Welcome to the IAH Podcast Series, where we profile 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.
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.
Can Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance be a pathway to learning chemistry? Professor Mark Schoenfisch, winner of the Chapman Family Teaching Award, uses it to show students what it means to “question things” and “experiencing life to the fullest by thinking.” The Chapman award includes a semester in the IAH Faculty Fellows Program. Schoenfisch discusses his desire to grow excitement around chemistry in undergraduates after his own inspiring research experience. “I really think in an introductory class you have to engage the students and show them the big picture as to why chemistry is important and exciting,” he says.
Assistant Professor Susan Harbage Page is the only artist in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. In our interview with her, she describes her role in this already interdisciplinary field and how this has served her in her experience as a Faculty Fellow. On the fellowship: “I think it’s very important to be able to communicate your work to someone who is in a different discipline.”
James Ketch, UNC music professor and jazz studies director, is passionate about teaching and learning. In 1992, he was the first fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, funded by David and Becky Pardue. Since then, he has continued to flourish in his teaching, service and research.
In her 10 years as Carolina faculty, Professor Ho has focused her research on the construction of contemporary American identities. H She is a 2008 Faculty Fellow and a 2016 Academic Leadership Program Fellow. She was also recognized with the Chapman Family Teaching Award (2012).
Patricia Parker discusses her work at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities. “It was the Institute for the Arts and Humanities that really helped me go from idea to action,” she says about creating the Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism. Parker is Faculty Fellow (2002), Academic Leadership Program Fellow (2010) and participant in the Chairs Leadership Program (2015).