Oteil Burbridge Was Just In The Studio Recording On Mickey Hart’s New Album

first_imgIn February, String Cheese Incident drummer Jason Hann reported via Facebook that he was in the studio with The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart recording a new album produced by Michal Menert. In the post, he noted he laid down “15 tracks of drums and some electronic overdubs in a 24 hr period.” He also says that he got to hear recordings on the album from Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo, all of whom are featured on Planet Drum and many other projects with Hart. The project has been more or less under wraps, with no set release date announced.However, today, we’re getting more clues about this mysterious project. Dead & Co’s bassist Oteil Burbridge just posted via Instagram that he’s really making the most of his time on the West Coast for his San Francisco Bicycle Day performance yesterday. In the post wishing fans a happy 4/20, he posted a picture of him in the studio alongside Mickey’s drum kit and noted “I got to record on a new @mickeyhart record the first day,” before detailing the other moments of his trip. You can check out the post for yourself below, and stay tuned for more news about Mickey Hart’s new album as it’s revealed.last_img read more

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“Let Oteil Sing” Campaign Brings $4K To The Gorilla Doctors Following Dead & Co’s 2017 Summer Tour

first_imgFollowing the popular “Let Trey Sing” trends from the Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well shows, after Dead & Company formed in 2015, music lover and fellow bassist Chris DiNardo revamped the concept for bassist Oteil Burbridge—who, in addition to his famous bass chops, has quite the voice too. DiNardo was inspired to spread the word about Oteil after spending several summers together at Roots Rock Revival, a camp happening now for the fifth year that was founded by Oteil and Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks. With Oteil’s blessing, the shirt circulated throughout the fan base with frequent “Let Oteil Sing” spottings at Dead & Company shows across the country. Of course, it was at Citi Field in 2016 that Oteil Burbridge took his first verse with Dead & Company—and the rest is history. Taking lead on three songs this summer, Oteil officially “sings” now, but the shirts still carry an important meaning.Purchase An Official “Let Oteil Sing” Shirt Today!As the charity of his choice, Oteil requested that all proceeds from the shirt go to the Gorilla Doctors, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to conserving wild mountain and eastern lowland (or Grauer’s) gorillas in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda through life-saving veterinary medicine and a One Health approach. Its international team of veterinarians is the only group providing these critically endangered animals with direct, hands-on care in the wild. Oteil’s wife, Jess Burbridge, is a freelance photographer, journalist, and designer who currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Gorilla Doctors. She specializes in primatology and wildlife conservation issues and has worked with organizations such as The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, The Jane Goodall Institute, The Chimpanzee Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Uganda Wildlife Authority, among others.Learn More HereLast night, at the 5th annual Roots Rock Revival orientation concert, Oteil was presented with a giant check to commemorate the joint efforts. The “Let Oteil Sing” campaign officially brought in $4,000 to Gorilla Doctors during the 2017 Dead & Company Summer Tour. The money is enough to fund two life-saving medical interventions in the wild. With only 880 mountain gorillas left in the world, every life counts. This summer has become a clear movement between Oteil and his fans to bring awareness to the organization, which he notes has become a “life changing experience.”While less about Oteil singing and more about giving, read why the “Let Oteil Sing” campaign is important in the words of Oteil below.last_img read more

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Tedeschi Trucks Band In Studio For New Album, Shares Live Neil Young Cover

first_imgTedeschi Trucks Band 2018 Tour Dates: Jan 13 – St. Petersburg, FLJan 14 – Boca Raton, FLJan 17 – Pensacola, FLJan 19 – Macon, GAJan 20 – Asheville, NCJan 21 – Asheville, NCJan 23 – Ames, IAJan 25 – Chicago, ILJan 26 – Chicago, ILJan 27 – Chicago, ILFeb 8 – Wilkes-Barre, PAFeb 9 – Washington, D.C.Feb 10 – Washington, D.C.Feb 13 – Red Bank, NJFeb 14 – Red Bank, NJFeb 16 – Washington, D.C.Feb 17 – Washington, D.C.Feb 20 – Port Chester, NYFeb 21 – Port Chester, NYFeb 23 – Nashville, TNFeb 24 – Nashville, TNFeb 27 – Lafayette, LAFeb 28 – Jackson, MSMar 2 – Nashville, TNMar 3 – Nashville, TNApr 13 – Tallahassee, FLApr 14 – Savannah, GAApr 20-22 – Atlanta, GA[Photo: Phierce Photo] Tedeschi Trucks Band recently called it a wrap on 2017 by finishing up their extensive fall tour with a three-night run in Boston. It’s clear that with their new downtime, the band is by no means taking a rest—instead, the band just posted a quote by Derek Trucks on Facebook stating that the band is “gearing up to record our next album”. In addition to this news, the group shared their cover of Neil Young’s “Alabama”, which they performed during their Oakland Fox Theater run on November 18th of this year. As Trucks noted about the official live recording, “We warmed up the studio last week mixing a live track from our November 18 show at the Fox Theater in Oakland. This Neil Young song is as timely now as when it was written.”Neil Young’s “Alabama” is a tune off his iconic 1972 album Harvest. Tedeschi Trucks Band debuted their cover on November 15th in Phoenix, with the song joining the group’s rotation for the rest of their recently ended fall tour. Check out the Facebook post and Tedeschi Trucks Band’s official recording of “Alabama” from November 18th, 2017 at the Fox Theatre below, plus the group’s upcoming 2018 tour dates!last_img read more

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NYC’s American Beauty Is Officially Closing

first_imgNew York City late-night life will never be the same, as American Beauty closes its doors. Located in the music hub of Midtown Manhattan, the Grateful Dead-inspired music venue and bar was conveniently just steps away from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. American Beauty’s motto was Live Music – Craft Beer – Free Pizza, making it a go-to with its enticing deal of free pizza with the purchase of any alcoholic beverage. Beyond the smart marketing, American Beauty has hosted some of the decade’s wildest concerts in NYC jam band history–creating a musical launch pad for up-and-coming bands, special one-off collaborations, and unique tribute sets that can only be found within the walls of New York City.Most notably, the venue utilized their geographic location as an opportunity to further host jam band fans during Phish and Dead & Company runs, creating an irreplaceable hub within the community that comes along with them. During the 2017 Baker’s Dozen run, the venue hosted pre-parties and after-parties nearly every night of the week, ultimately welcoming record crowds. With some of the best rock, jam, funk, bluegrass, and Americana shows that New York City has to offer all year round, the closing of American Beauty marks the end of an era.Read the venue’s full statement from the venue below:It is with a heavy heart that we announce our doors closed after December 31st 2017. Our home at 251 West 30th Street was purchased by Herald Square Properties in 2016, who are renovating the building and renting to new tenants. We’d like to thank our loyal staff, customers and every artist who’s performed on our stages for a magical run.Although it’s sad to say goodbye to our Midtown party factory for now, we are happy for the memories that will live on with those who experienced it. Fare Thee Well.last_img read more

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Dead & Company Welcomes George Porter Jr. For Rip-Roaring NOLA Debut [Photos/Videos]

first_img[Video: btragal]Dead & Company – “Werewolves of London”[Video: btragal]Setlist: Dead & Company | Smoothie King Center | New Orleans, LA | 2/25/18Set 1: Feel Like A Stranger > The Music Never Stopped > Cold Rain and Snow, Peggy-O, Friend of the Devil, Smokestack Lightning*, Bertha^, Sugaree*Set 2: Scarlet Begonias, Fire on the Mountain, Truckin’ > Ship of Fools > Uncle John’s Band > Drums/Space > Stella Blue > One More Saturday NightEncore: Werewolves of London*with George Porter Jr. (The Meters) on bass, vocals^with George Porter Jr. (The Meters) on bassDead & Company | Smoothie King Center | New Orleans, LA | 2/24/18 | Photos: Matthew Rea Photo: Matt Rea [Video: btragal]Dead & Company w/ George Porter Jr. – “Smokestack Lightning”[Video: btragal]Dead & Company w/ George Porter Jr. – “Bertha”[Video: btragal]Dead & Company w/ George Porter Jr. – “Sugaree”[Video: George Porter Jr.]“Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain” [Pro-Shot] – Dead & Company: [Video: btragal]Dead & Company – “Uncle John’s Band” Dead & Company‘s Oteil Burbridge is a hard-working man. After holding down the low end with the Allman Brothers Band for nearly two decades, the consummate bass player now carries the torch for the latest incarnation of another American rock institution. With all these hours under his belt, it’s easy to forgive the man when he decides to take a break. And it’s a whole lot easier when he invites legendary The Meters bassist George Porter Jr. to fill in for him.That’s what happened last night when Dead & Co made their long-awaited New Orleans debut at the Smoothie King Center. Three months after John Mayer’s pesky appendix forced the band to cancel its previously scheduled appearance at the venue, Mayer, Burbridge, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, and Jeff Chimenti finally took the Big Easy by storm—and it’s safe to say this one was worth the wait. Dead & Company roared out of the gate with a “Feel Like A Stranger” that seamlessly veered into another Bob Weir/John Perry Barlow favorite, “The Music Never Stopped”. The tune offered Mayer an early opportunity to dive into an expansive jam, and he took it without reservation (while also letting out a solid Donna Jean impression behind the mic). “The Music Never Stopped” eventually gave way to “Cold Rain and Snow”, which quickly became the night’s first singalong as the crowd was bathed in light with each chorus. After three big numbers, Dead & Company took things down a notch with a gorgeous “Peggy-O” that put Weir front and center before meandering into a “Friend of the Devil” that elicited cheers with its opening notes.After wrapping up the American Beauty staple, Burbridge quietly abdicated in preparation for the night’s most delightful surprise: a perfectly executed sit-in from hometown hero George Porter Jr. of The Meters fame. The funk pioneer and bonafide Crescent City icon provided a sturdy foundation for a spot-on rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning”, even playfully growling his way through his portion of the lyrics. Porter’s magnetic playing eventually drew in Mayer, who went to toe-to-toe with the New Orleans bass master during his solo—a move the pair would repeat with the “Bertha” and “Sugaree” that followed. While that “Bertha” was a certainly a treat, the “Sugaree” that closed out the set was arguably the night’s high point. Porter may not be an expert on the Grateful Dead canon, but “Sugaree” has been in his repertoire for some time, and his confidence with the song was on full display as he led the band through the Garcia/Hunter classic. If his smile was any indication, the tune was a special moment for Porter—just as it was for the thousands of people who showered him with applause as Dead & Company headed off stage.Burbridge was back in the saddle when the band returned to open the second set with a fantastic “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire On The Mountain” combo. The beloved pairing was a great way to start things off before the group delivered what had to have been the night’s most highly-anticipated and historically-loaded offering—”Truckin’”. That history was not lost on the people of New Orleans, who are acutely aware of the story that was immortalized in the words “busted down on Bourbon Street.” In addition to inspiring some choice lyrics, the Grateful Dead’s 1970 run-in with the New Orleans Police Department caused the band to sour on the Big Easy for over a decade, scaring them away from the city during the height of their powers and leaving NOLA’s ‘heads with an unsatiated craving for Dead music that lasts to this day. Perhaps that’s why the crowd went absolutely nuts for the duration of the tune–and particularly so when the famed “busted down on Bourbon Street” lyrics came into play.“Truckin’” kept going right into a pleasant “Ship of Fools” that saw Mayer and Burbridge going back and forth behind the mic. The sublime ballad meandered into an even more pleasant “Uncle John’s Band” that set up some inspired jamming on its way to the improvisational wizardry of “Drums”. Burbridge once again joined Hart and Kreutzmann at the back of the stage, with all three of them banging away over a bassy drone until Weir, Mayer, Chimenti returned for a far out “Space” that eventually coalesced into “Stella Blue”. Mayer nailed the peaks on the Wake of the Flood ballad, and the band effortlessly switched gears as the majestic number melted into “One More Saturday Night” to wrap up the set. Burbridge belted out a glorious howl during the tune, whose appearance surprised absolutely no one considering the day of the week. Yet the howl was a harbinger of things to come, as the band came back out for a “Werewolves of London” that had the rest of the arena howling along with them.Dead & Company will continue their run of make-up shows this week with performances on Monday, February 26th in Sunrise, FL and on Tuesday, February 27th in Orlando, FL. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website.You can check out a beautiful gallery of photos courtesy of photographer Matthew Rea and watch a selection of high-quality crowd-shot videos from Dead & Company’s New Orleans performance below:“Feel Like A Stranger” [Pro-Shot] – Dead & Company:[Video: Nugs.tv]Dead & Company w/ George Porter Jr. – “The Music Never Stopped”[Video: btragal]Dead & Company – “Friend of the Devil” [Video: Nugs.tv]Dead & Company – “Truckin’” Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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EXCLUSIVE: Random Rab Shares New Mix Ahead of Lightning In A Bottle 2018

