Greg Brownderville, English, The People Making Us a Well-Read City

Dallas Innovates

Originally Posted: January 29, 2016

The Dallas literary renaissance is upon us—and it has arrived quickly.

“There was a huge gap here even just two and a half years ago,” says Will Evans, founder of Deep Vellum Publishing. “It’s happened really fast that Dallas has started to feel like a literary city.”

Evans attributes the growing literary scene to the independent book stores that have sprouted up around the Dallas area. The Wild Detectives, which opened in early 2014 and is run by Javier Garcia del Moral and Paco Vique, is a coffee-booze-book stop in Bishop Arts. Evans’s Deep Vellum, a publishing house known for its international translations, is gearing up to open its own store, Deep Vellum Books. There’s also Serj Books, which vends coffee, local food, and a small but lovely selection of handpicked books.

“Where do you go to see people who are into the same stuff as you, if you’re into writing—which is a solitary activity—or reading—which is also a solitary activity? Now you have book stores, and suddenly Dallas feels more literary,” Evans says. “When the Wild Detectives opened, Dallas went from nothing on the literary map to being a place—it gave us a sense of place, purpose, and community.”

Evans stresses that the stock of these small book shops—indie books, translated titles, works written by local authors or printed by local publishers—is different from that of a place like Half Price Books, known for its massive flagship store and rows upon rows of marked-down bestsellers.

“I really appreciate, as an author, that Wild Detectives goes out of its way to feature local authors,” says Greg Brownderville, SMU associate professor, poet, and published author of two books, Gust and Deep Down in the Delta. “When I walk into Wild Detectives, often they’ll have one of my books prominently displayed. Local authors really appreciate that.”READ MORE

NYU Press Announces Dr. Anne Lincoln’s new book

NYU PRESS

Originally Posted: January 28, 2016

Failing Families, Failing Science
Work-Family Conflict in Academic Science

Work life in academia might sound like a dream: summers off, year-long sabbaticals, the opportunity to switch between classroom teaching and research. Yet, when it comes to the sciences, life at the top U.S. research universities is hardly idyllic. Based on surveys of over 2,000 junior and senior scientists, both male and female, as well as in-depth interviews, Failing Families, Failing Science examines how the rigors of a career in academic science makes it especially difficult to balance family and work.

Ecklund and Lincoln paint a nuanced picture that illuminates how gender, individual choices, and university and science infrastructures all play a role in shaping science careers, and how science careers, in turn, shape family life. They argue that both men and women face difficulties, though differently, in managing career and family. While women are hit harder by the pressures of elite academic science, the institution of science—and academic science, in particular—is not accommodating, possibly not even compatible, for either women or men who want to raise families. Perhaps most importantly, their research reveals that early career academic scientists struggle considerably with balancing their work and family lives. This struggle may prevent these young scientists from pursuing positions at top research universities—or further pursuing academic science at all— a circumstance that comes at great cost to our national science infrastructure. In an era when advanced scientific research and education is more important than ever, Failing Families, Failing Science presents a compelling inside look at the world of the university scientists who make it possible—and what universities and national science bodies can do to make a difference in their lives. READ MORE

Dedman College professors weigh in on Trump and the final GOP debate

SMU News

Originally Posted: January 28, 2016

Below is an excerpt from an SMU news release:
Trump’s biggest gamble yet? 
GOP frontrunner backs out of final debate before Iowa, N.H. votes

SMU experts are available for interview on all things debatable in connection with tonight’s prime time matchup GOP contest, the final debate before Republicans cast their votes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Matthew-Wilson-lg

MATTHEW WILSON:

WHEN EVANGELICALS VOTE WITH THEIR WALLETS, TRUMP WINS

214-335-5447, jmwilson@smu.edu

Despite a highly publicized flubbing of a Bible verse at Liberty University on Jan. 18. Trump continues to dominate the polls in Iowa, where evangelical voters are notorious for holding sway, leaving many experts – and rivals – flummoxed that such a traditionally strong voting block has been fractured by the real estate mogul’s camp.

“Anyone who looks at the situation can see Trump is not a profoundly religious person,” Wilson says. “It’s surprising how many evangelical voters seem not to care about that very much when there are committed Christians in the field.”

At one point, Cruz appeared most ready to turn the evangelical vote into a caucus victory, but his one-time lead has evaporated under a barrage of attacks from Trump.

