First Thursday

Each month during the academic year, the Smith Library Center and the Office of the Dean of Faculty host First Thursday gatherings that recognize and celebrate the professional achievements of faculty and staff colleagues across campus.  At each event, several colleagues talk briefly about a recent professional achievement such as a book or article that has been published; a concert, a performance, or a juried exhibition in which they participated; or a grant they received.

The First Thursday receptions are held in the Periodicals Reading Room at 4pm, therefore access to portions of the periodicals collection will be limited during these times. This event is for SU faculty and staff only. 

February 4, 2016

Sarah Brackmann, Director of Civic Engagement

Studying community engagement provides another lens for examining how neoliberal universities collaborate with external organizations to move closer to the market, often in the hope of promoting the public good. This study examined the tension between the public and private aspects of university–community partnerships by studying the impact of neoliberal policies and logic on the design and implementation of these partnerships at two land-grant universities. Findings suggest that community engagement scholars and practitioners need to be sensitive to pressures from declining resources and their influences on higher education, including their impacts on community partnerships. In response to pressures to generate revenue and capture external resources, scholars and practitioners must balance reproducing dominant paradigms, developing quasi-market partnerships, and promoting public good through engagement practices.

Full Text: PDF

Michael Cooper, Professor of Music

Published an article titled “Escape to — and from — Utopia: Fourierist Philosophy and Musical Life in the Colony of La Réunion, Texas” in the Summer 2015 issue of American Music (pp. 141-75). Cooper presented a related paper, titled “Music and Cultural Transfer in the Utopian Community of La Réunion, Texas (1855–58), with a Little-Known Songbook,” at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 14, 2015.

A still-unpublished concert aria composed in 1834 by Felix Mendelssohn and discovered by Michael Cooper was performed on Oct. 30 by one of the world’s oldest professional orchestras, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, which celebrates its 250th birthday in 2015. The work featured renowned soprano soloist Lisa Larsson and was conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend. Ms. Larsson will perform the same aria with one of Europe’s most sough-after new orchestras, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra (which has released more than 50 CDs in its 21-year history), on March 18 and 19.

Two of Cooper’s recent scholarly editions published by the pre-eminent German publisher of classical music, Bärenreiter-Verlag, have been performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Pablo Heras-Casado. The editions were of Mendelssohn’s secular cantata Die erste Walpurgisnacht and his setting of Psalm 42.

Fay Guarraci, Professor of Psychology

Naugle, M.N., Lozano, S.A., Guarraci, F.A., Lindsey, L.F., Kim, J.E., Morrison, J.H., Janssen, W.G.M., Yin, W., Gore, A.C. (2016) Age and Long-Term Hormone Treatment Effects on the Ultrastructural Morphology of the Median Eminence of Female Rhesus Macaques. Neuroendocrinology.

Thomas Howe, Professor of Art History

“The Arrival of the Greek Monumental Orders and the Auto-didact Polymath Architect.”

I was recently invited to contribute an article to the Festschrift honoring the retirement of the current architect of the Parthenon in Athens, due in June 2016, and for this I was inspired to return to my original dissertation topic, “The Invention of the Doric Order” (Harvard Diss. 1985, Univ Michigan Microfilms). One of the great problems in architectural history is that the Doric order of column is very complex and very coherent, and yet it is almost complete in its very first appearance, although small stone temple with columns were built in earlier generations. I posited that it was created in a single project, by some type of “hero architect” who had traveled to Egypt and seen a certain type of very Egyptian column (not my idea, posited by Champolion in c. 1823), and that was created in conjunction with a huge leap in scale.  I was inspired to consider just what kind of person this hero-architect was by a book called “Anaximander and the Architects” which argues that one of the first Greek philosophers was inspired by watching architects work on huge new temples, and watching how they controlled the design and construction. From a few texts which describe the first philosophers and the first architects I concluded they were pretty much the same people: polymaths who could manage geometry (rule and compass) and large work forces. From this I arrived at the unexpected conclusion that the first “architects” did not arise from the building professions, but from what we would loosely called practical, self-taught polymaths, in other words, liberal arts. And therefore since they seem to have preceded the first philosophers by a generation, true architects may in fact be the first example of the liberals-arts-trained professional in antiquity, the term for which in Greek is enkyklios PAIDEIA—“encyclopedic studies [for young men].”

Alison Marr, Associate Professor of Mathematics, and students - Sarah (Stern) Ochel, and Bianca Perez

“In-Magic Total Labelings of Digraphs.” with S. Ochel (’09) and B. Perez (’16).  Journal of Graph Labeling. 1 Issue 2 (2015) 82–93.

Allison Miller, Assistant Professor of Art History

“Emperor Wen’s ‘Baling’ Mountain Tomb: Innovation in Political Rhetoric and Necropolis Design in Early China,” Asia Major (Third Series) 28.2 (2015): 1-37.

Sandi Nenga, Associate Professor of Sociology

Hurst, Allison L. and Sandi Kawecka Nenga.  (Eds.). 2016. Working in Class: Recognizing How Social Class Shapes Our Academic Work. Lanham, MD:  Rowman and Littlefield.