Spring 2014 Public Programs at Temple University Libraries

Urban mid 20th century dilapidated building facades showing cobbled street, stone paved sidewalk with stoops, cellar doors, and a makeshift newsstand.

Gather Around the Table: Conversations on the History, Impact and Implications of Food in our Society

The following programs are part of the Libraries’ year-long investigation of food and food-related topics.


Michael Moss: Salt, Sugar, Fat

January 30, 6PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 1210 Polett Walk

In Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us—which was recently featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine—Pulitzer Prize–winning author Michael Moss examines the boardroom strategies of America’s most recognizable food brands, explains how food science labs have calculated the “bliss point” of sugary products to guarantee maximum addictiveness and deconstructs marketing campaigns that redirect concerns about health risks. The result is an urgent, stunning and hopeful exposé about health, nutrition and politics.

Moss’s lecture at Temple is co-sponsored by Temple Contemporary, the General Education Program, the Center for Obesity Research and Education, and the Myer & Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History.


Nicholas Blechman: Food Chains

February 6, 4PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 1210 Polett Walk

“Food Chains” is a project that maps the origins of our food in the industrialized food system. Using drawings and information graphics, award-winning illustrator and New York Times Art Director Nicholas Blechman goes behind the scenes at the world’s largest pasta factory in Parma, Italy, discovers the secret codes embedded in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rinds and explores the fraudulent production of olive oil.

Blechman’s lecture at Temple is co-sponsored by Temple Contemporary and the Myer & Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History. It is part of the Feinstein Center’s What Is Your Food Worth? series.


Tracie McMillan: The American Way of Eating

February 20, 3:30PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 1210 Polett Walk

When award-winning journalist Tracie McMillan saw foodies swooning over $9 organic tomatoes, she couldn’t help but wonder: What about the rest of us? Why do working Americans eat the way we do? And what can we do to change it? To find out, McMillan went undercover in three jobs that feed America, living and eating off her wages in each. Reporting from California fields, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s, McMillan examines the reality of our country’s food industry in The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table (Scribner, 2012).

McMillan’s lecture at Temple is co-sponsored by the Myer & Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History. It is part of the Feinstein Center’s What Is Your Food Worth? series.


An Artist Talk with Hank Willis Thomas

March 11, 2:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 1210 Polett Walk

Hank Willis Thomas is an internationally renowned artist with works in the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has held residencies and fellowships at the Tribeca Film Institute, Johns Hopkins University and the W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute at Harvard University. His project “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America”(2005–2008) is a series of images appropriated from magazine advertisements marketed toward African American audiences or that use black subjects. He has digitally removed text and logos, “unbranding” these images to expose the ways advertising reinforces generalizations around race, gender and culture. His 2011 follow-up, “Branded,” employs the language of advertising to explicitly address race, class and history. Willis’ work in progress, “Rebranded,” is developing a new set of images that compare contemporary ads with strikingly similar examples from the past. 

This program is co-sponsored by Temple University Libraries, the Painting, Drawing & Sculpture Department at the Tyler School of Art and the Department of Graphic Arts and Design and the Photography Program at the Tyler School of Art. The Center for the Humanities at Temple has also provided support.


Sponsored in part by the Temple University General Activities Fund.


Accountability or Cover Up? The Role of Whistleblowers in Promoting Food Safety

April 3, 2:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 1210 Polett Walk

Phyllis McKelvey worked in the poultry business for 44 years and dedicated her professional life to protecting the integrity of the food supply. She has, in her words, “walked on both sides of the fence,” having worked for the poultry industry and the federal government. Now McKelvey has come forward with her concerns about new USDA regulations and will join us at Temple as part of the Government Accountability Project’s American Whistleblower Tour. Amanda Hitt, Director of GAP’s Food Integrity Campaign, will facilitate a discussion with McKelvey about the role whistleblowers play in protecting the public interest generally and ensuring food integrity specifically. Hitt will also discuss industrialized food production and distribution practices as well as efforts to implement “ag gag” laws, which seek to stop whistleblowers from reporting instances of abuse in our food systems.

Additional support for this program provided by the Legal Studies Department at the Fox School of Business. 


Vino Noir: African Americans in the Wine Industry

April 10, 3:00 PM, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, 1330 Polett Walk

The Wall Street Journal calls sommelier, winemaker and designer André Hueston Mack “a wine overachiever.” Daniel Bryant, owner and creator of Running Tigers Wine, aims to educate through programs such as “Wine Tasting 101: African Americans in the Wine Industry,” at the University of California, Davis. Brian Duncan is the wine director of Bin 36 Restaurants in Chicago, where he also develops house wines that are served in restaurants across the region Mack was the first African American to be named Best Young Sommelier in America. Bryant believes the African American community is typically overlooked by the wine industry, but he’s looking to change that. Join the Blockson Collection for a conversation with Mack, Duncan and Bryant, three entrepreneurs who are shaking up the beverage industry.


