Candi Cann: I hope this finds you well and thriving! Maia and I finished our first year in Texana House last year, and we adopted a sweet Goldendoodle named Milo, who has quickly become a campus icon. We love living on campus, and have found our lives richly blessed by sharing our lives with students. This year found us taking some fun trips, with Maia and I going to Dublin, Ireland and to Stonehenge in the summer, and in the fall, I also attended Harvard’s presidential inauguration as Baylor’s delegate. Next summer (2019) I am starting the new Baylor in Hawai’i program, and I’ll be taking ten to twelve students to Oahu to study and learn about Asian Pacific culture and World Religions (doubling as World Cultures 5 and Capstone). We are so excited about having the opportunity to share our love of Hawai’i and Hawaiian culture with Baylor students. My research continues to chug along– I published another book (The Routledge Handbook of Death and the Afterlife), wrote a couple of journal articles and gave a plenary at the Centre for Death and Society in Bath. My nerd bucket list was fulfilled, though, when I was interviewed by Ira Flatow on his show about tech and death for Science Friday. Maia, Milo and I hope you are all well, and please stop by Texana House to say hi next time you return to visit Baylor. (Two pics: Candi & Maia at Stonehenge; Milo, Maia and Texana women)
Paul Carron: I just finished my fourth year on tenure track in the BIC and my ninth year teaching Social World I, which I once again coordinated. I also continue to teach Social World II, Biblical Heritage, and a Capstone/philosophy elective in ethics (my main area of research). As I travel to academic conferences around the world, I am continually reminded how fortunate I am to teach in the BIC! When I describe our program and students to other professors, they are always jealous of our curriculum, collegiality, and incredible students. This summer I had the incredible opportunity to attend a three-week long seminar on Aristotle in Città di Castello, Italy (I am standing next to Thomas Aquinas’s desk in Orvieto). There were Aristotle scholars and students from around the world and reading texts alongside these new colleagues was an incredibly enriching experience. It also allowed me to finish an article on Aristotle and voluntary action which will come out in Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy in the spring of 2019. Articles on Kierkegaard and the primatologist Frans de Waal came out in the spring of 2018. My summer travels also included conference presentations on Kierkegaard and de Waal, the latter being my first poster presentation which was so much fun that I plan on having my capstone class give poster presentations in lieu of research essays this spring (aren’t some of you jealous!). The scholarship of teaching and learning is another evolving area of interest, as Dr. McDaniel and I have two articles on teaching ethics in the BIC coming out summer 2019. In family news, admissions—a department my wife Jennifer oversees—successfully recruited the most diverse and academically qualified class in Baylor history! My children continue to keep me young at heart (and old in body!). Eliana (10) and Bennett and Mikaela (6) love Lake Air Montessori, where Nora (4) will join them next year.
Sharon Conry: Professor Conry continues to teach in both Natural World I and II.
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 World Cultures IV and a BIC Capstone, “Friendship: Happiness, Virtue, and Love,” with her husband, Dean Thomas Hibbs.
Mark Long: Mark’s bride Lisa, co-host of BIC pyramid building parties, has returned to school full-time to work on her MBA in healthcare administration. Lisa and Mark are enjoying spending time with their youngest grandchild, 15 month old Pippa. They also are exploring Lake Waco with their new kayak, The S.S. Lady Louise. And Mark has an article forthcoming (2018) in Special Operations Journal, “ISIS and the Collapse of the ‘Caliphal Syllogism’.”
Charles McDaniel: My wife Diane and I had some great travel experiences in 2018; however, the attempt to bring our body temperatures back into the normal range with a two-week trip to Colorado this past summer was dashed when we were greeted upon our return by the all-time Waco record high of 114 degrees. Still, we were able to do much hiking and relaxing–and even some bear-spotting up in God’s country.
With respect to research, my efforts these days are focused on the rapidly evolving human genetic services industry and how American religious values might inform its development. Some warn that a new “Consumer Eugenics” movement is emerging that threatens traditional religious conceptions of the human person. After many years studying markets and their social and moral consequences, this new industry holds a particular fascination for me. I have a book underway that will explore how the church may become involved in important decisions that will impact our genetic future.
Next summer (2019), I’ll be participating along with the Drs. Zori and other faculty in the Baylor in Italy program, teaching both “Biblical Heritage and Contemporary Ethical Issues” and a BIC capstone titled “Constantine and the Reconstruction of Christianity.” The capstone will explore the Christianization of the Roman Empire and its implications for notions of sacred and secular in the West, emphasizing the early foundations under the rule of Constantine. Readings will focus on changes in Roman culture in the fourth century, the influence of Church councils, the rising importance of pilgrimage, theological and schismatic controversies, and other events formative to the rise of Western Christianity. Visits to Constantinian-era pilgrimage sites will make our course readings and discussions more real and provide students with a vibrant learning experience.
