Mend the Gap
UVA is participating in the Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research, an initiative announced Nov. 13 during a forum at Wake Forest University hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls. According to a White House fact sheet, the 25-institution collaborative aims to close opportunity gaps and other barriers faced by women and girls, particularly by women and girls of color. “Forum participants will highlight a range of issues, including economic development, health care, criminal justice, vulnerability to violence, hip-hop, and images of women in the media,” the fact sheet says. For its part, UVA has committed to various community outreach programs, symposia and research, some of which have already begun: The Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies hosted a “Black Girls Matter” symposium as part of its ongoing “Engaging Race” series, and the Curry School of Education’s Youth-Nex Center to Promote Effective Youth Development recently led a “Youth of Color Matter” conference.
Desiree Davis Stolar (Col ’07) and her Harvard Business School classmate Nate Barbera appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank Nov. 13 with their patent-pending emergency sweater-saving solution, Unshrinkit. The pair struck a deal with magnate Mark Cuban, who offered $150,000 for a 15 percent stake in the company. “You’re smart and you obviously know what you’re doing,” Cuban told them. After the show, Stolar and Barbera negotiated with Cuban’s team but ultimately didn’t come to an agreement. Still, sales of Unshrinkit spiked after the show aired.
’Twixt Cup and Lip
Faulkner play hits newsstands nearly a century later
The holiday 2015 issue of Strand magazine included a one-act comedy, ’Twixt Cup and Lip, penned by William Faulkner in the 1920s. According to Strand managing editor Andrew Gulli, who noticed the play in the Papers of William Faulkner Collection housed in UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, ’Twixt Cup and Lip was previously unpublished. The Prohibition-era play centers on a wager between two friends: Jim bets Francis $100 that in one hour, he’ll successfully convince a young woman named Ruth to marry him. Francis takes the bet and hides behind a curtain while Jim attempts to woo Ruth, who is already engaged to Francis. When Ruth discovers that Francis has bet on her, she ends the engagement and accepts Jim’s proposal instead. Hence the play’s title, which comes from the proverb, “There is many a slip ’twixt cup and lip,” meaning that nothing—in this case, a marriage—is certain until it has happened.
Law School gets New Dean
Risa Goluboff, a legal historian specializing in civil rights, civil liberties and constitutional law, has been named the 12th dean of UVA’s School of Law. She is the school’s first female dean. Goluboff joined the faculty in 2002 and has directed the dual-degree program that combines the JD with a master’s degree in history. As dean, she says she plans to “maintain and expand the Law School’s commitment to training lawyers of the highest caliber through our traditions of scholarly excellence, intellectual pluralism and collegiality.” Goluboff will continue to teach and has numerous writing projects in the works; she recently published a book, Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change and the Making of the 1960s, and will contribute a chapter on President Barack Obama and the Supreme Court to an edited volume on his presidency that will be published by Princeton University Press. Studying the law through the lens of history, she says, “can open up the contemporary imagination about what law is and what it can be. We are often limited by the present, and I think the past can open up new and different futures.”
Russell Bogue, UVA’s 51st Rhodes Scholar
Fourth-year politics major Russell Bogue (Col ’16) will matriculate at Oxford University in England in the fall. He plans to earn a master’s degree in political theory before attending law school or pursuing a doctorate.
He sees studying politics and law as more than academic exercises; they can help build a more just society. “I see a direct link between studying political theory and working to make people’s lives better; the bridge is simply a willingness to translate theory to practice, to take action when prompted.”
Bogue says he’s looking forward to discovering new coffee shops and old pubs, rowing on the Thames and having more time to research and write papers.
Food for Thought
Key takeaways from three January Term classes
For some students and professors, fall and spring semesters don’t quite satisfy their appetite for learning and teaching. Enter UVA’s January Term, a program full of courses that offer students the opportunities to study abroad, address topics of current interest, take a research seminar or learn about a subject that may seem nontraditional. Here are a few of the 2016 January Term course offerings.
Selfies Old and New
Lisa Russ Spaar’s (Col ’78, Grad ’82) course on self-portrayal in the visual and literary arts teaches students that the “selfie” is not a new phenomenon. Through Julian Bell’s 500 Self-Portraits book, poems, field trips and projects in which students must create their own self-portraits, students tackle broader philosophical and personal questions: What is a self? Why do we make art? Why does the study of self-portraiture warrant sustained attention?
Through film clips, documentaries, literature and music, students track the vampire through its roots in Eastern European folklore to modern-day depictions in popular culture. For example, in some films from the 1980s, says course instructor Stanley Stepanic (Grad ’07, ’12), the vampire stood as a symbol for drug addiction; in the 1990s, vampires were used to represent homosexuality or the AIDS epidemic. But no matter the era, he says, the vampire helps us better understand the cyclical nature of human existence.
More and more Americans are taking prescription psychiatric drugs, most with a diagnosis of a mental disorder, says research associate professor of sociology Joseph Davis (Grad ’95, ’98). And it’s not just an issue of medical treatment, it’s a cultural phenomenon. Students in Davis’ class watch documentaries such as Untangling the Mind, Medicating Kids and Selling Sickness, and examine drug advertisements and news segments to understand how prescription drug use is changing the ways we think about ourselves and experience the world. Among other activities, Davis facilitates an in-class debate on the ethical question of college students using drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin without a prescription to try to improve their academic performance.