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Speaking of Books

Conversations With Campus Authors

Speaking of Books series features free, open to the community and public talks by UMD faculty authors on their recently published work. You may register through our calendar, or by selecting an upcoming event below.

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Past Events

Speaking of Books with Linda Rabben: Through a Glass Darkly: The Social History of Stained Glass in Baltimore

Date: November 13, 2023

Through a Glass Darkly is based on two years' on-the-ground, library and archival research in a city of architectural treasures that reflect a long history of racial, religious and ethnic segregation. Stained-glass makers struggle to produce beautiful products of an endangered craft.

Linda Rabben is an Associate Research Professor of Anthropology at UMD. She joined the department’s professional track faculty in 2015, after a long career in the nonprofit sector. The author of ten published books and numerous articles on human rights and related subjects, she worked for Amnesty International and other nongovernmental organizations for more than 30 years.

Dr. Rabben did anthropological field research in and on the United States, Britain and Brazil and was a UN election observer in Mozambique. She has spoken about human rights and migration issues to diverse audiences in the US, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Brazil and France. In 2014 she coordinated an international conference on the global grassroots environmental movement at American University in Washington, D.C. Since moving to Baltimore in 2021 she has been doing research on the city’s architectural history. Publication of her eleventh book, Through a Glass Darkly: The Social History of Stained Glass in Baltimore, is scheduled in November 2023.

Speaking of Books with Julius Fleming: Black Patience: Performance, Civil Rights, and the Unfinished Project of Emancipation

Date: October 26, 2023

Black Patience: Performance, Civil Rights, and the Unfinished Project of Emancipation (2022) reconsiders the Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of black theatre. It argues that theatre—like television and photography—was a vital tool of civil rights activism and a crucial site of black artistic and cultural production. During this historical moment, black artists and activists turned to the stages of Broadway. They produced plays in the Netherlands, and in U.S. prisons. They performed in the cotton fields of Mississippi, once dodging a bomb tossed from the audience to the stage. Analyzing a largely underexplored, transnational archive of black theatre, this book charts a new cultural and political history of the Civil Rights Movement, and offers new routes to perennial questions about race, gender, sexuality, performance, and black political modernity. Taking this archival intervention as its foundation, Black Patience argues that black people used theatre in the Civil Rights Movement to unsettle a violent racial project that Fleming calls black patience. From slave castles to the holds of slave ships, from auction blocks to commands to “go slow” in fighting segregation, black people have historically been forced to wait and coerced into performing patience. During the movement, however, their radical cries for “freedom now” disturbed the historical practice of deploying black patience as a tool of anti-black oppression. Theatre was crucial to these efforts. Whether staging Waiting for Godot at a black church in the Mississippi Delta, or James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie in London, or Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun in Indiana during the 1963 emancipation centennial to illuminate how black people were still waiting for freedom a century later, black people used theatre to challenge the violent cultures of black patience. In studying these acts, this book not only unfurls theatre’s cultural and political value to the movement, but also elaborates the constitutive role of racialized time (e.g., waiting) and affect (e.g., long-suffering) in the production of racial modernity.

Speaking of Books with Peter Grybauskas: The Battle of Maldon Together with the Homecoming of Beorhtnoth

Date: September 13, 2023

This "Speaking of Books" event is about the first-ever standalone edition of one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most important poetic dramas which explores timely themes such as the nature of heroism and chivalry during war, featuring previously unpublished and never-before-seen texts and drafts. In 991 AD, Vikings attacked an Anglo-Saxon defense-force led by their duke, Beorhtnoth, resulting in brutal fighting along the banks of the river Blackwater, near Maldon in Essex. The attack is widely considered one of the defining conflicts of tenth-century England, due to it being immortalized in the poem, The Battle of Maldon. Written shortly after the battle, the poem now survives only as a 325-line fragment, but its value to today is incalculable, not just as a heroic tale but in vividly expressing the lost language of our ancestors and celebrating ideals of loyalty and friendship. J.R.R. Tolkien considered The Battle of Maldon “the last surviving fragment of ancient English heroic minstrelsy.” It would inspire him to compose, during the 1930s, his own dramatic verse-dialogue, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son, which imagines the aftermath of the great battle when two of Beorhtnoth’s retainers come to retrieve their duke’s body.

Leading Tolkien scholar and principal lecturer at the University of Maryland, Peter Grybauskas, presents for the very first time J.R.R. Tolkien’s own prose translation of The Battle of Maldon together with the definitive treatment of The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth and its accompanying essays; also included and never before published is Tolkien’s bravura lecture, “The Tradition of Versification in Old English,” a wide-ranging essay on the nature of poetic tradition. Illuminated with insightful notes and commentary, he has produced a definitive critical edition of these works, and argues compellingly that, Beowulf excepted, The Battle of Maldon may well have been “the Old English poem that most influenced Tolkien’s fiction,” most dramatically within the pages of The Lord of the Rings.

