University of Rhode Island

Latest Articles


Silenced on campus

As this list drawn from campuses around New England demonstrates, liberty — as defined by the American constitutional tradition — is under constant assault.
The college Muzzles
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  June 22, 2013

Robert Ballard on discovering – and preserving – the Titanic

Robert Ballard, the charismatic professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, has had an illustrious career as a marine explorer. But he is best known for discovering the Titanic on September 1, 1985.
Under the Sea
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 13, 2012

Maxey’s sprawling landscapes; Blackburn’s altered spaces

After years of visiting her second home in her husband's native United Kingdom, Providence artist Madolin Maxey says it finally occurred to her to paint the hedgerows, rolling hills, giant boulders, and ancient stone crosses in Devon in southwestern Eng
Exteriors and interiors
By GREG COOK  |  March 23, 2012

URI’s marvelous take on Tartuffe

"The more things change, the more they stay the same" — that phrase may not have found widespread popularity until the 19th century, but French playwright and satirist Molière understood it well.
Hilarity and hypocrisy
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  March 02, 2012

An evangelical chemist on faith and science

Chemistry professor Troy van Voorhis is a bit of an anomaly, an evangelical Christian — by definition, though not necessarily by social or political affiliation, as he is quick to note — working at that high church of science, the Massachusetts Institut
By RHEMA THOMPSON  |  February 24, 2012

URI’s Marat/Sade finds pleasure in pain

To compare a crazed society to a madhouse is a trite observation. But it became an astute metaphor and powerful theatrical experience when playwright Peter Weiss created Marat/Sade , as URI Theatre is robustly demonstrating (through October 23).
Musical madness
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 21, 2011


A few great places to go when you want to look great

You're new to town and you want to get all dolled up for that lecture on cognitive linguistics. What to do?
Altered images
By ELIZABETH RAU  |  September 30, 2011

Dark side of the future

When the University of Rhode Island kicked off its invigorating "Are You Ready For the Future?" speakers series a few weeks back, there was only one man for the job: inventor and provocateur Ray Kurzweil.
Utopia or the end of humankind? A URI forum explores “the Singularity”
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 30, 2011

URI’s ''Are You Ready For the Future?'' colloquium in brief

The future is about more than the singularity, of course. It's about robots, lab-grown organs, and watching hopelessly as the Chinese pilfer our military secrets.
Robots and lab-grown bladders
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 30, 2011

You don’t need an education to spell ‘hate’

OK, Phillipe and Jorge are going to need a little help on this one.
More misplaced outrage; Monstrous behavior; viva literacy!
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  September 30, 2011

Sexy Period's panty raid

Stepping into Sexy Period's one-room office, I leave the imposing bricks of One Davol Square behind and enter a world of whimsy.
Department of Defense
By NICOLE FRIEDMAN  |  August 12, 2011


Review: 'Crossing Currents: Feminism Now' at URI

One of the cool developments of the past decade has been the reassessment and historical embrace of the founding feminist art of the 1960s and '70s.
Showcase sans statements
By GREG COOK  |  March 11, 2011

Chafee makes his mark on education reform

The State House was mostly empty Tuesday afternoon, as the snow dropped cold and wet outside. So the crowd was rather modest as Governor Lincoln Chafee walked into the ornate State Room, just outside his office, to announce four new picks for the nine-m
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 04, 2011

Providence's mapmaker goes digital

Eddie Grant, veteran mapmaker for the city of Providence, sits at the back of an otherwise colorless planning department office, a large cardboard cutout of the Three Stooges looking over his shoulder.
Geography Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  December 10, 2010
Frances Topping at URI's Library Gallery

Frances Topping at URI's Library Gallery

From lilies to lakes to geese old and young, Frances Topping documents the nuances of the natural world, and she does it to provide her...
By webteam  |  December 07, 2010

At URI, Booker challenges a generation

"Gun shots rang out," said Cory Booker, Newark's charismatic mayor, during a talk at the University of Rhode Island's Edwards Hall this week.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  November 12, 2010


URI's Spinning Into Butter looks at racism

Interracial harmony, good. Racism, bad. One-to-one, honest communication between people with differences is healthy and necessary.
Social studies
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 22, 2010

Learning lost

I read Deirdre Fulton's recent article in the Phoenix about the impact of technology and "learner-centered" education on the college experience with a mixture of admiration, because I think she got most things correct, and dread, because I think she
Letters to the Portland Editor, September 10, 2010
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  September 10, 2010

An angry electorate? Eh, whatever

Whither the rage? Rhode Island's Great Recession — greater, even, than the national model — was supposed to conjure a once-in-a-generation anti-incumbent fever. But so far, it's looking more like a modest headache.
Dud Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 20, 2010
South County HOT AIR Balloon Festival

South County HOT AIR Balloon Festival

Sure, they call it the South County HOT AIR Balloon Festival, and there are plenty of opportunities to drift through the air in a basket,...
By webteam  |  July 13, 2010

The horror

In April 1915, Turks of the Ottoman Empire began killing the Armenians in their midst.
‘The Armenian Genocide: 95 Years Later’
By GREG COOK  |  April 16, 2010

A black leadership silent on abortion fabrications

Last month, controversial anti-abortion-rights billboards appeared in Georgia hinting that abortion is a tool of black genocide.
By MARY ANN SORRENTINO  |  March 26, 2010

Amid the gloom, a one-man optimism offense

Seven or eight years ago, with the state's economy aflutter and Providence in ascendance, Scott Wolf thought Rhode Island was finally starting to shed its inferiority complex.
Chins Up Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 26, 2010
"Stop the Abuse" Exhibit at URI

"Stop the Abuse" Exhibit at URI

Physical attacks are some of the most disturbing episodes a family can go through. The depth of such drama is difficult to explain, so sometimes...
By webteam  |  February 24, 2010
“Household Saints: African Spirituality in Cuban Art and Culture” at URI

“Household Saints: African Spirituality in Cuban Art and Culture” at URI

You don’t need to hit cathe-drals and basilicas to catch artistic renditions of spirit-ual narratives. The University of Rhode Island’s “Household Saints: African Spirituality in...
By webteam  |  January 13, 2010

Chafee and the hazards of a bold politics

By the time a candidate for major office steps up to the microphone to officially declare for the seat, everyone already knows his intentions.
 Tax Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 08, 2010

“Freedom Without Walls” at URI

“Freedom Without Walls” at URI

When a repressive culture crumbles, and the symbol of its power is trashed, pictures are taken. Case in point: the thud we heard 20 years...
By webteam  |  December 30, 2009

Worth the gamble?

Just three years after Rhode Island voters killed plans for a full-scale, Vegas-style casino, big-time gambling is in the cards again.
A push for full-scale Vegas-style casinos is in the cards again. Can poker and craps save a state in freefall?
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  December 18, 2009


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a harmless enough little confection for, say, when you've had enough high-protein Shakespeare.
URI’s makes Putnam County worth visiting
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 11, 2009

Paging Queequeg

Like Captain Ahab with Moby-Dick, it appears Providence Bishop Tommy Tobin has his own obsession with Rep. Patrick Kennedy.
Patrick and the Bishop go another round. Plus, farewell to Mary and Art.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  November 27, 2009