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By Dina Shafey Scott & Diana Guelespe

Scholars from around the country whose research focuses on the lived experiences of historically underrepresented minority (URM) groups gathered this past summer for the 2nd Annual Intersectional Qualitative Research Methods Institute (IQRMI), held at the University of Maryland (UMD). Organized by UMD’s Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity (CRGE), the week-long institute brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars with one common interest— to research critical social problems using an intersectional approach. 

This year 20 scholars attended a series of daily interactions, seminars and post-institute activities focused on enhancing qualitative research and writing skills, developing critical intersectional perspectives for designing and interpreting research and developing navigational skills to successfully negotiate academic career paths. Scholars represented a variety of academic disciplines, and discussed the importance of integrating the arts and humanities into their research to address social justice issues.

“Understanding privilege requires that we see that all oppression has a starting point and is based in history,” said Nishaun T. Battle, assistant professor of sociology and criminal Justice at Virginia State University.

Battle has worked on understanding and promoting social justice for ‘at risk’ juveniles and spoke of her cross-disciplinary partnership with the humanities.

“I have worked and collaborated with women’s studies and history professors and draw from the work of Elsa Barkley Brown, history and women’s studies professor at Maryland,” said Battle.

Sponsored by the New Connections Program, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Maryland Population Research Center, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at UMD, the institute offers training that uniquely focuses on qualitative research methods that incorporate discussions at the intersections of race, gender, class, ethnicity and other dimensions of inequality, especially cultivated through the lens of URM scholars.

The institute took place as the country was grappling with the controversial deaths of 37-year old Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge Louisiana and 32-year old Philando Castile in St. Paul Minnesota, both dying at the hands of law enforcement officers. It became a space to share thoughts and feelings, as often these faculty are the only people of color in their departments and for students to turn to in these times.

“Schools need to place more emphasis on humanities to help in healing,” said Laurie Nsiah Jefferson, senior lecturer at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

One attendee, Kunmi Sobowale, a resident at Yale School of Medicine at Yale University, reached out to the group after the institute to follow up and share how he was “helping patients to process emotions and fears”  surrounding the events, and “discussing the long lasting effects on their mental health.”

“I am trying to set up discussion(s) and make these topics a standard practice and part of medical training,” said Sobowale.

That act was one of many resulting from the work of the group. They continue to see the institute as a safe space where they were able to share their thoughts and feelings with the group and collaborate in publications.

“What an amazing group of brilliant and compassionate scholars,” said Ruth Enid Zambrana, director of CRGE, “struggling with social issues of grave concern, such as African American men and women in prisons, food insecurity among the poor and Latino immigrant groups, caregiving among other concerns. It was moving to observe them feel safe, secure in their belonging and trust to reach out for help.”

Together the attendees drafted a collective statement in response to the events to express their sadness in the loss of community and law enforcement officers, while noting historical and structural injustices still present in society. 

“We Lift Up Love and Reject the Burden of Hate: To build a more empathetic community, we must courageously listen and make an honest effort to face our fears and pain, and consciously commit to boldly take action for transformative change in this country. Without this change we will inevitably face continued violence and loss of the skills and talents of those we have lost.”

The next IQRMI will be held on June 4-9, 2017. For more information or to apply, please visit www.crge.umd.edu/IQRMI. The deadline for application is January 9, 2017. 

10/20/16

Dan Rodricks | The Baltimore Sun Roughly Speaking Podcast

"Sun columnist Dan Rodricks and American culture commentator Sheri Parks talk about Wednesday night's third and final (and nasty) debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Sheri Parks is an associate dean at the University of Maryland, College Park and a regular contributor to Roughly Speaking. "

Listen to the complete podcast here.

McKeldin 6137 Special Events Room
Friday, October 28, 2016 - 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM

Join us for a campus-wide initiative to learn more about scholarship at UMD focused on the African-American Experience.

9/13/16

The Baltimore City Paper named "BMORE Than the Story "Best Community Curation" in its 2016 "Best of Baltimore" issue. Curated by students from associate Professor of design Audra Buck-Coleman’s course on design in society and students from the Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts, the “BMORE Than The Story” exhibition at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum addressed the one-sided media portrayal and the realities of the west Baltimore students’ lives. 

The Baltimore City Paper writes:

"Baltimore’s museums generally feature exhibitions organized by professional curators, but in the aftermath of the uprising following the murder of Freddie Gray, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum opened up its exhibit space to students from Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts. The students curated a response to the ugly media narrative about their lives that the press put out in April 2015. Working with UMD students, the result was “BMORE Than the Story,” which highlighted stories from students about their experiences with surveillance, police brutality, and civic deprivation. The show was a powerful challenge to the carceral logics of their schools and neighborhoods that resonated far beyond the museum walls."

