On the Bookshelf: New work by SF State faculty

Whether through introspective works of fiction or illuminating research, SF State faculty members are contributing to their academic fields with new publications. Read more below about the latest books from University faculty.


Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge (Little, Brown and Company)

The cover of the book

Professor of Creative Writing Peter Orner's latest collection of short stories, "Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge," puts the focus on memories and how they define us. In stories spanning the globe and multiple time periods, Orner takes a close look at the lives of people who are haunted by the past and struggling to understand the experiences of their youth. In one story, a woman's husband dies just before their divorce is finalized. In another, two boys play beneath the infamous bridge in Chappaquiddick, Mass. In the title story, a furniture salesman recalls the time he and his daughter made it over the Cape Cod Canal just before a hurricane. The collection shows how memories help us reclaim emotions and experiences we thought were lost forever.


Intertribal Native American Music in the United States (Oxford University Press)

The cover of the book

Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies and Grammy Award-winning musician John-Carlos Perea takes a look at the shared musical identity of Native Americans in "Intertribal Native American Music in the United States: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture," a textbook and CD in Oxford University Press’ “Global Music Series.” Perea highlights how traditional Native American sounds such as pow-wow and flute sounds have developed in contact with more contemporary forms such as Native jazz and rock. He emphasizes the commonalities of Native music from across the U.S. while also highlighting which musical styles are particular to specific tribes. In particular, Perea explores pow-wow practices of Northern and Southern Plains tribes, showing how the tribes' seemingly disparate stories and sounds nevertheless form a common thread that has strongly influenced Native identity formation in reservation and urban settings.


Structural Intimacies (Rutgers University Press)

The cover of the book

One in 16 black men and one in 32 black women in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in their lifetime. In her new book, "Structural Intimacies: Sexual Stories in the Black AIDS Epidemic," Lecturer of Sociology and Sexuality Studies and SF State Health Equity Institute faculty member Sonja Mackenzie looks at this serious and ongoing health problem. Through interviews with men and women affected by HIV/AIDS, Mackenzie learned that structural inequities -- racism, poverty, sexism, sexual stigma and discrimination -- are at the core of the spread of HIV among African American communities. Interview subjects mentioned several factors that put them at greater risk for HIV including a higher rate of incarceration for black men and a lack of trust in the medical establishment based on past medical abuse of the African American community. By showing how larger forces affect sex and sexuality, Mackenzie argues that public health crises must been viewed and addressed as societal, rather than individual, problems.


On the Bookshelf highlights new books written by SF State faculty. Check back for more from SF State professors.

-- Jonathan Morales