Candi Cann: Hello BIC Alums! This past year has been a great one, with a new book project in the works, and my daughter Maia continuing to grow like a weed (she’s in third grade already!). I am currently working on an edited book titled Dying to Eat (University Press of Kentucky, anticipated 2016) while on a research sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar at Princeton University. This book discusses the intersection between food and death, and the ways in which food and drink are used to both remember the dead and reintegrate the living. I continue to be actively involved in all things “death,” and will chair a panel at the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta on NDEs (Near Death Experiences). I also taught my first course on death in the religion department in May, and the students and I learned a great deal from each other. I am blessed to be at Baylor, and hope this finds you well in your journey in life.
Paul Carron: My first year as a tenure track member of the BIC community flew by. I coordinated a revamped Social World I, once again taught Social World II and Biblical Heritage, and taught my own capstone for the first time, entitled “The Human and the Animal.” I have two forthcoming articles; one examines Aristotle’s psychology and contemporary accounts of emotion regulation coming out in an edited collection Images of Europe; the second examines the moral psychology and primatology implicit in the recent reboots of the Planet of the Apes films coming out in the Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics. I am currently working on an article with Anne-Marie Schultz on Plato’s Republic and contemporary accounts of social self-construction, and I am presenting an article at the Society of Ancient Greek Philosophy in October examining Aristotle’s understanding of the differences between human and animal emotions. My daughter Nora Rae was born on October 1st, and she insists that her parents really don’t need to sleep. We are trying to convince her otherwise.
Sharon Conry: This is my 14th year to teach in the BIC, and it has been wonderful! Each new semester brings a great new group of students who teach ME, more than I think I teach them. I have also had the opportunity to develop, write, and try out new labs in Natural World. Some have worked out fabulously, others not too much! Luckily, BIC students are great about adjusting to new things, and it has worked out well for us. In the summer I am free to travel, and this summer was no different. One difference was that my husband, Tom and I took care of our three grandchildren in Georgia for three weeks while their parents went to Ecuador. Needless to say, they wore us out…but in a good way. Every day we either tried new “science projects,” went hiking, visited the Georgia Aquarium, and even went to Stone Mountain (See picture). But it is good to be back to school.
Stacey Hibbs: Dr. Hibbs continues to teach in both BIC and Great Texts. This semester she is teaching World Cultures I and Social World I, and in the spring she taught a BIC Capstone, “God, Nihilism, and Beauty,” with her husband, Dean Thomas Hibbs.
Mark Long: Lisa and I vacationed in Oregon in May and Miami in June, a snow to beach transition. I had two journal articles on ISIS accepted for publication, one of which was with fellow faculty member, Dr. Sam Perry.
Charles McDaniel: In July my book, Civil Society and the Reform of Finance: Taming Capital, Reclaiming Virtue, was published as part of Routledge’s Critical Studies in Finance and Stability Series (see our recent interview with Dr. McDaniel).
I traveled with members of the religion department on a Reformation Tour of Europe, which included sites such as Wittenberg, Geneva, Eisenach, and Nuremberg that were seminal to the development of Protestantism. Professors Bill Pitts and David Whitford offered mini-lectures on important events and notable reformers who shaped the modern Christian Church. We took in many Catholic sites as well to help balance our discussions on the monumental changes of the 16th century.
My wife Diane and I traveled to Glacier National Park and Watertown Lakes National Park in Canada and did much hiking, sightseeing, and good dining. It helped ease a little marital tension over the fact that she could not travel to Europe with me.
Presently, I’m working on a paper, “The Role of Christian Institutions in Preserving the Spirit of College Athletics,” for the Institute of Faith and Learning’s Spirit of Sports Conference, which will be held in early November.
Ivo Novakovic: Dr. Novakovic continues to teach across multiple BIC courses throughout the year. He is currently teaching World Cultures I, World Cultures III, World Cultures V, and Biblical Heritage, and in the spring he also taught Social World II.
Sam Perry: Over the summer, Dr. Mark Long and I worked on multiple essays concerning ISIS recruitment videos, one of which is forthcoming in the Southern Communication Journal. Another of our pieces was presented at the ALTA Conference on Argumentation, which also provided an opportunity for some great sightseeing and a bit of a break from the summer heat of Central Texas. Additionally, I am continuing my research on lynching, and focusing on the ways in which protests and public memory of racial violence operates rhetorically. I look forward to a fun semester teaching Rhetoric and my first time teaching Social World I.
