Skip to main content

Old Movies, Memoirs and Research: New Books This Winter From Duke Faculty

Fiction, scholarship, poetry and essays: Faculty and staff offer something for any reader

Part of the A Guide to Duke Author Books Series
Marshall Price edited a catalog accompanying the new Nasher Museum exhibit of works by Nina Chanel Abney. All videos by Julie Schoonmaker
Marshall Price edited a catalog accompanying the new Nasher Museum exhibit of works by Nina Chanel Abney. All videos by Julie Schoonmaker

The winter publishing season includes a bounty of smart, interesting books by Duke authors.  The books explore questions and suggest answers to large social challenges from racial violence to health care, or offer a university president’s reflections on higher education and a physician’s look at modern death.

Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the "Duke Authors" display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins Library. Some are available as e-books for quick download. Most can also be purchased through the Gothic Bookshop.

[Duke Today will provide similar updates in the future. If you are a member of the Duke faculty or staff who will be publishing a book of interest to a general audience, send us a message about it along with your publisher's brief description.]


Laia Balcells: “Rivalry and Revenge: The Politics of Violence During Civil War” (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming March 31)

Assistant professor of political science Laia Balcells’ new book focuses on why civilians are at particular risk during civil wars, analyzing strategic motives in civil war in Spain and the Ivory Coast, in addition to the emotions that drive revenge.


Dr. Dan G. Blazer, co-editor: “Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability” (National Academies Press)

Blazer, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has collaborated on this study of the hearing health care system launched by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report suggests that hearing loss is a significant public health concern, and efforts should be made to provide adults with easier access to and more affordable options for hearing health care.


John Biewen and Alexa Dilworth, co-editors: “Reality Radio, Second Edition: Telling True Stories in Sound” (UNC Press, published in association with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, forthcoming Feb. 13)

This revised edition of “Reality Radio” celebrates today's best audio documentary work by some of the most influential practitioners from the United States, Canada, the U.K. and Australia. The book takes stock of the transformations in radio documentary, including the ascendance of the podcast; greater cultural, racial, and topical variety; and the changing economics of radio itself. John Biewen directs the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies. Alexa Dilworth is publishing director and senior editor at the Center for Documentary Studies.


Richard H. Brodhead: “Speaking of Duke: Leading the Twenty-First-Century University” (Duke University Press, forthcoming April 7)

Over the course of his 13 years as president, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead spoke at numerous university ceremonies, community forums and faculty meetings, and even appeared on the Colbert Report. “Speaking of Duke” collects dozens of these speeches, in which Brodhead speaks both to the special character and history of Duke University and to the general state of higher education.


Ryan Craig, contributor: “Sport Business Analytics: Using Data to Increase Revenue and Improve Operational Efficiency” (Auerbach Publishers, Incorporated)

In a book that will benefit both sports business professionals and students, Ryan Craig, executive director of digital strategy for Duke Athletics, writes an in-depth case study in the chapter titled “Fan Engagement, Social Media, and Digital Marketing Analytics at Duke University.”


Ellen Davis: “Preaching the Luminous Word: Biblical Sermons and Homiletical Essays” (Eerdmans)

Inviting serious theological engagement with texts from all parts of the Christian Bible, Duke Divinity School professor and noted preacher Ellen Davis’ new book collects 51 of her sermons and five related essays.


Laurent Dubois, translator and introduction author: “Critique of Black Reason” by Achille Mbembe (A John Hope Franklin Center Book, Duke University Press, forthcoming March 10)

With “Critique of Black Reason,” University of the Witwatersrand professor Achille Mbembe offers a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future. Laurent Dubois is professor of Romance studies and history and director of Duke’s Forum for Scholars and Publics.


Owen Flanagan: “The Geography of Morals: Varieties of Moral Possibility” (Oxford University Press)

In this defense of cross-cultural philosophy and indictment of the parochialism of Western philosophy, Duke philosophy professor Owen Flanagan explores opportunities for self, social and political improvement provided by world philosophy.


Gary Gereffi, chapter co-author: “Labour in Global Value Chains in Asia” (Cambridge University Press)

Going against the grain in searching for an alternative to laissez-faire forms of globalization, sociology professor Gary Gereffi contributes to a book that helps to bring together a set of studies on labor conditions in global value chains in a variety of sectors, ranging from labor-intensive sectors (garments, fresh fruits, tourism), to medium- and high- technology sectors (automobiles, electronics and telecom) and knowledge-intensive sectors (IT software services). The book appears in the Cambridge Press series on "Development Trajectories in Global Value Chains," for which Gereffi serves as one of the series editors. 

