Jessica Berman is named the 2019 UMBC Lipitz Professor for her global radio research

Published: Jul 12, 2019

UMBC has named Jessica Berman, professor of English and director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the 2019 – 2020 Lipitz Professor. This prestigious endowed professorship is awarded to one UMBC faculty member each year in recognition of innovative and distinguished teaching and/or research in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS). Berman has been selected for both her original research in global radio and her impactful work leading the Dresher Center. 

Global radio research 

The Lipitz professorship will support Berman’s travel to research different cultural approaches to producing radio. It will also provide time for her to write about the complex collection of voices, languages, literatures, and music that are interconnected through radio programming. 

“I will now have the opportunity to research and outline my book’s third chapter as well as shape my existing archival resources,” explains Berman. “I hope to delve deeper into research about global radio environments and the power of media to create complex transnational and often interlinguistic relationships in Latin America, which will inform later research in West Africa.”

Jason Loviglio, founding chair and associate professor of media and communication studies, primarily researches media history and radio studies. As part of the selection committee, Loviglio saw Berman’s research as pathbreaking work in understanding this transnational movement. 

Loviglio speaking about diversity in podcasts.
Loviglio speaking on boosting diversity in podcasting.

“Berman’s new book will be an important contribution to the growing academic literature on a previously ignored medium,” shares Loviglio, “pushing radio studies and modernist studies in important new directions.” 

The value of sharing research

 For faculty in CAHSS, the Lipitz professorship doesn’t only mean an opportunity to focus extra time on research. It is also an opportunity for scholars to share their work with the campus community. The Lipitz Lecture is the culminating event of the professorship. Each spring the selected faculty member shares their work with faculty, staff, and students as part of the Humanities Forum lecture series hosted by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Dan Bailey, a professor of visual arts who focuses on animation and interactive media, was the 2018 – 2019 recipient. In the spring of 2019, he presented his work about human scale, perception, and natural landscapes. 

Bailey continues to work on projects involving long-duration photography of landscapes and reconstruction of Baltimore’s geographic past. “Research requires time,” he reflects. Through the Lipitz professorship, he says, “I was able to focus on my research and collaborate with professors in history and visual arts, and work with UMBC’s Imaging Research Center and student interns.” 

Berman will share her work with the campus community in the spring of 2020 Humanities Forum.


Banner image: Berman at the Dresher Center for the Humanities faculty book celebration. All images by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC. Lipitz lecture video by UMBC New Media Studio.

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