March 28: Crimson Reads explores early professional scholarship

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Peter Boag may not have realized in January 1987 that two books would emerge from his dissertation research at the Linn County Historical Museum in Brownsville, Ore. His first book, “Environment and Experience: Settlement Culture in Nineteenth-Century Oregon,” published in 1992, stemmed from Boag’s research interest in the American West’s society and culture from 1850–1950.

Boag’s second book, “Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn-of-the-Century Oregon,” is one of the titles recognized by WSU Libraries at this year’s Crimson Reads. Part of WSU Showcase, the annual event has celebrated WSU authors since 2010.

“‘Pioneering Death’ centers on an 18-year-old who murdered his parents and a neighbor on an Oregon farm in 1895,” said Boag, Columbia Chair in the History of the American West at WSU Vancouver. “The project began with a newspaper report…I knew that someday I wanted to write up this grim story…[The book] is a product not only of decades of study, but also of years of living in a deeply troubled world.”

A panel presentation, “From Dissertation to Book: Discussing the Process and Experience of Early Professional Scholarship,” will be held from 1–2 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in the Terrell Library atrium. The event will also be livestreamed. Panelists include Linda Bathgate, assistant director and editor-in-chief, WSU Press; Ashley S. Boyd, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies, WSU Department of English; and Clif Stratton, associate professor, WSU Department of History, and director, University Common Requirements.

According to humanities librarian Erin Hvizdak, publishing is essential for achieving tenure and promotion in the academy, and many turn their dissertation into a monograph or textbook.

“We put together this panel of WSU-affiliated staff and faculty to help demystify the publication process and speak about the challenges, and joys, that they might encounter along the way,” Hvizdak said. “WSU Libraries hope that attendees will find a sense of community with others who are about to begin, or are in the middle of, the process.”

Other Crimson Reads books

English professor Robert Eddy co-authored and co-edited “From Columbus to Churchill: Heroes, Villains, and Confronting Racism,” a collection of essays that documents the “other” side of seven famous figures.

“Multiracial equality for all human groups is the commitment of this book in presenting a fair analysis of the figures and issues represented,” Eddy said. “The United States becomes a color majority/white minority country in the next 20 years. We must speed up preparing for the opportunities for cooperation and the deep challenges of even fuller racial separations resulting from these overwhelming racial transformations.”

Agricultural economist Desmond O’Rourke is the author of “Tree Fruit Trade: An Agricultural Economist Reviews Fifty Years of Washington State’s Key Orchard Crops.” Along with personal anecdotes, O’Rourke describes major players and organizations, chronicles challenges, and discusses new threats and the impact of computerized technology.

“The book illustrates the resilience with which industry participants adapted to a succession of new economic and marketing challenges, incorporating new technologies in their orchards and packhouses, dealing with mega-retailers, and competing with new global competitors like China,” O’Rourke said. “It is a tribute to the many farm families that built the industry and a guide to new entrants to the industry that presents continuous, new challenges.”

Department of Psychology faculty members Alexis Bridley, Lee Daffin, and Carrie Cuttler authored the open educational resource (OER) “Fundamentals of Psychological Disorders.” Bridley and Daffin developed the OER in 2018 to provide a free text to students. A WSU Affordable Learning Grant allowed Cuttler to customize the open textbook for Psych 333. The textbook also reflects recent changes in the field.

“One of the benefits of OERs is that instructors can adapt the text to meet the needs of their course,” Bridley said. “Lee and I receive emails weekly requesting the use of our textbook, which is now being used in over 175 universities around the world. I have no doubt our text has saved students across the globe millions of dollars.”

More book spotlights can be found this week at the WSU Libraries Facebook page.

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