Authors and Artists

Spring 2021

Books

The University of Toronto Press published a book by Javier Samper Vendrell, assistant professor of German studies at Grinnell, about the history of the gay rights movement of early 20th-century Germany. The Seduction of Youth: Print Culture and Homosexual Rights in the Weimar Republic is the first study to focus on the League for Human Rights, Germany’s first mass homosexual organization, and its leader.

In The Streets of Europe: The Sights, Sounds, and Smells that Shaped Its Great Cities, Brian Ladd ’77 recounts a rich social and cultural history of the European city street, tracing its transformation from a lively scene of trade and crowds into a thoroughfare for high-speed transportation. Published by the University of Chicago Press in September, the book reveals the changing nature of city life, why streets matter, and how they can contribute to public life.

Ice Cube Press published the latest book of poetry from Ralph Savarese, professor of English at Grinnell: When This Is Over: Pandemic Poems. The poems in this collection function almost like diary entries. Things are pulled from the news: Tony Fauci, the Orange Man, murder hornets, mask mandates, George Floyd, and more. But it’s not all despair. Like the man on the cover wearing a suit and gas mask and holding a daisy, the poems aim for a touch of whimsy. And they look to the future while, yes, wearing a mask.

Fall 2020

Books

African Art Reframed: Reflections and Dialogues on Museum Culture, co-authored by J.R. Osborn ’97, was published in June 2020 by the University of Illinois Press. The book contains sociocultural analysis of museum practices, dialogues with curators and artists on three continents, and suggestions for the future of museums

Afterlives of Affect: Science, Religion, and an Edgewalker’s Spirit, by Matthew C. Watson ’03, was published in August by Duke University Press. The experimental ethnography considers the life and work of Linda Schele (1942–1998), artist and Maya hieroglyph expert, as a point of departure for what Watson calls an “excitable anthropology.” The book traces how Schele’s sense of joyous discovery and affective engagement with research led her to traverse and disrupt borders between religion, science, art, life, death, and history.

With an overview of the broader draft resistance movement, Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War is an exploration of the sweeping landscape of the American left during the Vietnam War era. The book, written by Ted Glick ’71 and published by PM Press, takes readers on a journey through Glick’s personal evolution from a typical white, middle-class American teenager to an anti-war, nonviolent draft resister.

In March, Academic Press published Exploring Mathematical Modeling in Biology, co-authored by Anne Walter ’73. It is an introductory modeling text designed to fully integrate biology and math students by having them work together. The text supports a course that addresses the topic with case studies, a wet lab, and lab-based projects as well as the mathematics and process of modeling along with the requisite computer coding.

Author Ken Augustine ’68 spent five years as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Grinnell. But 40 years later, almost no one knew much about that eventful segment of his life. His sister, Kay, pointed this out to him recently, prompting Augustine to write Flying the Line, a collection of stories and memoirs from those early days spent flying cargo planes to far-flung corners of the earth.

Finishing Line Press published My Coney Island, a chapbook of poetry by Susan E. Oringel ’73, in 2019. The book tells the story of one family and of the country: the lives and deaths of the parents of a Jewish, second- and third-generation immigrant family beginning in Coney Island

Poetics of Still Life: A Collage, by Robert Vas Dias ’53, to be published in November by Permanent Press in the U.K., is a cross-disciplinary exploration of still life from the earliest times to the present. The book combines 65 still-life color images; commentaries by art historians, critics, curators, and writers; and poems and prose poems by Vas Dias.