Elijah Anderson: The Cosmopolitan Canopy

April 14, 2:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 1210 Polett Walk

Elijah Anderson is the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University. He is one of the leading urban ethnographers in the United States and the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award of the American Sociological Association. His publications include Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999), winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community (1990), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of Urban Sociology; and most recently The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life (WW Norton, 2012). For his talk at Temple, Dr. Anderson will discuss this most recent book-in particular the chapter on the food-filled Reading Terminal Market.


Paige West: From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea  

April 17, 3:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

Paige West is an anthropologist at Barnard College whose research interests include sustainable development and political ecology. She has written about the linkages between environmental conservation and international development, the material and symbolic ways in which the natural world is understood and produced, the aesthetics and poetics of human social relations with nature, and the creation of commodities and practices of consumption. West’s most recent book is From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea (2012, Duke University Press).


West’s lecture at Temple is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities. It is also part of the center’s season-long Environmental Humanities series.


Upcoming and Ongoing

In addition to our curated, thematic programs, our series encompasses a number of discussions designed to engage the outstanding work of our faculty and highlight the strengths of our library.


The President’s House Revisited Behind the Scenes: Charles L. Blockson on the Samuel Fraunces Story

February 7, 3:00 PM, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, 1330 Polett Walk

Collection founder Charles L. Blockson discusses his latest publication, The President’s House Revisited Behind the Scenes: The Samuel Fraunces Story (STILL Publications, 2013), which explores the life of a black man who worked as a spy, cook and steward for George Washington at the President’s House in Philadelphia. A book signing will follow the author’s talk.

The Pennsylvania Abolition Society has generously funded this program.


Temple Issues Forum: Egyptian Politics, US Policy

February 11, 2:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

The Temple Issues Forum (TIF) presents debates on current events of interest to the campus, the community and the world.  Featured at its upcoming event are Trudy Rubin, world correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer; Wael Nawara, a political strategist and political party organizer who recently served as a fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government; Ashraf Khalil, Middle East Correspondent for Time Magazine and author of Liberation Square, about the uprising in 2011 that led Egypt's Hosni Mubarak to resign as President; and Nancy Okail, executive director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Politics. The program, on Egyptian Politics and U.S. Policy, will be moderated by Ndidi Anyaegbunam, a development specialist in African Affairs at the United Nations who graduated with distinction from Temple University. Khalil and Nawara will be speaking and taking questions direct from Cairo via SKYPE.


Chat in the Stacks

 March 27 and April 23, 2:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

The Libraries and the Faculty Senate Committee on the Status of Faculty of Color continue to host an engaging series of panels on timely topics with faculty from across the university.

Please note: The Chat in the Stacks originally scheduled for Thursday, February 13 will now take place on Wednesday, April 23. Speakers to include Bettye Collier-Thomas, Wil Roget and Howard Myrick. 


Annual Women’s History Program: Grassroots Uprising, The Election of Judge Earlene Green

March 21, 3:00 PM, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, 1330 Polett Walk

Join the Libraries and the Blockson Collection for the annual Women’s History Month program. This year, Judge Earlene Green, a Temple alumna, discusses her life as an activist, social worker, public figure and African American woman in Philadelphia.


The Debussy Preludes

March 26 and April 2, noon, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

Be transported in time and place to Paris, 1911 and 1913, as Charles Abramovic and his studio present "Springtime in Paris: The Complete Piano Preludes of Claude Debussy."   The music, sometimes ethereal, sometimes humorous, and always beautiful will be introduced by the musicians.  Browse books of French poetry and art that inspired this music.  Bring your lunch for a delightful informal noontime serenade.  Light refreshments will be provided.


The Franklin H. Littell Papers Opening Celebration

April 9, 2:00 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

The papers of Franklin H. Littell, the late scholar, Temple professor and founder of Holocaust Studies, will be processed and available at the Special Collections Research Center beginning this April. This collection of academic papers, manuscripts, and photographs documents Littell’s career, much of which was dedicated to education around the atrocities of the Holocaust and preventing genocide, hate and violence. This program will feature a keynote lecture by filmmaker, scholar and writer Rabbi Michael Berenbaum of American Jewish University.

Norman Braman has generously sponsored this program.


From alternative media to media alternatives: Publications and profitability in the digital age 

April 10, Noon, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

Temple University Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series and the Center for Design + Innovation present a conversation on creating sustainable media enterprises in the digital age. Chris Rabb of the Fox School of Business’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, Tom Scocca of Gawker Media and Maura Johnston of Maura Magazine will discuss the challenges and the excitement of making your mark in the media today. Meredith Broussard, professor of journalism, will moderate. Questions, conversations, and pizza provided.




