Working Definition

Yale tries for a second time to establish a program for researching and studying the hatred of Jews in the contemporary world.

Professor Maurice Samuels took the podium and sighed. “As many of you know,” he said, “this has not been an easy summer.” To me, it didn’t look like those in attendance—faculty members, elderly New Haven couples, and a few undergraduates informed of the lecture through the Directed Studies program or the Polish Club—had found their way to the Wall Street auditorium on the heels of controversy. That September afternoon in Yale University’s Whitney Humanities Center, Samuels was introducing Princeton history professor Jan Gross, who would. . . Read more
Ben Kline

A new monthly night of Balkan music and folk dance at Café Nine has been a long time in the works.

It was the end of the 1970s in Washington, D.C., and nobody was buying Laine Harris’s falafel. The competition was fierce. “I would line up with all the other vendors on the corner—rug dealers, hash-pipe carts, hot-dog carts,” he recalls. When the boredom became unbearable, Harris started to perform. Raised in Alabama, Harris had learned Balkan folk-dancing in college, and at his cart he chose a Macedonian dance involving fancy footwork and towel-twirling. Later, he challenged himself further by chanting rhymes in time to the. . . Read more
Eric Boodman
Telling Time

Is knowing the time all the time so important?

In the late afternoon on Friday, October 7, I relinquished my watch to a jeweler on Chapel Street. I can’t tell you the precise time this occurred. My watch had been ailing for days, maybe the better part of two weeks. First, it was five minutes behind. Then ten. Then forty. Then it stopped. Then it would tick again and I’d wind the dial so the second and minute hands rested at the correct distance from each other. Then it would stop, again, but I’d. . . Read more
Maddie Duff
The Tinkerers

Apprentices at the Eli Whitney Museum learn to work with their hands.

The workshop at the Eli Whitney Museum. Bill Brown’s third-grade teacher once told him that if he didn’t learn to spell, he would be a truck driver. A few years later, another teacher threatened Brown with digging ditches for the rest of his life. Brown is now the director of the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop. He speaks clearly and deliberately, and wears spectacles and an eye-patch over his right eye. “Well,” he smiles, “I own a truck, so I guess I am a truck. . . Read more
Sophia Nguyen
The Great Equalizer

Under Title IX, the Obama administration has mandated ambitious reforms at universities nationwide to combat sexual violence.

Dear Colleague: Education has long been recognized as the great equalizer in America. The U.S. Department of Education and its Office for Civil Rights believe that providing all students with an educational environment free from discrimination is extremely important. Thus began the letter sent to colleges around the country on April 4 by the Office for Civil Rights of the federal Department of Education. Nineteen pages long, it expressed concerns about national statistics on sexual violence in institutions of higher education and outlined the responsibilities. . . Read more
Kalli Angel
The Clean Green Financing Machine

Connecticut is now home to the nation’s first “green bank.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy and the state legislature overhauled Connecticut’s energy bureaucracy over the summer. They merged the regulatory body for utilities and the old environmental commission to create a new agency, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The department is headed by Daniel Esty, a Yale University professor on leave, and is sometimes known by its profound acronym, DEEP. Malloy also established the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, which calls itself “the nation’s first ‘green bank.’ ” As a “quasi-public” agency, it. . . Read more
Max Ehrenfreund
Cut a Rug

Kebabian’s Oriental Rugs on Elm Street weaves together past and present.

John Kebabian’s desk is in the corner of the storefront, almost hidden behind a pile of small rugs. It lacks modern technological gadgets, including a computer. Here, John neatly records transactions by hand on spreadsheets collected in a black binder. The whole interior of the store has an old quality about it, reminding customers that Kebabian’s Oriental Rugs has been in John’s family for more than a century. It is clean, with hardwood floors, solid white walls, and a high ceiling adorned with a pattern. . . Read more
Hanjing Cao
The Weirdoes Make Some Good Points

An observer of this spring’s protests in Madrid visits Occupy Wall Street.

One sign read, “Our economy could be more fair.” Well, that was what it was all about, I guess. As I wandered through the crowd at Occupy Wall Street on a Saturday last month I saw that all the usual suspects were out. Dreadlocked, shirtless, smelly backpackers littered the ground with their wool blankets and blue plastic tarps and gave each other back massages. Mixed in among them, middle-aged, bald anticapitalists handed out Socialist Party literature and The Occupied Wall Street Journal and told anyone. . . Read more
Hamp Watson
The Race for Ward 1

Sarah Eidelson ’12 and Vinay Nayak ’14 at a critical moment in city politics.

This summer, before she announced her candidacy for Ward 22 alderwoman, Jeanette Morrison went door to door in Dixwell, asking her neighbors what concerns they had about the community. “There’s no jobs,” they told her. But from the porches where she stood listening, she could see construction happening all over neighboring Ward 1 on Yale’s campus. How could the city grant those zoning rights, she wondered, without also requiring that some of the area’s unemployed residents be trained and allowed to work on these projects?. . . Read more
Emily Rappaport
Bull Ridin’ Jus’ Ain’t What It Used to Be

The Professional Bull Riders have made bull riding into a sport for all Americans.

The former world champion L.J. Jenkins was there. So was Ryan Dirteater, who’d won the tournament two weeks earlier in Wichita, along with a cadre of talented Brazilians, including this year’s favorite for the championship, a 23-year-old from Pilar do Sul, São Paulo, named Silvano Alves. The best in the world were buckin’ bulls in downtown Hartford. You had to think they were in the wrong city, and possibly the wrong century. Ain’t no cowboys in these parts, someone should have warned the organizers of. . . Read more
Max Ehrenfreund