Each year the Calvin community is enriched by the presence of several visiting scholars. This year we are pleased to welcome:
Elizabeth Conde-Frazier is a practical theologian. She explains her research as follows: “The different aspects of worship—preaching, music, liturgy, education—are a part of my work as a scholar. My method of inquiry is qualitative as it connects best with Freirean pedagogies. This means that bringing communities together for sharing and critical thinking is at the crux of my work. As the Coordinator of Relations for Theological Entities for the Association for Hispanic Theological Education (AETH), I seek to bring together different communities that they may share their practices, theories and resources so as to be mutually enhancing. Considering the possibilities for creating such spaces between AETH and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship is what I hope to work on collaboratively. I am also writing a book on Hispanic theological education, and I hope to write about the ways that such collaborative projects help to generate theology and knowledge for la pastoral as well as look at how it might foster foundations for doing the work of social justice in some form together.”
Dr. Crow recently retired after teaching taxonomy for 33 years at the University of New Hampshire and serving as Director of the UNH Herbarium and chair of the Department of Plant Biology. He has served on the faculty at Au Sable Institute as well as helping in the Calvin University Herbarium. Additionally he is continuing botanical research at the Michigan State University Herbarium-recently having completed the taxonomic treatment of Utricularia (bladderworts) and Pinguicula (butterworts) for Flora of North America North of Mexico. While having a broad interest in floristics (including botanical expeditions to Tierra del Fuego, Siberia, Crimea and Caucasus, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Amazonia, and Mexico), much of his research has focused on aquatic plants of temperate and Neotropics regions. He is co-author of Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Northeastern North America, 2 volumes (G.E. Crow and C. B. Hellquist, Univ. Wisconsin Press). In 1999-2000 he spent a year-long sabbatical in Costa Rica under a Fulbright Fellowship where he wrote a bilingual field guide, Plantas acuáticus de Parque Nacional Palo Verde, Costa Rica (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Costa Rica), which is widely used by students studying at the Organization for Tropical Studies field station at Palo Verde.
Dr. DeRose is a Computational Linguist specializing in text databases, electronic documents, and analysis of "big text" collections. He began working with document systems as a student of graphics and hypertext pioneer Andries van Dam, on the FRESS system. FRESS is considered the first hypertext system used in teaching, the first application to support "undo", and one of the first systems used for academic word-processing. After completing his dissertation on Hidden Markov Models for part-of-speech identification in English and Greek, and a stint with Wycliffe Bible Translators, DeRose co-founded Electronic Book Technologies in 1989 to create "DynaText," software to deliver, render, and search large-scale document sets using SGML. DynaText was used by Novell, SGI, DEC, Sun Microsystems, and many others to deliver large, complex documents via CD-ROM, LANs, and later the Web. EBT grew to 150 employees and was sold in 1996. DeRose was one of 11 core creators of XML, and has worked on many other standards underlying the modern Web, open electronic book systems, and scholarly practice in the digital humanities. DeRose has also been contributed to the scholarly side of these fields, publishing two books and dozens of articles, teaching a variety of seminars as adjunct faculty in the Brown University CS Department, and as a member of several journal and conference boards.
Betsy DeVries is a Ph.D. candidate at Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto where she is studying homiletics. As a visiting scholar with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Betsy will be researching different characteristics of Reformed eschatology found in John Calvin and Jürgen Moltmann in order to discern how Reformed theology has and may continue to communicate hope. Through her research and interactions with scholars and preachers, Betsy hopes to draw connections between the worlds of careful scholarship and faithful practice as she explores how preaching participates in the tension and movement of eschatological hope.
Ann Kapteyn works for Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). As a visiting scholar with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Ann will be researching the impact of the American Bible Society’s Scripture-based trauma healing program on participants in Central African Republic (CAR). This program has been very well received in CAR, Cameroon, and around the world, and it is being used successfully in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with immigrants and students. Through her research she hopes to learn what makes it so effective and what can be improved or better contextualized for the Central African context. She also hopes the findings can be applied elsewhere in the world and even here in Grand Rapids.
Mwenda’s training in language education and cultural anthropology has led him into the world of popular music and its various intersections with lived experiences especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has enjoyed analyzing musical text as social windows into the lives, aspirations, and expressions of different communities. As a visiting scholar with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Mwenda will explore how this experience and research on popular music in East Africa intersects with worship and other practices within the church. His interactions with scholars and practitioners from different disciplines and backgrounds will enrich his work and help clarify a new research project he plans to undertake that will seek to identify and compare some Christian hip hop artists in East Africa with some counterparts in the U.S.