Recreating the art of the Old Masters
Making New Haven roads safer for pedestrians
Digging into a mindful dining experience and more!
Yaleâ€™s Most Daring Publication Volume LXXXVII | Issue 3 February 7, 2020
February 7, 2020
EDITORIAL STAFF EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Kat Corfman & Eric Krebs MANAGING EDITORS Rachel Calcott, Hamzah Jhaveri, Chie Xu (at large) EXECUTIVE EDITORS Marina Albanese, Chalay Chalermkraivuth, Nurit Chinn, Fiona Drenttel, Jack Kyono, Laurie Roark FEATURES EDITORS Elliot Lewis & Macrina Wang CULTURE EDITORS McKinsey Crozier & Caramia Putman VOICES EDITORS Lakshmi Amin & Edie Abraham-Macht REVIEWS EDITORS EDITORS Adhya Beesam & Isaac Pross SCI+TECH EDITOR EDITOR Krish Maypole
ARTS EDITOR EDITOR Farid Djamalov INSERTS EDITORS Abby Lee & Kyle Mazer COPY EDITORS Marc Harary, Natalie Sangngam, Avik Sarkar
from the editors ☛ “Hello World” Sorry, that was the first line of code from the intro CS class we keep shopping every semester, but never take. If you, too, are fielding multiple worried emails from professors who haven’t received your reading responses, or avoiding office hours despite your dire need for help, then why not put down that copy of Plato’s Symposium that you glance at in between Instagram stories and pick up a hot copy of this week’s Herald? At the center of the issue, Laurie Roark, ES ’21, reports on the politics of jaywalking in New Haven, elucidating the future for pedestrians in a city scrambling to make its streets safer. Meanwhile in Features, Ashley Fan, DC ’22, examines Yale’s new Center on Climate Change and Health and institutional responsibility in the face of the recent climate protests that have rocked the university. And Sophie Kyle Collins, BF ’22, investigates the well-known but tacit lack of healthy and accessible food grocers around Yale’s campus. If that’s not enough to tear your weary eyes away from those Chemistry lecture notes, on offer is Brendan Campbell’s, MY ’21, musing on the “scammy” results of the Grammy awards and corollary discussions raised by multiple female artists on the topic of mental health. While on the subject of music, Zachary Groz, JE ’23, explores the spunky and happening Institute Library on Chapel Street, and Lauren Lee, MY ’23, breathes love into a touching poem about jazz. For a laugh, let Luna Garcia, SM ’22, enlighten you on the harsh realities of the naked party experience. Then, Oscar Lopez Aguirre, GH ’20, invites you to purchase his oppression. It’s free, apparently? Or, get serious and mull over poet Aaron Magloire’s, TD ’23, internal debate over whether he is predator or prey. And if you’re parsing through Netflix instead of your Spanish conjugations, Joji Baratelli, JE ’23, is here to inform your eventual movie choice with a review of eight films that were snubbed at the Oscars. It’s true, Shopping Period is over. But procrastination is, quite literally, forever. And as the Credit/D/Fail deadline is still weeks away, feel free to invest in Harold’s reliable diversion instead of in your grades. Let your only regret this week be taking that intro CS class that we fortuitously escaped, and not forgetting to grab a copy of the Herald on your way to office hours. Because let’s be honest, grade inflation is here to save everybody. Except for the planet, of course. “Goodbye World” (Is that how you end code? We’ll probably never find out), Rachel and Hamzah (Hamchel and Ramzah)
DESIGN STAFF CREATIVE DIRECTOR DIRECTOR Rebecca Goldberg DESIGN EDITORS EDITORS Robert Samec, Kapp Singer, Xavier Ruiz
SOCIAL MEDIA Natalie Sangngam
BUSINESS STAFF BUSINESS MANAGERS MANAGERS George Hua & Michelle Tong The Yale Herald is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan, incorporated student publication registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office. If you wish to subscribe to the Herald, please contact the Editors-in-Chief at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Receive the Herald for one semester for 40 dollars, or for the academic year for 65 dollars. The Yale Herald is published by Yale College students, and Yale University is not responsible for its contents. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of The Yale Herald, Inc. or Yale University. Copyright ©2020 The Yale Herald.
week ahead ☛ The Good Show Presents: Periodt Love! Friday, February 7, 9 p.m. JE Theatre ☛ The Authoritarian Personality (Multiple Events) Friday, February 14 to Saturday, February 15 Whitney Humanities Center ☛ Yale Playwrights Festival Friday, February 7, 3 p.m - February 8, 9 p.m. Off-Broadway Theater
In This Issue
06 voices Lauren Lee, Lee MY ’23, explores the music of love in a poem. Preparing to pounce, Aaron Magloire, Magloire TD ’23, questions the relationship between predator and prey. Meanwhile, Sarah Marsland, Marsland BR ’22, interrogates gender and attachment.
12 front In this week’s cover, former Herald EIC Laurie Roark, Roark ES ’21, walks us through New Haven’s dangerous intersections and the political efforts to make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians.
08 18 sci+tech culture
Isa del Toro Mijares, Mijares MY ’20, describes how she became a scientist—with help from the savannas of South Africa.
09 arts The Yale Herald chats with David Zheng, Zheng GH ’22, about his detailed recreations of famous oil paintings and 3D-printed replicas of ancient artifacts.
10,16 features Ashley Fan, Fan DC ’22, examines Yale’s new Center for Climate Change and Health and considers its significance to the growing divestment movement. Sophie Kyle Collins, Collins BF ’22, questions the accessibility of healthy eating at Yale as she searches for ways to get fresh produce on a budget.
Brendan Campbell, Campbel MY ’21, delves into politics of the 2020 Grammy awards and the honest conversation around mental health that it generated. Zachary Groz, Groz, JE ’23, explores the Institute Library, one of New Haven’s best kept cultural secrets.
20 reviews Joji Baratelli, Baratelli, JE ’23, reveals the Best Picture Oscar nominations that should have been and why they’re worth the watch. Rachel Calcott, Calcott BR ’22, digs into Yale Dining’s Food Conversations event and what it tells us about the Yale experience. Check online for this week’s Harold Recommends at Yale-Herald.com!
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inserts A Conversation Between Two Young Adults Who Haven’t Grown Comfortable with their Bodies Yet (at a Naked Party) Luna Garcia, SM ’22
YA 1: I’m overdressed. YA 2: You’re not. YA 1: The socks aren’t too much? YA 2: You’re ONLY wearing socks. Don’t be so nervous. YA 1: How can I not be? Everyone here is NAKED, worst of all, they’re all GROOMED. If that girl’s pubic hair is the Buckingham Palace, mine looks like Notre Dame. Post-fire! YA 2: Okay, so you didn’t realize there was a dress code. Calm down. Listen, when I get nervous, I just picture—well that actually won’t do much here. Earrings on or off? YA 1: On! They match your nipple piercings. God, now I’m hungry. Why’d I think it was a good idea to starve myself to look good tonight? YA 2: Well they have some food here. YA 1: All they have is cheese balls, animal crackers, and flavored vodka. YA 2: Oh. That’s a lot of gluten. YA 1: Hey, uh, what do I do if I poop. YA 2: What? YA 1: I stand here naked. Have a couple of drinks. Share a few laughs. Then, say, after four dixie cups full of the cheese balls and flavored vodka, what should I do if, I don’t know, if I poop? YA 2: Just go to the bathroom. YA 1: I can’t. YA 2: Why. YA 1: I’m not at liberty to say. YA 2: You pooped. YA 1: I pooped. YA 1 (CONT): You know, I’m not that nervous anymore.
So, I got this approximately 21 years ago. I asked my mom about it, and she said that it’s a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation. After all of these years, I’ve come to realize that it’s just not for me. I’ve just not been having the best time but can’t seem to get rid of it. I just want to take a quick break for a sec, catch my breath, and actually breathe air. This all-carcinogen diet has not really been working out for me, and I wanna try one of those healthy places like Jamba Juice. My friend told me about this new thing, from the same creators, called middle-to-upper-class whiteness. I think it’s the right fit for me and can’t wait to try it out. For example, I really want to try out a school with a heater. Maybe even enter a school building instead of, like, bungalows in parking lots or just having class at the park instead. Teachers would also be nice (third week of teacher strikes). I haven’t been in school for a month, so that’s kind of, like, awkward and illegal?
I’m also really excited to make new friends. The gangs I roll with are just not cutting it for me. I’m constantly getting beaten up and they don’t stop, even when I yell at them to stop. I’m tired of being ignored. If you want to try Oppression, I will say that it is super affordable and really easy to use. In fact, you’ll have a harder time putting it down. Super addicting. (Might also be the free crack that comes with purchase. Thanks Reagan!) Unfortunately, this doesn’t come with a manual, but you’ll learn. I mean, you probably have no choice. This is the 13th time I’ve posted this ad. I’m hoping, this time, someone will just help a guy out and get this off my hands. If interested, meet me in the alley on King Blvd. or email me at email@example.com.
