This issue of our newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC). I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S. On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.
With best wishes,
Gray F. Crouse
Message from the Director
The semester has started and there is increased activity on campus (as well as increased traffic!). We are rolling out, in conjunction with the PreHealth Mentoring Office, a program to offer mock interviews to students who will be interviewing for healthcare graduate programs. We have already had seven students sign up for interviews with our members. Thanks to those of you who are helping with this program! If others are interested in being an interviewer, or would like more information, please contact me.
The solar eclipse on August 21 generated a lot of interest here, as well as in other parts on the country. I asked for eclipse stories and got some really interesting ones--you can read them in this issue.
Our Lunch Colloquium series begins on September 12 with Ben Reiss. As has been true since I have been here, the lineup is stellar. One indication of the quality is the number of past and present speakers who have been in the news in just the past few weeks. You can see some examples below; just one indicator is the number who were featured in this past weekend's Decatur Book Festival. Note that because of room availability here at the Luce Center, some of our Lunch Colloquiums will be on Tuesday and not Monday, including the first Lunch Colloquium on September 12.
I hope you will find a number of the other articles in this issue of interest. I know many of you rely on access to online journals through Emory. There is a brief article on BrowZine below. If any of you try that, please let me know whether you find it helpful.
I am very grateful to John Bugge, Herb Benario, and Gretchen Schulz for help with proofing and editing.
Lunch Colloquium Tuesday, September 12
People We Know
Jaap de Roode (above) who gave the March 6, 2017 Lunch Colloquium, was selected to give the Faculty Address at this fall's University Convocation.
As an indication of the quality of the presenters at our Lunch Colloquiums, this past weekend's Decatur Book Festival featured three Emory faculty who have recently given a Lunch Colloquium or who will give one this fall!
Hank Klibanoff, Professor of Practice, English and Creative Writing, who spoke on January 9, 2017.
Benjamin Reiss, Professor of English, who speaks next week.
Pellom McDaniels III, Curator of African-American Collections, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, who will speak on October 23.
EUEC Member Ted Weber and his wife Mudie (above) were featured in the Spring, 2017, issue of Emory Magazine because of their legacy gift to Emory:
Ted and Mudie Weber
Ted Weber, Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics
and a retired United Methodist minister, taught
at Candler School of Theology for nearly 40
years, and wife Mudie Weber taught at the Glenn
School for Young Children for almost 30. They
cherish the friendships made through Emory.
"NO PLACE ELSE HAS THE KIND OF COMMUNITY that we experienced
through the School of Theology. This was our first appointment out of graduate
school and we stayed 39 years, helping move Candler from a good regional
seminary to one in which people of major consequence in the theological world
have joined our faculty. We are confident that under the current leadership,
Candler will continue to develop. We are especially interested in supporting
students studying for the ministry."
Our Sheth Distinguished Lecturer this past spring was Dennis Lockhart
. Dennis and his wife, Mary Rose Taylor, (above) were featured in a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that you can read by clicking here
. The article describes why Mary Rose Taylor became a founding partner in the Emory Brain Health Center (directed by Dr. Allan Levey, another of our past Lunch Colloquium speakers) and how she is now battling ALS, aided by her husband.
Virtual Presence: MOOC NOOS
Is there any value in online courses?
Campus Life Center
The picture above (presumably taken from a drone) shows the construction site for the new Campus Life Center, replacing the DUC. The small-looking building faced with plywood is the Alumni Memorial University Center (AMUC). For those of you who have not been on campus in the last few years, the buildings to the left of the AMUC are the new freshman dorms, replacing the old Longstreet, Means, Trimble, McTyeire, etc. More about the new Campus Life Center can be read by clicking here
Reconfiguration of the Clifton Streetscape (above) is nearly finished. You can read an article about the project by clicking here.
OLLI courses for the fall have been announced. You can get more information about OLLI and register for courses at olli.emory.edu
. You can see the complete catalog of courses by clicking here
. The fall term is September 11 - November 2; registration is now open. Two of our members are teaching courses during this term,David Goldsmith and Clark Poling.
Also, EUEC Member Shia Elson has been leading an inter-session discussion group that began on August 24. OLLI is in great need of additional teachers and our membership comprises one of the most talented and experienced pools of candidates. If you would like more information about teaching at OLLI, please contact John Bugge
or Dorothy Fletcher
, members of our Teaching and Mentoring Committee.
For Those Who Use Emory Online Journals
There is now an alternate method of accessing online journals through Emory's libraries. Depending on your working style, some of you may find this way more convenient. The alternate method uses BrowZine, which can be used on your computer desktop through a web browser, or with BrowZine apps on Apple or Android devices.
The web version for computer desktops can be accessed by clicking on this link:
I would be interested in getting feedback on BrowZine from users--both positive and negative.
