Author: rdberman

Philosopher John Russon to Speak Here November 7

The Humanities Department’s Rhetoric, Theory and Culture 2014 Colloquium series is pleased to welcome John Russon, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Guelph (Canada). Professor Russon’s talk is entitled “The Limits of Money: Phenomenological Reflections on Selfhood and Value.” It’s being held Friday, November 7, at 5 pm, in the Great Lakes Research Centre, Room 201 (refreshments will be available). All are welcome!

Professor Russon is the author of two books on Hegel: The Self and Its Body in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (University of Toronto Press, 1997) and Reading Hegel’s Phenomenology (Indiana University Press, 2004). He is also the author of Human Experience: Philosophy, Neurosis and the Elements of Everyday Life (State University of New York Press, 2003), which was awarded the 2005 Broadview Press/Canadian Philosophical Association Book Prize. His most recent work is entitled Bearing Witness to Epiphany: Persons, Things and the Nature of Erotic Life (State University of New York Press, 2009).

Below is is the abstract for Professor Russon’s talk.

The Limits of Money: Phenomenological Reflections on Selfhood and Value

We are constitutively split between two different experiences.  In the experience of “intimacy,” the differentiation that we typically presume of self from other and of fact from value is not operative; such intimacy is distinctive of the formative experience of children.  This formative experience, however, precisely gives rise to the experience of “economy,” the experience, that is, of discrete subjects who work upon an alien world.  Our challenge is to live in a way that acknowledges both forms of experience without resorting to the authoritative terms of either.  Overall, I will argue that money, which is roughly the collectively recognized medium for recognizing the universality of exchange value, in principle misrepresents the lived nature of value.  Hence, the more money defines our frame of reference (“economy”), the more the non-universalizable values that are essential to our existence (“intimacy”) are effaced.


Welcome to Our New Faculty, Fall 2014

Leyre Alegre-Figuero, Lecturer in Spanish Language and Culture

Leyre Alegre-Figuero
Leyre Alegre-Figuer

Leyre holds a Master’s degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language from the Universidad Central de Barcelona.  She has worked as a translator in French, English, Catalan and Russian as well as Spanish.

Carlos Amador, Assistant Professor of Spanish Language and Culture

Carlos Amador
Carlos Amador

Carlos earned his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas.  His research focuses on Latin American literature, cultural theory and criticism.

Sara Amani, Lecturer in English as Second Language

Sara Amani

Sara earned her PhD from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Her research focuses on Metacognitive Strategy Instruction in Second Language Pedagogy.

Maria Bergstrom, Instructor of American Literature, Undergraduate Adviser

Maria Bergstrom
Maria Bergstrom

Maria earned her PhD in American Literature from the University of Michigan.

Andrew Fiss, Assistant Professor of Technical and Professional Communication

Andrew Fiss
Andrew Fiss

Andrew earned his PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University. His research focuses on the history of Mathematics Education in nineteenth-century America.

Laura Kasson Fiss, Instructor of English

Laura Kasson-Fiss
Laura Kasson-Fiss

Laura earned her PhD in English Literature from Indiana University, where she wrote her dissertation on the topic of Victorian humor.

Anne Stander, Instructor of English as Second Language

Ann Stander
Anne Stander

Ann holds a Master’s degree in English with a specialization in ESL from Purdue University. She has experience teaching in the United Arab Emirates and in Moldova, as well as in the US.

Dana Van Kooy, Assistant Professor of British Literature

Dana VanKooy
Dana VanKooy

Dana earned her PhD from the University of Colorado.  Her research focuses on British and Global Romanticism.  She has also published on Black Atlantic, Trans-Atlantic and Circum-Atlantic Studies.

Marcelino Viera-Ramos, Assistant Professor of Spanish Language and Culture

Marcelino Viera-Ramos
Marcelino Viera-Ramos

Marcelino earned his PhD from the University of Michigan. He specializes in 19th and 20th Century Latin American Literature and Culture.

Audrey Viguier, Lecturer in French Language and Culture

Audrey Viguier
Audrey Viguier

Audrey earned her PhD in French Literature from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on radical writings of the French revolution.

The Year of Roxane Gay

untamed-sized“Let this be the year of Roxane Gay,” wrote Time Magazine’s Nolan Feeny in a review last May.

Humanities alumna Roxane Gay (PhD in Rhetoric and Technical Communication, 2010) is gaining international acclaim as a novelist and cultural critic. This summer her collection of essays entitled Bad Feminist, has been named one of the the 11 “Best New Books” of the year by People Magazine (August 24, 2014), She is also the author of a novel, An Untamed State, and a collection of poems, stories and essays, Ayiti. In addition to these books and many essays in print and on-line, Roxane Gay is a co-editor of the literary/cultural journal PANK, published from Michigan Tech’s Humanities Department. Roxane is an associate professor of English at Purdue University.

Creative Canvas Course Contest Winners Announced

Last spring, the Center for Teaching and Learning’s second annual Creative Canvas Course Contest (C-4) saw students nominate Canvas courses from almost every department that they felt were intuitive and easy to navigate, provided convenient access to course information and materials, and offered resources and activities that helped them succeed.

