Our Summer Reading List


Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey
Stephen Kuusisto
Simon & Schuster, March 2018

Have Dog, Will Travel book cover

Stephen Kuusisto, is a University Professor in Cultural Foundations of Education and a faculty member in the Renee Crown Honors Program. In Have Dog, Will Travel he recalls the process of meeting and learning to work with his first guide dog, Corky.

“There have been other books about going to guide dog schools and getting a guide dog,” Kuusisto says, “but it seemed that no one had written a literary book about guide dogs—one where the writer has a degree of self-awareness and irony about his circumstances.” He says many books that have been written about getting a guide dog haven’t dealt with how the process felt on the inside.

The book has received plenty of attention and positive reviews from the media, including:

Cultivating Racial and Linguistic Diversity in Literacy Teacher Education: Teachers Like Me
Marcelle Haddix
Routledge, 2016

Cultivating Racial and Linguistic Diversity book coverMarcelle Haddix was the recipient of the 2018 AACTE Outstanding Book Award for her book Cultivating Racial and Linguistic Diversity in Literacy Teacher Education: Teachers Like Me. Haddix is Dean's Associate Professor and Chair of the Reading and Language Arts Department.

This volume engages the literacy and English-education community in a much-needed conversation about the limited presence of racially and linguistically diverse teachers in the field. It also offers approaches to improve preservice teacher preparation in all subjects in order to better meet the needs of candidates from a variety of racial, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Reviewers praised this book for its clear and engaging writing and its well-sourced, thoughtful scholarship—as well as its timely and critical focus on diversifying the teaching workforce.

Curative Violence: Rehabilitating Disability, Gender, and Sexuality in Modern Korea
Eunjung Kim
Duke University Press, 2017

Curative Violence book coverEunjung Kim, Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Disability Studies received the 2017 Alison Piepmeier Award for Curative Violence: Rehabilitating Disability, Gender, and Sexuality in Modern Korea.

In this brilliant and necessary book, Eunjung Kim analyzes the deployment of illness and disability in modern Korea, carefully tracing how cure and rehabilitation are used in the service of the nation. Kim's concepts of "curative violence" and "cure by proxy" describe the violent effects of cure and rehabilitation broadly defined, revealing the integral and mutually constitutive role of gender, disability, and sexuality norms in cure ideology and practices. From start to finish, Curative Violence is an exceptional work of transnational feminist disability studies scholarship, and is essential reading not only for those interested in disability studies, but also for anyone studying transnational feminist theory, postcolonial studies, gender and sexual violence, and women's and gender studies more broadly.

21 Miles of Scenic Beauty… and then Oxnard
Martín Alberto Gonzalez
Self-Published, 2017

21 Miles of Scenic Beauty and then Oxnard book coverThe pursuit of social justice propels Martín Alberto Gonzalez—in his writing, his teaching, and his research.

On campus and off, Gonzalez, a Ph.D. student in Cultural Foundations of Education at the School of Education and Syracuse University’s first Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, seeks to empower people like him—the youngest of seven children in a first-generation Xicano family from Oxnard, California, and the only one to attend a four-year university.

Gonzalez is the author of 21 Miles of Scenic Beauty… and then Oxnard, a story collection that highlights various injustices in his city, among them inequitable schooling practices, gentrification, and segregation.

In graduate school, he discovered the work of Michelle Serros, who wrote humorous poems, short stories, and young adult novels about growing up in Southern California. Her titles included Chicana Falsa and Other Stories of Death, Identity, and Oxnard and How to Be a Chicana Role Model.

“She was an author from Oxnard. I couldn't believe that she was a Xicana raised in Oxnard, but immediately I fell in love with her work and her work inspired me to write a book,” Gonzalez says. 

Martin GonzalezHe recently read selections from his book and signed copies at La Casita, with all proceeds from book sales donated to La Casita’s annual “Diversity in Reading” library campaign.

The book expresses his pride in Oxnard, in spite of its stereotypes. The city of 205,000 on the coast west of Los Angeles is more than 70 percent Hispanic or Latino and known for its gangs. The title refers to the well-known highway signs in Malibu, the city immediately east of Oxnard: “Malibu… 21 Miles of Scenic Beauty.”

Then comes Oxnard, for which Gonzalez envisions a sign saying, “Oxnard … 15 Miles of Beautiful Brown People.”