April 24, 2017

Aminrazavi is Scholar in Residence, St. Joseph’s College

Mehdi Aminrazavi, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, spent three days in March at St. Joseph’s College in New York as the Distinguished Scholar in Residence. He taught a number of classes, led discussion groups with the faculty and students and gave a keynote speech titled “Violence and Peace in Islam.”

Farnsworth Presents Research to Chinese Delegation

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently delivered a U.S. State Department lecture titled “Politics, Media and the American Political System” for Chinese journalists visiting the U.S. as part of the federal government’s Institute for International Education Visitor Leadership Program for International Journalism.

Gately Performs with the Sophisticated Ladies

Doug Gately performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Steven Reinke, on March 24 and 25 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.  The program, Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella & Company featured singers Sy Smith, Capathia Jenkins, and Montego Glover celebrating the legendary music of the First Lady of Song, plus favorites made famous by Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington.

University Relations Welcomes Mike Breitenbach

University of Mary Washington welcomes Mike Breitenbach to the web services office in University Relations. Mike is director of web communications and the primary contact for campus-wide web content needs, while Curtiss Grymala, who is more involved in the web’s back end, will serve as director of digital technology. They will work hand in hand to accelerate the polishing and migration of our web pages.

View More: http://niloburke.pass.us/kateyMike comes to us from a six-year stint at Germanna Community College, where he oversaw a redesign of that institution’s website and managed the cross-departmental implementation of WordPress. He brings experience in both marketing and advancement from his time at Germanna, serving most recently as assistant director of marketing, where he managed advertising, creative services and publications.

A graduate of Virginia Tech, Mike is currently working on his MBA at his alma mater, with an anticipated completion date of August. His undergraduate degree in English instilled in him a passion for liberal arts education that he carries to our institution.

Feel free to contact Mike or Curtiss with any web needs or questions. They can be reached at x2266 or by emailing webmaster@umw.edu.

Foss Publishes Book Review

Professor of English Chris Foss has published a 1,536-word book review of Sonya Freeman Loftis’ monograph Imagining Autism: Fiction and Stereotypes on the Spectrum as  part of an exciting new initiative, The ALH Online Review Series X, from top-flight Oxford University Press journal American Literary History (ALH).  You can check it out at:


LaBreche Presents at Renaissance Society of America

Ben LaBreche, Associate Professor of English, recently presented a paper at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting in Chicago about “Political Theology and Marvellian Sexuality.” He was also a panelist on an RSA roundtable about political theology.

Al-Tikriti Joins Istanbul and Athens Debates

In his capacity as Vice President of the United States section of  MSF/Doctors Without Borders, Nabil Al-Tikriti, associate professor of history and American studies, participated in the annual Field Associative Debate (FAD) for MSF national and international staff serving throughout Turkey and Northern Syria, in Istanbul, on March 17. This year’s regional FAD topic covered MSF public positioning vis-a-vis the “safe zone” declared in Northern Syria in 2017. After debating this topic, staff members then presented recommendations for consideration by the MSF executive.

Immediately following the Istanbul FAD, Prof. Al-Tikriti participated in the FAD for MSF national and international staff serving throughout Greece, in Athens, on March 18. At this FAD, MSF staff debated public positioning, advocacy, and implementation issues regarding regional migration projects. After debating this topic, staff members then also presented recommendations for consideration by the MSF executive.

Upon his return, he reviewed and contributed to one of the two internal FAD reports.

Moon Featured on C-SPAN 3

A lecture given last month by Krystyn Moon, associate professor of history and program director of American studies, will air on C-SPAN 3 on Saturday, April 8.

Moon’s lecture is about anti-immigration laws in the 19th century, focusing on Chinese immigrants.

Krystyn Moon has a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and a master’s and doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University. Her teaching focuses on the history of American popular culture, U.S. immigration, the American West, gender and sexuality, consumerism and food. She has also written several articles on immigration, race and popular culture. She is the author of “Yellowface: Creating the Chinese in American Popular Music and Performance, 1850s-1920s”.

“Nineteenth Century Chinese Immigration” will be available after it airs on April 8. To listen, visit https://www.c-span.org/video/?424369-1/19th-century-chinese-immigration.


Barrenechea Publishes on Hemispheric American Literature

Antonio Barrenechea, Associate Professor of English, recently published the article “Hemispheric American Literature” in Futures of Comparative Literature: ACLA State of the Discipline Report (Routledge, 2017).

Richards Leads Talk at Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

Gary Richards, Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, recently led the breakfast book club discussion of Robert Olen Butler’s A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (1992) at the 2017 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. In the 11 years that Richards has annually led this group, it has covered a range of Southern writers, including George Washington Cable, Kate Chopin, Eudora Welty, Harper Lee, Ellen Gilchrist and, of course, Tennessee Williams.