Monthly Archives: February 2016

Mount St. Mary’s University President Resigns

Straight from the university’s own press release, available here, comes good news for academia at large:

Emmitsburg, MD (February 29, 2016) Mount St. Mary’s University today announced the resignation of its president, Simon Newman, effective immediately. Karl Einolf, Ph.D., Dean of the Richard J.Bolte, Sr., School of Business has been named by the Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees as the school’s acting president.

“The board is grateful to President Newman for his many accomplishments over the past year, including strengthening the University’s finances, developing a comprehensive strategic plan for our future, and bringing many new ideas to campus that have benefitted the entire Mount community,” said John Coyne, Chairman of the Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees. “We thank him for his service.”

“I am proud of what I have been able to achieve in a relatively short time particularly in helping the University chart a clear course toward a bright future,” said Simon Newman. “I care deeply about the school and the recent publicity relating to my leadership has become too great of a distraction to our mission of educating students. It was a difficult decision but I believe it is the right course of action for the Mount at this time.”

Before Einolf’s appointment to Dean of the Bolte School of Business in 2012, he served on the faculty as a professor of finance. He was a recipient of the University’s Richards Award for Teaching Excellence, and he served for six years as the Director of the Mount’s Honors Program. He has published papers in numerous business and economics journals, and has presented his work at national and international conferences. Before joining the Mount in 1998, Einolf served the Sprint Corporation in various finance, marketing, and human resource positions.

Episode 4: the Paradox of the Enlightenment Subject

Is corporate personhood really different from regular personhood?  What is the relationship between the body — the corpus — and the self? How were the technological and economic circumstances of the 17th and 18th centuries involved in imagining what it was like to be a subject.  What elements of human life are left out of the standard Enlightenment subject?  How is that related to actual people who are not afforded full subjectivity?

In this episode, we’re talking to three scholars working in the humanities:

Jill Casid, Professor of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discusses the way in which contemporary projective technology was implicated in imagining both the ideal Enlightenment self and its Other.

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Her book, Scenes of Projection: Recasting the Enlightenment Subject, is available from the University of Minnesota Press.

John O’Brien, Professor of English Literature at the University of Virginia, talks about John Locke’s involvement in British economic policy and management of a colonial corporation, and how these are related to his enormously influential philosophies of politics, law, and the mind.

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His book, Literature Incorporated: the Cultural Unconscious of the Business Corporation, 1650-1850, is available now from the University of Chicago Press.

Jeannine Murray-Román, Assistant Professor of French and Spanish Literatures at Florida State University, discusses the way colonial and postcolonial subjects find themselves excluded from the allegedly universal categories of Enlightenment personhood, and the way in which subjectivity might be expanded in the direction of real universality, or universal particularity.

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Her new book, Performance and Personhood in Caribbean Literature from Alexis to the Digital Age, from the University of Virginia Press, is set to be released at literally any moment.

Episode 3: Neoliberalism at Home and Abroad

This episode features four stellar scholars talking about one of the academy’s most commonly heard, and most often misunderstood, terms: Neoliberalism.  These four authors engage neoliberalism and its discontents in literary manifestations, in domestic American political movements, and in global spaces, particularly Colombia and Nigeria.

Mitchum Huehls, of UCLA’s English Department, addresses the theory underneath neoliberalism, its resistance to critique, and the way in which the figure of the child soldier reveals profound difficulties in neoliberal human rights language.

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His new book, hot off the presses, is After Critique: Twenty-First-Century Fiction in a Neoliberal Age, and it’s available from Oxford University Press.

Finis Dunaway, Professor of American History at Trent University, discusses the ways that popular media and media images, in particular, shaped the modern environmental movement from the late 1970s to the present, emphasizing the way the environmental message of personal responsibility — buy a Prius! be a good recycler! — dovetails with the neoliberal shift.

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His most recent book on the matter, Seeing Green: The Use and Abuse of Environmental Images, is available now from the University of Chicago Press.

Lesley Gill, head of Vanderbilt University’s Anthropology department, draws attention to neoliberalism’s effects in the Middle Magdalena region of Colombia.  To the previous guests, she adds an emphasis of the role of violence in establishing the kind of free-market reforms that the neoliberal order prizes.

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Her recent book focuses on precisely this articulation of neoliberal violence, as its title suggests: A Century of Violence in a Red City: Popular Struggle, Counterinsurgency, and Human Rights in Colombia will be released by Duke University Press at the end of February.

Omolade Adunbi is a political anthropologist in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan, and, like Dr. Gill, studies the global impacts of neoliberal reforms.  For Dr. Adunbi, the focus is on the oil enclaves of the Niger delta and the often intertwined roles of multinational corporations, the Nigerian state, local insurgency groups, and transnational NGOs.

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His book, Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria, is available now from Indiana University Press.

Episode 2: African American Political Thought, Part 1

While the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s — Supreme Court victories, sit-ins and marches — provides the enduring images of African American political activism in public memory, the civil rights era both emerged from and gave rise to broader and more eclectic traditions of cultural and intellectual work. Our guests this week explore the ways in which African American politics conceives of the self, the community, and the state in ways that include, but go beyond, the legalistic picture denoted by “rights talk.” This episode discusses the role of performance, music, storytelling and political emotions in doing the imaginative labor of envisioning habitable political futures.

In this episode we’re speaking with:

Dr. Shana Redmond, Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California.  Author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora.  New York University Press, 2013.

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Dr. Nick Bromell, Professor of English and American Literature, University of Massachusetts.  Author of The Time Is Always Now: Black Thought and the Transformation of US Democracy. Oxford University Press, 2013.

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Dr. Angela Ards, Associate Professor of English, Southern Methodist University.  Author of Words of Witness: Black Women’s Autobiography in the Post-Brown Era.  University of Wisconsin Press, 2016.

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