For Sale: MY OPPRESSION—Free Oscar Lopez Aguirre, GH ’20
The Yale Herald
Credit You are T-Pain. After a long and Credit: illustrious musical career, resplendent with hits like “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper)” and “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’),” you’ve finally settled down and decided to compete in Fox’s sellout new show, The Masked Singer. You choose a modest yet subtly creative costume: Monster. When it’s time to sing, you ditch the autotune and release the soulful voice you’ve always kept hidden. Robin Thicke sheds a single tear. You fight tooth and nail to make it to the two-hour finale, and now Ken Jeong is squatting on top of the table in anticipation of hearing you belt in that furry, blue, one-eyed costume. You br-br-break it down to “This Is How We Do It,” and Nick Cannon screams in joyous rapture as you are announced the champion of this American reality TV series. T-Pain? More like T-Cocaine because you’ve just gotten the entire TikTok generation addicted to The Masked Singer, single-handedly launching the show to a win at the very well-known 2020 Costume Designer’s Guild Awards. This is your new peak. It’s all downhill from here, but who cares? You’ve made history.
D: You are one of the shiny-eyed live audience members that make The Masked Singer so kick-ass. You jumped at the chance to fly across the country to Fox’s New York Studio, and chant, “Take it off! Take it off! Take it off! Take it off!” as Lil Wayne struggles to remove the robot mask from his giant, cartoonish robot body, with the help of none other than host Nick “what is he wearing now?” Cannon. You guess along with every judge and have a secret crush on Judge Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg. Maybe you’ll slicka-slide into her DMs after the show. Fail You’ve understood nothing of the Fail: above two paragraphs because you walked away during The Masked Singer Superbowl commercials, or because you never got the appeal of the furry community. You crazy! You’re hoping this whole Masked Singer business will blow over so the world can go back to existing in the ’90s. You thought Robin Thicke was still cancelled, and that Nick Cannon was, too. You don’t want them to take off the costume—you don’t even want them to be wearing it in the first place. Fuck. You’re lost in this world, but you hide it so that no one knows. Wait… are you the masked singer?
Credit/D/Fail: The Masked Singer Zosia Caes, GH ’22
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The Man in Me Sarah Marsland,
In the hot kitchen summer I eat lunch and Lesbian Jen turns on the radio. It is post-high school pre-everything with flies buzzing around the pastries. I am sitting at the counter as Rosa washes dishes and Manuel counts change when I hear “Landslide” (“this is for you Daddy”), and the chorus breaks like some rogue and uncooked egg. You of all people, Jen, would know that I feel raw and downright stupid in this getup. You of all people would know that I want to be the one who cooks and isn’t cooked for, that wanting someone and wanting to be someone are pretty much the same thing sometimes. Like the way you are a Shane and I am a Jenny but all either of us really wants to be is not alone. I guess you could say we share a cell. I guess you could say we’ve got to have archetypes, and if that’s true, then you are mine for the morning. As I’m thinking this the dumpster outside is filling and the flower shop ladies are fanning themselves with menus they stole from the front counter, talking about the weather. I can hear them through the open corridor. Stevie is playing and I almost start crying, because I’ve got a Dad too, and he’s accepting, but what is acceptance when there is understanding to be had, and curiosity. I start thinking of the song he loves, the one that plays at the beginning of The Big Lebowski, and I wonder if you’ve seen it, Jen. If I were brave enough to lip sync late at night I’d do a number to that song, and I’d put on some high-waisted pants and make all the girls swoon. Even you. “It takes a woman like your kind! To find the man in me…” It was you who first showed me how to refill the receipt paper, the day we put snowman stickers on the windows and the cash register wouldn’t open. Sometimes I even tricked myself into thinking you were nervous with me around, that you didn’t quite know what to say when I was near. I asked you if you’d always known how to cook with three burners going at once. I’m in the car with Dad on the way home from work. Daddy, I love you, I say, and he looks surprised. How can I tell him that when he dies I’ll hear this song and think of him and the passenger seat, and the bridge I once thought would cave beneath our tires? So I say nothing, just let it explain itself. And I believe Bruce when he tells me maybe “everything that dies someday comes back,” but only a little. The next morning it is omelette time again. You place tomatoes on focaccia bread and I dream useless dreams, of crowds applauding and full page spreads of me in a men’s shirt: my own husband, my own engine, my own knife. For a brief second I wonder if you have these thoughts at all, and you become just as untouchable as the others. I hear the flower ladies watering their plants. I finish my eggs and bring the plate to Rosa, who will give it to you so you can make it someone else’s. I sing a little song to myself on the way out of the kitchen, a song that only I know. Someday I’ll sing it to you, when I’m old enough and have found the right time, the right recipe, the right pants. Until then it is mine and mine only, a raw egg special for the summer.
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Out of Tune Lauren Lee, MY ’23
Pounce Aaron Magloire, TD ’23 I never knew I could be so unkind. Even now, seeing the body move in on itself, slow slink, shoulders stealing small breaths above the high grass rustling with hunger, I ripple with doubt. Times like these, there is always a moment when you think the smaller thing might live. Skink, shrew, child-self wide-eyed & unknowing. You think it might, should, has to live. I wake, pulling red from between my teeth. Times like these there is always a moment and then it passes. I tell myself the kill is my survival. I steady the doubt. I am ready, primed for the pounce. I am sharpening my edges. I am crouching in the grass. I am small again, thinking I might live.
I am leaving to find the last jazz standard where you left it for me as a gift, to hold it like an hourglass and listen to the notes drop out until my hands are from two years ago, miles and miles away. You lap them back into your mouth for safekeeping. I play a prelude with kitten fingers—I step softly. I play the prelude like my parents want me to (for you) and it is a good and beautiful thing anyway. I know you can hear the last time I cried over piano keys in soft shakes—the way I want to cry (for you). When our only point of contact is the cold keys our hands orbit I remember I have only been trained to perform. I return the notes to you because it is the polite thing to do, but I play like I am a good and beautiful thing anyway. The way my fingers move is nowhere near love but what else do we have left?
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The Savanna Stares Back Isa del Toro Mijares, MY ’20
I don’t really consider myself a scientist. The word always seemed too heavy and formal for me: filled with too many connotations of cold, hard logic, and objectivity—people in white lab coats who actually understood calculus. And I’ve never really seen myself operating in that world. Yet somehow, I’ve ended up doing science anyway. This past summer I spent two months in Kruger National Park, South Africa, doing ecology field work on savanna ecosystems. I was assisting a Ph.D. student with her data collection on the effects of drought on trees while carrying out a small research project of my own about grasses. Our work was routine. We’d drive out into the savanna at 7 a.m., survey plots, and then count and measure the trees within them. There was nothing particularly thrilling or glamorous about it. Often, it could be frustrating and tedious. Savanna afternoons were hot with the sun blazing in a sky so blue it’d beget head-aches. Our progress always felt slow. There was always another tree to count, another plot to measure, and more to do the next day. Until then, I’d learned science in terms of answers. My ecology classes had been about the theories that single individuals, usually men, had come up with to neatly and elegantly explain the world.
They were always conjured up in moments of genius and packaged into single graphs or sets of equations. Species competition and population dynamics could be explained by mathematical models. How ecosystems foster biodiversity could be visualized with distributions. The history of science, and the process of doing science, seemed to be made up of little moments of transcendence, when everything would become clear and simple and direct. Field work wasn’t. There were no moments of clarity while counting trees or collecting grass samples. It wasn’t neat, or objective, or exacting. It was messy, and full of uncertainty. Working day in and day out in the landscape demanded that one learn to be okay with blurriness, learn how to stop looking for answers, and instead start looking for questions. The savanna is a place that asks a lot of questions. The landscape is striking— open fields of grass that seem to touch the end of the world, only interrupted by outcroppings of red granite rock that turn a soft purple in the hazy distance. Rivers cut through the landscape, creating passageways of lush vegetation that brims with color in the otherwise dry expanse. On our drives to and from our field sites, we’d come across animals on their morning patrols—a pair
of male lions slinking across the road, giraffes making easy work of eating off the high branches of trees, a herd of elephants romping in the river bed. We’d stop to watch, always keeping our distance, and always feeling a bit like we were interrupting or intruding on those creatures, who would pass us by without granting much of a glance our way. But as incredible as the savanna landscape and its cast of animal characters were, I think my favorite parts of working in it were noticing the minute details. Like the fact that savanna trees have very peculiar ways of growing. They’re not elegant or pretty. There isn’t much time for that in the savanna, not when fires ravage through the landscape, and rain is absent half the year, and herbivores devour whatever is green. Savanna trees are stubborn, tenacious organisms; knobby and twisted, with branches that jut out like elbows and stems that bend at odd angles, the result of continuously having to find new ways to grow. They survive fire and the rampages of elephants, losing limbs and the outer layers of their barks with patient dignity. Often, you’ll find mangled stumps with eager sprouts shooting up from their bases. Or you’ll see the severed branch of a tree lying unceremoniously beside it, and in the gaping hole where the limb used to be, a collection
of tiny leaves. They don’t seem to understand destruction. They seem only to know how to grow. There were times when I’d be struck by the way sunlight filtered through leaves, fracturing their color into golden yellows and rosy pinks and deep purples, and making their flesh translucent so you could make out each veins. And by the way birds always flock to patches of recently burned grass to feast on the dead bugs. And how the sunlight bounces off the feathers of starlings, flashing bright blues and deep purples within seconds. And how sometimes we’d come across the skull of a buffalo, wasp eggs nested in its decaying horns. I think part of noticing those details was simply spending time just being in the savanna, counting trees, and thinking about little else. It was the routine of our work, the constant rhythm of it, that allowed me to appreciate the tiny things that made the landscape so complex, that allowed me to understand science as something more alive, more vibrant than I had ever thought it to be. Doing field work taught me that science wasn’t the product of single moments of clarity, but rather, the result of constant observation—and constant questioning. And at some point counting trees in the savanna, I began to feel like I too could maybe be a scientist.