Speaking of Books with Adi Mahalel: The Radical Isaac: I. L. Peretz and the Rise of Jewish Socialism

Date: April 26, 2023

Yiddish and Hebrew writer I. L. Peretz (1852-1915) was a major leader of Eastern European Jewry in the years prior to World War I, and was deeply involved in Jewish politics and communal life throughout his lifetime. In The Radical Isaac, Adi Mahalel examines a central part of his life and art that has often been neglected, namely, his close alignment with the needs of the Jewish working-class and his deep devotion to progressive politics. Although there have been numerous studies of Peretz and his work, this very central component of his life nonetheless remains severely understudied. By offering close readings of the "radical" Peretz, Mahalel recasts the way political activism is understood in scholarly evaluations of the writer's work. Employing a partly chronological, partly thematic scheme, Mahalel follows Peretz's radicalism from its inception and then through the various ways in which it was synchronically expressed during this intense period of history.

Speaking of Books with Thomas Zeller: Consuming Landscapes: What We See When We Drive and Why It Matters

Date: March 9, 2023

The view from the road is one of the main ways in which we experience our environments. These vistas are the result of deliberate historical forces, and humans have shaped them as they simultaneously sought to be transformed by them. In Consuming Landscapes, Thomas Zeller explores how what we see while driving reflects how we view our societies and ourselves, the role that consumerism plays in our infrastructure, and ideas about reshaping the environment in the twentieth century.

Speaking of Books with Megan C. Masters: Longitudinal Studies of Second Language Learning: Quantitative Methods and Outcomes

Date: March 7, 2023

Longitudinal Studies of Second Language Learning: Quantitative Methods and Outcomes provides a how-to guide to choosing, using, and understanding quantitative longitudinal research and sampling methods in second and foreign language learning.

This volume will provide readers with exemplary longitudinal studies of language learning outcomes, as well as an overview of widely used methods of data analysis. Readers will understand how long-term data collection processes are organized and archived, and how the data are managed over time prior to analysis. Each of the chapters provide applied researchers with examples of how language learning outcomes gathered over time can be organized into data sets useful for insightful descriptive and inferential analyses of learning outcomes.

As the only edited volume that focuses on longitudinal data analysis specifically for a second language acquisition (SLA)/applied linguistics readership, this will be an invaluable resource for advanced students and researchers of SLA, applied linguistics, assessment, and education.

Speaking of Books with Gerrit Knaap, Rebecca Lewis, Arnab Chakraborty: Handbook on Smart Growth: Promise, Principles, and Prospects for Planning

Date: December 8, 2022

Gerrit-Jan Knaap is Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, Executive Director of the National Center for Smart Growth Research at the University of Maryland. Knaap earned his B.S. from Willamette University, his MA and PhD from the University of Oregon, and received post-doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all in economics.

Knaap’s research interests include the interactions between housing markets and policy, the economics and politics of land use planning, the efficacy of economic development instruments, and the impacts of environmental policy. On these subjects, Knaap has authored or coauthored over 65 articles in peer refereed journals, and coauthored or co-edited nine books. He received the Chester Rapkin award for the best paper published in Volume 10 of the Journal of Planning Education and Research, with Greg Lindsey, he received the 1998 best of ACSP award, and in 2006 he received the Outstanding Planner Award from the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association.

We will also hear from co-editors Rebecca Lewis, Associate Professor, Planning, Public Policy and Management, Co-Director, Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, University of Oregon, and Arnab Chakraborty, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Katy June-Freisen, Ph.D. candidate, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Editor, National Center for Smart Growth, University of Maryland, will be available for Q and A.

Speaking of Books with Peter Grybauskas: A Sense of Tales Untold: Exploring the Edges of Tolkien’s Literary Canvas

Date: April 19, 2022

Join the University Libraries for a discussion with Senior Lecturer Peter Grybauskas on his new book A Sense of Tales Untold: Exploring the Edges of Tolkien’s Literary Canvas.

Moderated by University Librarians (and Tolkien fans) Emily Deinert and Suzy Wilson.

[From the Publisher] A Sense of Tales Untold examines the margins of J. R. R. Tolkien’s work: the frames, edges, allusions, and borders between story and un-story and the spaces between vast ages and miniscule time periods.

The untold tales that are simply implied or referenced in the text are essential to Tolkien’s achievement in world-building, Peter Grybauskas argues, and counter the common but largely spurious image of Tolkien as a writer of bloated prose. Instead, A Sense of Tales Untold highlights Tolkien’s restraint―his ability to check the pen to great effect.

On campus, Peter Grybauskas teaches primarily in the Department of English. Abroad, he leads short-term courses on Tolkien (winter-term in the UK) and on food (summer-term in Italy). His scholarship focuses on Tolkien, fantasy, and medievalism. Before coming to UMD, he taught in Italy and collaborated with the Roman Association of Tolkien Studies.

