NBC Connecticut was on the scene when the Wesleyan football team defeated Williams in the Homecoming game to become Little Three Champions for the first time since 1970. Coach Whalen and the team celebrate afterwards.
Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Mark Slobin was a guest on the public radio show “Interfaith Voices,” where he discussed the role across history of cantors, or hazzans–sacred singers who have led Jewish congregations in sung prayers for more than a thousand years. Together with Mark Kligman of Hebrew Union College, Slobin created the “History of the American Cantorate” Project, archiving 100 examples of cantor songs online. The interview includes recordings made of different cantors singing the same prayer.
Lily Myers ’15, whose poem, ‘Shrinking Women’ won Best Love Poem at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in April, has received national attention in recent months, including feature stories in Upworthy, The Huffington Post and All4Women. The video of her performance at the Slam at Barnard College in New York City currently has more than 1.9 million views on YouTube.
Read more in this Wesleyan Connection story.
Amy Bloom, Kim-Frank Family University Writer in Residence, was interviewed recently by the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader about her technique in researching and writing stories. She said it’s not difficult to find subjects: “I find the world a really interesting place. I feel very lucky to be able to participate in it,” she said. “I don’t actually look for new subjects. Just open your eyes and they’re right there in front of you.”
Professor of Economics Richard Grossman writes in The Boston Globe that October should be dubbed “Financial Crisis Month.” Over the past two centuries in the U.S. and Europe, October—and, more generally, the autumn months—have seen a string of serious financial crises. Grossman explains the historical reasons behind this trend, from the timing of the harvest to the bursting of asset bubbles. Today, he writes, politicians returning from their summer vacations and doing “stupid things” is most likely to blame for the continued popularity of financial crises in October.
Grossman also recently published an op-ed in USA Today calling upon policy makers to regularly conduct “autopsies” of economic policy—particularly when things go wrong, as with the recent government shut-down and near-breach of the debt ceiling.
Grossman’s new book, Wrong: Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn From Them, has been the subject of significant media attention recently, including a review in the Oct. 28 issue of The New Yorker, and an interview on WOR Radio 710.
Blogging for Oxford University Press, Associate Professor of Government Elvin Lim writes that modern commentators are wrong to blame the Constitution for government’s failures, such as the recent government shutdown. In fact, he writes, the Constitution was designed to prevent a small faction, like the modern-day Tea Party, from exerting too much control over the workings of government.
Writes Lim: “So when President Barack Obama proclaimed that ‘one faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election,’ he was on very firm constitutional ground, and pointedly — I think also consciously — using ‘faction’ exactly as the framers intended it in the eighteenth-century sense. Today’s self-proclaimed ‘originalists’ are picking and choosing what part of history to affirm. ‘Faction’ and ‘partisanship’ were foul words to the framers, for precisely the reasons we are experiencing today. President Obama has no obligation, under the original meaning and intent of the Constitution, to negotiate with a faction; indeed he in on good ground to try to rein it in.”
Joyce Jacobsen was interviewed by ABC News Radio about President Barack Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve. She would be the first woman to hold the post.
“This again says–particularly in an area that was viewed as little more masculine field in economics, monetary policy–that this is an area where women can excel,” said Jacobsen, dean of the social sciences, director of global initiatives, Andrews Professor of Economics, and a tutor in the College of Social Studies. In September, she helped spearhead a campaign among academic economists to push for Yellen’s nomination.
Listen to the interview here.
Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies, participated in an online video chat with other educational leaders on The Wall Street Journal’s website about online learning. He is teaching a massive open online course (MOOC) on the Coursera platform titled, “The Ancient Greeks.” The course began its second run on Sept. 1.
TechHive turned to Psyche Loui, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience & behavior, in evaluating a new online music service that claims to boost user’s attention span and productivity. Like other neuroscience experts interviewed, Loui was skeptical.
“We know there’s a ton of good that music can do to the brain, and we know that lots of people listen to music in the background while they’re working,” she said. “Different types of selective attention have been shown to be related to brain rhythms in that when you attentively perceive an object, that’s associated with some high-frequency rhythms in the brain. But sort of taking those rhythms over using music isn’t something I’ve seen yet.”
Dean of the Arts and Humanities and Director of Curricular Initiatives Andrew Curran spoke to NPR’s Weekend Edition about Denis Diderot, on the 18th century French philosopher’s 300th birthday. Curran said Diderot’s Encyclopedie, with over 20,000 copies in print, were among the most widely distributed and influential books of the era. “Commercially the encyclopedia did extremely well. Diderot himself made very little money off the whole project, but the publishers became extremely rich.”
Curran is also professor of French.