2010 Book Roundup

Office of Communications | June 07, 2010
2010 Book Roundup

Every month, the Campus Notes section of The Point lists publications, projects, presentations and other accomplishments by UMass Boston faculty and staff. For this, the final issue of The Point for the 2009-2010 academic year, we’ve asked those who have published books in the past year to send in a description of their books. Click on the title to learn more.

GIS Lab administrator Helenmary Hotz contributed a chapter, “Developing nearshore bathymetry to analyze a noxious seaweed along the south-facing shore of Harwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts,” to the book Ocean Globe, published in February by ESRI Press. The book details her Master's thesis work, which involved creating a method to quantify invasive seaweed relative to man-made shore features. "This particular application, it’s cheap, it’s quick, and it’s scalable," says Hotz. "I can make my grid accommodate the whole Harwich coastline, or I could make the resolution even better, and get more information, and take a smaller section, so that it’s even more defined. This is an application, once I went off on this kind of trek to develop this kind of application. It’s something that anybody else can read through the methodology, and it’s scalable, so you can apply it to different sizes of area."

Associate Professor of English Louise Penner published Victorian Medicine and Social Reform: Florence Nightingale Among the Novelists in May of this year. About the book: Victorian Medicine and Social Reform traces Florence Nightingale’s career as a reformer and Crimean war heroine. Her fame as a social activist and her writings including Notes on Nursing and Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army influenced novelists such as Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot. Their novels of social realism, in turn, influenced Nightingale's later essays on poverty and Indian famine. This study draws original conclusions on the relationship between Nightingale’s work and its historical context, gender politics, and such 21st century analogues as celebrity activists Angelina Jolie, Al Gore, and Nicole Kidman.

Professor Sherry H. Penney and Center for Collaborative Leadership director Patricia Akemi Neilson recently published Next Generation Leadership: Insights from Emerging Leaders. The incoming generations will soon be the leaders of the future and their values will drive the innovation of tomorrow. While many talented young professionals are eager and ready to take on these leadership roles, their voices are rarely heard. This book brings together the stories and ideas of the future from a survey of nearly 300 emerging leaders to get their point of view and thoughts about how organizations need to change in order to develop effective leaders of tomorrow. Join us for a book party on Wednesday, July 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. downtown at the UMass Club. RSVP is required. Please email elpevents@umb.edu or call us at 617.287.3890. Event is open to ELP alumni, fellows, and guests.

The paperback edition of India's Open-Economy Policy: Globalism, Rivalry, Continuity by Assistant Professor of Political Science Jalal Alamgir was published in April 2010 by Routledge (London). The book was earlier selected by Asia Policy (National Bureau of Asian Research) for its recommended 2008 “Policymakers Library,” and nominated for the Association for Asian Studies 2009 Coomaraswamy Prize.

Associate Professor and Hispanic Studies Department chair Ann Blum wrote Domestic Economies: Family, Work, and Welfare in Mexico City, 1884-1943. Published by the University of Nebraska in December 2009, the book discusses reform and modernization efforts by the Mexican government, particularly as related to welfare and child protection, and the ways in which those policies affected class structure and parent-child interactions.

Director of Academic Support Programs Mark Pawlak published two books in the last year. The first is the 6th collection of his poetry, Jefferson’s New Image Salon, in which he explores the native surrealism of American commercial culture and extends his previous explorations in  conceptual poetry through a series of unique formal reworkings of list poems and  found poems. He also coedited When We Were Countries: Poems and Stories by Outstanding High School Writers, a collection of poems and stories by 73 of the nation’s most outstanding high school-age writers. All the work first appeared in the special high school section of Hanging Loose magazine, the standard for cutting-edge work by teenage writers since 1968, offering young writers the opportunity to have their work published alongside that of professionals in one of the country’s oldest and most distinguished literary journals.

Associate Professor of Women’s Studies Chris Bobel’s latest book, New Blood, was published by Rutgers University Press in May. New Blood offers a fresh interdisciplinary look at feminism-in-flux. For over three decades, menstrual activists have questioned the safety and necessity of feminine care products while contesting menstruation as a deeply entrenched taboo. Bobel shows how a little-known yet enduring force in the feminist health, environmental, and consumer rights movements lays bare tensions between second- and third-wave feminism and reveals a complicated story of continuity and change within the women's movement.

College of Nursing and Health Sciences lecturer Teresa Eliot Roberts’ new book, Cadê o Carinho? Brazilian Transnationals and the U.S. Healthcare System, was published last summer by VDM Verlag. What happens when a new cultural minority arrives in the U.S. and seeks healthcare from providers unfamiliar with their culture and unaware of their needs? As a U.S. nurse practitioner, the author engages in dialogues with scores of Brazilians about assumptions and expectations of Brazilian patients and those of their American doctors and nurses. With an ear both compassionate and analytical, Roberts uses the words of her patients and colleagues to paint vivid pictures of conflicts and adaptation about which few U.S. clinicians know to ask.

