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Research and Scholarly Work

10/13/14

Members of this university and city community came together Saturday to offer ideas for the cultural and artistic redesign of Route 1 as part of a collaborative effort that aims to turn the city into a top-20 college town by 2020.

A group of about 40 people, consisting of university administrators, city officials, local artists, residents and students, gathered at the College Park Community Center for the afternoon to brainstorm ways the arts can be used to improve the city’s aesthetic appeal.

Popular ideas included open galleries and spaces for artists to display visual and verbal art, performance spaces and theaters, more parks and greenery and designated paths for bikers and pedestrians.

“We want to make life better for people who live here and work here and play here,” Mayor Andy Fellows said. ”In doing that, we’ll end up attracting people from different places, because with any cool community that has things to do, people from outside are going to want to come.”

To read more, please click here.

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.—The University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the launch of the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy and its website arhusynergy.umd.edu. The site launched Wednesday, December 18, 2013, and is the product of years of concerted efforts between the Office of the Dean in the College of Arts and Humanities and input from faculty experts.

Led by Sheri Parks, associate dean of research, interdisciplinary scholarship and programming, the center seeks to help faculty, students and the larger community make connections across the diverse, yet interconnected disciplines of the college.

“The goal is to place these fields in broad context, facilitating new intellectual synergies that connect and inform the pressing human problems of our time,” said Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. “Through lectures, symposia, intellectual working groups and research initiatives, we will apply our new insights and skills to help individuals and academics alike.”

The site was designed not only to aggregate information about initiatives that cross disciplinary lines, but to act as a resource hub for scholars, students and community members looking to connect and build support for projects of mutual interest.

In the initial launch, the site will provide in-depth information about the many innovative and collaborative research, scholarship, events, programs, courses and outreach taking place in the college. In addition, the site hosts a wealth of information about grant resources and highlights the arts and humanities labs for inspiration and creativity.

“From the visual and performing arts to history, literature and culture, the arts and humanities provide powerful insights and perspectives for out-of-the box ideas,” said Parks. “They raise awareness, break down barriers and foster innovation.” 

To further inspire and engage the community, the college has organized this year’s dean’s lecture series to presentarts and humanities leaders who are influencing society and advancing the national conversation on the importance of humanities and social sciences to the improved state of the world. 

"We are proud to convene a community of arts and humanities leaders, continually reaching across disciplinary lines—theorizing, producing new tools and methodologies—to shape the future of the academy," said Thornton Dill. "We look forward to the valuable contributions of our established affiliates and the insights of emerging working groups to extend the conversations taking place nationally on the future of the arts and humanities."

Upcoming Enhancements

In subsequent releases, the website will provide a scholar database that will help users identify partners with similar interests. Also in the works are virtual labs with a variety of tools that can be used by existing or emerging working groups alike. The goal is to help people connect, collaborate and innovate.

The website was created through a synergistic collaboration between the web and application services and marketing and communications teams in the College of Arts and Humanities.

The website is an example of the college's commitment to improve the visibility of interdisciplinary initiatives not only within the college, but also through collaborations with those in other fields of study.

For more info, please contact Sheri Parks at slp@umd.edu.

12/11/13

TDPS

Congratulations to Professor Karen Bradley and TDPS students Christina Banalopoulou (Ph.D. student), Drew Barker (M.A. Theatre '13), and Kate Spanos (Ph.D. candidate), along with Sargoon Nepaul (dance and neuroscience undergraduate major) and Emma Sessions (kinesiology undergraduate major) on being awarded a Future of Information Alliance (FIA) - Deutsch seed grant for their project entitled "Re-imaging and Re-imagining Choreometrics."

Their interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between TDPS, Kinesiology, Neuroscience, and Library Sciences that will create a data set of dance videos from cultures and communities all over the world that were collected by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. These clips are now buried in the Library of Congress, and the team will partner with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the Association for Cultural Equity in New York to access the films. Their goal is to digitize the video and then make it widely available to scholars and communities around the world through an online collaborative Wiki.

