• Liquid Blackness has put together an impressive portfolio of responses to the LA Rebellion screenings that the Department (led by LB, Alessandra Raengo and the many graduate students who are building this initiative) recently sponsored.  A nearly 35-page document includes essays by Raengo, Michele Beverly,Dorothy HendricksLauren CramerJoey Molina, and Cameron Kunzelman.  The full PDF is available at: http://liquidblackness.com/issues/.
  • The most recent issue of the Georgia State University Magazineincludes profiles of three graduates who exemplify alumni success, and one of them is Tom Luse (B.S. ’74, M.S. ’81), producer of the TV series “The Walking Dead,” which is setting records for cable-TV viewership — and helping to build Atlanta’s status as a thriving hot spot of film and TV production.

 

  • PARC, the Palestinian American Research Center, which for fourteen years has developed and supported scholarship in both Palestine and the United States by fostering scholarly exchanges among Americans and Palestinians, announced late last fall a new program to organize an inaugural Media Development Seminar.  The idea is that faculty members teaching media studies winning these fellowships are provided the opportunity to travel to the Palestinian territories (PARC is headquartered in Ramallah) and explore the situation there.  Patricia Davis received notice on March 3 that she has been accepted into round one of the program.  If you’re interested in these issues or this program in particular, their main site is http://parc-us-pal.org.  Congratulations!
  • Kyle Sklenar, a first year student at Georgia State University majoring in film, has received word that a film he’s created has been named Best Picture for the forthcoming Campus Movie Fest.  Kyle will receive the award at CMF Hollywood in mid-June.  Beyond serving as a major film summit for student filmmakers, CMF Hollywood organizes “four days of networking, educational workshops and panels lead by industry professionals, screenings of top student created five-minute movies and advanced Hollywood screenings, receptions, and a red carpet awards ceremony with special guests.”
  • Shawn Powers and Abbas Barzegar (Religious Studies) have been at work this year on workshops that bring policymakers, experts associated with major nonprofit and think tank organizations, religious leaders, and academics into closed sessions where the Syrian conflict and its international consequences can be examined. The program is funded by grants from the British Council and the U.S. Institute of Peace, and a forthcoming session at the Carter Center follows on the heels of a successful summit held in London last December at the British House of Parliament and Royal Holloway University.  The May event here in Atlanta will connect to a public forum session focused on the humanitarian consequences of the Syrian crisis.
  • Congratulations to Kim Overmier, who has been accepted into the University of South Carolina’s Rhetoric and Composition PhD program and chosen for their Presidential Teaching Fellowship in Social Advocacy and Ethical Life. Kim is completing her M.A. thesis this semester under Michael Bruner’s direction.
  • Richard Welch has accepted an invitation from FENODIS, an Ecuadorian consortium of organizations committed to bettering the lives of citizens navigating disability, to do communication workshops later this year in four cities in that country: Guayaquil, Cuenca, Loja and Manta, three days for each one. The Ecuadorian Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion is supporting the project.
  • Some of you remember Steve Braden, who taught here for several years and directed the basic SPCH 1000 course.  After GSU, Steve took a faculty appointment at Kennesaw State University in the Honors College.  A couple years ago he co-authored a textbook on public speaking with Joe Valenzano, one of our doctoral graduates.  Last week, Prof. Braden announced his retirement from KSU, which had been planned for some time and took effect last Wednesday.  Steve plans to continue teaching in retirement, and with the extra time he’ll now have, to “travel the world” and to spend more time spoiling his two grandchildren.”
  • Good news for Nick Sciullo on the research publication front:  First, a paper he’s long been working on has cleared the final review and acceptance process. “Using Hip-Hop Music and Music Videos to Teach Aristotle’s Three Proofs,” will appear this year in volume 28, issue 3 of Communication Teacher. Meanwhile, Nick has been commissioned to write a review essay, “A Review of Race and Class Politics in Mass Incarceration” for Sociology Compass, part of the Wiley Compass series of journals.  It is scheduled to appear in Volume 8 (issue to be determined) later this year. Congratulations!
  • This weekend, Davin Grindstaff won the gold medal at the Adult Eastern Sectional ice skating Championships.
  • Some of you remember Isaac West, who worked for us as a visiting instructor for several years before undertaking tenure track duties at the University of Iowa, where he is moving successfully now through the promotion review cycle.  His book, published in 2013 by NYU Press,Transforming Citizenships: Transgender Articulations of the Law, has just been nominated as a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.  Finalists for the Lammys were announced after reviewing a record 746 submissions (up from 687 last year) from 352 publishers (up from 332 last year). Submissions came from major mainstream publishers and from academic presses, from both long-established and new LGBT publishers, as well as from emerging publish-on-demand technologies. “Today is a day to celebrate the richness of our literature and to give hearty congratulations to our outstanding shortlisted authors and their publishers,” said LLF Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela. “The deep commitment to advance our community’s literature by our highly qualified volunteer judges who read and deliberate on the submitted books – and often anguish over the selection of finalists – make the Lammys possible.” Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. Winners will be announced during a ceremony on Monday evening, June 2, 2014, at The Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street, New York City 10003). See more at:http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/06/26th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/#sthash.Jv13aBsp.dpuf.
  • Steve Herro, who has been working on his GSU dissertation (advised by Marian Meyers) long distance while working as an instructor at the College of Southern Nevada, got the happy news last week that he has been granted tenure at CSN.  Congratulations!