“Past is prologue!”

Friday, June 17, 2022

Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,

Happy Friday! 

Can you think of what occurred on this day in 1775? Hint: that was exactly 12 score and seven years ago!

James Baldwin famously wrote, “history … is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us.” History, he said, “is literally present in all that we do.” And this is what we can expect. After all, to quote another writer, William Shakespeare, “past is prologue.”

We would do well to learn from history and the historians, philosophers, writers and other humanists in our midst – especially those of us whose education has been focused in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Without their works and insights, we would have a narrower, and perhaps less enriched, perspective from which to address the many issues facing our world.

As we enter the summer months, many of us like to get away from the world of work or study with a good book. Perhaps you’re looking to The New York Times or Amazon to find the latest highly recommended page-turner. May I recommend something different? Would you consider reading one or more of these recent books by Missouri S&T faculty? Each book below is written or co-written by a member of our College of Arts, Sciences, and Business faculty, and each presents new insights into topics of great relevance to our lives today.

  • Cattle Country: Livestock in the Cultural Imagination, written by Dr. Kathryn Dolan, associate professor of English and technical communication, examines beef and cattle production in 19th-century America and the cow’s ascension to the nation’s representative food animal.
  • The Digital Role-Playing Game and Technical Communication, by two other members of our English and technical communication faculty, Drs. Daniel Reardon and David Wright, evaluates the evolution of video game companies and how they convey complex information to consumers.
  • Discourse in Old Norse Literature, by Dr. Eric Bryan, associate professor of English and technical communication, examines what dialogues and direct speech in Old Norse sagas mean, beyond their immediate face value. Bryan asserts that saga writers were the masters of indirectness in their speech. 
  • Family Business in China, Volume I: A Historical Perspective, is co-authored by Dr. Hanqing “Chevy” Fang, assistant professor of business and information technology. This book examines the social foundations and historical legacies of families and family businesses in China. After you’ve read this book, check out Volume 2.
  • Island Infernos: The U.S. Army’s Pacific War Odyssey, 1944 is the second book in a trilogy that Dr. John C. McManus, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of history, is writing about the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II. Hailed “a feat of prodigious scholarship and exhaustive research” by the Wall Street Journal, the book was also selected by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as one of its favorite books of 2021 and I couldn’t agree more!
  • The Liberating Art of Philosophy: A Foundational Anthologyby Dr. Ross Reed, a lecturer in philosophy, introduces readers to philosophical ideas and concepts by reimagining what introductory material is presented in a beginner philosophy course. He wrote this book “in hopes of making the subject matter not only more accessible, but also more interesting.” 
  • Lyapunov Inequalities and Applicationsco-authored by Dr. Martin Bohner, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of mathematics and statistics, compiles much of the currently available research on math problems called Lyapunov-type inequalities. 
  • In The Morality of Urban Mobility: Technology and Philosophy of the City and Saving Cities: A Taxonomy of Urban TechnologiesDr. Shane Epting, assistant professor of philosophy, highlights a school of thought that wrestles with questions about living in a rapidly urbanizing world. He reveals how exploring transportation philosophically deepens our understanding of what it means to move about the city. 
  • Multi-Valued Variational Inequalities and Inclusionsco-authored by Dr. Vy Le, professor of mathematics and statistics, focuses on a class of math problems for which the book is named. 
  • Refusing to Kiss the Slipper: Opposition to Calvinism in the Francophone Reformation, by Dr. Michael Bruening, interim chair and professor of history and political science, tells “a history of the losers” of the Reformation. These individuals include those who were opposed to John Calvin, a 16th-century theologian who had an enormous influence on the Reformation in the French-speaking world.

These recent writings by our world-class S&T faculty are enough to keep even the most voracious reader busy during the summer months and beyond. The breadth and depth of their work highlight the significance of scholarship underway at S&T and contribute to our understanding of our past and the future. After all, “past is prologue.”

Happy reading!



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Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
mo@mst.edu | 573-341-4116

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