On Saturday, April 27, UMBC political science professor Thomas F. Schaller spoke at the 9th annual Western Maryland Democratic Summit, alongside Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen and others.
According to coverage in the Herald-Mail, Schaller commented that the Republican Party has become a “Housified party” in recent years. Since 1994, Republican majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives have been driving the policies, philosophy and message of the party, which Schaller argued is to the GOP’s detriment in Senate and presidential politics. On the 2014 midterm election, Schaller predicted the Democrats are unlikely to regain a majority in the House because that would require 18 more seats and there are fewer swing districts across the nation than in the past.
As injured survivors of the Boston bombing start their long and challenging road to recovery, Washington D.C.’s WTOP interviewed UMBC’s Seth D. Messinger yesterday on the topic of rehabilitation following traumatic limb loss.
Messinger, an associate professor of anthropology who works primarily with service members, notes, “the question is whether or not civilian patients are going to be able to have the kind of time in therapy or in rehab that military patients take for granted.” He also highlights the financial hardship that the recovery process might place on victims and their families, remarking, “It’s not only the individual who’s injured who then steps out of work, but also a caregiver.”
Thomas F. Schaller, professor of political science at UMBC, offers his expertise on Maryland politics in a new Governing Magazine article that asks “Are the States Deepening the Nation’s Red-Blue Divide?”
The article explores how the expansion of unified party control and legislative supermajorities at the state level are impacting policymaking, examining what policies are being approved in strongly Republican and strongly Democratic states.
The article identifies Maryland as a Democratic state that has taken a turn to the left with recent legislation on assault weapons, education, same-sex marriage and the death penalty. “Maryland is getting bluer in election results,” says Schaller; conveying that Maryland’s GOP has become increasingly marginalized.
Yesterday’s allegations that state prison guards helped a gang operate a contraband smuggling scheme from behind bars at the Baltimore City Detention Center are prompting strong responses from Maryland lawmakers. While Sen. Brian E. Frosh said the O’Malley administration deserves credit for its role in a “very bold, aggressive and appropriate” prosecution, Del. Curtis S. Anderson called the indictments “just horrific” and asked for further explanation from the governor.
Donald F. Norris, professor and chair of public policy at UMBC, told the Washington Post that any political fallout from the episode for O’Malley, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, will likely be determined by “how he handles this, whether he gets out in front of it.” Norris notes, “If the state were riddled with incompetence and corruption, that’d be one thing, but it’s not. … This kind of thing happens in all prison systems, though maybe not this flagrant.”
For All The World to Hear: Stories from the Struggle for Civil Rights, an oral history, outreach project of the CADVC, will present the session “Storytelling from Page to Stage: An Oral History Community Project” at the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) annual Meeting and Museum Expo.
The session, scheduled for Monday, May 20 from 1:45-3:00 p.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center, will tell the tale of the creation and production of For All the World to Hear. Harriet Lynn, director of the project, Sandra Abbott, CADVC, producer of For All the World to Hear, and Carrie Rennolds, graduate student, will present alongside participants in the project, who will share stories of their experience before and during the American civil rights movement.
Learn more about the session at the AAM article, “2013 AAM Annual Meeting Theme: The Power of Story,” or visit foralltheworldtohear.org.
Christine Mallinson, associate professor of language, literacy, and culture, recently joined NPR’s “All Things Considered” for a discussion of the use of “yo” as a gender-neutral pronoun.
Mallinson said that kids in Baltimore have solved a very old problem in linguistics: English doesn’t have a gender-neutral pronoun. That makes it difficult to refer to people if you don’t know the person’s gender. Youth in Baltimore often use “yo” instead of “he” or “she” when they don’t know a person’s gender. But they also use “yo” as a substitute even when they do know the gender.
Mallinson, and other linguists, are interested to see if the pronoun sticks around. A number of other proposed gender-neutral pronouns – including ‘zee’ and ‘zeer’ – have failed to catch on.
“It’ll be interesting to see whether they keep that usage as they become adults. Do they keep that in the workplace? If that’s the case, it might persist,” said Mallinson. “But sometimes slang or linguistic innovations in middle or high school get dropped out as people become adult users of English.”
The segment, entitled “’Yo’ Said What?” aired on April 24.
Today’s Boston Globe published a letter by Seth D. Messinger, associate professor in UMBC’s Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, in the opinion series “Voices on the Bombings.” Messinger, a medical anthropologist, is an expert on recovery from traumatic limb loss, specifically among military service members. In “The Need for Strong Rehabilitation Services” he writes,
Military patients with traumatic limb loss take part in a comprehensive rehabilitation program that provides them with surgical and medical care, physical and occupational therapy, and a wide variety of prosthetic limbs as well as opportunities to use them in a diverse array of sporting and recreational activities. Observers of the military’s physical rehabilitation program cannot help but be impressed by the extraordinary results achieved by patients, many of whom go on to attain a degree of physical functioning that approximates their pre-injury abilities. [...] Does the civilian health care system provide access to the kind of care that has been so successful with military patients?
Read the full letter through The Boston Globe.
In the last year, three top aides and three department secretaries have left Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration. Although some have voiced concern, Donald F. Norris, professor and chair of public policy at UMBC, tells The Daily Record, “This is not at all unusual for the second half of the second term of a term-limited governor.” Norris notes, “If the replacements are qualified, there’s no brain drain.”
NBC Chicago’s politics blog “The Ward Room” recently posted an opinion piece affirming Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to refuse to provide public money for a $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field. The writer, Edward McClelland, cited research by UMBC economics professor Dennis Coates that found pro sports reduce a city’s per capita income by putting entertainment dollars into the hands of athletes and team owners who live outside the area rather than local businesses around the stadium.
Coates wrote, “money paid to players does not circulate as widely or abundantly as it would were it paid to people with less wealth and more attachment to the city.” Read the article to learn more.
This month, the WAMU segment Art Beat with Lauren Landau, a daily update of arts and culture events in the D.C. area, highlighted the exhibition currently running in the Library Gallery, A New Context: Photographs from the Baltimore Sun Revisited.
Listen at WAMU’s website.
A New Context is on display through Friday, May 31.