Voices of Liberal Learning
Voices of Liberal Learning is Wesleyan University's series of compelling educational programs for alumni, parents, students, and friends. Wesleyan brings together leaders and visionaries in a variety of forums, creating opportunities for you to engage the world and the issues that shape our universe. Join us for presentations by activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and scientists — the voices of liberal learning.
WESeminars are among the most popular and well-attended programs in Wesleyan's Voices Of Liberal Learning series. Interactive and inspiring, WESeminars are opportunities to revisit the classroom and reexperience first-hand the academic excellence that is the essence of Wesleyan, presented by scholars, pundits, and other experts in their fields. Rekindle your connection to Wesleyan and the outstanding scholarship and teaching that take place every day on campus by attending one or more WESeminars during Reunion and Commencement 2007.
WESeminar 1: The Heart of the Campus
In September 2007, Wesleyan will open the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan University Center and the beautifully renovated Fayerweather meeting and rehearsal spaces. Planning for these important buildings has spanned the past decade and has involved students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Join us for a preview of this state–of–the–art campus center, which will serve the community in many important ways. Learn about the programs and services that will bring the Usdan Center to life, and that are certain to make it the heart of the campus.
Presenters: Rick Culliton, dean of campus programs and university center director; Alan Rubacha, consultant, construction services
WESeminar 2: Wesleyan's Legacy for the Class of '57
For many in the Class of 1957, President Victor Butterfield was the paternal leader of Wesleyan. From Freshman Week on, he knew every student by name and made sure each understood the mission of the liberal arts. Ever present, he could be seen walking back and forth between his house and South College, regularly attending chapel services and other programs across campus. In the 50 years since graduation, members of the Class of '57 still speak of President Butterfield and Wesleyan's continuing influence in their lives. They have gone on to excel in many fields, including medicine, science, academia, law, business, and the nonprofit world. Catch up with members of this remarkable class and find out why they believe Wesleyan has been a presence in their lives these last 50 years.
Moderator: George Willauer '57, professor of English emeritus and Charles J. MacCurdy, Professor Emeritus of American Studies at Connecticut College
Presenters: John Braitmayer '57, P'83, Wesleyan trustee, and former CEO of Mona Industries; Mark Feldman '57, P '91, attorney and adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law at American University; William Pratt '57, orthopedic surgeon at the Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico; Jeffrey Williamson '57, former Wesleyan trustee, and Laird Bell Professor of Economics at Harvard University
WESeminar 3: Back by Popular Demand: Across and Down
Re-sharpen your pencils and your wits for a hands–on session filled with time-tested strategies guaranteed to help you finish the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle every Sunday. Attendees will solve a brand new puzzle edited by Times puzzle editor, Will Shortz.
Presenter: Ed Stein '60 is a veteran puzzle solver and occasional crossword puzzle constructor for The New York Times, Newsday, et al. He has taught adult education courses in puzzle-solving in Westchester (N.Y.) and Fairfield (Conn.) counties, classes at senior centers and nursing homes, and received his three seconds of “fame” in the movie Wordplay.
WESeminar 4: Connecticut River Expedition This trip has reached capacity and we are unable to accept new registrations.
Rain or shine, board the RiverQuest, specially reserved for our 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 Antarctica and drifted north. Transportation from campus will be provided. The trip takes approximately four hours, which includes travel to and from the boat launch. Space is limited and advance reservations are required. The trip will depart on Friday, May 25, at 12:15 p.m.
Presenters: Jelle deBoer, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Sciences Emeritus; Joel Labella, department of earth and environmental sciences
WESeminar 5: The Relaxation Response: How to Counteract the Harmful Effects of Stress
After completing studies at Wesleyan 50 years ago, Herbert Benson attended Harvard Medical School and became a cardiologist. In his 35-plus year career he has dedicated himself to the understanding of stress, and is considered one of the world's leading authorities on stress and the mind's influence on physical health. Join him as he addresses the importance and prevalence of stress related disorders in our society today and the weaknesses of treating them with pharmaceuticals and surgery.
Presenter: Herbert Benson '57, P'89, MD, president, Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard and associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; author or co-author of more than 170 scientific publications and seven books, which include The Relaxation Response, The Mind/Body Effect, Mind Over Menopause, and Mind Your Heart
WESeminar 6: The Evolution of Technology at Wesleyan
Technology has had a major impact on teaching and learning in recent years, and Wesleyan has been committed to its use for the support of its educational mission. Join us for a discussion of how technology has evolved from the 1950s to the present on campus, and look ahead with us to the classroom of the future. Our distinguished panelists include a beloved faculty member with more than 60 years classroom experience, a key member of our information technology staff, and a futurist who spends his days envisioning new ways to use technology in education. Reminisce about the classroom of the past when a professor's preferred platform was the Ticonderoga #2, and blackboard referred to a piece of slate (not a computer-based course management system). Find out what faculty and students are using now to teach, study, and communicate. And, speculate about how today's campus, dominated by the likes of Google, Wikipedia, Blogspot, and MySpace, may change in the years ahead.
