New Public Humanities Minor

We are excited to announce the NEW public humanities minor in the Department of American Studies‘ Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture. Over the past three years a working group co-chaired by Nicole King (chair AMST) and Jessica Berman (Director, Dresher Center, ENGL) with representatives from over a dozen programs and departments across the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) at UMBC has been working to develop the minor. In fall 2019, we will offer the first iteration of PUBH 200: Introduction to Public Humanities (Tu/Th 1-2:15) at UMBC. More to come on the course soon… but you can read the basic details of the minor below.

Please send any questions to Nicole King at nking@umbc.edu.

The New Public Humanities Minor in the Department of American Studies’ Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture (17 credits total)

Students use the tools and methods of the humanities to build knowledge democratically and respond critically to challenges of the twenty-first century. The courses in the public humanities minor prepare students to work collaboratively and creatively to connect original research and programming more deeply the public, including local communities. The minor builds skills for creating sustainable projects that actively engage the public in meaningful dialogue, interaction, and knowledge production. During their core coursework (PUBH 200, 301, and 401) students will develop a public-facing project and a portfolio of work while taking electives offered in AMST and participating departments.

CORE: (7 credits)

  1. PUBH 200: Introduction to Public Humanities (NEW course – offered in fall semester)
  2. AMST 300 OR HIST 300: Approaches/Methods courses in American Studies and Public History + PUBH 301: Project Development Lab 1 credit lab (4 credits total)

ELECTIVES (6 credits):

2 courses from the same or related fields from approved programs and departments

AMST, ANTH, ART, ENGL, GES, GWST, HAPP, HIST, LLC, MCS, PHIL, SOCY, THEA, VART… +

PORTFOLIO: (4 credits total)

1 400-level research, capstone, or applied experience course (3 credits) + lab/portfolio

PUBH 401: Lab/Portfolio: 1 credit

Note: UMBC’s interdisciplinary Summer CoLab Program and AMST’s 4-week Baltimore summer field school count towards the minor.

Bmore Historic 2018 happy hour

Please join us for the 2018 Orser Center happy hour… get your tickets here.

The Bmore Historic/Orser Center happy hour is Thursday, September 6 from 4:30-7pm in the back room at Mick O’Shea’s pub (328 North Charles Street). We will provide the chips and salsa + guacamole.

It’s Taco Thursday… so there’s a cheap a la carte taco menu and margarita + tequila specials for you to purchase. Join us to workshop some specific session ideas for Bmore Historic on September 28. We will mingle and people can use notecards to write ideas (or bring your pre-written ideas so you can focus on chips and drinks)… and at around 6pm we will read out the witty proposal titles we have come up with and discuss. Feel free to just come, eat some chips, and listen. Drop in or out as you like.

Bmore Historic Happy Hour

18055803_10158670152725650_3995548861366860003_oSAVE THE DATE: The annual Bmore Historic unconference is scheduled for September 29, 2017 from 8:30am to 4pm at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Please stay tuned for more details. The Orser Center has been a co-sponsor of Bmore Historic from the inaugural event in 2011. For more information, see the Bmore Historic website and RSVP on the Facebook page.

All friends of the Orser Center are invited to the upcoming Bmore Historic Happy Hour at the Village Learning Place in Charles Village (2521 St. Paul St.) on Friday, May 12 from 6 to 7:30pm.

Please join fellow old building lovers, history nerds, library geeks, neighbors, friends, and family for our Bmore Historic happy hour at the Village Learning Place on the evening of Friday, May 12. The Village Learning Place is a unique, nonprofit community library established by a group of Charles Village residents in 1997 in the former St. Paul Street Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The charming 1896 brick building, designed by local architect Charles L. Carson, includes a handsome outdoor garden where we’ll enjoy an evening of refreshments and informal conversation.

If you’re interested in participating in the Bmore Historic unconference this fall, this happy hour is a great opportunity to meet the organizers, ask questions, and share your ideas for sessions: http://bmorehistoric.org/

We are also partnering with the bLAM Collective to seek ideas for future#bLAMclass workshops: https://blamcollective.wordpress.com/events-2/blamclass/

Don’t forget to register on Eventbrite.

