Dr. Heather Ann Thompson visits UTA for talk

February 4, 2016

drheatherannthompsonThe Departments of History and Criminal Justice announce a talk by Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Dr. Thompson will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 10th at 7 p.m., in the Central Library 6th Floor Parlor. Prof. Thompson is a noted researcher in the field of mass incarceration, and is a speaker much in demand. She has testified for Congressional committees, has appeared at universities and institutes around the world, and has published in the academic and popular presses, including the Journal of American History and the New York Times. An updated biography of Professor Thompson is available at her website.

A Cappella Choir Joins DSO in Gershwin Tribute

January 5, 2016


Later this month, The University of Texas at Arlington students will lend their voices to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s tribute to legendary composer George Gershwin.

The A Cappella Choir, under the direction of Associate Professor Karen Kenaston-French (Music), will join the DSO Jan. 22-24 at Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. Tickets start at $34 and are available at www.mydso.com.

The concert features the best of Gershwin’s music, including: Lullaby, Cuban Overture, Funny Face and selections from Porgy and Bess. Conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead a talented group that includes soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme and bass-baritone Kevin Deas. The A Cappella Choir will be featured on the closing selection, “Porgy and Bess: Concert Highlights.”

This is the choral group’s second appearance with the DSO. In 2012, the A Cappella Choir formed the chorus for the program, Masters of Film: the Music of Michael Giacchino.

Supporting larger musical groups is nothing new for the A Cappella Choir. In June 2015, members of the choir appeared with the Rolling Stones in concert at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Over the past few years, the group has also garnered national attention. In February 2015, the choir appeared at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Salt Lake City. The UTA choir has been selected to perform at the Southwestern Division Conference of ACDA this March at the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall in Kansas City, Mo.

In 2013, the choir released its first CD, “The Road Home,” which has been broadcast nationally on NPR’s “With Heart and Voice,” and was named a finalist in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Performance. The choir also gave an invited performance at the February 2014 state convention of the Texas Music Educators Association, the largest convention of its kind in the country.

For more about the upcoming Gershwin tribute concert, including times and ticket packages, visit the DSO website.






UTA Film Professors Compile Must-See List

December 8, 2015

(Photo credit: Franzerk)

During the holiday breaks, many of us make time to curl up on the couch and turn on the television, searching through Netflix or 500 cable channels to find something to watch. This year, faculty in the Department of Art & Art History have some suggestions.

Over the years, UT Arlington film professors have compiled a list of 150 films (give or take a few) they encourage their students to view – popular Hollywood films, obscure European films, blockbusters and cult classics. The list includes films by famous directors like Kubrick, Wilder, Hitchcock, Fellini and Allen. But it also includes contemporary works some professors believe will be considered classics in the decades to come.

“I think what’s most exciting about this list is the mix of canon films like The Godfather and Citizen Kane with more contemporary works by diverse and underrepresented filmmakers such as Todd Haynes, Spike Lee, Pedro Almodovar, Jane Campion and Michael Haneke,” said Lecturer Kyle Smith. “I feel certain these newer films are works that students, professionals and scholars will be talking about decades from now. This is an envelope-pushing list that will hopefully spur lots of thought and scholarly debate.”

Associate Professor Bart Weiss said the list has changed over the years, reflecting the passions of former and current faculty. But the goal, he said, has always been to reflect the artistic approach to the medium that is the foundation of the film and video area.

“This list should serve as a recruiting device,” Weiss said. “But we also think it will spur on debates about what different people value in cinema. We expect many students, academics and media professionals, as well as members of the media, will take issue with some of our selections, but we want to get people talking about the value of cinema.”


