Yale Bulletin and Calendar

February 29, 2008|Volume 36, Number 20















In his new book, Yale historian Ramsay MacMullen examines how and why Roman civilization spread throughout the ancient world. He claims that cultural imperialism was not the reason for this widespread adoption of Roman culture.

Yale Books in Brief

The following is a list of books recently or soon to be published by members of the Yale community. Descriptions are based on material provided by the publishers. Authors of new books can forward publishers’ book descriptions to Susan Gonzalez.

Romanization in the Time of Augustus
Ramsay MacMullen, the Dunham ­Professor Emeritus of Classics and History
(Yale University Press)

Ramsay MacMullen investigates why the adoption of Roman ways was so prevalent during the lifetime of Augustus (63 B.C. to 14 A.D.). In this period, he notes, Roman civilization spread throughout the ancient world, influencing such areas as art and architecture, religion, law, local speech, city design, clothing, and leisure and family activities. MacMullen argues that acculturation of the ancient world was due not to cultural imperialism on the part of the conquerors but to eagerness of imitation among the conquered. Drawing largely on archaeological sources, he discovers that during this period more than half a million Roman veterans were resettled in colonies overseas, and an additional hundred or more urban centers in the provinces took on Italian-Roman town constitutions. He points out that great sums of expendable wealth came into the hands of ambitious Roman and local notables, some of which was spent advertising Roman ways.

Apologia Pro Vita Sua & Six Sermons
Edited and annotated by Frank M. Turner, the John Hay Whitney Professor of History and director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
(Yale University Press)

This newly edited version of John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua sheds new light on Newman’s account of his passage from the Church of England to the Roman Catholic Church, and repositions his narrative within the context of transformative religious journeys of other Victorian intellectuals. Turner, the first historian to edit Newman’s autobiographical narrative, draws on research in contemporary printed materials and archives. His introduction reevaluates and challenges the historical accuracy of previous interpretations of Newman’s life and of the Apologia itself. In addition to explanatory textual annotations, the volume includes an appendix featuring six Anglican sermons that provide insights into Newman’s thought during the years recounted in his classic text.

Polarities of Experience: Relatedness and Self-Definition in Personality Development, Psychopathology and the Therapeutic Process
Sidney J. Blatt, professor of psychiatry and psychology and chief of the Psychology Section of the Department of Psychiatry
(Press of the American Psychological ­Association)

In “Polarities of Experience” Sidney Blatt proposes that psychological development is a lifelong personal negotiation between two fundamental dimensions in human affairs: relatedness and self-definition. He maintains that psychological development, from youth to old age, occurs as a synergistic interaction between these two polarities, with most individuals favoring to varying degrees either the relatedness (anaclitic) dimension or self-definition (introjective) dimension, and with the two polarities existing in dynamic tension in normal functioning. Exaggerated emphasis on one developmental dimension at the expense of the other, however, is expressed at different developmental levels in a variety of psychological disorders, Blatt says. He argues that this perspective has clear therapeutic implications, as anaclitic and introjective persons respond differently to aspects of the therapeutic process and express progress in different ways in a wide variety of therapeutic approaches.

Oasis in the Overwhelm 28 Day Guide: Rewire Your Brain from Chaos to Calm
Millie Grenough, clinical instructor in psychiatry and social work, with Jill Berquist and Virginia Kravitz
(Beaver Hill Press)

This book combines basic information about the brain’s neuroplasticity with specific tips about how to replace “stuck” habits with healthier neural pathways. The guide is a follow-up to Millie Grenough’s earlier book, “Oasis in the Overwhelm: 60-Second Strategies for Balance in a Busy World.” Life coaches Jill Berquist and Virginia Kravitz worked with Grenough to create a practical, day-by-day guide to help people deal with the overwhelm of daily demands. Written in practical workbook style, the guide aims to show readers how to take a few minutes each day to make the strategies Grenough proposes an easy and effective part of their lives. In addition to instruction in specific strategies, the authors offer examples of how to use them, reflections for beginning each day, tips for staying on target, and space in the book for writing notes and insights.

