About Scope    Editor’s Mailbox    Back Issues    Skidmore Home


Fall 2002

- - - - - - - - - -

Contents

Features

Observations

Letters

On campus

Faculty focus

Books

Sports

Arts on view

Alumni affairs
and development

Class notes

 

 
 

Books

A Book of Common Praise
Versailles
La Purificación Tepetitla
Stravinsky and Balanchine
Research Paper: Guide to Resources
Exercise Physiology for Health, Fitness and Performance
In the Wake of 9/11
Canyon
The Viking Conquest
Trust Fund Babies

A Book of Common Praise

by Robert Boyers, Professor of English, Tisch Professor of Arts and Letters, and Editor of Salmagundi
Ausable Press, 2002


     “Originally written as introductions to public readings of poetry and fiction, these miniature essays are masterpieces of the art of criticism,” writes poet Chase Twitchell. “Rigorous, precise, playful, and informed by a lifetime of serious reading and response, each gives us sharp insight into the writer’s work, placing it on the literary map and probing its passions and hallmark qualities.…In only a few pages, Boyers can encapsulate an entire career, charting a writer’s structural, musical, philosophical, and political evolution by tracking the subtle ghost of the human imagination. Boyers’ convictions about language and literature are married to an open-mindedness that allows for, even demands, an ongoing reassessment…of the work at hand….”
     Boyers, adds John Bayley, is “shrewd and sensible in his judgements…he can be very funny as well, not at the expense of the author under discussion, but to reveal something about the writer’s predicament, and our own.”

  

Versailles

by Kathryn Davis, Professor of English
Houghton Mifflin, 2002


     Versailles, according to its publisher, is the story of Marie Antoinette’s life from the eve of her marriage to her death—narrated by her ghost. As the novel begins, fourteen-year-old Marie Antoinette is traveling from Austria to France to meet her fiancé. He will become the sixteenth Louis to reign in France, and Antoinette will be his queen, hemmed in by towering hairdos, the xenophobic suspicion of her subjects, the misogyny of her detractors, the larger-than-life figures of Mirabeau, Du Barry, Robespierre, and the manifold twists and turns of the palace she calls home. Over time, Antoinette gives birth to four children (two of whom will outlive her), falls in love, and dies at the guillotine. Versailles, the publisher notes, is “a meditation on time and the soul’s true journey within it…at once wittily entertaining and astonishingly wise.” The New York Times Book Review called Versailles “a splendid novel…rapturous, like an aria.…It reads as if Marie Antoi-nette were relating the events of her brief life now.”

  

La Purificación Tepetitla:
Agua potable y cambio social en el somontano

by Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Universidad Iberoamericana and Archivo Histórico del Agua, México, 2001


     Providing safe and adequate drinking water to a growing population has become one of Mexico’s most pressing social issues. To better understand the cultural and political dimensions of Mexico’s water problems, Ennis-McMillan analyzes the relationship between drinking water management and social change in La Purificación Tepetitla, a foothill community in the Valley of Mexico. (In English, the book’s subtitle translates as “Drinking Water and Social Change in the Foothills.”) Based on the author’s ethnographic and archival research conducted since 1993, the book explores how communities use traditional civil and religious institutions to address conflicts over local control of water supplies. Ennis-McMillan’s work highlights the importance of community-based resource management strategies for creating sustainable drinking water systems in developing countries.

  

Stravinsky and Balanchine—
A Journey of Invention

by Charles M. Joseph, Professor of Music and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty
Yale University Press, 2002


     In exploring the artistic collaborations between composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer George Balanchine, Joseph considers the background and psychology of the two men, the dynamics of their interactions, their personal and professional similarities and differences, and the political and historical circumstances that influenced their work.
     In his 2001 book, Stravinsky Inside Out, Joseph wrote of Stravinsky and Balanchine, “The ballets they forged together stand as one of the most extraordinary collaborative triumphs of the 20th century.” According to a Publisher’s Weekly review of Stravinsky and Balanchine, “Joseph’s detailed analyses of the music’s form and structure in relationship to the dance is excellent. It is no mean feat that he is able to articulate precisely what it is about Balanchine’s choreography that allows us, in Balanchine’s words, ‘to see the music and hear the dance.’” The New York Times Book Review deemed Joseph “a master of an elegant and refreshingly courteous prose…”

