Yale college

School Notes: Yale College
July/August 2009

Seminar explores "The Mediated City"

In spring 2009, a new undergraduate course introduced Yale College students to the many ways that cities are represented and understood. Drawing on the fields of television/film, writing, urban planning and renewal, mapping, and architectural preservation, the interdisciplinary seminar was supplemented by a series of evening lectures and other special events with leaders in each field. These events, which were open to the wider university and New Haven communities, included a conversation with David Milch ’66 (whose television productions include NYPD Blue and Deadwood) and a panel discussion on "Promoting the City," with urban development experts Bruce Alexander ’65 and Alex Garvin ’62, ’67MArch. The Mediated City was funded by the Poorvu Family Fund for Academic Innovation, which promotes interdisciplinary teaching and courses in Yale College through the support of faculty and curriculum development.

In New York City, a Yale farm in miniature

Visitors to Parsons the New School for Design this spring had the opportunity to witness sustainable farming on a small scale in Manhattan, thanks to a display created in collaboration with the Yale Sustainable Food Project. The exhibit -- a model, growing garden -- was designed as a part of Into the Open: Positioning Practice, which was the official U.S. pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia before being displayed at the New School's Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.

The Yale Farm exhibit included a wide variety of vegetables, demonstrating the beauty and educational power of school gardens and showcasing Yale's innovative work on this front. The exhibition also included instructions for visitors on how to create their own small-scale gardens at home.

Writing center hosts annual Hersey lecture

Each year, the Yale College Writing Center invites a distinguished writer to deliver the annual John Hersey Lecture. The spring 2009 talk, "The Art of Seduction: Evolution, Sex, and the Public," was part of Yale's yearlong celebration of Charles Darwin -- the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. Olivia Judson, a research fellow in biology at Imperial College, London, and a weekly columnist for the Science section of the New York Times, gave the lecture, in which she outlined her approach for teaching science to a sometimes skeptical public audience. Stephen Stearns ’67, the Edward P. Bass Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, introduced Judson's talk, commending her work for its combination of popular appeal and scientific rigor.

Established by members of the Class of 1936, the Hersey Lecture honors Professor John Hersey ’36. Hersey won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel A Bell for Adano and published more than two dozen fiction and nonfiction books. In 1965, Professor Hersey became master of Pierson College; he taught writing at Yale from then until 1984.

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