Veterans Look Back on the Cuban Missile Crisis

Join the University Libraries on Tuesday, October 24, at 2pm in the Fenwick Main Reading Room, for a special “Talking to History” event.

Martin J. Sherwin, University Professor of History, will moderate a panel discussion with four other veterans of the Cuban Missile Crisis: Ray Beery, Garrett Cochran, Eric D. Henderson, and Bob Persell. Our five guests have a range of experience among them – Air Force intelligence officer, Air Force captain, junior officer on a destroyer, and CIA agents – and will share their reflections and stories of this time. After the panel discussions, all attendees are invited to visit our Special Collections Research Center to view Cuban Missile Crisis-related items on display (including manuscript collections, publications, and an original U.S. civil defense film, Duck and Cover).

For more about the Cuban Missile Crisis, including audio from many national security meetings, visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum‘s online exhibit, “The World on the Brink – John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis: Thirteen Days in October 1962.”

About Martin J. Sherwin: Martin J. Sherwin is University Professor of History at George  Mason University. He joined the faculties of the History-Art History Department and the School of Public Policy in the Fall 2007. For 27 years prior to coming to GMU, he was the Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and American History at Tufts University. His 2005 book, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (with Kai Bird) won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography as well as the English Speaking Union Book Award among other awards.

Fall for the Book & Alumni Weekend

Fall means it is time for Fall for the Book and Alumni Weekend here at Mason, and the Libraries is participating with a number of events (please see below)!

Fall for the Book, the region’s oldest and largest celebration of literature, will take place October 11-14. The Mason Libraries is one of many sponsors supporting this annual festival, which will include such headliners as Colson Whitehead, Jennine Capo Crucet, Mohsin Hamid, Lev Grossman, Janet Mock, and Ellen Bryant Voigt. Jennine Capo Crucet is the author of this year’s Mason Reads selection, Make Your Home Among Strangers, and the Libraries is sponsoring her talk in the Concert Hall on Thursday, October 12 at 4:30pm. In addition, the Libraries will host events in our Fenwick Main Reading Room and Special Collections Research Center.

Alumni Weekend takes place October 12-15 this year. Haven’t been on campus in a while? Thinking about reconnecting with your Mason friends and former classmates? Join the Mason community for our annual Alumni Weekend! You can tour the campus, get together at the Green and Gold Bash, or attend any number of alumni events being held over the weekend. Haven’t seen the new Fenwick Library yet? Come visit us!

Mason Libraries Special Events October 11-14, 2017

Mason Author Series: Alumni Poetry
Friday, October 13, 4pm, Fenwick Main Reading Room

In conjunction with Fall for the Book and Alumni Weekend, we will welcome five alumni poets – Sarah Marcus (MFA ’12), Sheila McMullin (MFA ’13), Ranjani Murali (MFA ’10), Nicole Tong (MFA ’07), and Sarah Ann Winn (MFA ’14) – who will read from their latest works. The full Fall for the Book schedule is available at fallforthebook.org.

Alumni Weekend: SCRC Open House
Saturday, October 14, 10:30am-12pm, Special Collections Research Center

Come take a trip down Memory Lane with your fellow alumni: visit the all-new Fenwick Library and (re)experience Mason’s 60 years of history. See the building in Bailey’s Crossroads where George Mason opened in 1957; read the article you wrote for Broadside in 1977; chuckle over what you wore in the 1997 yearbook; look for the course description from your favorite class from 2007, and more. The display will also include historical highlights from each decade, making your history come alive.

At the Margins: Invisibility and Marginalized Communities
Thursday, October 12, 2-4pm, 2400 Fenwick Library, Special Collections Research Center

For this month’s Artists’ Book Open House, we take on the theme of invisibility and present these works as an extension of the discussions happening around Artworks for Freedom, and Fenwick Gallery’s exhibition Call & Response. These artists’ books explore issues of marginalization and highlight the perspectives and voices of the “invisible,” those persons and communities at the edges of society and the victims of “invisible crimes.” Visitors will have an opportunity for hands-on interaction with these materials, and to learn how Mason students and researchers can use these materials as a source of visual, formal, and thematic inspiration.

