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(September 2003)

Special Collections is pleased to present its roster of distinguished authors for its 2003-2004 UCR Libraries’ Author Series. This program is a continuation of the “Meet the Author” Lecture Series initiated in 2002. The Series will feature eight of the many authors among the UCR faculty, staff, and research community.

A number of the presentations of the coming year’s Author Series will also be made available via Webcast. For an example of a Webcast from last year’s Author Series, see ?l=news&article=131 (Greg Benford, May 21, 2003). Double click the “View the Webcast” located beneath Dr. Benford’s biographical information, in blue.

The 2003-2004 Author Series will include:
October 16, 2003: John de Pillis, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, will speak on his book, 777 Mathematical Conversation Starters. Combining his early career as a commercial artist with his research in mathematics, Dr. de Pillis uses cartoons, jokes, and examples from popular culture to explain mathematical concepts in a way accessible to mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike. The book explores such entertaining topics as the mathematical value of fame; how successfully H.G. Wells anticipated the future, and why good logic makes for good picnics.

November 19, 2003: Sharon V. Salinger, professor of history, will speak on her book Taverns and Drinking in Early America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), the first study of public houses and drinking in the colonies. The book explores the origins of taverns, their proliferation, the ends that they served in the colonies, and their effect (or lack thereof ) in breaking down class and gender differences. Dr. Salinger is also the author of To Serve Well and Faithfully (Cambridge University Press, 1987) which traces the history of unfree labor in colonial Pennsylvania. She is currently working on a study of poverty and migration into eighteenth-century Boston.

December 10: William Lavender, a novelist, and Mary Lavender, a professional researcher and long-time officer of the Friends of the UCR Libraries, will speak about their collaborative work on Mr. Lavender’s historical novel, Just Jane: A Daughter of England Caught in the Struggle of the American Revolution (Gulliver Books, Harcourt, 2002). Nominated for the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults 2002, Just Jane is Mr. Lavender’s first novel for younger readers. Mr. Lavender is also the author of five other novels, including Chinaberry (Jove Publications, 1977).

January 21, 2004: Iqbal Pittalwala, Campus Communications Officer for Science and Engineering at the Office of Marketing and Media Relations at UC Riverside, will read from his book of short stories Dear Paramount Pictures (Southern Methodist University, 2002). In addition to a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences, Dr. Pittalwala holds an M.F.A in creative writing. His stories have appeared in the Seattle Review, Blue Mesa Review, Confrontation, Trikone, and other magazines. He teaches “Writing and Critiquing Workshop for Fiction Writers” at the UCR Extension Center.

February 18, 2004: Professor Alan McHughen, professor of botany and plant sciences, will speak on his book Pandora’s Picnic Basket: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods. A molecular geneticist, public sector educator, scientist and consumer advocate, Dr. McHughen has helped develop U.S. and Canadian regulations covering the environmental release of plants with novel traits. He also served on recent National Academy of Science and OECD panels investigating the environmental and health effects of genetically modified organisms.

March 24, 2004: Stephen Spindler, professor in the department of biochemistry, will speak on his intriguing research on the correlation between calorie restriction and longevity. Dr. Spindler holds that the fewer the calories an animal consumes (provided malnutrition is avoided,) the slower an animal ages, and the lower the death rate from cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Dr. Spindler has served on several advisory groups and committees for the National Institute on Aging, and National Institute of Health, Washington, DC.

April 14, 2004: Maurya Simon, chair and professor of creative writing, will read from her book of poetry, A Brief History of Punctuation (Sutton Hoo Press, 2002). Professor Simon is also the author of The Enchanted Room and Days of Awe (Copper Canyon Press, 1986, 1989), Speaking in Tongues (Gibbs Smith, 1990), and The Golden Labyrinth (Univ. of Missouri Press, 1995). Her sixth volume of poetry, Weavers, is forthcoming from Blackbird Press in 2003. Professor Simon’s poems have appeared in several publications, including The New Yorker, Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, the New England Review, and in more than thirty anthologies.

May 19, 2004: Howard K. Wettstein, professor of philosophy, will speak on Diaspora and Exiles: Varieties of Jewish Identity (University of California Press, 2002), for which he served as editor. Dr. Wettstein is also the author of Has Semantics Rested on a Mistake? and Other Essays (Stanford University Press, 1991), and The Magic Prism—An Essay in the Philosophy of Language (Oxford University Press, 2003), and numerous articles on the philosophy of language. Diaspora and Exiles considers the question of Jewish identity from the perspectives of anthropology, art history, comparative literature, history, philosophy, political theory, and sociology.

For more information on this year’s UCR Libraries’ Author Series, call Special Collections at 909-787-3233 or e-mail

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