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ThoughtWork: Emerging Knowledge and News in Emory's Intellectual Community


Anthropologists Discover Complex Cognition in the Stone Age

Recent research by Dietrich Stout (Anthropology), Erin Hecht (Anthropology), and Nada Khreisheh (Anthropology), as well as Bruce Bradley (University of Exeter) and Thierry Chaminade (Aix-Marseille University), has discovered that our Lower Paleolithic ancestors had developed complex cognitive control by the prefontal cortex. This complex cognition includes the "central executive" function of working memory. The team made this discovery by studying hand axes produced in that period. This discovery helps to subvert the dominant theory that Stone Age hand axes were simple tools that did not require higher-order executive brain function.

An interview with Stout on this discovery was recently published in Scientific American.

From Excellence to Eminence

Four Faculty Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Four Emory faculty members have been elected as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This organization is among the nation's most prestigious honor societies and is also a center for independent policy research in the areas of science and technology policy; global security and international affairs; social policy and American institutions; and the humanities, arts, and education. The new members will be inducted in October in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The new Emory members are:

  • James W. Curran: dean of the Rollins School of Public Health
  • David Eltis: professor of history emeritus
  • Stephen T. Warren: William Patterson Timmie Professor of Human Genetics; Charles Howard Candler Chair in Human Genetics; professor of biochemistry; professor of pediatrics
  • Carol Worthman: Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology; director, Laboratory for Comparative Human Biology
Heard on Campus

Compromise in the Post-Reconstruction South

When I teach about Booker T. Washington, I spend a good bit of my time defending him, because what do we know about Washington? This is the guy who said we should make peace with segregation, had the famous quip, “In all things that are purely social we can be separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” What Washington had done in that speech in 1895 was attempt to find common cause or common ground with white southerners. In the midst of a changing economy, he was proposing this compromise, the Atlanta compromise, specifically because he was worried about black people—a newly emancipated population, an economically marginalized population, some four-plus million people still overwhelmingly based in the South—and worried and concerned that the industrializing economy, with its new sources of labor coming from Europe, would overlook black people and they would be even more marginalized than they had been. So he looks out and he strikes this bargain, kind of finds common cause. And he talks about slavery in these ways which assuage the concerns of white southerners. He talks about the way that people had waited upon their mothers and grandmothers and grandfathers during the time of slavery and said “with tear-dimmed eyes escorted them to their graves.” He talks about it in a very nostalgic way, trying to create a basis for black-white unity in the South that would allow people to move forward economically.

—William Jelani Cobb, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Institute, University of Connecticut, from his Black History Month Lecture, “The Two Browns: Civil Rights in the Age of Ferguson,” March 17, 2015, presented by the Department of African American Studies

Resources for Faculty

Center for Faculty Development and Excellence Teaching Grants: Fall 2015

The Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) has issued a call for proposals for two of its teaching grants for the Fall 2015 semester. Details are below.

The Fund for Innovative Teaching (FIT) grants are intended to support innovative undergraduate and/or graduate and postgraduate teaching at Emory. These grants are open to all full-time faculty (both tenure and non-tenure track) and are available for both individual faculty members and faculty working as teams. Priority will be given to those whose proposals promise long-term educational effects within the Emory community. Grants are available in the amounts of $500-$3000, and applicants must have their own Smartkey account or be connected to a department with a Smartkey account.

Applications are due by Friday, May 8 via this link. For more information, including new approaches covered by the fund, application materials, judgment criteria, and requirements, please see cfde.emory.edu.

Classroom Mini Grants should be used for an activity directly related to a class you are teaching during the Fall 2015 semester. Anyone currently teaching at Emory is eligible, including graduate students, adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, lecturers, or tenure track faculty. Preference will be given to teachers who have not received past grants and for new course offerings, and grants are available up to $300. Applicants must either have their own Smartkey account or be connected to a department with a Smartkey account.

Applications are due by Friday, May 8 via this link. For more information, including what the fund does and does not support and application materials, please see cfde.emory.edu. Both grants are contingent on CFDE budget approval from the Provost's Office and are not guaranteed.

New to the Faculty

Abigail Sewell, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Abigail A. Sewell completed her PhD in sociology at Indiana University (2013). Prior to joining the faculty at Emory in 2014, Sewell held a position as a Vice Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow at the Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania. Sewell's primary research focuses are race and ethnicity, medical sociology, and social psychology. Her research has been published in journals such as International Journal of Intercultural Relations and the Journal of Negro Education, as well as in topical edited volumes.

