College of Social Studies - Newsletter 1996Table of Contents:
- Cecilia Miller
- Nancy Schwartz
- Rich Adelstein
- Jeffrey Butler
- David Morgan
- Peter Kilby
- Next Issue
- Mother Witch
- Where Have They All Gone
After two years of teaching the Sophomore History Tutorial, this year I taught Social Theory. I was pleased to teach a course even closer to my own field of European Intellectual History. Instead of writing papers, the students prepared detailed reading notes on each thinker and wrote several in-class prepared essays during the semester. My goal was to make Social Theory even more distinct from the tutorials by training the students in skills not stressed elsewhere in the CSS.
My own research on political and economic thought in the long eighteenth century continues to go well. Most of my academic talks are still on Giambattista Vico, the subject of my book. I will be on leave next year. In July I will go to Germany on the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. I will be in Munich until the end of October at the Goethe Institute in an intensive language course. In November I will go to the Freie Universität Berlin for the academic year, where I will be doing full-time research. The CSS Office will have my addresses.
I have enjoyed the intensity of teaching in CSS, from the weekly essays and debates of the Sophomore Government tutorial, to the advising of senior theses on diverse topics. I've also taught the Sophomore Colloquium in Philosophy or Social Theory, and served as Co-Chair of the college. The annual banquets and Chanukah/Christmas parties are a pleasure. Women's active role in the college is welcome. Outside CSS, I have written articles on the German political sociologists Karl Marx and Max Weber, a book on the theory and practice of political representation in America and renaissance Italy and in general, and articles on representation and districting in Israel. I am currently completing a project on women and courage in Greek and Jewish political thought, and teaching courses on classical political theory, women in political thought, and religion and politics.
It's great to have the chance to communicate with all of you wholesale in this way, but I hope nevertheless to do some "retailing" at reunion time, either this year or sometime soon thereafter. My life has almost certainly changed much less since you were here than yours has. I continue to teach happily in the College and work on my eternally ongoing research projects, and to age more or less gracefully -- with my hair almost completely white and my bushy beard gone since 1988, I am told that I now look more like Albert Einstein or Father Time than Karl Marx or Jerry Garcia, for whom I was occasionally mistaken before.
The substance of my teaching has, as always, been strongly influenced by the scholarly work I've been able to do with the help of three wonderful sabbaticals. The first was at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in Oxford in 1979-80. The second at the University of Munich in 1986-87 as a Fulbright Professor in Economic History. And last year at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study (where appropriately enough the ghost of Einstein permeates the atmosphere).
Since 1983 my interests have moved from the relatively narrow area of law and economics to encompass the history and development of large-scale forms of political and economic organization in the United States, though the basic ideas underlying this new work are much the same ones that informed the older research. The product so far has been articles in Economics and History journals (how's that for CSS interdisciplinarianism?), I am now trying to collect the things I've already written, expand and add to them, and produce at long last a book. The many books by CSS Alumni that grace our office provide a measure of shame and prodding in this direction.
Sandy and I are both well and happy, and our kids have grown like proverbial weeds. Rachel is now 19 and after a checkered year in Germany is a frosh at an unnamed Little Three school in Amherst. Kate is 15, a freshwoman at Middletown High, and a typical All-American teeny bopper. Sandy has been teaching mathematics as an adjunct instructor at the local community college since 1989.
All of us enjoy greatly hearing from you, and we'd love to see you and put a good meal in your tummy when you are next in Middletown. One of the greatest joys of teaching, I've found, is the transformation of students into friends, and I have been especially blessed in this regard with you. Please stay in touch!
