June 2010


Summer – a time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new  projects, or perhaps completing work in progress.  With this in mind, we have asked some faculty members at St. John’s what they are reading this summer.

Natalie Byfield, Assistant Professor in the Department of  Sociology and Anthropology, writes: 

This summer one of the books I’ll be reading is Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society by James Carey.  In this collection of essays, Carey argues that in Western society the term “communication” means both arriving at a shared meaning and the transmission of information.  He maintains that scholars of communication have not adequately addressed this bifurcated meaning.  He concludes that we need to sort out the significance of this duality in meaning in order to develop a better understanding of the role of language in

Carey’s work greatly influenced media studies, one of my areas of research.  Through my research of media organizations and media products, like television news programs and newspaper articles, I came across Carey’s work.  As I prepare to teach the course Global Communications this coming fall, my first thought was to return to James Carey.  Not only is the subject apropos for my fall teaching, but the ease and the clarity with which he writes makes him a pleasurable read.  Besides, essays are just fun to read.

Seal of the US State DepartmentAre you a college/university student looking to do research with a faculty member that includes research abroad?  Are you a faculty member who is looking to help a student who has exciting research ideas, but limited finances for travel? Check into this Laura W. Bush / State Department fellowship to cover some travel costs (approx $2000) while conducting research along UNESCO competencies, including “using education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and/or communication and information to build strong ties among nations….[and] Apparent dedication to bridging nations, enlarging freedoms, and promoting democracy…

We noted in a prior blog entry that COPE Open Access Scholarship in the Humanities and Social sciences are gaining ground and are explicitly recognizing that access to scholarship shouldn’t be limited to those Universities which can pay increasingly prohibitive costs for access through publishers and vendors. We also have noted Good Cop/ Bad Cop issues with Harvard whose Business publisher is are “trying to charge Universities even more to deep-link to articles for which most University Libraries have already paid both high prices to the publisher and the vendor for access” And of course, we have been following the Google-Books courts cases with an eager eye.

If you are interested seeing how it all comes together, you might check out this week’s Publishers Weekly article:

While the high-profile Google settlement has captured the attention of the publishing industry at large, a contentious copyright infringement lawsuit filed in Atlanta in 2008 by academic publishers against four individuals at Georgia State University has quietly progressed. And while a New York court now considers whether to approve the sweeping Google deal, a court in Atlanta could yet deliver something that publishers expressly chose to avoid in their settlement with Google: a fair use ruling.

  • “A Failure to Communicate” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly (June 14, 2010) by features editor: http://bit.ly/95SpB4

You might also find the following articles of interest for more background on the Georgia case from an academic library perspective.

  • “Implication of the Georgia State e-reserves case.” Barbara Fister, Library Journal, (April 1, 2010) http://bit.ly/cfxoLL

For more on how university libraries (including our own) have been dealing with the escalating costs of current scholarly publishing-and-distribution platforms — which basically require an academic library to pay for access to the same articles anywhere from two-to four separate times — check out our LIbLog “open movement” entries which work towards convincing Academic Communities that Open Access publishing is a wiser way to go.

Summer – a time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress.  With this in mind, we have asked some faculty members at St. John’s what they are reading this summer.

Dr. Robert Mangione, Dean of of the School of Pharmacy and Allied Heath Professions writes:

One of the books that I plan to read this summer is America’s Mayor: John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York,  edited by Sam Roberts (Columbia University Press). John Lindsay served as mayor during a very challenging time in our city’s history. I look forward to learning more about his leadership values, vision for the city, and how he confronted his failures and achieved his successes. I remember meeting him in the summer of 1972 at a barbeque at Gracie Mansion (I was 18 years old at the time). My recollection from that encounter many years ago is that he was a very gracious, kind and charismatic person. It will be interesting for me to learn what effect this book will have on my memories of this interesting and controversial mayor.

Summer – a time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress.  With this in mind, we have asked some faculty members at St. John’s what they are reading this summer.

Dr. Robert J. Forman
Professor of English and Classics and Director of the Honors Program writes:

Sappho’s Leap, a novel written by Erica Jong in 2003, is a perfect example of why one should not judge books by their covers or by one’s own preconceptions.  It provides excellent summer reading and is elegantly and sensitively written.

Jong necessarily imagines a life for the Poet of Lesbos.  In doing so, the author takes readers all around the late seventh-century Aegean and Mediterranean even as she reveals the degree to which all of us are the subjects of Fate.

Jong realizes that the nature of life is loss and uses the fragments of biographical reference in Sappho’s poems as well as accrued tradition from the notes of the ancient scholiasts to invent a plausible life.

Readers will take what they wish from this invented life.  Some will see feminism in its pages; others pathos and irony.

Summer – a time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress.  With this in mind, we have asked some faculty members at St. John’s what they are reading this summer.

Dr. Stephen Llano, Assistant Professor in the Department of Rhetoric & Speech, and Coach of the Debate Team,  writes:

This summer I plan to do a lot of reading. One of the books I’m most looking forward to reading is Wisenheimer: A Childhood Subject to Debate,  by Mark Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer’s book is a humorous biography of his debate experiences both in high school and university, and how they shaped him into the person he is today. Oppenheimer is a lecturer at Yale who holds a Ph.D. in religious studies.

 I think this book could be very important in letting others know the power that even the slightest involvement in your campus or school’s debate team can change your whole concept of what your life can be.

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