first_imgRead on for more information about the incredible wonderland of LIB 2018…The Compass:Immerse yourself in over 150 talks and discussions with world-renowned visionaries, experts & thought leaders. Learn by doing in hands-on workshops ranging in topics from skill-based trades to medicine making to sacred relationships & more. Reset and restore with a session from world-renowned practitioners, bodyworkers & healers. Connect with global cultures through ancient practices & earth-based wisdom traditions including dance, music & daily Sacred Fire gatherings. Dig into food-focused classes and workshops to feed and nourish your body in a variety of both ancient and modern kitchen traditions. Amateurs and seasoned cooks alike will learn culinary techniques and the fundamentals of health, in order to cook with joy and confidence.The Grand Artique returns to Lightning in a Bottle for the 8th year in a row! Bringing back to life their town of Frontierville, featuring a fully immersive Trading Post/General Store, hotel, gypsy encampment and a heavy hitting music line up that will have you ripping up the dance floor deep into the night. Really, you don’t want to miss out on this all out, no holds barred, pure unadulterated, down-home good ol’ time!The true magic begins outside the musical stages. LIB is full of places and spaces packed with lively, participatory fun and shenanigans that go till the sun comes up.From the Soap Box Derby to the Must-Dash 5K Run and everything in between, be sure to participate in one of the hilarious activities, unique only to LIB. Just because you’re at a festival doesn’t mean you can’t eat well. LIB offers several interactive sit-down dining experiences fully equipped with entertainment, farm-to-table ingredients, and renowned chefs.  LIB invites over 40 artists to transform blank canvases into incredible murals and paintings throughout the festival, concluding with an art walk and silent auction Sunday evening. LIB offers art classes and hands-on workshops at LIB’s new interactive creative space, ArtClave. Cultivated and created by a community of artists and creators, ArtClave’s environment invites attendees of every skill level to activate the artist within. Get lost exploring LIB’s array of larger than life art installations, carefully curated each year to wow and inspire.LIB’s iconic structures and stages will transform your festival experience into a unique visual odyssey of creativity and imagination. Whether enchanting on stage or mingling within the crowd, the performance artists at LIB will take your breath away.The yoga offerings at LIB are purposely varied to encompass all styles and levels of yoga from the traditional practices to the wildly unconventional and fun. Put your body in motion and learn a new groove, all while connecting deeper with yourself and those around you in LIB’s world-spanning dance and movement classes. Away from the main stages, LIB offers spaces and places to slow down and find stillness through meditation, breathwork and more.Random Rab sunrise set, Lightning in a Bottle 2014. Photo: Curious Joshwords: B. Getz Lighting in a Bottle, which takes place on May 24-29 2018, in Bradley, CA, is a unique experience to each person who attends the affair; no two LIBs are the same. Some focus on seminars and workshops, listening to ideas and inspirations from a cavalcade of gurus, experts, healers, and leaders. Others seek out the litany of visionary installations and collaborative art projects evolving each year. People go to LIB for the diversified yoga programs, the learning kitchen, the spirituality, the tea houses, the improv troupes, the fashion, and the dozens of thriving subcultures. Families, loners, and longtime festival crews come back to LIB to experience what is among the most engaging, socially conscious, and interactive music festivals on the planet. The word “transformational” is thrown around a lot these days, but there is no irony, sarcasm, or tongue planted in cheek here; Lightning in a Bottle is a life-affirming endeavor that can fundamentally change somebody, if they are willing and able to surrender to the flow.Long an integral part of the LIB family and a luminary of the West Coast’s psychedelic-bass music diaspora, Random Rab has released a dreamy new installment of his Endless Dawn series, a mystical departure just in time for Lightning in a Bottle 2018. The perfect soundtrack to travel the summer festival season, for the beautiful weather, and outdoor bliss. As a headliner at festivals around the world, Rab has become more than just a DJ or producer, evolving into an ephemeral wizard whose legendary sunrise/sunset adventures have become festival culture rites of passage.Endless Dawn Mix Part 2 : Fragments of Twilight is a journey inward, focusing on the darker themes and ethereal sensibilities in his musical persona The 63-minute DJ set unveils an ever-evolving kaleidoscope of styles, each embedded with his idiosyncratic codings and vintage visceral vibration. The mix is a tasty blend of unreleased material, and music found on his most recent full length LPs. You can listen to Part 1 Here. Random Rab will be blessing up the Thunder Stage at this installment of Lightning in a Bottle.In 2018, LiB continues its decade-spanning dedication to musical and mental diversity with a lineup that boasts big names and killer grooves across styles and tempos. Headlining is the new school’s ultimate funk master Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals. The night will turn noir with a set from ZHU, while Griz will paint bright with organic colors. Fever Ray will make things weird and otherworldly, The Glitch Mob will turn noise into magic, and Modeselektor will hop on the decks, which is always something to see. Performances from Tipper, Emancipator, Nicole Moudaber, The Black Madonna, MK, Yotto, Sofi Tukker, Tune-Yards, Nao, Beats Antique, Tokimonsta, Giraffage and more round out the bill.last_img read more

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Jack White Adds Brooklyn & Chicago Shows To Finalize Upcoming Fall Tour

first_imgToday, Jack White has added two upcoming shows leading up to the Nashville make-up, to finalize his Boarding House Reach fall tour. The rockstar will make a stop at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, Saturday, November 17th, before heading to Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, Monday, November 19th.Last week, Jack White scheduled a concert for Tuesday, November 20th, in hopes to accommodate those who purchased tickets to see him at the cancelled Pilgrimage Music Festival. The makeup show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena will see two of Jack White’s Third Man Records artists handle the night’s opening duties, with Joshua Hedley kicking off the night, and Margo Price performing second prior to White’s headlining set.The show announcements come on the heels of Jack White’s recent announcement that he will reconvene one of his former projects, The Raconteurs, for a new album slated for release 2019. The Raconteurs consists of White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler. The new album will mark The Raconteurs’ first release in more than a decade, serving as a follow-up to 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely.The news of a new album from The Raconteurs comes along with the announcement that White’s Third Man Records will release a special 10th-anniversary reissue of Consolers of the Lonely, marketed as the 38th installment in their Vault Package series. The new reissue box set will also include a 7″ vinyl featuring two new recently recorded songs from the group, which will serve as the foundation for the upcoming album.Tickets for the upcoming Brooklyn and Chicago shows go on sale to the public this Friday, October 12th at 11 a.m. local time via Ticketmaster. A limited amount of pre-sale tickets will be available to Third Man Vault members starting at 10 a.m. local time on Thursday, October 11th.For more information on tickets and Jack White’s upcoming tour dates, head to his website.Jack White 2018 Upcoming Tour DatesOctober 3: Palladium Riga – Riga, LatviaOctober 4: Siemens Arena – Vilnius, LithuaniaOctober 6: Gdynia Arena – Gdynia, PolandOctober 7: MTP2 – Poznan, PolandOctober 9: Torwar – Warsaw, PolandOctober 10: Tauron Arena Kraków – Kraków, PolandOctober 12: Verti Music Hall – Berlin, GermanyOctober 13: Zenith – Munich, GermanyOctober 14: Warsteiner Music Hall – Dortmund, GermanyOctober 16: Brighton Centre – Brighton, UKOctober 17: Birmingham Academy – Birmingham, UKOctober 18: Hull Venue – Hull, UKOctober 20: Liverpool Space By Echo Arena – Liverpool, UKOctober 21: Usher Hall – Edinburgh, UKNovember 2: Rogers Place – Edmonton, CanadaNovember 3: Stampede Corral Arena – Calgary, CanadaNovember 5: Brandt Centre – Regina, CanadaNovember 6: Bell MTS Place – Winnipeg, CanadaNovember 8: Budweiser Gardens – London, CanadaNovember 9: The Arena at TD Place – Ottawa, CanadaNovember 10: Place Bell – Laval, CanadaNovember 12: Videotron Centre – Quebec, CanadaNovember 13: Moncton Events Centre – Moncton, CanadaNovember 17: Kings Theatre – Brooklyn, NYNovember 19: Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, ILNovember 20: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN (with Joshua Hedley, Margo Price)View All Tour Dateslast_img read more

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The Arctic Monkeys Find Perfect Climate For Post-Punk At The Hollywood Bowl

first_imgThere was a time, not even that long ago, when having the Arctic Monkeys headline a three-band bill at the Hollywood Bowl would’ve been suspicious, if not downright audacious. The quartet from Sheffield, England has long had the following to fill 17,000-plus seats in Los Angeles, but didn’t always display the requisite charisma to captivate an expansive audience in such a cavernous venue.But where once the Arctic Monkeys might’ve sacrificed showmanship to ensure that the live performance of its music maintained the integrity of its perfected studio sound, they let their catalog of loquacious bangers and ironic ballads fly like never before on a chilly October night in the Hollywood Hills.That evolution came through loud and clear from the get-go. Following scintillating opening sets from Mini Mansions and the Lemon Twigs, the Monkeys emerged on the Hollywood Bowl’s massive stage in front of a similarly (and appropriately) monolithic visual setup. The stage bumped in flashes of bright red as the thumps of “Four Stars Out of Five” rang out across Highland Avenue.The burnt-out lounge-singer vibes of Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, the band’s latest release, rang through the Arctic Monkeys’ entire evening. Sure, the additions of the moody “She Looks Like Fun” and “Star Treatment” did their part to convey a group-wide attitude that was at once more mature and more cavalier than on past tours.But so, too, did the demeanor of the men onstage. Alex Turner, the band’s lead singer and occasional guitarist/keyboardist, was no more outside of the setlist than he’d ever been—which is to say, hardly at all. But the 32-year-old, sporting a buzz cut and a dressy casual ensemble, commanded the stage without a need for domination.He and his mates had no trouble pulling off the punk-rock praxis of long-time standards like “Brainstorm”, “Do Me a Favour”, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” and “Library Pictures.” Nor were there any issues transitioning to the bassier, grungier vibes of “Crying Lightning” and “Down Sit Down ‘Cause I Moved Your Chair.”And consider the popularity, profundity, and relative recency of “AM,” it was no surprise to see and hear the Arctic Monkeys pepper their set with everything from “Snap Out Of It,” “One For the Road”, and “Knee Socks” to “No. 1 Party Anthem” and “Do I Wanna Know,” with “Arabella” and “R U Mine?” closing out the entire show.Along the way, Turner and company flashed an unusual (but wholly welcome) willingness to play around with their typically buttoned-up songs in a live setting. They accentuated the rhythmic shifts inherent in “All The Pretty Visitors,” busted out a frenetic jam as a bridge between “505” and the title track off their new album, and even got gaudy enough to drop a disco cube from the rafters during their encore.In truth, this stepping-out was a long time coming for the Arctic Monkeys. They’re not the timid kids from across the pond anymore, the ones whose staid stage presence belied their irreverent, head-banging brilliance. Some 15 years and six LPs into a stellar career in rock and roll, the Arctic Monkeys have finally (and thankfully) thawed. In doing so, they’ve hit upon an aura of confidence that makes the band exceedingly capable of not only delivering on an already pliable audience’s hopes, but subverting those same expectations with the playful dryness that’s been the band’s hallmark since it first burst onto the scene as an assembly of screaming teens with a knack for lyrical irreverence.last_img read more

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Widespread Panic Lights A Maryland Casino On Fire On First Night Outside The Nation’s Capital [Videos]

first_imgWidespread returns to the stage again tonight for the second round of wanton destruction in the shadows of D.C. See ya there, Goodpeople.You can listen to a full audio recording of the performance via PanicStream. For a full list of Widespread Panic’s upcoming tour dates, head here.Setlist: Widespread Panic | The Theater at MGM National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD | 3/15/19Set One: A of D, Tall Boy, Bear’s Gone Fishin’, Weak Brain Narrow Mind, Greta > Jam > Better Off, Send Your Mind, Walkin’ (For Your Love), One Arm Steve (58 mins)Set Two: Big Wooly Mammoth, Walk On, All Time Low, Cotton Was King, Honky Red > Driving Song > Tickle the Truth > Papa’s Home > Climb To Safety > Jam > Driving Song > Breathing Slow, Tail Dragger (90 mins)Encore: Expiration Day, Protein Drink / Sewing Machine (17 mins) A smooth, bouncing bassline by Schools provided a foundation for the rest of the guys to build upon…and build they did. A glorious transitional jam emerged that eventually concluded the second half of “Driving Song”. An added “Breathing Slow” section completed this hearty sandwich. Closing the second set, John Bell shapeshifted into the eternal bluesman, Howlin’ Wolf, for a dirty-river-water rendition of “Taildragger.”When the band returned, Widespread Panic played the encore in tribute to their late, great friend, Vic Chestnutt. First, a heartfelt “Expiration Day” was performed by vocal expert John Bell before Widespread Panic closed the night with another Chestnutt composition, “Protein Drink / Sewing Machine”. The tune’s many breakdowns and build-ups concluded the night with aggressive fury as Duane Trucks and Dave Schools hammered the show home.“Expiration Day” The six-headed monster known as Widespread Panic reared its magnificent faces for the opening night of the first of three March weekend runs up and down the east coast. Kicking off the festivities, Widespread Panic retook Oxon Hill, Maryland—within spitting distance of the nation’s capital—to play the second annual St. Panics Day at the MGM National Harbor Casino. Just like in Las Vegas, the casino venue presented a multitude of opportunities for debauchery.Stumbling back on stage like a pack of lost dogs that finally found their way home, Widespread Panic opened the run with the instrumental “A of D” before segueing into the crowd favorite “Tall Boy” led by JoJo Hermann and John Bell sharing tandem vocal duties. “Tall Boy” made a surprise appearance before its expected place on the St. Patrick’s Day setlist on Sunday.A stoic tribute to the legendary fallen fan, Thomas” Bear” Guenther, followed with a bass-heavy “Bear’s Gone Fishin’”. Jimmy Herring—who already foreshadowed an extraordinary night ahead with his guitar work on “Tall Boy”—turned up the heat and started cooking. Returning to their Southern roots, the boys performed infamous bluesman Willie Dixon’s “Weak Brain, Narrow Mind”.JoJo introduced “Greta” to the howling audience, but it wasn’t long before Jimmy Herring took the helm and blasted through the lengthy, explosive jam. When the dust settled, only “Better Off” remained. The music came to a conclusive stop before John Bell led the band through an ecstatic cover of Van Morrison’s “Send Your Mind”. Another rare pause ensued before a scenic stroll through the original favorite “Walkin’ (For Your Love)”, JoJo playing his piano with exquisite precision. To close the first set, JoJo remained behind the wheel throughout “One Armed Steve”—his humorous account of his first show with Widespread Panic.The music stopped but the fun never stalled as those in attendance scrambled into the casino to gamble and refill their cups. Roulette wheels and slot machines spun round and round, dice were tumbled. Tables cheered when the dealer busted. Soon, the electricity in the atmosphere shifted as the local magnetic fields reversed—as has been known to happen when the boys are soon to return to the stage.Scampering back into positions, the swam of yellow rabbits was in place by the time JoJo and Dave Schools opened the second set with an evolutionary “Big Wooly Mammoth”. The rest of the band joined in for a swinging take on the dance-inducing jaunt complete with flying lighters. Schools and JoJo dominated throughout but it was Jimmy Herring that used his unholy powers to guide the musical troupe beyond “BWM” and through Neil Young’s “Walk On”. JB was slick as a snake oil salesman when he crooned the ol’ Neil’s lyrics (“I can’t tell them how to feel / Some get stoned, some get strange / But sooner or later it all gets real”).The fervent beat and honest lyrics of “All Time Low” tumbled like a barrel (“thrown from the top of a waterfall”) before a lively “Cotton Was King” featuring a phenomenal JoJo once again ramped up the pace. The badass riffs of “Honky Red” were reawakened by Herring and an emotionally wrought John Bell. A nasty, improvised jam segued into the first half of “Driving Song”, tugging on all the feels. “Tickle the Truth” from Free Somehow (2008) was devoured as an appetizer before a powerful “Papa’s Home” was perfected aloud. The resounding conclusion of “Papa’s” extended into an intergalactic jam which culminated in an uplifting version of Jerry Joseph’s “Climb to Safety.”“Climb To Safety”last_img read more