I came to Wesleyan in January 1965 and for my first year had an office in Harriman--I came as a PAC appointment and only later moved to History -- but was with the original gang of Barber, Benson, Mink, soon joined by Kilby who moved into Butterfield. It was some time before I became a CSS tutor -- my first CSS task was in the imperialism senior seminar. I taught with Bill Barber, a deeply satisfying experience. After a few years, I became one of the Junior history tutors and only later began "at the bottom" by taking on the formidable and labor intensive challenge of Sophomore tutorials
As a graduate of PPE at Oxford, the original inspiration and model for CSS, and as one who enjoyed that interdisciplinary training, I was delighted to be able to teach in a tutorial rather than in a lecture program. I remember especially, however, how we battled in the late sixties and early seventies to keep our classes reasonably full, always rightly fearful that if we did not graduate a reasonable proportion of our intake, the university would shut us down. So we tutors spent a lot of time working out ways of helping students who were falling behind, and developing thesis workshops to give focus to honors candidates who were having difficulty getting launched.
One of the remarkable changes that has taken place in CSS in recent years is that the numbers problem seems to have gone away. Some would argue that for economical reasons we made it easier for students by dropping the Junior tutorials. That may be so, but an elimination of many of the old anxieties, for students and faculty, may be a real gain. As one of the designers of the Afro-Asian track which had such a brief life, I can only be sad that we were not able to create something with a reasonably long life. Some of the failure was due to weakness of design, but some of it was the time we lived in with civil rights and Vietnam wracking campuses all over the country. Wesleyan's Afro-American students understandably saw the Afro-Asian track as a real competitor for scarce resources to the disadvantage of an Afro-American center. Fortunately that conflict resolved itself without damage to the CSS core.
So for me in retirement it is a delight to see the college survive with its sophomore year and its stress on regular writing virtually intact. Recently there was yet another example of the interest CSS students have always shown in the functioning of the College: a group of Sophomores questioned the structure of the Junior year, making excellent suggestions for improvement. That seems to argue that a highly self-critical sense of community survives in CSS, something I admired from the very beginning of my association with it. As a small college within a small college, CSS students and tutors have been able over the years to experiment as their Oxford equivalents never could.
Once a CSSer, always a CSSer -- at least it seems to have worked out that way for a number of faculty who were inserted or drawn into the College in the 1960s and early 1970s. Among the aging (venerable) cohort of veterans, David Titus and I will mark the thirtieth anniversary of our involvement in the College this coming summer. What with leaves and other assignments the engagement hasn't been continuous -- for instance, I was Dean of the Social Sciences for four years recently -- but we keep coming back. We must like it!
Wesleyan often thinks of its alums as dividing naturally into two super-generations at about 1970, with the division marked by such things as the return of women to the student body and the end of the stock-market boom and the comfortable job market of the 1960s; perhaps also the decline of 1960s-style student activism (but not student concern!). For CSSers there must be a second generation divide, somewhere around the late 1970's to mid-1980's. The curriculum shifted, with the end of Marx and Marxism and junior tutorials; and there was an inevitable changing of the guard, as we lost Louis Mink and Gene Golob -- not to mention Anne Crescimanno! So it's good that some of us are still soldiering on in what we fondly believe to be the old spirit, and with pleasure.
If anyone is interested in my narrower academic interests, over time these have shifted from one end of the Weimar Republic (the role of radical socialists in the Republic's birth at the close of the First World War) to the other (the role of economic policy in the triumph of the Nazis and the initial success of their regime). When I first came to Wesleyan, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I had a second potential string to my bow, Eastern Europe, but at that time few people were interested; with little or no possibility of teaching the subject, my ability to keep up with the field fell off. Then came the dissolution of the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe in 1989, and with it a renewal of student interest in those countries and new possibilities of research access. That may be where I go next -- specifically to Hungarian history.
It is the tutorial. Despite inhospitable times for the College -- the stress of downsizing, the hazards of indictment for political incorrectness, creeping entropy from within -- I am sustained by the joy and satisfaction derived from teaching a CSS tutorial that is undiminished after thirty years. It works like no other mode of teaching.
But much satisfaction in my Wesleyan years has also come from the generous support given to scholarship. Research provides not only intellectual stimulation and fame, it also supplies psychological and geographic diversity. My topic has remained underdeveloped countries, but it moved from Nigeria to Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, thence to a number of Asian countries. During academic leaves, this research has been joyfully launched from Palo Alto, Honolulu, Paris, Washington and Geneva.
