Weseminars

WESeminars provide opportunities to revisit the classroom and experience firsthand the academic excellence that is the essence of Wesleyan, with presentations by scholars, pundits, and other experts in their fields. Programs run approximately 60 minutes, followed by audience Q&A. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, and because of the state fire code, the University is unable to offer standing room space on the floors or aisles of venues.

A complete schedule of all of the Weekend’s events can be found on the Schedule page.

Events

Friday, November 3, 2017

2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
WESEMINAR Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan

Social innovation has always been in the DNA of Wesleyan. Recently we were recognized by Princeton Review as the #1 “Best School for Making an Impact” and Forbes as the #9 college for entrepreneurship. During this panel discussion, we’ll hear from student entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, activists, and community leaders who are using their interdisciplinary liberal arts education to tackle the pressing problems of the world--starting right here on campus.
Moderator: Makaela Kingsley ’98, MALS ’05, Director of Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Speakers: Patricelli Center Fellows
Sponsored by the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships, and the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life
Allbritton 311

3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
WESEMINAR Expanding Access with the Center for Prison Education
Since 2009, the Center for Prison Education has brought the transformative power of a Wesleyan Education behind prison bars. Please join us for a panel discussion of why college-in-prison is important for reversing the trends of mass incarceration and fostering healthier communities and universities.
Moderator: Isabel Bartholomew '18, Center for Prison Education Undergraduate Volunteer; Sarah Williams ’88, P’21, Center for Prison Education Advisory Board member
Speakers: Peter Gottchalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University; Sitar Terrass-Shah ’17, Center for Prison Education Fellow
Putnam Classroom (114), Boger Hall
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
WESEMINAR Celebrating Seniors: Research Excellence at Wesleyan and Abroad

Members of the Class of 2018 share their summer and fall projects, representing a cross-section of student research and creativity. Students will share their work and discuss the process that guided their explorations.
Moderator: Renée N. Johnson Thornton, Ph.D., Dean for the Class of 2018
Presenters: TBA
Judd 116

4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
WESEMINAR Veterans at Wesleyan: An Informal Conversation

Since the fall of 2014, Wesleyan has worked with the Posse Foundation to bring cohorts of 10 undergraduate veterans to Wes each year; the first Wes Posse Veteran Scholars cohort will graduate this coming May. At this WESeminar, members of the Posse Veteran Scholars Program will talk informally about their experiences, their interactions with students and faculty, their impressions of Wesleyan, and their plans for the future.
Moderators: Antonio Farias, Vice President For Equity & Inclusion and Title IX Officer; others TBA
Speakers: POSSE Veteran Scholars: Marisella Andrews ’20, Andrew Daggon ’20 and Michael Smith ’18, and POSSE faculty mentor, Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Wesleyan’s Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek. Professor of Classical Studies and Professor of Environmental Studies
Room 112, Boger Hall

4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
WESEMINAR Thirty Years of East Asian Studies at Wesleyan
Come find out about East Asian Studies at Wesleyan today at a roundtable discussion with faculty and alumni of this vibrant field of study.
Introduction: Mary Alice Haddad, Chair, College of East Asian Studies
Presenters: Scott Aalgaard, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies; Steve Angle, Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies; Joan Cho, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies; Naho Maruta, Assistant Professor of the Practice in East Asian Studies; Ying Jia Tan Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies
Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
WESEMINAR UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage
UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage seeks to humanize the word “refugee.” Created during the summer of 2017, this multi-media installation is the work of Syrian-born, New Haven CT artist and architect Mohamad Hafez and Iraqi-born writer and speaker Ahmed Badr ’20.
For UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage, Hafez sculpturally re-creates rooms, homes, buildings and landscapes that have suffered the ravages of war. Each is embedded with the voices and stories of real people — from Afghanistan, Congo, Syria, Iraq and Sudan — who have escaped those same rooms and buildings to build a new life in America. Their stories are collected and curated by Badr ’20, who is himself an Iraqi refugee.
During this WESeminar, Hafez and Badr ’20 will share their personal experiences, along with photos from the exhibition and its 10 works of art.
Speakers: Ahmed Badr ’20 is a writer, social entrepreneur, poet, and former refugee from Iraq. With work featured by Instagram, NPR, The Huffington Post, Adobe, United Nations, and others, Ahmed explores the intersection between creativity, the refugee experience, and youth empowerment. At Wesleyan, Ahmed is a Fellow at the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. He spent this past summer working with the UN Migration Agency, hosting a podcast titled "TOGETHER,” which is centered around the stories of refugee and migrant youth across the world.
A Syrian artist and architect, Mohamad Hafez was born in Damascus, raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and educated in the Midwestern United States. Expressing the juxtaposition of East and West within him, Hafez’s art reflects the political turmoil in the Middle East through the compilation of found objects, paint and scrap metal. With four highly acclaimed exhibits under his belt, Hafez creates surrealistic Middle Eastern streetscapes that are architectural in their appearance yet politically charged in their content. His work has been profiled by NPR and New Yorker Magazine.
The creation and initial exhibition of Unpacked: Refugee Baggage is supported by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Fisk 208
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
WESEMINAR WHY ARE ALL THE BLACK KIDS SITTING TOGETHER IN THE CAFETERIA? And Other Conversations About Race with Dr. Beverly Tatum ’75, HON ’15, P’04

The Wesleyan R.J. Julia bookstore welcomes Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75, HON ’15, P’04, renowned authority on the psychology of racism, for a discussion about her critically acclaimed work, WHY ARE ALL THE BLACK KIDS SITTING TOGETHER IN THE CAFETERIA? And Other Conversations About Race. Her book, originally published in 1997 and revised for its twentieth anniversary, is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America. Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Dr. Tatum argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious.
Speaker: Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75, HON ’15, P’04, PhD, is president emerita of Spelman College and in 2014 received the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, the highest honor presented by the American Psychological Association. Beverly, a former member of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees, received a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2000 at her 25th Reunion and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2015. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore, 413 Main Street

Saturday, November 4, 2017

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
WESEMINAR The Annual Robert F. Schumann Symposium: Where on Earth Are We Going? Stories From The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and the Legacy of Fukushima

Over the past 20 years, Jake Price has witnessed firsthand the impact of climate change on coastal communities, documenting the profound changes that these communities must contend with. Most recently he was in Houston where he accompanied first responders as they saved Houston residents form the rising waters and then recorded their testimony. His presentation will explore long-term options that communities should adopt after the water recedes. We have reached a point where renewable energy has become more accessible than ever, so why isn't it being utilized in the regions most affected by climate change as rebuilding commences? What can be done to help get storm battered communities to become leaders in renewable energy and how might universities, government and industry play a part in that?
As challenging as current events may seem, there is also reason for hope: In each aftermath, Jake was profoundly moved by the decisions that people made as it relates to their relationships to others and how they came to a deeper awareness of what's important in life—an awareness that those of us who have not lived through the direct impacts of climate change could learn from. Jake will share stories of his personal experiences with the displaced and will screen selections from his upcoming films from Fukushima and Houston.
Speaker: Jake Price is a filmmaker and photojournalist, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, The New Yorker, and the BBC, among others, and is featured in performances by movement-based artist Eiko Otake P’07, ’10.
Tishler Lecture Hall (150), Exley Science Center

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
WESEMINAR Fries Center for Global Studies Open House and Student Panel

The Fries Center for Global Studies is committed to supporting Wesleyan University students and alumni interested in pursuing international opportunities grounded in language building, intercultural development, academic research interests, and professional advancement. Oftentimes, study abroad or international experiences inspire applications for prestigious fellowships and scholarships such as the Fulbright and Watson. Join us for an open house at 10:30am to meet faculty and staff to learn more about our areas of study and newly renovated center. At 11am, hear from a panel of student participants from the Center’s programs to understand their international trajectory from language learning, to study abroad, developing intercultural skills, and now pursuing international fellowships and scholarships.
Moderator: Kate Smith, Associate Director of Fellowships, Internships & Exchanges, Fries Center for Global Studies
Presenters: Elijah Jimenez ’18, African American Studies and East Asian Studies; Kamla Kumar ’18; English and University Major (South Asian Diaspora); Sophia Shoulson ’18, COL and German Studies; Hai Lun Tan ’18, College of Letters and History; Zach Tan ’18, College of Social Studies
Commons, Fries Center for Global Studies, Fisk Hall

