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UIS Author Festival

Annual celebration of UIS authors.

Author Festival 2021 (Virtual)

Here's a look at the featured books and authors from Author Festival 2021.

Featured Books & Authors

Here's a look at the featured books and authors from Author Festival 2021.

Dr. Brandon Barclay Derman

Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

Brandon Derman holds a PhD in geography with additional concentration in socio-legal studies from the University of Washington, an MA in geography from Hunter College of the City University of New York, and a BA from the University of Michigan.

Brandon’s interests center on the production, regulation, and contestation of environmental marginality at scales from the globe to the neighborhood.  At UIS he has designed and taught courses in environmental and natural resource policy and law, cultural geography, research methods, climate change, and climate justice.

Brandon’s scholarship has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the European Union Centers of Excellence, and appeared in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Climate Policy, and the South African Review of Human Rights among other venues.  He has presented and organized sessions at national and international conferences, and served as a member of the Scientific Committee for the first World Forum on Climate Justice, at Glasgow Caledonian University in 2019.



Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Professor, Political Theory and Philosophy
Department of Political Science

Richard Gilman-Opalsky earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at The New School for Social Research in 2006.  His M.A. from The New School for Social Research and B.A. from Hofstra University are in Philosophy. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s teaching and research focuses on the history of political philosophy, Continental and contemporary social theory, Marxism, capitalism, postmodern philosophy, critical theory, social movements and the public sphere. At UIS, he has designed and taught courses including Political Ideas and Ideologies, Democratization and the Public Sphere, and Globalization and the Future of Democracy. He has published a prolific record of scholarship with major university and commercial presses, and his work has been widely reviewed in professional journals and activist circles around the world.

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky is author of six books with the latest titles - The Communism of Love: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Exchange Value (2020) and Riotous Epistemology: Imaginary Power, Art, and Insurrection (2019) joining his other publications. He is co-editor of Against Capital in the Twenty-First Century: A Reader of Radical Undercurrents (2018), and has published numerous articles on social theory and political philosophy, especially on theories of revolution, contentious politics, philosophy of praxis, and capitalism and its culture. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky has lectured on his research throughout the U.S. and Europe, as well as China and Argentina. 

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky was named University Scholar 2018-2019.


Dr. Kenneth A. Kriz

University Distinguished Professor of Public Administration
Director, Institute for Illinois Public Finance

Kenneth A. Kriz, earned his Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Indiana University, an M.P.A from University of Colorado-Denver, and his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Iowa. His research focuses on subnational debt policy and administration, public pension fund management, government financial risk management, economic and revenue forecasting, and behavioral public finance. He is a frequent presenter nationally and internationally at conferences on public economics, public budgeting and financial management. He has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters, as well as a textbook on quantitative research methods in public administration, and has experience consulting with public and nonprofit organizations on financial and economic matters. 

Dr. Kriz served as Vice-Chairperson of the City of Omaha, Nebraska Civilian Employees Retirement System from 2006 to 2011 and on the Board of Trustees of the Wichita, Kansas Police & Fire Retirement System and on the Joint Investment Committee for the city’s pension funds from 2014 to 2018. Dr. Kriz was a Fulbright Scholar in the Republic of Estonia during academic year 2004-05 and a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the Czech Republic in 2008.


Dr. Jennifer L. Martin

Assistant Professor, Teacher Education

Jennifer L. Martin earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Oakland University, her M.A.L.S. and her M.A. in English from Eastern Michigan University, and a B.A. from University of Michigan-Dearborn. 

Dr. Martin’s teaching and research focuses on culturally responsive teaching and leading, curriculum theory/critical theory, educational equity and multicultural education, English education and literacy, service-learning, and urban education. At UIS, she has designed and taught courses including Managing the Diverse Classroom, Middle Level and High School Clinical Practice Seminar, and English Methods for Middle and Secondary Levels. She has a prolific record of scholarship with major research journals, and her work has been widely reviewed and cited.  Dr. Martin also shares her work on the podcast eduCATE: Caring Activist Teachers for Equity.  

In 2016, she was the recipient of the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Outstanding Book Recognition Award for Racial Battle Fatigue: Insights from the front lines of social justice advocacy.