IT’S NOT WHAT YOU LOOK AT THAT MATTERS, IT’S WHAT YOU SEE. HENRY DAVID THOREAU
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 LETTER FROM THE DEAN 2 COLLEGE AT A GLANCE 3 DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION
To Make Choice of the Best, Professor David J. Vergobbi
5 DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
The Sound of Poetry/The Poetry of Sound, Professor Craig Dworkin
7 DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
The Beef Eaters: Beef and Britishness in the Nineteenth Centry, Professor Nadja Durbach
9 DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE
Unhomely Figures: Border Identity, Metaphor, and Austrian Inner Colonialism, Professor Joseph Metz
11 DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS
The Intelligibility of Foreign-Accented Speech, Professor Rachel Hayes-Harb
13 DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy, Meet World, Professor Ronald Mallon
15 16 17 18
THE AMERICAN WEST CENTER UNIVERSITY WRITING PROGRAM and CENTER INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 31 33 35 37 38
ASIA CENTER AND THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE CENTER FOR AMERICAN INDIAN LANGUAGES TANNER HUMANITIES CENTER ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES GRADUATE PROGRAM CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM MIDDLE EAST CENTER HOW THE HUMANITIES SAVED ME FROM BECOMING A COWBOY
Fred Esplin, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, The University Of Utah
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS PACE MCCONKIE DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA AMY VAN PROOYAN GREENFIELD CONVOCATION ADDRESS—TORI BALLIF PARTNERSHIP BOARD THANK YOU
LETTER FROM THE DEAN Mahatma Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Western civilization. He replied, “I think it would be a good idea.” While Gandhi’s unique perspective may be a source of either levity or concern, we in the College of Humanities consider the study of civilization, in all of its diversity, essential for preparing our students to be model world citizens. But what do we mean by a model citizen?
Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, elucidating the qualities that make top models stand out remarked, “No matter what they are wearing or how they are photographed they seem always like themselves— whether they are that person in reality or not.” In the same vein, movie producer Sam Goldwyn offered this advice to aspiring actresses: “The most important thing about acting is sincerity. If you can fake that you’ve got it made.” The art of being disingenuous too often seems part of the prescription for success.
In contrast, our scholarship and instruction most often revolves around authenticity and ethics. We expose tragic and comic flaws, delve into uncomfortable questions and issues, and peel back layers of deception to reveal truths in all their nuanced manifestations. That is why an education in the Humanities still represents the core of a university education. It is how we teach our students to develop a conscience in a complex world, the fundamental ingredient for a successful world citizen, one who contributes to the long-term improvement of our planet and its inhabitants rather than to their decline. I thank you for your interest and help in performing this crucial task. In the following pages, you can witness some of the exciting and innovative ways we are addressing our mission.
Robert D. Newman Dean, College of Humanities Associate Vice President for Interdisciplinary Studies
Languages & Literature
American West Center
Center for American Indian Languages
Middle East Center
Tanner Humanities Center
University Writing Program and Center
INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS & INITIATIVES Applied Ethics
Animation Studies Brazilian Studies
Environmental Humanities International Studies
Latin American Studies
Peace and Conflict Studies
The College is the second largest on campus and is at the core of the University of Utah’s mission and the experience of higher education. The Humanities offer a continuing reminder of and approach to a conscience in a complex world. Faculty produce scholarship and offer instruction directly addressing communication skills, critical thinking, cultural awareness and diversity, close readings of print and visual media, and how to embrace other perspectives, thereby laying the groundwork for compassionate and informed approaches to life and living. 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.
“Remember your humanitiy and forget the rest.” -Albert Einstein
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, selecting from the College’s 23 majors and 30 minors. The College confers one-fifth 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.
COLLEGE AT A GLANCE 2
The Department of Communication is committed to the full spectrum of research and teaching in the discipline of Communication. We offer undergraduate majors in Mass Communication and Speech Communication that lead to Bachelor’s degrees. There are thirteen sequences in the two undergraduate majors and two post-baccalaureate certificate programs. We also offer Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Ph.D. degrees in Communication. We are housed in the Language and Communication Building (LNCO), equipped with state-of-the art teaching and research facilities, including a telecommunication production facility, film and digital photography labs, web labs, print design labs, interaction labs, and two large, media presentation classrooms. Our alumni have been up to some compelling things:
We earned several exciting honors and awards:
Janice Lyn Muto (Ph.D. ’91) has been selected as the new President at Riverside Community College, Riverside, California. Her formal inauguration is scheduled for September.
Kimberley Mangun won 3rd place in AEJMC’s “Best Practices in Teaching of Diversity” competition for her work with the Voices of Utah project. Competitors’ entries were judged on a number of diversity issues, creativity, critical thinking, and application to the real world.
Wayne A. Beach (Ph.D. ’81), Professor of Communication, San Diego State University, has just published his most recent book, A Natural History of Family Cancer, based on a decadelong research project.
Alexis Cairo (B.A. ’76) has been selected at the 2009 Parry D. Sorensen Distinguished Lecturer and has been named to the U’s National Advisory Council. We welcomed two new colleagues to the department:
Kevin Deluca, Associate Professor, is a nationally recognized scholar in environmental communication and visual rhetoric. He joins us from the University of Georgia and is currently studying environmental issues in China from a rhetorical perspective. Sean Lawson, Assistant Professor, finished his Ph.D. in 2008 from Rennselar Polytechnic Institute. He is currently serving as our Simmons Professor of New Media and studies military uses of new media in decision making.
Glen Feighery was selected as one of four recipients of the University’s Early Career Teaching Award. Glen teaches in our News Editorial sequence and writes about journalism ethics.
Edgar Zuniga, Jr., one of our recent TVJ-Newsbreak graduates, has received a rare opportunity. Nationally, NBC selects 6 young rising stars to groom as employees for careers in network news. NBC began with 1300 applicants and 20 finalists. After flying to interviews in New York and Los Angeles, they picked him as one of the six to start a year-long, one-on-one training program in their bureaus. L. Edna Rogers was selected as this year’s winner of the Hatch Prize in Teaching. This is a University award that celebrates an entire career devoted to excellence in teaching. Edna teaches in our Interpersonal Communication sequence and studies communication patterns in families.
James Anderson will be serving as the President of the Academic Senate during the 2009-2010 year.
n his 5th Century B.C.E. Histories, Herodotus wrote that nearly 2500 years ago as Xerxes, the King of all Persians, planned his invasion of the Greek homeland, he asked his uncle Artabanus whether he should proceed.
“O King!” said Artabanus, “it is impossible, if no more than one opinion is uttered, to make choice of the best: a man is forced then to follow whatever advice may have been given him; but if opposite speeches are delivered, then choice can be exercised. In like manner pure gold is not recognized by itself; but when we test it along with baser ore, we perceive which is the better.” Artabanus provided Western civilization with an argument that still resounds as a primary value of the freedom of expression. In 2007, for example, noted First Amendment scholar Cass Sunstein wrote that “the system of free expression must do far more than avoid censorship; it must ensure that people are exposed to competing perspectives. . . .Members of a democratic public will not do well if they are unable to appreciate the views of their fellow citizens.” Sunstein argued that whenever people seek only to reaffirm their own views and commitments we risk democracy itself. On that long ago day, Uncle Artabanus opposed Xerxes’ invasion plan. Only his family connection saved him from death, for though Artabanus’ philosophical reasoning promoted the concept of a free discussion, his king had no such interest.
Sunstein, in turn, initiated an international discussion about the impact of Internet communication technologies on freedom and democratic self-government. Though many disagreed with Sunstein, no person or authority threatened his life or living.
Artabanus and Sunstein’s willingness to engage in public debate defines the beauty, the duty and the consequence inherent in
our First Amendment right of the freedom of expression. The beauty resides in us actually making such quixotic claims to selfgovernance and unfettered dialogue. The duty arises to enact these stunning claims, to make known our positions on issues that impact our society. The consequence, well, consequences occur—always, whether positive, negative or neutral. So we accept responsibility for our words and acknowledge the courage to utter them. Apathy can destroy such democratic values. The university can nurture them. Academic freedom, based in First Amendment free speech law, protects scholarship. Professors can pursue any idea in full dialogue with their peers and the public, an exercise that expands our knowledge and understanding. Academic freedom also provides the forum for students to fully explore and challenge their own and others’ ideas. Inculcating and engaging in such critical thought and discussion deflects apathy as it rouses the mind.
And mind rousing it is, as captured in 1800 by Tunis Wortman, a New York lawyer and Jeffersonian proponent. Diversity of sentiment, he wrote, “produces Collision, engenders Argument, and affords exercise and energy to the intellectual powers; it corrects our errors, removes our prejudices, and strengthens our perceptions; it compels us to seek for the evidences of our knowledge, and habituates us to a frequent revisal of our sentiments. In the conflict between opinions we are inured to correctness of reflection, and become taught in the school of Experience to reason and expatiate.”
O King! We thus engage Artabanus, as students and professors. And engage we must, as democratic citizens, to make choice of the best.
TO MAKE CHOICE OF THE BEST
DAVID J. VERGOBBI
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICAITON 4
The English Department continues to provide an exceptional education in English literature and culture. We offer a comprehensive analytical and historical approach to reading and writing. Our students and faculty are intensively engaged in original research on both literature and culture, and represent a diverse and dynamic model of scholarly activity for its students. Additionally, the department has one of the most vibrant and highly successful creative writing programs in the country. Our faculty members continue publish important and impressive works. This past year saw the following publications: Katharine Coles, Fault, Red Hen Press, 2008 Craig Dworkin, Parse, Atelos, 2008 Susan Miller, The Norton Book of Composition Studies, W. W. Norton & Co., 2009.
The Creative Writing Program again sponsored the popular annual Guest Writers Series. This yearâ€™s series included such notable poets as A. Van Jordan, Susan McCabe, Timothy Oâ€™Keefe, and Cole Swensen. It also included internationally recognized poet Susan Howe. Fiction writers in the series included Ben Marcus, Michael Martone, and Lidia Yuknavitch, as well as essayists such as Rebecca Lindenberg and Jo Ann Beard.
