Celebration of Books

2019 Celebrated Books 

cover image of Discoveries on the Early Modern Stage Discoveries on the Early Modern Stage-by Leslie Thompson
Publication date: 2018

This study of the action of discovery as plot device, visual motif, and thematic trope on the early modern stage considers an important and popular performance convention in its cultural and religious contexts. Through close examination of a number of 'discoveries' taken from a wide range of early modern plays, Leslie Thomson traverses several related disciplines, including theatre history, literary analysis, art history, and the history of the religious practices that would have influenced Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Taking as its primary focus the performance of disguise-discoveries and discovery scenes, the analyses include considerations of how this particular device relates to genre, plot structure, language, imagery, themes, and the manipulation of playgoer expectations. With strong reference to the visual arts, and an appendix that addresses the problem of how and where discovery scenes were performed, Thomson offers an innovative perspective on the staging and meaning of early modern drama.

About the Author:
Leslie Thomson is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto in the English and Drama Department. Her current research focuses on questions about the staging and performance of early modern drama.

Distillations: Theory, Ethics, & Effect-by Mari Rutti
Publication date: 2018

Distilling into concise and focused formulations many of the main ideas that Mari Ruti has sought to articulate throughout her writing career, this book reflects on the general state of contemporary theory as it relates to posthumanist ethics, political resistance, subjectivity, agency, desire, and bad feelings such as anxiety. It offers a critique of progressive theory's tendency to advance extreme models of revolt that have little real-life applicability. The chapters move fluidly between several theoretical registers, the most obvious of these being continental philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, Butlerian ethics, affect theory, and queer theory. One of the central aims of Distillations is to explore the largely uncharted territory between psychoanalysis and affect theory, which are frequently pitted against each other as hopelessly incompatible, but which Ruti shows can be brought into a productive dialogue.

Portrait of Mari RutiAbout the Author:

Mari Ruti is Distinguished Professor of critical theory and of sexual diversity studies at the University of Toronto's Department of English and Drama.



cover image of The Ethics of Opting Out Ethics of Opting Out: Queer Theory's Defiant Subjects-by Mari Ruti
Publication date: 2017

In The Ethics of Opting Out, Mari Ruti provides an accessible yet theoretically rigorous account of the ideological divisions that have animated queer theory during the last decade, paying particular attention to the field's rejection of dominant neoliberal narratives of success, cheerfulness, and self-actualization. More specifically, she focuses on queer negativity in the work of Lee Edelman, Jack Halberstam, and Lynne Huffer, and on the rhetoric of bad feelings found in the work of Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, David Eng, Heather Love, and José Muñoz. Ruti highlights the ways in which queer theory's desire to opt out of normative society rewrites ethical theory and practice in genuinely innovative ways at the same time as she resists turning antinormativity into a new norm. This wide-ranging and thoughtful book maps the parameters of contemporary queer theory in order to rethink the foundational assumptions of the field.

portrait of Mari RutiAbout the Author:

Mari Ruti is Distinguished Professor of critical theory and of sexual diversity studies at the University of Toronto's Department of English and Drama.



cover image of the Myth Awakens The Myth Awakens-by Ken Derry
Publication date: 2018

The trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens made a strong impression on fans. Many were excited by what they saw as a return to the spirit of George Lucas’s 1977 creation. Others—including several white supremacy groups—were upset and offended by key differences, most notably the shift away from a blond, blue-eyed, male protagonist. When the film was finally released, reactions similarly seemed to hinge on whether or not The Force Awakens renewed the “mythic” aspects of the original trilogy in ways that fans approved of. The Myth Awakens examines the religious implications of this phenomenon, considering the ways in which myth can function to reinforce “traditional” social and political values. In their analyses the authors of this book reflect on fan responses in relation to various elements of (and changes to) the Star Wars canon—including toys, video games, and novels, as well as several of the films. They do so using a variety of critical tools, drawing from studies of gender, race, psychology, politics, authority, music, ritual, and memory.

Portrait of Ken DerryAbout the Author: 

Ken Derry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Studies. His academic focus is on the ways in which modern cultural products relate to more “traditional” religious beliefs and practices.


cover image of Population Bombed Population Bombed!-by Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak
Publication date: 2018

Many scholars, writers, activists and policy-makers have linked growth in population to environmental degradation, especially catastrophic climate change. In the last few years, however, a number of writers and academics have documented significant improvements in human wellbeing, pointing to longer lifespans, improved health, abundant resources and a general improvement in the environment. Population Bombed! addresses the main shortcomings of arguments advanced by both population control advocates and optimistic writers, explaining how economic prosperity and a cleaner environment are the direct results of both population growth and humanity's increased use of fossil fuels and showing how campaigns against the spread of fossil fuels will cause misery in the developing world, fuel poverty in advanced economies, and will inevitably wreak havoc on the natural world.

