Our faculty are true scholar-teachers; in addition to making the classroom a forum for a shared pursuit of knowledge, they actively contribute scholarly works to their respective academic disciplines. The following are recently published books authored by our scholar-teachers:
Into Africa, Being Black: New and Selected Poems
By Fred L. Hord
Third World Press (2013)
"Here between these covers, printed on almost one hundred and eighty pages, transferred from the handwritten manuscript is a life's work in poems. Dr. Mzee Fred Lee Hord's poetry spans over 40 years of a purposed and contemplative life. Though Into Africa, Being Black: New and Selected Poems is not an autobiography, in reading Dr. Hord's poetry, we read a history of well-defined literary, political, academic, and personal struggle.
His articulation and founding of the National Association for Black Culture Centers in 1988 incorporated him into the history of our people, of our culture, and into America's consciousness. This was an extraordinary endeavor that demanded a commitment that few poets or artists of any discipline are willing to make, much less carry out. His journey has been extraordinary and demanding, requiring a critical part of his life and the life of his family. Let me be clear, to build Black institutional structures outside of the mainstream is actually an act of revolution to which few scholars of African Studies have given any serious thought.
Dr. Hord's poetry is socio-political commentary as well as an emergency call to recognize the importance of Black/African culture; a conscious love song undeterred by his people's self hatred and ignorance. He views art of all genres as an answer and a question. His contribution to poetry and the poetic form is on serious display in this collection. In poems like "Wish I Were Your Perfect Rhyme," "Words," and "Quilting Races Together," we read a poet on course to cement his legacy of excellent writing within messages that honor his history, culture, and people. He is keenly aware of the downtime that African Americans are experiencing at this historical moment. He is intellectually cognizant of most of the statistics measuring our current decline. He is not a romantic, but a sensitive realist."
Hord has been at Knox since 1988. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. from the Union Graduate School. He has written three volumes of poetry, including The Rhythm of Home: Selected Poems, and has authored or edited books on Black culture centers, Black philosophy, and Black literary criticism. His teaching interests include: African dimensions of the Latin American experience, Black studies, African studies, African American literature, Black philosophy, Black psychology, and Black religion.
A Brief History of Cryptology and Cryptographic Algorithms
By John Dooley
The science of cryptology is made up of two halves. Cryptography is the study of how to create secure systems for communications. Cryptanalysis is the study of how to break those systems. The conflict between these two halves of cryptology is the story of secret writing. For over 2,000 years, the desire to communicate securely and secretly has resulted in the creation of numerous and increasingly complicated systems to protect one's messages. Yet for every system there is a cryptanalyst creating a new technique to break that system. With the advent of computers the cryptographer seems to finally have the upper hand. New mathematically based cryptographic algorithms that use computers for encryption and decryption are so secure that brute-force techniques seem to be the only way to break them - so far. This work, A Brief History of Cryptology Cryptographic Algorithms, traces the history of the conflict between cryptographer and cryptanalyst, explores in some depth the algorithms created to protect messages, and suggests where the field is going in the future.
Dooley has been at Knox since 2001. He received a bachelor's degree from Lindenwood College, an M.S. from Syracuse University, and a M.E.E. from Rice University. Because he spent nearly 20 years in the computer industry, he's very interested in software development and in the development process. He is particularly interested in development with small teams of programmers..
Lucy in the Mind of Lennon
By Tim Kasser
Oxford University Press (2013)
Since John Lennon composed Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds in early 1967, fans and music critics alike have argued over the meaning of the song. Is it about drugs? Is it just a lyrical response to a drawing given Lennon by his 4-year-old son Julian? Is there some deeper meaning? Professor Tim Kasser goes beyond speculative explanations by applying innovative psychological methods to the song's lyrics and music in Lucy in the Mind of Lennon. He deeply analyzes the song's linguistic structure, its basic theme, and the way its words and music had been used by Lennon in earlier songs. As the findings accumulate, Kasser weaves them together with the facts of Lennon's life and established psychological theories to provide an integrative (and sometimes surprising) perspective on the psychological processes that led Lennon to write Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Kasser goes on to follow the unfolding of these personal dynamics in later Lennon songs like I am the Walrus, Yer Blues, and Working Class Hero.
No other book has so closely examined this period of Lennon's life with such a sophisticated psychological approach. Kasser's methods and perspective point to the usefulness of scientific psychology for understanding why a particular person does a particular thing at a particular time, at the same time that they shed new light on this fascinating and controversial man.
Kasser has been at Knox since 1995. He received a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. He is also the author of Meeting Environmental Challenges (2009), Az Anyagiassag Sulyos Ara (2005), Psychology and Consumer Culture: The Struggle Good Life In a Materialistic World (2004), and The High Price of Materialism (2002). Kasser's teaching interests include: personality, dreaming, Clinical and Abnormal Psychology, and alternatives to consumerism.
