WESeminars offer stimulating intellectual experiences through educational presentations by Wesleyan faculty members, alumni, parents, students, and staff. WESeminar participants rekindle connections to Wesleyan and gain insight into the teaching and scholarship that take place at the University today. WESeminars typically last one hour to 90 minutes. Registration is not required unless otherwise noted. Space is limited, however, and attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis. Most WESeminars reach capacity seating so it is best to arrive early. WESeminars will be scheduled throughout the weekend, beginning Thursday afternoon and ending Saturday evening. This listing of WESeminars is preliminary and subject to change. The final list of WESeminars will appear in the schedule available at Registration (Office of Alumni and Parent Relations, 330 High Street).
Due to the new state fire code that was adopted since the Rhode Island club fire, the University is prohibited from offering festival seating for patrons in any of its spaces. Consequently, we will no longer be able to accommodate standing room patrons on the floors or in the aisles. We are working with the fire marshall to maximize seating in university venues, but since the new regulations take effect immediately, we encourage patrons of Weekend events to work with our house managers and box office staff as we all adjust to this change.
True Stories: The World of Documentary Film
Spend an hour with our panel of award-winning documentary filmmakers. Find out how they broke into the world of nonfiction film and what their first jobs were. Where do their story ideas come from, how much time do they spend researching potential subjects, and when do they know its time to abandon a project altogether? What is the film editing process like, and how do they juggle their conflicting responsibilities to their subjects, broadcasters, and audience? Youll enjoy film clips of their work, which will include a retrospective about the 1960s, produced by classmates David Davis and Stephen Talbot, with material shot on the Wesleyan campus during the early days of Wesleyans film studies program.
Presenters: David Davis 70, vice president of National Television Production at Oregon Public Broadcasting, a PBS affiliate in Portland, Oregon, which has received some of the highest ratings for documentaries in the country; Stephen Talbot 70, series editor of the international news magazine
FRONTLINE/World, where he commissions and supervises stories for the award-winning series; Roger Weisberg 75, president of Public Policy Productions, an independent production company which has produced more than 25 documentaries including the 2000 film
Sound and Fury and 2003 film Why Cant We Be a Family Again?, both of which received Academy Award nominations
Wesleyans Asian Dialogue: Past and Present
Learn more about Wesleyans current commitment to Asia, evident in its curricular offerings to undergraduates and its strong representation of Asian students in admission. This commitment can be traced to the first part of the 19th century, when some Wesleyan graduates sought their fortunes in countries like China, Korea, and Japan, as missionaries, business people, or secular teachers. Wesleyan claims a long heritage of commitment to educational modernization in these and other Asian countries. Three Wesleyan alumni became college presidents in China, and some of the buildings on the campuses they founded still stand. Of greater importance for Wesleyans future was the reverse effect of this activity, as manifested in the growing internationalism of campus culture, which continues to this day. Other liberal arts colleges have comparable involvements, but Wesleyans dialogue with Asia is one of the most sustained.
Presenter: Ellen Widmer, chair of the Asian Languages and Literatures Department and past chair of the East Asian Studies Program at Wesleyan. Among her projects is The American Context of Chinas Christian Colleges, a collaborative study of China missionaries from Western colleges; the study was founded by the Luce Foundation.
Homophobia: A Psychoanalytic Perspective
Antihomosexual bias remains a major problem in American society. Organized psychoanalysis contributed to this problem during the post World War II years by labeling homosexuality a form of psychopathology. Dr. Richard C. Friedman has been a leader in the successful effort to depathologize homosexuality in American psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Join Dr. Friedman for a discussion of the history of psychoanalytic thought about sexual orientation, and the way in which modern psychoanalytic ideas can be helpful in understanding and overcoming homophobia today.
Presenter: Richard C. Friedman, MD, P 05, clinical professor of psychiatry, Weill Medical College, Cornell University, New York City; lecturer in psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; senior author of
Sexual Orientation and Psychoanalysis: Sexual Science and Clinical Practice
Playwright Arthur Kopit: Why Theater?
