What I Did During The Summer: Write
Although classes are not in session, summer is one of the busiest and most productive times of year for Occidental College faculty.
A recent survey found that at least two dozen faculty members worked on book projects that cover almost every conceivable subject: politics, history, art, science, literature, economics, international relations, and religion, among others.
That list only scratches the surface of the writing and editing now underway as other faculty research and write journal articles, book chapters, and other scholarly works. (In the sciences, most research is published in journal articles, rather than in books.) Whatever published form their work takes, Occidental faculty stress the intimate connection between research and classroom teaching.
"The link between my research in 18th-century French history and my teaching is very strong, especially for my courses on the Enlightenment and the French and Haitian revolutions," says Nina Gelbart, Anita Johnson Wand Chair in Women's Studies and professor of history. "When I spend a summer in the archives, I tell my students the kinds of things I'm looking for, and the kinds of things I find--not always the same--and how these discoveries help me modify and hone my understanding of what took place over two centuries ago."
Here's a list of some of the book projects now underway at Occidental:
Professor of American studies Arthe Anthony has completed her manuscript,Picturing Black New Orleans: A Creole Photographer's View of the Early Twentieth Century, for publication next year by University Press of Florida. This is a biography of pioneering portrait photographer Florestine Perrault Collins, who chronicled New Orleans Creole life from 1920 to 1949.
Betchen Barber, professor emerita of archeology and linguistics, is working onThe Dancing Goddesses, a book that describes the agrarian dance rituals of East Europe and traces them back, in some cases, to the first farmers of Europe in the Stone Age. It will be published by W.W. Norton.
Anthony Tirado Chase's Human Rights, Revolution, and Reform in the Muslim World, will be published by Lynne Rienner Publishers. The associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs examines whether the international human rights regime informs the nature of politics in the Muslim world today; if so, how and why; and whether this, in turn, informs changing articulations of human rights.
Lan Chu, assistant professor of diplomacy and world affairs, is working on a book manuscript titled God Is Not Dead or Violent: The Catholic Church, Just War, and the "Resurgence" of Religion in the 21st Century. The book seeks to make important contributions to our understanding of theoretical perspectives on religion and international relations (particularly on just war theory), the resurgence of religion, and peace studies.
Peter Dreier, E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, is working on his next book, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, which Nation Books is scheduled to publish early next year.
Robert Ellis, Norman Bridge Distinguished Professor of Spanish and French Literary Studies, is writing a book tentatively titled Through Spanish Eyes: Early Modern Hispanic Views of East Asia for University of Toronto Press. It deals with Hispanic writings on East Asia (Japan, China, Cambodia, and the Philippines) from the mid-16th to late 19th century.
Sharla Fett, associate professor of history, is hard at work on a manuscript provisionally titled Double Crossings: Liberated Africans in the United States and the Cultural Politics of Slave Trade Suppression for submittal to the University of North Carolina Press.
Nina Gelbart is finishing a book on six women of science in 18th-century France: an anatomist, a botanist, an astronomer, a mathematician, a field naturalist, and a chemist. This is the project for which she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006.
Thalia Gonzalez, assistant professor of politics, is working on a manuscript tentatively titled Public Interest Lawyers Tell Their Stories: Access to Justice in Los Angeles. Gonzalez seeks to develop a complex picture of public interest law practice and social justice campaigns focused on increasing access to justice for individual clients and communities. The book also seeks to depict the struggle for social change in one of the largest and most diverse cities in the country.
Amy Lyford, associate professor of art history and visual arts, is revising the final text of her new book on sculptor Isamu Noguchi, Negotiating Labor, Race, and Nation: Isamu Noguchi's Modernism, 1930-1950, currently scheduled to be published by the University of California Press next year.
Deborah Martinson, associate professor of English writing, is working on a new biography entitled Virginia Durr: Southern Radical Come Hell or High Water, the life story of a white civil rights activist who lived a life of drama and intrigue during a career that spanned almost half a century, from the 1940s to the 1990s.
Warren Montag, Brown Family Professor of Literature, English and Comparative Literary Studies, is working on two book projects. The first is The Other Adam Smith, co-authored with Mike Hill, professor of English at the University of Albany, and currently under review at Stanford University Press. His second book project is Althusser and His Contemporaries, under contract with Duke University Press.
Leila Neti, assistant professor of English and comparative literary studies, is working on a book project titled The Other Side of Love: Affective Politics in Literature of the Afro-Indian Diaspora.
Julie Prebel, assistant professor of English writing, is working on a book on women writers and science in the 19th- and early 20th-century United States.
Professor emerita of French Annabelle Rea is working on a critical edition of George Sand's 1845 novel Isidora for the re-edition of Sand's complete works by the editor Honoré Champion in Paris.
Associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs Movindri Reddy is working on a book manuscript tentatively titled Diasporas and Citizenship: Indentured South Asians and Contemporary Politics. This is a theoretical study of the 1.3 million South Asians indentured to British colonies in Africa, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
Walt Richmond, assistant professor of German, Russian, and classical studies, is writing a book tentatively called The Circassian Genocide: A Study in Historical Momentum. It describes the Russians' 100-year war against the Circassians, their deportation to Turkey, and subsequent dispersal across the Middle East.
Thaddeus Russell, adjunct assistant professor in history, American studies, and the Core program, has just started work on Blood and Freedom: A Renegade History of America Abroad, which is under contract with Grove/Atlantic. It will tell the story of American influence in the world through three interwoven arguments: that U.S. imperialism has been driven by progressive evangelism; that military intervention produces or hardens anti-American regimes; and that the diffusion of American popular culture has subverted authoritarianism globally.
Associate professor of history Lisa Sousa is writing a book on Mesoamerican women and men under colonial rule for Stanford University Press. She is using texts written by native groups of highland Mexico -- the Nahuas ("Aztecs," Mixtecs, Zapotecs, and Mixes) -- and Spaniards to trace changes in women's economic, political, and social status and the extent to which Spanish gender and sexual ideologies influenced native attitudes and practices.
History professor Marla Stone is finishing a textbook for Bedford/St. Martin's entitled The Fascist Revolution: Politics, Culture, and Society in Mussolini's Italy, and working on a monograph, The Enemy: The Politics of Italian Anti-Communism.
Kristi Upson-Saia, assistant professor of religious studies, has just started work on her second book, which explores ideas about, and representations of, wounds and scars in late antiquity. She is interested in how wounds and scars were interpreted as signs of one's identity/status and employed as rhetorical figures in conversations about orthodoxy and community.
Mark Vallianatos, policy director for the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, is working on a co-authored book on how changing streets can transform cities.
Assistant professor of sociology Lisa Wade is working on a textbook on the sociology of gender.
Xiao-huang Yin, professor of American studies, is working on a co-edited volume, A Chinese-English Bilingual Anthology of Global and Transnational Studies, to be published by Nanjing University Press and Michigan State University Press next year.
Désirée Zamorano, director of the Community Literacy Center, is working onDeadly Rage, a sequel to her mystery Human Cargo, for Lucky Bat Books.