"Questions of Identity"
Gail Arnoff has been a teacher since 1967. For many years she taught on the psychiatric units of Hanna Pavilion and Cleveland Clinic, as part of the Cleveland Municipal School District’s Residential Schools. Most recently she was a special education and English teacher at Collinwood High School. While there she founded Collinwood Creations, an arts journal of student work which has received recognition from the MBNA Foundation, the Plain Dealer, WCPN, and Borders. As a teacher in the Facing History and Ourselves program, Gail has developed an interest in helping young people deal with issues of identity. Students in her seminar will study works from the Holocaust, Civil Rights Movement, and Decolonization eras in order to discover how others have thought about these issues. When not teaching, Gail enjoys running marathons for Team in Training, which raises money to fund leukemia and lymphoma research. She has mentored a young woman from the I Have a Dream Program, a Little Sister, and new marathoners. In addition Gail writes short stories and spends as much time as possible with her grandchildren, Elai, Dar, Aaron, Aviv Eira-Boaz and Yahav.
"The Future of News"
Bill Doll is a lawyer with a doctorate in sociology and a former theater critic for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Bill heads his own communications and research consulting firm, Bill Doll & Company. Founded in 1988, the firm works with corporations, professional service firms and not-for-profits on complex communications and advocacy issues. These clients have includedbanks, law firms, health systems, arts organizations and other not-for-profits, among them National City Corporation, KeyCorp, KPMG/Cleveland, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, The CSA Health System, Playhouse Square Foundation and the Greater Cleveland Partnership. His articles and speeches for clients have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune Small Business, the Washington Post, the National Law Journal, Vital Speeches, among others. Bill serves is on the Executive Committee of the Great Lakes Theater Festival and is a former president of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. For more background and work examples: www.billdollco.com.
"Global Tourism" and "Food Craze"
Nárcisz' primary research interests and teaching experience are in interdisciplinary and comparative studies of gender and sexuality in literature, film, media and cultural studies. Her work also extends into the areas of globalization, studies of representation and identity, and tourism. In her class "Passport to Eastern Europe," students familiarize themselves with the constructed and textual nature of geopolitical categories such as continents, nation states, and the concepts of East and West. They also gain an understanding of the special histories and cultures of the borderlands of Eastern Europe and its literary and cinematic representations. In her "Global Tourism" class, students consider various tourist activities with critical distance and address their ethical dimensions. Her courses place much emphasis on helping students evaluate cultural encounters and contexts and develop into responsible and culturally sensitive observers. Both of these classes include segments drawn from Nárcisz' research on the ways in which literary works, films, and the media portray sex tourism and sex trafficking in the former Soviet bloc. She also analyzes practices of migrant work on the European continent and their gender implications, the growth of the mail-bride industry, and the shifting definitions of masculinity in Eastern Europe. Narcisz has a Ph.D. in English from Case Western Reserve University and completed her pre-doctoral studies in the United States, Finland, and Hungary. She also participated in a seminar organized by the University of Amsterdam's School for Cultural Analysis on "Media,Globalization, and Post-Communist Eastern European Identities" in 2006. Nárcisz is a recipient of various teaching awards, including the inaugural Richard A. Bloom, M.D., Award for Distinguished Teaching in the SAGES Program. She enjoys traveling and plans to learn documentary film-making.
"The Future of Food"
Five years after moving to Cleveland in 1990, Mary co-founded the North Union Farmers Market to satisfy her desire for fresh, local farm products for her family. She became curious about why it was so difficult at first to find farmers for the market; after much research, she published a report in 2005 documenting the economic and social benefits of local foods. While maintaining a nonprofit consulting business, she created a SAGES course at Case Western Reserve University called “Food, Farming, and Economic Prosperity.” That course, now called “The Future of Food,” focuses on the social, economic, and political conversations taking place today regarding the sustainability of industrial agriculture. Mary is a regular reader of proposals for the Farmers Market Promotion Program sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture. She travelled to Turin, Italy in 2008 to attend the Slow Food International “Terra Madre” event and has been an advisor to the Slow Food Northern Ohio Convivium. She is currently president of Innovative Farmers of Ohio and a contributor to Edible Cleveland and The Plain Dealer. She became a certified Master Gardener in 2013. Her husband, two daughters, dog and cat have all learned to appreciate good, local food and the farmers who work so hard to provide it.
