THE WRITE STUFF: 'Chasing Chiles' and 'Claiming Others'
May 18, 2011
By Dateline staff
Author events scheduled this weekend and next week will feature agroecologist Kraig Kraft, an alumnus, writing about chilies, and Mark C. Jerng, an assistant professor of English, writing about transracial adotpion.
The Kraft event is set for Saturday (May 21) at the Davis Farmers Market. The venue is a natural, considering the book that he is promoting, Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots on the Pepper Trail, which looks at climate change and agriculture through the lens of the chili.
Kraft received a Master of Science degree in international agricultural development in 2005 and a doctorate in ecology in 2009. He formerly served on the executive committee of Slow Food Yolo, which describes “slow food” as “an idea, a way of living and a way of eating … a global, grass-roots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.”
He wrote Chasing Chiles with Kurt Friese, a chef, and Gary Nabhan, a plant conservationist and sustainable-agriculture advocate.
Kraft said he will be at the farmers market from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., discussing his book, answering questions and selling copies. He announced that he will donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to Slow Food Yolo.
Chasing Chiles also is available at the UC Davis Bookstore.
The bookstore also stocks Jerng’s new book, Claiming Others: Transracial Adoption and National Belonging, and will host Jerng for an author event from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, in the bookstore lounge.
The organizers said Jerng will make a presentation, take questions and sign books. The program is free and open to the public.
The University of Minnesota Press, the book's publisher, offers this description: "Jerng considers how adoption makes us rethink the parent-child bond as central to issues of race and nationality, showing the ways adoption also speaks to broader questions about our history and identity.
"He analyzes adoption through a diverse set of texts, including the 1851 Massachusetts statute that established adoption as we understand it today, early adoption manuals, The New York Times blog 'Relative Choices,' and the work of John Tanner, Lydia Maria Child, William Faulkner, Charles Chesnutt, Chang-rae Lee and David Henry Hwang.
"Imaginative and social practices of transracial adoption have shaped major controversies, Jerng argues, from Native American removal to slavery to Cold War expansionism in the 20th century and the contemporary global market in children. As Claiming Others makes clear, understanding adoption is crucial to understanding not just the history between races in the United States, but also the meaning of emancipation and the role of family in nationhood."
Rick Hodes’ mission
The School of Medicine’s Class of 2011 announced a May 21 benefit featuring Rick Hodes, an American doctor who has been caring for refugees and orphans and others in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa for more than 20 years.
The event is linked to the Hodes biography, This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes, by Marilyn Berger.
Hodes is scheduled to address the Class of 2011 at commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday (May 21). That night, at Time Tested Books in Sacramento, he is due to discuss his work and sign copies of his biography.
This Is a Soul tells of Hodes’ journey from suburban America to Mother Teresa’s clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and his work with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, in which he serves as its medical director in Ethiopia.
The book program is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the bookstore at 1114 21st St. (between K and L streets). Admission is $50 at the door ($20 for students) — including a copy of the book. Proceeds will benefit Hodes’ work in Ethiopia, the organizers said.
Many of his patients are stricken with spine disease — which led to the title of HBO’s 2009 HBO documentary on Hodes’ work: Making the Crooked Straight.
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