Posted in Books & Film News, New Books

Eight New Agnes Scott Independent Studies!


We are pleased to welcome to the shelves eight recently published independent studies!

  • Alexandra Brosius.  A Study of Bis(L-Serinato)Copper(II) Decomposition Kinetics.
  • Rebecca Cross. Demographic and Environmental Variables Associated with Cognitive Test Participation of Monkeys in Large Social Groups.
  • Andrea Harris. Sustainability and Integration in German Media.
  • Keely Lewis. *Results Not Typical, Or Leads to Unusual Outcomes.
  • Juniar Lucien. Correspondence Principle : Case Study of the Dynamics of a Classically Chaotic Water-Driven Pendulum.
  • Emily Reed. Fairy Tales for Modern Queers : A Collection about Love, Representation, and Accepting Yourself in Spite of the Thorns.
  • R. Larkin Taylor-Parker. Unruly Creature of the State : The Life and Times of Georgia’s Central State Hospital.
  • Amanda Vincent. Interactions with Infants in the Captive Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla) Family Group at Zoo Atlanta.

Congratulations to the authors!

Browse the full list of independent studies published at Agnes Scott College (with the most recent listed first) to find the work of friends, classmates, and loved ones.  All independent studies are shelved by the authors last name and are available for in-house use in the Main Reading Room.

Posted in Books & Film News, New Books

New Books! Pinterest! Say What?

Yep, that is right! McCain Library is now on Pinterest.  Go to to check out our new books and movie boards! As soon as we order a book or movie we pin it to our boards.  If you follow us you could be the first one to check out a hot new movie or book!  Yay you!

Each pin will let you click through to a description on Amazon.  Once you have decided it is something that interests you check SOPHIA, the library catalog to see where it is located in the library or pin it to your own boards to check out later.

Some books may still be on order.  If that is the case  we are sure you can sweet talk the Circulation Desk into placing it on hold for you so you are notified when it comes in.  (Of course, we want give everyone a chance at the new material so let’s just limit it to one hold at a time.)

Questions? Want to see it in action?  Check out this quick video!




Posted in Books & Film News, New Books

Dr. Rafael Ocasio’s New Book

Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo: From Plantations to the Slums

Stacks 2: PQ7382 .O26 2012 (try New Books Shelf first!)

Inspired by Cuban-American singer Celia Cruz, Dr. Rafael Ocasio diverged from the traditional tourist paths of Cuba and wandered into the Black neighborhoods of Havana in search of “real” Cuban music.  With a winning smile he easily made friends. They introduced him to music, food and to some extent the religious customs often hidden from mainstream Cuban society.  He even had his fortune told.  Fascinated, he wanted to learn more.

Not far into his research of 20th century Afro-Cuban culture, Dr. Ocasio discovered that very little scholarship on Afro-Cuban culture in the 19th century existed.  The more he dug the more he realized that heavy censorship prevented the Costumbristas, writers who capture and define regional customs, from accurately illustrating the experiences of Black slaves and freed Blacks.  Even without interference from the government, which wanted to protect the institution of slavery and control the Cuban image, few of the white male writers enchanted by the emerging Afro-Cuban culture could see beyond stereotypical images of Blacks in Cuba.

Rafael Ocasio’s latest book, Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo: From Plantations to the Slums, explores how Cuban Costumbristas reported on the African traditions in the Black slave and freed Black populations.  He highlights the common images that were used in literature and identifies the customs and characters that were left out of these portrayals of Cuban life.  Dr. Ocasio also examines how the African traditions shaped Cuban culture, especially in the musical and religious traditions of Cuba.

Students immersed in the process of researching their senior seminar topic or gathering information for their first college-level research paper may be impressed that this energetic professor spends much of his free time researching and writing.  Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo took Dr. Ocasio three years to research and write.  During the school year, he relied on texts obtainable through interlibrary loan and when classes were not in session, he traveled to libraries that possessed slave manuals, guides produced by the Catholic Church on how to evangelize to new Black slaves, and other 19th century writings about Cuba that were too fragile to travel through interlibrary loan.  Since few databases contained articles about the topics that interested Dr. Ocasio, he combed through the footnotes and the bibliographies of the works he did find so that he could discover other related sources.

Though Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo is fresh off the press, Dr. Ocasio already is on to his next work.  Collaborating with Calvin Burgamy for technical support, Dr. Ocasio is creating an iBook on Latin American cinema that will be used as a textbook for his course.  In addition, he is researching and compiling Puerto Rican folktales for an anthology.  To see the full scope of Dr. Rafael Ocasio’s work, check out the links below:

If you are ready to start learning about 19th century Afro-Cuban Culture, head the the New Books shelf in the Main Reading Room to be the first person to check out Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo: From Plantations to the Slum!