We Have Zines!

The next time you are in Hutchins Library, you should stop by the periodicals section (near Circulation) and check out the zines currently residing at the end of our magazine/journal shelving.

What are zines? According to the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture:

zines are nonprofessional, anti-commercial, small-circulation magazines produced, published, and distributed by their creators themselves. Composed and formatted on home computers, zines are reproduced on copiers or printers, assembled on kitchen tables, and sold or swapped through the mail or made available at small book or music stores. It is estimated that between 10,000 and 20,000 zines circulate in the United States and in other countries throughout the world. With names like Dishwasher, Temp Slave, Pathetic Life, Practical Anarchy, Punk Planet, and Slug & Lettuce, zines have a subject matter that ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous and sometimes the unfathomable. What binds these publications together is the prime directive “do-it-yourself.” Zines advocate that people stop shopping for culture and create their own (Duncombe 489).

To pique your interest, here is a sampling of just a few of the titles currently on display:

zine 4zine 3 zine 2 zine 1Our zines are not cataloged, so you won’t be able to search for them in BANC. Also, they are not a permanent part of our library collection. What does that mean to you? It means you need to come and enjoy them now, while they are here. Give yourself some time to browse the titles and be prepared to be shocked, educated, or entertained (or all three at once!)

Source:

Duncombe, Stephen. “Zines.” St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Thomas Riggs. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: St. James Press, 2013. 489-490. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.

 

Reference Book of the Week: Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature

March is Women’s History Month, so we continue highlighting some reference items related to women and women’s studies on the blog this month. This week we are looking at the Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature. This is an A to Z guide to feminist literature. Entries cover important feminist writers such as Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, Anaïs Nin, Sandra Cisnerors, and more much more. It also covers influential works, literary theories, motifs, issues, philosophical and literary developments, sources, women’s history, literary history, genres, themes, characters, and literary conventions.

The work is arranged in more than 500 entries in alphabetical order. It draws on the expertise of a diverse group of scholars. In addition, topics are drawn from “a close examination of the syllabi of women’s studies, literature, and social issues classes, as well as the contents of current textbooks, supplemental reading lists, and notable projects and seminars that have drawn together teachers, students, writers, activists, and authorities on feminist concerns” (vii).

Each entry includes a short bibliography for further reading. Entries also include cross-references (indicated by names in full caps in an entry). In addition to the entries, the volume also features:

  • An introductory essay for the volume that provides an overview of feminist literature and writers.
  • A list of authors by genre. For example, get a list of feminist writers who write drama.
  • A list of major feminist authors and their works.
  • A timeline of major works in feminist literature.
  • A primary sources bibliography listing print works and electronic texts.
  • A secondary sources bibliography for works about the writers and feminist literature.
  • A small list of relevant films.
  • An index, where boldfaced terms indicate main entries.

For students in literary studies, classes with literature elements, and WGS (women and gender studies), this can be a volume of interest. Whether you need to find a specific term or idea, such as “letter writing,” look up an author like Amy Tan, or get a quick overview of a work, say Life in the Iron Mills, this is the book for you. If you are starting to do research on feminist literature, fiction or nonfiction, this is book is an excellent starting point.

You can find it in the library’s Second Floor Reference Collection under the call number R 809.892 S673e 2006.

 

Reference Book of the Week: Women in Developing Countries

March is Women’s History Month, so I am highlighting some reference items related to women and women’s studies on the blog. This week I am featuring Women in Developing Countries: A Reference Handbook (link to library catalog). This is part of ABC-CLIO’s Contemporary World Issues series. The books in this series are designed, according to the publisher, to provide accurate, unbiased information on major topics. Books in this series are designed to be good research starting points for students, scholars, general readers, activists, legislators, and others.

“The purpose of the book is to provide a survey of the literature and other resources on the topic of women in developing countries and to provide sources for further research” (xv).

The book is arranged as follows:

  • Preface gives readers a brief description of the book’s scope and content.
  • The book includes a lists of developing countries; this helps define the book’s scope.
  • Chapter 1 provides background and historical information. Basic concepts are defined and discussed. We get a look at women’s status and experiences around the world, in a broad way, covering topics such as education, health care, and employment.
  • Chapter 2 goes over important specific issues and controversies.
  • Chapter 3 focuses on issues of concern in the United States.
  • Chapter 4 provides a chronology of key events in recent history of women in developing countries.
  • Chapter 5 offers a set of biographical sketches. These are short biographies of women who have played major roles in areas related to the subject ranging from politics to social activism and from local and international figures.
  • Chapter 6 is the statistics and data chapter. It also includes some texts and summaries of relevant U.N. conventions.
  • Chapter 7 is a listing of organizations, mostly NGO’s, government agencies, and government-affiliated organizations.
  • Note that Chapters 1-6 do include a list of references, which researchers can find useful for further reading.
  • Chapter 8 is an annotated bibliography of books and other materials related to women in developing countries.
  • There is also a glossary of terms, and the book includes an alphabetical index.