On the home front, after tending the young (and entertaining CSS students) for a decade, my wife Marianne turned to Law School in 1974. Today her eight-person firm in Essex prospers. Two of the children now hold academic positions at Vassar and St. Andrews, the third is a free-lance science fiction writer in Portland, Oregon. As to Redbone coon hounds, the place of Bert and Homer is at the moment vacant.
Guy Baehr chronicled some of the losses in the CSS program since his time. But there are also gains. Sophomore year is better than ever. In 1985 when the Economic curriculum shifted to a history-of-economic-thought orientation, all three tutorials were synchronized on 1776-1946 Europe, and to great effect. And, owing to the efforts of Jeff Butler and others in the 1970s, the late paper phenomenon is no more. On the social front, shrinking the Monday luncheon talk to the second thirty minutes of the lunch hour, while not without its losses, works far better than the ponderous noon-to-two ritual of the past.
Where the CSS has been increasingly pinched over the years is with regard to staffing. The quantitative (fiscal) aspect is hard-pressed Departments releasing sufficient manpower to staff our established tutorials, colloquia and co-chairing slots. The qualitative aspect is that, under the influence of cultural study and econometrics respectively, History and Economics are no longer recruiting the type of faculty needed by the CSS. Our most serious long-term problem.
In an e-mail communication a hard-hearted 1995 graduate urged the editors "to move beyond nostalgia." So our next Newsletter will focus on the world beyond the College and how a large group of CSSers are shaping it. While only about a quarter of our graduates intend to enter the profession as they depart Middletown, something like 45 percent end up practicing, teaching or adjudicating the Law. A team of accredited attorneys -- Rick Voigt '68, John Fenner '69, Carolyn Rainer '78, Lauren McFarlane '82, Jeremy Sacks'91 -- will prepare a number of carefully researched briefs on the subject. How did CSS lawyers choose or stumble into the profession, was there a useful CSS heritage in their skill formation, and of what adventures and achievements can they boast - these are some of the questions that the learned attorneys will address.
But the above venture will not succeed without the requisite raw material, without a small amount of cooperation from our JD readership. To wit, the last page of this Newsletter is a questionnaire to be filled out by every CSS lawyer and sent to Rick Voigt. Please don't let us down. If your impulse, as you read over the questionnaire, is to do a really good job later, recall Kilby's corollary.
For thirty years, Anne Crescimanno harassed us, counseled us, mothered us, flirted with us in our fantasies, and helped to hold the CSS together. On Saturday afternoon, March 16th professors and former students gathered to celebrate Anne and her life.
"In only two weeks we have raised $9,000 for the Anne Crescimanno Fellowship Fund, as a beginning of the expression of love and thankfulness that we wish to express to Anne..." spoke David Boeri '71, organizer and impresario.
Before he could finish, Anne spoke up. "$9,000, huh! That's nothing compared to the memories, and happiness I've had over the years."
This brief exchange from the reception to honor Anne with the announcement of the speaker and luncheon fund created in her honor seems to illustrate the complex love relation between Anne Crescimanno and the College of Social Studies and the students and teachers in the College. We all want to express some measure of love and thanks for all that Anne has meant to us and to the program over the years, but before we get our words out, Anne is thanking us.
Besides the announcement of the fund, John Driscoll, a member of the original CSS class of 1962, presented Anne with a large stack of letters and tributes mailed to mark the occasion.
Others attending the reception were Marilyn Fagelson '78, Mary Moran '78, Bruce Fenlason '68 and his wife Judith, Mike Demicco '80, Joel Backon '77, Ed Lee '85, and Milt Schroeder '62. From the faculty were the Barbers, the Butlers, the Driscolls, the Kilbys, the Lebergotts, Rich Adelstein, Brian Fay, Don Moon, David Morgan and David Titus.
An especial "extra" at the reception was the presence of Eugene Golob, co-founder of the CSS and Professor Emeritus of History, the person who had the presence of mind to find and bring Anne into the program 33 years ago.
In its 36 year history a rather large number of individuals have taught in the CSS. Several of the earliest have died -- Joe Palamountain, Louis Mink, Bob Benson. Many "non-regulars" are still at Wesleyan. Yet others have moved on to distant precincts.