The Creative Writing program is also now offering a unique modular MFA program in poetry, fiction and nonfiction that allows students to take courses in Environmental Humanities, the History of the American West and Book Arts while completing a manuscript in the genre of their choice. This modular MFA is the only such program in the nation that allows students to create courses of study that would capitalize on these three distinct areas, to use the historical, aesthetic and cultural knowledge gained from these subjects in their own creative writing.
he irreducible denominator of all lyric poetry,” according to The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, must be “those elements which it shares with the musical forms that produced it. Although lyric poetry is not music, it is representational of music in its sound patterns.” The problem, of course, is what might be meant by “music,” a term no more stable or well defined than “lyric.” Music, in this context, is often taken to mean merely euphonious language, a mid-nineteenth-century sense of harmony and melodic line that “delights the ear.” This definition, in fact, makes music a synonym for sound itself, one of the denotations of which is “used with implications of richness, euphony, or harmony” (OED). But “music” of course encompasses a range of works far more expansive than the classical and romantic imagination of the pleasant, mellifluous, or affecting.
We might still define the lyric in terms of music, but what if the music represented by the lyric were Erik Satie’s Vexations, a few bars of fragmentary melody meant to be repeated 840 times in succession? Or György Ligeti’s Poème symphonique, scored for one hundred carefully wound metronomes? Or John Cage’s Music for Piano, composed by enlarging the imperfections found when a sheet of staff paper is scrutinized under a magnifying glass? Or the game pieces of John Zorn, or the stochastic compositions of Iannis Xenakis, or David Soldier’s orchestra of Thai elephants…or any number of works that the nineteenth century would likely not have recognized as music at all? “But “music” of course encompasses a range of works far more expansive than the classical and romantic imagination of the pleasant, mellifluous, or affecting.”
This excerpt is from the introduction to The Sound of Poetry/ The Poetry of Sound, edited by Craig Dworkin and Marjorie Perloff (University of Chicago Press, 2009).
Craig Dworkin’s most recent publications include Parse (Atelos Press, 2008) and The Consequence of Innovation: 21st Century Poetics (Roof Books, 2008). He edits the digital archive Eclipse, which can be found at http://english.utah.edu/eclipse
THE SOUND OF POETRY/ THE POETRY OF SOUND CRAIG DWORKIN
PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH 6
The History Department continues to make outstanding scholarly contributions to the field and to instill historical knowledge, perspective on human experience, critical thinking skills, and effective writing in all our graduate and undergraduate students. As a group, our students and faculty also constitute a community of citizens engaged in service and devoted to the enrichment of intellectual and public life at the University, throughout Utah, and beyond. As a department we co-sponsored the 15th Omohundro Conference on Early American History and Culture, an international meeting of leading historians of colonial American history, in June 2009. History professor Eric Hinderaker was co-chair of the Program Committee. In partnership with the Department of Communication, we appointed the first Simmons Visiting Professor in New Media, Robert McCullough (University of Western Ontario), to begin Fall 2009.
History faculty Rebecca Horn and Eric Hinderaker were the co-conveners of â€œTerritorial Crossings: Histories and Historiographies of the Early Americas,â€? a William & Mary Quarterly and USC-Huntington Library Early Modern Studies Institute Workshop, held at the Huntington Library in May 2009.
History professors Lindsay Adams and Robert Goldberg received ASUU Student Choice Teaching Awards this past year Graduating senior Tori Baliff was selected as Convocation speaker for College of Humanities. Her convocation address can be found on page 35 of this publication.
oast beef has long been central to British national identity. In the seventeenth century the Yeoman Wardens of the Tower of London who guard the crown jewels earned the nickname “the Beefeaters.” By the end of the eighteenth century, John Bull—one of Britain’s best-known national symbols—was routinely depicted as a corpulent (thus healthy and wealthy) beef-eater in contrast to his chief rival, the scrawny snail-eating Frenchman. Indeed “the roast beef of old England” was not only the subject of patriotic ballads and paintings but central to public and political debates over national belonging, particularly during the nineteenth century, a period that saw the rise of Britain as the world’s pre-eminent superpower. In her upcoming book, The Beefeaters, author Nadja Durbach will argue that beef played an important social, cultural, economic, and political role in nation-building at this critical juncture in the making of Modern Britain. However, it also provoked significant contestation as beef-eating not only united but also divided members of the British nation. Beef consumption became central to debates over class, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, urbanism, industrialism, modernity, empire, and thus ultimately citizenship, at a time of profound social change during which Britain succeeded in asserting itself as the foremost industrial leader and imperial power. This book will explore a variety of topics including debates over the provision of roast beef dinners for Christmas in workhouses; the rise of the vegetarian movement; the relocation of slaughterhouses from the financial district to the outskirts of London; visits to abattoirs as a feminist rite of
passage; imperial debates over manliness and meat-eating in the context of cultural differences between Hindu and Muslim colonial subjects; and the place of kosher butchers in debates over Jewish immigration at a moment when Britain first formulated anti-alien legislation. The Beefeaters will thus argue that beef was much more than merely the main ingredient of a Sunday dinner. Who did and did not eat beef, as well as where and by whom the animals could be slaughtered, were part and parcel of negotiations over national belonging throughout the nineteenth century. Durbach seeks to contribute to a vibrant scholarship on nationalism and identity production, as well as to the fields of British History, the History of the Body, and cultural studies of food. Rather than merely another global history of a commodity (such as recent popular studies of salt or cod) she will use the discourses around beef-eating as a way to understand how citizenship was negotiated at a moment when Britain was the most powerful nation in the world.
As a cultural historian Durbach’s methodology focuses on gathering textual and visual source material produced by a range of historical actors—including but not limited to government documents, newspapers, political and social reform pamphlets, memoirs, recipe books, advertisements, popular fiction, and medical texts—in order to argue for the ways in which a variety of different British citizens and subjects constructed their identities at critical moments during the nineteenth century.
BEEF AND BRITISHNESS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY 8
The Languages and Literature Department is the largest and most diverse in the College of Humanities, both culturally and programmatically. Our programs and courses offer multiple opportunities for undergraduate and graduate study in language, literature, culture, and language education. All foreign languages and their respective literatures at the University of Utah are taught here, providing students with a forum for research and education in more than 19 linguistic and literary traditions. The department fosters a critical and comprehensive understanding of diverse cultures through the study of their literature, language, film, art, history, and socio-political contexts. Our students develop an analytic understanding of the structure of language and communicative competence in a wide range of languages. They are trained to think independently and critically in order to function effectively in a contemporary global environment. In October 2008, the department hosted Metamorphoses: An International Colloquium on Narrative and Folklore, a highly successful interdisciplinary conference with over 60 attendees. Panel participants included scholars from the University of Utah, Utah State University, across the US, as well as Canada and Europe.
Professor Muriel Schmid, with the full support of the department, has been directing a new Religion and Culture track in the department. She developed this into an Interdisciplinary Minor in Religious Studies, which received final approval from the Board of Regents this spring. This is the first free-standing religious studies degree option at the University of Utah. In the Fall of 2008 the Languages and Literature department accepted students into a new graduate-level program â€” Masters in World Languages. This degree graduates students with expertise in their choice of language(s) offered by the department, as well as licensure to teach in Utah secondary schools. The department established a new study abroad program in Siberia for students who have at least one year of Russian. The first group departed on June 12th for five weeks in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
Images via flickr by
ccording to postcolonial critic Homi Bhabha, “unhomeliness” suggests both a border position between reference points of cultural identification and (as a literal translation of Freud’s psychoanalytic term unheimlich, “uncanny”) the return of such familiar but repressed aspects of “home” as marginal(ized) races, gender positions, or national groups. My book-in-progress, Unhomely Figures: Border Identity, Metaphor, and Austrian Inner Colonialism in Stifter, Sacher-Masoch, Rilke, and Kafka, traces the “unhomeliness” of “figures” in a dual sense: the unhomeliness of Austrian borderland writers and of the metaphoric (figural) language they employ. More specifically, the book undertakes an in-depth literary critical and theoretical study of the metaphor of “inner colonialism” in germanophone writing from ethnically hybrid regions of the former multinational Austrian Empire during its last decades (1840–1918). For the Austrian Empire — a vast conglomerate of ethnically diverse lands whose combined populations dwarfed that of the Germanic “center” — resembled less the dominant 19th-century model of the nation-state than a sprawling inner colonial network mapped onto geographically contiguous European territory. In the book, I rethink four German-language writers from Austria’s nationally hybrid regions (the Austro-Czech border, Polish Galicia, Prague) during a time of imperial dissolution. My readings trace how key signifiers of identity — metaphors of gender, nation, body, and “race” — are constructed, deployed, and dismantled at crucial moments of Austrian identity-formation and destabilization: the time surrounding the 1848 revolutions (Stifter), the period corresponding to the consolidation of Bismarck’s Germany (Sacher-Masoch), and the twilight years of the Empire before and during World War I (Rilke, Kafka). By closely examining inner colonial rhetoric in Stifter, Sacher-Masoch, Rilke, and Kafka, I investigate larger questions of identity-construction, power, and their political and ethical implications.
The book, which will be the first major study of its kind, has been generously supported by the College of Humanities. Portions of the manuscript that I wrote during College- and Universitysponsored research leaves have already appeared in such venues as PMLA, Germanic Review, and Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift.
BORDER IDENTITY, METAPHOR, AND AUSTRIAN INNER COLONIALISM JOSEPH METZ
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GERMAN, DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE 10
Linguists study language to understand the structure of languages, how they vary and change, how they are used in various contexts, and how they are learned. Such objective study of language will lead to a greater understanding of the human mind. Students in the Department of Linguistics begin their studies by learning how to analyze languages â€” their sounds (phonetics and phonology), their ways of forming words (morphology), their sentence structures (syntax), and their systems of expressing meaning (semantics). This knowledge serves as the key for understanding language change, the acquisition of languages by children and adults, and language in its social and cultural contexts. Professor Steven Sternfeld was honored with the John Park Teaching Award. This prestigious research award is given to University of Utah faculty who will undertake one semester of study at a site outside the state of Utah, in order to enhance and enrich the teaching art. Thiago Chacon (a Linguistics graduate student from Brazil), was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship. Fulbright is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fellowship awardees are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. They are given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Wilson Silva, a Linguistics graduate student working in endangered language documentation and preservation, was recently awarded a two-year National Science Foundation Dissertation Enhancement Grant to work with Desano, a Tukanoan Language of the Upper Amazon. Heâ€™s writing a grammar of the language and creating materials for educational programs in the language for its speakers.
ho is responsible for the intelligibility of foreign-accented speech? It is clear that the bulk of the responsibility rests with the speaker, who, in general, must attain a minimum level of spoken language ability in order to expect to be understood in the language. However, it is beyond this minimum level of speaking ability where this issue becomes quite interesting. Recent research is increasingly revealing that whether or not a speaker’s message is intelligible to the listener is not just a matter of who is speaking and whether or not he or she has a strong accent—it depends also on who is listening and all that this person brings to the task of comprehending spoken language.
