Category Archives: Global Studies

Women and Gender Studies, Resources for International Research, and… Coffee! Find out more!

For the occasions of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th, I sat down with Sarah Witte, our Women & Gender Studies Librarian, and Yuusuf Caruso, our African Studies Librarian, and asked them about resources that the Columbia Libraries makes available to researchers interested in women and gender studies at the global level.

What are your recommended resources for getting started with research?

SARAH: Ebscohost Research Databases. “This is a platform of core subject databases, including Gender Studies Database, LGBT Life, Historical Abstracts, Index to Legal Periodicals, Anthropology Plus, Art Source, Film and Television Literature Index, ATLA Religion; as well as interdisciplinary databases focused on specific regions: Bibliography of Asian Studies, and Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies, Africa Wide, and American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies. It is a resource for scholarly work on virtually any topic related to women, gender, sexuality and feminism, though the literature it indexes is primarily in English.”

YUUSUF emphasized the need to carry out research based on print and subscription-based holdings at the Libraries while supplementing them with open access research publications on gender and social equity, environmental sustainability, economic security, sustainable and ethical agriculture and trade, and the role of NGOs and grassroots movements. In addition to the EBSCO suite of index databases mentioned by Sarah, he cites the African Women’s  Bibliographic Database (Leiden);  online journals:  Feminist AfricaAgenda—a journal about women and gender;  and, New African woman ;  web sites:  CODESRIA-Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (Dakar, Senegal), with over 230 online full texts on African women and agriculture; African Women’s Development Fund (Accra, Ghana);  Forum for African Women Educationalists (Nairobi, Kenya); and, Gender Links for Equality and Justice (Johannesburg, South Africa).  For historical research at Columbia on women, gender, and sexuality in Africa, see:  Gender and Sexuality in African History.

What new research interests and trends have you noticed in women’s and gender studies at Columbia, and what new or timely resources are available to researchers?

SARAH emphasized a number of areas of strong research interest at Columbia, including: national and transnational feminist movements, inter-generational trauma, menstrual health and justice, rights for sexual minorities, for diaspora and immigrant communities, to name a few. She also stressed the growing interest of researchers in alternative forms of documentation and grassroots testimony, including personal narratives, oral histories, letters, memoirs, film, art and literature.

Women and Social Movements, Modern Empires Since 1820, from Alexander Street Press is a new full-text database that seeks to explore themes in world history since 1820: conquest, colonization, settlement, resistance, and post-colonialism, through the voices of individual women.  It includes more than 50 curated document clusters organized by theme, time period and empire, including the Habsburg, Ottoman, the British, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and United States Empires, and settler societies in the United States, New Zealand and Australia.  It includes a variety of sources: 93 issues of L’Egyptienne, an Egyptian feminist and nationalist journal published from 1925 to 1940, transcripts of interviews with women activists in South Africa, Guatemala, Romania, and the United States, manuscript letters in Arabic with English translations.  It is a companion database to Women and Social Movements International: 1840 to present, which focuses on international organizations.”

It is no secret that coffee, and agriculture in general, were a major factor in setting up colonies in East Africa. These excerpts are from: Farming and planting in British East Africa: a description of the leading agricultural centres and an account of agricultural conditions and prospects / compiled and edited by T.J. O’Shea, Nairobi : Newland, Tarlton & Co., Ltd., 1917.

YUUSUF: Stressing emerging areas of scholarly relevance, Yuusuf highlighted women’s development, labor movements, and gender-related social and economic justice movements in Africa.  Then noticing the cup of coffee I held in my hand, he smiled and said: “So for example, if you were interested in something as mundane as the provenance of that cup of coffee …and women’s roles in our world, assuming this is coffee imported from Africa,  you may want to consult a few recent publications for starters available in the Libraries, such as:  the 2018 Coffee Atlas of Ethiopia, which documents the sources of Ethiopia’s coffee production ;  A Good African Story, an incisive insider account of a successful African-owned coffee company in Uganda (the company’s website features articles and links to interviews about different aspects of the coffee business, including the role of women’s cooperatives);  a chapter on the same company in a 2018 book on Africapitalism: rethinking the role of business in Africa offers an analysis of the attempt to transform Uganda’s and even Africa’s role in the coffee industry—from being merely exporters of green beans to becoming exporters of high-quality roasted and packaged coffee that can be bought straight off shelves in Europe ; plus, two case studies:  Rita Verma’s Gender, land and livelihoods in East Africa: through farmers’ eyes and Kiah Smith’s Ethical trade, gender, and sustainable livelihoods: women smallholders and ethicality in Kenya,  which examine social and economic issues surrounding women and cash crop farming in post-colonial and 21st century Kenya.”

