Vol. 10 No. 3
December 2007/January 2008

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Prediction as the Cure
Gazing into the human body's crystal ball

The "engineers" in bioengineering

“I find it interesting that it’s incredibly difficult to define health without talking about a default position—you know you have health because you’re not sick.”

“There’s significant new ethical ground to be broken here. . . . We’re collecting a large amount of personal information. How do you protect it, who stores it, how do you store it, who has access to it?”

Defending basic science

Looking South Exploring Southern Spaces
The new terrain of Emory's multi-media scholarly journal

The Near Past
Tone and tension in writing about the modern South

Stories from the Frontlines
Or, How to survive co-authoring a book (with your spouse


Create the institution you want to work in
I think it is important to pursue the things that have brought us this far —to make our institutions ones we would want to be a part of, rather than simply accepting them as given. It is also worth being somewhat wary of received wisdom—such as when colleagues say: “Don’t collaborate, don’t do interdisciplinary work until tenure, don’t be risk-taking, don’t show weakness by changing your mind on a decision”—because it probably describes someone we’ll never fully look like or perhaps even want to be like. I always tell new faculty in our orientation sessions that, while it is certainly good to meet the expectations for tenure within their department, on the day they wake up with tenure, they had better be waking up in a place they want to work. Even as we try to fit in and succeed, we cannot lose sight of what is important to us and what motivates us to keep at it. We must preserve those things—whether they are a collaborative or interdisciplinary mode of working, public scholarship, risk-taking leadership styles, or any of a host of other “non-traditional” approaches. Let’s create the institution we want to work this hard in, because we’re all working pretty hard.

—Nancy Cantor, Chancellor and President, Syracuse University, from “Women in the Academy: Insider Voices with Outsider Values,” the keynote address of the symposium “Women at Emory: Past, Present, and Future,” October 4, 2007

Inspiration from constraint
There’s a cliché that constraints or confinements in the arts actually aren’t always a bad thing, and that constraints can actually spur creativity. When you find you can’t do something one way, you have to be ingenious and think about how you can do what you want to do in another way. I would argue that’s what happened with CinemaScope—a technology invented not by filmmakers but by production companies that wanted to fight television and other competition. The upshot was that artists were handed this new set of tools and told, “do this.” A lot of filmmakers didn’t know how to respond, but a variety of strategies emerged from them to try to make creative use of this new technology. . . . It was a very short-lived phenomenon, the golden years running from about 1953 to 1960. It wasn’t a big money maker for the studios, who thought it would be a good way to make money from blockbuster films . . . and it didn’t win that many Academy Awards or prestigious recognition. The importance of it, though, is it triggered wide screen filmmaking. It really said from now on movies are going to be wide. Different sizes wide, but wide.”

—David Bordwell, Jacques Ledoux Professor of Film Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, from his talk, “CinemaScope, The Modern Miracle You See without Special Glasses!” October 18, 200