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Harry Ransom Center eNews April 2009 eNews
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The Collaborative RubaiyatRead, compare, and comment on various Rubáiyát editions

The Ransom Center launched The Collaborative Rubáiyát, an online edition of Edward FitzGerald's five published versions of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám that web visitors can annotate. Users can read, tag, and comment on the text of the final fifth edition, and read and respond to other users' comments. The site also allows users to track FitzGerald’s revisions of each stanza through all five editions. LEARN MORE and view a how-to video.


Ransom Center acquires collection of African, African-American, and Native-American literature

The Ransom Center acquired the Charles R. Larson collection of African, African-American, and Native-American literature. The collection was compiled by Charles R. Larson, a Professor at American University who is highly regarded for his work on African and Third World writers. His collection includes signed and inscribed books, rare publications, and unique manuscripts and letters. There are more than 1,100 books by African writers, 250 books by African-American and Caribbean authors, and 60 books by Native-American writers. LEARN MORE.


NEH grant to fund cataloging of Morris Ernst papers

The Ransom Center received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support a two-year, $392,213 project to arrange, describe, and preserve the papers of lawyer Morris Leopold Ernst (1888-1976). Ernst practiced law in New York for more than 60 years and was one of the leading advocates of civil liberties in twentieth-century America. Because of Ernst's work on literary censorship cases and his personal and professional relationships with notable cultural figures, the collection is rich in literary history. LEARN MORE.


Rubáiyát exhibition garners international coverage

The exhibition The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West recently garnered coverage in multiple Arabic and Persian news outlets. The exhibition was mentioned in the Tehran Times, Payvand’s Iran News, MehrNews.com, Persian Journal, Press TV, and Aaram News. The U.S. Department of State also published information about the exhibition on its website in English, Persian, and Arabic.



The Persian Sensation

Through August 2

The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West

The year 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of Edward FitzGerald’s landmark translation of the poetry of the medieval Persian astronomer Omar Khayyám. These gemlike verses about mortality, fate, and doubt became an unprecedented popular phenomenon in England and America but have since fallen into obscurity. Featuring 200 items from the Ransom Center’s extensive collections, the exhibition narrates The Rubáiyát’s history through such items as Persian manuscripts, miniature editions, and illustrated parodies. VIEW a reading list related to the exhibition and JOIN the Omar Khayyám Club on Facebook.


Fritz Henle: In Search of Beauty

This retrospective exhibition celebrates the art of freelance photographer Fritz Henle (1909-1993). A contributor to such magazines as LIFE and Harper’s Bazaar, Henle had a distinctive style that was characterized by a unique combination of the realistic and the romantic. Featuring more than 100 photographs, this exhibition encompasses a broad range of Henle’s work, including images of 1930s New York, Mexico, and Paris; innovative nudes; and portraits of famous personalities. Read and VIEW IMAGES relating to Henle’s 1989 article “Paris 1938: A Story in Pictures for LIFE Magazine.”



Photo of Ed Ruscha by Gary RegesterTHURSDAY, APRIL 2, 7 P.M. AT&T CONFERENCE CENTER AMPHITHEATRE, 1900 University Avenue
HARRY RANSOM LECTURE Artist Ed Ruscha discusses his life and work. Sponsored by the University Co-operative Society. This program will be WEBCAST.


PERFORMANCE Music from the Collections: Students and faculty from Southwestern University perform songs featured in the current Rubáiyát exhibition and their own musical compositions inspired by the stanzas of The Rubáiyát. This program will be WEBCAST.
Media sponsor: Classical 89.5 KMFA


LECTURE Photographer Peter Feldstein discusses his new book The Oxford Project, a 20-year project photographing and interviewing the residents of Oxford, Iowa. A book signing follows. This program will be WEBCAST


READING Poetry on the Plaza: Marathon reading of Shakes-peares Sonnets (1609). This program will be WEBCAST.


LECTURE The 2009 Pforzheimer-Cranfill Lecture with Ron Rosenbaum has been cancelled. 


RUBÁIYÁT FILM SERIES Kayvan Mashayekh’s The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam (2005), starring Vanessa Redgrave and Adam Echahly. View a TRAILER for this film on the Ransom Center’s YouTube channel.


Sanora Babb

Web exhibition highlights work of Sanora Babb

The Harry Ransom Center has launched the web exhibition Sanora Babb: Stories From the American High Plains, which examines the work of American novelist Sanora Babb (1907-2005). The Ransom Center holds the papers of Babb, who drew on the natural beauty of the American High Plains and the difficult conditions of her childhood there to give voice to a people who left little written record of their own lives and who have received scant representation in history. The exhibition highlights Babb’s accomplishments as a fiction writer and illustrates with historical photographs the plight of Depression-era Americans. VIEW WEB EXHIBITION.


April 2009


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Masthead image:
(Detail) Photo of Sanora Babb and Tom Collins. Unknown date and photographer.
News image:
The Collaborative Rubáiyát website.
Exhibitions image:
The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West.
Public Programs image:
Photo of Ed Ruscha by Gary Regester.
Insider's Perspective image:
Sanora Babb. Unknown date and photographer.

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