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Steve ScarpaNovember 1, 20236min
Associate Professor of Spanish María Ospina’s most recent novel has been recognized with the 2023 Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the most important literary awards in the Spanish speaking world.”  Founded in 1993, the prize is awarded each year to the female author of a novel originally published in Spanish. The award is given by the Guadalajara International Book Fair, and Ospina will give a speech at the ceremony in Nov. 29. Her book was published by Random House in Latin America in April.   Ospina’s novel was selected unanimously out of over 100 applicants from…

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Andrew ChatfieldOctober 25, 20237min
Wesleyan’s Music Department continued its tradition of performing in unexpected spaces this month, with musicians showing up in library and museum venues on campus.   “Instrument—Body,” a series of four performances in surprising locations presented in conjunction with the seminar of the same name and curated by Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Ethan Philbrick, kicked off with bassist Brandon Lopez and musician and multimedia artist Cecilia Lopez MA '16 on synthesizers in the Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History in the Exley Science Center in the afternoon on October 20.   Professor of Music Paula Matthusen presented the third iterations…

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Editorial StaffOctober 25, 20234min
Stewart E. Novick, Joshua Boger University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics, Emeritus, passed away recently at the age of 78. Stew received his BS from Stony Brook University and his AM and PhD from Harvard University. He served as a research fellow at Harvard and a research associate at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, University of Colorado at Boulder, before he arrived at Wesleyan in 1978, where he taught until his retirement this past summer. During his 45 years at Wesleyan, he was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a National Science Foundation Fellow, and a Woodrow Wilson…

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Jeff HarderOctober 25, 20236min
Some trudge, others sprint. Some materialize from otherworldly forces, others from infectious diseases. Some want flesh, others have a more specific taste for brains. Whatever their individual differences, we know zombies when we see them. And from 1932’s White Zombie to 2023’s The Last of Us, we’ve seen these charismatic, cannibalistic humanoids on the screen a lot through the generations. Off-screen, they’ve seeped into our language. (In the business world, a “zombie” lumbers on the edge of insolvency.) And more broadly, as suggested by a recent conspiracy theory that testing the nation’s emergency broadcast system would trigger an outbreak of ghouls,…

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Jeff HarderOctober 19, 20239min
The Center for the Study of Guns and Society at Wesleyan brought together historians, museum curators, legal scholars, journalists, filmmakers, and other subject-matter experts for the Center’s second-annual flagship conference, Current Perspectives on the History of Guns and Society, which took place October 13-14. Through panel discussions, a film screening, and other sessions, the conference shed fresh light on the ever-expanding role of history in America’s contemporary gun discourse. [See photos from the event.] “How have the uses and meanings of guns changed over time?” asked Jennifer Tucker, professor of history and the Center’s founding director. “How does historical knowledge…

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Editorial StaffOctober 19, 20235min
By Anya Kisicki '22 When President Michael S. Roth ’78 and a dozen of his peers gathered at Princeton University last August, they revived higher education’s civic mission: to serve the public good by preparing students for a life of active citizenship. These 13 college presidents signed onto the Campus Call, a coordinated commitment to foster free expression on college campuses. “The Campus Call for presidents to promote civics literacy and political participation is a great step forward in helping our higher education institutions make a deeper contribution to public life,” Roth said in an article. Convened by the Institute…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 10, 20236min
Professor of Government Sonali Chakravarti connected the 1970 Black Panther trials held in New Haven to important jury reforms taking place in Connecticut today. Chakravarti delivered her lecture on the subject, entitled “The Black Panther Trials in New Haven and the Power of the Jury,” at the Faculty and Staff Lunch Talk held on October 5. She outlined a brief history of the Black Panther Party in Connecticut and the facts behind two trials surrounding the 1969 murder of Alex Rackley, a 19-year-old Floridian who had been sent to help the Panther chapter in New Haven. The Black Panther Party…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 4, 20235min
More than half of people who die by suicide visited a primary care physician in the month prior to their death, according to research. That statistic indicates a unique opportunity to help identify people wresting with suicidal ideation and perhaps save lives. Assistant Professor of Psychology Alexis M. May, director of the Risk, Prevention, and Intervention (RPI) Lab, has recently published research that shows a common depression screening questionnaire given at regular primary care visits is more effective in predicting future suicidal behavior over the short term than specific questions about suicidal thoughts themselves. “It suggests to me that while…

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Mike MavredakisSeptember 20, 20238min
Robyn Autry, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; Hari Krishnan, Professor of Dance; and Francis Starr, Foss Professor of Physics, Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and Professor of Integrative Sciences, have received the 2023 award for excellence in research. The awards—going to those who demonstrate excellence in their research, scholarship, and contributions to their field—were announced at the first faculty meeting of the year, held in early September. Autry, recipient of the faculty research prize in the social sciences, is a strong voice in the study of racial identity,…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 14, 20235min
Wesleyan University will be participating in a research project to explore the potential—and pitfalls--of generative artificial intelligence as a teaching and research tool. Wesleyan joins 19 other universities, including Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, Stony Brook University, Temple University, Bryant University, Duke University, Concordia University, and Yale University on the two-year research project led by Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit organization that helps the academic community evaluate and use digital technologies. “Together the partners in the Making AI Generative for Higher Education will assess the immediate and emerging AI applications most likely to impact teaching,…

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Editorial StaffSeptember 12, 202312min
President Michael S. Roth ’78 and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Nicole Stanton recently announced the faculty members who, in recognition of their career accomplishments, have been appointed to endowed professorships, effective July 1, 2023: Merve Gul Emre, former distinguished writer-in-residence, received the Shapiro-Silverberg University Professorship of Creative Writing and Criticism, established in 2008. James W. McGuire, professor of government, received a John E. Andrus Professorship of Government, established in 1981. Brian Hale Northrop, professor of chemistry, received the E. B. Nye Professorship of Chemistry, established in 1908. Dana Royer, professor of Earth and environmental sciences, received the…

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Editorial StaffSeptember 12, 20235min
Wesleyan University has been selected to host a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence from India to teach new courses and to help incorporate more international perspectives into the chemistry curriculum during the 2023-2024 academic year.  Prof. Pawan K. Sharma, an expert in organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry at Central University of Haryana, Mahendergarh and earlier Dean of Research and Development at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, was selected for the Fulbright award by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program brings visiting scholars from abroad to U.S. colleges and universities, helping the institutions internationalize their curricula, campuses and surrounding communities, and diversify the…