Contemporary American playwright Arthur Kopit was an engineering student at Harvard during the late 50s when he won two playwriting contests. From there, he moved to New York, where he was hailed by critics as the the new wonder of American drama for his award-winning first play,
Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mammas Hung You in the Closet and Im Feelin So Sad. He proceeded to make his theatrical mark with intelligent, timely comedy-dramas, known for their biting satire and bitter humor, including
Indians, Wings, End of the World with Symposium to Follow, and
Road to Nirvana. Kopit also wrote the books for the musicals
Nine (winner of the 1982 Tony Award for Best Musical and the 2003 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival),
Phantom, and High Society. In this lively, interactive session Kopit will discuss what he believes it takes to be a successful playwright, and why someone continues writing for Broadway or Off-Broadway, instead of moving on to screenwriting. He will share his insights on the theater world, what he believes has changed over the years, and what he believes will forever remain the same.
Presenter: Arthur Kopit P 05, playwright and teacher, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Department of Dramatic Writing
Building the Future Now: Wesleyans Campus Master Plan
For only the second time in its history, Wesleyan has adopted a campus master plan aimed at enhancing the contribution of physical setting to the academic enterprise. With the campus undergoing the most dramatic transformation since the building boom of the 60s and 70s, Wesleyans master plan places revitalizing the center of campus as a priority and emphasizes connectedness across campus. Join us for an update on recently completed projects and a discussion of future plans for renovation and building.
Presenters: Marcia W. Bromberg, vice president for finance and administration; Joyce Topshe, assistant vice president for facilities
The Presidential Imagination:
Richard Wright and his Antagonists
American government changed in the 20th century with the rise of the powerful and charismatic presidency. American literature changed alongside it, often depicting presidents and their failings directly, but more frequently, using the presidency as a model for understanding the relations among politics, culture, and society. Nowhere is that ambivalent dialogue more evident than in the work of Richard Wright, who was both inspired by the idea of popular leadership and profoundly disappointed by the realities of American politics. Wrights aesthetics and his arguments with other writers (Gertrude Stein, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin) hinged on his vision of a popular tribune modeled on the president.
Presenter: Sean McCann, associate professor of English and American studies, and a 2004 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching
Shes Not There: A Life in Two Genders
Jennifer Finney Boylans memoir, Shes Not There, was the first best-selling book written by a transgendered American. In this open and honest dialogue with Jenny Boylan, she will read from her book and discuss gender, memoir, and the media. She promises to do her best to evade audience questions in an entertaining manner.
Presenter: Jennifer Finney Boylan 80, professor of English, Colby College
Living and Working in Nepal
Just mention Nepal and you will sense the continuing pull this small kingdom located between China and India has on the Western imagination. Who hasnt dreamed of seeing the breathtaking Himalayas in the spring, enjoying the countrys outstanding hiking and biking trails, colorful regional crafts and food, or simply enjoying the friendliness of the Nepalese? But is this romantic impression of the country correct? Join artist Lee Birch who has lived and worked in Kathmandu for the last 25 years and Wesleyan student Phu Sherpa, who found his way from the foothills of Nepal to Wesleyan, for some insights on a country that is politically complex and full of contrasts. (Presenters will share slides of Nepal from their personal collections.)
Presenters: Linda Lee Birch P 05, an artist and active member of the Belumbhu woodcarvers guild in the Kathmandu Valley, who is committed to helping preserve one of the worlds oldest living woodcarving lineages; Phudorji Lama Sherpa 05, native of Nepal, interested in telling the real story about life in a country believed by some to be Shangri-La
Independent Filmmaking and the Wesleyan Sundance Connection
Wesleyan is well-known for the significant number of alumni who work successfully in the film industry. Many have distinguished themselves as producers, directors, and writers of independent films, bringing the highest level of creativity and intellect to their craft. Join Matthew Greenfield, associate director of the feature film program at the Sundance Institute, as he talks about his experience at Sundance and what it takes to make feature films.
Moderator: Jeanine D. Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, curator of the Cinema Archives, chair of the Film Studies Department, and a 1996 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching
Presenter: Matthew Greenfield 90, producer of
The Motel, The Good Girl, and Chuck & Buck, associate director of the Feature Film Program at the Sundance Institute, and named by
Variety as one of the Ten Producers to Watch
Earth Minus and Plus 35: What Will Be Our Planetary Legacy?
How has the earth and our global society changed since the graduation of the Class of 70, and what are the forecasts for the next 35 years? With increased concern over climate change, population growth, resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, and pollution of our air, food, and water, what sort of planet will we be leaving to our children? Join us for a discussion of the changes that have taken place and the prospects for a brighter future.
