A note from Prof. Danforth
In 2012 I took a Short Term Unit to Saudi Arabia, which was one of the most exciting things I have done in my career at Bates. It changed the direction of my scholarly career. I spent the whole next year writing a book about Saudi Arabia and my experiences there. It included chapters about the Hajj, contemporary Saudi art, Saudi Aramco ( the world’s largest company), the city of Jeddah, Islamic creationism, and the issue of women’s driving. Over the next few years, I worked with Dan Mills, the director of the Bates art museum on bringing an exhibition of contemporary Saudi conceptual art to Bates. It included a video of a woman painting a wrecked car pink, a video of Saudi women in black abayas riding in colorful bumper cars, a video of a mosque/cage made out of chain linked fence, animated cartoons, YouTube comedy sketches, a prayer rug made out of bicycle chains, and silk screen images of a gasoline pump transforming into a man committing suicide.
I am now back working in Greece. I have started a book project on a transborder park includes a lake located in the middle of which Macedonia, Greece and Albania come together at a point.
For many years I have been teaching English to refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia, Djibouti, Congo and Angola. It is almost as much fun as teaching Bates students.
I look forward to being teaching in September.