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Books & Recordings is a compilation of recent work by University alumni, faculty, and staff. For inclusion in an upcoming issue, send the work’s title, publisher, author, or performer, a brief description, and a high-resolution cover image to Books & Recordings, Rochester Review, 22 Wallis Hall, Box 270044, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0044; email.

Precious Metal: German Steel, Modernity, and Ecology

Working at the intersection of architectural and environmental history, Peter Christensen explores how the widespread adoption of steel in construction in the late 19th century enabled new feats of civil engineering and design—while aiding colonial empire, fostering environmental destruction, and encouraging an ideology that erased the connection of the built environment to the natural world. Christensen, a faculty member in the Department of Art and Art History, is the Arthur Satz Professor of the Humanities and the Ani and Mark Gabrellian Director of the Humanities Center. (Penn State University Press)

Doing and Being Hip-Hop in School: Best. Class. Ever.

Joanne Larson, the Michael W. Scandling Professor of Education and associate director of research in the Center for Urban Education Success at the Warner School; visual artist Eleni Duret ’02W (PhD); and Rochester City School District social studies teacher Grant Atkins offer an ethnography based on four years of data on an ongoing hip-hop curriculum developed and implemented collaboratively by teachers and students as part of the University’s partnership with East High School. (Teachers College Press)

Labors of Fear: The Modern Horror Film Goes to Work

Jason Middleton, an associate professor of English and of visual and cultural studies and the director of Rochester’s Film and Media Studies Program, coedits a collection of essays exploring the critiques of work and capitalism that inspired Psycho, The Shining, Dawn of the Dead, and other American horror films of the 1970s and 1980s. (University of Texas Press)

Graphs in VLSI

Eby Friedman, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rochester, and Rassul Bairamkulov ’22 (PhD), a postdoc at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, discuss VLSI (very large scale integrated) system design from the perspective of graph theory, connecting pure mathematics with practical product development. (Springer International)

Inequality Across State Lines: How Policymakers Have Failed Domestic Violence Victims in the United States

Wendy Schiller ’94 (PhD) combines case studies, surveys, and data analysis to explain why US domestic violence policies have failed to keep women safe and to suggest new approaches. Schiller is the Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence in Political Science and director of the Taubman Center for American Politics & Policy at Brown University. (Cambridge University Press)

The Island of the Four P’s: A Modern Fable about Preparing for Your Future

Ed Hajim ’58—Wall Street executive, former chair of the University’s Board of Trustees and the namesake of Rochester’s school of engineering and applied sciences—introduces readers to the “four Ps”: passions, principles, partners, and plans as the key ingredients to a successful and fulfilling life. (Skyhorse Publishing)

Vanishing Point: The Search for a B-24 Bomber Crew Lost on the World War II Home Front

Journalist Tom Wilber ’83 tells the story of Getaway Gertie, a B-24 bomber that vanished with its crew on a training mission over upstate New York. The crew are just a few of more than 15,000 American airmen and women who died in stateside training accidents during the effort to recruit and train an air force en masse during World War II. (Cornell University Press)

Philosophy of Computer Science: An Introduction to the Issues and the Literature

William Rapaport ’68 offers a university-level textbook, accessible to students in both philosophy and computer science, exploring the intersection of the two disciplines. Rapaport is the CSE Eminent Professor Emeritus in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and an affiliated faculty member emeritus in the philosophy and linguistics departments at the University at Buffalo. (Wiley)

Music’s Guiding Hand: A Novel Inspired by the Life of Guido d’Arezzo

Kingsley Day ’75E (MA) presents a novel based on the true story of the medieval monk who invented music notation and what’s now known as “do-re-mi.” (The Mentoris Project)

Run Healthy: The Runner’s Guide to Injury Prevention and Treatment

Allison Goldstein ’08—a writer and elite runner who competed in the US Olympic Team Trials for the women’s marathon in 2019—coauthors a guide for injury prevention rooted in an understanding of the musculoskeletal system, its functions, and its response to training. (Human Kinetics Publishers)

Can Your Heart Stand the Shocking Facts? A Deep Dive into an American Masterpiece

