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Book Talk: My Skeleton Family, with Cynthia Weill, Tuesday, 10/29, 7:30-9pm

The Gottesman Libraries sponsors book talks and lectures by faculty, students, staff, and others interested in sharing their work with the Teachers College community.

  • Mi Familia Calaca/My Skeleton Family: A Mexican Folk Art Family in English and Spanish, with Cynthia Weill, Tuesday, 10/29, 7:30-9pm


  • Halloween and Day of the Dead are quickly approaching. Celebrate by attending a presentation on Mi Familia Calaca/My Skeleton Family: A Mexican Folk Art Family in English and Spanish (Cinco Puntos Press, 2013) by Cynthia Weill. Weill's latest bilingual book for young readers showcases the skeleton, an important image in Mexican popular art. In her talk she will project images of the Mexican Day of the Dead, the calaca or skeleton in popular art, and the process of hand making each of the paper mache skeleton/family members by Mexican artist, Jesus Canseco Zarate.

    "Oaxacan folk artist Zarate creates paper mache sculptures of Day of the Dead-style skeletons that grin widely as a young skeleton named Anita introduces her family. In brief sentences that appear in English and Spanish, Anita discusses her younger brothers Miguel ("He’s a brat!") and Juanito ("He’s so cute!"), as well as her parents and other older relatives. The, well, skeletal sentences make it easy for readers to draw connections between the English and Spanish words, and Zarate's sculptures exude personality, whether it's baby Juanito smiling in a stroller, wearing a powder-blue onesie, or the children’s 'beautiful mother,' decked out in a pink dress and pearls. Ages 1-6."
    --Publisher's Weekly

    "Though they are skeletons, this family couldn’t be friendlier... The details traditional Oaxacan artist Canseco Zarate includes charm as fully as Weill’s crunchy vocabulary … They may be dead, but their affection is palpable. Just right for the Day of the Dead or for a fresh take on family structures—tan lindo!"
    --Kirkus Reviews

    "The photographed Oaxacan folk-art figures will make readers smile as each one has a fixed grin, as one would expect from a well-dressed skeleton...This book would be a welcome and culturally relevant addition to beginning-reader collections."
    --School Library Journal

    Cynthia Weil, an alumna of Teachers College, developed a fascination for Oaxacan crafts when she taught in Mexico through the Fulbright Exchange. She has worked as an educator in the field of international development and holds additional masters degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Wesleyan University. She is trained as an art historian and continues to work with artisans around the world. Cynthia's first publication, Ten Mice for Tet (Chronicle Books, 2003), features Vietnamese embroidery in its celebration of the Vietnamese new year. Cynthia is the author of Count Me In: A Parade of Mexican Folk Art Numbers in English and Spanish (2012) Colores de la Vida: Mexican Folk Art Colors in English and Spanish (2011); and AbeCedarios: Mexican Fok Art in Spanish and English ( 2007), all published by Cinco Puntos Press.

    Persons wishing to attend may rsvp via online support by Friday, October 25th.

    Where: 306 Russell

  • Class Rules: Exposing Inequality in American High Schools, with Peter Cookson, Wednesday, 10/2, 4-5:30pm


  • Please join us for a reading and discussion with Peter Cookson of Class Rules: Exposing Inequality in American High Schools (Teachers College Press, 2013), which "challenges the popular myth that high schools are the 'Great Equalizers.' In his groundbreaking study, Cookson demonstrates that adolescents undergo different class rites of passage depending on the social-class composition of the high school they attend. Drawing on stories of schools and individual students, the author shows that where a student goes to high school is a major influence on his or her social class trajectory. Class Rules is a penetrating, original examination of the role education plays in blocking upward mobility for many children. It offers a compelling vision of an equitable system of schools based on the full democratic rights of students."

    Peter Cookson is managing director of Education Sector in Washington, D.C., and teaches in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College (Columbia University) and Georgetown University. He is president of Ideas without Borders, an educational consulting firm specializing in 21st-century education, technology, and human rights. He holds a Ph.D. in the sociology of education from New York University and a M.A. R. in ethics and world religions from the Yale Divinity School where he held the Katsuso Miho Scholarship in Peacemaking. Dr. Cookson is the author of numerous articles and books, including Sacred Trust: A Children's Educational Bill of Rights (Corwin, 2011); Expect Miracles: Charter Schools and the Politics of Hope and Despair, co-authored with Kristina Berger (Westview, 2002); School Choice and the Struggle for the Soul of American Education (Yale, 1994); Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools, co-authored with Caroline Hodges Persell (Basic, 1987).

    This book talk is sponsored by Teachers College Press and Gottesman Libraries.

    Persons interested in attending the book talk may rsvp via online support by Monday, October 1st.