Making Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and the American State in Dakota and Ojibwe Country
By Catherine J. Denial
Minnesota Historical Society (2013)
The debate over the meaning of marriage in the United States and specifically in Minnesota is not a recent development. From 1820 to 1845, when the first significant numbers of Americans arrived in the region now called Minnesota, they carried the belief that good government and an orderly household went hand in hand. The territorial, state, and federal governments of the United States were built upon a particular vision of civic responsibility: that men, as heads of households, enter civic life on behalf of their dependents-wives, children, servants, and slaves. These dependents were deemed unfit to make personal decisions or to involve themselves in business and government-and they owed labor and obedience to their husbands, fathers, and masters.
These ideas clashed forcibly with the conceptions of kinship and social order that existed among the Upper Midwest's long-established Dakota, Ojibwe, and mixed-heritage communities. In resisting the new gender and familial roles advocated by military personnel, Indian agents, and missionaries, the region's inhabitants frustrated American attempts to transform Indian country into a state. Indeed, many Americans were forced to compromise their own beliefs so that they could put down roots.
Through the stories of married-and divorcing-men and women in the region, Catherine J. Denial traces the uneven fortunes of American expansion in the early nineteenth century and the nation-shaping power of marital acts in Making Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and the American State in Dakota and Ojibwe Country.
Denial has been at Knox since 2005. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Nottingham, an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She is also interested in finding creative ways to train and support K-12 teachers who are social science educators. From 2001 to 2012 she was the Lead Historian for Bringing History Home in Iowa, where she worked with teachers to help them create dynamic curriculums based on primary source research.
Tell Everyone I Said Hi
By Chad Simpson
University of Iowa Press (2012)
The world of Tell Everyone I Said Hi is geographically small but far from provincial in its portrayal of emotionally complicated lives. With all the heartbreaking earnestness of a Wilco song, these eighteen stories by Chad Simpson roam the small-town playgrounds, blue-collar neighborhoods, and rural highways of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky to find people who've lost someone or something they love and have not yet found ways to move forward.
Simpson's remarkable voice masterfully moves between male and female and adolescent and adult characters. He embraces their helplessness and shares their sad, strange, and sometimes creepy slices of life with grace, humor, and mounds of empathy. In "Peloma," a steelworker grapples with his preteen daughter's feeble suicide attempts while the aftermath of his wife's death and the politics of factory life vie to hem him in. The narrator of "Fostering" struggles to determine the ramifications of his foster child's past now that he and his wife are expecting their first biological child. In just two pages, "Let x" negotiates the yearnings and regrets of childhood through mathematical variables and the summertime interactions of two fifth-graders.
Poignant, fresh, and convincing, these are stories of women who smell of hairspray and beer and of landscapers who worry about their livers, of flooded basements and loud trucks, of bad exes and horrible jobs, of people who remain loyal to sports teams that always lose. Displaced by circumstances both in and out of their control, the characters who populate Tell Everyone I Said Hi are lost in their own surroundings, thwarted by misguided aspirations and long-buried disappointments, but fully open to the possibility that they will again find their way.
Simpson has been at Knox since 2005. He received a bachelor's degree from Monmouth College and an M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is also the author of Phantoms, a chapbook, Origami Zoo Press. Simpson's teaching interests include: fiction writing, creative nonfiction, modern and contemporary literature, flash fiction, the short-short story, and graphic novels.
Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change: Renewing Damaged Ecosystems
By Stuart K. Allison
What is a natural habitat? Who can define what is natural when species and ecosystems constantly change over time, with or without human intervention? When a polluted river or degraded landscape is restored from its damaged state, what is the appropriate outcome? With climate change now threatening greater disruption to the stability of ecosystems, how should restoration ecologists respond?
Ecological Restoration and Environmental Change addresses and challenges some of these issues which question the core values of the science and practice of restoration ecology. It analyzes the paradox arising from the desire to produce ecological restorations that fit within an historical ecological context, produce positive environmental benefits and also result in landscapes with social meaning. Traditionally restorationists often felt that by producing restorations that matched historic ecosystems they were following nature's plans and human agency played only a small part in restoration. But the author shows that in reality the process of restoration has always been defined by human choices. He examines the development of restoration practice, especially in North America, Europe and Australia, in order to describe different models of restoration with respect to balancing ecological benefit and cultural value. He develops ways to balance more actively these differing areas of concern while planning restorations.
The book debates in detail how coming global climate change and the development of novel ecosystems will force us to ask new questions about what we mean by good ecological restoration. When the environment is constantly shifting, restoration to maintain biodiversity, local species, and ecosystem functions becomes even more challenging. It is likely that in the future ecological restoration will become a never-ending, continuously evolving process.
