Meet the Instructors

The instructors for our courses will be drawn primarily from among current and retired Wesleyan faculty members who live in the Middletown area—over 80 in number. In addition, there are authors, artists, scientists, and scholars in our community who have no formal affiliation with Wesleyan but who will be called upon from time to time to offer courses in our program.

  • Herb Arnold

    Professor German and Letters, Emeritus

    HERBERT A. ARNOLD is Professor of German Studies and Letters, Emeritus. He is currently revisiting some of his early research interests, including the European Baroque era, and continuing work on a biographical-historical investigation of Central European history in the 20th century. Most of his work in the past has centered on the intersection between history and literature in a pan-European context. His publications range in time and subject matter from late 15th-century manuscripts to contemporary popular culture.

  • Rev. Dr. Jan Carlsson-Bull

    Unitarian Universalist Minister, Retired

    REV. DR. JAN CARLSSON-BULL is a Unitarian Universalist minister, recently retired, or “rechanneled.” She has served congregations in Meriden, CT; Kingston, NY; Cohasset, MA; and New York City. Throughout her adult life, Jan has held leadership positions in professional associations and community organizations, with a passion for racial and immigrant justice, trauma response, and social justice overall. Before ordination, Jan worked in the private and non-profit sectors and was active in multiple community ventures. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Colorado; an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, NYC; and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Yeshiva University, NYC.   Currently she is active in the immigrant rights movement, racial justice matters, and denominational affairs and is learning Spanish. Additionally, she is savoring free-range reading and writing, swimming, and generous time with family and friends. Jan resides in Middletown with her husband, Dr. Daniel Bull. Their blended family includes three daughters and three adorable grandkids.

  • Dennis Culliton

    Witness Stones Project, Co-Founder and Chair

    Dennis Culliton is the chair and co-founder of the Witness Stones Project, a retired teacher, local historian, MAT, CAGS.
  • Meadow Dibble

    Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University

    Meadow Dibble is the Founding Director of Atlantic Black Box, a public history project devoted to researching and reckoning with New England’s role in the slave trade and the economy of enslavement. Currently a Visiting Scholar at Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, she received her PhD from Brown’s Department of French with a focus on Postcolonial Studies and taught Francophone African literature at Colby College from 2005–08. Originally from Cape Cod, Meadow lived for six years on Senegal's Cape Verde peninsula prior to pursuing her graduate studies; there she published a cultural magazine and coordinated foreign study programs. In collaboration with the team that produces Teaching Hard History, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s flagship podcast, she is currently producing “The Diseased Ship Podcast” with support from the Maine Humanities Council. Meadow has been serving as editor of The International Educator newspaper since 2014.

  • Richard Friswell

    Director, Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning

    RICHARD FRISWELL is a cultural historian and associate director of Wesleyan University's Institute for Lifelong Learning.  He lectures widely on topics related to Modernism and the modern era in world history.  Underpinning a cultural-historical approach to art history is the notion that the art, literature and social history of nations are interrelated.  His recent publications include, Balancing Act: Postcards from the Edge of Risk and Reward (2017) and Hudson River Chronicles: In Search of the Splendid & Sublime on America's 'First' River (2019).  His next publication, Morpheus Dreams: China, Opium and My American Fortune (planned 2020), will deal with the experiences of the Middletown merchant Samuel Russell in Canton, China.

  • Giulio Gallarotti

    Professor of Government, Wesleyan

    GIULIO M. GALLAROTTI is a Professor of Government, tutor in the College of Social Studies, and member of the faculty of the College of the Environment at Wesleyan University. He has also been a visiting professor in the Department of Economic Theory at the University of Rome (1994) and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Columbia University (2018). He has published the following books: The Anatomy of an International Monetary Regime: The Classical Gold Standard 1880-1914 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), The Power Curse: Influence and Illusion in World Politics (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010), Cosmopolitan Power in International Relations: A Synthesis of Realism, Neoliberalism, and Constructivism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), and Emerging Powers in International Politics: The BRICS and Soft Power (with Mathilde Chatin–London: Routledge, 2017). In addition, he has published numerous articles in leading journals across five disciplines: economics, politics, law, history, and business. His biography has been published in Marquis Who’s Who in America 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018-present, as well as in Marquis Who’s Who in American Politics 2014. He is the recipient of Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

  • Renwick Griswold

    Professor of Sociology

    Renwick Griswold, known to his friends as Wick, is a lover of all things Connecticut River. He teaches the sociology of the Connecticut River at the University of Hartford's Hillyer College. He has been a short-order cook, commercial fisherman, construction worker, truck driver, dock pounder, and non-profit executive. In addition to his teaching and responsibilities as a radio performer and historical re-enactor (as an 18th-c. privateer), he is the author of several books on the Connecticut River and its history. He serves as a commodore of the Connecticut River Drifting Society, where he lets the conversation flow as the currents do...and take us wherever...but usually to a place celebrating the River and river life, past and present.

  • Rhea Higgins

    Professor of Art History, University of Hartford

    RHEA PADIS HIGGINS is an adjunct professor in the art history department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hartford. She taught at Wesleyan in Graduate Liberal Studies from 1986 to 2002. Her area of expertise is 19th-century European painting, with an emphasis on post-Impressionist artists.

  • Rachel Lindsay

    Rachel Lindsay is an ecological designer, artist, and local food advocate. She draws from her experiences in farming, community development, international work, and graphic communication to engage people in the design process with cultural sensitivity and environmental integrity. In 2009 she received a Fulbright grant to work on sustainable farming and watershed protection in Nicaragua, and completed a course in Agroecology and Bio-intensive Agriculture at the Las Cañadas education center in Huatusco, Mexico. She holds an MS in Ecological Design from The Conway School and a BA in Anthropology from Wesleyan University.

  • Sari Rosenblatt

    Sari Rosenblatt has published stories in the Iowa Review and has won individual short story awards from Glimmer Train, New Millennium Writings, Ms Magazine, and Nimrod International Journal of Poetry and Prose. She holds an MFA from The Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches fiction writing at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Connecticut and Wesleyan University's Institute for Lifelong Learning. She lives in Middletown, Connecticut.

    Photo credit: Kate Clay

  • Tracy Tomaselli

    Historical Room Specialist, Guilford Free Library

    Tracy Tomaselli has been a genealogist for over 30 years and works part-time as the Historical Room Specialist at the Guilford Free Library.  She has authored two books, Civil War Soldiers, Guilford, CT, and Founders of the American Legion Post #48, Guilford, CT.  Due to her research, eight additional names were added to the Guilford Civil War monument in 2015.  She is on the Guilford Preservation Alliance and the Alder Brook Cemetery board of directors and is a member of the DAR.
    If you'd like the class to read about most of the Guilford properties that will be discussed, they can read the first 16 pages from Sarah Brown McCullough's booklet, Guilford: A Walking Guide, the Green & Neighboring Streets, which I've uploaded at: