Podcasts

Queens College

America’s Chinatown

April 13, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

Bonnie Tsui fondly remembers her childhood trips from Long Island to Manhattan’s Chinatown for visits to her extended family and for special celebrations. “It was where we went to be Chinese,” says Tsui, author of “American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods,” which explores Chinatowns in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu and the newest in Las Vegas. “We went there to shop on weekends, and for weddings and banquets.” A freelance writer based in San Francisco, Tsui, a contributor to The New York Times, Travel + Leisure and the Boston Globe, appeared at a book talk sponsored by CUNY’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute to discuss why these communities still seem so exotic and mysterious to outsiders. “Being around Chinatown, but not from it, I felt that I could understand and see both sides of that fascination.”
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The “Guido” Phenomenon

February 17, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

The 20-something stars of the MTV reality series “Jersey Shore” proudly refer to themselves as “guidos” and “guidettes” — terms that leave others in the Italian-American community crying foul. “When I was growing up, it was part of social identification for young people,” said New York State Sen. Diane Savino. “Today MTV has chosen to take something and turn it into a pejorative.” Savino, whose district encompasses parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, took part in a colloquium entitled, “Guido: An American Youth Style,” sponsored by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College, which explored the “guido culture” glamorized by the show’s party lifestyle. Panelists included Queensborough Community College sociologist Donald Tricarico and New Jersey caterer Johnny DeCarlo, who has auditioned for “Jersey Shore.”
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Death and Life in New York Harbor

December 7, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

The restoration of the ecology of the Hudson River estuary is perhaps the greatest accomplishment of The Clean Water Act of 1972, which required America’s cities to build hundreds of water treatment plants, according to Queens College biology professor John Waldman. “I consider it one of the most important pieces of legislation ever enacted in the country,” he said. In “Life in New York Harbor: Death and Resurrection,” a special presentation for the Science Cafe series, Prof. Waldman explores the river’s long history — from its pristine beginnings through years of industrial waste contamination, to its current rejuvenation.
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Greenland Rocks, for Geologists

November 6, 2009 | Newsmakers, Queens College

It’s not for everyone, but the rugged mountains of eastern Greenland turned out to be the ideal summer spot for a team of geologists. “Unlike the Himalayas, which is crawling with geologists, Greenland is relatively less explored so there’s a lot to be discovered,” said Hannes Bruckner, professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College. “Also, the glaciers cleared away the cover on the rocks and it’s too cold for vegetation, so it has splendid exposure.” Under a National Science Foundation grant, Prof. Brueckner, his undergraduate college assistant Richard Bubbico, and colleagues from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and University of California at Santa Barbara, spent two weeks exploring the formation — roughly 400 million years ago — of Liverpool Land, part of the North Atlantic Caledonides.

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Obama's Election: Symbolic or Substantive?

October 8, 2009 | Newsmakers, Queens College

Queens College sociologist Stephen Steinberg believes that it’s important to look beyond the historic election of the nation’s first African-American president and hope that his eloquent rhetoric will be turned into concrete results. “The bigger question is whether Obama’s election is merely a symbolic event or whether it will translate into policies that will advance the unfinished civil rights agenda,” said Prof. Steinberg, who was recently appointed Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies by Queens College, where he has taught since 1977. The author of several groundbreaking books, including “The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity and Class in America,” and his latest work, “Race Relations: A Critique,” Prof. Steinberg’s studies on urban cultures and the role race plays in society have earned him the respect of colleagues worldwide.
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Changing Images of Italian Womanhood

July 8, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

The end of World War II marked a watershed moment for the depiction of Italian women in American film, says Vera Dika, assistant professor of media arts at New Jersey City University. “They presented new models of Italian identity after World War II, ” said professor Dika, referring to actresses Anna Magnani and Sophia Loren and two movies, “The Rose Tattoo,” (1955) and “Two Women” (1962), in which they starred, respectively. “Italy was no longer a fascist country, no longer a country of poverty, no longer a country in defeat.” In a talk entitled “Italian Divas in American Film: Changing Images of Italian Womanhood,” part of the Philip V. Cannistraro Seminar Series in Italian American Studies at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College, Dika discusses this seismic shift from supporting role to leading lady.
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John Lewis to Grads: "Get in the Way"

June 11, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

Rep. John R. Lewis challenged Queens College’s 2009 graduates to “find a way to get in the way.” The Democratic Congressman from Georgia said, “You must stand up for what is right, for what is just, for what is good, you must do it — it is your calling.” The civil rights pioneer recalled growing up in rural Alabama when blacks, including his parents, endured the injustices of segregation. “But one day, at age 15, I heard about Rosa Parks, I heard the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the radio and I was inspired to get in into trouble.” Lewis’s activism began as a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He later marched alongside King, and was the major organizer and keynoter of the March on Washington in August 1963, when King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
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Queens Professor Takes On ADHD

May 29, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

Prescription drugs can treat children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but, says Dr. Jeffrey Halperin, much more can be done. “Environmental enrichment, as well as physical exercise, improves brain growth,” said Dr. Halperin, Queens College distinguished professor of psychology and director of the Queens College Preschool Project, a federally funded research lab that works that examines the interplay of biology and environment on preschoolers. Dr. Halperin discussed his work in the final lecture of the Serving Science Cafe series, “Thinking Outside the Jack-in-the-Box: Novel Approaches to the Treatment of ADHD.”
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Married to LeRoi, and Other Musings

May 29, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

Her muse is the group of childhood photos of herself that she keeps on her desk. “There is something about that little girl within (me) that I felt I could never disappoint,” said Hettie Cohen Jones, whose first poetry collection, “Drive,” was honored by the Poetry Society of America in 1997. The author of “How I Became Hettie Jones,” (1990), a memoir of the Greenwich Village beat scene of the 1950s and 1960s when she was married to the poet LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), discussed her life and read her poetry at an event co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of America and the Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation.
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Struggling With Jihad

May 14, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

Often defined as “holy war” or “just war,” jihad actually means “struggle” or “striving in the path of Allah,” according to Kristina Richardson, professor of Islamic history at Queens College. “Fighting and warfare are central things found in the Koran, but jihad itself does not have that same meaning,” she said. “These are misuses of the Koran and should not have been applied to modern Jews and Christians.” In a lecture at Queens College, “Myths and Realities of Jihad,” Prof. Richardson examines the theological debates surrounding “greater” and “lesser” jihads and the rise of a new jihad by current-day Muslim extremists.
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