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Research and Scholarly Work


By K. Lorraine Graham

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) signed a $1 million pledge to the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) yesterday to help uncover stories of scientific discovery while illuminating complex societal issues that scientists and scholars in the humanities both face.

The gift will establish an endowed professorship in the history of natural sciences and support the appointee’s humanistic and scientific research and scholarship through a partnership with AIP’s Center for History of Physics. Collaborations with AIP staff and member societies will encourage deeper insight into the nature and origin of the physical sciences and their impact on society.

"Bringing the sciences and humanities together is important for telling not only the compelling history of discovery, but also inspiring the next generation of scholars in both fields," said Michael Moloney, chief executive officer of the institute, based in Greater College Park’s Discovery District. "This partnership will help us cultivate a diverse and inclusive community."President Wallace D. Loh and Michael H. Moloney, chief executive officer at AIP

The professorship is an opportunity to apply interdisciplinary approaches to complex global issues, like the renewed debate on nuclear energy, said Peter Wien, professor and interim chair of the history department.

"Both humanists and scientists are rooted in the concerns and debates of contemporary culture," Wien said. "A scientist might measure the impact of nuclear contamination or devise new methods for storing nuclear waste, whereas a historian might critically engage with the history of how nuclear energy was developed or trace how popular opinion about certain kinds of energy have changed over time. When students learn to put these two approaches in conversation with each other, they gain a deeper understanding of the problems that all of humanity is facing today."

Universities nationwide, including Maryland, are exploring new ways for arts and humanities disciplines and the sciences to collaborate with each other; the AIP gift supports efforts by the College of Arts and Humanities to increase interdisciplinary learning opportunities, said Bonnie Thornton Dill, ARHU dean as well as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s committee on the integration of STEM, humanities and arts.Philip "Bo" Hammer, Peter Wien, Michael H. Moloney, Bonnie Thornton Dill, Greg Good,

"Cross-disciplinary exchange produces new knowledge and inspires learning and exploration," said Thornton Dill. "History helps us understand the processes and people that have shaped science, and AIP's generosity expands support for research and will enhance learning opportunities for students, preparing them with the diverse competencies and knowledge that employers today seek.”

In addition to collaborating with AIP on conferences and public lectures, the appointee will have access to AIP’s Niels Bohr Library and Archives, as well as the recently acquired Wenner Collection containing nearly 4,000 volumes of rare books and manuscripts documenting discoveries in the physical sciences going back 500 years.

The Wenner Collection is still being catalogued and integrated into the other treasures in the Niels Bohr Library and Archives, but AIP hopes the appointee will contribute to new ways of thinking about the collections. "There are many stories in the history of science that have not been told," said Moloney. "In collaboration with UMD, one challenge is to use these collections to tell the story of discovery in a way that we hope will inspire the next generation of scientists and historians and especially contribute to our goal of greater inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in our field."

A search is under way for a senior scholar to assume the professorship in Fall 2019.

Above, Michael H. Moloney, chief executive officer at AIP, signs the gift with President Wallace D. Loh. At bottom, Philip "Bo" Hammer, senior director of member society engagement at AIP; Peter Wien, professor and interim chair of the history department; Moloney; Bonnie Thornton Dill, professor and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities; and Greg Good, director of the Center for History of Physics at AIP gather to celebrate.

(Photo illustration by John T. Consoli, images by iStock; photos, below, by Thai Nguyen and Jeanette J. Nelson)


By Lorraine Graham | Photos by J. J. Nelson

Known for her novels, stories and memoirs exploring Haitian history and immigrant experiences, award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat visited the University of Maryland on April 17 to share her work and talk about the power of storytelling in connecting across generations.

Her visit was the last event in the 2018-19 Arts and Humanities Dean's Lecture Series. Danticat spent the afternoon speaking with a group of graduate students in the English department's masters of fine arts program in creative writing before joining Grenadian writer and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Merle Collins that evening for a public conversation in Dekelboum Concert Hall. Danticat and Collins spoke about how writing can be a form of witness and memorializing, especially in immigrant and diasporic communities.

