Achievement of tenure and/or promotion in rank is perhaps the most significant event in the professional life of a faculty member. It represents the culmination of years of work and excellence in teaching, research, and service; recognizes promise for future achievement; and welcomes scholars into a community of privilege and responsibility. In many cases, the Library represents a laboratory for faculty as they engage in scholarship. At minimum, the Library serves as a record of intellectual achievement and an archive of all that we have attained.
With this in mind, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, under the leadership of University Librarian Paula Kaufman, initiated a program in 2000 in which faculty who are newly tenured and/or promoted are able to select a book for our Library collections. These selections are book-plated in their honor, and stand as a reminder now and into the future of the remarkable accomplishments of the faculty at this university. Each selected book receives a bookplate with the faculty member's name, rank and year of selection.
Books selected by our honored faculty are listed to the right, along with their statements of why the books have been selected, and links to the selection in the Library catalog. Below are images from the event.
Swiss Family Robinson
Swiss Family Robinson taught me that knowledge is power. The family survived because they knew so much, and could learn even more. Inspired as a child, here I am today in the knowledge business. Re-reading the book as an adult teaches a new lesson: knowledge is powerful, but not so much as imagination. The author was smart, but his theory was wrong. What island has ostriches, penguins, buffalo, and tigers all in one place? The author’s imagination was limited by gaps in his knowledge. If your theory is wrong, your knowledge is useless.
The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project
I read Susan Buck Morss' The Dialectics of Seeing in graduate school, and it has remained with me ever since. Buck Morss' exegesis of Walter Benjamin's Arcades project introduced me to the aesthetic potency of the commodity form in capitalist societies, and inspired me to search for the 'dialectical images' generated by Latin America's uneven insertion into the order of global capital at the end of the nineteenth century.
The Power of One
I first heard of this story my freshman year of college when I happened on the film one day between classes. I picked up the book years later and it changed my life. The story enlightened me to the many challenges we face in the world, but more importantly that however unfair life is, one person (regardless of socioeconomic status) can have an impact on the planet. I keep this lesson in mind as I continue to fight for social justice in my life.
Our Troth: History and Lore
For those desiring to embrace deep roots of European culture, ethics, and spirituality, this book is a great resource. It outlines the natural European religion, with the gods Odin and Thor being the most famous and powerful. Also, it is a key reference to understand a recent film, named Thor.
It has been said that this book teaches you just enough cryptography to be dangerous, and looking at back my early attempts at designing protocols, this is an apt description. Fortunately, this book also inspired me to keep learning about applied cryptography and computer security and, in time, teach others enough to be dangerous themselves.
Examining Lives in Context: Perspecitves on the Ecology of Human Development
Phyllis Moen, Glen H. Elder, Jr., & Kurt Lscher (Eds.)
This book was pivotal for expanding ecological theory outlined by Uri Brofenbrenner and moving developmental science forward by giving serious attention to the interplay between process, context, and life course in human development.
Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color
Jablonski, Nina G.
Living Color is the first book to investigate the social history of skin color from prehistory to the present, showing how our body's most visible trait influences our social interactions in profound and complex ways.
I heard about this book from an interview of the author. It sounds very interesting.
The making of the American landscape
Michael P. Conzen
Professor Michael Conzen introduced me to human geography in college via this book, as well as to reading about the landscape in which I had grown up. It was a way of looking at the world that made perfect sense to me, and so it is thanks to this book that I became a geographer.
Poslední tecka za Rukopisy: Nová literatura faktu
[A Period to End the Manuscripts: New Nonfiction]
A colleague purchased this novel for me in Prague in the late 1990s when I was already vaguely interested in the 19th-century Czech manuscript forgeries. Urban's playful take on the controversy, published under a pseudonym, made me realize how much fun the topic could be for a new project.
Fennema's Food Chemistry
Srinivasan Damodaran , Kirk L. Parkin & Owen R. Fennema (Eds.)
