Civil Rights History Immersion in Birmingham, AL

Recently I traveled to Birmingham, AL with my husband, somewhat on a whim for a long weekend.  We solicited advice from friends on what we shouldn’t miss in the city, and the one thing that kept coming up in the recommendations was a trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  We added that to our […]


Hard-boiled and Noir Fiction and Film

Travelling through fetid alleyways in the pouring rain, through thronging cities like beating hearts, and darkened rooms echoing gunshots and last breaths, the fiction and film of the hard-boiled and noir genres bring readers and viewers along for vivid, engrossing, sensual experiences that earlier mysteries neglected in favor of purely intellectual exercises. Often used interchangeably, […]


Egypt: The Birthplace of Flip Flops?

It’s summer and flip-flops are in full bloom! Over the centuries, shoe designers have added heels, blinged them out, and crafted them from a variety of materials. The obsession for this ancient sandal has even sprouted its own national day (#nationalflipflopday). Today, the flip-flop industry generates billions in revenue sales (ref. Havaianas, 2017). So, who […]


Why Not Read About Summer?

Image of books on a beach

The academic year is over, the Memorial Day picnic leftovers are in the fridge, and you’re starting to plan your summer activities. If you’re like me, one of the most important summer activities is summer reading! Trashy novels, breezy beach reads, it’s all waiting for you. Well, why not read about summer? A subject search […]


Special Collections Obtains Lothar Schreyer’s “Kreuzigung”

Geliebte Mutter, 1920-1921

The Sheridan Libraries’ Special Collections, a treasure trove of research and teaching material, has just grown by one very significant acquisition. A gem in the multi-faceted field of German Expressionism was recently added, thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries. Kreuzigung: Spielgang Werk VII. Sturm dir Sturm allen Sturm […]


Library Tourism

he Reading Room in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France), Paris.

At some point, we all travel and explore new places. While you’re globe-trotting, don’t forget to visit libraries! Seriously, some libraries are tourist attractions and well-worth a visit. Even the New York Times has recognized this insider’s tip! You could start close to home, in Washington DC, at the Library of Congress. The Jefferson Building, […]


Stories from Turkey

Once there was a white elephant, an Indian boy who was his friend, an architect, several sultans, and a mystery. My introduction to Turkish fiction was the beautifully written The Architect’s Apprentice (2015). The author, Elif Shafak (sometimes spelled “Safak”), has written eight books; the best known is probably The Bastard of Istanbul. In an […]


Scientists, Communicating, Doing Science

How does science get done? In many ways — experimenting, theorizing, testing, observing. But good science also comes from lots and lots of talking. At conferences, in journals, in hallways, at seminars, with patients, in classrooms and labs, over coffee, through e-mail and shared citation lists and phone calls. The “community of scientists” can be […]