As an associate professor and area coordinator of the art history program in the School of Art and Design, my teaching and research depend on being able to easily access physical books and journals. One of my favorite activities at Alkek Library is to browse the stacks because you never know what resources you will discover while looking for something else. I teach my students the importance of using the online search catalogue as a jumping off point towards exploration within the stacks. I encourage students to pull many books and journals off the shelves and to spend as much or as little time with them as they need. I also urge them to think about these resources not just for their textual contents but also their material specificity. This assignment comes from my own experiences browsing books in Alkek Library and finding something unexpectedly which would go on to make a major impact on my thinking about a subject. Books are at the building blocks of art historical research. We are exceedingly fortunate to have Alkek Library as a resource for our teaching and research. — Dr. Erina Duganne, Associate Professor & Program Coordinator, Art History, School of Art & Design
If you’ve putting off organizing all those citations and articles you’ve gathered throughout the year, join us for some Summer Cleaning! Learn how to use RefWorks to organize, manage, preserve, and share your research and citations.
Signup for the Wednesday June 26th Webinar here: https://signup.txstate.edu/sessions/5130-refworks
Murakami grew up, mostly, in the suburbs surrounding Kobe, an international port defined by the din of many languages. As a teenager, he immersed himself in American culture, especially hard-boiled detective novels and jazz. He internalized their attitude of cool rebellion, and in his early 20s, instead of joining the ranks of a large corporation, Murakami grew out his hair and his beard, married against his parents’ wishes, took out a loan and opened a jazz club in Tokyo called Peter Cat. He spent nearly 10 years absorbed in the day-to-day operations of the club: sweeping up, listening to music, making sandwiches and mixing drinks deep into the night.
His career as a writer began in classic Murakami style: out of nowhere, in the most ordinary possible setting, a mystical truth suddenly descended upon him and changed his life forever. Murakami, age 29, was sitting in the outfield at his local baseball stadium, drinking a beer, when a batter — an American transplant named Dave Hilton — hit a double. It was a normal-/enough play, but as the ball flew through the air, an epiphany struck Murakami. He realized, suddenly, that he could write a novel. He had never felt a serious desire to do so before, but now it was overwhelming. And so he did: after the game, he went to a bookstore, bought a pen and some paper and over the next couple of months produced ”Hear the Wind Sing,” a slim, elliptical tale of a nameless 21-year-old narrator, his friend called the Rat and a four-fingered woman. Nothing much happens, but the Murakami voice is there from the start: a strange broth of ennui and exoticism.
The Internet changes constantly. Ever wonder what happens to content that’s taken down?
A handful (but growing) number of organizations archive web content. A “picture” is taken every few days and stored.
The main Internet archive is called the Wayback Machine.
The Wayback Machine’s inventor, Brewster Kahle, is an internet entrepreneur, philanthropist and computer whizz who helped design Mr Hillis’s ground-breaking Connection Machine in the 1980s. In 1996 he founded a non-profit organisation, the Internet Archive, to create a free internet library capable of storing a copy of every web page of every website ever to go online. The Wayback Machine allows users to view the library’s archived web pages as they appeared when published. Today the Internet Archive also includes texts, audio, moving images and software. At the last count, its collection contained more than 150 billion items.
Even though we have the Wayback Machine, it is not a perfect solution and does not capture all of the web. Here’s a critique of our current storage methods of the web.
As a doctoral student and a student member of the library advisory board, I come to the Alkek for academic resources, professional development workshops, and personal projects. I did not know all the various services a school library could offer to the campus community. Last year, I was working on a personal project that I was planning to gift it as a present to my husband as it would be our first Christmas together in Texas. I wanted to convert all the VHS tapes that contained videos of him and his mother who passed away. I needed a VHS player to do this, but it would have cost me around $500 to make this happen through a service. I came to the Alkek and discovered that I could check out a VHS player, so that’s what I did! Thanks to the Alkek electronic equipment check out services, I was able to gift one of the most meaningful gifts I could ever give to my husband.
— HeeJae Chung, Adult, Professional, and Community Education Ph.D. student, a Doctoral Research Assistant at the CLAS Department
Chuck Palahniuk is best known as the author of Fight Club, the classic novel that was also made into a classic film. The novel opens with the memorable line “Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s bushmen got into my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.”
From there on we learn the tale of a milquetoastish individual who discovers his Nietzschean will to power via the machinations of the mysterious Tyler Durden. The first rule of Fight Club is not to talk about Fight Club.
The author also went on to write several equally unusual books. Link above.
Patricia Highsmith is best known for her crime novels The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers On A Train – both made into classic films. But she also wrote a lot of other novels and short stories that feature such disparate subjects as animals taking revenge on cruel people, giant snails, and icy and claustrophobic tales of daily life.
In fact, it was the giant snails that got me as a kid. A professor goes in search of legendary giants snails on a Pacific Island and, well, he does find them.
There’s also the dinner party at which the host’s cat brings in a finger, a mysterious furry thing that lives in the birdhouse that may or may not have gotten into the narrator’s house and lots more stories guaranteed to put a chill in your heart.
Here’s our list of databases that provide information on grants, scholarships, awards and other sources of funding.
Important information for graduate students and professors!
Pynchon is widely regarded as one of the most eminent literary stylists in contemporary American fiction. His novels, often described as labyrinthine or encyclopedic in scope, are characterized by an aura of great mystery and reveal a knowledge of many disciplines in the natural and social sciences. Pynchon’s use of sophisticated ideas is balanced by his verbal playfulness with such elements as black humor, outlandish puns, slapstick, running gags, parody, and ridiculous names. Through this blend of serious themes and comic invention and combination of documented fact and imaginative fantasy, Pynchon paradoxically affirms and denies the notion that mundane reality may possess hidden meaning. Living amidst the chaos of modern existence that is mirrored in the fragmented structures of his novels, Pynchon’s protagonists typically undertake vague yet elaborate quests to discover their identities and to find meaning and order in their lives. While Pynchon’s novels have often been faulted as labored or incomprehensible, all have provoked ongoing scholarly debate and earned widespread popularity among young readers.