Read more about the selection and how the summer reading is chosen each year.
DukeReads will be joining the rest of the Duke community to read this year’s selection and we hope you will, too!
Read more about the selection and how the summer reading is chosen each year.
DukeReads will be joining the rest of the Duke community to read this year’s selection and we hope you will, too!
We hope you all have been enjoying reading A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion, our current DukeReads selection from Professor Victor Strandberg. If you haven’t already, read more about Professor Strandberg and why he chose this book.
He offers the following question about the book:
Like The Great Gatsby, A Book of Common Prayer portrays a narrator whose attitude toward the main character changes radically during the narrative. At the outset, Nick Carraway expresses “unaffected scorn” for Jay Gatsby, which turns to admiration in the end. Question: Why does Grace Strasser-Mendana undergo a similar change of perspective toward Charlotte Douglas?
We invite your comments and questions for Professor Strandberg – simply use the Leave a Reply feature below!
Here are the latest titles written by the prolific Duke faculty, compiled by Duke’s Office of News and Communication. Many of them are available at Duke Libraries and The Gothic Bookshop, which is still taking orders as their renovations continue.
There are several novels on the list along with the variety of research conducted by Duke faulty members. Whether it’s a revised edition on HIV/AIDS in the South, an exploration of Buddhism in Korea and Japan, or an explanation of increasingly popular research on the genius of your pooch, there are plenty of options to pique your interest!
Julie Tetel Andresen: “French Lessons” (Kindle e-book)
Tetel Andresen, whose scholarship typically has her writing in the field of linguistic historiography, is also the author of works of historical fiction. In her latest novella, the gently-bred Danielle Wemberly is forever changed when she discovers a book hidden in her town’s lending library.
Audra Ang: “To the People, Food is Heaven: Stories of Food and Life in a Changing China” (Lyons Press)
The Singapore-born Ang, who worked as a foreign correspondent for the AP in Beijing for seven years before coming to Duke as a senior writer for University Development, writes about her experiences eating and reporting in China. She discussed the book on a recent edition of WUNC Radios “The State of Things” and the Raleigh News & Observer, saying “I think Southerners are kind of like Chinese in their love of food.”
Jeremy Begbie, co-editor: “Art, Imagination and Christian Hope: Patterns of Promise” (Ashgate)
Through a range of authors, the volume attends to the contributions that architecture, drama, literature, music and painting can make in an exploration of Christian hope. Begbie is the inaugural holder of the Thomas A. Langford Research Professorship in Theology at Duke Divinity School, and founding director of the Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts.
Curt Bradley: “International Law in the U.S. Legal System” (Oxford University Press)
Bradley, a professor of law and public policy studies and senior associate dean for academic affairs at Duke Law School, explores topics at the intersection of U.S. law and international law, such as foreign sovereign immunity, international human rights litigation, extradition, war powers and extraterritoriality.
Jake Breeden: “Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits That Masquerade as Virtues” (Jossey-Bass)
Breeden, on the faculty of Duke’s executive education program, draws on his experience coaching thousands of leaders in 27 countries and new research in economics, neuroscience, and psychology as he reveals how to overcome the dangerous behaviors that masquerade as virtues at work. The author has a 21-question quiz for anyone curious about roadblocks to their own career at breedenideas.com/assessment.
Paul Carrington: “American Lawyers: Public Servants and the Development of a Nation” (ABA Publishing, April 16, 2013)
Law professor Paul Carrington’s new book illustrates the role lawyers have played in the development and preservation of democracy and social order in America. He also notes their missteps, from the perpetuation, by some, of slavery to the American Bar Association’s demand for “loyalty oaths” during the McCarthy era, to Watergate.
Norman L. Christensen: “The Environment and You” ( Benjamin Cummings)
Christensen, a research professor and founding dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment, has authored an introductory environmental science book that offers students a reliable science foundation and inspires them to connect the course to the choices they can make as citizens.
Dr. Richard H. Cox: “Rewiring Your Preaching : How the Brain Processes Sermons” (InterVarsity Press)
Cox, adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, shows that a better understanding of the brain can help ministers be more effective in their preaching. The book opens with a forward by psychiatry department vice chair Dr. Dan G. Blazer.
