Category Archives: CCM Faculty

Patty Sotirin to Give Talk on Copper Country Mothers

World War One in the Copper Country logoA talk on Copper Country Mothers during World War I by Patty Sotirin will take place tonight (Nov. 6) at the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the talk begins at 6:15. Refreshments will be served. This event is part of World War I & the Copper Country.

Sotirin’s talk explains how mothers of sons in military service were critical figures in the Copper Country’s participation in the Great War. The war was a personal challenge for mothers, but made them public figures as well. Highlighting several local mothers whose boys went to war, Sotirin sketches what that experience was like for them based on letters, poems and newspaper stories. Beyond their personal pride and trials, the patriotic citizen mother ready to sacrifice her children for the nation emerged as a public focus for recruitment appeals, servicemen support and national grieving.

Special attention is given to the creation of the Gold Star Mothers and their sojourn at national expense to visit their boys’ graves overseas. Given women’s campaign for the vote and the importance of ethnic identity in the Copper Country, the experiences of mothers here highlight some of the tensions among motherhood, nationalism and citizenship that are still part of our collective story of motherhood and war.


Stefka Hristova Publishes Paper on Space and Power in the Iraq War

Stefka HristovaStefka Hristova, associate professor of digital media, has published a new paper titled “Charting the Territory: Space and Power in the Iraq War” in ACME: An International Journal of Critical Geographies. She argues that the 2007 mapping and walling of Baghdad’s neighborhoods “exemplifies the materialization of the cell technique, and Carl Schmitt’s articulation of three modes of empty space in relation to territory”; and that “the walling process was an attempt to produce what [she] call[s] a ‘continuous security’, predicated upon the assumption of a population’s characterized belonging to the circumnavigated territory.”
The full paper is available online.

Faculty and RTC Graduate Students Present at OSCLG Conference

R.T.C. group at conference. Pictured from left to right: Victoria Bergvall, Toluulope Odebunmi, Sara Potter, Patty Sotirin, Nancy Henaku, Modupe Yusuf, Nada Mohammad Alfieir, and Nancy Achiaa Frimpong.Michigan Tech Humanities graduate students and professors presented scholarly work at the annual Conference of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender in Lake Tahoe, Nevada October 3-6, 2018.

Masters Graduate student Nancy Achiaa Frimpong presented “Skin Colour on Sale: Advertising and Postfeminism”. Doctoral Graduate student Nada Mohammad Alfieir presented “‘I Didn’t Understand Anything!’ A Muslim Mother’s Narrative Reflections on Privacy, U.S. Sex Education, and a Daughter’s Denials”. Doctoral Graduate student Sara Potter presented “Motherhood as a Jointly Constructed Narrative”. Doctoral Graduate student Modupe Yusuf presented “African Women as Symbols of Feminist Persistence”. Ph.D. candidate Toluulope Odebunmi presented “Women and Politics in West Africa: An Analysis of Feminist Criticisms Against Liberia’s Ellen HJohnson Sirleaf”. Ph.D. candidate Nancy Henaku presented “Resistance, Discursive Activism and Gender Politics in Ghanaian Social Media: A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis” and also served as the student representative on the OSCLG Board. Ph.D. candidates Nancy Henaku and Toluuope Odebunmi presented papers on the panel, “African Women Performing Persistence: Tales of Historical and Contemporary Contributions to Global Activism”.

Professor Victoria Bergvall presented “Missing Voices in the WEIRD Discourse of Gendered Neuroscience: Transnational Feminist Discourses of Nature and Nurture in Gender/Sex/Sexuality”. Professor Patty Sotirin presented “Militarized Mother Legacies: Talking with WWI Mothers”.

Pictured from left to right: Victoria Bergvall, Toluulope Odebunmi, Sara Potter, Patty Sotirin, Nancy Henaku, Modupe Yusuf, Nada Mohammad Alfieir, and Nancy Achiaa Frimpong.


Free WW1CC Film Screening Tomorrow

Pierre Niney and Paula Beer in Frantz movieThe Modern Languages Program will host a screening of the François Ozon’s 2016 film Frantz at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 4) in Walker 134. The screening is free and open to the public.

Film synopsis: In 1919 Quedlinburg, Germany, a young woman named Anna is still mourning the death of her fiance, Frantz Hoffmeister, in the Great War while living with his devastated parents. One day, a mysterious Frenchman, Adrien Rivoire, comes to town both to pay his respects to Frantz’s grave and to contact that soldier’s parents. Adrian explains that he knew Frantz and gradually he wins Anna and the Hoffmeisters’ hearts as he tries to connect with them. But the truth of his motives unveils no easy answers to their complex personal conflicts with each other and the dead man linking them (from IMDB pro).

