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This week: Genius procrastination / Democrats face themselves / Women explain their abortions / Bittersweet breastfeediing / Future of democracy

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Many Creative Geniuses May Have Procrastinated — but That Doesn’t Mean You Should
By Casey Lesser | Artsy.net | July 2018
“Some believe in a form of procrastination that fosters well-being and creativity, but others argue that certain types of behavior, in which someone intentionally delays their creative work, don’t actually constitute procrastination at all.”

2. A Watershed Moment in American History
By Matt Ford | The New Republic | July 2018
“Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh will deliver Republicans a majority on the Supreme Court. Will he also prompt a reckoning among Democrats”

3. ‘I Couldn’t Tell Anyone’: Women Around the World Reveal Intimate Stories of Abortion
By Josephine Sedgwick | The New York Times | July 2018
“When we invited readers to share their own stories, more than 1,300 responded from over 30 countries, showing the vast range of reasons, means and outcomes for abortion.”

4. Why breast-feeding is a mix of joy and suffering
By Maya Uppaluru | The Lily :: Washington Post | July 2018
“Is breast-feeding anti-feminist”

5. Reporting Is Ugly
By Barry Petchesky | The Concourse :: Deadspin | October 2015
“It is invaluable and messy and it not only doesn’t diverge from the most basic principles of journalism, it exemplifies them.”

6. The Democratic Coming Apart
By David Runciman and Joshua Cohen | Boston Review | July 2018
“Democracy … could either fail while remaining intact or evolve into something different — and possibly even better.”

7. And Now, Some Little-Known Facts About Texas
By David Courtney | Texas Monthly | July 2018
“In our new video series, David Courtney takes you into some of the weird, whimsical, and lesser-known aspects of our beloved state.”

8. Is Punching Nazis Impolite
By Barry Purcell | Arc Digital | July 2018
“Exploring the limits of civility”

9. The Americanization of Alfredo Corchado
By Sergio Troncoso | Texas Monthly | June 2018
“By telling his own story, the widely admired Dallas Morning News reporter reveals how Mexican Americans have changed the United States — and how the United States has changed Mexican Americans.”

10. What does ‘normal’ mean in abnormal times
By Steven Poole | The Guardian | April 2018
“From Donald Trump to Syrian bombs — in modern political times, ‘normal’ carries an extra moral nuance”

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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: FEMA and Hurricane Maria / Dear Abby and #MeToo / Learn to be happy at Yale / Understanding Sarah Huckabee Sanders / Summer books, movies, and TV

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. FEMA Was Sorely Unprepared for Puerto Rico Hurricane, Report Says
By Francis Robles | The New York Times | July 2018
“The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plans for a crisis in Puerto Rico were based on a focused disaster like a tsunami, not a major hurricane devastating the whole island. The agency vastly underestimated how much food and fresh water it would need, and how hard it would be to get additional supplies to the island.”

2. Plane Bae Teaches Us That Other People’s Lives Are Not a Movie for Us to Watch
By Dan Solomon | Texas Monthly | July 2018
“How a chance encounter on a flight to Dallas turned into an internet sensation, and why it shouldn’t happen again.”

3. Dear Abby, #MeToo
By Jessica Weisberg | The New York Times | April 2018
“[#MeToo] created room for the sort of discussions that once were restricted to, essentially, just one type of public space: advice columns. For decades, the columns were where women with creepy bosses or abusive husbands went to air their grievances.”

4. At Yale, you can take a course on being happy
By Billy Baker | The Boston Globe | April 2018
“The success of the class has been unprecedented. So many students signed up that the meeting space had to be moved to Woolsey Hall, a cavernous, cathedral-like auditorium typically used for things like symphony concerts. The sheer volume of students requires two dozen teaching fellows.”

5. Margaret Atwood on How She Came to Write The Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood | The Folio Society :: LitHub | April 2018
“The origin story of an iconic novel”

6. The Puzzle of Sarah Huckabee Sanders
By Jason Schwartz | Politico Magazine | May/June 2018
“How a bright, competent and likable young operative became the face of the most duplicitous press operation in White House history.”

7. Hear Stanley Kubrick Explain the 2001: A Space Odyssey Ending In a Rare, Unearthed Video
By Matt Miller | Esquire | July 2018
“The director famously refused to give his interpretation of the sci-fi masterpiece.”

8. Summer Reading: Movies & TV
By Ben Dickinson | The New York Times Book Review | June 2018
New books about Bruce Lee, David Lynch, The Wire and 2001: A Space Odyssey, along with recommendations on new thrillers, true crime, travel, sports and more.

9. How Syria Came to This
By Andrew Tabler | The Atlantic | April 2018
“A story of ethnic and sectarian conflict, international connivance, and above all civilian suffering”

10. The Woman Who Brought Down Bill Cosby
By Neeti Upadhye | The New York Times | April 2018
“Andrea Constand is the only woman among more than 50 accusers whose complaint against Mr. Cosby has resulted in a conviction. A jury found him guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.”

Gallery

Special Collections travels to Mexico City

Beautiful

The Top Shelf

During the first week of this month, Rare Books Librarian Agnieszka Czeblakow and I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico City for the annual Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) conference. This year’s theme was “Sites/Cites, Texts, and Voices in Critical Librarianship: Decolonizing Libraries and Archives.”

As a first-time attendee, I was excited to learn that SALALM is so interdisciplinary; the event brought together librarians, archivists, book dealers, curators, scholars, and other professionals. Our shared goal was to think critically about how processes of selection, organization, and description give shape to research and teaching on Latin America, Iberia, and the Caribbean.

