On Saturday September 24, 2017 LCWA’s German program hosted 40 high school German students and 5 German teachers from South Carolina for the “2nd Lowcountry German Day”. It included a panel discussion with 3 of the German programs recent exchange students to Germany and two students who interned in Germany during Summer 2016. The day went off excellent.
Wearing Smiles, Wearing Masks
Prof. Mari N. Crabtree
assistant professor of African American Studies
I am a historian, and so I have no illusions about whether the past often rhymes with the present or whether the past intrudes upon the present. It does. Often rudely. As a scholar who writes about the legacies of lynching, I have seen in the past and in the present the indifference and tacit approval with which so many Americans look upon violence against African American bodies and spirits. Recent coverage of police violence has simply revealed stories that have been told in African American communities and other communities of color for centuries, stories that didn’t need video evidence to be recognized as truth. In my courses, I want my students to see through what Charles Mills calls “a certain schedule of structured blindness and opacities” in order to connect past violence to present violence and to see how violence is but one way in which the West has sustained centuries of systemic exploitation of non-white people. So many of my students already know this reality all too well. They see it in their own lives.
I started all three of my classes yesterday with Elizabeth Alexander’s poem, “Smile.” We talked about the poem and Terence Crutcher and double consciousness. We talked about the lessons parents pass on to their kids to protect them from destruction—keep your hands on the steering wheel, no sudden movements, cooperate. We talked about the limits of such lessons in a nation in which an unarmed man with hands raised is shot and killed by the police. We talked about what is lost—what part of the soul is crushed—in that space between obsequious and safe. Two of my students were brought to tears. I would like to think their tears came from a place of catharsis, not pain, but it was, in all likelihood, pain. Raw pain—pain that they so often mask behind smiles in different company around campus.
by Elizabeth Alexander
When I see a black man smiling
like that, nodding and smiling
with both hands visible, mouthing
“Yes, Officer,” across the street,
I think of my father, who taught us
the words “cooperate,” “officer,”
to memorize badge numbers,
who has seen black men shot at
from behind in the warm months north.
And I think of the fine line—
hairline, eyelash, fingernail paring—
the whisper that separates
obsequious from safe. Armstrong,
Johnson, Robinson, Mays.
A woman with a yellow head
of cotton candy hair stumbles out
of a bar at after-lunchtime
clutching a black man’s arm as if
for her life. And the brother
smiles, and his eyes are flint
as he watches all sides of the street.
Dr. Tim Johnson, Chair of Department of Classics, gave a presentation during the August 12, 2016 Board of Trustees meeting concerning the Department of Classics.
You can view Dr. Johnson’s presentation here: Tim Johnson – Board Presentation for Classics
On Thursday, September 8, the Archaeology Program co-sponsored the opening talk in the South Carolina Society of the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2016-17 lecture series. The evening featured short reports from CofC faculty engaged in research. Dr. Maureen Hays reported on her excavations (involving CofC students) at the original site of St. Paul’s Parish Church and parsonage. Dr. Scott Harris reported on his work in uncovering the submerged landscapes of Greece, undertaken as a Fulbright fellow. Dr. Allison Sterrett-Krause reported on her ongoing work on the funerary practices of late Roman north Africa and daily life in a ‘working man’s’ section of Pompeii via the study glass artifacts in collaboration with CofC students. Dr. Alvaro Ibarra reported on ongoing excavations at the Roman military outpost of Castra Cumidava (modern-day Romania), and Dr. James Newhard spoke of research conducted to date that is leading him to further investigations of the ancient city of Epidaurus (Greece).
For further information on these investigations, please contact the respective principal investigators.
Professor Susan Divine has accepted an invitation on behalf of the Spanish Program and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of South Carolina-Columbia, to give a talk related on her current research as part of USC’s Spanish Speakers Series on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016.
Summer 2016 was an exciting time for the students of LCWA!
Aisha Gallion, double majoring in African American Studies and Anthropology, participated in the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This program is a graduate-level research experience for highly talented undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in pursuing doctorates in the humanities, social sciences or fine arts. Each summer MURAP selects 20 rising juniors and seniors in college to participate in their intensive, ten-week research experience. Aisha decided to research authenticity and masculinity in hip-hop beefs. She specifically, focused on the recent Drake and Meek Mill beef. Aisha submitted a paper titled, “Gettin’ Bodied by a Singin’ Nigga: What’s Really Real? Questioning Authenticity and Masculinity in the Drake and Meek Mill Beef”. She also presented her work to her cohort and other mentors (professors at UNC Chapel Hill).
Eden Katz, an International Studies and Public Health major, lived in Kampala, Uganda, on a Fulbright Scholarship while continuing to research her bachelor’s essay on early and forced marriage in conflict zones.
