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Tag: Uw-Madison libraries

Shiza Shahid: “There are no Superheroes, Just Us”
“There are no superheroes, just us. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” These powerful words came from Shiza Shahid at the TEDxMidAtlantic 2013 conference. The theme of the conference was “Start Now”, and conference organizers asked Shiza to be a featured speaker on the theme. Shiza shared three lessons that helped her begin her journey to becoming a successful social entrepreneur, and have shaped her life choices. The talk focuses on human connections, creating change in the world, and following your heart.

The presentation is a powerful introduction to the story of Malala and Shiza’s friendship, from their first meeting to the origins of the Malala Fund. Shiza’s voice is heavy with sorrow as she recalls the moment she learned that Malala had been shot. Yet, her sorrow turns to anger and then hope as she recounts how she realized that across the world people were protesting that a girl had been shot for going to school, and were praying and hoping for Malala’s recovery. Shiza ends her speech by saying “I am Malala”, and explaining how powerful of a statement that is to her.

Shiza will be the keynote speaker for the Go Big Read program, and will be giving a public speech on October 27th at Union South’s Varsity Hall. This TEDxMidAtlantic talk is an indication of the enthusiasm and eloquence that Shiza will be bringing to her speech.  

Go Big Read selects “I Am Malala” for 2014-15

The Taliban thought bullets would silence Malala Yousafzai.

But instead they made her voice stronger, and today the teenager from
Pakistan is known worldwide as a transformative advocate who embodies
the power of education for girls.

Her book, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” is the latest selection for Go Big Read, UW-Madison’s common-reading program.

Go Big Read organizers encouraged the campus community to suggest
titles that fit into a theme of service. Chancellor Rebecca Blank chose
“I Am Malala” from the short list that a selection committee culled from
nearly 200 nominated titles.

“Malala’s story offers our students and campus community a firsthand
account from a part of the world that is continuously in the news,”
Blank says. “Readers will connect with these experiences through her
convincing description of how she became a voice of protest against the
social restrictions she faced. Her story will lead our students to
reflect on the opportunities they have to use their own voice in the
world.”

Yousafzai begins the book, co-written with British journalist
Christina Lamb, by recounting the moment she was shot in the head in
October 2012 on her way home from school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The
rest of the book retraces the events that led up to that moment in a
region that is one of the world’s hotspots.

“It is difficult to imagine a chronicle of a war more moving, apart
from perhaps the diary of Anne Frank,” said a review in The Washington
Post. Time Out New York said Yousafzai’s touching story, “will not only
inform you of changing conditions in Pakistan, but inspire your
rebellious spirit.”
Yousafzai was 11 when she began writing a blog anonymously for the
BBC, describing life under Taliban rule from her hometown of Mingora, in
the northwest region of Pakistan.

She was awarded the country’s National Peace Award in 2012, which has
since been renamed the National Malala Peace Prize.She was nominated
for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 and was recently named by TIME
magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She and
her family now live in England, where she continues to go to school.

“Let us pick up our books and our pens,” the now 16-year-old told
young leaders from 100 countries at the United Nations Youth Assembly in
New York last year. “They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one
teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the
only solution.”
Patrick McBride, associate dean for students at the UW School of
Medicine and Public Health and a member of the selection committee, said
the story will remind readers why they can’t take their right to an
education for granted.

“The rights of women, and the values of freedom, family, and
education are championed by this remarkable family,” McBride says.
“While the title sounds simple, when we read in the introduction
of where those words are spoken, it will bring chills to the reader and
become a cry for freedom around the world.”

Karen Crossley, associate director of operations for the Morgridge
Center for Public Service, also served on the selection committee and
says Yousafzai being close in age to most UW undergraduates will capture
the attention of students.

“Malala’s commitment to composing a better world defines service in a highly personal way,” Crossley says.

Planning is underway for how students, faculty and staff will use the
book in classrooms and for special events associated with “I Am
Malala.”

Yousafzai will be in her senior year of high school and therefore
unable to come to campus, but organizers are arranging for a speaker
connected to the book who will give a public talk this fall.
UW-Madison instructors interested in using the book can request a review copy here.

Copies of the book will be given to first-year students at the
Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students and to students using the book
in their classes.

More information about the ongoing Go Big Read program and plans for this fall can be found here.

