Bruce McDuffie, former chemistry professor, dies

Bruce McDuffie, 93, died Sept. 12, 2014. He earned his PhD from Princeton University and taught analytical chemistry at Emory University and Washington and Jefferson College before joining the faculty at Binghamton University in 1958.

McDuffie made international headlines in 1970 when, testing a can of tuna from his wife’s kitchen, he discovered high levels of methyl mercury in tuna fish and, subsequently, in swordfish. He remained very active in environmental studies and chemistry until his retirement from teaching at Binghamton in 1988, and relocated to Chattanooga, Tenn. in 1990.

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Homecoming to take place Oct. 17-19

Homecoming 2014

The entire University community is invited to participate in Homecoming 2014, which will take place on campus Friday-Sunday, Oct. 17-19. Homecoming, sponsored each fall by the Binghamton University Alumni Association, is the largest on-campus alumni event of the year and attracts about 1,000 Binghamton graduates and their families. A number of events will take place during the weekend – the largest event a tailgate party at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, outside the Events Center and preceding the 6 p.m. men’s soccer game against the University of Vermont at the Bearcats Sports Complex. Homecoming will also include the Black Student Union Fashion Show, Late Nite Madness, the EOP 45th Anniversary Luncheon and more. To see the full schedule of events, and to register prior to the Oct. 12 deadline, go online.

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Binghamton alumnus to speak on the crisis in the humanities

centre_ce17863Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, PhD ’83, Chancellor’s Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of California–Irvine, will speak on “Untangling the Crisis in the Humanities: A Binghamton Prophet” from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, in AA-330, the Fernand Braudel Center. Radhakrishnan has authored five books, co-edited three more and published about 100 articles in journals and collections, including a volume of poems in English. He has translated contemporary Tamil fiction into English and won a number of fellowships, including a Fulbright.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations; the Department of English, General Literature and Rhetoric; and the Department of Comparative Literature.

For more information, call 607-777-4924 or send an e-mail.

Link about speaker:

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Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: An Interview with Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Maria_GillanMaria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP, the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions). She is the founder /executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review.

She is also director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY. She has published 20 books, including The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (Cat in the Sun Books, 2014); Ancestors’ Song (Bordighera Press, 2013); The Silence in an Empty House (NYQ Books, 2013); Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: How to Find the Courage to Tell Your Stories (MiroLand, Guernica Editions, 2013); The Place I Call Home (NYQ Books, 2012); and What We Pass On: Collected Poems 1980-2009 (Guernica Editions, 2010). With her daughter Jennifer, she is co-editor of four anthologies.

Read the interview in the Huffington Post

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New exhibit: King of Slapstick: Mack Sennett and His Work


Producer and director Mack Sennett presided over a motley crew of comedic talent that included Harry Langdon, Ben Turpin, Billy Bevan, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Mabel Normand and the Keystone Kops, who slid, slipped and slapped their way across American movie screens. He was known as the innovator of slapstick comedy and film and was once dubbed “The King of Comedy.” Sennett’s brand of crude slapstick humor proved to be highly popular with audiences and helped him become one of the most powerful men of early Hollywood. Sennett set up his famed Keystone Studios in 1912 and began cranking out one- and two-reel shorts by the hundreds. Among the pratfalls, chases, character stereotypes and pantomime, Sennett set the tone in Hollywood’s early days and created the ground rules for American screen comedy that were to follow.

This exhibit features information about Mack Sennett’s work as well as stills from his movies taken from the John K. McLaughlin Collection of Popular Culture. The exhibit is located just outside of Special Collections in the North Reading Room (second floor) of the Glenn Bartle Library.

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CEMERS annual fall reception

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies invites the campus to attend its annual fall reception from noon-2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in LN-1106. Refreshments will be served.

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Welcome Weekend – Libraries Open House brings students to Special Collections!

University Archivist, Yvonne Deligato, introduces Baxter to Special Collections.

University Archivist, Yvonne Deligato, introduces Baxter to Special Collections.

Binghamton University Libraries held an Open House on August 29, 2014 to introduce students to the Libraries and help them learn how the Libraries can assist them with their course work and research.

