Thursday, October 31, 2013

Learning Lab: Lens on the Collection, featuring A Tale for the Time Being

Lens on the Collection: Click to expand


Tucked in and sometimes overlooked among its vast print holdings, the UW-Madison library system also offers students a dizzying array of movies. Some are popcorn classics, box-office hits widely known and loved worldwide.  Yet library patrons are likewise able to access thousands of film titles that didn’t set any box-office records but are perhaps more thought-provoking than their more famous compatriots.  Certainly, movies should entertain, however the best entertainment expands your outlook, and gives insight to the perspectives of people from different cultures and mindsets. With such a wide selection of films at our disposal, how does one sort through the vast, sometimes dispersed holdings to select the right film for the right situation?

The LSS Learning Lab Library, located on the second floor of Van Hise Hall, is here to help.  Each semester, the Learning lab selects a new theme for its Lens on the Collection series, highlighting several related films from its extensive foreign film collection to provide patrons with a focused guide to the Learning Lab’s film holdings.  This Fall, Lens on the Collection focuses its attention on twelve feature films meant to complement Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, this year’s Go Big Read selection. Ozeki’s novel delves deep into the troubles confronting contemporary Japanese culture, teenage angst, and the difficulty of forging meaningful relationships in the fast-paced modern world. As fans of foreign cinema are no doubt aware, many of these themes have already been explored by talented filmmakers from around the globe:  think of the work of Leos Carax, Michel Gondry, and Bong Joon-ho in Tokyo; Sofia Coppola in Lost in Translation; Eric Khoo in Tatsumi, to name just a few examples.   

While A Tale for the Time Being and each of our films remain thought-provoking works of art in their own right, our hope is that by pairing and partnering these works, book and film, we can help provide the broader campus audience a fuller appreciation of the themes these works raise. By combining these different forms of media, we believe that readers and viewers will be better able to consider the troubles of modernity, the challenges facing contemporary Japan, and the problems we all wrestle with as individual human beings.

So as you finish this year’s Go Big Read, and head into the weekend wondering what to do for a bit of entertainment, don’t settle for the umpteenth re-watching of Twilight or Harry Potter. Dig deeper for something you haven’t seen before, something more thought provoking, something out of your comfort zone. You just might uncover a new favorite and challenge your perspective in the process.

~Lane Sunwall~

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The Learning Lab in 259 Van Hise Hall provides drop-in study space, audio and video playback equipment, computers, and an extensive media collection of thousands of DVD/video materials from over one hundred different foreign languages.  Past and current Lens on the Collection posters and selections can be found online or on the poster board in front of the Learning Lab in Van Hise Hall.  To check out movies from the Lens on the Collection, visit our friendly staff at the LSS Learning Lab, or order them online at www.library.wisc.edu.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ruth Ozeki talk now available online!

Varsity Hall was full to the brim on Monday night—literally, as we had to turn people away at the door! If you were one of the unlucky few who got there after all the seats were full, or if you were unable to make it to Ruth Ozeki's talk at all, have no fear. An archived video of the author event is now available on the Go Big Read website (and embedded below!). A transcript of the video, as well as closed captioning, will be made available as soon as possible. Enjoy!





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Monday, October 28, 2013

Ozeki Speaks at Union South Tonight, Wisconsin Public Radio Show Now Archived

Go Big Read welcomes Ruth Ozeki to Union South tonight, October 28th, at 7 p.m.  No tickets are required and doors open at 6 p.m.  The event will also be streamed live on the web, and you can find that link on the Go Big Read home page (http://www.gobigread.wisc.edu/). 

If you want a preview, Anne Strainchamps of the Wisconsin Public Radio show "45 North" recently interviewed Ozeki, and the engaging, half-hour interview is now archived online (http://www.wpr.org/shows/ruth-ozeki/).

Hope you can join us in person or online!

Sarah McDaniel
Go Big Read

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Documentary Film Screening of 'Bully' at Madison Public Library- Central Library- Wednesday 10/23 at 6:30

I just watched Bully tonight. It is a most powerful movie.  It puts on screen what Nao, in A Tale for the Time Being, experienced in her school.  The film follows a few children as they endure abuse by their classmates on the bus, in the halls and on the playgrounds of their schools.  It portrays the pain and shame, and the hopelessness they feel as their teachers, school leaders and even parents fail to protect them. It shows the pain of the parents who try to help their children and fight to get stubborn administrations to move towards protecting them.  And it shows the torment of parents of children who despaired and took their lives.  

While the film did not touch on the cyber-bullying Nao was subjected to, it was able to portray the pain these children feel and make clear how suicide feels like the only option.  