Dr. Fennema has guided my food chemistry career with all his knowledge and kind advice. He just passed away this year, but he will always be remembered by his students and colleagues. This book has a special meaning to me because I respect and admire Dr. Fennema and thanks to his books I have been a better professional.
Frog and Toad Are Friends
I realized that any non-work related reading that I do now involves my 4-year-old daughter. This is one of our favorite books, about friendship pure and simple. No heavy-handed 'lessons,' no sermonizing . . . it is about two best friends enjoying each other's company (well, almost always!).
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
The Innovators Dilemma has had a profound influence on my professional development and growth. I use this book as a template of how to design, execute, and disseminate research to achieve twin goals of academic rigor and practitioner relevance.
The Three Pound Universe
Judith Hooper and Dick Teresi
Growing up, I checked out this book from my local library dozens of times and (re)read it with a flashlight late into the night. It is an important part of what moved me to study the brain. Although some of the information it in may now be dated, the curiosity about the brain that it inspires is timeless.
[Romance of the Three Kingdoms]
This is a historical novel telling amazing stories over a 112-year period between the Han Dynasty and the Jin Dynasty. This is one of the first novels I read in my childhood, and I have read it many times ever since. Every time I read it, I learn something.
Lionheart Gal: Life Stories of Jamaican Women
Sistren with Honor Ford-Smith
Based on oral testimonies from Sistren Theatre Collective, with sections written in the Jamaican language, Lion Heart Gal captures Jamaican women realities within the constraints of structural and patriarchal forces. Lion Heart Gal served as a validation for my own scholarship, but it also is a testimony to how the 'personal is also political.'
The Sciences of the Artificial
Through this book, the Nobel Laureate Herb Simon pointed out that the world we live in today is much more of an artificial world than it is a natural world. It is therefore necessary that there is a science about artificial objects and phenomena. This book has successfully ignited a research area that focuses on developing scientific methods for designing artifacts, providing engineering guidelines, and it defined the field Human-Computer Interactions.
Collected Poems of Robert Hayden
"What did I know, what did I know / of love's austere and lonely offices?" If there is a poem inscribed on the walls of my imagination, then it is Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays." His words inspire, challenge, and shape the North Star that I steer by as a poet
Success is about balancing the future and the present; to ignore the needs of the present is as disastrous as ignoring the needs of the future. The essay "Why She Lives," attributed in Aura, IL to Claire Macgregor, features a sort of inverse Scheherezade -- a character who keeps herself alive by inventing, each day, a new story to tell herself, and to write for the world to hear. Since the first month I met her, Yu Hasegawa-Johnson has been sharing with me her poems, stories and plays, always about the theme of creating the world in which you wish to live. I hope you will find, as I have, that creating the now is a reason for the future.
Orientalism (25th Anniversary Edition)
One of the key texts in literary and cultural studies in the last quarter of the twentieth century, Orientalism has transformed the study of the Middle East throughout the humanities and the social sciences, with profound implications for cross-cultural and areas studies more generally.
Ketogenic Diets: Treatments for Epilepsy and Other Disorders
Eric H. Kossoff, John M. Freeman, Zahava Turner & James Rubenstein
I am in the field of music/singing, but I selected a book on ketogenic diets because when you or someone you love is suffering from an illness health is a priority. My 6 year old daughter Marga is about to embark on this miracle diet to free herself from epilepsy. Music and singing will be shared soon by everyone in my household and that will make me a complete musician.
The Human Condition
Seeking promotion, or just plain seeking? Arendt is unrivaled in her ability to rescue distinctions crucial to our lives from the conceptual rubble. Read this book and be reminded of the difference between the social and the public, of what gets lost when work collapses into labor, and of your natality and capacity for action.
Thomas Gray Philosopher Cat
"It's a mystery, and I want to know the answer. The desire to know can become a passion. I don't even know that it is possible to know, and that intensifies the mystery." (p. 120)
This quote has sat in my brain and spurred me on through all the inquiry in college, graduate school, etc. Strange isn't it how the simplest of quips can be meaningful for a lifetime?
