The Authority File Round-Up – May 2021

A quick overview of last month's episodes, in case you missed them

What does May bring us? Flowers, for one. Warm air, cul-de-sac bike rides, leisure walks in the park, and—for centuries now—poetry. From Wordsworth to Herrick to Dickinson, this spring month has inspired ephemeral moments forever captured in verse. What would our culture look like without poets, historians, artists, or philosophers?

Last month, we had a staunch believer in the Humanities as our guest. We covered hot topics concerning the discipline today, like information literacy, adapting to societal crises, and why the subject faces criticism in higher education—and society. Do the Humanities need to change, or does the culture? Here’s a quick round-up of the conversation, in case you missed it. We hope you find the episodes enlightening, spirited, and educative. Thanks for listening!

MLA Handbook 9th edition book cover

Aiding the Scholarly Journey

Paula Krebs, Executive Director of the Modern Language Association, joined us to discuss the new edition of the MLA Handbook and 100 years of the MLA Bibliography. Paula digs into MLA’s extensive feedback from its users, its plight against misinformation, and whether the discourse of “crisis” surrounding the Humanities is warranted. Brought to you by the Modern Language Association.

Episode one: The Latest MLA Handbook

  • The 9th Edition of the MLA Handbook has roughly 300 more pages than its predecessor. What was added in? Which user feedback helped inform these decisions? Listen to episode one here.

Episode two: The MLA Bibliography and Info Lit

  • How does the MLA act as both an authoritative source and a tool for accuracy? How can its resources be used to help curb falsehoods and teach users the legitimacy and background of a source? Listen to episode two here.

Episode three: The Humanities Take on Societal Crises

  • How have the Humanities been affected—and possibly invigorated—by new and enduring crises like the coronavirus pandemic and a fraught political climate? What are the inequitable effects COVID-19 has had on higher education? Listen to episode three here.

Episode four: Using the Humanities to Change the Culture

  • Are the Humanities in crisis, or the culture? Plus, how has the MLA supported social and racial justices initiatives in the past year? Listen to episode four here.

I get really tired of the rhetoric of crisis around the Humanities … The Humanities are the framework through which we examine and we critique and we try to change the culture—the culture is what’s in crisis.

Paula Krebs, Director of the Modern Language Association

Missed April’s episodes? We’ve got you covered.

In April, Cheri DiNovo, former member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and current United Church of Canada minister, chatted about her memoir The Queer Evangelist, her tips for keeping activism efforts alive, and her extraordinary life. What drove her to join the clergy? What did she learn during her time in office? Listen to the first episode here.

What’s Coming Up in June

June is a jam-packed month. First, Will Davis of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development explains what the OECD is, how it functions, and how its research supports academic institutions. Click here to listen to the episode.

Next, Steven Rosato from OverDrive Professional breaks down e-content engagement trends, library lending models, and how US relief funding like the American Rescue Plan Act can alleviate academic libraries’ purchasing constraints. You can find the first episode here.

Finally, two academics and two publishers share their unique perspectives and strategies on how to prepare, empower, and ensure equitable support for diverse students. Listen to the first episode here.

You can find more episodes of the Authority File here on our websiteApple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening! See you next month.

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