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Ty Segall Announces 2019 Full Album Residencies In New York, Los Angeles

first_imgRock guitarist and singer Ty Segall has kept himself awfully busy over the last calendar year. The popular garage rock artist released three studio albums in 2018–one of which was in collaboration with rock outfit White Fence. Segall continued his rollout of new recordings into the new year with a new live album, Deforming Lobes. The album was mixed by acclaimed rock recording engineer and professional poker player extraordinaire, Steve Albini.Beginning this summer, Segall will explore his vast catalog by performing some of his favorite albums in full with a series of multi-night residencies in Los Angeles, CA and New York City. The upcoming residency shows will include Segall working through 2010’s Melted, 2011’s Goodbye Bread, 2014’s Manipulator, and 2016’s Emotional Mugger, along with a mystery set of other songs. Segall will be joined by his current backing band, the Freedom Band, at all upcoming shows.Segall will open up his residency at Los Angeles’ Teregram Ballroom on July 26th, and continues with performances every Friday night through September 27th. Segall will then head to Brooklyn NY’s Warsaw for a five-night run spanning from October 1st through October 5th. Following Segall’s U.S. residencies, the garage rocker will head over to Europe with performances in Paris, London, Berlin, and Haarlem.Tickets go on sale to the upcoming shows this Friday, April 26th. The first 500 people in Los Angeles to purchase tickets to three or more different nights will receive a 7″ of unreleased music, and the first 500 people in New York to purchase tickets to three or more different nights will receive a poster signed and designed by Ty Segall.Head to the Teregram Ballroom and Warsaw‘s websites for more information.Head to Ty Segall’s website for a full list of his upcoming tour dates and more information.Ty Segall and the Freedom Band 2019 Tour Dates:Fri. July 26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Fri Aug. 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Fri. Aug. 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Fri. Aug. 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Goodbye Bread)Fri. Aug. 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Goodbye Bread)Fri. Aug. 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Emotional Mugger)Fri. Sept. 6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Emotional Mugger)Fri. Sept. 13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Manipulator)Fri. Sept. 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Manipulator)Fri. Sept. 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (Ty Segall plays ??? + Manipulator)Tues. Oct. 1 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Wed. Oct. 2 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Thurs. Oct. 3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (Ty Segall plays ??? + Goodbye Bread)Fri. Oct. 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (Ty Segall plays ??? + Emotional Mugger)Sat. Oct. 5 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (Ty Segall plays ??? + Manipulator)Wed. Oct. 9 – Paris, FR @ La Cigale (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Thu. Oct. 10 – Paris, FR @ La Cigale (Ty Segall plays ??? + Manipulator)Fri. Oct. 11 – London, UK @ Oval Space (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Sat. Oct. 12 – London, UK @ Oval Space (Ty Segall plays ??? + Goodbye Bread)Sun. Oct. 13 – London, UK @ Oval Space (Ty Segall plays ??? + Manipulator)Tue. Oct. 15 – Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Thu. Oct. 17 – Haarlem, NL @ Patronaat (Ty Segall plays ??? + Melted)Fri. Oct. 18 – Haarlem, NL @ Patronaat (Ty Segall plays ??? + Manipulator)View Tour Dateslast_img read more

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Lake Street Dive Announces Fall Tour Dates

first_imgLake Street Dive has added more shows to their 2019 tour schedule. The popular indie-folk band took to their social media outlets on Tuesday afternoon to announce the addition of eight shows scheduled to take place throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada this fall.Related: Watch Lake Street Dive’s Soulful Performance On NPR’s ‘Night Owl’ SeriesThe new batch of fall headlining shows is scheduled to begin with a performance at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY on October 6th. From there, the tour will continue along the east coast with shows at Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, VA (10/10); a pair of gigs at The National in Richmond, VA (10/11-10/12); Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in Wilmington, NC (10/13); Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, PA (10/15); Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, ON (10/17); and wrapping at Asbury Hall in Buffalo, NY (10/18).The new dates add onto the band’s already-busy schedule, as they’re set to hit the road for a co-headlining summer tour alongside The Wood Brothers (plus select dates with Nicole Atkins) beginning on June 6th in Raleigh, NC and continuing until August 14th. The band continues to promote the new material featured on their 2018 releases, Free Yourself Up (full-length) and Freak Yourself Out (EP).Tickets for the band’s new fall dates will go on sale this Friday, May 3rd. Fans can head over to Lake Street Dive’s website for tickets.last_img read more

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Greta Van Fleet Rocks NYC’s Forest Hills Stadium [Recap/Photos]

first_imgThere aren’t too many young rock bands around today who are accomplishing what Greta Van Fleet is at the moment. The four-piece rock band found themselves on the outskirts of New York City on Saturday where they headlined the iconic Forest Hills Stadium in Queens for the outdoor venue’s first show of the year.Related: Greta Van Fleet Makes Debut ‘Saturday Night Live’ AppearanceFollowing an impressive opening set from British folk-rock duo Ida Mae, Greta Van Fleet took the stage for their 13-song headlining performance just as the sun was beginning to settle beneath the opposite side of the venue, allowing for the temperatures to go down with it. While the night’s weather may have cooled down, the momentum coming from the stage heated up as GVF started their set with an electrifying cover of “Wild Thing”, followed by “The Cold Wind” and “Safari Song”, with the latter including an impressive solo from drummer Danny Wagner.Fans who love the trademark banshee vocals of Robert Plant will surely adore singer Josh Kiszka, whose own abilities may have even outshined his rock predecessor as the band continued their thrilling performance with originals “Black Smoke Rising” and “Flower Power” before diving into another cover with their rendition of Labi Siffre‘s “Watch Me”. The show continued with performances of “Age of Man”, “Black Flag Exposition”, “Watching Over”, and “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)”. The band returned for a climactic two-song encore beginning with “When the Curtain Falls” and sending audiences home with “Highway Tune”.Check out photos from Saturday’s show in the gallery below, courtesy of photographer Eric Gettler.Greta Van Fleet continues their March of the Peaceful Army Tour on Tuesday with a scheduled performance at RBC Echo Beach in Toronto, ON. Head to the band’s website for tickets and tour info.Setlist: Greta Van Fleet | Forest Hills Stadium | Queens, NY | 5/25/2019Set: Wild Thing (The Troggs cover), The Cold Wind, Safari Song, Black Smoke Rising, Flower Power, Watch me (Labi Siffre cover), You’re the One*, Age of Man, Black Flag Exposition, Watching Over, Lover, Leave (Taker, Believer)Encore: When The Curtain Falls, Highway Tune*”The Music Is You” by John Denver teaseGreta Van Fleet + Ida Mae | Forest Hills Stadium | Queens, NY | 5/25/2019 | Photos: Eric Gettler Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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Rolling up their sleeves

first_imgNEW ORLEANS — It was just past noon on Monday (March 15) when Clifton Dawson ’07 steadied himself on an aluminum stepladder.  Ahead of the former Crimson running back was a task more daunting than the NFL tacklers he dodged for his three professional seasons: painting a shotgun-style house the size of a rail car.“It’s a small house, “ he said, “but it’s a big job.”Dawson was in charge of a team of Harvard alumni tasked with painting the exterior of the peeling frame house. Other crews rolled powder blue paint onto interior walls, mowed the wide lawn, and painted another house nearby. The concrete steps, a handsome rust red, were already done.The alumni were the first to take part in “Alternative Spring Break,” a tradition of public service initiated by the student-run Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), which is sponsoring 11 trips this year. It’s a concept that the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) has embraced.“Last year, I went and sat on the beach by myself, “ said Margaret Richards, Ed.M. ’05. “It was kind of boring.” Volunteers may be drawn these days to Haiti or Chile, she said, but they are places where — unlike New Orleans — “good intentions get in the way.”New York City dentist Mercedes Franklin, Harvard School of Dental Medicine ’74, had been to New Orleans many times to do charity dental work in the city where her parents had met in the 1930s. But this time she came armed with a paint roller. “We’re helping,” she said.Less than five years ago, courtesy of Hurricane Katrina, seawater had lapped over the window frames of the modest white house on Harrison Avenue in Gentilly, a New Orleans neighborhood where every third house is still empty.Dawson, Franklin, and 21 others will work through Saturday (March 20), putting the two houses in shape on behalf of the Pentecost Baptist Church next door. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Lionel Davis Sr., stood on the lawn between the two houses, remembering the day when Katrina buried a vibrant neighborhood in water and swept 40 percent of his congregation into other neighborhoods and cities. How high was the water? He held one hand up to his neck.Davis looks forward to summer when — finances willing — the house that Dawson’s crew was working on would have new flooring, electrical work, and plumbing. Then it would be ready for use as a neighborhood resource center for job seekers still knocked low by the 2005 storm. The other building would house an after-school program. “This is one of those communities,” he said of his neighbors, “where you have to bring them from nowhere to somewhere.”Nearby, in the Broadmoor section of New Orleans, the theme of the last five years has been the same: going somewhere from nowhere. And Harvard students are helping, whether it’s on spring break this year or during internships in January and over the summer.Angela Primbas ’12 co-directs an alternative spring break program in Broadmoor, where Katrina left houses 10 feet under water and where many streets are still heaving and undulant from the flooding. (Officially, Broadmoor is 85 percent rebuilt.)Some of the volunteers are working as math and writing tutors at Andrew H. Wilson School, a new charter school where half of all fourth-graders are at risk of not passing a state exam required for promotion. They were in kindergarten when Katrina struck, a disaster that kept some of them out of school for two years.Fourth-grader Daishawn Tobias (right) studies with Schuyler Milender ’13 during the Phillips Brooks House Association Alternative Spring Break program aimed at helping students at Andrew H. Wilson School in New Orleans. To learn firsthand about the Harvard students’ experience, visit /servicebreak/.One of the tutors is Schuyler Milender ’13, who on Monday spent her first day at Wilson, a glittering school built out from a two-wing building wrecked in the hurricane.After just one semester at Harvard, she was “inundated by opportunity and experience,” said Milender, and wanted to express her gratitude by giving back to others. Blogging about her alternative spring break helps too, since that involves “reflecting and digesting and processing,” she said. “I’m learning a lot. It’s putting things in perspective.”Other Harvard undergraduates work on two of the many projects under way at the nonprofit Broadmoor Development Corp. (BDC). One is EnviRenew, a weatherization and conservation program aimed at reducing energy bills. The other helps owners of blighted houses to navigate the legal system.BDC executive director Hal Roark called it “intellectual work,” involving analysis and data gathering that shows how public service trips aren’t just about gutting houses. He draws volunteers to Broadmoor from colleges and universities that include Harvard, Yale, Notre Dame, Tulane, and Bard.Doug Ahlers was in Roark’s office Monday. He’s director of the Broadmoor Project at the Harvard Kennedy School. Since early 2006, he said, “Harvard wanted to do a long-term commitment to a specific neighborhood.” As for student volunteers, he said, “real contributions are made.”Harvard students acknowledge the advantages of an alternative spring break, including the satisfaction of doing good, and immersion in cultures, places, and issues that are not familiar or are hard to find in a classroom.Though learning often involves books, said Obi Okwara ’12, who is on the Broadmoor team, “there’s another type of learning that takes place with experience.”Terry Ding ’11, co-director of the Broadmoor trip, had been there three times on PBHA trips. The experiences, he said, “made me angry, and inspired.”That’s another legacy of volunteers at Broadmoor and elsewhere, said Roark. They come back, they inspire others to visit, and they return as leaders who supply a continuum in the long slog to rebuild New Orleans.“Even though students may change from trip to trip,” he said, “the leadership continues.”New Orleans and places like it constitute living classrooms beyond the cultural and geographic confines of Cambridge. Luxuriant palms droop over highway median strips. Narrow canals glitter between apartment complexes. Houses, even on ordinary streets, have a compact elegance and style.Then there is the French Quarter, where a few students repaired Sunday night on the St. Charles streetcar for dinner at the River’s Edge and to eat beignets. This is, after all, spring break too.“It was so great,” said Lisa Akorli ’12, “to see how alive the city is.”Founded in 1904, PBHA is student-run and staff-supported. It has about 1,400 volunteers, making it the largest student group at Harvard.Noted PBHA alumni include President Franklin Roosevelt, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, education writer Jonathan Kozol, and Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.This year, PBHA oversees 85 service and social action programs, including literacy, mentoring, health advocacy visitation, and tutoring. In the Boston area, 10,000 residents benefit.But PBHA also casts its public service net wider, sponsoring “alternative spring break” trips. In the past, students have fanned out along the East Coast and into the South to help rebuild churches, renovate houses, fix playgrounds, and tutor students.This year, there are 10 PBHA alternative spring break trips to domestic locations. Another will be overseas. One of four Habitat for Humanity trips is in El Salvador, with 14 Harvard undergraduates taking part. On the U.S. side, there are trips to New York City, Washington, D.C., Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama (two), Mississippi, and New Orleans (two). PBHA alumni will take their own alternative spring breaks, to New Orleans and Jackson, Miss.Participants say the benefits of alternative spring breaks go both ways, to those helped and to those helping.Marcel E. Moran ’11, a human and evolutionary biology concentrator from Eliot House, is taking his third domestic public service trip. “I keep coming back to them,” he wrote, “because no other time during the year do I feel as connected to the people around me, both from Harvard and the community.”Moran went to Hayneville, Ala., this spring, part of a team helping to rebuild a church damaged by fire. He and the Harvard cohort were to meet with the congregation and then travel to the church to assess needed repairs to the interior, including wiring and paint.“As much as we tangibly help these congregations that have faced disaster,” wrote Moran, who helped replace another church last year, “our time together with them helps put our entire Harvard experience in perspective.”To read the students’ Service Break blog and view images capturing their experience.last_img read more

