Inside Clemson

Inside NOW: Centennial Professorship award; Lauro: What everyone should know about zombies; Benedict: Moving graduate students into the field

Date Published: March 5, 2013

Scroll down to read the following articles:

  1. Call for nominations-Centennial Professorship award
  2. Sarah Lauro: What everyone should know about zombies
  3. Robert Benedict: Moving graduate students from the classroom into the field
  4. “Mug Shots” coffee cup reuse program launches this week
  5. iROAR: Clemson’s new student information system now available
  6. CCIT: Faculty Distance Education Course Design Workshop and other training opportunities
  7. Safe Tiger Mug winners
  8. Obituary: J. Edwin Faris, retiree
  9. Parking/Transit – Parking Closures, Towing Events, and CAT Route Deviations–March 6-13

1. Call for nominations-Centennial Professorship award

The Centennial Professorship is an award bestowed by the Clemson University faculty on an outstanding colleague. The Professorship is supported by an endowment jointly funded by the Clemson University faculty and their friends and a matching grant from the Commission on Higher Education.

The award will be approximately $12,000 per year, which can be used at the recipient’s discretion for a salary supplement, travel, supplies, equipment, and/or graduate student support. The Centennial Professorship is for a non-renewable two-year term.

In keeping with recent historical rotation of the award, nominations of only those faculty from the Colleges of Architecture, Arts & Humanities and Business & Behavioral Science will be accepted for the 2013 Centennial Professorship.

2008 (last award)    2013                        2015
AFLS                            AAH                           E&S
Library                         BBS                           HEHD

All Clemson University regular faculty who are tenured or have a tenure-track appointment are eligible for this award, and will be considered on the basis of demonstrated excellence in their responsibilities, which may include:

  • undergraduate and/or graduate teaching
  • applied and/or basic research
  • public/extension service
  • librarianship

Nominations are made by Clemson faculty (faculty may nominate themselves) and must be submitted by Monday, April 1, 2013 to the Faculty Senate Office (mpatte2@clemson.edu). Nominees will then be notified by the Faculty Senate Office and asked to submit their curriculum vitae (following a specific outline) and two letters showing peer support by Wednesday, May 1, 2013. These documents are to be submitted, electronically as one merged pdf document, to the Faculty Senate Office (mpatte2@clemson.edu).

2. Sarah Lauro: What everyone should know about zombies

Zombies are hot right now. Or at least, that’s what people keep saying. As someone who has spent the better part of a decade studying the walking dead, I often get asked why zombies seem to be everywhere in pop culture. Let me take this opportunity to share with you some observations I’ve had of this myth and particularly, why living corpses are still among us.

The most important thing to know about the zombie is that this is a myth that comes to the U.S. by way of the transatlantic slave trade.  It is a myth that has its ancestral origins in Africa, and it solidifies in the Caribbean around the time of the Haitian revolution (1791-1804). It really comes to the American consciousness in the 1930s, after the American occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), in a flurry of pseudo-anthropological texts and the memoirs of the marines who were stationed there, who wrote about “dead men working in the cane fields.” From there the folkloric myth of the zombie is taken up in a few movies, such as Victor Halperin’s 1932 White Zombie, and the rest, is history.

It is important to remember, however, that, at this point the zombie was not a cannibal, nor was it even particularly scary. The zombie didn’t yet want you for your brains, it was just a corpse raised from the dead by a witchdoctor. Under the control of Voodoo powers, the zombie would labor for the witchdoctor, or oungan, for free, and he would claim all the profits from the zombie’s toil. At best, the zombie was a pitiable creature, and it was terrifying not for what he might do to you, but for what he represented: the disempowered, dehumanized human, who had no control over his own actions.

