Housemates

The occasion is the discovery of more photo albums from the past, in this case the relatively recent past. One had photos of two friends who shared the Columbus OH house with Jacques and me in the 1990s: Philip Miller (during a postdoc year in linguistics at Ohio State) and Kim Darnell (while she was finishing her PhD in linguistics at Ohio State). Then there’s our last housemate before Jacques and I moved entirely to Californa, our bookfriend Ann Burlingham, who was working in Columbus bookstores at the time.

After teaching in (mostly) Lille, Philip is now in Paris. After years teaching in Atlanta, Kim is now in Palo Alto. And Ann has been in Perry NY (south of Rochester), where she owns and runs Burlingham Books, for some time now.

Philip in the back yard at the Columbus house, April 1993 (photo by Jacques):

(#1)

Two photos of Kim at the Columbus house. Kim making sushi in the kitchen (5/29/96, photo by Jacques):

(#2)

Jacques, Arnold, and Kim in the dining room (10/27/96, photo taken by Deane Johnson (Kim’s mother), who was the missing fourth person at the table):

(#3)

(I note here that Kim is a tall person — 6 feet tall, like Alison Janney, though a couple of inches shorter than Julia Child.)

As they are now, with family…

Roberto Moura and Philip on 5/10/16, the second anniversary of their marriage:

(#4)

Kim and her daughter Maggie:

(#5)

Ann, her husband Jason Parker-Burlingham, and their son Henry:

(#6)

Now some bits of life story: Philip, Kim, Ann.

Philip. His brief bio for the 2017 LSA Linguistic Institute at the University of Kentucky:

Philip Miller teaches English and General Linguistics at the Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7). He is currently visiting professor at the Universidade de São Paulo (till February 2017). He has worked on clitics and on perception verbs. His current work is centered on ellipsis and anaphora, with specific interest in verbal ellipsis and verbal anaphora. Much of this work has been carried out in the Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar framework, a constraint-based monostratal theory. In this work, he pays special attention to broadening the range of empirical data, using corpus based and experimental approaches.

Philip’s dissertation, from his own site:

My PhD dissertation (Clitics and Constituents in Phrase Structure Grammar, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1991) was published in the Garland “Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics” Series. It can be downloaded here.

Then came the postdoc year at OSU. And in the midst of this:

Philip H. Miller, Geoffrey K. Pullum, & Arnold M. Zwicky, Le principe d’inaccesibilité de la phonologie par le syntaxe: trois contre-exemples apparents en français. Lingvisticae Investigationes 16.2.317-43 (1992). [viewable here]

Before moving to Paris Diderot, Philip had regular teaching positions at the Université libre de Bruxelles (in Belgium) and Université Lille 3 (in France). A 2000 book, from CSLI Publications at Stanford, Strong Generative Capacity: The Semantics of Linguistic Formalism:

The concept of “strong generative capacity” (SGC) of a linguistic formalism was introduced by Chomsky in the early sixties in order to characterize descriptive capacity. However, the original definition proposed by Chomsky turned out to be unusable, especially when one wished to compare the SGC of different types of formalisms. This book provides for the first time a rigorous and useful characterization of SGC, defining it as the model theoretic semantics of linguistic formalism. Specifically, abstract interpretation domains are defined in theory-neutral set-theoretical terms, and the SGC of a theory with respect to a given interpretation domain is characterized as the range of a specific interpretation function mapping structural descriptions of that theory into elements of that domain. Interpretation domains are defined for such notions as labeled constituency, dependency, endocentricity and linking and applied to the analysis of a range of linguistic formalisms, among which context-free grammars, dependency grammars, X-bar grammars, tree-adjoining grammars, transformational grammars and categorial grammars.

Plus the other work alluded to in his brief LSA bio above.

Kim. Currently teaching on-line psychology courses at Georgia State (from home in Palo Alto), where she’s a senior lecturer (a senior position devoted to teaching rather than research). From her GSU site:

courses taught: Freshman Orientation, Introduction to General Psychology, Natural Science Aspects of Psychology, Psychological Statistics, Principles and Methods of Psychological Investigation, Introduction to Research Design and Analysis, Advanced Research Design and Analysis, Cognitive Psychology, Psychology of Language, Graduate Seminar on Teaching

For some sense of how she comes at her work, here’s the abstract for an invited lecture she gave at Ohio State on 9/23/16, Annual Linguistics Pedagogy Lecture: “Because Privilege: Linguistic Pedagogy as a Metaphor and Medium of Social Justice”:

In the U.S., fewer people have PhDs than live in the city of Chicago … and yet it is only a minor subset of these individuals — those who choose to be university and college educators — who we have invested with the incredible power and opportunity to teach the next generation of undergraduate students. At the same time, the demographics at our institutions of higher learning have ever increasing numbers of racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities, as well as first generation college students and students from lower income backgrounds. With Bachelor’s degrees, individuals from historically marginalized groups have the greatest chance of getting a well-paying job, buying a home, and creating a safe and prosperous environment for their families. What this means is that, as post-secondary teachers, we are in a unique position to “grow privilege.” As linguists, we have a disciplinary tradition of teaching through exploration, appreciating unique approaches to complex problems, and honoring the influences of history and geography, as well as recognizing and celebrating the expertise of underrepresented groups. These approaches contribute to an active learning curriculum that is effective for a wide variety of students, facilitates critical thinking skill that generalizes across disciplines, and (more importantly to our administrators) leads to better retention and graduation rates. As linguists with advanced degrees, we can leverage our own educational attainment and disciplinary awesomeness to create the kind of positive socioeconomic and political progress that that ripples across generations. We can “be the change that (we) want to see in the world” and model a meaningful and viable path to greater social justice.

