Virtual book event for Allison Adair

Boston College will host a book launch to celebrate the publication of The Clearing, a collection of poetry by Associate Professor of the Practice of English Allison Adair. The virtual event, scheduled for February 11 at 7 p.m. Eastern time, will include a reading by Adair from her work, which won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. Following the reading will be a Q&A. Sponsor: BC English Department, with support from the Institute for the Liberal Arts. Registration for the event can be found at

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Adam Smith’s insights on living a good life

Professor of Political Science Ryan Patrick Hanley discussed his book Our Great Purpose: Adam Smith on Living a Better Life (Princeton University Press, 2019) at a virtual event hosted by the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. In his book, Hanley examines a side of Adam Smith beyond his role as the founder of modern economics. According to Hanley, Smith was also an uncommonly brilliant philosopher who was especially interested in the perennial question of how to live a good life, and in Our Great Purpose, Hanley provides an illuminating guide to Smith’s incomparable wisdom on topics ranging from happiness and moderation to love and friendship. Hanley’s author talk can be viewed via C-SPAN.

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Immigrants and trauma

Immigrants face a dangerous mix of rising nationalism and xenophobia, alarming rates of displacement within and across nations, war, trafficking, terrorism, and deportation. Multiple traumas stem from these experiences and can be exacerbated by interpersonal violence and other forms of marginalization within communities. The new book Trauma and Racial Minority Immigrants: Turmoil, Uncertainty, and Resistance (American Psychological Association, 2021), edited by Lynch School of Education and Human Development Professor Pratyusha (Usha) Tummala-Narra, examines the lasting impact of trauma for racial minority immigrants in the U.S. and subsequent generations. Trauma and Racial Minority Immigrants explores both the stress and resilience of immigrant groups in the U.S., as well as clinical or community-based efforts to address the multiple traumas that affect immigrants and their children. Tummala-Narra, whose scholarship focuses on immigration, trauma, and cultural competence and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, also contributed a chapter to the volume titled “Interpersonal Violence and the Immigrant Context.” Trauma and Racial Minority Immigrants is intended to help practitioners deepen their understanding of the immigrant experience and develop professional skills to help heal traumatic stress faced by racial minority immigrants.

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Candlemas Lecture with David Tracy

Internationally respected theologian David Tracy will give the Lowell Humanities Series’ Candlemas Lecture on February 3 at 7 p.m. on the topic of his upcoming book on God, based on his Gifford Lectures, “This Side of God.” His webinar presentation will be followed by a moderated discussion and audience Q&A. Fr. Tracy is the Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is also a member of the university’s John U. Nef Committee of Social Thought. His publications include The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism and On Naming the Present: Reflections on God, Hermeneutics, and Church. A two-volume collection of his essays from the 1980s to 2018 was published recently, titled Fragments: The Existential Situation of Our Time and Filaments: Theological Profiles. The BC event is co-sponsored by the Theology Department. Registration can be found at

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Follow the meter

Boston College Associate Professor of English Eric Weiskott challenges the divide between medieval and modern literature in his new book, Meter and Modernity in English Verse, 1350-1650 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020). He argues that the traditional periodization of literature in modern scholarship distorts the meaning of meters as they appeared to early poets and readers. Meter and Modernity In English Verse examines the uses and misuses of three meters (alliterative meter, tetrameter, and pentameter) as markers of literary time. Exploring the work of William Langland, Geoffrey Chaucer, and others, Weiskott uses metrical history to renegotiate the trajectories of English literary history and advances a narrative of sociocultural change that runs parallel to metrical change, exploring the relationship between literary practice, social placement, and historical time. Weiskott also is author of the award-winning English Alliterative Verse: Poetic Tradition and Literary History. His current book project is Unheard Melodies: Apophatic Poetics in English Literature.

