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Volume 62, Number 25    March 6, 2015         

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Art and social movements
Daily Kos on Feb. 27 featured an interview with Chair of the Department of Sociology and Sexuality Studies Ed McCaughan about his book "Art and Social Movements: Cultural Politics in Mexico and Aztlan." "The art really helped to define the countercultural zeitgeist of that whole generation. It delighted in breaking all the rules -- the rules of the 'establishment' -- whether you're talking about the dominant institutions and discourses of the art world or the political and cultural elites of the era. A generation of youth who were dissatisfied with the world as we knew it saw our rebellious, irreverent, nonconformist selves represented in the work produced by activist artists," McCaughan said. "These days, movement artists have vastly expanded opportunities to make their work seen. When student artists were producing silk-screen graphics for the demonstrations in 1968, the number of images they could physically print and distribute by hand ... limited them. Today, while young street artists in Oaxaca are still producing political art by hand ... they now simultaneously create digital art and circulate it widely on the Internet."

So different, so familiar
Associate Professor of Sociology Clare Sears talked about the subject of her new book, "Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco," for a Feb. 26 SF Weekly article. Public records were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, but "newspapers at the time regularly ran columns on what happened in the local police courts, so I was able to piece together some information on about half of them," Sears said. Enforcing personal propriety to ensure public order allowed the city "to displace bigger questions about different sexual identities and women's rights, all along this figure of a person wearing men's clothes on a body they deemed female. ... I was immersing myself in this history that was like going to another time, another place, another world. But in other ways it's so, so familiar."

Sweets fill the gaps
On March 3, Medical Xpress reported on research from Professor and Chair of Psychology Jeff Cookston that shows children in recently separated or divorced families are more likely to drink sugar-sweetened beverages than those in families where the parents are still married. "When families separate, one of the things that is most impacted for kids is their day-to-day routines," Cookston said. "Children are looking for consistency in their family environment, and family routines provide that security and continuity."

Policies, testing behind the times
Professor of Management John Sullivan commented for a March 4 article about drug testing in The Atlantic. "In states with strong disability or medical marijuana laws, penalizing medical marijuana users when they are not impaired could be a huge legal and political issue," Sullivan observed. "With more jurisdictions being added, human resources leaders can no longer postpone updating their drug, alcohol and impairment policies and methods of testing and enforcement."

Tiny but hugely important
The March 3 KQED science blog featured Professor of Biology William Cochlan's research into the effects of ocean acidification on phytoplankton, ocean floaters that are essential to life on earth. "Because we can't see them without microscopes they're kind of invisible to us. ... We're specifically trying to see if ocean acidification increases their growth rate or slows it down," Cochlan said. "Humans cannot survive without healthy oceans that support phytoplankton growth. They're really quite something."

Challenging a distorted idea
Professor Emerita of American Indian Studies Elizabeth Parent discussed the importance of feminism to Native American culture for a March 4 Indian Country Today Media Network report. "One of the most horrendous things that is holding us down as a people is the abuse of women. One of the most dangerous things to be in this society is an Indian woman," Parent said. "Part of what the Europeans have distorted is the idea that women are inferior to men. The fact is, we give life, we nurture life, we deliver life. We carry male and female within our bodies for nine months."

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


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Last modified March 5, 2015 by University Communications.