Faculty and Staff Notes

Elizabeth Hamilton Interviewed

July 30, 2015

Elizabeth Hamilton, associate professor and chair of the German Language and Literatures Department, was interviewed for the Märkische Online Zeitung. The article (in German) describes Hamilton’s on-site research at the Samariteranstalten, a cluster of homes and schools for people with cognitive disabilities in Fürstenwalde, Brandenburg. Hamilton is translating and writing a scholarly edition of a photo-essay collection that was created there, Was für eine Insel in was für einem Meer.

The original work, created in the former East Germany in 1985, depicts residents of an institution for people with cognitive disabilities in astonishingly beautiful black-and-white photographs by then up-and-coming photographer Dietmar Riemann and in probing, poignant essays by the esteemed literary author Franz Fühmann. The subjects of their photographs and texts lived in care of the Samaritans’ Institution, or Samariteranstalt Fürstenwalde, a Protestant Church-run institution about 35 miles east of Berlin. The artistic value of the Fühmann-Riemann collection transcends the geographical and historical context of the now-defunct GDR. These are intimate and respectful portraits of people who in most cultures, even today, remain hidden from public view. As fuller, global histories of disability are now being written, Fühmann and Riemann’s work opens an essential window onto a formerly shuttered world.

Ann Cooper Albright Teaches and Lectures, Produces Conference

July 30, 2015

At the end of May, Ann Cooper Albright, professor of dance and chair of the dance department, taught a weeklong intensive at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD) in Salzburg, Austria. While in Austria, she also gave an invited lecture at the University of Salzburg.

Following these ventures, Albright produced the international dance studies conference Cut & Paste: Dance Advocacy in the Age of Austerity. Held in Athens, Greece, the annual conference is a joint effort between the organizations Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) and Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS), the latter of which Albright is president.

The 2015 conference panels addressed issues surrounding dance advocacy on local and global levels and also put dance advocacy into practice by supporting a dance community that has been hit especially hard by the global financial crisis. By going to Athens at this particular historical moment, international dance scholars supported their colleagues in Greece, giving them an opportunity to participate in a multifaceted dance studies conference without having to travel abroad. In addition to a scholarly conference, there were free dance classes offered and curated performances by Greek companies. Scholars also donated more than 100 books to seed the first international dance research collection in Greece.

Meredith Gadsby Gives BBC interview for Documentary on Toni Morrison

July 24, 2015

Associate Professor of Africana Studies Meredith Gadsby was interviewed by the BBC for a documentary on author Toni Morrison. In the interview, Gadsby relays the tragic story of Lee Howard Dobbins, a 4-year-old fugitive slave who died after he made the journey to Oberlin, and explains the inspiration for Morrison's Bench the Road project. Gadsby is the faculty liaison for the Toni Morrison Society. The clip can be viewed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02x4clm

Carol Lasser elected president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic

July 23, 2015

Professor of History Carol Lasser was elected president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), an organization of about 1000 people, during the annual meeting on July 18.

Established in 1977, SHEAR is an association of scholars dedicated to exploring the events and the meaning of United States history between 1776 and 1861. SHEAR’s mission is to foster the study of the early republican period among professional historians, students, and the general public. It upholds the highest intellectual standards of the historical profession and encourages the broad diffusion of historical insights through all appropriate channels, including schools, museums, libraries, electronic media, public programming, archives, and publications.

Lasser has attended SHEAR conferences since 1983, and has served on the Conference Planning Committeee, the Advisory Council, and the Editorial Board of SHEAR's journal, The Journal of the Early Republic. She will be inaugurated as president at the next meeting in July 2016.

Renee Romano Gives Plenary Address

July 9, 2015

Renee Romano, professor of history, comparative American studies, and Africana studies, gave the opening plenary address at the Southern Association of Women Historians Conference, which was held in Charleston, South Carolina, in June. Her address, “The Limits of Commemoration: Civil Rights Memory and the Enduring Challenge of Innocence,” explored the seeming disjuncture between the extensive commemoration of the civil rights movement and our contemporary moment of pervasive inequality and racial violence.

Cindy Frantz Gives Talk

July 9, 2015

Professor of Psychology Cindy Frantz gave the talk "Harnessing the most powerful drivers of human behavior to promote wildlife conservation" at the USC Conference on Conservation, Computation, & Criminology (C4) on June 29, 2015, in Washington DC. The talk discussed how powerful motivations that are not in individuals’ economic or biological best interests can be harnessed to promote the protection of forests, fisheries, and wildlife.

Jennifer Fraser Publishes Book

July 1, 2015

Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Anthropology Jennifer Fraser's book "Gongs & Pop Songs: Sounding Minangkabau in Indonesia" has been published by Ohio University Press. In the book, Fraser explores a little-known gong tradition from Sumatra called talempong, long associated with people who identify themselves as Minangkabau.

More information can be found on the Ohio University Press website.

Clayton Koppes Presents Paper

June 25, 2015

Clayton Koppes, professor of history, delivered a paper at the International Association for History and Media conference at Indiana University, Bloomington, on June 18. The paper was titled "What's New Is Old: North Atlantic Movie Censorship in Its Formative Years."

Crystal Biruk Presents Chapter

June 25, 2015

Crystal Biruk, assistant professor of anthropology, presented a chapter of her book in progress at Dreaming of Health and Science in Africa: Aesthetics, Affects, Poetics, and Politics, a conference convened at the Wellcome Trust Conference Center in Cambridgeshire, UK, June 13-15.