Exhibition on race: Are we so different?

The exhibition “RACE: Are We So Different?” opened at the Missouri History Museum in January. The exhibition — which focuses on the history of race, the role of science in that history, and race in modern society — is free to Washington University faculty, staff and students through Feb. 27.

Carl Phillips’ ‘Speak Low’ named National Book Award finalist

Poet Carl Phillips, professor of English and of African and African American Studies, both in Arts & Sciences, at Washington University in St. Louis, has been selected — for the third time — as a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in poetry. Phillips was nominated for his 10th collection of poetry, “Speak Low,” published in April by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Widening racial gap exists in key factors for economic well-being, according to new study

“With President Obama now approaching six months in office, some have suggested that we have gone beyond race as a major dividing line in society. Yet nothing could be further from the truth,” says Mark R. Rank, Ph.D., professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis. “One of the fundamental fault lines in American society continues to be the ongoing racial disparities in economic well-being.” Using 30 years of data, Rank examined three key factors in attaining economic well-being: owning a home and building equity; attaining affluence and avoiding poverty; and possessing enough assets to survive economic turmoil, or a “rainy day fund.” “The results indicate that within each area, the economic racial divide across the American life course is immense,” Rank says.

Current presidential campaign is becoming “hyper-racial,” says expert

Observing that the current presidential campaign is becoming “hyper-racial,” a noted linguist and African American studies expert at Washington University in St. Louis suggests voters participate in a “linguistic thought experiment” to determine the extent that candidates are able to discuss race or gender on the campaign trail.

Rediscovering the Black Artists’ Group

Courtesy photoOliver LakeIn the mid- and late 1960s, the Black Arts Movement emerged as the aesthetic and spiritual corollary to the Black Power philosophy. In St. Louis, Black Artists’ Group (BAG), which flourished between 1968 and 1972, gave rise to a host of nationally recognized figures, including Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett of the World Saxophone Quartet. Today, this influential yet little-known collective is undergoing a resurgence of interest, with the reissue of rare BAG recordings on the Ikef, Quakebasket and Atavistic record labels; a new definitive history published by the Missouri Historical Society Press; and an upcoming sypmosium at Washington University in St. Louis.

New analysis shows three human migrations out of Africa

A new, more robust analysis of recently derived human gene trees by Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D, of Washington University in St Louis, shows three distinct major waves of human migration out of Africa instead of just two, and statistically refutes — strongly — the ‘Out of Africa’ replacement theory. That theory holds that populations of Homo sapiens left Africa 100,000 years ago and wiped out existing populations of humans. Templeton has shown that the African populations interbred with the Eurasian populations — thus making love, not war.

WUSTL hosts political theory conference, Oct. 21-22

Religion and pluralism, natural law, feminist ethics, responding to terrorism, deliberative democracy, race and reparations, American conservatism, identities and borders, and classical critiques of democracy will be among topics explored Oct. 21-22 as the Association for Political Theory holds its 2005 meeting at Washington University.