Project Mah Jongg, a collaborative, traveling exhibition that includes sound design by Tim Nohe, visual arts, along with original works by other nationally acclaimed artists, was featured in the Baltimore Jewish Times and the Baltimore Sun this week. Centered upon Project Mah Jongg’s display at the Jewish Museum of Maryland this month, the articles discuss the exhibition’s success in highlighting the tradition, memory and history of Mah Jongg in American Jewish communities.
In the exhibition, Nohe completed sound design for three “Muji” players, documenting games in New York City’s Chinatown and Upper East Side. The exhibition, designed by Abbott Miller of Pentagram, features artwork by Christoph Niemann, Isaac Mizrahi, Maira Kalman and Bruce McCall, and was curated by Melissa Martens. The exhibition’s companion publication “Mah Jongg: Crak, Bam, Dot” was edited by Abbott Miller and Patsy Tarr.
The exhibition, which originated at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in New York has garnered notice in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the LA Times, and is on view at the Jewish Museum of Maryland through June 29, 2014. The show has travelled to Portland, Cleveland, LA, Miami Beach, Atlanta and will continue on to San Francisco this summer. Learn more at Project Mah Jongg’s website.
Lynne Schaefer, vice president for finance and administration, was interviewed by The Business Officer in an article about the limited availability of public funds for higher education.
The article recognizes UMBC as a best value university and discusses Maryland’s push for affordable higher education. Five years ago, Maryland had the eighth highest tuition in the country. Now, the state has the 26th highest tuition in the nation.
In his latest column for The Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller writes about Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s political future and possible presidential bid in 2016. He argues that an O’Malley presidential campaign could benefit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should she decide to run.
“What possible benefit is there for Mr. O’Malley to play the role of primary sparring partner? That’s pretty obvious: the vice presidential slot on the Clinton ticket. He is ideally suited for that role, too,” Schaller writes.
He notes if chosen to be a vice presidential candidate, O’Malley would help balance the ticket and would receive support based on his record as governor.
“Progressives will also be cheered by Mr. O’Malley’s successful efforts to move Maryland leftward on issues ranging from gay marriage to college tuition to the death penalty.
To read the full column titled, “Your move, governor,” click here.
A new guest column in Sabato’s Crystal Ball by Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller argues that future ratification of constitutional amendments will become increasingly unlikely as state legislatures and the national government become more divided.
Schaller writes as this year marks the centennial anniversary of the 17th Amendment, several former and current Republican members of Congress are moving to repeal the amendment, which mandates the popular election of U.S. Senators.
“Although the movement to repeal the 17th Amendment is likely to fizzle, the fact is plans to amend the Constitution are mostly a waste of time because, other than a widely popular and highly-unifying suggested change, it is probably almost impossible to ratify or even propose amendments in our highly-polarized nation and divided national government,” Schaller writes.
“The bottom line? America hasn’t adopted an amendment in the traditional, proposed-then-ratified-soon-thereafter fashion in more than 40 years, and it may be a long time before it happens again,” he adds.
To read the full column in Sabato’s Crystal Ball, click here.
An article published March 25 in the online magazine Slate examines the factors that cause humans to laugh. The story cites the work and research of Psychology Professor Robert Provine that helps explain why humans laugh.
“For his book, Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, Provine engaged in what he called ‘sidewalk neuroscience,’ tracking and observing real-world laughter,” the article states.
The authors write that Provine’s research helps illustrate the reasons human laugh usually aren’t in response to something that is humorous.
“Provine discovered that the laughter of our everyday lives isn’t for the most part in response to anything resembling jokes,” the authors note. “Instead, most of it occurs in conversations that, out of context, don’t seem funny at all. Provine’s discoveries suggest that laughter is inherently social, that at its core it’s a form of communication and not just a byproduct of finding something funny.”
To read the full article in Slate, click here. Provine was also interviewed about the same topic on “The Arlene Bynon Show” on Sirius XM radio. Additional coverage can be found on Salon.com by clicking here.
Two articles — which included interviews with Liz Walton, dance –were featured in the Washington Post and New York Times last week. The pieces, focused predominately around the history, success and upcoming reunion of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, featured discussions with Paul Taylor alumni, including Liz Walton on her involvement in the company during the 1950′s and 60′s.
In their second article in a series of essays for the “City Folk” section in City Paper, American Studies Assistant Professor Nicole King and Folklorist in Residence Michelle Stefano profile Courtney Speed, a cosmetologist and community leader. The essay, titled, “Days of their lives,” was published March 26.
The article focuses on Speed and her devotion to Turner Station, a neighborhood at the tip of Dundalk in Baltimore County where she has lived since the 1960s. King and Stefano describe Speed’s time working at a barbershop that her husband owned, and later opening the Thomas and Martha Allmond Economic Development Center which trains young people and adults with special needs to run a business. It also serves as an incubator for the Henrietta Lacks Museum.
King and Stefano write that Speed worries about the Turner Station community changing due to developers taking over the neighborhood: “Speed would love to see Turner Station remain the utopian community she recalls from its heyday,” the authors write.
You can read the full essay in City Paper here.
A recent Washington Post column explores the possibility of District Mayor Vincent Gray being indicted on federal criminal charges while running for reelection. Gray has said he wouldn’t resign if the charges were brought and would defend himself at trial.
George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, assistant professor of history, was interviewed for the column and offered his perspective on what a trial would mean for Gray if he were to continue governing.
A trial “would be horrible — it would just be a magnification of the current situation,” Musgrove said. He added such a spectacle would hurt the city’s relations with Congress and hamper Gray’s performance.
Musgrove is currently writing a book about race and democracy in the District. To read the full column in The Washington Post, click here.
Economics Professor Dennis Coates was recently a guest on an Econ Journal Watch podcast discussing his research that found economists mostly frown on government subsidies for professional sports franchises, facilities and events. He was a guest on the program with Brad Humphreys, an associate professor of economics at the University of Alberta.
During the interview, Coates commented on claims that sports stadiums bring economic benefits and prosperity to cities and their immediate metropolitan areas.
“The evidence is that they are minimal at best, and may in fact even be negative,” Coates said. “We think of tangible benefits as job creation and income growth, and any benefits that occur, they occur in a form that is not job creation or income growth or tax revenue growth.”
To listen to the full podcast on Econ Journal Watch and for more on the research by Coates and Humphreys, click here.