Skip to navigation
Skip to content

[flag] Dates for Reunion & Commencement Weekend 2012 are May 24–27

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 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.

WESeminars are offered throughout the weekend. This schedule is subject to change. WESeminar times and locations have been integrated into the schedule and are available by clicking on the daily links on the left. The schedule will also be available at Registration (Usdan University Center) during the weekend.

Watching Brains Think: Brain Imaging, Face Recognition, Emotions, and Deception

Thinking is hard work and brain cells require more energy than any other individual cells in the human body. Because of this energy requirement, blood flow increases in areas of the brain where cells are most active. Brain scanners detect these changes in a completely safe manner from outside the head, so they can be used with healthy human volunteers to determine which brain areas are active during many different mental tasks, thus enabling us to answer a wide range of questions: How do we recognize faces? Why are some people face-blind even though they have normal vision? Can we detect psychopaths by watching their brain activity? Can we determine when a person is lying? Can someone read your mind by watching your brain activity? Join us for a discussion of these questions and the ethical issues raised by brain imaging.

Presenter: Hugh R. Wilson ’65, director, Centre for Vision Research, fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and professor of biological & computational vision, York University, Toronto, Canada

Shining Hope: Building A School For Girls In Kenya’s Kibera Slum

Wesleyan student Kennedy Odede ’12 grew up in the slums of Kenya and saw firsthand the abuse and general mistreatment of school-aged girls in his community. In 2007, Odede met Wesleyan student Jessica Posner ’09, who was studying abroad in the country. Together they decided to start an NGO that would combat the lack of women’s education in the slum, where many young girls are forced to become sex workers. After Odede was accepted to Wesleyan to pursue his own dreams of a college education, he and Posner applied for a grant to build a school for girls in Kibera and received a $10,000 award. Working with community members, Odede and Posner constructed the Kibera School for Girls, the first and only tuition-free school for girls in the slum. The school was completed in ten weeks and currently offers 105 girls in grades K through six a high-quality formal education and daily nourishment. Join us to learn more about the Kibera School for Girls and to hear about plans to build the innovative Johanna Justin-Jinich Memorial Clinic, adjacent to the Kibera School, to combat the extreme health crisis in the country and honor Johanna’s legacy.

Moderator: Robert Rosenthal, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology and a 2000 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Presenters: Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09 are co-founders of Shining Hope for Communities, a nonprofit in Kenya that employs a community-driven approach to combat human rights abuses and poverty in Kenya’s Kibera Slum; Leah Lucid ’10, development director for Shining Hope for Communities

Counting on Chance: 25 Years of Artist’s Books

Robin Price is known for taking artistic risks within the context of the traditional format of the book. Her work embraces chance, serendipity, and randomness, and she thrives on collaboration with a wide range of artists. The results are beautiful, challenging, and memorable. Chronicling her development from an accomplished letterpress printer into an innovative book artist, this exhibition showcases published works and archival materials, editions and unique books, solo and collaborative work.

Introduction: Clare Rogan, Curator, Davison Art Center

Presenter: Robin Price, book artist and fine press printer

The Senior Thesis – A Showcase For Academic Excellence

The senior thesis is a year-long, in-depth project that provides students with a unique opportunity to explore fresh ideas and produce new knowledge. In this session, we highlight several senior theses representing a cross section of student research and creative output from the natural sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Students will share their work and discuss the processes that guided their investigations.

Moderator: Marina J. Melendez, Ph.D., dean for the class of 2010

Presenters: Efrain Antonio Ribeiro ’10, Neuroscience and Ethics; Rebecca Ripley Turkewitz ’10, All the News That’s Fit to Print? A Content Analysis of Newspapers’ Portrayal of Rape and Sexual Assault; Benjamin Bernstein ’10, Bad Island, an original opera based on the book by William Steig; Leah Lucid ’10, Discrimination Experiences of Latina/os: Coping Mechanisms, Emotional Responses, and Depression; Nicholas Davenport '10, Yours for the New Social Order: Student Radicals at Wesleyan University, 1929-1941 

Sculpture as Proto-Architecture

David Black is an internationally known sculptor who creates monumental, “walk-under”works, which have become public landmarks in cities throughout the United States, and in points as distant as Berlin, Germany and Nagano, Japan. He terms his pieces, “proto-architecture”, because they combine architectural elements such as pillars, arches, open canopies, infused with light, visual movement, and surprise. His works are considered serious and complex, but buoyant and spirited, and include Jetty, a pavilion sculpture in Belmont, California; Flyover, a 150’ long stainless steel “flight path” of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, in Dayton, Ohio; and Windpoint, which won Japan’s Henry Moore International Sculpture Competition in Nagano, Japan. Join him for a reflection on his 50-plus-year career, drawing on favorite photographic images from his own collection.