Peter Horry: “The Journal of Peter Horry, South Carolinian: Recording the New Republic, 1812-1814,” edited by Roy Talbert Jr. and Meggan A. Farish (University of South Carolina Press)
Farish, a graduate student of history and African & African American Studies, and her co-editor have restored to print all of the Georgetown rice planter’s extant journal entries, offering the modern reader detailed insights into the daily life, agricultural practices, and the culture of South Carolina during its early statehood years.
Laura Florand: “The Chocolate Kiss” (Kensington)
Florand, a romance novelist who teaches French at Duke, is back with another of her chocolate-inspired novels, detailing the chocolate-making scene in Paris and the romance and intrigue that are naturally a part of it.
Erdag Goknar: “Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel” (Routledge)
In this first critical study of all of Pamuk’s novels, Goknar, an assistant professor of Turkish studies and an award-winning literary translator, asks larger questions about recent transformations in Turkish history, identity, modernity and collective memory.
Kristin Goss: “The Paradox of Gender Equality: How American Women’s Groups Gained and Lost Their Public Voice” (University of Michigan Press)
Goss, an associate professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy, traces changes in women’s “civil place.”
Mitu Gulati and Robert E. Scott: “The Three and a Half Minute Transaction: Boilerplate and the Limits of Contract Design” (University of Chicago Press)
Using the case of the an equal treatment or pari passu clause in international contracts as a launching pad to explore the broader issue of the “stickiness” of contract boilerplate, law professor Gulati and his co-author have sifted through more than 1,000 sovereign debt contracts and interviewed hundreds of practitioners to show that the problem actually lies in the nature of the modern corporate law firm.
Markos Hadjioannou: “From Light to Byte: Toward an Ethics of Digital Cinema” (University of Minnesota Press)
Hadjioannou, an assistant professor of literature, contrasts digital and celluloid cinema.
Bruce Hall: “A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600-1960″ (Cambridge University Press)
Hall, a co-winner of the American Historical Association award for best book in African history in 2012, provides a deep historical background to the ongoing conflicts and civil wars in present-day Mali. In a live “Office Hours” webcast interview earlier this year, Hall explained the cultural history of the fabled desert city of Timbuktu.
Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods: “The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think” (Dutton Adult)
Brian Hare, dog researcher, evolutionary anthropologist and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, and research scientist Vanessa Woods offer revolutionary new insights into dog intelligence and the interior lives of our smartest pets. In this essay in The Wall Street Journal, the authors present part of the case for why dogs are far savvier than we ever thought.
Peg Helminski: “Daughter of a Thousand Pieces of Gold” (self-published, Amazon)
A freelance writer and executive assistant in the Department of Radiology, Helminski has published her second book and first novel for middle-school students. Set against the rapidly changing Chinese social landscape brought on by the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping and China’s one-child family planning policy, the book tells the story of 11-year-old Zhong Mei Lin’s journey from her life as a the cherished daughter of a Chinese farm couple, to orphan, to adopted teen-aged daughter of a middle-class, American couple.
Deborah Hicks: “The Road Out: A Teacher’s Odyssey in Poor America” (University of California Press)
Hicks set out to give one group of girls in Cincinnati something she never had: a first-rate education and a chance to live their dreams. A contemporary tragedy is brought to life as she leads us deep into the worlds of Adriana, Blair, Mariah, Elizabeth, Shannon, Jessica, and Alicia — seven girls coming of age in poverty.
Currently a research scholar at the Social Science Research Institute, Hicks was recently a guest on “The State of Things,” talking about her book and her work as the founder and director of Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education.
Donald Horowitz: “Constitutional Change and Democracy in Indonesia” (Cambridge University Press)
In his latest book and the first of a trilogy related to constitutional design for severely divided societies, law professor Horowitz offers a case study of Indonesia’s transition to democracy after almost 50 years of authoritarian rule. By and large, he says, the process was successful; Indonesians have held three free elections and experienced two turnovers of presidential power since the fall of Suharto in 1998, while largely avoiding ethnic polarization and violence.
James C. Howell: “What Does the Lord Require?: Doing Justice, Loving Kindness, Walking Humbly” (Westminster John Knox Press)
Howell, a Duke alumnus, part-time lecturer at Duke Divinity School and the senior pastor at Myers Park United Methodist Church, illuminates one of the most powerful verses in the Old Testament, Micah 6:8, which speaks to what God requires of humans in living a just and humble life. The veteran pastor illuminates the original context in which this verse was written, while demonstrating how it can still guide us in our lives today.