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Conflict of interest policy adopted

first_imgThe Harvard Corporation has adopted a University-wide conflict of interest policy, the first time such a policy has been crafted to cover faculty members across the entire campus. Drafted by a faculty committee chaired by Vice Provost David Korn, it is intended to serve as a framework within which each of the Schools will tailor rules to the specific circumstances of their faculties. It is expected that every School will produce a set of policies that is at least as stringent as those in the guidelines set out in the University policy, and that some will be even more stringent. The Gazette sat down with Provost Steven E. Hyman and Vice Provost Korn to discuss the way the new University-wide policy was developed, and the impact it is expected to have.Gazette: Why was it necessary, at this specific moment in time, to draft a University-wide conflict of interest policy?Hyman: Harvard is increasingly committed to research that might lead to products that will improve the lot of humankind. In our society, products make it out of the lab and into the world — where they can create benefit — through a process of commercialization. So some Harvard faculty are being encouraged to commercialize their research or otherwise engage with the private sector, in addition to writing papers for publication in notable journals.At the same time we are encouraging this kind of collaboration with private industry, it’s also important that we address our rules governing financial conflicts of interest. It’s very important to note that we’re living in a period of history when the news media, the general public, and members of Congress and government agencies are very concerned that potential financial conflicts might interfere with the kind of objective exploration and reporting of science that is at the very heart of the academic enterprise.Korn: The University is not designed to be an ivory tower isolated from the world. So the trick is to be able to have a robust system for affording faculty opportunities to engage with the commercial world and at the same time not threaten in any way their own fundamental integrity or that of Harvard.Gazette: But these guidelines apply to far more than just work in the sciences, don’t they? Aren’t they meant to guide the formation of policies at Schools as diverse as the Divinity School, the School of Education, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Harvard Medical School?Hyman:They are. And it’s very important to realize that while most commercialization used to occur only in a small number of departments and a minority of Schools, increasingly we see more and more collaboration across departmental and School boundaries. For example, we see connections between engineering and chemistry in FAS [Faculty of Arts and Sciences] and the Medical School, or between diverse parts of the University and the School of Public Health, where again faculty may be engaged in private sector collaborations or commercialization. Policymakers outside the University and our own governing bodies — that is the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers — encouraged us to develop a set of policies that could apply to the whole University, rather than creating artificial boundaries with nothing but separate policies. And then David and the committee came up with the really inspired idea that while we should be governed by a shared set of principles, given the different cultures of the diverse faculties at our University, with different kinds of engagement with the private sector, implementation should be a matter that is School-specific, with the proviso that School basic implementations can’t deviate from the spirit or the letter of the University policy.Korn:The frontiers of much scholarship, especially in the sciences — basic and applied, behavioral and natural — are increasingly multidisciplinary because the problems now on the table are so large and complicated; teams of individuals from multiple disciplines have to come together with their various resources to make these huge projects tractable. And it simply isn’t feasible to have a team in any walk of life, whether it’s research or whether it’s basketball or football, where the team members play under different rules and behavioral expectations. It just doesn’t work. It’s certainly true that many of the Schools in the University had in their own faculty policy publications some mention of conflicts of interest. But in many instances they were neither concordant nor robust, so building a policy that would enable the Schools to become more harmonized in the ways they deal with these matters was a driving goal of the committee that we formed to wrestle with this issue.Gazette:So we now have an overarching University-wide policy that sets the parameters for the development of individual School policies. And the Medical School has completed a revision of its existing policy, creating conflict of interest standards that in many areas exceed the University guidelines. What about the other Schools — is there a set time by which they must create policies?Hyman:We haven’t set a time limit yet.  In the early fall, David and I will sit down and take the necessary steps toward creating School-based implementations of the policy. I think it’s critical that David and his colleagues [on what will be a standing committee on conflict of interest] provide technical assistance, because for some of the Schools, this is a very new set of ideas. For Schools that are already engaged in science, engineering, and quantitative social science, these are not new issues. We’ve already begun a series of discussions with the deans of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, and Public Health about School-based implementations. And those deans, well aware of the extraordinary degree of collaboration that occurs among the faculty their Schools, have pledged themselves to creating implementations that are as like to each other as possible, and in particular, having identical implementations with respect to human subjects research or clinical research, so that faculty don’t face what might be called bureaucratic double jeopardy when they engage in collaborative projects.Korn: It’s important to realize that the cultures and practices and historic interactions within the Harvard community vary enormously across the Schools. For example, the Business School exists to create leadership in the business community. And to do that requires the inculcation of values and skills necessary to achieve that objective, requires that there be much more interaction between students and faculty with business entities, than say might be necessary or considered normal in a philosophy department, or an arts department. Similar interactions are often necessary in the School of Education, and in the Design School. And yet the ways in which these different disciplines and professions practice these interactions also vary, as does the culture of what is considered appropriate and what isn’t. And none of that means that one is right and one is wrong. It’s just that the rules of a medical school would be entirely inappropriate in many respects for a law school or school of education. That’s why flexibility in how the policy is implemented is incredibly important in a University with such diverse areas of scholarship and professional education. It’s virtually impossible to get a one-size-fits-all policy that isn’t strained and artificial and unnecessarily burdensome.Gazette:Dr. Korn, as a graduate of the College and Harvard Medical School, you were familiar with much that is unique about Harvard. But you’d been away for decades, at Stanford, where you were chair of the Department of Pathology, and then dean of the School of Medicine, and then at the Association of American Medical Colleges, where you were a vice president. Given that time away, what surprised you the most when you returned here to take on this task?Korn:The unique feature, which I knew about but hadn’t thought about for a very, very long time, is the remarkable decentralization of the University. That in a lot of ways creates an interesting challenge for any form of central guidance or leadership, no matter what it is. The Schools have historically been very independent, and they have thrived in their independence. And the idea of coming together to develop University-wide policies is not common. So when Steve and I put the committee together to take on this task, we agreed we’d have representation from every School. We weighted the committee a bit with three members from FAS, acknowledging the three divisions, and three members from the Medical School — including hospital-based professors who are highly regarded as leaders of the academic medical community. Every other School had a single member. When the committee met initially I asked each member to introduce him or herself, and asked that they speak about conflict of interest matters that they were aware of in their own areas that bothered them. That led to an incredible amount of enthusiastic participation. The second thing we did was to get the members to define the goals, missions, and values of Harvard University. That wasn’t part of our charge, but I decided to ask the committee members to articulate what they thought were the missions and values of the University. The reason that was important was that from that point forward, the entire discussion of financial conflicts of interest and how to manage them was driven by the shared agreement, that these missions and values were core and had to be protected from any sort of undermining or tarnishing. And it was that shared agreement on what it is we’re trying to protect that really drove the process, I thought, very, very nicely to the endpoint late last fall. Everybody joined in the melee: They all contributed and they all signed off in the end. I thought the process worked extraordinarily well.Gazette:Is this the first time in Harvard history that there’s been such a collaborative project by representatives of all the Schools?Hyman:I can’t speak to Harvard history, but certainly in my time here we’ve never had a process that involved so many iterations among all of the deans, a committee representing faculty from the entire University, our governing bodies. And what’s remarkable, and here I refer back to something that David said, which is very important for many parts of the University: This was very new, but everybody understood it was very consequential and very important that we get it right, that we not stifle innovation and connection to the private sector, but that we create a set of policies that were clear and that would make sure that our values didn’t become transgressed in those interactions. So clearly, he had a stiff challenge.There were times hearing David’s reports and in talking to the deans when I was worried that there was too large a gulf between the Schools that support science and engineering and the rest of the University. And I was quite pleased to see everybody come together so quickly and produce such an effective document. Of course, the work isn’t done yet. We still need these implementations. But I have a lot of confidence that we’ll get there, partly because David and his colleagues on what will be a standing successor committee are committed to making this work.Gazette:So, the next step is forming a new standing committee on financial conflicts of interest, which will aid the Schools in the development of their policies and will ultimately have to approve those policies. Then what?Korn: The University Standing Committee on Financial Conflicts of Interest will be the formal instrument for overseeing the implementation plans of the various Schools. It will be available for consultation with the Schools. It will have to approve the implementation plans of each School. And it will be the body that will receive the audit reports that the policy also calls for. Harvard’s Risk Management and Audit Services is to audit each School at least once every three years to obtain insight and evidence of how well the Schools are employing the policy. And the audit reports will be given to me and shared with the committee so that the committee gains insight into how the Schools are complying, or where there may be problems that need some help, or where some aspect of the policy may simply not be working out as well as it sounded in concept, in which case we might propose some modifications to the President and Provost.Faculty members in each School will file both annual and transactional reports. Transactional reports will be filed for specific things, such as gifts or contracts or such, in which the faculty member or their immediate family has what the School regards as a significant financial relationship with the donor or sponsor that might be seen as creating a conflict of interest. The Schools are given a fair amount of discretion in how they’re going to implement this requirement, and among those discretions will be deciding what kinds and magnitudes of financial relationships their faculty might have that the Schools need to know about.Hyman:One really important thing that David is touching on is that the policy will call for disclosure of relevant potential conflicts of interest to the dean of a School. This does not imply that these disclosures will be made public, and I think that’s something that has been misunderstood. Now in medicine, there are both federal laws affecting drug companies and state laws that will lead to some disclosures being made public. It is important to note that it has become part of our culture to expect that if a physician wants to consult with a pharmaceutical company, that consultation will become a matter of public record with the view, shared by many, that some patients will want to know whether their doctor is engaged with or getting compensation from a pharmaceutical or medical device company. But as a matter of University policy, a Law School faculty member, for example, or a Design School faculty member making a disclosure to the dean will not have these disclosures made available to the public.Gazette:Isn’t this process of internal review much like the Institutional Review Board process for research involving human subjects, a process in which there is a careful, detailed review, but that review is confidential?Korn:I think, in a way, that’s a fair analogy. The process won’t be identical, but it will require a similarly careful, fact-driven balancing of risks and benefits, and then making decisions about whether and how to allow the research to go forward — or not.last_img read more

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Harvard Business School welcomes nine Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

first_img Read Full Story Nine entrepreneurs will join the Harvard Business School (HBS) community during the 2010-2011 academic year as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EiR). Sponsored by the School’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, now in its fifth year, invites accomplished entrepreneurs to HBS to advise MBA students interested in starting companies and work with faculty on research and course development.The nine entrepreneurs, eight of whom are HBS alumni, come from a variety of backgrounds, including venture capital, private equity, and start-ups across industries ranging from dotcoms to media.“We are delighted to welcome this accomplished group of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence to HBS,” said Michael Roberts, senior lecturer and executive director of the Arthur Rock Center. “They bring extraordinary experience, knowledge, and insights to our campus and provide inspiration to the large number of entrepreneurially inclined HBS students who wish to follow in their footsteps.”The 2010-2011 HBS Entrepreneurs-in-Residence are:Jeffrey Bussgang (MBA ’95)Jeffrey Glass (MBA ’94)Christopher P. Michel (MBA ’98)Gary G. Mueller (MBA ’94)Eric RiesT. Gary Rogers (MBA ’68)Jeffrey C. Walker (MBA ’81)Gwill E. York (MBA ’84)Royce Yudkoff (MBA ’80)All nine entrepreneurs will serve for the entire academic year in a part-time capacity, meeting with students in group and one-on-one sessions and collaborating with various faculty members on cases, courses, and other activities.Beyond their interaction with the EiR, Harvard MBA students interested in entrepreneurship also have the opportunity to work closely with HBS faculty through field studies, independent research projects, a Silicon Valley Immersion Experience Program, and participation in the HBS Business Plan Contest, now entering its 15th year. In addition, all first-year HBS students take the required course “The Entrepreneurial Manager,” while second-year students can choose from more than two dozen entrepreneurship-related elective courses.last_img read more

