Archives for Honors + Awards

Judy Dworin Performance Project Receives Grant for ‘Creativity Connects: National Demonstration Projects’

The Judy Dworin Performance Project (JDPP), led by Trinity College Professor of Theater & Dance Emerita Judy Dworin, has received a $75,000 grant for Creativity Connects: National Demonstration Projects, an award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mid-America Arts Alliance, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Connecticut Office of the Arts. The award supports a program that empowers incarcerated individuals and their families to express their emotions and experiences through art, thus facilitating healing and transformation. The grant initiative funded six projects nationwide that demonstrate the intersectionality of arts and other realms of public life. Community Partners in Action, a Hartford based non-profit social service organization that works with individuals affected by the criminal justice system, is a principal partner on this grant. Other collaborating organizations include Families in Crisis, the Department of Correction, and Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network.

Building on its 12-year history serving incarcerated and newly released women, JDPP has expanded its programming to other affected constituencies. During this grant period, multiple performance residencies will emphasize emotional discovery through artistic expression and give voice to these experiences in a final performance or group sharing event organized around the theme of “Choices.” The performance residency at York Correctional Institution draws on the stories of its participants to create an uplifting exploration of past traumas and shared pain and resilience. The Moms and Kids Program will work with approximately 20 incarcerated women to develop interactive arts activities that they will share with their children during a special visit. The performance residency at Cybulski Reintegration Center will provide men preparing to leave prison with the opportunity for reflection, expression, and interaction with their children and families. The Bridging Boundaries after-school program will provide a safe space for children to express their feelings about the incarceration of parents and loved ones. Finally, women who are released from prison will have the opportunity to share their stories and experiences through two arts engagements: New Beginnings, a weekly arts workshop in which women from the Resettlement Program and Trinity College students participate together; and Women Beyond Boundaries, professional performance opportunities with the Ensemble of JDPP.

The grant will also support a documentary, which will illustrate the program’s unifying theme of “Choices,” and disseminate JDPP’s work to a wider audience. Produced in partnership with Connecticut Public Television and under the direction of Emmy award-winning videographer John O’Neill, the film will showcase the process of transformation, demonstrating the stark realities of incarceration, its impact on families, and the healing power of the arts.

The Judy Dworin Performance Project is a nonprofit organization of professional artists who innovate, inspire, educate and collaborate to harness the arts as a catalyst for creative expression, community building and positive change. Its other programming includes the Moving Matters! Residency Program and its professional dance/theater Ensemble. JDPP also participates as a partner in Free to Succeed, a Trinity College-led program that offers college study in prison and post-release for women at York Correctional Institution.

Written by Ellen V. Hart

Michelle Kovarik Receives NSF Grant to Study Cellular Differences in Social Amoeba

Kunwei Yang ’17, Trinity College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michelle Kovarik, Kathy Rodogiannis ’17, and Allison Tierney ’17 in Kovarik’s lab.

Kunwei Yang ’17, Trinity College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michelle Kovarik, Kathy Rodogiannis ’17, and Allison Tierney ’17 in Kovarik’s lab. Photo by Andrew J. Concatelli

Cells, the building blocks of all biological life, can be chemically different even when they are genetically identical. While this heterogeneity has been studied in mammalian cell lines, particularly in human cancer, it has not been explored in other types of organisms. Trinity College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michelle Kovarik recently received a $212,253 grant from the National Science Foundation to adapt existing biochemical and bioanalytical tools to study cellular differences in the social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum. By isolating and measuring levels of the enzyme protein kinase B, Kovarik’s research will add to existing knowledge of the causes and impacts of cellular heterogeneity. This data will provide a valuable context for future research on the subject.

Kovarik’s research will also establish a methodology for testing chemical differences in social amoeba at the single-cell level. Kovarik’s post-doctoral research focused on developing these tests for human cancer cells and the adaptation of two tools – microfluidics and peptide substrate reporters – will expand the application of these technologies to other organisms. “These tools have been developed with a huge investment of time, money, and student labor, yet they are not widely used,” said Kovarik. “Part of this project focuses on new applications of these powerful tools to see how else they can be used.”

This summer, Kovarik is working with three students (pictured) to test and refine the methodology. Of the 10 students whom Kovarik has employed in her lab over the past three years, seven have been involved with various aspects of this project. This dedication to student research was recognized by a reviewer at the National Science Foundation. Kovarik noted, “One reviewer was impressed that all the preliminary data in the proposal had been collected by my students here at Trinity, in our lab. I am very proud of this.”