  

Research Paper: A Guide to Library and Internet Research & English Online Resources

By Dawn Rodrigues and Raymond J. Rodrigues, Director of Assessment
Prentice Hall, 2002

     Through practical writing assignments, this third edition (with a companion Web site) teaches students in all disciplines how to write research papers and search libraries and the Internet (including e-mail, listservs, and online forums) in preparation for drafting and documenting research papers. It illustrates how to find, evaluate, save, and organize the resources and how to integrate and cite sources within the research paper. For students who have limited experience with technology, the book also teaches computer skills and provides online help; more experienced students are directed in how to use technology purposely for research.

  

Exercise Physiology for Health, Fitness and Performance

by Denise L. Smith, Associate Professor of Exercise Science, and Sharon A. Plowman
Benjamin Cummings, 2002

     In this second edition of one of the primary texts in the field of exercise physiology, the authors unify basic scientific facts with applied concepts that stimulate active learning and allow for flexibility in teaching. Each unit aims to follow a consistent and integrated sequence of presentation: basic anatomy and physiology review (including neurohormonal regulation), exercise response, training principles and adaptations, and special applications. This edition offers a new media package, including InterActive Physiology, sampler CD-ROM, and the Physiology Place Web site.

  

In the Wake of 9/11:
The Psychology of Terror

Tom Pyszczynski; Sheldon Solomon, Professor of Psychology; and Jeff Greenberg
APA Books, 2002


     In exploring the emotions of despair, fear, and anger that arose after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the authors analyze reactions to the attacks through the lens of “terror management” theory, an existential psychological model that explains why humans react the way they do to the threat of death and how this reaction influences their cognition and emotion. The theory provides ways to understand and reduce terrorism’s effect and possibly find resolutions to conflicts involving terrorism. The authors focus primarily on the reaction in the United States to the 9/11 attack, but their model is applicable to all instances of terrorism, and they expand their discussion to include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A resource for mental-health practitioners, researchers, and anyone concerned with the causes and effects of terrorism.

  

Canyon

by Eileen Cameron ’65
Mikaya Press, 2002

     Geared for readers ages seven to twelve, this book is the author’s tribute to the wonder of canyons and the process of their creation by erosion and weathering over centuries. Cameron describes millions of years of geology as she follows the water’s journey down from the mountaintop, gaining power and strength with each mile. The text is accompanied by Michael Collier’s photographs, which offer a look at the streams and rivers that create canyons, aerial shots showing their depth, and close-ups of the canyons’ sculptured sides.
     Eileen Cameron has hiked many canyons of the American West, in the sea-level desert and the high mountains, in all seasons. She lives in Morristown, N.J.

  

The Viking Conquest

by David Schaffer ’82
Lucent Books, 2002

     This book is part of the publisher’s World History Series, which provides an overview of significant historical events and periods, and supplements narrative writing with primary and secondary source quotations. Geared toward junior-high-school readers, The Viking Conquest presents an account of the military, political, and economic spheres of influence established by the Vikings in Britain, Europe, and western Asia during the Middle Ages.
     David Schaffer has two other history books nearing release—one on the Iran-Iraq war and another on the State of Vermont.

  

Trust Fund Babies

by Jean Stone ’97
Bantam, 2002


     Best-selling romance author Jean Stone tells the story of three cousins who have little in common aside from a family inheritance—and memories of a summertime tragedy many years ago. But the women unite when they learn that their trusted executor has disappeared with their money. In their search to find him—and to earn money for basic sustenance in the absence of easy income—they reclaim much more than their fortune. Reviewer Harriet Klausner remarks, “Trust Fund Babies is an insightful look at three individuals struggling with a sudden reversal in their lives. The cousins are warm, engaging protagonists”; Publishers Weekly notes the author’s “graceful prose, vivid imagery, and compassionately drawn characters.”
     Jean Stone recently completed her tenth novel, Beach Roses (due out from Bantam in April 2002) and has taken a break to explore parts of Alaska before beginning her next book. —MTS

 


© 2002 Skidmore College