Presenters: Robert Rosenbaum, Wesleyan University professor of mathematics and sciences emeritus, and chair of PIMMS (Wesleyan's Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science); Ganesan Ravishanker, associate vice president for information technology; Bryan Alexander, director of research for NITLE (National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education)
Note: There will be a short break with light refreshments at 3:15 p.m.
WESeminar 7: The Bells of Old South College (2007)
The South College bells have been ringing for 88 years since their dedication in 1919. Presently they are played at noon on weekdays when the University is in session, before and after Commencement, and on many other occasions. Wesleyan's carillon of 24 bells is played by members of Bell & Scroll, a dedicated guild of student bell ringers. Meet members of the guild, discover their broad repertoire, and hear a bit of bell history; then climb the 67 steps to the belfry, see the keyboard, and hear the bells ringing out over the campus. You may even want to try your hand at ringing. The tour involves climbing a narrow, spiral stairway and a steep ladder; space is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Introduction: Peter Frenzel, Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Studies Emeritus and bellmaster of the South College carillon
Presenters: Ann-Marie Illsley '10; Mariah Klaneski '04; Margaret Sinick '07; Allison Torpey '07; Matthew Young '09
WESeminar 8: Crisis to Coma: An Hour With Medical Thriller Writer Robin Cook
Robin Cook grew up in Queens believing he would become an archaeologist, but quickly decided that all the best buried treasures had already been found. It was the era of Ben Casey, James Kildaire, and Marcus Welby and he decided instead that he would make his mark by becoming a caring doctor. As a tireless young intern, he dabbled with writing and published his first novel Year of the Intern, which he considered boring and not the tension-filled format “people would want to read.” Coma followed five years later and he was onto something. Readers were gripped by the riveting story of the black market for human organs (the movie was released in 1978)—and the medical thriller was born. Over the years, Dr. Cook has built stories around everything from stem cells to egg donation, food poisoning, bioterrorism, managed care, and the competitive nature of medicine. Meet the writer who created this new genre of spine-tingling medical thrillers and find out why he feels he has affected the medical lives of more people through his writing than he ever did while in practice.
Introduction: Jeanine D. Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, curator of the cinema archives, chair of the Film Studies Program, and 1996 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
Presenter: Robin Cook '62, MD is a former ophthalmologist trained at Harvard and an acclaimed novelist who has written 27 best-selling medical thrillers, including Outbreak, Seizure, and Coma; he is currently finishing Critical. Three of his books have been made into films, and several others have been turned into television movies or miniseries. He has sold more than 100 million books worldwide, which have been translated into approximately 40 languages.
WESeminar 9: 175 Years of Piano
Join Professor Neely Bruce for an overview of piano composition at Wesleyan since the school was founded in 1831, culminating in his own 2006 work &quo;A Fugue for Billy Weitzer.&quo; The program will feature a gala improvisation on tunes in the Wesleyan Song Book; rare popular sheet music for piano, including &quo;The Wesleyan Two–Step&quo; by Frederic Vinal (1902); compositions by early 20th–century professors Joseph Daltry and John Spencer Camp; and works by our own John Spencer Camp Professors Richard Winslow, Bill Barron, and Alvin Lucier. The piano music of two major composers honored by Wesleyan, John Cage—&quo;Winter Music,&quo; and Henry Brant, &quo;Four Traumatics&quo;—will also be presented.
Presenter: Neely Bruce P'87, P'91, professor of music
WESeminar 10: We Can't Reach You Hartford: Selections from a Theater Department Honors Project
We Can't Reach You Hartford recreates the story of the Hartford Circus Fire of July 6th, 1944. One month from D-Day, the Hartford Circus Fire—which killed 168 circus-goers, mostly women and children—seemed a small tragedy. But the story of the fire that destroyed &quo;The Greatest Show on Earth&quo; explores the loss of innocence of a city, the heroism of sad clowns and crippled boys, a missing girl who becomes the object of obsession, and a search for the truth in a piece of history that no one can reach. Hartford was originally presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and produced in the CFA Theater in April as Jessica Chayes' theater department honors project. Actors will perform scene selections from the production and participate in a talk back with the director, design team, and audience.
The performance will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.
Director: Jessica &quo;Jess&quo; Chayes '07
Presenters: Victoria "Tori" Amoscato '08, Edward Bauer '08, Elissa Kozlov '08, Kieran Kredell '08, Zachary LeClair '10, Gregory Silver '10, Hansel Tan '10, Randa Tawil '09
WESeminar 11: Eclectic Revisited
Wesleyan undergraduates of the early and mid-20th century felt a strong connection to their fraternities. For the nearly 90 percent of undergraduates who pledged during this period, the fraternities were where they ate, socialized, and often centered their lives outside of the classroom. This was particularly true for those who joined Eclectic, a local Wesleyan fraternity and the oldest on campus. Known formally as the Eclectic Society of Phi Nu Theta, the fraternity was founded in 1837 (just six years after Wesleyan itself), and it was considered one of the strongest houses. While the fraternity had a serious intellectual core, it did not slight the social aspects of university life. Many notable figures in Wesleyan's history were members of Eclectic, including four Wesleyan graduates who became presidents of the University: Joseph Cummings, Class of 1840; Cyrus D. Foss, Class of 1854; John W. Beach, Class of 1845; and Edwin D. Etherington, Class of 1948. Join Bill Moody, who has devoted the last two years to researching the history of the &quo;old Eclectic&quo; (through 1970), and fellow members of the fraternity to discuss the fraternity experience and how fraternity life in general has changed through the years.