The film fortunately ends on a positive note. In honor of one of the children who committed suicide, one father teaches himself about the internet, gets on Facebook and joins a movement to stop bullying.  Called Stand For The Silent, the group encourages children to befriend a bullied child, and offers education and tools to children and schools to help the bullied.

If you are interested in seeing Bully and hearing the reactions of others, come to the Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St. on Wednesday, October 23 at 6:30 pm.  After we view the film, a supportive, thoughtful discussion will be moderated by Susan Simon of WISC-TV3 News Team (WISC-TV3 has been sponsoring a Time for Kids Buddy project to encourage kids to be a buddy, not a bully). Amy Bellmore, PhD, UW Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Dr. Joanna Bisgrove, Family Medicine Physician from DeanCare will join us for the discussion. 
 If you can't make it Wednesday, there will be a final screening of the film will be on Saturday, November 2 at 1 pm at the Meadowridge Library, 5740 Raymond Rd.  http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/new/bully-film-screenings-discussions

Blog post written by:
Lisa M., Librarian atMadison Public Library- Central

*Poster for Bully.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Suggest a Question for Ruth Ozeki

Would you like to ask this year's Go Big Read author a question about her book, her writing process, etc.?

Ruth Ozeki's October 28th lecture at Varsity Hall, Union South, is free and open to the public. The event will begin at 7 pm (doors open at 6 pm) and no tickets are required. We hope you'll attend and invite anyone you know who might be interested.

Due to the large scale of the Varsity Hall event, some of the question and answer period will be moderated. Questions should be suggested in writing by October 23rd. The moderator will select a representative set of questions and ask them to Ozeki at the event.

If you would like to suggest a question, please post it as a comment to this blog post. Please also consider including your name and some very brief information about yourself (e.g., your major, unit, etc.).

* Please note that blog comments are moderated so there may be a delay of up to 24 hours between submitting your question and seeing it appear on the blog.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Richard Lea: Why A Tale for the Time Being should win the Booker prize

Have you heard the good news? Our Go Big Read pick has been nominated for the 2013 Booker prize! We're so proud of Ruth Ozeki and A Tale for the Time Being (and, we must admit, a little pleased with ourselves for having made a good choice!).

Why do you think A Tale for the Time Being should win? In this video, Guardian editor Richard Lea makes his case for the book. Do you agree with him? Are there other reasons you enjoyed the book? We want to hear your thoughts!

Good luck to Ruth Ozeki and A Tale for the Time Being, and congratulations on this prestigious nomination!

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Violence Prevention Project Assistant Reflects on Go Big Read

Go Big Read seeks responses to this year's book from students, faculty, and staff. If you have something to share, contact gobigread@library.wisc.edu to learn more about guidelines and process. Thanks to Olivia Moore for responding from her perspective as Violence Prevention Project Assistant. 

*Trigger warning.*

In Ruth Ozeki’s “A Tale for the Time Being,” many heartbreaking issues in young Naoko’s life are explored.  Nao, a 16 year-old schoolgirl living in Tokyo, documents her life in a diary.  After Japan’s
devastating earthquake and tsunami, a Japanese-American novelist named Ruth, finds a barnacle-encrusted freezer bag washed up on a beach off the coast of British Columbia.  Ruth opens the freezer bag to find Nao’s life inscribed in an old book, along with a watch and some letters. We are taken into Nao’s world as Ruth relives her life through the washed up diary.

In a few life-changing moments described in the diary, Nao experienced a sexual assault perpetrated by some of her classmates.  These classmates videotaped the assault and stole her underwear.  They then posted both online, seeing what the highest bid for her underwear would be.  Before Nao even had a chance to begin healing from her traumatizing sexual assault, she was forced to relive it over and over again in a public forum.

This story in the book displays something that is far too common in our society: re-victimization. This term refers to the experience of a survivor being victimized or traumatized after the original trauma.
            
Not all survivors of sexual assault experience re-victimization by watching how much their underwear is being auctioned off for, or by seeing how many views their sexual assault has gotten online.  However, almost all survivors do have to endure countless rape jokes, triggering images or scenes on TV and in movies, and degrading song lyrics on a daily basis.  Re-victimization can be experienced through the criminal justice system, friends, family, and social media. 

With the statistic currently at 1 in 4 women being sexually assaulted before they graduate college, many of us feel helpless and overwhelmed.  What can you, merely 1 in 42,820 students at UW-Madison, do to help end the epidemic of sexual assault?  The answer may sound simpler than you think: be a good person.  Most of us are not the perpetrators initially victimizing someone, but we can all do our part in ensuring survivors are not re-victimized.

