Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Idaho Refugees Will Share 'Neighbor Narratives' at Boise Public Library Branches

The new Boise Public Library branch in Bown Crossing isn't even one-month old, and it's already taking part in BPL community engagement sessions, beginning with an exploration of our ever-growing refugee population. 

Refugees from different parts of the world and different walks of life will tell their stories at the Bown Crossing branch on Tuesday, June 27, as part of "Neighbor Narratives," a new element of the BPL SummerFest program. 

"We've had some really wonderful experiences in the community with other story-telling events," said Olivia Johnson, an AmeriCorps Vista specialist at the Idaho Office for Refugees. "They've been well attended, and we've received a lot of good feedback."

At the June 27 event, attendees can sample food from Bosnia, Ethiopia and Iraq, and Johnson said IOR is working on organizing tours of ethnic-themed restaurants in the community. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

'The Book Thieves' reveals the story of the Nazi assault on books

'The Book Thieves' reveals the story of the Nazi assault on books.

Hitler’s assault on the written word, the theft and destruction of countless books and religious tracts – estimated well in excess of 100 million – was arguably far worse and has gone largely unreported.
Entire libraries, more than 700 throughout Europe, as well as cherished personal collections disappeared into the maw of the advancing German war machine. The goal of this unprecedented campaign was not cash or cachet, as was the case with looted art, but control of the minds and memories of defeated nations and various people, principally Jews, but also Freemasons, Catholics, and political opponents.
If it had survived, the Third Reich would have been a formidable arbiter of what was considered true, and false for the foreseeable future. The goal was to rewrite history – to concoct fake history, really – albeit one that its creators actually believed was true. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Human Rights Web Archive @ Columbia University

The Human Rights Web Archive @ Columbia University 

is a searchable collection of archived copies of human rights websites created by non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, tribunals and individuals. Collecting began in 2008 and has been ongoing for active websites. New websites are added to the collection regularly.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Steve Woolfolk-Honored by ALA but Charged by city

The Kansas City Public Library and a librarian who was arrested last year during a public event are receiving two national awards for defense of free speech....
Kansas City Library  wins the Paul Howard Award for Courage, given biannually for “unusual courage for the benefit of library programs or services.”
Steve Woolfolk, the library’s director of public programming, will receive the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity, named for the pen name of Daniel Handler, author of the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books.
But the same week the awards were announced, city prosecutors filed two new charges against the librarian.
The awards and the charges stem from a May 9 incident in which the librarian, Steve Woolfolk, intervened to try to stop the arrest of library patron Jeremy Rothe-Kushel during the question-and-answer part of a talk by Middle East expert and diplomat Dennis Ross at the Plaza library.

some of what we knocked down were the load-bearing walls of our democracy

technology companies have routinely stashed profits overseas, destroyed local journalism and mid-tier publications of all sorts, and achieved a level of concentration that leaves us with Google, Facebook, and Amazon as essentially the companies controlling the working Internet.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Collective Memory and the Historical Past

Barash, Jeffrey Andrew. Collective Memory and the Historical Past. University of Chicago Press, 2016. 

Crucial to Barash’s analysis is a look at the radical transformations that the symbolic configurations of collective memory have undergone with the rise of new technologies of mass communication. He provocatively demonstrates how such technologies’ capacity to simulate direct experience—especially via the image—actually makes more palpable collective memory’s limitations and the opacity of the historical past, which always lies beyond the reach of living memory. Thwarting skepticism, however, he eventually looks to literature—specifically writers such as Marcel Proust, Walter Scott, and W. G. Sebald—to uncover subtle nuances of temporality that might offer inconspicuous emblems of a past historical reality.


Discussion at JHI Blog-April 17, 2017.
Andrew  Dunstall.

Barash bases his argument on a formal analysis of memory, symbols, and temporal intentionality. Finitude for him is a matter of logical form: living memory can only extend a certain length; the selection of what we remember is secondary for him. Finitude itself supplies no clear ethical principle, however. Which normative struggles, which injustices breathe life into “living memory”? Often such struggles far exceed that memory, as I have argued elsewhere. Barash, to my mind, implies these questions at various points, but does not make them explicit. Barash’s work is a provocative opening. When we come to reflect on our heritage, whether age-long or recent, the point is to choose what is worth preserving, and what needs changing.