2019-2020 London Sabbatical Awardees, Intercom Announcement


Contributed by Mimi Wright

Submitted on behalf of Tanya Saunders, Assistant Provost 

I am pleased to announce the faculty members selected for the 2019-20 London Faculty Sabbatical Program, now in its 21st year. Dr. Thorunn Lonsdale, Director of the Ithaca College London Center, joins the London Sabbatical Committee in congratulating Dr. Derek Adams and Dr. Michael Smith on their selection.

Dr. Derek Adams, Associate Professor of English Literature (School of Humanities and Sciences), will spend the Fall 2019 semester completing research for the production and release of an academic edition of Mary White Ovington’s 1920 novel, The Shadow. Dr. Adams notes “The Shadow is one of the first works of fiction in the United States to depict a young, unmarried woman living on her own in a major metropolitan area. This opens up new possibilities for exploring the ways that gender intersects with race in Ovington’s novel.” Dr. Adams argues that the ‘protagonist’s narrative and the way she experiences her ‘blackness’ sheds light on the phenomenon that is transracialism, the idea that race is a feeling transcending visual markers of identity.” 

In addition to advancing his scholarly work, Dr. Adams plans to teach an experimental course for the London Center, “The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power: Life at the Margins in British and World Literature.” Dr. Adams observes that “English history is vast. Through war with other nations, efforts at imperial expansion, the extensive, programmatic colonization of various African tribes and nation-states, its participation in the Atlantic slave trade, and attempts to colonize neighboring Scotland and Ireland, practices conducted over the course of centuries, England has had multiple cultural collisions with other groups. To contemplate issues of race, gender, and social class in England, especially in the contemporary moment, necessitates accounting for multiple aspects of this history.”

Dr. Michael Smith, Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies & Sciences (School of Humanities and Sciences) will spend Spring 2020 at the London Center to further cultivate his professional relationships with members of the scholarship of teaching and learning community in the UK and to engage with preparations for a conference sponsored by the Institute for Historical Research. Dr. Smith will teach “The Climates of London: An Environmental History of the City since the Little Ice Age.” His course will include “trips to the Thames Tidal Barrier, London Water and Steamworks Museum, Greenwich, the London waste water treatment plants, and the Museum of the Docklands. Students will be able to locate the environmental history of London in the context of the greatest challenge humanity faces in the coming decades: anthropogenic global warming.”

Both Dr. Adams and Dr. Smith will offer our London Center students historical and contemporary lenses with which to understand their London experience and, as professor Smith intends, to ‘see the presence of the past all around them.”