The Baltimore Sun Highlights UMBC Honors College

The Baltimore Sun special section on education recently featured UMBC’s Honors College in an article on the rich educational experiences honors programs provide. The article discusses requirements and opportunities for Honors College students, and describes UMBC’s program as “respected and known for producing well-rounded intellectuals.” Simon Stacey, director of the Honors College, comments, “interdisciplinary, highly collaborative and discussion based classes” allow Honors College students to study, in greater depth, topics that interest them. This article is not yet available online. Continue reading The Baltimore Sun Highlights UMBC Honors College

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Direct Creativity Seminar at Austen Riggs Center

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz is leading the 2014 Austen Riggs Center Creativity Seminar, which will be held from August 1-2. Spitz is the author of six books and brings psychological perspectives to bear on the arts and on children’s aesthetic lives. The conference has the theme of “Translation,” and organizers have posted the following description on the conference website: “we will learn about the process of translation in different areas of creative endeavor in the visual medium of photography, through the embodied work of translation by an orchestral conductor, via the interpretative work of translation by a psychoanalyst, and … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Direct Creativity Seminar at Austen Riggs Center

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, on The Marc Steiner Show

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director of the Honors College, joined The Marc Steiner Show on May 30 to celebrate the 163rd anniversary of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I A Woman?” speech. Kelber-Kaye spoke about teaching about the intersections of race and gender in the history of women’s rights advocacy, saying, “This is an incredibly interesting conversation that I actually have always had with my students. One of the things that’s really nice about UMBC is that we have an extraordinarily diverse population. So my classrooms have always been filled with people from all over the world and different races who have wanted … Continue reading Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, on The Marc Steiner Show

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New York Times Sunday Book Review

“Almost entirely absent from elementary school curriculums, rarely chosen as bedtime reading by parents, poetry — formerly a joyful accouterment of youth, an inexhaustible gift — seems forgotten. Yet poetry and children belong together. And who, among the great American poets, could be more appropriate for childhood than Emily Dickinson?” reads a book review written by Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz published May 9 in The New York Times.  In her article in the Sunday Book Review titled “That Amherst Belle,” Spitz reviews two new children’s books: Eileen Spinelli’s “Another Day as Emily,” illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, and Burleigh Mutén’s “Miss Emily,” … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New York Times Sunday Book Review

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Publishes Chapters in New Book

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz has published two chapters in a new book out this month titled, “A Spirit that Impels: Play, Creativity, and Psychoanalysis.” The contributing authors in the book look at creativity through a psychoanalytic lens and analyze great works such as The Scarlet Letter, Mahler’s Eighth and The Miracle Worker, as well as great artists Van Gogh and Lennon/McCartney. The book brings together papers presented by scholars at an annual creativity seminar organized by the Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center. The authors explore the central questions of how to understand the creative process, contributions of psychoanalysis to that understanding, and what opens up … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Publishes Chapters in New Book

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Writes Essay in City Paper for National Library Week

For National Library Week, Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz wrote an essay in City Paper that examines the value of borrowing books, especially children’s books, from the library. “Feeling rebellious over our dizzying speed-mad era of e-books, e-readers, digital and virtual realities, I want to advocate for the practice of borrowing a good old-fashioned book from the library—especially now, during National Library Week. I want to remind everyone of the simple joy of settling down in a cozy nook, turning well-worn pages, and reading aloud to a child,” Spitz writes. She discusses the value of reading children’s books of the past and … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Writes Essay in City Paper for National Library Week

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Participates in Community Development Program in Appalachia

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz recently traveled to Sewanee, Tennessee to the University of the South, where she was invited as a guest lecturer in the pioneering program, “Child, Family and Community Development in Rural Appalachia.” The program is sponsored by the University of the South, The Yale Child Study Center and Scholastic. A major goal of the program is to help children and families in poverty-stricken Appalachia while building community and fostering a rich cultural life. As part of the program, Spitz lectured and read story books to four groups of children ranging from three to six years old and met with … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Participates in Community Development Program in Appalachia

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in University of Michigan Press Blog

As Lorrainne Hansberry’s 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun, opens with Denzel Washington on Broadway, Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz is being recognized for her book which devotes an entire chapter to exploring the play’s significance. Excerpt’s from Spitz’s book, Illuminating Childhood, Portraits in Film, Fiction, and Drama, are quoted in a University of Michigan Press blog post about the play. “Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun, was both her first and the first by any playwright of color to astonish Broadway,” Spitz writes in the book. “Crossing boundaries of race, ideology, and class, it puts onstage an unforgettable portrayal … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in University of Michigan Press Blog

