Tag Archive for Russell House

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.

Poets, Novelists, Kim-Frank Visiting Writer Speak at Russell House Fall Series

Gina Athena Ulysse

Gina Athena Ulysse

Writing at Wesleyan presents the Fall 2015 Russell House Series of Prose and Poetry. All events are free and open to the public.

M. NourbeSe Philip and Professor of Anthropology Gina Athena Ulysse will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 in Memorial Chapel.

NourbeSe Philip is a Toronto-based poet, essayist, novelist, and playwright. Her most recent poetry collections are She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks, which has been reissued by Wesleyan University Press, and Zong!, also published by Wesleyan. Her essay collections include A Genealogy of Resistance and Showing Grit.

Ulysse has performed her one-woman show “Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, Me and THE WORLD” and other works internationally. She is the author of Why Haiti Needs New Narratives and Downtown Ladies.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Americas and the English Department’s Concentration in Creative Writing; co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Wesleyan University Press.

Leslie Jamison will speak at 8 p.m. Oct. 28 in Russell House. Jamison’s collection of essays, The Empathy Exams, won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

Jazz Quartet Stanley Maxwell to Perform World Premieres March 1 at Russell House

Jazz quartet Stanley Maxwell will perform at 3 p.m. March 1 in the Russell House.

Jazz quartet Stanley Maxwell will perform at 3 p.m. March 1 in the Russell House.

Wesleyan’s “Music at the Russell House” series concludes with a free concert by the Connecticut-based jazz quartet Stanley Maxwell at 3 p.m. March 1 in the Russell House. The group plays music that blends tight arrangements with intricate group improvisations. The concert at Wesleyan will feature acoustic arrangements of original tunes from the past decade, including several world premieres.

Stanley Maxwell's Andy Chatfield, pictured second from left, composed several original tunes for the group that will make their world premier at the March 1 concert. (Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography)

Stanley Maxwell’s Andy Chatfield, pictured second from left, composed several original tunes for the group that will make their world premiere at the March 1 concert. (Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography)

Stanley Maxwell features the CFA’s Press and Marketing Director Andy Chatfield on drums, Mark Crino on bass, Eric DellaVecchia on alto saxophone, and Evan Green on piano.

The group has built a grassroots name for themselves at colleges and festivals throughout the northeast since 2001, combining the virtuosic and the simple into a visceral concoction, which helped lead to their winning “Best Jazz Band” in the Hartford Advocate’s Grand Band Slam Readers’ Poll in 2007, 2009, and 2010.

“Mousetrap,” an 11-bar blues written by pianist Evan Green, was influenced by Thelonious Monk, and was featured on Stanley Maxwell’s debut album Don’t Wake The Baby!  The band’s recording of the composition attracted international attention, including “Mousetrap” winning “Best Jazz Song” at the 7th annual Independent Music Awards in December 2007. The band also won the Relix Magazine November 2007 “JamOff” contest for unsigned artists, with “Mousetrap” featured on that month’s Relix CD sampler, included with over 100,000 issues of the internationally distributed magazine, dedicated to jam bands and improvisational music.

Poets, Novelists Speak at Fall Russell House Series on Prose and Poetry

This fall, join novelists, poets, editors, writers and a physician for the Russell House Series on Prose and Poetry. The series is presented by Writing at Wesleyan and sponsored by the Center for the Arts.

All events are free and open to the public.

The series kicked off Sept. 11 with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. Komunyakaa is author of 20 books of poetry. He received a bronze star for his service as a journalist in the Vietnam War and is a professor and senior distinguished poet in the graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University.

Salvatore Scibona

Salvatore Scibona

Salvatore Scibona and Tonya Foster will speak at 8 p.m. Sept. 25 in Russell House. Scibona’s novel, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Young Lion’s Fiction Award from the New York Public Library. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, and was among The New Yorker’s list of “20 Under 40” writers to watch. He has received a Whiting Writers’ Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he is a visiting writer in the English Department. Foster’s first collection of poetry, A Swarm of Bees in High Court, is out this fall from Belladonna/Futurepoem Books. She is co-editor of Third Mind: Creative Writing Through Visual Art. The recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship and a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, she is an associate at the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College and is currently a visiting writer in Wesleyan’s English Department.

Ben Lerner will speak at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 in Russell House. Lerner is the author of three books of poetry: The Lichtenberg Figures (2004), Angle of Yaw (2006), and Mean Free Path (2010). His first novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, won The Believer Book Award and was widely regarded as one of the best books of 2011. His second novel is forthcoming from Faber/FSG. Recent prose can be found in Art in America, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Paris Review. He is a 2013-14 Guggenheim Fellow.

Louis Menand Delivers Annual Sonnenblick Lecture

Writer/journalist Louis Menand delivered the annual Annie Sonnenblick lecture Feb. 27 in Russell House. His talk was part of the Russell House Series on Prose and Poetry.

Writer/journalist Louis Menand delivered the annual Annie Sonnenblick Lecture Feb. 27 in Russell House. His talk was part of the Russell House Series on Prose and Poetry. Menand focused his talk on the links between French cinema and American movies, particularly the relationship of the French New Wave to American films including “Bonnie and Clyde.”

