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College of Arts & Sciences

In 1994, the Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric, and Science was named in honor of an individual who has continuously supported the university over many years. This chair helps to bridge the gap in academia between the sciences, the arts, and the humanities disciplines.

Chairholders serve for one semester, or the equivalent, allowing a number of individuals from a variety of fields to participate over time. The primary duties of the chairholder are to teach two courses, typically one undergraduate and one graduate, and to present four public lectures/performances.



Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6 p.m.
Art Can Save Lives
Basler Chair Lecture w/Dr. Eric Avery
Reece Museum

Tuesday, Mar., 26, 6 p.m.
Eric Avery, Dave DiMarchi, & Sage Perrott—Artist Book & Print Collaborations
Basler Chair Panel Discussion
Reece Museum

Thursday, Apr. 18, 5-7 p.m.
Epidemic: Dr. Eric Avery & Adam DelMarcelle
Exhibition talk, reception, & activities
Reece Museum

Wednesday, Apr. 24, 12-1 p.m.
Fold & Stitch: Making Simple Books with Eric Avery and Anita DeAngelis
TBA, free but registration required



Department Term
Gerald Deehan Psychology 2017-19
Anant Godbole Mathematics and Statistics 2017-19
Katina Heil Literature and Language 2017-19
Eileen Ernenwein Geosciences 2018-20
Scott Honeycutt Literature and Language 2018-20
Dan Westover Literature and Language 2018-20

Nominations are solicited from faculty during the spring semester; notification is distributed to the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences via e-mail. A nomination should consist of a letter of nomination and the nominee's CV. The letter should justify the choice, with emphasis on how the individual would contribute to the interdisciplinary nature of the position, and should address
his/her public speaking and ability to interact with students. It will be assumed that the nominator has consulted with the individual and determined that he/she would be interested in the position, should it be offered.

2017-2018   Dr. Liam Campbell

2016-2017   Dr. Jeff Todd Titon 

2015-2016   Dr. Lee Anne Wilson

2013-2014   Mary Jane Jacob

2012-2013   Dr. Thomas Schmickl

2011-2012   Dr. Jennings Bryant

2010-2011   Dr. Molly Faries

2009-2010   Dr. Phillip Rhodes

2008-2009   Dr. Graham Leonard

2007-2008   Ivars Peterson

2006-2007   Dr. George Kampis

2005-2006   Dr. Martin A. Hendry

2004-2005   Mr. Mel Chin

2003-2004   Mr. John Blake, Jr.

2002-2003   Dr. John Shelton Reed

2001-2002   Dr. Anne LaBastille

2000-2001   Dr. George Gale

1999-2000   Lia Alther

1999-2000   Pat Cronin 

1998-1999   Corame Richey Mann

1997-1998   Gustavo Perez Firmat

1996-1997   John Bowers

Basler Chair

Dr. Eric Avery

Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence in the Arts, Rhetoric and Science 

Art and medicine are not separable for Dr. Eric Avery, and he has found that they don’t have to be. Avery grew up with an artist mother and a physician father. After completing his own undergraduate work in visual art at University of Arizona, he found himself drawn to medical school, which offered an escape during the Vietnam War. 

“I was determined to show people who believed that artists could not be doctors that they could,” Avery says. 

Fortunately, he says, he had a printmaking teacher who encouraged him to try doing both. Forty years later, Avery’s world-renowned prints and installations are inextricably intertwined with his work as physician, psychiatrist, humanitarian, activist and educator. 

Since receiving his MD in 1974, Avery has made prints and played in a street band on the lower East Side of New York, served as medical director at a refugee camp in Northern Somalia and with World Vision, rescuing Vietnamese fleeing into Indonesia. He has been a human rights activist with Amnesty International to refugees at the Texas-Mexico border, documented the HIV/AIDS crisis through his prints and served as an AIDS psychiatrist and faculty member at Institute for the Medical Humanities at University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, retiring from active practice in 2012 but remaining faculty emeritus. 

Through all these experiences, Avery has made art, to “refresh,” to illustrate, to educate and to heal. 

Dr. Avery has visited ETSU in the past. He served as the juror for the 2016 FL3TCH3R Exhibition held annually in the Reece Museum. Programming with the exhibition included critique sessions with art students and a workshop with students from the College of Medicine. During the visit, Avery worked with graphic design students to design and print a brochure called “Are You Depressed Or Just Sad” which has been distributed through numerous channels across campus. 

During his semester in residence at ETSU, Avery will teach two classes and present four public activities, including an exhibition at the Reece Museum. His work during the semester will explore intersections between visual communication and public health practice to address the opioid crisis.


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