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Category Archive for 'Lectures'

The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the Center for African American Studies, the Center for the Arts, the Theater Department, the Writing Program, and Yale School of Drama have joined forces to present a week of events that highlight the art of playwriting. The series of talks, performances, and readings culminate in Wesleyan’s first conference on playwriting pedagogy and creative processes. Though the conference is closed to participants, all events are open to the public and several are free

Friday to Sunday, February 24-26
Playwriting Conference:
Contemporary Conventions, Cultural Innovations, Playful Traditions
The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life

Conference curators: Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento (Theater Department) and Ken Prestininzi (Yale School of Drama).

International guests: Brazilian playwright Newton Moreno and theater scholar Alberto Tibaji.

Participants: Migdalia Cruz (NO Passport), Erik Ehn (Brown University), Marcus Gardley (Hartford Stage, Brown University), Quiara Alegría Hudes (Wesleyan University, In the Heights), Elizabeth Jackson (Wesleyan University), Matthew Maguire (New Dramatists, Fordham University), Deb Margolin (New Dramatists, Yale University), Charlotte Meehan (Wheaton College), Frank Pugliese (Yale University), Lucy Thurber (New Dramatists, Sarah Lawrence College), Wesleyan undergraduate playwriting students and members of Captain Partridge, graduate playwriting students from Brown University and Yale School of Drama.

Events calendar:

Monday, February 20
7pm: screening of Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment, CFA Hall. FREE

“Cultural images of black America are tweaked, pulled and twisted like Silly Putty in this subversive, seriously funny new theater piece by the adventurous playwright Young Jean Lee… Ms. Lee sets you thinking about how we unconsciously process experience — at the theater, or in life — through the filter of racial perspective, and how hard it can be to see the world truly in something other than black and white.”
— Charles Isherwood, New York Times


Tuesday, February 21
8pm: an evening talk with Young Jean Lee, Memorial Chapel. FREE

Korean-born and Brooklyn-based playwright and director Young Jean Lee’s works deal with issues such as gender identity and race in unpredictable, inventive and humorous ways. A 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, Ms. Lee founded her own theater company in 2003, swiftly becoming one of this country’s most influential voices in experimental theater.

Thursday, February 23
8pm: An Evening of Spoken Word with Javon Johnson at Crowell Concert Hall

Spoken word/slam poet Javon Johnson merges the sharp criticism of critical race and gender theory with comedy, lyricism and hip-hop rhyme schemes to discuss the power of words, communication and performance. Mr. Johnson has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and BET’s Lyric Cafe, and co-wrote the poetic narration for Showtime’s basketball documentary Crossover.

Friday, February 24, 8pm
Good Goods by Christina Anderson, directed by Tina Landau. Yale Repertory Theatre.

Saturday, February 25
7pm & 10pm: SPILL, co-created by Leigh Fondakowski and Reeva Wortel
Fayerweather Beckham Hall

A collaboration between writer Leigh Fondakowski (The Laramie Project, The People’s Temple, I Think I Like Girls) and visual artist Reeva Wortel (American Portrait Project), SPILL is a new play and installation that explores the true human and environmental cost of oil. SPILL is based in part on interviews with people from the Gulf Coast of southern Louisiana in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 2010, the largest environmental disaster in United States history.

Sunday, February 26
2pm & 7pm: SPILL, co-created by Leigh Fondakowski and Reeva Wortel
Fayerweather Beckham Hall

Students are invited to a symposium called ‘Digging Together:  Community Archaeology: Practice and Potential.’ It will be held  Saturday, February 25 from 1pm to 4pm at the former Cross Street AME Zion Church (160 Cross St, just down from Neon Deli, opposite the Freeman Athletic Center). The forum will be This is being held in advance of beginning excavations on the ‘Beman Triangle’ (between Vine, Cross, and Knowles) in partnership with the Cross Street AME Zion Church this April. The project is being run as a service learning class where Wesleyan students are putting into practice the principles of shared partnerships through community archaeology as they learn about the history of the Beman Triangle and the methods of archaeology. This site is of national importance, as it was a planned mid-nineteenth century settlement of property owning African Americans. Here members of the AME Zion Church community (Middletown’s was the third such Church to form) managed to live successful lives in the face of racist oppression at a national and local level. The excavations will explore the material remains of the daily lives of these households.