Working with students is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job, and Kovarik is deeply committed to their success. “My undergraduate mentor changed the course of my career and my life,” she said. “One of the reasons I came to a small undergraduate institution was because I wanted to make sure that more students have a similar experience.”

Kovarik’s NSF grant will fund two student researchers in her lab for the next three summers. She is looking forward to this work and the opportunity to mentor future practitioners. “I am very passionate about my work,” she said. “Doing undergraduate research can be life-changing for those who decide to be professional scientists.”

Written by Ellen V. Hart

Trinity College Associate Professor Harry Blaise and Collaborators Inspire Teachers and Young Students

Trinity College received a grant from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) aimed at strengthening curriculum and interest in biomedical sciences. Associate Professor of Engineering Harry Blaise ’94 (Trinity College), Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Cater Arico (University of Hartford), and Magnet School Theme Coach Jerry Crystal (Capitol Region Education Council Academy of Aerospace and Engineering) served as project leaders.
The grant funded the BME-4-STEM program, BME referring to Biomedical Engineering and STEM signifying the accompanying skills of science, technology, engineering, and math. This initiative created and piloted an innovative middle school biomedical sciences curricula that was developed by college faculty, middle school educators, industry leaders, and undergraduate student STEM leaders, and may well be among the first such broad and collaborative approaches in biomedical sciences in the country.

In a training session at Trinity College this summer were: (L-R) Penny Kelly, science teacher at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering; Harry Blaise, associate professor of engineering, Trinity College; Jerry Crystal, STEM coach, CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering; Marjahn Finlayson, science teacher, Talcott Mountain Science Academy; Joseph Palladino, professor of engineering, Trinity College; Jesscia Voight '17, Trinity enigineering major; DavidJohn F. Douglas, science teacher at CREC Medical Professions Academy; Andrea Kwaczala, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, University of Hartford; Hugh Nguyen '17, Trinity engineering major; Jonathan Craig, executive director of Talcott Mountain Science Center; Mary (Cater) Arico, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, University of Hartford; and invited speaker Ulrike Klueh, associate professor, UConn Health Center.

In a training session at Trinity College this summer were: (L-R) Penny Kelly, science teacher at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering; Harry Blaise, associate professor of engineering, Trinity College; Jerry Crystal, STEM coach, CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering; Marjahn Finlayson, science teacher, Talcott Mountain Science Academy; Joseph Palladino, professor of engineering, Trinity College; Jesscia Voight ’17, Trinity enigineering major; DavidJohn F. Douglas, science teacher at CREC Medical Professions Academy; Andrea Kwaczala, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, University of Hartford; Hugh Nguyen ’17, Trinity engineering major; Jonathan Craig, executive director of Talcott Mountain Science Center; Mary (Cater) Arico, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, University of Hartford; and invited speaker Ulrike Klueh, associate professor, UConn Health Center.

Through the creation of innovative lesson plans, experiments, and teacher training – first as a pilot program at a local level and ultimately replicated nationally – Blaise and his collaborators seek to educate and excite middle and eventually high school students about biomedical sciences. The project is part of the Hartford.Health.Works. (HHW) portfolio of programs. HHW is the brainchild of BEACON (Biomedical Engineering Alliance and Consortium), Rising-Tide Healthcare, and Movia Robotics. The goal of HHW is to leverage the city’s existing healthcare and technology infrastructure to drive STEM education, entrepreneurism, medical device manufacturing, and workforce development in the city of Hartford. Trinity College joined HHW as the lead education partner, and this is the first grant-funded programmatic initiative.

Crystal recruited local middle school teachers to participate in the summer program, and Arico’s responsibilities included industry outreach as well as curricula development. Both Blaise and Arico recruited engineering faculty and STEM undergraduate student leaders to teach the material to educators during the STEM Teacher Academy. According to Blaise, students from the Metropolitan Learning Center, a CREC school in Bloomfield, Talcott Mountain Science Center, and the Hartford Youth Scholars summer program participated in the program. In addition, “Trinity and University of Hartford students were involved during all phases of the program, including serving as teaching assistants, lab assistants, and program evaluation assistants,” he said.

The grant supported a number of students and teachers interested in biomedical engineering coursework and careers. Blaise recognized the dearth of such curriculum nationwide, especially in low-income school systems like Hartford. Partnering with CREC and programs such as Hartford Youth Scholars allowed BME-4-STEM to reach underserved students.

