Faculty Accomplishments 2016


Mary Cameron, Ph.D., professor of Anthropology, has photographs featured in an exhibit about Nepal's Dalits, at the Patan Museum in Patan, Nepal (near Kathmandu). View Image 1, Image 2. Learn more about the exhibition here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/matthewtucker/17-powerful-photographs-that-show-nepals-history-of-discrimi?utm_term=.nfODYEwy3#.ljWzKX5wm  


Noemi Marin on Romanian National Television, a First for FAU. "Performing Rhetoric" is the Romanian National Television feature documentary on  Dr. Noemi Marin's academic and public life as a Romanian-American scholar and public figure. The documentary was aired on  Romanian National Television International Channel and TVR+. (www.tvrplus.ro) on Monday, April 25, to be aired again on May 13, on TVRHDWhile this documentary features Noemi Marin and her academic career, this is the first time FAU has been featured on Romanian television. The Romanian TVR crew filmed a lot of campus scenes: the FAU College of Arts and Letters; University Theater; The Dalai Lama tree; the Arts studios; the CU building; and the College of Nursing. The documentary can be seen here: http://www.tvrplus.ro//editie-lumea-si-noi-440080 


Lisa Swanstrom, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, won the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Literature for her new book, Animal, Vegetable Digital: Experiments in New Media Aesthetics and Environmental Poetics (January 2016). The prize from The University of Alabama Press is awarded annually to a work that exemplifies scholarly excellence in the field of American literary studies. She did the bulk of her preliminary research in HUMLab, a digital humanities lab at the University of Umeå in northern Sweden, where she interviewed digital artists whose work complicates the boundary between "natural" and "digital" ecologies. 


Prisca Augustyn, Ph.D., Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature, is on the program committee of the 41st annual meeting of the Semiotic Society of America. The group is a transdisciplinary professional organization serving scholars with common interests in the study of signs and sign systems. The conference will convene in Delray Beach from September 28 - October 2. The group welcomes abstracts on any semiotics-related topic. The society applies semiotic theories and insights to disciplines as diverse as anthropology, the arts, biology, cognitive science, communication, cybernetics, education, ethics, law, literary criticism, linguistics, marketing, media studies, mathematics, pedagogy, philosophy, religion, and technology.


Taylor Hagood won the C. Hugh Holman Award for the best book in southern literary studies from the Society for the Study of Southern Literature.   This is for his book, Faulkner and Disability.  This is among the biggest prizes in the field.


Jane Caputi, Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, was recently selected by the Popular Culture/American Culture Association as their Eminent Scholar for 2016.  This award recognizes significant contributions by a scholar working in a field under the umbrella of Popular or American culture. She will be the featured speaker at the Association's upcoming Awards ceremony.


Brian McConnell's (Visual Arts and Art History) book "Wall Illustrations from the 'Grotte' di Caratabia (Mineo, Sicily) " was recently published.

Associate professor Jennifer Low (English) just published her latest book, Dramatic Spaces: Scenography and Spectatorial Perceptions, with Routledge Press.  Low's work is concerned with stage design and its effect on playwrights and audiences.  In the parlance of literary scholarship, plays are texts; for theater professionals, plays are performances. Yet clearly a drama is both text and performance.


During the 2014-2015 academic year, Noemi Marin , Full Professor of Rhetoric and Communication Studies, published a co-edited volume entitled Rhetorics of 1989: Rhetorical Archaeologies of Political Transitions. This scholarly collection, singular in its scope,  began as a Special Issue (vol. 18, 2015) of the journal Advances in the History of Rhetoric and was then published as a separate volume by Routledge (2015; ISSN: 1536-2426 print/1936-0835 Online). Along with her co-editor, Cezar Ornatowski, Marin authored the "Introduction" to the volume. As a single author, she contributed a chapter in the volume: "Rhetorical Crossing of 1989:  Communist Space, Arguments by Definition, and Discourse of National Identity Twenty-Five Years Later" (167-186). In addition to publishing the above volume, Marin also continued as editor of The Journal of Literacy and Technology (a bi-annual international academic journal), served as co-organizer of the International Conference on Peace Studies held at FAU on the topic "Colonizing and De/Re-Colonizing Nations: A Research Inquiry into Communist Practices 25 Years Later," and presented research papers at five different international conferences. Marin was also featured in the Romanian Community News as one of the Successful Professionals of Romanian origin in the USA and in Florida.


The transmedia opera "Melancholalaland," which was composed by Joey Bargsten (SCMS) with choreography by Thea Zimmer, premiered at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. The opera stages local professional opera singers and dancers in a live mix with video, animation and digital music, creating a re-invention of opera that is more accessible to audiences.