Gerry Meier, one of the founders and last year's Fall Banquet speaker, left for the Stanford Business School in 1962, whence he recently retired. Bob Willis is now a well-known demographic economist at the University of Chicago. Bill Hughes is with Charles River Associates in Boston. Ed Nell thrives at the New School in New York, and Jim Hanson is Departmental Chair at Willamette College. Other economists -- Jon Joyce and Jon Rasmussen -- pilot the antitrust waters in the nation's capital. Franek Rozwadoski is at the IMF.
Turning to a few non-economists, Mort Tenzer and Rudy Tokes both traveled north to the University of Connecticut. We all read Fred Greenstein's newspaper quotes from Princeton. Ben Tipton is at the University of Sydney. And finally, Wally Katz left for Sewanne.
They were tremendous. Our book collection has grown from a bit over one foot in length to almost five feet, plus another foot of articles. From David Garrow's Bearing the Cross to Stephen Ferruolo's The Origins of the University: The Schools of Paris 1100-1215, from Paul Roth's Meaning and Method in the Social Sciences to Milton Schroeder's three-volume The Law and Regulation of Financial Institutions -- it is simply a stunning collection! And we are not unmindful that, even with the author's 40 percent discount, many of these donations, especially multiple donations, involved a substantial financial outlay. Thank you. And for those who have not yet bestirred themselves -- and we know of quite a few -- we eagerly await your offering.
The CSS reunion gathering will be at its traditional time and place. June 1st, Saturday 3:30 PM, in the CSS Lounge, 4th floor of PAC. All CSSers are invited. If any one would like to entrepreneur other activities, please contact John Driscoll in Alumni Relations.
Many CSS grads responded to the inaugural newsletter and wrote notes to Anne Crescimanno. Herewith a sampling of news and views from the correspondence:
Speaking, we hope, for many, Elaine Taylor-Kaus '86 said of the newsletter, "I sat down and read it cover to cover, which is not something I am often able to accomplish these days with anything written that enters my office...(it) brought back a flood of memories, both good and bad and indifferent." Elaine said she plans to travel up from Atlanta to attend her 10th reunion this year with her husband and daughter and hopes that Margaret MacGaffey '86 and Nona Liang '86 will also be there. Her internet address is email@example.com.
Mark Liniado '91 wrote from London to say he hopes the newsletter will become "a well-established institution of the CSS" and to report that he's been with The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty there for the last four years. Mark said he plans to move to Atlanta in April.
Despite Mark's move, the CSS will still be represented in London. John McDermott'78, who works for Merrill Lynch, moved to London in January after spending five years in Tokyo. John and his family lived in London for six years before going to Japan. At that time he worked in Merrill Lynch's legal department there. Now he's going back to take over his former boss's job.
Another footloose CSS grad, Jan de Wilde '68, reports he is well ensconced with his wife and children in an old house overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps in Switzerland after retiring two years ago from a 25-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service. He's now working for the International Organization for Migration in Geneva and his oldest boy is off to Dartmouth this fall.
Reporting from a less tranquil part of the globe, Steven E. Halliwell '65 said he is now using his "Wesleyan education and my Columbia graduate work in Soviet studies" trying to make investments in the former Soviet Union as senior vp and chief financial officer of The U.S. Russia Investment Fund. "It is a difficult struggle, given the number of issues that Russia and the other republics have inherited from the Soviet era," he said.
David Fagelson '80, who went to Oxford University to get a doctorate in legal theory, reports he "quite by accident fell into my present job at the University of Maryland advising foreign governments on the transition democracy...traveling all over the world speaking with government officials helping them draft constitutions and other laws implementing democratic rule." He said the suffering in some of the countries he visits, such as Cambodia, makes him very sad and reminds him "of just how privileged a life I have." David notes that he and his wife, Sophie, who he met at Oxford, now have a two-and-a-half year old son and that David's sister, Marilyn Fagelson '78, is a lawyer living in Hamden, Conn.
