Faculty Digest

American Studies

Kevin Britz has joined the faculty as visiting assistant professor of American studies. He is offering a course entitled American Culture and the Environment. Affiliated Scholar in American Studies Pamela Hollie spent the spring 2003 semester in Prague, Czechoslovakia, as a Fulbright professor. She taught National Biodiversity and Nonprofit Management at Charles University. Last summer she represented Kenyon at the Mellon Foundation's project "Central Europe's Environmental Crisis: Scientific, Social, and Cultural Perspectives," in the Czech Republic. With funding from the Kiplinger Foundation in Washington, D.C., Hollie is a visiting professor in political science at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. She is working on an article about the landmark Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education civil-rights case. The fiftieth anniversary of the case that integrated America's schools will take place in May 2004. Affiliated Scholar Judith Sacks conducted research in Staffordshire, England, on "Blackface Minstrel Pottery from Staffordshire, England: Documenting a British-American Cultural Exchange." The project was funded by a grant from the American Ceramics Circle (ACC). She presented a preliminary report on the project at the American Folklore Society annual meeting in Rochester, New York. She presented a journal article on the project at ACC's annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in November. Her book, Way Up North in Dixie, cowritten with Professor of Sociology and Special Assistant to the President Howard Sacks, was re-released by the University of Illinois Press in the fall.


Kenneth Smail's essay, "Remembering Malthus: A Preliminary Argument for a Significant Reduction in Global Human Numbers," published in July 2002 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, was selected for inclusion in the just-published Norton Critical Edition of Thomas Robert Malthus's An Essay on the Principle of Population.


Claudia Esslinger has a solo show scheduled for March 2004 at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. She also participated in a group show as a part of the Dresden/Ohio artists exchange program hosted by Zygote Press in Cleveland, Ohio. "Peer and Peering," a welded- and painted-aluminum and painted-wood sculpture by Barry Gunderson, was accepted into the "280/Parameters" exhibit at the Huntington, West Virginia, Museum of Art. Peter Plagens, art critic for Newsweek and Artforum, was the juror. The exhibit ran from September 27 through January 4. Gunderson was on a panel of sculptors in conjunction with the exhibit in October. Last summer, Karen Snouffer had a solo show entitled "Journey" at the Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio, and participated in a group show entitled "Tasty Buds" at The Work Space in New York City.

Art History

Melissa Dabakis spent the month of July at the American Academy in Rome. She attended the National Endowment for the Humanities seminar "New Historical Perspectives on Italy during the Risorgimento."


Siobhan Fennessy has been awarded two grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One is to test rapid indicators of ecosystem health on a transect that runs across the United States from Oregon to Delaware. Kenyon students will be involved in the project. The second is phase three of a grant to develop protocols for evaluating the ecological condition of watersheds, with the idea that these techniques will be adopted nationally to track environmental change. These two projects, with an overall title of "Assessing Watershed Health: Developing Protocols for National Water Programs," are companion projects, bringing the total award for the next two years to $218,000. Fennessy's honor student, Eric Ward '03, presented his honors thesis work on "Impacts of Surrounding Land Use on the Structure and Function of Ohio's Wetlands" at a national meeting in New Orleans in June. Fennessy presented a paper in October at a national symposium on "Landscape Scale Wetland Assessment and Management" in Nashua, New Hampshire. Christopher Gillen has cowritten an online tutorial, with Librarian and Technology Consultant Jasmine Vaughn and English and biology major Bethany Lye '03, called "Reading Primary Literature in Biology." The tutorial, which is intended for a general audience, explains how to go about reading a biology research article. It can be accessed at http://biology.kenyon.edu/Bio_InfoLit/index.html. Gillen presented a poster describing work in his lab on insect ion transport proteins at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology in Toronto, Canada, in January 2003. Coauthors on this work were Nicole Watson '01, Neal Heilman '03, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Kathy Gillen. Wade Powell conducted research on dioxin insensitivity in the frog, Xenopus laevis, with Jeremy Lavine '04, Blythe Philips '05, and Aric Whitington '04, participants in the Kenyon Summer Science Scholars program. This past summer, students Lisa Maurer '04, Daniel Tate '06, and Michael Barnhart '04 conducted research in Joan Slonczewski's laboratory on the acid and base regulation of catabolism in Escherichia coli. Barnhart's work contributed to a paper just accepted for the Journal of Bacteriology. Students Casey Smith '06 and Michael Stulbert '05 developed a new Web resource, "Microbial Biorealm," an evolving encyclopedia of microbial diversity. It can be found at http://biology.kenyon.edu/Microbial_Biorealm/.


