Welcome to The Institute, a podcast where we profile the fascinating people connected to the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We talk with faculty about the pillars of their work in teaching, service and research. We learn the makings of successful leaders across disciplines. And we share this with you.
“Humanities mode of thinking is unique. It really values complexity,” says Andrew Perrin. “It’s a very different way of thinking from STEM scholars and social science scholars.” It is these mechanisms that have compelled Perrin to look at “how scholarship and humanities would contribute to democratic citizenship.” He finished a Faculty Fellowship in Spring 2016, where he researched humanities education and its impact on citizenship.
City and Regional Planning Associate Professor Mai Nguyen is the New Faculty Program Director at the IAH, effective July 1. She succeeds Associate Professor of Religious Studies Todd Rámon Ochoa, who served in the position for 3 years. “My goal with the new faculty program is to help faculty integrate into the academic life at UNC and to become aware of the many professional and social opportunities available at UNC and in the Triangle Region.”
Michael Gerhardt called it months ago. The Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law said the Republicans would choose Donald Trump as their nominee and this week Hillary Clinton is expected to accept the Democratic nomination. Gerhardt’s most memorable moments in teaching are linking world events in the classroom. “In law there are always some current issues, we just don’t know what those are going to be.”
“The faculty is at the heart of what we are about as a university” James Moeser said. “The administration exists to facilitate the life and work of the faculty and a student’s learning.” He served as UNC Chancellor from 2000 to 2008. Moeser recalls his first class after administrating for many years was the first-year seminar on music and culture. The fall semester was always the most exciting. Students were “very open and very receptive.”
UNC History Professor and Faculty Fellow Kathleen DuVal discusses teaching and her award-winning book Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution. But DuVal really lights up when discussing Carolina students. “They are smart and well-educated and ready to learn something new,” She said. “Every semester I get so many delights.”
“A mingling of the health sciences with the text tools, critical techniques of the humanistic disciplines,” is how Jane Thrailkill describes the work of the Health Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Venue for Exploration (HHIVE) at UNC. Thrailkill is the director and, together with and Jordynn Jack as associate director, they work to unite faculty in students to merge health science and the humanities.
Suzanne is clinical professor of Teacher Education, Curriculum and Instruction, International and Experiential Education and former chair of the faculty in the School of Education. Effective July 1, 2016, she began as the new director of the Academic Leadership Program.
“Leadership can be a very lonely place,” Kim Strom-Gottfried says. “[Leaders] have to make decisions and hold confidences.”
In an interview with Michele Berger, director of the Faculty Fellows Program, Strom-Gottfried, who is also the Smith P. Theimann Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Professional Practice at the School of Social Work, talked about what changes in leadership trends she’s observed in the eight years she facilitated 64 faculty members through ALP.
Mark Katz discusses his work as music professor and director of the Institute, as well as his position as director of the Next Level, a U.S. State Department program that brings hip-hop to serve as cultural diplomacy internationally.
Associate Professor Oswaldo Estrada is no stranger to the classroom. He joined the Faculty Fellowship as the recipient of the Chapman Family Teaching Award. He says that it’s a blend of “preparing a lot” for a class and “being flexible” that allows him to bring his best as an educator. As the son of Peruvian immigrants, his family had pushed him to more lucrative ideas for professions, but Estrada felt called to life as a humanities scholar.
The difference between a toast and a poem was clear to Horace “Spoons” Williams, who readily shared this with in the mid-1980s with Glenn Hinson. Hinson, an Institute for the Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellow, later learns that this conversation was a “very humbling moment” that “transformed the path” of in his scholarly work of African-American and working-class culture.
Rob Kramer brings a breadth of experience in coaching business and academic leaders, teams, and executives through his firm Kramer Leadership. Kramer has worked at the Institute for 6 years; he facilitates both the Academic Leadership Program and the Chairs Leadership Program. He discusses how mindfulness is an important tool for busy leaders.
In one of the graduate-level courses Professor Nichola Lowe teaches, one starts with a real-life issue to solve: how to provide education for a manufacturing worker named Maddie. Lowe uses the story from an Atlantic essay that discusses labor to prime her students to think outside typical paths to education that may not be possible for working-class workers.
Stephanie Schrader, PhD, delivered the 22nd Mary Stevens Reckford Memorial Lecture in European Studies entitled “Appropriating Asia: The Depiction of the Exotic in European Art.” Schrader reveals the inspiration for this lecture and gives a preview of what appropriation and exotification might mean in the historical context of trade and religion in Europe and Asia. She uses four artworks in the Getty Museum collection to survey the appropriation of Asian culture by European artists from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.
IAH Fellow and Associate Professor of Linguistics Misha Becker and Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Kristen Lindquist, who is also director of the Carolina Affective Science Lab, are currently working on their project, Children’s Development of Verbal and Perceptual Correlates of Human Emotions. They won the inaugural grant for Fostering Interdisciplinary Research Explorations (FIRE) in 2015.