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HKS receives $600,000 from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

first_imgThe Harvard Decision Science Laboratory (HDSL), a cross-faculty research facility based at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), has received a three-year, $600,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to support the lab’s scientific research in human judgment and decision making.“To receive such a major grant at this early stage is an enormous boost, and a gratifying acknowledgment of early success,” says Jennifer Lerner, lab faculty director and professor of public policy and management. “This support helps catalyze the lab’s emergence as a hub for a growing community of researchers in decision science at Harvard.”HDSL is a world-class biobehavioral research facility featuring an innovative combination of approaches from psychology, economics, and neuroscience. It provides a model for a new type of research center, serving as a cross-disciplinary home for Harvard students and faculty to collaborate on studies examining judgment and choice.“I see terrific potential in the Decision Science Lab’s unique approach and University-wide focus,” says David T. Ellwood, HKS dean and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy. “Through a better understanding of the factors behind decision-making processes, we can help ensure that leaders make the most reasonable decisions in day-to-day and crisis situations.”last_img read more

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In the end, Somali famine preventable

first_imgThe United Nations declared last Friday that Somalia’s famine is over. But the official declaration means little to the millions of Somalis who are still hungry and waiting for their crops to grow, according to authorities gathered at Harvard University.“The difference between famine versus not famine for most Somalis is a distinction without a difference,” said Ken Menkhaus, professor of political science at Davidson College, whose research focuses on Somalia and the Horn of Africa.Menkhaus said it was profoundly disappointing to be discussing another Somali famine, after he worked in the country during the 1991-92 one. Each famine, he said, has distinct characteristics, and this one unfolded in slow motion over the past couple of years. That’s at least partly because the Somali diaspora sent money home that delayed the worst effects.Paul Farmer (left) speaks with Caroline Elkins prior to the opening remarks during the “Sound the Horn: Famine in the Horn of Africa” event.Menkhaus was among four experts on Somalia and famine who spoke at the Radcliffe Gym Monday evening. The event, “Sound the Horn: Famine in the Horn of Africa,” was sponsored by the Committee on African Studies, Harvard Medical School’s Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Harvard Undergraduate Council.The event was introduced by Paul Farmer, Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine and co-founder of the nonprofit Partners In Health. It featured opening remarks by Caroline Elkins, history professor and chair of the Committee on African Studies, and Salmaan Keshavjee, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Program on Infectious Disease and Social Change.Other speakers included Michael Delaney, director of humanitarian response for Oxfam America, William Masters, chair of the Department of Food and Nutrition Policy at Tufts University, and Robert Paarlberg, adjunct professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a political science professor at Wellesley College.Elkins said the event was part of a University-wide effort to respond to the Somali disaster. Harvard President Drew Faust sent a message that Elkins read to the audience. Faust said the crisis deserves the world’s attention in an era when it is easier than ever to be informed about any subject, but perhaps harder to be aware of what’s important.Farmer drew on his experience treating malnourished people in Haiti, where he has worked for decades, and said the human and social context of hunger need as much attention as the patients do. A malnourished child is typically an indication of poverty at home, and aid to families should be part of treating the child, he said. Similarly, broader agricultural interventions and fair trade policies are needed to boost local agricultural economies.Though famine is often thought of as a natural disaster, Monday’s speakers said that is a false impression. Though Somalia suffered through a severe drought, with today’s instant communications, transport systems can move massive amounts of food. Given today’s global food markets, famine is too often a failure of local government and international response.“In today’s 21st-century world, just about everything about famine is man-made,” Paarlberg said. “We’re no longer in a world of man against nature.”Paarlberg’s assertion echoed that of other speakers, who pointed out that several of the most deadly famines in history occurred because of government action or inaction.“In today’s 21st-century world, just about everything about famine is man-made. We’re no longer in a world of man against nature,” said Robert Paarlberg, adjunct professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.Ethiopia, which was also affected by the recent drought, fared much better this time because of reforms implemented after the 2001 one. Likewise, Paarlberg said, northern and central Somalia, regions that fall outside of the influence of the Al-Shabaab militia, also fared better.There were several man-made features of this famine, which affected more than 10 million people and killed between 50,000 and 100,000, half of them children under age 5.The largest man-made feature was the role of the Al-Shabaab militia that rules the region and that kept food aid from reaching those in need. But the international community isn’t blameless. As early as November 2010, an international famine early warning system was predicting the failure of rains in the region, but the international community didn’t respond fully until an official famine was declared in July 2011. On top of that, U.S. anti-terrorism laws cut off food aid because Al-Shabaab, listed as a terrorist group, was taking some of it.Though the United Nations has declared the famine over, that was based on statistical measures, such as the number of people dying each day and the number of children who are malnourished. Though the official famine may be over, both U.N. officials and Monday’s speakers said the crisis continues for the people of Somalia. Almost a third of the population remains dependent on humanitarian assistance, crops growing from recent rains will take months to reach maturity, and herds of cows, goats, and other animals were greatly reduced during the crisis.Delaney warned that the world will have another chance to get its response right, because the warning signs are pointing to an impending famine in Africa’s Sahel, the arid, continent-spanning transition zone just below the Sahara Desert.last_img read more

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HLS dean elected to MacArthur board

first_imgHarvard Law School Dean Martha Minow has been elected to serve on the MacArthur Foundation board of directors, joining 14 other members. The board sets policies and strategic direction for the MacArthur Foundation, which defends human rights, advances global conservation and security, and explores how technology is affecting children and society.For more information.last_img

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Sampling Harvard, and science

first_imgThe calendar said it was the middle of June, and 11-year-old Benjamin Obianigwe was eagerly rubbing snow between his fingers.Well, it was “snow” made from mixing water with specialized polymers. As part of the Early College Awareness Family Event held last Saturday in Harvard’s Science Center, Benjamin, a fifth-grader, was getting a lesson in chemical interaction. And so was his mother.Theodora Obianigwe watched with interest and pride as her son poured cups of water into various polymers to create what looked like candy, gooey worms; semi-soft jelly; or fluffy powder that resembled wet snow. She listened intently while students from the summer program “Research Experience for Undergraduates,” at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), explained the science behind the different results.“We use all these things, but we don’t know what they are made of,” she said in a lilting accent. “But here we can see how all these things are made. This is very good knowledge.”The Obianigwes were on campus as part of a Harvard 2012 Step UP/Project TEACH event for students and parents from the Hennigan Elementary School in Jamaica Plain and the E. Greenwood Leadership Academy in Hyde Park. About 100 or more children and adults, including parents, administrators, and volunteers, enjoyed a day packed with hands-on, science-based activities, information sessions, an outdoor lunch, a tour of campus, and even a rousing dance party.The pilot event expanded upon Harvard training, professional development, and research-based learning resources and strategies delivered in select Boston Public Schools and through Harvard’s longstanding Project TEACH, a program offering all Cambridge seventh-graders and students from Harvard-supported Boston Public Schools the opportunity to visit Harvard’s campus for a half-day program that demystifies college and creates awareness that higher education can be a reachable, affordable, and achievable aspiration.Family members joined the participating students for the first time under the TEACH umbrella, as part of Harvard’s effort to broaden its early college readiness programming to include parents, as well as to offer more exposure to science and engineering.Indeed, many of the visiting students had been to the campus before. Now through this event, their parents, guardians, and older sisters or brothers would start to understand what a day at Harvard was all about.“Giving parents a wide spectrum of possibilities for their child and helping them prepare for the one that works best for their child is really important,” said Kathryn Hollar, director of educational programs at SEAS, who along with students from the School hosted the experiments session. Research shows that when parents are involved in the educational process, students achieve more, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic and racial background, or the parent’s level of education.First up for the day were presentations of practical information about how to find money to pay for higher education, delivered by a representative from ACCESS, an organization that helps aspiring students. “Everything we do is making sure money does not get in the way of going to college,” said Adam Reinke, co-director of Greater Boston for ACCESS. Reinke addressed the importance of good grades, as well as community involvement. He provided a number of practical ideas for volunteering and participating in extracurricular activities.This was followed by a panel discussion among current college students, including Harvard sophomore Annika Nielsen, Harvard freshman and summer intern Linda Wei, and Boston University junior Chika Mora. The trio was both enthusiastic (“College is awesome,”) and realistic (“Think about skipping TV during the week”).During a question-and-answer session, they were peppered with queries, such as “How long did it take you to get used to college?” “What if you don’t get along with your roommate?” “Do you have to sleep in a bunk bed?” — which revealed how the 10- to 12-year-olds had already started to think about the nitty-gritty of campus life. The older students also emphasized points in Reinke’s presentation by speaking about volunteer work and extracurricular activities. The college panelists mentioned playing the saxophone, getting involved in a local farmers’ market, running on a regular basis, and making sure you set aside time for you.Youngsters are profoundly affected by hearing college students speak and having them help with hands-on experiments, said Hennigan Principal Maria Cordon, who accompanied her students.“They see students who look like them at Harvard,” Cordon said. “They can find themselves. They realize, ‘This is a possibility; I can do this.’ ”Hollar keenly understands the power of knowing “you can do this.” She grew up on a dirt road in North Carolina, with parents who didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. “My parents sent me to [science] camp but they didn’t experience it. When I took more advanced math classes, they didn’t know how to direct me,” she recalled. Hollar went on to get degrees in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and Cornell University.Thus, the goal of this session was to give students and their parents a sense of what college would be like, whether at Harvard or other schools.“Harvard Achievement Support Initiative has played an instrumental role over the years in increasing the number of parents taking part in school supports for the student academic achievement, and we’ve seen first-hand the dramatic impact parent engagement can have,” said Joan Matsalia, who leads parent engagement in Project TEACH and other programming in public schools. “We’ll continue to introduce opportunities for parent involvement in Harvard programming, working with like-minded partners such as Boston Public Schools’ Office of Family and Student Engagement and Parent University.”The experience “caters to many learning styles,” said Deandra Williams, the family and community outreach coordinator at Elihu Greenwood Leadership Academy. “It’s vital for the students, but also for the parents. Some parents didn’t go to college, and some are in the process of going to college.”That is the case for Kastriot Naksi and his 9-year-old son, Kledion Naksi, a fourth-grader at Hennigan. The family emigrated from Albania just two years ago, and father and son were eager to visit Harvard. “This is a wonderful time for us,” said Naksi, a former army officer now attending Bunker Hill Community College. “After 21 school years in my country, I started school again.”During the science activities, Obianigwe glowed as her son and Cordon played against each other in a game designed to display properties of hydrophobic material. They tilted a board covered with material that had a special coating, trying to get a bead of water to flow through a maze. Benjamin won.“It is my dream for my son to come to this kind of school. So knowing what to do [to help him] is a benefit for me,” Obianigwe said. “So I’m so blessed to be here with my son today.”last_img read more

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Hyman to lead Society for Neuroscience

first_imgSteven E. Hyman, former provost and Distinguished Service Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard, has been named president-elect of the Society for Neuroscience, the world’s largest organization of brain and nervous system scientists and physicians, effective at the 2013 annual meeting to be held this fall in San Diego.A 1980 graduate of Harvard Medical School, Hyman pursued basic neurobiological research, focusing on drug addiction and the molecular origins of mental illness. By 1994, he became the first faculty director of Harvard University’s Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative, a multidisciplinary effort to study how nervous system disease relates to human behavior. Shortly thereafter, the director of the National Institutes of Health recruited Hyman to lead the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). But in 2001, Hyman left the NIMH to become the University’s provost, a position he held until 2011.A faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Hyman’s career has been a rare combination of neuroscience and academic leadership.Hyman will assume the presidency at the 2014 annual meeting.last_img read more

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Paul Mead Doty

first_imgDuring the second half of the twentieth century, Paul Doty had a major impact on science and international affairs at Harvard and in the world through his research, mentoring, and institution building. He led the development of molecular biology in this Faculty in the 1960s and 1970s and founded the Center for Science and International Affairs, now the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in the Kennedy School of Government.Paul Mead Doty, Mallinckrodt Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus, was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on June 1, 1920. When he was seven the family moved to Chicora, Pennsylvania, a town with about a thousand inhabitants. Given a chemistry set at age nine, he set up a home laboratory and by the time of high school had set his sights on a career in chemistry. Upon graduation, he entered Pennsylvania State College (now University), receiving a B.S. in chemistry in 1941.Accepted for graduate work at Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton, Doty chose Columbia. During freshman year he attended courses offered by Enrico Fermi, Joseph Mayer, I. I. Rabi, Harold Urey, and Edward Teller. By the end of the academic year all of them had left teaching for war work except Mayer, with whom Doty did his dissertation research, publishing three papers on electron affinities and bond energies. While still at Columbia, apparently following a suggestion of Peter Debye, Doty and fellow graduate student Bruno Zimm began theoretical and experimental studies of light scattering by high polymers in solution.At about that time, Doty and Zimm were offered instructorships by Herman Mark at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, where Mark was assembling an outstanding Department of Polymer Science. Doty’s research there was on the use of light scattering for the determination of the size and shape of synthetic polymers and of tobacco mosaic virus. After two years at Brooklyn Polytechnic, Doty was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship to spend a year in Cambridge, England, where he was particularly influenced by Max Perutz, one of the founders of molecular biology. After a year at the University of Notre Dame, Doty was appointed Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Harvard in 1948 and full professor in 1956.Doty’s laboratory became a leading world center for the application of light scattering and other physical chemical methods to the study of the size, conformation, and helix-coil transformations of proteins and nucleic acids, attracting many outstanding graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Doty’s seminal contribution to science was the demonstration in late 1950 that the separated strands of bacterial DNA in solution can be reunited by slow cooling, regaining specific biological activity and the double-helical structure of native DNA. This was a discovery of great importance, making possible many procedures at the center of nucleic acid research, including primer-initiated DNA sequencing and the polymerase chain reaction for DNA amplification. Subsequent work in the Doty laboratory elucidated the structure of single-stranded RNA molecules in solution, determined the direction in which messenger RNA is translated, and demonstrated that protein synthesis in bacteria is initiated with formylmethionine, coded by the methionine codon AUG on the messenger RNA.In the 1970s and 1980s work in the Doty laboratory returned to an earlier interest in collagen, which had been the subject of Helga Boedtker’s doctoral dissertation. She had worked in Doty’s laboratory and they had subsequently been married. The experiments, largely carried out by Boedtker, led to the isolation of the collagen messenger RNA in 1974 and the characterization of the collagen gene in 1981. Doty retired from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1988.In the 1950s and 1960s, Doty played a leading role in establishing molecular biology as a field of teaching and research distinct from traditional biology and chemistry at Harvard. As the previously formed Committee on Higher Degrees in Biochemistry, a graduate program leading to the Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, could not determine curricula or initiate appointments, he proposed the creation of a new department, presenting the case to a meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which by unanimous vote approved the creation of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on April 11, 1967, with Doty as the first chairman.In 1957 Doty was elected chairman of the Federation of American Scientists and in that capacity participated in a meeting of American, British, and Soviet scientists in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. Invited to visit Moscow the following year, he began what became a lifelong friendship with several of the most senior Soviet scientists. As one of the few American scientists who had come to know such individuals, Doty was invited to join a committee under MIT President James Killian to advise President Eisenhower on matters of arms control. This began what became a long series of high-level science advisory positions, mainly in the area of nuclear arms control. These included membership in President Kennedy’s Science Advisory Committee and leadership of an informal but influential advisory group to President Nixon’s National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, a close friend of Doty from Kissinger’s days at Harvard.Doty’s premise in these matters was that nuclear weapons are not for war-fighting or preemption but solely for deterring nuclear attack, a view that was by no means accepted by officials on both sides during the early days of the Cold War. With support from the Ford Foundation, Doty founded Harvard’s Center for Science and International Affairs, later renamed the Belfer Center, and its journal, International Security. Many of its alumnae went on to become influential academics or senior government officials. Doty’s style as director there, as in the laboratory, was one of questioning, encouraging, and caring more about finding answers than about promoting his own prestige. His large physical presence and jovial disposition belied his commitment and perseverance to achievement in science and human affairs.Paul Doty died at home on December 5, 2011; he left a son, Gordon, from his first marriage and three daughters, Marcia, Rebecca, and Katherine, from his marriage with Helga Boedtker, who died in 2001.Respectfully submitted,Matthew MeselsonHenry RosovskyGuido Guidotti, Chairlast_img read more

