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A monthly update of publications, recognitions and accomplishments
Recent News and Awards
History of Utah Pride
Elizabeth Clement, associate professor of history and gender studies, and J Seth Anderson, historian of sexuality in the American West and U grad, spoke to Doug Fabrizio on KUER’s RadioWest about the history of the LGBTQ+ experience in Utah.
Professorship in Buddhist Studies
The University of Utah has been awarded the 2023 Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation New Professorship in Buddhist Studies. The grant program, administered by the American Council of Learned Societies, ACLS, provides four years of seed funding to institutions of higher education to support new teaching positions in Buddhist studies.
Who Was in and Who was Out? A Conversation with U Professor Susie Porter
While doing research for her 2003 publication, “Working Women in Mexico City,” Susie Porter, professor of history and gender studies and director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Utah, had to decide who was in and who was out. Who is working class and who is not? How does this matter? Were seamstresses and secretaries included in conversations of the working class and factory workers?
College of Humanities Student Awards 2023
Madeika Vercella - Student Convocation Speaker; Kailee Ferret - Outstanding Senior; Samuel Judd - Excellence in Humanities; Ellle Moulton - Excellence in Humanities
Congratulations Class of 2023!
In my first year as dean, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you and I’m continually impressed with your energy, work ethic, amazing achievements, and your ability to juggle both your personal and academic responsibilities. Humanities students work tirelessly and have high aspirations.
2023 Distinguished Alumni Awarded to Danny Chi
Danny Chi, senior director of communications and west coast publicity for ESPN, has been selected for the University of Utah’s College of Humanities Distinguished Alumni Award. Chi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations from the U.
Students Showcase their Research in First Humanities Poster Session
The College of Humanities at the University of Utah hosted its first Humanities Student Research Poster Session on April 25, 2023, showcasing the work of 26 students from various disciplines. Students from Salt Lake Community College also presented at the event.
Paisley Rekdal to Lead the American West Center
The College of Humanities at the University of Utah has named Paisley Rekdal, Distinguished Professor of English, as the next director of the American West Center. Rekdal will begin her appointment on July 1, 2023, when Gregory Smoak, associate professor of history, concludes his 11-year tenure as director. The college is forever grateful for Smoak’s many years of leadership and service and is looking forward to a new chapter with Rekdal.
Danielle Endres to Lead Environmental Humanities Program
The College of Humanities at the University of Utah has named Danielle Endres, professor of communication, as the next director of the Environmental Humanities Program. Endres will begin her appointment on July 1, 2023 when Professor Jeffrey McCarthy concludes his nine-year tenure as director. The college is immensely grateful for McCarthy’s many years of service and is looking forward to working with Endres in her new role.
Alf Seegert Receives Distinguished Teaching Award
Alf Seegert, associate professor of English, has been awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Office of Academic Affairs. The University Distinguished Teaching Award honors significant contributions to the teaching mission of the University of Utah. To be eligible, faculty must have completed eight or more years of teaching service at the University of Utah.
Talia Dajes Receives Early Career Teaching Award
Talía Dajes, assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, has been awarded the University of Utah’s Early Career Teaching Award, which is given to outstanding young faculty members who have made significant contributions to teaching at the U.
Two Humanities Faculty Receive Designation of Distinguished Professor
Two faculty members in the College of Humanities have been appointed with the University of Utah’s prestigious designation of Distinguished Professor. MaryAnn Christison, professor of linguistics, and Kent A. Ono, professor of communication, were recommended by the Distinguished Professor Advisory Committee and approved by the U’s board of trustees, Mitzi Montoya, senior vice president for academic affairs, and President Taylor Randall. Ono and Christison will be recognized for this honor at the college’s convocation, Friday, May 5.
What in Tarnation! Fossilization and Migration at the Great Salt Lake
Tanner Humanities Center hosts author Gretchen Henderson Tuesday, April 18, at 2 p.m. The naturally occurring phenomena of tar seeps are becoming more exposed at the Great Salt Lake as the climate rises. Causing insects, rodents, coyotes and birds, such as the American White Pelican, to become stuck and entrapped in the sticky tar.
Craft Guild: The Multigenerational Legacy of the American West Center
Since its founding in 1964, the American West Center has seen its share of accomplishments and successes, but in the words of the former associate dean of the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library for Special Collections Greg Thompson, “no assessment of the American West Center’s legacy would be complete without recognition of the training it provided for hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students as public historians . . . .”