  1. 8 ½ (1963)
  2. 35 Shots of Rum (2008)
  3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  4. 2046 (2004)
  5. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  6. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  7. A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune) (1902)
  8. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
  9. All About Eve (1950)
  10. All About My Mother (1999)
  11. All That Heaven Allows (1955)
  12. All That Jazz (1979)
  13. Alphaville (1965)
  14. Amacord (1973)
  15. Amelie (2001)
  16. American Graffiti (1973)
  17. Amores Perros (2000)
  18. Annie Hall (1975)
  19. Apocalypse Now (1979)
  20. Badlands (1973)
  21. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
  22. Berlin, Symphony of a Big City (1927)
  23. Birth of Nation (1915)
  24. Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) (1959)
  25. Blood Simple (1984)
  26. Blow Up (1966)
  27. Blue Velvet (1985)
  28. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  29. Boyz N The Hood (1991)
  30. Brazil (Boxed Set Preferred) (1985)
  31. Breathless (1960)
  32. Burden of Dreams (1982)
  33. Bush Mama (1979)
  34. Casablanca (1942)
  35. Chinatown (1974)
  36. Citizen Kane(1941)
  37. City of God (2002)
  38. Day for Night (La Nuit americaine)(1973)
  39. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  40. Don’t Look Back (1967)
  41. Don’t Look Now (1973)
  42. Double Indemnity (1944)
  43. Duck Soup (1933)
  44. Easy Rider (1969)
  45. Fish Tank (2009)
  46. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
  47. Frankenstein (1931)
  48. Freaks (1932)
  49. Grand Illusion (La Grande illusion) (1937)
  50. Greed (1925)
  51. Grey Gardens (1975)
  52. Harlen County, USA (1976)
  53. He Got Game (1998)
  54. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991)
  55. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
  56. Husbands (1970)
  57. I Can’t Sleep (1994)
  58. Imitation of Life (1959)
  59. In The Mood For Love (2000)
  60. Intolerance (1916)
  61. It Happened One Night (1934)
  62. James’ Journey to Jerusalem (2003)
  63. Knife in the Water (Nóz w wodzie) (1962)
  64. Killer of Sheep (1978)
  65. La Promesse (1996)
  66. Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
  67. Lola Montes (1955)
  68. Lonestar (1996)
  69. M (1931)
  70. Malcolm X (1992)
  71. Man With a Movie Camera (1929)
  72. Manhattan (1979)
  73. Medium Cool (1969)
  74. Metropolis (1927)
  75. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  76. Modern Times (1936)
  77. My Life as a Dog (Mitt liv som hund) (1985)
  78. Nanook of the North (1922)
  79. Nashville (1975)
  80. Network (1976)
  81. Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard) (1955)
  82. Night of the Hunter (1955)
  83. North by Northwest (1959)
  84. Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922)
  85. Oldboy (2003 )
  86. On the Waterfront (1954)
  87. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  88. Pandora’s Box (Die Büchse der Pandora) (1929)
  89. Peeping Tom (1960)
  90. Persona (1966)
  91. Personal Journey…Through American Movies (1995)
  92. Pixote (1981)
  93. Primary (1960)
  94. Rashoman (aka: In the Woods) (1950)
  95. Rear Window (1954)
  96. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
  97. Red (Trois couleurs: Rouge ) (1994)
  98. Repulsion (1965)
  99. Return of the Secaucus Seven (1980)
  100. Rome, Open City (Roma, città aperta) (1945)
  101. Rope (1948)
  102. Safe (1995)
  103. Salesman (1969)
  104. Salvador (1986)
  105. Seven Samurai (1954)
  106. She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
  107. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  108. Slacker (1991)
  109. Stalker (1979)
  110. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
  111. Sunrise (1927)
  112. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  113. Taxi Driver (1976)
  114. The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups)(1959)
  115. The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di Biciclette) (1948)
  116. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
  117. The Cameraman (1928)
  118. The Conformist (Il Conformista) (1970)
  119. The Exorcist (1973)
  120. The General (1927)
  121. The Godfather (1972)
  122. The Gold Rush (1925)
  123. The Golem (Der Golem) (1915)
  124. The Great Train Robbery (1903)
  125. The Kid with a Bike (2011)
  126. The Last Picture Show ((1971)
  127. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  128. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
  129. The Naked Kiss (1964)
  130. The Pawnbroker (1964)
  131. The Piano (1993)
  132. The Piano Teacher (2001)
  133. The Pillow Book (1996)
  134. The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936)
  135. The Producers (1968)
  136. The Rules of the Game (La Regle de Jeu)(1939)
  137. The Searchers (1956)
  138. The Seventh Seal (1957)
  139. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
  140. The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) (1979)
  141. The Treasue of Sierra the Madre (1948)
  142. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
  143. The White Ribbon (2009)
  144. Tongues Untied (1991)
  145. Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) (1934)
  146. Un Chien Andalou (1929)
  147. Vertigo (1958)
  148. Visions of Light (1992)
  149. Volver (2007)
  150. Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) (1987)
  151. Z (1969)

COLA Notes for December 2015

December 8, 2015

News and notes from around the College of Liberal Arts…

ART & ART HISTORY: Assistant Professor Ya’Ke Smith was interviewed in FD Magazine about his work as a filmmaker who tackles taboo subjects of modern African-American life. From his killer feature “Wolf,” about a predatory preacher, to his recent short “One Hitta Quitta,” about the vicious cycle of addictive Internet violence, Smith tells “stories that sometimes make people very uncomfortable because they show us things that many of us have either turned a blind eye to, or things that we don’t want to believe are happening.”

CENTER FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: The Center for African American Studies hosted an “Evening of Arts & Inspiration” event Dec. 2 for faculty, students and community partners.



COMMUNICATION: Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne is part of a UTA-led project that was recently awarded $35,000 from the Knight Prototype Fund. The award is for ClaimBuster, an algorithm to help journalists fact-check statements made by politicians in real time, led by Associate Professor Chengkai Li (Computer Science) and graduate student Naeemul Hassan. The team presented papers related to the project at the ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management in Melbourne, Australia, in October. … Tremayne was also quoted in a Mashable article about Donald Trump’s claim to have seen TV footage of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the day of the 9/11 terror attacks. “You’ll find examples of this on both sides, beliefs that are commonly held,” Tremayne said. “If you try to argue against it on those (partisan) forums, you tend to get shouted down pretty quickly.” … The Root mentioned Broadcast Lecturer Julian Rodriguez in an article about social media stories that are often shocking in content but increasingly used as news on editorial pages and newspaper websites. It’s an effort to keep up with the times, as members of the Association of Opinion Journalists discussed Sunday at their annual symposium in Florida. Rodriguez, winner of the association’s Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship to an educator advancing diversity, suggested that newspapers build partnerships with universities. … Assistant Professor Karishma Chatterjee and communication studies major Lawanda McKelvy co-authored a paper titled, “The Impact of Internet-Based Communication on the Acculturation of Muslin Women in the United States.” The paper has been accepted for presentation at the annual conference of the Eastern Communication Association to be held in March-April 2016 in Baltimore. … Vladimir Flores (’15) won a 2015 Lone Star Emmy Award in Austin on Nov. 7 for Outstanding Achievement/News Producer for T39 Anytime, Anywhere. … Kady Anderson White (’14) is the new Marketing Director for Granbury Restaurant Solutions. … Taylor Wright Shipp (’14) is now a contract sports information worker and color commentator at Southwestern University. … Sean Noell (’12) visited Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne’s Intro to Broadcasting class on Nov. 4 to share his insights on making it in the local television news business. Noell works as a Technical Director at KTVT, CBS 11 in Fort Worth. … The Dallas Morning News published a story by UTA alumna Erin Straub, titled “Katrina nightmare led to a rebirth” on Nov. 6. … Allison McGinnis Templeton (’08) gave birth to Cade Marshall Templeton on Nov. 28. … Kirstin Gaddis (’13) has a new daughter, Emma LeAnn, born August 2015. … Kacie Everhart (’15) welcomed her daughter Leighton Kate on Aug. 27. … UTA’s American Advertising Federation (AAF) welcomed guest speaker Jake Jordon, director of digital marketing at Enilon, at their Dec. 2 meeting. AAF students also attended the AAF Agency Crawl on Nov. 19 in Fort Worth. Students visited the offices of PAVLOV Advertising, JODesigns, Ilfusion and Warren Douglas Advertising.


