A&S Faculty News
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Kingston on Declining Bat Numbers
Tigga Kingston, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, wrote a Perspectives article in Science magazine, asking, "Can we protect island flying foxes?" Kingston and co-authors Christian E. Vincenot from Kyoto University and F. B. Vincent Florens from University of Mauritius hope to promote conservation action and research on the bats to halt further declines. "Island flying foxes were recognized as a group of conservation concern more than 30 years ago when intense hunting and commercial trading of species on Pacific islands precipitated the extinction of at least one species, the endemic Guam flying fox, and led to dramatic declines in others," Kingston told Texas Tech Today in a March 30 story about the animals' plight. "Thirty years later, flying fox populations on islands are still declining because of hunting and habitat loss, and new issues, notably conflict between bats and fruit growers over crops, have arisen." (Photo of Mauritius Fruit Bat. Credit: Jaques de Speville)
Kendall to Study Monarch Needs
Ron Kendall, Professor of Environmental Toxicology at The Institute of Environmental & Human Health (TIEHH), has received a $180,817 grant from chemical producer BASF to research the habitat needs of monarch butterflies. The population of this migratory species has declined and estimated 90 percent or more over the past 20 years, and one of the major factors in that decline is attributed to habitat loss, according to a March 29 story in Texas Tech Today. Some estimates show the butterflies have lost more than 165 million acres of their natural habitat—that's roughly the size of Texas. Kendall will be collaborating with the University of Arkansas and the University of Minnesota, also funded by BASF grants. "We're looking at a variety of plant issues as well as monarch utilization of those plants," Kendall told Texas Tech Today. "A plant particularly important to the monarch is milkweed; it's critical to their reproduction. A variety of flowering plants are also important. So we're looking at a variety of issues, with questions of habitat but also environmental contaminants and other risks to the species." Research already has begun and is expected to last several years. "This research involves a better understanding of monarch needs, particularly the kinds of plants they need, both in their spring migration and fall migration, to facilitate their survival and reproduction," Kendall said, adding that Texas is critical to the monarchs because of their migration patterns. "Various populations of these monarchs move through various parts of the United States, but the most important and major movement is from their wintering grounds in Mexico through Texas," Kendall said. "If things aren't good in Texas as they're moving north for their spring reproduction, they're probably going to suffer the rest of the year." Through its research-based initiative Living Acres, BASF is focused on the monarch because of its effects on agriculture. As a pollinator of fruits, nuts and vegetables, monarchs play a vital role in the ecosystem and economy. Because of this, BASF hopes to encourage farmers to plant milkweed in non-cropland areas, such as ditches, roadsides, alleyways and border areas, to help increase monarch numbers. Milkweed is the only plant monarch butterfly larvae feed on, so it's a critical element in their life cycle. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is currently conducting an assessment to determine whether the monarch butterfly should be protected under the Endangered Species Act, but a ruling is still years away. A decision on the listing is expected in June 2019.
Bradatan, Hayhoe Talk on Migrants
Cristina Bradatan, Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work; and Katharine Hayhoe, Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the TTU's Climate Science Center, were quoted in the March 29 Daily Toreador story: "Climate Change May Increase Immigration Problems." Bradatan was quoted in the story as saying that in the past, people from Mexico came to the United States for economic reasons. "Now, what's happening with climate change is that climate change will affect the amount of rain that the land receives." The result: a population on the move, very likely migrating to places like the United States where they already have connections to a network of people who can help.
Swingen Gets NEH Endowment
Abigail Swingen, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History, has received a $6,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as a summer stipend for her research project, "The Financial Revolution and the British Empire During the 17th and 18th Centuries." In an April 19 article published in Texas Tech Today, Swingen said her book's major contribution will be the connections it makes between economic transformations and developments related to Britain's early modern empire. "For example, the development of overseas trading companies as investment opportunities, such as the East India Company, the Royal African Company and the South Sea Company, was intimately connected to imperial expansion, overseas trade and colonial settlement. This indicated a level of understanding of a world beyond London on the part of investors." Her award was announced March 29, along with those of 207 other NEH grant recipients. Swingen is author of "Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire" (Yale, 2015).
