Olivia Drake

“Wes Out-Loud” Theater Performance Takes Audience on Site-Specific Auditory Journey

During the "Wes Out-Loud" performance, audience members wore wireless headsets to listen to recorded stories of place created for various sites on campus.

During the “Wes Out-Loud” performance, audience members wore wireless headsets to listen to recorded stories of place created for various sites on campus.

The Theater Department presented “Wes Out-Loud: Stories of Place” April 28 on campus.

“Wes Out-Loud: Stories of Place” is a site-specific auditory journey conceived and created for the Wesleyan campus through a collaboration between theater students and Assistant Professor of Theater Marcela Oteíza. “Wes Out-Loud” invited the audience to experience Wesleyan as a scenographic space by inserting new narratives into everyday sites.

The juxtaposition of place and stories presented the richness and diversity of the students on campus and promoted inclusiveness.

Audience members wore wireless headsets to listen to the recorded stories of place created for each site. The performance, led by Wesleyan students, covered a one-and-a-half mile loop through campus.

The journey includes stories of current students who wrote a piece specific to Wesleyan and the space that Wesleyan occupies.

“Wesleyan is an intensely personal space to me. It is the place where I have experienced the most growth and had the most memorable experiences of my life thus far. Given its significance, the memories of Wesleyan are positive, negative, and everywhere in between,” said collaborator Jess Cummings ’17. “I wanted to focus on disparities between positive and negative, especially those which I often hide. I also wanted to emphasize the way that these memories take on a spatiality and transform the spaces which the original events occurred in. I hope that listening to my story, as well as everyone else’s, will allow members of our Wesleyan community and beyond to question their relationships to the spaces they inhabit everyday and recognize the lasting effects that memory and space leave on their lives.”

“Wes Out-Loud” was recorded with a binaural, 3D-surround-sound system — a method that emulates the workings of human auditory perception, explained Marcela Oteíza. “Utilizing an actual scale model of left and right ears, the recording system works with the premise that it is the architecture of our anatomy that dictates how we understand the sounds we hear,” she said.

Additional performances will take place on April 29, April 30 and May 1.

(Photos below by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

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Students Teach Strawberry DNA Extraction Workshop at GSTLC

On April 25, the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center celebrated National DNA Day to commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953. During the nationally-celebrated event, students, teachers and the public had the opportunity to learn more about genetics and genomics.

On April 25, the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center celebrated National DNA Day to commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953. During the nationally-celebrated event, students, teachers and the public had the opportunity to learn more about genetics and genomics.

At Green Street, biology major Taylor Matthew ’17 and East Asian studies major Erin Deleon ’17 and led a hands-on science activity for GSTLC’s Discovery AfterSchool students.

At Green Street, biology major Taylor Matthew ’17 and East Asian studies major Erin Deleon ’17 and led a hands-on science activity for GSTLC’s Discovery AfterSchool students.

COE Hosts Community Discussion on Middletown’s Future

On April 26, the College of the Environment hosted a discussion on “Middletown/Mattabesset and the Connecticut River: Past, Present and Future” in the Community Health Center in Middletown. Several Wesleyan staff and faculty attended, along with members of the Middletown community.

On April 26, the College of the Environment hosted a discussion on “Middletown/Mattabesset and the Connecticut River: Past, Present and Future” in the Community Health Center in Middletown. Several Wesleyan staff and faculty attended, along with members of the Middletown community.

Panelist Stephen Devoto, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, is a community activist who is a member of the Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission.

Panelist Stephen Devoto, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, is a community activist who is a member of the Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission.

The panelists shared short vision statements on Middletown’s past, present and future and discussed what will and should the Middletown/Mettabesset look like in 50 years. Panelists welcomed questions and comments from the audience.

The panelists shared short vision statements on Middletown’s past, present and future and discussed what will and should the Middletown/Mettabesset look like in 50 years. Panelists welcomed questions and comments from the audience.

William “Vijay” Pinch served as the moderator. Pinch is professor of history, chair and professor of environmental studies. William “Vijay” Pinch served as the moderator. Pinch is professor of history, chair and professor of environmental studies.

William “Vijay” Pinch served as the moderator. Pinch is professor of history, chair and professor of environmental studies.

Other panelists included John Hall, founder and director of the Jonah Center for Earth & Art in Middletown; Erik Hesselberg, president of the Middlesex County Historical Society; Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections for the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn.; and Meg Walker, vice president of Project for Public Spaces in New York, NY.

