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Japanese coastal town of Otsuchi days after the earthquake; Al Jazeera English via Flickr; BY-SA 2.0
Michigander Paul Fales shares his experience in Japan when it was ravaged by a huge tsunami, earthquake, and Fukushima nuclear accident three years ago. Fales was serving as an English teacher when the earthquake and tsunami hit the city, Kesennuma, where he was stationed. He was found by CNN a few days after the disaster.
Is there a role for academic institutions in online informal education? Andrew D. Maynard, Director of the Risk Science Center in the U-M School of Public Health, talks about the growing trend in online video being used as an informal education source by individuals. He produces entertaining "Risk Bites" videos, which cover topics that deal with the science behind how we understand and address risks to our health.
Amaud Jamaul Johnson reads from Darktown Follies, his daring and surprising new collection of poems that respond to Black Vaudeville, specifically the personal and professional challenges African American variety performers faced in the early twentieth century.
Johnson is fascinated by jokes that aren’t funny — particularly, what it means when humor fails or reveals something unintended about our national character. Darktown Follies is an act of self-sabotage, a poet’s willful attempt at recklessness, abandoning the “good sense” God gave him, as an effort to explore the boundaries and intersections of race and humor.
New York Times bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick talks about his research at the Clements Library and the Revolutionary war documents that were helpful in writing his book Bunker Hill.
Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the National Book Award; Mayflower, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Sea of Glory, winner of the Roosevelt Naval History Prize; Bunker Hill; The Last Stand; Why Read Moby-Dick; and Away Off Shore.
Cliff Lampe and Joyojeet Pal, School of Information faculty, and Elizabeth Werbe, associate director of Rackham’s Arts of Citizenship program, highlight several projects and programs that enable graduate students to address real-world challenges as part of their research, teaching, and coursework. The panel also addresses the value of such opportunities for professional development and growth, as well as how these experiences can help graduate students become better researchers and teachers.
Sandra Danziger (School of Social Work), Kristin Seefeldt (School of Social Work), and Sarah Burgard (Sociology) discuss poverty in southeast Michigan in the wake of the Great Recession that ended in 2009.
They present information from the first two waves of the Michigan Recession and Recovery Survey, a stratified random sample of households in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. They also highlight findings on employment, income, safety net program participation, material hardships, and health and mental health, particularly among low income households.
Photographer Paul Weinberg discusses his new book with U-M Professor Daniel Herwitz. "Dear Edward: Family Footprints" is a personal journey into family archives; it explores Weinberg's past as he retraces his family's footprints to far-flung small towns in the interior of South Africa—where his ancestors found a niche in the hotel trade. Part visual narrative and part multilayered travel book, this record is organized in the form of postcards to Weinberg's great grandfather, Edward. Weaving history, historiography, and memoir into a personal pilgrimage, it sets up a dialogue between the past and present and questions who records history and who is left out of it.
Byung-Mo Chung, professor at Gyeongju University, is the first scholar to travel the world to propagate and research the value and meanings of Korean traditional decorative art culture. In traditional Korean folk paintings, tigers appear as Janus-faced creatures, with one side a beast with a merciless savage nature and the other side a humane animal. The two contrasting images of the fierce animal have been a distinctive feature of Korean art which is rarely seen in other countries. Tiger and magpie folk paintings in Korea present tigers as silly, comic characters. What made the painters depict the fearful beast as a cute, ludicrous pet-like animal? The tiger and magpie provides a valuable clue for viewers to delve into the cultural identity of Korean people and their aesthetic sensibility.