Mason Author Series: with Helon Habila

The University Libraries, Mason Publishing,
and the University Bookstore
in conjunction with the New Leaves Festival


Author Helon HabilaHelon Habila

In a reading and booksigning of The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria

Wednesday, April 5
7:30-9:00 pm
Main Reading Room
Fenwick Library
Fairfax Campus

George Mason University’s Associate Professor of Creative Writing Helon Habila offers a compassionate and powerful account of one of the most horrific recent tragedies to occur in Nigeria: the kidnapping of 276 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in April 2014 by Boko Haram, one of the world’s deadliest terrorist group whose name translated into English means “western education is abhorrent.” Habila, a native of Nigeria, traveled to the country twice to track down some of the escaped girls and their families and reconstruct what happened on that fateful day and how the town is coping. He situates the kidnappings within the political and historical context of the rise of Islamist extremism in Nigeria, which is deeply rooted in its tragic history of colonialism.

Cover image of Chibok Girls“A dispatch from the front lines, as Habila travels to the town of Chibok, where the landscape is riddled with burned tanks and bullet holes, and vigilantes pick up the slack for the inadequate and ineffectual military….Habila incorporates vital background knowledge on the situation in Chibok and the surrounding area; as a poet, he adds sensitivity and eloquence, capturing the raw emotion of the wounded town.”
~ Publishers Weekly

Helon Habila grew up in Nigeria and is the author of three novels, Oil on Water, Measuring Time, and Waiting for an Angel. His fiction, poems and short stories have won the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel (Africa Section), the Virginia Library Foundation’s Fiction Award, and the Windham-Campbell Prize. Oil on Water was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Orion Book Award, and the PEN/Open Book Award. He is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University.


Refreshments will be provided.

The Mason Author Series is sponsored by the University Bookstore.

Participate in the International “101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication” Survey

What tools do you use in your research workflow? Web of Science or Google Scholar? Zotero or Papers? ORCID or ResearchGate? JCR or Altmetric?


Diagram of the steps of the research workflow: "Discovery, Analysis, Writing, Publication, Outreach, and Assessment"


George Mason University faculty and graduate students are invited to take this graphical survey—101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication—about research tool use. It takes about 10 minutes to complete and you can opt to receive a visual characterization of your workflow compared to that of your peer group via email.

Why participate? You will learn how your use of digital research tools compares to that of your peers, and you may discover some new tools. You’ll inform Mason’s University Libraries about what you use so that we can optimize library services and resources to suit your needs. By taking this survey, developed by librarians at Utrecht University, you are also contributing to a global effort to chart the evolving landscape of scholarly communication. The survey will investigate how tool usage varies by discipline, country, and research role. The survey will run until February 2016.

Preliminary results of this international survey, as well as the final dataset, will be posted on the 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication site. The University Libraries will also share our community’s dataset and produce a publicly available report.

The survey link above is unique to the George Mason Community. If you wish to promote the survey to scholars outside of George Mason, please direct them to


Coming Soon: The Five George Masons

Together with Gunston Hall, George Mason University Press is pleased to announce the publication of a new edition of The Five George Masons: Patriots and Planters of Virginia and Maryland, by Pamela C. Copeland and Richard K. MacMaster, to be released Fall 2015.

First published in 1975, this work tells the history of the George Mason family, from George Mason (I) who arrived in the Colony of Virginia around 1652 through George Mason (V), son of the revolutionary patriot. In tracing the family history of the Masons, Copeland provides important context for understanding the life and work of George Mason (IV), drafter of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and vocal proponent of state and individual rights.