Amos Oz: Life & Letters

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Amos Oz, one of Israel’s most distinguished novelists and public intellectuals.  Oz, 73, is the author of 18 books and more than 400 articles and essays in Hebrew, with translations of his work into some 40 languages, including Arabic. The recipient of numerous awards for his literature and for his peace activism, Oz is also a professor of literature at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva. His autobiographical novel “A Tale of Love and Darkness” is an international bestseller and has been honored with 10 different prizes around the world. A film based on the novel is expected to begin production later this year. Most recently, he co-authored “Jews and Words” with his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger, in which they argue that what unites the Jewish people, more than blood or belief, are sacred and secular texts.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a clash of right and right,” Oz recently told the New York Times. “Tragedies are resolved in one of two ways: The Shakespearian way or the Anton Chekhov way. In a tragedy by Shakespeare, the stage at the end is littered with dead bodies. In a tragedy by Chekhov everyone is unhappy, bitter, disillusioned and melancholy but they are alive. My colleagues in the peace movement and I are working for a Chekhovian not a Shakespearian conclusion.”

Among his many awards and honors, Oz has received the Legion of Honour of France, the Goethe Prize, the French Prix Femina, the Frankfurt Peace Prize, the National Jewish Book Award, the Primo Levi prize, the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature, the Heinrich Heine Prize, and the Israel Prize.

The UC San Diego Library to excited to present an exhibit, “Amos Oz: Life and Letters,” from April 17 through June 10.  The exhibit, in the west wing of Geisel Library’s main floor, will take Oz’s “A Tale of Love and Darkness” as a springing-off point to consider the author’s life and writings, Israeli literature, and Israeli/Palestinian history and politics. Specific exhibit areas include: Oz’s early life and family history; his literary influences and the writers he has influenced; and the development of modern Hebrew as a literary language.

The Library also created a guide to help locate his books in our collections, along with suggesting resources for those interested in more in-depth research:

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Political Scientist Sam Popkin to Speak November 1st on the Race to Win the White House

Sam Popkin 2012Timely behind-the-scenes insights into the current presidential campaign and those of past challengers will be offered by Samuel Popkin, noted political scientist and author, during a free lecture at noon, Nov. 1, in the Geisel Library at UC San Diego.

Popkin, a professor of political science at UC San Diego, is the author of the newly-published book The Candidate: What It Takes to Win—and Hold—the White House.The New York Times hailed his book as a “management bible for the business of presidential campaigning” in which Popkin argues that “polling, strategy and even a candidate’s platform are less important than organization.”

The Washington Post called Popkin’s campaign book a “compelling history” and The Financial Times called it “a fix for political junkies” while George Stephanopoulos praised it for the “surprising secrets” unveiled by Popkin’s unique ability to connect the minds of voters with the machinery of political campaigns.

Popkin’s previous book, The Reasoning Voter was described as a classic by Joe Klein in Time Popkin Candidate book covermagazine, and has been widely cited in Washington as well as in academia.

Popkin is an active participant as well as an academic analyst of presidential elections. He has consulted on polling, targeting and strategy in the presidential campaigns of Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George McGovern, and played Ronald Reagan for Carter in the practice debates held before the 1980 Carter-Reagan debate.

Thursday, November 1st, Noon-1pm
Seuss Room, Geisel Library 

Open to all!
Refreshments served.

Stitching Memories





Film Screening Event:
Faith Ringgold: The Last Story Quilt
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
12 – 1 pm, Seuss Room, Geisel Library
Refreshments will be served.

This film tells the inspiring story of contemporary African-American artist Faith Ringgold. Now world-renowned, particularly for her story quilts which focus on African American themes, Ringgold tells how she chose her particular medium, and recounts how she first became an artist and the adversities which she overcame to pursue her career.

On display February 1 – March 31, 2012
Geisel Library, 2nd Floor, Social Sciences & Humanities Reference Area (west wing)
Open to all.

