June 25, 2024

Al-Tikriti speaks at UC San Diego and Soka University

On Dec. 1, Prof. Nabil Al-Tikriti of the Department of History and American Students spoke to students at the University of California-San Diego about his experiences as a relief worker, the ideals of medical humanitarianism, and the challenges faced by medical NGOs. The next day, Al-Tikriti spoke to students and faculty about the same topics at Soka University in Los Angeles. Speaking in his own capacity, Al-Tikriti’s talks were informed by his experiences over the past 27 years working in field operations with Catholic Relief Services and MSF/Doctors Without Borders, which he additionally served as an MSF USA board member from 2011 to 2017, and as vice president in 2016-17. This board and officer service ended this past July.

Free Admission to Cultural Resources

While you are unwinding during the holiday break, bring the whole family for a visit to The James Monroe Museum, and to the Gari Melchers Home and Studio! Both sites are extending free admission to include the immediate family members of current faculty and staff during the break from December 16-January 2. All faculty and staff also receive a 20% discount in the stores at both sites year round! We hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to visit these wonderful cultural resources administered by UMW. Gari Melchers Home and Studio is open daily from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, but will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The James Monroe Museum is open Monday – Saturday from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, and from 1:00-4:00 PM on Sundays, but will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission for current faculty, staff, and students is free throughout the year at both sites, so we hope to see you often!

Farnsworth Delivers Washington Lecture to Delegation from Norway

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently delivered a Washington lecture entitled, “The Trump Presidency, the Mass Media and Public Opinion,”  as part of the Norwegian Washington seminar. The lecture was part of an annual international program bringing and the country’s leaders in politics, business and the media to the US.


Al-Tikriti speaks on Panels at Capitol Hill, Smithsonian and MESA Conference

On November 16, Middle East History Associate Professor Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti spoke on a panel sponsored by the Council for American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). Entitled “The Situation in Mosul,” the panel took place at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.  Introduced by CAORC Executive Director Rick Spees, Prof. Al-Tikriti joined Drs. Alda Benjamin, Eric Davis, and Katharyn Hanson to discuss recent developments in Northern Iraq. For his part, Al-Tikriti spoke to perceptions of a tripartite Iraq in U.S. foreign policy circles, how that perception has come to color reality on the ground, and current humanitarian realities in and around Mosul.

On November 17, following a brief and informal discussion with certain CAORC colleagues on the same topic at the State Department, Prof. Al-Tikriti  joined another panel to speak on Northern Iraq at the Ripley Auditorium of the Smithsonian Institution. Sponsored by The Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII), and devoted to the memory of Prof. Peter Sluglett (d. 2017), this panel was entitled Narratives of Co-Existence and Pluralism in Northern Iraq.” In the course of this event, Dr. Katharyn Hanson of TARII provided opening remarks, Dr. Peter Wien of UMD / TARII provided speaker introductions, and both Profs. Dina Khouri (GWU) and Nelida Fuccaro (NYU Abu Dhabi) offered special remarks in honor of Peter Sluglett. During the panel, Prof. Al-Tikriti was joined by Drs. Orit Bashkin (Chicago), Alda Benjamin (U. Pennsylvania), Arbella Bet-Shimon (U. Washington), and Michael Sims (U. Washington, ABD). Topics covered during this panel included Da’esh, Yazidis, Iraqi Christians, Iraqi Jewry, and regional policy realities.

Finally, on November 18, Prof. Al-Tikriti joined a roundtable at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Conference in Washington, DC, entitled “Usurpation: The Untold Stories of the Iraq War, 2003 to the Present.” Organized by Dr. Afaf Nash (USC), here Prof. Al-Tikriti joined Drs. Nash, Nadje al-Ali (SOAS), Nada Shabout (U. of North Texas), Jeffrey Spurr (Independent Scholar), and Saleem al-Bahloly (Johns Hopkins) to discuss the longer term legacies of the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

Prof. Al-Tikriti’s contribution to the roundtable was entitled “Familial and Personal Journeys With US Foreign Policy on Iraq.” In this discussion, he discussed the impact of recent developments in Iraqi history on his extended family in Mosul, Tikrit, and Baghdad. He then discussed his interactions with U.S. foreign policy in Iraq since 1990, and how such interactions affected his career and politics. He closed by discussing his prior research on the effects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq on state institutions, cultural patronage, and education.

For full roundtable presentation abstracts, see: https://mesana.org/mymesa/meeting_program_session.php?sid=3dc087f387ac8cc9778d8db808166ad3.