Introduction: Allan "Al" Ryan ’50

Presenter: David Black ’50, is an award-winning sculptor who has been commissioned to design over 25 large-scale, site-specific works; he is professor of art, emeritus, at Ohio State University

Lenin’s Brother: A Tale of Two Families

The hanging of Alexander Ulyanov, Lenin’s older brother, pushed Vladimir onto the path of revolution. The eldest son in a relatively privileged family, Alexander appeared to be following in his father’s footsteps. The family had no inkling that he had joined a terrorist conspiracy at the end of 1886, only months after he’d won a gold medal for his junior thesis. The regime hanged Alexander and four other members of the plot in May 1887. The arrest, trial, and hanging dramatically changed the family’s situation and produced a crisis in Alexander’s younger brother, Vladimir. Join professor Pomper for a discussion of his new book, which probes the psychodynamics of the terrorist group, Alexander Ulyanov’s choice of terrorism, Lenin’s reaction to the shock of his brother’s secret, and how it affected the October Revolution.

Introduction: William "Vijay" Pinch, professor of history

Presenter: Philip Pomper, William Armstrong Professor of History and the author of Lenin’s Brother: The Origins of the October Revolution, published in 2010

Brownstone: a Local Industry with Global Impact

During the 19th century, Portland, Connecticut was the epicenter of the brownstone industry, its quarries providing the iconic brownstone used at Wesleyan, in New York and Boston buildings, and in cities around the world. Portland was the site of a major industry employing thousands of people. Today, the old quarries are a peaceful recreational area. How did the brownstone industry grow so rapidly, then collapse? What is its significance today? Presenters will discuss the geologic history of the stone, the influence of brownstone around the world, and the research being done today on this essential piece of Connecticut’s history.

Presenters: Valerie Gillispie, assistant university archivist; Indira Karamcheti, associate professor of English and American studies; Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, Emeritus, and author of Stories in Stone, a book recently published by Wes Press

The Challenge of Microbes: How Are We in Danger?

The 20th century witnessed a plethora of new and re-emerging infectious disease agents with major public health consequences. The discovery of antibiotics and other antimicrobials for controlling bacteria, fungi and parasites brought optimism to the medical field, but then disappointment when the targeted microbes came back with resistance to these medications. While vaccines have been extremely successful in preventing a number of viral and bacterial diseases, the world faces two major public health threats: drug-resistant bacteria that are no longer susceptible to current antibiotics and HIV, the viral cause of AIDS which continues to spread through the world infecting close to 8,000 people a day, and for which there is not yet an effective vaccine. How these microorganisms have emerged, how they affect human populations globally and how they are being addressed in the absence of effective therapies are current over-arching questions. Join our experts in infectious diseases and microbiology, as they describe the dangers of disease-causing microbes in our lifetime and how science addresses this challenge.

Presenters: Jay A. Levy, ’60, MD, ’96 HON, professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco, is a co-discoverer of the AIDS virus. His research has brought insights into how the virus causes disease and how the immune system can act to control HIV. His recent emphasis has been on natural anti-HIV immune responses and on efforts to develop an AIDS vaccine.

Stuart B. Levy, MD ’98 HON, professor of molecular biology/microbiology and of medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, is a world expert in antibiotic resistance and its spread among animals and people. He discovered several mechanisms for resistance to antibiotics and for controlling multidrug resistance.

Lying: Uses and Abuses of Deception

Lying is at once generally condemned and generally practiced in our culture. Research shows that lying by ordinary people is much more frequent than is commonly supposed. Trust is essential for the functioning of individuals and of society. This session will consist of an examination of the psychology of lying, with attention to the relationship between lying and trust in romantic relationships, Ponzi schemes, and in our current political life.

