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Tulane University School of Liberal Arts

SLA Online: September 2010
Welcome to a New Class and a New Year

It is hard to believe that a new school year is upon us. The quickly passing time is only underscored by our awareness that five years have passed since Hurricane Katrina. Although to many who lived through the turmoil, it seems like only yesterday, certainly neither Tulane nor the city of New Orleans is the same as it was before the levees were breached. A recent report, “The New Orleans Index at 5,” noted that although while the Crescent City has experienced Katrina, the economic crisis, and the recent oil spill it is “rebounding” and “resilient.” In many ways, the study concludes, it is “doing so much better than before.”

In the School of Liberal Arts we certainly share this optimism and enthusiasm. Our faculty, staff, and students are committed to making a difference to the university and to the city of New Orleans. This year, 36 new faculty members will join our community, along with one of the largest and best prepared classes Tulane has ever admitted. Such numbers are certainly a sign of our vitality and a prediction of the great year to come.

We hope you will check back often with our monthly newsletters and the SLA webpage to learn of the many events taking place on our campus as well as the accomplishments and activities of the members of the School of Liberal Arts.

Carole Haber
Dean, SLA

News From the Field:
Jeremy Jernegan

Residency in Kecskemet, Hungary
The collection of old and new stone and brick buildings that make up the International Ceramics Center in Kecskemet, Hungary enclose an inner courtyard like a small medieval town. Steep terra cotta tile roofs and white washed buildings reflect the traditional Hungarian architecture, allowing the Center to blend into the block it occupies in the old section of central Kecskemet. After nearly a week of rain, the sun shines down warmly on a collection of sculptures and pots that are now outside drying rapidly in anticipation of scheduled firings. The bright weather has brought the artists outside as well to chat and share information. My 13 American colleagues as well as ceramic artists from Ireland, Turkey, Poland and Hungary are engaged in making new work here over periods ranging from two weeks to several months. I arrived on June 19, joining a group of mostly faculty artists invited by LSU Professor Emeritus Joe Bova to come to the International Ceramics Center and interact, collaborate, and develop some new work over a two week residency. Sadly, the time is swiftly passing and we are all pressed to get the work finished and fired before our looming departure date.
Continue Reading


ADELINE MASQUELIER, professor of anthropology and director of the Religious Studies Program, has received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for her research on Muslim youth, particularly males, in the West African country of Niger. Masquelier will write a book documenting the struggles of the largely unemployed or underemployed young men of Niger. She is the only scholar in Louisiana to receive a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship.
The National Science Foundation has awarded a three year $346,000 grant to Tulane to provide research experiences for undergraduates interested in Economics. The Tulane Research Experience for Undergraduates in Applied Microeconomics and Program Evaluation (TREU-AMPE) was designed by co-principal investigators Assistant Professor KEITH FINLAY and Associate Professor JONATHAN PRITCHETT of the Economics department to provide undergraduates with research opportunities in applied microeconomics and program evaluation to supplement their academic coursework. Continue Reading
The 2010 recipient of the Larry Schloss Prize for Excellence in Economics is JAY SHIMSHACK, an assistant professor in the Economics Department. Jay is a leading young scholar in the field of environmental economics, applied microeconomics, and public policy. Shimshack’s research examines how firms, consumers, and public agencies respond to environmental policies. He is especially interested in understanding underlying economic incentives and their implications for designing more effective and efficient environmental policies. Areas of specific interest include monitoring and enforcement, corporate environmental performance, advisories and transparency policies, and environmental health. Continue Reading
STEPHEN OSTERTAG, a professor of practice in the department of sociology, was named this year’s recipient of the International Communication Association’s James W. Carey Urban Communication Award. The award provides a small sum of money to fund the early stages of research on communication technology, citizenship and urban growth. Professor Ostertag’s project, entitled Assessing Internet Use for Consuming and Making News: Citizenship and Urban Life, investigates how citizens of New Orleans use the internet to consume, produce and disseminate political and public affairs news and information ranging from the local to the global. Insights from this research should help clarify the relationship between urban social interaction and civic participation, demonstrate the creative ways that citizens use their cultural and technological resources, and provide hints on the future of urban life and the evolution of community.
JOHN HOWARD, adjunct assistant professor of philosophy and associate director of the Murphy Institute, received the award for the 2009-2010 honors program professor of the year. One student who nominated Howard wrote, “In my opinion, I have come across no other professor at Tulane who shows his level of passion for teaching or dedication to the teaching profession.”
JEFFREY MCINNIS, a junior majoring in International Relations through SLA’s Department of Political Science, has been awarded an IES Abroad International Relations Scholarship. Jeffrey is studying in Berlin, Germany this academic year with the help of this competitive merit-based scholarship.

