Tag Archive for faculty achievements

5 Questions With . . . Eric Charry on Ethnomusicology, Culture

Eric Charry, associate professor of music, is the project director of the Ethnomusicology and Global Culture Summer Institute. (Photo by Bill Tyner '13)

This issue we ask “5 Questions” of Eric Charry, associate professor of music. Charry, an expert on African music, is currently directing the Ethnomusicology and Global Culture Summer Institute at Wesleyan.

Q: Professor Charry, as an associate professor of music, what are your areas of musical expertise and what classes do you teach at Wesleyan?

A: Most of my research and writing until recently has been in the area of African music, specifically, the West African region where Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea and Mali meet. I spent two years in the region learning to play the kora (harp), balafon (xylophone), and jembe (drum). My office is filled with these instruments and I occasionally use them for an ensemble course (Mande Music Ensemble). More recently I have picked up on earlier musical interests and am working an a book on the emergence of an avant garde in jazz in the 1950s and 60s as well as a related book on music in downtown New York during these two decades. I teach an FYI on the latter topic and our field trip walking around New York is always a highlight for everyone. I see a lot of Wesleyan students passing through my large History of Rock and R&B course, and I’m working on a text that I can use in the class, something like a concise history, that will address my needs, without the gratuitous filler chatter. Many of my most interesting musical experiences have come out of hearing student projects in that class. The diversity and depth of creative work cuts across campus in really fascinating, and often hilarious (to us all) ways. The projects are open to the public. Next spring I’ll be teaching a seminar on global hip hop.

Q: You’re the project director of the Ethnomusicology and Global Culture Summer Institute, which is ongoing at Wesleyan through July 1. (View photos of the institute here.) Who sponsors the event, and what are some of the topics addressed throughout the two weeks?

A: Several years the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) wanted to make a push on several fronts to raise the profile of our field. They put out a call for proposals to host a summer institute. Several of us in the Music Department responded and they selected us, in part due to our successful hosting of the annual SEM meeting at Wesleyan in 2008 (over 1000 members attended). SEM and Wesleyan’s Music Department made a joint proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities and we were fully funded to invite 22 college and university teachers and 3 graduate students here for two week to study recent developments in ethnomusicology with an eye toward enhancing teaching in the humanities. The participants (they’re properly called NEH Summer Scholars) receive a stipend, which is providing a small stimulus to our Main St. restaurants! They are all staying at 200 Church St., and seem to have blended in with local frat culture, although perhaps slightly tamer. The overriding theme of global culture allows us to address a broad spectrum of musics from around the world. We’re especially interested in musics that have moved in one way or another across the globe. Full details about the event, including biographies, are on our web site.

Q: Who teaches the summer institute?

A: The core faculty members are myself, Mark Slobin and Su Zheng. Mark Slobin is the Richard K. Winslow Professor of Music, and is one of the most prolific and respected scholars in our field. He is a past president of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Asian Music, past editor of Asian Music journal and past Chair of the Music Department. Su Zheng is an associate professor of music

Tölölyan Delivers Inaugural Lecture at Oxford’s Diasporas Programme Launch

Khachig Tölölyan

Khachig Tölölyan, professor of letters, professor of English, has been actively involved in the launching of the University of Oxford’s Diasporas Programme in June. Tölölyan is the editor/founder of Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies and an internationally known expert on diasporas and transnationalism.

On June 2, Tölölyan delivered the inaugural lecture titled “Diaspora Studies: Past, Present and Promise” at the program’s launch. He is a scholar in residence at Wolfson College (one of the 40 colleges and halls that make up the university), where he is a tutor and consultant to various graduate students, postdoctoral faculty and researchers at several programs, all of which deal with diasporas, migration, transnationalism and globalization in some way.

In addition, Tölölyan delivered the keynote lecture at the University of Mainz in Germany at a conference on “Trends and Tensions in Contemporary Diaspora Studies” on May 19. He also guest lectured at the University of Toronto on “The Trajectories of Contemporary Diaspora Studies,” on March 25.

