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Dekelboum Concert Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Monday, November 18, 2013 - 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

The talk will explore the necessity and importance of the arts and humanities in today's society.

by Monette A. Bailey, Terp Magazine

If you don’t think the liberal arts involve hands-on work in the real world, think again. A new fund in the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) is encouraging innovative classes that will tackle problems like poverty, racism and gender equality.

A $150,000 gift from NFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth ’04 and wife Ashley (Manning) ’06, provides seed money for faculty to plan the courses in which students design community outreach programs.

The Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative will complement existing efforts to apply arts and humanities skills—reading, writing, critical thinking and communication along with deep knowledge of culture, language and history—to real challenges. Among them are projects helping recent immigrants find their voice through poetry or using ancient Greek literature about war to help veterans discuss and make sense of their experience.

 A committee is reviewing ideas for courses; three will be introduced in Spring 2014.

“The root of many social problems is faulty thinking. The arts and humanities teach you to think both critically and empathetically,” says Michelle Rowley, associate professor of women’s studies and the project’s point person.

As an American studies major, Domonique took a social activism course that stimulated his interest in nonprofit work. After a stellar career on the Terps football team, he played cornerback for the Broncos, Falcons and Ravens, and retired with an injury in 2011. This fall he’s attending Harvard Business School.

Ashley, an English major who later graduated from Harvard Law School, also values a grassroots approach. Their initiative stemmed from conversations the couple had with ARHU Dean Bonnie Thornton Dill on how to nurture students to be more civically engaged citizens.

“We hope that students are going to be interested in helping others long after they leave school,” says Ashley.

by Liam Farrell, Terp Magazine 

It was a story conceived in one of the most primal ways possible, inspired amidst rainy nights, vivid dreams and shared ghost stories. By this fall, technology will allow people around the world to see how Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” grew from a teenager’s vision on the shores of Lake Geneva to a centerpiece of 19th-century British literature.

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) is a partner with the Bodleian Library at Oxford, England, and the New York Public Library in creating the digital Shelley-Godwin Archive, which has received a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. When completed, it will have images of major works and correspondence from Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and other writers in their circle.

Documents encompassing “Frankenstein” will be available in time for Halloween. With a longstanding debate surrounding how much of the story was written by Mary or husband Percy, students and scholars will be able to see original notebook pages in her handwriting and revisions he made.

“This allows people to understand the life of a literary work,” says Neil Fraistat, an English professor, director of MITH and Shelley scholar leading the project at Maryland.

Broader goals are to get students involved in curating online material by looking for transcription mistakes, encoding source material online and getting a critical appreciation for the documents. Then, people around the world can view original manuscripts and transcriptions side-by-side while annotating and sharing their own findings. “This is ultimately about the public and making them part of the humanities,” Fraistat says. “It allows us not just to project out what we do but to bring the public in to what we do.”

Perhaps the inspiration for the next great monster tale won’t come sitting around a campfire but in front of a computer screen

See the archive at shelleygodwinarchive.org.

10/16/13

by Nick DiMarco, abc2news

Location, location, location.

Once the maxim of picking prime real estate, location is becoming recognized as the most important feature shaping the future of social and mobile media.

Emerging social media applications focused on location recognition are trying to change the way we see the world. These tools are being used increasingly to mine data from consumers, provide real-time updates of important happenings, take us to events we want to see and in some cases to keep us safe.

Apple iPhone users, for example, may have noticed the emphasis on location technology during the upgrade to iOS7. Thousands of App Store applications were required to request permission of the user’s location before publicly publishing posts. 

It's most prevalent in navigation apps, however social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram rely on location tagging to connect users to each other and to nearby places. 

“The most pervasive digital technology on the planet is a mobile device,” said Jason Farman, a University of Maryland professor and social/mobile media researcher.

To read more, please click here.

by Jason Farman, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Since I’ve been teaching in higher education, I have always been very confident of my teaching abilities. I knew I was a good teacher; that is, until fall semester of 2012.

I had just been awarded a fellowship with the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Maryland, given to 10 faculty members each year from disciplines all across the campus. I then met with my fellow faculty members every Friday morning for an hour to discuss teaching methods, pedagogical theories, and the role of face-to-face learning in the digital age.