Principles of Optimal Design
Panos Papalambros & Douglass Wilde
Principles of Optimal Design has provided a solid foundation for my research and teaching. This book was co-authored by my former academic advisor (Papalambros) and his academic advisor (Wilde). The book provides a unique combination of systems modeling and optimization theory.
Christian Ritual and the Creation of British Slave Societies, 1650-1780
Nicholas M. Beasley
Christian Ritual and the Creation of British Slave Societies reveals the key intersections of race, ritual, and religion in British plantation colonies. This book connects my earlier work in ritual and the history of Christianity with my developing interests in the Atlantic world.
Prolegomena to Library Classification
S. R. Ranganathan
This book is central to my research in the area of knowledge organization and access systems (historical and contemporary). It also motivated my mentor, Pauline Atherton Cochrane, and serves as the proof of concept at the core of developments in next generation catalogs that rely on facets and faceted navigation.
How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now
James L. Kugel
As a Christian and a microbiologist with well-entrenched evolutionary training, faith has been a constant struggle. Dr. Kugel's eye-opening book not only reveals many aspects of the Old Testament that few preachers are willing to talk about, but it also challenges my faith, and helps me to grow more as a Christian. Highly recommended!
The Runt Pig Principle: A Fundamental Approach to Solving Problems and Creating Value
Clifford D. Cooper
How can you achieve something when you have nothing? How do you reach your objectives when you have no resources? How can you get one from zeros? This inspiring and encouraging book has all the answers. Good luck!
The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History
The Birth of Bebop explores a musical genre—the virtuosic style of modern jazz whose chief innovators were African American—that is central to understanding the United States in the twentieth century. It vividly demonstrates how issues of race, economics, and musical style are inextricable, how elements that music historians sometimes divide into "text" and "context" merge into a single complex human activity. It represents humanistic music scholarship at its best.
Building-in-time: from Giotto to Alberti and modern oblivion
Building-in-Time and Ientered its author's consciousness at about the same time—Marvin started meditating on the questions that became this book just as I arrived at the Institute of Fine Arts to study with him. Marvin's generosity in allowing students to watch him shape and refine his ideas about architecture's relationship with time, over time, introduced me to the real work of transformative scholarship, to my enduring gratitude.
Democratic Dialogue in Education: Troubling Speech, Disturbing Silence
Megan Boler (Ed.)
This book represents the work of thoughtful colleagues who helped to sort out the difficulties of teaching for, with, and through difference, and it reminded me of how important working with others is for my own work.
The Big Bands
George T. Simon
I chose The Big Bands as it was one of the first books I read that gave a 'real' history of a wonderful era in American music and jazz from the perspective of a performer from that time (Mr. Simon, a big band drummer). I would say it was a key factor in my development as a jazz musician not only in terms of understanding where and how American jazz developed in mainstream America but in my understanding of why big band music and the musicians involved were such an influence on my musicianship.
La vida es sueño
[Life is a Dream]
Pedro Caldern de la Barca
A passage in this book describes a man who only got fed from the herbs which he collected, and who all of the sudden realized that a still poorer sage was collecting the leaves he threw away. As a young girl who grew up poor, this passage taught me that even in the most difficult times, when we think that no one has endured more obstacles than us, there is always someone else who is in a worse situation than us. As a result, I learned from a very young age that we should never give up and that we should always work hard to achieve our goals.
The Rain Came Down
This is a children's book that I read and re-read and re-read to my twin boys when they were little. They loved it, and I enjoyed it with them. Testimonial to how much we all enjoyed this story are the torn and taped up pages of the copy of the book I have at home. I choose this book for the good memories it bears for me.