Allison has been at Knox since 1997. He received a bachelor's degree from Puget Sound, an M.S. from the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley. He is currently studying the reconstructed prairies at Green Oaks, Knox's biological field station. Allison is fascinated by how plant communities recover from disturbance, in particular from human disturbance.
Latin America's New Left and the Politics of Gender: Lessons from Nicaragua
By Karen Kampwirth
The majority of Latin Americans now live in countries that are governed by democratically elected governments on the political left, which is unprecedented in that region. This book [Latin America's New Left and the Politics of Gender: Lessons from Nicaragua] analyzes this occurrence by asking a question that up until now has been largely ignored in the literature on the contemporary Latin American left: to what extent have these governments governed with, and promoting the interests of, the women's movements that are an important part of their base of support? This question is examined by focusing on a critical case that is rarely analyzed in the literature on the new Latin American left, the case of Nicaragua. The broader implications for Latin America will be shown, making this book of interest to researchers and graduate students in Latin American studies as well as gender studies and political science.
Kampwirth has taught at Knox since 1995. She received a bachelor's degree from Knox College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley. She has written three other books about women in Latin America titled Gender and Populism in Latin America, Women and Guerrilla Movements: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas, Cuba and Feminism, and The Legacy of Revolution: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas.
Software Development and Professional Practice
By John Dooley
Apress, Inc. (2011)
Software Development and Professional Practice reveals how to design and code great software. What factors do you take into account? What makes a good design? What methods and processes are out there for designing software? Is designing small programs different than designing large ones? How can you tell a good design from a bad one? You'll learn the principles of good software design, and how to turn those principles back into great code.
Software Development and Professional Practice is also about code construction-how to write great programs and make them work. What, you say? You've already written eight gazillion programs! Of course I know how to write code! Well, in this book you'll re-examine what you already do, and you'll investigate ways to improve. Using the Java language, you'll look deeply into coding standards, debugging, unit testing, modularity, and other characteristics of good programs. You'll also talk about reading code. How do you read code? What makes a program readable? Can good, readable code replace documentation? How much documentation do you really need?
This book introduces you to software engineering-the application of engineering principles to the development of software. What are these engineering principles? First, all engineering efforts follow a defined process. So, you'll be spending a bit of time talking about how you run a software development project and the different phases of a project. Secondly, all engineering work has a basis in the application of science and mathematics to real-world problems. And so does software development! You'll therefore take the time to examine how to design and implement programs that solve specific problems.
Finally, this book is also about human-computer interaction and user interface design issues. A poor user interface can ruin any desire to actually use a program; in this book, you'll figure out why and how to avoid those errors.
Dooley has taught at Knox since 2001. He received a B.A. from Lindenwood College, a M.S. from Syracuse University, and a M.E.E. degree from the Rice University. Dooley's research interests center on software engineering and cryptology. He has published two research papers about the writing of cryptologist Herbert Yardley, one of which was co-authored with one of his former students.
Gender and Populism in Latin America
By Karen Kampwirth
The Pennsylvania University Press (2010)
In the first half of the twentieth century, classic populist leaders like the Peróns in Argentina and Vargas in Brazil sought to create direct, personal ties between themselves and their followers. At the same time, they incorporated large numbers of previously excluded people into the body politic. The resurgence of democracy in Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s brought with it two new waves of populism: first, the neopopulism of leaders like Salinas in Mexico and Fujimori in Peru, who promoted neoliberal solutions to the economic problems of the 1990s; and second, the radical populism of leaders like Chávez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia, who repudiated neoliberal policies in favor of some form of socialism in what has come to be called "the pink tide." Many have studied populist movements, for they offer fascinating insights into Latin American history and politics. But until now there have been no book-length studies of the relationship between gender and populism throughout the region. The essays in Gender and Populism in Latin America analyze the role of masculinity and femininity in the political careers of figures ranging from Evita Perón to Hugo Chávez, considering the relationships among populism, democracy, authoritarianism, and feminism in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela. In addition to the editor, the contributors are Michael Conniff, Gioconda Espina, Sujatha Fernandes, Victoria González-Rivera, Karin Grammático, Jocelyn Olcott, Cathy A. Rakowski, Stéphanie Rousseau, Ximena Sosa-Buchholz, and Joel Wolfe. The Foreword is by Kurt Weyland.
Kampwirth has taught at Knox since 1995. She received a bachelor's degree from Knox College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley. She has written two other books about women in Latin America titled Women and Guerrilla Movements: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas, Cuba and Feminism, and The Legacy of Revolution: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas.