Eagle Awards Committee Members Needed

The Center for Honor, Leadership, & Service cordially invites you to serve on the 2017-2018 UMW Eagle Awards Selection Committee.

UMW annually recognizes outstanding student leaders, clubs and organizations, and programs that have made a significant contribution to the campus and outlying communities.  Recipients for these awards are nominated by faculty, staff, and students and will be selected by a committee made up of people from these same groups. CHLS is requesting the help of faculty and staff to sit as a member of the selection committee.

Nominations are open until March 23, 2018, and members of the selection committee will review nominations and submit their rankings via a Google Docs link.  If you are interested in serving on the selection committee or would like further information, please contact Marissa DiMeo at mdimeo@umw.edu as soon as possible.

The Eagle Awards will be presented at a ceremony on April 19, 2018, beginning at 6 p.m. in the University Center’s Chandler Ballroom and you would be an honored guest. You can review the awards themselves at the link below http://students.umw.edu/chls/leadership/leadership-awards/individual-awards/.

Foss Publishes Article on Oscar Wilde and Disability

Professor of English Chris Foss has published an article titled “‘For the future let those who come to play with me have no hearts’: The Affect of Pity in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Birthday of the Infanta’” in the Fall 2017 number of Journal of Narrative Theory, a special issue on Dis/Enabling Narratives edited by Essaka Joshua.   JNT is a refereed, international journal in its fifth decade that “showcases theoretically sophisticated essays that examine narrative in a host of critical, interdisciplinary, or cross-cultural contexts.”

In his article, Foss argues that Wilde’s fairy tale about the death of a performing Dwarf at the Spanish court may appear mired in damaging stereotype and maudlin melodrama, but it nonetheless suggests more progressive emotionally-based possibilities for sympathy, acceptance, and even identification rather than paternalistic pity.  Wilde’s text invites readers to recognize its seemingly simultaneous manipulation of the narrative toward a reliance upon and a critique of the consumption of pain necessary to the workings of the affect of pity.  It further forces readers to acknowledge their own complicity in this pity and pain, ultimately revealing crucial complexities inherent in such emotional responses to disability and difference.

UMW Community Gives Back on #GivingTuesday

This week, on #GivingTuesday, more than 250 donors raised over $49,000 for UMW students, faculty, and programs! We want to thank those who gave back on behalf of the entire Mary Washington community. To learn more about who and what private funds are supporting, please watch our Investment in Hope video series.

Volunteers Needed for Winter Holiday Dinner

Campus Dining is hosting a Winter Holiday Dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Top of the UC.  The menu will feature Steamship Round of Beef, Broiled Salmon, Baked Ham, Maple Glazed Chicken, Roast Turkey with all the trimmings, Vegan Tofurkey, a Cookie Decorating Station, Hot Chocolate, and much more. To view the complete menu go to UMW.SodexoMyWay.com.

Volunteers are needed between 4:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. to assist with serving this festive dinner.  Each shift is one hour long, and all volunteers may dine for free.  For additional information or to volunteer, contact CaraMarie at 540-654-2165 or e-mail Dining@UMW.edu.

Cathy Harris Honored For Work with ‘Differently – Abled’

Cathy Harris, Resident Dining Manager with Sodexo’s Campus Dining Services, was recently honored by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) as a Champion of Leadership in Disability Employment.  Shana Chance, the DARS Job Placement Counselor for the Fredericksburg area, presented the award to Cathy at a recognition reception on November 15.  Shana likes to refer to the individuals they assist as “differently-abled,” and this view is certainly shared by Cathy and the rest of Sodexo’s Campus Dining team. Cathy worked closely with the rehabilitation counselors to not only help individuals who are “differently-abled” gain employment with Campus Dining, but to also provide these new crew members with the training and support they need to thrive in their new positions.

Roy Platt, General Manager of Campus Dining Services, was also present at the award reception, and was extremely pleased that Cathy received this well-earned recognition. “Cathy exemplifies Sodexo’s  firm commitment to increasing employment opportunities for individuals who have differing abilities,” said Roy, “and we will definitely continue to work with the DARS counselors as we develop and expand those opportunities here in Campus Dining.”



Farnsworth Publishes Chapter on Late-Night Humor, 2016 Presidential Campaign

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, is co-author of a chapter entitled, “Donald Trump and the Late-Night Political Humor of Campaign 2016: All the Donald, All the Time,” in a new book, The Presidency and Social Media: Discourse, Disruption and Digital Democracy in the 2016 Presidential Election, just published by Routledge.