Hwansoo I. Kim: “Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877â1912″ (Harvard University Press)
Kim, an assistant professor of religion, explores the relationship between Korean and Japanese Buddhists in the years leading up to the Japanese annexation of Korea.
Kenneth Land, editor: “The Well-Being of America’s Children: Developing and Improving the Child and Youth Well-Being Index” (Springer)
Land, the Duke sociologist who developed a new national composite index on the health and well-being of American children, examines the evolution of the index over the last 14 years and what it promises for understanding the progress — or lack of progress — in enhancing the life prospects of all American children.
Frank Lentricchia: “The Accidental Pallbearer” (Melville International Crime)
The literature professor sets his new novel, a celebration of Italian-American culture, in Utica, N.Y., his hometown. A reviewer for The Philadelphia Inquirer said the downtrodden upstate city “is as much the main character of literary critic Frank Lentricchia’s gripping, complex detective story as the depressive shamus Eliot Conte, whose series debut this is.”
James M. Childs Jr. and Richard Lischer, editors: “The Eloquence of Grace: Joseph Sittler and the Preaching Life” (Cascade Books)
Lischer, the James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor of Preaching at Duke Divinity School, and co-editor Childs examine the work of renowned preacher Joseph Sittler who often explored faith through fiction and hymns. The review of 25 of the renowned preacher’s speeches and sermons includes many never before published.
Randy L. Maddox, editor: “The Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley, Volume 12, Doctrinal and Controversial Treatises” (Abingdon Press)
Maddox, William Kellon Quick Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies at Duke Divinity School, devotes this volume, the first of three, to four of John Wesley’s foundational treatises on soteriology, or the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Gordon Mantler: “Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974″ (The University of North Carolina Press)
Mantler, a lecturing fellow and associate director in the Thompson Writing Program, writes about the Poor Peoples Campaign, an attempt to get poor folks from across the nation and racial lines to join together for common cause.
Sandi Metz: “Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby: An Agile Primer” (Addison-Wesley)
Metz, a senior IT analyst with 30 years of experience working on projects that survived to grow and change, has distilled a lifetime of conversations and presentations about object-oriented design into a set of Ruby-focused practices for crafting manageable, extensible, and pleasing code.
Carol Meyers: “Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context” (Oxford University Press)
Drawing on archaeological discoveries and ethnographic information as well as biblical texts, religion professor Carol Meyers depicts Israelite women not as submissive chattel in an oppressive patriarchy, but rather as strong and significant actors within their families and in their communities. The book features a fully revised version of Meyers’ groundbreaking 1988 “Discovering Eve.”
Carol Meyers, Eric Meyers, editors: “Archaeology, Bible, Politics, and the Media”(Eisenbrauns)
Archaeological controversies normally confined to the pages of obscure journals are considered newsworthy when they touch on biblical themes, but scholars are not always equipped to handle this sort of attention. A 2009 conference at Duke opened a dialogue between scholars and the media and the resulting essays offer lay communities who learn about archaeology and the Bible through the popular media information that will make them more sensitive to the way discoveries and issues are presented. In an online “Office Hours” in 2011, professors Carol and Eric Meyers responded to viewer questions about the charged combination of biblical archaeology, politics and media.
Claudia Milian: “Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies” (University of Georgia Press, The New Southern Studies series)
Milian, an assistant professor of Romance Language, challenges previous boundaries of “Latinidad.”
Martin Miller: “The Foundations of Modern Terrorism: State, Society and the Dynamics of Political Violence” (Cambridge University Press)
In a study of the history of terrorism, integrating the violence of governments and insurgencies, history professor Martin Miller considers why it is that terrorism has become such a central factor in our lives despite all the efforts to eradicate it.
Negar Mottahedeh, editor: “Abdu’l Baha’s Journey West: The Course of Human Solidarity” (Palgrave, April 2013)
Mottahedeh, an associate professor of literature, has edited this book about the influence of the early 20th century Iranian visionary on the emergent civil rights and suffrage movements in America and on his prescription for a lasting peace only three years before the outbreak of WWI.
Mark Anthony Neal: “Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities” (NYU Press, April 22, 2013)
Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African & African American Studies, examines depictions of black men in popular culture. He talks about the book in this interview with WFPL-Louisville.
