Academics & Research / Fall 2018

Shelf Discovery: Great reading from the DU community

Whether you read for pleasure or edification or both; whether you thumb through a hardcover or swipe through a device, you’re no doubt in the market for new titles to enjoy. The University of Denver’s community of writers is happy to oblige, producing good reads that raise questions and change perspectives.


A Bonanza for History Enthusiasts

A new entry in Arcadia Publishing’s campus history series offers a 127-page jog down Memory Lane.

Via the hundreds of photos in “University of Denver,” nostalgia buffs can stop by professor Herbert Alonzo Howe’s 1889 algebra class, scope out the 1952 women’s rifle team and join a 1968 sit-in at the registrar’s office. Although most of the content is devoted to decades gone by, a few pages focus on more recent events, including the 2014 spring powwow and the installation of DU’s first woman chancellor, Rebecca Chopp.

The book was co-authored by alumna Thyria Wilson, an archivist and reference specialist in DU’s Center for Judaic Studies, and Steve Fisher, former DU historian and curator of the DU archives. Fisher began work on the book in 2017 and upon retiring turned it over to Wilson, who took on the project in her spare time.

The final product reflects Wilson’s commitment to featuring women and minorities. Among the treasures are portraits of Margaret Fuller Boos, founder of DU’s now-defunct geology department, and alumnus Howard Jenkins Jr., the first African-American to serve on the National Labor Relations Board.

One photo featuring a graduate student conducting field work holds special meaning for Wilson. It’s of her mother, who, when a sitter couldn’t be found, brought her daughter to class. As Wilson proudly recalls, “I attended DU when I was 6.”


In the Wake of the Deluge

Hurricane Katrina will forever be remembered as the 2005 natural — and man-made — disaster that nearly destroyed an iconic American city. Amid the mind-boggling damage, a handful of public officials questioned whether federal funds should be used to rebuild New Orleans or whether it should be left to rise on its own.

The Big Easy did, of course, rise again, but not everyone saw their fortunes improve. In “Renew Orleans? Globalized Development and Worker Resistance After Katrina” (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), Aaron Schneider of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies examines the events behind New Orleans’ reconstruction.

Schneider takes readers into different areas of the city, contrasting, as he puts it, “how globally oriented sectors captured power and restructured the economy, leaving behind the majority of the population. In particular, elites restructured labor markets to the advantage of the already advantaged, assigning people to poverty or wealth according to racial, gendered, and ethnic status.”

In showing how post-disaster redevelopment can transform a city’s economic and political landscape, not to mention its character, Schneider offers valuable insight for policy makers, urban planners and citizens concerned about social justice. The book has earned “must-read” kudos from scholars versed in economic and political issues. Adolph Reed Jr., author of “Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post-Segregation Era,” calls Schneider’s analysis “deep, rich, and concrete,” adding that it “should be a touchstone for all subsequent scholarship on New Orleans.”


One Book, One DU: Read along with the Class of 2022

As part of the One Book, One DU program, which aims to give the Class of 2022 a shared intellectual experience, first-year students spent the summer reading Molly Birnbaum’s “Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way.” It’s an aspiring chef’s account of finding her way — in the kitchen and beyond — after a tragic accident destroyed her olfactory capabilities.

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