Faculty

Lim: WikiLeaks, Anarchism, and the State

In an opinion piece for The Faster Times, Elvin Lim, assistant professor of government, writes that WikiLeaks and its owners are operating under the belief that the right of privacy does not extend to nation states, an attitude that is both unrealistic and anarchistic. “Realists believe that nation-states are the way to run what would otherwise be an even more anarchic world,” Lim says. “Anarchists believe that the disorder between nation-states – most notably, war – is the source of global friction, not its solution.”

Basinger: Lamarr’s Beauty Was her Curse

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Jeanine Basinger, Chair and Corwin Fuller Professor of Film Studies, reviews two books on Hollywood starlet Hedy Lamarr: Ruth Barton’s Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in the Film and Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr by Stephen Shearer. Basinger says both books detail Lamarr’s remarkable life and career, which never quite gave her star status in the movies, in part because many in Hollywood thought she was too beautiful to be taken seriously. Lamarr went on to become an inventor with patents to her name, including one for wireless communication.

Basinger says: “Both Ms. Barton and Mr. Shearer acknowledge the power of Lamarr’s image—and concede that her lasting appeal is not as a female Thomas Edison. Ms. Barton provides the more scholarly account, locating Lamarr “within a history of European exiles in Hollywood.” Her book has a feminist perspective but is not a polemic. In “Beautiful,” Mr. Shearer writes with humor and has fun with some of the glorious nonsense of Lamarr’s movies.

Ulysse: Haiti’s Election – Fraud, Confusion, Mayhem

Writing in her blog for Ms. magazine, Gina Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, associate professor of feminist gender and sexuality studies, associate professor of African American studies, discusses the recent elections in Haiti, which she says were rife with corruption, confusion and angry voters. Some of the problems could be traced back to the recent earthquake and the disarray it has left in its wake. In many other cases, however, the process was high-jacked by the continued interference and manipulation of the Preval government.

Lim: Racial Profiling Similar to Affirmative Action

Writing for The Faster Times, Elvin Lim, assistant professor of government, says that being for for affirmative action but against racial profiling, or vice-versa, creates a logical dilemma, as the same essential arguments are used to justify both.

“One can either be for race-based profiling and affirmative action, or against both. What is problematic is if one is for one but not the other,” Lim writes.”The problem is harder to resolve for the conservative who is anti-affirmative action but for racial profiling than it is for the liberal who is pro-affirmative action and anti-racial profiling.”

Amy Bloom’s ‘Silver Water’ Hilarious, Heartbreaking

The short story “Silver Water” by Amy Bloom ’75, Kim-Frank Family Writer in Residence, was recently featured in a live performance at Symphony Space on WNYC. The story, which ‘combines hilarity and heart-breaking sorrow in portraying a family with a schizophrenic daughter,’ was read by actress Linda Lavin. It begins at 28:47 in the program.

Fowler: Seasoned Operatives Handled Campaign Cash

A recent piece in The Los Angeles Times, Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government and director of The Wesleyan Media Project, commented on where all that campaign cash from the 2010 election went. Despite the infusion of new candidates and the increased opportunities for outside groups supporting both sides, and with television ads in particular, 15 key firms dominated the campaigns and raked in over $400 million.

“Especially when it comes to television advertising … it’s dominated by a few key players and a few key firms,” Franklin-Fowler says in the article. “Key actors on both sides are going to go to the known quantities to place those advertisements.”

Yohe: Better Climate Change Communications Needed

A recent New York Times piece reports the call by scientists, communications professionals and others for the creation of “a nonpartisan education service aimed at helping organizations and governments make informed decisions about climate change.” The article cites Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, who discusses the need for more focused communications to nonscientific audiences, including disseminating contrasting views without creating a “fog of uncertainty.”

Election Retrospective: Attack Ads Work

Citing research by The Wesleyan Media Project, syndicated columnist Roger Simon writing in The Asheville Citizen Times says the reason we all saw so many attack ads in the last election cycle is simple: they work. Simon also cited Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government and director of the Wesleyan Media Project, who said: “More than half of all ads are pure attack ads. Attack ads have steadily increased since the 2004 election, and the 2010 House and Senate advertising is the most negative in the past decade.”

Yohe: NYC will ‘Feel like Savannah’ in Coming Century

In a story in The Fiscal Times that examines if recent extreme weather is a phenomenon or a result of global warming, Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, says that cities will have to prepare for different types of climates in the coming years. In particular, he says that New York City and cities in the Northeast will take on the type of climate currently associated with the deep south.

Lim: Too Early to Call Obama a One-Term President

Writing for Faster Times, Elvin Lim, assistant professor of government, discusses the extensive recent theorizing by pundits on the right and left who say the recent midterm gains by the Republicans will result in a President Obama becoming a one-term president. No so fast Lim says. A variety of factors will play into this, not the least of which is the bully pulpit of the presidency. And in the case of the Obama Administration, Lim says they have “the best self-promoter the business has ever seen.”

Fowler: Attack Ads Up Because They’re Effective

In a piece by Roger Simon in The Chicago Sun Times, Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, director of the Wesleyan Media Project, says the reason more than 50 percent of the T.V. ads run by candidates this election cycle were so-called attack ads is simple: politicians believe they work. The article goes on to discuss this and warns readers that 2012 will bring even more.

ABC News also had a similar story citing the Wesleyan Media Project.

Lim: Constitution Guarantees No or Slow Change

In an opinion piece for The Boston Globe, Elvin Lim, assistant professor of government, writes that despite two consecutive elections predicated on rhetoric of “change,” the constructs of the U.S. Constitution make rapid change very difficult, a design the Founders depended on to ensure stability and prevent radicalism. The newsmedia and others may call the result of this ‘gridlock’ in the coming weeks, but that situation was seen as a reasoned way to ”to lock into place our collective decisions when they were derived by ‘choice and deliberation,’ and not by ‘force and accident.’”