Koch's Tattoo Study in Op-Ed
Jerome Koch, Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, was referenced in a newspaper opinion piece about tattoos: "Companies Need to Respect Tattoos," published March 28 in the Missourian Reporter. The writer of the opinion piece supported the emotional and artistic value that tattoos hold for the Millennial generation and argued that employers should not "penalize job-searching college graduates for their artistic creativity" by refusing to hire those with visible tattoos. Koch was cited for his study "Body Art, Deviance, and American College Students." The writer used Koch's research findings—that individuals who have heavy ink done are more prone to having involvement in illegal drug use and binge drinking—as an example of information that perpetuates a prejudice against hiring "inked young adults."
Hayhoe One of 'Greatest Leaders'
Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was the focus of a March 27 Texas Tech Today story about her being named to the list of Fortune Magazine's World's Greatest Leaders. "My work may defy some stereotypes about the politics of science and religion," Hayhoe told Texas Tech Today. "By defying stereotypes, my hope is that this creates the opportunity for all of us to consider what we truly value and to align our attitudes and decisions with the values that define us." Hayhoe ranked No. 15 on the list of 50 people that included Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein (No. 1), Pope Francis (No. 3), and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (No. 10).
Zdenek Closed-Captioning Awarded
Sean Zdenek, Associate Professor in the Department of English, won the 2017 Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication award for his title, "Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture" (University of Chicago Press, 2015). The award was presented by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in March. Zdenek teaches graduate and undergraduate students of Technical Communication & Rhetoric through courses in disability studies, web accessibility, document design, sound studies, report writing, multimodal composition, developing instructional materials, style, and rhetorical criticism.
Moore Wins Nell Ann Picket Award
Kristen Moore, Assistant Professor in the Department of English, won the 2017 Nell Ann Picket Award for Best Article in Technical Communication Quarterly. The award, granted by the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW), was for the article, "Disrupting the Past to Disrupt the Future: An Antenarrative of Technical Communication," published in Volume 25.4, 2016. Moore teaches courses in Technical Communication & Rhetoric and shares the Nell Ann Picket Award with co-authors Natasha Jones, assistant professor at the University of Central Florida, and Rebecca Walton, assistant professor at Utah State University.
Perkins Talks About Gorsuch
Jared Perkins, visiting professor in the Department of Political Science, was quoted in a March 20 FOX-34 news piece about the Senate confirmation hearings of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, nominated by President Trump to the Supreme Court. Perkins was quoted as saying that he thought the hearings would center on the judge's prior cases, rather than his overall belief system, in order for the senators to get an indication of how Judge Gorsuch would rule in cases that would come before the Supreme Court.
Ramkumar on Cotton for Oil Spills
Seshadri Ramkumar, professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology/The Institute for Environmental & Human Health (TIEHH) and head of TTU's Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory, was featured in three in-depth stories about his group's research on the uses of low-grade cotton. On March 20, the Daily Toreador published "Cotton Cleanup: Raw Cotton Found to Be Best for Oil Spill Remediation." That article reported that Ramkumar's lab had found that unprocessed cotton straight from the bale was most efficient in absorbing oil from water. On March 5, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal quoted Ramkumar as saying that low-grade cotton is more absorbent than fully matured cotton and that, when used in a loose form, its ability to absorb oil is superior to textile-grade cotton—and preferable to synthetic materials because it is biodegradable. That story followed a Feb. 27 story in Texas Tech Today that, in addition to describing the technical attributes of low-grade cotton, focused on the collaborative efforts of the research, which included the Department of Mechanical Engineering; the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in New Orleans; and the budding research assistance of Ronald Kendall Jr. and Luke Kitten, who were seniors at Coronado High School and Lubbock's Trinity Christian High School, respectively, during the study.
Patterson on Amarillo Government
Dennis Patterson, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, was quoted in a March 18 article about Amarillo city government that ran in the Amarillo Globe-News. The story told how Amarillo (population 196,000) is the only Texas city of its size to have so few city council members: it only has four, all of whom serve a two-year term and come up for re-election at the same time. Patterson was quoted in connection with the possibility, or perhaps lack thereof (the article was vaguely worded), of term lengths, limits, and council size being changed.
