March 2011

News & Announcements

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Susan Ingram
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A book signing with two of the contributors and the editors of “The Philosophy of the Western,” a collection of essays focused mainly on western films, specifically the American western, will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday [MARCH 8] on the second floor of East Central University ‘s Linscheid Library.

A book signing for “The Philosophy of the Western” will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday [MARCH 8] at East Central University’s Linscheid Library.
A book signing for “The Philosophy of the Western” will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday [MARCH 8] at East Central University’s Linscheid Library.

The Linscheid Library Academic Friends is hosting the book signing for editors Dr. Jennifer L. McMahon, chair of ECU’s English and Languages Department, and her husband, Steve Csaki, an independent scholar and part-time instructor at ECU, and contributors Dr. Ken Hada and Dr. Robin Murphy, faculty members in ECU’s Department of English and Languages.

Copies of “The Philosophy of the Western,” a hardcover book which was published by the University Press of Kentucky, will be available for purchase at $30. Refreshments will be provided.

“There are thousands of westerns, and an abundance of literature exists on the western genre,” McMahon and Csaki wrote in their introduction to the book. “Though there is ample historical and literary criticism of the genre, little scholarship exists on the relationship between the western and philosophy.”

Their book addresses that lack. The essays show that the relationship between philosophy and the western is significant because philosophy not only influenced the history of the American West, it also influenced the western genre, they said.


The book is divided into four sections: The Cowboy Way: The Essence of the Western Hero; The Code of the West: The Cowboy and Society; Outlaws: Challenging Conventions of the Western; and On the Fringe: The Encounter with the Other.

Csaki holds a doctorate in philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He specializes in comparative philosophy and is particularly interested in exploring the parallels that exist between Zen Buddhism and Classical American Pragmatism. His essays have been published in several volumes.

From 1998 to 2006, he was a visiting professor at Centre College in Danville, Ky., where he taught courses in philosophy, humanities and Japanese and was the coordinator for the Japanese Studies Program.

McMahon has expertise in existentialism, aesthetics and comparative philosophy. She has published articles in journals such as Asian Philosophy, as well as numerous essays on philosophy and popular culture.

McMahon and Csaki also own and operate Watershed Ranch near Stratford where they live with their two children.

 The Linscheid Library Academic Friends provides organizational and financial support for ECU’s Linscheid Library that is not available from public funding. It raises money to sponsor programs for the public such as cultural or art exhibits, readings by authors, book signings, film screenings or displays of student work.


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