"Señor Sack: The Life of Gabe Rivera"
Jorge Iber, associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and professor in the Department of History at Texas Tech University, has published his latest sports biography, “Señor Sack: The Life of Gabe Rivera.” In “Señor Sack,” Iber chronicles the rise of Gabriel “Gabe” Rivera from his boyhood in Crystal City, Texas, to Texas Tech All-American defensive lineman — and his fall from first-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1983 to the accident during his rookie year that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Iber follows Rivera's struggle to regain a sense of purpose, despite adversity, to carve out a very different sort of success: finding meaning in helping minority youths in his community of San Antonio. This is the story of a sports legend who powered through many obstacles to make way for future generations of Latinos in American sports. Ultimately, Iber reveals that the true legacy of Gabe Rivera was not just on the football field, but also in the lives he touched with his volunteer work. Watch the video here. (Texas Tech University Press, August 2021)
"Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World"
Katharine Hayhoe, Horn Professor in the Department of Political Science and co-director of the Texas Tech University Climate Center, has authored a new book on how to discuss climate change. With the Sept. 21, 2021, publication of “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World,” Hayhoe holds that changing hearts and minds means not just spouting facts but finding shared values. Publisher Simon & Schuster says, “This is not another doomsday narrative about a planet on fire. It is a multilayered look at science, faith, and human psychology, from an icon in her field,” noting that Hayhoe recently was named chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy. Indeed, she has been hailed by The New York Times as “one of the nation's most effective communicators on climate change,” deftly navigating distrust of data, indifference to imminent threats, and resistance to proposed solutions. In “Saving Us,” Hayhoe draws on interdisciplinary research and personal stories to demonstrate how individuals can dialogue, convincingly, with friends and family on the subject of climate change. (Simon & Schuster, September 2021)
"Laurent Gaudé : Conteur, Dramaturge, Écrivain-monde"
Carole Edwards, associate professor of French and Francophone Studies in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, has published a monograph entitled "Laurent Gaudé: Conteur, Dramaturge, Ecrivain-monde" in the Revue des Lettres Modernes-Minard. This essay studies in-depth a selection of works by Laurent Gaudé through precise and varied theoretical approaches—postcolonial, novel, mythological and ecocritical—that apprehend Gaudean poetics in an imaginary redefined in the 21st century. (Classiques Garnier, Paris; December 2020)
"Expressive Morphology in the Languages of South Asia"
Jeffrey P. Williams, professor of ethnology and linguistics in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, is editor of a new book, entitled "Expressive Morphology in the Languages of South Asia", which explores the intricacies of the grammars of several of the languages of the South Asian subcontinent. Specifically, the contributors to this volume examine grammatical resources for shaping elaborative, rhyming, and alliterative expressions, conveying the emotions, states, conditions and perceptions of speakers. These forms, often referred to as expressives, remained relatively undocumented, until now. It is clear from the evidence on contextualized language use that the grammatically artistic usage of these forms enriches and enlivens both every day and ritualized genres of discourse. The contributors to this volume provide grammatical and sociolinguistic documentation through a typological introduction to the diversity of expressive forms in the languages of South Asia. (Routledge, August 2020)
"Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk"
Justin Tosi, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, explores the novel problem and dangers of self-serving moral talk in "Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk". Along with co-author Brandon Warmke, Tosi distinguishes moral grandstanding from virtue signaling and holds that such one-upmanship is not just annoying, but dangerous. As politics gets more and more polarized, people on both sides of the spectrum move further and further apart when they let grandstanding get in the way of engaging one another. The pollution of our most urgent conversations with self-interest damages the very causes they are meant to forward. Drawing from work in psychology, economics, and political science, and along with contemporary examples spanning the political spectrum, the book dives deeply into why and how we grandstand. Using the analytic tools of psychology and moral philosophy, the authors explain what drives us to behave in this way, and what we stand to lose by taking it too far. Most importantly, they show how, by avoiding grandstanding, we can re-build a public square worth participating in. (Oxford University Press, July 2020)
“Old Lands: A Chorography of the Eastern Peloponnese”
Christopher Witmore, professor of archaeology and classics in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, takes readers on an epic journey in “Old Lands: A Chorography of the Eastern Peloponnese.” Witmore weaves the tale of this most-storied region of Greece by following in the footsteps of a Roman periegete, an Ottoman traveler, antiquarians, and anonymous agrarians—reconstituting an untimely mode of ambulatory writing, mindful of the challenges we all face in these precarious times. “Old Lands” ponders the disappearance of an agrarian world rooted in the Neolithic, the transition to urban styles of living, and changes in communication, movement, and metabolism, while opening fresh perspectives on long-term inhabitation, changing mobilities, and appropriation through pollution. Jeremy McInerney, of the University of Pennsylvania, summed up “Old Lands” by saying, “[Witmore's] descriptions tumble off the page like water flowing down a winter rhevma. The best book in recent Greek archaeology.” This volume should be of particular interest to historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and scholars of the Eastern Peloponnese. (Routledge, May 2020)
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