Presenter: Jacob Scherr 70, senior staff attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
Why Are All the Black Kids Still Sitting Together?: The Continuing Significance of Racial Identity in America
Beverly Tatum will explore the continuing issues surrounding the development of racial identity in the United States, from very young children who have not yet learned the judgment that often accompanies noticing difference, through college students and debates about program housing.
Introduction by: Tanya Greene 91, attorney, Capital Defender Office, New York City
Presenter: Beverly Tatum 75, P 04, president, Spelman College, former acting president and dean of Mount Holyoke College, and author whose books include
Assimilation Blues and Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Sponsor: Alumni of Color (AOC) Network
Pablo Neruda: Spying on Love Through a Kaleidoscope
Last year was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, diplomat, and winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature. His first book of poems, published when he was a teenager, was Twenty Love Poems
and a Song of Hopelessness, a rich kaleidoscope of images expressing adolescent joy and anguish over his first three lovers in college. The images present some interesting problems in translation: How can Nerudas joy and anguish come across the language barrier with both precision and passion? This WESeminar presents a new translation of Nerudas first book, preceded by some brief comments on translation.
Presenter: Tim Baehr, P 07, essayist, poet, and translator of the new version of
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Hopelessness
Climbing for Beginners
Join us for an introduction to basic rock climbing using the climbing wall in Freeman Athletic Center. Wear comfortable clothing and athletic shoes and challenge yourself to reach the F.A.C. summit. Safety instruction will be provided along with all climbing gear. Space is limited.
Presenter: Drew Black, adjunct assistant professor of physical education
FIVE YEARS OUT
Alumni from the class of 2000 have been up to all kinds of things
since they left campus. Some have become teachers, joined the Peace
Corps, published magazines, or sold stocks. Others are actors,
directors, designers, musicians, or writers. Many are job hunting,
and some are still trying to figure it all out. Join members of the
class for some hardcore catching up on where life has taken them in
their first five years out.
Moderator: Louise S. Brown,
Associate Dean of the College, Senior Class Dean, and Adjunct
Lecturer in Government
Presenters: Nicholas Joseph
Kurian 00, Peace Corps Volunteer, Africa; Scott Adam Mayerowitz
'00, writer, Providence Journal; Jason Nu '00, associate
producer, Hidden Hill Productions; Anne Constance Obelnicki '00,
private chef; Rebecca Beth Schwartz 00, Senior Writer-Producer, VH1
On-Air Promos; others to be announced
The panel will include time for discussion by alumni in attendance.
The Class of ’00 welcomes members of the Senior Class of ’05 to
come hear about the first five years out.
In Pursuit of Excellence
Motivated by intellectual curiosity, a passion for their subject, and a commitment to excellence, Wesleyan students create senior theses that showcase impressive achievement and talent. Working with faculty mentors and their peers, they explore fresh ideas and produce new works. In this session, we highlight several theses that represent a cross section of student accomplishment from original choreography to science poster projects, from social science research to hands-on art installations. Students will share their work and the process behind their exploration and creation.
Moderator: Louise S. Brown, associate dean of the college, senior class dean, and adjunct lecturer in government
Presenters: To be announced
Perspectives on the College Admission Process: Debunking the Myths, Accepting the Realities
Wesleyans dean of admission and financial aid will lead a discussion of current college admission issues. Learn how the college selection process has both changed and stayed the same over the past decade as these professionals share their experiences.
Moderator: Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid.
Presenters: John Green 81, P09, head of school, The Peddie School; Amin Abdul-Malik 96, co-director of college counseling, McDonogh School
Inside Book Publishing
This presentation is designed for anyone who wants to understand how the book industry works, whether youre hoping to have a book published or considering a career in publishing. The informal sessionincluding Q&Acovers the manuscript acquisitions process, book marketing, book financials, electronic publishing, and the future of the book. An Open House follows and includes a discounted sale of recently published Press books. University shuttles will be available across campus to provide transportation to the Presss location on the south end of campus.
Presenter: Suzanna Tamminen 90 MALS 94, director, Wesleyan University Press
Connecticut River Expedition
Rain or shine, board the RiverQuest, specially reserved for a four-hour, Connecticut River excursion exploring one of the Seven Sisters, a hill formed by metamorphosed sediments deposited in an ocean which has long since disappeared. Follow a beautiful creek bordered by wetlands. Osprey may fly overhead, but watch out for Swancilla. Dock and discover Selden Island, which is composed of rocks 600 million years old, which formed offshore of Antarctica and drifted north. Transportation from campus will be provided. Space is limited and advance reservations are required. The trip will depart on Friday, May 20 at 1 p.m.