One of the most important predictors of a listener’s ability to comprehend foreign-accented speech involves the listener’s preconceptions about non-native speakers. In one recent study , native English-speaking undergraduate students listened to a recorded speech sample while a photograph of the speaker was displayed in front of them. All students heard the same speech sample: a lecture produced by a native speaker of English. However, one half of the students saw a picture of a Caucasian woman, while the other half saw a picture of a Chinese woman. Students who saw a picture of a Chinese woman scored lower on a listening comprehension test than did students who saw a picture of a Caucasian woman—even though all students heard exactly the same recording! This finding suggests that listeners’ ability to comprehend spoken language is influenced by factors independent of the speech itself, and that listeners’ preconceptions about speakers based on their physical characteristics can render otherwise
intelligible speech more difficult to comprehend. While disturbing, this finding can also be seen as rather hopeful: By simply adjusting their preconceptions about speakers, listeners may be able to improve their ability to comprehend spoken language.
In addition, even in cases where foreign accents do reduce the intelligibility of speech, it appears that listeners are able to adapt very quickly and effectively in order to improve their comprehension. In another recent study , native English-speaking undergraduate students listened to a native speaker of Mexican Spanish saying a set of English sentences, and their comprehension of each sentence was evaluated via a timed test. The students responded increasingly quickly over the course of the test, indicating that they were able to comprehend the Mexican Spanish–accented speech more quickly as they became more familiar with the accent of the speaker. Thus listeners are able to adapt to foreign accents in ways that allow them to comprehend accented speech more quickly, even after hearing only a few sentences. The findings of studies like these highlight the central role of the listener in determining the intelligibility of foreign accented speech. It is apparent that the “problem” of foreign-accented speech may be more accurately viewed as one which both the listener and the speaker share responsibility for solving. Excerpt taken from a talk given by Professor Hayes-Harb at the Humanities Happy Hour, January 20, 2009, Squatters Brewpub, Salt Lake City, Utah
 Rubin, D.L. 1992. Nonlanguage factors affecting undergraduates’ judgments of nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants. Research in Higher Education, 33, 511–531.  Clarke, C.M., & Garrett, M.F. 2004. Rapid adaptation to foreign-accented English. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116, 3647–3658.
THE INTELLIGIBILITY OF FOREIGN-ACCENTED SPEECH RACHEL HAYES-HARB
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS 12
The Department of Philosophy offers a well-balanced program in the major areas of Philosophy and has particular areas of strength in Applied Ethics (including Bioethics, Legal Ethics, Environmental Ethics and Business and Professional Ethics), Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy, Practical Reason, Philosophy of Law and Early Modern Philosophy. Professors Peggy Battin and Leslie Francis (together with two colleagues in infectious disease, Drs. Jay Jacobson and Chuck Smith) have published The Patient as Victim and Vector: Ethics and Infectious Disease, Oxford, 2009
Congratulations to Professor Leslie Francis (Chair of the department 2003–2009) who was recently named to the rank of Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah.
The American Council of Learned Societies recently awarded a fellowship to Professor Ron Mallon.
Professor Elijah Millgram was awarded an ASUU Students’ Choice Teaching Award for 2008-2009. Monika Piotrowska won an AAUW fellowship (one of twelve awarded nationally) for her Ph.D. thesis on “Part-Human or Human Part?” Roger Aboud won the Monson Prize for his essay (and Undergraduate Research Opportunities project) “Newborn Genetic Screening: A Rawlsian Account.” David Kincaid won the Bradshaw fellowship for his UROP project “Electronic Health Records and Privacy.”
hilosophy is often thought of as an “armchair” or purely theoretical discipline that deals with very general and abstract questions about things like the fundamental nature of reality, the human mind, freedom of the will, or the meaning of life by reflecting upon our commonsense beliefs about these things. Reflection in turn leads to reasoning about what these beliefs entail and how they fit together. This sort of approach makes sense if, like Plato or Descartes, you think of these beliefs as products of abstract knowledge of fundamental reality that is already present in every human at birth. But modern science offers a very different conception of humanity’s place in the world than that available to either Plato or Descartes. In this conception, humans do not occupy a privileged position, but (like other biological entities) are products of a historical process — evolution. And what is, or is not, present in our minds at birth is the result of this process. Which raises the question: why should anyone believe that commonsense beliefs — themselves the result of a haphazard evolutionary history and learning processes — are reliably true guides to fundamental reality? Some philosophers have answered this question by appeal to ordinary concepts or meanings. The idea is that by understanding the commonsense meaning that we ordinarily attach to terms like, for example, “freedom” or “responsibility,” we can understand what freedom or responsibility must be (if they are anything at all). But this turn to commonsense meanings faces its own problems, one of which is that the question of what the everyday meaning of terms like “freedom” and “responsibility” are looks like an empirical question. As such, pursuing it seems to abandon the vision of philosophy as a purely theoreti-
cal endeavor. It abandons the hope that philosophy can be done entirely from the armchair.
In this abandonment has been born the now burgeoning movement of “experimental philosophy” — philosophers undertaking experimental work on real subjects in an attempt to test previously taken-for-granted assumptions about ordinary meanings or “concepts.” This methodological shift has meant experimental philosophers have taken on some of the trappings of psychologists, for this work requires the design of research tools, the submission to human review, and the subjection of findings to statistical analysis, but despite these hurdles — and substantial resistance from other philosophers! — experimental philosophy has gained significant traction across a wide range of philosophical subject matters including metaphysics, epistemology, moral psychology, semantics, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of psychology. Despite the abandonment of a pure, armchair methodology, this work remains familiar as philosophy. This is in part because, unlike the questions that drive much experimental psychological work, experimental philosophers are driven to answer the same very fundamental questions that have arisen within the tradition of philosophy: very general questions with very broad implications. But it is also philosophy because in following these questions into empirical methods, philosophers continue in the tradition of the Socratic exhortation to follow the argument wherever it leads. Of interest, Professor Mallon (together with Professor Shaun
Nichols) recently directed a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute on experimental philosophy
PHILOSOPHY, MEET WORLD RONALD MALLON
PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY 14
n the summer of 2009 the American West Center completed the Utah Indian Curriculum Project (UICP). The Utah State Legislature, through the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, chose the AWC to lead this $250,000 initiative. UICP provides for the first time detailed lesson plans about the history and culture of the five Indian nations that call Utah home for 4th, 7th, and 10/11th grade students. The American West Center curriculum team worked in consultation with the Utah State Office of Education and with tribal advisors to create resources that we believe will revolutionize teaching in the state’s K-12 system. While UICP materials can be used alone, they were also designed to compliment and extend the 5-part KUED documentary series We Shall Remain: A Native History of Utah, and the 5-part PBS documentary series We Shall Remain: A Native History of America.
Project Objectives Provide teachers with Indian-centered content based on the most recent historical and educational research and extensively reviewed by Utah’s Great Basin tribal leaders. Improve recognition of the tribes within the Great Basin and their place in Utah’s history.
Employ native pedagogical practices researchers have found to be most effective with American Indian students. Assist students in recognizing American Indian tribal communities as a dynamic part of our state’s contemporary culture.
Provide Utah’s teachers with a curriculum binder and website — www.utahindians.org — that not only contains 24 lesson plans and supporting materials but also will facilitate customization of further lessons through the use of the additional references and materials provided including six unique digital maps that link Google Earth technology to the remarkable primary sources collected by the AWC over the last forty-four years.
Train teachers to use these materials and to teach the story of Utah’s Indian tribes.
AMERICAN WEST CENTER Utah American Indian Digital Archive Utah Indian Curriculum Project
Pacific Island Initiative: Oral Histories, Digital Archive, and Curriculum Project 2008-09 featured World Wide Wayne, the second Westerns of the World Festival, and the Western History Association Documentary Film Festival. Western Environmentalists Oral History and Book Project
Nuclear Technology in the American West Oral History Project Outdoor Recreation Oral History Project
Saving the Legacy Veterans’ Oral History Project – Iraq and Afghanistan Utah Business Oral History Project
2008-09 Lecture Series featured the Massacre at Mountain Meadows: a Scholarly Discussion with John Mack Faragher, Don Fixico, and others speaking to a full auditorium at the City Library and Impounded: Photographs of Japanese American Internment which brought Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams images to the CTIHB, as well as Gary Okihiro from Columbia University to speak about said images. Both events received impressive news coverage and community attendance.
ach year the University Writing Program faculty members share our scholarship with you to provide a sense of how we enhance the culture of the academic community through writing. We teach courses that help students become better writers and we also work with faculty from across campus to assist them in incorporating writing into their classes. Our goal is to ensure that students receive the best instruction possible, that they become more critical in their thinking about issues and problems, and more articulate in their ability to write about them. This year, we thought it important to highlight the research and writing of our students, those who benefit most directly from our efforts. The Hidden Life of Owls Joseph Flower, Biology WRTG 4080: Environmental Writing Dawn breaks in the forest. It is a cold morning, and coaxing myself out of the tent is not so easy. Sore leg muscles refuse to start, but they must, it is time to work. After all, I have agreed to perform the duties of this job with the Park Service to the best of my abilities, which means getting out of the luxurious warmth of this down sleeping bag and beginning another day of searching for an animal that does not seem to be here — the elusive Northern Spotted Owl. It is the third consecutive day in the field and the May sky outside is not nearly as nice as it was yesterday — the classic gloom of the Northwestern sky hangs in the atmosphere like an immense pewter ceiling. Looks like rain.
Of Religious and Ethical Necessity: An Analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail Adam Little, Political Science WRTG 2010: First-Year Composition Martin Luther King’s inspiring voice and clear vision for an America free of racial prejudice and vicious segregation defined a generation. His powerful command of the English language engrained his message of racial equality into the mind of nearly every American since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. To truly understand why Martin Luther King was such a remarkable leader and powerful rhetorician, his many writings and speeches must be analyzed with direct focus on how his message was delivered. Although ancient in origin, Aristotle’s concepts of logos, pathos and ethos remain powerful rhetorical tools when framing an argument and Martin Luther King was a master at adapting these principles to his unique rhetorical style. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, King used several methods of appealing to the ethics of the reader and eloquently wove each of them together to remind the audience of their responsibility as human beings, a pivotal concept present throughout his life’s work.
