June 17, 2021

Goldman Discusses Cultural Appropriation and the Kardashians with BBC.com

Assistant Professor of Communication Adria Goldman

Assistant Professor of Communication Adria Goldman

Assistant Professor of Communication and Digital Studies Adria Goldman was interviewed by BBC.com about the Kardashian family appropriating Black culture. The article, which ran in advance of the series finale of Keeping Up in the Kardashians, said this:

“The Kardashians are viewed as both white and non-white,” says Adria Y Goldman, assistant professor of communication at the University of Mary Washington.

“The Kardashians’ continued popularity and success despite criticisms, show that on some level there is an acceptance of cultural appropriation, a lack of understanding of cultural appropriation, or a combination of the two.”

But while these relationships are presented on the show as uncomplicated, in a wider context things aren’t as straightforward. Prof Goldman says the relationship between Kim and Kanye (now seemingly on the rocks) contributes to her “racial ambiguity” and debates about her appropriation of black culture.

“Her association with Kanye and their children contribute to her position at the intersection of whiteness and blackness,” she says. “Some may argue Kim’s children with Kanye give her access to black culture. However, some may also view Kim’s familial connection as increasing the need for cultural sensitivity, understanding, and appreciation – as opposed to appropriation.” Read more.

Gupta Pens Article on Protests by Indian Farmers

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Surupa Gupta

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Surupa Gupta

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Surupa Gupta penned an article for Inkstick Media entitled, “How India’s Farmers are Trying to make Modi Listen.”

For almost seven months now, Indian farmers have been protesting three laws that the Indian parliament passed in September 2020. They have blocked highways, organized a nationwide strike, and have continued with the protests through the current, deadly COVID-19 crisis.

Farmers’ protests are not uncommon in India. In 2018, over 40,000 farmers marched over a hundred miles to Mumbai in Maharashtra to demand better support for farmers from the state government. The current protests, however, have been remarkable for many reasons: The protests have occasionally become violent and have attracted widespread international attention from lawmakers and celebrities alike. After an initial offer to negotiate, the federal government, against whose laws the farmers are protesting, reacted by arresting a young climate activist and with a crackdown against protestors. Read more.

Farnsworth Comments in the News

Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth

Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently commented on the following news stories:

Stephen Colbert and ‘The Late Show’ Make ‘Very Emotional’ Return to Ed Sullivan Theater (Variety; Chicago Tribune; The Register Citizen)

How the Hangover from Trump’s Presidency Is Shaping Democratic Primaries (Mother Jones)

Virginia Primary Turnout Dips, But Still Among Highest in Recent History (NPR)

UMW pundit predicts big money will be spent in November high-stakes Governor election (NewsRadio WINA)

What happened during Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy’s run for Virginia governor? (Potomac Local)

The U.S. is Back….Or is It? (CTV News Channel)

McAuliffe’s sweep beat expectations that were already sky-high (Virginia Mercury; Virginia Patch)

No matter who wins, the Va. lieutenant governor’s race will make history (WTOP)

Voting need not be a gauntlet. So why is the GOP doing all it can to make it that way? (Virginia Mercury)

Ransomware and Russia (CTV News Channel)

Biden & Putin to Meet in Geneva (CTV News Channel)

Stull’s “Great Lives” Lecture on Lillian Hellman Airs on C-SPAN

Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull

Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull

Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre Gregg Stull’s “Great Lives” lecture on playwright Lillian Hellman recently aired on C-SPAN. Watch here.

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 latest column in The Free Lance-Star discusses letting go when a decision in your organization doesn’t go your way. Read “LET GO OF THE BONE.”

We’ve all been there, on one side of the situation or the other.

A decision was that you didn’t agree with. Maybe you thought it wasn’t best for the organization, but it’s more likely that it was not in your personal best interest.

Or perhaps you were the person who had to make the tough call. You gathered the available information to inform the decision and, after mulling the options, made the choice.

Now the announcement has been made. The people impacted are not thrilled. And the second- guessing and arguments begin. Read more.

Larus Debates that “Taiwan is Indefensible”

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science Elizabeth Freund Larus.

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science Elizabeth Freund Larus.

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, participated in the Intelligence Squared debate “Taiwan is Indefensible” on May 20, 2021. Dr. Larus argued against the resolution, claiming that it is vital for U.S. credibility and standing to uphold its commitment to Taiwan. If the United States fails in its commitment, U.S. allies and friends in the Asia-Pacific might be compelled to bandwagon with China or expand their own militaries, further destabilizing the region.

Listen to the debate at https://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/taiwan-indefensible-0

Dr. Larus also appeared on KOPB-FM Radio. Listen here.

