Orser Center Advisory Committee Meeting & Event on March 30

The Orser Center Advisory Committee will be meeting at The Commons 318 at UMBC at 3pm on Wednesday, March 30.

Following the brief meeting, the Orser Center is sponsoring a Humanities Forum panel discussion “Meet Maryland Traditions” from 4-6pm at the UMBC Library Gallery.  There is a reception following the panel discussion.

See pdf for full info on “Meet Maryland Traditions” event:


Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture

On the evening of November 11, 2010 the CSPCC was endowed the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture.

Thanks to everyone who helped to organize this event and gave to the endowment to continue the wonderful community projects Dr. Orser pioneered at UMBC.  Congratulations to Dr. Orser on his retirement and new role as Professor Emeritus at UMBC.  More more on the event, see this article in UMBC’s Insights online magazine.

Ed Orser Retirement Party

The Department of American Studies at UMBC is hosting a special event to honor Dr. Ed Orser, who retired in August after over 40 exemplary years at UMBC.

Ed Orser Retirement Party
Thursday, November 11 from 7-10pm
Skylight Lounge

Please R.S.V.P to Carol Harmon
(410) 455-2106
or [email protected]

This event is the Kickoff of the Ed Orser Endowment Fund

In honor of Dr. Orser’s extraordinary contributions to the department and university, the American Studies Department plans to endow the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture to continue the work Dr. Orser pioneered.  Endowing the Center requires that we initially raise a minimum of $25,000, and we hope to raise considerably more than that in the years ahead.

Dr. Orser was a founding member of the Department of American Studies.  He helped to build the Department’s curriculum from the ground up, mentored many faculty members, won both the Presidential and Regents’ awards for teaching excellence, and served as chair for many years.  He is a leading scholar in urban and community studies, as evidenced by his 1994 book, Blockbusting in Baltimore: The Edmondson Village Story, a classic study of the dynamics of racial change in a city neighborhood.  As a public intellectual mindful of the need to inform civic discourse, Dr. Orser has consistently translated his scholarship into accessible and popular exhibits, teaching materials, films, public lectures, and community projects. Generations of American Studies students benefited from the research and fieldwork of the Community Studies Projects he designed and led for his classes.

Send contributions to the Orser fund to:

Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture
c/o Carol Harmon
Department of American Studies – Fine Arts 453
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250

Checks should be made to UMBC Foundation; please write Orser Center in the subject line.

Inaugural CSPCC Lecture: Thursday, September 23

Toward a Bicycle Culture: Rethinking Urban Life on Two Wheels
UMBC Library Gallery
Thursday, September 23 4-6pm

Zack Furness, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies
Columbia College Chicago

In this lecture, Zack Furness will discuss some of the various ways in which the bicycle has been put to use as a tool for critically examining the relationships between space, place, community, and mobility in the United States.  By drawing attention to a range of political and cultural practices that include public protest, street/performance art, media production, and the establishment of non-profit community centers, Dr. Furness looks at how a burgeoning counterculture of bicyclists are actively redefining the meaning of “pedal power” and illuminating the prospects of a more sustainable, convivial vision of city.  Zack Furness is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Columbia College Chicago and the author of One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility (Temple University Press, 2010).  He is member of the Bad Subjects Production Team and a contributor to Cycling – Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), Media Literacy: A Reader (Peter Lang, 2007), and Collective Action: A Bad Subjects Anthology (Pluto Press, 2004). His writing has also appeared in the journals Mobilities and Social Epistemology, as well as magazines such as Punk Planet and Bitch (forthcoming).  Presently, he is editing a book of scholarly essays on punk, entitled Punkademics, and co-editing a cultural studies collection on the National Football League.

Inaugural Lecture of the Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture (CSPCC)
Department of American Studies, UMBC

Dr. Furness will also be speaking about his book at the
2010 Baltimore Book Festival Radical Bookfair
at Mount Vernon Square Friday, September 24 at 5pm.