Sean Noell (’12), right, technical director for KTVT CBS 11, visits with a broadcast student during a Nov. 4 class visit. (Photo contributed)

DISABILITY STUDIES: Catherine Kudlick (San Francisco State University) presented “Disabling Cures: Rescuing History’s ‘Incurables’ from the Clutches of the Present” on Nov. 19 in University Hall. The talk was co-sponsored by the Disability Studies Minor, the Department of History, Women’s and Gender Studies, the Department of Psychology and the Office for Students with Disabilities.

ENGLISH: The Dallas Morning News Irving blog noted that Senior Lecturer Kathryn Warren led a presentation and discussion about the works of Harper Lee, the classic To Kill a Mockingbird and the recently published Go Set a Watchman last month at the South Irving Library. … Professor and Department Chair Bruce Krajewski has been selected as a Section Editor in Philosophy for The Open Library of Humanities. … Graduate Teaching Assistant Rod Sachs was recently featured in The Shorthorn about the growing De-Archive Collaboration – a digital humanities project that connects students with teachers from around the world. Sachs was also an invited speaker this week for a conference on international social justice.

LINGUISTICS & TESOL: The Conversation published an op-ed by Associate Professor and Department Chair Laurel Stvan, which addressed the Norwegian use of the word “Texas” as slang for “crazy.” … Stvan also gave a talk on Dec. 4 to the UTA Chinese Culture and Language Association (CCLA) on “Teaching in China in the 90s and Today.” … Six UTA linguistics presented work at the 7th annual Metroplex Conference in Linguistics held at UNT in Denton on Nov. 14: three oral presentations: by doctoral students Iya Price, Kent Rasmussen and Darcey Browning, and three poster presenters, doctoral student Samantha Cornelius, Stvan and MA student Devin Hornick. … Doctoral student JungAe Allman defended her dissertation on Nov. 16 on the topic “Korean Unaccusativity from an Empirical Perspective.” … Fulbright Scholar Pius W. Akumbu (University of Buea, Cameroon) lectured on phonology and African cultures Dec. 3 in the Chemistry and Physics Building, Room 303. … Michael Mansbridge, UTA’s first BA in Linguistics (2011) and now a PhD student at Nagoya University in Japan, gave a talk on campus Nov. 20 for the Language Processing Group: “Integration resources in prenominal relative clause processing.” … Gloria Munson, Intensive English Program Instructor, will have her article “Changing a light bulb…” appear in the upcoming volume of New Ways in Teaching with Humor published by TESOL Press. … Assistant Professor Suwon Yoon has had an article accepted in the journal Language, published by Linguistic Society of America: “Scalar marking without scalar meaning: non-scalar, non-emphatic EVEN-marked NPIs in Greek and Korean.” The article was co-written with Anastasia Giannakidou (University of Chicago). … Yoon and Arum Kang will also have a presentation at the January LSA meeting in Washington, D.C: “Two types of speaker’s ignorance over the epistemic space: Referential vagueness marker inka vs. epistemic subjunctive marker nka in Korean.” … MA student Kimberly Johnson will also be presenting work, “The role of context in interpreting a versatile modal in Creek (Muskogean),” at the 2016 Meeting for the Society of the Study of Indigenous Languages of America in Washington, D.C.

MUSIC: Josh Bailey, UTA alumnus and Yellowhammer High School band director, is featured in a Texas Monthly article about the success of this tiny school band, which is prepping for its trip to the state final competitions. Bailey, who studied music at UTA, is leading a band where two dozen kids put on the kind of show usually performed by hundreds.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Associate Professor Brent Sasley was interviewed last month by WBAP/820 AM (ABC Radio) about the situation developing in Syria following the attacks in France and Gov. Abbott’s call to bar Syrian refugees from Texas. … Associate Professor Allan Saxe was quoted in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the dozens of local candidates filing for spots on the 2016 ballot for posts ranging from state representative to sheriff to party chair. Saxe said that “the election season this year is highly charged,” and that “incumbents likely are not thrilled.” … Saxe discussed the role of conservative talk radio in influencing the upcoming presidential election, KTRH 740 AM (Houston) reported. “They believe that if the Republicans do not take the White House, it will be gone for a generation or more.” Saxe said. … Professor Susan Hekman explored whether one true self exists for any person during San Francisco’s KALW 97.1 Philosophy Talk.

PRE-LAW CENTER: The Pre-Law Center at UT Arlington has relocated to Room 205 in University Hall.

