English Historical Review: At Home and Under Fire: Air Raids and Culture in Britain from the Great War to the Blitz , by Susan R. Grayzel
University becomes first institution to offer traditional graduate course with open components
OXFORD, Miss. – This spring, the University of Mississippi will become the first university to offer traditional graduate course with open elements through online collaborations with two cutting-edge groups, opening up new avenues to provide free education opportunities on the meaning, application and impact of “openness” in the digital world.
The two collaborations are with Peer2Peer University’s School of Open, which uses volunteers to develop and run online courses, offline workshops and in-person training programs, and Open Educational Resources University’s WikiEducator platform. OER University, or OERu, is an international consortium of universities working to create affordable pathways to formal university credit using open educational resources.
The new graduate-level course, ”Topics in Higher Education – Open Educational Resources and Practices” (EDHE 670) will be taught by Robert Cummings, director of the UM Center for Writing and Rhetoric and associate professor of English. Cummings will lead UM students with learners from around the world in a two-week module covering open educational resources, or OER, in collaboration with OERu; and a six-week module in which students will learn to collaborate on Wikipedia articles, in association with the School of Open.
“University of Mississippi graduate students in the School of Education will prepare for their careers with this unique opportunity to engage the emerging global field of open educational resources,” Cummings said. “UM students will not only learn about OER, its origins and its role in the classrooms of the future, but they will have the opportunity to work with developers and theorists – both as fellow students and emerging practitioners – in a synchronous, global classroom of enrolled students and unenrolled learners.”
The course will build on Cummings’ research into the educational and cost-saving benefits available through the use of OER and commons-based peer production, such as the use of Wikipedia to teach writing. In the course, UM students will have an opportunity to participate in open educational practices while simultaneously learning the theory and history behind them.
Open educational practices have offered unprecedented learning opportunities in recent years, both inside and outside of traditional learning institutions. For instance:
- A Brooklyn College student in the Wikipedia Education Program restructured and improved a Wikipedia article on costume design, receiving feedback and guidance from peers around the world and from instructor Amy Hughes while simultaneously improving a learning resource available to the general public.
- Adrianne Wadewitz, a writing instructor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and longtime Wikipedia contributor, has assigned her students to copy edit and improve Wikipedia articles, allowing them to learn about the importance – and the sometimes unexpectedly political nature – of nuance in writing.
- Dr. Lisa Gualtieri guides her students at the Tufts University School of Medicine in engaging effectively online, motivated by the concern that online information and interactive mobile applications relevant to her field often are not informed by academic expertise.
Through partnerships with the global organizations OERu and School of Open, two modules of EDHE 670, constituting about half the course – “Open Content Licensing for Educators” and “Writing Wikipedia Articles (WIKISOO)” – will be free and open to the general public.
“Open education signals a return to the core values of the academy, namely, to share knowledge freely,” said OERu founder Wayne Mackintosh, who teaches the “Open Content Licensing for Educators” module. “Working together, we achieve far more than working alone. This course is an exemplar of open collaboration widening learning opportunities for all.”
The ability to engage and collaborate across geographical borders, through ongoing online projects such as Wikipedia, presents opportunities that didn’t exist a few years ago.
“In its 12-year history, Wikipedia has enabled hundreds of thousands of people around the world to collaborate in developing a widely used educational resource,” said Pete Forsyth of WikiStrategies, who teaches the Wikipedia component of the course. “Wikipedia is important not merely as a publication, but also as a vibrant learning community, and as a collection of highly effective collaborative processes. Wikipedia offers many valuable case studies in effective online collaboration, both in connection with and independent of formal academic study.”
The OER university consortium was launched recently by its 31 member universities at the Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Full-time, one-year placements supported by AmeriCorps
OXFORD, Miss. – The North Mississippi VISTA Project at the University of Mississippi is looking for dynamic individuals to serve as Volunteers in Service to America. Each of these full-time, one-year placements is supported by AmeriCorps with a modest living allowance, health benefits and an education award, which can be used for graduate school or to repay qualified student loans.
The five positions, starting in February 2014, will be based in Hernando, Holly Springs, Okolona and Oxford. All applications for the positions must be received by Dec. 15.
The North Mississippi VISTA Project works in 23 counties to build sustainable systems that connect the university and its resources to low-income communities in the region. VISTAs are deployed to nonprofit organizations and schools seeking to develop or expand educational programs that serve low-income children and adults.
