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

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


Friday, September 28, 2018

2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
WESEMINAR What I Wish I Knew When I Was a Super-Successful Wesleyan Overachiever
Nataly Kogan '98 graduated with High and University Honors as a CSS Major from Wesleyan, and went on to achieve significant success in her career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co, a venture capitalist at the age of 26, and as a tech executive with companies like Microsoft. But her success, including at Wes, came at a huge personal and professional cost, including overwhelm and burnout -- and it didn’t have to.
Nataly will share her hard-learned strategies for how to manage stress, treat yourself with compassion to increase motivation, connect with your sense of purpose to boost your resilience during challenges, and thrive while achieving goals.
Presenter: Nataly Kogan ’98 is the founder and CEO of Happier, speaker, author, and creator of The Happier Method™. Nataly is the author of HAPPIER NOW: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones), which was published in May 2018.
Nataly emigrated to the U.S. as a refugee from the former Soviet Union when she was thirteen years old. Starting her journey in the projects outside of Detroit, Nataly reached the highest level of corporate success, but she found herself unfulfilled and was inspired to learn how to live a truly happier, fuller life. Her discoveries and explorations of scientific research led her to create Happier. Since then, Happier’s award winning mobile application, online courses, and Happier @ Work™ training programs have helped more than a million people to optimize their emotional health through research-backed practices.
Ring Family Performing Arts Hall
3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WESEMINAR Inspired by Primary Sources
Join Suzy Taraba ’77 MALS ’10, Director of Special Collections & Archives, for a look at several students’ creative projects, research papers, and senior theses that began with encounters with primary sources in Special Collections & Archives. From medieval manuscripts to Shakespeare to local history to contemporary artists’ books, the rich collections in SC&A have inspired generations of students. Learn about some of this work and how your students can discover exciting sources that will spark their imaginations and lead to intellectually and creatively fulfilling projects at Wesleyan. Limited to 20.
Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Memorial Library
3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
WESEMINAR Historians on Hamilton
Hamilton is a great musical, but is it good history? Does Hamilton’s hip-hop take on the Founding Fathers misrepresent our nation’s past, or does it offer a bold positive vision for our nation’s future? Can a musical so unabashedly contemporary and deliberately anachronistic still communicate historical truths about American culture and politics? Former Wesleyan professors Renee Romano and Claire Potter recently edited a book addressing these questions: Historians on Hamilton (Rutgers University Press 2018). Professor Jennifer Tucker will chair the session.
Presenters: Claire Bond Potter is a professor of history and the executive editor of Public Seminar at The New School for Social Research in New York. She is the author or coeditor of several books, including War on Crime: Bandits, G-Men, and the Politics of Mass Culture (Rutgers University Press). Renee C. Romano is the Robert S. Danforth Professor of History at Oberlin College in Ohio. She is the author or coeditor of many books, including Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America’s Civil Rights Murders. Matthew Skic is the assistant curator at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. He is the co-author of the Museum’s upcoming interactive experience, Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia, set to open on October 27, 2018. Jennifer Tucker is associate professor of history at Wesleyan University and a recipient of a NEH Public Scholar Award.
Hansel Lecture Hall (001), Public Affairs Center (PAC)
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
WESEMINAR Celebrating Seniors: Research Excellence at Wesleyan and Abroad
Members of the Class of 2019 share their summer and fall projects, representing a cross-section of student research and creativity. Students will share their work and discuss the process that guided their explorations.
Moderator: Jennifer Wood, Dean for the Class of 2019
Presenters: Aaron Cheung ’19, Reining in the President: Revisiting the 1973 War Powers Resolution; Sam Morreale ’19, whose work centers on defining the intermediary space between audience and stage which allows theater to affect individual understandings of our social realities; Noa Street-Sachs ’19, Female Education, Labor, and Empowerment in Jordan and Morocco; and
Medha Swaminathan ’19
, whose work focuses on popularity of Tarzan in France in the first half of the 20th century.
Room 116, Judd Hall
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
WESEMINAR Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship
The Allbritton Center is the hub of civic engagement at Wesleyan. Through the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Service-Learning courses, and other programs, we study public life, actively partner with the local and regional community, and teach practical skills for social impact. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized Wesleyan for this work with its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. During this panel discussion, we’ll hear from students who engage with local and global communities in a variety of ways as activists, organizers, entrepreneurs, researchers and more.
Moderator: Clifton Watson, Director of the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships and Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Speakers: Chynna Bailey ’19 is a senior Women’s Basketball player from Brooklyn, NY. She is a 2018-2019 Nonprofit Board Resident, and currently is working with Oddfellows Playhouse on a project to increase the organization’s engagement with middle and high school youth. Mariel Middlebrook ’20 is a junior at Wesleyan University, and is a co-coordinator for Cardinal Kids. Cardinal Kids won a $5000 Patricelli Center Seed Grant in 2018, and is a financially self-sustaining program that will bring affordable arts, tech, and literacy programming to Middletown youth. Triston Ortiz ’19 is a senior at Wesleyan University, and is a co-coordinator for the Traverse Square After-school Program. Student run and neighborhood based, the Traverse Square After-school program provides a community setting for Middletown children to receive academic and social support. Anthony Price ’20 hails from the great city of Cleveland, Ohio and is a junior here at Wesleyan University. He is both an Allbritton Fellow and was a Patricelli Center Fellow during the 2017-2018. This year, Anthony is a TA for the Patricelli Center Fellowship. In 2017, Anthony founded the nonprofit Be the Change Venture which helps high school students develop networking skills and support their career exploration. Ferdinand Quayson ’20 – from Accra, Ghana – is a junior at Wesleyan. An economics and African Studies major, Ferdinand serves as the 2020 Class Council President. Ferdinand was both a Patricelli Center Fellow and a Jewett Center Nonprofit Board Resident for the 2017-2018 year. He is also the founder of Young Achievers Foundation Ghana.
Allbritton 311

