Reception Honors Published Faculty and Staff

By Katie Schott

Last Friday afternoon the Davis Library hosted a reception to honor all 22 members of the faculty and staff who have published works in the last year. The works were displayed in the Special Collections room, and after each author gave a brief overview of their book, the staff mingled and had a chance to take a closer look at each other’s work.

“It is always great to see what your colleagues are up to,” said Paul Monod, A. Barton Hepburn professor of history and acting dean of international programs, who recently authored Solomon’s Secret Arts: The Occult in the Age of Enlightenment.

According to Monod, Solomon’s Secret Arts “is a study of occult thought in England and Scotland, including alchemy, astrology and ritual magic.” This is his fifth book, but not the last — a sixth, a short book on British politics in the period of the American Revolution is in its early stages.

Christina Cartwright, German School coordinator, and translator of Zoo Station, agreed with Monod and commented on how “nice it is to feel recognized” by other members of the staff faculty. Zoo Station was originally published as Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo  in Germany in 1979. It is an autobiographical piece by a former drug addict on her troubled teenage years. The book is very famous in Germany and is required reading for most high school age students.

“Teens of Addison County and Middlebury students [should] read it as well,” said Cartwright. “It may be based in a different culture, but the issues the book confronts carry over. It is a tough story, but a good one.”

Another Middlebury author also has published a work confronting the same issue, but from another direction. Rebecca Tiger, assistant professor of sociology, recently published Judging Addicts: Drug Courts and Coercion in the Justice System. Tiger was not able to attend the lecture, as she is on leave this year, mainly researching from New York City and working on another book about addictions. Rock Bottom: Celebrity and the Visual Culture of Addiction focuses on the representation and construction of drug use and addictions in popular press and reality television shows.

Juggling teaching and writing on campus this semester is Visiting Lecturer in Spanish Ricardo Chavez-Castaneda, who has had four works published in the last year, and 40 in his lifetime. He writes narrative literature for children, young readers and adults. In 2012, he received the “Premio Iberoamericano” for his short story Julio Cortázar, along with numerous other awards. His book El Libro que Se Muere  was selected this year by the “Banco del libre de Venezuela” as one of the 10 best books published in the Hispanic world and in Spanish.

“Writing and teaching is like a blood transfusion,” said Ricardo, “students constantly give me a fresh look at all the things around us, and they renew my curiosity about life and the world. With that renewed curiosity, perplexity and fresh perspective, those of us that dedicate ourselves to teaching are stimulated to explore many new ideas.”

Another book published by a member of Middlebury’s languages department was Assistant Professor of Spanish Luis Castaneda’s Viaje al Norte de Verano, a coming-of-age novel for young readers, set in the northern coast of Perú, dealing with father-son conflicts, romantic relationships and personal ethics.

Two works by Middlebury professors were published in the Latin language in the past year. Professor of Classics Randall Ganiban collaborated on Vergil: Aeneid, Books 1-6, containing the first half of Vergil’s Aeneid with line-by-line commentary and other material to aid college-level students in translating and appreciating the classic poem.

“I’m lucky to be able to write on authors I teach in my courses,” said Ganiban. “I have my own students in mind when I draft the commentaries. The opportunity to ‘test’ these commentaries in class has been invaluable.”

Associate Professor of Classics Christopher Star published The Empire of the Self: Self-Command and Political Speech in Seneca and Petronious, a book on Latin literature and philosophy. Star has received a grant from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, and agreed with Ganiban that his “classes at Middlebury have all been helpful in refining ideas.” Star has nearly completed his next book, an introduction to the life and works of Seneca.

Many of the works written will be helpful to the Professors in their classrooms as well as aid the teachings of their colleagues. For example, Larry Hamberlin, associate professor of music, co-authored a college textbook on American music. Director of the Breadloaf Writers Conference, Michael Collier, most recently published his sixth collection of poems, titled An Individual History. He was the Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004, and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Maryland. Retired professor Gary Margolis published A Poets Journey to the Shamans in Ecuador, and his previous work, Fire in the Orchard, was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Charles A. Dana Professor of Philosophy Emeritus Victor Nuovo edited and introduced John Locke: Vindications of the Reasonableness of Christianity, which looks at several writings by John Locke on religion. He also is a senior research fellow at Oxford University.

Director of Arts and Associate Curator at the College Museum Pieter Broucke, editor of Edward Burtynsky’s Vermont Quarry Photographs in Context, made a point nearly all writers agreed on. “I just love it when I learn from my students,” he said. All authors also repeatedly thanked their colleagues for the continued advice and editing.

This is just a selection of the 22 works published by Middlebury faculty and staff in the last year. The full collection of works is housed in the Davis Family Library, to the left of the Circulation Desk.

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