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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).

Judith Hallett Video

An interview with UMD classics professor, Judith Hallett, about rediscovering Ancient Greeks and Romans and their impact on our modern lives. 
 

A total $34,000 awarded by the university to Jorge Bravo, assistant professor of classics in the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU), will help fund efforts to continue archeological exploration of the ancient Greek port of Kenchreai.

Bravo will travel to Greece in the summer to conduct preliminary investigations in new areas of Kenchreai, the eastern port of ancient Corinth. The work is the first part of Bravo’s larger plan to seek permits from the Greek government for further excavation and to secure future grants.

Funding, which is being provided by the Division of Research, ARHU and the Department of Classics, will help to pay for soil coring and GIS modeling of the harbor. The university’s support will also help sustain a field school for undergraduate and graduate students to continue to explore ancient Greek culture, a program he helped develop with an earlier $5,000 seed grant from ARHU.

Bravo said that the coring work will help researchers define what the environment was like for the area’s settlers and how they interacted with it as it changed over time. A geophysical survey using ground-penetrating radar and other methods will also help give researchers an idea of what lies beneath the earth’s surface. Corinth was a thriving commercial area from as early as about 700 B.C. through the Roman Empire to around 500 A.D., but as Bravo explained, the port was forced to move during that time as the environment changed.

“The general suspicion is that it was a process of silting up of the harbor over time,” Bravo said.

Bravo co-directs the Kenchreai Excavations along with Joseph L. Rife, associate professor of classics and anthropology at Vanderbilt University.  The Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. also supports the project.

Kenchreai was first explored by American archeologists in the 1960s.  Bravo said that he became interested in the site after collaborating with others who had also worked in the area. Funding will help build collaborations between the university’s departments of geography, anthropology, history, classics and others.

“It’s really building collaborations between the humanities and the other schools,” Bravo said.

In addition to the new seaside excavation work, he said, students attending the four-week field school will also have the opportunity to explore remains believed to have served as an ancient residence and warehouse, nearby Roman tombs and other sites and museums in the region.

For more information about the field school in Greece and how to apply, visit:  http://globalmaryland.umd.edu/offices/education-abroad/program/11005. 

Ulrich Recital Hall, Tawes Hall
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:30 PM

Professor Caroline Winterer of Stanford University will explore why Americans have found the ancient world relevant to modern questions.

Tawes Hall, University of Maryland, College Park
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 8:30 AM to Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 6:00 PM

The Graduate School Field Committee in Medieval & Early Modern Studies hosts Knowing Nature in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, Friday and Saturday, October 24-25, 2014. The conference is free and open to the public.

3/17/14

By John Kelly, The Washington Post.

About 30 years ago, an Italian friend of ours visited. After a few days doing the tourist thing, he exclaimed: “I love Washington! It’s like a Rome where everything works.”

I don’t know what Adriano would think of D.C. today, when Metro breaks down routinely and Congress seems proud of its dysfunction. But I understood his point: With its classically inspired public architecture, Washington is reminiscent of the Eternal City.

Many Americans might not make the connection. The classics department at the University of Maryland hopes to rectify that. Last month, it beat out two dozen U.S. and Italian universities and landed a $500,000 grant from the National Italian American Foundation to study the Roman influence on American identity.

“If we can call people’s attention to the way in which, particularly during the founding era, the nation, particularly Washington, looked to Rome as a model, I think that would be valuable,” said Greg Staley, professor of classics and director of honors humanities at Maryland.

To read more, click here.

3/5/14

By Umberto Mucci, We the Italians.

This week our interview tells a story of beauty. Four different beautiful things, actually. The first beauty is the donation of 500,000 $ by the late Italian American Ernest L. Pellegri, one of NIAF's donors. Mr. Pellegri passed away in April 2012 at age 83. He wanted to give back, and – as many other Italian Americans did and do – chose NIAF to be the channel of his generosity. The second beauty is NIAF: which since day one has been effective and proficient in delivering programs, scholarships, grants to help and promote in several different ways Italy and the Italians in the US. The third beauty is made by the numerous programs organized by many American Universities (represented this time by the University of Maryland), that have been describing and teaching for a long time to thousands of American students the magnificent heritage of Italian art, culture, studies. The fourth beauty, these days more than ever we can call it The Great Beauty, is Italian patrimony of splendor: a pride for every Italian, all over the world.

We asked Mrs. Anita Bevacqua McBride, NIAF Chair of the Education and Scholarship Committee, to talk with us about these beauties. It is also, for those here in Italy who will want to learn from it, an extraordinary description of how wonderfully works in America the model of private involvement in the education system. As lovers of Italy, the United States and their special relationship, we are grateful to each of the subjects involved in this fantastic project.

