THIS JUST IN: Lions, Tigers, and Pegacorns, Oh My!

Age of the Womanimal, published for the Garden of the Womanimal/Caroline Paquita exhibition at the Booklyn Art Gallery from April 12 – June 18, 2014.

By Yvette Yurubi, Research Assistant

In following this year’s #BeBoldForChange theme for International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight one of our more recent and unique acquisitions from Caroline Paquita and Pegacorn Press. Caroline and her collaborators have been publishing zines together since the mid-1990s. These works showcase femininity and sexuality in a raw and brazen way, and capture the female body in all of its many shapes, forms, and sizes, while also tackling the experience of being a woman in today’s society. The exaggerated, cartoon-like designs blend with their uninhibited approach to art and serve to capture women not at their most demure, but at their most feral and expressive, unencumbered by traditional gender roles and society’s seemingly impossible-to-achieve beauty standards. There is an elegant absurdity to her work that completely divorces the notion of being a woman from any regulatory definition and instead represents women as untamed, unapologetic, and unashamed of their own female form.

Garden of the Womanimal, published for an exhibition at the Booklyn Art Gallery from April 12 – June 18, 2014.

On the moniker of her independent press, Caroline states that Pegacorn has “embodied the wild spirit that I wanted the press to embrace – a feral beast, and one that wouldn’t just print and release ‘boring’ work by ‘socially acceptable’ people who have always had opportunities to have their work put out. I wanted artists to feel there were no restraints on what they wanted to put out with Pegacorn Press, and that they had the freedom to make whatever they wanted – that they could be as weird or as wild as they wanted.” Her run of Womanilistic, in particular, with its unhinged and frenetic art style, perfectly encapsulates the ideas of unabashed freedom that she wants to encourage. The style achieves this by using close-up ink drawings of the female anatomy and women wearing bestial features in a manner that is explicitly treated as empowering instead of insulting.

Taco Time, from Womanilistic #3

Several women’s issues are conveyed through abstract images in this set of zines. The themes range from body image to sexuality and gender inequality, taking an evocative stance that emboldens readers to not shy away from these topics but rather to lay them all out in the open for discussion. The resulting images and text elicit a dialogue about modern perceptions of gender and trying to transform the norm by rampaging through the idealistic and encouraging self-expression in an unrestricted sense. These zines also offer a welcome glimpse into the celebration of being a woman in a society where the definition is ever-changing and where barriers are constantly being shattered.

We invite you to come enjoy International Women’s Day every day with us here in the Special Collections Department. Located on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, the department is a place where anyone can learn more about women’s history by exploring our growing collection of feminist zines and artists’ books.



Notes from the Miami Zine Fair

By Jay Sylvestre, Special Collections Librarian

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Zine Fair attendees on the plaza at HistoryMiami

On Saturday, April 30, Special Collections and the UM Gender, Sexuality, and Visual Studies Collective shared a table at the 3rd annual Miami Zine Fair. The Zine Fair, organized by Exile Books and hosted by HistoryMiami, featured 140 tables of zine makers, artists, and poets. The event drew more than 1,500 people who came to purchase and swap zines, chat with their favorite zinesters, or simply learn more about zines.

 

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Special Collections Librarian Jay Sylvestre at the zine table.

Special Collections assembled a zine about zines that we called Zineology #1. With more than 6,000 zines in our collection we knew we couldn’t share details about each one so we decided to approach the collection thematically. Zineology highlighted several of our distinct zine collections along with zine subject areas like music, perzines (short for personal zines), gender and sexuality, science fiction, and Florida zines.

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The UM Gender, Sexuality, and Visual Studies Collective

The initial focus of the zine collection was on Florida or Florizines, but it quickly became clear that just as zines serve to subvert and expand the conversation, we knew we couldn’t limit the collection geographically. Florida zines will always be a particular focus, but the amount of variety in the eclectic world of zines requires that we collect zines about anything and everything from here, there, and everywhere.

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Zine artist and Special Collections Library Assistant David Rodriguez (right) recently donated this zine he presented at Zine Fair to our collection.

We met so many people at the Zine Fair that we ran out of business cards and gave away almost the entire first run of Zineology. We had countless conversations with people about the existence of our collection; many of whom had no idea that UM Special Collections has such an extensive zine collection. Participating in an event like the Zine Fair was the perfect venue to share this information. We lost track of how many new potential researchers we met, but we know that we’ve already been contacted by a few people from the fair about adding their zines to the collection.