Artists Books from NFS and Tanam Press 1970s - 80s:  Reese Williams in conversation with Peter d'Agostino

April 15, 3:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

Join artist and Temple faculty member Peter d’Agostino for an interview with Reese Williams, founder of the influential Tanam Press. Over the course of five years, this influential press published LP recordings featuring talks by Buckminster Fuller and Susan Sontag, as well as lively individual and collaborative projects from writers and visual and media artists that utilize the page in innovative ways. Playing across genre, the publications from Tanam Press incorporate critical essays, poetry, experimental prose, photography, film, video and television. San Francisco based NFS Press, co-founded by Lew Thomas and Donna-Lee Philips, published and distributed landmark conceptual photography books through the 1970s and early 1980s.  Through a range of critical approaches, the publications looked to understand the implications of the photographic image and how it is has come to shape our relationship with the world. Artists and authors published by these presses include: Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Theresa Cha, Maya Deren, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Philip Glass, John Gutmann, Hans Haacke, Werner Herzog, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Suzanne Lacy, Fred Lonidier, Jim Melchert, Richard Misrach, Antoni Muntadas, Peter Nadin, Nam June Paik, Richard Prince, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Cindy Sherman, Kristine Stiles, Dziga Vertov and many others. Peter d'Agostino, Professor of Film & Media Arts at Temple University, worked closely with both NFS and Tanam Press. His pioneering photography, video and new media projects have been exhibited internationally for over four decades. Reese Williams has an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA at Tri­State College of Acupuncture. In addition to his healing arts practice, Williams' artwork ranges across several media including: sound installation, photography and text. 


Artist as Witness: A Reading and Lecture with Hanoch Guy

April 22, 3:30 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

Hanoch Guy is a bilingual poet who spent his younger years in Israel. An emeritus professor at Temple, he has published poetry in Genre Magazine, Poetry Newsletter, Tracks, the International Journal of Genocide Studies, Poetry Motel, Visions International and Poetica Magazine. He has won several awards from Poetica as well as one from the Mad Poets Society. He has three books: The Road to Timbuktu, Terra Treblinka and A Gallery of the Addicted to Dark Seeds.


Radical Jewish Philadelphia: An Exhibition and Symposium

April 25-26, Times TBD

An exploration through art and conversation of Jewish radical politics in Philadelphia, drawing on a newly compiled oral history collection of Jews and leftist politics in Philadelphia, featuring a keynote by Tony Michels (Associate Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison).

This symposium is co-sponsored by Tyler School of Art, Hidden City Philadelphia and the the Myer & Rosaline Feinstein Center for American Jewish History.


Let Freedom Ring: A Scholarly Panel Discussion in Conjunction with the Philadelphia Freedom Festival

April 30, 4:00 PM, Great Court, Mitten Hall, 1913 N. Broad St.

The Blockson Collection presents a conversation and panel discussion in partnership with the Mann Center for the Performing Arts’ Philadelphia Freedom Festival. 19th-century African American civil rights pioneer Octavius Catto inspires the Mann’s multidimensional musical performance, and the associated programs around the city. This program features a number of authors, activists and scholars including Murray Dubin and David Biddle, co-authors of Tasting Freedom; Charles L. Blockson, historian, bibliophile and collector; Dr. Mark K. Tyler, pastor, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church; Nolan Williams Jr., artistic festival director; Mahlon Duckett, Negro League baseball player; Keith Bingham, Cheyney University, archivist; John E. Churchville, scholar and activist; and Karen Jordan and Mel Dorn, Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters


The Library Prize for Undergraduate Research and Undergraduate Research on Sustainability and the Environment, 10th Anniversary Celebration

May 1, 4:00 PM, Paley Library Lecture Hall, 1210 Polett Walk

Please join us as we celebrate the best in undergraduate research at the annual awards ceremony for library prizes. This year’s winners will present their research, followed by a celebration of their tremendous accomplishments. Join us at Paley Library to finish the semester with our signature program. This year’s 10th anniversary celebration will also include special symposia and programs that look back at a decade of outstanding research by Temple undergrads.

John H. Livingstone Jr. and Gale, part of Cengage Learning, have generously sponsored this initiative.


Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Philly Jazz

June 19, 3:00 PM, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, 1330 Polett Walk

This year’s annual Juneteenth Celebration honors Philadelphia jazz musicians and the rich musical traditions of our city. Visit library.temple.edu for updates as speakers are confirmed. 

The Philadelphia Fund for Jazz Legacy & Innovation of The Philadelphia Foundation and Painted Bride Art Center have generously sponsored this initiative.