Moderator: Eclectic member William Moody '59, P'91, whose book A History of the Eclectic Society of Phi Nu Theta 1837–1970 is scheduled to be published by the Wesleyan University Press in March 2007 in time to mark the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Eclectic House at 200 High Street and the 170th anniversary of the founding of the fraternity.
Presenters: Fellow members of Eclectic: James Macgregor '37; William A. Morrill '52; Mark Feldman '57, P '91; David Potts '60; Charles "Chuck" Work '62, P'99; Lawrence Zahnke '42; Richard Zweigenhaft '67
WESeminar 12: Decisions and Consequences: A Roundtable Conversation with the Class of 1952
Join members of the Class of 1952 for a lively discussion about the most important decisions they have made in their lives and the consequences. They will reflect on choices they made as students and later in life, along with the various other factors that influenced their lives. This will be a highly interactive program with audience participation from alumni and spouses.
Moderator: Clyde &quo;Doc&quo; McKee '52, MAT '59, professor of political science, Trinity College
Presenters: David &quo;Chip&quo; Forden '52, retired career officer, Central Intelligence Agency; Walter Pories '52, professor of surgery and biochemistry, East Carolina University; Kimon &quo;Kim&quo; Zachos '52, senior law partner, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, Manchester, New Hampshire
WESeminar 13: Then and Now: Lessons Applied?
Did the social and political tumult of the 1960s yield valuable lessons? How can we ensure that those lessons have not been lost now that our generation has reached its political and social ascendancy? Join this diverse panel of alumni, which includes an anti-war activist, military veteran, and a conscientious objector, for a lively discussion about the lessons of then and now.
Moderator: Arthur Gingrande '67, founding partner of Imerge Consulting, a high-tech firm specializing in document management, and an anti-Vietnam war activist in Washington, D.C. during the late 1960s
Presenters: Bruce Birchard '67, P'02, manager of Friends General Conference, a Quaker organization within the Religious Society of Friends, and a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War; Aidan Jones '67 is an attorney in private practice in Washington, DC and a retired Navy man who served during the Vietnam War; James &quo;Jim&quo; Kates '67, co-director of Zephyr Press, a nonprofit literary publishing house, and a volunteer community organizer during the 1960s with SNCC/COFO (Student Nonviolent Co-Ordinating Committee/Council of Federated Organizations) in the voting rights campaign in Mississippi; William Klaber '67, retired businessman and the author of Shadow Play, a book about the murder of Robert Kennedy, who is currently working on The Professor of Dance, a book about women's rights pioneer Lucy Lobdell; Steven Pfeif '67, independent career consultant, Atlanta, Georgia, and a Marine jet pilot who served during the Vietnam War
WESeminar 14: The Art and Science of Collecting
In planning for the future Wesleyan University Museum, Professor Paoletti has discovered a number of alumni and friends of Wesleyan who have built extraordinary art collections or have helped others build collections. Join four of these alumni to talk about their collections, their experiences collecting and working with other collectors, and about how their Wesleyan experience has informed their search for objects. Some of these collectors have traveled great distances to form their collections; others work with artists nearby. Some collect for themselves, while others collect for patrons; some collect for museums and oversee collections that have become among the most important public educational resources in the world.
Moderator: John Paoletti, professor of art history and William R. Kenan Professor of the Humanities, and a 1997 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching
Presenters: Morrison Heckscher '62, curator of American art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Carl Crossman '62, collector of Asian art, writer, and dealer in Asian art; Steven Alpert '72, P'07, a collector of the arts of the Pacific rim and of Northwest Native American art
Note: The morning WESeminar will be followed by afternoon open houses in the storage areas of the various collections at Wesleyan. Don't miss this opportunity to go behind the scenes to see the extraordinary resources available to our students and to talk directly with our curators.
WESeminar 15: A Walk Through Time: Wesleyan's Changing Campus
Put on some comfortable shoes and join us for a guided walking tour that will highlight some of Wesleyan's most iconic buildings and landscapes, including College Row, Olin Library, Foss Hill, Downey House, and the Center for the Arts, as well as the new Center for Film Studies and the Usdan University Center. Attention will be given to the history of these buildings and the changing form and uses of Wesleyan's favorite spaces.
