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Volume 54, Number 26   March 19, 2007         

    Announcements    News    Events   Newsmakers


Openly gay retiree pioneers
In a March 2 feature about the changes to retirement that the openly gay population may make, Professor of Gerontology Brian de Vries told the Southern Voice "This is a pioneering population, in that we're about to witness the first group of out older lesbians and gay men. Right now social systems for older adults are not really well set up to support and work around friend caregivers. They're well set up to work around spouses and children. Once you're outside that social structure, social systems don't know quite how to deal with that."

Hip-hop in the academy
Shawn Ginwright
, associate professor of ethnic studies, and Antwi Akom, assistant professor of ethnic studies, were among the scholars quoted in a March 5 San Francisco Chronicle feature about academic study of hip-hop. Akom said, "Our hip-hop class at San Francisco State University began in an effort to close the gap between theory and practice, academics and activists, 'descent and street.'" Ginwright said, "Hip-hop forces those in the academy to examine a people's culture, so to study it, you have to be among the people. You can't look at scholarship in the typical way."

Safe programming
Rick Houlberg
, professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts, commented on radio consolidation for a March 5 Associated Press article that ran in several papers across the country. "No one is programming locally anymore," he said. "The people who do the programming for these large corporate giants in many cases are very unsophisticated about it. They don't know the market so they go with what is safest."

Mentoring African American men
In a March 6 Chicago Tribune feature on African American mentors, Shawn Ginwright, associate professor of ethnic studies, said "The first step is to get African American men prepared to enter college. The problem is the schools where most African American children go don't provide college-preparatory courses. A lot of times African American men, when they go off to college campuses, they leave their community and support network behind. Sometimes, if they don't have a strong enough base, they lose themselves."

Preserving culture
On the March 8 broadcast of "Artery" on KALW Radio, Philip Klasky, lecturer of American Indian studies, discussed his field work with the Cultural Conservancy's Storyscape Project. Speaking about the repatriation of ethnographer Guy Tyler's recordings of the songs, stories and languages of more than 50 American Indian tribes in the U.S., he noted: "Most people don't realize that during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Native Americans could be thrown in jail for speaking their language or practicing their culture. When a language is gone, a culture disappears. We're scrambling to record and preserve these languages and songs so that these cultures will remain."

Bridging belief and action
Philosophy Professor Jacob Needleman discussed his new book "Why Can't We Be Good?" on the March 14 edition of KQED-FM's "Forum," hosted by English Professor Michael Krasny. In the interview, Krasny brought up the idea, from Socrates, of thinking together. "This is the thing I discovered right in front of my nose in class," Needleman said. "The bridge between what we know and how we act -- what we feel to be good and how we behave -- the bridge is missing. ... This bridge you can begin to discover it in your classroom when you see what it means to listen to the other's point of view."

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Last modified March 19, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications