NCIS Welcomes New Members

NCIS welcomes Marilyn J. Andrews and Chris Lezotte, among recent new members.

Marilyn J. Andrews is an independent scholar who earned her doctorate in Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She also holds master's degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Education. Her dissertation research examined how the Mapuche people of South America utilize the Internet as a tool of self-representation to foster a national identity and how that usage reflects traditional understandings of socio-territorial identity. As a full-time secondary school teacher of Spanish, Dr. Andrews is exploring indigenous identity expressions in online media, social media (globally), and how speech communities form in online environments. She is the co-editor of "Online around the World: A Geographic Encyclopedia of the Internet, Social Media, and Mobile Apps" to be published in 2017 by ABC-Clio.

Chris Lezotte, a Detroit native, worked for many years in advertising, writing car commercials. This life experience led to her research into the relationship between women and cars, an interest she pursued as part of her doctoral studies in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University, as a 2015–2016 BGSU Center for Popular Culture Studies Research Fellow and in a master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University. She is currently researching non-hegemonic car cultures in general with a specific focus on alternative constructions of the “woman driver.”


7 New NCIS Members Hail from 6 Countries

Seven independent scholars living in six countries recently joined NCIS, and their diverse expertise includes pharmacology, psychoanalytic literary criticism and Early Modern European History.

Pintu Das has taught English at university level for more than a decade in India. In addition to his expertise in English and English literature, he is an expert in linguistics, phonetics and several European languages including Ancient Greek, Latin, German, French, etc. He teaches English Philology and Prosody as part of B.A. English Honors and M.A. courses. He has published Vibrant Voices from American Poetry, a reference book recommended for the Calcutta University Syllabus, and is writing a textbook on English Philology for several universities in India. He currently is an independent scholar focusing on research and writing.

A clinical pharmacologist, Immanuel Freedman also is a registered patent agent and systems, signals and algorithms consultant with more than 30 years experience of modeling, simulation, systems analysis, design, development and testing. Dr. Freedman has served as expert consultant providing technical analysis related to patent infringement, patent validity, and the research tax credit. He also integrated knowledge using pharmacometric models and quantitative systems pharmacology to design clinical trials by translating exposure-response relationships across diseases, phases and species. Dr. Freedman has published and presented at conferences in Babylonian mathematical astronomy.

Ellen Yutzy Glebe, Ellen Yutzy Glebe holds a B.A. from Guilford College in history and German studies and a Ph.D. in Early Modern European history from the University of California-Berkeley, where she focused on the history of religious dissidence in Germany during the late Middle Ages and Reformation. Since completing her doctorate in 2008, she has transitioned into a career as a freelance translator (German>English) and editor of academic texts. To learn more about her professional qualifications and the modern-day fairy tale (including a castle) that led her from her native North Carolina to her current home in central Germany, please visit

John Holland is an independent scholar and French-to-English translator working in the social sciences and humanities. His research focuses on Lacanian psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic literary criticism. An American living in France since 1994, Dr. Holland has taught courses in French and American universities and has pursued his research at a variety of psychoanalytic schools. His recent projects include editing the 2015 issue of S: Journal of the Circle of Lacanian Ideology Critique and upcoming projects include a presentation at the European Society of Jamesian Studies conference in October, 2016. Dr. Holland holds a Ph.D. in English from Princeton and a D.E.A. (Master’s level) in Psychoanalysis from Université Paris 8.

Freelance musician Valerie Langfield is a teacher, accompanist, composer, writer and editor. Her primary research interests are British music of the 19th century and early 20th century, especially opera and song. Dr. Langfield’s Ph.D. thesis/biography of the English song composer Roger Quilter established her as the authority on his life and work. Her editions of numerous British operas have been recorded or performed; and in addition to publishing numerous articles, she has contributed to leading music dictionaries and national biographies. She is a founding member and trustee of Retrospect Opera, which records British operas representative of their period, and is also a trustee of the Carl Rosa Trust, which promotes research into the leading British touring opera company of the late 19th and early-20th centuries. Current research projects include an edition of the diaries of the Cambridge musicologist Edward Dent, and one of Dent's letters to Jack Gordon, staff producer at Sadler's Wells Opera between the two World Wars; and the life and music of Dora Bright.

Joshua Matacotta earned his doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in health psychology. He conducts research and program evaluation at the Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Los Angeles, and manages a team of senior and junior research analysts. He is also a member of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the American Evaluation Association, and the American Psychological Association. His current research areas include: Behavioral health & health psychology; the impact of technology on health and social issues; public health/mental health and policy; chronic disease and quality of life; LGBT and gender issues; psychology of men and masculinity; data science, and replication science.

