Monthly Archives: September 2016

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


No written works widely recognized by scholars as Hypatia of Alexandria’s own have survived to the present time. Many of the works commonly attributed to her are believed to have been collaborative works with her father, Theon Alexandricus. This kind of authorial uncertainty is typical for female philosophers in antiquity, making her the perfect focus of our sixth Theme Thursday.

Maria Dzielska explores some truths in Hypatia of Alexandria: Revealing Antiquity, originally published in 1995. From the book cover: ”

518D52QyRlL._SX306_BO1,204,203,200_Hypatia―brilliant mathematician, eloquent Neoplatonist, and a woman renowned for her beauty―was brutally murdered by a mob of Christians in Alexandria in 415. She has been a legend ever since. In this engrossing book, Maria Dzielska searches behind the legend to bring us the real story of Hypatia’s life and death, and new insight into her colorful world.

Historians and poets, Victorian novelists and contemporary feminists have seen Hypatia as a symbol―of the waning of classical culture and freedom of inquiry, of the rise of fanatical Christianity, or of sexual freedom. Dzielska shows us why versions of Hypatia’s legend have served her champions’ purposes, and how they have distorted the true story. She takes us back to the Alexandria of Hypatia’s day, with its Library and Museion, pagan cults and the pontificate of Saint Cyril, thriving Jewish community and vibrant Greek culture, and circles of philosophers, mathematicians, astronomers, and militant Christians. Drawing on the letters of Hypatia’s most prominent pupil, Synesius of Cyrene, Dzielska constructs a compelling picture of the young philosopher’s disciples and her teaching. Finally she plumbs her sources for the facts surrounding Hypatia’s cruel death, clarifying what the murder tells us about the tensions of this tumultuous era.”

Banned Books Week 2016



The Illinois Wesleyan annual theme, Women’s Power | Women’s Justice, calls attention to women’s contributions in a wide range of endeavors. Women are leaders, garner attention in the arts, and are being educated at better and better rates, BUT these examples of success are relatively new. This annual theme invites us to cross, intersect, and transcend borderlands in the ways we think about others and ourselves by deconstructing notions of gender and identity.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held this year from Sbbw2016_poster_300September 25 through October 1, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Maya Angelou, a writer beloved by many, is the most banned/challenged author in the United States. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view: rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice. The Ames Library invites you to challenge censorship, and support both the freedom of access to information AND to celebrate the works of women authors.

Found below are the most frequently challenged books of 2015 by female authors.

index-2Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic – Challenged as recommended, not required, summer reading for incoming freshman at Duke University in Durham, N.C. (2015) because some students objected to the novel’s “depictions of lesbian sexuality, arguing that the book is borderline pornographic and they shouldn’t have been asked to read it,” Similar criticisms have been levied by opponents at other colleges and universities that have taught the book, including College of Charleston – where state lawmakers threatened to defund the summer reading program for featuring it – and the University of Utah. Both institutes stood by the book which tells the story of a lesbian coming to terms with her own sexuality as she over time discovers that her distant father is also gay. Challenged, but retained at Crafton Hills College, a community college in Yucaipa, Calif. (2015) despite a student’s request to remove the book because it was “objectionable.” One of the most celebrated graphic novels of its generation a finalist for the 2006 National Book critics Circle Award), the theatrical adaption won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and numerous awards, in 2015. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2015.pp. 147-49; 161-62.

index-3Gennifer Choldenko’s Al Capone Does my Shirts – Challenged on the New York state elementary-and middle school- reading lists (2015) because complainants said the book “perpetuates negative stereotypes by touting the infamous gangster Al Capone.” The two sequels in Choldenko’s “Tales from Alcatraz” novels were also challenged: Al Capone Shines my Shoes and Al Capone Does my Homework. Capone was a prisoner at Alcatraz from 1935 to 1939. The book was named a Newbery Honor selection, an ALA Notable Children’s Book, and in 2007 it received the California Young Reader Medal. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2015, p. 96

index-4Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland’s King & King – Challenged at the Efland-Cheeks, N.C. Elementary School (2015) after a third=grade teacher read the book to deal with a case of bullying. The teacher said he read the book after a boy in his class was called gay in a derogatory way and told he was acting like a girl. Two parents said the book was inappropriate for children that age, and at least one said parents should have been notified in advance. The complaints were withdrawn after the teacher and vice principal resigned from the school. Originally written in Dutch, the book has been published in at least eight languages and a theatrical version has been performed from Vienna to Mexico City. The image of the princes kissing each other at their wedding on the final page has been cited by social conservatives as “gay-rights movements undermining religious freedom.” Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2015, pp. 118-19.

