Earlier this month, the UNH Model United Nations team won a Distinguished Delegation Award for their representation of the Republic of Tanzania at the National Model United Nations in New York City. Two students also won a Best Paper award on “The Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty.” This is the third time in the last four years that UNH has won awards at the National Model UN, placing our teams in the top 10% of the over 300 schools who participate each year. The UNH Model UN team is directed by Alynna Lyon, associate professor of political science.
For the first time this year, the Parents Association Symposium, part of the Undergraduate Research Conference, will host four panel sessions in the field of ethnic studies, an effort organized by Cord Whitaker, assistant professor of English. The 18 student presenters demonstrate just how interdisciplinary the field of ethnic studies is. They represent departments and programs from across the College, including anthropology, English, English/journalism, English literature, English teaching, German, linguistics, political science, and sociology.
“Critical race and ethnic studies gives each person the tools to live and work intelligently and successfully—to become his or her own best self—in an increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-cultural world,” says Whitaker. “The URC gives students a forum in which to show their peers, their teachers, and the other citizens of the world around them what ethnic studies work is and why it matters so very much.”
The four panels take place on Friday, April 27, in the Memorial Union Building. Nineteen presentations under four broad topics will occur in two sets of concurrent sessions: African Literature: Reading and Writing the Postcolony (9:30-10:40 a.m., room 302); The Matter of Difference and the Middle Ages, or Language, Faith, Race, and Time (9:30-10:40 a.m., room 304); Digitizing Native American Literature (10:50 a.m.-noon, room 304); and Postcolonial Fiction: Salman Rushdie and Beyond (10:50 a.m.-noon, room 302).
In the fourth panel, senior Peter Kispert of Hanover, NH, will be presenting research on tribal culture and communication in Indian writer Mahasweta Devi’s novella, Pterodactyl, a project he undertook under the direction of Sandhya Shetty, professor of English.
“I’m pleased to be presenting with such skilled professors and students, intervening and engaging in ongoing scholarly conversations,” says Kispert. “So, when I was contacted about this opportunity, I was naturally very excited by the prospect of presenting. At the conference, I hope to learn more about authors, the postcolonial canon, and what current, germane scholarship exists with regard to these and other texts.”
Two UNH professors have received National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awards to support their humanities projects this year.
Assistant professor of English Cord Whitaker received a $25,000 Enduring Questions Pilot Course Grant to support his development of an undergraduate course based on the question, what is racial difference?
Martin McKinsey, associate professor of English, was awarded a $6,000 summer stipend to support his work on a new translation and edition of C.P. Cavafy: The Major Prose.
The UNH projects are two of over 200 humanities projects across the nation supported by an announced $17 million in grants from NEH. They are the only two awarded to scholars in the State of New Hampshire.
“The grants announced today highlight the breadth of exceptional research supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said NEH Chairman Jim Leach late last month. “Whether it is supporting the scholars who comb through archives in search of long overlooked facts and perspectives, bringing compelling humanities exhibits and programming into communities across the country, or applying new technologies to enduring human questions, these projects will open up new ways of understanding our world and our past.”
Whitaker intends his course to create new ways of understanding at UNH, “a predominantly white institution whose demographic is quickly changing,” he says. “While a number of faculty at UNH have taught ground-breaking courses on race, it is now necessary that race be given an even more prominent place in the curriculum in order to support students of color and educate all students about racial ideology in the world at-large.” And, he adds, an NEH-funded course will increase the national prominence of work on race at UNH.
Courses that explore the question of difference between human groups often start their investigation at the Renaissance or in the 19th century, notes Whitaker. His new course will take the long view.
“We’ll explore questions of human group identity, conflict, and subjugation from the classical period through modern day” says Whitaker. “Students will investigate how discourses of linguistic, physical, geographic, and religious difference have all contributed to the modern notion of race.”
Whitaker’s hope is that students who take the course will go on to present their research in the new Ethnic Studies sessions he has implemented at UNH’s Undergraduate Research Conference.
Martin McKinsey’s award will enable him to undertake a new translation of a large selection of prose work by the Greek-Egyptian C.P. Cavafy, a project invited by the newly established Harvard Early Modern and Modern Greek Library series from the Harvard Department of Classics. The poetry of Cavafy continues to attract new readers, but his prose writing is little known beyond the world of Cavafy specialists, even in Greece itself, says McKinsey.
“Part of my interest in the prose work is to add to the picture of Cavafy as a writer outside of England who was deeply infused with British culture, but also had mixed feelings about it due to being a colonial,” says McKinsey.
The volume will include commentary on the texts, locating them in the context of Cavafy’s life and work, and within the cultural and political world in which they were written.
In recent months, UNH affiliate professor of music and jazz legend Clark Terry has undergone many health challenges including amputation of both of his legs. The Jazz Foundation of America provides around-the-clock healthcare help and support.
To help defray these costs, some of Clark’s musical friends will join in a “Fundraising Concert for Clark” which will include a special Skype appearance by Clark and Gwen Terry.
Monday, April 23, 2012 at 7pm
Saint Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Suggested donation is $25 at the door or, if you cannot be there, you can send a donation. Checks should be written to Jazz Foundation of America with “Clark Terry account” in the memo line and mailed to the JFA at 322 W. 48th Street, New York, NY 10036.
Terry, who turned 91 in December, has been a great ambassador for the music, appeared on over 900 recordings, and mentored numerous young musicians.
Musicians confirmed to appear include:
Clifford Adams Jr., Carl Allen, Lisle Atkinson, Art Baron, Gene Bertoncini, Valerie Capers, Paquito D’Rivera, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Sylvia Cuenca, Dee Daniels, Bryan Davis, David Demsey, Lou Donaldson, Mark Elf, Essiet Essiet, Don Friedman, Greg Gisbert, Dave Glasser, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Winard Harper, Barry Harris, Louis Hayes, Jimmy Heath, Conrad Herwig, Jack Jeffers, Melba Joyce, Justin Kauflin, Stantawn Kendrick, Bob Kindred, Victor Lewis, Tony Lujan, Russell Malone, Sarah McLawler, Marcus McLaurine, Junior Mance, Mulgrew Miller, Shawnn Monteiro, Frank Owens, Jimmy Owens, Jeremy Pelt, Anne Phillips, Rufus Reid, Bill Saxton, Josh Shpak, Don Sickler, Norman Simmons, John Simon, Lew Soloff, Helen Sung and Frank Wess.
The UNH music education elementary teaching program has been bringing its special brand of music lessons to the Oyster River elementary schools for 23 years. A requirement for sophomore music education majors, the course gives DeTurk’s students a better education in music teaching than any lecture-based class could hope to offer.
Tis the season when hundreds of newly-admitted students and their families visit campus in an effort to determine if UNH is right for them and if they’d like to enroll. Every spring, the College of Liberal Arts holds Open Houses on four consecutive Fridays to help those admitted to the College learn more about UNH.
This past Friday, the College hosted over 600 people for a day of talks, meetings, fairs, entertainment, panels, tours, and good food.
For seasoned UNH students, faculty, and staff, it can be invigorating to remember the excitement and promise of embarking upon a college career. These young, accomplished campus visitors are in the process of making an important decision about the shape and direction of their lives. In many cases, they are about to experience the freedoms and responsibilities of independence for the very first time. The students’ energy is palpable. To behold the beginning of this awesome life transition is a wonderful thing.