In March of this year, Duke University Press published the first collection of scholarly essays on the critically-acclaimed television series Mad Men, entitled Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s. On March 26th, the Chicago Humanities Festival, in association with Time Out Chicago, The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University, and the U of I’s Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, hosted an hour-long talk about the book project with its three editors, the U of I English Department’s Lauren M.E. Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky, and Robert Rushing. The talk was moderated by WBEZ host Alison Cuddy. It has now been posted to the Chicago Humanities Festival’s YouTube page.
The second-highest grossing film at the box office this weekend–trailing only Iron Man 3–was The Great Gatsby, which earned an estimated $50.1 million. Not bad at all for a film with no explosions, car chases, or vampires. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, this 3D adaptation stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the title character (Jay Gatsby), Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. The film is, of course, a star-studded adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s most popular novel, which was first published in 1925. A copy of the first English edition of the novel from 1926 is currently housed at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Fitzgerald is generally regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the Modernist period, and is the face of the so-called “Jazz Age,” a term he coined. Along with The Great Gatsby, he also penned such notable works as “May Day” (1920), This Side of Paradise (1920), “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” (1922), “Babylon Revisited” (1931), and Tender is the Night (1934). The Literatures and Languages Library has nearly 100 primary and secondary resources by or about Fitzgerald.
Fewer people are familiar Fitzgerald‘s flirtations with Hollywood. He wrote, revised, and consulted on numerous scripts in the 1920s and 1930s. Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation is the fourth full-length rendering of the novel for the big screen. The first version, released in 1926, has been lost. A 1949 version, starring Alan Ladd as Jay Gatsby, was made, as well as a more popular version in 1974, starring Robert Redford as Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan.
For April, the Literatures and Languages Library has installed two new exhibits on display in the Periodicals area on the South end of the Main Library Reading Room.
Cyberpunk is the focus of the first exhibit. Cyberpunk, a postmodern brand of science fiction that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s, often focuses on detritus-strewn dystopian landscapes where corporate interests dominate, leaving rogue hackers and outsiders to find ways of infiltrating and upending these new, technologically oppressive establishments. The grungy underworld in which these fictions often take place are contrasted with the use of incredible technology in ways unanticipated by its creators, blurring the line between actual and virtual reality. These tropes are especially intriguing to think about today as the Internet increasingly influences the lives of humans. Elements of Cyberpunk continue to influence literature and media in the genre of science fiction and beyond.
Since April is when the Major League Baseball season begins each year, we focus on The Literature of Baseball for our second exhibit. Known as “America’s pastime” for over a century, the exhibit focuses on fictional and non-fictional renderings of the sport and how it has played an important part in the myth of America. Widely known texts such as Bernard Malamud’s 1953 novel The Natural and Roger Kahn’s non-fictional account of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, The Boys of Summer (1972), sit alongside a book about Toni Stone, the first female to play baseball in the Negro Leagues when she debuted with the San Francisco Sea Lions in 1949, and a lesser known Philip Roth book, with the tongue-in-cheek title The Great American Novel (1973), about a home-less team that must play all their games on the road.
Both exhibits will be on display until the end of the month.
“The Right to Look: Technologies of Direct Democracy”
Nicholas Mirzoeff (Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University)
Date: February 21
Location: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum
Co-Sponsored by IPRH and the Spurlock Museum. A reception will follow the lecture. This event is free and open to the public.
About this event:
In this talk I will look at the analysis of visuality formed in my book The Right to Look and how it has informed my subsequent activism in the Occupy and Strike Debt movements. I question how we might imagine a countervisuality, write a history of the anonymous and create techniques of direct democracy with reference to critical theory, digital humanities and direct action.
About the speaker:
Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. His work is in the field of visual culture. He has been working on the genealogy of visuality, a term created to describe how Napoleonic era generals “visualized” a battlefield that they could not see. Applied to the social as a whole by Thomas Carlyle, visuality was a conservative strategy to oppose all emancipations and liberations in the name of the autocratic hero. His book The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality was published by Duke University Press (2011). Professor Mirzoeff also produces texts and projects that support the general development of visual culture as a field of study and a methodology: The third Visual Culture Reader was published in 2012 by Routledge, the second fully revised edition of An Introduction to Visual Culture was published in 2009 by Routledge.
Professor Mirzoeff also works on militant research with the global social movements that have arisen since 2011, and has been working on a new project on the cultures of climate change in conjunction with the not-for-profit Islands First.
“The Future of Authorship” Panel (Brown Bag Lunch)
Date: February 22, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: IPRH, Humanities Lecture Hall
About the event:
This panel will examine recently developed forms of scholarly communication, focusing on the ways scholars now create knowledge and communicate their findings to a range of audiences using innovative digital platforms and tools for conducting research, writing, and publishing. The aim of this panel is to explore the intellectual advances afforded by new modes of authorship, peer review, and publishing. Please join us for a panel discussion featuring the following speakers:
Nicholas Mirzoeff (Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU)
Kevin Hamilton (Art + Design; IPRH Coordinator of Digital Scholarly Communication)
Eduardo Ledesma (Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese)
Jodee Stanley (Editor, Ninth Letter)
Please bring your lunch. Cookies and beverages will be provided.
About the UIUC speakers:
Kevin Hamilton is an Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design, where he has served in the New Media and Painting Programs since 2002. He also holds appointments in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies, the Center for Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security, and is co-Director of the Center for People and Infrastructures at the Coordinated Science Laboratory. Kevin’s primary research lies in historical and theoretical work on the history of interface representations in mediated violence, with a special emphasis on government-produced films related to nuclear weapons development. Kevin’s work as an educator is focused on integration of practice-based and theoretical approaches to understanding technological mediation. This work includes the direction of “Learning to See Systems,” a new interdisciplinary graduate study track that will begin in Fall of 2013. Kevin Hamilton will serve as the Coordinator of Digital Scholarly Communication to direct the IPRH’s future involvement as a Scalar institutional partner, which will begin in Fall of 2013.
Eduardo Ledesma is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches Luso-Hispanic literature, film and new media. He received his PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University (2012) and holds advanced degrees in both structural engineering and Hispanic literature. His research focuses on avant-garde and experimental forms across different media. Currently he is working on several projects dealing with the confluence of experimental film, poetry and digital media.
Jodee Stanley is the editor of Ninth Letter, the award-winning literary/arts journal published by UIUC’s MFA in Creative Writing Program in collaboration with the School of Art + Design. Jodee supervises the graduate literary publishing practicum and also teaches editing at the undergraduate level. She has worked in literary publishing for twenty years and has been a speaker and panelist at various conferences and festivals. In 2009, she was awarded an Academic Professional Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UIUC, and she received a 2007 Faculty Fellowship from the University of Illinois Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Her fiction, essays, and book reviews have appeared in several publications including Crab Orchard Review, Mississippi Review, Hobart, Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. She is currently co-editing an anthology of Midwest Gothic fiction.