Author Archives: Donna Malak

Now Accepting Applications for Glasscock Endowed Directorship

Position Announcement

Glasscock Endowed Directorship, Glasscock Center for Humanities Research
College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University 

The College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University invites applications for the newly endowed position of Director of the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, with a concurrent appointment as a tenured full professor in an academic unit within the college. The distinguished scholar and experienced administrator selected as first holder of the endowed Glasscock Directorship will enhance the national and international prominence of this successful and generously funded research center. The ideal candidate should hold a PhD or terminal degree in a humanities or relevant discipline; possess scholarly eminence; exhibit an energetic commitment to the humanities, strong communication skills, and a creative vision for the center; as well as the ability to engage faculty, students, and the public to realize that vision. The director oversees budgets and staff and should have experience managing various research activities, such as fellowships, conferences, lecture series, exhibits, and public outreach. The director typically teaches one course per year and is expected to maintain an active research agenda.

Growing from the Interdisciplinary Group for Historical Literary Studies founded in 1987, the Center for Humanities Research was approved by the Board of Regents of Texas A&M University in 1999 and received a named endowment in 2002.  The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research (http://glasscock.tamu.edu/) offers seminar grants, course development grants, funding for interdisciplinary working groups, publication support, travel grants, and various awards for research in the humanities. In addition, for nearly twenty years, the Glasscock Center has hosted lecture series, symposia, and conferences across a wide range of topics.

The College of Liberal Arts (http://liberalarts.tamu.edu/) is home to over 7,000 undergraduate and graduate student majors and approximately 450 faculty members across twelve departments. Texas A&M is a research-intensive, flagship, AAU university with more than 59,000 students, including 10,000 graduate students, making it the sixth largest university in the United States. The student body includes 26% African American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaskan Native students, as well as approximately 5,000 international students from 130 countries. Texas A&M ranks among the top universities nationally in total research expenditures per year.

Qualified applicants should submit as attachments a letter of application that outlines their vision for the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for five references to Glasscocksearch@tamu.edu. In order to preserve confidentiality, references will not be contacted without permission of the applicant. Application review will begin on December 15, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. Our goal is to make an appointment no later than September 1, 2017, though this may be negotiable. Inquiries are welcome in advance of a formal application. Questions regarding the position or application process can be directed to Larry J. Reynolds, Search Committee Chair, at Glasscocksearch@tamu.edu.

Texas A&M University is an AA/EOE employer and committed to building a culturally diverse educational environment. Applications from women, minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged and will be actively sought. The University is aware that attracting and retaining exceptional faculty often depends on meeting the needs of two careers and therefore implements policies that contribute to work-life balance.

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TAMU Faculty present at the Council on Undergraduate Research Biennial Conference

Dr. Sarah M. Misemer (Glasscock Center for Humanities Research), Dr. Valerie Balester (University Writing Center), and Dr. Duncan MacKenzie (LAUNCH) lead a panel presentation at the recent Council on Undergraduate Research Biennial Conference in Tampa, Florida. They discussed “Collaborative Undergraduate Humanities Research through Summer Seminars and Writing Communities.”

Presentation Abstract:
“In contrast to STEM disciplines at large research universities, undergraduate research in the humanities faces unique challenges: limited space and financial support, emphasis on individual scholarship, and restricted faculty availability in the summer. At Texas A&M only 6% of graduating senior humanities majors indicate that they have participated in faculty-mentored independent research compared to 15-25% of graduates in STEM colleges. In an effort to foster broader participation and greater visibility for undergraduate research in the humanities we have developed an innovative research program modeled on National Endowment for the Humanities seminars. Following two-week, intensive seminars around a common theme led by faculty in early summer, groups of 2-5 students develop independent research proposals. Students then transition into our established undergraduate research thesis program (traditionally dominated by STEM disciplines) and complete a formal research thesis and public presentation during the academic year. To support these collaborative groups of students addressing related research topics, we established a partnership among three campus programs: The Glasscock Center for the Humanities contributed space to build research communities, access to research-active faculty, and endowment support; the Undergraduate Research office provided structure for students to complete the formal research thesis; and the University Writing Center conducted summer writing studios to help students clarify their research questions and develop formal oral and written research proposals. In this presentation we will discuss pedagogical, cultural, legal, funding, and logistical challenges that were resolved during development of this program. By increasing the number of humanities theses completed, the Glasscock Summer Scholars program has successfully increased the visibility of humanities research on campus, positively impacted career plans of students as well as scholarly productivity of faculty, and provided a model for integrating diverse campus resources to promote undergraduate humanities research.”

