Texas Tech University

A&S Faculty News

June 2017

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Presley on Prairie Dogs and the Plague

Steven Presley TTUSteven Presley, Professor of Immunotoxicology and Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, was interviewed in a June 28 KCBD-TV news segment about prairie dogs and the plague. The news segment reported that the New Mexico Department of Health confirmed three cases of the plague in Santa Fe County in June. Presley told the station that black-tailed prairie dogs are the primary reservoir for the plague in the Lubbock region. "Plague does occur in this area, it's just that human cases don't typically occur," Presley said during the interview. The report explained that, "When the plague occurs in a prairie dog colony, it kills 90-95 percent of the prairie dogs, and when that happens, that's when other rodents, pets, or even humans could be exposed." Presley expanded on that: "Fleas that are on those dead prairie dogs, they need a blood meal. So, they are going to come up to the surface and look for the next mammal to come by." He went on to say that infected fleas may enter the area on the back of a coyote or through a prairie dog colony, but that's no reason for overdue concern, though it's best to keep dogs and cats away from prairie dog colonies. "It's not like you're going to walk into a (an active) prairie dog colony and the fleas are all going to come running to you," Presley said, adding that active colonies raise no threats; but when spider webs appear over the burrows, that's evidence that colony has started dying off and a sign to stay away.

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Guengerich Gets Brown Fellowship

Sara Guengerich TTUSara Guengerich, Associate Professor of Spanish and Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor for Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, has been awarded a Long-Term Fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library (JCBL) in Providence, R.I. Sponsorship of research at the JCBL is highly competitive (only 12 percent of the applicants are selected) and reserved exclusively for scholars whose work is centered on the colonial history of the Americas, North and South, including all aspects of the European, African, and Native American engagement. This in-residence fellowship will afford Guengerich the opportunity to work on her book, "Daughters of the Inca Conquest: Indigenous Noblewomen in Colonial Peru," during the fall 2017 semester. The $21,000 fellowship from Brown University was announced the week ending June 2.

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Dhurandhar Talks Healthy Cereal

Emily Dhurandhar TTUEmily Dhurandhar, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, was quoted in a June 24 Yahoo! Finance story, also published in the July Consumer Reports in Health, on "How to Pick a Healthy Cereal." Dhurandhar noted in the story that whole grains are a great source of fiber and help people feel full. Those who get plenty of fiber at breakfast are "not going to be having a hunger attack mid-morning," she was quoted as saying.

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Hase Collaborated on Breakthrough

Bill Hase TTUBill Hase, a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and the Robert A. Welch Chair in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, collaborated on a study that might answer an old question in organic chemistry. In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, Hase, researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and computational and theoretical chemists at Harbin University in China showed their study of the competition between two important reactions of organic chemistry: the E2 elimination reaction and the SN2 substitution reaction. "We established, at the atomistic level, the manner in which these reaction mechanisms occur," Hase said in an in-depth story in Texas Tech Today published June 23. "It is important to understand how reactions occur at the atomistic level because these mechanisms are important in biological reactions and organic synthesis." Hase said it took about three years to complete the study. "I am happy with our results; it is the first complete atomistic study for competing E2 and SN2 mechanisms," Hase was quoted as saying.

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Hayhoe Reaches Out to Skeptics

Katharine Hayhoe TTUKatharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was interviewed by New Statesman in a June 21 article about how she works to convince skeptics that man-made climate change is a threat to Earth's future. "When I talk to people who are doubtful, I try to connect with the values they already have," the article quoted Hayhoe as saying. "The greatest myth is the myth of complacency—that 'it doesn't really matter to me.' But I would say that the second most insidious myth is that you only care about this issue if you're a certain type of person. If you're a green person, or a liberal person, or a granola person." Such stereotypes may cause climate skeptics to say, "I can't be that kind of person because that's not who I am," she explained. The article went on to describe that whether Hayhoe is speaking to city planners, water company managers, school kids or Bible believers, she reaches out to people on subjects they already feel strongly about. "I recently talked to arborists," she told New Statesman. "For them, trees and plants are important, so I connect with them on that, and say 'because we care about trees, or because we care about water or what the Bible says then let me share with you from the heart why I care about these issues because it affects something that you already care about.' My angle is to show people that they don't need to be a different person at all; exactly who they already are is the kind of person who can care about climate change."

