Professors at Gettysburg College model the sense of curiosity they aim to cultivate in their students. This year, in addition to teaching, mentoring, and conducting research, 19 Gettysburg College professors published major works—including books, music, and audio books—in their respective areas of academic interest.
Read the list below. You can also read the 2018 archive of College authors and the complete archive of books written and edited by faculty.
- Marasa Twa: Vodou-Jazz-Merengue by Prof. Paul Austerlitz
- Managing Your Research Data and Documentation by Prof. Kathy R. Berenson
- Common Cause: An Oral History of the World War II Home Front by Prof. Michael J. Birkner and Devin McKinney
- The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies by Prof. Peter Carmichael
- Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and the Power of the Negative by Prof. Vernon Cisney
- Moral Philosophy: A Contemporary Introductionby Prof. Daniel R. DeNicola
- The Politics of Water in the Art and Festivals of Medici Florence: From Neptune Fountain to Naumachia by Prof. Felicia Else
- From the Baltic to Byzantium: The History of the Vikings by Prof. Christopher Fee
- From the Round Table to the Holy Grail: A Journey with King Arthur by by Prof. Christopher Fee
- Reconstruction: A Concise History by Prof. Allen C. Guelzo
- Relational Identities and Other-than-Human Agency in Archaeology by Prof. Julia Hendon
- The Continuing Quest for Missile Defense: When Lofty Goals Confront Reality by Prof. Peter Pella
- Immortal Village by Prof. Kathryn Rhett
- Indian Captive, Indian King: Peter Williamson in America and Britain by Prof. Timothy J. Shannon
- On the Borders of the Academy: Challenges and Strategies for First-Generation Graduate Students and Facultyby Prof. Alecea Standlee
- Ancient China and its Eurasian Neighbors: Artifacts, Identity and Death in the Frontier, 3000 - 700 BCE by Prof. Yan Sun
- Marginalized Voices in Music Educationby Prof. Brent Talbot
- No Man an Island: The Cinema of Hou Hsiao-Hsien by Prof. James Udden
- Saint Oscar Romero: Priest, Prophet, Martyr by Prof. Emeritus Kerry Walters
Marasa Twa: Vodou-Jazz-Merengue
A Trilogy of Music Albums on Round Whirled Records (available at Musselman Library)
—Prof. Paul Austerlitz, Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music
In the spiritual traditions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Marasa Twa are magical triplets who manifest divine mysteries.
“The three offerings, Dr. Merengue, Water Prayers, and The Vodou Horn, present jazz fused with music I have studied as an ethnomusicologist,” said Prof. Paul Austerlitz. “I am privileged to have spent my life studying world music cultures. At the same time, I have plunged the depths as a musician and as a seeker of life’s meanings. Wedding my artistic and spiritual paths with scholarly research, these albums are the fruit of my sojourn as a musician-scholar. They focus on my principal instrument, the bass clarinet, and on the music and spirituality of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.”
—Prof. Kathy R. Berenson, Psychology
In this book, Prof. Kathy R. Berenson presents a straightforward approach to managing and documenting data so that other researchers can clearly see exactly what was done and be able to repeat it. Since major research funders now require recipients to meet strict data handling standards, the step-by-step procedures in this book are useful for students pursuing research careers. Beyond this, Berenson said these procedures help psychology students develop more self-efficacy for analyzing data in their research courses and labs.
“A few years ago, when concerns about research replicability in psychology started gaining a lot of attention, I realized that undergraduate and graduate level student researchers rarely receive much formal teaching about working with data in ways that facilitate replicability,” she said. “After looking for already published resources to provide my own students on this topic, I decided I’d need to write them myself.”
Common Cause: An Oral History of the World War II Home Front
—Prof. Michael J. Birkner and Devin McKinney
Common Cause provides firsthand accounts of American experience on the home front during the Second World War.
“It derives from oral history interviews conducted by students in my classes between 1990 and 2015, when the World War II project terminated, and is complemented by evocative period illustrations,” said Prof. Michael J. Birkner. Topics discussed range widely, from responses to notable events to civil defense, wartime sacrifices through rationing, bond drives and Victory Gardens, as well as reflections on work, school, and child rearing during wartime.
“Having saved and archived student work on the World War II project, it was gratifying to bring this rich material to a wider audience,” said Birkner. “Fewer Americans today have direct memories of the war than ever before. This volume brings the war on the home front into focus for a new generation.”
— Prof. Peter Carmichael, Professor of Civil War Era Studies and Director of the Civil War Institute
How did Civil War soldiers endure the brutal and unpredictable existence of army life during the conflict? This question is at the heart of Prof. Peter S. Carmichael’s sweeping new study of men at war. Based on close examination of the letters and records left behind by individual soldiers from both the North and South, Carmichael explores the totality of the Civil War experience. Historian Lorien Foote applauds The War for the Common Soldier, writing that “Carmichael’s deep focus on individual stories brings to life the complexity of the soldier experience better than any existing book in the field.”
