Elevate Difference

Reviews by Dr. Julie E. Ferris

Dr. Julie E. Ferris

Julie E. Ferris, Ph.D. is an experienced communication professional working in public relations for the City of Milwaukee and she is also currently an adjunct faculty member at Carroll University. She has taught communication, women's studies, sociology and graduate coursework in education and has been a faculty member at the University Alabama in Huntsville and an instructor at Eastern Illinois University and the University of Iowa. She has also done professional consulting work in leadership and public speaking and works with several non profits. She has published erotica, served as a local community columnist and a singles life blogger and is a published in the areas of cultural and media studies. A feminist scholar, her current projects revolve around Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist blog and the cultural studies of space in her analysis of the Bristol Renaissance Faire where she performs as an Elizabethian trollop. You'll find her out camping, shopping for a new bike or bellowing at the television during football season (Go Hawkeyes!).

Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke and Finding Home

I’m sharing this book with everyone I know. Caitlin Shetterly’s Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke and Finding Home is a strong memoir about a young couple going broke in the recession and it gives readers the satisfying feeling of walking around someone else’s shoes for 250 pages. We’re all connected by some basic humanity and a good memoir reinforces this connection as we don the cloak of another with ease.

Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen

Pay cable offers us a whole new realm of addictions and one of the most recent was Showtime's production of The Tudors. The program, now ended with the inevitable death of King Henry (no spoilers in history), portrayed the complicated realm of the Tudor Dynasty, which included two notable queens—sisters Mary and Elizabeth. This historic era, because of Queen Elizabeth, offers us a space to enter and critique how women were used for political gain, often not their own.

Ether: Seven Stories and a Novella

While opening Evgenia Citkowitz’ collection of short stories, the spine creaked in an eerie way far too appropriate for the haunting words among the pages between.

Living Ghosts

Attention all ye steampunk aficionados, Absinthe Junk accomplishes what their name implies—they’re a fitting band for your gears, gadgets, corsets, and metal-worked jewelry! Their press album, Living Ghosts presents an adequate sampling of their haunting metal sound. A time-tested combination of steely guitars and an ethereal lead female voice place the band solidly within a genre recognized by metal, rockers, and goth fans alike.

Going Down: The Official Guide to Cunnilingus

Dr. Carol Queen may be a noted sex educator and renowned for her ability to openly address the subject and raise awareness of healthy, pleasurable sexual relations for us all, but she’s a little over-the-top in this video. Displaying slightly better production quality than a basement porn or self-made flick, Queen explains in appropriate detail the elements of desire and orgasm through cunnilingus.

Live in Louisville

“Well you have it, you love it, now it’s your turn to shove it…I don’t want to play house anymore,” sings Carrie Rodriguez on her newly released live compilation album, Live in Louisville. Her soulful voice, accompanied by rousing fiddles, makes her point with grace and force.

One Amazing Thing

One Amazing Thing is one amazing set of well-woven characters and stories.


Imperial is a difficult book. To the average reader, artist, or art connoisseur, it is hard to grasp what Vollmann is doing both in terms of publishing and in the vision within his photographs. This 200-page collection of photos of the California-Mexico borderlands named the Imperial Valley offers quality, if not perfunctory, images of a hard won desert life. The book, however, is as complicated as the people and politics it represents.

Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save The World

If the adage about giving a woman a fish only feeding her for a day, but teaching her to fish feeds her for life is true, then Matthew Bishop and Michael Green would argue that the nature of today’s philanthropic giving has taken a similar turn by creating a standard and strategy of giving that doesn’t simply donate—it leverages, it grows, it profits, and it multiplies. In Philanthrocapitalism, through a series of interviews with notable wealthy dono

Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown

I read Cosmopolitan. I have even been known to love it. I am the very working professional who Helen Gurley Brown addressed in her endless array of public statements about and to women. Now these ideas are wrapped in a new, critically written package. I am thankful, through Jennifer Scanlon’s recovery of Brown, that my infatuation of Cosmopolitan doesn’t make me unfeminist. Where Gloria Steinem and others once tried to take over Brown’s offices at _Cosmopolitan, _declaring her and the magazine anti-feminist, Scanlon is reclaiming Brown and her space in history as an ally of feminism.

Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming

As I opened this collection, I had just finished shaking my head at a picture a man I know well posted of himself grinning vividly, arms around a young woman clad in a chain mail bikini top at a gaming conference. This “booth babe” photo rests comfortably within the confines of his MySpace page. I cracked the spine of this volume considering how I felt about the girl, the picture, the medium, and my own experiences as feminist scholar who is also an avid gamer.


In Bodies, Susie Orbach, best known for her continuous thread of psychoanalytic discussion of the body particularly as rooted in eating disorders and feminism, offers up a broader discussion of bodies in our time.

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (Deluxe Edition)

Lucinda Williams may be notoriously slow in releasing albums, but such laborious love for her craft is evident in her choice to reissue Car Wheels on a Gravel Road as part of a new deluxe edition set. The set, which combines a remastered version of the original album and live cuts from her performance at Penn’s Landing during the WXPN Singer Songwriter Festival, is a collector’s dream.

by ebb and by flow

Summer has arrived, and if you can’t feel the warm sun on your face, the grit and grime of sand in your feet and the splash of water as you float down the river, then you need to put the new album by Alice Di Micele into your CD player.

Living on the Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take on the Garden State

Infused with identity politics and a love and loyalty that become proprietary to New Jersey natives, Irina Reyn’s edited collection Living on the Edge of the World offers readers a fractured and contemplative tour of the state. The concept for the book is superb—that locals know their relationship with this often unpopular state better than anyone—and Reyn follows through on her promise of a variety of perspectives that all cling to similar iconic references.