Speaking of Books with Catherine Knight Steele: Digital Black Feminism

Date: April 11, 2022 [March 30, 2022?]

Join us for a virtual discussion with Dr. Catherine Knight Steele on her book Digital Black Feminism that "traces the longstanding relationship between technology and Black feminist thought".

Dr. Catherine Knight Steele is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland - College Park where she directs the Black Communication and Technology lab (BCaT) as a part of the Digital Inquiry, Speculation, Collaboration, & Optimism (DISCO) Network funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Her research focuses on race, gender, and media, with a specific emphasis on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media. She examines representations of marginalized communities in the media and how groups resist oppression and practice joy using online technology to create spaces of community.

Speaking of Digital Scholarship: Slavery, Law, and Power (SLP) Project Launch

Date: February 15, 2022

Join us for the official launch of the Slavery, Law, and Power (SLP) Project [].

This project brings renewed attention to imperial policymaking and its pivotal role in the development of slavery and racial ideologies. It explores how those interacted with local politics and policies in different colonies throughout the British Empire during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

SLP situates local policies and experiences into a wider, comparative framework within the interconnected landscape of slavery and the slave trade. It connects larger debates over political power to those over slavery and bound labor.

It conceives of the enslaved as political actors who influenced outcomes, even without official voices, sometimes merely in reaction to their attempts to resist. It helps to situate debates over slavery and governance that emerged during and after the American Revolution.

We aim to become an increasingly collaborative project and to encourage contributions of related manuscript materials from a range of scholars.

The project director is Holly Brewer, Burke Professor of American History and Associate Professor at the University of Maryland. She is a specialist in early American history and the early British empire as well as early modern debates about justice. Other panelists include Assistant Editors and Project Collaborators Lauren Michalak, Derek Litvak, Hannah Nolan, Jordan Sly, Matt Fischer, and the project's technical architect, Ji Kim.

For more about our team visit

Speaking of Books with Casey J. Dawkins: Just Housing: The Moral Foundations of American Housing Policy

Date: October 12, 2021

A new conception of housing justice grounded in moral principles that appeal to the home's special connection to American life.

In response to the twin crises of homelessness and housing insecurity, an emerging “housing justice” coalition argues that America's apparent inability to provide decent housing for all is a moral failing. Yet if housing is a right, as housing justice advocates contend, what is the content of that right?

In a wide-ranging examination of these issues, Casey Dawkins chronicles the concept of housing justice, investigates the moral foundations of the US housing reform tradition, and proposes a new conception of housing justice that is grounded in moral principles that appeal to the home's special connection to American life. [Read full description at MIT Press]

Casey J. Dawkins is Professor of Urban Studies and Planning and Affiliate of the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland. He is coauthor of The Social Impacts of Urban Containment. [Visit his website to learn more.]

Speaking of Books with Juan Luis Burke: Architecture and Urbanism in Viceregal Mexico

Date: October 12, 2021

[From the Publisher] Architecture and Urbanism in Viceregal Mexico presents a fascinating survey of urban history between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. It chronicles the creation and development of Puebla de los Ángeles, a city located in central-south Mexico, during its viceregal period.

Founded in 1531, the city was established as a Spanish settlement surrounded by important Indigenous towns. This situation prompted a colonial city that developed along Spanish colonial guidelines but became influenced by the native communities that settled in it, creating one of the most architecturally rich cities in colonial Spanish America, from the Renaissance to the Baroque periods. This book covers the city's historical background, investigating its civic and religious institutions as represented in selected architectural landmarks. Throughout the narrative, Burke weaves together sociological, anthropological, and historical analysis to discuss the city’s architectural and urban development.

Written for academics, students, and researchers interested in architectural history, Latin American studies, and the Spanish American viceregal period, it will make an important contribution to the field.

Juan Luis Burke is Assistant Professor of Architectural and Urban History at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research is centered on Mexican and Latin American architecture and urbanism, and its interactions with Europe, particularly Italy and Spain.

Speaking of Books with Dr. Shay Hazkani: Dear Palestine

Date: October 6, 2021

Dr. Shay Hazkani is a historian of the modern Middle East, with a particular interest in the social and cultural history of Palestine/Israel, and Middle Eastern Jews. In his research and teaching he focuses on the interactions between elites and non-elites, and how ideas which emanate from elites and state institutions were transformed and subverted as they make their way to the reflections and conduct of ordinary people.

His forthcoming book, Dear Palestine: A Social History of the 1948 War (Stanford University Press) recasts the 1948 war in Palestine through a socio-cultural history of the conflict’s ordinary actors and its transnational reverberations.[Visit full biography].

