Case Western Reserve Historian Explores the Origins of Latin America's Racial Harmony Myth


Nationalism and racial harmony forged one of Latin America's most powerful racial ideologies -- the myth of racial democracy, says Marixa Lasso, assistant professor of history. She reconstructs the evolution of this myth as the central theme of her book, Myths of Harmony Race and Republicanism during the Age of Revolution, Colombia, 1795-1831.

According to Lasso, racial harmony developed differently in Latin American countries than it did in the United States. While many African Americans were still under the yoke of slavery, the Afro-Colombians, outnumbering the creoles (Latin Americans of Spanish descent) were needed in the fight to gain independence from Spain.

The myth of racial harmony grew its roots as the Spaniards and Afro-Colombians joined together.

"During the War of Independence, Colombian patriots declared an end of colonial caste laws and decreed legal racial equality among all free citizens," writes Lasso. But she cautions that legal harmony did not mean the end to racial discrimination as slavery continued until the 1850s. Read more.

Cleveland Orchestra to Perform Exclusive Concert for Case Western Reserve Community February 29


Each year, the Cleveland Orchestra shares its symphonic sounds with both national and global audiences.

However, the orchestra will be at its Severance Hall home this Friday, February 29 to perform exclusively for the Case Western Reserve community. Sponsored by The Payne Fund, the annual Case Concert Celebration begins at 8 p.m., with a 6:30 p.m. reception preceding the concert.

All faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university are invited to attend the orchestra's special performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 4, Staud's Apeiron and Stravinsky's Firebird Suite.

Tickets -- $10 for university alumni, faculty, staff and friends and $5 for students -- are still available through the Severance Hall Ticket Office at (216) 231-1111. A valid student ID must be presented at the ticket office to purchase tickets at the student price.

Additional information is available on the Case Concert Celebration Web site.

Guidelines for Campus Involvement in Political Activities

With statewide and presidential primary elections approaching March 4, Case Western Reserve University's Office of Government Relations asks faculty, staff and students to remain mindful of the university's guidelines for political campaign activities on campus.

Case Western Reserve is committed to the free expression of political views by members of its community and to the value of discourse and debate, but the university also must comply with provisions governing its non-partisan, educational, tax-exempt status as well as its own internal policies.

Federal laws stipulate that non-profit, tax-exempt institutions of higher education are prohibited from participating or intervening in any partisan political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

Basic guidelines include:

  • Candidates may be invited to speak on campus provided that an equal opportunity is given to all candidates seeking the same office.
  • Public forums and debates are permissible provided that the format does not favor a particular candidate.
  • Voter registration activities are permissible provided that no reference to a candidate or political party is made.
  • It is permissible to contact people to encourage them to vote as long as it is not done in a way that favors one candidate.
  • Facilities may be made available to candidates only if they are made available to all candidates in the same election on an equal basis.
  • Facilities may not be used for political fundraising activities.
  • The university's e-mail system, copy machines, letterhead and logo, Web site and Web links cannot be used to reproduce or disseminate campaign-related information used to support a particular candidate or political party.

A complete guide to university involvement in political campaigns is available on the government relations Web site .

Campus News


The Weatherhead School of Management invites the campus community to celebrate the appointment of Professor Gary Previts to the E. Mandell de Windt Professorship in Leadership and Enterprise Development from 4-6 p.m., March 3 at the George S. Dively Building, Room 202. The event will include a presentation by Previts entitled "Accounting and the 21st Century Academy," immediately followed by a reception. RSVP by February 28 online, or call Peggy Sobul at 368-3247.

Aspiring filmmakers have an opportunity to enter the Cell Film Festival contest through March 3. Open to all students, faculty, and staff of Case Western Reserve, the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music, films must be made entirely on cell phones. Winning films and runners-up in each category will be featured at the Cell Film Festival and Awards Ceremony on March 24 during the Baker-Nord Center's Humanities Week 2008.

