the K I N G F I S H E R 2006
p u b l i c a t i o n
c o l l e g e t h e
t h e
h u m a n i t i e s
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A P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E
COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F U TA H
K i ng fi sher
table of contents
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COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES PARTNERSHIP BOARD
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH From The Public Life of Privacy in Nineteeth Century Literature
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY Nature’s History
DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE Learning Ancient Greek The Native Speaker and the Learning of Foreign Languages
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS The Contribution of Linguists
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY Why Study Philosophy?
THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN INDIAN LANGUAGES Preparing Northern Utah for Tomorrow
MIDDLE EAST CENTER Overheard...
TANNER HUMANITIES CENTER The Tanner Humanities Center Welcomes a New Director
UNIVERSITY WRITING PROGRAM & CENTER Learning What Students are Thinking
ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES GRADUATE PROGRAM From Wilding Nature, Wilding Language: In Wildness is the Preservation of the Word
ASIAN STUDIES PROGRAM, INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM, LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM Civil Society and a World of Clubs
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FOCUS ON: THE ASIA CENTER
THE KINGFISHER SYMBOL DEPARTMENTS, CENTERS AND INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS & INITIATIVES THE COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AT A GLANCE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION What is a Wasteland?
THE CAROLYN TANNER IRISH HUMANITIES BUILDING COMMUNITY UPDATE UNCOMFORTABLE RESPONSIBILITY AND THE LIBERAL ARTS, Dean Robert Newman POETRY STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS CONVOCATION
college of humanities partnership board Dorothy Anderson
Gary J. Neeleman
Manager, Public Affairs and Community Relations American Express
Attorney, Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonoug
International Consulting, Inc.
Ross “Rocky” C. Anderson
Mayor, Salt Lake City
Grant Bennett President, Ceramics Process Systems
Richard H. Keller, M.D. Former Chief of Radiology, Cottonwood and Alta View Hospitals
Executive Director, Utah Humanities Council
Anthon S. Cannon, Jr.
Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Attorney, Pillsbury Winthrop LLP
Lorna H. Matheson
Gerald Nichols President, NJRA Architects
Virginia Hinckley Pearce Author and Lecturer
Rhoda Ramsey Founder, The Ramsey Group
Klaus Rathke Former General Manager, Standard Optical
Of Counsel to Baker & McKenzie
Former President, University of Utah Alumni Association Board of Directors
Human Resources Director,
Robert E. Clark
Attorney and Senior Partner Clark Greene & Associates
Attorney, Ray Quinney & Nebeker
Cate Randak Gastronomy, Inc.
President and CEO, Simmons Media Group
Community Relations Manager, Kennecott Land
Joel Momberger Reverend France A. Davis
The National Conference for
Legal Counsel, Informatica
Community and Justice
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
Kent H. Murdock
George L. Denton, Jr.
President, O. C. Tanner Company
Former Executive Vice President, First Security Corporation
Publisher and Editor, Mundo Hispano
Former Executive Director,
Paula SwanerSargetakis President, Swaner Nature Preserve
The College of Humanities would like to warmly thank two of our generous alumni,
Richard H. Keller M.D. and Rhoda Ramsey for sponsoring this year’s edition of The Kingfisher.
Transformation, calm, multiplicity, unity, felicity, disturbance, revelation... To poets, the kingfisher magically embodies all of these—a joining of opposites, a preservation of variety, an embrace of challenge and change. “What does not change is the will to change,” begins Charles Olson’s poem “The Kingfisher.” In Greek mythology, the kingfisher paradoxically is associated
transformation—the story of Alcyon and Ceyx whom, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Zeus turned into a pair of birds—and with the idea of “halcyon days”—a period of calm seas and of general peace and serenity. In Gerald Manley Hopkins sonnet, “As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame,” the iridescent plumage of this spectacular bird is celebrated as an image of both the multiplicity and unity of God’s creation. And in Amy Clampitt’s poem, which bears the same title as Charles Olson’s, “a kingfisher’s burnished plunge, the color/of felicity afire, came glancing like an arrow/through landscapes of untended memory.” The College of Humanities extends this poetic tradition by adopting the kingfisher as a symbol of these fundamental concepts that we in the Humanities practice and teach. We believe in their profound and lasting importance. We are pleased to offer you this 2006 issue of The Kingfisher, and thank you for the role you play in promoting our mission of lifelong learning.
DEPARTMENTS Communication English History Languages & Literature Linguistics Philosophy
CENTERS Center for American Indian Languages Middle East Center Tanner Humanities Center University Writing Program & Center
INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS & INITIATIVES Applied Ethics Animation Studies Asian Studies Documentary Studies Environmental Humanities International Studies Latin American Studies Peace and Conflict Studies University Writing Program 4
THE COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AT A GLANCE The College of Humanities is the second-largest college on campus and is at the core of the University of Utah’s mission and the experience of higher education. The Humanities offer of an approach to a conscience
in a complex
Professors study and teach essential skills and tools for thinking and
communicating that apply readily to everyday practical situations, emphasizing a commitment to community, and awareness of our integral function in a multifaceted global culture. Through research and pedagogy that illustrate healthy questioning and shifting frontiers, and attempts at inclusion and connection, we offer approaches that are fundamentally democratic. We thereby help to produce better-informed, thoughtful world citizens with a foundation for nuance and flexibility. All undergraduates enroll in Humanities courses at some point in their academic pursuits. Each year, about 2500 of these students choose to focus their studies on Humanities, choosing from the College’s 21 majors. The College confers onefifth of the University’s diplomas annually. Graduate students number about 400 and have matriculated into one of 14 Master’s and 13 Ph.D. programs. The College’s
170 tenured and tenure-track faculty have published 60 books and more than 300 articles in the past three years; possess international distinction as scholars; are the most frequent winners of University teaching and research awards; and are the most diverse in terms of ethnicity and gender in the University.
he last word is never said
and one must not judge one’s adversaries as if one’s own cause were identified with absolute truth. Raymond Aron (1905-1983)
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION New Faculty
Suhi Choi has just completed her Ph.D. at Temple University. Her dissertation examined media coverage of the No Gun Ri incident and testimonies of survivors. Suhi will be teaching courses related to international communication and documentary work. ___
Suzanne Horsely has just completed her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her work focuses on crisis management communication in state government agencies. Suzanne will teach in our public relations curriculum. ___
Kimberley Mangun completed her Ph.D. work at the University of Oregon. She explores women and minorities in communication history, alternative media including the Black press, and advocacy journalism for social change. Kim will teach in our news editorial curriculum. ___
Hector Postigo has just completed his Ph.D. work at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His dissertation explored technological enforcement and subversion of digital copyright law on the internet. Hector will teach courses related to communication and new technology.
Alumni Briefs Danny Chi (BA Mass Comm ‘01) has been named PR manager for the X Games and ESPY awards at ESPN in Los Angeles, California. Ossama Elshamy (BA Mass Comm ‘06) is anchor/reporter for Bridge TV, a satellite station for English-speaking Muslims in North America and the UK. Fred C. Esplin (MS Speech Comm ‘74) was named the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the University of Utah. Emile C. Netzhammer III (MS ‘84, Ph.D. ‘87) was recently named the first provost of Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. John Schulian (BA Journalism ‘67) has a new book, titled Twilight of the Long-ball Gods: Dispatches from the Disappearing Heart of Baseball.
New Programs The Department of Communication is happy to announce its leadership in the development of several interdisciplinary programs, with new minors in Applied Ethics, Leadership, and Documentary Studies.
What is a Wasteland?