Speaking of Books with Dr. Robert S. Levine: The Failed Promise

Date: September 23, 2021

Dr. Robert S. Levine’s new book, The Failed Promise: Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson(W. W. Norton, 2021), tells the story of Frederick Douglass’s heated struggle with President Andrew Johnson over the rights of Black Americans in the years immediately following the Civil War. Levine recounts the conflicts that led to Johnson’s impeachment from the perspective of Douglass and the wider Black community. Douglass believed that the Union victory in the Civil War, aided by nearly 200,000 Black soldiers, meant that African Americans should gain the full rights of U.S. citizenship, including the right to vote. Sadly, Blacks and other minorities are continuing to fight for such rights. Douglass’s struggle with Johnson speaks to the promise and failure of Reconstruction, and to the struggles of our own moment as well. As Henry Louis Gates, Jr., writes, “The Failed Promise is a lesson for our times as we continue to confront our nation’s unfulfilled promise of racial equality.” [Read more about The Failed Promise and Levine’s other work.]

Dr. Robert S. Levine is a Distinguished University Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, with wide interests in 19th-century American literature and culture and a particular fascination with the life and work of Frederick Douglass.

Speaking of Books with Michael Carlos Abrams: The Art of City Sketching A Field Manual

Date: September 14, 2021

The Art of City Sketching: A Field Manual guides readers through the process of freehand architectural sketching and explains orthographic, diagrammatic, three-dimensional, and perceptual-type drawings. The book presents hundreds of drawings of historic buildings and urban spaces, examples, and exercises, which help readers develop their drawing skills and employ sketching as an analytical tool.

The book is divided into three parts, based on the reader’s skill level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. As an architect and field sketching instructor, the author shows that through drawing the reader can discover, analyze, and comprehend the built environment.

Michael C. Abrams is a registered architect and an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland–College Park. He has taught design and drawing at several colleges and universities across the United States. Abrams obtained his Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and a Bachelor in Environmental Design from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras.

Speaking of Sisters with Transistors with Lisa Rovner and Suzanne Ciani: Screening and Discussion

Date: May 4, 2021

Join us for an online event featuring a screening of Sisters With Transistors, a documentary film on female pioneers of electronic music and a moderated discussion on the documentary and its subjects.

The event will be open to the public with reservations. The screening and moderated discussion will occur over Zoom.

Panelists include:

Lisa Rovner is a French-American filmmaker and artist living in London who's currently making her first feature documentary supported by the BFI. Sisters with Transistors is the remarkable story of the female pioneers in electronic music whose radical 20th Century experiments redefined the boundaries of music.

Suzanne Ciani is a five-time Grammy award-nominated composer, electronic music pioneer, and neo-classical recording artist who has released over 20 solo albums including "Seven Waves," and "The Velocity of Love," along with a landmark quad LP “LIVE Quadraphonic,” which restarted her Buchla modular performances. Her work has been featured in films, games, and countless commercials as well.

Dr. Tara Rodgers (Analog Tara) is a multi-instrumentalist composer and historian. She is the author of numerous essays on sound and synthesizers, and of Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound (Duke University Press, 2010), an award-winning book noted as “a modern mainstay of feminist electronic music discourse” (NPR Music) and "an absolutely singular undertaking which has staked a claim to changing [how] we think about electronic music” (Cycling ’74). Her music, from analog techno to generative sound installations, has been presented around the U.S. and internationally.

Moderated by Dr. William Robin, Assistant Professor of Musicology at UMD’s School of Music.

Dr. William Robin is an assistant professor of musicology at the University of Maryland’s School of Music. He completed a Ph.D. in musicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 with a dissertation analyzing American new music in the twenty-first century through the lens of “indie classical,” focusing on New Amsterdam Records and the ensemble yMusic. He is currently working on a book project––Industry: Bang on a Can and New Music in the Marketplace (under contract with Oxford University Press––on the composer collective Bang on a Can and their participation in major institutional shifts in contemporary music in the 1980s and 1990s.

Speaking of Digital Scholarship with Dr. Daryle Williams and Marisol Fila

Date: April 7, 2021

Dr. Daryle Williams (Associate Professor of History, UMD) will speak on Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade (, an open-source, open-access online publishing platform and discovery tool for exploring the lives of the enslaved. Launched publicly on December 1, 2020, is using linked-open data to piece together the fragmented lives of 600,000 (and growing) people named across dozens of datasets and millions of data points.

Joined by Marisol Fila (doctoral candidate, Romance Languages, University of Michigan), Williams will provide an overview of the project and then show some of the work that goes on #behindthedata. is generously sponsored by The Andrew W, Mellon Foundation.

Daryle Williams (PhD, History, Stanford University, 1995), Associate Professor of History and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, is Co-Principal Investigator on Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade and African American History. Culture and Digital Humanities, two collaborative projects in black studies and digital humanities sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Marisol Fila is doctoral candidate in Romance Languages and Literatures Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Michigan. Both in her research and work, Marisol aims for a collaborative and horizontal production of knowledge and is interested in the ways in which technology and digital media can serve as a tool to share her research to a wider audience, but to also develop digital projects in partnership with Afro-descendant organizations across Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries. In her free time, Marisol enjoys biking and practicing yoga and meditation.