Another CSS grad who travels regularly around the world is John Holtzman '74, who works as a technical writer for a Washington-based consulting firm, Abt Associates. John, who spent two years in the Peace Corps and then got a Ph'd in agricultural economics, said he travels three or four times a year "to places like Kenya, Jordan, Ukraine, Senegal and Nepal."
The response to our request for copies of books and articles published by CSS grads to put in the CSS library was good.
Arthur T. Vanderbilt II'72, a practicing lawyer in Summit, N.J. who has used his spare time and the same manual typewriter he used in college to bang out several popular non-fiction books, sent a copy of Treasure Wreck: The Fortunes and Fate of the Pirate Ship Whydah. A translation will be published in Japan later this year and a Japanese television network is working on a documentary based on the book to come out about the same time. Closer to home, Warner Bros. is making a television movie based on another of his books, Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt.
A more recent grad, Jeremy Sacks '91, is in Washington, D.C. after spending time in law school. He reports that the "academic and collegial atmosphere of the CSS spoiled me for law school and most of my 'real world' experiences: it's hard to find an intellectual community whose members are interested in being interested in things and who can think critically about a given issue." Jeremy, who included two articles he's published since law school, hopes to renew acquaintances at his class reunion this June.
Another Washington resident, John Stremalu '66, sent us an impressive collection of articles on foreign policy topics and promised more as they appear later this year. John, whose eldest son is at Haverford, called the newsletter "a welcome reminder that the CSS was, in fact, as great an educational experiment as I tell our children it was. Doug Bennet is an old friend and I made the same points to him at a recent alumni meeting in Washington, although I gather the CSS as I knew it would be a luxury in today's cost-cutting climate." John has been working for The Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict for the past two years and his wife, Carolyn, runs a private foundation that funds work on micro-enterprise, primary education and human rights abroad.
Dina Kaplan '93 spent some time in Washington working in the Clinton White house but reports she is now in New York working for MTV News. Dina thought the newsletter was "a great idea" and offered to speak on how her CSS education helped prepare her for both jobs.
Speaking of MTV, an alumnus who graduated from CSS exactly 30 years before Dina is Leonard Edwards '63, who is now a State Superior Court Judge in San Jose, Calif., where he "prefers working with children's issues."
From Chicago, Mitchell Marinello '76 provided information about both himself and some of his classmates. Mitch repots he is a managing partner of a law firm with 16 lawyers specializing in business litigation. His wife, Nancy Young '78, is a surgeon at Children's Hospital specializing in children's ears. They have three children, all girls.
Mitch said he's stayed in touch with Steve Goldman '76, Ron Cox '76 and Jon Cleworth '76.
Steve is a partner with the law firm of Robinson & Cole in Hartford and married Kathy Rosenthal about five years ago after a 15-year courtship. Kathy is a physician specializing in infectious diseases and they have three children. Jon is back in Connecticut after eight years in Chicago. Rob is a transaction attorney in San Franciso. He and his wife Maggie spent six years in Taiwan and Robs till travels to China frequently on business deals.
The Bay Area has also attracted Wally Niemasik '70. Since January of last year he's been a partner in Snyder Capital Management, which manages $750 million in investments. His wife Julie runs a consulting business and they have two children.
Another Bay Area resident from the Class of 170 is Corey Rosen, who lives in Berkeley. Corey founded a non-profit organization that promotes employee-owned businesses in the U.S. and Asia. It's been 15 years now and he says he still "absolutely loves" the work.
Another member of the Class of 1970, Paul Macri, is on the other side of the continent in Maine, where he reports, "I am a lawyer now, as I guess nearly all of my CSS classmates are." Paul, who lives in Auburn, handles most of the appellate work for his firm, Berman & Simmons. His wife of 26 years, Joan, teaches social studies and debate at Lewiston High School and one of his children, Ben, is a freshman at Vassar.
While we expect to explore Paul's observation about the preponderance of lawyers among CSS graduates in our fall issue, the response to our first newsletter also demonstrates the versatility of a CSS education.
