New book: Children of Rus´: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation, by Faith Hillis ’02 (Cornell University Press)
The author: Hillis is an assistant professor of Russian history at the University of Chicago. Her focus is on imperial Russia, with a special interest in 19th- and early 20th-century politics, culture, and ideas. In her research and teaching she explores how Russia’s peculiar political institutions — and its status as a multiethnic empire — shaped public opinion and political cultures. This is her first book.
The book: Hillis examines a little-known chapter in the history of tsarist Russia. Looking at the southwestern borderlands of the Russian Empire, an area that today is located in the heart of the state of Ukraine, she uncovers one of the most aggressive and politically successful Russian nationalist movements. Right-bank Ukraine was one of the Russian empire’s last territorial acquisitions and most diverse corners, with few of its residents speaking Russian as their native language or identifying with the culture of the Great Russian interior. Yet the southwest’s Russian nationalists identified as “Little Russians”— Orthodox believers who embraced what we today would understand to be Ukrainian culture while eschewing Ukrainian national separatism. Continue reading
Jorey Hurley ’96 (Photo: Courtesy Jorey Hurley)
Nest, by Jorey Hurley ’96 (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The author: A designer and illustrator, Hurley studied art at Princeton and design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. From 2005 to 2010, she was on the design team at Hable Construction, a textile design company based in New York. Though not new to illustrating, this is her first book. She says that her inspiration comes from animals, plants, and the beauty in daily life. Continue reading
Brooklyn’s Plymouth Church in the Civil War Era: A Ministry of Freedom, by Frank Decker ’58, assisted by Lois Rosebrooks (The History Press)
The author: Decker is a longtime member of Plymouth Church, serving on its governing council from 1993 to 1999, and as its president for three years. In 2007, after Decker retired from the practice of law, he and Rosebrooks succeeded in having the church listed as a site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. In 2009, he wrote and presented a paper on Henry Ward Beecher and the Plymouth congregation, which was published in the International Congregational Journal. Decker also was an associate editor for two volumes of The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton.
The book: Brooklyn’s Plymouth Church in the Civil War Era examines the Brooklyn-based bastion of anti-slavery sentiment: Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, led by Henry Ward Beecher. Plymouth Church was not only publicly important in the fight for abolition — holding mock slave auctions, raising money to purchase freedom for slaves, and sending guns nicknamed “Beecher’s Bibles” to those struggling for a free Kansas — but it also was a busy Underground Railroad station. Once the Civil War broke out, the congregation helped raise troops and supplies for the U.S. Army.
Paul Davids ’69 (Photo: Chris Loomis)
The exhibition: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is showcasing “An Adventure in Texture,” a collection of 13 mixed-media pieces created by Paul Davids ’69 working in collaboration with Russell Metzger.
Dates and location: Feb. 8 – April 30, 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, 1 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Dana Point, Calif.
The artist: A prolific artist, Davids’ paintings have been displayed in many galleries. “The art I create is representational,” he wrote in the exhibition’s press release. “However, my conception of representational art is infused with abstractions. … I lend a personal interpretation to my subjects with attitudes that range from compassion to whimsy.” Davids has his hands in multiple art forms: At Princeton he won numerous awards in writing, and he has written and directed eight films, including Jesus in India and Starry Night, about Vincent van Gogh. Davids and his wife, Hollace Davids, co-wrote six Star Wars sequel novels. His collaborator, Metzger, has a background in abstract art and music and lives in Albuquerque, N.M.
Carlos Jiménez Cahua ’08 (Photo: Courtesy Carlos Jiménez Cahua ’08)
On view: “Neoplasms and Pleonasms,” an art exhibition by Carlos Jiménez Cahua ’08.
Dates and location:
Jan. 3 through March 1, at Samsøn gallery
, at 450 Harrison Avenue/29 Thayer Street, Boston, Mass.
The artist: Cahua’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions, including at Anastasia Photo in New York, Torrance Shipman in Brooklyn, the Mills Gallery in Boston, and Open Space in Baltimore. His work will be exhibited in the forthcoming East Wing Biennial at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Born in Lima, Peru, Cahua earned an M.F.A. at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.
