Getting Tenure Back on Track

Changes improve the junior faculty experience.

At a history conference in 2004, an eminent Yale historian introduced himself to David Bell, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. “Oh, how nice to meet you!” the Yale professor said warmly. “What work are you doing?” Bell-once a junior faculty member in Yale’s history department-eyed his fellow historian before politely answering the question. But, as he recalls now, “I had to hold myself back from saying, ‘I had an office across the hall from you for years! You. . . Read more
Sophia Lear
Paradise Lost?

Elis recall a formative six weeks at TASP.

On a steamy July morning, sleepy students slowly trickle into a small seminar room at Cornell University. Mugs of coffee and tea in hand, they drop thick annotated tomes of medieval literature onto a horseshoe of worn wooden tables. Their minds sated by the hundreds of pages crammed into them the night before, the students murmur quietly amongst themselves, critically perusing copies of a classmate’s paper on The Letters of Abelard and Heloise. Despite the early hour and oppressive heat, the classroom pulsates with minds. . . Read more
Tess Dearing

The all-night Shakespeare festival in Linsley-Chittenden Hall.

It is one a.m. at the all-night Shakespeare festival in Linsley-Chittenden Hall. Shakespeare enthusiasts abound, grouped in rooms according to dramatic genre: historic, tragic, comedic, miscellaneous. Enter Ben Lasman, Nick Handler, and Ali Seitz, armed with notebooks. Scene i: Ben Lasman, journalistic rogue. By 1:30, only two people remain in the Miscellaneous room. One, his face engulfed by the Collected Works of William Shakespeare, recites “Sonnet 152” in a stentorian tone. His partner stands at attention, book in hand, like a tag-team wrestler primed to. . . Read more
Ben Lasman Nick Handler and Ali Seitz

Yale’s Publications Council discusses racism in print.

Nine sets of campus editors-including one from this magazine-showed up for the first meeting of the Yale Publications Council in early February, and eight considered themselves journalists. This irked Betty Trachtenberg, the dean of Student Affairs. When she and several Residential College Deans established the group, she said, “We wanted people to understand what was the concept of responsible journalism.” Their mission proved difficult, as the avowed non-journalists were, in fact, the editors of The Yale Record, who consider themselves humor writers. Their mock “Blue. . . Read more
Mitchell Reich
Last Taps of the Typewriter

Manson Whitlock preserves a lost art on York Street.

Manson H. Whitlock peers into the typewriter on the table, a big avocado-green IBM Selectric from the sixties. Something is jammed and pieces are scattered around the machine. Eventually, Whitlock finds what he’s looking for—a screw has fallen in, causing the type mechanism to stick. Out goes the screw. Using a spring-hook, an implement that would be more at home in a dentist’s office than a Dell factory, he reassembles the typewriter—plastic cover plates, the metal paper tray that directs paper onto the main roller,. . . Read more
Michael Birnbaum
Minority Report

Building a better anti-discrimination policy

Despite Arthur Tucker’s 17 years of construction experience, people often assume he’s an unskilled laborer. He rarely gets hired to complete the more lucrative “gravy work,” or finishing touches, on a project. Arthur Tucker is black. He thinks this might be why. Though Tucker didn’t attend City Hall’s public hearing on minority construction hiring in early March, he was represented in absentia by a full house of people with similar complaints. In an impassioned and unexpected twist, these minority construction workers pitted themselves against a. . . Read more
Nicole Allan
Body of Work

Residents at Yale-New Haven amass a corpus.

Come to think of it, I never knew her name, the pepper farmer’s wife. She lived in Jindo, on that speck of an island, a piece of paradise on water. The locals say that if you throw a stone from one end of the island, it lands on the other. All her life, with her body, her hands, her fingers, her eyes, her mind, and her breath, she worked on a plot of that island, growing things… The lines go on to describe the favorite. . . Read more
Aditi Ramakrishnan
Spin Doctors

New Haven DJs keep house music alive.

Every morning, Mark Levantino, 47, arrives at a small garage wedged between superstores and strip malls on the Boston Post Road in Orange, CT. Inside, sunlight reflects off of the shiny metal instruments that line the walls and dances across the two car jacks that sit on the concrete floor. Most evenings, Mark faces a similar, psychedelic light show as he’s cloaked in the Tinkerbelle glow of the disco ball spinning above the dance floor at Bar, where he moonlights as its resident DJ. Mark. . . Read more
Romy Drucker
The Shape of Things

“I bring ideas to life, using cake.”

Customers ask the Vona sisters for fire trucks, hamburgers, and trumpets. They demand kittens. Could you make me a red sneaker, like an Adidas sneaker? A reclining cheetah, complete with spots-oh, and, can you put him on a bed of jungle grass? Whatever the order, the Vonas provide. All it takes is sugar, flour, eggs, butter, baking soda, and buttercream frosting. “I bring ideas to life-using cake,” says the slender, sharp-nosed Sofia Marini, pushing up her hairnet. “For grass we use coconut, for water we. . . Read more
Adriane Quinlan