West African Muslims of Harlem

Zain Abdullah is a professor of Religion at Temple University who recently published Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem(Oxford University Press, 2010). It is an ethnographic study of francophone Africans from Guinea, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire who have made a home in Harlem, radically transforming this section of New York City. On Monday, February 28, 2011 he stopped by my office to discuss his new book.

The Interview is in two parts.

Black Mecca Interview with Zain Abdullah, Part 1

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Black Mecca Interview with Zain Abdullah, Part 2

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—Fred Rowland

 

Who’s Harry Gold?

Allen Hornblum has written The Invisible Harry Gold: The man who gave the Soviets the atom bomb, published by Yale University Press in 2010. Surprisingly, this is the first biography of Harry Gold. In this interview, Mr. Hornblum talks about Harry Gold’s South Philly roots, his entry into spying, and his eventual arrest and conviction. He also talks about his sources for this work, including the papers of Joseph Gold, Harry’s brother, which are housed in the Temple University Libraries’ Special Collections.

The interview is in two parts.

Harry Gold: the early years


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Harry Gold becomes a spy


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—Fred Rowland

n+1 Interview: Gessen & Roth

On October 27, Keith Gessen and Marco Roth spoke in the Paley Lecture Hall about starting n+1 in the midst of the online transformation of the early 2000s.  n+1 is a print literary journal which released its first issue in 2004.  Before the lecture, we had a long discussion about their journal, the literary and competitive pressures of publishing, the death and life of the author, the life of print after the Internet, and just how n+1 got its name.

Gessen and Roth – Part I

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Gessen and Roth – Part II


Discussion with Temple Classicists: Part 3

Dan Tompkins. Robin Mitchell-Boyask. Sydnor Roy.

This is the third part of my conversation with Classics professors Dan Tompkins, Robin Mitchell-Boyask, and Sydnor Roy, which took place on March 18, 2010. We talked about how they share their ideas with other scholars, publishing, classics web sites, and scholarly repositories.

Dan Tompkins received his PhD from Yale University in 1968 with a dissertation entitled Stylistic Characterization in Thucydides. Robin Mitchell-Boyask graduated in 1988 from Brown University with a dissertation entitled Tragic Identity: Studies in Euripides and Shakespeare. Sydnor Roy is a 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation is entitled Political Relativism: Implicit Political Theory in Herodotus’ Histories.

(Listen to Part I and Part II of our conversation.)

—Fred Rowland

Talking Tuna

On September 24, Professor Daniel Levine of the University of Arkansas Classics Department spoke at Temple University about “Tuna in the Ancient Greek World”.  The Zeta Beta Chapter of Eta Sigma Phi brought him to campus after hearing him speak at a national conference.  Zeta Beta is a group on campus that promotes the teaching, study, and appreciation of Latin, Greek, and the ancient world.

Before his talk in the afternoon, Dr. Levine was kind enough to stop by my office to discuss his topic.  We had a lively conversation punctuated by lengthy classical quotes, strange-sounding Greek words, and a few laughs.  It was a thorough education on the ancient tuna, some of whose relatives still exist today, though in ever sparser numbers.  The interview is broken into two parts.

Tuna in the Ancient Greek World

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Tuna in the Ancient Greek World – Part II

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—Fred Rowland

Lost Tribes of Israel: The Interview

losttribes.jpg

On November 15, Paley Library hosted the 5th Annual Symposium on Race and Judaism. Entitled “Lost Tribes: Ancient and Contemporary Perspectives”, it featured eight speakers who spoke on a range of topics from the ancient context to modern interpretations. The keynote address was delivered by Rabbi Debra Bowen, the leader of Congregation Temple Beth El in North Philadelphia.

Before the symposium, three of the speakers sat down with me for an interview: Lewis Gordon, director of the Institute for Afro-Jewish Studies and philosophy professor at Temple; Mark Leuchter, chair of the Jewish Studies program; and David Koffman, history professor at York University.

Listen to the audio of the interview: Lost Tribes

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—Fred Rowland

Climatologist Michael Mann

On October 13, climatologist Michael Mann spoke to a packed house in the Paley Library Lecture Hall about global warming and the politicization of science.  He is the director of the Earth System Science Center and a professor at the Pennsylvania State University.  In 2007, he and other members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  In 2009, many of his emails and the emails of other climatologists were hacked from a server at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, an incident which came to be known in the popular press as “climategate.”

Before his lecture, I interviewed Michael Mann about some of the details of climate change research and the email hack that spilled across the Internet.

Listen to the interview with Michael Mann

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–Fred Rowland

Talking about the Roman Wedding

Professor Karen Hersch is the author of The Roman Wedding: Ritual and Meaning in Antiquity, published by Cambridge University Press in 2010 (Temple catalog record).

I spoke with her on September 20 about her new book. We discuss ancient sources and modern scholarship. She explains the social, legal, and religious significance of the Roman Wedding and its similarities to the modern American wedding. The role of the Roman woman, the significance of the (mythic) Sabine women, and details of the wedding day are covered. The listener will come away with a much greater appreciation of the lives of women in the ancient world.

The first recording is a snippet from the full-length interview.  The complete interview appears directly below it.

Weddings, ancient and modern

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Roman Wedding

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–Fred Rowland

Discussion with Temple Classicists: Part 2

tompkins.jpg robin.jpg roy.jpg

This is the second part of my conversation with Classics professors Dan Tompkins, Robin Mitchell-Boyask, and Sydnor Roy, which took place on March 18, 2010. We talked about the impact of new theoretical approaches on classics research, the effect of the Internet on interdisciplinary research, and new channels for distributing PhD dissertations.

Dan Tompkins received his PhD from Yale University in 1968 with a dissertation entitled Stylistic Characterization in Thucydides. Robin Mitchell-Boyask graduated in 1988 from Brown University with a dissertation entitled Tragic Identity: Studies in Euripides and Shakespeare. Sydnor Roy is a 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation is entitled Political Relativism: Implicit Political Theory in Herodotus’ Histories.

Listen to Part II of the Conversation

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(Listen to Part I of our conversation.)

—Fred Rowland

Interviews: Library Prize Winners 2010

Interviews with the winners of the 2010 Library Prize for Undergraduate Research are now available.

bermudez.jpgDonald Bermudez speaking at the Library Prize Awards Ceremony, May 5, 2010

Donald Bermudez – author of Keystone of the Keystone: The Falls of the Delaware and Bucks County 1609-1692 (History 4997) – and faculty sponsor Rita Krueger are interviewed by Adam Shambaugh

iTunes U link (for downloads)

 

hussey.jpgBrian Hussey speaking at the Library Prize Awards Ceremony, May 5, 2010

Brian Hussey – author of Setting the Agenda: The Effects of Administration Debates and the President’s Personal Imperatives on Forming Foreign Policy During the Reagan Administration (History 4997) – and faculty sponsor Rita Krueger are interviewed by Fred Rowland

iTunes U link (for downloads)

 

young.jpgCharise Young speaking at the Library Prize Awards Ceremony, May 5, 2010

Charise Young – author of African American Women’s Basketball in the 1920s and 1930s: Active Participants in the “New Negro” Movement (History 4296) – and faculty sponsor Bettye Collier-Thomas are interviewed by Fred Rowland

iTunes U link (for downloads)

For more information on this year’s winners and honorable mentions, go to the Winners page.