The Colgate Scene
Books and media
New works from faculty and alumni, as described by their publishers
Richard Badenhausen '84
(Cambridge University Press)
Richard Badenhausen (professor and director, Honors Program; Kim T. Adamson Chair, Westminster College) examines the crucial role that collaboration with other writers played in the development of T.S. Eliot's works from the earliest poetry and unpublished prose to the late plays. He demonstrates Eliot's dependence on collaboration in order to create, but also his struggle to accept the implications of the process. In case studies of Eliot's collaborations, Badenhausen reveals for the first time the complexities of Eliot's theory and practice of collaboration. Examining a wide range of familiar and uncollected materials, Badenhausen explores Eliot's social, psychological, and textual encounters with collaborators such as Ezra Pound, John Hayward, Martin Browne, and Vivienne Eliot, among others. Finally, this study shows how Eliot's later work increasingly accommodates his audience as he attempted to apply his theories of collaboration more broadly to social, cultural, and political concerns.
Jeff Bjorck '83
(Pure Piano Music, BMI)
Jeff Bjorck returns with Impressions in Black and White, his third Pure Piano release. Nature inspired his first two CDs, reflected in the vivid photos gracing their covers. In contrast, this third effort's compositions sprang primarily from Bjorck's imagination, and the CD cover reflects this change. He digitally created the impressionist piano image in black and white, but he insists that "the music is always in full color!"
Recorded primarily in 2004, the 11 pieces were composed over the past four years with two exceptions: "All I See Is Air" (1977) and "Return to Catskill Meadow" (1998). Played softly, Impressions presents fresh "quiet music to calm the heart in a noisy world." Many pieces on this new disk are more vibrant, however, and the listener is encouraged to turn up the volume on occasion for optimal enjoyment. Bjorck notes, "I hope that these Impressions will give my listeners the emotional, classically styled music they have come to expect, while gently introducing them to my more energetic side!"
Douglas Cowie '99
Two young musicians hit the American highway in this novel about the irresistible pulse of rock 'n' roll.
Owen Noone is a charismatic minor league baseball player who gives it all up to sing punked-out folk songs. The Marauder is a shy college grad with a fledgling case of hero worship. Armed with guitars and their songbook of Lomax classics, they crisscross the country, playing coffee shops and sidewalks.
When their single finds its way to a college radio station and gets major air time, it seems like their dream has finally come true. A major label signs them and they kickstart a national tour. But they soon discover that while becoming famous can be easy, being famous is not. Things begin to sour when Owen grows obsessed with derailing the election of his estranged father, who is running for the U.S. Senate on a family values platform. It quickly becomes clear that Owen and the Marauder might not be able to survive the wealth of their own publicity, a reality neither bargained for.
Aaron Jaffe '93
(Cambridge University Press)
Aaron Jaffe investigates the relationship between two phenomena that arrived on the historical stage in the first decades of the 20th century: modernist literature and modern celebrity culture. Jaffe systematically traces and theorizes the deeper dependencies between these two influential forms of cultural value. He examines the paradox that modernist authors, while rejecting mass culture in favor of elite cultural forms, reflected the economy of celebrity culture in their strategies for creating a market for their work. Through collaboration, networking, reviewing, and editing each other's works, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Wyndham Lewis, among others, constructed their literary reputations and publicized the project of modernism. Jaffe uses substantial archival research to show how literary fame was made by exploiting the very market forces that modernists claimed to reject. This innovative study illuminates not only the way high modernist reputations were constructed, but also the cultural impact and continued relevance of the modernist project.
Ralph Ketcham MA'52
(University Press of Kansas)
Although the last half of the 20th century has been called the Age of Democracy, the 21st has already demonstrated the fragility of its apparent triumph as the dominant form of government throughout the world. Reassessing the fate of democracy for our time, distinguished political theorist Ralph Ketcham traces the evolution of this idea over the course of four hundred years. He traces democracy's bumpy ride in a book that is both an exercise in the history of ideas and an explication of democratic theory.
Ketcham examines the rationales for democratic government, identifies the fault lines that separate democracy from good government, and suggests ways to strengthen it in order to meet future challenges. Drawing on an encyclopedic command of history and politics, he examines the rationales that have been offered for democratic government over the course of four manifestations of modernity that he identifies in the Western and East Asian world since 1600.
William Henry Lewis
The acclaimed William Henry Lewis brings us 10 often sensual and always eye-opening tales that will catapult him into the first rank of American storytellers. "Rossonian Days" follows a Kansas City jazz troupe to Denver, where they hope to strike it big. This story is a humbling chronicle of the evolution of jazz and an incisive look at the history of America's racial divide. In "Potcakes" Carlos Stubbs is troubled and weary in the midst of paradise, obsessed with the incessant barking of dogs. He has a degree he's not using and a woman he's afraid to love. Time is passing, and he must decide whether he'll languish or thrive. "Kudzu" reunites a couple whose sweetly sexual relationship comes to an end when Evvie, a bohemian free spirit, "drove west, drove north, away from here." And in the title story, "I Got Somebody in Staunton," a black college professor, haunted by his dying uncle Ize's memories of lynchings and the old South, flirts with danger by giving a ride to an enigmatic young white woman whose long, blond hair is twisting into dreads.
William Henry Lewis is associate professor of English
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