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Tulane University School of Liberal Arts

SLA Online: May 2010
Award Recognition 2010
by Dean Carole Haber

Even before I arrived at Tulane, I was struck by the dedication of the faculty. Inspiring teachers, world-class researchers, and tireless workers for good of the University, they brought an energy to the campus that was truly contagious. Although, since my arrival, no one has asked for special acknowledgement for such endeavors, as Dean of SLA, I am delighted that we were able to shine the light of recognition on some of these outstanding individuals. Creating a new tradition at SLA, at the end of year picnic, we presented what will become annual awards for outstanding research, teaching, and service. These prizes took special note of accomplishments that had occurred since the founding of SLA in 2006. The names of the winners will soon placed on a plaque of honor to be hung in Newcomb Hall. In addition, with the support of the Mellon Foundation, and in recognition of their great accomplishments, we announced the selection of one senior and two junior Mellon Professorships in the Humanities.

In a school known for outstanding teaching, the SLA teaching award was presented to April Brayfield of the Department of Sociology. Nominated by her colleagues, Prof. Brayfield has been long known as one of our truly amazing teachers. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, as undergraduates, graduate students and faculty have all heralded her skills as a master teacher. In the past few years, she has creatively used technology in the classroom through innovative web projects. She has organized workshops on curriculum development, technology, and student writing seminars. Sought out by the students at ever level, she has chaired ten PhD committees, as well as many master's and honor's theses. And, in her new role as coordinator of Sociology's SACS review, she has brought her understanding of outstanding teaching into the assessment process. It was my honor to present the first SLA teaching award to April Brayfield.

Ronna Burger, Chair and Professor Philosophy, won the outstanding research award. Nominated by several members of her department, she has established an international reputation as a scholar. Already the author of two books, three edited books, and a number of articles... Continue Reading

News From the Field:
Chris Rodning

I was on leave during Fall 2009, following my third-year review. Mostly, I was here at home, with my wife and our sons, and in the library, trying to get some writing done. Meanwhile, the break from teaching gave me the chance to participate in some good adventures off campus, including workshops at the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Figure 1), and at the Amerind Foundation, near Tucson, Arizona (Figure 2); the annual Southeastern Archaeological Conference in Mobile, Alabama; and the annual conference of the American Society for Ethnohistory, which was held here in New Orleans....
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WALTER STERN, a graduate student in the department of History, was recently awarded the the Hugh F. Rankin Prize for the best graduate-level paper at the Louisiana Historical Association conference in Lafayette. His paper was entitled The Preacher and the Teacher: Public School Desegregation in New Orleans During Reconstruction and the Atlantic's Long Revolutionary Age.
GRACE HARPSTER, a junior pursuing a double major in Art History and German Studies and a minor in Classical Studies, has been selected as a 2010 Beinecke Scholar. Grace was nominated by Tulane in February, and is one of only 20 winners of this prestigious award this year. The Beinecke Scholarship program encourages students to... Continue Reading
LAWRENCE N. POWELL, professor of History, has received a Presidential Graduate and Professional Teaching Award. In conferring the award, the prize committee noted that they were "extremely impressed by your succinct but eloquent statement on teaching and the amazing strength and sincerity of your letters of support." The President's Awards for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching were established in the year 2000. Through 2005, one recipient was named each year. Since 2007, two awards have been given to faculty members who have a sustained and compelling record of excellence in teaching and learning and an ongoing commitment to educational excellence. Graduate Teaching awardees each receive a one-time $5,000 cash award and a medallion designed by Professor Emeritus Franklin Adams. Powell will receive his award at graduation.
ELISABETH MCMAHON, assistant professor of History, received the Primary Source Award for Access from the Center for Research Libraries for the work in her Center for Public Service class Archiving Africa. Read more on page 2 of the Sprint 2010 issue of FOCUS on Global Resources (PDF).
JAMES HUCK, assistant director of the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, is the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Contributions to Service Learning Instruction Award. It was presented at the Gulf South Summit on Service Learning and Civic Engagement Through Higher Education.
A number of the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty/staff were recipients of the 2010 Big Easy Entertainment Awards'. RON GURAL received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Adjunct Faculty member CARL WALKER won for best Direction of a Drama for I Am My Own Wife which performed at Southern Rep last semester. DAVID RAPHEL (Staff Member) won for best set design for I Am My Own Wife. MARTIN SACHS (Dept. Chair) won for best lighting design, also for I Am My Own Wife. Best University Production went to Little Shop of Horrors produced by the Newcomb Music Department's Musical Theatre Workshop.
JOEL DINERSTEIN, associate professor of English, received a National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend for his current book project concerning the origins of the word and concept of cool in postwar jazz culture. The book is entitled The Mask of Cool: Jazz, Film Noir, and Existentialism in Postwar America, 1941-1960, and is under contract with the University of Chicago press. The stipend is supplemented by a grant from the We the People program established by the NEH “to encourage and enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history, culture, and democratic principles.”
ELIO BRANCAFORTE, associate professor of German, was accepted as a participant of the Re-mapping the Renaissance: Exchange between Early Modern Islam and Europe summer seminar for college faculty, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This ties in with his scholarly work on the representation of Safavid Iran in Early Modern Europe. More information about the program can be found here.
WILLIAM CARTER, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies, has been selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend one of 21 summer study opportunities supported by NEH... Continue Reading
Senior CHANEL CLARKE has been awarded a three-year James A. Michener Fellowship in Creative Writing from the University of Texas Michener Center for Writers. It is one of the five most highly selective programs in the country. Clarke becomes one of the 12 newly admitted fellows to receive free tuition, a $25,000 annual stipend for three years, and a $6,000 professional development fund. An English major, Clarke has studied with poet and professor Peter Cooley.