Masato Okamoto worked for Japanese statistical offices for 36 years, most recently as Director and Lecturer of the Statistical Research and Training Institute (2005–2015). Prior to that post, he was charge of compiling the family budget survey and the Consumer Price Index (1997–2002). He studied several statistical issues as the population-subgroup decomposition method of the Gini coefficient and analytic expression of the Gini coefficient for lognormal and double-Pareto-lognormal (dPLN) mixture distributions were published as articles in peer-reviewed journals. I will continue research activities after leaving office.

NCIS Welcomes Seven New Members

NCIS welcomes new members Amy Absher, Michel Accad, Lisa Cardyn, Elizabeth Everton, Thomas E. Kail, Angela Shaw-Thornburg, and Steven Williams.

  • Amy Absher is a historian, writer, and teacher specializing in the 20th century African American Experience.
  • Michel Accad, M.D., a physician practicing cardiology and internal medicine, holds a part-time faculty appointment at the University of California San Francisco-Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Accad’s areas of scholarly interest focus on the philosophy of nature and the philosophy of medicine (ontology, epistemology, and ethics of medical care). As an independent scholar, Dr. Accad has been publishing reports and full-length scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals since 2010.
  • Lisa Cardyn, Ph.D., J.D., is a U.S. historian whose work has focused on the history of sexualized racial violence and sexual trauma from the Reconstruction through the mid-20th century. Dr. Cardyn received her Ph.D. and J.D. degrees from Yale and is an adjunct professor at Berkeley and Stanford.
  • Elizabeth Everton holds a Ph.D. from UCLA in modern European history, with subfields in French history, cultural history, and women's history/women's studies. After completing her degree in 2011, Dr. Everton worked as an adjunct professor in history, liberal studies, and women's studies for five years. In May 2016, Dr. Everton began working full time as a training program manager for a large corporation and plans to continue to research, write, and publish in history as an independent scholar.
  • Thomas E. Kail, Ph.D., has served in a variety of leadership roles in higher education, including as founding dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies (2003-2008) at Mercer University and as associate provost for adult programs (1995-2003) at Westgate Center for Management and Development in the School of Business and Public Administration at the University of the Pacific, where he served as interim dean, associate dean, and founding director (1985-1995).
  • Angela Shaw-Thornburg teaches and writes about African-American and American literature and culture. She also works as an educational consultant and freelance editor.
  • Steven Williams is an independent scholar with more than 20 years research experience, including two archeological excavations. His area of focus is the “deep past” of Bronze Age/Iron Age societies of Northern Europe. Originally trained as a literary historian, Williams has broadened his expertise to include archaeology and history. In particular, he has studied and written about Roman literature, early British history, and the history and archaeology of “Celtic” Britain and Ireland. Mr. Williams holds an MBA in Organizational Behavior from the Harvard Business School, an M.A. in Medieval English literature from Princeton University, and a B.A. in Medieval Studies from Queens College, CUNY. 

Is ‘Independent Scholar’ What You Call Yourself?

NCIS is crossposting the following discussion from our Facebook page which reflects upon Julie Enzer’s article in Inside Higher Ed, “What Shall I Call Myself?”

As Enzer writes:

"Many people use Independent Scholar. Perhaps I will settle on that designation as it seems to be an emerging convention for scholars outside of academia. For now, however, Independent Scholar feels like a statement of defeat: independent, because I was unable to secure an academic position. Though, of course, it is accurate."

[Enzer’s full article is here.] To add your comment, please visit the NCIS Facebook page.

Here is the ensuing comment thread on the NCIS Facebook page:

Freda Blake Bradley: I understand this author’s sentiments. I teach college history, yes, but they do not fund my research. That isn’t 100% bad, though, because they also have no vested interest in the outcome. In American history right now, gender history and “racial” histories are the most popular. Neither of those are my “passion” although I’ve taught in both areas. My passion is Appalachian history and environmental history—but it’s hard to find funding for the latter in my region. The former, however, is relatively easily funded by my state SHOULD I wish to do that and they don’t care if you’re a professional, have a PhD, or have a high school diploma IF you fit their needs.

So, as the author said, do I negotiate my title or leverage my topic? I’d prefer to leverage my topic. Therefore, I choose to “title myself” with a third option. I tell people I am a “professional historian” because that’s what I am. IF they ask who funds my research, I tell them that although I teach in higher education, they do not fund our research at my institution. (then I follow with, “. . .but I do accept donations to my work” which is usually followed by crickets—lol).

However, I’m also a historic reenactor. For many years, I’ve been researching and presenting two first person characters….begun before my degree. Many historic reenactors are not professional historians…….they are hobbyists. I’m also a genealogist. Many genealogists “feel” they are historians, but they are not….they are hobbyists. Again, do I leverage my degree or my topic? In this case, I DO leverage my degree. It’s necessary to set me apart—especially in the reenactor field.

