Dearest Community!

Hello from afar! We hope you are safe and well, adjusting to the new world of social distancing, or as I’m calling it: distant socializing. In that spirit, we want to hear and see how your days are unfolding and being shaped in and by this global occurrence. This blog will have an ongoing project, the Quarantine Chronicles, where we will archive photos and short reflections or poems about your experience. We want to see where you’re having remote classes, or taking your daily outside time, hear about who you’re living with and how your relationships are affected and how you’re consuming media that makes your happy. Or not. We want to hear about small wins, see any stress baking/cooking, and of course keep a list of book/podcast/binge recommendations. You can message us on any of the social medias, or email us at humsoc@mmm.edu

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We are sending all manner of positive vibes, and want to say how proud we are of the students and faculty that are continuing to learn and grow as a community, even while adjusting to new systems and routines. New normals. Be well, stay safe, and be kind.

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Students in EWL 112: World Literature in Context produced creative projects in response to the novel The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips. The New York Times review describes the novel as “a riff on Wuthering Heights”, and themes include immigration and colonialism, family and patriarchy. The projects challenged students to go beyond a traditional written response. Check out the amazing and thought provoking responses below!

In addition to the visual responses there was also an audio response entitled Deliverence, by Jacob Rizzi. Listen below!

Cheers to final projects that think outside the box! Thanks for reading, Merry Everything & Happy Always, and be kind during any and all end of year/holiday shenanigans.

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In today’s tech obsessed fast paced world, what counts as political action? Senior Allie McInerney has built a site she hopes will inspire and encourage folks to send more tactile feedback, which she says stands out from online complaints. “I built the site more out of frustration than hope”, she says. The site, found here, allows constituents to enter in their address and send mail to their senate reps. Allie, who worked for Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill before transferring to MMC, says that actual mail has great weight on Capital Hill (#nopunintended). “Phone calls can go unanswered and unrecorded, but every piece of mail gets scanned and entered into a database [called VOICE], which they have to look at an engage with.” This outdated process is, Allie says, the best way for folks to be heard by their reps.

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Here’s how her site works:

The homepage allows you to pick which side of the impeachment debate you’re on. You can send mail directly to the White House, or (as shows in the above screen shots) you can enter your address and send mail to your Senators. Once you’ve selected where the postcards will go, a pre-written message appears. You can edit that message, or sign and send. Each card costs $1 #affordable, and Allie plans to send 50% of the profits to a non-profit daycare center for single moms back in Missouri called Operation Breakthrough.

Eventually Allie and her partners plan to expand this site to include other hot button issues (like taxes, campaign finance reform, healthcare, immigration, climate change, gun policy, and our education system, to name just a few.) Allie is double majoring in Politics and Human Rights, along with Philosophy, and says that despite her frustration she does still have hope. While working for Senator McCaskill she made friends with a Republican staffer, a relationship she still cherishes, and says they were able to peaceably discuss issues and still care about one another “I don’t think ideology defines us, or separates us inherently.”

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Head to Allie’s easy to use site to make sure your voice is heard during what can be an extremely confusing process, and check back for more issues to be heard on soon! Stay woke and be kind, and thanks for reading.

 

This semester, students had the opportunity to participate in the Social Justice Ambassador program, a 6 week program for folks looking to explore issues of social justice through different lenses and deep discussion. Today this program culminates in a talk back for these students to share their experiences.

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Students participating in the program gave #humsoc some exclusive info, providing the following thoughtful response to their experience:

In this 6 week Social Justice Ambassadors Program, we had the opportunity to become a part of a safe space where we were able to discuss our ideas and experiences regarding the world of social justice. The themes we examined were Class & Race, Sexuality & Religion, Power Privilege & Oppression, and Social Justice Strategies, and discussing and learning the ways in which these ideas make up the social norms, giving power and privilege to a selective few. Moreover, we talked about the importance of identifying our individual privileges and learning how to use them best to advocate for social equity and equality. Coming from different backgrounds allowed us to expand our dialogue by sharing our knowledge and ideas based on our own life experiences. This was an amazing opportunity to further our global understanding by listening to other members’ input and creating vibrant conversations surrounding social justice. In the world we live in, we are desperately in need of Social Justice Ambassadors, and we hope more students have the opportunity to further expand these pivotal discussions and be a part of this incredible program!

-Dominique Cagliuso, Dorian Provencher, Manuela Arap and Olivia Luis-Charles

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Thanks to SDA for putting this program together! Get more info here, and reach out to fhe@mmm.edu or get at their social medias if you’d like to see more programming like this going forward. Stay warm and be kind this weekend, and thanks for reading.

(Coming at you straight from Prof Marnie Brady. Enjoy!)

Special guests Athena Viscusi, LICSW, and Maria Dohers of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders gave students a view into global social work practice. The class discussed social work perspectives involving cultural humility, self-care, cross-NGO partnerships, and humanitarian intervention within the context of militarism, climate change, and refugee dislocation. Athena Viscusi, a clinical social worker with MSF, provides support to field workers before, after, and during deployment to crisis zones abroad. She shared about her own fieldwork as a psychosocial mental health worker with MSF in Liberia, Palestine, Central African Republic, Myanamar, and Haiti, among other countries. During the height of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Athena supported a program for survivors, immune to the disease, to act as mental health counselors to encourage and support those who were still afflicted. She was joined at MMC by a graduate student at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Marie Dohrs, who shared about her previous work supporting immigrants and refugees here and abroad. Marie explained the steps she took in her process of applying to graduate school.

MMC students & Prof. Brady express their deep appreciation for the important and urgent work of MSF in the world, and for the time the guests spent with us discussing their own professional career paths and the challenges in global social work.

