On Saturday, December 30th, Phish returned to Madison Square Gardenin the final “regular” date on Phish‘s landmark 2017 calendar, and while it marked the 16th time this year the foursome graced the world-famous arena’s stage, it instantly asserted its place among the best shows in recent memory…And when we say “instantly,” we really do mean instantly. From the first notes of the rare show-opening “Mike’s Song” it was clear that this show would be something special–and it only got better from there.Following the classic “Mike’s (Hydrogen) Groove,” the band dropped into A Picture of Nectar classic “Tweezer”, perhaps the mightiest jam vehicle in their extensive catalogue. At least in the modern era, first-set “Tweezer” jams have tended to both be shorter and hew more closely to the song’s structure. However, on this night, “Tweezer” was neither straightforward nor compact. The band worked the jam through several distinct sections, from fabulous Jon Fishman and Mike Gordon-led funk bounces, to Baker’s Dozen-style Page McConnell cocktail lounge fare, to major key piano-and-guitar nirvana, to a “Piper”-like build toward a towering white-light peak from Trey Anastasio.A (nearly) 20-minute “Tweezer” jam is often an easy choice as the highlight of any show in which it appears. That choice is even easier to make when that “Tweezer” shows up in the first set. Yet on this fantastic night of Phish, “Tweezer” was far from the “jam of the show”–that title goes to the monster “Down With Disease”(-> “Steam”, > “Light”) that opened the second set. It’s not even a surefire pick for the best jam of this show’s first set: that “Bathtub Gin” a couple songs later packed an absurd amount of heat into its own 15 minutes in the spotlight.So went the Phish in 2017: Just when you thought you’d seen the top of the mountain, the band would find yet another peak to climb. 35 years into their voyage, Trey, Page, Mike, and Fish are still finding ways to excite and amaze, and playing with as much gleeful vigor as ever. Here’s to another fantastic year of Phish in 2018.Watch high-quality fan-shot footage of the fantastic 12/30/17 “Tweezer” courtesy of the venerable videographer LazyLightning55a, synced with audio taped by Noah Bickart:SETLIST: Phish | Madison Square Garden | New York City, NY | 12/30/17I: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Tweezer > Ass Handed, Kill Devil Falls > Bathtub Gin, Brother, MoreII: Down with Disease -> Steam > Light > Farmhouse, Run Like an AntelopeE: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise Unfinished[Cover photo via Phish From The Road/Rene Huemer]
Harvard President Drew Faust, University administrators, and faculty members are in Mexico this week for a series of meetings, tours, and alumni events. During their visit to the nation with the largest number of Harvard degree recipients in Latin America, participants are posting items about what they do and see.FRIDAY, OCT. 24By Brian D. Farrell“Since I have been at Harvard these last 20 years, my involvement with DRCLAS has been one of the happiest experiences of my life because it bridges the arts and sciences in a region I love,” said Brian D. Farrell, director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerI am a biologist and the new director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS). I first visited Mexico while doing research for my dissertation in 1987. I had rented a VW Beetle, apropos enough, and drove from Mexico City to Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and back up through Puebla in search of milkweed beetles, often stopping at archaeological sites visited by earlier entomologists who had discovered my beetle group there in past years.I was introduced to my future spouse, Irina Ferreras, by a mutual friend from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) who was working in the same graduate labs as I did. I later became friends with UNAM Professor Rodolfo Dirzo (now at Stanford). I have several colleagues at UNAM now, specialists on beetles and their host plants. I have visited Mexico many times since, and my early dual experiences of the extraordinary cultural and biological richness here kindled my love and appreciation of the continuity between the arts and sciences.Since I have been at Harvard these last 20 years, my involvement with DRCLAS has been one of the happiest experiences of my life because it bridges the arts and sciences in a region I love. DRCLAS is Harvard in miniature, bringing together people, students, and scholars from across the University’s Schools and departments, from art and architecture to medicine and public health. Like all Harvard centers, we are a service organization, helping the research and educational interests of the faculty and students, in the context of Latin America.We partner with Latin American institutions in contexts of mutual interest, and support visits and other educational opportunities in both directions. The DRCLAS Mexico & Central America office started here in Mexico City just 18 months ago with one staff person, program director Patricia Villarreal, M.Ed. ’08, working from home. We have since added program coordinator Gracia Angulo ’10, and our activities are on an exponential climb, with dozens of student internships and partnership areas ranging from venture capital to sustainable development, documentary films to public health clinics.Our longtime supporters in Mexico and elsewhere in the region had already jump-started our programs from the Cambridge office, and our new office in Mexico City now provides the catalysts of contacts and communication that have attracted new faculty and the students they teach. The office even provides a small but attractive space for talks and seminars, and is a hub for visitors from Harvard to meet with colleagues here. We are proud to complement the 25-year anniversary of the Fundacion México en Harvard, which supports the attendance of so many brilliant Mexican students at our University.Our 15 partners in Mexico and Nicaragua include the Colegio de México, where students take summer study-abroad courses; Tecnológico de Monterrey and its projects on sustainable development in rural communities throughout Mexico; and INCAE Business School in Nicaragua, where Harvard students work as research assistants. We are excited about the upcoming workshop in Cancun run by Professor Diane Davis of the Graduate School of Design. Partnerships are in development with the Smithsonian Institution in Panama and universities in Costa Rica. DRCLAS Mexico and Central America assists January-term courses, conferences, film screenings, book presentations, and other events of academic interest. We also promote opportunities for Mexican and Central American academics at Harvard.In short, we aim to serve and nudge forward collaborations of all manner that serve the academic interests of Harvard and this remarkably rich and varied region in Latin America. For me, it is personally enriching to be able to help bring together people and interests in a place that transformed my own professional and personal life.Brian D. Farrell is director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and a professor of biology in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.THURSDAY, OCT. 23By Arturo Villanueva ’13“Today I am back in Mexico after 16 years, working for the water practice of the World Bank, tackling some of the most challenging water security issues affecting this nation,” said Arturo Villanueva ’13 (from left), pictured here at “Your Harvard: Mexico” alongside Juan de la Cruz Higuera Ornelas, and President Drew Faust. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerAs a recent Harvard College graduate now living in Mexico, I was thrilled to attend “Your Harvard: Mexico” on Tuesday evening. As always, it’s a pleasure to reconnect with the Harvard community from around the world, but I want mostly to give my thanks.I still remember that day years ago when I came across the Harvard/Princeton/UVA flier, sitting at the Chick-Fil-A in Mission, Texas, where I worked, completely flooded with questions about college. Following the date and hour listed on the flier, I showed up at the information session hosted by the three universities. I arrived at the hotel meeting room, sat, listened, and began to believe. Harvard could be a possibility for me, for my family, and for other students like me.Harvard changed my life, the life of my family, and of my community. Every experience, from walking onto the varsity lightweight rowing team to serving as a marshal for the Class of 2013, was incredible. Today I am back in Mexico after 16 years, working for the water practice of the World Bank, tackling some of the most challenging water security issues affecting this nation.I feel fortunate and blessed to belong to such a rich and diverse community as Harvard’s, and to be able to exercise what I learned during my time in Cambridge here in the “real world.”Arturo Villanueva graduated from Harvard College in 2013.WEDNESDAY, OCT. 22By Gracia Angulo ’10“When I was an undergraduate, DRCLAS helped to plant the seed that would lead me to put down roots in this country,” said Gracia Angulo ’10, program coordinator for DRCLAS Mexico and Central America. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerI have a nomadic habit of adopting homes. My trek around the globe began at an early age, when I moved from my native Honduras to Jamaica. Academic pursuits took me to Massachusetts, where I attended Phillips Academy and Harvard College. I graduated in 2010 with a degree in human evolutionary biology and then moved to Paris for my first job after college. This was my convoluted journey to Mexico City, where I arrived a year ago to work with the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) in the newest overseas office for Mexico and Central America.When I was an undergraduate, DRCLAS helped to plant the seed that would lead me to put down roots in this country. The summer after my junior year, I participated in an internship in sustainable development in Cuernavaca, a city about an hour south of Mexico’s capital. My experience that summer influenced my decision to return years later to a country that is rich in culture and full of opportunities, largely due to the energy of its people. I noticed this forward-moving spirit when I was a student, and am even more aware of it now as a staff member working and living here full-time. The interest and willingness of the Harvard alumni in the region to help us make connections and develop ideas has been tremendous and, largely because of this network of doers and thinkers, Mexico has been the perfect springboard for DRCLAS to expand Harvard’s outreach in Latin America.This past year I have found a way to merge my global penchant and interdisciplinary interests in a region close to my heart. As DRCLAS continues to develop student programs and promote initiatives in Mexico, where we have already received approximately 80 students to date, we also have focused our efforts on expanding our presence in Central America, most recently with a trip to Panama to explore the development of science-focused programs, and where the evolutionary biologist in me got a chance to shine.I think it is difficult to comprehend how extensive the Harvard community really is. As a student, you are at the center of it — surrounded by Harvard peers and resources on campus. But it is not until you’re thrust outside Harvard Yard that you begin to cross borders, generations, and industries and find that, almost everywhere, there are University alumni who are accessible and ready to help. Tuesday night’s gathering of 500 Harvard community members in Mexico City for President Drew Faust’s visit was a testament to this statement.My disjointed list of homes continues to grow, with Mexico as its latest entry, but I have come to recognize that this period in my life is more than that, as DRCLAS and Mexico have also become my professional home. It’s a remarkable realization that in my meanderings, all roads eventually lead back to Harvard.Gracia Angulo graduated from Harvard College in 2010 with an A.B. in human evolutionary biology. She is the program coordinator for DRCLAS Mexico and Central America.WEDNESDAY, OCT. 22By Philip W. Lovejoy“My job allows me the deeply gratifying task of connecting faculty and students to alumni around the world, which — as last night’s Your Harvard Mexico event in Mexico City proved — can be truly magical,” said Philip W. Lovejoy, executive director of the Harvard Alumni Association. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerAs head of the Harvard Alumni Association, I often say I am drawn to this work due to the extraordinary people I meet, and the alumni who are so deeply devoted to Harvard. What’s more, my job allows me the deeply gratifying task of connecting faculty and students to alumni around the world, which — as last night’s Your Harvard Mexico event in Mexico City proved — can be truly magical.Last night, more than 500 alumni, hailing from nearly every one of Harvard’s Schools, descended on Museo Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso Anfiteatro Simon Bolivar to celebrate Harvard and its long and strong ties to this country. They gathered to reconnect with old friends, to make new friends, and to hear President Drew Faust’s vision for Harvard.The auditorium was home to Diego Rivera’s first mural, “La Creation,” in Mexico. A fitting backdrop for the evening, the mural depicts arts and sciences as the foundations of creation.A panel discussion on creativity featured Jorge I. Domínguez, University vice provost for international affairs and Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico; Dean Julio Frenk of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Laura Alfaro, the Warren Alpert Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School; Mary Schneider Enriquez, Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums; and alumnus Alejandro Ramirez Magaña. The session explored the role of creativity in economic, business, health, and cultural life.I was particularly struck by the reflections of Schneider Enriquez, who spent many years living and working in Mexico, on the unique strength of family bonds in Mexican society. After the panel, President Faust detailed the University’s rich and varied ties to Mexico, her vision for the University’s future, and the unique role that alumni play in our Harvard family, with its similarly unshakable bonds. I’ll close as she did: “What we do in Cambridge is enhanced and enriched by the engagement of alumni, the advice of alumni, and the connections that alumni can create for us. Though you have left Harvard, you are still very much a part of what we do.”Philip W. Lovejoy is executive director of the Harvard Alumni Association. TUESDAY, OCT. 21By William L. Fash Jr.Harvard Professor William L. Fash Jr. stands near the Pyramid of the Sun, “so named by the Aztecs as the place where the ‘fifth sun’ was born, marking the creation of our present world,” he explained. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerWhat a privilege to visit the World Heritage Site of Teotihuacan, the “City of the Gods,” with President Drew Faust and my Harvard colleagues. Teo was the sixth-largest city in the world during its heyday from A.D. 100-550, and we discussed the challenges posed for interpretation by a city of this immense size and longevity.We held a mini-seminar on the history of exploration at the site, the tradeoffs between digging and preserving sites for the future, the changing mores of conservation, and the content and meaning of the amazing dedicatory offerings of the Moon Pyramid.We next visited the buried architecture of the Quetzal Butterfly Palace, where I pointed out the four-petal yellow flower signs that decorated the pillars of the palace. These are found throughout the city, and are believed by some scholars to be the symbol or even the name of the ancient city.Brian Farrell, director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and an ecologist with deep knowledge of Mexican flora, fauna, and insects, said four-petal flowers are exceedingly rare, and in that part of Mexico it was likely the evening primrose. President Faust Googled it on her phone and found a picture of such a flower, and we marveled how it looked like the carvings on the palace.We walked down the grand processional way, called the Avenue of the Dead by the later Aztecs (who reigned supreme in Mexico from 1438 until the arrival of the Spanish in 1517). Then it was on to the immense Pyramid of the Sun, so named by the Aztecs as the place where the “fifth sun” was born, marking the creation of our present world.Last year Alejandro Sarabia, director of the Teotihuacan Archaeological Zone for the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, discovered a stone statue of Huehueteotl, the Old Fire God, inside the temple on the summit of the Sun Pyramid, which supports the fire and solar associations of this huge monument.Similarly, I and my colleagues Alexandre Tokovinine and Barbara Fash recently published a re-analysis of the stone sculptures that adorned the frontal Adosada platform at the base of the pyramid and concluded that the Teotihuacanos (and some distinguished Maya lords) practiced the “new fire” ceremony on the summit of that platform. The Aztecs performed that ceremony every 52 years, to ensure that the fifth sun and our world would not come to an end.But Eduardo Matos Moctezuma said that the water associations for the Sun Pyramid imbue it with a quite different meaning. Matos discovered a moat around the pyramid, which fills with water each time it rains. In the early 1970s a long, artificial cave beneath the pyramid was discovered, which the ancient Teotihuacanos had dug into the volcanic lava before constructing the pyramid. The cave runs 103 meters into the lava, an important clue because one of the Aztec names for the goggle-eyed rain god Tlaloc was “he of the long cave.”As the soft rain of Tlaloc lifted, we walked to the summit of the platform. There I shared our hypothesis about the “new fire” ceremony, and how in Teotihuacan times the ceremony was likely to have been performed for the accession of rulers, not just for solar ceremonies. We believe that the Sun Pyramid was dedicated to both fire and the sun, and to water and Tlaloc, not unlike the Aztec Great Temple, which the group had visited the day before. The visit gave all of us much food for thought. For my part, I felt deeply honored to be a part of it.William L. Fash Jr. is Harvard’s Charles P. Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology.MONDAY, OCT. 20By Julio FrenkWhile in Mexico City, Julio Frenk (left), dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, speaks with Brian Farrell, the director of Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerMexico is not only the beloved country of my childhood, it is also the place that ignited my passion for public health. Later I had the opportunity to put my ideas into action as the nation’s minister of health, a role that continues to inform everything I do today.My father and his family fled Germany in the 1930s. I would not be alive had they not found a welcoming refuge in Mexico, a country that was poor economically but rich in human spirit and cultural diversity.Perhaps for these reasons, I grew up with a strong sense of obligation, a desire to give back to the country that had given us so much. That drive found its focus when I was 16 and spent two months in an isolated mountain community in Southern Mexico. At the time, I hadn’t decided whether I would study medicine, like three generations of Frenks before me, or anthropology, and I made this trip to observe a prominent anthropologist in action. One day, an extremely poor woman staggered into our town, carrying a very sick child. She was covered in blood, having injured her head on the trek, so both she and the child were in need of care. But there was no one at the health post — no one at all who could provide the medical aid they needed. For me, this was the turning point. I remember thinking: I am not only going to study these people. I am going to serve these people.Decades later, when I had the great honor of serving as minister of health from 2000 to 2006, I was committed to finding a way to provide essential health care for everyone, including the poorest and most vulnerable — people like the grandmother and child who had made such an impression on me so many years before. This vision, which at times seemed impossible, would not let go of me, and with the support of many people and institutions (including Harvard University), it ultimately became a reality. Today, the universal health coverage program known as Seguro Popular is firmly established, covering 58 million people.One of the most critical lessons I took away from this time is the incredible power of good evidence. When we spoke with Mexico’s Congress and other decision-makers in the country, strong evidence made all the difference. No one had any idea how many people were impoverished simply because they had to pay for health care. The peasants forced to sell their land or work implements to pay for medical care were all but invisible. It was only when we conducted a rigorous analysis that this became clear, and that enabled the most important health reform in Mexico in three decades.This lesson is at the heart of my vision for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Indeed, the unique contribution of this School is the production, reproduction, and translation of knowledge in the form of research, higher education, and outreach. When it comes to public health, there is no conflict between excellence and relevance. Indeed, they are two sides of the same coin, since knowledge is the most powerful force for enlightened social transformation.Julio Frenk is dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and is T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development at HSPH and the Harvard Kennedy School.SUNDAY, OCT. 19By Jorge I. DomínguezJorge I. Domínguez (right), Harvard’s vice provost for international affairs, spoke with Hector de Jesus, the superintendent of the Mexico City National Cemetery. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerSixty years ago, two Harvard University professors of botany, working with Mexican and U.S. colleagues, discovered fossilized grains of 60,000-year-old corn pollen 200 feet beneath Mexico City. The discovery established definitively that corn is a native of the Western Hemisphere. Mexicans and their ancestors have cared for corn for centuries, and Harvard and Mexico have been intertwined for the past two centuries in the collaborative search for knowledge.On Sunday, Harvard University President Drew Faust began her visit to Mexico City, becoming the fifth consecutive Harvard president to do so. She celebrates how much Mexicans have taught Harvard and the world. For example, one of Harvard’s most distinguished appointments in the humanities every year has been the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry. From Mexico, these have included musical composer Carlos Chávez (1958), architect Félix Candela (1961-1962), and poet Octavio Paz (1971). Harvard’s first Robert K. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies was the novelist Carlos Fuentes, and since then many other Mexicans have held this visiting professorial appointment.Harvard has learned as well from the thousands of Mexicans who have earned their degrees at the University — 1,722 in the past 20 years, and many others before then. In the fall of 2013, 98 Mexican passport-holders were enrolled in Harvard degree programs (approximately twice the number at the start of the 1990s), the most from any Latin American country, placing Mexico among the University’s top 10 suppliers of students. Upon returning to Mexico, these alumni work across the professions, in music and the arts, in business and in public service, and in universities across the arts, humanities, and the social, life, and physical sciences. Three of the last six presidents of Mexico have been Harvard alumni.Faust visits Mexico to applaud and express thanks for the extraordinary tripartite collaborations among Harvard’s Mexican alumni, the government of Mexico, and our University. Twenty-five years ago, several alumni in Mexico launched the Fundación México en Harvard to raise funds to enable Mexicans to enroll in Harvard degree programs independent of the applicant’s own or his or her family’s financial means. The five founders, in their statesmanship and vision, established a fellowship program to support Mexican students across dozens of degrees across Harvard’s Schools. Earlier in this century, the Mexican government’s Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) joined Fundación Mexico and Harvard to provide fellowships for Mexican Ph.D. students. Since then, the government of Mexico has been second only to the government of the United States in its support for Harvard Ph.D. students.Harvard is today one of Mexico’s public universities, open to a hard-working and smart Mexican student regardless of financial means. Thanks to the partnership among Harvard alumni through the Fundación, CONACYT, and the University’s own resources, a Harvard Ph.D. is free to every Mexican who gets admitted. Fellowships for the Ph.D., as for Harvard College, are awarded need-blind and passport-blind: If you are good and you need the funds, welcome! These enlightened alumni, the incumbent and past presidents of Mexico, and the legions who have enabled Harvard to offer such fellowships will pay your full tuition and your costs of lodging and food. Harvard is free to Mexicans from the most modest economic backgrounds.One of Harvard’s most lasting contributions to Mexico is through research. Professor Alán Aspuru’s research on sustainable energy holds the promise of revolutionizing this field, showing how a Mexican at Harvard adds value to worldwide knowledge and to Mexico itself. Harvard’s capacities have been immeasurably enhanced thanks to the dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, former Mexican Minister of Health Julio Frenk, who has knitted ever-growing research and educational partnerships between Harvard and Mexico. The world, but especially Mexico, learns from Professor David Carrasco’s research on the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2, whose 700 images and symbols painted on the large amatl bark paper tell of the migration and settlement of the Chichimec ancestors of the Aztecs through their ordeals, landscapes, and monumental city. Harvard and Mexican scholars have also collaborated over the past two decades to map the public opinion and voting behavior of Mexicans as they invented and enacted a democratic transition that transformed their public life and the nation’s prospects.In her visit to Mexico, President Faust encounters hospitality, friendship, generosity, and leadership, certain that Mexico has been good for Harvard, hopeful that Harvard has been good for Mexico, and committed to ensuring that Mexico and the University collaborate intellectually to make a better world.Jorge I. Domínguez is the Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico and is University vice provost for international affairs.SUNDAY, OCT. 19During her trip to Mexico, Harvard President Drew Faust visited a cemetery honoring U.S. war dead and other veterans at the Mexico City National Cemetery. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerAlongside a busy street in the heart of a modest but bustling Mexico City neighborhood lies a small sanctuary of grass and flowering trees, shielded from nearby traffic by simple white walls covered with 813 names. At one end of the one-acre, rectangular oasis is a burbling fountain. At the other end is a simple white obelisk on a swath of green grass, inscribed at the base with the following words:To The Honored MemoryOf 750 AmericansKnown But To GodWhose Bones CollectedBy Their Country’s OrderAre Here BuriedThe monument stands over the collective graves of unknown soldiers who fought and died for the United States in Mexico City during the Mexican-American War in 1847. Their remains were transferred to this place in 1851, after the U.S. Congress appropriated funds to ensure a formal burial.In addition, the 813 names mark the final resting places of the people, mostly Americans, who were interred in the cemetery until it was closed in 1924. Though civilians, many were veterans of the Mexican-American War, as well as of the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and battles against Native American tribes in the West. Today, the Mexico City National Cemetery is owned by the United States and operated by the American Battle Monuments Commission.On a cool, gray afternoon, Harvard President Drew Faust toured the cemetery for the first time since learning about it while researching her book “This Republic of Suffering,” and reflected on the historical turning point that these graves represent in how the United States cares for its honored war dead.American cemetery in Mexico CityHarvard President Drew Faust stands at the monument in the Mexico City National Cemetery. The monument marks the collective graves of unknown soldiers, as well as listing the names of those who fought and died for the United States in Mexico City during the Mexican-American War in 1847. Harvard President Drew Faust is the Lincoln Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
