Campus News: Professor Publishes Book

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Professor Publishes Book
Merritt Jenkins - 4/18/2022

Professor Publishes Book


Dr. Mary McCampbell, associate professor of humanities, has recently written and released the book, "Imagining Our Neighbors as Ourselves: How Art Shapes Empathy."


According to McCampbell, the book was inspired by classroom conversations with students. "I often see the ways that encountering a film, novel, poem, or song about the deeply human experience of a fellow image bearer helps students become more empathetic toward those whose lives might look very different than theirs."


The book, published through Fortress Press, is her first. In it, McCampbell looks at how narrative art, whether literature, film, television, or popular music, expands the imagination and, in doing so, emboldens each person's ability to love their neighbors as themselves.


"We have diminished imaginations, especially when we think about the lives of those who are different than us," said McCampbell. "We need to nurture, grow, and stretch our imaginations to help us learn to love our neighbors better, learning to see the glory of the Imago Dei, or image of God, within them—and engaging with the arts can help us to do this."


On Tuesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m., McCampbell will present a lecture based on the book's material, followed by a book signing. The event will take place at The Camp House in Chattanooga and is free and open to the public. 


McCampbell also held a Facebook book launch on April 19, which consisted of Zoom conversations about empathy with 11 different artists, writers, and thought leaders. Some of these included artist Makoto Fujimura, professor Karen Swallow Prior, best-selling author Douglas Coupland, and Tyler Burns, president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective.


McCampbell joined Lee's faculty as an assistant professor of humanities in 2010. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts from Newcastle University and a master's degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She received a bachelor's degree from Covenant College. At Lee, she regularly teaches courses on postmodern theory and fiction, film and philosophy, popular culture, and modernism.


"Imagining Our Neighbors as Ourselves: How Art Shapes Empathy" is available for purchase at

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