The UMW Jazz Ensemble, directed by Doug Gately, participated in the annual UMW Jazz Festival held on April 6. In addition to performing their own program, they also worked with guest jazz artists, Jeff Antoniuk and Wade Beach, from the group “Jazz Update.”
Chris Foss, Professor of English, presented a paper entitled “Gothic Decadence: Tracing Transformations of Byron and Shelley in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray” at the annual meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association on April 4 in Harrisburg, Pa.
Medhi Aminrazavi, professor of classics, philosophy and religion, delivered the The Dr. Reza and Georgianna Clifford Khatib Chair in Comparative Religion Sixth Annual Lecture at St. Joseph’s College on Thursday, April 3 and Thursday, April 10. His lecture was titled “Shi’ism and the Politics of the Hidden Imam.”
Jon Pineda, Assistant Professor of English, has placed his third poetry collection, Little Anodynes, for publication. Nikky Finney, winner of the National Book Award, selected the collection for the Palmetto Poetry Series, and the book will be published in March of 2015 by the University of South Carolina Press.
This March Pineda was a featured panelist at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Seattle, Wash., and a featured reader at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. In May, he will be a panelist and guest novelist at the South Carolina Book Festival in Columbia, S.C., and at the end of the month, he will join the creative writing faculty for the 2014 Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop at Hollins University.
Marjorie Och’s article, “Venice and the Perfection of the Arts,” has been published in The Ashgate Research Companion to Giorgio Vasari, edited by David Cast.
The most recent translation by Jim Gaines (Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures) has been published in the April edition of the online journal Eerie Digest. The short story “Locusts!” takes place in colonial Algeria in the late 19th century and concerns the descent of a plague of locusts on a farmstead. The reaction of the local inhabitants and the gut-wrenching devastation that follows are vividly described. The story forms part of Daudet’s collection, Letters From My Mill, that Gaines has been translating over the past couple of years, especially some of the sections that deal with the interactions of French settlers and travelers in the larger Mediterranean world.
Provost Jonathan Levin’s essay “Robert Frost and Pragmatism” appears in Robert Frost in Context, edited by Mark Richardson (Cambridge University Press, 2014). The essay focuses especially on Frost’s relationship with Harvard psychologist, philosopher, and public intellectual William James, whose influence on American literary modernism Levin addresses more generally in his 1999 book The Poetics of Transition: Emerson, Pragmatism, and American Literary Modernism. This new critical volume, part of the Literature in Context series from Cambridge, offers a fresh, multifaceted assessment of Robert Frost’s life and works. Nearly every aspect of the poet’s career is treated: his interest in poetics and style; his role as a public figure; his deep fascination with science, psychology, and education; his peculiar and difficult relation to religion; his investments, as thinker and writer, in politics and war; the way he dealt with problems of mental illness that beset his sister and two of his children; and, finally, the complex geo-political contexts that inform some of his best poetry.
Jeffrey McClurken has agreed to serve as Special Assistant to the Provost for Technology, Teaching, and Innovation. A graduate of Mary Washington College (BA) and Johns Hopkins University (MA, PhD), McClurken will complete his service as Chair of the Department of History & American Studies in May, 2014. In this half-time administrative appointment, Jeff will sit on Academic Affairs Council and the President’s Technology Advisory Council and will oversee the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation and the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies.
He will also oversee coordination of academic programming in the Convergence Center, due to open in summer 2014. Jeff is a recent recipient of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award, with particular recognition for Teaching with Technology. He has a very strong record of regional and national participation in conversations about the digital humanities and the use of technology in teaching and learning, including his contributions to the ProfHacker blog in the Chronicle of Higher Education and articles published by the Journal of the Association of History and Computing, the New School/MacArthur Foundation, the Society of American Archivists, and Hacking the Academy. He serves as the Digital History Review Editor for the Journal of American History. He is also frequently invited to other colleges and universities to talk about these issues.
Working with faculty and staff colleagues here at UMW, Jeff has been deeply engaged with the various initiatives that have made UMW a leader among liberal arts colleges in embracing the transformational potential of new technologies.
Courtney Clayton, Assistant Professor of Education, has published a chapter in the SAGE Research Methods Cases handbook. Her chapter focuses on how to use Constructivist Grounded Theory in Qualitative Research. SAGE Research Methods Cases is a collection of case studies of real social research, specially commissioned and designed to help students and researchers understand abstract methodological concepts in practice.