A&S Faculty News
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Hayhoe Writes for Foreign Policy
Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, wrote an in-depth article on climate change that published in the May/June issue of Foreign Policy magazine (May 31 online). In the article, "Yeah, the Weather Has Been Weird: People Already Care About Climate Change—The Trick is Getting Them to Realize It," Hayhoe describes meeting Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International, and accepting his invitation to join him on his annual fall trip to Churchill, Manitoba, to see how climate change is affecting the polar bears that live and feed in that area. She quotes Amstrup as saying: "We care about the polar bears because they're showing us what's going to happen to us. If we don't heed their warning, we're next." Her article presents examples of how average Americans already are experiencing the effects of climate change—even though they may not identify it as such—and the future consequences of standing by and doing nothing about it.
Perkins on Possible Special Session
Jared Perkins, Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science, was quoted in a May 30 KCBD-TV news segment about the ending of Texas's 85th legislative session. Gov. Greg Abbott may call legislators back for a special session. Perkins told KCBS reporters that the only thing legislators are required by law to do is pass the state budget; and they did that. However, the story went on to report, Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick considered certain bills important that did not pass. Perkins told the TV station that he believes the Governor will call a special session to address those bills. "I think for sure he will focus on the funding for the Texas Medical Board. That was a priority that he set several weeks ago," Perkins said on air.
Sand, Corsi Receive NASA Grant
David Sand and Alessandra Corsi, both Assistant Professors in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, together received a total of $37,100 from NASA to conduct research on the project entitled, "Explosion Physics And Progenitors From A One Day Cadence Supernova Search." The award was announced the week ending May 24. Sand's research team works on very young supernovae, near field cosmology, and active galactic nuclei. Corsi's research focuses on time-domain astronomy (with special emphasis on relativistic transients) and gravitational wave physics. She is a member of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) research group that recently confirmed Albert Einstein's theory that gravitational waves exist.
Presley Grant to Track Mosquitoes
Steven Presley, Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology/The Institute of Environmental & Human Health, received a $200,798 grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for Public Health Grant No. 1, 2017. The award was for the county-by-county study of mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus and other diseases, and was announced the week ending May 24.
Lektzian Receives CFR Fellowship
David Lektzian, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, has received an International Affairs Fellowship with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). With this one-year fellowship that begins in summer 2017, Lektzian joins the ranks of notables such as former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (a 1985-86 fellow) and Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (2000-01). "It is a great honor to me to have been selected for a fellowship that has been held by so many distinguished scholars and policy-makers in the past," Lektzian was quoted as saying in a May 23 article in Texas Tech Today. Lektzian will be working with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), an agency within the Library of Congress that supports legislators and their staff by providing reports on a wide range of issues. Established in 1914, the CRS has been described as Congress' think tank. Lektzian will serve in the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division of the CRS, dealing with economic sanctions and trade and military conflict.
San Francisco Checks Dirty Phones
Michael San Francisco, Dean of the Honors College and Professor of Molecular Microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences, went with KCBD-TV reporters to West Elementary School to find out whose phones were dirtiest: Students' or teachers'? He took samples and waited. After a week, most of the samples showed some sort of growth, KCBD's May 22 story said, with San Francisco reporting: "Looks like the 4th grade wins out in terms of the most microbes. I don't know if that's a good thing," he said on the broadcast. He concluded that wiping off phones on clothing only spreads germs. "So the Facebook people who said they clean their phones, unless you used some real cleaning solution I don't think you did," San Francisco told KCBD.
Iber Receives Kansas Book Award
Jorge Iber, Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and Professor in the Department of History, received the 2017 Kansas Notable Book award for his book, "Mike Torrez: A Baseball Biography" (McFarland & Co., 2016). His was one of 15 books, written by a Kansan or about a Kansas-related topic, chosen annually for reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Kansas. The Kansas Notable Books List is a project of the Kansas Center for the Book at the State Library of Kansas. Iber learned of the honor May 18 and will receive his award Sept. 9 at the Kansas Book Festival at the State Capitol in Topeka.
Levario, Epstein to Run for Congress
Miguel Levario, Associate Professor in the Department of History, and Daniel Epstein, Visiting Instructor and Worldwide eLearning Course Developer in the Department of Political Science, have both announced that they will run for Congress in 2018. On the Democrat ticket. For the same seat: U.S. House of Representatives District 19. TTU Arts & Sciences alumnus and Republican Jodey Arrington is the incumbent. According to a sweeping story in the May 18 Chronicle of Higher Education, "the candidates will eventually oppose each other for the Democratic nomination, but so far they've worked together" on common causes.
McChesney is Fulbright in Germany
Anita McChesney, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, won $1,405 from the German-American Fulbright Commission to attend the Summer Academy in Leipzig for U.S.-American Faculty in German. The award was announced the week ending May 17. Mcchesney's main areas of research are contemporary German and Austrian literature and culture, with particular focus on the connections between narrative forms and visual media.
