Monthly Archives: January 2010

Balasubrahmaniyan Speaks to India Music Academy

B. Balasubrahmaniyan

B. Balasubrahmaniyan

B. “Balu” Balasubrahmaniyan, adjunct instructor of music, spoke on Carnatic music during a lecture demonstration Dec. 23 at the Madras Music Academy in Chennai, India.

Balasubramanian discussed the musical piece, Gopalakrishna Bharati’s Nandanar Charithiram – its tunes, story and the compositions. It was first published in 1861 by a French collector. In 1932, M.S. Ramaswamy brought it out with tunes. There are a number of notations found for the songs. A.M. Chinnasamy Mudaliar published it with notations for 42 songs. Of them, 17 are original. Balasubramanian was featured in the Jan. 8 edition of The Hindu in an article titled “On the finer aspects of music…”

Balasubramanian was featured in the Jan. 8 edition of The Hindu in an article titled “On the finer aspects of music…

Royer Speaks on Palaeo-CO2 Patterns

Dana Royer

Dana Royer

Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, was quoted in a Dec. 30, 2009 issue of Nature News in an article titled “Soils give clean look at past carbon dioxide.”

According to the article, scientists believe atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may have been lower in warm eras of the Earth’s distant past than once believed. The finding raises concern that carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuel burning may, in the near future, be closer to those associated with ancient hothouse climates.

More immediately, the work brings one line of palaeoclimate evidence — that deduced from ancient soils — into agreement with other techniques for studying past climate.

“It makes a major revision to one of the most popular methods for reconstructing palaeo-CO2,” Royer says in the article. “This increases our confidence that we have a decent understanding of palaeo-CO2 patterns.”

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are rising today, and the new finding suggests that climate might be considerably more sensitive to changes in carbon dioxide than previously thought.

“This may have implications for near-future climate change,” Royer says.

Design Institute Selects Wesleyan Buildings as Case Study

The Zelnick Pavilion, a glass atrium that connects the Chapel to the Patricelli '92 Theater, was completed in 2003.

The Zelnick Pavilion, a glass atrium that connects the Chapel to the Patricelli '92 Theater, was completed in 2003.

The Institute for Human Centered Design in Boston, Mass. included Wesleyan’s Memorial Chapel, Zelnick Pavilion, Patricelli ’92 Theater complex in their Universal Design Case Studies collection.

The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) is an international educational non-profit organization committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities. The institute recognized how Wesleyan rejuvenated its historic core campus by providing new centers for community and student life. The total cost of the project was $23 million and it was completed in 2006.

Wesleyan’s design contractor, Robert Olson + Associates, reconfigured Memorial Chapel to provide a remarkably flexible set of uses. According to the IHCD, the new space provides space for worship by different faiths, a center for musical performance, and a setting for University-wide assemblies, teaching, films and distinguished lectures. The architects revived the Chapel’s origins as a meetinghouse by reclaiming an upper gallery level for seating, incorporated a new organ into the architecture, and created a worship platform which is fully integrated into the congregation and is universally designed.

They rebuilt the ’92 Theater

Telfair’s Oil Paintings to be on Display at Local Museum

Painting by Tula Telfair, professor of art.

Painting by Tula Telfair, professor of art.

Oil paintings by Tula Telfair, professor of art, will be on display at the Florence Griswold Museum April 24 through June 27. Telfair’s exhibit is titled “Landscapes in Counterpoint.” The Griswold Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn.

The exhibition pairs nine new monumental paintings by the artist with her selection of 19th and early 20th-century paintings from the museum’s collection. Telfair’s choices, which include works by Thomas Cole and Frederic E. Church, establish the visual foundation for, as well as a counterpoint to, her own large-scale landscapes-paintings that are informed by both tradition and imagination.

“We’re thrilled that the artist is creating new work for this exhibition that is contemporary and yet also in dialogue with the long history of landscape painting,” says Amy Kurtz Lansing, curator of the Florence Griswold Museum.

