Harvard National Model United Nations Conference (February 16-19, 2012)

With financial support from the Office of the Provost and the Thompson Chair of Leadership Studies, seven students from Kettering University’s Model United Nations Club attended the Harvard National Model United Nations conference. They joined over 3,000 students from some 170 different schools from nearly 40 different countries.  Kettering was one of the very few STEM specialty universities competing in this prestigious event.

The department supported the Model UN Club both financially and through their advisor Dr. Michael Callahan, professor of history. Dr. Callahan helped to prepare them for the competition and attended the conference. 

Representing the delegation from the Kingdom of Cambodia, our students worked with other delegations on such major international issues as terrorism and the Geneva Conventions, the Arab-Israeli conflict, economic development in Asia, and the historical UN Assembly of 1956 confronting the crisis of the Soviet invasion of Hungary.  The students worked hard and took their tasks seriously, having perfect attendance at all committee meetings. They participated in the many social events for all delegates.

In addition to the challenges of the competition, the students’ minds and horizons were expanded by touring Harvard University, eating at a Persian restaurant (courtesy of Dr. Callahan), observing future global leaders from some or our nation’s best universities, and, for one student, having a first-ever trip on an airplane and ride on a subway.

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College Town Flint (February 21, 2012)

Through its sponsorship (along with other community partners) of Flint Area Public Affairs Debates (FAPAD), Kettering University is encouraging conversations and actions that bring college students from Flint’s campuses closer together and foster the revitalization of Flint. 

Two members of the Department of Liberal Studies (Karen Wilkinson and Greg Schneider) serve on the FAPAD planning committee.  This group sponsored a two-hour program entitled “College Town Flint? How we can build it!”  Held at Churchill’s, a favorite student hang-out on Saginaw St., the program began with remarks from a panel of two students and the Mayor of Flint.  The 45 participants (mostly college students) then formed break-out groups to brainstorm ideas for student-led initiatives to bring more college-town features to Flint. 

At the conclusion of the program, the students decided to form a steering committee to plan implementation of the ideas and keep the momentum of cooperation across campuses going.  Kettering students were well-represented, including the president of A-section KSG.


Michael Callahan, Ezekiel Gebissa, and Denise Stodola are featured in an article about their contributions to Benjamin W. Redekop's Leadership for Environmental Sustainability (Routledge, 2010).

Joy Arbor presented "Never Again:  Interventionist Pedagogy and Human Rights for the Other" at the International Conference on Human Rights, Literature, the Arts, and Social Sciences at Central Michigan University in November 2011.  Native American activist Winona LaDuke was the keynote speaker for the conference.  Professor Arbor also presented her new research "'Hear O Israel': Listening in Judaism and What It Has To Teach Us" at the Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication in March 2012.  She also spoke about genetically-modified foods (GMOs) as the discussant for the Global Issues Film Festival showing of The World According to Monsanto in January 2012.  This year, Professor Arbor also developed Public Writing, a special topics course on writing to make change in the public sphere that serves as an upper division humanities elective; the course was offered in Summer 2011 and Spring 2012. 

Michael Callahan’s chapter "The League of Nations and the Problems of Health and the Environment: Leadership for the Common Good in Historical Perspective" was published in Benjamin W. Redekop's edited collection Leadership for Environmental Sustainability (Routledge, 2010). He also conducted research in the United Kingdom at the National Archives working on his current project concerning the League of Nations and the problem of international terrorism in the 1930s.

Mark Gellis conducted the workshop "Role-Playing Games as Objects of Study: A Workshop on Ethical Criticism for Educators, Scholars, and Writers" at Gen Con Indy in August 2011.

Dave Golz’s essay entitled "Diamonds, Maidens, Widow Dido, and Cock-a-diddle-dow" was published in Comparative Drama (v. 43, no. 2, pp. 167-196) in June 2009. This essay examines wordplay involving the near anagrammatical diamonds and maidens, and proceeds to assess the role of "Widow Dido" in Shakespeare's The Tempest, by exploring the use of the name, as both sound and sense, within an array of texts from classical epic to folk ballad to drama. He also presented the paper, "Following Suit in Shakespeare's Comedies" at the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America in Chicago in April 2010. This study traces some of the playful uses of the term suit in Shakespeare's comedies and the multiple discourses brought into juxtaposition and interaction by this versatile lexical form.

Christine Levecq is working on her current book project, provisionally entitled Black Cosmopolitans in an Age of Enlightenment.  Her most recent article, “’We Beg Your Excellency’: The Sentimental Politics of Abolitionist Petitions in the Later Eighteenth Century,” is forthcoming in Affect and Abolition in the Anglo-Atlantic, 1770-1830: The Bonds of Sentiment, edited by Stephen Ahern, and coming out with Ashgate.  In June 2012, she attended a conference organized by the American Association of Netherlandic Studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, where she presented a paper on early Dutch travel writing on Africa.

David Marshall’s book Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. His translation of Germana Ernst's Tommaso Campanella: il libro e il corpo della natura appeared from Springer, and two of his articles on the political thought of Hannah Arendt came out in the journals Political Theory and Modern Intellectual History as well as a review essay on "Recent Research in Roman Rhetoric" published in The European Legacy. He also won Kettering's Outstanding New Researcher Award and was granted a two-year Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers from the Humboldt Foundation for work on his second book project, provisionally titled "Weimar Republicanism: Rhetorical Inquiry in Germany, 1918-1933."  In 2010-2011 he also taught a new upper division humanities elective "European Intellectual History." Dr. Marshall is on leave and will return in 2013-2014.

Denise Stodola gave a paper entitled “Technology and/as Mirour de l’Omme” at the International Medieval Congress, which is the largest gathering of medievalists in the world, with 550 sessions and representatives from more than 30 countries. The session was entitled "Digital Gower." Gower was a contemporary and friend of Chaucer, and the Mirour de l'Omme is a poem of 30K lines in Anglo-Norman.  Professor Stodola also recently submitted her final revision of “Using Stylistic Imitation in Freshman Writing Classes: The Rhetorical and Meta-Rhetorical Potential of Transitions in Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s Medieval Treatises,” an essay that will appear in The Centrality of Style, a book that has been accepted for publication by Parlor Press and the Writing Across the Curriculum Clearinghouse for their Perspectives on Writing book series.  On April 17, 2012 Professor Stodola and Betsy Homsher gave a CETL presentation on service learning.  And in personal news, her son Matthew has been accepted into the PhD program in math at Western Michigan University. He will also be teaching in the math program in the fall as a TA.

Pavitra Sundar is our newest faculty member, joining Kettering’s Department of Liberal Studies in 2010-2011.  She has a PhD in Women’s Studies and English from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and comes most recently from Dartmouth College where she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow.  She teaches humanities, literature, and film courses.  Dr. Sundar’s article “Silence and the Uncanny: Partition in the Soundtrack of Khamosh Pani” came out in South Asian Popular Culture’s special issue on South Asian cinema (October 2010). She also has a book review of Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance edited by Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti in South Asian Popular Culture (July 2010).

The African Research and Resource Forum awarded our own Benaiah Yongo-Bure a research fellowship for Spring 2011 to conduct research on the implications of the entry of Southern Sudan into the East African Community.  This research is closely related to his on-going work on the foundations for peace in Sudan.