Summer 2008

Salman Rushdie on the Spring 2007 cover


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This is a note to thank you for your terrific article, “The Creative Campus,” in the spring issue of Emory Magazine. I am currently teaching AP Art History and a section of Art History Honors. I was in the midst of creating the Honors final exam essay when your magazine landed on my desk. Steven Tepper’s definition of creativity was absolutely perfect! I asked my students to select ten artists, sculptors, architects, and photographers from the twentieth century and cite specific works by these artists as examples of Tepper’s statement that “creativity pushes boundaries, often with deviance and abandon. It is expressive, eccentric, original, innovative, dramatic, free-spirited, and cutting edge. It means solving puzzles in unauthorized ways. Creativity means controversy.” The students loved it. Thank you for a wonderful article I will refer to in class for years to come.

Susan L. Ledbetter

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

As an alumna, I enjoy reading Emory Magazine. In the most recent issue, I was interested to read that Salman Rushdie had visited Flannery O’Connor’s home and surroundings in Milledgeville, and that he had found the experience fascinating. This led me to think of the annual trips Dr. Sally Wolff-King (now assistant vice president) takes with her students from the upper-level Faulkner seminar. Each year for many years she has conducted trips to Oxford, Mississippi, where students tour the landscape William Faulkner made famous in his novels. Until his death a few years ago, Faulkner’s nephew, Jimmy—who bore a striking resemblance to his uncle—met with the students and reminisced about the people and places. I now live in Boston, so I hear a lot about the accomplishments of the local universities. But it is precisely Emory’s location in the South that allows students to be just a day’s drive from the part of the world immortalized by Faulkner!

Virginia Ross Taylor 85PhD

Boston, Massachusetts

I have just read your article on Salman Rushdie’s affiliation with Emory, and I was impressed by the scope and detail of your coverage. Rushdie, of whom I am very much an admirer, is certainly a fascinating individual in that his writings have elevated him to a public figure capable of provoking the figurehead of an entire culture to suborn his murder. It must be exciting to claim him as a Distinguished Writer in Residence.

Stuart Whatley


As an Emory College grad, I would prefer to see the University’s considerable marketing resources reallocated so that Emory Magazine continues to be sent free to Emory friends and grads. I would suggest cutting the funding for pseudo-intellectual, alternative-lifestyle apologists like Dorothy Allison (“Rewriting Life,” spring 2008) to make up for the magazine’s budget shortfalls. Her self-absorbed and self-serving take on writers and their personalities and how the writing process takes place are iconoclastic, idiosyncratic, and irrelevant to an open-minded intellectual environment that professes to teach students the fundamentals of oral, verbal, and written communication.

Alan Hull 69C

Conyers, Georgia

Editor’s note: As we noted in the message to readers about our voluntary subscription campaign, Emory Magazine will continue to be sent free to alumni regardless of their financial support.

I enjoyed reading the article about Barbara Rothbaum’s innovative treatment for shell-shocked veterans (“The Emotional Fallout of War,” spring 2008). Very fascinating research! It turns out that the idea dates back to at least the 1830s. In Adieu, a short story by the French novelist Honoré de Balzac, a character reconstructs, to every last detail, a scene from Napoleon’s catastrophic battle at Berezina in order to “cure” his friend from shell shock. Balzac apparently imagined that the psychopathology of war was related to an emotional fixation on traumatic events. And from this he theorized that the best way to break the emotional hold of war was a controlled and simulated version of the same events.

Scott Sprenger 95PhD

Provo, Utah

I enjoy reading the Emory Magazine, and your winter 2008 edition was no exception. I read your comprehensive coverage of depression and the pursuit of happiness from cover to cover, not only because I’m a clinical psychologist who treats people with depressive disorders but also because it is wonderful to learn more about all the fantastic work that Emory staff, students, and alumni are currently undertaking or have already accomplished. Reading an article outside of my field about tracking dinosaurs (“Tracking Ancient Life,” winter 2008) I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the paleontologist, Anthony Martin, spent time at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where I currently work as a lecturer in the School of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Psychological Sciences. I know through personal contact with alumni that Emory graduates are making an impact all over the world, and he is a great example. Congratulations on a great issue.

Lillian Nejad 93C

Melbourne, Australia

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Has something in Emory Magazine raised your consciousness—or your hackles? Write to the editors at Emory Magazine, 1762 Clifton Road, Plaza 1000, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322, or via email at We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the administrators of Emory University.

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Summer 2008

Of Note