March 2009 Archives

Claremont Discourse - Americans All: The Cultural Gifts Movement

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009, 4:15 PM
Professor Diana Selig, History, Claremont McKenna College

From the 1920s - a decade marked by racism and nativism - through World War II, hundreds of thousands of Americans took part in a vibrant campaign to overcome racial, ethnic, and religious prejudices. They celebrated the "cultural gifts" that immigrant and minority groups brought to society, learning that ethnic identity could be compatible with American ideals. In her book, Americans All: The Cultural Gifts Movement, published by Harvard University Press in 2008, Diana Selig tells the neglected story of the cultural gifts movement, which flourished between the world wars. Countering racist trends and the melting-pot theory of Americanization, the movement championed the idea of diversity long before it became a buzzword. Yet the power of Cultural Gifts was ultimately limited by a failure to grasp the deep social and economic roots of prejudice. In the year of our first African American President - who is himself the very product of a diverse cultural background - the debates over difference and unity remain at the heart of American society. Professor Selig will talk about the history of the Cultural Gifts Movement and the successes and challenges that make it so relevant today.

Libraries Closed on Friday, March 27

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All four libraries will be closed on Friday, March 27, in honor of Cesar Chavez. If you expect to need library materials on Friday, be sure to check them out before closing on Thursday evening.

Regular hours will resume on Saturday, March 28.

Libraries hours

Spring Break at the Libraries

During Spring Break, all four Libraries will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15, and will close early Monday-Saturday, March 16-21. Visit the Libraries web site for a complete schedule of Libraries' hours during Spring Break.

The students of GRMT134: Stereotypes in Advertising, taught at Pomona College by Prof. Felix Kronenberg, are organizing a series of three exhibitions in Honnold/Mudd Library. On exhibit through the end of spring semester will be Special Collections' World War I and World War II posters and ephemera as well as imagery and advertising of current world events.

The first of these exhibitions is "Axis of Evil: Depiction of the Enemy in WWII Propaganda." A version of this in-library exhibition is also available as a web exhibition.

The students in this interdisciplinary course are exploring the depiction of the other in the world of advertising, looking at various stereotypes pertaining to categories such as nationality, ethnicity, gender, or age from a cultural studies perspective.

Science Direct Will Be Down Sat., Mar 7 from 5 AM to 5:30 PM

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All Science Direct journals/articles/citations will be unavailable during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Tag in the Library Tonight!

10-11 PM Thurs., Mar 5, there will be a game of tag in the multi-tier stacks on the Mudd side of Honnold/Mudd Library. All are welcome, no RSVP needed.

Sponsored by On the Loose and the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges.

Please join us in the Founders Room of Honnold/Mudd Library at 4:15 PM, this Wednesday, March 4, for a Claremont Discourse Lecture, sponsored by the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges, a member of Claremont University Consortium.

Photos from an American Album: The Albatross Nudes, 1899-1900
Heather Waldroup, Visual Materials Curator & CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow
Libraries of The Claremont Colleges, Claremont University Consortium

For seven months in 1899-1900, the U.S. Fish Commission Steamer Albatross explored the South Pacific Islands, collecting mineral nodules and documenting the coral reefs and atolls of the region. The participants of the journey also took photographs; some of these now reside in five elaborately composed albums at the Phillips Library, Salem, Massachusetts. The albums juxtapose landscapes, portraits of the crew, and documentary shots of scientific specimens with images of nude Pacific Island women. This lecture will focus on the nude photographs in the albums, arguing that the images were shaped by popular photography, ethnographic photography, and the American imperial vision of the Pacific Islands.

Heather Waldroup is Assistant Professor of Art at Appalachian State University and has been at the Libraries since August 2008 as the CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) Postdoctoral Fellow. Based at Denison Library, she is the Libraries' Visual Materials Curator.

For more information, please contact Adam Rosenkranz.

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