UM Libraries Co-Host 2016 Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) Conference

Librarians and archivists gathering for the 2016 Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) conference brought their passion for rare books, old maps, pamphlets, letters, and history in many other forms to Coral Gables for a four-day discussion on bridging collections with potential users and donors across communities.

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Special Collections Librarian Jay Sylvestre leads a tour of rare materials in an “Instameet,” bringing together RBMS participants active in promoting resources through social media. Posts from this meet up can be found on Instagram using #InstaMeetUM.

More than 400 library professionals of colleges and universities nationwide came together for the nearly 60-year-old RBMS conference, hosted this year by the University of Miami Libraries and University of Florida Smathers Libraries, from June 20 to 24, on the theme of Opening Doors to Collaboration, Outreach and Diversity.

“It’s about making sure the diversity of our communities are being reflected in our collections, and finding ways to make them more accessible to all for greater enrichment and impact,” says Cristina Favretto, head of Special Collections and a 2016 conference organizer. Several of UM’s librarians participated in conference panels and workshops, held mainly at the Biltmore Hotel and additionally on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus.

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UM Libraries and UF Smathers Libraries hosted a reception at the Shalala Student Center on June 23.



Graphic Novels Spotlight: Kelly Sue DeConnick

by Bill Jacobs & Sean P. Ahearn, Learning & Research Services

Image Credit: HeroesCon 14 in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 22, 2014, Wikipedia

 

Kelly Sue DeConnick is a comic book author and one of the most outspoken advocates for women’s rights and equality in the superhero graphic novel community.

DeConnick has an exemplary career having written for several major publishers including Image Comics, Boom, Oni, Humaniods, Dark Horse, IDW, DC, Vertigo, and Marvel.

 In 2012 one of the most important DeConnick updates was given to the Captain Marvel title.
Carol Danvers, our hero, dropped her old title “Ms.”, and gained a new suit (cover below). No longer are any unnecessary body parts exposed; this would be the real attitude of an Air Force captain. Along with the title hero having a realist attitude about her appearance, the themes found throughout are full of powerful feminist motifs. After an accidental mishap with time travel leaves her stranded on a Japanese occupied island during WWII, Captain Marvel finds herself being rescued by an all-woman Pilot Squadron.

In the same story, DeConnick asks her readers to contemplate women’s rights by deliberately highlighting antiquated attitudes. These sentiments, unfortunately, still plague women’s rights today.

DeConnick has no fear, and has even taken on sexuality. In a quick innocuous scene a female alien ally is pulled away from the action to quickly kiss her love (image below). This panel is an example of the blunt, unapologetic attitude that has made DeConnick stand out in the graphic novel world. Moreover, it exemplifies her open and accepting attitude about sexuality. Her devoted fan base, who have named themselves the “Carol Corps,” embrace these scenes for their narrative and aesthetic as well as ideological appeal, many finding empowerment in DeConnick’s work more than any other superhero series. She has opened comics to the female demographic, enticing and drawing in new readers who otherwise may not relate to graphic novels.

The arrival of the new, liberated Captain Marvel was embraced by some, rejected by others. This only meant DeConnick had to speak more brassily. She took her political voice to the next level in 2015 with Bitch Planet, set in an off world prison for what are supposed to be the most dangerous female criminals.

Bitch Planet is a sci-fi story that is both a literal comment on the exploitation of women in prison and a figurative criticism on women in society. As the title implies, this is not for children. While it is set in a fantastic futuristic environment, the story is dark and disheartening.

Aside from her large fan-base, DeConnick’s hard work has not gone unrecognized by the establishment; she was nominated for an Eisner award (considered the Oscars of the comic world) for Pretty Deadly, a mythological western. As graphic novels progress, so will the voices within them. DeConnick is a great example of the impact these stories have on our society and how important it is for readers to be able to identify with the characters.

Tell us what you think on Twitter or Facebook. And to learn more about any of the titles listed here or more about Kelly Sue DeConnick check out the link to our sources:

  • https://imagecomics.com/creators/view/kelly-sue-deconnick
  • http://kellysue.tumblr.com/
  • http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/07/kelly-sue-deconnick-profile

About the Collection

UML’s Graphic Novels collection of more than 1,000 volumes includes newspaper comic strips, Japanese manga, European bande dessinee, and alternative American comics, in addition to superhero stories. Along with high-flying, wall-crawling, planet-saving scenarios, there are detectives tracking down lost library books, demon-fighting ronan, and wine tasting competitions. Many of the unusual storylines are woven into commentary on deeper issues, such as racial history, mass media, and philosophy. Some graphic novels avoid the fantastic entirely, and instead tell mystery stories, autobiography, and graphic essays.



