Archive for September, 2011

Europeana

September 29, 2011

Interested in learning more about the treasures of Europe’s museums and libraries but can’t make the trip over? Europeana is definitely a good substitute, as it provides 15+ million images, texts, sounds recordings, and videos! The website’s stated goal is very close to my librarian heart, as it is to “make Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage accessible to the public.”

You can search the website’s holdings either via the search box on the homepage, or you can click “advanced search” for more refined search options. In order to better find what you are looking for, you can refine searches by provider, country, type, rights access, etc… Europeana is very tech savvy, as users are able to share search results with others via numerous social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Cindy Crabb Zine Tour (!)

September 16, 2011

First off, I know I haven’t been blogging nearly as much as I usually do- September is the busiest month of the year for me at work!

I really wanted to announce an event I’m really delighted about- Cindy Crabb, creator of such amazing zines as Doris and Learning Good Consent, is going on a zine tour! Two of her stops are going to be in NYC- September 25th at Bluestockings Bookstore and September 26th at Book Thug Nation in Brooklyn. She just recently published The Doris Encyclopedia, which I imagine will be for sale at the event (and at her distro). Her zines are so beautiful- if there’s one event I recommend for you to check out this month, this is it!

“Library and Information Research” article

September 12, 2011

A couple years ago I wrote a paper on the relationship of phenomenology (particularly empathy) to librarianship. I used the dissertation of philosopher Edith Stein to propose specific ways in which empathy can be utilized to improve library theory and practice.

The open access journal Library and Information Research just published my article, titled “Applications of Edith Stein’s Empathy Theory to Library Science,” which can be found here. I’m really fascinated by the concept of empathy and its boundless potential to positively impact my profession — feel free to contact me if you’d ever like to discuss!

Interview with Stina on queer land movements

September 9, 2011

This summer I had the opportunity to interview my best friend, Stina, on her women’s/gender studies PhD work on rural queer communities. The interview was published in issue #5 of one of my favorite feminist zines, Hoax, edited by Rachel and Sari. Stina’s work is really fascinating, and I figured I’d post some of the interview here for anybody interested in reading! (Anyone interested in buying copies of Hoax should check out their Etsy shop!)

1. K: The second I learned that Hoax #5’s topic is feminism and community I knew I wanted to try and interview you for it. As a city dweller, can you please tell me a little bit about what got you interested in rural queer communities?

S: I don’t really like living in a big city — it’s stressful! I try to go away in the summers. I read about the queer community Bucky’s (note: name has been changed to protect the privacy of the community’s residents) in Sandor Ellix Katz’s book Wild Fermentation. I learned that Bucky’s takes garden interns, so I went down there. Then I went back again to spend more time with them. I had been doing research on lesbian land before that, and I found the differences and similarities between lesbian and queer land groups really fascinating.

2. K: I’m a librarian and the majority of work I’ve seen on queer geography has been on urban queers. Why do you think so much more work (as I perceive it) has been done on urban queers communities?

S: I wonder that too. I think it’s correct. The theory I’ve read about this question seems believable. During the 1950s there was a research team at the University of Chicago that did some of the first gay-related research ever. They argued that cities are the natural habitat for gay people because there isn’t as much community regulation, that it’s easier for people to live a deviant life in cities. I think that’s how people have seen it ever since. And now researchers often take queer as an urban category for granted. Luckily, some great work is being done to challenge this stereotype.

3. K: I’m aware that you’ve visited several queer land communities. How many such communities are you aware of in the U.S.? Do you know of any outside of the country as well?

S: I’ve read that there are 100 women’s/lesbian land communities in the U.S. There are a couple of directories of them- Maize and Shewolf. I don’t know how many Radical Faerie sanctuaries there are – maybe ten? There are a few mixed gender queer projects too- probably less than five. There are some Radical Faeries in Australia and there also used to be women’s land in Denmark.

4. K: Given your research, would you mind discussing a couple of the reasons interviewees have given for their decision to move to such a community?

S: A big one in Tennessee is TennCare. This was an expanded Medicare program from 1994- it was gradually dismantled between 2005-2010. TennCare was an experimental program- they wanted to see if they could insure more people for less money than Medicare. This would insure the “uninsurable”- such as those with HIV/AIDS. If you lived in TN and were denied health care coverage through a provider, you could get health care through the state. Some people moved to TN and applied for health care, but were denied and received TennCare.

A lot of people have gone to Bucky’s to visit and ended up staying. The most fun story I heard was one involving a guy those boyfriend lived near Bucky’s. The boyfriend performed a magic ceremony at a nearby Radical Faerie sanctuary, and the next time they met the first guy decided to move to TN to be with his boyfriend.

5. K: Could you please recommend a few authors/books people interested in learning more about rural queer studies could peruse?

S: There aren’t that many now but more and more are being done, which is really exciting. Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism by Scott Herring, definitely. And Mary Gray’s Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America. Also, E. Patrick John’s Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South. Scott Morgensen is doing some really interesting work on Radical Faeries and settler colonialism; I can’t wait for his book to come out. As this list hints at, there’s a clear dominance of white men in rural queer studies. This is something that definitely needs to be addressed.

Home Economics Archive

September 8, 2011

Cornell University’s libraries offer some pretty fascinating free digital collections. One I want in particular to note is the Home Economics Archive,  a collection of books and e-journals published between 1850-1950.

Site visitors can browse for information by subjects such as food & nutrition, clothing & textiles, and home management. There is also the option to browse by publication date and author/title, or to perform database-style searches.

Explaining the Archive’s function, Professor Joan Jacobs Brumberg explains:

“Home Economists in early 20th century America had a major role in the Progressive Era, the development of the welfare state, the triumph of modern hygiene and scientific medicine, the application of scientific research in a number of industries, and the popularization of important research on child development, family health, and family economics. What other group of American women did so much, all over the country, and got so little credit? … We must do everything we can to preserve and organize records and materials from this important female ghetto.”

Center for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema

September 2, 2011

Good afternoon! I just learned about the Center for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema, a website whose stated objective is “to provide a space for study and research of myriad topics relating to African women in cinema.” This is a very thorough and well-organized website, with ample film clips, bibliographies, and a frequently updated blog.

An index outlines the numerous sub-pages, including a guide to African women in cinema by country, a film timeline of works by African women, and a vlog which links visitors to the Center’s YouTube channel and Vimeo channel. I’m really impressed by the content and design of this site!