Students doing research on women’s issues, in the U.S. and abroad, with an interest in developing countries will find the book useful. The book provides an overview of topics, and it helps the reader find ways to expand research. In addition, as other reference books do, this book provides vocabulary, which can be used then in article database searching. Finally, students can use the bibliography to find additional sources of information. This is overall a nice volume that packs a lot of value and information for the researcher needing a starting point on this topic.

The book is located in the 2nd Floor Reference Collection of the library under call number 305.409 K557w 2011.

Check Out Our Graphic Novels for a Chance to Win!

We are excited to announce the installation of our new Graphic Novel display in the rear of the Reference Area on the main floor of Hutchins Library. There are a lot of cool new titles to check out, such as:

  • Chew - The story of Tony Chu, a detective who is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. He works for the Special Crimes Division of the FDA and has the responsibility of investigating their strangest, sickest, and most bizarre cases.
  • I Kill Giants – “Barbara Thorson, a girl battling monsters both real and imagined, kicks butt, takes names, and faces her greatest fear in this bittersweet, coming-of-age story!” (description courtesy of amazon.com)
  • The Walking Dead: Compendium One – If you’re a fan of the Emmy Award-winning TV show of the same name, then you owe it to yourself to pick this up. This is the first 48 issues of the comic collected for your convenience in one mega-sized book of awesome. If you’ve never heard of the series, here it is a nutshell: a man wakes up in the hospital one day to find that the world has degenerated into something he doesn’t even recognize because of a Zombie Apocalypse. If you want to know what happens next, check it out!

    Graphic Novel

    The display is in the rear of the Reference area and features some of our favorite Graphic Novel titles.

Adding to the excitement of the display, we will be giving away 2 FREE weekend passes to the Lexington Comic Con. The giveaway begins this Sunday, March 9th when the library opens at 2pm. The tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The first person to pick up the tickets is the winner.

Copies of the tickets will be located in the Graphic Novel display at the rear of Reference.To redeem the copies for the actual tickets, the person who finds them will need to turn them into the Reference Desk and agree to have their picture taken holding the winning tickets.

The giveaway is open to everyone — students, faculty, and community members alike. The Comic Con will be held next weekend, March 14th-16th.

Bam!

Celebrating Women Writers

In recognition of Women’s History Month, a new display has been erected which celebrates a variety of women writers, ranging from the likes of Bell Hooks to Margaret Atwood to Nora Roberts. The titles chosen cross many genres, from popular fiction to biography to cultural criticism and even include film adaptations. In honor of the cultural and artistic contributions that women writers have made to humanity, the display will remain up for the entire month of March.

Image

ImageDid you know?

“Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.”  Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.”  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.” – source: http://womenshistorymonth.gov/about.html

Mary E. Britton

In honor of Black History month we would like to dedicate an article about Mary E. Britton (1855-1925) who was a student at Berea College from c1870-1874. A public school teacher and activist, Britton later earned a medical degree and became the first African-American female doctor in the state of Kentucky, practicing in Lexington.Mary Eleanor Britton

Mary Eleanor Britton was born 1855 on Mills Street, in current Lexington’s Gratz Park Historical District, in Kentucky. Her parents, Laura Marshall and Henry Harrison Britton, were both free African Americans living in a slave state of Kentucky. Her father was a carpenter. Her mother, Laura Marshall, was a freed slave of a biracial ancestry, whose father was a well-known Kentucky public official Thomas F. Marshall. Britton’s mother Laura was a well-educated, intelligent woman, and a talented singer and a musician. Laura encouraged and instilled love for education, music and public service in both of her daughters from an early age. In short, her family was well respected, honored and trustworthy within the circle of prominent and affluent Kentucky families

