NEDtalks 2017 Speakers: Wednesday, April 19

Join us Wednesday, April 19, beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Ned R. McWherter Library, room 226, for the first day of NEDtalks 2017. NEDtalks is a two-day symposium where UofM faculty will share their recent research in 15 minute talks designed to engage and entertain. The full line-up of Wednesday’s speakers is below, as well as photos and bios of each. A huge thank you to the wonderful UofM scholars who plan to share their accomplishments with us at NEDtalks, and to all UofM faculty for their continued contributions to UofM scholarship.

Dr. Brandy T. Wilson, PhD, is the author of The Palace Blues: A Novel, a 2015 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Lesbian Fiction and winner of the Alice B. Readers’ Lavender Award. She specializes in fiction and creative nonfiction writing, LGBTQ literature and Women’s and Gender Studies. Wilson was an Astraea Emerging Lesbian Writers Fund Finalist, a Lambda Literary Retreat Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow in fiction, and a recipient of three Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference scholarships. Her work has appeared in Robert Olen Butler’s From Where You Dream, Ninth Letter, G.R.I.T.S. Girls Raised in the South, Pank Magazine, Wee Folk and Wise, and Lumina among others. She teaches in the English Department at the UofM and lives in Memphis with her wife and son.

Dr. Leah Windsor is a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for Intelligent Systems at The University of Memphis. She received her Bachelor of Science in Linguistics from Georgetown University in 1998 and her Ph.D. in Political Science from The University of Mississippi in 2012. She is PI for a Minerva Initiative grant that examines political communication in authoritarian regimes and opaque political groups. She uses computational linguistics to answer questions about regime survival, political crisis and conflict, propaganda and persuasion, bluffs and threats, and radicalization. Her interdisciplinary approach is situated at the intersection of political science, psychology, cognitive science, computer science, neurobiology, methodology, and linguistics. She has analyzed the language of leaders like Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-Il and Kim Jong-Un, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Muammar Qaddafi. She is broadly interested in issues of bias and ethnocentrism in corpus linguistics and politics, and on issues of translation and fidelity to a document’s intent. Most recently she presented her work to the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Defense.

Dr. Bryna Bobick is an Associate Professor of Art Education. She earned a BFA and Doctorate of Education in Art Education from the University of Georgia and a M.Ed. from the University of West Georgia.  She co-edited with Dr. Leigh Hersey, Handbook of Research on the Facilitation of Civic Engagement through Community Art. IGI Global: Hershey, PA. This book explores the numerous ways that the arts can encourage civic engagement.  It is a comprehensive reference source for emerging perspectives on the incorporation of artistic works to facilitate improved civic engagement, 671 pages and 27 chapters.

Jo Sanburg (Sound Designer) is a second-year graduate student at the UofM, concentrating in sound design, lighting design, and composition.  Her most recent credits include sound design for the University of Memphis’ Anon(ymous) and Little Shop of Horrors, Theatre Memphis’ production of The 39 Steps, and Tennessee Shakespeare’s production of Henry V.  Other credits include lighting design for The Sparrow and Empires of Eternal Void, and composition for Illinois State University’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre. She is a member of SETC and USITT.


Dr. Suzanne Onstine is an associate professor of History, specializing in Egyptology. She received her PhD from the University of Toronto and did undergraduate work at the University of Arizona. While Onstine has worked on several excavations and epigraphic projects in Egypt and Jordan, TT16 is the first field project she has directed. She has been directing the archaeological research in Theban Tomb 16 since 2008 and has published several articles related to it. Research interests include gender and social history, archaeology, Nubian cultures, the Predynastic era of Egypt, and religion in ancient Egypt.

Dr. Jeremy Orosz is Assistant Professor of Music at the UofM. He earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Music Theory at the University of Minnesota, where he also pursued a master’s degree in linguistics. He has published his work in various academic journals, and presented papers at music theory, musicology, and other interdisciplinary venues across North and South America.


Dr. Thomas J. Hrach is an associate professor at the UofM Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Hrach received his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1985, and he earned a master’s degree in news journalism from Kent State University in 1990. He completed his doctorate degree in mass communication from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in 2008. He is a former editor and reporter at The Marietta Times in Marietta, Ohio. Hrach researches journalism history with a focus on the 1950s and 1960s. His most recent publication is The Riot Report and the News: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America. The book was published in September 2016 by the University of Massachusetts Press.

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