Faculty

Columnist: Vodou’s a Religion that Deserves Respect

In a column regarding religions and journalism in USA Today, writer Rod Dreher exhorts other journalists to consider and write about Vodou with the same respect as mainstream religions, citing the work of Elizabeth McAlister, associate professor of religion, associate professor of American Studies, associate professor of African American Studies. Dreher references this specific piece that McAlister wrote for the Social Science Research Council.

Dupuy: Aid to Haiti Absolves State of Responsibilities

Alex Dupuy, Class of 1958 Distinguish Professor of Sociology, discusses for CNN the ‘vicious cycle’ that has gripped Haiti: the country’s dependency on foreign and charitable aid has become so pronounced over the years that it has restrained the Haitian government from facing up to long-term solutions to basic problems. Because so much of the Haitian economy – and in a post-disaster situation, the current rebuilding – is shaped by foreign and NGO aid-driven agendas, educated Haitianoften decide to leave the county for better economic conditions rather than to work for the government or Haitian-owned and based businesses.

Dupuy has been invited by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to a conference on March 24 at their Paris headquarters titled: “Refonder le tissue social, culturel, et intellectuel d’Haiti” (Rebuilding the Social, Cultural, and Intellectual Fabric of Haiti). The conference is a preparation for another conference between the Haitian government and their major international aid donors that will be held a week later in New York City.

Greenwood: Lunar Water May Have Come from Comets

CBS News, and National Geographic among others, report on a presentation by James Greenwood, research associate professor, visiting assistant professor, earth and environmental sciences, at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas where he outlined two stunning scenarios: 1) Water is present in the moon rocks that were collected by the Apollo astronauts; 2) The water did not come from the earth; it may, in fact, have come from comets. Greenwood’s research, using a new technique he pioneered, yielded both bits of information. His study is currently under review by Science. Greenwood’s findings have also been reported in Discover Magazine, The Houston Press New Scientist, Fox News and MSNBC via Space.com, and AOL News,

Swinehart on Adams’ ‘The Room and the Chair’

In The Chicago Tribune, Kirk D. Swinehart, assistant professor of history, reviews The Room and the Chair, the second novel by Lorraine Adams, a Pulitzer-winning former journalist for The Washington Post. Swinehart calls The Room and the Chair a “a fiercely intelligent political thriller set, by turns, in Washington, Iraq, Dubai, and Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.” The novel builds on the momentum of Adams’ first book, Harbor, with a new story of political and international intrigue that resonates deeply with current events and fears.

Milroy on Philadelphia’s Rockland Mansion

In a recent issue of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Elizabeth Milroy, interim co-chair and professor of art and art history, professor of American studies, commented on Fairmount Park’s Rockland Mansion, a historic, but until recently little-noticed, landmark in the city. Milroy will be presenting a talk at the Rockland Mansion on March 13 (for more information call 215-235-2345).

Daniel Long on the Earthquake in Chile

Daniel Long, assistant professor of sociology, spoke to Channel 8 about the earthquake in Chile and his family in the country. Long said that while the loss of life and damage is substantial, the country has dramatically improved its preparedness and infrastructure for such an event since a large quake struck the South American nation in 1960.

Pomper on His New Book: ‘Lenin’s Brother’

Philip Pomper, William Armstrong Professor of History, is interviewed by The History News Network regarding his new book, Lenin’s Brother. Pomper discusses the process of researching and writing the book, as well as the prominence and historical significance of Lenin’s older brother Alexander Ulyanov, also known as ‘Sasha.’

Swinehart on Menand’s “The Marketplace of Ideas”

The Chicago Tribune featured a review by Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, of Louis Menand’s latest book, The Marketplace of Ideas, which examines American universities. Menand, a faculty member at Harvard University as well as a staff writer at The New Yorker, examines the forces that have shaped these institutions, especially in the last few decades. Swinehart writes that “To anyone who has spent time on the inside, as they say, The Marketplace of Ideas is alternately bracing and chilling.” He says that Menand writes with the same “wry elan” that made his last book so good, and that The Marketplace of Ideas is “deeply relevant.”

Rutland: Obama’s ‘Reset’ with Russia Failing

In a recent opinion piece for The Moscow Times, Peter Rutland, professor of government, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, says that, despite a good start, the much publicized “reset” with Russia enacted by The Obama Administration has ground to a halt. Rutland discusses the reasons for this, including some miscalculations and questions as to what kind of relationship Russia wants to have with the U.S.

Yohe on Costs of Polar Ice Melt, Global Warming

Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics and a senior member if the U.N.’s IPCC panel, discusses the economic implications of polar ice melt with ABC’s Bill Blakemore ’65. Some estimates have the costs of polar ice melts and ensuing rising seas at $2.4 trillion over the next few decades. Yohe says that there have been more than 300 studies on the dollar costs of global warming with varying outcomes projected. Yohe points out more than 88% of the studies show negative implications and heightened dollar costs over the long term.