How often do you hear the phrase “a desert wasteland”? Through their frequent rhetorical connection, the terms desert and wasteland are almost synonymous for many Americans. Wastelands are lifeless, ugly, and spiritually vacant places. However, those who live in deserts know that this does not describe the deserts we know. Far from lifeless, the deserts of the Great Basin host a wealth of biological and plant diversity. According to a NatureServe report, Utah and Nevada rank 10th and 11th among the states in amount of species diversity. As many as 182 species are native to Utah alone. Moreover, the spiritual qualities of the Great Basin are recognized by numerous inhabitants such as Terry Tempest Williams, Native American tribes, and the LDS Church. Speaking of Yucca Mountain in Nevada, Edward Smith of the Chemehuevi Indian tribe stated “Yucca Mountain is sacred to our people. It is part of the lands that our Creator gave to us.” If many realize the value of deserts, does it matter if others consider them “wastelands”? Rhetorically constructing regions as wastelands can serve as justification for policies that impact these regions. The Department of Energy justifies storing nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain in part because they consider it a “desert wasteland.” Those who saw a “desert wasteland” in Western Utah built a nerve gas incinerator, a low-level nuclear waste site, and a hazardous waste incinerator surrounding the Skull Valley Goshutes reservation. Tribal leaders decided to host a“temporary” nuclear waste site on the reservation stating“in view of the current hazardous waste facilities and nerve gas incinerators surrounding the Skull Valley Reservation, the Band has…leased land to a private group of electrical utilities for the temporary storage of 40,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel.” This is not because proponents view their reservation as “desert wasteland,” but because it was converted from lush desert into hazardous wasteland. So, what qualifies as a wasteland? Instead of deserts, we might call cities, or hazardous waste facilities, wastelands by arguing that these places are barren, uninhabitable, or unspiritual. The word wasteland is value-laden and contingent. The ubiquitous linkage between deserts and wastelands reflects how society places value on particular places and types of land and beauty. However, these values are not universal. Deserts and wastelands are not inherently connected. Yet, if wasteland discourse is used to justify nuclear waste sites, we risk the land becoming a hazardous wasteland threatening the species diversity and spirituality of the region. Danielle Endres, Assistant Professor of Communication
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH PROGRAMS
American Studies British and American Literature Creative Writing English Education Rhetoric and Composition
Distinguished Alumni of the Department of English include: LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, authors Terry Tempest Williams and Wallace Stegner, and former Congresswoman Karen Shepherd.
Vincent Pecora, Gordon B. Hinckley Chair of
British Literature and Culture, has been appointed as the new department chair.
FORTHCOMING BOOKS BY FACULTY Of Essays and Reading in Early Modern Britain (Palgrave), by Scott Black Romanticism and the Rise of Mass Public (Cambridge), by Andrew Franta Religion and Culture (Chicago), by Vincent Pecora The Invention of the Kaleidoscope (Pittburgh), by Paisley Rekdal Singing in a Strange Land: A Jewish American Poetics (Stanford), by Maeera Shreiber Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where Black Meets Queer (Duke), by Kathryn Stockton
From Saskatchewan Sonnets Maybe I’ll learn something from these prairies: so determined to extend themselves they can’t take time from rolling up their sleeves to bother with the usual trappings of grandeur (not—look around—that they’re in any danger). They have mouths to feed, they’re getting old and a load of equally persistent worries: this perfect growing weather; will it hold? But, as if against their will, the grandeur’s happened. Watch the staggered curtsy of that barley in the field, how a single breeze unlocks its treasuries. Low to the ground or not, these non-sense prairies are still comprised of filaments of gold and nothing earthly moves like gold in wind. Jaqueline Osherow, Distinguished Professor of English 8
The Public Life of Privacy in Nineteenth Centur y American Literature In recent years, which have seen repeated challenges to Huckleberry Finn’s place in the canon and the curriculum, the terms of the debate have not changed very much. Defenders of the novel still defend the moral power of Huck’s commitment freeing Jim, and detractors still wonder if such commitment overrides the novel’s various flaws—its casual racism, its lampooning of Jim, and its transformation of a serious crisis into a game. The reading of the ending of Huckleberry Finn that I advance depends on a recognition of Twain’s commitment to black civil rights. But it would be a mistake, I think, simply to add Huckleberry Finn to the list of evidence in his favor. For the interest of the novel lies precisely in its attempt to think about the problem of American racism in structural rather than personal terms and thus to shift the focus (not permanently but, perhaps, strategically) from belief to practice, from intentions to effects. What Twain recognizes is the poverty of treating racial justice as a question of sentiment (requiring a “change of heart”) rather than a question of structure (requiring new political policies). It would be tempting then to argue that given Huckleberry Finn’s critique of Jim Crow America and its fantasy of racial justice, those who have argued so strenuously against its continued presence in the canon and curriculum are wrong and must stop. At the same time, however, I suggest that taking the project of this novel seriously means taking effects seriously, and that must include the bad as well as the good effects that the novel has had on readers. To insist that either bad or good effects are merely irrelevant or based on misreading is, as the novel itself illustrates, to misread the way in which objects and actions can produce profound social consequences that cannot be explained in terms of intentions. Huckleberry Finn is about both the difficulty and the necessity of valuing effects over intentions. Thus, one of the implications of Twain’s project is that no reading of the novel can put an end to the debate it has engendered. Taking effects on readers seriously means acknowledging that responses to the novel can be neither dictated nor replaced by a reading of the novel; even more importantly, it suggests that Huckleberry Finn itself provides the grounds for its own reassessment. Seen in this light, both proponents and detractors of Huckleberry Finn get the novel wrong. That literary critics have finally pointed us to the social effects of Twain’s project should not, despite their best intentions, be understood as a dismissal of this project. For their use of Huckleberry Finn to oppose the politics of good intentions must count as a sign that we are beginning to get the novel right. Stacey Margolis, Associate Professor of English
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY DEAN L. MAY GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP
Thanks to the invaluable aid of alumnus Spencer Eccles Jr., (BA 1996) the Department of History has raised over $280,000 from more than 130 individuals and eight foundations to support the Dean L. May Graduate Fellowship in the History of Utah and the American West. Named for our beloved colleague who taught in these fields for many years, this fellowship will ensure that Dean’s legacy will live on in both the department and the profession.
NEW LECTURE & CONFERENCE
With the support of alumnus Vern Bullough (BA 1951), who we regret passed away in June, the Department of History has created the Vern & Bonnie Bullough Lecture in the History of Gender and Sexuality. This year’s speaker was Mrinalini Sinha of Pennsylvania State University, who visited campus in April to deliver a lecture entitled “Facts and Frames: Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Oversexed Hindu.” Next spring, the department is delighted to welcome George Chauncey, who will deliver another exciting lecture in the series. This year the department is proud to sponsor an interdisciplinary and international conference entitled “Hell and Its Afterlife: Comparative and Historical Perspectives”, organized by History professor Isabel Moreira and Languages & Literature professor Margaret Toscano, in conjunction with the Tanner Humanities Center. Twenty-five scholars will explore the social and cultural importance of hell in both contemporary and historical contexts. The conference will take place on October 24–25 in the University Alumni House.
Professor Peter Sluglett, one of the world’s foremost experts on modern Iraq, has been invited to spend the 2006-07 academic year as the Alfred H. Howell Visiting Professor in the Department of History and Archaeology at the American University of Beirut.
Distinguished History alumni include E. Gordon Gee (BA ’68), Chancellor of Vanderbilt University; Ann Weaver Hart (BS ’70, MA ’81), President of Temple University; and the late Alonzo Watson, Jr. (BA ’43), senior partner at Ray, Quinney and Nebeker and community leader in Salt Lake City for more than 40 years.
Nature’s History How can the study of history help us to resolve contemporary problems? For one of the newer kinds of historians on the block—environmental historians—this question doesn’t need asking. They see that all environmental issues have a past, and that learning about those pasts is often the first crucial step in finding solutions. In exploring the borderlands between nature and culture, environmental historians have uncovered surprising and sometimes troubling insights. Germs played a larger role in New World conquest than either guns or steel. Wilderness, it turns out, may have been created rather than preserved, and Yellowstone can be understood as an act of dispossession even more than conservation. Automobile companies routinely withheld information about the dangers of adding lead to gasoline until such dangers became manifested in public health; yet by then, seven million metric tons of lead had been spewed into our backyards and fields. Environmentalists now utilize the findings of their historian colleagues, but as often as not, in doing so they also encounter the limits of their own assumptions and practices. Environmental history can form the hub of all other environmental subjects, whether humanistic or scientific. It is for this broad synthetic role that environmental history is finding its way into all flavors of environmental curricula, and why students (as in my current environmental history class) come from backgrounds as disparate as meteorology, philosophy, biology, and history. Can we find nature at the mall? Why do environmental groups count so few people of color in their memberships? Does war always ruin the environment, or can it sometimes benefit the earth and its creatures? These are some of the questions being explored by students of environment and history. Marcus Hall, Assistant Professor of History
DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGES & LITERATURE The Department of Languages & Literature is committed to fostering a critical and comprehensive understanding of diverse cultures, through the study of literature, language, art, film and history.
STELLAR FACULTY In the last year... six books published and 17 teaching and research awards granted.
