Monthly Archives: December 2016

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


Our last Theme Thursday of the 2016 Fall semester, features Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy TramThis diary, published after the death of 27-year old Vietcong doctor, was saved from destruction by an American soldier, and gives us fresh insight into the lives of those fighting on the other side of the Vietnam War. It is a story of the struggle for one’s ideals amid the despair and grief of war, but also a story of hope in the most dire of circumstances.

51+BYbFtlLL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_From the cover: “In 1970, while sifting through war documents in Vietnam, Fred Whitehurst, an American lawyer serving with a military intelligence dispatch, found a diary no bigger than a pack of cigarettes, its pages handsewn together. Written between 1968 and ’70 by Tram, a young, passionate doctor who served on the front lines, it chronicled the strife she witnessed until the day she was shot by American soldiers earlier that year at age 27. Whitehurst, who was greatly moved by the diary and smuggled it out of the country, returned it to Thuy’s family in 2005; soon after, it was published as a book in Vietnam, selling nearly half a million copies within a year and a half. The diary is valuable for the perspective it offers on war—Thuy is not obsessed with military maneuvers but rather the damage, both physical and emotional, that the war is inflicting on her country. Thuy also speaks poignantly about her patients and the compassion she feels for them. Unfortunately, the writing, composed largely of breathless questions and exclamations, is monotonous at times, somewhat diminishing the book’s power.”

Now available: 32,000 new images in the Larry Qualls Archive of Contemporary Art

Artstor and Larry Qualls have released approximately 32,000 images of contemporary art exhibited in the New York area in the past three decades. This release joins the more than 100,000 images already available in the Larry Qualls Archive, making it our largest survey of contemporary art, and completes the collection in the Digital Library.

Creator: Deborah Kass; Date: 2010; Location: exhibited at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Fall 2010; Material: neon and transformers on powder-coated aluminum panel; Measurements: 66 x 68 x 5 inches

Creator: Deborah Kass; Date: 2010; Location: exhibited at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Fall 2010; Material: neon and transformers on powder-coated aluminum panel; Measurements: 66 x 68 x 5 inches

The Larry Qualls Archive includes all of the major figures equated with contemporary art from the 1980s to the present. Subscribers are able to see the development of such world-renowned artists as graffiti-inspired painters Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat; Neo-Geo practitioners Peter Halley and Jeff Koons; controversy-courting photographers Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe; Young British Artists Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin; relational artists Rirkrit Tiravanija and Carsten Holler; interdisciplinary artists Matthew Barney and Coco Fusco; and current headliners Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramovic. The collection also includes retrospective showings of veteran heavyweights such as Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, pioneer Pop artists Larry Rivers and Roy Lichtenstein, and minimalist sculptors Richard Serra and Carl Andre.

Qualls has been writing about and documenting the arts in New York for most of his career, and his extensive archive, now housed at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, surveys work exhibited in the New York area from 1988-2012. Qualls views this contribution to Artstor as an important source for future art studies. He says, “Not only will my work be preserved for generations to come, but the digitization will make the images available widely and in better and more stable form than could ever have been possible with film technology.”

Explore this collection in the Artstor Digital Library


Deborah Kass; After Louise Bourgeois; 2010; exhibited at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Fall 2010. Image and original data provided by Larry Qualls; © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women is the focus 41r+rM6tJmL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_of this Theme Thursday. From the book cover: “In today’s world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women’s movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It’s the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society’s impossible definition of “the flawless beauty.””

Naomi Wolf was born in San Francisco in 1962. She was an undergraduate at Yale University and did her graduate work at New College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Her essays have appeared in various publications including: The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She also speaks widely to groups across the country.

The Beauty Myth, her first book, was an international bestseller. She followed that with Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change The 21st Century, published by Random House in 1993, and Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood, published in 1997. Misconceptions, released in 2001, is a powerful and passionate critique of pregnancy and birth in America.

In fall 2002, Harper Collins published a 10th anniversary commemorative edition of The Beauty Myth. In May of 2005, Ms. Wolf released The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom from my Father on How to Live, Love and See. The End of America, published in September 2007 by Chelsea Green, is Naomi’s latest book.

Naomi Wolf is co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization devoted to training young women in ethical leadership for the 21st century. The institute teaches professional development in the arts and media, politics and law, business and entrepreneurship as well as ethical decision making.

