Weekly Observer. August 10-23, 2009

NEW SCHOOL JAZZ FACULTY AND ALUMNI MAKE THE
2009 DOWNBEAT ANNUAL CRITICS SURVEY

DownBeat publishes results of annual surveys of critics in a variety of categories. The results of the 57th Annual Critics Poll have been announced, and many members of the New School Jazz community were recognized by the 120 voting writers. (All New School member below are alumni, except where noted).

  • Jazz Album—Roy Hargrove Quintet, Earfood
  • Jazz Artist, Rising Star—Chris Potter
  • Jazz Group—Brad Mehldau Trio3
  • Jazz Group, Rising Star—Mary Halvorson Trio
  • Big Band—Charles Tolliver Orchestra (faculty)
  • Big Band, Rising Star—Charles Tolliver Orchestra (faculty)
  • Trumpet—Roy Hargrove
  • Soprano Saxophone—Jane Ira Bloom (faculty), Chris Potter
  • Soprano Saxophone, Rising Star—Jane Ira Bloom (faculty), Chris Potter
  • Tenor Saxophone, Rising Star—Marcus Strickland, Chris Potter
  • Baritone Saxophone, Rising Star—Jason Marshall, Charles Evans
  • Piano—Brad Mehldau
  • Piano, Rising Star—Robert Glasper
  • Organ—Larry Goldings (faculty), Sam Yahel
  • Organ, Rising Star—Sam Yahel, Larry Goldings (faculty)
  • Guitar—Peter Bernstein
  • Guitar, Rising Star—Mary Halvorson, Peter Bernstein, Mike Moreno
  • Acoustic Bass, Rising Star—Avishai Cohen
  • Percussion, Rising Star—Susie Ibara (faculty)

DownBeat is an American magazine devoted to "jazz, blues and beyond" to indicate its expansion beyond the jazz realm, which it covered exclusively in previous years. The publication was established in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois. It is named after the "downbeat" in music also called the "one beat" or the first beat of a musical measure.


NEW SCHOOL ALUMNA’S NEWLY PUBLISHED BOOK IS A BESTSELLER

Alice Eve Cohen (Creative Writing MFA program, 1999) has just published a new book What I Thought I Knew. After having a profile article in the July 11th edition of the New York Times and being chosen by O Magazine as one of the top 25 summer reads, the book quickly become a best seller.

What I Thought I Knew is a personal and medical odyssey beyond anything most women would believe possible. At age 44, Cohen was happy for the first time in years. After a difficult divorce, she was engaged to an inspiring man, joyfully raising her adopted daughter, and her career was blossoming. Alice tells her fiancé that she’s never been happier. And then the stomach pains begin.

In her unflinchingly honest and ruefully witty voice, Cohen nimbly carries us through her metamorphosis from a woman who has come to terms with infertility to one who struggles to love a heartbeat found in her womb—six months into a high-risk pregnancy.

Alice Eve Cohen is a playwright, solo theater artist, and memoirist. She has written for Nickelodeon and PBS and received fellowships and grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 
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University News

CONVOCATION TO BE HELD SEPTEMBER 3

New School students, faculty, and staff are invited to mark the opening of the 2009-2010 academic year at the Convocation Ceremony. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 3, 3:00 p.m., in Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street. The program includes a welcome from President Bob Kerrey and University Student Senate President Tushar Gogia, remarks by Provost Tim Marshall, and presentation of the Distinguished University Teaching Awards. Julia Foulkes, associate professor of history at The New School for General Studies, will give this year’s Aims of Education Address.

The 2009 Distinguished University Teaching Awards will be presented to Jinsook Erin Cho, Parsons The New School for Design; Lisa R. Rubin, The New School for Social Research and The New School for General Studies; Susan Shapiro, The New School for General Studies; and Mary R. Watson, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy.

The 13th Annual Welcome Block Party, on West 12th Street, will immediately follow the ceremony.

Updated information on this year’s Convocation is available on the university’s website.


THE DESIGN AND SOCIAL SCIENCE FUND ANNOUNCES THIS YEAR’S AWARDEES

The New School's Design and Social Science Committee has announced the recipients of this year’s Design and Social Science Fund Awards. Comprised of faculty from across the university, the Design and Social Science Committee was created by the Office of the Provost in 2006 to explore pedagogical, research, and project-based initiatives at the intersection of design and social science.

