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Creativity

6/11/19

By Sala Levin ’10

Stand at the corner of 14th Street and Constitution Avenue in downtown D.C. long enough—trust us, it won’t be long at all—and you’ll notice tourist after tourist, phone camera at the ready, walking up a little path outside the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Their destination: a giant mushroom sculpture made of slabs from five kinds of trees.

Foon Sham headshotCreated by UMD art Professor Foon Sham, "Mushroom," with its varying colors and textures, isn’t just a distinctive photo op backdrop. It’s a prominent part of a new Smithsonian Gardens exhibition with installations at 14 sites across the Mall running from last month through December 2020. Sham has three pieces in the “Habitat” exhibit, which highlights how protecting habitats is crucial to protecting the flora and fauna that rely on them.

When the Smithsonian approached Sham two years ago to be part of the exhibit, he settled on the mushroom form to emphasize how fungi, trees and soil share a symbiotic relationship, relying on one another for nutrients and other life essentials. He also appreciated mushrooms’ underground networks of “thousands of interlocking strands … They’re communicating to each other and supplying nutrients. They symbolize what we are doing today, that we connect to each other with phone and Internet.”

"Arches of Life" sculptureThe trees that became Sham’s mushroom—felled by lightning, age or disease—came from the grounds of the Smithsonian, and are a mix of birch, oak, elm, cypress and Katsura, native to Japan.

Sham’s other two pieces in the exhibit are "Arches of Life," a series of hollow, arched wood structures meant to symbolize how dead wood can become a critical habitat for animals and insects, and "Vascular Form XI, Unbound," a towering vessel that occupies a small island in a fountain-centric garden to represent how water also contains life.

His work has been displayed at galleries and spaces in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Norway, Hungary and elsewhere around the world. “For all the physicality of Sham’s work—its size, look and even smell—the essential escape he offers is into the imagination,” The Washington Post once wrote of him.

"Vascular Form XI, Unbound" sculptureSham began his artistic career nearly 40 years ago working with materials like steel, concrete and Plexiglass, but soon moved to wood, drawn to the material for the way in which each slab is unique. “Each individual piece has an individual identity,” he says, likening the differences between pieces of wood to the differences between people.

Wood sculptures also honor the lives of the trees that died for them to exist, Sham says. “Trees have to go sometimes, but I give them a second life and a second identity.”

 

 

 

 

The Provost and the Vice President for Research invite applications for the Independent Scholarship, Research, and Creativity Awards (ISRCA) from fulltime, tenured/tenure-track faculty members at the University of Maryland, College Park, at the assistant professor rank or higher. This new program provides several funding options to support faculty pursuing scholarly or creative projects. Funds of up to $10,000 per award will support semester teaching release, summer salary, and/or research related expenses. Funding will be available beginning January 2020 and must be expended within two years of the award date.

This program is designed to support the professional advancement of faculty engaged in scholarly and creative pursuits that use historical, humanistic, interpretive, or ethnographic approaches; explore aesthetic, ethical, and/or cultural values and their roles in society; conduct critical or rhetorical analyses; engage in archival and/or field research; or develop or produce creative works. Awardees will be selected based on peer review of the quality of the proposed project, the degree to which the project will lead to the applicant's professional advencement, and the potential academic and societal impact of the project. 

Click here for more information and guidelines and instructions.

Please direct any questions about the program to Linda Aldoory, Associate Dean for Research and Programming, at laldoory@umd.edu.

 

NOTE: Please join us for an Info Session on this new opportunity on September 6, 2019 @ 10am, 1102J FSK.

McKeldin Library, Rooms 6103 and 6107
Friday, March 09, 2018 - 10:30 AM to Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 4:30 PM

Join the Fembot Collective and our partners for the 2018 Fembot Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon!

Gildenhorn Recital Hall, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Join ARHU for the first DLS courageous conversation on 'The Personal' with slam poet and social justice advocate Theo Wilson.

3/7/17

By Tom Hall & Bridget Armstrong | Midday on WYPR

"The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are two of 17 federal agencies that appear to be targeted by the Trump administration for elimination, as its budget inclinations lean heavily toward defense spending. The state of Maryland funded arts institutions at the highest level ever last year, and the Governor has proposed an additional $1 million this year, bringing the allocation for the arts to $21 million in Fiscal Year 2018. Ironically, Baltimore City Schools are facing drastic cuts. Principals looking to trim expenses, may have to make cuts to music and visual arts programs. 

"An organization called Arts Every Day is holding a symposium this weekend that will call attention to the role that arts education plays in boosting attendance, improving test scores and making schools vibrant parts of their communities.

