Princeton Weekly Bulletin   April 10, 2006, Vol. 95, No. 22   search   prev   next

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Page One
Researchers develop faster, inexpensive way to sequence genes
Warming weather alters campus

Q&A: Book reveals influence of white philanthropy on founding and future of black studies
Opportunities in Tibet open doors for novel doctoral seminar
Study: Methane emission controls can save thousands of lives
Self-invention is focus of course

Playwright Edward Albee named first recipient of Princeton/McCarter fellowship

Nassau notes
Calendar of events
By the numbers



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Nassau notes

Newman to give final talk in President’s Lecture Series

Katherine Newman, the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, will present the final talk in this year’s President’s Lecture Series on Monday, April 10.

The talk, titled “School Shootings: Why Terrible Things Happen in ‘Perfect’ Places,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. in 101 Friend Center.

Newman joined the Princeton faculty in 2004 after eight years at Harvard. Her research focuses on work and mobility, class cultures, urban poverty and violence. She is the author of seven books, including “Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings” (2004), which she wrote with four doctoral students. The book examines the rash of school shootings in the 1990s and draws on original fieldwork in two communities — Jonesboro, Ark., and Paducah, Ky. — three years after they suffered from some of the worst episodes of rampage shootings. The book explores the roots of school violence and the repercussions for the communities years later.

“The media tends to depict school shooters as loners who react spontaneously to bullying with extreme violence,” said Newman. “The truth is much more complicated. Communities and schools are often blind to the warning signals that a tragedy is on the way, and kids who know about the shooters’ intentions do not come forward. Sociological perspectives help us understand why.”

The lecture series was initiated by President Tilghman in 2001 to bring together faculty members from different disciplines. Newman’s talk will be Webcast; for viewing information, visit

Photo of: sculpture from latex weather balloons

“Skyhi,” by Nancy Davidson.


Sculptor will give illustrated talk

New York sculptor Nancy Davidson will give an illustrated talk about her work at 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 10, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St. She is known for her work with colorful latex weather balloons (“Skyhi” is shown here). The John Pozzi ’78 Lecture is presented by the Program in Visual Arts.

Safer to discuss impact of images

CBS News correspondent Morley Safer will deliver the third Goodman Lecture on Media and Global Affairs at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, in McCosh 50.

Safer will join George Goodman, chair of Adam Smith Global Television, and Princeton’s Paul Starr, the Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs, to consider “The Impact of the Images” presented by the media. The event is sponsored by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and Adam Smith Global Television.

Photo of: Morley Safer

Morley Safer


Safer has been a correspondent with the CBS program “60 Minutes” for 36 years. He will present a screening of his controversial segment on the Dutch film “Submission” that aired on the March 13, 2005, episode of the program. Though the film “Submission” was less than 15 minutes long, it showed numerous striking images of Muslims and of the treatment of women. After “Submission” was broadcast on Dutch television, its director, Theo van Gogh, was assassinated on an Amsterdam street. The film’s producer featured in Safer’s segment, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is a Muslim woman who is currently a member of the Dutch parliament and has round-the-clock security because of her involvement with the film.

The speakers will also discuss a 1965 Safer broadcast from Vietnam that helped to change America’s view of the war and had a powerful influence on war reporting. The event also will include comments on the recent turbulence caused by the depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in cartoons in a Danish magazine.

Safer has won 12 Emmys and the Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, among many other honors. Goodman is the former anchor and editor-in-chief of PBS’s award-winning program, “Adam Smith’s Money World,” and the founder of Adam Smith Global Television. Starr is co-editor of The American Prospect and the author of “The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications,” which won the 2005 Goldsmith Book Prize.

Writer/editor Dave Eggers to speak

Fiction writer and editor Dave Eggers will make two presentations at 185 Nassau St. Wednesday and Thursday, April 12-13.

He will read from his work at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Stewart Film Theater. He also will speak on independent publishing at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 207.

Eggers is the author of the books “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” “You Shall Know Our Velocity!” and “How We Are Hungry.”

In his second presentation, Eggers will talk about the vital role small publishers play in the world of American fiction and poetry. Drawing upon his own experience, he will discuss the process of starting and running a small magazine.

In 1998, Eggers founded McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house in San Francisco that publishes a quarterly literary journal, novels, translations and books of nonfiction as well as the monthly arts publication, The Believer. He also will discuss other journals, past and present, that play a significant role in the literary landscape, and which serve as an inspiration to him and other editors of small magazines.

The events are sponsored by the Program in Creative Writing.

‘Conversation with James Baker’ set

A Conversation with James Baker,” a talk with the former U.S. secretary of state, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in McCosh 10.

Baker, a member of Princeton’s class of 1952, held senior positions under three presidents. He was secretary of state from 1989 to 1992 under the first President Bush, serving as America’s chief diplomat at the end of the Cold War and during the collapse of communism. In the last several months of Bush’s presidency, Baker served as White House chief of staff and senior counselor.

Under President Reagan, Baker was chief of staff, secretary of the treasury and chair of the President’s Economic Policy Council. He also served in the Ford administration as undersecretary of commerce. Baker led the presidential campaigns of Ford, Reagan and Bush in five elections from 1976 to 1992.

Baker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and has won many other awards for distinguished public service, including Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Award. He is a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Baker is honorary chair of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and has served in recent years as a special envoy for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the current President Bush on international issues.

The talk is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs as part of a series of events celebrating the school’s 75th anniversary.

Photo of: Samuel Beckett

John Minihan, who shot this photograph of Samuel Beckett at the Café de Paris in December 1985, will be one of the speakers at the symposium. (photo by John Minihan)


Symposium marks Beckett centenary

A symposium celebrating the life and work of Irish writer Samuel Beckett is set for 2:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 14, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

The Samuel Beckett Centenary Symposium will take place one day after what would have been Beckett’s 100th birthday. The playwright, novelist and poet, most renowned for his play “Waiting for Godot,” died in 1989.

Leading off the symposium will be an illustrated lecture by John Minihan, whose friendship with Beckett resulted in some of the most striking black and white portraits of the writer. His lecture is titled “Samuel Beckett and the Wake of Katy Tyrell.” At 3:30 p.m., John Harrington of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who has written extensively on Irish literature and theater, will speak on “Beckett and America.”

“Beckett Now,” a discussion about the current status of Beckett’s reputation, recent trends in Beckett studies and issues related to the performance of Beckett’s works in the theater and on film, will follow at 4:30 p.m. Moderated by Michael Cadden, director of Princeton’s Program in Theater and Dance, this session will feature Princeton scholars Kimberly Bohman, Maria DiBattista and Michael Wood.

The symposium will conclude at 8 p.m. with Irish filmmaker Seán Ó Mórdha introducing a screening of his classic documentary, “Samuel Beckett: Silence to Silence.” Shot on location in Dublin and France, this film traces the artistic life of Beckett through his prose, plays and poetry.

Each section of the symposium will be followed by questions and discussion. The event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by Princeton’s Fund for Irish Studies. For more information and a schedule, visit the symposium’s Web site at