Monthly Archives: January 2009

Bruce & Ives Marathon Cited in The New Yorker

The New Yorker recently noted the “Ives Vocal Marathon” that will be held on campus and feature Neely Bruce, professor of music. The event will run from Jan. 29 – Feb. 1 and feature the performance of all of the songs of Charles Ives, with Bruce and others accompanying on piano.

Bullard to Speak at Wesleyan’s MLK Celebration, 1-27

Robert D. Bullard, often called “The Father of Environmental Justice,” will give the keynote address at this year’s Martin Luther King Day celebration, which will be held Jan. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. Bullard is the Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology and director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. More about the event can be found here and here.

Schwarcz on Being Among 1st Scholars in China: 1-29

This year marks the 30th anniversary of The United States establishing an embassy in communist-ruled China, and Wesleyan Professor Vera Schwarcz was one of only seven invited western scholars to be there for the event. Schwarcz, professor and chair, East Asian Studies, professor of history, and director of the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, was one of the very first group of official exchange scholars to arrive in China on February 23, 1979. On Thursday, Jan. 29 at 4:30 p.m., Schwarcz will present “A Thirty Year Harvest: Personal Reflections on U.S. China Relations” at the Mansfield Freeman Center.

The lecture will offer Schwarcz’s recollections on her experiences in China, as well as the evolution of American relations with China over the past three decades. Schwarcz’s scholarly research on student movements for science and democracy has repeatedly placed her at the center of public demonstrations and commemorations in 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009. While building East Asian studies at Wesleyan, Professor Schwarcz has also maintained an active dialogue with Chinese intellectuals in all walks of life, bridging the distance between Beijing and Middletown through more than 20 visits, dozens of lectures, and eight books. This talk represents the culmination of a 30-year journey toward cross-cultural understanding.

Potter in Inside Higher Ed on ‘The Obama Effect’

Claire Potter, chair and professor of American studies, professor of history, was cited in Inside Higher Ed on the debate among academics of the so-called “Obama Effect” on education, and particularly test-taking among African American students. Researchers from Vanderbilt University recently released a study stating that the test-taking performance gap was virtually eliminated during key moments of President Obama’s candidacy, showing the effect of positive role models. Professor Potter had another view articulated in an essay on her blog and Inside Higher Ed took note (it is the last item in the round-up here).

Gallarotti in Smart Money on ‘Doomsday Portfolios’

Giulio Gallarotti, associate professor of government, was asked recently by Smart Money magazine to comment on creating a ‘doomsday portfolio’ that would brace investors for Great Depression-like conditions. Gallarotti, however, said that while the economy is in recession, it is nowhere near as bad interms of GDP as it was at any point during the Depression.

Carnegie Foundation Honors Wesleyan’s Civic Engagement

Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, vice president for diversity and strategic partnerships; Frank Kuan, director of community relations; and Cathy Crimmins Lechowicz, director of community service and volunteerism, pose in front of the Center for Community Partnerships. The CCP was honored recently by the Carnegie Foundation. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, vice president for diversity and strategic partnerships; Frank Kuan, director of community relations; and Cathy Crimmins Lechowicz, director of community service and volunteerism, pose in front of the Center for Community Partnerships. The CCP was honored recently by the Carnegie Foundation. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently recognized Wesleyan for its continued involvement in community outreach by selecting the university as a recipient of a 2008 Community Engagement Classification.

The university was among 119 institutions (and among two in Connecticut) that received this classification for 2008. The foundation initiated the community engagement classification in 2006. Visit this page for more information and a list of the selected institutions.

“The significance of Wesleyan receiving the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification is major in light of this historic moment we experienced this week in our country,” said Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, vice president for diversity and strategic partnerships. “We have just sworn in a Commander in Chief of this country who believes intimately in service and engagement. As [President Obama] stated during our commencement ceremony

1873 Class Album Returns to Wesleyan

Valerie Gillispie, assistant university archivist at Wesleyan University, flips through the pages of a class photo album dated 1873. A gentleman from Newark, Del. found the album in a pile of books and donated it back to Wesleyan this month. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

Valerie Gillispie, assistant university archivist at Wesleyan University, flips through the pages of a class photo album dated 1873. A gentleman from Newark, Del. found the album in a pile of books and donated it back to Wesleyan this month. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

When John Chambless was rummaging through a pile of old books at his mother’s home in Newark, Del., one mammoth album with an ornate and intertwined “WU” stuck out. Curious, he opened it up and discovered an album containing more than 50 black and white hand-laid photos of students, staff and campus buildings dated 1873.

