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

February 2012 Archives

Accolades March 1, 2012

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Congratulations to CLA faculty who have received Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy 2012 Multicultural Research Awards.

Bianet Castellanos (American Studies): Comparative Indigeneities of the Americas
Njeri Githire (African American and African Studies): The Other America: French Caribbean Regional Integration, Environmental Management, and Gender Empowerment
David Karjanen (American Studies): African American and Latino Community-Labor Coalitions: Analyzing Effectiveness in Three American Cities
Carolyn Liebler (Sociology): American Indian Transracial Adoptees' Experiences in Comparative Perspective
Sarah-Jane (Saje) Mathieu (History): African American Soldiers and the British Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919
Lorena Munoz (Geography): Queer, Gendered and Brown: (Re)Producing Latina/o Immigrant Informal Work in Los Angeles
Jimmy Patino (Chicano Studies): "Raza Si, Migra No!": Forging Chicano/Mexicano Activism in the San Diego Borderlands, 1924-1986

Associate Professor Shaden Tageldin (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature) has been awarded the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Essay Prize for 2011 for her essay "Secularizing Islam: Carlyle, al-Siba'i, and the Translation of 'Religion' in British Egypt" published in the January 2011 PMLA (journal of the Modern Language Association of America).

Associate Professor David Feinberg (Art) brought his Voice to Vision project to Clark University, where he spoke last week. Voice to Vision, which narrates the experiences of Holocaust and genocide survivors through art, was founded 10 years ago this year. Read more.

Assistant Professor Lisa Channer's (Theatre Arts & Dance) company Theatre Novi Most has a new play called Picnic on the Batttlefield opening March 2 at the Southern Theatre. In the cast are four alumni of the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance and one current student. The design team includes MFA students past and present. Read more

Professor James Dillon (Music) was ranked among the top ten living composers in the article "Top 10 Contemporary Classical music Composers." Dillon was listed along with Steve Reich, John Adams, John Cage, George Crumb, György Ligeti, and more. Read more

1Password to Rule Them All

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I need to confess my password sins. I've shared passwords with my wife. I've used the same password on multiple websites. I have passwords written on a post-it note on my desk. I keep reusing the same 17-year-old password for my...ahem...financially-related accounts. I recycle the same passwords over and over. I also blamed Apple for losing months of content from my iPad when it was actually me who had forgotten my password. I've broken many of the password rules, and I ask for your forgiveness.

A Report from the Dean

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At mid-academic year, CLA is moving in the direction described in my September State of the College address that builds on the overarching principles of the CLA 2015 report.

To continue along that path, our main project must be to cultivate an environment where the liberal arts are recognized for the central--even critical--role they play in individual lives, at the University of Minnesota, and in the world today.

Our project must be to "animate the liberal arts" by making them visible through our research, academic programs and outreach activities; by clarifying their importance for the intellectual life and postgraduate aspirations of our students; and by demonstrating their significance for the contemporary world.

Accolades February 16, 2012

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Professor Nabil Matar (English) has been awarded the 2012 Building Bridges Award from the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (UK). The award recognizes Nabil's pioneering scholarship on the relationship between Islamic civilization and early modern Europe, as well as raising awareness of the historical roots of Western perceptions of Islam. He will receive the award during a lecture he will present at the University of Cambridge on March 28.

Associate Professor Brenda Child's (American Indian Studies) latest book, Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community, is published today by Penguin. The book explores the remarkable role of women in sustaining Native American communities through the hardest years of the last two centuries, and is the latest addition to the Penguin Library of American Indian History. Brenda will do a reading at the U Bookstore a week from today. More info

Assistant Professor Lisa Channer (Theatre Arts & Dance) and her Theatre Novi Most were awarded a grant from the Playwrights Center and the Network of Ensemble Theatres to start a collaboration with playwright Cory Hinkle on a new play about Bertolt Brecht. Brecht's Brain will focus on Brecht's dramatic 1947 testimony before the House Un-American Affairs Committee, weaving together excerpts from hearing transcripts and Brecht's writings with ensemble-generated text and original music.

Graduate student Sophie Christian (Music) was chosen as a first place winner of the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition 2012. The Winners' Recital will be held Sunday, April 8, 2012 at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Winners Certificates will be granted after the Winners Recital.

Graduate student Andrew Johnson (Sociology) was awarded a 2012-13 Visiting Research Scholar Fellowship at the Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University.

Grad student Elizabeth Ault's (American Studies) coauthored book, The 1968 Project: A Nation Coming of Age, is now available from the Minnesota Historical Society Press. It's published in conjunction with The 1968 Exhibit on display at the Minnesota History Center through February 20. [editor's note: See the exhibit!]

CLA hosted annual academic technology showcases from 2008 to 2010. Showcases featured projects that were made possible with student technology fees, shared with the University community how CLA was using technology in support of teaching and learning, and provided an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions our colleagues make in this space.

Accolades February 2, 2012

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Two CLA-connected projects have received funding from Minnesota's Historical and Cultural Heritage Fund (i.e. Legacy money).

The Department of American Indian Studies has received $270,820 for Phase Two of the Ojibwe People's Dictionary. Phase One launched just this past January 23; Phase Two promises to be even more of what you can find in the current dictionary, but will enhance the virtual museum, make the dictionary more friendly to younger students, and incorporate feedback from users.
Friends of the Immigration History Research Center, received $23,794 for the project Houses of Worship: The Mosaic of Religion and Ethnicity in the Twin Cities, 1849-1924, co-led by Jeanne Kilde (Religious Studies). The goal of this project is to bring together qualitative and quantitative data -- stories and numbers -- about the ethnic and immigration history that has been at the University's doorstep for the last century. Researchers from the project are using resources at the Minnesota Population Center and GIS projects on campus, and their materials will be housed at the IHRC when the project is completed.

Post-Doc Associate Wadad Kadi (History) was awarded the Middle East Medievalists association's Lifetime Achievement Award in December. This comes as a recognition for her distinguished scholarship and seminal contribution to knowledge of the Islamic world and scholarship in the Middle Ages.

CLA Alumni: Building Community On and Beyond Campus

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By Erica Giorgi, CLA Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Director

As one of CLA's greatest and most abundant resources, our 120,000+ alumni support the mission of the college and contribute greatly to our diverse community. The CLA Alumni Society, a constituent group of CLA and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, leads efforts to provide social engagement opportunities for current and future alumni and promotes volunteer service addressing various college needs.

Every year the CLA Alumni Society plans various activities to engage alumni and build bonds with students.

Among the group's varied special events, they organize a late summer social gathering, often on the U of M Centennial Showboat or at the Campus Club; they collaborate with the CLA Student Board each fall to represent the college in various University Homecoming Week service and social festivities; they host an alumni and family jaunt in Goldy's Game Room at Coffman Memorial Union each winter; and they plan periodic happy hour events to encourage alumni networking.

In addition to social functions, the CLA Alumni Society is active in recognizing and supporting CLA students.
● In 2011, the group earned a U of M Alumni Association Program Extraordinaire Award for their collaboration with the CLA Student Board and CLA Undergraduate Programs on the CLA Dean's List and Exceptional Students Celebration and School of Music Concert.
● For the past two years the group has co-sponsored CLA's Welcome Week T-shirts for nearly 2,500 new students.
● One of the CLA Alumni Society's greatest passions is supporting student career development programs. Alumni help interview and provide career advice to students on Practice Interview Days and serve on college-to-career discussion panels. The CLA Alumni Society also collaborates with CLA Career Services to plan employer site visits for groups of CLA students. On such field trips, students learn about occupations held by liberal arts alumni, learn about various industries and organizations, and see days in the lives of numerous workplaces.

To keep up with the latest CLA alumni happenings, check out CLA Alma Matters

Do you know CLA alumni who would like to connect with one another and get involved in activities to support CLA? If so, have them contact CLA Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Director Erica Giorgi at or 612-625-8837. SKI-U-MAH!