Tag Archive for The New York Times

Basinger: DeCaprio’s “Incredible Talent,” Risky Roles

Commenting in The New York Times about Leonardo DiCaprio’s star turn in the upcoming film “J. Edgar,” Jeanine Basinger, Chair and Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, says that DiCaprio is an actor who has proven he can take risks with role choices and be successful. While this has often translated into a decline in popularity – and ultimately the careers – of other Hollywood stars, Basinger believes DiCaprio’s talent transcends his “out-of-the-box” roles.

Professor Braxton Celebrated at Tri-Centric Festival

A recent feature in The New York Times details the rehearsals for the Tri-Centric Festival, which celebrates the work of Anthony Braxton, professor of music. The orchestra performing at the festival, which runs from Oct. 5-9, is conducted by Taylor Ho Bynum ’98. The festival is a celebration of Braxton’s highly influential avant-garde compositions and is timed this year to coincide with the release of his first opera, “Trillium E.”

Nicholas Kristof’s Column Extols Shining Hope Project

“Just Look at What You Did!” is the headline on a Nicholas Kristof column, letting readers know that his request that they commemorate Mother’s Day with donations led to a $135,000 gift to Shining Hope for Communities, a project in the Kibera slum of Kenya led by Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09. Kirstof writes: “So while in Kenya recently, I dropped by to see what was being done with your money. In the grim alleys of the Kibera slum in the capital of Nairobi, I found a dazzling girls’ school being built with some of those donations — and, yes, I found a love story.” Read more.

Grossman’s Blog Example of Fact-Based Arguing

In a piece in The New York Times blog, “The Stone,” which examines philosophical issues, the author cited the blog of Economics Professor Richard Grossman (along with Paul Krugman’s blog) as one of only a few that marshaled facts to make a valid counter- argument. The argument at hand was a refutation to a piece written by Stanford Economist John Taylor who disputed the Obama Administration’s current budget proposal, also based on Taylor’s use of facts.

Abrams ’12 on “A Gift that Came too Soon”

In the weekend Fashion and Style section of The New York Times, Lindsay Abrams ’12 has written a rumination on finding that great college romance, but perhaps timing it wrong. The piece discusses a relationship that might be as close to perfect as she could’ve hoped in everything but the time in her life when she and her partner entered into it.

Social Media Changes First Day of College Experience

Writing for ‘The Choice’ blog in The New York Times, Caren Osten Gerszberg contrasts her experience of meeting her college roommate and the first day of college 25 years ago with her daughter Nicole’s ’15 current path toward Wesleyan. Where Osten Gerszberg had a single phone conversation with her roommate to-be, Nicole has met dozens of her future classmates through Facebook groups and corresponded through texting and other methods. She’s also met other new friends from the Class of 2015 at WesFest.

Yohe on Warming’s Impact on Species Extinction

A recent story in The New York Times cites a study co-authored by Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, that showed the effects of global warming on the natural ranges of animals worldwide. The study showed that the ranges are moving on average nearly 4 miles toward the global poles each decade. Scientists are struggling with how this range expansion affects ecosystems worldwide.

The study is also the subject of commentary in the recent issue of Forbes, as well.

Basinger, Dombrowski ’92 on Celebrity Culture Today

In The New York Times OpEd forum “Room for Debate,” Jeanine Basinger, Chair and Corwin Fuller Professor of Film Studies, and Lisa Dombrowski ’92, associate professor of film studies, both examine the question of the difficulty of celebrity for film stars today as opposed to the old studio system that produced such luminaries as Elizabeth Taylor.

Basinger says that one of the big differences today is the scale and scope of scrutiny: “Today we’ve added on TV coverage, instant Internet coverage, international coverage — and all the news seems to be entertainment news.”

Dombroski says that the studio system protected stars, though there were caveats to this, while stars today are “freelancers supported only by agents, managers, and personal publicists whose employment relies on the approval of the star.”

Dupuy on Aristide Arrival in Haitian at Eve of Elections

In an OpEd for British newspaper The Guardian, Alex Dupuy, chair and professor of African American studies, Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of Sociology, cuts through the hype surrounding the return to Haiti of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and discusses the realities of the former-president coming back home just a few days before the national election. “Whatever the hopes of Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas base, though, I don’t see any real prospect of a political comeback for the former president,” Dupuy writes. “Even assuming there is no attempt to indict him for human rights abuses or corruption allegedly committed by his 2001-2004 government, Aristide would still have to tread carefully to avoid being made to regret his decision to return.”

Dupuy also comments on Aristide for The New York Times and the difficulties facing Aristide in re-building his political party and power base.

Uprisings Spread to China? Don’t Count on It

In an OpEd for The New York Times and International Herald Tribune, Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies, and Orion Lewis, research associate in the government department, discuss how an uprising, like those spreading across the Middle East, has little chance of taking hold in China despite recent attempts by some Chinese protesters.