"Tom and Dr. Sheri Parks speak with arts educators and advocates about what the arts can do for kids and their families. They also talk about the cost of funding arts programs and if that cost is worth it when belts are being tightened locally and nationally."

Listen to the complete podcast: Midday on WYPR

Baltimore Stories: Building Public Humanities Baltimore Stories Caolitions
10/28/16 - 8:00 PM

A community conversation about the importance of coalitions in building democracy, fostering social justice, and improving Baltimore’s future.

1/30/17

ANNOUNCING THE SOCIETY FOR TEXTUAL SCHOLARSHIP’S 2017 CFP  

 

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) and the Andrew W. Mellon-funded African American Digital Humanities Initiative (AADHum) invite your participation in “Textual Embodiments,” the Society for Textual Scholarship’s International Interdisciplinary Conference for 2017.

 

Date: Wednesday, May 31 - Friday, June 2, 2017

Location: University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland USA

Program Chairs: Neil Fraistat, Purdom Lindblad, Catherine Knight Steele, Raffaele Viglianti

Deadline for Proposals: February 26, 2017

Keynote speakers: Marisa Parham (Amherst University)

                       Susan Brown  (University of Guelph)

 

Our conference theme is "Textual Embodiments," broadly construed. With this theme we hope to engage a range of issues involving the materiality of texts, including their physical, virtual, or performative manifestations as objects that can decay or break down and can potentially be repaired and sustained over time. It also concerns the processes of inclusion and exclusion through which bodies of texts take shape in the form of editions, archives, collections, and exhibition building, as well as the ethical responsibilities faced by textual scholars, archivists, conservationists, media archeologists, digital resource creators, and cultural heritage professionals engaging in these processes.

 

As always, the conference is open to submissions involving interdisciplinary discussion of current research into particular aspects of textual work: the discovery, enumeration, description, bibliographical analysis, editing, annotation, mark-up, and sustainability of texts in disciplines such as cultural studies, literature, history, musicology, classical and biblical studies, philosophy, art history, legal history, history of science and technology, computer science, library and information science, archives, lexicography, epigraphy, paleography, codicology, cinema studies, new media studies, game studies, theater, linguistics, and textual and literary theory. Considerations of the role of computational methodologies, tools, and technologies in textual theory and practice are of course welcome, as are papers addressing aspects of archival theory and practice as they pertain to textual criticism and scholarly editing.

 

Especially welcome are interdisciplinary papers addressing the theme of Textual Embodiment in the fields of Black Diaspora Studies, Indigenous Studies, LGBTQ Studies, Latinx Studies, Disability Studies, Women’s Studies, and Critical Theory.

 

Submissions may take the following traditional forms:

1. Papers. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length, making a significant original contribution to scholarship. Papers that are primarily reports or demonstrations of tools or projects are discouraged.

2.    Panels. Panels may consist of either three associated papers or four to six roundtable speakers. Roundtables should address topics of broad interest and scope, with the goal of fostering lively debate with audience participation.

3.    Workshops. Workshops should propose a specific problem, tool, or skill set for which the workshop leader will provide expert guidance and instruction. Examples might be an introduction to forensic computing or paleography. Workshop proposals that are accepted will be announced on the conference Web site (http://www.textual.org) and attendees will be required to enroll with the workshop leader(s).

4. Submissions may also take the form of Open Fishbowl sessions. Drawing on the expertise of both speakers and attendees, Fishbowls are small group discussions in which 5 initial participants face one another in a circle, in the middle of the larger audience. Participants cycle out as audience members join the inner circle to create dialogue across perspectives and different types of research. Submitted proposals should include a brief statement as to the core idea or theme for the fishbowl, emphasizing its relation to conference themes or relevance to the larger Textual Studies community. Naming some or all of the initial five “fish” is encouraged. Potential topics for Fishbowl session might include, for example, “Minimal Computing, Globalized Editions,” “Participatory Editions,” and “#ArchivesSoWhite.”

 

Proposals for all formats should include a title; abstract (250 words max.) of the proposed paper, panel, seminar, or workshop; and name, email address, and institutional affiliation for all participants. Format should be clearly indicated. Seminar, fishbowl, and workshop proposals in particular should take care to articulate the imagined audience and any expectations of prior knowledge or preparation.

 

All abstracts should indicate what if any technological support will be required.

Inquiries and proposals should be submitted electronically to https://goo.gl/forms/B6xi4SmZAkmwWB9o2/. Responses will be sent by March 10.

 

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).

POET & MACARTHUR GENIUS CLAUDIA RANKINE VISITS UMD FOR 2016-17 WORLDWISE ARTS AND HUMANITIES DEAN'S LECTURE SERIES

Claudia Rankine read from her acclaimed book "Citizen" and spoke about the relationships between race, art and citizenship.

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