index-5Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jenning’s I am Jazz – Canceled as a planned reading in the Mount Horeb, Wis. School District (2015) after the Florida-based Liberty Counsel group threatened to sue. The children’s book is the story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings. On July 15th, 2015, the reality television series featuring Jazz Jennings premiered to positive reviews. Source: Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy, Spring 2016, pp. 35-36.

index-6Gayle Forman’s Just One Day – Challenged, but retained in the Rosemount, Minn. middle and high school libraries (2015) despite a parent’s concern about “a graphic sex scene, underage drinking [and] date rape” and also “inappropriate language.” The parent suggested the district remove it from all Rosemount-Apple Valley-Egan libraries. The book centers on a teenager, Allyson, who spends one romantic day in Paris with a mysterious actor and later decides she must leave college and return to Europe. Source: AL Direct, Nov 24, 2015; Journal Intellectual Freedom and Privacy, Spring 2016, pp. 53-54.

index-7Ellen Hopkins’s Glass – Removed at the Standard Middle School in Bakersfield, Calif. (2015) along with the two other titles in the “Crank Trilogy” after a parent complained about the sex, violence, drugs, and alchol in the book. The book follows the life of a girl named Kristina and her battle wtih addiction to methamphetamine. According to Simon and Schuster’s website, the book is recommended for children who are at least 14 years old. The novel was a New York Time bestseller, a Quillis Award nominee, and was awarded the Book sense Top 10, NYPL Recommended for Teens, PSLA Top Ten for Teens, Charlotte Award, IRA Young Adult Choices Award, SSLI Honor book Award, and Gateway Readers Award. Source: Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy, Spring 2016, p 31.

index-8Cheryl Kilodavis’s My Princess Boy: A Mom’s Story about a Young Boy Who Loves to Dress Up – Challenged, but retained at the Hook County Library in Granbury, Tex. (2015) despite complaints that the book promotes “reversion” and “the gay lifestyle.” the Hook County Library Advisory Board voted to keep the book in the library. The controversy comes at the same time as the Hook County Clerk refused to sign off on same-sex marriage licenses. The book is based on the author’s son who prefers to wear clothes that some people consider feminine. Source: Newsletter on intellectual Freedom, July 2015, pp. 93-94; Sept. 2015, p. 160

index-9Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake – Recommended for removal by the ad-hoc literature committee of the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, School District (2015) because it contains “descriptions of sexual conduct that are too explicit for high school seniors.” The novel examines being caught between two conflicting cultures with highly distinct religious, social, and ideological differences. A film adaption of the novel was released in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and India in March 2006. The Indian-Bengali American author won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was awarded the 2014 National Medal of Arts and Humanities at a White House ceremony. Source: Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy, Spring 2016, p. 33.

index-10Juliet Mariller’s Daughter of the Forest – Challenged, but retained in the Warrensburg, Mo. High School library (2015) despite a rape scene in the book. The book is a historical fantasy novel first published in 1999 and is loosely based on the legend of the Children of Lir and “The Six Swans” (a story that has many versions, including one by the Brothers Grimm). It was a finalist for the 2000 Aurealis Awards for Fantasy Novel and Won the 2001 American Library Association Alex Award. Source: Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy, Spring 2016, p. 54.

index-11Toni Morrison’s Beloved – Challenged, but retained as an optional summer reading choice in the Satellite Beach, Fla. High School Advanced Placement classes (2015). A parent admitted not having read the entire book when he addressed the committee in September, but wanted the book banned because of what he called “porn content.” Challenged on the Fairfax County, Va. senior English reading list (2016) by a parent claiming “the book includes scenes of violent sex, including a gang rape, and was too graphic and extreme for teenagers.” The controversy led to legislation (House Bill 516) that calls for the Virginia Department of Education to create a policy that notifies parents of the content and then allows them to review the materials. The novel is inspired by the story of an African-American slave, Margaret Ganer, who escaped slavery in Kentucky in late January 1856 by fleeing to Ohio, a free state. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988, was a finalist for the 1987 National Book Award, and was adapted into a 1998 movie of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey, a New York Times survey of writers and literary critics ranked it the best work of American fiction from 1981 to 2006. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2015, p. 163; AL Direct, Febrary 9, 2016 and March 4, 2016.