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(Yay guest speakers! Thanks for reading, have a great weekend, spread kindness everywhere you go and be brave.)

BREAKING NEWS!

The History Major is back at MMC!

Some facts: History continues to be a popular major for high achievers, and has a traditionally been a go-to for those hoping to pursue law or public service. Our program will be super innovative, and uses a modular path of study that allows students to chart their own course and choose their own areas of focus. You’ll get all the traditional skills of a history scholar- critical thinking, evaluating evidence, oral and written argument construction- all while exploring different threads and webs that only you can imagine and navigate fully.

Here are some examples modular paths, with different color blocks showing different course subjects:

These first two show examples of more traditional paths, with one or two areas of focus.

The second two examples are more complex: on the left the student’s program is called Ancient History and Medieval History and Culture, and the right shows a path called History and Performance of Race and Gender. You see how courses from across the college can be pulled in to satisfy requirements for the major, so scholars can create a program that is tailored to their interests, while developing an understanding of history with depth and nuance. History at Marymount will go beyond a timeline, showing how culture, politics, art, media, and story all combine to create what we understand as our shared past.

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#drunkhistory #extracreditviewing

 

Look back, connect the dots, and get innovative to jump start your own future! Make History a part of your history at Marymount. #thanksforreading #bekind #happyhalloween

From esteemed Library Archivist Mary Brown:

New Research Resources from Marymount Manhattan College’s Archives

Marymount Manhattan College’s archives is digitizing William B. Harris’s performing-arts reviews, a gateway into his private collection of theatre memorabilia and into the downtown scene before gentrification.

“Billy” Harris was a freelance dance and theatre critic active from the 1970s until his unexpected death in July 2000. He saw much that was happening in the performing arts world in the last quarter of the last century and he saved much of it: newspaper clippings of other people’s reviews, the advertising that came his way, programs, and even some scripts. At the time of his death he had over five thousand files, arranged by playwright. A friend of Billy’s steered the family to depositing the collection at Marymount Manhattan College. Later, another friend deposited her collection of Harris’s reviews.

Currently, theatre students are the Harris Papers’ most frequent users. One of them was excited to spot a former MMC adjunct theatre professor and the author of a popular book on improv, Dan Diggles, in an early role.

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More seriously, students use the Harris Papers to research performances. When the Nobel Prize Committee announced Austrian playwright Peter Handke had won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature, students went looking for performances of his plays. It turns out that Harris saw an early English-language performance, of Handke’s Self-Accusation, in 1978, and saved the program, a mimeograph that may now exist nowhere else in the world.

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Harris’s review and the mimeograph open up a world beyond that one night at the theatre. The documents indicate the Brooklyn Bridge Threatre Company produced the play. The Brooklyn Bridge Threatre Company has no Internet presence. Its history will have to be mined out of sources such as these. The venue for the performance was Saint Clement’s, which, the program indicates, is on Manhattan. It turns out Saint Clement’s does have an Internet presence (http://www.stclementsnyc.org/), and from its website we can pick up further clues. It is the third-oldest off-Broadway venue in New York. It is also an Episcopal Church in the theatre district. The way is now open for choose-your-own-adventure research. How long has St. Clement’s been an off-Broadway venue, and how did that develop? What’s the relationship between the Episcopal Church—or the Christian religion—and theatre?

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The archives is working toward putting together a research project of its own. All of Harris’s reviews note where he saw the performance. The first steps in research was to map those addresses on a modern map and to go see them as they are now. Consulting the Harris Papers indicates what Billy Harris saw when he was there. Other sources help fill in the narrative of how the building of the past became the one of the present. MMC’s library has a good collection of books on New York City, its ProQuest provides access to back issues of The New York Times, its Nexis Uni database provides access to back issues of other papers, and the New York City Department of Buildings and Department of Finance have much data on individual buildings. This process uncovered many intriguing individual stories, such as how the creators of Hedwig and the Angry Inch chose a nearly vacant hotel as a suitably grubby venue for their production. The building had started as a charity, a low-cost hospice for sailors; the decline of the shipping industry reduced the numbers of sailors needing such service. Hedwig raised interest in the building, and led to new owners and a new life as the boutique Jane Hotel.

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Building by building, a story develops. In the 1970s cash-strapped performing artists and owners who could find nothing else to do with their buildings cut deals. Performers took spaces within buildings rather than whole buildings. They rented by the weekend rather than by the month or year. They made do with poorly maintained property. Their performances introduced the audience to a neighborhood where they might invest, open a business, or live. Today, emerging performing artists find themselves priced out of as former performance spaces become apartments, shops, and more established cultural attractions.

The archives is creating a unique Google map that will identify the places where William Harris saw a performance. Walkers will be able to open the map on their own devices, and can plot their own routes for getting from one to another. They can open documents that describe Harris’s experience in the theatre at that venue, and then how the venue has changed to the present day.

The digital copies of Harris’s reviews may very well spark other kinds of research. To get started researching William Harris’s reviews, go to https://www.mmm.edu/live/files/97-harrisguideaddendumpdf, the finding aid for the part of his collection that contains the reviews. There, you can scroll or use Control + F to search for particular dates, playwrights, plays, and venue names. You can email the archivist, Mary Brown, at mbrown1@mmm.edu, and she can email a review back to you. Still not digitized, though, is Harris’s massive file of clippings, programs, advertisements, and theatre memorabilia. Again email Mary to set up an appointment, and get yourself some unique primary sources for your research.

Thanks to Mary Brown for this info and ongoing project! Thanks for reading, keep being kind, have a safe Halloween weekend.