The following excerpts are taken from the writing of the recipients of our annual Excellence in Writing Awards. The texts that follow were nominated by their instructors and judged by a committee as exemplifying many features of quality writing. These student writers explain to us why Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. was not only inspiring to the American public but effective as a form of political persuasion; caution us in using best practices for technology in teaching and learning; provide insightful information regarding branding and consumerism in a new era of economic ethics; and take us in search of an endangered owl species in the Olympic National Park. The full texts can be found on our website (www.hum.utah.edu/uwp/). We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we have.
Gap, Inc.: Corporate Social Responsibility Daniel L. Smith, Accounting WRTG 3016: Business Writing Increasing consumer activism for socially acceptable sourcing has compelled corporations to consider how they conduct business and their resulting public image. Corporations are being forced to become more aware of their impact upon the world. Consumers are calling for socially equitable and economically sound sources for the products they purchase, and no industry has been scrutinized more than the United States’ apparel industry. Public media’s critical investigation, documentaries, photographs and stories focus regularly on the mechanics of the industry’s largest entities. Gap Inc (Gap) ranks as number 52 of the world’s 100 most recognizable brands, and number 21 among the top 100 retailers of the United States, and as such it has become the target of hundreds of these critical investigations.
How to Effectively Teach and Learn in an Online Environment William Seretta, Undeclared WRTG 2010: First-Year Composition Learning online is not a new idea but has seen tremendous growth in the past decade because of technological advances. The widespread use of computers throughout all aspects of life has been a contributing factor to the explosive growth of online learning, as well as the ever-growing popularity of the Internet. With more students opting to take a class, or all of their classes, online, and more educators beginning to facilitate these classes, online learning has quickly shifted into the mainstream. Many universities across the country now offer some form of online learning, and every year, many more are following the trend. This has provided the option of online classes to more students each semester, and the students who choose the online option are quickly realizing that learning online requires skills that traditional classes do not. Educators, as well, are recognizing that teaching and facilitating online courses can be difficult and also require a new skill set to be successful. Students need to understand that online courses are not an easy alternative to traditional courses and actually require more preparation and motivation. Teachers must realize that for an online course to be effective, they need to encourage interaction between students and clearly state the objectives, assignments, assessments, and expectations of their students. Online education is becoming an increasingly important aspect of learning, and it has been beneficial to both teachers and students, but it takes a motivated and organized student to succeed and students should understand this before taking these classes.
UNIVERSITY WRITING PROGRAM AND CENTER
INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM
The International Studies Program prepares students to live and work in the increasingly global world of the 21st century. Established in 2003, the major has rapidly become one of the most popular undergraduate programs in the University. It is designed to ground students in different disciplines (such as communication, economics, history, political science, foreign language) and permits them to explore the international scope of these disciplines. The objective of this degree is to provide students with a greater understanding of global and international issues and to guide them toward incorporating their awareness, knowledge and skills into their career goals. With more than 70% of IS students having studied or worked abroad by the time they graduate, this program continues to be a leader in advancing the University of Utah’s internationalization efforts. More than 100 students graduated this past spring with a degree in International Studies, many of them as double majors with business, political science, Asian and Latin American Studies, or foreign languages. We currently have over 600 students pursuing International Studies degrees at the University of Utah. The annual Sandy and Anne Dolowitz Lecture in Human Rights was given this past year by Professor Erika George, University of Utah College of Law. Her keynote address was titled, “Beyond Cultural Relativism Toward the Right to Health: The Case of South Africa’s HIV/AIDS Crisis.” The International Studies Student Advisory Committee was very active this year. Led by graduating senior Laura Chukanov (who also happens to be Miss Utah USA 2009), the committee held International Studies open houses, a food drive, and a career workshop for graduating IS majors.
The IS program successfully passed its recent Program Review. External reviewers commended the program on the high level of student satisfaction and the outstanding advising provided by Arminka Zeljkovic.
Latin American Studies offers cross-disciplinary approaches to Latin America, a major world region that includes South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. It draws on faculty and courses from the Departments of Anthropology, Art History, Economics, Geography, History, Languages and Literature, Linguistics, Political Science, and the Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies Programs. A major in Latin American Studies to be effective fall 2009 (pending approval by the Board of Regents)
A panel discussion, “Amazonia in Photography and the Contemporary World,” held in February in conjunction with “Amazonia,” a photography exhibit at the Salt Lake Public Library (sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC). “Viva Brasil!” was held February 28, 2009 at Tucano’s Brazilian Grill in downtown Salt Lake City. This fundraising dinner, which celebrated the launch of our new Brazilian Studies program, included such dignitaries as President Michael K. Young, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis and Ambassador Graca Lima, the Brazilian Consul General from Los Angeles. Brazilian Studies has become a central focus of our Latin American Studies program. We are pleased to welcome two new Latin American specialist colleagues to the University of Utah: Alessandra Santos, Brazilian Literature and Culture Erin Finzer, Central America and Eco-criticism
In March of 2009, the Latin American American Studies program sponsored a fascinating lecture by Mexican performance artist Monica Mayer, “Amputated Rivers: Political Performance Art in Mexico.”
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM 18
ASIA CENTER T
he Asia Center encompasses a broad range of interdisciplinary academic and community activities. This includes courses taught in twelve departments across campus, community lectures, visiting scholars, the Confucius Institute, and study abroad opportunities.
Within the Asia Center, students can earn an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Asian Studies, designed to both both deepen and broaden students’ understanding of this crucial region of the world and help to make our students more competitive in today’s market. The degree works particularly well when earned as a double major with Chinese or Japanese languages, History, Political Science, and many other disciplines. Our Asian Studies graduates have secured jobs in a wide variety of fields, from law, biological research, graphic design, and the computer industry to public service here and abroad as well as overseas entrepreneurship. Many graduates have also gone on to prestigious graduate programs at places such as UCLA, University of Washington, Indiana University, University of Chicago, and Columbia University.
The Confucius Institute organized the Chinese New Year Celebration Cultural Performance featuring visiting performers from China — the Tianjin Cathay Future Children’s Art Troupe — on January 24, 2009. Over 2,500 people attended the exciting performance. Governor Huntsman and the Consulate General of China spoke at the event. The Confucius Institute hosted the 2nd Annual Chinese Culture Week on campus and for the Greater Salt Lake Community from March 30 to April 3. The Culture Week offered different events including a Chinese music concert, Chinese speech contest, lectures on Chinese calligraphy and democratic reform, and film.
A presentation by Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs of USA, Donald Tong, on March 11, 2009, was co-sponsored by the Confucius Institute, the Asia Center, the Business School, and the Hinckley Institute. Mr. Tong was in 19
town to promote trade between Hong Kong and Utah. He met with the governor and business leaders in Utah before the lecture.
The Confucius Institute offered continuing education for Utah secondary teachers through the summer “Gateway to Learning” Program (China, Past and Present) via the Tanner Humanities Center on June 8–12, 2009. This is the second year that the Confucius Institute offered this kind of summer workshop to the community after a positive response from the participants last year. The Confucius Institute continued to organize its speaker series on Chinese culture. “Separate and Loyal: Ethnicity and Nationalism in China” by Prof. Wenfang Tang of University of Pittsburgh on February 27, 2009 attracted close to one hundred people.
he Center for American Indian Languages (CAIL) shines as a major force on the forefront of endangered language study. Involved in every aspect of endangered language research in the Americas, faculty and graduate students of the Center continue to publish key works, to be invited to give talks around the country and the world, and to obtain grant funding for language documentation and revitalization. The 2009 Conference on Endangered Languages and Cultures of Native America, hosted annually at CAIL in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and the American Philosophical Society, brought an international audience this past March. Each year, speakers and attendees from throughout the Western Hemisphere and around the world convene at CELCNA to share their findings of scientific interest discovered as they analyze and describe these languages and to discuss language revitalization strategies and efforts.
This year, with support from the National Science Foundation, the Center will bring together 50 endangered language experts from around the world to organize a major infrastructure project that will have a profound impact on the field. The project will create a comprehensive catalogue and web resource with up-to-date information about endangered languages — about 1200 of the known 7000 languages of the world. In addition to laying out unusual traits of these languages and contributing to an under-
standing of their history, the portal will have important consequences for directing future research and allocating resources towards the most critical issues in language research.
CAIL is also making an impact closer to home. The Wick R. Miller Collection: Returning to the Community project funded by the Barrick Gold Corporation has been working closely with Shoshone and Goshute groups in the Great Basin on all aspects of language revitalization. Teams of faculty and graduate students have worked with communities to develop curriculum for both high school and elementary school levels, organized workshops for teacher training, and, over the summer, offered the first-ever Shoshone/Goshute Youth Language Apprenticeship Program. These are exciting programs in CAIL’s mission to work with American Indian communities to help revitalize their languages.
Featured in the press nationally, the Shoshone/ Goshute Youth Language Apprenticeship Program brought ten high school students, all members of Shoshone/Goshute speaking tribes, to live on campus and work at CAIL on language projects. The students created storybooks in the Shoshone language based on tales told by elders and recorded over 30 years ago, created entries in a “talking dictionary” of Shoshone, and attended daily Shoshone/ Goshute language classes.
CAIL CENTER FOR AMERICAN INDIAN LANGUAGES 20
TANNER HUMANITIES CENTER I
n celebration of the Wallace Stegner Centennial Celebration, the
University of Wisconsin Professor Richard Davidson presented the
with the Center, Bagley researched Stegner’s background in drawing
define each person’s resilience as well as their vulnerability to ad-
Tanner Humanities Center was pleased to host two Wallace
Stegner Fellows, Will Bagley and Stephen Trimble. During their year a connection between the Mormon and non-Mormon world, while
Trimble studied Stegner’s focus on landscape and geography in his writing. Bagley and Trimble also taught a one-week educator workshop for K-12 teachers on Wallace Stegner, his life, and his works.
In September 2008, the Tanner Center welcomed Ying Wang, a businesswoman from China who focuses on the relationship between China and U.S. industries. Ying Wang advises and works with U.S.
companies that seek to break into the rapidly growing and largely
untapped Chinese market. Ms. Wang is also the chair of the Orien-
tal Energy Group Limited, a company building solar and wind farms in China. During her visit she gave two talks to Asian studies faculty and students, local business, and those interested in alternative energy sources.
