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College of Liberal Arts E-News: Biweekly news from the College of Liberal Arts

Accolades October 21, 2010

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A big, exciting award for Giancarlo Casale, lots of Anthropology publications, a world premiere, a professorship in Germany, and much more.

Faculty
Associate Professor Giancarlo Casale's (History) book The Ottoman Age of Exploration is one of three finalists for the Cundill Prize in History. The prize, now in its third year, will award one full prize of US$75,000 and two "Recognition of Excellence" awards of US$10,000 on November 14 in Montreal, Canada. The short list of three books was chosen from 181 eligible entries submitted to the prize representing some 85 publishing houses from around the world. Jury member Adam Gopnik had the following to say regarding this year's short list:

"The list includes big studies of big events meant for a big audience: Diarmaid MacCulloch's A History Of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (Allen Lane) is of this kind, and, in its reach and wisdom, gives the much used word "magisterial" new meaning. Giancarlo Casale's The Ottoman Age Of Exploration (Oxford University Press) gives us much news about the spread and nature of Ottoman seafaring missions and asks us to see the Turkish, Muslim Empire not as some strange "Other" but as one more of the competing and trading nations of the period, in constant exchange and dialogue with the West. Finally, Marla R. Miller's Betsy Ross And the Making Of America (Henry Holt and Company) takes a moment deeply framed and enshrined as folklore - the almost entirely unknown Betsy Ross of Philadelphia and the sewing of the "first flag" - and places it in the real world of women at work, of colonial seamstresses and imported fabrics, of new ideals and much-used mattress-ticking. All three books do exactly what we think history ought to do: re-open worlds lost to time, while distinguishing morality from moralism, and memory from myth."

We'll announce the prize winners in the November 18 E-News, but if Giancarlo wins the big one West Bank denizens will surely hear the sounds of cheering and corks popping coming from the 11th floor of Heller Hall. Read more

Professor and Chair William Beeman (Anthropology) published the article "Performance pragmatics, neuroscience and evolution" in the journal Pragmatics and Society. He also has an article, "Music at the Margins: Performance and Ideology in the Persianate World," in the collection Music and Conflict ( U of Illinois Press), John Morgan O'Connell and Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco, eds.

Associate Professor Kieran McNulty (Anthropology) published a series of articles that establish completely new fossil discoveries from Rusinga Island, the island in the Kenyan part of Lake Victoria where pioneers Lewis and Mary Leakey did their research. The Department of Anthropology has exclusive rights to excavate there and the papers include as authors David Fox from Geology, Anthropology graduate students, and John Soderberg, their laboratory director. They are: "Apes and Tricksters: The Evolution and Diversification of Humans' Closest Relatives" (Springer) (very important as a statement about the very earliest pre-human primates), "Keeping Asymmetry in Perspective: A Reply to Eckhardt and Henneberg" (with Karen Baab) in American Journal of Physical Anthropology, "The Pleistocene archaeology and environments of the Wasiriya Beds, Rusinga Island, Kenya" (with Tryon et al) in Journal of Human Evolution, and "Bringing Up Baby: Developmental Simulation of the Adult Cranial Morphology of Rungwecebus kipunji" (with M. Singleton et al) in The Anatomical Record.

Assistant Professor Hoon Song (Anthropology) has published Pigeon Trouble: Bestiary Biopolitics in a Deindustrialized America (University of Pennsylvania Press). Called a "spectacular account of a remarkable event," the book chronicles a foreign-born, birdphobic anthropologist's venture into the occult craft of pigeon shooting in the depths of Pennsylvania's anthracite coal country. Though initially drawn by a widely publicized anti-pigeon shoot protest by animal rights activists, the author quickly finds himself traversing into a territory much stranger than clashing worldviews--an uncanny world saturated with pigeon matters, both figuratively and literally.

Assistant Professor Gilliane Monnier (Anthropology), with Associate Professor Kieran McNulty (Anthropology), published "Questioning the Link Between Stone Tool Standardization and Behavioral Modernity," a chapter in New Perspectives on Old Stones: Analytical Approaches to Paleolithic Technologies (Springer), S.J. Lycett and P.R. Chauhan, eds. This is a very important article for two reasons: First, it questions longstanding assumptions about the linkage between "standardization" in stone tools and "modernity" in human culture (the transition to agriculture and animal husbandry from hunting and gathering). Second, it uses "morphometric" analysis--hitherto used primarily in skeletal material--to compare stone tools for standardization of dimensions and design. This is a technique we are pioneering here at the University of Minnesota whose methodology is likely to have a strong impact.

Assistant Professor Michael Wilson (Anthropology) conducts research at the Gombe Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania on chimpanzee fertility and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus and its relationship to HIV. His most recent articles include "Impact of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection on Chimpanzee Population Dynamics" in the September 2010 PLOS Pathogens and "Phenotypic quality influences fertility in Gombe chimpanzees" in Journal of Animal Ecology 2010. His photos (and his visage) can be found in the October National Geographic article "Fifty Years at Gombe."

Professor and Chair Gordon Legge (Psychology) received three awards this year recognizing his work in the area of reading and other problems of people with low vision:

1. Access Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota "for making a significant contribution in improving access for the University community"
2. Envision Award for Low-Vision Research
3. Biennial award from the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) for "outstanding contributions in research and/or literature in low vision"

Professor James Dillon's (Music) "String Quartet no. 6" received its world premiere at the 2010 Donaueschinget Musiktage, which commissioned the work for the event Quardittiiade, celebrating the contemporary string quartet. Dillon's new work was uniquely performed nine times on October 16, when the Arditti Quartet (London), Quatuor Diotima (Paris) and JACK Quartet (New York) each performed the work three times in three separate concerts.The Donaueschingen Festival is a festival for new music that takes place every October in the small town of Donaueschingen, Germany. Watch the video

Professor Tim Brennan (CSCL) has been named to a Mercator Professorship in Berlin. This is a national award that is equivalent, within the German system, to a National Science Foundation grant and is according to the grantors "one of the most prestigious awards for non-German professors our system knows." The professorship requires Tim to be a resident at Potsdam University during spring 2011, where he will deliver lectures and confer with faculty about future collaborative work.

Associate Professor Wendy Zaro-Mullins (Music) has been awarded a 2010-2011 Community Seed Grant by the College Music Society for her Sacred Singer Workshop. This eight-week workshop connects vocal students from Zaro-Mullin's voice studio with the sacred singer community from the greater Twin Cities region.

Graduate Students
Ph.D. student Carla Manzoni (Spanish & Portuguese) has been awarded the Compton International Fellowship Program. The primary goals of the program are to increase and enhance professional capacity and collaboration in developing countries in the fields of Peace & Security, Population & Reproductive Health, and Environment & Sustainability; and to promote research-based linkages between these three fields which will be of practical and theoretical importance. Carla's contribution to the Peace & Security studies area deals with the representation of women in post-dictatorial Southern Cone films by woman filmmakers. More info

Units
CLA and the College of Biological Sciences are participating in a three-year, $1.9 million Department of Health and Human Services grant awarded to the School of Dentistry. The grant is called "Building Bridges to a Career in Dentistry for Disadvantaged Students." The grant is aimed at increasing diversity in the dental workforce, with the main pathways for a dentistry degree through undergraduate degrees in CLA and CBS.

CLA will offer coursework/workshops in three ways: through a Saturday outreach program to high school students, through a summer program, and a post-baccalaureate program. The CLA portion of the grant should bring in about $100,000 annually for CLA graduate instructor/TA support to staff the coursework. Read more

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