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1.

Birth of a Language [electronic resource]

Melvyn Bragg begins the story of English in Holland, finding ancestral echoes in the Frisian dialect. What follows is a chapter on survival as the English language weathers Viking and Norman invasions, vying with and eventually absorbing rival tongues. Lively settings such as village pubs and markets bring home the lasting influence of Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Old French. The connection between Christianity, Latin, and an alphabet is explored, as well as the role of the language's first champion, King Alfred the Great. Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney reads from and discusses the first epic in English, Beowulf.
Online
2006; 2003
2.

The Art of Departure [electronic resource]

This film explores the plight of artists from around the world who have come to America, drawn to the possibilities of a free society. The film profiles Taiwanese dancer Fang-Yi Sheu, now the star of the Martha Graham Dance Company; Russian artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, who fled the oppression of the Soviet Union; and examines an array of struggling artists and intellectuals who fled fascism in the 1930s, including celebrated conductor Arturo Toscanini.
Online
2005
3.

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: Decoding the Campaigns

We are saturated with deceptive political advertising, aided and abetted now with spending by citizens, corporations, and super PACs that seem to know no bounds. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers asks political communication expert and master media decoder Kathleen Hall Jamieson to separate fact from fiction in the national campaigns thus far. Jamieson runs the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, including the sites FactCheck.org and FlackCheck.org.
Online
2012
4.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Franco Sacchi - This Is Nollywood

The key to a healthy society is a thriving community of storytellers." Franco Sacchi's film This Is Nollywood represents one of the most compelling and profound stories of Nigeria's massive homegrown film industry, reputed to be the third-largest worldwide. The Zambia-born, Italy-bred documentary filmmaker says this is an irresistible story for anyone interested in self-generated storytelling and commerce in the developing world. Providing viewers with a guided tour through Nollywood, including the guerilla filmmaking and brilliance under pressure from crews that can shoot a full-length feature in a week, Sacchi gives a behind-the-scenes look in this inspiring TEDTalk.
Online
2008
5.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Scott McCloud - Understanding Comics

If not for Scott McCloud, graphic novels and webcomics might be enjoying a more modest Renaissance. The flourishing of cartooning in the '90s and '00s, particularly comic-smithing on the Web, can be traced back to his major writings on the comics form. His book Understanding Comics, a comic book about comics, has been translated into 13 languages and has made him an evangelist for comics as a valid literary form. McCloud coined the term "infinite canvas" for the new comics medium made possible with Web browsers. In this fun TEDTalk, McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures. This captivating look at the magic of comics will prove to viewers why McCloud's admiring fans includ [...]
Online
2009
6.

TV Iraqi Style [electronic resource]

For more than 20 years, Iraqi television was dominated by one familiar, heavily-moustached face. But since the fall of Saddam Hussein, propaganda films have been replaced by offerings such as "Iraqi Pop Idol" and "Labor and Materials" - a property makeover show that rebuilds bombed-out homes - and thanks to night curfews, a population too frightened to leave their houses, and the advent of satellite TV, viewing figures are booming. This program traces the development of television in Iraq, from government-sponsored programming to contemporary entertainment channels featuring home-grown soaps and reality TV.
Online
2006
7.

2nd Verse [electronic resource]: The Rebirth of Poetry

Set in and around Oakland and San Francisco, this film examines urban teen life in the Bay Area through the rising popularity of poetry and spoken word. Youth performers include Emiliano Bourgois-Chacon, San Francisco's Youth Poet Laureate, who reveals what it's like to live with a physical disability; Meilani Clay, who voices her political and personal beliefs regarding race, body image, and family; San Francisco Youth Speaks slam champion Shannon Matesky; Yosimar Reyes, who explores the immigrant experience and personal challenges of race and sexuality; and George Watsky, who expresses his concerns about equality and privilege. Adult performers are also featured, including Marc Bamuthi Joseph, James Kass, Aya de Leon, Abiodun Oyewole, Raquel Topete, Saul Williams, and Ruben Zamora. [...]
Online
2007
8.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Thelma Golden - How Art Gives Shape to Cultural Change

Thelma Golden, curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, talks through three recent shows that explore how art examines and redefines culture. The "post-black" artists she works with are using their art to provoke a new dialogue about race and culture - and about the meaning of art itself.
Online
2010
9.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Eli Pariser - Beware Online "Filter Bubbles"

As Web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: we get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
Online
2011
10.

Alexander McQueen [electronic resource]: Masters of Style

As one of the brightest stars on the British fashion scene, the late Alexander McQueen pushed the limits of what's possible while sparking a good deal of controversy along the way. During the early years, his provocative shows were confrontational enough to qualify as performance art, but underneath the showmanship McQueen was a master technician with an imagination that catapulted his career from the raw edginess of London to the aristocratic atelier of Hubert de Givenchy in Paris. Filmed in 2003, this program traces McQueen's career as it was rising to ever-greater heights.
Online
2003
11.

Toyland [electronic resource]: Case Studies in Creative Entrepreneurship

Held annually in New York City, the American International Toy Fair attracts thousands of inventors and designers hoping to find corporate backing for their fanciful, often far-fetched prototypes. This mammoth trade show is crucial for the creative entrepreneur who dreams of producing a successful toy or game - but it's only one in a long line of hoops to jump through, as inventor Tim Walsh discovers while pitching and developing his Crazy Chins novelty concept over several months. Viewers follow Walsh on a frustrating yet ultimately rewarding journey, from a fruitless early meeting with Hasbro to seeing packaged versions ready for store shelves - although they're far different than his original idea. Combined with Walsh's story are numerous interviews with toy industry legends: Bett [...]
Online
2010
12.