For generations African American women have expressed their lives and artistry through quilting.  Even before emancipation, quilts provided much more than warmth:

Denied the opportunity to read or write, slave women quilted their diaries,
creating permanent but unwritten records of events large and small,
of pains and loss, of triumph and tragedy in their lives.
—Gladys-Marie Fry, Stitched from the Soul

Today quilts continue to be a vital expression of African American life:

Quiltmaking is, for certain African American communities, more than just one of the most
popular art forms today. It is a connection with their history and an affirmation of creative
identity; a way to record history and a means to forge the future.
—Ena G. Heller, Threads of Faith

This exhibit moves from the past to the present, exploring the creation and significance of quilts for generations of Americans. Quilts and the idea of quilting have also threaded their way as metaphors through poetry and literature and even into the political arena. And today, many children’s books have been inspired by quilts and quilting.

We are particularly proud to showcase quilts created by local African American quilters from the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild. Like women before them, these quilters have created vibrant beautiful quilts from new, re-used, reclaimed, and found materials. Their remarkable work encompasses both traditional and contemporary styles.

Visit the exhibit in the Geisel Library building to view quilts, learn about quilting techniques, historically significant quilts and quilters, controversies surrounding so-called quilt codes, and more.

Quilt Show, Reception, & Panel Discussion
February 15, 2012
Seuss Room, Geisel Library building
11:oo am Reception
12:oo pm Panel Discussion
Open to all. Refreshments will be served.

Like women before them, these quilters have created vibrant, beautiful quilts from new, re-used, reclaimed, and found materials. Their remarkable work encompasses both traditional and contemporary styles. Through their work and a panel discussion, they, too, have a story to tell.   Join us for a Quilt Show, Welcome Reception and Panel Discussion by members of the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild. The stunning works of the quilters from the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild challenge the commonly held misconception that African American Quilts comprise only strip quilts, patchworks, or rustic creations that reflect what many scholars claim to be an African aesthetic.   African American quilts and quilting traditions defy simple categorization. The additional quilts that will be displayed at the Quilt Show include examples of “Quilted Photography,” a technique pioneered by African American quilter, Tammie Bowser,that turns fabric into intricate pictures, as well as dazzling art quilts, traditional quilts, and much-loved family treasures. All of these quilts document our lived experience, patching together tradition and innovation in a vibrant and vital art form.  Guild members will also be present to answer questions about the Guild and visitors will have the chance to purchase raffle tickets to win the Opportunity Quilt 2012.  The panelists will discuss quilts they have made, and the variety of techniques they have used.


D’Andrea Mitchell, Local Expert in Quilted Photography
Constance Robinson, Quilting Instructor
Sheila Williams, President, San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild

Professor Boatema Boateng, from the UCSD Communication Department, will moderate.

The Panel Discussion is generously sponsored by:
LAUC-SD Committee on Diversity
The UCSD Department of Communication
UCSD African & African American Research Center
The San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild

Accidental Anarchist – Event

News Release

January 18, 2012
Geisel Library – Seuss Room

By the time he was twenty-five years old, Jacob Marateck had been a Jewish officer in the notoriously anti-Semitic Russian army during the Russo-Japanese War, a revolutionary who sought to overthrow the Czar, and sentenced to death three times. After avoiding the firing squad for the final, unlikely time, he escaped from a Siberian forced labor camp with Warsaw’s colorful “King of Thieves.” Together, the two struggled to survive and obtain false papers to travel home while avoiding the Secret Police. Throughout all the hardships he endured, he never lost his optimism, which was key to his survival.

Join us for a fascinating presentation by Marateck’s granddaughter, Bryna Kranzler, recounting the remarkable, true story of an ordinary man made extraordinary by participating in the history-making events of the 1900s in Russia and Poland.

The author will sign books after the event. Copies of the book will be available for sale.

Event is open to all.
Light refreshments will be served.

More info about the author and the book are available at:

Accidental Anarchist book coverBryna Kranzler photo

Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego

Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego

On November 2nd from Noon-1pm, join authors and political scientists Steven Erie and Vladimir Kogan as they discuss their new book “Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego” in the Seuss Room in the Geisel Library building.

News release for the event

The 21st century has not been kind to California’s reputation for good government. But the Golden State’s governance flaws reflect worrisome national trends with origins in the 1970s and 1980s. Growing voter distrust with government, a demand for services but not taxes to pay for them, a sharp decline in enlightened leadership, and dysfunctional political institutions have all contributed to the current malaise.

