Academic Minute Podcast

The Academic Minute for 2023.08.28-2023.09.01

The Academic Minute from 8.28 – 9.01

Megan Benka-Coker Gettysburg College
Evaluating Real-World Global Health Interventions
Dr. Benka-Coker is an Assistant Professor in the Health Sciences Department at Gettysburg College. She is an environmental epidemiologist and global health researcher. Her research primarily focuses on household energy and cooking, evaluating cleaner-burning cookstove technologies and the potential to improve population-level health. She has worked with interdisciplinary teams in West and East Africa and Central America to try to understand the multi-faceted energy challenges facing communities.

Jennifer Bloomquist – Gettysburg College
Linguistic Minstrelsy in Children’s Animated Film
Jennifer Bloomquist is Associate Provost for Faculty Development & Dean of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs. Prior to her appointment to the Office of the Provost in June, 2017, Jen chaired the Africana Studies Program for 9 years starting in 2007, excluding a couple semesters while she was on sabbatical leave. A Washington, D.C. native, Jen attended Clarion University in Pennsylvania where in 1995 she earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She received both her master’s and doctoral degrees in linguistics from the University at Buffalo in 1998 and 2003 respectively. Jen began teaching at Gettysburg College in January 2002, first in the English department, and then on the faculty of the Africana Studies Program as the college’s first Derrick K. Gondwe Fellow from 2003-2005. Additionally, she has served as the co-chair of the Linguistic Society of America’s Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics. Her work has been published in First Language, Journal of Pragmatics, Multilingua, the Southern Journal of Linguistics, American Speech, and the Journal of African American Studies. Jen’s research focuses on African American Englishes in the regional context; she is currently at work on a project with Oxford University Press, From Dumbo to Donkey: Linguistic Minstrelsy in Children’s Animated Films. (due out in 2023) that focuses on the representation of African American English and its role in the construction of ethnicity in children’s animated films.

Christopher Fee – Gettysburg College
Paddling in the Wake of the Vikings
Christopher R. Fee, Ph.D., is Graeff Professor in the English Department at Gettysburg College and teaches numerous courses on various medieval subjects. His courses include popular seminars on the Vikings, which Fee has taught for many years both at Gettysburg and at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen, where his Hamlet class twice has staged that play in Kronborg Slot, aka “Hamlet’s Castle.” Fee earned his PHD in 1997 from the University of Glasgow.

Salma Monani – Gettysburg College
Mediating Human-Nature Relations
Salma Monani is an Environmental Humanities scholar and teacher. She has extensively published on ecocinema studies, explorations of Indigenous ecomedia, film and environmental justice, and is co-editor of four ecocritical media anthologies. She is currently working on a monograph: Indigenous Ecocinema: Decolonizing Media Landscapes (contract with University of West Virginia). As part of her College’s Land Acknowledgment Committee, her scholarship also engages the practice of digital, public eco-humanities along with community research with Indigenous partners.

Jim Downs – Gettysburg College
New Theories of Epidemiology
Jim Downs is the Gilder Lehrman-National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Civil War Era Studies and History at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine (Harvard UP, 2021), which will be translated into Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. His other books include Sick from Freedom: African American Sickness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction (Oxford UP, 2012) and Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (Basic Books, 2016). He has published essays in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Vice, Slate, The Lancet, LA Times, among others. He is also the editor of Civil War History. During the academic year 2022-23, he was the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.


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