This year, Beta Phi Mu Omicron has not one but three guest speakers: Dr. Marc Aronson, Dr. Minjie Chen, and Diana Floegel for our 2019 Annual Meeting & Dinner on Tuesday, April 16th. They will be talking about Dr. Aronson’s book on the Thai Cave Rescue and the research process behind it.

The Many Stories Behind the Thai Cave Rescue: How an International Team Recounted an International Event

The story of the youth soccer team trapped in a Thai cave was all over the news last summer. But in order to fully understand the events for his book Rising Water, Dr. Aronson worked with two Rutgers doctoral students, a team of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese readers, and conducted exclusive interviews with key divers and rescuers. What seemed like a survival tale turned out to be the triumph of internationalism, and a testimony to the importance of undocumented, stateless, refugees everywhere. Our speakers will describe the research and writing of Rising Water, and how the story changed as they explored it.

About the Speakers

Dr. Marc Aronson is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information in the Department of Library and Information Studies. He is an award-winning author of twenty-one non-fiction books for middle school, young adult, and adult readers. His current project is an exploration of how to share a full history of humankind. He teaches graduate courses on how to select library materials for young patrons and a course on international children’s literature which features a visit to the Bologna, Italy book fair. He is a dynamic and well-known speaker, editor, and publisher. Marc’s homepage says that he “believes that young people, especially pre-teens and teenagers, are smart, passionate, and capable of engaging with interesting ideas in interesting ways.”

Dr. Minjie Chen is a Metadata Librarian for non-Roman language materials at the Cotsen Children’s Library, a special collection of international children’s literature held by Princeton University Library. She is interested in children’s literature as an information source for young people, and has studied how the history of war and political turmoil are reflected in juvenile materials, as well as children’s books on sex education. Her next project examines disabilities as portrayed in Chinese children’s literature. As well as helping Marc connect with Princeton University student translators from Thailand, Minjie interviewed one of the Chinese volunteer organizations that were part of the international rescue efforts and passed questions, answers, and photos between Marc and the rescue team leader.

Diana Floegel is a second year Ph.D. student at Rutgers SC&I. Her research interests include how entertainment media interactions and creation serve as information practices for queer individuals, and social justice in information institutions. As Marc’s research assistant for Rising Waters, her job was to provide context for the rescue that more deeply engaged with social issues—including statelessness and religion—than the narrative provided by popular news outlets. This helped the team better understand the cultural and socio-historical circumstances surrounding the rescue and the people involved.