~ By Lisa Maria Boyles, communications specialist for the College of Arts and Humanities
Watch out for hot books! The Press at California State University, Fresno has published as many new volumes in the past year as it usually does in three and a half years.
Since last fall, The Press — a university press operated by the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State — has published six new books, listed below in order of publication.
“Fifty Years of Armenian Literature in France,” by Krikor Beledian, October 2016, $20.
Translated from the original French into English by Christopher Atamian, the book is a groundbreaking study of the Armenian literary scene in the Armenian diaspora community of France, said Dr. Barlow Der Mugrdechian, director of the Armenian Studies Program at Fresno State.
“Fifty Years of Armenian Literature in France” examines Armenian literature as it emerged in France between 1922 and the beginning of the 1970s. It retraces the literary history of the period starting with Armenian immigration until the passing away of the movement’s main representatives. It also examines the most significant works published in that period, studying the issues raised by a literature of exile, one born after an event that was experienced and interpreted as a “national catastrophe.”
“Elotes con Sangre, the Journey Home,” edited by Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. poet laureate emeritus, and Cindy Urrutia, director of the Center for Creativity and the Arts, October 2016, $20.
This book is a companion piece to an exhibition of photographs and “Nierikas” (yarn paintings) that was on display in October at the Graduate Studios at M Street.
Presented by Fresno State’s Center for Creativity and the Arts, the exhibition was 46 years in the making and answered the question, “who am I?” that Herrera asked many years ago.
The initial “Elotes con Sangre” project involved travel to Mexico and was funded through a grant from the University of California, Los Angeles Chicano Studies Research Center. With this grant, Herrera formed the “Renacimiento, Revival Aztlán Collective” and traveled to rural and indigenous regions of Mexico. The material of “Elotes con Sangre” was acquired while Herrera was in Mexico. This exhibition is the conclusion of the 1970 “Elotes con Sangre” project.
“My Name is Armen (Volume II): Outside the Lines,” by Armen Bacon, November 2016, $20.
This book is a follow-up to Bacon’s second book, “My Name is Armen – A Life in Column Inches,” which was also published by The Press, in 2014. The author says Volume II takes readers outside the margins of everyday life – always circling back, returning home – celebrating the resilience of the human spirit.
Bacon was honored as the 2015 Top Dog Distinguished Alumna of Fresno State – the highest honor awarded by the Fresno State Alumni Association. For two decades, she served as administrator of communications and public relations for the Fresno County Office of Education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and she spent four years honing her writing craft in the acclaimed CSU Summer Arts program.
Bacon’s first book was a memoir she co-wrote with Nancy Miller — “Griefland – An Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss and Unlikely Friendship” (Globe Pequot Press, 2012), a story of two women whose words and astonishing friendship helped them survive the ultimate loss.
“Introducción a la Lingüística Forense: Un Libro de Curso,” by Gerald R. McMenamin, June 2017, $120.
McMenamin, a professor emeritus from the Department of Linguistics , wrote the first forensic linguistics course book written entirely in Spanish using data from Spanish-language cases.
“Introducción a la Lingüística Forense” is a textbook for college courses in forensic linguistics — the application of linguistic concepts, methods and insights to the forensic context of law, crime investigation and trial and judicial procedure.
McMenamin, who taught at Fresno State from 1980 to 2013, has also created a companion website that works as an additional resource for the book. In addition to PDFs of source documents, the website also has videos relevant to cases discussed and links to related newspaper and magazine articles.
“Road to Sweet’s Mill: The West Coast Folk Music Revival in the 1960s and ’70s,” interviews by Evo Bluestein, edited by Evo Bluestein and Juliana Harris, June 2017, $40 (includes a CD of folk music field recordings).
Bluestein, a longtime folk musician and music educator in the Fresno area, wrote the book to provide a rare glimpse into a regional folk subculture of the era with archival recordings, photos, interviews and more.
The book centers on Sweet’s Mill, a former logging camp that became the magnet for many key folk and old-time music figures together, beginning in the early 1960s. Sweet’s Mill was in the foothills above Auberry, east of Fresno. The annual events were billed as a “folk music camp and life festival.” The events that evolved there were part campout, part workshops and all jam.
Against the backdrop of a tumultuous time in our nation’s history, Bluestein’s interviews weave the significance of broader social issues into our local fabric. And the music and dance of Sweet’s Mill provide a soundtrack.
“Stranger in the Mirror: The Scientific Search for Self,” by Dr. Robert V. Levine, August 2017, $16.
This new book by social psychologist Levine will challenge our assumptions about who we are and the entity we call our self.
A professor emeritus from the Department of Psychology at Fresno State, Levine has won national and international awards for his research, teaching and writing.
“We tell ourselves that we — our ‘selves’ – are coherent entities. We imagine a thing that we can neatly label and point to as if it were a sculpture sitting on a shelf,” Levine writes in the book’s introduction. “But it is just a story we write – or, more precisely, are constantly rewriting. The image we have of the person we are is, in fact, a never-ending narrative in which we do our best to connect all the iterations of ourselves — bodies, minds, and personae — to who we feel like at that particular moment.”
The chapters progress, Levine explains, from the perspectives of “harder sciences,” moving to those of the “softer ones,” starting with the brain, neurology and biology to the social sciences. The personal case studies woven throughout the book make the subject matter engaging for even the lay reader.
History of The Press
Founded in 1982 by Dr. Joseph Satin, a former dean of the (then) School of Arts and Humanities, The Press has published 56 volumes — in its history, an average of 1.7 per year. It has also published The Normal School: A Literary Magazine, which comes out twice a year, since its inaugural issue in fall 2007.
The mission of The Press is to publish great literature by both emerging and established voices, scholarly books that expand the horizons of human knowledge and other works that promote the rich cultural heritage of California’s Central Valley.
To learn more about titles available from The Press, visit the website or call Gail Freeman at 559.278.4103.