At the symposium, the  three speakers will be discussing projects which work in collaboration between communities and archaeologists to engage in archaeological projects which produce exciting research outcomes, but in partnership with communities and which also engage with their own interests in specific sites.

Further details about the symposium are online, along with more details of the Beman Triangle archaeology Project: http://middletownmaterials.research.wesleyan.edu/beman-triangle/

On Thursday 9/22, from 4:15-6:00 p.m. at the Center for African American Studies in the Vanguard Lounge is the first of five speakers in the center’s new First Book series.

Historian Danielle Mcguire (Wayne State University) will discuss her award-winning first book, At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movemet from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (Knopf, 2010).

At the Dark End of the Street won the 2011 Frederick Jackson Turner Award From the Organization of American Historians and the 2011 Lillian Smith Book Award.

The talk  will be followed by a book signing.

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Joan Chiari in AFAM at ext: 3569.

Attached poster includes information on all speakers.

PAC 002
6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 28

The speaker, Haroon Moghul, is Executive Director of The Maydan Institute. He served as Director of Public Relations at the Islamic Center at New York University (NYU) from 2007 to 2009. He holds an M.A. in Middle East and South Asian Studies from Columbia University, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. His fields of study include Muslim nationalism in South Asia, colonial and post-colonial Islamic politics and the development of the Indian Ocean economy. Mr. Moghul graduated from NYU in 2002 with a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Philosophy, and a minor in Arabic. He has also has studied Persian, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu.

William Finnegan of The New Yorker, and Jane Eisner, editor of the Forward, will discuss journalism and social change on Saturday October 23rd, 2010 at 1:30 pm in the Memorial Chapel.

William Finnegan, staff writer for The New Yorker, is the author of award-winning works of international journalism. He has written recently about immigration issues and politics in Europe and Mexico, as well as racism and conflict in Southern Africa and poverty among youth in the U.S. His article, “Leasing the Rain,” received the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. He has twice received the John Bartlow Martin Award for public interest magazine writing.

Jane Eisner ’77 has been a national and international reporter, columnist, and executive editor at thePhiladelphia Inquirer and a leader in national discussions of media and democracy.  She is now editor of theForward, the weekly Jewish newspaper of major influence nationally and internationally. She is the first woman to win Wesleyan’s McConaughy Award for her contributions to journalism and public life, and she is the first Koeppel Fellow in Journalism at Wesleyan.

This event is sponsored by the Koeppel Journalism Fellowship and the Wesleyan Writing Programs. It is free and open to the public. For more information call (860) 685-3448, or visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/writing/distinguished_writers/.

Applications due Mon., Oct. 4th 5:00 P.M. at Anne Greene’s office, Downey House, Room 207.

On Tuesday, October 26th, Prof. Elie Wiesel is presenting a lecture to the Wesleyan community entitled “Building an Ethical Society: The Death Penalty and Human Dignity,” at 7 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. Tickets will be available shortly.

Prof. Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, is the author of more than forty books of fiction and non-fiction, including Night and other volumes of memoirs. For his literary and human rights activities, he has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Earlier on the day of his lecture, Prof. Wiesel will hold a discussion session with a small group of students, focusing specifically on writing about moral and ethical topics. This session is tentatively scheduled for 4-4:45 PM, October 26th, in the Shapiro event room, Allbritton 311.

We invite you to apply to join this discussion group.

Unfortunately we cannot include everyone who would like to attend.

Please submit a statement (from one paragraph to one page in length) indicating

  • which works of Prof. Wiesel’s you have read,
  • what writing question you would like him to discuss, and,
  • any intellectual or personal interest you bring to the discussion.

At the top of your application, please include your

  • name, class year, major, email address, and telephone number.

If you are selected, we will contact you directly.

Thank you so much for your interest. Please contact Anne Greene, the Director of the Writing Programs, or Rabbi David Leipziger, if you have questions.

2010 Argus Speaker Series

This Friday marks the beginning of the 2010 Argus Alumni Speaker Series.

