Who are Indiana’s best-known women in history? The book More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Indiana Women (November 2006, The Globe Pequot Press) by mother and daughter authors Anita Stalter, academic dean, and Rachel Lapp ’95, former director of public relations, focuses on the lives and work of 10 notable Indiana women who made significant contributions to the state and country – and even the world. The authors decided to write about women who had an interest in sharing their gifts to improve the lives of Indiana’s citizens, including Native Americans in the early 1800s to traditional housewives to children of immigrants in Indianapolis schools to farm families to tenement families in Indiana’s cities to incarcerated females in Indiana prisons to African-American women in the 20th century.
Professor of History John D. Roth’s ’81 straightforward interpretation of how Mennonites have dealt with conflict and renewal serves as a new introduction to the Mennonite story. Stories: How Mennonites Came to Be (November 2006, Herald Press) begins with the “newborn Christian Church as it struggled with being a movement to becoming a structure [and moves] to contemporary issues for Mennonites in relating to other Christians.” Because of the interest in Roth’s book, Herald Press is asking him to do another one on “Practices” to complement Beliefs (2004) and Stories.
Roth was also the co-editor, with James M. Stayer, of A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700 (November 2006, Brill), volume six of Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition series. Since the last half of the 20th century, the historiography of the Radical Reformation has been the focus of vigorous debate. The volume carefully untangles the fluid boundaries of Spiritualism and Anabaptism in Early Modern European history.
Professor of Bible, Religion and Philosophy Keith Graber Miller and Visiting Scholar in Religion and Women’s Studies Malinda Berry ’96 are the co-editors of Wrestling with the Text: Young Adult Perspectives on Scripture (February 2007, Cascadia Publishing House/Herald Press). Second in Cascadia’s “Journeys with Scripture” series, this volume contains 16 personal narratives by Mennonite young adults who prepared their essays for a 2003 colloquy held in New York City. Among the contributors are alums Jeremy Garber ’96 and Buffy Cummins Garber ’99, Chad Martin ’98, Alicia Miller ’02, Daniel Shank Cruz ’02, Yvonne Zimmerman ’98 and Pam Dintaman ’79.
Associate Professor of Communication Duane Stoltzfus’s ’81 new book Freedom from Advertising: E. W. Scripps’s Chicago Experiment (February 2007, University of Illinois Press) focuses on how press baron E. W. Scripps rejected conventional wisdom and set out to prove that an ad-free newspaper could be profitable entirely on circulation in 1911. The tabloid-sized newspaper, which began in Chicago amid great secrecy, was called the Day Book, and at a penny a copy, it aimed for a working-class market, crusading for higher wages, more unions, safer factories, lower streetcar fares and women’s right to vote. Though the Day Book’s financial losses steadily declined over the years, it never became profitable, and publication ended in 1917. Nevertheless, Stoltzfus explains that the Day Book redefined news by providing an example of a paper that treated its readers as citizens with rights rather than simply as consumers.
Assistant Professor of English Robert J. Meyer-Lee authored Poets and Power from Chaucer to Wyatt (February. 2007, Cambridge University Press), illuminating the relationships between poets and political power from the 14th century to Tudor times. In the early 15th century, English poets responded to a changed climate of patronage, instituted by Henry IV and successive monarchs, by inventing a new tradition of public and elite poetry. Following Chaucer and others, Hoccleve and Lydgate brought to English verse a new style and subject matter to write about their king, nation and themselves, and their innovations influenced a continuous line of poets.
Associate Professor of History Jan Bender Shetler ’78 is the author of Imagining Serengeti: A History of Landscape Memory in Tanzania from Earliest Times to the Present” (May 2007, Ohio University Press), as part of the New African Histories Series. Long before the creation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the people of the western Serengeti had established settlements and interacted with the environment in ways that created a landscape now misconstrued as natural. Western Serengeti peoples imagine the environment not as a pristine wilderness, but as a differentiated social landscape that embodies their history and identity. Conservationist literature has ignored these now-displaced peoples and relegated them to the margins of modern society. Their oral traditions, however, provide the means for seeing the landscape from a new perspective.