Center for the Humanities Announces 2015-16 Faculty Fellows

October 31, 2014

Center for the Humanities Logo

The Center for the Humanities announces the award of its 2015-2016 Faculty Research Fellowships to five faculty members in support of their research on the following projects:

Tom Haines (English)
“Fueled: An American Odyssey” is built upon six walks the author is taking across diverse landscapes of fuel in America to create an intimate reckoning of how our energy appetite impacts distant places and people.

Janet Polasky (history)
“Cosmopolitans Between Nations” will study the revolutions spawned at the center of Europe in the shadow of threatened empires and at the periphery of those same empires in the long decade between the American and French Revolutions.

Natalie Porter (anthropology)
“Viral Economies: An Ethnography of Entitlement in Pandemic Flu Control” will show how policymakers, health workers, scientists, and citizens exchange knowledge and resources at various sites of bird flu management in Vietnam.

Jeannie Sowers (political science)
“Children of the Uprisings: Protest, Violence, and Children’s Political Participation in the Middle East” will bring together humanities and social science methods to explore changing social discourses, state practices, and legal norms regarding children’s political participation, victimization, and vulnerability in the uprisings of selected Middle Eastern countries.

Reginald Wilburn (English)
“Marked With Milton: A Sequel in Intertextual Tradition” will examine overlooked appropriations of Miltonic influence in the tradition through close analytical readings of African American novels, vocal performances, literary criticism, and an obscure operetta containing strategically selected appropriated passages from Milton’s canon.

Funded by the Center’s general endowment and the Ben and Zelma Dorson Endowment in the Humanities, the fellowships provide a semester-long opportunity for junior and tenured faculty to pursue humanities research with no teaching obligations. Awardees participate in the Faculty Fellows Lecture Series in the year following their fellowship.

Daughters of the American Revolution Honor UNH History Professor

October 28, 2014
Phyllis Gagnon awarding DAR History medal to Jeff Bolster 2014

Phyllis M. Gagnon, NH State Regent, pinning the D.A.R. History Award Medal on W. Jeffrey Bolster, professor of history at the University of New Hampshire. At right: Andrea Abbott of the Portsmouth Ranger Chapter of the D.A.R.

Professor of history W. Jeffrey Bolster was awarded the History Award Medal from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) earlier this month in Laconia, NH. The award recognizes contributions that significantly advance the understanding of our nation’s past through the study and promotion of an aspect of American History. The D.A.R. cited contributions Bolster made through his publications The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail (2012) and Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail (1997).

Bolster was nominated for the award by Debra Collar and her colleagues of the Portsmouth Ranger Chapter of the D.A.R. who had heard about Bolster’s books and the scholarly recognition they had received.

“My sense is that the chapter wanted to put forward someone from New Hampshire and UNH—that they were proud of the local connection,” says Bolster. “It’s not just about me—far from it—but about the fact that my work could be presented to the national D.A.R. as emblematic of work coming out of UNH.”

The Mortal Sea is winner of the 2013 Bancroft Prize, the North American Society for Oceanic History’s John Lyman Book Award for the best book in U.S. Maritime History, the American Historical Association’s 2013 Albert J. Beveridge Prize, and the American Historical Association’s 2013 James Rawley Prize in Atlantic History. Black Jacks is co-winner of the Wesley-Logan Prize of the American Historical Association and was selected as the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division Best Book in History. Black Jacks also was named a New York Times Book Review notable book of the year.

The History Award Medal was presented to Bolster at the annual fall meeting of the New Hampshire D.A.R. where Bolster delivered a talk called “When Shipping Was King: The Piscataqua Region in Colonial America,” drawn from his co-authored book, with Alex Roland and Alexander Keyssar, The Way of the Ship: America’s Maritime History Reenvisioned, 1600-2000 (2008).

UNH Hosts Prominent Higher Ed Leader Freeman Hrabowski on Oct. 30

October 23, 2014

Freeman Hrabowski photo

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), will speak at UNH on Thursday, October 30, at noon in the Huddleston Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. His talk, “The Humanities, the Public University, and Public Good,” is the keynote address of a series of lectures this fall that examines the state of the humanities in society and on college campuses.

