Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Contextualizing Inauguration Day through Presidential Portraits


The group of visitors who crowded around to hear a gallery talk about presidential portraits at the Harvard Art Museums today were, perhaps inadvertently, participating in a form of creative resistance. Ethan Lasser, head of the division of European and American art and the Stebbins curator of American art, made no pretense about scheduling his talk while the forty-fifth president of the United States was officially being sworn in.

Harvard’s Economic Diversity Problem


Harvard College has almost as many students from the nation’s top 0.1 percent highest-income families as from the bottom 20 percent. More than half of Harvard students come from the top 10 percent of the income distribution, and the vast majority—more than two-thirds—come from families in the top 20 percent.   

A Robotic Fix for Heart Failure


Harvard scientists announced today that they have developed a robotic device made from soft, biomimetic materials that could one day restore the ability to pump blood in patients with heart failure. The invention, demonstrated in Yorkshire pigs, represents a pioneering use of soft robotics internally, although a great deal of further development, miniaturization, and testing will be needed before it could be used in humans.

Octavia Spencer Is Woman of the Year


Hasty Pudding theatricals has named actress Octavia Spencer its 2017 Woman of the Year.

Graduate Student Union, Continued


Graduate-student organizers were buoyed last summer after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) granted students who do paid teaching and research at private universities the right to unionize.

Ryan Reynolds Is Man of the Year


Hasty Pudding Theatricals has named actor and producer Ryan Reynolds its 2017 Man of the Year. Reynolds also received a 2017 Golden Globe nomination for playing the title character of the superhero film Deadpool, and in 2011 was chosen by the power ring of the planet Oa to be its earthly guardian in The Green Lantern.

Visitors, Not Viewers


If you're like me, you tend to enter a room with your eyes before your ears or nose or fingertips make it inside. The first thing you notice in “Calm. Smoke rises vertically.”—Wendy Jacob’s exhibition at the Radcliffe Institute’s Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery—are the miniature buildings perched on simple saw-horses arranged in a grid pattern around the gallery. They’re mostly places you’d recognize—the Parthenon, the U.S. Capitol. Some are more generic: there’s an airport hangar with a plane, and a skyscraper and a Catholic church.

A Harvard Magazine Tradition Ends


John de Cuevas ’52, who has for decades contributed original crossword puzzles to Harvard Magazine’s print and online editions, has announced that he will no longer produce new puzzles for the series. In an email, he wrote: 

Harvard Defeats Dartmouth


Last November, the Harvard men’s basketball team travelled more than 7,000 miles for a week-long trip to Shanghai. The trek featured visits to historic sites as well as a matchup with Stanford, and for at least one Harvard player, it was the first time traveling abroad.

An Orphaned Sewing Machine


Every object tells a story, and most objects tell many stories.  Some can help us transcend boundaries between people, cultures, and academic disciplines to discover crosscurrents in history. Allow me to make that argument by examining a common object,  an “orphaned” sewing machine.