News at Princeton

Friday, April 21, 2017

Featured Stories Archive – December, 2007

Finding a novel of her own: Gee inspired by story behind famed poem

FEATURED STORY: Finding a novel of her own

Not many college students who plan to be English majors can escape a careful study of Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock." "It's a mainstay of teaching 18th-century literature," said Sophie Gee, an assistant professor of English who specializes in the literature of that period. "Professors love teaching it."

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Promoting a fresh look at history

FEATURED STORY: Promoting a fresh look at history

As he scribbled the names and dates of several Roman historians on the blackboard, Professor Marc Domingo Gygax challenged students in his freshman seminar to dig deeper. Instead of discussing facts and figures, the students analyzed the methods, biases and narrative strategies of those writers and many others to try to answer the question, "Is there any such thing as historical truth?"

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Lessons from a legend: Theater course offers 'eye-opening' insights on Albee from Albee

FEATURED STORY: Theater course offers insights on Albee from Albee

Eight Princeton undergraduates are spending the fall semester examining the plays of theater legend Edward Albee with a guest lecturer who is uniquely qualified to provide insights into the award-winning writer: Albee himself. The students are getting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to listen to, laugh with and learn from one of the country's leading playwrights in "Albee on Albee," a course in the Program in Theater and Dance covering Albee's body of work, which spans five decades.

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Expressing identity through movement

FEATURED STORY: Expressing identity through movement

The afternoon began with each student revealing a distinctive physical trait: a birthmark on an arm, a bald spot caused by a childhood accident, a chicken pox scar. A few hours later, the class moved into the Wilson College dance studio, where the students and the professor took turns striding across the floor as if walking a catwalk. In Meghan Durham's freshman seminar, "What the Body Reveals: Identity, Culture and Difference in Movement and Dance," exploring one's own body and experiences are as essential to learning as the assigned readings and papers. The class examines how a person's body, and the way he or she moves, is a reflection of identity and culture.

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Testing the waters in Bermuda for global warming

FEATURED STORY: Testing the waters in Bermuda for global warming

Snorkeling practice in DeNunzio Pool may be an unusual activity for a freshman seminar, unless the class is going to the Sargasso Sea. Over fall break, 12 freshmen in the seminar "Signals, Yardsticks and Tipping Points of Global Warming" went to Bermuda to get a firsthand look at how climate change is expected to affect ocean systems.

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'Theatrical Design' takes class from script to center stage

FEATURED STORY: 'Theatrical Design' takes class from script to stage

In some classrooms around campus, students are analyzing Euripides' Greek tragedy "Bacchae" from a literary perspective. In Robert Brill's "Theatrical Design" class, 10 students are physically translating it to the stage. The theater course pushes the boundaries of their abilities to express themselves visually, just as a literature class might test the limits of their powers of interpretation.

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For neuroscientist Sabine Kastner, the eye is a window to mind's workings

FEATURED STORY: Neuroscientist brings visual perception into focus

Sabine Kastner likes to show people that the difference between Darth Vader and Yoda is largely a matter of perception. "Put these glasses on," she says, offering a pair of goggles with two different-colored lenses, "then look at the screen and tell me what you see." Kastner, who is a medical doctor as well as a research scientist, hopes that relatively simple experiments like the Vader-Yoda test can offer a window into the mind's workings that might one day lead to a treatment for ADHD and other cognitive problems. She also hopes they will prove the initial steps toward answering questions that have piqued philosophers' curiosity for millennia: What is self-awareness, and how does the mind accomplish it?

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