Bardian BARD COLLEGE SPRING 2017
DEAR BARDIANS, Welcome to the Spring 2017 Bardian. This is my first letter as president of the Bard College Alumni/ae Association Board of Governors. I am honored to take on this role. I want to thank Mackie Siebens ’12 for her work as president and to congratulate her on her new position as deputy director of admission. Through my 10-year involvement with the Board of Governors—reaching out to classmates for our 20th reunion and most recently in my role as an alumni/ae trustee on the Bard College Board of Trustees— I have had the pleasure of interacting with alumni/ae from every era. What really stands out to me is that whether we are scientists, economists, film editors, middle school teachers, farmers, philanthropists, baristas, bartenders, mothers, fathers, athletes, off the grid or on, we are always Bardian in our approach: curious, inquisitive, informed, multidimensional, and insatiable. Bardians find their way, and they consistently Brandon Weber ’97 astound. photo Kye Ehrlich ’13 The magazine you hold in your hands is full of these astounding people: the comedic collaborators of Olde English, pioneers of Internet sketch comedy whose members continue to make thoughtful and funny work; the inspiring Watson and Fulbright Award winners who go out every day and change the world; and Bard Conservatory graduate Allegra Chapman ’10, who moved to San Francisco and decided to start Bard Music West, an offshoot of the Bard Music Festival—just to name a few. If all this doing and making has your mind reeling, step inside the Stevenson Library to see the magnificent books and manuscripts in the new Sussman Rare Book Collection or ponder for a moment the long history of the College’s embrace of immigrants and refugees. I hope you are as inspired as I am by the spirit, energy, and values reflected in these pages. To find out more about the alumni/ae association’s work and to get involved yourself please go to annandaleonline.org. There you will also find the newly minted Board of Governors mission statement and overall goals. We value your thoughts and support. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. I hope to see all of you for Reunion Weekend, May 26–28. Our Class of 1997 reunion committee is working hard—Reunion and Commencement Weekend is undoubtedly the best time to be in Annandale. We can raise a glass or a half-size corn on the cob. In the meantime, I remain Bardian and Proud! I hope to see you in Annandale or at other Bard events in the very near future. Brandon Weber ’97
board of governors of the bard college alumni/ae association Brandon Weber ’97, President KC Serota ’04, Vice President; Diversity Committee Cochair Lindsay Stanley ’12, Secretary/Treasurer Robert Amsterdam ’53 Brendan Berg ’06 Jack Blum ’62 Evan Nicole Brown ’16 Pia Carusone ’03 Kathleya Chotiros ’98 Charles Clancy III ’69 Peter Criswell ’89 Arnold Davis ’44, Nominations Committee Cochair Malia Du Mont ’95 Michelle Dunn Marsh ’95, Development Committee Cochair Randy Faerber ’73, Events Committee Cochair Andrew F. Fowler ’95 Eric Goldman ’98 Christina Hajagos-Clausen ’92 Boriana Handjiyska ’02, Career Connections Committee Cochair Sonja Hood ’90 Miriam Huppert ’13 J.P. Kingsbury ’03, Young Alumni/ae Committee Cochair Paul Margolis ’76, Oral History Committee Cochair Peter F. McCabe ’70, Nominations Committee Cochair Mollie Meikle ’03, Young Alumni/ae Committee Cochair Steven Miller ’70 Anne Morris-Stockton ’68 Anna Neverova ’07, Career Connections Committee Cochair Karen G. Olah ’65 Gerry Pambo-Awich ’08 Nia Rock ’78 Allison Rodman ’10 Abhay Puskoor ’08 Jim Salvucci ’86 Henry Seltzer ’06 Dan Severson ’10 Michael Shapiro ’75, Oral History Committee Cochair
board of trustees of bard college Genya Shimkin ’08, Diversity Committee Cochair; Cochair, Young Alumni/ae Advisory Council, Center for Civic Engagement Barry Silkowitz ’71 George A. Smith ’82, Events Committee Cochair Dr. Ingrid Spatt ’69 Geoffrey Stein ’82 Walter Swett ’96, Nominations Committee Cochair Olivier te Boekhorst ’93 Paul Thompson ’93 Paul Vranicar ’01 Matt Wing ’06 Emeritus/a Claire Angelozzi ’74 Dr. Penny Axelrod ’63 Dr. Miriam Roskin Berger ’56 Cathaline Cantalupo ’67 Kit Ellenbogen ’52 Barbara Grossman Flanagan ’60 Diana Hirsch Friedman ’68 R. Michael Glass ’75 Dr. Ann Ho ’62 Charles Hollander ’65 Maggie Hopp ’67 Cynthia Hirsch Levy ’65 Susan P. Playfair ’62 Roger N. Scotland ’93 Dr. Toni-Michelle C. Travis ’69 Barbara Crane Wigren ’68
Charles P. Stevenson Jr., Chair Emeritus James C. Chambers ’81, Chair Emily H. Fisher, Vice Chair George F. Hamel Jr., Vice Chair Elizabeth Ely ’65, Secretary; Life Trustee Stanley A. Reichel ’65, Treasurer; Life Trustee Fiona Angelini Roland J. Augustine Leon Botstein, President of the College + Stuart Breslow + Mark E. Brossman Thomas M. Burger + Marcelle Clements ’69, Life Trustee Craig Cogut The Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche, Honorary Trustee Asher B. Edelman ’61, Life Trustee Paul S. Efron Robert S. Epstein ’63 Barbara S. Grossman ’73, Alumni/ae Trustee Andrew S. Gundlach Sally Hambrecht Marieluise Hessel Maja Hoffmann Matina S. Horner + Charles S. Johnson III ’70 Mark N. Kaplan, Life Trustee George A. Kellner Fredric S. Maxik ’86 James H. Ottaway Jr., Life Trustee Martin Peretz, Life Trustee Stewart Resnick, Life Trustee David E. Schwab II ’52 Roger N. Scotland ’93, Alumni/ae Trustee Jonathan Slone ’84 James A. von Klemperer Brandon Weber ’97, Alumni/ae Trustee Susan Weber Patricia Ross Weis ’52 +ex officio
above Allegra Chapman ’10 (left) and Sara LeMesh VAP ’14 performing arias from Le Grand Macabre at the Bard Music West festival (see page 23). photo: Kevin Fryer cover Illustration from Liber Chronicarum, attributed to Albrecht Dürer, Sussman Collection (see page 2). photo: Chris Kendall ’82
Bardian SPRING 2017 Office of Development and Alumni/ae Affairs Debra Pemstein, Vice President for Development and Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7405, firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Brien ’89, Director of Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7406, email@example.com Jennifer Skura, Communications Associate, Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7089, firstname.lastname@example.org Carly Hertica, Program Associate, Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7084, email@example.com Anne Canzonetti ’84, Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7187, firstname.lastname@example.org Published by the Bard Publications Office ©2017 Bard College. All rights reserved. Printed by Quality Printing, Pittsfield, MA 1-800-BARDCOL annandaleonline.org
No Ideas but in Things
Open Hearts, Open Minds
Putting Secondary Education First
Where Are They Now
Defusing the Tick Time Bomb
Bard Comics Walk into a Bar
On and Off Campus
Books by Bardians
John Bard Society
sussman rare book collection
no ideas but in things by Micaela Morrissette ’02 Photos by Chris Kendall ’82
The Liber Chronicarum, a history of the world, contains hundreds of hand-tinted woodcut illustrations, some believed to be by Albrecht Dürer, leading artist of the Northern Renaissance. Though not as vibrant as when they were printed in Nuremberg in 1493, they are still breathtaking. Alan Sussman, a Woodstock, New York, resident and former civil rights attorney, flew to London in 2013 to acquire this treasured example of printing in its infancy, which he describes as “a masterpiece of print technology of the 15th century.” Because it was printed before Columbus returned from his first voyage, its twopage map of the world is, says Sussman, “likely the last printed which had no trace of the Americas.” The Chronicarum is one of the oldest volumes—and certainly the most valuable—in the Sussman Rare Book Collection, which now has a home at Bard’s Charles P. Stevenson Library. Other notable items include a 1792 first edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women, handwritten Persian manuscripts, Ethiopian prayer books, and two editions (1556 and 1680) of Magna Carta: more than 1,200 items all told, many of which are works in multiple volumes. Samuel Dickson ’19 visited the Sussman Collection with Associate Professor of History Tabetha Ewing ’89’s seminar Gutenberg 2.0: Making Books for Everyday Life, in which students investigate the forms of the book, the history of diverse editions (including piracy), and the relation of text to image. “There’s a distinct solemnity in handling antique books,” says Dickson, especially “in the tactile feeling of the books themselves, in the feeling of the fabric pages.” After so many years, he adds, human encounters with some of these items have become visible: “You could tell which books seemed to be the most perused, as the top section of the spine was usually frayed and collapsed from people’s fingers.” Books leave their impressions on us, and we leave ours on them. Ian McMahon ’17 was intrigued by a poem written in the margins of a Quran. “Although I was unable to read the language,” he says, “I was fascinated by how the author was able to make the poem via tangential additions to a secondary and fixed text. A text like this poem is almost like a performance.” Ewing’s Gutenberg 2.0 students looked specifically at the Geneva edition (1777–78) of Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie—the first major encyclopedia project in Europe (the original edition was printed between 1751 and 1765). Previously, Bard students researching that seminal publication would have referred to the University of
Illustration from Liber Chronicarum, attributed to Albrecht Dürer
In this work I have produced many arguments, which to me were conclusive, to prove that the prevailing notion respecting a sexual character was subversive of morality, and I have contended, that to render the human body and mind more perfect, chastity must more universally prevail, and that chastity will never be respected in the male world till the person of a woman is not, as it were, idolized, when little virtue or sense embellish it with the grand traces of mental beauty, or the interesting simplicity of affection. —A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects (1792), by Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97)
no ideas but in things 3
The archives of the old episcopal city of St. Jean-de-Maurienne contain the original records of legal proceedings instituted against insects, which had ravaged the vineyards of St. Julien, a hamlet situated on the route over Mt. Cenis and famous for the excellence of its vintage. The defendants in this case were a species of greenish weevil (charançon) known to entomologists as rychites auratus, and called by different names, amblevin, bèche, verpillion, in different provinces of France. Complaint was first made by the wine-growers of St. Julien in 1545 before François Bonnivard, doctor of laws. The procurator Pierre Falcon and the advocate Claude Morel defended the insects, and Pierre Ducol appeared for the plaintiffs. . . . In the legal proceedings just described, two points are presented with great clearness and seem to be accepted as incontestable: first, the right of the insects to adequate means of
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subsistence suited to their nature. This right was recognized by both parties; even the prosecution did not deny but only maintained that they must not trespass cultivated fields and destroy the fruits of man’s labour. The complainants were perfectly willing to assign to the weevils an uncultivated tract of ground, where they could feed upon such natural products of the soil as were not due to human toil and tillage. Secondly, no one appears to have doubted for a moment that the Church could, by virtue of its anathema, compel these creatures to stop their ravages and cause them to go from one place to another. Indeed, a firm faith in the existence of this power was the pivot on which the whole procedure turned, and without the trial would have been a dismal farce in the eyes of all who took part in it. —The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals (1906), by E. P. Evans (1831–1917)
Chicago’s digitized version. Now they’ve got the real thing. “The material history is only apprehended by direct contact with the volumes,” says Ewing, “and the thrill of turning old pages has proved to be an inspiration to the students.” But the Sussman Collection is more—much more—than an ode to the distant past. It’s a vibrant, anarchic, enthusiastically catholic collection of everything and anything that engaged and moved its creator. Some of Sussman’s personal favorites give a sense of the range of his interests: a book by Joachim of Fiori, a medieval mystic whose views on the Antichrist were refuted by St. Thomas, but whom Dante placed in his Paradise nevertheless; a 1634 treatise on the passion of Christ illustrated with 16 bizarre engravings of crucifixes tattooed on human bodies; a volume on the law of the marriage of eunuchs, spurred by the marriage of the teenage daughter of a wealthy nobleman to a famous castrato. Other highlights include an 1872 edition of Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, and E. P. Evans’s The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals (1906). From 1820, we have two poems featuring the (one assumes) nefarious Doctor Syntax: The Tour of Doctor Syntax through London, or, The Pleasures and Miseries of the Metropolis; and Doctor Syntax in Paris, or, A Tour in Search of the Grotesque. From 1907, Gertrude Lowthian Bell’s Syria, the Desert and the Sown. From 1926, Twice Sold, Twice Ransomed, the autobiography of Mr. and Mrs. L. P. Ray. More recent manuscripts include communist lawyer Saul Alinsky’s 1946 Reveille for Radicals, a 1959 report by the House Un-American Activities Committee on Alinsky, and even appellant briefs (ca. 1972) on behalf of antiwar activists David Dellinger and Bobby Seale. “There is no other way to say it,” Sussman admits, “the collection is enormously egocentric. Law, politics, philosophy, Judaism, slavery, India, the founding of the American republic, radical literature of the 1960s are all matters of personal concern.” But, he adds, “Perhaps the section of which I am most proud centers around the 17th-century constitutional crisis in England. In 1649, Charles I was tried for treason. The king, who had always been the law, was put on trial and found guilty for disobeying the law. Can you imagine how earthshaking that was? Politically, everything had to be reimagined, and opinions raged on the proper role of government, the influence of property, the scope of religion, qualifications of citizenship, the meaning of treason, and so on. This produced an incredibly rich debate out of which surfaced Hobbes and Locke and Sidney and the Levellers and Diggers, who wrote passionately about matters still relevant today. The collection contains about 125 titles from this period, with the additional benefit that all these texts are in English.” Integrating all this new material into the library’s catalogue was no small task. College Archivist Helene Tieger ’85 spearheaded the labor of love. Opening the boxes sent by Sussman was, she recalls, “like Christmas, full of surprises, and deliciously idiosyncratic. There are so many books you hear about your whole life and now you finally have the chance to work with them, to see them, to touch them.” But opening those boxes was just the beginning. Acquisitions Librarian Susan Decker-Herman, cataloguing librarian Bonnie Sgarro, and cat-
aloguers June Martin and Chris Baker had their hands full. “For five years it was part of my job to receive each box and then try to match it with an invoice or paperwork,” says Decker-Herman. “I will miss knowing that on any day a box or boxes could arrive from anywhere in the world containing beautiful old books and pamphlets.” Some of the books and manuscripts did not show up in other institutions’ catalogues. “The fun part for me,” Sgarro says, “was creating a bibliographic record for an item for which there is no precedent; establishing a call number and subject headings so the item can be found with word searches.”
It is only with a despotic ruler that plans can be elaborated extensively and clearly in such a way as to distribute the whole properly among the several parts of the machinery of the State: from this the conclusion is inevitable that a satisfactory form of government for any country is one that concentrates in the hands of one responsible person. Without an absolute despotism there can be no existence for civilization which is carried on not by the masses but by their guide, whosoever that person may be. The mob is savage, and displays its savagery at every opportunity. The moment the mob seizes freedom in its hands it quickly turns to anarchy, which in itself is the highest degree of savagery. —Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, translated by Victor E. Marsden, 1933
no ideas but in things 5
Left to right: Susan Decker-Herman; Alan Sussman; President Leon Botstein; Bonnie Sgarro; Jeff Katz, director of libraries; Helene Tieger ’85. photo China Jorrin ’86
For those not able to visit the collection in person, a treasure trove of rare and exotic material is available with a single click—you can read Helena Petrovna Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology (1877) right now, if you wish, or George Thompson’s 1853 Prison Life and Reflections; or, A Narrative of the Arrest, Trial, Conviction, Imprisonment, Treatment, Observations, Reflections, and Deliverance of Work, Burr, and Thompson, Who Suffered an Unjust and Cruel Imprisonment in Missouri Penitentiary, for Attempting to Aid Some Slaves to Liberty. As the latter title indicates, longwinded justice is one motivating force in Sussman’s curation of the collection. “One of my earliest recollections as a reader of books was that I was not entirely free to read what I wished,” he says. “At the local library, there was a children’s section and those my age could not wander further. As I grew older, there were juries and judges who decided if I could read Henry Miller, D. H. Lawrence, and Allen Ginsberg. This always seemed to me absurd—that someone wanted me not to know something. I mention this because the collection has become—and this quite by accident— a bit of a repository of banned books. When you consider that at one time or another Darwin and Spinoza and Bruno and Flaubert and Joyce were deemed a danger to public order and morality, we are able to see, in retrospect of course, how self-defeating censorship is.” 6 sussman rare book collection
Sussman pays homage to censored and suppressed voices not only by including their publications in the collection but by drawing attention to voices of censorship and suppression as well. “In some respects the collection could be called a library of the Enlightenment,” he explains. “It is suffused with the political and intellectual discourse which excited 17th- and 18th-century Europe. The hope of the era was that knowledge of arts and sciences would lead to social equality, political liberty, and technological progress, which in large part it did. But the ability to determine our own destiny has not always been an unalloyed benefit. As someone recently commented, not all trains ran in the right direction, and this fact—the persistence of evil—I have tried to respect, if ‘respect’ is the right word. While polemics urging abolition are thrilling to read, I tried to include as many books as I could justifying the existence of slavery. We have books justifying anti-Semitism, legal texts detailing the punishment of flogging, books praising imperialism and colonialism, and books documenting trials of heretics and witches. We must not forget that many institutions now considered inhumane were legal and regarded as normal for a much greater period of time than they were not.” Sussman’s interest in justice is reflected not only in his life as a collector but in his work as an attorney. Even as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, he collected pamphlets and leaflets from
political protests (that collection is now housed at his alma mater). Once he moved to Woodstock to practice law, he began to incorporate items of local history: a 1923 edition of The Hue and Cry, a periodical that describes itself as “A Record of the Achievements, Artistic and Literary, of the Woodstock Colony”; Publications of the Woodstock Historical Society (1930); The Plowshare: A Literary Periodical of OneMan Exhibits (1934–35); and Byrdcliffe Afternoons (a set of lectures delivered in July 1938). In addition to donating his collection, he has long contributed to Bard’s intellectual life as a senior fellow and visiting associate professor of constitutional law. Even after he made his initial gift—30 years’ worth of acquisitions—he continued purchasing books specifically designated for Bard over a five-year period, consulting the library’s existing holdings to guard against duplication, and funding the renovation of the space where most of the collection is housed. That’s the library’s most popular student study area, where an astounding array of manuscripts and publications sleeps under skylights coated with ultraviolet-blocking film, in deep drawers and severely elegant glass-fronted bookcases (one bookcase is an original early-20th-century piece, and the others, along with the reading desks, were designed by Woodstock woodworker Stephen Robin and his wife, Joan Elliott ’67, in a complementary style). Inside the cases and drawers are books and manuscripts arranged by size: duodecimo, octavo, quarto, and folio. “This is the first collection that we have catalogued and housed in this way,” explains Tieger, “and that is for preservation purposes.” Items “of great age, great value, or great fragility” go into the climate-controlled vault. Scholars wishing to consult the Sussman Collection for their research can do so by submitting an electronic request for an appointment, and those requests are streaming in from faculty, students, alumni/ae, and members of the local community. “If someone comes with some kind of legitimate pursuit—and sometimes that’s just pure curiosity on the topic—we’ll do our best to make them welcome,” promises Tieger, who sees the task now as making the collection more visible and thinking about more ways to integrate it into Bard’s academic programs. Any number of existing classes could take advantage of what’s in the collection, but the idea of classes designed around the archive itself is also exciting: a course on the history of print publications, like Ewing’s; an interdisciplinary seminar training students from a wide range of disciplines on the use of original source materials in research. “When we can make these things available for students, that’s just very close to my heart,” says Tieger. “We’re working on a new plan, new vision, new mission for the library, and definitely part of that is going to be reimagining how the academic community engages with our collections, how we bring these collections to life.” Alan Sussman’s intellectual curiosity, commitment to social justice, and inspiring generosity represent an ongoing and invaluable contribution to the richness of Bard College.
