Facing Sexuality: Books in SCRC that Focus on LGBTQ Topics

Morin, Jeffrey W., White Maiden Male, N7433.4.M66 W55 2012, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Metal case for the book showing the number 7952. Morin, Jeffrey W., White Maiden Male, N7433.4.M66 W55 2012, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Morin, Jeffrey W., White Maiden Male, N7433.4.M66 W55 2012, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Page that mentions Paragraph 175. Morin, Jeffrey W., White Maiden Male, N7433.4.M66 W55 2012, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

The White Maiden is a German tale about a thirsty hunter who wishes for ancient wine to drink. His wish is granted by the White Maiden who then plagues him with a sense of wanting and an inability to take satisfaction in anything. Morin used this tale to explore the real life narrative of a man, Rudolph Brazda, imprisoned by Nazi’s because of his homosexuality and forced to wear a pink triangle. The story begins with Rudolph finding love and being arrested for violating Paragraph 175, which made homosexual acts a crime. After they were both sentenced, they lost each other, and his partner ended up dying in the war. Rudolph is released and soon finds another partner and is rearrested. This is now during the beginnings of the Nazi concentration camps, and Rudolph is later transferred to Buchenwald. He became prisoner 7952, and remained in Buchenwald from August 1942 until April 1945 when it was liberated. With the help and sympathy of others, he was able to survive in the camp. After his release, he again found love and they lived happily together until 2003 when his partner died. Rudolph died in August 3, 2011 and their ashes were placed together.

 

Morris, Jan, Conundrum: An Extraordinary Narrative of Transsexualism, HQ77.8 .M67 A3 1989 c.2, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

Morris, Jan, Conundrum: An Extraordinary Narrative of Transsexualism, HQ77.8 .M67 A3 1989 c.2, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

Jan Morris was born James Morris and began her transition in 1964. She is a an historian, travel writer and author. One of her books, Conundrum: An Extraordinary Narrative of Transsexualism, recounts her memories of her transition and explores ideas about gender binaries and the psychological aspects of being a man or a woman. The book was originally written in 1974, shortly after her transition was complete. The first line in the book beings, “I was three or perhaps four years old when I realized that I had been born into the wrong body, and should really be a girl. I remember the moment well, and it is the earliest memory of my life.” She maintains an honesty throughout the book that allows readers to really get a sense of her life journey becoming the person she always was but could not be.

 

Sullivan, Andrew, Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, Booknotes 1995-10-01, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

Sullivan, Andrew, Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, Booknotes 1995-10-01, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University.

Andrew Sullivan was a editor of The New Republic and has written six books. Born in England, he earned his degree at Oxford and later came to America where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. He is an openly gay man, and has married since he wrote Virtually Normal. In the book he tackled many of the arguments in the debate about homosexuality. It is not a book necessarily for or against homosexuality, but it discusses the main arguments and points out their strengths and weaknesses. It is divided by four groups: prohibitionists, liberationists, conservatives, and liberals. Virtually Normal was part of the booknotes series and the interview with Andrew Sullivan can be found here.

 

 

 

 

Catalog records:

Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality

Conundrum: An Extraordinary Narrative of Transsexualism

White Maiden Male

June is LGBT Pride Month. For more information:

Library of Congress

Presidential Proclamation

Human Rights Campaign

HIV/AIDS Information

 

About the Special Collections Research Center

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) in George Mason University Libraries serves the scholarly community and beyond. While our services are used mainly by students and faculty, we are open to the public for research or for personal interest. The SCRC staff is dedicated to preserving, organizing, and collecting various objects, books, and manuscripts.

Members of the SCRC staff include:

  • Head of Special Collections
  • Research Services Coordinator
  • University Records Manager
  • Records Management Specialist
  • Manuscripts & Archives Librarian
  • Processing Coordinator
  • Digital Collection and Exhibitions Archivist
  • and various student wage and Graduate Research Assistants

SCRC contact information can be found here.

Our collections are searchable online through our finding aids and library catalog.

From our home page, sca.gmu.edu, our finding aids are searchable by subject or alphabetical order. The finding aids are useful for browsing our manuscripts and mixed materials such as oral histories.

