Alumni CLASnotes Spring 2006
In This Issue:

Alumni Bookshelf

Beowulf: The Complete StoryBeowulf: The Complete Story

produced by Norman Gilliland
(B.A. & M.A., English, 1971 & 1972)

This audiobook offers a bold new interpretation of the oldest narrative poem in the English language. Dramatized by actors from Wisconsin Public Radio, the American Players Theater and Guthrie Theatre, the epic battles are brought to life in authentic Old English for this retelling of the classic masterpiece.

>> Find Beowulf: The Complete Story on Amazon

Beyond the Moon: A Conversational, Common Sense Guide to Understanding the TidesBeyond the Moon: A Conversational, Common Sense Guide to Understanding the Tides

by James Greig McCully
(B.A., English, 1962)

The complexity of the tides is broken down into language everyone can understand, decoding the complexity of the tidal process by dissecting its many principles into witty and digestible prose. Recommended for all audiences—from science teacher to fisherman.

>> Find Beyond the Moon: A Conversational, Common Sense Guide to Understanding the Tides on Amazon

Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.

by Cynthia Barnett
(M.A., History, 2003)

Florida’s parched swamps and sprawling subdivisions set the stage for an examination of the American East’s water crisis. Investigative reporting and environmental history uncover how the eastern half of the nation has wasted its freshwater supply and is now facing problems once unique to the arid West.

“Never before has the case been more compellingly made that America’s dependence on a free and abundant water supply has become an illusion. Cynthia Barnett does it by telling us the stories of the amazing personalities behind our water wars, the stunning contradictions that allow the wettest state to have the most watered lawns, and the thorough research that makes her conclusions inescapable. Barnett has established herself as one of Florida’s best journalists and Mirage is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of the state.”

—Mary Ellen Klas,
Capital Bureau Chief, Miami Herald

“Mirage is the finest general study to date of the freshwater-supply crisis in Florida. Well-meaning villains abound in Cynthia Barnett’s story, but so too do heroes, such as Arthur R. Marshall Jr., Nathaniel Reed, and Marjorie Harris Carr. The author’s research is as thorough as her prose is graceful. Drinking water is the new oil. Get used to it.”

—Michael Gannon,
Distinguished Professor of history, University of Florida,
and author of Florida: A Short History

>> Find Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. on Amazon

Monumental Ambivalence: The Politics of HeritageMonumental Ambivalence: The Politics of Heritage

by Lisa C. Breglia
(B.A., English, 1994; M.A., Religion, 1996)

From ancient Maya cities in Mexico and Central America to the Taj Mahal in India, cultural heritage sites around the world are being drawn into the wave of privatization that has already swept through such economic sectors as telecommunications, transportation, and utilities. As nation-states decide they can no longer afford to maintain cultural properties—or find it economically advantageous not to do so in the globalizing economy—private actors are stepping in to excavate, conserve, interpret, and represent archaeological and historical sites. But what are the ramifications when a multinational corporation, or even an indigenous village, owns a piece of national patrimony which holds cultural and perhaps sacred meaning for all the country's people, as well as for visitors from the rest of the world?

In this ambitious book, Lisa Breglia investigates "heritage" as an arena in which a variety of private and public actors compete for the right to benefit, economically and otherwise, from controlling cultural patrimony. She presents ethnographic case studies of two archaeological sites in the Yucatán Peninsula—Chichén Itzá and Chunchucmil and their surrounding modern communities—to demonstrate how indigenous landholders, foreign archaeologists, and the Mexican state use heritage properties to position themselves as legitimate "heirs" and beneficiaries of Mexican national patrimony. Breglia's research masterfully describes the "monumental ambivalence" that results when local residents, excavation laborers, site managers, and state agencies all enact their claims to cultural patrimony. Her findings make it clear that informal and partial privatizations—which go on quietly and continually—are as real a threat to a nation's heritage as the prospect of fast-food restaurants and shopping centers in the ruins of a sacred site.

>> Find Monumental Ambivalence: The Politics of Heritage on Amazon

Rhythms of College Success: A Journey of Discovery, Change and MasteryRhythms of College Success: A Journey of Discovery, Change and Mastery

by Steve Piscitelli
(M.A., History, 1992)

Through musical metaphors, Rhythms shows how respect, responsibility, reflection and renewal fuel student success. The instructor’s manual includes two original songs, End-of-the-Semester Blues and The Dot Commies—addressing serious student issues in a humorous manner.

I love the descriptors of a motivated learner, overcoming barriers (things we can control) and the self reflection. Motivation is a huge problem and this text breaks it down in a way I’ve not seen. Most textbooks discuss the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation but I have never seen a text actually help students with a practical plan if they just cannot get motivated which is an epidemic among college students…this is a very strong component of this text.

- Lori R. Holtmann,
University of South Carolina Upstate

Overall, I liked all of the exercises. In some texts, authors are in such a rush to put in more strategies that they do not take the time to ask the student to reflect on what he/she has learned or think about how he/ she can use this information. It’s in reflecting on what you have learned that learning truly takes place. Without reflection and thinking, students may be just ‘going through the motions.’ Without this metacognition students won’t be able to transfer this knowledge to new situations or courses.

- Judith B. Isonhood,
Hinds Community College

>> Find Rhythms of College Success: A Journey of Discovery, Change and Mastery on Amazon

Sunshine in the Dark: Florida in the MoviesSunshine in the Dark: Florida in the Movies

by Susan J. Fernandez
(Ph.D., History, 1987)

Florida has been the location and subject of hundreds of feature films—from 1929’s Cocoanuts to 2004’s Monster. Sunshine in the Dark is a complete study of how the movie industry has immortalized Florida’s scenery, characters and history, and the images and clichés that have captured the imagination.

>> Find Sunshine in the Dark: Florida in the Movies on Amazon

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