OF INTEREST Languages & Literature courses and programs are multicultural, interdisciplinary, and integrate language, literature, film, music, popular culture, and media across geographical boundaries. New initiatives have resulted in: • The department’s broadening of its service learning and community outreach programs. The Spanish Community Volunteer Program is flourishing with nearly 100 students volunteering this year in area schools and community organizations. • Professor Luz Maria de la Torre, leading indigenous scholar from Ecuador, spent a week on campus last fall lecturing on the contemporary situation of the indigenous to faculty and students in Linguistics, Economics, and Spanish, and working with students in Spanish 4900, “Indigenous in the Americas: Writing and Culture.” • “Confutati,” an annual graduate student conference organized by the department’s graduate students, continues to grow and attract participants from beyond the Intermountain West. • The department reintroduced Navajo language courses in 2005-06 and will introduce courses in Hindi-Urdu language, literature, and culture in 2006-07. • A new Study Abroad Program in Alexandria, Egypt was offered this summer for the first time, in addition to the department’s extensive array of study abroad programs in Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia and Spain. Such programs provide unique opportunities for students to live the languages and cultures of the host countries.
CURRICULUM American Sign Language Arabic
Chinese Classics (Greek & Latin) Comparative Literature French German Modern Greek
Hebrew Hindi-Urdu Italian Japanese Korean Navajo 12
Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish Turkish
Learning Ancient Greek The ancient Greeks told the same story again and again. Time after time, some hapless fool— sometimes decent, often arrogant or just plain dim—learns things the hard way. This hard philosophical truth is pinned down in the Greek verb for knowing: in the present tense gignosko means“to learn,” and only in the past tense will it mean “to know.” Oedipus and Achilles and Medea demonstrate this grammatical fact: to know is to have learned. Every story asks us to live, for a moment, in the subjunctive voice: ‘imagine that the following is true. . . .’ The Greek stories love to show how human beings, living as we do at the center of our own universes, quickly forget what is to be gained by living vicariously in tales well told. Aristotle was right to put human beings in the genus of “featherless bipeds:” ostrich-like, we are almost always deaf to the moral of the story. Even when we tell ourselves stories about the great dangers of forgetting the old stories, we reveal an enormous talent for forgetting. There’s an old Greek story about that too. Erin O’Connell, Assistant Professor of Classics
The Native Speaker and the Learning of Foreign Languages Foreign language teaching and scholarship grant the native speaker nearly uncontested authority as a model for language use and a source for insights into language and culture. One’s native language is the one acquired first and therefore, by definition, one cannot become a native speaker of a second language. The best a learner can do is to achieve near-native or native-like proficiency, forever short of ultimate attainment. In turn, one never ceases to be a native speaker of the language acquired as a child. Perhaps we should take a closer look at the main premise of the native speaker model: that the language of childhood remains the same through adulthood. This certainly does not hold true for adult immigrants who may ultimately use their second language more frequently, and even more competently than their first (which of course puts into question the “native speaker for life” assumption!). The native speaker model also loses its relevance in communities where daily life requires that members learn and use multiple languages. “English only,” as it turns out, has very few equivalents in a world in which multilingualism is the norm rather than the exception. As we encourage students to embark on foreign language study, learners who have become competent and sensitive second language users may prove much more inspiring than the elusive native speaker. Johanna Watzinger-Tharp, Associate Professor of German & Linguistics
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS NEW INITIATIVES
The department’s participation in the University Neighborhood Partnership’s Hartland Project involves designing and delivering ESL instruction to the project’s population of preliterate Somali and Sudanese refugees (as well as others). This participation is crucial to the success of the program as language is so central to the population’s practical needs. Students benefit by developing innovative language programs and gaining teaching experience with a population experiencing unique challenges.
The Speech Acquisition Lab, now in its second year, has generated such intense interest that the department has made it a priority to remodel and dedicate the faculty conference room to this promising source of collaborative (student-faculty and student-student) research and learning. Ph.D. student Aleksandra Zaba presented lab-related work at the prestigious Linguistic Society of America this year. Zaba, M.A. candidate Shaun Matthews and undergraduate student Zac Rasmussen each presented a paper at the 2006 Deseret Language and Linguistics Symposium. In addition, Rasmussen received a grant under the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program for his work in the lab.
Lyle Campbell was appointed to the rank of Presidential Professor, a rank reserved for individuals whose achievements exemplify the highest goals of scholarship and teaching.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Benjamin Bates, B.A., 1999 Attorney, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Chicago, and Law Offices of Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, Tokyo
Kate Diggins, M.A., 1996
Director, Adult English Education, Guadalupe Schools, Salt Lake City
Dirk Elzinga, M.A., 1993
Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Brigham Young University
Felice Coles, M.A.,1983
Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, University of Mississippi
Cliff Miller, B.A., 1977, M.A., 1978
President and CEO, Mountain View Data Inc., San Francisco Former President, CEO and Chairman, TurboLinux, Inc., San Francisco and Tokyo
The Contribution of Linguists The English language is increasingly the international language of business, science, politics, diplomacy, technology, and entertainment. In fact, it is now so widely spoken that it is often referred to as a“world language.” With so many people learning to speak English, the Department of Linguistics is working to address the unique implications of such a global spread. First, as the demand for English language skills increases, so does the need for English language teachers. According to some reports, within the next decade, up to one-third of the world’s population will be learning English. The department trains English language teachers who then go on to teach English all over the world. Second, as more and more people around the world learn English, the number of non-native speakers of English increases. In fact, there are currently more non-native speakers of English in the world than native speakers—non-native speakers outnumber native speakers approximately four-to-one. As a result, much of the communication that occurs in English around the world involves speech produced and heard by people who have non-native accents. Research in the Speech Acquisition Lab in the Department of Linguistics examines both the phenomena of non-native-accented speech production and non-native-accented listening in order to better understand why non-native accents make speech difficult to understand and how second language learners can reduce their accents. Finally, as English and other dominant languages such as Mandarin and Spanish gain influence throughout the world, they are replacing minority languages, causing these languages to become endangered at an alarming rate. To demonstrate the urgency of this issue, according to some estimates, at the current rate of language death, 90 percent of the world’s 6,000 languages will be extinct in the next 100 years. The Center for American Indian Languages in the Department of Linguistics, in collaboration with additional faculty members, is active in the documentation and revitalization of endangered languages. These efforts indicate the contribution the department is making to the future of the dual issues of the spread of English as a world language and the preservation of languages threatened by this spread. Rachel Hayes-Harb, Assistant Professor of Linguistics
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY NEW FACULTY
The department welcomes Matt Haber (Ph.D., UC-Davis, 2005) to the faculty; Matt specializes in philosophy of biology, bioethics and environmental ethics, and will add to faculty strengths in each of these areas. The department is also very happy to welcome back as visiting Professor of Philosophy Nicholas P. White. Before joining the faculty at the University of California, Irvine, Nick was Presidential Professor of Philosophy at Utah; his most recent book is A Brief History of Happiness (Blackwell, 2006).
Awards • Bryan Benham has been awarded a University interdisciplinary grant to teach a course on genetics and society, developed in cooperation with the Department of Biology. • Anya Plutynski has been named Honors Professor for 2006-07. She will be creating a course on Darwin and the influence of Darwinism on contemporary debates, such as teaching evolution in biology courses in public schools. • Deen Chatterjee and Bruce Landesman have been awarded a Dee Grant for 20062007. They will use the grant to bring political philosophers to campus to participate in Deen’s political philosophy course and Bruce’s course on justice and international affairs. Deen has also been named editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of Global Justice; Bruce is executive director of the American section of the International Society for Philosophy of Right and Social Philosophy. • Pepe Lee Chang won the College’s research award for graduate students for her paper, published in The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy,“Who’s in the Business of Saving Lives?” • Chuck Hudgins (Ph.D. candidate) and Brin Bon (undergraduate) were awarded Steffensen Cannon Scholarships for 2006-07. • Scott Wood has been awarded the Whisner/Appleby Scholarship and John Carlock and Jessica Zimmer have been awarded Philosophy Tuition Scholarships for 2006-07. • Rocky Anderson, Mayor of Salt Lake City, has been awarded the College of Humanities Distinguished Alumnus award for 2006.