At a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Dec. 6, 2016, the following Minute was placed upon the records.After the dissident Polish poet Stanisław Barańczak accepted a visiting professorship at Harvard in 1978, he endured seven rejections from the Polish government for a passport before finally receiving permission to leave in March of 1981, shortly before the imposition of martial law. The Harvard Crimson joyously announced his coming with the headline “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, yes!” This original three-year commitment quickly led to his permanent appointment as the Alfred Jurzykowski Professor of Polish Language and Literature.Stanisław flourished for nearly two decades in this new, American phase of his already brilliant career as poet, translator, literary critic, and teacher. He trained and inspired a new generation of Polonists, underscoring the interconnected fabric of Slavic literatures. He spurred the development of Polish letters among the diaspora as well, encouraging the founding of the Parisian quarterly Zeszyty literackie (Literary Notebooks) in 1982 and becoming its most prolific contributor. A prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease forced him to stop teaching in 1999, but with the love and heroic support of his wife, Anna, he was able to continue working and receiving friends at his home in Newtonville until his death on Dec. 26, 2014, at the age of 68.Born in Poznań in 1946, Stanisław by the mid-1960s had become one of the leading young poets of a protest movement that came to be known as the New Wave. By the mid-1970s their art had to be published underground to avoid official censorship. Their poetry purposely appropriated what he called contaminated language—the stifling words of Newspeak—to expose the shallowness and lies of government ideology, undercutting the authority of the regime with its own forms of expression. Newspeak for him was “the language in which the word ‘truth’ is a newspaper name and ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ are administered by a police chief.” He and his artistic peers strove to use such desemanticized words in new, serious contexts to reassert their fundamental meanings and reaffirm the dignity of the Polish language.After the food riots of June 1976, Stanisław helped to organize the Workers’ Defense Committee (Komitet Obrony Robotników or KOR), the predecessor of Solidarity, and to found the underground journal Zapis, actions that resulted in his being fired from his teaching position at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. He responded in typical irony, noting that it gave him more time to do what he loved most—write.In his introduction to “The Weight of the Body,” he offers a characteristically ironic perspective on poetry itself:Poetry has always been a desperate call for fair play, for sticking to the human/humane rules of the game. The fact that the game’s partner—nature, an oppressive regime, death, history, God himself—is not necessarily human, much less humane, does not really matter. The poet is a tenant who reluctantly admits that, yes, he should have read the fine print before signing the lease, but is also cocky enough to insist that, fine print or not, he does not deserve to be treated by his landlord like dirt. . . . Poetry is always some kind of protest. It does not really matter whether the pain is inflicted by a policeman’s truncheon or by a realization of the inevitability of death. Whatever the world treats him with, the poet reacts the same way: he tries, against all odds and all logic, to defend his human birth.His primary works include ten volumes of poetry, monographs on Polish poets Miron Białoszewski and Zbigniew Herbert, essays on ethics, and anthologies of translations, primarily from English.Stanisław’s fascination with language together with his own poetic genius led him happily to translation. He became a cultural intermediary between English and Polish, translating inter alia George Herbert, John Donne, Emily Dickinson, John Keats, W. H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, and Doctor Seuss. His mastery of genre was demonstrated in his crowning achievement: for modern Poles, it is Stanisław’s words that preserve the theatricality of Shakespeare on the stage. Among his most notable Polish translations into English are the Jan Kochanowski cycle of elegies, “Laments,” with Seamus Heaney, and the poetry of Wisława Szymborska with Clare Cavanagh. His colleague Joanna Niżyńska describes his translations as “masterpieces of . . . craft and invention . . . immediately recognizable . . . for their matchless rhythm and rhyming. ‘Never translate good poetry into bad poetry’ was his motto. ‘If you cannot translate Akhmatova’s meters, you’d better turn your attention to cultivating cacti.’”When asked which aspect of his own poetry was most difficult to translate, Stanisław replied:I write poems which contain puns or variations on puns. . . . I appreciate when a translator tries to cope with one, but I’m satisfied with perhaps 10 or 20 percent of such translations. . . . I cannot accept that certain types of poems are untranslatable. Even the most “untranslatable” poetry can be rendered into another language if the translator is imaginative enough.In his admirable love of wordplay and punning Stanisław most certainly belongs to the philosophical tradition of Marx and Lennon . . . that’s Groucho and John, not Karl and Vladimir Ilyich!In an all-too-short lifetime, Stanisław—playful, courageous, ironic, subtle, mischievous, inventive, razor-sharp—gave us a prodigious outpouring of brilliant poetry, translations, and essays that will endure. His tenth volume of poetry, Chirurgiczna precyzja (Surgical Precision, 1998) earned him the Nike Prize in 1999, Poland’s most prestigious literary honor. In November 2006, the rector of Jagiellonian University in Cracow came to Harvard to bestow an honorary degree on Stanisław at a ceremony in the Barker Center with faculty and deans in full academic regalia. Poland had now fully embraced her son with highest honors from her most ancient university, paying homage to his poetic mastery and simultaneously honoring the art of poetry, the medium he had dedicated his life to practicing freely as a citizen of the world.Stanisław is survived by his wife, Anna; his son, Michael; his daughter, Anna; and his sister, Małgorzata Musierowicz.Respectfully submitted,Donald FangerGeorge GrabowiczHelen VendlerMichael S. Flier, ChairPortions of this Minute were previously published by Michael Flier, “Stanisław Baranczak (1946–2014): A Tribute,” pp. 7–9, Warsaw: Fundacja Zeszytów Literackich, 2015. http://slavic.fas.harvard.edu/files/slavic/files/baranczak_tribute.pdf.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tom Vilsack, President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of agriculture, is pledging to focus on climate change initiatives and work to address racial inequities in agricultural assistance programs. Vilsack, who testified Tuesday before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, brings more on-the-job experience than any other Biden Cabinet nominee. In addition to serving two terms as the governor of Iowa, he spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s Agriculture Secretary. In his testimony, Vilsack heavily endorsed boosting climate-friendly agricultural industries such as the creation of biofuels. Vilsack seems to enjoy bipartisan support and faced no serious criticism from Republicans on the committee.
