On the Shelf: Powerful Pages

Alumni authors are tackling some of today’s current issues.

Empowered by Sarah Banet-Weiser. ’89, MA ’90, PhD ’95

Empowered addresses feminism in the age of social media, focusing on its use in advertising and various commercial and nonprofit campaigns. Banet-Weiser examines how the commercial appeal of feminism might actually encourage misogynistic ideals that it rallies against by  “empowering” those in relatively privileged positions.

Learn more about Empowered here.


Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves by Oliver Kaplan ’01

Kaplan contests the typical depiction of civilian populations as victims by explaining how unarmed communities protect themselves from civil conflict and pressure armed groups to limit their violence. Looking at cases of Colombia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, Resisting War counters the traditional narrative and provides further understanding to the story of human struggle and survival during wartime.

Learn more about Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves here.


Art For An Undivided Earth by Jessica L. Horton ’06

Art for an Undivided Earth explores the American Indian Movement by looking at how the Native American narrative was refigured by a generation of artists looking to define themselves and their culture. Horton’s discourse with contemporary indigenous artists also provides various theories about global modernism, racial differences, new modernism and how these elements are being reinvented by artists at the forefront of Native American art.

Learn more about Art For An Undivided Earth here.

The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre & Vocality in African American Music by Nina Sun Eidsheim, PhD ’08

The Race of Sound depicts how the interpretation of voice may seem natural but is actually socially produced. It explores how listeners define race, gender, vocal technique and timbre of a speaker or singer through their voice; and how these assumptions and judgements are made by racial subjectivities. Eidsheim’s ability to systematically lay out these subconscious prejudices and explain how they can be unlearned within the context of listening to voices helps advocate equality. It also teaches important cultural and historical elements of musicology.

Learn more about The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre & Vocality in African American Music here.

How to Set Yourself on Fire by Julia Dixon Evans ’00

How to Set Yourself on Fire by Julia Dixon Evans deals with revolutions of the heart. After Sheila’s grandmother dies, she inherits a box of secret love letters to her grandmother that definitely are not from her grandfather, and she decides to search for the man who wrote them; with the help of her neighbor, Vinnie and his daughter, Torrey, who both carry the weight of their own tragic circumstances. How to Set Yourself on Fire tells the fictitious, yet heartwarming story of a woman whose struggled with a stunted life but found meaning through her family’s past and the friendships she makes on the way.

Learn more about How to Set Yourself on Fire here.