February 21, 2002
Get This Ball Rolling
| February 21, 2002
Be warned: Monster’s Ball is utterly depressing. Its plot unfolds like a chain of falling dominoes, one miserable event following another. The film sucks away hope and doesn’t leave much to fill the vacuum it’s created. When leaving the theater, count your blessings if you still have the will to live.
That said, Monster’s Ball is also one of the most powerful, well-acted, socially conscious, and gripping films that has come out recently. Not only is its story heartfelt, but Monster’s Ball is radical in tackling weighty issues like race tensions and the death penalty. Set in a sleepy Georgia town its web of subplots is held together by the execution of Lawrence, a cop-killer, played by one Sean Combs. Thankfully, in this film, Combs is nothing like he is in his music videos. He is instead repentant, humble, and one of the film’s many pleasant surprises.
What’s not important to Swiss director Marc Forster is the veracity of Lawrence’s guilt —
We are an independent, student newspaper. Help keep us reporting with a tax-deductible donation to the Cornell Sun Alumni Association, a non-profit dedicated to aiding The Sun.
February 22, 2002
In an effort to revitalize the study of the humanities at Cornell, 15 faculty members, administrators and postdoctoral fellows have been meeting once a week since Sept. 2001 as part of the Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Seminar. This year’s seminar is the first part of a five-year program which aims to “provide faculty with interdisciplinary opportunities to think about how to reinvigorate the humanities in their research and teaching at Cornell,” said Prof. Michele Moody-Adams, philosophy and director and Hutchinson Professor of ethics and public life. Moody-Adams is a co-leader of the program along with Prof. Mary Beth Norton, history and American studies and Prof. Nick Salvatore, ILR collective bargaining, law and history and American studies. The program theme for this first year is “race and ethnicity.” Each year, the program will take up a different theme. According to Moody-Adams, topics for other years may include “visual studies” and “ethics and responsibility,” among others. “The seminar focuses on scholarship on race and ethnicity in a variety of different fields — literature, government, sociology, history, philosophy, science, religion — in the context of the U.S.,” said Norton. The subject of the seminar changes weekly, and pertains to readings done by program participants in preparation for the weekly meeting. Past and proposed seminars include discussion of the human genome project, race and gender, immigration patterns as related to race and ethnicity, and the philosophical controversy surrounding group vs. individual rights. Readings have included, Maxine Hong Kingston’s Woman Warrior, Matthew Jacobson’s Whiteness of a Different Color, and Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. The scholarly enterprise is the result of a $1.4 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Initial discussion about the program began among senior administrators — many involved with the humanities — including President Hunter R. Rawlings III, Provost Biddy (Carolyn A.) Martin, Philip Lewis, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Jonathan Culler, senior associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The Mellon foundation was interested in proposals for programs that would support intellectual exchange and innovation in the humanities, while helping recent Ph.D. recipients in the humanities find stimulating positions at research universities,” Martin said. “In consultation with President Rawlings and me, Vice Provost Walter Cohen wrote a proposal for funds to support an annual, year-long faculty and postdoctoral seminar on topics that would change from year to year,” she added. Rawlings, Martin and Cohen all attend the weekly seminar. This seminar was partially modeled on an on-going seminar in the Social Sciences, overseen by Prof. Peter Katzenstein, government, and funded for the past two years by Atlantic Philanthropies. Rawlings and Martin have also been attending the Social Sciences seminar for the past year and a half. Rawlings described the humanities program as, “an intellectual free-for-all. It’s a chance for intellectual discussion with faculty members from different departments, a very able, talented [group].” According to Martin, the selection of the coordinators was the responsibility of the president, the provost, vice provost, and the deans of Arts and Sciences. The Mellon Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established in 1969, aims to aid and promote scholarship and public welfare programs, for charitable, religious, scientific, literary or educational purposes. In addition to offering grants to institutions of higher education, the foundation also endows various institutions associated with cultural affairs and the performing arts, with conservation and the environment and with public affairs. Archived article by Laura Rowntree
February 22, 2002
The Shoals Marine Laboratory will once again be offering its non-credit and credit-bearing classes for students and adults to experience marine science this summer. For over a quarter of a century, SML has been offering research-based courses to undergraduates. The program’s site in the Gulf of Maine is only open during the summer, according to Sarah Jordan, business manager of SML. Undergraduate courses range from one to four weeks and award anywhere from two to six credits in a variety of courses, from Field Marine Science, and Biology and Ecology, to Marine Vertebrates, Wetlands Resources and Biological Illustration, according to Christine Bogdanowicz, program manager of SML. “Some students will spend the entire summer there,” Jordan said. Prof. John Kingsbury, emeritus, plant biology, started the program in 1966, with the intention of establishing a marine laboratory that focused on undergraduate education, according to Bogdanowicz. When asked about approximate numbers of program participants, Bogdanowicz estimated that 200 students earn credit each summer at SML, with Cornell students typically accounting for 15-20 percent. Qualified students may earn a full semester’s college credit (up to 16 credit hours) in three summer months and they may apply for any number of non-concurrent courses, according to Jordan. “It’s a very intensive program as students are in class all day long,” Bogdanowicz explained. SML’s curriculum encompasses a variety of marine disciplines. The academic programs span a variety of courses for undergraduates, graduates and professionals. The adult education courses are open to anyone, while the full academic courses target university students from around the country. Students who participate are usually as biology majors, geologists with interests in marine life, and oceanographers, according to Prof. Charles Greene, earth and atmospheric sciences. “Students usually apply to the program because they have an interest in marine biology, or they think they may pursue it as a career. It is perfect for getting the field-experience in a hands-on setting,” Jordan explained. The marine laboratory operates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences based in Stimson in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire. Students from around the world enroll in SML courses, and credit can be granted from either institution, according to Bogdanowicz. The seasonal field station’s 95 acres are located on Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals in the Gulf of Maine. Lying six miles offshore from the Maine/New Hampshire border, Appledore is a natural laboratory and classroom, according to Jordan. The rocky intertidal zone, seabird colonies, and the open sea are right outside the door at SML, furthering the educational experience in marine biology. “We have labs with running sea water where professors can lecture on marine organisms while they are still alive. Students use microscopes, videos and computers to produce reports as well,” Bogdanowicz said. Participants and faculty members can immerse themselves in their explorations, free from the distractions commonly found on and around every mainland campus. “Students go eight miles offshore and live on a rock. It’s a total immersive educational experience, where you live, eat and sleep marine science. After completing the program, [some] students say that this is the best course or the best experience they’ve had in their entire life,” Greene added. “Our director spends the summer on the island and there are several Cornell faculty that teach there as well,” Jordan said. “Shoals” refers to a school of fish. When large groups of them congregate in shallow waters, they can be harvested, according to Jordan. “You really develop a sense of community, making wonderful connections with nature. The educational community is isolated, as one needs a boat to get to the island. There is truly no direct connection to the mainland,” Bogdanowicz said. Archived article by Chris Westgate