On an episode of WNPR’s “Where We Live,” Eric Charry associate professor of music, discussed the difficulties of doing recordings in the field. Despite these issues, field recordings often yield vital historic documents of music, oral history, ceremonies, and other elements of oral cultures.
Monthly Archives: June 2011
by David Pesci •
A recent Hartford Courant piece profiles the ground-breaking work in researching eating disorders of all kinds and in a variety of populations by Ruth Striegel-Moore, Walter A. Crowell Professor of the Social Sciences, Professor of Psychology. Striegel-Moore has been a leader not just in identifying and defining different types of eating disorders, but also in exposing their presence among demographic groups that many scientists and health care professionals had ignored.
by Olivia Drake •
Through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Wesleyan Hughes Summer Research Program supports undergraduate education in the life sciences. This summer, Wesleyan is hosting 43 Hughes Fellows and approximately 65 Hughes Associates. Hughes Associates are not funded by Hughes, but they participate in Hughes activities.
The program runs from May 25 to July 29 and is open to freshmen, sophomores and juniors currently enrolled at Wesleyan. Fellows receive a $4,000 stipend and are expected to work full-time on their research.
Wesleyan faculty members serve as mentors in the Hughes Summer Research Program. The Summer Program also includes weekly seminars and workshops, a symposium, various social events, and a closing Poster Session. More information on the Wesleyan Hughes Program is online here.
Below is a video and several photographs of 2011 Summer Hughes Fellows:
by Bill Holder •
Four faculty members have received promotions incurring tenure effective July 1. Additionally, six faculty members were promoted to full professor, and eight adjunct faculty were promoted.
Newly tenured faculty:
Mary Alice Haddad, associate professor of government, has taught at Wesleyan since 2004. Her scholarship studies comparative politics, with a focus on civil society, and a regional specialization in East Asia. She is the author of Politics and Volunteering in Japan: A Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2007), Building Democracy in Japan (Cambridge, forthcoming in 2012), numerous articles and book chapters, and has delivered more than 25 invited talks and conference presentations. She is currently working on a project about environmental politics in East Asia. She has received numerous awards and fellowships from organizations such as the Japan Foundation, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, the East Asian Institute, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She received her B.A. from Amherst College, M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington, and served as a visiting scholar at Keio and Kobe Universites in Japan.
Elvin Lim, associate professor of government, came to Wesleyan in 2008. He specializes in American political development and presidential studies, with a focus on presidential rhetoric, and in language and politics. He is the author of The Anti-Intellectual Presidency: The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W. Bush (Oxford, 2008), several articles and book chapters, is completing a book The Lovers’ Quarrel: Federalists v. Anti-Federalists, 1787-2010, for Oxford, and has delivered more than 20 invited talks and conference presentations. He is an active public intellectual whose writing is frequently published in print media and online, and he is regularly interviewed on radio and television news. He holds a B.A., M.Sc., M.A., and D. Phil. from the University of Oxford.
Yonatan Malin, associate professor of music, came to Wesleyan in 2004. He specializes in music theory, and his research has focused on the German Lied (art song) in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially songs for voice and piano by Hensel, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, and Schoenberg. He is the author of Songs in Motion: Rhythm and Meter in the German Lied (Oxford, 2010), three articles, a review essay, and has delivered more than 20 talks and conference presentations. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
Dana Royer, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, came to Wesleyan in 2005. His research focuses on the earth’s climatic and ecological history, by analyzing the size and shape of fossil leaves and their stomatal distributions to reconstruct ancient levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in order to discern the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures over geologic time. He was awarded the Donath Medal (Young Scientist Award) by the Geological Society of America in 2010, and the Ebelman award from the International Association of Geochemistry in 2007. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, and the American Chemical Society. He is the lead or co-author of 32 peer-reviewed publications, he has published 32 conference abstracts as well as invited commentaries in three journals, and he has delivered ten invited conference talks. His B.A. is from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. is from Yale University.
Faculty promoted to full professor:
Wai Kiu (Billy) Chan, professor of mathematics,
by Eric Gershon •
An international group of scholars convenes at Wesleyan on June 27 for a four-day conference on topics in animal studies, including animal naming, the ways children mourn animal deaths, 19th-Century pet-keeping and the human impulse to laugh when playing with dogs.
The conference is the culminating event in the first annual Animals and Society Institute-Wesleyan Animal Studies Fellowship Program, which brings to campus a broad range of scholars studying human-animal relations.
The group includes professors and Ph.D. candidates in a variety of fields, including psychology, sociology, philosophy, English, women’s studies, veterinary medicine and environmental studies. Eight of the presenters are fellows, the others are invited guests.
“We have been extremely impressed with the diversity and high quality of the projects that the fellows are working on,” says Professor and Chair of Philosophy Lori Gruen, a co-host of the program, along with Kari Weil, University Professor of Letters.
Gruen’s talk is called “Pan thanatology – Mourning Chimpanzees.” Weil will deliver a talk called “Animal Deaths and Melancholy Becomings.”
For a full schedule of lectures and their titles, please click here.
The conference runs from Monday, June 27 through Thursday June 30. It is free and open to the public. Events take place in Room 108 of the Usdan University Center.
Says Weil: “Given the exciting, compassionate and sometimes tough discussions that Lori and I have had with the fellows,
by Eric Gershon •
Lots of people like watching birds. Understandably, birds don’t always like people watching them.
For the Audubon Center at Bent of the River, a 700-acre nature preserve in Southbury, Conn., this presented a problem: the swallows and kingfishers along a popular trail were perpetually startled by human visitors. Assistant Professor of Art Elijah Huge and the 11 students in his Architecture II class devised a solution – a chic bird blind they designed and built from scratch.