SCRC maintains a collection of rare and antiquarian books. The oldest volume dates from the early 1500’s. To search our rare book and artist book holdings from the home page, click the catalog tab in the search box and enter search terms. For a more specific search limited to holdings in SCRC, click the “classic catalog” option and then hit the “set limits” button on the right of the page and scroll until you find “Fenwick Special Collections” in the locations section. Hit set limits again, and then begin your search. More information about our rare books can be found on our infoguides page.  A small sampling of items found in SCRC includes:

Poe,Edgar Allan, The Raven, PS2609 .A1 1884, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Poe,Edgar Allan, The Raven, PS2609 .A1 1884, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Northern Virginia Oral History Project Collection, #C0030, Box 5, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Northern Virginia Oral History Project Collection, #C0030, Box 5, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Mason Family Manuscript Account Book, #C0214, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Mason Family Manuscript Account Book, #C0214, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Langerman, Elaine, The Fairy Tale , N7433.4.L36 F35 1993, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Langerman, Elaine, The Fairy Tale , N7433.4.L36 F35 1993, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Appianus of Alexandria, Historia Romana, PA3873 .A2 1592, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Appianus of Alexandria, Historia Romana, PA3873 .A2 1592, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Froissart, Jean, Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Countries, D113 .F7 1843, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Froissart, Jean, Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Countries, D113 .F7 1843, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congress, Committee on Un-American Activities, KF27.3.U53 H43, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Congress, Committee on Un-American Activities, KF27.3.U53 H43 1962 V.1, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

19th Century Civil War and Political Cartoon Lithograph, #C0285, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

“The Dawn of a Better Day,” 19th Century Civil War and Political Cartoon Lithograph, #C0285, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about SCRC, our collections or to schedule an appointment, email us at speccoll.gmu.edu.

Melancholy, Phrensie, and Madnesse, Oh My!

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Burton, Robert, Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, PR2223 .A1 1628, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

In the 1600’s, Robert Burton wrote Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, to describe illnesses such as “phrensie,” “madnesse,” and lycanthropia or “wolfe madnesse.”

Melancholy was defined by Burton as an illness that “goes and comes upon every small occasion of sorrow, need, sickness, trouble, feare, griefe, passion, perturbation of the mid, any matter of care, discontent, or thought which causes anguish and vexation of the spirits” (Burton 11). Burton also defined a few other “diseases of the minde” which are all to some degree related or a result of melancholy:

Phrensie – “disease of the mind with continual madnesse or dotage, which hath an acute feaver annexed or else an inflammation of the Braine or the Membranes or Kells of it with an accute fever which causeth Madnesse and Dotage”(Burton  8).

Madnesse – “vehement dotage without fever, farre more violent than melancholy. Full of anger and clamor, horrible lookes, actions, gestures, troubling the Patient with farre greater vehemency both of body and minde without all feare and sorroe, with such impetuous force and boldness that sometimes three or four men cannot hold them” (Burton 8).

Lycanthropia or “Wolfe-madnesse” – “men runne howling about graves and fields in the nights, and will not be persuaded but that they are wolves or some such beasts” (Burton 9).

Some of the causes listed by Burton for melancholy involve witches, devils, sedentary lifestyles, bad diet, quantity of diet, quantity and quality of sleep, sorrow, anger, fear, old age, stars, passions, and too much studying.

Ways to cure melancholy include dietary changes, eating a variety of lean meats, broths, wholesome herbs and drinking plenty of water, not overeating, moderate exercise in fresh and clean air, sleeping two or three hours after dinner in a cool and humid room, surrounding yourself with music and merry company, and taking a mixture of simple herbs and vegetables that are appropriate for this disease.