Some of you are teen-agers, students. How do you think I feel— and I belong to a generation ahead of you—how do you think I feel to have to tell you, “We, my generation, sat around like a knot on a wall while the whole world was fighting for its human rights—and you’ve got to be born into a society where you still have that same fight.” What did we do, who preceded you? I’ll tell you what we did: Nothing. And don’t you make the same mistake we made. You get freedom by letting your enemy know that you’ll do anything to get your freedom; then you’ll get it. It’s the only way you’ll get it. When you get that kind of attitude, they’ll label you as a “crazy Negro,” or they’ll call you a “crazy nigger”—they don’t say Negro. Or they’ll call you an extremist or a subversive, or seditious, or a red or a radical. But when you stay radical long enough, and get enough people to be like you, you’ll get your freedom. —Malcolm X Talks to Young People, from a speech sponsored by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Harlem, New York, December 31, 1964, published by the Young Socialist Alliance
Micaela Morrissette ’02 is managing editor of Conjunctions, Bard’s literary journal, and coordinator for Bard’s Program in Written Arts. no ideas but in things 7
refugees at bard college
open hearts, open minds by James Rodewald ’82
In March, an anonymous donation of $1 million was given to the Program for International Education and Social Change (PIE-SC) to fund scholarships for refugee students from Syria. That generous gift will bring to 30 the number of PIE-SC scholars from Syria and other countries in crisis who are working toward their bachelor’s degrees at Bard College Berlin. Such programs seem to become necessary with depressing regularity, and Bard College continues to demonstrate its commitment to freedom, inclusion, and openness by answering the call whenever its core values are threatened. When Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini placed a $1.5 million bounty on Salman Rushdie’s head in 1989, the worldwide reaction was swift and dramatic, though by no means unanimously supportive of the writer. One response would have gone largely unnoticed had Rushdie not told the following story at the 1996 Bard College Commencement. Within weeks of the threat made against me by the mullahs of Iran, I was approached by the president of Bard, through my literary agent, and asked if I would consider accepting a place on the faculty of this college. More than a place: I was assured that I could find, here in Annandale, among the Bard community, many friends, and a safe haven in which I could live and work. Alas, I was not able, in those difficult days, to take up this courageous offer, but I have never forgotten that, at a moment when red-alert signals were flashing all over the world and all sorts of people and institutions were running scared, Bard College did the opposite—that it moved towards me, in intellectual solidarity and human concern, and made not lofty speeches but a concrete offer of help. I hope you will all feel proud that Bard, quietly, without fanfares, made such a principled gesture at such a time. That offer of asylum was in keeping with a long tradition at Bard, going back at least to the 1930s, of welcoming brilliant people into our community who were no longer welcome in theirs. People like Felix Hirsch, a well-known editor in Berlin, who was hired at Bard as a librarian in 1936 and also taught modern European history—a subject he knew all too well; Emil Hauser, a founding member of the Budapest String Quartet, who immigrated to Jerusalem in 1932, helped rescue many Jews from Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany, and came to Bard in 1940 to teach music; labor economist Adolf Sturmthal, who organized aid for German and Austrian socialist refugees in 1933 and ’34, came to the United States in 1938, and also joined the Bard faculty 8 refugees at bard college
in 1940; Werner Wolff, a Berlin psychologist who left Germany to work in Spain when Hitler came to power, moved to the United States in 1939, began teaching at Bard in 1943, and went on to write books on subjects ranging from anthropology to graphology to child psychology; Justus Rosenberg, professor emeritus of languages and literature and visiting professor of literature, who was part of a group that helped 2,000 antifascist intellectuals and cultural figures leave Vichy France in 1940 and has been teaching at Bard since 1962; Adolfas Mekas, who as a teenager fled Lithuania in 1944 with his brother Jonas to avoid prosecution by the German military police, spent five years in displaced persons camps, was finally able to sail to New York City in 1949, and founded the Film Program at Bard, where he taught from 1971 until his retirement in 2004. Not all refugees are forced to cross oceans, of course. In 1941, after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order authorizing the military to exclude “any or all persons” from “military areas,” which he empowered the military itself to define. The armed forces proclaimed the entire West Coast such an area and began the process of moving 110,000 to 120,000 U.S. residents of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, into internment camps. Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, called this action “an instance where the government infringed on the most basic liberties of Japanese-Americans solely on the basis of race, without in any way making the nation safer.” And he described the Supreme Court decision that declared the executive order constitutional as “one of the worst decisions in history.” No less a figure than the 42nd president of the United States, George H. W. Bush, seems to have agreed. In 1991, in remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bush said, “No nation can fully understand itself or find its place in the world if it does not look with clear eyes at all the glories and disgraces, too, of the past. We, in the United States, acknowledge such an injustice in our own history: the internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated.” At the time, such certainty sounded pretty safe. It doesn’t seem quite as inevitable today. Many of those internees had been attending college, and the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council was established to help minimize the disruption in their education. In the end, more than 4,000 students were able to enroll in colleges away from the West Coast. Three came to Bard (that may sound like a small number, but Bard’s graduating classes of 1943 and ’44 were no more than five
refugee who came to Bard in 2013 and is speaking around the world or six): Taro Kawa, Tom Hayashi, and Jin Kinoshita, a pioneer in on the effects of war and detention, community advocacy, and cataract treatment who was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize. humanitarian efforts. She also works with various organizations on Perhaps the College’s most ambitious program to welcome disengagement projects related to refugee concerns. People like Zelda placed students was the Language and Orientation Course organized Bas ’16, a political studies major with a focus in global and internafor Hungarians who fled after their attempted revolution against tional studies, who earned a grant from Bard’s Center for Civic communist dictatorship was put down by the Soviet army. In Engagement to enable her to volunteer in a refugee camp in Germany. December 1956, more than 300 Hungarians, from 15 to 35 years old, There she worked with children, most from Syria, conducted intercame to Bard for eight weeks to learn English and receive an introviews for her Senior Project on homelessness—both physical and duction to life in America. The director of that program was William spiritual—and took the photographs for “Syria Cry,” her exhibition Frauenfelder, who emigrated from Switzerland after World War I. “I in the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Library in February 2016. People like left discouragement and many fears behind me when I came to the Raed Al-Abbasee ’13, who was a student at Al Mustansiriya College United States,” Frauenfelder told a Bard newspaper reporter in 1947. of Medicine in Baghdad when escalating violence there and death Such a background made him the perfect person to head up the very threats against his family forced them to flee to Syria (see Spring 2013 successful program. Among the young men and women who spent Bardian). Al-Abbasee knew that in Syria he would be unable to comthat winter at Bard and went on to study in American universities plete his education. And then he heard about the Iraqi Student Project, was László Z. Bitó ’60, who earned his degree in biology at Bard, got his Ph.D. at Columbia, and later developed a groundbreaking treatment for glaucoma (see Fall 2016 Bardian). Bitó has moved back to his native Hungary and continues to be deeply engaged in social issues. Last October he attended a demonstration against the government of prime minister Victor Orban, which has led opposition to a European Union plan for member states to take in people fleeing conflict in Syria and elsewhere. Bitó wore a sign saying, “I was a refugee too.” Heinrich Bluecher left Germany in January 1934, after helping “assist the victims as much as I could,” he wrote a decade later, “which was possible for me as a non-Jewish person.” Bluecher made his way to Paris where, in 1936, he met Hannah Arendt. She had fled Germany after a short stay in a Gestapo prison for the alleged crime of “subversive research” in a library. They married in 1940 and moved to New York City a year later. A decade after that, Bard President James Case came up with the idea for a Common Course, which he saw as an examination of “a whole series Jonas Mekas Overlooking Kassel/Mattenberg Displaced Persons Camp, 1948, Adolfas Mekas of questions dealing with major issues in man’s . . . political, economic, and social aims; . . . his artistic, intellectual, reliwhich helps displaced Iraqi students study in the United States. With gious, and moral concerns.” Case hired Bluecher to direct the program, the support of members of the local community, several nonprofits, and Bluecher spent the next several months meeting with students and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which helped relocate and faculty to further define the course’s parameters and goals. “The his family, Al-Abbasee was able to take advantage of Bard’s prestigious common core course has as its task to establish human freedom from Distinguished Scientist Scholarship. He is now working toward a Ph.D. within in such a way that all the fields of human endeavor begin to at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. form a living community and enter into creative mutual collaboraThe Bard community does this well. Gyula Nyikos, the chief tion,” Bluecher wrote in 1952. “Its ultimate purpose is . . . to help make English instructor for the Hungarian refugee students, said of Bard’s the human mind . . . an open mind for an open human world . . . lest president at the time, “Jim Case didn’t open the doors; he flung them it fall into the trap of whichever tyrannical idea of totality.” open.” The richness of humanity that, against so many odds, walks Human decision-making is complicated, to say the least. People’s through those doors—in Annandale, around the country, and around lives can be ruined—and millions have been ended—by errors the world—continues to inform and inspire. Actually, these aren’t induced by biases in judgment. Whatever you think of this particular things Bard does. This is what Bard is. moment, it is unquestionably challenging for those who believe in For information on the Bard Sanctuary Fund, which supports equality, dignity, respect, freedom, and education. Our best hope conrefugee and undocumented students, visit cce.bard.edu/sanctuary tinues to be education. We need people like Sana Mustafa ’17, a Syrian open hearts, open minds 9
bard early colleges
putting secondary education first by Ella Geismar BHSEC Queens ’14 and Stephen Tremaine ’07
10 bard early colleges
Hana Kitasei was just days away from the start of 10th grade at a New York City public school, and she was dreading going back. She had grown impatient with strict and uninspired math and art classes—her two favorite subjects—when she saw an advertisement for a new kind of high school, one that was also a campus of Bard College, offering the same commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and to engaged teaching and scholarship that define the Bard campus in Annandale. She decided to apply. For Kitasei, who went on to earn a B.A. in mathematics from Harvard and now works in Los Angeles as a documentary cinematographer, Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) Manhattan changed everything. She felt at home from the first moments of the interview, when it was clear that Bard was looking for ideas and curiosity, not answers on a test. “I knew it was for me,” she says. “I started a few days later and I feel incredibly fortunate.” Fifteen years later, the Bard Early Colleges have grown from that one pathbreaking campus in New York City to seven campuses nationwide, with more than 2,300 students. A simple, elegant, and powerful
Aubreigh Dehinbo photo Qi Cheng Yeh
idea—make the intellectual inspiration of the liberal arts classroom available to young people in public school systems when they’re ready, not when convention dictates—has gained widespread acceptance and acclaim. Moreover, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, the nation’s first early college, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. All of which makes this the perfect moment to look back, through the eyes of three young people, at what makes these schools, and this idea, so special. BHSEC began as an innovative partnership with the New York City Department of Education, offering a Bard education and a Bard College associate in arts degree within a tuition-free public high school. Bard was not new to early college; as longtime parent of Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College, Bard had already established itself as a pioneer of the idea. Introducing early college to a public school system, however, was an unprecedented step forward, one with enormous reverberations. That original, isolated experiment has become a national movement. In 2007, as a response to the success of the Manhattan campus, a second BHSEC campus opened in Queens. Bard has opened five additional early colleges since then—in Harlem, Newark, Cleveland, New Orleans, and, most recently, Baltimore. Bard’s early college network has grown to reach communities across the country, and the threads that connect its students have never been more apparent. Kitasei’s story—exercising the courage to come to a school without precedent, taking her education into her own hands, and starting college when she knew she was ready for it—is one that is echoed by almost all Bard Early College students. They are, by definition, young people who have rejected the status quo and are at the heart of the most intellectually demanding network of middle and high schools in the country. This work begins from a simple premise: a young person’s education should not conform to regulations but rather to his or her ambitions. For Junaid Kapadia, being a Bardian is about “more than just an early college degree.” Kapadia made the decision to attend BHSEC Queens after completing ninth and 10th grade elsewhere. He graduated in 2011, and within three years he had completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Marist College. He now works as a software engineer in New York. Speaking to students at BHSEC Queens last year, Kapadia acknowledged that the prestige, savings, and opportunity afforded by his early college education were major selling points, particularly as a Muslim immigrant in America. “But the true value,” he said, “lies in its cultivation of a challenging and fruitful educational environment. . . . It instilled in me an ability to listen, think, and then respond to any situation that I have since encountered in life. . . . I owe a lot to Bard for allowing me the opportunity to think beyond the traditional confines of discourse.” Kapadia’s words are an important reminder: these schools are, simply and unambiguously, Bard campuses. The faculty are active and accomplished in their fields, the classes (from First-Year Seminar to the sciences) are discussion-based seminars, and the students are held to the high standards of inquiry and intellectual engagement that are the hallmark of the College. These young people are Bard
undergraduates first, separated from Annandale only by geography, and they are high schoolers second. They share with one another the commitments that thread across the radically diverse and far-reaching Bard community, from Kyrgyzstan to Cleveland. What defines this community is a set of intellectual commitments: to free and open inquiry, to inclusive and pluralistic debate, to the value of curiosity over certainty, to the notion that intellectual work is a profound and vital form of democratic engagement. The early colleges powerfully embody these commitments. In a society whose education standards are often destructive to critical thought— particularly as the pressures of standardized testing and understaffing have led public high schools farther and farther from the values that define the very institutions of higher education to which students aspire—school for too many young people is, unfortunately, not a place to think. Secondary education is failing socioeconomically disadvantaged high-achieving students, and the cost of higher education makes it increasingly inaccessible. The Bard Early Colleges present a proven solution to both those problems: 95 percent of BHSEC students have completed an associate’s degree alongside a high school diploma; 97 percent of all graduates complete their bachelor’s degrees within six years of finishing a Bard Early College program (the national average is 59 percent). The high school–to–college continuum is where some of America’s brightest but least supported students fall through the cracks. When college is immediate, free, and rewarding, young people see themselves and their opportunities in a different light. A Bard Early College education, writes Kapadia, “prepares you for the rigors of college—because it is college.” In recasting when students go to college, early college is also recasting who goes to college. BHSEC Baltimore was exactly what Aubreigh Dehinbo needed. She was inspired by the opportunity to start serious college work early. Though she was living with her mother and four siblings in Georgia, she decided to relocate to her father’s city, Baltimore, when she read about Bard’s newest campus opening there. It has taken some time to adjust to the rigors of the program, but she has found pride and community in the intellectual curiosity and hard work of her peers. “The thing about Bard students,” Dehinbo says, “and not just in Baltimore, is that we want to know the things we’re being taught, and we’ll go the extra mile to make sure we master each concept.” Kitasei, Kapadia, and Dehinbo each found their way to a Bard Early College under different circumstances, but their stories highlight the transformative potential—both for students and for Bard— of not infantilizing young people. As a college, Bard is in the business of shaping the intellectual and civic development of the generation that will soon lead our society; in this sense, above all others, Bard is truly lucky for the chance to make a place for these young people in its community. Ella Geismar BHSEC Queens ’14 is program associate for Bard Early Colleges. Stephen Tremaine ’07 is vice president for early colleges.
putting secondary education first 11
12 bard’s fulbright and watson winners
Every Night’s a Sleepover, from The Gulf, 2013, Nguyen Khoi Nguyen ’04
bard’s fulbright and watson winners
where are they now by Grayson Morley ’13
Bard College may be located in Annandale, but its scope is decidedly global. A Bard education opens one up to the possibility of global citizenship, and two of the most prestigious international grantgiving institutions regularly recognize this by honoring deserving Bard students. Both Fulbright scholarships and Watson fellowships offer students time abroad, funding them in pursuits of their own devising. Bard furnishes the international mindset, and the Fulbright and Watson offer the opportunity to bring that mindset to work in the world. For a brief window of time, these awards allow for unconstrained study and practice, but the journey is never finished. As these four Bardians show, the path does not so much end as bend.
