Candi Cann: Hello BIC Alums! This August marked my five-year anniversary here at Baylor, and Baylor’s campus keeps growing more beautiful every year. Maia is now in fourth grade, an avid reader of anime, and learning to play the cello. This past year I published several articles on death and dying, and my next book Dying to Eat (UKY Press) is in the final stages of production. In June, I participated in an NEH Seminar at UVA, in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Maia and I stayed for a month, while I began research on the first and oldest African-American funeral home in Virginia. Later I traveled to Brazil and gave the opening keynote at the VII International Conference Imagens da Morte in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and this fall over fall break, I am giving two invited university lectures—at FSU, and the University of Florida. Maia and I are hoping to sneak in a trip to Harry Potter World in between the lectures. As Dumbledore said, “Let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” May your own adventures be worthy ones full of excitement and knowledge.
Paul Carron: I just finished my second year on tenure track in the BIC, but my seventh year teaching Social World I, which I once again coordinated. I taught a revamped Biblical Heritage with Dr. Novakovic that spent a lot more time on ethical issues and the students really seemed to enjoy that focus. I also taught Social World II and had the opportunity to teach my first upper division elective in the philosophy department on contemporary issues in ethics. The course focused on the intersection of social psychology and virtue ethics. I am looking forward to teaching the course again this spring. My paper “Monkeys, Men, and Moral Responsibility” was accepted for publication, and I wrote two articles on Kierkegaard’s psychology that are currently under review. My children just keep growing! Ellie had her first piano recital this summer (pictured left) and just began the third grade. The twins have one more year before kindergarten, and Nora is talking our ears off!
Sharon Conry: This is my 15th 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 so much! Luckily, BIC students are great about adjusting to new things, and it has worked out well for us. After much thought, prayer and saving, we built a small home in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia. What a wonderful respite from the summer heat in Texas! We also had the opportunity to take care of two of our three grandchildren for several weeks while their mother, father, and our oldest grandson went on a mission trip to Ecuador. The time together was a great time to bond and create long-term memories with our grandchildren. During our months in Georgia, we also had plenty of time to do our favorite things: hiking and eating! However, coming back to Texas and its 104 degree heat was a shock! I can’t wait for fall to get here!
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, “Friendship: Happiness, Virtue, and Love,” with her husband, Dean Thomas Hibbs.
Mark Long: This year, my wife and I traveled back to the Air Force Academy, where I taught previously, and we took our 11 year old granddaughter to San Francisco and Monterey, California. Of note, several BIC students aided in my quest to grow a blue beard. My joint work continues with Sam Perry on the rhetorical strategies of Daesh. My focus now is on the rise of Daesh-sponsored, extra-territorial violence as its self-proclaimed caliphate crumbles. In particular, I am interested in the neologism that Daesh uses to describe and promote suicide operations, inghimas.
Charles McDaniel: My wife and I escaped the Texas heat long enough to breathe in some mountain air in New Mexico and Colorado (pictured left). We stayed in a 7000-square-foot Sears kit house in Canyon, Texas, that was built in 1906 and was the boarding house where Georgia O’Keefe took most of her meals when she was teaching at West Texas Normal College (now West Texas A&M). We also stayed with a nice lady in Ridgway, Colorado, who was the personal assistant to actor Dennis Weaver of “Gunsmoke” and “McCloud” TV fame and had some interesting stories about the Hollywood life and why Weaver came to be a committed ecologist.
As for research/publications, I’m working on a paper titled “Religion, Social Justice, and the New Eugenics: Transcending the Market for Human Enhancement” that will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum in October. I’m also developing a grant proposal for submission to the National Endowment for the Humanities that could help bolster the academic connection between the Honors College and Hankamer School of Business. A couple of BICers are lending support to this effort.
Sam Perry: I continue to research representations of violence in protest movements, and I am currently looking at the analogous rhetorical structures present in the anti-lynching movement, the Civil Rights movement, and current protests of racial violence. I am also coauthoring work with Dr. Long on Daesh recruitment videos and speeches. We are looking at the ways representations of violence are used to radicalize and recruit people to extremist causes. Additionally, Dr. Walden and I have completed one new rhetoric textbook and will be completing a second textbook in the spring. I will teach both rhetoric classes, Social World I, and World Cultures IV this year. When I take a break from all things BIC and research, my wife Mary and I love to travel, and this summer we took a road trip through the Southeast with stops in Atlanta, Tampa, and New Orleans. When in Waco, we enjoy time with family, friends, and our dogs (Seamus and Remy).
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. In the spring he also taught Social World II and World Cultures II.
Anne-Marie Schultz: It is funny that we still get to write “what I did last summer” essays each year with the alumni newsletter. I did a good bit of professional travelling. Most recently, I gave a paper at the International Plato Society in Brasilia, Brazil. It was a truly international venue with papers given in numerous languages. People attended from all over the world: Greece, Russia, New Zealand, along with this Platonist from the great state of Texas. My philosophy travels also took me to the lovely Portland Maine and a couple trips to College Station. My husband, Jeff, and I took our now fifth annual pilgrimage to Colorado. We visit family and study yoga with Patricia Walden.