Presenters: Valerie Gillispie, assistant university archivist; Elizabeth Milroy, dean of the arts and humanities, professor of art history, and professor of American studies; Matthew Winn '92, director of retail services at Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate firm whose senior thesis examined the influence of the student body and the aspirations of the Wesleyan community on the evolution of Wesleyan's campus over the past century
WESeminar 16: Betting on Business
Meet savvy business professionals who have discovered what it takes to succeed in the world of business. Find out how their Wesleyan education prepared them for the work they do today and what they believe are the most important lessons they have learned along the way.
Moderator: Michael L. Sciola, director of Wesleyan's Career Resource Center
Presenters: Adam Bird '87, senior vice president and managing partner, Booz Allen Hamilton, who works with leading media, entertainment, leisure, and consumer companies and is the author of Customer Centricity: New Opportunities for the Media Industry; John Textor '87, managing principal of Wyndcrest, a Florida-based private holding company focused on technology-related opportunities in entertainment, telecommunications, and the Internet, and co-chairman, Digital Domain, Inc., a special effects and animation company based in Venice, California.
WESeminar 17: Digging In: Master Journalists Discuss In-Depth Reporting and Storytelling
Education writer Linda Perlstein spent more than a year exploring the impact of standards and testing on the daily lives of students and teachers at Tyler Elementary School in Annapolis, Maryland. Focusing mostly on third-graders, she examined shortcomings of a test-score culture that brings a lot of unintended consequences. Her book Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade is coming out in August, as the No Child Left Behind Act comes up for renewal. Lisa Chedekel, an investigative reporter for The Hartford Courant, uncovered military records showing that soldiers were routinely sent back into battle in Iraq even after they were diagnosed with serious mental illness. The four–part series she co-wrote in 2006, &quo;Mentally Unfit, Forced to Fight,&quo; has led to sweeping changes at the Pentagon, and has won major national awards.
Moderator: Dan Haar '81, business editor and former columnist at The Hartford Courant
Presenters: Linda Perlstein '92, former staff writer for The Washington Post who covered education at the newspaper from 1998 to 2004, and author of Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schools; Lisa Chedekel '82, longtime journalist and winner of numerous honors for her work at The Hartford Courant
WESeminar 18: At Home in the Holy Land—A Personal Journey
In 1977 Michael Balf left Wesleyan with little knowledge about Jewish identity, having never been to Israel, and having no idea what a kibbutz was. Since then, he has become known as Micha and has lived on a kibbutz for nearly 30 years. While living in Israel, he and his wife Rachel (Helfer) '77 raised three children and he was principal of a secular high school; he also served for 20 years as an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reservist. Join him for a conversation about the personal journey that caused him to spend 30 years in the Holy Land and hear his firsthand impressions of the United States after returning.
Introduction: Jeremy Zwelling, associate professor of religion and director of the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program
Presenter: Michael Balf '77, an Israel educator in Washington, D.C. who is completing a book on Holocaust memory and commemoration in the Kibbutz Movement, based on his PhD thesis
WESeminar 19: Night Light—By Choreographer Ann Carlson
Join Ann Carlson, whose work blends dance, voice, sound, and visual elements, as she brings her site specific performance installation, Night Light, to the Wesleyan campus in celebration of Wesleyan's 175th anniversary. Using archival photographs of the University's history restaged in the tradition of tableaux vivantes, the Night Light project will feature a walking tour with short performances at sites on campus, against the backdrop of photographic dioramas costumed in replica of the original images. Maps for this self–guided tour will be available at registration headquarters, 330 High Street.
Presenter: Ann Carlson, a New York-based choreographer, performer, and conceptual artist who has been at Wesleyan as a Center for Creative Research Resident artist
Note: This program was developed in close collaboration with Wesleyan University archivist and head of special collections Suzy Taraba '77.
WESeminar 20: A Newspaperman's Eye: American Photographs from the Collection of Russell G. D'Oench
Starting in the early 1970s, Russell &quo;Derry&quo; D'Oench, editor of the Middletown Press, built a collection of American photographs by artists ranging from Ansel Adams to Diane Arbus, and Margaret Bourke-White to Weegee. This gallery conversation will explore the process of collecting photographs at a time when few recognized the importance of the medium.
Presenters: Ellen G. D'Oench '73, P'73, P'77, former Wesleyan trustee and former curator, Davison Art Center; Clare Rogan, curator, Davison Art Center
WESeminar 21: The Recovering Brain: Neuroethics and Justice
Brain injury is often thought to be immutable, but Dr. Samuel Mehr and Dr. Joseph Fins will discuss our growing understanding of how the injured brain recovers, drawing upon their clinical experience and recent studies utilizing advanced neuroimaging techniques like PET and fMRI. The panelists will discuss the spectrum of brain injury from mild concussions to disorders of consciousness, like the minimally conscious and vegetative states, and the challenge that patients and their families often encounter finding access to proper care. Our ethical obligations to these patients will be considered in light of emerging scientific knowledge and a social context influenced by the national debate over Terri Schiavo and the high prevalence of brain injury among injured soldiers returning from the war in Iraq.
