Word of the Week: Oceanic

As in: “According to Erich Fromm, a sense of shared humanity is the most fundamental of all the experiences of love. This oceanic state encompasses feelings of care and respect along with the wish to enhance another’s life” (Scioli & Biller, 2009, p.169).

Scioli, A., & Biller, H. B. (2009). Hope in the age of anxiety: A guide to understanding and strengthening our most important virtue. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

or definitions of oceanic, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Word of the Week: Emblematic

As in: “You can go out and give everything you didn’t get to your little girl and then she can go out and give it to millions of women. That’s sort of emblematic of what women can do for each other, even if you’re not related” (Schaefer, 2018, p.199).

Schaefer, K. (2018). Text me when you get home: The evolution of modern female friendship. New York, NY: Dutton.

For definitions of emblematic, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Word of the Week: Interstitial

As in: “Such resistance exposes the intrinsic difficulties in accounting for and defining biraciality, multiethnic identifications, and other interstitial modes of being in Hawai’i that cannot be easily categorized, further revealing how such identities are necessarily complex and sometimes even contradictory” (Milne, 2018, p.191).

Milne, L. (2018). The melting pot boiled over: Hawaiian American ethnicities and self-authorship in Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Name Me Nobody and Blu’s Hanging. In Y. Mathison (Ed.), Growing up Asian American in young adult fiction (pp. 187-206).  Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.

For definitions of interstitial, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Word of the Week: Spindrift

As in: “Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge/ of driftwood along the beach, wanting!” (Rumi, 2004, p.35).

Rumi. (2004). Where everything is music. The essential Rumi (C. Banks, Trans.). San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins.

For definitions of spindrift, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

April is National Poetry Month—Find this and the works of other great poets in the display in front of the reference desk!

Word of the Week: Nepotism

As in: “However, for others, politics has been equated with corruption, nepotism, and patronage politics. For them, the struggle has been to redefine politics in a new way in order to allow women to seek political office” (Tripp, Casimiro, and Kwesiga, 2009, p.101).

 Tripp, A. M., Casimiro, I., & Kwesiga, J. (2009) African women’s movements: Changing political landscapes. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

For definitions of nepotism, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Word of the Week: Galvanize

As in: “Then, Josephine Ruffin circulated amongst subscribers to her Woman’s Era copies of a hostile letter from the white male president of the Missouri Press Association to the secretary of the Anti-Lynching Society of England, ridiculing and casting doubt upon all black women’s virtue. This letter helped galvanize black women to organize in their own defense” (Parker, 2010, p.192).

Parker, A. M. (2010). Articulating rights: Nineteenth-century American women on race, reform and the state. Dekalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press.

For definitions of galvanize, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Word of the Week: Truant

As in: “It happened I couldn’t find in all my books

more than a picture and a few words concerning

the trout lily, 


so I shut my eyes,

And let the darkness come in

and roll me back.

The old creek


began to sing in my ears

as it rolled along, like the hair of spring,

and the young girl I used to be

heard it also,


as she came swinging into the woods,

truant from everything as usual

except the clear globe of the day, and its

beautiful details.” (Oliver, 2004, p.12).


Oliver, M. (2004). Why I wake early. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

For definitions of truant, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.



Word of the Week: Impinge

As in: “The decline and fall of these civilizations, according to Toynbee, was not caused by external invasions but by internal decay. They failed to respond creatively to the challenges impinging on them. If Western civilization does not now respond constructively to the challenge to banish racism, some future historian will have to say that a great civilization died because it lacked the soul and commitment to make justice a reality for all men.” (King, 2015, p.83). 

King, M. L., Jr. (2015). The radical king. C. West (Ed.). Boston, MA: Beacon Street Press.

For definitions of impinge, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.