Nguyen Khoi Nguyen ’04. photo Thao Nguyen
Scientists know that turtles utilize magnetoreception to cross the depths of the ocean. What they don’t know, at least not exactly, is how the turtles do it. That’s the subject of We Don’t Know: Magnetoreception, a Science magazine video produced by Nguyen Khoi Nguyen ’04. In it, an adorable turtle, drawn and animated by Nguyen, swims its way through curling, coral-colored lines meant to represent magnetic fields, all set to music composed by Nguyen. The We Don’t Know video series centers on blind spots in scientific understanding, and because it’s tricky to capture footage of the unknown, Nguyen conjures the imagery. Nguyen has worked on a number of series for Science, but the magnetoreception episode has, he says, “a slightly more whimsical
attitude.” Another he worked on, The XX Files, focuses on the work of women in science. The We Don’t Know series gives Nguyen the freedom to use all of what he knows. Which, it turns out, is quite a lot. Before beginning his work with Science, Nguyen wrote a multimedia, digital-first project called The Gulf. He also drew The Gulf. He also animated The Gulf. He also composed the music for The Gulf. Inspired by graphic novels like Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s Abandon the Old in Tokyo and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel SR ’77, he wanted to take a stab at the form. And when the iBooks Author self-publishing app came out, Nguyen jumped. The new tool, he thought, would make the project manageable. “I remember naively thinking not that it would be easy but that it would be easier,” he says, laughing. “Turns out, it was an incredible amount of work.” The Gulf is inspired by Nguyen’s childhood and stories of his parents’ experiences in Vietnam. Of the 10 planned chapters, four are currently available for purchase. In the first chapter, a baby sea turtle is redirected toward the sea. When the reader taps the tablet screen, a charmingly rudimentary animation begins to play. The baby turtle takes the plunge and enters the ocean. His work also focuses on migration, on movement, which the Watson fellowship helped to bring into focus. He originally conceived of a project to explore Vietnamese opera, but his interest expanded in scope once he hit the ground, and he ultimately found himself collaborating with musicians in Saigon. It was the first time he’d returned to Vietnam since immigrating, at the tender age of one, with his parents. But more than anything, the Watson proved the value of taking risks. “As you get older,” Nguyen says, “you get less courageous, for some reason.” Whenever he notices this happening, he remembers the Watson, remembers that he is the same person he was then. “It made me say, deep in my soul and my heart, I want more. With everything I do, I want to do really great work.” The Watson was a continuation of what he felt at Bard: “I remember how much my professors invested in me. They believed in me. So whenever I have doubts about the work I’m doing, I think about this.” You can see the impact of his studies and travels on every project he undertakes. One video Nguyen produced for Science focuses on the effects of increased urbanization. By 2050, the video says, two out of three people will live in a city. Nguyen’s animations play out over fast-motion footage of cityscapes, and one feels the same migratory energy that pervades the rest of his work. where are they now 13
Good investment considers not just the resilience of buildings and infrastructure but also the people who inhabit and rely on them. Moreover, it treats those people as individuals, not as an indistinguishable mass. “It’s about understanding not only the movement but the background that some of these people come from,” Chung says. “What do people want in a city? Yes, they have better economic opportunities, but also a feeling there are more chances of achieving one’s full potential.”
The World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery works to ensure development is sustainable. photo Christophe Chung ’06
As a disaster risk management specialist with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery at the World Bank, Christophe Chung ’06 works on projects that ensure urban development is sustainable and resilient to disasters and climate change impacts. As local governments in the developing world seek to create housing and other infrastructure, they often turn to organizations like the World Bank to help in these efforts. “Disasters and climate change pose major challenges to development,” he says. “Whether it’s a hurricane, flood, or something else, such an event erases a lot of progress in that country. For Chung, it’s not just a matter of financing.” In his experiences as a Watson fellow, Chung saw firsthand what drives rural peoples to seek out cityscapes —not only the economic reasons but also the social ones. “My parents both came from villages and they moved to the city,” he says. “They met in Seoul, South Korea, married, and moved to the States. At that time, Korea was rapidly urbanizing after coming out of war. The Watson helped me understand their experience a little better. Why did they leave their villages? Why was it so appealing for them to move to the city as young people? And I think by learning from my parents’ stories, it helps me understand our clients better. “The city was this dream place. There was this feeling that there were more possibilities in the city,” he says. While visiting and working with terrace farmers in Peru, Bolivia, Italy, Vietnam, Laos, China, and India, many of whom had been working the land for generations, the draw of urbanity for them was apparent. And he noticed that many who made the move ended up in less-than-ideal living conditions. Even before the Watson, Chung was concerned, he says, with “urban issues in the developing world.” Chung came to Bard knowing that he was interested in international studies, but it wasn’t until he worked with professors like the late James Chace (Paul W. Williams Professor of Government and Public Law and Administration) and Noah Chasin (former assistant professor of architectural history) that his focused narrowed. His Senior Project looked at postwar reconstruction in Beirut. But the Watson helped concretize these concepts, and that helps Chung with his work today. Many of these issues he has thought about since an early age. 14 bard’s fulbright and watson winners
Ting Ting Cheng ’02 (red jacket) at the Women’s March on Washington photo Cass Bird/Art+Commerce
Ting Ting Cheng ’02 is a trial attorney with the Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), and the deck is often stacked against the people she works with. “BDS looks at a client not just as somebody charged with a crime but as someone who is probably being victimized by the criminal justice system, who probably has been a target of overpolicing,” Cheng says. “You want to place the arrest or the charge in that context.” Many of her clients are undocumented, so for them a small offense can put many things in jeopardy. Their housing, livelihood, and access to their children can all be threatened. Immigration law, Cheng says, is constantly changing, dependent as it is on the politics of each new federal administration. But rather than despair at this fact, Cheng finds it a challenge, and even an opportunity. “To me, it’s a Rubik’s Cube,” she says. “You can find loopholes, you can find ways to advocate for people—different pathways for them to stay in the country.” Her studies at Bard shaped her. “Sometimes I wonder if my life would have taken a different path if I had not initially done the Bard Human Rights Project,” Cheng says. Her undergraduate experiences spurred her onward: Cheng used the Fulbright to pursue a clerkship with the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She also interned with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, whose purpose was to prosecute the architects of genocide. While she wouldn’t say the path from her Fulbright to BDS was a direct or obvious one, there are commonalities among her various positions. “We have so much racial polarity in America,” she says. “We have a huge mass incarceration crisis. We have a huge issue with police
shootings. So it makes sense for me to go from a place like the constitutional court in South Africa to what I’m doing right now.” Given the current political climate, Cheng can’t be sure what to expect when it comes to her work, and she’s not exactly optimistic. But she is encouraged, at least, by the newfound intellectual sobriety of many Americans, of which she saw ample evidence in her role as legal adviser to the Women’s March on Washington. “There’s a collective recognition that there is a ton of work to be done right now,” Cheng says. For her first major New York City solo show, Ritual and Reality, at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Yishay Garbasz ’04 traveled through Fukushima Prefecture, mostly on foot, after the 2011 tsunami. That body of work continued her lifelong quest to explore and document spaces that have gone through serious trauma. In her 2015 exhibition Severed Connections: Do what I say or they will kill you, she uses landscape photography to explore the separation between countries and borders. Many of the photographs were taken at the North Limit Line and demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. Militarization and the ways governments control their people are among the focuses of the work. Garbasz’s interest in conflict is not rooted only in fellow feeling. She feels and experiences conflict in her own life. “You are privileged enough to live in a community that is not under constant warfare. My communities are under attack,” she says. Garbasz is trans, an immigrant in Germany, and dyslexic (she learned to write when she was 25), and in these identities, she experiences
division. “Considering how political my body is, being alive in a body that is not normative is an act of defiance. Every day you wear this body is political.” Garbasz’s work is intentionally political, but it is historically rooted. The project she undertook through her Watson, “In My Mother’s Footsteps,” traces her mother’s movements during the Holocaust, from her escape from the Nazis to her liberation by British forces. The Watson allowed Garbasz to begin this journey, but it took 11 years to complete. She does not consider this a long time. It was, she feels, the appropriate amount of time for the work. “It’s abnormal to have such short projects as we see these days,” she says. “I think good art is like an iceberg. Very little of it is visible above the water level. Most of it is underwater.” What she looks for, in short, is depth. At Bard, she worked with Stephen Shore, Susan Weber Professor in the Arts, and she came to view photography as “a tool to see your own mind.” She of course learned a variety of skills and artistic techniques, but just as important was seeing that even someone as accomplished as Shore could make mistakes. And that, far from being failures, they were part of the process. “We are judged, from the outside, on our success,” she says. “But success teaches you nothing.” Accordingly, she often teaches workshops on failure. Stumbling, she believes, is an important part of the journey. Nguyen, Chung, Cheng, and Garbasz, through their diverse experiences with the Fulbright and Watson, each embarked on a journey that continues to this day. The public affirmation that comes with awards like the Watson and Fulbright has profound impacts: the recipients are encouraged to continue their work, other students are inspired to follow their path, and we have the opportunity to celebrate their commitment to public service. These honors also bring the added responsibility that comes with being part of a select group, and this can be a burden. “The Watson basically ruins your life,” says Garbasz, only half-jokingly. “But it’s the best thing in the world. You will never be the same afterward.” Grayson Morley ’13, an M.F.A. candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, teaches English and creative writing at the University of Iowa. His fiction has appeared in the Brooklyn Review and Des Moines Register.
Locals harvesting oysters, North Hani Beach with Dragon’s Teeth and South Korean Army post, Baengnyeongdo, 2013, Yishay Garbasz ’04
where are they now
defusing the tick time bomb by Stephanie Dunn â€™13
Daniella Azulai â€™17 prepares to tag and release a white-footed mouse
Imagine kneeling on the ground in the pouring rain clutching a white-footed mouse by the scruff of its neck. It’s 7 a.m. on a Tuesday during summer break, and there are eight more hours of physically and mentally demanding work ahead. As the rain falls, the mouse’s fur clumps together, making it all the more challenging to count the black-legged ticks, many of which are smaller than the tip of a pencil. For Bard students on the field crew of the Tick Project, this is their reality. One member of that team, Daniella Azulai ’17, says, “Working on a project that is attempting to decrease Lyme disease, an illness that has caused so much harm in the area where we are working, made me feel like the work I was doing was well worth it.” The Tick Project (TTP) is a five-year study testing whether tickborne disease rates can be reduced in high-risk areas. Based in Dutchess County, an area notorious for Lyme disease, the study involves 1,200 families in 24 hotspot neighborhoods. Bard’s Felicia Keesing, David and Rosalie Rose Distinguished Professor of Science, Mathematics, and Computing, and Cary Institute Disease Ecologist Richard Ostfeld are codirectors of the groundbreaking field study. Their research will determine if the number of cases of Lyme disease can be reduced in neighborhoods using interventions that target ticks that are both questing (host-seeking) and already feeding on hosts. The research team will test two intervention strategies: a fungal spray called Met52 and the Tick Control System (TCS). Met52 contains a fungus (Metarhizium anisopliae) that is native to Northeastern forests and known to kill ticks within a week of contact. It can be used in yards to kill ticks that are seeking a blood meal without jeopardizing the safety of humans, their pets, or wildlife. TCS boxes are used to apply fipronil, a commercial insecticide, directly onto ticks’ favorite small mammal hosts, such as mice and chipmunks. At the end of the five-year study, results will show whether these interventions, used simultaneously or individually, can reduce Lyme disease incidence in humans. The stakes are high. With the blacklegged tick population expanding to nearly half of the country, annual cases of Lyme disease have doubled since 2000. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of counties considered Lyme disease hotspots has nearly quadrupled since 1995. More than 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, and tick-borne illnesses cost the U.S. healthcare system as much as $1.3 billion annually, according to a recent Johns Hopkins University study. The Tick Project is an environmental intervention of unprecedented scale. Similar studies of smaller scopes have attempted to reduce the population of ticks on individual properties. Previous research found that treating a yard in isolation does not reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease; ticks and their hosts travel freely over property lines. For this reason, the Tick Project is taking a wider, neighborhood-based approach. By applying interventions across multiple properties, the project will determine whether communitywide tick extermination is a feasible method for reducing tick-borne disease in humans. The study is groundbreaking for more than its size. “It’s randomized, well replicated, placebo-controlled, and double
blind,” Keesing explains. “This is a field study that meets the gold standards of scientific research.” Thanks to a $5 million leadership grant awarded to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Bard College by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, the Tick Project is on its way to meeting a funding goal of $8.8 million. “We still need support to be able to run it for five years,” Keesing says, explaining that if TTP is cut short due to a lack of funding, researchers may not be able to determine the full effect of their interventions. The Cohen Foundation grant enabled researchers to get started last summer, which is why a team of 16 field assistants could be seen walking through neighborhoods in their white coveralls, recruiting participants and laying the groundwork for this rigorous study. Four members of the team, which was deployed in Lyme disease hotspots around Dutchess County, were Bard students. Azulai describes the difficulties of working on a study for which there is no prior model. Developing project protocols was “very challenging,” she says, but “it was rewarding, too, to think about the next generations of TTP crews and how they would be using the same protocols that we had laid the foundations for.” Assistant research specialist Deanna DePietro ’16 says working on the Tick Project has allowed her to explore her interests in public health and science communication while participating in fieldwork, including small mammal handling. Both Bardians credit their love of science to supportive relationships with professors, small class sizes, and research opportunities that, according to Azulai, “would be hard to match anywhere else.” DePietro says that as a student and teaching fellow in Bard’s Citizen Science program, she developed a passion for communicating science. She describes the relationship between the public and the scientific community as a bridge that is crumbling. Allie Cashel ’13, author of Suffering the Silence: Chronic Lyme Disease in an Age of Denial and founder of the nonprofit Suffering the Silence, agrees. “The Lyme community often perceives a major gap between their experience and the work being done in the scientific community,” she says. The Tick Project and its researchers are doing work to mend this gap. “What I love about this project is being able to interact with all of our participants,” DePietro says. Citizen partnership is a fundamental aspect of the Tick Project. “We’re hoping to build relationships,” says Keesing, “that will sustain us through five years of intensive research in people’s neighborhoods and their yards.” Cashel, a member of the Global Lyme Alliance Young Leaders Council, believes that “having a study of this caliber be so directly connected to the experience of families will be refreshing and exciting to many of the people already affected by this disease.” This deep connection to the lives and health of 1,200 families in Dutchess County can feel like a great responsibility for researchers, but Keesing says it is “a tremendous privilege to be the ones who get to do this.” Even if it means squatting in the mud holding a soaked rodent. Stephanie Dunn ’13, a photography and biology major, teaches elementary school science in Brooklyn.
defusing the tick timebomb 17
bard comics walk into a bar: “ouch!” “ouch!” “ouch!” by James Rodewald ’82
You don’t have to have a sense of humor to go to Bard . . . but it helps. Ba-dum-tssh! But seriously, the list of funny people who’ve come through Annandale is almost as long as Leon’s resume. I’m here all week. Okay, enough of that. Comedy is obviously best left to the professionals: people like Chevy Chase ’68, Christopher Guest ’70, Lewis Schaffer ’79, Claudia Sherman ’81, Ali Wentworth ’88, Dan Wilbur ’09, and, apparently, everyone from the classes of 2004, 2005, and 2006. After his sophomore year, Ben Popik ’05, a neuropsychology major, had an epiphany. “I’ve always been interested in both consciousness and how things work. Unfortunately, it turned out that the questions I was seeking answers to are still the unanswered questions that we’re all seeking answers to.” So Popik did what many 18 olde english
do when confronted with the limits of knowledge: he created his own reality. “I switched to creative writing,” he says. “I’d always envied comedians and comedy writers, and at some point—after I’d already taken all of the pre-med requirements—I realized that there was nothing stopping me from pursuing that dream. That’s why I started Olde English.” The comedy group he birthed at Bard went on to make more than 150 Internet videos and perform at comedy festivals around the country; their monthly variety show had a three-year run at New York City’s renowned Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. In 2012, they released a surprisingly moving film, The Exquisite Corpse Project, which beautifully documents the challenges and rewards of collaboration.
