News and Events

Bookbeat: June / July 2003

Publications from CLAS faculty.

The Politics of Youth, Sex, and Health Care in American Schools

The Politics of Youth, Sex, and Health Care in American Schoolsby James Button, Department of Political Science, and Barbara Rienzo, Health Education
(Haworth Hospitality Press, 2003)
Available through Amazon

Forty-one million Americans do not have health insurance, and many of these Americans are children. This is just one startling statistic that James Button, a political science professor, and Barbara Rienzo, a UF health education professor, uncovered while researching and writing their book The Politics of Youth, Sex, and Health Care in American Schools.

James ButtonThe book focuses on a project the duo started in the early 19990s, when they began a national study of 350 schools with school-based health clinics (SBHCs). The project included in-depth case studies at five schools across the US. "We found that SBHCs are very controversial, especially among more conservative religious organizations, since many offer forms of reproductive health care, including birth control," says Button.

The clinics can operate at a relatively low cost to the government because they are housed within the school and often function with the help of volunteers. "SBHCs can offer students basic primary health care, mental health care, dental care, physicals, immunizations, and pregnancy and STD testing," says Button. "If children are healthy, they perform better in school." Some SBHCs have expanded their hours and services to provide health care to parents in the community as well.

The clinics have been slow to increase in number since most of their funding comes from state, local and private sources. With recent budget cuts, it has been difficult to receive adequate funding for the clinics to expand, although recently the federal government has started to allocate funds for SBHCs.

Button's next project and possible book examines affirmative action and black employment.

—Dede Bergen

African Americans at the University of Florida

African Americans at the University of Floridaby Betty J. Stewart-Dowdell, OASIS, and Kevin M. McCarthy, Department of English
(Whitehall Printing Company, 2003)

It was a sad but important day in UF's history—students were arrested and gassed and three policemen were injured when African American students took over the president's office on April 15, 1971. This and other incidents documenting the struggles and achievements of African Americans on campus are highlighted in the new book African Americans at the University of Florida by Betty J. Stewart-Dowdell and Kevin McCarthy. The book provides details about the history of African American groups on campus and African Americans who were the first to participate in previously "white only" activities.

Betty J. Stewart-Dowdell

The pair wrote the book as part of UF's sesquicentennial celebration in 2003 and collaborated on the project, delving into archives and interviews to uncover African American history at UF.

"I thought there should be a history of individual groups," McCarthy says, referring to the book's relationship to the celebration. "It always surprised me how little we have documented the history, for example, of Native Americans and African Americans."

Living in Gainesville for most of her life and teaching at UF since 1974, Stewart-Dowdell provided photographs, videos, brochures and other bits of information about the African American community since the 1960s.

While organizing the information, Stewart-Dowdell and McCarthy met their toughest challenge when choosing which photographs to put in the book.

Kevin M. McCarthy

"I really believe the pictures make the book so much more readable," says McCarthy. Not wanting to create a factbook, Stewart-Dowdell and McCarthy picked information that would convey the perseverance needed to overcome racial prejudice.

"We included the struggles, but also the achievements," Stewart-Dowdell says. "There were and there are still great achievements being made by African Americans."

Stewart-Dowdell has been the adviser for the Black Student Union for about 25 years. She also has directed the Student Enrichment Services Program, which helps undergraduate minority students adjust to college life.

McCarthy, an English professor, has taught at UF for 34 years. Writing mainly about Florida history, he has published 29 books. He was recently named the 13th UF Distinguished Alumni Professor.

—Brenda Lee

The Many Costs of Racism

The Many Costs of Racismby Joe Feagin, Department of Sociology, and Karyn McKinney
(Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)
Available through Amazon

What is it like to be a black person in America today? The voices of middle class African Americans heard in this book will surprise many citizens who thought the era of racial discrimination was past. The Many Costs of Racism is a vivid and startling account of the mental and physical health effects of racism. Drawing on well-documented studies, it vividly portrays the damage done to individuals, families and communities by stress from workplace discrimination. It shows the strong connection between discrimination and health problems, describing these as "costs" above and beyond the economic trials of discrimination. The book is an ideal text, accessible to students in sociology, law, psychology and medicine.


