The Best Old Place of All

Speaking at Princeton’s 250th anniversary convocation in October 1996, novelist and professor Toni Morrison began with a reference to William Wordsworth’s meditation on “the spirit of the place,” in The Prelude. Morrison thought there were two ways of thinking about Princeton: as a place of collective memory that is part of the nation’s history, and one of private memory.  Read more

PLAS certificate student wins Dale Award

Senior thesis: Rosales transforms his immigrant experience on page and stage from Princeton University on Vimeo

Senior Edwin Rosales, a first-generation college student who emigrated from Guatemala with his parents when he was a child, drew on his own family stories and extensive research to write not one but two senior theses. The first, an original collection of short stories, “The Art of Stones,” satisfied the thesis requirements for his major in English and certificate in creative writing. He also wrote a play, “Spring on Fire: A Guatemalan Story,” for his certificates in theater and Latin American studies.

Princeton students must write a senior thesis or conduct an independent research project for their majors and certificates, and the creation of the thesis is considered a defining achievement in students’ academic lives. Read more

Spring on Fire: A Guatemalan Story

Spring on Fire: A Guatemalan Story, a new play by senior Edwin Rosales, in a workshop presentation at Lewis Center for the Arts

Spring on Fire: A Guatemalan Story, a new play by senior Edwin Rosales, in a workshop presentation at Lewis Center for the Arts
New play inspired by a violent moment during the Guatemalan Civil War

What:  A workshop presentation of a new play that follows a Maya family living in the highlands of Guatemala, the soldiers who occupy their village, and the spirits that guide and haunt them all during the most violent moment from the Guatemalan civil war.
Who:  Written by Princeton senior Edwin Rosales and directed by faculty member Suzanne Agins with a cast of Princeton undergraduates, presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater
When:  April 28, 29, May 3, 4, and 5 at 8 p.m.  Audience talkbacks follows April 29 and May 3  performances.
Where:  Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio at 185 Nassau St., Princeton
Tickets:  Free and open to the public; tickets can be reserved in advance through University Ticketing by visiting or calling the Frist Campus Center Box Office at 609-258-9220 or online at tickets.princeton.edu
Event Link:  http://arts.princeton.edu/events/spring-fire-guatemalan-story/2017-04-28/

In Memoriam – Ana Maria Bejarano (1962 – 2017)

Early on March 28, 2017, the UTM and entire University of Toronto community lost our dear colleague and friend, Professor Ana Maria Bejarano, to cancer. A deeply devoted teacher in the Department of Political Science, Ana Maria touched thousands of students through her courses on comparative politics and Latin America and even broader audiences through her research scholarship on democratization and constitutionalism in the Andes region. Hailing originally from Bogotá, Colombia, she remained deeply committed to collaborating with her research colleagues in the Andean region.

After obtaining her BA in Political Science at the University of Los Andes, Ana Maria completed her MA, MPhil and PhD, at Columbia University. She then returned to her alma mater, teaching in Bogotá for a decade before taking visiting fellowships at the University of Notre Dame (2000-1) and Princeton University (2001-3). She joined the Political Science faculty at UTM in 2003, authoring publications such as Precarious Democracies: Understanding Regime Stability and Change in Colombia and Venezuela (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). She also co-edited (with S. Mainwaring and E. Pizarro), The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes (Stanford University Press, 2006). She was an active participant in projects designed to analyze and monitor the quality of democracy in the Andes.  Read More

Creativity in Cuban Thin Shell Structures

Cubans have an international reputation for their spirited high-quality art, which is manifested in mediums such as paintings, sculptures, cinema, music, as well as the design of structures. This exhibition focuses on selected “thin shell” structures designed and built in the mid-20th century in Havana. Thin shell structures are long-span roof coverings, which in this case are built out of reinforced concrete and/or terracotta tiles. As a whole, these structures illustrate the creative artistic talent of Cuban architects and engineers.

Historical examples throughout the world illustrate that constraints enable creativity – some of the most creative structural designs are born of tight economic and/or physical constraints. It is therefore not surprising to see elegantly creative Cuban designs that were conceived of and built with limited resources. “Creativity in Cuban Thin Shell Structures” tells the story of select engineers and architects who shaped Havana’s architecture of thin shell structures and in some cases defined an authentic style that is creatively Cuban. Read more

Faculty Book: Bruno Carvalho

What remains for Rio after the Olympics?

