Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Awards
Posted: September 4, 2018
It gives me great pleasure to announce the recipients of the annual Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Awards. These awards are given to outstanding Scripps faculty with extraordinary achievements in teaching, scholarship, or service for the 2016‐17 academic year who also have demonstrated proficiency in the other two areas. The awards are named in honor of Mary W. Johnson whose commitment and support of Scripps College were as extraordinary as the contributions of the faculty members that we honor.
A faculty committee reviews and evaluates those nominated and makes a recommendation about the final selections to the President. The decisions were very difficult to make as we have so many qualified faculty. For 2016‐17, those chosen for the Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Awards are:
Michelle Decker, Assistant Professor of English
Jennifer Groscup, Associate Professor of Psychology
Tessie Prakas, Assistant Professor of English
Kim‐Trang Tran, Professor of Art
Nayana Bose, Assistant Professor of Economics
Ken Gonzales‐Day, Professor of Art
Martha Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of Chicanx-Latinx Studies
Mark Golub, Associate Professor of Politics
Corey Tazzara, Assistant Professor of History
Kevin Williamson, Assistant Professor of Dance
Mary MacNaughton, Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery And Professor of Art History
Rivka Weinberg, Professor of Philosophy
Please join me in celebrating the outstanding work of our faculty and offering our congratulations.
I would like to share some of the extraordinary accomplishments of those recipients in the scholarship category during this time period:
Nayana Bose has published three papers, of which two are in the field of development economics. Raising Consumption through India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, published in World Development, assessed the impact of NREGS, one of the largest anti‐poverty programs in the world, on household wellbeing by focusing on the impact on household consumption and intra‐household budget allocation decisions. The paper finds that the NREGS significantly increased overall household consumption, and interestingly, for households with children there was significantly greater spending on “child goods” like milk, while in households without children spending on “male goods” like alcohol increased. For the marginalized caste groups, the program increased consumption by around 12 percent. The paper also finds that households used the program to increase and smooth consumption over the lean agricultural season. In the co‐authored paper, Women’s Inheritance Rights, Household Allocation and Gender Bias” in the Papers and Proceedings issue of the American Economic Review (AER), the authors analyze the impact of improved land inheritance rights for women in India on women’s well‐being (through the channel of education) as well as the intergenerational effects of the reform. Using the Indian Human Development Survey data for rural India, the results indicate that the property rights reform significantly increased women’s education between 0.40 and 0.50 years. While the authors find no impact on the education of daughters of women exposed to the reform, they find a negative impact on sons’ education. Future research on this topic explores the role of birth order and the gender composition of children to assess the intergenerational impact of this more gender equal inheritance law.
Professor Gonzales‐Day’s photographic work on the history of lynching, police shootings, and other forms of racialized violence was featured in a solo exhibition entitled “Shadowlands.” The exhibition was organized by Christopher Atkins of the Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN= and travelled to the Flaten Museum at the University of Saint Olaf and to the Peeler Art Center at DePauw University. “Shadowlands” received critical attention from American Photo Magazine, Artforum, Minnesota Public Radio, Star Tribune, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, among others. In 2017, Gonzales‐Day was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in photography for his solo exhibition “Surface Tension: Murals, Signs, and Mark‐Making in Los Angeles,” currently on view at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
More than just a legal doctrine, color‐blind constitutionalism has emerged as the defining metaphor of the post‐Civil Rights era. Even for those challenging its constitutional authority, the language of color‐blindness sets the terms of debate. Critics of color‐blind constitutionalism are in this sense captured by the object of their critique. And yet, paradoxically, to enact a color‐blind rule actually requires a heightened awareness of race. As such, color‐blind constitutionalism represents a particular form of racial consciousness rather than an alternative to it. Challenging familiar understandings of race, rights, and American law, Professor Golub’s Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional? explores how current equal protection law renders the pursuit of racial equality constitutionally suspect. Identifying hierarchy rather than equality as an enduring constitutional norm, the book demonstrates how the pursuit of racial equality, historically, has been viewed as a violation of white rights. Arguing against conservative and liberal redemption narratives, both of which imagine racial equality as the perfection of American democracy, Is Racial Equality Unconstitutional? calls instead for a break from the current constitutional order, that it may be re‐founded upon principles of racial democracy.
Professor Gonzalez’s scholarly interests have been fueled by over twenty‐five years of experience as an active music practitioner and community organizer via Grammy award winning group Quetzal. Her academic scholarship articulates the various ways in which Chicano/a, Latino/a and other communities of color (in the U.S and Transnationally) utilize music and other forms of creative expression not solely as repositories of collective memory and community building projects, but as necessary dialectic tools toward various social justice ends. In the 2016‐2017 year, Professor Gonzalez was published in The American Music Journal, Resistencia Editorial in Mexico, Kalfou Journal, and a book chapter in The Tide Was Always High, edited by Josh Kun. Professor Gonzalez was also recruited as an ASU the Gammage artist in residence for which she continues to serve. Gonzalez was invited to give public presentations at: The Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, United States Library of Congress, Stanford University Center for Diversity in the Arts, Bielefeld University in Germany, University of California Santa Barbara, Gonzaga University, and Whittier College. Professor Gonzalez’s band released “The Eternal Getdown” on Smithsonian Folkways label. Finally, in the Summer of 2017 “Profe G’s” musical instruments (shoes and stomp box) were memorialized at the National Museum of American History in Washington. D.C.
Professor Corey Tazzara published his book entitled The Free Port of Livorno and the Transformation of the Mediterranean World with Oxford University Press. This book examines how the fabled Medici dynasty of Florence created one of the most bustling trading cities in the Mediterranean. By the late seventeenth century, Livorno was the first free port in Europe. It developed a general program of hospitality towards foreign visitors and their merchandise, and it became a model for the elimination of customs duties. The story of Livorno shows the seeds of liberalism emerging, not from the studies of philosophers such as Adam Smith, but out of the nexus between commerce, politics, and identity in the early modern Mediterranean.
Trophy is a multimedia‐dance portrait for three performers conceived and choreographed by Kevin Williamson. The evening length dance was first commissioned as an excerpt by REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival. It premiered in full at Human Resources Los Angeles in 2016, followed by a tour to Dixon Place’s HOT! Festival of Queer Performance in NYC and the Beijing Dance Festival. The dance vocabulary splinters fluid movements into still frames with virtuosic precision ‐‐ fragmenting everyday life into a series of stop‐n‐go selfies. The project interrogates the authority that media interface has on modern living, pressures artists feel to exhibit productivity, and the unique ways we can maneuver/subvert versions of ourselves through pixelated form. This evening length dance combines dynamic choreography, video projection, and live music. In 2016‐2017, Williamson also choreographed The Marriage of Figaro for the Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Cendrillon for Opera UCLA, a thirty‐minute interactive solo with digital interface with collaborator Erik Speth for PAM Residencies in Highland Park, and performed the first iteration of a new evening length solo at the American College Dance Association, LA Dance Festival, and A Celebration of Dance at UCLA. Kevin also continued collaborating as a performer in David Roussève’s Halfway to Dawn: The Strayhorn Project, set to premiere at REDCAT in fall 2018.
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