Reediana: Books, Music, and Film


A House Alive with Words: Stories from the ABC Program, A Path to College for Inner-City Youth, by Patricia Zita Krisch ’59 (Deason Press, 2015).

In A House Alive, Patricia relates the story of eight inner-city boys and their experiences as A Better Chance (ABC) scholars, living in a group home and attending an elite suburban high school along Philadelphia’s Main Line. She examines the challenges they met as minority youth in a largely white school and as poor in an affluent community, and looks at how they addressed demanding academic standards. She also looks at adjustments they made to living in a group setting and how they found solace with one another on their way to getting to and succeeding in college. “A House Alive with Words captures in a compelling and engaging way the commitment, the spirit, and the creativity that emerged in the public school program at the ABC House,” says Richard L. Zweigenhaft, coauthor of Blacks in the White Elite. Patricia earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She also served as a board member for ABC for 20 years.


Heart Land, by Caroline Miller ’59, MAT ’65 (Koho Pono, 2015).

Caroline’s book is a fictional memoir of a boy growing up in rural Ohio in the 1930s, a time of social and historic importance: the close of the Depression and before America’s entrance into World War II. In this period of American innocence, Ockley Green exists as a sleepy farming community where a kid with an imagination can convince his younger brother that monsters live under the bed or stop by the local diner, where working men gather to talk crops and politics. In this safe world, Oliver Larson learns lessons that will guide him through life. The adventure begins when an alley cat named Bodacious Scurvy crosses his path and gives 11-year-old Oliver an idea.

Caroline’s novelette Agent of God was published in the WolfSinger Publications’ October 2015 anthology Under A Dark Sign. Caroline describes her allegory as dark, Chaucerian in tone, but taking up a theme from Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” which questions the purpose of chaos.


The Spirit of 74: How the American Revolution Began, by Ray Raphael ’65, MAT ’68, and Marie Raphael (The New Press, 2015). A companion to Ray’s book Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How to Get it Right, this book examines the political climate in New England months before the Boston Tea Party. The book follows the trajectory of the revolution and reveals that a climate of change on a grassroots level fueled the spirit of independence of 1776. Find out more about Ray’s work and books at


The Heir of Khored, by Deborah J. Ross  ’68 (DAW, 2014). For Shannivar, warrior of the Azkhantia Steppe, the future is grim. She faces twin threats: the mighty Gelon empire, ruthessly conquering independent nations like her own, and the malevolent entity of Fire and Ice, unleashed from its prison in the Far North. And she must face them alone. This is the third and final volume of the Seven-Petaled Shield series, an epic fantasy based on the conflict between the Romans and Scythians.


Somatic Experience in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: In the Expressive Language of the Living, by William Cornell ’69 (Routledge, 2015). Though there is a renewed regard for the understanding of embodied experience and sexuality as essential to human vitality, existing literature in contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice has been written by analysts with no formal training in body-centered work. William has devoted 40 years to the study and integration of psychoanalysis, neo-Reichian body therapy, and transactional analysis, and has established an international reputation for his teaching and consultation as a training and supervising transactional analyst. In this book, he draws on his experience as a body-centered psychotherapist to offer an informed blend of the two traditions, to allow psychoanalysts a deep understanding in psychoanalytic language of how to work with the body as an ally. Says child and adolescent psychotherapist Anne Alvarez: “This is a brilliant, bold and groundbreaking book. Cornell urges psychoanalytic clinicians to deepen and extend their work by paying closer attention to their patients’ bodily experience, thus enabling them to find something beyond a secure base, which he calls a ‘vital’ base. He also brings passion and scholarship to the study of theory and the book achieves a major integration of, and development in, psychoanalytic theory. It is a great read, too.”

“Isle Ronan,” a sestina by Linera Lucas ’71, was published in Elohi Gadugi Journal (Summer 2015). (See Class Notes.)