MARK I. VAIL, assistant professor of political science, has written a new book, Recasting Welfare Capitalism: Economic Adjustment in Contemporary France and Germany. He is a contributor to The State After Statism, edited by Jonah D. Levy, and has published work in Comparative Politics, European Journal of Political Research and West European Politics.  

The Spaso House in Moscow was the setting for a presentation on Russian architecture and historic preservation by WILLIAM BRUMFIELD, professor of Russian studies, hosted by John Beyrle, U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation on March 30. The event honored the 40th anniversary of Brumfield's first visit to Russia. Brumfield is internationally known for his photography and books documenting historic Russian architecture.

SLA In the News

Students Contribute to Online Encyclopedia

French literature is Fayçal Falaky's specialty, so he was unsure how he could add a service-learning component to his next class. But then he heard about KnowLA, a new online encyclopedia about Louisiana, and that's how a group of Tulane students got involved with writing entries to help KnowLA become a reality. Continue Reading


Public Service and All That Jazz

The Lafayette Academy Charter School band, side-by-side with their mentors, Tulane Marching Band members, played several tunes including "All That Jazz" at the Center for Public Service showcase at the Hollygrove Market and Farm on Tuesday (April 27). Continue Reading


Stage Presence

Ron Gural, professor of theater at Tulane, was honored for Lifetime Achievement in Theater at the Big Easy Awards on Monday (April 19) at the Sugar Mill in New Orleans. Gural, who has taught in the Tulane Department of Theatre and Dance since 1977, is artistic director of the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. He also is a professional actor and director of more than 50 productions. Continue Reading


From Cronkite to Comedy

Last year a poll identified Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" as "the most trusted newsman in America," a mantle once held by news legend, Walter Cronkite. While that may seem to be a disconnect for some, a Tulane communication class is looking to explain why Stewart's brand of social and political satire is both relevant and popular. Continue Reading


Prestigious Honor for President Cowen

Tulane University President Scott Cowen is among 229 leaders in the sciences, the humanities and the arts, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sector who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies. Continue Reading


A Fan, a Cloth and Your Imagination

Think sit-down as opposed to stand-up comedy. Equipped with only a fan, a cloth and a pillow on which to sit, Rakugo artist Katsura Kaishi had a Tulane University audience in stitches during a recent performance on the uptown campus. Continue Reading


Summer Studies in Costa Rica

A group of Tulane students will be heading to Costa Rica in June for five weeks of classes on environmental ecology and political science within a thriving reservoir of Latin American culture. Since 2002, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane has hosted the international study program... Continue Reading


Multimedia Show to Present Sancton’s New Orleans

Tulane University will present a multimedia stage production on Monday (April 19) based on Tom Sancton's widely acclaimed book, Song For My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White. The free presentation will take place at 8 p.m. in Dixon Hall and will feature readings by Sancton, historic video and photography and live musical interludes by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Continue Reading


Employees Reach Milestone Anniversaries

Kathleen S. Crago, office manager in the Newcomb Music Department, says she isn’t musically inclined but she has devoted 30 years to keeping the music department running smoothly. Add to that her 10 years working in alumni affairs at Tulane, and Crago is celebrating her 40th anniversary working for the university. Continue Reading


‘Your Grandmother's Transsexuality’

Christine Jorgensen wasn't the first transsexual, but she was the most famous, according to Susan Stryker, associate professor of gender studies at Indiana University. Stryker, a guest of the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, gave a lecture on Jorgensen on Monday (April 12) on the Tulane uptown campus. Continue Reading


Students Seek Spring Break Alternatives

A group of 12 Tulane students opted to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for spring break. It wasn't the lure of a seaside vacation that attracted them. It was a Tulane Hillel trip focusing on public service. Continue Reading


National Poll Finds Deficit Concerns

Tulane University and Democracy Corps, a nonprofit polling organization co-founded by faculty member James Carville, conducted a survey about the national political climate with a specific look at voters' attitudes on the deficit. Continue Reading


History Detectives on the Case in New Orleans

A crew from the popular PBS series "History Detectives" visited the Tulane uptown campus and other sites in New Orleans April 12–14. Host Elyse Luray, a Tulane graduate, wanted to know why Louisiana Gov. Bernardo de Galvez signed the emancipation papers of a female slave in 1779. Continue Reading


Controlled Chaos

Ronna Harris creates vivid, startling images, applying her brushes and pastels to works that she describes as rooted in the American Realist tradition but influenced by abstract expressionism. The result is a kind of "controlled chaos" on canvas. In this video produced by Nick Marinello, Harris talks about her art, her fascination with windows and the need to document the world around her. Continue Reading


May 1-30
Joan Mitchell: Works on Paper - A comprehensive survey of Joan Mitchell’s works on paper over a 36-year period, this show explores her evolution as an abstract expressionist and her emphatic use of line, color, and light.

May 6-14
Bachelor of Arts Exhibition - with closing reception on May 14


May 14
Graduate Hooding & Recognition Ceremony

May 14
Newcomb-Tulane College Senior Awards Ceremony

May 15
Unified Commencement

May 27-30
Love's Labor's Lost - Part of the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane

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Tulane University School of Liberal Arts

Tulane University
School of Liberal Arts
102 Newcomb Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118

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