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07/02/2015

National Endowment for the Humanities Selects Design Faculty Member for Summer Series

Quick Facts

 Furman was selected for the program along with approximately 20 other peers.
 "American Material Culture: Nineteeth-Century New York" will discuss the city's role as a focus for consumer and fashion tastes.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — In the 19th century, New York City was known as a city from which new trends and styles emerged every day. Not much has changed since then.

Winthrop University Assistant Professor of Design Bill Furman will spend four weeks this summer in the Big Apple learning about the city’s influence on culture with nearly 20 other people as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Institute Series.

Hosted by the Bard Graduate Center, “American Material Culture: Nineteeth-Century New York,” will discuss the city’s role as a national center for “fashioning cultural commodities and promoting consumer tastes.”

The organization selected Furman as one of the seminar attendees after reading his essay and letters of recommendation.

Furman said he heard of the summer series while researching information on a history course he was teaching. The textbook’s author had attended a workshop, and Furman’s interest was piqued.

“I’m absolutely excited [about attending],” he said. “It’s something I have a personal interest in as well, not just academic.”

He said he’s looking forward to meeting his classmates as well because they come from all different disciplines. He’s also interested to learn more about the differences between the more progressive New York of that time and the traditional South, calling it an “interesting dynamic.”

Furman plans to bring his knowledge to the classroom when he returns.

“When I cover design theory—a lot of design theory really perks up around this time period, a lot of stuff we still deal with today,” he said. “A lot of it has its roots in the dialogue and debates that were happening 150 years ago.”

For more information on Furman, visit his faculty webpage.

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