The Yale Herald
Artist Talks: David Zheng YH Staff
Mary by David Zheng (@davidzheng_art)
This week, the Yale Herald sat down with David Zheng, GH ’22, an undergraduate artist who recreates oil paintings of Old Masters and creates 3D-printed replicas of ancient artifacts that he uses to inspire his original work.
YH: On your Instagram, I noticed that you painstakingly recreate art-historically significant paintings. How does this reflect your relationship to art, and what is the meaning behind it? I’m referring to your reproductions of Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait and Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. DZ: DZ A huge part of my passion has been to create reproductions, either through sculptures or paintings. In my process of copying Vermeer, Caravaggio, and Rembrant, I learned a lot about how they see subjects, how they see the light, and how they use their brush strokes. All of that to me is just a lesson on how to use paint—it’s an informative free lesson. We have the amazing resource of the YUAG [Yale University Art Gallery]. I can look close and see how [the artists] render each layer. […] I try to intentionally vary the scope of the masters I’ve imitated. Van Gogh is much different from Vermeer, but from that copy of Van Gogh, I was able to create some new Expressionist paintings and evolve into more Expressionist, Impressionist, and Romantic paintings. YH: YH: As both a painter and photographer, what role does verisimilitude play in your realistic paintings? When you opt to paint a subject matter, what qualities does paint offer that makes it a more favorable medium than photography? DZ: That is a great question…I’m trying to present a painting that reveals the painstaking work involved in developing each moment and planning each stage. Each color was thought out. When I’m taking photographs, there are very, very few staged photos. I don’t do too much portraiture with perfect lighting. I’m concerned with capturing the moment—the spontaneity of time. That’s the greatness with photography. I’m able to capture the spontaneous emotions that people present, spectacular moments of nature when light shines on the building, on an animal in that particular way. I’m obsessed with that part of photography, with how you can capture moments where people are overly emotional. And so, in painting…occasionally, I like a moment of serenity. Even for my portraiture, I like to think there is some moment of stillness—that you look at that painting and think this represents a longer, more eternal feeling, or a longer lasting moment, than photography, which is spontaneous.
YH YH: It’s like Henri Cartier-Bresson’s idea of the “decisive moment.” I stumbled upon a process video of one of your most recent paintings, in which you use a Vermeer style underdrawing to depict your friend Mary as the Virgin Mary. How do you locate yourself as an artist in dialogue with other artists temporally? DZ: DZ I’ve been described by many friends and teachers as an 80-year-old man. Part of that shows in my paintings. I like to situate myself as an Old Master painter. I don’t know why, but there is something about the skills, the rendering, of Holbein, Vermeer, or even Rembrandt. In the case of Mary, the painting is deeply influenced by Holbein and Boticelli. I try to learn how [these artists] pose their subjects, the kinds of emotions they were trying to convey. I find great joy in seeing older style paintings— that’s influenced by my upbringing. I was copying and studying a lot of the Old Master paintings as I was trying to learn art. But all of that said...I somwetimes feel myself stuck in that period and location. So, I intentionally tried to diversify my work in both time and location. Right now, I’m working on a Romantic landscape painting, and I want to depict the horrors of fires in nature, inspired by the horrors of fires in Australia. I’ve studied African masks, Islamic geometry, and Chinese drawings. YH: YH What is something you hope to communicate through your art? DZ: DZ My hope for my paintings, or any artwork I make, is to communicate beauty. I am from China—I grew up in China—and I find that there is a lot of social messaging right now in art, which is very admirable and important, but I don’t think that I have that capacity. So, what I like to present through my artworks is beauty. As a kid, I just found works by artists like Jacques-Louis David to be so stunning, even though I did not know who Napoleon was when I was when six or seven. I did not have any knowledge of these other cultures, but what I did know was that these artworks were just so extremely beautiful. I was intrigued by that [and wanted] to learn more about other cultures and explore other countries. When I have money, I hope to travel to more places. The main theme of my artworks is for anyone to look at them and know that, even though there is a lot of conflict in this world, there are still some things that can really unite us. I think the main theme in art that some contemporary artists might be ignoring is how powerful beauty is, and how powerful the representation of a human figure is—and that’s something I wanted to express through my artworks.
The Yale Herald
Nourishment in New Haven Sophie Kyle Collins, BF ’22
At the end of January, Yale celebrated Citrus Week. In dining halls all across campus, students were furtively dumping Cara Cara oranges into their backpacks, slicing into blood oranges to see their red flesh, and stealing cupfuls of kumquats that would inevitably rot after days of sitting untouched on their common room tables. I’ve watched Yalies pilfer, redistribute, waste, and smash these fresh fruits. It’s as though fresh produce is something foreign to the Yale student body. On-campus students certainly have difficulty finding access to affordable healthy food. Cami Arboles, DC ’20, described the cost of the meal plan: “Per week, it can feed a family of four shopping at Whole Foods!” Durfee’s and other meal plan cafés have even begun to sell the once-free plastic flatware for 25 cents each. So, despite the fact that the dining halls serve good food, many juniors and seniors–16 percent of the Yale student body–move off-campus, delighted to escape from the convenient but expensive traps of the Yale meal plan. Still, the space to feed ourselves doesn’t quite ensure that we’ll know how to do it. How do we recreate that variety of vegetables, starches, and proteins in our apartments? How do we eat healthily—whatever that may mean? Yale students have a diverse range of diets: some of us may have cut out gluten due to health-fad hysteria, others may be lactose intolerant, and everyone at Yale knows a vegan or two. But most of us seem to agree on what being healthy means. Every time I interviewed a student or professor, I began by asking for their conception of a healthy diet, and every answer was more or less the same: a diet lower in meat and animal products with as much fresh produce as possible. But when I asked where they buy those essential fruits and vegetables in New Haven, people admitted that they have trouble.
Ruth Bernard Yeazell, Sterling Professor of English, remembers a time before Elm City Market and the Stop & Shop on Whalley Ave. This semester, instead of teaching, Yeazell is actually enrolled in Directed Studies. She’s a student, sitting alongside first-years despite the decades between them. She’s living alone, taking classes, cooking for one—she’s basically living the life of an off-campus Yale student for the year. On a Sunday morning in G Café, she reminisced about a Korean grocery that used to sell wonderful produce before it closed. “Nothing’s as good,” she remarked sadly. When I asked about Stop & Shop produce, she made a face. It’s tricky to cook healthy food for one. “My veggies aren’t as varied as they should be, and I’ve thrown food away. That never used to happen in our old lives,” she admitted, referring to the time when she and her late husband lived in Bethany, Conn., and took turns cooking for each other. “Sometimes I don’t feel like fussing for myself.” Despite this, she has tons of cooking ideas. She gave me suggestions for pasta dishes and huge salads delectable enough to finish by herself. “I make a refrigerator-rising challah bread that I’ll send you. And after this I’m going to make a quiche that I like… it’ll make four slightly repetitive dinners!” She’s more than willing to freeze her homemade bread to make it last and go shopping as often as possible in order to buy small portions that she can actually finish. As she cooks, she listens to podcasts. “I like that time more than I thought I would,” she said. “I thought it’d be very lonely. I used to think, ‘Will I want to cook?’ And I do. I do.” After Professor Yeazell and I finished our coffees, I stopped next door at Elm City Market, immediately stepping into several rows of nutrient supplements. Everything is branded as immune-boosting, anti-inflammato-
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ry, digestion-improving. When I poked around a little more ambitiously, I noticed wild price jumps. Far above the $3 Skippy peanut butter was $24 almond butter. The only feasible Elm City grocery list, I discovered, is made up of unfancy staples: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, canned tomatoes, tinned fish, unpackaged chard or spinach, and perhaps some small cheese portions from the sample bin. The tinned fish could be an eco-friendly protein in a sizable salad, made the way Professor Yeazell might like it. Fresh greens and canned tomatoes could turn into a pasta primavera with delicate vegetables. Sonali Durham, BK ’21, peruses the internet to find fun, easy, and nutritious meals to cook with her friends. “I love Bon Appétit, Healthyish, and Basically—all their sites,” she said. The Bon Appétit magazine franchise and its spinoffs provide her and her five kitchenmates with foodie inspiration. One friend with a flair for accounting has created a spreadsheet that keeps track of how many people are home for dinner on a given night; it also assigns grocery and cooking duties in pairs. If someone with a car is home, they travel to Trader Joe’s, the far-away Mecca of organic, natural, highly branded food. When they go home to cook in what used to be the home of Tangled Up in Blue, the folk music group on campus, I can’t help but imagine their cooking adventures overlaid by a nostalgic mandolin tune. When we spoke, she’d just made a spicy, ginger-y stew, and on another night, vegetarian tacos. Still, not everyone’s living situation is organized around a shared cooking culture. Arboles, for example, feels like she’s usually cooking for one in her shared apartment. She’s a huge Trader Joe’s fan. “Shop the perimeter!” Arboles insisted. “That’s where the greens are, and I eat so many greens. That’s where the veggies and unprocessed meats are.” Generally, her method avoids the inner aisles of packaged, processed items sold at the most egregious prices. On any given Sunday, she can probably be found roasting veggies and meat with lots of spices, a low-maintenance way to cook a lot at once, and storing them in Tupperware to eat throughout the week. Then she’ll post it on Instagram to share it with other enthusiastic college cooks. Annie Cheng, ES ’20, also recommends Tupperware and frozen foods as a way to navigate the scarcity of produce outlets. Cheng has been cooking
“My veggies aren’t as varied as they should be, and I’ve thrown food away. That never used to happen in our old lives.”
