Monthly Archives: September 2011

Artist In Residence Hari Krishnan Featured

In his preview of Fallen Rain, a production by Artist in Residence Hari Krishnan that is being performed in Toronto, Canadian dance critic Michael Crabb says that “Krishnan is giving local audiences their first look at … a work inspired by courtesan dances from 19th century Southern India that won glowing reviews when given its premiere in Chennai last December.” Read the preview.

Nicholas Kristof’s Column Extols Shining Hope Project

“Just Look at What You Did!” is the headline on a Nicholas Kristof column, letting readers know that his request that they commemorate Mother’s Day with donations led to a $135,000 gift to Shining Hope for Communities, a project in the Kibera slum of Kenya led by Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09. Kirstof writes: “So while in Kenya recently, I dropped by to see what was being done with your money. In the grim alleys of the Kibera slum in the capital of Nairobi, I found a dazzling girls’ school being built with some of those donations — and, yes, I found a love story.” Read more.

A Look At Wesleyan’s New Financial Aid Director

“Head Count,” a blog on the Chronicle of Higher Education website devoted to admission and enrollment issues, plans to follow Wesleyan’s new director of financial aid, John, Gudvangen, as he settles into his  job. Blog author Beckie Supiano says: After being on one campus for more than 20 years, Mr. Gudvangen is eager to get to know his new one. “I’m in the business of walking around right now,” he says. “I could certainly sit here in my office and write people emails and call them, or not even do that, but it’s helpful to walk around and say: ‘Hi, I’m John.’” Read the post.

Biddle Authors Study on Nigerian Islamic Manuscripts

Michaelle Biddle, collections conservator and head of Preservation Services in Olin Library, is the author of “Inks in the Islamic Manuscripts of Northern Nigeria – Old Recipes, Modern Analysis and Medicine,” published in the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts 2 in July 2011. The study is online here.

This study is concerned with what specific materials were used in fabricating the inks used in the surviving, largely undated Northern Nigerian manuscripts written in Arabic script. These manuscripts belong to the West African tradition of Islamic culture and scholarship, of which Timbuktu, Mali, was a key center. Technical materials analysis, recipes from ethno-cultural studies, and replicative experiments revealed a reliance on local plants and materials for ink fabrication. Botanical research uncovered a possible linkage between inks and medical treatments through the creation of charms in which ink was washed from the paper and drunk.


De Boer On Volcanic Rumblings in Indonesia

CBS News cites the work of Emeritus Professor Jelle Zelinga de Boer in its report on the recent rumblings of an Indonesian volcano, Mount Tambora, which is in the famed “Ring of Fire” on the edge of the Pacific plate, one of the world’s most volatile subduction zones. The Ring of Fire also produced the Krakatoa eruption, an event which dramatically lowered temperatures worldwide between 1815-16 and created the “year without a summer.” Mount Tambora, has been causing earthquakes severe enough to get normally sanguine local residents to evacuate.

Peters: U.S. Losing Leverage in Palestinian Aid Gambits

In a piece for Foreign Policy, Anne Peters, assistant professor of government, discusses why aid from the U.S., which has often been a leverage tool in foreign affairs, is not having the desired effect with the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). Among the reasons has been a decline in American influence with other Arab nations during the last few years, and the internal political dynamics of the P.A.

Rutland: Russian Relations May Become Election Issue

Speaking in a recent NPR (National Public Radio) report, Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor of Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, professor of Russian and Eastern European Studies, commented on the Obama administration’s treatment of Russia, and how perceptions of President Obama being soft on Russia could be used by Republicans as a campaign issue.

Wesleyan Welcomes First-Year Students on Arrival Day (with videos)

Students move in on Arrival Day. Wesleyan students and staff assisted new students with their move. (Photo by Nick Lacy)

Jimmy Albrecht '15 moves into Clark Hall on Arrival Day.

At 8:50 a.m., Jimmy Albrecht ’15 began lugging in boxes of clothing, canvas totes of athletic equipment, a 3.1 cubic-square-foot fridge, an X-Box, microwave, bedding, toiletries and six – make that eight – pairs of shoes, into his new student residence in Clark Hall.

“Oh, there’s another pair over there. And there’s another pair. Jimmy, you’re going to need a shoe rack,” says his mother, Sharon, who drove Jimmy to Wesleyan from their home in Chicago, Ill.

Jimmy’s father, George, also helped with the unloading. “Our Jeep was so packed with stuff, there wasn’t even room for a toothbrush back there,” George says.

Jimmy Albrecht, who will play hockey at Wesleyan, joined 810 other Class of 2015 students for Arrival Day 2011. Students and their families began trickling in around 8 a.m. with carloads of back-to-school supplies. Eighty-seven international students arrived three days prior for International Student Orientation.

In addition, Wesleyan welcomed 18 transferred sophomores, seven transferred juniors, five visiting international students and four college-exchange program students on Arrival Day.

At left, Elizabeth Binswanger '15 enlisted her father, David, for help moving in.

Elizabeth Binswanger ’15 and her parents, David and Dorothy, traveled from Philadelphia, Pa. to Middletown Aug. 30. Together, they hauled in “lots of clothes,” bedding, food and a computer.

“Drug Design” Topic of Sept. 22 Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat

Christina Othon, assistant professor of physics, will speak on "Phase Transitions in Biological Membranes" during the Molecular Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat.

“Drug Design from Transition State Analysis” will be the central topic of the 12th annual Molecular Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat Sept. 22. The public is invited to the retreat, which will be held at Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown.

Faculty from chemistry, physics and biology will present lectures.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations Topic of International Relations Conference

Ali Chaudhry '12, pictured in center with a green shirt, and fellow members of the Wesleyan International Relations Association, are hosting a conference titled “Deciphering Pakistan and U.S.-Pakistan Relations,” Sept. 30-Oct. 1. (Photo by Bill Tyner '13)

In attempt to increase awareness and understanding of global issues, the Wesleyan International Relations Association created a forum to allow top academics and commentators to discuss global issues with the Wesleyan community. This year, the 33-member association is hosting a conference titled “Deciphering Pakistan and U.S.-Pakistan Relations,” Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

“This year we’re focusing on Pakistan because of the strategic importance of the region,” says association founder and president Ali Chaudhry ’12. “We feel that it is a country that most people are interested in learning about. However, many people do not have enough information about Pakistan, which often leads people to make presumptions about it.”

The conference aims to increase understanding and awareness about Pakistan from its culture to its politics. The conference will also focus on U.S.-Pakistan relations, which have both strained and strengthened after 9-11. The conference’s speakers are among the top commentators, officials and scholars on Pakistan and US-Pakistan relations, and the event will be open to the students, faculty and the larger public.

Panelists and guest speakers include:

Shahid Javed Burki is a professional economist who has served as Finance Minister of Pakistan and as a Vice President of the World Bank. He has written extensively on economic development and on the political history of Pakistan.

Ambassador Howard B. Schaffer is a retired American Foreign Service officer who spent much of his 36-year career dealing with U.S. relations with South Asia.

Asim Khwaja is the Sumitomo-FASID Professor of International Finance and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School