Bernard L. Jim
"Spectacle in American Culture" and "Puzzled"
Bernie earned a Ph.D. in History at Case Western Reserve University in August 2006. In his dissertation, Ephemeral Containers: A Cultural and Technological History of Building Demolition, he examines the history of wreckers and wrecking machines, and uses an exploration of the discourse surrounding building demolition as a window into the impact of modernity on notions of progress, the construction of identity, and the American public's relationship to the built environment. He has presented his work before the societies for historians of technology and historians of architecture, and has published an article on the razing of city hotels in the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, Issue 25, on "The American Hotel." Bernie has taught courses in American History, Technology and Culture, and Technology and Society for Cleveland State University, Weatherhead School of Business, and the history department of Case Western Reserve University. In addition to his academic work, Bernie has experience circulating, maintaining, and developing temporary exhibitions for science and technology museums, and has acted as a researcher in the field of cultural resource management. In his SAGES courses, he asks his students to reconsider the role of the commonplace and the remarkable in the built world and the natural world.
"Life of the Mind"
Daniel Melnick is an emeritus professor of English from Cleveland State University, and he has taught in the Sages program (and occasionally in English) since his retirement from CSU in 2005. The focus of his teaching and research is twentieth century literature and particularly the modern period. His book on music and modern fiction is Fullness of Dissonance: Modern Fiction and the Aesthetics of Music (Fairleigh Dickinson, 1994), and a series of his essays on modern fiction has appeared in various journals - the latest article being about Joseph Conrad's Under Western Eyes. (His on-going series of 'notes on the modern period' can be accessed at www.danielmelnick.com). He is also the author of a series of short stories and two novels, Hungry Generations and Acts of Terror and Contrition. His B.A. and Ph.D. in English are from the University of California at Berkeley.
"Society Through Online Videos"
Dr. Perzynski completed his doctoral degree in sociology in 2008. His work is primarily in the areas of research methods, medical sociology and gerontology. He is interested in mixed methods research designs that combine diverse qualitative and quantitative approaches from multiple disciplines. Dr. Perzynski also has a passion for social informatics and social theory. His current research includes studies of lay people’s illness knowledge and of the connection between neighborhood disadvantage and health over the life course.
"Life in the Past" and "Colors, Capes and Characters"
Brad Ricca got his Ph.D. in English from Case Western Reserve University. He teaches SAGES seminars on the history of comic books, narrative biography, understanding prehistoric life, and the human imagination. His book Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster —The Creators of Superman (St. Martin's, 2013) was named a Top 10 Book in the Arts by BookList. He has spoken about comics in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, and on NPR's "All Things Considered." He has given talks at The Maltz Museum of Jewish History and the legendary San Diego Comic-Con, along with numerous schools and conferences from Oxford to Kyoto. He writes a comic history column for The Beat, an online pop culture blog. He also won the St. Lawrence Book Award for his first book of poetry, American Mastodon, and is also a filmmaker whose documentary, Last Son, won a Silver Ace Award at the Los Vegas International Film Festival."
"Colors, Capes and Characters"
Michael Sangiacomo has been a hard news reporter for the Plain Dealer in Cleveland since 1989 and has written a syndicated column on comic books since 1993. He has taught a course called "Colors, Capes and Characters," a history of comic books in America, since 2006. The course allows him to combine his love of comics with his journalism background. He has written several comic series and graphic novels himself, including the award-winning TALES OF THE STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN and PHANTOM JACK, the adventures of a newspaper reporter who can turn invisible. Hard to figure out where that one came from.
Kelly St. Pierre
"A History of Noise: Music and Politics from Beethoven to Jimi Hendrix"
Kelly St. Pierre holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from Case Western Reserve University. Her SAGES seminar focuses on roles that noise has played in political discourses throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It aims to help students gain a better understanding of relationships between art and society, musicians and politicians, and sound and influence. Her current research explores the earliest scholarship around Czech composer Bedřich Smetana to reveal the ways it generated political myths about him and his works. It also examines how these myths were adapted in twentieth-century scholarship to suit the ideologies of the Communist administration. In addition to her work with SAGES, Kelly teaches undergraduate and graduate music history courses at Youngstown State University.