Erdman Palmore: “Older Can Be Bolder” (Amazon)
Palmore, professor emeritus at the Duke Center for the Study of Aging, provides 101 answers to common questions about aging, mixed with humorous sayings and quotations.
Dr. Claude A. Piantadosi: “Mankind Beyond Earth: The History, Science and Future of Human Space Exploration” (Columbia University Press)
Piantadosi, a professor of medicine (Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine), evaluates the potential for colonizing Mars by the end of the century.
William Reddy: “The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia and Japan, 900-1200 CE” (The University of Chicago Press)
Reddy, a professor of history and cultural anthropology, contrasts the dualism of love and desire in the Western tradition with the blending of both in Bengal and Orissa, India, and in Heian Japan. A panel discussion of Reddy’s book, jointly hosted by the Duke University Libraries and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, is slated for March 20.
Staci D. Bilbo and Jaclyn M. Schwarz: “The Immune System and the Developing Brain” (Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences)
Staci Bilbo, psychology and neuroscience assistant professor, and Jaclyn Schwarz, a postdoctoral fellow in Bilbo’s lab, review the growing evidence indicating that there is a strong link between many neuropsychiatric disorders and immune dysfunction, with a distinct etiology in neurodevelopment.
Guillermo Trejo: “Popular Movements in Autocracies: Religion, Repression and Indigenous Collective Action in Mexico” (Cambridge University Press)
The assistant professor of political science focuses in his book on poor indigenous Mexican villages, showing that the spread of U.S. Protestant missionaries and the competition for indigenous souls motivated the Catholic Church to become a major promoter of indigenous movements for land redistribution and indigenous rights.
Daniel A. Vallero and Trevor Letcher : “Unraveling Environmental Disasters” (Elsevier)
Vallero, an adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering, writes with his co-author about the science behind the most threatening current and potential environmental disasters. They treat disasters as complex systems and offer predictions, such as what the buildup of certain radiant gases in the troposphere will do, or what will happen if current transoceanic crude oil transport continues.
Steven Vogel: “The Life of a Leaf” (University of Chicago Press)
Vogel uses the leaf as a model for examining an organism’s adaptation to its environment. A companion website with demonstrations and teaching tools can be found here.
Gennifer Weisenfeld: “Imaging Disaster: Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan’s Great Earthquake of 1923″ (University of California Press)
Weisenfeld, an associate professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, focuses on the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo and surrounding areas in 1923 and the cultural responses it triggered.
Kathryn Whetten and Brian Pence: “You’re the First One I’ve Told: The New Faces of HIV in the South” (Rutgers University Press; Second Edition)
This revised edition provides new details on the HIV/AIDS in the U.S. South while bringing to life the stories and voices of people infected with the disease. Whetten is a professor of public policy and global health and the director of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research. Pence is an associate professor of community and family medicine and global health at the center.
William Willimon: “Thank God It’s Thursday: Encountering Jesus at the Lord’s Table as if for the Last Time” (Abingdon)
In this prequel to Willimon’s “Thank God It’s Friday,” the professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School reflects on Jesus’ teaching of his disciples prior to his own death but also before their own hour of decision.
Ronald Witt: “The Two Latin Cultures and the Foundation of Renaissance Humanism in Medieval Italy” (Cambridge University Press)
Witt, a professor emeritus of history, traces the early emergence of humanism in northern Italy in the mid-13th century to the development of a lay intelligentsia in the region, whose participation in the culture of Latin writing fostered the beginnings of the intellectual movement which would eventually revolutionize Europe. The book will be the panel discussion at the Duke Medieval & Renaissance Studies Colloquium on March 29.
Duke’s Summer Reading selection committee has selected five finalists for the Class of 2017. You can share your feedback on their choices until March 18.
The nominees are:
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Let the Great World Spin
As the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library was processing the papers of John Hope Franklin, they found an essential list of readings compiled by the great historian and scholar, which he entitled “Grownup School List”. The list includes a host of canonical works on African-American history, except his own.
Sounds like essential reading not just for Dukies, but for everyone! Do you have a favorite writing by John Hope Franklin?
The spring semester has been a busy one at Duke, especially for Dean of Trinity School of Arts & Sciences, Laurie Patton. We hope you have been enjoying reading her DukeReads selection for the past several weeks, and below she offers her reflections on the influence of the natural world in Mary Oliver’s poems. Please share your thoughts by leaving a reply!
