DEPARTMENT UPDATES, FALL 2019

Arizona landscape

ANTHROPOLOGY

For the second year, associate professor Scott Van Keuren joined colleagues from the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and elsewhere in a collaborative expedition to the mountains of eastern Arizona. The archaeological survey sought out large Ancestral Pueblo villages in the remotest corners of the White Mountain Apache Reservation. The team mapped sites, recorded surface finds, and documented evidence of illegal looting. The project is part of a long-term effort by the White Mountain Apache Tribe to protect and preserve traditional cultural properties within reservation boundaries.

ART & ART HISTORY

RESIST! INSIST! PERSIST!, an exhibit on display at the Fleming Museum of Art through December 13, explores the intersection of art and activism. Drawn primarily from the Fleming Museum’s collection, the exhibition features the work of historical and contemporary artists who have countered adversity and hardship with empowerment and expression. This show was curated by UVM students in the Fall 2018 class Art History 282: Museum Studies, taught by Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio, professor of art history and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Artists in the exhibition include Francisco de Goya, William Hogarth, Pablo Picasso, Lewis Hine, Diego Rivera, the Guerrilla Girls, Kara Walker, Alison Saar, Glenn Ligon, Sabra Field, and UVM Associate Professor Mildred Beltré, among others. Their subjects range from racial violence, to state oppression, to the underrepresentation of women in the art world, and more.

BIOLOGY

Easton White, research associate in the UVM biology department, is co-principal investigator of a $600,000 National Science Foundation Grant which will explore the biology and policy issues related to newly protected waters off the coast of Madagascar. White refers to himself as a quantitative ecologist—his specialty is translating biological systems into math equations. He uses math to understand how to improve species management and understand socio-ecological systems. “Madagascar is a developing country that’s about to triple its marine protected areas,” White explains. “In other areas around the world, protected areas have been around for a long time. Here we have a chance to assess the implementation on the ground floor.” Building a sustainable fishing industry is important for Madagascar’s economy and for basic nutrition—fish is an important source of protein for the local population.

CHEMISTRY

University of Vermont Professor of Chemistry Rory Waterman was selected as a member of the 2019 class of Fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The purpose of the ACS Fellows Program is to recognize members of the society for their outstanding contributions to the science and profession of chemistry, and for their equally exemplary service. Only 1-2% of ACS members achieve this honor. ACS recognized Waterman’s research in the discovery and investigation of new catalysts, particularly those that utilize the critically important element phosphorus. ACS also honored Waterman’s service activities, including his contributions as co-founder the New Faculty Workshop, which has supported more than 500 new chemistry faculty around the country since 2012, and his continued work involving high school students in research.

CLASSICS

The book that Mark Usher completed during his recent sabbatical has been accepted by Cambridge University Press as a trade-friendly title for broad audiences (forthcoming 2020). This study, the working title of which is Eco-Antiquity: Greek and Roman Sources for Sustainable Living, “explor[es] a new critical approach to contemporary socio-economic/environmental problems and concerns”—what might be termed "environmental philology." A poetic cento Usher composed, "POEM: A Mashup. The Art of Poetry for Everyone," will also appear in the new year with Fomite Press, probably with T. Motley illustrating (who collaborated on Usher’s Golden Ass). Mark’s Roman Villa project also had a good summer season, with two UVM students participating; this was also the focus of Usher’s keynote address at the Campus Faculty Conference in August.

John Franklin received a Faculty Arts Development Grant, a UVM Humanities Center Fellowship, and a Loeb Classical Library grant all towards a production of "Aristophanes’ Clouds" next March. The “Second Vermont Classical Play" will run at the Main Street Landing Black Box Theater from March 27–29; like our production of Euripides’ Helen, each show will be preceded by a contextual lecture and wine-tastings from local vineyards. Students interested in participating can sign up for CLAS 196 Vermont Classical Play this spring. The Ancient Music Group recently assembled six lyres from a kit, and are busy learning these instruments and the ancient double pipes for the production. Franklin used similar lyres (provided by Marco Sciascia) for the Euterpe Lyre School this past summer in Tarquinia, Italy; he and graduate student Julia Irons also performed in Brixen and Thessaloniki, and have another upcoming gig in Perugia for a conference on Greek comedy and music.

