Tag Archive for emeritus faculty

Slotkin Talks about Racial Divide in Hartford Courant

Richard Slotkin was featured in The Hartford Courant. He is the author of No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864, published by Random House. (Photo by Bettina Hansen/Hartford Courant)

Richard Slotkin was featured in The Hartford Courant. He is the author of the book No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864, published by Random House. (Photo by Bettina Hansen/Hartford Courant)

Cultural historian Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English, Emeritus, is featured in an Oct. 25 Hartford Courant article titled ” Wesleyan Professor Sees 1864 Civil War Battle As Microcosm Of Racial Divide.” The article focuses on Slotkin’s most recent book , No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864.

The title of the book references one of the battle’s major controversies, which Slotkin addresses unsparingly: It was Confederate policy to take no black prisoners, resulting in summary executions of POWs on both sides.

Slotkin says his fascination with the battle goes back to his interst in the Civil War.

“I’ve always seen it as the watershed in American history. It’s the event that really produces the country that we are now: big, unified, industrialized, interested in the whole question of equality, what it’s about, what race is about, what’s the power of the federal government,” he says in the article.

Tribute Service for Lebergott on Oct. 18

Stanley Lebergott.

Stanley Lebergott.

A service in tribute to Stanley Lebergott, the Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, Emeritus, who passed away on July 24, will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. The service will be in the Daniel Family Commons in the Usdan University Center and will be followed by a reception.

The Lebergott family invites friends and colleagues who may have photographs or remembrances of Stan to bring them to the service.

Lebergott began his career as a public servant, working for 20 years in the U.S. Department of Labor, the International Labor Office, and the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1962 as professor of economics, becoming University Professor in 1970. He was a pivotal scholar in his field, and a prolific author.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, daughter Karen, and granddaughters StarRose Keyes-Lebergott ’10 and Sunshine Vogt ’98. In lieu of flowers, Lebergott’s family has asked for donations to be made to a scholarship being established in his memory at Wesleyan. Memorial gifts may be sent to Wesleyan University, 318 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459.

Zeilinga de Boer Author of Book on Geology’s Influence on Connecticut Culture

New book by Jelle Zeilinga de Boer.

New book by Jelle Zeilinga de Boer.

Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science emeritus, is the author of Stories in Stone: How Geology Influenced Connecticut History and Culture published by Wesleyan University Press in July 2009.

In the 228-paged book, geoscientist Zeilinga de Boer describes how early settlers discovered and exploited Connecticut’s natural resources. Their successes as well as failures form the very basis of the state’s history: Chatham’s gold played a role in the acquisition of its Charter, and Middletown’s lead helped the colony gain its freedom during the Revolution. Fertile soils in the Central Valley fueled the state’s development into an agricultural power house, and iron ores discovered in the western highlands helped trigger its manufacturing eminence. The Statue of Liberty, a quintessential symbol of America, rests on Connecticut’s Stony Creek granite. Geology not only shaped the state’s physical landscape, but also provided an economic base and played a cultural role by inspiring folklore, paintings, and poems.

Illuminated by 50 illustrations and 12 color plates, Stories in Stone describes the marvel of Connecticut’s geologic diversity and also recounts the impact of past climates, earthquakes, and meteorites on the lives of the people who made Connecticut their home.

The book is available online from The University Press of New England.

Stanley Lebergott Dies at 91

Stanley Lebergott.

Stanley Lebergott, the Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, Emeritus

Stanley Lebergott, the Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, Emeritus, died July 24 after a long illness. He was 91 years old.

Lebergott began his career as a public servant, working for 20 years in the U.S. Department of Labor, the International Labor Office, and the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1962 as a professor of economics, becoming University Professor in 1970.

