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Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Faculty Accolates: October 2010

Professor and Acting Chair of Archaeology MARY BEAUDRY edited, along with Dan Hicks, The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies, published in August. “Four years ago, we worked together on another editorial project–The Cambridge Companion to Historical Archaeology (Hicks and Beaudry 2006a),” writes Beaudry in the Introduction. “At the time, historical archaeology was emerging as an area of anthropological archaeology that was witnessing new discussion, energy, and innovation…In assembling that book, therefore, we started to think through why the archaeology of the modern and contemporary world–a long-standing backwater of anthropological theory and practice–might have been experiencing such resurgence.”

Last month, President Obama nominated Professor of History and Chair of African American Studies ALLISON BLAKELY to serve on the National Humanities Council. The appointment is pending the consent of the U.S. Senate. Professor Blakely came to Boston University in 2001 after teaching for 30 years at Howard University. He is the author of Blacks in the Dutch World: Racial Imagery and Modernization (Indiana University Press, 1994); Russia and the Negro: Blacks in Russian History and Thought (Howard University Press, 1986; winner of an American Book Award in 1988); several articles on Russian populism; and others on various European aspects of the Black Diaspora.

History PhD candidate BRIAN CASADY recently received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship for work on his dissertation, “An African City’s Metabolism: A History of Energy, Environment, and Priority in Colonial and Post-Colonial Nairobi.” The fellowship will support Casady’s research in Kenya.

TINO VILLANUEVA , lecturer in the Department of Romance Studies, has had six poems published in the recently released Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.), edited by Ilán Stavans (Amherst College). Among Villanueva’s poems included are “Catharsis,” “Voice Over Time,” “Scene from the Movie GIANT,” and the three-part poem, “At the Holocaust Museum: Washington, D.C.” Villanueva’s book entitled Scene from the Movie GIANT (1993) won a 1994 American Book Award.

Professor of Music ROYE WATES recently published her new book on the life and music of Mozart. Mozart: An Introduction to the Music, the Man, and the Myths explores in detail 20 of the composer’s major works in the context of his tragically brief life and the turbulent times in which he lived. Addressed to non-musicians seeking to deepen their technical appreciation for his music while learning more about Mozart the man than the caricature portrayed in the 1984 movie Amadeus, this book offers extensive biographical and historical background.

The cover of the August 28, 2010 issue of the Journal of Chemical Physics highlights a free-energy diagram calculated with a new enhanced sampling method developed by Assistant Professor of Chemistry FENG WANG and his group. Their method mimics features of a coarse-grained simulation at the atomic scale. Recent validations performed by the Wang Group indicate that this method can significantly accelerate the dynamics for peptide folding and lipid self-assembly without notably changing the free-energy landscape. Professor Wang received a Hewlett-Packard Outstanding Junior Faculty Award for presenting this work at the 240th ACS National Meeting. This prestigious award is given by the Division of Computers in Chemistry of the American Chemical Society, with financial sponsorship from Hewlett-Packard.

Assistant Professor SIGRUN OLAFSDOTTIR (along with Jason Beckfield, Harvard University) has received an R03 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a project titled: A Comparative Approach to Social Inequalities in Health. Building on their previous research, they will explore the role of cross-national institutional differences in accounting for variation in health disparities across countries. The project will contribute to our understanding of how changes in income inequality, institutional arrangements, and policy configurations within a society shape patterns of health inequality.

Associate Professor of International Relations KEVIN GALLAGHER has been appointed to the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (subcommittee on investment) for 2010. He has also been appointed to the National Advisory Committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mexico programs.

Professor of Physics KENNETH LANE has been awarded the 2011 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics of the American Physical Society, sponsored by the family and friends of J. J. Sakurai. He will share the prize with Drs. Estia Eichten of Fermilab, Ian Hinchliffe of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Chris Quigg of Fermilab. The prize was established to recognize and encourage outstanding achievement in particle theory. The citation will read: “For their work, separately and collectively, to chart a course for the exploration of TeV-scale physics using multi-TeV hadron colliders.” The J. J. Sakurai Prize will be presented at the APS April 2011 meeting in Anaheim, California, April 30–May 3, 2011, at a special ceremony.