Artists & Scholars

Fall 2018

Books

These haiku poems were written as Steve Abhaya Brooks ’64 read all of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, open to her influence as he has always been. There was no attempt or intention to copy or adopt her style, focus, or language. 

Betty Moffett’s Coming Clean (Ice Cube Press, October 2018) tells stories of her days growing up in North Carolina as well as her time spent in Grinnell. She came to Grinnell with her husband Sandy Moffett, professor emeritus of theatre, and taught for nearly 30 years in the Grinnell College Writing Lab. Then she began using the advice she offered students in her own work.

In Dreams for Lesotho: Independence, Foreign Assistance, and Development (University of Notre Dame Press, 2018), John Aerni-Flessner ’01 studies the post-independence emergence of Lesotho as an example of the uneven ways in which people experienced development at the end of colonialism in Africa. The book posits that development became the language through which Basotho (the people of Lesotho) conceived of the dream of independence, both before and after the 1966 transfer of power. Aerni-Flessner went to Lesotho in 2002 as part of the third cohort of Grinnell Corps Lesotho fellows. With George Drake ’56 as his adviser, Aerni-Flessner lived and taught in Lesotho for a year and now makes it his scholarly career as a historian.

Eight friends. One game. A dozen regrets. And a night that will ruin them all, in this high stakes story of manipulation and innocence lost. The latest young adult novel (Simon Pulse, 2018) by Christa Soule Desir ’96 is partially set on the Grinnell College campus. Desir says early trade reviews have been all over the map from “refreshingly sex positive” to “way too graphic for school libraries but teenagers will probably like it.”

For crossword and puzzle readers, Phil Morales ’72 has a fourth edition (LE3 Aerial Photography, 2018) of a book originally released in 1980. This new version turns the solution on its head. Instead of trying to solve an unsolved cube, the Quick Start section shows how a solved cube can be “unsolved” and then re-solved in three short steps. Armed with this knowledge, the reader can then solve the cube from any state.

Thomas Rayfiel ’80 sets his eighth novel (Permanent Press, 2018) in the voice and head of Ethan Harms, inmate of a “supermax” detention facility. As Ethan negotiates this perilous landscape, trying to find redemption, trying to understand the actions that brought him here, we begin to wonder how much of a difference there is between a prison of steel bars and razor tape and a prison erected by the nature of the human soul itself, the question being, in either instance, if one escapes … what lies beyond?

Mike Kleine ’11 produced this 100,000-word, computer-generated novel about a time-traveling manifestation of the Zodiac Killer for the small press Inside the Castle over a period of five days during the Castle Freak Residency in November 2017.

Sally Campbell Galman ’96 recently released a book, Naptime at the O.K. Corral — Shane’s Beginner’s Guide to Childhood Ethnography (Routledge, 2018). This illustrated guide will orient the reader to the fundamental challenges in doing ethnographic research with children. The book begins by briefly exploring the history of research on children, with children, for children, and “by” children. Throughout, it is about doing research with children rather than on them, highlighting their participant rather than object nature.

Scholarship

Vince Eckhart, Waldo S. Walker Professor of Biology, and his colleagues Monica Geber (Cornell University) and David Moeller (University of Minnesota) have received a grant of $450,000 from the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Research in Evolutionary Biology program for a five-year project, a continuation of a previous five-year grant to the three investigators. By studying Clarkia xantiana, a flowering plant native to California, Eckhart, Geber, Moeller, and their students will investigate how evolutionary adaptation contributes to population size and the geographic range of a species. They will also continue — and expand to Grinnell — a project called Market Science, which connects citizens with research scientists at local farmers’ markets. 

Art

Ethan Kenvarg ’12 and Caleb Neubauer ’13 released their debut EP Locales in May. They’re part of Ooraloo, a five-piece art rock group from Chicago. The five-track collection was produced in collaboration with Adam Thein ’10 and Katie In ’13 and recorded in Grinnell at the home of Jon Edwards, senior associate director of admission. Ooraloomusic.com