Speaking of Books with Rachel Manekin: Rebellion of the Daughters

Date: March 11, 2021

Join the Research Commons for this exciting discussion with Dr. Rachel Manekin, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, with introductions by Yelena Luckert, Jewish Studies Librarian and Director of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University Libraries.

In this discussion, Dr. Manekin explores the flight of young Jewish women from their Orthodox homes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in her new book, Rebellion of the Daughters: Jewish Women Runaways in Habsburg Galicia, from Princeton University Press.

Dr. Rachel Manekin is associate professor of Jewish studies at the University of Maryland. She is the author of The Jews of Galicia and the Austrian Constitution: The Beginning of Modern Jewish Politics.

Speaking of Books with Ming Hu: Smart Technologies and Design for Healthy Built Environments

Date: November 5, 2020

Join the Research Commons for this exciting discussion with Ming Hu, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, with introductions by Architecture Librarian Cindy Frank, as she explores connecting smart technology to a healthy built environment and builds upon the sustainable building movement.

Smart Technologies and Design for Healthy Built Environment serves as the basis for education and discussions among professionals and students who are interested in smart technologies, smart building and healthy building, as it bridges the gap between smart technologies and a healthy built environment. The book also provides a foundation for anyone who is interested in the impact of smart technology on the health of built environment.

Speaking of Books with Joseph Williams: Architecture of Disjuncture

Date: September 4, 2020

Join the Research Commons for this exciting discussion with Dr. Joseph Williams, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, with introductions by Architecture Librarian Cindy Frank, as he offers a method for studying buildings that, by necessity, adopt hybrid and changing designs. Williams incorporates a variety of digital technologies into his research and teaching, such as digital photogrammetry, parametric 3-D modeling, and GIS mapping.

Through careful analysis of the Romanesque cathedral of Molfetta (in Apulia, southern Italy), Williams demonstrates how the commercial boom of the medieval Mediterranean changed the way churches were funded, designed, and built. The young bishopric of Molfetta, emerging in an economy of long-distance trade, competed with much wealthier institutions in its own diocese. Funding for the cathedral was slow and unpredictable. To adapt, the builders designed toward versatility, embracing multi-functionalism, change over time, specialization, and a heterogeneous style.

Joseph Williams is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning and preservation. Williams holds a PhD. in Art History from Duke University. His research focuses on Romanesque architecture in Southern Italy, with an emphasis on building process, construction techniques and pan-Mediterranean exchanges of specialized knowledge.

Speaking of Books with Dr. Faedra Chatard Carpenter: Coloring Whiteness: Acts of Critique in Black Performance

Date: March 3, 2020

Dr. Faedra Chatard Carpenter, recipient of both the Anne Warren Leadership Award (2018) from the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and the University of Maryland’s Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award (2016), is a theatre and performance studies scholar, professional dramaturg, and cultural critic.

Her research, writing, public speaking, and creative activities are grounded in her advocacy for diversity, inclusion, and cultural fluency within a wide-range of institutional spheres. Through her analysis of both staged performances and the performative practices of everyday life, Dr. Carpenter applies her expertise in expressive culture, creative collaboration, and dramaturgical methodologies to forge common understandings and illuminate issues regarding race, gender, class, and sexuality.

Dr. Carpenter’s book, Coloring Whiteness: Acts of Critique in Black Performance (University of Michigan Press), received the Honorable Mention for ATDS’ John W. Frick Book Award for the best book in American theatre and drama in 2014 as well as the Honorable Mention for ASTR’s 2015 Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American theater, drama, and/or performance studies.

Currently, Dr. Carpenter is working on her second book project, Crafting Consciousness. A study of creative texts, performance events, and public presentations, Crafting Consciousness explores how the particularized employment of imagery, language, and communal narratives can facilitate and foster meanings—both intended and unintended. In so doing, Dr. Carpenter uses her case studies to offer cultural insight, consider the politics of intentionality, and champion conscientious innovation on and beyond the stage.

Speaking of Books with Dr. Richard Bell: Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home

Date: February 25, 2020

Richard Bell received his PhD from Harvard University and his BA from the University of Cambridge. His research interests focus on American history between 1750 and 1877 and he welcomes enquiries from graduate students working in this period.

Prof. Bell’s new book is Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped Into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. It is the recipient of a 2017 NEH Public Scholar Award and will be published by Simon & Schuster on October 8, 2019. Stolen is the true story of five boys who were kidnapped in the North and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South—and their daring attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice. In Philadelphia in 1825, these five young, free black boys fell into the clutches of the most fearsome gang of kidnappers and slavers in the United States. Lured onto a small ship with the promise of food and pay, they were instead met with blindfolds, ropes, and knives.

