January 27, 2021

Williams Featured in Free Lance-Star, Washington Post

UMW James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

UMW James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams. Photo by Karen Pearlman.

James Farmer Multicultural Center Assistant Director Chris Williams was interviewed in The Free Lance-Star about his appearance on PBS’s “American Portrait” on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 9 p.m.; the article was also reprinted in The Washington Post. Williams was chosen from 11,000 people who submitted a response to the episode’s prompt, “What is the tradition you carry on?” Williams discussed how he continues Dr. Farmer’s legacy through his work with the James Farmer Multicultural Center.

 

Christopher Williams works daily to carry on the legacy of civil rights leader James Farmer.

The legacy is in his job description—assistant director of the University of Mary Washington’s James Farmer Multicultural Center. It informs the work he does at the center along with Director Marion Sanford—coordinating social justice teach-ins, creating a social justice fall break trip, curating a human rights film series and talking daily with students and community members about Black history and anti-racism.

The legacy of James Farmer—who founded the Committee on Racial Equality, led the first Freedom Rides and taught at UMW from 1984 to 1998—is also personal for Williams. He is a product of the James Farmer Scholars Program, which was created in 1987 to assist selected public school students in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Caroline and Westmoreland counties with preparing for and enrolling in higher education. Read more.

Rafferty Publishes Two Essays from Forthcoming Book in The Rumpus

Associate Professor of English Colin Rafferty

Associate Professor of English Colin Rafferty recently had two excerpts from his forthcoming book “Execute the Office: Essays with Presidents” appeared on The Rumpus. The first, “Preamble,” is the first essay of the book, while the second, “Dissolve To,” considers the Reagan presidency through the lenses of film scripts and John Wayne movies.

Lee Leads a Teach-In at Linguistics Conference

Associate Professor of Linguistics Janie Lee

Associate Professor of Linguistics Janie Lee

Associate Professor of Linguistics Janie Lee led a teach-in in the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. The teach-in was part of the workshop “Room at the Table: Locating Asian Identity in Linguistics and the LSA.” In it, Lee gave a short presentation on teaching Asian American linguistics and facilitated an informal discussion. The conference was held virtually from January 7 through January 10, 2021.

Singh Publishes Journal Article on Private Landownership and Land Conservation

Department of Political Science and International Affairs Associate Professor Ranjit Singh

Department of Political Science and International Affairs Associate Professor Ranjit Singh

Department of Political Science and International Affairs Associate Professor Ranjit Singh article titled “‘Been Heres’ and ‘Come Heres’ in Stafford County, Virginia: Private Landowners and Land Conservation on the Urban Fringe” appeared in the Fall 2020 edition of the peer-review journal Environment, Space, Place.

Private land is vitally important to land conservation efforts, but access to private landowners is a challenge for researchers. Using a participatory research approach, this article studies the preferences and concerns of such landowners on the rural-urban fringe of Stafford County, Virginia. Interviews with 53 private landowners show that conservation is deeply embedded within key social, moral, cultural, and political contexts, including a divide between long-term and newer residents. Successful conservation requires such social knowledge. It is argued that landowner skepticism about local government points towards joint strategies between local government and partner groups. Land conservation choices should be framed as an affirmation of—not limitation on—property rights since urban fringe landowners are likely to see such rights (especially long-established notions such as “by-right” development) as under attack. Conservation also presents an opportunity for community building in rapidly urbanizing areas, since older residents often feel excluded or unappreciated by local government and newer arrivals.

This research was supported by a Jepson Fellowship, and is an outgrowth of Prof. Singh’s long-term involvement in local land conservation, including his current service on the board of directors of the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust.

Barrenchea Presents on Novelist Leslie Marmon Silko at MLA

Professor of English Antonio Barrenechea

Professor of English Antonio Barrenechea

Professor of English Antonio Barrenechea recently contributed to “Poetics of Persistence in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead: Perspectives on the Thirtieth Anniversary,” a special session of the virtual Modern Language Association conference in January 2021. The MLA is the flagship organization for literary studies in the United States.

Mary Washington Classics Program Shines as No. 1 Among Student Rankings

UMW senior Ruth Wilmot poses with the Primaporta Augustus statue, honoring the first emperor of the Roman Empire, during a study abroad trip to Rome prior to the pandemic. Mary Washington’s classics program just earned the top spot on a student-curated list in College Magazine.

UMW senior Ruth Wilmot poses with the Primaporta Augustus statue, honoring the first emperor of the Roman Empire, during a study abroad trip to Rome prior to the pandemic. Mary Washington’s classics program just earned the top spot on a student-curated list in College Magazine.