Read the complete article at the Baltimore City Paper website.

Image via the Baltimore City Paper

To: Colleagues

From: Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean

Date: September 13, 2016

Re: 2016-17 Leadership Appointments

I am pleased to announce the following leadership appointments within the College of Arts and Humanities:

Amanda Bailey is serving as chair of the Department of English, effective July 1, 2016.

Amanda Bailey specializes in Shakespeare, early modern legal studies, political theory, economic history and the history of masculinity in literature. Her most recent book, “Of Bondage: Debt, Property and Personhood in Early Modern England,” examines dramatic literature’s contribution to the developing narrative of debt bondage, shedding new light on the conceptions of indentured servitude and slavery. In addition to publishing in journals such as Shakespeare Quarterly, English Literary Renaissance and Renaissance Drama, she has also co-edited two volumes, “Masculinity And The Metropolis of Vice, 1550-1650” and “Affect Theory, Early Modern Texts.” Her current book project, “A Natural History of Politics: Shakespeare, Sympathy and the Stars,” identifies affinity as foundational to ideas about political agency as based on affect rather than rights.

Bailey joined the faculty in the English department in 2012, coming to us from the University of Connecticut.

She earned her doctorate in English literature from the University of Michigan.

David Ellis is serving as executive director of the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC), effective September 7, 2016.

Ellis has nearly 20 years of experience in foreign language teaching, training and curriculum design and is currently focused on developing a model of learner persistence and clarifying the role of technology in foreign language education. He will provide overall leadership and direction to the center, serving as the principal investigator for the Center’s federally-funded STARTALK program, which is designed to increase national capacity in critical-need languages. He is also program manager of the Analysis and Language Learning contract, a federally-funded project to develop self-guided, web-based learning materials in over 100 critical-need languages.

Ellis joined the NFLC in 2006 after leaving the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, where he was a faculty developer. He previously served as deputy director and interim director.

He earned his doctorate in second language acquisition from the University of Maryland.

Jason Geary is serving as director of the School of Music, effective July 1, 2016.

A respected musicologist and conservatory-trained pianist, Geary has focused his research on the music of nineteenth-century Germany and its role in European cultural and intellectual history. In addition to several articles and book chapters, he is author of “The Politics of Appropriation: German Romantic Music and the Ancient Greek Legacy,” which explores the reception of ancient Greece as it relates to German music and culture of the 1800s. His latest book project investigates the theme of childhood in nineteenth-century music amid changing ideas about children that emerged during the late Enlightenment. His work has been recognized by, among other honors, a Fulbright grant and a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

As a young pianist, he won competitions that resulted in performances with the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, and at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.

Geary joins UMD after a 12-year career at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where he served as associate professor and associate dean for graduate studies, equity and inclusion.  

He earned his doctorate in musicology from Yale University.

Catherine Knight Steele is serving as the inaugural director of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded “Synergies Among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture” initiative, effective August 15, 2016.

Steele is an expert in digital media, online communication and race. Her research examines the representation of marginalized communities in the media and how those populations use online technology to create spaces of community and resistance. Her current project focuses on digital black feminism and how the technical and imaginative possibilities of new media are shaping online black feminist discourse.

Steele comes to UMD from Colorado State University, where where she was an assistant professor of journalism and media communication.

She earned her doctorate in communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Please join me in congratulating our new leaders in the College of Arts and Humanities. I would also like to take this opportunity to offer my warm thanks to the former directors and chairs: former Director of the School of Music Robert “Bob” Gibson, who will continue teaching, performing and composing, following a research leave; and former Chair of the Department of English Kent Cartwright, who will continue his research in medieval and renaissance literature.

Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland
Thursday, October 06, 2016 - 8:00 AM to Friday, October 07, 2016 - 6:30 PM

This conference explores the systematic criminalization of migration in many western liberal democracies.

MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

African American cultural & literary studies scholars Dana Williams & Kenton Rambsy will present this talk about how data management can construct history.

MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, November 08, 2016 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Staking a claim in collaborative models of digital archiving, exhibition and geo-spatial visualization, University of Delaware scholars Sarah Patterson and Jim Casey will introduce questions, concepts and outcomes central to the Colored Conventions Project’s online restoration of the Colored Conventions Movement, 1830-1900.

MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, November 01, 2016 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Alberto Campagnolo, Library of Congress Fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies, will present this talk about what would otherwise be invisible to us.

MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Ravon Ruffin is co-creator of Brown Girls Museum Blog, a site to promote the visibility of minority communities as museum professionals, audiences, and creatives.

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