The Arts and Humanities Dean's Lecture Series provides an opportunity for the campus community to engage with contemporary issues through the lens of arts and humanities scholarship.To complement UMD's yearlong theme of the Year of Immigration, the 2018-19 series focused on storytelling and immigration. The fall lecture featured Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and 2017 MacArthur Fellow Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose book “The Refugees” is Maryland’s 2018-19 First Year Book.

Danticat answered questions from both Collins and the audience, about how—in the space of six months—her uncle, with whom she lived for many years in Haiti before joining her parents in the U.S., died in U.S. immigration custody while seeking asylum, her daugher, Mira, was born and her father died of pulmonary fibrosis. These experiences prompted her to write a family memoir, "Brother, I'm Dying."

"This was not a book I wanted to have to write," Danticat said. "But I knew that my daughter would never meet my uncle, and I was afraid she would not meet my father—so this book was a way to reach across generations."

Other topics Danticat and Collins discussed:

On writing and history: In response to a question from the audience about incorporating history into writing, Danticat said, "I've always been very interested in history in general, and Haitian history in particular. Fiction gives you a kind of space in which to expand history. We can spend years learning about something and then you flesh it out."

On writing as a monument to people who might otherwise be forgotten: Collins asked about "Farming of Bones," Danticat's second novel set against the background of the 1937 massacre of Haitian emigrants by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, and the way that particular book is "a monument to the disappeared." Danticat discussed how historical novels can function as a kind of memorial, and she discussed the importance of rituals surrounding death in Haiti. "Part of the tragedy of dying was not only that they were butchered and massacred," Danticat said, "but that they had no final rituals."

On the immigrant artist, storytelling and survival: Danticat grew up hearing traditional stories and Haitian folklore. She discussed remembering one story about a girl unable to cope with the death of her father, and drawing on it for comfort when her own father died. "All this time I thought I was being entertained," she said. "But instead I realized I had been given a tool to survive and to understand critical moments in my life. This reinforced the power of storytelling, why certain mythologies exist and how these stories are part of our survival as diasporic people."

On connecting with younger generations through story: Danticat talked about how enslaved Africans carried stories with them across the water as a way of keeping their culture alive. Immigrants also bring their stories with them to new places and into new languages. "All I have to leave my children are my stories," she said. "Storytelling feels like another layer of survival, the thread that carries us all the way from the African continent and through the Caribbean."







  • Kristy Maddux - COMM
    2019 Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Institute, 6/3/2019
  • José M. Naharro-Calderón - SLLC-SPAP
    Spain’s Exiles in the Americas and Maryland: "Alive in our Hearts,” 10/23/2019
  • Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia - SLLC-SPAP
    Image, Critique, Politics: Desistance and Polemics in the Caribbean, 9/12/2019
  • Orrin Wang - ENGL
    Romanticism NOW: Print, Electric, and World: A Symposium in the Fields of Romantic Studies, Book History, and the Digital Humanities Celebrating the Scholarship of Neil Fraistat, 4/17/2020

Seed Grants

  • Lindsey Anderson - COMM
  • Jorge Bravo - CLAS
  • Joseph Grimmer - MUSC
  • Barbara Haggh-Huglo - MUSC
  • Avital Karpman - JWST
  • Cy Keener - ARTT
  • Ji Youn Kim - COMM
  • Siv Lie - MUSC
  • Abigail McEwen - ARTH
  • Kendra Portier - TDPS
  • Shawn Parry-Giles - COMM
  • William Robin - MUSC
  • Jason Rudy - ENGL
  • Foon Sham - ARTT


  • Mercedes Baillargeon - SLLC
  • Sarah Frisof - MUSC
  • Jordana Moore Saggese - ARTH



The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today unveiled 48 Subject Category Winners for the 2019 PROSE Awards (#PROSEAwards) honoring scholarly works published in 2018. These winners were selected from 165 Finalists previously identified from the more than 500 entries in this year’s PROSE Awards competition. According to a panel of 18 judges, the Subject Category Winners announced today demonstrate exceptional scholarship and have made make a significant contribution to a field of study.

Read the full announcement and see the complete list of winners on the Association of American Publishers website.

Image: Oscar S. Frías and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales. Mapa etnográfico de la República mexicana / [México, D.F.] UNAM: Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, 1940.