He was a pivotal scholar in his field, and a prolific author. In addition to more than 50 articles, his books include: Manpower in Economic Growth: The American Record Since 1800 (McGraw Hill, 1964); Men Without Work (Prentice Hall, 1964); The American Economy: Income, Wealth,

Walker, Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, Dies at Age 82

Willard Walker

Willard Walker

Willard B. Walker, professor of anthropology emeritus, died May 23 in Skowhegan, Maine. He was 82 years old.

Walker was one of the mainstays of the Anthropology Department for more than two decades. He came to Wesleyan in 1966 as an assistant professor, where he and Dave McAllester established anthropology as a department. A specialist in Native American languages and cultures, Walker taught courses on the ethnography of the southwest, the southeast, and the northeast and he also single-handedly maintained a curricular focus on linguistic anthropology.

His research interests ranged from Zuni phonology and semantics to the cryptographic use of Choctaw, Comanche and Navajo by the U.S. military in World War II. He was a dedicated fieldworker whose projects had applied as well as theoretical aspects. He was particularly interested in native literacy movements and their reception in different communities. He compared the embrace of literacy in the native language among Cherokee to the notable resistance such movements encountered among the Zuni and the Pasamoquoddy of Maine.

In the latter case, he participated in designing the writing system and taught native literacy classes, which proved highly popular and yet singularly ineffective; specifically, he found that while the Pasamoquoddy enjoyed seeing their language graphically represented, they mistrusted native literacy as a constraint on oral creativity and thus a threat to the vitality of their cultural heritage.

After Walker retired from Wesleyan in 1989, he and his wife Perch moved to Canaan, Maine, where he continued to do research and to write, while also tending his beloved trees.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent in Walker’s memory to the Canaan Public Library Building Fund, P.O. Box 28, Canaan, ME 04924 or to the Somerset Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 453, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

Curator Emerita D’Oench Dies at Age 78

Ellen "Puffin" D'Oench

Ellen "Puffin" D'Oench

Ellen “Puffin” D’Oench, curator emerita of the Davison Art Center, adjunct professor of art history emerita, and former trustee of Wesleyan University died May 22 in Middletown. She was 78 years old and had been ill for some time.

D’Oench interrupted her education at Vassar College to marry Russell “Derry” D’Oench and raise their family. She completed her undergraduate education at Wesleyan in 1973, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in the same class as her son Peter. She received a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1979.

D’Oench was Curator of the Davison Art Center from 1979 until 1998. She served as a board-elected member of Wesleyan’s board of trustees from 1977 through 1979.

Her doctoral dissertation resulted in the exhibition and catalog “The Conversation Piece: Devis and his Contemporaries” at the Yale Center for British Art. She co-authored catalogues raisonnés on Jim Dine and Sylvia Plimack Mangold, and curated numerous exhibitions on topics ranging from the color photography of Robert Sheehan to prodigal son narratives. After retiring, she published Copper into Gold: Prints by John Raphael Smith, 1751-1812.

At Wesleyan, she taught courses on museum studies, the history of prints, and the history of photographs, and advised many tutorials and student-organized exhibitions at the Davison Art Center.

D’Oench was a gifted scholar, a generous colleague, and an inspired teacher who sparked in many a love of prints and photographs. With the aid of gifts and funds raised by the Friends of the Davison Art Center, she expanded the renowned collection of the Davison Art Center by more than 5,000 objects, including significant photographs and contemporary prints.

D’Oench is survived by three children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Donations in memory of Puffin may be made to the Friends of the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, or to Middlesex County Community Foundation, Inc. More information is available at Doolittle Funeral Home: http://obit.doolittlefuneralservice.com/obitdisplay.html?id=673531

Wolfe Honored at Retirement Reception

About 80 colleagues, friends and family gathered in the Daniel Family Commons April 26 to honor Jason Wolfe, professor of biology, emeritus, for his retirement from Wesleyan. Wolfe taught biology at Wesleyan for 39 years. Pictured are former and current members of the Wolfe Lab. Front row, from left, are Emily Lu '00 and Vey Hadinoto '99.  Back row, from left, are Aditi Khatri '11, Joan Bosco '09, Hyo Yang '12, Professor Wolfe, Carlo Balane '06 and Ivy Chen '09.