The 2006 Annual Philosophy Colloquium, titled “Neuroscience and Moral Psychology,” brought together philosophers and scientists for discussions on the neurological roots of our moral psychology. The department also sponsored the third annual Intermountain Philosophy Conference. This year’s keynote speaker was David Chalmers, from the Australian National University, and author of The Conscious Mind. 16
Why Study Philosophy? When I told my parents that I was planning to major in philosophy, their reply was a somewhat incredulous: “What?” Our undergraduate majors consistently report similar reactions from their families and friends. I don’t remember how I answered my parents. But perhaps more now than at the time, I realize there are several powerful reasons to study philosophy. Philosophy is the mother of all fields—or, as John L. Austin wrote, the “initial seminal sun” spinning off physics, psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, bioethics, and more. To study philosophy is to learn to think. University of Utah Philosophy alumni have gone on to a wide range of careers. For example, Rocky Anderson is a lawyer and the mayor of Salt Lake City; Simarjit Gill is a prosecutor and candidate for Salt Lake County Attorney; Margaret Plane is the legal director of the ACLU of Utah; and Daniel Allred is a partner at Parsons Behle and Latimer in Salt Lake City. Richard Keller is a retired physician; Cobin Soelberg has completed an M.A. in bioethics and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and will be completing medical school here at the University of Utah next year; and Ryan Spellecy teaches bioethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Devon Hite will be attending Yale Divinity School next year. Some study business ethics, like Pepe Chang, winner of the College of Humanities graduate research award this year. Some have had distinguished careers in academia, such as Michael Malone, chair of the philosophy department at Northern Arizona University, or Howard Tuttle, former chair of the philosophy department at the University of New Mexico. Or Patricia Sullivan, who holds the Ineva Baldwin Chair of Arts & Science at the University of Colorado. However, one of the most compelling reasons to study philosophy – and surely the one that initially drew me to the field—is that philosophy addresses issues that are critically important to how we live our lives. Our faculty teach courses on the meaning of life (Lije Millgram) and write books on happiness (Nick White), global ethics (Deen Chatterjee), and end-of-life decision making (Peggy Battin). Our students receiving Ph.D. degrees this year wrote dissertations on the mitigating effects of depression on responsibility (Mark Olsen), our moral sentiments (Peggy Vandenberg), and the ethics of our treatment of human remains (Jan VanRiper). We recognize that once you start thinking, it’s hard to stop. So we are instituting a series of Evening Philosophical Conversations, and all are welcome. We plan to hold one in the autumn and one in spring, beginning next fall; check our web site for updated information! And should anyone look askance at the decision to major in philosophy, say it’s the most practical field you know because of all the things it can enable you to do and to think. Leslie Francis, Chair of the Department of Philosophy
CENTER FOR AMERIC AN INDIAN L ANGUAGES Through its grants and projects, the Center for American Indian Languages (CAIL) contributes significantly to community involvement in cooperation with Native American groups concerned with the maintenance and revitalization of their languages and cultures. It has established relationships with American Indian groups, indigenous organizations, and scholars concerned with Native American endangered languages and cultures.
Of Interest This year saw the successful launch of Smithsonian Utah Publications in American Indian Languages (SUPAIL), representing a unique publishing partnership between the University of Utah Press and the Smithsonian Institute. The Center again hosted the Conference on Endangered Languages and Cultures of Native America. This international conference, now in its second year, included presentation of more than 40 scholarly papers, with participants from Germany, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and several other countries. CAIL’s director, Professor Lyle Campbell, was recently named Presidential Professor for the University of Utah, one of the highest awards available to faculty. This award reflects Professor Campbell’s extensive work with the indigenous languages of the Americas. Professor Campbell was also recently named President of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, the major organization for American Indian languages, and the second largest professional linguistics society in North America.
New Projects The Center staff is now in the process of establishing an archive for the American Indian languages of the West, with a focus on the Great Basin area. This archive includes a wide range of media, such as sound, video, and images. CAIL continues to support an exciting and engaging intellectual environment, with current academic work centered on three major research projects. Each project involves students (both undergraduate and graduate), as well as nationally recognized faculty. These research endeavors are: • National Science Foundation-funded Shoshone language preservation and digitization project • The Mesoamerica Project (documenting seven languages in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico) • The Northern Argentina Project (centered around documentation and preservation of three endangered languages). 18
Preparing Northern Utah for Tomorrow
“Coyote was walking along and was tired of being cold. He called the animals together. ‘Let’s go to the desert lands in the south,’ he said, ‘and steal the people’s fire.’ ” Hidden in aged and dusty records are the captivating stories of how man harnessed fire and why the stars dangle in orbit like sparkling grains of sand. These documents also contain the history of the Shoshone Indians, a people who inhabited northern Utah for hundreds of years. When linguistics professor Mauricio Mixco began working with the Shoshone in Brigham City he had one goal in mind: to help the rising generation understand its rich heritage. With the instrumental support of Patty Timimboo-Madsen, a tribal leader, Mauricio received a grant to translate and preserve Shoshone artifacts. This grant sparked another innovative idea: to help preserve the culture as well through an illustrated children’s book that could be read in both English and the fading Shoshone language. Produced in cooperation with Utah State University, the book Coyote Steals Fire: A Shoshone Tale is a valuable resource for Utah children.
Illustration and excerpt from “Coyote Steals Fire: A Shoshone Tale” Copyright 2005 The Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. Used with permission.
MIDDLE EAST CENTER Founded in 1960 with federal “Title VI” funding, the University of Utah’s Middle East Center is widely recognized as one of the prominent National Resource Centers in the United States. The Center’s academic work encompasses three main categories: to educate students in Middle East studies as future experts in the field, to develop new scholarly knowledge in this arena, and to enhance understanding by the general public of Middle Eastern issues while improving the quality of media and societal discussions of these issues. The Middle East academic degrees are designed to be interdisciplinary and are aimed at developing the breadth and depth of topics examined. This year, the Center achieved greater national visibility in three ways: (1) through its success in maintaining national funding on competitive grounds by the U.S. Department of Education over many decades. The Center has just received over $750,000 from the Department of Education in support of fellowships to allow it to recruit the best graduate students in the country. (2) The Center’s Aziz Atiya Middle East Library has been ranked as one of the top-10 U.S. library collections on the Middle East. (3) By organizing a successful lecture series on Middle East issues in which diverse perspectives were presented and broadcast locally, nationally, and internationally.
2005–2006 Lecture Series During the academic year 2005-06, the Middle East lecture series focused on the theme of “Middle East Perspectives on Regional Issues and U.S. Policies.” In previous years the lecture series centered on various assessments of U.S. public diplomacy in the region and on the protracted war in Iraq. This year, Middle Eastern policy makers and opinion makers offered their perspectives on U.S. strategies and their implementation throughout the region. The series began with a talk by Rami Khouri, the prominent executive editor of the Beirut-based Daily Star on the challenges facing democratization in the Middle East. The next speaker was Shai Feldman, the Director of the Center of Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv University who addressed obstacles facing the peace process and possibilities of overcoming them. The third speaker was Shahram Schubin, an expert on Iranian security and director of the Geneva Center for Strategic Policy, who analyzed the Iranian-American tensions around Iran’s nuclear program. The fourth speaker was Bruce Hoffman, director of the RAND Corporation Center on Terrorism and Counterterrorism. Finally, Congressman Howard Berman, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, commented on the perspectives of top leaders in the Middle East, with whom he had recently met.
OVERHEARD... The following excerpts are from the remarks of two of this year’s Middle East Lecture Series distinguished lecturers:
“In my view there is no question that the big strategic winner of the situation in Iraq is Iran. If tomorrow morning 150,000 Americans–mostly American servicemen–are withdrawn from Iraq, that would leave a monumental strategic imbalance in the region in Iran’s favor because, essentially, Iraq has been mostly dismembered as a regional player for the foreseeable future. The fact of the matter is that Iran is behaving as if it has indeed become the big strategic winner. If you look at the way they are handling their negotiations with the West on the nuclear issue you see that these are players who know they are holding a strong hand. They also know that the United States with its vast investments in Iraq is vulnerable to Iranian retaliation.” Dr. Shai Feldman, Director of the Crown Center at Brandeis University February 7, 2006
“What is Iran doing and why? Iran is a very difficult state to read. It is not really one hundred percent of anything: It’s not all bad. It’s not all undemocratic. It’s not all hostile. You often hear in the West that the people in Iran consistently rank the United States as a friendly state and a state that they want relations with. It is not North Korea. In any case, there is a mixed picture in Iran.” Shahram Chubin, Director of Studies at the Geneva Center for Security Policy March 2, 2006
TANNER HUMANITIES CENTER MARK YOUR CALENDARS Upcoming programs include a conference on
“Hell and Its Afterlife”
October 24 and 25 at the University’s Alumni House, where top scholars from the disciplines of history, philosophy, languages, literature, and art history will examine concepts of hell from across cultures, religious traditions, literature, and historical periods. In early March 2007, artist Bill Viola will present the 27th annual Utah Tanner Lecture on Human Values. Throughout the year, Tanner Center research fellows and university colleagues will present their ideas in a bi-weekly series of works-in-progress talks. For more information: www.thc.utah.edu To receive the Center’s newsletter please call (801) 581-7989.
Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Visiting Fellows Betsy Duquette, Dept. of English, Gettysburg College: Loyal Subjects: Problems of Race, Nation, and Allegiance in Nineteenth-Century America Michaele Ferguson, Dept. of Political Science, University of Colorado, Boulder: Sharing Democracy Kathrin Koslicki, Dept. of Philosophy, Tufts University: The Language of Counting and Measuring Keith Watenpaugh, Dept. of Religious Studies, University of California, Davis: The Generation of 1900: The Arab Intellectual Between Islam and Modernity
Virgil I. Aldrich Faculty Fellows Mark Button, Dept. of Political Science: Democratic Humility and the Virtues of Late Modernity Claudio Holzner, Dept. of Political Science: Contrasting Voices of Mexico’s Democracy Isabel Moreira, Dept. of History: Purgatory: Punishment and Mediation in the Early Medieval Afterlife Margaret Wan, Dept. of Languages and Literature: Cultural Literacies: Popular Literature and Local Culture in Late Imperial China
Graduate Fellows Kyeong-Kyu Im, Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of English: Empire and Diasporic Formation of Asian America Tracy Marafiote, Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Communication: Boundaries of Identity, Earth and Institution: A Cultural History of the Wilderness Society and the Wilderness Act of 1964
The Tanner Humanities Center Welcomes a New Director The Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center welcomed Dr. Robert Goldberg as its new director on July 1, 2006. The author of six books, including Grassroots Resistance: Social Movements in Twentieth Century America (Waveland Press, 1996) and Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America (Yale University Press, 2001), Dr. Goldberg has been a professor of American History at the University of Utah since 1980. He teaches courses on topics including American Civilization, the American West since 1848, and the History of American Social Movements. Dr. Goldberg received a doctorate in Social History from the University of Wisconsin in 1977 and has won numerous awards, including a Fulbright Research Fellowship (Sweden) in 2003-2004 and seven awards for excellence in teaching. “In becoming director of the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah, I welcome the opportunity to build upon its eighteen years of achievement,” states Goldberg. “The Center will continue to foster basic research in the Humanities in all of its facets, through our fellowships and support for faculty. Such innovative and relevant research reveals the essence of scholar-philanthropist O.C. Tanner’s quest to explore the values of freedom, beauty, and kindness.”
UNIVERSITY WRITING PROGRAM & CENTER NEW CURRICULUM The UWP has made many changes this year to its curriculum, including expanding its upperdivision course offerings to help meet students’ writing needs in their respective area of study: Writing in the Arts and Humanities; Writing in the Social Sciences; Writing in the Sciences; Professional/Technical Writing; Business Writing. ___
Writing 2010, generally called “first-year composition”, is now theme-based, taught through a particular theme, such as the environment, wealth and poverty, childhood, or technology. Our goal is to have students historically situate contemporary problems and learn to examine the context in which these problems are deliberated today. Through careful research of various positions, students move closer to presenting their own informed claims on these timely and timeless issues. ___ As of this Fall, more students will benefit from enrolling in two semesters of writing, rather than one. The UWP recently changed its placement standards to allow students whose writing is not as strong to enroll in our introductory course, rather than our intermediate course. Two semesters of instruction will help students become stronger writers and assist in their other university courses.
Susan Miller was the featured speaker at the University of Iowa Graduate School Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry. The paper she delivered was “Rhetorics, Pedagogies, and Third Spaces: A Different History.” ___ The UWP welcomes new faculty member Jay Jordan who recently completed his Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University. Jay brings expertise in multi-lingual and multi-cultural rhetorics. His most recent publication is a co-edited volume titled, Second Language Writing: A Critical Sourcebook. According to Jay, he has never lived west of the Appalachian Mountain Range. Welcome to the Wasatch!
OUTREACH The University Writing Center enjoyed continued popularity in its third year and ongoing expansion of its services, including online tutoring options. Last year alone, tutors assisted with more than 2000 student texts and projects, ranging from first-year student essays to dissertations. Students in Professor Miller’s Writing Center colloquium produced essays for a tutor-training manual and presented their work at the Rocky Mountain Writing Centers Conference. 24
Learning What Students Are Thinking People have so many definitions of “writing” that it is difficult for members of the University Writing Program to explain how much fun it is to teach it, in any version. We are often thought of as one version of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary definition of “lexicographer”: as “harmless drudges.” Some people say our work is as tedious as whittling scrimshaw—we keep our heads down, our eyes on apprising error and syntactic misalignments, and our patience on a long leash. Of course, writing program faculty members and many graduate students in the University Writing Program’s Master’s and Ph.D. programs understand the special rewards of this teaching. We individually undertake diverse research about topics: discourse theory, the cultural work of authorship, textual conventions in specific disciplines, technical and professional writing, successful, situated argumentation, ordinary writing by early Americans, and a broadly defined“literacy studies.” We collectively design effective courses, for a range of students who may for any number of reasons be under-prepared for university-level composing to graduates and faculty members across campus who want to make more effective their writing for publication. We teach teachers how to evaluate writing—whether that evaluation is correcting and grading class assignments or intervening at various stages of composing to coach students from the perspectives of really interested readers with experience and useful advice. But individually and collectively, we know that the privileged reward of our interests in student writing is access to almost all of the University’s students, especially as they enter this special community of thoughtful conversations about knowledge and its making. We, almost alone, have a unique academic window onto not what the range of writers we teach are thinking, but more importantly to watching as written language allows thought to become composed statements to others. I have listened in on many such streams of new consciousness: “People do not understand that a university teaches more than knowledge—it is a place to think and then talk about thinking with people who know how little we know.” “I think we may be too much alike to teach each other much about culture.” I overhear students finding new and complicated ideas whose difficult written explanation may make them suddenly forget “how to write a sentence,” and soon after I read insightful explanations of those same ideas in well-edited revisions that I think they might someday want to publish. One of our Ph.D. candidates received an e-mail last week from a student he taught six years ago: “Everyone asks how I learned to write so well. I tell them you are the only teacher I remember, so I wanted to tell you that too.” Knowing as we do that writing well always marks a line between leading and being led, we all smiled—that secret smile of those who know where the infrastructures are buried, where really useful knowledge takes shape. Susan Miller, Professor of Writing
ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES GRADUATE PROGRAM This unique program, now in its second year, provides students with a broad-based understanding of social, cultural, ethical, historical, communication, and literary perspectives on issues related to the environment, with a focus on how these perspectives intersect with and influence public policy, scientific, legal, industrial, and corporate concerns.
Of Interest Thanks to the generous support of the Kendeda Foundation, the Environmental Humanities program offers fellowships to its most promising students, as well as a competitive professorship to support faculty research. Additionally, the Kendeda Foundation supports, in part, the 10-day Ecology of Residency summer program, led by author Terry Tempest Williams. This year’s course was taught in the Murie Center, at the base of the Teton range in Moose, Wyoming. Noted wilderness photographer and environmental activist Subhankar Bannerjee (who is also now adjunct faculty in the College) conducted his second campus residency in March. Bannerjee met with students, participated in several classes, and presented a lecture titled“Wilderness & Imagination”, sponsored jointly by the College of Humanities and Westminster College. The annual Lyceum lecture was presented this year by Wade Davis, anthropologist, ethnobotonist, writer, photographer, and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence. His lecture, titled “Light at the Edge of the World” was delivered to an overflow audience in the Salt Lake City Library auditorium. Davis also spent time on campus meeting with students and talking to researchers at the Center for American Indian Language to discuss a collaboration between CAIL and National Geographic around issues of vanishing languages and cultures.
