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Ursula Rothrock
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
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College faculty’s books recognized as top academic titles

Fri, 02/21/2014

LAWRENCE – Three books authored by professors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas have received book awards from the top source for reviews of academic titles.

Choice magazine named three titles Outstanding Academic Titles of 2013:

  • “Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions,” by Jacob Dorman
  • “The Encyclopedic Guide to American Intentional Communities” by Timothy Miller
  • “The Jewish Kulturbund Theatre Company in Nazi Berlin” by Rebecca Rovit

Dorman is an assistant professor in the departments of American Studies and History. “Chosen People” explores Black Jews and relations between Jews and African-Americans throughout U.S. history. The book also chronicles religious teachings that ancient Israelites were black and that African-Americans are their descendants.

Miller is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies. “The Encyclopedic Guide to American Intentional Communities” chronicles the numerous communes, or intentional communities, throughout American history. The book serves as an extensive reference to the communal societies from the beginnings of America to modern day.

Rovit is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre. “The Jewish Kulturbund Theatre Company in Nazi Berlin” is a history of the effects of Nazi Germany’s anti-Semitic policies on Jewish theatre actors. The book reflects Rovit’s research, which focuses on the cultural heritage of the Holocaust and the role of the performing arts under duress.

Choice is a top academic library journal. It publishes more than 7,000 reviews of interest to higher education each year. At the end of each year, it releases a list of Outstanding Academic Titles, recognized as the most significant works reviewed that year. It is a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association.

The departments of American Studies, History and Religious Studies are part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.



David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he works with KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, are important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.” Tags: #KUcommunities #CivilRights #History American Studies at KU
Turning rural America healthy: Christie Befort uses $10 million award. http://t.co/rrFjFtHbYT #KUcommunities http://t.co/Bsuek4k9QC
Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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