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Sagarzazu on Venezuelan VP

Inaki Sagarzazu TTUInaki Sagarzazu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, was quoted in a June 21 article about Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami. Published by TRT Today, the article headlined, "How the U.S. Right Demonized a Venezuelan Leader," detailed how the United States Department of Treasury imposed financial sanctions on Aissami, of Syrian-Lebanese descent, for allegedly abetting drug trafficking and for allegedly being a drug lord himself. Sagarzazu was quoted in the article as saying, "I don't have specific information about Aissami, but when relatives of senior leaders have been found to be involved, then I guess anything can happen." The article explained that Sagarzazu was referring to Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, nephews-in-law of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who were arrested by the U.S. on charges of drug trafficking.

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Hayhoe Tweets About Hawking

Katharine Hayhoe TTUKatharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was one of the speakers at Starmus, a science and art festival headlined by famed physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. Hayhoe tweeted about Hawking's June 20 talk, and her tweets became part of a June 21 Vox.com article about Hawking's recommendation that the people of Earth look for other planets to inhabit.

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Stoll at Home of Frederic Church

Mark Stoll TTUMark Stoll, Professor in the Department of History, gave a lecture in Greenport, N.Y., June 17 at the Wagon House Education Center at Olana State Historic Site, home to 19th century American landscape artist Frederic Church. Stoll is author of "Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism" (Oxford University Press 2015). Stoll discussed how certain Christian denominations in the United States shaped the views of the early environmentalists, with a focus on how these ideas influenced Church's work.

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Hayhoe Interviewed on Podcast

Katharine Hayhoe TTUKatharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was interviewed in an AmericaAdapts podcast promoted June 16 by Daily Koz. Headlined, "Can Evangelical Christians adapt to Climate Change?," the news brief published select quotes from the podcast, such as, "Faith is evidence of what we don't see; science is evidence of what we do see." In episode 44 of America Adapts (subscription required), reports the Daily Koz, Doug Parsons talks with Hayhoe about the role of religion in one's attitude toward climate change, and about Hayhoe's recent activities to educate the public.

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McKee: Texas Won't Soon Turn Blue

Seth McKee TTUSeth McKee, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, was interviewed by FOX-34 television in a June 10 news story about Democrats who hope to make Texas a blue state. McKee told the TV station that although changing demographics appear to be in the Democrats' favor, he does not expect Texas to flip very soon, even though he thinks Trump is a drag on the Republicans. "I mean he wasn't a strong Republican candidate at the top of a ticket. A John Cornyn does better," McKee said on the broadcast. "So if you look at a Republican Texans can rally around, they're more likely to support them than Trump."

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Moore in Report on Infrastructure

Kristen Moore TTUKristen Moore, Assistant Professor in the Department of English, was mentioned June 7 in a National Resources Defense Council report about infrastructure improvement. One aspect of the report addressed the steps toward infrastructure projects that can cause delays, such as environmental reviews. In that regard, and according to the report, Moore found a paper that examined the work of a communications firm in the Midwest; that company reached more than 1,000 people through various activities so that they could review and respond to a large rail project. The report held that projects under environmental review were improved with public involvement.

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Presley Predicts Isolated Zika Hits

Steve Presley TTUSteve Presley, Professor in The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) and Director of the Biological Threat Research Lab, says there almost certainly will be an outbreak of Zika virus this year. "I don't know if it will be in Texas; there probably will be isolated areas where there are outbreaks," he said in a June 5 Texas Tech Today article. "I wouldn't even hazard to try to predict how many we'll see or how bad it'll be. The potential is there, though. We know that." With that in mind, Presley is preparing to launch an important statewide research project funded by a $200,000 public health grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The goal is to study the effectiveness of insecticides used throughout the state against the two mosquito species that transmit Zika virus and other diseases. On June 6, MyHighPlains.com picked up the story, with the headline: "'Can We Kill Them?' TIEHH Researcher Studying Zika-Transmitting Mosquitoes." That was followed June 8 by a KCBD-TV news segment, "TTU Researchers Beginning Zika Study That Could Help the Entire State." And on June 19, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal interviewed Presley for the article, "Texas Tech Researcher Receives Grant to Test Mosquito Pesticides in Texas Counties."

