Orange Alert

Humanities Book Reception to Showcase University Authors April 17

Event will honor more than 50 scholars who published books in 2017

April 12, 2018, by Robert M Enslin

Vivian May
Vivian May

The Syracuse University Humanities Center will host its third annual Books in the Humanities Reception on Tuesday, April 17, from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center.

Free and open to the public, this year’s event features more than 50 books by Syracuse University scholars published in 2017. "The volumes contribute to the humanities, broadly conceived," says Vivian May, director of the Humanities Center and professor of women's and gender studies in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S).

Many authors will be on hand to sign copies, and the Syracuse University Bookstore will offer a 10-percent discount on any purchase or order at the event, unless otherwise stated.

For more information, contact the Humanities Center in A&S at 315.443.7192, or visit A complete listing of this year's submissions is at the Syracuse University Libraries Research Guides.

“This is an opportunity to showcase humanities scholarship and to come together as a wider community,” May says. “Many of the works contribute to traditional academic disciplines; others are multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary. Combined, they represent the humanities’ large footprint at Syracuse.”

Kim's "Curative Violence" (Duke University Press) is among the social justice titles on display.
Kim's "Curative Violence" (Duke University Press) is among the social justice titles on display.

This year’s books cover all matter of scholarship—from the history of economic thought to the metaphysics of identity to an exploration of the U.S. patent system to the circulation of music and performers in Early Modern England.

Authors also explore an array of hot-button issues, including disability studies in Korea, partisan polarization in the U.S. Congress, urban Asian religiosity and African resistance art.

Genres include traditional scholarly texts, ethnographies, art volumes and original novels and poems.

While most of the books are from academic presses, some represent mainstream trade publishing houses. Among them: George Saunders’ “Lincoln in the Bardo” (Random House, 2017), winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction; Jonathan Dee’s “The Locals” (Random House, 2017), one of The Washington Post’s most notable books of the year; and David Yaffe’s “Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017), an instant “National Bestseller” in Canada.

According to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the monograph is still the gold standard for academic achievement; therefore, trends in academic publishing serve as a barometer of the field’s health.

Saunders' "Lincoln in the Bardo" (Random House) debuted atop The New York Times best-seller list.
Saunders' "Lincoln in the Bardo" (Random House) debuted atop The New York Times best-seller list.

“The number of new titles in the humanities has increased in the past decade, and they represent almost half of all academic books published each year,” May continues. “At the same time, a growing number of humanities titles connect with other areas of inquiry, including the creative and performing arts and the natural and social sciences. How we write and publish books, not to mention how we conduct research, is always shifting.”

The Humanities Center is organizing the reception. Additional support comes from A&S, the SU Bookstore, the Office of Research and SU Libraries.

Located in the Tolley Humanities Building, the Humanities Center cultivates diverse forms of humanities scholarship, sponsors a range of dynamic programming and partnerships, highlights the humanities as a public good and underscores the relevance of the humanities for addressing enduring questions and pressing social issues.


Vivian M. May Professor

Eunjung Kim Associate Professor

George Saunders Professor

Media Contact

Robert M Enslin