The screening is part of World War I in the Copper Country (WW1CC), an extensive program of events and exhibits commemorating the WWI Armistice. Partners include Michigan Technological University, the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, and Finlandia University. WW1CC is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the WW1CC program do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH or the MHC.


Sarah Bell Returns from Kluge Center Fellowship

Sarah BellSarah Bell, Assistant Professor of Digital Media, has returned this Fall from The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. where she was researching as Digital Studies Fellow. Her project was “Speak & Spell to Siri: A Media History of Voice Synthesis” as part of her book manuscript From Speak & Spell to Siri: A Media History of Voice Synthesis. Bell was also awarded previous fellowships from the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Strong Museum of Play, Michigan Technological University’s Research Excellence Fund, the Computer History section of the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.


Armistice and Aftermath Symposium

World War One in the Copper Country logoThe WWI Armistice and Aftermath Symposium is a two-day event, Friday and Saturday (Sept. 28 and 29) that includes presentations, a film and concert, most on the Michigan Tech campus.

Armistice Day 2018 marks the centenary end of World War I. This symposium explores the conditions and impacts of the Great War as experienced during and afterward.

All events are open to the public and admission is free. The full program is available online. A box supper on Friday and a buffet lunch on Saturday are available for $5 and must be reserved in advance by no later than noon Wednesday (Sept. 26).

Friday’s events:

  • 4-5 p.m.: Sue Collins “Local Theaters, Propaganda and WWI.” Orpheum Theater, Hancock
  • 6-7 p.m.: Superior Wind Symphony, “Europe, America, and the World: An Outdoor Concert.” On Walker lawn if weather permits; otherwise McArdle Theatre
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m.: John Morrow Jr. (University of Georgia), “African American Experience in WWI and Aftermath.” Rozsa Lobby

Saturday’s events:

  • 8:45 a.m.: Symposium Committee Welcome, MUB Ballroom
  • 9-11:15 a.m.: Symposium Panels (see full program online)
  • 12-1 p.m.: Lynn Dumenil (Occidental College), “Women and the Great War.” MUB Ballroom
  • 1:15-3:45 p.m.: Symposium Panels
  • 7:30-9 p.m.: “Copper Country at the Silver Screen in 1918,” Rozsa Theater. A silent film program featuring a 1918 Charlie Chaplin film, film shorts, newsreel, and Four Minute-Man performance; music performed by Jay Warren, Chicago’s foremost Photoplay organist.

Patty Sotirin Awarded ADVANCE Grant as Co-PI

Patty SotirinPatty Sotirin is a co-principle investigator on a project that has received a $1,000,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. Adrienne Minerick (School of Technology) is the principal investigator. Sonia Goltz (School of Business and Economics), Audrey Mayer (School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences/Social Sciences) and Andrew Storer (School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences) are also Co/PIs on the project titled, “ADVANCE Adaptation AMP-UP Continuous Improvement Process to Transform Institutional Practices and Culture.” This is a three-year project.


Joel Beatty and Stefka Hristova Co-author Book Chapter

Joel Beatty and Stefka Hristova wearing graduation robesRTC graduate, Joel Beatty, and professor Stefka Hristova have co-authored a chapter in the book, Surveillance, Race, Culture, published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. Their chapter is titled “Articulating Race: Reading Skin Color as Taxonomy and as Numerical Data”. According to Dr. Hristova, the chapter “explores the transformation of race into biodata at the turn of the 20th century”. The book is edited by Susan Flynn, University of the Arts, London; and Antonia Mackay, Oxford Brookes University. 


World War I and the Copper Country

collins-sue-personnelThe World War I & the Copper Country collective, led by Sue Collins (HU) in collaboration with Patty Sotirin (HU), Stefka Hristova (HU), Steve Walton (SS), Elise Nelson (Carnegie Museum), and Hilary Virtanen (Finlandia), has been awarded a Michigan Humanities Council grant.

Conceived as a joint project between Michigan Technological University, the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, and Finlandia University, the grant will support a series of events commemorating World War I to run in the fall of 2018 including historical exhibits, a symposium, a relief bazaar, and an immersive life-size trench installation with a Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) produced soundscape.

The project has received a $15,000 public service grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.


Slack publishes Cultural Studies 1983: A Theoretical History


Cultural Studies 1983Stuart Hall, one of the most prominent and influential scholars of cultural studies internationally, delivered eight foundational lectures on the theoretical history of cultural studies at the University of Illinois in 1983. After his death in 1914, Hall’s widow authorized publication of those lectures, which were recorded by Jennifer Daryl Slack (HU). 

Slack, along with Lawrence Grossberg from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, transcribed, edited and wrote an introduction to these lectures. The lectures have been published by Duke University Press under the title Cultural Studies 1983: A Theoretical History.