CURRENTS: Kelley Bell and Earl Brooks
Humanities Work Now
Kelley Bell, Associate Professor of Visual Arts
This presentation will document Professor Bell's intensive study in June 2019 with a master automata artist—Mr. Matthew Smith—at the 14 Balls Toy Company studio in Falmouth, England, to learn the wood and metal working skills and basic mechanical principles to create hybrid digital and mechanical works for Metempsychosis, a series of interactive vignettes which are present in the physical world and extend into virtual space. Bell's talk will cover the fundamental principles of automata and early robotics, document the research and prototype work completed in the UK, and the potential for meaningful cross-disciplinary STEAM project work and educational programming.
Move On Up a Little Higher: The Rhetoric of Mahalia JacksonEarl Brooks, Assistant Professor, English; Dresher Center Summer 2020 Faculty Fellow
Mahalia Jackson’s mastery of the gospel sound became a critical element of the Black freedom struggle. This book chapter from his upcoming book, Black Sonority: Rhetoric and Black Music, frames Jackson as a rhetorician par excellence while exploring the larger role of gospel music in public discourse. Brooks argues Jackson’s unique sound became an ideological and religious site of consensus, as well as a sonic commonplace between various strands of black music.