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Dr. Sarah M. Misemer Selected for 2016 Unterberger Award

Dr. Sarah M. Misemer has been selected by LAUNCH (Honors and Undergraduate Research) at Texas A&M University to receive the 2016 Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education.

In 2004, the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education was created and presented to Dr. Unterberger in recognition of her many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of high-impact education at Texas A&M.

LAUNCH: Honors extends a warm thank-you to Dr. Misemer for her contributions to Undergraduate Research and her support of students in the humanities! Dr. Misemer was recognized by Dr. Sumana Datta, executive director of LAUNCH, at the LAUNCH Recognition Ceremony in the MSC on Thursday, May 12th. Says Dr. Datta, “Dr. Misemer’s contributions to and support of Undergraduate Research as an administrator and her initiative in promoting and developing the Glasscock Undergraduate Summer Scholars program are changing the perceptions of how Humanities students can successfully experience these life-changing activities. Her care for our student’s well-being and their education is obvious and much appreciated.”

To see a list of previous recipients, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.

misemer2013_smDr. Sarah M. Misemer is an associate professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies and the 2016 recipient of the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education, which celebrates a faculty member’s commitment to Undergraduate Research. In 2004, the Unterberger Award was created and presented to Dr. Unterberger in recognition of her many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of honors education at Texas A&M.

Dr. Misemer has impacted research in the humanities at Texas A&M by establishing the Glasscock Undergraduate Summer Scholars program. Through this program, a tenured faculty member leads a two-week seminar on a specific topic, and students in the seminar develop a research question to study under the faculty member’s mentorship during the following eight weeks. In this second half of the program, students engage in peer writing activities at the Glasscock Center and in writing studios custom-designed for the program by the University Writing Center. The final outcome is students’ public presentations of their written proposals for future research through the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. The faculty mentor meets with students every two weeks throughout the summer to guide the development of the project and then serves as the research advisor for students’ participation in the Undergraduate Research Scholars program the following year.

In addition to serving as the associate director of the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Dr. Misemer is the author of Secular Saints: Performing Frida Kahlo, Carlos Gardel, Eva Perón, and Selena (Tamesis, 2008) and Moving Forward, Looking Back: Trains, Literature, and the Arts in the River Plate (Bucknell UP, 2010). Her publications on contemporary River Plate, Mexican, Spanish, and Latino theater have appeared in the journals Latin American Theatre Review, Gestos, Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Languages, and Hispanic Poetry Review, among many others. Additionally, Dr. Misemer’s work with the Latin American Theatre Review includes serving as the editor of its book series and on the editorial board of its journal. She is the past president and vice president of the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica. Dr. Misemer holds a PhD in Spanish from the University of Kansas and has been a professor at Texas A&M since 2004.

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Fallon-Marshall Lecture set for March 28

By Heather Rodriguez, College of Liberal Arts
http://liberalarts.tamu.edu/blog/2016/03/02/fallon-marshall-lecture/

“I am going on a journey now.”

That’s the last thing celebrated Jewish novelist Irène Némirovsky said to her two daughters in 1942, as she was led away by police. Not long after, she was sent to Auschwitz, followed months later by her husband Michel Epstein. They both perished.

Yet Némirovsky’s legacy lives on, through her family, her literary work, and scholars such as Susan Suleiman, who will be discussing Némirovsky at the College of Liberal Arts’ Fallon-Marshall Lecture on March 28 in Rudder Theatre at 3:30 p.m. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS).

