Rachel Wachman '24October 5, 20212min
Assistant Professor of History Ying Jia Tan authored a new book titled Recharging China in War and Revolution, 1882-1955, already available as an e-book and soon to be available in hardcover, beginning Oct. 15. The work, published by Cornell University Press, explores Chinese power consumption and electrical development throughout seventy-three years of war and revolution. According to the book's abstract: Tan traces this history from the textile-factory power shortages of the late Qing, through the struggle over China's electrical industries during its civil war, to the 1937 Japanese invasion that robbed China of 97 percent of its generative capacity. Along…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 4, 20216min
Since 1995, the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Japanese Garden—or Shôyôan Teien—has provided a serene space for meditation, tea ceremonies, and art classes. Designed, built, and continuously cared for by Stephen Morrell, a landscape architect specializing in Japanese-style gardens, Wesleyan's Shôyôan Teien is being celebrated through a new exhibit that contemplates the garden’s rich history. "One's experience of the garden is meant to be personal," Morrell said. "By design, it encourages a peaceful intimate relationship where subjective and objective experience merges into present moment being. When that happens you become part of the garden." The exhibit, titled 25th Anniversary…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 27, 20212min
As a newly-selected non-resident adjunct fellow for the Washington Research Consortium on Korea, Joan Cho hopes to showcase South Korea’s democratization through a new scholarly book tentatively titled, Dictator’s Modernity Dilemma: Development and Democracy in South Korea, 1961-1987. Cho, assistant professor of East Asian Studies, will participate in the multi-year laboratory research project until 2024 through the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The project, titled “The South Korean Pathway: Understanding the Theoretical and Policy Significance of Korean Democracy and Foreign Policy,” will conduct an in-depth analysis of South Korea’s democracy and foreign policy to fill an important gap in…

Olivia DrakeSeptember 27, 20219min
In 1789, Congress ordered the printing and distribution of 600 bound copies of the Acts of Congress that contained the founding documents of the Constitution and the establishment of the Union. Of those books, only three remain today, and one is George Washington's personal copy. This rare volume, which was bequeathed to Washington's nephews in 1799, was exchanged and sold to several collectors for 165 years until it was acquired by former Wesleyan Trustee Richard Dietrich, Jr. '60, P'92— who established the Dietrich American Foundation in 1963. "This is the most important book that my father ever had," said Dietrich's…

Rachel Wachman '24September 23, 20213min
Jeremy Zwelling Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Assistant Professor of Religion Yaniv Feller penned an article over the summer titled “Too Good to be True?” for the Tel Aviv Review of Books. In the piece, Feller discusses the Museum of the Jewish People (ANU), which first opened March 2021. One of the museum’s main exhibits begins with a segment called “Mosaic: Identity and Culture in Our Times” before moving into the historical roots of Judaism, exploring different forms of Judaism in contemporary and historical contexts, as well as the diversity of the Jewish people and the way they observe…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 21, 20211min
Unspun wool. Silver-spray painted stones. A worn leather suit. Sketches from an iPad. A video of children studying. Each object offers its own narrative. Set again the viewers’ assumptions and impressions, a whole new set of meanings are created. A new art exhibition titled "The Language in Common," curated by Benjamin Chaffee, associate director of visual arts, attempts to offer more questions than answers. The exhibition, featuring installation, sculpture, video, sound, drawing, poetry and performance, brings together five international and intergenerational artists, including Cecilia Vicuña, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Julien Creuzet, Jasper Marsalis, and Alice Notley. It opened to the public…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 17, 20213min
The first time Ethan Kleinberg, the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of History and Letters, immersed himself in the world of the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas 20 years ago, he wrote a book. “It was written as a traditional intellectual history and I found that what that I had done was to completely deactivate the aspects of Levinas’ thought where he believes that there are ethical guidelines that come to us from outside our own history, these transcendent ethical guidelines puncture any historical or contextual moment,” Kleinberg said. He didn’t like what he’d written, so he took an unprecedented step—he…

Rachel Wachman '24September 15, 20212min
Luther Gregg Sullivan Fellow In Art Ilana Harris-Babou is an interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses sculptures, installations, and videos around the themes of the American Dream and its contradictions. Harris-Babou’s work is featured in “Wholesome Fun,” her first solo institutional exhibition in Europe, which opened in Hamburg, Germany on Oct. 1. This exhibition is hosted by Kunsthaus Hamburg, a center for contemporary art in a former market building. “In her video works, collages, and sculptures, Harris-Babou combines humor and a keen critique of society, revealing racist structures and social discrepancies in the mirror of western hegemonic consumer and media culture,”…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 31, 20218min
Edward Torres, an assistant professor of the practice in theater, can’t help but be moved when he performs the words of L.D. Barkley, a prisoner who played an important role during the 1971 Attica Prison riot, raising morale for incarcerated men protesting their mistreatment.  “We are men! We are not beasts and we do not intend to be beaten or driven as such,” Barkley said in 1971 shortly before he was killed by police.  For Torres, the most devastating part of performing the new play Echoes of Attica is to know that every word is real. “This is a piece…

Olivia DrakeAugust 27, 20213min
This October, Wesleyan will present a multidisciplinary dance project titled “WesWorks” that transforms the ordinary, mundane, and skillful movements of facilities and custodial employees into a performance accompanied by live, original music and stories told in the workers’ voices. Led by Allison Orr, the choreographer and artistic director of Forklift Danceworks, a distinguished fellow in the College of Environment, "WesWorks" will teach students techniques of community art practice through performance. In these Q&As, we speak with Forklift Danceworks employees and Wesleyan alumnae Gretchen LaMotte '18 (click to read), choreographer and programs manager and Penny Snyder '16 (click to read), communications manager…

Olivia DrakeAugust 27, 20213min
On Oct. 14, Forklift Danceworks will present WesWorks, a performance that celebrates the skilled movement and the often unheard stories of the people whose work sustains the daily lives of the Wesleyan campus. In this Q&A we speak with Penny Snyder '16, who works as the communications manager for Forklift. At Wesleyan, she majored in English and received High Honors for her general scholarship thesis on art museums, architecture, and public space. She is an incoming graduate student at the Lyndon B. Johnston School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.  Q: Hello Penny! How were you…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 26, 20212min
Associate Professor of Art History Nadja Aksamija got her first glimpse of Bologna, Italy back in 2004 as she walked from the train station towards the historic city center. It was a hot day and she dragged her suitcase down the sidewalk.  Crossing Piazza Maggiore, Aksamija stepped into the shade of Palazzo dei Banchi, experiencing for the first time the city’s breathtaking porticos – extensions from the upper levels of structures that create about 37 miles of covered walkways alongside city streets.  “I remember thinking that this was incredible,” Aksamija said. “It felt like a changing landscape.” While the porticos…