Emeritus Faculty Association #108 April 2005

Next Meeting:
Note: Amended time:12.00 a.m., Friday, May 13th, SAC ballroom B.
A lunch meeting, courtesy of the Provost's Office, at which the speaker will be Perry Goldstein, Associate Professor of Music and Director of the College of Arts, Culture, and Humanities. He will be talking about the new system of undergraduate colleges (of which the former is one) and demonstrating some of the student work and activities.
Spouses are welcome. Note that April 19 was the deadline for the RSVP to Faith Mirabile (632-7211, fmirabile@notes.cc.sunysb.edu) and 80 places have been reserved. A limited number of extra places are being held open for procrastinators for a short while - rsvp now!

Last Meeting:
After a disinterested and impartial introduction by emeritus professor Karl Bottigheimer, we were treated to one of the racier talks of our series. Sue (ne Ruth) Bottigheimer talked of her research into the origins and "the archeology" of fairy tales, which has been the subject of her several books, some seventy articles, and appointments at Innsbruck, Gottingen, Stony Brook, and Princeton universities. Her revisionist work was some of the first to first tackle generations of orthodoxies about the Grimms. In America the standard understanding remains the one put about by nineteenth-century nationalists, namely that Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859) traveled the German countryside gathering tales from peasant storytellers. The facts, that they got the first half of their tales from the girls and women they had coffee with on Sundays, are far different, as are the documentable origins of their informants' knowledge of fairy tales. Most of these stories were widely available in printed form at the time, taken from divers origins as far back as Ovid, Giambattista Basile (1634), Giovanfrancesco Straparola (1551), and French predecessor Charles Perrault (1628-1703). They were then transcribed and edited by the Grimm brothers and often cleaned up in the process. As the introducer pointed out, by dint of searches through uncataloged old ephemera in provincial libraries, schools, and seminaries, Sue Bottigheimer almost single-handedly created a literary history where none was thought to exist.
Note to afficianodos of the genre: Right now and until August 14, the Jewish Museum has a special exhibition of the drawings and stories for children of Maurice Sendak, who was greatly influenced by the Grimm brothers.

Keeping in touch, ctd
Jake has written to provide his new address, effective May 1st:
Grace and Jacob Bigeleisen, 900 N. Taylor St., Apt 1817, Arlington, VA, 22203. Telephone: 703-528-7828. They look forward to keeping in touch if anyone is visiting the Washington area.

Beware of phishing scams (From Bob Stafford of the university police).
The Federal Trade Commission has issued the following warning for all email users: Internet scammers casting about for financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims - they go "phishing". Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card, bank account, and social security numbers, passwords, or other sensitive information. Most phishing attempts come from overseas. Never reply to these emails, but simply delete them. If you use Lotus Notes, you can report any phishing email to the spam filter provider by doing an "Actions - Other, This is Spam" from the menu bar.

Health care proxy
In light of the national public interest generated by the Terri Schiavo case, state health commissioner Antonia C. Novello has urged all New Yorkers to protect their decision-making power by completing a health care proxy to legally designate someone they trust to make health care decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so. For instructions and to download the form, go here

Website of the month:
In trips to NYC last month to see the "Gates" installed in Central Park by Christo, we were chagrined to learn that we had missed other artworks installed by the British artist Banksy in the Brooklyn, Metropolitan, MOMA, and Natural History museums. In particular we would have loved to see the glass-case containing the genus "Withus Oragainstus - native to the United States", flying beetle equiped with minature radar antenna and missile launchers. Although, like the "Gates", these works are now removed, fortunately they may still be viewed here (click for quote, click on the wall, and go to current exhibitions). or here (about half way down). Some believe that Banksy must surely have visited our own location, during the time when those little flower groupings first began to appear across campus with plaques giving credit to this group or that. In an area in front of the SAC, then a mass of weeds, passers by could observe an exactly identical plaque, inexplicably giving credit for the "garden" to Lawrence Martin.