UMBC Homecoming Big Prize Poetry Slam (10/10)

The time has arrived once again for one of UMBC’s premiere arts events this year. The annual UMBC Homecoming Big Prize Poetry Slam will be held on Friday, October 10, 2014, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Peforming Arts & Humanities Building (PAHB) first-floor atrium. Come enjoy a night of fun and poetry while cheering on the fantastic student and alumni poets as they compete for big prizes, enjoy wonderful free food, and even win door prizes. We look forward to seeing you there!

The event is presented by the English department, Bartleby, and the UMBC Homecoming Committee.

Maurice Berger, CADVC, Latest “Race Story” in The New York Times

In the latest essay for his Race Stories column in The New York Times, Maurice Berger, research professor at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, shares his views on Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood, a new book by a Toronto-based photographer and physician, Zun Lee. While the book’s images of African-American  fathers may at first seem ordinary — for example, a man feeding his baby as his other children play nearby — Berger notes that the photographs “are in one sense unusual: Their subjects are black and counter mainstream media that typically depict African-American fatherhood as a wasteland of dysfunction and irresponsibility.”

Read “Black Fathers, Present and Accountable” and view the photographs at The New York Times Lens blog.

Berger’s Race Stories column, which appears monthly on The New York Times website, is “a continuing exploration of the relationship of race to photographic portrayals of race.”

Anne Sarah Rubin, History, in the Washington Post

Through the Heart of DixieAn article published September 13 in the Washington Post examines the legacy of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Civil War. Anne Sarah Rubin, an associate professor of history, was interviewed for the article and provided insight on Sherman’s strategy.

“It’s very much about saying, ‘Here’s the power of the Union army,’ ” said Rubin. Sherman’s purpose, she said, was to convey to the South that “you cannot stop us. You cannot resist us. You just need to give up.” She also commented on Sherman’s background, saying he was “a far cry from any kind of abolitionist.” To read the full article, click here.

Rubin is author of, Through the Heart of Dixie: Sherman’s March and American Memory (UNC Press 2014). In the book, Rubin analyzes stories and myths about Sherman’s March as a lens for examining how Americans’ ways of thinking about the Civil War have changed over time. For more information, click here.

Kate Brown, History, Wins Heldt Prize and Western History Association’s Robert G. Athearn Prize

History Professor Kate Brown has won two additional awards for her book, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press 2013).

Kate Brown

Brown has been awarded the Heldt Prize in the category of Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies. More information about the award, including prior winners, can be found here. Brown won the same prize for her first book, A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004). The prize will be awarded in November.

In addition, Brown is the 2014 recipient of the Western History Association’s Robert G. Athearn Prize for her book Plutopia. This award is given biennially for the best published book on the twentieth century American West. On October 16, Brown is presenting the Robert. G Athearn Lecture at the University of Colorado, Boulder. More information can be found here.

Earlier this year, Brown was awarded the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present. She also received the American Society for Environmental History’s George Perkins Marsh Prize for the best book in environmental history.

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

Humanities Forum: Mark Leibovich Lecture (10/7)

Ralph Alswang Photographer 202-487-5025Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, talks about his best-selling account of Washington, DC, This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral – plus plenty of valet parking! – in America’s Gilded Capital. The book is described by critics as a stunning and often hysterically funny examination of our ruling class’s incestuous “media industrial complex.”

October 7 at 4 p.m. in the Proscenium Theatre (PAHB)

Sponsored by the English and by Political Science Departments and the Dresher Center for the Humanities with assistance from the Department of American Studies and the office of the Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information, click here.

Humanities Forum: Lecture by Sonia Nazario, Author of “Enrique’s Journey” (9/23)

Nazario S-Photo (High Res HEADSHOT)Join us for an evening with Sonia Nazario, author of “Enrique’s Journey,” the 2014 New Student Book Experience.

The lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in the UC Ballroom. A reception and book signing will follow. Although the book was selected with new students in mind, all UMBC community members are welcome to attend.

Nazario’s visit is sponsored by the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Division of Student Affairs, with the support of PNC Bank, the Latino Hispanic Faculty Association, and the Dresher Center for the Humanities. For more information, click here.