Over four long months, their kidnappers drove them overland into the Cotton Kingdom to be sold as slaves. Determined to resist, the boys formed a tight brotherhood as they struggled to free themselves and find their way home. Their ordeal—an odyssey that took them from the Philadelphia waterfront to the marshes of Mississippi and then onward still—shines a glaring spotlight on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a black-market network of human traffickers and slave traders who stole away thousands of legally free African Americans from their families in order to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War.

Speaking of Books with Diane L. Dixon: Diversity on the Executive Path

Date: February 18, 2020

The population that healthcare organizations serve is becoming increasingly diverse. However, racially and ethnically diverse executive leaders in healthcare remain underrepresented.

In Diversity on the Executive Path: Wisdom and Insights for Navigating to the Highest Levels of Healthcare Leadership, author Diane L. Dixon, EdD, shares the real-life experiences of 12 racially and ethnically diverse hospital and health system CEOs.

She conducted in-depth, face-to-face interviews to discover what it takes to become a leader at the highest level. Each chapter includes practical advice from the executives interviewed and additional healthcare leaders for navigating the executive path.

Diane L. Dixon, EdD is an educator, author, speaker and consultant. She has dedicated her career to human and organizational learning, focusing on leadership and organizational development for more than 30 years. Her work in healthcare organizations and research on hospital CEOs inspired her interest in minority executive leadership. Dr. Dixon has been a lecturer at the University of Maryland School of Public Health since 2014.

Speaking of Books with Dr. Maryl B. Gensheimer: Decoration and Display in Rome's Imperial Thermae

Date: February 13, 2020

Across the Roman Empire, ubiquitous archaeological, art historical, and literary evidence attests to the significance of bathing for Romans' routines and relationships. Decoration and Display in Rome's Imperial Thermae presents a detailed analysis of the extensive decoration of the best preserved of these bathing complexes, the Baths of Caracalla (inaugurated 216 CE).

Maryl B. Gensheimer is a historian of Roman art and archaeology. Her research focuses on the art and architecture of the city of Rome, on the Bay of Naples, and in Asia Minor. She is particularly interested in ancient cities and urban life, and the social structures and interdependent systems of urban design and urban infrastructure that impacted the ancient experience of monuments and spaces. Professor Gensheimer is a faculty affiliate of the Department of Classics as well.

Speaking of Books with Paul Shackel: Migration, Labor, and Race in Pennsylvania Anthracite Country

Date: November 13, 2019

In Remembering Lattimer, Paul Shackel confronts the legacies and lessons of the 1897 Lattimer massacre, a tragedy where 19 unnaturalzed, unarmed coal miners were killed in the anthracite region of northeastern Pennsylvania while marching for equal pay and better working conditions.

He blends archival, and archaeological research with interviews and weighs how local members remember – and forget – what happened. Now in a position of power the descendants of the slain miners have themselves become rabidly anti-union and anti-immigrant as Dominicans and other Latinos change the community.

Shackel shows how the social, economic, and political circumstances surrounding historic Lattimer connect in profound ways to the riven communities today.

Speaking of Books with Mary Corbin Sies and Isabelle Gournay: Iconic Planned Communities and the Challenge of Change

Date: October 24, 2019

In the history of planning, the design of an entire community prior to its construction is among the oldest traditions. Iconic Planned Communities and the Challenge of Change explores the twenty-first-century fortunes of planned communities around the world. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives, the editors and contributors examine what happened to planned communities after their glory days had passed and they became vulnerable to pressures of growth, change, and even decline.

Mary Corbin Sies is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland.

Isabelle Gournay is Associate Professor of Architecture Emerita at the University of Maryland.

Moderated by Cindy Frank, Architecture & Visual Resource Librarian.

Speaking of Books with Dr. Jessica Enoch and Dr. Carly Woods: Women at Work and Domestic Occupations

Date: October 3, 2019

Featuring Jessica Enoch's Women at Work: Rhetorics of Gender and Labor and Domestic Occupations: Spatial Rhetorics and Women’s Work with contributing author Carly S. Woods. Moderated by Ben Blake, UMD Labor Archivist.

Jessica Enoch, PhD., is an associate professor of English at the University of Maryland, director of academic writing, and an affiliate member of the women’s studies department. Jessica Enoch’s teaching and research focus on feminist rhetorics and pedagogies, feminist memory studies, spatial rhetorics, rhetorical education, histories of rhetoric and composition, as well as literacy studies. Her second monograph Domestic Occupations: Spatial Rhetorics and Women's Work (Southern Illinois UP, 2019) works at the intersection of space, rhetoric, and gender to investigate how the material and discursive constructions of the home have both enabled and constrained women’s entrance into professional occupations and spaces. Her current research project considers how a feminist rhetorical analytic can shape and redirect memory studies. She has also published work on archival research methods and pedagogies, Kenneth Burke, and students' revision and reflection practices.

