Award-winning music writer and cultural critic Jessica Hopper gives a raw backstage look into the marginalization of women and people of color in the music industry. In her lecture at Macaulay Honors College, Hopper, the author of “The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic” said: “Writing is a way that we refuse to be silent.”
In her new memoir, “Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli and Me,” Patricia Volk describes how two dynamic but difficult women helped shape her adulthood: One the Italian fashion designer, Elsa Luisa Maria Schiaparelli, the other her beautiful but strict mother. “They were both clothes crazy and imperious but Schiaparelli was enough not like my mother and […]
Soon after World War I, many young Japanese women arrived in California as mail-order brides, seeking to better their lives. But future husbands were often a disappointment, or worse. “On the boat, they could not have known that the photographs they had been sent were often 20 years old and that the letters that had been written to them were by professionals whose job it was to tell lies and win hearts,” says Julie Otsuka, author of The Buddha in the Attic. At an event at Macaulay Honors College featuring Knopf Doubleday authors, Otsuka read from her latest novel, which tells the often heartbreaking stories of what became of these women and their families.
CUNY’s class of 2011 celebrated their achievements at commencement events held across the City. Playwright Tony Kushner, attorney and activist Lynn Paltrow, essayist and The New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, educator Geoffrey Canada and former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein were among the distinguished speakers who challenged this year’s graduates to achieve and challenge wrong despite overwhelming resistance.
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A junior at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter and eyewitness to the massive demonstrations in Egypt, watched firsthand as social media platforms like Facebook were used to help mobilize the political protests. “People who normally would use the Internet as a distraction, now used it as a tool to organize,” says Alex Schindler, who was studying Arabic at the American University in Cairo during the weeks-long uprising. Schindler and Norhan Basuni, a senior at the CUNY Baccalaureate program at John Jay College, who was also in Cairo, shared their experiences at the CUNY Study Abroad Re-entry Conference at the Graduate Center. “The day after the government started messing with the Internet, Tahrir Square went from a few thousand protesters to 100,000 people,” says Schindler.
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For 2011 Rhodes Scholar Zujaja Tauqeer, the dream of becoming a doctor — like both her parents — was instilled in her and her older sister at a very young age. “We had to finish our education and become doctors, and nothing has changed except that we’re in a different country,” says Tauqeer, a senior, studying medicine and history at Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College. As victims of religious persecution in Pakistan, the family was granted asylum in the U.S. in 1998, eventually settling in Staten Island. Tauqeer, who is the seventh student in CUNY’s history to win a Rhodes Scholarship, plans to attend the University of Oxford in England this fall and hopes to return someday to her native Pakistan. “I’d like to work there to improve social stability through medicine.”
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Before the federal government sold 150 acres of Governors Island to the people of New York in 2003, “there was a blank in the heart of the city,” says Leslie Koch, president of The Trust for Governors Island, the governing body, jointly shared by the City and State of New York. Today, the island, with its bucolic views of New York Harbor, has been transformed into an educational and recreational resource for the hundreds of thousands who visit from May through September each year. “It’s been a challenge to redevelop the land, but as a result, Governors Island is now a living, breathing part of the city,” says Koch who presented her “Reimagining Governors Island” lecture, detailing the Trust’s efforts thus far, at the Graduate Center at an event sponsored by the Macaulay Honors College.
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In the brave new World Wide Web, the answer to the question of who owns, disseminates and pays for content, depends on who you ask. “This philosophy that it’s okay to take stuff that you didn’t create is dead wrong,” insists Michael Oreskes, managing editor of The Associated Press, the world’s largest news gathering organization. “It’s true that the Internet makes it a lot easier to do things, but the original material was created by somebody and that somebody owns it,” said Oreskes, who was part of a panel discussion at Macaulay Honors College entitled, “Who Owns Creativity? Copyright and Our Culture.” Other participants included Josh Greenburg, director of digital strategy and scholarship for the New York Public Library; Brian Napack, president of Macmillan Publishing; intellectual property attorney Virginia Rutledge and moderator Bill Goldstein, editor of nytimes.com/books, who came together to examine how the lines between content buyer and seller continue to blur, as the economics of entire industries are disrupted.
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No matter what platform one chooses, reading will remain an “extraordinary adventure,” according to Ann Kirschner, dean of the William E. Macaulay Honors College. “It’s all about reading — the way you are transported to another place,” said Kirschner in a panel discussion entitled “Reading in a Digital Age,” held at Macaulay. “The goal is to figure out how technology can make creative content better — not fight with it.” Participants included New York Magazine Editor Adam Moss; Lisa Holton, former president of Scholastic Books and Fairs; and Ben Vershbow of Digital Ventures Group at the New York Pubic Library. Bill Goldstein, founding editor of nytimes.com/books, served as moderator.
William E. Macaulay believes the Obama administration’s focus on alternative energy, including solar and wind, should be expanded to other energy sources. “The Bush administration was oil,” he said, but the Obama administration has “not paid attention to nuclear, and they haven’t really pushed natural gas.” Macaulay is the chairman, chief executive officer, and a managing director of First Reserve Corporation, a private equity firm focusing on the energy industry, which he joined in 1983. He is also a graduate of City College and the benefactor of the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, which hosted his lecture, “World Energy: Current Outlook, Future Possibilities.”