This event is free but we will be accepting donations to cover the costs of refreshments and help support the Village Learning Place. Registration is encouraged!

 

 

Orser Center Fellow Lecture: Baltimore and Arts Education

Michael Woodhouse

Inaugural Orser Center Fellow: Spring 2016

Thursday, April 28

4-6p

University Center 310 

During spring 2016, Woodhouse interned at Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA), a non-profit organization within the heart of Baltimore. The internship included working with the lead art education coordinator Nicoletta Darita de la Brown, working hands-on with inner-city youth, and taking part in two major programs headed by BOPA during the 15-week internship: Light City Teen Scholars and Bright StARTS.

The Orser Center Fellow Student Award is $1,000 for an undergraduate student at UMBC completing an unpaid internship at a non-profit or cultural institution in Baltimore.

Spring 2016 Orser Center Fellow: Student Award

UMBC’s Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture is pleased to announce the Spring 2016 Orser Center Fellows program. Any UMBC undergraduate student who has an unpaid internship with a Baltimore-based non-profit or cultural institution during spring 2016 can apply for the $1,000 Orser Center Student Award.

Students must submit a one-page personal statement describing their internship and the goals they want to achieve, a copy of their transcript, a letter or email of support from the organization offering the internship, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty mentor. We will accept application materials until January 15, 2016.

The Orser Center fellow must register for a three-credit course, AMST 498: Internship (or other UMBC approved 3-credit internship course), which requires the following: (1) 120 hours at the internship (2) weekly journal entries on the internship experience including hours worked (3) a final project relating the experience to issues in American studies. The student must also do a public presentation on the internship experience at UMBC at the end of the internship. The fellow will have access to the Orser Center office and library in the Department of American Studies.

The 2016 Orser Center Fellow should be committed to the Center’s mission of fostering innovative collaborations among scholars, students, and local community organizations. The Center seeks to put humanities research to work as a creative response to problems, challenges, and issues identified by communities in the greater Baltimore region.

Please email all application materials to Dr. Nicole King at nking@umbc.edu by January 15, 2016. Notification of award by January 22, 2016.

CHASA 2015 Conference Schedule & Registration Information

Chesapeake American Studies Association CHASA Conference 2015

The 2015 meeting theme “Urban Places, Digital Spaces” will investigate issues of place, space, and power as well as the role of media and digital culture in an urban context.

Registrationhttp://tinyurl.com/CHASA2015

Click for Directions to UMBC

Parking info: Please park in the Commons Garage (no fee) See the campus map

Note: the entrance to UMBC is currently under construction 

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:

Plenary Panel Discussion on Friday – March 27 from 7-8:30pm in Commons 329

How and why does place matter in an urban context?

The plenary panel will discuss how place matters in an urban context. Panelists will begin with a brief discussion of their intellectual history and current projects. Then the panel will discuss the conference’s central questions: How and why does place matter? What is the role of media and digital culture in urban culture? How does digital culture influence cities? How has the spatial turn in the humanities influenced our understanding of place? How are issues of power and identity grounded in place? What is often neglected in our discussions of the digital in the city? How can we cross the digital divide?

Trevor Muñoz is Associate Director of Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) as well as Assistant Dean for Digital Humanities Research at the University of Maryland Libraries.

Michelle L. Stefano leads the partnership between UMBC and Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council. She divides her time between serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at UMBC and the Assistant Director for Maryland Traditions.

D. Watkins is a writer, speaker, and educator who grew up in East Baltimore. His writing has been published widely. Watkins holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is an adjunct professor at Coppin University and runs a creative writing workshop at the Baltimore Free School.

 * For more info on the panelist see the previous post.

Saturday, March 28: CHASA 2015 Conference

 9:30-10:30am: Registrations (with a light breakfast served)

10:30-11:45: Session I 

Panel A: Diverse Method of Engaging Places

Responsive Ethnography: Potential Impacts of Digital Storytelling on Ethnographic Research (Kalima Young, American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park)

Digital Cairns in Physical Space (Joe Reinsel, Media Art, University of Michigan, Flint)

El Paso Petrochemical and the Biopolitics of “Public Good” in the Texas Permian Basin (Sarah Stanford-McIntyre, American Studies, College of William & Mary)

Baltimore Brick by Brick: Transforming Blight through Digital Story Telling and Material Community Benefits (Shannon Darrow, Retrofit Baltimore)

Chair: Kelly Quinn, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian

Panel B: Social History in the 21st Century: What Would a “New” Baltimore Book Look Like?

