Looking for some snow-day reading material? Snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa and indulge in one of our faculty-written fiction books, or challenge your mind with a fascinating non-fiction read.
KIRSTEN KASCHOCK, ENGLISH
Winner of the 2013 Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. “The Dottery” is a book of poetry arisen from a thought experiment: what if there was a school before birth where gender was taught?
Suzanne Davis Gets a Life
PAULA MARANTZ COHEN, PHD, ENGLISH
Suzanne Davis lounges around her tiny New York City apartment in her pajamas, writing press releases for the International Association of Air-Conditioning Engineers, listening to the ticking of her biological clock, and wondering where life is taking her. As her 35th birthday looms, Suzanne embarks on a wrong-headed, but very funny, quest — to find Mr. Right and start the family she hopes will give meaning to her life.
Women, Wellbeing and the Ethics of Domesticity in an Odia Hindu Temple Town
USHA MENON, PHD, ANTHROPOLOGY
In this ethnography of traditional, predominantly upper-caste, sequestered Hindu women in the temple town of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Menon elaborates on a distinctive paradigm of domesticity and explicates a particular model of human wellbeing among this category. Part of the growing literature in “multicultural feminism,” her book seeks to broaden the parameters of feminist discourse, going beyond questions of individual liberty or gender equality to examine the potential for female empowerment that exists in the context of these women’s lives.
Refining Expertise: How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges
GWEN OTTINGER, PHD, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
Residents of a small Louisiana town were sure that the oil refinery nearby was making them sick; they collected scientific data to prove it. While the case ended with a settlement agreement that addressed many of their grievances, it didn’t address their health concerns. Instead of continuing to collect data, residents let refinery scientists’ assertions that their operations didn’t harm them stand without challenge. What makes a community move so suddenly from actively challenging to apparently accepting experts’ authority?
The Body’s Bride
MIRIAM KOTZIN, PHD, ENGLISH
“The Body’s Bride” is a three-part poetry collection that plays with form and style to evoke the body and its interactions with the world. “A haunting book that draws the reader back into its pages again and again, without ever fully giving up its secrets,” says Rhina P. Espaillat, American poet.
Sequins & Scandals: Reflections on Figure Skating, Culture, and the Philosophy of Sport
MARILYN PIETY, PHD, PHILOSOPHY
Is figure skating sport or art? Is the judging corrupt? Why has figure skating’s popularity gone into a death spiral? These beautiful essays address these questions and more. Informed by the author’s training in philosophy and her familiarity with the work of noted dance critics, this book will help you glide effortlessly to a deeper understanding of the mysterious world of figure skating.
Writing The Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism
DEVON POWERS, PHD, COMMUNICATION
In the 1960s, a small group of journalists made it their mission to write about popular music, especially rock, as something worthy of intellectual scrutiny. Their efforts transformed the perspective on the era’s music and revolutionized how Americans have come to think, talk and write about music ever since. Powers explores this shift by focusing on The Village Voice, a key publication in the rise of rock criticism. Revisiting the work of early pop critics, she shows how they stood at the front lines of mass culture debates, challenging old assumptions and hierarchies and offering pioneering political and social critiques of the music.
Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music
CO-WRITTEN BY GRAMMY-AWARD-WINNING ARTIST ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO, AND RACHEL WENRICK, ENGLISH
Grammy-Award-winning singer Angélique Kidjo is known for her electrifying voice and fearless advocacy work. In this intimate memoir, she reveals how she escaped Communist Africa to make her dreams a reality, and how she’s prompting others all around the world to reach for their dreams as well.
Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity
MIMI SHELLER, PHD, MOBILITIES RESEARCH AND POLICY
Aluminum shaped the 20th century. It enabled high-speed travel and gravity-defying flight. It became an essential ingredient in industrial and domestic products, from airplanes and cars to designer chairs and artificial Christmas trees. It entered modern homes as packaging, foil, pots and pans and even infiltrated our bodies through food, medicine and cosmetics. In “Aluminum Dreams,” Sheller describes how the materiality and meaning of aluminum transformed modern life and continues to shape the world today.
The Sequential Intercept Model and Criminal Justice: Promoting Community Alternatives for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness
KIRK HEILBRUN, PHD, & DAVID DEMATTEO, JD, PHD, ABPP, PSYCHOLOGY
The number of individuals with severe mental illness in the criminal justice system is shockingly high. However, there is a wealth of research showing that traditional incarceration is not effective with this population and many can be rehabilitated in the community at less cost, without increased risk to public safety, and in ways that improve their opportunities for recovery. “The Sequential Intercept Model and Criminal Justice” offers an overview of recent changes in correctional policy and practice that reflect an increased focus on community-based alternatives for offenders.
The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Create Reality
DAVE GOLDBERG, PHD, PHYSICS
Why is the sky dark at night? Is it possible to build a shrink-ray gun? If there is antimatter, can there be antipeople? Goldberg speeds across space, time and everything in between to show that our elegant universe — from the Higgs boson to antimatter to the most massive group of galaxies — is shaped by hidden symmetries that have driven all of our recent discoveries about the universe and all of the discoveries to come.
Sing in Me, Muse, and Through Me Tell the Story: Greek Culture Performed
MARIA HNARAKI, PHD, GREEK STUDIES
A collection of ethnographic essays that meditate on Greece. The book investigates how ancient mythologies shape modern identities at the crossroads of East and West, while also providing an ample description of various aspects and incarnations of Greek folklore performance, such as song, literature, music and dance.
Post-Ethical Society: The Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, and the Moral Failure of the Secular
DOUGLAS PORPORA, PHD, SOCIOLOGY
We’ve all seen the images from Abu Ghraib: stress positions, U.S. soldiers kneeling on the heads of prisoners, and dehumanizing pyramids formed from black-hooded bodies. We have watched officials elected to our highest offices defend enhanced interrogation in terms of efficacy and justify drone strikes in terms of retribution and deterrence. But the mainstream secular media rarely addresses the morality of these choices, leaving us to ask individually: Is this right?