Working alongside these seasoned scholar-teachers, I realized that everything I had taken for granted about my own teaching wasn’t always the best approach. I very quickly realized that each one of my assumptions had to be reevaluated, beginning with the idea that I was a good teacher.

Throughout the academic year working with the Center for Teaching Excellence, I built my teaching philosophy from the ground up, holding each of my assumptions under close examination. In the end, I crafted the following Manifesto for Active Learning.

To read more, please click here.

Congratulations to new ADVANCE professor Laura Rosenthal, a professor of English in the College of Arts and Humanities. Rosenthal is an accomplished faculty member with a multitiude of learship positions within the college. She serves as a role model and mentor for junior colleagues. 

The ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence aims to transform the insitutitional culture of the university by facilitating networks, offering individual mentoring and support, and providing information and strategic opportunities for women faculty in all areas of academia. The ADVANCE program aims to produce academic environments with assumptions, values and beliefs, policies and practices that support and generate professional growth and excellence for all faculty.

Learn more and see the full list of new ADVANCE professors at the program website.

 

10/5/13

by Broadwayworld News Desk,  broadwayworld.com

The University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) announced it will partner with the theatre departments of the Big Ten Conference schools to create a new playwriting and performance initiative. The group, known as the Big Ten Theatre Chairs plans to commission, produce and publicize as many as five new plays in an effort to influence the national dialogue about women playwrights and the sorts of scripts needed by university theatre programs for performing arts education.

The group plans to impact the dramatic underrepresentation of women playwrights in American theatre. In a recent study cited in the The New York Times, it was determined that of the 20,000 playwrights in the Dramatists Guild and on Doolee.com, an online database of playwrights, there were twice as many male playwrights as female ones, and that the men tended to be more prolific, turning out more plays. To draw attention to this imbalance and support greater gender diversity in the field, the Big Ten Theatre Chairs plan to commission women playwrights to write the initiative's first three plays.

The Big Ten Theatre Chairs also believe a need exists for a larger body of high-caliber plays with specific characteristics that make them effective tools for teaching theatre students. In response to this, they intend to commission the writing of plays that each feature up to eight roles, primarily for women actors, and predominantly for characters of an age that can be credibly played by college students.

To read more, please click here.

10/1/13

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland announced today it has received the George Meany Memorial Archive from the AFL-CIO, an extensive collection of documents, photographs, books and audio and visual recordings pertaining to this federation of labor unions based in Washington, D.C.

With materials that fill six miles of shelving, the collection is the largest such donation to the university and a boon to scholars of labor studies. Complementing other labor-related collections at the University Libraries, the AFL-CIO archive will establish the university as a top archival repository for labor history in North America.

The collection, appraised at $25 million, dates back to the mid-19th century and fills approximately 20,000 boxes.  The 40 million documents and other materials will help researchers better understand pivotal social movements in this country, including those to gain rights for women, children and minorities.

“This tremendous historic treasure covers some of the most vital periods of our history, and it needs careful exploration,” says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. “U.S. labor history is an area of faculty strength for us, so I know it will get heavy use from the UMD community, as well as from scholars around the world. We are honored by the gift and the trust placed in our hands.”

“The archive is a game-changer for us,” says Patricia Steele, dean of UMD Libraries. “Because it is comprehensive and so rich in intellectual value, it vastly expands our ability to support researchers on this campus and beyond. The AFL-CIO collection offers unique opportunities for us to collaborate in innovative ways with academic departments, government agencies and partners from labor and industry. We are pleased leaders of the AFL-CIO placed such a high degree of confidence in us to provide a new home for their collection.” 

Additionally, Steele says, the AFL-CIO will also fund a position to support the collection by serving as a liaison with researchers, identifying components for digitization and partnering with interested groups. 

Transfer of the collection to UMD is complete. Materials will be accessible from Hornbake Library, the university’s library for special collections, which features comprehensive environmental controls, a large reading room and exhibition space. Special collections, identified as such because of their rarity or format, frequently distinguish a library’s unique offerings at a time when information is broadly available online.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, is the umbrella federation for U.S. unions, with 56 unions representing more than 12 million working men and women.
  
For more than 30 years the University Libraries have acquired archival resources that document the history of the labor movement in North America. Included in the collections are the archives of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union; the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America; the International Union of Marine Shipbuilding Workers of America; the International Labor Communications Association; and the Cigar Makers International Union.
 