“Those who take these positions will make real contributions to the people of Mississippi and gain valuable experience in education,” said Stephen Monroe, UM director of the project.Read the story …
Kathryn Miles to discuss 'All Standing: Escape from Famine' in Nov. 20 presentation
OXFORD, Miss. – Kathryn Miles, author of an acclaimed book that about a ship that carried passengers escaping Ireland’s potato famine, will give the University of Mississippi’s Edith T. Baine Lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Oxford-University Depot.
Miles, a creative nonfiction writer, was a professor of environmental writing at Unity College in Maine for 12 years until she left recently to work on a book project. She also serves on the faculty of Chatham University’s low-residency MFA program. Her lecture, titled “All Standing: Escape from Famine,” is free and open to the public.
“It will be extremely informative and entertaining,” said UM professor and poet Ann Fisher-Wirth, who chaired the Baine Lecture selection committee. ”She is a good friend. She is very charming and articulate, energetic and full of life, as well as being extremely sharp and intelligent and solidly grounded in her research and scholarship. She is going to be a really good performer.”Read the story …
OXFORD, Miss. – Pride & Joy, the SFA’s feature documentary by Joe York, is coming to a small screen near you. So near you, in fact, that it’s probably in your living room. (For those of you who haven’t finished your coffee yet, we’re talking about your television.) Here are your chances to catch Pride & Joy on public television in November. Set your DVR and break out the popcorn—or potlikker! Watch the promo film from the University of Mississippi Media and Documentary Projects Center.
Los Angeles: Wed. 11/6, 8 pm, KLCS
Mississippi: Thurs. 11/7, 7 pm, MPB
Amarillo: Thurs. 11/7, 11 am and 4:30 pm, KENW
Charlotte: Thurs. 11/7, 10 pm, WTVI
St. Louis: Sun. 11/10, 4 pm, KETC
Alabama: Thurs. 11/14, 9 pm, AL Public Television
Norfolk: Thurs. 11/14, 10 pm, WHRO
Seattle: Fri. 11/15, noon, KCTS
San Antonio: Thurs. 11/21, 8 pm, KLRN
Las Vegas: Thurs. 11/21, 10 pm, Vegas PBS 2
Denver: Sun. 11/24, 2 pm, KRMA
San Francisco: Mon. 11/25, 10 pm, KQED Life
Tampa: Mon. 11/25, 11 pm, WEDU
Memphis: Mon. 11/25, 9 pm and midnight, WKNO
Baton Rouge: Mon. 11/25, 9 pm, LPB (this screening will reach most of Louisiana except for New Orleans)
Nashville: Tue. 11/26, 8 pm, WNPT
Tallahassee: Wed. 11/27, 8 pm, WFSU
Plattsburgh, NY/Burlington, VT: Wed. 11/27 at 10 pm and Thur. 11/28 at noon, Mountain Lake PBS
Professor remembered as a colleague, mentor, encourager and loyal friend
OXFORD, Miss. – Chester L. Quarles, of Tula, a longtime University of Mississippi educator and respected international criminal justice expert, died Thursday (Oct. 31) at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He was 69.
A UM criminal justice professor emeritus, Quarles wrote extensively on school safety and worked with administrators and law enforcement officials to develop a broad alert system that notifies students, faculty and staff of dangerous situations on campus. He was associated with Crisis Consulting International.
An internationally-recognized authority on terrorism, kidnapping and guerilla assault, he taught bodyguards of TV stars, government officials, industry CEOs, missionaries and humanitarian workers throughout the world how to avoid and survive terrorist attacks.
Firm in his religious convictions, Quarles chaired the deacon board of Tula Baptist Church, which he attended with his family for many years.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 3) at North Oxford Baptist Church. Interment will be in the Tula Cemetery. Visitation is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 2) at Coleman Funeral Home in Oxford.
UM faculty, administrators and alumni are grieving the loss of their beloved former colleague, mentor and friend.
“Dr. Quarles was always a committed and passionate professor, especially when it came to the Department of Legal Studies,” said Jan Bounds, associate dean for UM’s School of Applied Sciences and associate professor of legal studies. “He was a very outspoken individual who related his views in a positive way. His contributions to and support of the department will certainly be missed.”
