Public Programs in Leyburn

Each presentation will take place in Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library.   Descriptions are taken from the University’s Calendar.


Beyond America: Maya Angelou, Malcolm X and West Africa in the Civil Rights Era, 1960-1966

Speaker: T.J. Tallie Jr., Assistant Professor of African History

Tuesday 20 January, 12:20 PM – 1:20 pm

While the struggle for African-American civil rights intensified in the United States during the 1960s, the movement was not merely a national one. Civil rights activists including Julian Mayfield, Maya Angelou and Malcolm X all looked to the newly independent African nation of Ghana as a model for a stable, self-sufficient black country. Under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, the country’s first prime minister, Ghana provided a unique and inspirational space for African-Americans wishing to escape American racism and imagine a different future. Food will be provided.


The Other’s Religion: How Medieval Jews Imagined Hinduism

Speaker:  Richard Marks, Jessie Ball duPont Professor of Religion

Tuesday 20 January,  4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

In his Jessie Ball duPont Professor of Religion Lecture, Professor Marks will analyze views of Hinduism held by four medieval Jewish authors. These views reflect ideas circulating in the Muslim culture in which they lived, biblical concepts of history, Aristotelian science and philosophy, and each author’s own perception and purposes. The lecture raises questions about what “religion” is and how we go about comparing other people’s religions with our own.


Procreation and Parental Responsibility: The Case of Disadvantaged Black Men

Speaker:  Tommie Shelby, Professor of African-American Studies and Philosophy, Harvard University

Wednesday 21 January,  4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Professor Shelby will deliver a Mudd Center lecture entitled, “Procreation and Parental Responsibility: The Case of Disadvantaged Black Men.”

Tommie Shelby holds a joint appointment with the Department of African and African American Studies and Philosophy at Harvard University. He received his B.A. from Florida A & M University (1990) and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh (1998). Prior to coming to Harvard in 2000, he taught philosophy at Ohio State University (1996-2000). His main areas of research and teaching are African American philosophy, social and political philosophy, social theory (especially Marxist theory), and philosophy of social science.   Professor Shelby is the author of We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity (Harvard, 2005) and co-editor (with Derrick Darby) of Hip Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason (Open Court, 2005).   He is also the co-editor of the journal Transition.

Carrels Available


The University Library now has a small, but growing, pool of carrels that are available for check-out.

Interested students should inquire at the Information Desk in Leyburn Library or the Circulation Desk in Telford Science Library.

Panel: Race and Justice on America’s Streets


On Thursday 15 January, Washington and Lee University will present a panel discussion on “Race and Justice on America’s Street” at 4:30 pm in Leyburn Library’s Northen Auditorium.

“Issues of race and justice are continually in our nation’s headlines, and perhaps never more so than in the past few months. In this panel discussion, members of W&L’s law and undergraduate faculty and W&L students will discuss the recent tragedies in Ferguson and New York City, and explore the role that race plays in our nation’s justice system. We will take up such pressing issues as racial profiling, police violence, oppressed communities, protest and power, the rule of law, and many others. We aim for a diverse and open discussion of these issues that have so traumatized our communities.”   (From the W&L Communications and Public Affairs office)

After-Hours Access to Telford Library


The New Year brings new doors to Telford Science Library.

New doors — with a W&L swipe card reader attached — are being installed on the main floor,  a welcome addition for students and faculty who want to enter the building after hours.   Propping open the door to Parmly Hall should become a more-or-less fond memory.

The new doors and card reader should be operational by the time Winter Term begins.

Streaming Classic Films


The W&L University Library is taking tentative steps in providing our students and faculty with online streaming access to films important to study and research at W&L.

One of these steps involves tapping into the Criterion Collection of critically-acclaimed “classic” films, newly available to educational institutions as a streaming resource from Alexander Street Press.   This online database does not include every title Criterion offers in its full collection (many of which are available in the University Library in DVD form), but likely constitutes an experiment to see what happens when they try this approach in the college and university market.

Here are listings in the library catalog which contain links to streaming video access to the Criterion films specifically requested by W&L faculty:


Amarcord = I remember

Giulietta degli spiriti = Juliet of the spirits

Week end

Vivre sa vie

Les quatre cents coups = The 400 blows

A bout de souffle [electronic resource] = Breathless

Rome, open city = Roma, città aperta

Les enfants du paradis = Children of paradise

Orphée = Orpheus

La règle du jeu = The rules of the game


In each case, any W&L faculty or students should be able to view the film from either on-campus or off-campus locations, with multiple users able to use the same video simultaneously.  (At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. )    We also are looking into other newly-available streaming options from other providers.

So, what’s the downside?   In a word: expense.   Purchasing access to a streaming film usually costs considerably more than acquiring a DVD and, in such as cases as the above Criterion Collection, we may be able only to lease a given film for a year or for an academic term.    And there may be other restrictions, as well, such as agreeing to not list a streaming film in the library catalog.  (Strange, but true.)

The market for streaming video for colleges and universities is just beginning to develop, so we are likely to learn a lot in the coming months.  We look forward to discussing these issues with faculty and students and to seeing what’s possible.   If you have comments or questions, a starting place might be to contact Senior Reference Librarian Dick Grefe.