October 2, 2023

Rafferty Publishes Essay Collection on the Presidents

Execute the Office: Essays with Presidents book coverAssociate Professor of English Colin Rafferty’s forthcoming essay collection, Execute the Office: Essays with Presidents, will be released by Baobab Press in Reno, Nevada.

Execute the Office uses lyric prose and formal invention to explore the humanity, or lack thereof, in each of the forty-five American presidents. Whether these powerful individuals have been remembered for infamous deeds or heroism, or they have been forgotten as placeholders in the annals of America, too often presidents are commemorated by the sterility of simple fact. Execute the Office builds upon factual accuracy with essays that are equally invested in lyrical writing and experimental forms. To balance these factions, Execute the Office uses constraint, metaphor, allusion, and epiphany to explore not just the facts and artifacts of history, but describe the connections between those facts and human nature in thought-provoking and inventive ways. These essays discuss the modes in which we remember. Through screenplays, death songs, footnotes, infinite rooms, evacuation routes, and nomenclatures, to name a few examples, these diverse essays engage with history from fresh perspectives. Execute the Office contains histories in and of unusual objects. While unfamiliar at first, they soon become distinct, unforgettable, profound, human.