University of Rochester

Inaugural Celebration of the 'Book' at the University of Rochester

April 22, 2008

Event Honors Faculty, Staff Who Authored Books or Their Technological Equivalent

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill, wrote Barbara W. Tuchman.

In celebration of all the book offers, in all of its modern manifestations, a University-wide event featuring the published works from faculty and staff will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library.

Printed and electronic books, edited volumes and texts, as well as published compositions and CDs produced by University of Rochester faculty from all fields of the humanities, social sciences, engineering, and natural sciences published from Jan. 1, 2007, through April 20, 2008, will be on display at the event and available for purchase. Authors will be available to sign copies of their works and to share anecdotes about their creation.

"Behind each work is a story of inspiration, toil, exhilaration, frustration and humor that is as important to share as the book itself," says Susan Gibbons, Vice Provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries, who will speak about books and libraries as they relate to our changing times.

"Writing books is a solitary enterprise that takes place in libraries, archives, labs, and offices, so an event such as this, which allows us to showcase our collective achievements across all divisions, gives authors the acknowledgment and recognition they deserve," said Thomas DiPiero, senior associate dean of humanities in the college. "Books allow us to unfold new processes of contemplation and discover new ways of producing and thinking about meaning."

The more than 50 books available at the event range from the invented language of 12th century writer, composer, and visionary Hildegard of Bingen by English Associate Professor Sarah Higley (Hildegard of Bingen's Unknown Language, Palgrave-McMillan, 2007) to the Grammy-nominated "Best Opera Recording of 2007" CD by Eastman Professor Paul O'Dette (Jean-Baptiste Lully: Thésée, CPO, 2007) to the cutting-edge field of quantum optics by renowned physicist Emil Wolf (Introduction to the Theory of Coherence and Polarization of Lights, Cambridge University Press, 2007).

"In our busy campus life, we rarely get a chance like this to get together in areas from the humanities and sciences to talk about the work we our doing with our peers in other fields," said Wolf.

"Our intention is to be as inclusive as possible, to build community, exchanging between the humanities and sciences, as well as across generations," said University Provost Ralph Kuncl, who approached staff and faculty with the idea for the celebration. "This year we have reached out to faculty and staff for their contributions; next year we will reach out to faculty, staff, students, trustees, and alumni."




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