Telfair’s poetic landscapes, some over 9 by 6 feet,

Patton ’95 is Nominated for Independent Music Award

New album by Brandon Patton '95

New album by Brandon Patton '95

The 9th annual Independent Music Awards nominations were recently announced and include Brandon Patton ’95, a former music major at Wesleyan. Patton was nominated for Best Story Song of 2009 for “Mixed-Up Modern Family,” a humorous and pithy account of the shocking sex lives of his parents and grandparents.

Patton has been busy promoting his new solo album, Underhill Downs (Merlin Pool Music). His song “Ashes and Stains” was chosen for NPR’s song of the day in September 2009. Patton also plays bass for MC Frontalot, with fellow alumni Gaby Alter ’97 and Damian Hess ’96.

Green Street Hosts Feast, Benefit Auction

Proceeds from "A Feast for the Senses" on Feb. 18 will benefit the Green Street Art Center's AfterSchool Arts and Science Program and the GSAC Scholarship Fund.

Proceeds from "A Feast for the Senses" on Feb. 18 will benefit the Green Street Art Center's AfterSchool Arts and Science Program and the GSAC Scholarship Fund.

The Green Street Arts Center celebrates its fifth-year anniversary with an auction, entertainment and world cuisine.

During Green Street’s “A Feast for the Senses,” participants will enjoy live performances, international foods, scrumptious desserts and a silent auction and raffle on 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 18.  An online auction runs from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15.

“‘A Feast for the Senses’ promises to showcase Green Street’s unique kaleidoscope of offerings with live performances and interactive salsa workshops (bring your dancing shoes), while enjoying a delicious meal,”  says Jessica Carso, GSAC managing director. “Wonderful items and experiences are arriving for our silent auction and raffle every day. We’re sure that everyone is going to find something they just won’t be able to leave without. ”

The auction includes

Bonin Author of 2 Book Reviews

John Bonin, the Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Science, tutor in the College of Social Studies, is the author of two book reviews: Malcolm Cook’s Banking in Southeast Asia: The Region’s Decisive Decade, published in Pacific Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 3 in fall 2009, pp. 555 – 557; and Janos Kornai’s From Socialism to Capitalism: Eight Essays, published in The Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. XLVII, No. 3 in September 2009, pp. 853 – 856. The latter is the main journal for such reviews in the profession and is published by the American Economic Association.

McAlister, Ulysse on Haiti, Relief and Vodou

Elizabeth McAlister, associate professor of religion, associate professor of American studies, associate professor of African American studies,and Gina Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, associate professor of African American studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, both focus on Haiti and components of Haitian culture in their studies. In response to the recent earthquake in the island nation, both have been offering insights to the situation.

McAlister comments in The New York Times forum on Haiti; a radio interview for Interfaith Voices; on NPR’s “All Things Considered” Vodou’s role in Haiti, especially in the wake of the earthquake; she also discussed religion’s role in Haiti for CNN and has an OpEd for the cable news network as well she has an explanation of the Haitian artist’s work featured on the cover of the January 25, 2010 issue of The New Yorker; a piece on Pat Robertson’s controversial comments on Haiti and “Satan” in Forbes, and discusses the impact of Voodoo on the culture in the wake of the disaster in The Washington Post.

Ulysse, who was born in Haiti, has this piece for The Huffington Post saying that Haiti will never be the same, and another for NPR that discusses the situation on the ground and what it will be like weeks from now when the national news cycle has moved on to other events.

Ulysse on Avatar, Voodoo & White Redemption

In a recent piece for The Huffington Post, Gina Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, associate professor of African American studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, examines the recent film Avatar within the constructs of Voodoo and the Hollywood chestnut of white people saving the “noble savage.”

McKenna to Coach at Winter Olympics

Wesleyan Women’s Hockey Coach Jodi McKenna will be the assistant coach of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada next month. “It’s a great experience,” McKenna said. “I’m working with a great staff. I’m learning a lot. The players are great. Hopefully, there are a lot of things I’ll be able to take back to Wesleyan.”