When it comes to writing fiction it often helps to listen to the words, “I deleted the first three hundred pages I wrote — the voice was wrong,” said author Roxana Robinson, referring to her latest novel, Sparta, which examines the Iraq’s war psychological wounds on a young man. Robinson, a visiting faculty member in the Department of English at Hunter College, spoke at the Creative Writing MFA Distinguished Writers Fall Lecture Series. The prolific author of five novels, three story collections and a biography of Georgia O’Keeffe, Robinson says that while her subject may change the motive remains the same. “For me, it’s always emotion that drives the narrative.”
In the early 1980s, Lehman College conducted interviews with hundreds of Bronx residents — public figures, community leaders and regular folks — for an oral history project about the borough before, during and after its decade of arson, crime and abandonment. Thirty years later, Emita Hill, a former Lehman professor and vice president, and Janet Munch, a research librarian at the college, have collected some of the project’s most enduring stories into a new book, Bronx Faces and Voices: Sixteen Stories of Courage and Community.
Phil Klay, a former Marine who served in Iraq and a Hunter College MFA, ’11, discusses his acclaimed book, Redeployment, a poignant and powerful collection of short stories about war’s deep impact on soldiers in combat and when they return home. Klay recently won the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction.
In his keynote address at the event “New World Disorder: Challenges for the UN in the 21st Century” at Baruch College, Kofi Annan reminded the audience that the way to build peace between countries was through respect for others. “When will we learn that identity is not monolithic or exclusive, but multiple and overlapping?” asks the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, who was the joint recipient, along with the UN, of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Chancellor James B. Milliken discusses the importance of the University’s capital budget request and discusses the importance of public support. Chancellor Milliken also provided an update on the development of new policies regarding sex based assault and harassment and states his appreciation of student leaders that aided in the amendments to student disciplinary polices. Plus, the Chancellor briefs the Board of Trustees on ongoing contract negations. “Being competitive for faculty and staff is essential to this university and the people it serves and the funding of that obligation has a great deal to do with CUNY’s ability to provide access and high quality,” says Chancellor Milliken.
Public meeting of the Board of Trustees, December 01, 2014.
In a NY1 interview with Sam Roberts on The New York Times Close Up, Chancellor James Milliken discussed CUNY’s plans to expand programs that boost student success. Success, he noted, includes graduating with a two-year degree: “There are great opportunities for high-paying jobs for two-year graduates,” he said, noting that to meet the needs of the city’s tech industry CUNY should be offering more “short courses, certificates or two-year degrees in programs teaching software development, coding and gaming. There’s a big market out there.”
Public hearing of the Board of Trustees, November 24, 2014.
John O’Keefe (City College, 1963) describes his discovery of the brain’s “internal GPS,” which won him a 2014 Nobel Prize, and discusses his formative years as a CUNY undergraduate. The son of Irish immigrants, born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx, he transferred to CUNY from a private college that he had attended at night while working to support himself during the day. But at CUNY, he could afford the day program with far less time devoted to outside work. Deeply curious, O’Keefe explored philosophy and film courses, among others, graduating with more than 40 credits beyond the requirements of his psychology major.
In her new book, The Orphan Scandal: Christian Missionaries and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, City College history professor Beth Baron recounts the brutal beating of a 15-year-old Muslim girl by Christian missionaries in 1933 and tells how the incident spurred the growth of one of Islam’s most influential political organizations.