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Ulrich Recital Hall, Tawes Hall
Thursday, March 02, 2017 - 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

What is the future of the Humanities? Come listen to scholars speak on the direction and trends.

1/26/17

By Christine Condon and Danielle Ohl | The Diamondback

"President Trump plans to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, a move that could jeopardize funding for the arts and humanities at the University of Maryland and in this state.

"A Jan. 19 report in The Hill detailed a meeting between White House staff and Trump's transition team, who fleshed out a plan to cut back on bureaucracy and government spending. The plan included eliminating the two endowments, which have granted this university about $2.5 million for research, performances and projects since 2010.

" '[The NEH and NEA] have been important in a lot of ways,' said arts and humanities college Dean Bonnie Dill. 'They are a very important part of the work that we do.' "

Read the complete story online at The Diamondback.

Image: The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. (File photo/The Diamondback).

0301 Hornbake Library North (lower level, behind Library Media Services)
Tuesday, February 07, 2017 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Join scholar Kishonna Gray from MIT and Harvard as she discusses how video games legitimize white masculinity and hegemonic ideology through the ‘othering’ process.

1/19/17

By Dan Rodricks | Roughly Speaking Podcast

In this podcast, culture commentator Sheri Parks talks about the transition from Obama to Trump, and Friday’s inauguration.

Listen to the complete podcast online at Roughly Speaking.

The Center for Synergy in the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) has received a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund “Home Stories,” a digital storytelling project that empowers migrant youth to create and share their stories with the wider public.

The award is part of NEH’s inaugural Humanities Access grants, which provide cultural programming to underserved groups and were awarded to 34 organizations. The grant is designed to encourage fundraising and sustainability of ongoing programming.

The project co-directors are Ana Patricia Rodríguez, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and Sheri Parks, associate dean of research, interdisciplinary scholarship and programming and associate professor of American studies.

The project responds to the growing number of often-unaccompanied migrant youth who travel to the U.S.-Mexico border and eventually seek to reunite with families, relatives or friends who live in the long-standing Central American communities near the University of Maryland. These newcomers navigate multiple identities but rarely have the opportunity to reflect on or share these experiences. Despite the scale of youth migration to this area, there is little research or ethnographic work generated about or by these youth.

“We are living in a historical moment where there is an explosion in migration,” says Rodríguez.  “Digital storytelling is a way of uncovering these stories and making them accessible to a wider public, and it is something that anyone can learn.”

“Home Stories” extends the Center for Synergy’s ongoing Social Innovation Scholars Program into the public humanities. Through the project, undergraduate students at the University of Maryland will enroll in a multi-semester course with Rodríguez to learn about the migrant experience while collaborating with migrant youth from local middle and high schools to explore digital storytelling.  Digital stories are multimedia movies that combine voiceovers, video, sound and text to create a narrative. Both in and out of the classroom, they are a tool for not only developing technical skills, but also promoting self-reflection and critical thinking.

“The project is a way of connecting students who have the technological skills with migrant youth in communities who have important stories to tell,” says Rodríguez.  “Digital storytelling is a democratizing tool that allows these stories to be created and shared across communities.”

The project will work with youth in local schools that enroll large numbers of recently arrived migrant youth from Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean and culminates in a community screening of the filmed stories these youth produce, which will then be available on a public website.

“The humanities help us study our past, understand our present, and prepare for our future,” says NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to support projects that will benefit all Americans and remind us of our shared human experience.”

 

Image Credit:
Close up of Child Migrant Quilt Project (September 2014)
© Ana Rosa Ventura-Molina 2014

12/6/16

By Jessica Anderson | The Baltimore Sun

"One photograph shows a National Guardsman in fatigues outside Harborplace. Another captures a large crowd gathered outside Penn Station. A third shows young boys riding bicycles past marchers carrying signs that read "Justice 4 Freddie Carlos Gray."

"The more than 12,000 images — some taken by seasoned photographers, others by ordinary people with cellphones —form one part of "Baltimore Stories: Narratives and the Life of an American City."

"The yearlong project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, aimed to "contextualize narratives of race," organizers said. The Dresher Center for the Humanities in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences hosted the event, and the project was a collaboration among the University of Maryland's College of Arts and Humanities, Maryland Humanities, and others."

