The following is a list of books and audio and video recordings released by Illinois State University faculty in the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015:


Samuel Taylor’s Last Night
By Joe Amato, instructional assistant professor, Department of English (Dalkey Archive Press, 2014)
This novel tells the story of teacher and writer Samuel Taylor. Taylor has lost his job and his wife, and is beginning to lose his fortitude. Taylor is beset by moral failure, by mortal failure, by the failure of his species to safeguard its survival. Taylor must do better than to fail better, and failing that, he must find in failure the means to move forward.

Barbara Egger Lennon: Teacher, Mother, Activist
By Tina Brakebill, instructional assistant professor, Department of History (Westview Press, 2015)
This book, part of the Lives of American Women Series, explores the life of Barbara Egger Lennon, a teacher, wife, mother, union organizer, and political activist. Enriched by years of detailed diary entries that Egger Lennon wrote, this book deepens the understanding of the ways in which work and political activism could exist alongside the traditional role of women in the early 20th century.

The Politics and Art of John L. Stoddard: Framing Authority, Otherness, and Authenticity
By Michaelene Cox, associate professor, Department of Politics and Government (Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books, 2015)
This book is the first scholarly effort to provide critical analysis of the illustrated travel lectures and political writings of John Lawson Stoddard (1850–1931). Now virtually forgotten, and yet regarded as an American cultural institution of his day, Stoddard’s work caught the attention of decision makers in U.S. government, but perhaps more importantly, his images and text about domestic and international politics, society, and landscapes were imprinted in the minds of millions of citizens.

The Effectiveness of an Online Fitness Course
By Karen K. Dennis, instructional assistant professor, School of Kinesiology and Recreation (LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2014)
Given the current trends of physical inactivity, obesity, and chronic disease prevalence, understanding appropriate levels of physical activity, healthful nutrition, and risk reduction for chronic disease is crucial. This book provides a review of effective pedagogies for postsecondary adult learners in an online environment along with a review of students’ perceptions of an online personal health and fitness course.

The Assault on Communities of Color: Exploring the Realities of Race-Based Violence
Co-edited by Nicholas Hartlep, assistant professor, Department of Educational Administration and Foundations (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)
Through a series of essays, written by leading and emerging academics in the field of race studies, the short “conversations” in this collection challenge readers to contemplate the myth of post-raciality, and the real nature of the assaults on communities of color. The essays in this volume, all under 2,000 words, cut to the heart of the matter using current assaults as points of departure and are relevant to education, sociology, law, social work, and criminology.

The Modern Societal Impacts of the Model Minority Stereotype
Edited by Nicholas Hartlep (Information Science Reference, 2015)
The model minority stereotype is a form of racism that targets Asians and Asian-Americans, portraying this group as consistently hard-working and academically successful. Modern Societal Impacts of the Model Minority Stereotype highlights current research on the implications of the model minority stereotype on American culture and society in general as well as Asian and Asian-American populations.

A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars
By Andrew Hartman, associate professor, Department of History (University of Chicago Press, 2015)
This book explores the battle between conservatives and liberals for the national identity. The title of the book takes its name from a speech by Patrick Buchanan at the 1992 Republican National Convention, a time often seen as the pinnacle of the culture wars in the U.S. Hartman argues that the culture wars began in the 1960s and were the very public face of America’s struggle over the unprecedented social changes of the period, as the cluster of social norms that had long governed American life began to give way to a new openness to different ideas, identities, and articulations of what it means to be an American.

Related Article

War for America's soul

In his new book, Hartman explores the battle between conservatives and liberals.

See Related Content

Old Three Toes and Other Tales of Survival and Extinction
Edited by Susan Kalter, professor, Department of English (University of Oklahoma Pres, 2015)
Kalter edited and provided the afterword for this collection of nine short stories by author John Joseph Mathews.

A Groundling’s Guide to Shakespeare’s Hamlet
By Hilary Justice Kovar, associate professor, Department of English (Story Spring Publishing, 2014)
This book is an analysis of the complexity of Hamlet, the play, and Hamlet, the man; an examination of the myriad decisions that directors and actors must make in performing the play, decisions that dictate the audience members’ experiences of the characters; and a guide for teachers of William Shakespeare who wish to help their students engage fearlessly with the play and its characters.

Where Texas Meets the Sea: Corpus Christi and Its History
By Alan Lessoff, professor, Department of History (University of Texas Press, 2015)
Demonstrating how the growth of a midsize city can illuminate urban development issues across an entire region, this history of Corpus Christi explores how competing regional and cosmopolitan influences have shaped this thriving port and leisure city.

Bhoyer Sangaskriti (The Culture of Fear: Political Economy of Terror and Violence in Bangladesh)
By Ali Riaz, department chair and professor, Department of Politics and Government (Prothoma, 2014)
This book examines the causes of and conditions for the widespread political violence in Bangladesh in the past decades. Riaz argues that a culture of fear has emerged due to the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of human rights violations. The book also demonstrates that the weaknesses of the democratization process and the lack of accountability of the government have exacerbated the situation.

Explorations in Behavioral Archaeology
Co-edited by James M. Skibo, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology (University of Utah Press, 2015)
Behavioral archaeology, defined as the study of people-object interactions in all times and places, emerged in the 1970s, in large part because of the innovative work of Michael Schiffer and colleagues. This volume provides an overview of how behavioral archaeology has evolved and how it has affected the field of archaeology at large. The contributors to this volume are Schiffer’s former students, from his first doctoral student to his most recent.

Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of Contemporary American Politics
By Joseph Zompetti, professor, School of Communication (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2015)
This book challenges assumptions about contemporary American political ideologies by exposing rhetorical fallacies and providing a framework for readers to identify and interpret inflated language. In addition, Zompetti considers how the fallout of such extreme discourse leads to societal fragmentation and the fostering of apathy, confusion, animosity, and ignorance.


Work the Circuits
By Rick Valentin, assistant professor, arts technology program (Twelve Inch Records, 2015)
Thoughts Detecting Machines is a continuing multimedia project from Valentin that incorporates music, performance, design, and interactive video. The new album, Work the Circuits, has been released in a limited edition of 400 records with algorithmic artwork drawn directly on the packaging by a computer-controlled pen plotter.


TEDx Naperville: How to Talk Nasty About Asians Without Sounding Racist
By Nicholas Hartlep (TEDxNaperville, 2014)
Throughout the world, Asians are praised for their high-level math skills, their exceptional acceptance rates in Ivy League schools, and their ability to never need resources and support services. Sure this is a stereotype, but what’s the issue with assuming these ideas if they’re all positive? Hartlep brings his extensive research, his education, and his humor to the concept of racism without being a racist.

Some of the information and photos in these summaries came from the creators of the works and their publishers. Books, audio and video recordings, and mobile applications created by Illinois State University faculty, staff, and students are eligible for consideration for this section. Submit entries to