Presenters: Joseph Fins '82, MD, Wesleyan trustee, and chief of the division of medical ethics and professor of medicine and professor of public health at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center where he practices internal medicine and is writing a book on ethical and health policy issues related to brain injury; Samuel Mehr MD, P'05 and P'07, chief of molecular imaging for Alegent Health Systems in Omaha, Nebraska and on the adjunct faculty at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. Dr. Mehr is active in programs supporting the terminally ill and serves as advisor to state legislatures in drafting legislation relating to the rights of the individual at the end of life.
WESeminar 22: Joss Whedon on "The Importance of Being Keanu"
Join this creator of cult figures who will talk about his career, thoughts on education and work, his life at Wesleyan and future plans, plus anything else the audience wants to ask.
Introduction: Jeanine D. Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, curator of the Cinema Archives, chair of the Film Studies Program, and 1996 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching
Presenter: Joss Whedon '87, film and television writer who was the creator and executive producer of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly; he is known as an &quo;A-list&quo; screenwriter and script doctor, and has written/co-written films that include Toy Story, Alien: Resurrection, and Titan A.E.
WESeminar 23: Coeducation at Wesleyan: The 1872–1912 Experiment
Wesleyan University is the only undergraduate institution in the United States that has &quo;gone coed&quo; twice. Women were first admitted 135 years ago, in 1872, and were unceremoniously kicked out 40 years later. The historical facts raise intriguing questions. Why did a 38–year–old men's college decide to abandon the single sex tradition and embrace coeducation? What relevance did the spreading women's movement and other historic trends have to the change? What was coeducation like for the women and men students? Why did the University change its mind four decades later and restore the single sex tradition? And how did women continue to contribute to the institution as alumnae, donors, faculty, graduate students, and staff in the interregnum years before women returned as exchange students in 1968?
Presenters: Louise (Lucy) W. Knight '72, adjunct professor of communication studies, Northwestern University, is the author of Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy; her senior honors thesis at Wesleyan was about &quo;The 'Quails': Wesleyan University's First Period of Coeducation, 1872–1912&quo;. David Potts '60 is the author of Wesleyan University, 1831–1910: Collegiate Enterprise in New England, 1992; he is currently at work on a second volume covering the years 1910–1967. Suzy Taraba '77 is university archivist and head of special collections.
WESeminar 24: U.S. Counterterrorism Here and Abroad
Since September 11, 2001, the United States' policies and strategies for addressing terrorism here and abroad have changed dramatically. The modern legal structure governing management and emergency response to terrorist events is a complex system of federal, state, and local laws, policies, and plans. At home, this system must balance the nation's commitment to federalism and civil liberties with the practical need for clear operational command and control critical to an effective national counterterrorism strategy. Abroad, the United States faces an increasingly difficult international environment, which only complicates efforts to counter the long–term threat posed by violent Islamic extremism.
Join our panel of experts as they consider how the terrorism picture has changed since the 9/11 attacks and the ways policy, law, and strategy must change to address the threat of international and domestic terrorism.
Introduction: Martha Crenshaw, professor of government and the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor of Global Issues and Democratic Thought, a 1995 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and editor of the books Terrorism, Legitimacy, and Power, and Terrorism in Context.
Presenters: Stephen C. King '87, former federal prosecutor and the director of investigations and law enforcement in the White House Office of Homeland Security, and currently an attorney with Hunton & Williams LLP and assistant adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School where he teaches emergency management and response law; Nicholas Rasmussen, '87, former director for regional affairs in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC), and currently the assistant for policy planning to the director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and a lecturer for the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where he teaches U.S. Counterterrorism Policy
WESeminar 25: Gamelan Workshop
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. 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. Get some real experience playing the gamelan in this lively, hands–on workshop.
Presenters: I. M. Harjito, artist-in-residence, music department; Darsono, visiting gamelan instructor, music department; Sumarsam MA '76, chair and adjunct professor, Music Department. Former gamelan students are welcome to join the workshop.
WESeminar 26: Now and Then with David Brancaccio, Laura Fraser, Julie Lasky, and Jonathan Weber
David Brancaccio, host of NOW on PBS, has won numerous awards for investigating what his former co-host Bill Moyers calls the &quo;untidy realities&quo; of politics and social issues. Join him as he talks with distinguished Wesleyan journalists about media, reporting, and the evolution of their careers.
Moderator: David Brancaccio '82, host of the public television program NOW, is the award-winning broadcaster who is the former host and senior editor of public radio's business program, Marketplace. He is also the author of Squandering Aimlessly, an account of his pilgrimage to learn about values and money.
Presenters: Laura Fraser '82 has written for numerous national publications, including O the Oprah magazine, More, Mother Jones, and The New York Times; she is the author of Losing It, an expose of the diet industry, and the novel An Italian Affair. Julie Lasky '82 is editor-in-chief of ID, one of the nation's preeminent design magazines which covers the art, business, and culture of design. She is co-author of Some People Can't Surf: The Graphic Design of Art Chantry. Jonathan Weber '82 is the CEO and editor-in-chief of Newwest.net, a Web-based publication about the Rocky Mountain West. Previously, he was the editor–in–chief of the Industry Standard, which was the Economist of the dot-com world, and a technology editor and reporter for the Los Angeles Times.
