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CAS - Compass E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

March 2016

Dean Lauren BentonDear Arts and Science community:

What do Nashville musicians, Chinese warriors and Tudor house builders have in common?

All were subjects of books by Vanderbilt faculty that were published last year and celebrated at a recent event at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. Faculty books appearing in 2015 included poetry volumes, novels, and collections of short stories, as well as works in philosophy, history, literary analysis and anthropology. Topics ranged from ancient Greece to postwar Europe, and some addressed pressing problems, including immigration, bioengineering and the human-animal divide.

As we celebrate these books, we also watch books in the making. This month Vanderbilt hosts two national conferences: The Society for French Historical Studies comes to Nashville in early March, and in mid-March, the Center for Medicine, Health and Society will host The Politics of Health in the U.S. South. Both interdisciplinary conferences reflect the vision of Vanderbilt faculty organizers. Both bring researchers from around the world into conversation with Vanderbilt students, as some undergraduate and graduate students will present their own research.

In another Arts and Science department, our community got to witness the announcement of a scientific breakthrough. On Feb. 11, more than 400 faculty, students and staff gathered to watch a live televised announcement of the detection of gravity waves. Two Vanderbilt alumni played a central role in the discovery, which fundamentally changes our understanding of the cosmos.

It’s exciting to be part of a university where knowledge is being created—every day and across the disciplines.

Dean Benton Signature

Lauren Benton
Dean, College of Arts and Science
Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Chair in History

Wari ale and berries1,000-year-old beer

Anthropology’s Tiffiny Tung helped discover and confirm the significance of an ancient drink that inspired a new beer. Wari Ale, a light, delicate beer whose rosy tint derives from bright pink molle berries and purple corn, is now available at Chicago’s Field Museum and select Chicago retailers. It’s based on a recipe treasured by the ancient Peruvian empire called the Wari, who ruled part of what is now modern Peru and northern Chile over 1,000 years ago.

NBCs Willie GeistChoosing Vanderbilt

An NBC News video features Today show co-host Willie Geist, BA’97, reflecting on the moment he knew Vanderbilt was right for him.

Alice RandallA&S in the media

Depressed? Biological sciences’ John Capra and Corinne Simonti explained to the Atlantic how your Neanderthal DNA might be to blame. NPR asked Larry Zwiebel why Zika-spreading mosquitoes love feet and ankles, while writer-in-residence Alice Randall told its Here and Now program about corresponding with the late To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee. The science press and even some popular media marveled over the discovery of the universe’s longest-lasting stellar eclipse (it spans 3.5 years) and with primary season in full swing, our political scientists are being asked about everything from American authoritarianism to the KKK and from campaign ads to women and terrorism.

Ad for AS clothes

Larissa May video

More than #halfthestory
Senior Larissa May is on a campaign for more honesty and connection in social media. Watch

GivefortheGold image

What will you turn gold on Vanderbilt’s first Giving Day April 21?

Alumna Alex Daly

Forbes 30 under 30
Forbes named two Arts and Science alumni to its annual 30 Under 30 list.

HStahl's Lucy

Westminster best in show
Former Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamlet Award winner Hannah Stahl, BA’12, won first place in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show art show with a lively portrait of an American Staffordshire Terrier.

Ziegler, Benton, Tichi

Celebrated chairs
Congratulations to professors Cecelia Tichi, now Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, and Mel Ziegler, now Paul E. Shwab Professor of Fine Arts, who were honored recently with endowed chairs.

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Ampersand  |  Vanderbilt University College of Arts and Science
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