Tag Archive for alumni publications

Long ’89 Studies the Politics of African American Medical Care in Slavery and Emancipation

Gretchen Long ’89

In her illuminating new book, Doctoring Freedom (University of North Carolina Press), Gretchen Long ’89 shares the stories of African Americans who fought for access to both medical care and medical education, as she reveals the important relationship between medical practice and political identity. Even before emancipation, African Americans recognized that control of their bodies was an essential battleground in their struggle for autonomy, and they devised strategies to retain some of that control.

Book by Gretchen Long ’89

During her research, Long, an associate professor of history at Williams College, closely studied antebellum medical journals, planters’ diaries, agricultural publications, letters from wounded African American soldiers, WPA narratives, and military and Freedmen’s Bureau reports. Within these documents, she was able to trace African Americans’ political acts to secure medical care: their organizing of mutual-aid societies, their petitions to the federal government, and, as a last resort, their founding of their own medical schools, hospitals, and professional organizations. She also writes about the efforts of the earliest black physicians who worked in times of slavery and freedom.


Essays by Liang ’92 Published in Academic Journal, Anthology

Elizabeth Liang ’92

Elizabeth Liang ’92

(Story contributed By Susannah Betts ’15)

Elizabeth Liang ’92, who graduated from Wesleyan with a B.A. in English literature, is the author of two recently-published essays.

Her essay, “Transforming Three Sisters, A Hapa Family in Chekov’s Modern Classic,” was included in the academic journal Asian American Literature: Discourses and Pedagogies published by San Jose State University. It’s published online here.

Another of her essays, “Checked Baggage: Writing Unpacked,” is in the anthology Writing Out of Limbo: International Childhoods, Global Nomads, and Third Culture Kids published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Morten Ender, professor of sociology at the United States Military Academy at West Point, said of Writing Out of Limbo that “The selections here, varied as they are, share the quiet, profound, and rich experiences of people writing on the most innocent years, transcendent of cultural boundaries. Reading this book is a travel across the globe with an impressive group of worldly citizens.”

Liang is an actress, writer, and producer who co-hosts the podcast Hapa Happy Hour.

Book by Curzer ’74, MA ’76 Focuses on Aristotle and Virtue Ethics

Howard Curzer BA ’74, MA ’76

Aristotle has long been considered the father of virtue ethics. In his new book Aristotle and the Virtues (Oxford University Press), Howard Curzer ’74, MA ’76 considers Aristotle’s detailed description of the individual virtues to be central to his ethical theory. His study examines the Nicomachean Ethics virtue-by-virtue, explaining and generally defending Aristotle’s claims.

Book by Howard Kurzer

The book is divided into three sections: Moral Virtues, Justice and Friendship, and Moral Development. Justice and friendship are prominent in Aristotle’s virtue theory. Curzer argues that in Aristotle’s view justice and friendship are symbiotic. Other contemporary discussions have argued the opposite; justice seems to be a public, impartial, and dispassionate thing, while friendship is paradigmatically private, partial, and passionate.

Curzer also reveals how virtue ethics is not only about being good; it is also about becoming good. He reconstructs Aristotle’s account of moral development and considers how certain character types serve as stages of moral development. Certain catalysts and mechanisms lead from one stage to the next. Explaining why some people cannot make moral progress specifies the preconditions of moral development. Finally, Curzer describes Aristotle’s quest to determine the ultimate goal of moral development: happiness.

Curzer has taught at Texas Tech University since 1983. He has authored papers on virtue ethics, research ethics, biomedical ethics, moral development, the ethics of care, the Bible, the Confucian tradition, and topology. He received his BA and MA degrees in mathematics from Wesleyan and his PhD in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Garrison ’67 Publishes New Poetry Collection

David Lee Garrison ’67

David Lee Garrison ’67 is the author of Playing Bach in the D.C. Metro: New and Selected Poems, just released by Browser Books Publishing. Most of the poems are in free verse, although there are three sonnets, one triolet, and one poem in rhyming three-line stanzas. The title of the book refers to an experiment by Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten, who had concert violinist Joshua Bell, dressed as a street busker, play Bach in the D.C. Metro to see if anyone would stop and listen.

Poet Colette Inez says: “In compact, deftly written poems, David Lee Garrison manages a variety of voices: humorous, down home, wildly surreal, and compassionate. His poems show a special gift for creating character and mood, and they linger in memory.”

Garrison shares some thoughts about his writing:

“My main goal as a poet is to communicate, so my poems are not hard to understand with a first reading. In all of them, however, I try to achieve a depth that invites a second or third reading as well.

“I have written poetry since I was sixteen years old, when I turned to it as a way of coming to terms with the passion and confusion of adolescence. My poems emerged then, and still emerge, mainly from memories. I fashion bits and pieces of my past into fictionalized configurations in a search for something more meaningful, more transcendent than my personal experience.

“This process often leads me to tell, or at least hint at, a story. Most of my stories stem from everyday situations that bring deep emotions to the surface. Some of these situations are humorous, and reviewers invariably notice the humor in my work. It is a whimsical humor at times, but not frivolous; it almost always reveals a hint of darkness reminiscent of that thin line between laughing and crying.”

Garrison chaired the Department of Modern Languages at Wright State University and has taught poetry workshops at Antioch University and the University of Dayton. Poems from his previous collection, Sweeping the Country, were featured on the radio and online by Garrison Keillor and Ted Kooser.

Bach in the D.C. Metro
by David Lee Garrison

For a story, The Washington Post
has a concert violinist wearing jeans,
tennis shoes, and a baseball cap
stand near a trash can
at rush hour in the DC Metro
and play Bach on a Stradivarius.
Partita No. 2 in D Minor
sings to commuters in the station
why we must live.

A thousand people stream by.
Seven of them pause
and thirty-two dollars float
into the open violin case.
A café hostess who drifts
to the door whenever she is free
says Bach gives her peace,
and children wade into the music
as if it is water, listening
until rescued by parents
who have somewhere to go.

Reprinted with permission of the author.

Goldberg ’83 Appointed to Eli Goldston Chair at Harvard Law School

Professor John Goldberg '83. (Photo by Harvard Law School)

Professor John Goldberg ’83. (Photo by Harvard Law School)

Harvard Law School recently announced that John C. P. Goldberg ’83 has been appointed to the Eli Goldston Professorship of Law. An expert in tort law, tort theory and political philosophy, he joined Harvard Law School as a tenured faculty member in 2008 and teaches first-year and upper-level courses.

Goldberg has worked closely with Professor Henry Smith to develop the Project on the Foundations of Private Law at Harvard and has co-taught with Professor Smith the Private Law Workshop, which enables students to discuss with leading scholars cutting-edge research in torts, property, contracts, restitution, and other topics. He recently served as the faculty chair for The New Private Law, a Harvard Law Review symposium.

Goldberg was previously a professor of law and an associate dean for research at Vanderbilt University. He has recognized for excellence in the classroom several times and received four teaching prizes at Vanderbilt.

Goldberg is co-author of The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Torts and Tort Law: Responsibilities and Redress (3d ed.). He also has published dozens of articles and essays in scholarly journals. After receiving his JD in 1991 from New York University School of Law, he clerked for Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York and for Justice Byron White. He earned his BA with high honors from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan. He also holds an MPhil in politics from Oxford University and an MA in politics from Princeton University.

Book by Sachs ’97 Stresses Meaningful Storytelling in Marketing

Jonah Sachs ’97

Jonah Sachs ’97 is the author of Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell—and Live—the Best Stories Will Rule the Future (Harvard Business Review Press). Viral storyteller and advertising expert Sachs draws upon case studies from his own body of work and some of the most successful brands of all time to show how values-driven stories can influence and revolutionize marketing. The book suggests that marketers can take on the role of heroes with the possibility of transforming not just their craft but also the enterprises they represent.

The author shares insights culled from mythology, advertising history, evolutionary biology, and psychology. His book considers how: (1) social media tools are driving a return to the oral tradition, in which stories that matter rise above the fray, (2) marketers have become today’s mythmakers, providing society with explanation, meaning, and ritual, (3) memorable stories based on timeless themes build legions of eager evangelists, (4) marketers and audiences can work together to create deeper meaning and stronger partnerships in building a better world, and (5) brands like Old Spice, “The Story of Stuff,” Nike, the Tea Party, and Occupy Wall Street created and sustained massive viral buzz.

Book by Jonah Sachs ’97

Sachs recently contributed a story to Fortune magazine, “Winning Business Through Storytelling,” in which he says:

“Brands, and the enterprises behind them, thrive based on their ability to get people to modify their behavior by changing the way they see the world. We want our teams to perform more optimally by binding them together in shared purpose. We want to get our potential customers to behave differently and engage with us, or engage with us more deeply. So we tell them stories based on an intentional strategy — and we win.

“Building your story strategy begins by identifying ‘the moral of the story’ — the core belief your audience is living by that stands in your way. …

“Your job as a leader or brand is to introduce a new ‘moral of the story’ that is more compelling than the broken old one. Once you do, it becomes the foundation of your story strategy. Every important story you tell should point back to this insight. You’ll know it’s working when members of your team or your customers start telling their own stories with your moral at its heart. By understanding and sticking to your moral, you’ll come to stand for something distinct in the hearts and minds of your audiences. It gives your message the consistency you need to lead.”

