Opening minds

Mills-open windowBoston College graduate and education consultant Afrika Afeni Mills explores why racial identity work is crucial, especially for white educators and students, in order to achieve a learning environment that is bias-free and truly advances diversity, equity, and inclusion, in her new book Open Windows, Open Minds: Developing Antiracist, Pro-Human Students (Corwin, 2022). Mills offers a road map for educators to create and sustain learning environments that recognize and value the histories, perspectives, experiences, interests, identities, and contributions of traditionally marginalized people. In Open Windows, Open Minds, Mills shows educators how to use literacy instruction to provide more windows to racial awareness, antiracist thinking, and pro-human action in the classroom. Mills earned a M.Ed. from the BC Lynch School of Education and Human Development.

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Fixing Broken Mirrors

kim-broken mirrorsIn his newly published memoir, Fixing Broken Mirrors, 2022 Boston College graduate Taesung Kim recounts his lonely, traumatic childhood as the target of domestic abuse. Writing using the pen name Taesung, he also addresses his struggles with mental health issues. Storytelling is one of the ways Taesung says he was able to find acceptance and feel loved. He hopes his story, though dark and difficult, can offer hope to those who are facing loneliness or abuse. His memoir is also a challenge to readers to see that everyone has a story and many people carry around pain.

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The Shepherd of Hermas

Harkins-experiencingThe Shepherd of Hermas is one of the oldest and most widely read Christian works. Copied in Latin, Ethiopic, Coptic, Middle Persian, and Georgian, the Shepherd had far-reaching influence. A new volume of essays looks at the religious experience in the Shepherd, a topic that has received little scholarly attention. Experiencing the Shepherd of Hermas (De Gruyter, 2022) was co-edited by Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Associate Professor Angela Kim Harkins and Harry O. Maier (Vancouver School of Theology). Harkins, Maier and the other scholars contributing to the volume approach Shepherd of Hermas from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, including critical literary theory, anthropology, cognitive science, affect theory, gender studies, intersectionality, and text reception. Harkins has published extensively on the topic of prayers, emotions, and religious experience in early Jewish and Christian texts and serves as an editor of the Journal of Ancient Judaism. Experiencing the Shepherd of Hermas is part of the Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages series.

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Coming of age through grief and music

moulton-dead dad clubBoston College graduate Katie Moulton tells the story of her coming of age through grief and the music of Tom Petty in her new audiobook memoir, Dead Dad Club. Moulton’s father, a former record store manager who passed on his love for rock-and-roll to his daughter, died unexpectedly from addiction shortly before Moulton’s 17th birthday. Moulton eventually moved to Bloomington, Indiana—the town where her parents began their love story—to write and work as a radio DJ, spinning records that defined her father, and her relationship to him. She grappled with the inevitable questions of one’s 20s: How should we relate to our families as we become our own people? Moulton’s story is a quintessentially American tale about family, grief, identity, and dependency. Moulton narrates Dead Dad Club, which features an original score by Evan Stephens Hall of Pinegrove. Moulton graduated from BC in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in English and concentration in creative writing. She is an educator, writer, and music critic. Her essays and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, The Rumpus, Tin House, Catapult, Boulevard, Denver Post, Post Road, and Village Voice, among other outlets.

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A path to purpose

Liang-navigateBoston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development Professor Belle Liang and Tim Klein, a licensed certified social worker, have taken the science and knowledge they gained through their experiences as educators, mentors, and practitioners and channeled it into a new book, How to Navigate Life: The New Science of Finding Your Way in School, Career, and Beyond (St. Martin’s Press, 2022). The co-authors share a framework that helps students find their “purpose”—or “true North”—which is the key to harnessing the core qualities that lead to choosing a course of study and a career. Liang and Klein have devoted their careers to counseling students and providing guidance that slices through the daily pressures to achieve, whether they are imposed by society, parents, or peers, or are self-inflicted. Their systematic advice prioritizes cultivating students’ self-discovery and drawing out their intrinsic interests—the antithesis of the “snowplow parenting” style of child-rearing driven by fear, obsession with future success, and the constant impulse to shovel obstacles from kids’ paths. Read more in BC News.

