Tuesday April 25, 2017

Alumni Chair in the Humanities

The University of Dayton appointed Julius Amin as the Alumni Chair in the Humanities. Amin is a professor in the department of history who joined the faculty in 1989.

Amin, whose four-year appointment begins in August, succeeds Ellen Fleischmann as the seventh holder of the Alumni Chair.

The Alumni Chair leads the charge on campus to bring visibility and value to the humanities within the curriculum and broader intellectual life. The chair supports humanities faculty in developing interdisciplinary courses, seminars and workshops. The chair also organizes an annual symposium linking the humanities to issues of contemporary academic importance.

Jason Pierce, College of Arts and Sciences dean, said Amin has been involved in the development and implementation of many initiatives designed to promote the humanities on campus during his 27 years at the University.

“Throughout his scholarship, teaching and service, Dr. Amin has underscored the centrality of the humanities to liberal learning,” Pierce said. “He’s bringing a compelling and innovative vision for the Alumni Chair that will facilitate for the campus community valuable work on globalization and diversity.”

Amin’s leadership experience includes serving as history department chair from 2004 to 2012. He co-created the Africana studies minor in 2002 and has served as its coordinator since. In 2015, he started the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Racial Relations and Advocacy (ICORRA) program with Roger Reeb, the Roesch Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences.

Most recently, Amin created and chaired the University’s first-ever symposium on race, “Critical Examination of our Times: The State of Race on the University of Dayton Campus.” The three-day event in January 2016 raised awareness on the centrality of diversity on campus, and also pointed out the University’s strengths and shortcomings in that area.

As Alumni Chair, Amin plans to undertake a program inspired by two distinct but related themes, “Embracing the Global Community” and “Celebrating Our Diversity.”

“Probably the most important reality faced by our students and faculty today is the ongoing and steadily deepening phenomenon of globalization,” Amin said. “From student demographics to strategic economic decisions and curricular changes, the University community is profoundly affected by globalization.”

His second theme — diversity — provides a gateway to effectively understand and embrace our wider world.

“Accepting and celebrating our diversity locally, nationally and internationally is, like globalization, ultimately about letting go and challenging inherited barriers and ‘moving on,’ both individually and as a community,” he said. “As is the case with globalization, discussion of diversity over the next few years will undoubtedly prove lively, important and serious.”

Amin plans to organize a symposium on globalization, tentatively titled, “Dayton: The Global City,” as well as an annual symposium on diversity that is modeled after the 2016 symposium on race. In addition, he plans a global education seminar film festival, featuring international films from regions where faculty have traveled to dramatize the multicultural nature of the global community.

Amin holds a doctorate degree from Texas Tech University, a master’s from West Texas State University and a bachelor’s from the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon.

Juan Santamarina, department of history chair, chaired the search committee. Its members included Francisco Peñas-Bermejo, Andy Slade, Dan Thompson and Rebecca Whisnant.

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

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