January 2013


Embedded Languages: Studies of Sri Lankan and Buddhist Cultures; Essays in Honor of W.S. Karunatillake

Co-Edited by Carol S. Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor of Religion, Kalamazoo College

This volume provides an in depth examination of the contributions of teacher, mentor, and translator Professor W. S. Karunatillake. His approach is rooted in the study of language. Those who have worked with Professor Karunatillake as colleagues or students have heard him speak of language as the place where all students and scholars must begin their investigations. “If you want to understand Sri Lanka,” he says, “you must begin with the language.” All of the articles included in this volume are rooted in this insight.

The contributions share the common understanding that seeing the worlds of Buddhism and of Sri Lanka requires that we understand how the language is constructed, played with, and displayed in specific and particular contexts.

As stated in the book’s introduction, co-written by Carol Anderson, “One of the observations that struck the editors as we assembled these papers is that each of these papers focuses on the embedded nature of language and thus our choice of the title Embedded Languages. By ‘embedded’ we mean we wish to emphasize the insight that all language, practices, and religions are embedded in human cultures and societies.”

The book begins with an introduction to Karunatillake’s life and work, and includes sections on education, ritual and ethical practices, and linguistics.

Professor Anderson also wrote a chapter in the book titled “What Do We See through the Dhamma Eye? Vision, Knowledge, and the Path in Buddhist Canonical Traditions.”

Raising Khane

by Doug Hewitt ’79

Kalamazoo College graduate Doug Hewitt and his wife, Robin—an Ann Arbor couple who have co-authored five nonfiction books—both released novels on the same day in November. While the Hewitts’ earlier books were published by traditional publishers, their latest releases are published by their own company, Hewitts Books.

Doug’s new book is a science-fiction thriller while Robin’s book is an erotic psychological thriller. Raising Khane tells of a war on the Eastern Seaboard involving supernatural weapons. One side in the war seems intent on destroying humankind, and both sides race to see who can “grow” their powers fastest. Robin’s novel, Crawford Hill, is about a man named Derek Crawford who has been groomed by his ancestors from two centuries past until his conception to become a serial killer, but he wants to avoid this fate and live a normal life.

The Hewitts’ nonfiction is on considerably tamer topics. The two co-authored The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting, Microsoft Word 2007 for Beginners, Learning New Techniques with Microsoft Word 2010, Free College Resource Book, and Get Into College in 3 Months or Less. Doug also wrote The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting. One of Doug’s three novels, The Dead Guy, won a Gold IPPY Award for Best Regional Novel in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His other novel is Spear.

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte: An American Aristocrat in the Early Republic

by Charlene M. Boyer Lewis, Ph.D. ’87
Associate Professor of History and Director of American Studies, Kalamazoo College

This biography tells the story of a Baltimore woman who married Napoleon’s brother, Jerome, and bore his child, but never realized her dream of becoming royalty because the French emperor annulled the marriage.

Elizabeth, as Boyer Lewis refers to her throughout the book, lived from 1785 to 1879 and became one of the most celebrated women in America in the early 19th century. Her associations with European royalty, her European taste in clothing, her lack of modesty, and her pursuit of celebrity—one of the few ways women could gain influence at the time—made her the subject of numerous newspaper articles in America and abroad. But America was still a young nation and many Americans feared that their society would become too much like the socially stratified, monarchical Europe, so Elizabeth was seen by some as a threat to the republic.

Yet Americans couldn’t help but be captivated by her style, looks, intelligence, and wit. And her aristocratic dreams and active role in debates about the future of American society and culture made her a role model for women looking for an alternative to “republican motherhood.”   

“Besides telling a good story, (Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte) enriches our understanding of the formative first decades of the 19th century,” says Library Journal. “... This fascinating, highly readable book should interest scholars and general readers alike.”

Once Upon a River

by Bonnie Jo Campbell, Visiting Professor of English, and the 2012 Summer Common Reading author

The best-selling novel by Kalamazoo-area author Bonnie Jo Campbell, Once Upon a River, has been compared by critics to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. It tells the story of 16-year-old Margo Crane, who sets off on the fictional Stark River in search of her mother after her father’s violent death. Her dangerous journey takes her through rural Southwest Michigan, where she uses her knowledge of the outdoors, her skill with a rifle, and her pure tenacity to survive.