The Design and Social Science Fund aims to support innovative faculty initiatives that explore relationships between the social sciences and design theory and practice. In particular, the fund is intended to support cross-university collaboration and research and to envision possible curricular projects and courses that would provide for a fruitful exchange between design and the social sciences.

Recipients of this year’s funding will participate as fellows in the 2009-2010 Design and Social Science Seminar.

The 2009-10 awardees include the following faculty work and projects:

Jilly Traganou (School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons), Lydia Matthews (associate dean and professor at Parsons), and Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani (Urban Studies, Eugene Lang College) collaborated on “Routes & Homes: Prototyping Socio-Spatial Micro-structures in Conditions of Migration and Multiple Belonging.” "Routes & Homes" project will focus on New York, documenting immigrants' experiences of home-making in the city as a broader process that involves institutional policy as well as individual and communal initiatives.

Elizabeth Ellsworth (Department of Media Studies and Film, Eugene Lang College) project “Infrastructure as Civic Pedagogy” goal is to inform directly the design, production, and dissemination of the next iteration of ExtremeMediaStudies.org as an exploratory pedagogical design. The proposed project will generate exploratory approaches and design strategies for how those actors, as well as university design and social science courses, might use ExtremeMediaStudies.org as a vehicle to explore and expand the ways we understand and imagine infrastructure (actually and potentially) as civic pedagogy.

McKenzie Wark (Culture & Media, Eugene Lang College), and Ted Byfield’s (School of Art, Media, and Technology, Parsons) project “Nettime: The Silver Age of Social Media” takes a step back to the listserv in order to treat current enthusiasms for new media forms more critically. It will focus on the “nettime family of listservs”— many of whom went on to become prominent practitioners of social network theory, art, design, policy formation, and above all in hybrid fields. It asks: To what extent did these listservs develop an emergent theory of their own form and practice? How does that theory stand up to scrutiny and development in light of subsequent developments? How can it inform or contextualize later, more ramified activities and tendencies?

 

NEWS FROM THE NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH

PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR DMITRI NIKULIN SELECTED AS A FELLOW AT THE
FORSCHUNGSKOLLEG IN GERMANY

New School for Social Research philosophy professor Dmitri Nikulin has been selected as a Fellow at the Forschungskolleg, Research College of Human Sciences in Bad Homburg, Germany, for the fall 2009 semester.

Nikulin will be working on a new book that focuses on the philosophy of comedy. “Philosophers dedicated many great books to tragedy, but only very few to comedy. Why this is the case, is itself an interesting philosophical problem,” said Nikulin.

The Forschungskolleg (Research College of Human Sciences), one of the leading German research institutions, was created with the cooperation of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and the Werner Reimers Foundation in Bad Homburg. The Reimers Foundation is an international humanities and social science institution. The Goethe University Frankfurt am Main is one of the largest universities in Germany.

The goal of the college is to generate ideas and produce consistent research in the field of human sciences. The college offers renowned scholars and scientists in Germany and abroad the opportunity to focus on critical issues and address their own research.


NEWS FROM PARSONS THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN

PARSONS FACULTY FEATURED IN A DOUMENTARY AIRED ON HBO

Andy Bichlbaum, assistant professor in Subversion at Parsons, is the focus of a new documentary, The Yes Men Fix The World, which premiered on HBO on July 27. The documentary sheds new light on Bichlbaum’s innovative group the Yes Men, as Bichlbaum and his partner Mike Bonanno travel around the globe to expose what they consider to be hypocrisy in corporate America.

The Yes Men engage in what they call “identity correction” by pretending to be spokespeople and executives from notable organizations such as The World Trade Organization, Dow Chemical, and the United State Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Through their use of print and broadcast media, their creative and clever tactics have fooled mass audiences. Bichlbaum is known to have posed as a spokesperson from Dow Chemical appearing on BBC World News to announce that Dow will finally clean up the site of the Bhopal catastrophe, the largest industrial accident in history. Another notable hoax was when the group created a mock version of the New York Times with a headline reading, “Iraq War Ends,” as part of their participation in the Parsons exhibition Democracy in the Age of Branding

The Yes Men Fix the World will be released to theaters in the United States on October 7. For more information, visit the movies website.


PARSONS ALUMNUS SPEAKS OF DATA AND NETWORKS AT TEDGLOBAL

Parsons MA Design & Technology alumnus, Manuel Lima spoke at TED’s (Technology, Entertainment, Design) annual TEDGlobal conference in Oxford, UK from July 21-24. The conference titled, “The Substance of Things Not Seen” brought together activists, scientists, designers, artists, inventors, and other notable creative minds.

