Campus News & Events

Wesleyan Battles for Homecoming Victory Against Amherst Oct. 18

Wesleyan student-athlete Jesse Warren '15 will start as quarterback in the Homecoming Day game, Oct. 18 against Amherst College. Warren leads the conference in passing efficiency (154.9) and has a league-best seven touch down tosses while throwing no interceptions. (Photo by Brian Katten)

Wesleyan student-athlete Jesse Warren ’15 will start as quarterback in the Homecoming Day game, Oct. 18 against Amherst College. Warren leads the conference in passing efficiency (154.9) and has a league-best seven touch down tosses while throwing no interceptions. (Photo by Brian Katten)

It’s a long rivalry. Wesleyan and Amherst have played nearly every year since 1913, missing just three seasons during World War II. They first met on the gridiron in 1882,  with Wesleyan prevailing.  The teams will battle for the 120th time during Wesleyan’s Homecoming, Oct. 18.

A webcast of the game is available here.

One aspect of the game is unmistaken. It represents the second straight year both teams bring identical 4-0 records into the encounter.

A Wesleyan triumph would add significant historical perspective to the proceedings. Having ended an 10-year skid versus Amherst last season with a 20-14 road victory, Wesleyan can put back-to-back wins against the Jeffs into the books for the first time since 1992-93. Even more significant, with a 19-17 homecoming win vs. Williams in 2013,

Ulysse Panelist at Columbia’s Caribbean Conference

Imagining and Imaging the Caribbean

“Imagining and Imaging the Caribbean.”

Gina Athena Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, participated in “Imagining and Imaging the Caribbean,” the inaugural conference of Columbia’s Greater Caribbean Studies Center, on Oct. 18.

Ulysse discussed “Writing in the Caribbean Diaspora” with fellow panelists Cuban writer and artist Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (Brown University) and Kittian-Brittish novelist Caryl Phillips (Yale University).

Other topics included “The Greater Caribbean as a Geo-Historical and Cultural Region,” “Writing about the Caribbean from National Perspectives” and “Photographing the City in the Greater Caribbean.” The event concluded with a Caribbean concert.

Schwarcz Addresses Moral Dilemma, Ethics in China in Colors of Veracity

veraVera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, professor of history, is the author of a new book titled Colors of Veracity: A Quest for Truth in China, and Beyond, published by the University of Hawai’i Press in November 2014.

In Colors of Veracity, Schwarcz condenses four decades of teaching and scholarship about China to raise fundamental questions about the nature of truth and history. In vivid prose, she addresses contemporary moral dilemmas with a highly personal sense of ethics and aesthetics.

Drawing on classical sources in Hebrew and Chinese (as well as several Greek and Japanese texts), Schwarcz brings deep and varied cultural references to bear on the question of truth and falsehood in human consciousness. The book redefines both the Jewish understanding of emet (a notion of truth that encompasses authenticity) and the Chinese commitment to zhen (a vision of the real that comprises the innermost sincerity of the seeker’s heart-mind). Works of art, from contemporary calligraphy and installations to fake Chinese characters and a Jewish menorah from Roman times, shed light light on the historian’s task of giving voice to the dread-filled past.

Following in the footsteps of literary scholar Geoffrey Hartman, Schwarcz expands on the “Philomela Project,” which calls on historians to find new ways of conveying truth, especially when political authorities are bent on enforcing amnesia of past traumatic events.

Schwarcz, who was born and raised in Cluj, Romania, was one of the first exchange scholars to study in China in 1979 and has returned to Beijing many times since then.

For more information on the book or to order, visit the University of Hawai’i Press website.

Schwarcz will be speaking about her book at 4:15 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Wasch Center. The event is open to the public.

British History Class Takes Field Trip to Yale’s British Art Center


On Oct. 7, students enrolled in the course HIST 269: Notes from a Small Island — Modern British History, 1700 – Present, visited the Yale Center for British Art.

The class, taught by Alice Kelly, visiting assistant professor of history, toured the center’s two current exhibitions, “Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837–1901″ and “Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in 18 Century Atlantic Britain.”

“Seeing history through a different lens — art and sculpture — really aided their understanding of some of the class readings, and we were able to find a number of similarities, particularly in the Figures of Empire exhibition,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s course offers a survey of the political, social, economic, and cultural history of Britain since the beginning of the 18th century and traces the movement into modernity. Topics covered include the Acts of Union, the Jacobite Rising, the Napoleonic Wars, imperial expansion, the Slavery Abolition Act, the Industrial Revolution, the development of mass literacy, the Edwardian era, the First World War, the Second World War and the Blitz, the end of empire, the Sexual Revolution and the Swinging Sixties, and contemporary multicultural Britain. Read more about the HIST 269 course here.

