45°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Readings by Faculty Authors in the New Campus Center

This past Wednesday, March 31, UMB faculty members Carol Hardy-Fanta, Esther Kingston-Mann, Jean Rhodes, and Lloyd Schwartz broke in the new Alumni Room in the Campus Center from 1:00-2:30. All participants read excerpts from their published works to members of the UMB community.

Lloyd Schwartz recited poetry from Cairo Traffic. On the whole, he was quite entertaining, taking poetry back to its roots of being recited orally. Schwartz commented that some “words of wisdom were appropriate for the opening of the new building.” The first poem Schwartz delivered, “Proverbs from Purgatory,” practically placed every member of the audience into hysterics. He thanked everyone for laughing.

Another poem he read was about a train ride in the western part of the United States. Parts of the poem were conversations he overheard in the train, and parts were about the scenery. The signature poem “Cairo Traffic” was about a trip Schwartz took to the Middle East. It was written when he returned from his trip.

Esther Kingston-Mann read an excerpt from her book, Achieving against the Odds: How Academics Become Teachers of Diverse Students. She told a story of her first academic conference in the early 1970s where men dominated the conversation and the woman hung back in their seats.

Kingston-Mann was outraged at the fact that the women who raised their hands with questions were not called on by the men. She kept her hand raised until she was the last person with her hand up in the air. In other words, all of the men had had their questions answered. By the time she was called upon, she had forgotten her question. It was quite a humiliating experience for Kingston-Mann. Additionally, she commented, “Studying history for me was like looking in a mirror and seeing nothing.”

She would not forget this experience and she desired to teach her students in a new way. For instance, while reading history books, students were asked to consider the following: “Who is telling the story? Be aware of voices, notice missing people, and consider how the story may be more fairly told.”

Jean Rhodes read from her book, Stand by Me: The Risks and Rewards of Mentoring Today’s Youth. Her story was about a young boy, Cameron, whose parents were divorced. His father was always late or absent from visits. Worried about the child having no father figure or role model, Cameron’s mother looked into the option of getting a mentor for Cameron. Thus Rhodes explained, “loneliness is a pain far worse than anxiety.”

The mentor’s name was Rick. Rhodes explained that data showed mentors don’t have enough training and Rick was a prime example of this fact. At first, Rick was great to Cameron but then due to his own family troubles, he began neglecting Cameron the way his father had.

Carol Hardy-Fanta recited an excerpt from her book, Latino Politics: Gender, Culture, and Political Participation in Boston. Hardy-Fanta explained how Latina woman are active in politics and led a march against the budget cuts. She explained that Latina women have a different view of politics than Latino men and are even more effective in their participation in politics.

The participants in the faculty readings reflected the diversity on campus by the range of topics discussed.