• John Guare’s ‘Free Man of Color’

    December 29, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

    Set in New Orleans on the eve of the Louisiana Purchase, John Guare’s new play, “A Free Man of Color,” centers around the son of plantation owner and a slave. “The key to the play is one of the nightmares of being a minority in America — that you don’t own your story and you’re not in control of your narrative,” says the Tony Award-winning playwright about his latest historical comedy. “The power of narrative is something I like to write about.” Guare read from his play and discussed the production, currently at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, with David Savran, Distinguished Professor of Theatre at the Graduate Center.
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  • Birds, Dolphins and Mimicry

    December 28, 2010 | City College, CUNY Lecture Series, Hunter College

    The ability to learn and mimic vocal sounds is rare in nature but found in certain birds and in dolphins says Diana Reiss, professor of psychology at Hunter College. “There’s been a lot of anecdotal reporting over the years that dolphins are highly mimetic,” says Reiss, an expert on dolphin cognition. City College associate professor of biology, Ofer Tchernichovski, who studies brains and vocal learning in birds, says birds, which are capable of vocal learning, even “dedicate” part of their brain to produce and learn bird songs. In a lecture, “Bird Culture and Dolphin Intelligence: How we learn from animal behavior,” part of the Serving Science Cafe Series, Reiss and Tchernichovski discuss their own research, and their collaborative study at the Baltimore National Aquarium to decode dolphin vocalization.
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  • New News Sites Like Big Spenders, Too

    December 21, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series

    When it comes to making money, some things never change, according to Tina Brown. “We still believe in the advertising model at The Daily Beast,” says Brown, founder and editor of the two-year old news site. “By being aesthetically attractive, we have gotten high-paying, luxury advertisers to come online with us and so far it’s working.” At the second fall Perspectives event at the Graduate Center, entitled “What Is the Future of Media?,” Brown joined panelists Andrew Sullivan, blogger/senior editor of The Atlantic; and Jeff Jarvis and moderator Peter Beinart of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, in a conversation about how the Internet, as a virtual space, is re-shaping the dissemination of news and information to the world.Listen Now >>

  • Is Obama’s Foreign Policy Working?

    December 17, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

    To present a “kinder and gentler United States,” Barack Obama has retreated from the hard rhetoric of the Bush administration to one of engagement, and, in the case of Iran, he has chosen a dual track–a readiness to negotiate, while, at the same time, pushing for economic sanctions. “By offering a deal, I think it put Iran on the defensive in a way it was not in 2006, 2007 or 2008,” says George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, about diplomacy surrounding the Iranian nuclear program. “What Obama has done is isolate Iran–I think the sanctions are an achievement that we have to acknowledge.” Packer was joined by panelists Christopher Hitchens, contributing editor for Vanity Fair; and Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast and associate professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; in a discussion entitled, “Is Obama’s Foreign Policy Working?,” at the Graduate Center.
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  • Want a Sports Job? Show Some Hustle

    December 17, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

    Sports-industry jobs have never been easy to land — positions are limited and the competition fierce. But Matthew Higgins, executive vice president of Business Operations for the New York Jets, says there is still a way in. “There is no natural path to be part of a sports team or league,” says Higgins, “but the two I’ve seen work are internships and [ticket] sales.” Higgins, Queens College class of ’98, participated in the third annual Sports Alumni Roundtable, sponsored by the college’s Office of the President. He was joined by fellow alumni Frank Supovitz, ’79, senior vice president of events for the National Football League, and Howie Rose, ’77, sportscaster for the New York Mets and Islanders, to discuss their careers and the tough culture of the business. “The world doesn’t start at 9 o’clock in the morning and it doesn’t end at 5 p.m.,” says Supovitz, “You’ve got to get in somewhere, get involved, get seen, get known.”
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  • Midterm Elections: Politics as Usual

    December 3, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series

    Although the 2010 elections saw historic losses for the Democrats, the directional shift wasn’t all that unusual. “It’s almost always the case that the party of the president loses in midterm elections,” said Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Center. “And in this round, the stimulus is exhausted and unemployment has risen.” Piven participated in a panel, “Taking Stock of the Midterm Elections,” sponsored by the CUNY Murphy Institute.
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  • Chancellor’s Report to the Board of Trustees

    December 1, 2010 | The Chancellor's Report

    Reporting to the Board of Trustees on November 23, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein discussed efforts to coordinate educational offerings across college campuses and bolster general education, and updated the board on the new community college. He reviewed fiscal conditions of both New York City and the state and their potential impact on the University, and reported on the financial challenges discussed with public higher-education presidents and chief executives from across the country at a two-day national meeting earlier in the month.
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  • Rivers at Risk

    December 1, 2010 | City College, Newsmakers

    Nearly 80 percent of the world’s rivers are so adversely affected by humanity’s footprint that the drinking water of 5 billion people and the survival of thousands of aquatic species are threatened, according to a report in the September issue of Nature. “We’ve repaired problems after they arise,” says Charles Vörsömarty, a professor of civil engineering and director of CUNY’s Environmental Crossroads Initiative at City College and the lead author of the study entitled, “Global Threats to Human Water Security and River Biodiversity.” Vörsömarty insists that there should be a more proactive approach and a global sharing of information and tools. We should be “protecting ecosystems and allowing ecosystems to do the very good job that they naturally do in providing stable and clean water supplies.”
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  • New Dominican Gallery Opens

    December 1, 2010 | City College, Newsmakers

    In recent years, the Dominican Republic has accounted for the largest number of the foreign-born residents in New York City. And now a new exhibition space has opened to celebrate that experience. “We wanted people to see the diversity of the Dominican people,” says Ramona Hernandez, director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at City College, about the gallery, which is housed in the library’s multipurpose room. The inaugural show, “Manifestaciones,” by the artistic collective Dominican York Proyecto GRAFICA, is a set of 12 prints that explore the Dominican American identity.
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  • Ken Auletta on the Content Conundrum

    November 24, 2010 | Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY Lecture Series

    Newspapers and Google want the same thing: making good content available to as many people as they can, says Ken Auletta, author of “Googled: The End of the World As We know It.” But neither one has figured out who will cover the cost to make it happen. “Google wants to get professional content without paying for it, and professional content people want to put their professional content up and get paid for it — and that will result in more negotiations.” Auletta, a media columnist for The New Yorker magazine since 1992, and Jessica Vascellaro of the Wall Street Journal’s Media & Marketing Bureau, discussed the rise of technology companies and the shrinking of the newspaper industry, at an event sponsored by the New York Press Club at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
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