Ivo Novakovic: Dr. Novakovic continues to teach across multiple BIC courses throughout the year. He is currently teaching World Cultures I, World Cultures III, Social World I, and Biblical Heritage. In the spring he also taught Social World II and World Cultures II.
Sam Perry: Since the last update, we welcomed our daughter last September and have been enjoying/learning parent life. I have continued my research on race and racism. I published a piece on President Trump’s response to Charlottesville, secured a book contract and am working on a book that examines the intersections of race and religious rhetorics during the Obama presidency, and I am continuing to work on research concerning the ways in which we still find rhetorics of lynching in public discourse. Dr. Sarah Walden and I are continuing to collaborate on pedagogical research, Dr. Mark Long and I are continuing to collaborate on research concerning Daesh and radicalization, and I am collaborating on an article with Dr. Josh Ritter. It’s been a busy and exciting year for me and for our family. As ever, we are happy to be BIC’ers!
Anne-Marie Schultz: Hello BIC family. It has been an eventful year in the life of Anne. This time last year, we welcomed a wonderful Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy to our family. He has a very BIC-ish name: Dante. I tried to argue for Plato or Nietzsche to no avail. He’s growing very fast, already about 70 pounds of abundant energy. His older brother, Milo, the golden retriever, is still working hard as the BIC comfort dog. Milo often accompanies me to Baylor. He checks in with all the dog lovers in the first floor office. He is a frequent visitor to Examined Life I small group and to the upstairs BIC offices as well.
On the other side of the cycle of life news, my mother, Andrea Frosolono, passed away this past year. She died on Valentine’s Day from complications related to the flu. I feel very blessed to have been present at her passing and even more blessed to have had such a wonderful mother for the first 52 years of my life. She and my father, Michael, moved to Buena Vista, Colorado two years ago and the last year of her life was filled with beautiful mountain views, home cooked meals courtesy of my sister, Christina, and brother-in-law, Kelly, two fluffy cats and Locket the dog (named after Lockhart Texas where he was found on the side of the road and sent to a high kill shelter, before he was rescued at the very last minute by the German Shepard rescue group).
In the philosophical domain, I’m hard at work on Plato’s Socrates on Socrates: Autobiography as Public Philosophy. I am sending the proposal to my editor soon. I’ve been working on lots of articles related to the book and have been invited to give several talks and presentations.
I also keep busy with Iyengar yoga. I’ll be teaching the Yoga and Philosophy capstone again in Fall of 2019. I encourage you to read my blog, Thoughts on Teaching Yoga and Philosophy. Stay in touch.
Lynn Tatum: Since our last BIC newsletter, I’ve been on the road a good bit—literally “on the road.” ROAD TRIP –Last Christmas, my family and I (which includes two BIC alumnae–Talj and Tane Tatum), picked up a car in Berlin and headed south and east through Poland, Prague and the Czech Republic, Vienna, Slovakia, and Budapest. We celebrated Christmas with a memorable dinner at Mozart’s house before going to St. Stephen’s cathedral in Vienna for midnight Christmas Mass. For the spring 2018 semester, I taught WC II and Biblical Heritage as I’ve done since BIC first began. At the end of the spring semester, most of the World II faculty hopped on a jet and headed over to Spain and Portugal. Every-other-year, the World II faculty select a location central to the World II curriculum; and then we do an intensive study tour. Remember the “Encounter” literature from World II, the Spanish and the Portuguese exploring the “New World”? We went to many of the places associated with the Spanish Conquistadors and Portuguese explorers. When the rest of the faculty headed home—I stayed back…. Road Trip—rented a car headed down to Gibraltar, where the Muslims invaded Europe in 711. I climbed the Rock of Gibraltar and gazed over to Africa, from whence the Muslims came. I spent some time there interacting with the monkeys of Gibraltar as well. Back in the States for the summer, I taught World Cultures V-Middle East and Biblical Heritage. At the end of summer, one more Road Trip. I picked up my BIC alum daughter (who is now finishing up a Master’s degree at a big-school-in-Austin-that-shall-go-unnamed. We then headed out to California to my son’s graduate school, Stanford. And then we road tripped together up to the far north, the Canadian Rockies and the Columbia Ice fields in Alberta. I stopped shaving, and so now have a beard. As for this fall, I’m teaching BIC and Religion courses. I’m continuing to work on issues of Academic Freedom and I’m continuing to love my interaction with my BIC students.
Sarah Walden: Dr. Walden continues to teach in both Rhetoric I and II, in addition to Examined Life I and her recent Capstone course, “Life at the Intersections.” Her first book, Tasteful Domesticity: Women’s Rhetoric and the American Cookbook, was published earlier this year.
Xin Wang: Time really flies! I can’t believe this is my 16th year teaching for BIC. I continue to teach both World Cultures II and V. One valuable benefit of teaching World Cultures II is to be able to travel with my colleagues to various cultural sites in the world. For this year’s field trip, we visited Spain and Portugal, immediately after the spring commencement in May 2018. We visited some historical sites in both countries which will be incorporated in our lectures about European Renaissance and Reconnaissance.