I chose Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems because, as someone whose scholarly career has focused on the role of the poet in society, I have been fascinated by her Pulitzer success combined with her Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman-like popularity. Known for its simple, contemplative quality, much of her poetry begins and ends with the flora and fauna she encounters on daily walks near her native Provincetown. Indeed, some feminists have criticized her work for being too focused on nature, thereby reinforcing the stereotype of nature being traditionally identified with woman. Wherever one lands in this debate, her poetry is lyrical and simple at the same time, and reintroduces us to the natural world in a more complex America than that of Thoreau and Whitman. As a result, Oliver’s nature poetry mixes prayer and ironic question in equal measure.
As she writes of the vanishing species of bees in the poem “Hum,”
What is this dark hum among the roses?
The bees have gone simple, sipping,
That’s all. What did you expect? Sophistication?
Yet a theme that runs throughout her more recent poems is one both far and near from nature: work. To paraphrase the anthropologist Clifford Geertz, the natural world is both a “model of” and a “model for” work, for all kinds of labor. In a praise poem, “Meanwhile,” she writes,
Meanwhile my body is rustic and brash.
The world I live in is hedges, and small blossoms.
Lord, consider me, and my earnest work.
A hut I have made, out of the grasses.
Now I build the door, out of all things brash and rustic.
Day and night it is open.
Have you seen it yet, among the grasses?
How it longs for you?
How it tries to shine, like gold?
A temporary almost hidden dwelling space consisting of grass in the hedges and blossoms is the testimony to earnest work. And, for Oliver, such work is “brash and rustic,” similar to the human body itself.
In another new prose-poem, “Work, Sometimes,” Oliver juxtaposes the labor of the writer and the poet with the natural world outside that beckons her.
I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled
on both sides of the table, paper stacked up, words
falling off my tongue.
The robins had been a long time singing, and now it
was beginning to rain.
She then asks the question that perhaps all intellectuals do, the deep and common doubt about of the value of such work, which has been occasioned in this poem by the rain.
What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map,
or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work
ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around
with a poem.
Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard
were full of lively fragrance.
And in this poem, the resolution of such questioning is the temporary abandonment of the work in the room, for the “wordless singing world,” which, she also implies, could save her life:
You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn’t it
wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a
As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was
the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.
And yet by virtue of the fact that the abandonment of the work of poetry is itself enshrined within a poem, Oliver reminds us that the relationship between work and nature is in fact a dialogue, a constant return back to one and the other. She, and we, move between “the books piled on both sides of the table” and the “wordless singing world,” over and over again.
Finally, in an earlier poem, “The Builders,” Oliver uses a cricket to remind us that nature can in fact be the near-perfect reflection of work. As she sees a cricket moving the grains of the hillside, she writes,
How great was its energy,
How humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.
There is no evident reason for the cricket to be moving the grains on the hillside, but its work is honorable, even dignified, in Oliver’s assessment. And so too, the poem implies, all of our labors, whether it be a tiny Sisyphean work of an insect, or the larger, equally Sisyphean work of the writer, will be great in energy and humble in effort.
Our January/February Selection is New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2 by Mary Oliver, presented by the dean of Arts and Sciences, Laurie Patton.
Read why Dean Patton wanted to share this book with you:
I chose Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems Vol. 2 because it gives us the recent arc of a major American poet’s work. Oliver’s poetry is simple, direct, and deeply identified with the natural world of New England, and earlier, Ohio. She has been compared with Thoreau and Emerson in her delight in the minutiae of the natural world. And while I think it is fair to say she belongs to that American tradition, she also brings a contemporary female voice to that very spare, even patrician form of contemplation. While her Pulitzer Prize might make one think of her work as somehow inaccessible, this is not at all the case. The down-to-earth register of her writing allows it to be woven into the every day lives of countless readers. You will find her work read and recited at weddings, funerals, graduations, bar mitzvahs, birthdays, all in the precise and attentive manner that poet Robert Pinsky hoped for when he started “The Favorite Poem Project,” about the role of poetry in ordinary American life.
And Oliver’s observations are tinged with a slight sense of irony, even as they carry on that delight in the sensuous and sensible world. As she writes in “Work, Sometimes”: “What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map, or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work ongoing. Which is not likely to be trifling around with a poem.”
