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Books in the Humanities Celebrates University Writers
More than 40 Syracuse University authors and editors—some with multiple works—are being showcased in the sixth annual Books in the Humanities celebration, hosted by the Syracuse University Humanities Center, in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Research and the Syracuse University Libraries.
“Each year, Books in the Humanities gives a snapshot of the breadth and depth of humanities scholarship at Syracuse University,” says Karin Ruhlandt, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The topics and geographies covered are truly global. They show that disciplines as diverse as poetry, politics, philosophy and popular culture contribute to our collective understanding of what it means to be human.”
Typically, the books published each year are celebrated at an in-person reception, a tradition that has been interrupted by the pandemic. This year, more than 40 works are featured in an SU Libraries’ research guide, to which the following contributed: librarian, Natasha Cooper, and graduate student employee, Zhiwei Wang. Authors and editors hail from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the Whitman School of Management, Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, the Newhouse School, the College of Law, the School of Education, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, La Casita Cultural Center, the Burton Blatt Institute, SU London and the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.
Books in the Humanities is spearheaded by the Humanities Center, which engages in extensive outreach to learn about humanities books—broadly defined—being published by University faculty, staff and students. The center encourages anyone who will publish a book in the 2021 copyright year to complete its author survey.
Vivian May, professor of women’s and gender studies and director of the Syracuse University Humanities Center and of the Central New York Humanities Corridor, says, “This initiative builds community across disciplinary boundaries by showcasing a rich range of contributions by faculty, staff and students from across the University. The diversity of topics across fields of study, from religion to design thinking to poetry, are a real testament to how the humanities help us make sense of human experience and our place in the world.”
Since the event’s first year, the Syracuse University Libraries has developed a growing archive of past authors, along with an online guide for 2020. This annotated reference tool has, during the pandemic, become an even more vital source of information about the range of humanities scholarship underway at the University. “The juxtaposition of titles—for example those exploring the lives of saints, homelessness in America and how music, dance and drama were studied in early modern English schools—is a great snapshot of the varied and vibrant intellectual life at Syracuse University,” says David Seaman, dean of Syracuse University Libraries.