Yuusuf also had tips on how to conduct productive searches in the Library catalog and in other databases. One is that –because the issue of “women farmers” is often lumped in with that of agricultural development in general—there are few books with LC subject headings “women farmers” for African countries. Hence, the best search strategy might be to use “Women Agriculture [name of country]” as keywords in “all fields”.

There’s a lot to think about the next time you head out to grab that cup of coffee!

OLIVER “TUKU” MTUKUDZI, 1952-2019

Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi performing in 2018. Credit: Mário Pires.
Photo: Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi performing in 2018. Credit: Mário Pires. From African Arguments (UK).

Columbia University’s WWW-Virtual Library on “Tuku” 

African Arguments (UK): “Rest in power: Oliver Mtukudzi…,” by Rumbidzai Dube, January 25, 2019.

Afropop Worldwide (USA): “Remembering Oliver Mtukudzi,” by Banning Eyre. January 24, 2019 ; “Oliver Mtukudzi dies at 66,” January 23, 2019.

CNN Online News: “Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi: Healing a wounded nation through music.” (January 2013)

Mail & Guardian (South Africa): “Through upheaval and instability, we always had Oliver Mtukudzi,” January 24, 2019

Music.org.za: Mtukudzi, Oliver (Tuku), 2003 (Making Music Productions, South Africa)

National Public Radio (USA): “‘Left Alone’: Oliver Mtukudzi sees music as therapy.” (July 24, 2013)

BBC World Service, via YouTube.com: Oliver Mtukudzi’s “Neria,” September 2009.

YouTube.com: “Oliver Mtukudzi & Ladysmith Black Mambazo–“Neria”, June 2018 ; “Neria”, October 2009 ; “Todii,” February 2012 ; “Wasakara”, May 2011 ; “Ndakuvara”, September 2009 ; “Chiri Nani,” August 2009 ; “Ngoromera”, May 2009.

Mtukudzi in Columbia’s Library Catalog:

Oliver Mtukudzi : living Tuku music in Zimbabwe
Author: Kyker, Jennifer, 1979- Published: Bloomington, Indiana : Indiana University Press, [2016]

Tuku backstage : the first tell-all biography of the music, life and secrets of Oliver Mtukudzi
Author: Mutamba, Shepherd Published: Harare : Mhotsi Uruka, 2015.

Acoustic Africa [sound recording] : in concert
Published: Doische, Belgium : Contre Jour, p2011.

The culture of AIDS in Africa : hope and healing in music and the arts
Published: New York : Oxford University Press, c2011. –See also: E-Book version

Keeping the embers alive : musicians of Zimbabwe.
Author: Capp, Myrna Published: Trenton, NJ : Africa World Press, 2006.

Sounds of change : social and political features of music in Africa.
Published: Stockholm: Swedish Development Cooperation Agency, [2004]

African odyssey [sound recording]
Published: [S.l.] : Putumayo, p2001.

The Rough guide to the music of Zimbabwe [sound recording]
Published: London : World Music Network, pc1996.

Jit [videorecording]
Published: [Chicago, IL] : Home Vision, 1993.

Neria [videorecording]
Published: [Lexington, Ky. : Amazon.com.kydc., 2010?]

Mbira music [videorecording] : spirit of the people
Published: Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2006.

Africa [sound recording] : 50 years of music : 50 years of independence = Afrique : 50 ans de musique : 50 ans d’indepéndances
Published: [Paris?] : Discograph, p2010.

See also: “Music of Zimbabwe” [Subject]

100th Anniversary of Birth of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela & Barack Obama’s 2018 Mandela Lecture

For 20 years, one popular feature of Columbia University Libraries’ virtual library for
“African Studies Internet Resources” has been and continues to be a list of web links to reliable information about famous people of African descent, past and present.  This month marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the much celebrated South African, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.  A list of annotated links on Mandela are posted on library web pages for “African Biography on the Internet” -and- “South Africa–Culture, History, & Languages”.  Included in this updated list are web sites or pages in honor of this year’s 100th anniversary and on “Mandela Day”, which is observed in South Africa every year on July 18th….as well as a link to the full text transcript of the16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture delivered on July 17, 2018 by former US President Barack Obama, at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, sponsored by The Nelson Mandela Foundation.

