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Nassau Notes

Former envoy to discuss Sierra Leone

Peter Chaveas, former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, will speak on “Peace in Sierra Leone: Not Yet Sustainable” at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Chaveas, who served in Sierra Leone from 2001 to 2004, was a foreign service officer for more than 35 years, spending much of that time in Africa. Last year, he became deputy director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.

The center’s mission is to strengthen the development of Africa’s civil and military leaders, expand democratic governance and improve communications among leaders in Africa, Europe and the United States through programs in civil-military relations, national security studies and defense economics.

Chaveas was a mid-career fellow from 1979 to 1980 and a member of the senior seminar from 1990 to 1991 in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, which is sponsoring the talk with the Program in African Studies. It is one of a series of Ambassadors Forum lectures.

‘Women’s Rights Under Attack’ is topic

A lecture titled “From Summers to Sistani: Women’s Rights Under Attack in the 21st Century” is set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

Speaking will be Kavita Ramdas, president and chief executive officer of the Global Fund for Women. She earned her master of public administration degree in 1988 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, which is sponsoring the talk with the Office of Graduate Career Services.

work by Tony Oursler

A recent work by New York artist Tony Oursler.

Artist Tony Oursler discusses his work

Contemporary artist Tony Oursler will discuss his work at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

Oursler, who lives in New York, has worked in video, sculpture, installation, performance and painting. He explores the influences of television, particularly MTV, in whose broadcasts special effects play a considerable role — and to which special effects artists of his generation have contributed much.

Oursler considers his work to be more traditional than the work of other media artists: He most often creates sculptures — though highly unconventional ones. His mixed media installations have included theatrical objects, such as puppets and dolls, that are layered with video projections and spoken text. His work has been exhibited extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Oursler’s talk is part of the /@rts (pronounced “slash arts”) lecture series, which explores interrelations of new media, technology and traditional forms and practices of arts and humanities. It is co-sponsored by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Office of Information Technology, the Council for the Humanities, the Program in Visual Arts, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Music and the Unversity Art Museum.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

Reading features Pulitzer winner

Jhumpa Lahiri, winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, will read from her work at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

Lahiri won the award for her debut book, “Interpreter of Maladies,” a collection of short stories. In her second work, a novel called “The Namesake” (2003), she built on the themes that made her collection an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation and the ties between generations.

Born to Bengali Indian parents in London, Lahiri grew up in Rhode Island. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and three master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Boston University.

The event is part of the Creative Writing Program’s Althea Ward Clark Reading Series.

Three lectures on tap for astronomer

World-renowned astronomer Alex Filippenko will present three lectures on campus Feb. 23-25 as part of the University’s Public Lectures Series.

Filippenko, a professor of astronomy at the University of California-Berkeley, and his collaborators have been credited with several major contributions to the field, including the discovery that the expansion rate of the universe — driven by a form of “dark energy” — is accelerating with time.

All of his lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. in McCosh 50. Their titles are:

• “Catastrophic Stellar Explosions: Celestial Fireworks!” on Wednesday, Feb. 23.

• “Enigmatic Gamma-Ray Bursts: Birth Cries of Black Holes” on Thursday, Feb. 24.

• “Einstein’s Biggest Blunder? The Case for Cosmic ‘Antigravity’” on Friday, Feb. 25.

Filippenko’s talks are designated as the J. Edward Farnum Lectures and will be available for online viewing a week afterward at <www.princeton.edu/webmedia>.

McGovern to lead off conference

Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate George McGovern will deliver the keynote address at a conference on world hunger Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26, in Robertson Hall.

The conference is titled “Trading Morsels, Growing Hunger, Decimating Nature: Linking Food and Trade to Development and the Environment.” It will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scientists, policymakers and practitioners to examine consumption, production and trade in food commodities.

McGovern served as a senator from South Dakota from 1962 to 1980 and was the Democratic candidate for president in 1972. Throughout his career, he has worked to improve the availability and the quality of food worldwide. As the first director of the U.S. Food for Peace Program in 1961, he was instrumental in founding the World Food Program. In 1998, he was named U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Agencies in Rome and, in 2001, he was appointed the first United Nations global ambassador on world hunger. In his book, “Ending World Hunger in Our Time,” he lays out a strategy to end global hunger.