What do you think of this month’s selection? Please share any comments or questions you have for Dean Patton!
Here is an extensive list of books written recently by Duke faculty, compiled by Duke’s Office of News and Communication. See the original article here. Many of these books are available at Duke Libraries and The Gothic Bookshop! Let us know if you pick one up!
Rita-Marie Conrad, co-author: “Continuing to Engage the Online Learner: Activities and Resources for Creative Instruction” (Jossey-Bass)
Conrad, an educational technology specialist, offers 50 new examples of activities in this model for engaged learning that can be applied in a wide range of online learning environments and across age levels.
Richard Durrett: “Essentials of Stochastic Processes,” 2nd ed. (Springer)
The mathematics professor’s new book is for a first course in stochastic processes — a statistical process involving a number of random variables — taken by undergraduates or master’s students who previously have studied probability theory. A large number of examples and more than 300 exercises show the subject “in action.”
Karen Fields, co-author: “Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life” (Verso)
Most people assume that racism grows from a perception of human difference. Sociologist Karen Fields, a visiting professor of African & African American Studies, and her sister, historian Barbara Fields, argue otherwise. They write that the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through what they call “racecraft,” a phenomenon entwined with other forms of inequality in American life.
Deborah Rigling Gallagher: “Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook” (SAGE)
Gallagher gathers contributions on environmental leadership from more than 90 authors, including several from Duke. Overarching themes in the two-volume set include taking action in the face of uncertainty on issues such as mitigating climate change impacts, protecting coastal ecosystems and protecting critical aquifers. Gallagher is an associate professor of the practice of environmental policy and executive director of the Duke Environmental Leadership Program at the Nicholas School of the Environment.
Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg and Huntington Willard: “Genomic and Personalized Medicine” (Elsevier Inc.)
The two-volume work promises to be a one-stop shop for doctors and other health professionals as they face the rapid growth of genetic and genomic testing in the clinic. Edited by faculty of the Duke Institute for Genomes Sciences & Policy, the comprehensive resource is one solution to an increasingly obvious problem: the health care workforce on the whole lacks the background to make personalized medicine a reality for patients.
John Graham, co-author: “Introduction to Corporate Finance” 3rd ed. (South-Western Cengage Learning )
Graham, a professor of finance at The Fuqua School of Business, says students with experience in economics, accounting and statistics may be better prepared than they think to study corporate finance. His book, which comes with six-month access to an educational version of Thomson Reuters financial content, introduces students to the subject.
Mark Goodacre: “Thomas and the Gospels: The Case for Thomas’s Familiarity with the Gospels” (Eerdmans, 2012)
The professor of religion and New Testament blogger explores the long-standing debate over the connection between the author of the Gospel of Thomas and the Synoptic Gospels.
Stephen Gunter: “Arminius and His âDeclaration of Sentiments’: An Annotated Translation With Introduction and Theological Commentary” (Baylor University Press)
Divinity School professor Gunter’s new book is the first direct translation from Dutch to English of the 16th century theologian’s work. Gunter’s introduction situates this work, important in the history of Christian theological debates, within its historical context and the debate over predestination.
Alex Harris and Edward O. Wilson: “Why We Are Here: Mobile and the Spirit of a Southern City” (W.W. Norton)
From a collaboration between the Center for Documentary Studies professor and the Pulitzer Prize-winning evolutionary biologist emerges a book that captures the rhythms of the storied Alabama Gulf region through a swirling tango of lyrical words and breathtaking images.
Harris’ “intimate pictures beautifully capture quotidian moments” that define Mobile today, according to Publishers Weekly. The Atlantic says “this uncommonly effective marriage of photographs and text” reveals “a place at once deeply southern and more than a bit foreign.” The book made The New York Times list of “heavyweights for the holidays” — this year’s best coffee table books.
Reinhard Hutter: “Dust Bound for Heaven: Explorations in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas” (Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.)
Hutter, a professor of Christian theology at Duke Divinity School, shows how Thomas Aquinas’ view of the human being as dust bound for heaven weaves together elements of two questions without fusion or reduction: Does humanity still have an insatiable thirst for God that sends each person on an irrepressible religious quest that only the vision of God can quench? Or must the human being, living after the fall, become a “new creation” to be readied for heaven?
