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Faculty members generate grants, books

Faculty members generate grants, books

 Faculty book authors and grant recipients from a number of
 academic disciplines were celebrated at a reception
 that drew more than 50 people, including President Harvey
 Stenger, to the Harpur College Dean’s Office.

“The high-achieving faculty members of Harpur College create a rich learning environment for students at every level,” Provost and former Harpur College Dean Donald Nieman says.

“Faculty scholarship raises Harpur’s profile and enhances its prestige,” he says. “Harpur students have the opportunity to study with faculty who bring their passion for discovery and deep knowledge of their subject into the classroom.”

During fiscal year 2011, Harpur faculty generated more than $18 million in grants and contracts — 25 percent more than four years ago.

Associate Professor of Art History Tom McDonough received the continuing Curatorial Research Grant from the French-American Fund for Contemporary Art (FACE) to conduct research in France, to advance French contemporary visual art and better understand its context and history.

“I’ve been studying postwar and contemporary French art for 20 years now, so I have a long-term commitment to translating this work for American audiences,” McDonough says. “The Curatorial Research Grant allowed me to explore the art scene in Paris and develop my professional contacts.”

McDonough is now writing a book on the history of the Situationist International, a group of avant-garde artists, writers and filmmakers who had a powerful influence in France from the 1950s through the 70s. McDonough was able to go to France’s national library and conduct research in the archives of the group’s founder, Guy Debord.

More than two dozen Harpur College faculty members, including Distinguished Teaching Professor of English Albert Tricomi, were able to communicate years of research, reflection and writing with a published book in 2011.

Tricomi is known as a Shakespearean scholar, but focused on a different subject for his most recent book, Missionary Positions: Evangelicalism and Empire in American Fiction. Tricomi published the book with the University of Florida Press in March 2011. In his book, he investigates America’s evangelical missionary identity as represented in American novels from the early 19th century to the present.

“Novels allow the writer to bring home to the individual what it feels like to be a colonizer and what it feels like to be one of the colonized,” Tricomi says. “Good novels should speak from many perspectives.”

Several of Tricomi’s colleagues in the English Department also published books in 2011, including Associate Professor Monika Mehta, who published her first book, Censorship and Sexuality in Bombay Cinema, with the University of Texas Press. She began the archival and ethnographic research for the book as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. She spent time conducting research in Delhi, Bombay and Pune, India.

In her book, Mehta explores the censorship of gender and heterosexuality in Hindi films, specifically, how film censorship makes the female body and female sexuality central to shaping a national identity. Mehta says she draws from aspects of her research to teach courses such as Globalization and Literary Culture and From Bombay to Bollywood: The Transformation of the Hindi Film Industry.

“Teaching helps me work through ideas,” Mehta says. “When you have to explain and answer questions or simply engage with people who are not necessarily coming at an issue with the same framework as you, there is a great deal to learn.”

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Last Updated: 12/10/12