books; photo by sara cohen via unsplash

New Books & Works by Faculty

September 3, 2021
book covers

Mobility and Migration in Ancient Mesoamerican Cities by Christopher Beekman, PhD

Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Mobility and Migration in Ancient Mesoamerican Cities is the first focused book-length discussion of migration in central Mexico, west Mexico and the Maya region, presenting case studies on population movement in and among Classic, Epiclassic, and Postclassic Mesoamerican societies and polities within the framework of urbanization and de-urbanization. Looking beyond the conceptual dichotomy of sedentism versus mobility, Beekman and the contributors show that mobility and migration reveal a great deal about the formation, development, and decline of town- and city-based societies in the ancient world. (Co-editors M. Charlotte Armauld and Grégory Pereira; University Press of Colorado

Paper Trails: The US Post and the Making of the American West by Cameron Blevins, PhD

History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

There were five times as many post offices in the United States in 1899 than there are McDonald’s restaurants today. During an era of supposedly limited federal government, the United States operated the most expansive national postal system in the world.  

In Paper Trails, this cutting-edge interpretation of the late nineteenth-century United States, Cameron Blevins argues that the US Post wove together two of the era’s defining projects: western expansion and the growth of state power. Between the 1860s and the early 1900s, the western United States underwent a truly dramatic reorganization of people, land, capital, and resources. It had taken Anglo-Americans the better part of two hundred years to occupy the eastern half of the continent, yet they occupied the West within a single generation. As millions of settlers moved into the region, they relied on letters and newspapers, magazines and pamphlets, petitions and money orders to stay connected to the wider world. 

The postal network’s sprawling geography and localized operations forces a reconsideration of the American state, its history, and the ways in which it exercised power. Find out more about Cameron Blevin’s work at his personal academic website. (Oxford University Press

Energy Islands: Metaphors of Power, Extractivism, and Justice in Puerto Rico by Catalina M de Onís, PhD

Communication, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Energy Islandsprovides an urgent and nuanced portrait of collective action that resists racial capitalism, colonialism, and climate disruption. Weaving together historical and ethnographic research, this story challenges the master narratives of Puerto Rico as a tourist destination and site of “natural” disasters to demonstrate how fossil fuel economies are inextricably entwined with colonial practices and how local community groups in Puerto Rico have struggled against energy coloniality to mobilize and transform power from the ground up. 

Catalina M. de Onís documents how these groups work to decenter continental contexts and deconstruct damaging hierarchies that devalue and exploit rural coastal communities. She highlights and collaborates with individuals who refuse the cruel logics of empire by imagining and implementing energy justice and other interconnected radical power transformations. Diving deeply into energy, islands, and power, this book engages various metaphors for alternative world-making. (University of California Press)

Environmental Justice Is for You and Me by Catalina M de Onís, PhD

Communication, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Environmental Justice Is for You and Meis a Spanish-English-language bilingual children’s book that introduces young readers to the concept of justicia ambiental (environmental justice). This collaborative work includes the intergenerational energies of coauthors Assistant Professor of Communication Catalina de Onís, anthropologist Dr. Hilda Lloréns, her child Khalil, and student artist-activist Mabette Colón Pérez. Puerto Rican publisher Editora Educación Emergente is providing the book for no-cost download through its website. Physical copies of the book are available for purchase online, and all royalties will be donated to the Comité Diálogo Ambiental (a grassroots group that coordinates an annual environmental justice camp for youth in southeastern Puerto Rico). Read more about the project at de Onís’ website. (Co-authors: Hilda Lloréns, Mabette Colón Pérez, and Khalil G. García Lloréns; Editora Educacuón Emergente, Inc.) 

The Other American Dilemma: Schools, Mexicans, and the Nature of Jim Crow, 1912–1953 by Jarrod Hanson, PhD 

Education, School of Education & Human Development 

Co-authored with Ruben Donato from CU Boulder, The Other American Dilemma by Jarrod Hanson examines the experiences of Mexican immigrants, Mexican Americans, and Hispanos/as in their schools and communities between 1912 and 1953. Drawing from the Mexican Archives located in Mexico City and by venturing outside of the Southwest, their examinations of specific communities in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, and Texas shed new light on Mexicans’ social and educational experiences. Donato and Hanson maintain that Mexicans—whether recent immigrants, American citizens, or Hispanos/as with deep roots in the United States—were not seen as true Americans and were subject to unofficial school segregation and Jim Crow. The book highlights similarities and differences between the ways the Mexican-origin population and African Americans were treated. Because of their mestizo heritage, the Mexican-origin population was seen as racially mixed and kept on the margins of community and school life by people in power. (SUNY Press

A World of Turmoil: The United States, China, and Taiwan in the Long Cold War by Stephen J. Hartnett, PhD

CommunicationCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

The United States, the People’s Republic of China, and Taiwan have danced on the knife’s edge of war for more than seventy years. A work of sweeping historical vision, A World of Turmoiloffers case studies of five critical moments: the end of World War II and the start of the Long Cold War; the almost-nuclear war over the Quemoy Islands in 1954–1955; the détente, deceptions, and denials surrounding the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué; the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1995–1996; and the rise of postcolonial nationalism in contemporary Taiwan. Diagnosing the communication dispositions that structured these events reveals that leaders in all three nations have fallen back on crippling stereotypes and self-serving denials in their diplomacy. The first communication-based study of its kind, this book by Stephen J. Hartnett merges history, rhetorical criticism, and advocacy in a tour de force of international  scholarship. By mapping the history of miscommunication between the United States, China, and Taiwan, this provocative study shows where and how our entwined relationships have gone wrong, clearing the way for renewed dialogue, enhanced trust, and new understandings. (Michigan State University Press

