November 21, 2001: Notebook
Photo by Charles Lyon
Emmet Gowin spent his summer in a plane. Commissioned by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to take pictures for an exhibition to be called Picturing the South, the photography professor and director of the Program in Visual Arts shot 100 rolls of aerial views of Southern paper mills with his 30-year-old Hasselblad camera. Ten photographs will be selected for the show, which will include the work of nine other photographers.
Gowin, a native Southerner and ardent environmentalist, chose paper mills because of their ubiquity. Paper mills are all over the South, he says. Plantations that once grew rice and cotton now grow pine trees for paper. He also wanted to document their impact on the environment; most of his pictures will be of the mills waste treatment ponds, which abound in toxins and dioxins.
The Atlanta show wont open for several years. Closer to realization is Changing the Earth, a one-man show of 100 of Gowins photographs (also aerial) that will open next spring at the Yale University Museum. These pictures are a culmination of Gowins work for the past 15 years. The subjects include agricultural scenes, copper mines, a Czech coal mine, and the Nevada test bomb site. (Did you know the U.S. has had more A-bombs dropped on it than any other country? he asks.)
Gowin first got interested in aerial photography when the only way he could get to Mount St. Helens was by air. I saw things I would never have seen otherwise, he said. Gowins current interest involves non-aerial photos of tropical insects.
By Ann Waldron
Caption: The main Princeton post office in West Windsor was one of three area post offices closed due to traces of anthrax contamination. (Photo: Frank Wojciechowski)
In response to the events of September 11 and the ensuing anthrax contamination at local post offices, the university has reviewed its security procedures and made several changes in order to increase the safety of members of the university community.
The response has been essentially two-pronged. The first involves increasing security personnel at public events, including sports contests and lectures. The second involves the newly formed Emergency Preparedness Task Force, a committee of seven from a variety of departments, including Public Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, and Health Services. The committees charge is to review the existing planning and preparedness efforts and develop appropriate responses to credible threats to the health and safety of the community.
Because area post offices were closed due to anthrax contamination, the university set up guidelines and worked with mailroom personnel on new procedures, providing instructions on how to open mail and giving out gloves to those employees who wanted them. (PAW is mailed from Burlington, Vermont.)
As of press time, a few incidents of possible white powder contamination had been reported at various campus locations, but all were determined to be nonhazardous; the substances included sawdust, spackling paste, and laundry powder. In one instance, at the Frist Center, a biohazard team was called in to assess the area and take samples, closing the area for several hours.
Barry Weiser, crime prevention specialist in the Office of Public Safety, said that his office has been working with local police and the FBI, which had briefed the officers about anthrax contamination and instructed them to be on the lookout for what the FBI defined as suspicious packages. Vice President Robert Durkee 69 said that the FBI was on campus on October 17 checking the security of university laboratories and confirming that no dangerous select agents as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were being used in research on campus.
Durkee also said that the university was planning a special mailing to parents letting them know what the university was doing about security.
Provost Amy Gutmann sent a memo to the faculty explaining the universitys travel rules, some new, and procedures regarding undergraduates studying abroad. In essence, everyone is advised to be more cautious, and at any sign of trouble, evacuation is recommended.
University Health Services were making available free flu shots to all employees and students, and had kits to determine if a person exhibiting flu-like symptoms did indeed have the flu.
On the web:
David Lewis, the Class of 1943 University Professor of Philosophy, died October 14 from complications due to diabetes. He was 60.
Lewis came to Princeton as an associate professor in 1970. He received his bachelors degree in philosophy from Swarthmore in 1962 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1967. He taught at UCLA for four years before coming to Princeton.
He was widely regarded as one of the outstanding philosophers of his time, said Mark Johnston, chair of Princetons philosophy department. For more than 30 years, David has made seminal contributions in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology. He is the greatest systematic metaphysician since Gottfried Leibniz, who lived in the 17th century.
He was a mentor to scores of students, many of whom have gone on to be significant figures in the field, Johnston said.
Lewis wrote widely on various topics in philosophy. His books include Convention: A Philosophical Study (1969), Counterfactuals (1973), and On the Plurality of Worlds (1986). The latter argued powerfully for the startling thesis that the actual world is just one among an infinity of worlds, each equally real. In the last few years, Cam-bridge University Press published three collections of his writings.
In 1991 he won a Behr-man award from Princeton for distinguished achievement in the humanities.
A memorial service will be held in January.
Max Apple said he was really two people: Max, the American, and Mottelle, the Jewish son and grandson of immigrants from Lithuania. Together Max and Mottelle have produced books, short stories, and movies. Age has not altered them, Apple said. They understand how much they need each other.
Apples theme of dual identity was echoed by most of the 31 other writers who spoke and read from their work to packed audiences at a three-day conference, Celebrating Jewish-American Writers, last month. Among those appearing were E. L. Doctorow, Wendy Wasserstein, Jules Feiffer, Susan Sontag, Marge Piercy, Robert Pinsky, and Grace Paley.
The conference marked the opening of the Leonard Milberg 53 Collection of Jewish-American Writers in Firestone Library, the mounting of an exhibition drawn from the collection, and the publication of a double issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle with never-before-published stories, essays, and poems by Jewish-American writers.
Milberg, who has financed the acquisition of two other collections Irish poetry and American poetry for Princetons Rare Books and Special Collections conceived the idea for the new collection two years ago. He thought it would include the work of Jewish-American writers, poets, and playwrights active since World War II.