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
WESEMINAR The Annual Robert F. Schumann Symposium: Where on Earth Are We Going? A Body in Places -- Making Distance Malleable

This year’s College of the Environment (COE) Think Tank Fellow and Menakka & Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Eiko Otake P’07, ’10 (of Eiko & Koma), dances alone in odd places: a train station, a library, a cathedral, an observatory, Wall Street. Eiko’s presentation of her current work, A Body in Places, brings to the audience two critical themes that require connection: disaster and indifference. Disasters, such as Fukushima, Chernobyl and Hurricane Harvey are not mere disruptions. Disasters need to be remembered because so much suffering has been caused and magnified by human recklessness. By performing in public places, Eiko makes herself and her performances radically available to a wide range of audiences and invites her viewers to discover that distance, which is often a cause of people’s indifference, is indeed malleable. Someone else's pain far away can become achingly immediate. That sense of immediacy CAN help us to resist our collective forgetfulness.
Eiko’s work was inspired by and contextualized with her multiple visits to post-nuclear-disaster Fukushima Japan. Performing with the same costumes and props as she did in Fukushima, Eiko offers her body as a conduit to connect places: a here and now of her performances for audience with Fukushima where she danced for no one but a camera and irradiated landscape. Sharing her video and photos, Eiko will speak about the why, what and how of her four-year, and ongoing, project.
Katja Kolcio (Chair of the Dance Department and this year’s COE Think Tank Fellow) and William Johnston (Professor of History, Science in Society, and the College of East Asian Studies and photographer of the project) will join Eiko in a conversation. All videos were shot and collaboratively edited with Eiko by Alexis Moh ’15 (Wesleyan Film major). Mark McCloughan ’10 (Wes Theater major) has worked with Eiko as a dramaturge from the beginning of the project.
Tishler Lecture Hall (150), Exley Science Center

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Celebrating Wesleyan’s Koeppel Journalism Fellows

WESEMINAR Journalism in The Trump Era: Public Media’s Role as a Trusted News Source and Convener of Public Discourse
Speaker: Laura R. Walker ’79, P’21 is President and CEO of New York Public Radio (NYPR), the largest public radio station group in the nation. Ms. Walker led New York Public Radio through a period of dramatic growth and innovation. Under her leadership, NYPR has increased its audience from 1 million to 23.9 million, raised more than $150 million in long term investment, created WNYC Studios, the second largest podcast producer in the country, and been described by Neiman Lab’s Ken Doctor as being on “innovation overdrive.” She has established NYPR as a place that produces award-winning enterprise journalism, nurtures today’s most creative talent, and creates innovative products that bring the best of public radio to listeners everywhere. Ms. Walker holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in History, magna cum laude, from Wesleyan University where she was an Olin Scholar.
Moderator: Anne Greene, University Professor of English; Director, Wesleyan Writing Certificate Panel
Taylor Meeting Room (Usdan 108)

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
WESEMINAR Teacher, Banker, Coder, Artist: Learning Career Management in a Liberal Arts Environment

Every day, we are exposed to stories demonstrating how challenging it is for college graduates to find jobs. Sharon Belden Castonguay, the Director of the Gordon Career Center, will draw on both her doctoral research and career advising experience to discuss what factors lead to career success.
Presenter: Sharon Belden Castonguay joined the Gordon Career Center at Wesleyan in May 2013 from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, where she was the Director of the Graduate Career Management Center. She holds a doctorate in human development & psychology from Harvard.
Shanklin 107

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
WESEMINAR Photographing Russia and Ukraine Today: Conversation in the gallery with Sasha Rudensky ’01 and Clare Rogan, Davison Art Center Curator

Join us for a conversation in the gallery discussing Sasha Rudensky’s photography in Russia, Ukraine, and the greater New East region, currently on display in the exhibition, Sasha Rudensky: Acts and Illusions. Her work examines the slow dissolution of Soviet consciousness, the ideological vacuum left in its wake, and reconstitution of new post-Soviet identities.
Speakers: Sasha Rudensky ’01 is Assistant Professor of Art at Wesleyan. She received an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Art. Her photography has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Aperture, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel. She has exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her work is in public collections including the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson. Clare Rogan, Curator of the Davison Art Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art History, teaches history of photography, history of prints, and museum studies.
Davison Art Center Main Gallery