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Annotation by Remi Kalir, PhD

EducationSchool of Education & Human Development 

Annotation—the addition of a note to a text—is an everyday and social activity that provides information, shares commentary, sparks conversation, expresses power, and aids learning. It helps mediate the relationship between reading and writing. Remi Kalir‘s volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series offers an introduction to annotation and its literary, scholarly, civic, and everyday significance across historical and contemporary contexts. Annotation approaches annotation as a genre—a synthesis of reading, thinking, writing, and communication—and offer examples of annotation that range from medieval rubrication and early book culture to data labeling and online reviews. (Co-author Antero Garcia; MIT Press

Build Better Worlds: An Introduction to Anthropology for Game Designers, Fiction Writers, and Filmmakers by Michael Kilman, MS

AnthropologyCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

Using the social science of anthropology, anthropologists Kyra Wellstrom and Michael Kilman introduce core concepts of real cultures to help readers understand how cultural systems work. What makes cultures tick? How do concepts like race, gender, class, language, religion, medicine, history and evolution work in the real world? Build Better Worlds provides a tool kit for understanding anthropology and real world cultures so that your fictional worlds are more holistic, engaging and immersive. (Co-author Kyra Wellstrom; Infinite Sky Learning, LLC

Three Worlds, One Stage, Film by Jessica McGaugh, MFA, and Roma Sur, MA 

Film & Television, College of Arts & Media  

The feature-length documentary story of immigration, determination, and hope is now available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms. 

The longtime collaborators, Jessica McGaugh and Roma Sur, engaged a production team of CU Denver Film & Television students, alum, and faculty to create Three Worlds, One Stage, a feature-length documentary that explores the preservation of ancient cultural performing arts forms from ethnic Colorado artists and the communities with which they engage. It is a story of immigration, determination, and hope—an American narrative at its core.

Leadership for Deeper Learning: Facilitating School Innovation and Transformation by Scott McLeod, PhD

EducationSchool of Education & Human Development

Across the United States and around the world, the concept of a school is growing more action-oriented, performance-focused, digitally relevant, and democratically infused. In Leadership for Deeper Learning, you’ll hear from real schools and leaders about practices that are changing schools and leading to deeper learning experiences across seven categories of innovative practice―including vision, agency in learning, trust in teachers, openness to new ideas, over-communicating change, equity mindedness, and courage to live outside norms. 

In Leadership for Deeper Learning, Scott McLeod looks at how school leaders change the status quo and create different learning environments for students and teachers. Rich in stories and strategies, this book will provide you with the ideas and tools to rethink and reignite learning for the future. (Co-authors J.W. Richardson and J.M. Bathon; Routledge)

Communication Convergence in Contemporary China: International Perspectives on Politics, Platforms, and Participation by Patrick Shaou-Whea Dodge, PhD (Editor) 

CommunicationCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

In a speech opening the nineteenth Chinese Communist Party Congress meeting in October 2017, President Xi Jinping spoke of a “New Era” characterized by new types of communication convergence between the government, Party, and state media. His speech signaled that the role of the media is now more important than ever in cultivating the Party’s image at home and disseminating it abroad. Indeed, communication technologies, people, and platforms are converging in new ways around the world, not just in China. This process raises important questions about information flows, control, and regulation that directly affect the future of US–China relations.  

In Communication Convergence in Contemporary China, Patrick Shaou-Whea Dodge presents international perspectives on US–China relations in this New Era with case studies that offer readers informative snapshots of how these relations are changing on the ground, in the lived realities of our daily communication habits. (Michigan State University Press

The Design Innovation (DI) Methodology Handbook, Embedding Design In Organisations by Kristin L. Wood, PhD

College of Engineering, Design and Computing 

We are on a design journey. Business, education, society, and community are at the center of this journey. The Design Innovation Methodology Handbook represents a contribution to our design journey. This handbook was developed by a number of contributors from the United States and Singapore. Through a co-creation effort and common interests to innovate together, the intent is to make a difference for all persons in our communities and society. Readers are provided with a meaningful and practical guide, reference booklet, and living document in which to engage Design Innovation at the apex of Design Thinking and Systems Thinking, and beyond. (Co-authors: Carlye Lauff, Wee Yu Hui, Kenneth Teo, Sabrina Png, Amanda Swee, Arianne Collopy, Brandon Vargas; Design Innovation Programme) 

Sounds from Within: Phenomenology and Practice by Jiayue Cecilia Wu, PhD (Editor)  

Music & Entertainment Industry Studies, College of Arts & Media 

Sounds from Within transforms phenomenology, music, technology, and the cultural arts from within. Gathering contributions by performing artists, media technology designers, nomadic composers, and distinguished musicological scholars, it explores a rich array of concepts such as embodiment, art and technology, mindfulness meditation, time and space in music, self and emptiness, as well as cultural heritage preservation. Jiayue Cecilia Wu studies music phenomenology theory, works involving experimental music and technology, and related cultural and historical issues. (Co-editor: Paulo C. Chagas; Springer


Book summaries come from publisher Websites. Some have been edited for length.