Professor of History and Graduate Program director Spencer M. Di Scala’s latest book, Vittorio Orlando: Italy, was published this year by Haus Publishing. The book is part of Haus’s “Makers of the Modern World” series. Italy in 1918 was in an ambivalent position: at the outbreak of war the country had been part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, but had stayed neutral until joining the Allies in 1915 on the promise of territorial rewards. The war was a near-disaster for the Italians, culminating in the collapse of their armies at Caporetto in 1917. It was this crisis that brought Orlando to power,and he did much to restore the situation, but the Italians looked to Versailles to compensate them for the terrible losses they had suffered.

Professor of Marketing Leon Zurawicki’s new book, Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer, is being published in November. Over the last 10 years advances in the new field of neuromarketing have yielded a host of findings which defy common stereotypes about consumer behavior. Reason and emotions do not necessarily appear as opposing forces. Rather, they complement one another. Hence, it reveals that consumers utilize mental accounting processes different from those assumed in marketers' logical inferences when it comes to time, problems with rating and choosing, and in post-purchase evaluation. People are often guided by illusions not only when they perceive the outside world but also when planning their actions - and consumer behavior is no exception. Strengthening the control over their own desires and the ability to navigate the maze of data are crucial skills consumers can gain to benefit themselves, marketers and the public. Understanding the mind of the consumer is the hardest task faced by business researchers. This book presents the first analytical perspective on the brain - and biometric studies which open a new frontier in market research.

Associate Professor of History Ruth Miller’s book, Law in Crisis: The Ecstatic Subject of Natural Disaster, was published in the summer of 2009. Taking natural disaster as the political and legal norm is uncommon. Taking a person who has become unstable and irrational during a disaster as the starting point for legal analysis is equally uncommon. Nonetheless, in Law in Crisis, Ruth Miller makes the unsettling case that the law demands an ecstatic subject and that natural disaster is the endpoint to law. Developing an idiosyncratic but compelling new theory of legal and political existence, Miller challenges existing arguments that, whether valedictory or critical, have posited the rational, bounded self as the normative subject of law.

A book coedited by Associate Professor of History Vincent Cannato, Living in the Eighties: Viewpoints on American Culture, was published earlier this year. Some see the 1980s as a Golden Age, a “Morning in America” when Ronald Reagan revived America's economy, reoriented American politics, and restored Americans' faith in their country and in themselves. Others see the 1980s as a new “Gilded Age,” an era that was selfish, superficial, glitzy, greedy, divisive, and destructive. This multifaceted exploration of the 1980s brings together a variety of voices from different political persuasions, generations, and vantage points. The volume features work by Reagan critics and Reagan fans (including one of President Reagan’s closest aides, Ed Meese), by historians who think the 1980s were a disastrous time, those who think it was a glorious time, and those who see both the blessings and the curses of the decade. Their essays examine everything from multiculturalism, Southern conservatism, and Reaganomics, to music culture, religion, crime, AIDS, and the city. A complex, thoughtful account of a watershed in our recent history, this volume will engage anyone interested in this pivotal decade.

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Reyes Coll-Tellechea coedited and contributed to an essay collection, The Lazarillo Phenomenon: Essays on the Adventures of a Classic Text, published in May of this year by Bucknell University. Now, more than ever, Lazarillo de Tormes is arousing the curiosity of readers precisely because it remains a profoundly mysterious text. Hundreds of literary critics have tried to unravel its mysteries since its reappearance in the nineteenth century. Normally, that level of interest brings about significant advances in our knowledge of the text in question, but unfortunately that has not been the case for the Lazarillo. In fact, it can be said that despite the tremendous interest, Lazarillo studies have been stagnant for quite a while, and largely because they have been unable to move beyond the same old questions and conjectures: “Who wrote the Lazarillo?”, “Which of the 1554 editions is the closest to the original?”, “To what genre does it belong?” ... etc. The Lazarillo Phenomenon is an effort to reanimate Lazarillo studies by the asking of new questions, the utilization of new approaches, and viewing the anonymous text as a key towards the study of our past.

Associate Professor of Management Benyamin Lichtenstein recently coauthored the book Complexity and the Nexus of Leadership: Leveraging Nonlinear Science to Create Ecologies of Innovation, published by Palgrave MacMillan. The book is written for the executive who would like to apply complexity ideas immediately on the job. Although it does not "dumb down" its discussion of important findings in the field, it also doesn't burden the reader with unnecessary details. This book is for the serious manager who wants to apply the latest thinking to his or her craft, and do it immediately.

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