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Five recognized as Harvard College Professors

first_imgHarvard’s faculty is a treasured asset, composed of world-class scholars and gifted teachers. Each year, a few faculty members are named Harvard College Professors to recognize, in addition to their research activities, their excellence in undergraduate teaching and their contributions in advising and mentoring students.Michael D. Smith, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), announced five new Harvard College Professors in 2015: Evelyn Hu, Tarr-Coyne Professor of Applied Physics and of Electrical Engineering; Elena M. Kramer, Bussey Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; Maya Jasanoff, Coolidge Professor of History; Louis Menand, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English; and Robb Moss, chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies.“Their inspired scholarship and enthusiasm for the craft of teaching is a gift both to their students and to Harvard,” Smith said.The Harvard College Professorships began in 1997 through a gift from John and Frances Loeb. They are five-year appointments providing faculty with extra support for research or scholarly activities, a semester of paid leave, or summer salary. The professorships are one of several efforts dedicated to highlighting exceptional teaching at Harvard.“I strive to find the unusual, the beautiful in the topics we cover in class.”File photo by Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerHu teaches electrical engineering, and her research interests range from applied physics to environmental and mechanical engineering.“It is critically important for students to have a chance to apply their hands and their minds to probing the physical world around us,” she said of the unusual challenges of teaching science and engineering. “The ability to design, measure, and make functional structures helps to transform book knowledge to their knowledge.”Her enthusiasm for teaching is palpable. “As much as possible, I strive to find the unusual, the beautiful in the topics we cover in class — to identify underlying concepts that can take us from the topic being discussed to ways that might help us interpret the world now and in the future.”“I’m pleased to be part of a university that recognizes the importance of undergraduate teaching.” File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerJasanoff’s scholarly work centers on the history of modern Britain and British imperialism, but her versatility as a teacher extends well beyond her specialty. She co-teaches Humanities 52 with Niall Ferguson, for example, and is using her professorship award in part to mount a new interdisciplinary General Education course on the topic of ancestry.“I’m pleased to be part of a university that recognizes the importance of undergraduate teaching,” Jasanoff said. “There’s an unfortunately widespread perception that professors at research universities don’t care much about undergraduates. In my experience that’s certainly not the case at Harvard, and these awards just go to show what a strong commitment the institution as well as the faculty have to excellent teaching.”“Teaching is simply one of my favorite things to do.”File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerKramer takes pleasure in introducing her students to a subject that surrounds them. She teaches the biology of plants, plant diversity, and plant development, and her scholarship uses molecular, morphological, and phylogenetic approaches to study how flowers have changed over time.“I genuinely love plants,” Kramer said. “It’s terrific to be able to share that passion with students who may not normally give plants a second look as they walk around campus.”Kramer said she doesn’t have any “special tricks” when it comes to teaching, and that it’s the little things that count.“I maintain a sense of humor in the classroom and take every opportunity to engage with students one-on-one. Teaching is simply one of my favorite things to do.”“We need always to be thinking critically, not defensively, about what we’re teaching and why.”File photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerMenand, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Metaphysical Club” (2002) and a longtime contributor to such publications as The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, likely could have his pick of academic posts. However, the authority on 19th- and 20th-century American cultural history chose Harvard in part to be involved in undergraduate education, especially curriculum development.“In liberal education, we need always to be thinking critically, not defensively, about what we’re teaching and why,” he said. It’s a responsibility Menand takes seriously, as evidenced not only by the breadth of courses he teaches (for example, “Art in the Cold War” and “The Novel in Europe”) but also through his involvement with General Education reform at Harvard several years ago.“It’s tremendously gratifying to feel I’ve had some impact,” Menand said of his new distinction. “I know that the Harvard College Professorship has always been awarded to faculty who truly deserve it, so I feel honored by the recognition.”“The door shuts, the class begins, and I feel very lucky to be in the room.”File photo by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerAcclaimed independent documentary filmmaker Moss has taught filmmaking at Harvard for 25 years, mentoring countless students, including several Academy Award nominees. Yet listening to him describe the happy anticipation he feels before each class reveals a freshness that defies his long tenure.“This good feeling of anticipation is a result of the many years I have spent seeing wonderful work on the screen, knowing how hard it is to make films, and how difficult it can be to publicly share one’s work with your classmates and instructors. … The door shuts, the class begins, and I feel very lucky to be in the room.”Moss said that teaching filmmaking is different because the students become the authors of the work their peers critique. This is why, he says, “at the core of what I teach is a belief that film authorship can be derived though the act of handling the expressive tools of production oneself — that one learns how to make films by making them.”last_img read more

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Vision for ‘Underground Railroad’ brought out the best in Colson Whitehead

Sometimes it takes years for an author to feel ready to write the story he or she is yearning to tell.It happened to Harvard Arts Medalist Colson Whitehead ’91, the novelist behind the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Underground Railroad,” as he explained Thursday to an audience at Sanders Theatre. An imaginative leap into real-life horror Related Colson Whitehead ’91 talks about ‘The Underground Railroad’ It was the spring of 2000 when Whitehead first had the idea of writing a novel about the slavery-era Underground Railroad, a network of secret escape routes and safe houses, as if it were an actual subterranean train. More than a decade would pass before he judged himself able to create and narrate the life of Cora as she escapes to freedom and travels north by way of an underground railroad.“Making this metaphor of a human network into a literal train seemed like a good idea,” Whitehead said. “But every year or so for 14 years, I would check to see whether I was ready or not. I felt I needed to become a better writer.”When “The Underground Railroad” was finally published, in 2016, it received wide acclaim. The New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani called it a “potent, almost hallucinatory novel that leaves the reader with a devastating understanding of the terrible human costs of slavery … with echoes of Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved,’ Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miserables,’ and Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man,’ and brush strokes borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, and Jonathan Swift.”In addition to the Pulitzer, the best-seller won the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the Heartland Prize, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. It has been translated into 40 languages and is being developed by Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins into an Amazon TV series.,Whitehead covered “Underground,” his years at Harvard, and the craft of writing in a conversation with actor John Lithgow ’67, Art.D. ’05, as part of this year’s Arts Medal ceremony. The honor recognizes a Harvard or Radcliffe alum or faculty member who has made a contribution through the arts to education or the public good.In awarding the medal, President Drew Faust praised Whitehead’s achievements since his years as an undergrad. “We at Harvard have watched him with awe for a very long time — as a cartographer of American life, redrawing our cultural geography, surveying us from the inside out,” she said.Whitehead, a New York native, spoke of his time at Harvard with affection, describing how it fed his development as a writer. Growing up, he immersed himself in comics, science fiction, and horror movies, devoured Stephen King books, and dreamed of someday authoring “The Black Shining.”“Basically, I wanted to write anything that Stephen King had written with the word ‘black’ in it,” said Whitehead, drawing laughter from the crowd.At Harvard, encounters with James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Borges taught the fiction novice that there were other ways to tell stories.“Harvard didn’t make me a writer,” said Whitehead, “but it made me a reader.”,After graduating from the College, Whitehead wrote TV, book, and music reviews for The Village Voice, training that would serve him well. His storytelling has ranged from zombies to elevator inspectors, and his honors include MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships.In chatting with Lithgow, Whitehead showed self-deprecating humor about his creative process, his success, and how he was always attracted to the idea of becoming a writer because “you don’t have to talk to people — you can work from home and you can make up stuff.”Of his process, Whitehead said he tries to use empathy and imagination to tell stories, develop characters, and tackle different situations. But in the end, he said, the writer’s mission is to master the craft and have the courage to follow his or her own path.“If it comes too easy, maybe you’re not putting in the work,” he said to a woman in the audience who asked him for advice on writing. “Ignore the Ten Commandments of Writing Workshop and figure out what works for you.”Amanda Gorman ’20, the inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S., gave a reading to open the ceremony, which by tradition is the first event in the annual Arts First festival. Strong Pulitzer showing for Harvard Sociologist Matthew Desmond, journalist David Fahrenthold, novelist Colson Whitehead, and composer Du Yun among winners read more

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High tech is watching you

first_imgThe continuing advances of the digital revolution can be dazzling. But Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School, warns that their lights, bells, and whistles have made us blind and deaf to the ways high-tech giants exploit our personal data for their own ends.In her new book, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” Zuboff offers a disturbing picture of how Silicon Valley and other corporations are mining users’ information to predict and shape their behavior.The Gazette recently interviewed Zuboff about her belief that surveillance capitalism, a term she coined in 2014, is undermining personal autonomy and eroding democracy — and the ways she says society can fight back.Q&AShoshana ZuboffGAZETTE: The digital revolution began with great promise. When did you start worrying that the tech giants driving it were becoming more interested in exploiting us than serving us?ZUBOFF: In my 2002 book, “The Support Economy,” I looked at the challenges to capitalism in shifting from a mass to an individual-oriented structure of consumption. I discussed how we finally had the technology to align the forces of supply and demand. However, the early indications were that the people framing that first generation of e-commerce were more preoccupied with tracking cookies and attracting eyeballs for advertising than they were in the historic opportunity they faced.For a time I thought this was part of the trial and error of a profound structural transformation, but, certainly by 2007, I understood that this was actually a new variant of capitalism that was taking hold of the digital milieu. The opportunities to align supply and demand around the needs of individuals were overtaken by a new economic logic that offered a fast track to monetization.GAZETTE: What are some of the ways we might not realize that we are losing our autonomy to Facebook, Google, and others?ZUBOFF: I define surveillance capitalism as the unilateral claiming of private human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data. These data are then computed and packaged as prediction products and sold into behavioral futures markets — business customers with a commercial interest in knowing what we will do now, soon, and later. It was Google that first learned how to capture surplus behavioral data, more than what they needed for services, and used it to compute prediction products that they could sell to their business customers, in this case advertisers. But I argue that surveillance capitalism is no more restricted to that initial context than, for example, mass production was restricted to the fabrication of Model T’s.Right from the start at Google it was understood that users were unlikely to agree to this unilateral claiming of their experience and its translation into behavioral data. It was understood that these methods had to be undetectable. So from the start the logic reflected the social relations of the one-way mirror. They were able to see and to take — and to do this in a way that we could not contest because we had no way to know what was happening.We rushed to the internet expecting empowerment, the democratization of knowledge, and help with real problems, but surveillance capitalism really was just too lucrative to resist. This economic logic has now spread beyond the tech companies to new surveillance–based ecosystems in virtually every economic sector, from insurance to automobiles to health, education, finance, to every product described as “smart” and every service described as “personalized.” By now it’s very difficult to participate effectively in society without interfacing with these same channels that are supply chains for surveillance capitalism’s data flows. For example, ProPublica recently reported that breathing machines purchased by people with sleep apnea are secretly sending usage data to health insurers, where the information can be used to justify reduced insurance payments.GAZETTE: Why have we failed even now to take notice of the effects of all this surveillance?ZUBOFF: There are many reasons. I chronicle 16 explanations as to “how they got away with it.” One big reason is that the audacious, unprecedented quality of surveillance capitalism’s methods and operations has impeded our ability to perceive them and grasp their meaning and consequence.Another reason is that surveillance capitalism, invented by Google in 2001, benefitted from a couple of important historical windfalls. One is that it arose in the era of a neoliberal consensus around the superiority of self-regulating companies and markets. State-imposed regulation was considered a drag on free enterprise. A second historical windfall is that surveillance capitalism was invented in 2001, the year of 9/11. In the days leading up to that tragedy, there were new legislative initiatives being discussed in Congress around privacy, some of which might well have outlawed practices that became routine operations of surveillance capitalism. Just hours after the World Trade Center towers were hit, the conversation in Washington changed from a concern about privacy to a preoccupation with “total information awareness.” In this new environment, the intelligence agencies and other powerful forces in Washington and other Western governments were more disposed to incubate and nurture the surveillance capabilities coming out of the commercial sector.A third reason is that these methodologies are designed to keep us ignorant. The rhetoric of the pioneering surveillance capitalists, and just about everyone who has followed, has been a textbook of misdirection, euphemism, and obfuscation. One theme of misdirection has been to sell people on the idea that the new economic practices are an inevitable consequence of digital technology. In America and throughout the West we believe it’s wrong to impede technological progress. So the thought is that if these disturbing practices are the inevitable consequence of the new technologies, we probably just have to live with it. This is a dangerous category error. It’s impossible to imagine surveillance capitalism without the digital, but it’s easy to imagine the digital without surveillance capitalism.A fourth explanation involves dependency and the foreclosure of alternatives. We now depend upon the internet just to participate effectively in our daily lives. Whether it’s interfacing with the IRS or your health care provider, nearly everything we do now just to fulfill the barest requirements of social participation marches us through the same channels that are surveillance capitalism’s supply chains.GAZETTE: You warn that our very humanity and our ability to function as a democracy is in some ways at risk.ZUBOFF: The competitive dynamics of surveillance capitalism have created some really powerful economic imperatives that are driving these firms to produce better and better behavioral-prediction products. Ultimately they’ve discovered that this requires not only amassing huge volumes of data, but actually intervening in our behavior. The shift is from monitoring to what the data scientists call “actuating.” Surveillance capitalists now develop “economies of action,” as they learn to tune, herd, and condition our behavior with subtle and subliminal cues, rewards, and punishments that shunt us toward their most profitable outcomes.What is abrogated here is our right to the future tense, which is the essence of free will, the idea that I can project myself into the future and thus make it a meaningful aspect of my present. This is the essence of autonomy and human agency. Surveillance capitalism’s “means of behavioral modification” at scale erodes democracy from within because, without autonomy in action and in thought, we have little capacity for the moral judgment and critical thinking necessary for a democratic society. Democracy is also eroded from without, as surveillance capitalism represents an unprecedented concentration of knowledge and the power that accrues to such knowledge. They know everything about us, but we know little about them. They predict our futures, but for the sake of others’ gain. Their knowledge extends far beyond the compilation of the information we gave them. It’s the knowledge that they have produced from that information that constitutes their competitive advantage, and they will never give that up. These knowledge asymmetries introduce wholly new axes of social inequality and injustice.GAZETTE: So how do we change this dynamic?ZUBOFF: There are three arenas that must be addressed if we are to end this age of surveillance capitalism, just as we once ended the Gilded Age.First, we need a sea change in public opinion. This begins with the power of naming. It means awakening to a sense of indignation and outrage. We say, “No.” We say, “This is not OK.”Second, we need to muster the resources of our democratic institutions in the form of law and regulation. These include, but also move beyond, privacy and antitrust laws. We also need to develop new laws and regulatory institutions that specifically address the mechanisms and imperatives of surveillance capitalism.A third arena relates to the opportunity for competitive solutions. Every survey of internet users has shown that once people become aware of surveillance capitalists’ backstage practices, they reject them. That points to a disconnect between supply and demand: a market failure. So once again we see a historic opportunity for an alliance of companies to found an alternative ecosystem — one that returns us to the earlier promise of the digital age as an era of empowerment and the democratization of knowledge.This interview has been edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

