Postmonitions of a Peripatetic Professor


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Postmonitions of a Peripatetic Professor describes the lucky journey of Peter Rose, an octogenarian sociologist, ethnographer, writer, teacher and world traveler. In the pages of this colorful memoir, the author comments on six decades of academic life in the U.S. and abroad, his work as researcher, editor and consultant, his excursions as a travel journalist, and some intimate portraits of those he met along the way.

With a foreword by the author’s former Smith College student, playwright and novelist Andrea Hairston, the narrative is enriched by occasional extracts from his earlier writings in essays, stories, reviews, poems, and books, including They and We, The Subject is Race, The Ghetto and Beyond, Strangers in Their Midst, Americans from Africa, Mainstream and Margins, Tempest-Tost, Guest Appearances, The Dispossessed and With Few Reservations.

Peter Rose is Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow of the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith College. He and his wife, Hedy, live in Northampton and Wellfleet, Massachusetts.


“These ‘reflections and ruminations’ tap into some of the highlights of the life of a strikingly accomplished academic, an intellectual who comes down only for refueling.
A distinguished sociologist, Peter Rose is a traveler infected with relentless energy and curiosity. This sprightly book teems with people and places that have mattered to him.”
—Stephen J. Whitfield, Professor of American Studies, Brandies University

“A riveting and original autobiography that reads like an intellectual and political Bildungsroman. Peter Rose teaches us how powerful learning becomes when one has mastered the skill to pass it all along in splendidly written prose.
—Saverio Giovacchini, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland

“This memoir can be understood and appreciated on multiple levels as Peter Rose reveals not only his intellectual and professional journey but also his more deeply personal reactions to the people, places and events encountered across time. An expert eye-witness and student of “true comity, where peoples meet,” Rose enables us to draw inspiration and insights from the stops and starts, ups and downs of that long journey to intercultural understanding.”
—Ruth J. Simmons, Professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Studies at Brown University, former President of Brown University and Smith College

“This collection of recollections forms and informs a fascinating intellectual memoir, a looking back from the stance on an “insider-within” at a life filled with vital ideas and incessant travel. Engagingly written, the potpourri of “postmonitions” across six decades of consequential history is presented with wit, Ă©lan, and keen insight.”
—RubĂ©n Rumbaut, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Riverside; co-author, Immigrant America and Legacies

“Peter Rose’s engaging memoir is a candid first-hand account of how American and African American studies evolved in the USA and abroad, penned by a sociologist who was very much in the thick of those developments. Postmonitions is mandatory reading for anyone with an interest in the intricate history of these fields, and in the intellectual history of the USA more broadly.”
—Vera M. Kutzinski, Vanderbilt University, author of The Worlds of Langston Hughes, Sugar’s Secrets, and Against the American Grain

Weight 1.2 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in
Levellers Press