What do I put on MY taxes? I use “adjunct faculty” because that’s where the lion’s share of my income comes from. To the IRS, that’s what’s important….they don’t care what my “title is.” All they care is does my blank on the IRS form match my W2 or 1099….and adjunct faculty matches.

So, I think the answer is what do you need to leverage and why? Am I professional? Yes. So, I choose professional historian. It fits all my needs currently. Am I an independent scholar? Yes, but that doesn’t leverage me in the boxes above, so I don’t use it. I WILL use it when I need it, but for the boxes above, other things fit better.

Joan Cunningham: I first came upon "Independent Scholar" when Googling the term "Private Scholar", encountered in a book by Alexander McCall Smith describing a female anthropologist character, who had no visible means of research or even personal support. As is typical of Smith's writing, she was treated gently and with respect, and I was endeared to her. Finding myself sometime later formally retired from academia, I thought that maybe I, too, could be a Private Scholar. The term has a certain dignity and sense of freedom from the politics and perversities of the academy. Of course this side of the pond the term turns out to be "Independent Scholar", which somehow does not have the same dignity.

But as I hear about more scientists,frustrated and disgusted with academic research, forming their own research companies and competitively obtaining funding from sources INCLUDING THE NIH, the term Independent Scholar becomes not one of defeat and failure but rather of, well, independence and pride. The meaning of the term should come from us. If we feel "less than", then we are. It is up to us. But for Independent Scholars to be respected by academics from the academy, we will need to uphold very high standards for our work.

Karen Garvin: Yes, "Independent Scholar" should be a badge of honor, not embarrassment. No one owns you, and as Freda Blake Bradley mentioned, if the current "hot topics" in your area of scholarship don't interest you then you can steer your research in whatever direction you want to go.

Of course funding is always an issue. I'd love to hole up in the British Library for a few months but it's unrealistic for me at this point in time. But I'm not writing the idea off!

Amanda Haste: Well said, Joan Cunningham. For me it's all about professional integrity. And as I used to tell my music students, you need to be professional, a term which has nothing to do with whether you're paid but has everything to do with how you conduct yourself, and how you approach your work, whether that be
performance or research.

Karen Garvin: I haven't really given much thought to a title. I suppose "Historian" is all I really need. I am an independent scholar, but that doesn't have to be my title.

I don't accept "Independent Scholar" as a defeat, though. Not everyone can or wants to work in academia, and the rarefied atmosphere can quickly become suffocating if you find that you don't meet others' expectations of what you should be researching -- or the conclusions you draw from your research.

So, "independent" means exactly that. Free to follow your own interests, research the sources you want to delve into, and ask questions -- and even question the ivory tower, too. Perhaps it's not a way to win friends in academia, but academia does not own scholarship. At least, it shouldn't.

Amanda Haste: I teach several courses at a university as a vacataire (equivalent to adjunct faculty) but as they're not really connected to my research, and as I have no job security and no funding for my research I still choose to describe myself as an independent scholar. And I'm proud of it! As you say, it represents freedom. ☺

Ancient Asia Accepting Submissions for 2016

Ancient Asia, the official continuous publication journal of the Society of South Asian Archaeology (SOSAA), is now accepting submissions for publication for 2016. The journal primarily publishes research papers but also welcome book reviews and short reports.  Please note: Article Processing Charges (APC) apply. To encourage submissions from developing regions, waivers are granted on a tiered basis according to the country the author's institution is based. 

Ancient Asia is a fully peer-reviewed, open access journal. The journal publishes as soon as articles are ready, meaning there is no delay in research being released.

The scope of Ancient Asia is vast - from Stone Age to the Modern times, including archaeology, history, anthropology, art, architecture, numismatics, iconography, ethnography, various scientific aspects including archaeobotany and archaeozoology, and theoretical and methodological issues. Its goals include highlighting underserved research areas, such as the North Eastern States of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Central Asia, Iran, etc.

Topics that are encouraged for submission are (but not exclusively):

  • Prehistory
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Proto and Early History
  • Settlement Archaeology
  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Ancient Architecture
  • Epigraphy
  • Heritage Management and Conservation
  • Ancient Technology and Computer Application
  • Museum Studies and Development
  • Religion
  • Trade
  • Folklore and Ethnology

Onine submissions accepted via journal website. See Author Guidelines for further information. Alternatively, please contact the editorial team for more information.

Ancient Asia is published by Ubiquity Press. For more information, please, see here.

2016 Evental Aesthetics

Call for Papers

The Editors of Evental Aestheticsa peer reviewed journal of philosophical perspectives on aesthetic practice and experience, are pleased to announce the following call for papers for 2016. The journal is completely open-access: we charge no fees to either our authors or our readers. We are also completely independent: the journal is unaffiliated with any institution.  We welcome submissions in English from independent and institutionally affiliated scholars worldwide.

