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Archival drawing of a unicorn
A trip down the garden path leads a historian to...cryptozoology?

Holly Gruntner, a Ph.D. candidate in William & Mary’s Harrison Ruffin Tyler Department of History, recently completed a short-term fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, delving into the society’s vast collection of original documents for material to complete her dissertation on kitchen gardens in early America.

Jody Allen
W&M's Jody Allen appointed to commission to study slavery

Jody Allen, assistant professor of history at William & Mary and director of the Lemon Project, was recently appointed by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to the Commission to Study Slavery and Subsequent De Jure and De Facto Racial and Economic Discrimination.

Faraz Sheikh
Ideal Muslim subjectivity: W&M professor presents two views in new book

Faraz Sheikh, assistant professor of religious studies at William & Mary, has published a new book, “Forging Ideal Muslim Subjects: Discursive Practices, Subject Formation, & Muslim Ethic,” which discusses the forms a religiously-informed, ethical Muslim life can take.

interior of swem library
Virginia libraries negotiate new contract with Elsevier

Six members of the Virginia Research Libraries (VRL) recently completed contract negotiations with Elsevier, the largest publisher of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) scholarly journals.

Jaime Settle sitting at a computer
The science of political polarization and social media

To better understand how politics play out online, W&M News spoke with Jaime Settle, associate professor of government at William & Mary. She is the director of the Social Networks and Political Psychology Lab and her book, Frenemies: How Social Media Polarizes America, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

Pandemics: Hope from history

Gérard Chouin, associate professor of history at William & Mary, discusses COVID-19 in the context of past pandemics.

Barrels with trash
Study calculates true cost of food waste in America

A new study by Zach Conrad, assistant professor in William & Mary’s Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences, finds that the average American consumer spends roughly $1,300 per year on food that ends up being wasted.

Maria J. Donoghue Velleca
Maria Donoghue Velleca selected as William & Mary dean of Arts & Sciences

Maria Donoghue Velleca, an accomplished scholar and award-winning educator who served as senior associate dean for faculty affairs and strategic planning at Georgetown University’s College of Arts & Sciences, has been selected as William & Mary’s dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, President Katherine A. Rowe announced today.

Suzanne Hagedorn
Forgotten saint sparks W&M professor’s curiosity

Suzanne Hagedorn, associate professor of English and affiliated faculty with the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program at William & Mary, has been researching St. William ever since a trip to Rochester Cathedral in England three years ago.

Group photo in front of Hieron monument
W&M faculty, students excavate Sanctuary of the Great Gods

William & Mary Classical Studies Lecturer Andrew Ward and Assistant Professor Jess Paga took three students to excavate the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the Greek island of Samothrace from June 23 through Aug. 11.

Travis Harris stands in front of gravestones at Oak Grove Cemetery
Doctoral research details Magruder neighborhood history

In his William & Mary doctoral dissertation, Travis Harris Ph.D. '19 details how residents of the predominantly African American neighborhood of Magruder were displaced when the Navy took over their property to build Camp Peary in the early 1940s.

Edwin Pease
Architecture instructor brings real world to W&M students

Edwin Pease, senior lecturer in the Department of Art & Art History, has taught at William & Mary since 1990 while also working full-time as a partner in Stemann Pease Architecture. His students get the best of both worlds.

W&M Professor Bob Scholnick
How trauma impacted Whitman's prose, psyche

W&M Professor of English and American Studies Robert Scholnick's insightful research and writing on Walt Whitman has revealed the seismic change the great American poet underwent caused by the ordeals he experienced.

A pilgrim's reward

George Greenia has garnered a prestigious international award. In June he will travel to Mexico to receive the 2019 International Prize Grupo Compostela–Xunta de Galicia.

‘Whitechapel Arias' is a new twist on infamous murders

Nancy Schoenberger, who directs the university’s Creative Writing program, has coordinated with Elizabeth Wiley of Theater, Speech and Dance, Ryan Fletcher of the Department of Music’s opera workshop, and Mary Eason Fletcher of the Applied Music program, to tell the story of the five women Jack the Ripper killed in 1888.

Lemon Project symposium focuses on 'Celebrating Legacies'

Continuing its powerful work in chronicling William & Mary’s history, the Lemon Project hosted its ninth annual spring symposium, “Celebrating Legacies, Constructing Futures: Four Hundred Years of Black Community and Culture,” on campus March 14-16.

