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Table of Contents

As Big As All Outdoors

Turn Left in Bismarck, and Go Until…

Granting Research

Rocking Our World

Relax! We Have New Labs for That

Fieldwork Across the Curriculum:
Update on ISEI

The World of Science

Laurentian Reviews

Letter from James Costopoulos '83

Lifelong Learning
Page 1
Page 2

Alumni Accomplishments

Table of Contents

Laurentian Reviews
Spring 2003

By Macreena Doyle and Neal Burdick

Mwenda Ntarangwi, Gender Identity and Performance: Understanding Swahili Cultural Realities Through Song, Africa World Press, 2003.

The intersection between gender and identity as manifested through popular performance of Swahili songs is the subject of a new book of critical analysis by Mwenda Ntarangwi, visiting assistant professor of anthropology and acting director of the Kenya program at St. Lawrence University. According to the publishers, Gender Identity and Performance: Understanding Swahili Cultural Realities Through Song “explores how gender and identity are practiced, constructed, mobilized and contested through popular musical expression. This analysis raises questions of critical importance to the study of gender and identity: How does musical performance aid in the construction of gendered behavior and perceptions? How is gender given meaning through musical performance?”

The book includes discussions of how music is used to probe socio-cultural assumptions about gender and identity in a Muslim context, among the Swahili people of Mombasa. Ntarangwi argues that while gender may be an important means of forming social identities, it is also a tool through which one can make an analysis of various socio-cultural realities and practices of a people. In so doing, one is able to go beyond the obvious role that gender may play in organizing social roles and cultural meanings, and enter into a realm where gender becomes a means to reshaping conceptual categories and intellectual theories of everyday experiences.

Elizabeth L. Kahn, Marie Laurencin: Une Femme Inadaptée in Feminist Histories, Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2003.

A new book by St. Lawrence University Professor of Fine Arts Elizabeth L. Kahn examines the life of Marie Laurencin, an influential French 20th-century artist defined by some as “an unfit feminist.” Kahn's exploration of the life and art of Laurencin began as she conducted research for the 1986 Frank P. Piskor Lecture on campus, on the topic “Your Home Isn't Safe Anymore: The Cubist House and the French Decorative Arts of 1912.” Laurencin was among the artists who created the cubist house. The publishers state that, “Until now the substance of her art and the feminist issues that were entangled in her life have been narrowly examined or reduced by an author's chosen theoretical format; and the terms of her lesbian identity have been overlooked. Kahn re-situates Laurencin in the on-going feminist debates that enrich the disciplines of art history, women's studies and literary criticism.”

James Garbarino ’68 and Ellen deLara, And Words Can Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents from Bullying, Harassment, and Emotional Violence, The Free Press (Simon & Schuster), 2002.

Ever since the infamous Columbine killings of 1998, there has been a spate of literature about youth violence. As one of the leading figures in this field, Jim Garbarino has contributed to this literature. His latest offering has a different twist: he and his co-author, basing their findings on extensive research and clinical experience, postulate that despite the best intentions of educators and parents, many schools foster hostile and threatening environments. They reveal a startling degree of emotional cruelty and counter the nursery rhyme that “words will never hurt me.” They also reveal that our children themselves have the solutions to school violence, if only the rest of us will listen. Each chapter concludes with a list of practical ideas for parents, educators and community members.

Maurice Kenny, Carving Hawk: New and Selected Poems, White Pine Press, 2002.

Maurice Kenny, the recipient of both a North Country Citation and an honorary degree from St. Lawrence, as well as an occasional visiting faculty member in the University’s Native American studies program, is considered by many the leading Native American writer at work today. Carving Hawk is a collection of five decades of his poetry, some of it never before published. The chronologically-arranged work takes us with Kenny from his home in the North Country, on an odyssey through many places and many positions, and ultimately back to the North Country, where he lives now in Saranac Lake and teaches at SUNY at Potsdam. There is a powerful sense of place in much of Kenny’s work, and Laurentians familiar with St. Lawrence’s home territory will recognize it in such selections as “Land,” “Black River, Summer 1981” and “Going to the Mountains.”