McGovern will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall. Seating for this event is limited. The rest of the conference sessions will take place in 16 Robertson Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

Participants will take a commodity- and region-based approach with in-depth and broad analyses drawing linkages between what happens within and between countries with regard to the environment and development. They will present cases focusing on how trade arrangements affect these dynamics, linkages and outcomes.

The conference is sponsored by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies in conjunction with the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Center for Migration and Development. More information is available on the conference Web site at: <www.princeton.edu/~piirs/trading_morsels/>.

Folk concert for children

Dan Zanes and Friends will perform a folk concert for children and adults at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at McCarter Theatre. Zanes, former lead singer and songwriter for the indie-rock band the Del Fuegos, has found a second calling creating his own style of rock and roll and folk music for young people. The McCarter Family Series concert is sponsored by Bank of America. For ticket information, call the McCarter box office at 258-2787 or visit <www.mccarter.org>.

1,200 expected to attend Alumni Day

More than 1,200 alumni and parents of current undergraduates are expected on campus for a day of lectures, ceremonies and other events Saturday, Feb. 26.

The annual Alumni Day and Parents’ Program, coordinated by the Office of the Alumni Association, will begin at 9 a.m. with an alumni panel on careers in transition and end with a 6:30 p.m. dinner honoring the winner of the University’s James Madison Medal this year.

Highlights will include:

• A lecture at 9:15 a.m. by Nathan Myhrvold, a 1983 alumnus of the Graduate School and this year’s Madison Medalist. The co-founder and chief executive officer of Intellectual Ventures in Seattle and former chief technology officer at Microsoft will speak on “The Magic of Invention” in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

• A lecture at 10:30 a.m. by Thomas Kean, chair of the 9/11 commission, president of Drew University and former governor of New Jersey. The 1957 undergraduate alumnus is this year’s recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award and will speak on “Terrorism, 9/11 and the Future” in Richardson Auditorium.

• A 12:15 p.m. Alumni Association luncheon and awards ceremony in Jadwin Gymnasium.

• A 3 p.m. service of remembrance in the University Chapel to honor deceased Princeton alumni, students and University faculty and staff members.

• A 4:15 p.m. panel discussion on “Opening a Second Front in the War on Terrorism” in Richardson Auditorium. The discussion, moderated by Anne-Marie Slaughter, a 1980 alumna and dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, will focus on how the United States and moderates in the Arab and Muslim world can win the battle of ideas against violent extremists. Participating will be: Kean; Robert Hutchings, chair of the National Intelligence Council and lecturer and practitioner in residence at the Woodrow Wilson School; and Hady Amr, a 1994 graduate alumnus who is founder and managing director of the Amr Group and co-president of the Arab-Western Summit of Skills.

A variety of other presentations are planned on topics ranging from “Rip, Mix, Burn, Sue: Technology, Politics and the Fight to Control Digital Media” and “Foraging by Design: Self-Guided Schools of Robotic Gliders Explore the Ocean” to “Prokofiev’s Lost Ballet” and “Collecting American Art: A Personal History.” A number of programs are scheduled for families, including one on “Navigating the College Admissions Process” for students in grades 9 through 11.

While the Alumni Day and Parents’ Program is not open to the general public, faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the lectures, panels and workshops.

For a complete schedule, call the Office of the Alumni Association at 258-1900 or visit: <tigernet.princeton.edu/Events/AlumniDay.asp>.

Wheels are in motion

Work is under way in several departments on the recreation of one of the great lost ballets of the 20th century. “Le Pas d’Acier” or “The Steel Step,” by legendary Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, will have its world premiere on campus April 7-9. Project leader Simon Morrison (from left), assistant professor of music, recently looked over elements for the set — a mechanical world of brightly colored spinning wheels, gears, levers and a rotating conveyor belt — with Rebecca Lazier, a lecturer in the Humanities Council and theater and dance, and Chris Nelson, technical director at McCarter Theatre. For more about the work in progress, see the story on page 7.