Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Annual Book Sale

The Armacost Library annual book sale will be held on Thursday, June 13, from 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. You will find us at the Armacost Library's North Patio, Garden Level.
For complete details, please refer to the flyer below:

Friday, May 10, 2019

Southland Ensemble to visit University of Redlands May 17

University of Redlands students and the renowned experimental music group Southland Ensemble will join forces on Friday, May 17 at 3 pm in Old Peppers Gallery to perform poetry by Jackson Mac Low and music by Barney Childs. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The workshop, affiliated with Professor Alisa Slaughter's May Term class "Arts and Inquiry," will feature discussion and performances by Mac Low, a renowned author and artist in spoken, visual and musical performance genres, and Childs, a composer known for exploring indeterminacy and extended techniques who taught at Johnston and served as composer-in-residence from 1971 to 1996.

Armacost Library Special Collections holds the papers and manuscripts of Barney Childs and many representative works by Mac Low can be found in the library collection.

A program for the afternoon workshop includes:
  • Mac Low, 5 Young Turtle Asymmetries 
  • Mac Low, Is That Wool Hat My Hat?
  • Mac Low, Asymmetries (student and Southland Ensemble performance)
  • Mac Low, Asymmetries (Southland Ensemble performance)
  • Childs, Operation Flabby Sleep
  • Childs, The Crab on the Mirror
The score for Childs' Operation Flabby Sleep, written in 1968 and dedicated to Harold Budd, consists of a grid of 27 boxes containing various markings and fragments of musical notation. Performers are instructed to render the empty space in each box as silence, and use the markings to produce sound according to a set of basic principles. A minimum of three performers are needed to realize the score. It is up to the musicians, individually and by collective agreement, to work out the pacing, musical content, and expressive range of the piece.

Childs' Crab on the Mirror for viola and cello is a traditionally notated piece, but it too has a trick up its sleeve. The music takes the form of a "mirror canon" in which the part for one musician is the same as the part for the other musician, only in reverse and melodically inverted. Both musicians can therefore play from the same page of sheet music, but one of them must turn it upside down.  This compositional technique dates from the 16th century, and Childs' playful homage reflects his long-standing interest in Renaissance arts, which motivated him to write his Ph.D dissertation on poetry settings in Elizabethan madrigals.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Finals Week: Extended Hours

Visit the Library for extended hours during Finals Week. Quiet spaces, open late, are available during the following hours:

Friday, April 19: 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 20: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 21: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
Monday, April 22 - Tuesday, April 23: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Armacost Library Undergraduate Research Award - Reception

The 2019 Armacost Library Undergraduate Research Award (ALURA) honors two students for their excellent research projects. The Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences (AHSS) recipient is Theo Whitcomb (Faculty sponsor: Lorenzo Garbo, Economics) for his project titled, "Advancing Dialectical Wisdom to the Non-Human World: Adam Smith and Materialisms of Ecological Collapse." The STEM recipient is Alicia Nicole Santucci (Faculty sponsor: Valerie Rountree, Environmental Studies) for her work, "Media Portrayal of Offshore Oil Drilling in Louisiana in California."

An award reception will take place next week on Monday, April 8th, at 4:00 p.m. in the Library Conference Room (located on the 3rd floor of Armacost Library) to celebrate the work of both Alicia and Theo. Please join us for light refreshments. All are welcome to attend the reception.

ALURA 2019 AHSS Selection Committee included:
Jessie Hewitt, History
Janelle Julagay, Library (Chair)
Bill Kennedy, Library
Nick Reksten, Economics
Alisa Slaughter, Creative Writing

ALURA 2019 STEM Selection Committee included:
Joanna Bieri, Mathematics
Les Canterbury, Library (Chair)
Eric Hill, Physics
Hillary Jenkins, Environmental Studies
Paige Mann, Library

Monday, March 25, 2019

Collection Highlights: Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are currently being highlighted on the new book table in the Armacost Library. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines "graphic novel" as "a full-length (esp. science fiction or fantasy) story published as a book in comic-strip format." OED identifies Richard Kyle as the first user of this term, in a 1964 newsletter for comics fans, Capa-Alpha, published by the Comics Amateur Press Association. Kyle explains that the term "graphic novel" refers to "serious writing" for an "older audience." And that a move away from the term "comic books" will aid the "acceptance of the medium by the literary world."

