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New English Faculty Books (from Colleen Derkatch, Nima Naghibi, Ruth Panofsky and Elizabeth Podnieks)

June 28, 2016

Four faculty in the Department of English have recently published books on a diverse ranges of subjects.

Examining complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and its impact on traditional medicine, Professor Colleen Derkatch’s Bounding Biomedicine, external link (University of Chicago Press) helps readers to understand how medical establishments respond to the high-demand of CAM-based treatments and their own decline. She blurs any borders that might be separating the two seemingly different methods, while looking at how the medical world has added contemporary Western approaches that may or may not fit within the standards.

“I began writing the book with a general interest in how arguments about unconventional health practices unfold in both professional and public arenas. As I worked on my analysis, however, I noticed that the idea of evidence came up again and again in debates about whether alternative health practices work and, if so, how. And so I shifted my focus to examining specifically how the concept of evidence is employed in arguments about CAM to show that what counts as a safe, effective health treatment—whether alternative or not—is limited by the terms of the debate itself.” - Dr. Colleen Derkatch

In Women Write Iran, external link (University of Minnesota Press) Ryerson’s English Department Chair, Professor Nima Naghibi examines auto/biographical narratives by Iranian women across a variety of mediums – including memoirs, documentary films, prison testimonials, and graphic novels. Through her analysis, Naghibi discovers a connection between their personal stories and broader questions of human rights and social justice.

"I felt compelled to write this book for several reasons: this book is about auto/biographies and life narratives of diasporic Iranian women for whom the 1979 Iranian revolution marked a significant and radical break in their lives.  I identified with these stories, and I felt drawn to write about them.   As I read autobiographical accounts by former political prisoners,  writing became, for me, a form of bearing witness to human rights abuses. The  stories discussed in my monograph illustrate, I believe, the political power of literature and storytelling, and I hope that my work contributes in some way to discussions about the value of writing and telling stories in the struggle for social justice and human rights.”- Dr. Nima Naghibi

Cultural Mapping and Digital Sphere, external link (University of Alberta Press) features fourteen essays by a variety of contributors, edited by Professors Ruth Panofsky (Department of English) and Kathleen Kellett-Betsos (Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures). The collection examines technological developments and how they have assisted Canadian cultural works of literature.  By looking at new archival and storytelling methods, and specific cultural and literary texts, these essays act as a “road map” for those who have an interest in the digital humanities and literature.

Pops in Pop Culture, external link (Palgrave Macmillan), edited by Professor Elizabeth Podnieks, examines the representations of the twenty-first century father in contemporary settings, showcasing paternity in the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, South Africa, and Sweden, through a variety of media. The books contributors question the creation of the modern father-figure in relation to the patriarchy, gender, and (post)feminism, as well as the ways that paternal biases, conflicts, and needs are understood in this century and the impact on the way we see male caregivers within the modern family.