BOOK AWARDS: REGINALD GIBBONS ’69 was named one of five finalists for the 2008 National Book Award in poetry for his new collection, Creatures of a Day (LSU Press, 2008). A professor at Northwest-ern University, Gibbons is a fiction writer, translator, and literary critic. The poems in Creatures of a Day explore memory, obligation, love, death, celebration, and sorrow. (Poet Mark Doty won the award for his collection Fire to Fire.) SHELDON WOLIN, a Princeton professor of politics emeritus, has won the 2008 Lannan Notable Book Award for Democracy Incorpor-ated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Princeton University Press). Wolin, who was founding editor of the journal Democracy, diagnoses America’s political ills and warns that unconstrained capitalism threatens democracy. LEOR HALEVI ’94, an associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University, has won three awards for his 2007 book Muhammad’s Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society (Columbia University Press), which examines the role that funerary rituals and beliefs about the afterlife played in shaping the earliest Islamic societies. It won the 2007 Albert Hourani Award, given by the Middle East Studies Association; the American Academy of Religion’s 2008 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion; and the 2008 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award.
NEW FILM TRACK IN VISUAL ARTS: With more film-related courses springing up across departments from religion to East Asian studies, the Program in Visual Arts has created a film-track certificate for which students can produce a film or a written thesis on film scholarship for their senior independent work. Previously, students who wanted to create a film/video thesis earned a certificate in visual arts; they had to take painting, drawing, art history, and film classes, and often had to do a second thesis for their home department. The new film-track certificate allows students to focus on film-related courses and produce a single thesis, assuming the home department approves.
HENRY V: Director DAVIS MCCALLUM ’97’s take on Shakespeare’s Henry V is touring the United States. Co-produced by Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater and
The Acting Company, the play runs through Feb. 1 at the Guthrie before heading to other locations, including New York City’s New Victory Theatre Feb. 27 through March 8 and Tucson’s Arizona Theatre Company March 31 through April 5. (For a complete tour itinerary go to www.theactingcompany.org.) The play examines the ambitious Henry V as he inherits a troubled crown and launches a hasty invasion of France. The story follows the young warrior king and his men through battles as they question the justice of their actions. “It’s often seen as a play about war, but to me it’s really a play about leadership, about how Henry takes a kingdom that’s been torn apart by rebellion and self-interest, and forges a band of brothers with a common purpose,” says McCallum.