She grew up in Lexington and, along with his sister Julia Britton, studied at Mr. Gibson’s school for colored youths in Louisville, Kentucky. Although, she grew up as a free individual, her siblings and her still experienced and witnessed the racial discrimination and inequality towards the black Americans. Yet, she and her siblings received the best education one could only ask for in Kentucky. She attended Berea College, at that time called Berea Academy, from 1871-1874. Since at that time the only available and possible career studies for females of any race was teaching and nursing, Mary Britton and Julia Britton Hooks chose to study teaching. She and Julia graduated in 1874 as the first two African American woman graduates of Berea College. Their parents unexpectedly passed away one after the other before the sisters’ graduation. Thus, after her graduation, Mary Britton sought employment as a teacher in order to support herself financially. In 1876, first she taught in Chilesburg, Kentucky and later continued teaching within the Lexington public school system.

Yet, although employed Mary did not stop pursuing her higher education, and attended and graduated with a medical degree from the American Missionary College situated in Chicago, Illinois. Since she had a great interest in medicine, she also studied at Howard Medical School in Washington D.C., and at Meharry Medical College of Nashville, Tennessee. Britton then started practicing medicine from her Lexington home. She specialized in hydrotherapy and electrotherapy, and by 1902, she became Lexington’s first African American woman physician licensed to practice medicine. Due to Jim Crow laws, the healthcare and medical treatment became even less easily available for African Americans at white hospitals.  Thus, Britton made it possible for African Americans and treated her patients by using water and electricity.

Mary Britton work

Mary E. Britton treated patients from her home. Photo by Tom Eblen

Mary Britton was extremely active in public life of her community. For instance, she actively participated in Suffrage Movement, and later served as the president of Woman’s Improvement Club, which aimed at improving women’s social status, living conditions and economic improvements. In 1877, as a member of the Kentucky Negro Education Association she worked hard to help improve African Americans’ living conditions through legislative action. Moreover, from 1892 she served as the founding director of the Colored Orphan Industrial Home, which was an organization that, in collaboration with the Ladies Orphan Society, helped impoverished orphans and homeless elderly women with food, clothing, housing accommodation, receiving education and guidance on how they could eventually establish they lives. The building of that same Industrial Home is still present to this day as the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center and the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum. It is a building, which has served as a nursing home and hospital through an entire century.

Moreover, in her writings for the American Citizen, the Daily Transcript, Our Women and Children, and the Lexington Leader, Britton wrote against the Jim Crow segregation laws, against usage of alcohol and tobacco, and expressed the necessity for societal reformation. In 1892 edition of Kentucky Leader, Britton argued in against the passage of the Separate Coach Law that had been implemented the previous year. The Separate Coach Law required that Americans of different races ride in separate – precisely, segregated – train cars, which supposedly kept every race equal, but not together in unity. Thus, Britton campaigned against the idea that all the races could be equal as long as they remained separated.

Mary Britton’s courage and compassion served as an inspiration to many within and beyond her community. One of them was author and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, who dedicated a lengthy, yet thoughtful poem to Ms. Britton titled simply “To Miss Mary Britton.” The poem’s third verse recited the following:

Give us to lead our cause

More noble souls like hers,

The memory of whose deed

Each feeling bosom stirs;

Whose fearless voice and strong

Rose to defend her race,

Roused Justice from her sleep,

Drove Prejudice from place.

Mary Britton was an educator, physician, a journalist and a civil rights activist, who fully dedicated herself for the good of her people. She is another individual, who has reached the peak with her dedication to social work and civil activism. Mary Britton was not the only one who became a distinguished humanitarian and civil rights activist of her time. Her sister Julia Britton Hooks, also a Berea College graduate and a music prodigy, was part of the Memphis branch of NAACP and a civil rights activist against the segregation in public schools. The two sisters worked together in their public service and activism, thus achieving much for the best of their respective communities. Britton’s brother, Tom Britton, was a jockey of a great fame and talent. In his career as a jockey, he won the Kentucky Oaks on his horse Miss Hawkins in 1891, and came second in Kentucky Derby on Huron in 1892.

Mary Britton died at the age of seventy in 1925. She was buried in Cove Haven Cemetery. She was yet another African American woman many years ahead of her time. Gerald Smith, a history professor at the University of Kentucky, described Mary Britton as the one who “came out of that Berea tradition of a teacher who becomes a social activist.” Mary Britton truly believed in and followed the mission of Berea College. She was the change, educated in Berea College, which the American society needed.

Mary Britton

Dr. Mary E. Britton is surrounded by men at this 1910 meeting of Kentucky physicians, dentists and pharmacists. Photo courtesy of Thomas Tolliver.

