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Faculty Book Publications

A quick preview of some of the works our faculty have authored or edited.

Book cover, The Life List of Adrian Mandrick

The Life List of Adrian Mandrick by Chris White



In Chris White's debut novel The Life List of Adrian Mandrick, the title character's life seems in perfect order--with an excellent job in a Colorado hospital, a wife and two young children he loves deeply, and a serious passion for birding. His life list comprises 863 species correctly identified and cataloged—it is, in fact, the third longest list in the North American region.

But Adrian holds dark secrets about his childhood—secrets that threaten to consume him after he’s contacted by his estranged mother, and subsequently relapses into an addiction to painkillers. In the midst of his downward spiral, the legendary birder with the region’s second-longest life list dies suddenly, and Adrian receives an anonymous tip that could propel him to the very top: the extremely rare Ivory-billed Woodpecker, spotted deep in the swamplands of Florida’s Panhandle. 

“With a birder’s eye for detail, White takes us on [Adrian Mandrick’s] painful, near death descent… [her] life-affirming conclusion reminds us that endangered species aren’t the only ones that need to change and adapt in order to survive.”—The New York Times Book Review

Book cover, Glausser, Something Old, Something New

Something Old, Something New: Contemporary Entanglements of Religion and Secularity by Wayne Glausser

Oxford University Press
"Something Old, Something New: Contemporary Entanglements of Religion and Secularity offers a fresh perspective on debates surrounding a significant if underappreciated relationship between religious and secular interests. In entanglement, secularity competes with religion, but neither side achieves simple dominance by displacing the other. As secular ideas and practices entangle with their religious counterparts, they interact and alter each other in a contentious but oddly intimate relationship. As traditional religious knowledge and values come into conflict with their secular counterparts, the old ideas undergo stress and adaptation, but the influence works in both directions. Those with primary allegiance to secular interests find themselves entangled with aspects of religious thinking. Whether they do it intentionally or without knowing, entangled secularists engage with and sometimes borrow from older paradigms they believe they have surpassed. Glausser's approach offers a new perspective in the conversation between believers and secularists. Something Old, Something New is a book that theists, atheists, agnostics, and everyone still searching for the right label will find respectful but provocative."


Cover art, Reading the Anglo-Saxon Self Through the Vercelli Book

Reading the Anglo-Saxon Self Through the Vercelli Book by Amity Reading

Peter Lang


"Through analysis of the medieval soul and body motif in the Old English poems and homilies of the tenth-century Vercelli Book, this book theorizes an Anglo-Saxon conception of the self, one that is performative, embodied, and fundamentally religious, and which challenges modern scholarly perceptions of medieval thought as uniformly and unproblematically aligned with a rigid soul/body dualism." 

Dancing with the Tiger by Lili Wright

  Marian Wood Books/Putnam (2016)
“In her energetic debut novel, the sprawling literary thriller Dancing with the Tiger, Lili Wright straddles borders and genres… Take [a] high-stakes game of keepaway, add several pairs of lovers, and you have everything you could want in a summer caper. [A] real romp . . . . every page is shot through with golden threads of striking images…The chorus of the many voices of Oaxaca – expats, tourists and locals alike – creates a siren song that keeps you turning the pages. This novel has much in common with Anna’s favorite drink, the margarita, said to be the brainchild of an American Mexiphile: It’s salty-sweet, refreshing and more powerful than you think.” -- The New York Times

Cover art, Bodies at Sea by M. Sinowitz

Patrick O'Brian's Bodies at Sea by Michael Leigh Sinowitz

An exploration of the complex roles that bodies—both literally and figuratively—play in the 21 volume Aubrey-Maturin series reveals much about the novels’ many meditations on mind and body. Beginning with a consideration of genre norms and the bodies of the novels’ main characters, the book’s focus shifts to the ways the series offers interconnections between the human body and history.