Amy Laura Hall, “Writing Home, With Love: Politics for Neighbors and Naysayers” (Cascade Books, Wipf and Stock Publishers)

For the last two years, theologian Amy Laura Hall has written a wide-ranging column for The Durham Herald-Sun. Hall, an associate professor of Christian Ethics at Duke Divinity School, has responded to what she sees as a disturbing Christian turn toward asceticism and away from abundance. Drawing from her scholarship, but also from conversations at coffee shops and around the dinner table, Hall's "missives of love" engage topics such as school dress codes, ubiquitous surveillance cameras, LGBTQ dignity, and bullies in the workplace.


Mona Hassan: “Longing for the Lost Caliphate: A Transregional History” (Princeton University Press)

In a book that fills a major scholarly gap, Mona Hassan, an assistant professor in the departments of religious studies and history and the International Comparative Studies program, delves into why the caliphate has been so important to Muslims in vastly different eras and places.


Elaine A. Heath and Geoffrey Wainwright, contributors: “A Wesleyan Theology of the Eucharist: The Presence of God for Christian Life and Ministry” (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church)

For Methodist Church leaders John and Charles Wesley, few things were more important for theology and ministry than attentiveness to the Lord's Supper. But the commitment to the centrality of the Eucharist has waned. Divinity School dean and professor Elaine A. Heath and professor emeritus Geoffrey Wainwright joins other Wesleyan scholars who seek to recover the importance of Holy Communion for theology and ministry.


Elaine A. Heath: “God Unbound: Wisdom from Galatians for the Anxious Church” (Upper Room Books)

Divinity School Dean Elaine A. Heath urges the church to boldly follow the Holy Spirit's leadership beyond buildings and programs to join what Jesus is doing in the world. With reflection questions for each chapter, the book can be used for leadership development over several weeks or months.


Richard Heitzenrater: “An Exact Likeness: The Portraits of John Wesley” (Abingdon Press)

Richard Heitzenrater, a professor emeritus of church history and Wesley studies at Duke Divinity School, examines the main portraits of the Christian theologian, looking at them within the three main categories that developed over the years: Oxford don, Methodist preacher and notable person.


Beth Holmgren, co-editor: “Transgressive Women in Modern Russian and East European Cultures: From the Bad to the Blasphemous” (Routledge Press)

Beth Holmgren, professor of Polish and Russian literatures and cultures in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, edits essays examining what constitutes bad social and political behavior for women in Russia, Poland and the Balkans, and how and to what effect female performers, activists, and fictional characters have indulged in such behavior.


William A. Johnson: “The Essential Herodotus: Translation, Introduction and Annotations” (Oxford University Press)

In this new assessment of the writings of the West's first historian, classical studies professor William Johnson combines balanced selections of Herodotus’ work with succinct commentary and notes. The first collection of its kind, this volume presents Herodotus' well-known writings on politics and war alongside his research on folk traditions, foreign cultures and natural wonders.


Judith Kelley: “Scorecard Diplomacy: Grading States to Influence Their Reputation and Behavior” (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in April)

What can the international community do when countries would rather ignore a thorny problem? Sanford School of Public Policy professor Judith Kelley’s forthcoming book “Scorecard Diplomacy” shows that, despite lacking traditional force, public grades are potent symbols that can evoke countries' concerns about their reputations and motivate them to address the problem. Kelley presents the first in-depth examination of U.S. foreign policy on human trafficking.


Janet Larsen, contributor: “The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy” (W. W. Norton & Company)

Janet Larsen, a student in the Duke Environmental Leadership Program at the Nicholas School of the Environment, helps document the accelerating pace of a global energy revolution. Larsen is an author and formerly director of research for Earth Policy Institute.


Toril Moi, contributor: “Critique and Postcritique” (Duke University Press, forthcoming March 31)

This book comes out of the vigorous debate over the functions and futures of literary critique. Duke literature professor Toril Moi and other contributors to “Critique and Postcritique” evaluate the state of contemporary literary criticism while pointing to new ways of conducting scholarship that may be better suited to today’s intellectual and political challenges.


Salvatore V. Pizzo, co-author: “Proteolysis in the Interstitial Space” (CRC Press)

Covering an array of topics with broad application to biomedical scientists, Pizzo, Distinguished Professor of Pathology in the School of Medicine, and his co-authors expand our understanding of the importance of interstitial spaces and the fluids that move through and reside in this extravascular environment.


Marshall N. Price, editor and contributor: “Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush” (The Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University Press, forthcoming in February)

This catalogue accompanies the upcoming Nasher exhibition “Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush,” a 10-year survey of one of the most provocative and iconoclastic artists working today. Abney draws on headlines, animated cartoons, video games, hip-hop culture, celebrity websites and tabloid magazines to make paintings replete with figures, numbers and words. Marshall Price is the Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum. In addition to Price, other Duke contributors are Professor Richard J. Powell and Nasher Museum Director Sarah Schroth.


