Unveiling the Russian Piano History, A Treasured Legacy
Anne Swartz, professor of music and chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Baruch College’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, was cited in the Wall Street Journal, July 31 weekend edition review, entitled “Ivories in the Snow.” The article reviewed the new book by Sophy Roberts The Lost Pianos of Siberia. The review cited professor Swartz’s book on Russian pianos, “Piano Makers in Russia in the Nineteenth Century (published in 2014) which was used as the authors’ reference bible for the new book.
“It’s rewarding to know my book is still considered a valuable source for future scholars. This is consistent with our academic mission at Baruch to reach a broader audience” said professor Swartz. Sophy Roberts reached out to me during the early stages of her project and thanked me for my work on the source materials in the archives. These treasured pianos have been handed down from generation to generation and take us on a fascinating journey through Russia’s rich musical landscape,” professor Swartz added.
Sarah Bishop 2020 Faculty Fulbright Scholar
Sarah Bishop, PhD, from the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, is a recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant, which will help support her research examining the economic, personal, and social challenges facing individuals who formerly migrated to the United States.
With this Fulbright award, professor Bishop will interview asylum seekers sent back to El Salvador and Guatemala. She is looking to understand how communication and culture affect the asylum process, and how policy and community interventions could better protect migrants during and after the asylum process. Bishop’s grant begins in January 2021 and will last five months.
“I’m honored to be a recipient,” Bishop stated. “As soon as I got the news, I began having trouble concentrating on anything else.”
At Baruch, Bishop teaches a class on communication and migration in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and instructs a course on global communication for the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.
Bishop’s Research: “Communication and Culture in the Search for Asylum”
To complete her research, “Communication and Culture in the Search for Asylum,” Bishop will collaborate with a scholar from Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador to interview individuals denied asylum in the U.S. She will visit non-profit organizations in El Salvador and Guatemala to “learn about the challenges they face as they work to facilitate re-integration.”
Ultimately, Bishop plans to use the research she conducts during the Fulbright grant to write her third book that will pair the Salvadorian and Guatemalan returnees’ reflections with those of the asylum seekers she has already interviewed in New York who were granted asylum or are awaiting a decision in their case.
In addition to her work with asylum seekers, Bishop will lead a week-long seminar for international human rights practitioners with a nonprofit organization in El Salvador called Cristosal. Bishop will guide these practitioners in a conversation about some of the common challenges human rights advocates face, including historical dialogue about the past, and facilitating conversations between victims and perpetrators of violence about transitional justice.
A Staunch Advocate for Immigrant Rights
Bishop is an oral historian and an immigrant rights advocate. She serves on the board of directors at Mixteca Organization in Brooklyn, and through her volunteer work with New Sanctuary Coalition, Bishop has been accompanying asylum seekers to immigration court to “stand in solidarity with them” in front of the judge who decides whether they will remain in the United States or be returned to their countries of origin.
Since much of the asylum process happens behind closed doors, Bishop wanted “to ensure that migrants fleeing persecution in New York know their rights and avoid fraudulent legal advice.”
Bishop hopes by talking to the people who are in the room during these hearings, her research will show the perspective of the asylum seekers, judges and officers, reveal the major problems of asylum policy, and highlight what can be done to better protect the well-being of asylum seekers throughout the process.
“At this point, all of my research foregrounds the firsthand insights of migrants to counteract the ways their voices have been sometimes left out of research about asylum especially,” Bishop explained. “In any case where someone who has citizenship can advocate for undocumented people, refugees, or asylum seekers in the U.S., that seems more pressing now than ever.”
Past Faculty Achievements
Recent past faculty achievements can be found here.