WESeminar 27: Outside the Frame: Teaching Art in a World of Porous Boundaries
For the first time in more than a decade, Wesleyan's studio art faculty will be honored with a major exhibition in Zilkha Gallery that will feature sculpture, printmaking, photography, painting, drawing, digital media, and architecture. Included in the exhibition are works by John Frazer, Elijah Huge, J. Seeley, Jeffrey Schiff, David Schorr, Keiji Shinohara, John Slepian, Leslie Snipes, Tula Telfair, and Kate TenEyck. As in other academic disciplines, the boundaries of art have expanded and, increasingly, art is not as sharply defined by medium as it once was. Join us for a discussion of how the evolution of art itself has influenced the teaching of art in an undergraduate program such as Wesleyan's, and how a professor's own art work influences his/her teaching.
Moderator: Nina Felshin, curator of exhibitions, Zilkha Gallery, and adjunct lecturer in art history
Presenters: Elijah Huge, assistant professor of art; David Schorr, professor of art
WESeminar 28: The Connecticut Stem Cell Initiative: The Wesleyan Connection
Wesleyan is a key recipient in the first round of funding from the Connecticut Stem Cell Initiative. Join Professors Grabel and Gruen, and special guest Dr. Robin Cook, to learn more about the importance of the initiative and the work it will support at Wesleyan and elsewhere in Connecticut. And, find out how the state is dealing with the regulatory and ethical issues raised by human embryonic stem cell research.
Introduction: Joseph W. Bruno, vice president for academic affairs and professor of chemistry
Presenters: Robin Cook '62, MD former ophthalmologist trained at Harvard and acclaimed novelist who has written 27 best-selling medical thrillers, including Outbreak, Seizure, and Coma; he is a strong advocate for stem cell research and has successfully lobbied members of congress, including Senator Orren Hatch; Laura Grabel, Fisk Professor of Natural Science and professor of biology; Lori Gruen, associate professor of philosophy and associate professor of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies
WESeminar 29: Beyond Partisan
In 2005, six politically-minded Wesleyan students, who were frustrated with the current state of civic discourse, created Beyond Partisan, an interactive Web site designed to foster constructive debate on major issues. Their goal was to return to the level-headed democracy of the town hall, by creating an online forum for the exchange of individual ideas and opinions, regardless of party affiliation. By stressing the importance of individual thought over partisan dogma, they hoped Beyond Partisan would become an alternative to both the sensationalized nightly news and the polarizing political blog network. Join some of the students who launched the Web site for a discussion of what was involved in developing and managing the site. Find out what they have learned from the experience and how Beyond Partisan is today.
Presenters: Nathaniel "Nate" Byer '06, communications director, Generation Engage, a political strategy firm in Washington, D.C.; Adam Gomolin '06, who is pursuing a masters of public policy degree at the University of California at Berkeley; Robert Weinstock '06, currently studying at Columbia University Law School, and focusing on environmental law
WESeminar 30: Student Activism is Alive and Well
It’s been suggested that students today aren’t the activists of the 60’s and don’t have the same passionate commitment to causes as their student predecessors. But, a close look at what students do with their time now reveals that activism is very much alive, just different. Today campus activism is dispersed over a broader range of causes, with no single issue mobilizing students. And students have a much larger repertoire of methods available to promote their positions, including: e-mails, press conferences, and litigation. Technology has also had an impact, making students more informed than ever and easier for students to organize support locally and nationally. Join Professor Rosenthal and a panel of Wesleyan’s activists to hear about some of the issues that compel them. And, find out how these students activists are like and unlike those who preceded them.
Moderator: Rob Rosenthal, professor of sociology and director of Wesleyan's Service-Learning Center
Presenters: Samira Abdul-Karim '07, member of Muslim Student Association; Thomas Coen '07, co-founder and executive editor of Incite Magazine, a community resource that combines news analysis and political commentary with action and activism;Beck Straley '07, member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trangender, Queer organization; Kevin Young '07, works with Students Against the War in Iraq
WESeminar 31: Picking a President: A Look Ahead at Campaign 2008
The presidential election of 2008 is going to be interesting in many ways. More than 20 contenders have declared their candidacy, including a former first lady, a previous vice presidential candidate, and a popular former mayor of a major U.S. city. Pollsters and political commentators tell us this campaign and election will be different, not only because of the diversity and number of candidates, but because it will be a campaign and election heavily influenced by the Internet. Join alumni who are watching the campaign closely for a conversation about what makes this race unique. Find out how important they believe public opinion and polling may be, and what role the Internet will play in influencing the election.
