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Princeton Weekly Bulletin   October 2, 2006, Vol. 96, No. 4   prev   next   current

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  • Editor: Ruth Stevens

    Calendar editor: Carolyn Geller

    Staff writers: Jennifer Greenstein Altmann, Eric Quiñones

    Contributing writers: Chad Boutin, Cass Cliatt, Karin Dienst, Teresa Riordan

    Photographers: Denise Applewhite, John Jameson

    Design: Maggie Westergaard

    Web edition: Mahlon Lovett

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Nassau notes

Program in Theater and Dance guest performance



Guest artists Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford will present “all wear bowlers” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7, in the Matthews Acting Studio, 185 Nassau St.

The performance, originally based on the films of Laurel and Hardy, tells the story of two silent film clowns who take a wrong turn and find themselves trapped in a haunted theater, where hard-boiled eggs play tricks on them and gravity refuses to behave.

Both artists have worked with Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company, which has appeared regularly on Princeton’s campus. The performance is sponsored by the Program in Theater and Dance. Tickets are available through the Frist Campus Center ticket office at 258-1742.

Conway to speak on science, free will

Princeton mathematician John Conway will deliver a series of eight lectures on the subject of science and free will at 8 p.m. Mondays beginning Oct. 2 in McCosh 50. A question-and-answer period will follow the one-hour presentations, which run through Nov. 20.

The series, which Conway has prepared in collaboration with colleague Simon Kochen, concerns the “Free Will Theorem,” the topic of the mathematicians’ recent paper. The theorem suggests that if humans have free will, then elementary particles must possess it as well. The lectures, which are for a general audience, will explain the theorem and the relevant science, and will provide information on its consequences.

Conway, the John von Neumann Professor in Applied and Computational Mathematics, has been a Princeton faculty member since 1987. His fascination with games and puzzles has led him to important discoveries in areas of mathematics from number theory to geometry. He also is well known as the inventor of the Game of Life, in which checker-like objects replicate themselves and form patterns on a grid.

Conway is passionate about bringing math to the public and routinely draws large crowds from the University and the surrounding community to his lectures.

The series is free and open to the public.

Poet Adrienne Rich to read from her work

Award-winning poet and essayist Adrienne Rich will read from her work at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in 101 McCormick Hall.

Rich has been awarded numerous honors for her work, including the National Book Award, the MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant,” the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the Commonwealth Award in Literature.

Rich has written more than 16 volumes of poetry, including “Diving Into the Wreck,” “The Dream of a Common Language” and “The Fact of a Doorframe: Selected Poems 1950-2001.” She also is the author of five nonfiction books, including “Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution” and “What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics.” Her most recent book of essays is titled “Arts of the Possible: Essays & Conversations.”

Rich has said that her poetry seeks to create a relationship between “the personal, or lyric voice, and the so-called political — really, the voice of the individual speaking not just to herself, or to a beloved friend, but to and from a collective, a social realm.”

The event is sponsored by the Program in the Study of Women and Gender.

Talk examines failures of aid to Africa

The Trouble With Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working” is the subject of a talk by former World Bank official Robert Calderisi scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Calderisi has spent some 30 years in international development working in Africa, primarily at the World Bank. His duties have included serving as the World Bank’s international spokesman on Africa from 1997 to 2000 and as country director for Central Africa from 2000 to 2002. Calderisi played an integral role in defending and supervising the controversial Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline.

Calderisi is now a consultant and writer. His lecture shares the title of his new book, in which he examines how international development has failed Africa and suggests ways to make progress. Calderisi also co-edited “Faith in Development: Partnership Between the World Bank and the Churches of Africa.”

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

Novelists Homes and Lipman to read on Oct. 4

Novelists A.M. Homes and Elinor Lipman will read from their work at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

Homes is the author of “This Book Will Save Your Life,” “Music for Torching,” “The End of Alice,” “In a Country of Mothers” and “Jack.” Her work appears frequently in Art Forum, Harpers, Granta, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Zoetrope. She is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Bomb and Blind Spot. Homes has received numerous awards including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lipman’s books include “My Latest Grievance,” “Isabel’s Bed,” “The Ladies’ Man,” “The Pursuit of Alice Thrift” and “The Dearly Departed.” Her reviews and essays have been published in the Boston Globe, Newsday, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Lipman received the 2001 New England Book Award for fiction for her body of work. She has taught writing at Simmons, Smith and Hampshire colleges.

The event is part of the Althea Ward Clark Reading Series sponsored by the Program in Creative Writing.

‘Libertarian paternalism’ is topic for talk

Legal scholar Cass Sunstein will deliver a lecture titled “Libertarian Paternalism Is Not an Oxymoron” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in McCosh 50.

Sunstein, a professor of jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School, advocates libertarian paternalism as a concept that legitimizes private and public institutions’ attempts to steer personal choices without infringing on individual liberty. His lecture will offer examples in many areas, such as government and private entities helping consumers, victims of discrimination and poverty, workers and those at risk from natural disasters.

Sunstein’s principal research interests include administrative law, environmental law, welfare law, jurisprudence and constitutional law. He has written numerous books, including “Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts Are Wrong for America” (2005) and the forthcoming “Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge” and “Are Judges Political? An Empirical Investigation of the Federal Judiciary.”

Sunstein’s talk, designated as the Walter E. Edge Lecture, is part of the University’s Public Lecture Series.


“Imperial Family Admiring a Garden in Moonlight,” a woodblock print by Toyohara Chikanobu (courtesy: Princeton University Art Museum)

University Art Museum exhibition

“Imperial Family Admiring a Garden in Moonlight,” an 1887 woodblock print by Toyohara Chikanobu, is part of an exhibition on view at the University Art Museum through Jan. 7.

Titled “Japanese Views of East and West: Imprinting the Other in Meiji Eyes,” the show focuses on the country’s perceptions of other cultures from the 1860s to the beginning of the 20th century. From a kabuki play scene set in the North American “wild west” to a panoramic view of an offshore battle with the Russians, the works in the exhibition concern a time of sharp transition in Japanese political, social and philosophical thought.

Former German presidential candidate to address global governance

Former German presidential candidate Gesine Schwan will present a lecture on “Global Governance in the Age of American Supremacy” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Schwan, a political scientist, is president of the Viadrina European University in Frankfurt (Oder). She is an expert on German anti-Americanism, political philosophy, theories of democracy, and problems of political psychology and political culture.

In 2004, Schwan ran as the Social Democratic Party’s candidate for president of Germany — a largely ceremonial but influential position — and was narrowly defeated by Horst Koehler.

Schwan formerly taught at the Free University of Berlin. She also has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

The lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in conjunction with the Einstein Forum of Potsdam, Germany.

‘When Polls Mislead’ is topic

Gary Langer, director of polling at ABC News, will present a talk on “When Polls Mislead: Setting Standards for Media Reporting on Public Opinion Surveys” at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, in 16 Robertson Hall.

Langer is the only pollster to win a news Emmy award, which he received in 2005 for his contributions to ABC News’ coverage in Iraq. He has produced surveys on politics, presidential elections, health care, education, terrorism and consumer behavior, and is credited with conducting the first national, media-sponsored public opinion polls in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Langer was with the Associated Press before moving to ABC News in 1990. His lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the Survey Research Center and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics.


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