Presley Tracking Zika Risk in Texas
Steve Presley, professor of immunotoxicology in the Department of Environmental Toxicology and director of TTU's Biological Threat Laboratory, was interviewed for a March 15 KAMC-TV news piece, "TTU Researchers Tracking Potential Zika Risks." Presley is one of the entomologists working with the Texas Department of State Health Services to identify, control, and prevent Zika in the state. KAMC-TV reported that two types of mosquitoes, aedes albopictus and aedes aegypti, can carry Zika virus, and state records show that one or both of those types have been found in the following Panhandle-South Plains counties: Oldham, Potter, Randall, Donley, Swisher, Briscoe, Hall, Childress, Bailey, Hale, Motley, Cottle, Cochran, Lubbock, Crosby, Dickens, Terry, Borden, Scurry, and Fisher. "Because most of those counties are rural, we weren't sure if we'd find them or not, because both of those species of mosquitoes are considered backyard breeders," Presley told the television station, adding that a mild winter and a warm, early spring may lead to an intense mosquito season for the South Central U.S. The report quoted Presley as saying that the next step in public health mosquito research is to see how the mosquitoes respond to or resist the pesticides that cities are using to treat them.
Maccarone Uses Radio Waves
Tom Maccarone, associate professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, played a part in finding a star that orbits a black hole twice an hour, according to a March 13 Texas Tech Today story. Astronomers knew about this "binary," but by scanning for radio waves — a research method Maccarone pioneered — they now think that the X9 binary, located in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, may be an accreting black hole orbited by a white dwarf.
Chatterjee Findings Republished
Sankar Chatterjee, professor in the Department of Geosciences and Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of Texas Tech University is on an international team of scientists who have discovered that Cretaceous-era birds possessed a vocal organ that allowed them to make noise. The organ, called a syrinx, was found in an Antarctic fossil. So far, scientists have not found a similar organ in dinosaur remains from that era. Findings were republished March 12 in Military News from Nature (Oct. 12, 2016).
Milam in New York Times
Ron Milam, associate professor in the Department of History and interim director of Texas Tech's new Institute for Peace and Conflict, and three History graduate students, have written articles for the New York Times series, "Vietnam '67." The scholars are featured in a March 10 Texas Tech Today story about their work. Milam's article, "1967: The Era of Big Battles in Vietnam," kicked off the series when it published Jan. 10. It was followed on Jan. 17 by "As the Earth Shook, they Stood Firm," written by History doctoral candidate Hai T. Nguyen, who grew up in Vietnam. History doctoral candidate Amber Batura, a first-generation college student from Ozona, Texas, wrote "How Playboy Explains Vietnam," which published Feb. 28. Another first-generation college student and history doctoral candidate, Carie Nguyen, is writing about American soldiers' attitudes toward their allies, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam; her article will publish this summer.
Mechref Interviewed in Video
Yehia Mechref, professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Director of Texas Tech University's Center for Biotechnology & Genomics, was interviewed about his breast-to-brain cancer research by TTU's managing director of Communications & Marketing Chris Cook. The video, posted on Facebook March 9, follows Cook as he picks up Mechref by golf cart and takes him for coffee and a chat.
Dhurandhar in Consumer Reports
Emily Dhurandhar, assistant professor of Kinesiology in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, was quoted in an MSN.com story, originally published in Consumer Reports March 8, 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.
Hayhoe Listed as World-Changer
Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, is one of many female scientists interviewed for the March 8, EcoWatch article, "These 76 Women Scientists Are Changing the World." The story takes up the problem of female leadership in STEM and what Hayhoe describes in the article as lifestyle and family changes that present a particular sticking point between the genders in STEM.
Weiss Leads Tornado Chase in U.S.
Chris Weiss, associate professor of Atmospheric Science in the Department of Geosciences, is leading a team of TTU researchers on a congressionally mandated tornado hunt. Weiss' group is in the American Southeast—a part of the nation where the terrain makes it harder to warn of deadly tornadoes—from March 8 through May 8. They'll collect meteorological data in hopes of determining the specific conditions that produce tornadoes in that region of the country. Their project is the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment-Southeast, or VORTEX-SE. The four-member team will deploy several platforms, including StickNets, weather balloons, and lightning mapping array sensors. "There's a lot of theories about what the environment does to influence the development of tornadoes, so we're going to try to make those measurements," Weiss told Texas Tech Today in a March 7 story. Texas Tech's part in the research also was mentioned in a WHNT (Huntsville, Ala.) news feature March 21.
Hayhoe's Climate Projections Cited
Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was referenced in a March 3 Austin American-Statesman article about Austin's Climate Protection Plan. The story pointed to Hayhoe's 2014 research via ATMOS Research & Consulting, "Climate Change Projections for the City of Austin."