Until recently, San Diego—America’s 8th largest city—seemed immune to such systematic governance disorders. This sunny beach town entered the 1980s proclaiming itself “America’s Finest City,” but in a few short years had become known as “Enron-by-the-Sea.” In an eye-opening presentation, the authors will mix policy analysis, political theory, and history to explore and explain the unintended but largely predictable failures of governance in San Diego. Benchmarking San Diego with other leading California cities, Paradise Plundered examines critical dimensions of San Diego’s governance failure, including intractable pension and budget deficits, poorly crafted public-private partnerships, and much more. This tale of civic woe offers valuable lessons for urban scholars, practitioners, and general readers concerned about the future of their own cities.

Steven P. Erie is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program, UC, San Diego. Vladimir Kogan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at UC, San Diego.

The authors will be signing copies of their book after the presentation.

The event is sponsored by the Social Sciences & Humanities Library, the Urban Studies & Planning Program, the Urban Studies Program Student Club, and the Center for Community Well-Being.

No RSVP. Light refreshments will be served.

Paradise Plundered Book Cover

Unburying Treasure

Unburying Treasure: Pyrates at Geisel

Simply put, pirates are thieves; yet they played an important role in history and have captivated our imaginations as they appear in popular culture throughout the ages. The Social Sciences & Humanities Library is pleased to present a new exhibit on piracy. Using books, images and artifacts from our collections, “Unburying Treasure: Pyrates at Geisel” reveals stories of real pirates who sailed the seas during the age of maritime trade. Located in the Social Sciences & Humanities Library (in the Geisel Library building) on the Main Floor through the end of December, be sure to swing by to:

  • learn about famous pirates, modern day piracy, and pirates in popular culture, including books, film, and songs
  • uncover the myths behind the pirate caricature
  • check out the Rogue Gallery to see if you can sort legends from real pirates
  • discover how pirates were involved with map making
  • take your picture with a pirate!

In conjuction with our exhibit, Professor Mark Hanna from the UCSD History Department, will be giving a lecture on Thursday, October 20th, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm in the Seuss Room (in the Geisel Library building) on Nest of Pirates: Piracy and the Formalization of the First British Empire.  Professor Hanna will teach The Golden Age of Piracy in Winter 2012.

At noon on October 20th, Scott Paulson from the Arts Library, will play pirate tunes on the Geisel Library building carillon!

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Nest of Pirates

Nest of Pirates: Piracy and the Formalization of the First British Empire

On October 20 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Professor Mark G. Hanna will speak about “Nest of Pirates:  Pirates and the Formalization of the First British empire” in the Seuss Room in the Geisel Library building.

Pirates are described in both popular culture and historical scholarship as inherently removed from civilized society–in rebellion with social norms and hierarchies.  Lawyers of the seventeenth century certainly promoted this impression by defining pirates as hostis humani generis, enemies of mankind.  This talk will describe how pirates during most of the early modern period were actually actively welcomed and supported on the peripheries of what would become the first British Empire.  Contrary to our common perceptions, many pirates bought land, married local women, and even became members of the ruling elite in North American colonial communities.

Mark G. Hanna is an assistant professor of history at the University of California in San Diego.  He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture from the fall of 2008 to the spring of 2010.  Professor Hanna received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 2006. He received outside graduate fellowships from the Center for New World Comparative Studies at the John Carter Brown Library, the W. M. Keck Foundation at the Huntington Library, and postdoctoral fellowships from the Mark DeWolfe Howe Fund from the Harvard University Law School, a William Nelson Cromwell Fellowship from the American Society for Legal History, and an Arthur H. Cole Grant from the Economic History Association. Dr. Hanna’s dissertation, “The Pirate Nests: The Impact of Piracy on Newport and Charles Town, 1670-1730,” not only challenges prevailing interpretations of piracy; it also uses the phenomenon of piracy to illuminate the history of early America in the Atlantic World. His research is quintessentially multidisciplinary, with a legal historical base grounded in the Navigation Acts, early trials from the Admiralty courts, and shipping records; an interdisciplinary historical analysis of the economic underpinnings, social networks, and political support of pirate activity on land and sea; and the cultural nuance of print culture, both the literary world of historical fiction and the more ephemeral rough-and-tumble of early newspapers.

