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Volume 62, Number 17    December 12, 2014         

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Jazzing up the traditional
On Dec. 4, Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies John-Carlos Perea was the featured December Music Maker on the national call-in radio show Native America Calling. Perea played and discussed his new jazz-influenced album Creation Story, which incorporates both traditional Native American instruments such as the cedar flute along with standard jazz sounds. "The opening [of the title track] is the cedar flute and alto saxophone. So much of the time today, you hear the cedar flute in a solo context. That's where a lot of people have played it in the context we think of as traditional. But I wanted to put the flute in with a band playing melodies that have a little more of a saxophone influence," Perea said. "I wanted to come back at the end to the solo flute. So while I was doing my thing with it in the beginning, I wanted it to end in that context that we think of as traditional or solo flute performance just to bring the journey all the way around for the song."

Unique compulsion
Professor of Political Science Robert C. Smith commented on President Obama's unique position in addressing police violence against African American men for a Dec. 4. International Business Times article. "It seems to me that Obama is animated in doing this in good part because he has a sense of it that a non-black president could not have," Smith said. "I think he is compelled in a way that a non-black president couldn't be."

Precarious path
A Dec. 5 Boston Globe story about bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympics included insight by Assistant Professor of Political Science Jason McDaniel on San Francisco's undertaking. "Right now the city is very much in support of the mayor but the politics of development and building are precarious," McDaniel said. "It doesn’t take much for organized resistance to happen here."

Broader view to spark positive change
A Dec. 9 San Francisco Examiner report about a San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education vote to add ethnic studies to middle- and high-school curricula included insights from Dean of Ethnic Studies Kenneth Monteiro and Associate Professor of Asian American Studies Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales. "For the most part, in America, only one American story is taught. [Ethnic studies teaches students] about struggles for equality, what [other] groups have gone through, and how that has reshaped what it means to be an American," Monteiro said. Tintiangco-Cubales, who helped design the curricula, added that "it's important for young people to learn about their history, but it's also important for them to feel like they can change their communities in positive ways."

Vulnerable and not heard
Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies Kenneth Monteiro discussed protests against police killings of unarmed African American men for a Dec. 7 NBC News report. "People don't feel that they are being heard, not just about the one grand jury decision, but about the ones that went before," Monteiro said. "So you have folks who are feeling quite vulnerable right now and also not having their leaders hear them."


For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News.


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Last modified Dec. 12, 2014 by University Communications.