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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…

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Editorial StaffOctober 20, 20225min
By Maia Bronfman '24 It is important, if you are improvisationally accompanying a silent film on an organ, to not detract from the theme on screen. Peter Krasinski, a renowned secular and sacred organist, taught this and other lessons on Thursday night at Memorial Chapel during a masterclass with students of Alcee Chris, assistant professor of music.  Chriss had his students each choose silent films to accompany during the masterclass. The silent films organists accompany are rarities in themselves, with 75 percent of the genre having been lost, according to the Library of Congress. Chriss, also an organist but inclined…

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Amy AlbertOctober 20, 20228min
Wesleyan University faculty and students played an important role at Middletown’s 2022 Amistad Journey to Freedom Community Day Celebration in Harbor Park Saturday, October 8. Event planners coordinated with Discovering Amistad to offer age-appropriate tours of the replica vessel, which arrived in Middletown one week earlier.   Jesse Nasta ’07, assistant professor of the practice in African American Studies, who wrote his honors thesis on Middletown’s Beman Triangle, was already signed up to participate, leading the 4th Annual Middletown Middle Passage Ceremony. “The Middle Passage and the Middle Passage Ceremony are an origin story of the Beman Triangle and other…

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Rachel Wachman '24October 18, 20226min
Community can be defined in many ways—shared interests, shared experiences, a shared zip code. For Oliver Egger ’23, founder of the student-led Route 9 Collective writing community, Middlesex County provided fertile ground from which to examine the different voices that populate this small Connecticut county spanned by Route 9. In early September, Wesleyan University Press (WesPress) and the Route 9 Collective published Route 9 Anthology: A Collection of Writing from Wesleyan Students, Faculty, Staff, and Middlesex County Residents, compiled and edited by Egger, who has dreamed of fostering community through art in this manner since his first year at Wesleyan.…

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Andrew ChatfieldOctober 11, 20229min
The New England Foundation for the Arts awarded over $2 million to this year’s National Dance Project Production Grant recipients and finalists on September 28. Five of the 36 dance companies have close ties to Wesleyan University, from faculty and alumni to collaborative partners and guest artists. Twenty grantees will each receive $56,500 to create and tour a new dance work, and in support of production residencies and community engagement. The companies will also receive $10,000 in general operating support. And $700,000 is allocated to support U.S. organizations to present the projects in-person, digitally, or via new hybrid models. Hari…

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Editorial StaffOctober 11, 20228min
  The Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery has a climate problem. “The airflow is not democratic,” said Ben Chaffee, associate director of visual arts and the curator for this fall’s exhibit by artists Renee Gladman and Nick Raffel, running through October 16. In the wing that is favored by airflow, Raffel installed a fan. In the other wing is Gladman’s collection. Her lines of prose and lines of drawing are neglected by the ventilation system. Raffel’s installation, called airfoil, explores how the aesthetics of utilities express historic understandings of energy usage. Gladman’s exhibit, called THE DREAM OF SENTENCES, is the…

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Jeff HarderOctober 11, 20227min
Yuri Herrera, part of Wesleyan’s inaugural Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program, is regarded as one of the most remarkable writers in contemporary Mexican literature. In spare, weighty prose flecked with language-bending neologisms, Herrera explores borders—the physical, the social, and beyond—in books like The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World, the latter of which The Guardian named one of the 100 best books of the 21st century. A professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Herrera holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and a PhD from the…

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Steve ScarpaOctober 4, 20227min
The Hindu religious festival Navaratri holds a special place in Indian arts and culture. According to the popular mythology surrounding the festival, over the course of nine nights, the goddess Durga engaged in epic combat with a demon bent on destruction. As the celestial conflict raged around them, ordinary people comforted themselves with music and dance, sharing their talents with their neighbors. With the defeat of the demon, the time became known as a chance to ask for new blessings. "The festival has always had a special connection to the arts," said Hari Krishnan, Professor and Chair of Wesleyan's Department…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 30, 20225min
For decades, the former Davison Art Center located in the Richard Alsop IV House at 301 High Street has been a focal point for the visual arts on campus, housing an invaluable and wide-ranging print collection. With the collection's move to the Olin Library, the old building has a new artistic focus as part of a Digital Design Commons on campus supporting music, dance, theatre, and visual art. “The idea is for this to be a tech hub for the arts,” said Roger Mathew Grant, dean of the arts and humanities. “The arts are always at an intersection of the…

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Editorial StaffSeptember 28, 20224min
By Maia Bronfman '23 “How much do Americans know about the kitchens and the bathrooms and the marriages of places anywhere else in the world?” Bernardo Antonio Gonzales, professor of Spanish and founder of the Center for Global Studies, asked the question to pose a self-admittedly trivial but thematic backdrop for the annual Contemporary Cinema from the Hispanic World Film Series. Along with María Ospina, associate professor of Spanish and Latin American studies, Gonzales has curated a series of films by young directors from Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  “These films have little chance of making the…