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Pacific Lutheran University

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PLU Faculty & Staff Scholarship in the Mortvedt Library: Profiles

A collection of PLU Library facebook posts highlighting our faculty's scholarship that is available in or through the Library.

Dr. Seth Dowland (Religion)

Read Prof. Seth Dowland's much-buzzed about book, "Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right." Prof. Dowland says, "readers will see how Christian schools, homeschooling, anti-abortion activism, and pro-military patriotism became part of a "family values" political agenda during the 1970s and 1980s. This book helps to explain why white evangelicals felt so strongly about these issues at this moment in time--and why pro-family politics dominated the cultural politics of the late twentieth century."

Dr. Tyler Travillian (Classics)

Dr. Tyler Travillian's new book, The Natural history book VII, provides scholars and students with a detailed introduction to one of Pliny's most compelling books, his study of humankind:  our paradoxical nature and genetic variation, our life-cycle, the extremes of moral and physical greatness to which humans can aspire, and the intellectual afterlife afforded us by the inventions and culture we leave behind.  

Along with the introduction and Latin text is a commentary discussing important, difficult, or interesting grammatical, historical, and cultural information, capped by a series of appendices and indices designed to make the text useful and transparent.

Dr. Jon Grahe (Psychology)

Psychology professor Jon Grahe & co-author Robert Hauhart of St. Martin’s University, have recently published “Designing and Teaching Undergraduate Capstone Courses.”

As Grahe notes, “In order to write a book about capstones in all disciplines, Robert and I tried to read every scholarly article written anywhere about these courses. We hope this book will be a useful guide for faculty and institutions who have not yet developed their own capstone courses, as well as those who are interested in revising their existing courses.

Elisabeth Ward (Scandinavian Cultural Center)

Elisabeth Ward, director of the Scandinavian Cultural Center, co-edited "Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga" which she describes as "an extremely good resource for students at PLU because it models the best in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research.

Elisabeth and her co-editor, Dr. Fitzhugh from the Smithsonian Institution, brought together 25 of the top experts from around the world to discuss how we today can approach and understand the fascinating, but often misunderstood, Viking Age.

Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin (Philosophy)

Prof. Pauline Shanks Kaurin's new book is titled The warrior, military ethics and contemporary warfare : Achilles goes asymmetrical.

Prof. Shanks Kaurin says about the book, "The title of the book cuts two ways- Achilles as a warrior archetype to help us think through the moral implications and challenges posed by asymmetric warfare, but also as an archetype of our adversaries to help us think about asymmetric opponents.

Genevieve Williams (Mortvedt Library)

Future Games, a science fiction anthology, features a story by librarian Genevieve Williams. In "Kip, Running," Kip is an urban freerunner in a future Seattle featuring two hundred story skyscrapers, high speed trains, and more ways to hack your genome than one person could try in a lifetime, but none of that will help Kip win a cross-city race against her archrival Narciso.

A sequel, "The Redemption of Kip Banjeree," was published in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine in March 2014.

Williams received her  MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine in 2014.

Dr. Paul Manfredi (Chinese Studies)

Prof. Paul Manfredi's 2014 publication, Modern Poetry in China: a Visual-Verbal Dynamic, which looks at the movement by modern Chinese poets to discover a poetic style which resonates with the modern world and yet is rooted in Chinese cultural experience.

You can learn more contemporary art and poetry in China on Dr. Manfredi's blog, China Avantgarde.

Dr. E. Wayne Carp (History)

Using previously unexamined sources, Dr. Carp offers the first-ever biography of the pioneering adoption activist Jean Paton’s fifty-year struggle to reform American adoption. Paton, the Mother of the adoption reform movement, gave adult adoptees a voice and provided them with a healthy self-image.

Additional information can be found at Professor Carp’s blog:

Dr. Erik Hammerstrom (Religion)

Prof. Erik Hammerstrom of Religion published "The science of Chinese Buddhism : early twentieth-century engagements." He describes the book as, "Drawing from a trove of previously unstudied material from the Chinese Buddhist press, this book explains how China's Buddhists engaged with science offering key perspectives on China's transition to modernity, and showing how its intellectuals anticipated many of the ideas debated by scholars of science and Buddhism today."

Photo credit: Michael Zbaraschuk

Hal DeLaRosby (Academic Advising)

Hal DeLaRosby and his co-authors, Eileen Hulme  & Ben Thomas, believe the opportunity is present for higher education professionals to contribute to a generation of graduates equipped to be creative and innovative thinkers.

The purpose of this article is to challenge educators to move beyond the preconceived convictions that have shaped universities for decades, to face the risks that accompany the introduction of new ways of thinking, and to embrace the challenge of creating educational environments that enhance the innovative potential within college students.

Dr. Kevin O'Brien (Religion)

Religion professor Kevin O'Brien's recent book, "An Introduction to Christian Environmentalism" examines how many Christians care deeply about environmental issues, but often do not know how to respond actively and meaningfully.

The book illustrates the many virtuous things Christians are doing and can do to care for the earth.

Dr. Doug Oakman (Religion)

Prof. Doug Oakman's new book, "Jesus, Debt, and the Lord's Prayer" is available at the library now.

This book examine's Jesus' concerns about debt and how it was used as a means of control in the Roman Empire.

Dr. Michael Zbaraschuk (Religion)

"Christian fundamentalism staged a striking comeback in the United States. Yet, death of God, or radical, theology has had an ongoing influence on contemporary theology and philosophy. Contributors to this book explore the origins, influence, and legacy of radical theology and go on to take it in new directions. In a time when fundamentalism is the greatest religious temptation, this volume makes the case for the necessity of resurrecting the death of God."

Dr. Neal Yakelis (Chemistry)

Prof. Neal Yakelis tells us about his recently published article: As a sabbatical project, I began a collaboration with Prof. A.J. Boydston from U-W examining a special class of long-chain polymeric materials that degrade link-by-link, head-to-tail at a controlled rate.

"Our new idea involved a thermally-sensitive triggering unit used to protect the polymer from decomposing until it is heated to a specific temperature. PLU alumnus Gregory Peterson ('11), a Ph.D. student in the Boydston Laboratory, is also a coauthor."

Dr. Brenda llewellyn Ihssen (Religion)

John Moschos' Spiritual Meadow is an important source for understanding late sixth-early seventh century Palestinian, Syrian and Egyptian monasticism.

Dr. Llewellyn Ihssen's book highlights the way in which Moschos' tales address economic, healthcare and burial practices among Byzantine Christians, as well as the sometimes hidden tension between individual ascetics, laity and authority figures.