Presenters: Robert S. Feldman ’70, Professor of Psychology and Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Services, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; Karl Scheibe, Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, and Director of the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty

Israel in Short: A Look at Israeli Society through the Lens of TV

In spring 2009, the Wesleyan Israeli Film Festival screened two episodes of the Israeli TV show Touch Away, which captivated the audience with the heart-breaking, impossible love story of Rochele, an orthodox Jew, and Zurik, a Russian secular immigrant. But more than a love story, the series is recognized for tackling important cultural questions about the relations between religious and secular Israelis, as well as the difficulties Russian immigrants face in contemporary Israeli society. Join us for a screening of two episodes from Touch Away, followed by a discussion with the audience.

Introduction: Jeremy Zwelling, associate professor of religion and director of the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate program

Presenter: Dalit Katz, adjunct assistant professor of religion and of Jewish and Israel studies

Steve Badanes: Architect As Artisan

Borrowing from the tradition of medieval craftsman, Steve Badanes and two partners founded Jersey Devil Design Build in 1972. Bringing together skilled craftsmen, architects, inventors, and artists, the firm has become known for its artistry and environmental consciousness, and their work includes some of the first solar and earth-sheltered houses. Jersey Devil is also known for its unique practice of living on-site during the construction phase of its projects, and its use of regional and non-traditional materials. Join this Jersey Devil founder and principal to hear about the firm’s commitment to creating buildings that won’t burden future generations, and learn why their work is said to "critique our accepted definitions of architecture itself." 

Introduction: Joseph Siry is professor of art history and teaches history of modern architecture and urbanism, mainly in Europe and the United States. His current book is Beth Sholom: Frank Lloyd Wright and Modern Religious Architecture. He was a 1994 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Presenters: Steven Badanes ’65 is a founding member of the Jersey Devil Design Build practice and is currently the Howard S. Wright Endowed Chair of the University of Washington, College of Built Environments


Meet Authors: Jennifer Finney Boylan, Rachel Basch, and Spencer Reece

In Memory of Annie Sonnenblick ’80

Join us for a reading and lively conversation with three award-winning Wesleyan writers. This event celebrates the memory of Annie Sonnenblick ’80, who loved literature and the arts.

Moderator: Anne Greene, adjunct professor of English, director of writing programs, director of the Wesleyan Writers Conference, and a 2006 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Presenters: Jennifer Finney Boylan ’80 is the author of eleven books, including the memoir She’s Not There, the first bestselling work by a transgender American. A professor of English at Colby College, Boylan has spoken about gender, fiction, and civil rights in many venues around the country. She is a regular contributor to the Op/Ed page of the New York Times. Her new book, Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror, is about monsters.

Rachel Basch ’80 is the author of The Passion of Reverend Nash, named one of the five best novels of 2003 by The Christian Science Monitor, and Degrees of Love. A teacher of creative writing for over 20 years, Basch is a contributor to Now Write!: Fiction Writing Exercises From Today’s Best Writers & Teachers. She currently teaches in Fairfield University’s MFA program and Wesleyan’s GLSP.

Spencer Reece ’85 is a writer and poet whose book of poems, The Clerk’s Tale, was published by Houghton Mifflin, and the title poem was made into a short film by James Franco. Reece’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry and elsewhere, and he has received a Guggenheim fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Witter-Bynner fellowship, and a grant from the NEA. He is a candidate for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church


Join Alex Kurtzman for a lively conversation about his experiences writing for film and television at the highest level. He’ll discuss how he broke into the business and how his Wesleyan education helped him. He’ll also offer his best professional advice for people hoping to work in the industry. Kurtzman and his writing partner, Roberto Orci, became head writers for Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess at the ages of 23, and went on to write for the J.J. Abrams series, Alias, becoming executive producers for the show; they also created the TV drama, Fringe. Kurtzman and Orci produced Sandra Bullock’s hit film, The Proposal, and wrote the latest Star Trek movie, in addition to Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen, The Island, the original Transformers, The Legend Of Zorro, and Mission Impossible: III. Currently, they have a production deal with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks company and a television deal with 20th Century.

