Events
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Nguyen is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

  • Tonya Foster

    Sep 21| Lectures
    More

    Poet Tonya Foster is the author of the collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court. Her work has appeared in nocturnes, Callaloo, Traffic, Gulf Coast, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, NYFA Quarterly and The Poetry Project Newsletter. A co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing Through Visual Art, Foster teaches at California College of the Arts and lives in the Bay Area.

  • Opening Reception

    Sep 24| Special Event
    More

    New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum’s work has situated itself as a hybrid of painting, sculpture, and installation over a career spanning 30 plus years. Exploring the intricacies of color, Apfelbaum weaves her way, both literally and conceptually, through ideas of Minimalism, Pop aesthetics, and Color Field painting to blur the lines between two and three dimensional art making.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with Connie Butler, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • John Keene

    Oct 05| Lectures
    More

    John Keene is the author of the novels Annotations and Counternarratives, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst's novel Letters from a Seducer. The recipient of a Whiting Award, Keene has been a member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and a Cave Canem fellow. He has served as the managing editor of Callaloo and taught at Northwestern. He currently teaches at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in New York.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with David Pagel, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • Renee Gladman

    Oct 19| Lectures
    More

    Renee Gladman is the author of eight books of prose and poetry, including the Ravicka triology, published by Dorothy (Event Factory, The Ravickians, and Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge). Other titles include Arlem, Not Right Now, Juice The Activist, A Picture Feeling, and Newcomer Can't Swim. Since 2004, she has been the publisher of Leon Works, a perfect bound series of books of experimental prose, and also has edited the Leroy chapbook series.

O-Tube

Cultural Studies

Course No Longer Offered


Step 1:

If you need to learn the basics of research, visit the Research HowTos section for tutorials covering various aspects of using the Otis library and research tools.

Step 2:

One place to begin your research is to get a broad overview of of your topic. Try one of Otis's online subscription encyclopedias or dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary or World Folklore and Folklife. Just finding the history or origins or words like tattoo or Eucharist could generate many ideas for projects. Note: You will need to think of alternative terms for your subject. For instance, when you don't find lowriders, try  low ridersautomobileshot rods, or  car culture.

Sometimes you may have to turn to actual books for the best information. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover a wealth of valuable, reliable, and academically-oriented material there. Here are four specialized encyclopedias to get you started:

Located in the Reference Section

GR
550
A77
 
Folk and Fairy Tales: A Handbook 
GR
35
F63
 
Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art
GT
4803
F65
 
Folklore of American Holidays
E
169.1
H2643
 
Handbook of American Popular Culture
E
184
A1
G14
 
Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America
BL
304
D577
 
Myth: A Handbook

Step 3:

Definitely try the OPAC (Library Catalog). Do a keyword search first to get an overview of what books are in the Otis Library, if any. Use only one word at a time and then try different searches using synonyms or related words. Through the OPAC, you may also discover alternate terms that you can use in searching other larger databases.

Step 4:

Find a journal article or two. Start with OmniFile. It's a new database at Otis and has full-text for thousands of magazines and journals covering the area of folklore among other areas. Try a keyword search. If you get too many hits, limit the results to a subject search. Some of your results will be bibliographic citations to journals that Otis Library does not carry. If you want to check our holdings click on this link to the Magazine Holdings List. If Otis doesn't have it, you may be able to find it through another library. If you want to limit your results to only those results for which the full-text is available online, there is a button for that function on the top of the Wilson Omni results page.

Check out the Databases page for more resources.

Step 5:

Search for a content-rich academic/educational websites. Pages ending in .org or .edu may be the best ones, but make sure the author is not a student doing a class assignment or that the page is not simply a course syllabus.

Unless you know exactly what you want to find and are clear on synonyms and alternative terms, you may want to try a directory like ipl2. As search engines go, this is an extremely tiny one. However, each website listed has been carefully selected and reviewed. You'll retrieve the best of the web with the infomercials and junk will be filtered out. Another good directory to scholarly web resources is Infomine. Check out our page on other search engines.

Put in a very broad term like folklore or myth or popular culture. You'll probably get several websites which may, in fact, be free databases that you can browse for ideas. It's a fascinating, but focused way to learn about subjects new to you.

Step 6:

Your instructors will ask that you create a bibliography using the Chicago or MLA Style. Here's a page that covers citing: Citing Sources. Be aware that citing web sources and online databases requires you to indicate the date you accessed it and the name of the provider of the database.

Also, paste your paper into Grammarly. It wiill help you to make sure nothing is plagiarized.

Remember: Librarians are your friends. Ask for reference assistance at any time...

Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist