Mohan Matthen

By the book

Friday, April 29, 2016 - 4:14pm
Carla DeMarco

U of T Mississauga faculty members, staff and students came out Wednesday to fête UTM authors at its annual Celebration of Books.

Putting together something as comprehensive as The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception was a bit of a marathon mission, says philosophy professor Mohan Matthen, who edited the handbook. He broke it down by some of the numbers involved in the undertaking.

“The Oxford Handbook took five years to produce, with 51 people contributing to the 45 sections covering the field, including one on each of the senses,” said Matthen. “It is 922 pages, half a million words, and I’ve read every one of them…well, I might have skipped some of the Index.”

With this overview, Matthen helped to kick off the authors’ showcase for the third Celebration of Books, which is co-hosted annually by the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and the UTM Library.

Matthen was one of six authors from a range of departments at U of T Mississauga who came out to talk about their books and the process of writing and editing.

Associate Professor Barb Murck from the Department of Geography was in attendance and joked that her two textbooks, Environment: The Science Behind the Stories and Visualizing Geology, should qualify her for a prize as she was the only one with two submissions in the mix. Although, she cautioned about working on two books that have the same production schedule. “The books were sent in within two weeks from each other, and I would never recommend that to anyone,” said Murck.

Alan WalksGeography professor Alan Walks talked about his book, The Urban Political Economy and Ecology of Automobility: Driving Cities, Driving Inequality, Driving Politics, which came out of a collaboration with UTM professor Ron Buliung, along with U of T professors Matti Siemiatycki, Paul Hess and 12 grad students. It examines the effects of automobile dependence and what it does to a city.  

The event also included Professor Erin Tolley from the Department of Political Science, talking about her book, Framed: Media and the Coverage of Race in Canadian Politics, and historical studies professor Kevin Coleman's A Camera in the Garden of Eden, which examines three photographic collections of over 10,000 images of banana plantation workers and their families. The formal presentation by the authors wrapped up with sessional lecturer Brent Wood speaking about Robert Bringhurst, who is the focus of his book, Listening for the Heartbeat of Being: the Arts of Robert Bringhurst, published by McGill-Queens University Press.

The event was bookended with warm welcome remarks from Shelley Hawrychuk, associate librarian, collections & scholarship and UTM deputy chief librarian, who spoke about the importance of the event and of books as a culmination of research and scholarship, and Professor Bryan Stewart, UTM’s vice-principal, research, who encouraged people to spread the word about Celebration of Books, and to come again next year.