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RIT Press

Website: http://carypress.rit.edu/


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Lella and Massimo Vignelli

Two Lives, One Vision

by Jan Conradi

Lella and Massimo Vignelli: Two Lives, One Vision is a portrait of two important twentieth-century designers whose careers intertwined since the 1950s. The Vignellis promote a modernist philosophy of designing for a better society: resourceful use of space and materials, clear communication, lasting quality, and logical functionality. Through a mix of archival research and personal interviews with Lella, Massimo, and their many colleagues and clients, Jan Conradi documents the Vignellis’ nuanced approach to “cleaning up” an often chaotic and messy society by adhering to a minimalist and structured design method. The Vignellis’ lifetime commitment to a world of design is marked by vibrant client relationships and unwavering attention to detail. With wit, grace, focus, and finesse, the Vignellis’ sustained pattern of working and living has influenced, and continues to inspire, generations of designers worldwide.

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The Life and Letters of Kate Gleason

Susan B. Anthony called her the ideal business woman of whom she had dreamed fifty years earlier. Playwright Eugene O’Neill saw her as the symbol of greed and emasculating ambition. Kate Gleason, groundbreaking nineteenth-century industrialist, mechanical engineer, and real estate developer, was her own best invention. The truth of her dynamic life, in all of its complexity, is revealed in Janis Gleason’s biography of this legendary American woman.

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Lucretius

His Continuing Influence and Contemporary Relevance

Lucretius (c. 99 BCE–c. 55 BCE) is the author of De Rerum Natura, a work which tries to explain and expound the doctrines of the earlier Greek philosopher Epicurus. The Epicurean view of the world is that it is composed entirely of atoms moving about in infinite space. The implications of this view are profound: the proper study of the world is the province of natural philosophy (science); there are no supernatural gods who created the world or who direct its course or who can reward or punish us; death is simply annihilation, and so there is no next life and no torment in an underworld. Epicurus, and then his disciple Lucretius, advocated a simple life, free from mental turmoil and anguish. The essays in this collection deal with Lucretius’s critique of religion, his critique of traditional attitudes about death, and his influences on later thinkers such as Isaac Newton and Alfred Tennyson. We see that Lucretius’s philosophy is connected to contemporary philosophy such as existentialism and that aspects of his thought work against trying to separate the sciences and the humanities. Lucretius: His Continuing Influence and Contemporary Relevance is the title of a 2009 conference on Lucretius held at St. John Fisher College, when many of the ideas in these essays were first presented.

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Moments of Truth

Robert R. Davila: The Story of a Deaf Leader

Withstanding childhood poverty in a migrant farming family and an illness in 1943 at age 11 that left him profoundly deaf, Robert R. Davila persevered to become one of the first deaf persons in history to earn a doctorate. He did so at a time when interpreting in higher education had not yet become a professional support service. Davila worked unfailingly to achieve positions of stature as vice president of Gallaudet University, the president of three major deaf education organizations, and the seeming culmination of his career as the highest appointed deaf official ever in the U.S. government at the Department of Education. Yet, after this government service, he returned to his field to achieve another series of firsts. He served as Headmaster of the New York School for the Deaf at White Plains for three years, and as the first deaf chief executive officer of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology for seven years. Then, in 2006, Bob Davila was invited to assume the presidency of Gallaudet University in a time of crisis. Moments of Truth summarizes a series of defining experiences that enabled Davila to rise to the pinnacle of his profession as an educator. This book is not merely a roadmap on how he achieved such honors—it is an inspiring tale of self-discovery and resilience appealing to all who face overwhelming odds, especially deaf children who are sure to be encouraged by his pioneering legacy.

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Narrative Structure in Comics

Making Sense of Fragments

by Barbara Postema

In Narrative Structure in Comics: Making Sense of Fragments, Barbara Postema seeks to explain how comics communicate and create meaning, with an emphasis on two aspects of comics. She first examines the pictorial quality of comics, which receives more emphasis than verbal/textual elements. Her second focus is upon the storytelling and narrative qualities of comics, as well as the literary explorations they provide. The “narrative structure” refers to the potential of images, the story telling capacities of panels, and the sequence of panels, in addition to the more traditional narratological concepts. Overall, the author presents a credible rationale for the way in which comics structure their narratives. At every level of communication, comics rely on gaps or absences to create meaning and guide the reader to a meaningful experience. RIT Press is pleased to announce Narrative Structure in Comics: Making Sense of Fragments as the first book published in its Comics Monograph Series. Take a detailed look at the narrative qualities of beloved comics in ways that will educate and excite the reader.

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New Beginnings

Acquiring and Living With a Cochlear Implant

Edited by Michael Stinson and Gerard Buckley

Fifteen stories written by deaf/hard of hearing individuals who have had cochlear implants are told within the context of unique histories that are intimate, personal and moving. Readers will gain insight into the personal struggles, challenges, and benefits for those who made the decision to get a cochlear implant. The writers share their process over the decision to obtain an implant as well as the delights and disappointments in hearing with one. Many of the book’s contributors noted how their involvement in the deaf community and Deaf culture influenced their perceptions of cochlear implants.

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Outside the Game

A Collection of Inspirational Sports Stories

By Jim Mandelaro

In this collection of inspirational sports stories previously published in Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle, Mandelaro describes the triumphs and tragedies of local and national athletes. These narratives go beyond the wins and losses of the game to illuminate the perserverance of the human spirit over challenging life situations.

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Personalization

Data-Driven Print and Internet Communications

This book, the fourth volume in the Printing Industry Center Series, serves as a follow up to Dr. Sorce's previous book, Data-Driven Print, published in 2006. Here, she documents the importance of utilizing personalization and custom communication techniques, and identifies the best practices, best prospects and associated business models for delivering top value to printing clients. In addition, several case studies provide real-world examples of this evolving industry.

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The Scythe and the Rabbit

Simon De Colines and the Culture of the Book

by Kay Amert, edited by Robert Bringhurst

Simon de Colines was one of the greatest typographers, printers and publishers of the Renaissance. He has nevertheless been unfairly neglected. Apart from a pair of scholarly bibliographies, published a century apart, this is the first book-length study of his work. As Robert Bringhurst writes in his introduction to this volume, “Colines as much as anyone built the semiotic structure of the book as we now know it, with its chapter headings and subheads, page numbers and running heads, tables of contents, indices, and source notes. He also cut lucid and beautiful type at a crucial moment: when the Latin and Greek alphabets were still engaged in their historic metamorphosis from manuscript to metal.…” But Colines was a great publisher as well as a fine technician. “He printed authors and texts that were central to his idea of civilization – Aristotle, Cicero, Sophocles, Hesiod, Horace, Ovid, Virgil, Statius, Martial, Terence, Euclid, Hippocrates, Galen – along with the best of their Renaissance followers and interpreters. Reading his books, these five centuries later, is a serious education not in typography alone but in philosophy, poetry, astronomy, medicine, law, and mathematics.”

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