When cities host huge global events, they become the site of big dreams — and big disagreements. Last year’s summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro drew much criticism for large-scale development that displaced residents and exacerbated socioeconomic divides. It also spurred intense debate about what kind of city Rio should be. Those themes are explored in Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures (Terreform), co-edited by Rio native Bruno Carvalho, a professor in the Spanish and Portuguese department and co-director of the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities. Carvalho spoke to PAW about last year’s Olympics and Rio’s past, present, and future.

In the book, you describe moments in history when different conceptions of Rio took hold. What were they?

We can think in terms of epithets: In the 1930s a Carnival song popularized Rio as the “Marvelous City,” and it became the city anthem in the 1960s. But the epithet had come about in the context of early 20th-century urban reforms that tried to reinvent Brazil in a more modern, elitist, Paris-inspired mold, and it excluded the majority of the city that didn’t conform to this image.

Another epithet, which became very dominant in the 1990s, is this idea of the “Divided City,” characterized by urban violence, political crisis, and a persistent socioeconomic abyss — symbolized by the favelas versus the upscale waterfront residential buildings. A more recent epithet, which City Hall tried to push in the last few years, is Rio as “Olympic City.” Read more

Alumni Day honorees Kuczynski, Schmidt stress solutions for global challenges

The recipients of Princeton’s top alumni awards underscored solutions for the political and technological challenges of today and the future at the University’s annual Alumni Day on Saturday, Feb. 25. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, president of Peru, spoke of a new age in Latin America, while Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., was positive about the power of technology to solve societal problems.

Their speeches in Richardson Auditorium kicked off campus activities for about 1,000 alumni and guests on a sunny, spring-like day. Alumni Day 2017 included lectures, workshops, family activities and the presentation of alumni and student awards.

Kuczynski, who earned a Master in Public Affairs in 1961 from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, received the James Madison Medal, the University’s top honor for Graduate School alumni. Schmidt, a member of the Class of 1976, received the Woodrow Wilson Award, the University’s highest honor for undergraduate alumni. Read More

Manuel Gomez to participate at the World Summit of Nobel Laureates in Bogotá, Colombia

Manuel Castaño Interview/Article
Ivy Inspire, Kriyana Reddy and Manuel Castaño

For the first time since its founding, the World Summit of Nobel Laureates gathered in Latin America—in Bogotá, Colombia. A city healing from decades of armed conflict and social upheaval, Bogotá served as a hub for thousands of international summit participants and nearly 15 Nobel Peace Laureates. The colors and sounds of the city rang loud and proud for the first week of February when world leaders and peacebuilders gathered to exchange ideas and dialogue.

And against the backdrop of flourishing change and plans for peace, the summit’s youth program, Leading by Example, hosted over 500 passionate young adults from around the world. It was this program initiated by the Permanent Secretariat that welcomed the Ivy Council delegation of nearly 20 students to attend the summit. But for one Ivy Council delegate (and Ivy Inspire editor), Manuel Stefano Castaño, attending the summit transcended the entire framework of the youth program. Returning to the country called “home,” Castaño set foot on Colombian soil for the first time in nearly 20 years. After fleeing the country because of ongoing civil conflict with FARC, his recent return afforded him an experience that no other Ivy Council delegate could have even imagined—national pride and emotional reminiscence to last an entire lifetime.

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Framing a worldview: Princeton students explore globalization at São Paulo Bienal

This fall semester, Princeton students in the course “Contemporary Art: The World Picture” examined how large-scale art exhibitions challenge and transform the way we look at the world. A key component of the class was a fall break trip to Brazil to visit the 32nd São Paulo Bienal.

The course was led by Irene Small, assistant professor of art and archaeology, who said a goal was to study “the international mega-exhibition as a model for thinking about globalization — how art seeks to question, bridge and transform cultural divisions.”

The students met fellow scholars at the Universidade de São Paulo, which has a strategic partnership with Princeton. Francesco Perrotta-Bosch, a graduate student at the university’s school of architecture and urbanism, led the class on a tour of modernist buildings, museums and cultural centers. Students from the architecture school led a walking tour they created called an “urban safari” throughout the city. Cristina Freire, professor and curator of the university’s Museum of Contemporary Art, showed the group an exhibition she has been working on for several years, which focuses on Latin American art in the university’s collection.

The course was supported by the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project in the Humanities Council, the Department of Art and Archaeology, the Program in Latin American Studies, and the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities. Programmatic and logistical support was also provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Operations.

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