Artists & Scholars

Spring 2018


Vance Byrd, associate professor of German, authored A Pedagogy of Observation: Nineteenth-Century Panoramas, German Literature, and Reading Culture (2017), part of Bucknell University Press’s New Studies in the Age of Goethe series. The book identifies how the German bourgeois intelligentsia created literature as panoramic stages both for self-representation and as a venue for critiquing modern life. These written panoramas, so to speak, helped German readers see before their eyes industrial transformations, urban development, scientific exploration, and new possibilities for social interactions.

Equivalence: Elizabeth L. Scott at Berkeley (Chapman and Hall/CRC Press, 2017) by Amanda Golbeck ’74 is the compelling story of one pioneering statistician’s mammoth and relentless 20-year effort to promote the status of women in academia and science. Part biography and part micro history, the book provides the context and background to understand Scott’s penchant for, and masterfulness at, using statistics to help solve societal problems.

Fiona M. Simon ’87 published a business memoir, Gambling on Granola: Unexpected Gifts on the Path of Entrepreneurship (Terra Nova Books, 2018), sharing her uplifting and inspiring tale of the products and company she created while following her dream. 

Given Up for You: A Memoir of Love, Belonging, and Belief (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018) by Erin White ’95 is a candid memoir about her hunger for both romantic and divine love and how these desires transformed her life. 

Mark Whitters ’77 published Memoirs of an Unfinished Tale: A Performance of Acts of the Apostles with Cascade Books (2017). This is a fresh way of presenting the Bible, a method based on a rapidly growing movement in college and university classrooms called “reacting.”


Trevor Jones ’94 edited Active Collections with Elizabeth Wood and Rainey Tisdale. Active Collections critically examines existing approaches to museum collections and explores practical yet radical ways that museums can better manage their collections to actively advance their missions. The essays look to insights from fields as diverse as forest management, library science, and the psychology of compulsive hoarding to inform and innovate collection practices (Routledge, 2018). 


Susan Coop Street ’64 was featured artist at the Benicia Plein Air Gallery, Benicia, Calif., in January 2018. Her oil paintings of the desert near Cochiti Lake, N.M., were inspired by a trip to visit friends. The rains had come and showed her a desert with vistas of purples, reds, and yellows. The paintings reflect her joy of discovery, the feeling of being slightly out of her comfort zone (painting the desert, working from photos), and how this native Californian came full circle in appreciating the desert.

Sam Sellers ’00 (a.k.a. Rabbi Darkside) has released a collection of music through Say Word Entertainment streamed through the Bandcamp app. On the album Flight are Sellers’ works “I Do Believe,” “Loop Love,” and “Lo and Behold.” 

Susan Klein D’Alessio ’63 is showing artwork in the Philadelphia area, with her acrylic painting “Invaders Red #2” at the Cerulean Arts Gallery in July and her participation in the Philadelphia Open Studio Tour in October.

Carl Pfirman ’83 edited a feature documentary film called Kusama — Infinity, which had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The film is one of only 16 films included in the U.S. feature documentary competition and is nominated for the grand jury prize. Kusama — Infinity describes how one of the world’s most celebrated artists, Yayoi Kusama, broke free of the rigid society in which she was raised and overcame sexism, racism, and mental illness to bring her artistic vision to the world stage. At 88, she lives in a mental hospital and continues to create art.