    Where: 306 Russell

  • English in Post-revolutionary Iran: From Indigenization to Internationalization, with Maryam Borjian, Tuesday, 10/8, 4-5:30pm


  • English in Post-revolutionary Iran: From Indigenization to Internationalization (Multilingual Matters, 2013) "unravels the story of English, the language of 'the enemies', in post-revolutionary Iran. Drawing on diverse qualitative and quantitative fieldwork data, it examines the nation's English at the two levels of policy and practice to determine the politics, causes, and agents of the two diverging trends of indigenization/localization and internationalization/Anglo-Americanization within Iran's English education. Situating English in the nation's broader social, political, economic, and historical contexts, the volume explores the intersection of the nation's English education with variables such as power, economy, policy, ideology, and information technology over the past three decades. The multidisciplinary insights of the book will be of value to scholars of global English, education policies and reforms and language policy as well as those who are specifically concerned with education in Iran."

    Maryam Borjian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures, and the Coordinator of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Language Programs at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her major research interest lies in the politics, economics and sociology of language in society and education in the contexts of colonialization, modernization, and globalization.

    An alumna of Teachers College, Dr. Borjian earned her Ed.D. and Ed.M in International Educational Development with a focus on Language Education and Policy Studies. She holds a MA in TESOL/Applied Linguistics, from Hunter College, City University of New York, and M.A. and B.A., in Comparative Historical Linguistics and History, from the University of Tehran.

    Opening remarks will be delivered by Professor Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Department Chair, International and Transcultural Studies.

    Please rsvp with details by Friday, October 4th.

    Where: 305 Russell

  • Mission to Teach: The Life and Legacy of a Revolutionary Educator, with Dipak Basu, Tuesday, 10/22, 4-5:30pm


  • Please join us for an encore reading and discussion of Mission to Teach: The Life and Legacy of a Revolutionary Educator, biography of Professor Sreyashi Jhumki Basu who was a Teachers College doctorate in science education and a posthumous recipient of the TC Early Career award in April 2013. Dr. Jhumki Basu was a New York University who developed ground-breaking teaching techniques that were rooted in her own experiences as a teacher in embattled inner-city schools. She co-founded a public school in underserved Crown Heights of Brooklyn which acted as one of the laboratories for her work.

    Author of the book and Jhumki’s father, Dipak Basu is founder of Anudip Foundation, a nonprofit company dedicated to improving livelihoods of poor rural people in developing countries through training in information technology and entrepreneurship. He currently serves as Anudip’s Chairman and CEO. Dipak also founded and served as Executive Director of NetHope, a technology alliance of the world’s largest aid agencies. He held senior management positions in Product Management and Professional Services at Cisco Systems. Prior to Cisco, Dipak served as a consultant to the Government of India. Dipak is the recipient of the Tech Laureate award for IT in Humanity and the President's Award from Save the Children. He is a Cisco Leadership Fellow, a Reuters Digital Vision Fellow, and a Fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers.

    In 2009, following the loss of their beloved daughter the previous year, Dipak and his wife, Radha, launched the Jhumki Basu Foundation, to carry on her remarkable legacy.

    This event is sponsored by the Program in Science Education, Office of Alumni Relations, and Gottesman Libraries. Copies of Mission to Teach may be purchased from the Columbia Bookstore.

    A reception will follow, during which time books may be signed.

    See here for the event flier prepared by Dipak Basu.

    Persons interested in attending may rsvp via online support no later than Friday, October 18th.

    Where: 306 Russell

  • Do You Believe in Magic?, with Paul Offit, Tuesday, 10/29, 4-5:15pm


  • Please welcome Dr. Paul Offit back to Teachers College for a reading and discussion of Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (HarperCollins, 2013). In this acclaimed book, Dr. Offit shows why the field of alternative medicine should be thought about critically, by all -- from the patient, to the doctor, to the teacher. Using real stories, he reveals how practices and therapies, natural and/or unconventional, in this unregulated industry can be both beneficial and harmful to one's health -- coming to the conclusion that "there's only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't" (Prologue, p.6). Careful evaluation of scientific evidence is the first step to informed decisions about health -- a necessary base for health education and promotion.

    Dr. Paul A. Offit is the Maurice R. Hillman Professor of Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Offit has been a member for the Centers for Disease Control and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. In addition to publishing over 130 papers in medical and scientific journals, Offit is the co-author of several books, notably, Autism's False Prophets (2009); Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases (2007); The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to Today's Growing Vaccine Crisis (2005); Vaccines: What You Should Know (2003); and Breaking the Antibiotic Habit (1999). He last joined Teachers College for a book talk on Autism's False Prophets.

    Dr. Offit will sign copies of his new book from 3:30-4pm, prior to the talk.

    This event is sponsored by the Center for Opportunities and Outcomes for People with Disabilities, Department of Health and Behavior Studies, and Gottesman Libraries.

    Persons wishing to attend may rsvp via online support by Friday, October 25th.

    Where: 305 Russell




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