“The Penan in the forests of Borneao, the Vodoun acolytes in Haiti, the wandering holy men of the Sahara teach us that there are other options, other possibilities, other ways of thinking and interacting with the Earth... There is a fire burning over the Earth, taking with it plants and animals, cultures, languages, ancient skills and visionary wisdom. Quelling this flame and reinventing the poetry of diversity is the most important challenge of our times.” – Wade Davis
Wilding Nature, Wilding Language: In Wildness is the Preser vation of the Word The similarities between poets and scientists are greater than one would expect. Both poets and scientists attempt to investigate beyond what is immediately apparent. It was said of the poetry of John Ashberry that all of his poetry is surface, but the surface is quicksand. Both the lyrical expositions of the poet and the investigation of the scientist mark a kind of radical inquiry where surface level investigation is insufficient. The inquiries of the artist take place in the form of symbols, in the reading of an object as a symbolic opening of interpretation. This is similar though inverse to scientific investigation. Scientific investigation leads to a precise definition that is itself an opening up, showing the relatedness of an individual species to the larger ecosystem. A scientific reading offers a keystone species such as a grizzly bear placed in a delicate balance between natural and human forces. The grizzly is at the mercy of cutthroat trout reproduction and beetles devouring pines. In addition, mathematical modeling and the pressures of the market place for development and hunting privileges decide the fate of the bear. This is the picture as painted by science. Educated in the humanities what I see is the grizzly bear as a keystone species of not only the natural ecosystem but also to the world of myth and symbol. .. Reading symbols, I see man exterminating an animal that threatens his dominance. I see the bear skinned, coat ripped from its body and the dead form looking incredibly human. I see man slowly devouring himself through development and greed and I ask, my voice haunted by Wordsworth, “What man has made of man”. It is up to the painters and poets with their backs on the natural world, to close their eyes no longer while we slowly suicide ourselves... The role of those in the humanities, my role, is to match the temerity of the scientists now speaking truth to power. To create the structure, the language, for the “possibility of change”. The humanities must revive the Romantics and return our collective gaze and actions to the wild, to wild things and wild places before all we have left to offer are our eulogies. Robert DeBirk, 2006 Ecology of Residency Student
ASIAN STUDIES PROGRAM During 2005-06 the Asian Studies Program sponsored six public lectures and workshops, an Asian Arts open house for the community, the annual Rocky Mountain Southwest Japan Seminar, and an international conference on “Roots of Egalitarianism in Korean History” that brought together some 20 scholars from Korea and the U.S. in February. • As part of a new South Asia initiative, the program has acquired a new Assistant Professor/Lecturer position in Hindi-Urdu Language and Literature • A new M.A. degree in Asian Studies is in the process of securing University approval and will be introduced in the fall of 2007. • A new Asia Center will be fully operational next year.
INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM With more than 300 active majors, the relatively new IS program has become the largest non-departmental undergraduate program in the University. The May 2006 graduating class of over 40 students will double the number of alumni of the program. The program has played a significant role in stimulating discussion in the community, hosting two lectures during Spring 2006. The Sandy and Anne Dolowitz Lecture on Human Rights, given by University of Utah History Professor Elizabeth Borgwardt, focused on the international human rights policies of the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt, and was heard by an overflowing audience at Sam Weller’s Bookstore annex in downtown Salt Lake City. The second, by University of Washington Professor Jonathan Warren, focused on the impact of neoliberal economic policies on Brazil and Vietnam.
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM The Latin American Studies program’s 25 associated faculty play an important role in preparing students to participate in the increasing economic, political, and cultural contact between the United States and Latin America that has marked recent decades. Among these activities was a report titled “The Economic Impact of the Mexico–Utah Relationship,” commissioned by the Consul General of Mexico in Salt Lake City and co-authored by LAS faculty Claudio Holzner (Political Science) and Ken Jameson (Economics), with Thomas Maloney (Economics). Also, a new study abroad program in Buenos Aires will begin in Summer 2006, led by LAS faculty member Isabel Dulfano (Languages and Literature), with courses on Argentine and Chilean politics, history, and economic conditions.
Civil Society and a World of Clubs There is much talk these days of building “civil society” in distant Iraq and Afghanistan, and equal talk of the decline of civil society within the United States. What is this mythic state that seems so important to impart elsewhere and preserve at home? While Humanists and Social Scientists argue endlessly about precise definitions, most agree that one vital component of a strong civil society is the presence of a healthy associational life. When individuals join clubs, subscribe to associations, and volunteer in community groups – that is, they are active in that sphere between the home and the state – we breathe easier knowing that a civil society is being fostered. A vibrant civil society is often seen as a healthy counterfoil to the state. Yet, are clubs – with limited memberships, costly dues, and a whiff of exclusivity – signposts on the road towards a vibrant civil society? In many countries the answer is a resounding yes. Clubs and club culture date from seventeenth century Europe as intellectuals transitioned from gathering, debating, and exchanging ideas in coffee houses to forming linkages in better surroundings, the club. By the nineteenth century, club culture was exported under the umbrella of Empire, especially the British East India Company, to farflung outposts such as Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. The first club in India opened in Calcutta in 1832 for Britons only. Responding to imperialism and racism, Indians opened their own clubs – putting into practice the fundamentals of democracy: equal voting, rule of law, fair adjudication, etc. Clubs in India formed around a range of activities: social clubs (good for drinking scotch and new “India pale ales”), athletic clubs (polo, golf ), literary clubs, political clubs, and even a fishing club. When India gained independence in 1947, the country boasted of some 650 clubs. That number has now doubled. India has maintained an (almost) spotless record of democracy, remains a vital mentor amongst South Asian states, and has emerged as a global superpower in many realms. Thus, as the quest for strengthening civil society in newly emerging democracies continues, the need to understand its success and relationship to club growth in locales like India grows ever stronger. Benjamin Cohen, Assistant Professor of History
The Asia Center The University of Utah’s emerging Asia Center, housed in the College of Humanities, will be the premier institution for the study of Asia in America’s Mountain West – a regional area spanning eight states. Through a diverse array of programs and activities, the Asia Center reaches out to all corners of the University campus and the wider Utah community, forging links between Utah and Asia. At the heart of the Center is a program offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in Asian Studies. In today’s global marketplace, comparative economic power is dependent on a basic knowledge of languages, civilizations and cultural values. The Center prepares students for a future in which Asia increasingly plays a central role. It offers coursework in Asian languages and cultures, as well as study abroad opportunities and internships in China, India, Korea, Thailand and Japan. Within this program, for example, students choose a regional focus in East or South Asia, achieving language mastery in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Hindi-Urdu. Students select an interdisciplinary set of courses on their region of choice in addition to courses focused within a specific disciplinary area like business, health sciences, economics, political science, art history, history, communication, or public policy. Within the University community, the Center fosters interdisciplinary collaboration by sponsoring conferences, workshops, and lectures. As many as 150 faculty members with research interests touching upon Asia are part of this intellectually dynamic community. Additionally, the Center organizes lectures, executive seminars, teacher workshops and cultural events for the wider Utah community, serving as a critical resource for the state’s business, political, educational and community leaders as they develop and expand their ties with Asian countries. The Center is poised to join the ranks of the top-tier Asian Studies Centers in the country within the near future. It will participate in the national conversation about the evolving relationship of the United States and Asia by fostering cutting edge interdisciplinary research, educating students to become Asia experts, and providing knowledge resources for business people, policymakers, and community members. 30
On April 13, 2006 the College of Humanities inaugurated its South Asian Studies Program with a “Passage to India” gala.
Featuring remarks by Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., University of Utah President Michael Young, and a keynote address by Dr. Stephen Cohen, Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, the event raised some $75,000 for scholarships and program development needs. Guests were treated to authentic food, as well as traditional music and dance performances. The South Asian program represents a critical pillar of regional study within the Asia Center. Preparing students to engage and work in this region is vital to their futures and to our country’s interests. We thank the South Asia Advisory Cabinet, and particularly its chair, Dinesh Patel, for making this one of the most memorable events on the University calendar this year.