Bondmen and Rebels: A Case Study of Master-Slave Relations in Antigua
David Barry Gaspar
Bondmen and Rebels recounts an attempted slave rebellion in my native island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in 1736. If successful, it would have been the first Caribbean territory in which the slaves seized full control. I choose this book to commemorate the longstanding Antiguan spirit of independence
Radar and atmospheric science: A collection of essays in honor of David Atlas
Roger M. Wakimoto and Ramesh C. Srivastava
Dave Atlas is one of the fathers of radar meteorology and helped bring the CHILL (U. Chicago Illinois) radar to the Illinois State Water Survey, which was a prototype for the operational radars we have today. Here's to bringing a research quality weather radar back to Illinois!
Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices
Caren Kaplan & Inderpal Grewal (Eds.)
Edited by two amazing theorists who would later become my most important teachers, Caren Kaplan and Inderpal Grewal, this collection laid the foundation for the field of transnational feminist cultural studies, and is a central keystone in my own intellectual genealogy.
Theology and Social Theory
I had read theology (a good deal); I had read social theory (quite a bit); I had never, ever thought to think of them as inhabiting the same intellectual and indeed historical space. But Milbank makes it utterly evident that they must be read together.
Reading for me is a means of wrestling with angels. Here I was overcome. Few books overcome me.
The Black Female Body: A Photgraphic History
Deborah Willis & Carla Williams
This important book traces the history of images of black women in a variety of media. From travel documents and "scientific" exploitations of black female bodies to the questioning of those images by contemporary black women artists, the importance of examining how the black image has been circulated in the interests of empire, is the main thrust of this book. I remain curious and proud of the ways in which we have managed our private and public selves, ways that always exceed the constraints of the dominant gaze.
Difference Methods for Initial-Value Problems
Robert D. Richtmyer and K. W. Morton
This is a seminal textbook analyzing the mathematical principles of construction of approximations to the governing equations of fluid dynamics. This textbook set a high standard for applied mathematicians working in the modeling of flows encountered in engineering devices as well as in nature.
Strategic and Competitive Analysis: Methods and Techniques for Analyzing Business Competition
Craig S. Fleisher & Babette E. Bensoussan
I first encountered this book during my MSLIS studies, and it opened my eyes to practical methods for making information relevant to a company's strategic planning. It has influenced the way I advise and instruct student consultants and by association, my scholarly research.
Parting The Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63
After starting a campus organization, I was overwhelmed by social advocacy work. Taylor Branch's Parting the Waters, which profiles the people and events that shaped the civil-rights movement, provided a broad perspective on social change and the role that front-line actors played. It inspired me to become a social worker
The Nature of Selection
The book facilitated a transition in my thinking about causality in evolution, generally. More specifically, Sober convinced me that natural selection can occur at multiple levels of biological organization: gene, individual, group, species, ecosystem, planet etc., and that the gene is the mode of inheritance not the unit of selection.
Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Virginia
'Natural' disasters are not natural. Silent Violence taught me that famine in drought-stricken regions results from long and grinding histories of social exclusion. Hunger, famine, dislocation, and economic loss are social and political-economic products. They are not acts of God or nature. Society creates vulnerability and remains responsible for disasters. The author, Michael Watts, taught me the importance of the ongoing and seemingly authorless processes of stratification that are inherent to the economic and political systems we live in and study. Rights, recourse, and representation, the countervailing emancipatory forces, are not achieved once and for all, but are a continuous struggle to open spaces of claim making in which society builds and rebuild security in an unequal world.
Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs
Michael A. Dirr
My career has focused on herbicide detoxification in crops, but during the past five years I've also become interested in horticultural plants. Michael Dirr is an authority on woody plants and their use in landscaping and provides excellent illustrations of trees and shrubs, along with detailed information (and honest opinions!) about each species and cultivars.
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Although this is a children's book, I never read it as a child. It was introduced to me when I was a student by one of my favorite professors. I later introduced it to my own children, in both English and Spanish, and it was remarkable how fast they absorbed the true meaning of The Lorax. Although we spend so much time seeking to create learning here, it is curious to me how it happens in so many different ways.
The Theory of Island Biogeography
Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson
This book was a landmark in the development of ecology and biogeography. Despite shortcomings of the central idea regarding dynamic processes driving species diversity, The Theory of Island Biogeography continues to inform metapopulation biology, landscape ecology, and conservation biology four decades after its publication.