While on sabbatical, Scott Cummings is working with a collaborator at the University of Chicago on an investigation of electron transfer in molecular wires containing transition metal complexes. At other times, Cummings is practicing yoga, campaigning for Howard Dean, bicycling, playing percussion in a concert band, and bumping into former students and other Kenyon alumni.


Paolo Asso, in his first year at Kenyon, taught elementary Latin and Theocritus, at the advanced level, in Greek. He is working on a book review, an article entitled "Human Divinity: Hercules in the Punica," and a commentary on the fourth book of Lucan. He is also planning a book on Africa in the Roman imagination. Michael Barich taught The Greek World this fall, as well as one of the sections of Intermediate Latin. Robert Bennett is the President of the Ohio Classical Conference. The group's meeting was held in Gambier and Mount Vernon, October 30 through November 1. Members of the conference attended the drama department's presentation of Euripides' Electra. Last summer, Bennett played Elisha J. Whitney in the Mount Vernon Players' rendition of Cole Porter's Anything Goes. As chair of the department, Bennett reports that with the language requirement and excellent students at Kenyon, enrollments in language courses are high and expected to become higher. Carolin Hahnemann was a member of a seminar on epigraphy for two weeks in the summer of 2003 at the Epigraphical Center at Ohio State University. She hopes to continue to work at the Epigraphical Center during her first sabbatical in 2004-05. Professor Emeritus William McCulloh continues to teach Sanskrit, run the Ariosto seminar at home, and play in the Knox County Symphony. "It is a great pleasure to have President S. Georgia Nugent here as a member of the department," reports McCulloh. "She gave the lecture at the Virgilian lunch during the Ohio Classical Conference at Kenyon on Friday, October 31. She will also speak on her research during the spring semester in our senior seminar." Adam Serfass, in his second year at Kenyon, is finishing an article on "Gregory the Great and Slavery." He is also working toward the publication of his doctoral thesis, "Church Finances from Constantine to Justinian, 312-565 C.E." He and his wife spent the summer in Oxford, England, where he had a research grant and gained a new appreciation for Hogarth and daily life in eighteenth-century England. Clifford and Kuniko Weber have retired and moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where their new apartment is being prepared for their occupancy. At Clifford's suggestion, the department brought in Shadi Bartsch, chair of classics at the University of Chicago, as a guest speaker in mid-September.

Dance and Drama

In May, Julie Brodie presented at a conference for dance kinesiology teachers at the University of Utah. In August, she performed for Kristina Isabelle at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Brodie was commissioned to restage one of her pieces for dancers at Franklin and Marshall College for the gala concert celebrating the opening of the college's new dance and drama facilities in November. While in residence there, she taught master classes, and Franklin and Marshall presented a concert featuring her work as a dancer and choreographer. Three Kenyon dance majors accompanied her to assist with choreography and to perform in the concert. Assistant Professor of Art Marcella Hackbardt collaborated on the project, as one of the dances revolved around her installation piece "The Changing Room." Balinda Craig-Quijada also performed and staged a solo for Brodie. In addition to her work in the United States, Brodie attended the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science Conference in London, England, where she presented a movement session on "Isolating, Exploring, and Integrating Fundamental Principles Underlying Somatic Practices into the Dance Technique Class." Balinda Craig-Quijada performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival with High Jinks Dance Company, directed by Adjunct Professor of Dance Kristina Isabelle. Craig-Quijada taught and performed at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, in November. Wendy MacLeod had two plays running last summer in Chicago, Illinois. Things Being What They Are played at Steppenwolf Theater through June 22, and Apocalyptic Butterflies opened at Chicago Dramatists on June 17. MacLeod's new play, Juvenilia, premiered off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons' mainstage in November.


