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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).

Tawes Hall 0330
Wednesday, February 01, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Learn about guiding principles of black digital scholarship.

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. 

Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building, Room 4213
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Learn about projects that seek to transcribe the Freedmen's Bureau Records, the richest source of information on the African American experience post-Civil War.

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.

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