Matthews Mmopi, a recent Harvard graduate from South Africa, and David Obert, a second-year Harvard Medical School (HMS) student, have been selected as Rhodes Scholars, and will join the University’s four U.S. Rhodes winners at the University of Oxford next fall.A member of the Class of 2011, Mmopi was selected as one of 10 winners from the Southern Africa region, which includes Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, and Swaziland. At Oxford, Mmopi plans to pursue a master’s in philosophy in development studies. Obert, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, and a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, is one of three representatives from the prairie region of Canada. He was nominated for the Rhodes by Harvard Medical School.“The Rhodes Scholarship, to me, represents an unrivaled opportunity to further my capacity to champion political consciousness and freedom in the world,” Mmopi said. “I would like to examine the role of gender in shaping the political, economic, and social opportunities available to individuals in order to evaluate how African societies can close gender gaps in economic and political participation and access to education and health.”While at Harvard, Mmopi completed an internship at the Harvard College Women’s Center, an experience that helped spur his interest in gender issues in Africa. He also volunteered at Harvard’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, served as programing coordinator for the Harvard Black Students Association, and served as a senior counselor in the Summer Urban Program at the Phillips Brooks House Association.In addition, Mmopi served as director of enterprise for the Harvard Africa Business and Investment Club, as student co-chair on the Ann Radcliffe Trust/Women’s Center Community Fund Advisory Board, and as president of the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College. “I believe my studies in economics and African studies coupled with my internship at the Harvard College Women’s Center helped to shape my intended course of study at Oxford. Through these experiences, I examined gender, political, and socioeconomic factors as causes and solutions to Africa’s development problems.”David Obert at the Kibale Health and Conservation Centre in Kibale, Uganda. Obert has been named a Rhodes Scholar. Photo courtesy of David ObertObert to pursue double master’s degreeAs a teen, two concussions from hockey and ski racing left David Obert struggling to concentrate, unable to stay awake in class, and in peril of being unable to finish high school. Now the HMS second-year student has been named a 2012 Rhodes Scholar, one of 83 men and women from 14 countries and regions around the world to win the prestigious award.Created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, the scholarships cover all costs for two or three years of study at Oxford. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes.At Oxford, Obert plans to pursue a double master’s degree in public policy and global health science.Obert spent the summer working on a joint Harvard/NATO study examining how foreign militaries contribute to health sector stabilization in fragile states. Specifically, he focused on a case study examining the military response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake as it related to human health. He worked with Vanessa Kerry, instructor in medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and director of the Global Public Policy and Social Change Program in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at HMS, and Margaret Bourdeaux, a core faculty member of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Global Health Equity.Obert says he has always had an interest in how the world works on a macro scale — seeing the geopolitical landscape and watching how large organizations and governments interact.“I could see myself having a career a little bit like my supervisors from the summer,” he said. “I’d love to have the clinical side and patient contact — which brought me to medicine in the first place — but also be able to make an impact on another level, helping shape how big organizations work and how large scale responses to health needs are rolled out.”— Jake Miller/Harvard Medical School
They came out of the woodwork almost overnight. Angry, indefatigable, they were a burgeoning faction gaining strength in 2009, and their mission to undercut new President Barack Obama was clear. In the mad dash toward the 2012 elections, the Tea Party has grown from a grassroots movement into a full-fledged political force.Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, and Vanessa Williamson, a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, have spent countless hours investigating the party’s rise, traveling the country interviewing members of this potent new enterprise for their new book “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.”“The thing that was new about our research is that we actually sat down and talked to Tea Party people,” said Skocpol, who, along with Williamson, attended local Tea Party meetings in New England, Virginia, and Arizona. “You learn a lot more about the whole person because the first question we’d ask would be ‘Tell us about yourself, and how you got involved with the Tea Party.’ ”The Tea Party, made up of “mostly older, white conservatives in the middle class,” said Williamson, has grown enough that it can sway midterm elections and pressure politicians to embrace more right-leaning policies.“One of the strongest emotional reactions we heard was a generational concern. Again and again, we heard that these people felt their country was being taken away from them — this feeling that young people, particularly minorities and unauthorized immigrants, and other people that just seemed different to them, were taking advantage of government services and not working as hard as they had,” said Williamson. “As older people, they were recipients of programs like Social Security and Medicare; they felt that those benefits they had earned, while there were other people who hadn’t earned those benefits who were somehow getting ahead unfairly.”Theirs is a fear-based uprising, said Skocpol, hinged around the 2008 election. “They find the moment of Obama’s presidency and the things that were being done by the Democratic Congress very scary, and we wanted to know a lot more about what exactly was so scary,” said Skocpol.