Faculty Digest


Ken Smail participated in a National Science Foundation-sponsored Chautauqua seminar titled "Introduction to Peak Oil" at the University of Dayton, May 21-24. Smail is attempting to assess the broad-based (and potentially severe) ramifications of a dramatic decline in the world's fossil-fuel energy supply--e.g., global oil and gas production falling to less than half of their current output by mid-century--while the global human population continues its rapid increase, from 6.5 billion at present to an estimated 9 billion by the year 2050.


Marcella Hackbardt's photographic work is included in an exhibition titled "Growing Pains" at the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery in Columbus. The show opened July 27 and runs through October 15.

Art history

Sarah Blick is editing Beyond Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges: A Volume in Honor of Brian Spencer, a collection of twelve essays to be published in November 2006 (Oxford: Oxbow/David Brown Books). The volume will include her own essay, "King and Cleric: The Iconography of St. Thomas Becket and St. Edward the Confessor in the Chapel of Our Lady of Undercroft, Canterbury Cathedral." Blick, who serves as editor-in-chief of Peregrinations, a publication of the International Society for the Study of Pilgrimage Art (http://peregrinations.kenyon.edu), participated in a roundtable on "E-Journals: Problems & Promises" at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in May. She is organizing a session on "Pilgrimage Art" and will speak at Visual Representa­tions of Medieval Spirituality, to be held at York Minster, York, England, on July 16-18, 2007. Melissa Dabakis, the 2005-06 inaugural director of the Kenyon in Rome and Florence program, wrote from Rome: "The Kenyon in Rome and Florence program was off to a great start during the 2005-06 academic year. Thirteen students and three Kenyon professors spent three months in Rome and one month in Florence. The students studied art from antiquity to modernity in sites such as the Roman Forum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Piazza Navona in Rome. In Florence, Renaissance art and architecture filled our days. Check the 'Kenyon in Rome and Florence' Web site for pictorial documentation of the program." Dabakis returned to Gambier in June to begin her sabbatical, during which she will finish writing her book, The American Corinnes: Women Sculptors and the Eternal City, 1850-1876. Eugene Dwyer gave a paper, "A Presentation Copy of Hubert Goltzius's Lebendige Bilder gar nach aller Keysern (Antwerp 1557)," at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in San Francisco in March 2006. He was invited to participate in Eighteenth-Century Archaeology: A Seminar, held at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery of Art in May 2006. His three papers on the plaster casts of the bodies of Pompeian victims made in the latter part of the nineteenth century are all nearing publication, one in an electronic journal, Interpreting Ceramics (http://www.uwic.ac.uk/ICRC/contents_current.htm); one in a volume of essays, Antiquity Recovered, being edited for Getty Publications by Victoria Coates and Jon Seydl; and one in a volume of essays, Sculpture/Archaeology, being edited for Ashgate Publishing by Thomas Dowson. Monica Fullerton, who replaced professor Blick during her sabbatical, has returned to her duties in Columbus. This summer she traveled in Italy for three weeks, where she attended the first Ohio State University/ University of Siena joint conference on Mediterranean religions. In July she gave a lecture titled "Atlantis: the Original Urban Legend" at the regional Mensa conference held in Columbus. Denise Hinnant, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Louisville, is visiting assistant professor in art history, replacing professor Dabakis this year, adding a survey and a seminar in African-American art. John Tain, Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, is a Yarbrough Dissertation Fellow and visiting assistant professor in art history, and is offering a seminar on his dissertation topic, "Matisse and Modernism in the First Decade of the Twentieth Century." Kristen Van Ausdall was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in late April. She has been busy working out the details for the next season of the Kenyon in Rome and Florence program, which she will direct in spring 2008. Students for the 2008 program will begin the application process during the present fall semester. This summer Van Ausdall, along with two co-authors, continued work on a book focusing on eucharistic art. In addition, her essay, "Verrocchio at the Crossroads," will be published in a festschrift on Italian Renaissance sculpture in honor of Dario A. Covi. Dan Younger, teaching in the Kenyon in Rome and Florence program, and visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, held an "open studio," presenting his work on photographic documentation of the touristic experience in Rome. Yan Zhou, who completed his doctorate at the Ohio State University, visited China this summer and lectured in several cities on contemporary Chinese art in the context of globalization and postcolonialism. His essay "Chinese Brand and Chinese Method: On the Exhibition 'The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art'" has been published in the spring 2006 issue of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art.