As the co-founder and creative director of Free Range Studios, Sachs has helped hundreds of social brands and causes that transcend the media noise with memorable campaigns built on sound storytelling strategies. His work on legendary viral videos like The Meatrix and The Story of Stuff series has brought key social issues to the attention of more than 65 million viewers and his interactive work has been honored with “Best Of” awards three times at the South By Southwest interactive festival.

His work and opinions have been featured in a variety of media, such as The New York Times, NPR, The Colbert Report, and FastCompany magazine, which named him one of the 50 most influential social innovators.

Siegel ’83 Charms with New Children Book

Randy Siegel ’83

Randy Siegel ’83 has just published his second children’s book, My Snake Blake (Roaring Brook Press). In this amusing story, a boy finds friendship with an unusual pet snake, a gift from his father, much to the dismay of his mother. As it turns out, the green snake has exceptional abilities such as twisting his body into words and helping the young lad with his homework. Siegel’s entertaining tale is illustrated by award-winning artist Serge Bloch.

Publishers Weekly called the book “…a loving salute to the unconventional pet heroes of an earlier era.”

Book by Randy Siegel ’83

In his review in The New York Times, children’s book author and illustrator Paul O. Zelinksky, wrote: “Apart from its title, ‘My Snake Blake’ isn’t creepy at all. Blake the snake is a little boy’s perfect friend right out of the birthday-present box….The illustrator, Serge Bloch, has taken Randy Siegel’s silly, slim text and served it up as a dish straight out of 1960….He draws in the loose, bamboo –pen scribble that thrived in those days. Channeling artists like Saul Steinberg, Robert C. Osborn and Jules Feiffer, he gets the wry, relaxed humor just right.”

Randy Siegel also is the author of Grandma’s Smile. He has written for newspapers and magazines around the country and works at Advance Publications in New York City.

Alpha Donut Features Selected Works of NYC Poet Yankelevich ’95

Matvei Yankelevich ’95

Matvei Yankelevich ’95 is the author of Alpha Donut: The Selected Shorter Works of Matvei Yankelevich (United Artists Books), which brings together poems and prose texts written over the course of the first 11 years of the millennium. The volume contains a pastiche of works from the writer’s several serial projects (such as Writing in the Margin or The Bar Poems) and stand-alone poems. Many of these pieces have appeared previously in progressive literary journals and little magazines.

Yankelevich comments: “Alpha Donut‘s title comes from an old-school coffee shop in Queens, near my first NYC apartment. I used to write poems there, listen to regulars, and hang out with a few close friends over cheap coffee. This didn’t happen all that often, actually, but it was a type of atmosphere — and, one might even say, ethic — that is reflected in this pastiche of a book, which culls from my notebooks and published poems from the around the time I moved to New York (late 1990s) to the present.

Book by Matvei Yankelevich ’95

“I attempted not to give too much weight to any one type of poem, to keep the book moving between funny and serious, melancholy and exuberant, one-liners and meditations. I wanted the pages to be visually dynamic, too, looking for subtle shifts that would play out on the whole open spread, emphasizing the book’s physical space. The series and stand alone poems are all mixed together, thwarting (I hope) the preciousness I feared would creep in to what is in essence a ‘selected’ of a long span of work. There are motifs that only make themselves known through this kind of weaving: the city, friendship, jackets, bars, and all of it, I think, is a particular kind of writing about writing, even when it doesn’t seem to be — about the writer’s position in space, in language, outside of things, absent from work.”

A review in Publishers Weekly says: “The most unsparing poets who live and write in New York absorb the city into their work, and Yankelevich stands in this tradition of the fast-talking, wry, and welcoming metropolitan poet. … Though his unsparing generosity might not always be pretty, it’s certainly as honest as they come in New York.”

And in his review of the book at Tillalala Chronicles, poet John Olson writes: “Yankelevich excels at the deceptively simple, the casual, off-hand sentence that carries a potent charge. The writing is, in fact, quite precise. Its strict attention to economy of statement is masked by a congenial sense of the comic.”

Yankelevich was born in 1973 in Moscow, USSR, from where his family emigrated to the Boston area in the late 1970s. He is also the author of a novella in fragments, Boris by the Sea, and several chapbooks: Writing in the Margin, The Present Work , The Nature Poetry of Matvei Yankelevich , and Bending at the Elbow. He is a widely published translator of Russian poetry; his translations of the eccentric early 20th-century writer Daniil Kharms have appeared in many journals, including Harper’s, The New Yorker, and New American Writing, and were collected in Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms. He is a member of the volunteer editorial collective of Ugly Duckling Presse, a nonprofit publisher based in Brooklyn, New York.