“For the last nine years I have used the Gettysburg battlefield as a classroom for my students,” said Carmichael. “The words of the soldiers are extraordinarily rich, and the students made a powerful emotional and intellectual connection to the place. I am indebted to my students for pushing me to see that these men could not be fully understood without digging deep into their interior world. As I wrote The War for the Common Soldier, the memorable battlefield discussions with my students were never far from my mind.”
—Prof. Vernon Cisney, Philosophy
This book is the first to explore the philosophical concept of difference in the works of two key thinkers of 20th century French philosophy—Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida. Both Derrida and Deleuze argued that traditional, representational categories of thought were too static to be effective tools for thinking a dynamic world, and hence, both sought to formulate productive conceptions of difference and relation in order to circumvent this problem.
“Deleuze and Derrida considered themselves to be philosophical allies, sharing affinities on most major philosophical points,” said Prof. Vernon Cisney. “Nevertheless, the ways in which they articulated their concepts, as well as the philosophical movements that grew out of their works, were drastically different. I wrote this book in order to make sense of this rift between the two major strains of contemporary French philosophy.”
— Prof. Daniel R. DeNicola, Philosophy
This text presents a comprehensive explication and critique of the major theories that have shaped Western ethics. It traces our various attempts to ground morality—in nature, in religion, in culture, in social contracts, and in aspects of the human person such as reason, emotions, caring, and intuition—and assesses the scope, requirements, and limits of morality.
“Having taught and written about ethics for nearly five decades, I of course developed many of my own ideas about how best to present and evaluate moral theory,” said Prof. Daniel R. DeNicola. “So, when I was invited to write such a text, I accepted quickly. The book benefited by pilot-testing in a class by one of my reviewers.”
— Prof. Felicia Else, Art History
Water remains one of the most vital yet vexing issues of our time and of times past. This book tells the story of one dynasty's struggle with water, to control its flow and manage its representation. In this richly-illustrated, interdisciplinary study, Prof. Felicia Else explores how the Medici Grandukes of 16th-century Florence sought ways to harness the power of Neptune, in works of art and spectacle, in maritime development, and in civic infrastructure.
“This book brings to life marvelous works of art, engineering, and festival, revealing how Medici ambition was tied to the politics of water,” said Else. “Accounts of flooding, poor drainage and aqueduct repairs show that, as in our own day, they also suffered from its ill effects, a case study in water's ever-present role in the history of civilizations.”
—Prof. Christopher Fee, English
The History of the Vikings: From the Baltic to Byzantium aims to separate history from myth by presenting a scholarly overview of Viking history, geography, literature, religion, and culture. This original audiobook explores pivotal events such as the raid on the monastery at Lindisfarne in 739 and the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066, as well as lesser-known curiosities: the etymology of the term “Viking”; the fact that Vikings known as Varangians made up the personal bodyguard of the Byzantine Emperor; and the origins of the state now known as Russia.
— Prof. Christopher Fee, English
What is it about King Arthur that still holds our attention 1,500 years after he first materialized from the murky depths of history and legend?
This original audiobook traces Arthur’s path across ancient Britain, visiting such iconic sites as Tintagel, Glastonbury, and Stonehenge in search of physical reminders of this legendary king, his court, and a mighty stronghold remembered through the mists of time as “Camelot,” seeking evidence for Arthur across both literary and literal landscapes, from ancient manuscripts to modern day archaeological excavations. This work explores how Arthur has been recast and refashioned for succeeding generations of audiences—first in Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, and England, but later across the globe. Like the Knights of the Round Table on their epic quest for the Holy Grail, Prof. Christopher Fee scours recorded history for the true face of the “Once and Future King,” concluding his search for King Arthur by considering the most popular of the countless books and movies dedicated to him, his court, and their adventures.
From the Round Table to the Holy Grail: A Journey with King Arthur investigates the unwavering interest in Arthur across centuries of popular culture, looking behind the façade of all things Arthurian in order to discern the factual basis for the man, the myths, and the legends of King Arthur.
—Prof. Allen C. Guelzo, Civil War Era Studies
Reconstruction: A Concise History creates a simple but elegant portal into the era, striving to lay out with as much clarity as possible the principal issues, events, and personalities. Its most unusual features are its focus on economics and the role of the federal judiciary.
“The period in American history known as Reconstruction (1865-1877) has the misfortune to fall between the two enormous stools of the Civil War and the Gilded Age, with the result that it gets no respect,” said Prof. Allen C. Guelzo. “Reconstruction: A Concise History will make for sobering, more than uplifting, reading; but the Reconstruction years also teem with more connections to our present dilemmas as Americans than almost any other period since.”
— Prof. Julia Hendon, Anthropology
This book explores the benefits and consequences of archaeological theorizing on and interpretation of the social agency of nonhumans as relational beings capable of producing change in the world. The volume cross-examines traditional understanding of agency and personhood, presenting a globally diverse set of case studies that cover a range of cultural, geographical, and historical contexts.
— Prof. Peter Pella, Physics
This book provides an introduction to the complexities of missile defense. Through recounting past successes and failures, describing the current systems in place, and exploring what may lie ahead, The Continuing Quest for Missile Defense will explore the technologies involved in this difficult task.