  • Jenifer B. McKim ’88
    Business Reporter, The Boston Globe
    “Investigative Journalism and its future”

    Friday, April 9 at 4 p.m. in Allbritton 311 (top floor)
  • Michelle McCool ’95
    Fashion Director, Cosmopolitan
    “Behind the Glossies: The Filtering of Fashion from Conception to Publication”

    Friday, April 16 at 4 p.m. in Allbritton 311 (top floor)
  • Gerard Koeppel ’79
    Author, Bond of Union: Building the Erie Canal and the American Empire (Da Capo, 2009), former editor/writer/producer, CBS News (1989-2000)
    “History is News That Stays News:  How News Writing Impacts the Historical Record”

    Friday, April 23 at 4 p.m. in PAC 001
  • Tyler Cabot ’01
    Features and Fiction Editor, Esquire
    “Everything I didn’t learn about writing at Wesleyan”

    Friday, April 30 at 4 p.m. in Allbritton 311 (top floor)

For extended bios please see: http://wesleyanargus.com/speaker-series/

A Lecture by Laura Grabel
Lauren Dachs Professor of Science in Society, Department of Biology

Stem cell research continues to be controversial and influenced by political constraints. Professor Grabel will consider its promise as well as recent scientific and public policy advances, including public funding in the Obama era. She will also talk about the work in her laboratory focusing on understanding the conditions that promote embryonic stem cell differentiation into neurons, both in a culture dish and in the brains of mouse models of epilepsy.

A reception will follow the lecture.

Thursday, February 25, 5:15 p.m.
Usdan University Center, Room 108

“How to Write a Love Poem That Doesn’t Suck” is actually the title of a poem and it is the perfect title for this creative event!  This first-time-ever writing workshop is just for frosh and sophomores, and it will introduce those who attend to the artfulness and energy of English at Wesleyan.  Frosh and sophomores interested in trying their hand at writing on the theme of love–poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction–can receive guidance from the English Department’s exciting Creative Writing Concentration faculty:  Silverberg Shapiro Professor of Creative Writing and Coordinator of the Creative Writing Concentration Elizabeth Willis (poetry), Professor of English Deb Unferth (fiction), and Professor of English Lisa Cohen (creative non-fiction). Joel Pfister, Chair of the English Department and Kenan Professor of the Humanities, will introduce his talented colleagues.  It all takes place on Wednesday, February 10, 4:15 Downey Lounge! Frosh and sophomores who love to write creatively (or who would love to try writing creatively) can write creatively about LOVE!  Go for it!  Groovy treats will be served!

Friday, February 5, 4:30pm
Memorial Chapel

The United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report 2009 breaks new ground in applying a human development approach to the study of movement, covering both internal and international migration. It discusses who moves, where and why. It looks at the multiple impacts of migration for all who are affected by it —not just those who move, but also those who stay, and links these to policies. The report lays out a major policy agenda designed to promote the human development outcomes of migration.

Dr. Francisco Rodríguez, Head of Research at the Human Development Report, will be presenting a summary of key findings, and Susan Gzech and Michael T. Klare will be adding to the discussion before we open the floor to Q&A from the public. The discussion will be followed by an open reception with all of our speakers at the Daniel Family Commons.

Francisco Rodríguez is the Head of the Research Team for the Human Development Report. He has extensive academic and teaching experience in the field of political economy and economic growth. Prior to joining UNDP and Wesleyan University, Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración, University of Maryland, and Harvard University. He has also served as Chief Economist for the Economic and Financial Advisory Office to the National Assembly of Venezuela and as Economic Affairs Officer for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations.

Susan Gzesh is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the Center for International Studies and the College. Her research interests include the inter-relationship between human rights and migration policy, the history of U.S. immigration policy, and Mexico-U.S. relations.

Michael T. Klare, Nation defense foreign policy correspondent, is Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College. His latest book is Rising Power, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy.

The international system is increasingly characterized by neotrusteeship relations that link great powers to the periphery through formal and informal transfers of political authority and institutions. In contemporary Iraq, the United States has supplied a battery of “parallel institutions” that link American political authority and operational mandates to public goods provision in sectors such as security, infrastructure, and regulation. We know very little about the origins, efficiency, and implications of these institutions for state power. I argue that the US has employed parallel institutions in Iraq for the sake of short-term security and infrastructure, which would not be possible in the current political environment. However, parallel institutions are inefficient providers of public goods due to principal-agent problems , as well as their lack of accountability to local populations. Finally, parallel institutions will only weaken the Iraqi state after American withdrawal, as they provide disincentives for local political and administrative reforms that could undergird purely Iraqi public goods provision.

Friday, December 11
12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Cafe on the top floor of the Allbritton Center

Usdan Common Connections presents a lecture by Dr. Peter Frenzel, Professor Emeritus: Bringing Dead Languages to Life: Spells, Curses, and Heroic Deaths in Old Teutonic Tongues.

