A good read: recently tenured and promoted faculty select books for the library

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 12:06pm

For the past ten years, the University Libraries and Penn State's Office of the Provost have sponsored an initiative to recognize recently tenured and promoted Penn State faculty. Through the program, each newly tenured or promoted faculty is asked to select a book for the University

Libraries’ collection.

Read more about the program.

View the compete list of all faculty members who have participated and their book selections.

Over the past two years, four faculty members in the Department of Geography have participated in this tradition. In 2011, Petra Tschakert and Melissa Wright selected books. In 2012, Brian King and Alexander Klippel selected books. Read about their selections below.


Tschakert’s book is Arid Ways: Cultural Understandings of Insecurity in Fulbe Society, Central Mali by Mirjam de Bruijn & Han van Dijk.

Tschakert’s statement about this book:

“Solla warataa bii jawngal, dust does not kill a little guinea fowl. This Fulfulde saying captures the ecological, social, and political insecurities among agro-pastoralists in the Sahel, the times of scarcity, and the ways people manage to endure hardship. It has shaped my thinking about resilience and marginalization, inspired and sustained me during long weeks in the ‘field,’ and offered solace every time a piece of research got exceedingly tough. It is a constant reminder of what it means to be humble during these encounters at the margin, to be present with all my senses, and to care, always.”


borderlands thmbWright’s book is Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa

Wright’s statement about this book:

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, opened my eyes to the powerful connections linking culture, economy, and geography in the making of places and social communities. Anzaldúa's graceful and bilingual combination of poetry and prose, and of feminism and critical race theory, sparked my desire to turn a place so central to my childhood, the Mexico-U.S. border, into the place central to my research and scholarly concerns. Her book not only catalyzed my own interests but also provided inspiration for a new generation of productive collaborations across academic fields and methodological approaches for understanding the intimacy binding place to identity, and economy to culture.”



King’s book is The Anti-Politics Machine: "Development," Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho by James Ferguson

King’s statement about this book:

“What is development? So begins the Anti-Politics Machine and the resulting discussion has ensured that the book remains one of the most antipolitics thumbimportant contributions to the scholarly and policy literatures on poverty and underdevelopment. In a richly detailed account that is impressively grounded by ethnographic research, Ferguson engages with the ways in which development ideas gain power through theory and practice. Central to his analysis is that the machinery of global development benefits by making poverty a technical challenge that can be simply addressed through just the right mix of knowledge and policy. Ferguson argues, however, that these interventions often fail because they are depoliticized and miss the overt and hidden layers that create underdevelopment while proving resistant to change. The importance of the subject and continued resonance of the analysis demonstrates the value of scholarship in addressing humanity's most pressing challenges. And it remains a reminder of the need for compassion leavened with urgent insistence to ensure that these challenges are met.”


spatial thumbKlippel’s book is Qualitative Spatial and Temporal Reasoning by Gérard Ligozat

Klippel’s statement about this book:

“Qualitative spatial and temporal reasoning is the bread and butter of my research. For a very long time there were no textbooks that would give a comprehensive introduction into these formally challenging topics. Ligozat has written an accessible book that provides information on classic calculi and current developments.




Read more about the program.

View the compete list of all faculty members who have participated and their book selections.