Peck Receives VACTE Student Impact Award

College of Education Associate Dean for Clinical Experiences and Partnerships Kristina Peck

College of Education Associate Dean for Clinical Experiences and Partnerships Kristina Peck

UMW’s College of Education Associate Dean for Clinical Experiences and Partnerships Kristina Peck was recently awarded a 2020-2021 Virginia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (VACTE) Student Impact Award. In her application for VACTE Initial Licensure Scholarship, Glynnis Farleigh ’20 wrote:

“While Mrs. Kristina Peck has only served as the College of Education’s Director of Clinical Experiences for a portion of my time at UMW, I believe that she fully deserves to be honored for her dedication to the students, staff, and faculty of UMW’s COE. Mrs. Peck has been my instructor for both of my Masters seminars during my fifth year. Here, she has demonstrated intense organization, high standards, and high expectations for myself and my peers as preservice teachers. As a former math teacher and Google Educator Instructor, Mrs. Peck held small-group training sessions for myself and a select group of peers so that we could become Google Educators ourselves. Mrs. Peck has never failed to answer the number of challenging and complex administrative questions that we as students may have and is always supportive to students.

Mrs. Peck demonstrates high standards when modeling the mechanics of teaching – an aspect that is often less discussed as it is less often the subject of intense research, but an aspect that is critical to the smooth, daily functioning of a classroom. This type of daily dedication is critical to the smooth running of a classroom. Mrs. Peck consistently models excellent classroom management, administration, and organization in a way that I hope to mimic in my own classroom and accepts nothing less than the highest standard of performance from us as UMW students. I feel proud to be a graduate of UMW’s Masters of Education program due to Mrs. Peck’s example and support. While I will be beginning my first year as a teacher in my own classroom this August, I will be inspired by Mrs. Peck’s commitment to organization and high standards for years to come.”

VACTE Scholarship Committee Chair Ellen Drogin Rodgers wrote: “It is clear, based on Glynnis’s recommendation that [Peck is] an extraordinary teacher and mentor who has influenced teacher candidates, and in turn, the communities they will serve.”

Davidson Comments on Sacrifices of America’s Allies

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson was interviewed by several international media outlets on his “Costs of War” report, commissioned by Brown and Boston universities, which focuses on contributions of America’s allies in Afghanistan.

“Americans do not fully understand, do not acknowledge, the sacrifices that allies made in Afghanistan,” Davidson recently told The Guardian. 

“It’s something that not only doesn’t get attention from those who are critics of the allies. It doesn’t even get the attention that it deserves from those who are generally cheerleaders for allies, like the current administration. I would like to see more American policymaker acknowledgment and discussion with the public of the costs that America’s allies have incurred in these wars.”

Dr. Davidson also penned an op-ed in The Hill entitled, “Biden needs to talk about the costs of our wars to America’s allies.” Read more.

British troops were twice as likely to be killed in Afghanistan as US forces (The Guardian; The Times)

Key NATO Allies Were More Than Twice as Likely to Die in Afghanistan Than U.S. Forces, According to New Study (Forbes)

British troops were twice as likely to be killed in Afghanistan as US forces (London Daily)

British soldiers were more than twice as likely to die during peak of Afghan War than US troops, report reveals (Daily Mail)

With Afghanistan Withdrawal Underway, New Report Reveals Costs of Post-9/11 Wars for US Allies (Common Dreams)

Key NATO allies twice as likely to die in Afghanistan as US forces: report (Ecns.cn)

The British Costs of the War in Afghanistan (New Eastern Outlook)

Rao Interviewed About Gandhi’s Influence on James Farmer

Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication and Digital Studies Anand Rao

Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication and Digital Studies Anand Rao

The legacy of Mahatma Gandhi goes well beyond the Indian Freedom Struggle. He has influenced countless movements and struggles for freedom and democracy around the world, decolonization struggles, including the civil rights movement within the United States.

The Metta Center for Nonviolence interviewed P. Anand Rao (Professor of Communication, Chair of the Department of Communication and Digital Studies) to discuss Gandhi’s influence on Dr. James Farmer and the American Civil Rights Movement. The interview is part of the Metta Center’s podcast, “Nonviolence Radio,” and the interview was conducted by UMW alum Stephanie Van Hook. The interview can be found at: https://mettacenter.org/ppr/gandhis-influence-on-dr-james-farmer/

Rettinger, Hirshberg Interviewed by FLS About Nepal COVID Relief Efforts

Professors David Rettinger (back row, left) and Dan Hirshberg (back row, right) with students on a study abroad trip to Nepal.

Professors David Rettinger (back row, left) and Dan Hirshberg (back row, right) with students on a study abroad trip to Nepal.

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger and Associate Professor of Religion Dan Hirshberg were interviewed for an article in The Free Lance-Star on Nepal’s COVID outbreak and local COVID relief efforts to help Fredericksburg’s Sister City of Kathmandu. Rettinger and Hirshberg have organized several study abroad trips to Nepal for UMW students.

“Their outbreak is even worse than India’s, if you can believe it, but it’s not getting as much attention,” said David Rettinger about Nepal, which is experiencing upwards of 8,600 new cases a day as almost half of all people tested for the virus have it. “The news is getting worse and worse with each passing day, and Nepal’s health care system is not prepared for this pandemic.”

Rettinger is a professor at the University of Mary Washington and the public relations chairman of the Sister-City Program that pairs Fredericksburg with partners in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. He’s spreading the word about the local effort to raise money, through an online fundraiser, to purchase vital medical supplies such as oxygen concentrators and nasal tubes that deliver the much-needed air supply to patients. Read more.