Authors explore their published works for Book Day

Andrea Molina
Staff Writer

In honor of National Library Week, the Wilson Library hosted the annual Book Day through a panel discussion, highlighting six books and three book chapters via Zoom on Monday at noon.

Book Day was organized by Jennifer Esteron Cady, head of collections and scholarship at Wilson Library, and primarily serves to highlight the faculty authors who have published books or short literature pieces during this past year. This year, 21 people attended the virtual event.

During the presentation, faculty authors discussed the publishing experience for their respective published works and answered questions from the audience at the end of the meeting.

“Book Day provides the perfect opportunity for faculty to showcase their most recent work as well as their inspiration behind their pieces and for students to acquire useful tips for their own writing,” Cady said.

Wilson Library has been hosting Book Day since 2015, and this marks the seventh year they have hosted this event.

The books introduced included “Pearl” and “Song of the Selkie” by Jane Beal, professor of English; “Inside the Caltech Community” by Kenneth Marcus, professor of history; “Handbook of Collaborative Public Management” by Jack Meek, professor of public administration; “The American Novel after Ideology” by Laurie Rodrigues, assistant professor of English; and the “Missing Competency” by Rich Whitney, associate professor in organizational leadership.

Beal’s book “Pearl” is a translation in both middle English and modern English of a poem about a 14th century dream vision of a man who falls asleep in a mystical garden, grieving the loss of a loved one.

She said this translation makes the original poem more accessible to the general public, as it is easier to read and understand.

“Book Day is a great opportunity to share our current research and work with the community and each other,” Beal said.

Meek said “Handbook of Collaborative Public Management” was the culmination of his research for the last 30 years through all the conferences he has attended and the publications he has written.

“I’m very proud of my work,” Meek said. “It is a statement about our understanding in the field of public management and its new areas of study.”

Rodrigues said “The American Novel after Ideology” reconsiders the role of ideology from 1961 to 2000. It is also her very first published book.

“What I am focusing on are novels after World War II, where people debated whether ideology had come to an end,” Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues said her book tries to argue the fact ideology did not end after World War II but instead transformed into new thoughts. She analyzes novels through its historical context, expanding readers’ experiences of American literature.

Marcus said “Inside the Caltech Community” was the culmination of his mother’s research and past interviews on individuals from the California Institute of Technology scientific community.

Marcus said his mother wrote 25 articles, largely inspired by women, that appeared in three different Caltech publications between 1987 and 1995.

Whitney said his inspiration for “Missing Competency” first came in 2007 when he had to teach his class in program development and student affairs and there was no official book to teach his course.

“I read everything that I could,” Whitney said. “This book has a lot of practical knowledge. It can be used as a textbook or as a how-to guide in program development.”

Additionally, the book chapters presented were “Collaboration in Public Budgeting” in “The Handbook of Collaborative Public Management” by Marcia Godwin, professor of public administration; “Limitations of Collaborative Public Management in American Fiscal Federalism” in “Handbook of Collaborative Public Management” by Soomi Lee, associate professor of public administration; and “Making Silence Speak” in “Silence: The Implicit and the Unspoken in Rousseau” by Jason Neidleman, professor of political science.

Neidleman said this new volume on Rousseau is dedicated to the study of the functioning and the effects of silence.

“What I argue in the essay is that there are two moments of silence in Rousseau’s political theory,” Neidleman said. “One when he describes the substance of the general will and the moment of articulation of the general will.”

 Andrea Molina can be reached at

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