September 30, 2014

Och Publishes Review of “Violence and Virtue”

Artemisia Gentileschi, "Judith Slaying Holofernes," 1620 (Florence, Uffizi)

Artemisia Gentileschi, “Judith Slaying Holofernes,” 1620 (Florence, Uffizi)

Marjorie Och’s review of the exhibition “Violence and Virtue: Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes” and the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue (Yale University Press, 2014) will appear in the fall/winter issue of The Woman’s Art Journal. The exhibit, at the Art Institute of Chicago (Oct. 17, 2013 to Jan. 9, 2014), focused on this one work of 1620 within the context of Gentileschi’s career. Gentileschi, one of the premier artists of the Italian Baroque, produced the painting while she was in Florence seeking the support of the ruling Medici family. The painting eventually enters the Medici collection, but was hidden from view for centuries, likely because of the realistic depiction of Judith, the heroine of her people, decapitating Holofernes, enemy of the Israelites. Unlike most depictions of this subject, which show Judith as a delicate woman incongruously murdering her enemy, Gentileschi represents Judith as a powerful figure acting on her own. The exhibit and catalogue demonstrate the importance of focusing on a single work; both encourage the viewer/reader to contemplate what is evident in the painting—Gentileschi’s technique and the narrative she depicts—as well as how the work might have been understood by her contemporaries.

Griffith Publishes Rare Plant Research in Natural Areas Journal

Alan Griffith

Alan Griffith

Alan Griffith, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will publish his research article titled “Secondary Dispersal in Aeschynomene virginica: Do Floating Seeds Really Find a New Home?” His article will appear in the Natural Areas Journal in October 2014. Published by the Natural Areas Association, this journal disseminates cutting-edge research, best practices and the newest knowledge related to natural areas. Dr. Griffith’s article describes and explains the appearance of the rare plant Aeschynomene virginica on the site of a recently removed dam in New Kent County, Virginia. This information is part of his ongoing research to understand how to protect this rare plant of Virginia’s freshwater, tidal wetlands.

Richards Featured on With Good Reason

Gary Richards, associate professor of English, Linguistics and Communication, can be heard on With Good Reason from Oct. 4 to 10 as part of an encore presentation of the “Gospel Roots of Rock and Roll.”

Here’s the description from With Good Reason: “The Broadway musical has often taken up southern themes, from Show Boat and Porgy and Bess in the first half of the twentieth century to Memphis, which hit the Broadway stage in 2009. For all their popularity, Gary Richards (University of Mary Washington) argues that these musicals nevertheless tend to have a negative view of the South and don’t reflect its diversity today.”

Jesionowski Participates in Live Drawing

462_RosemaryJHenryChoisser_resizedRosemary Jesionowski is one of three artists who will contribute to a mural on the back wall of 1708 Gallery (Richmond, Virginia) during the opening reception of Exquisite Corpse.  This live event will take place during the First Fridays opening reception on Oct. 3 from 5 to 9 p.m.

The exquisite corpse is a surrealist party game that involves multiple artists contributing to a single (usually figurative) drawing.  The first artist begins the drawing, folds the paper to hide what he or she has drawn, and passes it on to the next artist, who follows suit.  The game can also be played with words.

During the live event, Jesionowski will add the middle section to a mural-sized exquisite corpse directly on the wall of the gallery.  Genesis Chapman will produce the first section on Thursday, October 2 and Michael Pierce will draw the final section of the piece on Saturday, Oct. 4.

More information can be found on 1708 Gallery’s website.

Liss and Schiffrin Featured on CBS

Balancing the Big StuffHolly Schiffrin and Miriam N. Liss, professors of psychology, recently published their book, “Balancing the Big Stuff: Finding Happiness in Work, Family, and Life” and discussed it on CBS’s Virginia This Morning program. They talked about the ways in which we all define “having it all” and how we can obtain it for ourselves through a better evaluation of what we want from ourselves, our families, our jobs and each other.

Check out the video: Two Mary Washington professors explain what it means to “have it all”

Kraus’ Recording Accepted for Streaming on Pandora


Andrew Kraus

Piano Instructor Andrew Kraus’ performance with Raleigh-based Soprano, Jennifer Paschal, of Benjamin Britten’s “On this Island,” currently available through iTunes, CD Baby, etc., was just accepted for streaming on Pandora. An update will be posted when streaming begins after classification by Pandora’s Music Genome service.  Tracks from his CD, Music from the Golden Age of the Piano continue to stream on Pandora as well as being available for download through the usual digital providers.


Farnsworth Featured in More Than 100 Media Outlets

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, was in considerable demand as a political analyst during the Medicaid expansion standoff in the Virginia General Assembly and the federal corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell. His commentary on Virginia politics appeared in more than 100 media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, on WAMU, Washington’s national public radio affiliate, and on MSNBC’s program “Now with Alex Wagner.”