What the devil? Raft goes empty in annual debate

Students, faculty and staff, and members of the community flooded the Chesapeake rooms in the Sadler Center on March 14 to watch the annual Raft Debate in which three professors, deserted on an imaginary island, represented their disciplines in an battle for a single spot on an imaginary raft.

At the GRS Symposium: When in Boston, stop into Mr. Abbot’s

Alexandra Macdonald has been looking into the 18th-century “theatre of consumption” that was Samuel Abbot’s shop and the retail culture of colonial America, where even the residents of Puritan Boston were interested in consumption.

Aura CuriAtlas to debut tarot card-themed performance

William & Mary faculty members who created a new dance and music work themed around tarot cards will premiere the piece next week when Aura CuriAtlas performs "The Fool and the World" March 9-10 at the Kimball Theatre.

Tack Faculty Lecture to explore Marie Antoinette’s secret library

Ronald Schechter, professor of history at William & Mary, will deliver the spring 2019 Tack Faculty Lecture, “The Secret Library of Marie Antoinette: Revealing the Inner Life of a Conflicted Queen,” on March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Sadler Center’s Commonwealth Auditorium.

Trumpet instructor’s new album expands on soundscapes

Victor Haskins, instructor of trumpet and director of the Jazz Ensemble at William & Mary, would like listeners to experience music as a story, picture or emotion that can’t be limited to being called jazz — or even music.

New director of engagement joins Muscarelle

Steve Prince, well known as a visiting artist at William & Mary, has joined the Muscarelle Museum of Art as its first director of engagement and distinguished artist in residence.

An artifact and its documentation
Recording antiquity

Disparate methods involving pencils and computer software each had their place as students explored new ways of studying artifacts.

Susan Verdi Webster
Indigenous, literate…and talented

Combing through volume after volume of archival records, the lives of artists in colonial Quito, Ecuador, started to take shape. That’s how Susan Verdi Webster, Jane W. Mahoney Professor of Art and Art History and American Studies at William & Mary, did the groundbreaking research for her new book.

Shelle Butler (left) a graduate student in chemistry, adjusts optics for the SERS apparatus with her mentor, Kristin Wustholz.
Ready for Rembrandt?

Shelle Butler is going to Amsterdam this summer to work with some of the world’s most highly valued works of art. “But I won’t be actually touching the Rembrandts,” she said, affecting a little wide-eyed shudder of horror. “I’ll be back over there in the corner with my lasers.”

Brafferton steps stone and drawings
Eye of the beholder

Chuck Bailey says it is some of the ugliest stone he’s ever seen. Bailey has looked at a lot of stone. He’s professor and chair of William & Mary’s Department of Geology.

Paul Davies and Matt Haug
Science and philosophy

The methods of inquiry for science and philosophy may be different, but sometimes their questions align. And if there were a Venn diagram of both, two William & Mary philosophers would be settled smack in the middle.

Physicist Irina Novikova participates in all three aspects of the scientific peer-review process
Peering inside peer review

The peer-review process does for science what the checks and balances system is supposed to do for American government.

Latin-literate physics student Jackson Olsen ’16 displays William & Mary’s copy of Isaac Newton’s Principia
An open-book mystery

There is a bit of a mystery surrounding a book at William & Mary.

Lessons from Polynesia

Environmental change is nothing new in Polynesia. For centuries, the inhabitants of the volcanic, sea-battered islands have been employing a variety of strategies to adapt to their changing landscapes.

An 18th-century brewery?

All signs indicate that a brew house once stood in the shadow of the Wren Building, but those inclined to toast the rediscovery of a facility that slaked thirsts at William & Mary 300 years ago should really wait until the lab results are in.

students working at the Bray School dig site
Digging for a smoking lunchbox

Archaeologists have a month to find the smoking lunchbox of the Bray School, and Terry Meyers has lost none of his optimism.

Be there…or be 1/r²

The hyper-rational world of science has always made a bit of room to accommodate legend and William & Mary will soon be home to a living piece of one of the most well known scientific legends: a descendant of Isaac Newton’s apple tree.

Madeline Benjamin
Into the woods…with Thoreau

As a summer counselor at Camp Takodah in the woods of New Hampshire, Benjamin led a group of teenage girls in a non-traditional learning experience that she based off of the theory and thought of perhaps the ultimate camp counselor—Henry David Thoreau.

