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Events & Exhibitions

Upcoming Events

Modern Literature Reading Series to Feature Carl Phillips, MFA Students Nov. 12

Modern Literature Reading Series

On Monday, November 12, at 6 p.m., Washington University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections will re-launch the Modern Literature Reading Series, which celebrates both the authors in the Modern Literature Collection and those poets and writers influenced by them today.

Similar to the first Modern Literature Reading Series, which ran from 2000 to 2005, the new series will hold one event each semester and feature readers from the student body, the faculty, and/or outside writers. Each reader will focus on one author and will read excerpts from that author’s work or manuscripts that speak to the reader in some way. The readers are also invited to present their own work inspired or influenced by the writer in question.

Renowned poet and WUSTL faculty member Carl Phillips will headline this fall’s event, to be held in Special Collections, on Level 1 of Olin Library. Phillips plans to read and discuss the work of Robert Creeley. Two current WUSTL MFA poets, Catherine Chiodo and Phillip Williams, will also read, with Chiodo focusing on Donald Finkel and Williams on Robert Duncan.

Joel Minor, curator of manuscripts and modern literature for Special Collections, proposed reviving the Reading Series after talking with Writer-in-Residence Jennifer Kronovet, who mentioned participating in the original incarnation of the Reading Series when she was an MFA student here.

“Jennifer sparked the idea,” Minor says, “and then later graciously agreed to help me get it off the ground again. I am excited by this opportunity to partner with the MFA Writing Program on a regular basis and to help connect generations of poets and writers to audiences through manuscripts.”

Inaugurated in 1964, the Modern Literature Collection at Washington University Libraries was created as an archive of the work of contemporary English and American writers who were considered critically underappreciated and whose reputations might grow further in the years to come. Today, the Collection’s list has grown to more than 175 authors, presses, and journals, with more than 125 of these represented by manuscript materials.

A reception will follow the reading. For more information, contact Special Collections at 314-935-5495 or visit http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec/.

Past Exhibitions

Language, Signs, Meaning, Application:
The Philip Mills Arnold Semeiology Collection

Bulwer's Chirologia

October 25, 2010 -- May 27, 2011
Ginkgo Reading Room & Grand Staircase Lobby

The Philip Mills Arnold Semeiology Collection contains some 2,300 items on cryptography, the decipherment of ancient languages, languages for the blind and deaf, memory and mnemonics, the philosophy of language, the history of writing, signs and symbols, and more. Mr. Arnold was a chemical engineer educated at Washington University.


The Washington University Libraries invite you to two presentations on current computer-assisted scholarship in the humanities:

Literary Studies in the Age of Data
Matthew Wilkens, Postdoctoral Fellow, American Culture Studies Program
An introduction to the data-driven techniques that are currently transforming scholarship in the humanities. Examples include text mining, geolocation, data visualization, and network analysis.

From Physical Language to Physical Action: Using Acting Techniques to Improve Human/Robot Interaction
Annamaria Pileggi, Senior Lecturer, Performing Arts Department
This talk will present ongoing research in which actor training techniques are applied to robots in interaction with humans, featuring a short video of a performance piece performed by robotic and human actors.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
4:00 pm
Ginkgo Room, Olin Library, Level 1
Reception to follow

This event is held in conjunction with the exhibition Language, Signs, Meanings, Applications: the Philip Mills Arnold Semeiology Collection, on view in Olin Library through May 27, 2011. The exhibition features the Philip Mills Arnold Semeiology Collection, which contains some 2,300 items on cryptography, the decipherment of ancient languages, languages for the blind and deaf, memory and mnemonics, the philosophy of language, the history of writing, signs and symbols, and more.

An exhibition catalog will be available, free of charge, at the event. You may also download a PDF version of the catalog at: http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec/rarebooks/publications.html.