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Picturing vision and justice

first_imgWhen asked in 2016 to guest edit a special edition of Aperture magazine devoted to the photography of the black experience, Sarah Lewis knew two concepts central to the notion of American citizenship — vision and justice — would comprise the issue’s underlying theme.“No matter the topic — beauty, family, politics, power — the quest for a legacy of photographic representation of African Americans has been about these two things. The centuries-long effort to craft an image to pay honor to the full humanity of black life is a corrective task for which photography and cinema have been central, even indispensable,” Lewis wrote in the issue’s introduction. The Aperture edition, inspired by Lewis’ Harvard course “Vision & Justice: The Art of Citizenship,” is also the creative inspiration behind “Vision & Justice,” an upcoming two-day meeting hosted by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The April 25‒26 event will bring together experts, artists, and scholars from Harvard and beyond to “consider the role of the arts in understanding the nexus of art, race, and justice.”Lewis, an assistant professor of history of art and architecture and African and African American studies, spoke to the Gazette about the upcoming conference.Q&ASarah LewisGAZETTE: The driving force behind the award-winning Vision & Justice issue of Aperture was inspired by “Pictures and Progress” a speech given in 1861 by Frederick Douglass that explores how African Americans are represented visually, and how images can help redefine the nation. Can you talk about when you first encountered that speech and your reaction to it?LEWIS: I first came across a digitized version of Frederick Douglass’ speech about the importance of pictures for American progress in the collection of the Library of Congress at home one night. It must have been in 2010 or 2011. I was certainly not the first to find it; I had seen a reference to the speech but reading it in his own handwriting felt like a bolt of lightning. I remember someone calling me with tickets to an incredible New York City performance, but I turned them down, and instead sat for hours poring over the speech. Frederick Douglass was essentially asking, How do we overcome a failure of the collective imagination to see people as they are?I wrote about Douglass’ ideas in “The Rise,” my book about creativity and failure. At that time, some extraordinary scholars who are now colleagues, like Henry Louis Gates Jr. and John Stauffer, were also writing about this understudied speech or on Douglass’ work at large. There is now, of course, also an extraordinary new biography on Douglass by David Blight, and more scholarship on Douglass by Laura Wexler, Robin Kelsey, Zoe Trodd, Cheryl Finley, Deborah Willis, Celeste-Marie Bernier, Stauffer, and others. Their scholarship — and the contributions offered by making the versions of the speech more widely available through Stauffer’s book — is a gift.When I first read Douglass’ “Pictures and Progress” speech, I thought: Was he also an art historian? If you look at the books in his library at the end of his life, he had many that we would expect from a prodigious orator, but he also had a sizable number of books about the arts by John Ruskin and writings by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. on photography. He had slightly obscure books, too, and even had an exhibition catalog from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He was dedicated. He was studying. It is an exciting development for the field. Douglass’ speeches upend our sense of the context surrounding image-making and national belonging.So, yes, I was clear that I wanted Douglass to be the framework for the Vision & Justice publication and research project. That wasn’t expected; Aperture is a contemporary photography journal. The accent here is on contemporary. However, thankfully, the journal’s editor, Michael Famighetti, gave me the keys, so to speak, and cleared a path for me to let the issue speak with integrity to the power of Douglass’ ideas. I’ll forever be grateful for his trust. We commissioned essays from prodigious writers and scholars, from Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Robin Kelsey to Claudia Rankine, Margo Jefferson, and Nell Painter, some of whom had never written for Aperture before. The same held true for the power of the image-makers — Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Willis, Deana Lawson, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Awol Erizku, Jamel Shabazz, Dawoud Bey, and many more. When you’re framing an entire issue around Douglass, it has to be done with the highest level of care, commitment, and passion. I actually wanted to release four volumes of the Vision & Justice issue over two years, choosing a different guest editor for each.The Vision & Justice convening is not a Frederick Douglass conference. He has, however, become an emblem of the unfinished work and questions about the nature of representation and justice on American soil. This is not work about how images have served to dishonor human life — unfortunately we know that side of the story well. Instead, it’s about how art and culture has served as a productive counter-narrative and that history has not been fully examined.GAZETTE: The Vision & Justice issue of Aperture received critical acclaim and nationwide attention in the press, became required reading for incoming first-years at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and inspired a Harvard course that became part of the University’s core curriculum. Did the response inspire you to think about doing something more, or was this convening always part of your longer-term plans and goals?LEWIS: To be frank, I had been trying very hard not to organize a conference since the Vision & Justice issue came out. I had been asked to put one together by a number of institutions, but I was finishing a book under contract with Harvard University Press and had just started teaching at Harvard. Those endeavors are my main focus. Yet when the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study approached me about organizing an event, their programming was designed around the idea of citizenship. I was honored to be asked, but we delayed the convening to honor the scholarship I was completing. The reason why I agreed in the end is that, in the intervening period, a number of other events made me reconsider the stakes of such an event — the political climate and the role of images and civic space in that work. It seemed like this event might be contributory for civic life at Harvard at beyond. With support from Radcliffe, the co-sponsors, and the other generous funders — the Ford Foundation and the Lambent Foundation — it seemed feasible to execute on the scale required.I also kept thinking back to my grandfather, who was expelled from a public school in 1926 for asking in the 11th grade where African Americans were in the history books. His question seemed downright radical at the time. He was expelled for his so-called impertinence. He became an artist, and here I am, two generations later, teaching the very topics at Harvard he was expelled for asking about.As I was thinking of this, I also learned that President Emerita Drew Faust had been dean at Radcliffe during the time of an extraordinary event around cultural citizenship in 2004 led by Homi Bhabha and continued through his work at Mahindra Center for the Humanities. This is one of many events that have taken place. So, putting together this event felt like an organic outgrowth of events that had happened on Harvard’s campus.GAZETTE: The list of speakers for the convening is as vast as it is varied. Why did you feel it was so important to have voices from so many different fields of expertise taking part?LEWIS: What is the role of the arts for justice? If you take Douglass as a starting point, these are questions we’ve been asking in the United States for over 150 years. What interests me as a scholar is the question behind the question. Why do we even need to consider the relationship between art and justice? Why does the structure of our laws and norms freight culture with this work? The convening is meant to address these guiding questions. Doing this in a thorough and probing way meant inviting speakers from across a range of disciplines that rarely converge to answer these questions anew.For example, on the topic of culture and inequity, one of the panels at the conference will bring together photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier and Mona Hanna-Attisha, who uncovered the Flint crisis. What is the work of image-makers on the front lines, of those identifying a crisis that seems to require more than laws and policy changes? The event is vast and intergenerational — from Naomi Wadler to Bryan Stevenson. It is designed to let people speak across the silos of their own fields. I feel so fortunate that we can have an event on Harvard’s campus that is so deeply public-facing.In his installation address, President Bacow also reflected on the unique nature of this moment in which people are asking, “What does higher education really contribute to the national life?” As a scholar looking at how artists can contribute to civic discourse, I take that important question to heart. My hope is that this event can help serve to address it in some small way.This scale of this event benefited from Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin and Radcliffe’s support, along with that of the co-sponsors from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research and the Harvard Art Museums and the American Repertory Theater and extremely generous funders including Radcliffe, the Ford Foundation, and the Lambent Foundation.Advice from the advisory team was also invaluable: Henry Louis Gates Jr., Lori Gross, Evelyn Higginbotham, Elizabeth Hinton, Robin Kelsey, Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Yukio Lippit, Jennifer Roberts, Tommie Shelby, and Damian Woetzel. I had extensive conversations with each of them, along with Claudine Gay, Doris Sommer, Larry Bobo, Sharon Harper, and more, that let the event take on this shape. There were also a large set of students who acted as researchers — the Vision & Justice Ambassadors, led by graduate student Elsa Hardy and undergraduate Liat Rubin. It was a collaborative effort from the start.GAZETTE: In your editor’s note for the issue, you write: “Understanding the relationship of race and the quest for full citizenship in this country requires an advanced state of visual literacy, particularly during periods of turmoil.” How do we get to that visual literacy?LEWIS: Seeing is a way of reading the world. We’re so accustomed to the visual literacy we’ve developed that we often forget that it is a critical skill. It’s the mechanism that we use to sort, edit, sift, and make value judgements. When it comes to race and equity, representation has served an urgent, civic function.The conference will also confer the inaugural Gordon Parks Foundation Essay Prize, given to graduates and undergraduates whose work examines the nexus of visual art, racial equity, and justice. It’s an honor to be able to have an extraordinary Gordon Parks exhibition on view at the Cooper Gallery at the Hutchins Center to coincide with the convening. That show has been curated by Maurice Berger. All of the images are culled from the collection of Kasseem Dean and Alicia Keys, who have been phenomenal champions of the visual arts.On the day of the conference, we’ll also release a civic publication, a visual literacy course pack for a digital, democratic age. This volume contains cornerstone texts about the nexus of images, race, and justice organized into four categories — Art, Race, and Activism; Civic Space and Memorials; Race, Technology, and Justice; and Race, Childhood and Visuality. While this is not the approach I take in teaching, it is a response to the themes that I see under debate in public life. Teaching about the intersection of vision, race, and justice means expanding any course syllabus on a near-daily basis. It is with that spirit that I hope it is seen as a starting point for discussion, an open-source invitation for more collective work. We’ll release the issue as a free digital publication on the day of the event.GAZETTE: Can you talk about what you see as the landscape of visual representation today and what it says to minorities about their representation in American life?LEWIS: The demography of this country is shifting quickly, and we see this through an expanded landscape of visual representation. We might live in increasingly siloed communities, but we’re able to penetrate boundaries because we live in a world where events around the globe can greet us as an image. This is an era of hyper-representation, and in an increasingly connected global landscape, it is challenging what we mean by minorities at all. GAZETTE: In the age of social media, how do we turn the internet into an inclusive force for representation?LEWIS: Technology can be inclusive, as a gathering point. But this means addressing the algorithmic bias it contains … Darren Walker will be in conversation with Latanya Sweeney and Joy Buolamwini, two of the scholars joining others in doing path-breaking work to address this issue and propose solutions. I’m looking forward to learning from them.GAZETTE: What do you hope the convening will achieve, and how do you hope to share your message beyond Harvard’s gates?LEWIS: I have a number of ideas about what I hope will come of this, but what excites me most is the magic that may come of an event that brings together individuals who don’t often speak together.James Baldwin wrote in his essay “The Creative Process” that “[t]he artist cannot and must not take anything for granted, but must drive to the heart of every answer and expose the question the answer hides.”Pursuing the truth about who we are as a nation requires that we refine the questions we ask about the history and nature of justice in this country. What questions will our speakers raise that lead to new perspectives, new frameworks? That’s what I’m interested in hearing about most of all.last_img read more

