Humanities Forum: Corazon del Sol: Truth, Lies and the Construction of Reality: A Conversation about Book of Lies (4/16)

On Wednesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, Los Angeles-based artist and curator Corazon del Sol presents, “Truth, Lies and the Construction of Reality: A Conversation about Book of Lies.”

Book of Lies

Image: Tom Marioni, Pi Is a Lie, 2005.

In conjunction with the display of Book of Lies at the Library Gallery (more here), Corazon del Sol will discuss the exhibition, which was conceived of—but ultimately left unfinished—by her mother, conceptual artist Eugenia P. Butler. Del Sol will examine the lie as a human strategy for coping with life and how artists use the lie to explore our relationship with the truth.

Butler’s Book of Lies project began in 1991 and examined how other artists use “the lie to explore our relationship with the truth.” Known for her collaborations and interactions with other artists, Butler held three artist dinners where she asked her guests to consider the questions, “What is the lie with which I am most complicit?” and “What is the truth that most feeds my life?”

Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities and is co-sponsored by the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery. For more information, click here.

Dresher Center Residential Fellowship Program for UMBC Graduate Students (App. Due 4/25)

The Dresher Center for the Humanities invites applications for two graduate student research fellowships. Funding is intended to support and promote promising research in the humanities among graduate students at UMBC. The fellowships are open to all UMBC doctoral and master’s level students working on a humanities-related research project that will culminate in a dissertation or thesis. Fellows will reside two days a week in a shared office in the Dresher Center during the fall semester 2014 and receive up to $1,000 to be used for research travel, materials, or other directly-related research expenses. During the fall semester, fellows will be expected to give a presentation as part of the “CURRENTS: Humanities Work Now” lunchtime series and attend other Humanities Forum and Dresher Center events and workshops. After the fall semester, fellows will submit a statement summarizing the work accomplished during the semester and their progress towards completion of the dissertation or thesis.

Application: Interested students should submit the following by April 25:
1. A cover sheet with your name, academic department, the name of your research advisor, and a short title for the research project.
2. No more than three double-spaced pages discussing the humanities focus and intellectual significance of the project, the methodology and your ability to undertake the project, and the part or stage of the project that will be supported by the fellowship.
3. Your current C.V. of no more than two single-spaced pages.
4. A letter of support from your research advisor.
5. A one-page description of the research that will be conducted during the semester.

Application materials should be submitted by email to Jessica Berman, Director, Dresher Center for the Humanities (, and cc’d to Natalia Panfile, Dresher Center Program Management Specialist (

For more information see the Dresher Center for the Humanities website.

Critical Social Justice Keynote with Jay Smooth (3/6)

In partnership with the Dresher Center for the Humanities and Africana Studies, Critical Social Justice presents the 2014 Daphne Harrison Lecture: “On Hip Hop, Race, and Politics: The Way We Talk About Things” with Jay Smooth.

Jay Smooth is the mastermind behind the hip hop and politically-oriented video blog “The Ill Doctrine,” where he serves up contemporary observation on topics of race, politics, music, and pop culture. A leading voice in the sociopolitical realm, Smooth gained national attention with his video “How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist” and his TEDx Talk “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race.” He entertains, challenges, and enlightens audiences with his funny, incisive perspective on music, politics, and culture, encouraging audiences to do their own critical thinking about the world, engage in conversations about cultural issues that matter, and find some common ground.

Jay Smooth’s keynote lecture will be held in the UC Ballroom on Thursday, March 6th at 7:30pm with a Q&A and reception to follow. For more information on this and other Critical Social Justice events, visit the CSJ site.

David Levering Lewis to Present W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture (11/13)

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Levering Lewis is this year’s speaker for the W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture, “W.E.B. Du Bois Fifty Years after the March on Washington.” He is the author of eight books and editor of two more.