If we met you on Saturday at the Zine Fair and you would like to add your zines to the collection please give us a call!

 

 

 

 

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Stop by the Richter Library 8th floor and pick up a copy of Zineology #1 for detailed highlights of the zine collection.



Now Available: The Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine Collection

A small sample of zines from the collection.

A small sample of zines from the collection.

Sam #8

Sam #8

We are happy to announce the acquisition of the Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine collection at the Special Collections Department of the University of Miami Libraries. The Kaye collection constitutes a very rich and unique trove of science fiction fanzines from the 1940s to the 1970s, and represents a significant addition to our ever-growing zine holdings. The zines were originally collected by Lenny Kaye, who is best known as the guitarist for the Patti Smith Group, and for compiling the seminal 1960s garage rock collection Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era.

Science fiction fandom has been a significant source of published material, starting in the 20th century and continuing through today. The Lenny Kaye Science Fiction Fanzine collection documents the self-publishing activity of the sci-fi fandom community in the mid-20th century. Despite being primarily amateur publications, there is a significant sense of organization evident in the community. Many of the fanzines were published as part of amateur press associations, including the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), and the Spectator Amateur Press Society (SAPS). The topics of the zines include reviews of science fiction literature and films, fanfiction, updates about conventions, and news and notes about different fan clubs dedicated to the genre. Some fanzines might veer off into the intensely personal, while others devolve into gossip about other fans or writers.

The National Fantasy Fan

The National Fantasy Fan

The collection includes important titles, such as Cry of the Nameless, JD-Argassy, and Yandro, and is truly international in scope: zines held include those produced in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan and several European countries.

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Yandro

 

 

 

 

The Special Collections Department at the University of Miami Libraries holds over 5,000 zines in six unique collections. In addition to science fiction, our zines also include punk rock fanzines, perzines, and independent publications covering a wide variety of other subjects, such as LGBT rights, environmentalism, art and poetry. We have a significant amount of zines from South Florida, as well as zines produced in countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.



Local Food Experts Engage Foodie Community of South Florida

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Click the image above to watch a video of the discussion on May 13. More photos from the event can be viewed on Facebook.

by Sarah Block, Library Communications

Local food experts reflected on South Florida’s abundant natural offerings, strong multicultural seasonings, and rich supply of untapped resources—all shaping the area’s evolving culinary landscape—during a panel discussion at UM Special Collections’ Tropical Gastronomies featuring chef and cookbook author Norman Van Aken, food blogger and Edible South Florida editor Gretchen Schmidt, and author and historian Mandy Baca.

Mandy Baca is talking.

Mandy Baca, author of The Sizzling History of Miami Cuisine: Cortaditos, Stone Crabs & Empanadas, discusses Miami food history with chef and cookbook author Norman Van Aken and food blogger and Edible South Florida editor Gretchen Schmidt.

Moderated by Special Collections Head Cristina Favretto, the discussion touched on well-established fares and flavors such as stone crabs, citrus, and mangos, the formation of Van Aken’s New World Cuisine, and how recent developments like the farm-to-table movement are shedding light on lesser-known edible flora and fauna. The event was held as part of a UM Libraries-wide exhibition exploring the rich culinary traditions of South Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean. Vintage restaurant postcards and menus, local organizational cookbooks, and dining brochures from Pan American World Airlines, Inc., and other materials are on display from Special Collections.

During the event, Favretto announced that Special Collections aims to further its collection of food- and cooking-related materials through the establishment of the Culinary History Collection of Florida, and is seeking donations of historical materials such as restaurant menus, local and regional recipe books, oral histories with chefs, and images of restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets. Individuals interested in contributing to the archive are encouraged to contact Special Collections at 305-284-3247 or asc.library@miami.edu.

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The discussion touched on well-established fares and flavors and how recent developments like the farm-to-table movement are shedding light on lesser-known edible flora and fauna.



Special Collections’ Food Chains Screening Opens Discussion on Farmworker Exploitation

by Sarah Block, Library Communications

Food Chains is available for checkout on DVD from Richter Library.

Click the image above to watch a video of the discussion on April 22. More photos from the event can be viewed on Facebook.

Local farmworkers demanding fair labor practices in farm fields are making meaningful changes in one of the nation’s most critically relied on but historically exploited areas of the labor force. An event at the University of Miami Special Collections on April 22 brought together UM students, faculty, and community members for a screening and discussion of the documentary Food Chains: The Revolution in America’s Fields, directed by Sanjay Rawal. The film documents the activities of a group of farmworkers in Immokalee, southwest Florida, in their fight for living wages and workers’ rights.