The map at the beginning of the book, which blends real and fictional locales, shows the Stark River as a tributary of the Kalamazoo, flowing in about 15 miles east of the city of Kalamazoo. The author grew up on a small farm in Comstock Township, which is just upriver from Kalamazoo, and she lives near the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds, so she’s writing about familiar territory in Once Upon a River.

Many critics placed the novel on their best-book lists in 2011, and it was released in paperback in the spring of 2012, when Campbell was also named the Michigan Library Association’s Author of the Year. Campbell has served as a visiting professor of English at K. The College chose Once Upon a River for its 2012 Summer Common Reading program for incoming first-year students, and Campbell spoke about and read from the novel at Stetson Chapel in September. Her previous book, the short-story collection American Salvage, was a 2009 finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction and for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

Principles of Environmental Economics and Sustainability: An Integrated Economic and Ecological Approach

by Ahmed Hussen, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Business

Recent years have witnessed considerable consolidation between the disciplines of environmental and ecological economics at research level, but until now textbooks in the area have done little to reflect this. Ahmed Hussen’s book is to date the only one to reconcile the two standpoints.

The central focus of the book will continue to be on this systematic integration of both mainstream and ecological approaches to environmental economics, and an acknowledgement that enduring solutions to major contemporary environmental challenges can be obtained through studies based on a well-conceived and balanced interdisciplinary approach.

However, this third edition also contains much that is new. Chiefly, brand new chapters appear covering the following topics: the economics of climate change; the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services; “green” accounting and alternative economic and social indicators of sustainability; the business case for environmental sustainability; and an appendix that provides a brief historical account of the development of ecological economics.

The result is a comprehensive introduction to the main facets of environmental and ecological economics—a text that boldly refuses to put up barriers between disciplines and takes a holistic approach to vital issues.

This student-friendly textbook contains a variety of study tools including learning points, boxed features, case studies, revision questions and discussion questions, and an appendix that provides students with a review of basic economic principles relevant to the study of the environment and its management. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book will prove an excellent choice for introducing both students and academics to the world of environmental economics.

Killer on the Road

by Ginger Strand ’87

The American highway system, started in the 1950s, created a love/hate relationship among drivers. It cut vast swaths through the countryside and cut hours off long trips. It also produced a soulless environment and provided a haven and a hunting ground for killers.

Ginger Strand’s third book “tells the entwined stories of America’s highways and its highway killers.” Charles Starkweather is crowned the first. Others emerge. The author of Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power and Lies (2008) and Flight (2005) intended her third book to be mostly about the creation of the highway system. However, “The killers kind of took over,” Strand says—albeit, in a way, given Strand’s consummate skill, that makes the book about much more, particularly in chapters about the work conditions endured by long-haul truck drivers, the bleak nature (and easy improvability) of truck stops, the prostitutes (considered by so many as throw-away lives) who work at those truck stops, and the cases where interstate highways destroyed the fabric of working class neighborhoods.

Mouse Code

By Joel Thurtell ’67

Ham radio operator, blogger, and longtime Detroit Free Press reporter Joel Thurtell spins this children’s tale of how field mice use radio to save themselves and their friends from death by development.

As humans plow up meadows and bulldoze trees, a wise old field mouse named Hannibal and his loyal foot soldier, Arthur Mouse, steal materials from a ham radio operator so they can build their own radios and use Morse Code, or in this case Mouse Code, to send out warnings to other field mice and their friends: moles, voles, shrews, groundhogs, and badgers.

Thurtell passed his first Morse Code test to receive an amateur radio license in 1959. “I was fascinated with radio and the idea that you could project yourself by radio signal across vast distances,” says Thurtell. His new book (published by his own Hardalee Press, November 2012) introduces children to that world of possibilities.

Thurtell is also the author of Shoestring Reporter; a canoe paddling book called Up the Rouge!; Plug Nickel, a collection of his columns about restoring wooden boats; and Seydou’s Christmas Tree, a story from his days in the Peace Corps in West Africa.

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