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Participate in Helix Center Roundtable

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz is participating in a roundtable discussion at the Helix Center in New York City devoted to the topic of children’s drawing. The program will focus on linguistic, art historical, and psychoanalytic perspectives on drawings by Ethiopian children. The roundtable, titled “From Children’s Sights to Our Insights: Ethiopian Children’s Drawings, Stories and Inner Lives,” is scheduled to take place Saturday, January 25th from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Other panelists include Theodore Shapiro, Professor Emeritus at Weill-Cornell Medical College, and Nathan M. Szajnberg, Wallerstein Research Fellow in Psychoanalysis at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.  You can read more about … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Participate in Helix Center Roundtable

Simon Stacey, Honors College, on The Marc Steiner Show

The Marc Steiner Show held a special two-hour tribute to Nelson Mandela on Monday, who passed away last week at the age of 95. The program featured guests from all over the world who discussed the life and legacy of Mandela, including some who fought with him to end Apartheid. Honors College Director Simon Stacey was a guest during the show’s second hour, which discussed Mandela’s legacy and contemporary politics in South Africa. “It’s difficult to imagine South Africa having weathered the transition without Mandela at the helm, especially after he was made the face of the armed struggle,” Stacey … Continue reading Simon Stacey, Honors College, on The Marc Steiner Show

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Hosts Enchantment Theater of Philadelphia

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz, under the auspices of Honors College Director Simon Stacey, invited Enchantment Theater Company of Philadelphia to present two, two and a half-hour long workshops in her classes last week. Enchantment co-directors Jennifer and Landis Smith screened scenes from their latest production, spoke on their use of classical music (Rimksy-Korsakov’s “Scherezade”), masks, gigantic puppets, fabrics, projections and sleight-of-hand magic to create evocative, nearly wordless imaginings of tales from “The Arabian Nights.” Dr. Spitz’s students, having read and studied several tales from the Nights, donned masks and experienced first-hand the processes of transformation from text to theater and from words to gesture … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Hosts Enchantment Theater of Philadelphia

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Participate in New York Review of Books Panel

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz has been invited to speak on a panel at McNally Jackson Bookstore in New York City. The New York Review of Books has been republishing time-honored classic books for children for the past decade, and this panel has been convened to celebrate this venture on its tenth anniversary. Edwin Frank, editor of the NYRB’s Children’s Collection, and Betsy Bird, New York Public Library Children’s Librarian, will discuss the changing character of children’s books with Ellen Handler Spitz and other children’s literature experts. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 10th at … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Participate in New York Review of Books Panel

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College Professor, in Artcritical

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is hosting an exhibit on Belgian Surrealist painter Rene Magritte. The show, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938, is running through January 12, 2014. Artcritical has published an article about Magritte by Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz in conjunction with the exhibition. The show is attracting thousands of visitors from around the world. After New York City, it travels to Houston and then Chicago. You can read the full article by Ellen Handler Spitz here. Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College Professor, in Artcritical

Marc Steiner Show reairs episode on African American women and feminism with UMBC’s Jodi Kelber-Kaye

On Wednesday, July 17, the Marc Steiner Show reaired its episode on the 162nd anniversary of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” followed by a discussion on African American women and feminism. Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director of the honors college, joined singer and activist, Lea Gilmore; Dream Hampton, journalist and cultural commentator; and A. Adar Ayira, project manager of the More in the Middle Campaign for Associated Black Charities for a conversation about the growing divide between the feminist movement and African American women. “The word feminism is a more recent invention, and if we want to say it was … Continue reading Marc Steiner Show reairs episode on African American women and feminism with UMBC’s Jodi Kelber-Kaye

New Publication by Ellen Handler-Spitz, Visual Arts, Honors College

Ellen Handler-Spitz’s, most recent publication, Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Malcolm X Steles, in which she is a principal contributor, is featured now on the Yale University Press’ website. The publication, a catalog for the exhibition of the same name, features Handler-Spitz’s writing alongside photography of the work of Barbara Chase-Riboud’s “monumental series of sculptures dedicated to the assassinated civil rights leader Malcolm X.” It includes a fascinating analysis of the Malcolm X sculptures in light of critical debates on abstract art’s role in memorializing the past. Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Malcolm X Steles will be on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art September 14 – December 8, 2013. Continue reading New Publication by Ellen Handler-Spitz, Visual Arts, Honors College

