Tag Archive for Graduate Liberal Studies

Portraiture Photography Class Shifts Focus During COVID-19 Pandemic

This spring, Graduate Liberal Studies student Kristen Cardona enrolled in her first-ever photography course, ARTS 613: Studies in Portraiture and Self-Portraiture. While learning how to better use a camera, she practiced taking images of herself, family, friends, and neighbors.

Heading into early March, the assignment was to photograph strangers.

And then the coronavirus pandemic struck the nation. All Wesleyan courses moved to an online format.

“This threw a huge curve ball! Obviously we couldn’t finish photographing strangers,” said Cardona, who is the program coordinator for continuing studies at Wesleyan. “People are scared. Simple requests to take a photo seem to be more pressure than many people are comfortable with during these trying times of quarantine. That shift was obvious during the semester.”

Consequentially, Cardona and many of her classmates shifted their efforts back to self-portraits. And in-person classes were rescheduled via Zoom on Wednesday evenings.

The course instructor, Marion Belanger, visiting assistant professor in liberal studies, encouraged the class to push their own boundaries and make pictures that reflected their own reality, including documenting life in quarantine.

“I told them to disregard the syllabus, and to just photograph their everyday,” Belanger said. “Documenting the everyday is also useful when photographers feel like they are in a creative limbo, or blocked in some way. I thought this could be a way to move through the fear and disruptions. How could something so dire and devasting be ignored?”

Belanger expected that each student would end the class with a cohesive body of photographs.

“Sometimes creativity thrives under restrictive requirements, and I am very impressed that each student has continued to push their photographic boundaries despite such confinement,” she said. “Some work is very much about the transition to the epidemic and I’ve seen themes of loneliness, fantasy, family portraits at home, portraits at a distance, and masked portraits.”

cardona 2

In Cardona’s self-portrait, “Unmasking Dismay,” left, the mask symbolizes “better days when masks were used for masquerade, simple playful disguises—and not for personal protection,” she says. Cardona surrounded herself with blue: “the blue room, the blue mask, my blue eyes, my blue feelings—me, enveloped in blue. [Being] dressed in black reflects how I feel isolated in quarantine. Yet there’s still an aspect of whimsy to my nature and a glimmer of hope. The sun coming through the window reminds me of hope; the cross behind my head, although blurred, reminds me of my wavering, yet ever-present faith. The wispiness of my hair reminds me that life can still be playful even during quarantine.”

Graduate Liberal Studies Partners with ARC Program for Teaching Certification

Students who are admitted, or have already matriculated to Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies program will receive priority consideration for admission to the Connecticut’s Alternative Route to (Teaching) Certification.

Wesleyan has partnered with the State of Connecticut’s Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) program in a new initiative that will benefit both Wesleyan undergraduates seeking teaching certification and ARC participants seeking a master’s degree.

The ARC program, in existence since 1986, is of particular interest to working professionals making a career change into becoming an educator since it offers a one-year, part-time path to obtaining teaching certification in Connecticut.

Jennifer Curran, director of Continuing Studies and Graduate Liberal Studies, says Wesleyan proposed a partnership to ARC officials – one that would be mutually beneficial. Current ARC students and ARC alumni need a master’s degree to obtain full certification in Connecticut, and that’s what GLS can provide. As an incentive to ARC students, Wesleyan is offering scholarship support that significantly lowers the cost of obtaining a master’s degree.

GLS Students Take Intensive Summer Courses

Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies is offering 13 courses this summer in narrative fiction and film, biography writing, European history, world literature, multivariable mathematics, the photographic book, abnormal psychology and more. Wesleyan offers a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) and the more advanced Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts (MPhil), as well as a Graduate Certificate in Writing and non-degree graduate study. Rather than becoming specialists in narrow fields, GLS graduates possess the highly-valued ability to connect across disciplines, identify multiple possibilities, and argue all sides of a topic.