ECONOMICS

Six faculty members from a variety of departments in CAS gathered for a panel discussion titled “What You Need to Know about Tariffs and Immigration” on September 26 in Waterman’s Memorial Lounge. The panel explored these two hot button issues as the nation approaches an election year. Faculty participants included: Bradley Bauerly and Carolyn Beer (political science), Thomas Macias (sociology), Sarah Osten (history) and Richard Sicotte (economics). The panel was moderated by Sara Solnick (economics).

ENGLISH

Faculty in the department have recently produced an impressive stream of books and collections published by top literary trade publishers and distinguished scholarly presses.

January: Julian Lindsay Green & Gold Professor Emily Bernard published Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine (Knopf)

April: Professor Greg Bottoms published Lowest White Boy (in Place) (West Virginia University Press)

May: Professor Todd McGowan published Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution (Columbia University Press)

August: Professor Elizabeth Fenton edited Americanist Approaches to the Book of Mormon (Oxford University Press)

August: Valerie Rohy and Elizabeth Fenton, "Absent-Minded Historicism," J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 7:1 (2019): 83-102. 
                     
August: Nancy Welch, "Marxist Ethics for Uncertain Times," in Writing Democracy: The Political Turn in and Beyond the Trump Era (Routledge)

September: Helen Scott, Shakespeare’s Tempest and Capitalism: The Storm of History (Routledge)

September: Major Jackson, ed. The Best American Poetry 2019 (Scribner)
   
November:  Valerie Rohy, Chances Are: Contingency, Queer Theory and American Literature (Routledge)

November: Sarah E. Turner and Sarah Nilsen, eds., The Myth of Colorblindness: Race and Ethnicity in American Cinema (Palgrave Macmillan)

Forthcoming in 2020:

Elizabeth Fenton, Old Canaan in a New World: The Hebraic Indian Theory (NYU Press)

Didi Jackson, Moon Jar (Red Hen Press)

Major Jackson, The Absurd Man (Norton)

Holly Painter, My Pet Sounds Off: Translating the Beach Boys (Finishing Line Press)

Professor Elizabeth Fenton delivered the first CAS Full Professor lecture for the year titled “Is American Literature Secular (Nope.)” on September 4. The lecture series is designed to recognize CAS faculty newly promoted to full professor rank. Fenton specializes in the study of religion and literature and teaches courses in colonial American and early U.S. literature.

Professor David Jenemann presented his CAS Full Professor Lecture "From Baseball Gloves to Fascism: Knowledge and the Social Order" on September 25. Jenemann is a professor of English, film and television studies, and dean of the Honors College.

Recent UVM English graduates are also building their creative and scholarly reputations.

Edil Hassan ’19 published last spring in the leading journal for poetry in English, Poetry, and read her work by invitation at the Poetry Foundation (publisher
of Poetry) in Chicago. Her poem “Ghazal” is featured on the foundation's website.
 
Seth Wade ’19 published an impressive piece in a top online literary journal McSweeney’s, “LISTS: AN INTROVERT’S PATCH NOTES FOR SOCIETY” (2/11/19)

Matthew Burkett (who received his BA in 2018 and graduated from the department’s accelerated master’s degree program in 2019 with an MA) begins a Ph.D. program this fall at Brandeis.

Sophie Thorup ’17 begins the M.Phil in English (medieval studies) program this fall at the University of Oxford.

Alix Wood begins the MFA program this fall with full support at NC State.

Caroline Shea '18 is beginning her MFA at New York University, with funding.

Ariel Henley '13 recently published a memoir about growing up with Crouzon’s Syndrome. Her book A Face for Picasso will be published in 2021 by MacMillam/FSG.

Stephanie Wobby ’19 was accepted to the Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference this summer.

GEOGRAPHY

Pablo Bose was recently selected as a finalist for the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award, which recognizes exemplary engaged scholarship, including leadership in advancing students’ civic learning, conducting community-based research, fostering reciprocal community partnerships, and building institutional commitments to service-learning and civic engagement. Bose will travel to Seattle in the spring to engage with a group of nominated faculty for the award.

Meghan Cope hosted master’s student Gemayel Goxcon from California State-Fullerton for two months this summer. Goxcon had received funding from his institution to work with Cope to learn more about mixed-methods research, and worked with her to generate maps, analyze data, and participate in research discussions on Cope’s Mapping American Childhoods project. Visit the project’s website to see some of the work Goxcon helped produce.

Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux has been named president-elect of the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC), an organization to which she has dedicated considerable energy since her appointment as Vermont’s State Climatologist in 1997. Dupigny-Giroux was also named a fellow this summer to the American Meteorological Society, recognizing her long-standing commitment to climate science and education.

