What's Been Happening
Ælfric’s Lives of the Virgin Spouses, edited by Robert K. Upchurch, assistant professor of English (University of Exeter Press).
Writing at the time of the Viking raids at the end of the first millennium, Ælfric wrote his Lives of the Saints to bolster the faith of English Christians. Upchurch’s
edition covers the lives of the virgin spouses, couples who marry but do not consummate their unions. In addition to the original Old English texts, the book provides modern English parallel-text translations and Latin source texts with translations.
Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Tennessee in the Civil War by Richard B. McCaslin, professor of history (University of Arkansas Press).
The eighth volume in the Portraits of Conflict series, this book presents more than 250 photographs of Tennesseans who fought in the Civil War or were involved as spies, nurses and servants. Each chapter discusses a different battle or campaign and includes photos of individuals along with biographies and personal remembrances. McCaslin also is the author of At the Heart of Texas: One Hundred Years of the Texas State Historical Association,
The Cambridge Introduction to Joseph Conrad by John G. Peters, associate
professor of English (Cambridge University Press). This introduction is a general overview of the life, works and context of Joseph Conrad. Peters explains how the key themes of travel and conflict are explored in Conrad’s major works — Nostomo, Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness — as well as his short stories. He also provides an overview of Conrad’s life and career and his approach to writing and literature.
Transnational Identity Politics and the Environment by Gabriel Ignatow, assistant professor of sociology (Lexington Books). This study in global sociology argues that environmental activism has taken on a transnational character in reaction to the retreat of the state and the political activism of transnational migrant communities. The book includes case studies of contemporary environmental social movements in Turkey and Lithuania. Prior to joining UNT, Ignatow taught in the sociology department at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey, and in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.
Freedom in America by Ken Bridges (’93 TAMS, ’98 M.A., ’03 Ph.D.) of El Dorado, Ark. (Prentice Hall). This anthology’s 95 speeches, essays and laws on civil liberties and freedom in American history date from the 1606 Charter of Virginia to 1995’s “Religious Liberty in America” by President Bill Clinton. Bridges teaches history at South Arkansas Community College.
Stupid Boy, A Story of Grace by Rodd Brown (’93) of Dallas (Zone Press). Brown, who is president and founder of a Dallas-based technology company and also works in sales and marketing, chronicles his life and his battles overcoming alcohol and drug addictions.
Pillars of Salt by James M. Hilz (’52)
of Palm Desert, Calif. (AuthorHouse). In the novel, CIA intelligence uncovers an al-Qaida plot to detonate a nuclear bomb in a large U.S. metropolitan area. When Las Vegas is identified as the
target, Hawk Renner, former Texas Ranger and special FBI agent in charge of the Las Vegas field office, is selected by the U.S. president to direct a joint task force to find and defuse the bomb. Hilz also is author of the novel Beyond Expectancy.
The Good Wife by Clint Richmond of Austin (Harper). Richmond, who majored in journalism at North Texas, recounts the history behind the widely publicized Austin case of the murder of Penny Scaggs. Penny, who was known across Texas for her seminars counseling women to be godly wives, was bludgeoned and stabbed as she sat playing the piano in her home. Richmond presents a detailed chronicle of the detective work, evidence and trial that led to the conviction of Roger Scaggs, one of the architects of the Texas computer services industry, for the murder of his wife.
Bourbon Street Blues by the Bourbon Street Stompers (Abigail Records), featuring songs showcased in the novel Bourbon Street Blues and The Green Wave by William A. ‘Bill’ Miller, Professor Emeritus of education. Miller’s book, published by Zone Press, is the 1946 story of a Tulane University basketball player/trumpet player whose love of basketball and New Orleans jazz is matched by his love for the girl who would become his wife. A musical based on the book was produced last year in Denton, and now the 14-song CD is available. Members of the band with UNT ties include leader and drummer Ron Fink, Professor Emeritus of music; trombonist Jack Cobb; pianist Steve Harlos, professor of music; lead vocalist Karen Foster (’69, ’74 M.A.); bassist Drew Phelps (’88); and trumpeter Brian Standridge (’94 M.M.). Jim Rogers (’77 Ed.D.) was an executive producer.
Polka’s Revenge by Brave Combo, including founder Carl Finch (’75, ’79 M.F.A.) on guitar, keyboard, accordion and vocals, and former students Alan Emert on drums and Danny O’Brien on trumpet and vocals. Among the songs
featured on the famous Denton band’s latest release are “The Denton Polka,” composed to celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary this year, and “Trippy Town (Denton Life).” The CD is billed as “the next step in proving that the power of polka is inescapable.”
The Mike O’Daniel Collection by the late Mike O’Daniel of Waxahachie (Patriot Recording). O’Daniel was a popular country singer and disc jockey for KBEC 1390 AM who attended North Texas in the mid-1960s. After he died in a boating accident last year, friends organized a memorial scholarship fund for Waxahachie high school students in his memory and compiled this three-CD set of his music as a fundraiser. The CDs
feature his live performances with three different bands: Jesse Mears & Fiddlin’ Fever, Eddie McAlvain and the Get Out
of Town Band (also known as the Mavericks) and the FM 740 Band.
Creature Comforts America, DVD of the stop-motion animated series produced by Kenny Micka (’90). The Aardman Animations series, which ran on CBS in June, uses unscripted interviews with people across the country as the audio for its animated animals. Topics covered include animal magnetism, art, communication, secrets and pet peeves. One of the field interviewers for the show was documentary film graduate Jessica Schoenbaechler (’06 M.F.A.), who recorded residents from Denton, Dallas, Ponder, Dublin and Fort Worth. Micka, who received his RTVF degree from UNT, previously worked for 10 seasons on Fox’s King of the Hill.