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Editorial StaffDecember 6, 20232min
Author and academic Michael Eric Dyson will offer the keynote address at Wesleyan University’s Democracy in Action Convening, a weekend exploration of the convergence of higher education and democracy. The event will be held February 16-17, 2024, and is free for Wesleyan students and $25 for all other attendees. Registration is now open. Across two days of thought leadership and engaging activities, participants will hear from a collection of scholars, community leaders, experts, and peers. Following a Friday afternoon filled with student-centered engagement opportunities, the Convening opens to all with Dyson’s keynote address that evening. Saturday will be filled with…

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Steve ScarpaDecember 5, 20235min
Hoping to expand the diverse ways the Wesleyan community engages in public discourse, Associate Professor of Sociology Robyn Autry has been named director of the Center for the Study of Public Life, at the Allbritton Center. “Provost Nicole Stanton has trusted me to do something new with the CSPL (Center for the Study of Public Life). I am still figuring out what I want to do, but it is connected with a lot of the public writing I’ve been doing for the past few years,” said Autry, who is a critical sociologist. The new role dovetails with Autry’s research interests…

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Steve ScarpaDecember 5, 20235min
Artificial intelligence is a disrupter the likes of which humanity has never seen before. It can magnify existing societal evils, but also offers students unique educational opportunities. It can both replace human knowledge and offer unprecedented opportunities to capture and harness it. It’s seemingly inevitable; it must be regulated. What was clear from the conversation at the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns, held Nov. 10 and 11, is that the rapid rise of artificial intelligence represents an inflection point for humanity. Groups of experts from a variety of fields came together at the seminar to talk about “Artificial Intelligence or…

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Andrew ChatfieldNovember 29, 20237min
Artist Renée Green ’81 spoke with Associate Director of Visual Arts Benjamin Chaffee ’00 during Wesleyan’s Homecoming + Family Weekend in October. Chaffee is the curator of the exhibition “No Title: Relays and Relations, Works by Renée Green and Sol LeWitt,” on display in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through Sunday, December 3. As a student at Wesleyan, Green was exposed to LeWitt’s methodologies, ethos, and ways of relating to other artists. She participated in a course taught by Professor of Art History Emeritus John Paoletti that focused on LeWitt’s art collection in collaboration with the Wadsworth Atheneum, which…

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Editorial StaffNovember 29, 20237min
By Rose Chen '26 On Thursday, Nov. 16, students gathered at the Jeanine Basinger Center for Film Studies for a conversation between film director Daniel Kwan and Professor of Religion, Philosophy, Science in Society, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Dean of the Social Sciences Mary-Jane Rubenstein. Kwan, having previously directed music video “Turn Down for What” and Swiss Army Man (2016), is most renowned for Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022), which won seven Oscar awards out of eleven nominations and is estimated to be one of the most awarded films of all time. The event was organized…

Editorial StaffNovember 27, 20232min
President Michael S. Roth ' 78 and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Nicole Stanton announce the promotions of two faculty members, effective July 1, 2024. In its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees conferred tenure to Douglas Martin, associate professor of English, and Roman Utkin, associate professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies. Douglas Arthur Martin, Associate Professor of English Professor Martin is the author of four novels, including their most recent, Wolf (Nightboat Books, 2020), “an anti–true-crime novel about abuse, patricide, and Southern working-class life.” Their first novel, Outline of My Lover (Soft Skull, 2000), was an…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 27, 20235min
Assistant Professor of Sociology Courtney Patterson-Faye felt that her recent contribution to a new book celebrating Black families might have been just what she needed to read when she was growing up. Karida L. Brown, a professor of sociology at Emory University assembled — with her husband, artist and illustrator Charly Palmer — “The New Brownies’ Book: A Love Letter to Black Families,” released on Oct. 10 by Chronicle Books. The book was recently selected by Oprah Daily as part of its holiday gift books list. Patterson-Faye contributed a moving essay called “For Breanna and Other Children Who Love to…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 27, 20237min
Wesleyan University has formed a new college that will challenge students to think and respond critically to the complex social, technological, cultural, and environmental conditions that surround them. The new College of Design & Engineering Studies (CoDES) launched this semester. CoDES is home to the Integrated Design, Engineering, Arts & Society (IDEAS) minor and linked major. There are currently about 60 students minoring in IDEAS, a number expected to increase in the short term. Many of those minors will likely declare themselves majors in the college in the spring semester. “At its core, we are interested in hands-on course work—learning…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 20, 20235min
From a young age Chigozie Obioma knew he was going to be a novelist. But the moment he told his classmates, they laughed at him. “When I was in primary school it was a common question kids were asked—what do you want to be? I used to get laughed at. The class would just boom with laughter. It didn’t make any sense (to want that) because there was no such thing. I didn’t know anyone who was a writer,” he said. Kids would say they wanted to be a pilot or a lawyer or an engineer. Obioma wanted something very…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 20, 20235min
There are few things as deeply embedded in the American consciousness as the ideas of religion and capitalism. Assistant Professor of History Joseph Slaughter’s new book talks about the connection between those two aspects of the national psyche and how Christian capitalism developed in the first half of the 19th century. The book, entitled Faith in Markets: Christian Capitalism in the Early American Republic, was published in November by Columbia University Press. In the first half of the 19th century, the United States saw both a series of Protestant religious revivals and the dramatic expansion of the marketplace. “It’s easy for…

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Andrew ChatfieldNovember 15, 20237min
Assistant Professor of Dance Iddi Saaka is teaching the fundamentals, history, and cultural importance of African drumming and dance to a group of adults over the age of 55 at the New Britain Public Library this fall. His group gathers in the downstairs Stanley Works Community Room for 90-minutes on Thursday afternoons. Over the course of eight weeks, the library class is learning two Ghanaian recreational dances, “Kpatsa” and “Kpanlogo.” Saaka previously taught “Kpatsa” to Wesleyan’s Class of 2027 during their new student orientation “Common Moment” on Andrus Field the day after they arrived on campus at the end of…

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Andrew ChatfieldNovember 7, 20235min
Brooklyn-based composer and dhol (double-headed drum) player Sunny Jain will fine tune a new piece of work during his year-long artist residency at Wesleyan. Jain is developing the latest iteration of his first music theater project “Love Force.” He started working on the storytelling piece in 2020, and previously presented portions as part of a commission from the music venue Joe's Pub, a program of The Public Theater in New York, delivering the narration as well as drumming. The idea of the show “Love Force” is embedded in rhythm and improvisation and includes immersive elements. Jain is trying to figure…