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Milam Interviewed about D-Day

Ron Milam TTURon Milam, Associate Professor of Military History in the Department of History, and Interim director of TTU's newly established Institute for Peace and Conflict, was quoted in a Jun 5 Lubbock Avalanche-Journal article about D-Day. "I think the amazing thing about the landing force is that most of them were totally untrained in combat," Milam told the AJ. "The guys that have been there, the ones that I have talked to, the veterans of it, they can hardly even describe it."

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Hayhoe: Politics and Climate Views

Katharine Hayhoe TTUKatharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was quoted in a June 2 Washington Post story, written on the heels of President Trump's announced withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, about the divide among Christians who do and do not accept climate change. "Climate change has been painted as an alternate religion," with phrases like, "Do you believe in global warming?" she was quoted as saying in the story. But, the article went on to say, Hayhoe finds that it is political affiliations, more than religious convictions, that drive evangelicals' attitudes on climate change. "Somehow evangelicalism got politicized to the point where, [for] many people who call themselves evangelicals, their theological statement is written by their political party first," she told the newspaper, which backed her statement with a 2015 analysis from the Pew Research Center that found political party identification, race, and ethnicity are stronger predictors of views about climate change beliefs than religious identity or observance.

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Williams Gets Grant for TexPREP

Brock Williams TTUBrock Williams, Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, received a total of $9,449 from The University of Texas at San Antonio for "TexPREP-Lubbock 2017." The TexPREP-Lubbock is a pre-freshman summer enrichment program for students in grades 6-12. The curriculum in math, science and engineering is designed to prepare students to major in those subjects once they enter college. The award was announced the week ending June 2. 

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Presley Lands 2 Grants from DHHS

Steve Presley TTUSteven Presley, Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology/The Institute of Environmental & Human Health, received a $200,000 grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for research on "Insecticide Resistance Testing of Texas Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus Populations." Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the two varieties of mosquitoes that can carry Zika virus and other diseases harmful to humans. Presley also received a separate $72,000 from the Texas DSHS to pursue research on "Enhanced KIKV Diagnostic Throughput Capacity." Both awards were announced the week ending June 2.

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Owen & Corsi Confirm 3rd Wave

Benjamin Owen and Alessandra Corsi are astrophysicists at TTUBenjamin Owen, Professor, and Alessandra Corsi, Assistant Professor, both Astrophysicists in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, are on the research team that has confirmed the third detection of gravitational waves and a new population of black holes. Just as in the first two detections, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) found gravitational waves, ripples in space and time, that were generated when two black holes collided to form a larger black hole. The newly discovered black hole has a mass about 49 times that of our Sun. These are collisions that produce more power than is radiated as light by all the stars and galaxies in the universe at any given time, according to a June 1 story in Texas Tech Today.

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Corsi on High-Energy Transients

Alessandra Corsi TTUAlessandra Corsi, Assistant Professor of Astronomy in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, in collaboration with research teams from the international Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH), helped reveal two unrelated high-energy phenomena that followed the third detection of a gravitational wave event, dubbed GW170104, that occurred on Jan. 4. For months, GROWTH astronomers sifted through their data hoping to find the first electromagnetic counterpart of a gravitational-wave event and, in the process, they stumbled upon two unrelated, but nonetheless curious, high-energy transients: a gamma-ray burst and a relativistic supernova, according to a June 1 Texas Tech Today story.

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Hayhoe on U.S. Pull-Out from Paris

Katharine Hayhoe TTUKatharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was quoted in a June 1 article in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal about President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. "By excluding itself, what many U.S. companies are worried about is the fact that they won't have a seat at the table anymore," Hayhoe was quoted as saying. "By opting out of this agreement, the United States is opting out of its chance to help shape the agreement in the direction it would prefer."

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Guengerich Studies Earthquakes

Sarah Guengerich TTUSara Guengerich, Associate Professor of Spanish and Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor for Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, has been awarded a TTU Catalyst research award to study the effects of natural disasters in the textual production of colonial Peru. Her project, "Moving Histories: The Earthquakes in Colonial Peru and their importance for Interdisciplinary Research" will take her back to the colonial archives of Lima and Cuzco during summer 2017. This research promises to spark future interdisciplinary dialogues between the Humanities and the Sciences.

