About Scope    Editor’s Mailbox    Back Issues    Skidmore Home

Spring 2003

- - - - - - - - - -





Centennial spotlight

On campus

Faculty focus

Arts on view



Alumni affairs
and development

Class notes



Author, author!

The Zimmern Chronicle
Saying It’s So
Picturing the Past
Setting YourSelf Free
Mommy’s Hands
The Iran-Iraq War

The Zimmern Chronicle: Nobility, Memory, and Self-Representation in Sixteenth-Century Germany

by Erica Bastress-Dukehart, Assistant Professor of History
Ashgate Publishing, 2002

     The Zimmern Chronicle is often regarded as the most famous account of a noble family to come out of sixteenth-century Germany. Bastress-Dukehart addresses the longstanding mystery surrounding the chronicle’s authorship, examines how inherited land and ancestral memory together manifested the nobility’s social image and demonstrated its political power, and how feuds between families helped shape the German nobility’s political relationships and personal values. Portraying the Zimmern Chronicle as far more than just a family history, she argues that its authors, by filling their work with legends, sexual tales, and farcical stories of daily life in Southwest Germany, ensured that their audience would be curious enough to read the chronicle to its conclusion—and thus perpetuate the memory of the family.


Saying It’s So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal

by Daniel A. Nathan, Assistant Professor of American Studies
University of Illinois Press, 2002

     This study of the “Black Sox” scandal—when “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and his Chicago teammates purportedly conspired with gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds—examines how it has been represented and remembered by journalists, historians, novelists, filmmakers, and baseball fans. In addressing the relationship between cultural narratives and social reality, the author considers the media’s coverage of the scandal—from front-page attention to scathing commentaries and cartoons—when the story broke in 1920 and in the following years.


Picturing the Past: Illustrated Histories and the American Imagination, 1840–1900

by Gregory M. Pfitzer, Associate Professor of American Studies
Smithsonian Institute Press, 2002

     This illustrated history of history books offers a detailed look into the visual culture of a time when artists presented their own patriotic interpretations of historical events and authors eventually began to write their texts with these images in mind. The author finds that these books, generated in the mid-nineteenth century, were directed at semiliterate immigrants as well as middle-class Americans seeking to reaffirm their patriotism. While many books contained sentimental and even comic misrepresentations of history, others were able to more accurately condense the past and make it comprehensible. By 1900, as professional historians called into question the relevancy of visual literacy, illustrated history books went out of vogue, paving the way for monographs, journal articles, and professional papers.


Setting YourSelf Free: Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Abuse in Family, Friendships, Work and Love

by SaraKay Sherman Smullens ’62
New Horizon Press, 2002

     Twenty years ago, the author—a marriage and family therapist and best-selling author of Whoever Said Life Is Fair—began a journal recording the early years of emotional abuse she recognized in the histories of many of her clients and in her own early life. Her recordings indicated that when emotional abuse begins in childhood, it leaves its victims vulnerable, entrapping them in future relationships with friends, lovers, and co-workers and perpetuating an ever-expanding cycle of emotional abuse. In Setting YourSelf Free, the author helps men and women recognize the cycles of emotional abuse—including rage, enmeshment, overprotection, abandonment, and neglect—and offers practical advice to end them. Smullens hopes her latest book “not only educates about the invisible malignancy of emotional abuse, but also serves as a parenting guide for how to raise kids who will not become susceptible to abuse in personal and professional relationships.”


Mommy’s Hands

by Jane Kamine ’65 and Kathryn Lasky; illustrated by Darcia LaBrosse
Hyperion Press, 2002

     Through simple observations, three toddlers reveal the love, security, and nurturing that are expressed through the everyday motions of their mothers’ hands. One child admires how his mother pours milk without spilling a drop; another marvels at how her mother can braid her very short hair. The children also rely on the wisdom inherent in their mothers’ hands as they guide their smaller, inexperienced ones in simple tasks such as rolling out cookie dough or forming letters with a pencil. While told from a child’s perspective, the book also incorporates appreciation from the mothers for how the children use their own hands—for snapping snaps, building sandcastles, and drawing pictures on a frosty windowpane.

The Iran-Iraq War

by David Schaffer ’82
Lucent Books, 2003

     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 Iran-Iraq War presents an account of one of the longest and most destructive wars of the twentieth century. Global interest in the Middle East and dependence upon oil supplies from the Persian Gulf led to widespread and intense international interest in the war, which coincided with a rise in Islamic militancy and political instability in the region.



by David Schaffer ’82
Enslow Publishers Inc., 2003

     MyReportLinks.com Books (an imprint of Enslow Publishers) offers the latest in its States series, featuring books that explore the geography, climate, economy, government, and history of the fifty United States. The Report Links take the reader to Web sites, source documents, and photos related to each state. —MTS

Get booked
Alumni authors are urged to send copies of their books, publisher’s notes, or reviews, so that Scope can make note of their work in the “Books” column.

Attention, authors!
Skidmore’s new Colton Alumni Welcome Center would like to showcase alumni authors in its library/lounge. To be included, please send one copy of your full-length published books to: Colton Alumni Welcome Center, Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.


© 2003 Skidmore College