Vol. 11 No. 6
May 2009

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Keeping the Spark
The challenges of staying creative over an academic career

Podcasts: The Challenges of Staying Creative: Stories from Emory

The Center for Faculty Development and Excellence

“When people are willing to get ‘off track,’ that is when I see them at their most creative. When they stop worrying about traditional modes of recognition, they tend to be far more spontaneous.”

“I‘m quite happy to work on a project for a number of years and have it simply not realize itself . . . because I know there are other things that will come to fruition.”

“Having a community of scholars you relate to is important to creativity and important to grooming people to be creative thinkers.”

Show Up and Get to Work
Time, solitude, and creative breakthroughs

On Becoming a Scientist-Advocate
Creative new possibilities for approaching and teaching science

Crazy Thinking
How the most creative ideas get generated and selected


Railroading the nation
Tom Scott [president of the Texas Pacific Railroad in the late nineteenth century], along with the Southern Pacific and Central Pacific, invented the modern corporate lobby. . . . Both the Southern Pacific and the Texas Pacific railroads were so dependent on credit that they were like two large and angry men fighting while on life support. Both carried immense debt, and both depended on steady infusions of existing subsidies and credit. Each attacked the other, trying to maintain his own lifeline while trying to cut off that of his opponent. . . . But in all their forms, [Scott’s] bills remained, as an anti-monopoly congressman said, “substantially a proposition to build this road on government credit without making them the property of the government. If there be a profit, the corporations may take it. If there be a loss, the government must bear it.” It is a quote that could have been taken from yesterday’s papers if we had congressmen capable of being so pithy and so succinct.

—Richard White, Stanford University Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, from his talk, “Corporations, Corruption, and the Modern Lobby: A Gilded Age Story of the West and South and Washington, DC,” March 19, 2009, sponsored by the Department of History

Breaking the patriarchal code
Violence against women is not a cultural thing, it’s not an African thing, it’s not an Asian thing, it’s not a Georgian thing. It’s actually a human thing. It has to do with patriarchy and patriarchal structure, which depends on violence in order to sustain itself. . . . Right here in Atlanta the rate of violence is out of control. What’s happening in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] is not cultural; it’s escalated because of war. Most of the rapes and tortures going on in the DRC are actually from other countries who are plundering the wealth of the Congo, and also the percentage of people who are raping is very small. Around the world, most men are not rapists; most men are actually very decent and good. A very small percentage of men are doing the violence. The problem is the men who are good aren’t standing up to make this a central issue, to stop the men who are doing the bad things. When men get brave enough to break out of the male identity patriarchal code and start speaking truth to men and supporting men to change that dynamic, we will end violence against women.

—Eve Ensler, playwright and performer, author of the play The Vagina Monologues, from her conversation with Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, February 23, 2009, sponsored by the Emory Center for Ethics