Movie critic and humorist Dan Kimmel ’77, writing as Dr. Brentwood Masterling, offers a parody novel in which critic Masterling dives into Plan 9 from Outer Space, director Edward Wood Jr.’s Golden Turkey Award winner for Worst Film. (Fantastic Books)

Fusion’s Promise: How Technological Breakthroughs in Nuclear Fusion Can Conquer Climate Change on Earth (and Carry Humans to Mars, Too)

Matt Moynihan ’13 (PhD) coauthors a lay person’s explanation of the last 70-plus-year effort to create fusion energy. Moynihan is a consultant to investors on nuclear fusion energy. (Nature-Springer Press)

“Bright, Clear Sky Over a Plain So Wide”: The Center for Western Studies, 1964&;ndash;2020

Harry Thompson ’81 (MA) chronicles over half a century of history at the Center for Western Studies at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Thompson is the center’s executive director. (Center for Western Studies)


Who Do You Have to Know?

Drummer Rich Thompson, an associate professor of jazz studies and contemporary media at Eastman, performs originals and standards with a quartet including Corey Christiansen on guitar, Bobby Floyd on piano and Hammond B3 organ, and Peter Chwazik on acoustic bass. (Origin Records)

Forgotten Voices: A Song-Cycle for Voices and Strings

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins ’93E performs in and produces a song cycle commissioned by Music Kitchen: Food for the Soul, a project she founded to bring top classical music and musicians into homeless shelters. With support from Carnegie Hall, Hall-Tompkins and nine other musicians perform works by 15 contemporary composers and featuring texts by homeless shelter clients. (Avie Records)


Performing as the Lomazov-Rackers Piano Duo, Eastman professors of piano Marina Lomazov ’93E, ’00E (DMA) and Joseph Rackers ’05E (DMA) showcase contemporary American music by John Adams, William Bolcom, Fang Man, John Fitz Rogers, and John Corigliano. (MSR Classics)


Clarinetist Seunghee Lee ’90E and bandoneonist and composer JP Jofre perform 10 tracks, including Jofre’s Double Concerto for Clarinet and Bandoneon, commissioned by and written for Lee. The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Album. (Musica Solis)


Dave Slonaker ’80E (MM) leads the Grammy-nominated Dave Slonaker Big Band. The band includes Eastman professor of jazz studies and contemporary media Clay Jenkins on trumpet, Bob Sheppard ’77E (MM) on alto sax, Brian Scanlon ’81E ’83E (MM) on soprano sax, Rob Lockart ’80E (MM) on tenor sax, Ed Czach ’80E ’82E (MM) on piano, and Bill Reichenbach ’71E on trombone. (Origin Records)


Baritone Brian Mulligan and pianist Tim Long ’92E, musical director of Eastman Opera Theatre, present world premiere recordings of songs by composers Gregory Spears, Missy Mazzoli, and Mason Bates. (Bright Shiny Things)

American Dissident

In his debut album, pianist Michael Noble ’10RC, ’10E, performs The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, an hour-long 1975 composition by Frederic Rzewski. Noble is the artistic director of Conflux and a faculty member at the International School of Music in Bethesda, Maryland. (Michael Noble)

Looking Back, Moving On

Composer and conductor Anthony Iannaccone ’72E presents a two-CD recording that includes his Symphonies No. 3 and 4, tone poems, and a concerto, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, conductors Alexander Jiménez and George Manahan, and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. (Navona Records)


Composer Michael Torke ’84E presents an album based on “a single musical idea that develops over 45 minutes at a constant 126 beats per minute.” The work is divided into five spans, each with a distinct tonal center. (Ecstatic Records)

Bass-ic Instinct

Bassist David Finck ’80E presents his sixth recording as a band leader, featuring a variety of ensembles from duos to octets, performing original compositions and arrangements of standards. (Burton Avenue Music)

Dreams, Visions, Illusions

Composer, arranger, and trombonist Nick Finzer ’09E explores the tonal possibilities of the sextet with his long-standing ensemble, which includes bassist Dave Baron ’10E. The recording is the result of a New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music America. (Outside in Music)