Blaise, whose current research is focused on the effects of caffeine on memory at the neuronal and synaptic levels, can still recall his own childhood encounters with science, showing that early exposure can often spark a deeper interest. “I built a very crude crystal AM radio when I was about 9 or 10,” he said. “I remember it working, although I was only able to receive one station. Later on, when I was in high school, I used to watch the PBS TV series, The Mechanical Universe. It was a documentary-style show covering geometry, trigonometry, and physics… That was about the time I decided to pursue a career in the STEM field.”

Written by Ursula Paige Granirer ’17

$1.2 Million NSF Grant Extends Reach of Work by Computer Science Professor Ralph Morelli

Trinity College - Mobile Apps Expo - May 24, 2016

Ralph Morelli, Trinity College professor of computer science. Photo by John Atashian.​

A supplemental grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the extension of a project led by Ralph Morelli, Trinity College professor of computer science, to train high school educators to teach an Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles course through the use of app development (Mobile CSP).

This supplemental grant of $1,187,819 will allow Morelli to scale the program to an online classroom and nine satellite locations across the country this summer to instruct high school educators to teach the CSP course. The award to Trinity College includes a sub-award to the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, which is a partner in the professional development program.

Working with Morelli as the co-principal investigator for the Trinity project is Dr. Chinma Uche, president of the Connecticut chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Pauline Lake ’13 is their full-time teacher consultant and staff member. At St. Scholastica, the PI is Assistant Professor Jennifer Rosato and her co-PI is Professor Chery Takkunen Lucarelli.

“The new high school AP course is designed to reach a broader range of students,” Morelli said. “Computer science is really an important discipline. A lot of jobs require computing skills, but I think it’s even more important than that, given the ubiquity in computing in everything we do now. It’s important that students be studying this: How do computers work? Why are they having these good effects, why are they having these bad effects, and what can we do about them? Pick any field, and you can cite examples of how you need to know some computing.” Acknowledging the need for students of all ages to be exposed to computer science in school, President Obama announced a Computer Science for All initiative earlier this year.

In order for high schools to offer this AP course, teachers first must learn how to teach it. “The NSF started a project to develop curricula for this new course and to train teachers,” Morelli said. “That’s where our funding comes from.” Many high schools do not have dedicated computer science teachers, so teachers from all disciplines may participate in the professional development. “It is a big stretch for some of them,” Morelli said. “The key goal of the summer professional development is to get them confident enough to say, ‘I can teach this.’”

Morelli’s initial grant proposal in 2012 was to train 30 Connecticut teachers over three years using Mobile CSP; that goal was exceeded. In 2014, the NSF awarded another grant to the College of St. Scholastica to scale the Mobile CSP online. “Together we’ve created what’s called a MOOC, a massive open online course, which hosts our materials,” Morelli said. “We use that for the professional development course which we offer to teachers in the summer. Teachers then use that same course in their classrooms.”

Last summer the project trained cohorts of teachers in Manchester, New Hampshire, San Francisco, and Boston. “We ended up training more than 100 teachers altogether,” Morelli said. “This year, with this supplemental funding, we’re going to train 80 teachers online with the funds that go through St. Scholastica, and the Trinity funds go to train 80 teachers that are spread out in different local cohorts. There’s a total of nine of them: New York City; Manchester, New Hampshire; Holyoke, Massachusetts; Kean University in New Jersey; Germanna Community College in Virginia; the University of San Francisco; Bucks County Community College outside of Philadelphia; the University of Delaware; and at Trinity College here in Hartford.” St. Scholastica has already committed to training another120 teachers next year. “The idea is to have our project, together with other projects of the same kind, train something like 10,000 computer science teachers,” Morelli said. “The name of the program we’re funded under in NSF is CS 10K.”

The mobile CSP course has been endorsed by the College Board, so the hundreds of teachers who get this training can then simply submit the Mobile CSP syllabus to the Board and it will be approved as an AP course for their respective schools, Morelli said.

“In the online version of this project, the course meets four weeks entirely online. The teachers are spread out, some in rural areas, and it can be very difficult for them to get professional development like this,” Morelli said. After educators learn how to teach computer science, they will be able to offer the AP CSP class, which means, as Morelli explained, “Students will have access to something they would otherwise not have.”

Written by Andrew J. Concatelli

Joshua Stillwagon Receives Grant from Institute for New Economic Thinking

Joshua Stillwagon, assistant professor of economics at Trinity College, has received a grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking to continue his research on Imperfect Knowledge Economics. The $37,780 award will extend Stillwagon’s junior faculty leave to a full year.