“Choices and Choicelessness in Wartime France: Irène Némirovsky’s Final Journey” will cover the decisions that Némirovsky and her family faced during World War II under Nazi-occupied France.

“Like those of other Jews in France at the time, their choices—and eventually their choicelessness—can only be understood in the larger historical context,” Suleiman said.

Némirovsky was born in 1903 in Kiev, in what was then the Russian Empire. She and her family fled at the start of the Russian revolution, first to Finland and then settling in Paris. She later attended the Sorbonne, and began her writing career at the age of 18. She and Epstein married in 1926, and had their daughters Denise (1929) and Élisabeth (1937). Two years later, Némirovsky and Epstein converted to Roman Catholicism.

As the Nazis advanced on Paris, Némirovsky and Epstein moved their family to Issy-L’Evêque, a small village in Burgundy. They thought they were safe.

Yet despite spending over half her life in France as a successful writer, she and her husband never received French citizenship despite several attempts; and due to anti-Semitic laws under the Vichy regime, she was arrested as a “stateless person of Jewish descent,” and sent to her death.

“In Europe, Jews have always been the ultimate outsiders, having been expelled from many countries over the centuries. Anti-Semitic myths have portrayed them on one had as wretched and subhuman, and on the other hand, as powerful enough to take over the world–a contradiction that never bothered anti-Semites,” Suleiman said.

Némirovsky’s daughters, Denise and Élisabeth, only survived due to the courageous woman who had worked for the family and who kept the girls hidden after their parents were deported.

“After the war, she and her works were largely forgotten,” Suleiman said. “Decades later, her older daughter decided to publish an old unfinished manuscript she’d found in a suitcase.”

The manuscript Denise found, which she’d originally thought was her mother’s diary, contained two out of an intended five novellas that portrayed life in German-occupied France from 1940-1941. In 2004, the novellas became Suite Française, an international bestseller that led to a resurrection of Némirovsky’s career.

“Her previous works were re-issued, and she became quite well-known again. She was re-discovered; for some, she was discovered for the first time,” Suleiman said.

Élisabeth had already published a book about her mother in 1992, written in her mother’s voice. A few years later, shortly before she died of lung cancer, she wrote a moving autobiographical novel about a girl whose parents are deported.

“Her daughters were instrumental in bringing their mother back to life,” Suleiman said. “The books they published were a kind of gift to their mother, and in a way, their mother gave them the gift of changing their lives.”

Suleiman, the C. Douglas Dillon Research Professor of the Civilization of France and Research Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard and a TIAS Faculty Fellow, is considered one of the leading scholars of 20th century French literature and Holocaust studies.

She was born in Budapest in 1939, and has vague memories of 1944, when the Nazis occupied Hungary and began rounding up Jews for deportation. She and her parents survived thanks to false papers, and left Hungary in 1949. They arrived in New York a year later, and she didn’t return to Budapest until 1984–a journey with her children that triggered those memories and influenced the body of her scholarly work, which began to focus more on memory and on Jewish identity.

“I discovered this family’s story while writing my book called Crises of Memory in the Second World War, in which I mentioned Élisabeth’s novel. I became fascinated,” Suleiman said.

Her latest book, The Némirovsky Question, will be published this fall by Yale University Press.

On March 29, the day after the lecture, Suleiman will be joined by author Oliver Philipponnat and Department of International Studies professor Nathan Bracher for a roundtable discussion of Irene Némirovsky’s life and writings at 4 p.m. in room 311 of the Glasscock Building. The reception will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Cushing-Glasscock Graduate Award Call for Submissions 2016

The Cushing Memorial Library and Archives and The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research invite applications for the 2016 Cushing-Glasscock Graduate Award. This graduate research award, open to Texas A&M University graduate students in good standing, supports projects in the humanities that are based on collections housed at the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives. One or two awards of up to $2,000 each will be made.

