A&S in the News: February 21-27, 2021

UA Opera Theatre

The show must go on: Putting on an opera in the shadow of COVID-19: Crimson White – Feb. 21

Despite a year of pandemic-related struggle in the live theatre industry, The University of Alabama’s Opera Theatre department has found ways to safely put art into the world. … Due to the strict social distancing guidelines put in place by The University of Alabama, many core aspects of the show such as auditions, costume fittings and tech rehearsals have all been changed and challenged. Things like mask-wearing, strictly-limited rehearsal spaces, isolation between cast and crew members are now commonplace. Houghtaling, a professor at The University of Alabama and highly-decorated opera performer, expressed undeniable passion and enthusiasm about the show despite the challenges that have blanketed the department due to COVID-19.

Vaccine Eligibility

Differing rules on COVID-19 vaccine eligibility prompts travel to and from Alabama: Fox 10 – Feb. 22

“So it’s counterintuitive that the state of Alabama would be interested in protecting Georgia residents before all Alabama residents have the vaccine,” said University of Alabama professor Allen Linken, who nonetheless believes it is unconstitutional for states to impose residency requirements. Linken said there are many good reasons why the state would want to prioritize its own citizens.

Ancient Octopuses

Evidence of predation by octopuses pushed back by 25 million years: Tuscaloosa Patch – Feb. 22

Dr. Adiel Klompmaker, curator of Paleontology at the Alabama Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Neil Landman, curator emeritus of Fossil Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History, detailed their findings in a recently published paper in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Octopuses from the Octopodoidea superfamily are a versatile group of marine predators comprising more than 200 species today. As these soft-bodied cephalopods do not fossilize easily because they decay rapidly, only a single body fossil species from 95 million-year-old Cretaceous rocks in Lebanon is known.

Union Drive

‘We deserve more’: An Amazon warehouse’s high-stakes union drive: The Guardian – Feb. 23

 “One of the reasons this really might work is it’s a tie-in to civil rights and human rights,” said Michael Innis-Jiménez, a professor of American Studies at The University of Alabama. “It’s about much more than bread and butter.”

Fulbright U.S. Student Awards

UA named a Fulbright Student Top Producer, sets university record: Tuscaloosa Patch – Feb. 23

For the fifth time in six years, The University of Alabama was recognized as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards while setting a new University record with 17 students receiving Fulbright Award offers in the 2020-2021 cohort.


Is Twitter becoming our new Big Brother?: WVUA 23 – Feb. 26

“It’s a profound statement that a private company can silence the president of the United States,” said University of Alabama Assistant Professor of Political Science Allen Linken. “It is not a matter of constitutionally right or wrong, it’s a matter of, ‘is there comfort in private companies having the ability to silence a sitting president of the United States?’”