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University of Houston
September 2013

New academic year, new opportunities

Dear Readers,

Welcome to this month's issue of CLASS News, the College's monthly update of news and events.

This issue of our newsletter is the first of the new academic year, and we take this opportunity to welcome our new students and faculty to the College and the University. To our returning students and faculty, we are delighted to have you back on campus as well.

With the beginning of the new academic year, the campus is once again bustling with students who are eager to begin or resume the serious business of obtaining a college education. We know that they will find their classes in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) some of the most fulfilling that they will take, perhaps not in achieving specific career goals but in making them well-rounded and productive human beings. In CLASS, our mission is to instill in students a respect for critical thinking, the development of competency in written and oral communication, a reverence for the power of imagination, and respect for what constitutes healthy living and being a productive member of civil society.

We pride ourselves on having faculty who are some of the finest scholars and teachers in the country and who are devoted to excellence in higher education. Again this year, we are welcoming a number of new faculty who are eager to engage students in their classes and to contribute to knowledge in their fields through their research and writings. In this issue of CLASS News, you will meet many of them and learn about the particular expertise that they bring to the university. In our last issue and in the next, we introduce you to other new faculty who are joining us for the first time this year.

Throughout the year, I hope that you will continue to look for CLASS News to find a guide to the latest activities as well as news about people and programs in the arts, humanities and social sciences on campus.

New junior faculty bring expertise and creativity to CLASS

New junior faculty bring expertise and creativity to CLASS The faculty ranks of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences expand this year with a dozen scholars hired as assistant professors. Their expertise expands the College's research capabilities throughout the humanities, social sciences and arts. read more
Visual artist Keith Haring and choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones. Photographer: Tseng Kwong Chi)
Visual artist Keith Haring and choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones. Photographer: Tseng Kwong Chi

Choreographer, Broadway luminary Bill T. Jones works with who's who of every artistic discipline

Jones to talk Sept 12 about collaborating and breaking boundaries in first ever Mitchell Artist Lecture. Bill T. Jones, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer, has received many major honors recognizing his artistic vision and cultural leadership, including a 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award and Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. read more
Jane Jacob

In the blink of an eye: Short-term visual memory article named "Year's Best Paper"

Do you remember the color of the car you parked next to yesterday morning? Maybe not now, but for an instant you took note of that car. This type of brief memory is called a short-term visual memory. A psychology graduate student is being recognized for her comprehensive analysis of how short-term visual memories are created and discarded. read more

Student spotlight: Shunte Lofton, undergraduate and Houston Shakespeare Festival actress

The science and research programs at University of Houston lured Shunte Lofton to enroll here as a freshman. Her plan was to earn a degree in biology and pursue a career in the medical field. To lighten her heavy science course load, she enrolled in a beginning acting class for non-majors in the School of Theatre & Dance – and fell back in love with acting. read more

NBC Latino interviewed poet David Tomas Martinez, a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing and an editor of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, about Hustle, his first collection of poems to be published in 2014 in the article From gangs to literature, a Chicano poet's frank look at machismo.

The Houston Press included commentary on the installation created by Maggie Hooyman, a senior majoring in studio art, in its contemporary art review, Project Row Houses' "Summer Studios 2013" is about communities, near and far.

Catherine Patterson, professor of history and CLASS associate dean for graduate studies, is quoted in the Associated Press article, Rarely seen copy of Magna Carta coming to Houston and the Houston Chronicle article, Early copy of Magna Carta set for 2014 Houston display.

Emran El-Badawi, director of the Arab Studies Program, is quoted in the Associated Press article, For Fort Hood shooter, is execution punishment?

Steven Craig, professor economics and CLASS associate dean of faculty and research, is quoted in Debt in America: Sign of a better economy or worse? posted as video and an article on the KIAH-CW39's Newsfix website.

Tumbledown, the latest novel by Robert Boswell, professor of creative writing, is spotlighted in Author, professor revisits his past for latest book published in the Houston Chronicle and in the New York Times' roundup of Newly released books.

CSPAN2 broadcasted and posted on the "Women of the Gulag: Portraits of Five Remarkable Lives" lecture by Paul Gregory, professor of economics, based on his new book of the same title.

Research on tone of voice conducted by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is cited in 8 ways to build a better relationship posted on Prevention magazine's website.

Brandon Rottinghaus, associate professor of political science, is quoted in KTRH-740AM's article, Is the American dream dead?

News 92 FM quotes Cyrus Contractor, instructional assistant professor of political science, in its report America may delay military strike against Syria.

