At Gettysburg College, our faculty and staff are endlessly curious and passionate about what they do. This deep-rooted commitment to academia exists not only in the classroom and through interactions with students as they teach and guide them to learn, grow, and pursue their own meaningful work, but it is something something they embrace wholeheartedly. They live it.
When not teaching and working on campus, many of them pursue those same passions: conducting research and exploring new projects in their areas of interest and expertise. Eight Gettysburg faculty and staff are an example. mathematics, music, culture and public policy.
Read the summary below.
Co-produced by Sunderman Conservatory of Music Teacher. Paul Austerlitz
This scholarly album, which Austerlitz produced alongside John Bimbiras, brings to life the work of an under-documented but world-class Dominican musician, active on the international scene in the middle of the 20th century.
“At Gettysburg College, I had the privilege of carrying out creative projects developing my original musical ideas as an artist in tandem with rigorous research into music history and musical cultures,” said Austerlitz. “This project, fittingly, aligns with these two strands by presenting new reinterpretations of historical repertoires based on an in-depth study of their history and social significance.”
Additionally, Austerlitz said he hopes listeners to this music “will enjoy its masterful synthesis of infectious Afro-Caribbean rhythms with Euro-classical music techniques.”
By interdisciplinary studies Teacher. Vernon Cisney
In this 21-talk audio series, Cisney engages an interdisciplinary lens to uncover and explore the myth around the elusive figure of the devil. By tracing this character through 4,000 years of historical, religious, philosophical, literary and cinematic representations, listeners will better understand the historical-political milieus from which these representations and their contextual myths emerged. Listeners will also be challenged to interrogate their own views on the nature of God in light of the cosmic evil this character represents.
Cisney, who has long been interested in the intersections of philosophy, religion and the public sphere, hopes listeners will understand that the figure of the Devil is not a thing.
“He is the cosmic figure of confrontation that human beings employ to explain any evil they perceive in the world around them. So, as human narratives change – with changes in history, empires and nations, religious denominations, nature, health, politics, etc. – the figure of the devil also changes,” Cisney said. “The course traces the evolution of this character from its origins in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, in through the Bible, through the literary representations of Dante [Alighieri], [John] Milton, and [Johann Wolfgang von] Goethe, and even Qanon’s recent conspiracy theories.
Co-edited by Public policy Teacher. and President Anne Douds
In the more than 30 years since the drug court model transformed the criminal justice landscape, problem-solving courts have expanded their reach beyond criminogenic needs. This book, which Douds edited alongside Eileen J. Ahlin, provides a comprehensive account to date of how problem-solving courts continue to revolutionize justice.
“This book is not so much a celebration of specialized courts as an invitation to analyze them. They are flawed and many lack discernible theory,” Douds said. “These tribunals can be valuable and effective, but some of them raise serious concerns that we must continue to address.”
“Expanding the Scale of Problem-Solving Courts” is presented in three sections to address specialized courts focused on criminogenic needs, individual characteristics, and offense characteristics. At the beginning of each section, the editors describe the purpose of the courts falling within these broad categories and highlight the key elements of the chapters within them.
Douds has been conducting evaluations of specialized court programs for more than a decade, often involving students on evaluation teams and using these evaluations as case studies in classroom discussions of various social policies. Four Gettysburg College students even co-wrote chapters of this book: Kyle Troeger ’22, Jared Michaels ’22, Ella Warburton ’23, and Kealy Cassidy ’20.
By Math Teacher. Benjamin Bartlett Kennedy
“Welcome to Real Analysis” is a textbook for a course in real analysis, which is an integral part of the advanced undergraduate mathematics program. The book helps students prove and fully understand all the big ideas that are usually only covered at an intuitive level in first and second semester calculations. He also pushes those same big ideas, especially the notions of limit and continuity, further into topics like difference equations, fractals, and chaos theory.
Kennedy taught real-world analysis several times at Gettysburg College, and he said it was one of the toughest subjects in the undergraduate math curriculum. “Welcome to Real Analysis” was developed over several years from Kennedy’s lecture notes.