SLA In the News

New SLA Faculty

James Alm - Professor of EconomicsThe School of Liberal Arts is excited to announce that we have 36 new faculty members this year. Continue Reading


Travels With the Daykeeper

Linguist and anthropologist Judith Maxwell treks the Guatemalan highlands, documenting Mayan sacred sites. Continue Reading


‘History Detectives’ Airs Louisiana Story

Colonial history expert Emily Clark is interviewed about why a governor became involved in the emancipation of a slave. Continue Reading


New Orleans 5 A.D. (After Disaster)

In his Reading Project address, professor Nick Spitzer discusses the “cultural creolization” that has created New Orleans’ distinctive character. Continue Reading


Newcomb Hall Renovation Reflects History

A crisp, clean update and a collection of historic photos brighten the mood in Newcomb Hall’s first-floor corridor. Continue Reading


Pottery and Baskets in Dual Show at Gallery

Original exhibition showcases basketry traditions from across the globe, along with Newcomb Pottery. Continue Reading


SLA In the Media

A feature article in Urban Glass Quarterly’s summer 2010 issue goes in depth with Tulane Professor of Art, GENE KOSS. The article, titled Re-seed, discusses the resurgence of the New Orleans glass scene post-Katriana. Koss identifies the struggles, the rebuilding, and the recent triumphs in glass works both at Tulane and in the city over the past five years.
Tulane’s Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics, NORA LUSTIG, was recently quoted in The Globe and Mail. Additionally, VOXEU.com has posted a column based on Lustig’s book “Declining Inequality in Latin America: a Decade of Progress?” (Brookings Institution and UNDP, 2010). Income inequality in Latin America has declined steadily in recent years, after rising throughout the 1990s. This column presents one of the first attempts to understand why, exploring the forces behind a diminished earnings gap and increased government transfers. It says that further redistribution would benefit both equality and growth." VoxEU.org is a policy portal set up by the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Read more.

September 1-24
Drawing from the Well: New Work by Tulane Faculty

September 1 - October 17
Creative Environs: Art of the Newcomb Pottery, Voice Inside: The Form and Function of Baskets

September 1 - October 24
Ancestors and Descendants: Ancient Southwestern America at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century

September 10
Le Grand Voyage (Ismael Ferroukhi's 2004 film) - Celebrate Ramadan with the Morocco Group

September 15
Poetry reading by Peter Cooley - In conjunction with Tulane Studio Art Faculty Exhibition in the Carroll Gallery

September 18
Classical Guitar Series - featuring Ernesto Tamayo

September 23
Closing reception for Sources of Inspiration: Tulane Studio Art Faculty - Closing reception for Sources of Inspiration: Tulane Faculty

September 28
Are You What You Are (Politically) Because of Your Age? - Richard Niemi will discuss the relevance of age to voting and partisanship, focusing especially on young people.

September 30
Before & After Katrina: Educating Homeless Children in New Orleans

October 8
School of Liberal Arts Dean's Advisory Council Meeting

October 8
Alumni Band Rehearsal with TU Marching Band - followed by Pep Rally

October 9
Alumni Band performs with TU Marching Band at Homecoming Game

October 19-24
Theatre: Arthur Kopit’s Chamber Music, directed by Antony Sandoval

October 21-22
Conference: From American Sodom to American Phoenix - The Destruction and Rebirth of New Orleans

October 21
Rebecca Solnit - author of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster

October 22
Music Performance & Reception - Celebrating the Odyssey Project

October 28
Ulysses S. Grant and the Jews -- A New Look - Jonathan D. Sarna, the leading expert on American Jewish history, talks about his forthcoming book.

October 30
Before & After Katrina: Services for Children with Disabilities

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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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