Franklin Gets Newberry Fellowship
Catharine Franklin, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, received a $37,500 fellowship at the Newberry Library to research her subject, "Fellowship: Soldiers and Indians: The United States Army and Native Sovereignty, 1862-1902." The award was announced the week ending May 17. Franklin specializes in the history of the 19th century United States Army, with an emphasis on indigenous peoples and the American West in the post-Civil War era. Her research and teaching interests lie in 19th century American history, military history, indigenous history, and the history of the American West and borderlands.
Swingen Receives NEH Endowment
Abigail Swingen, Associate Professor in the Department of History, received $6,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, to research the subject of "The Financial Revolution and the British Empire." The award was announced the week ending May 17. Swingen is author of "Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire" (Yale University Press, 2015), which won the 2017 Second Place President's Faculty Book Award at Texas Tech University.
Ancell Gives Video Turbine Tour
Brian Ancell, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science in the Department of Geosciences, was featured in an episode of "In the Field." In each program, TTU reporter John Davis shadows a professor to learn more about that professor's research. "In the Field: Which Way the Wind Blows," posted May 17 on YouTube, is a lesson in how wind turbines can actually impact the weather, with large wind farms making inadvertent changes to the weather downstream.
McKee, Cunningham on Local TV
Seth McKee, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Sean Cunningham, Associate Professor and chair of the Department of History, were interviewed by FOX-34 television in a May 16 news segment about comparisons being made between allegations of wrongdoing by President Trump and historical evidence of the Watergate break-in under President Nixon. "Watergate was all about a Republican operation that was interfering with a Democratic presidential campaign," McKee told FOX-34 reporters. "Now what makes this different is we don't know if those, including Donald Trump and his campaign were really involved with Russian interference of an American presidential election." Comparisons also have been made between Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and the Nixon Administration's firing of firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus—the so-called Saturday Night Massacre. Cunningham told the station that such comparisons may not be healthy: "Every person is unique, circumstances are always unique, contexts change, history does not always neatly repeat itself. So I would hesitate to embrace comparisons, especially with radical individuals in order to discredit someone today."
Guengerich Speaks in Prague
Sara Guengerich, Associate Professor of Spanish and Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor for Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, was invited guest speaker at the Instituto Cervantes in Prague, Czech Republic, in May. The roundtable discussion was centered on the importance of the Latino/Hispanic population in Higher Education in the United States.
Levario on Story of Cinco de Mayo
Miguel Levario, Associate Professor in the Department of History, was quoted in a story about the history behind Cinco de Mayo, published May 4 in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. (Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexico's independence from Spain, which is Sept. 16, but remembers Mexico's victory over France at the Battle of Puebla.) The backdrop: Napoleon III of France sent 8,000 troops to Mexico to collect an unpaid debt. As the French marched to Mexico City, they were met and defeated by 2,000 Mexican conscripts at Puebla on May 5, 1862. "They were outnumbered approximately four to one," Levario was quoted as saying, adding that the French would later return to place a French emperor over Mexico. In the article, Levario described the underdog story as one of hope, more celebrated in the United States than in Mexico. Some of his comments also were later republished May 13 in The Villages Sun Times.
McKee on Hispanic Voter Turnout
Seth McKee, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, was interviewed by FOX-34 television in a May 12 news segment about the Hispanic vote in Texas. "There was some look early on—early voting, not Election Day—that it looked like perhaps Latino turnout would rise quite a bit. And it never materialized when it counted all the numbers on Election Day," McKee told the station. Commenting on Census Bureau reports that only 2 percent more Hispanics voted last election that previously, McKee said there always are problems when you look at census numbers: "Because it is a survey, and so they are asking you whether you voted. People always lie whether you are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, it doesn't matter. So we don't really have the true numbers in Texas, these are clearly estimates," he said on air.
Zdenek Wins for Closed-Captioning
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). 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.
Morales Models Cancer Therapy
Jorge A. Morales, an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was quoted in a May 12 story in Ecancer News about how supercomputers are being used to simulate cancer therapies. Radiation, specifically a treatment called proton therapy, is known to work but no one knows precisely why, Morales told Ecancer News. "To do experiments with human subjects is dangerous, so the best way is through computer simulation," Morales was quoted as saying. He is studying the deep reasons why this therapy helps treat cancer, determining how much is enough, and exploring its effectiveness. Quantum simulations are necessary, the article stated, because the electrons and atoms that are the basis for proton cancer therapy's effectiveness do not behave according to the laws of classical physics. Rather they are guided by the laws quantum mechanics which involve probabilities of location, speed and reactions' occurrences rather than to the precisely defined versions of those three variables, the article went on to explain. Morales also was interviewed by KLBK/KAMC-TV in a May 14 story about proton therapy.
Moore Wins Pickett 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.
