Olivia Drake

Women in Science Hosts Tea Party, Conversation

Wesleyan Women in Science (WIS) hosted a tea party on Feb. 3 for students and faculty. All majors and genders were welcome to come mingle with fellow scientists and female faculty from Wesleyan’s science departments and learn more about WIS. (Photos by Caroline Kravitz ’19)

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Winston Translates Handke’s Moravian Night

9780374212551Krishna Winston, the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, translated The Moravian Night: A Story by German novelist Peter Handke. The American translation was published in December 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.

Reviews of the translation have appeared in The New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and Kirkus.

Winston specializes in literary translation and has translated more than 35 works of fiction and non-fiction from Handke, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Günter Grass, Christoph Hein, Golo Mann, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Hans Jonas. Her translations make available to the entire English-speaking world works originally written in German, and she has received three major literary prizes for her translations. She also was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Federal Order of Merit, by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Krishna Winston

Krishna Winston

The Moravian Night, as summarized by the book’s publisher, explores the mind and memory of an aging writer, tracking the anxieties, angers, fears, and pleasures of a life inseparable from the recent history of Central Europe.

Mysteriously summoned to a houseboat on the Morava River, a few friends, associates, and collaborators of an old writer listen as he tells a story that will last until dawn: the tale of the once well-known writer’s recent odyssey across Europe. As his story unfolds, it visits places that represent stages of the narrator’s and the continent’s past, many now lost or irrecoverably changed through war, death and the subtler erosions of time. His story and its telling are haunted by a beautiful stranger, a woman who has a preternatural hold over the writer and appears sometimes as a demon, sometimes as the longed-for destination of his travels.

50 Alumni Gather for Monarchs Game in New Hampshire

Left to right Marc Casper '90, Brian Cheek '92, Tas Pinther '90 are owners.

From left, Marc Casper ’90, Brian Cheek ’92 and Tas Pinther ’90 are owners of the Manchester Monarchs hockey team.

On Jan. 21, three Wesleyan alumni who own the Manchester Monarchs ECHL team, welcomed more than 50 alumni, family and friends to “Wesleyan Night” at the Verizon Wireless Arena in New Hampshire. Among the attendees was men’s former hockey coach Dave “Duke” Snyder.

Wesleyan Trustee Marc Casper ’90, Brian Cheek ’92 and Tas Pinther ’91 purchased the team in August 2016 and spoke to the attendees about acquiring the team and the importance of giving back to Wesleyan.

The Monarchs’ parent team is the Los Angeles Kings.

Östör Debuts New Film to International Audiences

Ákos Östör

Ákos Östör

Ákos Östör, professor of anthropology and film, emeritus, lectured and presented his latest film, In My Mother’s House, at more than a dozen universities in India, Turkey and throughout Europe in 2016.

On a random Thursday in 2005, Östör’s wife, Lina Fruzzetti, opened a a startling email that read, “If this is your father, we are cousins.”

In My Mother’s House follows a decade-long quest to learn more about Fruzzetti’s Italian father who died young in Italian-ruled Eritrea, and her Eritrean mother who does not dwell on the past. Above all, Fruzzetti strives to understand her far-flung African, European, and American family against the backdrop of colonial rule, worlds at war, migration, grief, diasporas, and the global world. Her life experiences and widely dispersed family are placed into the context of global events and changes.

“Filming on the run, not knowing what will happen next, in the cramped living rooms, crowded markets and villages of Eritrea and Italy, we went wherever the events took us,” Östör said. “The film attempts to sustain the spirit of discovery and tense anticipation we felt during the production process. After all, we were protagonists, as well as historians, ethnographers and filmmakers. The improvised, mostly handheld shots, without any opportunity to prepare, create an intimacy that brings the viewer along as if participating in events as they unfold.”

Östör has already shown clips of the film to a Wesleyan audience in 2015 when it was a work-in-progress.

Both Östör and Fruzzetti are anthropologists and filmmakers who have authored award-winning films and have written over a dozen books.
In My Mother’s House is their first, deeply personal film. Their previous films in India and Tanzania concern individual lives in small communities, in contexts ranging from sacred rituals and festivals in a town, to women scroll painters and singers in village West Bengal; from fish markets in Dar es Salaam, to a handicapped people’s cooperative in Zanzibar. All were shown at festivals around the world and won numerous awards.

Watch a trailer of In My Mother’s House.

Wesleyan Celebrates Black History Month

This February, in honor of Black History Month, Wesleyan is hosting a series of events including a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; discussions on current black issues and diaspora blackness around the world; a Black History Month formal celebration; a unconventional poetry performance; a black radical protest with a former Black Panther activist; a student of color art show and live performances; and much more.

Ujamma, Wesleyan’s black student union, is coordinating all events. (Click graphic below to enlarge).

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Local Girls Celebrate Women in Sports Day with Wesleyan Student-Athletes

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On Jan. 28, 35 local girls in grades K-6 celebrated National Girls & Women in Sports Day at Wesleyan.