William Mitchell, co-author: “Build, Borrow, or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma” (Harvard Business Review Press)
The Fuqua professor of international management, writing with Laurence Capron of the INSEAD Executive Education Program, offers decision makers research-based guidance on how to select the best course of action when pursuing corporate growth opportunities. Examples show how large and small companies around the world have developed sustainable growth strategies
John Poulsen, Connie Clark, editors: “Tropical Forest Conservation and Industry Partnership: An Experience From the Congo Basin” (Wiley-Blackwell)
In the 10th book in a series on conservation science and practice, Poulsen, a Nicholas School of the Environment assistant professor, and Clark, a research scientist, spotlight an emerging conservation model that holds promise for relatively small but ecologically vital areas.
Drs. Holly Rogers and Margaret Maytan: “Mindfulness for the Next Generation: Helping Emerging Adults Manage Stress and Lead Healthier Lives” (Oxford University Press)
Rogers and Maytan, both clinical associates in the Department of Psychiatry, offer an easy-to-use guide that details their four-session mindfulness-based program, called “Koru,” aimed at helping young adults cope with anxiety, navigate the tasks they face and achieve meaningful personal growth.
Mari Miller: “When the Whistle Blew” (WinePress Publishing)
Miller, a certified professional coder with Duke Health System’s Community Care Partners of Northern Piedmont Community Care in Henderson, bases her new novel on the true story of a whistleblower who reveals fraud at a nursing home, only to find her own reputation on the line.
James Salzman: “Drinking Water: A History” (Woodstock Overlook)
Salzman, professor of law and Nicholas Institute professor of environmental policy, shows how an essential resource highlights the most pressing issues of our time –from globalization and social justice to terrorism and climate change — and how humans have been wrestling with these problems for centuries.
Salzman discussed these challenges on a recent edition of WUNC Radio’s “The State of Things.” The Environmental Law Society presented a lunch talk on his book, which Scientific American says “makes the liquid seem as mythic as the fountain of youth.” Publishers Weekly says Salzman “puts a needed spotlight on an often overlooked but critical social, economic and political resource.”
Beth M. Sheppard: “The Craft of History and the Study of the New Testament” (The Society of Biblical Literature)
Sheppard, associate professor for the practice of theological bibliography and director of the Duke Divinity School Library, explores how historians and New Testament scholars probe the past.
The textbook provides overviews of the philosophy of history, common historical fallacies and the basics of historiography, as well as three original textual studies that illustrate the various historical methods for New Testament interpretation.
John Staddon: “The Malign Hands of the Markets: The Insidious Forces on Wall Street That Are Destroying Financial Markets — And What We Can Do About It” (McGraw-Hill) Staddon, an emeritus professor of psychology and neuroscience, discusses the “invisible mechanisms” that drive markets today and offers up solutions to stop what he describes as a boom-and-bust cycle. Staddon wrote about the financial sector’s role in income inequality in this op-ed for the Raleigh News & Observer. He recently talked about his book at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street in New York, and in other settings.
Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz, editors: “Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings,” 2nd ed., revised and expanded. (Berkeley: University of California Press)
Art, Art History & Visual Studies professor Kristine Stiles has updated this resource, first published in 1996, to represent 30 countries and more than 100 new artists. She added 40 images and a diverse roster of artists, including many who have emerged since the 1980s, such as Julie Mehretu, Carrie Mae Weems, Damien Hirst, Shirin Neshat, Cai Guo-Qian, Olafur Eliasson, Matthew Barney and Takashi Murakami.
Andrea E. Woods Valdes, translator: “Where Love and Hope Rein: 14 Love Poems for February 14th” by Joan Francisco Valdes Santos, Spanish and English on facing pages. (Durham, N.C.: Souloworks)
Valdes, an associate professor of the practice of dance and artistic director of the modern dance company Souloworks/Andrea E. Woods & Dancers, has translated 14 of her Havana-born husband’s poems. First self-published for Valentine’s Day in 2011, Valdes says she hopes “Where Love and Hope Reign” will become a work that people will enjoy every February.