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


This Theme Thursday features the story of yet another scientist whose contributions were credited to a man with whom she worked. From the book cover: “Lise Meitner (1878-1968) was a pioneer of nuclear physics and co-discoverer, with Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, of nuclear fission. Braving the sexism of the scientific world, she joined the prestigious Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry and became a prominent member of the international physics community. Of Jewish origin, Meitner fled Nazi Germany for Stockholm in 1938 and later moved to Cambridge, England. Her career was shattered when she fled Germany, and her 41P8PDczcFL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_scientific reputation was damaged when Hahn took full credit—and the 1944 Nobel Prize—for the work they had done together on nuclear fission. Ruth Sime’s absorbing book is the definitive biography of Lise Meitner, the story of a brilliant woman whose extraordinary life illustrates not only the dramatic scientific progress but also the injustice and destruction that have marked the twentieth century.”

Ruth Lewin Sime’s Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics gives Meitner a full-scale biography wherein we learn that she discovered the element protactinium. Drawing from correspondence between Meitner and Hahn, Sime reveals that Hahn had been initially stumped by what happened to the uranium he fired neutrons at; Meitner wrote back with the explanation. So, in effect, Sime has constructed here an admirable restorative of scientific credit, though she pounds a bit much on poor Hahn. We see Meitner’s true import to the flow of nuclear research of the period, in which she was a premier experimentalist, investigating the theories of Bohr, Planck, and others. Sime also adeptly conveys the private side of Meitner’s storm-tossed 90-year life, through all of which Meitner kept a humane perspective and a solid group of friends.

Fall Cluster Class Presentations in Ames


Cluster Classes Open House

Wednesday, December 7th, 11am – 1pm

The Ames Library

Cultural Anthropology- ANTH 171-  Introduces the study of cultures and social processes throughout the world today, with attention to anthropological theory and method. Topics include kinship, exchange systems, political organization, religion, and the expressive arts. Case studies from the non-western world as well as the contemporary U.S.

People & Cultures/East Africa- ANTH/ENST 274- Survey of select east African societies whose cultural adaptations to varied ecosystems make interesting case studies for comparative analysis. Reveals the diversity and the congruity of human social systems.

Visual Ethnographic Methods- ANTH 380- Critical analysis of ethnographic photography and film followed by the production of a visual auto-ethnography, and the following collaborative ethnographic research projects: a photo-essay, poster presentation, and short film.

Education and Social Justice- EDUC 225– Focuses on African American Women in education and will display a variety of artifacts to display the learning done over the semester.

Rebels, Radicals, and Revolutionaries: American Feminist ThoughtGW 100- This course focused on the major historical moments in American Feminist History and considered the title of the course: were feminists “rebels, radicals, and revolutionaries” who worked steadily towards more and more equal rights for women? Who was included and excluded in these equal rights? Did that change over time? How and why?

Intermediate Latin- LAT 201- Translations of ancient Roman texts on women. The translations will also include context on both the author and the lives of women in ancient Rome.

Women and Politics- PSCI 220- State of the Discipline Talks: seven minute talks that summarize in a visual format one aspect of a scholarly review of an area of the women in politics literature.

Black Feminist Imaginings- SOC 370- Work that explores the investigation of the Roxbury/Boston Murders.

The Anti-Procrastination Project

Tuesday, December 6th

Librarian/Professor Sue Anderson and the Writing Center staff will be in The Ames Library to support students in completing projects/papers/videos etc.

Starting a paper and don’t know where to begin? Anderson can talk you through the research process and help you find just the right articles. Writing Center tutors and Joel Haefner will be on hand to review drafts of papers. Poster printing on demand will be available from 7-10 p.m.

Two massage therapists will be available from 7-9 p.m. to relieve stress; sign-up sheets are on the door of Room 139 for 10-minute slots.

We want to help students finish the semester projects due before finals. Come to Ames to GET IT DONE! Snacks and de-stress fun will also be in the mix.

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


Over the summer, incoming students read The Underground Girls of Kabul and learned about girls who are raised as boys in Afghanistan. This Theme Thursday features another text about women in Afghanistan, Sally Armstrong’s Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women in Afghanistan. Written in 2002, the book tells the story of Armstrong’s search for Dr. Sima Simar, which started in 1997. Dr. Samar was a woman famous for working underground against the Taliban by keeping schools and medical clinics open for women.

51R75DCVKNL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_From the book cover: “The women of Afghanistan lived a five-year nightmare under the Taliban regime. In Veiled Threat, Sally Armstrong introduces several of these women—including the deputy prime minister of Afghanistan, Dr. Sima Samar—who describe the living hell they experienced as well as the quiet rebellion—clandestine schools for girls and health clinics for women—that took place in an effort to subvert the Taliban’s hateful edicts.

One of the first Western journalists to visit Afghanistan, Armstrong gives us an insider’s view of the deplorable situation. She also provides a broader perspective, leading us through the history of Afghanistan, including the ebb and flow of women’s rights. She examines what the Koran actually says about women. She points a finger at the international community for accepting women’s oppression in the name of culture, and she accuses the Taliban and other fundamentalist leaders of distorting Islam for political opportunism.”