College of Arts and Science Highlights
In his sabbatical semester (the fall of 2013), Pedro Poitevin wrote two and a half books.
One of them, a book of Spanish palindromes titled Ateo Pedro Va Para Pavor De Poeta (in English, roughly Pedro the atheist is on his way to becoming a fearsome poet) is being published by Ediciones Acapulco in Mexico with a grant from Conaculta (the Mexican National Council for Arts and Culture). Another, a book of Spanish poems titled Perplejidades (in English, perplexities), is in press in Mexico at the moment. Much to the author’s surprise, in spite of what the title of the first book says about this one, it also won a grant by Conaculta, and it is being published by Cooperativa La Joplin in a collection of three books, including one by Edward Hirsch and one by the Mexican poet Aurelio Asiain. Aside from these two creative projects, Pedro also began writing a book entitled “Introduction to Real Analysis: Examples First,” a book guided by a philosophy according to which students benefit from having a large collection of examples before encountering abstract definitions or theorems. On November 25, 2013, Pedro also delivered an invited talk on poetry and mathematics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Meghan McLyman: dance professor in the sport and movement science department
My sabbatical began with two celebrations, earning tenure and promotion and my daughter’s first birthday. This was followed by a huge sigh of relief because I had survived the year of became a mother while simultaneously going through the tenure/promotion process. That being said, my sabbatical turned into a discovery process of finding myself again. I returned to dance making with the creation of a solo that examines my transition into motherhood including the joys, frustrations, pure exhaustion, and being torn between mother and artist. I created two additional student pieces as a guest artist at the College of the Fenway’s (COF) dance program for their December dance concert.
The most precious gift a sabbatical period provides is the gift of time. In addition to choreographing, I immersed myself in a number of classes including dance technique, yoga, the Alexander Technique, and two online dance pedagogy courses… oh, and a parenting class!
Upon returning to the Salem State classroom, my sabbatical research unfolded as I shared my newfound discoveries with our students, including restaging one of the COF dance pieces on them. My own choreography continues to explore the balance between motherhood, artist, and life in general.
Sociology Professor Tiffany Chenault
My sabbatical started off with participating in the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington DC. To witness and interview people who marched 50 years and came back to celebrate the anniversary was a once in a lifetime experience. Racism and inequality have not gone away. They are reorganized and rendered at times justified and invisible. 50 years after Civil Rights Legislation (1962-1965) how far have we progressed in race relations in regards to voting, employment, housing, and education. This was question and focus of my sabbatical. I was able to publish research examining voting inequalities in the 2012 presidential in Salem, MA. Along with my other collaborators, students, and community members we were able to document the racial discrepancies at the voting polls. We also we able to enact change and have the polling location moved back to the community of minority residents.
In addition being on sabbatical gave me time to work on the intersections of race and gender in academia and the workforce. For women of color who rise up to a certain level in their professions how do they navigate spaces of power and privilege? What are the ways that oppression and racism operate when these women are in “power positions?”