Linda Shopes (Independent historian/consultant) one of the editors of The Baltimore Book

Ed Orser (American Studies, UMBC) contributor to The Baltimore Book

Kate Drabinski (Gender and Women’s Studies, UMBC) teaches The Baltimore Book

Betsy Nix (Legal, Ethical, and Historical Studies, UB) teaches The Baltimore Book

Chair: Nicole King (American Studies, UMBC)

LUNCH 12-1:15pm 

Session II 1:15-2:30

Panel A: Explore Baltimore Heritage: Teaching and Telling Stories Go Better Together

Auni Gelles (History, UMBC & Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area)

Sydney Jenkins (Education Programs Assistant, Maryland Historical Society)

Denise Meringolo (Public History, UMBC)

Chair: Eli Pousson (Director of Programming & Outreach, Baltimore Heritage)

Panel B: Western Narratives of Black Deviance: Deforming Urban Neighborhoods in the Baltimore/Washington Corridor

Rosemary Ndubuizu (Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University)

Robert Thomas Choflet (American Studies and African American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park)

Mary Corbin Sies (American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park)

Chair: La Marr Jurelle Bruce (American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park)

Session III 2:45-4pm

Panel A: Critical Perspectives on Digital Spaces

 Creating “Gothic” Spaces: Scene, Style, and Community in the “Goth” Subculture (Leah Bush, American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park)

Urban Markets and the Virtual Rural: Whole Foods Market’s Re-Presentation of Agricultural Production (Allison Lakomski, Cultural Studies, George Mason University)

Deceptive Innovation: The Rhetoric of a Monopoly (Matthew Poissant, American Studies, UMBC)

Anthropology by the Wire: A Multimedia Research Project (Matthew Durington, Anthropology, Towson University)

Chair: Kate Drabinski

Panel 2: Training Session: Omega +Curascape with Eli Pousson, Baltimore Heritage

 4:15-5pm Closing remarks & best student paper award

 Optional dinner in Baltimore at 6pm (dinner not funded by CHASA)

Urban Places, Digital Spaces: Chesapeake American Studies Association (CHASA)

Call For Proposals: CHASA Spring 2015: Urban Places, Digital Spaces

The annual conference of the Chesapeake American Studies Association (CHASA) will be held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) on Saturday, March 28 (plenary panel discussion on Friday evening March 27).

The 2015 meeting theme “Urban Places, Digital Spaces” will investigate issues of place and space as well as the role of media and digital culture in an urban context. Papers may explore the impact of digital technology on cities or other places, examine specific digital projects on places, or analyze the changing nature of space in the digital age.

How does digital culture influence cities? How has the spatial turn in the humanities influenced our understanding of places? How are issues of power and identity grounded in place?

We encourage scholars at all levels to apply, including undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals working in museums, archives, libraries, non-profits, historic preservation, and community organizations. The CHASA conference is an open and friendly space that is ideal for presenting new work or project ideas.

Proposals may be for an individual paper or a complete panel. Please note that we will reward the best undergraduate and graduate papers with a cash prize.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words (500 words for a panel proposal) along with a short biographical statement (maximum 200 words) to Nicole King at nking@umbc.edu by December 14, 2014.

Plenary Panel Discussion on Friday – March 27 from 7-8:30pm

How and why does place matter in an urban context?

The plenary panel will discuss how place matters in an urban context. Panelists will begin with a brief discussion of their intellectual history and current projects. Then the panel will discuss the conference’s central questions: How and why does place matter? What is the role of media and digital culture in urban culture? How does digital culture influence cities? How has the spatial turn in the humanities influenced our understanding of place? How are issues of power and identity grounded in place? What is often neglected in our discussions of the digital in the city? How can we cross the digital divide?

