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Steve ScarpaAugust 1, 202311min
Assistant Professor of Art Tammy Nguyen will follow her recently won Guggenheim Fellowship with her first museum solo exhibition, taking place at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston from Aug 24, 2023 to Jan 28, 2024. Nguyen was recognized with the Guggenheim for her work intersecting the disciplines of painting, drawing, printmaking, and bookmaking. She’s bringing the same wide-ranging approach to her newest show, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s book-length essay Nature, written in 1836 in Concord, Mass. “I am thinking a lot about some of the essential ideas in Nature, like how does man create and extend his…

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Editorial StaffJuly 26, 20235min
From completing life-saving surgeries, to performing heart-gripping music, to fearlessly swimming the English Channel, the possession of paired appendages (arms and legs) is critical to human achievement. However, paired appendages are not unique to humans. Scientists have long known that human limbs evolved from the paired fins found in fishes, but where the first paired fins came from remains one of the great mysteries in evolutionary biology.    Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Amanda Cass was a co-author of a large, multi-institutional study published in the journal Nature investigating how paired appendages evolved in early vertebrate animals. The study, spearheaded by…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 11, 20239min
A chance encounter with a scarlet tanager, a migratory songbird that travels from North to South America on a yearly basis, prompted Associate Professor of Spanish María Ospina to consider the larger topics of what animals think and feel and, ultimately, how human beings define their own concept of home. Ospina has recently released a novel written in Spanish entitled “Solo un poco aquí,” published by Random House in Latin America, where she explores how animals move across the landscapes that humans transform. Ospina’s novel has been reviewed in Spain’s most important newspaper, El País, by the renown Mexican author Emiliano…

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Steve ScarpaJune 27, 20235min
New research from Assistant Professor of Government Alyx Mark and Tiger Bjornlund ’24 shows that courts with publicly financed elections are viewed as more legitimate and less susceptible to donor influence than those that are selected through privately financed campaigns. The paper, titled “Public Campaign Financing’s Effects on Judicial Legitimacy : Evidence From a Survey Experiment,” was published May 30 in the journal Research and Politics. “There is so much focus on the U.S. Supreme Court, but there are entire other levels of courts that receive less attention that have an impact on our day to day lives,” Mark said. In Spring…

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Mike MavredakisJune 14, 20235min
A day of celebration, demonstration, and love. Middletown Pride hit the heart of the city on June 3, as locals and not-so-locals joined together in support of love, equity, and inclusion. Wesleyan was one of four partner organizations of the Middletown Pride event, alongside the City of Middletown, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, and Russell Library. Andrew White, Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian at Olin Library, said that he has been attending Pride events since the 1980s and has been involved in Middletown Pride since the first event. He said it marks Middletown and Connecticut as communities striving to “be…

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Mike MavredakisJune 7, 202315min
President Michael S. Roth ’78 wrote a review of an anthology of the late Hayden White’s works titled The Ethics of Narrative: Essays on History, Literature, and Theory, 1998-2007 for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Roth said White “was a consistently intelligent and engaging postmodern advocate for thinking about history as a form of imaginative reconstruction that could either constrain people or inspire their liberation.” Roth also penned an op-ed in The Boston Globe drawing parallels between education and democracy. “We must be on our guard against those who are afraid of that exploration; we must stand up against…

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Steve ScarpaMay 31, 20235min
There are many common threads among Helen Poulos’ 2023 publications—exploring how the world heals itself from climate change, noting how fire can be a cleansing and rejuvenating tool in the environment, and predicting which plants will thrive in the Anthropocene. “What I am really trying to understand is how climate change and wildfire is changing our landscapes. Because of fuel buildup in forests from decades of federal fire suppression and the hotter and dryer conditions caused by climate change we are seeing all of these big wildfire events across the West in recent years,” Poulos said. Another important commonality is…

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Andrew ChatfieldMay 24, 20239min
Wesleyan’s Embodying Antiracism Initiative Fellows shared stories about their work this academic year during the program’s Think Tank at their third and final salon this spring, held in the Library’s Smith Reading Room on April 20. Two previous salons–intimate, informal gatherings looking at works-in-progress and building community–were held in February. The initiative’s Summer Leadership Institute, “The Power of We,” takes place on campus from June 5 through June 11. The April salon was facilitated by two Summer Leadership Institute faculty members who have worked with partnering organization Urban Bush Women: choreographer and artist Marjani Forté-Saunders, and movement coach and community practitioner…

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Mike MavredakisMay 24, 202310min
For Matthew Garrett, associate professor of English, Meredith Hughes, associate professor of astronomy, and Tushar Irani, associate professor of philosophy and Letters—recipients of the 2023 Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching—the voters make the award. Recipients are chosen each spring by a committee composed of faculty and members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee based upon strong recommendations from a mix of alumni of the last 10 graduating classes, current upperclassmen, and graduate students. “It's meaningful to me because the recognition comes from the students and people who have been in my classes over the last 10 years, those are…

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Steve ScarpaMay 24, 202322min
For many of the faculty members retiring from Wesleyan this year, representing over two centuries of academic experience, the joy of their time at the University comes down to their work with students. Amy B. Bloom '75, Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing; Stephen Henri Devoto, professor of biology; Fred M. Ellis, professor of physics; Janice R. Naegele, Alan M. Dachs Professor of Science; Stewart E. Novick, Joshua Boger University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics; Irina M. Russu, E. B. Nye Professor of Chemistry; and Peter Gordon Solomon, adjunct professor of physical education announced their retirements and will receive emeritus…

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Steve ScarpaMay 17, 20235min
A team of Wesleyan researchers recently released the results of its first public poll, which focuses on Connecticut political and social issues. The team was comprised of Logan Dancey, Associate Professor of Government; Erika Franklin Fowler, Professor of Government; Alisha Butler, Provost’s Equity Fellow in the College of Education Studies; and Natália de Paula Moreira, Postdoctoral Fellow with the Wesleyan Media Project/Quantitative Analysis Center. The poll found that a majority of registered Connecticut voters approve of the job Ned Lamont is doing as governor and support tax relief proposals being considered in the Connecticut General Assembly. Among other issues, most…