Some biograhical background: Kim grew up in Boulder CO. Then a Univ. of Hawai’i at Manoa B.A. in Japanese, May 1992. And on to Ohio State, where she pursued research in visual word recognition, adult sentence processing, ERPs, and Japanese, and received a PhD in linguistics in June 1998, with a dissertation on “Effects of priming on recognition latencies to familiar and unfamiliar orthographic forms of Japanese words” (adviser: Julie E. Boland). Then an NIMH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the psychology department at Carnegie Mellon Univ. in Pittsburgh, July 1998-July 1999 (supervisor: Brian MacWhinney).

Ann. From the Arcade Herald in Warsaw NY on 10/23/14, “Women in business: Ann Burlingham holds integral part in hometown with Burlingham Books” by Carly Vair:

(#7)

Burlingham Books opened its doors in January of 2006, and even though nearly a decade of business is nothing to take lightly, it feels as though it’s been there longer. Between the writers group, open mic nights, Magic the Gathering events, Girl Scout meetings and yes, the books, the store seems to be a reflection of its patrons rather than just a place to shop.

Of course, the bookstore would not exist without its namesake, Ann Burlingham. After running a book store in Columbus, Ohio, Burlingham returned to her hometown of Perry to move back to the family farm in the early 2000s. Burlingham said that, at the time, she thought a bookstore was something that might happen a few years in the future, but even with a toddler [Henry Parker-Burlingham] at her side, things came together faster than she’d imagined.

“I kind of had a daydream about downtown Perry,” Burlingham said. “I believe in downtowns, I believe in my hometown, and I’d rather be here than somewhere else.”

However, it took more than a daydream to make Burlingham Books into the place it is today. Even with her experience working in libraries and new and used bookstores, Burlingham said opening presented a new set of challenges from building codes to magazine distributors.

“It was all the things you don’t know you don’t know,” she said. “There are things nobody remembers or thinks to tell you.”

Of course, the challenges didn’t disappear once the store opened. With the advent of e-books and self-publishing, the changes in the industry were bound to find their way to Perry.

“We certainly felt the effects when some of our best readers got e-readers for Christmas,” Burlingham said. “That was very painful because you start to see people who used to be regulars not show up as often.”

Despite the challenges and the changes, Burlingham Books continues to be an integral part of the community, whether it’s for readers, writers or anyone who simply needs “a place to be.”

“One thing we have a growing need for in our community is a place to gather, and not necessarily because of religion or business, but just a place to talk about books and ideas and what’s going on in the world,” Burlingham said. “We’re a place you can meet up for coffee with a friend or a first [date] or just to do some work out of your house.”

This physical space is where the communal and the personal intersect. The independent bookstore connects individual authors with individual readers, but the connection of those individuals requires something deeply personal to be shared.

“Reading is a very odd thing,” Burlingham said. “It’s a very personal thing. For me, it’s incredibly rewarding getting to connect with people, getting books that light up kids’ faces, getting people exactly the right book and having them come back and say that was the book they needed right then.”

However, the store is more than a crossroads for author, bookseller and reader. After attending a reception for a group promoting diversity in books, Burlingham said she hopes the store becomes something of a crossroads for Perry and the rest of the world.

“We live in a very monoracial, mostly Christian community in a world and in a country that are changing very rapidly,” she said. “If you’re not exposed to stuff in your day-to-day life, you need even more exposure in your reading, I think. When kids are reading, especially, you need a mirror showing you yourself, but you also need a window to the world.

“I’m so excited because this is a conversation I feel we need to be having.”

As far as the future of the store, conversation figures in prominently.

“I’d love to have somebody ask me if we could start a gay support group,” Burlingham said. “Maybe I could get someone from the Gay Alliance to come and do a talk. It’d be really fun to have someone from Planned Parenthood come and do sex-ed for parents, so we could know what’s being talked about.

“These are things that might be a little more challenging for the community. I’m trying to get some stuff happening … that’s more conversation-starting.”

Amiable and enthusiastic — but with a strong moral compass, and always pushing, hard.

Obligatory kid cuteness: my grand-daughter Opal with Ann and Jason’s son Henry (some years back, well before they became teenagers):

(#8)

Once Ann came into Jacques’s and my life (via the Usenet newsgroup soc.motss, back when Ann was working as a librarian at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland), we also became close friends with her younger sister Kathryn and got to know Kathryn’s twin sister Gillian, their mother Gilly, and their aunt Terry.

(Note: Kim and Ann are regular characters on this blog. Most recently, both of them two days ago, Kim in “Artichokes on the hoof” (here), Ann in “Larkin and the Gray Lady, again” (here).)

2 Responses to “Housemates”

  1. annburlingham Says:

    oh, my! what a lovely surprise. and i don’t know if i’d seen that photo of the kids before.

  2. Kim Darnell Says:

    How wonderful to be in such interesting and beloved company 🙂

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