Bret Anthony JohnstonPaul and Catherine Buttenwieser Director of Creative WritingThis summer I’m going to read W.B. Yeats and Elizabeth Bishop, and “Wynne’s War,” a new novel by Aaron Gwyn about special forces on horseback in Afghanistan. I’ll also read a collection of essays by Italo Calvino and stories by Mark Chiusano, a former student who graduated so recently that I still expect to see him in the Barker Center halls. I’m also starting to wade into a couple of new projects, which will require ample research on picking locks, chupacabras, cults, and the 1993 tragedy at the Koresh compound in Waco, Texas. I’m looking forward to all of this reading.And I’m also thrilled about the reading that isn’t yet planned. I’m eager to happen upon unexpected used bookstores, tag sales, and library fundraisers, where I often buy books outside of my typical reading inclinations. In those places, where books are spilling out of moldy and collapsing cardboard boxes, I trust serendipity. A lawn mower repair manual? A cookbook from the 1950s? A self-published account of a man’s quest to earn a place on the PGA Tour despite having only started playing golf the year before? I’ll read these with almost the same delight and concentration that I do serious literature, and they will usually deliver what I long for as a reader — interesting language, complex character and vivid details, and surprise. There is often a good story to be found in such texts. Maybe it’s already on the page, or maybe it’s an idea still waiting to be written.Maya JasanoffProfessor of historyFile photo by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerOne of the things I enjoy most about my area of research, the history of the British Empire, is that it gives me a chance to travel around the world. And one of the things I enjoy most about travel is reading about the places I visit. This year I have been on leave and traveling more than usual, so I am looking forward to a quiet summer in which I can catch up on a few titles I didn’t get to while on the road.I recently visited South Africa for the first time, and want to read Nadine Gordimer’s novel “July’s People.”I’ll be curious to see how her fictional portrayal of a post-apartheid régime — which was banned in South Africa when it was published in 1981 — holds up now, as South Africa marks 20 years of multiracial democracy. Closer to home, I took advantage of a conference in Oxford, Miss., to visit William Faulkner’s house Rowan Oak. I haven’t read any Faulkner since I was blown away by “The Sound and the Fury” in high school, so “Light in August” is high on my summer reading stack.I’m especially interested to read Faulkner after having spent a lot of time lately with one of the writers who inspired him, Joseph Conrad, the subject of my current research. Before he became a writer, Conrad spent 20 years as a merchant sailor. And in order to get a sense of his life at sea, I spent a month this winter sailing from Hong Kong to Southampton on a container ship. I’m fascinated by accounts of shipboard life, so I can’t wait to read Geoff Dyer’s new book, “Another Great Day at Sea,” about his stint aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush. Geoff is one of the funniest, smartest writers I know, and this is sure to be a perceptive and entertaining treat.Vijay IyerFranklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the ArtsPhoto by Jimmy KatzI have a soft spot for science fiction, speculative fiction, or whatever it’s called now. With few exceptions, this area has historically not featured many minority voices. So I’ve been especially excited to see a new wave of work in this vein by authors of color, a generation or two younger than the influential masters Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany. I have a couple of anthologies on my summer pile: “So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy,” edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan, and “Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History,” edited by Daniel José Older and Rose Fox.As for nonfiction, I will be glad to finally have time to finish my friend Vivek Bald’s book “Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America.” Also in that queue are Saidiya Hartman’s “Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route,” Gaiutra Bahadur’s “Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture,” Tommie Shelby’s “We Who Are Dark,” and Kiese Laymon’s “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.” None of these seem like light summer fare, maybe, but I’m just glad to have time to take a bite out of a few of these books that have been on my mind for a while.I’m intrigued by Rana Dasgupta’s new book “Capital,” a chronicle of the new bourgeoisie of Calcutta. He’s a brilliant, lyrical writer who can be politically scathing, too. Meanwhile, I foolishly joined a Facebook group of progressive scholars critically engaging with Thomas Piketty’s megahit, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” While