Faculty Publications Extend Far Beyond The Classroom
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 00:03
All Boston College students have, at some point, received an email from University Libraries with the subject titled "Faculty Publication Highlight." And perhaps, after giving a blank stare and quickly skimming the email, few gave it an after-thought. This problematic indifference must change.
First, let’s consider what makes our school great: its outward-reaching and self-transcendent mission and vision, its Harry Potter-reminiscent architecture, its diversity, and the list goes on. But of course, what would our institution be without its distinguished and passionate faculty? The Faculty Publication Highlights, in short, function to bring to light the work of our faculty for University members and outside intellectuals to see through the BC Library.
The Faculty Publication Highlights project was started by Brendan Rapple and Ed Tallent, both of O’Neill Library, in 2006 with the goal of strengthening the connection between BC faculty, their research, and the Library.
"The Library benefits from increased contact with the faculty and hopefully they benefit from increased exposure to their work," Rapple said. When a faculty member’s publication is highlighted, the Faculty Publication website provides a brief synopsis of the chosen book, its location and availability in the library, and a brief video interview of the faculty member with either Rapple or Nina Bogdanovsky, the coordinators of the Highlights series. Also, the TV monitors in the libraries consistently flash images of the publication and the faculty author. There are two different ways that faculty publications are brought into consideration of being highlighted. Very often, the faculty themselves suggest that there be a video interview of their new publication to Rapple and Bogdanovsky. Or, the subject specialist librarians contact faculty members and propose that the Library do a Highlight of their work. Generally, the invited faculty members are pleased to accept.
An example of the Highlights’ positive influence on both the school and the outside intellectual world can be seen with Dr. Franck Salameh’s publication, which was highlighted in 2010. Bogdanovsky’s interview with Salameh about his book Language, Memory, and Identity in the Middle East: The Case for Lebanon has been translated into Arabic and permanently featured by a prominent Lebanese website-encyclopedia. "Just goes to show that the Highlights help to promote BC’s faculty beyond Boston College itself!" Rapple said.
The most recent Faculty Publication Highlight features Bogdanovsky’s interview with Dr. Kay Lehman Schlozman of the Political Science Department, who co-authored The Unheavenly Chorus (Princeton University Press, 2012). Schlozman’s book considers the political participation of individual citizens alongside the political advocacy of thousands of organized interests—membership associations such as unions, professional associations, trade associations, and citizens groups, as well as organizations like corporations, hospitals, and universities. Other 2013 Highlights have included include Steve Dalton’s interview with Dr. Dominic Doyle, School of Theology and Ministry, and Rapple’s interview with Dr. Carlo Rotella of the English department. Doyle’s book, The Promise of Christian Humanism: Thomas Aquinas on Hope (Crossroad Publishing, 2012), discusses how the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, Charles Taylor, Nicholas Boyle, and others reveals the essential bond between the Christian virtue of hope and the life-affirming sensibilities of humanism. Rotella’s book, Playing in Time: Essays, Profiles, and Other True Stories (University of Chicago Press, 2012) is a work of about two dozen essays that focus on some of his favorite subjects: boxing, music, writers, and cities.
Rapple states that he has viewed all of the Highlights and has thoroughly read all the works of faculty who he personally interviewed, generally from the English and theatre departments and the Lynch School of Education. He especially recommends two books of poetry as his two personal favorite Highlights: Wave by Andrew Sofer and Epitaphs for the Journey: New, Selected and Revised Poems by Paul Mariani, both of the English department. "Both poetical works, very different in subject and style, are wonderful."