The first wave of zombie movies and zombies in fiction all concern these harmless tropical voodoo zombies. There is a threat is that a white person might become zombified, but there is little or no danger posed by the zombies themselves. For rather obvious reasons, this innocuous zombie commanded the interest of American movie-goers in the 1930s. On the one hand, the zombie’s black body stood for racial prejudices that were strikingly felt in the U.S. at the time; on the other hand, white workers in the U.S., oppressed under the floundering economy of the Depression era, felt a kinship with this disempowered figure.

But just as the zombie is a body that is confiscated by the witchdoctor and put to other uses, so did the zombie’s myth become confiscated by the American film director, and put to work to symbolize not the African’s abduction and enslavement in the colonial outpost (as it had previously) but the white worker’s plight. Therefore I like to say that the zombie is not just a metaphor for slavery, it is a slave metaphor.

Once the zombie was taken up in American cinema, it began to evolve, and over the course of the 20th century the zombie has suggested the dangers of nuclear technology, space exploration, bioengineering, factory farming, and many other interventions in nature.  A co-editor and I published a scholarly collection of essays precisely on this subject.  It is called Better off Dead: the evolution of the Zombie as Posthuman (Fordham UP: 2011). And in it you will find essays that describe how the zombie goes from being an innocent victim to a contagious cannibal, how they morph from being painfully slow to strong and fast, and you’ll read about a variety of other permutations that the zombie has undergone.

My interest has always been on what the zombie tells us about our own relationship to capitalism. A co-author and I wrote a piece called “A Zombie Manifesto: the non-human condition in the era of advanced capitalism, boundary 2, (Duke University Press) Spring 2008 that has proved to be very popular.  It is not for the faint of heart, but engages with some difficult theoretical material.

More accessible to the zombie novice is a piece I wrote recently for an online journal, called “For the Ethical Treatment of Zombies,” (Incognitum Hactenus: Journal on art, horror, and philosophy, Vol. 3). This article describes what’s at stake when we call someone a zombie, and discusses the gruesome “Miami Zombie Attack” of May 2012.

The book that I am currently writing, while happily serving as a visiting assistant professor here at the English department of Clemson University, “Rise Up: Living Death, Slavery, and Rebellion,” addresses the origins of this myth and its most pivotal transformations, and ends with some discussion of the zombie’s most recent developments, particularly, what I call “extra-textual zombies,” such as the widely popular zombie walks that are held in many cities not only nationally but globally; the uses of images of zombies in protests; and even, Humans vs. Zombies tag, played on many college campuses.  Why do so many people spend time dressing up and acting like zombies in public? Well, it’s complicated, and there are a variety of reasons. Some do it to make visible their dissatisfaction with a government they feel isn’t listening to them or an economic system that makes them brain-dead consumers; some do it as a kind of exercise of community, just to show how the collective can be organized and made to participate in an event without any ties to commercialism; many have no idea why they do it, but some play dead, one supposes, just to feel alive.

A human might not stand a chance against today’s strong, fast zombie hordes, but a tiger might do some damage. So, I’ll just end with this bid: let’s bring Humans vs. Zombies to Clemson!

3. Robert Benedict: Moving graduate students from the classroom into the field

Before making the move to academia, assistant professor Robert Benedict logged 26 years in the private sector, doing everything from managing real estate investments to surveying historic properties to selecting sites for garden apartments.

So when it came time to assemble a group of professionals to mentor and guide students through Clemson’s Master of Real Estate Development program, Benedict — now program director — immediately recognized the value of connecting graduate-level students with the same folks who helped him along the way: folks in the field.

“It’s so rewarding to work with students and to prepare them for the real world,” Benedict explains. Clemson’s program is one of only a handful of graduate real estate development programs in the nation.

“Architects, construction professionals, planners — they all work together,” he says. “I try to have students work on projects with these professionals, too, so when they leave, they have that real-world experience.”

Benedict, as well as his fellow professors who serve the MRED program, accompany students as they travel all over the Southeast visiting current development projects. Called Development Tours, these field visits are now a hallmark of Clemson’s MRED program. They run the gamut — from several-day trips to Atlanta and Charlotte to a two-week minimester on the South Carolina coast, visiting up to 40 developments along the way. Students tour subsidized housing complexes, master-planned communities, resort properties, as well as industrial and mixed-use developments.

