News and Events

Bookbeat: October 2003

Publications from CLAS faculty.

Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future

Honoring the Past, Shaping the Futureby Carl Van Ness and Kevin mcCarthy
(University of Florida, 2003)
Available through

When UF turned 50, members of the football team posed with their rubber nose guards around their necks. Twenty-two years later, in 1925, Milton L. Yeats composed UF's Alma Mater. As the university became 131 years old in 1984, the 30,000-year-old rock was placed in Turlington Plaza.

Now, as UF is celebrating its 150th birthday during 2003, two UF history experts have decided it is a good time to compile some of these special moments captured on film into a pictorial history book. UF archivist and librarian Carl Van Ness and English Professor Kevin McCarthy have gathered more than 225 black-and-white and 30 color photographs for Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future.

Kevin McCarthy and Carl Van NessThe co-authors worked together for more than a year to produce the new book, which begins with UF's origin in 1853 and includes five sections, each portraying a different part of UF's history. "There were only about 116 pages to fit about 150 years of history," Van Ness says. "It was hard to decide what to leave out of the book."

The first chapter, "The Pre-Buckman Years," outlines the period prior to 1906 when the university, then located in Lake City, was known as the East Florida Seminary. In 1905, the Buckman Act consolidated Florida's seven state schools into three and moved UF to Gainesville.

"The Formative Years" covers 1906 to 1927 and segues into a section on the university's progression during World War II, the Great Depression and the GI Bill. A chapter on Post-War Expansion, 1948-1975, reviews UF's structural developments and includes a chronicle of the history of women and African Americans at the university. The final chapter, "A First-Class University" details the past 27 years of UF through 2003. In addition to the photos, Van Ness and McCarthy included facts gathered from books and interviews.

Van Ness has been a UF faculty member since 1986 and has written several articles on student life at the university. McCarthy has published 29 books and has taught at UF for more than 30 years.

Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future can be purchased for $19.95 at the UF Bookstore or online at

—Brenda Lee

Homicide: A Sociological Explanation

Homicide: A Sociological Explanationby Leonard Beeghley, Department of Sociology
(Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003)
Available through Amazon

The American homicide rate remains dramatically higher than that of other Western nations. News of a murder has become a routine event. How do we explain such high levels of lethal violence in the world's leading democracy? In Homicide: A Sociological Explanation, Leonard Beeghley examines the historical and cross-national dimensions of homicides and evaluates previous attempts to explain it. He finds the sources of America's murder rate in the greater availability of guns, the expansion of illegal drug markets, greater racial discrimination, increased exposure to violence, and sharper economic inequalities. He deftly blends the evidence related to each of these factors into a well-reasoned sociological analysis of the nature of American society


East-West Encounters: Franco-Asian Cinema and Literature

East-West Encounters: Franco-Asian Cinema and Literatureby Sylvie Blum-Reid, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Columbia University Press, 2003)
Available through Amazon

East-West Encounters: Franco-Asian Cinema and Literature is the first book of its kind to examine Franco-Asian film and literary productions in the context of France's postcolonial history. It covers French film-makers' approaches to the Asian ╬Other', as well as focusing on the works of Vietnamese and Cambodian directors living and working in France. The book thus examines this important contemporary example of cultural exchange and establishes a dialogue between producers and consumers of exoticised images. It features extensive studies of key texts such as Emmanuelle, Indochine, The Scent of Green Papaya and Cyclo.


Speaking in Soviet Tongues

Speaking in Soviet Tonguesby Michael Gorham, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies
(Northern Illinois University Press, 2003)
Available through Amazon

From the classical dialogues of Plato to current political correctness, manipulating language to advance a particular set of values has been a time-honored practice. Using a wide range of archival and other original sources from disciplines central in the formation and dissemination of language "standards"—linguistics, education, journalism, and imaginative literature—Speaking in Soviet Tongues shows how early Soviet language culture gave rise to unparalleled verbal creativity and utopian imagination while sowing the seeds for perhaps the most notorious forms of Orwellian "newspeak" known to the modern era.


Jane Dominguez

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