Fake News! Propaganda, Scammers, and Malarkey

Fake news was named the word of the year by the Collins English Dictionary in 2017. Collins’ lexicographers said use of the term increased by 365% since 2016. In light of this, and in celebration of April Fools’ Day, McGill Library presents a collection of books that delve into the history of wartime propaganda, the psychology of lying, and the stories of fraudsters.

The term fake news is now synonymous with Donald Trump. To that end, we have included several recent publications about the current United States President. Donald Trump: The Making of a World View reveals how Trump’s worldview was formed and how it affects policy. Communication in the Age of Trump is a collection of essays that examine how Trump uses Twitter to speak directly to the public. Quand la clique nous manipule: Du Printemps érable à Donald Trump hits a little closer to home by examining the marketing behind the 2012 Québec student protests and how polarizing social movements that have come afterwards, such as the Make America Great Again rallies, have drawn on similar communications strategies.

The book display also highlights biographies, such as Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess, about a British diplomat and Soviet agent, and A Life in Secrets: The Story of Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE, a British intelligence officer who worked in France during the Second World War. Women Swindlers in America, 1860-1920 delves into the lives of women who were scam artists in the field of spiritualism, who told sob stories to get money, who ran matrimonial cons to increase their bank balances, and who swindled financial institutions by passing bad cheques.

Cinema and photography were heavily relied upon during the Second World War as forms of propaganda. Marketing the Third Reich: Persuasion, packaging and propaganda re-conceptualizes Third Reich propaganda through the lens of consumer marketing. Memoria e immaginario : la Seconda Guerra mondiale nel cinema italiano examines thematic traditions in Italian resistance cinema. Grand illusion: the Third Reich, the Paris exposition, and the cultural seduction of France touches on French reactions to Nazi culture in the 1930s and the Nazi party’s construction of German identity in Paris.

If you’re in the mood for a good novel set in a dystopian future that heavily features state propaganda, then rest assured that the display features some classics, such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Fahrenheit 451. We also have contemporary graphic novels that address fake news, such as the recently published and highly acclaimed Sabrina. No matter your taste, McGill Library has something to satiate your fake news fix!

International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day, McGill Library has curated a diverse, intersectional book display of works by and about those who identify as women.

The display features contemporary works by noted feminist scholars, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Roxanne Gay, Audre Lorde, and Rebecca Solnit. These works touch on important topics in our current #MeToo era, such as the gender binary, the representation of Black women in art, identity politics, and speaking truth to power. If that’s your cup of tea, then be sure to check out Why I march: Images from the Women’s March around the world.

Following the recent Academy Award wins by Ruth E. Carter for Best Costume Design and Hannah Beachler for Best Production Design (both for Black Panther), the display also focuses on the role of women filmmakers throughout the world. Italian women filmmakers and the gendered screen features essays and interviews with acclaimed Italian women directors on their contribution to film. Latin American women filmmakers: Production, politics, poetics contains scholars providing in-depth analysis on the rise of female-led film in Latin America. Warriors, witches, whores: Women in Israeli cinema provides a feminist study of the Israeli film industry.

Given McGill Library’s robust collection of graphic novels, the book display features the work of women graphic novelists, cartoonists, and anime artists. Pretty in ink: North American women cartoonists, 1896-2013 is a comprehensive volume of works that range from a Holocaust survivor penning action/adventure comics to the First Nations army corporal behind the series G.I. Gertie. Black women in sequence: Re-inking comics, graphic novels, and anime covers everything from African goddesses to postracialism in comic books. We have also chosen to highlight the work of contemporary graphic novelists, such as Montreal native Julie Delporte’s latest Moi aussi je voulais l’emporter, a feminist autobiography.

International Women's Day

In light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the display contains important works by Indigenous authors: Kim Anderson’s book A recognition of being: Reconstructing Native womanhood; Mary Jane Logan McCallum’s Indigenous women, work, and history, 1940-1980; and Mothers of the Nations: Indigenous mothering as global resistance, reclaiming and recovery, edited by D. Memee Lavell-Harvard and Kim Anderson.

Take a moment to check out the wide variety of titles on display. From Single girl problems: Why being single isn’t a problem to be solved, to Feminist visions and queer futures in postcolonial drama, McGill Library has all your intersectional feminist reading needs covered.

LOVE! : An exploration of love, lust & desire

Though many deride Valentine’s Day as a holiday invented by greeting card companies, what better way to break up the long winter months than with a celebration of love to warm the cockles of our cold, cold hearts?

This month’s book display covers all types of love – from best friends to one-night stands to your grandparents’ marriage and everything in between. Coming at love from all angles, there are poets and artists and philosophers and psychologists. We have Shakespeare’s sonnets and a Leonard Cohen/Henri Matisse art mash up. Love: All That Matters, is a fascinating introduction to both the psychology and philosophy of love – and what matters most about it. There is Love Analyzed; Love, a history; Love and love sickness: the science of sex, gender difference, and pair-bonding; and just plain old Love.

 

Tired of Tinder? So are we! Put your thumb-swiping skills to use turning the pages of Love Online, which explores the “hypermarket of desire” that is online dating, or Labor of Love, in which Moira Weigel dives into the secret history of dating while holding up a mirror to the contemporary dating landscape, revealing why we date the way we do and explaining why it feels so much like work. If online dating’s got you down, The Hypothetical Girl, stories by Elizabeth Cohen, will make you feel less alone.

Don’t worry, there is a fair dose of sincerity amid all this flippancy. In Love, Tony Milligan addresses this mood of pessimism about the nature of love and explores the value and significance of love in fostering an enjoyable and successful life.

Whether you crave sweeping epics à la Anna Karenina, or more contemporary sagas such as The Time-Traveler’s Wife, we’ve got you covered. Underneath this veneer of sarcasm there does, indeed, lie a hopeless romantic, and we want to share all of our favourite love stories with you!

LOVE! book display in Redpath