Posts by Juli McLoone

"The natural highways of all nations": Celebrating National Rivers Month

Illustrations of the Missisippi River

Each June, the nonprofit waterway protection and restoration group American Rivers sponsors National Rivers Month to spotlight the more than 250,000 rivers and streams throughout the U.S. Approaching the celebration from a literary angle, today's post shares 18th and 19th century descriptions of river journeys. Read on to see America’s rivers through the eyes of John Bartram, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain.

Fairy Tale Fridays: The Water-Babies

Frontispiece. Water babies playing in the ocean with sea creatures

Although largely forgotten today,The Water-Babies was once one of the most popular Victorian literary fairy tales. Charles Kingsley's imaginative tour de force leaps from realistic adventure, to fantastical exploration of aquatic biology, to an imaginary voyage in the tradition of Gulliver’s Travels.

Fairy Tale Fridays: Aschenputtel

First page of Aschenputtel, with black and white illustration of Cinderella serving her stepsisters above the title

Our last Fairy Tale Friday recounted Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes - a story about a girl whose vanity led to the loss of her feet and, ultimately, her life. Footwear features prominently again in today’s fairy tale. However, unlike Karen’s cursed dancing shoes, Aschenputtel finds that her golden slippers are the vehicle of her own reward and of revenge against her cruel stepsisters.

TONIGHT: Poet Anne Waldman @ Literati Bookstore

Photograph of Anne Waldman

In culmination of this year’s Poetry at Literati series, Anne Waldman, whose papers are part of the U-M Special Collections Library, will be performing tonight with fellow poet Anne Carson at 7:30pm at Ann Arbor’s Literati Bookstore (124 E. Washington). Anne Waldman is renowned for her dynamic poetry performances, which are intended "to conjure states of mind and possibilities, and to wake people up to poetry as an active condition. As an experience in and of itself."

Our Lynx to Celebrate New Links: U-M Library Audubon’s Mammals and Birds Accessible Online

Lynx Plate from Audubon's Viviparous Quadrupeds

With thanks to the Digital Library Production Service (DLPS), we are happy to announce the launch of a new online collection. John James Audubon's The Birds of America was the founding purchase of the University Library in 1839 and as U-M celebrates its bicentennial, the Special Collections Library and the William L. Clements' Library have jointly purchased Audubon’s The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. All of Audubon’s mammals and a selection of the birds are now available...

Eleanor Burke Leacock, Feminist Anthropologist

Photograph: Portrait of Eleanor Burke Leacock sitting at a desk, with a book case visible behind her.

"Utterly stunned, I walked down Broadway with a frie[n]d, repeating over and over to him, “Do you realize there are some things I will not be able to do simply because I am a woman? Do you realize…” I could not stop recounting the incident." In these words, anthropologist Eleanor Leacock recalls the moment in 1943 when she was denied an Assistantship solely because of her gender and she realized the full extent of discrimination that she would face as a female academic.

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