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Events & Exhibits: Spring 2019 Brown Bag Talks

Spring 2019 Brown Bag Talks

Library Brown Bag Talks are free and open to UNC Asheville students, faculty, and staff as well as the Asheville community. Feel free to bring your lunch. Light refreshments are always served.

For questions or comments about Library Brown Bag Talks, please contact Gene Hyde, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, UNC Asheville. ghyde@unca.edu or 828-251-6645

"Vagrant Virtue: Reading Charity in Early Modern England"

Thursday, January 24

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Evan Gurney, Department of English

"Vagrant Virtue: Reading Charity in Early Modern England"

Evan Gurney will present work from his new book, Love's Quarrels: Reading Charity in Early Modern England, which explores overlaps between the landscape of poverty and social dislocation in early modern England, the period’s emergent laws that criminalized itinerant poverty, and a new popular genre of literature that purported to reveal the schemes and guises of wandering vagrants who weren’t placed in a settled location or occupation. These “masterless men and women,” as they were called, acquired a symbolic power in the cultural landscape, and their reputed capacity for persuasion and disguise offered a stand-in for larger cultural anxieties about the instability of language and unreliability of appearance. Vagrancy worried and fascinated contemporaries even as it offered them a touchstone for the interpretive pressures of reading, giving, and living charitably.

"Greetings from the Legal Office: How the University Attorney Protects You and the U"

Thursday, January 31

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Clifton Williams, UNC Asheville General Counsel

"Greetings from the Legal Office: How the University Attorney Protects You and the U"

The discussion will highlight the roles and responsibilities of the University legal office, and the typical (and not so typical) ways that the University Attorney can assist you in your work at UNC Asheville. In addition, we will discuss the University Attorney's relationship with the University and its key leaders, the Board of Trustees, and various University boards and committees.

"Books without Authors: Who Wrote---and Read---the First Novels?"

Thursday, February 14

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Joseph Cross, Department of Classics

"Books without Authors: Who Wrote---and Read---the First Novels?"

Centuries before Ancient Greek authors wrote what are often called the first novels, numerous works of prose fiction that we would recognize as novels began to appear in the Eastern Mediterranean, starting as early as the 5th century BCE. They weren't written in Greek, however (at least at the beginning), but by anonymous individuals of different Mediterranean cultures that increasingly became subject to the spread of Greek culture---and empire. In this talk, we will discover these works of fiction, the majority of which were lost for millennia until their gradual rediscovery in the last 100 years, and solve the the puzzle of who their authors and readers were.

"High Impact, Community-Based Learning: Practices for Teaching and Scholarship"

Thursday, February 21

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Amanda Wray, Kate Johnson, and Brandon Whiteside,  Key Center

"High Impact, Community-Based Learning: Practices for Teaching and Scholarship”

Service learning and community-based learning were identified as high impact educational practices by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) in 2008. This instructional strategy is grounded in experiential learning with non-profit community partners who serve as co-educators, and research reports increased rates of student retention and student engagement when faculty use community-based learning.

Join Key Center team Kate Johnson, Amanda Wray, and Brandon Whiteside for an introduction to community-based learning and how to engage these strategies in your teaching and scholarship.

"Playable Pasts: Videogames as immersion into world history"

Thursday, February 28

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Tracey Rizzo, Department of History

Terri Manns, Roni Manns, and Savannah Hall, New Media Students

"Playable Pasts: Videogames as immersion into world history"

Fresh from our LAC 178 course on world history through videogames, Dr. Tracey Rizzo and New Media students Terri Manns, Ronni Manns, and Savannah Hall will immerse the audience in world history from Ancient Egypt (Assassins' Creed: Origins) to Communist Germany (Papers, Please) while commenting on the ability of videogames to impart basic concepts of historical literacy: accuracy versus authenticity; degrees of reconstruction; and narratology. 

"Decolonizing UNC Asheville’s Farm-to-Table Dinner"

Thursday, March 7

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Sonia Marcus, Director of Sustainability

"Decolonizing UNC Asheville’s Farm-to-Table Dinner"

This presentation will explore how Whiteness and other forms of dominant social power structures are inadvertently reproduced within farm-to-table events when embedded assumptions in regards to the program, the menu, the entertainment, and the event logistics are left unexamined. The session will draw on our four years of experience with the annual "Farm-To-Table Dinner on the Quad," designed to celebrate ongoing partnerships, showcase locally-produced food, and strengthen community among faculty, staff, and students. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the ways in which social justice concerns can be highlighted without detracting from a positive and festive atmosphere. By examining embedded assumptions within the concepts of "local" and "sustainable" as a community, we can help to actively deconstruct oppressive structures and advance critical social justice movements. 