No RSVP.  Refreshments will be served!

Swing by at 12:00 pm on October 20th, to hear Scott Paulson from the Arts Library play pirate tunes on the carillon!

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Body Counts: The Vietnam War, the Refugees, and the Writing of Ghost Stories

Body Counts: The Vietnam War, the Refugees, and the Writing of Ghost Stories

On Thursday, May 26, 2011 from 12-1 pm Yen Le Espiritu will speak about “Body Counts:  The Vietnam War, the Refugees, and the Writing of Ghost Stories” in the Seuss Room in the Geisel Library building.

lê thi diem thúy, the author of The Gangster We Are All Looking For, describes Vietnamese refugees as a “people larger than their life situation.”  Drawing on lê’s novel, Yen Le Espiritu explores how the oft-strained family relations among Vietnamese refugees are not simply a private family matter, but a social, historical, and transnational affair. In telling their own stories, Vietnamese in the United States have created alternative memories and epistemologies that unsettle and challenge the established public narratives of the Vietnam War and Vietnamese people.

lê thi diem thúy’s novel, The Gangster We Are All Looking For, was the 2011 One Book, One San Diego selection.

Yen Le Espiritu received her Ph.D. from UC Los Angeles in 1990. She is a professor and chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at UCSD. Focusing on Asian America, her research has sought to challenge the homogeneous descriptions of communities of color and the narrowness of mutually exclusive binaries by attending to generational, ethnic, class, and gender variations within constructed racial categories. In particular, her work has called attention to the ways in which racialized ethnicity is relational rather than atomized and discrete and the ways in which group identities necessarily form through interaction with other groups “through complicated experiences of conflict and cooperation” and in structural contexts of power.

Refreshments will be served.  Open to the public.  No RSVP is necessary.

Parking: Parking officers DO CHECK weekdays until 11pm. Metered/hourly parking is available on Hopkins Lane, or in the Hopkins Parking Structure (on the corner of Hopkins & Voight Drive).  Campus  parking office: (858) 534-4223.

Campus map: OR

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A Vampire of One's Own

Can Bella Swan from the Twilight saga be the new Eve? In conjunction with our Guilty Pleasures exhibit, join us as literature professor Lisa Lampert-Weissig examines themes of forbidden desire, free will and equality in the Twilight books, Paradise Lost and Frankenstein.

Tuesday, August 24th
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Seuss Room, Geisel Library building
no RSVP required

Refreshments will be provided!

A Vampire of One's Own

Trash or Treasure?

Check out Professor Lampert-Weissig’s interview on These Days on KPBS–  Why All the Vampires?

Interested in researching vampires in literature? Check out this guide created by Rob Melton, librarian for literature and cultural studies.

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Guilty Pleasures Exhibit

Do you hide your graphic novel inside of your scholarly journal?  Is the latest Dean Koontz paperback in the bottom drawer of your desk stashed between your files?  Is the newest Nora Roberts novel on your laptop – just a click away from those annual reports?  These are examples of some guilty pleasures of the reading variety.

This summer the Social Sciences & Humanities Library is celebrating the cheap thrills and quick reads that bring us so much pleasure!  Our Guilty Pleasures exhibit highlights books and facts from popular genres like romance, mystery, science fiction and horror.

Visit the exhibit, located in the Social Sciences & Humanities Library reference area (Geisel Library, main floor) to:

  • Participate in the Guilty Pleasures Book Exchange (bring a book, take a book, repeat all summer long!)
  • Enter to win 1 of 3 ALA READ posters
  • Use one of the self checkout machines, located in Geisel Library lobby area, to enter to win 1 of 3 $15 Amazon gift cards

Join us in celebrating the guilty pleasure of reading! Find the “fun” books in our collections. Share your favorites with other readers. Explore new genres and discover new favorite authors.  Here’s a guide to get you started–

Participate in our book exchange

Enter to win one of these posters

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