Freshly Pressed: New book column showcases works by campus community

September 27, 2010

Freshly Pressed highlights books written or edited by members of the UM-Dearborn community. Faculty, staff, alumni and students are welcome to submit their recently published titles to this column by e-mailing Reporter editor Jennifer Thelen at with a summary of the book, a high-resolution JPEG of the book's cover and a URL where readers can purchase the title, if applicable.

Freshly Pressed's newest titles, listed alphabetically by author, include:

Kate Davy, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, has a new book, Lady Dicks and Lesbian Brothers: Staging the Unimaginable at the WOW Café Theatre, which was published by the University of Michigan Press in July. The book provides a critical history of a small women's theater collective called the WOW Café located on the lower east side of Manhattan, where some of the most important theater troupes and performance artists of the 1980s and 1990s emerged. According to the publisher's website "this avant-garde venture whose ongoing 'system of anarchy' has been largely responsible for its 30-year staying power, after dozens of other women's theaters have collapsed. WOW artists were creating a wholly original cultural landscape across which women could represent themselves on their own terms. Parody, cross-dressing, zany comedy and an unbridled eroticism are hallmarks of WOW's aesthetic, combined---importantly and powerfully---with a presumptive address to the audience as if everyone onstage, in the audience, and in the world is lesbian.

Chancellor Daniel Little's most recent book is a scholarly monograph titled New Contributions to the Philosophy of History, published last month by Springer. According to the publisher's website, the book explores how "insights developed in the past two decades by philosophers of the social sciences can serve to enrich the challenging intellectual tasks of conceptualizing, investigating and representing the human past. Likewise, intimate engagement with the writings of historians can deepen philosophers' understanding of the task of knowing the past. This volume brings these perspectives together and considers fundamental questions, such as: What is historical causation? What is a large historical structure? How can we best conceptualize 'mentalities' and 'identities'? What is involved in understanding the subjectivity of historical actors? What is involved in arriving at an economic history of a large region? How are actions and outcomes related? The arguments touch upon a wide range of historical topics -- the Chinese and French Revolutions, the extension of railroads in the nineteenth century, and the development of agriculture in medieval China."

In June, Palgrave Macmillan published The Future of Diversity: Academic Leaders Reflect on American Higher Education which was edited by Little and co-editor Satya P. Mohanty. According to the publisher's website, "in The Future of Diversity, distinguished academic leaders--heads of universities and foundations as well as faculty with valuable research and personal experience--discuss the next stage in the pursuit of democratic diversity and excellence on our campuses across the country. How can we make our universities more socially representative and open to all who wish to study? How can we create a campus culture that is more hospitable to a diverse student, staff, and faculty? What steps can we take to improve the university's relevance to our globalizing world? This volume assesses current attempts to create a positive and democratic campus culture and lays out some specific and general proposals for achieving greater success in the future."

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