Philosophy professor Mohan Matthen

By the Book

Carla DeMarco

Putting together something as comprehensive as The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception, as you can imagine, was a bit of a marathon mission. Speaking about his hand in the book, Philosophy Professor Mohan Matthen 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 for their efforts.

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 that's definitely not a good idea!” said Murck.

Professor Alan Walks
Also from Geography, Professor Alan Walks (pictured left) 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 profs Matti Siemiatycki, Paul Hess and 12 grad students, looking at 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 Dr. Brent Wood from the Department of English & Drama speaking about the multifaceted, Renaissance man Robert Bringhurst, who is the focus of his book, Listening for the Heartbeat of Being: the Arts of Robert Bringhurst, which was 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 gave closing remarks, thanking people for attending, encouraging people to spread the word about Celebration of Books, and to come again next year.

For a full list of the books featured, please see the LibGuide for the event.