Nine courses were selected:

  • HU3151, Assistant Professor Lauren M. Bowen (HU)
  • CH1160, Associate Professor Paul Charlesworth (Chem)
  • FA3650, Assistant Professor Kalen Larson (VPA)
  • MEEM3502, Professor of Practice James DeClerck (ME-EM)
  • CS5821, Assistant Professor Timothy Havens (ECE)
  • BUS1100, Lecturer Michele Loughead (SBE)
  • MEEM4700, Professor Gordon Parker (ME-EM)
  • UN5100, Professor Judith Perlinger (CEE)
  • FW4370, Assistant Professor Joseph Wagenbrenner (SFRES)

After the results came in, some of the winners graciously provided short video course tours so that others can learn from the design features of their courses. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). If you see anything in these course tours that you’d like to emulate, but don’t know how, eLearning walk-in hours are available at the center, and as always, for help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, visit Canvas One Stop.

Megan Walsh Named This Year’s Humanities Departmental Scholar

Megan Walsh

Each year, Michigan Tech honors an outstanding student from each academic department with the prestigious Departmental Scholar award. On April 18, 2014, at the 20th Annual Student Awards Ceremony, Megan Walsh, in recognition of her exceptional record of achievement in 2013, was named as this year’s Departmental Scholar for the Humanities Department.

In Spring 2013, Megan co-founded Beyond the Glass Ceiling, a student publication that addresses issues of interest to women, and which has received expressions of enthusiastic support from former students and faculty all over the country. The publication was recently renamed UNDER_WIRE, and Megan serves as its editor and president. This Fall, Megan presented her paper “Speak Up: Finding a Feminist Voice in a Field of Resistance,” at MTU’s academic OSCLG conference. This paper focused on challenges she’s faced in effecting productive social change with UNDER_WIRE.

Megan also served as the Opinion Editor of The Lode, where she collaborated with other editors to improve the quality of the paper and help increase its readership. Her Opinion section was singled out for praise at a national conference on student newspapers in Chicago.

Finally, as an intern at PANK Magazine since last June, Megan’s performed a range of tasks, from copy editing to design consultation to mailings.

Megan is looking forward to working with GLAAD in Los Angeles this summer as an Entertainment Media intern. She’ll be writing reports and blog posts on the representation of LGBT characters in the media. She’ll also contribute research to GLAAD’s “Network Responsibility Index” and their Where We Are on TV publication.

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco to Visit Michigan Tech

In Friday, April 4, Presidential inaugural poet and civil engineer Richard Blanco will visit Houghton for some special events on the Michigan Tech campus, including a reading and book signing.

From 1-3 pm in the Van Pelt & Opie Library’s East Reading Room, there will be a student forum and presentation. This is free, and open to the public. You can RSVP on our Facebook event page.

Blanco will be holding a reading and book signing from 7-9 pm in the Van Pelt & Opie Library’s East Reading Room. This is event is also free, and also open to the public. Please RSVP for the reading and book signing on our Facebook page.

Up to Our Necks in Plastic

Melissa Michaelson
Student makes a graphic point about water bottles
To make people think twice about their role in generating plastic waste, undergraduate Liberal Arts student Melissa Michaelson created a cascading display of six hundred plastic bottles she collected from recycle bins and dumpsters. Michaelson made the head-turning display last spring for a social-change assignment in a Humanities course, The Rhetoric of Everyday Texts. The exhibit was located at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton.

“Seeing pictures of plastic pollution and noticing how big a problem it is made me think, ‘Where can we start?’” Michaelson said. “As I researched the topic, there was a lot of information on water-bottle consumption, so that made it an easy place to start and maybe an easy habit to change.”

The six hundred water bottles in the display represent less than one-half of what is consumed nationwide in one second, Michaelson said. And the plastic waste that accumulates is not the only negative effect. Each year, 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce plastic bottles.

All of the bottles used in Michaelson’s project were collected at Michigan Tech, although the University is doing its part to combat plastic-bottle waste; currently, there are water-bottle refill stations with filtered water in twelve locations on campus.

Michaelson’s exhibit aims to shock viewer and encourage them to change their plastic-bottle habits. He biggest challenge was finding an effective way to raise awareness without being there to talk to her audience. “just look at this,” she want her exhibit to say. “This is an issue. This is real. Let’s just take one small step.”

(This article originally appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Michigan Tech Magazine.)

MTC Humanities Guest Lecturer Series Presents Laine Nooney

This Tuesday, November 5, the MTC Humanities Guest Lecturer Series presents a talk by Laine Nooney called “How We Compute History: Women, Computers and Gaming in the 1980s Household.”

Laine Nooney is a media archaeologist and cultural historian of computers and video games. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Stony Brook University in the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory. She is the Editorial Assistant to the Journal of Visual Culture, Assistant to the William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection, and recently assisted producing a documentary on the early analog computer game, Tennis for Two. She was also co-organizer of the first Different Games Conference, the first conference on diversity, difference and inclusivity in games and culture. Nooney has spoken internationally on women in game history, and has shared her research with NPR’s Marketplace, KillScreen, and NYU’s Game Center.

The lecture is at 5:00 pm in Walker 120. Refreshments will be served.