In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni.
Wesleyan in the News
- The Washington Post: “How the NRA Highjacked History”
In this op-ed, Associate Professor of History Jennifer Tucker writes about the history of the legal debate over the Second Amendment, and explains how the court’s understanding of that history may shape the nation’s response to the current gun violence epidemic. Her op-ed was reported on in The Trace.
2. The Hill: “A Tragic Misperception About Climate Change”
Gary Yohe, the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Emeritus, is co-author of this op-ed that argues “The U.S. contributes to global warming not only through its own emissions of greenhouse gases but also by the effect of its behavior on the actions of other countries.” The U.S. must first “get its own house in order,” then take steps to encourage other countries to take similar action to reduce carbon emissions, he writes.
3. Process: a blog for American history: “The Politics of Statehood in Hawai’i and the Urgency of Non-Statist Decolonization”
In this essay, written on the 60th anniversary of the United States claiming the Hawaiian islands as the 50th state of the union, Professor of American Studies J. Kēhaulani Kauanui reflects on the dispute over Maunakea, a sacred mountain that is currently under threat by those who want to construct a major observatory at its summit. She writes that the dispute “can be seen as a microcosm of the history of Hawai‘i’s (U.S.) statehood and earlier American encroachment.”
In this op-ed, President Michael S. Roth argues against the “free market approach to speech” on college campuses, which he says is misleading, and causes real harm to people while also failing to ensure an airing of diverse viewpoints. Roth also was recently interviewed on KQED and WSHU public radio stations in connection with his new book, Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses. Explore more media coverage of the book here.
Alumni in the News
1. Middletown Press: “[Ben] Florsheim [’14] Wins Middletown’s Democratic Primary Election”
“Ben Florsheim sailed to victory in Tuesday night’s primary election, securing the Democratic nomination for mayor in November,” noted Press journalists Cassandra Day and Jeff Mill. Florsheim will be running against Republican Sebastian N. Giuliano in the general election, which will be held Nov. 5.
2. NPR.org: “New Mix: Thom Yorke, Wynton Marsalis, Ride, Overcoats [Hana Elion ’15 and JJ Mitchell ’15], More”
All Things Considered‘s Bob Boilen writes, “The duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, known as Overcoats, has music pointing to a newish direction.” He also highlights their “fun new video” and provides a Vevo link to the official video for “The Fool.”
Henry J. Gomez, Buzzfeed news reporter, writes: “Dick Celeste [former Ohio governor from 1983 to 1991] taught Bennet the art of the living room conversation and the town hall forum, back when that kind of political communication wasn’t drowned out by talking heads or overshadowed by tweetstorms…. ‘One of the reasons I ran for president and I’ve stayed in the race is that I do think there’s a real base of the Democratic Party, and these are flesh-and-blood human beings who are trying to carve out a better future for their kids and who are largely being ignored by the antics on social media,’ Bennet, 54, said in a telephone interview with BuzzFeed News.
4. New York Times: “Matt Tyrnauer [’91]: Chronicler of Trump’s Mentor Roy Cohn”
Maureen Dowd writes about Tyrnauer, “[a] Vanity Fair correspondent turned documentarian with a fascination for figures of the late 20th century.” Cohn was chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, and Dowd quotes Tyrnauer on what he feels are the techniques the attorney used that the current president has adopted: “The basic lessons that Trump learned from Cohn were: Never apologize. If someone hits you, hit them back a thousand times harder. Any publicity is good publicity. And find an ‘other.’”
As part of a collaborative partnership between Roundabout Theatre Company and Columbia University, three playwrights from the MFA program were awarded a reading in Roundabout’s Rehearsal Hall, followed by a post-reading reception. Miranda Haymon ’16, an associate artist at Roundabout Theatre Company, will direct one of the winning plays, The Colony, by Gina Stevensen, on Wednesday, September 25 at 3:30 p.m. Last year Haymon directed In the Penal Colony, her theatrical adaptation of Franz Kafka’s short story, at The Tank in New York City.
6. Boston Globe—Saxophonist Steve Lehman [’00, MA ’02] Feels the Love
For the Fall Arts Preview, Boston Globe Correspondent Bill Beuttler writes: “How admired by critics is Steve Lehman, the alto saxophonist, composer, and professor at the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts? His octet album Mise en AbÎme finished first in the 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll as that year’s best album, which was followed several months later by his topping the rising star categories of jazz artist and alto saxophonist in the 2015 DownBeat Critics Poll.”