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Andrew ChatfieldMay 19, 20226min
Gabby Farina ’23, an Art History and English major, was interested in how artists’ work dealt with family, identity, body, grossness, and fleshiness. What she found from her classmates inspired her. “Everything was very much tied back to this idea of the human form,” Farina said. Farina is the first Wesleyan student to curate a Senior Thesis Showcase exhibition on her own. The exhibition, “It's Mutual,” was the first such exhibition in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery since COVID-19 led to the cancellation of a planned showcase in May 2020. As part of her tutorial, Farina visited the working…

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Steve ScarpaMay 10, 202211min
A new residency will bring a trio of noteworthy writers to Wesleyan for the 2022-23 academic year as the University looks to augment its already robust writing programs. Mahogany L. Browne, poet, curator and author of “Black Girl Magic”; Merve Emre, Oxford professor and New Yorker critic; and Yuri Herrera, an acclaimed Mexican novelist and Tulane professor, will be the first to join the newly established Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program. “The Shapiro-Silverberg program will bring to campus writers whose work is already having an impact on a variety of audiences around the world. The initiative builds on a…

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Editorial StaffMay 9, 20229min
By Maia Dawson '24 A philosophy student writes an essay, pen to paper. He then hands it through the bars of his cell to a passing Corrections Officer. That CO gives it to a liaison, who gives it to a staff person, who gives it to Lori Gruen, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan. It’s Spring 2020 and there is no Zoom in Cheshire Correctional Institution. After pandemic hiatuses, Wesleyan's Center for Prison Education (CPE) is planning to return to in-person teaching this summer. The program currently operates in Cheshire and York correctional facilities, both in Connecticut. Gruen has taught…

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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20225min
Wesleyan has successfully launched a pair of online mini-courses this spring as a way for the university to further explore opportunities in online learning. The new initiative, which started the spring semester, featured two popular undergraduate courses: Living a Good Life, taught by Stephen Angle, Jennifer D’Andrea, Steven Horst, and Tushar Irani, and Black Phoenix Rising, taught by Anthony Ryan Hatch. Living a Good Life was a seven-week exploration of how philosophy and psychology teach us how to live lives of meaning and fulfillment. Black Phoenix Rising was a multimodal project that explores Black people’s practices of resisting death and…

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Editorial StaffApril 26, 20225min
By Maia Dawson '24 TEDxWesleyanU returned to campus April 23 with authors, entrepreneurs, and other accomplished professionals sharing stories of revivification and curiosity. Organized by students and held in Beckham Hall, the TEDxWesleyanU gathering was the first live event since 2019. The brochure pictured a martini glass overflowing with a string of pearls, in line with the theme "Re-roaring Twenties." Ritu Chhawal ’88 and Raquel Graham ’90 spoke to the audience about resilience emerging from illness. Chhawal introduced her vegan startup as an effort to spur a food revolution, and Graham described her success on Shark Tank and finding her…

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Olivia DrakeApril 25, 20222min
It's been almost three years since the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble was able to perform in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But on April 21, the group, directed by University Professor of Music Harjito, played to a full house in World Music Hall as part of a Javanese shadow puppet play. The puppet play, called "Wayang Kulit" was directed by puppet master (dhalang) and Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Sumarsam. The play was attended by a distinguished guest, Arifi Saiman, Consul General of Indonesia in New York, and his guests. Saiman presented a brief speech and provided the performers with Indonesian…

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Steve ScarpaApril 22, 20226min
Maaza Mengiste, professor of English, has found that sometimes the scariest thing a writer can do is start over. It’s a hard-earned lesson she had to experience herself, but a vital one that she passes on to her students. Mengiste believes that the benefits of a fresh start are immeasurable. It can be a period where ideas coalesce and, perhaps more importantly, experimentation begins. When asking her students to start over, “They would look at me with sheer terror,” she said. But eventually “they would come back with these spectacular pieces of writing. It was hard to convince them sometimes,…

Steve ScarpaApril 18, 20226min
Connor Matteson ’23 was one of many students who took a gap year as a result of the global pandemic. “I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with this time, but I knew that I didn’t necessarily want to be stuck in a dorm room taking online classes the whole time,” he said. While away from Wesleyan for a year, Matteson certainly took a different path from many of his peers – he went out and wrote a book. That book, titled The World As You’ll Live It, will be published by New Degree Press in September…

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Rachel Wachman '24April 5, 20225min
During the annual Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression, keynote speaker Keith Whittington discussed how free speech has been a politicized issue since early America, and he expanded on early conceptions of free speech as it developed. “Rather than simply seeing how many people will follow you to the battlefield to beat up or kill the other side, wouldn't it just be easier if we just counted up how many people were willing to go to the battlefield, resolve those issues that way and skip the beating up part?” Whittington asked the audience. The lecture, which has been…

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Steve ScarpaApril 4, 20227min
It isn’t often that watching late night comedy would be considered preparation for an environmental studies senior capstone project, but that turned out to the case for Belle Brown ‘22. Regular viewing of John Oliver’s commentary on environmental issues helped inform Brown’s upcoming stand-up comedy set about the absurdities of the Monsanto Company. “Belle decided to do the comedy act as her capstone project as a way of presenting research about policy and politics related to big-agriculture in a format that might be more accessible to people. I just saw a preview, and it is hilarious as well as informative,”…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 28, 202211min
After four years of developing and honing their artistic skills, 30 art studio majors from the Department of Art and Art History have completed senior thesis projects this spring and are sharing their final works with the public. The annual Senior Thesis Exhibition, held in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, is the culmination of a two-semester thesis tutorial. The exhibition is critiqued by the faculty advisor and a second critic, and must be passed by a vote of the faculty of the art studio program. The senior thesis allows the art studio majors to engage in a solo, rigorous, self-directed…

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Steve ScarpaMarch 25, 20226min
Author Amy Bloom’s home office overlooks a lovely section of Long Island Sound, with rocky islands in the distance, boats drifting by, and sunlight playing off the harbor. When the time comes to put pen to paper, she has a magnificent view from her window. The great view doesn’t make the work any easier. “The job is, you’ve got to go to the office. You have to sit in the chair. You’ve got to make the effort. These things don’t sprout by themselves. It’s not magic and it’s not the muse. The muse shows up when she will but my…