1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
WESEMINAR The U.S. Immigration Mess: Reflections on our Continuing Inability to Resolve this Profound National Dilemma

Join our panel in a dialog about DACA, admission preferences, political paralysis and national indecision over what immigration policy best fits the needs and ideals of 21st Century America.
Moderator: Antonio Farias, Vice President For Equity & Inclusion and Title IX Officer
Speakers: Stephen Oleskey ’64, P’00 is Of Counsel in the Barclay Damon Law firm in its Boston Office and a member of it Commercial Litigation practice area. He has represented a wide range of corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, individuals and government entities, in civil jury and jury-waived trials, arbitrations and mediations. He has a lifetime commitment to pro bono legal work. From 2004 to 2013, he co-led the case of Boumediene v. Bush, a federal habeas corpus suit challenging the imprisonment of six men from Bosnia held in Guantánamo Bay without charge or trial. In 2008 the Supreme Court held 5-4 that Steve’s clients were entitled to a habeas trial. Steve has received numerous awards including the American Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award, the Boston Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award for exemplary commitment to public service and outstanding advocacy on behalf of low-income citizens of Massachusetts, and the Community Dispute Settlement Center's Community Peacemaker Award. He was Massachusetts Deputy Attorney General and Chief of the Public Protection Bureau in 1987 and 1988. He has also served as director and president of Greater Boston Legal Services, general counsel and national board member of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now Legal Momentum), and chairman of the Massachusetts Equal Justice Coalition , as well as of Pact, Inc., an INGO focused on local capacity development in Africa and Asia. Steve is a former member of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees. Other panelists TBA.
Hansel Lecture Hall (001), Public Affairs Center (PAC)

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
WESEMINAR Roche and Dinkeloo’s Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University: Classical, Vernacular, and Modernist Architecture in the 1960s

From 1965 to 1973, Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo created the buildings and their landscape known as the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. These buildings appear to be essays in mid-twentieth century modernism, directly expressing their varied interior programs in cubic volumes of limestone walls and reinforced concrete spans for floors and roofs. Yet the Wesleyan Center for the Arts is tellingly described as a condensation of ideas from the pre-existing built environment, including the seventeenth-century regional vernacular, and the local Greek Revival. The center’s originality also condenses ideas from earlier and contemporaneous modern architecture, including works of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Louis Kahn. Thus an account of this architecture broadens our understanding of the creative process as an integration of multiple sources, and our view of modernism’s potential to innovate while fittingly engaging with earlier periods without duplicating their historical vocabularies. A brief CFA walking tour will follow the session, weather permitting.
Speaker: Joseph Siry, Kenan Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Art History at Wesleyan University.
Introduction: Matt Winn ’92, leader of Wesleyan’s Real Estate Professional Network. Matt has a breadth and depth of knowledge that have made him a trusted partner in the growth, operations and development of many companies and billions of dollars of transactions. He was the Global Retail COO and head of the Americas retail brokerage platform at Cushman & Wakefield where he led a global team and worked in over 20 countries on four continents. Previously, Matt oversaw corporate and project-specific operations for some of Starwood Capital Group’s joint ventures and managed a diverse retail, residential and mixed-use portfolio. Considered by many to be a turnaround specialist, his recent work has been strategic consulting, asset management and fee development for restaurateurs, retailers and developers to enhance underperforming mixed use real estate and retail concepts.
Sponsored by Wesleyan’s Real Estate Professional Network. Network leaders Marshall Brozost ’89 and Matt Winn ’92 will be on site following the seminar. Say hello and learn more about how to get involved!
Room 112, Boger Hall

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
WESEMINAR A Look Inside the College of Film and the Moving Image: Cinema and the Liberal Arts

The College of Film and the Moving Image is one of Wesleyan’s oldest “new” colleges. Wesleyan announced C-FILM in 2013, and the Mellon Foundation recognized it with a matching grant which was fully funded in 2015. Yet film has been part of Wesleyan’s liberal arts tradition since at least the 1960s, progressing from a major, to a program, to a department. Join Professor Scott Higgins, the director of C-Film, for a look at the history and future of Wesleyan’s unique liberal-arts approach to the moving image. You will see images move!
Goldsmith Family Cinema