Image Credit: Trisha Aurelio
The graphic novels currently on display indicate the range of content available in this format. While OED puts an emphasis on science fiction and fantasy genres, Armacost Library's collection is more varied, featuring nonfiction, especially biographical and historical graphic novels, and realistic fiction.

Some nonfiction offerings currently on the table include Tales from La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology, edited by Frederick Luis Aldama, and The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui.


Aldama's anthology includes biographical stories on Latinx identities and experiences. Bui's graphic novel tells the story of her family's departure from war-torn Vietnam and subsequent immigration to the United States.

More traditional graphic novels on the new book table this week include Deadly Class, written by Rick Remender and illustrated by Wesley Craig. Remender's work follows a group of students training to be assassins at a secret high school. Deadly Class has been adapted to a television series available on Netflix.

Additionally, Ms. Marvel, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona features super-heroine Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teen who grapples with her burgeoning superpowers and familial expectations.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Adapting Austen for the Stage

 Image Credit: British Library

This month the University of Redlands Theatre department presents a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility by the actor and playwright Kate Hamill.

Sense and Sensibility, Austen’s first novel, focuses on two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, seeking to secure their fortunes by marrying well. Austen initially told the story in the form of an exchange of letters between the sisters, a common narrative device of the day, and titled her sketch “Elinor and Marianne”. She had nearly 15 years to rework the structure of her novel and develop its characters before publishing in 1811 (Heath). 

Austen’s novel has inspired a number of adaptations over the years, including the well-known 1995 film directed by Ang Lee and starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, Ben Winters’ 2009 parody Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and a 2015 chamber musical composed by Paul Gordon. The most recent stage adaptation is by the New York based playwright and actor Kate Hamill, who has made her name adapting nineteenth century novels for the twenty-first century stage and plans to adapt each of Austen’s novels (Sense and Sensibility was her first).

Hamill was drawn to adapting Austen novels for the opportunity to give voice to strong, complex female characters. She described feeling frustrated with a lack of roles for female leads, noting that three out of four plays are written by men (Murphy C1). Writing stage versions of renowned novels allowed her to create “instant classics” for the theatre while also providing her with meaty leading roles; she has starred in many of her own adaptations, including the New York premiere of Sense and Sensibility with the Bedlam Theatre Company (acting opposite her real-life partner, Jason O’Connell).  

Hamill sees the roles of actor and writer as mutually compatible, observing, “Actors generally tend to make great playwrights because if you’re interested enough in acting, you have an ear for dialogue. You have a brain for how different characters react to different situations … you can look at stories from all sides. I definitely think it’s made me a better actor to be a writer" (Smart 12).

Hamill approaches each adaptation project by seeking the story’s central theme and striving to say something new about a familiar work. She distilled Sense and Sensibility to the question, “Do you break the rules or follow them?” and updated Austen’s English milieu for the faster pace of modern-day America by playing up Austen’s cutting sense of humor and by mounting set pieces on wheels, setting them in perpetual motion (Marks C3).

In writing Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen explored “the gaps that occur between language and behavior, feeling and action: gaps that the unscrupulous exploit, the na├»ve are trapped by, and the wise must use every resource of imagination to repair, or at least understand" (Heath). Adaptations like Hamill’s suggest that Austen’s insights are still fresh and urgent today, in a time when social pressure seems equally intense and the stakes for self-definition equally great.

Works Cited
Heath, William W. "Sense and Sensibility: Overview." Reference Guide to English Literature, edited by D. L. Kirkpatrick, 2nd ed., St. James Press, 1991. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 19 Mar. 2019.

Murphy, Mary Jo. “A Madcap Austen, Alfresco.” New York Times, 30 June 2017, p. C1. Nexis Uni,

Smart, Jack. “Kate Hamill, ‘Sense and Sensibility’.” Back Stage, vol. 57, no. 25, 23 June 2016, p. 12. ProQuest,  
Marks, Peter. “’Sense and Sensibility’ Challenges its Stars with Moving Parts.” Washington Post, 2 November 2016, p. C3. Nexis Uni,