Monthly Archives: August 2009

Roth on Sen. Kennedy’s Wesleyan Ties, Courage

In a piece in The Huffington Post, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth recounts the strong ties Senator Edward Kennedy H’83 had with Wesleyan, and how the late Senator had the “courage to believe in the possibilities for positive change.”

Slotkin’s ‘No Quarter’ Praised

No Quarter: The battle of the Crater, 1864 by Richard Slotkin, Olin Professor of English, emeritus, is praised in a recent review in The New York Times. The book examines a Civil War battle in 1864 that involved extensive use of black soldiers by the Union and became a polarizing political symbol that might have cost Lincoln his second term as President of the United States. The review calls No Quarter “a riveting narrative and fair play to both sides, while exhuming an important episode from relative obscurity.”

Basinger Discusses “Heartless Seduction” in Films

Jeanine Basinger, Chair and Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, discussed in The Los Angeles Times the recent reappearance of gigolo-type characters in feature films and television. Basinger talks about the social and economic implications of such characters and what they may imply about current times.

Ginsburg ’78 Develops Genetic Test for Flu

Geoffrey Ginsburg ’78 is part of a team that has developed a genetic test for influenza that identifies infection before symptoms can even arise. The advance, reported in USA Today, could offer tremendous opportunities for early treatment of flu and the potential  reduce the number of people who come down with the illness as save lives.

Yohe: Poor will Suffer Most from Climate Change

Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics and a lead member of the Nobel Prize-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said in an article in USA Today that impoverished people, especially in underdeveloped nations, will be the hardest hit from global climate change.

Potter Cited in “Sommers vs. Romulus” Debate

Claire Potter, professor of history, professor of American studies, is cited in the on-going discussion that has been churning for a few months in literary circles regarding American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, a frequent critic of academic feminism, who believes, according to The New Yorker, that many feminist scholars are ” ‘impervious to reasoned criticism’ (she thinks they take things way too personally, and, consumed with effrontery, are unable to correct themselves).” This included Sommers’ critique of particular scholar’s assertion that abuse began with the fabled founder of Rome, Romulus and a massive digression on whether such a person ever existed. However, it is a quote by Potter that brings the discussion back to the cogent point, as well as reality.

Stem Cell work of Grabel, Naegele Featured

The Hartford Courant profiled the ground-breaking stem cell research of Laura Grabel, Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science in Society, professor of biology, and Janice Naegle, professor of biology, professor neuroscience and behavior, as well as the work of Gloster Aaron, assistant professor of biology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior. Wesleyan, along with Yale University and The University of Connecticut, has received grants from the State Stem Cell Initiative, a program that allows scientists to research human stem cell lines. Grabel, Naegele and Aaron are doing research aimed at replicating cells that would ultimately help cure a form a epilepsy.

Roth on ‘The Battle for America 2008′

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth reviews The Battle for America 2008 by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson. The book chronicles the two years leading up to the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, with heavy emphasis on the candidacies of Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama.

Odede ’12, Posner ’09 Build School in Kenya

Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09 are making progress on the school they are building in Kibera, Kenya. The students received a grant earlier this year to build the school. The school was officially dedicated on Tuesday, August 18.

Olin Unferth Wins Cabell First Novelist Award

Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English, has won the 2009 Cabell First Novelist Award for her book Vacation. The award is presented by Virginia Comonwealth University and was the result of votes by readers as well as members of the Cabell award board.

Rutland Discusses Strains Between Russia, Ukraine

Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, discussed for Russia Today TV, some of the issues that have exacerbated the tensions between Russia and Ukraine. 

Slotkin’s Book “No Quarter” Praised

No Quarter, the new book Richard Slotkin, Olin Professor of English Emeritus, recounts a tragic Union blunder during the Civil War at Petersburg, Virginia, that cost the lives of thousands of soldiers. The plan and its execution was damned in part because the Union troops were “incompetently led and ill prepared.” Slotkin not only explores the tactics and implementation of the plan, but the broad political implications generated in the wake of its failure. The reviewer in The Boston Globe, Michael Kenney, says the book is among” the first rank of Civil War histories.”