Special Collections was thrilled to welcome over sixty students! Curator of Rare Books, Beth Kilmarx and University Archivist, Yvonne Deligato acted as ambassadors in welcoming the visitors. Students were shown materials from our Rare Books, Local History and University Archives collections and Ms. Kilmarx and Ms. Deligato explained their significance and importance for research.

Curator of Rare Books, Beth Kilmarx, speaks with students about Special Collections.

Curator of Rare Books, Beth Kilmarx, speaks with students about Special Collections.

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Coming to Voice is Special Collections’ Featured Book for September 2014

Coming to Voice 3

Front Cover: Rally on October 18, 1996, to protest the use of pepper spray by public safety officers during a Student Assembly Meeting the week prior. Photo by Evangelos Dousmanis.

As the academic year begins, Binghamton University Special Collections has chosen Coming to Voice: Writing Personal, Civic, and Academic Arguments, edited by Kelly Kinney and Sean Fenty, as its the featured book for September 2014.  This textbook serves as the basis for Binghamton’s most popular first-year writing course, WRIT 111.

Committed to providing highly motivated students an outstanding education grounded in the liberal arts, the First-Year Writing Program is a central component of the Binghamton University Writing Initiative.  Its mission is to foster in students the academic and civic literacies essential for success at the University and beyond, and the program is a recipient of the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Certificate of Writing Program Excellence, an award developed to honor top writing programs across the country and around the globe.

WRIT 111 and Coming to Voice: Writing Personal, Civic, and Academic Arguments focus on salient social issues important in the civic and academic spheres, and both the course and this textbook reflect Binghamton University’s mission to nurture in students an active engagement in the most pressing matters of our time.

Coming to Voice: Writing Personal, Civic, and Academic Arguments is now a part of the Binghamton University Archives Collection.  To see the book, come to Special Collections, located on the second floor of the Bartle Library off of the North Reading Room.

Back cover: Students protesting investments in South Africa in front of the Administration Building in 1985.

Back cover: Students protesting investments in South Africa in front of the Administration Building in 1985.

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Special Collections to be closed on Thursday, August 21, 2014


Binghamton University Libraries and Special Collections will be closed on Thursday, August 21, 2014 for a staff retreat.

We will re-open at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 22.

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The Meaning of Art is Special Collections’ Featured Book for August 2014


In honor of August being Art Appreciation Month, The Meaning of Art by Herbert Read is our featured book for this month.

One of the greatest art critics in Britain to specialize in abstract art of the early and mid-20th century, Herbert Read won a number of medals for bravery during World War I. His experiences in this conflict, including the death of his brother, turned him into an anarchist and lifelong pacifist. He held a range of posts within the art world: curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum; professor of fine arts at Edinburgh University, and editor of the scholarly Burlington Magazine. He was a prolific writer on different types of art, including painting sculpture, stained glass and ceramics. His most famous book is probably The Meaning of Art (1931), which was followed by Art Now: an Introduction to the Theory of Modern Painting and Sculpture (1933) and Art and Industry (1934).

Since its first appearance in 1931, Read’s The Meaning of Art and its introduction to the understanding of art has established itself as a classic of its kind. In this volume, he endeavors to provide a basis for the appreciation of pictures and sculptures by defining the elements which go to their making. He persuades the reader to consider such fundamental terms as ‘beauty,’ ‘harmony’ and ‘pattern’ so as to make sure that the reader uses these words with precision in their judgements. Read also examines the complicated mental processes involved in the contemplation of works of art.

Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968)

Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968)

A large part of this book is devoted to a compact survey of the world’s art, from primitive cave drawings to Jackson Pollock, an exposition designed to show the persistence of certain principles and aspirations throughout the history of art, and to summarize the essence of such movements as Gothic, Baroque, Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism, and Tachism. Readers who follow this progressive and concise analysis will find it a valuable and stimulating guide to the visual arts.


Jean Renoir Writing. By Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). Basil Barlow Collecition

The Meaning of Art is part of the The William Klenz Library and Music Collection. To see this book, come to Special Collections, located on the second floor of the Bartle Library off of the North Reading Room.

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