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Olivia DrakeNovember 12, 20212min
"We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day. Keep smiling through just like you always do ‘til the blue skies drive the dark clouds away.” These lyrics, sung by Vera Lynn in the 1939 song "We'll Meet Again," are especially moving for Donna Brewer, director of employee benefits at Wesleyan. They'd be even more meaningful for her uncle Jim, an avid maple syrup maker and World War II vet, who died of COVID-19 in May 2020. "Uncle Jim passed away early on in the pandemic and at that time, we…

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Rachel Wachman '24June 18, 20215min
A new book written by two Wesleyan faculty explores the experience of two travelers in the land destroyed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. William Johnston, John E. Andrus Professor of History, and Eiko Otake, visiting artist in dance, are the co-authors of A Body in Fukushima, published June 1 by Wesleyan University Press. Johnston, a historian and photographer, accompanied Japanese-born performer and dancer Otake on five explorations across Fukushima, creating 200 photographs that document the irradiated landscape, accentuated by Eiko's poses depicting both the sorrow and dignity of the land. Johnston elaborated on the process of creating…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 23, 20208min
In South Asia, particularly in India, people are born into a caste system that determines their social status, career, and access to resources and opportunities. Under Brahmins (priests, intellectuals), Kshatriyas (military, warriors), Vaishyas (merchants, farmers), and Shudras (laborers, servants) are Dalits, also known as the "untouchables." Those in the Dalit caste group struggle with oppression and discrimination and are considered "dirty" and spiritually polluting. On Nov. 21, Wesleyan's South Asian students' association Shakti presented a conversation titled "Caste Conundrum and Identity Politics." Panelists included Hari Krishnan, professor of dance; Indira Karamcheti, associate professor of American studies; Manjula Pradeep, a human…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 16, 20204min
As a dancer and choreographer, Wesleyan's Visiting Dance Artist-in-Residence Eiko Otake spent the past 45-plus years of her career presenting her work in theaters, universities, museums, galleries, outdoor sites, and festivals worldwide. But like other artists navigating through the crisis, Otake was forced to find creative ways to re-focus, re-imagine, and share her work during the ongoing pandemic. In March 2020, the Center for the Arts invited Otake to begin a Virtual Creative Residency, during which she began shifting her performance-based art to an online venue named Eiko Otake’s Virtual Studio. Here, Otake posts her new creations, dialogues, and reflections.…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 17, 20202min
Katja Kolcio, director of the Allbritton Center, associate professor of dance, received a $64,745 grant from the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) this month to evaluate the impact of somatic methods on psycho-social wellness in the context of the armed conflict in Donbas, Ukraine. "Somatic methods, which are the basis of this project, are movement-based methods that hone body-mind connection in the interest of promoting self-awareness and wellness," Kolcio explained. The Vitality Donobas Project is a collaboration between Kolcio and the Development Foundation (DF), an NGO dedicated to psycho-social relief, formed in Ukraine during the Maidan Revolution.…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 21, 20203min
When the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted in-person classes last spring, several faculty found innovative and creative ways to adapt to online teaching and learning. In the third of a fall-semester series, we’ll be highlighting ways faculty from various departments are coping with teaching during a pandemic, and showcase individual ways courses are thriving in an in-person, online, or hybridized environment. In this issue, we spotlight Katja Kolcio, associate professor of dance and director of the Allbritton Center. Kolcio also is a core faculty member of the College of the Environment, Environmental Studies, and Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies Programs at…

Olivia DrakeMay 31, 202010min
Wesleyan's Board of Trustees recently announced the promotions of nine faculty members, effective July 1, 2020. Five faculty were conferred tenure with promotion. They join six other faculty members who were awarded tenure earlier this spring. Joslyn Barnhart Trager, associate professor of government Anthony Keats, associate professor of economics Andrew Quintman, associate professor of religion Michael Slowik '03, associate professor of film studies Takeshi Watanabe, associate professor of East Asian studies In addition, four faculty members are being promoted. They join one other faculty member who was promoted earlier this spring. Erika Franklin Fowler, professor of government Barbara Juhasz, professor…

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Olivia DrakeApril 13, 20202min
In July, three faculty will begin new appointments at Wesleyan. Katja Kolcio will succeed Peter Rutland as director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; Stephanie Weiner will succeed Sean McCann as director of the Shapiro Center for Writing; and Krishna Winston will succeed David Beveridge and Alex Dupuy as director of the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty. Katja Kolcio, associate professor of dance, received certificates from Free Ukrainian University and from Kyiv Institute of Art and Culture; and her PhD from The Ohio State University. Her work specializes in the role of creative physical engagement in…

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Lauren RubensteinJanuary 16, 20202min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News 1. The Washington Post: "How One College Is Helping Students Get Engaged in Elections—and, No, It’s Not Political" President Michael Roth writes about Wesleyan's initiative to engage students meaningfully in work in the public sphere ahead of the 2020 elections, and calls on other colleges and universities to do the same. He writes: "Now is the time for higher education leaders to commit their institutions to find their own paths for promoting student involvement in the…

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Christian CamerotaDecember 17, 20192min
Nicole Stanton has been announced as Wesleyan University’s 12th Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, with her tenure beginning on May 15, 2020. Stanton joined Wesleyan in 2007 as an associate professor of dance, has twice served as chair of the department (2008–2011; 2014–2017) and is currently serving as Dean of the Arts and Humanities. A dance artist and an educator by training, Nicole’s work explores the cultures and histories of the African diaspora, especially the ways in which the arts and dance serve as sites of reclamation and platforms for cultivating community. Nicole earned a BA in…