Left to right: Ben Popik ’05, Raphael Bob-Waksberg ’06, Dave Segal ’06, Caleb Bark ’12, and Adam Conover ’04. photo Azikiwe Mohammed ’05
Adam Conover ’04, Popik’s first-year roommate and a philosophy major, was one of the founding members. “Ben and I were assigned as roommates in the lottery,” recalls Conover. “We got along so poorly as roommates that I requested to move out after one semester. But I kept hanging out with him. We remained friends, we just weren’t good roommates.” In that early relationship, you can see the combination of friendship and angst—true love-hate associations—that would come to define Olde English through nearly a decade as a group. Conover’s subversively smart and funny show on TruTV, Adam Ruins Everything, began as a stand-up routine that he turned into a sketch for the website CollegeHumor, where he was a writer. “Adam’s character is the hyperbolized, tall-haired version of the same annoying, smarter-than-everyone-else kid who was my roommate in South Hall, room 201,” says Popik. In Conover’s show, which is going into its second season, he debunks myths, exposes marketing ploys masquerading as traditions, takes on difficult and confusing topics, and does it all with humor and, yes, a little bit of annoyingness. Of the relationship between his academic career and his current show, Conover says, “Philosophy has a lot in common with comedy. This is just philosophy by another name: Do I really know this? Am I sure about this? Those are the same questions I ask in my comedy.” As Conover remembers it, Olde English started with 10 members, but that number was quickly halved. Raphael Bob-Waksberg ’06, creator of the show BoJack Horseman, perhaps the funniest sad show (or the saddest funny show) ever made, attributes the attrition to how seriously Popik took the project. “We had multiple meetings and some people just fell by the wayside. The meetings were a good test: the kind of people who want to talk about this stuff five days a week were the right ones for the group.” Bob-Waksberg, a theater major, recalls an early one-on-one where he got a glimpse of Popik’s ambitions for Olde English: “I remember sitting in a field outside the Toasters talking about comedy with Ben. I wanted to do a lot of jokes about Bard. He said, ‘No, we can be bigger than that.’” It’s unlikely that Popik could have foreseen just how much bigger it would become. The group’s members were certainly talented, but that alone is no guarantee of success. Luckily, their timing was impeccable. From 2000 to 2001, broadband subscriptions in the United States increased by 50 percent; 2003 saw a similar increase. And that was the period when Olde English started to post their sketch comedy videos. A few years earlier, their potential audience would have been orders of magnitude smaller; later, and there would have been a lot more competition for eyeballs. And there were no gatekeepers—no network executives to censor material of questionable taste, no advertisers to worry about offending, no government agencies policing their language. Of course, there was also no revenue stream, but the group was able to keep overhead low by using available resources. One of the early videos, the hilarious “Food Rap,” was shot in Down the Road Café (“Man I’m starvin’, where we gonna eat/We could get a snack at Down the Street/Down the Street? You mean Down the Road! We better eat fast or we might explode”), another takes place in Stevenson Gymnasium. There were always actors willing to take parts, cameras
were easy to come by, and editing could be done on the Macs in the Old Henderson computer lab. (Some of the first videos were parodies of Apple ads: write what you know.) Conover became the video editor because, he says, “I was good with computers. I wasn’t in the Film Program, but I was able to go to the computer lab where there were a ton of G4s, and it was open 24 hours a day so I could stay up all night. If it hadn’t been for the lab, the group wouldn’t have existed. I worked as a video editor for more than five years after I graduated. I owe my comedy career to that.” Without the support—most of it intentional—from the College, the group might still have existed, but it would have been performance based and probably would not have survived the graduation of its members. The Internet made widespread popularity possible. In hindsight, Olde English’s most remarkable free resource may have been the Bard server. As Bob-Waksberg explains, “Ben felt there was a bigger audience than Bard, especially for the videos. They ended up being more popular than we expected. At one point we crashed the Bard server. Nobody could get their e-mails. I was really annoyed. I remember asking, ‘What’s wrong with the Internet? Why can’t I get my e-mail?’ Then someone told me that we did that.” It also turns out that Annandale is a great place to find a receptive crowd. “Bard was an incredible place to start exploring comedy and its boundaries,” says Popik. “Between the intelligence level of the crowd and the lack of anything else to do, we always had an audience that was incredibly supportive and dying to be entertained. I’m sure the wonderful support we had at Bard imbued us with a little more confidence than we probably should have had as a beginning comedy group, but it was also that confidence that propelled us onward.” Popik was (and is) a doer. And his collaborators, for the most part, shared this quality. As Bob-Waksberg says, “Bard is a great school for people who really want to do stuff. Before he started Olde English, Ben had a Four Square club; it was one of biggest clubs on campus. After everyone from Olde English left Bard, I was there for another year and I wanted to do stand-up. So I started a club and we performed every week. You don’t always get those kinds of opportunities in the real world.” Embracing enthusiasm and rewarding initiative are great, but trusting those who’ve been thus empowered is where the magic can happen. That trust is sometimes betrayed, of course, but the members of Olde English are poster children for handing over the keys to the tool shed. “The best thing for me about Bard,” says Conover, “was that it treated me as an adult. The attitude was, ‘You’re a scholar just like the rest of us. You’re writing a Senior Project because you’re going to contribute to this field.’ That attitude actually encouraged us to do Olde English. When you’re doing work like that, you have to take yourself seriously. You have to think: ‘I’m not some amateur who has to be shy about what I’m doing, I am a real comedian.’ I think a big part of the style we had, which was different from other college groups, was that we thought of ourselves as professionals. That was what we aspired to. We always took it seriously and held it to a very high standard. We pushed ourselves.”
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Adam Conover ’04 on the set of Adam Ruins Everything. photo Courtesy of TruTV
Bob-Waksberg applies that level of seriousness to BoJack Horseman. Nominally a show about a washed-up actor who was the star of the movie Secretariat and just happens to be a humanoid horse (or horse-oid human?), it explores deep emotional territory. The actors who voice the animated characters are some of the best in the business, the animation and production are sublime, and the writing is by turns touching, hilarious, and thought provoking. In a truly extraordinary episode, BoJack visits an underwater film festival on his Oscar campaign tour and ends up rescuing a sea horse baby and reuniting it with its family—at some cost to his own career ambitions. The 25-minute episode is almost entirely without dialogue (because BoJack doesn’t speak Fish), but it is storytelling at its finest. The punch-line twist at the end perfectly captures BoJack’s character and, in an instant, transports us back to reality in all its complexity. Setting out to craft an episode of a sitcom without recourse to dialogue is exactly the kind of thing Olde English loved to do. When they were performing regularly in New York City, they would sometimes do a Rules Show, in which they would assign one another a set of parameters to guide the writing of the sketches. The imposition of constraints eliminated some of the infinite possibilities, streamlined the often-frustrating democratic creative process, and
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focused everyone on a common goal: how to find a function for a particular form. Olde English would record the discussion of the rules and play the video of that meeting for the audience. “As soon as that footage ended,” says Popik, “the lights would come up and they’d watch the sketch play out, or a video would start if it was a video sketch. What we discovered, to our amazement, was that even if the sketch completely bombed—which many of them did because the constraints were often too difficult—the audience would still die laughing because they knew why it was bad. That was fascinating to me: a format where the audience could derive new satisfaction by seeing the creative process. Of course, if the sketch went well they loved that even more. The danger zone is between the sketch coming out great and coming out terribly. The audience loved either of those outcomes but were bored by the middle area.” This understanding of that miserable middle ground shaped Olde English’s final project. (Final is awfully final; as Conover points out, “If we all go to the same place, we are Olde English.”) In 2010, six months after leaving the group he started, Popik had an idea. He was planning to move to Belize, but before he left, he wanted the five other members of Olde English (Bob-Waksberg, Conover, Joel Clark ’05, Dave Segal ’06, and Chioke Nassor, who had joined to work on
videos a few years earlier) to write a movie script together. Not collaboratively, the way they’d always worked, but serially, in the manner of the Exquisite Corpse surrealist drawing game or the word game on which it was based. Each would write 15 pages, but the person who came next would only get to read the last five pages of the previous writer’s section. As they’d done with the Rules Show, the meetings were filmed. That documentary footage became the heart of the movie, whereas the movie within the movie was, well, let’s just say that it did manage to avoid the boring middle ground. Shockingly (to graduates of liberal arts colleges, at least), it turns out not everyone is familiar with the Exquisite Corpse drawing game, so there was some confusion about whether their movie was a horror film. For anyone uncomfortable watching intimate relationships unfold, and unravel, before their eyes, it is a kind of horror film. But it’s also funny and sad. It’s easy to feel a connection to these bright and serious yet silly and sensitive people. At the same time, they will drive you crazy with their passive-aggressive—and sometimes just plain aggressive—caviling. Suzanne Richardson ’05, one of several women who were part of Olde English, says, “I loved each of those young men, but as a group? I was in love with all of them, but I hated them all. The movie was proof of the dynamic I’d witnessed.” (Richardson, now an English professor at Utica College, was great in “Ransom,” which is still available on oldeenglish.org.) In one telling scene from The Exquisite Corpse Project, Popik reads Joel Clark’s installment and insists that because it’s so horrendous, Clark has to redo it. Naturally, Clark responds by
undertaking to write the worst possible script. And Popik does everything he can to make sure that Clark’s section looks and sounds as bad as possible. It’s easy to imagine the many hours of similar battling over the years. That race to the bottom might have sabotaged the film, but in fact Clark introduced an element of conflict and tension exactly where the documentary needed it. Clark has gone on to write several movies, and his directorial debut, Xmas in July, will be making the film-festival-circuit rounds later this year. (Crichton Atkinson ’05 plays Cratchit and is a producer, as is Caleb Bark ’06; Jesse Novak ’04, who does the music for BoJack Horseman, is featured on the soundtrack.) Many other members of Olde English have also made careers in film and TV. Ironically, Popik, who was not only the founder but clearly the driving force behind the group’s perseverance and success, has chosen—at least for the moment—another path. His latest project is The Truck Stop, a shipping-container food court. It has three restaurants, an ice cream shop, and a bar. “Even though I’m not living in L.A.,” says Popik, “I’m still working in the entertainment business. It’s just that I’m entertaining a crowd of 100 tourists and Belizeans sitting at picnic tables drinking margaritas. But it feels like the same set of muscles. Building this place feels no different to me than making a movie—it’s still a collaborative project with lots of different constraints and unforeseeable roadblocks, and I’m still trying to stay ahead of the audience and show them something they haven’t seen yet.”
Bob-Waksberg ’06’s BoJack Horseman. photo Courtesy of Netflix
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On and Off Campus New Faculty at Bard This spring, award-winning author Alaa Al Aswany joined the Bard faculty for one semester as distinguished writer in residence. Al Aswany, an Egyptian novelist whose work has been translated into more than 30 languages, is most widely known for The Yacoubian Building, which was the best-selling novel in the Arab world for more than five years, sold more than one million copies worldwide in translation, and was adapted into the biggest-budget movie ever produced in Egypt. Al Aswany’s other books include Alaa Al Aswany photo Nada Al Aswany Chicago, Friendly Fire: Ten Tales of Today’s Cairo, The Automobile Club of Egypt, and On the State of Egypt: What Caused the Revolution. He is an outspoken advocate for democratic reform in Egypt and was active in the demonstrations that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. He has written about the Arab uprising and life in today’s Egypt for the Huffington Post, World Affairs, and the New York Times, where he was a contributing opinion writer. He has been the subject of in-depth profiles and interviews in the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, and The Guardian, among other publications.
News from the Levy Institute Levy Institute President Appointed to Greek Cabinet Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, president of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and executive vice president and Jerome Levy Professor of Economics at Bard College, was appointed Greece’s minister of economy and development in November 2016. As an economist, Papadimitriou has focused on financial reform, fiscal and monetary policy, community development banking, employment policy, and the distribution of income and wealth. He heads the Levy Institute’s macromodeling team studying and simulating the U.S. and world economies, and has done extensive research on, and modeling of, the Greek economy. He has written widely on Federal Reserve policy, financial structure and stability, employment growth, and Social Security reform; edited and contributed to 13 books; is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Analysis, Challenge, and the Bulletin of Political Economy; and has provided expert testimony in hearings before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on issues ranging from performance-based pay to small-business banking. He has also served on the Competitiveness Policy Council’s Subcouncil on Capital Allocation and is a former vice-chairman of the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission. Papadimitriou has been president of the Levy Institute since 1986 and executive vice president, provost, and economics professor at Bard since 1977. In addition, he has served as executive vice president of Bard College at Simon’s Rock (1979– ) and managing director of Bard College Berlin (2011–15), as well as trustee and treasurer (1992–2013) and chairman (2013– ) of the American Symphony Orchestra. Before joining Bard, he taught on the graduate faculty of the New School for Social Research, where he received his Ph.D. in economics. Papadimitriou will continue to hold his titles at Bard while on leave.
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Ikechukwu Achebe also joined the faculty this spring as visiting associate professor of history. Achebe was most recently a visiting scholar in Africana studies at Brown University and director of the Igbo Archival Dictionary Project Center at Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria. He has served as a consultant and culture development specialist at the World Bank and a senior adviser in knowledge management at the United Nations Foundation. The coauthor of A Composite Synchronic Alphabet of Igbo Dialects and Ikechukwu Achebe photo PAWA House founding editor of the Heritage Library of African ©Pan African Writers’ Peoples, he has presented papers on subjects as varied Association as scientific initiatives in Africa, Igbo language studies, and West African smallpox inoculation from 1720 to 1850. Achebe earned his bachelor’s from the University of Kent at Canterbury, master’s from Coventry University, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He has received research grants from the Ford Foundation, Bard College, MacArthur Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Open Society Institute, Rockefeller Foundation, and National Science Foundation, among others. His father, the late Nigerian novelist and critic Chinua Achebe, taught at Bard from 1990 to 2009.
Levy Conference on the U.S. and World Economies The Levy Economics Institute’s 26th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference took place at Blithewood, on the Bard College campus, on April 18 and 19. This year’s conference, “‘America First’ and Financial Stability,” addressed the implications of the Trump administration’s policies on trade, taxation, and financial regulation measures to generate domestic investments capable of moving the growth rate beyond the “new normal” established in the aftermath of the Great Recession, without jeopardizing financial stability. Panels focused on the outlook for U.S. monetary policy, growth, and employment, and examined what the new proposals could mean for economic performance in Europe and Latin America. Speakers included Federal Reserve Bank Presidents Esther L. George (Kansas City), Patrick T. Harker (Philadelphia), and Eric S. Rosengren (Boston); FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas M. Hoenig; Peter Praet, chief economist and executive board member, European Central Bank; Levy Institute Director of Research Jan Kregel; Arturo O’Connell, formerly on the board of governors of the Central Bank of Argentina; Lakshman Achuthan, cofounder and chief operations officer, Economic Cycle Research Institute; Levy Institute Senior Scholars L. Randall Wray and Fernando J. Cardim de Carvalho; Robert J. Barbera, codirector, Center for Financial Economics, Johns Hopkins University; Paolo Savona, former president of the Fondo Interbancario di Tutela dei Depositi; Stephanie A. Kelton, Levy Institute research associate and professor, University of Missouri–Kansas City; Peter Hooper, managing director and chief economist, Deutsche Bank Securities; Arturo Huerta González, professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Michael E. Feroli, chief U.S. economist, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Levy Institute Research Scholar Michalis Nikiforos; Edwin M. Truman, nonresident senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; and Scott Fullwiler, professor, University of Missouri–Kansas City. Panel moderators were Michael S. Derby, special writer for the Wall Street Journal; Rana Foroohar, global business columnist for the Financial Times and global economic analyst for CNN; Yalman Onaran, senior writer for Bloomberg News; and Christian Plumb, Latin American business editor for Reuters.