I’m at it, maybe I’ll reread “Das Kapital” and make it a trifecta.I have high hopes to make it through any of the above. Of course, I might just binge-watch “Cosmos” and BBC Sherlock Holmes episodes.Claudia GoldinHenry Lee Professor of EconomicsPhoto by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerIt’s time to push ahead in some areas and clean up others. On the cleanup front, I was mesmerized several years ago by Stephen Greenblatt’s “The Swerve” and vowed to read “On the Nature of Things” by Lucretius, the poem that inspired him. The prose edition by Martin Ferguson Smith, which Greenblatt read one summer in college, is on my reading list, and I hope to be as moved by Lucretius as was Greenblatt (and as I was by Greenblatt).I’ve gotten a bit behind. Junot Diaz’s “This Is How You Lose Her”and “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” by Michael Chabon are unopened files on my iPad. Larry Katz, professor of economics and my companion of several decades, has already read them, and thus I cannot depend on him to read them to me, as he has so many other books. Simon Schama’s “The Story of the Jews” will be our read-out-loud book for the summer. Schama’s “Citizens” taught me almost everything I know about the French Revolution. Will he do the same for the Jews?Katz and I have also decided to set aside some time to learn [the programming language] Python through an MIT online course you can do at your own speed. Is that summer reading? I’ll know in September.David CutlerOtto Eckstein Professor of Applied EconomicsFile photo by Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” is first up; it’s a tome that requires some time. Perfect for summer.Health care gets its share of pages, though not of the self-help variety. Dan Lieberman’s “The Story of the Human Body” is on my nightstand, and Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History” is soon to arrive. I read Angus Deaton’s “The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality” this winter, and the three of those books make a wonderful grouping.I’m looking forward to Natasha Dow Schüll’s “Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas.” Las Vegas epitomizes so much of America, and I get to understand health behaviors to boot.“Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn” are on my fiction reading list. I read to my 8- and 10-year-old daughters before bed, and we’ll have a good time with them.
Boost Mobile has become the “Official Wireless Partner” of ELEAGUE. The mobile carrier has partnered with Turner and IMG and as a result will see initiatives across ELEAGUE’s linear television, digital and social platforms as well as at ELEAGUE competitions. Credit: ELEAGUE“As we continue to expand the ELEAGUE brand into new spaces and IPs, we look forward to working with leadership brands like Boost Mobile to explore new breakthrough opportunities within the sport,” said Seth Ladetsky, Senior Vice President of Sales for Turner Sports. “We are thrilled to have them on board, as they are a brand that truly resonates with the millennial esports community.”Peiti Feng, Director of Brand Strategy and Marketing Communications at Boost Mobile commented: “Boost Mobile is excited to become the first official wireless partner of ELEAGUE, and I am confident that this collaboration will allow both companies to further engage with and expand our millennial customer bases. We recognize the importance of this target audience to our brand and want to provide them with the best experiences not only in mobile, but also in entertainment and pastimes like esports.” The partnership will start immediately, with ELEAGUE’s Rocket League action getting underway today and Boost Mobile will be well represented. The Counter-Strike action will return to ELEAGUE on January 12th with the Major in Boston. The live event will take place at Boston’s Agganis Arena, with the group stages being cast from the ELEAGUE Arena at Turner Studios in Atlanta. Esports Insider says: Congratulations to both parties on what’s sure to be a fruitful partnership. Another non-endemic getting involved which is always a positive for sure. read more
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mourners filed into a sanctuary in Minneapolis on Thursday for the first in a series of a memorials to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police has sparked sporadic violence and turbulent protests around the world against racial injustice.The afternoon service was set for North Central University, where the civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton was among those scheduled to eulogize the 46-year-old Floyd.