Newsletter Spring 2003

Volume 8, Number 2

President’s Report

Ginger Marcus

By the time you receive this newsletter, the 2002-03 academic year will have ended and most of you will have moved into summer schedules free from the demands of teaching and committee work. I hope that the academic year ended on a good note for all of you and that the upcoming summer months prove to be both relaxing and productive. During the spring semester the AWF Board met twice to hear committee reports and to plan for our Brown Bag Forums and Annual Spring Dinner, this year held together with our sister organization, AWN, at the Central Institute for the Deaf. Last fall the Board decided to invite Joan Williams, Professor of Law and Director of the Program on Gender, Work and Family at American University, to speak at the dinner on April 30. She is the author of Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do About It (Oxford Press, 1999). By partnering with our sister organization AWN, we were able to raise the funds to bring Professor Williams to campus to speak on work/family conflict in academic careers. The dinner was attended by approximately 100 AWF and AWN members and guests. A breakfast meeting with Williams was hosted by the School of Law for the AWF Board and members of the law faculty. Many thanks to Susan Appleton for arranging the meeting. In addition to planning these events, a committee of board members selected the three recipients of our AWF Graduate Student Awards, two from Arts & Sciences and one from the School of Engineering. Our Nomination Committee worked hard to create our slate of board members for next academic year: Miriam Bailin (president), Ginger Marcus (past-president and treasurer), Barbara Baumgartner, Barbara Schrauner, Rebecca Rogers (spring term) and Jennifer Jenkins. The slate was unanimously approved by all responding AWF members.

It has been my pleasure to serve as president of AWF this past year. I wish to express my appreciation to all those who contributed their time and expertise to AWF events and publications during the year. And a special word of thanks to Heather Corcoran for her skill and conscientiousness in creating our directory and newsletters during an extremely busy academic year for her. I urge all members to spread the word among women colleagues in your departments about AWF next fall when you receive your membership renewal forms. Inevitably some women are not on the mailing lists we obtain from Human Resources, and they do not learn about the organization until well into the academic year. AWF is an important organization on campus, and it has been a privilege and an honor to be part of it. I know that we are all pressed for time, but I would like to think that AWF represents a community of women who care not only about their immediate needs but also about the needs of others. I encourage you all to become more active members, to voice your concerns at our forums and to be proactive on issues that will improve the quality of our professional lives.

Publications, Conferences, Promotions

Milica Banjanin (Russian) has just published the following articles: “The Poetics of the Street in Blok and Guro,” and “Consciousness of Scene in Elena Guro’s Work.” Last fall she presented a paper at the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies on “The ‘Intimate Distance’ Between Trauma and Text.”

Elizabeth Childs (Art History & Archaeology) chaired a session at the national College Art Association meetings in New York in February. The session entitled “The Witness: Writing the Life of the Nineteenth-Century Artist” was sponsored by the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art. Childs also delivered a paper “Gauguin et la photographie” at the international symposium “Paul Gauguin: Héritage et Confrontations,” at the University of French Polynesia in Papeete, Tahiti, in March. She was one of only two Americans participating in the conference. Publication of the papers is expected next year. Her essay “Gauguin and the Ethnographic Grotesque” is due out this spring in the anthology Modern Art and the Grotesque, edited by Frances Connelly (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

Mary-Jean Cowell (Performing Arts) taught master classes at the regional American College Dance Festival at Northern Iowa University in March. Otherwise, much of her time this semester has been devoted to serving as interim chair of Performing Arts while Henry Schvey is on sabbatical.

Students of Mary Ann Dzuback (Education) in her seminar Women in the History of Higher Education are working on “Women at Washington University” for the sesquicentennial celebration (2003-04). They are constructing a web page with original documents and photographs, writing papers to present at a special panel during the Olin Conference (fall 2003), and creating photographic displays to be located around the campus during the academic year. Dzuback’s “Gender and the Politics of Knowledge” is forthcoming in History of Education Quarterly, summer 2003.

Andrea Friedman (History and Women’s and Gender Studies) gave a paper entitled “Fiends, Fairies, Politics: Projecting the Paradox of Cold War Masculinity” at the Homeland Insecurity: Civil Liberties, Repression, and Citizenship in the 1950s Conference held in January at Smith College. Her article, “Sadists and Sissies: Antipornography Campaigns in Cold War America,” will appear in the July, 2003 issue of Gender and History.

Marilyn Friedman (Philosophy ) presented a paper entitled, “Romantic Love and Personal Autonomy,” at Eastern Kentucky University in February. She also presented “Autonomy and Male Dominance” in March at the Pacific Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association, in San Francisco. In addition, she presented her paper, “Women’s Rights and Cultural Minorities,” both at the University of Nevada-Reno in March and at Texas A & M University in April. Finally, Marilyn has been serving for the past two years as Chair of the Program Committee for the 2003 Central Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association, which was held this year in Cleveland on 24-26 April.

Emma Kafalenos (Comparative Literature) has been elected to a three-year term on the Executive Council of the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, the organization that sponsors the annual Narrative Conference and the journal Narrative. Her article “The Power of Double Coding to Represent New Forms of Representation: The Truman Show, Dorian Grey,‘Blow-Up’ and Whistler’s Caprice in Purple and Gold” has just been published as the lead essay in Poetics Today 24: 1 (Spring 2002). On the occasion of Women’s History Month, and with support from our Women and Gender Studies Program, Fatemeh Keshavarz (Asian & Near Eastern Languages & Literatures) organized a campus event called Women Celebrating Women. Gulten Ilhan, Mary Pat Henehen, Nancy Berg, Joyce Mushaben, Lynne Tatlock, and Keshavarz read from their work. The writers used the event to honor some of the women who have inspired them. In summer 2003, Erin McGlothlin (German) participated in a 3-week Fulbright seminar in Germany entitled “International Migration and National Identity.” In December, she was invited to present a paper on the Austrian writer/Holocaust survivor Fred Wander at the Literaturhaus in Vienna, Austria. Erin has an article in the May issue of the journal Narrative entitled: “No Time Like the Present: Narrative and Time in Art Spiegelman’s Maus.” She also has been selected to participate in a 2-week seminar in June 2003 on literature and the Holocaust at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Angela Miller (Art History & Archaeology) is completing her one-year term as acting chair of Art History and has learned a lot. Besides trying to encourage interdisciplinarity among the three academic divisions of the newly constituted Sam Fox Arts Center (Architecture, Art and Art History/Arts and Sciences) and enjoying a lively schedule of international scholars and artists who have visited the department and the Gallery of Art, she chaired a panel on Visual Culture and Art History at the annual College Art Association meeting in New York City this past February.

Vivian R. Pollak (English) received another award from the Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Senate, a special recognition for excellence in mentoring. She also spoke at a Marianne Moore conference at Pennsylvania State University on “Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and ‘the Literary Life.'” Vivian lectured at the University of Nebraska on “Problems in Dickinson Biography: Poems, Letters, People.” In addition, she organized a session on “Dickinson as Historical Guide” for the Modern Language Association (MLA) in New York, 2002, and continued to edit A Historical Guide to Emily Dickinson,to be published by Oxford University Press in 2003.

Tenure Appointments and Promotions

The Department of History is proud to announce the promotion of Jennifer L. Jenkins to associate professor with tenure. Her recent project, Provincial Modernity: Local Culture and Liberal Politics in Fin-de-Siecle Hamburg, came out in 2002 with Cornell University Press. Her current book project Object Lessons: Architecture, Amnesia and Environment in Twentieth-Century Germany focuses on design and the politics of memory from 1890 to the present day.

Lynda McDowell (Chemistry) will be promoted to Research Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2003. She applies solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques to biological problems. Her most recent publication is: McDowell, L.M.; McCarrick, M.A.; Studelska, D.R.; O’Connor, R.D.; Light, D.R.; Guilford, W.J.; Arnaiz, D.; Adler, M.; Dallas, J.L.; Poliks, B.; & Schaefer, J. “Human Factor Xa Bound Amidine Inhibitor Conformation by Double Rotational-Echo Double Resonance NMR and Molecular Dynamics Simulations” in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2003.

Faculty Awards & Prizes

Barbara Baumgartner (Women & Gender Studies) was selected as the Harvard Countway Library Fellow in the History of Medicine, 2003-2004. She plans to spend the summer in Boston working on her project “Gender Prescriptions: Learning the Body in Nineteenth-Century Anatomy and Physiology Texts.”