Beverley Wemple and Shelly Rayback, along with Luben Dimov in the Rubenstein School, received an Engaged Practices Innovation (EPI) grant from the provost’s office. Their award, titled Collaborative and Community-based Learning in the Age of Technology and Big Data: a pilot project bridging spatial sciences and land management, aims to train students in a set of geography and forestry courses on the use of emerging technologies to measure, map and monitor landscape conditions. 

Cheryl Morse, along with Peter Nelson (Middlebury College), hosted 32 rural geographers from the United States, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Australia for the Ninth Quadrennial Rural Geography Conference in July. The conference, themed "Working Landscapes and Livable Communities," featured eight paper sessions covering topics including rural gentrification, mobility and immobility, innovative and niche agricultural development, unique ways of rural "knowing," rural planning, environmental justice, hazards, and entrepreneurial rural development strategies. An array of field trips throughout the Vermont countryside were intermixed among the paper sessions. Workshop discussions focused on three themes: refugee integration, mobility constraints among rural elderly, and rural growth without class stratification. Morse and Nelson were assisted by undergraduate student Lucia Possehl, who received a summer internship grant provided by donor Matt Glass.

Geography students also kept busy this summer with research projects and internships. Bella Federico worked with Professor Meghan Cope on a project with the Williston Historical Society to catalog and map historic farms and homes in the town. Bella’s project was supported by a faculty research support award to Professor Cope from the Oaklawn Foundation. Shayla Triantafillou was selected to participate in a research and extension experience for undergraduates, funded by the US Department of Agriculture, at Virginia Polytechnic and State University. Shayla was one of nine students selected nationwide to participate in this program that aims to train future leaders to solve resource management challenges at the confluence of water and society. Sophia Clavell spent the summer working with the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV), a non-profit aimed at giving new Africans independence and resources in their communities as they transition to living and working in Vermont. Sophia conducted qualitative interviews with clients to learn how the organization could better fit their needs.

GLOBAL STUDIES

Global Studies major Isabel Dunkley ’20 completed a Simons Family Foundation Public Service Internship funded by FOUR to work with US Committee on Refugees and Immigrants and the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (the two main refugee-serving organizations in Vermont) on a project meant to better understand the lives of refugee workers and different workplaces. She interviewed a number of prominent refugee employers, service providers and workers themselves over the course of the summer and is currently working with her faculty mentor Pablo Bose to produce a toolkit for prospective employers and a report that will go to the State Legislature with specific recommendations on findings and best practices.

Annie Ryan ’19 completed her global studies degree in May and by August was in Taiwan to begin her Fulbright Teaching Fellowship there. Ryan is teaching primary or secondary school children English in Taichung City, Taiwan.

HISTORY

History Professor Andy Buchanan’s World War II in Global Perspective, 1931-1953 was published by Wiley Blackwell this fall. Buchanan explores the main theaters of the war and discusses the connections between them. He also examines the impact of the war on areas of the world that are often neglected in historical accounts, including Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and the so-called "neutral" countries.

HOLOCAUST STUDIES

The Miller Center for Holocaust Studies promotes scholarship, education, and public awareness of the events that brought about, constitute, and continue to issue from the Holocaust. Drawing upon the expertise of a distinguished faculty from across the University, the Miller Center is offering the following public events:

Wednesday, October 23, 7 p.m.
Waterman 338 (Memorial Lounge)
"Making Women Work: Privilege and Powerlessness in Nazi Germany"
Elizabeth Harvey, University of Nottingham

Monday, November 18, 7 p.m.
Waterman 338 (Memorial Lounge)
The Annual Raul Hilberg Memorial Lecture
Alfred Rosenberg: Hitler’s Chief Ideologist and the Murder of the Jews
Jürgen Matthäus, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 4:30 p.m.
(please note the earlier-than-usual starting time)
Waterman 338 (Memorial Lounge)
UVM College of Arts and Sciences Full Professor Lecture
"Trapped Between Nazism and Fascism: German Jews in Italy, 1933-45"
Susanna Schrafstetter, University of Vermont

Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 7 p.m.
Waterman 338 (Memorial Lounge)
Annual Holocaust Remembrance Lecture
"Why? Explaining the Holocaust"
Peter Hayes, Northwestern University

MUSIC

The UVM Department of Music recently celebrated the renovation of its recording studio in the Southwick Music Complex, thanks to a generous donation from the Solomon Family Foundation. With the Solomon’s gift, the department purchased state-of-the-art software including a Pro Tools Ultimate system, microphones, mic amplifiers, a drum set,  a guitar amplifier, keyboards and more. The donation also supported acoustic treatment for all rooms of the studio, along with new furniture, lighting and paint. “This music concentration already has many dedicated faculty and talented students,” said David Solomon. “What the program needed was upgraded equipment and facilities. We see this gift as helping other students reach their full potential in this exciting field.” Solomon’s son Max ’19 is a member of the  second graduating class in the department’s new music technology and business program.