Stillwagon Web100​According to Stillwagon, there is a prominent debate in the field of financial economics about whether financial markets are efficient or irrational. “My research looks at data of traders’ forecasts of future asset prices, to get a better idea of how they form their expectations,” Stillwagon said. This grant funds the continuation of that ongoing research.

“Most recently I’ve been looking at expectations of traders in the stock market to examine whether they focus on the fundamentals rational theory would imply, such as company earnings, or factors that the behavioral theories would suggest, such as extrapolation,” Stillwagon said. “The research is trying to weigh in on the debate of the rational theory versus behavioral theory. Both could be important, but they are often viewed as mutually exclusive. If you acknowledge there is change over time, then there is room for both of them to enter.”

The rational theory claims that all relevant information is incorporated in the appropriate way into asset prices, Stillwagon explained. The behavioral theory, however, argues that prices often deviate from appropriate values due to traders’ psychological biases. “This research project focuses on a deficiency common to these otherwise diametrically opposed schools of thought: they both presume that the forecasting strategies used by market participants, and therefore the relationship driving asset prices, are completely time invariant or at least changing in only a mechanical, predetermined manner,” Stillwagon said. “This work builds on that of Imperfect Knowledge Economics, which recognizes the pervasiveness of non-routine change and genuine uncertainty.”

This research examines how expectations are influenced by both behavioral and efficient market factors, but allows for structural change over time. “I’ve been working with survey data in other markets. Now we’re doing it in the stock market,” Stillwagon said. “Preliminary results for the stock market suggest that both are relevant for understanding traders’ expectations, but in evolving ways over time.”

Stillwagon is working on this project with Roman Frydman, professor of economics at New York University. “He has done a lot of work in the foreign exchange market, developing the Imperfect Knowledge Economics theory and looking at how the relationships change over time, and I have been doing empirical work with survey data primarily,” Stillwagon said. “Now we’re combining survey data and time-varying relationships for work on the stock market.” This work will be extended to both currency and bond markets.

Written by Andrew J. Concatelli

Xiangming Chen Receives Beacon Award from Institute of International Education for Hosting Rescue Scholar Fellows

After receiving Beacon award with Tom Johnson Web450

Xiangming Chen, dean and director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies at Trinity College, received the Beacon Award from Tom Johnson ’62, Hon. ’05, P’97, a former chairman of Trinity’s Board of Trustees who is currently the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the IIE.

At the Institute of International Education (IIE) Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) Forum held in New York on April 29, Xiangming Chen, dean and director of the Center for Urban and Global Studies (CUGS), was presented with the Beacon Award for his inspiring dedication to hosting IIE-SRF fellows at Trinity College. In her letter to Chen, Sarah Willcox, director of SRF at IIE, wrote, “It gives me great pleasure to inform you that you have been chosen as this year’s recipient of the IIE-SRF Beacon Award for your exceptional commitment to providing safe haven to threatened scholars. We would like to honor your passion and dedication to creating an environment at Trinity College in which scholars can freely continue their work in safety.”

Chen received the award from Tom Johnson ’62, Hon. ’05, P’97, a former chairman of Trinity’s Board of Trustees who is currently the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the IIE. The Rescue Scholars at Trinity are jointly supported by a one-year fellowship from IIE and the Scott Michael Johnson ’97 Memorial Fund, which was established by Tom and his wife, Ann, in honor of their son Scott, a member of the Trinity College Class of 1997 who lost his life in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The Rescue Scholars have the opportunity to stay on for a second year if they apply and are approved by IIE and Trinity College before the end of their first year.

After receiving the award, Chen made short remarks about how honored he was to receive this prestigious award, especially from Tom Johnson. Chen stressed the critical importance of seeing Trinity not just as a hosting institution but as a hosting family for these scholars, some of whom have also brought their family members. He acknowledged his colleagues at CUGS and beyond as a large hosting family that has provided strong and targeted academic and social support for the six scholars hosted thus far at Trinity. Chen took great pride in sharing the award with his colleagues.

The six scholars to date include: two from Iran and one each from Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Iraq, and, currently, a scholar from Belarus. Their various fields of study include: economics, environmental science, history, sociology, urban and regional planning, and watershed management. While all six scholars have carried their own research projects, Chen has found ways to collaborate with them, which has led to joint publications with three of the six scholars. The other three scholars have been contributors to the collective projects and publications at CUGS.