1977 police record of the capture of Dora Marta Landi
Searching for the ‘disappeared’

A dozen high-level Latin American military officers are on trial in Argentina for their role in Operation Condor, and William & Mary students have been assisting with the prosecution.

Pondering ambiguity

As you walk into William & Mary's Mason School of Business, vanilla-cream tiles catch your eye as the sunlight streams down from the third-story atrium and reflects off the lobby floor.

Student historians (from left) Jack Middough, Sagra Alvarado, Crosby Enright, Tracey Johnson, Jessie Dzura
Spanish court

Domestic violence. Drug smuggling. Priests hauled into court for scandalous behavior. Welcome to Spain in the 17th century.

Barbara King
Animal grief

Animals feel grief; they mourn. And there are enough documented examples of the phenomenon to fill a book.

Timothy Costelloe (left), Adam Potkay (center) and Chandos Brown.
A sublime history

If you were to stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or observe the Mona Lisa in real life at the Louvre, you might be lucky enough to experience what Timothy Costelloe calls the Sublime—but only if the experience is literally awesome.

Lu Ann Homza (center) discusses with her students intricate script handwriting of copies of 15th century Spanish manuscripts.
Into the archives...

The writing is cramped, and ink bleeds through the 400-year-old manuscript. There are letters missing or substituted, strange abbreviations and various words that seem to make no sense.

Student presenting at Focus on Undergraduate Research Week
How they spent their vacations

What do horses, movies and math have in common? They’re all subjects of research conducted over the summer by William & Mary undergraduates.

Lord Botetourt stays above the fray as Confederate raiders clash with Union occupiers of William & Mary’s campus during the Civil War
Life during wartime

Archaeologists working in the university's Brafferton Yard have uncovered evidence of a time a century and a half ago in which the normally placid Historic Campus was a Civil War battleground.

Right Church? Right Pew?

It’s a safe bet that more Americans are able to name the nine reindeer of Santa than the twelve apostles of Jesus.

The hunt for the mystery diarist

When a young doctor’s wife wrote in her diary back in 1902, she couldn’t have known that over a century later, scholars at William & Mary would be reading it—let alone trying to determine her identity.

Muscarelle Museum Director Aaron De Groft (front) and Chief Curator John Spike confer with students
Grand Hallucination: Hanging of art at the Muscarelle

A visitor walks into a museum gallery. Everything seems perfect: the paintings are grouped; the labels are carefully placed; the texts announce the significant themes; and the lighting entices. All of these aesthetics boast ‘here is something very special, come a little closer.’

Science, in 3 to 5 minutes

There are the arts, and then there are the sciences. There is literature, language and film, and then there is calculus, physics and experiments.

Anne Charity Hudley
... it's also how you say it

The 30 students in a high school classroom may all speak English, but a mix of factors in each student’s background shapes how he or she speaks it. The same is true for the teacher.

Pushing their own boundaries

William & Mary students are pushing the envelope when it comes to undergraduate research. Hundreds of them put their research on display when the College hosted the 18th Annual Undergraduate Science Research Symposium.

They really drank this stuff?

Geologists at William & Mary are analyzing a possible contributing cause of the deaths at Jamestown Island during the Starving Time of 1609 and 1610—bad drinking water.

Digging up our roots

A piece of stone and a scant double-handful of broken glass. It doesn’t look like much to the uninitiated, but the team of archaeologists working this summer at the base of the Brafferton knows that these artifacts are the richest kind of pay dirt.

Translating devotion

The Bhagavata Purana is to some Hindus what the Bible is to some Christians. It is a work of literature encompassing a rich tradition of poetry and drama, as well as a scientific, technical, philosophical and Hindu religious text.

Triumph of kawaii

She’s an internationally acclaimed superstar who accessorizes with a colorful bow clipped near her left ear. Her image appears on more than 10,000 items.

Teaching through research

"We’ve determined as a faculty that our undergraduate students should comprehend the tools of research as an essential part of their future problem-solving and decision-making,” says Joel Schwartz, director of the Charles Center and dean of honors and interdisciplinary studies.

Ecce Homo

Since the late 18th century, scholarship on the study of Jesus has moved from faith-based research to a cultural investigation focused on historical probability.

Maryse Fauvel
À vous de voir!

