Eleven of Washington State University’s most innovative scholars and artists have been selected for faculty fellowships and mini-grants from the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) and the Office of Research.
“We are excited to support faculty as they advance not only their academic fields but also the communities we serve,” said Todd Butler, director of the center and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Funded by a five-year commitment from the Office of Research and its strategic research investment program, the center’s grant programs strengthen and enhance research and creative endeavors across WSU. Any faculty member pursuing arts and humanities-related work, regardless of rank or home department, is eligible to apply.
“This year, almost all of the arts and humanities departments—as well as associated faculty working in the social sciences—were represented in the proposals submitted, testifying to the ongoing vitality and reach of these disciplines at Washington State University,” said Butler.
Reflecting upon her CAH experience, School of Music instructor and 2019 faculty fellow Melissa Parkhurst said, “The CAH Faculty Fellowship put me in regular communication with a group of dedicated interdisciplinary scholars. I gained a vital support network, valuable feedback, and ideas for future projects.”
Charles Barkley has the coolest job in the world. Every Thursday, the Naismith Hall of Famer appears on telvision via Turner Sports’ Inside the NBA alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal.
“Charles has created a persona where he has positioned himself as outside the mainstream, where he is seen as a rebel who says what he wants, who challenges the status quo, yet when you look beyond the surface, he really is in line with mainstream values,” Dr. David J. Leonard, a professor in the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman told me.
“He often laments ‘today’s players,’ he waxes nostalgically about his era and he condemns the destructiveness ‘political correctness.’ In part because he has long been positioned as anti-Michael Jordan and in part because of his ‘I am not a role model’ commercials, but he has successfully constructed himself as oppositional and a man who marches to his own drum with respect to race, social issue and cultural debates.”
In recent seasons, NBA players have refused to just shut up and dribble. With the NBA slated to start next month in the middle of a pandemic and racial strife, however, is it time for players to stop dribbling so the bouncing ball does not drown out their voice?
“I don’t think playing the season necessarily has a positive or a negative affect,” said David Leonard, professor in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race, at Washington State University. He teaches classes on politics of sports and wrote the book, “After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness.” “People can make an argument that each space can be used and leveraged toward shining a spotlight on racism and police violence,” Leonard said.
“Even if there are no games going on, their voices and their platforms are still big,” Leonard said. “The power in their voices transcend the game.”
Professor Vilma Navarro-Daniels is not sure how she got to where she is today — that is, to teaching as an associate professor and recently receiving a promotion to full professor in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race.
“Little ants … they take piece by piece their food and suddenly they have a hill, a mountain,” Navarro-Daniels said. “When I look back, I see the same. I don’t know how I got here; it was day-by-day, probably.”
Navarro-Daniels is very intellectually curious, said Ana Maria Rodriguez-Vivaldi, associate professor and associate dean of student affairs and global education.
A native of Chile, Navarro-Daniels is just beginning to explore research of literature and film in her home country. She lived there for the entire duration of Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year-long dictatorship. She said it took her a long time to be able to shift her research focus to her home country.
Where in the world had the Clumber Park Chartier disappeared to? Joan Grenier-Winther, the Marianna M. and Donald S. Matteson Distinguished Professor of French at Washington State University Vancouver, really needed to examine the fifteenth-century collection of poems by Alain Chartier and others.
After all, her critical edition and translation of an unusual poem of the era was about to be published, and the Clumber Park manuscript had a version she hadn’t yet seen.
Before printing presses were invented, manuscripts were copied by hand. Mistakes could creep into one copy, and then be reproduced by scribes in subsequent copies. Grenier-Winther had examined all the known copies, or witnesses, as they’re known by professional medievalists, of “La Belle dame qui eust mercy” she was editing—all except the one in the Clumber Park Chartier.
“From the beginning of the 20th century,” Grenier-Winther says, “a lot of people have mentioned this manuscript: they knew it was beautiful and contained the poems of Chartier. The contents were cataloged. I asked scholars in Europe if they had any clue where it was, but no one did.”