PANELISTS

Trevor Muñoz is Associate Director of Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) as well as Assistant Dean for Digital Humanities Research at the University of Maryland Libraries. Muñoz holds an MA in Digital Humanities from the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London and a MS in Library and Information Science from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He specializes in issues related to curation of humanities data including data management planning, systems, and best practices. Trevor is co-editor of a forthcoming guide to resources for Data Curation in the Humanities and co-organized the first Humanities Data Curation Summit intended to promote the development of a sustainable plan for preserving digital humanities research. He is involved in the “O Say Can You See”: the Early Washington, D.C. Law and Family Project explores multi-generational black and white family networks in early Washington, D.C., by collecting, digitizing, making accessible, and analyzing over 4,000 court documents: http://mith.umd.edu/research/project/o-say-can-see-early-washington-d-c-law-family-project/

Michelle L. Stefano leads the partnership between UMBC and Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council. She divides her time between serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at UMBC and the Assistant Director for Maryland Traditions. In 2010, Stefano was awarded her Ph.D. from the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University (UK). Her research examines how “intangible cultural heritage” can be most effectively safeguarded at the non-local level (international and national) and local levels. She received her MA in International Museum Studies from Gothenburg University, Sweden in 2004, and her BA from Brown University in 2000. Her work is published in various journals, and she is co-editor of Safeguarding Intangible Heritage (Boydell & Brewer, 2012) and the Routledge Companion to Intangible Heritage (forthcoming). Stefano has worked on various new media projects focused on places in Maryland, such as Mill Stories—a cultural documentation project on the communities of the Sparrows Point Steel Mill in Baltimore County: http://millstories.umbc.edu/

D. Watkins is a writer, speaker, and educator who grew up in East Baltimore. Like most residents of his neighborhood, his life was never destined for college campuses. The choices he made in his youth seemed to make sure his journey would end before it even began. But somewhere along the way, D. Watkins saw the error of his ways; he enrolled in college, and vowed to make a difference in his community. You can still find Professor Watkins in those same East Baltimore streets, but now as a teacher and youth advocate. He has decided to embrace his mission by using his writing to give a platform to the unheard occupants of his old neighborhood. Watkins has been published in The Huffington Post, Vice, StopBeingFamous, 1729mag, and Salon. He has also been featured on NPR’s Monday Morning, The Marc Steiner Show, and Huff Post Live. Watkins currently holds a Master’s in Education from John Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is an adjunct professor at Coppin University and runs a creative writing workshop at the Baltimore Free School. Watkins’ debut memoir, Cook Up, will be published by Grand Central Publishing in 2015: http://d-watkins.com/

Bmore Historic 2014: Friday, October 10

The Orser Center is a sponsor of Bmore Historic 2014!

What is Bmore Historic?

Bmore Historic is a participant-led unconference for scholars, students, professionals, and volunteers who care about public history, historic preservation, and cultural heritage in the Baltimore region. Bmore Historic is an opportunity to connect with local historians, humanities scholars, preservation advocates, museum professionals, archivists, and anyone interested in exploring the vital intersections between people, places, and the past in Baltimore and Maryland. We’re bringing people together and you set the agenda.

Who should attend?

Historians, preservationists, museum professionals, archivists, and librarians and anyone who is excited about historic places is welcome. This meeting is not limited just to scholars or professionals. Students, volunteer preservation activists, Main Street board members, museum docents, educators, and others are all encouraged to register and attend.

How much will it cost?

Registration is $20. Registration fees help cover refreshments including breakfast and lunch and support our host venue.

Register today!

UMBC students who would like to volunteer at Bmore Historic should email Dr. Nicole King at nking@umbc.edu

Lawrence Weschler at UMBC

 450Humanities Forum

Tuesday, March 25 | 4:30 p.m.
“The Fraught Crossroads: Where Class, Race, Sex and Violence Converge across American History”
Lawrence Weschler, author
7th Floor, Albin O. Kuhn Library

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Department of American Studies and the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture.

Using assemblage artist Edward Kienholz’s harrowing 1970 lynching tableau Five Car Stud as a point of departure, Lawrence Weschler explores the ways in which race has served as the radioactive core of American history, continually warping the potential for ordinary class-based politics and accounting for all manner of perverse American exceptionalisms (the subject of Weschler’s current work-in-progress).

