CLASS Notes, Winter 2022
The spring semester is underway, and I hope the new year has started well for you all. The university monitors the shifting disease realities with the utmost care, focusing upon our collective health, safety and peace of mind. I cannot thank all our students, staff and faculty members enough for all they've done to maintain the Healthy Vandal Pledge and keep in-person teaching going. Everyone's goodwill and mutual concern are genuinely inspiring. We continue to plan for our spring events. We’re excited about our third annual career fair networking night. There's the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in the weeks to come. The Theatre Department will be showcasing several magnificent productions. We have fantastic programming for Black History Month in February. I encourage everyone to check out this year's Oppenheimer Symposium.
Meanwhile, you can read below all the great stories about our students and news of our faculty and staff colleagues. Thank you for all that you do to support our college. It makes such a difference in our academic community.
Very truly yours,
Sean M. Quinlan, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of History
- Lori Celaya, associate professor and co-director of Latin American Studies, co-edited “Transatlantic, Transcultural and Transnational Dialogues on Identity, Culture, and Migration.” The volume also contains a contribution by Associate Professor of Spanish Marta Boris-Tarré. The book analyzes the diasporic experiences of migratory and postcolonial subjects through the lenses of cultural studies, critical race theory, narrative theory, and border studies.
- Professor Adam Sowards’ book, “An Open Pit Visible from the Moon: The Wilderness Act and the Fight to Protect Miners Ridge and the Public Interest,” earned the 2021 Hal K. Rothman Book Prize from the Western History Association. The Rothman Prize was announced at the 2021 WHA Conference where Sowards received a certificate and a check for $500. Sowards’ book is an account of the Kennecott Copper mining controversy in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.
- Among the English Department’s new faculty members and postdocs this semester is Jess Arndt, visiting assistant professor of fiction and author of “Large Animals.” Sara Buekens is a postdoctoral fellow, affiliated with the Confluence Lab and Ghent University (Belgium). She is working with Professor Erin James on how contemporary anglophone African writers represent environmental problems in fiction. Leah Hampton is the Environmental Humanities Fellow in Residence teaching in the department and working with the Confluence Lab on the Mellon-funded “Stories of Fire: A Pacific Northwest Atlas.” Hampton is the author of “F*ckface and Other Stories” — named one of the best books of 2020 by The Paris Review, the New York Public Library and Slate. Instructor Katie Krahn, a U of I graduate, serves as associate director of First Year Writing and directs the Writing Studio. Instructor Oscar Oswald is a new instructor and the author of “Irredenta,” a book of poems.
- Ray von Wandruszka and Mark Warner published an article “Recognizing and Analyzing Chinese Stone Drugs” in Historical Archaeology. This work is a continuation of their 13-year collaboration in archaeochemistry.
- Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Benjamin Doty, a Kellogg native who attended U of I and graduated as the Army ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate in 1953, was inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. Doty worked at U.S. Army Military Assistance Command in Vietnam and was promoted to colonel in 1973. He became commander of the 3rd Armored Division Artillery in Europe, was promoted to brigade general and assigned as the assistant division commander for the 2nd Armored Division. Before retiring in 1984 he climbed the ranks to major general. He was the commanding general of TRADOC Combined Arms Test Activity at Fort Hood, Texas. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
- Associate Professor Matt Fox-Amato was among five historians to review “Ambivalent: Photography and Visibility in African History,” a collection of essays by young African scholars. Fox-Amato’s essay in The American Historical Review studies how powerful photographs can be used as historical evidence when combined with other kinds of sources such as oral narratives.
- Omni Francetich is the first recipient of the college’s Nancy Dafoe Distinguished Staff Award. Omni started in the Department of Politics and Philosophy in 2017 and was a member of the central administrative team from 2020 to 2021. She has been exemplary in how she has dedicated herself to students and colleagues. She is now the office manager of the Women's Center.
