Yes, sir! That’s my baby!
“Which one is yours?” one person asks the other. In response, they point proudly to the particular arrangement beyond the plexiglas borders, and the other in turn gestures over to their accomplishment at the end of the table. Though there’s the feeling of viewing new offspring that have just been borne into the world, it’s actually UTM’s annual Celebration of Books and these are two of its participating authors identifying their respective recent publications.
The sense of pride and celebration in the air was palpable for the milestone event, which marked the Celebration of Books' fifth anniversary in 2018.
“The book is not dead. This event proves that the book is not dead, and that they are still so important in our world,” said Chief Librarian Shelley Hawrychuk in her opening remarks.
“The library will continue to buy books to add to our collection, we will have a special display in the library to commemorate this year’s authors included in the Celebration, and we will continue to celebrate UTM’s authors and its research community for this notable output that represents a significant amount of work, passion and energy.”
The schedule included a remarkable range of topics and talks from the participating authors. Everything from the history of theatre from Professor Jacob Gallagher-Ross, Department of English and Drama, for his book Theaters of the Everyday: Aesthetic Democracy on the American Stage, and Professor Martin Revermann, Department of Historical Studies, for the first volume of A Cultural History of Theatre in Antiquity (500 BCE-1000CE), as well as technology-related matter from ICCIT Professor Rhonda McEwen and her book Understanding Tablets from Early Childhood to Adulthood. Professor Emeritus Danton O'Day from the Department of Biology also presented on his two art books he completed, Artists of the Omar Khayyam Club of London, 1892-1929 and The Early Artists of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1914-1929, and Seán Kinsella Coordinator of the Residential Transition Program at UTM, presented a thoughtful summation of his experience with working on Learning Everywhere on Campus with his collaborator Stephanie Waterman.
There were also some heavier political topics such as Department of Sociology Professor Ellen Berrey and her book Rights on Trial that investigates how workplace discrimination perpetuates inequalities particularly when aggrieved individuals decided to pursue litigation with their employers, to Department of Visual Studies Professor Brian Price’s A Theory of Regret, which argues that regret can sometimes act as a motivator and an “important political emotion.” Professor Ronald Beiner, Department of Political Science, also presented on his book Dangerous Minds, which covers the rise of the alt-right in Europe and the U.S. over the past few years.
The order of events also included some particularly humourous moments, such as Biomedical Communications Professors Shelley Wall and David Mazierski holding up their large tome, A History of Illustration, calling it their “power-point presentation,” and Professor Mihaela Pirvulescu from the Department of Language Studies concluding her talk about her work on Direct Objects and Language Acquisition that a 5-year-old participant innocently asked “Why are you doing this?” Historical Studies Professor Boris Chrubasik was quite entertaining when he kicked off his segment Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean: 400 BCE-250 CE by talking about jeans, but he quickly drew the parallels to cultural adaptation and the choices people make, particularly in Greece in the timeframe on which his book is centred.
There were 20 books included overall in the display from 10 different departments across UTM, and there were 12 participating authors in total speaking about their respective publications; the most authors this event has ever had presenting on their work.
The program concluded with remarks from Vice-Principal, Research, Professor Bryan Stewart, who was integral in spearheading the Celebration of Books in 2014 when a UTM faculty member and Research Council member approached him about hosting something to commemorate the authors on campus, and he was quick to get this event in the works.
“I have the best job on campus because I get to meet with these amazing and smart faculty members regularly, to support and find out about the exceptional programs of research they are pursuing,” said Stewart.
“I have always felt that the Celebration of Books provides everyone else with a small snapshot of the work I am fortunate to see every day.”
See the LibGuide that was put together by the UTM Library listing all the books included in the Celebration.
The full program of the day’s events is available.
To read about UTM’s very first Celebration of Books in 2014, see Book Bonanza.