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, on the Marc Steiner Show

On May 29, Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director of the honors college, was a guest on the Marc Steiner Show to discuss the 162nd anniversary of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech.  Kelber-Kaye was joined by Lea Gilmore, singer, activist, and Center for Emerging Media cultural correspondent; Dream Hampton, journalist and cultural commentator; and A. Adar Ayira, project manager of the More in the Middle Campaign for Associated Black Charities and facilitator and analyst at Baltimore Racial Justice Action to discuss African American women and feminism. “The word feminism is a more recent invention, and if we want to say … Continue reading Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, on the Marc Steiner Show

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Travels to Appalachia

Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, recently spent several days in southern Appalachia as part of a program at the University of the South sponsored by the Yale University School of Medicine and Scholastic Books. During her visit, Spitz spoke on “Reflections on Children’s Cultural Lives.” Spitz’s lecture was the third event in the annual Easter semester lecture series presented by Community Engaged Learning, the University of the South’s academic community engagement program. This annual series features a range of speakers from all over the world. Speakers address a variety of topics of concern for people living … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Travels to Appalachia

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Participate in Panel

On Saturday, March 16, Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, will participate in a panel discussion in New York City about what we can learn from the perennial controversies about children’s books that are “too dark.” Spitz will be joined on the panel by author Lois Lowry and former New York Times children’s books editor Julie Just.  The event will take place at 2:00 p.m. at the New School’s Arnold Hall, 55 West 13th St., New York, NY. Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Participate in Panel

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New Republic

Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, discussed Maurice Sendak’s posthumously-published “My Brothers Book” in a column for The New Republic.  Spitz writes that while the book is “unintelligible as a story, mostly unoriginal as art, [and] emotionally distant,” it “may send us back to Sendak’s other work with new critical insights.” Spitz notes that one aspect of Sendak’s life that has not been analyzed is his sexuality; Sendak was gay. “’My Brother’s Book’ offers us a chance to return to Sendak’s prodigious body of complex, fascinating, sometimes troubling work and reexamine it through lenses that have not yet … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New Republic

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, on the Marc Steiner Show

On Tuesday, January 22, Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director of the honors college and former faculty member in gender and women’s studies, was a guest on the “Marc Steiner Show.”  Kelber-Kaye discussed the 40th Anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the United States.  She was joined by Meshelle, founder of Goaldiggers The Sankofa Project; Ruth Rosen, Professor Emerita of History at the University of California at Davis; Andrea Plaid, Associate Editor and Sexual Correspondent at Racialicious; and Maggie Little, Director of Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics. The guests discussed the fact that an entire generation of women … Continue reading Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, on the Marc Steiner Show

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in “Artcritical”

Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, recently reviewed the art show The Event of a Thread by Ann Hamilton, which runs through January 6 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, for the online magazine Artcritical. Spitz says that “The Gothic Revival Park Avenue Armory… provides a perfect venue for Hamilton’s swings, her 42 pigeons in miniature, stacked dovecotes, and the immense white silken fabric that billows from on high, responsively rising and falling according to the visitors’ velocities as they sway on their swings, pushed often by perfect strangers.” Relating the exhibition to its … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in “Artcritical”

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, on the “Marc Steiner Show”

Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, was a guest on the “Marc Steiner Show” on Tuesday, December 18, to discuss children’s literature, the best children’s literature of the year, and books that make good gifts.  Spitz was joined by Deborah Taylor, School and Student Services Coordinator for the Enoch Pratt Free Library, and JoAnn Fruchtman, owner of The Children’s Bookstore in Roland Park. Spitz spoke to the bond that books can create between a parents and a child.  Because children cannot read when they are very young, the experience of books must be shared with an adult, … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, on the “Marc Steiner Show”

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, in the News

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director of the honors college, has appeared in several recent news articles discussing marriage equality and the African-American vote. Kelber-Kaye researches and teaches about historic and current struggles for LGBT equality with a focus on analyzing strategies employed by activist groups. A December 7 story in the Afro-American entitled “Different Factors Within African American Communities Shaped Votes on Question 6” featured Kelber-Kaye’s perspective on the disconnect between how African American Marylanders were expected to vote on Question 6 and how they actually voted.  “This election dispels this myth that the African-American population is against same-sex marriage. There … Continue reading Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, in the News

