Shining a Light on Latinx Theatre

by bjs | Monday, May 22, 2017 - 6:00 AM

Several years ago at an Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference, Gwendolyn Alker invited members of a group then known as the (then) Latina/o Focus Group (LFG) for a special issue. Now the Editor of Theatre Topics , Alker said this invitation started the process of something that had not been done before, but that needed to be done: Theatre Topics had never focused an issue on concerns relevant to Latinx theatre-makers and their wider communities.

The resulting issue was published earlier this spring. Alker joined us to talk about how it came about and why it is important to the field.

Audio titled Gwendolyn Alker, Theatre Topics

Several years ago at an Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Gwendolyn Alker invited members of a group then known as the (then) Latina/o Focus Group (LFG) for a special issue. Now the Editor of Theatre Topics , Alker said this invitation started the process of something that had not been done before, but that needed to be done: Theatre Topics had never focused an issue on concerns relevant to Latinx theatre-makers and their wider communities. The resulting issue was published earlier this spring....Read More

Why it is more important than ever to understand what government does

by krm | Friday, May 12, 2017 - 6:00 AM

As the Trump administration seeks to upend much of what our government does, our book, What American Government Does is an indispensable resource for understanding what is at stake. The new president is seeking radical changes in the direction of public policy, with substantial budget cuts to popular programs that deliver health care, environmental protection, worker safety, and consumer protection. His promised tax cuts are massive and he has proposed cutting popular social and regulatory programs to the bone. Meanwhile, he would substantially increase military spending and seeks to vastly increase the budgets and authority of immigration enforcement, while renewing the war on drugs.

Many Americans are confused about all of this, embracing both a knee-jerk hostility to “government,” while embracing much of what government actually does. This has to do with the anti-government rhetoric that has gained ascendance in recent decades. Our book cuts through the ideological haze to show citizens, students, and even scholars the achievements of, and yes, the concerns surrounding, modern American government. Our point is simply that Americans need to more fully understand what their government does, in order to make up their own...Read More

Changes in Stream Fish Community Structure

by krm | Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 2:08 AM

How much?

The United States has upwards of 1000 species of native stream fishes that occur in combinations of interacting species called “communities.” Stream fish communities are dynamic: the community in a given body of water may vary over time relative to presence or absence of given species, relative abundances of species, demographic structure of the constituent species and more. Historically, the underlying assumption about community dynamics was that communities were in equilibrium such that mature communities tended to have a predictable composition with respect to species present and their relative abundances. Later, community structure was thought to be driven by responses to disturbance and, as such, the expectation for community dynamics shifted from equilibrium to non-equilibrium. But some authors proposed models suggesting that, although communities do not remain in a strict equilibrium, they tend to display “loose equilibrium” in which community composition varies around some central condition. In our book, Stream Fish Community Dynamics: A Critical Synthesis , we have used our own research (or that of our graduate students) over a 40-year period, to describe community dynamics of streams in the central United States and to examine underlying...Read More

Between medicine, business and politics: Silicosis, a promising 21st century scourge from the remote past

by krm | Monday, May 8, 2017 - 6:00 AM

In October 2006, two Chinese victims of silicosis paid a visit to the village of Shakarpur, 80 kilometers from Baroda, an Indian city in the state of Gujarat where regional NGOs had organized a meeting devoted to this disease. The event was a memorable one. Two victims of the new and wild forms of industrialization in the emerging countries were meeting local “traditional” workers having contracted silicosis by polishing agates. It also symbolized how silicosis has become a global burden, and leads to new forms of mobilization against occupational and environmental hazards caused by so-called “industrial diseases”.

Silicosis (the progressive scarring of lungs due to inhalation of crystalline silica dust over a long period of time) is by no way an out-of-date disease, a pathology from the remote past when America, Europe, and Australia depended on coal to deliver energy to their factories and heating to their citizens. On the contrary, silicosis is, if one dare say, one of the most promising social and environmental diseases of the 21 st century. It can only progress at fast pace, in relationship with the industrialization of emerging countries.

A forgotten trade: the coal man...Read More

How Many Manatees is Enough?

by krm | Friday, May 5, 2017 - 6:00 AM

In Florida, there is a sense among biologists and managers who work with manatees that they remain in a precarious position. But those of us who work on manatee conservation are often asked: just how many manatees is enough? It turns out that the answer is difficult to pin down because different human stakeholders have different perspectives and values on issues such as this. For context, I am drafting this blog on Earth Day, 2017, and am more mindful than usual of the diminished status of coastal habitat in Florida. By Earth Day, 2030, there will likely be almost 30% more people in the state than in 2015. What will manatee habitat look like then? I believe that diminished habitat quality and extent represent the greatest threat to manatees now and into the future.

Why is habitat so important for the species’ future? Ecologists might well respond that there will be enough manatees when there are as many individuals as the environment can sustain (a number called carrying capacity). Fair enough…but carrying capacity for a particular location is not a constant; it can be reduced locally due to habitat modification or loss. Thus, to...Read More