Since the invention of the Cinématographe in 1895, cinema has played a key role in French culture. French filmmaking, in turn, has had a huge influence upon the industry worldwide.

Debunking myths about music and Islam

In her new book Women, the Recited Qur’an, and Islamic Music in Indonesia, Anne K. Rasmussen explores the musical phenomenon of qur’anic recitation in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, while taking on several myths about music and Islam.

Dressed for dissent

Couture & Consensus, a new book by Regina Root, offers a history of fashion and its influence on the political climate following Argentina’s revolution of independence in 1810.

A is for aha. AA is for aati.

Linguists will tell you that a language can begin to die in a single generation—if it is not passed down to children.

Let's Make a Geopolitical Deal

When the diplomatic dust had settled following the 1713 signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, officials in Europe’s imperial capitals got back to talking about extending their empires into uncolonized areas of western North America. And they had little idea of what they were talking about.

Anything but a common man

All the reviewers who saw the manuscript asked the same question: Does the world really need another book about Thomas Jefferson?

Bumper crop of Fulbrights

Thirteen students and alumni from the College of William and Mary have been selected to receive 2010-11 scholarships from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, setting a new record for the College.

Beyond the Standard

Department of Education funds texts stressing dialects in Arabic.

Ruling the runway

Ecofashionista Regina Root to preside over Ixel Moda.

Off the map

GIS data-stitching opens new research horizons.

For whom the bell didn't toll

A group of students journey to Spain to trace the twisted threads of the legacy of that country's tragic civil war.

Memories of Strange Fruit

William & Mary's Susan Donaldson spearheads important scholarship on the dark days of lynching...and their present-day echoes.

Linda Malone is awarded Distinguished Fulbright Chair

Linda Malone, the Marshall-Wythe Foundation Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School, has been awarded the Distinguished Fulbright Chair in International Environmental Law for 2009-2010.

Andy Allen is first recipient of Sullivan Scholarship

Andy Allen '11 is preparing to relish everything the old world has to offer. As the first recipient of the Timothy J. Sullivan Scholarship, he will spend the fall semester of his junior year at the University of Nottingham in England.

Ecofashion: We're not only what we wear

We're also who made what we wear and what it's made from. (And other fashion truisms that will keep green the new black.)

Waiting for the word

Henry Hart hopes that ”appetizer” booklets will spur publication of ambitious post-World War II literary anthology.

The value of working with original documents

When the Spanish archivist Peio Monteano produced a 13th-Century ceremonial on the coronation of English kings, Kimberly Bassett knew that this was an opportunity few other researchers-let alone undergraduates-ever get.

Key to a culture

The Middle Eastern Music Ensemble offers a window into a culture that is becoming more and more a part of our own.

Subtleties of subtitles

You, too, can now understand Cuban films, thanks to Anne Marie Stock.

Preston is Fulbright Distinguished Chair

Katherine K. Preston will spend the spring 2009 semester at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, after being named the Walt Whitman Distinguished Chair of American Culture by the Fulbright Center of the Netherlands.

The Museum is a Lab

So how do you put your best face forward when the audience is constantly changing?

Where the Villages Have No Name

"Kenya literally felt like The Lion King every day, with a big sunrise behind the acacia tree and lions and elephants everywhere," said Patel.

A people and a religion

The Jewish presence in what is now the United States began in 1654, with the arrival of 23 refugees in what was then New Amsterdam, stepping off the boat from Brazil, of all places.

Law professors receive Fulbright grants

Glenn George and Trotter Hardy of William & Mary Law School will lecture overseas in 2009 in China and Portugal, respectively, as part of the Fulbright Scholars Program.


Student playwrights take their plays and their companies to the New York theatre festival.

Conference in Ghana

The Omohundro Institute hosted a conference in Ghana which drew scholars from around the globe to discuss the history of efforts to end the Atlantic slave trade.

Art and artifact

The surprising depth of controversy about a new museum in Paris--plus joy, the Supreme Court and a rain-forest philosopher.

We call them GIGs

They're Global Inquiry Groups: Interdisciplinary, international...and they incorporate research.

Two professors earn Fulbrights

Two College of William and Mary professors were awarded Fulbright Scholar Program grants this fall to conduct research abroad.

George Greenia
Spain's top honor awarded to Greenia

George Greenia, known for his work in medieval studies and on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, received Spain's highest cultural achievement distinction for foreign nationals this fall.