Celebrating Faculty Publications

Vice Provost for Global Education Marcelo Sabatés peruses the many faculty publications at this year's Publication Celebration.
The annual Publication Celebration showcases a compelling range of work by Columbia's faculty and recognizes their 2017 publishing achievements.

On Feb. 28, the Columbia community recognized the many faculty publications of 2017. The annual Publication Celebration highlights faculty who publish as photographers, musicians, designers, illustrators, researchers, and authors. A Faculty Works event, Publication Celebration is part of the Faculty Development Portfolio, and is sponsored by the Office of the Provost. 

“This event makes clear that Columbia College Chicago faculty have creative and scholarly impact that extends well beyond the walls of our institution,” Associate Provost for Faculty Research and Development Ames Hawkins wrote in an introduction to this year’s Publication Celebration catalog. “From Mad Max to detective novels; from Jihadist technical communication to conjoined twins, our research illustrates a compelling range of subjects.”

The event pulled together the many mediums and forms of publications, including scholarly research, which sometimes gets overlooked in a college focused on educating creatives. For example, in 2015, Katie Paciga, PhD, was named the Early Career Research Fellow at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College and the Technology in Early Childhood Center at Erikson Institute. As part of the fellowship, the associate professor of Education spent two years combing research, analyzing data, and writing on the effects of learning and socialization among children interacting with technology. Her efforts were published in 2017 and the three-part paper, “What 5 years of Research Tells Us,” summarizes her research.

Using mainstream media, as well as practitioner-oriented and scholarly journals, Paciga found a negative bias in the most accessible pieces of literature around topics of children using technology.

“But in academic literature, there’s a more positive emphasis on children and learning and technology,” Paciga said. “As someone who works with parents and teachers toward more thoughtful and appropriate integration of technology with young children, it’s important that we start calling biases out. We need to recognize–in the vein of media literacy–what are we not seeing? What are the things filtered out? Are some of the positive benefits worth amplifying? I would argue some of it is.” Paciga’s full report can be found here.

Another publication highlighted at the event was from Rami Gabriel, PhD, an associate professor in the Humanities, History, and Social Sciences Department. Gabriel is currently busy writing his third book, The Uses of Psychology. Last February, he published one of the book’s chapters as an essay in Aeon, “The Self-Help Game.” Gabriel framed the subject of self-help with his own desire to improve his tennis skills. Working with a student as part of an Undergraduate Research Mentorship, the duo began collecting data by reading the 50 most popular self-help books from the 60s to the present.

In his research, Gabriel found that many Americans consider popular psychology, including self-help books, to be the only kind of psychology. “All the professional and scientific forms of psychology are, in fact, peripheral,” he said. "The Self-Help Game" suggests that psychology may be the superstition of our times. In the essay, Gabriel explores how self-help serves as a form of wisdom, “a simple oracular touchstone to view the hopes and dreams of a nation.”

In addition to recognizing publications from the previous year, the event also celebrated the lives and work of faculty who passed away in 2017. Colleagues wrote and read reflections on each individual–remembering them as educators, artists, family, and friends. Associate Professor in Creative Writing Re’Lynn Hansen wrote on the memories she and many other Columbia community members share of English Associate Professor Tony Del Valle; Associate Professor of English Jeanne Petrolle remembered English Associate Professor Sam Park through his novels and personality; and Creative Writing Associate Professor Shawn Shiflett curated reflections from colleagues of Creative Writing faculty member John Schultz.

For more about the full range of 2017 publications, view the Publication Celebration catalog.