A&S in the News: December 6-12, 2020

Confederate Monuments

Don Noble: Book contains timely assessment of Confederate monuments’ history: Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 6

The discussion of systemic racism in general and of statues honoring Confederates in particular is raging nationwide. There are, O’Neill reminds us, over 1,500 “publicly sponsored symbols honoring Confederate leaders.” About 700 of them are monuments, not just plaques. All Confederates are Confederates, but not all Confederates were complete monsters. Here in Tuscaloosa, Morgan Hall, named after a Confederate general, is now the English Building. Like the Washington football team, it has been cast into nomenclature limbo. Morgan fought for the South but, as Jacksonville University historian Hardy Jackson has written eloquently, was also hugely important in the progress of The University of Alabama after the war.

Fall Commencement

UA to hold in-person commencement ceremonies: CBS Radio News (National) – Dec. 6

Many colleges are going all virtual with their graduation ceremonies, but not The University of Alabama. It plans to hold its 2020 graduation in person this coming Saturday with live video for those who can’t attend.
The Tuscaloosa News
ABC 33/40
The Tuscaloosa News (photo gallery)

Marshall Scholarship

UA senior first in over 40 years to receive Marshall Scholarship: Patch.com – Dec. 7

A University of Alabama senior became the first UA student in more than four decades to receive the prestigious Marshall Scholarship to study abroad in the United Kingdom. Caroline Yuk, a senior from Crystal Lake, Illinois, is reportedly the third UA student to be awarded the scholarship and was one of 46 Americans selected. The university explained that the scholarship provides aid to American students to study at graduate-level UK institutions in any field of study.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana subpoena may have been connected to FBI probe: News Tribune – Dec. 8

It’s been more than a year since the FBI began interviewing local officials in Independence and around the state. But it is impossible to know how far along any investigation may be, if it’s still ongoing or even what direction it is heading, said Luke Hunt, a former FBI agent who teaches jurisprudence and criminal law at The University of Alabama. “There is generally no firm timetable in which an investigation must be completed,” he said.


University of Alabama’s “Hilaritas” holiday show will go on with radio, video versions: Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 10

For the past five decades in Tuscaloosa, one certain sign of the season has been The University of Alabama School of Music’s “Hilaritas” concerts. Yet as with so many things 2020, COVID-19 struck down the holiday show: … But that doesn’t mean 2020 must be entirely “Hilaritas”-free. UA’s planning not only radio broadcasts from the 2005 CD, which includes many of the show’s staples, but on a video from the 2019 “Hilaritas” to be made available on YouTube, soon as they’re done with touchup audio-visual edits. “I had it in the back of my mind, since we weren’t going to be having a performance, it was leaving not just a huge hole in the School of Music, but in the community, too,” said Christopher Kozak, director of jazz studies at UA, who’s led “Hilaritas” since 2006. “It seemed the right thing to do, to at least put something out there…absolutely something that needs to happen. We all need a little something joyful.”
Alabama NewsCenter

“Speaking of Race”

Alabama sheriff’s mugshot Christmas tree stirs debate over the word ‘thug’: Al.com – Dec. 10

The Mobile County Sheriff’s Department’s social media post last week of a Christmas tree filled with “thug shots” drew fiery criticism on social media for its unsavory depiction of jailed inmates and for using the word “thug” to describe them… The analysis of the thug skulls was the subject of a University of Alabama “Speaking of Race” podcast last December, focusing on the long-outdated science of phrenology and the analysis of a human skull to see if criminal behavior is hereditary.

Climate Change

Where we stand on climate: The New Yorker – Dec. 11

The University of Alabama biologist Gui Becker has a new entry for the micro-genre of scientists singing about climate change. His song “Sorcery Science” is an angry lament that we’re not taking logic and reason seriously enough, which seems—as the temperature climbs and the covid-19 death toll soars—a perfectly rational charge.