Read the complete article at The Baltimore Sun.

As part of the Pulitzer Prizes’ Centennial Celebration, the College of Arts and Humanities and Maryland Humanities present Pulitzer Prize-winning author-historians Taylor Branch and Isabel Wilkerson. Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund will moderate a discussion between the two on the historical context behind their work and its  relevancy to our lives today. A book signing and reception will follow the event.

Who: The event will feature Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “America in the King Years,” a landmark history of the civil rights era, and Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration."

What:  NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Sherrilyn Ifill will moderate a discussion between the two authors on the historical context behind their Pulitzer Prize-winning work and its relevancy to our lives today.

When: Tuesday, December 6, 2016. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where: Kay Theatre, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, 8270 Alumni Dr, College Park, Maryland, 20742

Why: This reading and conversation is co-presented by the College of Arts and Humanities and Maryland Humanities for the WORLDWISE: Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series, which provides an opportunity for the college faculty, students and staff to join together with colleagues across campus for stimulating conversation about issues that cross our disciplines. Lectures and performances may address either enduring or emerging questions central to the arts and humanities, or questions arising from other disciplines to which the arts and humanities might speak.

This event is part of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of The Pulitzer Prize Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Sponsored in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

How: The event is free but tickets are required. Members of the press should contact Nicky Everette, Director of Marketing and Communications, to RSVP.

Contact: Nicky Everette, meve@umd.edu, 301-405-6714

ABOUT THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES:

The College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland is home to nearly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 14 academic departments, 20 independent research centers and nearly 300 tenured and tenure-track faculty. The college connects students with expert scholars who teach how to investigate, reflect and analyze the world around them, past and present. Through interdisciplinary approaches to the arts and humanities, students develop into global visionaries and creative problem solvers who thrive in a world of rapidly evolving opportunities. For more information, visit www.arhu.umd.edu.

 

Message from the Dean: ARHU “Year in Review” and the U.S. presidential election.

Dear Colleagues:

It is fortuitous that we’re releasing the College of Arts and Humanities’ (ARHU) annual “Year in Review” the week after the most startling U.S. presidential election in recent history. The election laid bare yawning divisions among us and has elicited deeply-felt emotions of anger, fear, pain and exaltation. People on all sides of this chasm, nationally and locally, are actively engaged in trying to understand and find meaning in these events and discern approaches for moving forward.

This moment presents an exceptional opportunity for me to remind everyone in our community—students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends—of the tremendous value and expertise that the arts and humanities offer society. Through our fields we have the talent and knowledge to analyze, interpret and contextualize these events as both a product of U.S. history and culture and as part of the broad sweep of human civilization.  

Our historians, philosophers and rhetoricians interrogate the narrative arc of the divisive national conversation and its ethical implications. They provide insight into the immense power of words and the burdens of the past. Students and scholars in the visual and performing arts explore creative ways to express feelings of thrill and despair and do so in ways that can bring people together to see and hear one another and to help soothe their pain.

Those who study languages and culture along with those in the multidisciplinary fields of women’s, American, and LGBT studies engage issues of identity, belonging and cultural expression. They are equipped to put into context the pressing challenges of inclusion, communication across cultures and the imperatives of respect for difference.

This report provides multiple examples of the wealth of resources we can draw upon in these challenging times. They offer reassurance and encouragement. I invite you to join me in celebrating the outstanding successes and accomplishments of our community and in utilizing them to help us create new accomplishments in the years ahead.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Thornton Dill

Professor and Dean, College of Arts and Humanities

View PDF here. 

11/11/16

Tom Hall | "Midday" WYPR

"On November 8th, voters chose Donald Trump to be the next President. As Americans come to terms with the idea of a Trump presidency, many questions still remain. What does the election of Donald Trump tell us about our country’s apparent embrace of unprecedented change, and what does it tell us about what Americans are repudiating? Is this a repudiation of civility in politics?  Is it an embrace of isolationism, and a repudiation of tolerance? Is it, as Mr. Trump suggested early this morning, a cry from those who have been forgotten, or is it a mean-spirited and fear-fueled affirmation of a system that favors white people over people of color? "

Listen to the complete postcast on WYPR

Image: Hillary Clinton supporters emotional at campaign headquarters. Via WYPR.

 


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. 

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