“Part of the reason (Trump’s) been able to reach evangelical voters is a lot of them, when push comes to shove, care more about other issues than religious concerns,” Wilson says. “They care more about immigration positions or anti-terror positions. Not all evangelicals swing that way, but enough for Trump to do OK despite his religious unorthodoxies.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science

    • Can Discuss:

religion and politics
political psychology
voting behavior of religious voters
public opinion and politics

 

Jeffrey-A-Engel

JEFFREY ENGEL:

CRUZ-TRUMP FEUD DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN THE BROMANCE IS OVER

979-450-9437, jaengel@mail.smu.edu

The once-cordial relationship between Cruz and Trump went out the window when Cruz threatened Trump’s lead in Iowa this month, but Engel says the recent animosity between the two doesn’t mean the rivals can’t be friends again in the future.

“We should remember one of the most vicious and heated Republican primaries occurred in 1980 when the two finalists were Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush,” Engel says. “Bush spent a lot of time debunking Regan’s views and even came up with the term, ‘voodoo economics,’ which became the go-to insult for Reaganomics. Despite that, they were able to reconcile at the convention and Bush even served as Reagan’s vice president.”

“The Trump-Cruz rivalry will get a lot uglier before it gets better, but no matter what we see in terms of them tearing each other down for the primary, they could still work together again down the road,” Engel adds.

Engel is director of the SMU Center for Presidential History

          • Can Discuss:

comparison’s to past presidential races
foreign policy
presidential rhetoric

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Scientific literacy series returns with lecture on 100th anniversary of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

SMU NEWS

DALLAS (SMU) – The Scientific Literacy Series at SMU kicked off last fall with discussions on why learning about science is important and how scientists can better communicate their findings to the public. This spring, the series returns with a lecture commemorating one of the greatest scientific discoveries of modern times: Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

“Without the Theory of General Relativity, GPS devices would be wrong every day by 11 kilometers more than the day before,” says SMU Associate Professor in Physics Stephen Sekula, who will deliver the lecture at 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 4 in the Meadows Museum’s Jones Hall.

“It’s an exciting time today, just as I’m sure it was 100 years ago when the physics of the day failed to explain the world,” Sekula adds. “We’re close to that point again, and that’s exciting.”

Sekula’s lecture is hosted by the Anniversary Series of the Godbey Lectures and the Scientific Literacy Series, which is sponsored by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute (DCII).

“Having Stephen talk about Einstein seemed like a no-brainer, as Einstein is one of the most well-known scientists in the world,” says Caroline Brettell, SMU Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ruth Collins Altshuler Director of the DCII. “People should understand how transformative his theory was at the time he discovered it.”

The event is free and open to the public, though space is limited. RSVP’s are requested at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/godbey-lecture-series-spring-2016-tickets-20759982667. READ MORE

Egypt unveils rare whale fossil museum to boost tourism

Daily Mail

Originally Posted: January 14, 2016

SMU professor Louis Jacobs led a study that discovered dozens of rare “walking whale” fossils in the Sahara desert. “The whales were stranded upriver at a time when east Africa was at sea level and was covered with forest and jungle,” said Jacobs. Now, a $2.17 billion museum has opened onsite to help preserve the rare fossils. READ MORE

Tower Center selects nine SMU scholars to join global policymaking immersion program

SMU News

Originally Posted: January 26, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Nine SMU sophomores pursuing minors in public policy and international affairs have been selected as 2016 Highland Capital Management (HCM) Tower Scholars for the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies.

After a competitive process, Tower Scholars are chosen for their knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs, national security and defense and international political economy. They will develop mentor relationships with public policy practitioners, work with clients on actual cases and have access to global and national leaders, local business leaders and Tower Center board members. Senior-year directed-research projects along with Dallas-based placements provide real-world policy experience, and opportunities for relevant study-abroad options exist. READ MORE

Jeffrey Engel, History, How the Democratic Candidates Did

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Jeffrey Engel, an award-winning American historian and director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU, weighs the showings of the three Democratic candidates – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley – in the January 25, 2016, town hall.

Confucianism Then and Now

Event Date: Thursday February 25, 2016
Time: 5:15 p.m. Reception, 5:45 p.m. Lecture
Location: Meadows Museum, Jones Hall

Join SMU Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Johan Elverskog as he continues the 2016 Spring Godbey Lecture Series. Please RSVP at https://godbey2016.eventbrite.com or 214-768-3527. For more information http://www.smu.edu/Dedman/DCII/Events