Hamilton best-sellers coming your way

By Ben Fields '15

An important, yet often understated, part of professors careers is publishing books and articles. Recently, faculty members have published on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the U.S.  prison system to the power of English in the Indian hierarchy. The following is a brief description of recent publications by Hamilton faculty members.

How College Works

Are classes or friends more important in your college experience? Eugene M. Tobin Professor of Sociology Dan Chambliss and Christopher G. Takacs ’05 seek to answer this in their newly published book How College Works (Harvard University Press.) The book is sociological inquiry into the learning and growing that takes place at colleges. Chambliss and Takacs studied students at Hamilton over the course of eight years. They show through this book that teaching quality is more important the topics students study. In short, the book proves that the people, not the programs or administration, make the difference in students’ experiences at college. The friendships and bonds that students make will be the most positive aspects of the career.

Fourth City: Essays from the Prisons in America

Seeking to give prisoners a voice, Doran Larson, Professor of English and Creative Writing, has compiled 71 essays written by prisoners from across the United States. The new book Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America (Michigan State University Press), takes on a variety of controversial topics. Larson asked for the essays through mailings to various prison networks and received 154. He edited this down based on accessibility and how the essay illuminated different elements of prison life, including, politics and culture. The book is speaks about the failures in the national prison complex, including that 60 percent of incarcerated Americans released each year return to prison. Larson uses the essays to directly oppose the images of prisoners seen on TV and in the news media. The book is an appeal to readers to think about law in terms of justice for both prisoners and victims rather than just the cost to the state.

Hindi is our ground, English is our sky

Associate Professor of Anthropology Chaise LaDousaexplores the power of the English language in Indian hierarchy in his new book, Hindi is our Ground, English is our sky (Berghahn Books and Cambridge Univ. Press.) LaDousa claims that recent changes in the economy have led to a new desire to learn English among Indians. He discusses the relationship between English and globalization and employment opportunities. However, the book also demonstrates that class mobility is as much dependent on Hindi as English in northern India. LaDousa also writes about the difference in Indian schools, including how schools are divided by Hindi and English. He discusses the concept of belonging to the Indian nation in the context of the school division and changing Indian economy. The book has received positive reviews already.

Additional Publications

Along with the recent publication of books, Hamilton professors have produced a great deal of scholarly articles recently.

Calin Trenkov-Wermuth ’00, Visitng Assistant Professor of Government, co-authored a study published by the RAND Corporation, and commissioned by the U.S. Army, entitled “Assesing Security Cooperation as a Preventive Tool.” The study tests the correlation between U.S. involvement and the reduction in fragility in partner states.

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Abhishek Amar published a chapter in Religions and Trade: Religious Formation, Transformation and Cross-Cultural Exchange between East and West. The chapter, titled “The Buddhaksetra of Bodhgaya: Sangha, Exchanges and Trade-Networks,” discusses how Buddhist monastic institutions and trade networks shaped the formation of the landscape in Bodhgaya.

Rick Werner, the John Stewart Kennedy Professor of Philosophy, published a chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War: Just War Theory in the 21st Century. He argues that Americans collectively fooled themselves into believing our motives and our ability in winning and affording wars since World War II. The chapter is entitled, “Just War Theory: Going to War and Collective Self Deception.”


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