Sports fandom — often more than religious, political or regional affiliation — determines how millions of Americans define themselves. In his new book, “We Average Unbeautiful Watchers: Fan Narratives and the Reading of American Sports,” Noah Cohan, lecturer in American Culture Studies in Arts & Sciences, focuses on sports culture as narrative.
Rhaisa Williams, assistant professor of performing arts in Arts & Sciences, remembers Toni Morrison’s “magnificent wield of imagination.”
The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ 2019 MFA in Visual Art Thesis Exhibition features work by 17 graduating students. Works in various media explore themes such as the politics of race, the role of gender, the poetics of the everyday, and utopian or dystopian futures.
Kate Smith was the “songbird of the south” and “the First Lady of radio,” a 20th-century superstar whose recording of “God Bless America” was still being played during Philadelphia Flyer and New York Yankees home games. But recently, both teams distanced themselves from Smith due to racist lyrics in a pair of her early recordings. Arts & Sciences’ Todd Decker, chair of music, helps unpack the controversy for USA Today.
Musicologist Todd Decker, of Arts & Sciences and author of “Hymns for the Fallen: Combat Movie Music and Sound After Vietnam” (2017), examines how films such as “Platoon,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Hurt Locker” shape how audiences view soldiers, veterans and the experience of war.
The newly expanded and renovated Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis will reopen with a major exhibition of work by Ai Weiwei. The renowned Chinese dissident artist and activist is known all over the world for rigorous, compassionate and complex artworks that address themes of political, ethical and social urgency. “Ai Weiwei: Bare Life” opens Sept. 28 and will feature more than 35 artworks created over the last two decades in a wide variety of media — including a handful of newly conceived, large-scale and site-specific projects and major pieces never before exhibited in the United States.
Arthur Osver won international acclaim for his evocative depictions of the American city. And though his work evolved, that ramshackle topography remained part of his painterly DNA. So argues art history Professor Angela Miller in “Arthur Osver: Urban Landscape, Abstraction, and the Mystique of Place” (2019).
The Performing Arts Department will present “Shadows,” a new work by celebrated choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess, as part of “PastForward,” the 2018 Washington University Dance Theatre concert, beginning Nov. 30. In all, the concert will feature more than 20 dancers performing seven works by faculty and visiting choreographers.
Justin Phillip Reed, a 2015 graduate of the MFA Writing Program in Arts & Sciences, has won the 2018 National Book Award for Poetry. The award is generally considered among the world’s most prestigious literary prizes.
“Stan Lee was a man of contradictions,” says comics scholar Peter Coogan, “self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating; a great collaborator and someone who took credit for others’ work; hugely successful except when his endeavors crashed in failure. But unlike the superheroes, neither side was secret.”