Senator Blumenthal Speaks With Students on Assaults; Wesleyan Releases Report

n Oct. 6, at U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) met with campus leaders, advocates, students, law enforcement leaders and public officials to solicit feedback on bipartisan legislation co-authored by Blumenthal and introduced in July to combat campus sexual assault by protecting and empowering students and strengthening campus accountability and transparency. Wesleyan will share the programs, practices and policies they have implemented for the new school year to prevent campus sexual assault. The event took place in Beckham Hall. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

On Oct. 6, at U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), pictured at right, met with campus leaders, advocates, students, law enforcement leaders and public officials to solicit feedback on bipartisan legislation he co-authored to prevent campus sexual assault. Pictured at left is Middletown Mayor Dan Drew and Ruth Weissman, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., came to Wesleyan Oct. 6 to hear students’ concerns about sexual violence, survivor support and penalties for perpetrators.

This was one of a series of listening sessions the senator is conducting around the state. In his discussions with students he shared details of legislation he has proposed to provide better frameworks on campuses for handling sexual assault cases. Under the bill, colleges and universities would be required to identify confidential advisors and implement minimum training standards. Financial penalties would be imposed on schools that do not comply.

The listening session was held just days after the release of Wesleyan’s annual report on the university’s response to sexual violence, and release of federally mandated “Clery data” on campus crime. Wesleyan has seen a marked increase in the number of reported sexual assaults during the past two years, which was expected given the university’s improved reporting protocols, according to Title IX coordinator and Vice President of Equity and Inclusion Antonio Farias.

“We all wish for a campus free of sexual assault, but to the extent that assaults do occur, we want them to be reported,” Farias said. “We’ve made progress in this area, improving our reporting mechanisms and enhancing the structures in place for survivor support.”

Farias joined Wesleyan’s staff in 2013 and has since reorganized the Office of Equity and Inclusion, recently hiring Debbie Colucci as Equity Compliance Director and Deputy Title IX Coordinator to further buttress Wesleyan’s efforts to address issues such as sexual violence and develop education and prevention programs.

Wes Welcomes Neighbors to Middletown Day Oct. 18

Middletown Day

Middletown Day coincides with Homecoming on Oct. 18.

For the second year in a row, Wesleyan will welcome its neighbors to campus for fun, food and football during Middletown Day, Oct. 18.

Starting at 11 a.m., the public can enjoy family entertainment (face painting, balloon art, a bounce house for little visitors, and a DJ), along with free popcorn and food for sale from Wesleyan athletic teams.

Plenty of Wes alumni also are expected at Andrus Field for the Homecoming football game versus Little Three rival Amherst College. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. and Middletown residents will be admitted to the game for free with ID.

The mighty Middletown High School Marching Band is scheduled to perform a half-time show, and several Middletown and area players are featured on the Cardinals’ roster this year.

Middletown Day festivities will take place on the College Row side of Corwin Stadium, with access from Wyllys Avenue. Free parking is available around campus.

For more information, see the event poster.


Davison Art Center’s 19th Century Goya Print Exhibited in Boston

Open Access Image from the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan Universi

Francisco Goya’s portrait of the French printer Cyprien Gaulon will be on exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The print is owned by Wesleyan’s Davison Art Center.

One of Davison Art Center’s most important works – an early 19th century Francisco Goya lithograph – will be shown in a major art exhibit in Boston this fall.

The print, a portrait of the printer Cyprien-Charles-Marie Nicolas Gaulon, was made at the end of Goya’s life, between 1825 and 1826, and is one of only two known “first state” copies of the work (the other is in France’s Bibliotheque Nationale).  Gaulon taught Goya lithography during the artist’s senescent exile in Bordeaux.

“It’s a portrait of a friend, the man who taught him this technique, towards the end of his life,”  said Clare Rogan, curator of the DAC. “It’s a view onto Goya’s life at the time.”

The print was lent last month to the Museum of Fine Arts, where it will be exhibited in “Goya: Order and Disorder” Oct. 12-Jan. 19. The largest Goya exhibit in North America in 25 years, the show will include everything from the portraits of aristocrats that established his reputation to the prints and drawings that carried the Spanish artist’s fame beyond his country.

Students Prepare for Fall Harvest at Long Lane Farm

Wesleyan students at Long Lane Organic Farm are preparing for the annual Pumpkin Fest, hosted by the College of the Environment on Oct. 25. The event celebrates the annual fall harvest at the farm. This month, students are harvesting pumpkins, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, turnips, potatoes, squash, herbs and many more vegetables.


