Monthly Archives: August 2010

H. Allen Brooks, 1925—2010

August 13, 2010
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H. Allen Brooks, 1925—2010

H. Allen Brooks, architectural historian at the University of Toronto known for coining the name “Prairie School” and authoring a number of important books on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and pioneering architect and designer Le Corbusier, passed away last Monday at the age of 84. In 1997 the Press published: Le Corbusier’s Formative Years: Charles-Edouard Jeanneret at La Chaux-de-Fonds. According to this entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia his comprehensive biographical account of Le Corbusier’s early career—the culmination of over twenty years of research—was applauded for the challenge it posed to existing scholarship, “correcting the mistaken impression that Le Corbusier’s work had begun in Paris,” and “was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in biography and won a first prize from the Association of American Publishers for books in architecture and urban planning.” To find out more Brooks’ fascinating life and groundbreaking studies on the history of modern architecture navigate to the Canadian Encyclopedia or read his obituary at the University of Toronto website. Or follow the link for more on Le Corbusier’s Formative Years. . . .

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David L. Hull, 1935-2010

August 13, 2010
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David L. Hull, 1935-2010

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Gina A. Ulysse on Human Rights, Haiti, and Wyclef

August 12, 2010
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Gina A. Ulysse on Human Rights, Haiti, and Wyclef

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Whaddya mean ugly?

August 11, 2010
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Whaddya mean ugly?

While academic studies on the nature of beauty abound, this article in the New York Times takes note of some recent efforts by academics to uncover the nature of ugly. The NYT‘s Natalie Angier writes: Let’s not pussyfoot. They are, by our standards, ugly animals—maybe cute ugly, more often just ugly ugly. And though the science of ugliness lags behind investigations into the evolution of beauty and the metrics of a supermodel’s face, a few researchers are taking a crack at understanding why we find certain animals unsightly even when they don’t threaten us with venom or compete for our food. Citing researchers like neuroscientist Nancy Kanwishwer, and evolutionary biologist Geoffery Miller, Angier shows how most of our ideas about the aesthetic appeal of animals are based on how closely their physical appearance conforms to, or deviates from, the physical appearance of healthy, attractive, human beings—an idea which cultural critic Wendy Steiner (also quoted in the NYT article) both draws from and complicates with her account of changing perceptions of beauty in her books, Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in Twentieth-Century Art, and The Real Real Thing: The Model in the Mirror of Art, the latter of which . . .

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Tony Judt, 1948—2010

August 9, 2010
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Tony Judt, 1948—2010

Tony Judt, world renowned scholar of European history, passed away last Friday at his home in Manhattan. The author of many books and a trenchant political columnist known for his outspoken views on Israeli policy, as an article published earlier this year in New York Magazine notes, Prof. Judt made a reputation for himslef in academic and non-academic circles alike as “one of the most admired and denounced thinkers living in New York City”. In 2008, Judt was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but until his passing, maintained a constant stream of output, producing articles for the NYRB, lecturing, and working on a new book—a follow up to his most famous work Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945. In 1998 the University of Chicago Press published Judt’s The Burden of Responsibility: Blum, Camus, Aron, and the French Twentieth Century, a book that looks at the lives of three French philosophers—Leon Blum, Albert Camus, and Raymond Aron—to demonstrate their heroic commitment to personal integrity and moral responsibility unfettered by the difficult political exigencies of their time. Many major news outlets have published articles and obituaries to mark the scholar’s passing. Find out more about Prof. Judt’s fascinating life . . .

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Jarred by Color: Iconic Images from American History

August 6, 2010
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Jarred by Color: Iconic Images from American History

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Interview with Robert K. Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed

August 5, 2010
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Interview with Robert K. Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed

Earlier today the New Yorker‘s Book Bench blog posted an interview with Robert K. Elder, author of Last Words of the Executed. In the interview Elder discusses how he came across the idea for his book and some of the fascinating historical and cultural insights it offers, including an interesting, albeit morbid, discussion of how various methods of execution—from the firing squad, to the gas chamber, to the electric chair, “a.k.a. Old Sparky”—influenced the final expressions of the prisoners. Read it online at the Book Bench blog. Read excerpts from the book. . . .

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Doing honest work in the digital age

August 3, 2010
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Doing honest work in the digital age

For those educated in a less digitized world, what constitutes plagiarism, and what does not, might seem fairly clear cut. But an article in yesterday’s New York Times notes that in an age where copyrighted intellectual property is available for the taking with the click of a button, and citing an original source can often mean digging through layer upon layer of tweets, re-tweets, blog posts, or RSS feeds, many students simply may not grasp the concept. From the Times: The Internet may… be redefining how students—who came of age with music file-sharing, Wikipedia and Web-linking—understand the concept of authorship and the singularity of any text or image. “Now we have a whole generation of students who’ve grown up with information that just seems to be hanging out there in cyberspace and doesn’t seem to have an author,” said Teresa Fishman, director of the Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University. “It’s possible to believe this information is just out there for anyone to take.” So how does one go about avoiding the ignominious fate of the plagiarist? We recommend picking up a copy of Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic . . .

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Free e-book for August from the University of Chicago Press!

August 2, 2010
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Free e-book for August from the University of Chicago Press!

For much of the twentieth century, Americans had a love/hate relationship with France. While many admired its beauty, culture, refinement, and famed joie de vivre, others thought of it as a dilapidated country populated by foul-smelling, mean-spirited anti-Americans driven by a keen desire to part tourists from their money. We’ll Always Have Paris explores how both images came to flourish in the United States, often in the minds of the same people—and for the month of August only, you can download it free from the University of Chicago Press website. Read an excerpt. Check back each month for more free e-books from the University of Chicago Press or for all our currently available e-books, see our complete list of e-books by subject. E-books from the University of Chicago Press are offered in Adobe Digital Editions format for Mac, PC, and a number of mobile devices such as the Sony Reader, IREX, BeBook, and more. Check out these links to find out more about Adobe Digital Editions or more about e-books from the University of Chicago Press. . . .

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