UMD is situated within a key national research hub, and the UMD Libraries make up the largest university library system in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area. The eight-library system supports the teaching, learning and research needs of students and faculty. 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland is launching a campus-wide, interdisciplinary research center designed to advance a deep understanding of language to promote human and technological solutions to real world problems.

The Maryland Language Science Center will combine the brain trust of the world's broadest and most integrated community of language scientists to connect answers to deep scientific problems—such as understanding how our brains make the richness of human language(s) possible—with solutions to real-world problems involving language in education, technology, health and security.

The center is a collaborative effort involving more than 200 language scientists, drawn from 16 departments and centers in six colleges across the university.

"Language is the foundation of what makes humans distinctive as a species. Without it, society, culture, and technology would simply not be possible," says Colin Phillips, a UMD professor of linguistics and director of the Maryland Language Science Center. "The formation of this new center will help us solve a variety of complex research problems that require the diverse expertise of faculty and students across the entire university."

Building on the established work of language scientists at the university, the new center will solve a variety of pressing global problems.  Some of this work includes early identification of language disorders in infants; narrowing education achievement gaps caused by ‘language poverty’; and building technology for information extraction and for real-time translation systems that emulate the feats of simultaneous interpreters.

"With the creation of the new Maryland Language Science Center, we are focusing on an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to language science and making it one of the university's strategic priorities," says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD's senior vice president and provost. "Through this unique collaborative model between the humanities and sciences, we will be able to create connections across campus between traditionally disparate areas and secure our spot at a global leader in language science research."

The Language Science Center will also serve as an incubator for development of new research areas that intersect with language, such as culture, genetics, automatic speech recognition, and K-12 language education.

To learn more about the Maryland Language Science Center, visit www.languagescience.umd.edu/launch.

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, Maryland is ranked No. 21 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report and No. 14 among public universities by Forbes. The Institute of Higher Education, which ranks the world’s top universities based on research, puts Maryland at No. 38 in the world, No. 29 nationally and No. 13 among U.S. public research institutions. The university is also one of the top 10 highest-rated D.C.-area employers, according to Glassdoor.com. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 49 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies(TDPS) is partnering with theatre departments at Big Ten Conference schools to create a new playwriting and performance initiative. The group, known as the Big Ten Theatre Chairs, plans to commission, produce and publicize as many as five new plays in an effort to influence the national dialogue about women playwrights and the sorts of scripts needed by university theatre programs for performing arts education.

The group plans to impact the dramatic underrepresentation of women playwrights in American theatre.  In a recent study cited in the The New York Times, it was determined that of the 20,000 playwrights in the Dramatists Guild and on Doolee.com, an online database of playwrights, there were twice as many male playwrights as female ones, and that the men tended to be more prolific, turning out more plays. To draw attention to this imbalance and support greater gender diversity in the field, the Big Ten Theatre Chairs plan to commission women playwrights to write the initiative’s first three plays.

The Big Ten Theatre Chairs also believe a need exists for a larger body of high-caliber plays with specific characteristics that make them effective tools for teaching theatre students.  In response to this, they intend to commission the writing of plays that each feature up to eight roles, primarily for women actors, and predominantly for characters of an age that can be credibly played by college students.

The program’s first commissioned dramatist, Naomi Iizuka, is one of the nation’s most acclaimed young authors and head of playwriting at University of California, San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Iizuka’s plays include 36 Views, Strike-Slip and Anon(ymous). Her work has been produced by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Joseph Papp Public Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival Actors’ Theatre. She is the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, an NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residence grant and Princeton University’s Hodder Fellowship. Her first draft of the commissioned work will be reviewed and discussed in October by the Big Ten Theatre Chairs in a meeting at Northwestern University.

“Iizuka is a generous and extremely collaborative artist,” said Leigh Wilson Smiley, director of TDPS.  “We are most excited to have this opportunity to support her creativity and enhance our students' experience with innovation through the development of a new play.”

A full draft of the new play will be completed by spring, 2014 and will be performed during the 2014-2015 season at one or more Big Ten schools.  The group plans to commission one play by a woman playwright each year for three years, and as the project progresses, will commit to additional years. If Iizuka's play is chosen for UMD’s TDPS 2014-2015 season, she will be invited to campus to workshop the play with TDPS students.

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