Jenny Price, UW-Madison University Communications

Guest Post: Reflections on the Nov. 14 talk by Professor Gene Phillips

It was enlightening to see the concept of Zen Buddhism depicted in
images at the talk by Professor Gene Phillips (Professor in the
Department of Art History; Director of the Center for East Asian
Studies). One of the things that Professor Phillips discussed was how
Zen monks in medieval Japan were commissioned to paint inspirational ink
images based on koans (questions that a Zen Buddhist master gives to
his disciples in order to help them understand the concepts of “mu”
[nothingness, emptiness] and the universe’s fundamental non-duality,
which leads them to enlightenment: the goal, the ultimate state of mind,
in Buddhism).

To learn more, see Professor Phillips’s book, The Practices of Painting in Japan, 1475-1500.

Photo by Hiromi Naka, Japan Outreach Specialist, the Center for East Asian Studies

Ayako Yoshiumra, the Center for East Asian Studies

Go Big Read Films and Visual Resources

I would like to recommend some visual resources from our campus
libraries that relate to this year’s Go Big Read book, A Tale for the
Time Being
.

Documentary films about Kamikaze Pilots:

The Last Kamikaze: Testimonials from WWII Suicide Pilots

(streamed online; UW login needed)
http://search.library.wisc.edu/catalog/ocn677927717
http://search.library.wisc.edu/catalog/ocn701798421

Wings of Defeat (DVD)
(D792 J3 W56 2007)
http://search.library.wisc.edu/catalog/ocn259700968

Zen Buddhism:
Erleuchtung Garantiert (Enlightenment Guaranteed) (DVD)
(PN1997 E723 2000)
http://search.library.wisc.edu/catalog/ocm57362252
Two
middle-aged German brothers travel to Japan in search of inner peace.
But many obstacles await them. Will they find the key to enlightenment?

Zen (DVD)
(BQ9449 D657 Z46 2011)
http://search.library.wisc.edu/catalog/ocn793432576
This recent feature film, starring the famous kabuki actor Kankuro Nakamura VI, relates the biography of the Zen master Dogen, who figures prominently in Ozeki’s book.

One Precept: Zen Buddhism in America

(streamed online; UW login needed)
http://search.library.wisc.edu/catalog/ocn701798307

Funeral Rites in Japan:
Departures (Okuribito) (DVD)
(PN1997.2 O387 2009)
http://search.library.wisc.edu/catalog/ocn754887460
Winner
of the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, this film
chronicles an ex-cellist’s transition to a new life as a mortician in
his hometown in the Tohoku region of Japan.

Ayako Yoshimura
Japanese Studies Collection Assistant

Interview with Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney

Did you miss seeing Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney discuss her book Kamikaze Diaries at Central Library on Tuesday? If so, don’t worry! Check out this interview with Professor Ohnuki-Tierney, filmed at the Virginia Festival of the Book in 2010.  

Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers is one of the texts used by Ruth Ozeki in her research for A Tale for the Time Being, and details the lives and deaths of Japanese students drafted as kamikaze pilots during World War II.

Thanks to Laurie Wertmer of the Memorial Library Reference Department for finding this video for us!

UW-Madison Faculty to Offer Expert Perspectives on “A Tale for the Time Being”

Faculty from the English Department and the Asian American Studies Program will offer perspectives on A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki.  Speakers include: Timothy Yu,
Associate Professor of English and Asian American Studies and Director,
Asian American Studies Program; Leslie Bow, Professor of English and
Asian American Studies; Morris Young, Professor of English; and Jan
Miyasaki, Lecturer in Asian American Studies. 

The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided after the panel.   Please note that a photo ID is required to enter Memorial Library.  
A Tale for the Time Being: A Panel Discussion
Tuesday, October 22nd, 5:30 pm-7 pm
Memorial Library Commons, Room 460 Memorial Library
Contact: gobigread@library.wisc.edu 608-262-4308
This event is sponsored by the Asian American Studies Program, the English Department, the Center for the Humanities, Go Big Read, and Memorial Library.

Sarah McDaniel
Go Big Read

Guest Book Review: Thoughts from Louise Robbins

Guest Review:


I have just finished reading the BIG READ book: Ozeki’s A
Tale for the Time Being
Me: “I’m finished. I’m sad.”  
Patrick Robbins: “Did it have a sad
ending?” 
Me: “No. I’m sad there is no more to read.”