McKee Weighs Comey Firing
Seth McKee, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, was interviewed by FOX-34 television in a May 10 news story about President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. "It is incredible political theater, the details of it are very complicated, but the simple part of it isn't hard to grasp that is the timing is awful," McKee said on air, referring to the FBI investigation into allegations of the Trump camp colluding with the Russians. "It really stinks to high heaven, in the way it looks and the way it looks doesn't necessarily mean that this was done for pure political motives, but it is hard to escape it," McKee also said on the broadcast.
Bradley Supports Women in Science
Robert Bradley, Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and director of the Natural Science Research Laboratory at the Museum of Texas Tech University, was awarded for his support of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics (STEAM). He was presented the Champion of Women (COW) Award May 10 by the West Texas Association for Women in STEAM (WT-AWIS). "This award is especially meaningful because the nomination came from eight of my current graduate and undergraduate students," Bradley said in a May 11 Texas Tech Today story about the award. "You couldn't ask for a more talented and hard-working group of students, and to be recognized by them at this level is quite humbling." This year's award for Outstanding Woman Leader (OWL) went to Mindy Brashears, Professor of Food Microbiology and Food Safety in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences and director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.
Previous COW award winners in the College of Arts & Sciences:
• 2016: David Klein, Associate Professor of Environmental, Clinical & Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Environmental Toxicology/The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH)
• 2014: Jerry Dwyer, current Professor on the College of Education, former Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics
• 2013: Lou Densmore, Professor and former Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences
• 2009: Todd Anderson, Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Chair and Director of the Department of Environmental Toxicology/The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH)
• 2008: Michael San-Francisco, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Dean of the Honors College
• 2008: Mike Hooper, with the United States Geological Survey and Adjunct in the Department of Environmental Toxicology/The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH)
Previous OWL award winners in the College of Arts & Sciences:
• 2015: Nicte Ordonez-Garza, Doctoral Candidate in Zoology and Research Assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences
• 2014: Raegan Higgins, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics
• 2010: Elizabeth Hall Burns, now Emeritus, formerly Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management
McIntyre Gets NSF Planning Grant
Nancy McIntyre, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Landscape & Community Ecology & Curator of Birds at TTU's Natural Science Research Laboratory, is a senior personnel on a $125,000 National Science Foundation planning grant, "Pre-Alliance Planning: The Bridges Across Texas Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation." The work will take place among Texas Tech, the University of North Texas-Dallas, and several community colleges with which TTU has matriculation agreements, toward a goal of identifying how to recruit more underrepresented minority students into four-year degrees in STEM.
Carr, Harris, Keyel Receive Funding
James Carr, Professor; Breanna Harris, Research Assistant Professor; and Peter Keyel, Assistant Professor, all in the Department of Biological Sciences, received grant funding from the National Science Foundation to research the project entitled "Sensory Pathways Underlying Neuropeptide Regulation of Food Intake." The project will assess how nervous systems integrate information and generate behavior, fundamental goals of neuroscience research, as well as in their potential to produce unexpected insight into anxiety-related eating disorders. Carr received initial funding of $233,000, which, together with additional incremental funds is anticipated to total $608,000. Harris and Keyel each received $76,890, for a total $153,780. The awards were announced the week ending May 10.
Hayhoe Interviewed on NPR Show
Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was interviewed by NPR's Morning Edition May 9 about the best ways to talk about climate change. Discussion centered around the term "climate denier" (Hayhoe doesn't use it), the need to abandon the attitude of condescension that exists in both the pro and con camps regarding climate change, and how Hayhoe has learned that it's possible for people to agree on solutions even if they might not agree on the science.
Ramkumar Urges Collaboration
Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology/ The Institute of Environmental & Human Health, wrote an article, "Collective Effort Needed to Advance Cotton Industry," that published May 9 in the Cotton Association of India. The article, which originally appeared May 5 in Cotton Grower, appealed to the cotton industry to make a collective effort in working with end-user communities, research organizations, financial institutions, policy makers, and the industrial sector in order to advance. Ramkumar praised Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Gowers, Inc. for championing the collective spirit and offered it as model for the global cotton and textile industries.
Hayhoe in Christian Science Article
Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was quoted May 2 in a Christian Science Monitor article that asks in its headline, "Could making climate change a 'pro-life' issue bring conservatives on board?" Hayhoe's answer: "So often it seems like pro-life stops when you're born. If you're really pro-life, you should be pro-life from conception to death."
Hayhoe a 'Most Powerful Mom'
Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, made the list of 50 Most Powerful Moms of 2017 in the May issue of Working Mother. The lsit of other powerful mothers included businesswomen such as Melinda Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Cathy Engelbert, CEO, Deloitte; and Sara Blakely, Founder and CEO, Spanx. Entertainers on the list included women such as Beyoncé, Actress/Musician/Producer; Victoria Beckham, Fashion Designer/Singer; Nicole Kidman, Actress/Producer; Melissa McCarthy, Actress/Producer/Writer/Fashion Designer; and Reese Witherspoon, Actress/Producer/Entrepreneur.
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)