"Black Mountain Poet Robert Creeley, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, and Family and Life on a Coffee Finca in Guatemala, 1959-1961"

Thursday, March 21

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Alvis Dunn, Department of History

"Black Mountain Poet Robert Creeley, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, and Family and Life on a Coffee Finca in Guatemala, 1959-1961"

Robert Creeley was one of “the most important and influential American poets of the twentieth century." (1) He is also known as a “Black Mountain Poet” because of the time, in the mid-1950s, that he spent teaching at Black Mountain College, the avante-garde school hidden in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina. Creeley went on to publish over 60 books of poetry and taught at SUNY-Buffalo and Brown University. The Black Mountain College experience and its participants have received a great deal of scrutiny from historians, Creeley far from the least among them. Nevertheless, quite unknown are the two years that Creeley spent living on, and tutoring the owners’ children, of a South Coast coffee finca in Guatemala along with his wife, also an author and artist, Bobbie Louise Hawkins.

Creeley’s letters to friends like Alan Ginsburg, Ed Dorn, Charles Olson, and Amiri Baraka, poems written during that time, his comments made in interviews over the decades afterward, and a thinly veiled fictional account of those times written by Hawkins provide unique insight into life among that elite segment of Guatemala’s population in the years directly following the U.S. overthrow of the government there. More recently, my own research in Guatemala has yielded oral histories from the children, now grown and operating their respective plantations, adding much to the piecing together of the story of those times.

(1) Poetry Foundation

 

"RADical Change: The Economic Story of Asheville’s River Arts District"

Thursday, March 28

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Melissa Mahoney, Leah Greden Matthews, Mary Stapleton, and Holly Fraser-Corp, Department of Economics

"RADical Change: The Economic Story of Asheville's RIver Arts District"

Asheville’s once-industrial River Arts District (RAD) is now a thriving arts district with many artist studios, hip coffee shops and breweries, and a new greenway and residential buildings under construction. When tourist trolleys and studio stroll-ers abound, the influx of new economic realities influences the composition of artists making a living in the RAD as well as their production. This research presents an overview of the changes that have taken place in the RAD over the last few decades including an economic census of property ownership, artist representation, and other activities. We raise the question of whether this process has served to enhance resident, visitor, and/or artists’ quality of life, and whether the gentrification that draws visitors and new artist residents helps retain or redefine Asheville’s cultural identity.

"Helping High-Achieving Students"

Thursday, April 11

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Patrick Bahls, Honors Program

Brad Petitfils, Advising and Academic Success

"Helping High-Achieving Students"

Ensuring academic success for every member of a diverse student body is a challenge. While a good deal of attention is paid to the special needs of students who struggle academically, we often have a tendency to assume that our "high-achieving" students will do just fine without our help. In reality, our academically talented students may struggle with a variety of issues, some of which (e.g., anxiety) correlate with their scholarly performance. We will lead a discussion on ways we can all help these students, improving both their chances for success and our likelihood of retaining them.

"Bluff Mountain: The Rallying Cry" - a film by Hannah Furgiuele

Thursday, April 18

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Hannah Furgiuele, OLLI

"Bluff Mountain: The Rallying Cry" - a film by Hannah Furgiuele

Since 2014 I have been researching and documenting how concerned citizens have worked to protect Bluff Mountain, one of Madison County’s highest peaks from large scale logging.  My presentation will include some excerpts from the documentary I am producing titled: Bluff Mountain: The Rallying Cry.

More about the film:
 
In 1995, the small Appalachian town of Hot Springs fought back against the U.S. Forest Service to protect Bluff Mountain from large-scale logging by founding a music festival. The highest peak in Madison County, Bluff is home to rare flora and fauna, pristine headwaters and beautiful vistas. Residents of Bluff Mountain Betty and Bill Smith discovered the clear-cut markers while out on a walk one Sunday afternoon. From there the Bluff Mountain Coalition formed and a community of activists emerged. Twenty years later, the Bluff Mountain Music Festival is still a vibrant part of Hot Springs and acts as a reminder to the strength of the community. With the reemergence of this logging threat in 2015, as the U.S. Forest Service releases initial drafts for their next 20-year forest management plan, new strategies for resistance and activism have taken root. Excerpts from the film will include interviews with key activists involved in both fights.

 

"Science on the Move: a science enrichment program for children of migrant farmworkers in Buncombe County"

Thursday, April 25

12 - 1 PM

Ramsey Library Special Collections

Irene Rossell, Department of Environmental Studies

Evan Couzo, Department of Education

Lei Han, Department of New Media 

"Science on the Move:  a science enrichment program for children of migrant farmworkers in Buncombe County"
North Carolina ranks sixth in the nation for its population of migrant farmworkers.  Farmworker children are one of the poorest and most vulnerable socioeconomic groups in western North Carolina, with school dropout rates four times higher than the national average.  We will discuss the first year of our 3-year collaboration with Buncombe County Schools Migrant Education Program to bring science and multimedia enrichment programming to local middle and high school migrant students.