Campus & Community

The Stevens Summer Reading List [2023]

Faculty produce new books on allergies, World War II, bacteria and more

With summer fast approaching, you’re going to need some reading material for that beach bag or school vacation. Here are seven notable books published by Stevens Institute of Technology faculty over the course of the past year.

cover of Theresa MacPhail book

Allergic: Our Irritated Bodies in a Changing World
by Theresa MacPhail (CAL)
Penguin Random House - May 2023

It has been estimated that more than one-third of the world’s population has some form of a serious allergy of one kind or another. MacPhail, a professor of history and leading medical anthropologist who previously wrote grippingly about the H1N1 “swine flu” virus, tackles the alarming rise in global allergies from several perspectives. She visits food allergists and pollen scientists, and takes us through the early days of immunology when the field was nascent, poorly understood — and perilous.

cover of Gregory Morgan book

Cancer Virus Hunters: A History of Tumor Virology
by Gregory Morgan (CAL)
Johns Hopkins University Press - August 2022

It’s not widely known that viruses such as HPV and hepatitis B cause a surprising one in five human cancers. Morgan, a professor of philosophy, spent time with some of the scientists working to develop vaccines and therapies to prevent or mitigate virus-caused cancers. Along the way, he also dives into key scientistic milestones such as the development of reverse transcriptase, RNA splicing and HIV tests. 

cover of Larrie Ferreiro book

Churchill's American Arsenal: The Partnership Behind the Innovations That Won World War Two
by Larrie D. Ferreiro (SSE)

Oxford University Press - October 2022

Ferreiro, an adjunct professor of systems engineering and a naval historian, revisits WWII in this account of the Allies’ technological collaboration and the ways in which they helped turned the tide to victory. The British, he argues, originally developed much of the critical military tech later perfected in America — including the atom bomb, airborne radar, Mustang fighter planes and Sherman tanks. Together the two nations’ scientific alliance proved decisive.

cover of Amber Benezra book

Gut Anthro: An Experiment in Thinking with Microbes
by Amber Benezra (CAL)

University of Minnesota Press - May 2023 

Benezra, a sociocultural anthropologist, has written a book about the trillions of microbes in and on human bodies that impact our states of health and illness. Benezra worked in a prominent U.S. microbiology research laboratory and also traveled to a scientific field site in Bangladesh to work with local scientists and people enrolled in a malnutrition and microbiome study. The book offers new insights into the different ways human-microbe relationships can be viewed — as well as the possibilities for biological scientists and anthropologists to collaborate, going far beyond the sciences of human microbial ecology and nutrition to delve into deeper social issues that affect our microbes such as structural racism, environmental health and big data. 

cover of Samantha Muka book

Oceans under Glass: Tank Craft and the Sciences of the Sea
by Samantha Muka (CAL)
University of Chicago Press - December 2022

Aquariums aren’t just for show: they perform important scientific purposes, as well, even if most of us don’t realize it. Muka, a Stevens history professor and leading expert on world aquariums, recently published her first book on the topic, detailing some of the ways specialized aquariums sustain, investigate and even help restore marine life. They also provide us with additional insights into key global challenges such as cancer and climate change. You’ll also learn fascinating tidbits about specialized aquariums such as the Kreisel tank, a spinning circular tank that provides the continuous water flow baby jellyfish require to grow to adult size. 

cover of Michael Steinmann Nietzsche book

Philosophical Thoughts and Musical Experiments in Nietzsche’s Work
edited by Aysegul Durakoglu (CAL), Michael Steinmann (CAL) and Yunus Tuncel

Cambridge Scholars Press - July 2022

Durakoglu, a teaching professor of music, and Steinmann, a Stevens professor of philosophy, teamed up with Yunus Tuncel of New York University to edit this collection of essays by philosophers, historians, musicians and musicologists exploring Nietzsche’s thought, music and influence on everything from classic composition to rock and heavy metal music. 

cover of Michael Steinmann book on ethics

Reframing Ethics Through Dialectics: A New Understanding of the Moral Good
by Michael Steinmann (CAL)

Bloomsbury Publishing - January 2023

Steinmann, a Stevens professor of philosophy, explores what he calls the failure of morality in this new book, which revives the concept of the absolute good — the idea that goodness is something absolute, definable and separate from any individual person’s possible benefit — as a lens through which to view questions about what is and is not moral.