Word of the Week: Acolyte

As in: “What started as an eager correspondence developed into regular calls at Skinner Street when Shelley and his wife Harriet came to London. News of the new acolyte and his visits were sent to Mary in Scotland but the two didn’t meet for some time” (Harkup, 2018, p.41). 

Harkup, K. (2018) Making the monster: The science behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. London, England: Bloomsbury Publishing.

For definitions of acolyte, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.


2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Find out ways to join the celebration at www.frankenreads.org

Word of the Week: Liminal

As in: “In Ceremony, the hybrid or mixed-blood position is thus neither authenticated nor denied by the novel; rather, this liminal position is a source of both creative and destructive power, characteristics of almost all traditional indigenous trickster figures ” (Wilson, 2008, p.36). 

Wilson, M. D. (2008). Writing home: Indigenous narratives of resistance. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.

For definitions of liminal, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.





Word of the Week: Autochthonous

As in: “This mediation between contemporary Huichols, their sacred ancestor Kauyumarie, the sun, and Spaniards through and Indianized (and feminized) Jesus challenges attempts to distinguish separate autochthonous and Christian myth cycles, as the 1930s ethnographer Robert Zingg sought to do” (Liffman, 2009, p.200). 

Liffman, P. (2009). Huichol histories and territorial claims in two national anthropology museums. In S. Sleeper-Smith (Ed.), Contesting knowledge: museums and indigenous perspectives (pp. 192-217).  Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

For definitions of autochthonous, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.



Word of the Week: desideratum

As in: “The goal of this chapter is not to write an architectural history of archives (which remains a desideratum). Rather, its particular purpose is to highlight the inevitably physical nature of written knowledge so as to illustrate the spatial presence of archives in people’s living environment” (Friedrich, 2018, p.112). 

Friedrich, M. (2018). The birth of the archive: A history of knowledge (J. N. Dillon, Trans.). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.  

 For definitions of desideratum, consult the Oxford English Dictionary 

October is Archives month, and speaking of the spatial presence of archives, why not stop by the Emmanuel College Archives for a visit?  


Word of the Week: benediction

As in: “In the concert the audience receives both a type of benediction and a charge to take responsibility, as Santana sends forth the audience from this spiritual encounter to do good to each other and to the wider world beyond the confines of the shared experience” (Aponte, 2012, p.49). 

Aponte, E. D. (2012). Santo!: Varieties of Latino/a spirituality.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

For definitions of benediction, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

September 15- October 15 is Latin American Heritage Month. For more books like this, check out the display on top of the reference collection shelves.

Word of the Week: oscillate

As in: “The brain practically floats inside the cavity of the skull and can move and oscillate freely, often impacting the inner surfaces of the skull bones during all forms of biomechanical loading” (Omalu, 2008, p.18).  

 Omalu, B. (2008). Play hard, die young: Football, dementia, depression and death Lodi, CA: Neo-Forenxis Books.  

 For definitions of oscillate, consult the Oxford English Dictionary 





Word of the Week: Doldrums

As in:

“The dictionary tells us that the yawn is an involuntary response to fatigue and boredom. If this is true, then nature spares no expense to shake our doldrums and make sure there is never a dull moment” (Vienne, 1998, p.44). 

Vienne, V. (1998). The Art of doing nothing: Simple ways to make time for yourself.  New York, NY: Clarkson Potter Publishers.

For definitions of doldrums, consult the Oxford English Dictionary