More literal considerations of the body examine O’Brian’s depictions of drug use, particularly the opium addiction that afflicts Stephen Maturin, and human sexuality in its many guises. The work then focuses on Desolation Island, the fifth novel in the series, in light of the discussions above but also in terms of political and psychological tropes that draw upon the relationship of mind and body. Questions are examined about the relationship of reader to author, and what sustains such a long narrative and what continues to bring a reader back again and again.

My Favorite Warlord. Gloria

My Favorite Warlord by Eugene Gloria

Penguin Books
"Fathers and sons; brothers, sisters, and immigrant culture; Filipino heritage and multicultural San Francisco; and—perhaps most prominent—the ideals and limits of Japanese martial tradition animate this lively, fast-paced third book from Gloria. His technique varies too, with a norm of broad-shouldered, no-nonsense free verse interspersed with quatrain, sonnet, pantoum, and haibun, a Japanese hybrid of verse and prose... Gloria establishes himself as a poet of memory, of masculinity, as well as of Asian American political identity (with, for example, an elegy to Vincent Chin, slain in a famous anti-Asian hate crime). His formal resourcefulness and his attention to manhood, its symbols, its troubles, place him in the company of Bruce Smith, though his work will also, and rightly, find another niche among other Asian American writers; Gloria (who teaches at DePauw University in Indiana) sets himself confidently against injustice, in favor of inquiry, amid the eclectic language of contemporary scenes."
--Publishers Weekly

Poison Sonnets by Joseph Heithaus

WordTech Communications
"Love and death are woven cunningly through Joseph Heithaus’s Poison Sonnets.  At times the poems bring to mind those volumes of sketches and observations kept by 19th century naturalists, which themselves could surprise and startle with their complicated emotions, vivid frankness, and sense of immediacy.  By turns mordant or elegiac, these poems are anything but predictable.  And the sonnet as a form enjoys a fresh revival in this poet’s inventive and original renderings.”                               
--Mark Jarman, author of Bone Fires:  New and Selected Poems

What This River Keeps by Schwipps

What This River Keeps by Greg Schwipps

Indiana University Press
"What This River Keeps bears comparison to the best work of Steinbeck--in this case we're given the vivid portrayal of the common working men and women of rural Indiana juxtaposed against great forces, without pity or hope, but without true defeat, thought they may well lose all in the end.  Schwipps also gives us, in full measure, the ancient father and son story, reinvented and made new; the complications of family; the friendship between men; the long tested love between married people; the discovery of the responsibilities of love; the love and care of the land; the love of a river; the keen life of the outdoors; the close attention to the earth in its seasons and myriad variousness.  This is a very fine first novel.  I read it compelled and fascinated to the last word." 
--Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong.

Cultural Encyclopedia of LSD by Wayne Glausser

Albert Hoffman first synthesized LSD on November 16, 1938. When he accidentally absorbed a small quantity through his fingertips in 1943, he began a wave of experimentation that would reach its cultural heights in the academic and political mischief of Timothy Leary, the "acid tests" of the Merry Pranksters, and the musical experimentation of the late-1960s psychedelic era. In its 400 entries, this volume documents the influence of LSD on myriad aspects of culture, from psychiatry, religion, philosophy, arts, entertainment and sports, to commerce, science, politics and espionage. Coverage concentrates on the peak period of 1965 to 1969, but also includes LSD's early years and its later influence.

Airmail from the Airpoets by Joseph Heithaus

San Francisco Bay Press
“The Airpoets have been writing postcard poems to each other for several years. Airmail from the Airpoets gives us a glimpse into their delightfully worded, sometimes personal travels with insightful observations and stunning images. I am drawn to the unique snapshots of the various localities represented in this collection. In an otherwise technologically driven twitter-tatter world, the Airpoets give us all hope that the arts of poetry and written correspondence are alive and well and will continue to thrive as long as that of individual passion." --Robin Denman, poet and letter carrier.

 Fishing For Dummies by Greg Schwipps

Fishing for Dummies, 2nd Edition by Greg Schwipps

Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Fishing For Dummies, 2nd Edition prepares anglers for the ultimate fishing experience with useful knowledge and helpful tips for a successful fishing trip.  Fishing continues to be one of the most popular pastimes, and with this 348 page reference book, anglers receive instruction on all aspects of fishing, from choosing the right gear to handling a caught fish. Greg Schwipps provides updated material in Fishing For Dummies, 2nd Edition, which includes information on the latest technology and more multi-species angling coverage.