Siobhan Fennessy was invited to give a talk at a forum in Washington, D.C., in May, sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute. The goal of the meeting was to generate comments for the Army Corps of Engineers on the proposed new rules for wetland protection and mitigation. Organizers asked Fennessy to talk about her research on the performance of wetland mitigation projects (work done with the help of Abby Rokosch '02 and Amanda Nahlik '02). The talk was titled "An Assessment of Mitigation Wetland Performance." Karen Hicks is on sabbatical for the academic year in Cologne, Germany, working at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research. Hicks received a sabbatical grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to help support her time there.


Department chair Scott Cummings attended the Hydrogen Initiative Symposium at the Energy Center at Purdue University on April 5-6, and the Chautauqua seminar on "Peak Oil," sponsored by the National Science Foundation at the University of Dayton on May 21-24. Cummings also presented a talk titled "The Hope and Hype of Hydrogen" for the Kenyon Admissions Office Junior Visit Day on April 22.

Dance and Drama

In April, Julie Brodie recreated the "Protein Synthesis Dance" and spoke on a panel, "Sport, Mind, and Society," for the opening ceremonies for the Kenyon Athletic Center. She also performed in the Spring Dance Concert, in a trio choreographed by Leslie Seiters. Reed Esslinger '05 and senior dance major Dana Powers performed a piece Brodie choreographed for the Columbus Dances II concert at the King Arts Center. Brodie also did a presentation titled "The Visual System and Dance: More Than Just a Mirror Image" for the National Dance Association conference in Salt Lake City. This summer, she taught the Labanotation Teacher Certification course at Ohio State University, as well as teaching dance for the Kenyon Academic Partnership program and doing core conditioning and flexibility training with the elite swim camp at Kenyon. In July, she performed a solo choreographed by Kora Radella in Cleveland. James E. Michael Playwright-in-Residence Wendy MacLeod's "Want Ads" was published in the July/ August issue of Poetry magazine. The piece, which is also accessible on the Web at http://www.poetrymagazine.org/magazine/0706/comment_178439.html, was one of several humorous essays that MacLeod read at her Presidential Lecture on campus this spring.


Each spring the Environmental Protection Agency auctions off a set number of permits allowing the bearer to emit one ton of sulfur dioxide pollution into the atmosphere. This past semester, Jay Corrigan's "Environ­mental Economics" students and he purchased one of these permits for $450. Because they will never use the permit, one less ton of sulfur dioxide gas will be generated. A Teaching Initiative Grant helped pay for the permit.


An essay by Jennifer Clarvoe, "'The silences themselves are telling': James McMichael's Capacity," which was published this May in The Cincinnati Review, was also featured on Poetry Daily (www.poems.com) in mid-June; go to www.poems.com/ essaclar.htm. You can also find her interview with poet Mark Strand as a podcast on the Kenyon Review's Web site, at www.kenyonreview.org/ interviews/ strand.php. Sarah Heidt published an article in the journal Nineteenth-Century Contexts this spring about Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle's life writings. She also gave a talk about Thomas Hardy's autobiography at "Narrative: An International Conference" in Ottawa, Ontario, in April. During the summer, Heidt continued to work on her book about Victorian autobiography, Composite Beings, as well as some creative nonfiction writing. She also taught a three-week writing course, sponsored by the Silverweed Foundation, to twelve incoming first-year students. Judy Smith's novel, Yellowbird, has won the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas First Book Award and will be published this fall.

Integrated Program in Humane Studies

Timothy Shutt has three new recorded lecture series, each of which includes an 80- to 100-page booklet, also written by Shutt. They are "Wars That Made the Western World: The Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War, and the Punic Wars," 2005; "Dante's Divine Comedy," 2006; and "Masterpieces of Medieval Literature," 2006, all produced by Recorded Books of Prince Frederick, Maryland.

Modern Languages and Literatures

Assistant Professor of Spanish Maria del Carmen Parafita-Couto recently published "The Left Is Actually So Right!" in CD Proceedings of the Discourse-Prosody Interface Symposium at Aix-en-Provence, France. (The paper is also available at: http://www.lpl.univ-aix.fr/~prodige/ idp05/actes/parafita.pdf.) Parafita-Couto also made several conference presentations (refereed and invited), including "The Left Is Actually So Right!" at the Discourse-Prosody Interface Symposium, at the Université de Provence, France, on September 8-9, 2005; "Rightward Ho!" at the UNC Linguistics Spring Colloquium, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on April 1, 2006; "Movimiento Prosódico en FF (Forma Fonética)," at the University of Montreal, Canada, April 13, 2006; and "Rightward Movement: Edges in Syntax," at Cyprus College, in Nicosia, Cyprus, on May 15-17, 2006.


