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Boston University Arts & Sciences
CAS News September 23, 2013
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BU Astronomy Professor Calls It First: Voyager 1 Has Left the Solar System
On September 12, NASA announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, has crossed the heliopause (the theoretical boundary where the Sun’s solar wind is separated by the interstellar wind) and entered interstellar space. “This is the first manmade object that has left our home—our bubble—ever,” says Merav Opher, associate professor of astronomy at Boston University and a guest investigator on NASA’s Voyager team. “Voyager is like our scout, telling us what lies beyond our home.”

Opher and colleagues at the University of Maryland ignited controversy among astronomers last month after publishing a paper that asserted Voyager 1 was in fact in interstellar space. The NASA announcement, confirming their claim, is based on a new study published September 12 in the journal Science. Read more
University Jumps in U.S. News & World Report Rankings
Moves from 51 to 41, noted as “Up and Comer”
Boston University has jumped 10 positions, from 51 to 41, in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the nation’s colleges and universities, and now appears on a short list of “Up and Comers,” chosen for their “promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus, or facilities.” The publication made special note of BU’s robust undergraduate research program as well as its extensive study abroad opportunities. As the academic core of BU, the College of Arts & Sciences plays an instrumental part in promoting undergraduate research, improvements in student life on campus, and other key initiatives that were cited. Read more
Did Early Humans Acquire Tool-Making Technology from Neandertals?
New research suggests that Neandertals in Paleolithic Europe made specialized tools from animal bones before the arrival of modern humans, and that modern humans may have acquired knowledge of this early technology from Neandertals. These findings are discussed in detail in a new study co-authored by CAS geoarchaeologist Paul Goldberg and an international team of researchers. The study, titled “Neandertals made the first specialized bone tools in Europe,” is in the current issue of PNAS Early Edition. Read more
John Marston Wins Peter Paul Professorship
Assistant Professor of Archaeology John Marston was one of three recipients of this year’s Peter Paul Career Development Professorships. The coveted award acknowledges junior faculty who are budding leaders in their fields.

In just one year at CAS, Marston (“Mac” to friends and colleagues) “has proved to be an excellent teacher and is already serving as a mentor to half a dozen PhD students and several undergraduates who are working in his Environmental Archaeology Laboratory,” says Mary C. Beaudry, professor and chair of archaeology. Marston’s Peter Paul Professorship will enable him to complete a book as well as to expand his work on climate adaptation and environmental change in the ancient Mediterranean and the Near East. Read more
Cornel Ban Honored with Pratt Career Development Professorship
Cornel Ban, assistant professor of international relations, received the Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt Career Development Professorship. The award acknowledges Ban as an emerging leader in his field. Ban’s research has focused on economic issues in Brazil, Spain, and Romania, and spans three principal topics: international finance, international economic organizations, and the diffusion of international economic ideas. He describes his first book, Governing Crises: The International Politics of Crisis Economics from Bretton Woods to the Great Recession, not yet published, as “a cautionary tale about how much we don’t know about how the financial markets work.” He is an expert on the failure of economic models used by governments or international banks to predict the financial crisis that swept the world within the past decade.

Ban earned a bachelor’s from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania, a master’s degree from the University of Delaware, and a doctorate in political science from the University of Maryland. He says the award will give him the time and funding to launch his next book project, which will focus on the dynamics of international finance over the past couple of decades. “Without this kind of support,” he says, “I could not get it done.”

Andrew Bacevich, professor of history and international relations and acting chair of international relations, calls Ban an “emerging superstar” in the department. “Since his arrival a year ago, he has become a valued asset,” he says. “His performance as a teacher and scholar has demonstrated that he is precisely the sort of young faculty member for whom the Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt Career Development Professorship is designed.”

(Courtesy BU Today)
Ice Cream Social Welcomes Students Back to Campus
On September 6, CAS welcomed the newest members of its academic community to campus with an ice cream social on Marsh Plaza. As the largest and most diverse undergraduate college at BU, it was an opportunity to unite students and faculty from all disciplines to enjoy a “cool” break on the first Friday afternoon of the academic year.

Faculty and staff volunteers served approximately 1,300 students and BU community members. The professors and staff that helped scoop were David Carballo, Andrew West, John Caradonna, Rosella Marino, Adel Faitaninho, Michelle Littke, Dean Steven Jarvi, Kara Durocher, Ali Bane, and Allison Patenaude. The event was organized by the CAS Student Programs & Leadership office.

Features
African Studies Center Celebrates 60 Years
This year, the Boston University African Studies Center will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a series of campus events and a renewed push to build awareness of its mission and activities. One of the oldest and most renowned centers for African studies in the United States, the center has helped generations of scholars learn more about a complex and sometimes misunderstood continent.

