‘Celebrating Our Books, Recognizing Our Authors’

Best-selling historian Douglas Brinkley and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast present keynote addresses for annual faculty book colloquium Dec. 5 and 6

New York Times best-selling historian Douglas Brinkley and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast will present keynote addresses for “Celebrating Our Books, Recognizing Our Authors,” Washington University’s 10th annual faculty book colloquium.

Organized by the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences and the Washington University Libraries, “Celebrating Our Books” also will feature new book presentations by four faculty authors, as well as a display of all faculty books published during the past three years.

Events will take place at 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 5 and 6, in the Formal Lounge of the Ann W. Olin Women’s Building. Each evening will include a keynote address and two faculty presentations, with a book signing and reception to immediately follow.

Faculty books also will be displayed and available for purchase in the Washington University Campus Store.

All events are free and open to the public. The Women’s Building is located a short walk north of Olin Library. For more information, call (314) 935-5576 or e-mail cenhum@artsci.wustl.edu.

New York Times best-selling historian Douglas Brinkley will speak “Of Books and the Internet” Dec. 5.

Monday, Dec. 5

Keynote address: “Of Books and the Internet”
Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University and historian for CBS News

Brinkley’s most recent publications include The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom 1879-1960 (2011); The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2009); The Reagan Diaries (2007), which he edited; and The New York Times best-seller The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2006), which recieved the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University and historian for CBS News, is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times Book Review and American Heritage, as well as a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly.

New book presentations

Peter Kastor, PhD, associate professor of history and of American culture studies, both in Arts & Sciences, is author of William Clark’s World (Yale University Press, 2010), which examines how Americans conceived of and represented the West during the first decades after independence. The book — which Kastor began while serving as a Center for the Humanities faculty fellow — pursues that question through a study of the life of William Clark (1770-1838). Though now best known as an explorer, Clark also was an important federal official and spent much of his adult life describing the West in both words and pictures.

Jessica Rosenfeld, PhD, assistant professor of English in Arts & Sciences, is author of Ethics and Enjoyment in Late Medieval Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2011). The book provides a history of the ethics of medieval vernacular love poetry by tracing its engagement with the late medieval reception of Aristotle. Beginning with a history of the idea of enjoyment from Plato to Peter Abelard and the troubadours, Rosenfeld then presents a literary and philosophical history of the medieval ethics of love, centered on the legacy of the Roman de la Rose.

Tuesday, Dec. 6

Keynote address: “An Evening with Roz Chast”
Roz Chast, author and cartoonist for
The New Yorker

Chast, who sold her first cartoon to The New Yorker in 1978, has established herself as one of the great chroniclers of the anxieties, superstitions, furies, insecurities and surreal imaginings of modern life. Editor David Remnick has called her The New Yorker’s “only certifiable genius.” To date, nine collections of her work have been published, including most recently Theories of Everything (2006), a 25-year retrospective; Too Busy Marco (2010); and What I Hate: From A to Z (2011). In addition, Chast has illustrated several children’s books and provided cartoons and editorial illustrations for almost 50 magazines.

New book presentations

Akiko Tsuchiya, PhD, professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures and of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, both in Arts & Sciences, is author of Marginal Subjects: Gender and Deviance in Fin-de-siècle Spain (University of Toronto Press, 2011). Completed under the auspices of the Center for the Humanities’ faculty fellowship program, the book scrutinizes the obsessive interest in gender deviance in Spanish fiction of the late 19th century, a turbulent period when the nation was plagued by fears of domestic unrest and of the loss of empire abroad.

Craig Monson, PhD, professor of music in Arts & Sciences, is author of Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art, and Arson in the Convents of Italy (University of Chicago, 2010). The book recounts stories of 16th- and 17th-century nuns who dared to circumvent the strict Catholicism of their day, including an entire religious community’s attempt to flee their cloister by setting fire to it. In addition, the book draws attention to modern religious women whose “misbehavior” in seeking ordination as priests or objecting to the practices of their churches continues today.