THEATRE ARTS: Associate Professor Dennis Maher, who played the lead in the Maverick Theatre Company’s recent production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” will serve as announcer and Standard Bearer for the College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremonies Dc. 18. … Associate Professor Joe Chapa played Banjo in last month’s ”The Man Who Came to Dinner.” … Scenic Designer Michelle Harvery is designing the Spectacular Senior Follies’ “Christmas in Lewisville” production, which opened Dec. 4 at the MCL Grand Theatre in Lewisville. Harvey is also designing the Turtle Creek Chorale Christmas production of “Home,” which opens Dec. 17 at the Dallas City Performance Hall. … Senior Lecturer Seraphina Nova has two film projects receiving professional film screenings next week. Both short films will be screened at the Granada Theatre in Dallas at 7 p.m. Dec. 15-16. … Senior Lecturer Laurel Whitsett was principle player in Nova’s short film “Cyberdancing.” Whitest was also an accent coach for Alice Braga, who will star in USA Network‘s upcoming series “Queen of the South”. Braga’s first language is Portuguese, so Laurel worked with her on the intelligibility of English. Because she is portraying a Mexican National, some of the work included identifying the sounds the occur in both Portuguese and Spanish and diminishing sounds that prevent intelligibility on camera. … Amanda Jackson, artistic director of Maverick Dance Company is performing at The Gaylord Hotel’s annual holiday extravaganza, “ICE!” This is a “sing and dance” event at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 18. The performance is free and takes place near the ICE! Christmas around the World exhibit entrance. Amanda and company will have a 20-minute performance slot. … Theatre Arts major Rachel Glass was awarded the First Annual Dueling Arts International Presidents’ Scholarship. This scholarship covers the full cost of the DAI winter workshop in New Orleans, Dec. 28-Jan. 3. … Theatre Arts major Austin Bender was awarded full tuition to the 24th annual Stage Combat Workshop at Louisiana Tech University, April 3-4, 2016. … BFA graduate Timothy Paul Brown is cast in the production of “A Christmas Carol 2015” at Dallas Theater Center, running now through Dec. 26. … Theatre Arts major Kaylee Killingsworth co-directed “Seussical” at Plano Children’s Theatre Nov. 19-Dec. 6. … UTA student Michael Carver-Simmons and former Maverick Joshua Eguia performed in SceneShop’s “A Fifth of Christmas” Dec. 5th at Arts Fifth Avenue.

WOMEN’S STUDIES: Whitney Peoples, post-doctoral fellow in Women’s and Gender Studies, presented research at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in November: “‘Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine:’ Black Women, PMDD and Marketing Narratives of Women’s Depression.” Peoples was also the keynote speaker for the recent UTA African-American Faculty and Staff Association Reception. She spoke on “Crafting Intellectual Community: The Role of the Postdoctoral Fellow.”


Mavericks Dance in Weekend Show

December 8, 2015

thea-dance-2015This weekend, the Maverick Dance Company presents “Via Dance,” a collection of new, entertaining and progressive dance works by faculty, guest, and student choreographers.

Artistic Director Amanda Jackson and Associate Artistic Director Meredith Knight are joined by Dallas-based guest choreographer Danielle Georgiou, internationally recognized guest sound designer John Osburn, and student choreographers Bri Bowens, Randi Kosik, Jonathan Switzenberg, and Brittany Wachsmann. “Via Dance” runs this Friday through Sunday, Dec. 11-13, 2015, in the Mainstage Theatre.

Featured UT Arlington student dancers include Bri Bowens, Kimber Carter, Iván Díaz, Kandace Davis, Niki Davis, Markicia Johnson, Randi Kosik, Kacie Le, Cheyenne Masters, Megan Medina, Tyler Moore, Alex Pope, Stephanie Ramirez, Tiffany Sellers, Shelby Solis, Gabrielle Steele, Elizabeth Stevens, Kelly Stewart, Jonathan Switzenberg, Ariana Vera and Brittany Wachsmann.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for students (with ID) and $10 for general admission. For inquiries regarding season ticket subscriptions, single tickets, group rates or reservations, contact the Maverick Theatre Company Box Office at (817) 272-2669.

The Maverick Dance Company will also host a spring concert May 6- 8, 2016.

For more information about the Department of Theatre Arts’ new dance minor, visit the department’s website.




English Professor Researches Rare Rolle Book

December 7, 2015



For four weeks this past summer, Associate Professor Kevin Gustafson (English) worked with a 600-year-old copy of Richard Rolle’s English Psalter.

Gustafson, who is also Associate Dean of the Honors College and Director of the Center for Service Learning, was awarded a short-term residential fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., where he worked with research partner Jill C. Havens (Texas Christian University) to examine and transcribe the manuscript. The two are preparing a three-volume critical edition of Rolle’s influential work.

“Rolle was a well-known writer in the 14th century, actually the best-known one before Chaucer, and he was a noted religious contemplative,” Gustafson said. “But he didn’t fit neatly into church structure; he was a renegade in some ways. The English Psalter includes the Latin text, an English translation, and a commentary for each verse of the Psalms. It is a massive project. It is interesting to see what a 14th-century writer thought about the Psalms and what he thought people should understand about them.”

According to Gustafson, there are 23 known copies of Rolle’s English Psalter, with manuscripts housed in a number of major libraries, notably in the Vatican, Oxford, Cambridge, and London. He and Havens have determined that the manuscript at the Huntington is the best one to use as a copy text for their edition, since it offers a complete text of the work in Rolle’s dialect and seems to have been made by a very careful scribe, one given to self-correction.

“We worked with the manuscript and compared it to other manuscripts,” he said. “You are ultimately trying to figure out what Rolle’s original looked like. Since we don’t have a copy from his lifetime, it’s a sleuthing game. Beyond trying to understand what Rolle wrote, we are also trying to understand the reception of the work. We know that these manuscripts were used in very different ways and by different kinds of readers. The one at the Huntington, for example, was likely used in a monastic context, while others were commissioned by secular patrons.”