Finite-Dimensional Variational Inequalities and Complementarity Problems
F. Facchinei and J.S. Pang
This 2-volume set provides an expansive description of the analysis and computation of finite-dimensional variational inequality problems. Broad in scope, this set is presented with high degree of clarity and with an unstinting emphasis on rigor. My students and I have gained immeasurably from this work in examining questions in stochastic and dynamic regimes.
Christmas in Purgatory: A Photographic Essay on Mental Retardation
Burton Blatt & Fred Kaplan
Christmas in Purgatory is a constant reminder of the importance of fostering a society where people with disabilities are recognized as full citizens and never treated in ways condoned in the past because of pseudo-science and fear. It fundamentally shaped my work on supports, self-determination, and community inclusion.
The Economic Institutions of Capitalism
The Economic Institutions of Capitalism is a classic analysis of economic organization by Oliver Williamson, which contains the central ideas that eventually won him the Nobel Prize in Economics. As a doctoral student I was taught by Oliver from this book, and it left a strong imprint on me. While many scholars (including myself) continue to debate and build on his ideas, I believe they have fundamentally revolutionized our understanding of how firms and markets operate.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the prolific Bengali writer and Nobelist, ranged widely in the themes he covered. Of his many works that I find of interest, this book seems always to have something to say to me regardless of what particular reason I have had to open it.
The Sciences of the Artificial
This one book helped me really grasp and appreciate complex phenomena of academic interest pertaining to organization design, near decomposability, design science, complexity, software, and the role of computing in these problems. Every time I read this book, I go back with a deeper appreciation of its insights.
Handbook of Functional MRI Data Analysis
Russell A. Poldrack, Jeanette A. Mumford, Thomas E. Nichols
As we seek to understand the brain, we need resources to quickly make experts from thinkers of the next generation and other disciplines in order to tackle increasingly complex challenges. This book provides a good mixture of both why and how.
Imperatives and Commands
Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
The observation that frequency of use of imperatives varies enormously cross-linguistically fueled my PhD research over a decade ago. This book is the most recent, up-to-date, and extensive study of imperatives, their structure, meanings, and use in the languages of the world. As such, I am fully convinced it will be a useful reference tool for colleagues, students, as well as my own continuing research in this area.
De Re Metallica
[On the Nature of Metals]
This is a classic text on mining, chemistry, and metallurgy from 1556; the first English translation from Latin was by Herbert Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover in 1912—one hundred years ago. As future research continues to advance materials science, physics, and chemistry, I appreciate how much was known and still remains unknown about metals.
Fundamentals of Metal Forming
Robert H. Wagoner & Jean-Loup Chenot
One of the authors of the book is my father, Robert H. Wagoner, a Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University. He began writing the book with the co-author, Jean-Loup Chenot, while we were on sabbatical in France (1990-91). The year was one of the most challenging in my life in many ways, but also one of the most rewarding. Both of my parents were extremely supportive while I struggled in a French school. It was also the year I decided I wanted to become an engineer and to follow in my father's footsteps.
Harps and Harpists Revised Edition
As an Illinois alumna (MA, 1959), former faculty member, benefactor, and intrepid researcher, Roslyn Rensch created the foundation for the aspirations of many through her activities. Dr. Rensch's book Harps and Harpists, that includes an appendix by my student and I on her archived collection at Illinois, is a seminal work.
Was will Niyazi in der Naunynstraße?
[What's Niyazi Doing on Naunyn Street?]
This pioneering Turkish-German book tells the story of how migration transforms people and places in a Berlin neighborhood. I have chosen this book in honor of my parents, who came to Germany as guest workers in the same year this book was published.
I Want to Be a Mathematician
As an undergraduate in Canada, I read and re-read this autobiography of the great Paul Halmos many times. It encouraged me to pursue mathematics as a profession. When I found myself with the chance to work at Illinois, where Halmos himself was trained, of course I had to accept!