CAROLYN TANNER IRISH
HUMANITIES BUILDING The College of Humanities at the University of Utah has become a thriving growth center of disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and international studies, encouraging President Michael Young to support the construction of a new Humanities building at the center of campus. This beautiful 50,000 sq. ft. structure will be located just east of the current Languages & Communication Building and is expected to be one of the most inspiring academic spaces on campus. It is appropriate that this new building, which will bring together a community of active learners, researchers and an involved public, be named in honor of one of our community’s most vibrant minds – the Right Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish, of Utah’s Episcopal Diocese. Bishop Irish’s passion for learning has been instrumental in bringing about a renaissance of the humanities at the University of Utah.“Through her thinking, writing, speaking, and tireless work, Bishop Irish exhorts us to absorb and share knowledge and human experience in order to achieve our highest calling on behalf of social justice, beauty, our communities, and the planet,” says Holly Campbell, Associate Director of the Tanner Humanities Center. “Our vision for the Irish Humanities Building,” notes Robert Newman, Dean of the College of Humanities, “is that it reflect the role of the College of Humanities as the core of student life on campus.” In addition to providing refuge for commuting students, and inviting a collaborative and engaging environment for academic inquiry, this new structure will bring together several departments and programs that are currently scattered across campus in a variety of buildings. This “coming together” is one of the most powerful benefits of the new building, according to many of the College’s 170 faculty members.“One of the hard things here at the University of Utah,” observes 32
Philosophy Professor Margaret Battin, “is that the History Department is on the other side of campus from Philosophy, from Languages, from English. We don’t get to talk to the historians as much as we wish, and they don’t get to talk to us.” Robert Goldberg, Professor of History, and the new director of the Tanner Humanities Center, agrees: “I so miss the interaction with my colleagues in other departments and other disciplines.” The new Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building will engender this interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration, as it will be located in very close proximity to the Languages and Communication Building and Orson Spencer Hall (where other Humanities departments are housed). It will be home to the departments of History and Philosophy, the Tanner Humanities Center, and to the International Studies, Asian Studies, and the Latin American Studies programs. “The possibilities for bringing together in one general space all our faculty that are currently sprinkled throughout the campus...this is a real dream for us,” says Newman. “As a college we continue to seek an intersection of ideas, a vibrant, ongoing conversation. This new building, and the centrality that it will provide, enhances that conversation, particularly as we bring the Tanner Humanities Center to the spatial center of campus… as a place where the entire community can engage with the great minds we bring into the Center from all over the world.” Construction of the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building is scheduled to begin November 2006, with an projected completion date of May 2008. Pictured above: The Right Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish
UPDATE Connect As a friend or alum of the College of Humanities, you belong to a remarkable community of parents, teachers, writers, philosophers, lawyers, artists, doctors, business leaders and many more. We invite you to visit our new website at www.hum.utah.edu/alumni. Look to the menu bar on the left hand side and click “Connect” to share your ideas, opinions, and experiences with us. In response, we will share with you advance notice of lectures and events, update you on changes within the College, and offer other ways to stay involved. We have built this site to provide our alumni and friends with a gathering place, a way to help you stay connected with your former friends, faculty, mentors, and the experiences that helped make you who you are today. We look forward to hearing from you.
Engage The College of Humanities is pleased to welcome our friends, faculty, alumni, and students to the fifth season of the Humanities Happy Hour. Typically held the third Thursday of each month at Squatters Pub Brewery in downtown Salt Lake City, the Happy Hour serves as a reminder that intellectual engagement can be a social occasion that is both entertaining and stimulating. Join us as one of our distinguished faculty from the College of Humanities presents an “intellectual hors d’oeuvre”—a ten-minute talk on a subject that is timely, timeless, and provocative. For a list of upcoming speakers, visit our alumni and friends website. art n Helga Shug ommunicatio r. C ou of H or ss py fe ap Pro presents at H
For those looking for a more in-depth experience, the College of Humanities hosts the Renaissance Guild book club. Touted as“the mother of all book clubs,” Renaissance Guild members meet four times during the academic year at the beautiful Hotel Monaco for a professorled discussion on thought-provoking works, both classic and contemporary. Recent readings include Beloved, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, The Great Gatsby, The Hours, and Animal Dreams. Call 801.585.3988 for more information. In Fall 2005, the College was proud to present “An Evening of Conscience.” In partnership with TIAA-CREF and The Leonardo we welcomed Sebastião Salgado, renowned human rights photographer; Homero Aridjis, one of Mexico’s foremost poets; and writer, Terry Tempest Williams. Joined by the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra and Salgado’s moving images, each presenter spoke on the issues of peace, human rights and human dignity. These are just a few of the endless ways to stay engaged— intellectually, socially, and culturally. The College offers over 100 lectures to the public each year, and continues to play an active role in our community in our dedication to a lifetime of learning. Can’t make it to one of our events? Many of our lectures are available online or by Podcast. Visit our website to learn more.
Happy Hour members enjoy
the April 2006 event.
Return As the College creates a bright future, we are eager to reconnect with those who have helped shape our past. We cordially invite you to return to campus at any time to learn about new academic initiatives, catch up with old friends and tour the new building site. To schedule your visit, please call 801.585.3988. Can’t make it to town? Please return to campus often via the College of Humanities website. Also, visit our New Building page, where you’ll find photos and plans. We invite you to explore the many opportunities to get involved in this exciting new chapter in College history.
Uncomfortable Responsibility and the Liberal Arts Robert Newman
Dean of the College of Humanities & Associate Vice President for Interdisciplinary Studies
I begin with a quote from Ovid: “Note too that a faithful study of the liberal arts humanizes character and permits it not to be cruel.” Ovid, Epistulae Ex Ponto, II, ix,47
Ovid might have been suggesting, like David Hume and Sigmund Freud centuries after him, that humans are innately driven to savagery and gratification of their primal desires, that civilization and law exist to control these passions, to regulate them into a sense of order that supersedes our impulse to descend into some mad indulgence of the seven deadly sins. T. S. Eliot looked to the fragments of contemplation to shore up against his ruin and W. B. Yeats worried about the rough beasts within us as a perverted second coming in which the despair of mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. Wouldn’t it be nice if Ovid was right, if a liberal arts education was the antidote to genocide, to war profiteering, to the greed that promotes environmental degradation and resulting human diasporas? Wouldn’t it be nice if faithful study checked misery and dammed our cruelties in a putrid but untouched reservoir? The foundation of the Roman artes liberales was grammar, understood as the study of literature and language. Varro listed nine liberal arts: the trivium of grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic; and the quadrivium of arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy. Rhetoric was the primary art because it supplied methods of constructing persuasive arguments and eloquent discourse on any topic. And indeed Immanuel Kant would later label the humanities purposive, intended to persuade, while the fine arts he considered non-purposive, intended to entertain. Those who now consider the liberal arts impractical and economically unfeasible would take issue with Kant and would direct him only to courses in Business or Engineering. The word liberalis had two connotations. The older meaning, dominant in Seneca’s Rome, connoted “fitted for freedom” in the sense of initiating freeborn gentlemen—and only gentlemen—of propertied classes into the traditions of their society. 37
This connotation discouraged critical reflection. The second meaning, favored by Seneca, differed. Education would only be truly fitted for freedom, he argued, if it produced citizens who could call their minds their own. This capacity was to be gained through study of the subjects and methods best suited for enlightened decision-making, whether individuals were slave or freeborn, rich or poor, male or female. Until the GI bill in post World War II America, American, and most European, higher education was rooted firmly in the tradition of the first meaning. The idea was to train young gentlemen in the skills necessary to assume the roles of their fathers as leaders in culture, commerce, and government. Liberal was assumed to mean breadth or broad-minded, but mainly it was an education in the fulfillment of a class-bound destiny, rarely accommodating servants or immigrants, women or those who could not benefit from, and who might indeed be rendered dangerous and disturbed by, the knowledge and skills of such an education. Education, directed toward or gleaned by those it was not intended for, could threaten the hold on power. Wisdom could only be entrusted to the descendants of those who always had held its ability to open the doors of privilege. But, of course, much has changed. Education has become a fundamental right of citizens in a democracy and higher education a basic assumption of a more extensive middle class. The expectation that children would become more than their parents through higher education, for the latter half of the twentieth century, was a form of manifest destiny. Following Seneca’s definition of liberal education, we typically view it as an education in critical thinking, an attention to the skills of healthy questioning, debate, and doubt. In such an education, skepticism is the prerequisite for discovery. The need to challenge runs parallel with and supportive to our search for moral clarity. At the same time we learn that the fabric of our culture is woven by the threads of tradition, we struggle against that tradition, recognizing that what nourished the vitality of one time can deaden another. “The one duty we owe to history,” said Oscar Wilde,“is to rewrite it.” In a recent essay on the purpose of history, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. writes, “All historians are prisoners of their own experience and servitors to their own prepossessions. We are all entrapped in the egocentric predicament. We bring to history the preconceptions of our personality and the preoccupations of our age. We cannot seize on ultimate and absolute truths. ‘Purely objective truth,’ said William James,‘is nowhere to be found . . . The trail of the human serpent is thus over everything.’” In this vein, Schlesinger goes on to quote President Kennedy from a 1961 speech: “We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient–that we are only 6 percent of the world’s population–that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind–that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity– and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.” 38