Gustafson said the research provides a number of answers about Rolle and other authors from the 14th century. Scholars know that Rolle wrote some of his English works specifically for a female audience, most famously the anchoress Margaret Kirkby. But the research also generates a host of questions. For instance, some of the 23 copies of Rolle’s original work contain the full Latin translation of the Pslams; others contain only abbreviations of the Latin. Such differences suggest that while some scribes and readers may have been using the English Psalter to gain a better understanding of the Latin Psalms, others may have been primarily interested in the English for its own sake.

The English Psalter was the first major vernacular translation of scripture following the Norman Conquest, and for this reason has a special status in the history and development of the language. “English was in many ways a backwater language before the 14th century; Latin, French, and Italian had much more prestige,” Gustafson said. “I’ve been interested in the process by which a language acquires authority for literary and religious use. By the middle of the 14th century, it is clear English that is emerging as a literary language, and it is doing so, at least in part, because of works like the English Psalter.”



History PhD Graduate Heads to Austin

December 3, 2015


Beginning in January 2016, Lecturer Mylynka Kilgore Cardona (History and Women’s Studies) will join the Texas General Land Office as a map archivist. It is a job the May 2015 transatlantic history PhD graduate has been preparing for over the past six years.

“It’s all the things I love to do,” Cardona said. “It’s all my favorite parts about academia: researching, educating, and public speaking. I will be using all the skills I acquired while a graduate student here at UTA.”

As Map Archivist, Cardona will have access to nearly 3.5 million documents and 45,000 maps in the General Land Office’s Archives and Records division, the oldest map dating back to 1561. Cardona said she will be working on opportunities for the state’s high school and college students to access and engage the GLO’s collections whenever Texas history courses are taught.

“The GLO currently has outreach programs for Texas fourth and seventh graders,” she said, “but I think we’re missing out on opportunities to connect with secondary and post-secondary students.”

GLO officials already have a handful of projects for her to work on when she starts in January, including collaborating on a map exhibit at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, helping to organize a second map exhibit for the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin and working on a map-centric Twitter campaign.

Cardona feels her conference networking experiences while at UTA enabled her to secure her new position. As a new graduate student, she volunteered with the Texas Map Society, later becoming a full member. At their recent October meeting, Cardona gave a presentation on some of her research on gender and mapping of nineteenth-century Africa; the Director of Archives of the GLO was in attendance. She said her relationships with her dissertation advisor, Imre Demhardt, and other History faculty prompted her application for the state job.

Cardona is also an example of doctoral students who look beyond teaching and university scholarship for career options. For the past several years, the graduate studies program within the College of Liberal Arts has encouraged students earning terminal degrees to consider career alternatives to academics.

“It’s helpful to know there’s not just one track,” Cardona said. “If you’re open to exploring outside of academia, you see there are a lot of options for jobs using the skills you honed as a graduate student.”



Art & Art History Challenge Courts Student Ideas

November 19, 2015


In college, students are often encouraged to explore new ideas and new ways of thinking. At The University of Texas at Arlington, one group is creating opportunities for students to take those ideas and launch an entrepreneurial venture.

The 2016 Studio CreaTec Challenge is “a cross-disciplinary team, idea pitch competition with the objective of creating university-wide student synergy and opportunity through the development, expansion and implementation of ideas and possibilities.” More than $10,000 in prizes and start-up resources will be provided to teams that successfully address the intersection of culture, business and technology.

“This is a great opportunity for students to meet and utilize the skill sets from students of other departments,” said Matt Clark, coordinator of the Entrepreneurship in the Arts in the Department of Art and Art History. “We want students to bring their original ideas, and we’ll help them find and develop a team, cultivate their idea and manage the project. The goal is for our students to create a viable, commercial product or service.”

Students will have a chance to explore this spring semester event at an information session Friday, Nov. 20, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Startup Lounge across from the Maverick Activities Center. Another information session is slated for Jan. 29.

Clark, who has spent the last several years helping UT Arlington student artists lay the foundation for a career after graduation, noted the diversity of talent among the student population as he worked on public art and entrepreneur projects on campus. But he did not see much collaboration across disciplines.

“I don’t see students interacting with one another outside their specific department or college,” said Clark. “There’s such a vast knowledge set among our students. I hope they realize that by coming together and working together that the sum is greater than the individual parts.”

The 2016 Studio CreaTec Challenge also includes North Texas industry partners, including TECH Fort Worth. Clark said these relationships will give students access to workshops, mentorship opportunities and possible funding to pursue their dreams. It will also give students to work in real-world conditions, he said.

“The Studio CreaTec Challenge will provide help and insight to our students and give them real-world experience,” he said. “They will be more prepared for the next chapter of their lives.”

For more information, log on to the Challenge’s webpage.



COLA Notes for November 2015

November 11, 2015

News and notes from around the College of Liberal Arts…

ART & ART HISTORY: Film by two UTA students were accepted into the 28th annual Dallas Video Fest this year, according to an article in The Shorthorn. Zoe by film senior Steve Baker and Phone Ghost by film graduate student Jean Patrick Mahoney were among the 100 films screen Oct. 12-18. … Dallas Morning News arts critic Rick Bretell commented about work by Assistant Professor Sedrick Huckaby in a piece about African-American artist Kehinde Wiley. His work is currently on display at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. “While I was in the Modern’s admirably installed Wiley survey, I found myself wishing the same galleries could have been filled with Huckaby’s work,” Bretell wrote. … KERA’s Art & Seek interviewed Assistant Professor Ya’Ke Smith, the Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film, about his short “One Hitta Quitta,” and online violent videos that play a prominent role in the film. … “Moments and Vision,” a series of photographs by Assistant Professor Tore Terrasi are on display at East Tennessee State University, the Bristol Herald Courier reported. … D Magazine noted the exhibit, “John Wilcox: Diptychs and Polyptychs at The Wilcox Space,” which includes representations of Wilcox’s work by Assistant Professor Benjamin Lima. … The Shorthorn featured the 2100 Club and its annual pumpkin sale in a series of video reports.