Saturday, September 29, 2018

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
WESEMINAR Where On Earth Are We Going: The 16th Annual Symposium of the Robert Schumann Institute of the College of the Environment presents Is Animism Good to Think With?
Animism, a term coined by Victorian anthropologists to describe indigenous religious practices, is finding a new life among environmentalists, as a way of re-imagining the relationship between humans and the environment. Professor Quijada will offer a critical history of the term, and explore some of the promises and pitfalls involved in reanimating the concept of animism.
Presenter: Professor Justine Quijada, College of the Environment, Department of Religion
Moderator: Barry Chernoff, Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, is Director of the College of the Environment and Professor in the departments of Biology, and Earth and Environmental Studies. Dr. Chernoff researches aquatic ecosystem ecology and conservation genetics of fishes. He teaches courses in science and environmental issues.
Tishler Lecture Hall (150), Exley Science Center
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
WESEMINAR Where On Earth Are We Going: The 16th Annual Symposium of the Robert Schumann Institute of the College of the Environment presents Motivating Environmentalism through our Visceral Fears of Infections
All sorts of environmental damages are increasing our risks of nasty infections, so our ancient and visceral fears of infections could provide a back door to widespread support for environmentalism.
Presenter: Professor Fred Cohan, College of the Environment, Department of Biology
Moderator: Barry Chernoff, Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, is Director of the College of the Environment and Professor in the departments of Biology, and Earth and Environmental Studies. Dr. Chernoff researches aquatic ecosystem ecology and conservation genetics of fishes. He teaches courses in science and environmental issues.
Tishler Lecture Hall (150), Exley Science Center
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
WESEMINAR Celebration of Wesleyan Writing: Memoir and Fiction, A Conversation with Alexander Chee ’89
Speaker: Alexander Chee ’89 is the best-selling author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel, all from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, T Magazine, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, and Best American Essays 2016, among other publications. He is winner of a Whiting Award, an NEA Fellowship in prose and an MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College and serves on the board of directors of the Authors’ Guild of America.
Moderator: Anne Greene, University Professor of English; Coordinator of the Writing Certificate and the Kim-Frank Visiting Writers program
Taylor Meeting Room (Usdan 108)
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
WESEMINAR Expanding Access with the Center for Prison Education
Since 2009, the Center for Prison Education has brought the transformative power of a Wesleyan Education behind prison bars. Please join us for a panel discussion of why college-in-prison is important for reversing the trends of mass incarceration and fostering healthier communities and universities.
Speakers: Tracie Bernardi is a CPE alumna from York, who was part of York’s inaugural college cohort in 2013. Priscilla Meyer, Wesleyan Professor Emerita of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, is teaching a Russian literature course at Cheshire this semester; she has taught in the CPE program three times. Thomas McCarthy ’19 is Professor Meyer’s teaching assistant for Russian Lit at Cheshire this semester.
Moderator: CPE Fellow Isabel Bartholomew ’18
Putnam Classroom, 114 Boger Hall
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
WESEMINAR A Look Inside the College of Film and the Moving Image: Cinema and the Liberal Arts
The College of Film and the Moving Image is one of Wesleyan’s oldest “new” colleges. Wesleyan announced CFILM in 2013, and the Mellon Foundation recognized it with a matching grant which was fully funded in 2015. Yet film has been part of Wesleyan’s liberal arts tradition since at least the 1960s, progressing from a major, to a program, to a department. Join Professor Scott Higgins, the director of CFilm, for a look at the history and future of Wesleyan’s unique liberal-arts approach to the moving image. You will see images move!
Goldsmith Family Cinema
1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
WESEMINAR Teacher, Banker, Coder, Artist: Learning Career Management in a Liberal Arts Environment
Every day, we are exposed to stories demonstrating how challenging it is for college graduates to find jobs. Sharon Belden Castonguay, the Director of the Gordon Career Center, will draw on both her doctoral research and career advising experience to discuss what factors lead to career success.
