Portland State Magazine Fall 2022

bookshelf IT’S NOT FREE SPEECH: RACE, DEMOCRACY, AND THE FUTURE OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth, film faculty JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS Professors Bérubé (Penn State) and Ruth bring nuance and a novel perspective to the hot-button issue of what speech is and isn’t acceptable on campus. As the title indicates, their analysis of academic freedom sharply distinguishes it from the speech protections granted by the First Amendment. Professors may enjoy special protections from professional sanction for what they say, but this also comes with special responsibilities: the statements protected by academic freedom must reflect academic expertise. One consequence, Ruth and Bérubé argue, is that professors can also demonstrate incompetence through what they say. A law professor who promotes racist conspiracy theories, for instance, might for that very reason be unfit to teach the law. Who decides the limits of academic freedom? Often, it ’s university administrations or state legislatures hastily responding to media firestorms. The book advocates that this should instead be a function reserved for faculty acting according to strict due process standards. Fittingly enough, It ’s Not Free Speech probably contains something for every reader to disagree with, but its thoughtful, creative treatment of a thorny topic is welcome. —JOHN BEER, DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE WRITING TEST DRIVE Patrick McGinty MFA ’12 PROPELLER BOOKS McGinty’s debut novel investigates the gig economy and emergent new technologies, centering on the story of Pegs, a test driver of driverless cars in a near-future Pittsburgh. McGinty deftly welds his stylish sentences onto a genre-powered chassis: as Pegs and her mechanic comrades strip the cars for extra cash, they enmesh themselves in an increasingly suspenseful plot. SCALE MODEL OF A COUNTRY AT DAWN John Sibley Williams MA ’11 CIDER PRESS REVIEW Personal pain and social dislocation seep through the poems of Williams’ sixth collection, but the poet ’s supple syntax and gift for imagery provide a continuous baseline of consolation. Like the “rough little box built from my bones” in the opening poem “The Gift,” the work collected here weds elemental simplicity with hard-won intimacy. A KID’S BOOK ABOUT INCARCERATION Ethan Thrower ’09 MSW ’20 A KIDS COMPANY ABOUT Social worker Thrower draws on his own experience of incarceration to help children understand this difficult subject. Engagingly written and attractively designed, the book invites readers to explore their feelings about loved ones who might be incarcerated, to think about the impact of crime and prison, and to reflect on the power of choices in their lives. TELEMANN: 12 FANTASIAS FOR VIOLIN SOLO Tomás Cotik, music faculty CENTAUR RECORDS Completed a few years after Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, Telemann’s 12 Fantasias offer a similar, if more limited, panorama of Baroque instrumental textures. Cotik’s interpretations are technically impeccable and elegant throughout, insisting on the integrity of each note while maintaining their intricate interconnections. (For an upcoming performance by Cotik, see page 11.) FALL 2022 // 39 TEST DRIVE Patrick McGinty .. a kids book about INCARCfRATION I by Ethan Thro_, I -