Sources:

“Mary Britton was a woman ahead of her time.” The Bluegrass and Beyond. February 14, 2012. URL: http://tomeblen.bloginky.com/2012/02/14/mary-britton-was-a-woman-ahead-of-her-time/

Applegate, Emily. “The Noble Soul of Mary E. Britton.” Berea College Magazine. URL: http://www.bereamag.com/archives/2012/summer/features/strategic-planning-at-berea-college/

Women in Kentucky – Health/Medicine. URL:http://www.womeninkentucky.com/site/healthmed/M_Britton.html

Dunbar, Paul Laurence. “To Miss Mary Britton.” In Oak and Ivy. Dayton, OH: Press of United Brethren Publishing House, 1893. URL: http://www.libraries.wright.edu/special/dunbar/poetry.php?type=poem&id=348

Notable Black American Women, Book 2. Ed. Jessie Carney Smith. 1996. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=ssMBzqrUpjwC&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=Berea+College,+Mary+E.+Britton&source=bl&ots=gVARmkl9Zp&sig=Jf85q37NpCAC10LcJfrWtcuPK3A&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ag1fUd3oEajZyQHUqYDICw&ved=0CF0Q6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Berea%20College%2C%20Mary%20E.%20Britton&f=false

Kleber, John E. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky, 1992. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=8eFSK4o–M0C&pg=PA125&lpg=PA125&dq=Dr.+Mary+E.+Britton&source=bl&ots=2OhIIWvWTT&sig=rRARaVmhMg6ymCqciB85bS1LYDE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dPJiUYG9HcKcqgGChoCICg&ved=0CGQQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Dr.%20Mary%20E.%20Britton&f=false

Reference Book of the Week: Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography

Welcome to a new edition of our semi-regular feature in our blog: Reference Book of the Week. Here at Hutchins Library we have an excellent reference collection. It is a great resource for students, faculty, and staff. We use this series of posts to highlight specific items in our reference collection, telling our readers what the item does and how it can be used for your research needs.

Cover Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese BiographyThis week we are featuring a new item of interest to students and scholars in Asian Studies as well as world history, politics, and biography: The Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography (the link goes to the book’s record in BANC, our library catalog). This three-volume set is designed for general readers seeking a working knowledge of Chinese history through its key figures.

The set features three volumes. Entries in the dictionary cover emperors, politicians, poets, writers, artists, scientists, explorers, philosophers, and others. The dictionary features 135 long biographies that range from 1,000 to 8,000 words in length. Entries are written by scholars fro China as well as from Europe, America, and Australia. The three volumes cover from the beginnings of Chinese history to 1979, the year when China resumed diplomatic relations with the United States. A forthcoming fourth volume will bring coverage to the present day. The publisher states that this work is inspired by the Dictionary of National Biography to provide access to information similar to that set about Chinese persons. The publisher speaks further on the set’s coverage:

“. . . we have tried to strike a balance between the obvious figures who cannot be left out of any overview of Chinese history, and lesser known individuals, whose life and achievements can nonetheless provide insight into China’s development” (xxviii).

Each entry features the following components:

  • The person’s name. (Right now, the volumes do not feature any living persons. In the forthcoming fourth volume, some living individuals will be featured. This is another way in which this set is different than the Dictionary of National Biography).
  • The time and dates the person lived and a brief statement of what they did.
  • Alternate name(s), if the person had any.
  • A summary paragraph.
  • The full entry essay.
  • The set overall contains various illustrations. When available, there is at least a portrait of the person. Images come from various sources.
  • A list of items for further reading.

How can you make use of this resource?

  • The volumes are organized chronologically by dynasty or historical period. Within each period, articles are mostly alphabetical (there are some exceptions).
  • Each volume has a complete list of entries for the specific volume and the set.
  • The first volume contains an introduction, the publisher’s note, and a reader’s guide that gives further guidance on how to best use this set for research and learning.
  • The third volume has a names index to help you find all the figures mentioned in the volume. If a person has a full entry in the dictionary, his or her name would be listed in bold letters.
  • The set features helpful indices, a timeline, and a glossary.

As of this post, the set is being featured in the library display honoring the 15th Anniversary of Asian Studies at Berea College. It is a reference book, so it may not be checked out, but you can use it inside the library. After the display, the set will return to the second floor Reference Collection. You can find it under the call number REF 951.003 B5125 2014.