in kitchens and restaurants since she was 15. She is writing two senior theses related to the cooking industry and just recently accepted a position as a prep cook at Tarry Lodge, a local New Haven restaurant. When she’s meal prepping, freezable and Tupperware-able meals like stews are her go-to recipes. “This campus should have more microwaves!” she declared. “Frozen foods get a bad rep, as well as canned foods.” Many frozen vegetables are actually stored at the peak of their nutrition, compared to conventional produce sitting out in the aisles. And the heat of the canning process, I learned from Cheng, actually activates some key nutrients in tomatoes. “People should buy in bulk what they’re sure they’ll eat,” she said—foods like rice and nuts, for example. There’s an alternative form of shopping on the rise, which side-steps grocery store disappointments. Both Arboles and Cheng mentioned grocery delivery services like Imperfect Foods, Misfits Market, Thrive Market, and InstaCart. While Cheng is involved in the professional restaurant industry, Arboles is an Instagram health blogger with a colorful feed of meals. But even with such polar cooking histories, they have both turned to the Internet to feed themselves. Every month, Imperfect Foods members receive a box of unpackaged items like not-round apples, too-small potatoes, funny-colored asparagus, and surplus dairy items—the food industry’s rejects. Cheaper avocados means more delicious, ’grammable toasts; lowpriced dairy means you could choose the grass-fed, humane stuff; cheap jars of spices with crooked labels means more well-seasoned sauces. Often,
one can throw in a few more items like kombucha, coffee, or tea, which find their way to Imperfect Foods when a company changes their logo or label and no longer sells its prior packaging (and it happens more than you’d think). Buying the “imperfect” surplus means reduced prices—because otherwise, these supposedly unsellable products go to waste. “Thrive Market is also a good one,” Cheng said. Thrive Market offers big discounts on healthy staples. “They have a free or discounted student membership,” she informed me—which sent me right to the website to subscribe. They have a great selection of gluten-free baking staples like almond flour, healthy cooking fats like ghee, olive oil, or coconut oil, and quite a few other gluten-free, grainfree, or dairy-free items. For anyone shopping with dietary restrictions or health concerns, Thrive Market beats Stop & Shop’s selection and Elm City’s prices for sure. If you have the time and mind to travel around town, hit Ferraro’s for meat, Hong Kong Market for produce, and Trader Joe’s for pantry staples. Or, you can make the food come to you—the solution to a Yale foodie’s lifestyle might just be on the Internet. No matter the method, there’s a reason to consider giving up the convenience of the dining halls for cheaper homemade meals. Five friends in a kitchen with a pound or two of pasta among them; someone who loves you enough to chop all the garlic; a podcast to listen to while you spend time over the stove, stirring something fragrant just for yourself—learning to live a life where you can feed yourself, not to mention save countless meal-plan dollars, might just be worth the trouble.
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Laurie Roark, ES ’21
The Future of Pedestrian Safety in New Haven New Haven city streets are notoriously unsafe for pedestrians. The fight to fix that is complicated.
Every day, hundreds of Yale students break the law. We all do it on the way to class—at the intersections of Elm and College, Prospect and Grove, Chapel and York. We know a-squared plus b-squared equals c-squared, and, in the pursuit of efficiency, we cross right down the hypotenuse of the intersection. The Barnes Dance—also called the pedestrian scramble—the traffic pattern in which pedestrians cross all directions at once, is the standard at most intersections in New Haven, especially downtown. It’s conducive to this pattern of diagonal crossing. Turns out it’s illegal, and it always has been. We students don’t get ticketed, but on Dec. 19, nine New Haven residents were handed citations for diagonal crossing—$92 each. A week earlier, on Dec. 12, The New Haven Police Department (NHPD) had launched a pilot traffic safety program called Watch For Me CT, an education project funded by a grant of $15,000 from the Connecticut State Department of Transportation. Pedestrians were ticketed as part of the pilot program. After the incident was covered in the New Haven Independent, the public response was immediate. The police department took the outrage—voiced via internet and direct calls to the station—as a signal, and fewer than 24 hours after the citations were issued, Police Chief Otoniel Reyes canceled the tickets and promised that his patrol officers would stop ticketing pedestrians. But the debate had already begun. Within a few hours of the New Haven Independent breaking the news, there were 42 public comments on the article criticizing the sudden and harsh enforcement of traffic laws which have for years gone unenforced. “Is this really about ‘safety,’ or is it another blatant cash grab/form of regressive taxation?” an individual with the username “RobotSchlomo” commented. Diagonal crossing is only the tip of the iceberg of the complicated, contested story of traffic in New Haven. The Watch For Me CT grant would continue to fund the overtime salaries of traffic patrol officers—now issuing warnings rather than tickets—on Thursday and Friday afternoons for five more weeks. The officers, led by Sgt. Pedro Colon, patrolled four downtown crosswalks along Chapel Street, at the corners with Church, Temple, Col-
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lege, and High Streets. In a comment by email, Sgt. Colon said that he targeted enforcement at drivers and bicyclists who failed to yield to pedestrians, but also—and he emphasized this point several times—“pedestrians who failed to use the crosswalk properly or completely disregarded crosswalk signals.” After Chief Reyes ceased the pedestrian ticketing, violators who were stopped should have been issued a formal warning, and according to Sgt. Colon, given an educational pamphlet on how to correct their action. Chief Reyes, in an interview with
diagonally, it’s not because they’ve put themselves in danger by entering the center of the intersection. It’s because a driver has broken the law and run a red light. It doesn’t matter whether a pedestrian crosses within the painted lines of the crosswalk when a driver breaks the law by turning right on red and, not seeing the pedestrian, fails to yield. This is when crashes occur. On Thursday, Jan. 16, Rachel Sterneck, PM ’21, was given a warning for jaywalking on her way home from class, crossing Chapel Street on College around 3:30 p.m. She crossed on a walk signal, but she was stopped by
repercussions. At an ordinary traffic stop, when a warning is given, the police will ask for your ID, which will be scanned and entered into a database. Then, if you’re caught in a traffic violation again, the police will know not to give you another warning, but to issue you an actual citation. Sterneck was never asked for her ID, which means she could have easily given a fake name or date of birth to the officer. This voids the validity of the warning, meaning it’s unlikely that it ever went into a permanent database. Watch for Me CT was created by the state’s Department of Transpor-
all success. “After weeks of being on Chapel Street the number of violations did decrease compared to our first week.” He remains hopeful about the future of pedestrian safety in New Haven. “Continuing our partnerships with Traffic and Parking and City Engineering are critical to coming up with plans to keep the streets safe for everyone. We have to look back at the things that have worked and keep an open mind to newer strategies that may be in place in other towns like ours that may be able to make the streets of New Haven safer.” So what are those strategies, and how exactly will they make New Haven’s streets safer? SAFER STREETS
“On Tuesday, January 28, the Safe Streets Working Group had their largest public meeting to date.” Connecticut Public Radio’s “Where We Live” on Jan. 3, maintained the illegality of diagonal crossing. “By walking diagonally, it puts the pedestrian at greater risk of not being able to make it through the intersection on time. But more importantly, at an intersection, when someone crosses diagonally, a vehicle may be turning right and not see them, and they may be walking into the right of way of a vehicle.” But is crossing diagonally downtown actually more dangerous than the alternative? Nearly all the downtown intersections with a pedestrian-only phase also have a “No right on red” sign. This means that if a pedestrian gets hit by a turning car while crossing
an officer at the other side, who told her that she had walked too far outside the lines of the crosswalk, and that she was receiving a warning. The officer pulled out a notebook, where he wrote down Sterneck’s name, date of birth, and address. She received no educational pamphlet, and more than anything, she was afraid she would be ticketed. “Of course, I was nervous,” she said, “and in the moment, I was just glad that I wasn’t getting a ticket.” Sterneck’s encounter raises a red flag. Technically, according to both state and city law, crossing outside of the painted lines on a crosswalk signal is illegal. However, the “warning” she was given likely will have no legal power or
tation’s Highway Safety Office in 2017 as a response to increased non-motorized injuries and fatalities in Connecticut. The grant money comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Connecticut is eligible for federal “non-motorized safety funding” because pedestrian and bicyclist deaths exceed 15 percent of the state’s annual total fatalities. Seven police departments participated in the program, which they each ran independently. Several, but not all of the participating NHPD officers, were trained on how to educate the public about traffic safety with the New Britain Police Department. Sgt. Colon views the pilot as an over-
The same week that the Watch for Me CT pilot ended, a 55-year-old man was killed while crossing Whalley Avenue. It was the second pedestrian death by car in New Haven this year—equal to the number of gun fatalities by the same date. To Ward 1 Alder Eli Sabin, GH ’22, who voted to approve the Watch for Me CT pilot, the program seemed like “a good opportunity” to protect the most vulnerable users of the city’s roadways. “We’ve had as many pedestrians die in car accidents this year as we’ve had homicides in the city. This is a really important concern, and people are literally dying because the streets aren’t safe.” Since 2009, pedestrian deaths in Connecticut have doubled. Of the ten largest cities in New England, New Haven has the highest percentage of residents who walk to work, and last year, nine pedestrians were killed in crashes with cars on New Haven streets. Whalley Avenue, where the man was killed, is five lanes wide. With turning lanes and shoulders, pedestrians cross 100 feet of street on a crosswalk. They have 21 seconds to do so. The average human walking speed is about 3.1 miles per hour. Twenty-one seconds is not enough time, even at an average pace. This means that to cross Whalley Avenue safely, you have to walk fast, and if you can’t—due to age or ability or other factors—you can’t cross the street safely, even if you follow traffic laws. In January of 2017, Melissa Tancredi was killed at the intersection of York Street and South Frontage Road, when a driver drove onto the sidewalk, striking her.
