ECU anthropology professor teaches diversity through music

East Carolina University anthropology professor Dr. Luci Fernandes is using music to teach diversity in her undergraduate global understanding classes through a collaborative project between ECU students and students in partner countries.


The “Teaching Diversity through Music” project uses popular music from around the world to help students develop cultural understanding,”Fernandes said.

The students will identify, collect, analyze and share appropriate examples of popular music, then learn “the many ways in which music relates to its cultural contexts, cultural identity and individual identity,” she said.

Each student in the program selects a song to send to a partner in another country. Along with the song, participants provide details about the song’s lyrics, musical genre, memories the song may engender, dance associated with the song and the cultural roots of the music and instruments used in the piece. Students also include an explanation of why they chose the song and how it relates to them personally or how it reflects the overall culture of their country.

“Through their encounters with the musical forms of other cultures and the analysis of the lyrics, both in the original language and English translation, students learn about the cultural traditions from which the music springs and the cultural themes that it represents,” Fernandes said.

The project is funded in part through a 2011-12 mini grant of $750 from the ECU Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Relations, whose purpose is to prepare students for a multicultural society.

For additional information about the project, contact Fernandes at 252-737-1072 or



Poet, critic Stephen Burt to visit ECU Feb. 7

Harvard professor and poet-critic Stephen Burt will visit East Carolina University at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 in the second floor exhibit gallery at Joyner Library.

Burt’s books include “The Art of the Sonnet,” with David Mikics; “Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry,”; “Parallel Play, a book of poems”: and “Randall Jarrell and His Age.” His writings on poets and poetry appear regularly in the Nation, the London Review of Books, Boston Review, and other journals in Britain and America. His next book of poems, Belmont, will appear from Graywolf Press in 2013.

Burt wrote his second book about another poet-critic, Randall Jarrell, who  settled in North Carolina. Some of Jarrell’s books and papers have now been acquired by Joyner Library, as part of the Stuart Wright Collection, where they are now available for study. On his visit to ECU, Burt will read from his own poetry and answer questions about the creative relationship between writing poetry and writing criticism.

A recent interview with Burt by ECU English professor John Hoppenthaler, along with several of Burt’s poems, is available at



Movie Helps ECU Air Force ROTC Cadets Learn from the Past

Cadet Austin Clark was among 70 ECU Air Force ROTC students who recently viewed the movie, “Red Tails: An Epic Story of the Tuskegee Airmen.” The movie honors pioneering African American airmen in World War II.

Tickets were provided by the College of Health and Human Performance where Air Force ROTC is housed.

“The movie is a good lesson for our cadets,” said Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.  “It is important that we all learn from history or as the saying goes, we are doomed to repeat it,” he said.

Clark, a construction management major said the movie “was simply inspirational.”  “It portrayed the historical hardship and triumphs of segregation within the military and World War II,” he said.

Attending with the group was special guest Col. David Stevens, former Air Force pilot and ECU’s first attorney.  Stevens flew a B-25 in World War II.

“The movie brought back many memories of the war,” Stevens said.  “I was fortunate never to have been shot down.  The flights the Red Tails escorted were much hotter than most of mine.  They had a great reputation among the bomber pilots as the movie portrayed,” he said.

After graduating from ECU Stevens went into what was then the Army Air Corps and flew 7,500 hours.  After the war, he went to law school at Chapel Hill and is a member of ECU’s distinguished Military Service Society.

LTC Serena Armstrong, commander of the ECU ROTC Air Force, said, “It is important for the cadets to learn the obstacles these airmen had to overcome and the importance of teamwork.”





February event to feature kinesiology scholar

Kinesiology professor and scholar Dr. James R. Morrow will speak at 4 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Carol Belk Building. He will present, “Measurement of Resistance Exercise and Strength Training in Women.”

Morrow is the 2011-12 Alliance Scholar for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and Regents Professor in Kinesiology at the University of North Texas.

For additional information, contact Matt Mahar at 328-0008 or