2018 Fall - New Publications of Note: What am I reading, listening to, or watching?

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Vol. 42, no. 1

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Fall 2018 > New Publications of Note


The following list presents a selection of items on the reading/viewing/listening lists of fellow ESSies. Have something to add? Email Jen Bonnet.

Jeffrey Staiger, University of Oregon
Après le livre, by François Bon. Éditions de Seuil, 2011.

Unlike most discussions of the future of the book, Bon does not busy himself trying to imagine supposed enhancements to the book -- hyperlinks, multimedia, and whatnot -- whose value in the context of the profound communication made possible by the print book is in any case ambiguous. Instead, variously demonstrating that the book has always been dependent on writing practices that are themselves tied to specific technologies, Bon argues that digital technologies have already transformed the way we write (and think) and that the book has already started to evolve accordingly. His own book is a case in point: it consists of what were originally blog entries of various lengths, short essays in effect, now assembled, paradoxically, in this book about the dissolution of the book. But he makes a convincing case through brief, illuminating discussions of such figures as Madame de Sevigny, Balzac, Baudelaire, and Kafka, that idea of the concept of the book has always been loose, its coherence more an operative assumption than an actual fact. What emerges from Bon’s various reflections is that the idea of the book has always been a fiction, in effect, however convenient, hiding the porousness, amorphousness, and arbitrariness of the material included between its covers. In its intricate attention to technologies and their implications for the form and genre of discourse, Après le livre is the smartest thing I’ve read on this elusive subject. Even so, to Bon’s general argument one might counter that the idea of the book is now so massively established a form that it will continue to serve as a model and starting point for authors who aspire to produce sustained argument, whether of the expository or narrative kind. And Bon’s provocative and entertaining reflections – would they ever have come to my attention, and had anything like a concentrated impact on me that they did, had they not been embodied in a book that was discoverable as such in a library catalog? If the idea of the book as a coherent thing is a fiction, perhaps it is necessary one. In any case, it has been supremely useful thus far.

Taru Spiegel, Library of Congress
This is a reminder of the the Library of Congress's international collections blog. The European Division of The Library of Congress international collections blog posts pertain to items from Europe, excluding Spain and Portugal. The latter two are covered by the Hispanic Division. Britain and Ireland are covered by other LOC blogs. The African & Middle Eastern and Asian Divisions also contribute monthly to the international collections blog, the former occasionally on European Jewish themes.

European Division’s August post, inspired by the wedding of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, looked at some other high-profile European royal weddings. September’s post will feature “Native Roots of Italian Cuisine from the Region of Lombardy,” and in October we have “Jamais Plus! French Translations and Illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven.’”

We also post on Facebook and to the European Division’s home page.

LOC Staff has also been reading various articles about the new Library of Congress logo. The amazing thing working with reference librarians is that information about just any subject will be unearthed in minutes.

Kelsey Anna Sorenson, Wisconsin Historical Society
The History of Witchcraft podcast by Samuel Hume - The podcast is the passion project of a PhD student from Scotland and a fun example of public history (if you enjoy learning about witch panics, that is). Hume has a running bibliography on the podcast's website, which is very helpful for listeners who want to refer back to something or are looking for academic and primary materials on the topic.

Sarah Wenzel, University of Chicago

  • Knausgaard, Karl Ove. My Struggle : book 4.
  • Jul. Silex and the City. VII.
  • Pagowsky, Nicole & Kelly McElroy. Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook.
  • Lohr. Creating Graphics for Learning & Performance.
  • Accardi, Maria T. Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction.
  • Critical Library Instruction : Theories & Methods
  • Jacobs, Heidi. “Pedagogies of Possibility within the Disciplines : Critical Information Literacy and Literatures in English.” Communications in Information Literacy. (8, 2) 2014, 192-207.
  • Umoja Noble, Safiya. “ Google Search : Hyper-visibility as a means of Rendering Black Women and Girls Invisible.” InVisible Culture : An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture (19), 29 October, 2013.
  • Dempsey, Lorcan & Constance Malpas. “Academic Library Futures in a Diversified Library System.” Higher Education in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0914-0_4

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