2013 Brought Poetry, Politics, Fantasy, History, and More from Wellesley Writers

December 19, 2013

If you’re searching for last-minute holiday gifts or planning your reading list for 2014, try these 2013 publications by Wellesley’s faculty and staff. Ranging from schools of magic to the future of global governance, each opens a window into a different world.

Metaphysical Dog: Poems. Frank Bidart (English) Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013.

The fourth of Bidart’s collections to become a National Book Award finalist for poetry, these poems investigate the nature of desire, the struggle between art and flesh, and the neverending human ‘‘hunger for the absolute.’’  

Details of Consequence: Ornament, Music and Art in ParisGurminder K. Bhogal (Music). Oxford University Press, 2013. 

Details of Consequence examines a trait that is taken for granted and rarely investigated in fin-de-siècle French music: ornamental extravagance. Considering why such composers as Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, and Erik Satie, turned their attention to the seemingly innocuous and allegedly superficial phenomenon of ornament at pivotal moments of their careers, this book shows that the range of decorative languages and unusual ways in which ornament is manifest in their works suggests more than a willingness to decorate or render music beautiful.

Saving Global Fisheries: Reducing Fishing Capacity to Promote Sustainability. Samuel Barkin and Elizabeth R. DeSombre (Environmental Studies). MIT Press, 2013.

The Earth's oceans are overfished, despite more than fifty years of cooperation among the world's fishing nations. This book analyzes the problem of overfishing and offers a provocative proposal for a global regulatory and policy approach.

Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back: A Practical Guide to Developing Strength and Relieving PainLiz Owen (PERA) and Holly Lebowitz Rossi. Shambhala Publications, 2013.

The lower back is the most chronically neglected part of the contemporary American body, and yoga provides a roadmap to reconnect with this physically and energetically powerful space to discover wellness, strength, and healing within.

Evolution, Early Experience, and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy. Tracy R. Gleason (Psychology), Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan N. Schore (eds.). Oxford University Press, 2012/2013.

Human development is being misshapen by government policies, social practices, and public beliefs that fail to consider basic human needs. In this pioneering volume, scientists from a range of disciplines theorize that the increase in conditions such as depression and obesity can be partially attributed to a disparity between the environments and conditions under which our mammalian brains currently develop, and our evolutionary heritage.

Between Empires: Marti, Rizal and the Intercolonial Alliance. Koichi Hagimoto (Spanish). Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

In 1898, both Cuba and the Philippines achieved their independence from Spain and then immediately became targets of U.S. expansionism. This book compares the anti-imperial literature and history of Cuba and the Philippines, focusing on the writings of José Martí and José Rizal, the most prominent nationalist authors.

Modern Minority: Asian American Literature and the Everyday.  Yoon Sun Lee (English).  Oxford University Press, 2013.

This book argues that 20th-century Asian American writing is shaped by a desire for modernity and an ambivalence about the modern everyday.  

Protesting America: Democracy in the U.S.-Korea Alliance. Katharine H.S. Moon (Political Science). University of California Press, 2013.

When the U.S.-Korea military alliance began to deteriorate in the 2000s, many commentators blamed "anti-Americanism" and nationalism, especially among younger South Koreans. Challenging these assumptions, this book argues that Korean activism around U.S. relations owes more to transformations in domestic politics, including the decentralization of government, the diversification and politics of civil society organizations, and the transnationalization of social movements.

Rising Powers and the Future of Global Governance. Kevin Gray and Craig N. Murphy (Political Science) (eds). Routledge, 2013.

Through studies of Brazil, India, China, and other important developing countries within their respective regions such as Turkey and South Africa, this book investigates the extent to which the challenge posed by the rising powers to global governance is likely to lead to an increase in democracy and social justice for the majority of the world’s peoples.

Living the Seasons: Zen Practices for Transformative Times. Ji Hyang Padma ‘91 (Religious Life). Quest Books, 2013.

Living the Seasons: Zen Practice for Transformative Times gracefully introduces creative safe passage through the sometimes overwhelming transition, drawing on ancient and contemporary spiritual practices to create an essential hands-on beginner's guide to developing a meaningful meditation practice for daily life.

A Handful of Spells. Kimberley A. Shaw (Library & Technology Services). Espresso Book Machine Books, 2013.

Who wouldn’t want to go to a 300-year-old school of magic, wave a wand, and learn to fly? But this girl falls off her broom, gets her spells wrong, and isn’t sure her cat really is a familiar. All because her ears don’t work as well as everyone else’s. But once Caitlin Leo finds her real community, everything changes.

The Immaterial Book: Reading and Romance in Early Modern England. Sarah Wall-Randell (English). University of Michigan Press, 2013.

In romances—Renaissance England’s version of the fantasy novel—characters often discover books that turn out to be magical or prophetic, and to offer insights into their readers’ selves. The Immaterial Book examines scenes of reading in important romance texts across genres: Spenser's Faerie Queene, Shakespeare's Cymbeline and The Tempest, Wroth's Urania, and Cervantes' Don Quixote.