Monthly Archives: August 2017

Theme Thursday – Evolution of Revolution

The annual theme of the 2017-2018 academic year is The Evolution of Revolution. A shared intellectual theme encourages classes to come together to explore a nuanced, intersectional concept. The Ames Library is happy to support faculty and students with diverse collections and access to materials from across the globe. Each Thursday, we’ll feature titles from our collection, which can be checked out by anyone from IWU. Think there’s something we should have, but don’t? Let your librarian know and we’ll work with you to make our collection as representative as possible.

Read the full description of the IWU annual theme here.

Our first featured book was read by all incoming first year, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

From Amazon: In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Additions to Special Collections

Awadagin's 1997 recital
Awadagin's 1997 recital

Awadagin Pratt’s 1997 recital poster

Over a decade ago, Dr. Mildred Pratt designated IWU as the repository for her son Awadagin’s performance materials. Several times since then, we’ve received additional primary sources related to both of Awadagin’s parents and his sister Menah. An archives blog post contains a detailed analysis of The Pratt Family Collection that is available for use in Tate Archives & Special Collections, located on the Ames Library’s fourth floor.

The Pratt family’s impact on Bloomington-Normal includes the Pratt Music Foundation, established in the memory of T.A.E.C. Pratt in 1996, that provides scholarships for lessons at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Music Preparatory Program. In addition, Dr. Mildred Pratt established the Mildred Pratt Student Assistance Fund at Illinois State University.