All six scholars have taught at least one course related to their area of expertise, most of which have been cross-listed and benefited many Trinity students. For example, Belarussian scholar Vladimir Kananovich taught “The History of Urbanism in Eastern Europe” and “Ukraine and Belarus in Historical Perspective” in fall 2015, and will teach them again in fall 2016. “I am deeply grateful to the Center for Urban and Global Studies at Trinity College for hosting me as IIE-SRF fellow,” Kananovich said. “My stay at CUGS has given me a valuable opportunity to combine teaching with my research. The faculty and staff at CUGS, in the History Department and International Studies Program, and at Trinity have been very supportive of my two academic courses. My participation in CUGS’ research and programming activities has allowed me to adjust and connect my courses on medieval and early modern history to urban studies.”

Associate Professor of Political Science Lida Maxwell Receives Fellowship Award for ‘Truth in Public’ Book Project

With the presidential campaigns underway, disputes over who is telling the truth – and of what “the truth” even means – are ever-present. Lida Maxwell, Associate Professor of Political Science at Trinity College, was awarded a Mellon Mid-Career Research Fellowship at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center for 2016-2017 to write about this topic in her book project, Truth in Public. The book raises normative questions about how citizens make collective judgments about truth in the public realm. In particular, Maxwell is interested in asking why some speakers (usually white, male, heterosexual) are viewed as more credible than others.

LidaMaxwell Web450Maxwell, a political theorist, said she was inspired to work on this project by a first-year seminar she taught at Trinity in fall of 2011 called “Truth, Lies, Politics.” In that class, Maxwell and her students read texts on truth and lying by thinkers such as Plato, Augustine, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt. Maxwell’s engagement with students helped to shape the main questions she would explore in her book. “I love having my thinking unsettled,” she said about students asking questions in the classroom.

Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of a lack of truth in politics, Maxwell takes an alternate route in discussing truth in politics. In contrast to our contemporary view that truth is out of place in politics, she illustrates the importance of political truth-telling as a practice of freedom in late 19th and early 20th century political thought. Her research asks questions like, “Who counts as a proper truth-teller?” and “What roles ‘qualify’ individuals to tell the truth?” She notes that most “truth” comes from powerful white men, and citizens are less prone to trust those who do not fall into this category. Instead of aiming her critical gaze at politicians, Maxwell focuses on “how we, as citizens, make judgements about politicians, politically act on behalf or against them, or spark and engage in movements that challenge the political terms through which elections are conducted.”

Despite the belief that truth is something acquired through individual contemplation or research, Maxwell’s goal is to provide a counterargument that suggests that truth can be acquired in politics through different resources. The project explores the ways that citizens struggle with, validate, or even declaim truths, and how the person preaching the truth affects how it is received. Maxwell said, “The connection between these two parts of the project is that I think our collective ability to grapple with truth is deeply linked to how we make judgments about who counts as a proper truth-teller.”

Maxwell joins a list of more than a dozen professors who have received prestigious grants this academic year. For more information on professors who have received funding, click here.

Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center promotes research and scholarly exchange across fields and is especially committed to supporting the activities of faculty and students whose work transcends departmental boundaries. The Mellon program provides funding to allow exceptional scholars to pursue research programs in the humanities and related fields and enter into intellectual exchanges with faculty, fellows, and other visitors to the Whitney Humanities Center.

Written by Liz A. Boyhan ’18

Gary Reger Receives Competitive NEH Fellowship to Write About Economic History of the Greco-Roman World

Gary Reger, Hobart Professor of Classical Languages at Trinity College, has received an award of $50,400 from the National Endowment for the Humanities through its Fellowship program. The NEH Fellowship program is extremely competitive and prestigious; approximately 7 percent of applicants receive funding. Reger’s grant-supported research project will result in a book that will serve as an introduction to the economic history of the Greek and Roman world, covering the time period of roughly 1200 BCE to 400 CE.

Gary Reger by John Marinelli_MG_3412 Web300Reger said the book will be accessible for general readers and those advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying the Greco-Roman world who want a comprehensive introduction. The book’s sections will include a narrative, a chronological discussion of Greco-Roman economic history, and a series of “case-studies” of focused, specific questions, designed to exploit a wide variety of economic historical matters.

“I will try to show how some of the more recent theoretical and modeling approaches that have shaped or re-shaped the way that we think about the economy in the Greek and Roman world,” Reger said of his research method. “I will do this through a narrative of economic change and continuity over time, and more importantly, through a series of case studies that focus in on very particular times and questions.”