4 Faculty Speak at Diasporas Conference in France

Khachig Tölölyan, Typhaine Leservot, Ashraf Rushdy and Indira Karamcheti were invited to speak at a conference hosted by the Universite Paul Valery, Montpellier III June 20-23. The event is titled “Diasporas and Cultures of Mobility.” Rushdy and Karamcheti are invited visiting professors.

Tölölyan, professor of letters, professor of English, editor/founder of Diaspora will be the keynote speaker. He will speak on “Twenty Years of Diaspora Studies: Success through Confusion.”

Typhaine Leservot, associate professor of letters, associate professor of romance languages and literatures, will speak on “”Maghrebo-Quebecois and Franco-Maghrebi: towards Distinct Identities?”

Ashraf Rushdy, professor of English, professor of African American studies, academic secretary, will speak on “An Apology for the African Diaspora: Race, Regret, and Reconciliation.” He will examine how the social relations of people of African descent have been affected by the development of two competing discourses – one of ‘diaspora’ and the other of ‘apology.’

Karamcheti, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies, will speak on “Names and Global Habitations: the South Asian Diaspora and the Problem of the Proper Name.” It concerns the inability of the diaspora from India to claim its national origin in its name, and the effects of this on the kinds of claims it can make on history and its own ethical treatment.

In addition, Karamcheti presented her paper at Montpellier titled “Sex Messaging: Writing South Asian Diasporic Sexuality” on May 30. Her paper examined the representation of South Asian female diasporic sexuality through the films Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, and Sita Sings the Blues, examining the relationship between the Indian nation’s aestheticizing, the diaspora’s politicizing, and the U.S. feminist universalizing of that sexuality.

 

 

Yohe, Melillo ’65 to Create National Climate Assessment

Gary Yohe

Gary Yohe, the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, and a faculty fellow in the College of the Environment, and was named a vice chair of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Jerry Melillo ’65 was named chair of the committee. Melillo is a distinguished scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass

As a vice chair, Yohe will lead the advisory committee that will produce the next National Climate Assessment.

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 requires a National Climate Assessment at least every four years. The committee will function as an advisory body to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), acting through the Department of Commerce’s NOAA.

The committee will produce a report that builds on previous findings and analyzes the regional and national effects of current and projected climate change upon a range of sectors, including agriculture, energy, water resources, human health and transportation. Opportunities for public review and comment throughout the development of the assessment will be available, including a public comment period on the draft report.

The committee also will suggest ways to improve and standardize the nation’s capacity to assess climate change impacts, including through ongoing engagement around the nation and across diverse economic sectors such as agriculture, energy and transportation.

For more information go to http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110511_climateassessment.html.

Angle Participates in Book Symposium at Chinese Institute

Stephen Angle

Stephen Angle, professor of philosophy, professor of East Asian studies, tutor in the College of Social Studies, participated in a one-day Book Symposium on his book, Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy (Oxford, 2009), at the Institute for Chinese Philosophy and Culture, Academia Sinica, in Taipei, Taiwan, in early June.

Altogether, nine papers were delivered by Taiwan-based philosophers, roughly half in English and half in Chinese. Angle had an opportunity to respond and participated in a general discussion.

The symposium was timed to coincide with an intensive, two-week class that he’s been teaching at Taipei’s Soochow University, also on the subject of his book.

Cohan, Kopac Awarded Grant for Death Valley Bacteria Study

Fred Cohan, professor of biology, professor of environmental studies, and biology graduate student Sarah Kopac received a $20,000 Connecticut Space Grant Consortium Training Grant on March 9. The award, which is subcontracted through the University of Hartford, supports a study titled “The Speciation of Bacillus Subtilis along a natural Salinity Gradient in Death Valley.”

Sumarsam, Alumni Attend Indonesian Studies Conference

Sumarsam, University Professor of Music

Sumarsam MA ’76, University Professor of Music, participated in an ethnomusicology panel during the State of Indonesian Studies Conference April 28 at Cornell University. Sumarsam spoke on “Javanese Music Historiography: The Lost Gamelan of Gresik.”

The interdisciplinary conference focused on Indonesia’s anthropology, art history, history, language, government and ethnomusicology. Marc Perlman MA ’78, Ph.D. ’94, associate professor at Brown University; Martin Hatch ’63, MA’69, associate professor at Cornell University; Kaja McGowan ’82, associate professor at Cornell; and Christopher Miller MA ’02, a Wesleyan ethnomusicology Ph.D. candidate, also participated in the conference.