Call + Response 2017: Artists’ Panel, Fenwick Gallery Walkthrough
Wednesday, October 11, 3pm, Fenwick Main Reading Room

Call & Response is an annual exhibit of collaborations between writers and visual artists, in which one calls and one responds. The result is a dynamic set of paired works of words and artistic media that resonate and speak to contemporary issues. The theme for Call & Response 2017 is INVISIBLE, in conversation with Artworks for Freedom’s campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking. The visual artists and writers of Call & Response will interpret the theme of INVISIBLE as it relates to victims of “invisible crimes” or unlawful actions that go unnoticed. Call & Response is a collaboration of the School of Art, the English Department’s MFA program in Creative Writing, and University Libraries presented in conjunction with the annual Fall for the Book festival.

Our Comics, Ourselves Closes Oct 6

TODAY: Spike Trotman and Ariell Johnson in Conversation
Tuesday, October 3, 6pm
The HUB Ballroom

C. “Spike” Troutman is an artist, cartoonist, bestselling writer, and founder of Iron Circus Comics in Chicago. Ariell Johnson is the owner and president of Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse in Philadelphia. Join these two groundbreaking women of comics and learn more about their commitment to fostering innovative stories and unsung voices in comics.

We hope you’ve had a chance to visit the current exhibition, “Our Comics, Ourselves“, and participate in one of the many related events. If you haven’t, please come by Fenwick Library this week before the exhibition closes on Friday, October 6! To read more about the exhibit, visit our Fenwick Gallery site.

About “Our Comics, Ourselves”: Curated by Jan Descartes and Monica McKelvey Johnson, “Our Comics, Ourselves” includes comic books, graphic novels, DIY comics, and various comics paraphernalia primarily from the United States, from 1945 to present. The works range from autobiographical to sheer fantasy, and explore feminism, abortion, racism, cultural identity, social activism, labor unions, veterans of war, sexual abuse, student debt, immigration, public health, civil rights, gender and sexual identity, and more. “Our Comics, Ourselves” presents the graphic stories that describe the complexity and diversity of our collective experience, and examines the social and historical contexts within which they emerged. “Our Comics, Ourselves” is an independent traveling exhibition that originated at Interference Archive (Brooklyn, NY) in 2016, and is supported by faculty partners and departments across George Mason University.

Reception & Curator’s Talk Tonight!

Our Comics, Ourselves is officially underway! Join us as we host artists, writers, comics shop owners, and the exhibition’s curators throughout the month of September and early October. All are welcome to join us this evening for:

Curator’s Talk, Opening Reception, and Print Shop Jam
Friday, September 14, 6:00pm
Fenwick Library Main Reading Room / Mason School of Art

Jan Descartes (she/her) and Monica McKelvey Johnson (she/her) will give a curator’s talk on the latest iteration of the traveling exhibition, Our Comics, Ourselves, which originated at Interference Archive in Brooklyn, NY. Focusing on themes of authorship and identity, they will talk about the major works on view, and discuss the process of organizing Our Comics, Ourselves through their method of feminist curating. The presentation will be followed by an open discussion.

Event to be followed by an opening reception and comics and printmaking jam at the Mason School of Art, beginning at 7:30pm.

A sign language interpreter will be present at this event.

This presentation is part of Our Comics, Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art, on display now through October 6 at Fenwick Gallery. Visit http://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/exhibits/our-comics-ourselves/ for more details.

About the curators: Jan Descartes is a Brooklyn-based artist, educator and curator. She is a graduate of Syracuse University (BA), Carnegie Melon University (MFA) and anticipated graduate of CUNY Graduate Center, with a degree focus on Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (MLS). She currently co-curates the Our Comics, Ourselves exhibition with Monica McKelvey Johnson, which focuses on identity and representation. Through her artistic, academic and professional life, art and accessibility has been a major theme, culminating in her current thesis regarding trauma and memory in public aesthetic spaces. Jan is co-creator and artist for the webcomic Heartland Comic, where personal memoir and identity politics meet comix. She is currently involved with planning/organizing outreach projects in NYC, where she hopes to facilitate DIY comic-making as an accessible means to explore personal experience and resistance in the everyday. She also lives with a sweet dog and an angry cat.

Monica McKelvey Johnson is a comic artist, writer, and curator living in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University (BA), and CUNY Hunter College’s Integrated Media Arts Program (MFA). She authored the web comic The Adventures of Dorrit Little, a story about the average student debtor in the United States today, and founded the student debtor support group, EDU Debtors Union. She writes about comics from an intersectional feminist perspective for The Rumpus and The Comics Journal, and has co-organized several exhibitions at Interference Archive—including Our Comics, Ourselves,Take Back the Fight: Resisting Sexual Violence from the Ground Up, and an upcoming exhibition focusing on Deaf culture. She is a practitioner of “feminist curation,” a methodology she continues to develop with Jan Descartes.