November 26, 2015

Farnsworth Lectures on Gerrymandering in Virginia

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently gave a lecture entitled, “Virginia Politics 2015: Gerrymandering, Recent Elections and Public Opinion,” at the Annual Meeting of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. The organization includes activists, politicians, government workers and journalists focused on strengthening public disclosure laws in the Old Dominion.

Bonds’ Research Spurs Interest in Iraq and Afghanistan War Pollution

Assistant Professor of Sociology Eric Bonds’ research has spurred public discussions of U.S. military pollution in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars in various media sources.  Bonds was invited to discuss his research on the Nov. 15 radio show of “Middle East in Focus.”  This research was also covered in separate articles run by Environmental Health News and Common Dreams Media.

Harris Presents Paper at the University of Zürich

Associate Professor Steven E. Harris from the Department of History and American Studies was recently invited to present his paper, “The Martyrdom of Nadezhda Kurchenko: Murder of an Aeroflot Stewardess and Cold War Displacement,” at the conference “Verschiebung/Displacement/Вымещение im Kalten Krieg,” at the Slavic Department of the University of Zürich, on Nov. 6-7, 2015. Harris’ paper is based on a chapter for his current book project, Wings of the Motherland: Soviet and Russian Cultures of Aviation from Khrushchev to Putin.

Al-Tikriti Discusses MSF Experiences at D.C. Events

Over a four week period, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History Nabil Al-Tikriti discussed roles and policies of MSF/Doctors Without Borders USA in three separate D.C. area events. On the evenings of Oct. 14 and 21, he joined Athena Viscusi to discuss his field experience at the El Tamarindo restaurant in Adams Morgan.

On both nights, after Ms. Viscusi discussed her role volunteering for MSF during last year’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Prof. Al-Tikriti described his role this past May and June serving as a cultural mediator on the SS Bourbon Argos, which engaged in rescuing refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast.

For those interested, there will be an additional event led by other MSF field volunteers at the same restaurant on Nov. 23. Here is a link to the second event’s announcement:

On Nov. 5, Prof. Al-Tikriti offered a guest lecture at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs, in Alexandria, Va. In the course of this lecture, Al-Tikriti discussed MSF’s values, philosophy, and policies, particularly in the area of military-NGO cooperation.

Broome Presents at National Social Studies Ed Conference

John P. Broome, assistant professor and program director of preK-12, middle and secondary education in the College of Education, co-presented his paper “Discussing Ferguson in the Social Studies Classroom” to the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference in New Orleans, La. During this conference, he also served as a paper session chair and an elected Delegate in the NCSS House of Delegates, the governing body of the national organization.

His survey research, co-authored with Dr. Jason Endacott from the University of Arkansas, explores how middle and high school teachers discussed the events in Ferguson, Mo. in their classrooms across the United States. Focus was placed on the active role of the agency of schools in student political socialization and attention was given to the methods of instruction, teacher decision-making and the barriers for those who chose not to or “could not” teach the topic.

This research extends to the spring 2016 America Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting in Washington, DC with a paper presentation entitled, “How Social Studies Teachers View the ‘Lessons’ of Ferguson.” This paper uses discourse analysis to analyze what teachers viewed as the “lessons” of the events in Ferguson.

Farnsworth and Hanna Published in Washington Post

A map by Stephen Hanna, professor of geography, and a column by Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, which both discussed the recent state legislative elections were published in “The Fix” blog of The Washington Post. The column was entitled “The 2015 Election in Virginia: A Tribute to Gerrymandering.”

Brewer Performs in Women’s Voices Theater Festival

Cate Brewer, lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, performed in a world premiere production for the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Hootenanny, written by Monique LaForce, is a two-person production about two actors backstage during a bluegrass musical version of Macbeth. As the backstage story between these two actors unfolds, life mirrors art.

The Women’s Voices Theater Festival included more than 50 world premiere plays by women and took place this fall in the Washington area. The festival is described as “The professional theaters of the Washington, DC region have joined together to produce the Women’s Voices Theater Festival in the fall of 2015. The companies will each present a world premiere production of a work by one or more female playwrights, highlighting both the scope of plays being written by women and the range of professional theater produced in and around the nation’s capital.”

An article about the festival in American Theatre Magazine can be accessed here.

The Washington Post review of the production can be found here.

Richards Leads Discussion at Louisiana Book Festival

Gary Richards, associate professor and chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, led the discussion of the common read at the Louisiana Book Festival on Oct. 31 in Baton Rouge. This year’s selection was Harper Lee’s controversial and, to many readers, disappointing Go Set a Watchman.

He was also a participant on the panel “Louisiana State University Press: 80th Anniversary,” where he spoke on the press’ publications in fiction and southern literary studies and reputation within those fields.

McCall, Hydorn and Clayton Receive Grant

Dr. Venitta McCall, professor of the College of Education, Dr. Debra Hydorn, professor of mathematics and Dr. Courtney Clayton, assistant professor of the College of Education have received a $35,600 grant from the Virginia Department of Education. The purpose of the grant is to train 30 teachers from critical teacher shortage areas in Spotsylvania County, Stafford County and Fredericskburg City to become Clinical Faculty members for the College of Education.

Selected teachers will be trained in effective mentoring practices, in best practices for instructing English Language Learners and in using learning analytics – the appropriate collection, use and analysis of data to facilitate instructional improvement. Research has shown that having highly skilled Clinical Faculty is a key component in enhancing teacher retention.

Wade Publishes Flash Pieces, Essay

Elizabeth Wade, adjunct instructor in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, has two flash pieces “Tympanoplasty” and “Exposure” in the inaugural issue of Weirderary, which can be accessed here. Her essay “The Rising” appeared earlier this year in The RS 500, which can be read here.