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Tulane University School of Liberal Arts

SLA Online: February 2011

Waxing Poetic

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Hass entertains a Tulane audience with a reading in the Poet Laureate Series, sponsored by the Department of English. Continue Reading

Message from the Dean

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Parents, and
Friends of SLA,

With the new year upon us, I am delighted to announce the appointment of two senior faculty members in SLA to prestigious endowed chairs. These chairs reflect their donors’ support for the mission of the school and their recognition of the quality of our faculty.

Prof. Ronna Burger, Chair of the Department of Philosophy, has been appointed at the Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman Chair in Judeo-Christian Studies. This chair was endowed through of generous gift of Catherine and Henry J. Gaisman.

Prof. Burger’s intellectual path has taken her from an early interest in the Bible and its interpretation to Greek philosophy and most recently to the question of the relation between them. This path is reflected in her scholarly pursuits and her teaching at Tulane, where she has found an intellectual home for over three decades.

After receiving her PhD in philosophy from the New School for Social Research in 1975, a Mellon Fellowship in New York, followed by a Humboldt Fellowship in Tübingen allowed Burger to turn her dissertation into her first book, on Plato’s Phaedrus (Alabama 1980), and go on to her second book, on Plato’s Phaedo (Yale, 1984; St. Augustine’s Press, 1999). Over many years of study and teaching, Burger became increasingly struck by the deep Platonic roots of Aristotle’s thought, and a fellowship at the Siemens Foundation in Munich offered the opportunity to bring that understanding to fruition in Aristotle’s Dialogue with Socrates: on the Nicomachean Ethics (Chicago, 2008). Plato and Aristotle provided a foundation for Burger to explore the thought of Maimonides and his response to the confrontation between Greek philosophy and the Bible, which she has addressed on several occasions, including two papers presented at the American Philosophical Association. Burger’s philosophic background has enabled her at the same time to open up new lines of interpretation of the Bible, from a Platonic reading of the story of Adam and Eve to reflections... Continue Reading

News from the Field:
Diana Cupsa

Associate Professor Diana Cupsa travels back to her native Romania to design the set and costumes for Who’s
Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the National University of Theatrical and
Cinematic Arts.

As a Romanian – born, raised, and educated – I maintain close connections with my fellow artists back there, especially the theatre, television and film community. Most of them are now at the very top of their artistic/academic excellence; in a country that has long been known for high theatre standards... Continue Reading

Liberal Arts
Research Awards

Students of Newcomb-Tulane College are invited to apply now for Liberal Arts Research Awards. (Newcomb-Tulane College is the academic home for all of Tulane's full-time undergraduate students.) These grant awards provide up to $1000 in funding for research and scholarship in the liberal arts. Applications are accepted throughout the school year on a rolling basis. The final day to submit an application for funding for projects taking place during the 2010-11 school year is April 21, 2011. The website for more information is here. For questions, contact the Newcomb-Tulane College Office of Cocurricular Programs at 504-865-5728 or donuts@tulane.edu.


MALLORIE ELAINE SMITH, an undergraduate majoring in economics and history, presented her research at the meetings of the Cliometrics Society on January 7, 2011. The meetings were held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Economic Association, in Denver, Colorado. Her paper, entitled Sequential sales as a test of adverse selection in the market for slaves, is coauthored with Associate Professor JONATHAN PRITCHETT of Tulane's Department of Economics. Ms. Smith's research is funded by the National Science Foundation award for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). For more information regarding Tulane's participation in this program, see this page on the Economics website.
SUSANN LUSNIA (Associate Professor, Department of Classical Studies) became co-chair of the American Philological Association (APA) - Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Joint Committee on Minority Scholarships. This committee awards scholarships for summer study to minority undergraduates to further their preparation for graduate work in classics or classical archaeology.
DAVID SHOEMAKER (Associate Professor, Dept. of Philosophy & Murphy Institute) has been named the editor of a new series of books for Oxford University Press, entitled Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Papers for the volumes will be drawn from presentations at a biennial workshop in New Orleans organized by Shoemaker and sponsored by the Murphy Institute. The first workshop will take place on November 3-5, 2011 at the Intercontinental Hotel.

SLA In the News

Economics PhD Takes Interdisciplinary Approach

The application deadline is approaching for the university’s new economic analysis and policy PhD program. Continue Reading


Second Jazz CD for Professors of Pleasure

New recording features Dixieland-style rendition of the "Tulane Fight Song." Continue Reading


Getting Mexican History Right

Professor Colin MacLachlan takes a fresh look at Mexican history in two new books. Continue Reading


Introducing the Green Wave Brass Band

Student musicians make a splash on the entertainment scene. Continue Reading


Michael McKeever Joins Board of Tulane

New board member heads an investment firm, holds two Tulane degrees and is a former student-athlete. Continue Reading


Help a Budding Musician

Volunteers are needed for Roots of Music after-school program that emphasizes academics and musical instruction. Continue Reading