Unfinalizable: Faculty Feature with Lance Olsen
Lance Olsen is a professor of English, the author of more than 30 works of and about innovative fiction, and a uniquely difficult person to write a profile about. In fact, his new novel, “Always Crashing in the Same Car: A Novel After David Bowie,” might be described as an anti-profile.
The Intricacies of Communication: Faculty feature with Kevin Coe
Kevin Coe, professor of communication at the University of Utah, explores how messages matter. After growing up in Tacoma, WA, Coe moved to Illinois to complete his doctorate and then taught at the University of Arizona for five years. After spending time in the desert, he was searching for water, trees and mountains — so, in 2013, he moved to Salt Lake.
Exceeding the Traditional Bounds of Literary Analysis: Faculty feature with Crystal Rudds
In the summer of 2009, Crystal Rudds took an internship with the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights. She was stationed in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green Rowhouses, a public housing project that was facing demolition. That summer, she stood alongside tenants to protest the demolition of the development. It was an experience that would shape the rest of her academic career.
The Role of Gender in Indigenous Peoples Experience with Climate Change
The Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah is proud to announce that Whyte, associate professor of philosophy at Michigan State University and an expert in environmental philosophy and indigenous knowledge systems, will be speaking at the UMFA Dumke Auditorium, April 4, 2023, 7 p.m. Whyte will discuss some of his research on Climate Change through an Intersectional Lens and the role of gender in indigenous peoples climate change experience.
Blending German Studies and Environmental Studies: Faculty feature with Katharina Gerstenberger
As editor of the prestigious German Studies Review, Katharina Gerstenberger, professor of German at the University of Utah, uses the opportunity to foster an international community within the German Studies discipline.
Bridging Science and Humanities: Faculty Feature with Stephen Downes
Science and the humanities seem to be the oil and water of academia. In a black-and-white world, these two fields are opposites, two fields of study with not just a picket fence dividing them but a concrete wall. A man crossing this divide and blurring these lines is Stephen Downes, professor of philosophy and adjunct professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah.
- Joy Pierce, associate professor of writing and rhetoric studies, published a chapter Studies in Symbolic Interaction. The special issue: “Festschrift in Honor of Norman K. Denzin: He Knew His Song Well” includes world-renowned qualitative research scholars. Pierce’s chapter is titled “Fishing with the GOAT: Honoring Norman K. Denzin.”
- Brandon R. Peterson, associate professor (lecturer) of philosophy, published an article, “Rahner and the Cross: What Kind of Atoning Story Does He Tell?” in the latest issue of Philosophy & Theology.
- Maile Arvin, associate professor of history, created a podcast, Relations of Salt and Stars. Our ancestors traveled through salt and stars, and so do contemporary Pacific Islander communities today. Relations of Salt and Stars is a new podcast produced by the Pacific Islands Studies program at the University of Utah, and hosted by faculty members Arvin (Native Hawaiian) and Angela Robinson (Chuukese).
- Kevin Coe’s (professor of communication) book, “The Ubiquitous Presidency: Presidential Communication and Digital Democracy in Tumultuous Times” (coauthored with Joshua Scacco, University of South Florida) received the 2022 Roderick P. Hart Outstanding Book Award from the Political Communication Division of the National Communication Association.
- Jeff McCarthy, director of Environmental Humanities, organized a climate change roundtable at the Modernist Studies Association Conference titled "Modernist Salvage / Salvaging Modernism."
- Hollis Robbins, dean of the College of Humanities, published “Examining Phillis Wheatley” in the LA Review of Books.
- Joy Pierce, associate professor of writing and rhetoric studies, was nominated, then chosen to participate as part of the inaugural cohort in the Leadership Institute for a New Academy 2023 (LINA), a new ACLS initiative made possible by the Mellon Foundation. The 2023 spring semester-long initiative will conclude with a four-day meeting in New York this July.
- Joy Pierce, associate professor of writing and rhetoric studies, has been invited to conduct a half-day workshop (solo) on digital qualitative research with an emphasis on data collection and ethics for the International Qualitative Research Network at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus. The workshop will take place in June 2023.
