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In Focus: 1/22/2010

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

NATIONAL STUDENT PEACE CONFERENCE TO BE HELD AT SOUTHWESTERN FEB. 26-28

More than 500 students from across the country will be coming to Southwestern Feb. 26-28 for the 2010 National Student Peace Alliance Conference.

The three-day conference will highlight effective domestic and international peace-building programs; provide participants with training in grassroots organizing, community peace building, and lobbying; and empower young people to be citizen peace builders and advocates.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to interact with other students from across the country,” said Jerry Brody, vice president for student life. Brody noted that many students from Southwestern have been working hard to make the conference happen, including senior Martin Fergus, who is president of Southwestern’s Student Peace Alliance chapter.

Read the rest of the story here.

HISTORY PROFESSOR COMBINES LOVE OF KNITTING WITH HER TEACHING

Attend any meeting with Elizabeth Green Musselman, and you’ll probably see her knitting.

It’s a hobby she first picked up from her mother as a young girl, and got serious about in graduate school because it provided a much-needed break from her academic work.

Recently, Green Musselman has combined her hobby with her teaching at Southwestern, where she serves as an associate professor of history and chair of the History Department.

Last fall, she offered a First-Year Seminar titled “Knitting: Not Just for Grannies” in which she used knitting as a way to introduce students to a wide range of subjects, from art and history to math and psychology.

For the Jessie Daniel Ames Lecture this year, Green Musselman invited a speaker who is using knitting as a way to interest audiences in the sciences. One of Margaret Werthein’s latest projects has been to crochet a room-sized coral reef as a way to encourage protection of the world’s threatened coral reefs. Werthein will speak on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m. in Olin 105.

Read the rest of the story here.

Events

ANNUAL JESSIE DANIEL AMES LECTURE TO BE HELD JAN. 26

Science writer and fiber artist Margaret Wertheim will be the featured speaker for the 2010 Jessie Daniel Ames lecture sponsored by the Feminist Studies program. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. in Olin 105.

Wertheim will talk about how traditional women’s crafts such as knitting and crochet can be used as a medium to explore environmental issues, solve deep mathematical problems, and interest a wider audience in the sciences. Wertheim is director of the Institute for Figuring, a nonprofit organization she founded to pursue new ways of communicating about science and mathematics.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Wertheim’s work can be seen at http://www.theiff.org/reef/index.html

GUEST COMPOSER, TROMBONIST, TO GIVE JANUARY 26 LECTURE AND CONCERT

Trombonist Abbie Conant and Composer William Osborne will give a lecture and concert Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

Conant gained attention throughout the world in the 1980s as a result of her long-lasting lawsuit against the Munich Philharmonic, which wanted to demote her simply because she was a woman. She eventually prevailed, but left the orchestra in 1993 to accept a prestigious tenured position at the State Conservatory of Music in Trossingen. She is the first and only female trombone professor in Germany.

For the first part of the evening, Osborne and Conant will speak about the salon movements of Europe and their relationships to the Enlightenment, social progress, egalitarianism, feminism, and the forms of literature and art that evolved suited to intimate gatherings of intellectuals, artists and activists. Osborne and Conant will then discuss how the legacy of these social gatherings and art forms has deeply influenced them both aesthetically and socially. They will then present one of their music theater works, “Street Scene for the Last Mad Soprano,” about a singer living in the dumpsters behind the Met.

JAN. 27 PANEL DISCUSSION WILL FOCUS ON FEMINISM AND PERFORMANCE

Guest artists Abbie Conant and William Osborne and faculty members Kathleen Juhl and Star Varner will participate in a panel discussion on “Feminism and Performance” on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. Panel members will open with statements about feminism and performance and then take questions and comments from the audience. Two of the guest panelists, Abbie Conant and William Osborne, will speak from extensive experience working for the rights of women artists in Germany and Austria. Among many other things, their efforts led the Vienna Philharmonic to begin admitting women in 1997.

SOUTHWESTERN TO HOST JAN 28. MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE OF ‘MUSIC FOR THE END OF TIME’

Southwestern is hosting a multimedia performance of “Music for the End of Time” on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater.

“Music for the End of Time” is a concert-length tone poem in six movements for trombone, quadraphonic electronics and video based on the Book of Revelation. The work explores all aspects of the apocalypse, ranging from expressions of “divine wrath” to the thundering rhythms of the Four Horsemen, to the gentlest, meditative lyricism. The music, performance and video take listeners on a vivid journey rarely experienced in today’s music.

Media Coverage

The Chronicle of Higher Education covered the wind power agreement. Read the story here.

KLBJ covered the wind power agreement. Read the story here.

The Austin Business Journal ran an op-ed piece on liberal arts by President Schrum. Read the piece here.

A blog in the Huffington Post mentioned Southwestern’s decision to use 100 percent clean energy. Read the article here.

Gilbert St. Clair, part-time professor of political science, was interviewed by the Williamson County Sun for an article on whether the county surveyor and county treasurer offices are still relevant today.

Provost Jim Hunt was featured in the January issue of Dean & Provost magazine.

Notables

Eileen Cleere, associate professor of English, will introduce and edit the final installment of a six-part collection of archival materials on 19th-century sanitary reform for Pickering & Chatto.  Her volume is provisionally titled “End-of-Century Assessments and New Directions,” and will be comprised of rare and undercirculated materials on sanitary architecture, health and hygiene, and eugenics. She hopes the entire series will be available by 2012.

Eric Selbin, professor of political science and University Scholar, gave two talks in England this week about his new book titled Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance: The Power of Story. The book examines the role of myth and storytelling in lighting the fires of revolutions and political struggles. For more information on the book, visit www.zedbooks.co.uk/revolution_rebellion_resistance