Presenter: Sharon Belden Castonguay joined the Gordon Career Center at Wesleyan in May 2013 from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, where she was the Director of the Graduate Career Management Center. She holds a doctorate in human development & psychology from Harvard.
Kerr Lecture Hall (Shanklin 107)
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
WESEMINAR Natural History Collections in Liberal Arts Education
In the Methodist tradition, Wesleyan sought to put natural sciences on an equal footing to the classics in its early days. In 1871, the Wesleyan Museum opened in Judd Hall, with large and varied collections organized as the curiosity cabinets typical of the times. With the rising importance of laboratory sciences, interest in the museum declined and it was closed in 1957. Specimens were donated or loaned, or stored in tunnels under Foss Hill. By the 1970s, during evaluation for a move to Exley, collections were found to be severely vandalized. The numerous remaining specimens were secured but not curated, and largely forgotten. In 2017, we started to bring specimens out of storage to curate for exhibition and use in object-based learning. Our first efforts placed a life size model of Glyptodon (giant extinct armadillo) in the lobby of Exley. We aim to make these historical collections a focus of integrated student investigation, combining biology, paleontology, history of science, archaeology and the arts in campus wide exhibits.
Presenters: Ellen Thomas is the Smith Curator of Paleontology of the Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History, the Harold T Stearns Professor of Integrated Sciences, and Research Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Her research interests are focused on reconstructions of past oceanic environments and ecosystems. Ann C. Burke is Professor and Chair of the Biology Department. Her research interests are in the development and evolution of vertebrates, and the developmental sources of morphological variation.
Room 058, Exley Science Center
2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
WESEMINAR Congress’ Constitutional Duty to Investigate: One Senator Who Got It Right
At a time when Congressional investigations have taken on added urgency in American politics, Elise Bean ’78 offers a rare insider’s portrait of how the world of Congressional oversight operates. Drawing on more than 30 years on Capitol Hill, the last 15 at the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations working for Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Bean explains how Congressional oversight investigations can be a powerful tool for uncovering facts, building bipartisan consensus, and fostering change, using actual Levin inquiries as proof. She will describe Levin-led investigations from 1999 to 2014 into money laundering, offshore tax abuse, and banks behaving badly; explain how, despite rampant partisanship and dysfunction, they achieved policy reforms; and invite the public to demand fact-based, bipartisan, high-quality oversight from the next Congress.
Presenter: Elise J. Bean ’78, Washington Co-Director of the Levin Center at Wayne Law, and author of Financial Exposure: Carl Levin’s Senate Investigations into Finance and Tax Abuse.
Sponsored by the Wesleyan Lawyers Association
Taylor Meeting Room (108), Usdan University Center
3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WESEMINAR 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. Get some real experience playing the Gamelan in this lively, hands-on workshop.
Presenters: Sumarsam MA’76, university professor of music; I.M. Harjito, artist-in-residence
Please note: space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. This session often reaches capacity.
World Music Hall

Sunday, September 30, 2018

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
WESEMINAR How Young Adult Fiction Can Change the World
Often dismissed as escapist fluff, much Young Adult Fiction actually features daring authors tackling real-world issues. In the age of #metoo, BLM, and Parkland, and with truth under attack daily, YA authors continue to answer the call, creating gritty works on topics as timely as racism, addiction, climate change, and abuse. In this interactive seminar, YA author and GLSP alum, Steven Parlato, will discuss the need for YA authors to handle controversial topics with courage and authenticity. We’ll explore the power of young adult fiction to educate, inspire, and empower readers of all ages to become compassionate agents of change.
Speaker: Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College, and advisor to the student newspaper, The Tamarack, Steven Parlato MALS (Hums) ’06, is also the award-winning author of two contemporary realistic YA novels, The Namesake (Merit Press, 2013) and The Precious Dreadful (Simon & Schuster, 2018). Copies of the books will be available for purchase and signing.
Putnam Classroom (114), Boger Hall