Events will run the gamut from a fall reception to visiting lecturers, culminating in a March conference for alumni. One event, an exhibit at the College of Fine Arts through October 20 sponsored by the center, features Moroccan artist Hamid Kachmar. Titled Reviving the Ancient Tifinagh Script, Kachmar’s exhibit renders his people’s ancient Amazigh script, Tifinagh, into textual and visual compositions that represent a struggle for identity, cultural survival, and self-conception. For a full listing of events, click here.

Founded in 1953 by African affairs specialist William O. Brown, the center has evolved over the decades, as has the study of African cultures, languages, politics, and history. The center has become a hub of African language study, offering seven languages, four of which can be taught to the four-year level. It has been a steady advocate for, and supporter of, the inclusion of African themes in courses across the University. Read more
Russian Studies to Play More Prominent Role on Campus
The study of Russian language, culture, and history has long been a part of the mix at CAS, with a BA offered in Russian Language & Literature and a number of Russian students on campus, as well as students interested in learning about Russia and faculty members teaching in related areas. This fall, Russian Studies is generating fresh excitement with the introduction of two new professors in the Department of Modern Languages & Comparative Literature and a series of events in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Europe bringing aspects of Russian culture to campus.

The showpiece event will be a Russian Voices Symposium on November 20. The symposium will feature readings by and conversations with contemporary Russian poets Polina Barskova, Anna Glazova, and Maria Stepanova. Another fall event to look out for is the film screening of My Perestroika on October 28, followed by a conversation with director, producer, and cinematographer Robin Hessman. The film follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times—from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Read more
CAS Linguist Studies How Spanish is Spoken, and Changing, in the United States
Danny Erker’s interest in linguistics was piqued in an unlikely place: a grade school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was teaching five- and six-year-olds how to play guitar, mandolin, and piano. The school served many bilingual children—the city has a large Mexican population—and Erker noticed that the kids preferred to speak Spanish with their parents, Spanish and English with one another, but only English with him, despite the fact that he is fluent in Spanish and conducted all of his parent-teacher conferences in the language.

Erker has begun a pilot study in Boston to answer some of his questions about how Spanish is used in social contexts in large urban settings and how the language may be changing. Read more
Announcements
Call for Nominations: Metcalf & United Methodist Awards
The Office of the Provost invites faculty members, staff, students, and alumni to submit nominations for the 2014 Metcalf Cup and Prize and Metcalf Awards for Excellence in Teaching, and for the 2014 United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award. Beginning this year, the selection process for these awards will be run in tandem. Nominations for both awards are due October 11, 2013. Read more
Request for Proposals: Center for Finance, Law & Policy
As a collaborative, interdisciplinary unit of Boston University, the Center for Finance, Law & Policy invites members of the BU community to submit proposals for research or other initiatives. Proposals from all of BU’s schools and colleges are welcome. The center’s goal is to promote collaboration and to offer a forum to develop interdisciplinary initiatives across the University by encouraging prospective Principal Investigators to work with the center to refine their ideas, identify complementary sources of funding, and/or generate other means of supporting a project. The center currently collaborates with faculty from a variety of BU’s schools and colleges, as well as with leaders in finance, law, policy, financial democracy, and related fields. For submission guidelines, click here.
more news
Lectures & Events
24
SEP
Directions in the Study of Athenian Democracy
1
OCT
Tyler Kent’s Secret Plot against FDR, Churchill, and the Allied War Effort – luncheon discussion with Peter Rand
2
OCT
Brown Bag Lecture: “From Survey to World Heritage: Field Archaeology and Management in the Marmara Lake Basin, Western Turkey,” by Professor Christina Luke
3
OCT
Nineteenth-Century Indian Muslim Travel Writing: A lunch talk by Sunil Sharma
25-27
OCT
Alumni Weekend
View Calendar
Faculty Meetings & Deadlines
4
OCT
CAS New Faculty Workshop
9
OCT
CAS Faculty Meeting
11
OCT
Nominations Due: Metcalf & United Methodist Awards
16
OCT
CCD Meeting
chairs/faculty calendar
Faculty Meetings
Faculty News and Notes

Professor and Chair of International Relations Andrew Bacevich’s new book Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country (American Empire Project) was published on September 10 by Metropolitan Books. The book is a critique of the disconnect between policymakers who send our all-volunteer army to war and the general public that “supports the troops” but by and large is not directly impacted by our wars.

Assistant Professor of Earth & Environment Michael Dietze recently had a paper accepted for publication by New Phytologist, a top journal in plant biology. Dietze suggests that plants’ leaf traits, which are commonly used to predict plant photosynthetic rates in a wide variety of applications such as climate change modeling, cannot always be accurately predicted by global-scale databases. Read more

Assistant Professor of Religion Emily Hudson received an Award for Excellence in Religion: Textual Studies from the American Academy of Religion. She received the award for her book Disorienting Dharma: Ethics and the Aesthetics of Suffering in the Mahabharata (Oxford University Press, 2012). The award honor books of distinctive originality, intelligence, creativity, and importance; books that affect decisively how religion is examined, understood, and interpreted.

