Kimberly Moffitt, American Studies, on The Marc Steiner Show

On October 8,  WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show hosted a segment discussing the challenges, complexities and joys of raising and educating boys. Kimberly Moffitt, an associate professor of American studies, was a guest on the program and discussed her experience as a founding parent and trustee of Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys – a charter school opening in Baltimore City next year to serve boys in grades 4 through 12.

In a discussion about improving high school graduation rates among boys, Moffitt said: “This is a movement that is happening from the ground up.” Adding, “it’s about folks in the community who recognize something that’s happening with our children and want to do something about it instead of waiting for someone else within the federal government, or higher ups, or individuals who have their philanthropic ability to contribute. This is now very much about folks who are part of the community who see something real that needs to change because this is an epidemic for our boys and we want to see a shift in change.”

Moffitt appeared on the program with Jack Pannell, founder of Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys, and David Banks, President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation and founding principal of the Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx. To listen to the full segment, click here.

Moffitt also recently returned from Vienna, Austria where she gave two presentations based on her research. The University of Vienna and the American Embassy hosted “Transgressive Television: Politics, Crime, and Citizenship in 21st Century American TV Series,” where Moffitt gave a presentation on “Black Motherhood as Victimhood in The Wire.” Also, at the University of Graz (Austria), Department of American Studies “When I Talk about American Studies, I Talk about… Lecture,” Moffitt presented a talk entitled, “(In)visibility in Black and White: The Case of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.”

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in the Baltimore Sun

Tom SchallerIn his latest column in the Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller writes about the increasingly competitive Maryland gubernatorial election. He compares the campaign strategy of Connie Morella, a former moderate Republican congresswoman from Maryland’s 8th District, to Republican candidate Larry Hogan, stating that Hogan needs to focus on certain issues to have a chance at winning the election.

“The Sun’s new poll shows Mr. Brown leading Mr. Hogan statewide by 7 points, a margin similar to the average yielded by the three previous statewide polls. Among men, Mr. Hogan leads by 8 points, 43 percent to 35 percent,” Schaller writes. “But Mr. Brown’s lead among women — 49 percent to 33 percent — is twice that. Mr. Hogan is within striking distance, but he can win only if he keeps the focus exclusively on topics related to job growth, the economy, state spending and fiscal management.”

To read Schaller’s full column in the Baltimore Sun titled, “The Connie Morella effect,” click here.

Eric Ford, Shriver Center, Advises Prospective College Students on Paths to Success in College Express

First-generation and underrepresented minority students can face unique challenges in applying to college and completing their degrees. In an article in College Express, Eric Ford, director of operations for the Shriver Center’s Choice Program, writes about his conversations with four college graduates about the support systems that helped them succeed.

Ford identifies several common factors that helped the students graduate, including high parental expectations, dedicated guidance counselors, and supportive university programs. Ford also discussed UMBC’s Choice Program as providing new opportunities for students who might not otherwise see college as a realistic possibility. He shared, “The Choice Program is just one component of a multifaceted partnership seeking to remove some of the many barriers faced by first-generation college students, and it has shown positive outcomes…exemplifying the shared responsibility between universities, public [K-12] schools, and individuals in breaking down barriers to higher education.”

Click here to read “Common Denominators: College Success Factors Among Minority and First-Generation Students” in College Express.

Preminda Jacob, Visual Arts, Examines Visual Culture and Indian Politics in Scroll

When J Jayalalithaa, a film star turned prominent politician, was convicted of charges involving financial assets, her supporters in the state of Tamil Nadu responded to the verdict by creating billboards and posters representing their feelings of anger and loss. Preminda Jacob, visual arts, spoke to Scroll about the historic connections between cinema and state politics in Tamil Nadu. 

Jacob focused on how Jayalalithaa used images to promote her political career and connect with supporters. “Over the space of half century the population has been very adept on how to read these images,” she said.

Jacob is the author of Celluloid Deities: The Visual Culture of Cinema and Politics in South India.

Click here to read “How Jayalalithaa used posters to transform herself from a film star into the Amma of Tamil Nadu” in Scroll.

