Stories are an integral part of how we understand our communities—both their histories and our place within them. Theater is uniquely suited to this function, as every dramatic performance creates space removed one step from reality. On the stage, we can explore not just who we are, but who we might be.
A highlight of Telling Our Stories of Home, an ongoing 6-day conference-festival that brings artists, activists, and scholars together to examine the concept of “home” in African and African-Diaspora communities, will be the performance of Torn Asunder, a specially commissioned play based on the book Help Me to Find My People by Heather Williams, that focuses on the quest of African-American families to reunite after the Civil War.
It is from Torn Asunder that we take our cue, providing some complementary resources that expand on the intersection of theater and TOSH’s theme of “home.” The following list consists of a small selection of the Stone Center Library’s theater-related books that we hope will spur your imagination and curiosity in this fascinating and vital discussion. All quoted summaries are taken from the UNC-CH library catalog. Continue reading “Mirrored on the Stage: A Selection of Books on African and African-Diaspora Theater”
Feb. 24, 2016, marks the 10thanniversary of the death of Octavia Butler (1947 – 2006), known as the “grand dame of science fiction.” Her books and short stories critiqued contemporary power structures while imagining a radical new future, addressing issues of class, race, gender and sexuality along the way. Her powerful visions of the world as it could be helped kickstart a new literary genre: Afrofuturism, an examination of the intersection between race and technology that envisions the future while interrogating the past.
A lifelong writer, Octavia Butler’s body of work includes twelve novels and two short story collections. Her novels have won numerous honors and awards within the science fiction community and beyond. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “Genius Grant.”
The Stone Center Library is proud to join the celebration the literary impact of Octavia Butler’s life. Many of Octavia Butler’s writings are available at UNC Libraries, so rather than list her novels, we would like to highlight the literary conversation that is part of her legacy.
In this post, we’ve gathered books that feature discussion of Octavia Butler’s work, analyzing its themes and looking at it in the context of African American, science fiction, and Afrofuturist literature.
All of these books are available at the Stone Center Library. Each title links to the book’s UNC Library catalog entry, where you can check their availability and learn more about them. Each entry is also accompanied by quote from the book’s official description. Continue reading ““So be it! See to it!”: A Celebration of Octavia Butler”
As we conclude our tripartite series highlighting new arrivals currently up on display at the Stone Center Library, today’s list should especially appeal to religious scholars. Click on the links below for more information on each title, including summaries and current availability, or check out our previous posts in this series here and here.
Last week, we posted a partial listing of new books currently on display here at the Library. Today, we continue with a quick posting on new arrivals covering a wide range of topics in education – in the U.S. and abroad, secondary and post-secondary pedagogy and experiences, and other recent research. Check out what’s new @the SCL, part 2:
Featuring titles newly available here at the Stone Center Library, current highlights include topics such as religion, genealogy, education, women’s studies and more. We encourage you to come on by and check them out, and will be introducing these titles in a weekly three-part series, starting today with a variety of resources pertaining to family:
Did you know that May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month? This celebration was established in 1978, and recognizes the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. “The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.” (Source: http://asianpacificheritage.gov/about.html)
With this in mind, today’s SCL Pick is the newly-acquired Interracial Encounters : Reciprocal Representations in African American and Asian American Literatures, 1896-1937. Written by Julia H. Lee (2011, New York University Press), this book “explores the diverse ways in which Asian American and African American texts represented racial relations and racial others in an era dominated by a national racial philosophy that presumed, as W.E.B. Du Bois put it, the ‘high civilization of the whites, the lack of culture among the blacks, the apparent incapacity for self-rule in many non-Europeans, and the stagnation of Asia’” (Source: Syndetic Solutions).
Interested in this area of study? Come by the SCL! Today’s pick is but one of several volumes on Afro-Asian topics available here at the Library. For instance, check out last year’s selections here and here. And stay tuned for more SCL Picks this week and next, as we highlight some fabulous new titles that have recently been added to the collection. Happy reading!
In addition, today – April 30th – also marks the inaugural observation of International Jazz Day! Whether you’ve been celebrating all month, all year, or just for today, here’s a sampling of related books available here at the SCL:
Have you been by the Stone Center Library lately? If so, you may have noticed our latest display, which features selections in honor of women’s history month, hand-picked by Stone Center Librarian Shauna Collier.
“Kennedy’s unique approach links the experiences of black and white women, examining how childbirth and motherhood created strong ties to family, community, and region for both. She also moves beyond a simple exploration of birth as a physiological event, examining the social and cultural circumstances surrounding it: family and community support networks, the beliefs and practices of local midwives, and the roles of men as fathers and professionals. . . Kennedy’s systematic and thoughtful study distinguishes southern approaches to childbirth and motherhood from northern ones, showing how slavery and rural living contributed to a particularly southern experience.” (Source: http://search.lib.unc.edu/search?R=UNCb6283703)
“Through letters, autobiography, and oral history, this book evokes African American women’s voices from slavery to the open economy, examining their lives at work and at home. Sharpless looks beyond stereotypes to introduce the real women who left their own houses and families each morning to cook in other women’s kitchens.” (Source: http://search.lib.unc.edu/search?R=UNCb6460585)
If this topic piques your interest, don’t forget we’re always happy to provide further recommendations and/or reference assistance – by phone, email, or chat (StoneCenterRef). And in case you missed it the first time, here’s our Women’s History Month Round-Up of previous SCL blog entries and online resources in women’s studies, including the Stone Center Library’s Guide to the Web. Next up on the SCL blog: Have you come by the Library lately? Make sure you check out our latest display, featuring hand-picked selections by Stone Center Librarian Shauna Collier for Women’s History Month. Stay tuned!