Cesar Gaviria, former president of Colombia, presented the third annual World Leaders Lecture Forum. The WLLF was established in
2006 by the Tanner Humanities Center and brings to campus and community leaders of international stature and global impact to address the vital issues of the day. The series recognizes heads of states as well as “global citizens,” men and women whose social,
cultural, moral, or economic influence has shaped our understand-
ing of world events and the international community. In addition to
this year’s visit by Cesar Gaviria, the Forum has sponsored the visits of former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shirin Ebadi of Iran.
The Utah Humanities Council presented the Center with the first UHC
Humanities Partnership Award in honor of the Center’s 20th anniversary and its two decades of promoting the humanities with both campus and community audiences.
annual Tanner Lecture, “Order and Disorder in the Emotional Brain.”
His talk explores the emotions at the core of human personality that versity.
Akbar Ahmed, professor from American University, presented the Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture, which focused
on his latest book, Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization. This goal of this project was to establish dialogue and understanding
between these cultures. Ahmed led a team of Americans on an un-
precedented tour of the Muslim world and visited many universities across the U.S.
Recently the Tanner Center received a generous gift from the estate of Joyce A. Tornquist for the creation of the Tornquist Graduate
Fellowship. This fellowship is designed to help graduate students in
the humanities who needs financial support to continue their studies towards a Ph.D. The Center hopes to offer the first Tornquist fellowship in 2010-2011.
The Tanner Humanities Center is pleased to announce a two-year
fellowship opportunity for graduate students studying the Church of Latter-day Saints, its history, and its culture. This fellowship, funded
by the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, is among the first in the world to focus specifically on Mormon studies.
This summer marked the tenth year that the Center has offered the Gateway to Learning Educator workshops. This program brings university faculty into collaboration with school teachers to explore
new teaching techniques and styles, innovative classroom technologies, and the most recent content in their teaching fields.
he state of Utah offers a unique site in which to examine and explore the environment from a humanities perspective, learning about a sense of place, of more fully inhabiting a specific place by knowing its ecology, its human and nonhuman histories, its cultural traditions, and its environmental challenges. Here in this setting, the Environmental Humanities graduate program provides students with a broad-based understanding of social, cultural, ethical, historical, communication, and literary perspectives and with a focus on how these humanities perspectives intersect with and influence public policy, scientific, legal, industrial, and corporate concerns. Students who earn the Masters in Environmental Humanities can readily move into the increasing number of positions dealing with environmental impact, sustainability, policy, and theory in business, law, government, media, non-profits, and universities. They do so with a broad-based understanding of social, cultural, ethical, historical, communication, and literary perspectives and with a focus on how these humanities perspectives intersect with and influence public policy, scientific, legal, industrial, and corporate concerns.
For the 2008-2009 academic year, the program organized coursework and activities around water issues in the American West, with a special focus on Wallace Stegner’s work to mark the centennial of his birth, and especially his book on John Wesley Powell’s historic exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Ecology of Residency — this annual 10 day intensive
course, taught by author Terry Tempest Williams, was highlighted this year by a five night, six day trip on the Green and Colorado rivers.
The 2008-2009 Lyceum II lecture was titled, “what
was the title?...”, and featured National Book Award winner Peter Mathiessen and noted environmental photographer Subhankar Bannerjee.
Environmental author David Abram completed a res-
idency with the Environmental Humanities students, as well as giving a public lecture
Visiting Scholar Wade Davis (Explorer in Residence with National Geographic), gave his annual public
The EH program co-sponsored, in partnership with
the Salt Lake Film Center, a screening and discussion of the documentary “Blue Gold.”
The Spring field trip for EH students this year was to Snow Canyon, in southwestern Utah.
Three recent EH graduates are now doing Ph.D. level
work at the University of California-Davis, Texas A&M University and the University of Utah.
The program recently admitted 18 wonderful students for incoming class for 2009-2010, essentially tripling the program’s size.
lecture, this year titled, “Grand Canyon: River at Risk,” based on his most recent book (of the same name).
ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES PROGRAM 22
CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM Why Some Girls Love Horses
he Creative Writing program has enjoyed yet another phenomenal year of writers coming to the University of Utah and the Art Barn. This included the national best-selling essayist Jo Ann Beard, experimental writers Ben Marcus and Michael Martone, and up-and-coming young poets like A. Van Jordan. The University of Utah’s Creative Writing Program continues to offer a diverse, free public reading series that highlights both established and emerging writers. Next year’s line-up already includes Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Michael Cunningham, African American novelist Percival Everett, and Brenda Shaughnessy, whose second book of poems has just been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
Not only is the program a host institution for great visiting writers, it continues to be home to the next generation of great authors. Indeed, in a 2007 Atlantic Monthly article, the University of Utah was named as one of the top five Creative Writing Ph.D. programs in the nation. Our recent alumni include Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness, Rae Meadows, whose book Calling Out was named one of the best books of 2006 by The Chicago Tribune, and poet Judy Jordan, whose Carolina Ghost Woods won the 2000 National Book Critics Circle.
Written by Paisley Rekdal, Director of the Creative Writing Program
And then I thought, Can I have more of this, would it be possible
for every day to be a greater awakening: more light, more light, your face on the pillow with the sleep creases rudely
fragmenting it, hair so stiff
from paint and sheet rock it feels
like the dirty short hank
of mane I used to grab on Dandy’s neck
before he hauled me up and forward,
white flanks flecked green
with shit and the satin of his dander, the livingness, the warmth
of all that blood just under the skin
and in the long, thick muscle of the neck–
He was smarter than most of the children I went to school with. He knew
how to stand with just the crescent
of his hoof along a boot toe and press,
incrementally, his whole weight down. The pain so surprising when it came,
its iron intention sheathed in stealth, the decisive sudden twisting of his leg until the hoof
pinned one’s foot completely to the ground,
we’d have to beat and beat him with a brush
to push him off, that hot
insistence with its large horse eye trained deliberately on us, to watch–
Like us, he knew how to announce through violence how he didn’t hunger, didn’t want
despite our practiced ministrations: too young not to try to empathize
with this cunning: this thing
that was and was not human we must respect
for itself and not our imagination of it: I loved him because I could not love him anymore in the ways I’d taught myself,
watching the slim bodies of teenagers
guide their geldings in figure eights around the ring as if they were one body, one fluid motion
of electric understanding I would never feel
working its way through fingers to the bit: this thing had a name, a need, a personality; it possessed an indifference that gave me
logic and a measure: I too might stop wanting the hand placed on back or shoulder and never feel the desired response.
I loved the horse for the pain it could imagine and inflict on me, the sudden jerking
of head away from halter, the tentative nose inspecting first before it might decide to relent and eat. I loved
what was not slave or instinct, that when you turn to me it is a choice, it is always a choice to imagine pleasure might be blended, one warmth
bleeding into another as the future
bleeds into the past, more light, more light, your hand against my shoulder, the image of the one who taught me disobedience is the first right of being alive.
he Middle East Center at the University of Utah is one of the oldest Title VI Centers in the United States. Founded in 1960 by Coptic scholar Aziz Atiya, it has received continuous federal funding for 49 year from the Department of Education. It now offers nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs in Middle East studies, including a robust lecture series and increasing collaboration among faculty from across campus. For the academic year 2009-2010, the Center is developing a number of proposals to enhance knowledge and understanding of the Middle East and the international dimensions of professional education in the schools of business, education, health sciences, law, medicine and social work.
Of particular interest is the launch of a new interdisciplinary, multi-institutional project, spanning four years, entitled Water and Conflict in the Middle East: Can environmental problems be used to promote international cooperation in the world’s most contentious areas? Water touches all aspects of people’s lives and plays a central role in every country’s development. It affects health, livelihoods and incomes. Its availability and quality can hinder or facilitate socioeconomic development. The project aims at establishing an intellectual framework for disciplines from humanities, social sciences, and professional fields to bring their respective specializations to provide an interdisciplinary paradigm for resolving environmental conflicts in the Middle East. This project seems particularly relevant for a center located in Utah, where the challenge of securing safe and plentiful water for all is one of the most daunting challenges faced by the region. The Southwest has been in a water supply crisis for decades. High usage rates and a growing population have caused a significant depletion of ground water resources and overuse of surface water resources. Increasing temperatures will cause higher evaporation rates and reduce further the amount of water available for stream flow and ground water recharge.
The Middle Eastern situation is not that different. The region has only 1% of the world’s available fresh water, which is shared among 5% of the world’s
population. Currently, all of the riparians of the Jordan basin—Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria—share the common dilemma of inexorably declining per capita shares of water. By 2025, it is predicted that the countries of the Arabian peninsula will be using more than double the amount of water naturally available to them. By drawing attention to these shared environmental issues and problems, the Middle East Center is hoping to initiate a dialogue among experts from local, regional, and national levels, and enhance our knowledge of the Middle East in the area of environment and health. The Middle East Center is delighted to welcome Professor Bahman Baktiari as the Center’s new director!
Before coming to the University of Utah, Dr. Baktiari was
the Director of the School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) at University of Maine. He received his Ph.D.
from the Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Baktiari is widely published. His most recent publication, Iranian Society 30 Years after the Revolution: A Surprising Picture, appeared in the Spring 2009 spe-
cial issue of The Middle East Journal. He has also published in the Christian Science
Monitor, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Muslim Politics Report, Maine Sunday
Telegram, and Al-Ahram weekly. Because of his recognized expertise on Iran, he is
often sought for interviews with such public outlets as Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour,
CNN International, Voice of America, and Radio Free Europe, the Wall Street Jour-
nal, USA Today, and Congressional Research. He has also given frequent lectures on Iran in several research centers in Cairo, Egypt, where he has also been a Visiting Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo.
MIDDLE EAST CENTER 24
HUMANITIES Saved Me from Becoming
A COWBOY by Fred Esplin, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Presented at the Humanities Happy Hour Blues Christmas, December 2008
t’s a great honor to be invited to speak at the Humanities Happy Hour, but I do so at the risk of doing my reputation irreparable
harm. Many of you know me as a University administrator, a public
Trust your neighbor but brand your cattle;
broadcaster, and, perhaps, a person of reasonable reputation. But
Don’t dig for water near the outhouse;
ing come up to the brink, having stared into the pastoral abyss, I
Always drink upstream from the herd;
tonight the truth comes out. When the thin veneer of culture is
Never kick a cow pie on a hot day;
was saved by the humanities from the fate of spending my days on
Don’t squat with your spurs on; and
stripped away there lurks in me the heart of a cowboy. But, hav-
Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco;
the range with bovines and a dog. Tonight I will tell you how that
Never try to milk the bull.