Summer & Fall 2016 – Aesthetic Inquiries:

All issues of EA include a section called “Aesthetic Inquiries,” which features a selection of articles from outside the current theme.  Contributions to this section may address philosophical matters pertaining to any aesthetic practice or experience, including but not limited to art and everyday aesthetics.  In 2016, we will invite submissions for two theme-free issues entitled “Aesthetic Inquiries.”

Deadline for consideration in Summer 2016 issue: 28 February, 2016.

Deadline for consideration in Fall 2016 issue: 30 June, 2016.
Winter 2016 – Sound Art and Environment:  Deadline: 31 October, 2016
Guest Editor: Gascia Ouzounian
Suggested topics:

  • Sound art and ontologies of space, place, and/or sociality
  • Sound art and landscape, environment, geography, urban and public space
  • Sound art and experimental approaches to architecture, planning, and mapping
  • Sound art in remote or contested places, including conflict or post-conflict zones and under-served communities
  • Sound art and biopolitics; new approaches to ecology and acoustic ecology; sound art and environmental activism
  • Sound art and the non-human world

Topics may be freely interpreted.  However, all submissions must address philosophical matters.

The Winter issue will also include an "Aesthetic Inquiries" section (see above).

We welcome articles (4000-8000 words), Collisions (1000-2500 words), and proposals for our Reading section.  Please visit for submission requirements and instructions, including details on Collisions and Reading proposals.  For questions not covered by the site, contact the Editors at

Alexandra Wimberly Wins Dorbrecht Grant for Scientific Research

Alexandra Wimberly, NCIS member, was awarded $1,800 from the Dorbrecht Grant of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund for her research project, Yoga Intervention for Substance Use and Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence in Community Reentry. The randomized controlled trial will explore yoga’s impact on the well-being of people in reentry from prison or jail with HIV and substance use problems. Findings will inform the development of substance use interventions for this population.

Alexandra is a doctoral student in Social Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.

SPARC Advocates Open Access for Scholarly Resources

"SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC believes that faster and wider sharing of the outputs of the scholarly research process increases the impact of research, fuels the advancement of knowledge, and increases the return on research investments. SPARC focuses on taking action in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – to build on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship.

See more.

Dorbrecht Grant Recipient Publishes Research

Edith Brotman has recently published Mussar Yoga: Blending an Ancient Jewish Spiritual Practice with Yoga to Transform Body and Soul (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2014), using research funded by the Dorbrecht grant.  

Book abstract

While there are no statistics on the number of Jews participating in so-called Eastern religious practices, yoga and Buddhism anecdotally appear popular among liberal Jews in North America and even in Israel. According to Rodger Kamemetz, author of The Jew and the Lotus, the first known American convert to Buddhism in the late 19th century was a Jew named Charles Strauss. In the 1960s and 70s the term Jubu (or interchangeably, Buju) emerged as a way to refer to a person of Jewish religious and ethnic heritage who practices Buddhism in some manner or degree. The term is sometimes ironically used to refer to Jews who simply have a lifestyle that is highly infused with Eastern traditions such as yoga or meditation.

With the seeming rise of interest in yoga, there is growing curiosity and acceptance of spiritual parallels between Judaism and yoga’s philosophy and practices. Mussar Yoga draws on my own research into the similarities of the Jewish tradition of Mussar and yoga to offer a blended practice which draws on the similarities and strengths of the two.

Both Mussar and yoga are products of both the ancient and contemporary worlds. The yoga sutras date from around the Fourth Century CE, but yoga as we know it today is a likely outgrowth of the creation of the modern Indian nation-state. About the same time that the yoga sutras were written, Mussar, which means “instruction” was a recognized ethical discipline. In late nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, the Mussar Movement headed by Rabbi Israel Salantar developed as a community and yeshiva based approach to Mussar study. For many decades Mussar appeared to be another victim of the Holocaust. Currently, however, the practice is experiencing a revival.

The concurrent resurgence of both Mussar and yoga spotlights parallels between the two.  One parallel is the ethical principles—such as truth, zeal, loving kindness, order and moderation.  Another are the methods. Both practices work as conversations between the behaviors of every day life and the precepts of sacred texts. And, meditation, mantras and chanting are employed by both Mussar and yoga. The spotlight also reveals differences as well such a yoga’s greater use of the physical body as template for change, and the Jewish emphasis on action rather than intention.

The book, Mussar Yoga, works as an approachable “how to” manual with a discussion of the two traditions and how together they can facilitate transformation of body and soul.  The book offers insight into thirteen different middot (ethical precepts) from both Jewish and yogic perspectives and includes photos and instructions for yoga poses, suggested mantras and questions for daily journalling.


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