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Fall 2006 Faculty Fellows

Fall Seminar: Labor and Leisure

Erika Bsumek, Assistant Professor of History, specializes in Native American History, Environmental Studies, and History of Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. Professor Bsumek's forthcoming book, Indian-made: The Production and Consumption of Navajo-ness, 1860-1940, analyzes the development of Navajo "Indian-made" identity and explores the impact of the rise of consumerism on cross-cultural and domestic relationships. Her new project, tentatively entitled "The Concrete West: Engineering Society and Culture in the Arid West, 1900-1985," considers the inherent tensions between resource management, population growth, labor, and leisure activities in the development of the American Southwest.

Dana Cloud, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, specializes in the analysis of contemporary, popular, and political culture from feminist, Marxist, and critical anti-racist perspectives. Professor Cloud's publications include Control and Consolation in American Politics and Culture: Rhetorics of Therapy (1998) and a book in progress, "The Dilemmas of Dissidents: Democratic Unionists at Boeing, 1989-1999." Her next project will explore the culture of cosmetology schools and hair salons and the roles that race, gender, and sexuality play within the labor system.

Phil Ford, Assistant Professor of Musicology, specializes in postwar American popular music, radical and countercultural intellectual history, 20th century musical aesthetics, and performance and recording studies. Professor Ford's publications include "Appreciation Without Apologies" and "Somewhere/Nowhere: Hipness as an Aesthetic." He brings to the seminar a general interest in how the politicization of leisure subjects pleasure to new kinds of supervision and control, and a book project on the history of "the hip sensibility" in the U. S. and its attendant notion that American popular music poses an aesthetic challenge to political and social ills.
Phil Ford is now at Indiana State University.

Tiffany Gill, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies, specializes in U. S., African American, and Women's History. Professor Gill's forthcoming book is entitled Civic Beauty: Beauty Culturists and the Politics of African American Female Entrepreneurship in the Twentieth Century. She also brings to the seminar a new project on the matrix of class, gender, tourism, and citizenship in African American history, which will explore the role of international travel in the identity formation of the black professional class in the 20th century.

Van Jordan, Assistant Professor of English, is a poet. Professor Jordan's publications include M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, a 2004 Whiting Award and Anisfield-Wolf Award Winner, and Rise, a PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award Winner. He brings to the seminar new research and writing on a collection of poems prospectively entitled "Quantum Lyrics," which uses quantum physics as its unifying theme, and explores the relations between physics, comic book superheroes, civil and human rights, and the craft of poetry.
Van Jordan is currently at The University of Michigan.

Martin Kevorkian, Associate Professor of English, specializes in American Literature, Computers and English, and Popular Culture. Professor Kevorkian's recently published book, Color Monitors: The Black Face of Technology in America, explores the reciprocal domestication of the computer and the black male that takes place in a wide array of contemporary cultural forms—from popular literature to film to advertising—in which undesirable computer labor is projected onto the black body. He brings to the seminar, too, related interests in the embrace of metaphors of negro slavery by white technology workers and in recent literary grapplings with the moment of white-collar computer labor and leisure.

Arthur Sakamoto, Associate Professor of Sociology, specializes in social stratification, economic sociology, racial and ethnic relations, and statistics. Professor Sakamoto's recent papers and publications include "Who is Hispanic? Hispanic Identity Among African Americans, Asian Americans, Others, and Whites," "The Socioeconomic Attainments of Second-Generation Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans," and "The Empirical Analysis of Exploitation: Some Evidence for Taiwan." He is currently working on a comparative analysis of work, leisure, and social inequality in Japan and the U. S.

David Springer, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Social Work, has conducted research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. He is the author of three books, with his most recent work entitled the Handbook of Forensic Social Work with Victims and Offenders, and he has authored or co-authored numerous articles, book chapters, and reports that coalesce around assessment and intervention with troubled adolescents and their families. He also teaches an annual Freshman Seminar, entitled The Art of Being Human: Constructing Meaning Out of Life, where students explore how individuals create a meaningful and happy existence, and examine their own ability to strike a balanced life between labor and leisure. Professor Springer brings to the seminar a leadership model that he is currently working on, which integrates the core values of social work with a transformational leadership philosophy.