise your creativity

Today marks the opening of our creative writing contest to commemorate the new Charles Library and the launch of the Short Edition short story dispenser. Submit a short original piece by March 8 for a chance to win a cash prize and/or be published in Temple’s first short story dispenser.

Make some extra money

If you’re an undergrad, consider submitting your research and creative projects to the Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards (submissions open through February 18) for a chance at winning a prestigious honor and cash prize.

Start a new project

Want to try your hand at podcasting, photography, or film? The Libraries can help! We lend out audiovisual equipment like DSLR cameras, Flip cameras, audio recorders, and tripods from our Media Services department. We also have workstations for editing your projects. Visit the Media Services desk on the ground floor of Paley Library to learn more.

Learn a new skill

Interested in 3D printing or Virtual Reality? Our Digital Scholarship Center houses a makerspace and VR lab. You will also find expert staff on hand and a variety of workshops and orientations to get you started.

Read a good book

There’s nothing like getting lost in the world of a new book. Browse Paley Library’s leisure reading collection on the first floor, near the Ask Here desk, and see what new worlds you can discover.

Elevate your research

Use our Ask a Librarian service to work with an expert subject librarian to deepen and develop your research and/or personal projects.

Take in a cultural experience

Need a little more culture in your life? The Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series offers a variety of free lectures, concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, and more that are sure to entertain and engage. Did we mention they are free?