Centerpiece: Spring 2015

Program on U.S.-Japan Relations

The Weatherhead Center’s Program on U.S.-Japan Relations celebrates its thirty-fifth year as a leading program that brings together faculty, students, and visitors at Harvard to advance social science research on Japan’s global role. During the 2014–2015 academic year, the program’s weekly seminars featured Alexis Dudden (University of Connecticut; 2006), Takeo Hoshi (Stanford University), Takatoshi Ito (Columbia University), John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago), Joseph S. Nye, Jr. (Harvard...

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New Faculty Associates

The following Harvard faculty accepted invitations to be WCFIA Faculty Associates during the 2014–2015 academic year:

Julie Battilana, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School. Hybrid organizations that diverge from typical corporations and not-for-profits by combining aspects of both at their core.

Sílvia Benedito, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design. The role of atmosphere, weather, and sensation in the design disciplines of landscape...

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New Books

Empire of Cotton: A Global History

By Sven Beckert

Image of book coverEmpire of Cotton is the epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism.

Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost...

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Of Note

Weatherhead Center Faculty Associate Nominated as Finalist for 2015 Pulitzer Prize in History; Wins Bancroft Prize

Sven Beckert’s book, Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), was nominated as a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in History. The committee called it “a work of staggering scholarship arguing that slavery was crucial to the dynamism of the industrial revolution.”

Beckert’s book was also awarded a 2015 Bancroft Prize. The Bancroft Prizes are awarded annually by the trustees of Columbia University. Winners are...

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Soviet Planning Praxis: From Tractors to Territory

by Christina E. Crawford

Land socialization was one of the first legal acts instituted by the Bolshevik government in 1917, and it was a measure that initiated a feverish period of theorization and construction of new spatial models. If capitalist urbanism was dense, centralized, and exploitative, Soviet physical and economic planners asked, how might socialist space be organized differently to engender fair economic and social relations? While actualized socialist cities of the early Soviet period—known in their time as social-industrial...

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Message from the Executive Director

To explain what we do from day to day, people in jobs like mine search for metaphors from realms of work that are comparatively much more hands-on. That’s because we’ve realized that our friends and families, who don’t often see us on the job, might understand us better by our offering them a concept that’s far more visible or concrete. Secretly, we also harbor a desire to show that we, in fact, just may be making some kind of palpable contribution to the world, that what we do has heft. I suppose that a lot of us, in describing our jobs, call up images like “nurses” or “chefs” or “...

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Spring 2015, Volume 29 Number 2

Image of Spring 2015 Centerpiece coverThe spring 2015 issue of Centerpiece focuses on the Center's recent activities, including updates from the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations and student programs. The Message from the Executive Director is a self-reflective look at the past twenty-two years that Steven B. Bloomfield has been at the Center. The feature, “Soviet Planning Praxis: From Tractors to Territory” by Christina E. Crawford, examines the relationship between urban theory and architectural practice in the Soviet Union from 1917–1932. And finally, the feature “In Conversation with…,” is an interview with George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature Panagiotis Roilos, that focuses on his current research, his relationship with the Center, and the importance of integrating the humanities with international relations.... Read more about Spring 2015, Volume 29 Number 2