Bard Music West Cofounder Allegra Chapman ’10 describes the evolution of Bard Music West, the new iteration of the Bard Music Festival (BMF), as a “sonic journey.” Along with cellist Laura Gaynon, associate director, she created the two-day festival of music, performance, theater, film, and participatory events, which this year focused on 20th-century visionary composer György Ligeti. The goal is to help audiences connect with “the music of our time,” says Chapman. “We designed the festival as a coherent whole, where everything is connected and has a sense of timelessness. In each program we tried to give the audience an experience of discovering the music.” The World of György Ligeti, held March 17–18, 2017, in San Francisco, was an exploration of the Hungarian composer’s life, influences, and music. Choosing Ligeti, widely known to the public through the films of Stanley Kubrick, made a bold statement. “He was revolutionary, and was both backward- and forward-looking,” says Chapman. “He still influences curBoya Wei, soprano; Bard Music West Quartet (Patrick Dalton-Holmes, violin; Zenas Hsu, violin; Jessica Chang, viola; Laura Gaynon, cello); Allegra Chapman '10, piano. photo: Kevin Fryer rent thinking and will continue to resonate in the future. He was particularly eclectic, with influences ranging should be a branch of the official festival, which I wasn’t expecting to have hapfrom 15th-century choral music to Hungarian folk music and the works of pen,” says Chapman. “It was exciting.” Samuel Beckett, so we included examples of them all, including new commisIn addition to Chapman and Evans, other Bard alumni/ae involved in the sioned music for a Beckett play.” inaugural event included performers Luosha Fang ’11, violin and viola; Renata Festival events ranged back and forth in time and across musical genres Rakova ’12, clarinet; Sara LeMesh VAP ’14, voice; and composer and artistic and media, in keeping, Chapman says, with one of her favorite quotes of Ligeti’s: administrator Benjamin Pesetsky ’11. Irene Zedlacher, executive director of the “Musical tradition is a game that stretches over centuries. Every composer BMF and an adviser to Bard Music West, says, “It was an important example changes the rules of the game somewhat, and there are sudden breakthroughs of what those of us here at Bard imagined would come out of the Conservatory and paradigm shifts.” According to Chapman, “What was important about the and of how to put a Conservatory education to use. I admired how they took festival was that people were able to experience music in a new way. Getting our programming a step further by reaching out to people through theater and an audience for contemporary music is not easy. There were people there who film. It was a well-thought-out and balanced program.” Ultimately, she says, didn’t like contemporary music; they were out of their comfort zone. But I heard the first Bard Music West event was symbiotic, with each group learning from them say the music affected them in ways they didn’t expect.” the other. The idea for Bard Music West began percolating in 2014, when Chapman, Botstein adds, “The founders of Bard Music West wanted to create somewho earned a B.Music in piano performance from the Bard College Conservatory thing new and different on the West Coast that nonetheless would possess a of Music and a B.A. in historical studies, became fascinated with the concept family resemblance to the Bard Music Festival. They have indeed succeeded. of examining a composer’s life and music in context, which the BMF has done This inaugural weekend reveals great imagination and courage. Chapman and since 1990. “It made so much sense to me, and was something I rarely saw elseGaynon have received the endorsement and support of the Board of the Bard where in the music world,” she says. Music Festival and its artistic and administrative leadership.” After completing a master’s degree in music at the Juilliard School, Future plans include expanding the festival into a 10-to-12-program event, Chapman moved back home to San Francisco and began teaching and performmuch like the current BMF, and adding a chamber orchestra as well as a smalling. She cofounded, with Gaynon, the chamber music ensemble Phonochrome, scale opera. Instead of BMF’s volume of essays, the plan is for an expanded web and realized how much she enjoyed arts administration and presenting music presence that will provide “a resource that people around the world can access programs. She also began missing her Bard family and the College’s culture, even if they’re not here in person,” says Chapman. “From a philosophical point and dreamed of bringing its influence to the West Coast. “Bard has so many of view, it allows people to connect with these composers and see their place satellite programs,” she says. “Why wasn’t there one here? And that’s where in the continuum of music and of all human expression.” Chapman and Gaynon the idea of a music festival came from.” are also bringing Bard Music West to this year’s BMF with a special event that By presenting contemporary composers in a contextual and innovative will open Weekend Two. way, Chapman, the artistic and executive director of Bard Music West, hoped Chapman says she’s happy to have found a place in music where she can to attract new audiences. “Young people here are very nerdy and love intellecboth perform and be an entrepreneur. She sees Bard as the conservatory of the tualizing online about music, but don’t often attend concerts because the 21st century. “It prepares students for everything and teaches thinking and comatmosphere is too formal and the programming does not excite them.” munication. In order to make a life as a musician, it’s important to express clearly Chapman and her boyfriend, Emanuel Evans ’10, a cellist and software why you’re doing what you’re doing, and get other people excited about it.” engineer, discussed the concept with Robert Martin, director of the Bard For more information, visit bardmusicwest.org. Conservatory; President Leon Botstein; and Christopher H. Gibbs, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Music. “They thought it was a great idea and that it
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Awards and Recognitions Bard Faculty Receive Honors Katherine Boivin, assistant professor of art history, was awarded a $6,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend and an International Center of Medieval Art/Kress Foundation travel grant of $3,000 in support of her forthcoming book. Assistant Professor of Physics Paul Cadden-Zimansky was elected to chair the American Physical Society’s (APS) Forum on the History of Physics (FHP) beginning in 2018. The APS is the largest professional organization of physicists in the world and its 3,500-member FHP is the largest body dedicated to preserving and disseminating the history of physics. Assistant Professor of Biology Cathy Collins received a $371,652 National Science Foundation grant to study “how landscape fragmentation interferes with plant-pathogen interactions that maintain local plant diversity.” Playwright in Residence Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas has won a 2016 Artist Fellowship in Playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Fellowship awards are given to artists living and working in the state of New York for unrestricted use and are intended to fund an artist’s vision or voice, regardless of the level of his or her artistic development. Artists in Residence Daniella Dooling and Beka Goedde were two of the 35 artists chosen by the American Academy of Arts and Letters to show their work at the 2017 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts. The Population Council awarded Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Global Public Health Helen Epstein the Olivia Schieffelin Nordberg Award for excellence in writing and editing in the population sciences. Tom Hutcheon, visiting assistant professor of psychology, received the Early Career Psychologist Poster Award at the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Annual Conference on Teaching in Atlanta, Georgia, for research that assessed the impact of a technology ban on students’ perceptions of the course and instructor. Associate Professor of Psychology Kristin Lane received the 2016 Teaching Resource Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Medrie MacPhee, Sherri Burt Hennessey Artist in Residence, and Shinique Smith, studio arts faculty, were two of 10 artists to win 2016 Anonymous Was A Woman Awards. The award, which recognizes “an artist’s accomplishments, artistic growth, originality, and potential,” provides an unrestricted grant of $25,000 that enables women artists over 40 years of age and at a significant juncture in their lives or careers to continue to pursue their work. Norman Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture, has been named the winner of the 2016 FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages from the Guadalajara International Book Fair. The $150,000 award honors a creative body of work in any literary genre. Manea is the first Romanian author to receive the award. Chamber Music America (CMA) gave a major 2016 commissioning grant to Grand Band piano sextet, which includes Blair McMillen, artist in residence, and Isabelle O’Connell, piano faculty, for performance of a new work by composer Missy Mazzoli. CMA also awarded the Horszowski Trio, Longy artists in residence, a commissioning grant in 2016 for new work by Andreia PintoCorreia. The Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment funded Bruce Robertson, assistant professor of biology, on a research trip to Yunnan province in China, where he investigated how environmental problems are solved in the region. He presented his new research about the impact of evolutionary traps and light pollution on wildlife at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Justus Rosenberg, professor emeritus of languages and literature and visiting professor of literature, was promoted to the rank of Commandeur in the Legion of Honor by the French government in a ceremony at the French consulate in New York City on March 30, 2017. Rosenberg is the last surviving member of the Varian Fry group, which rescued hundreds of artists and intellectuals from the Nazis. So¯ Percussion, made up of Bard Conservatory faculty members Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting, won a 2016 Bessie Award for outstanding musical compo-
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sition and sound design. The Bessie Award honored the collaboration of Dan Trueman with So¯ Percussion and Mobius Percussion in Rebecca Lazier’s There Might Be Others “for building a sound system which enabled an infinitely varied aural world, using drums, percussion instruments, pieces of paper, mobile phones, wine bottles, and more.” Whitney Biennial The Whitney Biennial is the only continuous exhibition series in the country that surveys recent developments in American art. Several Bard faculty members are featured in the 2017 Biennial: MFA visiting artist in painting Susan Cianciolo works in formats as varied as tapestry, drawing, film, and performance; MFA film/video faculty Kevin Everson has made paintings, sculptures, and site-specific installations, but he is best known for his five feature films and more than 70 shorts; Photography Professor An-My Lê, who left her native Vietnam in 1975 and found a home in the United States as a political refugee, examines the effects and representation of war; MFA painting faculty and cochair Ulrike Müller says her paintings “are grounded in the desire to participate in a larger conversation about alternatives to traditional gendered norms and lifestyles”; and MFA film/video faculty Cauleen Smith explores history and images in experimental, science fiction, and “Afrofuturist” film works. Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts Recieves Grants Bard College has received a $49,500 Regional Economic Development Council award through the Arts Career Development Fellowships for Underrepresented Communities program of the New York State Council on the Arts. This award will enable the Fisher Center to expand opportunities for individuals from communities underrepresented in arts curation and administration. The Fisher Center also received a $49,500 grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for the upgrading of its lighting and sound systems. CCS Gets Scholarship Help The Center for Curatorial Studies has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the 1434 Foundation for scholarship support. Luce Foundation Supports Bard Graduate Center The American Art Program of the Henry Luce Foundation gave $43,000 to the Bard Graduate Center for a digital publication to accompany the exhibition New York Crystal Palace 1853. Local Grants for Bard in Hudson Civic Academy The newly expanded Bard in Hudson Civic Academy, which offers the first-ever Bard early college courses to students in Columbia and neighboring counties, received a $4,000 grant from the Children’s Foundation of Columbia County, a $3,500 grant from the Rheinstrom Hill Community Foundation, and a $1,400 grant from the Hudson Arts & Humanities Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Kingston Clemente Course Receives Funding Bard’s Kingston, New York–based Clemente Course in the Humanities received $5,850 from the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation and $25,000 from the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation. This support allows the Clemente Course to continue providing an intensive college-level humanities course to underserved, low-income students. Support for Bard Early Colleges New York State has approved a $461,000 special legislative grant to support math and science programming at Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) Queens. BHSEC Baltimore has also been awarded a $40,000 grant over two years from the Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation awarded BHSEC Baltimore a $25,000 grant. BHSEC Cleveland was awarded a $121,500 grant from the Cleveland Foundation and received a $124,000 grant from the George Gund Foundation.
Claire Brazeau ’10 Oboist Extraordinaire
says. Brazeau tripled majored in Asian studies, oboe, and piano. “It was the hardest I ever worked, and in some semesters I pushed myself a little too hard. Looking back it was good for me to learn what my limits were,” she says. “It was great to be exposed to so many When Claire Brazeau ’10 was eight years old, she saw different courses and different people. I went on a sumRay Charles on Sesame Street and knew she wanted to mer language immersion program in China and it was the learn piano. Her musical instruction began with private first time I experienced culture shock and diving into a lessons. “I was lucky to have great teachers from the foreign language. Bard made me more of an adventurous start,” she says. “I enjoyed the hard work.” Her parents musician.” Her private music instruction was also crucial, eventually encouraged her to attend Interlochen Arts she says. “Laura Ahlbeck gave me oboe survival skills like Camp at the world-class Interlochen Center for the Arts, audition preparation, Blair McMillen opened me up to where she spent summers studying piano. Brazeau contemporary music, and Elaine Douvas exposed me to attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy, the period instruments.” center’s fine arts boarding school. “I auditioned as a piano Brazeau went on to complete a three-year, fully major, but halfway through my schooling I switched to funded Artist Diploma program from the Colburn School, oboe,” she says. “I got tired of practicing on my own and where she studied with Allan Vogel, who was principal wanted to join the band.” The beautiful double reed oboist for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. During woodwind instrument satisfied her desire for social interher time with Vogel, the chair for second oboist opened action, and it solved another problem as well. “The piano up. “It is so rare for an orchestral chair to open up. I department was so competitive,” she says. “I had a little worked my tail off for the audition. His sound was in my performance anxiety, but when I performed a solo piece ear, and the job is supporting the principal chair.” Brazeau on oboe, I didn’t feel nervous, and it was an ‘Aha!’ held the chair for second oboist from 2014 to 2016. Then, moment.” Vogel announced his retirement. Sixty musicians audiOn a recruiting visit to the Interlochen campus, tioned. “There were many rounds. It was very close,” says Robert Martin, director and faculty of the Bard College Claire Brazeau ’10. photo Jordan Kirschner Brazeau. “It finally came down to me and a current student Conservatory of Music, convinced Brazeau to apply to in Bard’s The Orchestra Now program.” Last October, one Bard’s new five-year undergraduate double-degree proday shy of her 30th birthday, Brazeau won the chair for principal oboist of the gram. In 2005, she became a student of the Conservatory’s inaugural underLos Angeles Chamber Orchestra. “It is a dream job for me—and it’s crazy to graduate class. “There were just a dozen people in the first cohort. It was great. have to try to fill my mentor’s shoes.” We got a lot of attention. It’s exciting now to see how much it’s grown,” she
Alumna Named National Science Foundation Fellow The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program is the oldest and one of the most prestigious fellowships of its kind. A long history of recipients who become lifelong academic and professional leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics includes Nobel Prize winners, a former U.S. secretary of energy, and the founder of Google. Abigail Fuchsman ’12 recently won the honor of becoming an NSF fellow and benefits from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 and $12,000 tuition allowance, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct her own research at an accredited U.S. institution of graduate education of her choice. Fuchsman is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in the Cellular, Molecular, Developmental Biology and Biophysics Program at Johns Hopkins University. Her thesis project involves studying sexual dimorphism using the Drosophila melonagaster (fruit fly) model system, focusing on sex-specific specification of the follicle stem cells in the developing ovary. “Studying biology at Bard gave me the opportunity to be exposed to a broad spectrum within the fields of genetics and molecular biology,” she says. “I pursued independent research projects and became proficient using sophisticated laboratory research techniques and technologies. I learned how to explore research opportunities, model and develop research protocols, analyze and present data, and evaluate my findings in the context of existing literature.” Her Senior Project studied Danio rerio (zebrafish) haircell development and
regeneration, analogous to human hair cells involved in auditory perception. After graduation, she was awarded a two-year, postbaccalaureate research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and published her research in the journal G3: Genes, Genomes & Genetics. “Bard prepared me to be a serious research scientist.”
Abigail Fuchsman ’12. photo Kelly Baxter
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Extraordinary Bardians Recognized Watson Fellowships Harry Johnson ’17 and Jordana Rubenstein-Edberg ’17 have won prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowships. The $30,000 fellowships allow for a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States. Johnson’s proposal, “Playing for Change: Innovative Uses of Sport,” will take him to India, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Dominican Republic. “Sport participation and popularity differ around the globe based on site-specific socioeconomic conditions as well as historical and cultural values. These same variables have fostered many innovative uses of sport to combat social ills afflicting communities worldwide. During my Watson year, I will explore how sports are utilized to counteract issues such as gender inequality, youth unemployment, social exclusion, and elevated high school dropout rates,” writes Johnson. Rubenstein-Edberg’s proposal, “A Place of Return: The Structure and Symbolism of Home,” includes travel to Peru, Ecuador, and Guatemala. “My Watson year consists of two major components: active participation in house construction and story documentation,” she writes. “I seek to understand the nature of stability and how construction helps define it. In each country, I will visit two locations with widely different environmental, economic, and social factors. How is life experience reflected in the construction process? What is revealed about a family or place by their creation of home?” Davis Prizes Eliza Cornwell ’17 and Samuel Reed ’17 won a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace prize to support their work this summer in Samos, Greece. Their project will set up an English language program for young adults in the Samos refugee camp, which was established when masses of people fleeing war and terror began making the treacherous journey by boat to the Greek islands. The majority of
refugees are Syrians and Iraqis, but there are also many families from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Gambia, Somalia, Burundi, and China. Through their project, Cornwell and Reed aim to bring young refugees together in the classroom, provide greater access to educational resources, run English classes on a daily basis, and expand the camp’s library. They will work with refugees who have an interest in teaching and running the daily classes. “Engaging the people living in the camp will be integral to our project’s mission of overcoming the many language and social barriers that separate children in the camp. It is important for us to involve the inhabitants of the camp so that they can continue the project after our departure,” write Cornwell and Reed. Fulbright Awards Lexington Davis ’14, a double major in film and electronic arts and French studies, has won a Fulbright grant to Amsterdam. She will use the grant to study the influence of film on interwar Dutch realist artists as a student in the Master’s Program in Visual Arts, Media, and Architecture at the Vrije Universiteit. Ivan Ditmars ’17, a classical studies major, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Greece for 2017–18. Ditmars also plans to do volunteer work with refugees during his placement there. Olivia Kennison ’17, a Russian and Eurasian Studies major, was awarded a Fulbright ETA to Russia, where she will teach English and develop a project to help students and others in the community explore similarities and differences between Russian and English and experiment with modes of translations through the study of contemporary American poetry as well as the writing of original poetry. Rosa Schwartzburg ’16, a written arts major, won a Fulbright ETA to the Netherlands, where she will spend the 2017–18 academic year as an English teaching assistant. While there, she will conduct research on the Sephardic Jews of the Netherlands and how they assimilated into Dutch culture.
Clockwise from top left: Harry Johnson ’17 Samuel Reed ’17 Eliza Cornwell ’17 Lexington Davis ’14, photo ©Andrew Max Levy Olivia Kennison ’17 Ivan Ditmars ’17 Rosa Schwartzburg ’16, photo Hadassah Sonnenschein
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Virginia Hanusik ’14
Virginia Hanusik ’14 Bearing Witness to Climate Change Virginia Hanusik ’14 works at the confluence of climate change and the built environment. She is currently the water program manager for Propeller, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting social innovation in New Orleans. She is also a photographer whose work documents Louisiana’s rapidly eroding coastal wetlands, which are being washed away at an astonishing rate—roughly one football field per hour, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Backwater, Hanusik’s current photographic project, captures small clues in the landscape that portend the large impact on communities of rising sea levels and disappearing bayous. Strikingly absent of human subjects, her photographs show handwritten signs on the French-speaking, Native American Isle de Jean Charles that read “We
are not moving” and “Island not for sale,” abandoned businesses, open levees, rebuilt homes on stilts, and roads turned to rubble by floodwaters. “When you are thinking about giant concepts such as climate change and coastal erosion, it’s really hard to picture them in one frame,” says Hanusik. “I’m trying to communicate these bigger issues on a smaller scale—through an image on the ground level.” Her photographs have been featured in publications such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, Grist, Newsweek, Oxford American, and Places Journal. Hanusik, a Hudson Valley native, fell in love with New Orleans and its architecture during her sophomore year at Bard. She traveled there with the Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) Program’s New Orleans Exchange Project to help homeowners with post-Katrina reconstruction efforts. “New Orleans as a city would not exist,” she says, “but for the intervention of humans and the feats of engineering that created it: how the levees keep water out, how most of the city is drained swampland, how the Mississippi River has been controlled to keep from flooding, and how we are dealing with the consequences. Being in New Orleans with TLS made me think about how important architecture is in our lives.” Hanusik’s New Orleans experience led her to major in environmental and urban studies, and in her junior and senior years she took photography courses, one with An-My Lê, Bard professor of photography, and the other with Stephen Shore, Susan Weber Professor in the Arts. “Taking those classes at that particular time during my academic studies was pivotal in terms of connecting the architecture and urban studies work I was engaged in with the visual arts,” she says. “My education at Bard was so multidisciplinary, and maintaining close relationships with professors after graduation has really ignited this path for me.” In September, she will attend the London School of Economics and Political Science to pursue an M.S. in city design and social science, a program for which she was a Fulbright Award alternate in 2016. She plans to continue studying climate change and using photography to explore its impact. “As an artist, I want to be knowledgeable about the intricate processes of cities, to think about how cities shape the social experience, and to be well versed in the high-level policy and planning that goes into creating space.”
Two Gilman Scholars Study Abroad Kina Carney ’18 and Jessica Liu ’18 won Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this semester. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Gilman scholarship aims to prepare students of limited means to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world by providing financial support for academic studies or internships abroad. Carney, a literature major, traveled to Africa on the Pitzer in Botswana program, which includes extended study trips in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Living with a host family, she is studying local cultures and working with scholars and experts in each country. Through the program, Carney has the opportunity to experience firsthand the concept and life of ubuntu, the notion that defines the communal nature of the cultural values of the South African, Botswanan, and Zimbabwean peoples. Ubuntu is indicated in the typical greetings of the cultures that proclaim, “I am well if you are well,” and “my destiny is intricately intertwined with yours.” Liu went to Europe to study in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM) program, where she is working under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. Hungary has a long tradition of excellence in mathematics education that includes combinatorics, number theory, and probability theory. In Hungary, considerable time is devoted to problem solving and encouraging student creativity in mathematics, and emphasis is on depth of understanding rather than on the quantity of material. Benjamin Gilman (R–N.Y.), who died last December, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Committee on International Relations. He felt that study abroad encourages students to be contributors rather than spectators in the international community.
