Theodore Gonzalves, associate professor and chair of American Studies, has been named a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution for 2013, where he will work with the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Gonzalves’ project, “Singing Truth to Power: The Story of Paredon Records,” traces the cultural history of a record label whose output of recorded music and speeches documented revolutionary movements throughout the globe. According to the collection’s finding aid, the label’s 50 record albums constitute a unique historical documentation of the political protest and revolutionary currents in the world over the course of three decades. Thirty-one of the fifty albums come from national liberation movements represented in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
The Smithsonian has been supporting study and research in a variety of ways, including fellowships from predoctoral to postdoctoral scholars, since its founding in 1846. The number of senior postdoctoral fellows selected each year ranges from four to 10, making this one of the institution’s most competitive awards. The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage is a research and educational unit of the Smithsonian Institution promoting the understanding and continuity of diverse, contemporary grassroots cultures in the United States and around the world.
Gonzalves’ research and creative work has received previous support with a Fulbright Senior Scholar award, a Moeson fellowship at the Library of Congress, a Meet the Composer grant, and other awards from humanities councils in Maryland and Hawai‘i.
In May of 1968, nine individuals shook the conscience of the nation as they burned U.S. Selective Service records with homemade napalm on the grounds of the Catonsville, Maryland Knights of Columbus hall. The fire they started erupted into an infamous trial and influenced similar dynamic actions across the country.
The UMBC community is invited to a Social Science Forum exploring this action, and the trial that followed, on Friday, May 10th, at 2:30 p.m. in the Proscenium Theater (Performing Arts and Humanities Building). Joining us will be a panel of scholars, activists and two members of the Catonsville Nine. The event, cosponsored by the Department of American Studies will feature a film screening (3:00 p.m.) and dialogue (4:30 p.m.).
For more information on the project and to hear a WYPR interview with organizer Theodore Gonzalves (chair of American Studies), see the BreakingGround blog.
Beginning next month, the Maryland Art Place will host the exhibition Oasis Places, featuring the work of five artists, including collaborative work by Nicole King, American Studies, and Stephen Bradley, Visual Arts.
Bradley states that the collaborative, inter-media art piece consists of multiple parts including Place Immersion which, ”reframes an industrialized community in Baltimore City called Greater Baybrook by homaging the lost neighborhood and it’s remnants of material culture, including photographic travel archives and field recordings of voices, stories and sounds of the existing place.” The writings of Nicole King are meant to “punctuate the transitional spirit of the [Baybrook] community so similar to other industrialized places in the world.” The result is a hybrid and comprehensive website, MappingBaybrook.org, that makes its debut on the evening of the opening.
Oasis Places opens Thursday, May 9 from 6-9 pm, with a panel discussion from 6-7 pm. The exhibition continues through Saturday, June 22
This work is the culmination of a project which began with the help of a 2010 summer fellowship granted by the Imaging Resource Center. Since then, King and Bradley have continued to work in Baltimore’s Brooklyn-Curtis Bay neighborhoods.
Join the American Studies Department for “Hairstories,” a night of individuality and personal experience, as we comb through the culturally diverse perspectives of our hair.
The event will take place in the UMBC SportsZone (Commons) on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 7 p.m.
The event is planned by assistant professor of American studies Kimberly Moffitt’s “Black Hair and Body Politics” class.
“We will spend the evening sharing, laughing, reflecting, and maybe even shed a tear or two as we explore the ways our hair, skin hue, or body type impacts our daily lives,” says Moffitt.
In early recognition of National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month (beginning May 1), the Office of Student Life’s Mosaic Center is pleased to welcome author, journalist and hip-hop cultural critic Jeff Chang. Chang is the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. His latest book, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, examines the cultural transformation of the U.S. over the last three decades.
A discussion of Who We Be will take place Wednesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. in The Commons Skylight Room. All UMBC students, staff, faculty and their visitors are welcome to attend. A Q&A session and dessert reception will immediately follow this presentation.
This event is sponsored by The Office of Student Life’s Mosaic Center for Culture and Diversity, American Studies, English Language Institute, Office of Undergraduate Education, and the Humanities Living and Learning Community. Additional co-sponsors TBA at the event.
Contact Lisa Gray, Assistant Director of Student Life for Cultural and Spiritual Diversity, at 410-455-8478, or visit the event page on myUMBC at http://my.umbc.edu/groups/themosaic/events/17283 (must be logged in) for further information.
Clarence Lusane, professor of comparative and regional studies at American University, will present “The Black History of the White House: From Washington to Obama” at UMBC on Wednesday, March 27, 4:00 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th Floor.
This talk employs the White House as a prism to examine the historic and contemporary racial politics of the nation. From the building of the White House with slave labor to the “othering” of President Obama, Dr. Lusane explores the racial dynamics of one of the world’s most iconic buildings.
This Social Sciences Forum is co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Language, Literacy and Culture Doctoral Program; the Departments of History, Africana Studies, American Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology.
Today’s Baltimore Sun features a front-page story about students in two UMBC courses shedding light on the human side of Baltimore’s industrial past. The students, guided by New Media Studio director Bill Shewbridge and American Studies folklorist in residence Michelle Stefano, are helping tell the stories of steelworkers from the now-defunct Sparrows Point Steel Mill, which once employed thousands. The mill has been shuttered and is being sold for scrap.
The oral history project is supported by a BreakingGround course development grant. The article also describes several other BreakingGround courses and projects through which people from UMBC are solving problems and working with community partners to make innovative contributions to the common good. For additional details on BreakingGround, see the project website, myUMBC group or #digUMBC on Twitter.
On Tuesday, January 22, Kimberly Moffitt, assistant professor of American studies, was a guest on the “Marc Steiner Show.” The topic of the discussion was the Presidential Inauguration and Obama’s rhetoric at the start of his second term. Moffitt was joined by E.R. Shipp, Journalist in Residence and Associate Professor of Journalism at Morgan State University, and Tyrone Keys, political analyst.
“I think that it’s more than appropriate to talk about the speech as celebratory, as ceremonial, and the focus is not about specific politics. Although there are areas of the speech where he is clearly making political statements, I think he was simply saying, as Americans, as all of us, as citizens, there is a place that we need to strive towards, and now is the time for that to happen,” Moffitt said.
The full conversation can be heard here.
Kimberly Moffitt, assistant professor of American Studies, was a guest on the “Marc Stenier Show” on Wednesday, January 2, where she looked back at the year in politics and discussed the fiscal cliff. She was joined by Bob Somerby, editor of the Daily Howler, Richard Vatz, professor in the Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies at Towson University, Lenny McAllister, conservative media personality, public speaker and writer, and Cheri Honkala, co-founder of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and co-founder and former vice presidential candidate for the Green Party.
“From a media critic perspective, I’ve just been irritated by the amount of rhetoric around the conversation that has kept us from getting any work done,” Moffitt said, adding that the media’s coverage of the fiscal cliff has made it difficult for the public to be informed on the real issues in the debate.
The full conversation can be heard here.
The department of American studies has received a civic engagement grant from the Maryland Humanities Council for the project, “Looking Forward from the 45th Anniversary of the Catonsville Nine Actions.”Civic Engagement Grants support public programs that promote informed dialogue and civic engagement about critical issues identified by the grant applicant.
The Catonsville Nine were nine activists who burned draft files to protest the Vietnam War. On May 17, 1968 they went to the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland, took 378 draft files, brought them to the parking lot, poured home-made napalm over them, and set them on fire.
The project consists of classroom visits, a public tour of sites in the story of the Catonsville Nine, film screenings, a public dialogue, and the creation of mobile mapping software highlighting key sites. The department hopes to engage students, community-based activists, the general public and the community of Catonsville about not only the historical significance of the actions of the Catonsville Nine, but also how we think about social protest, civic duty, and citizenship for our time.