Graduate Humanities Program inaugurates Major Scholar Seminar series

SenArijitDr. Arijit Sen, associate professor of architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be on Marshall campuses Oct. 2 and 3 as part of the Graduate Humanities Program’s new Major Scholar Seminars, an initiative offered in partnership with the Glenwood Center for Scholarship for the Humanities.

Sen, who is also co-coordinator of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Milwaukee Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures collaborative doctoral program, will visit both the South Charleston and Huntington campuses.  His visit is sponsored by the Graduate Humanities Program and the Glenwood Center for Scholarship in the Humanities, along with the College of Liberal Arts, Department of History and the College of Education and Professional Development.

The Major Scholars Program is designed to engage Graduate Humanities students in scholarly activity with major outside scholars and public intellectuals.  Over the course of a semester classes meet via electronic conference media and have face-to-face meetings during the scholar’s campus visit.

Sen’s seminar, ”Reading American Landscapes,” is described as  examining not only ways of reading and interpreting the built world, but also to “interrogate how our individual reading practices frame the way we understand, interpret, and act in this world.”  His lecture schedule is:

  • Oct. 2, noon, GC 319, South Charleston campus, “Learning from Everyday Places: Teaching Cultural Landscapes,” part of the COEPD brown bag luncheon series
  • Oct. 2, 7 p.m., seminar meeting of “Reading American Landscapes”
  • Oct. 3, 2 p.m., Shawkey Dining Room, a public talk on “Recasting Placemaking: Ways of Seeing and Interpreting our Everyday World”

Sen’s research focus has centered on ethnicity and urban ethnic spaces, food landscapes, immigration history, American cultural landscapes, architectural history and environment and behavior studies, among others. He is currently completing his book Creative Dissonance: The Politics of Immigrant World Making, and co-edited a monograph, Devon Street, Chicago: Interpreting Landscapes of Transnationalism.  Sen received his PhD.  from the University of California, Berkeley and served as a Center for 21st Century Studies Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Quadrant Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

The Glenwood Center for Scholarship in the Humanities is a public-private partnership involving Marshall University, West Virginia State University and the Historic Glenwood Foundation. It is housed at the Glenwood Estate, home to many of the Kanawha Valley’s pioneer families, on Charleston’s west side.  The newly formed center is working toward hosting regular speaker series, classes and workshops in conjunction with academic programming in MU’s Graduate Humanities Program and WVSC’s History program, according to Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter, center co-director and chair of MU’s Graduate Humanities Program. Long-range plans call for supporting humanities-based research through the two universities, hosting visiting scholars, involving students in archival work and other preservation projects at Glenwood and advancing collaborative grand and fund development, he added.

The Major Scholar Seminar for Spring 2015 will feature Dr. Lauren Onkey, Vice President of Education and Public Programs for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.  Her seminar is titled  “Fight the Power:  Can Pop Music Foster Change?”   Dates and details of her visit will be announced at a later date.