UNH Political Expert Explores Many Faces of Republican Party in New Book

December 22, 2015

book cover

A new book co-authored by UNH political expert Dante Scala examines four factions of the Republican Party and how they can influence the presidential nomination process. It clearly defines the four different groups and helps readers better comprehend the election process, as well as how it can unfold in a predictable manner. The Four Faces of the Republican Party is available from major online retailers.

As a national expert on presidential primary politics, Scala regularly provides commentary for national and regional news media. His other areas of expertise include the New Hampshire primary, American campaigns and elections, state and local government, American political development and politics, in general. His current work includes a study of campaign finance in the era of super PACs.

Scala, and his co-author Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, set out to write a book that would be essential for anyone interested in understanding, reporting on, or influencing the Republican presidential election. They argue that there are more nuances to the GOP beyond the “establishment” versus the “outsiders.” More factors typically come into play than are usually highlighted in the media and so-called conventional wisdom. For example, the authors explore why a Conservative Party always nominates a candidate favored by the party’s establishment and why evangelical conservatives always emerge as one of the two final contenders for the nomination.

“It’s actually a much more complicated dance to become the nominee,” said Scala. “Because the nomination process is often misunderstood, we wanted to put together a detailed and comprehensive profile of Republican Primary voters, on a national and state by state basis, so the reader can follow along and be engaged throughout the election.”

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Unearthing World History at Oyster River Middle School

December 16, 2015
students participating in mock dig

UNH student Joe Thibeault leads a group of seventh graders at Oyster River Middle School through a mock dig.

Earlier this month, UNH anthropology students, led by lecturer Marieka Brouwer Burg, created a mock excavation for seventh graders at Oyster River Middle School as part of the school’s world civilizations unit. The outreach program was “a big hit,” says Brouwer Burg.

Ninety Oyster River students participated in six teams. Each team had an excavation box, excavating tools and worksheets with which to explore, analyze and record artifacts using proper methods and techniques. The teams had to figure out which world culture they had unearthed in their boxes, based on what they had already learned about the artifacts of various early civilizations in their classes.

The activity was meant to be hands-on fun. Along the way, students learned quite a bit about the study of archaeology as well as the process of archaeological field and lab work.

“Students also learned about some of the misconceptions of archaeology – namely that archaeologists study people not dinosaurs, that we excavate to answer research questions and that we never sell artifacts,” says Brouwer Burg.

UNH students Maddy Moison, Chaya Sophon, Ashley Blum and Joe Thibeault prepared the materials for the dig and led the Oyster River students through the process. They also gave a presentation about the field of anthropology.

More pics here.


Clearing the Ground

December 15, 2015

book cover

Associate Professor of English Martin McKinsey has published new translations with essay of works by the Greek-Egyptian poet C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933). “Clearing the Ground: C.P. Cavafy Poetry and Prose, 1902-1911” (Chapel Hill: Laertes, 2015) illuminates a crucial decade of Cavafy’s artistic development, marked at one end by a period of personal crisis and near creative stasis, at the other by the poetic force of the celebrated “Ithaca.” The years in between are held together by the “Unpublished Notes on Poetics and Ethics.” The full body of the notes is correlated in this volume with the poetry Cavafy was writing contemporaneously. The afterward by McKinsey examines Cavafy’s sexuality and accompanying pressures in historical context and suggests the part they may have played in his poetic breakthrough.

C. P. Cavafy is one of the most recognizable names in Modern Greek literature and a major figure in twentieth-century world poetry. His poems of the ancient Hellenized Middle East – of peoples “who were not of the Greek race, and who spoke the Greek language with Asiatic intonations and faulty syntax” – have permanently altered our conception of the world of antiquity, and have struck a chord in their seeming relevance to our own times. Concurrently, his “modern” poems depicting casual urban pickups and doomed erotic passion have been recognized as groundbreaking contributions to the development of contemporary gay consciousness.

Martin McKinsey’s teaching and research cover modern and contemporary British, Irish, world literature and translation theory. His most recent translations from Modern Greek are “Petrified Time: Poems from Makronisos by Yannis Ritsos” (with Scott King, 2014); and “Acropolis and Tram: Poems 1937-1977 by Nikos Engonopoulos” (2008). He is also the author of “Hellenism and the Postcolonial Imagination: Yeats, Cavafy, Walcott” (2010).

“Clearing the Ground” is available at major online retailers.


Nicaraguan Utopia

December 14, 2015

book cover

Assistant Professor of Spanish Daniel Chávez has published a book that looks at Nicaraguan politics and history through culture. “Nicaragua and the Politics of Utopia: Development and Culture in the Modern State” (Vanderbilt University Press, 2015) examines this impoverished nation’s cyclical attempts and failures at modern development. Chávez investigates the cultural and ideological bases of what he identifies as the three decisive movements of social reinvention in Nicaragua: the regimes of the Somoza family of much of the early to mid-twentieth century, the governments of the Sandinista party, and the present-day struggle to adapt to the global market economy. For each era, Chávez reveals the ways Nicaraguan popular culture adapted and interpreted the new political order, shaping, critiquing or amplifying the regime’s message of stability and prosperity for the people. These tactics of interpretation, otherwise known as meaning-making, became all-important for the Nicaraguan people, as they opposed the autocracy of Somocismo, or complemented the Sandinistas or struggled to find their place in the Neoliberal era. In every case, Chávez shows the reflective nature of cultural production and its pursuit of utopian idealism.