Hannah James, double majoring in Anthropology and Archeology, spent four weeks in residence at James Madison’s Montpelier, participating in an archaeological excavation. During this time, she was trained in various lab procedures and excavation methods, in part under the tutelage of Kristina Poston (BS Anthropology, Archaeology minor ’10). The focus for the season included the South Yard of the property, which housed the domestic enslaved individuals until the mid-19th century. The excavation was necessary in order to confirm evidence of a supposed structure and to understand its function and construction materials. The team gathered evidence on what life was like for the enslaved individuals living or working in the structure, and more broadly how that information tied into the lives of those living at Montpelier Plantation. Hannah reports that ‘I was given so many opportunities to excavate everything from brick foundations to delicate and fragile artifacts, trained in both lab and field techniques by some of the brightest minds in the discipline. It was truly a joy to spend a portion of my summer with Montpelier.’
Jonah Crisanti, a French Major and Archaeology minor, spent the summer in southern France, taking part in several excavations dating to the Paleolithic period. The experiences were arranged in collaboration with Evelyne Cregut-Bonnoure, Director of the Musée d’Histoire naturelle d’Avignon, and Drs. Bourdier (French) and Newhard (Archaeology). As a result of these experiences, Jonah developed not only a deep understanding of archaeological methods but also gained experience in the subtle intricacies of working and living within French society. He worked on two prehistoric cave-sites. The first, Tautavel, dated to 500 kya and focused upon exploring human and animal interactions. The second, Coulet des Roches, focused strictly on understanding the faunal record of the Palaeolithic circa 22 kya. Jonah reports that ‘On any given day, one was expected to dig, sift sediments, clean and mark findings, enter data in the computer, or cook for what was sometimes upwards of 30 people. Over the course of these internships, the chance to work overseas in a professional setting has been priceless.’
Melaina Castengera, an International Business major minoring in European Studies and German Studies, participated in the Department of German and Russian Studies’ internship program. She found a role for herself with global fragrances firm Symrise where she’s engaged in a variety of duties from financial business planning to technical marketing for aroma molecules. “I’ve been consolidating the company’s competitor profiles,” explains Castengera, “and I have participated in an audit with a Japanese pharmaceuticals client as well. I attend meetings with the technical marketing manager where discussions are held in German regarding the portfolio of products, the planning process and strategies.” Castengera says she sought this internship as a way of distinguishing herself from her peers. “So far, this has been one of the most educational experiences of my college career.”
Morgan Larimer, double majoring in International Studies and Biology as well as minoring in Enviromental Studies, has been awarded the prestigious Rotary Scholarship. After she graduates in May 2017 she will attend King’s College London for an MS. This is the 10th National Competitive Award that members of the International Scholars have received.
Rachel Taylor, an International Studies and Political Science major with a minor in Spanish, lived and studied in Mexico through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Program mentoring local youth.
Sherwan Saraf, an International Studies Major and German Minor, received an internship with Mercedes Benz Vans upon returning from a semester in Bamberg Germany.
During the Summer 2016 Aisha Gallion, who is double majoring in African American Studies and Anthropology, participated in the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This program is a graduate-level research experience for highly talented undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in pursuing doctorates in the humanities, social sciences or fine arts. Each summer MURAP selects 20 rising juniors and seniors in college to participate in their intensive, ten-week research experience. Aisha decided to research authenticity and masculinity in hip-hop beefs. She specifically, focused on the recent Drake and Meek Mill beef. Aisha submitted a paper titled, “Gettin’ Bodied by a Singin’ Nigga: What’s Really Real? Questioning Authenticity and Masculinity in the Drake and Meek Mill Beef”. She also presented her work to her cohort and other mentors (professors at UNC Chapel Hill).
African American Studies is very proud to share the exciting news of our majors and the events in their lives.
Professor Emily S. Beck’s Spanish 367 class, “Power and Gender in Early Modern Spain,” attended a lecture on Tuesday, September 6, 2016, by Mary Jo Fairchild, Addlestone Library Archivist.
Along with Dr. Caroline Dunn of Clemson University, Professor Emily S. Beck has co-founded the South Carolina Medievalists Group, an informal body of professional scholars of all disciplines – faculty and students alike – based in South Carolina. The group meeting provides the opportunity for medievalists and premodernists to connect with other researchers throughout our state and engage in informal conversations about current academic approaches and the state of medieval research and teaching in South Carolina. We welcome professionals in any area or discipline relating to medieval or premodern studies, as well as those engaged in interdisciplinary and pedagogical approaches.
The current group includes researchers in a broad range of academic disciplines. For more information, or to join the email list send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The inaugural group meeting will be held in Clemson, SC on September 24, 2016.
LCWA has a new Calendar where events from all majors, minors and programs with in LCWA can be posted. An email will also be sent out on a weekly basis listing the upcoming events taking place that week.
Check out the Calendar here LCWA Events Calendar
Want to receive the Upcoming LCWA Events email? Email Casey Smith, Language Lab Director, at email@example.com to get added to the email list!