President’s Reception Showcases Recent U.Va. Authors

February 06, 2013

As faculty members steadily arrived at University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan’s home at Carr’s Hill for the third annual authors reception, they placed the books they had published in the previous year on a display table in the foyer: “Algebra of Snow,” “Best Little Stories from the White House,” “Edith Wharton at Home,” “Grow to Greatness,” “A History of Theatre in Spain,” “The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture.”

Like the diversity of books, the conversations among the faculty authors, including Sullivan, spanned a range of topics.

“Oh, we’ve been emailing about the conference.” … “I tweeted about his poetry award.” … “I’ll be making a TED talk next week.” … “What do you think of the book on Haydn?” … “That’s a great idea for a TV series.”

Also on the book table were titles published last year by Sullivan (“Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education”) and her husband, law professor Douglas Laycock (“Modern American Remedies: Cases and Materials”).
“This occasion shows your productivity,” Sullivan told the crowd of about 60 professors, their spouses and deans. She held the first U.Va. authors reception three years ago, right after becoming president.

“We’re all familiar with Jefferson’s famous quote, ‘I cannot live without books.’ It has appeared on thousands of T-shirts and coffee mugs,” she said. “But the second half of that sentence usually gets left out. The full quote reads: ‘I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object.’ Your books serve a useful purpose by broadening and deepening our range of knowledge – and by occasionally amusing us, too.”

Sullivan heard several updates about faculty ventures related to their publications.

Darden School of Business professor Edward Hess, whose latest book is “Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses,” gave Sullivan an update on the course he’s now teaching based on the book. It’s one of U.Va.’s first massive open online courses, or MOOCs, through Coursera. He said the quality of the students’ work is exceeding his expectations. Half of the more than 60,000 students are from 50 other countries besides the U.S., he said.

Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist in the Curry School of Education, told Sullivan she will soon give a TED talk based on her book, “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – and How to Make the Most of Them Now.”

TED talks, in which select experts are invited to give engaging lectures in less than 20 minutes, are posted online and have become increasingly popular since 2007. As of the end of 2012, more than 1 billion viewers had accessed nearly 1,500 talks, according to the TED website.

Besides scholarly and research titles, several professors published novels last year, not all of them from the College of Arts & SciencesCreative Writing Program. Program director and English professor Christopher Tilghman, whose most recent book is “The Right-Hand Shore,” said he liked seeing the fiction from other members of the U.Va. community and having the chance to talk with the authors.

Last year, Virginia Moran, associate director of the Women’s Center, published “Algebra of Snow”; Rosalyn Berne, associate professor of engineering and society in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, published “Waiting in the Silence,” which is being recorded for Books on Tape; and Mark Saunders, interim director of the University of Virginia Press, published “Ministers of Fire” – all first novels.

Tilghman and Saunders, a U.Va. alumnus who graduated with an M.F.A. in creative writing in 1997, started talking with John Stagg about what classical music they liked after looking at music professor Richard Will’s title, “Engaging Haydn.”

Assistant professor Mehr Farooqi of the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures brought her book, “Urdu Literary Culture,” and said she was pleasantly surprised by the interest from faculty members in other disciplines. She enjoyed meeting people from biomedical engineering, religious studies and law, she said.

Spanish professor David Gies, whose latest book is “A History of Theatre in Spain,” talked to several colleagues about the interdisciplinary conference he is organizing on the 18th century, and he happened to meet one of the participants with whom he had only corresponded via email: David Whitesell, a curator in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, who is editor of Roger Stoddard’s “A Bibliographical Description of Books and Pamphlets of American Verse Printed from 1610 Through 1820,” a heavy tome several inches thick.

C. Brian Kelly, who teaches newswriting in the English department, and his co-author and wife, Ingrid Smyer, have published a series on historic periods and personalities, collecting anecdotes and tales – most recently, an updated “Best Little Stories from the White House.” Having sent their book to President Obama, they also brought the thank-you letter his office sent them.

“I think he really was tickled by it,” said Smyer, who wrote about first lady Michelle Obama.