Ted Buehrer has been invited to be a fellow at the National Humanities Center in the Research Triangle, North Carolina, during his sabbatical year (2006-07). He will be working on a project called "Mary's Ideas: Mary Lou Williams's Development as a Big Band Composer." He is preparing a critical edition of one dozen of Williams's big band compositions; the edition is to be published as a part of the MUSA (Music of the United States of America) series by A-R Editions.


Yang Xiao is the book review editor for Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy. Xiao also has three papers coming out this summer and fall. The first is "Reading the Analects with Davidson: Mood, Force, and Communicative Practice in Early China," in the edited volume Davidson's Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement (Brill Publishing, 2006); the second is "When Political Philosophy Meets Moral Psychology: Expressivism in the Mencius," in Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy (Summer 2006); and the third is "The Pragmatic Turn: Articulating Communi­cative Practice in the Analects," in the German journal Oriens Extremus (Summer 2006).


Paula Turner has moved to Edelstein House, to start a three-year position as an associate provost. She'd like for alumni to know, so that anyone coming back to look for her will be able to find her!

Political Science

Joseph Klesner served as a 2005-06 Fulbright Scholar in residence at University College Dublin, in Ireland. He was delighted to join the Kenyon-Exeter Program directors and students for dinner during their visit to Dublin in April. Klesner gave a paper, "Economic Integration and National Identity in Mexico," at the conference on Social Transformations, Political Conflict, and the Human Dimension: Comparative Perspectives on Intergenerational Transmission of Ethno-National Identity in Ireland, Europe, and Beyond, at the Geary Institute, University College Dublin, January 26-27, 2006. That paper will be published in the December 2006 issue of Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. Klesner also presented his article "Social Capital and Political Participation in Latin America: Evidence from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Peru," (forthcoming in Latin American Research Review, June 2007) at the School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, on February 24, 2006, and at the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, on April 12, 2006. His article titled "El crucial año electoral de América Latina" ("Latin America's Pivotal Electoral Year") appeared in Foreign Affairs en Español, (Abril-Junio 2006). He gave a paper titled "Evolving Patterns of Electoral Participation in a Formerly Hegemonic Party System: Mexico, 1994-2006" at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, from August 31 to September 3, in Philadelphia.

Religious Studies

In February, Joseph Adler presented a paper, "Zhu Xi's Spiritual Practice as the Basis of His Central Philosophical Concepts," at the Neo-Confucianism and Global Philosophy Conference at Wesleyan University. Royal Rhodes was selected by the Class of 2006 to deliver the Baccalaureate address, titled "'They Gave Their Crowns, They Gave Their Pearls': The Cost of Kenyon," to the graduating seniors and their families on May 19. Rhodes attended the sixth annual AAC&U Great Expectations Institute in Snowbird, Utah, on June 21-25; the topic was "Campus Leadership for Student Engagement, Inclusion, and Achievement." He also received the Faculty Distinguished Service Award in April.


This past spring, the American Sociological Association interviewed Prentice Hall Distinguished Scholar John Macionis, as one of the country's twenty-five most influential sociologists, about the state and future of the discipline. Macionis also served as a mentor to Ohio State University (OSU) graduate student Jim Sutton, as part of an OSU program matching students who are interested in teaching at liberal arts institutions with faculty at local colleges. Senior Advisor to the President Howard Sacks is the program liaison at Kenyon. In addition to working on his textbooks during the sabbatical, Macionis served as president of the board of directors of the Lake George Land Conservancy, which is engaged in the preservation of land in that lake's watershed. To date, the organization has protected more than 10,000 acres of land around the lake. Instructor Anna Xiao Dong Sun, 2005-06 Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation Fellow, was in Beijing in July as part of the Summer Institute for the Social Scientific Study of Religion at Renmin University. She presented a paper at the symposium. Sun is completing her Ph.D. in sociology at Princeton University. Her dissertation is titled "Confusions over Confucianism: The Making of Confucianism as a World Religion and the Emergence of Comparative Religion as a Discipline, 1870-1915." Jan Thomas spent the past year in the Stockholm area studying the Swedish maternity care system. She interviewed new mothers, saw patients with midwives at prenatal clinics, watched babies being born at hospital delivery wards, and talked with policy-makers. Her main interests are in the social and institutional factors that affect women's birth experiences and a comparison of patient choice in Sweden and the United States.

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