Writers House Expands Guest List
distinguishedand variedvoices in contemporary
literature will visit campus as Kelly Writers House Fellows
this spring. Short-story writer and essayist Grace Paley,
novelist John Edgar Wideman C63 Hon86 and poet
Robert Creeley will participate in the second year of the
program, according to Writers House faculty director Dr. Al
Filreis, the Class of 1942 Professor of English.
The program is taking
a somewhat different approach than last year, when journalist
Gay Talese led a creative-writing class at the house. This
time around, each writer will visit the house for a day and
a half of activities, and their appearances will be linked
to a seminar on "Contemporary American Writing"
that focuses on their work taught by Filreis.
"We were very
pleased with the results of the semester-long course taught
by Gay Talese as the first Writers House Fellow," says
Filreis. "This year we wanted to try a series of fellowsto
enable the students in the seminar to study a range of contemporary
writers. Working with Grace Paley, Robert Creeley and John
Wideman, the students in the seminar will study three significant
but distinct aspects of the contemporary writing scene: Paleys
dense, edgy, political but finally comic short fiction; Creeleys
own masterful version of the new poetry; and Widemans
novels with their urban settings, allegorical figures and
On the first day of
their visit, the writers will participate in Filreis
class, answer questions informally for an hour on the Writers
House "green couch," read from their own works and
attend a private dinner at the house. The second days
events include a live interview and brunch. Creeley is scheduled
to visit on April 10-11 and Wideman, April 24-25. Paley is
expected to appear in late February or early March.
Previous issue's Gazetteer
| November/December Contents | Gazette
Researchers Seek Answers
After Gene-Therapy Patient Dies
17, four days after being injected with corrective genetic material, an
18-year-old participant in an experimental gene-therapy trial at Penns
Medical Center died. Continued...
But Will They Ever Sleep?
nothing can truly ease the pain of cramming for finals or
racing to crank out a term paper, but at least students can
suffer in stylepretty much around the clockin
two study spaces that opened in September.
The first phase of
renovations to the Rosengarten Reserve Room in Van Pelt-Dietrich
Library has transformed a space that, as President Rodin remarked
at the ribbon-cutting, was one of the few places at Penn that
hadnt changed at all since her undergraduate days in
the 1960s. The Undergraduate Study Center (above), which will
be open all night, has attractive lighting and carpeting and
is furnished with solid-cherry tables and chairs; its
also fully wired for laptop computers and equipped with PC
and IMac work-stations. In addition to glass-enclosed suites
for group study and distraction-free reading, it has open
reading and lounge areas and an assistive-technologies study
room for students with disabilities.
The new Silfen Study
Center, adjacent to Williams Hall, is the latest phase of
the Perelman Quadrangle project to be completed. Designed
for late-night study, the facility includes meeting rooms
and an open reading areaand a café serving coffee
and other beverages, sandwiches and light fare. (A proposed
Library Café will have to wait for a later stage of
the Rosengarten renovation, which is scheduled to resume next
from the Ends of the World
They went in pursuit of fortune,
enlightenment and aristocratic diversion. Some sought freedom from restrictions
of gender, race or law; others, a chance to conquer and shape unfamiliar
in the Trenches
For Michael S. Moore and
Heidi Hurd, co-directors of Penns Institute of Law and Philosophy,
the law can be described as "philosophy with a point." It forces
its practitioners to "reach judgments that have consequences in the
real world," as Hurd puts it. "You have to live with your philosophical
conclusionsand most philosophers dont have to do that."
Convocation: Challenges and Opportunities
one table, a dark-haired member of the Class of 2003 examined her new
Penn Card carefully, then rubbed it gently with her napkin. Behind her,
near the stage, the Quaker Notes were belting out something by the B-52s.
On stage, a dark-robed ensemble of Penn administrators and scholars sat
quietly, looking out over the 2,550 freshmen who filled the Civic Centers
Convention Hall. Continued...
Uncovering Ancient Mayoral Digs in Egypt
It must have been a "very
vibrant" building, says
Dr. Josef Wegner C89, as well as a large and handsomely appointed
one. The town mayor and his officials would have been there, working on
economic transactions. Scribes would be coming in and out, counting the
grain. Cosmetic vessels and mirrors with handles of ebony and ivory suggest
the presence of wives. Children would be running around or playing games
such as Hounds and Jackals. Even legal cases were probably adjudicated
Justice Talking, People Listening
The issues are
highly charged and constitutionally complex: Gun control. The fine line
between free speech and terrorism. School vouchers. The rights of illegal
immigrants. Sodomy laws. Doctor-assisted suicide. Drug use by pregnant
women. Censorship on the Web.Continued...
Alcohol Coordinator Appointed
part of its ongoing efforts to curb alcohol abuse on campus ["Gazetteer,"
May/June; "From College Hall," July/August], the University
has appointed an alcohol coordinator to consolidate its various alcohol-related
programs. She is Stephanie Ives, who recently coordinated a campaign at
the University of Arizona to change students perceptions about alcohol
on campus. Continued...
Shows Drinking Leads to Free-Radical Damage
A recent study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical
Center shows that even moderately heavy consumption of alcohol can
trigger free-radical damage to the body. According to Dr. Garrett
A. FitzGerald, the chairman of pharmacology and director of the Center
for Experimental Therapeutics who served as senior author of the study,
the kind of alcohol consumption that often occurs in social settings
sets off "damaging pro-oxidant processes," which have been
"implicated in a number of illnesses, including diseases of the
liver and the cardiovascular system."
When healthy volunteers were given enough alcohol to raise
their blood-alcohol levels to .08, .10 and .13 respectively, a biochemical
marker of oxidant stress showed increases of 69 percent, 289 percent
and 345 percent respectively. (In most states, the legal limit for
driving is a blood-alcohol level of either .08 or .10.) Patients admitted
to emergency rooms with acute alcohol-induced liver disease had oxidant-stress
levels that were approximately 50 times higher than normal. When patients
with chronic alcohol-related disease were given 2,500 milligrams of
vitamin C for 10 days, that same biochemical marker was reduced by
about 50 percent.
The study appeared in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal
of Clinical Investigation.
Previous issue's Gazetteer
| November/December Contents | Gazette
Copyright 1999 The
Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 10/26/99
| La Casa
Latina: A Place at the Cultural Table
La Casa Latina, Penns
new Center for Hispanic Excellence, has a homeat Westminster
House, next to the Iron Gate Theater at 3700 Chestnut Streetand
a director: Dr. Lilvia Soto, assistant dean for academic advising
in the College. The goals of the center, which opened in September,
include helping the University to recruit and retain Latino students,
and developing various social, cultural and academic programs.
colleagues and I want La Casa Latina to develop the next generation
of Latino leaders," says Soto, a native of Mexico. "We
want to be the guardians of the mysteries and the laws in which
the cultural heritage of our Latino tribe is expressed. When Latinos
study history, they learn that they are the heirs to many rich
and ancient civilizations, and this knowledge gives them the breadth,
depth, reach and vitality they need to take their rightful place at
the circular table of our civilization."