The event celebrates the annual fall harvest at the farm. This month, students are harvesting pumpkins, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, turnips, potatoes, squash, herbs and many more vegetables.


Long Lane Farm is an organic student-run farm that supplies high quality organic food to local residents of the Middletown area as well as to food pantries and soup kitchens. Pictured are student farmers working inside the humid hoop house on Oct. 3.

Barber Receives DOJ Grant to Study Peer Mentoring of Prisoners

Charles Barber (Photo by Amy Pierce/

Charles Barber (Photo by Amy Pierce/

Visiting Writer Charles Barber, director of The Connection Institute for Innovative Practice, will be the principal investigator, along with David Sells of Yale University, on a study peer mentoring of prisoners, thanks to a $295,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The study is a two-year randomized trial involving 110 ex-offenders in New Haven, Bridgeport and other Connecticut cities — 55 will receive mentors, and 55 will not.

“We will recruit clients from prisons, where mentors— who are former prisoners themselves, with at least five years of stability behind them — will meet with them two to three times, pre-release. Mentors will then meet weekly with clients for six months to a year in the community,” Barber said.

The mentors will use evidence-based practices to facilitate community reentry for the newly released clients. At their weekly meetings, the mentors will offer psychosocial support and practical guidance toward reentry into the community.

“We will then track if it has an impact on recidivism six months, one year and three years post-intervention, as well as look at other measures such as criminal risk, substance use, engagement in treatment and services,” Barber said.

At Wesleyan, students in Research Professor of Psychology Jennifer Rose’s Statistical Consulting Class will be involved in assisting and bolstering the research project.

The Connection Institute for Innovative Practice is the research arm of The Connection, a Connecticut-based human service and community development agency, which serves thousands of people throughout the state with behavioral health, family support and community justice programs.

The grant funds, awarded Oct. 1, were released under the the Second Chance Act of 2007, intended to allow agencies to develop mentoring and other programs to allow those released from prison to reintegrate successfully into the community.

Gilvarry Named “5 Under 35″ Award Winner from National Book Foundation

Alex Gilvarry, visiting writer in English

Alex Gilvarry, visiting writer in English.

Alex Gilvarry, visiting writer in English, was named a “5 Under 35″ award recipient from the National Book Foundation.

Gilvarry is the author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, published by Viking/Penguin Group in January 2012. He was selected for the award by 1993 National Book Award Finalist Amy Bloom, the Distinguished University Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing.

Gilvarry was born in Staten Island, N.Y. in 1981. He holds an MFA from Hunter College and has been a Norman Mailer Fellow and a visiting scholar at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin. His first novel, From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, won the Hornblower Award at the 2012 New York City Book Awards. He is an artist-in-residence at Monmouth University and teaches the course, Techniques of Fiction at Wesleyan.

Gilvarry will receive the award during the National Book Foundations’ Ninth Annual Celebration of Emerging Fiction Writers. The “5 Under 35″ authors will be honored at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Nov. 17.

The Mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.

Royer’s Study Suggests that the Meteorite That Wiped Out Dinosaurs Changed Forests

Dana Royer, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences.

Dana Royer, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, is the co-author of a study that suggests fast-growing deciduous plants replaced slower-growing evergreen plants after an impact of a meteorite 60 million years ago. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Sixty-six million years ago, a meteorite struck the Earth with enough force that the ensuing environmental changes, including floods, earthquakes, variable temperatures and light-obscuring dust clouds, possibly wiped out dinosaurs and other pre-historic life. Scientists believe this opened a path for mammals, and ultimately humans, to evolve.

A new study by Dana Royer, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, and colleagues from the University of Arizona and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science suggests that the chaos in the wake of the space rock’s impact changed the Earth’s plant life as well. Deciduous plants survived and flourished to a much greater extent than flowering evergreens, the scientists believe, probably because their properties made them much better able to respond to climate conditions post-impact. The deciduous plants, not needing to maintain their leaves year round, essentially needed less energy for survival.

Residential Fraternities Required to Become Co-Ed

On Sept. 22, President Michael Roth ’78 and Joshua Boger ’73, P’06, P’09, chair of the Board of Trustees, sent the following message to the Wesleyan community:

To the Wesleyan community:

As you may know, we have been considering the future role of Greek life at Wesleyan, and over the summer a great many Wesleyan alumni, students and faculty offered their views. Some have urged that we preserve the status quo; others have argued for the elimination of all exclusive social societies.