The Power of Sports

A former reporter, Associate Professor of Communication Michael Serazio turns his journalistic eye on sports in America in his new book, The Power of Sports: Media and Spectacle in American Culture (NYU Press, April 2019). After conducting more than 50 interviews with people in sports media as well as the business and marketing of sports, Serazio argues that the idea of sports as merely an entertaining diversion is a myth. Rather, he contends, sports has messaging on topics such as politics, gender, economic inequality, and other issues, and is a lens through which we can observe and understand American culture as it is today. Serazio also writes about the spiritual appeal of sports in a culture that is increasingly moving away from organized religion and, as one of the last remaining live television experiences, sports’ lucrative power in the field of advertising and branding. Serazio has written for The Washington Post and The Atlantic, among other outlets. His previous book is  Your Ad Here: The Cool Sell of Guerrilla Marketing. Serazio recently discussed his book on WNPV-AM

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Mayan women

The Center for Human Rights and International Justice will host an event Apr. 25 to mark the publication of a new book co-authored by BC Lynch School of Education and Human Development Professor M. Brinton Lykes and Alison Crosby of York University in Toronto. At the event, the co-authors will discuss their book, Beyond Repair? Mayan Women’s Protagonism in the Aftermath of Genocidal Harm (Rutgers University Press, May 2019), followed by responses from scholars. According to the publisher, Beyond Repair “explores Mayan women’s agency in the search for redress for harm suffered during the genocidal violence perpetrated by the Guatemalan state in the early 1980s at the height of the 36-year armed conflict. The book draws on research conducted with 54 Q’eqchi’, Kaqchikel, Chuj, and Mam women who are seeking truth, justice, and reparation for the violence they experienced during the war, and the women’s rights activists, lawyers, psychologists, Mayan rights activists, and researchers who have accompanied them as intermediaries for more than a decade.”  The book talk, which will be moderated by BC Law School Professor Katie Young, will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Campion Hall, room 139. Books will be available for sale at the event. Lykes is also the co-director of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

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Translating Homer’s Odyssey

Composed over 2,700 years ago, Homer’s Odyssey is the second oldest extant text of Western literature and has been widely translated by prominent men of letters. In 2017, University of Pennsylvania Professor of Classical Studies Emily Wilson published the first English translation done by a woman, which was widely lauded by scholars and poets. In the Heinz Bluhm Memorial Lecture on April 24, Wilson will talk about her translation and the creative process behind it, as well as previous translations of the Odyssey and the reception of her work. Wilson’s publications include The Death of Socrates and The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca. Her lecture will take place in Devlin Hall, room 101, beginning at 5:30 p.m. More on Wilson from the New York Times Magazine.

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Key to digital transformation

Organizations need to understand that best way to respond to digital disruptions is not through technology, but through people and processes. Being digital in today’s world means having an organizational culture that is agile, risk tolerant, and experimental. That’s the message in a new book by BC Information Systems Professor of Information Systems Gerald (Jerry) Kane and co-authors Anh Nguyen Phillips (Deloitte Center for Integrated Research), Jonathan Copulsky (Northwestern University), and Garth Andrus (Deloitte Consulting LLP). In The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation (MIT Press, April 2019), the authors argue that effective digital transformation involves changes to organizational dynamics and how work gets done. Their book draws on four years of research, conducted in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, surveying more than 16,000 people and conducting interviews with managers at such companies as Walmart, Google, and Salesforce. The authors illuminate the concept of digital maturity and address the specifics of digital transformation, including cultivating a digital environment, enabling intentional collaboration, and fostering an experimental mindset.

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Hollywood is calling

Boston College alumna Juliette Fay transports readers back to 1920s Hollywood in her new historical novel, City of Flickering Light (Simon & Schuster, 2019). City of Flickering Light tells the story of Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin, and Henry Weiss, three friends who search for fame and fortune in the silent film industry. According to the publisher: “Despite the glamour and seduction of Tinseltown, success doesn’t come easy, and nothing can prepare Irene, Millie, and Henry for the poverty, temptation, and heartbreak that lie ahead.” Fay’s previous novels include The Tumbling Turner Sisters, Shelter Me, and The Shortest Way Home.

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Refusenik literature

On April 16, Boston College will hold a symposium to mark the English-language publication of Doctor Levitin, a novel by David Shrayer-Petrov, edited and co-translated by BC Professor Maxim D. Shrayer. The event will feature an academic panel, a reading, and a panel on literary translation. The symposium will take place from 4 to  7 p.m. in Devlin Hall, 101. Sponsors: Institute for the Liberal Arts; Jewish Studies Program; Department of Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures; Program in East European Studies. See flyer for event details.

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Intercollegiate poetry festival

Students representing 24 Boston-area colleges and universities will read from their original poetry at the 2019 Greater Boston Intercollegiate Undergraduate Poetry Festival being held at Boston College April 16. Meg Kearney, founding director of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College, will be the keynote speaker. Her collection of poems, Home By Now, was winner of the 2010 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award and also a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and Foreword Magazine‘s Book of the Year. A chapbook of poetry written by participating students will be published in conjunction with the event. The BC student chosen to participate in the festival is Sabrina Black, Class of 2019, who will recite her poem, “From Our Family to Yours.” The festival begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Yawkey Center’s Murray Function Room. Sponsors: Poetry Days and Boston College Magazine.

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