Jawahir Javaid

Latin American Folktales

Read Latin American folklore and fairy tales for National Hispanic Heritage Month. You will find a variety, some just recently acquired, in our library collection. The following anthologies and picture book adaptations have stories that span from the Rio Grande Valley to Colombia and Bolivia.

Latin American Folktales


New EBSCO eBooks

We have added dozens of new eBooks and eAudiobooks to our collection this past month. The electronic books can be easily accessed via Web browser. You will be asked to enter your MVCC login information for off-campus access, and access is limited to one user per book, multiple users can’t access the same book at the same time. The eAudiobooks will need to be checked out through the EBSCO Audiobook app.

Browse the whole collection of EBSCO eBooks or sample one of my favorites below:

Transgender & Gender Identity

Explore our library’s collection of materials on transgender people, gender, and identity. You can browse the call number HQ77.95.U6 for materials on transgender people in the United States and HQ1075 for works on sex role and gender identity, located on the first floor of the library. Also, here is a list of five documentaries and motion pictures recently added to our collection to open the dialogue on transgender experiences, one of the current topics making headlines:

  • American Transgender originally aired on the National Geographic Channel in May 2012. This documentary follows the different lifestyles of three transgender individuals, addressing topics like identity and relationships.
  • Boy Meets Girl is a 2014 film regarding the changing relationship between Robby and his best friend, Ricky, a transgender girl.
  • The 2015 film by Tom Hooper, The Danish Girl, is based on the true life story of a transgender Danish painter, Lili Elbe.
  • I Am the Queen is a documentary examining the Vida/Sida Cacica Pageant in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, where transgender participants compete in a pageant with support from the larger Puerto Rican community.
  • Sex, Lies & Gender is another National Geographic Channel documentary, originally broadcast in September 2009. The program explores how doctors and parents face gender decisions and the options in traditional and controversial therapies for transgender individuals.



Graphic Memoirs

Gain insight into different experiences by exploring the graphic memoir genre. These autobiographical comics allow authors to bring their experiences to life with simple, engaging text and vivid illustrations. Here is a list of a few of the graphic memoirs in our collection to get you started:

  1. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee and Peter David, illustrated by Colleen Doran, tells Lee’s story, from his impoverished childhood in New York City to his rise as the creator of numerous comics in the Marvel Universe.
  2. Arab in America by Toufic El Rassi draws on his experiences with prejudice and discrimination as Muslim and Arab in post-9/11 America.
  3. The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East (1978-1984) and The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East (1984-1985), two graphic memoirs by Riad Sattouf, recount his childhood in rural France, Libya, and Syria, moving between countries with his Syrian father and French mother.
  4. Calling Dr. Laura is Nicole J. Georges’ story of her search for identity after discovering family secrets regarding her biological father.
  5. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel is a coming-of-age story complicated by Alison’s relationship with her father and their family-owned funeral home business.
  6. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me follows Ellen Forney’s diagnosis with bipolar disorder and her struggle to keep balance between mental stability and creativity.
  7. I Remember Beirut highlights Zeina Abirached’s childhood in war-torn Lebanon in the 1980s.
  8. March presents John Lewis’ account of the civil rights movement. In Book One, Lewis writes about his childhood in rural Alabama and the beginning of his involvement with the Nashville Student Movement to end segregation through non-violent protests.
  9. Persepolis and Persepolis 2 tell Marjane Satrapi’s story of life in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and afterwards, in the dictatorship that followed.
  10. Stitches by David Small is about a troubled childhood after Small unknowingly underwent an operation removing his vocal cord to prevent cancer.

“The Perfect Crime”

Earlier this year, PBS aired an episode on Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb’s murder case as a part of the American Experience television series. The episode titled “The Perfect Crime” examines how Leopold and Loeb murdered a 14-year-old Chicago boy in 1924 and the significance of the trial that followed. Broader issues of morality and capital punishment were brought to light in the heated debate amongst Cook County Prosecutor Robert Crowe and defense attorney Clarence Darrow. You can now check-out this episode on DVD from our library, and further explore this case in fact and popular imagination.

This case has been an inspiration for numerous other works, including:

  • Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, starring James Stewart, John Dall, and Farley Granger, released in 1948.
  • Meyer Levin’s novel, Compulsion, published in 1956.
  • Richard Fleischer’s 1959 movie, Compulsion, starring Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell, and Diane Varsi.
  • Swoon, a 1992 film by director Tom Kalin, starring Daniel Schlachet, Craig Chester, and Ron Vawter in lead roles.

Each adaptation adds something unique to the original story, while providing a true depiction of the original “thrill-seeking” motive of the crime.