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All the world’s a stage

first_imgThe 2019–20 season lineup at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) boasts some highly anticipated shows for theater enthusiasts and first-timers alike — and, beginning this summer, several world premieres.“Six” flips the damsel in distress narrative on its head by letting the six wives of Henry VIII tell their own stories for once. Directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, the show will run from Aug. 21 through Sept. 27 at the Loeb Drama Center.At the Oberon, “Black Light” will have a 10-day run from Sept. 19‒29. Daniel Alexander Jones will perform as his alter ego, Jomama Jones, with all original music influenced by Prince, Diana Ross, and Tina Turner. Audiences can expect the unexpected (and at least a few sequins).Dave Malloy, the Tony Award-winning composer of “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” will ring in the new year with the world premiere of his “Moby Dick.” This musical adaptation will run from Dec. 3 through Jan. 12, 2020, at the Loeb.The Loeb also presents a celebration of feminist activist Gloria Steinem in “Gloria: A Life.” Written by Emily Mann and directed by Diane Paulus, this new production will showcase not only Steinem’s life and work, but also what’s next for the current and future generations of women. “Gloria” plays at the Loeb from Jan. 24 through Feb. 22, 2020.Another world premiere at the Loeb will be “Ocean Filibuster” (March 7‒27, 2020). Created by the Obie Award-winning company PearlDamour, this show combines myth, stand-up, politics, and science to advocate for the Earth’s most valuable bodies of water.Shakespeare will return — this time backed by the iconic music of Ike and Tina Turner, The Doors, and more. “Macbeth in Stride” explores the descent of Lady and Lord Macbeth and delves into a complex relationship and the effects of unrestrained ambition. The show is created and performed by Whitney White and will run at the Oberon from April 23 through May 10, 2020.The Tony Award-winning “1776,” which musically tells the story of John Adams on the eve of the American Revolution, will run from May 22 through June 28, 2020. The show is directed by Diane Paulus.Subscriptions for the 2019/20 season go on sale to select A.R.T. donors beginning May 2, to renewing subscribers on May 16, and to A.R.T. members on May 23. Subscriptions will go on sale to the general public on May 31. Packages start at $99. More information is available at americanrepertorytheater.org/subscribe, by visiting the ticket services office at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, or by calling 617.547.8300. Single tickets for individual productions will go on sale to member-level donors and above on a date to be announced, and to the general public throughout the year. Coed Hasty Pudding makes its debut ‘Endlings’ playwright imagines lives both similar to and different from her own Song of the seacenter_img Related Women perform alongside male counterparts for first time in group’s 171-year historylast_img read more

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Wither the handshake?

first_imgLong-held habits have disappeared overnight as social distancing has become both a rallying cry and the new normal for millions of Americans in the age of the novel coronavirus. But keeping at least six feet from another person ­— the guideline issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ­— is a challenge for people accustomed to saying hello and goodbye with hugs and kisses.And what about the handshake?Some have begun to wonder if the universal form of greeting, of acknowledgement, of sealing a deal may become a thing of the past. In recent weeks the practice has rapidly vanished, replaced by fist bumps and peace signs, head nods and foot taps, all in an effort to limit the close contact that helps the virus spread.Response to the pandemic changes daily, and stricter social-distancing measures, government aid, and testing have all increased dramatically since the Gazette spoke with William Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, earlier in the month. Hanage said he hopes the handshake is just on extended hiatus, but for now he’s keeping his hands away from anyone else’s.“When I go to my neighborhood sports bar and see my friend who works there, I give him a big handshake and a hug. I love it. I am not one of those people who in winter and virus season carries around hand sanitizer and uses it a great deal,” said Hanage, who stopped shaking hands several weeks ago. “The major difference is that here we are dealing with a disease to which we have no immunity, and to which we can pretty sure we are going to be getting exposed.”While the human hand is a nifty carrier of viruses, germs, and bacteria, the human body’s immune system is typically equally gifted at coping should one, say, touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. But with the novel coronavirus raging, said Hanage, for the moment all bets are off. “People accompany these gestures with a little laugh, as if to reassure each other that the superficially aggressive displays are new conventions in a contagious time and offered in a spirit of camaraderie.” — Steven Pinker, Harvard’s Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology “People say that the close study of infectious diseases goes one of two ways, either you become incredibly paranoid, or you eat the peanut butter toast that fell face down. I am the latter. That is what I do for a living. I sit there and think, ‘Evolution has given me this amazing immune system, this fantastic, phenomenal thing which allows me to recognize and squash most of the stuff that I am likely to encounter.’ Now is not one of those times.“Because this is a pandemic, because there is virtually no population immunity, and because we know that people can transmit while being either presymptomatic or showing minimal symptoms, every handshake that you have runs the risk of exposing you or the person you are shaking hands with to the virus.”Even the elbow bump puts people in closer contact than Hanage thinks is truly safe. Instead, he recommends the Hindu namaste greeting: a slight bow, with the hands pressed together in a prayer pose over the heart.“Handshaking is just one of the ways that we are more likely to become infected, and so it’s a really easy thing to remember to do something else,” said Hanage. “There are multiple different options that are available to say ‘hi’ to your friend that don’t entail getting quite so close. Because every time you are getting close, you might transmit to them, or they might transmit to you.”When will it be safe to shake hands again? Like many experts tracking the disease’s course, Hanage can’t give an exact timeline. Still, he does think it will happen “in the distant future when the virus is under control.” “I sit there and think, ‘Evolution has given me this amazing immune system … which allows me to recognize and squash most of the stuff that I am likely to encounter.’ Now is not one of those times.” — William Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology When it comes to the handshake and the coronavirus, “fear of contagion could certainly change the conventions as well,” noted Pinker, “but with an interesting twist.”“Displays guided by Darwinian antithesis are just those that spread germs ­— contact, proximity, and exposure of the mouth and nose — whereas sanitary conventions like fist-bumps and elbow-taps go against the grain of intuitive friendliness. That explains why, at least in my experience, people accompany these gestures with a little laugh, as if to reassure each other that the superficially aggressive displays are new conventions in a contagious time and offered in a spirit of camaraderie.” But why are we so attached to such a gesture, one that some say originated in ancient times as a way to show a potential foe that you were unarmed? The answer likely has something to do with our DNA, according to Steven Pinker, Harvard’s Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology who points to the “Principle of Antithesis” detailed in Charles Darwin’s “Expression of Emotion in Animals and Man.”“In order to display a friendly, nonthreatening intent, animals often evolve a display that is the joint-for-joint, muscle-for-muscle opposite of their display for aggression. So a friendly dog assumes the opposite posture from an aggressive dog: instead of a rigid tail and body with the head poised forward as if to attack, it will crouch, look upward, and wag its tail,” Pinker wrote in an email. “In the case of humans, too, friendly displays tend to be the antithesis of threatening ones: our hands are open rather than clenched, our arms are supinated, we approach the other person closely rather than keeping the wary distance of two fighters, and we expose vulnerable body parts like our lips and neck.”Through time, every culture has to adopt conventions about which gestures are put into practice, said Pinker, “to eliminate any ambiguity about just how friendly the intent is.”Conventions differ across cultures, he points out.“Many Americans were taken aback when George W. Bush held hands with his Saudi counterpart, since a quick handshake is the maximum touching sanctioned for American men,” Pinker said. New tool will help leaders make informed decisions as hospitals prepare for COVID-19 patients App predicts hospital capacity The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.center_img Jeffrey Frankel cites domino effect of problems in China, huge U.S. deficit, likely decline in jobs and spending Why odds of a coronavirus recession have risen Researchers prepare for next year and beyond Related Designing a coronavirus vaccinelast_img read more

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Defending those yearning to breathe free

first_img Higher ed leaders back Harvard-MIT fight against ICE rules Related Supreme Court decision shielding DACA draws relief, celebration Harvard president, recipients, and professors hope it will lead to more comprehensive immigration reform The office is working on the case of Reihana Emami Arandi, an Iranian student who was to start her master’s degree at Harvard Divinity School (HDS) last fall but was sent back home from Logan Airport by customs officials. Emami Arandi wasn’t allowed to make a phone call. Ardalan and Corral filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, as well as a lawsuit in federal court.In an email from Tehran, Emami Arandi said she hopes she’ll come to Harvard and put “the sorrows, the despair and frustration” behind her. Her forced return home made her ponder the quirk of fate she encountered at Logan.“I completed a master’s in philosophy of religion before applying for HDS,” wrote Emami Arandi, who is taking an eight-week summer online course at the Divinity School. “My thesis was about the concepts of ‘otherness’ and ‘alterity’ in early Persian Sufi literature. These past few months, I’ve thought a lot about how ironic it was that I was targeted as ‘the other’ at Logan Airport as I was planning to investigate more on these concepts at HDS.”As for the Lebanese student, he looks forward to a new life with his partner and applying for a green card in February. For now, he is working on his doctoral thesis on immune responses to viral infections at a Harvard Medical School lab.“My life turned 180 degrees,” he said. “Now I can breathe.”For questions and inquiries, please contact [email protected] or call at 617-495-6648. Growing up in his native Lebanon, he worried about being outed as a gay man in a homophobic land. After finishing his undergraduate in biochemistry and a master’s in France, he came to the U.S. to pursue a doctoral degree at Harvard. But he still did not feel safe.Until February.The fourth-year Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was granted asylum based on his fear of persecution if he were to return home. In Lebanon, same-sex couples face violence, jail time, and severe discrimination.For the young man, who asked to keep his identity hidden out of fear of retaliation, the asylum grant meant he could live the life he had always dreamed of.“I cried for 10 minutes,” recalled the man, who married his partner on a warm August day in the Boston Seaport nearly a year ago. “I had never thought that one day I would be able to walk on the street next to my partner without being paranoid.”He is among dozens of members of the University community who have been helped by the Harvard Representation Initiative (HRI). Housed at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) of Harvard Law School, the program provides legal representation and social service support to students, scholars, and staff concerned about their immigration status.Leo Garcia ’21 said he renewed his DACA status twice through Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. “I’d feel more at risk if I didn’t have this resource,” he said. Courtesy photoWhen it was launched in 2017, the program focused on undocumented students and those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, which protects young people from deportation and allows them to legally study, work, and remain in the country.A rising senior, Leo Garcia ’21 had DACA status when he arrived at Harvard. He became familiar with the work of the initiative when he joined Act on a Dream, an immigrants’ rights advocacy group led by Harvard students. Garcia renewed his DACA status twice through the program.“Having attorneys who really want to help us figure out the best options for us, at no charge, ensures that we are as protected as possible,” said Garcia, who was born in Colombia and grew up in Houston. “I’d feel more at risk if I didn’t have this resource.”Funded by the University, the initiative was started under Drew Faust, president emerita and the Arthur Kingsley Porter University Professor, and expanded under current President Larry Bacow. It supports members of the community with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and those from mixed-status families, as well as international students and scholars whose ability to study in the U.S. is at risk due to the Trump administration’s immigration policies.The office assists with applications for a range of immigration relief, from asylum to family based green cards to immigration protection for domestic violence survivors and crime victims, and protection for minors who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected.“The University is very much committed to making sure that all members of the Harvard community with immigration concerns have the legal representation and support they need,” said Sabrineh Ardalan ’02, Clinical Professor of Law and director of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. “Our goal is to try to help as many people as possible to have access to longer-term forms of immigration protection.”Over the last three years, the initiative has consulted with more than 600 Harvard students, scholars, and staff. During the Trump administration the demand for legal services has grown, prompting the hiring of an additional full-time lawyer. The team consists of two attorneys, a social worker, a paralegal, and a part-time administrative assistant.Among those helped by the initiative was a human-rights activist from Iran who was granted asylum, as well as DACA students and staff with TPS.A custodian with TPS, Mario Arevalo was able to adjust his legal status through a petition by his oldest son, a U.S. citizen. After receiving his green card, Arevalo bought a ticket to travel to his native El Salvador for the first time since he left 20 years ago, but the pandemic forced him to postpone his trip. In March, he fell ill with COVID-19, but he’s fully recovered, back at work, and counting his blessings.“Even with TPS, I’ve always felt anxious, like a ship adrift,” said Arevalo, who heard about the program from a co-worker at Harvard Law School. “Now a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. For the first time I know what total tranquility is.”,In a normal month, initiative personnel meet with dozens of people about their immigration status. These days, the office operates remotely, doing intake of new cases by phone and Zoom, following up on DACA renewals, filing green card and asylum applications. Attorneys also represent clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and in court and help with social-service support if needed.The office has to remain nimble in the face of ever-changing immigration policies. In early July, its phone was ringing off the hook with inquiries from international students concerned about losing their student visa status after ICE announced that it would expel international students taking all-online courses in the fall. The Trump administration agreed to rescind the policy after a lawsuit led by Harvard and MIT.“If students, staff, or any member of the Harvard community is concerned about their immigration status, they’re welcome to come to our office and have a free consultation,” said HRI staff attorney Jason Corral. “We want to help to figure out a legal pathway for their immigration status.” Protest precedes Supreme Court hearings on program that safeguards undocumented students Study tracks program’s benefits and limitations for undocumented young immigrants Hundreds rally to defend DACA Rise in social mobility of DACA recipients Guidelines would force international students to attend in-person classes amid pandemic or risk deportation, visa denial last_img read more

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