“Obama is really at the center of a vortex of concerns,” added Williamson.Tea Partiers perceive Obama not just as black, but as not actually American, said the authors, because of his foreign-sounding name and his foreign-born father.This quest to preserve what is authentically “American” is essential to the Tea Party members, and so immigration policy is at the forefront of their anxieties.“Furious about immigration, they think a lot of it is illegal, more so than it really is, and they want the government to crack down, both at the border and in terms of denying access to benefits and college loans. They’re completely against the DREAM Act and spending tax money sending immigrant children to college,” said Skocpol.“When I asked some members what our immigration policy should be, they said it should be a 12 million-passenger bus back to Mexico,” said Williamson. “It’s a hard-line stance.”But the authors said they genuinely liked their interviewees, and sent them copies of the book, which “presents them in a full human light,” said Skocpol. Even though many of those interviewed subscribed to some strange conspiracy theories — like the idea of “death panels” in the Affordable Care Act, boards they imagined, incorrectly, would decide which patients live and which die — “we found most of them in person to be intelligent and often very pragmatic about politics. They just had some crazy, mistaken ideas about the content of policy.”As for the November election, it’s going to be close, Skocpol and Williamson agree. “I do think Mitt Romney will be the nominee, and I think it will be a nasty election. Romney is perceived as the most moderate, but he’s signed on to the full menu of Tea Party-backed priorities. They’re being backed up by some very wealthy lobbying forces who have a very clear policy agenda they’ve been pushing for a long time, and they intend to push it through,” said Skocpol.She noted that Romney isn’t the favored Republican candidate. Tea Partiers simply don’t trust him, but they will support him as the nominee who can beat Obama.“It’s probably going to be one of the most important elections in American history because it’s going to determine whether we have things like health care, Medicare, Social Security, college loans. … Tea Partiers want to get rid of college loans and college grants for low-income students,” she added. “This is a very important moment.”
Read Full Story Active camouflage has taken a step forward at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), with a new coating that intrinsically conceals its own temperature to thermal cameras.In a laboratory test, a team of applied physicists placed the device on a hot plate and watched it through an infrared camera as the temperature rose. Initially, it behaved as expected, giving off more infrared light as the sample was heated: at 60 degrees Celsius it appeared blue-green to the camera; by 70 degrees it was red and yellow. At 74 degrees it turned a deep red — and then something strange happened. The thermal radiation plummeted. At 80 degrees it looked blue, as if it could be 60 degrees, and at 85 it looked even colder. Moreover, the effect was reversible and repeatable, many times over.These surprising results, published today in the journal Physical Review X (an open-access publication of the American Physical Society), illustrate the potential for a new class of engineered materials to contribute to a range of new military and everyday applications.
A record 37,305 students have applied for admission to Harvard College’s Class of 2019. Last year 34,295 applied, while the previous high was 35,023 for the Class of 2017.“Two factors may have combined to produce such a large applicant pool: the publicity surrounding Ken Griffin’s $150 million gift for financial aid, which came in February 2014, just as high school juniors were beginning the college search, and the Harvard College Connection, our new electronic outreach that includes a new website, video, and social media,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid.“Ken Griffin’s remarkable generosity, along with the high priority of financial aid in the ongoing capital campaign, underscores Harvard’s fundamental commitment to access and affordability,” said Sally C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “A large percentage of the application increase came from those applying for financial aid.”Close to 60 percent of Harvard students receive need-based aid, and on average their families pay only $12,000 annually. Harvard requires no contribution from the 20 percent of Harvard families with annual incomes below $65,000, asks an average of 10 percent of income from the majority of families receiving financial aid, and does not require loans. Even families with incomes greater than $150,000 are eligible for aid depending on their particular circumstances, such as having multiple children in college or unusual medical or other essential expenses.“The Harvard College Connection was mentioned frequently by applicants as a factor in their decision to apply,” said Marlyn E. McGrath, director of admissions. “While it will be several years before we have definitive information about the effect of this new electronic outreach, we are encouraged by what we have seen so far.“The ethnic composition, gender breakdown, and geographic makeup of the applicant pool are very similar to last year,” she said. “There was a slight increase (11.7 percent) in the number of students interested in the humanities and small increases for other prospective concentrations, except for computer science, which had a 38.9 percent increase. The attention that ‘Computer Science 50: Introduction to Computer Science’ has received in the media and the Internet seems to have played a role.”Applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee’s decisions on March 31. Admitted students will be invited to Cambridge for Visitas, the visiting program for prospective freshmen, to be held this year from April 25-27. Students have until May 1, the national reply date, to notify Harvard and other colleges of their enrollment decisions.