index-12Gayle E. Pittman’s This Day in June – Challenged, but retained at the Hood County Library in Granbury Tex. (2015) despite complaints that the book promotes “perversion” and the “gay lifestyle.” The Hood County Library Advisory Board voted to keep the book in the libarary. The controvery comes at the same time as the Hook County Clerk refused to sign off on same-sex marriage licenses. The book, about a pride parade, focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, July 2015, pp. 93-94; Sept. 2015, p. 150

51maszxex8l-_sx317_bo1204203200_Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood – Challenged, but retained at Crafton Hills College, a community college at Yucaipa, Calif. (2015) despite a student’s request to remove the book because it was “objectionable.” The book was a New York Times Notable Book, a Time magazine “Best Comix of the Year,” a San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times bestseller, the winner of the 2004 Alex Award, and named on the 2004 Best Books for Young Adults list. A film version was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 80th Academy Awards in 2007. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2015, pp. 161-62.

51vllt2frql-_sx334_bo1204203200_Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Challenged as a summer reading assignment in the Knoxville, Tenn. high school system (2015) because a parent claimed the nonfiction book “has too much graphic information.” Henrietta Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells – taken without her knowledge in 1951 – became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Winner of several awards, including the 2010 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the 2010 Welcome Trust Book Prize, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Excellence in Science Writing, the 2011 Audie Award for Best Non-Fiction Audiobook, and a Medical Journalists’ Association Open Book Award, the book was featured in more than 60 media outlets, including New York Times, Oprah, NPR, and Entertainment Weekly. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2015. P. 144.

index-13Courtney Summers’s Some Girls Are – Pulled from the freshmen Honors English I summer reading list at West AShley High School in Charleston, S.C. (2015) after a parent complained about the novel’s dark and explicit content. The book is about a high school senior who is ostracized and bullied by her former friends after she reports an attempted rape by a popular boy. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2015, pp. 146-47.

index-14Jilian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer – Removed from one elementary school library and restricted at three Florida high school libraries in Longwood (2015). In response to a complaint from a parent about the graphic novel’s language. It is a coming of age story about two preteen friends, Rose and Windy, during a summer in Awago, a small beach town. The book won the 2015 Printz Honor, Caldecott Honor award, Eisner Award, and the 2014 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Graphic Novel.

index-15Jeannetter Walls’s The Glass Castle: A Memoir – Suspended at Ambridge, PA. High School (2015) because the book is “racist and sexually explicit.” The challenged memoir is about growing up in poverty with a father who spent his money on alcohol and a mother who became homeless. Published in 2005, the memoir sent a total of 261 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and is now under development as a film by paramount. By late 2007m The Glass Castle had sold over 2.7 million copies, had been translated into 22 languages, and received the Christopher award, the American Library Association’s Alex Award (2006), and the Books for Better Living Award. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Nov. 2015, pp. 143-44.

index-16Jeanette Winter’s The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq – Challenged in the Duval County, Fla. public schools (2015) because a coalition of parents believes the book is inappropriate for promoting another religion that is not Christianity and is too violent for young children, Critics claim the book promotes “the Koran and praying to Muhammad.” The true story is about a librarian works with members of the community to keep the books safe until the war is over and a new library can be built. Duval County public school libraries have a banned books list of ten literary works, includig Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America – which has also been removed from a textbook, reported The Guardian. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2015, pp. 145-46.

index-17Jeanette Winter’s Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan – Challenged in the Duval County, Fla. public schools (2015) because a coalition of parents believes the book is inappropriate for promoting another religion that is not Christianity and is too violent for young children, Critics claim the book promotes “the Koran and praying to Muhammad.” The true story is about a librarian works with members of the community to keep the books safe until the war is over and a new library can be built. Duval County public school libraries have a banned books list of ten literary works, includig Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America – which has also been removed from a textbook, reported The Guardian. Challenged at the Eau Claire, Wis. schools (2015) because the book contains an Islamic prayer. The book is about the Taliban taking control of an Afghan village and prevent girls from going to school. After Nasreen’s father  is kidnapped and presumed killed, her grandmother smuggles her each day to an underground school where she can learn to read and write. Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Sept. 2015, pp. 145-46.

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


In our fifth Theme Thursday, we highlight Susan Hazen-Hammond’s 1999 book, Spider Woman’s Web: Traditional Native American Tales about Women’s Power. From the book’s cover: “In the Americas, the oral tradition has created one of the oldest surviving bodies of 51pkFufrkJL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_literature on earth. Native American storytelling, in particular, stands out for its distinctive honoring of womanly power and the female forces of the universe.