- Eric Herschthal, assistant professor of history, published a review-essay in The New Republic titled, “How the Right Turned 'Freedom' Into a Dog Whistle.”
- Nadja Durbach, professor of history at the University of Utah, along with Tammy M. Proctor of Utah State University will serve as co-editors of the Journal of British Studies. Their five-year term will begin July 1, 2023.
- Alexis M. Christensen, associate professor/lecturer of Classics in world languages & cultures, is starting a new archaeological field school – the Libarna Urban Landscapes Project (LULP) – in conjunction with Professor Katherine V. Huntley of Boise State University. The field school is an opportunity for students to get hands-on archaeological experience at the site of a Roman colony. Libarna (2nd century BCE - 5th century CE) was an important settlement in northwest Italy where Gallic, Etruscan and Roman cultures came into contact. In the summer of 2023, LULP will begin excavations exploring part of the city occupied by private houses and workshops.
Danielle Endres, professor of communication, quoted in Newsweek, “Putin’s Poseidon and the Radioactive Tidal Wave of Death.”
Avery Holton, professor of communication, interviews on Fox 13, “Do You Know Who’s Writing your News?”
Isabelle Freiling, assistant professor of communication, gave an invited talk, “Communicating science in a social media world: The risk of (not) intervening against “misinformation,” German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.
Chrisoula Andreou, professor of philosophy, published “Choosing Well: The good, the bad, and the trivial” with Oxford University Press.
Jeff McCarthy, director of Environmental Humanities, published an Op-Ed in the Salt Lake Tribune titled “The Climate Crisis and the Threat to Democracy.”
James Tabery, professor of philosophy, published “Victims of Eugenic Sterlisation in Utah: cohort demographics and estimate of living survivors,” in The Lancet Regional Health Americas, Feb. 15, 2023
Cindi Textor, assistant professor of world languages and cultures, with co-translator Lee Soo Mi, published a volume of four novellas by Korean-Japanese author Lee Yangji. “Nabi T'aryŏng and Other Stories” is available from Seoul Selection as part of a series of English translations of Korean literature in diaspora.
Joy Peirce, associate professor of writing and rhetoric studies, received the James McCune Award of Veneration at the U’s 2023 Black Faculty and Staff Awards.
Rachel Griffin, associate professor of communication, received the Malcolm X Award of Social Justice at the U’s 2023 Black Faculty and Staff Awards
- David Roh, professor of English, was awarded an Honorable Mention in Litarary Studies by the Association for Asian American Studies for Minor Transpacific: Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions (Stanford)
Blair Bateman, adjunct professor of world languages and cultures, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Foreign Language Association "in recognition of a lifetime of service to our profession, our students, and our multilingual world."
Jackie Osherow, distinguished professor of English, published her ninth collection of poems, “Divine Ratios,” was published by LSU Press, Feb 15, 2023
Chris Low, assistant professor of history, had the Turkish translation of his book, “Imperial Mecca: Ottoman Arabia and the Indian Ocean Hajj” (Columbia University Press, 2020), published by Telemak Kitap (Istanbul) in February 2023. It was the winner of the Middle East Studies Association's Albert Hourani Book Award.
Chris Low, assistant professor of history, delivered the Paul A. and Marie Castelfranco Lecture for the Department of Religious Studies at University of California-Davis. The talk title was: "Imperial Mecca: Ottoman Arabia and the Indian Ocean Hajj."
Jeff McCarthy, director of Environmental Humanities, presented a paper at the Conference on Environmental, Cultural, and Social Sustainability at the University of Ljubljana titled “The Climate, the Possibility, and the Environmental Humanities.”
Isabelle Freiling, published “Science and Ethics of “Curing” Misinformation,” in the AMA Journal of Ethics, March 2023
Hugh Cagle, director of the International Studies program and associate professor of the history of science, won a fellowship at the National Humanities Center where, during the summer of 2023, he will be conducting research for his next book, an environmental history of the Brazilian Amazon.
Jeff McCarthy, director of Environmental Humanities, edited the essay collection “The Anthropocene Ocean” along with USC law professor Robin Craig, and it will be published in March by the University of Utah Press.
Joy Pierce, associate professor of writing and rhetoric studies, was invited to give a workshop at The Qualitatives Annual [pre]Conference in conjunction with Couch-Stone Symposium in British Columbia, Canada.