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American Eclectic

Oct. 31, 2008—Toward the end of high school in Margate, Fla., a small strip of suburbia just north of Fort Lauderdale, Daniel Bernard Roumain managed to land two internships that prefigured his future musical career crossbreeding hip-hop and classical music. For a couple of summers in the late 1980s, he worked in the ticket office of the...

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Family Inheritance

Oct. 30, 2008—It’s Aug. 11, 1969. Another hot day in Greene County, Ala. I am 7 years old, about to start the second grade. We are here to watch the swearing in of six men who were elected thanks to the NDPA. Daddy created the National Democratic Party of Alabama because he thought Alabamians deserved to vote...

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Books and Writers

Oct. 30, 2008—Brecht at the Opera (2008, University of California Press) by Joy Calico, associate professor of musicology. Calico’s book analyzes the German playwright’s lifelong ambivalent engagement with opera, arguing that Brecht’s simultaneous work on opera and Lehrstück (or “learning play”) in the 1920s generated the new concept of audience experience that would come to define epic...

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Accolades

Oct. 30, 2008—Associate Professor of History William Caferro has received the 2008 Otto Gründler Book Prize for his biography John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy (2006, The Johns Hopkins University Press). Western Michigan University offers this prestigious award annually for the best book or monograph on medieval studies. David E. Lewis, professor of political science,...

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Summer Excursion

Oct. 30, 2008—The portraits of Maria Louisa Kissam Vanderbilt and her daughter, Emily Thorn Vanderbilt Sloane, spent the summer in Hamburg, Germany, at the Bucerius Kunst Forum as part of the exhibition High Society: American Portraits of the Gilded Age. Maria Louisa and Emily were the wife and daughter, respectively, of William Henry Vanderbilt, the eldest son...

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The Privilege of Woodworking

Oct. 30, 2008—Like many small boys growing up during the 1950s and ’60s, Alfred Sharp enjoyed making wooden models. That early love of woodworking ultimately would become his life’s calling, bringing him national and international recognition and awards. But the long, winding road for this self-described former hippie had a few detours along the way. After graduating...

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Vanderbilt, Curb Embrace Creative Campus Concept

Oct. 30, 2008—The Mike Curb Creative Campus Program, administered by the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt and funded by recording-industry executive Mike Curb, will affect every student on campus through new courses, faculty, internships, guest speakers, and implementation of the first national research program on creativity, the arts and higher education.  The...

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Music: Street Smarts

Oct. 30, 2008—Gayle Shay joined the Blair School of Music faculty in 1998 with a directive from Dean Mark Wait to make opera an important part of the vocal program. In her role as associate professor of voice and director of the Vanderbilt Opera Theatre, Shay has helped to do just that. Open by audition to all...

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The Creative Campus

Oct. 30, 2008—If the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt is, as its mission states, “dedicated to designing a new road map for cultural policy in America,” its cartographer is Bill Ivey, the center’s founding director. It’s a course Ivey has been charting his entire professional life, and he’s confident the time is...

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Destinies Intertwined

Oct. 30, 2008—When David Wasserstein, the first holder of the Eugene Greener Jr. Chair in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt, spoke at the Nash-ville downtown public library recently, he drew quite a crowd. His noontime talk, “Islam and Europe—Sites of Conflict,” was intended to get people thinking about Europe’s longstanding relationship with Islam and what it can teach us....

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It’s Not All About a Fat Paycheck

Oct. 30, 2008—Let’s say you’re the owner of a widget factory who’s worried about maintaining your talent pool as baby boomers begin retiring from the workforce in droves. In making your business attractive to employees, is your best bet to focus on (a) motivation-enhancing practices such as incentive pay plans, performance bonuses and performance-management systems; (b) skill-enhancing practices...

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Celestial Twins Have Their Differences

Oct. 30, 2008—Binary stars, as every science-fiction aficionado knows, are pairs of stars that orbit around their center of mass. In the world of astrophysics, binary stars are important because observing their mutual orbits not only helps determine the mass of the binaries, but also, by extrapolation, the mass of many single stars. An estimated one-third of stars...

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Be the Change You Want to See

Oct. 30, 2008—Who will save America? Which presidential candidate has the intelligence, charisma and acumen to fix our economy, deal with Iraq, address rising oil prices, eradicate poverty, lead democracy, and put the nation on a better moral track? It’s a trick question, and every four years we pound our heads against a wall trying to answer...

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Mutations Reveal Clues to Migraines

Oct. 30, 2008—Worldwide, 15 to 20 percent of people suffer from migraines—excruciating headaches often presaged by dramatic sensations, or “auras.” By studying a rare inherited form of migraine, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have found clues to the biological basis of the debilitating disorder. In the July 15, 2008, edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,...

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What Didn’t Kill Them Could Make You Stronger

Oct. 30, 2008—The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed nearly 50 million people worldwide, including many healthy young adults. With fears of another flu pandemic stoked by “bird flu” in Asia in recent years, researchers have wanted to study history’s most lethal flu and the immune response to it. But how do you go about obtaining samples from...

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