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Olivia DrakeJune 29, 20227min
Following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which led to the forced relocation and internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans. Among these were thousands of college students who were also discharged from their respective universities. In response, several university officials, church leaders, and active citizens formed the National Japanese Student Relocation Council in an attempt to return these Japanese American students—most of whom were U.S. citizens—back to college campuses, nationwide. "Japanese American WWII incarceration is a huge part of Asian American history that is not taught enough in schools," said economics major…

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Steve ScarpaJune 13, 20227min
It was sitting in the peace of synagogue with his wife where Stephen Angle began to contemplate his personal relationship to Confucianism. Angle, Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies and professor of philosophy, had spent his career studying the ancient philosophy, which emphasizes personal ethics and morality. He’d written multiple academic books on the subject. The roots of his interest went all the way back to high school with a fascinating class on non-Western cultures. Still, there had always been one small remove between the ideas and his own life. “I didn’t understand the Hebrew being chanted. Half of…

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Andrew ChatfieldJune 1, 20226min
Assistant Professor of Theater Maria-Christina Oliveras was supposed to be a lawyer. While growing up in the Bronx, Oliveras became fascinated with musicals thanks to her father, an immigrant from Puerto Rico with a passion for “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Man of La Mancha.” She performed at her high school in New Rochelle, then majored in Theater at Yale University. As an undergraduate, she interned at the Manhattan Theatre Club and started acting professionally in "South Pacific.” After two years auditioning in New York, she pursued her M.F.A. at the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver before joining with a…

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Andrew ChatfieldJune 1, 20225min
There is a quote attributed to Mao that is still used in daily conversation in China to encourage people to develop better health habits. “The healthy body is the fundamental investment for the revolutionary cause,' (or shenti shi geming de benqian)," said Ying Jia Tan, assistant professor of history and East Asian studies. To illustrate how important this sentiment has been in shaping China’s response to disease, faculty and students have curated an exhibit called “Strong Bodies for the Revolution: Pursuing Health and Power in the People’s Republic of China,” an exhibition featuring a collection of propaganda posters donated by…

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Andrew ChatfieldMay 19, 20226min
Gabby Farina ’23, an Art History and English major, was interested in how artists’ work dealt with family, identity, body, grossness, and fleshiness. What she found from her classmates inspired her. “Everything was very much tied back to this idea of the human form,” Farina said. Farina is the first Wesleyan student to curate a Senior Thesis Showcase exhibition on her own. The exhibition, “It's Mutual,” was the first such exhibition in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery since COVID-19 led to the cancellation of a planned showcase in May 2020. As part of her tutorial, Farina visited the working…

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Steve ScarpaMay 10, 202211min
A new residency will bring a trio of noteworthy writers to Wesleyan for the 2022-23 academic year as the University looks to augment its already robust writing programs. Mahogany L. Browne, poet, curator and author of “Black Girl Magic”; Merve Emre, Oxford professor and New Yorker critic; and Yuri Herrera, an acclaimed Mexican novelist and Tulane professor, will be the first to join the newly established Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program. “The Shapiro-Silverberg program will bring to campus writers whose work is already having an impact on a variety of audiences around the world. The initiative builds on a…

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Editorial StaffMay 9, 20229min
By Maia Dawson '24 A philosophy student writes an essay, pen to paper. He then hands it through the bars of his cell to a passing Corrections Officer. That CO gives it to a liaison, who gives it to a staff person, who gives it to Lori Gruen, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan. It’s Spring 2020 and there is no Zoom in Cheshire Correctional Institution. After pandemic hiatuses, Wesleyan's Center for Prison Education (CPE) is planning to return to in-person teaching this summer. The program currently operates in Cheshire and York correctional facilities, both in Connecticut. Gruen has taught…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20225min
Wesleyan has successfully launched a pair of online mini-courses this spring as a way for the university to further explore opportunities in online learning. The new initiative, which started the spring semester, featured two popular undergraduate courses: Living a Good Life, taught by Stephen Angle, Jennifer D’Andrea, Steven Horst, and Tushar Irani, and Black Phoenix Rising, taught by Anthony Ryan Hatch. Living a Good Life was a seven-week exploration of how philosophy and psychology teach us how to live lives of meaning and fulfillment. Black Phoenix Rising was a multimodal project that explores Black people’s practices of resisting death and…

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Editorial StaffApril 26, 20225min
By Maia Dawson '24 TEDxWesleyanU returned to campus April 23 with authors, entrepreneurs, and other accomplished professionals sharing stories of revivification and curiosity. Organized by students and held in Beckham Hall, the TEDxWesleyanU gathering was the first live event since 2019. The brochure pictured a martini glass overflowing with a string of pearls, in line with the theme "Re-roaring Twenties." Ritu Chhawal ’88 and Raquel Graham ’90 spoke to the audience about resilience emerging from illness. Chhawal introduced her vegan startup as an effort to spur a food revolution, and Graham described her success on Shark Tank and finding her…

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Olivia DrakeApril 25, 20222min
It's been almost three years since the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble was able to perform in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But on April 21, the group, directed by University Professor of Music Harjito, played to a full house in World Music Hall as part of a Javanese shadow puppet play. The puppet play, called "Wayang Kulit" was directed by puppet master (dhalang) and Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Sumarsam. The play was attended by a distinguished guest, Arifi Saiman, Consul General of Indonesia in New York, and his guests. Saiman presented a brief speech and provided the performers with Indonesian…

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Steve ScarpaApril 22, 20226min
Maaza Mengiste, professor of English, has found that sometimes the scariest thing a writer can do is start over. It’s a hard-earned lesson she had to experience herself, but a vital one that she passes on to her students. Mengiste believes that the benefits of a fresh start are immeasurable. It can be a period where ideas coalesce and, perhaps more importantly, experimentation begins. When asking her students to start over, “They would look at me with sheer terror,” she said. But eventually “they would come back with these spectacular pieces of writing. It was hard to convince them sometimes,…

Steve ScarpaApril 18, 20226min
Connor Matteson ’23 was one of many students who took a gap year as a result of the global pandemic. “I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with this time, but I knew that I didn’t necessarily want to be stuck in a dorm room taking online classes the whole time,” he said. While away from Wesleyan for a year, Matteson certainly took a different path from many of his peers – he went out and wrote a book. That book, titled The World As You’ll Live It, will be published by New Degree Press in September…