Several Wesleyan student-athletes and eight coaches led sports clinics in field hockey, lacrosse, crew, soccer, softball and volleyball. All participants were treated to a pizza party and discussion with Wesleyan student-athletes and were offered free admission to Wesleyan’s women’s athletic contests. Throughout the day, the female athletes celebrated the courage, confidence, and character gained as they participated in sports.

Jennifer Lane, head coach of softball, coordinated this year’s event with help from Olivia Berry, assistant softball coach and Jeff McDonald, assistant football coach.

“The young girls and the Wesleyan student-athletes enjoyed themselves immensely,” Lane said. “It was a great opportunity for the Wesleyan student-athletes to give back to the community and it was a chance for the youth participants to experience sports they had and had not played before. The young girls loved working with the Wesleyan student-athletes and their parents couldn’t say enough wonderful things about the day.”

This year marks the 31st anniversary of National Girls & Women in Sports Day, which was created by the Women’s Sports Foundation. The event recognizes the extraordinary achievements of those who have helped to effect change and create opportunities for women and girls in sports.

J-Hoon Musical Ensemble Presents the Music and Dance of the Ancient People of Kermanshah

From 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 11 in the World Music Hall, engage in a panel discussion on the diaspora of the Kurdish people, the largest ethnic group in the world without a country that they can call their own. The program focuses on the integration of the Kurdish people into Western societies as refugees, their trials and tribulations during their assimilation, as well as the current and the future position of the Kurds in the geopolitical landscape and the stability of the Middle East and the fight against terror.

This program will be followed by a musical and dance performance by the J-Hoon Ensemble, a NYC-based ensemble focused on the folkloric music and dances of Kurdistan.

Tickets are available at the Wesleyan Box Office.

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“Writing the Truth in the Age of Trump” Topic of Hugo Black Lecture April 20

Linda Greenhouse

Linda Greenhouse

Note: This event has been rescheduled for April 20.

Linda Greenhouse, the Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at the Yale Law School, will present a talk titled “Writing the Truth in the Age of Trump” during the 26th annual Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression.

The talk begins at 8 p.m., April 20 in Memorial Chapel.

Linda Greenhouse covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times between 1978 and 2008 and writes a biweekly op-ed column on law as a contributing columnist. She received several major journalism awards during her 40-year career at the Times, including the Pulitzer Prize (1998) and the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from Harvard University’s Kennedy School (2004). In 2002, the American Political Science Association gave her its Carey McWilliams Award for “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.” Her books include a biography of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Becoming Justice Blackmun; Before Roe v. Wade: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling; The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right; and The U.S. Supreme Court, A Very Short Introduction. 

Greenhouse is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where she serves on the council, and is one of two non-lawyer honorary members elected to the American Law Institute, which in 2002 awarded her its Henry J. Friendly Medal. She is a vice president of the Council of the American Philosophical Society, which in 2005 awarded her its Henry Allen Moe Prize for writing in the humanities and jurisprudence. She has been awarded 11 honorary degrees. Greenhouse is a 1968 graduate of Radcliffe College (Harvard), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and she currently serves on the Phi Beta Kappa national senate. She earned a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School (1978), which she attended on a Ford Foundation fellowship.

The lecture is named in honor of U. S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. The series is designed to bring to the Wesleyan campus distinguished public figures and scholars with experience and expertise in matters related to the First Amendment and freedom of expression. This lecture, which is endowed by Leonard S. Halpert ’44, is offered annually.

For more information on the lecture, visit this website.

Undergraduates Return from Winter Recess, Begin Spring Semester

After a six-week Winter Recess, university housing re-opened for all undergraduates on Jan. 24 and the spring semester commenced on Jan. 26.

After a six-week Winter Recess, university housing re-opened for all undergraduates on Jan. 24 and the spring semester commenced on Jan. 26. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

On Jan. 26, students flocked to Usdan University Center to dine and mingle with friends.

On Jan. 26, students flocked to Usdan University Center to dine and mingle with friends.

Jamaica native Nicholas Evans ’18 spent his winter recess in Stratford, Conn., where his parents now reside. “I really enjoyed spending time with [my parents], but I missed the constant interaction with people here at Wesleyan. It’s interesting to go from almost complete isolation to having everybody everywhere,” he said. Nicholas, who is majoring in mathematics, and was already solving equations in the Science Library on his first day back, said he hoped to work on homework while he was away on break, but not everything went according to plan. “I’m an avid reader and I love to borrow four or five books and just read,” he said. “But math. Somehow math homework never came up.”

Jamaica native Nicholas Evans ’18 spent his break in Stratford, Conn., where his parents now reside. “I really enjoyed spending time with [my parents], but I missed the constant interaction with people here at Wesleyan. It’s interesting to go from almost complete isolation to having everybody everywhere,” he said. Nicholas, who is majoring in mathematics, and was already solving equations in the Science Library on his first day back, said he hoped to work on homework while he was away on break, but not everything went according to plan. “I’m an avid reader and I love to borrow four or five books and just read,” he said. “But math. Somehow math homework never came up.”

