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April 24, 2006

May 1 reception to celebrate Cowell faculty authors

By Scott Rappaport

Cowell College will present “Author, Author!”--a reception in celebration of recent publications by Cowell faculty authors--on Monday, May 1, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Cowell Provost House.

Photo: Deanna Shemek
Cowell College co-provost Deanna Shemek said that each book will be presented by a Cowell Fellow from a different discipline than the book’s author.

The event will spotlight eight books from a variety of disciplines, on topics ranging from English, Greek, and Latin literatures to linguistics, birdwatching, environmental policy, philosophy, and Renaissance studies. It was initiated by Cowell College provosts Tyrus Miller and Deanna Shemek.

"Author, Author!" is an opportunity for faculty affiliated with Cowell College to acquaint themselves with each other’s scholarly work,” said Shemek. “It allows them to enjoy one of the great benefits of the college system for UCSC intellectual life--the chance for faculty to participate meaningfully in a genuinely cross-disciplinary community. It is also a celebration, an opportunity to pause amidst a busy spring quarter to appreciate the contributions Cowell faculty make to their fields when they are not teaching or serving the university in other ways.”

Shemek added that in the increasingly specialized world of academia, the college system has significant advantages for faculty:

“The college is one vital space of intellectual exchange that is not confined to departments and disciplines, a place where the chemist and the poet can participate in a broad community of scholarship for the sheer pleasure of the encounter. Faculty can get so busy that they relinquish this joy in exchange and adventure, sacrificing it in order to fulfill other campus duties; but that sort of denial brings about an impoverishment of the university as a whole, both for faculty and for students.”

Shemek said that the idea for the event arose out of the realization that the best way to highlight both the diversity and the innovative character of the research conducted by Cowell faculty would be to simply recognize recent books. She noted that a similar event in the future could focus on works in economics, mathematics, theater arts, or biomolecular engineering.

Brief presentations of each book will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by an informal reception where faculty can discuss the works. In the spirit of the diversity of the Cowell community, Shemek said that each book will be presented by a Cowell Fellow from a different discipline than the book’s author. “For example, the classics professor's book will be presented by an anthropologist, the biologist's book on birding will be presented by a professor of environmental studies, and the environmental studies professor's book will be presented, in turn, by a philosopher,” Shemek noted.

The publications featured at the May 1 event will include:

Harry Berger Jr. Professor Emeritus of Literature and History of Art, Situated Utterances: Texts, Bodies, and Cultural Representations (Fordham University Press, 2005); presented by Carol Freeman.

Sandra Chung, Professor of Linguistics and Faculty Assistant to the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, and William Ladusaw, Professor of Linguistics and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education, Restriction and Saturation (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004); presented by Jonathan Ellis,

David Hoy, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Critical Resistance (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004; Paperback 2005); presented by Tyrus Miller.

Jerome Neu, Professor of Humanities, editor, In Memoriam: Norman O. Brown (Santa Cruz: New Pacific Press, 2005); presented by John Dizikes.

Todd Newberry, Professor Emeritus of Biology; The Ardent Birder: On the Craft of Birdwatching (Berkeley & Toronto: Ten Speed Press, 2005); presented by Ravi Rajan.

Ravi Rajan Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Modernizing Nature: Forestry and Imperial Eco-Development 1800-1950 (Oxford University Press, 2006); presented by Paul Roth.

Deanna Shemek, Cowell Provost and Associate Professor of Literature, coeditor and contributor, Phaethon's Children: The Este Court and its Culture in Early Modern Ferrara (Tempe, Ariz.: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 2005); presented by Catherine Soussloff.

Thomas Walsh, Lecturer in Classics, Fighting Words and Feuding Words: Anger and the Homeric Poems (Lexington Books, 2005); presented by Donald Brenneis.

For more information or to RSVP, call (831) 459-2251 or


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