Photo Illustration by Steph Wulz and Emily McConville Members of the Notre Dame community would send handmade greeting cards to Fr. Edward Sorin for Founder’s Day, celebrateed annually on Oct. 13. This card, from Eleanor C. Donnelly, dates from 1890.Sorin came to the United States in 1841 and began teaching at a school in St. Peter’s, Ind., where he came into conflict with the bishop there, Lysy said, but this discord led to the founding of Notre Dame.“The bishop in the fall of 1842, so a year after Sorin got to America, said that he has this property, which had been given to him, sold to him, in northern Indiana, on the condition ⎯ there was a proviso in the agreement ⎯ that an educational institution be established there,” Lysy said. “So Bishop [Célestine Guynemer de la] Hailandière offered that to Sorin on the condition that within two years he build a school here.”The site had been a location for French missionaries in the past, but Sorin turned it into a place with many different levels of schooling, from elementary to commercial to manual labor, Lysy said.In the early years of the University, Sorin was quite protective of Notre Dame, as exhibited during a cholera outbreak on campus in 1855, according to Arthur J. Hope’s book, “Notre Dame — One Hundred Years.” Sorin determined the illness was caused by mosquitos inhabiting the marsh land surrounding campus, so he intended to buy it, but the land’s owner was uncooperative, according to Hope.“In principle, they had agreed to the sale, but when the time came to consummate the sale, the [land’s owner] left town,” Lysy said. “So [Sorin] couldn’t consummate the deal, yet he wanted to knock down the dam that was on that property to drain the swamp because that would help alleviate the mosquitos.“So he just organized the brothers, and they went over and chopped down the dam anyway, even though he hadn’t bought the property yet. But he did buy it subsequently. So it’s Sorin taking bold extralegal action to solve a problem.”Sorin also solved a conflict with some of the Holy Cross brothers by sending them to pan for gold in California during the gold rush, Lysy said. Sorin often disagreed with his Holy Cross superior in France, Basil Moreau, in defense of Notre Dame, Lysy said.“At one point, Fr. Moreau ordered [Sorin] to go to Algeria or some place as a missionary, and he said, ‘No, I’m not doing that,’” Lysy said. “Given the distance between them, Sorin could exercise some independence from him.”Sorin would often sail to Europe, and in fall 1875, his vessel was shipwrecked in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, according to Hope.While Sorin was planning to sail to Europe in April 1879, he had to turn back because a great fire engulfed the campus, according to Hope, but this famous fire was not the only one to hit Notre Dame in its early years.“In 1849, there was a fire that almost put us out of business,” Lysy said. “And the original Log Chapel burned down in 1856, although it was being used as a stable at that time. It didn’t have the cache then that it does now. Fifteen years later, it was a junky old building that they’d be happy to get rid of, and now it’s historic.”After the great fire, however, Sorin felt compelled to rebuild the campus even better than it was before, which Timothy Howard recounted in a letter to Fr. Daniel Hudson, a correspondence Hope reprints in his book.“I was then present when Fr. Sorin, after looking over the destruction of his life-work, stood at the altar steps of the only building left and spoke to the community what I have always felt to be the most sublime words I ever listened to,” Howard wrote. “There was absolute faith, confidence, resolution in his very look and pose. ‘If it were all gone, I should not give up!’ were his words in closing. The effect was electric. It was the crowning moment of his life.”Despite all of Sorin’s accomplishments, Lysy said he would most likely want to be remembered as an educator.“I think being remembered as a saintly, gentle man who wanted to educate youth and wanted to develop them [would make Sorin happy], and for him, a major part of that would be to have them be good, orthodox Catholics,” Lysy said. “That’s fundamental to what his mission would be as a priest, but also to be educated with the sense that education and Catholicity go together. They’re not in opposition, but they mutually reinforce each other.”Tags: Bicentennial, Fr. Sorin, ND archives Despite the University’s continuing fanfare in honor of his 200th birthday, which took place Feb. 6, Notre Dame’s founder, Fr. Edward Sorin, discouraged the celebration of his birthday in favor of Founder’s Day, the Oct. 13 feast day of his namesake St. Edward.Peter Lysy, archivist for the University’s records, said this preference reflects French culture at the time.“I think he just followed the tradition he was brought up in where you just celebrate your saint’s day instead,” Lysy said. “So, St. Edward’s Day became Founder’s Day.”While the basic story of Sorin’s role in founding Notre Dame is well known, many aspects of Sorin’s personal history are unfamiliar to students, including the influence of his French upbringing on his decision to become a priest, Lysy said.“There was anti-clericalism at the time in France, especially during the Revolution, a little less so during the Napoleonic Era, and then when there was the restoration of the monarchy, there was also an attempt to reestablish the Church, so that was the context in which Sorin decided to become a priest,” he said. “But he was an enthusiastic American. He [thought] his contribution to mankind and to Catholicism was going to come through America.”