“He was a human being. He had family, he had dreams, he had hopes. The real duty of one with this type of assignment is to underscore the value of the human life that was taken, which gives the reason the movement was occurring,” Sharpton said ahead of the gathering.Inside the sanctuary, a golden casket was flanked by white and purple flowers, and an image was projected above the pulpit of a mural of Floyd painted at the street corner where he was pinned to the pavement by police. The message on the mural: “I can breathe now.”The sanctuary normally seats 1,000, but because of the coronavirus outbreak, the capacity was reduced to about 500, and mourners wore masks.The Rev. Jesse Jackson and members of Congress, including Reps. Ilhan Omar, Sheila Jackson-Lee and Ayana Pressley prayed over the casket. Sen. Amy Klobuchar also arrived. A band and choir performed the gospel standard “Goin’ Up Yonder” as the sanctuary began to fill.Seats were also reserved for actors and comedians Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and Regina Hall; actor and producer Tyler Perry; Martin Luther King III; Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz; Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and others, though it wasn’t certain that all would attend.Memorials are set to take place in three cities over six days: After the Minneapolis event, Floyd’s body will go to Raeford, North Carolina, where he was born, for a public viewing and private family service on Saturday.Next, a public viewing will be held Monday in Houston, where he was raised and lived most of his life. Then a 500-person service will take place Tuesday at the Fountain of Praise church.The farewells for Floyd — an out-of-work bouncer who was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store and died after a white officer pressed his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes — come as demonstrations around the globe continue.In the U.S., where protests had been marked by bouts of lawlessness earlier in the week, relative quiet continued for a second straight night Wednesday following a decision by prosecutors to charge the three other Minneapolis officers at the scene of Floyd’s death with aiding and abetting a murder.Authorities also filed a new, more serious murder charge — second-degree, up from third-degree — against the officer at the center of the case, Derek Chauvin.If convicted, they could get 40 years in prison.The three officers newly charged in the Floyd’s death — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were due to make a first court appearance Thursday. Chauvin is not due in court until Monday.Meantime, in Georgia, a white father and son charged in another killing of a black man that has raised racial tensions in the U.S. made a court appearance Thursday via video. A state investigator testified that Travis McMichael was heard uttering a racist slur as he stood over the body of Ahmaud Arbery after killing him with three blasts from a pump-action shotgun.The new charges in Minneapolis punctuated an unprecedented week in recent American history, in which largely peaceful protests took place in communities of all sizes but were rocked by bursts of violence, including deadly attacks on officers, theft, vandalism and arson. In Minneapolis alone, more than 220 buildings were damaged or burned, with damage topping $55 million, city officials said.Nationwide, more than 10,000 people have been arrested, an Associated Press tally found. More than a dozen deaths have been reported, though the circumstances in many cases are still being sorted out.From Paris and London to Tel Aviv, Sydney, Johannesburg and Rio de Janeiro, Floyd’s death has triggered demonstrations, with protesters decrying inequality, police brutality and other problems in their own countries.“It’s a solidarity question. We stand with our brothers, internationally, our sisters as well, but the same thing is happening here. It’s no different,” Isaak Kabenge said in Stockholm.The attorney for Floyd’s family, Ben Crump, called the additional charges against the officers “a bittersweet moment” and “a significant step forward on the road to justice.”Hundreds of protesters were in New York City’s Washington Square Park when the charges were announced.“It’s not enough,” protester Jonathan Roldan said, insisting all four officers should have been charged from the start. “Right now, we’re still marching because it’s not enough that they got arrested. There needs to be systematic change.”The mood in New York turned somber later in the day after a police officer on an anti-looting patrol was ambushed by a man who walked up behind him and stabbed him in the neck. Two other officers suffered gunshot wounds to their hands in the struggle, and the attacker was in critical condition after being shot by police.The new second-degree murder charge alleges Chauvin caused Floyd’s death without intent while committing another felony, namely assault. It carries a heavier sentence than the third-degree charge, which is punishable by up to 25 years behind bars.At a protest in the nation’s capital, 30-year-old Jade Jones said the demonstrations would continue despite the new charges.“That’s the least they could do,” Jones said. “It’s not going to wipe away 400 years of pain.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtmg1ZfdYNo read more