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Jeff HarderJanuary 31, 20237min
Poet, author, activist, and educator Mahogany L. Browne is having a moment. The stage adaptation of her acclaimed young adult novel Chlorine Sky premieres this month at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. She’s finishing up a “poetic orchestral” performance she expects to unveil this spring at Wesleyan, where she’s deep into a stint with the inaugural group of Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence. And earlier this week, Chrome Valley—the latest collection of verse from Browne, the first-ever poet-in-residence at New York’s Lincoln Center—was published by W.W. Norton & Company. Here, Browne offers insights into her work, creative process, and bringing a sense…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 19, 20236min
There is a moment in Zora Neale Hurston’s book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, where the day is done, people have stopped working and finally have time for themselves. “The sun was gone, but he had left his footprints in the sky. It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 12, 20236min
Deep philosophical ideas aren’t the only things Hedding Professor of Moral Science Joseph T. Rouse has been dueling with as of late. Rouse has been training for the United States Veteran Fencing team, a team comprised of fencers over the age of 70. His first national qualifier this season will take place in January at the North American Cup in Louisville, Kentucky. His first bout a year ago against the current world champion in his age group ended in a loss, but Rouse thinks he's got more than a fighting chance, having beaten his opponent the last two times they…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 11, 20237min
In the face of global climate and environmental crises, Elon Musk wants to launch humanity to Mars. His fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos believes we should build artificial space pods between the Earth and the Moon to increase the resources we need for our technologically soaked lives. They were the only ones who could save humanity from a dire end, they sort of said (and, perhaps, making a tidy profit for themselves in the process.) The messianic vibes were unmistakable. The thought of this baffled Mary-Jane Rubenstein, professor of religion. “The more I learned about the contemporary state of things in…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 3, 202311min
The past year began in uncertainty due to the global pandemic and the ongoing strife happening in our country and throughout the world. However, the Wesleyan University community persevered and thrived. Faculty explored new and innovative ideas, and students grew in ways that they couldn’t have anticipated. Throughout the year the Wesleyan Connection was there to document the life of a place that is always creative, always pushing for a better and more just world. Here’s a small sampling of the stories that mattered this past year: January The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the Carceral Connecticut Project, a multidisciplinary…

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Sarah ParkeDecember 20, 20227min
In this continuing series, we review alumni books and offers a selection for those in search of knowledge, insight, and inspiration. The volumes, sent to us by alumni, are forwarded to Olin Library as donations to the University’s collection and made available to the Wesleyan community. Carter Bays ’97, The Mutual Friend (Penguin Random House, 2022) It’s the summer of 2015, and 28-year-old Alice Quick needs to get to work. She has three months to study for the MCAT, and if she can just keep her eyes on the prize, she can start chasing her dream of becoming a doctor. A…

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Andrew ChatfieldDecember 14, 20228min
Without using words, movement can tell stories and communicate complex emotions. Wesleyan students across different class years presented new group works focusing on a diversity of techniques, methods, and aesthetic approaches in the Winter Dance Concert “11 Short Stories” on December 9 and 10 in the Center for the Arts Theater. Dance makers from the class DANC 250 “Dance Composition: Choreography Workshop,” taught by Assistant Professor of the Practice in Dance Joya Powell, focused this past fall on the process of making a dance in a theatrical setting. Similar to a collection of short stories by different authors, the resulting…

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Andrew ChatfieldDecember 7, 202211min
Sports writer Seth Berkman doesn't really like covering games themselves. He’s more interested in the other stories that take place—someone's personal political views, or the way that politics or economics intertwine with sports. “How they approach…their individual value, their roles in society, their platforms that they're…given as these athletes are more and more seen as celebrities and people of influence in different countries,” said Berkman. For the past decade, New York-based journalist Berkman has contributed to The New York Times Sports section, and has also reported on business and investigative news. He initially focused on sports in Asia, as well…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 29, 20227min
The guardians of reproductive rights in America won an important victory in Connecticut in 1972. The case of Women v Connecticut, where women from all walks of life sued to overturn the state’s onerous abortion laws, paved the way for the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion nationally. When the Supreme Court struck down Roe this year, revoking what was considered settled law, Professor of Government Sonali Chakravarti felt a need to examine the history of this important Connecticut ruling. On November 17, Chakravarti convened a panel comprised of participants in the suit and other experts to…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 22, 20227min
Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Victoria Pitts-Taylor’s 2016 book The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics has inspired a group of painters to offer their own artistic impressions of her complex ideas in a new gallery exhibit. The exhibit, called “Somatic Markings,” is on display through December 23 at the Kasmin Gallery, located at 297 Tenth Avenue in New York City. The exhibit features seven international artists employing the nude figure to grapple with issues of contemporary corporeal politics, according to the gallery’s press release. “A lot of the motivation behind the show was to push beyond a…

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Editorial StaffNovember 21, 20226min
By Maia Bronfman ‘24 As the male love interest in Olivia Snow’s ’25 neo-Shakespearean drama, Lena Weiman ’25 said she had to learn to be a rake, and then to be a dead rake. Having never before in her life been a rake or dead, Weiman said she relied on the dialogues with her co-actors to inhabit the character of Claudio de’Bossi. Masquerade, the five act play which premiered in the 92 Theatre on November 11, was first imagined by Snow in her freshman year of high school. She read King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and other Shakespeare…

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Jeff HarderOctober 25, 20229min
In the United States, firearms elicit clashing perceptions. They can be sources of leisure and recreation, of livelihood and profit, of grief and fear. “Guns mean different things to different people,” said Jennifer Tucker, director of the new Center for the Study of Guns and Society at Wesleyan, “and sometimes different things to the same people.” Held over October 14 and 15, the Center’s inaugural conference brought about 150 historians, museum curators, Wesleyan students, and others to campus to explore the historical contexts around one of the most polarizing subjects in modern America. The conference, “Current Perspectives on the History…