Critic, Novelist, Poets at Writing at Wesleyan Talks

James Kaplan ’73, author of “Frank: The Voice,” spoke at the Russell House Feb. 9. (Photo by NamAnh Ta)

Cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum, journalist Jane Eisner, poet Yusef Komunyakaa and novelist Amy Bloom are among the speakers featured in the Writing at Wesleyan 2011 Spring Russell House Series.

Author James Kaplan ’73, the Writing Programs’ 2011 Joan Jakobson Visiting Writer, kicked-off the series Feb. 9, followed by MacArthur award winner Sarah Ruhl on Feb. 10.

All events are free and open to the public.

The full list of speakers is below, or online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/writing/distinguished_writers/.

Wednesday, Feb. 16, Memorial Chapel 8 p.m.
The Writing Programs’ 2011 Annie Sonnenblick Lecturer Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), and Specimen Days. His latest novel is By Nightfall. He lives in New York.

Jakobson Visiting Writer Kaplan ’73 to Speak Feb. 9

James Kaplan '73 (Photo by Erinn Hartman)

James Kaplan '73 (Photo by Erinn Hartman)

Author James Kaplan ’73, the Writing Programs’ 2011 Joan Jakobson Visiting Writer, will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Russell House.

Kaplan has been writing about people and ideas in business and popular culture, and also writing fiction, for over three decades. His essays and reviews, as well as more than a hundred major profiles of figures ranging from Madonna to Helen Gurley Brown, Calvin Klein to John Updike, Miles Davis to Meryl Streep, and Arthur Miller to Larry David, have appeared in many magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair and Esquire

In November 2010, Kaplan published an acclaimed new biography, Frank: The Voice (Doubleday), about the early life of one of America’s best known American singers and entertainers of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra, from the years 1915 through 1954. Kaplan reveals how Sinatra helped to make the act of listening to pop music a more personal experience to his fans than it had ever been before.

Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times recently chose Kaplan’s book as one of her Top 10 Books of 2010. In her review in the Times, she wrote that Kaplan “has produced a book that has all the emotional detail and narrative momentum of a novel.  …  In recounting his subject’s rise and fall and rise again — all before the age of 40 — Mr. Kaplan gives us a wonderfully vivid feel for the worlds Sinatra traversed, from Hoboken and New York to Hollywood and Las Vegas, as well as the rapidly shifting tastes in music that shaped him and were later shaped by him.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Kaplan’s talk is part of the Writing at Wesleyan Spring 2011 Russell House Series. For more information on Kaplan and other upcoming speakers go to http://www.wesleyan.edu/writing/distinguished_writers/.


‘War’ Topic of Ongoing Humanities’ Lecture Series

Sally Bachner, assistant professor of English, spoke on “Rape Trauma, Combat Trauma, and the Making of PTSD: Feminist Fiction in the 1970s” Feb. 15 in the Russell House. Bachner's talk was part of the ongoing Center for the Humanities Spring Lecture Series on "War." (Photo by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Sally Bachner, assistant professor of English, spoke on “Rape Trauma, Combat Trauma, and the Making of PTSD: Feminist Fiction in the 1970s” Feb. 15 in the Russell House. Bachner's talk was part of the ongoing Center for the Humanities Spring Lecture Series on "War." (Photo by Stefan Weinberger '10)

In the 1970s, veterans, activists and psychiatrists were hard at work getting the disorder that came to be called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) included in the upcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III. During the same period, feminists were building a successful anti-rape movement that crucially insisted that rape is a form of violence.

On Feb. 15, Sally Bachner, assistant professor of English, spoke on “Rape Trauma, Combat Trauma, and the Making of PTSD: Feminist Fiction in the 1970s” during the Center for the John E. Sawyer Spring Lecture Series on War.

The public is invited to all CHUM lectures. (Photo by Stefan Weinberger '10)

The public is invited to all CHUM lectures. (Photo by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Bachner proposed that while both of these groups sought to bring suffering – of combat veterans and rape victims, respectively – into speech, many feminist novelists of this period instead turn to the figure of the soldier to figure rape as unspeakable. PTSD functions in these texts as a technology for figuring what was initially conceived of as suppressed speech about violence against women as a putatively “unspeakable” trauma.

Bachner, who is currently completing a book on violence in contemporary American fiction titled, The Prestige of Violence: American Fiction, 1962-2002, is among a dozen guests speaking in CHUM’s ongoing lecture series. Past topics this spring include robots and war, the war between international law and politics, U.S. foreign policy with Iraq and Afghanistan and war and the nation. Most recently, Trevor Paglen, artist and

Amy Bloom ’75 Part of Distinguished Writers Series

The Spring 2009 Distinguished Writers Series features a short story author, New York Times Magazine writer, student poets and a Pulitzer Prize winning author.

Amy Bloom ’75, the 2009 Jacob Julien Visiting Writer, will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in Russell House. Bloom is the author of the novel Love Invents Us, the short story collection A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, and the nonfiction work Normal. Her most recent novel, Away, was a New York Times bestseller, and she has received the National Magazine Award and been nominated for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous anthologies here and abroad.

Carlo Rotella will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 in Russell House. Rotella is the author of October Cities, Good With Their Hands,