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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, presents the exhibition Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s classic work. The exhibition runs through July 6, 2015.

Featuring more than 200 items, the exhibition is drawn almost entirely from the Ransom Center’s collections of art, photography, rare books, performing arts, film and manuscripts. The exhibition features two significant “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” collections at the Ransom Center: the Warren Weaver collection and the Byron W. and Susan R. Sewell collection. The exhibition will also highlight other holdings related to Lewis Carroll and his Alice stories, including letters, hand-drawn illustrations and photographs. The exhibition brings to life the history of the book and reveals how “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” has captured our collective imagination for 150 years and how Carroll’s creation has been transformed by artists, translators and filmmakers.

The Englishman who became famous as Lewis Carroll was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in 1832. Dodgson, a mathematician at the University of Oxford, first met Alice Liddell (1852–1934), the daughter of Dodgson’s Oxford dean Henry Liddell, in 1856. An avid amateur photographer, Dodgson photographed Alice and her siblings, as well as other children, his own family, colleagues, artists, intellectuals and celebrities of his time.

Dodgson, who had no children of his own, spent time with the Liddell children, telling stories, making puzzles and going on outings. On one of these outings, in July 1862, Dodgson began the story that became “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” In addition to Alice, the story contains references to her sisters Edith (the Eaglet) and Lorina, called Ina (the Lory).

Encouraged by friends, Dodgson developed the story into a book and funded its publication. He used the pseudonym Lewis Carroll in the interest of maintaining his privacy and distance from his professional work.

“‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ has never been out of print during its 150 years of existence,” said Danielle Brune Sigler, the Ransom Center’s associate director for research and programs and exhibition curator. “Though ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ is very much a product of Victorian England, the book continues to appeal to modern readers around the world. ‘Alice’ is one of those books that you enjoy reading as a child but is even more wonderful when you return to it as an adult and discover all of its secrets — the puns, riddles and satire that you missed the first time around. This exhibition will delight fans of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and introduce others to a work that is widely known but not always closely read.”

The exhibition is organized thematically, with sections that cover topics such as the history and context of Carroll’s creation of “Alice”; a timeline highlighting changes in illustration of the book over time; translations of the novel from around the world; and Alice as interpreted by artists and filmmakers.

Highlights in the exhibition include original photographs made by Carroll, including one of Liddell and her sisters; a rare copy of the first printed edition of the book; original manuscripts by illustrator John Tenniel and Carroll; a photograph of Liddell as a young woman by Julia Margaret Cameron; illustrations by Salvador Dalí and five photographs reimagining “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by contemporary artist Abelardo Morell.

The exhibition will also feature interactive sections designed for young visitors, including a reading nook, an area for a pretend tea party and an activity center with math and word puzzles. A White Rabbit stamp card encourages visitors to seek out items in each section of the exhibition. Completed stamp cards can be exchanged for a Wonderland activity guide.

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” will be on view in the Ransom Center Galleries on Mondays through Fridays from 10 AM to 5 PM, with extended Thursday hours until 7 PM. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open from 12 NOON to 5 PM. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Photo: View of the “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” exhibition. Photo by Pete Smith.

The Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, provides a record of the creative process of writers and artists, deepening our understanding of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts.

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Literary

“America, Reloading”

Andrea Gibson shares video for “America, Reloading” featuring music by Ani DiFranco.

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Andrea Gibson – slam poet, activist and author, released an extremely powerful video accompanying their essay “America, Reloading,” a commentary on gun control and school shootings. The poem is from their latest book, Lord of the Butterflies and singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco contributed music to the piece.

In a fierce oscillation between activism and love, Lord of the Butterflies, is a masterful showcase from the renowned poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. An artful and nuanced look at gender, romance, loss, and family, this is also a book of protest. While rioting against gun violence, homophobia, and white supremacy, Gibson (they/them) celebrates gender expansion, queer love, and the will to stay alive. Each emotion in Lord of the Butterflies is deft and delicate, resting within imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

“I know the poem itself can be difficult to read. It was difficult to write. It’s a shame it has to be written at all.”

Andrea is currently finishing up a 30+ date tour supporting, Lord of the Butterflies and will be making stops along the major East Coast markets before heading to the UK.

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Papers of LGBT Pioneers to be Digitized

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Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge and Radclyffe Hall with their dachshunds Fitz-John Wotan and Fitz-John Thorgils of Tredholt at Crufts Dog Show, 1923.
Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge and Radclyffe Hall with their dachshunds Fitz-John Wotan and Fitz-John Thorgils of Tredholt at Crufts Dog Show, 1923. Gelatin silver print, 10.2 x 16.5 cm. Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers, Harry Ransom Center. Photo courtesy Sport & General Press Agency, Ltd.