Two archaeologists, Associate Professor of Archaeology Christopher Roosevelt and Senior Lecturer of Archaeology Christina Luke, have been named to the Young Society Leaders list of the American Turkish Society. The society is committed to strengthening Turkish-American relations and recently admitted 22 other business leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, and academics in addition to Luke and Roosevelt. Both Luke’s and Roosevelt’s current work focuses on Lydia, western Turkey. They co-direct the Central Lydia Archaeological Survey. The project investigates long-term patterns of cultural activity in the area and aims to reconstruct past environmental conditions.

Cambridge University Press recently published Professor of Political Science Cathy Martin’s book The Political Construction of Business Interests: Coordination, Growth, and Equality. The book recounts employers’ struggles to define their collective social identities at turning points in capitalist development. Read more

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Bjoern Reinhard and Dr. Suryaram Gummurulu, BU School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology, have received an award from the NIH to investigate the role and mode of action of non-virus encoded surface functionalities in the capture of HIV by dendritic cells. Artificial virus nanoparticles with host-derived surface groups that inhibit HIV-1 infection at the portal of entry and that—by design—evade the development of virus-encoded resistance, as well as the clearance through the host’s immune system, will pave the way to highly efficient nanoparticle-based therapeutic strategies against HIV, a disease that affects 34 million people worldwide. Read more

Professor of History and Director of the American & New England Studies Program Nina Silber delivered the keynote address for Bowdoin College’s recent alumni event on “The Aftermath of the Civil War.” Her research and teaching focus is on the US Civil War, US women’s history, and the history of the American South.

The University of Chicago Press recently published a book by Assistant Professor of Sociology David Swartz titled Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Swartz’s research interests include the study of elites and stratification, education, culture, religion, and social theory. Read more

Professor of Anthropology Jenny White testified in July before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about Turkey and the Gezi Park protests. The session examined the future of the Turkish model of one-party democracy. Video of the entire session and a download of her longer written statement can be found here.

The Boston Network for International Development (BNID), an organization housed in the BU Political Science Department, recently launched a website (www.bnid.org) to connect BNID’s 3,000 members and more than 100 partner organizations across the greater Boston area. The site was funded by a grant for $10,000 from the Ansara Family Fund via the Boston Foundation. Professor of Political Science John Gerring is the PI on the project. BNID serves as a point of connection for groups and individuals in the Boston area who are concerned with issues of international development and global justice. “This new platform will be a fantastic resource for those across Boston who are interested in finding ways to jumpstart their careers, volunteer with issues they are truly passionate about, and support many of the organizations who are trying to make a difference in Boston and across the world,” said BIND Associate Director Adam Korn.

Once again, Boston University will be well represented at the Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA)/American Economics Association (AEA) meetings to be held in Philadelphia, January 3–5 2014. Counting coauthors, people presiding, and discussants equally, current BU affiliates are on the program 46 times (31 distinct names). In addition, BU Economics alumni are also on the program at least 24 times, bringing the total to at least 70 BU participants. Of these participating, 28 are current Economics faculty, 11 are current SMG faculty, one is in the SPH, six were PhD Economics students at the time they submitted, and 24 are alumni. This year, three BU Economics professors share the title for the most appearances on the ASSA program: Alisdair McKay, Kevin Lang, and Laurence Kotlikoff, each of whom appears three times on the program in various roles.

The BU Center for the Study of Asia recently published a new annual newsletter ( available here). Inside are highlights from the past year, info about the activities of student groups, and upcoming events. This academic year, the theme for the center is “Asia and the City,” as a slate of presentations, screenings, and workshops examines the vast challenges and opportunities presented by Asia’s mega cities.

this month's accolades
Student News

Two GRS students nominated by GRS to attend the Singapore National Research Foundation’s Global Young Scientists Summit in January 2014 have been accepted in the program. One of the students is Danna Gurari, who is conducting a multidisciplinary PhD thesis project developing computer science methods to address major challenges in biomaterial research and computer-aided diagnosis of diseases. The other is Iker Etchegaray, a PhD candidate studying neurodegenerative disorders. The Provost’s office and GRS will fund the students’ travel.

The Global Young Scientists Summit@one-north (GYSS@one-north) is a gathering in Singapore of young researchers (primarily PhD students and post-docs) from all over the world, with internationally eminent science and technology leaders (‘speakers’). The summit will discuss the latest advances in science and technology, and how research could be harnessed to address major global challenges. It is a multidisciplinary summit, covering topics ranging from chemistry, physics, and medicine to mathematics, computer science, and engineering. The conference is both a learning and networking opportunity for young scholars, as they meet junior and senior scientists in their field and related fields from around the world.

Keep us in the loop
Let us know about news or upcoming events. Announcements about upcoming events, new faculty book publications, and news items can also be submitted online. If you prefer, you can send news items to cascom@bu.edu, or call Patrick Farrell at 617-358-1185. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the Student Programs Office.

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Caitlan Nee at 617-358-6275.

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