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Welcome to Kanopy! The Pratt’s new digital streaming service

Kanopy features:

  • Award-winning films
  • Documentaries
  • Film Festival Favorites
  • Indie & Classic Films
  • & so much more….

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Just recently Kanopy announced it will stream A24 movies including Moonlight, Ladybird, and The Florida Project.

All you need is your Pratt Library card.

Available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku.

Native American Heritage Month in Special Collections

Special Collections has a number of interesting books on Native Americans and the westward expansion of the United States, with particular focus on relations between Native Americans and Europeans moving into the American West. These books often include descriptions of tribal life, customs, and language as encountered and recorded by Europeans. One example is Caleb Atwater’s Indians of the Northwest (1831). Atwater was an archaeologist known for work on the mounds and earthworks of the Ohio Valley. In 1831 he published his experiences while he was employed by the United States government to negotiate with the people of the upper Mississippi. In the book he described customs, including games, music, and dancing. Atwater also recorded lists of common words in the Sioux or Dacota language.

Examples from another interesting and important work can be found in the Library’s Hilde P. Holme Print Collection (find scanned images in Digital Maryland). The collection includes a small group of hand colored lithographs originally part of a larger work, McKenney and Hall’s History of the Indian Tribes of North America (1836-1844). The prints are thought to be some of the most accurate 19th century portraits of Native Americans. Many of the prints are based on the portraits of Charles Bird King who was hired by McKenney, then Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the U.S. War Department, to preserve the likenesses of treaty delegates visiting  Washington, D.C. for negotiations. McKenney was rightly concerned about the tribe’s culture under threat of settlers and unsympathetic government officials. Then President Andrew Jackson was critical of McKenney’s sympathies toward Native Americans and in 1830 removed McKenney from office. McKenney then secretly had the original portraits copied for engraving so that the lithographs could be made. They were eventually published in a three volume set that included brief descriptions that accompanied each lithograph. King’s original portraits were moved to the Smithsonian, but most were destroyed by fire in 1865. All that is left are the hand colored lithographs.

Explore more history in Digital Maryland.

Learn about National Day of Mourning

The National Day of Mourning is a day of protest started by Native American activists in the 1970s to mourn, recognize, and educate the American people about the erasure of Native American history, culture, and lives that has been ongoing since Europeans settled in North America. It takes place on the same day as Thanksgiving.

To honor this day of mourning, please find resources from the Humanities department below of literature, graphic novels, plays, and poetry by and about Native Americans. Texts written by Native Americans have an asterisk next to the title. Click on the picture to check out the title.

Film

‘Injuns!’: Native Americans In The Movies by Edward Bucombe, Alanis Obomsawin: The Vision Of A Native Filmmaker byRandolph Lewis, Wiping The War Paint Off The Lens: Native American Film And Video by Beverly R. Singer

Graphic Novels

Indeh: A Story Of The Apache Wars by Ethan Hawke

Literature and Culture

 

*Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction by Sean Kicummah Teuton (Cherokee), *Voice Of The Turtle: American Indian Literature by Paula Gunn Allen (Laguna Pueblo), Encyclopedia Of American Indian Literature edited by Jennifer McClinton-Temple and Alan Velie, Masterpieces Of American Indian Literature edited by Willis Goth Regier, Native American Fiction: A User’s Manual edited by David Treuer (Ojibwe), Searching For Lost City: On The Trail Of America’s Native Languages by Elizabeth Seay, *Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers On Community edited by Heid E. Erdrich (Ojibwe), Tracks That Speak: The Legacy Of Native American Words In North American Culture by Charles L. Cutler, Feathering Custer by W.S. Penn (Nez Perce), Native American Women’s Writing C.1800-1924: An Anthology by Karen L Kilcup.

Memoir

*Crazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo (Muscogee), *The Woman Who Watches Over The World: A Native Memoir by Linda Hogan (Chickasaw)

Poetry

*New Poets Of Native Nations edited by Heid E. Erdrich, (Ojibwe), *Combing The Snakes From His Hair: Poems by James Thomas Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk)

Religion

Dream Catchers: How Mainstream America Discovered Native Spirituality by Philip Jenkins, Gods Of War, Gods Of Peace: How The Meeting Of Native And Colonial Religions Shaped Early America by Russell Bourne

Theater

*American Gypsy : Six Native American Playsby Diane Glancey (Cherokee)

 

Recommended Reading during Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month is a time to continue to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. The Social Science and History Department created an all-ages reading list for you to start your exploration. Click on the hyperlink to reserve your copy today.

Adult Titles

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Following in the tradition of Howard Zinn’s classic People’s History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’ work centers the history of the United States from an indigenous perspective. In particular, Dunbar-Ortiz analyzes the colonialist origins of American gun ownership, explores how American military Special Forces originated in the suppression of Native Americans, and examines the long history of American betrayals of indigenous peoples, both before and after their conquest.

Rez Life by David Treuer. Part autobiography, part well-researched reporting, David Treuer’s Rez Life traces the history of how Native Americans were forced to live on and be so heavily associated with reservations, as well as the current living conditions found on said reservations. Treuer draws on his personal experiences as an Ojibwe resident of the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota to illustrate how government policies profoundly shape the Native experience of American life.

 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann. 1491 serves to puncture several myths surrounding the pre-Contact Americas, and is in general and excellent introduction to the history of the pre-Contact Western Hemisphere. Mann challenges the popular conception of Native Americans as socially simplistic peoples, examining the intricate bureaucracy of the Incan empire in the Andes, the rise and fall of Cahokia, the cultivation of maize and cotton, and the archaeological evidence that the Amazon was partially cultivated by the local Native cultures.

Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest by Matthew Restall. Restall’s work focuses on the myths and retroactive justifications wielded in defense of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Peru, and the American Southwest. Utilizing a bevy of primary and secondary sources, Restall addresses myths such as the idea that the Native civilizations of Mesoamerica were overthrown by a handful of Spanish adventurers, or that the Aztecs believed that Cortez was a god. Restall also examines the history of how these myths became such a key part of the conventional narrative of the conquest and colonization of the Americas.

The Zapatista Reader edited by John Hayden and The War Against Oblivion: The Zapatista Chronicles by John Ross. The Zapatistas are a peasant rebellion and indigenous rights movement centered on the Mexican state of Chiapas. Originally sparked by the Mexican government’s implementation of NAFTA, the Zapatista movement continues to serve as an illustration of the struggle for Native American rights throughout the Americas. The Zapatista Reader is a collection of essays and primary source documents on the movement, while The War Against Oblivion is a reporter’s history of the early years of the movement.

The Social Science and History Department at the State Library Resource Center contains a wide array of additional resources on Native American cultures and histories, ranging from histories of specific First Nations and Indigenous folklore to more academic texts on Native American history, religion, cultural practices, and interactions with the United States and other governments.

Children’s Books

When We Were Alone by David Alexander Roberson, Illustrated by Julie Flett. A recently written picture book, When We Were Alone is an excellent introduction to the history of residential schools–the system of forced educational assimilation practiced in Canada until the end of the 20th century. In this beautifully illustrated and heartfelt story, a Cree grandmother compares her childhood to her granddaughter’s, recalling tenderly how she and other Cree children preserved their culture in private moments of community.

Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk, illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis. Written by an Inuit author, Sweetest Kulu is a bedtime poem for young children. The author draws upon her heritage to relate a tale of the gifts given to a newborn child by the wild animals that inhabit the Arctic.

The Children’s Department at the State Library Resource Center contains many additional works by Native American authors, such as Lesson for the WolfHello Humpback!, and My Heart Fills with Happiness.

Maryland Department Resources

The Maryland Department at the State Library Resource Center also contains several resources regarding the history of Native Americans in the region. The Department has collected several archaeological site reports regarding Native American schools and business establishments in Baltimore City, as well as a Morgan State University overview of the Native American community in the city as of 1998. 

Studio 54 Inspiration at the Pratt

by Eben Dennis, Fine Arts and Music Librarian

If you haven’t heard, the upcoming annual gala hosted by the Pratt Contemporaries, The Black & White Party, will have a Studio 54 theme. It is time to get ready. The way I see it you can be (a) prepared, (b) really prepared, or (c) completely immersed. Just being prepared is fine of course. You can even use our resources without leaving your home. The books Inside Studio 54 by Mark Fleischman and I’ll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones are both available on ebook. You can even stream the movie 54 from the 90s starring Salma Hayek and Ryan Phillipe through our Hoopla app. Using these titles as a source of inspiration, you can put the finishing touches on your groovy John Travolta, Cher, or Grace Jones inspired costumes. This is a good start.

But if you really want to be prepared you need to have the anecdotes and stories to go with the costume. You will be walking the walk so why not have the talk too? This means you need to come down to the Fine Arts Department (or call us and have us send books to your local branch) and start your research. Turn the Beat Around: the Secret History of Disco by Peter ShapiroHot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture by Alice Echols; and Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 by Tim Lawrence are all recommended reads. If you have some musical ability and want to get in the mood you can even borrow some sheet music: The Disco Era: Piano, Vocal, Guitar.

For the truly dedicated, The Andy Warhol Diaries–by the Studio 54 regular himself–is required reading. Due to regular harassment from the IRS, Warhol kept track of his daily life and spending habits by dictating his previous day’s encounters and observations by phone to his longtime friend Pat Hackett. From 1976 until five days before his death in February 1987, Hackett dutifully typed Warhol’s private thoughts and impressions (aka juicy gossip) right alongside what he paid for cab fare. Posthumously published with an introduction and light annotations in 1989, the Diaries are a nearly decade long who’s who of New York culture and celebrity life.

From the decadent to the depraved (or the other way around) Warhol spent time with everyone from future president Donald Trump (another Studio 54 regular) to Lou Reed. With Studio 54 serving as the prominent backdrop, political figures such as Ronald Reagan, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and even the Shah of Iran mingled with pop stars like Madonna, Prince, and Mick Jagger. Baltimore connections include John Waters and Divine make cameos as well as the notorious document thief Barry Landau–who would be apprehended at the Maryland Historical Society here in Baltimore nearly three decades later.

This book is not to be consumed in one sitting. My reading instructions: (1) place this on a coffee table (or waiting area), (2) rely heavily on the index, and (3)consume in 15 minute portions. You won’t be disappointed and you will have way more insight into the Studio 54 era of New York than you will ever need.

Or you can just be a contrarian and read This Ain’t No Disco: the Story of CBGB by Roman Kozak- either way works.

Learn more about the Pratt Contemporaries. The 10th Anniversary Black & White Party will be held on January 19, 2019 at the Assembly Room. Find more information about the event here. On January 3rd, all active Pratt Contemporaries members will receive a members-only link to purchase up to 2 tickets per member. Those member tickets will be available at a discounted price of $100 each. Finally, on January 4th, a limited amount of tickets will go on sale to the general public for $150 each. Last year public tickets sold out in minutes!