Applications will be evaluated by a faculty committee and judged in part on their effective use of materials housed at Cushing. Recipients are expected to spend at least one month in residence at Cushing Library between 1 June and 31 August 2016, and they must deliver a short presentation on their projects during the fall semester of 2016. A written copy of the project must be deposited in the Glasscock Center Library.

Applications should be no longer than three single spaced pages, and they must contain the following information:

  • Applicant’s name, address, phone number and email address
  • Applicant’s major degree and department
  • Names of applicant’s department chair and committee chair
  • Applicant’s expected graduation date
  • Proposed project title
  • A statement describing the nature of the applicant’s research, its relationship to the humanities, and the materials at Cushing that will support the research
  • A tentative bibliography of Cushing materials

Submit applications via email to David Z. Choust in the form of an attached MS Word file or PDF (preferred) or to:

Cushing-Glasscock Humanities Research Award
c/o David Z. Chroust
Cushing Memorial Library & Archives
Texas A&M University
TAMU 5000
College Station, TX 77843-5000

Questions about papers and research can be directed to David Z. Choust.

Please note that a No-Repeat Rule applies:

  1. No one may receive more than one award in any three-year period.
  2. If a graduate student who has won the Cushing-Glasscock Award submits another proposal after the three-year period has passed, the new project must be significantly different from the previous one.

More information →

Natalia Molina Receives the Seventeenth Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship

molina_howraceismadeThe Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University has awarded the Seventeenth Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship to Natalia Molina, Professor of History and Urban Studies at the University of California, San Diego, for her book How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts, published by the University of California Press in 2014.

Professor Molina’s work lies within the intersections of race, gender, culture, and citizenship. Molina received the Noris and Carol Hundley book prize of the PCB-American Historical Association for her first book, Fit to be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939. Professor Molina earned her PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Equity at UC San Diego. She is a member on the board of Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Molina recently concluded a five-year term on the American Quarterly, the flagship journal in American Studies, editorial board.

In her second Glasscock prize-winning book, How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts, Molina examines Mexican immigration—from 1924, when immigration acts drastically reduced immigration to the U.S. until 1965, when many quotas were abolished—to understand how broad themes of race and citizenship are constructed. During these years Molina concludes that an immigration regime emerged to define racial categories that influence perceptions of Mexican Americans, race, and ethnicity in the United States.

How Race is Made in America is a groundbreaking study of a century of immigration policy that illuminates the ways in which citizenship is constructed and labor is controlled so as to create and maintain racial hierarchy. One reader stated that How Race is Made in America offers a compelling and cogent historical account of the racialization of Mexicans and Mexican Americas in the context of multiple processes of “racing” minority groups in the United States.

Professor Molina will receive the award and present a lecture on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, at 4 p.m. in the Glasscock Center Library, Room 311 of the Glasscock Building on the campus of Texas A&M University.

The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship was endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock, Texas A&M University Class of ’59, in honor of his wife.  Together, among many other generous gifts to Texas A&M University, they provided a naming endowment for the Center
in 2002.

For more information about the Glasscock Book Prize, please visit http://glasscock.tamu.edu/programs/bookprize.

Student Research Week Glasscock Award Winner to Present Research on 3 April 2015

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Dr. Sarah M. Misemer and Crystal Dozier

Crystal Dozier, PhD student in the Department of Anthropology and a winner of the Glasscock Award at Student Research Week 2015, will be presenting her research in an oral presentation on Friday, 3 April 2015 from 10:45-11:05 a.m. in 237 Anthropology Building. The Glasscock Award is meant to acknowledge exceptional interdisciplinary projects in the humanities. Awards for both oral and poster presentations are provided to undergraduate and graduate students.

