December 1, 2015

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.

Harris Presents Paper at Moscow Conference

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow invited Prof. Steven E. Harris to present his paper “Soviet Airports: Futuristic Gateways to the Socialist City” at its recent conference, “A Long, Happy Life: Building and Thinking the Soviet City: 1956 to Now,” held Oct. 30-31, 2015. This conference is the first event in a three-year project at the Garage Museum to examine the history and legacy of Soviet modernism in architecture and urban planning. Harris’s paper is based on a chapter of his second book, which he is currently researching and writing, Wings of the Motherland: Soviet and Russian Cultures of Aviation from Khrushchev to Putin.


Buster-Williams and Lister Provide Chronicle of Higher Education Webinar

Kimberley Buster-Williams, associate provost for enrollment management, and Katherine Lister, associate director of admissions presented on the topic “The 3 C’s of Effective Enrollment Management: Communication, Collaboration and Commitment” as part of a Chronicle of Higher Education webinar series. The 60min webinar took place on Thursday, October 15, 2015.

The webinar, sponsored by Laserfiche, was designed to share with the higher education community how institutions can improve and streamline student services through the use of ECM technology.  202 people participated in the webinar from the United States and abroad. International participants were from; Canada, Australia, South Africa, Latvia, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jamaica, Puerto Rica (US Territory), and the Netherlands.

UMW has been a Laserfiche client since 1997. With support from several offices on campus, including ITS and the Registrar’s Office, UMW’s Office of Admissions is now a paperless operation.

Farnsworth Quoted Widely on 2015 Virginia Elections

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, has appeared in a number of media outlets in recent weeks discussing Virginia’s 2015 elections, including the Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Reuters, WJLA-TV, WAMU-FM, WMAL-AM, WRVA-AM and The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg.



Bowen Publishes Article about Field Work in Newfoundland

Dawn Bowen, professor of geography, has published an article, “The Roadside Gardens of Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula,” in the American Geographical Society’s Focus on Geography. This article was a result of her field work in Newfoundland in 2014.

Foss Speaks to Columbia University Seminars

On October 16, Professor of English Chris Foss was a featured speaker at the joint meeting of the Columbia University Seminar on Disability, Culture, and Society and the Columbia University Seminar on Narrative, Health, and Social Justice in New York. Along with fellow co-editor Jonathan W. Gray, he talked about their essay collection Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives, forthcoming in February as one of the first volumes of Palgrave’s new Literary Disability series.

Image (by Georgia Webber) from cover of _Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives_

They also each offered detailed presentations on their individual chapter contributions to the book. As Foss explained, his chapter, “Reading in Pictures: Re-visioning Autism and Literature through the Medium of Manga,” considers the prospect that manga texts provide a more material means through which to communicate the lived experience of autism, perhaps even encourage a more properly “autistic” reading experience. Exploring how the more conceptual and less linear qualities of Keiko Tobe’s multi-volume series With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child (together with the multimodal reading experience they foster) speak to numerous aspects of autistic embodiment, the chapter effects an open-ended critical articulation of autism and manga (in dialogue with both autistic writers and sequential art scholars) characterized by a mapping around of space from which to consider multiple possibilities.

Sorely missed was third co-editor and lead author of the book’s Introduction, Associate Professor of English Zach Whalen, who was unable to attend because he coincidentally had to be in New York that same day for the meeting of the Modern Language Association’s Committee for Information Technology.

Rao Featured on With Good Reason