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Steve ScarpaSeptember 17, 20213min
The first time Ethan Kleinberg, the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of History and Letters, immersed himself in the world of the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas 20 years ago, he wrote a book. “It was written as a traditional intellectual history and I found that what that I had done was to completely deactivate the aspects of Levinas’ thought where he believes that there are ethical guidelines that come to us from outside our own history, these transcendent ethical guidelines puncture any historical or contextual moment,” Kleinberg said. He didn’t like what he’d written, so he took an unprecedented step—he…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 16, 20214min
Nineteen visiting faculty, including fellows, scholars, and postdoctoral researchers, join Wesleyan for the 2021-22 academic year. Their academic interests include high altitude ecosystems, Muslim political masculinities, Indigenous cultural studies, epidemiology and public health, 20th-century continental philosophy, pharmacoengineering, social media's effects on adolescent development, and more. Their bios are below: Alisha Butler, Provost Equity Fellow in the College of Education Studies, is a mixed-methods researcher whose work draws on interdisciplinary perspectives to interrogate the overlapping ecologies of schools, neighborhoods, and cities that shape students’ and families’ experiences in schools. This work includes studies of school-family and school-community partnerships. Her dissertation leveraged…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 15, 20213min
Rob Borman, Wesleyan’s grounds manager, watched as Wesleyan and Emerson’s soccer teams went through warmups on a beautiful late summer day. It was warm and the sun shined as the players went through passing drills and stretched on the perfect turf. Emerson’s players shouted through their drills. Wesleyan’s goalies bounded from side to side as they practiced knocking away shots on goal. Borman, though, wasn’t looking at the players. He was checking out his brand-new field, installed in May. “That is 100 percent Kentucky bluegrass,” he said. “The ball should roll awesome.” For the first time in two years, Jackson…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 9, 20213min
Richard Bennet Morales '24 is what you'd call a "third culture kid." By definition, the term refers to a child who grows up in a culture different from the one in which his or her parents grew up. And Bennet Morales fits the description. Born in Puerto Rico to Spanish and American parents, he moved to Paris at the age of 3, and to Barcelona 11 years later. After graduating from a French-speaking high school, he resided in Madrid, briefly, with his family. And now, he's among 392 international students studying at Wesleyan this fall. "I was really interested in…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 9, 20216min
Wesleyan’s intellectually dynamic faculty, students, alumni, staff, and parents frequently serve as expert sources for national media. Others are noted for recent achievements and accolades. A sampling of recent media hits is below: Wesleyan President Michael Roth '78 participated in a Newsweek podcast debate titled "Is Higher Education Broken?" "I think the idea that only rich people should be able to experience the benefits of learning—whether that's about math and science, or whether it's about literature and philosophy—that's a huge mistake. (Aug. 31) President Roth also wrote a book review of Allan V. Horowitz's A History of Psychiatry's Bible for…

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Steve ScarpaSeptember 3, 20213min
Wet weather couldn’t dampen the feelings of excitement, anticipation and, above all, hope that abounded on Wesleyan University’s new student Arrival Day. Over 900 students in the Class of 2025 - the second largest in Wesleyan’s history - as well as transfer students and students who deferred admission, moved in Wednesday morning. Many of this diverse group of young people from across the country and the globe navigated their entire application process through the complications of a global pandemic, demonstrating resilience in addition to intellectual and social acumen. On this rainy morning, harnessing and shaping all of that nascent energy…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 31, 20213min
After an unusual 18 months of hybrid teaching, working remotely, and navigating university life during a pandemic, Wesleyan's faculty and staff are eager for some normalcy this fall. In this News @ Wesleyan piece, we speak to several employees about what they are most looking forward to during the fall 2021 semester. Morgan Keller became director of international student affairs on Aug. 23 after stints at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California-Santa Cruz, and Clemson University. He learned of Wesleyan through his cousin, Adam Keller '14, who spoke favorably of the university during his time here as a film…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 31, 20218min
Edward Torres, an assistant professor of the practice in theater, can’t help but be moved when he performs the words of L.D. Barkley, a prisoner who played an important role during the 1971 Attica Prison riot, raising morale for incarcerated men protesting their mistreatment.  “We are men! We are not beasts and we do not intend to be beaten or driven as such,” Barkley said in 1971 shortly before he was killed by police.  For Torres, the most devastating part of performing the new play Echoes of Attica is to know that every word is real. “This is a piece…

Olivia DrakeAugust 27, 20213min
This October, Wesleyan will present a multidisciplinary dance project titled “WesWorks” that transforms the ordinary, mundane, and skillful movements of facilities and custodial employees into a performance accompanied by live, original music and stories told in the workers’ voices. Led by Allison Orr, the choreographer and artistic director of Forklift Danceworks, a distinguished fellow in the College of Environment, "WesWorks" will teach students techniques of community art practice through performance. In these Q&As, we speak with Forklift Danceworks employees and Wesleyan alumnae Gretchen LaMotte '18 (click to read), choreographer and programs manager and Penny Snyder '16 (click to read), communications manager…

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Olivia DrakeAugust 27, 202110min
Wesleyan’s intellectually dynamic faculty, students, alumni, staff, and parents frequently serve as expert sources for national media. Others are noted for recent achievements and accolades. A sampling of recent media hits is below: The Wall Street Journal features Fidelity Investments' Joel Tillinghast '80 regarding the meme-stock craze. "Mr. Tillinghast’s tastes in stocks are eclectic. His main mutual fund holds more than 900 names, and some 34% of his assets are in international stocks. His largest concentration is in retailers and consumer-goods stocks beaten down by expectations that e-commerce would crush bricks-and-mortar stores." (Aug. 4) On CNBC, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 26, 20212min
Associate Professor of Art History Nadja Aksamija got her first glimpse of Bologna, Italy back in 2004 as she walked from the train station towards the historic city center. It was a hot day and she dragged her suitcase down the sidewalk.  Crossing Piazza Maggiore, Aksamija stepped into the shade of Palazzo dei Banchi, experiencing for the first time the city’s breathtaking porticos – extensions from the upper levels of structures that create about 37 miles of covered walkways alongside city streets.  “I remember thinking that this was incredible,” Aksamija said. “It felt like a changing landscape.” While the porticos…

Olivia DrakeAugust 26, 20215min
For more than a decade, the student group WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan University) has worked to transform a .75 acre of sloping, sandy land into a thriving permaculture site. Located inside the West College Courtyard, the garden boasts a biodiverse natural ecosystem with plants that are beneficial to humans and wildlife. Birds, bees, butterflies (and humans) enjoy the plethora of seasonal produce: blackberries, blueberries, pears, apples, corn, currants, and more. Seasonal flowers, from beebalm to woodland sunflowers, provide insects with nectar-rich meals, and grassy native groundcovers spread to absorb heavy rain and eliminate the need…