- Professor of German Rachel Halverson’s interview with German author Tobias Hülswitt appeared in the peer-reviewed German journal Kritische Ausgabe: Zeitschrift für Literatur im Dialog 37. The issue contains nine additional interviews with German authors exploring how the pandemic impacted their work.
- Dane S. Claussen, lecturer of strategic communications in the School of Journalism and Mass Media, is publishing three scholarly book reviews. His review of “An Aristocracy of Critics: Luce, Hutchins, Niebuhr, and the Committee that Redefined Freedom of the Press,” by Stephen Bates, was published in the Summer 2021 issue of Newspaper Research Journal. His review of “Little Lindy is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century,” by Thomas Doherty, was published in the Fall 2021 issue of American Journalism, a media history journal. His review of “Journalism Research That Matters,” edited by Valerie Belair-Gagnon and Nikki Usher, is in the Winter 2022 issue of Newspaper Research Journal. In September, Claussen completed his four-year term as editor of Newspaper Research Journal, for which he wrote 16 essays on topics ranging from media audience research to news coverage of President Trump's mental illnesses.
- Brian Redmond, ’04, ‘13, the band director at Wyoming’s Rock Springs High School was selected as outstanding Music Educator of the Year during the Wyoming Music Educators Association 2022 banquet. The award recognizes a WMEA member for excellence in music education and exemplary service to students, schools and communities. He was named Teacher of the Year in 2017 at Rock Springs High School where he is director of bands.
- Dylan Paul, former clinical assistant professor in the Theater Arts Department, appeared in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” which earned 10 Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as Tony Awards.
- In an article published in the Ohio State University law journal, Katie Blevins, assistant professor of Journalism and Mass Media, explores whether information gathered by law enforcement via automatic license plate readers requires a search warrant. In “Restraining The Surveillance Society: Comparing Privacy Policies For Automated License Plate Readers In The United States And The United Kingdom” Blevins writes, “ALPR technology, by its nature, encourages intrusive mass and targeted surveillance practices that have spurred accusations of racial profiling and questions regarding privacy and the security of collected and stored data.” Blevins' study evaluates ALPR technology and the legislative responses in the U.K. and U.S.
- CLASS established a Student Emergency Fund to help current Vandals in the college who have remote technology needs — from devices to internet access — and provide emergency travel and housing, emergency tuition funds and emergency supplies. Donate here.
Jazz icons Dee Dee Bridgewater and Chris Potter, as well as the Lionel Hampton Big Band featuring Joe Doubleday on vibraphone, will be part of the lineup of this year’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Feb. 23-26, on campus and online.
The 2022 festival will supplement its in-person programming to include online components to meet the university’s mask mandate and accommodate schools facing travel restrictions during the pandemic.
Workshops and concerts will be in person as well as online for registered participants. Adjudicated student performances will be prerecorded and submitted before the event, and live adjudication will be done in person and online, said Jazz Festival Manager Joshua Skinner.
“No one has to miss out,” Skinner said. “Schools grappling with the decision to travel can now attend and participate in the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival online. All in-person workshops and concerts will be offered both online and in person to all registered participants.”
The four-day festival will feature in-person workshops and performances by guest artists and clinicians for registered participants.
The festival, which pays tribute to the music, dance and history of jazz, as well as to one of its most honored artists, Lionel Hampton, is one of the largest and oldest educational jazz events in the world. Since the 1960s, the festival has attracted nearly 200 schools and thousands of students to the Moscow campus annually.
For the Love of Knowledge
As a kid growing up in Montana, Trevor Woodward had not considered the nature of truth and knowledge, the existence of free will, beauty or happiness.
Metaphysics was not something he could define.
A superior science student in high school, Woodward enrolled at the University of Idaho with plans to pursue a law degree, but an introductory philosophy course threw up a detour sign that changed his career path.
“I didn’t know what philosophy was,” Woodward said. “I really had no expectations.”
He entered Casey Johnson’s basic philosophy class with a benign curiosity. By the end of the first hour, Woodward was questioning the nature of the universe and our place in it.