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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).

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.

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. 

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.

Kay Theatre
Monday, November 24, 2014 - 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Join School of Music professors Nick Olcott and Delores Ziegler along with Dr. JV Sapinoso from the UMD Department of Women’s Studies for a lively discussion about the portrayal of male/female relations on the 18th-century stage and Mozart’s unique take on them, as well as the question/test of fidelity and its links to reproductive freedoms.

12/11/13

School of Music

Congratulations to Musicology Professor Barbara Haggh-Huglo, who received a Fellowship for University Teachers from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for her topic, “Of Abbeys and Aldermen: Music in Ghent to 1559.”  Professor Haggh-Huglo’s research is one of 202 humanities projects to receive an award from the NEH for 2014.

With the support of the fellowship, Dr. Haggh-Huglo will complete her research and write a scholarly book that illustrates how music participated in several profound historical changes in the city of Ghent, now in Belgium. When asked why her research focuses on Ghent, she says, “For two reasons: Ghent was the most populous northern city after Paris in the late Middle Ages, and rich documentation survives, such as complete city council records, making it possible to learn the role of music in daily life and in major events in detail uncommon for this time.”

In addition to the book, Dr. Haggh-Huglo will develop a free, online database that lists the 500 most substantial benefactions for music registered in Ghent between 1329 and 1559. She also plans to arrange a series of performances in Belgium and at the University of Maryland, College Park, which will feature the music she discovered through her research.                                                                                                           

Dr. Haggh-Huglo believes her project can lead to a fresh understanding of music from other times and of the place it has – or could have – in today’s world. “Music played an important role in the major turning points in Ghent’s history,” she says. “There are implications for our modern culture, arts patronage, and in using music to make positive changes in society. I hope my findings give new ideas for other research that can tell us more about who we are.” 

11/20/13

by Brett Zongker, Daily Journal

WASHINGTON — An arts management training program at the Kennedy Center that's funded by one of the center's largest donations will move to the University of Maryland next year, along with the center's outgoing chief executive, the two institutions announced Wednesday.

Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser tells The Associated Press he plans to join the university as a professor and will leave the arts center four months earlier than his contract was set to end. Kaiser will lead the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at Maryland's flagship university in College Park, and he hopes to launch a master's degree program in arts management.

Kaiser had planned to step down as Kennedy Center president at the end of 2014 and remain at the center to lead the arts management program through 2017.

"It became clear to us ... that we really wanted to grow this institute faster," Kaiser said. "There were certain resources we would need — for example the access to the kinds of faculty you would have at a university."

To read more, please click here.

6/27/13

By Anne Midgette, Washington Post

So let’s talk Stravinsky. Heard anything about Stravinsky lately? The centennial of “The Rite of Spring” this year seems to me to have occasioned more tributesspin-offs, and homages than I can remember seeing since the last Mozart year (2006) and Bach year (2000). Forget Verdi, forget Wagner (both of whom are having bicentennials this year); we’ve seized on “Rite” as a watershed moment in the development of contemporary music, and it’s being feted as the gateway to modernity around the world. (I may have been reactionary in pointing out in the Washington Post some weeks ago that Diaghilev, who commissioned the piece, was in the business of creating commercial as well as artistic successes.)

The New York Philharmonic got its “Rite” stuff in at the start of this season. Tonight, it’s closing out the season with another look at Stravinsky ballets called “A Dancer’s Dream”: a multimedia puppet-choreography-video production of “The Fairy’s Kiss” and “Petrushka,” overseen by director Doug Fitch, known to Philharmonic audiences for “Le Grand Macabre” and “The Cunning Little Vixen” in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

What the website doesn’t tell you, though, is that this “Petrushka” originated at the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra in 2008, where Fitch was an artist in residence. (The Philharmonic does credit James Ross, UMD’s director of orchestral activities, as the “music consultant.”)

Read more here

2/27/13

By Nelson Pressley, The Washington Post

An ambitious National Civil War Project will be unveiled Thursday at Arena Stage as major universities and flagship theaters in four cities team up to create new performances and campus programming.

The partnerships represent a “radical collaboration,” says Arena artistic director Molly Smith. Arena is working with George Washington University. The announcement is scheduled to include “artistic demonstrations” of the kinds of theater, dance, music and scholarship likely to emerge from this large-scale initiative...

Baltimore’s Centerstage and the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a pod that has already initiated a notably big project. The Kronos Quartet has been commissioned for a piece composed by jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard; the performance will involve a 500-voice choir and spoken word by 2011 National Book Award winner Nikky Finney. The result, “At War With Ourselves,” will be performed at a historically significant site.

Read more

1/28/13

By Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard

Back in the 1990s, advocates for arts education were thrilled by the final wording of the “Goals 2000: Educate America Act.” According to those federal education guidelines, which were signed into law in 1994, fourth, eighth and 12th-graders were expected to demonstrate “competency over challenging subject matter” in a variety of fields, including—for the first time—the arts.

Newly published research reveals that their inclusion had more than just symbolic value. In many schools, elevating the arts to core-subject status made a real difference.

Kenneth Elpus of the University of Maryland reports that Goals 2000 did not significantly increase the number of unique music courses offered in American high schools. However, he writes in the Arts Education Policy Review, “high schools were more likely in the post-Goals 2000 era to require arts course for graduation, and to increase the number of courses needed to satisfy these requirements.”

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