Trisha Banerjee was skeptical. Could taking four minutes to consume one Hershey’s Kiss really help calm her pressure-filled day?It could indeed.“It was totally transformative,” said Banerjee of the eating meditation exercise included in a mindfulness program sponsored by Harvard’s Center For Wellness. Banerjee, a doctoral student in the English Department, said that devoting all her energy to “the sensation of tasting” helped her disengage from her stress, focus on the connection between her body and her mind, and maximize the pleasure of chocolate.“It was so amazing,” said Banerjee, “because it just connected me to this world of potential happiness that is always around me if I just take something I like and really focus on it.”Less stress can lead to a happier, more productive life, and research says meditation can help you get there.In 2011, Sara Lazar, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School, released results of a study that showed that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation actually produced changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress, where more or less in reserve can make a big difference in exams, presentations, and dissertations, as any scholar knows. Thanks to a range of Harvard programs, grad students and undergrads have myriad ways to take a deep breath and relax.With support from a recent anonymous gift, the Center for Wellness at Harvard University Health Services sponsors several meditation options, including four-week courses based on a mindfulness curriculum specifically geared toward college-aged students, 20-minute drop-in sessions at the Serenity Room at Grays Hall, and weekend and weeklong retreats.“The retreat experience can be very powerful and wonderful, but then having something that students can attend for four weeks helps them maintain their practice or stay connected to other students,” said Jeanne Mahon, director of the Center for Wellness. Eight weeks to a better brain Related Meditation study shows changes associated with awareness, stress This year, nearly 400 Harvard students took part in either the meditation classes, based on the Koru Mindfulness curriculum developed by two Duke University psychiatrists, or the retreats, which are run by Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. Among them was junior Jarrod Wetzel-Brown.An English concentrator on a pre-med track, Wetzel-Brown signed up for a weekend retreat in October as a way to “take a step back and reflect a little bit on myself without having every facet of society blaring out loud in front of me.”The retreat was held at a conference center on the edge of a pond nestled in 500 wooded acres in Charlton, Mass. Walks and meditation sessions filled the hours; silence ruled. Once he’d adjusted, the absence of conversation proved freeing, said Wetzel-Brown.“Not having to devote the energy to think about what to say next … was a very liberating and powerful thing.”Back on campus the Winthrop House resident has made meditation and regular walks part of his weekly routine, and has noticed a renewed sense of self.“The major thing I have taken from it is this awareness … I know that I have an existence outside of the classroom again, and I think that’s something that I forgot.”Banerjee, who turned to one of the four-week student meditation programs to help her cope with the stress of working on a Ph.D., said she “liked the idea of being obligated to go somewhere for a few weeks and to make a commitment and to find multiple strategies.”She and about 10 students met once a week at Dudley House, where they practiced different types of meditation and discussed incorporating the practice into their daily lives.“It extended my sense of what meditation could be,” said Banerjee.“Every single day I am doing it, it’s really had an impact. My life has become much richer.”
