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March 15 Spring Colloquium to feature new faculty books about Grammy winning musician and life as a professor in the ‘North Country’

February 27, 2023

SCAS Spring Colloquium 2023 Poster

Finlandia University’s Suomi College of Arts & Sciences presents the 2023 Spring Colloquium celebrating two new faculty books. This year’s event will feature a reading, dialogue and book signing by authors Dr. Carolyn Dekker and Dr. William Knoblauch.

More about the authors and their new books can be found below.

North Country: A Pedagogical Almanac

North Country: A Pedagogical Almanac is a memoir in-essays that covers Dr. Carolyn Dekker’s life from 2015-2020. The book braids together teaching and family stories with meditations on other books – often the ones she’s teaching in her classroom, all against the backdrop of life here in the Keweenaw. North Country reads as a love letter to Dekker’s community, the people who appear within its pages, and the Keweenaw area in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.

About Carolyn Dekker
Alongside her career as a writer, Dr. Carolyn Dekker works as an Associate Professor of English at Finlandia University in Hancock, MI, where she teaches composition and American literature courses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and English from Williams College and a doctorate in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. Dekker was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2019 and the Best of the Net awards in 2019 and 2020. Her memoir-in-essays, North Country: A Pedagogical Almanac, is her newest release. 

I’m That Guy: The Life and Music of “The Groovemaster” Jerry Jemmott

I’m That Guy: The Life and Music of “The Groovemaster” Jerry Jemmott is a book ghost-written by Dr. William Knoblauch that highlights the life of two-time Grammy Award winning bassist and a native of the heralded Morrisania section of the Bronx, Jerry Jemmott. A performer since the age of twelve, Jemmott began his career as a Rhythm ‘n Blues/Jazz bassist. A musical disciple of Paul Chambers and Charles Mingus, Jemmott was a key architect of the Atlantic Records and Muscle Shoals sound of the 1960s & 1970s.

Jemmott’s body of work provided the soundtrack to the Civil Rights movement of the late 1960s. He played on Nina Simone Sings the Blues, Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone,” Wilson Pickett’s “Hey Jude,” Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles,” and albums by the Rascals, Freddie King, Freddie Hubbard, and many more. He performed on the landmark racial barrier-breaking LP Aretha Live at the Fillmore West, perhaps the greatest live R&B recording in history. He was also the interviewer in the now infamous Modern Electric Bass video with Jaco Pastorius. More recently he made a cameo solo performance in the film Mitchellville and had a starring role in the feature documentary Jaco, along with live performances with Gregg Almann and with Aretha Franklin on Late Night with David Letterman.

About William Knoblauch
William M. Knoblauch teaches history at Finlandia University. He is the co-editor of the Routledge History of World Peace since 1750, as well as over a dozen articles and book chapters, including “Game Over?: A Cold War Kid Reflects On Apocalyptic Video Games” which was mentioned in the New York Times Sunday Book Review for its place in the collection The State of Play.


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