GC has narrowed down its search for the next Martha Newell Visiting Scholar to three finalists: Tim Garrison, Michael Lackey and Carolyn Barber.
The Martha Daniel Newell Visiting Scholar program provides the opportunity for visiting scholars to teach an interdisciplinary course at GC that would not normally be offered. The program was established in 2011 with a $1 million endowment.
Martha Daniel Newell is a GC Alumni, ’42, who wanted to make an impact on students by bringing high quality scholars to campus to teach a class that provides special instruction in their areas of expertise.
“The idea is that we bring important elite scholars to campus, one each year, and they are going to bring to us something that we don’t have,” said Ken Procter, dean of GC’s College of Arts and Sciences.
This year’s candidates hail from across the country and are offering courses constructed to challenge and interest students from every major.
Carolyn Barber would like to come to GC so that she may continue her research of “flocking,” a group innovation and improvisation, and to develop extensions and variations of this process. She said she would also like to develop more effective teaching tactics that would be applicable in a wide variety of settings.
“Throughout the semester, students would create new cognitive tools to use in their own work, to understand the relationship of their work to the larger community of artists and scholars and to begin to identify new and potentially fruitful paths of inquiry and opportunities for collaboration and service,” Barber explained.
Michael Lackey said he would like to introduce GC students to the topic of biofiction, which is literature that names its protagonist after an actual historical figure.
“I want to be a Martha Newell Visiting Scholar because I share Newell’s passion for the life of the mind, and I am committed to the renegade art of creating bold and original ways of being, but I am also drawn to GC because of its commitment to the liberal arts,” Lackey said.
Tim Garrison is a native of Gainesville, Ga. and has received two degrees from UGA. Garrison said he would like to come to GC so he may share an important story in American history.
“I think the course that I have proposed, ‘The Indigenous Peoples of Georgia,’ will be very interesting for students in several majors,” Garrison said. “I also think that the public lectures that I will be able to offer about the history of the Indian Removal Crisis and the Trail of Tears will be interesting for people in the community and around Milledgeville.”
There is no specific date set for the committee to decide on the final scholar.
The current Newell Scholar is Yael Prizant, who is a translator, dramaturg and former assistant professor of theatre at the University of Notre Dame. Prizant’s focus is on arts in Cuba, science and “Living Newspaper.” Her next performances are “Devised Living Newspaper Theatre Project” on April 10 through 12 and “Adapting and Translating for Film and Theatre” on April 18.