My Golden Retriever, Milo, is turning eight. It is amazing to think just a short time ago he was a tiny ball of fluff with paws. I’ve actually gotten involved in the Gold Ribbon Rescue organization in Austin. I’ve yet to convince Jeff to let us foster any (he knows I’d be a “foster failure” and just keep anyone of the dogs that crossed our path!), but I have been helping with their newsletter and attending various events like the Swimfest. Imagine 84 Golden Retrievers all playing in the water. Pure bliss. You can check out the organization at www.grr-tx.com
On the work-related front, I’m continuing with the second volume of my trilogy on Platonic Narration, but I’m expanding a bit into more contemporary work as a result of the Yogis for Social Justice Reading group I’ve been involved with this past year. You can read a bit of that new work in my Director’s Note.
Lynn Tatum: I continue to split my time teaching in the Religion Department and in BIC: World Cultures II, Biblical Heritage, Capstone, and World Cultures V. My primary academic interests have focused on Academic Freedom issues and the responsibility of professors to teach controversial issues (why would a BIC professor be concerned about controversy?). This last June I was elected a national officer of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP is to Academic freedom what the NAACP is to civil rights). As everyone knows, Baylor is in the midst of numerous developments concerning Title IX; what most people don’t realize is that Title IX has significant implications for academic freedom and what can and cannot be discussed in the classroom. So I’ve been on several university committees dealing with this delicate issue. As for “fun-stuff”, my wife Marilyn, and two kids, Tane and Talj (both BIC graduates), spent two weeks last Christmas driving through Bavaria, Switzerland, and Austria visiting one Christkindlesmarkt after another. Christmas in the Austrian Alps is spectacular.
Sarah Walden: I am on research leave this fall, working on several articles involving the rhetorical construction of American motherhood. To do this research, I am exploring everything from nineteenth-century women’s magazines to contemporary social media, to learn how American motherhood has come to be defined, and how it functions in social, political, and national rhetoric. I have recently completed a book manuscript, Tasteful Domesticity: Women’s Rhetoric and the American Cookbook, 1790-1940. I describe how women used the cookbook, and in particular the rhetoric of taste, to participate the evolving construction of womanhood and American identity throughout the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century. This book should appear in print in Fall 2017.
I do miss teaching Rhetoric I and Examined Life I, however, and I look forward to being back in the spring to teach Rhetoric II and World Cultures IV! But for now, my days consist of me, my computer, my ever-present cup of coffee, and my black lab Mercer, possibly the best writing companion one could ask for. On the weekend, I can usually be found at the zoo or the farmer’s market with my husband Dan (“Mr. Dr. Walden,” whom you can find over in Carroll Science) and my almost-four-year old son, Liam.
Xin Wang: Dr. Wang is teaching World Cultures V and Elementary Chinese this fall and continues to teach World Cultures II in the spring.
Jason Whitlark: My whole family (Jennifer and Hannah) traveled to Beirut, Lebanon this summer to work at a boy’s home, Dar El Awlad. I injured myself playing soccer with boys 30 years younger than me, but discovered that a doctor of osteopathic medicine is very useful in these situations (keep studying, Elizabeth Newman, we will have need of your skills in the near future). I am also currently finishing a book on the rhetorical structure of the Letter to Hebrews. I am putting to good use all the things BIC students learn in World of Rhetoric 1. The picture is my family in Bekaa Valley with Syria being on the other side of the mountains in the background. The landscape was both beautiful and tragic with all the Syrian refugees begging along the city roads.
Lenore Wright: I am honored to continue my work as Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL). I also teach World Cultures III in the BIC and Philosophical Issues in Feminism in the Department of Philosophy. It has been instructive to work on the administrative side of the academy while continuing to teach. The challenges are different, but together, they have given me new insights into the value of relationships. Learning never ends. My scholarly interests remain centered on theories of the self, self-representation, and feminist philosophy. This year I have had two essays accepted for publication: “Sameness and Difference: Simone de Beauvoir and the Question of Female Identity,” and “Becoming a (Wonder) Woman: Feminism, Nationalism, and the Ambiguity of Female Identity.” The latter will appear in the Blackwell Philosophy and Popular Culture Series. My husband Henry stays busy with his legal practice and part-time teaching. Our two sons keep us on our toes. Our older son, HW, is ten, and the “baby” Carl Haze is two. Please drop by my office in Marrs McLean 275 to visit with me whenever you’re in Waco.
Davide Zori: In an eventful year, I pursued an expanded research agenda and enjoyed teaching my BIC and Viking History classes. I published several articles on my Viking research, including a state-of-research piece on Viking archaeology in Iceland for Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology. I also published a work addressing how medieval Icelanders employed traditional gift-giving strategies in negotiations with saints in early Icelandic miracle stories. Together with my wife, Colleen, and several other colleagues across campus, I began a new interdisciplinary archaeology project in central Italy. This past summer nineteen Baylor students came with us to Italy and participated in the San Giuliano Archaeological Research Project’s excavation of Etruscan tombs and an abandoned medieval castle. It is a joy to have the opportunity to collaborate closely with my wife in research and in the hands-on teaching of the field methods of interdisciplinary archaeology to Baylor students. The last remaining bits of my summer were spent in Newfoundland, where I joined a team in search of the second Viking site in the New World.