2008 Working Groups & Projects

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LINGUISTICS [LIN]: The Linguistics Departments at the three research universities are very different, but they have still formed energetic scholarly partnerships.  Moreover, all three universities have special foci in Computational Linguistics, with Syracuse and Cornell Linguistics departments possessing strengths in Syntax. Humanities Corridor projects include:  Projects include:

  • Visits by Distinguished Research Collaborators from outside the consortium; these collaborators would not teach courses but would promote scholarly dialogue and would offer a series of lectures and classroom visits at all three schools during the semester;
  • Program for Humanities Corridor faculty to visit a consortial institution;
  • Technology investments critical to simultaneous teaching and research projects across the universities no matter what the weather; and
  • Selective use of both Mellon funds and the endowed Alice L. Hooker conference fund (Syracuse) to create occasional workshops and conferences with highly targeted goals of swiftly building cohesion in sub-areas such as ethics or semantics.

Coordinator: Jaklin Kornfilt (SU); Planners: Arsalan Kahnemuyipour (SU); Greg Carlson & Jeff Runner (UR); John Whitman (CU); John Bowers (CU); Gerry Greenberg (SU)
LIN: November 7-9, 2008: NELS 39, North Eastern Linguistics Society Meeting, Linguistics at the Interfaces, Cornell University



CULTURES AND RELIGIONS [CR]:
The study of the interplay of culture and religion is essential to an informed understanding of the contemporary world, especially as it factors into national and international politics, and a range of critical issues, from stem cell research to international terrorism.  At the same time religions transcend national boundaries, though different cultural contexts shape discrete ways in which any religion is understood, practiced, valued, and even studied.  The interplay of cultures and religions is an area of what former University of Rochester President Robert Sproull called “applied humanities”—it is valuable not only for its own sake, but also for its concrete relevance to cross-cultural understanding and effective public policy.  The three universities possess distinctive collective resources for such a study. Syracuse and Rochester have strong and established departments of religion, and at Cornell religion is studied across a variety of departments.  Syracuse has a well-known doctoral program in religion, and at Rochester religion is the second most popular undergraduate major in the Humanities.  Both formal and informal interchange between the departments has taken place for years. Cornell’s strength in the study of religion in South and East Asia adds a distinctive overlap with the two departments that can be developed further – especially given the well established and longstanding partnership in South Asia with Syracuse.  At Rochester, the study of the world’s literate religions is integrated with the study of the languages of their canons.  Cornell also connects language study with the teaching of religion, and Syracuse and Cornell have collaborated on language instruction.  Our library resources for this project in cultures and religions are exceptional. In addition to the strong collections at Syracuse and Cornell, Rochester's recent acquisition of the library of the Colgate-Rochester Divinity School gives it perhaps one of the largest theological libraries in North America. 

  • CR: April 18-20, 2008: Conference and Concert: Music Moves Religion: Performance Networks in Indian Ocean Cultures, Syracuse University
  • CR: September 14-15, Workshop on Religious Pluralism, "Imagining Muslims/Imagining Others: South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe"2008 Cornell University
  • CR: October 3-5, 2008 Conference: Religion and Culture in the Indian Ocean, 1800 to the Present, Cornell University
  • CR: October 5 & 7, 2008: Concert, Rupayan: Music from the Rajasthan Desert, featuring musicians from the Langa and Manganiar communities of Rajasthan, India, Cornell University and Syracuse University

Coordinator: Ann Gold (SU); Planners: Tazim Kassam (SU); Emil Homerin & Thomas Gibson (UR); Ann Blackburn, Iftikar Dadi & Andrew Willford (CU); Philip Arnold (SU); Gerry Greenberg (SU); William Scott Green (UR); Viranjini Munasinghe (CU)



VISUAL ARTS AND CULTURES [VAC]:
The visual arts – and their cultural context and impact – are an area of intense interest within various schools and colleges at Cornell, Rochester, and Syracuse. Formidable developments in technologies of visual and digital reproduction and communication in the late 20th century have prompted the emergence of the new, interdisciplinary field of Visual Studies. At Syracuse, Rochester, and Cornell both institutionalized and informal collaborations in the area of Visual Studies are associated with many of the dynamic new trends in the humanities and are of broad interest to many humanities faculty.  The University of Rochester has attained international prominence for its faculty in the Visual and Cultural Studies (VCS) program, which combines faculty from Modern Languages, Film Studies, Art, Art History, and Anthropology.  A socio-historical perspective brings coherence to the collaborate work of these diverse faculties.  This premier program and the acclaimed electronic journal Invisible Culture, now located at Rochester, command worldwide attention for their imaginative interdisciplinary approach to visual rhetoric.  There are cognate programs at both Cornell (visual arts and culture) and Syracuse (art, architecture, and art history, as well as languages, anthropology, and other departments).  These overlapping interests, which span several humanistic areas, constitute a significant regional opportunity to combine our strengths at the faculty and doctoral level.