As many environmentalists and scientists worry that the United States is retreating from the fight against global climate change, acclaimed novelist Jonathan Franzen warned Tuesday that preoccupation with the issue is actually diverting attention from more immediate threats to nature.In a talk at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Franzen said the focus on preventing long-term changes to climate — a cause he contends has largely been lost — leaves scant resources for saving endangered species and other short-term ecological needs.“When it comes to the environment, climate now has an absolute lock on the liberal imagination,” Franzen said. “Any attempt to change the subject, even if you are trying to change it to the epic extinction event that human beings are already creating without the help of climate change, is an offense against that religion.”The author of such novels as “The Corrections,” “Freedom,” and “Purity,” as well as several works of nonfiction, Franzen spoke at Gund Hall as part of the Graduate School of Design’s Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture Series.Diane E. Davis, chair of the School’s Department of Urban Planning and Design, introduced Franzen, with whom she shares St. Louis roots, as a “quintessentially urban writer, a man concerned not just with the dilemmas of modernity … but also deeply cognizant of the power of place, space, and territory in creating the context of human experience.”But it was his passion for the environment and for protecting free speech, as well as his reflections on the current political climate, that occupied Franzen in his lecture.Franzen, an ardent bird watcher, drew the wrath of fellow environmentalists for committing what he termed “offenses against liberal orthodoxy” in a 2015 New Yorker article on climate change and the environment. The piece expressed skepticism that the world would “take the radical actions necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change,” Franzen said, and argued we’d be too late even if we did.Franzen also took issue with claims by some progressives that the reason the United States “can’t really get serious about reducing its carbon emissions is that fossil fuel corporations are sponsoring denialists and buying elections.” He acknowledged that this behavior occurs, but said that the issue is more complicated.“The problem really is not that democracy is being prevented so much as that democracy is occurring. … It’s precisely the citizens in the major carbon-emitting democracies who benefit from cheap gasoline and global trade,” he said, adding that the cost of that pollution is borne heavily by people in undeveloped nations like Bangladesh.Franzen said he saw a “silver lining” for the environment in the election of Trump, noting that such actions as the administration’s recent rejection of a petition to ban use of a harmful pesticide could “remind people that there are other issues besides climate change … that matter right now.”A narrow focus on global warming is also a poor strategy for mobilizing public support for the environment, Franzen said.“Ordinary Americans understand apparently better than the liberal elite does that there’s precisely nothing that any individual can do about climate change — nothing except feel guilty,” he said. “And guilt is one of the least effective human motivators.”Franzen took aim at progressives on several other issues, including for actions he said undermine free expression. He cited recent protests mounted at the University of California, Berkeley, and Middlebury College against planned appearances by controversial speakers. Franzen said the actions amounted to “suppressing free speech.”He also directed his ire at Americans focused on simply denouncing President Trump instead of “trying to understand and maybe win over the swing voters who responded to the Trump message of anti-elitism and anti-global nationalism.” The effect, he said, has been to “deepen the liberal silo, not see beyond it.”
Athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick and activist and comedian Dave Chappelle are among the eight distinguished people who will receive the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at the sixth annual Hutchins Center Honors presented by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.Honorees also include Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and a managing director of General Catalyst; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson; philanthropist and founder of Avid Partners, LLC, Pamela J. Joyner; psychologist and author Florence C. Ladd; Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; and artist Kehinde Wiley.All of the Du Bois medalists have made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture, and more broadly, are individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.The ceremony will be held Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. in Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge.“In the year of the 150th anniversary of his birth, W.E.B. Du Bois would be proud of the eight individuals being recognized at this year’s Hutchins Center Honors,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center. “Emerging from a variety of backgrounds and professions, each represents the quest for knowledge, freedom of expression, and pursuit of truth that are foundational to black history and culture, and that were foundational to Du Bois as a thinker and activist.”Glenn H. Hutchins, co-founder of North Island and chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Hutchins Center, said, “The Hutchins Center Honors celebrates the innovators and trailblazers who seek, each in their own way, to nudge the arc of history toward justice. The W.E.B. Du Bois medalists who will be on this year’s stage at Sanders Theatre have all had an outsized impact for the better on our society, our nation, and even our world. It will be a privilege to be among them.”The Du Bois Medal recipientsColin Kaepernick, an athlete and activist, is perhaps best known for protesting against racial injustice by taking a knee rather than standing during the playing of the national anthem when he was a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick has pledged to donate $1 million to “organizations working in oppressed communities.” And, in a recent highly publicized endorsement deal with Nike — Believe in Something. Even if it Means Sacrificing Everything — the company has agreed to donate to Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” nonprofit organization.In 2017, GQ magazine named Kaepernick its “Citizen of the Year.” “Colin Kaepernick’s determined stand puts him in rare company in sports history: Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson — athletes who risked everything to make a difference,” the magazine stated.Comedian, actor, and producer David Chappelle may be best known for “Chappelle’s Show” on Comedy Central and, more recently, for his comedy specials on Netflix, but he has also had a career in acting and producing. He has appeared in several movies, including “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Con Air,” and “Undercover Brother.” His first lead role was in “Half Baked,” which he co-wrote. He also starred in “Buddies,” an ABC-TV series. He can be seen now in the 2018 film “A Star Is Born,” with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.Chappelle has received numerous accolades and awards, including several NAACP Image Awards, a BET Comedy Award (“Chappelle’s Show”), a 2018 Grammy Award for best comedy album, and two Prime Time Emmy Awards: outstanding guest actor in a comedy series (“Saturday Night Live”), and outstanding variety special (pre-recorded) for “Dave Chappelle: Equanimity.” Rolling Stone ranked him No. 9 in its list of 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time, and he was called a “comic genius” by Esquire magazine.Kenneth I. Chenault is chairman and a managing director of the venture capital firm General Catalyst. Prior to that, he was chairman and chief executive officer of American Express Co., a position he held from 2001 to 2018. He joined American Express in 1981 as director of strategic planning and served subsequently in a number of increasingly senior positions, including vice chairman and president and chief operating officer, until his appointment as CEO. Under his leadership, American Express built one of the world’s largest customer loyalty programs — Membership Rewards — and earned global recognition as a leader in customer service.Chenault is recognized as an expert on brands and brand management and has been honored by multiple publications, including Fortune magazine, which named him one of the world’s 50 Greatest Leaders in its inaugural list in 2014. He serves on the boards of Airbnb, Facebook, IBM, The Procter & Gamble Co., the Harvard Corporation, and numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. He also serves on the board of trustees for New York University Langone Health.Shirley Ann Jackson is president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological research university in the U.S. Described by Time magazine as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science,” Jackson has held senior leadership positions in academia, government, industry, and research. A theoretical physicist, she holds an S.B. in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics, both from Massachusetts Institute Technology. She also holds 53 honorary degrees.In September 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Jackson co-chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, where she served until January 2017, and in 2016 he awarded her the National Medal of Science. She also served on the U.S. Secretary of State International Security Advisory Board, 2011‒2017, and the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, 2013‒2017. From 2009 to 2014, Jackson served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and, as part of PCAST, was co-chair of the President’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). Pamela J. Joyner has nearly 30 years of experience in the investment industry. She is the founder of Avid Partners, LLC, where her expertise has been in the alternative investment arena. Currently, Joyner is focused on her philanthropic interests in the arts and education.Joyner is a trustee of The Art Institute of Chicago and the J. Paul Getty Trust, chair of the Tate Americas Foundation, and a member of the Tate International Council and the Tate North America Acquisitions Committee. She is also a member of the Director’s Circle of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and a member of the Modern and Contemporary Art Visiting Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the education arena, Joyner serves on the board of the Art & Practice Foundation.Florence C. Ladd, author, social critic, and psychologist, is a fiction writer. Her novel “Sarah’s Psalm” (Scribner, 1996) received the 1997 Literary Award for Fiction from the American Library Association’s Black Caucus. Ladd’s short stories have appeared in The Golden Horn and Ragtime. She also has written several nonfiction and research works. She co-authored the book “Different Strokes” (Westview Press, 1979). Her recent nonfiction works are included in “A Stranger in the Village” (Griffin and Fish, eds.), “Grandmothers: Granddaughters Remember” (Marguerite Bouvard, ed.), and “Dutiful Daughters” (Jean Gould, ed.). Her essay “On Being Daddy’s Son and Daughter” was published in “Father” (Claudia O’Keefe, ed.). She also contributed to “At Grandmother’s Table” (Ellen Perry Berkeley, ed.).From 1989 to 1997, she was director of the Bunting Institute at Harvard University, a multidisciplinary center for women in higher education. In 1998, she taught a fiction writing workshop at the Women’s Institute for Continuing Education in Paris. She has held fellowships at the Bunting Institute and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard, has been a resident fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and has been awarded several honorary degrees.Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Ala. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death-row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Stevenson recently won a historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court banning mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has been awarded 34 honorary doctorate degrees. He is the author of the award-winning New York Times best-seller “Just Mercy.”In April 2018, EJI opened The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, built on the site of a former slave warehouse in downtown Montgomery. This is a companion to a memorial to victims of lynching, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened at the same time.Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history’s portrait-painting tradition. He engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic, and the sublime in his representations of urban black and brown men and women found throughout the world. By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, history, wealth, and prestige to subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, the subjects and stylistic references for his paintings are juxtaposed inversions of each other, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery.Wiley holds a B.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute, an M.F.A. from Yale University, and an honorary doctorate from Rhode Island School of Design. His paintings are in the collections of more than 40 museums, including the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Brooklyn Museum. Wiley was recently the subject of the documentary “An Economy of Grace” (2014, Show of Force). The U.S. Department of State honored him in 2015 with the Medal of Arts, celebrating his commitment to cultural diplomacy through the visual arts. In February 2018, his portrait of Barack Obama was added to the permanent installation of presidential portraits in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.The Hutchins Center at Harvard includes the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute; the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art; the Hiphop Archive & Research Institute; the Afro-Latin American Research Institute; the Project on Race & Cumulative Adversity; the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine; the History Design Studio; the Image of the Black Archive & Library; the Jazz Research Initiative; and two publications, Transition and the Du Bois Review.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded its 2018 Stirling Prize to Foster + Partners’ “monumental,” “once-in-a-generation” European headquarters for Bloomberg LP, a project engineered by the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s (GSD) Hanif Kara and his firm AKTII. The Stirling Prize is RIBA’s most prestigious award, given annually to a new building in the United Kingdom deemed to have made the most significant contribution to British architecture in the past year.The 2018 Stirling Prize jury, chaired by Sir David Adjaye OBE and unanimous in its choice, said, “The design process involved unprecedented levels of research, innovation and experimentation, with pioneering new details and techniques tested, prototyped – sometimes at 1:1 scale – and rigorously improved.”Foster + Partners served as architect for the project, with AKTII as civil and structural engineer and Kara as design director. The project was conceived in close dialogue with Michael Bloomberg, CEO of Bloomberg LP, and his New York-based team. Foster + Partners and AKTII were appointed to deliver the project from conception through to construction, enriching it with a conceptual and architectural continuity that Kara says lies at the heart of his GSD pedagogy.“The ‘thought-to-construction’ element gives architects the opportunity to allow the research on and nature of the project to balance out and inform the selection of experts and other collaborators, rather than it being predetermined,” Kara observes.”This is a question I have dealt with in my GSD courses, especially in ‘Interdisciplinary Design in Practice’: how design research manifests itself beyond academia, and the advocacy that architects must apply in order to understand the project not just as a building, but to draw on what they want built.”Kara notes a variety of technical innovations that position the headquarters as an exemplar of the “work space of the future,” one that promotes personal well-being for inhabitants, environmental sustainability (RIBA writes that the building has been credited as the most sustainable office in the world), and employee productivity and idea-sharing.“These are topics we all deal with at school in our teaching and in debates that we have about the challenges the next generations face, and how great design can steward that,” Kara says. “The optimistic arc the project sets is a direct message to our students and alumni.”Unlike many office buildings, services like elevators and staircases are pushed to the building’s edges so workspaces for meeting and collaborating form the core of the building. Inside, a 210-meter high, triple-helix, bronze ramp leads upstairs, with a width that allows for spontaneous gatherings and conversations without impeding foot traffic. Throughout, systems for power, lighting, water, and ventilation make reuse of waste and respond to the building’s external climate as well as its internal occupancy patterns. The building’s multi-function ceilings are fitted with 2.5 million polished aluminum “petals” that work to regulate temperature, light, and sound.“It is difficult to separate architecture from engineering, and design from construction, with this project,” Kara observes.”That is its greatest achievement.” Read Full Story
