Lauren Rubenstein

Associate Manager of Media & Public Relations at Wesleyan University

Teter Delivers Lecture at the Vatican

Magda Teter

Magda Teter, the Jeremy Zwelling professor of Jewish studies, professor of history, recently gave a lecture at the Vatican. Delivered Nov. 13, the lecture was titled, “Reti di potere: gli ebrei e l’accesso all a Santa Sede nell’eta modern,” or  “Networks of Power: Jews and their Access to the Holy See in the Early Modern Period.”

Teter’s talk was part of a lecture series organized in collaboration between the University “La Sapienza” in Rome and the Vatican’s Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Archivio della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede), previously called the Holy Office of the Inquisition.

Dancey’s Op-Ed on Linda McMahon Published in Hartford Courant

On Nov. 11, The Hartford Courant published an op-ed by Assistant Professor of Government Logan Dancey about Republican Linda McMahon’s second unsuccessful bid for Connecticut’s U.S. Senate Seat, despite spending more than $40 million in her campaign against Democrat Chris Murphy. Dancey writes that McMahon’s loss is reflective of a larger, nationwide decline in split-ticket voting. That is, voters now are much more loyal to one party, and less likely to choose candidates for President and Congress that belong to different political parties.

Americans Favor “Regulator-in-Chief”

Marc Eisner, Henry Merritt Wriston Chair in Public Policy, professor of government, professor of environmental studies, commented extensively in a Bloomberg News story on how President Barack Obama’s re-election reflects a preference among voters for leaders who aggressively use the tools of government at their disposal.

“There’s an old saying that Americans hate Congress but they love their congressmen,” Eisner said. “In the same way, people hate regulation, but end up loving their regulations.”

Linda McMahon’s Downfall? Voters’ Party Loyalty

Despite spending more than $40 million in her campaign against Chris Murphy, and painting herself as an independent and moderate, Republican Linda McMahon once again was defeated in her bid for Connecticut’s U.S. Senate seat. In an op-ed in The Hartford CourantAssistant Professor of Government Logan Dancey writes that McMahon’s loss is reflective of a larger, nationwide decline in split-ticket voting. That is, voters now are much more loyal to one party, and less likely to choose candidates for President and Congress that belong to different political parties.

Hurricane Sandy: The New Normal?

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies Gary Yohe wrote for World News Australia about the important questions raised about climate change and our future by this and other recent extreme weather events. “Are we now experiencing the ‘new normal’ climate?” he asks. He concludes that “what we have been experiencing recently is only the harbinger of a future that will be punctuated by more severe weather extremes and increasing damage – all driven as the future unfolds by past and future emissions of heat-trapping gases.”

Campaign Advertising Shatters 2004, 2008 Records

The Wesleyan Media Project’s latest study, as covered in Bloomberg and many other news outlets, reports that more than 915,000 ads have aired on broadcast and national cable television between the start of the general election period and Oct. 2–almost a 45 percent increase from this point in 2008. Moreover, these ads are concentrated in fewer battleground states than the last presidential election, meaning a small number of viewers in swing states are being bombarded with campaign ads like never before.

Read more coverage of the study in Reuters, the Los Angeles TimesThe Washington PostUSA Today, PoliticoNPR’s “Morning Edition,” and CNN.

The Enduring Power of the “Monkey-to-Man” Image

Writing in The Boston Globe’s Sunday Ideas section, Jennifer Tucker, associate professor of history, associate professor of science and society, associate professor and chair of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies, explores the enduring power of the 150-year-old “Monkey-to-Man” evolution image. Though it is universally agreed that the image is an inaccurate depiction of Darwinian evolutionary theory, it has prevailed as a “lightning rod for debate,” Tucker writes.

U.S. Backs New Industrial Park in Haiti

The Associated Press turned to Alex Dupuy, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology and a native of Haiti, for his take on a new $300 million industrial park being built in Haiti, the marquee project of the U.S. aid effort since the devastating 2010 earthquake there. Though supporters say the park has the potential to generate up to 65,000 new jobs, Dupuy warns that outside investors stand to gain more than Haitians from the project due to the tax breaks available.“This is not a strategy that is meant to provide Haiti with any measure of sustainable development … The only reason those industries come to Haiti is because the country has the lowest wages in the region,” Dupuy said.