Below please find undergraduate reserach opportunities from ARHU faculty posted in the Maryland Student Researchers database for Spring 2019. 



University of Maryland (UMD) 2019 Disability Summit
Looking Ahead - ADA turns 30
Friday April 5th, 2019
College Park Marriott and Hotel Conference Center




                                                                                      Call for Proposals
The UMD Disability Summit was established in 2016 as a forum for professionals, educators, academics, services providers, and advocates focusing on disability issues to dialogue and collaborate across types of disability and institution. The goal of the summit is to bring focus to and promote discussion of key current events and research impacting disability in society.

This 3rd Biennial Summit will take place on Friday April 5th, 2019 at the University of Maryland, College Park campus. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Jonathan Lazar, Professor of Computer and Information Sciences at Towson University. Dr. Lazar is the founder and former director of the Universal Usability Laboratory (2003 to 2014). He researches and teaches on human-computer interaction, specifically, Web usability, Web accessibility for people with disabilities, user-centered design, assistive technology, and public policy.

The inaugural Summit, Activism and Advocacy in the Academy, took place in 2016, with Dr. Gregg Vanderheiden as the keynote speaker. In 2017, Dr. Beth Douthirt-Cohen took the stage to discuss “Moving from Pity and Fear to Solidarity and Justice,” and the Summit focused on Disability in a Polarized Nation. This year’s focus, Looking Ahead - the ADA turns 30, encourages presentations looking at the federal policy’s lifespan, and reflecting on the potential and pitfalls of advocacy and activism in the current moment.

We encourage submissions from academics, advocates, and members of the community covering a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to:

-       The history and outlook for the Americans with Disabilities Act
-       Disability Activism/Disability Justice (past, present and future)
-       Assistive Technologies
-       Accessible Labor Practices
-       Race, Gender, Class and Intersectional Approaches to Disability Advocacy
-       Disability Community Engagement, Advocacy and Action
-       Disability in the Media (the potential and pitfalls of representation)
-       Literature and Disability Studies
-       Attitudes and their Effect on Disability Policy
-       Critical Disability Studies

We are accepting proposals for:
-       Lecture-style Presentation (30 or 45 minutes)- Lecture-style presentations can range from in-depth scientific research to academic scholarly practices. Lectures include a Q&A portion.

-       Workshop (45 or 90 minutes)- Session focused on skill building or formal professional workforce training

-       Experience (45 or 90 minutes)- Session including live action, interactive, or hands-on components that engages session participants.

-       Panel Presentation (45 or 90 minutes)-  Three or more topic area presenters offer their perspective on a proposed disability studies topic. Each panel member will have the opportunity to provide an overview of their work followed by moderated questions and questions from the audience.

-       Poster Presentation (1 hour)- Open, gallery-style presentation where attendees will walk by presenters’ posters and discuss the scholarly information, best practices, initiatives, or works in progress that are being presented.

-       Other –  Additional types of presentations welcome! Share your idea.

Please submit a 200 word abstract, title, your preferred format, and your contact information email directly to disabilitysummit@umd.edu with the subject line, “Disability Summit Proposal”

Due date for proposal submissions is February 15, 2019.

If you have questions about abstract or proposal submission, please contact Mollie Greenberg or Stephanie Cork at disabilitysummit@umd.edu

For more information and updates check out our website: https://www.lib.umd.edu/disability-summit 

#DisabilityUMD #2019DisabilitySummit  

The College of Arts and Humanities is a co-sponsor for this event.


Maryland history department's Freedmen and Southern Society Project, directed by Professor Leslie Rowland, wins $325,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue work on the publication of its volumes.