Al-Tikriti Discusses Humanitarian Affairs, ISIS and Islamophobia

Nabil Al-Tikriti

Nabil Al-Tikriti

Over the course of two Rappahannock Rotary Club morning meetings, Professor of History and American Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti discussed current humanitarian challenges, the rise and spread of the “Islamic State” (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, and related issues concerning American and European fears concerning Muslims in their home societies.

In the first meeting, on Aug. 27, Al-Tikriti began by summarizing his involvement in humanitarian affairs with MSF/Doctors Without Borders USA, initially by presenting the growth and evolution of the medical humanitarian agency since its founding in the late 1960s. He then discussed challenges facing NGO actors in the world today, particularly with recent conflicts in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, and South Sudan, as well as with the rapid outbreak of the Ebola epidemic. In the course of the Q&A, fears were expressed concerning the intentions of Muslim communities in both Europe and the United States. Al-Tikriti, in the course of offering his own perspective on such fears, encouraged the audience to explore the following information sources:

Reach of War 5 minute video on MSF in Syria:

Vice News Documentary on ISIS (Difficult Material):

Syria map:

ISIS threatening ancient burial sites:

Yezidi Book:|+August+|+Academics+and+General+Readers

Patrick Cockburn, “The Jihadis Return”

As a result of points raised in the first discussion, a second presentation on related topics was felt to be beneficial for all concerned. For that reason, on Sept. 17, Al-Tikriti explored further the background causes and political motivations for the rise and spread of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, attributing the phenomenon primarily to the regional collapse of the state monopoly on violence in the course of the past generation. Following a summary of Western involvement in the region since the Great War, Al-Tikriti cautioned that no easy outcome for regional developments should now be expected. Following that, Al-Tikriti turned to fears concerning Muslim communities in Europe and the United States, pointing out that prominent Muslim leaders have spoken out against ISIS on several occasions, that extremism also exists in several self-identified Christian groups throughout the West, and that some of the same groups harassing American Arab and Muslim communities appear to have also been  harassing Mardi Gras revelers in downtown New Orleans. He closed with a discussion of the “Andrew Berwick” manifesto of 2011, pointing out that the author in question was also responsible (as Anders Breivik) for the Oslo massacre of the same year. In the course of the discussion, audience members were urged to investigate the following sources of information:

Iraq Displaced Populations, according to Relief Web International:

Muslim Leaders Speak Out Against ISIS:

Malta Boat Sinking Kills 700, mostly from Gaza:

ISIS Issues New Education Curriculum:

ISIS Bans Evolution in Curriculum:

Clarion Project Website Addresses “No Go Zone” in Dearborn:

Detroit Free Press Article and Slides on Same 2012  Dearborn Protest:

ABC News Story on same 2012 Dearborn Protest:

Same (or similar?) Protesters at Mardi Gras:

Article Tying 2003 Iraq Invasion Supporters to Calls for Muslim Deportation, Conversion and Violence:

Original Call for Muslim Deportation, Conversion, and Violence (referred to in previous link):

Op-Ed Argues that ISIS Shaped by Western Philosophy:

“Andrew Berwick” manifesto calls for European Independence against Islamic threat (see pdf p. 54 for Nabil Al-Tikriti citation):

Denver Post Picture Gallery on Anders Breivik (aka Andrew Berwick) 2011 Oslo attacks:

Wired Article Highlights DTLT’s Known Pilot

WiredLogoAn article in yesterday’s Wired about the open source blogging application Known mentioned the pilot work being done in UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. Known provides a space where students can manage and publish their posts for various social media sites through their own application, controlling the archival copy of their work. It rethinks the users relationship to ownership of their data across sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, SoundCloud, etc. Right now, Jim Groom’s Digital Storytelling course and Zach Whalen’s Introduction to Digital Studies are exploring this application.

One of the points made in the Wired article, that reinforces some of the possibilities of the Domain of One’s Own project, is that the campus can quickly and easily pilot new, cutting edge applications that are defining what many refer to as the Indie Web Movement.

Hanna and Student Publish Historical Markers Study

Stephen Hanna, chair and professor of Geography, and Fariss Hodder ’14 co-wrote an article based on a Fredericksburg historical markers study completed while Hodder was a student. The article, “Reading the signs: using a qualitative Geographic Information System to examine the commemoration of slavery and emancipation on historical markers in Fredericksburg, Virginia” is now available in “cultural geographies,” an international journal of peer-reviewed scholarly research.

Hanna and Hodder also co-authored a chapter for “Social Memory and Heritage Tourism Methodologies,” a methodology book that will be published by Routledge in February 2015.