Campus briefs

Dec. 16, 2013 @ 10:40 AM

Achievements
UNC-Chapel Hill musicologist Tim Carter has won two major awards from the American Musicological Society. It is the first time one scholar has received dual honors in the same year — and in very different fields.
He received the H. Colin Slim Award, which honors an article of “exceptional merit,” for “Monteverdi, Early Opera and a Question of Genre: The Case of Andromeda (1620),” which was published in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association. Carter gives Monteverdi’s libretto a fresh look in this examination of its dramatic content, its likely musical setting (now lost) and some fundamental questions of genre.
Carter also won the Claude V. Palisca Award, which honors a score or scholarly text that “best exemplifies the highest qualities of originality, interpretation, logic and clarity of thought, and communication.” The award was given for his edition of Kurt Weill’s “Johnny Johnson.” Originally produced by the legendary Group Theatre in 1936, “Johnny Johnson” (with book and lyrics by UNC playwright Paul Green) marked Weill’s first Broadway show.
The American Musicological Society was founded in 1934 to advance research in various fields of music.

Grants

- The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy this week announced the recipients of $8 million in research grants to develop non-food feedstocks that can be used for bioenergy. Jeffrey Dangl at UNC-Chapel Hill received $1,543,490 to use genomics, genetics, and physiology to understand how endophytic bacteria alter plant growth and productivity, ultimately to manipulate plant performance for feedstock production.
The grants are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to develop domestic renewable energy and advanced biofuels.
Now Read This
“White-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making” 2013 200 pages, paperback   Author Nick Carnes, an assistant professor over at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, started questioning six years ago if it mattered that the wealthiest Americans dominate running for political office.
There was really no research done on this topic before. One of his first challenges was defining the lower, middle and upper classes, where some definitions of middle-class families range from $20,000 to $200,000 in income.
Then Carnes examined the jobs congressmen and congresswomen held before they got into office, searching through data spanning 1999 to 2008. He found a determent for lower- to middle-class individuals hoping to run for political positions: The skyrocketing costs of running a campaign.
Carnes interviewed a former U.S. representative, Edward P. Beard from Rhode Island, who had been a house painter before his campaign. He ran with the equivalent of about $900 today in fundraising dollars. Carnes asked Beard if the same situation could happen today.
“And he said absolutely not,” Carnes said. “It was nearly impossible in the early 1970s to do what (he) did, and today with elections being so much more expensive,” he didn’t think that could be relived.
Today, working-class Americans make up about 54 percent of the labor force, Carnes said, but they represent less than 10 percent of the average city council, less than 5 percent of the average state legislature, and less than 2 percent of Congress. Under-representation spanned every historical time period in which he could get data.
“If we want to give working Americans more of a voice in office, we can’t just pay attention to who’s pressuring government by voting or donating or who’s lobbying government,” he said. “We have to pay attention to who is the government. That’s something exciting to me because that seems really achievable.”

Calendar
Tuesday: The Duke Medicine Chorus, comprised of Duke Hospital employees, puts on a holiday concert. | noon - 1 p.m.; Duke Hospital Lobby, 2301 Erwin Road, Durham
Thursday: Duke Chapel holds its annual candlelight open house, which features holiday music on all three chapel organs and the carillon, as well as carols sung by members of the Vespers choir. There will be free Christmas cookies and hot spiced cider, and puppies will be up for adoption by the Independent Animal Rescue outside. | noon - 2 p.m.; Duke Chapel, Duke West Campus