Digital Modeling of Material Appearance
Julie Dorsey, professor of computer science, Holly Rushmeier, professor of computer science, and Francois Sillion

This is the first comprehensive work on the digital modeling of material appearance. The book explains how models from physics and engineering are combined with observation skills for use in computer graphics rendering. The authors note how computer graphics systems are capable of generating stunningly realistic images of objects that have never physically existed, and describe how — in order for computers to create these accurately detailed images — digital models of appearance must include robust data to give viewers a credible visual impression of the depicted materials. In particular, digital models demonstrating the nuances of how materials interact with light are essential to this capability.

Christian Texts for Aztecs: Art and Liturgy in Colonial Mexico
Jaime Lara, associate professor of Christian art and architecture and chair of the ­Program in Religion and the Arts
(Notre Dame Press)

“Christian Texts for Aztecs” is a cultural history of the missionary enterprise in 16th-century Mexico, seen primarily through the work of Catholic missionaries and the native populations — principally the Aztecs. Jaime Lara addresses the inculturation of Catholic sacraments and sacramentals into an Aztec worldview in visual and material terms. He argues that Catholic liturgy — similar in some ways to pre-Hispanic worship — effectively “conquered” the religious imagination of its new Mesoamerican practitioners, thus creating the basis for a uniquely Mexican Catholicism. To illustrate this point, Lara examines such visual texts as neo-Christian architecture, mural painting, feather work and religious images made from corn. These, he claims, were the sensorial bridges that allowed for a successful, if not wholly orthodox, inculturation of Christianity into the New World. The book features 280 color images and 11 appendices of translations from Latin and Nahuati, the tongue of the Aztecs.

Prague in Danger: The Years of German Occupation, 1939-1945: Memories and History, Terror and Resistance, Theater and Jazz, Film and Poetry, Politics and War
Peter Demetz, Sterling Professor Emeritus of German Language and Literature
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

A successor to Peter Demetz’s “Prague in Black and Gold,” his account of more than 1,000 years of Central European history, “Prague in Danger” focuses on just six years when he was living in that city. Demetz — a “first-degree half-Jew” by Nazi categories, chronicles the city under German occupation both as an objective history and using his personal memories of the period: from the morning of March 15, 1939, when Hitler arrived from Berlin for the Nazi takeover of the Czechoslovak government, until the liberation of Bohemia in April 1945. Demetz interweaves an account of the German authorities’ diplomatic, financial and military machinations with a description of Prague’s evolving resistance and underground opposition. He describes how the city’s citizens went on living despite the deportations, murders, cruelties and violence. They kept the city’s theaters, film studios, workplaces, schools and newspapers functioning as they confronted the dual challenge of occupation and war.

Clinical Management of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Diabetes
Dr. Marvin Moser, clinical professor of medicine, and Dr. James R. Sowers
(Professional Communications Inc.)

Dr. Marvin Moser’s book presents the rationale for why physicians should more aggressively treat hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors in diabetic patients. The book features specific therapeutic regimens for reducing cardiovascular events in diabetic patients, including lowering blood pressure, management of lipid abnormalities, antiplatelet therapy and glucose control.


Yale-engineered virus can attack brain tumors

Trustees set next steps in residential college expansion

Going back to the ‘basics’ of medicine on the wards of Uganda

New center promotes the study of Hellenic culture and civilization

Study to examine Internet-based programs for diabetic children

Study offers insight into possible cause of lymphoma

Lorimer lauded for contributions to corporate boards

Yale chemist honored for contributions to teaching . . .

Show documents people and fauna of the ‘New World’

‘Chronicler of American life’ is next Maynard Mack lecturer

Contemporary images of the Virgin Mary are featured in . . .

Symposium will explore human rights issues related to . . .

Police Academy for citizens to be held this spring

Arabic music past and present is explored in new exhibition

Chinese ‘Year of the Rat’ celebrated at Yale

Hundreds of schoolchildren will gather in Yale ‘castle’ . . .

Yale Books in Brief

Campus Notes

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