Discovery

Television celebrities walking across a black carpet with the word Shōgun written in gold

James Clavell’s ‘Shōgun’ is reimagined for a new generation of TV viewers

Constantine Nomikos Vaporis, professor of history, a historian of Japan who specializes in the history of the Tokugawa, or early modern era – a period from 1603 to 1868, during which the bulk of the action in FX’s new television miniseries“Shōgun” takes place. “American viewers today apparently don’t need to be slowly introduced to Japanese culture by a European guide,” says Vaporis. Continue Reading James Clavell’s ‘Shōgun’ is reimagined for a new generation of TV viewers

A black and white photograph of city roof tops filled with smokestacks. Anthropocene geography environmental systems

The Anthropocene is not an epoch − but the age of humans is most definitely underway

UMBC’s Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental systems, explains the Anthropocene and the vote of the Subcommission on Quarterly Stratigraphy rejected that proposal to mark the Anthropocene as an epoch, with 12 of 18 members voting no. These are the scientists most expert at reconstructing Earth’s history from the evidence in rocks. They determined that adding an Anthropocene Epoch – and terminating the Holocene Epoch – was not supported by the standards used to define epochs. Continue Reading The Anthropocene is not an epoch − but the age of humans is most definitely underway

A person wearing a coat walks through a mall in the evening.

The US invented shopping malls, but China is writing their next chapter

Like their U.S. counterparts, many Chinese malls have fallen on hard times. Professor emeritus of public policy at UMBC explains how the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of online shopping have devastated foot traffic, leaving the nation with a huge overhang of retail space and how they are re-imagining it. Continue Reading The US invented shopping malls, but China is writing their next chapter

A young child works in a glass factory in a 1909 black and white historical photo by lewis hine

Historical lens—3 stories that scratch the surface of a 5,400 image archive

One of the most influential sets of historical photos in UMBC’s Special Collections is an archive of more than 5,400 images documenting the harsh conditions of child laborers in early 20th-century America. Recently the team in Special Collections—which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year—undertook a massive project to digitize and rehouse the photos in more protective sheaths to help safeguard the images and the hand-written details on them. The preservation effort gave UMBC student workers hands-on practice with handling the delicate photographs and allowed staff to dive deep into these historical records in order to comment on timely issues around… Continue Reading Historical lens—3 stories that scratch the surface of a 5,400 image archive

Smoky skies and an orange sun backdrop skyscrapers near a harbor.

As summer wildfire smoke choked Baltimore, UMBC air pollution researchers leapt into action

Starting this May, a series of wildfires in Eastern Canada sent enormous smoke clouds wafting into the U.S., triggering air quality warnings in cities from the Midwest to the Northeast. As a resident of the Baltimore area—which was blanketed with particularly bad smoke in both early and late June—UMBC Professor Chris Hennigan looked at the haze with dismay. But as an environmental engineer who studies air pollution, he had an additional thought: “We were looking at the air quality forecasts, and we thought ‘We have to gather data,’” he says. Continue Reading As summer wildfire smoke choked Baltimore, UMBC air pollution researchers leapt into action

a screen shot of a face mask with text that says "what if? decorative face mask prompts." for a talk about susus

Finding one’s face and building financially resilient spaces through ‘susus’

Sonya Squires-Caesar, a doctoral candidate in UMBC’s language, literacy, and culture program, has been interviewing communities who use susus to save money for big-ticket items like homes, farms, or everyday needs like transportation and bills. Susu, a word thought to come linguistically from West African languages, is an informal structure of communal savings where individuals agree to give an equal amount of money to one pool. Members then decide the frequency of when someone receives the entire amount. “I remember my mother planning her spending around when she would get her payment,” says Squires-Caesar, whose family is from Barbados. Squires-Caesar… Continue Reading Finding one’s face and building financially resilient spaces through ‘susus’

a gray ball with a long, skinny, light gray tail; a smaller purple ball is attached where the ball and tail join.

Vampire viruses prey on other viruses to replicate themselves − and may hold the key to new antiviral therapies

Ivan Erill and colleagues discovered a new kind of relationship between viruses, where a satellite virus that needs its “helper” virus to replicate attaches to the helper’s neck to make sure they enter the host cell at the same time. Continue Reading Vampire viruses prey on other viruses to replicate themselves − and may hold the key to new antiviral therapies

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