Category: scholarship

Linguistics PhD grad wins international dissertation prize


MUnze.gifCongratulations to Dr. Mark Wenthe, currently a parttime instructor at UGA and also a recent PhD alumnus in linguistics in the department of classics, who won an international competition for best dissertation for the year 2013 from the Society of Indo-European Studies (Indogermanische Gesellschaft).

Wenthe's dissertation, ISSUES IN THE PLACEMENT OF ENCLITIC PERSONAL PRONOUNS IN THE RIGVEDA, among the four canonical sacred texts (śruti) of Hinduism known as the Vedas, actually shared the award with Konstantinos Sampanis from the Univ. of Salzburg (Austria). Both scholars received full marks for their work.

Congratulations as well to Jared S. Klein, professor of linguistics, classics, and Germanic and Slavic languages director, program in linguistics in the department of classics. Our scholars are making an impact around the world, as their work is celebrated, noted and honored. Congratulationd again on this outstanding achievement.

Department of Philosophy newsletter


Peabody.jpgLots of great news about faculty, staff and students in the most recent Philosophy newsletter. Includes stories on

Lavender, Myers, and Newman awarded scholarships

Winfield publishes seventeenth book, attends Hegel Congress

Department to host Metaphysical Society of America 2015 Annual Meeting

And more

Four Thirty-Three: Spotlight on Scholarship


In 1952, American experimental composer John Cale composed a three-movement composition, Four minutes, thirty-three seconds, or Four thirty-three. Written for any instrument or combination of instruments, the score instructs the performer(s) not to play their instrument(s) during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements. The piece purports to consist of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, although it is commonly perceived as "four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence". The title refers to the total length in minutes and seconds of a given performance, 4′33″ being the total length of the first public performance, and a standard length of 'canned music.' Cage intended to sell the composition to the Musak Company.

A reflection of the influence of Zen Buddhism on Cage, the piece challenged audiences to reconsider the function of art and the borders between traditional art disciplines and between artistic practice and philosophy.

For the 2014 Spotlight on the Arts Festival, the Arts Council is riffing on this idea in a competition aimed at UGA graduate students:

The UGA Arts Council is seeking graduate students to participate in the inaugural “4 minutes, 33 seconds: Spotlight on Scholarship” competition. The event, which will award two prizes of $433 each, will give the campus community insight into the scholarship and research in the arts conducted by University of Georgia graduate students.

For the competition, graduate students have 4 minutes, 33 seconds to describe their research. They can use up to 33 visual aid slides to help explain the topic. The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10 in the Chapel, as part of the Spotlight on the Arts festival.

Points will be awarded based on performance, originality and passion, as well as conciseness, comprehension, engagement and ability to convey the research to a non-specialist audience. Sound and props are permitted.

Two winners will be chosen: one by a panel of faculty within and outside the arts and another chosen as an audience favorite. The winners will receive support for their research in the form of an award of $433 each.

Today is the dealine for entries. Graduate students can apply by emailing and CC’ing your department’s Arts Council representative (for a list of Arts Council representatives, see The email should contain your name, degree objective and a paragraph that clearly, succinctly and compellingly describes your research topic and its significance to a non-specialist audience. A subcommittee of the Arts Council will determine the participants.

Here's Cale's Paris 1919



2014 Gregory Lecture brings Lincoln scholar to UGA


Eric Foner, the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, whose 2010 book The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery received the Pulitzer Prize for History, will deliver the 2014 Gregory Distinguished Lecture.

Foner's lecture, drawn from a forthcoming book on the subject, is "Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad." The lecture will take place Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium at the Georgia Museum of Art. It is open free to the public.

One of only two people to serve as president of the three major professional organizations—the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association and the Society of American Historians—Foner is one of the few historians to have won the Bancroft and Pulitzer prizes in the same year.

We are indebted to Amanda and Greg Gregory for their longtime support of the Franklin College and the department of history. This annual lecture, one of UGA's Signature events of the year, is not to be missed. Come to the museum and engage with one of the nation's great scholar-authors, Eric Foner.

Eighteenth century fashion and literature


CWS_cover.jpgThere are a multitude of scholarly books and monographs written by Franklin College faculty each year and one of the things we’d like to do on the blog is talk with some of these scholar/authors and learn a little more about their new works, which are such a big part of their research.