Introduction: Jeanine D. Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, curator of the Cinema Archives, and chair of the Film Studies Department, is a 1996 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Presenter: Alex Kurtzman ’95, award-winning writer for television and film, is currently working a new TV series that is a remake of Hawaii 5-0

Thinking Critically about the Environment

Regardless of one’s opinions about issues such as climate change or carbon taxes, it is clear that environmental issues will dominate national and international politics and news over the next century. To fully prepare students to participate effectively in these important discussions, Wesleyan has taken a major step to support environmental research, communication, teaching, and policy development, by introducing an Environmental Studies Program and launching The College of the Environment (COE) for the Fall Semester 2010. Come hear the exciting details of the ENVS and COE and short presentations of senior thesis research from two of our first graduating environmental studies majors.

Moderator: Barry Chernoff, professor of biology, Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, and director of the Environmental Studies Certificate Program

Presenters: Megan Hughes ’10 and Caitlin McHugh ’10

Fiscal Deficits and Financial Angst in the 21st Century: Legacy of the Great Recession

During the past decade house prices rose, peaked, then fell. The housing bubble was stoked by an accommodating Fed, lax lending standards, and an inventive Wall Street. When the music stopped, many financial firms were still dancing. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and unemployment inflicted financial and personal pain. Government reaction to the Great Recession included corporate rescues, shotgun marriages, TARP payments, multiple stimuli, mortgage loan mods, subsidies for house buyers, and extensions of unemployment relief. The financial burden on the U. S. Treasury (you and me) promises to be enormous, without factoring in Social Security’s slide into annual deficits and the costs of the increased medical care entitlement. Is the current recession different? Will the federal deficits and debt become unsustainable? Will the Treasury lose its Triple-A rating? Is the democratic political system threatened by our capitalistic economic system? Join our panelists to peer into the future, darkly.

Moderator: Richard Miller, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics, Emeritus

Presenters: William Walker ’60 is an attorney and managing director of Millennium Capital Consultants Inc. in New York City, which provides financial consulting and business development services to domestic and foreign clients; he has worked in private, corporate, and government sectors, including appointments as General Counsel Cost of Living Council; Director, Presidential Personnel Office; and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative where he was US Ambassador and Chief Trade Negotiator; Leonard Burman ’75 is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Professor of Public Affairs and a nationally recognized tax policy and public finance expert; he was deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for tax analysis from 1998-2000 and a co-founder and director of Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) in Washington, DC. Robert Pruzan ’85, is a founding partner of Centerview Partners, a financial-advisory boutique firm in New York City that provides senior-level counsel to both domestic and international clients.

A Drawing Lesson

A hands-on studio workshop designed to help you discover and advance basic drawing skills. The session introduces various drawing techniques and includes figurative drawing with a live model. Those who have never drawn before are welcome and materials are included. Space is limited to 20 and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Presenter: Julia Randall, assistant professor of art

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Report From The Field

Join this veteran New York Times reporter for a discussion about the shifting American-Israeli relationship, the tensions over Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the broader regional context, including Iran and Syria.

Introduction: Jeremy Zwelling, associate professor of religion and director of the Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate program

Presenter: Ethan Bronner ’76, P ’10, Jerusalem Bureau Chief, The New York Times

The Unasked Questions in Healthcare Reform

Healthcare reform has dominated the news for more than a year. Yet all the discussion has shed little light on the fundamental causes of the problem — factors that the new law doesn’t address. Politicians aren’t talking about many of the most important issues because the public is reluctant to ask the hard questions about who should sacrifice what, and about what healthcare really is — or should be. In this session, panelists may not come up with all the answers, but they will raise the difficult questions that get at the root causes of America’s healthcare crisis.

Moderator: Mark Zitter ’80, CEO of The Zitter Group, a market research company working with biopharmaceutical and managed care organizations, and chairman of Vital Decisions, a telephone counseling company serving patients with life-limiting conditions

Presenters: Damien Sheehan-Connor, MD, assistant professor of economics whose focus of study is healthcare economics; Rick Smith ’80, senior vice president, PhRMA, The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; Russell Munson ’75, vice president for medical affairs, St. Anne’s Hospital, Fall River, Massachusetts, "a Caritas Christi Community Hospital"

“A Splendid Palace in Middletown”: Celebrating the Richard Alsop IV House

In 1844, a visitor to the Alsop House described it as “a splendid Palace in Middletown the walls & ceilings are of plaster of paris beautifully decorated by eminent Artists…” In 2009, the National Parks Service honored the historic importance of the house and the wall paintings by designating the Alsop House a National Historic Landmark. There are fewer than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks in the United States and only 60 in the state of Connecticut. Join us for a discussion about the history of the Alsop House and its place in American architecture.

