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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News
Fallou Ngom Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

CAS Associate Professor of Anthropology Fallou Ngom is among this year’s group of 180 Guggenheim Fellowship recipients, one of the top honors in academia. Selected from almost 3,000 applicants, Professor Ngom was chosen for both his prior achievements and his exceptional promise. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the winners on April 7.

Professor Ngom, who is also director of the African Language Program, will use the award to continue his research into Wolof Ajami literature and the Africanization of Islam in Senegambia. A native of Senegal, Professor Ngom is one of the world’s leading experts on Ajami literature, a centuries-old literature that uses a modified Arabic script to generate a phonetic rendering of the languages of a number of West African peoples. In 2009, Bostonia magazine featured Professor Ngom’s work to unearth the many hidden secrets that Ajami literature contains.

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David Ferry Wins Lilly Poetry Prize

Creative Writing Department Lecturer David Ferry has won the 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation. This $100,000 award recognizes lifetime accomplishments and is one of the most prestigious awards given to U.S. poets. It is also one of the nation’s largest literary prizes.

In making the announcement, Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine, noted the quiet power in Ferry’s verse.

“David Ferry is probably best known as a translator—and his achievements in that regard are extraordinary—but I think in the end it will be his poems that last,” said Wiman. “In a time when most poetry relies on intense surface energy, Ferry’s effects are muted and subterranean—but then, in their cumulative effect, seismic. For 50 years he has practiced poetry as if it truly matters to our lives and to our souls—and now his poems have that rare power to wake us up to both.”

Ferry has authored, edited, or translated more than a dozen books. His collections of poetry and translations include On the Way to the Island (1960); A Letter, and Some Photographs (1981); Strangers: A Book of Poems (1984); Gilgamesh: A New Rendering in English Verse (1992) (finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award); Dwelling Places: Poems and Translations (1993); and Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations (1999). Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations will be published in Fall 2012.

Protecting the Identity in Your Pocket

The same day that Mark Crovella and his computer science colleagues kicked off a symposium last semester to discuss their $3 million, five-year smartphone security project funded by the National Science Foundation, the New York Times published a front-page article about tabloid reporters in London hacking into the mobile devices of English soccer stars and celebrities, most notably members of the British royal family, including Prince William and Prince Harry.

While the tabloid case, now unfolding in the court system, involves reporters hacking into voicemail with stolen PIN numbers, it underscores how mobile phones have not only centralized our personal information—storing our schedules, finances, and social networking tools—but exposed that data to such threats as malicious applications, identity theft, and eavesdropping.

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Climate Change Lecture Receives a “Warm” Reception

During the past decade, many climate scientists have been frustrated by the American public’s apparent indifference to climate change and the threats it may pose. In an effort to better understand what Americans really do think about this contentious issue, Jon A. Krosnick, Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of communication, political science, and psychology at Stanford University, has designed and conducted surveys since 1996 tracking what Americans do and do not believe on this issue, and what they do and do not want to have done about it. Krosnick described his findings from this research before a receptive audience on April 5 at BU.

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CAS Undergrad Wins Student Employee of the Year

BU’s Student Employment Office has chosen CAS senior James Nguyen as the 2011 Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year. James works as an office assistant in the SPARK Center, a unique pediatric program at the BU Medical Center. Congratulations James! And thank you to all student employees for your dedication and energy.

Faculty Meetings and Deadlines

Deadline for Submission of Preliminary Search Priorities for Faculty Recruitment 2011/12. For more information see http://www.bu.edu/cas/pdfs/faculty-staff/PrelimSearchPrioritiesCall2011.pdf. If you have questions, please contact Gareth McFeely (garethmc@bu.edu).

CAS Faculty Meeting
4 p.m., STO B50
Agendas and materials, including automatic consent business, will be posted as usual here: http://www.bu.edu/cas/faculty-staff/committees/. This is the annual meeting when teaching and other awards are announced.

Deadline for submission of Mid-Tenure Reviews
If you have questions, please contact Gareth McFeely (garethmc@bu.edu).

Chairs/Directors (CCD) Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 211
Chairs and directors beginning terms in 2011/12 should attend. At this meeting we will discuss faculty recruitment for 2011/12.

Deadline for Faculty Merit Assessments
See http://www.bu.edu/cas/pdfs/faculty-staff/CASMeritSpring2011.pdf. If you have questions, please contact Gareth McFeely (garethmc@bu.edu).

Chairs' Calendar


The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has awarded economics MA student Sayon Deb with a prize in the ICPSR competition for master’s students, an annual research paper competition for graduate students. The paper’s title was “The Long Term Effects of Colonial Land Tenancy: Micro Evidence from India.”

Assistant Professor of Biology Heng-Ye Man and colleagues published a paper in the April 8 edition of Science titled "AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Regulates Neuronal Polarization by Interfering with PI 3-Kinase Localization." You can link to the article here.

Associate Professor of History Eugenio Menegon has been awarded the 2011 Joseph Levenson Book Prize—Pre-1900 Category from the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). The prize is for the English-language book that makes the greatest contribution to increasing understanding of the history, culture, society, politics, or economy of pre-1900 China. Menegon won the prize for his monograph Ancestors, Virgins and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China, Harvard Asia Center, 2009 (for more information, click here).

Lectures and Events

Karbank Symposium in Environmental Philosophy
“The Science, Ethics, and Politics of Climate Change”
2–6 p.m., Barristers Hall (BU School of Law)
Made possible by the generous support of Steven Karbank, a benefactor of the Department of Philosophy. This event is part of the Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science.

Peace Corps at 50 Celebration
Fond memories of the Peace Corps shared by returned Peace Corps volunteers Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba (SPH’03), Jeffrey M. Collins, and Steven B. Bloomfield. Live music and newly created art from the College of Fine Arts.
4–7 p.m., Boston University’s Trustee Center, One Silber Way, 9th Floor

Diplomacy for the Facebook Era
Speakers: Amb. Nicholas Burns, Amb. Paul Heinbecker, Dr. Bruce Jones, and Amb. Paul Webster Hare
Refreshments served at 3 p.m.; panel begins 3:30 p.m.
Pardee House, 67 Bay State Road
Seating is limited. Please RSVP to pardee@bu.edu by Monday, April 18, 2011.
Click here for more details.

APRIL 25, 26, 27
Flamenco Roots: A Series of Illustrated Talks on the Music’s Origins and Evolution
6 p.m., Photonics Center, 9th floor
April 25: The Roots of Flamenco; April 26: The Andalusian Crossroad; April 27: Spanish Romances in Flamenco
For more info: aula.boston@cervantes.edu; 617-358-5989

Discoveries Lecture: “We Are What We Eat: Issues of Food Supply”
Nathan Phillips, Associate Professor of Geography & Environment
7 p.m., Metcalf Trustee Ballroom, 1 Silber Way
To register, click here

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) at BU 2011 Keynote Lecture
Dr. Rita Colwell, 11th Director of the National Science Foundation
“Climate, Oceans, and Public Health: Cholera in the Twenty-First Century”
4–6 p.m., Trustee’s Ballroom, 9th floor, 1 Silber Way
Please RSVP to: wisersvp@bu.edu

Full calendar

Keep Us in the Loop

Let us know about news or upcoming events. Please send news items to cascom@bu.edu, or call Patrick Farrell at 617-358-1185. Announcements about upcoming events can also be submitted online. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the Student Programs Office.

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Associate Director of Alumni Relations Kirsten Lundeen at 617-358-5525 or Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Lauren Hall at 617-353-1060.

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