Medical Humanities journal

medical humanities coverThere is a new student journal at Boston College that tells stories of health, illness, caregiving, bioethics, medicine and disability in a variety of literary and artistic genres. The Medical Humanities Journal of Boston College is comprised of short stories, personal essays, poetry, artwork and academic papers by Boston College students and alumni. An affiliate of the medical humanities, health and culture minor, the journal was co-founded by rising seniors Emilee Herringshaw and Christopher Kabacinski, both medical humanities minors. Featured in journal’s inaugural issue: Biology major Andrew Hawkins ’16 challenges the ethics of an experimental therapy for Ebola patients in West Africa, while International Studies major Lucas Allen ’16 advocates reconfiguring the global pharmaceutical system to eliminate the deprivation of essential medicines in developing countries. Meaghan Leahy ’15, meanwhile, writes about having a sister with a dual diagnosis of autism and Tourette syndrome, and Isabella Duffy ’17 and Maria Asdourian ’15 offer insights on losing a loved one to disease – Duffy’s mother to breast cancer, Asdourian’s grandfather to Alzheimer’s. Read the Boston College Chronicle for more on the journal and the Medical Humanities minor, which is directed by Professor of English Amy Boesky.

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Ethics and the university

university ethicsIn his new book University Ethics: How Colleges Can Build and Benefit from a Culture of Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), moral theologian James F. Keenan, SJ, examines the ethical problems that colleges face and proposes creating an integrated culture of ethics university-wide that fosters the institution’s mission and community. Each chapter studies a facet of university life—including athletics, gender, faculty accountability, and more—highlights the ethical hotspots, explains why they occur, and proposes best practices.  He wrote about this topic earlier this year for US Catholic magazine. Fr. Keenan is Canisius Professor and director of the Jesuit Institute and the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program at Boston College.

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Book review by Alan Wolfe

paradoxBoston College Political Science Professor Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, has written a review of The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions by Michael Walzer. He calls Walzer’s work “a fascinating excursion into the ironies of political action.” Read the full review in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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The Quest of Miles Arthur

miles arthurBoston College alumnus C.E. Zyburo has published his debut novel, Miles Arthur and the Quest for the King’s Scabbard (Wee Creek Press, 2015). It is a young adult fantasy novel about a high school student who is thrust into a medieval adventure. From the publisher: “Miles Arthur considers himself a lucky kid – he gets three square meals a day, goes to a nice high school, and lives in a mansion. Problem is, no matter what he eats he remains undersized, he has no friends and is picked on at school, and his foster father runs the huge estate where he lives like a boot camp. His foster brother, Kay, is older, stronger, and gets treated like a prince while Miles suffers silently. But soon, the hand of fate seems to start favoring Miles and when one unexpected victory is followed by another, he quickly finds himself on the adventure of a lifetime.” C.E. Zyburo is probably better known as “Mr. Z”–  a middle school teacher in Tampa, Florida. Book review

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Bilder, O’Connor honored for their work

bilderBoston College Law School Professor Mary Bilder (pictured) and Professor Emerita Sharon Hamby O’Connor, along with Harvard Law professor Charles Donahue, Jr., have been selected by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) to receive the 2015 Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award for their work, Appeals to the Privy Council from the American Colonies: An Annotated Digital Catalogue. The Appeals to the Privy Council project opens a digital window on colonial-era appellate cases that helped shape constitutional law in America. The Andrews, awarded since 1967, recognizes a significant textual contribution to legal literature, measured by the creative, evaluative elements of the work and the extent to which originality and judgment were factors in its creation. Read more about the project.

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The BBC and “The Troubles”

bbc bookIn his new book, Associate Professor of the Practice of History Robert Savage explores how chronicling 30 years of violence and turmoil in Northern Ireland tested the integrity and independence of the BBC, one of the most trusted and respected media outlets in the world. The BBC’s Irish Troubles: Television, Conflict and Northern Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2015) focuses on the challenges the public service provider faced  in accurately informing citizens of important events taking place within the United Kingdom. As violence continued, the BBC was attacked, threatened and bullied, by a variety of actors but did its best to stand its ground and maintain editorial independence and journalistic credibility.


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Literature & science

losing touchIn her book Losing Touch with Nature: Literature and the New Science in Sixteenth-Century England (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), Rattigan Professor of English Mary Crane looks at the works of English writers such as Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare to determine how 16th-century writers grappled with the scientific revolution. During this time, the dominant Aristotelian picture of nature, which aligned with intuition and ordinary perceptual experience, was falling away due to the discoveries of modern science. Crane breaks new ground by arguing that 16th-century ideas about the universe were actually much more sophisticated, rational and observation-based than many literary critics have assumed. Crane talks about her book with Brendan Rapple of BC Libraries, which she credits for providing her with online access to early English books. Crane is the director of the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College.

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