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The family that cites together, writes together

October  15, 2010

If your mom was a farmer, it wouldn't be surprising if one day you tried growing something. Or, if your father was a legislator, you might gravitate toward politics. So naturally, if your dad is professor, you might share an interest in academic publishing.

Two families on campus recently have finished just such a project: Dr. John Hildreth and son Christopher published "Music in the Global Village," and Dr. Daniel Lee and daughter Elizabeth produced "Human Rights and the Ethics of Globalization."

Each father realized that his child's experience and expertise could add substantially to his own.

John and Christopher Hildreth

By Beth Roberts

Professor of Music Dr. John Hildreth and his son Christopher, 18, have partnered on projects ever since Christopher started his first business: a fresh produce stand alongside the family’s garage. John had started taking 5-year-old Christopher to their big garden plot to help with planting and weeding. The youngster looked at the vegetables and saw an opportunity.

Thus a future in business was planted along with that summer’s harvest. Their latest collaboration is not agricultural, but cross-cultural. The book Music in the Global Village was written by John, while Christopher assisted with design and layout—from photography, to chapter heads in various languages, to indexing.

According to John, “I do books; he does computers.”

At some point during the writing of the book, it became clear to John that his publisher’s strict requirements for the digital files meant his son’s computer literacy could be a great resource. So the two worked together on the project for about a year and a half.

With Christopher’s help, John was able to take the results of years of research, “put it into some meaningful, teachable form, and put it between covers.”

The book is a survey of musical forms, instruments and traditions around the world — as well as ways to approach music from a global perspective. John used it as a textbook in the world music course he taught at Augustana last spring. Through class lecture and discussions, he saw an opportunity to integrate a new, overarching concept within the book.

Recently completed, a new chapter to include in the book’s next printing is called “The Bio-Basic Factors of Music,” which John translates as “the life stuff of music.”

“The language used to discuss music focuses on horizontal elements, like melody, as well as vertical elements — sometimes called harmony — and the time-spatial aspects of music expressed as rhythm, pulse and meter,” John says. “The idea is to not focus endlessly on the minutia of Western music, but to find a more global way of understanding music.”

Slated to be the first chapter, the new text will serve as the foundation upon which readers might then explore and comprehend music across cultures.

Strongly inspired by the concept of bio-basic factors of music, Christopher created a visual representation of the musical relationship of time, space and rhythm, which he hopes to include with the new chapter. He admits he never really enjoyed the piano lessons he took from age 3-16, yet “I appreciate that [the study of music] can teach you how to understand and listen to music, more than simply hear it.”

John hopes one day Christopher will look back and see how music has enriched his life. For now, Christopher is looking forward to starting college at Augustana this fall, where he plans to study business — perhaps international business — and to minor in the Japanese language or one of the earth sciences.

“We’re two different people,” John says, “and I always said I’d never dictate ‘like father, like son.’” “He was good about that,” Christopher affirms.

At Augustana he’ll likely have more opportunities to work one-on-one with a professor, as he has done with his father, who has taught at the college for nearly 40 years.

“When you combine enthusiasm with years of experience, exciting things can happen,” notes John. “And I’m all for that.”

Music in the Global Village was published by Linus Publications, Inc., in 2010.

Dan and Elizabeth Lee

By Debbie Blaylock

It’s his ninth, and her first. But for Dr. Daniel Lee, this latest book is special in that his co-author was Elizabeth Lee, his daughter. “Neither of us could have written this without the other,” Dan says. “Each of us had important areas of expertise to bring to it and make it a stronger book. It was a true cooperative effort.”

The Lees’ Human Rights and the Ethics of Globalization, published by Cambridge University Press, discusses ethical issues related to the globalization of the economy. The book maps out the philosophical foundations for constructing an ethic of globalization — a discussion Dan says is missing in current literature.

These ideals are applied to four test cases: the ethics of investing in China, a case study of the Firestone company’s presence in Liberia, free-trade and fair-trade issues pertaining to the coffee trade in Ethiopia; and the use of low-wage factories in Mexico to serve the U.S. market.

A reviewer from George Washington School of Business applauds the Lees for providing “frameworks, guidance and answers to some of today’s most difficult issues in corporate responsibility.”

The book addresses how to enforce global compliance with basic human rights standards, with specific attention on stopping abuses by multinational corporations through litigation under the Alien Tort Claims Act.

The topics of human rights, ethics and globalization are a perfect fit for this father-daughter writing team. Dan has years of experience teaching business ethics at Augustana and engaging in research for his other books, while Elizabeth has studied law, traveled extensively and worked with diverse populations here and abroad.

“This book means a lot to me because it’s an expression of what’s important to me,” Elizabeth says.

After graduating from Bradley University in 2004, Elizabeth attended law school at Northwestern University, where she clerked for the Center for International Human Rights. She traveled to Ethiopia as part of a research group and worked on Liberian asylum cases at a Northwestern-affiliated legal clinic. During the summer of 2007, she served as a law clerk for a firm in Phoenix; she currently is an assistant federal public defender in Tucson, Arizona. Fluent in Spanish, Elizabeth has studied and taught in Ecuador, and has traveled in Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Columbia and numerous other countries.

Respect for each other’s talents and experience was key to the success of the five-year project.

“When we were writing, a judge issued a decision in the Firestone case, and she was able to explain it to me,” Dan says. Elizabeth adds, “My dad would tell me when my legal jargon didn’t make sense to him. If we used technical terms, we explained them. We tried to make the book accessible to everyone.”

As a boy growing up in rural Montana, Dan worked the farm with his parents. He points out that in today’s society, this kind of multi-generational shared experience is becoming increasingly rare. This book project allowed him to capture this missing thread in his relationship with Elizabeth. In fact, the experience went so smoothly they already are thinking about future collaborations.

He's in, but maybe not his book

Dr. Daniel Lee is teaching the first half of this year’s winter term at Shanghai (China) Normal University and will be a guest professor again next year, which is interesting because his most recent book, Human Rights and the Ethics of Globalization, may not be allowed in China.