**shortlisted for The Donner prize**


Portrait of Pierre DesrochersAbout the Authors: 

Pierre Desrochers is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto Mississauga. His main research interests focus primarily on economic development, technological innovation, business-environment interface, energy policy, and food policy.


Portrait of Joanna SzurmakJoanna Szurmak is the Research Services & Liasion Librarian at UTM. Her research focuses on the impact of the work of Jane Jacobs in economics, the history and impact of "optimistic" or "cornucopian" viewpoints in the sciences and in popular discourse, narrative methods in librarian instruction, creativity in interdisciplinary settings such as industry and academic institutions, and researching the role of threshold concepts and conceptual bottlenecks in discipline selection.


cover image of Transboundary Environmental Governance Transboundary Environmental Governance Across the World's Longest Border-by Andrea Olive
Publication date: 2018

Canada and the United States share a border that spans several of the world’s major watersheds and encompasses the largest reserves of fresh water on the planet. The border that separates these two neighbours is political, but the natural environment is a matter of common concern. In recent years, dramatic changes have taken place in the political and environmental landscapes that shape the conversations, possibilities, and processes associated with the management of this shared interest. More than ever, Indigenous populations are recognized to be a necessary part of negotiations and decision-making regarding matters ranging from pipelines to the protection of endangered species’ habitats.

Globalization and, in particular, the continuing elaboration of a transnational conversation and architecture for addressing issues related to climate change have ramifications for Canada-U.S. transboundary issues.


Portrait of Andrea Olive About the Author: 

Andrea Olive is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Department of Geography. Her research interests include biodiversity and conservation policy in Canada and the United States, hydraulic fracturing in the North American grasslands, and civil society and environmentalism.


cover image of High Resolution Remote Sensing

High Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing-by Yuhong He
Publication date: 2018

High spatial resolution remote sensing is an area of considerable current interest and builds on developments in object-based image analysis, commercial high-resolution satellite sensors, and UAVs. It captures more details through high and very high resolution images (10 to 100 cm/pixel). This unprecedented level of detail offers the potential extraction of a range of multi-resource management information, such as precision farming, invasive and endangered vegetative species delineation, forest gap sizes and distribution, locations of highly valued habitats, or sub-canopy topographic information. Information extracted in high spatial remote sensing data right after a devastating earthquake can help assess the damage to roads and buildings and aid in emergency planning for contact and evacuation.


portrait of Yuhong HeAbout the Author: 

Yuhong He is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her research interests include remote sensing of terrestrial ecosystems, high spatial, multispectral and hyperspectral remote sensing, radiative transfer modelling, invasive and endangered species detection and mapping, critical habitat monitoring for the endangered species, and climate change.

cover image of DisconnectDisconnect-by Tero Karppi
Publication date: 2018

An urgent examination of the threat posed to social media by user disconnection, and the measures websites will take to prevent it. Pointing out that platforms like Facebook see disconnection as an existential threat—and have undertaken wide-ranging efforts to eliminate it—Tero Karppi argues that users’ ability to control their digital lives is gradually dissipating. Karppi’s focus on the difficulty of disconnection, rather than the ease of connection, reveals how social media has come to dominate human relations.


portrait of Tero KarppiAbout the Author:

Tero Karppi is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology at UTM. His research focuses on disconnections in social media and network culture.



cover image of Introduction to Digital MediaIntroduction to Digital Media-by Alessandro Delfanti
Publication date: 2019

This book introduces readers to the vast and rich world of digital media. It provides a strong starting point for understanding digital media’s social and political significance to our culture and the culture of others—drawing on an emergent and increasingly rich set of empirical and theoretical studies on the role and development of digital media in contemporary societies. Touching on the core points behind the discipline, the book addresses a wide range of topics, including media economics, online cooperation, open source, social media, software production, globalization, brands, marketing, the cultural industry, labor, and consumption. Presented in six sections—Media and Digital Technologies; The Information Society; Cultures and Identities; Digital Collaboration; Public Sphere and Power; Digital Economies—the book offers in-depth chapter coverage of new and old media; network infrastructure; networked economy and globalization; the history of information technologies; the evolution of networks; sociality and digital media; media and identity; collaborative media; open source and innovation; politics and democracy; social movements; surveillance and control; digital capitalism; global inequalities and development; and more.

portrait of Alessandro DelfantiAbout the Author:

Alessandro Delfanti is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology at UTM. His research interests include digital labour, science and technology studies, and participation and cooperation in digital media.


