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Reading List 2016

Reading List 2016A good book can move, mold and inform you. Allow our faculty-written publications to transport you to 19th century Britain, inspire you to explore the connections between science and religion, and prompt you to question the validity of Vegetarianism (Just read it beofre you start throwing tomatoes at us, OK?).

BUILDING DREXEL: The University and Its City 1891-2016

Richardson Dilworth, PhD, and Scott Gabriel Knowles, PhD | Politics and History

“Building Drexel” chronicles the University’s 125-year history from its founding by Anthony J. Drexel through to the present day. Richly illustrated chapters cover the architectural history of notable Drexel buildings, the role of the University in Philadelphia’s modern history, Drexel Greek life, sports — particularly Drexel’s history in the Big 5 — and each of the University’s schools and colleges. The book also documents the civil rights history of Drexel and its urban planning history in relation to the racially diverse neighborhoods it borders.

BUILDING THE COMMUNE: Radical Democracy in Venezuela

George Ciccariello-Maher, PhD | Politics

Since 2011, a wave of popular uprisings has swept the globe, taking shape in the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, 15M in Spain, and the anti-austerity protests in Greece. The demands have been varied, but have expressed a consistent commitment to the ideals of radical democracy. Similar experiments began appearing across Latin America 25 years ago, just as the left fell into decline in Europe. In Venezuela, poor barrio residents arose in a mass rebellion against neoliberalism, ushering in a government that institutionalized the communes already forming organically. In “Building the Commune,” Ciccariello- Maher travels through these radical experiments, speaking to a broad range of community members, workers, students and government officials.

SPECULATIVE BLACKNESS: The Future of Race in Science Fiction

André Carrington, PhD | English

In “Speculative Blackness,” Carrington analyzes the highly racialized genre of speculative fiction — including science fiction, fantasy and utopian works, along with their fan cultures — to illustrate the relationship between genre conventions in media and the meanings ascribed to blackness in the popular imagination. Carrington’s argument about authorship, fandom and race in a genre that has been both marginalized and celebrated offers a black perspective on iconic works of science fiction. He examines the career of actor Nichelle Nichols of the original “Star Trek” television series (who later became a recruiter for NASA), mines the productions of Marvel comics and the black-owned comics publisher Milestone Media, and interrogates online fan fiction about black British women in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the “Harry Potter” series.

A CRITIQUE OF THE MORAL DEFENSE OF VEGETARIANISM

Andrew Smith, PhD | Philosophy

Drawing on research in plant science, systems ecology, environmental philosophy and cultural anthropology, Smith shatters the distinction between vegetarianism and omnivorism. The book outlines the implications that these manufactured distinctions have on how we view food and ourselves as eaters.

ATTENTION-DEFICIT/ HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Brian Daly, PhD, and Aimee Hildenbrand ’12 | Psychology

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood disorder that can have serious consequences for academic, emotional, social and occupational functioning. However, when properly identified and diagnosed, there are many interventions for the disorder that have established benefits. This volume is both a compact “how to” reference for use by professional clinicians in their daily work, and an ideal educational reference for practice-oriented students.

THE TRUTH ABOUT SCIENCE AND RELIGION: From the Big Bang to Neuroscience

Fraser Fleming, PhD | Chemistry

Religion has influenced the development of science over the past two millennia. “The Truth about Science and Religion” tells the story of their interaction, examining the origin of the universe, evolutionary processes, Christian beliefs, the history of science, what it means to be human, and what science and religion have to say about these ideas. The book provides the historical and scientific background and the philosophical insight needed to think through issues of science and religion and their influences on personal beliefs.

REIMAGINING (BIO)MEDICALIZATION, PHARMACEUTICALS AND GENETICS: Old Critiques and New Engagements

Susan Bell, PhD | Sociology

In recent years, medicalization — the process of making something medical — has gained considerable ground and a position in everyday discourse. In this multidisciplinary collection of original essays, the authors consider how issues around medicalization have developed, ways in which it is changing, and the potential shapes it could take in the future. They develop a unique argument that medicalization, biomedicalization, pharmaceuticalization and geneticization are related and co-evolving processes, present throughout the globe.

A DEAD COW, MILKSHAKES, HYPER-MASCULINITY AND JINN: Stories from Fieldwork in Somalia

Anthony Glascock, PhD | Anthropology

Anthropology is a narrative discipline, and Glascock has always used stories from his research to illustrate important points in class. The problem is that students often remember the stories, but not always the point the story illustrates. In this book, Glascock starts with the stories from his research in Somalia and uses them to draw out the important points, rather than the other way around. It’s a different approach, but one that is quite effective.

GOD’S BREATH HOVERING ACROSS THE WATERS

Henry Israeli | English

“god’s breath hovering across the waters” begins with the story of Arthur Penzias’s discovery of the echo of the Big Bang through a cryogenic microwave receiver and from there explodes into a meditation on the untimely and tragic death of the author’s mother. Memories, history, war, science, horror movies, space exploration and the RCA dog are just some of the subjects that expand and contract, intersect and repel, throughout the arc of this poetry collection.

THE OBJECTS AND TEXTURES OF EVERYDAY LIFE IN IMPERIAL BRITAIN

Deirdre McMahon, PhD | English

Focusing on everyday life in 19th-century Britain and its imperial possessions — from preparing tea to cleaning the kitchen to packing for imperial adventures — the essays in this collection share a common focus on materiality, the nitty-gritty elements that helped give shape and meaning to British self-definition during the period. Each essay demonstrates how preoccupations with common household goods and habits fueled contemporary debates about cultural institutions ranging from personal matters of marriage and family to more overtly political issues of empire building.

THE CQ PRESS GUIDE TO URBAN POLITICS AND POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES

Richardson Dilworth, PhD | Politics and Public Policy

If the old adage that “all politics is local” is even partially true, then cities are important centers for political activity and for the delivery of public goods and services. U.S. cities are diverse in terms of their political and economic development, demographic makeup, governance structures and public policies. Yet, there are some durable patterns across American cities, too. Despite differences in governance and/or geographic size, most cities face similar challenges in the management of public finances, the administration of public safety, and education. And all U.S. cities have a similar legal status within the federal system. This reference guide will help students understand complexities such as how American cities have developed over time; how the various city governance structures allocate power across city officials and agencies; how civic and social forces interact with the organs of city government and organize to win control over these organs and/or their policy outputs; and what patterns of public goods and services cities produce for their residents.

CHATTER IN THE CALDERA: Monkeys of Bioko Island

Heidi Rader | Biology

The forests of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, have become strangely quiet. For weeks there has been no monkey chatter. In this children’s book, forest guard Cirillo and his father guide an expedition team on an adventure through the Gran Caldera Scientific Reserve to unravel the mystery of why the monkeys of Bioko Island have disappeared — and why we need to save them before it is too late.

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