April Calendar of Events

3.30.2021 UPDATE: This event has been CANCELLED: Edible Book Festival 2021  |  April 1, 2021, Noon–1:30 p.m. CT

Join Alice Randall, writer-in-residence, African American and Diaspora Studies and the Vanderbilt Libraries for a re-imagined, diet conscious, intellectual celebration of food! Until we can join together in person, we will celebrate with words, not desserts. Instead of creating an edible book, make a short video celebrating food in poetry or prose. The deadline for submission is midnight, Monday, 3/29 .


Print & Paper from Home: Build a Commonplace Book  |  Friday, April 2, Noon–1 p.m. CT

The first virtual event (March 26th) showcased making a Commonplace Book, the part of the book arts that you can make with basic materials. This second session is on modern lettering and includes a short talk on the history of the color blue. All are welcome to attend, even if you were not in the March 26th session.  Register here and receive supply list in advance. Email ACE@Vanderbilt.edu with questions.


National Library Week  |  April 5–9, 2021 CT

Visit any of Vanderbilt’s nine libraries virtually or in person, and let us help you reach your academic goals! Also, watch for Zoom backgrounds to celebrate each of Vanderbilt’s libraries throughout National Library Week.



Wikipedia Edit-a-thon  |  April 6, 2021, Noon–1 p.m. CT
Contribute to the public good by editing Wikipedia entries featuring stories about social justice in Nashville. Join us! No previous experience needed. More information and to register.



Manuel Zapata Olivella International Conference  |   April 8–10, 2021

Vanderbilt is hosting an international conference April 8–10 to celebrate the centenary of Manuel Zapata Olivella, noted Afro-Colombian novelist, anthropologist, folklorist and physician. The program features scholars from Colombia and the US who explore themes that address race, political activism, culture, literature, and the performance arts. Most panels will be in Spanish. The virtual conference is sponsored and organized by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries, and the Afro-Hispanic Review. For program details and registration please see the conference webpage.


Panel Discussion on Nashville’s Founders: Voyage of the Adventure  | April 9, 2021, Noon–1 p.m. CT Voyage of the Adventure

Vanderbilt’s libraries, the Vanderbilt University Press, and Middle Tennessee State University are teaming up to offer two Zoom webinars, April 9 and April 23, on the legacy of John Donelson and James Robertson.

In 2016, artist John Guider followed the journey John Donelson and his party began from the shores of the Holston River in 1779 to the French Lick above the Cumberland River. In 2020, the Vanderbilt University Press published Voyage of the Adventure: Retracing the Donelson Party’s Journey to the Founding of Nashville with John Guider’s photographs and a series of essays by scholars who bring new perspectives on the legacy of the historic voyage. The book’s writers and John Guider, himself, will come together for this lunchtime discussion on the legacy of John Donelson. Registrants will receive a discount code to purchase the book from the Vanderbilt University Press at a special rate. More information and to register.


Peabody Iris Book Club  |  April 14, 2021, Noon—1 p.m. CT
Celebrate the publication of I’ll Take You There: Exploring Nashville’s Social Justice Sites, co-edited by Amie Thurber and Learotha Williams, Jr. More information and to register.



Missing the Marc: Trans Identities in Nineteenth-Century France  |  April 20, 4—5 p.m. CT

We welcome guest lecturer Rachel Mesch, professor of English and French and chair, English department, Yeshiva University; National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Fellowship, 2017-18.

Marc de Montifaud was a renowned art critic before publishing titillating works that were repeatedly censored for “offense to public decency.” Montifaud was bewildered by punishments they felt didn’t fit the crime, and continued to write erotic tales as well as passionate treatises in self-defense. They were as angry about being censored as about being sent to a women’s prison rather than the one where male artists and writers were sent for similar infractions.

This talk explores Montifaud’s efforts to express their gender nonconformity, arguing that the disproportionate response by the forces of authority was a function of the public’s inability to identify the precise nature of Montifaud’s affront. Montifaud refused to concede because they thrived on this perpetual misunderstanding, which allowed them to make visible a state of tension with a world that had not yet imagined them. Register here.


The James Robertson Papers: A Panel Discussion  |  April 23, 2021, Noon–1 p.m. CT

Vanderbilt’s Special Collections is home to the James Robertson Papers, composed of original letters and documents belonging to the early settler. The papers date from between 1784 and 1814 and were given by Robertson’s son Dr. Felix Robertson to the University of Nashville. In 2021, Vanderbilt’s libraries digitized and transcribed the collection, making the materials available to the public through JSTOR Community Collections. Please join us for this discussion about the legacy of James Robertson and the role the papers play in suggesting new perspectives for Nashville’s early history. More information and to register.



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