Browse Exhibits (6 total)

Pastorelas: Past and Present (Pastorelas: Pasado y Presente)


Pastorelas are plays that recreate the biblical passages where shepherds follow the Star of Bethlehem to find the Christ Child despite continued interference of Satan and his minions. These plays were used as a tool by the Franciscan monks to indoctrinate the native peoples of the Americas to Christianity in the 16th Century. Today, pastorelas are also used to describe and convey modern world issues such as immigration, socio-economic disparity, and even fake news.

Pastorelas were commonly an oral tradition, rarely being transcribed to paper. However, the Benson Latin American Collection holds a beautifully written and illustrated pastorela from 1853, possibly a one-of-a-kind item.

This digital exhibit highlights that rare item, El triunfo de Jesús contra la lengua del diablo : pastorela en cuatro actos por Manuel Antonio Zayas from 1853, available at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Room of the Benson Collection. It will also highlight other items from the Benson Collection that support and give more context to the exhibit.

The audience for this digital exhibit would include anyone interested in Latin American Studies, Language, Religious Studies, Archives, History, and Theater.

Multiple themes include religion, indoctrination, performance art, good vs. evil, and immigration.

Las pastorelas son obras de teatro que recrean pasajes bíblicos donde los pastores siguen la Estrella de Belén para encontrar al Niño Jesús a pesar de la continua interferencia de Satanás y sus secuaces. Estas obras de teatro fueron utilizadas como una herramienta por los monjes franciscanos para catequizar a los pueblos originarios de las Américas en el siglo XVI. Hoy en día, las pastorelas se utilizan también para describir y transmitir temas actuales, como la inmigración, la disparidad socioeconómica e incluso las noticias falsas.

Las pastorelas eran comúnmente una tradición oral y pocas veces se registraban en papel. Sin embargo, la Colección Latinoamericana Benson tiene una pastorela bellamente escrita e ilustrada de 1853, posiblemente un ejemplar único en su tipo.

Esta exposición digital destaca esta obra de teatro, El triunfo de Jesús contra la lengua del diablo: pastorela en cuatro actos de Manuel Antono Zayas de 1853, preservado en la Colección Benson. También destacará otros materiales de la Colección Benson que respaldan y dan más contexto a la exhibición.

El público de esta exhibición digital incluiría a cualquier persona interesada en Estudios Latinoamericanos, Lengua, Estudios Religiosos, Archivos, Historia y Teatro.

Entre otros temas, serviría para discutir la religión, el adoctrinamiento, el arte de performance, el bien contra el mal y la inmigración.

Citation: Borrego, Gilbert, curator. (2018). Pastorelas: Past and Present.

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Satire After the Young Turk Revolution: Cartoons from Kalem Magazine, 1908

“Satire After the Young Turk Revolution” highlights some of the most poignant political cartoons from the first two months’ of the bilingual Ottoman Turkish-French weekly Kalem magazine’s run.

This was a particularly tumultuous time in the history of the late Ottoman Empire as it grew closer to its transition into the Turkish Republic. The cartoon images have been selected for this exhibit because of their accessible meaning, illustration of the top issues of the time period, and aesthetic value. Kalem magazine was chosen for this exhibit because it represents UT Libraries’ rare Ottoman collections that are ripe for digitization to increase access for the public.

This exhibit will be of interest to those fascinated by pre-WWI Europe, the Ottoman Empire, satirical and political cartoons, and French publications in the Middle East. It will be of particular interest to researchers and students of the Middle East, early 20th century Europe, and popular art and literature across cultures.

The print magazine is available at the Perry-Castañeda Library at UT Austin and through the Center for Research Libraries. An incomplete digital copy (issues 2 - 40) can be found through the HathiTrust Library. It is hoped that a full-color and complete digital copy of Kalem magazine will be available as an initiative of the Middle East Materials Project of the Center for Research Libraries.