Lunch Colloquium September 12
Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World
Benjamin Reiss, Professor of English, Co-Director, Disability Studies Initiative
In 2015, Benjamin Reiss, who specializes in 19th-century American literature, disability studies, and health humanities, won a Guggenheim Fellowship to support work on Wild Nights, the book he'll be discussing with us at the first Lunch Colloquium of the fall semester. As he'll explain, sleep is a biological necessity for all living creatures, yet among humans it is practiced in an astonishing variety of ways. Contemporary Western society has developed a rigid set of rules for sleeping: seven to eight hours in one straight shot, sealed off in private bedrooms, at most two consenting adults sharing a bed, children apart from parents (and each other), everyone on a rigid schedule that is more or less invariant across the seasons. For most of human history, practically no one slept in this way, yet today failure to sleep according to the rules is a sign of either a medical disorder or a social failure. Ben's talk will uncover some of the historical causes and economic, psychological, racial, and environmental consequences of our peculiar manner of sleeping.
About Benjamin Reiss
From the English Department website:
Benjamin Reiss (Ph.D. UC Berkeley, 1997), Professor and Chair of English, specializes in 19th-century American literature, disability studies, and health humanities. His most recent book, Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World (Basic Books, 2017), uses literature, history, science, and psychology to explain how our society created rules and expectations for human sleep that seem to work for few and are thus in constant need of micro-management, medical attention, and pervasive worry. Reiss is also the author of The Showman and the Slave: Race, Death, and Memory in Barnum's America (Harvard UP, 2001; repr. 2010) and Theaters of Madness: Insane Asylums and Nineteenth-Century American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2008), as well as essays in journals including American Literature, American Literary History, Social Text, ELH, American Quarterly, and Sleep Health. His work also has appeared in the Los Angeles Times (here, here, and here), the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Slate. He is co-editor of the Cambridge History of the American Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Keywords for Disability Studies (New York University Press, 2015). And he is a founding director of Emory's Disability Studies Initiative.
Professor Reiss teaches courses in traditional literary periods (such as the Nineteenth-Century American Novel, Literary Transcendentalism, and Antebellum American Literature), as well as courses that blend literary analysis with cultural studies, cultural and social history, and the history of medicine and disability. These include Literature and Madness; Sleep Across the Disciplines; and Disability and American Culture. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the NEH, the Louisiana Board of Regents, and Emory's Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry.
EUEC Member Don Saliers and his daughter Emily perform on Tuesday, September 5, at Oxford College Chapel. More information can be seen by clicking here
Photograph by Craig Inglis
Top: Dr. Adeniyi Aderoba (Nigeria); Dr. Fortune Nyamande (Zimbabwe); Dr. Modi Sidibe (Mali); Dr. Williefrank Benson (Liberia); Dr. Bekbolat Izbassarov (Kazakhstan); Dr. Franklin Rukikamirera (Rwanda); Dr. Zhenquan Jiao (China); Professor Foster (Sautee); Dr. Rakhat Akmatova (Kyrgyzstan)
Middle: Professor Rochat (Atlanta); Dr. Rezida Galimova (Russia); Irma Burjanadze (Georgia)
Bottom: Susan Rochat (Atlanta); Dr. Malika Saba (Pakistan); Dorothy Foster (Sautee); Zenaida Martinez (Mexico); Dr. Myint Myint Than (Myanmar)
WORLD COMES TO WHITE COUNTY TO SEE SOLAR ECLIPSE
On Saturday August 19th, 13 Humphrey Fellows from 13 countries arrived in White County for a Global Health Workshop and an opportunity to see the Solar Eclipse. The Humphrey Fellows Program was established in 1979 by President Carter to honor Hubert H. Humphrey, the Senator and Vice President. Each year 150-200 of the world's best and brightest are selected to advance their knowledge and skills, to learn about the United States, to share information on their countries, and describe their role as professionals. University placements across the country include multiple disciplines, e.g., law, human rights, journalism, and public health.
Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health is designated as one of two campuses for Humphrey Fellows in Public Health. During their visit to North Georgia, they visited Lake Lanier and were welcomed to White County with a potluck dinner at Nacoochee Presbyterian Church (NPC). After dinner, the fellows shared information on their countries, described their professions, shared their successes, and their challenges.
On Sunday, the Fellows presented their stories to a NPC Global Health Sunday School Class of 100; attended (Christian, Moslem, Buddhist) the NPC worship service; pasted stickers during children's time showing the location of their countries on the globe; joined in a rural Georgian's pot-luck; visited Sautee Nacoochee Community Association's Slave Cabin and Museum; and attended the Bean Creek Missionary Baptist Choir Anniversary Concert of four Afro-American and one Anglophone Church Choirs.