Cannot Stay: Essays on Travel, by Kevin Oderman ’72 (Etruscan Press, 2015). A book of journeys, this collection examines the reasons we travel—what it means to shake loose the at-home identity and get by on the contents of a daypack. Cannot Stay bears witness to how travel reawakens us to the world by revealing the strange in the familiar and the familiar in the strange. Kevin Oderman proves himself one of our most interesting and original travel writers,” says Neil Shepard, author of (T)ravel/Un(t)ravel. “In these dozen essays he journeys from the Baltics to Lahore, Pakistan, from the arid Turkish and Greek coastlines to the tropical humidity of Southeast Asia, from familiar tourist haunts like Florence to the spooky otherworld of Corsica, from Bali to Nepal, and even, incredibly, on imagined voyages to Mali and Mexico. His prose style is both exacting and lyrical, visually alive and philosophically astute.”


Zelestina Urza in Outer Space, by David Romtvedt ’72 (University of Nevada Center for Basque Studies, 2015). This novel follows the lives of two women in northern Wyoming-—a Basque immigrant and a half Cheyenne, half Arapaho orphan. The author’s sharply humorous style, full of pop and literary references, blends the historical and magical into an engaging conversation with the reader. Zelestina Urza is a piercing look at the American West of the 20th century, showing two women, one immigrant, one native, both outsiders from the traditional narrative of Manifest Destiny. The novel is full of “magical invention, driving emotion, and sustained notes of grace,” says author Kim Barnes (In the Kingdom of Men). David won a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust to support a series of readings from the book along with performances of Basque music. A recent event featured David on accordion, along with his daughter, Caitlin, on violin.

David is professor in the creative writing program at the University of Wyoming. He was Poet Laureate of Wyoming 2003-2011 and has written several books of poetry.

My “New Yorker” Stories, by Thomas Owen ’73 (Create Space, 2015). “As far back as the ’60s, I have submitted stories to the New Yorker, writes Thomas, and the accompanying dilemma about what to do with a rejection, faced by 9,999 of every 10,000 writers, he notes, brought him to the publication of three stories in his latest book. He invites you to read and report your take on the collection.


What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America, by Lauri Ramey ’74, coeditor (University of Alabama Press, 2015). Lauri and Aldon Lynn Nielsen have produced a second book for their landmark anthology, expanding the definition of African American poetry by introducing experimental work often excluded in previous scholarship. What I Say covers work produced in the time period from the mid-’70s to the present, while her book Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone covered work of the World War II era to the mid-’70s. “This anthology offers a uniquely valuable range of poems by contemporary writers that is as necessary and expansive as air while as imaginatively fluid as the equally essential property of water,” writes Meta DuEwa Jones (The Muse is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to the Spoken Word). What I Say deserves a prominent place on the shelves of readers, writers, and scholars interested in the literary and aesthetic future of black American poetics. Yet, since it is such a compelling read, it won’t stay on those shelves!”


Greed: A Confession, by Diana Goodman ’78 (Able Muse Press, 2014). This first collection of Diana’s poetry is a wellspring of keen observations, insight, and secrets of nature, freely spilling out for those greedy for knowledge and enlightenment—as in the immediacy of “a certain joy/ that depends on nothing” and “wraps a tightness around your heart.” Finalist for the 2013 Able Muse Book Award, Diana’s poetry brims with delight, wit, and insight. Award-winning writer Kelly Cherry describes Diane’s technical control and powers of observation as extraordinary and her diction, meter, and rhyming, superb. “Writing about an egret, she details ‘its mind/ a laser-focused eye, the weight of will’—attributes that apply equally to the poet.”

Chris Newfield ’80 calls for a new strategy for protecting faculty rights in an op-ed he wrote for Inside Higher Ed (July 20, 2015). “Faculty have models of collaborative self-governance that we now rarely bother to develop, that we have allowed to serve an ever-smaller share of our colleagues, that are not taken seriously by many administrations, but that are designed to allow both intellectual originality and decent, honorable workplaces. Faculty must now model how shared governance, if spread to other workplaces, would improve society as a whole. And we are going to have to do it soon.” Chris is a professor of English at UC Santa Barbara and is coeditor of the blog Remaking the University ( His book, Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class, was published by Harvard University Press in 2011.