Scott Casper, CAHSS Dean, in Talking Points Memo

On October 9, Talking Points Memo (TPM) published a story analyzing the recent controversial College Board decision to release a revised framework on the way AP U.S. history is taught. Since the decision was released two years ago, it has drawn backlash from many who call the new framework unpatriotic and revisionist.

Scott Casper

Scott Casper, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of History, was quoted extensively in the story and commented on recent shifts in American history education. Casper, who edits the “Textbooks and Teaching” section of the Journal of American History, said the debate isn’t exactly new. He said the new framework reflects a shift in teaching history in that more colleges and high schools are emphasizing “historical thinking skills.” He also noted there’s been a shift in topics covered, including incorporating the stories of women, African-Americans and immigrants to a greater extent.

Commenting on the concept of revisionist history, Casper said: “Those who criticize the teaching of what they call revisionist history are certainly part of a long tradition because every time we learn more about the past, we are revising our understanding of the past,” he said. “So in a sense, history is always revisionist.”

To read the full article, click here.

George Derek Musgrove, History, on WAMU’s Metro Connection

On Friday, September 26, WAMU, the NPR affiliate in Washington, D.C., aired a discussion on the history of gentrification and political representation in the nation’s capital. The segment ran on Metro Connection, a weekly news magazine program.

Derek Musgrove

George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, associate professor of history, was interviewed for the story and provided historical context and analysis of gentrification in Washington. Musgrove discussed “The Plan,” a concept that newspaper columnist Lillian Wiggins wrote about in the 1970s and believed would transform the city.

“She believed that whites in D.C. had a plan to come back and take over the city — both its real estate, its physical space, and its politics,” Musgrove said during the segment. He added that it’s important to look more deeply at what Wiggins was describing given the demographics of the city at the time: “I think there were a number of things that caused people to look at The Plan as a viable explanation for what was happening around them,” he said. A major factor, he explained, was “our lack of statehood, and Congress’s ability to meddle in the city’s affairs.”

In a separate segment, Musgrove noted that, “D.C. has had a post-industrial economy for its entire history.” He identified four waves of gentrification in D.C., each lining up with expansion of the federal government. In the 1970s and 80s, there was a burst of development in what had become very poor inner city neighborhoods.

“The rate of displacement in places like Adams Morgan, Logan Circle, Columbia Heights, was astonishing. I mean absolutely astonishing. Developers would buy up in certain cases whole streets, and send out notices: ‘Please get out in the next month, we’re going to be fixing these places up.’ And renters, by the year 1978 just revolted.”

To listen to the full segments, click below:
Is Gentrification in D.C. Going According to “The Plan?”
Why Did African Americans Leave Georgetown?

Donald Norris, Public Policy, on WJZ and WYPR, in the Washington Post

Ahead of Tuesday’s Maryland gubernatorial debate, Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris analyzed what was at stake in the debate and what each candidate needed to accomplish.

Donald Norris UMBC

In an interview on WJZ Channel 13, Norris said, “what each candidate needs to accomplish at the debates is first to look personable so that they don’t turn people off with their demeanor. And secondly, they have to not make any mistakes.” He added, “different people are going to have different perspectives on who wins or who loses — again — unless somebody makes a really big mistake,” Norris added.

On WYPR, Norris commented on the potential impact of the debates. “Debates don’t matter much, especially gubernatorial debates, because nobody watches them,” Norris said. He noted that because debates don’t generally draw a large audience, it would take a major mistake by one of the candidates for voters to notice.

“If somebody makes a big blunder it’ll be all over the television, all over the radio, in the newspaper —  you know: ‘Brown stumbles badly, Hogan doesn’t remember where Annapolis is’ whatever it may be,” Norris said.

Norris was also quoted in a Washington Post article published on October 11 about Gov. Martin O’Malley’s approval ratings.

To read, watch and listen to the full stories, click below:
The Stage is Set for the First Gubernatorial Debate on Oct. 7 (WJZ)
What’s at Stake at First Governor’s Race Debate? (WYPR)
As O’Malley’s approval rating falls, Md. voters not confident in his presidential bid (Washington Post)