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front Laws against jaywalking wouldn’t have prevented Tancredi’s death, and Chief Reyes agrees that targeting pedestrians is not the most effective strategy. “Our goal is not to give tickets for jaywalking,” he told NPR. “We clearly see that’s not having the desired impact. Our goal is not to penalize the pedestrian. Again, a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk does not pose the greatest threat.” But he maintained that pedestrian enforcement and awareness is a part of keeping streets safe, and that he doesn’t plan to take it off the table. “In my mind, the key would have been enforcement only on cars—motor vehicle drivers—because their motor speeding, their not paying attention, can have the most harm,” said Neil Olinski, a self-identified pedestrian advocate and Transportation Planner at Milone and Macbroom, a transportation and engineering consulting firm with offices throughout New England. “You can educate pedestrians to try to ward off [risky] pedestrian behavior, but at the end of the day, it’s about infrastructure.” Olinski is part of the Safe Streets Working Group—formerly known as the Complete Streets Working Group—an informal activist organization named after a law passed by the city in 2008. “Changing the way streets are laid out, design wise, is the ultimate thing that creates the most safety,” he emphasized. The Complete Streets legislation was pushed through City Hall by activists in response to two particularly horrific pedestrian deaths that year: the death of Mila Rainof, MED ’08, a medical student only a few months away from beginning her residency in emergency medicine when she was hit while crossing South Frontage Road, and the killing of Gabrielle Lee, an 11-year-old struck by a vehicle while crossing Whalley Avenue—which the death records repeatedly show as one of New Haven’s most dangerous streets. Complete Streets makes streets complete, or in other words, safe, through standard engineering treatments for signage, lane widths, pavement marking dimensions, and turning radii, all pushing toward a lower target vehicle speed. Lowering vehicle speed is a primary goal for complete streets, because vehicle speed directly impacts the severity and number of crash related injuries and fatalities. At 20 miles per hour, the odds of pedestrian death in the event of a crash are around five percent. At 30 miles per hour, it’s about 45 percent, and at 40 miles per hour, there’s an 85 percent chance that a pedestrian hit by a vehicle will die. “Take Elm Street. It looks like a highway. It’s got four or five lanes, so motor-
“Since 2009, pedestrian deaths in Connecticut have doubled.”
ists just drive unconsciously. Without even thinking about it, they just speed. Because they think, Oh, there’s all this extra pavement for me,” said Olinski. “Every extra lane is just more pavement that could be a conflict between pedestrians and a car.” Adopted in 2010, Complete Streets created a design manual for the City of New Haven, which aimed to formalize a process for community participation in the city’s street redesign processes. This included a project request form, providing citizens with a public platform through which to submit information about street improvement projects. The design manual defines the goal of Complete Streets: “Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.” The goal of the Safe Streets Working Group is to make sure that the Complete Streets legislation does what it promised to do 12 years ago: make changes in the design of the city streets that lower vehicle speeds and increase safety for all road users—and do so transparently and efficiently. Since it was passed in 2008, Complete Streets “has not lived up to where [organizers] had hoped we would be in ten years,” said Rob Rocke, GRAD ’96, another member of Safe Streets.
“It kind of comes down to: what does the city want to prioritize—traffic flowing through the city, or safety?” said Olinski. “If it takes a little extra time for a car to go through the center of town, so be it. The middle of the city—you want it to be a place that people want to go to, not to get through.” RENEWAL AND REVERSAL In the mid-20th century, the U.S. was committed to making its cities worthwhile places to go. Their strategy, however, relied on making them easier to get through. Faster, too. Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, the City of New Haven took in more federal funding for urban renewal infrastructure projects per capita than any other city in the U.S. These projects profoundly changed the New Haven we know. Most notable is the Oak Street Connector— an expressway designed to link Interstate 95 with Route 8, a Connecticut state highway 16 miles to its weStreet To build the highway through the center of the city, Mayor Dick Lee authorized the destruction of the entire Oak Street neighborhood, displacing some 800 families whose homes he had labeled as “blight,” instead prioritizing the quick car journeys of suburban dwellers through Downtown. Only one mile of the
Oak Street Connector was ever completed, and it still stands between Interstate 95 and Chapel Street, severing The Hill neighborhood from Downtown. Vincent Scully, Sterling Professor Emeritus of the History of Art in Architecture, wrote in 1967, “It would appear that we love the road much more than we do places, certainly more than we love cities, so that our political powers always gather behind the highway network, and we are ready to destroy anything for it.” Since then, the tide has changed. City alders and planners have learned that streets designed to get cars through the city as quickly as possible are dangerous for the pedestrians who rely on walkable streets and public transportation. The 2008 Complete Streets Legislation is a part of this effort. The City is also engaged in an ongoing project of converting multi-lane, one-way streets, such as Church Street, back into two-way roads—a strategy which encourages drivers to drive more cautiously, reducing speeds and, therefore, deadly crashes. On a larger scale, in 2010, the City received federal funding—$16 million—to begin the Downtown Crossing Project, a long term conversion of the Oak Street Connector from a highway back to a lowspeed, multi-use road. Mayor Justin Elicker, SOM ’10, FES ’10, who was sworn in on Jan. 1, has been at the center of that fight since he was an alder in East Rock. In 2011, he authored a resolution which criticized Downtown Crossing for repeating many of the car-centered design policies of the Oak Street Connector. Primarily, North and South Frontage Roads—some of the deadliest roads in the city—would remain four to five lane roads. The Board of Alders’ resolution recommended turning North and South Frontage Road into a pair of two-lane roads with a target speed of no more than 25 miles per hour. Phase I of Downtown Crossing was completed in 2016, converting the former highway into two one-way boulevards, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and South Frontage Road. The lanes were narrowed to slow traffic, the speed limit was lowered to 25 miles per hour, and a bicycle lane was added. At the end of the new roads, the city put in a shiny new 14-story research building at 100 College Street. Last July, the city broke ground on Phase II, which will close the highway’s first exit into the city and convert Orange Street into a through road once again. The plan also calls for a protected bike lane and a pedestrian safety island mid-way through the crosswalk. Its projected completion date is late this year.
