ARB’s “50 Minutes” Series Return Next Week

By:  Kevin Grace

The Archives & Rare Books Library will usher in its 7th year of the “50 Minutes” lunchtime talks this August with “A Skeleton, Some Lions, Pigeons, and Gods! The Seldom-Noticed Art in UC Architecture.”

The talk is scheduled for Thursday, August 25, at 12 noon in 814 Blegen and as always, the “50 Minutes” presentations are very informal and conversational.  Bring your lunch, relax, ignore the clock on the wall which is invariably an hour behind (though we may climb on top of the piano beneath it and change the battery this year), and enjoy a look at the history and culture of the “hidden” campus.  Not advertised in the title, we will also be looking at semi-naked people in the architecture.

50 minute talk, August 2016

Continue reading ARB’s “50 Minutes” Series Return Next Week

Of Provosts and Our Past Year: A Couple of New Lists on the ARB Website

By:  Kevin Grace

ARB Annual SummaryAs part of its work in documenting the heritage and ongoing changes at the University of Cincinnati, the Archives & Rare Books Library maintains a number of useful lists on its University Archives page in addition to finding aids and exhibits, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives.html.  We keep up with the heritage of deans in our various colleges, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives/deanslist.html, as well as annual reports, the Board of Trustees, UC presidents, and campus history.

With the recent resignation of President Santa Ono, who became the new president of the University of British Columbia, there were a number of changes as Provost Beverly Davenport became UC’s interim president and CCM dean Peter Landgren became Interim Provost.  We’ve added to our lists with one of the University of Cincinnati’s provosts and chief academic officers throughout UC’s history, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives/provosts.html. Continue reading Of Provosts and Our Past Year: A Couple of New Lists on the ARB Website

What Fools We Mortals Be

By:  Sydney Vollmer

Rackham, What Fools These Mortals BeWe all remember Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  What a little imp.  Well, actually, he isn’t quite an imp.  He’s more of a hobgoblin.  In fact, Puck is less a name than a species.  Throughout mythology, “Puck” is interchangeable with “Robin Goodfellow.”  The names come in different forms among various languages, but they all translate roughly to either “pixie” or “hobgoblin.”

Throughout A Midsummer Night’s Dream, poor Puck is given orders to put spells on people he doesn’t recognize and things go awry.  His willingness to perform, and then correct, shows his true obedience to King Oberon.  However, if you aren’t King of the Fairies, a puck may not be as obedient.  Pucks have a knack for being temperamental.  It’s said that they’ve been known to do some minor household chores if they take a liking to you, but the helpfulness stops as soon as you offend them. Continue reading What Fools We Mortals Be

Jacobean-Jacobite? Dated and Confused

Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

The Works of Benjamin Johson, title pageI was so confused.  For weeks, Kevin and I have been talking about the Jacobites.  –Before I get into this conversation, it’s extremely important for me to note that neither my grade school nor high school spent very much time on the subject of history.  We excelled in language arts, but not so much the stuff I would one day have to write about.—  So, Kevin recently showed me a collection we received from Virginius C. Hall on the Jacobites.  Not having any idea who they were, I looked them up.  The internet gave me the gist of information I would need to know, so between that and our collection I have been able to piece some things together—until today.

Continue reading Jacobean-Jacobite? Dated and Confused

Notes on Some Jacobite Beheadings

By:  Sydney Vollmer

Among the items recently received from the Virginius C. Hall Jacobite Collection in the Archives & Rare Books Library is a watercolor of the “Beheading of the Rebel Lords on Great Tower Hill.”  Unfortunately, the image is not one-of-a-kind.  It is an incredible work, though.  Depicted in this scene is an endless crowd surrounding a scaffold.  On the platform, one man has his head down on the chopping block as an ax is raised over his neck.  This execution took place in 1746 after the Jacobite Rising in 1745.

Jacobite Beheading Continue reading Notes on Some Jacobite Beheadings

Dealt a Similar Hand: An Analysis Between Macbeth and House of Cards

By:  Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

With our political choices today, we wish we could pretend that what’s going on is some twisted, comedic version of House of Cards.  Unfortunately for all of us, it’s completely real.  There’s no use in dwelling on it, so let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist by diving back into House of Cards while we (patiently) await the fifth season.

Macbeth and Frank Underwood

I’m not a big HOC buff, but I saw the majority of episodes each time my dad monopolized the couch after every season’s release.  The series magnifies brutality and corruption, somehow getting its audience to root for unlikeable characters.  Truly, there is no one on the show that you can look at as the underdog, or the person who deserves their prize.  When you think about it, the show is a complete extension of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, if his characters hadn’t died at the end.  I’m certainly not the first person to make this comparison—not by a long stretch—but I did come up with this realization without external influences.  That means that the comparisons are so strong that multiple people individually have stood up and said “Frank Underwood is the modern-day American Macbeth.”  And there is plenty of evidence to back this up; I’ll show you what I mean. Continue reading Dealt a Similar Hand: An Analysis Between Macbeth and House of Cards

Joe Should Respect the Throne in Scotland, PA

By Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

Do you remember when I thought there were a lot of film adaptations of Hamlet?  Well, it turns out that number is nothing compared to the number of films made on Macbeth.  The adaptations started as early as 1916 and are still running strong.  Over the past 100 years, more than 15 film adaptations have been created.  That number doesn’t even include the amount of television shows based on the play, episodes with Macbeth as their title, or all of the times the play has been filmed for television. (See full list below.)  Many of these films are direct adaptations, but a few are creative twists on the traditional story.  These twists include: Joe MacBeth (1955), Throne of Blood (1957), Men of Respect (1990), and Scotland, PA (2001).

Joe MacBeth film poster

 

Joe MacBeth
1955
1h 30m

In this adaptation, we no longer are traipsing through dark castles in Scotland, but ducking through the alleyways as Lily MacBeth urges her husband to take down the top mob boss.  Starring in this movie is Paul Douglas as “Joe MacBeth” and Ruth Roman as “Lily MacBeth.”

 

Continue reading Joe Should Respect the Throne in Scotland, PA

Greed Makes Ghosts in the Scottish Hills

By: Sydney Vollmer

MacbethActors have this weird superstition about the name “Macbeth.” I know you’re not supposed to say it inside a theater unless you’re actually rehearsing the play, but I wonder if there is an official rule on saying it outside before the show starts. My reason for asking is that this summer the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has chosen to add Macbeth to their list of free Shakespeare in the Park performances along with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet. Continue reading Greed Makes Ghosts in the Scottish Hills

I’m Insulted We Haven’t Talked about This Sooner

By: Sydney Vollmer

When the stupid *$&@___ in front of you in line can’t make up their *@($-ing mind, don’t you just want to pull out your hair and tell them what an %*$%&*! they’re being? But you can’t. Why? Because there are children around. And because we live in a “civilized” society where doing such things would get you kicked out. After all, you just want your #$*(-ing coffee! Four letter words won’t save you this time. You’ll have to get more creative.

William Shakespeare Continue reading I’m Insulted We Haven’t Talked about This Sooner