Chávez’s research interests include U.S. Latina/o and Latin American film and visual culture, U.S. Latina/o crime fiction, 20th and 21st century Latina/o and Latin American literature and cultural studies, and Central American and Mexican novels and poetry. Chávez teaches advanced Spanish language and critical analysis courses at UNH.


Swingin’ For The Holidays

December 11, 2015

cd cover

The Department of Music is proud to announce a brand new holiday jazz CD produced and created by UNH alumni, current teachers, past teachers, and current students, with help from executive producer and UNH music supporter, David King.

“Swingin’ For The Holidays” was recorded at UNH and features numerous musicians, all with ties to UNH, including Dave Pietro on lead alto saxophone, a former UNH student, head of the New York University jazz department, and member of the Maria Schneider Orchestra; Nate Jorgensen on second alto, the new director of jazz studies at UNH; and Jay Daly on lead trumpet, a UNH alumnus and a highly-regarded trumpet player throughout New England.

In addition to the instrumentalists, eight different vocalists are featured on the 14-track album, all of whom are either alumni, current professors, or have been visiting guest artists through the UNH Traditional Jazz Series.

The CD was produced and recorded by Ryan Parker ’96, and all arrangements are by Steve Guerra ’97, head of the University of Miami Henry Mancini Institute, and Chris Humphrey ’87.

The CD release party is tonight Friday, December 11, 2015 at the Press Room in Portsmouth, N.H. from 8-11 p.m.

More information can be found at www.jazzchristmascd.com or by contacting Ryan Parker at ryan@ryanparker.com.


Durocher Appointed to New England Museum Association Board

December 10, 2015

photo of Kristina Durocher

The New England Association of Museums (NEMA) announced the appointment of Kristina L. Durocher, Director of the UNH Museum of Art, to their Board of Directors. The mission of NEMA is to inspire and connect people engaged with the museum field, provide tools for innovative leadership and empower museums to sustain themselves as essential to their communities. NEMA members include museums of all disciplines and sizes, individual professionals, corporate members and leading Academic Institutions. NEMA offers professional development, advocacy, and networking; marketplace resources; and museum advocacy.

Durocher’s curatorial program embraces one-person and group thematic exhibitions that support student learning and faculty instruction and facilitate teaching through art as a primary source for academic and social engagement. Durocher is a strong advocate for giving back to the museum profession and arts community. In addition to her service on the NEMA board, she currently serves as the New England Regional Representative for the Association of Academic Museum and Galleries.


UNH Announces New Liberal Arts Dean

December 8, 2015

Dr. Heidi Bostic

Heidi Bostic will assume leadership of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire on June 27, 2016, following the retirement of Dean Kenneth Fuld, who has served in that role, with distinction, for many years. Bostic is currently the inaugural director of interdisciplinary programs for the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University and chair of its department of modern languages and cultures.

“Heidi is a very talented scholar and leader, and has great experience fostering relationships between the humanities and the STEM disciplines,” said P.T. Vasudevan, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Her no-nonsense approach and leadership experience will serve the college and the university well and help us to develop the strategic partnerships we need to expand career opportunities for students, and to enhance the college’s teaching and research portfolios. I am delighted that she has accepted our offer to be the next dean and will be working to advance the full mission of both the college and the university in serving the needs of the state.”

Bostic will begin her role this summer after more than six years at Baylor University where she is a professor of French. Prior to that she was at Michigan Technological University where she served as interim chair of the department of humanities, Concordia College in Minnesota and Minnesota State University. Earlier this year she was awarded the higher education administrator of the year award from the Texas Foreign Language Association, and was recently appointed to a three-year term on the Modern Language Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession.

As director of interdisciplinary programs at Baylor, Bostic chaired the organizing committee for the university’s first two symposiums on STEM and the humanities. She has worked collaboratively with colleagues to identify a vision statement and long-term goals for the role. As chair of the department of modern languages and cultures, she leads the largest academic department at Baylor with 80 faculty members serving 3,500 students a semester. Since 2009 she secured significant gifts for student study abroad scholarships, facilitated development of the department’s first-ever mission statement and strategic plan, led efforts to create a new major in Arabic and Middle East Studies, and grew the department by five faculty members.

“It will be an honor and a great privilege to serve as dean of the College of Liberal Arts,” said Bostic. “The college boasts outstanding faculty, staff, and students as well as innovative programs. The research enterprise is impressive, even more so combined with the excellence in teaching and community engagement that is a hallmark of liberal arts. I believe in the mission of UNH—that is, a public land-grant, sea-, and space-grant institution—and the absolutely central role of the liberal arts in fulfilling that mission. The college is especially well equipped to work across disciplines to address the grand challenges of today and tomorrow. Underlying all grand challenges are questions that are basic to liberal arts fields, namely: what does it mean to be human, and how can we live well together? Education, the fine and performing arts, humanities, and the social and behavioral sciences all have a significant role to play in answering these questions. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, and other stakeholders to foster continued excellence in the college.”

Vasudevan thanked the search committee, led by Peggy Vagts, professor of music, and Jon Wraith, dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, for its work to bring Bostic to campus.

The College of Liberal Arts is the largest of the five colleges on the Durham campus of the University of New Hampshire, serving 4,000 undergraduate students in 39 majors and 600 graduate students in six Ph.D. and 25 master’s programs. The college has 215 tenured and tenure track faculty and 125 full-time non-tenure track faculty across 15 departments and 20 interdisciplinary programs, in four divisions: humanities, social and behavioral sciences, education, and the fine and performing arts. The college also includes six research centers, which provide support for both individual scholars and multidisciplinary teams.


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