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Jesuit missionaries in the Pacific

Scars of Faith: Jesuit Letters from the Mariana Islands (1668-1684), the newest publication from the Institute of Jesuit Sources, presents a collection of primary sources related to Jesuit martyrdom in the Mariana Islands during the 17th century. Jesuit missionaries helping to spread Catholicism at the margins of the Spanish empire faced repression, persecution, and death. The primary sources in this volume are documents and letters, offered in their original languages and in English, from Jesuit missionaries such as Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores, Fr. Luis de Medina, and Fr. Manuel de Solórzano y Escobar.  These documents tell a gripping account of the Jesuits and their encounters with the people of the Mariana Islands, including the native Chamorro people. The volume was edited by Alexandre Coello de la Rosa (University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) and David Atienza (University of Guam).  Jesuit Sources, which specializes in preserving, maintaining, and expanding for scholars around the world important texts and studies in Jesuit history, spirituality, and pedagogy, is housed at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College.

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Studying Ireland, after the 2008 financial crisis

The new Routledge International Handbook of Irish Studies (Routledge, 2020) explores how Ireland and, by extension, the scholarly approaches to understanding Ireland have been transformed since the global financial crisis of 2008. The volume was edited by BC Ireland Academic Director Mike Cronin, Renée Fox (University of California, Santa Cruz), and Brian Ó Conchubhair (University of Notre Dame). Chapters in the Routledge International Handbook of Irish Studies reflect the myriad ways the discipline of Irish Studies has responded to the economic precarity in the Republic, renewed instability in the North, the complex European politics of Brexit, global climate and pandemic crises, and the intense social change in Ireland. Cronin is also a contributor to the volume along with BC Professor of History Oliver Rafferty, S.J. and alumna Kate Costello-Sullivan.

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Paul the Apostle

Boston College Professor Emeritus of Theology Harvey Egan, S.J., a renowned expert on Christian mysticism, has released an audio series that illuminates the mysticism of Saint Paul. In The Apostle Paul: Christianity’s Original Mystic, Fr. Egan educates listeners about the apostolic, Christological, Trinitarian, and ecclesiological dimensions of the mysticism of Paul. Paul reinterpreted—in the light of Christ—the Jewish Scriptures in terms of Jesus-Messiah and the Holy Spirit. Fr. Egan shows how much Pauline themes were foundational for later Christian mysticism. Fr. Egan taught at BC for 40 years. He is the author of several books, including Soundings in the Christian Mystical Tradition, Karl Rahner: Mystic of Everyday Life, and An Anthology of Christian Mysticism.

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A different kind of Agatha Christie mystery

In 1926, mystery writer Agatha Christie was the focus of a real-life mysterious disapperance–her own.  Authorities in England conducted a search for the missing Christie, whose trail included an abandoned car. The author reappeared 11 days later, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away. Boston College alumna Marie Benedict explores those unaccounted-for days in her new historical fiction novel, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie (Sourcebooks Landmark, 2020). Benedict is a bestselling author whose novels have focused on untold stories of women, including Clementine Churchill, Hedy Lamarr, and Albert Einstein’s wife, Mileva Maric. Last month, the Washington Post picked The Mystery of Mrs. Christie as one of its best reads of December, and the pop culture blog PopSugar called Benedict’s book “compelling.”

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Consecrated life in today’s world

Boston College alumna Maria Cimperman is a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus whose scholarship is at the intersection of moral theology, social ethics, and spirituality. In her new book, Religious Life For Our World: Creating Communities of Hope (Orbis Books, 2020), Sister Cimperman addresses how congregations can adapt to what is being asked of them today by both people and the planet. She explores how God’s call, the needs of the world, and the charisms of consecrated life can come together in a way that dynamically engages the vows, prayer, community, and ministry for today’s world. Sr. Cimperman is an associate professor of theological ethics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and director of CTU’s Center for the Study of Consecrated Life. Her other publications include Social Analysis for the 21st Century: Faith and Action Toward a Socially Conscious Spirituality and Engaging Our Diversity: Interculturality and Consecrated Life Today, co-edited with Roger Schroeder, SVD.

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