McAlister Essay Selected for Prominent American Studies Book

Liza McAlister's essay is featured in the book American Studies.

Liza McAlister's essay is featured in the book American Studies.

An essay titled “The Madonna of 115th Street Revisited: Vodou and Haitian Catholicism in the Age of Transnationalism,” by Liza McAlister, associate professor of religion, associate professor of African American studies, associate professor of American studies, has been selected as a “key essay” in the book, American Studies: An Anthology. American Studies is a vigorous, bold account of the changes in the field of American studies over the last 35 years. Through this set of carefully selected key essays by an editorial board of expert scholars, the book demonstrates how changes in the field have produced new genealogies that tell different histories of both America and the study of America. American Studies is edited by Janice Radway.

Barth Authors Article on Children’s Mathematical Thinking

Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, is the lead author of a new article on the intuitive foundations of children’s mathematical thinking. The article, co-authored with collaborators at Harvard University, is titled “Children’s multiplicative transformations of discrete and continuous quantities.” It will appear in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology in 2009, in a special issue devoted to the typical development of numerical cognition.

Shapiro Translates Book of French Poems

Norman Shapiro's translations.

Norman Shapiro's translations.

Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literature, translated the book To Speak, to Tell, by Sabine Sicaud (1913-1928). The book was published by Black Widow Press in April 2009. The 175-page book features Sicaud’s original French poems side by side with Shapiro’s English translations.

Hingorani, Biro ’09 Co-Author Article on Metal Toxin

Manju Hingorani, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, is the co-author of “Mechanism of Cadmium-mediated Inhibition of Msh2-Msh6 Function in DNA Mismatch Repair,” published in Biochemistry, March 25, 2009. Three undergraduates from three countries worked on the project in the Hingorani Lab at Wesleyan. They include Francis Noah Biro ’09; Markus Wieland, an exchange student from University of Konstanz; and Karan Hingorani, Manju Hingorani’s nephew from St. Xaviers College in Mumbai who did volunteer work in the lab. The project focused on how the heavy metal toxin Cadmium (found in cigarette smoke, industrial pollution, batteries, etc.) causes DNA damage and blocks DNA repair, which promotes development of cancer.

Hingorani also co-authored the article “Mechanism of ATP-Driven PCNA Clamp Loading by S. cerevisiae RFC,” published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, March 13, 2009.

Reed Author of “Gripping Dystopian Satire” Enclave

Kit Reed, resident writer in the English Department, is the author of Enclave, published by TOR Books on Feb. 3. In this gripping dystopian satire, ex-marine Sargent Whitmore has a plan to make millions while protecting children from the self-destructing modern world. He turns an old Mediterranean monastery into a combined impenetrable fortress and school, and enrolls 100 filthy-rich children, most of them already well-known for legal troubles, drug problems and paparazzi run-ins. Once there, everyone is cut off from the outside world, fed only canned news stories about wars and natural disasters. When things inevitably go horribly wrong, young hacker “Killer” Stade, physician assistant Cassie, drug and sex-crazed Sylvie and monastery-raised orphan Benny all attempt heroics, but remain deeply flawed. Reed displays unflinching willingness to explore all the facets of all of the characters, and her refusal to paint anyone as a simple villain makes this far more than a typical disaster novel.

Reed speaks about her book in an online interview here.

Rubenstein Author of Strange Wonder

Mary-Jane Rubenstein, assistant professor of religion, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, is the author of the book, Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe, published by Columbia University Press, March 2009. Strange Wonder confronts Western philosophy’s ambivalent relationship to the Platonic “wonder” that reveals the strangeness of the everyday. On the one hand, this wonder is said to be the origin of all philosophy. On the other hand, it is associated with a kind of ignorance that ought to be extinguished as swiftly as possible. By endeavoring to resolve wonder’s indeterminacy into certainty and calculability, philosophy paradoxically secures itself at the expense of its own condition of possibility.

Schwarcz Publishes Chisel of Remembrance

Chisel of Remembrance by Vera Schwarcz.

Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, chair of the East Asian Studies Proggram, professor of history, professor of East Asian studies, is the author of Chisel of Remembrance, a new collection of poems that draws from roots in Jewish, Chinese, and other ancient traditions. The 76-page book of poetry was published from Antrim House Books.

Singer, Mace ’07 Research Published in Scientific Journals

When parasites attack woolly bear caterpillars, such as this <em> Grammia incorrupta</em>, the insects eat leaves loaded with chemicals called alkaloids, which seems to cure the infection. The discovery, by Michael Singer, represents the first clear demonstration of self-medication among bugs.

When parasites attack woolly bear caterpillars, such as this Grammia incorrupta, the insects eat leaves loaded with chemicals called alkaloids, which seems to cure the infection. The discovery, by Michael Singer, represents the first clear demonstration of self-medication among bugs.

Michael Singer, assistant professor of biology, is the author of “Self-Medication as Adaptive Plasticity: Increased Ingestion of Plant Toxins by Parasitized Caterpillars,” published in PLoS ONE, March 2009. PLoS ONE is an open access, online scientific journal from the Public Library of Science.

This new article rigorously demonstrates that caterpillars can self-medicate, following up on a previous publication in Nature in 2005. This is the first experimental demonstration of self-medication by an invertebrate animal.

This paper also represents the first publication to arise from research funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to Singer in December 2007. Kevi Mace BA ’07 MA ’08 assisted with the research.

The research also was featured in an article titled “Woolly Bear, Heal Thyself,” published in Discover Magazine online, and in an article titled “Woolly Bear Caterpillars Self-Medicate — A Bug First,” published in National Geographic News.  The caterpillars also were mentioned in the March 26, 2009 edition of nature-research-highlights-09.

Kirn’s Chapter on Avian Song Published in Neuroscience Book

Neuroscience of Birdsong.

Neuroscience of Birdsong.

John Kirn, chair and professor of neuroscience and behavior, professor of biology, director of Graduate Studies, is the co-author of a book chapter titled “Regulation and function of neuronal replacement in the avian song system.”

The chapter is published inside the book Neuroscience of Birdsong, released in 2009 by Cambridge University Press.

The book provides a comprehensive summary of birdsong neurobiology, and identifies the common brain mechanisms underlying this achievement in both birds and humans. Written primarily for advanced graduates and researchers, there is an introductory overview covering song learning, the parallels between language and birdsong and the relationship between the brains of birds and mammals; subsequent sections deal with producing, processing, learning and recognizing song, as well as with hormonal and genomic mechanisms.

The book was featured in Science Magazine in February 2009 in an article titled “Neuroscience: Singing in the Brain.”