Michael Yu Eleven South Bend-based international restaurants brought samples from their menus to the LaFortune Ballroom for the annual International Taste of South Bend hosted by International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA). The event, hosted on Wednesday evening, was free and open to the public, drawing undergraduates, graduate students, professors, families and South Bend residents together.By 6:30 p.m., the line stretched from the LaFortune Ballroom on the second floor down the stairs to the entrance to the Huddle Mart. By the time they reached the front of the line, juniors Grace Rudnik, Jordan Leniart and Claire Wiley said they waited for 45 minutes for their chance to eatParticipating restaurants included Aladdin’s Eatery, Cinco International, Elia’s Mediterranean Cuisine, Ichiban Golden Dragon, Mango Café, Satay House, Soho Japanese Bistro, Weiss Gasthaus, Zing Japanese Fusion, the Spot and Fiesta Tapatía. Each restaurant donated the food that it served.Two of the participating restaurants opened in the last few weeks — the Spot and Cinco International.The Spot employee Melanie Barreto described the eatery’s Latin American menu.“Venezuelan food is our specialty … we also have some international food from Peru and Spain,” Barreto said.Fatima Lopez, who works at Cinco International, said she recommended “basically everything” on the menu, but especially the chicken alfredo.Sophomore Bernadette Miramontes said she had not known about the event prior, but decided to wait in line for more than 30 minutes anyway.“I just saw the line and thought it must be good … I hope there’s vegan food because the dining hall doesn’t really have vegan food except on Indian night,” Miramontes said.ISSA planned International Taste of South Bend as part of its celebration of International Education Week, according to Rosemary Max, director of international programs for ISSA.“I think this event allows us to support local restaurants and bring good food to campus in conjunction with international education week, which is an event celebrated around the U.S.,” Max said.Jasmin Avila, assistant director of communications and outreach for ISSA, had worked on the event for three months. She said she hoped the event promoted diversity and culture.“NDI is dedicated to advancing international study, exchange and scholarship by cultivating Notre Dame’s global alliances and partnerships,” Avila said. “In this sense, ISSA seeks to offer a variety of support services, programs and activities to help international students and scholars make the most of their time at the University.“ISSA works to serve the international community at Notre Dame, a community that includes more than 1,400 students and scholars from over 90 countries. One way that we do that is creating and hosting events like the International Taste of South Bend, which celebrate and promote diversity and cultural understanding on campus and in the greater community,” Avila said.Tags: international food, international food in lafun, international student and school affairs, international taste of south bend, ISSA, lafortune ballroom event, taste of south bend
The show’s score consists of revamped 1930s Broadway songs as well as new and existing numbers from artists like Sarah McLachlan, Robert Del Naja, Justice, Guy Garvey and The Avalanches. Sad you won’t be able to see King Kong in NYC for a while? Soothe yourself with these pics of hunky Aussies posing for a Kong calendar. There, there. Feel better? View Comments “King Kong has been more than five years in the making,” producer Carmen Pavlovic, CEO of Global Creatures, said in a statement. “We realize that there are some exciting creative changes we can and want to make before King Kong comes home to New York City, and we don’t want to be pressured to rush in to meet any artificial deadlines. We will announce our plans when we can confirm our timeline to open on Broadway. It will be worth the wait!” King Kong, the mega-musical monster thriller, is still aiming for Broadway, but has delayed its previously announced December arrival on the Great White Way. Producers for the show, which premiered in Melbourne, Australia, have decided not to “rush in before the end of the year,” according to a production spokesperson, due to the “huge scale of the production” and “the time needed to implement creative changes.” King Kong features a score by Marius de Vries and book by Craig Lucas. Set against the backdrop of bustling New York City in the 1930s, the show tells the story of the infamous ape and his encounter with aspiring actress Ann Darrow, megalomaniac filmmaker Carl Denham, stubborn first mate Jack Driscoll and the people of NYC. The Australian production of King Kong is directed by Daniel Kramer.