Lawrence Weschler was for over twenty years (1981-2002) a staff writer at The New Yorker, where his work shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies. He is a two-time winner of the George Polk Award (for Cultural Reporting in 1988 and Magazine Reporting in 1992) and was also a recipient of Lannan Literary Award (1998).

His books of political reportage include The Passion of Poland (1984); A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers (1990); and Calamities of Exile: Three Nonfiction Novellas (1998). His “Passions and Wonders” series currently comprises Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin (1982); David Hockney’s Cameraworks (1984); Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder (1995); A Wanderer in the Perfect City: Selected Passion Pieces (1998) Boggs: A Comedy of Values  (1999); Robert Irwin: Getty Garden (2002); Vermeer in Bosnia (2004); and Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences (February 2006). Mr. Wilson was shortlisted for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Everything that Rises received the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.

Admission to this event is free.

Orser Center Blog Remodeled for 2014

You may notice a new look at the Orser Center blog. The advisory committee decided that the Center needed a fresh look and a focused social media presence (feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter). The center’s director and social media sub-committee chair Kate Drabinski (Gender & Women’s Studies, UMBC) worked with Beth Harper Designs on the project.

So far in 2014 the Orser Center has been involved in some great events, including the Dresher Center Humanities Forum Constructing Heritage panel on February 18 organized by advisory committee member Michelle Stefano featuring James Count Early (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage), Mario Santo Domingo (Psychology, UMBC), and Ashley Minner (Baltimore American Indian Center). You can view a video of the panel discussion here. Elaine Eff author of The Painted Screens of Baltimore: Urban Folk Art Revealed spoke about her new book at the UMBC Library Gallery on February 25. We also helped to organize a Bmore Historic Happy Hour (with Baltimore Heritage) on March 8. Elaine Eff gave us a tour of the painted screens exhibition at MICA (up through March 16) with drinks following at the Mount Royal Tavern.

Orser Center director Nicole King (American Studies, UMBC) and Lindsey Loeper (Archivist, Special Collections at UMBC) are co-chairs of the 2014 Bmore Historic happy hour committee. If you have ideas for happy hour events, please let us know. The next Bmore Historic Happy Hour is at the Hamilton Club in Mount Vernon on Friday, April 11. We kick things off with a tour of historic clubs in the neighborhood and end with heavy appetizers and drinks at the Hamilton club. We had such a successful Bmore Historic happy hour at Hamilton Club in May 2013 we are doing it again.

Other upcoming Orser Center events include Lawrence Weschler’s “The Fraught Crossroads: Where Class, Race, Sex, and Violence Converge Across American History,” which takes L.A. artist Edward Keinholz’s harrowing 1970 lynching tableau Five Car Stud as a point of departure for exploring how class-based politics, race, place, and art come together.

Four different UMBC courses (AMST 422: Preserving Places, AMST 403: Ethnography in America, ART 390: IRC Fellows, and MCS 499: MCS Fellows) are all focusing on deindustrialization in Baltimore and working with Marc Steiner and the Center for Emerging Media (CEM) on amplifying the stories of such transitions through various projects. These projects include the debut of the Remembering Sparrows Point documentary film at the Creative Alliance on Thursday, April 10 at 7:30pm; a week-long radio series on the Marc Steiner Show (WEAA) on May, 12 through 16; and a fundraiser for the Filbert Street Community Garden, a non-profit in the Curtis Bay neighborhood of Baltimore, at the 2640 space on Sunday, May 18 at 5pm.

Our spring 2014 advisory committee meeting is Wednesday, March 12 at Red Emma’s on 30 W. North Avenue in Baltimore. Committee members are invited to stop in at 6pm and get some great food from the café before we settle into our meeting space in one of the Free School classrooms. The meeting should end before 8pm, and then everyone is welcomed to stop by the Windup Space (just down the street) for the opening of 10: A Community Art Project co-curated by American Studies (’10) graduate Katie Smallwood. This is the third community art project Smallwood has curated at the Windup Space, and they are always great. There will be snacks, music, and, of course, art.

Everyone should also make sure to save the date for the 2014 Bmore Historic unconference at the Maryland Historical Society on Friday, October 10, 2014.

Watch the Orser Center blog and social media for updates on the Center’s projects and our other upcoming events in 2014.