Professional Activities

ELIZABETH BOONE (Professor, Art Department) presented the presidential address, Discourse and Authority in Histories Painted, Knotted, and Carved, to the American Society for Ethnohistory, in Ottawa, Ontario, October 2010. She is giving invited lectures at the University of Texas and the Art Institute of Chicago in March.
RICHARD VELKLEY delivered a paper for the Institute of Philosophy at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Leuven, Belgium, in December 2010. The paper was titled Self-Possession of Reason and Infinite Longing in Modern Perspective. Velkley is the Celia Scott Weatherhead Professor in the Department of Philosophy.
MARK VAIL, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, gave a talk, entitled Between Institutions and Ideas: Economic Crisis and Shifting Policy Strategies in Contemporary Western Europe, at the Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung at the University of Mannheim (Germany) in November 2010.
Sociology Professor KEVIN FOX GOTHAM’s article with Richard Campanella, Toward a Research Agenda on Transformative Resilience: Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Ecosystems, appeared in Critical Planning, Volume 17, 2010.
KUKHEE CHOO (Professor of Practice, Communication) was invited to present a paper at the International Conference on Asian Culture Industries held by the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society in Bangalore, India. Choo was the only scholar from the U.S. to be invited to attend this conference that took place in December 2010. Additionally, Choo’s article Cool Japan Nation: The Japanese Government's Promotion of Popular Culture in Reading Nationalism through Subculture: Visualizing Identities, was published in November 2010.
ADAM MCKEOWN (Assistant Professor, Dept. of English) was invited to give a talk in December 2010 at Newcastle University (UK) entitled, Imagining the Borders in Tudor England: Art, Literature, and the Shape of Community. McKeown’s visit was funded in part by a grant from the Renaissance Society of America and in part from Newcastle University.
MICHELLE KOHLER’s (Assistant Professor, Dept. of English) article entitled Dickinson and the Poetics of Revolution will appear in the forthcoming issue of the Emily Dickinson Journal, which is published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.
KAI-MAN CHANG (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Communication) was invited to give a talk on Taiwan's Queer and AIDS literature at the International Conference on Taiwan Literature: History and Methodology, held by the University of California, Davis in November 2010.
NICK SPITZER (Professor, Dept. of Anthropology) and Senior American Routes Producer Maureen Loughran, joined with Roots of Music founder and Rebirth Brass Band musician Derrick Tabb, presented an examination of the role played by working musicians in Louisiana’s post-Katrina recovery at the Library of Congress in December 2010. The event was widely reported in DC media, and the LoC's press release can be found on their website here.

Additionally, American Routes recently produced a program dedicated to Detroit called "Motor City Music-Routes to Recovery for Detroit." The program was carried by all three public stations in Detroit as part of our NEH-funded Routes to Recovery series, with additional support from the Library of Congress' American Folklife Center. Archives of the program can be heard here.

Anthropology Associate Professor TRENTON HOLLIDAY delivered the 29th Annual Connell Lecture on January 24 at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. Holliday's presentation was entitled Neandertals and Modern Humans: Reticulation and Evolution and focused on his investigation of the potential for interbreeding and hybridization between different species of hominin (i.e., those animals more closely related to people than to chimpanzees). In 2010, genetic analyses documented such hybridization between Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens, and it very likely occurred among other hominin species as well.

SLA In the Media

NORA LUSTIG (Professor, Dept. of Economics) appeared in a recent television interview for La Hora N in Peru. Lustig appeared with her colleagues Máximo Torero and Miguel Jaramillo regarding the reduction of inequality in Latin America and Peru over the past ten years. The interview can be viewed here. Professor Lustig also was quoted/interviewed in the following newspapers: La República - Edición Impresa, El Comercio, and Reforma.


WILLIAM BRUMFIELD (Professor, Dept. of Germanic & Slavic Studies) was featured in Russia Behind the Headlines for his article and photography of the historic city of Solikamsk, in the Perm region of the Ural Mountains. This is the 15th of Brumfield’s articles on the architectural heritage of the Russian provinces for the foreign-language service of the Russian national newspaper Rossiiskaia Gazeta. The article and photographs can be viewed here.


February 1-9
Mini Film Series: The Northeastern Desert in Brazilian Cinema

February 2
Music @ Midday - featuring Greg Kallor

February 2
Concert Piano Series - featuring Faina Lushtak and Krassimira Jordan

February 3
Art History Works-in-Progress Seminar - Patrimony in Peril: Issues of Conservation and Restoration of Historical Monuments in Panama

February 9
Music @ Midday - featuring Musica da Camera

February 11
Economics Seminar - Jason Abrevaya

February 11-13
The 8th Annual Tulane Maya Symposium: The Rise of Maya Civilization

February 12
Classical Guitar Series - featuring Edel Munoz

February 16
Music @ Midday - featuring Mississippi Chamber Circle

February 17
The Revival of Rumors and the Obama Administration - Dr. Patricia Turner, Professor of American Studies at the University of California at Davis, will deliver a public lecture based on her current research.

February 17
Economics Seminar - Jason Fletcher: Genetic Modulation of the Effects of Tobacco Taxation on Use

February 18
Economics Seminar - Raquel Fernandez

February 18-20
An Evening of Dance - Choreographed by Newcomb Dance Program Faculty

February 22
Les Liaisons Dangereuses - Directed by Rebecca Frank

February 23
Music @ Midday - featuring Ji Sook Park

February 23-27
Les Liaisons Dangereuses - Directed by Rebecca Frank

February 25
Keyboard Festival - featuring Mirian Conti

Economics Seminar - Kyna Fong

February 26
Keyboard Festival Master Class - featuring Mirian Conti

February 26
Keyboard Festival - featuring Michael Rickman

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Tulane University School of Liberal Arts

Tulane University
School of Liberal Arts
102 Newcomb Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118

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