Prior to joining Clemson, Benedict was a vice president and partner with Carolina Holdings in Greenville with project management responsibilities for more than $30 million in development, including neighborhood retail, single-tenant retail and infill residential projects. But Benedict’s experience also included historic preservation consultations with public, private and nonprofit groups. He’s written listings for nearly a dozen properties on the National Register of Historic Places including Liberty Hall in Pendleton, Richland Cemetery in Greenville, and the McWhirter House in Jonesville, S.C.

Not surprisingly, one of the experiences Benedict recently offered to his MRED students was also a historic property, and it meant studying redevelopment of the vacant, 1850s-era South Carolina Lunatic Asylum in downtown Columbia. Developers Bob Hughes and Helen Sanders (MRED ’09) invited MRED students to submit redevelopment proposals for the property. The invitation was turned into a semester-long practicum in which teams worked to develop detailed plans for the asylum’s historic buildings and its 165-acre campus. The project required combining detailed site plans, financial analysis and adaptive reuse plans for the historic property. Student proposals included hotel space, residential living, retail and commercial storefronts, and walkable grounds as part of their mock-ups.

“Not every historic property can be preserved as a museum,” says Benedict, who still specializes in the adaptive reuse of historic properties. “That idea is part of what led me to Clemson, and that’s what I try to instill in my students.”

MRED students also receive unprecedented access to more than 30 industry professionals via the Advancement Board for Real Estate Development, which is made up of men and women who, like Benedict’s mentors, represent a broad cross-section of industry specialists — from developers, architects, planning and zoning officials to commercial lenders. They are available to students throughout the program and after graduation.

“They provide an excellent resource in terms of professional experience,” Benedict says. “Advancement board members are very generous with their time and very supportive of our students.”

Ultimately, Benedict explains, real estate is about people. Which is why the advancement board and all of the external support the MRED program has received is so vital.

“This is a relationship business,” he says. “We really strive to make students understand that.”

MRED students also receive unprecedented access to more than 30 industry professionals via the Advancement Board for Real Estate Development, which is made up of men and women who, like Benedict’s mentors, represent a broad cross-section of industry specialists — from developers, architects, planning and zoning officials to commercial lenders. They are available to students throughout the program and after graduation.

“They provide an excellent resource in terms of professional experience,” Benedict says. “Advancement board members are very generous with their time and very supportive of our students.”

Ultimately, Benedict explains, real estate is about people. Which is why the advancement board and all of the external support the MRED program has received is so vital.

“This is a relationship business,” he says. “We really strive to make students understand that.”

4. “Mug Shots” coffee cup reuse program launches this week

Are you a coffee drinker? Do you regularly purchase coffee on campus? Do you use those one-time use coffee cups?

Beware! You could become part of “Mug Shots”! It’s about reducing one-time use containers and reusing a genuinely crafted coffee mug.

If you’re on campus and you are spotted drinking out of one of those throw away, one-time use mugs. With your permission we will frame your “mug” and post it around campus.

You will receive a brand new sustainable coffee cup brought to you by Clemson Dining Services, Undergraduate Student Government, and endorsed by Solid Green.

It’s a great deal. You will:

  • Save money on your coffee purchases when you use the reusable cup
  • Help keep waste costs down, and
  • Do something good for the environment.

So, watch out for “Mug Shots!”

5. iROAR: Clemson’s new student information system now available

The waiting is over. Clemson’s new student information system, iROAR, is now available for students, faculty and staff.  Check out the new iROAR portal at iroar.clemson.edu for a preview and information. There is also a tab link to the new portal located on the right side of the faculty page.

Students will register for fall classes in iROAR so it is important for you to explore the portal structure and become familiar with areas, which you have access to.