Introduction: Elizabeth Milroy is professor of art history and teaches the history of art and material culture in North America. She is a visiting scholar in historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania, and is completing a major history of Philadelphia’s cultural landscapes titled The Green Country Town: William Penn’s Legacy and the Birth of Philadelphia’s Public Parks, 1682-1882.

Presenters: Alain Munkittrick ’73 is an associate of Munkittrick Associates, which provides architecture, interior design, and space planning services. He was the first student appointed to the Wesleyan Landmarks Advisory Board and served on the WLAB for almost 25 years; Joseph Siry is professor of art history and teaches history of modern architecture and urbanism, mainly in Europe and the United States. His current book is Beth Sholom: Frank Lloyd Wright and Modern Religious Architecture. He was a 1994 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Call to Action: Wesleyan and the World of Philanthropy and Public Service

Wesleyan students and alumni have long brought their energy and commitment to the nonprofit sector, charitable foundations, community service and public policy initiatives. Join our panelists for a conversation about their accomplishments in these diverse arenas and the opportunities and challenges they see ahead. Can Wesleyan alumni accomplish more if we unite and organize our efforts in public service?

Moderator: Elizabeth "Biz" Ghormley ’04, is a graduate student at New York University and an Intern at Fenton Communications.

Presenters: Stephen McCarthy ’75, senior vice president, KCG Capital Advisors and Trustee of The Mary A. and John M. McCarthy Foundation; Rob Rosenthal, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology and former director of Wesleyan’s Service-Learning Center; Sarah Williams '88, Principal, Sarah Williams Consulting, a philanthropic consulting firm. Note: An informal networking session will immediately follow the program.

An Insider’s Look at Public Television

Spend an hour with two longtime friends who are also award-winning, veteran producers of PBS series and specials, to find out what it’s really like to produce for public broadcasting. Where do the ideas, and the money, come from? How much time does it take to research new ideas, and when should you abandon a project altogether? How do you navigate the confusing array of local stations and partner organizations that make up public television? Their presentation will include clips from recent PBS productions, including “History Detectives”, “Frontline”, “The Sixties: The Years That Shaped a Generation”, and “Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders”. If you aspire to produce programs for public television, you won’t want to miss this presentation.

Presenters: David Davis ’70, vice president of National Television Production at Oregon Public Broadcasting, and co-executive producer of the PBS series “History Detectives”; Stephen Talbot ’70, president of The Talbot Players, former series editor of “Frontline World”, and executive producer of “Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders”; Together, Davis and Talbot have won many awards for television production, including five National Emmys.

Music at Wesleyan: From Glee Club to John Cage and Gamelan

Since the 1830s, music has been a vibrant force on the Wesleyan campus, known in the 19th century as "The Singing College of New England." The forthcoming book by Professor of Music Mark Slobin describes lively moments of music-making, ranging from the early era, when President McKinley met the Glee Club at the White House in1899, through the radical reorientation towards world and experimental music, from 1960 through today. Join us for a lively dialogue about music at Wesleyan, punctuated with images and sounds.

Presenters: Mark Slobin, professor of music and author of the upcoming book Music at Wesleyan: From Glee Club to Gamelan, to be published by the Wesleyan University Press; Richard Winslow ’40, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music, Emeritus, and former master choral director , composer, and founding father of Wesleyan’s modern music department, and 2010 Honorary Degree recipient

Russia According to Professor Phil Pomper

As Wesleyan celebrates the huge contribution of Professor Pomper, former students, now alumni, highlight his particular contribution to their own careers in Russia and the Former Soviet Union. Please join them for a discussion about the valuable classroom lessons that guided them in their early work behind the Iron Curtain and their current endeavors in the successor countries of the Soviet Union.