Gallery Talks: March 1 and March 4

To learn more about Arnold, a chemical engineer educated at WUSTL, and his remarkable collection, join an informal gallery tour led by Erin K. Davis, curator of rare books at Olin Library, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 1, or 4 p.m. Friday, March 4.

For more information, call Special Collections at (314) 935-5495.

Celebrating Women at Washington University

women's basketball team, 1923

The achievements of women have marked every aspect of Washington University history, in its excellence of teaching, in the depth of its research, and in the lives of so many students.

A new exhibit in Olin Library's Ginkgo Reading Room and Grand Staircase Lobby highlights the accomplishments and contributions of women at Washington University and celebrates the Centennial Anniversary of the Woman's Club. The exhibit is a collaboration between University Archives and The Woman's Club of Washington University.

The exhibition runs April 7 - June 11, 2010.

Past Events

Remembering 9/11: An Exhibit

WTC Vigil

On Sept. 11, 2012 at 4 PM, American Culture Studies and Washington University Libraries will host an opening for "Remembering 9/11: An Exhibit" at Washington University's Olin Library in Room 142. Dr. Wayne Fields, Lynne Cooper Harvey Distinguished Professor of English, American Literature, and American Culture Studies will make opening remarks and introduce the exhibit. Following the remarks a reception and exhibit viewing will take place in Washington University's Olin Library on Level 1.

The physical exhibit features a few items from University Archives and material collected for "Remembering 9/11," a cultural archives project exploring 9/11 memory at the university and in the culture as a whole. The project was launched by American Culture Studies on the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11, and is an ongoing effort to collect artifacts that reveal 9/11's impact both then and now, including interviews, written reflections, speeches, oral histories, and original works of art.

For more about the project, including information about how to get involved, please visit http://remembering911.wustl.edu

Exhibit on display August 27 - September 30, 2012 in Olin Library's Ginkgo Reading Room & Grand Staircase Lobby.



Washington University Libraries invite you to a lecture by Ann Lucas Birle, Research Historian at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and editor of:

Thomas Jefferson's Granddaughter in Queen Victoria's England:
The Travel Diary of Ellen Wayles Coolidge, 1838-1839

Birle will speak on the new book and on the discovery of books once owned by Thomas Jefferson in the Washington University Libraries' collections.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Wilson Hall, Room 214 on Washington University's Danforth Campus

A reception, book signing, and exhibition will follow in Olin Library's Ginkgo Room and Grand Staircase Lobby. The exhibition — State of the Union: Reconstructing a Thomas Jefferson Family Library — can be viewed during regular library hours through mid-June. Birle's book will be available for purchase at the reception.

Rare Books in the Digital Age

Michael F. Suarez, S.J., Director of Rare Book School
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Steinberg Hall Auditorium, 7:00pm

This event is free & open to the public. A reception follows.

Michael Suarez is uniquely qualified to speak on the topic of Rare Books in the Digital World. He directs Rare Book School—an independent, non-profit institute for the study of books, printing, and related subjects—located at the University of Virginia (UVA), where he is University Professor, Honorary Curator of Special Collections, and Professor of English. He is editor-in-chief of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online, perhaps the largest digital humanities project extant today.

His most recent publication is The Oxford Companion to the Book (2010), a million-word reference work on the history of books and manuscripts, from the invention of writing to the present day. The London Telegraph called it “colossal” and “a paradise for book lovers;” and The Wall Street Journal praised it as “a fount of knowledge where the Internet is but a slot machine.” A Jesuit priest, he is co-general editor of The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins.

RSVP if you plan to attend. Email or call Joy Lowery, Director of Communications, Washington University Libraries, at jlowery@wustl.edu or 314-935-5418. Leave your name and the number of people in your party.

Modern Graphic History Library Reception

mghl flyer

This reception celebrates our facility and student-curated exhibitions from Douglas Dowd's class, Readings in Postwar American Visual Culture 1945-1965.

May 11, 2010; 5-7pm

Artists' Books