Ten thousand pounds — that’s hundreds of computers, keyboards, printers, mobile phones, cameras, stereos, power cords, and other electronic items that would otherwise have taken up space in filing cabinets, conference rooms, or in a landfill. Instead, that’s the amount of electronics collected at the Secure and Sustainable Electronics Recycling event last year.“This event was a huge success last year,” said Christian Hamer, chief information security officer for Harvard University Information Technology, highlighting the benefits of the program. He added that hundreds of certificates of destruction were issued.Free recycling events returning this springAs part of Harvard’s ongoing efforts and commitment to sustainability and information security, Harvard University Information Technology and the Harvard Office for Sustainability are partnering again to provide the Harvard community with opportunities to recycle personal and University electronic devices for free.The first community-wide event will be held at the Science Center Plaza on Monday, April 22, from noon to 2 p.m., in conjunction with Earth Day. Following that, the event will be held at Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on April 24–25.Beyond recycling and disposalHarvard has a goal to reduce waste per capita 50 percent by 2020 (from a 2006 baseline). The Harvard Sustainability Plan includes a focus on minimizing the waste most harmful to people and the environment. Apart from responsible and ethical recycling, and disposal of hazardous and electronic materials, reuse remains a high priority. Events like freecycles and FixIt Clinics are held throughout the year to help reduce waste.Open to the Harvard community, a FixIt Clinic will be held April 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cabot Science Library. Registered participants can consult a volunteer coach about disassembling, troubleshooting and repairing broken items like electronics, appliances, bicycles, and many more.Before heading overMany items including wires, cables, computer and printing equipment are accepted. Refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, AC units, CRT monitors, televisions, and loose batteries will not be accepted.DataShredder, Harvard’s approved vendor, will be conducting the data destruction and electronic recycling. For devices containing confidential or high-risk information like research, financial, and institutional information, certificates of secure destruction are available upon request.For University records, the authority of the General Records Schedule or an Office Specific Schedule approved by the Harvard University Archives is required. For more information, visit the Archives and Records Management website.On Wednesday, April 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., an electronic waste drive will be held at the Pavilion during SpringFest for the members of the Harvard Business School community. For more information, email [email protected]
The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. What would it take to make your winter more interesting? A stage full of singing, dancing mean girls? A flashback to a golden era of Japanese art? Or maybe a visit by a forefather of electronic music? All this and more are happening on the arts scene in the winter months.THEATERIt’s an oft-forgotten bit of Boston history that Malcolm Little lived here as a young man, where, on his way to recreating himself as Malcolm X, he was known in Roxbury as “Detroit Red.” The celebrated writer/actor/rapper Will Power tells this story in “Detroit Red,” a new piece that combines the historical record with hip-hop lyricism. Power has explained, “I was interested in this young man who was kind of wayward, kind of a gangster, and kind of confused, and yet went on to become Malcolm X. What allowed him, pushed him to be that, when other people don’t?” The Broadway-bound play has its world premiere at Emerson’s Paramount Center Feb. 1‒16.The Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony-nominated play “Sweat” made its debut four years ago, but its concerns seem to grow more timely by the year. Playwright Lynn Nottage explores a big topic, the collapse of the American working class, through individual stories revealed in a bar in Reading, Pa., including those of two friends who have a tense reunion after serving prison time. The Chicago-bred director Kimberly Senior, who directed the Pulitzer-winning Broadway production of “Disgraced,” has updated “Sweat” for the Huntington Avenue Theatre production, which runs Jan. 31‒March 1.,If you cried over the goodbye scene in the BBC-TV/Amazon series “Fleabag,” solace is at hand. Devotees know that the television production was based on a one-woman show by the TV production’s star and creator, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Last fall Waller-Bridge performed her play about an emotionally complicated London woman and her spectacularly dysfunctional love life for broadcast by Britain’s National Theatre Live. The performance was screened at a limited number