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Lauren RubensteinApril 15, 20192min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News 1. The Middletown Press: "Wesleyan Students Helping Former Prisoners to Gain Job Skills" Wesleyan Students for Ending Mass Incarceration (SEMI) is a group of students working to help formerly incarcerated individuals acclimate back into society by providing them with job skills. The goal, according to member Asiyah Herrero '22, is “making re-entry into the workforce a little bit easier. There are usually a lack of resources when people get out of prison, and starting to look for work,…

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Lauren RubensteinOctober 29, 20181min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Recent Wesleyan News Inside Higher Ed: "Career Path Intervention--Via a MOOC" An open online course by Gordon Career Center Director Sharon Belden Castonguay, which helps young people explore their interests and career options, is featured. 2. NPR: "Midterm Election Could Reshape Health Policy" (more…)

Cynthia RockwellOctober 12, 20188min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Recent Wesleyan News Inside Higher Ed: “Career Path Intervention–Via a MOOC” An open online course by Gordon Career Center Director Sharon Belden Castonguay, which helps young people explore their interests and career options, is featured. 2. NPR: “Midterm Election Could Reshape Health Policy” Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, explains why Democrats are “laser-focused on health care” this election season. Fowler also recently was quoted on advertising in the midterm elections in The Washington Post and USA Today, and interviewed…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 25, 20184min
On Sept. 20-21, core members of the Grammy-nominated Haitian "roots" band Boukman Eksperyans, along with the band leaders’ son Paul Beaubrun (band leader of Zing Eksperyans), engaged with several groups on campus. Boukman, founded in 1978, is one of Haiti’s best-known bands and performs traditional Vodou rhythms with pop, reggae, and blues. After learning that the group was touring between Brooklyn, N.Y., and Montreal, Canada, faculty from African American Studies and the Music Department invited and coordinated their visit at Wesleyan. On Thursday, band members led a workshop for students enrolled in the West African Music and Culture course, taught by John Dankwa, adjunct…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 15, 20182min
On Feb. 21, 1969, a group of brave students chained the doors shut to their Fisk Hall classroom and demanded that Wesleyan offer more support to its black community. As a result of this peaceful protest, Wesleyan established the Center for African American Studies, the Malcolm X House dormitory, and the black student union, Ujamaa. The black students who graduated that spring became known as the Vanguard Class of 1969. During the 2018–19 academic year, African American Studies is commemorating its 50th anniversary with a plethora of events surrounding the topic of "Blackness, Race, Sexuality, and Power." In addition, the…

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Lauren RubensteinAugust 24, 201811min
Wesleyan faculty frequently publish articles based on their scholarship in The Conversation US, a nonprofit news organization with the tagline, “Academic rigor, journalistic flair.” In a new article, Elizabeth McAlister, professor of religion, writes about a lesser-known factor contributing to the abuse of children uncovered in the Catholic Church: In some strands of Catholic thought, priests who abuse children have succumbed to temptation by demons. McAlister is also chair and professor of African American studies, director of the Center for African American Studies, professor of American studies, professor of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies, professor of Latin American studies. For some…

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Cynthia RockwellMay 13, 20183min
On May 9, a group of students, faculty, and Middletown friends joined Jumoke McDuffie-Thurmond ’19 and Chief Ayanda Clarke ’99 in a spiritual commemoration ceremony to honor a woman, Silva Storms, who died in 1820 and was buried in the cemetery on Vine Street, across from the Beman Triangle. Research indicates she had been born in Africa and was brought to Middletown as an enslaved person. The event was part of McDuffie-Thurmond's research project for Black Middletown Lives, the service-learning course taught by Jesse Nasta ’07, visiting assistant professor of African American studies. Nasta notes that McDuffie-Thurmond, who had been documenting…

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Cynthia RockwellApril 30, 20183min
  “This is the history of right here,” said Visiting Assistant Professor of African American Studies Jesse Nasta ’07, speaking of his work with Black Middletown Lives, his service-learning class. “We venture deep, but no farther than two blocks.” He and his class of 13 students are doing firsthand archival research on individual projects, documenting the lives of those African Americans who lived in the area now called “The Beman Triangle,” after the most prominent black property owner in that five-acre patch of land bordered on one side by Knowles Avenue to the corner where Neon Deli now stands at…

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Olivia DrakeApril 26, 20182min
On April 19, 20, and 21, the Center for African American Studies and Second Shades student organization presented the play La Violecion of My PapiYon (Papiyon means butterfly in Haitian Creole) in the Patricelli '92 Theater. The play was written by Arline Pierre-Louis '19 and directed by Ruby Fludzinski '20 and Ray Achan '19. The production was put together by a cast and crew of over 50 people who all identify as people of color. Set in the beautiful town of Jacmel, Haiti, during the post-Duvalier era (1988), Gylda (played by Inayah Bashir '20 and pictured below in the purple and…

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Lauren RubensteinFebruary 13, 20183min
Wesleyan faculty frequently publish articles based on their scholarship in The Conversation US, a nonprofit news organization with the tagline, “Academic rigor, journalistic flair.” Amid a flood of accusations against public figures for sexual misconduct and other improprieties, Ashraf Rushdy, the Benjamin Waite Professor of the English Language, writes a piece exploring "the art of the public apology." Rushdy is also professor of English, professor of African American studies, and professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies. Read his bio in The Conversation. The art of the public apology Ashraf Rushdy, Wesleyan University Just prior to his sentencing, former USA…

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Lauren RubensteinSeptember 15, 20172min
Professor of English Typhanie Yanique writes in The New York Times on how the news media's coverage and the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Irma's devastation in the U.S. Virgin Islands reflects a bigger failure of America to fully embrace and grant rights to the citizens who reside on the islands. In an essay titled "Americans in a Battered Paradise," Yanique explains that 2017 marks 100 years since the transfer of the Virgin Islands from Danish to American rule. Yet this major anniversary has been scarcely noted in the continental United States. Virgin Islanders were granted American citizenship a decade after this transfer, yet…

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Olivia DrakeMay 26, 20173min
Khalil Johnson, assistant professor of African American studies, is the recipient of a National Association of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship for the 2017-18 academic year. The National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports up to 30 early career scholars working in critical areas of education research. These $70,000 fellowships support non-residential postdoctoral proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education. Johnson, who will be on scholarly leave for the 2017-2018 academic year, will work on a manuscript for his book project, which examines the intersections between education and settler-colonialism in the United States. He also plans to…