Moderator: Jane Eisner '77, P'06, vice president for national programs and initiatives, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia; former Wesleyan trustee, and author of Taking Back the Vote: Getting American Youth Involved in Our Democracy
Presenters: Robert Allbritton '92, publisher of The Politico, a new Capitol Hill-centered online news Web site, and chairman and CEO of Allbritton Communications, a Washington, D.C. firm that owns and operates ABC affiliated TV stations; Adam Berinsky '92, associate professor of political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose research focuses on the political behavior of ordinary citizens; Susannah Fox '92, director of research, Pew Internet and American Life Project, a Washington, D.C.–based think tank that studies the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life
WESeminar 32: Coeducation at Wesleyan: The 1969–1974 Transformation
Wesleyan's second period of coeducation officially began when women returned as undergraduate transfer students in 1969, though women first reappeared on campus in 1968 as part of a Ten College Exchange Program. The first freshmen women of the second coeducational period arrived in the fall of 1970, constituting 30 percent of the class, and by 1974, all classes included women who began at Wesleyan as freshmen. Again, the historical facts raise questions. Why did Wesleyan decide to restore coeducation? What relevance did the spreading women's rights movement of the 1960s and other historic trends have to the change? What was the transition back to coeducation like for Wesleyan women and men? In what ways was coeducation a transformation and in what ways did Wesleyan remain the same?
Moderator: Louise (Lucy) W. Knight '72 arrived at Wesleyan on the Ten College Exchange Program from Wheaton College (Mass.) in the spring of 1970, enrolled as a transfer student the following fall, and graduated with a BA and an MAT in 1972; she is currently adjunct professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and the author of Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy.
Presenters: Bonnie Blair '72, attorney and partner, Thompson Coburn, Washington D.C., and former Wesleyan trustee; Helen Hubbard Marr '71, artist and administrator who has worked at various major museums in New York City and for the New York State Council on the Arts in its Folk Arts Program; Joanne Young '71, is managing partner of Kirstein & Young, Washington, D.C., former Wesleyan trustee and chair of the Wesleyan club of Washington, D.C., where she was instrumental in introducing the annual Philip B. Brown '44 endowed lecture in honor of the former chairman of the Board of Trustees.
WESeminar 33: Queer Studies: Teaching the Politics of Sex
Ten years ago, the American Studies Program at Wesleyan made a commitment to creating and maintaining a concentration in queer studies, an interdisciplinary field that takes a critical approach to the role that deviance and normality play in creating the world we live in. By looking at the history of one course, &quo;The Politics of Sex after 1968: Queering the American State,&quo; Claire Potter will reflect on the rewards and dangers of teaching queer studies, on refreshing courses and curriculum to reflect the most urgent questions in this interdisciplinary field and, most importantly, on why queer studies is critical to the liberal arts education offered at Wesleyan.
Presenter: Claire Bond Potter is professor of history and American studies, past director of the American Studies Program, and a 1997 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in teaching whose published work includes War on Crime: Bandits, G–Men and the Politics of Mass Culture, and an article on J. Edgar Hoover's private life, &quo;Queer Hoover: Sex, Lies and Political History,&quo; Journal of the History of Sexuality. She is currently at work on a history of anti-pornography campaigns during the Reagan presidency.
WESeminar 34: A Transformative Partnership: The Center for Creative Research and Wesleyan at 175
In 2005, Wesleyan University joined a small group of colleges and universities in a pilot program called the Center for Creative Research (CCR). Hosted by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) and funded by the Mellon Foundation, CCR aims to create and implement innovative strategies for artist-university interaction emphasizing the trans/inter-disciplinary contributions artists make as scholars/researchers to the intellectual life of the University. With several long–term residency projects now in place at Wesleyan by Liz Lerman and Eiko Otake, dancers, choreographers, and performance artists, CCR now brings choreographer Ann Carlson to campus with her Night Light project—a site specific performance installation—in celebration of Wesleyan's 175th anniversary. Join CCR founding artists for a discussion about Carlson's work, CCR's other creative investigations, and its dynamic partnership with Wesleyan University.
Presenters: Ann Carlson, Ain Gordon, David Gordon, and Dana Reitz, who are founding artists of the Center for Creative Research (CCR), a pilot project designed to promote long–term relationships between innovative movement artists and academic institutions
WESeminar 35: Five Years Out
Alumni from the Class of 2002 have been very busy since they left Middletown. Some have become teachers, attended law school, or joined the Peace Corps, traveling to distant places such as Senegal, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic; others have chosen to live and work outside the United States in Belgium, Italy, and Croatia. There are Web designers, stock brokers, actors, musicians, and writers, and some who are exploring a range of new options. Please join members of the class to catch-up on where life has taken them in their first five years out.
Moderator: Louise S. Brown, associate dean of the college, dean for the Class of 2002 and 2009, and adjunct lecturer in government
Presenters: Britton Boyd '02, United States Government Boarder Patrol in Arizona; Justin Lacob '02, producer, America's Next Top Model; Aileen Payumo '02, marketing assistant for Vibe magazine; Michelle Rabinowitz '02, producer, MTV News; Tucker Reed '02, founding executive director of the Dumbo Improvement District, dedicated to the enhancement and promotion of one of Brooklyn's most historic neighborhoods; Micah Silver '02, music curator for Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and independent sound installation artist
Note: The panel will include time for discussion by other alumni in attendance. The Class of 2002 welcomes members of the senior Class of 2007 to come hear about the first five years out and to stay for a reception after the program.