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More Faculty Achievements

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Recent Books

"Introduction to Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport" 10th Edition


Angela Lumpkin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise & Sport Science, gives college students a wide-angle view of physical education, exercise science, sport, and the wealth of careers available in these fields in the 10th Edition of "Introduction to Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport." The textbook provides the principles, history, and future of physical education, exercise science, and sport. Lumpkin's clear writing style engages the reader while covering the most important introductory topics in this updated introduction to the world of physical education. (McGraw-Hill, July 2016)

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"New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures"

New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Counter Measures

Ronald J. Kendal, Professor of Environmental Toxicology; Steven Presley, Professor of Immuno-toxicology; and Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor of Countermeasures to Biological Threats, all from the Department of Environmental Toxicology, have co-edited the newly published textbook, “New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures.” The volume compiles a decade's worth of research through TTU's Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats, and updated many changes in the field since an earlier book, “Advances in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures,” came out in 2008. “It's not just for college students,” Ramkumar said. “It's a tool for people in the field, from first responders all the way to policy makers.” (CRC Press, February 2016)

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"Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture"


Sean Zdenek, Associate Professor of Technical Communication & Rhetoric in the Department of English, tackles the choices that closed-captioners face every day in “Reading Sounds: Closed Captioned Media and Popular Culture.” Captioners must decide whether and how to describe background noises, accents, laughter, musical cues, and even silences. When captioners describe a sound—or choose to ignore it—they are applying their own subjective interpretations to otherwise objective noises, creating meaning that does not necessarily exist in the soundtrack or the script. Zdenek approaches closed-captioning as a potent source of meaning in rhetorical analysis and demonstrates how the choices captioners make affect the way deaf and hard of hearing viewers experience media. Drawing on hundreds of real-life examples and interviews with professional captioners and regular viewers of closed-captioning, Zdenek analyzes how the way in which the audible is made visible and champions better standards for closed captioning. (University of Chicago Press, December 2015)

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"Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands"

Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands

Brett A. Houk, Associate Professor of Archaeology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, rights something of an injustice in the study of the Maya world in his "Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands." For more than a century, researchers have studied Maya ruins, primarily at sites like Tikal, Palenque, Copán, and Chichén Itzá, which have shaped current understanding of the Maya. Yet cities of the eastern lowlands of Belize, an area that was home to a rich urban tradition that persisted and evolved for almost 2,000 years, have, until now, been treated as peripheral to these great Classic period sites. The hot and humid climate and dense forests of Belize are inhospitable and make preservation of the ruins difficult, but this oft-ignored area reveals much about Maya urbanism and culture. Using data collected from different sites throughout the lowlands, including the Vaca Plateau and the Belize River Valley, Houk presents the first synthesis of these unique ruins and discusses methods for mapping and excavating them. Considering the sites through the analytical lenses of the built environment and ancient urban planning, Houk vividly reconstructs their political history, considers how they fit into the larger political landscape of the Classic Maya, and examines what they tell us about Maya city building. (University Press of Florida, 2015)

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"Human Scent Evidence"

Human Scent Evidence

Paola A. Prada, Research Assistant Professor at TTU's Institute for Forensic Science, explores novel concepts and applications of the use of human scent evidence in criminal investigations in this co-authored book. During the last decade, a significant number of scientific studies have supported the use of human scent as a biometric tool and indicator of the presence, or absence, of an individual at a crime scene. These findings even extend to conducting scent identification line-ups with suspects. "Human Scent Evidence" focuses on some of these recent advances in the use of human scent as forensic evidence and as an identifier. With examples from North and South America and Europe, this book draws upon an extensive literature review of past and current research and is enhanced with findings from the authors' own research. It concludes with a glimpse of the future direction of human scent evidence in the forensic field and its application as a biometric and diagnostic tool. (CRC Press, 2015)

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"Born to be Wild: The Rise of the American Motorcyclist"

Born to be Wild by Randy D. McBee

Randy D. McBee, Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and Associate Professor in the Department of History, traces the growth of an American subculture—and the alarm it sparked—when the stereotypical leather-clad biker emerged after World War II. And yet, in more recent years, the once-menacing motorcyclist became mainstream. McBee narrates the arc of motorcycle culture since World War II. Along the way he examines the rebelliousness of early riders of the 1940s and 1950s, riders' increasing connection to violence and the counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s, the rich urban bikers of the 1990s and 2000s, and the factors that gave rise to a motorcycle rights movement. McBee's fascinating narrative of motorcycling's past and present reveals the biker as a crucial character in 20th-century American life. (University of North Carolina Press, July 2015)