Kennedy’s words seem so contrary to contemporary American foreign policy and to our confident sense of justification, a phoenix of righteous clarity and pre-emptive action born from the smoke and ashes of 9/11, in the service of an American master plan for the good of the world. When I was coming of age in the 1960s, we referred to a generation gap. The post World War II generation who had banished the threat of Fascist hate and enslavement now sought the one-dimensional comfort of the American dream. The world was still divided neatly and evenly into good and evil, but in the Cold War era, evil was the communist menace whose imperialist stretch might tip countries like dominoes into its stifling grip. Vietnam revealed the limitations of this vision and, while young men sacrificed their lives on the altar of a cause that did not heed the history and culture of the place into which they were callously tossed, a new generation of skeptics asked why and revised that history and the rhetoric that created it. Until 9/11, the world could no longer be so cleanly divided into right and wrong again. This complicated greyness troubled us as a culture, but also offered a salvation to our costly mistakes in a willingness to pause and question. Today we might invoke the words of American philosopher George Santayana, uttered almost a century ago: “Those who do not learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.” We live in a difficult time in which to learn the lessons of a liberal education and to nurture the skills of critical thinking. Dominating public life is a pervasive mendacity edged by exercises in rhetorical manipulation where half-truths or overt lies masquerade in sound bites as accepted thought. Power determines truth and creates reality. Scandal is revealed reluctantly, but no admission or adjudication of guilt or punishment seems to occur. We live in a divided world, no longer just in terms of race, class, or gender, but divided between those of us willing to acquiesce to what we’re told and those of us dedicated to critical thinking, to reading closely, and to examining the obvious and the popular. This is now the legacy of a liberal education. As Mark Danner suggests, “we are empiricists of the word, scientists of the spirit,” preserving the urgent need to question, the will to embrace alternatives, the courage to weigh multiple perspectives. This is the demanding and uncomfortable mindset a liberal education has given you if you have learned its lessons well. It will not permit you to rest easily or to view information simply. It will compel you to analyze and assess, to be annoying, to irritate yourself and others around you with your concerns. Like Thomas Jefferson, another malcontent, you may worry “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.” But, as Plato has Socrates tell us in his Apology, “The life which is unexamined is not worth living.” Humanizing the character, as Ovid suggested, blunts cruelty. It also exposes hypocrisy and misdirection so that we can accomplish better lives for ourselves and for those to whom we are inextricably bound in the community of life and thought.
Poet poetry For love
All, all and a white church, sweet and grapevines more Kathryn Cowles (not previously published)
Fire/Fly The eggs of fireflies hatch in about three weeks. They spend two years as luminescent larva, molt, and spend a month pupating. The longest-lived adults survive for days, so time is of the essence. —The Animal Kingdom and the Clock Biological, Lucille Spovak
Curtains edge the courtyard, & flare alive where ever sparks wander out from years of instar— They glowed through molts, now flash through air & all that being grown connotes: this winged lantern, that ardent consort come-hither blinking on an isobar, some hours breeding, some twilights ajar, then dark— lasting but fast as glass flash-frozen in air, farflung along a nuée ardente, that ash en masse on fire bezerking burn toward highway, city, harbor, & what stark charred world can ever emerge in the wake of a mountain reinventing its mark on the curving edge of planet. Days break on curtains beaten; on courtyard stones swept warm; along a scorched harbor. Soils form. Julie Sophia Paegle, Iowa Review Spring 2006
Contributed by graduate students in the Department of English’s Creative Writing Program.
After Watching Jean Cocteau’s Orphée La mort is a smart woman— elbow gloves and knotted pearls. a string of heel taps receding down the empty hall. I lack the power to recall this princesse sombre from a straining fish— the shallow, ebbing gasps of my grandfather unhooked from the respirator. I do not know the French for snuff: the way a candle turns so suddenly, whatever else it seemed, to requisite wax. Je ne crois pas à la mort. . . La vie, without parlor tricks, simply vanishes. Brenda Sieczkowski, Gulf Coast, Issue 18.2
STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS The College of Humanities gave over $90,000 in undergraduate scholarships for the 20062007 year. Some of our more prestigious awards are the Steffensen Cannon, Kennecott, and Community Scholarships for Diversity. Thanks to generous contributions from our community of alumni and friends, students throughout the College continue to be academically successful and financially supported. Congratulations to our 2006 Community Scholarships for Diversity graduates:
Daniel Cairo | Pamela McNeil | Maria Murgia
î ą We also applaud our 2006 Lowell Bennion Center Service Learning Scholars graduates:
Natalie Taylor | Daniel Wiest | David Roach | Miriam Pope In order to graduate as a Service-Learning Scholar Graduates, students must complete 400 service hours, 10 credit hours of service-learning coursework, a one-hour seminar course, and an integrative service project
O.C. TANNER HUMANITIES HOUSE Each year, 11 undergraduate students from the College of Humanities are selected to live in the O.C. Tanner Humanities House in historic Fort Douglas. We were honored to celebrate the graduation of four such students in May. Christina Day, Mackenzie Edwards, Kira Jones and Jaymes Myers continue to make us proud as they pursue such opportunities as working with the Tribecca Film Festival and Cinemas in New York City, interning with TIAA-CREF, and preparing for graduate school. Among those still working towards their degree, three House students recently returned from study abroad trips this summer—to Chile, Spain, and England—and two completed internships with the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Other honors awarded to Humanities House students include: Kira Jones (BS Speech Comm ‘06) and Jaymes Myers (BS Speech Comm ‘06) presented original research at the Western States Communication Association conference. Stephany Murgia was elected to the position of National Movimienteo Estudiantil Chicana/ o de Aztlan (MEChA) Coordinating Council Co-chair. Brenda Robles presented original research at the National Ethnic Studies Association conference and continues to conduct research as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. Kseniya Kniazeva was elected the Associated Students of the University of Utah College of Humanities Senator for 2006-2007.
O.C. Tanner Humanities House residents 05-06, pictured with Carolyn Tanner Irish | (Left-Right) Kira Jones, Colin Ledbetter, Cory Richardson, Breanne Miller, Mackenzie Edwards, Carolyn Tanner Irish, Jonathan Hayes, Heather Johnson,Jaymes Myers, Stephany Murgia, Brenda Robles,Kseniya Kniazeva and Christina Day. Not pictured: Daniel Cairo
May 6, 2006
Through our education in the Humanities, we have become products of change. We have had to be open to new ideas, open to reading, hearing, and seeing challenging things, and we have been asked to question our identities, our beliefs, our socialization, our history, and the world around us. Our education in the Humanities has positioned us to make great changes throughout our society, because we have learned to be open to that change within ourselves. We have learned about what is just and moral, we have learned to act conscientiously and compassionately, and we have learned to become more ethical, more critical global citizens.
Author and activist Alice Walker writes, “It’s essential that we understand that taking care of the planet will be done as we take care of ourselves. You know that you can’t really make much of a difference in things until you change yourself.” Here in the Humanities, we have been taught how to think so that we may continue to be open to change and new learning throughout our lives. - Jaymes P. Myers, Communication (‘06)
Excerpt from commencement address, given May 6, 2006 (pictured at left)
HONOREES AT THIS YEAR’S CONVOCATION INCLUDED: Bryan Brinkman, Young Alumni Association Outstanding Senior Award Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Distinguished Alumnus George L.Denton, Jr., Distinguished Alumnus Gladys Gonzalez, Honorary Distinguished Alumnus Barry Weller, University Distinguished Teaching Award Matthew Potolsky, Ramona W. Cannon Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence Stephen Lehigh, Ramona W. Cannon Award for Graduate Student Teaching Excellence 45
THANK YOU The students and faculty of the College of Humanities wish to express their profound gratitude to the many friends and alumni who have offered their support this past year. We appreciate them for recognizing that, ultimately, a â€œResearch Oneâ€? university is only as good as its liberal arts core. The enduring strength of the University of Utah is tied directly to the strength of the College of Humanities, and we draw our strength from the resources our generous donors help provide.
2 5 5 S . C E N T R A L C AM P U S DRIVE R O O M 2 1 0 0 L N CO S A LT L A K E C I T Y . U T . 8 4 112-0493 801.581.6214 w w w. h u m . u t a h . e d u