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, published October 6, Maurice Berger, research professor at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, examines the work of photographer Ishiuchi Miyako and her magisterial images of postwar Japan. “Ultimately, Ms. Ishiuchi’s photographs summon our compassion by asking us to acknowledge our shared vulnerabilities in a world we largely cannot control,” says Berger. “They appeal to our sense of empathy, our sense…that these images could apply to any one of us.”

Read “Photographing Japan, Through Shadows of the Past” 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.”

Jeff Halverson Explains Why it’s So Difficult to Predict Where Hurricanes Will Make Landfall

As Hurricane Joaquin threatened to make landfall on the East Coast last week, Jeff Halverson, a professor of geography and environmental systems, was interviewed by NPR’s All Things Considered about why models used to predict hurricanes receive such different results. Halverson, who is also a severe weather expert for the Capitol Weather Gang, explained that several different factors are taken into account when the various models are run.

halverson_jeffrey“The data is very similar, but the way that these models are formulating it is – or constructed – very, very different. There are different scientific teams that put these models together. There are different assumptions that are made about what physics to keep in, what physics to keep out. And you know, it’s a trade-off. The more physics you put in, the more accurate the model, but it would take much, much longer to run. So you trade accuracy of the physics versus the efficiency of computation,” he said.

Although the European model has received recent praise for its accuracy in predicting Hurricanes Sandy and Joaquin when compared to American models, Halverson said that it has also missed some storms, so the human element in forecasting is vital when interpreting data that is available.

“And that’s the challenge to meteorologists. That’s the art of interpreting all this guidance in front of you. You have to really know what are the strengths and weaknesses of each individual model. Some models do better in winter. Some do better in summer. And that is where the human interpretation is so vital.”

Listen to the full interview on NPR’s website. Read more about Halverson’s research on the geography and environmental systems department website.

Bruk-Hoffmann Piano Duo (10/11)

brukhoffmannOn Sunday, October 11 at 3 pm in the Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall, the Department of Music presents the Bruk-Hoffmann Piano Duo in concert, featuring the artistry of Karina Bruk and Paul Hoffmann. The duo will explore repertoire arranged for two pianos inspired by the star-crossed lovers, including:

• Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasia by Tchaikovsky (arranged by Karl Klindworth)
• Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, by Sergei Prokofiev (arranged by Paul Hoffmann)
• Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein (with percussionist Tom Goldstein) (arranged by John Musto)

The Bruk-Hoffmann Duo has performed two-piano concerts since 2005 in the United States and abroad, and performs annually at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.The Duo performs annually at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Their most recent international appearances have been at the World Piano Conferences in 2014, 2011 and 2009 in Novi Sad, Serbia; at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria in 2012; and at the Händel Hause for the 2012 EuroArts Festival in Halle, Germany. They both have been appointed judges for the annual International Piano Competition of the World Piano Teachers Association.

Admission: $15 general, $10 seniors, $5 students, available through MissionTix. Tickets will also be available at the door, cash sales only. For additional information, visit here.

Spectrum: 2015 UMBC Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition (10/8 – 12/13)

cadvcfallOn Thursday, October 8, from 5 to 7 pm, the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture invites the campus community to the Opening Reception of Spectrum: 2105 Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition, featuring artworks by Lee Boot, Irene Chan, Kathy Marmor, Timothy Nohe, and Eric Smallwood.

The exhibition will open for regular hours on Friday, October 9, and will remain on display through December 13.

The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building. For more information, call 410-455-3188 or visit here.

Admission to the exhibition and opening reception is free.

Image: Timothy Nohe

Amy Bhatt Featured in PBS Seattle Documentary About the 1965 Immigration Act

Amy BhattIn a short documentary produced by KCTS, the PBS affiliate in Seattle, examining the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act and its impact on the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the country’s population, Amy Bhatt described the economic environment that early immigrants in the Northwest encountered.

“The Pacific Northwest has a very unique place in American history, because it did offer many of these early South Asians a way to both situate themselves and become economically productive very early on,” Bhatt said in the documentary. “Now, this was also a period in time when we saw a lot of restriction of immigration from Asia.”

Bhatt, an assistant professor of gender and women’s studies, also described the aftermath of the Immigration Act in the documentary: “There was a great deal of opposition to this act in 1965, and, in fact, when it was passed, Lyndon B. Johnson, in a very famous speech, says that this is a moment that we’re opening the doors but it’s not going to fundamentally change the fabric of American society. We know now that that was pretty radically wrong, and instead what we see is that the United States fundamentally does change as a result of this.”

Bhatt is author of Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific NorthwestRead more about her work on the gender and women’s studies website.

Bryce Peake Examines the Aural Dimensions of the Debate over the Confederate Flag in the United States

Bryce Peake, a new assistant professor of media and communication studies, recently published an ethnographic study he conducted with a colleague at Central Washington University on the September pro-Confederate flag rally in Washington, D.C. The article “Viral Landscapes in the Public Square: the Confederate Flag visits the U.S. Capitol,” was published on the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography’s website.

Bryce PeakeAs part of the study, Peake and his colleague Mark Auslander spent time interviewing participants on both sides of the protests and edited the audio interviews down to a five minute sequence of overlapping voices: “Reviewing the audio, we noted that it is often difficult to tease out which side is being represented in speeches or interviews, without access to the visual framing devices of flags and protest signs. For all their deep political divides, the competing participants share a deep distrust of the state, and are all profoundly critical of mainstream representations of American history,” they wrote.

Further analyzing the audio they collected, the authors noted that “the pro-Confederate demonstrators understand themselves as coming to the nation’s capital and its house of government to petition for redress. In contrast, the anti-flag forces aren’t framing things in national terms as such. For them, they are defending their city against outsiders. ‘Leave our city. Take that flag and run! Take your evil hatred and go home!'”

Peake hopes the audioscape will be a resource for classroom discussions about readings on political theory and democratic dialog. Peake specializes in international communication, research methodologies, gender politics, and science and technology studies. Read more about his work on the media and communication studies department website.