The conference was hosted by Cornell’s Southeast Asian Program.

 

 

Herbst to Serve as Director of Graduate Studies

Bill Herbst

Bill Herbst, the John Monroe van Vleck Professor of Astronomy, will serve as director of graduate studies, beginning this fall 2011 through spring 2014.

Herbst received his B.A degree from Princeton University, his M. Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto and has taught at Wesleyan since 1978, often serving as chair of the Astronomy Department and as director of the Van Vleck Observatory. In 2003, he received the Wesleyan Alumni Association’s Binswanger Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has recently served on the Advisory Committee, as chair of the Merit Committee, as vice-chair of RAB and, over the years, on many other faculty committees including the Faculty Planning Committee and as chair of the Student Affairs Committee.

As an astronomer who studies the formation and evolution of young stars and protoplanetary disks, his discoveries have been featured prominently in the journals of his field as well as the popular press. He is particularly known for his work on T Tauri stars, sun-like stars surrounded by disks in which the formation of planets is either already proceeding or imminent. With collaborators at the Max Planck Institute in Germany he has led the world in the discovery of rotation rates of young stars and elucidated the rotation history of sun-like stars from their earliest times. His work has been presented in many venues including the prestigious Protostars and Planets V conference hosted at the University of Hawaii in 2007.

In 1995, with graduate student Kristin Kearns, he discovered, based on observations at Wesleyan, a unique star system now known as KH 15D whose behavior continues to astound astronomers, while informing studies of terrestrial planet formation. In collaboration with his (physics) Ph.D. student Catrina Hamilton, now a faculty member at Dickinson College,

Hornstein Published in Journal of Comparative Economics

Abigail Hornstein

Abigail Hornstein, assistant professor of economics, is the author of “Where A Contract Is Signed Determines Its Value: Chinese Provincial Variation in Utilized vs. Contracted FDI Flows,” published in the March 2011 edition of the Journal of Comparative Economics, 39(1).

In the article, Hornstein explains how there are major differences between ex ante corporate investment plans and ex post investments. The case of China is useful for understanding this problem because there is substantial time series and cross sectional variation in the ratio of utilized to contracted FDI (UC ratio), which is less than one in most province-year observations. Provinces may

Gil-Ordóñez Awarded “Wammie” for Musical Achievement

Angel Gil-Ordóñez directs the Post-Classical Ensemble. (Photo by Tom Wolff)

Angel Gil-Ordóñez, director of private lessons, chamber music and ensembles received the 2010 Wammie Award for Classical Conductor / Director by the Washington Area Music Association for his efforts directing the Post-Classical Ensemble, a Washington, D.C.-based orchestra co-founded by Gil-Ordóñez.

The Washington Area Music Awards recognize significant career achievements by area musicians. Nominations and balloting come from the WAMA membership.

Past show participants include Emmylou Harris, Joan Jett, The Clovers, The Orioles, Bo Diddley, Jorma Kaukonen, Jimmy Dean, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker, Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Curran Recipient of Clifford Prize for 18th-Century Research

Andrew Curran

Andrew Curran, professor of romance languages and literatures, is the co-winner of the 2010-11 James L. Clifford Prize.  The prize is awarded annually by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies to the author of the best article regarding any aspect of eighteenth-century culture.

Receiving the award is Curran’s Rethinking Race History: The Role of the Albino in French Enlightenment Sciences.

The Clifford Fund was originally established to support an annual prize in honor of James L. Clifford. Clifford founded The Johnsonian News Letter in 1940, was Secretary to the English Institute, twice a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and third President of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. During his long and energetic life, he produced numerous books, articles, bibliographies, essays, edited collections, editions and, of course, the much beloved, imitated, and quoted Johnsonian News Letter. Accordingly, the Clifford Prize is awarded to the author of the best article on an eighteenth-century subject, interesting to any eighteenth-century specialist, regardless of discipline.

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is a non-profit, educational group founded to promote the study of all aspects of the eighteenth century.  It sponsors conferences, awards, fellowships and prizes, and publishes Eighteenth-Century Studies and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture.