Professor Anna Korteweg

A Textbook Case

By Carla DeMarco

They wrote, we came, we commemorated.

On Wednesday, April 29, U of T Mississauga held its second annual Celebration of Books at the Blind Duck Pub, with several authors from a diverse range of departments on campus covering everything from the fossil record, to 18th century Italian poetry, to hijabs and headscarves.

This year’s event, which is co-hosted each spring by the UTM Library and the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research, celebrated UTM’s authors and the books they’ve published in the years 2013-15.

“The Library is proud to co-host UTM’s second annual Celebration of Books," said Ian Whyte, UTM’s Chief Librarian. “The event is a fantastic way to recognize UTM authors and celebrate research and scholarship.”

The event featured 19 books on display from 10 different departments across UTM. Several authors were in attendance to discuss their respective books and research, and the content presented was a great range across the board: Marc Laflamme from Chemistry and Physical Sciences, Vince Robinson from Geography, Michael Lettieri from Language Studies, Ronald Beiner from Political Science, Robert Gerlai from Psychology and Anna Korteweg from Sociology all briefly discussed their respective tomes. The authors did a fantastic job of providing an overview of their books and insight on some of the themes and research that inspired their work.

Current Sociology Chair Professor Anna Korteweg kicked off the author’s talks by discussing her book, The Head Scarf Debates: Conflicts of National Belonging (Stanford University Press, 2014), which she co-authored with Gökçe Yurdakul.

Korteweg emphasized the relevance of this topic, which has become even more prevalent since she started the research, the examination she undertook to investigate the various reasons people wear headscarves, and the importance of the work with her longtime collaborator and colleague, Yurdakul.

Professor Ronald Beiner from Political Science also presented on his book, Political Philosophy: What It Is and Why It Matters (Cambridge University Press, 2014), discussing the dialogue he created among 12 significant political theorists. Beiner perhaps summed up what most academics and authors feel about their work: “I really love writing,” said Beiner. “The writing flows out of teaching, but then there is this wonderful reciprocal interaction that occurs between teaching and writing a book.”

Language Studies prof. Michael Lettieri
The event concluded with Professor Michael Lettieri speaking of two of his recent books. One was a pursuit that took three years to write and was co-authored with Italy-based collaborator Rocco Mario Morano, Sonetti sopra le tragedie di Vittorio Alfieri, which shed light on 18th-century Italian poet, Alfieri. The other Con fantasia: Reviewing and Expanding Functional Italian Skills, is a textbook that he co-authored with U of T colleagues Salvatore Bancheri and Marcel Danesi.

Both Bryan Stewart, UTM’s Vice-Principal, Research, and Ian Whyte briefly wrapped up the evening, expressing their delight at the turnout, and looking forward to celebrating UTM authors in the future.

“We are very pleased to host this annual event with the Library,” said Professor Bryan Stewart. “We hope to grow the Celebration of Books so it gets bigger every year, and enable us to honour more authors from UTM.”