2016 New Directions in Cuban Studies Conference

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The University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) will host a multidisciplinary conference October 20-21, 2016, to disseminate the work of graduate students and emerging scholars and survey the current status of Cuban and Cuban American Studies.

The application period for papers and panel proposals has now closed. Please stay tuned for event registration information.

About New Directions in Cuban Studies 2016

Planning for the 2016 conference is underway with the strong support of our organizing committee. The committee is made up of the following individuals:

  • Dr. Victor Deupi, Lecturer, University of Miami School of Architecture
  • Dr. Lillian Manzor, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mei Méndez, Interim Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair, University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection
  • Dr. Martin Tsang, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Area Studies, University of Miami Libraries

The New Directions in Cuban Studies conference is free and open to the public.  Registration is required.

Conference History

The inaugural conference was held in 2014 and included the participation of 13 former CHC fellows. The event’s keynote speaker was Louis A. Pérez, Jr. Panel discussants included Ada Ferrer, New York University, José Quiroga, Emory University, Lisandro Pérez, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and María de los Angeles Torres, University of Illinois, Chicago.

The 2014 New Directions in Cuban Studies conference was made possible in part through funding from The Goizueta Foundation and the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection.



Goizueta Fellows: In Their Own Words

Starting this summer the Cuban Heritage Collection welcomes ten emerging scholars into the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program. We are proud to introduce each of our 2016-2017 Goizueta Fellows throughout the course of the program.

Thanks to Melissa Bumbach for taking part in the first interview of the series. Melissa will discuss her work in a CHC Research Colloquium on Wednesday, June 29, 3 p.m., at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. All are welcome to attend this presentation.

About Melissa Bumbach

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Goizueta Fellow Melissa Bumbach is pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Melissa Bumbach is a teaching assistant at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she is pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting with a cognate in music education. She has been awarded two research grants to fund dissertation research in Cuba and the U.S. Previously, she was the choral director at Howard Middle School in Marion County, Florida, where she was named the 2012 Howard Middle School Teacher of the Year and awarded a $10,000 grant for her choral program from the TV show Glee and the National Association for Music Education. She went on to be named the 2012 Marion County Teacher of the Year. Melissa is also a professional vocal soloist and choral singer and has recorded with Gloria Estefan and sung the National Anthem at the 2016 CNN Republican Presidential Debate in Miami, FL. Melissa received her master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of South Florida, where was the Graduate Conducting Apprentice for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

What university/program are you from?

University of Miami Frost School of Music, pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting

What are you working on?

I am conducting an oral history of Dr. Digna Guerra, the director of the National Choir of Cuba since 1975, for my dissertation. Chamber choirs from the National Choir of Cuba have recently performed at the baseball game attended by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro as well as with the Rolling Stones.

What do you expect to find at the CHC?

The Cuban Heritage Collection contains the Manuel Ochoa papers. Manuel Ochoa, a well-known choral and orchestral conductor, was Dr. Guerra’s conducting teacher in Cuba in the 1960s. I hope to find materials from Dr. Guerra’s time under Manuel Ochoa’s direction. I also hope to find materials related to Dr. Guerra’s many choral performances and professional recognitions in Cuba and internationally.

How can we learn more about your research?

I will be talking about my project in a CHC Research Colloquium* on Wednesday, June 29, 3 p.m. at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.

*Colloquia are free and open to the public. Contact us at chc@miami.edu for more information.

About the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program

The Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program provides assistance to doctoral students who wish to use the research resources available in the University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) in support of dissertation research. The goal of these fellowships is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the Cuban Heritage Collection and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban, hemispheric, and international studies.

For more information about fellowship opportunities to study at the Cuban Heritage Collection or to learn about past fellows, click here.



Join Us for Caribbean Voices on July 13

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University of Miami Special Collections cordially invites you to a reception in appreciation of those who made possible the Caribbean Diaspora Oral History Project.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 | 6:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library, 8th Floor
University of Miami | 1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.

In 2015, 20 influential Miamians took part in the inaugural series of oral history interviews known as the Caribbean Diaspora Oral History Project. By sharing their stories, these individuals have helped the University of Miami Special Collections continue its important work of documenting the history of the Caribbean and its diaspora for the future use of students, scholars, artists, and community researchers.

Please join us for a reception to celebrate the completion of this inaugural series and recognize the individuals who have made it possible.

#CaribbeanVoices
Find Special Collections on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for special sneak peaks of the project—featuring a new oral history donor each day!

This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida.

Please click map image below to enlarge. Contact us at 305-284-4026 or richterevents@miami.edu with questions about directions and parking.

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