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I first learned about the bombing of Hiroshima in the ninth grade. We were assigned John Hersey’s “Hiroshima,” a long-form article that follows six survivors as they navigate the horrific aftermath of the atomic bomb. The article told of a city completely leveled, of all-engulfing fires, of dying infants, of severed breasts, of burnt skin melting off of faces and limbs. The images made a deeper impression on me than did most things from my high school education. I thought I knew about Hiroshima — what had happened, what had followed.
Sociology professor Miguel Centeno’s course, SOC 250: The Western Way of War, is an iconic course on campus. While the class is listed as a Historical Analysis distribution requirement, The Western Way of War is not simply a history course: according to the course registrar, the class offers a “historical and analytical overview of war focusing on the origins and consequences of organized violence, the experience of battle, the creation and behavior of warriors and the future of such conflicts.”The course is also one of the most popular lecture courses on campus, with 282 students currently enrolled.“P?ut simply, war is seductive,” Zoë Rose Buonaiuto GS, a second year Ph.D. candidate in the history department and preceptor in the course, said in an email statement. “It has been such a central part of human history and societal change. In our collective historical consciousness, war dominated the 20th century in an unprecedented scale.”What, then, does the phrase “Western way of war” mean? In Centeno’s class, the “West” of the title is broadly defined to include parts of the classic Middle East, medieval and modern Western Europe, post-18?th century North America and post-Meiji Restoration Japan. As for the concept of a Western way of war, much of the ideas in the course are derived from or motivated by Victor Davis Hanson’s 1989 book, “The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece.” In his book,? Hanson argued that the “Western way of war” is unparalleled in its effectiveness compared to non-Western war strategies, an argument that is one of many that the course examines. Whether this particular form of military conflict is a significant characteristic of Western Civilization is one of the many contemporary questions that motivate the class.“[Twenty-first] century warfare [from] 9/11 on has already differentiated itself, and I think students recognize they are bearing witness to an important period of change,” Buonaiuto said.Part of the central attraction to students taking the course, however, are Centeno’s lectures.“Professor Centeno’s lecturing style really makes the course come alive,” Buonaiuto said. “His enthusiasm is palpable in lecture, and he makes the material relatable and accessible, despite the horror.”Centeno’s style derives from a mastery of the material and a willingness to engage in a simultaneously meticulous, and but less scripted way.“I have taught the course enough times (10+) that I feel confident about covering the material and this allows me to be spontaneous in my lecture including discussion of latest scholarship I have read,” Centeno said, in an email statement. “It’s the best of both worlds: tried and true, but always evolving.”The course’s reading list is diverse and spans thousands of years, ranging from ancient Greco-Roman cultural touchstones such as Homer’s “I?liad” and Virgil’s “A?eneid,” to ?Thomas E. Ricks’ work on the U.S. Marines, “M?aking the Corps.”“The syllabus is full of classics, but I’m most drawn to ‘T?his Republic of Suffering’ ?by Harvard historian and president Drew Gilpin Faust,” Buonaiuto said. “The book is a model for my own research on World War II military casualties, and I look to it often for inspiration."Students are drawn to the course for a variety of reasons. Madelyn Baron ’18 decided to take the class to learn about conflicts in the Middle East.“I wanted to learn more about the conflict in the Middle East which will be learning about last,” Baron said, in an email statement. “I also have a military family and wanted to see what other perspectives on that are.”In all, Centeno believes the course can be useful in many contexts.“I think [the class] slows them to do two things: study a fascinating social phenomena with which they are not familiar, and use this to discover underappreciated aspects of their own lives and experiences,” Centeno said.
This weekend, the Princeton Triangle Club will present its 125th musical comedy, “Tropic Blunder.” The show concerns the recipients of an all-expenses-paid island vacation, who have just so happened to win a soda company’s contest. When the island turns out to be cursed, Triangle’s particular brand of musical comedy ensues. To talk about the nautical-themed adventure, Street sat down with Tori Rinker ’16, the president of Triangle. “Tropic Blunder” will run Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in McCarter Theatre.
Princeton South Asian Theatrics presents “The Trump Card”
1. “Casino Royale” is better than “Spectre”
Cruz ’92 proposes dissolution of IRS at presidential debate, proposes annual tribute of insincere folksiness instead
The creative writing courses taught by A.M. Homes, under the umbrella of the Lewis Center for the Arts, are essentially a formal space for sharing and refining the art of storytelling.
After history professor emerita Nell Painter saw a New York Times cover depicting the Russian bombing of Grozny, the North Caucasus-located capital of Chechnya, she wondered why white Americans were called Caucasians. After spending a semester in Germany finding out, Painter wrote “The History of White People” in 2010, discussing how formerly non-white people were classified as white through their assimilation into American society.
Martha Friedman, lecturer in visual arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts, grew up in a family of scientists.
On Friday evening, when Anna Aronson ’16 and Cameron Platt ’16 utter their first lines as Nina Zarechnaya and Irina Arkadina in Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull”, they will be following in the footsteps of two other Princeton women who performed the play for their senior thesis project — 10 years ago. In that production, Nikki Muller ’05 (of “The Ivy League Hustle (I Went to Princeton, Bitch!)” fame) played Nina, and Emma Worth ’05 played Arkadina.
Wanshou Lu is a street filled with the elderly. Located in Beijing, a city that is the embodiment of rapid modernization, the street retains aspects of a relaxed lifestyle, with grandparents walking leisurely along the storefronts as they barter for fruits and vegetables in the morning.
Although community service is often associated with direct volunteer-based service, Breakout Princeton is a Pace Center for Civic Engagement program offering an alternative break that allows students to engage in issues through service learning, a hybrid of community service and learning from policy stakeholders. Breakout owes its name to the fact that the trips occur during fall and spring break. The service learning aspect comes in when students learn about domestic social issues. Rather than completing a service project during the week, students meet policymakers, community organizations and those directly affected by the focus issue of the specific trip.
Music: Princeton University Orchestra October 2015 Concerts
13 incidences of hand, foot and mouth disease diagnosed on campus; Meningitis B supposedly overcome, the medieval plague begins anewNeither News nor Notes: Princeton ranked best college town of 2015, according to company no one has ever heard ofMost students comfortable with new rifle policy; calls for Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun this ChristmasAvalonBay construction halted due to on-site contamination; Hand, foot and mouth disease unearthedNJ Transit begins #RudeZone campaign; all rude passengers required to self-segregate from general populationLocal radio station WPRB celebrates 75th anniversary; quietly playing hipster music for old people since 1940
It was after class when I stepped out of the Scheide-Caldwell House and was confronted with the pumpkin. Seated in between the picturesque crossroads of Scheide-Caldwell, Chancellor Green and Henry House was this enormous sculpture of a gourd cloaked in black and brass-gold polka dots. Like some sort of magical occurrence, it appeared to have sprouted in a spot where I had most certainly had lunch just a few weeks before. Questions possessed me. Where did the pumpkin come from? Who had designed it? Was it a gesture to the harvest season, the time for hot apple ciders and feasts among relatives?
Do you have a place in your hometown that you can envision as clearly as your childhood bedroom — every color, every store sign — as though your mind had the capabilities of Google Street View?
This week, Theatre Intime’s “Gidion’s Knot” closes out the last three performances of its two-week run. Written originally by Johnna Adams and directed on campus by Victoria Gruenberg ’16, the show features just two actors, Ugonna Nwabueze ’18 and Hope Kean ’18. Street sat down with Gruenberg and Nwabueze to talk about what it was like to be put on this short but emotionally high-stakes play. This Q&A has edited and condensed for clarity.