New books by
SCU alumni and faculty
California as you’ve never heard it
The transformation of Mexican California through the Gold Rush and into U.S. statehood is an epic tale. But when the history of the Golden State was first being written, the words of Mexican women were recorded as an afterthought at best. Now some of their stories are available for the first time in English in Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815-1848 (Heyday Books, 2006, $18.95), by wife and husband team Rose Marie Beebe, who teaches in SCU’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and Robert M. Senkewicz, who teaches in SCU’s Department of History. Beebe and Senkewicz previously collaborated on the highly influential Lands of Promise and Despair, and they are the recipients of the 2006 Certificate of Meritorious Performance and Promise from the California Council for the Promotion of History. This new collection, says former California state historian Kevin Starr, is a “pioneering work of scholarship and critical interpretation by two of the finest Hispanicists active in early California studies.”
Better living sans chemicals
Use of pesticides has doubled in the United States since 1962, when Rachel Carson published Silent Spring. But Franciscan friar Keith Douglass Warner isn’t wringing his hands; he’s chronicling the evolution of agroecology in response to agriculture’s environmental crisis, and he’s looking at how networks of growers, scientists, agricultural organizations, and public agencies have developed innovative, ecologically-based techniques to reduce reliance on agrochemicals. Agroecology in Action: Extending Alternative Agriculture through Social Networks (The MIT Press, 2007, $25) is where the ideas come together, with case studies in California, the Midwest, and elsewhere. Warner is Faith, Ethics, and Vocation Project Director in SCU’s Environmental Studies Institute.
The key to sustainable development? Faith may hold the answer.
Gary Gardner ’80 wants to change how the world understands progress. “Better policies and greener technologies alone will not make sustainable societies,” he writes. So what can? Religious leaders and communities should be catalysts for real environmental action, he argues, given the huge number of people who belong to religions and the motivating power of a faith’s vision and values. Gardner is director of research with the Worldwatch Institute, and in Inspiring Progress: Religions’ Contributions to Sustainable Development (W. W. Norton, 2006, $14.95), he looks back on advances made in the 20th century as too often embodying the values of “progress unbounded by ethics.” Now, he says, it’s time for those who follow the world’s great faith traditions to take seriously the power of their own teachings and acknowledge their value in the realization of a better world.
When so many things—from fear of rejection to addiction to TiVo to endlessly surfing the Web—prevent or distract us from leading lives of deeper connection and meaning, how can we communicate with the ease that Adam and Eve presumably did with God? Achieving a trusting intimacy in everyday conversation with each other and in communicating with God is the focus of Out of Eden: 7 Ways God Restores Blocked Communication (Pauline Books and Media, 2006, $9.95), by SCU’s own Paul A. Soukup, S.J. This accessible volume’s chapters begin with Scriptural passages that are then analyzed and related to how we communicate (or fail to communicate) today. Each chapter wraps up with questions and suggestions to help us learn what holds us back from really listening or talking to others and to God, followed by a prayer for deepening our experience of communication.
Speaking the same language
The best way to learn a language is to live it. And as part of the growing foundation of scholarship on community-based learning (CBL), a new volume co-edited by Josef Hellebrandt examines the critical role that CBL plays in language acquisition, developing international understanding, and global civic participation skills. In other words, the stuff for being an educated leader in the 21st century. Hellebrandt chairs SCU’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. In Learning the Language of Global Citizenship: Service-Learning in Applied Linguistics (Anker Publishing, 2007, $40), he uses real examples drawn from experiences and projects of teachers and students at a range of universities to show how CBL programs, such as tutoring English to native Spanish speakers, can help both tutor and tutee understand a language, a culture, and ultimately, one another.
Parenting a sensory-deprived child
The difficult, frustrating struggle for a parent identifying and living with a child’s disability is something Christopher R. Auer ’92, ’95 M.A. knows all too well. He and Susan L. Blumberg, Ph.D., cowrote Parenting a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder: A Family Guide to Understanding and Supporting Your Sensory-Sensitive Child (New Harbinger Publications Inc., 2006, $15.95), and both share their personal stories of having a child with sensory processing disorder. The book is geared to help the entire family and includes activities and questions for reflection designed to help parents develop qualities and skills that can improve their lives as well as their child’s.
Inventing the future
A fourth-grader built a device to help his little brother learn to walk. A first-grader had the idea to attach IV poles to toy cars for child patients in hospitals. These are just two stories you will find in Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2005, $14.95), which takes the expressions “children are our future” and “making the world a better place” to a whole new level. Author Susan Casey ’66 takes you through the steps of thinking of an idea for an invention, making it, naming it, and even patenting, trademarking, and getting it manufactured and sold for consumer use. She poses activities for the reader at the end of every chapter, illustrating her information with examples of inventions by other children, and provides helpful tips.
Of punctuation and the Pentagon
‘Poets don’t make the covers of Entertainment Weekly,” writes Matt Mason ’90, “they make page 16, they make obituaries.” The lines are from “The News About Poets,” which appears in Mason’s collection Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know (Backwaters Press, 2006, $14). Parsers of Pentagon poetry will recognize the title as one of former SECDEF Donald Rumsfeld’s lines, and procrastinators and proofreaders alike will find empathy for the narrator of “The Part-Time English Teacher’s Lament.” There’s humor and wit, to be sure, but along with them, “things that stir / and are.”
Courtesy Tawa Desuacido
Mae Respicio Koerner ’97 has collected more than 200 vintage photographs with the help of members and organizations in the Filipino-American community to create Filipinos in Los Angeles (Arcadia Publishing, 2007, $19.99). Spanning nearly a century, the book resonates with the voices of Filipino Angelenos. Its 2007 publication comes one year after the centennial anniversary of Filipino migration to the United States, which began when 15 migrant workers called sakadas came to the Hawaiian Islands to work on the sugar plantations there. Today, Southern California is home to the largest concentration of Filipinos outside the Philippines.
In an SCM exclusive, view a selection of photos from this new collection.