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Good intentions

With a series of simple experiments, Amanda Woodward asks the questions that get inside babies’ minds.
Consider the scene: your mother grabs a bowl, a cereal box, and a milk carton. Even before she pours, her intentions are clear: she’s making breakfast. While adult observers intuitively interpret such activity as goal-oriented, infants under 12 months are just beginning to understand the link between action and intention, and they learn to do so through their own experiences, according to Amanda Woodward, associate professor in Psychology, the Committee on Human Development, and the College.
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Censored opera sees the light

Governments have long weighed in on art’s acceptability, suppressing morally or politically objectionable material. In the opera world Giuseppe Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera has received perhaps the harshest treatment. Until January Ballo had never played Naples’s Teatro San Carlo, the venue for which it was written. Indeed, the original, titled Gustavo III, had not reached any stage until musicologist Philip Gossett reconstructed it. Nearly 150 years after Italian censors forced Verdi to radically alter the work, Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker distinguished service professor in Music, has produced a version that tries to capture the author’s intentions.
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A front-row seat to black thought

Well before the 2002 movie Barbershop hit the big screen, a young scholar had staked out hair salons and other black venues for investigation. As a graduate student in the late ’90s Melissa Harris-Lacewell, assistant professor in Political Science, began studying the casual conversations African Americans have among themselves. While Hollywood did its thing, Harris-Lacewell did hers, tapping into an academic gold mine of rarely heard opinions and ideologies.
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