Events This Week

Monday, April 27

The Vega String Quartet will perform Mozart @ the Med School today at noon in the School of Medicine Lobby. Music at Emory has more information.

Phyllis Granoff (Lex Hinson Professor of World Religions, Yale University) will speak on "A Space for Tolerance: Responses to Other Religious Groups in Medieval Indian Literature." This talk will take place at 4:15 p.m. in Bowden Hall 323. More information is available at mesas.emory.edu.

There will be an Oxford Dance Performance tonight at 8:00 p.m. in Williams Hall (Oxford College). Please click here to learn more.

Tuesday, April 28

M. Paul Murphy (Associate Professor, Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Kentucky) will speak on "Vascular Contributions to Dementia (VCID): Modeling the Disease in Mice and Novel Therapeutic Approaches" at noon in 5052 Rollins Research Center. This event is part of the Pharmacology Seminar Series.

There will be a Community Classroom event at 4:00 p.m. in the Oxford City Hall community room. Eloise Carter (Biology, Oxford) will discuss "Plants, People, and Place in the Piedmont." Please click here to learn more.

Wednesday, April 29

Erika Zwierlein-Diehl (Honorary Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Bonn) will give a lecture tonight titled "Three Thousand Years of Ancient Engraved Gems." This lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Reception Hall, Level Three.

Thursday, April 30

The Annual William C. Wood Research Symposium will be held today. John C. Alverdy (Sarah and Harold Lincoln Thompson Professor of Surgery and Executive Vice-Chair of Surgery, University of Chicago) will speak on "Collapse of Commensalism, the Emerging Pathobiome, and the Immunopathology of Sepsis" at 7:00 a.m. in the Emory University Hospital Auditorium. This talk is part of the surgery department's Grand Rounds series; please see surgery.emory.edu to learn more.

The Emory Regional Perinatal Center and the Emory Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (Department of Pediatrics) will host its 23rd Annual Conference: Neonatology 2015 today, starting at 7:00 a.m. This conference will be held in the Emory Conference Center Hotel. For more information or to register, please click here.

The Emory ADRC 9th Brain Health Forum will be held today from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Carter Presidential Center (453 Freedom Parkway). Please click here to learn more.

The 6th Annual Academic & Industry Intersection Conference: Innovative Investment Models will be held today from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Morehouse School of Medicine, Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care Auditorium (720 Westview Drive SW). For more information or to register, please click here.

The Center for Faculty Development presents "SoTL 101: An Introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)," from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library. This workshop will provide an overview of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), including why SoTL projects are important and how to get started. For more information and to register, click here.

The next talk in the AntiquiTEA series will be held today as Amanda Hellman, curator of African art at the Carlos Museum, explores Dogon myths, their understanding of Sirius, and the controversy surrounding their history, using a recently conserved Kanaga mask. This talk will be held at 4:00 p.m. in the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Reception Hall, Level Three.

Joshua Buckholtz (Psychology, Harvard University) will speak on "The Causal Neurobiology of Self-Control" today at 4:00 p.m. in PAIS 280. A reception will follow. This event is the Department of Psychology's Research Day Speaker. Please email Emily Stills at estills@emory.edu for more information.

Friday, May 1

No events are scheduled for today.

Saturday, May 2

The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta - Emerson Series will continue with the Danielle K. Rabel Memorial Concert at 8:00 p.m. in the Emerson Concert Hall, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. This concert, featuring the Vega String Quartet, will feature Beethoven's great Op. 131 and more.

Sunday, May 3

No events are scheduled for today.

Monday, May 4

The Emory University Emeritus College will host the next talk in its spring 2015 Luncheon Colloquium Series. Gretchen Schulz (English Emerita, Oxford College) will speak on "The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare's Unfunniest Comedy?" This event will be held in the Luce Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend. However, attendees who opt for lunch must register on or before the Thursday prior to each colloquium. The fee for lunch is $10.00 and it will be accepted at the door. For more information about The Lunch Colloquium and to register, please visit emory.edu/emeritus.

For more events at Emory, visit http://www.emory.edu/home/events.

ThoughtWork: Emerging Knowledge and News in Emory's Intellectual Community

Monday, April 27, 2015, Volume 15, Issue 33

ThoughtWork is a publication of the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, which is supported by the Office of the Provost. This electronic newsletter list is moderated; replies are not automatically forwarded to the list of recipients. Please email aadam02@emory.edu with comments and calendar submissions. Calendar submissions are due 5:00pm the Wednesday before the week of the event. Dates and details of events on calendar are subject to change; please confirm with organizers before you attend.


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