Texas Tech University

A&S Faculty News

August 2017

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Hayhoe on Climate Change, Hurricane Harvey

Katharine Hayhoe TTUKatharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was mentioned in a story originally appearing in Climatewire and republished August 25 in Nature America/Scientific American. The article held that then-upcoming Hurricane Harvey "could prove to be one of the biggest political tests of President Trump's tenure," pointing out that this would be the first major test of "emergency management reforms installed after President George W. Bush's administration blundered disaster response when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans." The article contrasted Hayhoe's explanation that "A warmer planet causes evaporation to speed up, which means there is more water vapor in the air and leads to more intense rainfalls," with the assumption that Trump's emphasis on fighting terrorism and bolstering national security "would shift dollars to those efforts and away from disaster preparedness and response programs on which local and state governments rely." In an August 31 letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune, Rick Knight, Illinois state coordinator of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, drew from the same statement to argue that "We must let our senators and members of Congress know that if they sponsor legislation to address global warming, we will have their backs." Knight quoted Hayhoe this way: "as the world warms ... there's more water vapor for a storm to sweep up and dump now, compared to 70 years ago."

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Casadonte in Top 40 on Flipped Classrooms

Dominick Casadonte TTUDominick Casadonte, the Minnie Stevens Piper professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, has been named among the world's Top 40 educators in "flipped learning," a year after being named to the Top 100 educators in the teaching movement, according to an August 24 Texas Tech Today story. Flipped learning changes the traditional educational model—class lectures, homework and tests—to one where students watch a lecture and complete some homework problems before coming to class. Then, the in-class time is used to recap the material, answer student questions and work advanced problems. The honor was granted by the Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI). "I have been very active in flipped learning research and development since nearly the beginning of the field," Casadonte told Texas Tech Today. "I am very thankful and humbled to be included as part of a great list of educators, especially in the STEM disciplines."

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Ramkumar Says Cotton Needs New Markets

Seshadri Ramkumar TTUSeshadri Ramkumar, Professor of Nonwovens & Advanced Materials in The Institute for Environmental & Human Health (TIEHH), wrote a column published August 23 in Cotton Grower. In his column, Ramkumar stressed the importance of finding new markets and new uses for cotton. A recent meeting with some cotton leaders in India led Ramkumar to write: "It has become clear that the industry is looking into several factors such as availability of land for food vis-à-vis fiber, demand, cost, and competition from synthetics. With the largest cotton crop in 11 years predicted this season in the United States, price and demand factors will play important roles both from production and consumption points of view."

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Dhurandhar Recommends Whole Grains

Emily Dhurandhar TTUEmily Dhurandhar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, was quoted in a WINK-News article (originally published in Consumer Reports) on how to pick a healthy cereal. The article, posted online August 22, recommended that people look on the box for 100 percent whole-grain as a source of fiber. Eating fiber in the morning means "you're not going to be having a hunger attack midmorning," the article quoted Dhurandhar as saying. The article went on to report that studies have linked whole grains to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

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Morehead Interviewed from Eclipse Site

Robert Morehead TTURobert Morehead, Instructor of Astronomy in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, and Director of Texas Tech University's Preston Gott Observatory, was interviewed by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, KTTZ-FM, and One News Page while in Oregon to view the August 21 solar eclipse. "It happens somewhere on the earth about every 18 months or so. But for any one place on earth it only happens on average about once in each 300 years. And that's on average—some places on earth haven't seen one for 1,500 years," Morehead told the A-J. "But other places on earth, like for instance Carbondale, Ill., is actually in the path for this eclipse, and for the next one that's going to be viewable in the United States in 2024. So, in six years, it's going to get two total eclipses, which is pretty awesome." The A-J article went on to quote Morehead as saying of the 2024 eclipse: "It's going to skirt past San Antonio and Austin, and it's going to go right over Dallas."

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Estreicher Lectures on History of Wine

Stefan Estreicher TTUStefan Estreicher, Horn Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, gave a lecture on the beginnings of wine and viticulture August 20 at Pheasant Ridge Winery. Wine and viticulture are among Estreicher's personal passions, and he has published multiple papers on the subject. During his talk he walked attendees through wine making from antiquity to current methods. Estreicher received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Zürich in 1982. After working as a postdoc and then instructor at Rice University, he joined Texas Tech University in 1986. His theoretical research deals with defects in semiconductors and nanostructures, and their impact on the electrical, optical, and thermal properties of the material. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 1997 and of the Institute of Physics (UK) since 2006. He won the 2001 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Prize from the Humboldt Foundation. He has given over 50 invited and plenary conferences and over 100 technical seminars around the world.

