How young adult literature is clapping back to misogyny

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring posts from authors around the university about the lives and writings of women. The third post in our series is by Emily Hanson, administrator for the School of History and Heritage. Thank you for writing for us, Emily! We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.

How young adult literature is clapping back to misogyny (and how this supports those most in need of advocacy)

I recently found myself writing a defense of young adult literature on my blog. I have always argued for the importance of high quality, relevant teen literature (or YA–Young Adult), not just for teens but for all of ages. At first glance, literature written from a teenage perspective offers the potential for representation that young people may not find elsewhere in traditionally published writing, alongside facilitating empathy for the modern teen experience. Beyond this, however, I argue that YA is a fantastic vehicle for exploring some of life’s most challenging experiences through the lens of those in a life phase where these experiences are new and deeply felt. In the context of women’s history, YA writing provides an excellent opportunity to empathetically ‘clap back’ to misogynistic issues faced by the young women of 2020.

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In Defence of the Trashy: The Significance of Popular Romance Novels for Women’s History

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring posts from authors around the university about the lives and writings of women. Our second post in our series is by Rebecca Norman, a third year student on the BA History course. She explains the topic of her dissertation and how it helps us understand the lives of lower and middle class British women. Thank you for writing for us, Rebecca! This post has been guest edited by School of History and Heritage administrator, Emily Hanson. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post. 

When my grandpa found out I was writing my undergraduate dissertation on Denise Robins’ popular romance fiction, he commented that:

‘You don’t need to be paying to read that rubbish at University, your grandma has plenty on her kindle!’

Somehow, in his initial pride that his granddaughter was studying a ‘proper’ subject like History at university, he had not envisioned me carrying out a research project on what is widely regarded as ‘trashy’ fiction; but I’m about to finish off 10,000 words on the gender identities constructed and communicated in popular romance novels of the 1930s.

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1900: The Woman’s Exhibition

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring guest posts from authors around the university about the lives and writings of women. Our first post in our series is by Emma Fox, a third year student on the BA History course. She explains the topic of her dissertation and offers advice to students beginning to think about theirs. Thank you for writing for us, Emma! We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post. 

For my dissertation, I have been writing about the Woman’s Exhibition held in 1900 at Earl’s Court. This was one of many commercial exhibitions held by London Exhibitions Ltd under Imre Kiralfy who was known in both Britain and the USA for his spectacles and shows. My dissertation explores the exhibition’s representations of women and if and how these appealed to the public.

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365 Books to Celebrate Black History Month Year-Round

October is Black History Month and Black history happens every day. To celebrate this, the library has put together a list of 365 books by authors of colour from our catalogue and e-book collections.  The list was inspired by the website Black History 365 and the list of 365 Books By Women put together for International Women’s Day by the New York Public Library. It has been assembled through searches inspired by the Black British Writers wikipedia category page, as well as the African-American writers catalogue page. It also draws lists of books by Black and BAME writers published online, such as this one from Stylist. We hope you find it interesting!

Our More Books service is open for students and staff to request the purchase of items we do not have in our collections, so please do get in touch if you notice any errors or omissions.

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Libraries on the Move: Innovating Services for Research, Learning, and Publishing

This year has been the first year the University of Lincoln Library has participated in Erasmus+ International Staff Training Week programmes for librarians. It’s been absolutely wonderful to read and hear about the fantastic experiences my colleagues Oonagh and Ella had on their staff exchange trips! This is the third and final post in our series about GCW librarians’ experiences of Erasmus programmes around Europe.

Introduction

My Erasmus programme, ‘Libraries on the Move: Innovating Services for Research, Learning, and Publishing’, took place at the Freie Universität Berlin, a large and prestigious research university, with 11 departments, around 38,000 students and 336 professors. The Freie Universität (Free University) was founded in 1948 by students and staff who felt they could not learn and teach as they wished in the Soviet sector of the city. The programme consisted of a general day of introduction, three days of sessions and activities specific to the four international programmes running concurrently (libraries, career services, personnel development, and internationalisation), and a final morning of wrap-up and goodbye. It was an extraordinary week and I am delighted to share it with you.

Welcome: 17 June 2019

Tucked away in one of the university buildings on Otto-von-Stimson Straβe is the Ristorante Galileo, where all participants in the international programme were treated to a welcome and an excellent lunch. Dr Herbet Grieshop, head of the Office of International Affairs, introduced us to the international scope of the Freie Universität. I was impressed by the way the university prioritises the internationalisation of non-academic staff, providing them with a package of training and external activities including intercultural training, language instruction, and staff exchanges which leads to a certificate and formal recognition by the university. Continue reading “Libraries on the Move: Innovating Services for Research, Learning, and Publishing”

Online Resources for Women’s History

March is Women’s History Month and the library will be celebrating with a series of posts on resources for the study women’s history. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.

Why use online resources to study women’s history?

In my previous post, I introduced two of the library’s databases for studying women’s history. These databases are available by subscription–the University Library pays for them, and all staff and students at the university are able to access them. In this post, however, I will introduce some databases that are freely accessible to all. There is no one reason for using an online database as opposed to one built by subscription. Historians who study women’s lives have (and still do) push back against the stereotype that there’s no evidence for women of the past, which has led to a concern with gathering and sharing sources to enable research. Sometimes research touches on the concerns of past or contemporary communities and so researchers want it to be freely available to all who are interested, or sometimes research involves participants and investigators outside of the university and so for practical reasons an online resource is best. Online resources can be built with or by primary and secondary school students and teachers in mind. And sometimes an open access online database is simply the best resource available for a particular subject you are interested in!

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Library Databases for Women’s History

March is Women’s History Month and the library will be celebrating with a series of posts on using our resources to study women’s history. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.

Introduction

In the first post in this series, I introduced various kinds of e-book databases and how to search them. Books provide both primary and secondary sources for women’s history (think of the autobiography of writer, such as Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road or a study of Hurston’s life and writing, Wrapped in Rainbows by Valerie Boyd) but for additional primary research, you may want to consider looking at a database relevant to the time period, geographic region, or themes of women’s history which you are interested in studying. This post will spotlight two of the library’s databases which focus specifically on women’s history: British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries; and Women War and Society 1914-1918. Continue reading “Library Databases for Women’s History”

Using E-book Databases to Research Women’s History

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone!

You can find a programme of events sponsored by the Student Union, engage with inspiring stories from the Lincoln International Business School, or read a book about women’s lives, past and present from the library.

March is Women’s History Month and the library will be celebrating with a series of posts on using our resources to study women’s history. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.

This first post will cover the books and chapters you can find using our e-book databases. You can access some of our ebooks via our the ‘find books’ search on our main page: just select ‘electronic resource’ to focus on e-books.

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What is digital literacy?

The common saying ‘two heads are better than one’ perfectly sums up the purpose of a conference. Sharing ideas and best practice helps both listeners and audience. On 18 January 2019, I found this to be very true in practice went to the Mercian Staff Development Group event ‘Focus on Digital Literacy’ at the University of Coventry Library. The event helped me gain a better understanding of digital literacy and in this post I want to answer the question ‘What is digital literacy?’ based on what I learned from speakers at the event.

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Black History in Lincolnshire

This is the fourth and final in series of four posts about using library collections for the study of black history, literature and culture, in Britain and abroad. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post. 

We hope you have had a wonderful, inspiring, and educational Black History Month! Our final post in this series will offer some suggestions for online databases and library resources for researching Black history in the county of Lincolnshire. This post will come in two parts: in the first part, I will discuss researching Black history in Lincolnshire. In the second part of the post, I will point you towards local collections, archives, and online projects which may help in your investigation of local Black history.

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