“I have worked hard to include not only the standard results that are found in any true book of analysis, like the fundamental theorems of calculus, but also totally rigorous but accessible introductions to beautiful but more unusual subjects like the theory of calculus. chaos,” Kennedy said. “The book has also given me the chance to organize and write down much of the advice I give my students on learning and practicing higher-level math.”
Edited by Musselman Library Archives Assistant Devin McKinney
This volume pays tribute to the Reverend John W. Vannorsdall, chaplain of Gettysburg College from 1962 to 1976, with excerpts from Vannorsdall’s sermons, essays, and memoranda, contemporary short stories, and reflections from students, colleagues, and family.
“I’ve always been fascinated by post-World War II social, cultural and political movements, especially the turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s,” McKinney said. “With this book, I have been able to use the College archives to further fulfill Gettysburg’s role in this history, while paying deserved tribute to one of its most notable figures.”
McKinney hopes readers will leave with a sense of Vannorsdall’s bravery, eloquence, and complexity, and an understanding that Gettysburg College, while not a center of campus revolt, was undergoing change and sponsoring discussions around the same issues.
Co-edited by religious studies Teacher. Megan Adamson Sijapati
This book, which Sijapati edited with Jacqueline H. Fewkes, chronicles individual perspectives and iterations of the Muslim community, practice, and experience in the Himalayan region. It is the first book to bring together original scholarly accounts of the cultural, social, artistic and political diversity of the Himalayas beyond the better understood and frequently documented religio-cultural expressions of the region. As such, it addresses central issues in the fields of anthropology, geography, history, religious studies, Asian studies, and Islamic studies.
Sijapati hopes readers will learn that Islam and Muslim societies and cultures are extremely diverse.
“The study of Islam and Muslim societies can be approached in an interdisciplinary way to yield new insights that can ultimately help scholars, activists and policy makers develop better relationships with Muslim communities and support human rights. and the representation of people on the margins of pluralistic nation states. added Sijapati.
By the Associate Director of the Civil War Institute Jill Ogline Titus
In “Gettysburg 1963”, Titus uses the centennial events at Gettysburg to examine the history of political, social and community change in 1960s America. By examining the experiences of political leaders, civil rights activists, enthusiasts of Civil War concern for preservation and local residents, Titus shows how the deep divisions of the time propelled Gettysburg into the national spotlight and ensured that white and black Americans would define the meaning of the Battle of Gettysburg, the address Gettysburg and the Civil War in radically different ways.
“This book project allowed me to bring together my academic knowledge of mid-twentieth-century United States history with a focus on civil rights history, my academic background in historical memory and public history, and my work at the Civil War Institute,” Titus said. “In addition to hopefully contributing to the scholarly literature on Civil War memory, this investigation of the evolution of commemorative practices and the changing landscape of the Gettysburg battlefield has created new opportunities for the student exploration and public programming.”
Titus hopes readers will come away with a better understanding of how the commemoration of the battle’s centenary was shaped by the growing struggle for black freedom and the political realities of the Cold War.
By Philosophy Teacher. Mercedes Valmisa
This book is the first monograph devoted to the exploration and rigorous reconstruction of an extraordinary strategy of effective relational action devised by classical Chinese philosophers to account for the interdependent and integrated character of human agency – what the author called “adapt” or “adaptive agency”. .”
It explores the fundamental understanding of adaptation both in Indigenous terms and through cross-cultural comparison, drawing on European philosophical and analytical traditions as well as scholarship from other disciplines. Adaptation is one of the oldest philosophies of action in the world, and yet it is surprisingly new to contemporary audiences, who will find in it an unlikely source of inspiration for dealing with our current global problems.
“I want readers to pay attention to how we act, individually and as a social collective, and to wonder if our action plans are effective in achieving our goals,” Valmisa said. “I want the reader to ask themselves: when I want to achieve something, how do I get there? When I’m in an unexpected situation that requires some kind of resolution, how do I usually react? What guides my actions?
Learn about Gettysburg College’s top faculty and what makes them so special.
By Molly Foster
Photo by Shawna Sherrell