Hrabowski’s research and publications focus on science and math education, with a special emphasis on minority participation and performance. Though a vocal proponent of education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), he has spoken nationally—and compellingly—about the importance of the humanities.

“As a STEM person, as someone deeply involved in issues of minority students’ involvement in higher education, as someone who as a child was a leader in the civil rights movement, and as someone who is not a ‘humanities insider,’ Dr. Hrabowski seems uniquely qualified to help us think about the value and importance of what we do,” says Burt Feintuch, professor of English and director of the Center for Humanities, which is organizing this event. “Having someone from outside of our fields talk about their value is especially meaningful. I think his talk will be provocative in the best possible sense of that word.”

Hrabowski was recently named by President Obama to chair the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the recent report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), Hrabowski also received TIAA-CREF’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence (2011), the Carnegie Corporation’s Academic Leadership Award (2011), and the Heinz Award (2012) for contributions to improving the human condition. UMBC has been recognized as a model for academic innovation and inclusive excellence by such publications as U.S. News, which for the past six years has ranked UMBC as the #1 “Up and Coming” university in the nation.

For more information, contact the UNH Center for the Humanities.

UNH Art Faculty Review at Museum of Art Opens Nov. 1

October 22, 2014
detail of Leah Woods Migration

Leah Woods, Migration (detail), 2014. maple, plywood, 43” x 80” x 23.5”, courtesy of the artist, photo by Glen Scheffer

A new exhibition featuring art faculty members Michael Cardinali, Brian Chu, Julee Holcombe, Scott Schnepf, and Leah Woods, will be on view at the Museum of Art beginning November 1, 2014. A reception will take place on Thursday, November 6, 2014 from 6-8 p.m.

Every two years The Museum of Art highlights work by studio art faculty in the Department of Art and Art History who are new or returning from sabbatical leave.

Michael Cardinali’s silver gelatin prints capture his timeless perspective of the urban landscape of Boston, as well as portraiture his wife Pia. “Photography, for me, is a way to keep the things close at heart close also at hand.” he says.

muddy river photo

Michael Cardinali, Muddy River, Boston, 2014, gelatin silver print. 8” x 10”, courtesy of the artist

Brian Chu’s art is rooted in observation, maintaining a dialogue between objectivity and subjectivity in all subjects: landscape, figure and still life. His intense perceptual engagement with the world is evident in textured layers of vibrant colors. The strong surface often negates the depth of space, thus delivering beauty and contradiction simultaneously.

oil painting of street

Brian Chu, Via delle Stelle Ascoli Piceno, 2011, oil on linen, 26” x 40”, courtesy of the artist

Julee Holcombe’s recent photographs investigate man’s relationship to the environment. Her photo-montaged manipulations borrow from classical painting traditions of Eastern and Western aesthetics and narratives. Using man and technology as the protagonists, Holcombe creates images that connect with the story-telling traditions of the past to allow for depiction and reflection on our own modern narrative.

photo of woman

Julee Holcombe, The Fortune Teller (Afton), 2014, archival pigment print, 20 inches x 16 inches, courtesy of the artist

Scott Schnepf is known for his etchings and woodcuts. His imagery is dominated by still lifes. Schnepf uses ordinary objects and dramatic lighting to create an atmosphere of luxury and insight.


Scott Schnepf, Newcastle Bridge, 2013, etching, 24” x 16”, courtesy of the artist

Leah Woods has designed and built one-of-a-kind furniture for several years before transitioning to explore conceptual objects. She explores functional and non-functional furniture through the creation of several bodies of work including: A Personal Wardrobe, cabinets investigating clothing and the female form, Footloose, a series of cabinets for high-heeled shoes, Structure, an investigation of mannequins and dress forms, and most recently, Navigation, an exploration of autobiographical maps.

wood sculpture

Leah Woods, Migration, 2014. maple, plywood, 43” x 80” x 23.5”, courtesy of the artist

The Museum of Art and its programs are open to the public free of charge. The exhibitions run through December 14, 2014. The Museum will be closed November 11 and November 26-30, 2014.