CENTER FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: Kenton Rambsy (University of Kansas) presented “Empire State of Mind – From Slavery to Hip Hop: Black Digital Studies Matter” Nov. 4 in the Bluebonnet Room of the E.H. Hereford University Center. … The Center for African American Studies participated in last month’s Safe Haven Donation Drive, sponsored by the Social Work Constituency Council. The group collected items for women and children in need.

CENTER FOR MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: The Center for Mexican American Studies recently announced its 2015-2016 speaker series. This year’s theme is “Justice, Representation and Empowerment.” Mexican poet Balam Rodrigo will speak Wednesday, Nov. 11, at noon in the San Jacinto room at the E.H. Hereford University Center. On Monday, Nov. 16, historian Deborah Toner (University of Leicester, UK) will speak at 2 p.m. in the Sixth Floor Parlor of the Central Library. Spring 2016 speakers scheduled include artist John Hernandez (Feb. 25), filmmaker John Valadez (March 29) and anthropologist Leo Chavez (April 13).



COMMUNICATION: Associate Professor Shelley Wigley attended the College Media Association’s convention in Austin Oct. 28-Nov. 1 to take part in a panel discussion, “Where Do You Have To Be? Internet Radio and Social Media.” Wigley also presented an original research paper titled “Engaging the Electorate: Social Media’s Role During the 2012 Presidential Election” at the Texas Social Media Conference in Fort Worth Nov. 6. … Lecturer Lance Liguez traveled to the 2015 College Media Association convention in Austin Oct. 28-Nov. 1 to accompany broadcast major student Monica Wicke, who was representing UTA Radio. Wicke, UTA Radio’s news director, won the second-place award for Best News category. … Associate Professors Andrew Clark and Tom Christie presented an original research paper titled “Terror from the Skies: The Propaganda of Aerial Warfare in the Emerging Mass Media of the First World War” at the Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication Conference Nov. 6 in Fort Worth. … Broadcast Lecturer Julian Rodriguez will travel to Florida from Nov. 12-15 to accept the 2015 Bingham Award by the Association of Opinion Journalists. …. Associate Professor and Department Chair Charla Markham-Shaw co-authored an article with Grace Brannon (MA, ’15), published in the special “Family and Health Communication” issue of Southern Communication Journal. … Graduate Research Assistant Kami Vinton presented an original research paper at the Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication Conference in Fort Worth on Nov. 6. Her paper is titled “Ebola in Dallas: Setting an Agenda of Fear at Home and Beyond.” … Several Communication students were part of a group that represented The Shorthorn, UTA’s student newspaper, at the College Media Association conference in Austin from Oct. 28-Nov. 1: Cody Bahn, Dylan Bradley, Jessica Chapa, Kevin Cushingberry Jr., Braulio Tellez, Yaritza Vazquez, Nia Bailey, Kathryn Cargo, Victoria Cortez, David Dunn, Anna Gutierrez and Rebekah Tomlin. The group accepted the 2015 Associated Collegiate Press Newspaper Pacemaker award, one of the most prestigious and competitive awards dedicated to student media. … Kyle Ward (’86), the executive director of the Texas PTA, will speak with local PTA members and education groups Nov. 10 during a visit at Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas, the Burleson Star reported. … FOX 4’s James Rose visited Lance Liguez’ TV Reporting class on Nov. 2. … The UTA chapter of the American Advertising Federation visited Moroch Partners, a Dallas ad agency, on Oct. 23, touring the facility and participating in a panel Q&A session. The student group will host Andrew Yanez, owner of Fort Worth-based design and advertising agency PytchBlack, on Nov. 18 at 3:30 p.m. in FAB 409. … UTA Radio celebrated Halloween at CASA of Tarrant County’s Second Annual Superhero Run. Local celebrities — including Karen Borta (’87) and Russ McCaskey, co-anchors for CBS 11 News This Morning — participated in the event to raise money for CASA, an organization of volunteer court appointed special advocates who stand up for abused and neglected children.

CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Alumnus Malik Aziz, a Dallas Police Department deputy chief, is a finalist for the Tuscon police chief job, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

DISABILITY STUDIES: Catherine Kudlick (San Francisco State University) will present “Disabling Cures: Rescuing History’s ‘Incurables’ from the Clutches of the Present” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, in Room 104 of University Hall. … Robert and Schuyler Rummel-Hudson presented “Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords” Nov. 4 in a program hosted by the Disability Studies program. … The Minor in Disability Studies program hosted a lunchtime meet-and-greet Oct. 28 in University Hall. Organizers informed students about upcoming classes and how to add a disability studies minor to their degree plan.

ENGLISH: Associate Professor Amy Tigner and several graduate students participated in an online event in July with several dozen academicians from around the world to transcribe the 17th-century recipe book of Rebecca Winche.

Doctoral student Robert Caldwell poses with a copy of his new book, Choctaw-Apache Foodways (Texas A&M University Press). The book explores food influences on tribes for more than 200 years.

Doctoral student Robert Caldwell poses with a copy of his new book, Choctaw-Apache Foodways (Texas A&M University Press). The book explores food influences on tribes for more than 200 years.

