“A Second Life and a Second Identity”
Art professor’s wood sculptures featured in new Smithsonian Gardens exhibit
Arts and humanities research represents a range of disciplines and distinctive modes of knowledge and methods that result in articles and books, ideas, exhibitions, performances, artifacts, and more. This deliberate and dedicated work generates deep insights into the multi-faceted people and cultures of the world past and present.
Whether individual or collaborative, funded or unfunded, learn how our faculty are leading national networks and conferences, providing research frameworks, engaging students, traversing international archives and making significant contributions to UMD's research enterprise.
African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities, Communication, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities
Existing research has affirmed that Black people historically mastered oral communication strategies to resist subjugation and oppression by dominant groups, and have emerged as leaders in technological innovation. This article takes seriously Black users’ social media engagement and focuses particularly on Black joy online. We analyze a rich collection of discourse spanning both Twitter and Vine through which Black users utilize the affordances of both platforms to challenge dominant narratives that demean and dehumanize Black people. We argue that Black users seize upon the interplay of the applications to not only express and foster joy, but to extend historic legacies of Black oral culture and further cultivate contemporary strategies that leverage – but also transcend – the affordances of each platform.
American Studies, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities
Project Director: Mary Corbin Sies, Associate Professor of American Studies
Project Title: Change and Resilience in Lakeland: African Americans in College Park, Md., 1950–1980
Project Description: A daylong digitization event, by-appointment collecting visits to neighbors’ homes, and a public interpretation event to document and explore the history of Lakeland, an African-American community in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Spanish and Portuguese
Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia, professor Spanish and Portuguese in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, received a grant from the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) to host an symposium at the University of Maryland in Spring 2019 on Spanish Caribbean literature and culture.
This proposal describes the design and organization of an experimental symposium focused on the critical reconsideration of periods, situations and texts that have been polemics in the modern and contemporaneous Spanish Caribbean. It is, in addition, an intriguing proposal for its promise to combine esthetics and policy, literary critique and analysis of the current political, economic and environmental uncertainties that confront the societies of the Caribbean.
In Latin America, the Caribbean occupies a secondary or inferior position, and is often overlooked. This project makes a significant effort to increase the academic visibility of this region, therefore it obtained a high score in the evaluation of the potential of its impact criteria.
The organizers and participants in the symposium, who come from different countries in the Hispanic Caribbean and other countries, show an excellent transnational and hemispheric commitment that includes the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America, and seek to be involved in the proposed discussion and to supply texts to established and emerging academics, from a great variety of institutions. In summary, it is an original project, it is very well developed and is clear in its proposals, objectives and use of the budget.
The project selection committee in this cycle was presided over by Mara Viveros-Vigoya, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Vice President of LASA and President-elect, and included the participation of María Victoria Murillo de Columbia University; Emiliana Cruz, from Ciesas, México DF, Vivian Andrea Martínez-Díaz, Universidad de los Andes and Jaime A. Alves of CSI/CUNY and Universidad ICESI/Colombia, former winner of the FORD-LASA grant in 2015.
By Carly S. Woods, assistant professor of communication
Spanning a historical period that begins with women’s exclusion from university debates and continues through their participation in coeducational intercollegiate competitions, "Debating Women" highlights the crucial role that debating organizations played as women sought to access the fruits of higher education in the United States and United Kingdom. Despite various obstacles, women transformed forests, parlors, dining rooms, ocean liners, classrooms, auditoriums, and prisons into vibrant spaces for ritual argument. There, they not only learned to speak eloquently and argue persuasively but also used debate to establish a legacy, explore difference, engage in intercultural encounter, and articulate themselves as citizens. These debaters engaged with the issues of the day, often performing, questioning, and occasionally refining norms of gender, race, class, and nation. In tracing their involvement in an activity at the heart of civic culture, Woods demonstrates that debating women have much to teach us about the ongoing potential for debate to move arguments, ideas, and people to new spaces.
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Spanish and Portuguese
Laura Demaría, professor of Spanish, has published her first novel.
“A diferencia de Utopía, la isla prodigiosa que se desea y es un sueño, St. Louis y todos los lugares de este blues siempre han estado presentes sencilla y abrumadoramente. Aquí no se inventa nada, ni se desea lo inencontrable. "St. Louis Blues" afirma la inmanencia de la vida, describiendo, con palabras discretas y casi dolorosas, esos secretos con que esta va construyendo su evidencia: nuestros encuentros, nuestras pasiones, nuestras soledades, todo aparente, pero inasible; todo resonante pero incomprensible. Esta inmanencia nos rodea y también nos invade; pero ¿qué sentido tiene? Laura Demaría nos ofrece una narración de permanente suspenso: no duda que lo existente tenga sentido; pero ¿dónde está?, ¿qué cara tiene?, ¿es el lugar donde estoy y el ostro que veo en el espejo?, ¿o son también los lugares de los otros y sus pasiones? ¿Hay una respuesta? Con una sabiduría gozosa, esta narración recorre estas supremas preguntas.” - Jorge Aguilar Mora, professor emeritus of Spanish.
Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity, Women's Studies
"Toxic Ivory Towers," seeks to document the professional work experiences of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty in U.S. higher education, and simultaneously address the social and economic inequalities in their life course trajectory. Ruth Enid Zambrana finds that despite the changing demographics of the nation, the percentages of Black and Hispanic faculty have increased only slightly, while the percentages obtaining tenure and earning promotion to full professor have remained relatively stagnant. Toxic Ivory Towers is the first book to take a look at the institutional factors impacting the ability of URM faculty to be successful at their jobs, and to flourish in academia. The book captures not only how various dimensions of identity inequality are expressed in the academy and how these social statuses influence the health and well-being of URM faculty, but also how institutional policies and practices can be used to transform the culture of an institution to increase rates of retention and promotion so URM faculty can thrive.