Dear 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, College of Arts and Science
Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Chair in History
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.
An NBC News video features Today show co-host Willie Geist, BA’97, reflecting on the moment he knew Vanderbilt was right for him.
A&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.