HISTORY: A new work on contemporary exploration and advancement of geographical science, “Aus allen Weltteilen Die Arktis” by Professor Imre Demhardt, was recently published by Springer Spektrum, the German division of global science publisher Springer. Demhardt, a German native, is the Garrett Endowed Chair in the History of Cartography. … Associate Professor and Department Chair Marvin Dulaney served as moderator for a panel discussion Oct. 22 for the Fort Worth Opera’s “Space Race: Advances in the U.S. Science and Transportation Technology” symposium in E.H. Hereford University Center. … Assistant Professor Oliver Bateman participated in a Nov. 5 panel discussion about the history of World Class Championship Wrestling in the Central Library. Other panelists included photographer Cirrus Bonneau, former pro wrestling personality and Political Science Associate Professor Allan Saxe, and former WCCW wrestlers “Cowboy” Johnny Mantell and “Iceman” King Parsons.

Department of Linguistics & TESOL graduate student Kimberly Johnson (left) and undergrad Frankie Pennington presented a Native American Languages Lab poster at Innovation Day on Oct. 22 at the College Park Center. The poster offered an overview on various projects within the group. (Photo contributed)

Department of Linguistics & TESOL graduate student Kimberly Johnson (left) and undergrad Frankie Pennington presented a Native American Languages Lab poster at Innovation Day on Oct. 22 at the College Park Center. The poster offered an overview on various projects within the group. (Photo contributed)

LINGUISTICS & TESOL: The Texas Standard interviewed Associate Professor and Department Chair Laurel Stvan about the term “alien.” It has many uses, but Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, says alien has no business in the official language of the United States. He’s calling for the word to be banned because he says it is dehumanizing. “Part of the current negative emotion today has to do with the power of ‘alien’ as a noun, rather than as an adjective,” Stvan said. “Usually nouns are more negatively used to portray a group because they reduce it to just a single characteristic.” The story also ran on Texas Public Radio and KUT 90.5/KUTX 98.9 in Austin. … The department’s new electroencephalography (EEG) officially opened Oct. 9 with an open house and demonstrations led by lab directors Assistant Professors Naoko Witzel and Jeff Witzel and doctoral student Ehsan Shafiee Zargar. … Graduate student Kimberly Johnson and undergraduate Frankie Pennington presented work on documenting endangered languages at UTA’s Innovations Day showcase on Oct. 9. … Faculty from the English Language Institute presented at the TexTESOL conference in San Antonio Oct. 23-25. Head of Student Affairs Fred Griffiths, Instructor Ramona Mahaffey (MA TESOL, ’08) and IEP Assessment Coordinator Chris Aufdembrink (MA TESOL, ’09) presented “How Colleague Collaboration Builds 21st Century EL Communication Skills”; Mahaffey and Aufdembrink also presented “Student Council: Bridging Student Success Through Student Leadership Opportunities”; IEP Listening-Speaking Coordinator and Head of Developmental English Sally Stevens presented “Speaking Up: 1-1 Pronunciation Tutoring.” … As part of celebrating November’s Native American History month, Professor Colleen Fitzgerald published a Huffington Post article “7 Things to Know About Native American Languages.” … Graduate student Kristen Fleckenstein won the Yumi Nakamura Prize for best presentation at the UTA Student Conference in Linguistics and TESOL (UTASCILT) on Nov. 5.

MILITARY SCIENCE: Military Times says The University of Texas at Arlington is the best four-year college in Texas for military veterans and ranks UTA No. 16 of 125 institutions serving veterans who are seeking college degrees.

MODERN LANGUAGE: Associate Professor Ignacio Ruiz-Pérez was quoted in a Dallas Morning News article about Day of the Dead — the Mexican holiday honoring deceased loved ones — spreading into mainstream America. “Normally, Mexican people complain about the idea of Halloween penetrating the culture,” he said. “Now we are watching something that is the opposite in the U.S. in how the celebration of Día de Muertos is penetrating even Halloween.”

MUSIC: German newspaper, Westfalen-Blatt, noted that Associate Professor Tim Ishii, director of jazz studies at UTA, performed last month in an Opera Big Band concert with members of the Bielefeld Philharmonic. The event raised money on behalf of refugees in Bielefeld. … Assistant Professor David Grogan was guest artist at a Texas Camerata Baroque music concert at Fort Worth’s St. Andrews Episcopal Church recently, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram review reported.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Associate Professor Allan Saxe weighed in on a new memoir from former Texas state senator Wendy Davis in an article by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In the new book, Davis reveals that she terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons in the 1990s. “I think a lot of people go through these things, but they don’t talk about them,” Saxe said. “She does. I think these revelations will strike a chord in some of these women’s groups.” … Saxe talked about outgoing House Speaker John Boehner‘s deal with President Obama, the impending debt limit increase and Republican presidential candidates on Denver’s KHOW 630 AM. … Associate Professor and Department Chair Rebecca Deen was interviewed on KERA/90.1 FM about proposed ballot measures that Texans voted on last week. Deen discussed school bond packages, allowing statewide officials to live outside of Austin and hunting/fishing regulations. … The Israeli government must respond to Arab citizens of Israel, as well as Palestinians outside the borders, before the country can find peace wrote Assistant Professor Brent Sasley in a Foreign Affairs opinion piece. … Sassy also wrote about the legacy of Israeli politician and statesman Yitzhak Rabin for The Conversation. … Imprimis Pharmaceuticals CEO Mark L. Baum (BA, ’95) told The San Diego Union-Tribune last month that his company’s response in offering a $1 rival to Turing Pharmaceutical’s $750 pill provides a market-based answer to prohibitive drug pricing.

SOCIOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY: Associate Professor Jason Shelton was quoted in an Ozy article on how political candidates often invoke coming-to-religion stories to connect with evangelical voters: “It humanizes them. It speaks to this notion of Christianity as part of our identity as a nation.” … UTA alumna Lindsey Teel recently wrote a blog about disability in the workplace for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.