Shasha Seminar to Focus on Music and Public Life Theme Nov. 8-9

The Shasha Seminar will offer expert articulation of the issues, from Wesleyan and Middletown to the broader arenas of American and global music today, as well as hands-on engagement with a number of world music traditions.

The Shasha Seminar will offer expert articulation of the issues, from Wesleyan and Middletown to the broader arenas of American and global music today, as well as hands-on engagement with a number of world music traditions.

The 11th Annual Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns, featuring keynote speaker, ethnomusicologist Anthony Seeger, will be held on Nov. 8-9. Endowed by James J. Shasha ’50 P’82, the seminar is an educational forum for Wesleyan alumni, students, faculty and friends that provides an opportunity to explore issues of global concern in a small seminar environment.

The focus of this year’s seminar is Music and Public Life. It is part of a year-long celebration of Music and Public Life taking place at Wesleyan over the 2012-13 academic year. The full schedule is online here.

Seeger’s keynote address, to be delivered at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, is called, “Can We Safeguard Disappearing Musical Traditions? And If We Can, Should We?” Seeger is distinguished professor of ethnomusicology, emeritus, at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and director emeritus of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings at the Smithsonian Institution. His books and published articles have focused on issues of land use and human rights for Brazilian Indians, issues of archiving and intellectual property, and ethnomusicology theory and method. He was executive producer of all recordings issued on the Smithsonian Folkways label between 1988 and 2000, a total of about 250 audio and video recordings.

Seminar participants also will be treated to concerts and will participate in musical workshops. On Nov. 9, two discussion sessions will be held on local music and national/transnational music.

Wesleyan’s Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Mark Slobin will facilitate the seminar. He is author and editor of many books on Afghanistan and Central Asia, eastern European Jewish music, and ethnomusicology theory.

The registration fee is $100 per person, and includes all sessions, receptions, meals and conference materials. Seating is limited; register online here. Contact Kathy Macko at or 860-685-2737 for information on scholarship assistance.

Government’s Dancey Teaching Course on Campaigns, Elections

Logan Dancey joined the Government Department this fall. He enjoys teaching Wesleyan’s “intellectually curious” students.

Assistant Professor of Government Logan Dancey started teaching at Wesleyan this semester—the perfect time, he says, to be teaching a course on Campaigns and Elections.

“The unfolding presidential and congressional elections continually give us new events to think about as we read and discuss broader theories about the importance and meaning of campaigns and elections,” Dancey says. And though Congress has mostly ground to a halt this election season—meaning a dearth of current events to discuss in his Congressional Policymaking class—the increasing polarization in Congress has led to many interesting and important discussions in that course nevertheless.

Dancey describes the students in his classes as “intellectually curious.”

“They ask great questions and consistently show a desire to really understand a concept or theory. The students definitely keep me on my toes, but ultimately it makes class discussion more interesting and thought-provoking,” he says.

Basinger Honored in Variety’s “Women’s Impact Report 2012”

Jeanine Basinger

Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, chair of film studies, was honored in Variety magazine’s special feature edition, “Women’s Impact Report 2012. In the profile, Basinger discusses her typical work week; the often-underestimated number of hours that college professors dedicate to their jobs; her secret to work-life balance; and why she doesn’t carry a cell phone.

She says, “My worklife and my personal life are very highly integrated. Students I’ve taught have now become my friends and are a part of my life. I don’t have a problem juggling two lives, my life is coherent and it’s only one life. In a sense I’m always working and I’m never working.”

Also, in late September, Basinger’s review of Hollywood Enigma: Dana Andrews, a new biography of the actor, was published in The Wall Street JournalBasinger considers why Andrews, who had a long career as a leading man in film, has been relegated to a “second tier” of actors, seldom listed among the legendary male stars of the studio system.

Jenkins’ Op-Ed Published in Jakarta Post

In an op-ed published Oct. 18 in The Jakarta Post, Ronald Jenkins, professor of theater, writes about a disturbing new documentary in which “gangsters” responsible for mass murders in Indonesia from 1965-66 reenact their crimes as they remember them. “This enables audiences to witness the deaths, not as they happened, but as they are remembered by the killers,” he writes.

The documentary, “The Act of Killing” by Joshua Oppenheimer, “reveals the links between the human capacity for self-delusion and cinema’s ability to reedit the past into comforting fantasy,” writes Jenkins.