After speaking briefly about the social context of the “dark ages,” Professor Frenzel will chant some spells and curses–no harm will come of it–and then recite some dramatic moments from Germanic heroic tales originating between the fifth and the tenth centuries CE. The languages will include Old English, Old Saxon, and Old High German, all forebears of our present-day English. It will be a feast for the ears of a barbarian, although translations will be at hand for the ears of the others.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Usdan Daniel Family Commons. Reception immediately following. Limited Seating! All Welcome

Chenoweth’s research program involves three general questions: why do
non-state groups use political violence, what are the alternatives to political violence, and how can states best combat non-state political violence? Currently, Chenoweth is investigating the conditions under which nonviolent resistance methods are more effective than violent methods in achieving strategic goals such as regime change, expelling foreign occupiers, or achieving self-determination. She is also working on a project that assesses the efficacy of counterterrorism in the Middle East since in1980, and in another she is looking at how the tactical evolutions of nonviolent and violent insurgencies have affected their strategic outcomes.

Friday, December 4
12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Cafe on the top floor of the Allbritton Center

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary, two of the members that founded Ajúa Campos 40 years ago will be returning to Wesleyan for the first time to discuss the beginnings of Ajúa Campos and current issues facing the Latino Community.

Friday, November 20 at 6:00pm
Woodhead Lounge

Light Refreshments will be served

Brief Bio’s on two of the Founders, Roberto Rivera and Lad Santiago.

Roberto Rivera

Was supposed to be a part of the class of 73 but left Wesleyan in 1972 and transferred to the University of Wisconsin where he attained a BS in Educational Psychology in 1974. He then attended Boalt Hall School of law at the University of California. For the past 30 years he has worked in various capacities with a focus on programs that ensure educational equity and access for first generation, low-income and students of color to the University of California. He currently works for the Puente Project, a program that assists first generation students in the transfer process from California community colleges to the 4 year university systems.

Lad Santiago

Lad Santiago is of Puerto Rican descent, born and raised in New York City. He received his B.A. degree in Molecular Biology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1974. He completed his premedical education at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1979, he received his doctorate as a healthcare provider in South Carolina. Thereafter, he completed his postgraduate education in Preventive Medicine in Florida. He is Board Certified in Integrative Medicine and holds Diplomate status with the College of Clinical Nutrition. He served as a healthcare provider to a disenfranchised community in the City of Atlanta for many years.

In recent years as a result of his love for the arts and humanities, he underwent additional graduate education in the arts. He has been conferred an M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing, and another M.F.A. degree in Digital Cinema. Presently, he is a candidate for the Ph.D. degree in Creative and Critical Writing, American Literature, Cinema Studies, and Cultural Studies at the University of Wales – Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom.

In years past, he served as a health manpower consultant to the Office of Health Manpower Opportunity at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He was also a key organizer of the first National Latino Health Manpower Conference held in Chicago, Illinois; a national conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. He has also served as an executive director of a national Boricua health manpower advocacy organization known as the National Boricua Health Organization. He has been honored as an Outstanding Young Man of America, and has been noted in Oxford’s Who’s Who in America.

At the present time, he serves as president of the South Carolina Hispanic Leadership Council, an organization serving the health, education, socio-economic, legal/legislative, artistic needs of the South Carolina Latino community statewide. He is presently serving a three year term as commissioner and chairman of the Human Relations Commission of the City of Spartanburg. Through this commission, he is addressing issues of injustice related to social, economic, health, and educational concerns in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Currently, he is a board member of the Community Advisory Council of the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg. In this organization, he addresses the issue of inclusion and participation of the minority community in artistic endeavors such as theater, dance, visual arts, music, as well as other artistic disciplines. Recently, he served as the keynote speaker for the South Carolina Statewide Hispanic Conference held by The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. He recently served on a health panel at the Statewide Native American Conference also held by The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. He is a member of the American Association of Integrative Medicine, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Pen American Center, and National Association of Latino Independent Producers.

While it is often asserted that leaders use foreign policy to domestic advantage as elections approach, the scholarly findings on this subject defy simple characterization. My project examines the extent to which U.S. presidents adjust their foreign policies during an election run. I contend that while elections do affect foreign policy decisions, presidents do not seek political advantage from foreign policy and instead see foreign policy only as a potential threat to their political objectives.

Friday, November 20
12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Butt C Lounge

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