It’s a wonderful book with too many discussable themes to count.
Off the top of my head: the environment; technology and its uses; zen Buddhism;
war; bullying; the aesthetics and ethics of suicide; being and time; history
and memory; mutual construction of the writer and the reader. And none of these
weighty themes are pounded or expounded to oblivion. The characters—and the
settings—grabbed me and kept me spellbound. I found myself torn between jotting
notes in the margin and rushing headlong to the next page. The next page won.
I’m going to read it again.
A Tale for the Time Being joins two other books of the
last ten years on my list of favorites: The Poisonwood Bible and The
Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
.
I’m hoping to participate in some of the discussions. And you may find me sitting zazen.
Professor Emerita,
School of Library and Information Studies
*If you’d like to submit a review, please contact us! 

5,500+ Books in Under a Minute

More than 5,500 copies of  A Tale for the Time Being flew out the doors of the Kohl Center after Convocation.  Checkout this cool 60 seconds time lapse video of all those books leaving.

Also, keep an eye out for a special glimpse of Bucky.  Many lucky students received their book directly from him!



Note: Change the video quality to 1080p HD if this is fuzzy for you. 

*A special thank you to Dave Luke for producing this video.   

“After Chernobyl” at Ebling Library

“The closer you are to Chernobyl, the less dangerous it seems.”

This is the theme of Ebling Library‘s latest exhibit, “After Chernobyl: Photographs by Michael Forster Rothbart.” Though the Chernobyl of popular mythology is a dead, barren wasteland (or, in some tellings, a radioactive breeding ground for monsters), Rothbart’s photographs tell a different story. The Chernobyl he shows us, nearly thirty years after the nuclear disaster, is filled with life in unexpected places. From the residents, many of them evacuees, of nearby “safe” towns and villages, to the workers and managers who maintain the inactive power plant as it is decommissioned, to the samosely—elderly evacuees who illegally returned to their homes inside the Exclusion Zone after the accident, and still live there now—the Chernobyl area is not quite as dead or barren as terrible horror movies would have you believe.

It would be interesting to ask Marie Curie if, had she known what her work would ultimately lead to—among other things, disasters such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and, most recently, Fukushima (a link between our last Go Big Read book and our current one)—would she still have pursued her line of inquiry? Do the benefits of nuclear energy outweigh the risks? In the aftermath of a nuclear disaster, is it worth it to try to build a new life in a radioactive home?

As the Ebling exhibit asks: after Chernobyl, would you stay?

“After Chernobyl: Photographs by Michael Forster Rothbart” runs until August 31st in Ebling’s third-floor gallery space.

For more information on the Chernobyl disaster, you can check out these library resources. Lauren Redniss writes about Chernobyl in the 2012-13 Go Big Read pick, Radioactive. The once-flourishing, now-abandoned city of Pripyat, which was built to house plant employees and their families, has its own fascinating website, set up by an organization seeking to turn Pripyat into a “museum city.” In the meantime, as seen in the Chernobyl Diaries trailer, there are guided tours that will take you into Pripyat and to the Chernobyl plant. If you’re not feeling quite that adventurous, you can take a look at these photos of Chernobyl and Pripyat at the Telegraph.

But your first stop, of course, should be the third floor of Ebling Library.

Go Big Read 2013-14 Book Selection!

It’s a big day in the Go Big Read office! Our official announcement was made public at 9:00am, and since then we’ve been watching all the buzz on Twitter and Facebook. By now, you’ve probably heard the news: the 2013-14 Go Big Read selection is A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki!

Ozeki is a critically-acclaimed author whose previous books include the bestselling My Year of Meats and All Over Creation. She is also a Zen Buddhist priest, whose unique perspective plays an important role in the unfolding of her latest work.  

Author Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being begins when a battered Hello Kitty lunchbox washes up on the shores of a remote island off the coast of British Columbia. The odd package is picked up by Ruth, a writer struggling to find inspiration in her rural surroundings. Opening the lunchbox, she discovers a diary inside, written by a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl named Nao, whose own surroundings—the culture and subculture of Tokyo—could not be more different than Ruth’s desolate island. Ruth, and the reader, is soon swept into Nao’s story…

The Seattle Times calls A Tale for the Time Being “a dazzling and humorous work of literary origami,” while the Washington Post describes it as “a narrative shimmering with the conviction that art and faith lead us to truths beyond the reach of reason alone.”

You can read the official press release here, and can find more information about the book—including news, reviews, and interviews with the author—on our website. If you have any questions, shoot us an email: gobigread @ library. wisc. edu.