Chloe Wigston Smith is an assistant professor in the department of English who specializes in the literature and culture of the eighteenth century. She is the author of Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, August 2013). The book was recently shortlisted for the Milia Davenport Publication Award (Costume Society of America), a prestigious national award. Wigston Smith and I recently had for a short conversation about the book.


Franklin Chronicles: Your book explores novels that engage the representation of women’s work with clothing and material culture. What do you mean by material culture?

Chloe Wigston Smith: I’m interested in novels that represent women’s labor. Much of women’s work in the 18th century was associated with clothing, whether or not women were seamstresses, milliners, laundresses. So if you were an actress on the stage, your profession was connected to dress – the stage costuming that you wore, for example. Let’s say you were involved in more illicit activities, such as shoplifting or pocket picking, most of the objects that you were stealing were clothing items or accessories. Clothes were extremely expensive in the period – the materials that were used to make clothes were very valuable and they were seen as moveable goods. Wills in the 18th century commonly included clothing, jewelry, watches and accessories. So it’s quite different from the way most of us think of clothes today. In general, 18th century people owned fewer items and dress was viewed as less expendable and mass-market.

My book looks at women’s labor in novels, as well as the perceptions of their labor, fashions, and bodies. The novels represent a more progressive vision of the possibilities of women’s work in the eighteenth century, that I see as being distinctive from perceptions of clothing and women’s sexuality that circulated in the culture at large, as reflected in non-fiction writing, in trade debates, in court trials and testimony, in visual culture, and other genres in the period.

FC: So this material culture and the novels you discuss are all British?

CWS: Yes. I’m interested in the works of widely known authors like Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, and Henry Fielding, as well as writers like Eliza Haywood, Charlotte Lennox, John Cleland, Frances Burney and Mary Robinson. It groups together respectable novels about moral heroines with racier tales of seduction and crime.

Engaging the Public: A workshop on communicating your research


Because our office is constantly engaged with this, communicating about research and scholarship is a near and dear priority. And of course, as the Franklin College, we are home to so many great scholars and scientists that it is must that we share this expertise as widely as possible.

But communicating with the public, and especially the media, can be a challenge. Now the Graduate School is organizing a workshop series designed to help our faculty communicate their work more effectively.

To help faculty members develop and practice those skills, The Graduate School, OVPR, Provost’s Office, Public Affairs, Grady College, and Department of Theatre and Film Studies are again presenting a two-part workshop on Engaging the Public. Applications are now open.

Session One: Tuesday, March 25th, 1pm-4pm
Session Two: Thursday, March 27th, 1pm-4pm

**You MUST be able to attend both sessions to participate

Participation is extremely limited. To be considered, please email Meredith Welch-Devine ( by 5pm on March 4th with the following information:
1) Your name and department Your name and department Your name and department Your name and departmentYour name and department Your name and department Your name and department Your name and department
2) Your area of research expertise
3) A brief rationale that explains why it is important for you to be chosen for this training
4) Confirmation that you would be able to attend both sessions of the workshop in their entirety
The training group will be selected for diversity across represented departments and career stages. Applicants will be notified of selection decisions by March 7th.
For further information on this workshop, contact the Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs, Dr. Meredith Welch-Devine.
▪ Email:

A separate set of workshops on the topic for graduate students and post-docs is scheduled for March 18 and 20. For more information and to apply, go here.

Music Scholarship: Power in the Progress


The Hugh Hodgson School of Music is renowned for training some of the best conductors, vocalists, cellists, violinists and other instrumental performers in the country. Many of these UGA graduates go on to outstanding international careers and we take great pride in their accomplishments. The Hodgson School also trains some of the best music teachers in America and its impact on the future of the arts in the classroom is at least as important as bringing some of the world's most beautiful music to campus. Indeed these are not exclusive of each other and function wonderfully together. But it's important to note that progress in the classroom hinges on scholarship, as this article from Hodgson school alum Josh Boyd illustrates, UGA music scholars continue to uncover methods for helping students to higher levels of musicianship:

"Power in the Progress System" created by H. Dwight Satterwhite, a professor at the University of Georgia is based on the idea that students will exceed expectations when they have an incentive program that provides constant positive reinforcement as well as a clearly charted path to success.

Sounds simple enough. But it takes a great amount of engagement with teaching to get to a point where one can explain something that sounds obvious. The article lays out the steps of the program and importantly how it "revolutionized our band program" at a middle school in Georgia, one venue among thousands where some of our alums do their best work.