Presenter: Joel Labella, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Tickets: $10 per person through the Office of Alumni Education; to register, contact Kathy Macko at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 685-2737.
Long Lane Farm
The seeds for Wesleyans student-led agriculture project were planted in spring 2001 when students began an organic garden on Washington Street. The following year, Marianne Moskowitz and Katherine Gajewski led the first Organic Agriculture Forum at Wesleyan. The class was entirely student organized and taught, and featured presentations by several local farmers and activists. At the end of the course, Moskowitz and Gajewski submitted a proposal to the University to use 10 acres of the recently acquired Long Lane property for a student-run, community-supported agriculture project. The proposal received final approval from the administration in spring 2004. Since then a group of more than 30 students has been tilling and planting the land, protecting the site from deer, and working to create an infrastructure that will sustain the garden and the farm for future Wesleyan students. Students envisioned these places for Wesleyan and the people of Middletown to practice ways of living and eating that emphasize environmentalism, sustainability, and social responsibility. Join this panel of visionaries for a presentation about their work at Long Lane, followed by a tour of the farm. Shuttles will be available for transportation.
Presenters: Ariana Bain 05; Katherine Gajewski 02, who has worked with environmental groups in Seattle and Vermont, and more recently worked as an organizer on political campaigns in Philadelphia; Rachel Lindsay 05; Adan Martinez 05; Marianne Moskowitz 02, preschool teacher in Cleveland, Ohio
Lift Every Voice: An Open Workshop With Marichal Monts 85
For more than 15 years, Marichal Monts 85 has directed Wesleyans Ebony Singers gospel choir and woven a varied tapestry of gospel, community, and music. Join him for an informal and interactive session of song, spirit, and Wesleyan fellowship. All are welcomeespecially former Ebony Singers.
Presenter: Marichal Monts 85, conductor of the Ebony Singers and pastor of the Citadel of Love Church in Hartford, Connecticut
Israel and Palestine After Arafat: An Hour with James Bennet, Former
New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief
After an extended period of deadlock, Israelis and Palestinians are once again seeking ways to negotiate a political solution to the issues that have so violently divided them. For an in-depth discussion of the obstacles to peace and possibilities for a resolution to this anguishing conflict, join seasoned political commentator James Bennet. Beginning his career in journalism at
The Washington Monthly in 1988, Bennet joined The New York Times in 1997 to become the White House correspondent. In September 2001, he relocated to the Middle East assuming the role of the Jerusalem bureau chief. While in Jerusalem, Bennet reported on a broad range of politically sensitive issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Since his return home last summer, he has made frequent trips back to the region, and has written extensively on ordinary Israelis and Palestinians as well as on their leaders.
Moderator: Jeremy Zwelling, associate professor of religion and director of the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program
Presenter: James Bennet, journalist and former
New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, 20012004
Sponsor: Wesleyans Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program
Hindu and Muslim in India: The View from Jadrup Gosains Cave
Hindus and Muslims are often depicted as representatives of civilizations in conflict. This is not simply the invention of postmodern Hindu nationalists or transnational jihadists, or Harvard professors. Rather, Hindu-Muslim difference is a product of many centuries of history in which ideologues had specific reasons to understand and represent Muslims and Hindus as two distinct (and often antagonistic) peoples occupying the same territorial space. What is less well-known is that beneath the clamor of clashing civilizations was the steady hum of religious cultures in conversation. Join Professor Pinch for a discussion that will touch on some of these conversations focusing in particular on the religious and military culture of Indian ascetics. We will begin our historical journey in a cave near the town of Ujjain in western India, which was occupied by the sanyasi Jadrup Gosain around the year 1600.