See Columbia’s library holdings: About Nelson Mandela and Mandela, the author;
About Barack Obama and Obama, the author

Columbia Acquires “Annual Departmental Reports Relating to Nigeria and the British Cameroons, 1887-1962”

Columbia University Libraries’ has just acquired a searchable online version of the British Colonial Office’s “Annual Departmental Reports Relating to Nigeria and the British Cameroons, 1887-1962.”  

As part of their series “British Online Archives”, Microform Academic Publishers is making available a digitized version of the microfilmed administrative records on colonial Nigeria and Cameroon. The collection is “..divided between ten headings: Administration, Finance, Judicial and Police, Natural Resources, Social Services, Transport and Public Works, Communications and Post Office Savings, Commerce, Miscellaneous, and reports relating to the British Cameroons.”

This collection is also available on microfilm through interlibrary loan for all Columbia affiliates from The Center for Research Libraries (Chicago), see: http://catalog.crl.edu/record=b1922197~S1

Please send comments to Dr. Yuusuf Caruso, African Studies Librarian, Columbia University, at: caruso@columbia.edu

African Studies WWW-Virtual Library Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Columbia University sponsors the most detailed, comprehensive guide on “African Studies Internet Resources” available anywhere.  Frequently updated, this resource is celebrating its 20th anniversary during the academic year 2017-2018 as the official WWW-Virtual Library for African Studies.

Open access electronic resources from Africa are organized by region and country. All materials are arranged to encourage an awareness of authorship, type of information, and subject. The selection criteria for the collection is research-oriented, but it also provides access to other web sites with different or broader missions.

The site includes links to: Africana library catalogs and archives ; African art and archaeology ; African languages ; African literature ; African studies programs and Universities in Africa ; Business and economic information on Africa ; Climate and environment in Africa ; Electronic newspapers from Africa ; Energy in Africa ; Films from and about Africa  ; Health information on Africa ; Human rights in Africa ; Maps of Africa Religion in Africa ; and much more.

Another demonstration of its scope and precision are selected links to breaking and current news analysis from and about every country on the continent.  Some examples are selections on Democratic Republic of Congo (2018) ; Nigeria (2018-2019) ; Kenya (2017-2018) ; and Zimbabwe (2017-2018), where recent political crises and elections since mid-2017 have drawn wide international attention.

 

South & Southeast Asia Columbia Libraries Newsletter Launched

The first issue of a South & Southeast Asia, Columbia University Libraries Newsletter has been launched. Those interested in subscribing to future newsletter mailings, and in viewing archived newsletters, can visit the following link. The newsletter will provide periodic updates of South/Southeast Asia library acquisitions and developments at Columbia University Libraries.

Colonial Law in Africa — New Online Primary Resource at Columbia

Columbia University Libraries has acquired a new online primary resource:

Colonial Law in Africa: African Government Gazettes, 1808-1919 and 1920-1945

An extensive collection of “digitized” legal records on British colonial African territories, covering the 19th and 20th centuries, selected from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and part of the “British Online Archives” series from Microform Academic Publishers.

Columbia faculty, students, and other library patrons with borrowing privileges, can now access the first two parts of this collection of government gazettes and legal notices which are relevant to research on the impact of the Napoleonic Wars, the Boer War, the First World War, the abolition of the legal status of slavery, the transfer of Southern Rhodesia from the British South Africa Company to formal colonial rule, the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Tanganyika and Zanzibar, and on British colonial policies during the Second World War throughout Africa.

Part I: 1808-1919

Part II: 1920-1945

*NOTE: This collection complements the British colonial “African Blue Books, 1821-1953.” ; as well as, “Retrospective Government Gazettes” of South Africa, 1910-1993

Book dances its way back to the Libraries after being checked out decades ago

A few months ago I received the following email: I recently came across a book from the Columbia Library, Coreografía Gauchesca by Jorge M.Furt, which was due back January 11, 1934.  I suspect it was taken out by my uncle who was on the faculty at about that time, probably for consultation by his wife (my aunt), whose career included performance of music and dances from Latin America.  Would the library still like to have it returned?  The date of publication is 1927.

