Virginia Wine Book Launch: April 10

Join us as we launch George Mason University Press‘ new book: Virginia Wine: Four Centuries of Change.

No state can claim a longer history of experimenting with and promoting viticulture than Virginia—nor does any state’s history demonstrate a more astounding record of initial failure and ultimate success. Virginia Wine: Four Centuries of Change, a new book written by Andrew Painter and published by George Mason University Press, presents a comprehensive record of the Virginia wine industry, from the earliest Spanish accounts describing Native American vineyards in 1570 through its astonishing rebirth in the modern era. Grape cultivation—for agriculture, horticultural curiosity, and wine production—has absorbed ambitious Virginians since April 1607, when a few casks of European wine washed ashore onto the dunes of Cape Henry in the company of a band of travel-weary English settlers. The author chronicles the dynamic personalities, diverse places, and engrossing personal and political struggles that have established the Old Dominion as one of the nation’s preeminent wine regions. Virginia’s wine industry now accounts for nearly $1 billion in annual sales, with more than 275 wineries growing more than 30 varieties of grapes.

Join us to hear Andrew Painter discuss a multitude of wine industry trends, events, secondary industries, and jobs that have revolved around the growing of grapes and the making and promotion of wine. To that end, the book emphasizes the unique aspects of the wine industry’s role in Virginia’s history and culture—a history that continues to be made in an agricultural and industrial sector that is itself unique among world commerce and society. Refreshments courtesy of Mason Bookstore.

About the author: Andrew A. Painter is an attorney specializing in land use and zoning. A Virginia native, Andrew has spent more than eight years researching the growth of its wine industry. He is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond.

For more information, contact John Warren, Director, George Mason University Press and Mason Publishing Group, gmupress@gmu.edu.

Playfair Book Launch: March 22

Join the University Libraries on Thursday, March 22 for the George Mason University Press book launch for Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World. The event will take place in the Fenwick Library Main Reading room, from 2 – 3:30 p.m.

William Playfair may be the most famous person you have never heard of. Best known today as the inventor of “statistical graphics”—the line, bar, and pie charts we all use today—Playfair was also a pioneer in strategic analysis, and a secret agent who carried out espionage and subversion against France on behalf of Great Britain.

This is the first book to uncover the full, true account of this remarkable, colorful man—undeniably brilliant, hopelessly flawed, and fundamentally important. Its pages reveal the astounding inventions and adventures of this larger-than-life swashbuckler, rogue, genius, and patriot.

“In addition to being a draftsman, inventor, company promoter, land speculator, economist, patriotic pamphleteer and bank-note counterfeiter, Playfair was a secret agent and international conspirator… He was adept at ducking and weaving from the truth, covering his tracks, mystifying his motives, and protecting his sources. Mr. Berkowitz’s Playfair is above all a work of ingenious detection and reconstruction.” —The Wall Street Journal

Books will be available for purchase at the event, and refreshments will be provided. The event is co-sponsored by the University Bookstore.

About the Author: Bruce Berkowitz is the author of several books and articles about national security, history, and international relations.

About GMU Press: The George Mason University Press supports the academic mission of George Mason University by publishing peer-reviewed, scholarly works of distinction, written by authors from a wide range of intellectual perspectives, for a diverse, worldwide readership. GMU Press publishes in a variety of disciplines with special focus on the history, politics, and culture of Northern Virginia and the wider District of Columbia metropolitan area, as well as other topics such as public policy, international affairs, and higher education.

Libraries hosts German Embassy Exhibition, Opening reception March 19

On March 19, all are invited to join the Libraries in the Fenwick Main Reading Room (on the second floor of Fenwick Library) to mark the opening of a new exhibition of posters related to the integration of immigrants and refugees into German society.

From 3 to 3:45pm, Christian Heusermann, Chief of Staff to the German Ambassador, will talk about the subject matter of the posters. A reception, sponsored by Mason’s Modern and Classical Languages, will follow in Fenwick Gallery.

The exhibition, on display in Fenwick Gallery from March 19 through April 6, was arranged in conjunction with the Modern and Classical Languages department and the German Embassy.

The posters, on loan from the German Embassy, provide a nice complement to the East German poster collections housed in the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. The collections feature posters from 1943-2009 on topics ranging from political to performing arts to culture and science to film and art exhibitions.

About the Exhibition: Immigration has shaped Germany since World War II. In the wake of the refugee crisis, the number of migrants in Germany and Europe increased significantly. By the end of 2016, Germany was home to 10 million people with non-German citizenship. Migrants now make up a slightly bigger share of the population in Germany than in the United States. In response to the influx of refugees, the German government, local authorities, and civil society intensified their efforts to integrate the immigrants and to provide opportunities that strengthen the country’s workforce. Refugees fill the need for skilled workers but lack of language skills and training slow down the integration process. Facing this enormous integration challenge, the government is combating the root causes for flight in the refugees’ home countries, and has taken additional measures to address security concerns in Germany. This exhibition provides facts about immigration in Germany as well as stories about immigrants and refugees who came to Germany and made a positive difference.

About the Fenwick Gallery: Fenwick Gallery is part of the University Libraries and is located in Fenwick Library on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting high quality works by students, faculty, staff, and other emerging and experienced artists. The gallery is open during Library business hours; see library.gmu.edu and fenwickgallery.gmu.edu for more information about hours and exhibitions.

About the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC): SCRC supports the research and teaching missions of the University by collecting, preserving and providing access to archival and rare book collections relevant to academic programs. SCRC librarians and archivists are dedicated to providing a secure and welcoming environment for researchers and encourage use of SCRC’s rare and primary source research materials. For more information about visiting SCRC and the collections housed there, see scrc.gmu.edu.

SCRC Exhibit Reception on 2/19

Special Collections Research Center is hosting an exhibit reception for its current display, From Tintypes to .TIFFs – Life through the Lens, on Monday, February 19, 2-4 p.m., 2400 Fenwick Library.  Professor Vanessa Schulman of the History and Art History department will provide remarks about the exhibit, and refershments are provided by Argo Tea.

For more information, contact Liz Beckman, ebeckman@gmu.edu, 703-993-5282