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Steve ScarpaSeptember 17, 20213min
The first time Ethan Kleinberg, the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of History and Letters, immersed himself in the world of the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas 20 years ago, he wrote a book. “It was written as a traditional intellectual history and I found that what that I had done was to completely deactivate the aspects of Levinas’ thought where he believes that there are ethical guidelines that come to us from outside our own history, these transcendent ethical guidelines puncture any historical or contextual moment,” Kleinberg said. He didn’t like what he’d written, so he took an unprecedented step—he…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 19, 20212min
A new paper co-authored by Teresita Padilla-Benavides, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, is published in the July 2021 issue of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal. Titled "The molecular and cellular basis of copper dysregulation and its relationship with human pathologies," the paper explores the role of copper in human disease. Copper (Cu) is an essential micronutrient involved in critical metabolic reactions and biological functions. In humans, mutations or malfunctions of genes that regulate copper stability in the body may lead to numerous pathologic conditions, severe neurodegenerative conditions, or metabolic diseases. Copper also plays…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 26, 20213min
María Ospina, associate professor of Spanish, believes that writing fiction is another powerful way to engage the subjects that have driven her academic work—memory, violence, and culture. “Right now, I think that this is the way that I am going to continue exploring intellectual issues that interest me, including those related to history and politics,” said Ospina, who previously published a book of cultural criticism. Her debut book of short stories, Variations on the Body, has been translated into English from Spanish by Heather Cleary and was published in the United States in July by Coffee House Press. The book…

Rachel Wachman '24July 17, 20213min
Robyn Autry, associate professor of sociology, studies racial identity, Blackness, and memory, in addition to the politics of museum development in the United States and South Africa. She is the author of eight recent articles relating to these topics. Her work includes the following: “Historical Memory-Making in South Africa,” published in The Oxford Handbook of South African History in December 2020. “Sociology’s Race Problem,” published in Aeon in November 2020. "UNC's rejection of Nikole Hannah-Jones and the Opacity of Tenure in America," published by NBC News in May 2021. “Trump’s 1776 Commission Tried to Rewrite History. Biden Had Other Ideas,”…

Rachel Wachman '24July 12, 20213min
In the past two years, Associate Professor of History Jennifer Tucker co-edited one book, one journal issue, two articles, two book chapters, and the headnote for a review essay, and authored eight book chapters and two articles. In addition, she has just finished a draft of her second monograph. Tucker, a historian of 19th- and 20th-century British society, focuses specifically on photographic and cinematic evidence in the fields of science, law, forensic medicine, news reporting, public trials, and the environment. Her recent work includes the following: A Right to Bear Arms? The Contested Role of History in Contemporary Debates on…

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Olivia DrakeJuly 1, 20217min
When launching spacecrafts and missiles, small navigational mistakes could lead to catastrophic results. A satellite could spin completely out of orbit, a missile could mistakenly strike a civilian territory, or a spaceship could end up at another planet altogether. Three Wesleyan researchers are collaborating on the development of a novel sensor that would benefit navigation and several other applications. The new, hypersensitive acceleration sensor is based on a principle borrowed from nuclear physics and has been developed at Wesleyan. It provides enhanced sensitivity and precision compared to conventional sensors. "Our underlying concept can be applied in a variety of sensing…

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Rachel Wachman '24June 28, 20213min
Erika Taylor, associate professor of chemistry, recently co-authored three papers and a book chapter related to (1) biomass to biofuel production and (2) development of new therapeutics to treat Gram-negative bacterial infections. Taylor's work investigates problems at the biological chemistry interface and seeks to find applications of her work to the fields of medicine and sustainable energy. Her chapter called “Lignin Enzymology – Recent Efforts to Understand Lignin Monomer Catabolism” in the book Comprehensive Natural Products III: Chemistry and Biology, and her paper “Identifying Metabolic Pathway Intermediates that Modulate Enzyme Activity: A Kinetic Analysis of the DesB Dioxygenase from Sphingobium…

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Rachel Wachman '24June 18, 20212min
Janice Naegele, Alan M. Dachs Professor of Science, dean of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division, and professor of biology, is the co-author of three recent publications. Naegele’s work focuses on stem cells and finding new treatments for epilepsy and brain damage. Naegele’s articles include the following: “Induction of temporal lobe epilepsy in mice with pilocarpine,” published by BioProtocol in February 2020. “Development of electrophysiological and morphological properties of human embryonic stem cell-derived GABAergic interneurons at different times after transplantation into the mouse hippocampus,” published by PLoS One in August 2020. “Optogenetic interrogation of ChR2-expressing GABAergic interneurons after transplantation into…

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Rachel Wachman '24June 18, 20215min
A new book written by two Wesleyan faculty explores the experience of two travelers in the land destroyed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. William Johnston, John E. Andrus Professor of History, and Eiko Otake, visiting artist in dance, are the co-authors of A Body in Fukushima, published June 1 by Wesleyan University Press. Johnston, a historian and photographer, accompanied Japanese-born performer and dancer Otake on five explorations across Fukushima, creating 200 photographs that document the irradiated landscape, accentuated by Eiko's poses depicting both the sorrow and dignity of the land. Johnston elaborated on the process of creating…

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Rachel Wachman '24June 16, 20212min
Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, has recently authored and co-authored many scholarly articles and book chapters. His research focuses on contemporary Russian politics, the political economy, and nationalism. His works include: A chapter titled “Looking back at the Soviet economic experience,” published in 100 Years of Communist Experiments in June 2021. “Dead souls: Russia’s COVID Calamity,” published in Transitions Online in March 2021. “Workers Against the Workers’ State,” published by the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia in February 2021. “Poverty, Politics and Pandemic: The Plague…

Rachel Wachman '24June 8, 20211min
Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought and a professor of both government and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, has recently authored and co-authored many scholarly articles and book chapters. His research focuses on contemporary Russian politics, the political economy, and nationalism. His articles include: “Transformation of nationalism and diaspora in the digital age,” published in Nations and Nationalism in December 2020. “Russia and ‘frozen conflicts’ in the post-soviet space,” published in Caucasus Survey, in April 2020. “Do Black Lives Matter in Russia?,” published in PONARS Eurasia policy memo in July 2020. (more…)

Olivia DrakeMay 10, 20212min
Helen Poulos, adjunct assistant professor of environmental studies, is the lead author on a research article titled “Wildlife severity and vegetation recovery drive post-fire evapotranspiration in a southwestern pine-oak forest, Arizona, USA” published in Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation on May 8, 2021. Undergraduates Michael Freiburger '21 and Hunter Vannie '20 assisted in collecting field data. From the paper’s abstract: In this study, post-fire ET was driven by plant species composition and tree canopy cover. ET was significantly higher in the morning and midday in densely vegetated post-fire shrublands than pine-dominated forests that remained 5–7 years after wildfire. Our…