My immediate response: Of course we would like to have it back!  The image below is from the book and sketches Argentinian folk dance notations:

After it arrived the book was cataloged and sent to our Offsite facility, which provides an excellent environment for the preservation of library materials. As an item in the collection that was circulating in the 1930s (and is currently held by only a few libraries) it brought to mind Columbia University Libraries’ longstanding commitment to collecting in Latin American and Iberian Studies.  The book was probably not part of any curriculum on campus at the time but clearly served an artistic research purpose as noted in the email above. The Instituto de las Españas (presently the Hispanic Institute) was founded in 1920 and its organizational plan called for a circulating library of books representing the literature, life and customs, art, architecture, history and government of Spanish speaking countries (Onís 58).  The Columbia University Libraries continue to fulfill that role.

If you would like to consult this book for your own performances of Coreografía Gauchesca you can do so by requesting the book from our Offsite facility.

  • Onís, Federico de.  Memoria del curso 1920-1921 presentada al Consejo General Ejecutivo. Madrid: Imprenta Maroto, 1921

Baltic and East European Modernist Collections

Since 2009 my colleagues and I have taken special pains to bolster Columbia’s holdings of rare (and in some cases unique) titles in Baltic & East European modernist materials from the dynamic interwar decades, as well as avant-garde (Surrealist, Expressionist, Dadaist, etc.) literature.  We have secured a number of notable acquisitions—more than 150, by my

reckoning, held by either Avery Classics or RBML―that have cemented our position as the premier “destination” collection of such materials in North America.  Scholars are now examining the original and inflected contributions of indigenous intellectuals and artists in the context of broader European literary, artistic, architectural and political movements.  The addition of Polish, Latvian, Estonian, Croatian, Serbian, Hungarian, and Romanian interwar imprints over the past half-decade has established Columbia as an important repository for such materials.

This past fall, thanks to support from Columbia’s Primary Resources Fund, we were able to acquire a group of four exceptionally rare Estonian Modernist publications and two serials from the interwar period:

  • Pedro Krusten, author of Südame rahu. Romaan [Peace of Mind. A Novel] (Tartu, 1928) would achieve fame in his postwar fiction in exile, winning the Visnapuu Award for Literature in 1958. The cover design is by Jaan Vahtra;
  • Julius Öngo’s Ööpäev [Day and night] (Haapsalu (Tallinn), 1921) was issued in an edition of less than 150 copies, with a woodcut cover and five full-page woodcuts by artist Aleksander Bergmann (pseud. of Aleksander Vardi 1901-1983).
  • Hugo Raudsepp was a prolific playwright, journalist and critic who perished in a Siberian labor camp. His Pörunud aru õnnistus [Understand the blessing] Tartu, 1931), has a cover design by Peet Aren.
  • Rudolf Reimann’s Päikseratas. Poeem [Wheel of the sun. Poems] (Võrun, 1922) contains woodcuts by Vahtra.

  • Dünamis. Mõtteid võitlevast vabariigist. [Cultural notes. Thoughts about the struggle for the Republic] (Tartu, 1928) was the first and last issue of a journal launched to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Estonian Republic. It provoked such a strong reaction that it was shut down by the authorities and confiscated with only a few hundred copies actually released. Cover design by Vahtra.
  • Kirjanduslik kuukiri. [Beauty. A literary monthly] (Tartu, 1919-1921) 11 of 12 numbers each containing full-page illustrations and many original graphics showcasing a single artist, and literary contributions by Estonia’s leading modernists.

 

The Ukrainian Print Legacy of the “Surma” Book & Music Store

Earlier this summer, many of you no doubt saw the article by Noah Remnick “With Shop’s Closing, Little Ukraine Grows Smaller,” in the NYT of June 6.  The article concerned the closing of Surma Book & Music Company.  Founded by Ukrainian immigrant Myron Surmach some 98 years ago, the shop had occupied the East 7th street location since 1943.

img_0714Surma’s location at 11 East 7th Street in Manhattan

When Myron’s grandson Markian Surmach decided to sell the building and close up shop, he wished to ensure that the printed legacy of his grandfather’s publishing and book and sheet music retail business was not lost to posterity, and so he donated to the Columbia University Libraries some 140 titles published mainly between 1910 and the 1950s.  Many of these titles are quite rare, with few (or no) holding institutions, and document the Ukrainian community as

img_0717img_0715Examples of early sheet music

it adapted to life in the Greater Metropolitan area.   Now in the process of cataloging, The Surmach Family Collection of Ukrainian Imprints is a wonderful, unique addition to Columbia’s holdings.