Michael Wood, chair of the English department, encouraged him to include Hebrew and Yiddish writers; together they formed a committee of people from the library as well as other professors Deborah Nord of the Program in the Study of Women and Gender, Esther Schor of English, Froma Zeitlin of the Program in Jewish Studies, Barbara Mann of Near Eastern Studies, Olga Litvak of history, C. K. Williams of creative writing, and Sean Wilentz of history to put together a broader list. The collection now comprises works by about 150 writers from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Book dealer Howard Woolmer found the books by the authors the committee wanted, but many people helped. Even former president Harold Shapiro, to whom Milberg has dedicated the collection, bought two books that he discovered in Florida.
I was fascinated to learn how many published Jewish poets and playwrights there were before 1850, including a number of Southern women poets, Milberg said. Some of them are quite rare, some we couldnt find, but we hope to fill in the gaps.
The exhibition in Firestone, which continues through April 21, features a handwritten draft of Goose Pond, a poem by Stanley Kunitz; a typescript of Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet; and the autographed manuscript of Woody Allens Hasidic Tales, with an Interpretation by the Noted Scholar. One of the oldest items is a copy of The Charleston Miscellany (1845), open to the poem Miriam by Penina Moïse, once the poet laureate of South Carolina. The most surprising item is a handwritten poem by Albert Einstein about his nose. The double issue of the Chronicle includes contributions from about 60 of the writers in the collection. Included are essays, stories, poems, comic strips, and even a letter from Philip Roth to Edmund Keeley 48, professor, emeritus, of English.
Roth, like Saul Bellow, declined to come to the conference because he said he considered himself an American writer, not a Jewish writer. Later, Roth had a friend write to make sure another friend, Isaac Rosenfeld, was included in the collection. He was.
By Ann Waldron
Ann Waldron is a frequent contributor to PAW.
The university is planning a memorial service on Sunday, December 9 at 1:30 p.m. in the University Chapel for the alumni who died on September 11 as a result of the terrorist attacks. For more information call the Alumni Council at 609-258-1900.
Everybody has heard of that stereotypical Ivy League look: the tweed blazer, the worn overcoat, the loosened tie, perhaps a pair of horn-rimmed oval glasses; and hair slickly combed or tousled in that deliberately messy style that seems to say, I am too intelligent to brush my golden locks.
Last spring, Esquire magazine visited Princetons campus, hoping to draw from the student body a group who would model the falls best clothing for the thinking man.
They seemed to choose people who had that Ivy League look and longish hair, which was more a result of not being able to find a good barber than any conscious decision, said model and longish-haired scholar Paul Esformes 03.
Joey Shapiro 03 missed the sign-up process in Frist Campus Center, but representatives from the magazine approached him during an Ultimate Frisbee practice. Katy Hall 04 had a similar experience. I was in the food line at Frist, and this European guy came up to me and asked me if I wanted to be in Esquire, she said. I wasnt sure why, but I guess I sort of look different, with red hair and freckles.
After being selected for the shoot, Matt Hyder 01 arrived in the costume trailer, where staff members transformed the normally casual, jeans-and-T-shirt senior into an archetypal Ivy League thoroughbred.
The trailer was really pretty wild. In the back was a huge closet full of clothes and in the middle was a makeup/salon area and a seamstress corner, Hyder reported.
An entourage of photographers, hair and makeup people, and fashion consultants were involved, all with coffee cup in one hand and cell phone in the other, Esformes said.
Even though some of the outfits being modeled cost as much as $2,000 hardly within the budgetary constraints of any typical Ivy League scholar the student models were paid $50 each for their nearly five-hour photo-op.
It was fun having people fuss all over you, Hall said. But some of the scenes were so contrived.
Undoubtedly Hall was referring to the full-page print of her and Hyder, asleep in a bed of ivy, wearing thousands of dollars worth of this falls highest fashions, with a worn copy of History Professor James McPhersons Ordeal By Fire tucked conspicuously under Hyders tweed-clad arm.
Which is the way all Princeton students dress.
By Patrick Sullivan 02
Benjamin Farmer 01 writes about his modeling experience with Esquire on PAW Online Features.
Two alumni won 2001 Macarthur Fellowships, a $500,000 no-strings-attached grant over a five-year period. The fellowships recognize people who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits, and a marked capacity for self-direction in their fields. David Spergel 82 (above) has been an astrophysicist at Princeton since 1987. His work in theoretical cosmology has contributed significantly to scientists understanding of the origin, structure, and future of the universe. He is currently studying the nature and effects of dark matter, a type of matter that is thought to account for most of the mass of the universe but which has never been observed.
Danielle Allen 93 also won a MacArthur Fellowship. Allen, an associate professor of classical languages and literatures at the University of Chicago, earned an A.B. at Princeton in classics and won the Samuel D. Atkins Thesis Prize. She went on to earn an M.A. and a Ph.D. in classics from Kings College, Cambridge, and a Ph.D. in political theory from Harvard. In addition to specialized articles on time and imprisonment in ancient Athens, Allen has recently completed a book comparing the views of Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, and Ralph Ellison on distrust, rhetoric, and civic friendship; she has also written on Franz Kafka and the 18th-century doctor, political theorist, and fabulist Bernard Mandeville.
John Wilson, dean of the Graduate School since 1994, will resign from this post at the end of the academic year. He will return to the Department of Religion, where he has been a faculty member since 1960. A specialist in American religious history, Wilson plans to turn his attention back to several long-term projects that were essentially interrupted when he became dean. His scholarly research has focused on religion and public life, and religious thought.
Recent changes in the ranks of univer-sity administration: Katherine Rohrer, associate dean of the faculty, has been appointed vice provost for academic programs. Georgia Nugent, associate provost, has become the first dean of the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.
Associate Provost Joann Mitchell has been promoted to the position of vice provost for administration and Associate Provost Allen Sinisgalli has been promoted to the position of vice provost for research and physical planning. In addition, Steven Gill, budget director in the treasurers office, will assume the additional title of associate provost for finance. All four actions were effective Oct. 1.