Creative Current 2022-2023 - Page 16

Fine Arts Spotlights

Humanities Professor Majfud Wins International Literary Award

Jacksonville University Professor Jorge Majfud put quite a bit of himself into his novel El Mismo Fuego , which recently won The Independent International Literary Award .
Orrizonte Atlantico , the Italian literary agency that organized the competition , called Prof . Majfud ’ s novel “ an existential autobiography based on the author ’ s experiences during the last military dictatorship in Uruguay .” Prof . Majfud considers the “ self ” essential to writing fiction .
“ Real art is an exploration of the inner human world ,” says Prof . Majfud , who is about to see his eighth novel published this year . “ To understand the feelings of others we need to explore and understand our own feelings and emotions , normally contaminated with our own ideas , which are never purely our own but mostly came from a long human history . The same way a car is an extension of our body , art – fiction – is an extension of our ‘ inner self ’.”
In addition to writing fiction , Prof . Majfud , who has been teaching at Jacksonville University since 2010 , and is Associate Professor of Spanish , Latin American Literature & International Studies , also writes academic papers , books and essays .
“ When we write academic papers or books we try to be as objective as possible and put the ‘ self ’ aside . Not just in the sciences but even in the humanities this is a must but it is also a utopia , since even in science the researcher has their own world view , their own convictions and paradigm where they work from , and even their own aesthetic principles , as it was demonstrated with the Copernican revolution ,” says Prof . Majfud , who has written and published seven novels and several books of short stories along with essays and academic works during the past 24 years .
In his next book , Silicona 5.0 , Prof . Majfud explores technology and its effects on society .
“ It is about love – or artificial love – in the artificial intelligence-coming world and how an identity thief is not just a criminal but , even more important , a part of a whole consumerist culture that makes humans into robots while making robots into humans ,” Dr . Majfud says . “ In the near future , people are going to marry robots and robots are going to understand people better than our most efficient psychologists ( which , by the way , are not very numerous ), which looks like a solution to many problems but my deepest intuition says that it will be a slow collective self-destruction . I fear our future solutions are not going to be better than our current problems .”
In addition to his writing career , Dr . Majfud will continue sharing his insights and opinions with his students in the Division of Humanities .
“ We are not teachers but professors , and that means being radical in our questioning and analysis of the reality ,” Dr . Majfud says . “ Our first goal is not being politically correct but to push the boundaries of knowledge as much as we can , regardless of whether we are working with the right or the wrong hypothesis .”
“ Science is radical or is not . Philosophy , humanities , art should be radical in their explorations or they are just repetitive , mechanical work or commercial stuff for sale .”
By Jacqueline Palsha
www . ju . edu / steincollege 9
C R E AT I V E C R E AT I V E CURRENT CURRENT Student and Alumni News Student and Alumni News Heidi Lopez ’20, BFA Graphic Design, is currently completing the MFA in Communication Design at the Pratt Institute where she also serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Nikki Boyd ’21, BFA Dance and MFA Choreography, served as blogger for the National Dance Educator’s Organization. Hannah Cowan ’21, BA Film, minor in Graphic Design, was recently promoted to Creative Director at ASM Sports Group. Huong Pham ’21, BFA Graphic Design, recently accepted a position as Junior Graphic Designer at Shepard Agency. Michael Csorba ’20, BA Film, was appointed Editor & Motion Designer at Diamond View Studios, Tampa, FL. Delaney Plunket ’20, BFA Art Graphic Design, MS Organizational Leadership, recently earned her MBA from the Davis College of Business, Jacksonville University. Shelby Daye ’19, BFA Graphic Design, accepted a position as Marketing and Design Coordinator at Jacksonville University. Cat Plesko ’16, BFA Ceramics, has opened the Jacksonville Pottery Studio in the city’s Murray Hill neighborhood. James Demps ’22, BFA Theatre, Lexi Dares ’23, BFA Musical Theatre, and Jeilymar Morales ’22, BFA Theatre, were nominated to compete in in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Demps also advanced to the semi-final rounds. Each also competed in the KCACTF Musial Theatre Initiative, where all three qualified as semi-finalists (top 25 competitors) and Dares and Morales advanced to finals (top 5 competitors), and Morales placed 3rd overall. Megan Reid ’19, BFA Ceramics and Glass, accepted position as K-12 Art Teacher at Jacksonville’s Foundations Academy. Haley Russell ’16, BM Music Performance, joined her former faculty members and mentors Dr. Scott Watkins, Dr. Marguerite Richardson and Prof. Eric Olson in the Jacksonville Symphony’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. For Haley, it was exciting to have a professional engagement alongside her long-time oboe teacher, Eric Olson, who is the principal oboist of the Jacksonville Symphony, as well as her former orchestra director Marguerite Richardson and piano teacher, Scott Watkins. Since graduating from Jacksonville University, Haley has earned both her Master of Music Degree in Oboe Performance and Performance Diploma from Boston University. In additional to continuing to perform professionally, Haley plans to attend law school so she can become an advocate for orchestral musicians. Zack Rivera ’21, BFA Musical Theatre, competed in the Student Directing Competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival where he won a scholarship for summer residency at the Kennedy Center Director’s Intensive. Victoria Rogers ’23, BFA Theatre, competed in the Design Competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and was highlighted as a featured designer. Leah Dunlap ’21, BA Art, BBA Marketing, was named Creative Marketing Coordinator at Jacksonville University. Emily Gainforth ’21, BFA Theatre, advanced to the final rounds of the Stage Managers Competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. She submitted a detailed production book tracing her work for the college’s 2019 production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by We want to hear from you. Send your alumni news to: Professor Deborah Jordan. w w w .j u . e d u / s t e i n c o l l e g e 16 w w w .j u . e d u / s t e i n c o l l e g e 17