Screen Saviors: Hollywood Fictions of Whiteness

Screen Saviorsby Andrew M. Gordon, Department of English, and Hernán Vera, Department of Sociology
(Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)
Available through Amazon

This collaboration by a sociologist and a film critic offers a bold and sweeping critique of almost a century's worth of American film, from Birth of a Nation (1915) through Black Hawk Down (2001). Screen Saviors argues that films are part of broader projects that lead us to ignore or deny the nature of the racial divide in which Americans live. Even as the images of racial and ethnic minorities change, Hollywood keeps portraying the ideal white American self as good-looking, powerful, brave, cordial, kind, firm and generous: a natural-born leader worthy of the loyalty of those of another color


A Companion to Gottfried Von Strassburg's "Tristan"

A Companion to Gottfried Von Strassburg's Tristanedited by Will Hasty, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies
(Camden House, 2003)
Available through Amazon

The legend of Tristan and Isolde—the archetypal narrative about the turbulent effects of all-consuming, passionate love—achieved its most complete and profound rendering in the German poet Gottfried von Strassburg's verse romance "Tristan" (ca. 1200-1210). Over the centuries von Strassburg's "Tristan" has lost none of its ability to attract with the beauty of its poetry and to challenge—if not provoke—with its sympathetic depiction of adulterous love. The essays, written by a dozen leading von Strassburg specialists in Europe and North America, provide definitive treatments of significant aspects of this most important and challenging high medieval version of the Tristan legend.


Our Enemies and US: America's Rivalries and the Making of Political Science

Our Enemies and USby Ido Oren, Department of Political Science
(Cornell University Press, 2003)
Available through Amazon

Ido Oren challenges American political science's definition of itself as an objective science attached to democracy. The material Oren unearthed in his research into the discipline's ideological nature may discomfit many: Woodrow Wilson's admiration of Prussia's efficient bureaucracy; the favorable review of Mein Kampf published in the American Political Science Review; the involvement of political scientists in village pacification and interrogation of Viet Cong prisoners during the Vietnam War. Oren urges academics to be more sensitive to the moral ramifications of their work and to reflect on issues fundamental to the identity of political science.


Diccionario: etimológico de los sufijos Españoles

Diccionario: etimológico de los sufijos Españolesby David Pharies, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
(Editorial Gredos, 2003)
Available through Amazon

The work presented here is the culmination of more than 12 years of continuous work in the field of Spanish suffixation by the major specialist in this area, Professor David Pharies. As a work of fundamental importance for the field of Spanish linguistics, the dictionary is an alphabetical compilation of a series of entries that explain the origins of final derivational elements in Spanish. Clarity and an abundance of examples are the principal characteristics of this work. It completely supersedes the technical literature on Spanish suffixation and brings us to the level of similar important works realized by English and French etymologists and lexicographers

Translated by David Pharies

Ancient Narrative

Ancient Narrativeby Gareth Schmeling, Department of Classics
(Barkhuis Publishing, 2003)
Available through Barkhuis

The popularity of the study of the ancient novel, the quality of the research, and the number of courses taught in universities, encouraged an international consortium of classics scholars to establish the journal Ancient Narrative. Because classics has been an international subject (as strong in Britain and Germany, e.g., as in the United States), four scholars from four different countries were chosen as editors: Maaike Zimmerman (University of Groningen), Gareth Schmeling (University of Florida), Heinz Hofmann (University of Tuebingen) and Stephen Harrison (University of Oxford). This book covers classical topics, including the ancient novel, ancient fiction and narrative, early Jewish and Christian narratives and Medieval and Byzantine novels.

—Gareth Schmeling

Jane Dominguez (Button)
Herb Press (McCarthy)
Courtesy Betty J. Stewart-Dowdell (Stewart-Dowdell)

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