Reger’s goal is for this project to contribute to his field of study and to the humanities more generally. “I’m hoping this book will serve as an entrée into a world that is pretty complicated,” he said. “There is a lot of literature that is not in English, thus not very accessible. I’m hoping I can bring that material to bear, and in the process hopefully get people to ask new types of questions and think in different ways about the problems and issues that are connected to Greek and Roman economic history.”

Reger does not see his research as insulated from his classroom. He welcomes the connection between his research and his teaching. He said, “I think there’s a great deal of student interest in economic history. It’s clear to me that students are interested in this ‘deep past’ question. There’s a lot of interest in economics now while the political process is taking place, students find it interesting to look at similar issues in different historical contexts.”

Written by Josh LeBlanc ’16

Photo by John Marinelli

Vijay Prashad’s Book ‘No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism’ Named to ‘Top 10 of 2015’ List by Indian Newspaper

The end of the 2015 calendar year has brought a new honor to Trinity College’s George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies Vijay Prashad.

The Hindu, a leading newspaper in South India, has selected Idathu Thiruppam Elithalla, the Tamil edition of Prashad’s book No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism, as one of the Top 10 Best Books of 2015.

Trinity College - Books - November 4, 2015

According to the book’s publisher, New Delhi-based LeftWord Books, “No Free Left is a critical examination of the past of Indian Communism and an assessment of its future. … [It] stays alive to the details of the present while drawing out the long term dynamic, combining a rich historical survey with acute political analysis of the present. It is a compelling work for students of Indian politics. For activists of the Left, it is indispensable reading. Above all, it is a live work, an invitation to debate and discussion.”

In a review of No Free Left published by The Hindu in April 2015, Arvind Sivaramakrishnan wrote, in part, “Vijay Prashad’s commanding knowledge of the material … his passion for the subject and his meticulous research combine to show that for the left, new tomorrows await.” To read the full review, click here.

Prashad said that the recognition his book has received indicates the importance of its subject. “I wrote this book largely because I remain concerned about the fact that over 780 million Indians live in deprivation. There is so little discussion about their well-being and future,” he said. “Only the Indian Left – weak as it is – consistently takes up the issues of these Indians. The book assesses the ability of the Left to gain traction in India and, therefore, to take on directly the problem of inequality. That The Hindu valued the book suggests to me that there are others there who agree that inequality needs to be addressed head on.”

For more information about No Free Left, visit its official LeftWord Books website here. The Tamil edition of the book is available here.

Prashad, who is the director of international studies at Trinity College, is the author of 18 books and is the chief editor at LeftWord Books in New Delhi. He is also a regular columnist for Frontline (India), al-Araby al-Jadeed, and BirGün (Turkey). His work can be read monthly in The Hindu (India).

Written by Andrew J. Concatelli; Photo by John Atashian

Professor of Language and Culture Studies Thomas Harrington Honored with Catalan Culture Award


Tom Harrington, right, is awarded the Batista i Roca Prize in the Hall of One Hundred.

Professor of Language and Culture Studies Thomas Harrington recently received the Batista i Roca Prize, awarded annually by the Institute for the Foreign Dissemination of Catalan Culture, for his “work in favor of the Catalan presence in the world and the dissemination of Catalan culture and the Catalan national reality overseas.” Harrington is one of 10 people from around the world chosen to receive this year’s prize.

Harrington was in Barcelona on November 14 to receive the award, which was presented by the vice mayor of the city, Gerardo Pisarello. The award ceremony took place in the Saló de Cent (Hall of One Hundred) at City Hall, from which the Council of One Hundred, one of Europe’s oldest parliaments, governed Barcelona between 1373 and 1714.

Harrington said it was a moving experience “to be honored in that historic place for, in effect, having been lucky enough to be able to pursue my academic passion, which has led to amazing friendships, which have led to more academic interests and passions.” While accepting the award, he spoke about memory and its essential role within societies, as well as “the extraordinary way Catalans have had of retaining a clear sense of who they are against tremendous odds through the centuries.”

The day before the award ceremony, honorees were feted in the Catalan Parliament and at the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat. Harrington said, “Since the Middle Ages, Montserrat has been the place where written Catalan culture has always been preserved in the face of numerous attempts to abolish its official role in society.”

A Trinity faculty member since 1997, Harrington received an A.B. from College of the Holy Cross, an M.A. from Middlebury College, and a Ph.D. from Brown University. Read more here about Harrington’s most recent book, The Alchemy of Identity, and other highlights of his scholarship.

Written by Kathy Andrews

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