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Volume 51, Number 23   March 1, 2004         

    Announcements    Events    News    Newsmakers


Gere-ing up to play Bach
According to the Feb. 6 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, Jassen Todorov, violinist and professor of music, instructed actor Richard Gere on a solo violin piece for "Bee Season," which is being filmed in Oakland. Assuming it makes it into the film, Gere's character plays a passage from Bach's Chaconne for Solo Violin. "He's very musical, and he's a very fast learner, with a very good ear,'' Todorov said. "He began (taking lessons) a few months ago in New York, so we're not starting from scratch here. The fact he wants to do it well, and is very willing to learn, is great.''

Read the full article.

The importance of sexuality research
Gilbert Herdt, director of the National Sexuality Resource Center and professor of human sexuality studies, defended the importance of scientific research on sexuality in a Feb. 6 letter to the editor in The New York Times. "'U.S. Official Defends Use of Sex Studies' (news article, Jan. 30) was welcome news to those of us working in sexuality research," he wrote. "If the unfounded attacks on our work had been left unanswered by the National Institutes of Health, they could have crippled research and hindered the use of scientific knowledge to save lives."

Read the letter to the editor. (free registration required)

Being level-headed about "The Passion"
A Feb. 16 Contra Costa Times article reported on the reactions to the hype surrounding Mel Gibson's "The Passion." "I think that having a level-headed educational debate can help," said Nitzhia Shaked, a lecturer in the Jewish Studies Program. Shaked didn't comment directly on the film because she hadn't yet seen it, but she just recently completed a book that offers a legal analysis on the trials of Jesus, comparing the law of the day with the biblical accounts.

Read the full article.

Poetry for posterity
SFSU's Poetry Center & American Poetry Archives "has become one of the most important repositories of poetry recordings in the nation" says the San Francisco Chronicle in a Feb. 19 article on the Center's 50th anniversary. The Center not only is home to recordings of many famous poets reading their work -- Allen Ginsburg, Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore -- but it also continues to support younger poets by sponsoring a series of readings each semester. "We're not really flush with money," said poet Maxine Chernoff, chair of the Creative Writing Department. "But the Poetry Center is where people want to read. Poets often stop here on their way through the U.S. if they're visiting from other countries."

Read the full article.

A de-Fanged Examiner
"The perception that I have of the Examiner is that (the Fangs) tried to suck all, I mean all, the profits out of it -- even worse than our usually rapacious newspaper companies," said J.T. Johnson, professor of journalism, in a Feb. 20 Editor & Publisher article about the sale of the Examiner to billionaire Philip Anschutz. "Whoever this (new owner) is and whatever he does with the Examiner, it can only improve."

Read the full article.

Washington's practical religion
George Washington and other founding fathers believed that religion and morality are necessary for democracy but at the same time must not be imposed, said Jacob Needleman, professor of philosophy, in a commentary that aired Feb. 23 on NPR's Morning Edition. "Religion can help keep the principle of personal gain from dominating the life of society, especially a society in which personal liberty prevails," he said. "The ideals of religious morality together with a uniquely democratic constitution helped stabilize a free people who had thrown off the burden of tyranny."

Listen to the commentary.

CSU faculty doing more research
A Feb. 23 San Francisco Chronicle article reported that more faculty on CSU campuses, including SFSU, are engaging in research. The article cites as evidence of this trend the fact that several campuses, especially SFSU, SDSU and SJSU have greatly increased the amount of outside research funding. Albert Uy, assistant biology professor, said that research helps keep him interested in teaching and benefits his students. "It is sort of nice to show [students] evolution is happening right now, and we are studying it. It is nice for them to see that the professors are active in research and are just not regurgitating what other people have done," he said.

Read the full article.

Nabbing the Nascar dad
Bush's move to push for a constitutional amendment excluding same-sex couples from marriage rights provoked strong reactions by the Democratic presidential candidates, reported the Feb. 25 edition of the San Francisco Examiner. David Tabb, a professor of political science, said that Bush made the announcement to capture the "Nascar dad" vote. "The white male between 30 and 50 years old, who is working class is very important to his re-election," he said.

Read the full article.

For more SFSU people and programs in the news, see the SFSU in the News page on SF State News.

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Last modified March 1, 2004, by the Office of Public Affairs