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Phase III will be complete in 2023 or 2024, connecting Temple Street to The Hill and finally reuniting the neighborhood to Downtown. The two phases are projected to cost $53.5 million. Downtown Crossing is evidence of the high cost of traffic infrastructure. Redesigning the streets may be the best way to keep pedestrians safe, but cost and slow timelines are prohibitive. In 2017, the city contracted a redesign of eight intersections on Chapel Street, Elm Street, and Church Street. The projected cost is $3.2 million. In comparison, the $15,000 state grant from Watch for Me CT is a paltry amount of money. According to Smart Growth America, a D.C.-based independent nonprofit dedicated to community focused infrastructure, the standard practice for assigning speed limits is to measure how fast most traffic travels on a road, and then set speed limits so that only 15 percent of the drivers are exceeding that limit. This results in artificially high speed limits, which make streets unsafe for everyone. “Rather than designing roads that encourage speeding and then relying upon enforcement, states and cities should design roads to encourage safer, slower driving speeds in the first place,” their report “Dangerous by Design” reads. In 1995, the Netherlands stopped jaywalking enforcement altogether, meaning it’s entirely legal for pedestrians
to cross the street wherever they like. There’s been a change in culture for both pedestrians and drivers alike—when no one assumes the right of way, everyone drives and walks with caution, and it works. Road deaths in the United States and in the Netherlands both peaked in 1972, but by 2011, the Netherlands had entirely outpaced the U.S.’s progress. In America, traffic fatalities decreased by 41 percent, but in the Netherlands, the decrease was 81 percent. If fatalities in the U.S. had declined by 81 percent, 22,000 fewer people would have died. Enforcement is thought of as an effective and cheaper strategy, but police salaries can be prohibitive, especially in a city where budgets have historically fallen short. For the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the City’s proposed budget reduced 490 police positions down to 429 and budgeted $4 million in overtime pay, half of the $8 million needed the previous year. When fully staffed, the traffic patrol division of the NHPD has only eight officers on the day shift (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and three on the night (3 p.m. to 11 p.m.). It is impossible to expect three officers to patrol 232 miles of streets to keep pedestrians safe. There are a few cost-effective strategies which make safer streets. In terms of enforcement, red light cameras are cheaper than constant police patrol, and they may reduce traffic fatalities. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety found that red light cameras reduced the fatal crash rate of large cities by 21 percent, although other evidence indicates that while cameras do decrease the number of vehicles running red lights, there’s no clear suggestion that they reduce accidents. For now, there are no red light cameras in Connecticut, and there’s enough resistance to privacy violations across the state that, despite a concentration of support for cameras in New Haven, it’s unlikely that the city will install them any time soon. The city has embraced some other cost-effective traffic calming strategies, including street painting. Colorful designs and patterns, painted onto the street, are designed to slow cars or encourage them to take wider turns. Last fall, traffic-calming designs were painted on Whalley Avenue between Howe Street. and Orchard Street, one of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the city. In terms of city engineering, street painting is a Band-Aid, but sometimes you need a trip to the emergency room. ROLLING AHEAD On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the Safe Streets Working Group had their largest public meeting to date. More than 40 community members gathered in a one-room schoolhouse in The Hill. In light of the ticketing incident in December, the pedestrian fatalities in January, and a gen-
eral perception of recklessness on New Haven roads, the attendees were looking for answers. A generation of City officials who prioritized Complete Streets back in 2008 are now in the position to make change happen. Mayor Elicker, Roland Lemar, and Doug Hausladen, DC ’06—all three, former alders—are now the Mayor of New Haven, the co-chair of the Connecticut Legislature’s Transportation Committee, and the director of the city’s Transportation, Traffic & Parking Department, respectively. Mayor Elicker opened the meeting with an acknowledgement of his dedication to the cause. “Complete Streets is one of the reasons I started to get involved in the community of New Haven,” he told the crowd. His mayoral transition report echoes the language of Complete Streets, outlining an initial focus on traffic calming, as well as transportation planning on Whalley Avenue and the Oak Street Connector. Lemar has proposed two road studies to the Connecticut State Legislature, hoping to make safety improvements on Whalley Avenue and Ella Grasso Boulevard. Hausladen offered updates on a laundry list of improvement projects. The department’s new master plan is called “Safe Streets For All,” and with approval on new federal and state grants, Hausladen is confident about the city’s potential to make progress. He also, importantly, addressed the diagonal crossing issue. “Our traffic signals are outdated, ” he said. One of his projects is to replace those outdated signals—which constitute all the pedestrian scramble intersections downtown—with concurrent signals. These are the standard, default signals you find in most cities. When there’s a go signal for the car, there’s a go signal for the pedestrian in the same direction. Approval and funding have been secured to update a number of Downtown traffic signals, four of which will feature a leading pedestrian interval (LPI). An LPI gives pedestrians three to seven seconds to start crossing before vehicles are given a green signal. With their head start, pedestrians can establish their presence in the intersection before vehicles start turning left or right into the crosswalk. Adding LPIs to an updated traffic signal costs nothing, but it makes a dramatic difference for pedestrian safety. And while a traffic overhaul will undoubtedly take time, a group of activists, politicians, and residents are committed to a safer future for New Haven.
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Yale’s New Climate Center in Context Ashley Fan, DC ’22 Between daily reports of climate change disasters and high-profile student divestment activism, the climate emergency has become impossible to ignore on campus. Yale’s new Center on Climate Change and Health (CCCH) has emerged as a leader in climate change research, but environmental activists believe Yale itself has not yet caught up. In January, the Yale School of Public Health (SPH) launched the CCCH as an expansion of the Yale Climate Change and Health Initiative, founded in 2015 to research and address climate change as a public health challenge. The Center will create a climate change and health concentration for Master of Public Health students and continue to offer its online certificate program and corresponding specialization on Coursera, an education site that offers open online courses. “The main goal of CCCH’s educational program is to train future leaders in real world efforts to address the adverse health effects of climate change,” said Robert Dubrow, the CCCH Faculty Director. “Hopefully, through these efforts, CCCH is doing its part to help meet Yale’s responsibility to address climate change.” Martin Klein, CCCH Executive Director, emphasized the Center’s focus on health and climate justice, following the SPH’s mission to improve health and prevent disease. Though overshadowed by recent coronavirus panic, persistent diseases like malaria spread faster and further due to global warming, posing a far larger threat to global health. Climate justice is concerned with these environmental phenomena as sociopolitical issues, acknowledging that those who are least responsible for climate change often suffer the most. “Climate change constitutes the gravest threat to the health of all people and the planet. These effects will be disproportionately felt by low-income communities and low-resource countries, yet these are the groups that contributed least to the climate emergency,”
Klein said. “No discussion of climate change and health is complete without an understanding of how it impacts health equity.” Katie Schlick, SM ’21, and Alexander De Jesus, BK ’21, co-presidents of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition, see the Center as a promising initiative. According to Schlick, the intersection of public health and the environment is a critical but under-discussed piece of the climate crisis. “Oftentimes I fear that a general belief around Environmental Studies majors centers on us just ‘saving the trees.’ In reality, the field is so much more complex, nuanced, and interdisciplinary,” Schlick said. “The creation of CCCH institutionalizes a prioritization and commitment to linking these two areas through research, education, and outreach.” The CCCH online certificate—the
“Climate change is the most important public health crisis we currently face and we have a responsibility to equip as many people as possible to address it.”
first of its kind offered by a school of public health in the US—targets professionals, but “we all have a stake in the game” when it comes to climate change, said Kathryn Conlon, CCCH certificate lecturer. To extend access to the CCCH’s material, Lauren Babcock-Dunning, Director of Online and Certificate Education, spearheaded the “Climate Change and Health: From Science to Action” Coursera specialization. A series of three online courses, the specialization teaches the science of climate change, climate adaptation for health, and communicating the climate crisis, all in an accessible format for a public audience. “Climate change is the most important public health crisis we currently face, and we have a responsibility to equip as many people as possible to address it,” Babcock-Dunning said.
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These courses join the ranks of Laurie Santos’s “The Science of Well-Being” and Akhil Reed Amar’s “America’s Written Constitution,” which are Coursera adaptations of the two most popular Yale courses of all time—a sign of increasing demand for climate change education. The specialization is well-rated—4.8 stars out of 5. Past Coursera students have reviewed the specialization as the “best course for beginners to learn about climate change,” offering a “deeper understanding of climate change impacts.” Conlon, who leads the specialization’s climate adaptation course, described how Coursera eliminates traditional barriers to education, including the cost and inaccessibility of academic papers to the public. “There’s no reason why any person in any part of the world shouldn’t be able to access the same information that [Yale students] are in New Haven,” she said.
“Yale’s investments as an institution should align with the values that they claim, which will never be the case as long as they are invested in fossil fuels.” The CCCH has bolstered Yale’s public position on climate change, but Yale remains under fire from the national divestment movement. In September, a coalition of Yale’s environmentalist groups staged a college-wide walkout to protest the Yale Investments Office’s holdings in fossil fuel companies and Puerto Rican debt. Two months later, Yale’s divestment activists made na-
tional news when they interrupted the annual Harvard-Yale football game, storming the field at halftime to demand university action in the climate emergency. While Schlick appreciates the CCCH’s mission, she recognizes that Yale, through certain investments, risks undermining the mission of its own climate research. “Education and research opportunities like those now offered by the CCCH are important pillars of climate action, but if Yale is not listening to its own educators, scientists, and research— which clearly state the need to transition out of fossil fuel dependence and toward climate resilience—then Yale is not acting in good faith and Yale is not doing enough,” Schlick said. The divestment movement is largely student-led, and often detached from the university’s academic sphere. But student activist organizations Fossil Free Yale and the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition believe divestment is a political statement inseparable from Yale itself—“Yale’s investments as an institution should align with the values that they claim, which will never be the case as long as they are invested in fossil fuels,” they said in a statement circulated before the September climate walkout. Yale’s educational values, such as the SPH’s goal to improve global health, should drive its support of Yale’s students and larger community beyond the academyics, De Jesus explained. “I would urge the administration to constantly recalibrate its plans to act bolder and bolder in addressing the threats of climate change that are already impacting vulnerable communities, and recognize the well-researched and powerfully articulated policy agendas of student and local New Haven social movements,” he said. CCCH Executive Director Klein hoped that launching the CCCH would be the next step in the SPH’s plan to lead the field of climate change and health. While the Center alone does not fulfill Yale’s responsibility in addressing climate change, Schlick recognizes itits value as a welcome step in the right direction. “So much needs to be done in the face of the climate crisis that I refuse to turn my nose up at ideas or solutions that move us in the right direction but are possibly critiqued as not going all the way,” Schlick said. “We have way too much to do, and way too little time, to turn down ideas that address the climate crisis and climate justice.”