New Additions to the Nursing Collection

healthcareStudents in nursing and other healthcare related fields, be on the lookout as we update our collection of materials with newer editions and titles. The library has purchased new books in the medical sciences on an array of topics, from specific aspects of nursing like surgical nursing and critical care to broader topics pertaining to the profession. The items will be added under the range of RA to RT classification numbers on our shelves. You can also search the catalog for subjects like: Medical care, Diagnosis, Surgery, and Nursing to begin.

Chicago Labor History

Haymarket MemorialAs a result of the late-19th century labor movement, Labor Day was first declared a federal holiday in 1894, officially observing the struggles and contributions of American workers. Chicago played a key role in the fight for better working conditions and pay with incidents like the Haymarket Riot of 1886 and the Pullman Strike in 1894. In spite of some progress with New Deal legislation, workers continued rallying against unfair conditions well into the 20th century. Learn more about the Chicago labor movement through the Illinois Labor History Society’s website. The website provides information regarding historic sites and museums commemorating significant events in our labor history. You can also explore Chicago’s labor history with the following books, available from our library:

History.com Staff. (2010). Labor Day. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day
Illinois Labor History Society. Chicago. Retrieved from http://www.illinoislaborhistory.org/chicago

April is Earth Month

And to help you think green, here is a list of materials addressing different aspects of environmental sustainability, ranging in scope from the larger problems to offering practical solutions.


Problems facing our environment today:

Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot is a collection of photo essays edited by Tom Butler that draw attention to the perils of overpopulation and over development such as species loss and destruction of wildlife habitats.

Gasland and Gasland Part II are two documentary films by Josh Fox exploring the dangers of fracking (hydraulic fracturing). In the first video, Fox takes viewers on his journey through twenty-five states with accounts of exploding wells, flammable drinking water, pains and sicknesses, and government indifference to this process of natural gas drilling. Expanding his scope in the second documentary, Fox chronicles the expansion of fracking in the United States since the first film and in thirty-two countries worldwide.

Solutions to combating environmental threats:

Countering 21st Century Social-Environmental Threats to Growing Global Populations by Frederic R. Siegel offers solutions to a variety of social and environmental problems like climate change, water deficits, and competition for natural resources. Siegel proposes different political, economic, and scientific changes that would help cope with the strains of overpopulation.

Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars by Margo T. Oge is an account of how government agencies, environmental groups, and car manufacturers are partnering to address climate change through the development of cleaner, intelligent vehicles.

In Creating Regenerative Cities, Herbert Girardet argues for a paradigm shift in city-planning: a move from ‘sustainable development’ to ‘regenerative development’. He examines technical, management, and policy solutions to make cities self-sufficient, calling for a holistic approach to city operations in which cities operate in circular systems versus linear systems of resource use.

Andrew Hasse’s film Edible City looks at the Good Food Movement in the San Francisco Bay Area, a movement for healthy, sustainable local food systems with practical solutions to monumental problems facing the larger food system.

The Emergent Agriculture: Farming, Sustainability and the Return of the Local Economy is a collection of essays by Gary Kleppel on achieving sustainability in farming. Kleppel argues that a locally based food system is more economically stable and environmentally resilient than the destructive industrial agriculture system, allowing for food security and benefits for local economies.

Eat Local for Less: the Ultimate Guide to Opting Out of Our Broken Industrial Food System by Julie Castillo contains practical advice on buying, growing, and preparing local food, including how to navigate farmers’ markets, CSAs, and co-ops and cook fresh foods on a budget.

March is Women’s History Month…

And a great time to pause and critically think about the portrayal of women in American culture. The following books deconstruct images of women in different media, including literature, comics, Internet, and television. The works not only address stereotypes, but also celebrate the emergence of women’s voices in areas where they were previously marginalized.


Qualifying Times: Points of Change in U.S. Women’s Sport by Jaime Schultz

Schultz writes a history of cultural and material changes that made women’s participation in sports possible and acceptable, such as tennis wear, tampons, and the aesthetic fitness movement. At the same time, Schultz argues that these changes furthered gender differentiation, making progression in U.S. women’s sport ambivalent.

Troubling Borders: an Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora edited by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Lan Duong, Mariam B. Lam, and Kathy L. Nguyen

A collection of images and texts reflecting a diversity of Southeast Asian women’s experiences, this work breaks stereotypes in the popular imagination and serves as an entry point for discussing the history, memory, and identity of this marginalized group of women.

Writing through Jane Crow: Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature by Ayesha K. Hardison

Writing through Jane Crow is about the representation of black women in African American literature from the 1940s and 1950s. Hardison analyzes the writings of literary greats, including Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Richard Wright, in critical light to reveal the tensions of the era. She also argues that black women’s literature from this time set the stage for works that followed.

