Wesleyan faculty members Peter Rutland, Stephanie Kuduk Weiner and Jeremy Zwelling received the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching during the 2010 Commencement Ceremony May 23.
The Binswanger Prize was inaugurated in 1993 as an institutional recognition of outstanding faculty members. The standards and criteria for the annual prizes shall be excellence in teaching, as exemplified by commitment to the classroom and student accomplishment, intellectual demands placed on students, lucidity and passion.
Peter Rutland, the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, has a B.A. in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University and a D.Phil in sociology from the University of York. He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1989, having previously taught at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1995–97, he served as assistant director of the Open Media Research Institute in Prague. He has been a Fulbright visiting professor at the European University of St. Petersburg and Sophia University in Tokyo. He currently teaches courses in Comparative Politics, Nationalism, Russian Politics and Capitalism and Democracy. He has served as co-chair of the College of Social Studies since 2002 and has taught at each level of the CSS program.
He is the author of The Myth of the Plan (1985) and The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union (1992), and the editor of Business and the State in Russia (2001). He is completing a book titled Moscow Rules: The Politics of the Post-Soviet States. His current research interests include Russian foreign policy, the oil and gas industry, and the dynamics of nationalism.
Stephanie Kuduk Weiner, associate professor of English, joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1999. She received her B.A. in English and women’s studies from the University of Minnesota in 1993 and her Ph.D. in modern thought and literature from Stanford University in 1999. Her main research interest is 19thcentury British poetry. She teaches courses in Romantic and Victorian literature and in poetry and poetics. She is the author of Republican Politics and English Poetry, 1789–1874 (2005). Her articles have appeared in journals including Victorian Studies, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Studies in Romanticism, and English Literature in Transition. She is currently at work on a book about the English Romantic poet and naturalist John Clare and a series of articles about depictions of real and imagined sense experience in late 19th-century poetry.
Jeremy Zwelling, associate professor of religion, received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University where he majored in religion. He also has a bachelor of Hebrew literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary. His graduate training was at Brandeis University, where he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Professor Zwelling came to Wesleyan in 1967 to teach a range of courses in Jewish studies in the Religion Department, and he also has taught at Williams College and Connecticut College.
At Wesleyan, he established and, for many years, directed Wesleyan’s Program in Israel. He also helped create Wesleyan’s Certificate Program in Jewish and Israel Studies for which he served as director. He received clinical training in psychology at the Elmcrest Psychiatric Institute and served on its staff for a number of years.
One to three Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching are presented each year and are made possible by the generosity of the Binswanger family that counts numerous Wesleyan alumni, alumnae and parents in its ranks. Prize recipients are chosen by a selection committee of emeriti and current faculty members and members of the Alumni Association’s Executive Committee who are appointed by the Association’s chair in accord with the organization’s bylaws. Recommendations are solicited from members of the last ten graduating classes, the current junior and senior classes, and current graduate students.
For more information on the Binswanger Prize go to http://www.wesleyan.edu/alumni/awards/binswanger/