Metaethics: A Contemporary Introduction, by Mark van Roojen ’81 (Routledge, 2015). Selected for the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy series, Mark’s new book provides a solid foundation in metaethics for advanced undergraduates by introducing a series of puzzles addressed by most metaethical theories. Mark discusses many positions in metaethics related to the puzzles and poises questions about the study of metaethics. Notes Prof. Russ Shafer-Landau of the University of North Carolina: “Mark van Roojen’s new work is now the finest book of its kind. It is focused on the right questions, it sympathetically reconstructs and fairly criticizes the major arguments offered for the major metaethical positions, and it is informed throughout by a deep familiarity with the philosophical terrain.” (See Class Notes.)


Play at Work: How Games Inspire Breakthrough Thinking, by Adam Penenberg ’86 (Penguin, 2013). Smart game design and its impact on the brain can help us immerse ourselves in an enjoyable task, and individuals and institutions who use games to achieve this effect are often rewarded with astounding results, Adam reports in Play at Work. Drawing on the latest brain science on attention and engagement plus his own firsthand reporting, Adam shows how games are revolutionizing business, science, technology, and culture. (See Class Notes.)


Eating Earth: Environmental Ethics and Dietary Choice, by Lisa Kemmerer ’88 (Oxford University Press, 2014). This book examines the environmental effects of dietary choice, focusing on animal agriculture, fishing, and hunting; fish physiology and whether or not the consumption of fish is healthy for human beings; and bycatch, the indiscriminate nature of fishing technology; and what these mean for endangered species and fragile seascapes. Lisa outlines the historic link between the U.S. government, wildlife management, and hunters, and then debunks common hunting misconceptions. Each chapter closes by exploring possible alternatives, such as organic, local, grass-fed, aquaculture, new fishing technologies, and enhanced regulations. Supported by nearly 80 graphs and summary slides, the book is told in clear writing, punctuated with wry humor.

Animals and the Environment: Advocacy, Activism, and the Quest for Common Ground, by Lisa Kemmerer ’88 (Routledge, 2015). Drawing on a wide range of issues and disciplines, this diverse collection of essays examines the common ground and controversies between earth and animal activists, including philosophical foundations for a unified front such as Asian ethics and ecofeminism, as well as wildlife and wilderness and dietary choice. One portion elucidates the connections and fissures between earth and animal advocates through politics, organized activism, and personal encounters, including such topics as materialism, birth control, the limits of democracy as practiced, and the importance of human rights and feminism. The final two sections of the book highlight the work of Raincoast Conservation Foundation (British Columbia), folks at Camp Uganda, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, and a few dedicated activists who both exemplify and speak out on behalf of a more holistic, unified approach to earth and animal advocacy.


Bear Necessities: Rescue, Rehabilitation, Sanctuary, and Advocacy, by Lisa Kemmerer ’88 (Brill, 2015). What is it like to rehabilitate sun bears in the rainforests of Malaysia? Why are bears killed or kept for body parts from Vietnam to Vermont? What happened to India’s “dancing” bears? Dedicated scholars, grassroots activists, and bear sanctuary attendants come together in Bear Necessities to explore pressures driving the world’s eight bear species to extinction. Authors working to protect bears in remote landscapes from Peru to Pakistan also offer a tapestry of possibilities for protecting and preserving these delightful but dwindling species. This book offers much to anyone interested in bears, wildlife, or wilderness.

Law at Work: Studies in Legal Ethnomethods, by Tim Berard ’90, coeditor (Oxford University Press, 2015). Tim’s book, published with coeditors Baudouin Dupret and Michael Lynch, follows in the tradition of the previous survey collection, Law in Action: Ethnomethodological and Conversation-Analytic Approaches to Law, edited by John F. Manzo ’86 and Max Travers (Ashgate, 1997). Law at Work is the result of an interdisciplinary, international collaboration, and addresses a number of topics relating to ongoing debates and concerns, including the teaching of intelligent design and creationism; the observable impact of sharia law in Egyptian family court; and accusations of international violations during the Gaza war.


The Underground Reader: Sources in the Trans-Atlantic Counterculture, by Robert Saxe ’93, coeditor (Berghahn Books, 2015). This collection of primary sources, edited by Robert and colleague Jeffrey H. Jackson, takes readers on a journey through the intellectual and cultural history of the underground in the 19th and 20th centuries. Readings demonstrate how thinkers in the U.S. and Europe engaged in an ongoing trans-Atlantic dialogue, inspiring one another to challenge the norms of Western society. Author also of Settling Down: World War II Veterans’ Challenge to the Postwar Consensus, Robert is an associate professor of history at Rhodes College.


Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness, by April Heideman Merleaux ’95 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015). In the weeks and months after the end of the Spanish-American War, Americans celebrated their nation’s triumph by eating sugar. Each of the nation’s new imperial possessions, from Puerto Rico to the Philippines, had the potential for vastly expanding sugar production. As victory parties and commemorations prominently featured candy and other sweets, Americans saw sugar as the reward for their global ambitions. University of Victoria professor Jason Colby calls the book “extraordinary, ambitious, and a pleasure to read.” April is an assistant professor of history at Florida International University.


Napoleon Never Slept: How Great Leaders Leverage Social Energy, by Maren McConnell-Collins ’98, coauthor (Maren Ink, 2015). Maren and her father, Randall Collins, a sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, investigate the common thread in highly successful individuals throughout history. They share their discovery that charismatic leaders motivate and are motivated by emotional energy. “Charismatic leaders set in motion positive feedback loops: people in the group build up a shared emotion; the stronger the emotion, the more they feel themselves in tune with each other, and the more tightly they focus together. And the more tightly they focus, the more their shared emotion pumps each other up.” More at

Salome, by Kim Oldenburg Stern ’99 (Broadview Press, 2015). In this new edition of Oscar Wilde’s most experimental and controversial play, Kim uses the English translation by Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, which was overseen and corrected by Wilde himself. Appendices detail the play’s sources and provide extensive materials on its contemporary reception and dramatic productions, and include a visual history and a history of the play’s translation. Heidi Hartwig, associate professor of English at Central Connecticut State University, says: “This edition presents Salome as a formally complex, richly intertextual, and generative phenomenon of international modernism. This is where all students of Salome should start.” (See Class Notes.)


Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructure of Millennial Mumbai, by Lisa Björkman ’00 (Duke University Press, 2015). Despite Mumbai’s position as India’s financial, economic, and cultural capital, water is chronically unavailable for rich and poor alike. Mumbai’s dry taps are puzzling, given that the city does not lack for either water or financial resources. In rich ethnographic detail, Pipe Politics explores how the everyday work of getting water animates and inhabits a penumbra of infrastructural activity—of business, brokerage, secondary markets, and sociopolitical networks—whose workings are reconfiguring and rescaling political authority in the city. Mumbai’s increasingly illegible and volatile hydrologies, Lisa argues, are lending infrastructures increasing political salience just as actual control over pipes and flows becomes contingent on dispersed and intimate assemblages of knowledge, power, and material authority. These new arenas of contestation reveal the illusory and precarious nature of the project to remake Mumbai in the image of Shanghai or Singapore and gesture instead toward the contested futures and democratic possibilities of the city. (See Class Notes.)

“Cottonmouth,” a short story by Hannah Gildea ’06, was published in Big Muddy: Journal of the Mississippi River Valley (15.1). The story won the Mighty River Short Story Contest of 2014 and received honorable mention for fiction in the New Millennium Writings Contest. (See Class Notes.)


Every Parent’s Dilemma: Why Do We Ignore Schools That Nurture Children? by Don Berg ’12 (Trafford Publishing, 2015). Psychological research contradicts the hopeful assumption by parents that K–12 teachers are inherently nurturing and that their children will naturally be nurtured in spite of policies that may undermine teachers’ nurturing instincts. The research puts them on the horns of a dilemma: if they want nurturing schools it appears that they must choose unfamiliar alternative schools. Every Parent’s Dilemma follows from  Don’s thesis with Prof. Jennifer Corpus [psychology 2000–] on the patterns of motivation at two Portland alternative K–12 schools where instruction is optional, not mandatory.  (See Class Notes.)


Mobilizing Poor Voters: Machine Politics, Clientelism, and Social Networks in Argentina, by Prof. Mariela Szwarcberg [political science 2012–] (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Prof. Szwarcberg, who specializes in the study of democracy with a geographic focus on Latin America, has written about the emergence, maintenance, and disappearance of political, partisan, and social networks. Using data gathered through field research in Argentina, her book explains why candidates use clientelistic strategies to mobilize poor voters. Scholars studying clientelism, political parties, poverty, and democratic consolidation will find this book useful.