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Maccarone Has Warning for Eclipse Viewers

Tom Maccarone TTUTom Maccarone, Associate Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, warned people to protect their eyes when attempting to view the August 21 solar eclipse. "The first thing to do is make sure you have proper protection," Maccarone said in an August 19 news article in the Lamesa Press-Reporter. The story went on to quote NASA on further eclipse dos and don'ts: "Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are NOT safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight." It also is not safe to look at the sun through the viewfinder of a camera or an unfiltered telescope, binoculars, or other optical device, NASA reports. The only safe way to look directly at an uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, according to NASA's eclipse website.

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Wagner Studies Children and Neighborhoods

Brandon Wagner TTUBrandon Wagner, Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, was part of a research team that published its study, "Geography of intergenerational mobility and child development," August 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study showed that children who grow up in urban counties with high upward mobility exhibit fewer behavioral problems and perform better on cognitive tests, according to a story published August 15 by MTNV News. In addition to Wagner, others on the research team were principal investigator Sara S. McLanahan, William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and founding director of the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing; lead author Louis Donnelly, Princeton; Irv Garfinkel, Columbia University; Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Columbia; and Sarah James, Princeton.

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Hayhoe Asked How to Change 'Climate Deniers'

Katharine Hayhoe TTUKatharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was interviewed for an August 10 story in Phys.org headlined "What Changes Minds About Climate Change?" the article referred to a query from readers of Reddit: "Former climate change deniers, what changed your mind?" Six-hundred-forty-five people responded, with the story reporting that "Many of the respondents said they were originally influenced by the skeptical beliefs of their families, communities and religion, but studying environmental science in high school or college was pivotal in changing their attitudes," and that "As of 2016, only 9 percent of Americans were dismissive of global warming." Hayhoe's response was to tell the publication that she no longer spends time trying to persuade those with a dismissive mindset except in audiences. "Her goal is to move the larger percentage of people who are doubtful, disengaged and cautious into the 'concerned' category," the article reported. It also referenced Hayhoe's Global Weirding series on YouTube.

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Bradatan Takes Fulbright in Romania

Cristina Bradatan TTUCristina Bradatan, Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, is one of four Texas Tech faculty members named a Fulbright Scholar for the 2017-18 academic year, Bradatan will travel to Romania for a real-world study on how three rural communities are adapting to climate change. Bradatan also is a faculty member of TTU's Climate Science Center. Her project, titled "Governing the Commons: Climate Change, Irrigation and Cooperation in Southern Rural Romanian Communities," will see her conducting interviews with farmers and collecting literature on the topic. "The goal of this project is to understand what makes people cooperate when faced with environmental problems—drought, in this case," Bradatan told Texas Tech Today in an August 9 story about her work. "The study will compare three rural communities where people adopted different strategies, or did nothing, in order to deal with this issue." Her Fulbright fellowship is for one semester, spring 2018, but she expects to continue working for the next two years on the information she collects.

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McKee Study Referenced in Op-Ed

Seth McKee TTUSeth McKee, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, was referenced in an August 8 op-ed in The Washington Post, headlined "Why the Next black President Could be a Republican." The the opinion piece centers on the work of Theodore R. Johnson, a fellow at New America and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy; he uses historical election results to show that black Republicans in Senate and gubernatorial races since 1965 have been elected nearly as often as black Democrats. From there, "Johnson theorizes that we're so polarized now that GOP voters will readily vote for any GOP candidate—black or white—instead of voting against a black GOP candidate (and, thus, for a Democrat) merely because of race," the article stated. The research of McKee and co-researcher M.V. Hood of the University of Georgia was quoted from their study "True Colors: White Conservatives Support for Minority Republican Candidates," published in the Spring 2016 Public Opinion Quarterly. "At a minimum, the level of ideological polarization in American politics masks racially prejudiced voting behavior, and at a maximum, it renders it inoperable," McKee and Hood found.