Swingen Gets Huntington Grant
Abigail Swingen, associate professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History, has received a travel grant from the Huntington Library to conduct research in the United Kingdom this summer. The travel grant comes with a $3,000 stipend to support the costs of one month of research. Swingen will use the grant to conduct research in London for her current book project, "The Financial Revolution and the British Empire," a project that explores the connections between the profound social and economic changes associated with Britain's Financial Revolution in the late 17th century and the origins of Britain's Atlantic empire and how contemporaries understood and confronted financial and economic change. Steve Hindle, W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at the Huntington Library, told Swingen in a congratulatory letter that these awards are highly competitive. "We had 78 applications for six places, and you are therefore to be congratulated on the excellence of your proposal," Hindle wrote. Swingen is author of "Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire" (Yale, 2015).
Ribeiro on Board of Trustees
Anna Christina Ribeiro, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the American Society for Aesthetics (2017-2020). Her area of specialization is aesthetics, particularly the philosophies of literature and poetry, and her monograph, "Beautiful Speech: The Nature, Origins, and Powers of Poetry," is under contract with Oxford University Press.
Webb Awarded Scholarship
Mark Webb, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy, was awarded a Lawrence Schovanec Teaching Development Scholarship. Webb is author of "A Comparative Doxastic-Practice Epistemology of Religious Experience" (Springer 2015). The book 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.
Hom Named Alumni College Fellow
Christopher Hom, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, was selected as a 2017 Alumni College Fellow. Hom's main areas of research are in the philosophy of language and metaethics, specifically on the topics of racial slurs, structured propositions, and normative language, generally. He also takes interest in philosophy of mind, philosophy of race, and philosophical logic.
Trindade Gets President's Award
Alex Trindade, professor of statistics in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, is the recipient of the President's Excellence in Teaching Award 2017. Along with Jose Manuel Carro Casals, Alfredo Garcia-Hiernaux, Miguel Jerez, and Sonia Sotoca, he is co-author of "State-Space Methods for Time Series Analysis: Theory, Applications and Software" (CRC Press, 2016).
Math Names Top Faculty Mentors
The Department of Mathematics & Statistics has announced its recipients of the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. They are:
Diaz on Texas 'Nationalism'
Angela Diaz, a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the Department of History, was the subject of a March 1 story in Texas Tech Today for her insights on Texas independence. Diaz is quoted as saying that Texas has constructed a unique culture and a unique mythology around independence. "The idea of an independent Texas nation, I think, is more valued today than it was in the 1830s and 1840s," Diaz told Texas Tech Today. Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836, but the new Republic of Texas didn't necessarily want to remain independent, Diaz was quoted as saying. "Texans were very invested in being annexed into the United States," she said. "Being an independent nation is very difficult, and they were heavily in debt and vulnerable to being taken over again by Mexico or several other countries interested in gaining territory in North America. Today, we have a notion of the Texas Republic as something that marks us as a different kind of place than other parts of the United States. That's one of the Texas Revolution's legacies, this cultural mythology of a frontier type place. It's really the birth of Texas culture in many ways."
Hayhoe Gives OK to Enjoy Winter
Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center was quoted Feb. 23 in News of Chicago/The Atlantic in an article that asks, "Is it OK to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change?" Given the unusually pleasant weather this February—typically winter's harshest month across the United States—those concerned about climate change may find themselves asking ethical or existential concern as well as scientific ones. Hayhoe was quoted as saying that people shouldn't hesitate to enjoy unseasonably warm days, whether or not they are caused by climate change. "It's a good example of how all of the symptoms of a changing climate are not negative. And if there is something good, then enjoying it doesn't make [climate change] any better or worse than it would be otherwise," she told the publication. "As it gets warmer, the negative impacts outweigh the positive impacts," she said. "This will first look like hotter summers, pests moving northward, and our air-conditioning and water bill going up. Having these unusual days that we really notice, it makes us more aware of how other things are changing, too."
More Faculty AchievementsCurrent Faculty News
2017 FACULTY NEWS
"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)
"New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures"
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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"Born to be Wild: The Rise of the American Motorcyclist"
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)
"Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism"
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.
"Further Studies in the Lesser-Known 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)
"A Comparative Doxastic-Practice Epistemology of Religious Experience"
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)
"Competing Vision of Empire: Labor, Slavery and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire"
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)
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)
"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)
"Estelas en la Mar: Cantos Sentimentales"
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)
"Neocybernetics and Narrative"
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)
"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.
"Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta"
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)
"Revisiting Covivencia in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia"
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)
"Latino American Wrestling Experience: Over 100 Years of Wrestling Heritage in the United States"
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)
"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)