Jessica Liu ’18 and Kina Carney ’18. photo Sarah Wallock ’19
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The Latest from Athletics Pool Resources Dionysus “Dio” Tzortzis ’19 became the first Bard College swimmer to win a medal at the Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association Championships when he took silver in the 100-yard freestyle. Tzortis won silver medals in that race as well as in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke. In each of those events, he set the school record in the preliminaries and broke that record in the final. Fly Coach(es) Craig Thorpe-Clark was voted Liberty League Men’s Squash Coach of the Year. The team achieved its best ranking ever, 40. David Lindholm, associate athletic director and assistant coach of Bard’s men’s soccer and women’s squash teams, was named head coach of Kingston Stockade FC, a semiprofessional team in the National Premier Soccer League.
Dio Tzortzis ’19. photo Stockton Photo, Inc.
Spring/Summer Events at the Fisher Center
In February, the Catskill Jazz Factory kicked off a series of French-inspired events in the LUMA Theater with Django Reinhardt and the French Salon. Alphonso Horne (trumpet) and Candice Hoyes (vocals) explored the transatlantic links between French mélodie and the rhythms of early jazz by performing the compositions of Django Reinhardt. In March, Les Belles Chansons Françaises, with French vocalist Camille Bertault and pianist Dan Tepfer, paid tribute to the music of the French Songbook—from Piaf to Brel to Gainsbourg. In April’s Whisper of a Shadow: An Homage to Louis Moreau Gottschalk, New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher and French trumpeter and composer Yohan Giaume took a spin around the musical world of the 19th-century Creole composer and pianist. Also in April, Neil Gaiman, professor in the arts, discussed moving from page to screen for the TV adaptation of his best-selling novel American Gods. Still to come in May: Celebrating 100 Years of Jazz with Chris Washburne, Evan Christopher, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, André Mehmari, and special guests.
Bard College Conservatory of Music In March at the Fisher Center, the Conservatory Orchestra, with guest conductor Marcel Lehninger, performed Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129, with Peter Wiley, cello; Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Op. 36; and premiered Paloma!, a new work by Obadiah Wright ’17. And April saw Parilia! A Musical Celebration for Historical Rome, an evening of Baroque chamber music performed by students and faculty from the Conservatory of Music and the Music Program, as well as the Conservatory’s annual chamber music marathon.
Live Arts Bard Over four days in April, the second Live Arts Bard (LAB) Biennial, We’re Watching, unveiled a mix of provocative performances and exhibitions about surveillance, security, ethics, creativity, citizenship, and spying. Artists such as Obie Award–winning writer and director Annie Dorsen, interdisciplinary artist Hasan Elahi, poet and playwright Claudia Rankine, and choreographer and performance artist Alexandro Segade explored the implications of life in a state of surveillance. Bard SummerScape 2017 Preview Bard Music Festival’s Chopin and His World celebrates Fryderyk Chopin in a two-weekend program that explores the life and times of this Polish composer who continues to inform how we think about music. Chopin also permeates other festival events: The New York City Ballet MOVES dance program has Jerome Robbins’s Dances at a Gathering as its centerpiece, accompanied by Chopin’s mazurkas, waltzes, and études. The Wooster Group offers up a world premiere production—A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique)—that pays homage to Polish artist and stage director Tadeusz Kantor, while the film series Chopin and the Image of Romanticism examines the composer’s cinematic legacies. This year’s opera, Dimitrij, by Antonín Dvorˇák, conducted by Leon Botstein and directed by Anne Bogart ’74, takes up where Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov leaves off. The Spiegeltent presents a new round of scintillating cabaret, jazz, dance, and more, hosted by the inimitable Mx. Justin Vivian Bond.
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The Orchestra Now ¯ N) opened a rousing spring season in February at the The Orchestra Now (TO Sosnoff Theater with distinguished guest conductor Federico Cortese in Federico Cortese Conducts Debussy. In addition to La Mer and Debussy’s Three Symphonic Sketches, the program also featured Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and Franck’s ¯ N’s music director, Leon Botstein, conducted Symphony in D Minor. In April, TO Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite, Ligeti’s Violin Concerto, and Dohnányi’s Symphony No. 2. Looking forward to May, Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, will lead Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. Longy School of Music of Bard College Longy’s 101st year took “homeland” as its theme. Students in the Music and Politics class curated a concert performed on election eve, and on December 18, musicians in the Atelier Schubertreise class took Schubert’s Winterreise in an unconventional direction: 14 singers led audiences on a journey through a gritty, unexpected landscape accompanied by bold visuals and innovative staging. This spring a new course, The Healing Art of Music, partners with local health-care facilities to give students the opportunity to create and develop music programs that can bring comfort and respite to the ill. Joining Longy’s faculty as artists in residence this academic year are the Horszowski Trio, composer Aaron Helgeson, cellist and educator Nicholas Tzavaras, pianist Shai Wosner, concert pianist Spencer Myer, and Grammy Award–winning violist Jessica Bodner.
Eve Odiorne Sullivan ’62 Caring about the Caregivers
The idea for Parents Forum came to Sullivan in 1991 as a way to nurture, in a global context, the support she was fortunate enough to receive from other parents when she herself went through a parenting crisis. “When my teenagers were having what I now realize Confronted with the startling statistic that in the United were fairly normal misbehaviors, I felt I needed to help States 1.6 to 2.8 million young people run away from them to get back on track. What helped me most were home every year, most of us wonder what we can do to other parents,” she says. Sullivan’s approach to parenting help the youth. Eve Odiorne Sullivan ’62 asks a question issues is deeply empathetic. “It’s the emotional awarethat few people consider: “Shouldn’t we also be supportness that is too often ignored that parents need to pay ing the parents from whom they are running?” The attention to,” she says. “Parents are emotional beings mother of three grown sons and a grandmother of three, who were also parented. Parents cannot give what they Sullivan is the founder of Parents Forum, a nonprofit, do not have.” In an article coauthored by Ugandan jourcommunity-based organization that provides workshops nalist Jamesa Wagwau, they write, “We have many tasks on emotional awareness and aims to create support as parents, but the most important one, no less vital for networks for parents and other caregivers. She is also being largely invisible—and more often noticed in its the author of Where the Heart Listens, a book that helps absence—is to give our children emotional security, a parents navigate the very personal journey of raising sense of belonging.” The key to achieving this family harchildren. mony, they continue, is that both parents and children Sullivan learned about Bard through a friend’s father, need a listening ear to feel safe within a family and coma Bard history professor in the late 1950s and early 1960s munity. Sullivan advocates for universal parenting eduwho was spending his sabbatical at Antioch University. “I cation that emphasizes listening to and providing peer was looking to escape my little Ohio town and I applied Eve Odiorne Sullivan ’62. photo Giro DiBiase, Giro Studio support for parents. Most parenting education currently to Bard and I got in,” she says. At Bard she studied English employs a “how-to” approach, giving tips on practical literature, and went on to earn her M.A. in teaching in and functional skills. Sullivan is pushing for a new model that engages parents French at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Sullivan taught English as of school-age children by asking them to be mentors of parents of preschoolers, a second language in the United States, Tunisia, and Portugal before joining thus creating a network of parenting support. “Parents usually don’t seek out Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science, where help or guidance until there is a problem. If we offered universal parenting edushe was senior editorial assistant for a theoretical physics journal until retiring in cation for all parents, they would know there is support.” 2012 to devote herself full time to parenting issues.
Contemporary Fiction Writers Read at Bard Bradford Morrow, professor of literature, Bard Center fellow, and editor of Conjunctions, hosted another stellar roster of fiction writers on campus for his Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series. Held in Weis Cinema and free and open to the public, each reading was introduced by Morrow and followed by a Q&A. In February, Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard and Rome Prize– winning author Francine Prose read from her new novel, Mister Monkey, which was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “expertly constructed . . . impudent with originality . . . tender and artful . . . gorgeous and bright and fun and multifaceted, carrying within it the geological force of the ages.” Former president of PEN American Center, Prose is the author of many books, including Household Saints, Blue Angel, Reading Like a Writer, and Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern. The following month, author Robert Olen Butler read from his most recent novel, Perfume River, which Richard Ford praised as “a model for . . . heartbreaking simplicity and grace.” Butler is the author of 16 novels, including Mr. Spaceman and Hell, and six fiction collections, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. His stories have appeared in Conjunctions, New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Paris Review, and Granta, and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South, and elsewhere. In April, Paul Lisicky read from his memoir The Narrow Door, which was called “achingly gorgeous, wildly ambitious” in the Chicago Tribune. A 2016 Guggenheim fellow and the editor of StoryQuarterly, Lisicky is the author of Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy.
Influential Business Journalist Gives Second Annual John Curran Lecture Andy Serwer, Yahoo Finance’s editor in chief, addressed packed audiences in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center and at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City last fall. Introduced by Writer in Residence Benjamin Hale, Serwer spoke on “Journalism in the Age of Trump, Ailes, Buzzfeed, Gawker, and Facebook.” Serwer, who worked for 29 years at Time, served for eight years as Fortune’s managing editor, and was CNN’s American Morning business anchor from 2001 to 2006, launched the groundbreaking business-news blog Streetlife in 1997. The TJFR Business News Reporter named Serwer Business Journalist of the Year in 2000 and called him “perhaps the nation’s top multimedia talent, successfully juggling the roles of serious journalist, astute commentator, and occasional court jester.” The John J. Curran ’75 Lecture in Journalism series honors John J. Curran ’75, whose dedication to ethical reporting in journalism informed a trusting readership for more than a quarter of a century and promoted a culture of honesty, integrity, and truth in those he worked with and mentored. Curran wrote and served in various editorial roles for print and web publications including Fortune, Money, Mutual Funds, Corporate Board Member Magazine, Time.com, and Bloomberg.com. He was a weekly Business Correspondent at NBC News for a decade and provided commentary for television news programs on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, and PBS. Through discussions led by the world’s most respected journalists, the John J. Curran ’75 Journalism Lectures examine challenges facing the field.
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Whit and Wisdom: Francis Whitcomb ’47 He is, among many other things, a former teacher, justice of the peace, farmer, planning commissioner, and sugarmaker; he ran as a Democrat for the Vermont House of Representatives seven times; and he sang bass in the East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church choir. Francis Whitcomb ’47 has, as you might imagine, some great stories to tell. Whit, as he likes to be called, started at Bard in 1941, following in the footsteps of his father, brother, and many cousins. His time at Bard was interrupted by the war, when he was stationed in Italy and Egypt learning how to set up radio controls for temporary mobile airports. At Bard, Whitcomb was a member (and the last president) of Kappa Gamma Chi, a rogue fraternity made up of expelled members of the Eulexian Society, which was known for secret codes and obscure rituals. In mid January, Jane Brien ’89, director of alumni/ae affairs, and Helene Tieger ’85, the College archivist, took a road trip to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom to record an oral history of the indomitable 94-year-old. He spoke fondly of his time with his fraternity brothers; he didn’t, however, reveal any of their secrets. Whitcomb and his longtime best friend, the late Paul Munson ’47, were founding members of the South Hoffman Drinking Society as well as organizers of an antique car show in front of Stone Row. Until recently, Whitcomb still drove the 1930 Model A roadster he had at Bard. He confessed to being part of the group that spray painted “47” on the Bard water tower and reminisced about his time in the Bard Fire Department and in Bard theater productions. A 1941 Bardian review praised his “natural ease and power on the stage.” Whitcomb has lived on a farm with his wife, Pat, since 1973. He stays in touch with Bard through prolific handwritten correspondence and many visits. He is a longtime member of the John Bard Society, which recognizes alumni/ae and friends who choose to name Bard in their estate plans, and he credits Bard with teaching him the importance of living a life dedicated to serving the public good. In May, he hopes to return to Bard for his 70th reunion. To listen to Francis Whitcomb’s oral history, go to digitalcommons.bard.edu/oral_hist.
Francis Whitcomb ’47. photo Jane Brien ’89
Novelist Exploring Terrorism Wins Bard Fiction Prize
Images and Social Change
Karan Mahajan has won the 2017 Bard Fiction Prize for his second novel, The Association of Small Bombs (Viking 2016), which tells the emotional story of two families dealing with the aftermath of a small bombing in a New Delhi marketplace. Inspired by an actual event in 1996, this masterful narrative explores the devastating ripple effect of terrorist acts on victims and perpetrators alike. Weaving in and out of the saga of the two families is the wrenching tale of Shockie, a Kashmiri bomb maker who forsakes himself for his homeland. The Bard Fiction Prize committee writes, “Mahajan possesses exceptional literary gifts, rich insights into even the most malign of his characters, and a clear-eyed, compassionate vision of this perilous aspect of our times.” Mahajan says he has admired the eclectic list of Bard Fiction Prize winners for a long time and never imagined joining their ranks. His intensely researched novel was also a finalist for the 2016 National Book Awards. Mahajan’s first novel, Family Planning, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. A graduate of Stanford University and the Karan Mahajan photo Molly Winters Michener Center for Writers, he grew up in Delhi and lives in Austin. Mahajan’s residency will be Fall 2017, during which he will continue his writing, meet informally with students, and give a public reading. Since 2001, the annual Bard Fiction Prize has recognized promising emerging writers who are American citizens aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. Recipients receive a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester without the expectation of teaching traditional courses.
Artist and educator Naima Green ’18, an M.F.A. candidate at the International Center of Photography–Bard Program in Advanced Photographic Studies, recently traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend Black Portraiture[s] III, the seventh conference in a series of “conversations about imaging the black body.” Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures was organized by the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts, the Institute of African American Affairs, and La Pietra Dialogues at NYU, and was cofunded by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard and the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. Green was invited to present her master’s thesis, “Jewels from the Hinterland: A Study in Arts-Based Storytelling.” She spoke on the “Myth & Portraits” panel alongside artists and academics from South Africa, the United Kingdom, and United States. Green’s artwork and research explore blackness, perNaima Green ’18. photo Valery Rizzo ceived cultural identity, belonging, green cities, and urban design. In her ongoing photography series, Jewels from the Hinterlands, she explores “the absence of positive images of black and brown bodies in green spaces” with portraits of artists of color in natural settings, “regions where black and brown urbanites are not ‘supposed’ to feel at home: our hinterlands.” The International Center of Photography (ICP) has designated 2017 as “The Year of Social Change.” On view from January 27 to May 7, Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change is the first in a series of exhibitions that explores how photography and visual culture impact social change.
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Nicholas Serota Wins 20th Annual Audrey Irmas Award
BBC, he recently became chair of Arts Council England. Serota was presented with the award on April 3 at a gala celebration and dinner cochaired by Martin Eisenberg, chair of the CCS Bard board, and Annabelle Selldorf, member of the The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) CCS Bard board. announced that Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Tom Eccles, executive director of CCS Bard, says, “Nick museums since 1988, is the recipient of the 2017 Audrey Serota is a towering figure in the world of art and museums. Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. Under Serota’s leadAs both a curator and director, he has been a powerful advoership, the institution expanded dramatically: Tate St Ives cate for contemporary art and artists, particularly in Britai,n opened in 1993, Tate Modern in 2000, a Tate Modern extenwhere he has tirelessly built one of the great art institutions sion was completed in 2016, and the Millbank building in of our time. We are delighted to present this lifetime achieveLondon was redefined as Tate Britain in 2000. It also broadment award at a moment that Nick leaves Tate to become ened its field of interest to include 20th-century photography, chair of Arts Council England.” film, performance, and occasionally architecture, as well as For the past two decades, CCS Bard has recognized indiart from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In viduals who have defined new thinking, bold vision, and ded2010, Tate’s national role was further developed with the creicated service to the field of exhibition practice with the ation of the Plus Tate network of 35 institutions across the Nicholas Serota photo ©Hugo Glendinning 2016 Audrey Irmas Award, named after patron and CCS Bard board United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Prior to his Tate tenure, member Audrey Irmas, who bestowed the endowment for Serota was director of the Whitechapel Gallery from 1976 to the award and is an active member of the Los Angeles arts and philanthropic 1988, where he curated numerous exhibitions, including Robert Ryman, Carl community. The award, designed by artist Lawrence Weiner, also comes with Andre, Gerhard Richter, Eva Hesse, Max Beckmann: The Triptychs, Anselm Kiefer, the Audrey Irmas Prize of $25,000. Philip Guston, Georg Baselitz, and Bruce Nauman. A member of the board of the
Bard Graduate Center News Iris Award Winners The Bard Graduate Center (BGC) has announced the recipients of the 21st Annual Iris Foundation Awards for Outstanding Contributions to the Decorative Arts. The recipient of the Outstanding Patron Award is Sir Nicholas Goodison, president of the Furniture History Society and former chairman of the London Stock Exchange, TSB Group, Courtauld Institute, National Art Collections Fund (now the Art Fund), Crafts Council of Great Britain, and Burlington Magazine. In 2016, he and his wife, Judith, donated a remarkable collection of more than 100 examples of contemporary British craft to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. Dr. Alvar González-Palacios, Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship Award honoree, is best known for his writings on Italian and French decorative arts and catalogues for such institutions as the Scuderie del Quirinale, Louvre, Prado, and Vatican Museums, among others. The Outstanding Mid-Career Scholar Award honoree is Marie-Louise Bech Nosch, specialist in Aegean epigraphy and Mycenaean textile production. She is the director of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research. Titi Halle, owner and director of the antique costume and textile firm Cora Ginsburg LLC, is the recipient of the Outstanding Dealer Award. The newly launched Iris in Legacy Society has its first member: Charles Stendig, 92, who was the importer for some of the most iconic mid-century modern furniture designs, made the Bard Graduate Center part of his estate planning. The Iris Awards were presented at a luncheon at the Colony Club in New York City on April 5. Current Exhibitions On view at the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) through July 30 are two Focus Projects. Design by the Book: Chinese Ritual Objects and the Sanli Tu explores the oldest extant illustrated study of classical Chinese artifacts from musical instruments, maps, and court insignia to sacrificial jades, ceremonial dress, and mourning and funerary paraphernalia. Curated by Associate Professor François Louis, the show explores the medieval Chinese book Xinding Sanli tu (Newly Determined Illustrations to the Ritual Classics), completed in 961 by Nie Chongyi (fl. 948–64), and its impact on Chinese material culture.