“Two years ago, I was contacted by Morgan & Claypool Publishers, who publish books for the Institute of Physics Concise Physics series, about writing a manuscript for them,” said Prof. Peter Pella. “In truth, I have no idea how they decided to ask me. Since my expertise is on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, I wrote The Midlife Crises of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, published in 2016. A year later, they asked if I was interested in writing another book for the series. Since national missile defense funding and the threat from North Korea were prominent in the news, I decided to study the issue in detail, the result being, The Continuing Quest for Missile Defense, which was published in 2018.”
—Prof. Kathryn Rhett, English
Immortal Village is a poetry collection about wildness versus domesticity, about desire set against the civilizing structures of myth, marriage, school, and village.
Prof. Kathyrn Rhett said: “These poems illuminate unsettling experiences of knowing—within the confinements of the usual female roles. What changes in a self, and what remains, in the transformation of girl to woman, of woman to wife, or of woman to mythic figure?”
—Prof. Timothy J. Shannon, History
This book tells the story of Peter Williamson, an eighteenth-century Scot who claimed that he was kidnapped from Aberdeen, sold into indentured servitude in Pennsylvania, and then taken captive by Delaware Indians during the French and Indian War. After returning to Britain, he gained fame by writing a narrative of his experiences and performing his story in Indian dress before audiences in taverns and coffeehouses.
“In his lifetime, Williamson had a reputation for being a fabulist, but I was surprised to discover how much of his tale was true. In many respects, this book ended up being a historical detective story, one that proves the old adage that the truth is often stranger than fiction,” Prof. Timothy J. Shannon said.
—Prof. Alecea Standlee, Sociology
One of the most significant achievements of the U.S. higher education system during the late twentieth century was the increasing access enjoyed by historically marginalized populations. With this achievement, however, has come a growing population of first-generation students, including first-generation graduate students and faculty members, who struggle at times to navigate unfamiliar territory. This book offers insight into the challenges of first-generation status, as well as practical tools for navigating the halls of the academy.
“As a first-generation academic myself, I was inspired to work on this book as a means to provide a vehicle for the voices and experiences of the first-generation community within higher education,” said Prof. Alecea Standlee. “First-generation students, faculty, and graduate students often struggle to be heard in an academic world that relies on the norms and traditions of the middle and upper class educated population. This book brings together voices from the first generations academic world, and in doing so, provides insight and a sense of community to both the current first generation academic and to those who come after us.”
—Prof. Yan Sun, Art and Art History
This volume examines the role of objects in the region north of early dynastic state centers, at the intersection of Ancient China and Eurasia, a large area that stretches from Xinjiang to the China Sea, from c.3000 BCE to the mid-eighth century BCE.
“This area was a frontier, an ambiguous space that lay at the margins of direct political control by the metropolitan states, where local and colonial ideas and practices were reconstructed transculturally,” said Prof. Yan Sun. “These identities were often merged and displayed in material culture. Through close examination of key artifacts, this book untangles the considerable changes in socio-political structure and cultural makeup of the region.”
—Prof. Brent Talbot, Coordinator of Music Education at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music
The collection of narratives in this book represents only a portion of the diversity that exists within American music education. Our intent is to use the telling of each experience as provocation for discussion on diversity and inclusion in our field; not to define parameters, create a grand narrative of otherness, nor attempt to represent all identity constructions; but instead to reveal patterns of injustice. The result is a book designed to challenge assumptions and to begin conversations in undergraduate and graduate courses in music teacher education. This book is just a beginning and not meant to be a comprehensive collection of marginalization.
“The very impetus for this project began in our classroom, as we attempted to make sense of various events unfolding in the news and to understand more deeply the root causes of systemic violence, marginalization, and privilege,” said Prof. Brent Talbot. “It was in concert with members of our music education program that I first began to understand, implicitly and then more explicitly, the interrelated but never equivalent positionalities from which we speak and from which we view the world.”
—Prof. James Udden, Cinema and Media Studies
Hou Hsiao-Hsien is arguably the most celebrated Chinese-language film director in the international film festival realm. However, this is not due to an inert cultural tradition so much as to numerous historical/contextual factors—most of all his being from Taiwan. No Man an Island explores the varying achievements of this famous film director.
“This is a revised edition of my first book published back in 2009, largely due to his winning of Best Director at Cannes in 2015,” said Prof. James Udden. “This is about not only Taiwan’s famed director who has won several awards at major festivals, but also Taiwan itself and its peculiar place in the world, and how that is what shaped these films, lending them a special uniqueness.”
—Prof. Emeritus Kerry Walters, Philosophy
This biography offers an inspiring look at St. Oscar’s life, starting in childhood and then tracing his evolution from a conscientious but unremarkable priest to a heroic prophet and—finally—a martyr, gunned down in 1980 while celebrating mass.
“Oscar Romero, the Salvadoran archbishop who was martyred in 1977 because of his advocacy for the poor, has been a hero of mine for years,” said Prof. Emeritus Kerry Walters. “So, I was thrilled when I was invited to write a biography of him to coincide with his October 2018 canonization. In researching the book, I was struck as never before by his life trajectory that led him from being a pretty conventional Roman Catholic priest to someone who put his life on the line to denounce crimes against God and persons.”