BIC Faculty Updates — Fall 2014

Candi Cann:  I continue to enjoy my time at Baylor, and I am both excited and sad to note that the first class I taught at Baylor, World Cultures I, is graduating this year; I will miss them.  On a personal note, my daughter Maia and I explored the southeast this summer, visiting New Orleans, LA, Charleston, SC, Atlanta, GA, Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo, MS, his home in Graceland, and a diamond mine in Arkansas. (Read about Dr. Cann’s research interests in a recent interview about her new book)


Paul Carron:  After 3 years as a lecturer I am delighted to begin a tenure track appointment in the BIC this fall.  I will continue to coordinate Social World I and teach Social World II and Biblical Heritage. I presented a paper defending Aristotelian virtue theory using contemporary evidence from psychology and neuroscience at a conference in Porto, Portugal in August.  In October my wife and I will welcome our fourth child into the world, another little girl — name suggestions are welcome ;-).  Life is full and I am grateful!

Sharon Conry:  For academic year 2013-2014, I was fortunate to have a research student assigned to me, Flora Park.  During the fall we worked with a team from the McLennan County Public Health District, the City of Waco, and the Baylor Biology Department on the tracking of West Nile Virus (WNV) in McLennan County, Texas. The joint effort was such a success the study will be continued into 2014-2015. In the spring semester we worked on a microbiology study at the new state of the art Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) water treatment plant. The study involved determining how effective the new treatment system is to eliminate even miniscule amounts of contaminates that might leach through the system. The research is on-going with the City of Waco and the results are in the process of being analyzed by outside sources.

Since Natural World is not taught during the summer terms, I am free to travel and enjoy my grandchildren. So, this summer I had the opportunity to travel to Georgia, Colorado, and Kentucky. What great places to go hiking and escape the Texas summer heat! However, I look forward to a fresh group of BIC Natural World Students this semester!

Stacey Hibbs:  Over the past two years, Dr. Thomas Hibbs and I have collaborated on two capstone classes for BIC.  Last year we taught a course that centered on the “American Dream.”  This year we taught a course entitled, “God, Nihilism and Beauty.”  “GNB” combined attention to philosophical, historical, literary and cinematic treatments of nihilism as well as responses to a world in which there is a lack of purpose or meaning. The course focused on discussion of a wide range of readings and films, from authors as varied as Nietzsche and John Paul II and films such as Tree of Life and Stranger than Fiction (among others). There is the possibility that the course may be offered through the Baylor in New York program in the near future!

Long (smaller)Mark Long:  I had hand surgery in early July and can’t shave presently.  That means I am now growing a beard and letting my inner Che Guevara come forth.  Apart from that, I have an article on deterring al-Qaida coming out in the Summer 2014 issue of International Security, and another article submitted on ISIS and the glorification of martyrdom.  It’s worth noting that Dr. Sam “the Dude abides” Perry, my former BIC student, is lead author of the second piece.

Charles McDaniel: This summer has been a busy one.  I am working on the concluding chapters of a book—Taming Capital, Reclaiming Virtue: Civil Society and the Reform of Finance.  One of the chapters will be presented as the lead paper in a panel presentation at the Society of Biblical Literature annual conference in San Diego in November.  I am also preparing to teach Social World I in the fall along with a capstone class, “The Moral Ecology of Capitalism.”  On the home front, my wife and I are preparing (with some trepidation) to become true “empty-nesters” as our youngest son, Austin, enters his senior year at the University of Tulsa.

NovakovicIvo Novakovic: I just returned from Eastern Europe, where I was on a five-week study trip. The focus of my research was on recent structural transformations of smaller Protestant churches (such as Baptists, Pentecostals, and the Christian Missionary Alliance) in the contexts that have been culturally and legally shaped by dominating Catholic and Orthodox churches. During that trip, my wife Lidija and I attended the annual conference of the Society for New Testament Studies, which was held in Szeged (Hungary), where I participated in the group that explored the biblical concept of the Kingdom of God. For the rest of the summer, I worked mostly on the history of modern science, as part of my preparations for the World Culture III course, which I will be teaching this fall for the first time.

(PHOTO: Lidija and I at Krka National Park in Croatia, where the first commercial hydro plant in Europe was set in operation on August 28, 1895, only three days after the Adams Power Plant on the Niagara Falls.)

PerrySam Perry:  I recently published two pieces on the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained. Another piece on the protests surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin “The Deaths of Trayvon Martin” will be published in Argumentation & Advocacy later this year. I have also been collaborating on a writing project with BIC colleague, Mark Long. I continue to research African American rhetoric, representations of violence, and visual rhetoric. In addition to coordinating the World of Rhetoric sequence, I will teach a capstone class for the first time this year entitled “The Allegory of the Cave in Contemporary Film.”

anneAnne-Marie Schultz:  This past academic year has been a rather eventful one for me.  My book, Plato’s Socrates as Narrator came out in late May of 2013 and I’ve been enjoying being on the other side of that project that has consumed most of my writing time for the past several years. I spent most of the fall writing my application to become Full Professor and I’m pleased to report that I’m now officially Full Professor of Philosophy. In fact, I’m the first female Full Professor in the entire history of  Baylor University which is both exciting (and perhaps more than a bit depressing.)

So now what? I’ve been writing new articles on Plato, Yoga, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and directing the BIC. I’m on research leave this fall and hope to have a proposal for Plato book number two completed, though I’m beginning to think  there may be a Plato trilogy in the works.

