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Research Focus: Various Research Endeavors 2022-2023-Professor Bill Blick

by Bill Blick on 2022-04-28T10:15:00-04:00 in Research Focus (Blog Posts) | 0 Comments

Currently, I am working several research projects simultaneously. Some are continuing works-in-progress, while others are near completion.

My first endeavor is to complete a manuscript based on a paper I presented on Fake News and Librarian Instruction at the European Association for American Studies (EAAS) held virtually in April in Madrid, Spain. The presentation was successful, and as a result,  a full manuscript was requested for a special issue of AMLIT featuring conference proceedings. The theme of this year’s EAAS conference was “Wastelands”. The panels widely varied, ranging from Eliot’s Wasteland, to other world literature and practices that discussed the current zeitgeist, particularly on the World Wide Web, which was to be interpreted through the lens of a degeneration or fear of degeneration into a wasteland.

The panel I participated in was called:  “Electronic Wastelands? Information Management, Cultural Memory, and the Challenges of Digitality.” I couldn’t help but think of the glut of fake news being disseminated out on the web, which further made me compare it to the conference theme of a “wasteland.”

My proposal was simple: that we seek out Librarians and Information Literacy Instruction as a best safeguard against fake news. The presentation was well received. What was particularly surprising to me was how many on the panel did not know what “Information Literacy” actually was and that libraries could furnish support in these areas. Anyhow, I am currently engaged in not only how libraries can combat phony incendiary news items, but also in discussing the very nature of “fake news” which harkens all the way back since Gutenberg invented the printing press. 

My second endeavor is the discussion and research of Cuban author, Leonardo Padura

From my paper: “Leonardo de la Caridad Padura Fuentes (born October 10, 1955, is one of the most well- known Latin American novelists, and certainly one of Cuba’s most well-known. He is known most famously for his Havana Quartet novels featuring detective Mario Conde. Padura is one of the only writer’s residing in Cuba who has the freedom to be creative and at the same time make critical observations of the Communist government without repercussion.” Padura is responsible for the founding of Havana Noir.

As I and several other CUNY Librarians visited Cuba in 2016, I came across Padura and he immediately fascinated me as a fan of detective and world fiction.

Finally, I am engaged in a study of Alan Lomax, who is often credited with coining the phrase, “cultural equity”. Lomax founded the Association for Cultural Equity (ACE) whose offices are still at Hunter College. Alan Lomax (1915-2002) was a major figure in folklore and ethnomusicology, known for his theoretical work, cultural advocacy, and seminal public programs. He recorded 1000s of American blues, spiritual, and folk songs.

I am presenting this research at the 2022 LACUNY Spring Institute. I am looking forward to continuing my research throughout the summer.

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