Be conscious of what you say, post online, or laugh at. It matters. With statistics showing that sexual assault and dating violence affect countless women in our society, a survivor or a loved one of a survivor will most likely be negatively affected by what you post or say. If what you are about to say could be emotionally traumatizing to a survivor, either do not say it or include a trigger warning before you do.  Soon, this will come as second nature.  When other people see you not laughing at a harmful rape joke, or including a trigger warning before you post an article to Facebook, that makes a statement about what is and is not acceptable today.

It is also extremely helpful to know the resources that the campus and community provides.  If someone discloses to you, you will be prepared to help them find the resources that are best for them.

If you do encounter someone saying something hurtful, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion to them.  A famous quote from Martin Luther King Jr. states, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”  Will the confrontation be awkward at first? Maybe.  Will it be worth it? Definitely.

Help is available.  Click here  for a list of campus and community resources.  

Olivia Moore
Violence Prevention Project Assistant
EVOC: End Violence on Campus
University Health Services


Olivia is a junior at UW-Madison majoring in psychology, and getting certificates in entrepreneurship and criminal justice.  She has worked as the Violence Prevention Project Assistant at EVOC since her freshman year.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

UW-Madison Faculty to Offer Expert Perspectives on "A Tale for the Time Being"


Faculty from the English Department and the Asian American Studies Program will offer perspectives on A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki.  Speakers include: Timothy Yu, Associate Professor of English and Asian American Studies and Director, Asian American Studies Program; Leslie Bow, Professor of English and Asian American Studies; Morris Young, Professor of English; and Jan Miyasaki, Lecturer in Asian American Studies. 

The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided after the panel.   Please note that a photo ID is required to enter Memorial Library.  

A Tale for the Time Being: A Panel Discussion
Tuesday, October 22nd, 5:30 pm-7 pm
Memorial Library Commons, Room 460 Memorial Library
Contact: gobigread@library.wisc.edu 608-262-4308

This event is sponsored by the Asian American Studies Program, the English Department, the Center for the Humanities, Go Big Read, and Memorial Library.


Sarah McDaniel
Go Big Read
















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Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Bully" Screenings at Madison Public Library



Poster for Bully.
Much of A Tale for the Time Being is concerned with the cruel treatment of Nao at the hands of her classmates. While these scenes are uncomfortable and frequently disturbing to read, the reality is that over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year. The documentary Bully (formerly The Bully Project) takes a hard look at bullies and their victims.

Join Madison Public Library for free screenings of Bully, followed by facilitated discussions about bullying. Screenings are being held at several branches throughout October and November, and do not require pre-registration. For dates and locations, check out the MPL event page or our own Go Big Read event calendar.

Bully is rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, disturbing content, and some strong language, all involving kids.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Domino Effect in A Tale for the Time Being



Although not directly established in this novel, one of the themes that struck me while reading A Tale for the Time Being was the risk associated with losing a loved one to suicide. Nao’s story turned out (we hope) for the better, but there are many real-life stories that have not been so fortunate. As we saw throughout the novel, Nao frequently connected her own feelings of suicide to those same feelings she saw through her father’s actions. While it was tragic that her father was depressed to the point of taking his own life, what seems even worse is that his daughter followed his example and perceived suicide as the only way out of her struggles.

While we normally work under the assumption of prevention, we sometimes forget that even after the battle has been temporarily lost in the wake of a death by suicide, there is still prevention work to be done. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), nearly 10% of all suicides can be connected to the idea of the Domino Effect or “copy cat” suicides1.  Suicides sensationalized in the media have been connected to others that follow similar methods.  Similarly, and perhaps more important, is the idea that those who have recently lost someone to suicide or any unexpected death, may be at a higher risk for suicide if not given the proper support to get through this emotional and traumatic time. Given that 85% of us will lose a loved one to suicide, this seems too important of a connection to pass-over2.
                                                                                            
In this way, we all have a job to do. Suicide is 100% preventable if the proper resources and support networks are in place. We need to be proactive about asking friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and strangers how they are really doing and be educated in the resources we can direct them towards. On page 286, Nao’s mother acknowledges Nao’s father’s attempt at suicide by saying, “Of course it was an accident […] Silly Papa! How could you be so careless?” As long as we continue to watch and ask our friends and family how they are really doing and provide the support they need in good times and bad, we can break out of the denial that Nao’s mother is content to follow and save a life.

Erin Breen
Vice President
ASK.LISTEN.SAVE.


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