Jerry Harp's book of poems, Creature, was recently published by Salt Publishing. The poems confront issues of cognitive, spiritual, and erotic experience, and address longing and desire in the material world. Harp is working on a new book of Creature poems as well as a book about the contemporary American poet Donald Justice. Jesse Matz recently published The Modern Novel: A Short Introduction. Janet McAdams was awarded a fellowship from the Fundación Valparaiso, an artists' colony in Mojácar, Spain, and spent the month of July in residence there working on a long poem, "The Hunter-Gatherers." Her poem "The Colonization of Hands" was published in the "Against War" issue of Salt. Another poem, "What she will sing to you," is in the all-Ohio issue of the Mid-American Review. McAdams is directing the Kenyon-Exeter Program this year.


The history department is pleased to welcome Ramya Sreenvasan from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, as a visiting assistant professor and Sylvie Coulibaly, a Ph.D. candidate at Emory University, as a visiting instructor. Reed Browning published Baseball's Greatest Season, 1924, in June. Wendy Singer spent six weeks in India carrying out research on the relationship between India's Tibetan refugees and the Indian secular state. At the end of October, she attended an Indo-French seminar in Paris on "History and Memory" and presented a paper from her earlier research on the history of women in India's elections. While in India, she also participated in an exchange with Lady Sri Ram (LSR) College, which has sent two professors to Kenyon to lecture in recent years. Singer hopes to expand the exchange, so that students may also be able to travel from Kenyon to LSR and from LSR to Kenyon in the future. Roy Wortman taught a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar for school teachers, held at Kenyon, with his colleague David R. Miller from the Department of Indian Studies at Saskatchewan Indian Federated College. Wortman traveled to Saskatchewan in June, continuing his research in Canadian First Nations history.


Judy Holdener published a paper with Amy Wagaman '03 in the International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences in June 2003. The paper, "A Classification of Periodic Turtle Sequences," was based on work that Holdener and Wagaman did together as part of the Summer Science Scholars program. Wagaman is at the University of Michigan pursuing a Ph.D. in statistics.

Modern Languages and Literatures

Jianhua Bai served as program chair of the Annual Conference of Chinese Language Teachers Association held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in November. Bai is president-elect of the association. He presented a paper, "Developing Pragmatic Competence," at a symposium called "Beyond Code: Foreign Language Study as Performed Culture" in September in Columbus, Ohio. The symposium was sponsored by the National East Asian Languages Center and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Ohio State University. Mortimer Guiney has had a manuscript, Teaching the Cult of Literature in the French Third Republic, accepted for publication. It is due in the spring of 2004. He gave a talk on the book at the conference of the Modern Language Association in San Diego in December. He would like to remind alumni who served as Kenyon Intensive Language Model Apprentice Teachers to please contact Carlos Piano, who is compiling a list of former ATs in the department. Martin Klebes has had an article, "Infinite Journey: From Kafka to Sebald," accepted for publication in W.G. Sebald--A Critical Companion, the first major collection in English of papers on the work of W.G. Sebald, whose last novel, Austerlitz, received the NBCC Book of the Year Award in 2001.


Camilla Cai continues to work on an edition of Brahms's piano works without opus number. After a summer in Norway doing research on Norwegian music, Cai has assumed the James D. and Cornelia W. Ireland Chair in music and is also department chair. She presented a paper on congregational singing in the Norwegian- American Lutheran Church around 1900 in Bergen, Norway, in June at the Norwegian American Historical Association meeting. The paper focused on how the singing changed, on how new American hymns were taken into the service, and on the importance of the language change from Norwegian to English for the loss of the old favorite hymns from Norway. Cai will be working closely with several students on their senior projects. She is especially interested in one that will review "total serialism," a difficult compositional style particularly important in the years immediately following World War II.