  • VAC: February 8, 2008: titled “Mrs. Croft: Angelina Jolie and the Straightening of the Female Action Genre”
  • VAC: March 21, 2008: “Subtitling Can Be Disterbing: Film Translation of the Third Era”
  • VAC: October 2-4, 2008: Visible Memories, Syracuse University

Coordinator: Steve Cohan (SU); Planners: Roger Hallas, Linda Shires, Ann Demo, Kendall Philips, Joanna Spitzner, Brad Vivian (SU); Joan Saab, Allen Topolski & Sharon Willis (UR); Paul Duro (UR)



MUSICOLOGY/MUSIC HISTORY [MMH]: The Central New York region has an especially rich and ethnically diverse musical tradition, and accordingly the three universities have outstanding groups of faculty in music, musicology, and music history.  The Eastman School of Music, affiliated with University of Rochester, stands among the very top-ranked programs in musicology in the country.  At Syracuse, the School of Music in Visual and Performing Arts, emphasizing composition and performance, and the Department of Fine Arts in Arts and Sciences, with eminent music historians, have been identified as institutional priorities by both Deans and by Chancellor Cantor.  Syracuse has in the past year developed the endowed Goldring Arts Journalism Program, hosted jointly by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Architecture, and The College of Arts and Sciences, whose mission is to elevate the quality of reporting on the arts in America.  Music is a central component of that initiative.  At Rochester, the Sibley music library at Eastman is the largest academic music library in North America and contains numerous special collections, including the papers of composers Howard Hanson, Richard Rodgers, and Alexander Courage, as well as a significant collection of manuscripts by Kurt Weill (including an original manuscript for The Threepenny Opera).  Sibley is also the repository for Carl Fischer, one of the most important American publishers for classical music. At Syracuse, the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive is one of the four largest archives of recorded sound in the country, and is particularly rich in holdings from the early period of sound recording – holdings that have yet to be the subjects of serious scholarly inquiry.  These include acoustic (pre-1925) recordings of Wagner, the so-called “race” records of African American artists during the 1930’s and 1940’s, Latin American music of the 1940’s, and many others. The Belfer also houses a large collection of early playback technologies, including Victrolas and cylinder machines – a collection that has great potential for study in its own right.  The Cornell University Music Library has unusually rich holdings, including the library of the eminent musicologist Donald J. Grout, which contains an extensive collection of original scores and printed libretti extending from the seventeenth through the twentieth century. In summary, these audio, manuscript, and print archives form an exceptional scholarly resource in support of this cluster.

Coordinator: Andrew Waggoner (SU); Planners: Steve Meyer, Eileen Stempel, Amanda Winkler (SU); John Covach (UR); Patrick Macey (UR-Eastman); Kevin Ernste & Rebecca Harris-Warrick (CU); Gretchen Wheelock (UR-Eastman); James Webster (CU); Neal Zaslaw (CU)

MMH: February 2008: The Composer Apprentice Project, organized by CU composer Kevin Ernste, partnered composition students from CU and SU with the celebrated chamber ensemble Brave New Works (BNW).

MMH: September 19-20, 2008: International Symposium and Concerts: Music and Globalization, Eastman School of Music

MMH: November 17, 2008: Symposium: Music and the Common Good: Listening to Haudenosaunee Voices, Syracuse University

MMH6: Reconstructing History: Research, Performance and ‘The King of Instruments’

  • October 16-20, 2008: Part I: A symposium on J. S. Bach and the Organ, as part of the EROI festival at which the new Casparini organ will be dedicated, U Rochester.
  • October 2008: Part II: Panel and Roundtable Discussion: The Berlin Organ Tradition, Cornell.
  • Spring, 2009: Part III: Symposium: The Historical Organ and Improvisation across Three Centuries, Cornell.


MMH: Vocal Master Class Exchange

MMH: Public Musicology: Ethno-musicality in Action Conference