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"Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism"

Inherit the Holy Mountain, Mark Stoll, TTU

Mark Stoll, Associate Professor and Director of Environmental Studies in the Department of History, explains how religion has profoundly influenced the origins, evolution, and future of American environmentalism. Born of the house of Calvin, environmentalism took its program and acquired its moral power from the (originally) Calvinist denominations Congregationalism and Presbyterianism. Virtually all its founders in the 19th century were within a generation of a Congregationalist church. Presbyterian Progressives made conservation, parks, and forests into national causes. Lapsed Presbyterians led environmentalism's postwar rise. In recent decades other denominations, notably Baptists, Catholics, and Jews, have taken over environmental leadership. As each denomination strut its hour upon the environmental stage and exited to make room for the next, environmentalism's character and goals changed. Stoll explains why this is so, and what it means. Using biography and the histories of religion, environmentalism, art, and culture as tools, the book re-creates the mental and moral world that gave birth to the movements to conserve, preserve, and enjoy nature and to protect the environment. Finally, the book examines the contemporary religious scene and its implications for a future environmentalism.

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"Further Studies in the Lesser-Known Varieties of English"

Further Studies in the Lesser-Know Varieties of English

Jeffrey P Williams, Professor of Ethnology and Linguistics in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, is the lead editor in this volume that follows "The Lesser-Known Varieties of English" (Cambridge University Press, 2010) by documenting a further range of English varieties that have been overlooked and understudied. It explores varieties spoken by small groups of people in remote regions as diverse as Malta, Bermuda, the Netherlands Antilles, Brazil, the Cook Islands, and Palau. The varieties explored are as much a part of the big picture as major varieties, and it is the intention of this collection to spark further interest in the sociolinguistic documentation of minority Englishes in a postcolonial world. Language endangerment is a very real factor for the vast majority of lesser known varieties of English, and this book holds that documentation and archiving are key initial steps in revitalization and reclamation efforts. (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

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"A Comparative Doxastic-Practice Epistemology of Religious Experience"

Mark Webb, Texas Tech, Christianity, Buddhism, comparison, epistemology

Mark Webb, Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy, takes a theoretical enterprise in Christian philosophy of religion and applies it to Buddhism in this second volume in the Springer Briefs in Religious Studies series. Webb contends that mystical experiences can be fruitfully thought of as perceptual in kind and that they are therefore good prima facie grounds for religious belief, in the absence of defeating conditions. Webb's work goes on to explore Christian and Buddhist testimony and how the likelihood of self-deception, self-delusion, imaginative elaboration and the like constitutes a defeating condition, which is shown to have less scope for operation in the Buddhist case than in the Christian case. (Springer 2015)

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"Competing Vision of Empire: Labor, Slavery and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire"

Competing Visions of Empire by Abigail Swingen

Abigail Swingen, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, provides a new framework for understanding the origins of the British Empire in this insightful study. Swingen explores how England's original imperial designs influenced contemporary English politics and debates about labor, economy, and overseas trade. Further, by focusing on the ideological connections between the growth of unfree labor in the English colonies, particularly the use of enslaved Africans, and the development of British imperialism during the early modern period, Swingen examines the overlapping, often competing agendas of planters, merchants, privateers, colonial officials, and imperial authorities in the 17th and 18th centuries. (Yale University Press, February 2015)

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Teatro by George cole

George Cole, Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Division of Spanish & Portuguese in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, sets this Spanish-language book in Los Angeles, exploring illegal immigration and racial/class tensions as it follows two young lovers who face a society trying to tear them apart.

La indocumentada es la historia de dos jóvenes, Charles y Julia, que se enamoran perdidamente pero tendrán que enfrentarse a una sociedad que tratará de separarlos. Ambientada en Los Ángeles, la pieza explora el tema de la inmigración ilegal, la falta de comprensión del lado humano de la misma, así como las tensiones raciales y de clases que se ven tanto en esta zona como en otras regiones de los Estados Unidos. (Editorial GC; December 2014)

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"Mexican American Baseball in the Alamo Region"