For Faculty and Staff

The submission deadline for employee tuition waiver applications for the Spring 2008 semester is February 29. A completed waiver application is required to receive the university's tuition benefits available to employees as well as their spouses and dependents (refer to the education benefits summary for program details). Tuition benefits policies and procedures were revised January 1 to define an appeal process for employees if a supervisor does not approve the tuition waiver application. The decision may be appealed to the director of employee relations, and must be made before the tuition waiver application deadline. Application forms are available online and in the Benefits Administration Office in Crawford Hall, Room 224. For questions, contact Michelle Belle via e-mail or at 368-3166.

For Students

The Asian American Alliance (AAA) is hosting its "AAA Night 2008" from 7-10 p.m., February 29 at Thwing Center ballroom. Students are invited to sample Asian cuisine and watch cultural performances. Ticket prices are $8 for the dinner and show for university undergraduate students, $3 for the show only. For details, go to the AAA Web site.

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) is hosting its first "Career Interaction" from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., February 28 in Nord Hall, Room 310. Come learn about summer job opportunities and enjoy free food. Representatives from Lubrizol and Park-Ohio will be available to answer questions about their respective companies. Also, attendees can sign up for future SPE events, order T-shirts and learn more about the student organization. For information, send e-mail to Sarah Pace.



The Case Western Reserve University Swing Dance Club is hosting a dance and concert with seven-piece band Hepcat Revival from 9 p.m. to midnight, March 1 at Adelbert Gym. Part of the Sparx! workshops, there will be a beginner's swing dance lesson from 8-9 p.m. Free admission for all Case, Cleveland Institute of Art and Cleveland Institute of Music students. For information, go to the Sparx! Web site.

Steven Feldman, associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Policy Studies will discuss his experiences as a Fulbright Scholar during the talk "China Lessons: A Fulbright Experience in Shanghai," beginning at 11:30 a.m., February 28 in the Toepfer Room in Adelbert Hall. Lunch will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, contact Lois Langell via e-mail or at 368-4342.

Refer to the Web event calendar for a list of events and activities on campus and in the community today and in the days ahead.

February 26, 2008

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Case in the News

Dems' Ohio debate comes at key moment

USA TODAY, February 26, 2008
If recent campaigning is any indication, tonight's debate between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will not lack drama. Cleveland's most recent debate was in October 2004 between Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic challenger John Edwards at Case Western Reserve University.

Business diary

The Plain Dealer, February 26, 2008
HydroGen Corp., a startup fuel cell maker with headquarters on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, says it has produced its first 400-kilowatt module and delivered it to ASHTA Chemicals Inc. in Ashtabula for a commercial demonstration.

Debate primer: How to watch Tuesday's presidential debate

The Plain Dealer, February 26, 2008
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama face off for the 20th time tonight. Obama is behind in two new polls in Ohio, but his pattern in other states recently has been to close that gap and pull ahead, said Alexander Lamis, a political scientist at Case Western Reserve University.

Reporters' Notebook: Feb. 25, 2008

Crain's Cleveland Business, February 25, 2008
Sorin Teich believes there's a way for Case Western Reserve University's School of Dental Medicine to best serve students and the community -- by attracting entire families to have their dental work done at the school. Teich, the new director of clinical care at the dental school, is creating a marketing campaign to inform local residents that the school can treat children as well as adults.

Texas and Ohio races get tighter

The New York Post, February 26, 2008
Barack Obama has sliced Hillary Rodham Clinton's lead in half in Ohio and is fighting her to a dead heat in Texas -- two huge primary contests next week. Alexander Lamis, assistant professor of political science at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Presidential economics, February 25, 2008
Ohio's economy is in a slump. Presidential hopefuls have been campaigning on the best way to bring back economic health and prosperity. The Sound of Ideas radio program recently gathered a panel of experts -- including Susan Helper, economics professor at Case Western Reserve University -- to discuss the issues.

Higher Ed News

New Orleans colleges see surge in applications

Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog, February 25, 2008
Applications to New Orleans colleges are soaring this spring. Many of the students who are applying came to the city as volunteers to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

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