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School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Busboys and Poets Hyattsville 5331 Baltimore Avenue Hyattsville, MD 20781
Sunday, April 09, 2017 - 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Help Recently Arrived Immigrant Youth Share Their Stories.

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

IDEAS THAT SERVE - ANA PATRICIA RODRIGUEZ
12/3/14 - 7:00 PM

Spanish professor Ana Patricia Rodriguez shares ideas about teaching the multifaceted dimensions of American Salvadorians.

Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak Video
1/22/13 - 7:00 PM

Professor Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak provides insights into his research on the multifaceted history of Persian literature.

The following faculty have been selected as 2015-16 Foxworth Faculty. The grant will allow faculty to create and implement courses that utilize the arts and humanities to help contextualize and present pressing societal issues.

This initiative is made possible by the generosity of two college alumni, Domonique and Ashley Foxworth. Domonique, Class of 2004, is a graduate of American Studies and Ashley, ’06, is an English alumna. The Foxworth Initiative is intended to support learning that brings students in contact with their surrounding communities as partners and allies in practices that help transform and bring about social justice. Courses supported by the initiative provide students with skills and critical thinking that support continued community engagement beyond their college career. For more information, visit www.arhu.umd.edu/foxworth.

FOXWORTH FACULTY COHORT:

Faculty Lead: Karen Bradley, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Course: Essence, Identity, and Empowerment through the Arts: A Project for High Point High School

Social Issues: Adolescent identity, at risk youth

Approach: This course will focus on arts practices that develop habits of mind, heart and body/spirit in 14-25-year-olds. The primary purpose of this course is to train future arts educators for challenged students. These educators will learn to help students at risk of violence and anomie find voice and identity, and develop community through arts practices. UMD students will develop these skills in themselves and apply them to high school students at High Point High School. UMD students will design and lead arts experiences through methods, such as free drawing, acting exercises and slam poetry, while becoming advocates for arts integration in the school community.

Community Benefit: Students at High Point High School face issues of poverty, loss of community and identity, and oftentimes, trauma issues. UMD students will guide them toward access to focus, adaptability, a sense of self, self-efficacy and regulation skills, as well as organization, observation, analysis,, choice-making, predicting and communication skills via performance. In no way will every high school student achieve all of these, but they will be introduced to these concepts and experience practices that can lead to understanding and skill development. 

 

Faculty Lead: Audra Buck-Coleman, Department of Art

Courses: Advanced Graphic Design Principles: Design in Society and Three Dimensional Graphic Design

Social Issues: Adolescent identity, at-risk youth, social protest, structural racism and inequality

Approach: Over the course of two semesters, UMD senior graphic design students will collaborate with students from Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts, a public high school in West Baltimore. Together they will leverage their creative skills to respond to the media’s negative and one-dimensional portrayal of the Baltimore students and their community during last year’s uprising. They will produce a series of creative works that promote positive, well-rounded notions of the students’ identities and the Baltimore community and that address the timeless and timely issues of structural racism, identity, unrest and self-agency as they relate to the Baltimore uprising. Their works will be exhibited at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore from April through August 2016, coinciding with the first anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death. The exhibition will include participatory elements to engage audiences and add their insights to these important conversations.

Community Benefit: Through their interactions, the high school students’ personal narratives and opinions will reshape UMD students’ understandings about identity, privilege and representation. The Baltimore students will be empowered on various levels: they will be given an opportunity and a means with which to re-write narratives about themselves and their community; they will understand how to use creative means as productive expression; they will also gain knowledge regarding artistic practices and contemporary technology with hopes that these exposures may positively affect the way in which they imagine their education or professional endeavors beyond high school.

 

Faculty Lead: Roberta Z. Lavine, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Course: Spanish for Health Professions

Social Issues: Cultural competence shortages in health professions

Approach: This course will allow students to explore the need for Spanish-English cultural and linguistic competency in health-related contexts. Students will partner with the Health Center to focus on outreach for Spanish-speaking dining services workers on campus. In class and in the outreach experience, students will examine and develop their own cultural competency by exploring identities, critically analyzing and solving problems, learning collaboratively and meaningfully interacting with members of other cultures. They will learn with and from the targeted campus community to develop strategies to advance culturally and linguistically appropriate health services on campus.

Community Benefit: The two tangible types of benefits to the clients are gaining health literacy and understanding how to maintain wellness, in culturally appropriate interactions that value and involve the workers themselves. In a respectful and participatory environment, the chances of client follow-through on health interventions are increased. UMD students will be able to explore and analyze their multiple identities and have real-world experiences working with Latino communities.

 

Faculty Lead: Jason Kuo, Department of Art History and Archaeology

Course: Aging and Creativity: Older Artists in Our Community

Social Issues: Ageism

Approach: This highly experiential and interdisciplinary course will engage students in the experience of the maturing artist through studying literature, attending guest lectures and conducting interviews and site-visits with older artists in the community. Interviews with selected artists will allow students to assist in documenting the artists’ life and art. These tasks will incorporate the disciplines of art history, gerontology and museum studies for students to ultimately shape an exhibition at the Brentwood Arts Exchange devoted to arts created by people over the age of 65. This will involve applying the research and experience from throughout the course to select the works, design the space, organize public programs and publish the exhibition catalog, brochures and wall labels.

