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Tag Archives: Lisa Nielson

An Anisfield Wolf-Inflected Reading List For India

by Lisa Nielson A colleague at the Cleveland Council on World Affairs generously nominated me for a professional exchange, sponsored by World Learning, that has me packing my bags for India. But what about books? How do I prepare for my first visit to a place with over 4,000 years of history? While I’ve lived in Jerusalem and Damascus – no slouches in the antiquity department – the weight of time and the linguistic, environmental and cultural diversity of India are daunting. Armed with a list of helpful articles and suggested reading from the marvelous program director at World Learning, Dianne Neville, I went to the public library. Because I’m a medievalist, everything past the 17th century is distressingly recent. My association with the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards helps... Read More →

Bringing Personal Authenticity To The Classroom

The Lavender Graduation is an annual celebration that occurs on numerous campuses across the country, where graduating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied students are formally recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments. Last month, Anisfield-Wolf SAGE Fellow Lisa Nielson was honored during Case Western Reserve University's ceremony with the Prizm Award, which honors faculty and staff members significant contribution to the LGBTQ+ community. Her acceptance speech is reprinted here with permission.  In thinking about what I wanted to say this evening, I naturally gravitated to my identity as a teacher and scholar. To be effective as both, one also needs to be a storyteller. We connect to information and one another through our own experiences and the shared... Read More →

Case Western Reserve University Adding Second Anisfield-Wolf Scholar To Faculty

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards will expand its reach in 2015 with the addition of a second scholar at Case Western Reserve University teaching about racism and the awards literature, starting in the fall.  The Cleveland University posted a description of the fellowship this month. Lisa Nielson has been a Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University since 2011 The individual who is hired will join Dr. Lisa Nielson, a pioneering partner to the book awards. She has been instrumental in bringing Anisfield-Wolf literature into the university canon. A classically-trained musician and scholar, Nielson has won major grants and two university teaching awards since she became the first Anisfield-Wolf SAGES scholar in the fall of 2011. Her success has bred much success: students... Read More →

How To Teach College Students About Race And Identity: Let Them Lead The Way

By Lisa Nielson, Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow Lisa Nielson is the Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University. She has a PhD in historical musicology, with a specialization in Women’s Studes, and teaches seminars on the harem, slavery and courtesans. In the fall of 2013, during the first week of my first-year college seminar, “Reading Social Justice: The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards,” the students and I read Rita Dove’s haunting poem Trayvon, Redux. As we discussed the poem and the killing of Trayvon Martin,one of the students stated, “Everyone is racist.” There was an immediate uproar. Perhaps I should have intervened, but I wanted to hear what the group had to say. Several students related startling stories of racial and gender discrimination, told... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Professor Debunks Myths About The Harem

Giulio Rosati (1858-1917), The Harem dance In the harem, women did not go naked. Nor did they wear flimsy, see-through harem pants. Despite the panting Western imagination, so memorably examined by Edward Said in his 1978 book “Orientalism,” the classic Western fantasy of the harem never existed in fact, reports Lisa Nielson, the Anisfield-Wolf scholar at Case Western Reserve University. “The harem is the symbol of the Orient – women lounging, indolent, beautiful, passive objects,” Nielson said during an October lecture on “Improvisation and Transgression: Musicians of the Harem,” given for the Baker-Nord Center on Humanities at Case. In the artistic imagination of Western painters, harems contained reliable tropes: feathers, the hookah, an exotic despot, unclothed women... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf Fellow Profiled In The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Lisa Nielson, Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Case Western Reserve University's SAGES program, was profiled in the Plain Dealer's "My Cleveland" column. In it, she talked about the ease of Northeast Ohio compared to her previous stint in New England and her favorite way to spend time outside of the classroom. Previously on the blog, Lisa shared her thoughts on David Livingstone Smith's Less Than Human and how it changed her curriculum.    Read More →

“Less Than Human”: How One Professor Explores Deeper Meaning Behind Dehumanization

By Lisa Nielson, Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow Lisa Nielson is the Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University. She has a PhD in historical musicology, with a specialization in Women's Studes, and teaches seminars on the harem, slavery and courtesans. I was introduced to “Less than Human” last fall when I had the pleasure of hearing David Livingstone Smith speak at the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony and at Case Western Reserve University the next day. His presentation was riveting, and I felt myself vacillating between awe at the breadth of his work and shock at the horror of what humanity has done through dehumanization. Judging from the taut silence as the awards audience of 800 heard Smith speak, they had a similar reaction. Listeners occasionally... Read More →
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