Tag Archive for Michael Roth

Next Round of Wesleyan Coursera Classes Starting

The course "Social Psychology," taught by Professor Scott Plous, will be offered free of charge on the Coursera platform.

The course “Social Psychology,” taught by Professor Scott Plous, will be offered free of charge on the Coursera platform.

Miss the start of MOOC-mania earlier this year? Good news—it’s not too late to check it out! Wesleyan’s next round of massive open online courses (MOOCS) is starting on Coursera in the coming weeks.

A brand new MOOC, “Social Psychology,” will be offered by Professor of Psychology Scott Plous starting Aug. 12. The course has generated enormous interest, with more than 170,000 students currently enrolled.

“The goal of the course is to explore some entertaining and intriguing psychology findings that students can use to improve their lives, relationships, and work. More than 40 organizations have contributed free readings, video clips and other items to the course, and I’m excited to share these materials with students who might not otherwise have access to them,” said Plous, adding that he has “tucked some fun surprises into the course.”

In addition, many of Wesleyan’s original MOOCs will run for a second time on Coursera this summer and fall. These include  “The Modern and the Postmodern,” (begins July 29) taught by President Michael Roth; “The Ancient Greeks,” (Sept. 2) taught by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies; and “The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Color,” (Sept. 16) taught by Scott Higgins, associate professor of film studies.

"Analysis of a Complex Kind" will be taught by Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor.

“Analysis of a Complex Kind” will be taught by Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor, starting on Oct. 21.

Later in the fall, another new MOOC, “Analysis of a Complex Kind,” will be taught by Petra Bonfert-Taylor, professor of mathematics. This class starts on Oct. 21.

The first round of Wesleyan MOOCs saw enrollment by more than 140,000 students from 171 countries and every continent, save Antarctica, according to Sheryl Culotta, director of continuing studies and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program. The typical student was an international, college-educated woman in her 20s and 30s.

The feedback from these students has been very positive. “Many have said that they felt their Wesleyan Coursera course was equivalent to college-level classes they have taken,” Culotta said.

Wesleyan’s initial Coursera pilot project will continue throughout the coming academic year, with a few new courses launching in the fall and spring. After these courses launch, Wesleyan will make a decision regarding future courses, said Culotta, and will develop an official course proposal process similar to the process for other programs.



President Roth Makes Remarks at Commencement Ceremony

Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks during the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony May 26.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks during the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony May 26.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 made the following remarks during the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony:

“Members of the board of trustees, members of the faculty and staff, distinguished guests, new recipients of graduate degrees and the mighty class of 2013, I am honored to present some brief remarks on the occasion of this commencement.

During your four years here, Wesleyan has been largely isolated from many of the troubles of this world. While you have been students, the United States has been engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on this Memorial Day Weekend, I begin by asking us all to take a moment to remember that these wars have cost the lives of thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians in those countries.

Economic times have been difficult as well. When you first arrived, in the fall of 2009, the global economy was reeling from the most massive disruption since the Great Depression. Unemployment in this country quickly skyrocketed and is now only slowly receding, while the distance between the very wealthy and the average American has increased enormously. 2009-2013 has been a good time to be in a bubble—even a pretty leaky bubble like our own here on campus. You have spent four years taking advantage of an education devoted to boldness, rigor, and practical idealism, and now as I speak to you for your last time as students, I’d like to underscore three ideals that I hope you will take with you and make practical in your lives going forward: non-violence; diversity; and equality.

President Roth Interviews Judith Butler in Video Feature

In this video, Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks with Judith Butler, the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, at the Center for Humanities on Feb. 13.  Their conversation ranges from Butler’s earliest philosophical influences to her pioneering book, Gender Trouble, and her current work on desire and recognition. Butler taught at Wesleyan in the 1980s.


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Hartford Magazine Names President Roth to “Most Influential” List

Michael Roth

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth is featured in Hartford Magazine’s50 Most Influential People” list for 2012. His biography, published in the magazine’s cover story, reads:

Michael S. Roth, historian, curator, author and president of Wesleyan University in Middletown, remembers the flexibility the school showed him when he wanted to explore “how people make sense of the past.” He designed his own cross-discipline major at Wesleyan, earning a degree summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1978. He received a Ph.D. in history from Princeton in 1984. Roth curated a celebrated exhibit on Freud at the Library of Congress. He was president of the California College of the Arts, associate director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and director of European studies at Claremont Graduate University. He also founded and directed the Scripps College Humanities Institute in Claremont, Calif. Aside from teaching every semester at Wesleyan, Roth has expanded financial aid to students, fostered civic engagement by tying it to curriculum and establishing a center for social entrepreneurship, and launched the Shapiro Creative Writing Center and a College of the Environment. His own writing has appeared in a campus blog, various journals and in The New York Times , L.A. Times, Washington Post, and Huffington Post. A native of Brooklyn, Roth was in the first generation in his family to attend college.

The Hartford Magazine staff solicited nominations from their readers and an editorial committee developed the list.  “We were looking for those whose influence comes as a result of their words and actions, not as part of their jobs,” the magazine reported.


Roth Op-Ed: Liberal Education is Freedom

In a Sept. 5 op-ed for The New York Times, Wesleyan President Michael Roth discusses the recent calls to further specialize education and narrow what we teach students from K-12 and on to college at the exclusion of the liberal arts, especially the humanities. Roth says this drive to turn students into “human capital” is not a new. In fact, the esteemed 19th century educational philosopher John Dewey argued against the very same calls, saying, in part, “that learning in the process of living is the deepest form of freedom.”