New York Crystal Palace 1853 sheds light on a nearly forgotten aspect of New York City’s cultural history. The building, constructed for the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations, stood where Bryant Park is now and was destroyed by fire in 1858. Curated by the late David Jaffee, professor and head of new media research, this exhibition emphasizes the experience of those who visited the Crystal Palace in 1853 to explore the enormous range of manufactured consumer goods and technological marvels of the age. The Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations at the Crystal Palace was one of New York City’s first tourist attractions, with more than one million visitors in less than 16 months. Focus Projects was conceived as an arena in which faculty collaborate with students and gallery curators to develop research projects into exhibitions. It has evolved into a major facet of the BGC’s research, teaching, and exhibition programs.
Bird’s Eye View of the New York Crystal Palace and Environs, 1853. Museum of the City of New York. The J. Clarence Davies Collection. Gift of J. Clarence Davies, 1929.
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Bard Sends Top Debaters to World Championship
Left to right: Wyatt Mason, senior fellow, Hannah Arendt Center; Dina Toubasi ’18; William Deresiewicz, author; Mark Williams Jr. ’17; and Sam Reed ’17. photo Karl Rabe
Speech Wants to Be Free The Hannah Arendt Center’s ninth annual conference, “Real Talk: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex, and Religion,” addressed topics such as the appropriateness of “safe spaces” on campuses, the ways racism and sexism infect everyday life, whether colleges should limit free speech in order to avoid the risk of personal offense, how organized religion can be compatible with the commitment to inclusiveness, and the importance of addressing polarizing questions in a civil manner. Though the issues were presented as “uncomfortable,” one thing became abundantly clear over the course of the two-day conference: Bard students are remarkably at ease discussing difficult questions. And far from reinforcing tired clichés about college students in general or Bard in particular, they proved themselves to be quite diverse in their points of view. As Hannah Arendt wrote, “Only in the freedom of our speaking with one another does the world . . . emerge in its objectivity and visibility from all sides.” The roster of speakers was thoughtfully assembled with an eye toward bringing together a wide range of viewpoints, and the conversations that resulted were certainly spirited. William Deresiewicz, author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, made provocative claims (and broad generalizations) about “elite private colleges,” which he said have become “religious institutions.” He also lamented that in the name of political correctness, campuses were becoming increasingly homogeneous and that, as a consequence, those with a conservative outlook are being silenced. But Dina Toubasi ’18, Mark Williams Jr. ’17, and Sam Reed ’17, the three student discussants on the panel, countered those assertions—from very different perspectives—and in their thoughtful questioning exhibited the very opposite of homogeneity. Deresiewicz acknowledged that Bard may be different than other campuses he knows; in the month after the conference, he was given the chance to explore those differences further as a National Endowment for the Humanities/Hannah Arendt Center distinguished visiting fellow. Once again, we eagerly invite the fox to partake in the henhouse debate. The Arendt Center’s 2017 Fall Conference, “Thinking in Dark Times: The Crisis of Democracy,” will be held October 12–13. Invited speakers and Bard students and faculty will explore many questions, but above all, “how can we restore vigor and meaning to democracy?” More details, online registration, and a tentative schedule will be available in July at hac.bard.edu/con2017.
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The World Universities Debating Championship, which is hosted in a different country each year, is the largest annual international collegiate debate tournament. The Bard Debate Union attended for the first time in 2016 in Thessaloniki, Greece. This year, Bard sent its top debaters to The Hague, Netherlands, to compete. More than 400 teams from colleges and universities around the globe participated in the tournament, which was hosted by the Debating Societies of the Netherlands. “We are very excited to participate in this tournament annually as it signals to our team and to the worldwide debating community that Bard has a serious, internationally competitive debate program,” says Ruth Zisman, term visiting assistant professor of social studies and faculty adviser of the Bard Debate Union. Team captain and psychology major Clarence A. L. Brontë ’18 and political studies and historical studies major Nathaniel Carlsen ’18 debated on topics of minimum wage, the nuclearization of South Korea, postgenocidal regimes, labor unions, property development, affirmative action, and start-up culture. Their performance was strong and earned mostly second and third places in their rounds. “I met countless people from around the world, all of whom have incredibly diverse perspectives on debating, the debating community, and the topics we debate,” says Brontë. “As a debater, I was tasked with seeing the merit of arguments that may not be my own. As a person, I was constantly engaging with people from countries and cultures that are not my own. It was marvelous.” Bard College Berlin student and Red Hook, New York, native John Templeton Kay ’19 also attended the tournament.
Bard MBA: Sustainable Business Fridays Sustainable Business Fridays, a bimonthly podcast of the Bard MBA in Sustainability program, brings Bard MBA students together with leaders in business, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship. The guests are selected by students, and recently Martin Freeman ’18 sat down with Adam Kearney ’12, the founder and CEO of Propsboard, a startup that uses office televisions to amplify peer recognition in the workplace. The company found that by broadcasting kudos (“props”) for all to see, overall engagement increased, which is to say, more people complimented one another on the work they were doing. Freeman asked Kearney about becoming a serial entrepreneur. “I just really love building things, solving puzzles and actual problems, and trying to help people,” says Kearney. “Before this I was a woodworker, so I loved getting my hands dirty. You also need to be relentless about everything you’re doing. When you’re running into problems or failures, you just need to keep going. You also need to be really, really comfortable with the unknown. This would be where most people pause at the dividing line. If you’re not comfortable with things that you don’t know, or whatever’s around the bend, being an entrepreneur is probably not for you.” When he launched Propsboard, Kearney had no prior experience in human resources. He was previously CEO of Connectome, a music intelligence company that specialized in search, discovery, and recommendations. He is also cofounder of Philly Startup Leaders, a flagship program featuring a startup boot camp and accelerator to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs with strategy, vision, and execution. Kearney emphasizes the importance of giving before taking. He volunteered at the first boot camp for Philly Startup Leaders. “The angle is to work harder, give away your time and money, and hope it comes back.” Finally, Kearney encourages everyone, in any business, to learn how to code. “To be a good citizen you should understand coding,” he says. “Because it’s entwined with your life.” For more information or to subscribe to the Sustainable Business Fridays podcast, go to bard.edu/mba/publicprograms/sbfridays/
Center for Civic Engagement Fourth Annual Student World Affairs Conference Asha Castleberry, a captain in the U.S. Army who served in Iraq and Kuwait and is now a lecturer in politic sciences at Fordham University, gave the keynote address—“U.S. Global Leadership in the 21st Century”—at the 2017 Student World Affairs Conference in March. She advocated continued American engagement in the international community through diplomacy and development, and highlighted ways the military aids in those efforts. “Eradicating poverty helps reduce national security risks like terrorism,” she pointed out. The conference, hosted by the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program with the support of the World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley, the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College, and Bernie Handel, then broke into panels, where students from Al-Quds Bard, Bard College, Barnard College, Dutchess Community College, Marist College, Mount St. Mary College, Smolny College, University at Albany, SUNY New Paltz, and Vassar College discussed topics including “Citizenship and Education in a Globalized World,” “Responses to the Syrian Refugee Crisis,” “Great Powers in the Twenty-First Century,” and “The Challenges of Non-State Actors in the Middle East.” Getting Engaged: CCE and Trump Hundreds of Bard College students and members of the local community gathered in Sosnoff Theater in early February for a conversation between President Leon Botstein and Mark Danner, James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities. “Trump Abroad, Trump at Home: Declaring the New War” was the first in a planned series of events organized by the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) under the rubric “The First 100 Days Initiative.” A few
days later, a symposium to address the question of the role of media in serving the public, and particularly those that are typically underrepresented, was held in the Bertelsmann Campus Center. In addition to events such as these, CCE is organizing students, staff, and community members into seven working groups that will look for a path forward on a variety of issues of concern. No word yet on the approach to the second 100 days, but the need for engagement is likely to continue, and CCE will be on the front lines. To follow the First 100 Days Initiative, visit facebook.com/100daysteam. Job One: BardWorks Since its inception in 2012, BardWorks has helped more than 200 students prepare for life after Bard with workshops, advice, and tools to confidently pursue the work they want to do. In January 2017, more than 50 alumni/ae and 30 parents volunteered their time to meet the students, hear about their interests, and offer counsel and contacts. A key aspect of the program, which is a collaboration among the Center for Civic Engagement, Career Development Office, Dean of Students Office, and Office of Alumni/ae Affairs, is bringing students together with alumni/ae, parents of current students, local professionals, and Bard staff. Elizabeth Garofalo, mother of Jada Garofalo BCEP ’14, says, “My first mentee had a lot of questions about the path to apply to medical school and the potential for research as a career. I arranged a visit to a set of labs where he could see how his work in the lab at Bard could be applied. This affirmed his current direction, gave him a clear understanding of what it will take to succeed, and provided him with additional mentors. We both learned a lot!” BardWorks is held on campus in January and in Washington, D.C., in November, with plans to expand to Los Angeles in the near future.
Learning to Bridge Divisions
Bard College Berlin
“The Architecture of Partnership: Connection, Collaboration, Conviviality,” a conference organized by the Bard Center for Early College at Simon’s Rock, was held April 21 to 22 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The conference brought together scholars from all Bard Early College campuses as well as Bard’s Annandale campus to explore the ideas surrounding partnership across the conventional divides and distinctions in education. The first day was dedicated to exploring visions and models of local and regional partnerships. On the second day, in the Early College Summit, participants from across the Bard Early College network addressed partnerships within the Bard campuses. Selected presentations and papers generated for the conference were published in Process Notes: A Journal of Transformative Learning Ecologies. This year’s summit was expanded to include a student roundtable, “Willful/Willing Subjects,” in which participants discussed the relationship between philosophies and practices, the role of students in their wider community, students’ struggles in relation to other struggles, and students as partners in the classroom. The Bard Center for Early College is committed to systemic reform in the education of adolescents by pioneering extraordinary learning contexts, and pursuing conversation about who goes to college, where, and when—crucial and often overlooked elements of the organization of public and private education in this country, with profound implications for entrenched and layered problems of college access, cost, quality, equity, and completion. Enrolling students from all backgrounds into immersive college study after 10th grade, Bard’s renowned early college programs illuminate the overwhelming correlation between early college entry, successful college completion, and career readiness, informed and guided by deep immersion in the liberal arts and sciences.
Bard College Berlin (BCB) was one of 20 German teaching and research institutions that recently established the German chapter of Scholars at Risk (SAR), an international network whose mission is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom. Since August, one Greek and four Syrian refugee students have been enrolled at BCB on full scholarships that include living expenses as well as dedicated logistical and academic support. Generously provided by private donors, these scholarships and newly raised funds will enable four more B.A. students from crisis areas to study at BCB next year. “The values of free learning, thinking, writing, and debating are deeply ingrained in the ethos of Bard College Berlin and permeate our campus life and the encounters of our students and faculty day after day,” says Kerry Bystrom, associate dean of BCB and member of the SAR steering group. “We are extremely grateful to count Syrian refugee students among our community, and their presence makes us even more aware of the fact that being able to teach and study in a free and open environment is a right that should be available to all students and scholars around the world.” This spring, Director of the Human Rights Project and Associate Professor of Comparative Literature Thomas Keenan, a SAR board member, is teaching the same student advocacy course as Bystrom, in which students can do research and write reports for specific threatened scholars in conjunction with SAR. BCB’s current student body consists of 210 students from 54 countries across six continents. Seventy-five percent of incoming students receive financial aid. BCB believes safeguarding the opportunity for students to live, share, explore, and understand diversity in all its facets during four years of college life will allow them to act with trust, tolerance, open-mindedness, and respect—some of the most precious tools for building a more ethical and responsible future.
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Holiday Party 2016 Class Notes
Photos by Brennan Cavanaugh â€™88
’16 Evan Nicole Brown is an agency assistant at Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency in New York City. She also writes a monthly blog, “The Limits and Freedoms of Literary Regionalism,” for the literary journal Ploughshares, focusing on “setting-specific” authors who tell diverse stories set against the same environmental backdrop. | After graduating, Brian Strigel taught in Rome before returning to the Hudson Valley to set up his first gallery, in Catskill, New York. He plans to go to graduate school.
from the composer’s music and is awarded to composition students of great promise. Dylan, who holds a B.A. in classics and a B.M. in composition from Bard College, attends the Yale School of Music. He is a founding artistic codirector of the ensemble Contemporaneous, which was launched at Bard in 2010.
Ben Ellman is a writer whose recent article, “The Globalization of Local Radio,” was featured in New York Magazine | Danielle Sinay graduated with her M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from the New School in 2016. She is completing a graduate certificate in gender and sexuality studies, launching a feminist magazine, and teaches with and serves on the development committee at 826NYC.
’12 5th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017
Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Gabriel Fine, Zachary Israel, Zia Morter, Lindsay Pike, Mackie Siebens, and Lindsay Stanley look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org.
Nicola Maye Goldberg published her first novel, Other Woman, which was released by Sad Spell Press. | Stephanie Presch is earning her master’s in international affairs with a regional concentration in Latin America from George Washington University. She is a content editor and writer for the National Council of La Raza.
’14 The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded Dylan Mattingly a $7,500 Charles Ives Scholarship, which is endowed by the royalties
Danielle Sinay ’13 and Allison Davis ’13 at the Women’s March on Washington.
Samantha Baca and Juan Felipe had an intimate city hall wedding in December 2016 and will be holding a bigger ceremony in 2018. Samantha is pursuing a doctoral degree in school-clinical child psychology at Pace University. Juan graduated with an M.A. in statistics from Columbia University and
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is now an associate business intelligence analyst at AOL. Samantha and Juan met in high school in Ecuador. Bard has an important place in their story because it is where they really established their relationship. | Madison Fletcher and Eli Sidman met in chemistry class during the second semester of their freshman year at Bard. Madison has been pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at Temple University in Philadelphia while Eli teaches middle and upper school science at Abington Friends School. They were married on June 26, 2016, with
Samantha Baca ’12 and Juan Felipe ’12 marry at New York City Hall. photo Elvira Kalviste
their friends and family in attendance (including a quorum of Bardians) in Brooklyn, New York. They are looking forward to moving to Irvine, California, this summer. | Kabren Levinson is the cofounder and managing director of a startup growth, fullstack marketing and product design agency, Levels Consulting Group. Levinson works with clients in finance, healthcare, and, most recently, an international manufacturer of juvenile products, among others. He focuses primarily on business development, go-to-market strategy, marketing technology, and UI/UX design. | Olivia Molineaux is a medical student at Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. | Alexa Palmer was awarded the Marian Chace Prize in Journalism by the Marian Chace Foundation of the American Dance Therapy Association for advancing the field of dance/movement therapy and counseling. | Evan Seitchik and Sara Director ’11 were married in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, in December 2016. | Gabriella Spitz and Rachel Becker were married on December 28, 2016, in Brooklyn, New York. Gabriella is pursuing her Ph.D. in cell biology at Rockefeller University and Rachel is a violin maker and works at Reed Yeboah Fine Violins. The Spitz-Beckers celebrated with friends and family, including Gabriella’s mother, Erica Kiesewetter (visiting associate professor of music at Bard), and her brother Sebastian Spitz ’17. | Emiljana Ulaj is the communications director for New York State Assembly member Shelley Mayer. Emiljana was also elected to the state committee of the Working Families Party and serves on the steering committee for the Westchester-Putnam chapter. Emiljana would like to encourage all Bardians to get involved in local politics and volunteer with local community organizations. They need you.
’11 The Albany Symphony Orchestra performed the world premiere of Connor Brown’s work “Range Upon Range” on December 8, 2016. Connor holds a B.A. in dance and a B.M. in composition from Bard. | Violinist Luosha Fang was a featured soloist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, performing Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in D Minor as part of the orchestra’s all-Sibelius program. Described as “the picture of elegance and keenness,” Luosha delivered a rhythmically compelling performance. She received a B.A. in Russian studies and a B.M. in violin performance from Bard. | Travis McGrath was elected to the board of DiscNY, running youth Ultimate programs. | Jessica Medenbach is a Simonds Fellow in Video and Media Design at Carnegie Mellon University. She recently collaborated with filmmaker Tal Yarden ’81 and musician/composer Guy Yarden ’84 on Counting Sheep.
’09 Emma Smith-Stevens earned an M.F.A. from the University of Florida in 2013. Her first novel, The Australian, will be published by Dzanc Books in May 2017 and her short story collection, Allies/Strangers, is slated for publication in 2018. In August 2016, she joined the faculty of the Bard Prison Initiative. She lives with her husband, Sebastian Boensch, and their two dogs in Hudson, New York.
’08 The World My Mama Raised, a play by Ariel Stess about the incarceration system and women’s reproductive rights, will have its world premiere on May 20 at the Wild Project in New York City.
Olivia Molineaux ’12 with her parents after her white coat ceremony.