Citation: Correa, Dale, curator. (2019). Satire After the Young Turk Revolution: Cartoons from Kalem Magazine, 1908.

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Soviet Pamphlets: Revolution and War

Political pamphlets played an important role in Soviet propaganda and education efforts, as they provided an easy-to-print and low-cost method for disseminating information to Soviet citizens. These pamphlets ranged across many different subjects, promoting literacy among peasants, biographical sketches of popular figures such as Lenin, and pamphlets such as these, which cover a variety of topics related to the Soviet revolutions and military. The pamphlets include literacy manuals for soldiers, descriptions of the experiences of a war correspondent, and a booklet addressing the question of whether the Tsar’s family were still alive. Items highlighted in this exhibit  will be of interest to researchers and patrons interested in Russian history, the development of Soviet communism, and, of continued contemporary interest, the use of propaganda to shape public opinion.

This exhibit aims to highlight this broad spectrum of pamphlets tied together by their military themes, illuminating the commonalities between them while also showing how the Soviet government utilized print--often with striking graphics interspersed with the text--to further its agendas, whether they be educational and for the good of its citizens (as in the case of the pamphlets promoting literacy among soldiers) or aimed at bolstering military might, as in the case of the pamphlet encouraging youth to enroll in military schools. While the documents displayed here date from 1917 through to the early 1930s, the way in which they highlight the use of media to promote a state’s agenda is relevant to a broader discussion of how governments use information to influence their citizenry.

The items featured here are physically housed in the UT Libraries’ Library Storage Facility. They can be requested for pick-up through the UT Libraries catalog, and can be viewed digitally at the links provided on the other pages of the exhibit.

Citation: Goodale, Ian, curator. (2019). Soviet Pamphlets: Revolution and War

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Art Zines from the Russell Etchen Collection


Zines are do-it-yourself publications used by different cultural groups to share ideas and information. The zine name and format emerged in the 1930s from fanzines; publications created by and for fellow science fiction fans.[1] This same zine format – small circulation, handmade, often photocopied– was picked up as a way in which activists could disseminate social and political views in the 1960s. From the 1970s-1990s punk rockers and feminist groups often adopted the zine format as a way to express their views within their communities.[2] During subsequent decades the appeal of zines has only grown for makers and viewers alike.  These light-to-hold pages of images and text are cheap to produce and to purchase, even fun to trade. They have never been more popular. People want to know about them, so they go to zine fests, meet the artists, look in libraries and book stores and learn what can always be said about zines – they are limitless in their formats, subjects, and appeal.

UT's Fine Arts Library began collecting zines in earnest in 2010 under the stewardship of former Fine Arts Head Librarian Laura Schwartz. The reasonable cost of zines made collecting possible and the FAL emphasis was given to zines that related to art and music, as well as to local and regional zines which capture trends in Texas and Austin zine culture. Schwartz also cultivated relationships with local zine dealers, including Russell Etchen, the owner of the former Austin bookstore Domy Books and a practicing artist and bookseller, who played an important role in Austin zine culture. When he moved from Austin, Etchen generously gave a collection of 302 zines to the FAL.  

Among the zines in the Russell Etchen Collection are many created by artists. These zine artists were looking for a method to share work outside of traditional art world channels. Their artwork expresses every stage of the artistic process from preliminary sketches to carefully completed works of art. Although there are many themes that could be explored in the diverse, still-to-be cataloged, Etchen Collection, this digital exhibition focuses on how a few of these zine artists use the compositional devices of page layout, collage, and color to create their zines. The exhibit will be of interest to any zine enthusiasts interested in do-it-yourself culture, as well as to scholars, artists, designers and art historians who can resource this distinctive zine collection for teaching and creative inquiry.

[1] Worley, Matthew, ed., Ripped, Torn and Cut : Pop, Politics and Punk Fanzines From 1976. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018, 4. Accessed July 15, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central.

[2] Worley, 4.