ABSTRACT:
Concepts of race and ethnicity are undeniably some of the most important ideas confronted in anthropology. The American Anthropological Association, among many institutions, has publicly denounced race as a biological fact, yet this concept remains normative for large parts of the United States. Proper instruction in the concept of race as a historical and cultural construct can help combat implicit and explicit discrimination. This research project aims to assist collegiate instructors in choosing teaching methods that result in high retention of anthropological understandings of race. Presented here are the patterns in six sections of an introductory anthropology course, ANTH205: Peoples and Cultures of the World. Student learning was assessed through pre- and post-instruction questionnaires; students were asked basic questions about the nature of race as well as how they related to race in their own lives. Each course was taught by a different graduate instructor, who also reported their teaching methods. We compare the learning outcomes for the different class sections in order to understand what instructional methodologies, class formats, and demographics impact student learning. Analysis of over 200 student responses shows perceptions of race after instruction moved towards more anthropological conceptions in small, but significant, ways. Although our results are preliminary, classes that employed video within their lecture strategy, as well as classes that used a weekly reading quiz, had significantly more student change than those sections that did not. These results are consistent with current educational theory about student engagement and a reminder of the importance of reflective teaching practices.

Dialogues in Philosophy and Religion Annual Lecture by Helen De Cruz

Dialogues in Philosophy and Religion Annual Lecture by Helen De Cruz featuring Helen De Cruz, Department of Philosophy, VU University Amsterdam, with commentary by Charity Anderson, Baylor University.

DeCruz_02-27-15Under what circumstances does religious experience provide support for religious belief? Philosophers of religion have commonly taken ordinary perception as a relevant model for the epistemology of religious experiences, in particular mystical perception. For instance, Alston uses the term “doxastic practices” for forms of mystical perception analogous to ordinary sense perception. However, recent cognitive psychological and anthropological research shows that many instances of religious experience are more akin to skilled perception (as displayed by scientists and art connoisseurs) than they are to ordinary perception. In order to gauge the epistemology of religious experience, a closer examination of such skilled practices is in order. I discuss two cases—the practices of Evangelical Christians and of Latina Catholics—and examine how their religious practices are conducive to religious experiences. I argue that these practices exhibit some features characteristic of epistemically virtuous skills; however, the fact that religious skilled perception can support a very wide variety of religious experiences presents a challenge.

Co-sponsored by the Religious Studies Program and the Department of Philosophy.

Event flyer →

Raúl Coronado Receives the Sixteenth Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University has awarded the Sixteenth Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship to Raúl Coronado, Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at University of California, Berkeley, for his book A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture, published by the Harvard University Press in 2013.

Professor Coronado writes about and teaches Latina/o literary and intellectual history from the colonial period to the 1940s. He sees this period as forcing a disintegration in the Americas in which the seemingly impermeable barrier between U.S. and Latin American literary and intellectual history begins a reimagination into U.S. Latina/o studies. This is done through a transnational hemispheric framework, readings of political theories, diaries, and a wide variety of print cultures that circulate in Mexico and Texas throughout mostly the nineteenth century.

Coronado’s interdisciplinary framework draws from sociologist Jürgen Habermas’ conception of the public sphere to show how a Spanish-American public sphere emerges.  The author also incorporates the philosophical traditions of Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger to show how the Latino writers in Coronado’s study provided a new source of metaphysical certainty in this region. Drawing from these intellectual traditions, Coronado provides a well-documented argument of how diverse groups and historical circumstances (e.g., politics and expanding markets) contributed to the conception of modernity in this region. One of the most intriguing aspects of this book is Coronado’s skillful use of archival data to show that the ideas historical figures write about rarely produce what they intend. Instead, their primary contributions are to the larger historical narrative that is greater than their individual contributions. A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture changes how we view both the project of modernity and the contributions Latino cultures made to that project.

Professor Coronado will receive the award and present a lecture on Wednesday, 28 January 2015, at 4 p.m. in the Glasscock Center Library, Room 311 of the Glasscock Building on the campus of Texas A&M University.

The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship was endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock, Texas A&M University Class of ’59, in honor of his wife.  Together, among many other generous gifts to Texas A&M University, they provided a naming endowment for the Center
in 2002.

For more information about the Glasscock Book Prize, previous recipients, and other events and opportunities offered through the Glasscock Center, see http://glasscock.tamu.edu.

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