8 No. 1
Equity in the Hard Sciences at Emory
in the hard science faculty ranks at Emory
sciences faculty by gender at other institutions
happening along the way? Why aren't women choosing academia proportionately,
and why aren't women staying in academia?"
think the 'nature versus nurture' question is not meaningful, because
it treats them as independent factors, whereas in fact everything
is nature and nurture."
Crisis in the Humanities
So what else is new?
Away the Dust of Everyday Life
and the Emory Experience
Diary and the Map
and Foucault on making sense of history
death, money and chemistry in the Carlos Museum
Each time Professor of Religion Gary Laderman teaches Religion 323,
Death and Dying, he takes his students across the Quad to the Ancient
Egyptian and Nubian Art gallery of the Carlos Museum. There among
the sarcophagi and mummies, Laderman and his students discuss the
afterlife: What do we do with the dead? What does that imply about
a culture, its religious values and beliefs?
I also raise the political questions of repatriation,
Laderman says. When these bodies were mummified and buried
three thousand years ago, the intent was that they would stay in
one place, and their postmortem destiny depended on it. What does
it mean that they were taken and are displayed in the Carlos Museum?
Laderman is among the growing numbers of faculty from unexpected
places are finding that the Carlos Museums resourcesboth
its collections and its staff expertiseare invigorating their
teaching. In 2003-04, fifty-nine faculty, from chemistry to dance,
used the museum galleries, collections, and programs in their instruction.
Another of those fifty-nine was Preetha Ram, who teaches in the
chemistry department and serves as assistant dean for science in
Emory College. For a capstone senior seminar titled Perspectives
in Chemistry, she invites Renee Stein, the Carlos Museum conservator,
to co-teach a three-week unit on chemistry and art. We want
our majors to leave with a more integrated perspective of the science,
to see it in context, says Ram. Renee really understands
both the science and the art. She once brought us a tray full of
different pigments so we could look at them while we talked about
the chemistry, what they are made of, what the components are, how
they reacted. And we looked at Greek pottery, how the Greeks controlled
whether it was red or black by controlling the airflow and temperature.
She gave us equations for the chemical reactions. And then of course
we followed that up by going to the museum to see the pottery.
In a freshman seminar called All About Yoga, Associate Professor
of Dance Anna Leos students visit the Asian Art galleries
to get a visual sense of the craft and philosophy of yoga. I
was looking for ways to bring the underlying history, mythology,
and practice of yoga to life for the students, so I called the museum,
Leo says. I really didnt know what I was going to find,
but it turned out that the statues of Buddha they have physically
represent some of the concepts I was trying to tell them about in
the practice. Theres an instruction at the beginning and end
of class to draw the eyes closed from the top to the bottom, allowing
the lower lid to recede, and they could really see what that looks
like. Or the idea of the softened belly and the elongated spinethats
really evident in the artwork.
The museum has beautiful Egyptian artifacts of great artistic
value, but it also has mundane objects of daily life in ancient
Mesopotamia, says Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern and
South Asian Studies Roxani Margariti. During her Introduction to
the Middle East course, she leads students to the tiniest sub-galleries
tucked away in the furthest corners. There is a sickleused
for harvesting grain. Margariti also points to Mesopotamian
stone tablets marked in cuneiformfour-thousand-year-old accounting
ledgers. The invention of writing and its connection to economy
is very important, she says. We talk about that in class
and maybe Ill show them slides of these tablets, but there
is nothing like coming here and seeing them. Here in this little
space, these few, expertly selected objects convey the complexity
of ancient economy. Material culture becomes another text students
Margariti adds that she often thinks of William Arthur Shelton,
the Emory professor of Hebrew and New Testament who in the 1920s
journeyed through Egypt, modern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel
to build Emorys archeological collections. In a sense,
our visit to the museum parallels that founding principle of old,
she says. Shelton was collecting these objects for young
men to better understand the Bible, In our case, we read things
like the Code of Hammurabi and the epic of Gilgamesh, and we go
to the museum for our young people to better understand the history
of this region.
We have one of the best university museums in the country,
says Sandra Blakely, an associate professor of classics. Most
graduating seniors havent stepped inside it, Blakely
is also encouraging a kind of textual analysis when sends her Greek
archaeology students on museum expeditions. I tell them to
go find a pot, give me a complete verbal description of it, and
then draw it. Then after a discussion of ceramics in class,
I have them go back and do it again, to see how much theyve
learned and how they can apply what theyve learned, to think
about something critically. I want students to walk away with an
idea of the intellectual process of creating value and meaning in
the archeological record.
Our Emory students are very driven, they need to get the A.
A lot of what constitutes their successful advancement to the next
levelwhether thats medical school, law school, or some
kind of graduate programare things they can put on their CV.
And you cant put museum trips on your CV. You can put organizations
and clubs and activities, but the more contemplative aspects of
the university experience you dont get credit for. So Im
trying build into this class the fact that they will get credit
for it. The Carlos gives you a chance to hand your students a paddle
and say, Go find a canoe.A.O.A.