The promise of the sharing economy

When the “sharing economy” launched a decade ago, proponents claimed that it would transform the experience of work—giving earners flexibility, autonomy, and a decent income. But this novel form of work soon sprouted a dark side: exploited ride-share drivers, neighborhoods ruined by Airbnb, racial discrimination, and rising carbon emissions. In her new book, After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win It Back (University of California Press, 2020), Boston College Professor of Sociology Juliet Schor dives into what went wrong with this contemporary reimagining of labor. Schor contends that the basic model—a peer-to-peer structure augmented by digital tech—holds the potential to meet its original promises. Based on nearly a decade of pioneering research, After the Gig presents a compelling argument that through regulatory reforms and cooperative platforms owned and controlled by users, an equitable and truly shared economy is still possible. Schor is the bestselling author of The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline Of Leisure, The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, And The New Consumer, and True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans Are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy, among other titles. She spoke about After the Gig on Marketplace Morning Report

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A field guide for MBAs

Boston College alumnus Al Dea has made it his mission to help students search for, apply to, and succeed in graduate business programs. He founded the blog, and has published a book, MBA Insider: How to Make the Most of Your MBA Experience. The book covers the entire MBA experience, from application to post-graduation, providing advice grounded in real-life anecdotes from current and former MBA students at highly ranked programs. MBA Insider is a field guide that students can turn to throughout their MBA educational journey. Dea earned his bachelor’s degree from the Carroll School of Management and served as president of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College. Read more from the Carroll School News.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes is one of the most influential–and controversial–figures in American law. As a Supreme Court Justice, he wrote foundational opinions about such important constitutional issues as freedom of speech and the limits of state regulatory power. As a scholar and Massachusetts High Court judge, he helped to reshape the common law for the modern industrial era. In her book, Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Willing Servant to an Unknown God (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Boston College Law School Professor Catharine Pierce Wells offers the first exploration of the 19th-century New England influences crucial to the formation of this jurist’s character. Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s transcendentalism, Holmes belonged to a group of men who formulated a philosophy known as American pragmatism. By placing Holmes within the transcendentalist, pragmatist tradition, Wells’s innovative study unlocks his unique identity and contribution to American law. She recently spoke about her book in a SCOTUSblog Q&A.

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Children’s book author Lisa Rogers

In her debut children’s picture book, Boston College alumna Lisa LaBanca Rogers writes about the inspiration of William Carlos Williams’ spare poem “The Red Wheelbarrow.” Illustrated by Chuck Groenink, 16 Words: William Carlos Williams and “The Red Wheelbarrow” (Schwartz & Wade/Random House, 2019) tells the story of  Thaddeus Marshall, a vegetable vendor, and his connection to the poet/doctor. The story offers young readers not only an appreciation for the classic poem, but also a valuable lesson about taking time to notice small things. Rogers, who earned a master’s degree from BC, is a librarian at a Massachusetts elementary school. Her most recent children’s book, illustrated by Meg Ishihara, is about her stubborn rescue dog and is titled Hound Won’t Go (Albert Whitman & Company, 2020).

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What the Emperor Built

One of the most famous rulers in Chinese history, the Yongle emperor gained renown for constructing Beijing’s magnificent Forbidden City. In her new book What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming (University of Washington Press, 2020), Boston College Associate Professor of Art History Aurelia Campbell demonstrates how the siting, design, and use of Yongle’s palaces and temples helped cement his authority and legitimize his usurpation of power. Through his constructions, Yongle connected himself to the divine, interacted with his subjects, and extended imperial influence across space and time. What the Emperor Built, considered the first book-length study devoted to the architectural projects of a single Chinese emperor, situates the buildings within their larger historical and religious contexts. What the Emperor Built was featured in an article in the South China Morning Post Magazine.

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Abdi’s memoir adapted for young adults

A young adult version of Woods College of Advancing Studies student Abdi Nor Iftin’s memoir has been published. Call Me American: The Extraordinary True Story of a Young Somali Immigrant (Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House, 2020) tells the story of Iftin’s journey into young adulthood and his immigration to the U.S. Iftin grew up in Somalia, but as the threat of civil war approached, his family was forced to flee to his country. Through the turbulent years of war, Iftin found solace in popular American music and films. He eventually won a visa to the U.S. and has since become a U.S. citizen. In an interview with the Boston Globe, he said he hopes young readers of his memoir will be inspired to write their own story.

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Kierkegaard’s Lily Discourse

More than 150 years ago, the philosopher Kierkegaard wrote a series of discourses about the Gospel of Matthew. In her book The Lily’s Tongue: Figure and Authority in Kierkegaard’s Lily Discourse (State University of New York Press), author Frances Maughan-Brown examines four so-called lily discourses and responds with “a set of essays that read Kierkegaard’s discourses, and in so doing draw out as far as possible the account he gives of authority.” According to the publisher, Maughan-Brown “demonstrates how Kierkegaard argues that the key is in the act of reading itself—no text can have authority unless the reader grants it that authority because no text can entirely avoid figural language. What is revealed in the Lily Discourses is a groundbreaking theory of figure, which requires a renewed reading of Kierkegaard’s major pseudonymous works.” Maughan-Brown, who teaches at the College of the Holy Cross, graduated with doctorate in philosophy from Boston College.

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Teaching dual language learners

As the number of dual language learners (DLLs) in early childhood settings continues to rise, educators need to know how to teach, engage, and assess children from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In Teaching Dual Language Learners: What Early Childhood Educators Need to Know (Brookes, 2020), authors Lisa López and Mariela Páez expertly connect research to practice to offer a guide for teachers of young DLLs on how to connect and work with families and use best practices to help their students develop language and early literacy skills. The book offers five in‐depth case studies highlighting the importance of considering each child’s background, skills, and home experiences when designing effective learning environments. The authors also share eight key beliefs every teacher should have about dual language learning. Páez is an associate professor in BC’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Her primary research interests include bilingualism, children’s language and early literacy development, and early childhood education.

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New edition of Saint Ignatius’s memoirs

At the urging of the early Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola recounted the story of his spiritual conversion while recuperating from a battle wound to the founding of the religious order, the Society of Jesus. It’s an autobiography that would go to inspire and guide Jesuits and other readers for years to come. School of Theology and Ministry Assistant Professor of the Practice Barton T. Geger, S.J., who also is a research scholar at BC’s Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, has edited a new edition of Saint Ignatius’s memoirs. In A Pilgrim’s Testament: The Memoirs of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Fr. Geger provides a new introduction and original annotations, making the autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola more accessible to all. This new edition has been published by Jesuit Sources, which is housed at the IAJS.

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Guide to Vatican II

Edited by Boston College Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology Richard R. Gaillardetz, The Cambridge Companion to Vatican II (Cambridge University Press, 2020) offers a thorough overview of the Second Vatican Council. The first part examines the historical, theological, and ecclesial contexts for comprehending the significance of the council. It also presents the key processes, as well as the participants who were central to the actual conduct of the council. The second part identifies and explores the central themes embedded in the council documents. Gaillardetz contributed to the volume as did Vice Provost and Canisius Professor of Theology James Keenan, S.J., School of Theology and Ministry Professor of Systematic Theology and Professor Ordinarius Richard Lennan, and BC alumni Brian Flanagan, Amanda Osheim, and David Farina Turnbloom.

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