Francis Voigt '62 is chief executive officer of a cooking school in Vermont, the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, which he said he "and many others have spent the past 15 years building." He said "the foundation I received at Wesleyan" has served him well "through some very trying times."
Thomas Matlack'86, who has worked for Houghton Mifflin Co., gone to management school at Yale and traded derivatives briefly on Wall Street for Goldman, Sachs & Co. since CSS, is now chief financial officer of 167-year-old The Providence Journal Company in Providence, Rhode Island. He also had an op-ed piece published in the Boston Globe in January.
Steve Lansing '72, is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan and reports that Nick Dirks '72 is also there, holding a joint appointment in history and anthropology. Steve also notes that his son, John, is a freshman at Wesleyan and considering the CSS.
Thomas Kelly '73 is in St. Louis where he has been president and CEO of Mercy Health Plans for the past year and a half and is heading the Wesleyan Alumni Fund this year.
Another CSS grad in St. Louis is Tim Greaney '70, who is a law professor at St. Louis University. After 11 years with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, he's now specializing in competition and policy issues in the health care field.
Paul O'Brien '64 reports that he's spent the last 25 years in Suffolk County, Long Island, most of that time as the second-in-command in the county health department overseeing nursing homes, mental health clinics and health centers.
Another alumnus demonstrating the versatility of a CSS education is Rich Donnelly '68, who works his hay business in Colorado during the spring and summer but heads to Key West in the winter to hang out and write books.
Some of the communications we received were too sketchy to provide much in the way of biographical detail, so here in rapid-fire succession are some random fragments of information: Steve Sheffrin '72 is at the Department of Economics at the University of California, Davis. Brian L. Schorr '79 is executive vp and general counsel for the Triarc Companies, Inc. in New York. David Beaty '78 is living in Auburndale, Mass. Bob Davis '69 has a daughter and twin sons and works for Robinson Silverman Pearce Aronsohn & Berman LLP in New York. D.J. Masi '85 lives with his wife and two-year-old daughter in rural Wolcott, Vermont, where he works as a teacher and coach. Charles Wayne '73 is a lawyer in Washington, D.C. Scott Steele '80 is living in Glenview, Ill. Richard Cavanaugh '68 was elected president and CEO of the Conference Board in November. He and his wife Pat live in Cambridge, Mass. and New York City. Larry Green '74 lives in Needham, Mass. with his wife and two sons and is the managing partner of a 35-attorney law firm in Boston. Donald Crampton '65 lives in Park Ridge, Ill. John Vigman '85 moved in February from Guttenberg, N.J., to Frankfort, Germany, where he is now legal counsel and vp for Europe and the Middle East for Renaissance Hotels International. He invites any CSS grads in town to look him up.
There was a common theme in nearly all of the cards and letters to Anne Crescimanno: That her unfailing warmth, humor, common sense and willingness to help the struggling young scholars passing by her desk added immeasurably to the CSS experience. Alan Blankenheimer '70, now living in Phoenix, may have put it as well as anyone when he said, "Please accept my fondest regards and appreciation for the kindness you showed a 19-year old boy so long ago."
Please post to:
Attorney Rick Voigt
Cummings & Lockwood
City Place I
Hartford, CT 06103
Years of Grad
1. When did you decide to go to Law School? [before, during, after CSS; a specific "turning point"]
2. How many years after CSS did you enter Law School?
3. What is your current position and what area of the law do you specialize in?
4. What was the least attractive aspect of Law School that was reminiscent of the CSS, the most attractive aspect?
5. Was there anything in Law School or in your current practice where you would have been substantially better served by an Economics or a Government major?
6. Vis-a-vis preparation for the Legal profession, what "relatively costless" amendment to the CSS curriculum or outside course selection might you suggest?
7. Moving beyond the CSS focus, in this final open-ended essay on the reverse side of this page please address any topics that you fancy. (Some possibilities: the joys and the pain in the craft of practicing law, a small practice versus a corporate law firm, personal fulfillment -- would you do it again, your most colorful case, your most useful piece of work, multicultural and gender issues, areas of the law in need of reform).