Opening Reception for “A War of Contradictions: The Vietnam Conflict, 1945-1975”

Join the Libraries for a reception and tour of “A War of Contradictions: The Vietnam Conflict, 1945-1975,” our Special Collection Research Center’s current exhibit, on Tuesday, October 22, from 2-3:30 p.m. in the SCRC Seminar Room (Fenwick Library Room 2400). Light refreshments will be served. Dr. Meredith Lair, Associate Professor, History and Art History, will make introductory remarks, and a tour of the exhibit will follow.

Dr. Lair’s work examines warfare and its relationship to American society and culture, with particular emphasis on how knowledge and memories of the past are constructed and disseminated over time. She is the author of Armed with Abundance: Consumerism and Soldiering in the Vietnam War, which examines the non-combat experiences of American soldiers in Vietnam. Professor Lair’s teaching interests include war and American society, post-1945 US social and cultural history, the Vietnam War, and historical methods. She also serves as director of Mason’s Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) Master’s program.

About the Exhibit: “It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.” This quote, attributed to a U.S. Army officer in February 1968, illustrates the contradictions inherent in the Vietnam Conflict. Seen by some as a noble fight to stop Communism and help a developing country establish democracy, and others as interference in a war of national liberation and a destructive waste of money and human life, Vietnam remains one of the more polarizing topics of the twentieth century. This was evident in the words, actions and writings of politicians, journalists, authors, clergy, and others. The conflict, which spanned 30 years, from September 1945 to May 1975, was responsible for 1.5 million to 3.5 million civilian and military deaths. One of the major flash points of the Cold War, Vietnam was, and still is, a subject about which many have differing opinions.

This exhibit, curated by Bob Vay, SCRC’s Digital Collections and Exhibition Archivist, features items from Special Collections Research Center’s Rare Books, University Archives, and manuscript collections.  

Call & Response: Transmogrify

Fenwick Gallery at George Mason University is pleased to host Call & Response: Transmogrify. The exhibition will run from October 3 through November 9, 2019. A panel discussion with the artists and writers will be held on Thursday, October 10 at 1:30 p.m. in Fenwick Library 2001, with a reception following in Fenwick Gallery beginning at 3:00 p.m.

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 the eleventh annual Call & Response is Transmogrify. The term transmogrify means to change, but various dictionaries add “magically,” “utterly,” “surprisingly,” and even “in a grotesque manner.” This collaboration between writers and artists relies on a kind of metamorphosis, one in which a spark from the caller’s work is made apparent in a new form in the responder’s. How do we transform one another? How does one work surprisingly or even utterly, alter our view of another?

Call & Response is an ongoing partnership between the Mason School of Art, the English Department’s MFA program in Creative Writing and the University Libraries, and is presented in conjunction with the annual Fall for the Book festival. The exhibition is curated by Heather Green (Faculty, InterArts, School of Art), and Christopher Kardambikis (Faculty, Printmaking, School of Art), in collaboration with Stephanie Grimm (Art & Art History Librarian & Fenwick Gallery Manager) and Tanya Dieudonne (Fenwick Gallery Graduate Assistant).

For more information on this exhibition at Fenwick Gallery, visit https://fenwickgallery.gmu.edu/ or contact Stephanie Grimm (Art and Art History Librarian) at sgrimm4@gmu.edu. For general inquiries about the University Libraries or George Mason University, contact Jessica Clark (Development and Communications Officer) at jclarkw@gmu.edu. 

Libraries celebrates annual Fall for the Book festival

The Libraries is once again collaborating with the annual Fall for the Book Festival on a number of activities and events. In particular, the Libraries is pleased to be a sponsor of Fall for the Book headliner and 2019 Mason Reads author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who will discuss Why We Should All Be Feminists on Friday, October 11 at 12:30pm in the Center for the Arts. Fall for the Book will take place this week, October 10-12, 2019.

In conjunction with the festival, the Libraries’ Fenwick Gallery will present Call & Response: Transmogrify, an exhibition running through November 9, with a special artists talk on Thursday, October 10 at 1:30pm in Fenwick 2001 and a reception following at 3pm in Fenwick Gallery. Call & Response (an ongoing partnership between the School of Art, the Creative Writing program, and the Libraries) 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.

On Friday, October 11, the Libraries will celebrate with a special Fall for the Book edition of the Edible Book Festival. Stop by Fenwick 1014 to vote for your favorite edible creations (11am-12:30pm) and be sure to come back for the award announcements and tasting (12:30-2pm)!

The Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series, hosted by the Libraries, also continues this week, with three authors as part of the festival:

  • Bella Pollen at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 10 in Fenwick 2001 – Journalist, novelist, and memoirist Bella Pollen will discuss her recent Meet Me in the In-Between, an illustrated memoir.
  • Cole Swensen at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 10 in Fenwick 2001 – Poet Cole Swensen, author of 17 collections of poetry, will discuss her recent On Walking On.
  • R.O. Kwon at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 11 in Fenwick 2001 – Kwon, author of The Incendiaries, named a best book of the year by over forty publications will discuss “Cult, Faith, and Complicated Love.”

On Saturday, October 12 at 12pm in Harris Theater, the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), in partnership with the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will host a concert and celebration of the 20th anniversary of Kid Pan Alley and honor the donation of the Kid Pan Alley and Paul Reisler archives of thousands of songs and instrumental compositions to the Mason Libraries.

About the 2019 Fall for the Book Festival: This year Fall for the Book will welcome an esteemed lineup of poets, historians, novelists, memoirists, children’s authors, YA writers and more at George Mason University and locations around Northern Virginia. Headliners include essayist and novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, novelist and YA author Rainbow Rowell, novelist Delia Owens, and true crime writer, David Grann. Other featured writers are David Wallace-Wells presenting the Beck Environmental Lecture, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Senator Janet Howell, novelist R.O. Kwon, true crime writer Sarah Weinman, and poets, Cole Swensen, Yona Harvey, Amaud Jamaul Johnson and Brian Teare. Fall for the Book festival, which runs from October 10-12, 2019, is partnering with the City of Fairfax’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 12 to bring a day of literary and artistic events to audiences of all ages. Literary Death Match, a fun, fast-paced literary game show will close the festival on Saturday evening. Fall for the Book is also proud to host the second annual award ceremony for its post-publication book prize for immigrant writers: The Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award, judged by Reyna Grande, Alia Malek, and E.C. Osondu. The three finalists, who will appear at the festival, will be announced this summer.

The View from New Orleans

Mason’s Department of History and Art History, with the generous support from the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia, invites you to attend a free lecture by Professor Kathleen DuVall of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on The View from New Orleans: Indians, Irish and Spaniards in the American Revolution. The lecture will take place on Monday, September 30, at 5 p.m. in Fenwick Library, Room 2001.

An expert in the field of Native American History, Professor DuVal is the author of The Native Ground: Indians and Colonists at the Heart of the Continent (2001) and Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution (2015).

A reception follows. The lecture is free and open to the public.