Intrigued by the mysterious book that lacked attribution, Chambless began a series of internet searches in attempt of finding the book’s origin.

‘Father of Environmental Justice’ Keynote at MLK Celebration

Robert D. Bullard.

Robert D. Bullard.

Robert D. Bullard, a leading authority regarding environmental justice and the author of Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality, will lead the Celebration of the Life of Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. keynote address. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 27 in Memorial Chapel.

Bullard is the Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology and director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. Prior to joining the faculty at CAU in 1994, he served as a professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, as well as visiting professor in Center for Afro-American Studies at the University of California Los Angeles. His scholarship has distinguished him as one of the leading experts on environmental justice and race and the environment. He is one of the planners of the First and Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.

“Robert Bullard, an activist and academic, is considered to be the father of environmental justice,” says Suzanne O’Connell, associate professor and chair of earth and environmental sciences, director of the Service Learning Center and member of the MLK celebration Planning Committee. “We’re very honored to have someone of his stature speak

Manchester’s Life, Writing Celebrated Feb. 5

William Manchester in his Wesleyan University office about 1979. (Photo by William Van Saun/Wesleyan University via Associated Press)

Author William Manchester , pictured here about 1979, worked from an office on the north side of Olin Library. The office disappeared with the library addition. (Photo by William Van Saun/Wesleyan University via Associated Press)

During his 82-years of life, author and historian William Manchester made himself known for his writings on Winston Churchill, President John F. Kennedy, Douglas MacArthur, among other great figures.

On Feb. 5, the Friends of the Wesleyan Library will sponsor an event honoring and celebrating Manchester, a writer in residence at Wesleyan whose ties to the university date back to 1955. Manchester died at his home in Middletown, Conn. in June 2004.

“There are so many people on campus who still remember Manchester,” says Leith Johnson, project archivist for Wesleyan’s William Manchester Papers. “Almost all of his books made it onto bestsellers lists.

Gil-Ordonez Named Artist of the Week

Angel Gil-Ordonez

Angel Gil-Ordonez

Angel Gil-Ordóñez, adjunct professor of music, was named “Artist of the Week” by classical music label Naxos.

The former associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Gil-Ordóñez has conducted symphonic music, opera and ballet throughout Europe, the United States and Latin America. He conducted the music for the newly-released DVD, The City, a classic 1939 documentary film.

Exhibit Examines Post-Soviet Russia through Photography, Video

Sasha Rudensky, <i>Bus Station</i>, Sevastopol, Ukraine, 2004, chromogenic print.

Sasha Rudensky's "Bus Station," Sevastopol, Ukraine, 2004, chromogenic print.

In her first major solo exhibition, visiting professor of art Sasha Rudensky ’01, will present two photographic series at Wesleyan University’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery: “Remains” (2004/08) and “Demons” (2007–08).

In “Remains,” Rudensky, who was born in Moscow in 1979 and moved to the United States in 1990, explores the political and social transformation of the former Soviet Union by poignantly focusing on the intimate details of everyday life. “Demons,” a series of hybrid portraits, suggests a fantastical version of the artist’s childhood.

Rudensky “Remains” in the fall of 2004 after receiving a Mortimer Hays Brandeis traveling fellowship. Her images, however, turned out to be very different than what she first intended to photograph.

“My proposal was to document mining towns in Siberia and the arctic north,” Rudensky says. “But having gotten there and after doing some preliminary shooting, I realized I didn’t want to simply document post-soviet devastation of depressed towns,

Wesleyan’s Alsop House Named National Landmark

The historical Alsop House - now the Davison Art Center -

The historical Alsop House - now the Davison Art Center - was designated a national historic landmark.

The Davison Art Center/Richard Alsop IV House, located at 301 High Street in Middletown, was designated a national historic landmark in January. The site was recognized for its role in U.S. history.

The landmark was suggested by the National Park System’s advisory board and designated by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

The historic Alsop House is a distinguished architectural monument of the pre-Civil War period. The lot was acquired in 1835 and the house was built between 1838-1840 by Richard Alsop IV, son of the poet and “Hartford wit,” Richard Alsop III. Originally built for Alsop’s widowed mother, Maria Pomeroy Alsop Dana, the house remained in the Alsop family (although not occupied by them for a number of years) until 1948. In that year, it was purchased by Wesleyan with funds given by Harriet and George W. Davison, class of 1892.