Dolce & Gabbana [electronic resource]

Sex and celebrity, sacrilege and excess, trash, flash, and glamour drizzled with drama, scandal, and contradiction. It has all worked wonders for Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, and the celebration of all things wild and wonderful has not only made them multimillionaires - it has also turned them into fashion figureheads for 21st-century Italy. This program introduces viewers to the irreverent and irresistible Dolce & Gabbana.
Online
2003
13.

Jean Paul Gaultier [electronic resource]

Jean Paul Gaultier is the quintessential bad boy of French fashion and one of the industry's most flamboyant characters. His Gallic charm and tongue-in-cheek witticisms are reflected in collections that are as full of fantasy as they are of classical poise. This program profiles the fashion designer who put men in skirts and introduced lingerie as a fashion statement - a darling of the celebrity firmament with Madonna and Björk as two of his faithful followers. Yet in spite of all his outrageousness, Gaultier is a consummate French original who delights in mixing classic design with the avant-garde.
Online
2003
14.

John Galliano [electronic resource]

Madness, delirium, and decadence - these are words that have attached themselves to John Galliano, whose sensibilities combine a reverence for the past that springs naturally from his Spanish roots and a sense of theater sharpened by his English upbringing. This program profiles the controversial fashionista, who has made a career of fashion "moments" ranging from a London graduation show in 1984 to couture work in Paris for Christian Dior. Over and over again, Galliano has proved how much more there is to fashion than mere clothes.
Online
2003
15.

Michael Kors [electronic resource]

In the fashion world-a novelty-crazed world with a notoriously short attention span-a moment is an incandescent flash, an unforgettable collision of style and substance that announces a designer's arrival. The Michael Kors moment has been 20 years in the making: two decades of orchestrating dozens of runway shows, sketching thousands of garments, fitting countless collections, and experiencing a million ups and downs along the way. This program introduces viewers to an icon of American style who has steadfastly charted his own course, refusing to be swayed by fads.
Online
2003
16.

Valentino [electronic resource]

We are used to the idea of the celebrity designer-thanks, largely, to Valentino Garavani, who is arguably the prototype. A ruler in the world of fashion for decades, he became entirely identified with the lifestyle of his rich and famous clientele to the point where the women he dressed-Jackie O and Elizabeth Taylor, to name only two-became known as "Val's Gals." This program offers a retrospective of the life and career of the ineffably chic fashion designer known simply as Valentino.
Online
2003
17.

Australia's Aborigines [electronic resource]

Many anthropologists believe that Australia's indigenous traditions make up the oldest surviving culture in the world. At the heart of this culture is a robust oral tradition and a belief system based upon reverence for the land, and for the spiritual dimension known as the Dreamtime. Composed of several different groups, each with a distinct set of customs and traditions, the Australian Aborigines are nevertheless linked by many linguistic and cultural similarities. This classic program ushers viewers into their ancient culture as tribal elders transfer knowledge of the old ways to what may be the last traditional Aboriginal generation.
Online
2010; 1988
18.

Bhutan [electronic resource]: The Height of Happiness?

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan is hidden away in the Himalayas and dwarfed by its giant neighbors, India and China. While the rest of the world pounds the treadmill of economic development, Bhutan has continued on its alternative path, pursuing the ultimate goal for its people: happiness. For centuries, its benevolent kings ignored technological advances, seeking to protect their people from outside influences. Then, overnight, 47 satellite stations began broadcasting in the country. The impact on the sheltered society has been profound. Following a surge in teenage violence, the government decided to ban all channels considered to be a dangerous influence on their peaceful way of life. This documentary examines Bhutan's quandary: Can the nation's mythical spiritual principles withstand [...]
Online
2008
19.

Kites [electronic resource]: The Story of Kabul's Young Video Producers

Kites tells the story of Kabul's budding young video producers. Through a combination of the students' videos and their mentor Jacek Szaranski's artful camera work, this film looks at the use of video and high tech in a world usually associated with war and arch conservatism. Under the Taliban, it was forbidden to show pictures of human beings, let alone for young women to operate video cameras. The documentary introduces young Afghans and shows their skill with their cameras. Interestingly, they don't film barbed wire or military bases. Instead, they focus their lenses on their daily lives. They show their neighbors and children flying kites. The result is a film at times funny and at others sadly moving.
Online
2008
20.

Monsters From the Id [electronic resource]: Anxiety and Optimism in 1950s Science Fiction

It was the era of McCarthyism, the Korean War, and nightmares of nuclear oblivion-but, as this documentary illustrates, the 1950s also witnessed a surge of optimism and confidence in America that figured prominently in the period's science fiction cinema. Interweaving clips from over thirty classic movies, the film describes the emergence of a distinctly 20th-century archetype, the Modern Scientist, which emboldened an uncertain nation to face new challenges head-on. Chief among these was the 1957 launch of Sputnik, a principal catalyst in the international space race and a paradigm shift in the way Americans imagined space travel. Commentary on the decade's scientific and sociological transformation-and on America's shortcomings in science and technology today-comes from Homer Hicka [...]
Online
2009