McAndless Distinguished Professor Chair

The Formosa Quartet Will Be the 2023-24 McAndless Professors

The 2023-24 McAndless Distinguished Professors will be the Formosa QuartetThe Formosa Quartet will be at EMU January 14-20 and March 31-April 6, 2024. 

The Formosa Quartet

The Formosa Quartet

The Formosa Quartet

The Formosa Quartet

The Formosa Quartet is an American string quartet hailed for their "spellbinding virtuosity" (BBC Music Magazine), "technical brilliance" (Classic FM), and "dazzling tone" (Charleston Gazette). Committed to an insatiable search for the fresh and new in string quartet expression, the Formosa Quartet gives performances that "go beyond the beautiful and into the territory of unexpectedly thrilling" (MUSO Magazine). 

Since winning the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the 10th Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, the Formosa Quartet has performed at major concert venues including the Smithsonian, Taipei’s National Concert Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Kammermusiksaal at the Berliner Philharmonie. For two decades and counting, the ensemble has sustained a vibrant career using the string quartet as a vehicle for advocacy, storytelling, community-building, and innovation. The Formosa Quartet’s commitment to arts advocacy and diversity, starting with its founding members' interest in championing Taiwanese music, particularly traditions of Indigenous cultures, has since expanded to include the exploration of rich folk traditions and heritages found in America today. 

In 2023-2024, the Formosa Quartet will be launching the "American Mirror Project," which examines perceptions and assumptions about American culture through the lens of music and the performing arts. The project revolves around two primary questions: What is "America?" And, how would you mirror (or respond) to "America" in your creative practice? By nature, such an examination is deeply inclusive of each and every voice in America. Through thought-provoking and dynamic musical performances, this project is an opportunity for the Formosa Quartet to showcase their own evolving reflections on these questions while creating a platform to mirror others and their communities, and the places in which these performances happen. The Formosa Quartet invites fellow musicians, composers, creatives, students, and educators across disciplines to reflect on this question and in answering "What is America" to them, broaden ways in which they mirror "America" in their own creative practice. Initially conceived as a Formosa Quartet program offering, the "American Mirror Project" has expanded to include dialogue and collaborations across the country.

To explore the themes of the American Mirror Project, Formosa Quartet’s residency will include a series of conversations with students and faculty across disciplines at the College of Arts and Sciences, open rehearsals, and a culminating concert, which will be designed and performed in part by EMU students and faculty. EMU community members interested in participating in this programming or in integrating the American Mirror Project into their Winter 2024 classes are invited to contact Professor Deborah Pae and Associate Dean Jim Egge.

The College has been able to schedule two weeks of residency for the Formosa Quartet through the McAndless endowment, the support of the Provost's office, and the generous giving of private donors. Donations to the Formosa Quartet Residency Fund may be made through the Foundation website.

Nominations for the 2024-25 Chair are open

The College invites its departments and schools to make nominations through November 1, 2023. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Make a nomination for the 2024-25 McAndless Chair

  • About the McAndless Distinguished Professor Chair

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    Every year the M. Thelma McAndless Distinguished Professor Chair in the Humanities brings to the College of Arts and Sciences a visiting scholar, writer, or artist of national prominence in the arts or humanities. The chair was established in 1986 through a generous bequest from the late M. Thelma McAndless, Professor of English Language and Literature. 

  • McAndless Committee Members

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    Victor Okafor, Africology & African-American Studies
    Leslie Atzmon, Art & Design
    Jeromy Hopgood, Communication, Media & Theatre Arts
    Elisabeth Däumer, English Language & Literature
    Steven Ramold, History & Philosophy
    Anderson Romero, Music & Dance
    Kate Mehuron, Women's & Gender Studies
    Audrey Viguier, World Languages
    Megan Moore, Honors College
    James Egge, Dean's Office
  • Past McAndless Professors

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    2022 Petra Kuppers
    2021 Kevin Boyle
    2020 Jeremy Crampton, Claudia Hart, and Stephanie Kerschbaum
    2019 Corine Vermeulen
    2018 José Carlos Aguiar de Souza
    2016 Alison Kafer
    2015 Annette J. Saddik
    2014 Daniel Johnston
    2013 Laurie A. Finke
    2012 Evan Roth
    2011 Mark Carnes
    2010 Farzaneh Milani
    2009 Ali Mazrui
    2008 Marshall Poe
    2007 N. Scott Hofmann
    2006 Scott McCloud
    2005 Ben Vereen
    2003 Jayne Cortez
    2002 Cheryl Dileo
    2002 Gillian Eaton
    2000 Bouthaina Shaaban
    1999 Susan Tatershall
    1998 Roger W. Wilkins
    1996 Sarah Daniels
    1996 Tom Regan
    1995 Gwynne Dyer
    1993 Bei Dao
    1993 Nicholas Pennell
    1991 Sondra Freckelton
    1990 Kenneth Burke
    1990 Nancy Ford
    1988 Peter Strevens
    1988 Richard Hunt
    1986 Maxine Hong Kingston


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