Mexican American Baseball in the Alamo Region

Jorge Iber, Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and Professor in the Department of History, celebrates baseball as it was played in the Tejano and Tejana communities throughout Texas in this co-authored book. This forthcoming regional focus explores the importance of the game at a time when Spanish-speaking people were demanding cultural acceptance and civil rights in cities like San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and New Braunfels—All of which had thriving Mexican-American communities that found comfort in the game and pride in their abilities on the playing field. (Arcadia Publishing, forthcoming)

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"Estelas en la Mar: Cantos Sentimentales"

Estelas by Genaro Perez

Genaro Pérez, Professor of Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, published a book titled: "Estelas En La Mar: Cantos Sentimentales." Written in Spanish, this is Pérez's 13th book—his fifth of poetry—and covers topics of love, aging, and dementia. (iUniverse; 2014)

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"Neocybernetics and Narrative"

Neocybernetics and Narrative by Bruce Clarke

Bruce Clarke, Professor and Chair of the Department of English, declares the era of the cyborg officially over and demonstrates the potential of second-order systems theory to provide fresh insights into the familiar topics of media studies and narrative theory in his latest book. Clarke is considered a pioneer of systems narratology, and here he opens a new chapter in rethinking narrative and media through systems theory. Reconceiving interrelations among subjects, media, significations, and the social, Clarke offers readers a synthesis of the neocybernetic theories of cognition formulated by biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, incubated by cyberneticist Heinz von Foerster, and cultivated in Niklas Luhmann's social systems theory. His purview includes examinations of novels ("Mrs. Dalloway" and "Mind of My Mind"), movies ("Avatar," "Memento," and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), and even "Aramis," Bruno Latour's idiosyncratic meditation on a failed plan for an automated subway. (University of Minnesota Press, October, 2014)

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"A Conceptual Guide to Thermodynamics"

A Conceptual guide to Thermodynamics

Bill Poirier, Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, introduces a new concept in interdisciplinary pedagogy. Providing clear explanations for core topics such as entropy, and working in conjunction with over 70 standard thermodynamics textbooks used in various science and engineering fields, the book has consistently remained one of the best-selling thermodynamics titles since its release. (John Wiley & Sons, September 2014)

UPDATE: Since its release, this title garnered a rave review in the April 1, 2015, issue of Choice magazine. Choice magazine is the premier book review publication for academic librarians, published by the American Library Association.

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"Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta"

Alan Barenberg, Texas Tech, Gulag Town, Vortuka

Alan Barenberg, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, offers a radical reassessment of the infamous "Gulag Archipelago" by exploring the history of Vorkuta, an arctic coal-mining outpost originally established in the 1930s as a prison camp complex. Hiss eye-opening study reveals Vorkuta as an active urban center with a substantial non-prisoner population. It was a place where the borders separating camp and city were contested and permeable, enabling prisoners to establish social connections that would eventually aid them in their transitions to civilian life. With this book, Barenberg makes an important historical contribution to our understanding of forced labor in the Soviet Union. (Yale University Press, August 2014)

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"Revisiting Covivencia in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia"

Revisitng Covivencia by Connie Scarborough

Connie Scarborough, Professor of Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, edited this collection of articles by 18 prominent Hispanists who explore the centuries in the Iberian Peninsula when Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived in harmony with one another. The term convivencia has been applied, both inside and outside academic circles, to imply a "golden age" of multi-religious, amicable harmony. (Juan de la Cuesta-Hispanic Monographs; June 2014)

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"Latino American Wrestling Experience: Over 100 Years of Wrestling Heritage in the United States"

Jorge Iber, Book, Latino Wrestling, TTU, College of Arts & Sciences

Jorge Iber, Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and Professor in the Department of History, brings a century's worth of Spanish-speaking student wrestlers and coaches--high school, collegiate, and post-graduate--into the spotlight through 60-plus stories of individual accomplishment and triumph. (National Wrestling Hall of Fame, e-book, March 2014)

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"Memory of Blue"

Jacqueline Kolosov, TTU, Memory of Blue

Jacqueline Kolosov, Professor in the Department of English, contemplates our inner lives, the connections that bind us to each other, and the joy to be found in the everyday, in "Memory of Blue." Kolosov dedicates this third poetry collection to the late Margaret Sheffield Lutherer, who served Texas Tech for many years. Kolosov will donate 50 percent of book-sale proceeds to a local charity that rescues horses. (Salmon Poetry, February 2014)

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Browse Arts & Sciences' 2012-2013 books here.