* Thanks to the commenter. Article previously referred to another HHSOM Josh Byrd instead of the correct alum, Joshua Boyd. Apologies.

Biesecker wins Francine Merritt Award


The Francine Merritt Award or Outstanding Contributions to the Lives of Women in Communication, presented by the National Communication Association's (NCA) Women's Caucus, honors the memory of Francine Merritt, who taught at Louisiana State University between 1947 and 1984. Congratulations to the 2013 Francine Merritt Award winner, professor and head of the department of communication studies, Barbara Biesecker:

Dr. Biesecker's commitment to the Women's Causus' goal of "exploring the diversity and complexities of women's lives" is evident in her research. Former Chair of the Women's Caucus, UGA Distinguished Professor and COMM faculty member Dr. Celeste Condit noted in her letter of support that Dr. Biesecker "has clearly been and continues to be an important figure in the progress of feminist and women's studies scholarship in communication" and she 'is recognized as a leader (perhaps the leader) in a realm of abstract theory." Incoming President of NCA Dr. Lynn Turner noted that Dr. Biesecker's scholarship reveals her "continual efforts to bring both women and feminist perspectives to rhetorical history" and draws "attention to the significatn influences on and by women." Dr. Biesecker's scholarship has been the focus of a spotlight panel at the Southern States Communication Association Annual Conference called "Shifting Scenes: Rhetoric/Feminism/Postmodernism," earned her the Douglas Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award, and contributed to her selection as the newest Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech - making her only the fifth women to serve in that role during the last century.

As her colleagues note at the link, Dr. Biesecker works tirelessly as a mentor to further the careers of women in the field of communication. For this alone we are in her debt, though her dedication as an educator and scholar put her in the position to be such a positive influence and source of support for her colleagues. Congratulations on on this particular award, which brings great distinction to UGA and the Franklin College.

2013 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship


lady-ada-lovelace google dole carton

Congratulations to computer science grad student Jennifer Rouan, who has been awarded a prestigious Google scholarship:

Rouan recently received the 2013 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, an award that honors its namesake by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology.

Borg was a computer scientist who devoted her life to revolutionizing perceptions of technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields. The Google scholarship—worth $10,000 for the 2013-14 academic year—also encourages women to become active role models and leaders in these fields.

UGA’s Rouan, a master’s degree student in the Franklin College of Arts and Science’s department of computer science, also was selected for the 2013 Google Student Veterans of America Scholarship. Recipients of Google scholarships can accept only one of the awards.

“I’m very excited to have won both scholarships, but as a woman in tech I identify with Anita Borg and her impact on our field,” Rouan said. “And, so, being part of that memory is an important part of my own life philosophy.”

Fantastic - two Google scholarships. Difficult to verify, but we think Jennifer is the first UGA student to be selected for both awards. Big congratulations to her, Thiab Taha, and the computer science department.

Image: Women-inspired Google doodle honoring Anita Borg, Grace Hopper and Lada Ada Lovelace

2013 Lecture on Scholarly Communication


library column pedimentsThe UGA Librairies presents a lecture by Kenneth D. Crews, director of the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University in New York City, "Copyright and the Academy: The Battle turns to the Courts," on Monday May 20 at 10 am in 271 Auditorium of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. Crews will discuss recent U.S. court decisions that shape fair use for higher education:

For many years, universities and some copyright owners have sparred over interpretations of fair use and other critical provisions of the law. The disagreements have been played out in congressional hearings, negotiations over guidelines and efforts by leading organizations to influence policymaking at educational institutions. The debates have been robust, but ultimately more of a standoff than a true clash of powers. Much has changed in recent years. Cases involving copyright and education are heading to the courts. The litigation is costly and demanding, but it also is a chance to learn for the first time the view of the courts about the state of copyright law in higher education. The recent court ruling about fair use at Georgia State University is a leading of example. However, cases are also challenging videostreaming at UCLA, the preservation of digital books at the University of Michigan and even the ability of libraries to keep foreign books and other materials in their collections. This presentation will offer insights into these cases and pending developments in Congress. It will also examine reasons why the copyright issues that were once the domain of respectful agreement have escalated into litigation. 

Free and open to the public (and very informative).

Image: Columns at the Richard B. Russell Building, courtesy of UGA photographic services