Anne-Marie Schultz: The first part of my summer was rather work related. I directed the now Dr. Emily Glass’ dissertation on the Symposium. Some of you may know Emily from Rhetoric and World Cultures I. I also led a course development workshop for the Academy for Teaching and Learning, in which several BIC faculty participated. Then there was just the regular summer recruitment, building the next class of BIC-ers!
In July, my husband and I spent a week in Ann Arbor studying yoga and then we took a long road trip through west Texas up through New Mexico and into Colorado. We spent a week studying yoga in Durango and then went to visit my sister, in Buena Vista Colorado. The whole trip left me in awe of the beauty of the natural world in which we live.
All this yoga study will bear BIC fruit in the BIC Yoga and Philosophy Capstone. This will be the third time I’ve taught the class. You are welcome to follow our yoga journey through the class webpage.
On the professional philosophy front, I’m working on Book Two of the Platonic Narrative Trilogy. I have a couple articles that are in press as we speak . You can check out one recent article online. You’ll recognize many references to BIC classics like “The Allegory of the Cave” and Newman’s The Idea of a University.
Hope to see ya’ll at Homecoming. Be well and be BIC.
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.
Sarah Walden: Dr. Walden continues to teach Rhetoric I and Examined Life I in the fall, while teaching both Rhetoric II and World Cultures IV in the spring.
Xin Wang: I spent the early summer in China for the Baylor in China summer study abroad program and the last part of summer in Denmark and Iceland with the faculty group of World Cultures II for a 10-day field trip to study the Vikings. Who said only students take selfies (see the picture)? In between the travels, I spent time with my family and my two lovely children. My son just started kindergarten this fall. This means a new set of routings for all of us. He is quite excited about the new school, especially riding the school bus every day. My daughter is not an infant anymore. She is in the toddler’s class now. During the summer, I completed two articles, which have been accepted for publication in spring 2016. Meanwhile, I have been preparing for a book manuscript about the rising middle class in China.
Jason Whitlark: I am working on my next book project on the rhetorical structure of the Letter to the Hebrews. The more I work on this project, the more I am deeply impressed with the level of rhetorical training the author of this New Testament text possessed. He would definitely be right at home in the World of Rhetoric I and II. Jennifer went back to Lebanon this summer to work with the Dar El Awlad boys home. She had an awesome time and especially enjoyed meeting Brent’s (a BICer!) family there. Hannah, my daughter, is deeply immersed in Middle Earth these days. She has watched all the movies and has started reading the books (impressive for an 8 year old). She loves elves, above all, Galadriel. I even had to read The Silmarillion just to answer all the origin questions Hannah had. I have been more and more impressed by J. R. R. Tolkien’s massive literary project.
Lenore Wright: I am grateful to continue serving Baylor as Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) (read our recent interview with Dr. Wright). I am also grateful to continue teaching in BIC and philosophy. However, I am especially grateful this fall for twenty years of BIC (yes, 20!). I wasn’t here at the very beginning (I came on board in 1999), but I got here as fast as I could. I hope to celebrate with you, our remarkable alumni. You knew that when you graduated you would have to approach decision-making not departmentally but holistically, and you embraced your futures in and through BIC. Well done colleagues! My scholarly interests are the same: philosophical theories of the self; self-representation in literary and visual texts; and feminist philosophy. I am currently co-authoring an article on Simone de Beauvoir and Luce Irigaray titled, “The Risk of Intimacy: Beauvoir and Irigaray on Caring and Sharing.” Stay tuned for publication information. On the family front, my husband Henry enjoys his legal work (he’s a civil litigator) but still makes time to teach in BIC (who could give that up!?). Our sons HW (9 years) and Carl Haze (16 months) are delightful.
Davide Zori: I enjoyed my first year at Baylor. The colleagues and students in the courses I teach (Social World I, World Cultures I and II, and the Vikings) have been a joy to work with. I have made new, good friends and my family is thriving in our new—and much warmer—home. During the year, I completed a number of articles on my project on a Viking harbor in Iceland, geophysical methods in archaeology, and two pieces on archaeological evidence of northern European ships taking part in the early Crusades. This summer I wrote an article on gift-giving with Icelandic saints as depicted in miracle stories. In August, I led a Baylor Faculty Development Trip to Denmark and Iceland, where we visited archaeological sites of the Viking Age to contextualize our teaching of the Viking sagas that we now read in World Cultures II.