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Conscience and Catholic ed

decosse-conscienceHow might recent developments in the theology of conscience in the Catholic tradition be better incorporated into the administration and teaching of K-12 Catholic schools and in Catholic colleges and universities? That question is the driving force behind a new book, Conscience and Catholic Education: Theology, Administration, and Teaching (Orbis Books, 2022), co-edited by Kevin C. Baxter (University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education) and David DeCosse, a Boston College graduate. The volume is a collection of essays from leading moral theologians, including Boston College scholars James F. Keenan, S.J. and Cathleen Kaveny, that explore the social, cultural, and structural dimensions of the theology of conscience in the context of Catholic education. Topics addressed include religious freedom, the challenge of diversity, academic freedom, conscience formation and neuroscience, and more. DeCosse, who earned a Ph.D. in theological ethics from BC, is director of religious and Catholic ethics and campus ethics programs at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, where he also is an adjunct associate professor of religious studies. His other publications include Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism in the United States: The Challenge of Becoming a Church for the Poor and his writings have appeared in National Catholic Reporter, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Unruly souls

peterson-unrulyIn her new book, Unruly Souls: The Digital Activism of Muslim and Christian Feminists (Rutgers University Press, 2022), Boston College Assistant Professor of Communication Kristin Peterson explores how those marginalized from traditional religious spaces–due to their sexuality, gender, or race–employ the creative tactics of digital media to seek justice and to display their fundamental equality in the eyes of God. Through an analysis of various digital projects from hip-hop music videos and Instagram accounts to Twitter hashtags and podcasts, Peterson argues digital spaces facilitate intersectional feminist activism within Evangelical Christian and Muslim American communities and beyond. Peterson is also the author of book chapters and articles in publications such as Journal of Media, Religion, and Digital Culture and Critical Studies in Media Communication.

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Ethics handbook

grace and milliken-ethicsClinical Ethics Handbook for Nurses: Emphasizing Context, Communication, and Collaboration (Springer, 2022) is a new handbook that provides tools for nurse educators, ethics educators, practicing nurses, and allied health professionals for developing confidence and skill in ethical decision-making in interdisciplinary settings such as acute and chronic care hospitals and clinics. The co-editors of the volume are Pamela Grace, a Boston College Connell School of Nursing associate professor emerita, and Aimee Milliken, a Boston College graduate who joined the Connell School faculty this summer. Guided by the editors’ experiences as practicing nurses, educators, and clinical ethicists, Clinical Ethics Handbook for Nurses provides content and strategies aimed specifically at preparing nurses—regardless of country, region, or practice specialty—to identify, analyze, and act to resolve ethical issues in practice. In addition to Grace and Milliken, other members of the Connell School community contributing to the handbook are faculty members Andrew Dwyer, Melissa Uveges, and Julie Dunne; alumnus John Welch; and DNP students Emily Ursini and Emma Blackwell.

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Bringing BC’s history to life

O'toole-ever to excelUniversity Historian James O’Toole, a graduate of Boston College, has written a social history of the University, titled Ever to Excel: A History of Boston College (Jesuit Sources, 2022). O’Toole, Clough Millennium History Professor Emeritus, conducted 12 years of archival research on the students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and staff who have shaped BC from its founding in 1863 to its rise as a leading American university. Read more in BC News. Read a Q&A with the author in Boston College Magazine. 

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Marrying the Ketchups

close-ketchupsIn Marrying the Ketchups (Knopf/Penguin Random House, 2022), best-selling author Jennifer Close introduces readers to Bud Sullivan, proprietor of a Chicago-area restaurant/bar called JP Sullivans. The novel takes places during a tumultuous time and focuses on three of Bud’s grandchildren (Gretchen, Jane, and Teddy) as they each approach a crossroad. The book is a mix of humor, baseball, politics, love, and family. According to a New York Times review: “One other thing worth noting about Marrying the Ketchups is the trick Close has of taking what might otherwise be an ordinary exchange between ordinary family members and somehow making it riveting.” Close is a Boston College graduate and author of Girls in White Dresses, The Smart One, and The Hopefuls.

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