Several Maverick Theatre Company student actors joined famed film and stage actress Mia Farrow (center) for a master class earlier this term.

THEATRE ARTS: Senior Lecturer Brandi Andrade served as dramaturg, presented on the first read-through, and wrote a program essay for Theatre Three’s production of “Picnic.” Additionally, Andrade wrote another essay linking the playwrights of two shows in Theatre Three’s season, Tennessee Williams and William Inge to Margo Jones, to the recently-deceased head of Theatre Three, Jac Alder. That essay was published on the front page of TheatreJones. … A Shorthorn article featured “The Boys Next Door,” a comedy about four mentally-disabled men living together in the early ’80s. The production is part of the Maverick Theatre Company’s Sandbox Series. … Senior Lecturer Julienne Greer spoke on the intersection of social robotics and human emotion and behavior at The Robotics Innovation Show 2015 at ExCel space in London, England. Greer also spoke at the Disabilities Meet and Greet on Oct. 28 in regards to her elective course, “Humans and Robotics,” which features a unit of persons with disabilities on the vanguard of human-robotic interaction. … Scenic Designer Michelle Harvey designed the set for Theatre Three’s production of “Picnic.” … Senior Lecturer Seraphina Nova has two films — “Heartbroken in Houston” and “Cyberdancing” — screening at the Rack Focus Film Festival in mid December. … Senior Lecturer Laurel Whitsett is providing accent coaching on a television series called “Queen of the South.” … UTA alumnus Dan Hinckley was featured on the television program, “The Voice.”


(Compiled by James Dunning/COLA Communications, jdunning@uta.edu)

Life, Message of Gandhi in Focus at UTA

November 9, 2015

Nearly 60 years following his assassination, human rights activist and statesman Mahatma Gandhi continues to fascinate people worldwide. At The University of Texas at Arlington, students have had a unique opportunity to study the man and get a closer look at his legacy.

Study of Gandhi began earlier this semester in an anthropology course taught by Associate Professor Ritu Khanduri (Sociology & Anthropology). The class – cross-listed with the Center for African-American Studies – enabled students to review Gandhi’s biography, his philosophy and his influence on anti-colonial politics in the early 20th century. The coursework reviewed the lasting impact Gandhi’s work had on the U.S. civil rights movements and leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

But UTA student Ivy Lopez says the class looks beyond the popular historical narrative of the man.

“When I used to think about Gandhi all that really came to mind was civil disobedience and passive resistance,” Lopez said. “Of course we all know what a huge impact he had on the world and what a huge influence he was on great leaders like MLK and Nelson Mandela. After taking this class I have a greater understanding of Gandhian ideals; most interestingly, the idea that Gandhi didn’t practice passive resistance at all. While his major tenet was that of non-violence, there was nothing passive about him. His resistance was in fact very active, and meant to force retaliation by the British. It is more accurate to describe Gandhi’s movement as active non-violent resistance.”

In early October, Khanduri and her students met briefly with Sukanya Bharat Ram, Gandhi’s great-granddaughter, in North Texas to celebrate “Gandhi Jayanti” (Gandhi’s birthday) with a local Indian group. October 2 is a national holiday in India, and many Indians living in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex celebrated with a peace march and rally at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza in Irving.

“The timing of Mrs. Sukanya Bharat Ram’s visit to the campus was fortuitous as it coincided with the semester I am teaching the Gandhi course,” said Khanduri. “This gave students in my course an opportunity to meet her, and she too was delighted to see them. Mrs. Bharat Ram’s visit also inspired more thinking for a South Asian studies focus on our campus. It furthered conversation on a peace program and Gandhi, and the potential for promising collaborations between organizations in India, UTA and the DFW community.”

As a way to introduce the rest of the campus to Gandhi, several of Khanduri’s students will present original papers at “Global Gandhi” from 12:30-2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Central Library’s Sixth Floor Parlor. Student participants include Kateline Smith, Megan Moore Randall Cox, Morgen Lanueva, Ivy Lopez, Adam Krajweski, Fatima-Ayan Hirsi, and Alondra Smith.

The panel, part of UTA’s Asian Heritage Month, is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the Indian Cultural Council, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Charles T. McDowell Center for Critical Languages and Area Studies.

“Each presentation will provoke a rethinking of Gandhi,” Khanduri said. “It is my hope that the panel will prompt the audience to situate Gandhi in a global context and raise interest across the disciplines.”

UTA student Fatima Hirsi hopes the panel presentations will encourage her fellow Mavericks to look more closely at Gandhi and his approach to life.

“The message of peace and nonviolence will always be relevant in out tumultuous world,” she said. “One thing I really respect about Gandhi was his recognition that all religions are equal. He incorporated teachings from the New Testament and the Bhagavad Gita to form a moral code that affected every aspect of life. He was against quests to convert others and thought that every human had a divine spirit deserving of respect regardless of earthly labels. Can you imagine the world if everyone recognized this essence of beauty in others?”


(By James Dunning/COLA Communications, jdunning@uta.edu)

About the College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts at UT Arlington serves more than 4,000 students enrolled in 26 undergraduate and 21 graduate programs. National accreditation includes the Department of Art & Art History through the National Association of Schools of Art & Design and the Department of Music through the National Association of Schools of Music. The College of Liberal Arts employs more than 300 faculty across 12 departments; faculty awards for research and creative activity include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pulitzer Prize nominations, a winner of La Cruz Andina de Oro [Andean Golden Cross] from the Bolivian Government, and multiple awards from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 50,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as a “Best for Vets” college by Military Times magazine. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.


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