Cindy Grimm (Computer Graphics) received an NSF career award this year for “A Composition System for Computer Graphics.” The research brings an artist’s skills to the rendering process in order to create 3D renderings that are easier to understand and better at conveying information.

Karen L. Tokarz (Law) received the Justice Award from the St. Louis Daily Record, a newspaper covering legal issues. Tokarz is the Director of Clinical Education, a program that assists low-income clients with issues of criminal defense, death penalty, domestic violence, employment rights, environmental concerns and community health. The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land (Basic Books, 2003) by Conevery Valencius (History) has been awarded the 2003 George Perkins Marsh Prize by the American Society for Environmental History.

Graduate Student Awards

The AWF Awards for Women Graduate Students were created to recognize scholarly excellence and leadership potential among women students in the second year of graduate school or beyond. In mid-March, nominations were solicited from the faculty in all schools on the Danforth Campus; the committee received seven nominations: five in Arts & Sciences, one from the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and one from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. The nominees collectively represented an outstanding group of talented scholars and dedicated members of the academic community. Certificates and $150 were awarded to each of the following recipients at the Annual Spring Dinner on April 30.

D’Arcy Meyer-Dombard (Earth and Planetary Sciences) is working on a doctoral thesis in geochemistry and microbiology, a new interdisciplinary field which has only recently been given the name Geobiology. Professor Jan Amend writes that D’Arcy “almost singlehandedly” built his state-of-the-art experimental microbial geochemistry lab. She has been the recipient of the NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellowship and the Dean’s Travel Award. D’Arcy also initiated the Ongoing Graduate Research (OGRES) program, an open weekly forum for graduate students in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Xiuxia Du (Systems Science and Mathematics, School of Engineering and Applied Science) is doing interdisciplinary doctoral research in computational neuroscience and information theory. Working with her WUSTL advisor Professor Bijoy Ghosh and prominent biologists from the University of Chicago, she is trying to find a mathematical model for how a turtle sees. Her nominator, I. Norman Katz writes that this is “an extremely challenging and important problem which may enhance our understanding of human vision.” Xiuxia has also been actively involved in the Association of Graduate Engineering Students and currently serves as president. She had never been outside of the People’s Republic of China before coming to Washington University in 1999.

Christina Linsenmeyer-van Schalkwyk (Music) has done preparatory work for a dissertation on the violin maker, Vuillaume. Professor Robert Snarrenberg writes that “her work will contribute to cultural history by elucidating how our current tendency to prize ‘old’ instruments came about.” In addition to her coursework and research, Ms. Linsenmeyer has served as the co-president of the Graduate Student Senate, a member of the executive planning committee of this year’s National Graduate Student Leadership conference, and currently serving on the Sesquicentennial General Planning and Community Service committees.

Brown Bag Forums

Two Brown Bag forums were held during the spring semester. The first, on February 7, featured a presentation on “Safety and Self-Defense for Women.” The session was led by Washington University police officer Gwendolyn Patton, who demonstrated self-defense techniques and offered advice on securing our homes and moving safely on campus and elsewhere. She also distributed safety literature and free self-defense whistles and posters. Officer Patton is available to come to individual departments to make a similar presentation, if there is sufficient interest among faculty, students and staff. Moreover, she teaches a free twelve-hour course (given in four sessions) every month on women’s self-defense techniques. She instructs in the RAD (“Rape and Aggression Defense”) system of self-defense, a course now widely taught at universities throughout the country. Those who have taken this class recommend it very highly for women of all ages (You can bring your teenage daughter too, if you wish!). Officer Patton will offer the course, free of charge, to any group of four women or more by phone at 935-5084 or e-mail at gwendolyn_patton@aismail. It may be the best investment of 12 hours you will ever make!

Our final Brown Bag of the year, held on March 28th, was entitled “Mentoring: What You Want Your Chair To Know.” A mentoring task force, led by Fatemeh Keshavarz among others, has been working all year to help bring new ideas to chairs across Arts & Sciences. This Brown Bag allowed Keshavarz not only to present advice on mentoring, but also to gather ideas from our membership about the issues with which we think our administrators need to be familiar as they help us prepare for professional advancement at this university.