Bibliographies

We invite visiting authors and scholars to submit a "Bibliography," with or without annotation, of books in some way related to their own book or work. Check each post for details on related events!

October 13th, 2017

As urban job prospects change to reflect a more ‘creative’ economy and the desire for a particular form of ‘urban living’ continues to grow, so too does the migration of young people to cities. Gentrification and gentrifiers are often understood as ‘dirty’ words, ideas discussed at a veiled distance. Gentrifiers, in particular, are usually a ‘they.’

Gentrifier demystifies the idea of gentrification by opening a conversation that links the theoretical and the grassroots, spanning the literature of urban sociology, geography, planning, policy, and more. Along with established research, new analytical tools, and contemporary anecdotes, John Joe Schlichtman, Jason Patch, and Marc Lamont Hill place their personal experiences as urbanists, academics,...

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October 12th, 2017

 

The cross stirs intense feelings among Christians as well as non-Christians. Robin Jensen takes readers on an intellectual and spiritual journey through the two-thousand-year evolution of the cross as an idea and an artifact, illuminating the controversies—along with the forms of devotion—this central symbol of Christianity inspires. Jesus’s death on the cross posed a dilemma for Saint Paul and the early Church fathers. Crucifixion was a humiliating form of execution reserved for slaves and criminals. How could their messiah and savior have been subjected to such an ignominious death? Wrestling with this paradox, they reimagined the cross as a triumphant expression of Christ’s sacrificial love and miraculous resurrection. Over time, the symbol’s transformation raised myriad doctrinal questions...

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October 12th, 2017

 

A grand epic that was over twelve years in the making, The Prague Sonata is award-winning writer Bradford Morrow’s masterpiece. Following the trail of a lost eighteenth-century sonata manuscript, this literary quest novel moves back and forth in time –— from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to modern-day Greenwich Village; from postwar London to the heartland of immigrant America—telling, ultimately, a story of the trials and triumphs of love over the course of generations. In the early days of the new millennium, pages of a weathered original sonata manuscript—the gift of a Holocaust survivor living out her final days in Queens—come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career...

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October 12th, 2017

Of the many recipients of federal support during the Great Depression, the citizens of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, stand out as model reminders of the vital importance of New Deal programs. Hoping to transform their desperate situation, the 250 families of this western Pennsylvania town worked with the federal government to envision a new kind of community that would raise standards of living through a cooperative lifestyle and enhanced civic engagement. Their efforts won them a nearly mythic status among those familiar with Norvelt’s history. Hope in Hard Times explores the many transitions faced by those who undertook this experiment. With the aid of the New Deal, these residents, who hailed from the hardworking and underserved class that Jacob Riis had called the “other half”...

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October 11th, 2017
 
The famous Kabbalah scholar, Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) occupies a central role in our intellectual imagination. He was “the creator of an academic discipline,” according to Martin Buber and is discussed by historians, literary scholars, and philosophers. Yet despite his charismatic personality and the many books and articles he wrote, there is something about him that remains mysterious and somewhat enigmatic. Who was Gershom Scholem and what is it that he contributed, most decisively to our understanding of culture, history, and politics? In this talk I will address the "Gershom Scholem enigma" and describe the path I took in my book Gershom Scholem: An Intellectual Biography...
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October 5th, 2017

The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead is a series of magical spells that promised to transform any living person into an immortal divinity in the afterlife. The Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt, an exhibit of more than 50 objects, explores what the Book of the Dead was, what it was believed to do, how it worked, how was it was made, and what happened to it. The show features two spectacular Books of the Dead—one 41 feet long—which are shown in their entirely for the first time in nearly a century. A recreation of a burial with a rarely exhibited mummy shows how so many objects inscribed with the Book of the Dead literally surrounded the deceased, some spells being written on linen...

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October 5th, 2017

When two cars collide at an intersection in a leafy Chicago suburb, Hartley Nolan is not the person police expect to find behind the wheel. After all, he barely drinks; everyone knows it’s his wife who’s the alcoholic. But the bigger question on people’s minds is what brought Sonia Senn, dead at the scene, back to her hometown in such a hurry that night? In eleven tightly linked stories, Red Light Run pulls us into the inner lives of Hartley, Sonia, and a host of other characters to untangle the mounting forces that carry them to their fates. Among the ensemble in this prismatic collection are a real estate agent who seeks gossip on the market rather than houses, a trailer park developer whose entire livelihood is laid to waste by a single cigarette, a divorced mother battling her daughter-in-law for hegemony over her kitchen, a...

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October 3rd, 2017

We live in a time of unprecedented scientific knowledge about the origins of life on Earth. But if we want to grasp the big picture, we have to start small—very small. That’s because the real heroes of the story of life on Earth are microbes, the tiny living organisms we cannot see with the naked eye. Microbes were Earth’s first lifeforms, early anaerobic inhabitants that created the air we breathe. Today they live, invisible and seemingly invincible, in every corner of the planet, from Yellowstone’s scalding hot springs to Antarctic mountaintops to inside our very bodies—more than a hundred trillion of them. Don’t be alarmed though: many microbes are allies in achieving our—to say nothing of our planet’s—health. In Planet of Microbes, Ted Anton takes readers through the most...

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October 1st, 2017

Afterland is a powerful, essential collection of poetry that recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the fate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Mai Der Vang is telling the story of her own family, and by doing so, she also provides an essential history of the Hmong culture’s ongoing resilience in exile. Many of these poems are written in the voices of those fleeing unbearable violence after U.S. forces recruited Hmong fighters in Laos in the Secret War against communism, only to abandon them after that war went awry. That history is little known or understood, but the three hundred thousand Hmong now living in the United States are living proof of...

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October 1st, 2017

Electric Arches is an imaginative exploration of Black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose. Blending stark realism with the surreal and fantastic, Eve L. Ewing’s narrative takes us from the streets of 1990s Chicago to an unspecified future, deftly navigating the boundaries of space, time, and reality. Ewing imagines familiar figures in magical circumstances―blues legend Koko Taylor is a tall-tale hero; LeBron James travels through time and encounters his teenage self. She identifies everyday objects―hair moisturizer, a spiral notebook―as precious icons. Her visual art is spare, playful, and poignant―a cereal box decoder ring that allows...

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