People & Places: December 2020

With Latin in the Service of the Popes book coverProfessor of Mathematics Anthony Lo Bello is the authorized translator of the memoirs of Italian lexicographer Antonio Cardinal Bacci, first published in Rome in 1964 by Editrice Studium under the title “Con il Latino a Servizio di Quattro Papi”. The new English language edition has the title “With Latin in the Service of the Popes” (ISBN 978-1-989905-00-5).

Peter Ensberg, professor emeritus of German, has published a monograph titled “Die Vertikalen im klassischen Horizont [Verticals in the Classical Horizon]: Schiller | Mapplethorpe, Winckelmann | Bernini, Goethe | Faulkner.” The volume’s three essays discuss the idea of humanity developed in ancient Greece and its interpretations by German Classicism in the 18th / 19th century and in (post-) modern times: Classicism re-re-visited, notions of cultural literacy, sensuality, and individuality re-considered in different philosophical, societal, cultural make-ups. The first essay compares Robert Mapplethorpe’s neoclassical photography and the concept of classical sculpture governing Weimar Classicism (Schiller). Winckelmann’s idea of classical ‘humanness’ influential in 18th and 19th century Europe is contrasted in the second essay with Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Baroque Classicism and the transformation of the aesthetic experience. The third essay looks at the omniscient narrators in Goethe’s novel “Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship” and Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom!”: Modifications of narrative perspective correspond to different perceptions of reality and changes in self-awareness. The book, in sum, is a transdisciplinary study combining insights from philosophy, literature, art history and archeology. “Die Vertikalen im klassischen Horizont” has been printed by Königshausen & Neumann in Würzburg (Germany), a leading publisher of scholarly works on aesthetic theory and philosophy.

Assistant Professor of Economics Kathryn Bender along with co-authors at OSU and LSU recently had published an invited article titled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Food Waste” in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. Bender also presented preliminary results of a July 2020 study on household behavior amid the pandemic at the All Family and Consumer Sciences virtual conference in October.

What Birders Don't See essay graphicAssistant Professor of English John MacNeill Miller published a review essay in Public Books about the racial politics of birding. The essay, “What Birders Don’t See,” explores the failure of popular science writers to mention racial and cultural issues in their writing about birds and other animals. It argues that the authors of field guides and other forms of science communication need to find ways to acknowledge the social and cultural factors influencing nature appreciation if they have any desire to promote a more inclusive, more equitable, and more sustainable future.

Associate Professor of History Guo Wu was interviewed by a Chinese-language radio station in Toronto, Canada. The radio station is part of the Hong Kong-based Singtao Media Group and the interview centers on the critical assessment of the second-generation Asian immigrants’ education and career choice in North America. Wu also published four critical opinion pieces on global current affairs in the Lianhezaobao, the most influential Chinese-language newspaper in Singapore. Two of these articles were translated by the newspaper and appeared in its English-language website:

ePortfolios@edu book coverAssociate Professor of English and Director of Writing Alexis Hart‘s co-edited book titled ePortfolios@edu: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, and Everything In-Between has been published in open-access format by The WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado.

Assistant Professor of Global Health Studies Pamela Runestad published a book chapter entitled, “Narrating #MeToo: Calling our organizations to action” in The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of the #MeToo Movement, edited by Giti Chandra and Irma Erlingsdottir.

Professor of Philosophy Eric Palmer joins Sean Greenberg (University of California, Irvine) and host Nahla Ayed in discussion on the CBC Ideas broadcast and podcast “God: Leibniz vs. Voltaire,” tentatively scheduled for December 14. Is the concept of God useful at a time of crisis? Discussants travel across time to imagine a debate on that question, between German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz and French writer and philosopher Voltaire. The origin of this imagined debate was Leibnitz’s optimistic view, outlined in his book Theodicy, that God created the “best possible world,” and Voltaire’s subsequent critique of that view in his satirical story, Candide. The departure point for our imagined discussion: a devastating earthquake in 1755 Portugal. The end point: the Coronavirus pandemic.

A paper, “A New Algorithm for Decomposing Modular Tensor Products,” by Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Michael Barry has been accepted by the Bulletin of the Australian Mathematical Society. Recently, Barry was surprised to learn that his first paper, “Large Abelian Subgroups of Chevalley Groups,” published in 1979, will be cited in a paper on quantum computing.

Ken Pinnow, professor of history and Henry B. and Patricia Bush Tippie Professor, gave a remote talk, “Medical Ethics and the Crisis of the Doctor-Patient Relationship in the Early Soviet Union,” at New York University’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia on November 2. The talk explored the tensions resulting from the promotion of medical care as a regular and normal feature of Soviet life, and considered the roles negotiated by doctors and patients within the wider conversation about citizenship in the socialist society. It is part of Pinnow’s ongoing research into the history of Soviet medical ethics.

Associate Professor of Spanish Wilfredo Hernández was invited to give a talk at Carnegie Mellon on December 2, 2020. The title of his talk was “The Transgender Subject in Venezuela under the Hugo Chávez Bolivarian Revolution (1999-2013).” The presentation included partial results of an ongoing research project dealing with transgender issues in Venezuela from the 1980s to the present.

Politics in Mexico textbook coverProfessor of Political Science and International Studies Shannan Mattiace presented the textbook Politics in Mexico (Seventh Edition; Oxford University Press, 2019) at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego on November 18, 2020. The presentation was held virtually.