Book Talk – Civil Rights History (11/17)

Inspired by the iconic photograph on the book cover, M. J. O’Brien tells the stories behind the 1963 sit-in at Woolworths in Jackson, Mississippi. This compelling book chronicles the people and the events of the sit-in and examines its role in the context of the civil rights movement and the subsequent assassination of Medgar Evers.

The people in the photograph are brought to life with the perspective of five decades. Mr. O’Brien recently received the Lillian Smith Book Award for 2014 which honors authors who embody Smith’s legacy of elucidating racial and social inequity and promoting justice and understanding.

The talk will take place on November 17 from 7.30-9 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library. Click here for more information.

Social Sciences Forum: Post-Election Forum (11/13)

On Thursday, November 13, the Post-Election Forum will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery. Join experienced political analysts for an engaging discussion of the 2014 Maryland Gubernatorial election – the campaigns, the candidates, the issues, and the outcomes.

Speakers include Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald F. Norris, Political
Science Professor and Chair Thomas F. Schaller, and Washington Post Political Reporter John Wagner.

The event is sponsored by the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) and the Department of Public Policy.

Social Sciences Forum: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Challenge to Scientific Racism (11/12)

evelynn-m-hammondsOn Wednesday, November 12, Evelynn M. Hammonds, Director of the Program for the Study of Race & Gender in Science & Medicine at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University, will present the Social Sciences Forum and W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture, “W.E.B. Du Bois and the Challenge to Scientific Racism.” The event will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.

A renowned researcher and author on the history of disease, on the analysis of race, gender and science, and on African-American women and the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Hammonds will discuss the ever evolving intersection of scientific, medical, anthropological, and socio-political concepts of race in the United States from the early nineteenth century to present day. Hammonds is the Lewis H. Vovakis Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at Harvard University.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture is co-sponsored with the Department of Africana Studies and the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

CURRENTS: Kevin Wisniewski, LLC and Lisa Vetter, Political Science (11/3)

The Dresher Center for the Humanities is hosting a CURRENTS: Humanities Work Now talk on Monday, November 3 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, Room 216 (Dresher Center Conference Room). Lunch will be available from 11:30; the presentation starts at noon in the Dresher Center conference room, PAHB 216. Information on the two talks can be found below. The event is open to faculty.

The Hopkinson Hoax of 1763
Kevin Wisniewski, Ph.D. student, Language Literacy and Culture
Fall 2014 Dresher Center Graduate Residential Fellow
As a literary device, the hoax is a slippery term. A popular maneuver among British writers like Jonathan Swift, Samuel Richardson, Daniel Defoe and Benjamin Franklin, hoaxes were used to mislead and mystify readers and to disrupt bureaucratic systems. They inspired a number of young writers growing up in the era leading up to the American Revolution. Before signing the Declaration of Independence, designing the American flag, and penning dozens of wartime propaganda including the famous “Battle of the Kegs,” Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791) was a poet and composer. Scholars consider one of his earliest published poems “Science,” the first pirated work in the American colonies. But what if the highly publicized quarrels following these pirated copies were part of an elaborate marketing scheme for not one but three separate Hopkinson titles?
An American Enlightenment: Political Theory and the Origins of American Feminism
Lisa Vetter, Assistant Professor, Political Science
I am currently working on a book project that makes the case that several pivotal figures in the 19th century American women’s rights movement deserve to be incorporated into the received narrative of American political thought. I argue that a more inclusive approach is necessary to fully appreciate the richness and diversity of the history of American political theory. The book focuses on several female writers and activists who are not typically considered political theorists, including Frances Wright, Harriet Martineau, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I show that these women were engaging in many of the same theoretical debates as their mainstream male counterparts and on many different levels. Equally important, these women often innovated on and broadened traditional theoretical teachings to better accommodate women and the disenfranchised. For my talk, I will give an overview of the major arguments made in the book and discuss the challenges I have encountered in performing interdisciplinary research, broadening a male-dominated “canon” of political theory, and adapting scholarly work to a broader audience.

Humanities Forum: Revel Without a Cause? Dance, Performance, and Greek Vase Painting (11/5)

On Wednesday, November 5 at 4:00 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, Tyler Jo Smith, Associate Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Virginia, will present the Humanities Forum “Revel Without a Cause? Dance, Performance, and Greek Vase Painting.”

Greek vases have much to teach us about ancient dance and performance. But how do the figures decorating ancient drinking cups and mixing bowls relate to the dances documented by the ancient authors? This talk explores the unique connection between these two important art forms, and reveals the ways they have been understood by scholars over the past 100 years. From drinking games to party tricks, we will explore the context of ancient dance and the special place of vases in performance history.

The event is sponsored by the Ancient Studies Department and by the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Visual Arts Department; and the Office of Summer, Winter and Special Programs. For more information, click here.

The Mathematics of Being Human (11/4)

mathematics_of_human_final_no_dateOn Tuesday, November 4, a provocative new play by UMBC professors Michele Osherow (English, Folger Theatre) and Manil Suri (Mathematics), and directed by Alan Kreizenbeck (Theatre), will take place in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building Black Box Theatre at 4:00 and 7:30 p.m.

Battle lines are drawn when an English professor and mathematician are compelled to co-teach a course at a university bent on promoting interdisciplinarity. They tussle over everything: from the value of ‘nothing’ in King Lear, to the fractals found in cauliflower. Will they be able to give the class a glimpse of synthesis or will their insularity prove impossible to surmount? Each reading will be followed by a talk-back.

Admission is free and the event is sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; and the Departments of English, Interdisciplinary Studies, Mathematics & Statistics, and Theatre.

New Faculty Micro-Talks (10/29)

The Dresher Center and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences will present an afternoon of short talks with eight tenure-stream faculty hired in the last two years. Meet these faculty members and learn about their research. A reception will follow. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 29th, from 4:00-6:00 P.M. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor.

Speakers include: Dena Aufseeser, Geography and Environmental Systems; Scott Casper, History and Dean, CAHSS; Lauren Hamilton Edwards, Public Policy; Felipe Filomeno, Political Science and Global Studies; Cedric Herring, Language, Literacy, and Culture; Viviana MacManus, Gender and Women’s Studies; Corrie Parks, Visual Arts; and Whitney Schwab, Philosophy.