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WESEMINAR Restorative Justice & Other Alternatives to Incarceration

What community led alternatives to incarceration exist near Wesleyan’s campus? How can you get involved? Join Circles & Ciphers, a hip-hop infused restorative justice organization led by young people who are prison, court, gang, and DCFS- involved, for an interactive conversation about this issue and how to bring about meaningful change.
Speakers: This session features Circles & Ciphers team members Evan Okun ’13 and Sherrif Polk; Arthur Moore, President of Middletown’s North End Action Team; Lori Williams, Music Therapist at Connecticut Juvenile Training School, and local leaders from Boys & Girls Club. Additional speakers TBA.
Putnam Classroom (114), Boger Hall

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WESEMINAR Keeping It Real: The Importance of Student Engagement in Science Education

Science is all around us! Our very existence is predicated on the complex chemical reactions that drive the biological processes that occur in our bodies every day. Breaking down complex scientific principles and relating them to phenomena students encounter in their everyday lives is one way to increase understanding and retain students in STEM fields by making a powerful impact on them. This interactive seminar will demonstrate engaging ways in which science can be taught to students of any age. Bring an open mind and your powers of observation. You may never think of science in the same way again!
Speaker: Andrea Roberts is Associate Professor of the Practice in Chemistry at Wesleyan University. Using her 15 years of experience in the chemical industry, she has developed curricula for the general, organic, and the advanced integrated laboratory courses. She also teaches science outreach classes that introduce STEM lab activities to Middletown-area school children.
Shanklin 107

3:00 PM to 4:00 AM
WESEMINAR Gamelan Workship

Dominated by colorful, bronze percussion instruments, the Gamelan ensemble features gongs, bronze and wooden xylophones, two-headed drums, a female soloist, and a male chorus. Some of the instruments date back to the 12th century in Java, an Indonesian island located between Sumatra and Bali. Get some real experience playing the Gamelan in this lively, hands-on workshop.
Presenter: I.M. Harjito, artist-in-residence
Please note: space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. This session often reaches capacity.
World Music Hall

8:00 PM to 10:00 PM
WESEMINAR Patti Cake$, a Wesleyan Movie

Join us for the campus premiere of Patti Cake$ (2017), the hit of last year’s Sundance Film Festival written and directed by Geremy Jasper ’98. The movie, which touched off a bidding war at Sundance, is a Wesleyan film through and through. It was produced by Michael Gottwald ’06 and Dan Janvey’06 and distributed by Fox Searchlight where Matthew Greenfield ’90 is senior vice-president of production. The underdog story of a young rapper from New Jersey, Patti Cake$ delivers a star-making turn for Danielle MacDonald. The Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday calls the film “a celebration of art, enterprise and self-invention that’s as tough as it is touching.” Producer Michael Gottwald ’06 will be on hand to introduce and discuss the film.
Goldsmith Family Cinema

Sunday, November 5, 2017

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
WESEMINAR Solving Crosswords is Good for Your Health!!??

An emphatic YES! This will be the 18th puzzle seminar for Ed Stein ’60 as he demonstrates the theme of this session via a “chalk talk “on health and crosswords. This to be followed up with solving a crossword puzzle together. It all promises to be an invigorating Sunday morning!
Speaker: Ed Stein ’60 has long been a crossword solver and a sometime constructor of Times’ crosswords. He also teaches puzzle-solving at adult education programs, senior centers, and nursing homes.
Hansel Lecture Hall (001), Public Affairs Center (PAC)

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
WESEMINAR Solving the Rubik’s Cube with Group Theory

Beyond its role as a captivating puzzle, the Rubik’s cube provides an excellent introduction to group theory. This talk will explain how just a few standard moves can be used to solve the Rubik’s cube. While the presented solution is far from optimal, it will be relatively easy to learn and will illustrate the utility of permutations, conjugates, and commutators.
Speaker: Amy Bigelow M.Phil ’17 is the Mathematics Department Chair at Franklin Academy. She was Wesleyan’s recipient of the 2017 Rulewater Prize and a winner of the Mathematical Association of America’s Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching in Middle School and High School.
Sponsored by Graduate Liberal Studies and Wesleyan’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department
Room 116, Judd Hall