Lima’s presentation on new methods of displaying data and networks was included in the session titled “Hidden Algorithm.” Lima presented alongside neuroscientists, artists, aphorists, and a quantum physicist.

Lima currently resides in London where he is a senior user experience designer at Nokia's NextGen Software & Services. In his position he has been known to decode complexity and simplify it through visualization.

For more information on Lima’s presentation visit his website.


NEWS FROM MILANO THE NEW SCHOOL FOR MANAGEMENT AND URBAN POLICY

CENTER FOR NEW YORK CITY AFFAIRS REPORTS DOZENS OF YOUNG PEOPLE TURNED AWAY FROM CITY SHELTERS

Milano’s Center for New York City Affairs issued a news brief recently reporting that city shelters for homeless and runaway youth have turned away dozens of young people this summer because of space shortages. Advocates attribute the problem to the economic downturn making it more difficult for older adolescents and young adults to find the jobs and housing necessary to become self-sufficient.

"Programs around the city are either totally full, or turning away people," says Margo Hirsch, executive director of Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, an organization that advocates on behalf of runaway, homeless, and street youth. "It's definitely related to the economy. Young people who could marginally hold on to a job and stay with relatives, maybe paying a little rent, can't do that anymore."

Susan Haskell, assistant commissioner for the city's Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), which funds services for runaway and homeless youth, says the crisis shelters for youth have been operating at 100 percent capacity for the past several years. When demand outstrips supply, the shelters give priority to 16- and 17-years old and often refer 18- to 20-year-olds to the city's adult-shelter system, she says.

The City Council increased DYCD's budget for runaway and homeless youth from $4.6 million last year to about $5.9 million for the fiscal year that began July 1. City Councilman Lewis Fidler, D-Brooklyn, who has advocated for more money for homeless youth, says the funds were approved in June and should be distributed in August. He says the increase will help but will not solve the problem. "The pie here is not big enough," says Councilman Fidler.

A 2007 survey by the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services estimated that there were 3,800 homeless people between the age of 16 and 24 in New York City on any given night. Of those, about 1,600 had spent the night sleeping outside, in an abandoned building, at a transportation hub, or in a car, bus, train, or another vehicle. Another 150 adolescents spent the night as sex workers, according to the survey.


NEW FROM THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DRAMA

THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DRAMA NAMES PLAYWRIGHT JON ROBIN BAITZ ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

The New School for Drama has announced that award-winning playwright Jon Robin Baitz will be the distinguished Artist-in-Residence for the 2009-10 academic year. Baitz is a Pulitzer finalist, a Guggenheim and NEA fellow, and winner of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. A founding member and former artistic director of New York’s Naked Angels theater company, Baitz has written a number of acclaimed plays, including The Film Society, The Substance of Fire, Three Hotels, A Fair Country, Ten Unknowns, Mizlansky/Zilinsky, and The Paris Letter. His new play, Love and Mercy, will be produced next season on Broadway. Baitz’s experience in television includes creating the hit ABC show Brothers & Sisters and serving as executive producer for the first two seasons. He has also written episodes of The West Wing and Alias. His PBS film version of Three Hotels won a Humanitas Award. His other screenplays include The Substance of Fire, based on his play, and People I Know, which starred Al Pacino. Baitz is currently writing and executive producing a mini-series for HBO entitled Bush’s War.

“Jon is such a versatile and accomplished playwright for both film and television,” said Robert LuPone, director of The New School for Drama. “The fact that he has bridged these worlds is wonderful for our students to see. We are very fortunate to have him on hand to mentor our students.”

Baitz is the fourth artist-in-residence at The New School for Drama. This program provides students with the opportunity to work with leading luminaries in the fields of playwriting, directing, and acting. Past artists-in-residence include John Turturro, Doug Hughes, and John Patrick Shanley. “Teaching, for me, is a way of reexamining old definitions of theatricality, and of narrative, of exploring which conventions to defy, and how and why, and sharing with writers who have as much to give as I do,” said Baitz on hearing of his new position. “I am humbled and honored to serve on The New School faculty in the company of playwrights, actors, and directors whose work I have always admired.”

As artist-in-residence, Baitz will teach a year long-course on writing for television and will address the school as a whole in several town hall meetings where he will speak of his playwriting experiences and answer student questions. "We're honored and excited that Robbie will be joining Drama as artist in residence this upcoming academic year,” said Playwriting Chair Pippin Parker. “His incredible talent, devotion to the theater, experience in film and television, and well-known support of fellow writers and artists make him a fantastic teacher and invaluable addition not only to the Playwriting department but the entire school.”


UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCEMENTS

USE YOUR FREE ADMISSION TO DROP IN ON MOMA’S AFTER HOUR THURSDAY NIGHTS IN
JULY AND AUGUST

Thursday, July 2, 2009, marks the first of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA’s) Thursday Nights, a series of Thursday evenings in July and August when the Museum will remain open until 8:45 p.m. We encourage New School students and employees to drop in after work and enjoy access to the entire Museum. In order to receive your free admission, go to the lobby information desk and show them your valid New School ID. Students, faculty, and staff receive one free admission for themselves. Faculty and staff may also obtain an additional two tickets for their guests.

There will be live entertainment as well as drinks and cocktails available for purchase. MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street, New York City. Enjoy!

 

TIME OUT NEW YORK DISCOUNT OFFER

Start your year off being in the know about things free or fancy. Time Out New York is offering all students, faculty, and staff at The New School a full year's subscription for just $20! That's 51 issues for the entire year and only 39c an issue. Steal this deal for yourself or a gift to another.


THE BEST DEAL FOR AFFORDABLE THEATER, Dance, and concert TICKETS:
THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND

An exciting spring theater, music and dance season is under way: Why pay $100 or more, when you can pay $20-$36 for Broadway shows and Off-Broadway shows, dance performances and concerts? An inexpensive way to enjoy the best of New York culture is to join Theatre Development Fund (TDF).

To be eligible, you must be a full-time student or teacher, senior citizen (62+), civil servant, union member, staff member of a not-for-profit organization, performing arts professional, or member of the clergy or armed forces. Annual membership fee is $27.50, and you can join online.

A small sampling of performances recently available to TDF Members for $20-36 per ticket include: 33 Variations, The 39 Steps, Altar Boyz, American Ballet Theatre, The American Plan, August: Osage County, Avenue Q, Ballet NY, Beast, Big Apple Circus, Blithe Spirit, Christopher Cross at B.B. King's, Distracted, Enter Laughing, Exit the King, The Fantasticks, Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab, Fueerzabruta, Gypsy, Hedda Gabler, Impressionism, Irena's Vow, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, London Philharmonic at Lincoln Center; The Marvelous Wonderettes, Mourning Becomes Electra, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Next to Normal, Pal Joey, Patti Austin at Brooklyn Center; Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Phantom of the Opera, Reasons to be Pretty, Rock of Ages, Ruined, Shrek: The Musical; Speed the Plow, Spring Awakening and Uncle Vanya.

So don't miss this great opportunity to see great theater at great prices.

NEW YORK TIMES DISCOUNTS

The New York Times is offering a 60 percent discount ($.40/per day Monday-Saturday, $2.50 on Sunday) for home or office subscriptions to all faculty, staff, and students.

Here's how it works. Unlike traditional subscriptions, the education rate can be set up by semester or in a combination that best reflects your schedules for both delivery and billing. New School faculty, staff, and students can have a subscription Monday-Friday, Sunday only, weekends only, or any combination.

To take advantage of the special discount to the Times or to change a current subscription, students, faculty (full-time and part-time), and staff should contact the customer service center at 888.NYT.COLL, to order a single subscription or a classroom subscription of up to eight copies for required reading in the classroom.

To order a classroom subscription of eight or more copies for required reading in the classroom, contact the education program's customer service center at 800.631.1222.

WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO SAVE TIME AND MONEY ON ENTERTAINMENT?

As a member of The New School, you have access to exclusive entertainment benefits through Plum Benefits! From theater and dance to sports and comedy, you can use this benefit to save time and money when ordering tickets for great seats to the hottest events in town! Log on 24/7 to enjoy:

Exclusive offers for premiere entertainment
Discounts of up to 50% off
Access to hard-to-get seats
Cost-free service
No ticket-ordering obligations
Easy ticket ordering
Helpful Customer Service at www.plumbenefits.com, 212.660.1888, or contact@plumbenefits.com

Already Signed Up to View Your Entertainment Benefits Online?
Log in now at www.plumbenefits.com to view this month's entertainment offers.

Not Yet Signed Up to View Your Entertainment Benefits Online?
Simply visit www.plumbenefits.com, click the "Sign-Up Now" button and follow the on-site instructions to create your profile and password. Registration is free and takes just a few moments-all you need is your groupwise email address.

 


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