Wesleyan Faculty Publications 2023

Mike MavredakisDecember 20, 202318min
Photography for Wesleyan University viewbook and publications.

Wesleyan’s faculty has been hard-at-work in 2023 sharing their scholarship with the world. Here are some of the books written by Wesleyan’s faculty over the past year. 

Homesick Blues: Politics, Protest, and Musical Storytelling in Modern Japan by Scott Aalgaard 

Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies Scott Aalgaard explores how people in Japan have used “musical storytelling” as a means of expressing themselves in their everyday life and as a political practice from the late 1940s to 2018. Within the book, he challenges assertions that political upheavals in the 1960s and 70s in Japan were the climax and end of musical storytelling. He argues that it is still ongoing and robust by addressing different eras of political music, from “anti-war folk” in the 1960s to Japanese pops (enka) and the “girls’ rock” of the 1980s.  

In the Blood: How Two Outsiders Solved a Centuries-Old Medical Mystery and Took On the US Army by Charles Barber 

In his newest non-fiction book, Associate Professor of the Practice in Letters Charles Barber tells the story of the unlikely inventors of QuikClot—a revolutionary blood clotting compound adopted by the U.S. military and other branches. “In the Blood” details the several years-long saga of QuikClot’s competition with another product developed by the Army, which had tremendous side effects, and the reported corruption and greed that put lives of soldiers at risk. 

Seeds of Mobilization The Authoritarian Roots of South Korea’s Democracy by Joan Cho 

Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies and Government Joan Cho details the mobilization efforts of social movement groups that brought democracy in 1988 to South Korea following nearly 30 years of authoritarianism and modernization. Using oral interviews, government documents, protest data, and labor and student movement publications, Cho looks at the long view of South Korea’s path to democratization. 

To the Stars and Other Stories translated by Susanne Fusso 

Marcus L. Taft Professor of Modern Languages and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Susanne Fusso translated this work by author Fyodor Sologub—a Russian symbolist poet. This is a collection of stories of common people looking to turn the mundane into magic. 

Alternative Paths to Influence Soft Power and International Politics by Giulio Gallarotti 

Can a nation attain its most crucial foreign policy ideals through diplomacy? This has been a pressing question in international relations for decades. Professor of Government and Environmental Studies Giulio Gallarotti’s book attempts to fill the scholarly gap by exploring how soft power is created and finding its impact. 

The Great Reclamation by Rachel Heng 

Filled with inspired moments from the history of her family and her native country of Singapore, Assistant Professor of English Rachel Heng tells the story of a young fisherman’s son, Ah Boon, and his life growing up alongside a nation fighting for its independence. Heng received widespread acclaim for this novel, including the sixth annual New American Voices Award at the Fall for the Book festival at George Mason University. 


Randolph Caldecott was a picture book pioneer. Visiting Instructor of Writing in the Shapiro Writing Center Barbara McClintock and Michelle Markel bring his story to life with a children’s book of their own, a biography of the history of children’s books and the man who brought them to prominence with his sketchbook. 

Solo un poco aquí by María Ospina 

Associate Professor of Spanish María Ospina’s newest novel explores how animals move across the landscapes that humans transform. Unanimous winner of the 2023 Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz from the Guadalajara International Book Fair, the book describes the migration of animals through their perspective, without projecting human emotion onto them.  

Representing Social Precarity in German Literature and Film (New Directions in German Studies) by Ulrich Plass 

Professor of Letters and German Studies Ulrich Plass and two others compiled discourse surrounding the representations of social precarity—underemployment, indebtedness, deaths of despair—in German film and literature. This book takes on the concept of representation in both the artistic depiction of it and in the sense of “political proxy and advocacy.” 

Cervantes the Poet : The Don Quijote, Poetic Practice, and the Conception of the First Modern Novel by Gabrielle Ponce-Hegenauer 

Before writing the famed Don Quijote, Cervantes spent 40 years as a poet. Associate Professor of Letters and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Gabrielle Ponce-Hegenauer demonstrates the cultural, literary, and theoretical significance of his work before the publication of his magnum opus. 

Social Practices as Biological Niche Construction by Joseph Rouse 

Joseph Rouse, Hedding Professor of Moral Science, philosophy, science in society, and environmental studies, articulates an integrated philosophy of society as a piece of nature in this book. He aims to show how humans fit into the natural landscape and how their ways of life can be understood in relation to their environments. 

Faith in Markets: Christian Capitalism in the Early American Republic by Joe Slaughter 

Assistant Professor of History and Religion Joseph Slaughter’s new book talks about the connection between religion and capitalism and how Christian capitalism developed in the first half of the 19th century. By examining three different 19th century enterprises—a textile factory, a stagecoach company, and a bible publisher—Slaughter envisions how a Christian marketplace might work. 

Defining Cinema: Rouben Mamoulian and Hollywood Film Style, 1929-1957 by Michael Slowik ‘03 

In this upcoming book, Associate Professor of Film Studies Michael Slowik ‘03 examines director Ruben Mamoulian’s film and stage work, as well as his personal papers, to outline his contributions to the film world. Slowik presents the lessons Mamoulian learned from his time directing theater productions and how they influenced his innovative filmmaking. 

Charlottengrad: Russian Culture in Weimar Berlin by Roman Utkin 

Roman Utkin, assistant professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies, analyzes the cultural practices of Russia citizens who left the country for Berlin, Germany in the 1920s. This book investigates how this group of people navigated what it meant to be Russian abroad when the Russia they formerly called home had changed forever. 

Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. C: Restoration and Eighteenth Century by Courtney Weiss Smith 

In the 11th edition of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Courtney Weiss Smith, associate professor of English, and two co-editors explore exciting new authors, works, and textual clusters that trace the ever-changing world of English literature. This anthology demonstrates the relevance of literature to modern students and its place in the structure of the world rather than a piece outside of it. 

Responding to the Climate Threat – Essays on humanity’s greatest challenge by Gary Yohe 

Climate change is the ultimate societal challenge, it’s here and the situation is dire, by scientific accounts. Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Emeritus, and three co-editors explain the climate threat the world faces and what can be done about it, in lay terms. 

Defending against climate risk – Lessons and stories from a foot soldier in the climate wars by Gary Yohe 

In this book about the ongoing climate wars, Yohe helps readers interested in participating in the climate debate think clearly about the climate. He lends his decades of experience in working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide insight into how people can develop an iterative risk management approach to defending against climate change.