But first, I must briefly sing the praises of the cowboy. They are a
You can see, of course, how I got such a good start in life with such
“windshield cowboys” like Hank Williams Jr. and George W. Bush.
generation of southern Utah pioneer stock, my family on both sides
much-maligned lot and generally given an undeservedly bad repu-
tation by the likes of John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, and a host of Cowboys are, generally speaking, uncommonly fair, decent, and
helpful. If your heifers get in their pasture, they’ll generally turn them back rather than letting them get in with their bull. And
many a cowboy has been known for his kindness to animals, most particularly his dog, which he often lets sleep with him.
Indeed the wisdom of generations on the range has been distilled into pearls of wisdom, cowboy aphorisms if you will.
Among those I learned growing up are that you should....
a practical education. By way of context, I’d like to tell you a little
bit about me and where and how I grew up. I am one of the fifth having been consigned by Brother Brigham to settle the nethermost outposts of Zion. The boys on my mother’s side were lumberjacks who worked on the Kaibab and in sawmills. The boys on my
father’s side were sheepherders and cowboys who trailed herds over the Markagunt Plateau and the Arizona Strip on land which is now largely designated as national forests, parks and monuments.
Thanks to the Homestead Act, our family settled land that has
By the spring of 1959 we were old enough to help with the annual
north of Cedar City, a place where golden eagles can still be seen
cattle with young calves and half a dozen bulls 20 miles from Clear
stayed in the family ever since. Our winter range used to be on
the east boundary of Zion National Park and is now in the desert migrating each spring and fall and where a small herd of antelope
still share the range with our cattle. Our summer range is on the
North Fork of the Virgin River, not far above where you enter the Zion Narrows.
It is a beautiful place with the pink castles of Strawberry Point and
Cascade Falls the view to the north and an overlook of the canyons
and spires of Zion National Park to the south. The nearest neigh-
bors are a couple of miles away, and in all directions the hills are covered with Ponderosa Pine, scrub oak, Juniper, and aspen, while
the meadows are host to wild turkey and mule deer. Mountain lions still move up from Zion Canyon each summer, gorging themselves on the Lundgren’s and Bullock’s lambs.
My sister, Sharon, and I are the oldest of the grandchildren and enjoyed particular access to the ranch as kids. Our Navajo foster
brother from Tuba City, Arizona, joined us in 1955, having lost his father to tuberculosis and his mother to alcohol. Tom and I spent much of each summer at the ranch, nominally helping grandpa but
spending countless hours riding horses, setting traps, in vain, for
deer, woodchuck, and cougar, and generally testing the boundaries
of grandpa’s patience. We discovered the boundary when we nearly burned down the outhouse, having tried successfully to warm
the toilet seats on a cold October morning by burning newspaper on them.
cattle drive, a three day pilgrimage on horseback, eating and sleep-
ing in the sheep wagon, while coaxing and prodding 200 head of Creek on the south to the summer range at North Fork. It was a
great adventure for 12-year-olds. We’d saddle up at dawn, help gather the herd, and push them hard all day, stopping for lunch
and bedding down for dinner in the evening. It was the one place we were certain flamboyant and imaginative cursing was allowed.
We took turns with the bull whip, delighting in cracking it above our heads to get the stragglers in line while uttering oaths that singed the leaves on the scrub oak. The smell of the campfire in the evening gave us cover to sneak off and smoke a barkie, a regional
delight which consists of vigorously rubbing the bark of a Juniper tree into fine strands that can be rolled in a bit of newsprint and smoked. Heaven forbid that you ever tried to inhale it! But we
could blow billowing clouds of blue smoke that we were certain put us in the elite company of the hired hand who rolled his own Bull Durham cigarettes with one hand while riding his horse.
It was on the cattle drive that summer that I learned one of life’s
most valuable lessons, which has served me well ever since: The scenery only changes for the lead cow. And since Tom and I always drew the short straw and brought up the rear, getting our faces covered with dust and seeing nothing all day but the south ends of
north bound cows, I concluded that it was better to break with the
herd and make your own path than to plod along with your nose in your neighbor’s flank; or worse.
North Fork was an important part of my early education. Sitting
My home town, Cedar City, is one of the string of settlements along
history, and sociology. Questions about those long gone who had
from the Southern Paiute, the settlers exploited the rich iron ore
around the fireplace with the grownups after dinner gave me an
introduction to a particularly southern Utah variety of politics, etched their names into the side of the fireplace led to stories of the United Order and how Scottish farmers eked out an existence in the
Moapa Valley in the 1860s; and questions about how grandpa came to be in France in 1918 led to colorful stories about the great wars,
German expansionism, and the disgrace, as it was seen by my family, of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. When, at 14, I was assigned the task of harnessing up Oscar and Maude, our huge draft
horses, and cleaning out the irrigation ditches in the Seth meadow, I began to understand the intricate circulatory system that had been created generations before to water the verdant summer pasture.
All manner of humanity passed through the ranch — Aunts Grace and Doris, uncles Grant, Garth, Roland, and Delbert, and assorted
friends and cousins. A rowdy, profane crew of deer hunters from California appeared each fall, having wenched their way through Las Vegas on the way. They consumed cases of Seagrams VO around
the fireplace after dinner, and generously tipped me and Tom for
wrangling their horses and helping them dress out the bucks they harvested for a fee. North Fork in the summer was a virtual cornu-
copia of gastronomical delights, none of which I ever saw at home, and none to rival Ardell Heaton’s goulash, an imaginative concoction of creamed corn, fried potatoes, and spam.
We are, no doubt, all creatures of our own unique cultures. So before I tell you how the humanities intervened to change my life, I
must first tell you how the world appeared to me through the lens of Iron County in the 1950s.
the Old Spanish Trail that Brother Brigham established one day’s
wagon ride from one another. Having wrested control of the area
deposits west of town. Livestock and tourism eventually replaced
mining, and the creation of a teacher-training college brought a level of culture and civilization that made our village the envy of its peers.
But Cedar City is a community at odds with itself, alternately feel-
ing the gravitational tug of Las Vegas to the south, and Salt Lake City to the north. Some local boys spent their Sunday mornings
in priesthood meeting and others their Saturday nights in Panaca’s whorehouses. Its politics are the brightest crimson, yet it helped
educate Utah Governor Scott Matheson, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Helen Foster Snow, who went on to study at the University of Utah and later became a friend, admirer, and biographer of Mao Zedong.
Television came late to southern Utah, a blessing I did not appreciate at the time. Growing up there in the 50’s, Sharon, Tom and I would huddle around the radio on Sunday evenings, eating pine
nuts our family had gathered from the hills west of town, and listen to Gunsmoke, Johnny Dollar, and Suspense Theater on the radio.
The cold war was raging and Joe McCarthy was doing his best to
keep the commies out of the state department. The John Birch Society was firmly entrenched in Iron County and we were do-
ing our part for national security by cooperating with the Atomic Energy Commission in their nu-cle-er tests in the Nevada desert. The little yellow booklets they sent to our homes assured us the
tests were safe and that we needn’t worry; and we didn’t. It didn’t
occur to us at the time that there might be a connection between the
ranch. And seeing my brother, Tom, caught between two cultures
incidence of leukemia among the children in the area.
urday Evening Post, and Life, Look, and Time magazines. When I
tests and the dying off of the sheep herds of our neighbors whose winter range was close to the testing ground; or to the increasing
The news of desegregation in Little Rock was puzzling, because there were no Black folks and very few Hispanics in Iron County, and we all got along just fine with the local Paiutes, as long as they
stayed in their place. But by the time Tom and I were in junior high,
for the first time I saw, in a way I finally understood, the ugly face of racism.
Visits to the family sawmills in Panguitch and Swains Creek, and
time with cousins there and in Orderville, were wonderful, as were the family reunions at Duck Creek. Everyone spoke a common language with the proper accent. We rode our “harses” to the “crick,”
and as a young boy I once asked my mother to explain the difference between the lard in the fridge and the “Lard” at church.
God was in his heaven and all was right with the world... but then the humanities intervened.
Gradually the peace of my little world began to be disturbed by
glancing blows from the humanities. Clear answers to life’s mys-
teries were replaced by unsettling, persistent questions. Yes, this was how things were, but how did they used to be, and how might they be?
Conversations around the fireplace led to more questions. Encounters with those outside my little world raised even more. It
had never occurred to me that folks in Africa were facing the same problems of grazing rights, irrigation, and how best to raise cattle,
until our local extension agent brought two visitors from Mali to the
without a firm footing in either was disturbing and unsettling.
My windows to the broader world were CBS radio news, the Satread of a tall, talented basketball player from New York City the
same age as me I wondered what life was like for Lew Alcinder and how it compared to life in Cedar City. When I saw pictures in Life
of monks burning in the streets of Saigon, I wondered why this was
happening and what, if anything, it had to do with me. And when an
assassin struck down John Kennedy in Dallas I wondered with my classmates what anger and hatred could lead to such a horror.
Fred Adams had just created a modest, summer Shakespeare festival in Cedar City at that time. Locals and some out-of-town college
kids were the actors, stage hands, and designers. In the summer
of 64, following my junior year of high school and two years after the founding of the festival, my sister and I decided we wanted to join in the fun. Sharon read and loved Shakespeare and wanted to experience it first hand. I, on the other hand, had read no Shake-
speare but concluded it would be a great way to meet some new
girls (which it proved to be). By the end of the summer, having had a bit role in Twelfth Night and played Snug the Joiner in A Midsum-
mer Night’s Dream, I concluded that not only was playing Shake-
speare a great way to broaden my social horizons, but that this guy had something to say, not only to Elizabethans but to 20th century Americans as well.
Not long after that, through the good offices of my brother-in-law, I
met a student from the University of Utah named Hal Cannon, who used our ranch as the setting for a student film about a Benedictine
monk struggling with faith and doubt. At about the same time, I
details to my shock and horror. I knew her son, a coach at the rival
on our ranch. Nor did it escape my notice that, in addition to being
worked for years in Mount Carmel, just down the road from our
was introduced to my brother-in-law’s sister, May Swenson, and her
poetry, including one about my sister, Sharon, dreaming of horses incredibly talented, May was a wonderful person, the equal of any I knew in Cedar City, notwithstanding her having a long time companion of the same sex.
By this time there was no turning back. The humanities had gotten
under my skin and were beginning to have their way with me. By the time I began college in the fall of 65, things began to accelerate.