Filmmaker Rex Jones' 'Beautiful Jim' premieres Nov. 7 in Oxford
OXFORD, Miss. – Inspiration can strike at any time, even while searching through an old junk pile. For documentary filmmaker Rex Jones, the inspiration for his upcoming film came while studying old Coca-Cola bottles.
“I’m always looking for movie ideas and I’m lucky here in that I have the freedom to make movies that reflect both my own interests and the mission of ‘South Docs’ and the center,” said Jones, a producer-director at the Southern Documentary Project (formerly Media and Documentary Projects), an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
His film, “Beautiful Jim,” premieres at 7 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 7) at the Lyric Theatre, 1006 Van Buren Ave., immediately following the 6 p.m. “Thacker Mountain Radio Show.” It is free and open to the public.
As a child in Hickory, Jones was only eight miles from the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Newton, and he recently rediscovered his stash of old bottles at his mother’s house. After Googling “Newton Coca-Cola bottles,” he found the blog of Jimbeau Hinson, also a native of Newton, who had written about picking up Coke bottles from the ditch and selling them for a nickel apiece.
UM now searches for top scholar to fill position for 2014-15
OXFORD, Miss. – The Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, has long led the nation in documentary work about foodways, the cultural and culinary practices of a region or group. With a new endowed professorship, the SFA aims to drive foodways scholarship, too.
Thanks to generous contributions from individuals and foundations, the SFA has collaborated with the College of Liberal Arts to create the faculty position. The university has launched a search to fill the position for the 2014-15 academic year.
“The University of Mississippi’s academic environment is greatly enriched when we are able to offer classes and faculty members representing new fields of study,” said Glenn Hopkins, dean of liberal arts. “We are deeply grateful to generous alumni and friends who are providing support to bring a foodways expert to our faculty. The study of foodways provides another important facet for our students to explore in understanding the world around them. This scholarly study offers a different avenue for gaining a heightened sense of various cultures.”
With the help of a gift from the Chisholm Foundation of Laurel, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and SFA have co-hosted a postdoctoral fellow in Southern foodways since fall 2011. The fellow has taught undergraduate and graduate classes on Southern foodways and its relation to other fields such as history, literature, African-American studies and environmental studies.
With the hiring of a tenure-track professor, the Southern studies center and the SFA are able to make a stronger commitment to the teaching of foodways.
UPDATE FROM UMMC: Child Born with HIV Still in Remission After 18 Months Off Treatment, Experts Report
JACKSON, Miss. – A 3-year-old Mississippi child born with HIV and treated with a combination of antiviral drugs unusually early continues to do well and remains free of active infection 18 months after all treatment ceased, according to an updated case report published Oct. 23 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Early findings of the case were presented in March 2013 during a scientific meeting in Atlanta, but the newly published report adds detail and confirms what researchers say is the first documented case of HIV remission in a child.
“Our findings suggest that this child’s remission is not a mere fluke but the likely result of aggressive and very early therapy that may have prevented the virus from taking a hold in the child’s immune cells,” says Deborah Persaud, M.D., lead author of the NEJM report and a virologist and pediatric HIV expert at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Persaud teamed up with immunologist Katherine Luzuriaga, M.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and pediatrician Hannah Gay, M.D., of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, who identified and treated the baby and continues to see the child.
“We’re thrilled that the child remains off medication and has no detectable virus replicating,” Gay says. “We’ve continued to follow the child, obviously, and she continues to do very well. There is no sign of the return of HIV, and we will continue to follow her for the long term.”
Read the full story here.
Work of award-winning Japanese director and animator Hayao Miyazaki focus of Nov. 4 lecture
OXFORD, Miss. – The director of Tufts University’s Japanese program will explore the work of Academy Award-winning director and animator Hayao Miyazaki at the University of Mississippi’s 53rd Christopher Longest Lecture, set for 6 p.m. Nov. 4 in Bondurant Hall auditorium.
Susan Napier, a professor who also heads the Japanese program at Tufts, plans to discuss “The Last Utopian: Hayao Miyazaki and the Uses of Enchantment.” The lecture is sponsored by the UM Department of Modern Languages.
This is the first time that Japanese is the focus of a Longest Lecture, though the language has been taught at the university for about 20 years, said Donald L. Dyer, UM chair and professor of modern languages. The lecture series, which is named for a man who served UM for decades, has also brought much enrichment to the university for more than 50 years, he said.Read the story …