Faculty

Kazan Centennial Launches Sept. 12

The Department of Film Studies Elia Kazan Centennial, which opens Saturday, Sept. 12, was the focus of a feature in The Hartford Courant. A seminal director and founder of the Actors Studio, Kazan was both a brilliant and influential figure in film. He was also surrounded by controversy during his career, especially during the 1950s and the investigations by House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee. Kazan was also a “fixture” at Wesleyan, where he often came to write and speak to the classes of Jeanine Basinger, Chair and Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies. His personal papers reside in the Wesleyan Film Archives. The Elia Kazan Centennial celebration at Wesleyan will run through December and feature a variety of screenings and presentations on his work.

Slotkin’s ‘No Quarter’ Praised

No Quarter: The battle of the Crater, 1864 by Richard Slotkin, Olin Professor of English, emeritus, is praised in a recent review in The New York Times. The book examines a Civil War battle in 1864 that involved extensive use of black soldiers by the Union and became a polarizing political symbol that might have cost Lincoln his second term as President of the United States. The review calls No Quarter “a riveting narrative and fair play to both sides, while exhuming an important episode from relative obscurity.”

Yohe: Poor will Suffer Most from Climate Change

Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics and a lead member of the Nobel Prize-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said in an article in USA Today that impoverished people, especially in underdeveloped nations, will be the hardest hit from global climate change.

Potter Cited in “Sommers vs. Romulus” Debate

Claire Potter, professor of history, professor of American studies, is cited in the on-going discussion that has been churning for a few months in literary circles regarding American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, a frequent critic of academic feminism, who believes, according to The New Yorker, that many feminist scholars are ” ‘impervious to reasoned criticism’ (she thinks they take things way too personally, and, consumed with effrontery, are unable to correct themselves).” This included Sommers’ critique of particular scholar’s assertion that abuse began with the fabled founder of Rome, Romulus and a massive digression on whether such a person ever existed. However, it is a quote by Potter that brings the discussion back to the cogent point, as well as reality.

Stem Cell work of Grabel, Naegele Featured

The Hartford Courant profiled the ground-breaking stem cell research of Laura Grabel, Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science in Society, professor of biology, and Janice Naegle, professor of biology, professor neuroscience and behavior, as well as the work of Gloster Aaron, assistant professor of biology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior. Wesleyan, along with Yale University and The University of Connecticut, has received grants from the State Stem Cell Initiative, a program that allows scientists to research human stem cell lines. Grabel, Naegele and Aaron are doing research aimed at replicating cells that would ultimately help cure a form a epilepsy.

Slotkin’s Book “No Quarter” Praised

No Quarter, the new book Richard Slotkin, Olin Professor of English Emeritus, recounts a tragic Union blunder during the Civil War at Petersburg, Virginia, that cost the lives of thousands of soldiers. The plan and its execution was damned in part because the Union troops were “incompetently led and ill prepared.” Slotkin not only explores the tactics and implementation of the plan, but the broad political implications generated in the wake of its failure. The reviewer in The Boston Globe, Michael Kenney, says the book is among” the first rank of Civil War histories.”

Basinger Talks About ‘Julie and Julia’

Jeanine Basinger, Chair and Cowrin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, Curator, Cinema Archives, discusses the new film Julie and Julia, which is about the life of famed Chef Julia Child and a writer Julie Powell, who decides to try to cook every recipe in Child’s best-selling cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and then blog about her experiences. Among the movie’s producers is Lawrence Mark ’71.

Swinehart: “American Heroes” is the ‘Real Deal’

Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, has a reivew for The Chicago Tribune of Edmund Morgan’s latest book, American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America. Swinehart says: “as so many times before, Morgan proves himself one of our deftest thinkers about race — what he once called ‘the American paradox, the marriage of slavery and freedom.'”