Community Benefit: The contemporary art world focuses its attention on young emerging artists, creating difficulty for maturing artists to enter or re-enter public view. The goal of this course is to help their art become better recognized, documented, publicly exhibited and appreciated by our community. Research has demonstrated that community-based cultural programs for older adults are effective in health promotion, disease prevention and reduction in the need for long-term care. UMD students will benefit from the intergenerational interaction by gaining perspective of the ageist practices in the art world and the creative vitality that can be found in the maturing artist community.

WHAT:

The WORLDWISE: Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series features a discussion between Angélique Kidjo and Sheri Parks, associate dean in the College of Arts and Humanities, in which Kidjo will talk about her life story, including her reasons for escaping Benin’s former leftist regime to pursue her dream of becoming an artist in Paris. She will also talk about what it means to be the “queen of African music” and her fervent activism around women and girls in Africa.

The discussion will also explore the idea of cultural rights in the lives of refugees, taking into account the United Nations’ recognition of culture as a human right.

Prior to the lecture, the  Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy led by Sheri Parks will host a ThinkAThon for Refugees: A Think and Do Day of Intellectual Activism, in which Yasmine Taeb from Friends’ National Committee for Legislation will brief participants on the ongoing refugee crises. Two representatives from the International Rescue Committee will provide briefings on the current refugee crisis in Baltimore, which is one of largest receiver cities of refugees in the Unites States.

The briefings will be followed by group discussions, in which participants will examine specific issues and think of solutions to alleviate the plight of refugees.

The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of International Affairs.

Lunch will be provided. Participants should register, but walk-ins are welcome.

WHO:

Sheri Parks, Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming in the College of Arts and Humanities

Angelique Kidjo, singer-songwriter and activist from Benin, Africa

Growing up in Benin, Africa, Kidjo was influenced by the sounds and rhythms of Beninese traditional music, as well as jazz, pop, and salsa music. Through her dynamic collaborations with composers such as Philip Glass, Kidjo strives to combine African music with different musical styles.

Kidjo was named one of the 40 most powerful celebrities in Africa by Forbes and one of the 100 most inspiring women in the world by The Guardian. As the founder of the Batonga Foundation for Girls in Africa and is Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Kidjo is dedicated to empowering the lives of African women.

WHEN:

5:30 - 7 p.m. (WORLDWISE: Arts and Humanities Dean’S Lecture Series)

9 a.m. - 2 p.m. (ThinkAThon for Refugees)

WHERE:

The ThinkAThon for Refugees will be held in the Charles Carroll Room at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park.

The WORLDWISE: Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture with Sheri Parks and Angélique Kidjo will take place in the Gildenhorn Recital Hall in The Clarice, University of Maryland, College Park. 

The University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities presents WORLDWISE Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series: In Conversation with Sheri Parks. This year’s Dean’s Lecture Series features Huang Yi, a dancer, choreographer, inventor and videographer from Taipei, Taiwan.

In an additional event on Sept. 24, ArtistTalk: Manipulating Data for Performance, Huang Yi will be interviewed by professor Satyandra K. Gupta, director of the Maryland Robotics Center in UMD's Institute for Systems Research.

WHO

Huang Yi’s work focuses on the relationship between humans and machines, and how they are becoming more interrelated. His dance performances integrate human and mechanical movements in a synchronized manner. According to Sozo Artists website, his work has received considerable praise at international arts festivals, including the Ars Electronica Festival (Austria), Joyce Theater, Engien-Les-Bain Centre des Arts (France), Nimbus Dance Works (Jersey City), Cloud Gate 2 (Taipei), the Indonesian Dance Festival (Jakarta), New York Live Arts and the American Dance Festival (North Carolina).

Sheri Parks is an associate professor at the Department of American studies and associate dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming at the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU), which is dedicated to advancing interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the arts and humanities.

EVENT DETAILS

WORLDWISE Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series: In Conversation with Sheri Parks -5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Gildenhorn Recital Hall

For free tickets or more information, visit: go.umd.edu/HYi or call 301.405.ARTS.

Facebook event page here

ArtistTalk: Manipulating Data for Performance- 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Kogod Theatre

MEDIA

For more information about this event, please contact Nicky Everette, director of marketing and communications for the College of Arts and Humanities, at meve@umd.edu or 301-405-6714.

Media should RSVP to meve@umd.edu.

1121 Tawes Hall
Friday, March 27, 2015 - 9:00 AM to Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 5:45 PM

This interdisciplinary conference will address perspectives on power and all its implications within, but not limited to, political, literary, cinematic and cultural contexts, and more.

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.

SQH room 1120
Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM

November 4th : " The Wind Carpet"
"فرش باد"

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