The University of New Mexico Honors College has selected two Fellows for Academic Year 2014-15: Gary Weissmann, Earth and Planetary Sciences and Matt Hofer, English. A third Distinguished Fellow, Shawn Berman from the Anderson School of Management, joins Honors in spring.
The Distinguished Fellows program is an initiative funded by the Provost's Office that allows faculty from other departments and disciplines to teach innovative interdisciplinary courses in the Honors College and to participate more generally in the Honors community.
“As this is the first year that the Honors College has existed, these are the first two Distinguished Fellows and we are very excited to have them join us," said Kate Krause, dean, Honors College.
Hofer writes about and teaches courses on English-language poetry and poetics, especially formally innovative and experimental work in the tradition of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and William Carlos Williams. He edits, for UNM Press, the series Recencies: Research and Recovery in Twentieth-Century American Poetics, serves on the editorial board of the annual 1913: A Journal of Forms, and is a consulting editor for the chapbook series Voices from the American Land. He has written extensively on modernist poetry and the public sphere, and is currently working on a book-length manuscript on “spareness” in twentieth-century poetry.
Hofer will teach two classes in Honors this fall. "Myth and the Modern Mind" analyzes influential poems, fiction and film in an attempt to assess the relationship of myth to reason in both the ancient world and our own; and “Aesthetics at the Limit" examines European, British and American experimental work to explore the broadest range of imagined relations between prose and poetry in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Weissmann has worked in natural resources and environmental geoscience since 1981. He received his Ph.D. in hydrologic sciences from the University of California at Davis in 1999, and a MS and BA in geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research focuses on building an understanding of river form and depositional systems to help build better subsurface models of rocks from rivers, used in groundwater and petroleum studies.
The courses Weissmann will teach are “Science in the 21st Century: General “Observations in Science” which focuses on how the “Western” scientific method is used to understand our natural world, using Earth and environmental science as an example of how observations are made and data collected in scientific explorations, and “Diversity in Science and Cultural Ways of Knowing and Doing” which explores what constitutes ‘science’ and the culture of academic science.