MEHLER | Happy Birthday Toni Morrison

None of us had put together that we happened to visit Morrison Dining on Toni Morrison’s birthday, but it led us down a conversation of the names on buildings and how they came to be there. There has been plenty of discussion around how buildings are named, and even more articles about their origins, but the most important conclusion we landed on was that the names of buildings matter. While nowhere close to a nuclear physicist myself, I know more about Hans Bethe than I do about any other scientist after living in his namesake dorm for the past two years. ILR’s founding dean Irving Ives, Human Ecology’s founder Martha Van Rensselaer, and other notable Cornellians continue their legacies through building names across campus.

Freshman Housing Histories and Legacies

Cornell freshmen are all too familiar with these scenes: leaving their cozy rooms on Saturday night and tumbling back into soft beds (very) early Sunday morning, or throwing their backpacks next to their half-spilling closets before tiredly climbing up into the top bunk. Freshmen dorms represent more than just a shelter for many students, which is why I think it’s important for us to learn about the legacy and history that surround North Campus.  

Curating a Summer Reading List

If you, like me, are looking forward to some reading this summer, let’s embark on this ill-fated journey together. Will we achieve our reading goals? Almost certainly not. Will we still enjoy the act of resistance that is leisure in a society that values only productivity? We must — or perish.

Behind Cornell’s Celebration of ‘The Bluest Eye’

On Thursday, Cornell held a virtual day-long reading of The Bluest Eye to celebrate the amazing career of author Toni Morrison M.A. ʼ55 and the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication. This event was the beginning of a year-long celebration of Toni Morrison as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Arts Unplugged Series.  Morrison, one of Cornell’s most notable alumni, published The Bluest Eye, her first novel, in 1970. While the pandemic delayed this event from its original planned date last spring, there are some benefits to the virtual format. “The advantage of doing it remotely is that thousands of people everywhere can hear it, can see it,” said Professor Anne Adams, Africana Studies. “There’s more of a consistency to the experience of watching it than there would have been if we were going between live readers and readers being brought in remotely,” added Professor Roger Gilbert, English.

GUEST ROOM | Teaching Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was truly a genius. Her sudden passing on Aug. 5, 2019 is so heartbreaking. The Nobel Laureate will go down in history as one of the world’s greatest writers who helped globalize the novel as a genre. She made a profound, critical impact on areas such as African American literature, American literature, black women’s literature and world literature, among others.