Andrew Pessin spent a month last summer at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, participating in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar called "Leibniz and His Contemporaries." (Leibniz was a major seventeenth-century German philosopher who, among other achievements, independently invented the calculus.) In addition, he traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, in August to present a paper entitled "A New Interpretation of Malebranche's Conception of Ideas" at the World Congress of Philosophy. Yang Xiao, who is new to the philosophy department this year, has published an essay entitled "Rediscovering Republicanism in China" in the journal Contemporary Chinese Thought. Yang was the guest editor, with Nicholas Bunnin of Oxford University, of the Spring 2003 issue.

Political Science

Fred Baumann traveled to Israel last spring as a fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Arriving in late May, he was there just as the late, lamented "truce" was being put into place. A highlight of the trip was a conversation with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's top advisors just hours before the arrival of Abu Mazen for his first head-to-head meeting with Sharon. He also was able to see the facility the Israelis developed on the Gaza Strip border to allow trucks to transport goods in and out of Gaza, thus facilitating trade without allowing terrorists to use the opportunity to kill people. The trip included lectures by expert professors at the University of Tel Aviv. Kirk Emmert was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship panelist in Washington, D.C., in August. Joseph Klesner participated as a panelist at a conference in Mexico City last July. He is the author of two book chapters: "The Structure of the Mexican Electorate: Social, Attitudinal, and Partisan Bases of Vicente Fox's Victory" and "Political Reform, Electoral Participation, and the Campaign of 2000" in Mexico's Pivotal Democratic Election: Campaign Effects and the Presidential Race of 2000.

Religious Studies

Ennis Edmonds, who joined the religious studies department this year, has published a book entitled Rastafari: From Outcasts to Culture Bearers. In November, he presented a paper at the American Academy of Religion annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on "'The Stone that the Builder Refuse': Rastafari and Jamaican Popular Music." Mary Suydam spent the summer touring Spain with her daughter, Zeva, and husband, Professor of Psychology Michael Levine. Suydam spent the fall finishing a book she is co-editing with Ellen Kittell of the University of Idaho: The Texture of Society: Medieval Women in the Southern Low Countries, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan Press. She wrote book reviews for the academic journals Speculum, Catholic Historical Review, and Historian, along with two reviews of introductory religion texts for Longmans Press. She will be presenting a paper entitled "Envisioning and Inhabiting Sacred Space in Medieval Northern Europe" in January at the London conference on "Making and Marking Gender in Medieval Culture." She is currently preparing a book proposal on the writings of Hadewijch of Antwerp.


Sarah Murnen, who is currently serving as an associate provost, participated in the local community mental health system's consultative forum held in October in Newark, Ohio. Murnen has been conducting research related to mental health recovery since 1995. Elaine Shpungin developed a new service-learning course for the psychology department last summer. The course included community volunteering along with more traditional teaching tools to help students learn about psychological problems. Stephanie Skinner '04 assisted in setting up the course and in other summer research that involved an evaluation of a homeless shelter in Columbus, Ohio. Shpungin also advised a summer science research project conducted by Camille McCaul '04. McCaul was awarded a competitive grant to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption, stress, and acculturation among African-American women at Kenyon. She presented her results in October 2003 in a public poster session.


John Macionis and his family spent the summer at Lake George, where the family's new Portuguese water dog, Braveheart, took to the water like, "well, like a water dog." Macionis completed the revision of several textbooks and planned his fall courses between sailing excursions on the lake. In September, he addressed graduate students in sociology at Ohio State University on teaching careers in sociology. Macionis is beginning his twenty-fifth year of teaching at Kenyon. George McCarthy was invited to be a National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Visiting Professor at the State University of New York at Potsdam for the fall of 2004.

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