I did not take students to China for our Baylor in China program this past summer. After leading this summer program for 10 years, I decided to take a break and spend some summer time with my family. We took a three-week road trip through Germany and Holland. Both my children enjoyed the visit to the Anne Frank House and the Black Forest, as well as many other places. Then we spent the rest of summer in hot (I really mean HOT) central Texas. I also learned some fascinating things about Texas this summer, despite my 22 years of residence in various parts of the state, from the book God Save Texas by Lawrence Wright (2017). The book is witty, entertaining and informative, and provides a nice glimpse into the current political, social and cultural environment of the Lone Star State. As a student once told me: Texas does suck people in. I realized that I have spent half of my life in this state now, as many years as I spent in China. Waco has already become my second hometown. Now that I have become a naturalized citizen last Spring and a registered voter in Texas, I will be voting first time ever in the upcoming Texas election.
In addition to what I do for BIC, I have been directing the Asian and African Languages and Cultures Division within the Department of Languages and Cultures. We offer courses in five languages (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Swahili, and Korean) and of three area studies ( African Studies, Asian Studies, and Middle East Studies). One amazing fact about this division is that almost every single faculty is from somewhere outside the U.S., making the division a truly diverse workplace on campus.
I am currently working on a book manuscript on China’s rising middle class.
Jason Whitlark: This year I published my third major book on the Letter to the Hebrews entitled Inventing Hebrews: Design and Purpose in Ancient Rhetoric. I also returned to Italy with Baylor in Italy. It was an incredible time with a really great group of students from the BIC and some other programs. We did a martyrdom and pilgrimage capstone and the Biblical Heritage course. The pictures are from our 12 mile pilgrim walk on the Via Francigena from Viterbo to Montefiascone (you can see Montefiascone way in the background), from the Ara Pacis (one of my favorite Augustan monuments), and from hiking the Scala Fenicia on Capri (I was a bit delirious in this picture).
Lenore Wright: My Baylor life is full and rewarding. This June will mark my 20th year at the University. I have enjoyed wearing many hats along the way—BIC Assistant Director, Assistant Professor (now Associate Professor) of BIC & Philosophy, and Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning. It’s an honor and “a real kick,” to quote the always apt Tom Hanks, to experience Baylor through these different roles. Truly, I feel blessed and deeply privileged.
I continue to teach World Cultures III and a cross-listed course in BIC and Philosophy called “Philosophical Issues in Feminism.” Both courses intersect with my research interests—modern intellectual history and feminist theory—and I benefit greatly from thinking through scholarly issues with students. This year’s women’s marches and #metoo movement, for example, refocused the feminism course on topics that would otherwise be considered outdated or “tired.” The course will continue to evolve in response to contemporary gender-based realities, and that excites me and inspires me to keep learning.
Speaking of feminism, I have published two scholarly articles this year on feminist topics: “Sameness and Difference: Simone de Beauvoir and the Question of Female Identity,” in Identity, Freedom, and Responsibility (Ripostes, 2018) and “Relationality and Life: Phenomenological Reflections on Miscarriage,” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, vol. 11 no. 2, Fall 2018. I will work on a book project this spring in which I analyze the pregnant female subject in anatomical illustrations. This will build nicely on my recent scholarship and, I hope, offer an occasion to venture into popular culture as well. I welcome research assistance!
The Academy for Teaching and Learning is celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year. We have marked the occasion with an essay series titled, “Called to Teach,” and a full-day teaching symposium, but we are not resting on our laurels: there are instructors to support and students to help transform. Sic ‘em ATL!
My husband, Henry, continues to teach part-time and manage his own law firm with a partner, Pat Atkins (Atkins & Wright, PLLC). Our children, H.W. (12) and Carl Haze (4), also require full-time management. They both love dinosaurs, animals and insects of all sorts, and their parents (sometimes).
Davide Zori: This past year I focused on research and writing for a book on the Vikings. The book blends traditional historical narratives with new archaeological discoveries and scientific breakthroughs in disciplines such as genetics to weave an interdisciplinary understanding of these medieval Scandinavians. Simultaneously I continue my research excavations in central Italy. Together with my wife, Colleen Zori, I directed the third year of an archaeological field school that incorporates Baylor students into our primary research on the Etruscan site of San Giuliano. We’ve been excavating the chamber tombs of the necropolis that ring the old settlement as well as a medieval castle that was built on top of the old Etruscan acropolis. If you are interested in joining us next summer (2019), please get in touch! Our two kids (Lucas and Irene), who come with us every year to Italy (find the two small kids in the picture from the 2018 Italy archaeology team!), are thriving in Waco. Irene has picked up a Texas accent and they both now play soccer; by some unknown force, I was compelled to start coaching my son’s team.