Professor Rick Thompson helped me place my brother Tom and the local Paiutes in a larger, historical context. Harry Plumber and a
Vietnam vet in his class challenged my easy assumptions about war
and peace, and right and wrong. Bob Christmas and Art Whearty
introduced me to J.D. Salinger, Ernest Hemingway, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Joseph Heller. And to my delight and
consternation, Gene Woolf introduced me to Socrates, Plato, and St. Thomas Aquinas and, in the process, caused me to question and reexamine everything.
Before long I was discovering new authors and reading books like Catch 22, Abba Eban’s My People, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance, Siddhartha, Sandberg’s Lincoln, and everything I could get my hands on by Kahlil Gibran. I discovered to my amaze-
ment that there were authors who had written about places I knew and events involving my tribe. I began reading Bernard DeVoto and
Wallace Stegner, and, having learned from my mother that one of
Maureen Whipple’s characters in The Giant Joshua was based on
a great-grandfather, read her book and drove to St. George to meet her. Remarkably, I had reached this point in life knowing very little
about the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Although my ancestors were living elsewhere at the time and not part of those tragic events,
many of my classmates were descendants of those who were. I read
Juanita Brook’s seminal work on the Massacre and learned of its
high school in St. George, and made it a point to meet Juanita.
I also learned that the gifted artist, Maynard Dixon, had lived and winter range. As I looked at his southern Utah landscapes it was clear that many were of the Long Valley horizons I knew so well.
While I was seeking enlightenment in the academy, Tom was seek-
ing survival in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia. When he re-
turned from his tour of duty, he told me of his time as a side gunner
on helicopter on the Mekong Delta, and how he had come to learn to fly a piper cub, which he was doing then, giving tourists flyovers of the Grand Canyon, and later as a crop duster in the Texas panhandle. He had learned to fly after his helicopter was badly shot up and some of his crew killed. In the frantic tree-top flight for survival they ended up in Cambodia, finding safe haven at a covert CIA base.
He was offered the chance to finish his tour of duty there, which
he did, and was taught to fly small aircraft to make reconnaissance flights over the Ho Chi Mihn trail and to take up CIA officers and
terrified Viet Cong prisoners for interrogation sessions. His stories, and all that I was learning of the war, caused me to question our basis for, and conduct of, the war.
Inexorably, things began to look differently to me. Not only had I concluded that we had made a terrible mistake intervening in Vietnam’s civil war, the summer of 1970 as a White House intern while
living at the home of columnist Jack Anderson, introduced me to the underbelly of the Nixon administration, including FBI wiretaps and
24-hour surveillance of Anderson’s home because of his reporting that which Mr. Nixon wished to remain unreported.
I discovered that the lens through which I viewed the world had become reversed. No longer could I see the world through the lens
of Iron County; I could only see Iron County through a new, broader
lens. The earth moved on its axis for me, and the humanities were primarily to blame. While still an undergraduate I worked as a
stringer for the Salt Lake Tribune reporting on the lack of any solid
The humanities have allowed me to see the ranch in a new light,
the lack of public services at the Paiute Indian village; the only place
duty to my own children and grandchildren, and to humanity itself,
waste landfill in southern Utah and the then-common practice of open burning in trash pits on the edges of towns. I also reported on in Cedar City without paved streets, sidewalks, or indoor plumbing.
The public attention to both of these issues, I believe, contributed to their remedies.
As a graduate student I came to know, among others, Aubrey Fish-
er, Sterling McMurrin, and a young instructor fresh from graduate school named Bob Avery. Bob’s course on public broadcasting so
intrigued me that I pursued a career in that field, working at PBS in Washington and for stations in Pennsylvania before later returning
to Utah to run KUED and KUER. By this time the humanities had become a defining force in my world view.
I’m going to wrap up my remarks at this point, while showing you a few images of the North Fork ranch as I do. Much has happened
since the time I’ve just described. My career has evolved, I have
raised a family, and the humanities continue to shape my understanding of the world. But the cowboy in me has not disappeared.
Before returning to Utah, and while contemplating my future at the time, I spoke with my father about the possibility of returning to southern Utah to help run the ranch. He wisely advised against it.
But since returning to Utah, I still make regular pilgrimages to the ranch, and it has become a place of refuge for me. My grandfather
is long gone, and at 90, dad isn’t able to do much on the ranch any-
more. My cousin Gayle runs the day-to-day operations, and Gerry
and I and other family show up to help when things get busy. Gerry has adopted a roan mare we’ve named Lucy, in honor of another
fiery red-head, Lucille Ball; and I’ve adopted a light buckskin gelding we call Andy, in honor of Andy Warhol. We show up dutifully in the spring to gather and doc the calves, and in the fall to help bring
in the strays from the side canyons, and to flush the bulls out of the birch and willows by the creek.
and I am still learning lessons from it, as I believe my father and grandfather did before me. I’ve come to understand that I have a
in the same way those before me created the circumstances that allowed me to pursue my own course in life. One part of fulfilling that duty, in my view, has been my successfully convincing our family
that we should place the ranch in a conservation easement, which we did with the help of the Trust for Public Lands about four years
ago. With weekend homesteaders from southern Nevada subdividing and infesting all the old ranches along the North Fork above and below us, our 27 hundred acres will remain undeveloped in
perpetuity, which is a source of joy to me and others in the family. If circumstances allow, I would love to see the day that this working
cattle ranch could double as an artists and writers retreat... time will tell.
So, there you have it. That is how the humanities saved me from
becoming a cowboy, and immeasurably enriched my life along the
way. In closing, let us raise a glass to the humanities; may they enrich the lives of cowboys everywhere. Thank you.
Fred Esplin is Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the University of Utah and former general manager of KUED Channel 7. Prior to coming to the University of Utah, Esplin worked in public broadasting in Pennsylvania and for PBS in Washington, D.C. He has degrees in communication from Southern Utah University and the University of Utah and has served on the boards of the Trust for Public Lands, United Way of Salt Lake City , PBS, the Utah Arts Council, the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and the Utah Humanities Council. All images are from Fred Esplin’s Ranch in Southern Utah.
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS 2009
The College of Humanities recognized Pace McConkie and Amy Van Prooyan Greenfield, two accomplished professionals, as the Distinguished Alumni for 2008-2009. These outstanding individuals were honored during the College of Humanities Convocation ceremony in May of 2009
“We move together, or we fall together.”
By Rochelle McConkie, Pace McConkie’s daughter and current Humanities Student.
grew up in a home with a framed picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the wall. From a young age, we’d go on family field trips to the Great Blacks In Wax museum and pay tribute to the Thurgood Marshall statue outside the Annapolis State House. My three siblings and I were taught that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was “a day on, not a day off,” and that we had a responsibility to create positive social change.
My father, Pace Jefferson McConkie, is a civil rights lawyer who lives by the creed of the great Charles Hamilton Houston, who said, “A lawyer’s either a social engineer or he’s a parasite on society.” As a lover of justice and a defender of equality, my dad has dedicated his professional life to advocating for equal educational opportunities for all students, regardless of their race, color, creed, or socio-economic status. He is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed man from Salt Lake City, and a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. My father has chosen to be that engineer of which Mr. Houston speaks. Pace McConkie, who is now the director of the Center for Civil Rights and Education at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, said that education is the most pressing issue the United States faces, especially considering the current economic crisis. “Where are we going to find the greatest opportunities for the coming generation? — In education, and the professional skills learned through higher education,” he commented. And yet, when the doors to higher education are closed to anybody, these opportunities are considerably limited, he said. Through his efforts at Morgan State University, and in the professional work he has done leading up to it, my father has worked to make higher education a reality for minority students who have often been “locked out” of economic and educational opportunities simply because of the color of their skin.
My father always knew he wanted to practice law, with the purpose of eradicating the vestiges of racism upon which the United States was founded. During his senior year at the University of Utah, where he completed undergraduate degrees in English and political science, he worked for Governor Scott Matheson as an aide to the Governor and his staff on educational policy. This experience focused my father on the issue of public education and eliminating educational barriers for minority students, particularly African Americans.
His education in the College of Humanities especially prepared him to do this work. “An education in the humanities helped me to understand people, cultures, and how humans are interconnected,” he said. “We move together or we fall together.”
After graduating from the University of Utah, my father attended law school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he worked with law firms that were involved in the Little Rock school desegregation cases following the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka—issues that were still being resolved when he attended UALR from 1984 to 1987. There was much work to be done, he said, to not only dismantle segregation but to also break down continuing racial barriers for education. After law school, my father completed a two-year clerkship with Associate Chief Justice Richard C. Howe of the Utah Supreme Court, and went on to garner litigation experience at a plaintiff-oriented consumer rights firm in Annapolis, Maryland. After a year and a half, he began working as Assistant General Counsel to the NAACP at their national headquarters in Baltimore, where he worked on longstanding school desegregation cases, looking for ways to use existing court orders to improve educational opportunities for minority students. My father served as counsel for the NAACP’s Southwest region, and is still actively involved with the organization today.
Following his employment by the NAACP, my dad worked as an attorney in Washington, D.C. with the National Litigation Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to encourage lawyers “to move the struggle for the protection of civil rights from the streets to the courts,” and ensure equal justice under law, according to a statement by the Committee. At the Lawyers’ Committee, he litigated a number of cases, including a school desegregation case for five school districts in the Wilmington, Delaware, metropolitan area, which dealt with closing achievement gaps and putting students on an educational track that leads to college instead of the “school to prison pipeline.” Another case involved a redesign of curriculum in a Pitts-
burgh school district to allow students to be taught in heterogeneously grouped classrooms, in which all students are held the same, high standards. About 90 percent of school districts across the country practice some form of ability grouping and tracking, and most of the time, minority students are tracked into courses with low expectations that are not college bound, he said.
In 1998, my father was appointed by the Maryland Attorney General to serve as Assistant Attorney General and Principal Counsel to the Maryland Higher Education Commission, where he worked to ensure that the State of Maryland was complying with its civil rights obligations under state and federal law “to eliminate all vestiges of a previously segregated system,” he said. “This has not been done yet,” he said. While working with the Maryland Higher Education Commission, my father also litigated a major First Amendment case in the in the federal courts regarding the separation of church and state and the Establishment Clause prohibition against public monies flowing directly into religious institutions. In 2007, he founded the Center for Civil Rights and Education at Morgan State, a Historically Black University, which he said is a “gathering place” for educators, lawyers, civil rights advocates, community members, and students to examine how to “substantively and creatively address any of the remaining barriers to educational opportunity for minority students.” The Center, which he is currently developing, will involve research, training and advocacy for educational civil rights issues at the pre-kindergarten, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels, both in the State of Maryland and on a national scale. “There aren’t a lot of centers like this on campuses,” my father said. “We think we can break some ground. It’s exciting.” My father’s work has inspired me to become an English teacher and work with students who have not been giving the resources and opportunities they need, and deserve, to succeed because of their race or socio-economic status. Although my father advocates for these students in the courtroom, I will advocate for them in the classroom. Like my father, studying in the College of Humanities has inspired me to improve the human race through education. “What
AMY VAN PROOYAN GREENFIELD DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA 2009
The Power of Communication By Rochelle McConkie
or Amy Van Prooyen Greenfield, communication is key.