Wonder Woman Unbound: the Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine by Tim Hanley

Hanley contextualizes Wonder Woman and uncovers her creators’ myriad motivations in portraying the character differently over time. He writes about her feminist roots, advocating female superiority in the 1940s, loss of superpowers and agency in the 1950s and 1960s, and return as a feminist symbol in the 1970s.

Black Women in Sequence: Re-inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime by Deborah Elizabeth Whaley

Whaley writes about African American women in the comic culture from the appearance of the first black superheroine, “The Butterfly,” in 1971 to increasing numbers of female African American artists and comic book viewers today. Whaley examines the treatment of black women in art as part of larger racial ideologies at play in the United States.

The Sexy Science of The Big Bang Theory: Essays on Gender in the Series edited by Nadine Farghaly and Eden Leone

A collection of essays exploring sexual themes in The Big Bang Theory, this book includes reflections on the television series’ treatment of gender issues and ideals of femininity and masculinity.

I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet by Leora Tanenbaum

Tanenbaum examines the persistence of a sexual double standard in the digital age, where young women are encouraged to express themselves sexually, but are stereotyped as ‘sluts’ for doing so. Tanenbaum offers insight into the devastating effects of sexual stereotyping on young women as well as advice on eradicating slut-shaming.



Celebrating African American History

With Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on January 18th and African American History Month in February, you may feel encouraged to learn more about African American history and experiences. The following items were recently added to our collection:AfricanAmericanhistorybooks

African Americans in U.S. Foreign Policy: from the Era of Frederick Douglass to the Age of Obama edited by Linda Heywood, Allison Blakely, Charles Stith, and Joshua C. Yesnowitz

A collection of essays examining different aspects of race and foreign relations from the end of slavery to the present. The essays shed light onto the contributions of African American leaders and cultural ambassadors in diplomatic services, as well as answering questions as to why African Americans supported the diplomatic initiatives of a government with racist policies and cultural practices that undermined their civil rights. The volume concludes with a look at foreign policy in the Obama administration.

Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: the Geography of Resistance by Cheryl Janifer LaRoche

Approaching the Underground Railroad through an archaeological lens, LaRoche focuses on how free African American communities were able to help individuals fleeing slavery. She argues that geographical features like waterways, caves and iron forges in the southern part of the free North were key to the effectiveness of the Underground Railroad.

South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration by Marcia Chatelain

Chatelain examines the image of urban black girlhood in Chicago during the Great Migration, specifically from 1910 to 1940. She argues that the vulnerable image portrayed of urban black girlhood symbolized the larger well-being of a community undergoing major social, economic and cultural changes. Chatelain not only draws out the views of the adult African American population, but also references the girls’ letters and interviews.

The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power by Leah Wright Rigueur

An examination of African American Republicans, from the New Deal to 1980, in their fight for inclusion. Rigueur argues that while black Republicans faced hostility within the Republican Party and were shunned by their communities as political minorities, they were influential at various points in both instituting policies and programs and garnering support from outside the Republican Party.


A motion picture by director Ava DuVernay starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leading the march for civil rights from Selma to Montgomery.

Freedom Now! Forgotten Photographs of the Civil Rights Struggle by Martin A. Berger

Featuring dozens of ‘forgotten’ photographs of the black civil rights movement, Freedom Now! shows that African Americans were actively engaged in violent protests. Berger argues that popular imagination focused on the images of black activists victimized by violent white southerners, while images contrary to this nonthreatening view have been purposely edited out of the collective narrative. This book provides a complete look at the actions, strength, and heroism of black activists.

Let the Fire Burn

A documentary film by director Jason Osder, Let the Fire Burn is about excessive police action against the radical urban group MOVE in Philadelphia. On May 13, 1985, police dropped military-grade explosives that led to the deaths of eleven people and destruction of 61 homes in an effort to arrest MOVE members occupying one of the rowhouses in the city.

The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in American Criminal Justice by Nina M. Moore

Moore examines the endurance of racial discrimination in criminal justice and its enablement in the national crime policy process. She argues that the race problem is rooted in an exaggerated public concern with ‘a crime problem’ over other issues facing the criminal justice system.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

One of 2015’s bestsellers and winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction, Between the World and Me is a memoir about Coates’ exploration of race in U.S. history and its present-day implications. Written as a letter to his son, Coates shares various personal experiences, from his days at Howard University to visiting a Civil War battlefield, Chicago’s South Side and African American homes broken by violence, ultimately providing a framework for understanding race.

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