I fell in love with linguistics because of a course in my undergraduate second major in Spanish. Our class at Vanderbilt University started in Latin, followed how sounds and spellings became Spanish (distinct from other Romance languages), and further traced dialectal variants from the Mediterranean coast to the Andes mountains. The systematic explanation of how… Continue reading Listening to Arrival
I thought Miles Davis died before hashtags. I looked up #socialmusic because it was printed on the back of Davis' jacket at the conclusion of the movie Miles Ahead. On Facebook, I found pictures of people partying at bars and encountered jazz pianist Jon Batiste, but most Twitter search results referenced this film. I had suspended… Continue reading I Was Miles Behind
In Fall 2007, I gave a presentation designed as a class session on the 80th anniversary of the film The Jazz Singer for a course on cinema history, theory, and pedagogy. To open our discussion, I asked my pseudo-student classmates to describe Elvis Presley. They talked about his fame and stage presence, and I told… Continue reading Wait a minute! Wait a minute!
Fictional and non-fictional space travel were equally important to me as a child. Immersed in Star Trek: The Next Generation, I dressed up as Mae Jemison for an elementary school project. I wrote "Not Sci-Fi Anymore," a middle school paper about the first U.S. human space flights, while oscillating between Star Trek: Deep Space Nine… Continue reading How Star Trek Changed My World
David Irving Weiner and I did not set out to make a spiritual piece for the Westchester Square Arts Festival although the venue was the sanctuary St. Peter's Episcopal Church. The 30-foot-high supports for the dome above the nave compelled us more than the golden altarpiece and inscribed marble floors. We hung the central sculptural… Continue reading Multimedia Meditation
"What did you think of the movie?" my roommates asked as we rode the subway home from seeing The Hunger Games. "I thought it was very dark. I'll probably blog about it," I answered. I had not read the books, but from my roommates, I knew that the story involved children fighting and that the cast… Continue reading Savage Spectators, Killing Machines, and Other Atrocities