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New Republic

Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, discussed the young adult novel Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, byKatherine Marsh, in her latest column in the New Republic. The historical novel follows the story of Jepp, a court dwarf in the Spanish-ruled Netherlands of the late sixteenth century. Spitz compares Jepp’s story – in whichhis destiny is defined by his body and dictated by the whims of others – to the plight of the story’s adolescent readers. “Adolescents are newly encased—like Jepp—in bodies that seem too small (or too large) but never a match for what is inside them, which nobody else … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New Republic

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, in the Baltimore Messenger

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director of the honors college, was featured in a recent Baltimore Messenger story on phone banking for marriage equality.  Kelber-Kaye has joined the pro-marriage equality efforts at Bolton Street Synagogue. “I’m extraordinarily hopeful” that Question 6 will pass, Kelber-Kaye told the paper. Kelber-Kaye was one of the plaintiffs in a 2004 lawsuit challenging a state ban on same-sex marriages The story, “Bolton Street Synagogue trying to get out the vote for marriage equality,” appeared online on October 22. Continue reading Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, in the Baltimore Messenger

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, on ‘The Madeleine Brand Show”

Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, appeared on Southern California Public Radio’s “The Madeleine Brand Show” on May 8 to discuss the death of Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak. Spitz is a renowned expert on children’s literature. “It’s hard to think of any other American who did more for children’s literature,” Spitz said. “Maurice Sendak had an uncanny way of seeing into a child’s private world, a child’s world of fantasy. But I think what is most important about his legacy is that he was able to create books and characters that captured the … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, on ‘The Madeleine Brand Show”

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New Republic

Maurice Sendak, a children’s author best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, passed away on Tuesday, May 8. Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, wrote about Sendak for The New Republic in a piece entitled “Remembering Maurice Sendak, Who Brought Loneliness to Children’s Literature,” which appeared on the website on May 9. “Sendak knew from within the profound sense in which every child, from time to time, perceives himself or herself to be alone—an outsider—and feels the need to retreat into some private space, some nook or secret hiding place. Sendak’s books are themselves … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New Republic

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the New Republic

This month, Ellen Handler Spitz’s children’s literature column in The New Republic discusses two books from India as the honors college professor of visual arts examines The Enigma of Karma by Raja Mohanty and Folk Tales of Uttarakhand  by Deepa Agarwal. “As twenty-first century juggernauts of globalization and technology ride roughshod over regional cultures, there is a risk that precious legacies—oral, visual, and dramatic—are being lost. How will we preserve local customs, idiosyncratic habits of speech and dialect, humor, folklore, imagery, symbols, and artistic techniques—all with their concomitant wisdom? Sensitive editors of children’s books are grappling with these questions,” Spitz … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the New Republic

Book by Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Translated to Serbian

“Art and Psyche,” a book by Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, has been translated into Serbian. Through the book, Spitz explores three principal psychoanalytic approaches to art. The first considers the relations between an artist’s life and work; the second focuses on the work of art itself; and the third encompasses the intricate relations between a work of art and its audience or beholders. To illustrate her discussion, Spitz draws on a variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, literature, music, and dance. The book was originally published by Yale university Press, and has previously been … Continue reading Book by Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Translated to Serbian

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the New Republic

“By now, hundreds of children’s books about the Holocaust have been published—fiction and non-fiction, as well as hybrids of varying quality: books about hiding, about substitute parents, about successful and failed escapes, attempted rescues and resistance,” writes Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, in “Pedagogy in Purgatory,” her latest essay for the New Republic. “Two recent non-fiction books… reveal that the choice of any particular book—and, similarly, the decision to visit a memorial or a museum—may be less important than what surrounds the experience whenever it does occur.” Spitz goes on to review Ruth Thomson’s “Terezín: Voices … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the New Republic

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the New York Times

Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, was mentioned in a September 18 New York Times Sunday Book Review essay entitled “The Children’s Authors Who Broke the Rules.” Among the authors mentioned in the essay is Shel Silverstein, who wrote “The Giving Tree.” “[‘The Giving Tree’] was embraced by Christians as a parable of selflessness and has been denounced by feminists as a patriarchal fantasy in morality-tale clothing,” writes essayist Pamela Paul. “Ellen Handler Spitz, the author of the classic study ‘Inside Picture Books,’ wrote that the story ‘perpetuates the myth of the selfless, all-giving mother who exists … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the New York Times