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culture Sorry Not Sorry: Music’s Struggle to Grapple with Mental Health Brendan Campbell, MY ’21
Every awards show has its controversy: who should’ve won, who shouldn’t have worn that dress. This year’s Grammys were no different. Billie Eilish—Gen Z superstar with ink for tears—swept the Big Four categories: Song, Record, and Album of the Year, and Best New Artist. Her success was not totally undeserved. Her album When We All Fall Asleep, Where do We Go? is a piece of youthful genius; the hi-hat in “bad guy” is actually a sample from an Australian crosswalk. However, the music critic world almost universally agreed that Album of the Year belonged to someone else: Lana del Rey. Norman F!cking Rockwell!, del Rey’s fifth studio album, is an Americana masterpiece. It was Pitchfork’s Album of the Year, where reviewer Jenn Pelly described del Rey as “the next best American songwriter, period.” The internet agreed; #Scammys is still trending a week later. While their fans may fight over who deserved what, juxtaposing these two artists reveals striking and dark thematic similarities. Each dive into suicidal mindsets, abusive romances, and what they’d be willing to do to get power: anything. They both push the limits of what most are comfortable listening to but remain musically and commercially successful—which is why they were nominated for a Grammy in the first place. Every awards show is about something, from #MeToo to climate change. The commonalities and tensions between Eilish and del Rey’s oeuvres—along with the reappearance of Demi Lovato after her overdose in 2018—inadvertently made this year’s Grammy controversy into this year’s Grammy zeitgeist: addressing mental health in the year 2020. Both Eilish and del Rey grapple with mental health within and without their discography, and both toe the ever-blurring line between normalization and romanticization of these issues. Del Rey,
however, is arguably the more problematic of the two. She’s been accused of glamorizing abusive relationships on her album Ultraviolence and glorifying suicide on her debut album Born to Die. In a now-infamous 2014 interview with The Guardian, del Rey aloofly proclaimed, “I wish I was dead already,” a motif permeating all of her work. How much these concepts were a part of the del Rey persona—the brooding, fantasy 1960s Sylvia Plath wannabe— and how much it was del Rey—the real person actively grappling with her own mental health—remains unclear. But she sheds the persona a bit on Norman F!cking Rockwell! when she says—as herself—“Don’t ask if I’m happy / you know that I’m not / but at best I can say I’m not sad.” In 2020, del Rey is speaking more openly and honestly than ever about mental health.“Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have, but I have it,” del Rey sings, and in doing so, she’s left behind the glorifying tropes of mental health from 2014. Or so we can hope. Eilish, like del Rey, has also relied on artistically embellishing the experience of mental health issues to create her music. She’s described her debut album as impersonating the monsters under her bed. She renders the idea eerily well on the track “bury a friend,” when she repeats the sinister mantra “I wanna end me” ad infinitum. Eilish’s noire, artpop exposition of Gen Z’s modern angst resonates on the basis of more than just its catchiness—Eilish gives voice to our inner demons with a grittiness that del Rey’s beautifully spun tragedies can’t. Suicide rates have been steadily climbing for all age groups over the past decade. But, at the same time, there’s also a greater sense of normalization surrounding mental health issues—Gen Z is seeking help at rates higher than any previous generation. Eilish clearly cares about these trends. She has been incredibly outspoken about her issues with anxiety, Tourette’s, and depression. She has released public service announcements about seeking help via the Ad Council. She talks openly about her battle with suicidal thoughts and tries to legitimize the difficulties of modern life for her generation. But even with the best intentions, Eilish doesn’t entirely avoid the dangers of using mental health issues as her muse. Her singles “lovely” and “bored” are both featured on the soundtrack for 13 Reasons Why, a Netflix show highly criticized for its dramatization of suicide. In that sense, there’s something just as campy about Billie Eilish adopting the persona of the monsters under her bed as Lana
del Rey adopting the persona of a suicidal debutante poetess. But perhaps the two artists differ meaningfully in their intent behind the personas: Eilish hopes to help other kids like her, while del Rey hopes to figure herself out. These two artists force us to question what we expect when art addresses mental health. Is it for the artist to process? Is it for us, the listeners? With art, there’s always a lot up for interpretation. But when it comes to addressing mental health, the last thing we want is ambiguity. There’s a world in which Lana del Rey’s music has a negative influence, glorifying depression rather than helping people experiencing it. But there’s also a world in which that’s true of Eilish, and a world in which each speaks to people with different needs. In reality, we probably live in all of these worlds. Which is why Demi Lovato’s presence matters so much. Lovato sang her new single, “Anyone,” live at the Grammys. Written four days before her well-publicized overdose in 2018, “Anyone” is a heart-wrenching ballad of hopelessness, a window into the lonely void Lovato was facing. “I feel stupid when I sing, nobody’s listening to me,” she belted through her tears in a gorgeous and flawlessly delivered performance. It was a sobering reminder that we still live in a world where someone can record the lyrics “anyone, I need someone” without their studio batting an eye. There was a world in which Lovato might not have been alive to perform the piece, and her vocals proved that she knew that better than anyone. Lovato sang about her mental health with an unwavering sense of honesty and clarity. There was no performativity. There was no sense of glorification, of camp. Juxtaposed with del Rey, who sings of being “obsessed with writing the next best American record,” and Eilish, who infamously sampled the removal of her Invisalign on her album’s opening track, Lovato achieves a near-transcendent level of purity on “Anyone.” There were no fascinating bass lines, no shocking samples. It wasn’t an attempt to attain new artistic limits. It was just her and a piano. And while she may not be winning a Grammy for it, Demi Lovato poignantly reminds us of what has always been, and what will continue to be, the most critical and difficult thing to address when talking about mental health: the truth. Free and confidential support is always available to you and your loved ones at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-(800)-273-8255. For Yale students, there is also the Walden Peer Counseling Hotline (8 p.m. to 8 a.m.): (203)-432-TALK.
The Yale Herald
Here for the Jazz Zachary Groz, JE ’23
A few weeks back, I spent a Friday night on the third floor of the Institute Library, Connecticut’s oldest private circulating library, drinking beers and listening to jazz LPs with a couple of friends and two older gentlemen, Frank and John. We likely would have blitzed past the place– –a shy four-story Romanesque Revival building far down Chapel, couched between a tattoo parlor and a vintage store––had it not been for a prim couple, sporting a tuxedo, black gown, flashes of jewelry, tumbling out the door onto the sidewalk looking somewhat dazed. “Here for the jazz?” our tuxedoed friend asked us. “They’re up there.” We mounted the stairs, signed into the registry, and sat in chairs the color of Promethean fire. In front of us was a table spread with jazz records––Mal Waldron, Larry Vuckovich, Bobby Timmons, Jaki Byard, Dave McKenna, et al. Frank and John, facing one another across the table, leaning in their chairs in near perfect symmetry, were the only ones in the room. They seemed stunned to see the three of us. We got to talking–– jazz, the library, the city. I scanned one of the shelves along the walls for the next record to play and found a John Coltrane LP, featuring quartet arrangements of “Out of This World,” “Soul Eyes,” “The Inch Worm,” “Tunji (Toon-Gee),” and “Miles’ Mode.” Frank laid it on the turntable. The blow of the sax started to spin into the room. Frank told us that the Coltrane record had personal significance. An organizer had given him a copy while he was canvassing with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee after college. It was the first time he’d listened to jazz. On occasion, when he found himself talking over the record, he would face the turntable and say, “Sorry, John.” We could hear the stairs groaning and a woman came in the room with a glossy look––the same kind of daze our sharp-dressed friends from earlier in the night wore. “Is this the happy hour?” she said. Frank answered yes. She sat and listened for a while. We asked about the building. The inside was striking: 10-foot ceilings, pullcords dangling from light fixtures on
high, massive windows rounded at the top, a pyramidal skylight, an art gallery, the record room, several reading rooms, rows of bookcases, an attic. Frank and John gave us a brief history of the library: It was a center of the abolition and suffrage campaigns; Frederick Douglass and Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered a series of lectures there. Then Frank and John dipped into the obscure. The library claimed a spectacular distinction: it was the only library in the world organized according to the Borden System of classification. They explained its methodology–– something about 26 classes covering every category of material experience, each assigned a letter of the alphabet, each containing numbered subdivisions, each of those with possible subdivisions, and so on. William Alanson Borden designed the system in 1897 to contest the primacy of Dewey Decimal. In the library’s collection is kind of a memorial to the Dewey-Borden War—a Dewey Decimal Manual translated into Esperanto, the intended universal world language invented in the late 19th century. In 1910 Borden accepted a personal invitation from the Maharaja Savajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda, now Vadodara, to found the first public library on the Indian Subcontinent, though that system converted to Dewey Decimal by mid-century. It was late and we started to gather our things. Frank told us that the next Jazz Hour was on Valentine’s Day. They had a romance program planned with Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Anita O’Day, and others. We told him we’d be there and went back down the stairs and out onto Chapel. I walked over to the library yesterday to register a membership––it’s an annual $25 fee. Ann, a writer who’s volunteered at the library for over a decade, sat with me behind her desk and we went through the membership routine. Then, with a little help from Borden, I searched the shelves for Philip Roth, sat and read the first few chapters of Goodbye, Columbus, flipped through the folk records on the third floor, and headed back to campus.
“We mounted the stairs, signed into the registry, and sat in chairs the color of Promethean fire.”