Alex Rosenberg: “Autumn in Oxford” (Lake Union Publishing)

Philosophy professor Alex Rosenber’s second novel, a murder mystery set in Britain in the late 1950s, is described as “a finely crafted murder, espionage, love story” by one reviewer, who suggests reading every word and storing the details.


Dr. Philip M. Rosoff: “Drawing the Line: Healthcare Rationing and the Cutoff Problem” (Oxford University Press)

In a new book advancing arguments in his 2014 book, “Rationing Is Not a Four-Letter Word,” Rosoff, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at Duke, discusses how to decide what should and should not be covered in a generous benefits plan for all. Rosoff is a resident scholar of the School of Medicine's Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine. He chairs Duke Hospital's Ethics Committee.


David G. Schaeffer, co-author: “Ordinary Differential Equations: Basics and Beyond” (Springer Verlag)

Schaeffer, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, anticipates many confusions of beginning students, making the book suitable for a teaching environment that emphasizes self-directed, active learning -- including the so-called inverted classroom. While proofs are rigorous, the exposition is reader-friendly, aiming for the informality of face-to-face interactions.


Frank Sloan and Chee-Ruey Hsieh: “Health Economics” Second Edition (MIT Press, forthcoming Jan. 20)

In this new edition, updated to include material on the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, material on the expansion of health insurance in Massachusetts and an evaluation of Oregon's Medicaid expansion via lottery, Sloan and Hsieh introduce students to the growing research field of health economics. Frank Sloan is the J. Alexander McMahon Professor of Health Policy and Management. Chee-Ruey Hsieh is a research professor of health economics at the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke Kunshan University.


John Staddon: “The Englishman: Memoirs of a Psychobiologist” (University of Buckingham Press)

Professor emeritus of psychology, biology and neurobiology John Staddon has been “basically an academic” for most of his life, but he says the way he got there has taken some surprising turns. His new memoir traces his early life growing up in a lower-class family in wartime England, including a spell in colonial Africa “interrupting a wobbly college career,” and his graduate studies in the United States. The main part of the book is about science, his efforts “to understand the world opened up for me by biology, Darwin, the evolving cybernetic revolution and the experimental methods of influential and opinionated behaviorist B. F. Skinner,” and reflections on his work on how animals learn.


John Paul Stadler: “Prehistoric” (The Cupboard Pamphlet)

In his debut collection of short stories, John Paul Stadler, who is completing a doctorate in the literature program at Duke, mixes deadpan with slapstick imagination in stories of rural Catholic family life.


Nathan Swanson: “Download This Movie for a Reel Good Time” Updated Edition.  (Lulu Press, forthcoming in February)

In a book that enhances the pleasure of watching classic movies, Nathan Swanson, division administrator for general psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, references what went on behind the camera during the production of 70 films, spanning the years 1933-1992. Readers discover what influenced the final version of the film, why specific actors or directors were hired, which scenes were cut, and what cultural or political ideas were popular at the time of production. It raises and answers questions like why did Alfred Hitchcock pick Raymond Burr to play the villain in “Rear Window,” who gave Frank Sinatra permission to do “The Manchurian Candidate.”


Timothy Tyson: “The Blood of Emmett Till” (Simon & Schuster)

Tyson, senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies, reexamines the event that helped launched the civil rights movement -- the 1955 lynching of young Emmett Till. With access to never-before-heard accounts from those involved as well as recently recovered court transcripts from the trial, Tyson revises the explosive history of the Till case. (Read a New York Times editorial on the book here.)


Aarthi Vadde: “Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism Beyond Europe, 1914-2016” (Columbia University Press)

Vadde, an assistant professor of English, illustrates how a wide-ranging group of modernist and contemporary writers reimagine the nation and internationalism in a period defined by globalization. She reads James Joyce's use of asymmetrical narratives as a way to ask questions about international camaraderie, and demonstrates how the "plotless" works of Claude McKay upturn ideas of citizenship and diasporic alienation.


Dr. Haider Warraich: “Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life" (St. Martin's Press, forthcoming Feb. 7)

A fellow in cardiology at Duke University Medical Center, Haider Warraich contributes to the conversation about death and dying started by Dr. Sherwin Nuland and Atul Gawande. Warraich takes a broader look at how we die today, from the cellular level up to the very definition of death itself. His medical and op-ed articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and the Los Angeles Times. He discusses the book with Terry Gross of NPR's "Fresh Air" here.


William Willimon: “Who Lynched Willie Earle? Preaching to Confront Racism” (Abingdon Press, forthcoming Feb. 7)

In his latest book, Willimon uses the true story of pastor Hawley Lynn’s March 1947 sermon, “Who Lynched Willie Earle?” to illuminate a discussion of how pastors and leaders can speak an effective biblical word into the contemporary social crisis of racial violence and black pain.

Willimon is a professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School and retired bishop in The United Methodist Church. He previously served for 20 years as faculty member and dean of Duke University Chapel.