“‘ No comment’ is really not appropriate in this day and age,” said Greenfield, who was recently named the 2009 College of Humanities Distinguished Alumna for her work in crisis and litigation communications.
After graduating from the University of Utah summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in communication, Greenfield went on to found Van Prooyen Greenfield LLP in 2003, where she serves as managing partner. The firm provides communications counsel for clients involved in high-profile litigation and other situations that could impact corporate reputation, helping clients articulate their positions to the public by providing context and clarity to their case in order to protect the image of the corporation. Greenfield advises clients on the public implications of legal decisions, and counsels them how to effectively work with the media before, during, and after the case is resolved. With her firm, Greenfield has offered communications counsel for two of the largest corporate bankruptcy cases ever filed in the United States, including advising the Official Committee of Equity Security Holders in the Adelphia Communications cases and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the WorldCom, Inc. cases. She also represented a Major League Baseball player in the investigation and report conducted by the former Senator from Maine, George Mitchell, on performance-enhancing substance use in baseball, in which she helped the player avoid testifying in a Congressional hearing and return to play for spring training. Through litigation communications, Greenfield was able to mitigate the impact of the investigation on the player’s career and reputation, as well as protect the reputation of his team and family members.
Communications counsel is offered with the understanding that “the legal and media worlds operate by different rules,” according to a chapter Greenfield authored in the PR News Crisis Management Guidebook on litigation communications. “With the media spotlight shining brighter than ever on the business world, companies involved in litigation need to worry not only about what happens in the court of law, but how it affects their reputation in the court of public opinion,” Greenfield wrote with Lori Teranishi, chief operating officer of the firm and friend of Greenfield from her undergraduate days at the University of Utah. What happens in the court of public opinion is often much more powerful and harmful than the decisions rendered in a court of law, Greenfield said, and they are often rendered much more quickly.
In litigation communications, public relations tactics and a firm understanding of the law go hand in hand. Greenfield’s background in public relations dates back to her undergraduate degree in mass communication, which she received from the University of Utah in 1992, but her interest in law was sparked during a media law class with professor David Vergobbi, who also chaired Greenfield’s master’s committee. Greenfield said Vergobbi’s class “ignited a passion” in her that inspired her to go to law school—after earning her master’s degree in 1995, Greenfield obtained a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1999. Vergobbi said Greenfield was an impressive student because of her “tremendous” enthusiasm and conscientious work ethic. Greenfield had a great interest in law, especially the First Amendment, he said, and her master’s thesis examined a new interpretation of the First Amendment with regards to speech and freedom of the press. “She just stands out,” Vergobbi said. “I was always deeply impressed with her motivation and drive. Very quickly, it was apparent that she had outstanding intellect—she took to the material right away.” Greenfield also cites experiences in the classrooms of L. Edna Rogers, Nickiann Fleener, and Leonard Hawes as being pivotal in her academic and professional development. Greenfield recalls not receiving the highest of marks in Rogers’s class, but acknowledged that “somehow she still managed to view me with respect, and seemed to teach me if there are obstacles to find the courage to work your way around them.” The University recently awarded Rogers with the Calvin S. and JeNeal Hatch Prize in Teaching.
Greenfield said her education in the College of Humanities enabled her to think analytically and look at the bigger picture in the world, as well as see the impact of writing the “right response” in legal situations. She made some of her best friends, including Teranishi, in the College of Humanities, and as her business partner, Greenfield said she has always been able to trust Teranishi because of the foundation
they both have from the College of Humanities. Greenfield maintains connections with the University of Utah through her involvement on the Humanities College Partnership Board, and has stayed in touch with academia by lecturing at Georgetown University, the Legal Marketing Association, and other law firms.
During her school years, Greenfield worked as a reporter in Utah’s skiing industry, and she worked at FHP Healthcare in Salt Lake City while earning her master’s degree. Greenfield went on to work for Fleishman-Hillard International Communications in New York, where she provided public relations counsel for global health care corporations, and later served as a vice president in Edelman’s Issues and Crisis Management practice, overseeing Litigation Communications for Edelman New York. At Edelman, she advised on communication for international global product recall cases, and has also provided counsel for environmental cases, sexual harassment claims, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and issues arising from changes in management. “It was an eye-opening experience to the power of communication,” Greenfield said. “Legal issues and communication are intertwined.” Although Greenfield’s firm is located in New York and San Francisco, Greenfield plans to return to the state of Utah with her husband, Van Greenfield, and her five-year-old son Shiloh, whom she said was skiing shortly after he began walking. Greenfield said she owes the Distinguished Alumna award to her family and those who have supported her in her academic and professional pursuits.
“Several people are here today who have had such a profound impact on my life path, and I am grateful for what each of them has taught me along the way,” Greenfield said at a luncheon honoring the Distinguished Alumni on May 7, 2009. “This award is really a shared honor with each of them for allowing me the opportunities not only to succeed, but also to fail graciously at times and learn from my experiences.”
By Tori Ballif, History B.A.
ood afternoon, fellow College of Humanities graduates. As someone who has completed coursework for her major and two minors in this college, I feel privileged to address you today and to reflect upon what it means to earn a Humanities degree. As this day neared and I thought back on my time here at the U, I realized how much the College of Humanities has shaped my worldview. I would like to share some of those thoughts with you at this time.
The term “humanities” refers to the study of the human condition. As you graduates know, this study allows us to ask questions about our past, the way we write about ourselves, why we think the way we do, how we communicate meaning, and the way through which that meaning is communicated. We have learned how to read and think critically, how to express ourselves through written or visual means, how to ask key questions and where to go to find the answers. We have acquired an additional skill, however, that I would argue is related to, but more valuable than all the others – and that is the ability to find connections. I must draw upon my own personal examples to illustrate this point, but I hope that as I share, you will not find these anecdotes far from your own experiences in the College of Humanities. For instance, many of you will remember the first time you read a text or learned a concept in your field of study that truly impacted you. For me, this connection came when I read Mrs. Dalloway as a freshman embarking on my English minor. I was enchanted by Virginia Woolf’s ability to weave in and out of the minds of her characters, using semi-colons to connect stream-of-conscious thought and external events to connect people. Her ability to find and explore the relationship between a middle-aged London socialite and a traumatized WWI veteran taught me to think more deeply about the connections I had with those around me, and to seek out points of commonality when interacting with new people.
I am not a teacher; only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead– ahead of myself as well as of you. 35
George Bernard Shaw
For many of us, service has been a means of creating connections. As part of my Documentary Studies minor, I had the opportunity to take Meg Brady’s Folklore Genres service learning course. I spent two months interviewing an 86-yearold woman about her life story. As she told me of her of her hopes and dreams, of working her way through college, of starting a career and raising a family, I began to see myself reflected back in her words. A connection formed between us as the years melted away to reveal the similarities between a young woman in the 1940s and student in 2009. She cried when I presented her with the book of her life story…and so did I. This experience created a friendship, a connection, I will always cherish.
As a History major, I had the opportunity to travel to India for two weeks last March on a study abroad. This was a life-changing, thought-provoking experience for me. On the most basic level, it was amazing to draw connections between what we had studied in class and what I was seeing firsthand. More importantly, I began to understand the need for my generation to be globally minded, to recognize that the decisions we make and the lives we lead are irrevocably connected to people on the other side of that planet. Terms
like “resource scarcity” and “population growth” took on new meaning, as going to India helped me to understand the responsibility that comes with living in 2009.
College of Humanities graduates, we have spent the last several years of our education finding these connections, guided by the faculty who have helped us to see their importance. As we move forward, these connections give us the ability to succeed on an analytical level – whatever our future educational and career goals. More importantly, they help us to make sense of our lives, to find meaning in human existence, to have hope in the face of economic, social, political, and environmental problems. Connections knit us to the people around us, to people we have not yet met, to people we may never meet. Each of us is an integral and inseparable part of the world around us. Finding and understanding connections gives us both the responsibility and the means to make a difference in the future. May we never forget that. And now, please allow me to congratulate you, College of Humanities Class of 2009.
PARTNERSHIP BOARD Ross C. â€œRockyâ€? Anderson
Pastor France A. Davis
Founder and President, High Road for
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
Ray Quinney & Nebeker
President and CEO, Simmons Media Group
Attorney, Jones Waldo, Holbrook & Mc-
Former Mayor, Salt Lake City
President, CPS Technologies Corporation
Executive Director, Utah Humanities
Geralyn Dreyfous Executive & Creative Director, Salt Lake City Film Center
Joel Momberger Program Director
Human Resources Director
GSBC Center, Gwangyo Technovalley
Executive Director of Community
O. C. Tanner Company
Amy Van Prooyen Greenfield
Gary J. Neeleman
Managing Partner, Van Prooyen
Publisher and Editor, Mundo Hispano
Richard H. Keller, M.D.
President, Neeleman International
Former Chief of Radiology
Cottonwood and Alta View Hospitals
President, NJRA Architects
Partner, Backer & McKenzie
Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Attorney and Senior Partner, Clark Greene
Board Member, Bennion Center
Partnership and Support
Kent H. Murdock
Anthon S. Cannon, Jr.
Robert E. Clark
Managing Partner, Mainsail Investments
The National Conference for Community
Attorney, Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro
Former Executive Director
Gyeonggi-UT Innovation Program
Board of Trustees, Weber State University
Retired, The Ramsey Group Former Secretary of Standard Optical
The students and faculty of the College of Humanities express profound gratitude to the many friends and alumni who have supported us this year. We recognize that the current economic climate has impacted many of you, and made philanthropic giving more difficult. Therefore, your continued willingness to stand by the College of Humanities is even more deeply appreciated. We continue to believe that the enduring strength of The University of Utah is directly tied to the strength of the College of Humanities. Thanks to your ongoing vision and commitment, we are stronger and better than ever before.
THANK YOU 38
2009 version of the The Kingfisher, annual publication from The College of Humanities at the University of Utah