The Yale Herald
Meditations on Lush Rachel Calcott, BR ’22 YH Staff
The Real Oscar Picks
It’s 5 p.m. on the dot, but already the line outside 150 York Street curves around the side of the building and flows onto the street. Every now and then a car horn honks to scare dawdlers off the road. It’s cold; drizzle comes and goes in gusts. January is not the month to be stuck in a stagnant rivulet of bodies, all humming and checking their iPhones and smartwatches while waiting for the line to creep forward. But once you transition from the chilly outside world to the carpeted interior of Yale on York, everything changes. Food Conversations: Mindfulness is a branch of Yale Dining whose email advert invites students to “engage in an inspired and unique sensory dining experience.” Held every semester, it’s a welcome break from whatever your standard cafeteria meal or salad bar combination might be. The lobby is dimly lit, casino-style, and someone offers to take my coat. We wander into the dining hall, limbs thawing, and the smell of saffron-coated mushrooms, saag paneer and rice with a medley of spices I couldn’t hope to name hits the bedraggled Yalies like Living on a Prayer at the end of a long night out. The shuf-
Joji Baratelli, JE ’23
Atlantics — Dir. Mati Diop Based on her short film of the same name, Mati Diop’s Dakarian portrait follows Ada, a young woman on the eve of her arranged marriage, vying for an impossible life with a lover she’ll never have. Although the film is set against the backdrop of the economic plight of Dakar’s unpaid workers and young men on an ocean dingy set for Europe, what could be regarded as a romantic-social commentary film slowly morphs into a waking nightmare that flips all sorts of convention—ghosts, zombies, and the other unnameable of the undead interact in a finale that’ll leave you baffled and mystified. On Netflix. An Elephant Sitting Still — Dir. Hu Bo 2019 was a remarkable year for Chinese independent cinema: An Elephant Sitting Still alongside A Long Day’s Journey into the Night and Ash is Purest White take drama, romance, and thriller to new heights, respectively. They laid the groundwork for Chinese art-films to gain more recognition at home and abroad. An Elephant Sitting Still, in particular, is a beautiful poem, reveling in a certain dichotomy of grandeur and monotony over the course of one day in a small Inner Mongolia city. The downward spiral of the ensemble cast may have foreshadowed first and last-time director Hu Bo’s tragic
suicide after the film’s completion, but the beauty and grace linger on. Rent on Amazon/iTunes.
A Hidden Life — Dir. Terrence Malick If you’ve ever seen a Terrence Malick picture, you know what you’re getting yourself into: slow, long takes, set under natural light, loose on narrative, and grounded in a philosophical tradition. A Hidden Life is no different. But unlike his last four rapidly produced, critical and commercial failures, his newest film approaches narrative in a way that harkens back to his work from the 1970s. Telling the story of a concientious-objector farmer under Nazi-ruled Austria, we are absorbed into the Edenic beauty of his home life and family, yet his ardent view of faith that strips all of it away. At three hours, it’s a marathon, but you’ll walk out of the theater a lot more unsure of yourself and your life than when you walked in. Rent on Amazon. Marriage Story — Dir. Noah Baumbach Perhaps the most tragic film of the year—and certainly the most conventional on this list—Noah Baumbach chronicles a couple and a child caught in midst of the ugliest of divorces with dire consequences. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are pitch-perfect in a moral tale of fighting for life, love, and a child
against a judicial system that rewards none of these. There is no winner, no loser, no side to take—and that’s the most tragic part. On Netflix.
Parasite — Dir. Bong Joon-ho Parasite might be the movie of the year; critically, commercially, and artistically,it has pushed the boundaries of what film and genre can be. Is it a comedy? Romance? Moral tale? Horror? Thriller? Bong Joon-ho’s newest film revels in the undefined. Featuring a lower-class family hatching a plot to break into uwpper-class strata, the twists, turns, and schemes pan out into a full-fledged war that continually perplexes and questions morality, duty, and society. It’s the perfect film for the screen-obsessed, class-conscious, politicized modern world. In theaters. The Souvenir — Dir. Joanna Hogg Joanna Hogg’s near-minimalist love story semi-autobiographically recounts the first relationship of a film student in 80s London. With grace and clarity of style, Hogg brilliantly utilizes dramatic irony to showcase the woman’s increasingly destructive relationship with someone who we come to realize she doesn’t know at all. As the film luxuriates in first love, tragedy, and shattered ambition, we want to love this character, but know she’s doing it all wrong. On Amazon Prime.
Sunset — Dir. László Nemes Sunset is László Nemes’s sophomore effort after his stunning 2015 Academy Award-winning Son of Saul. Shot in mostly close-up, it continues in his distinct cinematographic style. The film alters our perception: we are claustrophobically centered on a young woman as she wanders around 1913 Budapest, looking for a brother she never had. It doesn’t achieve quite the same depth or clarity as Son of Saul, but still enigmatically reaches a level of eeriness and visual intrigue that’s among this year’s best. Rent on Amazon, Youtube, or iTunes. Uncut Gems — Dir. Josh & Benny Safdie The Safdie Brothers got no love from the Academy this year, but the pulsing, effervescent Uncut Gems is running a hundred-miles-a-minute from beginning to its euphoric, tragic end. Adam Sandler’s performance is the best of his career as he plays a hard-cut New York-style diamond dealer with a gambling problem that consumes his family, friends, and life. With stand-out performances by Kevin Garnett, Lakeith Stanfield, and Julia Fox, we are thrust into a hellish, Sisyphian world lurking under Westchester ritz, diamond district glass, and Ethiopian jewels. In theaters.
The Yale Herald
fle-speed goes up a few notches. Further in, a triple-tiered serving dish covered in open clams is spewing gauzy white vapor— we’re later told that the smoking effect is produced by liquid nitrogen. Side note:Liquid nitrogen is used for the removing malignant skin lesions, cryonic preservation of the deceased but hopeful, and Yale Dining décor. And saffron, a spice derived from the stamen of a vivid purple crocus, is gram-for-gram worth more than gold. I pile my plate and head over to a table where a friend is waiting. At each place setting, there’s the usual assembly of cutlery, glasses, and plates—along with a sleeping mask. With no further instruction, we dig into the piles of naan and yoghurt-and-herb lassi found in miniature plastic cups. Suddenly,an incorporeal voice floats across the room. The disembodied words encourage us to smell, look, taste. The spice. The cinnamon and salt.“It’s winter. Leaves crunch underfoot. New England architecture is buffeted by cold rain,” the voice croons. We’re sitting close enough to the stage that if we stretch we can see world-renowned Chef and author Elizabeth Falkner reading
aloud from a notepad, hidden from view behind the projector screen. As I mop up the cranberry sauce with a torn corner of spiced naan and a server refills my water for the third time, Falkner jumps onto the stage, smiling and embarking on a quick recap of her star-studded culinary career for those who didn’t read to the very end of the Food Conversations email. The room claps as Falkner rattles off a repertoire of multi-media sensory experiences and delectable TV-show hosting gigs. Falkner vacates the stage, yelling a welcome to Sarah Girard: Mindfulness Guru and Movement Expert. Girard, in cowboy hat and sotto voce, leads us through a pre-dessert mindfulness exercise: “Breathe through one nostril. Now, close that nostril with a finger. Breathe through the other.” After a round of muted giggles, two hundred or so Yalies obediently squeeze one nostril shut, and then the other. The meditation culminates in an order to put on the sleeping masks. “Don’t cheat,” Falkner warns us. I didn’t. So the first mouthful of dessert was a genuine surprise: chocolate truffle, smoked salt grains clinging to the powdered flesh, cin-
namon, and the licorice of aniseed. With all other senses muted, the flavors are amplified to religious experience. I may be one of the few people on campus who reads their Yale emails consistently. It’s not that I’m a particularly methodical student or unusually interested in what Peter Salovey has to say. It’s more a case of conditioned behavior; the small print of the weekly email frequently brings edible events like this one into my consciousness. Perhaps I seek out the hallucinogenic quality of walking into Yale on York as a broke, unemployed, on-mylast-pair-of-clean-socks undergrad, and finding myself in a world where food is high art and celebrity chefs narrate your dinner. From the infamous opulence of the First-Year Dinner onwards, Yalies are engulfed in a form of lush life that occasionally reaches Zara Larson levels. Perhaps I’m drawn to these events because they’re little tears in the fabric of normalized Yale life through which you can see how utterly bizarre the norm truly is. Liquid-nitrogen-infused and replete with saffron and class consciousness, the Yale Dining Experience is not one to miss.
—things we hate this week
the herald blacklistt
Ripping speeches More like rippin’ ass!
Still an oligarch.
SOTU TBH IDGAF.
Yale’s never done anything wrong, ever.
The doghouse Rough.
Stay in your fucking lane.
Bipartisanship I DON’T ship it.
Bluegrass It’s green, dumbass!
arffa lecture series
Jewish Translation and Cultural Transfer in Early Modern Europe Iris Idelson-Shein Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Iris Idelson-Shein is a senior lecturer at the department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and head of the collaborative research project on Jewish Translation and Cultural Transfer in Early Modern Europe, funded by the European Research Council (ERC). Her research interests include cultural translation, Old Yiddish literature, science, and gender in early modern Ashkenaz. She is the author of Difference of a Different Kind: Jewish Constructions of Race During the Long Eighteenth Century (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).
lecture one • tuesday, february 18 • 5:00 pm “Between Imitation and Innovation: Revealing the Hidden Corpus of Early Modern Jewish Translations”
lecture two • wednesday, february 19 • 5:00 pm “Not to Need Another Nation: Motivations for Translation in Early Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Translations”
lecture three • tuesday, february 25 • 5:00 pm “No Place Like Home: The Uses of Travel in Early Maskilic Translations” t h i s l e c t u r e wa s m a d e p o s s i b l e b y t h e S ta n l e y H . A r f fa f u n d a n d s p o n s o r e d b y t h e j u d a i c s t u d i e s p r o g r a m at ya l e u n i v e r s i t y