U.Va. authors published more than 60 books last year:

  • Beatley, Timothy, ed. (Urban & Environmental Planning), “Green Cities of Europe”
  • Berne, Rosalyn (Engineering), “Waiting in the Silence”
  • Biemann, Asher (Religious Studies), “Dreaming of Michelangelo”
  • Blatt, Ari (French), “Pictures Into Words”
  • Bodroghkozy, Aniko (Media Studies), “Equal Time: Television & the Equal Rights Movement”
  • Breneman, David (Education School), “Financing American Higher Education in an Era of Globalization”
  • Cantor, Paul (English), “The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture”
  • Coleman, David (Miller Center), “The Fourteenth Day”
  • Cushman, Stephen (General Ed.) & Jahan Ramazani (Asso. Ed.) (English), “The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics, 4th Ed.”
  • Della Coletta, Cristina (Italian), “When Stories Travel”
  • Dicharry, Jay (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation), “Anatomy for Runners”
  • Dobrin, Lise (Anthropology), “Concreteness in Grammar”
  • Duke, Daniel (Education), “The School Improvement Planning Handbook”
  • Farooqi, Mehr (Middle Eastern/South Asian), “Urdu Literary Culture”
  • Ferreira, Roquinaldo (History), “Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World”
  • Freeman, Caren (Special Academic Programs), “Making and Faking Kinship: Marriage and Labor Migration Between China and South Korea”
  • Frick, John (Drama), “Uncle Tom’s Cabin on the American Stage & Screen”
  • Gies, David, ed. (Spanish), “A History of Theatre in Spain”
  • Gorman, Michael (Engineering), “Handbook of Psychology of Science”
  • Harris, Jared, “Kantian Business Ethics: Critical Perspectives”
  • Hedstrom, Matthew (Religious Studies), “Rise of Liberal Religion”
  • Hess, Ed, “Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Business”
  • Jay, Meg (Education School), “The Defining Decade”
  • Jenkins, Jeffery (Politics), “Fighting for the Speakership”
  • Keeling, Arlene, “Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World”
  • Kelly, C. Brian (English), “Best Little Stories From the White House”
  • Klees, Edward (Law), “Biomedical Consulting Agreements”
  • Last, Nana (Architecture), “Wittgenstein’s House”
  • Lengel, Edward (Papers of George Washington), “A Companion to George Washington”
  • Liedtka, Jeanne (Darden), “The Physics of Business Growth”
  • Lyons, Mary (BIS), “Dark Passage”
  • Mann, H. Edward (Center for Politics), “The Queen and the U.S.A.”
  • McGann, Jerome (English), “Invention Tree”
  • McGann, Jerome (English), “Poe & the Remapping of Antebellum Print Culture”
  • Miller, Joseph (History), “The Problem of Slavery”
  • Moran, Ginger (Women’s Center), “Algebra of Snow”
  • Orr, Greg (English), “The City of Poetry”
  • Patterson, Charlotte, ed. (Psych), “Handbook of Psychology & Sexual Orientation”
  • Pianta, Robert, ed. (Education), “Handbook of Early Childhood Education”
  • Plews-Ogan, Margaret (Medical Ctr), “Choosing Wisdom”
  • Puri, Michael (Music), “Ravel the Decadent”
  • Quale, John (Architecture School), “Sustainable, Affordable, Pre-Fab”
  • Sabato, Larry, “Barack Obama and the New America: The 2012 Election & Changing Face of Politics”
  • Saunders, Mark (UVA Press), “Ministers of Fire”
  • Shadel, Molly, “Finding Your Voice in Law School”
  • Shatin, Judith (Music Dept), “Rotunda: Living Portrait” (DVD)
  • Spaar, Lisa (Creative Writing), “Vanitas, Rough”
  • Spearing, A.C. (English), “Medieval Autographies”
  • Sprigman, Christopher (Law), "The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation"
  • Stagg, John (History), “The War of 1812”
  • Tereskerz, Patricia (Biomedical Ethics), “Clinical Research & the Law”
  • Tilghman, Christopher (Creative Writing), “The Right-Hand Shore”
  • Von Daacke, Kirt (Carter Woodson Institute), “Freedom Has a Face”
  • Weaver, Vesla (Politics), “Creating a New Racial Order”
  • White, G. Edward (Law), “Law In American History”
  • Whitesell, David (Library), “A Bibliographical Description of Books & Pamphlets of American Verse Printed 1610-1820”
  • Wiebe, Heather (Music), “Britten’s Unquiet Pasts”
  • Wilken, Robert (Religious Studies Emeritus), “The First Thousand Years”
  • Will, Richard, ed., Music, “Engaging Haydn”
  • Willingham, Daniel (Psychology), “When Can You Trust the Experts?”
  • Wilson, Michiko (East Asian Languages), “Modern Japanese Women Writers as Artists as Cultural Critics”
  • Wilson, Richard Guy (Architecture), “Edith Wharton at Home”
  • Woodman, Anthony (Classics), “Catullus”
  • Woodman, Anthony (Classics), “From Poetry to History: Selected Papers”


Media Contact

Anne E. Bromley

University News Associate Office of University Communications