of U.S. theaters. There will be one more round of these shows — not live this time, but a “prerecorded encore” — at the Emerson Paramount Center Jan. 31‒Feb. 2, though tickets only remain for the Feb. 1 matinee. Fans of Waller-Bridge can then start anticipating the April release of the new James Bond movie, “No Time to Die,” which she co-wrote.University affiliates with Harvard key access often can buy discounted tickets to Boston-area events through the Outings & Innings site, whose current offerings are listed here.Tina Fey gave high-school rivalries and social rituals everything they deserved in “Mean Girls,” which became a runaway hit twice: in 2003 as a movie, and in spring 2018 when it opened as a musical on Broadway. (Director Casey Nicholaw has another recent smash, “The Book of Mormon,” to his credit.) The touring version hit the road last year, and it plays the Opera House through Feb. 9. Those who grew up with Fey’s tale of fear and loathing in an Illinois classroom should find it’s lost none of its wicked wit.,Here’s one that boomers will be more than OK with: The New Rep has a revival of the iconic ’60s musical “Hair,” the show that taught Broadway about hippie-dom. The only major musical by the team of Gerome Rangi and James Rado, the 1967 play dragged the antiwar movement and the sexual revolution into the mainstream and produced a few hit singles (you’ll probably remember “Easy to Be Hard,” “Aquarius,” and the title song). Genuinely transgressive in its time, the show is now being promoted as “a nostalgic and groovy experience”— 50 years will do that. The new production is at the New Rep now through Feb 23.ARTBeginning on Valentine’s Day, the Harvard Art Museums will present one of the most comprehensive exhibits yet of early modern Japanese art. The Edo period (1615‒1868) was a fertile one for Japanese culture: A new era of peace and prosperity was at hand, and Japan opened up to outside-world influences. Much art from this era is distinguished by its exuberance, and by a juxtaposition of opposites: past with present, vulgar with refined. Two of the world’s foremost Edo art collectors, Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, have opened their collection to Harvard for “Painting Edo,” which features works on scrolls, folding screens, sliding doors, and fans, and in woodblock-printed books. Timon Screech, an art historian at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, opens the exhibit with a lecture, “Into the Kaleidoscope: Painting in Edo Japan,” at 5 p.m. Feb. 13. The show runs through July 26.,The Harlem-born artist Tschabalala Self produces paintings and collages that celebrate and exaggerate the human figure, most often African American women. She mixes media — fabrics, textiles, and recycled pieces of her own work — which, she has explained, allows the bodies to “defy the narrow spaces in which they are forced to exist.” They also allow the artist to explore issues of gender and cultural identity. “Tschabalala Self: Out of Body,” which opened Jan. 20 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, is both the first Boston exhibit she’s done and the largest showing of her work to date.MUSICWinter months are usually the slowest on the music front, but even a slow season in Boston is still pretty good. The biggest name coming in the next two months is also the youngest: Billie Eilish, the L.A. songwriter who turned 18 before Christmas and just picked up five Grammy Awards on Jan. 26. With her heady electronic pop and deep and dark lyrics, she might have seem destined to become an alternative rock cult figure; instead, she turned out to be the best-selling artist of 2019 and (so far) the biggest musical star born this millennium. She’s also one of the first artists to headline the Garden with just one album to her credit. She’ll be there March 19.,Speaking of cult figures, Bat for Lashes — the band alias of English singer/songwriter Natasha Khan — made one of last year’s biggest critical hits with “Lost Girls,” an enticing homage to lost-teen films and ’80s synth-pop. The live version should be something to see, and she’s at the Sinclair Feb. 17. Another songwriter of note, local resident Juliana Hatfield, has been writing resonant songs since she fronted the Blake Babies in the ’80s — that band, by the way, got its handle when they went to a Harvard reading by Allen Ginsberg and asked him to name them. Most recently Hatfield did a full album of her favorite songs by The Police, and she’ll play those along with her originals at Once in Somerville on Feb. 12.,On a good night, Athens, Ga.’s Drive-By Truckers is one of the greatest roots-rock bands you’ll ever see, equal parts righteous anger and guitar-slinging celebration. The group’s new album, “The Unraveling,” is full of the former, but expect plenty of the latter when the Truckers hit Somerville Theatre on Feb. 22. You’ll get your money’s worth, since the band tends to play epic-length shows.It’s no stretch to call Terry Riley one of the greatest living figures in experimental music. He explored tape loops in the 1950s, absorbed Indian ragas before the Beatles made them fashionable, and pioneered the use of exotic keyboards. His late-’60s composition “A Rainbow in Curved Air” was widely influential (among others, The Who and The Velvet Underground claimed they took ideas from it). As a preamble to his 85th birthday in June, Riley is doing a string of retrospective shows, one of which hits Sanders Theatre on March 20. A more familiar sound at Sanders is the majestic vocal blend of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the South African choir whose annual visits are always jubilant affairs. The band will play there on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m.