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Nassau Notes

Princeton University Orchestra

Kiri Murakami

Kiri Murakami

For the first time in its history, the Princeton University Orchestra will perform a work composed by an undergraduate during concerts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

''Reflection for Orchestra'' was written by 2004 graduate Kiri Murakami as her senior thesis. Murakami (pictured) was a co-concertmaster of the orchestra and won the concerto competition last year. Her piece, according to conductor Michael Pratt, ''warrants special treatment.'' The orchestra also will perform a work by a member of the music faculty. Assistant professor Dan Trueman's ''Three Pieces for Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra'' will feature the composer as a soloist on a nine-string violin from the Norwegian folk music/dance tradition. Completing the program will be Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 ''Pastoral.''

Ticket information is available through the Richardson Auditorium box office at 258-5000.

Journalists to discuss world affairs

Three journalists will share their views on world affairs during lectures in the coming weeks sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

They are:

• Trudy Rubin, foreign affairs columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and author of ''Willful Blindness: The Bush Administration and Iraq,'' who will speak on the topic of her book on Monday, Nov. 22;

• Steve Coll, managing editor of the Washington Post and author of ''Ghost Wars,'' who will speak on ''The Roots of Sept. 11: America and Afghanistan'' on Monday, Nov. 29; and

• Philip Gourevitch, staff writer at The New Yorker, who will discuss ''Writing About Wrongs'' on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

All lectures will begin at 4:30 p.m. in 16 Robertson Hall. They are part of the series, ''Journalists Writing the World,'' moderated by Professor Gary Bass.

Nye to present excerpts from 'The Power Game'

Harvard University's Joseph Nye will present ''Moral Choices and Foreign Policy Crises: Readings from 'The Power Game: A Washington Novel''' at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Currently a Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard and the Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, Nye was dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1995 until this past June. He also has served in leadership positions in federal government, including assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs in 1994-95.

A 1958 Princeton graduate and the author of many scholarly publications, Nye has now tried his hand at a fictional work, ''The Power Game.'' It tells of the rise and fall of a Princeton professor turned state department executive.

The lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Cold War is topic for Matlock and panel

Prominent American diplomat Jack Matlock Jr. will present ''Reagan, Gorbachev and the End of the Cold War: An Eyewitness Perspective'' at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall. His account will be followed by a panel discussion.

Matlock served as Reagan's principal adviser on Soviet affairs from 1983 to 1987 and as ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991. His address, which will be based on his recent book, ''Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended,'' is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School's Program in Leadership Studies and the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

Participating in the panel discussion will be: Andrew Moravcsik, professor of politics at Princeton; Don Oberdorfer, a 1952 Princeton alumnus and emeritus diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post; William Taubman, professor of political science at Amherst College; and Vladislav Zubok, professor of history at Temple University.

Richardson to read from new book, Nov. 30

James Richardson, poet, literary critic and professor of English and creative writing, will read from his new book, ''Interglacial: New and Selected Poems and Aphorisms,'' at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, in the Stewart Film Theatre, 185 Nassau St.

Richardson is the author of nine books: seven volumes of poetry and two critical studies of Hardy, Tennyson, Rossetti, Swinburne and Yeats. In 2001 he published ''Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays,'' which consists of 500 ''one-liners.'' His new book continues the tradition of aphorisms (#33, for instance, reminds us that ''Happiness is the willingness to be happy''), while also including new and selected longer poems.

The reading is part of a Humanities Council series celebrating the extraordinary writers on the Princeton faculty. Toni Morrison and Chang-rae Lee presented the first two readings; Joyce Carol Oates will be honored in the spring.

Two explore 'Da Vinci Code' theories

Two Princeton faculty members will lead a discussion on '''The Da Vinci Code' and the Politics of Early Christianity'' at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

Elaine Pagels, the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion, and Paul Sigmund, professor of politics, will speak on the 2003 bestselling novel by Dan Brown. The discussion will follow the showing of an ABC News program, ''Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci,'' that investigated many of the theories raised in the book.

Pagels is the author of ''Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas'' (2003), which spent several months on The New York Times bestseller list, and of ''Beyond Belief'' (1979), which Brown claims provided the building blocks for ''The Da Vinci Code.'' Sigmund, whose specialties include religion and politics, is teaching a class on ''Ancient and Medieval Political Theory.'' He has translated the political writings of Thomas Aquinas and Nicholas of Cusa.

The panel is sponsored by the Department of Politics.

work by Dot Paolo

''Blue Skater With Horse, 2004'' by Dot Paolo

Women and Gender Studies Lounge

''Blue Skater With Horse, 2004'' is part of an exhibition of works by Dot Paolo on display in the Women and Gender Studies Lounge, 113 Dickinson Hall, through Dec. 31. In the exhibition, ''Contemporary Women in Dioramas,'' Paolo uses old toys, handmade crafts and taxidermy to create dioramas that are narratives about the way artists conceive and develop ideas and physically make their art. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Economics and roots of terrorism focus of lecture by Alan Krueger

Alan Krueger, the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Policy, will present the second talk in this year's President's Lecture Series when he discusses ''Misunderestimating Terrorism: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism'' at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, in 101 Friend Center.

He will present his research on the factors that lead some people to participate in terrorism. He also will describe his efforts to derive more accurate measures of terrorism. ''Although several policy-makers have concluded that poverty and lack of education drive people to terrorism,'' Krueger said, ''the available evidence points in the opposite direction. Terrorists come from families with higher living standards and more education than non-terrorists in their communities.''

He will survey statistical evidence on the individual level and on the country level. Social science research on the factors underlying terrorism -- and meaningful data on trends in terrorist activities -- are necessary to craft intelligent strategies to combat terrorism and to assess progress in the war on terrorism, he said.

The third and final lecture in this year's series will be delivered by Claudia Johnson, the Murray Professor of English Literature, during the spring term. The program was started by President Tilghman in 2001 to bring together faculty members from different disciplines to learn about the work others are doing in a variety of fields.

The lectures are Webcast live at <www.princeton.edu/WebMedia>.

Conference planned on political polarization

Has the American political system become increasingly polarized, or is the claim that the United States has become a 50-50 nation of blue states and red states overstated? ''The Polarization of American Politics: Myth or Reality?'' will be the topic of a conference Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

The conference will bring together a wide array of past and present members of Congress, national journalists and academic specialists on public opinion and electoral behavior. Sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The conference is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for the Study of Democratic Politics and the Program in Leadership Studies. The full program is available on the center's Web site at <www.princeton.edu/~csdp/events/polarization.htm>.