View complete exhibition information.

Water in a Changing World

October 22, 2014

word NESTVAL against map backdrop

The University of New Hampshire’s Department of Geography will host the annual New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL) conference on the Durham campus on October 24 and 25, 2014. The 2014 conference, “Water in a Changing World,” will focus on the importance of coastal and inland water resources on the region’s settlement, development, and future.

The two-day event features a keynote address by UNH Professor of History Jeffrey Bolster who will speak on the human impacts on the Piscataqua Estuary and Gulf of Maine. Students from regional universities, including UNH geography students, will participate in a competitive Geography Bowl. Faculty from UNH and other institutions across New England will present papers on their research.

Registration is required. Please see the event webpage for more information.

The New England-St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society is a regional division of the Association of American Geographers. The Society contributes to the advancement of geography by holding a fall annual conference, publishing a peer-review professional journal, The Northeastern Geographer, and recognizing and supporting geography professionals and students through awards and annual activities.

Recent Survey Center Poll: NH Watching Ebola Outbreak But Not Concerned With Catching It

October 20, 2014

graph: How Closely Are You Following the Ebola Outbreak

The UNH Survey Center reports the following:

Although the Ebola outbreak has been raging in West Africa for the better part of this year, it has increasingly made headlines here in the United States with the death of one man and the infection of two health workers who cared for him. Granite Staters are paying attention to the outbreak–39% say they are watching the situation very closely, 46% somewhat closely, 12% not too closely and 3% not at all closely. Republicans (52%) are more likely to be watching the outbreak very closely than Independents (34%) and Democrats (32%).

However, Granite Staters aren’t worried that their family members will contract Ebola–only 8% are very worried, 22% are somewhat worried, 37% are not too worried, and 33% are not worried at all. These figures mirror a national survey conducted by Pew this October.

Graph: Worried About Family Member Contracting Ebola

These findings are based on the latest WMUR Granite State Poll, conducted by the UNH Survey Center. Five hundred and forty-three (543) randomly selected New Hampshire adults were interviewed by landline and cellular telephone between October 6 and October 13, 2014. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/-4.2 percent.

Read the full press release, which includes results of questions on the topics of ISIS and immigration.

Alum Chris Burbank ’07 Semi-Finalist in International Trumpet Competition in Los Angeles

October 16, 2014


UNH alum Chris Burbank ’07 has earned a spot as a semi-finalist in the 2014 Thelonious Monk international trumpet competition in Los Angeles. Burbank earned a bachelor’s degree in music education and studied trumpet with UNH Professor Robert Stibler.

This year’s competition will feature 13 of the world’s most outstanding young jazz trumpeters who will perform before a panel of jazz greats including Ambrose Akinmusire, Randy Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Owens and Arturo Sandoval.

The semifinals of competition will be held on Saturday, November 8th at Schoenberg Hall on the UCLA campus from 12 to 5 p.m. Three finalists will be selected to participate in the finals on Sunday, November 9th at the Dolby Theatre. They will vie for scholarships and prizes totaling more than $100,000 including a $25,000 first place scholarship and a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group.

Immediately following the finals on Sunday, an All-Star Gala Concert will bring together some of the most renowned artists of our time. Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and Kevin Spacey will host the event. Special guests will include Pharrell Williams, John Mayer, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Wayne Shorter, Queen Latifah, Jimmy Heath, Don Cheadle, Chaka Khan, and many others. President Bill Clinton will receive the Maria Fisher Founder’s Award.

Chris Burbank, a native of Bedford, N.H., has played the trumpet since middle school. He has performed with jazz greats including Terence Blanchard, Maria Schneider, Clark Terry, Kenny Barron, Benny Golson, Mulgrew Miller, Paquito D’Rivera and Benny Green. Burbank has led clinics and other education programs in the United States, Japan, England and Spain on behalf of The Juilliard School, where he recently earned a master’s degree in jazz studies. He is currently completing his doctorate in jazz performance at the University of Miami under the direction of Brian Lynch.

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