Another highlight of the year was my two month stay in Pune, India to study at the Iyengar Institute.  I feel enormously blessed to have had that opportunity as BKS Iyengar  just passed away on August 19, 2014.  My husband Jeff and I saw him joyously greet people each day in June and even saw his last days of  practice in the yoga hall in July. What a gift. I look forward to sharing his  legacy with  future BIC students in the Spring of  2016 when I’ll offer the Yoga and Philosophy capstone again. (Read more from Dr. Shultz on her trip to India)

Lynn Tatum:  I continue to split my time teaching World Cultures II, Biblical Heritage, Capstone, and World Cultures V for BIC and courses in the Religion Department.  My primary extra-Baylor speaking engagements have focused on Academic Freedom issues and the responsibility of professors to teach controversial issues (why would a belly-dancing, Baptist, religion prof who teaches on Middle Eastern issues be concerned about controversy?).  I have been invited to speak at several universities and academic conferences in Florida, Kentucky, Texas, and D.C.  I am the immediate past-president of the Texas Conference of the American Association of University Professors and serve on the executive committee of the national organization.  I also serve on the board of the Baylor Alumni Association.

WaldenSarah Walden:  After receiving my Ph.D. in English from the University of Mississippi, I was lucky to be able to return to teach in the BIC! As an Assistant Professor, I am currently teaching Rhetoric I and II, World Cultures IV, and this fall I’ll be adding Examined Life I. I am excited about these opportunities to work with so many of our BIC freshmen and sophomores, and to participate in exciting and thought-provoking conversations with them every day. I am also currently at work on a book manuscript, Tasteful Domesticity, in which I explore how women in nineteenth-century America used the cookbook as a means to gain a public voice in an era of immense cultural change. My husband, Dan Walden (a professor in Baylor English department), and I have a beautiful toddler, Liam, and a ten-year old lab named Mercer. As you might guess from my research interests, we love to cook and eat, and we spend many an evening in the backyard grilling meat and blowing bubbles (Liam’s current favorite activity).

Xin Wang:  Summer time means family time, travel time, writing time and reading time. I spent lots of family time with our newborn daughter Adelyn (born on 4/21/2014) and our four-year-old son Patrick at home and on the road. It’s lots of fun for me and my wife to see them grow, learn and smile. I completed two articles (one on China’s middle class and its consumption behaviors, the other on the MOOCs and what they mean for international education) this summer. Both will be out this year. I went to conferences in Singapore and Shanghai, two bustling cities in Asia. I ended my summer time with a contract work with the US Department of Education in DC. Patrick enjoyed his travel with me to all these places and riding high-speed rails and maglevs in China. During the travel time between DFW and Asia (thanks to the two new non-stop flights from DFW to Hong Kong and Shanghai, 16 hours each way), I could finally read the books I wanted to read for a long time, Dan Brown’s Inferno and Garcia Canclini’s Imagined Globalization. Now I am revising my syllabi to get ready for the new school year with new students.

Whitlark 2Jason Whitlark:  This year has been an exciting year for me and my family. I was promoted to Associate Professor. Hannah finished first grade. Jennifer and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. My fourth book–Resisting Empire: Rethinking the Purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews–was recently published. I taught Jesus and the Gospels for the first time and coordinated World Cultures 1 for the first time as well. I am happy to report World 1 survived my coordination. I am still teaching Biblical Heritage regularly with Dr. Novakovic. Biblical Heritage remains a challenging and exciting class every semester. Finally, last summer I traveled to St. Andrews, Scotland, with my wife for a week where I presented a paper at the International Society of Biblical Literature conference. We enjoyed temperatures in the 60’s in mid July (most days I had to where a light jacket) while everyone back in Waco was surviving triple digit heat. The residents of St. Andrews couldn’t believe anybody was actually able to live in such temperatures. Jennifer and I also returned home with the strong urge to paint our front door blue, wear kilts, and play bagpipes.

lenore_wrightLenore Wright: I currently serve as Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) and Associate Professor of BIC & Philosophy. In addition to teaching World Cultures III and Philosophical Issues in Feminism, I facilitate various faculty development programs within the ATL, including the Summer Faculty Institute (SFI), an intensive faculty development workshop for full-time faculty. My scholarly interests include philosophical theories of the self; self-representation in literary and visual texts; and feminist philosophy. Recent scholarly articles include, “From ‘I’ to ‘We’: Acts of Agency in Simone de Beauvoir’s Philosophical Autobiography” forthcoming in Philosophy of Autobiography, University of Chicago Press, 2015 and “Who’s Afraid of Naomi Wolf:  Feminism in Post-feminist Culture” Feminism and Popular Culture (2013). I am currently working on an article about Beauvoir and Irigaray’s concepts of intimacy. My husband Henry and I have two sons (HW, 8, and Carl Haze, 15 weeks) and an extremely clever cat (KK). Please drop by Marrs McLean 275 to visit with me whenever you’re in Waco.

Davide and Colleen ZoriDavide Zori:  My research focuses on the material culture and texts of the Viking Age. I conduct archaeological fieldwork in Iceland addressing the interaction of the Viking settlers with new environments and the construction of a migrant society. My wife Colleen, my son Lucas, and I just moved back to the States from Iceland where we spent the last three years as part of my post-doctoral work. We’re expecting our second child at the end of August. In the BIC program, I’ll be teaching Social World I and II as well as World Cultures I and II. I will also be teaching courses on The Vikings and Early Medieval Europe for the History Department.

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