Indira Karamcheti, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies, is teaching HUMS 633: World Literature for Graduate Liberal Studies on Monday and Wednesdays.

Indira Karamcheti, associate professor of English, associate professor of American studies, is teaching HUMS 633: World Literature for Graduate Liberal Studies on Monday and Wednesdays.

Karamcheti’s class examines literature from the last half of the 20th century including works by authors from India, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.

Karamcheti’s class examines literature from the last half of the 20th century including works by authors from India, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.

Students learn how the authors shape their world and what issues concern them. Students learn how the authors shape their world and what issues concern them.

Students learn how the authors shape their world and what issues concern them.

Place, Character and Design offers a rich and varied reading list and a chance to write and experiment, with careful editing of one's work.

Place, Character and Design offers a rich and varied reading list and a chance to write and experiment, with careful editing of one’s work.

The assignments are flexible and will suit each student's interests. Students may writing a novel, journalism, a memoir, or a grant proposal,The assignments are flexible and will suit each student's interests. Students may writing a novel, journalism, a memoir, or a grant proposal,

The assignments are flexible and suit each student’s interests. Students may write a novel, journalism article, a memoir, or a grant proposal.

Students read each other's work and offer feedback in class. Students learn how to establish a narrator's voice or characters' presence, develop style and design, and connect with readers.

Students read each other’s work and offer feedback in class. Students learn how to establish a narrator’s voice or characters’ presence, develop style and design, and connect with readers. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, professor of environmental studies and co-chair of the College of Social Studies, is teaching SOCS 630: The Evolution of Government: The Rise of the Modern Nation State on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, professor of environmental studies and co-chair of the College of Social Studies, is teaching SOCS 630: The Evolution of Government: The Rise of the Modern Nation State on Tuesday and Thursday evenings this July.

This course takes the most historically complete view of the evolution of governance, from the very earliest forms of governance among humans in hunter-gatherer societies up to the most recent forms of governance in the present. Our study of the evolution of governance focuses on patterns in the transition from one form of governance to the next.

This course takes the most historically complete view of the evolution of governance, from the very earliest forms of governance among humans in hunter-gatherer societies up to the most recent forms of governance in the present. The class studies the evolution of governance and focuses on patterns in the transition from one form of governance to the next. (Photos by Ben Travers)

GLS Holds ‘Monk and Mingus’ Open Class

More than 60 Graduate Liberal Studies students, their guests, and community members attended a free open class meeting of “Monk and Mingus: The Cutting Edge of Jazz,” at Russell House on Nov. 30. Presented by Graduate Liberal Studies and Jazz Ensemble Coach Noah Baerman, the event included a discussion followed by a performance by Baerman of pieces composed by and associated with jazz greats Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. Baerman was accompanied by bassist Henry Lugo and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Private Lessons Teacher Pheeroan akLaff on percussion. (Photos by Will Barr ’18)

Graduate Liberal Studies hosted a combined concert and talk on Monday, November 30th entitled Monk and Mingus: The Cutting Edge of Jazz. Jazz Ensemble Coach Noah Baerman performed on piano, accompanied by bassist Henry Lugo, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Pheeoroan akLaff on percussion.

GLS Presents Jazz Concert, Open Course Session, Nov. 30

Noah Baerman

Noah Baerman

Graduate Liberal Studies will present a special concert and open session of the course Monk and Mingus: The Cutting Edge of Jazz with Jazz Ensemble Coach Noah Baerman, Nov. 30 in Russell House. Baerman will perform on piano, accompanied by bassist Henry Lugo, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Private Lessons Teacher Pheeroan akLaff on percussion.

The first hour of the class (6:30-7:30 p.m.) will be a discussion, demonstration and Q&A session, followed by a performance of music composed by and associated with Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. Attendees interested in learning more about Graduate Liberal Studies are encouraged to arrive at 6 p.m. for an information session with GLS Director Jennifer Curran. The event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception.

Haverford Hosts Belanger’s “Rift/Fault” Photography Series

Marion Belanger, an instructor in Graduate Liberal Studies, is currently displaying her photography series “Rift/Fault” at Haverford College. The series is two dozen photography pairings of the North American continental plate, which stretches from California to Iceland. In an intersection of geology and art, the display walks a viewer through images of plate tectonics and the stories that they tell.

More information about the gallery, including dates and hours of operation, can be found here.  Samples of her photography are below:

One of Belanger's photo pairings in her "Rift/Fault" series.

belanger-rift-fault-2

One of Belanger's photo pairings in her "Rift/Fault" series.

Graduate Liberal Studies to Host Info Session April 29

gls

Graduate Liberal Studies offers courses in visual arts, art history, creative and professional writing, literature, history, mathematics, film, government, education, biology, psychology, astronomy and more.

 

Graduate Liberal Studies will host an information session for prospective students at 7 p.m. April 29 in the Office of Continuing Studies, 74 Wyllys Ave.

Attendees will meet with Office of Admissions staff, hear a full overview of the program — including curriculum and requirements — and receive materials

GLS Hosts Networking Reception

Graduate Liberal Studies hosted its annual networking celebration Aug. 8 in the Center for Film Studies. The event provided an opportunity for prospective and current students to network with GLS alumni, faculty and with one another. Attendees also toured the Nicita Gallery, which is currently featuring an exhibit on award-winning writer, director and producer Joss Whedon ’87. For more information on Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies, see this website.

Photos of the reception are below:

Gradaute Liberal Studies Networking Receptiion Aug. 8, 2013. Gradaute Liberal Studies Networking Receptiion Aug. 8, 2013. Gradaute Liberal Studies Networking Receptiion Aug. 8, 2013. Gradaute Liberal Studies Networking Receptiion Aug. 8, 2013. Gradaute Liberal Studies Networking Receptiion Aug. 8, 2013. Gradaute Liberal Studies Networking Receptiion Aug. 8, 2013. Gradaute Liberal Studies Networking Receptiion Aug. 8, 2013. Gradaute Liberal Studies Networking Receptiion Aug. 8, 2013.

Register for Fall Graduate Liberal Studies Classes

The average GLS class has 12-14 students.

The average GLS class has 12-14 students. Courses are designed for working adults.

This fall, Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies is offering classes on psychological measurement, portraiture, editing fiction and nonfiction, contemporary world politics, Tolstoy and other topics of interest. Classes begin Sept. 9.

Students may take courses for personal enrichment, or to pursue a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) or a Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts (M.Phil). Classes are taught by Wesleyan faculty.

An information session will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 3 at the GLS office, 74 Wyllys Avenue.

Courses and instructors include:

Earn a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies through the Graduate Liberal Studies program.

Earn a MA in liberal studies.

“Jazz in the Sixties” will be taught by Jazz Ensemble Coach Noah Baerman from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Mondays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

“Portraiture” will be taught by Juliana Forbes Romano, a visiting assistant professor of art, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

“The Photographic Series” will be taught by Postdoctoral Fellow Matthew Grubb from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13. (CLASS IS FULL)

“Editing and Invention: Developing your work in Fiction and Nonfiction” will be taught by Anne Greene, adjunct professor of English, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Mondays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

“Personalizing History” will be taught by Indira Karamcheti, associate professor of American studies, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

“The Arthurian Legend on Film” will be taught by Jeff Rider, professor of romance languages and literatures, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 21, 22, 28, 29, and Oct.  5.

