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Musical Artifacts Inside Modern Languages Professor’s Office

Derek Schilling

Derek Schilling is interested in the history of audio, so when he found this 1940s Philco radio console discarded on a Baltimore street, he happily snapped it up. “I don’t really use it much because it only gets about three or four stations, all AM, but you can listen to an Orioles game,” says Schilling, who is professor of French and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. 

Among Schilling’s collection of LPs is this 1967 12-inch Folkways Records disc featuring prominent francophone poet Léon Damas reading his own works. Beside it sits a statuette that allegorizes women’s literacy in Africa, a parting gift from an undergraduate advisee from Ivory Coast. 

“Last semester as I prepared my class on French-language novels of sub-Saharan Africa, looking across from my desk I often thought, ‘maybe I’m reading what she’s reading,’” Schilling says. 

old radio with french record and statuette on top
Larry Canner (both)