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Witmore Fellowship for Archaeology Research

Christopher Witmore TTUChristopher Witmore, Associate Professor in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, received a fellowship of $4,830 sponsored by CAS at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Witmore's project title is "After Discourse: Things, Archaeology and Heritage in the 21th (sic) Century." Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week of August 3-9.

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Weiss, Bruning, Dahl Continue VORTEX-SE

Christopher Weiss, Erick Bruning, Johannes Dahl, TTU Christopher Weiss, Associate Professor; Eric Bruning, Associate Professor; and Johannes Dahl, Assistant Professor; all Atmospheric Scientists in the Department of Geosciences, were awarded a total of $149,754 from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the research project, "NWI VORTEX-SE: Insights into the Structure and Predictability of Southeastern U.S. Tornadic Storms Afforded by Intensive Observation and High-Resolution Numerical Modeling." This grant is the third in a series from NOAA for the VORTEX-SE project, which is working to better predict tornadoes in the American Southeast. "We have spent nearly five months in Alabama the last couple spring seasons using our in situ and radar instrumentation to try to better understand how tornadoes develop in this section of the country," Weiss said. The project has attracted quite a bit of coverage by national media such as CNN and coverage by local media such as Texas Tech Today. Awards were announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week of August 3-9.

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Presley Receives Grant from Texas 

Steven Presley TTUSteven Presley, Professor in The Institute of Environmental & Human Health (TIEHH), received $5,000 of an anticipated $10,000 grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for Public Health Grant #3. The award was announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending August 2.

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McGuire to Study Lake Erie Bat Migration

Liam McGuire TTULiam McGuire, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, received a grant of $32,495 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The funds will go toward research on a two-year project to study bat migration across Lake Erie. The grant was announced by the TTU Office of Research Services the week ending August 2.

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Hayhoe Says Climate Report 'Not Political'

Katharine Hayhoe TTUKatharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was quoted in a post to Nashville Public Radio as one of the lead authors of a document from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a federally-mandated assessment of climate science not yet published but leaked the week of August 7 to the New York Times. The post states that, "In many ways the report is a direct challenge to President Donald Trump's dismissal of concern about climate change," and that although the study "was prepared largely under the Obama administration, it's not a political document." Hayhoe told the radio station: "This is the most comprehensive science report that has been published outside of the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to my knowledge," and that it also is the most up-to-date, as the most recent previous report is 4 years old. Hayhoe described the report as bringing together that latest science in a way that "presents us with a stark and unyielding picture of the tremendous impacts humans are having on this planet and, moreover, the importance of the decisions that we are making today to reduce and eventually eliminate our carbon emissions." The final draft is awaiting publication, pending review by the Trump administration. "If the report is approved, then it is just a matter of logistics before it is published. However, the administration may choose to not approve it, or to request changes," Hayhoe was quoted as saying, adding that if it is not approved or changes are requested, "the author team will then have to decide whether they can make [those changes] or not." Regarding this same document and its findings, Hayhoe was quoted August 8 in Price of Oil, August 8 in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and August 9 in The Times of India

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Shu Taking Fulbright in Singapore

Yuan Shu TTUYuan Shu, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Director of Texas Tech University's Asian Studies program, is one of four TTU faculty members named a Fulbright Scholar for the 2017-18 academic year. Shu will use his Fulbright to teach transnational American studies to university students in Singapore, according to an August 2 article in TexasTechToday. His proposal, "Democracy, Asian Values and Transnational American Studies," will include one of three courses—"Introduction to American Studies," "Post-9/11 American Literature" or "Vietnam War Literature"—as a seminar at the graduate level. He also plans to investigate how the relationship between democracy/human rights and Asian values has evolved in Singaporean literature and culture through the framework of transnational American studies. Shu will teach and conduct research at the National University of Singapore for five months, from August 2017 to January 2018. When he returns, Shu will organize a conference on transnational American studies in August 2018.

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Sagarzazu on Turmoil in Venezuela

Inaki Sagarzazu TTUInaki Sagarzazu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, was interviewed August 1 by Texas Public Radio on how the political turmoil in Venezuela has affected one of Texas' largest cities: San Antonio. The broadcast described recent elections in Venezuela as a move toward dictatorship when "President Nicolás Maduro refused the results of a nonbinding referendum in mid-July opposing his National Constituent Assembly. More than 1,000 Venezuelans in the San Antonio area turned out to show solidarity by casting votes in this symbolic referendum," the broadcast reported.

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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.