Read the full interview in English or Italian.

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A $500,000 grant from the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) will fund new research at the University of Maryland on the legacy of ancient Rome as reflected in the architecture and art in the United States’ capital and in the nation’s system of governance.

The foundation awarded the $500,000 NIAF Ernest L. Pellegri Grant, named in honor of a foundation donor, to the university’s Department of Classics in the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) to expand the study of Latin language and ancient Roman culture, as well as the opportunities for students to study abroad and conduct research in the United States and Italy.

This is the largest single grant awarded to an educational institution in the foundation’s history, said Anita Bevacqua McBride, chair of NIAF’s Education and Scholarship Committee. “Through this partnership we will help connect the ancient remains of the Roman past found in Italy to the formation of our American identity,” she said.  

Maryland was selected from a pool of 25 American and Italian universities because of the project’s compatibility with NIAF’s mission, the expertise of the faculty and the impact on students and the larger university community. The principal investigators for the grant are Jorge Bravo, Lillian Doherty and Judith P. Hallett from the Department of Classics.

“This generous grant exemplifies the expertise of classics faculty and allows us to capitalize on our proximity to Washington, D.C.,” said ARHU Dean Bonnie Thornton Dill. “This partnership is a logical extension and complement to the ways the faculty blend scholarship, teaching and community engagement to strengthen the study of Latin and promote its relevance to our modern lives.”

Examples of this influence include the classical design of the Capitol building, the mural in its dome painted by Constantino Brumidi showing classical gods surrounding George Washington as he helped create America, and a semi-nude sculpture of Washington that was created for—but not installed in—the Rotunda.

Most of the five-year grant will fund scholarships for undergraduate student education abroad, alternate spring breaks and summer research, and provide graduate student fellowships to support research by master’s-level candidates in classics and related fields of study. 

“Many of our alumni are highly regarded teachers of Latin and classical culture,” said Lillian Doherty, chair of the Department of Classics. “Through our students the legacy of Roman culture will be passed on to future generations.”

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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, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 49 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.8 billion operating budget, secures $500 million annually in external research funding and recently completed a $1 billion fundraising campaign.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage. NIAF serves as a resource on the Italian American community and has educational and youth programs including scholarships, grants, heritage travel, and mentoring.  NIAF is also the voice for Italian Americans in Washington, DC and works closely with the Italian American Congressional Delegation and the White House. NIAF’s mission includes advancing US – Italy business, political, and cultural relations and has a business council that promotes networking with corporate leaders. The NIAF was founded in 1975 as a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. It is entirely non-partisan. Visit www.niaf.org.

 

The Honors Humanities Living and Learning Program, administered by the College of Arts and Humanities in collaboration with the Honors College, has announced the appointment of Gregory A. Staley as its new director.

Staley, who will begin his new position on July 1st, is an associate professor of classics in the college.  His research focuses on Latin literature, on its reception in later eras and on the role of Greek and Roman antiquity in the formation of American identity.

Staley said he welcomes the opportunity to celebrate with students all the ways in which the humanities foster self-knowledge, self-formation and self-promotion in every possible career and in every pathway in life.

As director, he plans to emphasize the intersections between the humanities and the sciences; to highlight the connections between the humanities and careers; and to honor the ways in which knowledge of the past helps to shape the future.

Selections of Staley’s work include his book “Seneca and the Idea of Tragedy” and an editing of the essay series, “American Women and Classical Myths.”  He has also written articles and essays about fictional and non-fictional figures ranging from Rip Van Winkle to Nathanial Hawthorne.  He is currently working on an article to be included in the book “Brill Companion to Roman Tragedy.”

Staley has won many awards, including the Excellence in Teaching award from the American Philological Association.  He has also served as a Lilly Fellow and been elected to the Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Maryland.

ABOUT THE HONORS HUMANITIES PROGRAM
The nationally recognized Honors Humanities Living and Learning Program is one of seven living and learning programs under the Honors College. Located in Anne Arundel Hall, the program challenges students to think about fundamental questions facing humanity through their exposure to traditional practices within the humanities combined with investigations of the role of arts and humanities in the world today.

ABOUT THE HONORS COLLEGE
The highly acclaimed Honors College consists of a close-knit community of faculty and intellectually gifted undergraduates committed to acquiring a broad and balanced education.  The program features small classes taught by outstanding faculty who encourage discussion and foster innovative thinking. Each year, approximately 1000 undergraduates are welcomed into this highly selective program.

For more information on the Honors Humanities program, visit www.honorshumanities.umd.edu.

For more information on the Honors College, visit www.honors.umd.edu.

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