University of Mary Washington sophomore Brooke Prevedel considered dozens of schools on her quest to study ancient Greece and Rome in college. What she learned about the classics program at UMW catapulted it to the top of her list and convinced her to move 2,000 miles across the country from Colorado.

“Now that I’m attending UMW and have gotten to meet my professors and peers, I can honestly say that I would make the same choice again and again,” Prevedel said.

Other students agree. Mary Washington has earned the top spot on a student ranking of classics programs, besting schools like University of Chicago, New York University and Yale on a recent list by College Magazine. The online publication, written by students for students, features rankings of U.S. colleges, academic advice, student health information and career tips.

In an article this month titled “I Came, I Saw, I Crushed This Major: Top 10 Best Classics Schools,” reporter Danielle Falco, a St. John’s University student, sang the praises of UMW’s classics major and the Department of Classics, Philosophy and Religious Studies (CPR). “Among the University of Mary Washington’s 60-plus major options, its classical program shines like the Golden Fleece,” Falco wrote. Read more.

Larus Comments on Vietnam TV News on President Biden’s Domestic and Foreign Policies

Professor Elizabeth Larus Comments on Vietnam News

Professor Elizabeth Larus Comments on Vietnam News

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, was a special guest on the Vietnam News talk show “World 360 Degrees” on January 23, 2021. Professor Larus explained that addressing the novel coronavirus would be President Joe Biden’s top domestic priority. She also commented on U.S.-Vietnam relations, analyzing U.S. charges against Vietnam for alleged currency manipulation. Her comments begin 11 minutes and 21 minutes into the program at https://vnews.gov.vn/video/the-gioi-360-do-ngay-23-01-2021-201943.htm

Harris Pens Editorial on Stalin and Tupolev

Andrei Tupolev and Joseph Stalin

Andrei Tupolev and Joseph Stalin

Associate Professor of European and Modern Russian History Steven E. Harris penned an editorial on Communist dictator Joseph Stalin and and Soviet aircraft engineer Andrei Tupolev in advance of his Great Lives lecture on Thursday Jan. 28, at 7:30 pm on Zoom, as part of UMW’s “Great Lives” series. It can be accessed at umw.edu/greatlives.

THE UNITED States had William Boeing. Germany, Hugo Junkers. And Great Britain, Geoffrey de Havilland. From travel to warfare, the airplanes these designers produced transformed the world and made them household names.

In the Soviet Union, the most famous aviation designer was Andrei Nikolaevich Tupolev (1888-1972), whose aircraft also made him a household name. From gliders to strategic bombers and a supersonic passenger plane, Tupolev and his design bureau helped make the Soviet Union an aviation superpower.

His incredible career spanned Russia’s tumultuous 20th century, from the reign of its last tsar, Nicholas II, and Stalin’s regime to the twilight of the Soviet experiment under Leonid Brezhnev. Read more.

Al-Tikriti Pens Editorial on Süleyman the Magnificent for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Süleyman the Magnificent

Süleyman the Magnificent

Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti penned an editorial on Ottoman Empire Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent in advance of his Great Lives lecture on Tuesday Jan. 26, at 7:30 pm on Zoom, as part of UMW’s “Great Lives” series. It can be accessed at umw.edu/greatlives.

IN 2011, Turkish television launched a new series, entitled “Magnificent Century / Mühteşim Yüzyıl.” An instant hit, this flashy soap opera offered a highly dramatized version of Sultan Süleyman’s palace personna, family drama, and harem dynamics.

Over four seasons this bodice ripper, centered largely on the rivalry between his wife, Hürrem, and his earlier prime concubine, Mahidevran, was screened by over 200 million viewers in over 50 countries.

Why were so many hooked on a fanciful dramatization of this celebrated sultan who died over 450 years ago?

The real Süleyman (d. 1566) ruled over the Ottoman Empire during what most consider the peak of its power. Even though the empire continued to expand for several decades after his death, and remained the most powerful force in Europe for well over another century, when denizens of Western civilization consider this empire at all, it is usually in the same breath as they contemplate the reign of its most famous ruler. Read more.

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s column in The Free Lance-Star is entitled, “WHY IS THE ANSWER ALWAYS NO?”

YOU APPROACH a colleague with a request to do something in a new way. Your colleague responds immediately: “No. That’s not possible.”

Of course, it may not be possible, but perhaps it is, and your colleague just doesn’t want to investigate how it might be done. They want to keep doing it “the way it’s always been done.”

I have worked in four public institutions, each in a different state. While there are some state rules, along with some protocols from the governing groups for each state, many of the rules are just ingrained practices that each institution created. Read more.