Dr. Yutaka Kono recently placed third in the American Prize in Conducting (University/College Division). Dr. Kono serves as the Director of Orchestra and associate professor of music at UVM. The panel judged video recordings of the UVM Symphony Concert from spring 2018, which included Suite from Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky, Dusk by Steven Bryant, New World Symphony by Dvorak, and Beethoven Symphony No. 5.

PHILOSOPHY

Professor of Philosophy Sin Yee Chan gave a CAS Full Professor Lecture October 2. The title of her talk was "Cry for Her, Don’t Just Cry With Her: The Value of Compassion." Chan says: "I defend the importance of compassion by contrasting it with empathy. I argue that compassion is superior because as an emotional state, it is more easily available and provides more resources to help discharging the task of rendering help.”

RELIGION

The Religion Department has launched a new undergraduate certificate program Religious Literacy in Professions, which offers a background on religions, their influences, and the ways in which professionals in journalism, education, social services, business, and health fields may encounter them. As part of this program—and to make some of this important material available to a much broader audience than students enrolled in our courses—the department offered a series of public forums this fall:

September 26: Simran Jeet Singh, Ph.D. “Turbans, Beards & Hate: How Experiencing Racism Made Me a Scholar Activist.” 4:30 p.m. Carpenter Auditorium, Given Hall.

October 15: Chief Don Stevens and Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman. “Abenaki Spirituality & Religion.” 3-4:30 p.m. John Dewey Lounge, Old Mill.

October 22: Tia Pratt. “Catholic Young Adults and Pro-Life Teachings: A Bellweather for the US Catholic Church.” 4:30 p.m. Memorial Lounge, Waterman.

October 28: Liz Kineke. “Religion is Always in the Room.” 5 p.m. Mildred Livak Ballroom, Davis Center, 413.

November 4: Religion Faculty Forum: “Studying Religion, Religious Literacy and the Age of Trump.” 5 p.m. Memorial Lounge, Waterman.

The department also celebrates the publication of Professor Richard Sugarman’s new book Levinas and the Torah: A Phenomenological Approach (SUNY Press 2019). This book is the culmination of many years of research and writing, integrating Professor Sugarman’s deep immersion in the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas and the study of the Torah. From his meeting with Levinas in 1973 to the publication of this work, Professor Sugarman brings to fruition a major part of his intellectual life.

THEATRE & DANCE

The Department of Theatre and Dance welcomes Sara A. Nelson to the faculty as a lecturer in scenic design and as the department’s resident scenic designer. This follows the retirement of long-time faculty member Jeff Modereger. Sara’s areas of expertise include scenic design, props design and scenic art. She has previously taught at Adelphi University and Northern Vermont University. Professionally she has worked with The Montana Repertory Theatre, Arizona Broadway Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Rising Circle Theatre  Collective and the NYC based F*lt Club, where she was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for scenic design. In addition to teaching, much of her work focuses on mentoring students through the design and production process. Sara is a member of USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) and has also presented work on collaboration and the creative process for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

UVM Department of Theatre and Dance presents "The Normal Heart" by Larry Kramer. The Tony Award winning play is a powerful drama about public and private indifference to the AIDS plague and one man’s lonely fight to awaken the world to the crisis. The production will be directed by department chair Gregory Ramos and will be presented Nov. 6 through Nov. 10. Following the Thursday, Nov. 7 performance will a talk back moderated by Professor Ramos. Participants will include UVM faculty members Paul Deslandes (history) and Chris Landry (chemistry). Also participating will be Peter Jacobson from Vermont Cares.

The UVM Theatre Department's first fall production in 2019 was "The Wolves," presented at the Royall Tyler Theater October 2-7. The play, written by Sarah DeLappe, portrays a women's soccer team navigating life's big questions with the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. Directed by Sarah Carleton, the cast included UVM students Emma Cashman, Meg Young, Maggie Lucas, Maddie Barnes, Julia Sioss, Erin Tevnan, Celeste Piette, Megan Rose and Katelyn Paddock.