The structure represents the third major design-build project for North Studio, a faculty-student design collaborative Huge founded in 2006 that is cultivating a niche in architectural design for nature preserves.
Previously, Huge and his North Studio students, who are as likely to major in sociology or German studies as in studio art, conceived and built an award-winning multi-level bird-viewing platform for an Audubon Society sanctuary in Portland, Conn. A subsequent iteration of the class designed and built a Sukkah, or temporary Jewish ritual structure, at Wesleyan.
Nature preserves work well as clients for North Studio, which tries to balance three objectives – producing design research,
by Olivia Drake •
The Society of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, welcomed 87 members to the Gamma of Connecticut Chapter May 21.
Election to the society is based on fulfillment of eligibility requirements, including a grade point average of 90 or above and the satisfactory completion of general education requirements prior to commencement. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776, during the American Revolution. The organization’s Greek initials signify the motto, “Love of learning is the guide of life.”
The students join the ninth oldest Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the United States—founded in 1845.
During the ceremony, Wesleyan president Michael Roth made welcoming remarks and Alberto Ibargüen ’66, HON ’11 CEO of The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, delivered the keynote address. Chapter President Gary Yohe, the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, initiated the members.
Sally Bachner, assistant professor of English, is the chapter’s vice president and Anna Shusterman, assistant professor of psychology, is the chapter treasurer.
Fifteen seniors from the Class of 2011 were elected to Phi Beta Kappa during the 2010 fall semester. These students and their majors are:
Arion Blas – economics
Wei Dai – physics, mathematics
Elizabeth Dalton – art and art history
by Olivia Drake •
한국말 하실 줄 아세요? (Can you speak Korean?)
Judy Her ’13 can. And by the end of this summer, she hopes to be fluent.
As recipients of a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, Her and Daniel Witkin ’13 are spending 10 weeks in intensive language institutes this summer. The CLS Program provides fully-funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences.
Her is currently studying the Korean language in Jeonju City, South Korea at Chonbuk National University, and Witkin is studying the Russian language in Kazan, Russia at the Kazan Institute of Social Science and Humanities.
“I hope to fully immerse in the Korean culture and to explore the country,” says Her, who is majoring in film studies and East Asian studies. “I want to get the most out of this program, to take advantage of every opportunity that is given because I know that my participation will benefit me immensely.”
Witkin, who is majoring in film studies and Russian and Eastern European studies, hopes to “drastically improve my Russian speaking, reading, and comprehension capability, which at this point is admittedly fairly meager,” he says. “Luckily, going abroad to do an intensive language program is probably one of the more effective ways to address this.”
Prior to their departure, Her and Witkin attended an orientation program with the American Councils CLS staff, U.S. Department of State officials and representatives from the respective host country embassies in Washington DC in early June.
by Olivia Drake •
This issue we ask “5 Questions” of Eric Charry, associate professor of music. Charry, an expert on African music, is currently directing the Ethnomusicology and Global Culture Summer Institute at Wesleyan.
Q: Professor Charry, as an associate professor of music, what are your areas of musical expertise and what classes do you teach at Wesleyan?
A: Most of my research and writing until recently has been in the area of African music, specifically, the West African region where Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea and Mali meet. I spent two years in the region learning to play the kora (harp), balafon (xylophone), and jembe (drum). My office is filled with these instruments and I occasionally use them for an ensemble course (Mande Music Ensemble). More recently I have picked up on earlier musical interests and am working an a book on the emergence of an avant garde in jazz in the 1950s and 60s as well as a related book on music in downtown New York during these two decades. I teach an FYI on the latter topic and our field trip walking around New York is always a highlight for everyone. I see a lot of Wesleyan students passing through my large History of Rock and R&B course, and I’m working on a text that I can use in the class, something like a concise history, that will address my needs, without the gratuitous filler chatter. Many of my most interesting musical experiences have come out of hearing student projects in that class. The diversity and depth of creative work cuts across campus in really fascinating, and often hilarious (to us all) ways. The projects are open to the public. Next spring I’ll be teaching a seminar on global hip hop.
Q: You’re the project director of the Ethnomusicology and Global Culture Summer Institute, which is ongoing at Wesleyan through July 1. (View photos of the institute here.) Who sponsors the event, and what are some of the topics addressed throughout the two weeks?
A: Several years the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) wanted to make a push on several fronts to raise the profile of our field. They put out a call for proposals to host a summer institute. Several of us in the Music Department responded and they selected us, in part due to our successful hosting of the annual SEM meeting at Wesleyan in 2008 (over 1000 members attended). SEM and Wesleyan’s Music Department made a joint proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities and we were fully funded to invite 22 college and university teachers and 3 graduate students here for two week to study recent developments in ethnomusicology with an eye toward enhancing teaching in the humanities. The participants (they’re properly called NEH Summer Scholars) receive a stipend, which is providing a small stimulus to our Main St. restaurants! They are all staying at 200 Church St., and seem to have blended in with local frat culture, although perhaps slightly tamer. The overriding theme of global culture allows us to address a broad spectrum of musics from around the world. We’re especially interested in musics that have moved in one way or another across the globe. Full details about the event, including biographies, are on our web site.
Q: Who teaches the summer institute?
A: The core faculty members are myself, Mark Slobin and Su Zheng. Mark Slobin is the Richard K. Winslow Professor of Music, and is one of the most prolific and respected scholars in our field. He is a past president of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Asian Music, past editor of Asian Music journal and past Chair of the Music Department. Su Zheng is an associate professor of music
by Olivia Drake •
by Olivia Drake •
by Olivia Drake •
Fifth-grade students from Snow Elementary School in Middletown toured Wesleyan science labs June 10. They visited the Physics Department, Chemistry Department, Biology Department and the Scientific Imaging Lab. Pictures of their visit are below: