Featured Faculty of FSU Authors' Day 2023

Phil Hiver

Phil Hiver of the College of Education co-authored Student Engagement in the Language Classroom. I specifically chose this book to highlight as it relates to my desired career of teaching English as a foreign language. The book discusses the research of foreign/second language (L2) acquisition methods, especially focusing on the engagement of L2 learners, from a psychological perspective. As the book states, the core dimensions of engagement are behavioral, cognitive, affective, social, and task engagement. Research has shown that, usually, the best measure of engagement is the amount of time spent actively learning or the behavioral engagement of the students. This aligns with a previous claim in the book that action is the principal aspect of learning engagement. Research on engagement as an indicator of language learning has not been researched for nearly as long as other factors like motivation, but many believe it is perhaps one of the most important indicators. One challenge in engagement research is operationalizing the term engagement or defining it in the context of individual studies. The same words can be used to describe different concepts and different words can be used to describe the same concept. Because of this discontinuity, the "contribution of engagement to student learning and development has yet to reach its full potential."


Matthew Goff from the Department of Religion co-authored and edited The Pursuit of Wisdom and Human Flourishing: Sirach and Its Contexts. This book was written following a 2017 conference in Virginia of the same name. Goff thanks the attendees of the conference because "discussions with them enriched the quality of the essay."

Divided into four parts, the book analyzes the history, importance, and implications of the book of Sirach and the sage Ben Sira. Sirach is a text that can arguably fall into the category of "wisdom literature" which is not considered biblical canon but is still very old. Though it is not a part of the Judaism or Protestant canon, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians consider Sirach as "Deuterocanonical Literature, " a subset of their canons. The "book," though it is described by Eva Mroczek as more of an "ongoing stream of tradition," was originally written in Hebrew and translated into many languages which demonstrates its importance. Scholars have tried to recreate the original Sirach, but there are so many translations that they are unable to recreate a "parent text," leaving us with many different versions rather than "the book of Sirach."

Goff writes the chapter titled "The Act of Reading Ben Sira as a Generative Context for Jewish Liturgical Poetry and the Book of Ben Sira Itself." Ben Sira was a sage and writer of hymns. Goff discusses the book of Ben Sira as "a source for Jewish liturgical poetry" which is understood by scholars as a recount of the liturgy performed during Yom Kippur.


Whitney T. Bendeck from International Affairs authored Diversion and Deception: Dudley Clarke's "A" Force and Allied Operations in World War II. She makes the claim that "through...deception and diversionary tactics, 'A' Force played a significant role in the Allied Success in World War II." The "A" Force was founded in 1941 and commanded by Dudley Clarke. He was commonly considered "the master of deception" and described as an eccentric but plain-looking man. His unassuming appearance actually helped in his deception because it kept him from standing out. The "A" Force was created during Clarke's eighth and final wartime assignment when he was chosen to implement deception into British strategy despite having no experience in military deception. However, he proved to be a natural in this assignment.

Bendeck also details specific missions conducted by Clarke and his "A" force starting with one in which British officer Major R. B. Booth mistakenly declared two €5 notes of British administration currency onboard a train from Cairo to Turkey. The currency, one intended for Greece and the other for Bulgaria, was evidence that British administration currency was available to the Allies, information that Germany could not discover. Both Booth and General Allen Arnold tried to remedy the mistake by explaining the situation in confidence to both a sleeping-car attendant from the train and the Turkish secretary general. Little did anyone outside of the "A" Force know that this "confidential information" was always intended to reach the Germans via the sleeping-car attendant and others who might leak the information about the attempted cover-up. The whole "Booth Affair" was fabricated by Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Crichton of "A" Force, Security Intelligence Middle East, and General Arnold. They wanted the Germans to believe that the Allies were planning on attacking Greece through Turkey, hence the British administration currency for Greece arriving in Turkey.

This was just one of the many covert operations conducted by "A" Force since its start in 1941. Bendeck says, "World War II witnessed the greatest use of deception in the history of warfare."Clarke himself noted that deception even aided in the reduction of casualties in the war.


We congratulate all of our faculty that have been published within the last year! All of these books and the others written by FSU faculty can be checked out from Strozier library.