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Gunn, John C., Gunn’s New Domestic Physician or Home Book of Health, RC81 .G91 1861, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Gunn’s New Domestic Physician (1861) features a variety of remedies for many illnesses and diseases. A few focus on illnesses of the mind such as melancholy, hypochondria, and hysteria. Gunn defines melancholy as the incipient stage or mild degree of madness or mental derangement, and the highest form of hypochondria. A person with melancholy may:

  • Shun society
  • Seek to be alone
  • Be low spirited, fretful, suspicious, or inquisitive
  • Have a distaste for everything
  • Dwell upon a single circumstance or misfortune (Gunn 654)

Similarly, he defined hypochondria as a disease of the general nervous system, often connected with dyspepsia and derangement of the liver. A person with a melancholic temperament, and especially one with a sedentary lifestyle, is more liable to get the disease. Some symptoms are:

  • Depression of spirits
  • Absurd and ridiculous fancies and apprehensions
  • Disturbed mind
  • Fear of death from one cause of another
  • Belief of already having a disease or multiple diseases
  • Dyspeptic symptoms
  • Heart palpitations
  • Wakefulness

To treat either of these illnesses, Gunn suggested that the best treatment is to divert the mind from gloomy subjects by surrounding oneself with cheerful company, agreeable amusements, interesting scenery, travelling, exercise, bathing daily, avoiding green tea and coffee, and taking anti-dyspeptic or liver pills (Gunn 655-657).

Hysteria, on the other hand, was defined as an affection peculiar to women, typically from puberty to age 35. Some experiences include:

  • Sense of suffocation
  • Stupor
  • Rumbling noise in the bowels
  • Sometimes convulsions
  • Laughing or crying without cause
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety

Gunn stated that there was no treatment for a fit, but loosening the dress for better circulation and respiration, sprinkling water on her face, and maintaining good exercise and a light, digestible diet are helpful in alleviating symptoms. He suggested an emetic of Lobelia and Ipecac to remove phlegm and mucus and equalize circulation. Pills made from Asafoetida, Carbonate of Ammonia, pulverized Opium, and Macrotin were also used to settle females after hysteric fits (Gunn 617-618).

 

More information and further reading:

Mental Health America

National Alliance for Mental Illness

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy

Gunn’s New Domestic Physician

If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment with the Special Collections Research Center at George Mason University Libraries, contact us at speccoll@gmu.edu.

Where Are You Really From?: Exploring Ideas About Asian-American Identities

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Wu, Frank H., Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, Booknotes 2002-03-31, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Frank H. Wu, associate professor at the Howard University School of Law, wrote Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White. In this book, he discussed stereotypes towards Asian-Americans, racial identity, and experiences of Asian-Americans in the United States. Through his analysis of race, he demonstrated how ideas about race are used to separate groups of people, damaging community relationships. He argued that racial profiling takes away an individual’s liberty to define who they are.

 

Barnouw, Erik, Radio Drama in Action: 25 Plays of a Changing World, PN6120.R2 B35 C.3, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Barnouw, Erik, Radio Drama in Action: 25 Plays of a Changing World, PN6120.R2 B35 C.3, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Erik Barnouw’s Radio Drama in Action: 25 Plays of a Changing World, features a play called “Japanese-Americans” written by Harry Kleiner during World War II. This play was part of a series for the Armed Forces Radio Service Education Unit. The series dealt with contributions of different cultural groups in United States history and during the war. The scripts aimed to tell the story of an American in the armed forces. It first aired in the summer of 1944 and avoided the use of stereotypical dialects to prevent the separation of groups within this play and instead, demonstrated their common interests and war efforts. At this time, there was a lot of American propaganda negatively depicting the Japanese, therefore this program was especially important to understanding how Japanese-Americans have contributed to the welfare of the United States.

 

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Chan, Irene, Asian American ? project, N7433.4.C415 .A85 2009, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Asian American ? project by Irene Chan features 35 cards with topics pertaining to the Asian-American experience in the United States such as Asian stereotyping regarding gender, class, and race. A few cards review the question, “Where are you really from?” which is a common question asked to many Asian Americans and other minority groups. As many, including Frank H. Wu, has pointed out, this question represents the idea that individuals who do not “look American” or white, are automatically placed in a category of being a foreigner.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information:

C-SPAN interview with Frank H. Wu, author of Yellow: Race in American Beyond Black and White.

Catalog records for:

Yellow: Race in American Beyond Black and White

Radio Drama in Action: 25 Plays of a Changing World

Asian American ? Project

If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment with Special Collections Research Center at George Mason University, contact us at speccoll@gmu.edu.