I was able to participate in a wide variety of activities, including panels composed of experts discussing issues relevant to all institutions that collect Latin American materials (UTSA included). I learned how other institutions think critically about their holdings, develop innovative workflows…

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A pocket guide to Totonac, an endangered language.

Fascinating. What an amazing find.

The Top Shelf

As the digitization of the Sons of the Republic of Texas Mexican Manuscript Collection (SRT) in its entirety progresses, I continue to be amazed and pleasantly surprised by some of the hidden gems that are buried in the unassuming SRT filing cabinets in the Special Collections vault. One of those wonderful moments happened recently when I came upon document 5794, “Vocabulario de la lengua Totonaca.” The vague title featured in the metadata does not do this incredibly interesting document justice. Document 5794 is so much more than just a “vocabulary.” Its cover contains a striking  example of calligraphy, the contents are interesting, unique, and exciting. The document provides a glimpse into the diversity of eighteenth-century Mexico. It features one of the 68 indigenous languages officially recognized by the Mexican government that are still spoken today.

txsau-srt-5794_00001 not cropped

The name Totonac ecompasses a cluster of approximately 9 closely-related languages still spoken by…

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HemisFair Exhibit at the McNay Art Museum

The Top Shelf

Install1 “Synchronetic” by Fletcher Benton

UTSA Libraries Special Collections has partnered with the McNay Art Museum to present HemisFair ’68: San Antonio World’s Fair, an exhibit organized in celebration of the 50th anniversary of HemisFair ’68 and of San Antonio’s Tricentennial.  The exhibit primarily draws from the archival holdings of UTSA Special Collections.

Highlighting artists and designers who contributed to the Fair, HemisFair ’68: San Antonio’s World’s Fair features small selections of artworks, architectural drawings, conceptual site plans, costume and graphic designs, ephemera, souvenirs, and audiovisual materials, including film and sound recordings, that document the early planning for HemisFair ’68.

The exhibit runs from May 3, 2018 to July 29, 2018

Install3

The exhibition is organized by Heather Ferguson, former Archivist for the McNay Art Museum, with Amy Rushing, Head of Special Collections for UTSA Libraries.

Install2

Lead funding is most generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment and the Arthur and Jane…

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Alamo Arcade: Portal to the Alamo Gardens

The Top Shelf

With various proposals for the new Alamo Master Plan in the news today, we look back to an earlier time when there were similar efforts to redesign the area around the Alamo.  The idea for a park adjacent to the Alamo chapel received serious attention when the Alamo Mission Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the San Antonio Conservation Society presented the idea to the mayor and city commissioners in 1925.  Among the leaders was Clara Driscoll Sevier, who had provided money to preserve the Alamo Long Barrack over 20 years earlier.  Mrs. Sevier, chairman of the Alamo Park Commission, again advanced considerable money toward purchase of the property immediately south of the Alamo for what would become part of the Alamo State Park, now called the Alamo Gardens.  The long process of bringing the park to fruition is chronicled in numerous articles in the San…

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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Fidel Castro’s love affair / Celebrating the brilliance of Scarface / The secret power of ISIS / Molly Ringwald looks back / The British Empire’s shadow on today’s world

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. ‘My Dearest Fidel’: An ABC Journalist’s Secret Liaison With Fidel Castro
By By Peter Kornbluh | Politico Magazine | April 2018
“The untold story of how Lisa Howard’s intimate diplomacy with Cuba’s revolutionary leader changed the course of the Cold War.”

2. Revisiting the Controversy Surrounding Scarface
By Jason Bailey | Vulture | April 2018
“It landed on VHS and Betamax the following summer, at what may have been the perfect moment, as home video reached a penetration point and videotape rentals were becoming part of the average moviegoer’s diet.”

3. End of the American dream? The dark history of ‘America first’
By Sarah Churchwell | The Guardian | April 2018
“When he promised to put America first in his inaugural speech, Donald Trump drew on a slogan with a long and sinister history — a sign of what was to follow in his presidency”

4. How Trump Moved the Mexican Border North
By Emily Gogolak | Politico Magazine | April 2018
“It started in Texas. And the rest of the country is next.”

5. The ISIS Files
By Rukmini Callimachi | The New York Times | April 2018
“We unearthed thousands of internal documents that help explain how the Islamic State stayed in power so long.”

6. ‘The Clock Is Ticking’: Inside the Worst U.S. Maritime Disaster in Decades
By William Langewiesche | Vanity Fair | April 2018
“A recording salvaged from three miles deep tells the story of the doomed ‘El Faro,’ a cargo ship engulfed by a hurricane.”

7. What About ‘The Breakfast Club’?
By Molly Ringwald | The New Yorker | April 2018
“Revisiting the movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo.”

8. 5 Reasons Why a Writer Should Move to Tampa
By Arielle Silver | LitHub | April 2018
“Welcome to the lightning capital of North America.”

9. My Caribbean trip opened my eyes to the legacy of the British empire
By Lenny Henry | The Guardian | March 2018
“After Brexit, the Commonwealth could play a crucial trading role. But the historic associations with slavery still resonate.”

10. Essential Writing Advice from Virginia Woolf
By Emily Temple | LitHub | March 2018
“Woolf was a once-in-a-generation mind, and as both a writer and publisher, she had strong opinions about what made a piece of literature great (or, more often, mediocre). Luckily for us, she wrote many of her ideas down, in some of the many essays and letters she penned over the course of her life.”

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