Thursday, May 27
Wednesday, May 26
Tuesday, May 25
Zakes Mda, a graduate of Ohio University in the early-'70s and now professor at Ohio University teaching creative writing and African literature, has just released two of his novels, "The Madonna of Excelsior" and "She Plays With the Darkness," in the United States. Zakes is the author of some 30 plays and began writing novels about politics of race, sex and South Africa after the collapse of the apartheid.
At age 13, Zakes published his first short story in his mother tongue, Xhosa. His family soon after fled his native country of South Africa in exile to Lesotho, where he began writing in English. Zakes received his Ph.D. at the University of Cape Town; he decided to come back to Ohio University because his wife wanted to come to America and get her Ph.D., he said.
Zakes said in an interview about teaching at Ohio University for a year: "I do enjoy the very act of teaching. Even when I was working as a full-time writer in South Africa, I was a drama teacher at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. I held regular workshops for young writers there."
"I'm already jotting down notes for the Athens novel," Zakes said.
--> See the Africana QA
Monday, May 24
Friday, May 21
In 2001, some saw Denzel Washington and Halle Berry winning both best actor and best actress at the Academy Awards as evidence of a new attitude of racial equality in Hollywood. The decision of Brown v. Board of Education sparked the increase of black representation in the media.
The media is always going to follow right behind society. Whatever is going on in the world the media is going to be right behind it, said Akil Houston, an Ohio University visiting instructor of African American studies, in the Colorado Daily.
Akil said the case got the ball rolling, but the media still have a long way to go. The problem he has with the awards is not that Washington and Berry received them, but that the roles they were rewarded for were stereotypical black roles. Washington played a bad cop, and Berry played a hopeless, helpless black woman, Houston said.
Ohio University assistant professor of interdisciplinary arts Keith Harris said there is a shift from black actors playing servant-class characters to more middle class characters, but blacks are still mostly in comedies.
The best solution to the problem of representation is a wide variety of roles for black Americans, said Ohio University assistant professor of African American studies Eric Grant. He said "The Cosby Show" was a good example of reaching outside the mold.
--> See the Colorado Daily
Thursday, May 20
James W. Newton was the recipient of the Austin C. Furbee Award at the prestigious award dinner Wednesday night. Newton served 20 years as dean at Ohio University's Eastern campus and is Ohio University's special assistant to the vice president of regional higher education.
"I accept this award with great pride," Newton told the Martins Ferry Times Leader. "Mr. Furbee and his commitment to education has meant so much to the eastern Ohio community as well as family over the years."
It was also formally announced that a permanent scholarship at Ohio University-Eastern would be developed in Newton's name. St. Clairsville Mayor Robert Vincenzo officially proclaimed May 19, 2004, as "Dr. James W. Newton Day," in honor of Newton's impact as an administrator and as a civic leader.
--> See the Martins Ferry Times Leader
Wednesday, May 19
Tuesday, May 18
Ohio University Board of Trustees Chairman Robert D. Walter has announced the appointment of Roderick J. McDavis, Ph.D., as the next president of Ohio University. The Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting in early June to formally elect McDavis as the 20th president of the university and to introduce him to the Ohio University and Athens community. His appointment is effective July 1, with McDavis expected to assume full-time duties on campus around mid-August.
--> See the official release
--> See the Akron Beacon Journal
--> See the Cleveland Plain Dealer
--> See the Columbus Dispatch (registration required)
--> See the Ohio News Network
--> See the Parkersburg News and Sentinel
--> See the Post
--> See the Richmond Times-Dispatch
--> See the Toledo Blade
--> See WTAP.com
Monday, May 17
Compiled by Joseph Hughes, a writer with University Communications and Marketing