“Come Closer”: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed, edited by Toby Emert and Ellie Friedland (Peter Lang Publishing 2011, $33.95 paperback)
This engaging collection illustrates the variety of ways in which Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed can be adapted to address socially pertinent issues in a range of educational settings. Although readers will benefit from previous knowledge of Boal’s techniques (and of Paulo Freire’s educational theories, which heavily influenced Boal’s work), the book will surely evoke interest among those newly acquainted with this much-loved methodology. Chapters feature provocative perspectives on how theater arts can be used to empower students toward social change, and generative critique of Boal’s approach to doing so.
The Word: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing, edited by Marita Golden (Broadway Paperbacks 2011, $14.99 paperback)
Marita Golden’s interviews with thirteen preeminent black writers explore the powerful role of the written word in shaping their personal and cultural identities and fostering their sense of citizenship and interdependence with others. Golden engages insightfully with writers such as Ellis Cose, Edwidge Danticat, Nikki Giovanni, and Edward P. Jones, who form a choir of voices calling for renewed national investment in reading and writing education. This book may be valuable for educators seeking to demonstrate the power and possibilities that reading and writing offer all learners, particularly underserved or misrepresented students.
Transforming Undergraduate Education: Theory that Compels and Practices that Succeed, edited by Donald W. Harward (Rowman and Littlefield 2011, $30.00 hardcover)
This provocative and forward-looking collection of essays envisions the possibilities for a transformed academy where liberal education is central to student and civic well-being. Edited by Donald W. Harward, director of AAC&U partner project Bringing Theory to Practice, the book combines big-picture thinking with concrete analysis of existing programs to explore ambitious possibilities for higher education’s future. With several chapters written by AAC&U leaders, the volume resonates deeply with AAC&U’s work in support of liberal education as a civic good.
Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs, edited by Fred A. Bonner II, Aretha F. Marbley, and Mary F. Howard-Hamilton (Stylus 2011, $29.95 paperback)
This edited volume interrogates the stereotypes ascribed to millennial students in relation to those students’ diverse characteristics, primarily their race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. In revealing how assumptions about millennials may or may not apply across different groups, contributors challenge the view of millennial students as a monolithic group while confirming aspects of millennial identity. The book makes important advances toward complicating assumptions about today’s traditionally-aged college students without eschewing a level of generalization necessary to understanding particular groups and subgroups.