Matvei Yankelevich talking and reading @ Penn Sound

Bloom ’75 Writes a New Children’s Book

Amy Bloom ’75

Acclaimed writer Amy Bloom ’75, known for her award-winning fiction (Away, Where the God of Love Hangs Out) and nonfiction, has written her first children’s book, Little Sweet Potato (HarperCollins), to be released August 21. The book is published under the name Amy Beth Bloom, with illustrations by Noah Z. Jones. Bloom is writer-in-residence at Wesleyan.

In the book, Little Sweet Potato rolls away from his patch and is forced to search for a new home. He stumbles upon some very mean plants on his journey and begins to wonder if maybe he is too lumpy and bumpy to belong anywhere.

Tammy La Gorce in The New York Times recently talked to Bloom about writing for a new audience. The character of Little Sweet Potato grew out of stories she told her two daughters and her grandchild.

LaGorce writes: “A sense of humor — some critics have called it dark — courses through Ms. Bloom’s work. Her work as a psychotherapist, which she continued through 2002, may have helped inform it. But ‘I think of myself as cheerful and realistic,’ not dark, she said.

Book by Amy Bloom ’75

“A favorite philosophy — hope for the best and prepare for the worst — is very much in Little Sweet Potato,’ she said. ‘One always wants to say to children, ‘It will be fine, everyone will be nice.’ But it’s not always fine or nice. And still it can be O.K. I wanted to write about that a little,’ Ms. Bloom said.”

In the Times article, Bloom mentions the possibility of writing sequels to this book and also talks about the new novel she is working on, It Is Good We Are Dreaming. She notes that it takes much longer to finish a novel than a children’s book.

LaFond MA ’69 Edits Book on Cancer Research

Book edited by Richard E. LaFond MA ’69

Richard LaFond MA ’69 is the editor of Cancer: The Outlaw Cell (Oxford University Press and the American Chemical Society, Third Edition), a collection of 24 focused chapters written by leading researchers at the forefront of cancer research. Substantial developments in science and medicine, powered by developing technologies such as genetic sequencing, proteomics, and nanobiology, have driven cancer research forward, and a review of where we are now is desperately needed.

Authors present the current state of knowledge in chapters on such topics as the role of heredity, cancer and telomeres, tumor resistance, cancer and aging, vaccines, the role of inflammation, loss of genomic stability, AIDS and cancer, microRNAs in the pathogenesis of cancer and more. The sections map out areas of future research and advancement.

LaFond notes: “Each article has been written in a graphic style that is easily understood by students and the interested public. The underlying theme stresses fundamental principles of biology, how these concepts currently influence experimental study of cancer cells and their environment in the laboratory setting, and how this experimentation influences the treatment of patients.”

Raff McCaulou ’02 Writes Memoir about Learning to Hunt

Lily Raff McCaulou '02 (Photo by Marisa Chappell)

Lily Raff McCaulou ’02 is the author of the memoir Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner (Grand Central Publishing), which was published in June. She was raised as a gun-fearing environmentalist and an animal lover and stuck by the principle that harming animals is wrong.

But her views changed when she left an indie film production career in New York to take a reporting job in central Oregon. For her articles, she began spending weekends fly-fishing and weekdays interviewing hunters and found that some of them were quite thoughtful about their relationship with animals and the environment. She eventually met her husband Scott, who took her fly-fishing.

Book by Lily Raff McCallou '02

Raff McCaulou writes about her decision to learn how to hunt—attending a Hunter Safety course designed for children, buying her first rifle, and field dressing an elk and serving it for dinner. She dispels some negative stereotypes about hunters and tackles large issues surrounding a sometimes misunderstood American practice and pastime. She also explores the role of the hunter in the 21st century, the tension between hunters and environmentalists, and new models of sustainable and ethical food procurement.

In a recent review of the book in the San Francisco Chronicle, Liz Colville writes: “McCaulou’s forthright and well-researched approach to this memoir, her first book, clearly conveys her message that there is a right way to hunt and to be active in both the American hunting community and the conservationist community. She lets us in on personal events, including two tragic family deaths, to show us how a newfound understanding of death helped evolve her identity as a hunter. And when sharing the deep knowledge she’s amassed about central Oregon and its wildlife, her writing is evocative and inspiring, and it will encourage all manner of nature lovers to forge a deeper connection to their surroundings.”

Raff McCaulou lives in Bend, Oregon and writes a twice-weekly column for the Bend Bulletin. In 2010, she completed a prestigious Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she researched this book.

Author web site