Gathered here are traditional versions of stories and songs that best portray this strength and vitality. Illuminating the scope of human behaviorfrom treacherous mates and medicine men to magical sages and murderous mothersthese tales offer universal truths. And for readers who wish to explore the transformative healing gifts of these stories in a more personal way, each is accompanied by thought-provoking exercises and meditations. Also included are brief introductions to provide historical and cultural context.

Entertaining, educational, and inspirational, this collection of timeless wisdom will shed light on the lives of readers for generations to come.”

Diversity Talk: Race, Patriotism and Athletics

Join the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on Wednesday, September 21st at 7:30pm in the Davidson Room of the Memorial Center.

Diversity Talk: Race, Patriotism and Athletics

The American flag and our national anthem are symbols of patriotism, loyalty, and unity of our nation. The current protest movement of kneeling for the national anthem reflects what the flag represents to those individuals, and it raises a complex set of issues confronting our nation and faced by members of our rich and varied community. Essentially, we have competing values (patriotism and injustice) demonstrated through action (kneeling during the national anthem). These competing core values are challenging and worthy of discussion and examination.

Prepare yourself for this awesome discussion by reading up on the history of athletic protests. Here are some great resources, available freely and brought to you by The Ames Library.

The Washington Post, summarizing 9/11 and the opening of the NFL season.

CNN, slavery and the national anthem

indexNot the Triumph but the Struggle: The 1968 Olympics and the Making of the Black Athlete – “In this far-reaching account, Amy Bass offers nothing less than a history of the black athlete. Beginning with the racial eugenics discussions of the early twentieth century and their continuing reverberations in popular perceptions of black physical abilities, Bass explores ongoing African American attempts to challenge these stereotypes. Although Tommie Smith and John Carlos were reviled by Olympic officials for their demonstration, Bass traces how their protest has come to be the defining image of the 1968 Games, with lingering effects in the sports world and on American popular culture generally. She then focuses on images of black athletes in the post-civil rights era, a period characterized by a shift from the social commentary of Muhammad Ali to the entrepreneurial approach of Michael Jordan.”

index-1Sport and the Color Line: Black Athletes and Race Relations in Twentieth-Century America – “The year 2003 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois’ “Souls of Black Folk,” in which he declared that “the color line” would be the problem of the twentieth century. Half a century later, Jackie Robinson would display his remarkable athletic skills in “baseball’s great experiment.” Now, “Sport and the Color Line” takes a look at the last century through the lens of sports and race, drawing together articles by many of the leading figures in Sport Studies to address the African American experience and the history of race relations.

“The history of African Americans in sport is not simple, and it certainly did not begin in 1947 when Jackie Robinson first donned a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. The essays presented here examine the complexity of black American sports culture, from the organization of semi-pro baseball and athletic programs at historically black colleges and universities, to the careers of individual stars such as Jack Johnson and Joe Louis, to the challenges faced by black women in sports. What are today’s black athletes doing in the aftermath of desegregation, or with the legacy of Muhammad Ali’s political stance? The essays gathered here engage such issues, as well as the paradoxes of corporate sport and the persistence of scientific racism in the athletic realm.”

” “Doing the Right Thing for the Sake of Doing the Right Thing”: The Revolt of the Black Athlete and the Modern Student-Athletic Movement, 1956-2014Western Journal of Black Studies. Winter 2014. This article addresses how San Jose and the South Bay Area blazed a path that was central to the development of the modern student-athletic movement. It argues that the “Revolt of the Black Athlete” has afar-greater impact than Tommie Smith and John Carlos shocking the world on the winner’s podium at the 1968 summer Olympic Games with raised black fists in protest against U.S. racism and poverty. Moreover, this article reconsiders the early student-athletic movement, as an understudied site that made a huge contribution in the post-1970 formation of more democratic, more diverse, and more dynamic Predominantly White Colleges and Universities. This article concludes relating the latest phase of student-athletic activism to the Revolt and how a racially based collective politic became an economically based class-action politic, which in the present, is very close to redefining what a “student-athlete ” is. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

” “Black Fists and Fool’s Gold: The 1960s Black Athletic Revolt Reconsidered” The Lebron James Decision and Self-Determination in Post-Racial AmericaBlack Scholar. Spring 2012. The article considers the historical impact of the actions of African American track and field athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Mexico. During the awards ceremonies, both Smith and Carlos raised their fisted hands encased in black gloves in gestures related to the Black Power movement intended to raise international awareness of African American civil rights. Public response to the men’s silent protest in 1968 are compared to popular opinions regarding the awarding of Smith and Carlos with the 2008 Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.


