Humanities Forum: Children of Rus': Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation (10/2)

On Thursday, October 2 at 4 p.m., Faith Hillis, an assistant professor of Russian history at the University of Chicago, will present the Humanities Forum and Webb Lecture, “Children of Rus': Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation. The event will take place in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery.

Webb LectureDuring the recent crisis in Ukraine, Russian national interests in Ukraine became front-page news. In this talk, Prof. Hillis places the struggle for control of Ukraine in a broader historical context. The nineteenth century saw a powerful and transformative Russian nationalist movement sweep across what is today central Ukraine. Claiming to restore the ancient customs of the East Slavs, the region’s Russian nationalists sought to empower local Orthodox residents and to diminish the influence of non-Orthodox minorities. By about 1910, Russian nationalism had become the preeminent political force in central Ukraine, dwarfing the influence of rival national movements; indeed, the region boasted the most politically successful Russian nationalist movement in the entire tsarist empire.

Reconstructing how and why Russian nationalism took hold on the empire’s southwestern periphery, Prof. Hillis puts forth a bold new interpretation of the relationship between state and society and between center and periphery under tsarism. By examining how intellectual developments in the nineteenth century created the architecture for the horrific violence of the twentieth, this discussion reflects on the causes of and offers potential solutions for the current crisis in Ukraine.

The event is sponsored by the History Department and by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. For more information, click here.

Maryland Humanities Council One Maryland One Book Program Comes to UMBC (9/30)

On September 30th, the Dresher Center for the Humanities and the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) welcomes Reyna Grande, an extraordinary author of the modern Latin American immigrant experience, to UMBC.

Reyna Grande is the author of The Distance Between Us: A Memoir, the MHC’s One Maryland One Book selection for 2014. In The Distance Between Us, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “the Angela’s Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience,” Grande poignantly shares her life before and after entering the United States as an undocumented immigrant.

On September 30th at 11 a.m. in the University Center Ballroom, the Dresher Center and MHC will host Ms. Grande in a special event for 300 Baltimore City high school students and selected guests. Scott Casper, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, will provide welcoming remarks. Dr. Gregory Thornton, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, and Phoebe Stein, Executive Director of the Maryland Humanities Council, will also attend the event. Over the past six years, the One Maryland One Book partnership has given thousands of Baltimore City students the opportunity to participate in rich and meaningful discussions about literature. “Having the author book talk on a college campus is an added bonus, since it exposes our students to one of the many college options that exist in their own backyard,” says Amy Rosenkrans, Director of Humanities for Baltimore City Public Schools.

The One Maryland One Book program is a statewide community reading program designed to bring together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. For more information: visit www.onemarylandonebook.org.

Humanities Forum: Mark Tribe: Art is a Three Letter Word (9/18)

Photo credit Collier Schorr

Photo credit Collier Schorr

On Thursday, September 18 at 5:30 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, artist Mark Tribe will present the Humanities Forum, “Art is a Three Letter Word.” The forum is part of the Dresher Center’s Digital Humanities Initiative.

Mark Tribe’s work explores the intersection of media technology and politics. His photographs, installations, videos, and performances are exhibited widely, including solo projects at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Momenta Art in New York, the San Diego Museum of Art, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. He is the author of two books, The Port Huron Project: Reenactments of New Left Protest Speeches and New Media Art and numerous articles. Tribe is Chair of the MFA Fine Arts Department at School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 1996, he founded Rhizome, an organization that supports the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.

The event is sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Visual Arts Department, and the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts. For more information, click here.

Faculty Book Publication Workshop (10/3)

The Dresher Center for the Humanities and the ADVANCE Program will present a Faculty Book Publication Workshop on October 3, 2014, noon-2pm.

Meet with editors from three academic presses (University of Massachusetts, Columbia University, and Routledge) to learn about their book publication programs and hear their suggestions for faculty authors. Time will be provided for small-group discussion.

Space is limited; priority is given to CAHSS faculty. RSVP by 9/15/14

For more information, email dreshercenter@umbc.edu.

Video: Shakespeare Sonnets Recited in More Than 30 Languages at UMBC

On April 23, 2014, UMBC students, faculty and staff recited Shakespeare sonnets in more than 30 languages. The event was held to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday and UMBC’s diverse voices. It took place at the end of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD), and it was sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Office of Undergraduate Education and the English and Theatre Departments. The above video is a sample of some of the readings.

Jessica Berman, English, Elected Second Vice President of the Modernist Studies Association

Jessica Berman, Director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities and Professor of English, has been elected to be the Second Vice President of the Modernist Studies Association (MSA). She is set to take office in fall 2014, succeed to be First Vice President in fall 2015 and then become the President of the MSA for the 2016-17 year.

The MSA is a 1000-member organization in its 15th year of existence. It was begun to provide an interdisciplinary and international venue for research in what has since been called “the new modernist studies” – modernist studies that question the canon and works to break down disciplinary silos. The MSA hosts an annual conference and also sponsors the journal Modernism/Modernity, which has become the journal of record in the field. As an allied organization of the MLA, it also hosts an annual MLA conference panel and participates in other MLA organization initiatives. For more information on the MSA, click here.

Digital Quilt: A Conversation with Dr. Michelle Ferrier (5/14)

On Wednesday, May 14 at 11:30 a.m., Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Associate Dean for Innovation, Research/Creative Activity, and Graduate Studies for the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, will take part in an informal conversation about the future of media and journalism.

Michelle Ferrier

In this conversation, the audience will brainstorm with Dr. Ferrier: What is the future of publishing? of journalism? of writing? What is the future of scholarship that has a journalistic component and a public history and heritage component? What is the
digital quilt? Who should publish this work or works like it? What does it mean to make journalism that matters? What is a media desert? How does that relate to her digital quilt? And, in all these questions, how can we help?

Ferrier is the founder and publisher of LocallyGrownNews.com, a hyperlocal, niche online community for local food advocates. She is the chief instigator behind “Create or Die” media entrepreneurship startup events. Ferrier is active in research around the changing media ecosystem and curriculum change including media entrepreneurship, hyperlocal online news and the media deserts project that examines places where fresh news and information are lacking. She is the vice president for Journalism That Matters, an organization focused on bringing together diverse communities to re-imagine the news and information landscape.

The Digital Humanities Working Group event will be held at the Dresher Center for the Humanities conference room. The event and working group are sponsored by the Dresher Center.

For more information, contact Dr. Craig Saper, csaper@umbc.edu or Félix Burgos fburgos1@umbc.edu