Introduction: Philip Pomper, William Armstrong Professor of History and the author of Lenin's Brother: The Origins of the October Revolution

Presenters: Katherine Hardin ’90, lived in Moscow from 1990-1993 and worked with the Russian government on economic reform, and is now a Senior Director of Russian and Caspian Energy with IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. Stephen Young ’73, has had a thirty-year career as a Foreign Service officer in the U.S. State Department. His service has included two tours in Moscow, and work on the Soviet and Caucasus/Central Asian Desks in Washington. He held an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic from 2003-2005, followed by three years in Taipei as Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the U.S. de facto embassy in Taiwan. In March, 2010 he was appointed Counsul General in Hong Kong.

Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change

Almost two decades ago, the international community recognized the risks posed by increased accumulations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Current responses to climate change are mixed, with many believing we’re not doing enough to avoid major climatic disruption in the future and to adapt to the changes we are already experiencing. At the same time, there is renewed debate about the validity of the science and declining public acceptance of global warming in the United States and other countries. Our distinguished panelists will provide a full range of perspectives on the challenges of climate change and discuss the actions needed to move towards a low-carbon green economy.

Moderator: S. Jacob Scherr ’70, Director, International Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

Presenters: Bill Blakemore ’65, correspondent, ABC News; Ethan Garber ’90, financial analyst, Lehman Brothers; Matt Lesser ’10, member, House of Representatives, State of Connecticut; Jil Zilligen ’90, chief sustainability officer, Shaklee Corporation; Geoffrey Duyk ’80, MD, PhD, is a partner at TPG Biotechnology, global healthcare and industrial biotechnology capital fund and the firm’s overall efforts in Clean Technology. His focus on renewable energy and renewable specialty chemicals includes investments in the United States, Europe, and in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America (Brazil).

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 twelfth century in Java, an Indonesian island located between Sumatra and Bali. Get some real experience playing the gamelan in this lively, hands-on workshop.

Presenters: I.M. Harjito, artist-in-residence, Music Department; Aaron Paige ’03; Peter Steele; Po-we Weng MA ’06; former gamelan students are welcome to join the workshop

How to Have the Conversations You Dread at Work and at Home

Saying “no” to the boss. Laying off a valued employee. Delivering “constructive” feedback to a colleague. Deciding with your spouse whether his/her elderly parent will come to live with you. These are the types of conversations we dread most – and handle least effectively. Find out how to navigate them successfully from this savvy communications expert.

Presenter: Sharon Grady ’80, is president of The Grady Company, a management consulting firm that creates conflict-competent leaders. Her clients have included American Express, Fidelity, DE Shaw, Harvard Business School, Ford, Merck, Athenahealth, Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, MIT, and Berklee College of Music.

Eiko & Koma’s Delicious Movement Workshop

Join artist-in-residence Eiko Otake to experience Eiko & Koma’s signature style in a movement workshop. Known for creating a unique theater of movement out of stillness, shape, light, sound, and time, Eiko’s introductory workshop is designed for people with no prior dance experience, but everyone is welcome. A panel discussion about Eiko & Koma’s Retrospective Project directly follows this workshop.

Presenters: Eiko & Koma Otake P’07 P’10 are dancer/choreographers who have been collaborating together since 1976. They have presented their works in theaters, universities, museums, galleries, outdoors, and festivals world-wide including numerous appearances at the American Dance Festival, five seasons at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, and a month-long “living” gallery installation in the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1996 Eiko & Koma were awarded a MacArthur Fellowship

Stone and Stone

Meet the Stone twins, Adam and Todd, who perform a comedy act called Stone and Stone, which they created during their sophomore year at Wesleyan. Since graduating in 2005, they have brought their act to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and to New York City, where they perform regularly. They have played at comedy clubs including Carolines, Gotham Comedy Club, and the Laugh Factory. They have been featured on a national Verizon commercial, and have appeared on the NBC show Last Comic Standing. Join them for a live performance, followed by Q & A with the audience.

Presenters: Adam Stone ’05 and Todd Stone ’05, New York City-based comedians

An Hour with Film Industry Insider Toby Emmerich

Join film executive and screenwriter Toby Emmerich for a no-holds-barred conversation about his work and how his Wesleyan education helped prepare him for an exciting career in the film business. He’ll share the twists and turns of a career that has resulted in the production of over 50 films including: Wedding Crashers, The Notebook, Hairspray, Sex and The City, and Valentine’s Day.

