May 2014 Articles

Reading Room

Alumnae/i Books

AgarwalThe Vedic Core of Human History, Manjul Agarwal, Ph.D. ’67, iUniverse 2013. Agarwal explores the cultural and historical significance of the Indus Valley Civilization. He is a freelance writer based in Thailand.



AveryBroken Rooms: Haiku and Sculpture, Ellis Avery ’93 and Will Corwin, Crumpled Press 2013. This book pairs Avery’s haiku, written following the death of her mother in 2011, with images of sculptures by visual artist Will Corwin, son of Patricia Corwin, M.A. ’60. The only writer ever to have received the American Library Association Stonewall Award for fiction twice, Avery is the author of two novels, The Last Nude (Riverhead 2012) and The Teahouse Fire (Riverhead 2007), and a memoir. She teaches fiction writing at Columbia University.

BarberThe Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance, Elizabeth Wayland Barber ‘62, W. W. Norton & Company 2014. In this book, Barber studies ethnographies, archaeological reports, and folklore to explore beliefs in European agrarian societies about mystical “dancing goddesses,” and their relevance to cultural traditions and the history of dance. Barber is professor emeritus of archaeology and linguistics at Occidental College. A folk-dancer herself, she resides in California. She is also the author of Women’s Work and The Mummies of Urumchi.


connellyThe Parthenon Enigma, Joan Breton Connelly, M.A. ’79, Ph.D. ’84, Knopf 2014. Connelly deconstructs the Parthenon’s image as the symbol of the evolution of Western political thought and proposes an alternate purpose for its construction. She claims that the monument’s 525-foot-long frieze derives from Euripides’ long-lost story of human sacrifice, casting a new light on contemporary understanding of classical Athenian society. Connelly is a classical archaeologist, writer, and professor of classics and art history at New York University. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships and has served as trustee and assistant dean at Bryn Mawr College.

EamesThe Politics of Wealth in Southwestern Nigeria: Why Ondo’s Women Went to War, Elizabeth Anne Eames, Ph.D. ’77, Mellen Press 2013. This ethnography challenges many Western assumptions about women’s status in Africa with its examination of gendered power in modern-day Nigeria within the context of the Ondo Women’s War of 1985, a women-led tax protest that escalated into rebellion. Eames is an associate professor of anthropology at Bates College.


forresterBaba Yaga, The Wild Witch Of The East In Russian Fairy Tales, translation and introduction by Sibelan Forrester ‘83, University Press of Mississippi 2013. This illustrated collection of translated Russian folk tales about the popular Russian folklore character Baba Yaga explores her place in Russian tradition and her relevance in contemporary culture. Forrester is a professor of Russian at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, and coeditor of Engendering Slavic Literatures.


KamarckHow Change Happens—or Doesn’t: The Politics of U.S. Public Policy, Elaine C. Kamarck ’72, Lynne Rienner Publishers 2013. Kamarck traces the evolution of policy initiatives in the partisan political framework and examines policy failure, success, and the various factors that influence policy formation and implementation. Kamarck is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was senior policy adviser to the Clinton administration and is also author of The End of Government … As We Know It: Making Public Policy Work.


LeviIn the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism, John S. Ahlquist and Margaret Levi ’68, Princeton University Press 2013. This book explores the sociological concepts of collective action and the “community of fate,” by looking at how and why activist organizations go above and beyond their own self-interests in order to promote the greater good. Levi is the Jere L. Bacharach Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington and foundational chair in politics at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre.


OconnorHuman Total: A Violence Prevention Learning Resource, Courtney Mireille O’Connor ’82 (contributing author), International Center for Alcohol Policies 2013. This learning resource examines how discriminatory attitudes and behavioral patterns can encourage violent and reckless behavior in men and boys and provides resources for facilitators working to reduce violence in a number of contexts. O’Connor is an international jurist and operations policy advisor.


PintoDaughters of Parvati: Women and Madness in Contemporary India, Sarah Pinto ’96, University of Pennsylvania Press 2014. This book explores the various standards of medical and psychiatric care provided to women in northern India. Pinto compares government hospital and private clinic environments and examines how these standards affect women within the context of Indian society. Pinto is an associate professor of anthropology at Tufts University and author of Where There Is No Midwife: Birth and Loss in Rural India.


seeverAn Agent of Change: Chicago Commons, Frank S. Seever, Ph.D ’68, Ampersand Inc. 2013. This book traces the history and defines the impact of Chicago Commons, one of the oldest volunteer social service agencies in Chicago, from its founding during the Industrial Revolution as a settlement house to help the poor and working classes to its present-day place in the community. Seever is a former president of the Taylor Institute of Chicago and, until his retirement in 2001, served as president of Chicago Commons for 30 years.


swettSelling Under the Swastika: Advertising and Commercial Culture in Nazi Germany, Pamela E. Swett ‘92, Stanford University Press 2013. This book explores the cultural and business impact of commercial advertising from the Weimar era to the early postwar years and examines how the advertising industry in Nazi Germany took advantage of National Socialist messages. Swett is the author of Neighbors and Enemies: The Culture of Radicalism in Berlin, 1929–1933, and is an associate professor of history at McMaster University.