The following is a list of material recently published by members of the faculty at Colby College. These publications were featured in Colby Magazine’s Spring 2016 issue.

James R. Fleming 
(Science, Technology, and Society)

Inventing Atmospheric Science: Bjerknes, Rossby, Wexler, and the Foundations of Modern Meteorology

The MIT Press (2016)

Inventing-Atmospheric-Science-SpineFleming, a renowned scholar of atmospheric science and history, fixes his gaze on the period from 1900 to 1960, a time of rapid-fire breakthroughs that saw the field advance rapidly, year by year, decade by decade. A century that began with the first heavier-than-air flight had progressed by 1960 to weather satellites, as technology and scientific exploration converged. Fleming illuminates this rich history through the lives and careers of three giants in the field of atmospheric science—Vilhelm Bjerknes, Carl-Gustaf Rossby, and Harry Wexler—who led the way like a relay team, handing the baton to the next runner.

These were the intrepid meteorological explorers who used breakthrough technology to take their science to new heights. Each successively felt they were in the midst of a revolution in meteorology and, later, atmospheric science, and each was correct. “There is grandeur in this subject,” Fleming writes. Indeed, the big-picture story he tells touches on the evolution of technology and society, as Bjerknes, Rossby, and Wexler found new and innovative ways to explore the Earth’s atmosphere. The book chronicles a period of unprecedented exploration that began in the advent of aviation and warfare (one call for better weather observation resulted from a desire for more accurate calculation of artillery trajectories) and continued with radio sensors and sounding rockets as scientists learned about the behavior of our planet’s “ocean of air.”

“Their lives span a full century, their work spans a period of technological flux, from Marconi wireless and the Wright Flier to digital computing and weather satellites and from roentgen and Becquerel rays to outdoor nuclear testing,” Fleming writes. His exploration of this time of forward-looking history reminds us that it took remarkable science and scientists to achieve what today we too often take for granted.


Maisel-coverL. Sandy Maisel
(Government)

American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction

Oxford University Press (2016)

In this, the second edition of the popular primer on American elections, Maisel, a leading scholar in the field of American political parties, brings readers up to date on this fast-changing subject: campaigning via social media, changes in campaign financing post the Citizen United ruling, the Tea Party’s influence, and the 2016 presidential nomination process.


Blevins-PagesAdrian Blevins (English, Creative Writing) and Karey Salyer McElmurray, coeditors

Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia

Ohio University Press (2015)
This collection of essays showcases today’s finest and emerging writers with roots in Appalachia. The essays, from bell hooks, Dorothy Allison, Silas House, and others, move away from their mountain roots but then return to the landscape and culture that shaped them as writers and people. The collection takes the theme of silencing in Appalachian culture, and it explores that theme through stories of identities chosen, risks taken, and selves transformed—but with the region’s legacy intact.


Poets-as-Readers-SpineAdrianna Paliyenko (French), Joseph Acquisto, and Catherine Witt, editors

Poets as Readers in Nineteenth-Century France: Critical Reflections

Institute of Modern Languages Research Books (2016)
In the 19th century, reading was seen as an interpretive and political act, with implications for poets. This volume of essays focuses on ways poets approach reading, and the ways that reading affects their writing and relationships with readers. The essays cover the period from the 1830s to the 1890s and examine a wide range of authors working at the dawn of aesthetic modernity.


Hubbard-PagesTimothy P. Hubbard
(Economics) and
Harry J. Paarsch

Auctions

The MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series (2016)

The auction is everywhere, from eBay to antiques to the U.S. Treasury. But how do auctions actually work? Economists Hubbard and Paarsch explain how auctions work, showing how these games of assymetric information—participants do not have the same knowledge of the item on the block—can be analyzed through economic models. How do the rules of the auction affect bidder incentives? What is the role of auctions in our modern economy? The authors use real-world examples to explain the principles that govern this most common of economic relationships.


Nicolai-Hartmann-SpineKeith Peterson (Philosophy) and
Roberto Poli, editors

New Research on the Philosophy of Nicolai Hartmann

De Gruyter (2016)

The papers collected in this volume explore the work of the German philosopher Nicolai Hartmann (1882-1950), whose writings are attracting renewed interest in recent years. The writers here explore his ethics, ontology, aesthetics, and philosophy of nature, bringing his philosophy into conversation with contemporary philosophical trends.


For more information about faculty publications at Colby, use the following links to visit several of the ‘Recent Releases’ sections of Colby Magazine: