Jason Loviglio, Media and Communication Studies, on BBC Radio

BBC Radio 4 recently aired a special one hour program about interviewing members of the public in the historic format of the vox pop. Jason Loviglio, associate professor and chair of media and communication studies, was interviewed for the program and provides historical context throughout the segment.

Jason Loviglio image

“The origins of vox pop in the United States are almost as old as the origins of broadcasting in the United States. The juxtaposition of the polished, educated voice of the professional radio announcer was then juxtaposed with the voice of the man on the street, sometimes quite literally,” Loviglio said. He pointed to Houston, Texas in 1932 as the origin of vox pop where broadcasters strung a microphone out of a window to interview passers by on the street.

Later in the program, Loviglio describes the differences between American radio and the BBC in the 1940s and 1950s: “The kinds of opinions that were the prerogative of professional journalists and were not the prerogative of anyone else. So the idea that there would be a meaningful contribution from the average person on the street really did not resonate in the same way for the BBC and for very logical business model reasons.”

To listen to the program in its entirety, click here.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, in the Baltimore Sun

Donald Norris UMBCAs the Maryland gubernatorial race intensifies, Public Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was interviewed for several articles in the Baltimore Sun providing analysis. Norris commented on voter turnout, Republican candidate Larry Hogan’s campaign strategy, and distortions that have been prevalent during the campaign. To read complete version of the three articles Norris was quoted in, click below.

Brown bucks trend nationally with Obama invitation
Hogan, activist and businessman, ‘wears his passion on his sleeve’
Distortions fly in the race for governor

Laura Hussey, Political Science, in the Baltimore Sun and Herald-Mail

On October 22, the Baltimore Sun published an article about Baltimore County campaign signs and how some are set up in a way to display bipartisanship. Laura Hussey, an associate professor of political science, was quoted in the article and discussed Democrat Tom Quirk’s campaign signs being placed near Republican Joseph Hooe’s. Quirk is running for re-election as 1st District County Councilman, and Hooe is running for state delegate in District 12. Hussey said it’s not unusual for candidates to tout their work across party lines.

Laura Hussey

“It may influence voters’ perceptions of a candidate’s character traits, and these traits are a factor in some voters’ choices,” Hussey said. “Most people…seem to prefer collaborative over combatitive personalities.”

In an article published October 22 in the Herald-Mail, Hussey commented on Maryland voter turnout trends heading into Election Day on November 4. Hussey said she doesn’t expect a sudden uptick in voters turning out for the election next month. She said that residents pay less attention to elections in an “off-election” year.

“Residents are not saturated with political information as you would in a presidential election year,” Hussey said. “Voters are less engaged.”

To read complete versions of both articles, click below:
Campaign signs cross the line in Baltimore County when it comes to political parties (Baltimore Sun)
Washington County voter turnout declining for gubernatorial elections (Herald-Mail)

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in The Hill

An article published October 19 in The Hill examines several elections in the South where Democratic candidates have close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton in states such as Arkansas and Kentucky. The article mentions how it may be difficult for Democratic candidates in those states to distance themselves from an unpopular current president.

Tom Schaller

Thomas Schaller, professor and chair of political science, was interviewed for the article and said, “I’m constantly puzzled when other people are surprised that there hasn’t been this Democratic revival in the South.” Schaller has argued that Democrats should make the South less of a priority in winning elections, adding, “my feeling is that the underlying fundamentals in the region work against the Democrats.”

Schaller said Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ best chance to win in the South in 2016, but even if she’s successful, it wouldn’t necessarily mean significant changes for Democratic strategy in the South.

“I think she’s a good test case for how competitive the Democrats can be in the South, because she can pair her husband’s appeal in the more rural South and presumably draw support in the places where Obama did well,” Schaller said. “If she can’t start flipping states, then who is?”

To read the full article in The Hill, click here.

George Derek Musgrove, History, in the Washington Post

Derek MusgroveAn article published October 18 in the Washington Post analyzed the Washington, D.C. mayoral election and the state of the race leading up to Election Day on November 4. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) is running against council member David Catania (I-At Large) and early voting is underway.

George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, associate professor of history, is writing a book about race and democracy in the District and was interviewed for the article.

“There is not a great deal of policy difference between them,” said Musgrove when describing the two mayoral candidates. “They are, quite frankly, running on style,” Musgrove said. “Bowser is trying to portray Catania as a hothead, and Catania is trying to portray Bowser as a lightweight.”

To read the full article titled, “D.C. mayoral choice: Muriel Bowser’s caution or David Catania’s combativeness?” click here.

Two Students From the English Department Named HASTAC Scholars for 2014-2015

Two students in UMBC’s English Department have been named HASTAC Scholars for 2014-2015. HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an alliance of social scientists, artists, humanists, and other individuals and institutions committed to exploring new possibilities technology offers in shaping how people learn, teach, and communicate.

Corey Kirk ’15, English, and Dorothy Stachowiak, a Master’s student in the English Department’s Texts, Technology, and Literature Program, will share their research with a lively international community of scholars throughout the year. Kirk’s primary research interests include digital humanities, technology and gaming. Stachowiak’s interests include 21st century literacies and digital humanities. The students will receive a stipend to spend on materials to advance their research, and Steph Ceraso, an assistant professor of English, will serve as the students’ HASTAC mentor. The program presents an opportunity for the students to connect with peers and share their work.

For more information on the HASTAC Scholars program, click here.

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.”