“Special Collections is a community resource. This is an opportunity to promote meaningful discussion about issues that are close to many South Floridians and affect farmworkers across the country,” says Beatrice Skokan, manuscripts librarian at Special Collections who organized the screening and panel discussion.

IMG_7958-webPanelists included Will Pestle, an associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences, Silvia Perez, farmworker leader of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and Natali Rodriguez, national staff member of the Student/Farmworker Alliance, engaging in a discussion on the many issues in farm labor described in the documentary, which premiered at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival and is gaining national exposure on Netflix streaming. Food Chains is available for checkout at Richter Library.

Based in Immokalee, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of tomatoes, the film describes the inhumane realities of the largely undocumented migrant workers who carry out long and strenuous daily physical labor in tomato fields for meager pay. Human rights violations ranging from sexual abuse to slave labor often go unreported out of fear of retaliation or deportation.

“The hardest thing is coming to the realization of how little you mean to the people you are working for,” says Gerardo Reyes Chavez, one of the workers featured in the film who helped form the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) as a means to advocate for a better quality of life for farmworkers. One significant step of the CIW is the establishment of the Fair Food Program, which demands that large purchasers of tomatoes acknowledge their reliance on farmworkers. Participating food retailers and farms agree to pay workers one penny more per pound of tomatoes picked and eradicate abuse in the fields.

Since 2011, major corporations including Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Chipotle, and McDonald’s have signed on to the program, meaning they have agreed to buy tomatoes exclusively from Fair Food Program farms. Since its inception, the program has added $15 million to workers’ payrolls.

Following the film, panelists and audience members engaged in a discussion moderated by Will Pestle. Many questions were directed towards Silvia Perez, a leader of the CIW who appeared in the film, about current efforts of the CIW, such as the continuation of a long-fought campaign to gain the support of Publix, and the spread of their mission to other regions and types of agriculture. Click here to view the discussion.

Silvia Perez, a leader in the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, discusses the fight for fair labor standards in a panel discussion following the film. Photo by Andrew Innerarity.



COOLCRAZYBEAUTIFUL: The Grandes Heures of Anne of Brittany

cristina-puffer_thumbA Pick of the Week from

Special Collections of the UM Libraries

By Cristina Favretto, head of Special Collections

 

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More than 300 pages of the illuminated manuscript have large borders illustrated with a careful depiction of, usually, a single species of plant.

The Grandes Heures of Anne of Brittany (Les Grandes Heures d’Anne de Bretagne in French) is a book of hours that had been originally commissioned by Anne of Brittany, consort of King Louis XII of France and illuminated in Tours or perhaps Paris by Jean Bourdichon between 1503 and 1508. Though our copy is an 1861 facsimile of the book, it showcases the fine quality and care that went into the nineteenth century printing process.

Facsimiles like these often sell for prices well into the thousands today due to the level of accuracy they capture of the original, including its drawings and trimmings which are finely illustrated with rich, appealing colors. Its pages are also delicately lined with gold paint at the edges to emulate the air of luxury that the original contained, and the text inside is presented in beautiful calligraphy, surrounded by adornments of flowers, curling vines, and depictions of various daily scenes of Anne in worship.

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Scenes from the Life of Christ and that of Mary are depicted as well as a number of portraits and scenes of saints.

The book is so detailed and intricate that it contains over a hundred different species of plants simply being used as borders and decorations, and the portraits themselves are an excellent homage to medieval religious art, reflecting the essence of it perfectly.

Since the replica had been created to scale of the original, the weight of this volume truly feels massive in one’s hands, giving the reader a small feel for how the upper echelons of French society had chosen to conduct their persona l worship. Though some would claim this more as a work of vanity than anything else considering the sheer level of labor put into it and how many times Anne shows up as a subject caught in reverent supplication, it is difficult not to feel awed by the presence and magnitude the book has to offer. It’s a stunning work of art on visual merit alone that overpowers the actual text within which primarily offers daily prayers to be recited during canonical times of the day.

 

 

 

COOLCRAZYBEAUTIFUL is written by Yvette Yurubi and showcases unique items at Special Collections and the University Archives discovered by librarians and staff members while on the job. They gather monthly for “Show and Tell” to present their top finds. You too can experience these items up close, and access other rare and interesting treasures, by visiting Special Collections and the University Archives, located on the 8th floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.