Other panelists included Meg Walker, vice president of Project for Public Spaces in New York; Erik Hesselberg, president of the Middlesex County Historical Society; Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections for the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn. and John Hall, founder and director of the Jonah Center for Earth & Art in Middletown.

Attendees continued their conversation at a reception following the event. (Photos by Richard Marinelli)

Attendees continued their conversation at a reception following the event. (Photos by Richard Marinelli)

Psychology Students Share Research at 10th Annual Poster Presentation

Psychology Poster Session, April 28, 2016. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS '08)

Assistant Professor of Psychology Clara Wilkins, pictured in back row center, gathered with her students during the Psychology Research Poster Presentation. The Wilkins Lab broadly examines prejudice, stereotyping, and the self.

Forty-six thesis and research students presented 36 posters during the Psychology Research Poster Presentation April 28 in Beckham Hall. The 10th annual event allowed the students to share their research and ongoing studies with peers and faculty from the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division.

Photos of the poster presentation are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

Psychology Poster Session, April 28, 2016. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS '08)

Psychology Poster Session, April 28, 2016. (Photo by Olivia Drake MALS '08)

Miranda ’02 Named One of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” in the World

linintimePulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15, creator of Broadway’s Hamilton, was recently named one of TIME‘s “100 Most Influential People in the World” for 2016 in the Pioneers category.

In TIME, writer, producer and director J.J. Abrams writes, “So much has been said about Hamilton, I assume you know this already: the musical’s embracing of history and rhythm, race and rhyme, melody and passion is an actual stunning event. Tickets are impossible to get for good reason: even in this age of ubiquitous hyperbole, it can safely be said that Hamilton is one of the best things—not just theatrical events—you’ll ever see.”

“Knowing the man, experiencing his exuberance and dazzle up close, is as delightful as the show itself. His wit would be intimidating if not for his natural and infectious charm. Somehow he is as generous, collaborative and lovable as he is innovative and brilliant.”

In other news, Miranda was influential in keeping Hamilton on the $10 bill. The movement to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill gathered strength after the Broadway musical named after the founding father became a smash hit. Miranda directly lobbied Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last month on Hamilton’s behalf.

In addition, Miranda and the Hamilton crew paid tribute to Prince after a recent Hamilton performance; he was interviewed by Maria Santana ’97 for CNN – Espanol; he spoke on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico; and he was featured in the April 22 edition of The Washington Post in an article titled, “Imagine being Lin-Manuel Miranda Right Now.”

Rare Miniature Books Exhibited at Olin Library

Olin Library’s Special Collections & Archives hosted an exhibit, “A World in the Palm of your Hand: The Art of Miniature Books,” April 14. Examining miniature books, which are typically no larger than three inches, the program gave visitors the opportunity to view these treasures in both an exhibit and an open house.

The exhibit was curated by the Miniature Book Society (MBS), an international organization devoted to the appreciation of miniature books. These books are rarely encountered outside the personal collections of libraries or individuals. The event culminated with an address, titled “A Collection in a Shoebox,” by Jim Brogan, vice-president of MBS, and publisher of The Microbibliophile, a bimonthly journal about miniature books and the book arts.

(Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ‘ 19)

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Faculty Learn How to Enhance Their Online Profiles at CFCD Workshop

Through grants, workshops, seminars, publications, and formal and informal discussions, the Center for Faculty Career Development (CFCD) aims to cultivate dialogue among Wesleyan’s faculty and encourage association with faculty members at other academic institutions.

On April 12, about 25 faculty members attended a CFCD workshop titled “Becoming More Visible: Enhance Your Online Profile” in Usdan University Center. The workshop taught faculty ways to become more visible to colleagues, students and non-campus organizations by optimizing their work and presence online through search engine optimization as well as social media.

The workshop was taught by editor Naedine Joy Hazell MALS ’14 and Scott Johnson. Hazell has been editor-in-chief of The Hartford Courant, a three-time judge of the Pulitzer Prizes, editor of Hartford Magazine and New Haven Living and more. Johnson spent 25 years in journalism before moving into rebranding and strategy. Beginning as a graphic artist and designer, he then moved into newspaper redesign. He then moved from newspapers to the Associated Press in New York as director of graphics and visuals and authored the AP visual style guide. He currently works at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the Strategy and Innovation Department.