While some features within the portal are available to faculty, advisors and staff based on their roles, the course catalog and class schedule are accessible by all.

*Remember: Students cannot register until advisors have cleared them!

6. CCIT: Faculty Distance Education Course Design Workshop and other training opportunities

http://www.clemson.edu/ccit/learning_tech/ccit_training/index.html

7. Safe Tiger Mug winners

February 2013

Sarah Reeves – Student Affairs Business Operations
Patrick Warren – Economics

8. Obituary: J. Edwin Faris, retiree

J. Edwin Faris, 85, of Charlotte, N.C. died Feb. 26, 2013. He served as department chair for agricultural economics and rural sociology and retired from Clemson in 1990 after 18 years of service.

Faris is survived by his wife, four children, family and friends.

Services were held March 2 at Providence Road Church of Christ in Charlotte.

Condolences may be expressed online at http://www.loweneddofuneralhome.com/.

9. Parking/Transit – Parking Closures, Towing Events, and CAT Route Deviations–March 6-13

There are a number of events occurring across campus in the upcoming week. Please note that some of these events may impact your parking routine.

Road Construction on Cherry Rd beginning Tuesday, March 5

For the next few weeks deteriorated concrete will be repaired and curb cuts will be brought into American Disabilities Act (ADA)- compliance along Cherry Road. This work will begin at the Sheep Barn and end near Parkway Drive. During this time, parking spaces and pedestrian access will be periodically closed and reopened in two- to three-day phases as not to disrupt the entire road as work progresses.

No road closures are expected, but please exercise caution going through this area until the work is complete. Please contact Greg Gibbs, ggibbs@clemson.edu, if you have any questions or concerns.

Parking at Brooks Center: Towing beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 7

Thursday, March 7, the white spaces in C-11 will be reserved starting at 6 p.m. for Patron’s Row parking for the performance of Creole Choir of Cuba. Any vehicles left in these spaces after 6 p.m. will be subject to tow. For more information about the show, please visit http://www.clemson.edu/Brooks/events/detail.php?ID=566.

Parking at Brooks Center: White Spaces Reserved Friday, March 8

Friday, March 8, the white spaces in C-11 will be reserved in the morning for Freedom Train, a Eskridge Tri-Art Series presentation. The performance begins at 9:30 a.m. and spaces will be released after the performance has begun. For more information, please visit http://www.clemson.edu/Brooks/events/triart.php.

Aisles 1-3 of C-1 parking lot reserved Friday, March 8 beginning 6 p.m.

The first three aisles of the C-1 parking lot are reserved for the first Residence Hall Associated Drive-In movie from 6 – 11:00 p.m. Friday, March 9. Commuter permit holders are asked to vacate these aisles and refrain from parking in the area by 6 p.m. Friday, March 8. All residents must return to a resident parking space upon completion of the movie.

Aisles 1-3 of C-1 parking lot reserved Saturday, March 9

The first three aisles of the C-1 parking lot are reserved for the Clemson Sports Car Club Autocross from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9. Permit holders are asked to vacate these aisles and refrain from parking in the area by 7 p.m. Friday, March 8.

Parking at Brooks Center: Towing beginning at 6pm on Monday, March 11

Monday, March 11, the white spaces in C-11 will be reserved starting at 6 p.m. for Patron’s Row parking for the Imani Winds performance. Any vehicles left in these spaces after 6pm will be subject to tow. For more information about the show, please visit http://www.clemson.edu/Brooks/events/detail.php?ID=600.

Parking at Brooks Center: White Spaces Reserved Tuesday, March 12

Tuesday, March 12, the white spaces in C-11 will be reserved in the morning for Imani Winds, a Eskridge Tri-Art Series presentation. The performance begins at 9:30 a.m. and spaces will be released after the performance has begun. For more information, please visit http://www.clemson.edu/Brooks/events/triart.php.

If you have questions or special needs relating to this notice, please contact Parking and Transportation Services at parking@clemson.edu or 656-2270.

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