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Vol 58 No. 2 : February, 2006
Vol 58 No. 2 : February, 2006

Laurels

John Bellah, University Police, saw his article titled “Fire Suppression System Debuts in AZ” appear in the September-October issue of Police Fleet Manager. Bellah detailed a demonstration before the Arizona Department of Public Safety of Ford’s fire suppression system, an automotive first.

Paul Boyd-Batstone, Teacher Education, saw the publication in December by Allyn and Bacon/Pearson Education Inc., of his newest book Differentiated Early Literacy for English Language Learners: Practical Strategies. The book provides tools to identify a student’s language proficiency level and a host of strategies matched to specific levels.

Carolyn Bremer, Music, signed with music publisher C. Alan Publications and is at work on a commission from the California Band Directors Association to be premiered in 2007 by the California State Honor Band.

James Davis, Kinesiology, recently saw the publication of his chapter titled “Direct determination of aerobic power” in the Human Kinetics book Physiological Assessment of Human Fitness.

Boak Ferris, English and Comparative World Literature, presented a report and conducted a double workshop titled “Mandating and Implementing Graduation Writing Assessment Requirements (GWARs) for Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Best Practices” for the American and International faculty at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities on Jan.14. Units included “Why portfolios should not be used for high-stakes assessments,” “On the inappropriateness of relying on single, non-hybrid,” “Writing Across the Curriculum upper-division courses for high-stakes GWAR assessment,” and “On the ethical mandate to institute generalizability, validity, and reliability testing principles for all proposed GWAR alternatives.” 

Camille A. Holmgren, Geography, is co-author of “Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert” (with C. Latorre, J. Betancourt, J. Rech, J. Quade, C. Placzek, A. Maldonado, M. Vuille, and K. Rylander), which was published in an anthology titled 23 Degrees South: The Archaeology and Environmental History of the Southern Deserts edited by M. Smith and P. Hesse and published by the National Museum of Australia.

Paul Laris, Geography, had a paper published in the December issue of Remote Sensing of Environment. The paper is titled “Spatiotemporal problems with detecting seasonal-mosaic fire regimes with coarse-resolution satellite data in savannas.”

Ingrid M. Martin, Marketing, presented her research on “What Motivates Homeowners to Protect Themselves from Risks?” co-authored with Holly Bender and Carol Raish, at the Annual Society of Risk Analysis Conference in Orlando, Florida in December. This research was funded by the USDA Forest Service.

Tracey Mayfield, University Library, was elected vice president of the South of the California Academic and Research Libraries (CARL) Organization. She will serve a three-year term, two years as vice president of the South and the third as president.

Hamid Rahai, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and Center for Energy and Environmental Research and Services (CEERS), co-authored a paper titled “Turbulent Junction Flow with and Upstream Ribbed Surface” published in the International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, Vol. 26, 2005.

Christine M. Rodrigue, Geography, published an article titled “The State of Geography and Its Cognate Disciplines in the California State Universities from Fall 1992 through Fall 2004” in the 2005 issue of The California Geographer.

Victor Rodriguez, Chicano and Latino Studies, earned an honorable mention from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights for his book Latino Politics in the US: Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Class in the Mexican-American and Puerto Rican Experience published in 2005 by the Iowa-based Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co. The center, named for pioneering historian Gustavus Myers, offers the award to commend works published in a given year which extend the understanding of the root causes of bigotry and the construction of alternative ways to share power. Politics is Rodriguez’ successor work to his 2002 manuscript The Racialization of Latino Politics: The Puerto Rican and Chicano Experience parts of which appeared in 2005 in CENTRO, the refereed journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

Dmitrii Sidorov, Geography, published a refereed chapter, “Corporate Rescaling of the City: The Geographical Construction of Urban Lightscapes in Soviet and Post-Soviet Moscow,” in Constructed Happiness: Domestic Environment in the Cold War Era edited by Mart Kalm and Ingrid Ruudi and published by the Estonian Academy of Arts in November.

Sara W. Smith, Psychology and Linguistics, co-authored a research paper published in the November volume of Journal of Pragmatics. The paper, titled “Setting the stage: How speakers prepare listeners for the introduction of referents in dialogues and monologues,” was co-authored with two CSULB graduate students, Hiromi Pat Noda and Steven Andrews, as well as a colleague at University of Zurich, Andreas H. Jucker.

Clifton Snider, English, has a poem, “St. Anthony’s Church,” in the Chiron Review, No. 81, Winter 2005.

C. Ray Sumner, Geography, had an article published in the 2005 issue of The California Geographer titled “Tom Down Under: McKnight’s Relationship with the Fifth Continent.”

Judith A. Tyner, Geography, presented “Threads of Geography” to the annual conference of the North American Cartographic Information Society in Salt Lake City in October.

Derming Wang, Mathematics and Statistics, and coauthors Young M. Han and Jun I. Lee, had a paper titled “Riesz Idempotent and Weyl’s Theorem for w-Hyponormal Operators” published in Integral Equations and Operator Theory, Vol. 53, 2005.

Suzanne P. Wechsler, Geography, was a co-organizer of the conference on “Shoreline and Marine Boundaries: Datums, Jurisdictions, and Policy” which was held at CSU Monterey Bay, Oct. 4-5; at The Pointe at CSULB, Oct. 6; and at the Federal Building in Westwood, Oct. 7. This conference was sponsored by NOAA and the California Department of Fish and Game.

James A. Woods, Geography, was a participant in the “Map Off Contest,” a mapping under pressure competition, at the North American Cartographic Information Society meeting in Salt Lake City in October.

Book Review

A Kinder, Gentler America: Melancholia and the Mythical 1950s

A Kinder, Gentler America:
Melancholia and the Mythical 1950s

Newly out in 2005 from the University of Minnesota Press, A Kinder, Gentler America: Melancholia and the Mythical 1950s explores how the longing for the era of “the greatest generation,” the 1950s, reveals disillusionment with present-day America. Caputi looks at how the decade of the 1950s has been ennobled by the American right and argues that neoconservative ideology is trying to convince Americans that the U.S. lost its way as a nation in the crazy, disruptive changes wrought by the 1960s and 1970s. “There is a lot of idealizing of the 1950s,” said Caputi. “It was a time seen by many Americans as the perfect blue print for America. It is presented as a foundational moment that defined modern America.” The nostalgia that this presentation inspires serves the right’s efforts to discredit the left’s acceptance of such things as multiculturalism, feminism, gay rights, and other forms of identity politics. It serves the right’s efforts to denounce all that rewrites America’s traditional definitions by praising a time whose innocence and rectitude are more mythical creation than historical reality. “The cultural left argues that this position is a myth,” Caputi said. “While the 1950s may have been an easier time in some ways, the families were never as happy as they were on ‘The Donna Reed Show.’ The neoconservative recreation of the decade is an idealization of a time that supposedly brought the nation together in one unified moment; hence persons such as Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan extol of decade as being more genuinely American than the society we now live in. The left, conversely, argues we need to get away from the need for a mythical past.” Caputi urges her readers to recognize diversity, conflict, and anti-foundationalism as the true American identity. “We’ve always been a mishmash of people as a nation. America has never been founded on one ethnicity or language, or on one cultural experience,” because to be American is to be part of a political and cultural experience that claims no true foundation. Indeed, America is pluralistic and committed to heterogeneity: one of its essential qualities is that it claims no essence.

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