Speaking of Books with Ming Hu: Net Zero Energy Building: Predicted and Unintended Consequences

Date: September 18, 2019

What do we mean by net zero energy? Zero operating energy? Zero energy costs? Zero emissions? There is no one answer: approaches to net zero building vary widely across the globe and are influenced by different environmental and cultural contexts.

Net Zero Energy Building: Predicted and Unintended Consequences presents a comprehensive overview of variations in 'net zero' building practices. Drawing on examples from countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, and China, Ming Hu examines diverse approaches to net zero and reveals their intended and unintended consequences.

Ming Hu is an Assistant Professor at School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, University of Maryland, College Park, affiliate faculty in the National Center for Smart Growth and Maryland Transportation Institute. She teaches technology courses focused on the integration of architectural design with structural, materials and building performance assessment. Her research focuses on high-performance building design and lifecycle assessment at the intersection of energy, human health and environmental impact.

Speaking of Books with Dr. Ruth Enid Zambrana: Toxic Ivory Towers - The Consequences of Work Stress on Underrepresented Minority Faculty

Date: April 18, 2019

Toxic Ivory Towers seeks to document the professional work experiences of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty in U.S. higher education, and simultaneously address the social and economic inequalities in their life course trajectory. Ruth Enid Zambrana finds that despite the changing demographics of the nation, the percentages of Black and Hispanic faculty have increased only slightly, while the percentages obtaining tenure and earning promotion to full professor have remained relatively stagnant. Toxic Ivory Towers is the first book to take a look at the institutional factors impacting the ability of URM faculty to be successful at their jobs, and to flourish in academia. The book captures not only how various dimensions of identity inequality are expressed in the academy and how these social statuses influence the health and well-being of URM faculty, but also how institutional policies and practices can be used to transform the culture of an institution to increase rates of retention and promotion so URM faculty can thrive.

Ruth Enid Zambrana, Ph.D., is Professor in the University of Maryland Department of Women’s Studies, Director of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity and Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Medicine.

Speaking of Books with Anne Farris Rosen: Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist

Date: April 9, 2019

Anne Farris Rosen, adjunct professor at Philip Merrill College of Journalism, has been a journalist since 1980, specializing in coverage of politics, government, legal affairs and social issues at the international, national and local levels. Based in Washington, D.C., she worked for The New York Times, The Washington Post and Pew Research Center, and is co-author of Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist.

In collaboration with her father, John N. Herbers, a former New York Times reporter, who covered the civil rights movement for more than a decade, Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist is an historic retrospective that resonates with relevance and immediacy as America struggles with racial issues today.

Speaking Of Books: Sahar Khamis: Arab Women's Activism and Socio-Political Transformation

Date: April 5, 2018

Sahar Khamis discusses her book, Arab Women's Activism and Socio-Political Transformation: Unfinished Gendered Revolutions. The book explores how Arab women have been engaging in three ongoing, parallel struggles, before, during, and after the Arab Spring: the political struggle to pave the road for democracy, freedom, and reform; the social struggle to achieve gender equality and fight all forms of injustice and discrimination against women; and the legal struggle to chart new laws which can safeguard both the political and the social gains.

The contributors argue that while the political upheavals were oftentimes more prevalent and visible, they should not overshadow the parallel social and legal revolutions which are equally important, due to their long-term impacts on the region. The chapters shed light on the intersections, overlaps and divergences between these simultaneous, continuous gendered struggles and unpacks their complexities and multiple implications, locally, regionally, and internationally, across different countries and through different phases.

Speaking of Books: Valerie Orlando: The Algerian New Novel: The Poetics of a Modern Nation

Date: March 8, 2018

Valerie Orlando, Professor of French & Francophone Literatures and Head of the Department of French & Italian, presents her book, The Algerian New Novel: The Poetics of a Modern Nation, 1950-1979 on March 8, 2018 in McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

The Algerian New Novel shows how Algerian authors writing in French actively contributed to the experimental forms of the period. Although their themes were rooted in Algeria, the avant-garde writing styles of these authors were influenced by early 20th-century American modernists, the New Novelists of the 1940s-50s France, and African American authors of the 1950s-60s. This complex mix of influences led Algerian writers to develop a unique modern literary aesthetic to express their world, a tradition of experimentation and fragmentation that still characterizes the work of contemporary Algerian francophone writers.

Speaking of Books: Campbell F. Scribner: The Fight for Local Control

Date: February 15, 2018

Campbell F. Scribner, Assistant Professor of Education, presents his book, The Fight for Local Control: Schools, Suburbs, and American Democracy on February 15, 2018 in McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland, College Park.

In The Fight for Local Control, Scribner explains why educational inequality persists, outlining a dilemma between social justice and democratic participation.