Shakespeare’s “Four Humours” Exhibit in Ames

STC 19511 copy 1, page 129

STC 19511 copy 1, page 129

Original Piece Written by Kim Hill – The Ames Library will host a national traveling exhibit “And There’s the Humor of It: Shakespeare and the Four Humors.” The 6-panel exhibit will be display Sept. 19-Oct. 29 on the entry level.

William Shakespeare created characters that are among the richest and most recognizable in all of literature. Yet Shakespeare understood human personality in the terms available to his age – that of the now-discarded theory of the four bodily humors – blood, bile, melancholy and phlegm. In Shakespeare’s time, these four humors were understood to define peoples’ physical and mental health, and determined their personality, as well. Carried by the bloodstream, the four humors bred the core passions of anger, grief, hope and fear – the emotions conveyed so powerfully in Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies.

ob2038-lgThe exhibition explores the role played by the four humors in several of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays through imagery and rare books from both the National Library of Medicine and the Folger Shakespeare Library. The exhibit also examines more modern interpretations of the four humors in contemporary medicine. Associate Professor of English Mary Ann Bushman was instrumental in bringing the exhibit to The Ames Library. In talking about the exhibit she mentioned that bringing the exhibit to IWU might provide an opportunity for students from many disciplines to learn about the history of medicine, psychology, physiology, and Shakespeare’s dramatic characters and theatrical practices.

An opening reception is scheduled for Sept. 22 from 4 to 6 p.m. in The Ames Library Beckman Auditorium. Three faculty members and a student will present brief talks on aspects of the four humors. McFee Professor of Religion and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies Carole Myscofski will present “Witches’ Humors and Love Magic” and Byron S. Tucci Professor and Professor of Hispanic Studies Carolyn Nadeau will explore means by which health care providers in early modern Spain treated sensory ailments brought on by injury or illness. Chair and Professor of Chemistry Rebecca Roesner will explain how imbalances of the four humors were invoked to describe people’s temperaments and explain a wide variety of physical ailments. And English-writing and Theatre Arts double major Jamie Kreppein ’18 will discuss the role of women in Shakespeare’s works, specifically Ophelia.

I-Share Down, Sunday, 9/18

I-Share and the Ames catalog will be unavailable on Sunday, September 18 between 6 and 10am. The service interruption is necessary in order to perform operating systems maintenance on servers. Please let the Library Services Desk know if you have problems after 10am.

Social Justice Quilting

Dorothy Burge – “Threads of Change: Quilting for Social Justice” – Burge will speak at The Ames Library on Monday, September 19th at 4pm (Beckman Auditorium) as part of “Women Changing the World: Activists and Pathbreakers,” a series of talks and films sponsored by the Political Science Department. These events are made possible through generous grants provided by the Betty Ritchie-Birrer ’47 and Ivan Birrer PhD Endowment Fund.

“Needlework is the one art in which women controlled the education of their daughters, the production of the art, and were also the audience and its critics.” -Patricia Mainardi, “Quilts: The Great American Art,” The Feminist Art Journal (Winter 1973).


Feminist pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton ascribed women’s lower status to their undervalued work in both home and factory textile production.  On the other hand, women involved in 19th-century social movements, from abolition to temperance to women’s rights disagreed about the utility of quilts in their efforts to change society.  Quilting and handicrafts in general were purely in women’s domain and were often used as both statements about everyday life, a reason for communal work and conversation, and a way to “soothe” anxieties about more radical change by “clothing” political events in familiar feminine garb.

In the 20th and late 20th century, feminists in the second and third wave have turned to quilting as art, symbol, and craft, lauding both the female history of quilt making, its ability to tell a story, and as part of a “new domesticity” in which independent crafts and activism are celebrated and valued. The African-American quilting tradition, that includes the use of quilts by members of the Underground Railroad to send messages to slaves seeking refuge, is being celebrated and preserved.


