Rachel Wachman '24October 5, 20212min
Assistant Professor of History Ying Jia Tan authored a new book titled Recharging China in War and Revolution, 1882-1955, already available as an e-book and soon to be available in hardcover, beginning Oct. 15. The work, published by Cornell University Press, explores Chinese power consumption and electrical development throughout seventy-three years of war and revolution. According to the book's abstract: Tan traces this history from the textile-factory power shortages of the late Qing, through the struggle over China's electrical industries during its civil war, to the 1937 Japanese invasion that robbed China of 97 percent of its generative capacity. Along…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 1, 20218min
One day, back in 2019, three armed men came to Henry Dilonga Meriki’s house. He knew why they were there—they needed money to keep the fight against the Cameroon government going, or, they'd resort to kidnapping him. Anticipating the worst, Meriki put on warm clothes and shoes that would allow him to walk miles into the bush to their camps. They were separatists, a group of English-speaking fighters who have been battling with the government of Cameroon for over five years. He gave them about $180—down from $1,100 they asked for—to let him go. “We had to negotiate, and it’s better…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 27, 20212min
As a newly-selected non-resident adjunct fellow for the Washington Research Consortium on Korea, Joan Cho hopes to showcase South Korea’s democratization through a new scholarly book tentatively titled, Dictator’s Modernity Dilemma: Development and Democracy in South Korea, 1961-1987. Cho, assistant professor of East Asian Studies, will participate in the multi-year laboratory research project until 2024 through the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The project, titled “The South Korean Pathway: Understanding the Theoretical and Policy Significance of Korean Democracy and Foreign Policy,” will conduct an in-depth analysis of South Korea’s democracy and foreign policy to fill an important gap in…

Rachel Wachman '24September 23, 20213min
Jeremy Zwelling Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Assistant Professor of Religion Yaniv Feller penned an article over the summer titled “Too Good to be True?” for the Tel Aviv Review of Books. In the piece, Feller discusses the Museum of the Jewish People (ANU), which first opened March 2021. One of the museum’s main exhibits begins with a segment called “Mosaic: Identity and Culture in Our Times” before moving into the historical roots of Judaism, exploring different forms of Judaism in contemporary and historical contexts, as well as the diversity of the Jewish people and the way they observe…

Rachel Wachman '24September 23, 20212min
Professor of Religion Mary-Jane Rubenstein recently co-authored an essay in collection titled Image: Three Inquiries in Technology and Imagination alongside Mark C. Taylor ’68, professor of religion at Columbia University. The book, published in September 2021 by the University of Chicago Press, explores how visual elements function in relationship to humans and technology. “Modern life is steeped in images, image-making, and attempts to control the world through vision,” the book’s description reads. “Mastery of images has been advanced by technologies that expand and reshape vision and enable us to create, store, transmit, and display images. The three essays in Image,…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 21, 20219min
Wesleyan’s intellectually dynamic faculty, students, alumni, staff, and parents frequently serve as expert sources for national media. Others are noted for recent achievements and accolades. A sampling of recent media hits is below: Kari Weil, University Professor of Letters, authors a commentary titled "How to read your dog's mind" in Salon. "For the early 20th-century biologist/ethologist Jacob von Uexküll, the fact that all animals (humans included) have the capacity to be affected by things in their particular environment or world and to respond to them, is evidence that they (like humans) are subjects of their worlds and not merely objects…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 20, 202132min
This fall, Wesleyan welcomes 43 new faculty to campus of which 24 are ongoing members of the campus community. Fourteen are tenure-track, eight are professors of the practice, two are adjunct, and 19 are visiting (read about the new visiting faculty in this story). In addition, two new members of the Wesleyan faculty are graduates of Wesleyan. Wesleyan's new teacher-scholars bring diverse skills, passions, and research interests to the university including Indian sectarian violence, costume design, animal behavior and neurophysiology, Japanese pedagogy, post-structural semiotics, structural inequalities in education, digital media analysis, and more. Bios of the new, ongoing faculty are below:…

Olivia DrakeSeptember 20, 20212min
David Kuenzel, associate professor of economics, is the co-author of a new paper published in the European Economic Review titled "Preferential Trade Agreements and MFN Tariffs: Global Evidence." In the paper, Kuenzel and his co-author, Rishi Sharma from Colgate University, study theoretically and empirically the effects of countries' import composition on multilateral liberalization using a global tariff database that covers the 2000–2011 period. Kuenzel and Sharma provide evidence that greater preferential trade agreement (PTA) import shares induce tariff cuts on non-member countries. The baseline estimates imply that a 10 percentage point increase in the share of imports from PTA partners…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 17, 20213min
The first time Ethan Kleinberg, the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of History and Letters, immersed himself in the world of the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas 20 years ago, he wrote a book. “It was written as a traditional intellectual history and I found that what that I had done was to completely deactivate the aspects of Levinas’ thought where he believes that there are ethical guidelines that come to us from outside our own history, these transcendent ethical guidelines puncture any historical or contextual moment,” Kleinberg said. He didn’t like what he’d written, so he took an unprecedented step—he…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 16, 20214min
Nineteen visiting faculty, including fellows, scholars, and postdoctoral researchers, join Wesleyan for the 2021-22 academic year. Their academic interests include high altitude ecosystems, Muslim political masculinities, Indigenous cultural studies, epidemiology and public health, 20th-century continental philosophy, pharmacoengineering, social media's effects on adolescent development, and more. Their bios are below: Alisha Butler, Provost Equity Fellow in the College of Education Studies, is a mixed-methods researcher whose work draws on interdisciplinary perspectives to interrogate the overlapping ecologies of schools, neighborhoods, and cities that shape students’ and families’ experiences in schools. This work includes studies of school-family and school-community partnerships. Her dissertation leveraged…

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Rachel Wachman '24September 15, 20213min
With the support of a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Teresita Padilla-Benavides will study how transition metals—such as copper—contribute to the development of muscle. The monetary award, called an NIH Research Project Grant (NIH R01), aims to support research and development in health-related fields that bolster the mission of the NIH. “​Thanks to this award, we will be able to investigate novel molecules and their association with transition metals, such as copper, and how they contribute to the development of muscle,” said Padilla-Benavides, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry. “My project will investigate…

Rachel Wachman '24September 15, 20212min
Luther Gregg Sullivan Fellow In Art Ilana Harris-Babou is an interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses sculptures, installations, and videos around the themes of the American Dream and its contradictions. Harris-Babou’s work is featured in “Wholesome Fun,” her first solo institutional exhibition in Europe, which opened in Hamburg, Germany on Oct. 1. This exhibition is hosted by Kunsthaus Hamburg, a center for contemporary art in a former market building. “In her video works, collages, and sculptures, Harris-Babou combines humor and a keen critique of society, revealing racist structures and social discrepancies in the mirror of western hegemonic consumer and media culture,”…