Sanchez Samper

Alejandro Sanchez Samper 's (Music) CD "Bogotá - Buenos Aires," which features the Quinteto Leopoldo Federico (Colombia) and was recorded and released through FAU's Hoot/Wisdom Recordings, was released this past summer. The CD release event was held in the foyer at the Teatro Colón (Colombia's national opera house) in downtown Bogotá. Among the attendees was former Colombian president Belisario Betancourt and former Colombian Secretary of Education Cecilia María Vélez White. Sanchez-Samper gave remarks during the event and spoke about the role and importance of Hoot/Wisdom Recordings as an educational and non-profit enterprise and the role it is playing in the professional development of both students and faculty.


Irena Kofman 's (Music) newest CD, "Theodor Gouvy, 3 Sonatas for Piano Duet," was released by Talent Records this past Spring. Classical Music Reviews said: "The performance, too, is absolutely first-rate. The De Groote/Kofman team showing not only great empathy for the style, and clearly sounding as if they enjoyed every single note, but in pure terms of balance and ensemble, their playing can simply not be faulted."


The FAU Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Kyle Prescott (music), has been selected to perform at the Southern Division Conference of CBDNA  (The College Band Directors National Association) in 2016. The six invited ensembles include The University of Florida, The University of Louisville, and FAU. Cody Birdwell, President of CBDNA summed up the situation concisely: "This invitation represents the pinnacle in terms of research and performance in our distinguished profession, and you should certainly be proud of your musical and educational achievements." The event is in Charleston, South Carolina, in the new $145M Gaillard Center, in February, 2016.


Kathryn Johnston (Theatre) has become a certified teacher of Knight-Thompson and she has been appointed to the board of The Arts Radio Network Theatre Project and appeared in their productions of "The Philadelphia Story" and "Rebecca."


The American Academy of Arts and Letters invited 40 artists, through nomination and selection, to participate in the Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, which opened on March 12, 2015 at their historic building in New York City. The Exhibition featured over 120 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and works on paper. Carol Prusa (Visual Arts and Art History) had a large work purchased by the Academy to donate to an American museum collection. 


Julie Ward (Visual Arts and Art History) was awarded the Dorothy F. Schmitt College of Arts and Letters Japan Foundation Summer Travel Grant and spent two weeks in Japan, mainly in Tokyo and Kyoto. Ward used the opportunity to continue her research into the subculture of truckers.  While researching "The Last Independent Trucker," she found the Dekotora trucks of Japan and knew that they would emerge as a new line of inquiry at some point.  Dekotora is an abbreviation for "decoration truck." The goal is to add as many decorations to your truck while still keeping it operational.


Arlene Fradkin (Anthropology), Rod Faulds (University Galleries) and Evan Bennett (History) were recently awarded a $15,000 grant by the Florida Humanities Council for their project, "Beanie Backus and Florida's Highwaymen:  History, Commerce and Art."  The project centers on an exhibition jointly presenting a selection of FAU-owned original works by Backus and  Highwaymen paintings borrowed from private collections, supplemented by texts and historical photographs and artifacts, to be on display at FAU's Ritter Gallery from September to November 2016.   A series of public programs by Florida-based humanities scholars will take place concurrently with the exhibition and will examine the art and the social, historical and political milieu of these artists.


Talitha LeFlouria's (History) first book, "Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South," has just been published by the University of North Carolina Press. LeFlouria will be away for 2015-16 on a highly competitive Carter G. Woodson Post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Virginia, where she'll be lecturing and working on her next book.


Clevis Headley (Philosophy) has been voted Vice Chairman of the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics.


Robert Rabil (Political Science) traveled to Syria this past summer to conduct field research in Syrian refugee camps along the Lebanon-Syria border. Rabil studied 1) the socio-political, educational, ideological and health conditions in Syrian refugee camps, 2) the extent to which ISIS and al-Nusra Front are present or supported within the camps, 3) the plans and outcome of the government, UN and NGOs efforts to help Syrian refugees, 4) the prospects for hundreds of thousands of Syrian children, youth and women who have been the most vulnerable and fall prey to radicalization, child labor, early marriage and prostitution,  and 5) the impact of the Syrian refugees on Lebanon's society and institutions.    


Phillip Hough (Sociology) spent the summer of 2015 in Colombia where he conducted additional interviews on his multi-year project on labor rights, class formation, and political mobilization associated with the country's coffee industry. In addition to archival research, Hough has done close to 100 interviews with industry insiders, government regulators, social activists, farmers and observers of Colombian politics.