Roland C. Warren ’83 (Photo: Courtesy Zondervan)
New Book: Bad Dads of the Bible: 8 Mistakes Every Good Dad Can Avoid, by Roland C. Warren ’83 (Zondervan)
The author: Warren worked for nearly 20 years in the business world for IBM, PepsiCo, and Goldman Sachs & Co. He then spent over a decade as president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, whose mission is to improve the wellbeing of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers. Today he is president and CEO of Care Net, a network of Christian pregnancy resource centers.
The book: Some of the most noted, celebrated, and godly men in the Bible — including Abraham, David, and Eli — made some very big mistakes when it came to raising their children. This book examines these mistakes, bringing them into a contemporary setting and giving today’s dads advice on how to avoid them. Should a dad slip up, this book also provides an easy-to-follow roadmap to help repair a father’s relationships with his children.
New dance: Aubade, a new dance/theater piece by postmodern choreographer and dancer Douglas Dunn ’64, performed by his dance company and dance students from Montclair State College of the Arts.
Dates and location: Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m.), Jan. 25 (8 p.m.), Jan. 26 (3 p.m.), Jan. 30 (7:30 p.m.), Jan. 31 (7:30 p.m.), Feb. 1 (7 p.m.) at Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J.
Dunn discovered dance at Princeton, later joined choreographer Merce Cunningham’s company, and in 1978 founded his own company. In a New York Times story
Gia Kourlas wrote, “Dunn, who thrives on contradictions, is a bewitching mix of pragmatic sensibility and dreaminess; the same can be said of his dances, in which he balances formal choreographic concerns with fearless whimsy.” He is a “prolific choreographer whose incisive dances marry rigor with an absurdist edge.”
New book: Chief: The Quest for Justice in California, by Ronald George ’61 (Berkeley Public Policy Press)
The author: George is the retired 27th chief justice of California. In his early career as a deputy California attorney general, he went before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue the constitutionality of the death penalty. Later, as a superior court judge he presided over one of the most notorious criminal cases in American history, the Hillside Strangler trial of Angelo Buono. During his tenure as chief justice, George pursued major judicial reforms, including the unification of municipal and superior courts in each of the state’s 58 counties, and the construction and renovation of court facilities around the state.
The book: This oral history chronicles George’s long career of public service, from his time as a young deputy attorney general to his rise through the ranks of the California judiciary. His account, as described to an oral historian interviewing the former chief justice, offers an insider’s view of the recent legal history of the California Supreme Court, the largest judicial system in the nation. In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court threw out the state’s requirement that marriages involve a man and a woman, opening the door for same-sex unions. In this book, George describes that case, a critical moment in the nation’s ongoing legal and political controversy over the nature of marriage.
Judith Shatin *79 (Photo: Peter Schaaf/Courtesy Judith Shatin *79)
Concert: The Electroacoustic Shatin Show will showcase the work of composer Judith Shatin *79 as part of the 12 Night Concert Series of electronic music and art at various venues in Miami, Fla.
Date and location: Jan. 18, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at the Bakehouse Art Complex, 561 N.W. 32nd Street, Miami, Fla.
The composer: Works of literature and visual art often inspire Shatin, who also is interested in music as social commentary. A music professor at the University of Virginia, she is founder and director of the Virginia Center for Computer Music. She has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous awards. Shatin has served as the president of American Women Composers, Inc. (1989-93).
New book: The Genius of Venice: Piazza San Marco and the Making of the Republic, by Dial Parrott ’66 (Rizzoli Ex Libris)
The Author: Parrott has worked as a journalist, teacher, and lawyer. He lives with his wife in South Glastonbury, Conn.
The Book: Parrott explores the history of the Piazza San Marco, Venice’s oldest and most important architectural site and one of the great urban spaces in the world. He gives an account of the development of the entire piazza complex and the history of the Venetian republic. This volume includes more than 100 color photographs and maps. His heroic view of Venice illustrates a city formed out of the void by sheer toil. The Venetians built a city that stands today not merely as an attraction for millions, but as a testament to architectural genius: a shining example of Western communal art.