Mare Cromwell ’81, If I Gave You God’s Phone Number: Searching for Spirituality in America, Pamoon Press, 2002.

“I have wanted to talk to God for as long as I can remember,” says Mare Cromwell, a self-described spiritual seeker as well as a professional gardener and environmental speaker and workshop leader. Whether she does or not, in this imaginative and thought-provoking book she talks with others about what they would talk to God if they could get a direct line. The responses in 21 interviews beginning with, “If I gave you God’s phone number, what would you do with it?” come from a Cherokee shaman, a Death Row inmate, an Afghani Sufi mystic, a Roman Catholic, a Jew and many others, ranging in age from 8 to 82.
Issues raised cover the spectrum, from Heaven and Hell to reincarnation, angels to demonic possession, jihads to pedophilia and denial in the Catholic Church. All this could be threatening to the convinced (at one book-signing, Cromwell was attacked by a fundamentalist and told she would burn in Hell), but those who are open to numerous points of view and challenging ideas will find this volume much food for reflection.

Arthur J. Clark, Early Recollections: Theory and Practice in Counseling and Psychotherapy, Brunner-Routledge, 2002.

Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Counseling and Development Program Arthur J. Clark’s newest book “reviews the extensive literature on early recollections and organizes various interpretive systems of evaluating early memories,” according to the publishers. They add that psychotherapy practitioners “will find specific and detailed guidelines for administering and interpreting early recollections to help integrate these memories into counseling and psychotherapy.”

Clark is also the author of the 1998 book Defense Mechanisms in the Counseling Process. He was named Counselor of the Year by the Northern Zone Counselors Association in 1999.

Peter Scott ’67, Something in the Water, Down East Books, 2000.

Peter Scott, a teacher, writer and former stern man aboard a Maine lobster boat, has composed a novel set during World War II, when German U-boats prowled the waters of the coastal U.S., wreaking havoc on American shipping. When Maine fisherman Amos Coombs finds an enemy vessel in his fishing waters, the war becomes personal and changes his life and those of his fellow coastal islanders. Scott’s tale of suspense, adventure and Down East humor has been called “one of those rare novels that combines the spellbinding qualities of a rollicking story with literary merit” by National Book Award winner and St. Lawrence Writers Series guest Tim O’Brien.

Bill Dantini ’75, Dead Wrong: The Second Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, self-published, 2002.
Dead Wrong is an historical novel that also takes a novel look at the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Its premise is that a double -- not the actual Lincoln -- was shot at Ford's Theatre that fateful night in 1865.

XLibris Publishing says that “Dantini [has] brewed the plot of Dead Wrong since his college days. While he doesn't consider himself a history revisionist, he likes to put 'what-if' spins on historical events. From Charleston, S.C., through upstate New York to the Canadian border, the plot propels the reader to a dramatic climax” in 1870 in the St. Lawrence River Valley. Canton and other locales familiar to Laurentians figure in the resolution.

Deirdre Moloney ’84, American Catholic Lay Groups and Transatlantic Social Reform in the Progressive Era, University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

According to the dust jacket, this is “the first work to highlight the wide-ranging contributions of the Catholic laity to Progressive Era (1880-1925) reform, (showing) how lay groups competed with Protestant [social] reformers and at times even challenged members of the Catholic hierarchy.” Moloney, associate professor of history at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa., reveals how Catholic ethnic and gender ideologies and emerging middle-class values shaped the goals and behavior of lay activists, who drew more extensively than their Protestant counterparts on European traditions as they worked to establish settlement houses, promote temperance and aid immigrants and the poor. She also describes how, as this tendency changed, women began to carve out a more significant role in these efforts.

End Notes

The Healing Muse, a popular collection of medical poems by Bonnie St. Andrews ’67, a senior professor at the SUNY Upstate Medical University Center for Bioethics and Humanities, has been annotated and included in the prestigious NYU Medical School’s medical humanities database. St. Andrews “uses disciplined and sparkling language to explore the interface between modern medicine with its impersonal machinery and the irreducible mystery of life,” says the annotator on the NYU Web site.