Citation: Pad, Becca & Kilgore, Sydney, curators. (2019). Art Zines from the Russell Etchen Collection.

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You Are What You (Do Not) Eat: Decolonial Resistance in U.S. Latinx Zines


Zines, those do-it-yourself publications that have found renewed popularity in the last decade, provide a medium for different groups to cultivate their own forms of expression. And this expression can vary depending on the zine creator. Broadly speaking, recurring themes tend to interrogate identity (gender, sexuality, race), place (home, gentrification, nation), and time (childhood, adolescence, adulthood). For their part, audiences continue to flock to this form of cultural production because zines are affordable, rare, and allow unfettered access to the creator’s perspectives. Such access is significant as many zinesters come from historically marginalized groups that publishing companies have traditionally overlooked. Their perspectives tend to subvert or resist mainstream American ideas.   

This exhibit aims to underscore this resistance by examining Latinx zines that interrogate food and its impact in shaping cultural identity. Zinesters draw on memoirs and artwork to promote plant-based diets and condemn colonial impositions regarding food, “healthy” bodies, and medicine. As an offshoot of food, the exhibit also highlights zines that discuss traditional healing, speciesism, and body positivity.

Viewers will find a nice array of zines, with contributors from as nearby as San Antonio and as far as Washington D.C. Some examples will be more text heavy while others will use mixed media to articulate their points.  

This collection will be of interest to anyone who is interested in zine culture, food studies, decolonial studies, and Latinx cultural production. My hope is that scholars will develop similar projects using zines. The print versions of these zines and others are available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Room at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.  

Citation: Arbino, Daniel, curator. (2018). You Are What You (Do Not) Eat: Decolonial Resistance in U.S. Latinx Zines.

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French Communism and Global Revolution

L'internationale communiste au travail.jpg

Communism in France is a longstanding political tradition, with roots in the Paris Commune and the radicalism that both led and fed off its revolutionary fervor. Following the failure of the Commune due to suppression by the regular French Army during "La semaine sanglante" ("The Bloody Week") in 1871, French socialism remained fragmented until 1905, when, at the behest of the Second International, the Parti Socialiste de France and the more moderate Parti Socialiste Francais united into a single party, the Section Francaise de l’Internationale Ouvriere , or SFIO (although ideological disputes with the heavily anarcho-syndicalist Confederation Genererale du Travail, or C.G.T., France’s first trade union center, remained). Fractures in the French labor movement arose during World War I, when socialists opposing or supporting the war found themselves at odds with one another. Following Lenin’s establishment of the Communist (Third) International, or Comintern, a majority of members resigned from the SFIO to establish the Parti Communiste Francais (PCF), but it was only in 1921 that the Party described itself as the French Section of the Communist International (SFIC). Today, almost one hundred years later, the French Communist Party remains an important political force within France, although its influence has waned since the 1960s.

This exhibit aims to highlight important materials on French communism, including both primary and secondary sources that are held in the UT Austin Libraries’ collection. Materials were selected from pro-communist, anti-communist, and non-communist left perspectives so as to illustrate the varied responses to—and defenses of—communism in francophone literature. UT Austin’s collections are particularly rich in documenting French Communism; for further reading, and to see additional holdings in the UT Libraries, please consult the list of links below. Those interested in other political ephemera and propaganda at the UT Libraries might also see Soviet Pamphlets: Revolution and War.

Citation: Goodale, Ian, curator. (2019). French Communism and Global Revolution

Further Reading:

Adereth, M. The French Communist Party: a Critical History (1920-1984). Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984.

Godfrey, E. Drexel. The Fate of the French Non-Communist Left. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1955.

Mortimer, Edward. The Rise of the French Communist Party, 1920-1947. London: Faber & Faber, 1984.

Rémond René. The Right Wing in France from 1815 to De Gaulle. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971.

Click here for additional books on French communism in the UTL collection.

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