Monday morning was spent sharing knowledge, challenges, and opportunities with two Emory Faculty, Professor Roger Rochat of Atlanta and Professor Emeritus Stanley Foster of Sautee. The weekend concluded with the Fellows joining Skylake residents in viewing the 100% Solar Eclipse. As the Fellows returned to Emory, they signed the guest book, shared their thanks, and promised that their weekend in White County would be remembered and cherished for the rest of their lives.
I was driving back from Texas with Liza and my son Stefan when we stopped on I-20 at the Georgia Welcome Center. The eclipse was just then (around 2:00 pm) about as full as it would get at those coordinates, and because of the abundant trees at that rest stop we were able to see the curious crescent shadows on the pavement. Also, a young fellow from Mississippi lent all three of us in turn his pair of eclipse glasses, so we each had a remarkable few moments seeing the real thing. I was impressed by how the event seemed to transform people who were otherwise perfect strangers into good neighbors. Maybe we should schedule eclipses more often -- in pursuit of civic comity.
My fabulous experience was shared with my wife, daughter, her husband and two children and another granddaughter. We drove to Simpsonville, near Greenville SC, on Sunday and stayed at a motel overnight. The grandchildren loved to splash in the pool, which was located on the south side of the building from where there was a clear view of the sun. There was brilliant sunshine. The pool activity granted us license to commandeer a table with an umbrella. This proved to be strategic because we could enjoy the shade and peek out at the sun. The eclipse started right on time, which was awesome given the distances involved. It was tame at first but then there was an eerie dusk and it became cold and windy. At the appropriate time we opened a bottle of chilled dry chardonnay and entered the umbra. We saw the snakes on white pavement, the diamond ring, and the beads. The corona was quiet, which was a slight disappointment. Then the whole program reversed. The children watched the event from the pool and it was thrilling to see their excitement. Driving from Atlanta to Simpsonville mostly on I-85 took 3 hours. The return took 6 hours. I have never seen this before; i.e. looking backward and forward on I-85 there was a continuous double thread of cars for the 150 miles. It was a marvelous experience.
Photo by Nicholas Christian
As it happens, I did have an interesting eclipse experience. My 15-year-old grandson, Nick Christian, was very much interested in going to the path of totality so that he could photograph the eclipse, and I offered to take him. Nick is a high school sophomore and a serious photographer. We learned that Camp Mikell, an Episcopal facility in Toccoa, Georgia, would be open to eclipse viewers; in fact, they were renting rooms to people who wanted to come the day before. Nick and I both have been to Mikell many times; so that seemed the place to go. I reserved a room and we drove up on Sunday afternoon.
Camp Mikell turned out to be a popular viewing spot--four bus-loads of visitors pulled into the parking lot around noon. In addition, every available room at the camp was occupied. Most of these folks chose to watch from a large open field at the lower level of the camp. Because of our long association with Mikell, we knew of another excellent location at the top of a high hill, where we were joined by a few other Mikell lovers.
Nick has an excellent camera, but he realized that he would need a better lens and a special filter in order to photograph the eclipse. He was able to rent/purchase the necessary equipment (for $80!) and seemed set to go. A little before 1:00 PM, as he was setting up his camera, Nick turned to me and said, "My battery just died!" Of course he forgot to bring his charger. We knew there was a Super Walmart about 9-10 miles away, and we had about an hour and a half until totality. We jumped in the car and raced to Walmart where, luckily, they had one charger left. We bought it and raced back to Mikell. Nick was able to get his battery charged just enough to get some stunning pictures of the eclipse. (See above.)
Normally it is an easy two-hour drive to Mikell; it took us four and a half hours to get home. But it was worth it!
My wife and I drove up to Tiger Mountain Winery (owned by Martha Ezzard) Monday morning. It was an easy drive up from Dahlonega, with about 40 cars already parked when we arrived at 10:45, unpacked, and claimed a spot in the shade of an old oak tree. Picnic lunch and conversation with neighbors and strangers until the show started at ~1:30. I used a 10X monocular on a tripod to project an image of the sun on a piece of whiteboard. For me, the high point wasn't so much looking at the black disk of what had been the sun and its corona, but the crowd reaction during the near darkness of totality.
60 second video : https://youtu.be/wj3jmcltR8k
My wife Jan and I woke to our alarm, set at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, to avoid the expected traffic. As it turned out, though, after we passed Gainesville taking the route of US 129/19 over the mountains toward Vogel State Park, we encountered very little. Stopping at the Blairsville Ingles, we spoke with friendly locals about the coming event. No hysteria there; though later we read the road signs leading into North Carolina and preemptively warning of especially heavy traffic. We saw none.
Exiting 515/69 in North Carolina we noticed an enterprising young man manning a large mowed field with rented Port-O-Johns, apparently expecting to make some extra cash by charging for parking--but no customers.
