HEARD ON CAMPUS


Feminism: Spelled Without a Dubya

How does one define “Feminism in the Age of Dubya?” It was many months ago, “when a George W. Bush Presidency was barely more than a gleam in Chief Justice Rehnquist’s eye,” that feminist writer Katha Pollitt, known for her provocative column in The Nation, chose her title for the Jane Pollack Memorial Lecture, which was sponsored by Penn’s Women’s Studies Program and held on April 4. In that talk, she described how the September 11 terrorist attacks had changed many things, including public—and news-media—attitudes:

“War always sees a resurgence of patriarchal values. Heroic firefighters and police officers involved in the World Trade Center rescue efforts, many of them at the cost of their lives, can serve as emblems, heralding the return of manliness as physical strength and courage, toughness, resolve and protection of the police.

“Peggy Noonan and Maureen Dowd have written columns that I know will embarrass them [later] all about being weak-kneed at these wonderful men, these hunks. Oh isn’t it great to be so protected by a man. I wish I was married to a man like that. On and on.

“Although Condoleeza Rice was prominently on display, for the most part, as always, the war is being won and war policy being made by men, who control the Army, the White House, and Congress. The vast majority of public voices discussing war in the media are tenors, baritones, and basses.”

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COMMENCEMENT Live, from Franklin Field … The sky was still ominous on the morning of May 13, as the black-gowned students began streaming toward Franklin Field, clutching umbrellas and cell phones. Continued...


COMMENCEMENT And the Honorands Are … Continued...

LECTURE Public Schools Must
Learn About Change
“The schooling industry suffers from a serious case of hardening of the arteries,” said James A. Kelly, as he diagnosed the U.S. public-education system in a lecture titled “Schools as Markets: The New Political Economy of Education,” delivered at Penn in April. “The organizational arrangements for schools are encrusted with old ways and they remain, essentially, command-and-control organizations.” Continued...

FORUM The Gift of Time The naked artist stares out from the canvas, clasping in one hand a paintbrush, in the other, a cloth to wipe off mistakes. Her bold gaze reveals no shame in the sag of her belly or in any other sign of her eight decades of life. Continued...

LECTURE The Biological Myth and Social Reality of Racism “Any society which is racially stratified has a fundamental problem with implementing democracy,” said Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, professor of sociology and director of Penn’s Afro-American Studies Program, during a recent talk sponsored by the Greenfield Intercultural Center. The lecture, “Evolving Dimensions of Race and Racism,” examined the ways in which race is studied and conceptualized. Continued...

Photo by Jean-Jacgues Tiziou

DEPARTURES Clark to Take Post at Smithsonian “I’ve had a great time, and I wish Penn was my alma mater,” says Virginia B. Clark, vice president for development and alumni relations, who at the end of July will take up a new position heading fundraising at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Continued...

SYMPOSIUM Inclusive Excellence “Inclusion is an indispensable component of excellence,” declared Christopher Edley, professor of law at Harvard University and co-director of Harvard’s Civil Rights Project. On September 12, he pointed out, CIA officials woke up and “realized that we didn’t have the right staff” to do the job. And, he added, it’s not likely that anyone will be demanding the agency follow “blind personnel practices” to carry out its mission. Continued...

RESEARCH Flagging Down a Runaway Technology One day last May, a CSX freight train rolled across northwestern Ohio for two hours, hauling tank cars. Nothing particularly remarkable about that—except that no one was manning the engine, and two of the tank cars were filled with toxic chemicals. Fortunately, a railroad worker was able to jump aboard and stop the train before a catastrophe ensued. Continued...

RESEARCH PERSONNEL Wilson Resigns as IHGT Director Dr. James Wilson, the John Herr Musser Professor and Chair of Molecular and Cellular Engineering, has quietly stepped down as director of Penn’s Institute for Human Gene Therapy (IHGT). Continued...

LAW ENFORCEMENT Student’s Killer Behind Bars It took four years, but the man who raped and murdered Wharton MBA student Shannon Schieber has been arrested and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment, following guilty pleas to multiple sexual assaults in Philadelphia and Colorado. Continued...

HEARD ON CAMPUS

 


Feminism: Spelled Without a Dubya

How does one define “Feminism in the Age of Dubya?” It was many months ago, “when a George W. Bush Presidency was barely more than a gleam in Chief Justice Rehnquist’s eye,” that feminist writer Katha Pollitt, known for her provocative column in The Nation, chose her title for the Jane Pollack Memorial Lecture, which was sponsored by Penn’s Women’s Studies Program and held on April 4. In that talk, she described how the September 11 terrorist attacks had changed many things, including public—and news-media—attitudes:

“War always sees a resurgence of patriarchal values. Heroic firefighters and police officers involved in the World Trade Center rescue efforts, many of them at the cost of their lives, can serve as emblems, heralding the return of manliness as physical strength and courage, toughness, resolve and protection of the police.

“Peggy Noonan and Maureen Dowd have written columns that I know will embarrass them [later] all about being weak-kneed at these wonderful men, these hunks. Oh isn’t it great to be so protected by a man. I wish I was married to a man like that. On and on.

“Although Condoleeza Rice was prominently on display, for the most part, as always, the war is being won and war policy being made by men, who control the Army, the White House, and Congress. The vast majority of public voices discussing war in the media are tenors, baritones, and basses.”


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Copyright 2002 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 7/01/02

A W A R D S



The “Father of Neutrino Research” Honored

More than three decades ago, Dr. Raymond Davis Jr. Hon’90 built a tank deep inside a South Dakota gold mine and filled it with perchloroethylene, a dry-cleaning fluid containing chlorine atoms, in the hopes that some of those atoms would react with some of the billions of solar neutrinos that quietly bombard the earth every second. Last month, the research professor of physics and astronomy was honored with the 2001 National Medal of Science for his experiment, the first to confirm the existence of these elusive subatomic particles that continue to intrigue physicists for what they tell us about our sun—and the nature of matter itself.

“I had heard of the award,” said the 86-year-old Davis, when reached by phone at his home in Blue Point, N.Y., “but I didn’t think I would ever get it, so I was quite surprised.” The National Medal of Science honors pioneering scientific research that has enhanced our basic understanding of life and the world around us. (Last year, another Penn scientist—Dr. Ralph Hirschmann, the Rao Makineni Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry—won the 2000 National Medal of Science.) In 2000, Davis won the Wolf Foundation prize in physics, half of whose recipients go on to receive Nobel prizes.

In his 1960s experiment—performed while working for Brookhaven National Laboratory, and before he joined Penn’s faculty in 1985—Davis detected only a third of the number of neutrinos predicted by the standard solar model. His findings have been confirmed and elucidated by later experiments in which Penn has played a major role. [“The Particle Sleuths,” September/October 2001.]

Penn President Judith Rodin hailed Davis as a “pioneering scientist whose extraordinary research in physics has earned him the nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in science.”