 Explore Theatre by Chris White

Explore Theatre

 Chris White's Two-Character Play is the center piece of this digital Explore Theatre textbook by Allyn and Bacon.

The Best Ten-Minute Plays, Chris White

The Best Ten-Minute Plays

Smith & Kraus
"The best 10-minute plays produced during the 2010-2011 theatrical season collected in one essential book!" 
In Chris White's Thespian, when a Brooklyn construction worker decides to audition for a play, his best buddy helps him beef up his resume with some on-the-job training, on the subway into Manhattan.

Videogames and Education by Harry Brown

M. E. Sharpe
Videogames challenge our notions of identity, creativity, and moral value, and provide a powerful new avenue for teaching and learning.  This book is a rich and provocative guide to the role of interactive media in cultural learning.  The book searches for specific ways to interpret videogames in the context of human experience and in the field of humanities research.  It also shows how videogames have become a powerful form of political, ethical, and religious discourse, and how they have already influenced the way we teach, learn, and create.  Brown discusses the major trends in game design, the public controversies surrounding videogames, and the predominant critical positions in game criticism.  The book speaks to all educators, scholars, and thinking persons who seek a fuller understanding of this significant and growing cultural phenomenon.

The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction by Istvan Csicsery-Ronay

Wesleyan University Press
"Csicsery-Ronay brings together a wealth of material to demonstrate the tranformative power of the 'seven beauties.'  Highly recommended for all readers interested in the ways in which science fiction relates to our past, present, and possible futures." 
--N. Katherine Hayles, author of Electronic Literature:  New Horizons for the Literary.

Dark Victorians by Vanessa Dickerson

University of Illinois Press
Dark Victorians illuminates the cross-cultural influences between white Britons and black Americans during the Victorian age. In carefully analyzing literature and travel narratives by Ida B. Wells, Harriet Martineau, Charles Dickens, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Carlyle, W.E.B. Du Bois, and others, Vanessa D. Dickerson reveals the profound political, racial, and rhetorical exchanges between the groups. From the nineteenth-century black nationalist David Walker, who urged emigrating African Americans to turn to England, to the twentieth-century writer Maya Angelou, who recalls how those she knew in her childhood aspired to Victorian ideas of conduct, black Americans have consistently embraced Victorian England. At a time when scholars of black studies are exploring the relations between diasporic blacks, and postcolonialists are taking imperialism to task, Dickerson considers how Britons negotiated their support of African Americans with the controlling policies they used to govern a growing empire of often dark-skinned peoples, and how philanthropic and abolitionist Victorian discourses influenced black identity, prejudice, and racism in America.
--From Amazon.com

Considering Maus, edited by Deborah R. Geis

University of Alabama Press
Ten scholars explore many aspects of Art Spiegelman's two-volume illustrated novel Maus: A Survivor's Tale, including Spiegelman's use of animal characters, the influence of other "comix" artists, the role of the mother and its relation to gender issues, the use of repeating images such as smoke and blood, Maus's place among Holocaust testimonials, its appropriation of cinematic technique, its use of language and styles of dialect, and the implications of the work's critical and commercial success.
--Edited by Deborah R. Geis, Associate Professor of English at DePauw University and author of Postmodern Theatric(k)s: Monologue in Contemporary American Drama

Susan-Lori Parks by Deborah R. Geis

University of Michigan Press
The latest addition to the Michigan Modern Dramatists series offers an indispensable guide to Park's dramatic works, taking a close look at her major plays and placing them in context.  Deborah R. Geis traces the evolution of Park's art from her earliest experimental pieces to the hugely popular Topdog/Underdog to her wide-ranging forays into fiction, music, and film.

