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Steve ScarpaMay 10, 202211min
A new residency will bring a trio of noteworthy writers to Wesleyan for the 2022-23 academic year as the University looks to augment its already robust writing programs. Mahogany L. Browne, poet, curator and author of “Black Girl Magic”; Merve Emre, Oxford professor and New Yorker critic; and Yuri Herrera, an acclaimed Mexican novelist and Tulane professor, will be the first to join the newly established Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writers in Residence program. “The Shapiro-Silverberg program will bring to campus writers whose work is already having an impact on a variety of audiences around the world. The initiative builds on a…

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Steve ScarpaApril 22, 20226min
Maaza Mengiste, professor of English, has found that sometimes the scariest thing a writer can do is start over. It’s a hard-earned lesson she had to experience herself, but a vital one that she passes on to her students. Mengiste believes that the benefits of a fresh start are immeasurable. It can be a period where ideas coalesce and, perhaps more importantly, experimentation begins. When asking her students to start over, “They would look at me with sheer terror,” she said. But eventually “they would come back with these spectacular pieces of writing. It was hard to convince them sometimes,…

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Steve ScarpaMarch 25, 20226min
Author Amy Bloom’s home office overlooks a lovely section of Long Island Sound, with rocky islands in the distance, boats drifting by, and sunlight playing off the harbor. When the time comes to put pen to paper, she has a magnificent view from her window. The great view doesn’t make the work any easier. “The job is, you’ve got to go to the office. You have to sit in the chair. You’ve got to make the effort. These things don’t sprout by themselves. It’s not magic and it’s not the muse. The muse shows up when she will but my…

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Olivia DrakeJanuary 20, 20214min
A poetry collection authored by John Murillo, assistant professor of English, is longlisted for both the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection and the Believer Book Awards. Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way Books, 2020) explores the legacy of institutional, accepted violence against Blacks and Latinos and the personal and societal wreckage wrought by long histories of subjugation. The collection includes a sonnet triggered by the shooting deaths of three Brooklyn men that becomes an extended reflection on the history of racial injustice. The PEN/Voelcker Award, which comes with a $5,000 prize, is awarded to a poet whose distinguished collection of…

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Editorial StaffJanuary 11, 20212min
Christina Crosby, professor of English, passed away Jan. 5 at the age of 67. She also was professor of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. Crosby arrived at Wesleyan in 1982 after receiving her AB from Swarthmore College and PhD from Brown University. She was a respected Victorianist, feminist, and theorist who was widely published, including two books, The Ends of History: Victorians and “The Woman Question” (Routledge, 1990) and A Body, Undone: Living on After Great Pain (NYU Press, 2016). She received Wesleyan’s Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1994. "Christina was a brilliant scholar-teacher," recalled Natasha Korda, professor…

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Olivia DrakeDecember 7, 20201min
Ren Ellis Neyra, associate professor of English, is the author of The Cry of the Senses: Listening to Latinx and Caribbean Poetics, published by Duke University Press, 2020. Weaving together the Black radical tradition with Caribbean and Latinx performance, cinema, music, and literature, Ellis Neyra highlights the ways in which Latinx and Caribbean sonic practices challenge anti-Black, colonial, post-Enlightenment, and humanist epistemologies.

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Olivia DrakeApril 13, 20202min
In July, three faculty will begin new appointments at Wesleyan. Katja Kolcio will succeed Peter Rutland as director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; Stephanie Weiner will succeed Sean McCann as director of the Shapiro Center for Writing; and Krishna Winston will succeed David Beveridge and Alex Dupuy as director of the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty. Katja Kolcio, associate professor of dance, received certificates from Free Ukrainian University and from Kyiv Institute of Art and Culture; and her PhD from The Ohio State University. Her work specializes in the role of creative physical engagement in…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 11, 20203min
Wesleyan English major Katie Livingston '21 is one of 12 young writers around the world who will be honored at the 36th Annual L. Rob Hubbard Achievement Awards on April 3 in Hollywood, Calif. She's a finalist for the Writers of the Future Contest, which was initiated by Hubbard in 1983 to provide “a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” Based on its success, its sister contest, Illustrators of the Future, was created five years later to provide that same opportunity for aspiring artists. The grand prize…

Editorial StaffJanuary 8, 20202min
William B. Coley, Professor of English, Emeritus, passed away on Jan. 7, at the age of 96. Coley served in the US Army from 1942 through 1946, and then received his BA, MA, and PhD from Yale University. Arriving at Wesleyan in 1952, he taught English here for almost 40 years until he retired in 1991. Coley was a lifelong scholar, awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He published numerous books and articles, including Hogarth on High Life (with A.S. Wensinger, Wesleyan University Press, 1970),…

Editorial StaffDecember 12, 20191min
Sherman Hawkins, professor of English, emeritus, died on Dec. 3 at the age of 90. Sherman received BA degrees from both Harvard University and the University of Oxford and his PhD from Princeton University. He served in the US military at the conclusion of the Korean War. Arriving at Wesleyan in 1971 after teaching at Princeton, Bryn Mawr, and University of Rochester, he taught English here for 20 years until he retired in 1991. For decades, his essay on college as a green world experience was given to every freshman entering Wesleyan. “Sherman was an unforgettable colleague and presence at…

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Olivia DrakeJune 24, 20192min
On May 25, members of the Class of 2019 were inducted into Wesleyan’s Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest national scholastic honor society. The Wesleyan Gamma Chapter was organized in 1845 and is the ninth-oldest chapter in the country. To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by the department of his or her major. The student also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations and must have achieved a GPA of 93 and above. Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest surviving Greek letter society in America, founded in December…

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Lauren RubensteinMay 13, 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 Inside Higher Ed: "The Need for a Recovery of the Humanities" In this essay, President Michael S. Roth responds to the "flood of negativity" in public discourse about higher education, in general, and the humanities, in particular. He suggests that "in order to recover the trust of students and their families, we must overcome our cultivated insularity." 2. NBC News: "Carbon Dioxide Hits a Level Not Seen for 3 Million Years. Here's What That Means for…