At the TVA campsite near the west side of Lake Chatuge dam, there were no cars. We witnessed a couple launching their kayaks, but very little other activity as we had our lunch before walking the ~half mile to the west side of the dam. Other than a few visitors and some locals taking their morning constitutional across the dam, it seemed like a normal day. Later, a couple with photographic equipment and then a Muslim family joined our collection, and just before the eclipse, a mother, grandmother, and several enthusiastic children came with chairs and gear.
Jan and I found a shady spot and set up our lawn chairs to wait for the grand event. There were a few high cumulus clouds, but these moved to the horizon as the time approached. Around 1:15 p.m. someone signaled that the eclipse was beginning. As the moon began to cover the sun and the atmosphere noticeably cooled, we noticed very little apparent difference in the ambient brightness as our eyes must have adjusted to the reduced luminosity. Seconds before the total eclipse (~2:40pm), our space began to darken, except for the distant light on the horizon. The local light acquired a bluish hue because of the greater temperature of the corona, we were told. For about two minutes there was calmness over the waters, a cooling of the air, a beautiful blue hue of the light coming from the blocked sun, and a post-twilight darkness that made the experience seem almost spiritual. On the other side of the dam some enthusiasts began honking their car horns. When the rays of the sun began to return, most left in hopes of beating the return traffic, but Jan and I stayed awhile thinking how magnificent it was that the orbits and motions that had begun over three billion years ago, and accurately calculated by modern-day astronomers, were able to produce this magnificent light-and-shadow show across the US and, fortunately for us, in North Carolina and North Georgia.
As we left ~45 minutes later, we passed the young man in the field beside the Port-O-Johns, thinking he probably didn't recover his investment. Unfortunately, we didn't think to stop to leave a donation to reward his enterprising efforts.
In 1984 there was an annular eclipse (99.7%!) which I, a graduate student at the time, viewed from the Emory quad. I decided to watch this year's event from the same position. It was the perfect spot for viewing and for sharing around blackout glasses, especially with many first-year undergraduates who were experiencing this for the first time, perhaps oceans and continents away from home.
Between oohs and aahs, I wrote the following stanza, now part of a longer poem:
The other day the sun
Went from Apple to banana
And back again.
Leaves were pinhole cameras
Strewing the ground with light bouquets
Of crescent suns.
Taken any good MOOCs lately? Like some of our emeriti colleagues, I have found Massive Open Online Courses to be one of the joys of being master of my own time. Thus far, I have completed a dozen or so in fields such as music, film, political science, and pedagogy, plus several of the University of Iowa's International Writers' Program offerings in fiction, poetry, and playwriting.
The beauty of online courses is that you can do them on your own schedule. The drawback is that you don't have the benefit of face-to-face discussion. I believe that the Emeritus College could help fill that gap. If some of us sign up for the same MOOC at the same time, we could meet periodically for our own discussion of the topic. To get us started, I'd like to propose to anyone interested that we begin with Modern and Contemporary American Poetry on Coursera, beginning September 9. Enrollment (free) is now open at: http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/modpo/#fb
This fall will mark my third year as a community mentor for this course taught by Al Filreis of the University of Pennsylvania. I continue to be amazed by the intensity of engagement of this international circle of learners who bring a broad range of cultures, ages, and viewpoints to each work we read together. For a two-minute highlight video that gives an idea of the atmosphere of the class, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF8HTck8YaU&feature=youtu.be
This is a course that people take multiple times. While the core poems don't change significantly, there is always something fresh to experience, new to learn, both from one's own reading and from others who bring a multiplicity of perspectives. There is also a space for poets to share their own work and comment on that of others.
No background in poetry is necessary, though the course format makes it stimulating for any level of expertise. If you sign up for the course, let me know (Holly York
) and we'll schedule some get-togethers during the semester. Or, if you would like to propose another MOOC for group discussion, you might do so here and find others who would like to meet.
Walking the Campus with Dianne
Did you recognize our very own Luce Center in the last photo? I took the shot from the third floor looking down at the back entrance, which opens to a wonderful patio in the midst of the woods. If you haven't experienced the view in person, take a look the next time you are in the building.
Here's a tidbit of information on the Luce Center:
Namesake: Henry Luce Foundation
Date: Construction in 1998
The Henry Luce Foundation underwrote a significant portion of the cost of this building up the hill from the Miller-Ward Alumni House
(MWAH). The building replaced the original Emory headquarters of Scholars Press, a brick Georgian-style building that was later incorporated into MWAH. Scholars Press had outgrown its home.
The Luce Center also houses the press's founding organizations, the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, and the Letters of Samuel Beckett, as well as the University's Emeritus College.
As I'm writing this, the rain is falling on campus, so let's go inside for our next walk. This next spot is one of my favorite places to look, learn, and simply enjoy.
Where will you find this on the Emory campus?
Click here to return to top
Emory University Emeritus College
The Luce Center
825 Houston Mill Road NE #206
Atlanta, GA 30329