David Levering Lewis

Lewis is a Professor of History at New York University and his field is comparative history with special focus on twentieth-century United States social history and civil rights. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography twice for part one and part two of his biography of W.E.B. Du Bois in 1994 and 2001 respectively.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies, the Department of History, the Department of American Studies, the Language, Literacy and Culture Doctoral Program, the Honors College, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, and the Mosaic Center of the Office of Student Life.

The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. on November 13th in the University Center Ballroom.

Humanities Forum Panel Discussion Featured on “Marc Steiner Show”

A Humanities Forum panel discussion recorded at UMBC during the Spring semester was featured on the “Marc Steiner Show” on Tuesday, June 5. The topic was “Race and the Civil Rights Movement in Music and Media,” and the discussion featured Derek Musgrove, assistant professor of history; Michelle Scott, associate professor of history; Marc Steiner, host of the “Marc Steiner Show” and Daphne Harrison, emerita professor in Africana Studies and founder of the Dresher Center for the Humanities. The discussion was moderated by Kimberly Moffitt, assistant professor of American Studies.

The full discussion can be heard here. For more information about the Humanities Forum, visit the Dresher Center’s website; the fall 2013 Humanities Forum schedule will be announced soon.

Save the Date: Workshop on Scholarly Publishing (6/14)

The Dresher Center for the Humanities and the Language, Literacy, & Culture program invite you to save the date for a workshop led by Fred Moody on the future of scholarly publishing:

Date: June 14

Time: 3-5:30PM  Lght refreshments will be served

Place: Rm. 422 ACIV-A Wing (LLC conference room)

RSVP by June 11 (see below for details)

Please join us for a workshop led by Fred Moody on “Anvil: NITLE’s
(The National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education’s) New
Tool and Platform for Scholarly Digital Publication.”

On Thursday, June 14, we welcome Fred Moody from the National
Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) to discuss
Anvil, a platform for digital humanists to publish nontraditional
scholarly work under the auspices of traditional outlets such as
university presses.

Mr. Moody is program officer for libraries and scholarly communication
at NITLE and previously served as Editor-in-Chief of Rice University
Press.  His books include I Sing the Body Electronic: A Year with
Microsoft on the Multimedia Frontier and The Visionary Position.

The event is sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities and
the Language, Literacy, & Culture doctoral program.

The workshop will be held June 14, 3- 5:30  PM at the LLC Conference
Room, Rm. #422 ACIV-A Wing.

Please RSVP to Mary Welsh <> (at the Dresher Center) at
the latest by June 11th.  Thanks!

Rebecca Boehling, History, Named Director of the International Tracing Service

Rebecca Boehling, professor of history and director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities, has been named the next Director of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany. The ITS serves victims of Nazi persecutions and their families by documenting their fate through the archives it manages.

Boehling was appointed unanimously by the eleven-member state International Commission, which supervises the work of the ITS, at its annual meeting in Paris last week. She will take a leave of absence from UMBC and begin her directorship on January 1, 2013.

Boehling is an expert in the history of the Holocaust, World War II and the early postwar period in Germany. She served for several years on the Historical Advisory Panel to the U.S. Government’s Interagency Working Group for the Implementation of the 1998 Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Federal Disclosure Act, tasked to declassify material related to WWII war crimes.

“The treasure trove of documents in the ITS archives reveals new insights into the experience and the perspectives of the victims of Nazi persecution. It is very compelling material that we want to make more accessible for research and educational purposes by means of digitization and archival description,” she said. Boehling said that she hopes to develop internships and research opportunities for UMBC students, especially with the displaced persons files, which are mostly in English.

Read more about Boehling’s appointment here.

Rebecca Boehling, History, Gives Lectures

Rebecca Boehling, professor of history and director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities, delivered the 8th Annual Richard Yashek Lecture at Albright College in Reading, PA on Thursday, March 1st. More information about the talk can be found here. She and co-author Uta Larkey also spoke about their book, Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust, at the Myerberg Senior Center in Pikesville, Maryland on March 4.