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin will digitize the papers of British author Radclyffe Hall and partner, artist Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge, thanks to a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

A page from Radclyffe Hall’s handwritten manuscript of “Stephen,” which was published as “The Well of Loneliness,” ca. 1926–1927.
A page from Radclyffe Hall’s handwritten manuscript of “Stephen,” which was published as “The Well of Loneliness,” ca. 1926–1927. Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers, 13.1, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

More than 38,500 images from their papers will be digitized and made available online following the 20-month project. The papers include Hall’s notebooks and drafts for her 1928 novel “The Well of Loneliness,” a landmark work in lesbian literature. Materials related to the censorship of “The Well of Loneliness” demonstrate how the novel made lesbianism visible to a broad public despite the official ban in England.

Teachers, students and community groups will benefit from having online access to the papers of two early pioneers in the movement to promote awareness, understanding and protection of LGBTQIA+ rights and freedoms. The materials will serve as an important resource for scholars of 20th-century modernist literature, cultural studies, history, women’s and gender studies, art history and LGBTQIA+ studies.

The project is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Radclyffe Hall’s scrapbook containing clippings about the suppression and censorship of “The Well of Loneliness,” 1928.
Radclyffe Hall’s scrapbook containing clippings about the suppression and censorship of “The Well of Loneliness,” 1928. Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers, 24.3, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

“The richness and depth of this material goes well beyond the subsequent censorship and cultural controversies sparked by “The Well of Loneliness,” and we’re grateful to the Council on Library and Information Resources for recognizing the significance of this project,” said Ransom Center Director Steve Enniss.

The papers document Hall’s career as a writer, Troubridge’s work as a sculptor and translator, and their personal and creative partnership. Their writings, correspondence and diaries offer insight into a broad range of subjects including gender identity, lesbianism and sexuality; spiritualism and religion; and sociopolitical movements spanning the two world wars.

A page from one of Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge’s day books, March 10, 1932.
A page from one of Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge’s day books, March 10, 1932. Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers, 27.1, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

“Hall and Troubridge are internationally recognized as LGBTQ pioneers, and it is vitally important that audiences around the globe have access to their papers now and in the future,” said Jana Funke, senior lecturer in medical humanities at the University of Exeter. “Making these materials available online will significantly aid the development of new research and scholarship.”

The Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge papers were acquired between 1960 and 1999. Hall’s papers account for about 60 percent of the material and include handwritten notebooks and typescript drafts for 10 novels and 30 short fiction and prose works, correspondence, business papers, photographs and scrapbooks.

Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge’s notes for “Biography of Radclyffe Hall.”
Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge’s notes for “Biography of Radclyffe Hall.” Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers, 34.2, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

One hundred and thirty-one diaries from 1930 to 1951 form the core of Troubridge’s papers. Among her entries are those after Hall’s death in 1943, written in the form of letters to Hall. Also included are correspondence, drafts of Troubridge’s biography of Hall, literary translations and photo and clipping albums. The Hall and Troubridge papers will be accessible online in January 2021.

Source: Press Release

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“Stonewall Strong” Celebrates Gay Men’s Resilience

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On October 8, Rowman & Littlefield is publishing Stonewall Strong: Gay Men’s Heroic Fight for Resilience, Good Health, and a Strong Community by longtime health journalist John-Manuel Andriote. Andriote has reported on HIV-AIDS and other health and medical subjects for more than 30 years, and has been open about his own 2005 HIV diagnosis since ‘coming out’ about it in a 2006 Washington Post article and NPR interview.

Harvard medical professor Kenneth Mayer, M.D. calls Stonewall Strong “a tour de force.” The book draws from Andriote’s personal story, nearly 100 interviews he conducted with men and women across the United States, and leading-edge research. The book flips the typical victimization narrative on its head and celebrates the powerful resilience that most gay men develop from a young age as they deal with the social impacts of being “different.”

Dr. Mayer, who also is director of medical research at Boston’s Fenway Institute, says that in Stonewall Strong, Andriote “skillfully educates the reader how the lessons learned from addressing the [HIV-AIDS] epidemic have laid the foundations for a stronger, more resilient community.” He adds, “The book is well-written, compelling, and highly informative.”

Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches, calls Stonewall Strong “Truth-telling at its best.”

John-Manuel Andriote has been best known for his reporting on HIV-AIDS, which he began while working on a master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University in 1986. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, the Advocate, Huffington Post, Washington Post, and in other print and online publications.

Kirkus Reviews called Andriote’s 1999 book Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America (University of Chicago Press) “the most important AIDS chronicle since Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On.” The hundreds of interviews and other research materials used to develop the book are part of a special “John-Manuel Andriote Victory Deferred Collection” curated by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

“I call Stonewall Strong the ‘bookend’ for Victory Deferred,” says Andriote. “Where Victory Deferred documented the impact of HIV-AIDS on individuals, government institutions, and the LGBT political movement for equality, Stonewall Strong celebrates what our history has taught us about our own courage, resilience, and strength.”

Andriote, who has developed and taught communication and journalism classes as an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Connecticut State University and Three Rivers Community College, is a news source and regular guest speaker at universities, conferences, book clubs, and fundraising events across the country.

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