The team was awarded $25,000 to complete the first three months of groundwork for the project, which will feed into and enable them to meet their long-term goals. The project meets the priorities that are valued by the FIA-Deutsch program, including information equity, information literacy, culture, collaboration, information transfer and emergence.

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.” 

11/27/13

by Porter Olsen, MITH

Out of the blue, an archivist gets a call from the husband of a famous scientist who has recently passed away. He wants to donate materials to the archives that can help people to understand and learn about her research. The archivist visits their home and is handed a cardboard box. Inside are not sheets of paper but a stack of floppy disks, CDs, Zip disks and a hard drive. What’s the archivist to do?

Researchers at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, and the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are investigating methods and developing tools for these sorts of situations.

A new white paper titled, “From Bitstreams to Heritage: Putting Digital Forensics into Practice in Collecting Institutions” examines the application of digital forensics methods to materials in collecting institutions – particularly libraries, archives and museums. It is a product of the BitCurator project and is written by Drs. Christopher A. Lee, Frances Carroll McColl Term Professor and research associate, Kam Woods of SILS;Matthew Kirschenbaum, associate director of MITH; and SILS doctoral student Alexandra Chassanoff.

To read more, please click here.

12/1/13

by James Chute, The San Diego Union-Tribune

We’re always moving. But most of the time, we’re not even aware of it.

On a recent Saturday in the Old Globe Theatre’s rehearsal hall in Balboa Park, dancer Karen Bradley asked a group of innovators to pay special attention.

She took them through a series of exercises, from being still and feeling the subtle movement in their bodies, to using overt movements to express an idea.

“The point I was trying to make is that movement — when we behave — it’s actually data; it’s information for us,” said Bradley, director of graduate studies at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies and one of the faculty members for Balboa Park’s Art of Science Learning project.

“When we move creatively, we generate choices, which perhaps we wouldn’t think of in our (brain’s) frontal lobe right away, but stuff bubbles up from the back as we notice what we’re doing.”

So what does this have to do with addressing a significant, real-life challenge, which is the goal of this group created by the Art of Science Learning?

“If you are trying to solve a problem, and you want to see many different possible outcomes, sometimes moving it offers you an array of possibilities,” Bradley said. “Some of them are silly, and goofy, and you go, ‘OK, that’s not working.’ And some of them are like, ‘Wow, I wouldn’t have thought of that otherwise.’ ”

The San Diego Incubator for Innovation — where the arts are integrated with science, technology, engineering and math (also known as STEM) — is now in session.

To read more, please click here.

10/16/13

by Nick DiMarco, abc2news

Location, location, location.

Once the maxim of picking prime real estate, location is becoming recognized as the most important feature shaping the future of social and mobile media.

Emerging social media applications focused on location recognition are trying to change the way we see the world. These tools are being used increasingly to mine data from consumers, provide real-time updates of important happenings, take us to events we want to see and in some cases to keep us safe.

Apple iPhone users, for example, may have noticed the emphasis on location technology during the upgrade to iOS7. Thousands of App Store applications were required to request permission of the user’s location before publicly publishing posts. 

It's most prevalent in navigation apps, however social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram rely on location tagging to connect users to each other and to nearby places. 

“The most pervasive digital technology on the planet is a mobile device,” said Jason Farman, a University of Maryland professor and social/mobile media researcher.

To read more, please click here.

by Jason Farman, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Since I’ve been teaching in higher education, I have always been very confident of my teaching abilities. I knew I was a good teacher; that is, until fall semester of 2012.

I had just been awarded a fellowship with the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Maryland, given to 10 faculty members each year from disciplines all across the campus. I then met with my fellow faculty members every Friday morning for an hour to discuss teaching methods, pedagogical theories, and the role of face-to-face learning in the digital age.

Working alongside these seasoned scholar-teachers, I realized that everything I had taken for granted about my own teaching wasn’t always the best approach. I very quickly realized that each one of my assumptions had to be reevaluated, beginning with the idea that I was a good teacher.

Throughout the academic year working with the Center for Teaching Excellence, I built my teaching philosophy from the ground up, holding each of my assumptions under close examination. In the end, I crafted the following Manifesto for Active Learning.

To read more, please click here.

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