Kristina M. Olson Named 2015-16 Fenwick Fellow

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John Zenelis has announced the 2015-2016 Fenwick Fellow is Dr. Kristina M. Olson, Assistant Professor of Italian and the Coordinator of the Italian Program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

profolsonProfessor Olson’s research proposal, Sumptuous Literature: Clothing and Governance in Fourteenth Century Italy, is a current book project that investigates the intersection of history and literature in the works of medieval and early modern Italian authors. In her research, she will explore the impact of the displays of new wealth in clothing and jewelry and the restrictions imposed upon such social practices as expressed in the literary works of the Italian middle ages—namely those of Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch, the “three crowns” of Italian literature. Ultimately, Sumptuous Literature seeks to show how characterizations of fashion in literature shed new light upon our understanding of the simultaneous rise of capitalism and of fashion, and how these phenomena are first articulated in terms of gender and the body.

During her fellowship, Professor Olson plans to complete the historical and literary research for this project and write the first chapters of her book. Another expected product of this project will be the compilation of a database of the leading families of this period that will be featured on the Digital Dante project at Columbia University. Finally, her research will result in acquisition of research materials to expand the University Libraries’ holdings in medieval and early Renaissance history and literature.

Professor Olson will present the results of her work in spring 2017 at the annual Fenwick Fellow Lecture hosted by the University Libraries.

Picturing Performance in Fenwick Gallery

picturing400The new Fenwick Gallery exhibition, Picturing Performance: a sampling of music, dance and theater imagery, highlights selected rarities,antiquarian prints and artists’ books held in George Mason University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives.

Examples include musical iconography and similar graphic materials which illustrate aspects of music, dance, and theater history or exemplify technical developments in the performing arts. The twelve selected items on exhibit reflect these genres, and includes engravings, lithographs, photographs, and drawings. The exhibit curators are Steven K. Gerber, MA, MLS, Music & Theater Librarian, and Rhianna Cockrell, George Mason Student/Library Intern. The exhibition is on display through September 18.

For more information about Fenwick Gallery, please contact Jenna Rinalducci, Art & Art History Librarian, jrinaldu at



Get ready to research at SmartSTART!

smartstart400Welcome, new students! Get ready to research! From 1:00pm – 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 1, Gateway Library staff will help you get a SmartSTART on the semester! Drop in and discover:

  • Course Reserves
  • Textbooks on Reserve
  • Laptop Print Drivers
  • The Wonders of Your Mason ID
  • Zotero
  • OneButtonStudio
  • and more!

Stop by, enjoy a snack, and get a SmartSTART at Mason! For more information, please contact Sara Hudson, shudson7 at, 703-993-3471.