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Author archive for: Paige

Meet the Author: Joel J. Brattin

Posted in In and Around the Library

Gordon Library’s 2016-2017 Meet the Author series concludes on Tuesday, April 11 with Joel J. Brattin’s Dickens and Massachusetts: The Lasting Legacy of the Commonwealth Visits. Please join us at 4:00 pm in the FLIP space on the 3rd floor of the library to hear Professor Brattin discuss this fascinating contribution to the study of Charles Dickens.

Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Location: Gordon Library, FLIP Space, 3rd floor

The presentation will include a Q&A session, followed by an informal reception with light refreshments. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The Curation, Preservation, and Archives Department will have a Charles Dickens display on view in the FLIP Space.


About the Author


Professor Joel J. Brattin, a past president of the Dickens Society, teaches literature at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He has contributed to important books on Jane Austen, Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, and Jimi Hendrix, and has published on such writers as Gissing, Thackeray, Emerson, and Nabokov, but he has devoted his closest scholarly attention to the works of the great Victorian novelist Charles Dickens. His first book on Dickens was an annotated bibliography of Our Mutual Friend; he subsequently edited Our Mutual Friend for the Everyman Dickens series, and more recently he edited Great Expectations for Charles Winthrope and Sons. He contributed a chapter on Bleak House to a recent volume considering Charles Dickens as an Agent of Change, and (with Diana Archibald) he edited Dickens and Massachusetts: The Lasting Legacy of the Commonwealth Visits, for which he received a Faculty Achievement award earlier this year.  His next book project will be a scholarly edition of Dickens’s third novel, Nicholas Nickleby, for the Clarendon Edition of the Works of Charles Dickens (Oxford University Press, with Elizabeth James).


About the Book

Dickens and Massachusetts cover

University of Massachusetts Press

Charles Dickens traveled to North America twice. While many aspects of his travels in the United States disappointed him, Massachusetts met and even exceeded Dickens’s expectations for “the republic of [his] imagination.” The essays in Dickens and Massachusetts tell the story of Dickens’s relationship with this vibrant cultural, intellectual hub and demonstrate that Dickens’s time in Massachusetts is more significant than previously recognized. From the mills of Lowell and the Perkins School for the Blind he gained a vision of society that influenced his writings, and the deep friendships Dickens formed with Bostonians gave him lasting ties to the Commonwealth. The volume features abundant pictures as well as the complete narrative from the award-winning public exhibition Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation, which attracted thousands of visitors when on display in Lowell.

Dickens and Massachusetts provides insight from leading scholars who have begun to reassess the significance of Massachusetts in the author’s life and work. The book talk at Gordon Library will focus on Professor Brattin’s chapter “Slavery in Dickens’s Manuscript of American Notes for General Circulation.” In that chapter, Professor Brattin looks at the ways Dickens’s manuscript of his travel book about the USA sheds light on his attitude toward slavery.

Dickens and Massachusetts is available at Gordon Library in print and as an e-book.

Meet the Author: Steven C. Bullock

Posted in In and Around the Library

Gordon Library’s Meet the Author Series continues on Thursday, April 6 with Steven C. Bullock’s Tea Sets and Tyranny: The Politics of Politeness in Early America. Please join us at 4:00 pm in the FLIP space on the 3rd floor of the library to hear Professor Bullock discuss this illuminating history book featuring a fascinating set of characters.

Date: Thursday, April 6, 2017

Time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Location: Gordon Library, FLIP Space, 3rd floor

The presentation will include a Q&A session, followed by an informal reception with light refreshments. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.


About the Author:


Steven C. Bullock is professor of history at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he was a recipient of the Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship. He has also served as a Fulbright Lecturer in Okinawa, Japan.

He is the author of Tea Sets and Tyranny: The Politics of Politeness in Early America (University of Pennsylvania, 2017), Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840 (University of North Carolina Press, 1996), and The American Revolution: A History in Documents (Oxford University Press, 2003). He has also published in the Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and the William & Mary Quarterly, where his piece on the confidence man Tom Bell received the Percy Adams Prize for the year’s best article in eighteenth-century studies.

Professor Bullock has spoken widely to academic and public groups, commented on Masonry and American history on ABC and NPR, and appeared in documentaries airing on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, and elsewhere.


About the Book (University of Pennsylvania Press):


Even as eighteenth-century thinkers from John Locke to Thomas Jefferson struggled to find effective means to restrain power, contemporary discussions of society gave increasing attention to ideals of refinement, moderation, and polished self-presentation. These two sets of ideas have long seemed separate, one dignified as political theory, the other primarily concerned with manners and material culture. Tea Sets and Tyranny challenges that division. In its original context, Steven C. Bullock suggests, politeness also raised important issues of power, leadership, and human relationships. This politics of politeness helped make opposition to overbearing power central to early American thought and practice.

Tea Sets and Tyranny follows the experiences of six extraordinary individuals, each seeking to establish public authority and personal standing: a cast of characters that includes a Virginia governor consumed by fits of towering rage; a Carolina woman who befriended a British princess; and a former Harvard student who became America’s first confidence man.

Tea Sets and Tyranny is available in print at Gordon Library.

Blind Date with a Book

Posted in In and Around the Library


Looking for a date for Valentine’s Day? Check out the Blind Date with a Book display near the entrance to the library. We have a selection of books and movies wrapped up just for you. Read the clues on the wrapping paper and find a description that appeals to you. Bring your mystery book or movie to the circulation desk to check it out, and then unwrap it to see who your “date” is! If things don’t work out between you and your date, just return it and try again!



Blind Date Clues


Meet the Author: Jim Cocola

Posted in In and Around the Library

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2016

Time: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Location: Gordon Library, FLIP Space, 3rd floor

Gordon Library is kicking off its 2016-17 Meet the Author Series this Thursday at 4pm. Join us in the FLIP Space on the 3rd floor of the library, where Jim Cocola will give a talk on his new book Places in the Making: A Cultural Geography of American Poetry (Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 2016).

Places in the Making Book Cover

University of Iowa Press:

Places in the Making maps a range of twentieth- and twenty-first century American poets who have used language to evoke the world at various scales. Distinct from related traditions including landscape poetry, nature poetry, and pastoral poetry—which tend toward more idealized and transcedent lyric registers—this study traces a poetics centered upon more particular and situated engagements with actual places and spaces. Focusing on poets of international reputation, such as Elizabeth Bishop, Pablo Neruda, Charles Olson, and William Carlos Williams, Places in the Making also considers work by more recent figures, including Kamau Brathwaite, Joy Harjo, Myung Mi Kim, and Craig Santos Perez.

“Jim Cocola’s Places in the Making brilliantly illuminates the affective and cognitive processes through which geographical spaces become inhabitable places.”
— Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth College

An informal reception with light refreshments will follow the book talk. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Jim Cocola Author Photo

Jim Cocola is Associate Professor and Associate Head for the Humanities in the Department of Humanities and Arts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In research and in teaching, Professor Cocola focuses on intersections between geography and the humanities, primarily in the field of modern and contemporary American literature and culture.