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Editorial StaffDecember 1, 20233min
Richard (“Dick”) Van Wyck Buel Jr, Professor of History, Emeritus, passed away on November 22 at the age of 90. Dick received his AB from Amherst College and his AM and PhD from Harvard University. He arrived at Wesleyan in 1962, where he taught American history until his retirement in 2002. During those years he published six books, including In Irons (Yale University Press, 1998), a macroeconomic history of the American Revolution, and for 22 years he served as associate editor of History and Theory. After his retirement, Dick remained involved at Wesleyan in the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty, and he taught a course on American intellectual history for students in Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education. “I…

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Mike MavredakisNovember 29, 202315min
In a piece for Time Magazine, Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth ’78 and Yale School of Management Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld argue university leadership has an obligation to speak out to ensure safety for students and employees. "It’s not an infringement on free expression to take a stand as an institutional leader, whether it’s to condemn perpetual military occupation, to denounce scientific falsehoods during a pandemic, to defend the importance of telling the truth about the legacies of Black slavery, or to point out that progressive pieties often make use of ancient anti-Semitic tropes to promote sick silos of solidarity," they…

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 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…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 1, 20236min
Associate Professor of Spanish María Ospina’s most recent novel has been recognized with the 2023 Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the most important literary awards in the Spanish speaking world.”  Founded in 1993, the prize is awarded each year to the female author of a novel originally published in Spanish. The award is given by the Guadalajara International Book Fair, and Ospina will give a speech at the ceremony in Nov. 29. Her book was published by Random House in Latin America in April.   Ospina’s novel was selected unanimously out of over 100 applicants from…

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Andrew ChatfieldOctober 25, 20237min
Wesleyan’s Music Department continued its tradition of performing in unexpected spaces this month, with musicians showing up in library and museum venues on campus.   “Instrument—Body,” a series of four performances in surprising locations presented in conjunction with the seminar of the same name and curated by Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Ethan Philbrick, kicked off with bassist Brandon Lopez and musician and multimedia artist Cecilia Lopez MA '16 on synthesizers in the Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History in the Exley Science Center in the afternoon on October 20.   Professor of Music Paula Matthusen presented the third iterations…

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Editorial StaffOctober 25, 20234min
Stewart E. Novick, Joshua Boger University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics, Emeritus, passed away recently at the age of 78. Stew received his BS from Stony Brook University and his AM and PhD from Harvard University. He served as a research fellow at Harvard and a research associate at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, University of Colorado at Boulder, before he arrived at Wesleyan in 1978, where he taught until his retirement this past summer. During his 45 years at Wesleyan, he was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a National Science Foundation Fellow, and a Woodrow Wilson…

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Jeff HarderOctober 25, 20236min
Some trudge, others sprint. Some materialize from otherworldly forces, others from infectious diseases. Some want flesh, others have a more specific taste for brains. Whatever their individual differences, we know zombies when we see them. And from 1932’s White Zombie to 2023’s The Last of Us, we’ve seen these charismatic, cannibalistic humanoids on the screen a lot through the generations. Off-screen, they’ve seeped into our language. (In the business world, a “zombie” lumbers on the edge of insolvency.) And more broadly, as suggested by a recent conspiracy theory that testing the nation’s emergency broadcast system would trigger an outbreak of ghouls,…