October 2011

A Journalist's Risks: The Veronica Guerin Story

Until the movie bearing her name was released, I had no idea who Veronica Guerin was. The picture presented to me by the film was crafted by Hollywood and as much as it contains the truths of her life, it is filled with much more Hollywood propaganda then reality. In the end, though, it brings to light a legendary woman who used her voice as a journalist to highlight the drug problem in Dublin. She was assassinated a mere six years after beginning her career as a journalist, and only two years after beginning work with the Sunday Independent.

Women and The FBI

While Scully was delving into the unknown of extraterrestrial life, Patricia Kirby was delving into another terrifying unknown: the minds of serial killers.

Kirby was the tough-as-nails investigator that Jodie Foster’s character was mirrored after in the blockbuster film The Silence of the Lambs. Kirby told UK newspaper The Sun that she was both honored and embarrassed that author Thomas Harris based the character of Clarice Sterling on her in the 1988 novel that would eventually spawn its popular movie counterpart.

The Coalition of Women Scholars

The Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCCs) is the biggest annual event for the field of Composition and Rhetoric. This is the time when composition scholars meet up with old friends, collaborate with one another, take in new scholarship, and do some serious drinking.

This time, perhaps a hundred or so women, and a few devoted men, sit in the Marquis Ballroom before the Coalition meeting, discussing the workshops they’ve already attended at this year’s CCCCs. They are The Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. 

Frances Oldham Kelsey: How One Woman Prevented an American Tragedy

Thalidomide has been called one of the biggest medical tragedies in modern times. In the late 1950s and early 1960s over 10,000 children were born world wide with shocking deformities caused by the drug. Of those 10,000 cases only 17 were in the United States. That number would have been much higher if not for the vigilance of Frances Oldham Kelsey.


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