Department Blog

H/SS & Gov Info Services

New novel from Michel Houellebecq

June 30th, 2011 by Michael Winter

Billed as a significant departure in some ways from his previous work, this title–La Carte et Le Territoire–has just been added to our collection UCD’s french literature collections.  For location information, visit

Ilham Dilman’s last book

June 23rd, 2011 by Michael Winter

Ilham Dilman, the prolific UK-based philosopher who died in 2003, is known for his voluminous writings on a wide range of subjects: ethics, metaphysics, ancient philosophy, the legacy of Freudian psychoanalysis, and literature. Philosophy as criticism: essays on Dennett, Searle, Foot, Davidson, Nozick (Continuum, 2011)–now on Shields Library’s freshly-repurposed new book shelf–offers essays on consciousness, realism, ethics, the philosophy of mind, and philosophy as wisdom literature.  For location information, see

The secret life of libraries

June 22nd, 2011 by David Michalski

“The great untold truth of libraries is that people need them not because they’re about study and solitude, but because they’re about connection. …
photo from article

The libraries’ most powerful asset is the conversation they provide – between books and readers, between children and parents, between individuals and the collective world. Take them away and those voices turn inwards or vanish. Turns out that libraries have nothing at all to do with silence.”

The secret life of libraries
Bella Bathurst
The Observer,
Sunday 1 May 2011

Shields Library New Book Shelf: A New Look

June 21st, 2011 by Michael Winter

Shields Library’s New Book Shelf no longer holds all new titles;  a much smaller number, selected by the bibliographers, will appear instead.  Some recent noteworthy arrivals: Bernard-Henri Levy,   Qui a tué Daniel Pearl ?, originally published by Grasset et Fasquelle, appears here in Grasset’s famous Livre de Poche series.  For location after a week on the new book shelf, see  And by the same author, Réflexions sur la Guerre, le Mal et la fin de l’Histoire, precede de Les Damnés de la guerre (Paris: Bernard Grasset: 2001);  for location see

Three additional titles by Pierre Guyotat have recently arrived and are also on the New Book Shelf:  Ashby: suivi de Sur un Cheval ( Paris: Seuil, 2005); Carnets de Bord (Paris: Lignes-Manifeste, 2005); and Prostitution (Paris: Gallimard, 1987).

Medical Humanities Grant Open to UC Davis Grad/Prof Students

June 16th, 2011 by David Michalski

This looks like an exciting opportunity, and certainly one that can lead to innovative uses of the University Library’s deep collections in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Life Sciences.

Medical Humanities Grant Open to UC Davis Graduate and Professional Students

Three fellowships are available to graduate or professional students at UC Davis to conduct research in the Medical Humanities. These grants are sponsored by the cross-UC Medical Humanities Consortium and will run during the 2011-2012 academic year. Grantees will pursue an individualized research project relating to the theme of “language and de/humanization in a medical setting.” They will also be expected to assist in organizing and running a spring or summer 2012 conference building on their research themes and the research themes of three other campuses in the Consortium. During the academic year, students will be expected to participate in themed monthly interdisciplinary discussion groups with members of the UC Davis academic community. These meetings are currently held at a faculty member’s home in Sacramento and are attended by scholars of medicine, history, literature, cultural studies and nursing.

The ideal candidates for these grants will be graduate or professional students in humanities or healthcare disciplines who wish to pursue a personal and professional interest in the developing field of Medical Humanities. Applicants should have a strong commitment to cross-disciplinary collaboration and be able to demonstrate good communication and organizational skills. Conference-related duties may vary from arranging accommodations for speakers to liaising with caterers to helping plan panel topics and selecting conference attendees. This grant offers the opportunity to build experience in the fast-growing and dynamic field of Medical Humanities, to work with a small, committed group of scholars from across UC Davis, and to develop strong networking and event organization experience. Students must have access to independent transport and be willing to travel reasonable distances to pursue their research.

A stipend of $1200 will be awarded. This amount includes the student’s gas costs and mileage, as well as time allocated to research and organization. Extraneous expenses incurred, such as those for copying and any food provided for official grant-related events, will be reimbursed.

Interested applicants should provide a 300-word research proposal outlining a project of interest on the theme of “language and de/humanization in a medical setting.” Students may choose to take a historical, practice-led, or theoretical approach to this topic, just to name a few options. The proposal should explain the importance of the project, what evidence the student will examine, the project’s methodologies, and how the findings could contribute to the field of Medical Humanities. Students should keep in mind that proposals will be read by an interdisciplinary selection committee, and thus should avoid the use of disciplinary-specific terminology without adequate contextualization.

Please also include a current copy of your CV. Applications are due by June 30, 2011 via email to Questions may also be sent to this address. Successful applicants will be notified by July 31, 2011.

June 15th, 2011 by Michael Winter

Dan Goldstein recently pointed me to a newspaper article reporting that Rimbaud’s famous book Illuminations has been recently retranslated, this time by American poet John Ashberry. The fact that this is news is an indicator of just how soft the U.S. translation market really is, in comparison with other places. France, Germany, and Japan, for ex, have much more robust translation markets than we do, and so the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Salon du Livre in Paris buzz with their comings and goings and the rumors zip around about which property’s translation rights are up for grabs and for how much.  As a result the book publishing scenes of NY and London are greatly enlivened by the presence of the agents of foreign publishers or “scouts,” as they care called, trying to get the jump on various English-language properties. For more of this kind of background on the current state of publishing in the United States and the UK,  see two recent books by John B. Thompson: Books in the Digital Age (2005), and Merchants of Culture (2010), both published by Polity Press. For catalog and location information, see and

State of the Internet in Europe

June 3rd, 2011 by Michael Winter

Despite appearances, the link is to an English-language version of a site mapping the state of the internet in Europe today: intellectual property, data retention, access via mobile, filtering, international agreements. It also identifies countries flagged for noncompliance with intellectual property standards.

Preparing to Meet the Future of Reference Services

June 1st, 2011 by Michael Winter

A short article by Dave Michalski outlining some policy issues surrounding reference services in the university research library.