Presenter: William (Vijay) Pinch, associate professor of history
Javanese Gamelan Concert
The Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble, one of the most active gamelan programs in the United States, has been in existence since the early 1960s. Dominated by colorful, bronze percussion instruments, the 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. The music is considered a communal expression, with no single instrument separated from the whole sound of the ensemble, and is based on several melodic layers framed by the striking of gongs. Gamelan music is frequently used in Javanese ceremonies including weddings, village cleansings, and as an accompaniment for dance and puppet theater. Former gamelan students are welcome to perform with the ensemble and should register by contacting Kathy Macko at 860/685-2737 or
Presenters: I. M. Harjito, artist-in-residence, music; Sumarsam, adjunct professor of music; and student musicians
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
The judicial systems worst nightmare is discovering that an innocent person has been wrongly convicted. Bill Devereaux 75, had been practicing law for 24 years when he received an unexpected early morning telephone call from a Rhode Island man, Todd Barry. Barry proceeded to confess to a homicide he had committed 14 years earlier and for which an innocent man, a former police officer, was serving a life sentence. When Devereaux received that call, he realized that he faced an ethical dilemma unlike any he had faced before and found himself propelled into a flurry of legal meetings and strategy sessions that would lead to an inescapable and awful truthformer police officer, Scott Harnoff, had been wrongfully convicted. Join us for a riveting story from two alumni and the state prosecutor who played key roles in correcting this miscarriage of justice, and find out how the case has changed them and the way they look at the judicial system.
Moderator: Cynthia Rockwell, associate editor, Wesleyan magazine
Presenters: Kevin Bristow 79, former state prosecutor, now in private practice, who was appointed to evaluate the Warwick Police Departments handling of the Victoria Cushman murder case; Gerry Coyne, deputy attorney general for the state of Rhode Island, who supervised the handling of Todd Barrys surrender and ultimate plea, and the release of Scott Harnoff; William Devereaux 75, defense attorney, Holland & Knight, Providence, Rhode Island, who received the initial call from Todd Barry and then negotiated his surrender and plea to second degree murder
A Moving Target: ADHD Across the Life Span
Join Dr. Deborah Pearson for an overview of how Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is manifested in children, adolescents, and adults. She will review current research into the possible causes of ADHD, as well as treatment options (e.g., medication and behavioral strategies) for children and adults with ADHD.
Presenter: Deborah Pearson 79, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Developmental Neuropsychology Clinic, University of Texas Medical School at Houston; Dr. Pearson has published extensively on the assessment and treatment of ADHD.
The Religion of Our Presidents:
From the Founding Fathers to Today
What religious views did the founding fathers of the United States hold? Were such men as Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe atheists, agnostics, heretics, or orthodox Christian believers? What do scholars know about their religious practices? Join Professor Holmes for an examination of the religious beliefs and practices of the first five presidents in comparison to those of recent American presidents. Whenever possible, the talk will include the religious views of presidential spouses, which havefrom Martha Washington through Nancy Reaganoccasionally differed markedly from those of their husbands.
Presenter: David L. Holmes P 05, professor of religious studies at the College of William and Mary, and winner of the Outstanding Faculty Award of the Commonwealth of Virginia, whose books include a standard history of the Episcopal Church as well as the recent
The Religion of the Founding Fathers, which one reviewer described as quite simply, . . . the best and most clearly presented statement regarding the religious beliefs of Americas founders that I have read.
Green Street Arts Center: Tour and Performance
Art can transform individuals as well as neighborhoods and communities, according to Ricardo Morris, director of Wesleyans Green Street Arts Center. And it is precisely for this reason that Wesleyan, in collaboration with the City of Middletown, the North End Action Team (NEAT) and other local community groups, has renovated a three-story, 12,800 square foot building in Middletowns North End. Tour the former public school building, which has been completely redesigned by the renowned Centerbrook Architects, and enjoy a live performance by the Green House Band. University shuttles will be available across campus to provide transportation to the Center, located at 51 Green Street.
Presenters: Peggy Busari, president North End Action Team; Ricardo Morris, director, Green Street Arts Center; Pamela Tatge 84, director, Wesleyans Center for the Arts
Reflections on World War II
Join alumni veterans of World War II for a roundtable conversation about the mood of the country and on the Wesleyan campus during the tumultuous war years. Hear firsthand stories about when these alumni enlisted, how long they served, where they were stationed, and how the war affected them at the time and in the years that followed.
Presenters: Henry B. Anderson 40, Banning Repplier 39, and Donald S. Smith 39
Note: Certificates of Recognition will be presented to Wesleyan alumni veterans of World War II during the Wesleyan Assembly and Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 21, at noon.
King Arthur Through the Ages:
The Nathan Comfort Starr Collection of Arthuriana
One of the Wesleyan Librarys best-kept secrets is a splendid collection of books, pamphlets, and ephemera related to the tales of King Arthur and his compatriots. Numbering more than 700 items, the Nathan Comfort Starr Collection of Arthuriana is full of treasures. Join Head of Special Collections Suzy Taraba for a viewing of King Arthur through the Ages.