Introduction: Jeanine D. Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, curator of the Cinema Archives, and chair of the Film Studies Department, is a 1996 recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Presenter: Toby Emmerich ’85, president and COO, New Line Cinema

Bearing Witness—Stories from the Front Lines

Organized in conjunction with the Zilkha exhibition Daniel Heyman: Bearing Witness-Stories from the Front Lines, this panel examines the critical role and poetic power of first person testimony in securing justice for victims of torture and oppression. From 2005 through 2008, Daniel Heyman accompanied a team of human rights attorneys, which included Susan Burke a panelist on this program, to Istanbul and Amman, where he sat in on dozens of interviews with formerly detained Iraqis, recording their testimonies and painting their portraits. Closer to home, in 2008 and 2009 Heyman began painting another group of people with few opportunities to tell their stories: poor, recently incarcerated African-American men in Philadelphia, all of whom are fathers. Bearing Witness is an exhibition of Heyman’s portraits of both of these groups that incorporates first-person testimony and gives voice to men and women now bound together by their survival.

Introduction: Nina Felshin, curator of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery and adjunct lecturer in art history

Presenter: Daniel Heyman is a painter and printmaker who received degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania, prestigious grants from the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Independence Foundation, the AMJ Foundation and the Rhode Island School of Design. He has had residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell and the Nagasawa Art Park in Awajishima, Japan. He lives in Philadelphia, and teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design, Princeton University, and Swarthmore College.

Belichick & Whalen

Join longtime coach of the New England Patriots Bill Belichick and Wesleyan’s new football coach Michael Whalen for a conversation about their respective careers.

Introduction: Moira McNamara James ’78, P’10, trustee emerita and co-chair, Wesleyan’s Athletics Advisory Council

Moderator: Kevin Nathan, sports director at NBC Connecticut

Presenters: William "Bill" Belichick ’75, P’07, head coach of the New England Patriots since 2000, who has won three Super Bowls and was named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2007; Michael Whalen ’83, head football coach and assistant athletics director, Wesleyan.

The Liberal Arts in Prison

Wesleyan students have been deeply engaged in prison reform for decades, offering non-credit bearing academic workshops to hundreds of incarcerated men and women. After years of advocacy by students and faculty, Wesleyan began to offer college courses to prisoners at the Cheshire Correctional Facility in Cheshire, Connecticut this year. Join co-founder Russell Perkins and Professors Melanye Price and Michael McAlear as they discuss the inaugural year of Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education, a two-year pilot program.

Introduction: Cathy Lechowicz, director, Community Service and Volunteerism, and program manager of Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education

Presenters: Michael McAlear, associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Russell Perkins ’09, co-founder of Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education and 2010 Rhodes Scholar-elect; Melanye Price, adjunct associate professor of government and coordinator of internships

Eiko & Koma’s Delicious Movement Retrospective

Following the 3 p.m. movement workshop, please join us for short film about the making of Eiko & Koma’s Retrospective, followed by a lively panel discussion. Eiko and her collaborators will discuss the ground-breaking project, inaugurated in Zilkha Gallery in November 2009, which examines the concept of a retrospective in a performing arts context, using Eiko & Koma’s 40 years of collaboration as source material.

Moderator: Pamela Tatge ’84, director, Center for the Arts

Presenters: Sam Miller ’75, retrospective project producer; Lydia Bell ’07, retrospective project coordinator; Mark McCloughan ’10, Center for Creative Research intern

Public Service Entrepreneurs: Making A Difference In The Developing World

Meet young alumni who are working to meet the most pressing needs of people in third-world countries. They’re committed and focused and doing everything from supporting grassroots community development in Cameroon, raising awareness about community health issues in India, and fighting AIDS through education in Nigeria. Find out about their work and the reasons why they’ve chosen public service pathways in distant lands over more traditional employment. .

Presenters: Fadekemi Akinfaderin ’00, co-founder of Education as a Vaccine Against AIDS, a Nigerian-based nonprofit organization founded to create systems for young people to make responsible decisions about their development. Alexandra Moore ’05, director of development for Breaking Ground, a nonprofit organization that enables communities in Cameroon to break ground on sustainable, locally initiated projects. Obhi Hazarika ’05, founder of the recently launched Asom Health Initiative in Northeast India, which raises awareness of health issues that include anemia, GI infections, typhoid, and oral health.