Bill Verner, contributor: “The Minus Times Collected : 20 years, 30 issues,” edited by Hunter Kennedy (Featherproof Books)
Verner, a Duke Libraries acquisitions staff member, began contributing to a friend’s hand-typed literary magazine in the early ’90s while working for Europa Books, a now-defunct bookstore in Austin, Texas. He continued contributing after he moved to Durham to work as an independent publisher’s representative. Among his five contributions, “Stop Watch” is a new piece he wrote specifically for the anthology. Other contributors include Sam Lipsyte, David Berman, Patrick DeWitt and Wells Tower, with illustrations by David Eggers and Brad Neely and interviews with Dan Clowes, Barry Hannah and a yet-to-be-famous Stephen Colbert.
Vivek Wadhwa: “The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent” (Wharton Digital Press)
Wadhwa, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization of the Pratt School of Engineering, draws on his own research and that of two colleagues to show the United States in the midst of a historically unprecedented halt in high-growth, immigrant-founded startups. He offers a framework for understanding the immigrant exodus and offers a recipe for reversal and rapid recovery. The Economist’s review, republished by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, is here.
Lise Wallach and Michael A. Wallach: “Seven Views of Mind” (Psychology Press) Psychology research professor Lise Wallach, writing with her husband, emeritus professor Michael A. Wallach, examines seven different answers to the question, “What are we talking about when we talk about the mind?” The dualistic view that there is a non-material world in addition to the physical world is considered together with six non-dualistic views. The language is in a relatively nontechnical, informal manner designed to appeal to psychology students and their instructors.
Will Willimon: “Incorporation” (Cascade Books)
Willimon, the widely published former dean of Duke Chapel and current professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School, has written his first novel, which portrays the saints and sinners in a large fictional church.
Published in October, the novel takes readers on a ride through the Sundays of Easter in a Midwest church called “Hope.” Squabbling clergy, staff meeting slap-downs, sins of the spirit and sins of the flesh come together at Hope with divine revelation, mystery and moments of gentle grace. Read an excerpt of “Incorporation” (pdf).
Kelly Wooten and Lyz Bly, editors: “Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century” (Litwin Books)
Wooten, a librarian with the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, brings together activists, archivists, librarians and scholars to address the practical material challenges of documenting and archiving contemporary activism, “third wave” cultures and subcultures. She also considers the move from paper to digital archives, among several other topics.
Check out what everyone on campus it reading – here are the top ten bestsellers from the Gothic in November!
1. Rome’s Last Citizen by Rob Goldman ’05 and Jimmy Soni ’07
2. Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
3. The Gold Standard by Mike Krzyzewski and Jamie K. Spatola
4. Duke University Campus Guide by John M. Bryan
5. Night Scenes by Lisa Jarnot
6. Oblivion by Hector Abad
7. 27 Views of Durham edited by Steve Schewel
8. Examining Tuskegee by Susan Reverby
9. Hey Blue Devil, What’s That? by J. Beausang
10. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What makes a person pass the point of no return, even when it is not in his or her best interest? Several friends and colleagues have also read CANADA, and I enjoy hearing their reactions. Everyone agrees it is a powerful and beautifully written book. Aaron Welborn, the Libraries’ Director of Communications, had an excellent insight about the “point of no return.” Many of the characters reach that point, the moment when it is too late to turn back, and then cross the line even though it is a terrible decision. Dell’s parents, for example, married each other and had children despite realizing they were poorly matched from the start. Dell’s father made many bad business decisions, and seemed driven to do so. Why? Out of desperation? Did he really believe he would strike it rich? By a compulsion to show others just what he could do, that he could succeed? Out of pride? The decision the parents made to rob the bank represents another point of no return. They went through with it without fully playing out the possible consequences – losing their family, going to jail. And it started as just a normal day, they told the kids they would be gone overnight, nothing special. What drove them to do this, and why did Dell’s mother go along with her husband? Aaron noted too that Arthur Remlinger’s crimes could be viewed in this way, as he reached a tipping point with the bombing and the murders and yet moved straight beyond it, really never looking back.
As a reader I was repeatedly uncomfortable with those no-turning-back choices in CANADA. Ford’s great writing also conveyed a sense of foreboding. Just a normal day and then things change forever. I wanted to warn the characters, make them stop and think before going past that point of no return. I wanted them to play out the consequences, to turn back, to make the right choice.
What about the broader theme of choices in CANADA? Dell didn’t really have many – they were made for him, until he was older and on his own. His sister, on the other hand, chose to try to leave everything behind her, and ended up (having exercised choice) more bitter and scarred than Dell.