Quilt-making today is often used as a form of social justice activism sometimes called “craftivism” (craft + activism): to raise awareness about an issue (such as gun violence or racism); to memorialize victims and place pressure on policy makers (as with the AIDs Quilt or the Drones Quilt Project for victims of American drone strikes); to chronicle the daily life of a people in the face of globalization pressures or to tell about more extreme experiences, such as displacement and migration; to place pressure on oppressive regimes by revealing their crimes (as with the Chilean arpilleras); and to inspire cultural change (such as the Monument Quilt Project which seeks to change rape culture in America).

The organization Quilt for Change raises awareness on global issues that affect women (

Social justice quilting speaks powerfully across borders and across time, and through quilting anyone can be empowered to become an agent for social change.


Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


While many artists are recognized posthumously, our fourth Theme Thursday features a woman whose work didn’t receive much acclaim until 30 years after her death. During her life, Frida Kahlo was often thought of as Diego Rivera’s wife. It wasn’t until feminist art  historians began to sing her praises during the 1980s that she became internationally recognized for her surrealist portraits.

The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait, with introductions by Carlos Fuentes and Sarah M. Lowe, recreated Kahlo’s personal diary. From the book cover: “Published here in its entirety, Frida Kahlo’s amazing illustrated journal documents the last ten years of her turbulent life. This passionate, often surprising, intimate record, kept under lock and key for some forty years in Mexico, reveals many new dimensions in the complex persona of this remarkable Mexican artist.
91760Covering the years 1944-45, the 170-page journal contains Frida’s thoughts, poems, and dreams, and reflects her stormy relationship with her husband, Diego Rivera, Mexico’s famous artist. The seventy watercolor illustrations in the journal – some lively sketches, several elegant self-portraits, others complete paintings – offer insights into her creative process, and show her frequently using the journal to work out pictorial ideas for her canvases.

The text entries, written in Frida’s round, full script in brightly colored inks, add an almost decorative quality, making the journal as captivating to look at as it is to read. Frida’s childhood, her political sensibilities, and her obsession with Diego are all illuminated in witty phrases and haunting images.

Although much has been written recently about this extraordinary woman, Frida Kahlo’s art and life continue to fascinate the world. This personal document, published in a complete full-color facsimile edition, will add greatly to the understanding of her unique and powerful vision and her enormous courage in the face of more than thirty-five operations to correct injuries she had sustained in an accident at the age of eighteen. The facsimile is accompanied by an introduction by the world-renowned Mexican man of letters Carlos Fuentes and a complete translation of the diary’s text. An essay on the place of the diary in Frida’s work and in art history at large, as well as commentaries on the images, is provided by Sarah M. Lowe.”

IWU Professor Emily Dunn Dale and the ERA

The death of famed conservative activist and constitutional lawyer Phyllis Schlafly brought to mind an IWU connection from the 1970s. The University Archives contains a recording of a faculty member rebutting a position Schlafly took on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

Read a post from the University Archives to find out what this cartoon and former Anthropology & Sociology Professor Emily Dunn Dale have in common!

February 12, 1982 Argus p. 3

February 12, 1982 Argus p. 3


New Librarian of Congress Sworn in Live

From the Library of Congress blog: “Carla D. Hayden will be sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress in a historic ceremony in the Thomas Jefferson Building Wednesday, Sept. 14 at noon. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. The YouTube broadcast will be captioned.

The ceremony marks two milestones: Hayden will become the first woman and the first African-American to serve as Librarian of Congress. She plans to take the oath using a book, drawn from Library collections, with historic connections of its own: the Lincoln Bible.

carla_haydenHayden has recently overseen the renovation of the central branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, a four-year, $112 million project, and has also led $40 million in renovations to other units within the 22-branch Pratt system. The system is named for the businessman and philanthropist who financed its founding in 1886.

Longtime chief executive of the Enoch Pratt Free Library system in Baltimore and a former president of the American Library Association,  Hayden took the helm of the Baltimore system in 1993, winning strong praise for her work to ensure that the city’s library system offers a broad array of services to assist citizens from all walks of life, from access to books and other learning materials to computer access and job information. A program of outreach into neighborhoods served by the Pratt libraries included after-school centers for teens, offering homework assistance and college counseling; a program offering healthy-eating information for residents in areas with insufficient access to high-quality food; programming in Spanish; establishment of an electronic library, and digitization of the Library’s special collections.

Hayden first served as a children’s librarian in the Chicago Public Library system, eventually rising to the post of deputy commissioner and chief librarian in that system. She also taught Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She received Library Journal’s 1995 Librarian of the Year Award, and served as president of the American Library Association 2003-2004.”