Uprisings Spread to China? Don’t Count on It

In an OpEd for The New York Times and International Herald Tribune, Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies, and Orion Lewis, research associate in the government department, discuss how an uprising, like those spreading across the Middle East, has little chance of taking hold in China despite recent attempts by some Chinese protesters.

Chenoweth: Nonviolent Uprisings Succeed Quite Often

In an OpEd for The New York Times, Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor of government, says that, despite perceptions to the contrary, nonviolent uprisings actually succeed more often than armed uprisings, even in dictatorships and oppressive regimes. Chenoweth points to the current contrast in Egypt and Tunisia as opposed to Libya and Yemen. The evidence is based on research that will be published in her upcoming book Why Civil Resistance Works. In the OpEd, Chenoweth also discusses what happens after these uprisings: “From 1900 to 2006, 35 percent to 40 percent of authoritarian regimes that faced major nonviolent uprisings had become democracies five years after the campaign ended, even if the campaigns failed to cause immediate regime change. For the nonviolent campaigns that succeeded, the figure increases to well over 50 percent.”

She has also posted more information on this specific issue in a piece called “A Skeptics Guide to Nonviolent Resistance.”

Olin Unferth Discuses Events that Led to Book

In the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English, discusses falling in love with a Christian leftist with revolutionary leanings in 1987, subsequently moving to Central America with him, and becoming directly involved with insurgents in Nicaragua and El Salvador, among other things. The experiences led to her new book, Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War (Holt). The book combines dark humor with her experiences, which proved to be much less romantic in parts than Olin Unferth anticipated before her journey.

Gallarotti Featured on ‘Global Role of USA’

On an episode of Ebru TV‘s “Fresh Outlook,” Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, discussed the premise, “Has the United States, once the leader of the free world, lost it’s edge?” The discussion was prompted by recent world events, especially the uprisings in the Middle East, as well as the outcome of last fall’s G-20 Summit. Ebru TV is a Turkish based broadcasting network with affiliates throughout the world.

Gamelan Ensemble Featured in Lou Harrison Tribute

An article in The Washington Post of a music review featuring the works of composer Lou Harrison includes the gamelan ensemble, which played a vital role in some of the performances. The three-day “min-festival” was in Washington, D.C., the ensemble was led by Sumarsam, adjunct professor of music. The gamelan ensemble also performed at the Indonesian Embassy during the trip.

Stark Discusses U.S. Medical Experiments on Humans

Appearing on “The Takeaway” , which is broadcast by NPR and other affiliates, Laura Stark, assistant professor of science in society, assistant professor of sociology, assistant professor of environmental studies, discusses her research which uncovered medical experiments in the U.S. on uninformed or under-informed individuals. The questionable consent practices ultimately led to today’s informed consent procedures and continue to influence consent development.

Math, Science Alone will not Increase Competitiveness

In an OpEd for The Houston Chronicle, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth says that while the recent emphasis on math and science studies to increase students’ international competitiveness is laudable, it is not enough. Only a balanced education that also includes the humanities, social sciences and arts will give students the depth of knowledge and critical thinking skills they will need to lead and compete in the fast-changing 21st Century workplace.

Gruen on the Ethics of Research on Chimps

Commenting in a Washington Post story on the retirement and relocation of chimpanzees that were used for medical experiments, Lori Gruen, chair and associate professor of philosophy, associate professor feminist and gender studies, associate professor environmental studies, raises questions about whether chimps should be used at all for medical experiments.

Basinger: Movies Not Often Historically Accurate

In a piece for The Washington Post titled “And the Oscar for most historically accurate film goes to…all of them!” Jeanine Basinger, chair and Corwin Fuller Professor of Film Studies, discusses how movies are rarely, if ever, historically accurate. From Braveheart, Chariots of Fire, Lawrence of Arabia, and A Beautiful Mind to the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech, writers and directors have taken liberties with the facts for dramatic reasons. However, Basinger says, movies are, after all, entertainment, and the onus for knowing these inaccuracies also lies as much with audiences as the filmmakers. “Just as filmmakers must take responsibility for how they portray history, audiences have to take responsibility for what they believe, asking themselves how seriously a film wants them to trust its accuracy, and why,” she says.

Stark On Unethical Past Medical Experiments

Commenting in a story posted by ABC News, Laura Stark, assistant professor science in society, assistant professor sociology, assistant professor environmental studies, discussed unethical medical experiments performed on prisoners, the disabled and others during the last century. Discovery of the shocking procedures led to the crafting today’s informed consent procedures.

Olin Unferth Recalls Search for Revolution and Love

In a story in The Kansas City Star, Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English, recounts going on road trip in the 1980s that became a journey to Central America to help sow the seeds of socialist revolution – and along the way she found love. The recollections are the basis for her book Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War, which includes her experiences in El Salvador and Nicaragua working in an orphanage, engaging with communist rebels and converting to Christianity.

New Dinosaur Named for Emeritus Professor McIntosh

The Telegraph (UK) is reporting that a recently-discovered dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period (about 110 million years ago) has been named Brontomerus Mcintoshi for John S. “Jack” McIntosh, Foss Professor of Physics, Emeritus. The fossil, discovered in Utah, is marked by its large, powerful thighs which may have been used to kick predators and travel over rough terrain. The American-British team of scientists who discovered the remains named the dinosaur for McIntosh, “a life long avocational paleontologist.”