Sewanee and Yale Collaborations

Rural Appalachia seminar visiting faculty member, February 27

Ellen Handler Spitz, Ph.D., will speak with the Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia seminar on Wednesday, Feb. 27 about children’s cultural lives.

Spitz is a writer, lecturer, and scholar who currently holds the Honors College Professorship of Visual Arts at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she has taught interdisciplinary seminars in aesthetics, literature, psychology, and the visual arts since 2001. After public and private secondary education in New York and England, she attended the University of Chicago, Barnard College (A.B.), Harvard University (M.A.T.), and Columbia University, where she was awarded the Ph.D. in 1983. She also studied at the Art Students League in New York; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; at SUNY–Purchase, under the celebrated woodcut artist and illustrator, Antonio Frasconi; and at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.

She has held year-long fellowships at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in Santa Monica, California; the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University (formerly, the Bunting Institute); the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University; the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France; the Center for Children and Childhood Studies at Rutgers University–Camden; and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In 2007, she was the 2008 Erikson Scholar at the Erikson Institute, Austen Riggs Center Stockbridge, Massachusetts; and a Visiting Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities, 2007-08. She has taught and/or lectured in England, France, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Russia, Canada, India, and the People’s Republic of China.

She is the author of Art and Psyche (Yale University Press, 1985), Image and Insight (Columbia University Press, 1991), Museums of the Mind (Yale University Press, 1994), Inside Picture Books (Yale University Press, 1999), and The Brightening Glance (Pantheon Books, 2006; Anchor-Vintage Books, 2007).  With several colleagues, she co-edited Freud and Forbidden Knowledge (Columbia University Press, 1994) and Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor: Multiple Takes (Wayne State University Press, 1998). She has published numerous articles, chapters, and reviews in a wide variety of venues ranging from scholarly peer-review journals, such as the Journal of Aesthetic Education and American Imago, where she is a member of the editorial board, to public newspapers, such as The New York Times Book Review and The Baltimore Sun. Her books have been translated into several foreign languages, including Italian and Japanese, and some of her other writings into Russian and Chinese.

Among her abiding interests are the cultural lives of young people, the relations between aesthetics and psychology, and interconnections among various art forms, including literature, music, and dance, as well as the visual arts.

Professor Spitz will speak on Reflections on Children’s Cultural Lives at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 in Blackman Auditorium.

Psychology 430: Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia is a new Spring 2013 course being taught collaboratively by Sewanee- and Yale-affiliated faculty and guest speakers. It is the latest development in a growing partnership between Sewanee and the Yale Child Study Center, Yale Medical School. Among the Center faculty is Linda Mayes, M.D. … Sewanee alumna … Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine … and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Psychology at Sewanee.

For many years, Dr. Mayes has offered summer internships to Sewanee students. More recently, she initiated the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program that affords Sewanee students the opportunity to spend a semester plus a summer at the Yale Child Study Center. This new course venture will offer students the combined expertise and energy of Sewanee faculty and visiting Yale-affiliated faculty and guest speakers. In addition to leading one or more course sessions, most of the visiting faculty and guest speakers will give a more public presentation open to the general community and have the opportunity to interact with various members of the Sewanee faculty and the broader community during their time in Sewanee. Thus, the course will also help to foster community-based collaborations among Sewanee and Yale faculty, University students, and local community organizations and partners.