Presenter: Suzy Taraba 77, university archivist and head of Special Collections
Wesleyans Star: A Cosmic Detective Story
In 1995 a star was discovered by Wesleyan students that behaved in a way never before seen in the whole history of astronomy. It attracted the attention of dozens of astronomers around the world, who have studied it with the largest telescopes on and above this planet, including the Hubble Space Telescope. Some of its mysteries have been unraveled and some remain. Professor Herbst will tell the story of this object, known as KH 15D, and discuss its unanticipated importance to studies of the origin of the earth and solar system.
Presenter: William Herbst, John Monroe Van Vleck Professor of Astronomy, and a 2003 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching
Global Threat Of HIV/AIDS: How Do We Face the Challenge?
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is spreading so rapidly through the world that each minute six people are infected and nine people die. Such statistics raise important questions: What is the nature of HIV that makes AIDS the worst epidemic of humankind? Can anti-retroviral drugs help all those infected and perhaps reduce transmission? How can we control the virus through innovative, preventative and clinical approaches? Join experts in the field who will discuss why this virus is so difficult to control and how we must meet the challenge of HIV/AIDS through national and international programs.
Moderator: Jay A. Levy 60, MD, AIDS researcher and professor of medicine, University of California at San Francisco, who was codiscoverer of the AIDS virus and whose research brought insights into how the virus causes the disease and how the immune system acts to control HIV
Presenters: Kristina Torgeson 87, communications director, Doctors Without Borders, New York City, a nonprofit organization that provides anti-retroviral drugs to AIDS clinics throughout the world; Krystn Wagner 84, medical director, Nathan Smith HIV Clinic, Yale School of Medicine and director of the St. Petersburg/New Haven Partnership for HIV/AIDS Care
Celebration of Wesleyan Writing
Works By Charles Barber ’85 and Joan Caraganis Jakobson P’05
Charles Barber will talk about the highs and lows of growing up as
a faculty brat (including his time working for the Wesleyan
literary stalwarts Paul Horgan and William Manchester), and the
long haul to getting published. Joan Caraganis Jakobson is a
journalist and novelist who believes a person can begin writing at
any age. She’s proud to say that her career began at 45 and has
been going strong ever since.
Presenters: Charles Barber ’85,
son of Andrews Professor of Economics Emeritus William Barber, is
the author of Songs from the Black Chair: A Memoir of Mental
Interiors, which was published by The University of Nebraska
Press and is part of the American Lives Series edited by Tobias
Wolff. He is working on a new book, Zoloft at the Super Bowl:
How Biological Psychiatry Medicated a Nation, for Random House;
Joan Caraganis Jakobson P’05 is a writer whose first book And
One More Thing: A Mother’s Advice on Life, Love, and Lipstick,
was published in April by Warner Books. Her work as a freelance
journalist has appeared in the ‘My Turn’ column in Newsweek,
the ‘Hers’ column in The New York Times Sunday magazine, the
‘Social Graces’ column in Town & Country magazine, the ‘On
My Mind’ column in Cosmopolitan, in Civilization
magazine, New York magazine, Family Circle, and in
other magazines and online.
Organized by Anne Greene,
Director of Writing Programs, and sponsored by the Wesleyan Writing
How To Not Get a Girlfriend But Have Fun Trying: A Post-Modern
Quest for True Love in the Digital Age
In the spring of 2002, a Wesleyan sophomore, confronted with a
romantic dry spell of indeterminate length, did what any
self-respecting computer geek would do to find true love: he
created a complex “compatibility matching site” called WesMatch
with a friend. Within a few days nearly the entire Wesleyan student
body had registered for the service, and he began his search of the
site for the vegan, folk music loving, cello-playing girl of his
dreams. Though his original goal remains tragically unrealized, in
the years since, the site has been expanded to include other
colleges and been re-launched as CampusMatch.com, and plans are in
the works to open the site to alumni as well. Their sites have been
featured in numerous national publications and on national
television. Learn how these two Wesleyan students went from being
single to being single with an Internet startup and a popular
website used by college students across the country.
For those interested, the creators will stay afterward to discuss
some of the technical challenges of running a high-availability,
computationally intensive Internet service and share some of the
methods they use to divine true love from millions of rows of data.
Presenters: Daniel Stillman ’04
and Matthew Eaton ’04, WesMatch co-creators and co-founders of