(Photos by Tom Dzimian)
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Japanese Custom Celebrated at Cherry Blossom Festival

The College of East Asian Studies sponsored cherry blossom festival (Hanami) April 21 at the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies. The annual event is attended by students taking Japanese courses, students from Japan and students and faculty who are interested in Japanese culture.

Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying flowers (hana) and generally involves an outdoor celebration. This year, the group enjoyed sushi and other Japanese foods.

The event was sponsored by the College of East Asian studies and Japan Society.

(Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)

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Slobin Honored for 45 Years at Wesleyan

Mark Slobin, second from left, was celebrated by colleagues, friends and family during a day long conference and concert April 16.

Mark Slobin, second from left, was celebrated by colleagues, friends and family during a day long conference and concert April 16.

Mark Slobin, the Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music, was honored April 16 with “Ideas on the Move,” a conference celebrating his career and many accomplishments. Slobin will retire from Wesleyan June 30.

Slobin is an ethnomusicologist who has written extensively on the subject of East European Jewish music and klezmer music, as well as the music of Afghanistan.

The daylong event featured talks by alumni from as far back as 45 years. Topics included “Mark’s Metaphors: Visual Poetics, Pedagogy and Theoretical Clarity;” “ONCE Upon a Time: Mark Slobin’s Experimental Ethnomusicology;” “How Mark Slobin Became an Ethnomusicologist;” and “Growing Up With Mark.” A concert, featuring Irish, Yiddish, Korean and other music, also was held in honor of Professor Slobin in World Music Hall. View a list of all speakers and musicians on this website.

Slobin came to Wesleyan on July 1, 1971. He has been president of the Society for Ethnomusicology, president of the Society for Asian Music, and editor of Asian Music. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Seeger Prize of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award (for lifetime achievement) from the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Curt Leviant Award In Yiddish Studies from the Modern Languages Association (honorable mention). He was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award for Chosen Voices (1989).

In his blog, President Michael Roth said: “He is at home with all kinds of sounds, and his students (many of whom were present at the conference) work on everything from Mongolian throat singing and African funeral music to hip-hop and klezmer. He’s even written the book on music at Wesleyan.

“Mark spoke briefly at the conference about how Wesleyan has fostered groundbreaking research, practice and teaching in music for a very long time. Thanks to him, and to his colleagues and students, we expect that to continue far into the future.”

The evening concluded with a Javanese Wayang Puppet Play “Arjuna in Meditation,” performed with the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble under the direction of I. M. Harjito and Sumarsam (dhalang) and guest musicians.

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PhD Candidate Frayne Speaks on Designing Dendritic Polymers

During the Graduate Student Speaker Series talk on April 20, Stephen Frayne, a PhD candidate in chemistry, spoke on "Designing Dendritic Polymers: From Theory to Experiment." Study and application of polymeric materials spans the physical, life, and applied sciences and has revolutionized nearly every facet of modern day society: medicine, transportation, construction, agriculture, and electronics, to name a few.

During the Graduate Student Speaker Series talk on April 20, Stephen Frayne, a PhD candidate in chemistry, spoke on “Designing Dendritic Polymers: From Theory to Experiment.” Study and application of polymeric materials spans the physical, life, and applied sciences and has revolutionized nearly every facet of modern day society: medicine, transportation, construction, agriculture, and electronics, to name a few.

Siry Speaks on Energy and Modern Architecture

As part of Wesleyan’s Earth Month celebration, the College of the Environment presented a talk on “Energy and Modern Architecture 1935-2015” April 7. Joe Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities and processor of art and art history, led the discussion.

As part of Wesleyan’s Earth Month celebration, the College of the Environment presented a talk on “Energy and Modern Architecture 1935-2015” April 7. Joe Siry, the Kenan Professor of the Humanities and processor of art and art history, led the discussion.

Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”

Siry teaches the history of modern architecture and urbanism at Wesleyan. His current book in progress is titled “Before Sustainability: Air Conditioning and Modern Architecture 1890-1970.”

Siry traced the history of ideas about energy usage in architecture, especially those related to air condition from the era of the Great Depression, to the first efforts of energy conservation after World War II, the redirection of architecture following the energy crises of the 1970s and the contemporary idea of zero-energy buildings.

Siry traced the history of ideas about energy usage in architecture, especially those related to air condition from the era of the Great Depression, to the first efforts of energy conservation after World War II, the redirection of architecture following the energy crises of the 1970s and the contemporary idea of zero-energy buildings.