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:
Tell Everyone I Said Hi
By Chad Simpson
University of Iowa Press
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.
Through his music capstone project, Nate Beck -- who has a minor in business and management -- finds that the processes of brand management and music composition have more in common than you'd probably expect.
Baby talk is serious business for senior Megan Beney, a double major in music and anthropology and sociology. Her Honors research focuses on the musical qualities of the ways that people talk to infants.
Leading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder is selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."