“The Novel as Epic: Tolstoy to Joyce” will be taught by Joseph Fitzpatrick, visiting assistant professor of letters, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

“Strange New Worlds: Planets, Exoplanets and Stars that Host Them” will be taught by Bill Herbst, professor of astronomy, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

“Testing and Educational Policy: Psychological Measurement” will be taught by Steven Stemler, associate professor of psychology,  from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

“A Citizen’s Guide to the First Amendment” will be taught by John Finn, professor of government, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

“Democracy and Dictatorship: Politics in the Contemporary World – Foundational Course Option” will be taught by Peter Rutland, the Collin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays from Sept. 9 to Dec. 13.

For more information on classes or to register, see this link.

Next Round of Wesleyan Coursera Classes Starting

The course "Social Psychology," taught by Professor Scott Plous, will be offered free of charge on the Coursera platform.

The course “Social Psychology,” taught by Professor Scott Plous, will be offered free of charge on the Coursera platform.

Miss the start of MOOC-mania earlier this year? Good news—it’s not too late to check it out! Wesleyan’s next round of massive open online courses (MOOCS) is starting on Coursera in the coming weeks.

A brand new MOOC, “Social Psychology,” will be offered by Professor of Psychology Scott Plous starting Aug. 12. The course has generated enormous interest, with more than 170,000 students currently enrolled.

“The goal of the course is to explore some entertaining and intriguing psychology findings that students can use to improve their lives, relationships, and work. More than 40 organizations have contributed free readings, video clips and other items to the course, and I’m excited to share these materials with students who might not otherwise have access to them,” said Plous, adding that he has “tucked some fun surprises into the course.”

In addition, many of Wesleyan’s original MOOCs will run for a second time on Coursera this summer and fall. These include  “The Modern and the Postmodern,” (begins July 29) taught by President Michael Roth; “The Ancient Greeks,” (Sept. 2) taught by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies; and “The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Color,” (Sept. 16) taught by Scott Higgins, associate professor of film studies.

"Analysis of a Complex Kind" will be taught by Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor.

“Analysis of a Complex Kind” will be taught by Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor, starting on Oct. 21.

Later in the fall, another new MOOC, “Analysis of a Complex Kind,” will be taught by Petra Bonfert-Taylor, professor of mathematics. This class starts on Oct. 21.

The first round of Wesleyan MOOCs saw enrollment by more than 140,000 students from 171 countries and every continent, save Antarctica, according to Sheryl Culotta, director of continuing studies and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program. The typical student was an international, college-educated woman in her 20s and 30s.

The feedback from these students has been very positive. “Many have said that they felt their Wesleyan Coursera course was equivalent to college-level classes they have taken,” Culotta said.

Wesleyan’s initial Coursera pilot project will continue throughout the coming academic year, with a few new courses launching in the fall and spring. After these courses launch, Wesleyan will make a decision regarding future courses, said Culotta, and will develop an official course proposal process similar to the process for other programs.

 

 

GLSP Hosts Winter Reception, Baking Contest

Wesleyan's Graduate Liberal Studies Program hosted a winter reception for current students, alumni and friends Dec. 15 in Downey House. Jeffrey Bishop, a GLSP alum, is pictured in the center.

GSLP student Karen Swartz mingles with Stephanie Elliott, publicist at Wesleyan University Press.

GLSP’s Kamins Retires from Wesleyan after 24 Years

Naomi Kamins

Naomi Kamins, assistant director for student services with Graduate Liberal Studies Program, is retiring on July 29. Over the past 24 years, Naomi has worked in many areas of the program, and most recently has worked very closely with Graduate Liberal Studies students, ensuring that they progress through the program as smoothly as possible.

Kamins also has been a GLS student herself, and is, and plans to remain, a regular at many campus cultural events. She has always been deeply involved with the Middletown community, and will continue to be as she is currently serving as the president of Congregation Adath Israel and is often involved with theater productions through Vintage Players, The Readers Theater and Oddfellows Playhouse.

Kamins started in May 1987 as the administrative assistant to the director of GLSP, and was promoted to program coordinator in 2000. She became the assistant director for student services in 2006.

Kamins was featured in a past Wesleyan Connection article, online here.