Hoodlum Birds by Gloria

Hoodlum Birds by Eugene Gloria

Penguin Books
"Gloria gets better and better. His new work practices a profound care for the particulars of an individual life and the world at large, integrating the values of philosophical inquiry, reverie, and imagination. Poem after poem enacts a yearning for a wider and deeper sense of human belonging, using language that has all the luminosity and intensity of a spiritual pilgrimage, and the melancholy of racial, cultural, and spiritual alienation. These elegant, intelligent, and passionate poems hurt and reward us." --Li-Young Lee

Rivers, Rails, and Runways by Joseph Heithaus

San Francisco Bay Press
"Rivers, Rails and Runways introduces the work of five distinctive voices from the Heartland.  Rooted in Indiana, the poems capture the lure of the landscape and its relevance to each poet's journey.  Pulsating throughout are the authors' personal histories and meditations.  Notable for its thematic range, the anthology gains its strength from a juxtaposition of styles, each elegant and attuned to the rhythms of everyday life."
--Caroline Kreiter-Foronda: Poet Laureate of Virginia, 2006-2008

Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams

University of Minnesota Press
"Eye-opening, entertaining, and informative, Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams provides a fascinating, in-depth overview of Japanese prose, science fiction and animated series and films, from prewar precursors to the most recent cutting-edge works."
Edited by:  Christopher Bolton, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr, and Takayuki Tatsumi

Injun Joe's Ghost by Harry Brown

University of Missouri
Injun Joe's Ghost focuses on a significant figure in American history and culture that has, until now, remained on the periphery of academic discourse.  Brown offers an in-depth discussion of many texts, including dime novels and Depression-era magazine fiction, that have been almost entirely neglected by  scholars.  This volume also covers texts such as the historical romances of the 1820s and the novels of the twentieth-century "Native American Renaissance" from a fresh perspective.  Investigating a broad range of genres and subject over two hundred years of American writing, Injun Joe's Ghost will be useful to students and professionals in the fields of American literature, popular culture, and native studies.

Thursday's Game:  Notes from a Golfer with Far to Go by Tom Chiarella

Emmis Books (2004)
Tom Chiarella is the serious amateur, the humbled hacker, and the appreciative fan all rolled into one. Golfers everywhere will identify with his tales of low-grade frustration centered on a dimpled ball and a fairway filled with traps.  But these affectionate, tee-in-cheek reminiscences and respectful rantings are balanced by memories of those sublime--and all too seldom--moments when the shot rises like a rocket, straight and true, carrying over a long stretch of treacherous real estate to settle at last onto the cool comfort of the green.

Learning to Float by Lili Wright

Broadway Books
 An engaging memoir from the road updates the tradition of the picaresque traveler's tale.  With unflinching honesty and refreshing wit, Wright captures the torn emotions, comic misfires, and inevitable trade-offs felt by young people everywhere.

Recovering the Black Female Body by Vanessa Dickerson

Rediscovering the Black Female Body by Vanessa Dickerson

Rutgers University Press
"A highly original and very informative collection of essays that theorizes the complicated intersection of the black female body and its Western symbolic meanings.  The collection is essential for anyone interested in the tensions between post-structuralist and humanist understandings of subject formation, social agency, and performative identity."   
--Claudia Tate, Princeton University
Edited by Michael Bennett and Vanessa D. Dickerson

Drivers at the Short-Time Motel by Gloria

Drivers at the Short-Time Motel by Eugene Gloria

Penguin Books
  Eugene Gloria's Drivers at the Short-Time Motel is propelled by an imagistic sincerity and paced lyricism. Each poem seems to embody the plain-spoken as well as the embellishments that we associate with classical and modern Asian poetry. Though many of the poems address the lingering hurt of cultural and economic imperialism, worlds coexist in the same skin through magical imagery.  Gauged by a keen eye, history is scrutinized, but through a playful exactness. These wonderful poems are trustworthy." --Yusef Komunyaaka
This collection of poems was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 1999 National Poetry Series.

Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella

Story Press Books
Characters need to speak to each other.  Tom Chiarella shows you how.  Whether it's an argument, a love scene, a powwow among sixth graders or scientists in a lab, this book demonstrates how to write dialogue that sounds authentic and original.