WESeminar 36: Inside the Mind of Jules Feiffer
Jules Feiffer has spent a lifetime chronicling the anxieties of contemporary man as well as the hypocrisies of presidents and other politicians. His work has brought him an Oscar for best animated short-subject (Munro), a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival for I Want to Go Home, and most recently, the 56th Writers Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the National Cartoonists Society Lifetime Achievement Award. A man who was &quo;desperate to be a cartoonist,&quo; Feiffer produced a weekly comic strip called Feiffer, featuring presidents and other uniquely neurotic characters. He is the first cartoonist to be invited to appear regularly on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. Since ending his syndicated comic strip in 2000, Feiffer has increased his activity in other areas, including playwrighting, teaching, and writing and illustrating children's books. Join us for a conversation with this versatile artist and an exploration of his creative legacy.
Introduction: Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, curator of the Cinema Archives, chair of the Film Studies Program, and 1996 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching
Presenter: Jules Feiffer P'07, political cartoonist, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, and author of children's books. His credits include two novels, 13 plays (Little Murders, Grown Ups, Carnal Knowledge, play and screenplay, and most recently, A Bad Friend), and ten children's books (I Lost My Bear, Bark, George, and The Daddy Mountain). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been given retrospective exhibitions by the Library of Congress and the New York Historical Society.
WESeminar 37: The Middle East: Assumptions and Misunderstandings
Join Brooklyn photographer Adam Abel, who found himself in Lebanon last summer during the war between Israel and Hezbollah. After enduring a week of bombings, he and his wife, alumna Leila Buck '99, fled Beirut to Damascus, staying in Syria and Jordan for the remainder of the conflict. Through his images and words, Abel will share his experiences as an American Jew traveling though places deemed unsafe for Americans during such a tumultuous period, and will discuss his own assumptions and misunderstandings about the Middle East and its people.
Introduction: Jeremy Zwelling, associate professor of religion and director of the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program
Presenter: Adam Abel '98, freelance photographer and multimedia artist
WESeminar 38: Ultimate, the Sport
What is the seduction of Ultimate frisbee that has driven hundreds of Wes undergrads to hone their flying disc skills, giving Wesleyan's team, Nietzsch Factor, a place among the richest modern traditions on campus? How has this sport of quirky origins and athletic discipline come to be a colorful presence on campuses such as Wesleyan, and in cities around the world? Nietzsch Factor grads have shaped ultimate for decades, and have claimed more than a few national championships—from Boston in '82 to Seattle in '06. Join some luminaries of the game for a multimedia presentation and a demonstration of the finer points.
Introduction: Dan Haar '81, longtime player and organizer
Presenters: Jody Avirgan '02, a Wesleyan captain and currently a force in New York Ultimate; Steve Mooney '80, seven–time national champion and captain with 21 appearances at nationals, and member of the Ultimate Hall of Fame; Adam Zagoria '91, sportswriter and author, who co-wrote the 2005 definitive history Ultimate, The First Four Decades
WESeminar 39: Translating the Languages of Medicine
In the last decade, the fruits of the human genome project and advances in the understanding of many diseases have led to the expansion of treatments available and made the task of choosing and explaining choices to families more complex than ever. Join our panel of distinguished clinicians whose varied specializations include: working at the forefront of medical research, playing a key role in the process of bringing new drugs to market, and educating the next generation of physicians. Panelists will discuss their work and the most recent developments in their respective fields. They will also consider the vocabulary that is unique to each specialization and the challenge of insuring that nothing is lost in the difficult translation from bench to bedside.
Moderator: Peter H. Byers MD P ’07 (parent of noted “aquatician” Ben), Professor of Pathology and Medicine (Medical Genetics), and former President of The American Society of Human Genetics
Presenters: James A. DeCaprio ’77, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and clinical associate at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Daniel A. Rauch ’87, MD, Director of the Pediatric Hospitalist Program and Assistant Pediatric Residency Program Director, New York University School of Medicine; Robert M. White ’72, MD, Medical Officer, Division of Oncology Drug Products, at the Food and Drug Administration and former Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology at Howard University Cancer Center
WESeminar 40: Art That is Not Art!
Natural science and mathematics researchers often discover dazzling images, much like works of art. Join Wesleyan student researchers for an overview of their work and enjoy their collection of colorful graphic images from the microworld of atoms to the macroworld of planets and galaxies. Hear the stories behind their images, how they were obtained, what they represent, and plan to be delighted by art that is not art.
Coordinator: David Beveridge, professor of chemistry, and director of Wesleyan's Molecular Biophysics Program
Presenters: Christopher Dieck '07, MA '08; Mariah Klaneski '04, MA '07; Janet Mosley '07; Anna Rorem '07; Frank Stellabotte PhD '07; Beck Straley '07; and other graduating seniors