About 80 colleagues, friends and family gathered in the Daniel Family Commons April 26 to honor Jason Wolfe, professor of biology, emeritus, for his retirement from Wesleyan. Wolfe taught biology at Wesleyan for 39 years. Pictured are former and current members of the Wolfe Lab. Front row, from left, are Emily Lu '00 and Vey Hadinoto '99. Back row, from left, are Aditi Khatri '11, Joan Bosco '09, Hyo Yang '12, Professor Wolfe, Carlo Balane '06 and Ivy Chen '09.

Wolfe earned a bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers University, a master of arts ad eundem gradum from Wesleyan and a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley. He's taught cell biology, human biology, biology of aging and the elderly and structural biology. Wolfe is pictured above with Linda Strausbaugh Ph.D. '77.

Wolfe earned a bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers University, a master of arts ad eundem gradum from Wesleyan and a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley. He's taught cell biology, human biology, biology of aging and the elderly and structural biology. Wolfe is pictured above with Linda Strausbaugh Ph.D. '77.

Wolfe's retirement reception guests included Professor Nancy Schwartz, professor of government; Victor Gourevitch, the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, emeritus; and Allan Berlind, professor of biology, emeritus.

Wolfe's retirement reception guests included Professor Nancy Schwartz, professor of government; Victor Gourevitch, the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, emeritus; and Allan Berlind, professor of biology, emeritus.

From left, Vera Schwartz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, director of the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, professor and chair of the East Asian Studies Program, mingles with Susan Wasch P'84 and Bill Wasch '52, P'84.

From left, Vera Schwartz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, director of the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, professor and chair of the East Asian Studies Program, mingles with Susan Wasch P'84 and Bill Wasch '52, P'84.

Lew Lukens, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, emeritus;  Ellen Lukens; Jan Naegele, chair and professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior; and Fred Cohan, professor of biology, attended the reception to congratulate Wolfe on his retirement. (Photos by Blanche Meslin)

From left, Lew Lukens, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, emeritus; Ellen Lukens; Jan Naegele, chair and professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior; and Fred Cohan, professor of biology, attended the reception to congratulate Wolfe on his retirement. (Photos by Blanche Meslin)

Slotkin’s Abe in Lincoln Anthology

A chapter from the novel, Abe, written by Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English, emeritus, was reprinted in The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Legacy from 1860 to Now, published by the Library of America No. 192, edited by Harold Holzer. The anthology was prepared in honor of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, and is being sold separately and as part of a boxed set with Library of America’s edition of Lincoln’s writings and speeches.

John Frazer: Professor of Art, Emeritus Taught Drawing, Film for 42 Years

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, taught drawing and film classes consecutively at Wesleyan from 1959 to 2001. He's pictured here in his Middletown studio with two of his own paintings. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, taught drawing and film classes at Wesleyan from 1959 to 2001. He's pictured here in his Middletown studio with two of his own still life paintings. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

After 42 years of teaching, and a lifetime of painting and drawing, John Frazer isn’t ready to rinse his brushes clean just yet.

Although the professor of art, emeritus, is wheelchair-bound after six knee surgeries, his art studio remains intact. Set-up easels, brushes and oil paints, a painter’s palate and untouched cotton canvases await his return.

“I haven’t been able to paint in over a year, but I will return to painting. I am sure of that, but I prefer to work standing up,” Frazer says. “It’s the only way I’ve ever worked.”

Frazer, a Texas native, came to Wesleyan in 1959 for a one-year appointment teaching painting and drawing to undergraduates.

“I got off the bus on Main Street in Middletown, walked up to campus and looked at the Davison Art Center, and said, ‘I’m going to stay here,'” he recalls.

Frazer, now 76, was 27 years old at the time. He had recently completed a Fulbright grant