Denison professors aren’t just respected and beloved by their students, they’re also leaders in their disciplines as scholars and educators. That academic innovation often results in books that broadcast this information to the world. Five Denison faculty recently have published new books: David Baker, professor of English; Sam Cowling, associate professor of philosophy; Peter Grandbois, associate professor of English; Doug Spieles, professor of environmental studies; and Charles St-Georges, assistant professor of languages.
- Baker’s book, titled “Seek After: on Seven Modern Lyric Poets,” holds a curation of 23 essays. Baker edited and curated the book, and contributed seven of the essays. Seven poets, with a chapter dedicated to each, are represented: John Keats, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks and W. S. Merwin. Through lectures and writings, Baker, himself a highly regarded poet, and six co-critics have critiqued these poems over the past decade and offer their discourse here.
- A philosopher, Cowling’s work resides in the analytical arm of his discipline. His book, “Abstract Entities,” explores the key arguments and issues informing the contemporary debate over abstract vs. concrete reality. It is a critical assessment of the problems raised by abstract entities and the debates about existence, truth, and knowledge that surround them.
- Grandbois’ book, “Kissing the Lobster,” is a collection of personal essays centered on his experience of returning to high-level competitive fencing after a nearly 20-year absence. A competitive swordsman, Grandbois examines the need to live an authentic life, particularly in light of aging and the many midlife questions that facing mortality brings.
- Environmentalism can be described in terms of six human values — utility, stability, equity, beauty, sanctity, and morality, according to Spieles in his book, “Environmentalism: An Evolutionary Approach.” Its premise is that environmental dilemmas are products of biological and sociocultural evolution, and that through an understanding of our own evolution, we can reframe debates of thought and action.
- St-Georges provides a provocative look at Hispanic horror films in his book, “Haunted Families and Temporal Normativity in Hispanic Horror Films: Troubling Timelines.” This book examines horror films from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina in their respective historical and cultural contexts. He makes clear the power structures through which we experience normativity, as well as a collective fascination with haunting.
Denison provides support for faculty in their professional development, through the Center for Learning and Teaching, and the Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement, as well as through grants, sabbaticals, and other resources.