Linda Aldoory, professor of communication and associate dean for research and development, is part of a research team that has received a five-year, $12 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC has awarded the Prince George’s County Health Department a $12 million, five-year cooperative agreement to improve access to chronic disease care for an estimated 1.2 million residents in Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. The cooperative agreement will fund strategies that establish or strengthen the integration of clinical practice with evidence-based public health programs to improve treatment resources, prevention programs and overall health outcomes for patients at high-risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Partners include: Calvert County Health Department; Charles County Health Department; Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients; Community Care Coordination Team; Existing CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Programs; Health Quality Innovators; HealthCare Dynamics International; Institute for Public Health Innovation; Maryland Department of Health; Maryland Rural Health Association; P3 Pharmacist Network (University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Maryland Pharmacists Association, Maryland General Assembly, Maryland Department of Health); Prince George’s County Healthcare Alliance, Inc.; St. Mary’s AccessHealth; St. Mary’s County Health Department; Totally Linked Care, LLC (CalvertHealth Memorial Hospital, University of Maryland Capital Region North, Doctors Community Hospital, Fort Washington Medical Center, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, Area Agencies on Aging, Maryland State Medical Society and Primary Care Providers, Prince George’s County Health Department, Calvert County Health Department); University of Maryland, School of Arts and Humanities, Department of Communication; University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health; and the University of Maryland, School of Public Health, Horowitz Center for Health Literacy.

Aldoory is the Health Communication Lead on the cooperative agreement. The CDC awarded only 14 teams across the country to improve chronic disease health care and prevention. The local team that Aldoory is part of will focus on Prince George's County and Southern Maryland. Aldoory's work will involve developing and implementing tailored messaging to reach underserved communities with the goals of 1) increasing awareness of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and 2) eliminating barriers to participation in programs for prevention and disease management.

Students and audiences will experience the composer’s complex musical range.

Kurt Weill is one of the most influential American composers of the twentieth century. He also happened to be an immigrant to the U.S., fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933 after riots broke out at his performances and propaganda campaigns warned against attending his productions.

The University of Maryland (UMD) School of Music (SOM) will highlight the complex history of Weill’s life and works in a yearlong festival launching this fall. The SOM received a Collaborative Performance Initiative grant from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, chartered to preserve the legacies of Weill and his wife actress-singer Lotte Lenya, to support the Kurt Weill Festival. The grant will help fund performances of Weill’s concert and staged works, including “The Road of Promise,” “Zaubernacht,” "Mahagonny Songspiel" and "Street Scene,” throughout the year as well as bring scholars and guest lecturers to campus to give insight on Weill as both an immigrant and a composer. The festival will engage nearly all of the 450 undergraduate and graduate music students through the study and performance of Weill’s works for the concert stage and theater.

“This festival offers a unique opportunity for our faculty and students to explore works that are infrequently heard and that provide insight into the development of a composer whose output touches on so many important aspects of the twentieth century,” says Jason Geary, director of the SOM.

The Kurt Weill Festival is part of UMD’s campus-wide “Year of Immigration,” which aims to transform dialogue into impact on urgent issues related to immigration, and to foster open conversation and greater connection with the university’s large and diverse international community. The festival will examine Weill’s work in both Europe and America, where he composed for Hollywood and Broadway, and the rise of a musical theatre style that combines elements of popular and classical music. Festival participants and attendees will also learn about his collaborations with artists such as Bertolt Brecht, Ira Gershwin and Langston Hughes, and about the social issues found in Weill’s work, such as racism, religion and domestic violence.

“Weill created works that responded to and addressed the society in which he lived,” says Craig Kier, artistic director of the Weill Festival and director of the Maryland Opera Studio. “The issues he explored in his compositions some 75 years ago continue to resonate in today’s world.”  

This grant builds on an existing relationship between the foundation and the SOM. In 2016, the Maryland Opera Studio received funding for its production of “Regina,” by Marc Blitzstein, whose musical and literary estate is administered by the foundation.

“Collaborating with the SOM on the shaping of this festival has yielded exciting results thus far,” says Brady Sansone, director of programs and business affairs at the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. “We look forward to the continued partnership, to some excellent performances of Weill's music and to the opportunities afforded by this festival to illuminate facets of his life and work.”

Image of Kurt Weil Courtesy of the Weill-Lenya Research Center, Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, New York

By UMD Right Now Staff | UMD Right Now

"COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland (UMD) is part of multi-institutional team tasked with building a powerful set of language technologies that can unlock information that has previously been unsearchable, and ultimately unfindable.

"The four-year project, funded by a $14.4M grant from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), is expected to produce a language processing system that allows a user to type in a query in English and have information returned in English—even if the content is only available in a lesser-known language like Croatian."

Read the full announcement in UMD Right Now

Photo via UMIACS 


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