Upgren Remembered for Protecting Night Sky from Light Pollution

Arthur Upgren in 1968. (Photo courtesy of Special Collections & Archives)

Arthur Upgren in 1968. (Photo courtesy of Special Collections & Archives)

Arthur Reinhold Upgren, the John Monroe Van Vleck Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, died on Jan. 21, a month before his 84th birthday.

Upgren received his PhD from Case Western Reserve University before coming to Wesleyan as an assistant professor in 1966. He was the Director of the Van Vleck Observatory from 1973 to 1993. He held his endowed chair from 1982 until his retirement in 2000.

Upgren was an author or co-author of 285 publications in the astronomical literature, including one that appeared in 2016. His research interests were in the areas of parallax (distance measurement) of stars and galactic structure. For several decades, he directed an NSF-funded study that made use of the 20-inch Clark refractor on the Wesleyan campus to establish the first rung on the ladder of distances in the Universe.

Upgren friend Jim Gutmann, professor of earth and environmental sciences, emeritus, said, “Art was an avid reader, loved classical music and foreign travel, and could be counted on to provide explanations of many matters astrometric and meteorological.”

In addition to his work on galactic astronomy, Upgren had a keen interest in protecting the night sky from light pollution. He wrote a well-reviewed popular book titled The Turtle and the Stars that discussed the influence of light pollution on the breeding habits of leatherback turtles. He was an active member of the International Dark-Sky Association and a tireless advocate for intelligent lighting on the Wesleyan campus.

Arthur Upgren in 1987 at Wesleyan.. (Photo courtesy of Special Collections & Archives)

Arthur Upgren in 1987 at Wesleyan. Upgren was director of the Van Vleck Observatory from 1973 to 1993. (Photo courtesy of Special Collections & Archives)

Upgren is survived by his wife, Joan, his daughter Amy and her husband, and his two grandchildren, Max and Ella.

A memorial event will be planned for the future.

New England Patriots Coach Belichick ’75 Leads Team to Super Bowl

Bill Belichick '75

Bill Belichick ’75

Bill Belichick ’75, head coach of the New England Patriots, will lead his team to the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 against the Atlanta Falcons. The Super Bowl is the National Football League’s annual championship game. Belichick’s team has never lost to the Falcons, in fact, in his four games against Atlanta since 2000, he’s 4-0.

Beginning his NFL career as an assistant coach with the Baltimore Colts in 1975, Belichick moved to the Detroit Lions in 1976, remaining there for two seasons before spending a year in the Denver Broncos organization before moving on the the New York Giants in 1979. In 1991 he was named the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, and also coached for the New York Jets before becoming head coach of the Patriots in 2000. He earned his 200th regular season victory as a head coach after the Patriots’ 30-7 win at Minnesota on Sept. 14, 2014. He became the sixth NFL head coach to reach that mark.

At Wesleyan, Belichick was a football, squash and lacrosse letterwinner, serving as a team captain for the 1975 lacrosse squad, He majored in economics.

Returning to Middletown for Commencement in May, 2002,Belichick received Wesleyan’s Raymond E. Baldwin Medal, the highest honor awarded by the alumni body for extraordinary service to the University and to the public interest. He also spoke to a group of prospective students and their parents during WesFest in April, 2004 and stayed to watch his daughter Amanda ’07 play in a women’s lacrosse game. During Wesleyan’s 2005 Commencement, Belichick received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater and in May, 2008, he became one of the inaugural members of Wesleyan’s newly established Athletics Hall of Fame.

Kickoff for the 51st annual Super Bowl will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at NGR Stadium in Houston, Texas and will be aired on FOX. Join fellow Wesleyan alumni for a Super Bowl meetup in Houston. Email Karen Whalen to register.

Cervantes Expert Ponce-Hegenauer Joins College of Letters

Gabrielle Ponce-Hegenauer

Gabrielle Ponce-Hegenauer

Last fall, the College of Letters (COL) welcomed Gabrielle Ponce-Hegenauer to the department as an assistant professor of letters. Ponce-Hegenauer is an expert on the biography and works of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), author of Don Quixote.

She’s also interested in 16th-century translation theory and poetics; pre-Cartesian Renaissance philosophy; cultural and intellectual history in the Spanish Golden Age; early modern metaphysics; medicine and philosophy in 16th-century Spain; the history of the book and manuscript culture; Spanish theater; Renaissance and Baroque Spanish poetry; Spanish and Italian literary exchanges; the 19th-century imagination of the Golden Age; and 19th-century Spanish novelist Benito Pérez Galdós.

“I like locating the particularities of big ideas in specific texts,” she said. “I’m constantly moving between a microcosmic and macrocosmic perspective. Nuance, variation, paradox and metaphor: these are key.”

Ponce-Hegenauer, who is fluent in Spanish, Italian and French, earned a BA in rhetoric at the University of Illinois Urbana, as well as both an MFA in poetry and creative writing and a PhD in German and romance languages and literatures from The Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation, published in April 2016, was titled Cervantes, Poet: Lyric Subjectivity as Practice in the Rise of the Novel in 16th-Century Spain.