Speaking of Books: Raquel Mirabal: Suspect Freedoms

Date: April 27, 2017

Director of University of Maryland's U.S. Latina/o Studies Program, Nancy Mirabal presents her book, Suspect Freedoms on April 27, 2017 in McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Suspect Freedoms is the first book to explore Cuban racial and sexual politics in New York during the 19th and 20th centuries. Nancy Mirabal delves into a rich cache of primary sources, archival documents, literary texts, club records, newspapers, photographs, and oral histories to show how Cubans were authors of their own experiences, organizing movements, publishing texts, and establishing important political, revolutionary, and social clubs.

Speaking of Books: Matthew Kirschenbaum: Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing

Date: November 2, 2016

The story of writing in the digital age is every bit as messy as the ink-stained rags that littered the floor of Gutenberg’s print shop or the hot molten lead of the Linotype machine. During the period of the pivotal growth and widespread adoption of word processing as a writing technology, some authors embraced it as a marvel while others decried it as the death of literature. The product of years of archival research and numerous interviews conducted by the author, Track Changes is the first literary history of word processing.

Matthew Kirschenbaum is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland. He is also an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies at Maryland and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. He served previously as an Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) for over a decade. He is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow.

Speaking Of Books: Judith Freidenberg: Contemporary Conversations on Immigration

Date: October 18, 2016

Anthropology Professor, Judith Noemí Freidenberg presents her book, Contemporary Conversations on Immigration in the United States: The View from Prince George's County, Maryland on October 18, 2016 in McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Contemporary Conversations on Immigration in the United States: The View from Prince George’s County, Maryland contextualizes the narratives of international migrants arriving to Prince George’s County, Maryland from 1968 to 2009. The life course trajectories of seventy individuals and their networks, organized chronologically to include life in the country of origin, the journey, and settlement in the county, frame migration as social issue rather than social problem. Having internalized the American dream, immigrants toil to achieve upward social mobility while constructing an immigrant space that nurtures well-being. This book demonstrates that an immigrant’s experience is grounded in personal, social, economic, and political spheres of influence, and reflects the complexity of migrants’ stories to help demystify homogenous categorization.

Speaking of Books: Henry C. Lucas, Jr. : Technology & the Disruption of Higher Education

Date: April 7, 2016

Will half of universities fail in the next 15 years? What technology-enhanced approaches to teaching and learning will save them? What other reforms will keep universities relevant in the 21st Century? Join Dr. Henry C. Lucas, the Robert H. Smith Professor of Information Systems, for a lively discussion on the future of higher education.

Speaking of Books: Robert Levine: The Lives of Frederick Douglass

Date: February 24, 2016

Speaking of Books: Emily Landau: Spectacular Wickedness: Sex, Race, and Memory in Storyville, New Orleans

Date: April 3, 2014

Emily Epstein Landau presents her book, Spectacular Wickedness: Sex, Race, and Memory in Storyville, New Orleans on April 3, 2014 in McKeldin Library, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. From 1897 to 1917 the red-light district of Storyville commercialized and even thrived on New Orleans's longstanding reputation for sin and sexual excess. This notorious neighborhood, located just outside of the French Quarter, hosted a diverse cast of characters who reflected the cultural milieu and complex social structure of turn-of-the-century New Orleans, a city infamous for both prostitution and interracial intimacy. Landau examines the social history of this famed district within the cultural context of developing racial, sexual, and gender ideologies and practices.

Speaking of Books: Howard Frank: Adventures of a Dean

Date: November 13, 2013

Howard Frank, professor and former dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, discusses his book "Adventures of A Dean: A Primer on Business School Management," November 13, 2013, McKeldin Library.

Speaking of Books: Judith Hanna: Naked Truth: Strip Clubs, Democracy, and a Christian Right

Date: April 10, 2013

Naked Truth: Strip Clubs, Democracy, and a Christian Right takes readers onstage, backstage, and into the community and courts to reveal the conflicts, charges, and realities that are playing out at the intersection of erotic fantasy, religion, politics, and law. Judith Hanna, Affiliate Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Anthropology, explains why exotic dance is a legitimate form of artistic communication and debunks the many myths and untruths that the Christian Right uses to fight strip clubs.This talk was presented on April 10, 2013 in McKeldin Library.

Speaking of Books: Jo B. Paoletti: Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America

Date: March 26, 2013

Jo B. Paoletti's journey through the history of children's clothing began when she posed the question, "When did we start dressing girls in pink and boys in blue?" To uncover the answer, she looks at advertising, catalogs, dolls, baby books, mommy blogs and discussion forums, and other popular media to examine the surprising shifts in attitudes toward color as a mark of gender in American children's clothing. This talk was presented on March 26, 2013 in McKeldin Library.

Speaking of Books: Henry C. Lucas, Jr. on Disruptive Tech

Date: February 26, 2013

The rapid changes in technology can make or break a company or industry. Failure to develop a coping strategy from a technological disruption can have severe consequences. The Search for Survival: Lessons from Disruptive Technologies examines firms critically affected by technological disruptions and presents lessons learned as well as a model for survival. Henry C. Lucas, Jr. is the Robert H. Smith Professor of Information Systems at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.


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