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A back-to-school reading list of classic literature

With carefree summer winding to a close, we’ve pulled together some reading recommendations to put you in a studious mood. Check out these Oxford World’s Classics suggestions to get ready for another season of books and papers. Even if you’re no longer a student, there’s something on this list for every literary enthusiast.

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Echoes of Billie Holiday in Fancy Free

When Leonard Bernstein first arrived in New York, he was unknown, much like the artists he worked with at the time, who would also gain international recognition. Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War looks at the early days of Bernstein’s career during World War II, and is centered around the debut in 1944 of the Broadway musical On the Town and the ballet Fancy Free.

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Fall cleaning with OHR

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
The Oral History Review staff returns triumphant! A bit tanner, a bit wiser, and ready for another round of exploration into the theory and practice of oral history. We’ve already started arranging interviews, reviews, and commentary for the fall and look forward to engaging with you all once more.

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An interview with Sara Japhet

By Robert Repino
Biblical scholar Sara Japhet has been a leading authority on the two books of Chronicles since the publication of her landmark works The Ideology of the Book of Chronicles and Its Place in Biblical Thought (Hebrew 1977; English translation 1989), followed by I and II Chronicles: A Commentary in 1993.

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Twelve facts about the drum kit

By Alice Northover
Drummers are often seen as the most unintelligent and unmusical of band members. Few realize how essential the kick of a pedal and tap of the hi-hat are for setting down the beat and forming the tone of the band. So what is there to the drum kit besides a set of drums, suspended cymbals, and other percussion instruments?

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Closeted/Out in the quadrangles

By Monica L. Mercado
“That was my radio show!” narrator David Goldman exclaimed, looking at copies of classified ads placed in the University of Chicago’s student newspaper during the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he was an undergraduate student. Goldman, a retired math teacher and one of the founders of the gay liberation movement at the University of Chicago, recently contributed his story to the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) research project.

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A National Poetry Month reading list from Oxford World’s Classics

In this month’s Oxford World’s Classics reading list, we decided to celebrate National Poetry Month by selecting some of our bilingual poetry editions. In each of the below books, the poems are laid out as parallel texts, with the original language on the left and the English translation on the right. This means that you can enjoy the works either in the original language, in translation, or even compare the two.

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The Mashapaug Project

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
Continuing our celebration of the release of 40.1, today we’re excited to share a conversation between managing editor Troy Reeves and contributors Anne Valk and Holly Ewald. Valk and Ewald are the authors of, “Bringing a Hidden Pond to Public Attention: Increasing Impact through Digital Tools,” which describes the origins and methods of the Mashapaug Project, a collaborative community arts and oral history project on a pond in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Whitman today

By Jerome Loving
Walt Whitman died 121 years ago today. The Bruce Springsteen of his age, he sang about and celebrated what he called “the Divine Average”. And it was always on equal terms, the woman the same as the man, as he suggests in “America”.

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Remembering Marie-Claire Alain

By James David Christie
The world lost one of its greatest and most beloved musicians on 26 February 2013, when the great teacher, recording artist and organist, Marie-Claire Alain, passed away in her 87th year. She was among the very few organists known in households around the world. She was usually referred to as the “First Lady of the Organ” and she was definitely that, but I always thought she should have been more appropriately called the “Greatest Organist in the World”

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A feminist reading list from Oxford World’s Classics

By Kirsty Doole
March is International Women’s History Month, so what better time to suggest some feminist-friendly classics from our Oxford World’s Classics series? Below you’ll find a mixture of fiction, politics, and religion, and while some will probably be familiar, I’ve thrown in a couple of less conventional choices for a feminist list. Agree with these choices? Disagree? What have I missed out? Let us know in the comments.

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Re-introducing Oral History in the Digital Age

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
This week, in the spirit of our upcoming special issue on oral history’s evolving technologies, we want to (re)introduce everyone to the website Oral History in the Digital Age, a substantial collaboration between several institutions to “put museums, libraries, and oral historians in a position to address collectively issues of video, digitization, preservation, and intellectual property.

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Appreciating the perspective of Rastafari

By Ennis B. Edmonds
Recently, I was discussing my academic interest with an acquaintance from my elementary school days. On revealing that I have researched and written about the Rastafarian movement, I was greeted with a look of incredulity. He followed this look with a question: “How has Rastafari assisted anyone to progress in life?” My friend assured me he was aware that prominent and accomplished Rastas exist in Jamaica, however he was convinced that Rastafari did not contribute to the social and economic mobility of most of its adherents. Sensing that my friend was espousing a notion of progress based on rising social status and increasing economic resources – reflecting his own journey from a peasant farming family to an elementary school teacher to a highly regarded principal of a number of schools to an educational officer at present – I pointed out that Rastafari rejects this conventional notion of progress, especially when it is for a few at the exclusion of the many. Pointing out that I had no understanding of Rastafari until I started researching it, I left hoping that next time he engages in a conversation on Rastafari, he will do so with greater understanding and appreciation.

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Why does “Ol’ Man River” still stop Show Boat?

By Todd Decker
Show Boat is back on the boards, visiting four major opera companies in a new production of yet another new version. Originally debuted on Broadway in 1927, apparently Show Boat will never stop being remade. The new production, directed by Francesca Zambello, had its premiere at the Chicago Lyric Opera a year ago, an appropriate starting place as much of the second act takes place in the Windy City.

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Oral historians and online spaces

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
In November 2012, a thread appeared on the H-Net Oral history listserv with the enticing subject line “experimental uses of oral history.” Amid assorted student projects and artistic explorations, two projects in particular caught my eye: the VOCES Oral History Project and the Freedom Mosaic. As we work towards our upcoming special issue on Oral History in the Digital Age, I’ve been mulling over oral historians negotiate online spaces.

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