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The Archaeology of Wealth Inequality

Tim Kohler

When the last of the volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius settled over Pompeii in A.D. 79, it preserved a detailed portrait of life in the grand Roman city, from bristling military outposts to ingenious aqueducts. Now researchers say the eruption nearly 2,000 years ago also captured clues to one of today’s most pressing social problems.

Analyzing dwellings in Pompeii and 62 other archaeological sites dating back 11,200 years, a team of experts has ranked the distribution of wealth in those communities. Bottom line: economic disparities increased over the centuries and technology played a role.
The research is being published this month in Ten Thousand Years of Inequality, a book edited by Smith and Timothy Kohler of Washington State University.

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Smithsonian Magazine

Opinion: What we need to talk about when we talk about mass shooters

A day after the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump blamed the incident that left 17 dead on shooter Nikolas Cruz’s mental health.

Melanie-Angela Neuilly

Dr. Melanie-Angela Neuilly, an associate professor at the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, told the Daily Dot, “While mental health should always be taken into consideration, the emphasis on mental health as a source of violence is misleading as individuals suffering with mental health issues are actually less likely to be violent (overall) than individuals without mental health issues.”

What we really ought to question, Neuilly said, are the cultural values that could contribute to deadly shootings. Near the top of that list is toxic masculinity.

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The Daily Dot

Opinion: Billy Graham was on the wrong side of history

Racial tensions are rising, the earth is warming, and evangelicals are doing little to help. That may be Graham’s most significant, and saddest, legacy.

By Matthew Avery Sutton, Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of History

Matthew Avery Sutton

When Billy Graham stands before the judgment seat of God, he may finally realize how badly he failed his country, and perhaps his God. On civil rights and the environmental crisis, the most important issues of his lifetime, he championed the wrong policies.

Graham was on the wrong side of history.

The world’s most famous evangelist let his apocalyptic anticipation of the coming kingdom of God blind him to the realities of living in this world.

For Graham, the Bible had a clear message for Christians living in what he believed were humans’ last days on earth. Individuals alone can achieve salvation; governments cannot. Conversions change behaviors; federal policies do not.

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The Guardian

Pursuing her most authentic self

WSU grad student gives insight into her experience as an artist and teacher

June Sanders discovered a passion for art while attending Western Washington University—a fair leap from advertising, her intended major.

June Sanders

Sanders, now a first-year Master of Fine Arts student at Washington State University, said it was her friends in undergrad who introduced her to what it’s like to be an artist.

“I was just so blessed in befriending, right when I came to college, all these wonderful, artistic people,” she said, “that just got to expose me to a lot and mold me in these ways, even if they didn’t realize they were doing it and if I didn’t realize.”

In the WSU MFA program, Sanders’ main focus is photography, but she said all MFA students are encouraged to experiment with other media while in the program. Through this experimentation, the students may end up leaving with a different emphasis than they originally came to the program with.

Sanders currently teaches Fine Arts 102, » More …

Podcast series makes visiting artists accessible any time

Squeak Meisel

Squeak Meisel, the chair of the Fine Arts department and a renowned sculptor, has a confession to make about his podcast series, “Fly on the Wall.”

“I stole this idea from my friend Spencer Moody,” he says. Moody, a punk and noise rock musician and artist, recorded a series of interviews that inspired Meisel to realize that there is a whole “cohort of people who make different decisions than I do,” and who have a diversity of approaches to life, art, music, the world and its ambiguities.

“I thought, this is what I get from the visiting artists” the Fine Arts department invites to campus. “I get to expose students to all these different choices and lifestyles,” to all the experiences and decisions that go into becoming an artist. » More …