The research of Political Science Associate Professor Scott Basinger is cited in the Re-electing Rascals: Politicians, Sex, and Voters, a Caveman Politics blog post on the Psychology Today website.

Malachi Crawford, assistant director of the African American Studies Program, is interviewed in the segment Zimmerman verdict's impact on race relations in America on KTRK-ABC13's Crossroads with Melanie Lawson show.

The original publishing by Arte Público Press of Sandra Cisneros' most famous book is recounted in Top Shelf: The House on Mango Street, a retrospective review of the novel on The Monitor book critic's list of 12 best American novels.

LaShonda Williams, program manager for the African American Studies Program, participated in a panel discussion about what civil rights issues now might inspire Houstonians protest that aired during the Houston Matters show on KUHF-88.7FM.

History Professor Robert Zaretsky's commentary, Egypt's Algerian Moment, was published in Foreign Policy magazine. His call for embracing silence as a teaching tool in university classrooms, An appeal for silence in the seminar room, appeared in Times Higher Education. And he wrote about Simone Weil in a New York Times op-ed, Recalling the Apostle of Nonpartisanship.

The Texas Observer spotlighted a site-specific installation at the Blaffer Art Museum in the article Andy Coolquitt's "Attainable Excellence" at Houston's Blaffer Museum.

Bloomberg Businessweek published the article Texas sushi chef, bench artist pair to aid Houston museum about the Blaffer Art Museum's fundraising dinners in support of its exhibition, Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art.

The Houston Shakespeare Festival produced by the School of Theatre & Dance received significant media attention before and during its run at Miller Outdoor Theatre.

Houston Chronicle
Shakespeare Festival takes a romantic turn
Shakespeare with a freewheeling, Deep South flavor (review)
'Antony and Cleopatra' fares well at festival (review)
Married thespians share an acting career built for two
UH's Nicole Gamache Helping Train Tomorrow's Thespians (Creative Pride – UH Arts blog on

Houston Press
'As You Like It' a Fun Romp in This Year's Shakespeare Festival (review)
'Antony and Cleopatra' Has Some Strong Performances but Fails to Find the Poetry (review)
A Jug of Wine, a Picnic Basket, 'As You Like It' and 'Antony and Cleopatra:' It's Houston Shakespeare Festival Time
Top Five Things to Do in Houston

CultureMap Houston
The most powerful woman of all: Controversial Facebook book inspires Houston's Cleopatra
2013 Houston Shakespeare Festival: 'As You Like It'

KHOU CultureMap Moment/ KHOU– CBS11
High drama: Behind the scenes at Houston Shakespeare Festival's Antony and Cleopatra

Crossroads with Melanie Lawson – Interview featuring Brandon Dirden and Crystal Dickinson
Eyewitness News with Don Nelson – Interview featuring Seth Gilliam

The Black Voice – Interview featuring Seth Gilliam

KUHF – 88.7 FM
Houston Matters with Craig Cohen – Interview with Marc Masterson and Benjamin Reed

KUHA – 91.7 FM
The Front Row with St. John Flynn – Interview with Crystal Dickinson, Leah Gardiner and Seth Gilliam

Erin Graham, who earned a Ph.D. in Latin American History in 2010, has been appointed as an assistant professor at Michigan State University in Lansing, Mich.

School of Theatre & Dance alumnus Billy Stritch recently performed his solo show, Billy Stritch Sings the Mel Torme Songbook, at the Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz venue in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review Journal interviewed Stritch and a preview on the show in the article Singer Billy Stritch paying tribute to Mel Torme.

Case Keenum, who earned bachelor's in kinesiology – sports administration through the Department of Health and Human Performance, is a third-string quarterback in the National Football League with the Houston Texans. His chances at claiming a more substantial role on the team were evaluated by the Houston Press, KHOU–CBS11 and ESPN recently.

September 7 – December 7: Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art exhibition at Blaffer Art Museum
Feast features more than twenty-five artists through two interrelated components: a gallery presentation and participatory, performative projects. Organized by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago and adapted for Houston by the Blaffer, the exhibition defines an important new category of contemporary artistic practice – the artist-orchestrated meal.


September 28: Public opening from 7 – 10 pm of Jo Ann Fleischhauer: What Time Is It? public art installation at the "Market Square Clock Tower" in downtown Houston.
Located at the corner of Travis and Congress Streets in downtown Houston, near Market Square, this public art installation will be on-view 24 hours a day from Sept. 28 – March 29, 2014. The installation is a collaboration between artist Jo Ann Fleischhauer and Houston-based Musiqa.

For more events, check the CLASS calendar.

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