You'll learn ways to find ideas for literary discussions by tuning in to what you hear every day.  You'll learn to use gestures instead of speech, to insert silences that are as effective as outbursts, to add shifts in tone, and other strategies for making conversations more compelling.  Nuts and bolts are covered, too--formatting, punctuation, dialogue tags--everything you need to get your characters talking.

Locke and Blake by Wayne Glausser

University Press of Florida
 Locke and Blake is a composite critical biography of two giants of 18th-century culture. Organized by topics of cultural significance for the period, it weaves together two lives, focusing on critical topics as opposed to biographical details, in order to illuminate ideas of Locke and Blake and the cultural contexts and transformations of the "period" they shared. Glausser begins each chapter by sketching a biographical connection between the two men, which in turn leads to a broader discussion of textual as well as cultural significance. From their shared experience of having had paintings stolen by a friend, for instance, Glausser details the two men's angry responses and then explores the larger social issue of private property at each end of the 18th century.

 Approaching the Millennium: Essays on Angels in America

Approaching the Millennium, edited by Deborah R. Geis

University of Michigan Press
 The original essays in Approaching the Millennium explore the complexities of the play and situate it in its particular, conflicted historical moment. The contributors help us understand and appreciate the play as a literary work, as theatrical text, as popular cultural phenomenon, and as political reflection and intervention. Specific topics include how the play thematizes gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity; the postmodern incarnation of the Brechtian epic; AIDS and the landscape of American politics. The range of different international productions of Angels in America provides a rich basis for discussion of its production history, including the linguistic and cultural shifts required in its "translation" from one stage to the next.

Contributors to this volume are Arnold Aronson, Art Borreca, Gregory W. Bredbeck, Michael Cadden, Nicholas de Jongh, Allen J. Frantzen, Stanton B. Garner, Deborah R. Geis, Martin Harries, Steven F. Kruger, James Miller, Framji Minwalla, Donald Pease, Janelle Reinelt, David Román, David Savran, Ron Scapp, and Alisa Solomon.

Edited by Deborah Geis

Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide by Vanessa Dickerson

University of Missouri
In Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide, Vanessa D. Dickerson analyzes women's spirituality in a materialistic age by examining the supernatural fiction of Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot and provides interpretive readings of familiar texts like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Other works by lesser-known authors are also examined.

book cover

Keeping the Victorian House by Vanessa Dickerson

 In a collection of twelve essays,  Keeping the Victorian House explores the housekeeping of Victorian women as a social, cultural, economic, mythic, and  spiritual enterprise.  As Dickerson writes in the introduction, "From the Victorian Period to the twentieth century, whether a woman perceived the house to be her jail or her salvation, whether she owned a home or had been turned out of one, whether she was angelic, fallen, or savage, her identity, status, and being were powerfully determined by the concept of house and home.  The house kept her just as surely as she was designated the one who ought to keep it."  The volume which consists of two parts includes essays on such writers as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Henry James, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Joseph Conrad.

Postmodern Theatric(k)s by Deborah R. Geis

University of Michigan Press
 Postmodern Theatric(k)s focuses on the voices that have emerged from American experimental theater of the 1960s, voices shaped by the culture of television, film, Pop Art, and rock music. Increasingly, these writers have brought a distinctly new approach to the use of monologue. Deborah Geis argues that in place of the psychological revelation of the Shakespearean soliloquy, these postmodern monologues play "tricks" by altering, suspending, or rupturing the narrative "progress" of a play. Character development through monologue is replaced by parody, theatricality, and "con" games. For some recent performance artists, the notion of character itself explodes, as monologue permits the performer to play at blurring the fictional and the autobiographical.

Foley's Luck by Tom Chiarella

  Tom Chiarella's first short story collection Foley's Luck garnered critical praise and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire and Story. A winner of a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts award.

On Philip K. Dick

 This book contains all the articles on Phillip K. Dick published in Science-Fiction Studies through 1991--with the term "article" defined broadly enough to include notes, reviews, and letters to the editor.