Faculty and Staff Notes

Justin Emeka Takes Part in SDC Foundation One-on-One Conversation

November 6, 2015

Assistant Professor of Theater Justin Emeka ’95 took part in a Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC) Foundation One-on-One Conversation on November 5 at the National Opera Center Recital Hall. Emeka exchanged ideas about process, aesthetics, and how identity shapes art with director, performer, and writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

For more information, see this webpage.

Peter Takács Performs Sold-Out Carnegie Hall Concert

November 5, 2015

Professor of Piano Peter Takács played the first of three programs in his "Beethoven Experience" series at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall on October 18. Of the sold-out performance, Frank Daykin of New York Concert Review said "Beethoven would have been proud.”

For more on the performance, see the New York Concert Review.

Works of Kristina Paabus included in Exhibit

November 4, 2015

Works of Assistant Professor of Studio Art, Reproducible Media Kristina Paabus are included in the Akron Art Museum exhibition NEO Geo. The contemporary art exhibition examines geometric abstraction’s ongoing relevance in Northeast Ohio through drawings, paintings, ceramics, textiles, prints, photographs, and sculptures of eight artists working in studios in Northeast Ohio.

NE Geo is on view from November 21, 2015, through April 24, 2016, with an opening reception on Friday, November 20, 2015. More information about the exhibit can be found on this webpage.

Alysia Ramos Coproduces, Directs, and Choreographs The Mists

October 29, 2015

Assistant Professor of Dance Alysia Ramos premiered The Mists, a new immersive dance theater production at Red Butte Gardens’ "Garden After Dark" in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 22-24 and 29-30.

Inspired by Marion Zimmer Bradley’s acclaimed book The Mists of Avalon, this production invited audience members to follow legendary characters—including Morgaine le Fey, King Arthur, Lady Gwenhwyfar, Lancelot, and the Lady of the Lake—on a wordless journey into the mythological land of Avalon at the sunset of its reign. Unlike conventional theater and dance productions, The Mists was an interactive story that integrated dance, theater, live music, and lighting design into the living landscape of the Garden itself. The nearly 50-person cast circulated the gardens throughout the 3-hour event performing cyclical scenes that, when witnessed by each audience member, constructed unique narratives.

Part dance theater, part haunted house, part costume party, The Mists was the first outdoor immersive dance theater production in Utah and reached approximately 1,500 audience members a night. Ramos and collaborator Liz Ivkovich coproduced, directed and choreographed with a cast of professional artists, students from The University of Utah, and high school students from Rowland Hall School.

Read more about The Mists on 15 Bytes, an online magazine about the visual arts in Utah.

Kazim Ali Publishes Book

October 26, 2015

Kazim Ali, director and associate professor of creative writing and associate professor of comparative literature, has published a new book: Resident Alien: On Border-crossing and the Undocumented Divine (University of Michigan Press).

Of the book, the Press says, "Kazim Ali uses a range of subjects—the politics of checkpoints at international borders; difficulties in translation; collaborations between poets and choreographers; and connections between poetry and landscape, or between biotechnology and the human body—to situate the individual human body into a larger global context, with all of its political and social implications. He finds in the quality of ecstatic utterance his passport to regions where reason and logic fail and the only knowledge is instinctual, in physical existence and breath. This collection includes Ali’s essays on topics such as Anne Carson’s translations of Euripides; the poetry and politics of Mahmoud Darwish; Josey Foo’s poetry/dance collaborations with choreographer Leah Stein; Olga Broumas’ collaboration with T. Begley; Jorie Graham’s complication of Kenneth Goldsmith’s theories; the postmodern spirituality of the 14th century Kashmiri mystic poet Lalla; translations of Homer, Mandelstam, Sappho, and Hafez; as well as the poet Reetika Vazirani’s practice of yoga.”

See more on this University of Michigan Press webpage.

Crystal Biruk Awarded Grant

October 22, 2015

Crystal Biruk, assistant professor of anthropology, was awarded a Wenner-Gren Foundation postdoctoral research grant to fund research in Malawi and South Africa.

Renee Romano Gives Lecture

October 22, 2015

Renee Romano, professor and chair of history and professor of comparative American studies and Africana studies, delivered the 14th Annual American Studies Lecture at the University of Leicester in Leicester, England, on October 19. The title of her lecture was “‘The Great Force of History’: Collective Memory, White Innocence, and Making Black Lives Matter."

Shelley Lee Serves as Panelist

October 19, 2015

Shelley Lee, associate professor of comparative American studies and history, was an invited panelist at the multidisciplinary symposium on immigration in the United States titled Politics, Promises, and Possibilities: The 1965 Immigration Act At 50 held October 16 at Indiana University. Lee spoke on a panel about labor in post-industrial America. 

Karl Offen Serves as Contributing Guest Editor

October 16, 2015

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Karl Offen was the contributing guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of Latin American Geography titled “Mapping Latin American Geographies." The table of contents can be viewed on this webpage.

Julia Christensen Presents Upgrade Available

October 15, 2015

Assistant Professor of Integrated Media Art Julia Christensen presented on Upgrade Available, a body of work that explores our cultural relationships with obsolete electronic material, at the 2015 Creative Capital Retreat this summer. The presentation is now available to view online.