The 2015 season of New York City Center’s Encores! series will open with George and Ira Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good on February 4, 2015. Next up will be Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon, followed by John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Zorba!. Rob Berman will helm both Paint Your Wagon and Zorba!. No casting has been announced at this time. View Comments Zorba! will run May 6, 2015 through May 10. The re-imagining of Nikos Kazantzakis’s best-selling tale of a larger than life Greek jack-of-all-trades features a book by Joseph Stein, music by Kander and lyrics by Ebb. Helmed by Hal Prince, the original production starred Herschel Bernardi and Maria Karnilova and opened at the Imperial Theater on November 16, 1968 and ran for 305 performances. Songs include “Life Is” and “Only Love.” Lady, Be Good! will run February 4, 2015 through February 8. The original production opened at the Liberty Theater on December 1, 1924 and ran for 330 performances. The stars of the show included Fred and Adele Astaire playing a penniless brother and sister who crash a garden party in hopes of some quick nourishment. With music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and a book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson, songs include “Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” and “The Half of it Dearie Blues.” Founding Encores! Music Director Rob Fisher will return as music director of Lady, Be Good, and will supervise the restoration of Gershwin’s original score. Paint Your Wagon will play March 18, 2015 through March 22. The musical, set in a mining camp in Gold Rush–era California, is the story of a dreaming gold miner and his daughter whose world is changed when the daughter finds gold—and love—near their camp. The original production opened at the Shubert Theater on November 12, 1951 and ran for 289 performances. With a book and lyrics by Lerner and music by Loewe, the original production was directed by Daniel Mann and choreographed by Agnes De Mille. Songs include “They Call the Wind Maria,” “I Talk to the Trees” and “I’m On My Way.”
Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Watch Patina Miller in Mockingjay—Part 2 TrailerPatina Miller is right where she belongs in the full-length trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2…on a stage! The Tony winner plays Commander Paylor in the film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and the late giant of stage and screen Philip Seymour Hoffman. Check out the eagerly anticipated sneak peek of the fourth and final Hunger Games installment below; the movie will hit theaters on November 20. View Comments Billy Crystal & Josh Gad’s The Comedians CanceledNo laughing matter here for a pair of Broadway alums. Billy Crystal and Josh Gad’s The Comedians will not be returning, according to the FX series’ showrunner Ben Wexler, who tweeted the news. The 13-episode comedy had struggled to find an audience and ended its run on June 25.Wish Granted! See Heather Headly Go Into the WoodsTony winner Heather Headley, along with Broadway alums Rob McClure, Erin Dilly, Elena Shaddow, Jason Gotay and more, are currently appearing in Into the Woods at the Muny. Take a look at the star-studded cast in action in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s classic tuner below. Happy Thursday!
Zhongyuan Liu, a University of Georgia doctoral candidate in agricultural economics, knows that analyzing data sets won’t give you a very clear understanding of the impact of rural land reforms in China.For that, you have to talk to farmers.As part of his doctoral thesis project, Liu used funding provided by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Office of Global Programs Graduate International Travel Award to interview farmers, village leaders and officers in a land reform office in the Wujin district of Jiangsu province in China.For generations farms have been a lifeline of rural Chinese culture, providing a place to grow the rice and vegetables essential to feeding their families.Agricultural production doesn’t provide enough employment for the population, however. As a result, beginning in the late 1980s, migration to urban areas became common. By 2017, more than 172 million people had moved to the cities and went to work in factories. That migration has accounted for between 16 and 22 percent of China’s growth in its gross domestic product, according to Liu.“Although the labor market is well developed and restrictions on migration have been removed, the number of people moving for jobs in urban areas hasn’t increased as much as is needed,” Liu said. “Rural land reform, however, could further release the potential of the rural labor stock.”In China, like many other developing countries, property rights require demonstrating that the land is being actively farmed by the family that owns the land. To encourage more efficient land use, land certification and titling programs, which allow families to maintain land ownership without actively farming, have been adopted in several Chinese provinces, Liu said.To remove the obstacles caused by insecure property rights, the Chinese Central Government implemented a land-titling program in 2008 with a series of pilot projects in several provinces. The program is scheduled to finish by the end of this year, and each farm household is entitled to a land certification.“Land certification is not a new thing in China,” Liu explained. “Many rural households had the land certification after the new contract period around 1997, but the certifications did not have precise information on geographic position and the information archives management was in disorder. The new program evolved to include GPS surveys that better document the property lines that have been observed by the farmers.”For his case study, Liu interviewed local land reform officials in the Wujin district of Jiangsu province, one of the most developed areas in China. He also interviewed a village leader, farmers who work in nearby factories in addition to farming, and a representative of a large-scale family farm.The pilot phase of the land-titling program in Wujin district was first carried out in 2014. In 2015, the project was extended to the whole district, and now about 95 percent of farmers in this district have signed the contracts and are receiving their land certificates.“The biggest challenge of the land-titling program in Wujin district is the dispute between small farmers and large-scale family farms,” Liu said. “Specifically, many small farm households left their contracted land idle or rented it out before 2004 when agricultural production was unprofitable because of the high agricultural tax and fees.”Some farmers began using the fallow land to raise cash crops and become large-scale family farms. During the land-titling program, the original landholders wanted to reclaim their land property rights from the large-scale family farms.The village leaders’ issues with the land-titling program focus on issues of land rental behavior, Liu said.“If the collective is entitled to land property rights, the farmland in the whole village could be operated or rented together by several large-scale family farms and the small farm households could receive a rental fee or bonus,” Liu said. But under the current system, negotiations have to be conducted with each farm household, a process that can be slow and unwieldy.“Farmers are generally glad to have the land-titling program,” Liu said.Two farmers told Liu that they do not worry about losing their land anymore because they have land certificates in their pockets.“Overall, I learned a lot during the summer trip,” Liu said. “On the one hand, I learned a lot of information which I did not find from the literature review and I am more comfortable about my research now. On the other hand, I developed my skill and knowledge in organizing a case study.”While rural China’s ongoing structural changes present a wealth of interesting research questions, Liu said he also has a personal interest in this area of research.“I was born and grew up in a remote and poor village in the middle east of China, and I was one of millions of internal migrants in the early 1990s,” he said. “I have had such unique and precious experiences in my life and I feel I can do something to improve the welfare of farm households.”