Introduction to Animal Physiology-by Sanja Hinic-Frlog (author) , Jessica Hanley, Simone Laughton, Nagham Adbalahad (eds)
Publication Date: 2019

This book is an introduction to the diversity of structure and function in animals at the tissue and organ system level. The focus of this book is on principles and mechanisms that sustain life and maintain homeostasis, including water balance, gas exchange, acquisition and transport of oxygen and nutrients, temperature regulation, electrical and chemical signal transmission, sensory processing, and locomotion.

About the Authors:

Portrait of Sanja Hinic-Frlog Sanja Hinic-Frlog is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. Sanja is an evolutionary biologist and palaeontologist interested in birds.



portrait of Jessica HanleyJessica Hanley is the Science Liaison Librarian at the UTM Library. 




Portrait of  Simone LaughtonSimone Laughton is the Head, Library & Instructional Technologies at the UTM Library. 




Cover image of the Work of Wind: LandThe Work of Wind: Land- by Christine Shaw
Publication Date: 2019 

Across a variegated set of curatorial and editorial instantiations developed by Christine Shaw in 2018/19, the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force becomes a diagram of prediction and premonition in the context of accelerating planetary extinction. The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea appropriates the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force as a readymade index for curating a site-specific exhibition in the Southdown industrial area of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and a publication divided into three conjoining volumes published by K. Verlag. The project is extended by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, a public program and broadsheet series.

About the Author:

Christine Shaw is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Studies and Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery at UTM. Her curatorial programming direction takes a critical stance on social, political, and ecological urgencies, sets out to develop durable visual-cultural literacies, and invites publics to create new encounters in the common struggle for a future. 


Cover image of Writing HistoryWriting History: A Guide for Canadian Students-by Mairi Cowan
Publication Date: 2019

Bringing together practical methods from both history and composition, Writing History, Fourth Edition, provides a wealth of tips and advice to help students research and write essays for history classes. The book covers all aspects of writing about history, including finding and researching topics, interpreting source materials, drawing inferences from sources, and constructing arguments. It concludes with three chapters that discuss writing effective sentences, using precise wording, and revising. Using numerous examples from the works of cultural, political, and social historians,Writing History serves as an ideal text in any history course that asks students to conduct research.

portrait of Mari CowanAbout the Author: 

Mairi Cowan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Studies. Her area of research focuses on the late medieval and early modern world, with specializations in the social and religious histories of Scotland and New France. 

cover image of Work Integrated Learning

Work Integrated Learning in the 21st Century
Publication Date: 2017

Work-Integrated Learning in the 21st century: Global perspectives on the future, explores new questions about the state of work for new university and college graduates in the context of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). As these ‘Millennials’ graduate, they are entering a precarious labour market that is filled with ambiguity and uncertainty, creating a great deal of anxiety for those trying to develop skills for highly competitive jobs or jobs that do not yet exist. In their pursuit of skill acquisition, many are participating in WIL programs (e.g., cooperative education, internships) which allow them to gain practical experience while pursuing their education. With a focus on WIL, this book examines issues involved in developing work ready graduates. Topics include mental health and well-being - an urgent matter on many campuses; remote working - an aspect of the information and social media age that is becoming more prevalent as the precarity of work increases; issues of diversity and discrimination; ethics and professionalism; global citizenship and competency; and the role that higher education institutions need to play to prepare students for the challenges of economic shifts. These topics are timely and relevant to the situations faced by new graduates and those who prepare them for the world beyond school. The chapters provide a close examination of the issues from a global perspective, particularly as experiential education and work-integrated learning programs are becoming more prevalent in higher education and viewed as essential for preparing millennials for the 21st century competitive labour market.

portrait of Tracey BowenAbout the Author:

Tracey Bowen is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology at UTM. Her research interests include experiential Education and developing professionals and visual literacies.

cover image of Molecular Genetic and Statistical Techniques

Molecular-genetic and Statistical Techniques for Behavioral and Neural Research-by Robert Gerlai
Publication Date: 2018

Molecular-Genetic and Statistical Techniques for Behavioral and Neural Research presents the most exciting molecular and recombinant DNA techniques used in the analysis of brain function and behavior, a critical piece of the puzzle for clinicians, scientists, course instructors and advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Chapters examine neuroinformatics, genetic and neurobehavioral databases and data mining, also providing an analysis of natural genetic variation and principles and applications of forward (mutagenesis) and reverse genetics (gene targeting). In addition, the book discusses gene expression and its role in brain function and behavior, along with ethical issues in the use of animals in genetics testing.

Portrait of Robert GerlaiAbout the Author: 

Robert Gerlai is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at UTM. His research interests include behavioural genetics and neuroscience, and animal behaviour.