Snakewoman of Little Egypt: A Novel
By Robert Hellenga
Bloomsbury USA (2010)
"The lovers in Hellenga's moving, profound novels do not live in a world of conventional happy endings. His romances often end in attenuated moments of both disappointment and tenderness, partings that have the feel not of failed relationships but of life moving on and working out as it must. There is melancholy in that but a kind of happiness, too. So it was in his best-selling debut, The Sixteen Pleasures (1994), and so it is in his latest novel [Snakewoman of Little Egypt], about a young woman, Sunny, just released from prison after serving five years for shooting (but not killing) her husband, and Jackson, an anthropology professor torn between his desire to return to Africa and to settle into the comfortable university life he's found in southern Illinois. Everything changes when Jackson meets Sunny, who grew up in a snake-handling church in Illinois' Little Egypt area (she shot her husband after he forced her to put her hand in a box of rattlesnakes). Sunny rents Jackson's garage apartment and quickly becomes his lover, but she is trying to escape her childhood and her husband, and Jackson is entranced by her stories of the Church of the Burning Bush with Signs Following, eventually going there to do fieldwork. Hellenga fills the novel not only with fascinating details of snake handling and the religious ecstasy it inspires but also with a beguiling portrait of the comfort and shared intimacy of domestic life. Jackson and Sunny dance between the "safe harbor" of their life together and "the wider sea of courage, risk, and adventure," each teaching the other about the many forms of joie de vivre.Yes, it is a melancholy story, but it is also immensely satisfying and even uplifting in that unique way that only deeply felt life can provide."
Hellenga has taught at Knox since 1968. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He has published a number of other books, including The Italian Lover, Philosophy Made Simple, and Blues Lessons.
Ten Tongues: stories
By Cyn Kitchen
"I have a sort of natural southern sensibility, but I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Midwesterner," said Kitchen, who earned her master of fine arts in creative writing at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky.
"These people I write about, they're just good people," she said. "I see Midwesterners as being a hardy, hardworking, industrious people."
Though she draws heavily on the experience of living in a small, Midwestern town, Kitchen feels her work refrains from being autobiographical.
"My own children have said to me that they recognize many of these stories," she said. "None of it is ultimately autobiographical."
Kitchen has taught at Knox since 2006. She received a bachelor's degree from Knox College and an M.F.A. from Spalding University. Her short stories have been published in numerous magazines and collections, including Mamas and Papas Anthology, You Must Be This Tall to Ride, Menda City Review, and Ars Medica.
By Chad Simpson
Origami Zoo Press (2010)
Chapel in the Sky
By Lance Factor
Northern Illinois University Press (2009)
"Knox College was established by Christian missionaries who were vehemently opposed to all 'secret societies,' including Freemasonry -- they viewed it as a cult, a false religion," Factor says. "My book describes how the college's most famous building was designed and built by an architect, Charles Ulricson, who had been trained by Freemasons, and who incorporated Masonic ideas into both the design and the details, without telling his clients what he was doing."
Factor has taught at Knox since 1969. He received a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He is also the director of the Knox College Religious Studies program and a member of the American Philosophical Association.
Introduction to Probability with Mathematica - Second Edition
By Kevin Hastings
Chapman & Hall/CRC Press (2009)
Updated to conform to Mathematica® 7.0, Introduction to Probability with Mathematica®, Second Edition continues to show students how to easily create simulations from templates and solve problems using Mathematica. It provides a real understanding of probabilistic modeling and the analysis of data and encourages the application of these ideas to practical problems. The accompanying CD-ROM offers instructors the option of creating class notes, demonstrations, and projects.
After covering topics in discrete probability, the text presents a fairly standard treatment of common discrete distributions. It then transitions to continuous probability and continuous distributions, including normal, bivariate normal, gamma, and chi-square distributions. The author goes on to examine the history of probability, the laws of large numbers, and the central limit theorem. The final chapter explores stochastic processes and applications, ideal for students in operations research and finance.
Hastings has taught at Knox since 1986. He received a bachelor's degree from Knox College and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He has written a number of other publications on Mathematica®, including Introduction to the Mathematics of Operations Research with Mathematica and Mathematica for Mathematical Statistics.
Important as they are, the Lincoln-Douglas debates have long since ceased to be self-explanatory. This edition is the first to provide a text founded on all known records, rather than following one or another of the partisan and sometimes widely-varying newspaper accounts. Meticulously edited and annotated, it provides numerous aids to help the modern reader understand the debates, including extensive introductory material, commentary, and a glossary. The fullest and most dependable edition of the Lincoln-Douglas debates ever prepared, this edition brings readers as close as possible to the original words of these two remarkable men.
Michael Cooke and Ritu Gyawali are chosen for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program, which awards up to $5,000 for costs related to studying abroad.
John Podesta, a Knox College graduate and member of the Board of Trustees, will join the White House staff as a senior counselor to President Barack Obama, according to media reports.
Music and writing students collaborated and performed with renowned bassist and composer Ben Allison, as jazz fans got a live, free preview of Allison's new album, during Knox's inaugural Mirza Jazz Residency.