Gabriella Spitz-Becker ’12 and Rachel Spitz-Becker ’12. photo Kathryn Greenbaum
36 class notes
Sara Director ’11 and Evan Seitchik ’12. Also pictured are Olivia Conti '10, Daisy Soderberg-Rivkin '13, Grisha Rudensky '13, Will Vitale '12, Ian Smedley '13, Nathan Smith '11, and Michael Allen '12. photo Fantail Photography
’07 10th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Beverley Annan, Kate Hardy, Catherine Lopez, Joanna Tanger, and Stephen Tremaine look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org. Caity (Cook) Bolton married Luke Bolton ’09 in 2009. She completed her M.A. in middle eastern studies at New York University in 2010 and began her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2013. From 2010–11, Caity lived in Egypt, witnessing the Egyptian revolution in January 2011. She ghostwrote a book for a prominent New York City imam about Islamic law and governance, published in 2015. | Natasha David-Hays met her husband in a trampoline class in New York City. They married in 2014 and had a baby girl in 2015. Natasha is a licensed social worker and substance abuse counselor in New York and Massachusetts. | Brian Dean graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute graduate program in 2015. He met Liz Wand Davidson ’09 while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2012 and they married in June 2016. They currently live, teach, and make art in San Francisco. | Kate Hardy married Robin Schmidt in June 2013 in Poughkeepsie, New York, in the company of immediate family. In May 2013, Kate received her master’s in social work from Columbia University and works as an associate director of admission at Bard. Kate and Robin live in Queens, New York, where Robin works as assistant to the principal at the Bard High School Early College in Long Island City. Robin continues to perform and record with the band Ikebe Shakedown, whose members include Vince Chiarito ’08 and Barnaby Alter ’08. Jim Bertini mixed and engineered their latest
Mozdeh Zahedi-North ’07, Yolanda Mendoza-Flores ’07, and JP Lor ’07. photo Ambrogetti Ameztoy Photo Studio
album, due to be released this spring. | Haley (Fraser) Hoffner received her doctor of medicine degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in June 2016 and is currently a resident in internal medicine at Kings County Hospital and Downstate University Hospital. In December 2015, Haley married Charm Le’Pre Smith in a small ceremony in Manhattan, New York. Haley and Charm live with their Rottweiler named Spencer in Brooklyn. | Meghan (Hunt) Jordan graduated from Binghamton University in 2014 with her Ph.D. in English. Her dissertation was awarded Binghamton’s Distinguished Dissertation Award and has been nominated for the national Council of Graduate Schools Distinguished Dissertation Award and the regional Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Doctoral Dissertation Award. That same May she married fellow Binghamton grad Tom Jordan. In attendance were Kate Hardy, Robin Schmidt, Haley Hoffner, Ted Larson, Joshua Wrigley ’08, and Matt Brophy ’02. Meghan is now assistant professor of English at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, and mom to Theo, who was born in May 2016. | Sarah Martino lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and is the project director for the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights. | Yolanda Mendoza-Flores was sworn into the Massachusetts bar on June 13, 2016, and is currently a first-year associate at the law offices of Lloyd E. Bennett in Union City, New Jersey, where she specializes in immigration and nationality law. On September 3, 2016, she married her partner of six years, Alex Flores, in sunny Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, before 129 friends and family, including fellow Bardians Mozdeh Zahedi-North and JP Lor. | David Russell Moser and Rabbi Yael Rooks Rapport were married in September of last year. David is the director of client services for BeneStream. He received a master’s degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics
and Political Science. | Michelle Moses-Eisenstein moved after Bard to New York City, where she fell in love with tango and earned a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University. Michelle works at the Health Resources and Services Administration and lives in Washington, D.C. She also volunteers with the New Leaders Council as a life entrepreneur trainer and serves on the D.C. chapter’s executive board as cochair of the mentorship committee. | Patrick Murtagh has been working as a flight attendant for a major U.S. carrier since graduation. He can typically be found on transAtlantic routes, where he often works as a language-qualified crew member. A resident of New York City, Patrick lives in Washington Heights with his partner of six years, Daniel, and can be contacted at email@example.com. | Ethan Porter received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago in spring 2016, and this past fall began as an assistant professor at George Washington University. | Nicole Rhodes and John Weinert were married on August 20, 2016, at their homestead in western Massachusetts. John is a faculty member of Smith College, teaching Arabic language, and Nicole is a field biologist for the Berkshire Natural Resources Council. | Rachael Small is the director of publicity at Europa Editions, where she represents a list of award-winning and bestselling international novelists including Elena Ferrante (Italy), Muriel Barbery (France), Charlotte Wood (Australia), Boualem Sansal (Algeria), Alina Bronsky (Germany), and Santiago Gamboa (Colombia). Rachael is also a translator of French and her first book in translation, Another Morocco: Selected Stories by Abdellah Taïa, will be published by Semiotext(e) this spring. | Tessa Strauss lives in Oakland, California, with her wife, Micaela, and their twins, Ever and Jude, who were born in August 2015. Tessa is a kindergarten teacher. | Bhav Tibrewal married Freya Powell ’06 in 2014.
Andrea Muraskin ’06, Charlotte Hendrickson ’07, Joshua Wrigley ’08, Max Miller ’07, Joanna Leitch ’07, Safi Harriott ’09, John Weinert ’07 (groom), Nicole Rhodes ’07 (bride), Rachael Small ’07, Ella Stocker ’08, Marisa Hebb ’07, Daniel Armenti ’07, Zara Dowling ’07, Heather (Gladstone) Harrison ’10, Gracie Leavitt ’07, Willis Arnold ’07, and Robert Harrison ’07. photo Robert Harrison ’07
class notes 37
He is the deputy political director for the New York Hotel Trades Council, the union for hotel workers. | Jane Wong released her first book, Overpour, in October 2016 (Action Books). She has an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and also completed her doctorate in English at the University of Washington. Jane is a visiting assistant professor at Pacific Lutheran University. She lives in Seattle among the rain and moss.
Mneesha Gellman recently published, Democratization and Memories of Violence: Ethnic Minority Rights Movements in Mexico, Turkey, and El Salvador.
Theresa Bhoopsingh recently earned her Ph.D. from CUNY, The Graduate Center, in educational psychology. She is currently a practicing school psychologist and director for admissions at the Lang School in New York City. In August of 2016, Theresa and her husband welcomed their second son, Deklan. They are also parents to Liam, 3. Her dissertation “Bully Victimization, Depression, and the Role of Protective Factors among College-Age LGBTQ Students” will be the topic for her presentation at the American Psychological Association conference in 2017. Theresa hopes to open a private practice specializing in psychoeducational testing and counseling for children and adolescents. | Emily Legutko was awarded the David L. Boren Fellowship to study Brazilian Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in April of 2016. The Boren Fellowship provides funding for graduate students for long-term study of languages critical to U.S. national security. Emily will be studying at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro until July 2017.
Mneesha Gellman ’03 and her daughter are Bardian and Proud.
Tessa Strauss ’07, Micaela, Ever, and Jude. photo Arielle Jackson
’06 Matthew Lawrence Wing and Melissa Dina DeRosa were married in August 2016 in Bolton Landing, New York. Matthew works for Uber in Manhattan, where he oversees public relations for the northeastern United States. From October 2011 to June 2013 he was the deputy communications director for New York City, and from June 2013 to September 2014 he was press secretary for Governor Cuomo, and later became the communications director for the governor’s reelection campaign. He is on both Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation boards.
’02 15th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Dorothy Albertini, Gabe Blau, Tate DeCaro, and Ava Fedorov look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org. Dorothy Albertini works in academic advising at Bard, and lives, writes, and sews with her husband in Kingston, New York. She’ll be at reunion in May. dorothyalbertini.com | Tate DeCaro lives in Rochester, New York, and works as the director of development at Writers & Books, a literary nonprofit, doing fund-raising and event planning. She also does yoga, is (still) a voracious reader, and goes to a lot of baseball games. She is very excited to see a lot of familiar faces for this year’s 15th reunion!
’04 | Rebecca Favorito received a Ph.D. in history from Ohio State University. | Greg Grinberg, former Philip Livingston Hall Acceleration to Excellence Scholarship and Hutchins Scholarship winner, is the founder of ActualFood. He leads a six-person team providing a same-day grocery delivery service with a mission to make healthy, sustainable eating easy for everyone.
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’01 Liz Homberger and Nick Kramer have been married since 2010 and live in Los Angeles. On October 19, 2016, they became parents to wonderful twin daughters, Adeline and Rose. Nick is an artist represented by the Pit Gallery, Los Angeles. Liz is an objects conservator at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Rebecca Granato, associate dean and visiting assistant professor of history at Al-Quds Bard, gave birth to twin boys, Zayn Gray and Alexander Frank, in February.
’97 20th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Dana Goswick, Lisa Jarvis, Monica Monroy, Eve Stahlberger, Zubeida Ullah, and Brandon Weber look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org. Shumona Goel won best short film at the London Film Festival in 2015 for codirecting Old Dog’s Diary with Shai Heredia. They were featured artists at the third Kochi-Muziris Biennale earlier this year. | Brandon Weber is the director of research and partner of Signpost Capital in New York City, a long/short equity hedge fund. He and his wife, Vesna Straser PIE ’95, will be celebrating their 15th anniversary on reunion weekend at Bard College. They will have their 7-year-old twin daughters in tow.
’94 Craig Peterson has been named artistic director and deputy program officer for the Abrons Arts Center/Visual and Performing Arts division in New York City.
’92 25th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Reunion committee member David Cote and your classmates look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org.
’91 Tim Davis, Lisa Sanditz, and their son, Bix, are in Los Angeles this spring for Tim’s sabbatical. They recently organized a dinner for as many alums of the Bard Photo Program as they could drum up—and get to drive to Chinatown at rush hour. (See photo, page 40) | Scott Licamele is vice president of MSL Group, Inc., a Connecticut-based renewable energy project developer that focuses on providing solar power and energy efficiency solutions for affordable housing and industrial clients in the Northeast. Licamele works closely with housing authorities, HUD projects, and supportive housing clients. MSL Group recently announced a major initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs by at least 25 percent for a million low-income renters in multiunit properties in the United States within the next five years. The mission of MSL Group is to help achieve the primary goals of the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by implementing local solutions for renewable energy production and energy efficiency. | Samuel L. Sharmat won the Caron Foundation Medical Professional Award in October 2016. Caron’s Greater New York Community Service Awards pay tribute in a tangible and meaningful way to individuals, organizations, and institutions that have made an outstanding contribution in the ongoing battle against alcohol and drug addiction in the community.
’90 Morgen Bowers is a new partner at law firm Bowers & del Peral. She is excited about this new challenge and will guide the firm onward. The firm takes pride in a culture of teamwork and lasting client relationships, and remains devoted to providing the highest quality of service.
’87 30th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee David Avallone, Marisa Driscoll, and Raissa St. Pierre look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org.
Books by Bardians Dorothy and Some Kittens by Dorothy Albertini ’02 MFA ’09, illustrated by Dennis Ryan Publication Studio Inside this adorable-looking, four-by-six-inch chapbook lies a brilliantly terse and horribly lucid tale. The poet Ann Lauterbach calls it, “A marvelous, astute chronicle of intimate estrangement.”
The Moon Prince and the Sea by Daniela Rose Anderson ’12 Et Alia Press Based on real-life experiences, Anderson’s debut children’s story tells the tale of an unlikely bond between a little boy, Sumit, in India, and a girl, Marina, in America, who are both bound to hospitals. Proceeds from sales benefit children and families facing terminal illnesses.
Beyond Memory: Italian Protestants in Italy and America by Dennis Barone ’77 SUNY Press Barone examines the oft-overlooked yet richly diverse world of Italian Protestants in both Italy and American. Through literary sources, church records, manuscript sources, and a variety of secondary sources, the book explores how Protestantism helped a group of immigrants negotiate Old and New World traditions.
A Picture of Everyone I Love Passes through Me text by John Bloomberg-Rissman, collage by Lynn Behrendt ’81 Lunar Chandelier Press This linguistic and visual collaboration between Bloomberg-Rissman and Behrendt, who is also a poet, weaves words and images to create a new, unified, and layered work of art. Each page opens the reader to the possibility that art can have many doors from which to enter.
Army Brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab ’93 Scholastic Press When their military-intelligence mom is assigned to Fort Patrick, the family’s first army base, the Bailey kids face real-world problems like bullying, school cliques, and fitting in. They try to solve a disappearingdogs mystery and discover that what truly matters is being true to yourself.
Blind Spot by Teju Cole, Distinguished Writer in Residence Random House The English edition of the book that accompanied Cole’s photography exhibit Punto d’Ombra in Italy last year, Blind Spot takes us on a year-long journey from Berlin to Brooklyn, Capri to Tivoli, Switzerland to Nigeria. More than 150 color photographs, and the words that flow from his roaming mind, make the book a “testament to the art of seeing.”
Dan Cherubin was appointed the Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, last summer.
class notes 39
Clockwise from left: Ben Goddard ’09, Elizabeth Conn-Hollyn ’09, Anna Carnohan, Emma Rose Mead, Marten Elder ’08, Louis Heilbronn ’10, Robbie Brannigan, Ruby Jackson ’16, Lisa Sanditz, Walead Beshty ’99, Nicole Katz ’02, Antoine Midant ’16, Virginia Wilcox ’08, Cory Seigel, Sebastian Nicolau ’16, Jackie Bao ’11, and Evan Whale ’09. photo Tim Davis ’91
’82 35th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Chris Kendall, Jimmy Rodewald, and Geoffrey Stein look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org.
’78 Emily Rubin had a great time returning to Bard in the fall of 2016 to teach Write That Story! as part of the Lifetime Learning Institute. In February, she was on a panel at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Washington, D.C. Her first novel, Stalina, was a winner of the Amazon Debut Novel Award Contest. emilyrubin.net
’77 40th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Marvin Fell and Michael McNulty look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-7587089 or visit annandaleonline.org. Michael McNulty will be attending his 40th reunion class this spring. He is completing 30 years with JPMorganChase in the technology division. He
40 class notes
and his wife cruised their sailboat from Florida to Annapolis, Maryland, last year with plans to cruise the Northeast this year. He has a son and daughter who both attend RIT. They are frequent visitors to Columbia County, where they ski at Catamount and paddle the Hudson. He is looking forward to catching up with his classmates this spring.
’72 45th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Laurie Krieger and Elisabeth Semel look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org. Catharin Dalpino has been appointed to the Academic Advisory Council of Friends of Florence, a binational nongovernmental organization that supports the restoration and preservation of Florence’s cultural treasures. She is currently working on a project to support the restoration and reopening of the Geographic Map Room in the Uffizi.
’68 Judith Arner Brown is the new president and CEO of the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. | Stephen Kessler is the recipient of the 2016 PEN Center USA Translation Award for his book
Forbidden Pleasures: New Selected Poems by Luis Cernuda. Stephen’s earlier translations of the Spanish poet, Desolation of the Chimera and Written in Water, were winners, respectively, of the 2010 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award (from the Academy of American Poets) and the 2004 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’s Poetry. Stephen lives in Santa Cruz, California. stephenkessler.com
’67 50th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Joan Elliott, Maggie Hopp, and Don Moore look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org.
’63 Penny Axelrod volunteers twice a week at the Plimoth Plantation Bakery while learning techniques of baking in a wood-fired oven from master bakers. Last year she traveled on a bicycle-barge trip through parts of Holland and Belgium. Penny participated in the Women’s March in Boston. She feels very fortunate, after a career that began even before she graduated from Bard and ended only two and a half years ago, to be able to spend her time exploring and experiencing life.
’62 55th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please come back in May for your reunion. Your classmates and members of the reunion committee Penny Axelrod ’63, Jack Blum, Ann Ho, and Susan Playfair look forward to seeing you. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org. Jack Blum has been quoted in the New York Times regarding the Panama Papers and was interviewed on NPR regarding the 1MDB Malaysian fraud case. He currently serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the board of the Violence Policy Center, which he chairs. Blum is treasurer of the Center for International Policy, counsel to the National Consumers League, counsel to the Americans for Democratic Action, and the chair of Tax Justice Network USA. He continues as a research fellow at the School for Oriental and African Studies and is practicing law with the firm of Amsterdam and Partners.
’57 60th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017 Please join your classmates at your reunion in May. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org.
’52 65th Reunion: May 26-28, 2017
Carl Davis: Maestro by Carl Davis ’58 and Wendy Thompson Faber Music Limited Published to commemorate Davis’s 80th birthday, this book looks behind the curtain of one of the most influential music conductors and prolific film, silent film, television, and stage composers. His life in music begins in New York City and takes him to Copenhagen before he establishes himself as a preeminent maestro in London.
Out in the Periphery: Latin America’s Gay Rights Revolution by Omar G. Encarnación, professor of political studies Oxford University Press Several Latin American countries have emerged as international leaders in the fight for gay rights, with some countries legalizing same-sex marriage and enacting federal laws to protect transgender equality and access to reproductive technologies for same-sex couples. Encarnación explores the domestic contexts and global influences at play.
Karen Gunderson: The Dark World of Light by Elizabeth Frank, Joseph E. Harry Professor of Modern Languages and Literature Abbeville Press This beautifully written examination of Karen Gunderson’s life and work includes more than 100 illustrations that show how the artist pushes the limits of her medium. Critic Barbara Rose wrote of the Pulitzer Prize– winning author, “Frank is able to interpret Gunderson’s vision . . . with sensitivity and insight rare in an art book.”
Please join your classmates Kit Ellenbogen, Francis Sandiford, David Schwab, and Ruth Schwartz Schwab at your reunion in May. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org.
by Neil Gaiman, professor in the arts W. W. Norton and Company Gaiman retells the ancient tales of the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, giving new life to the Nordic gods of Odin, Thor, Loki, and others. Interconnected vignettes begin with Norse mythology’s genesis and culminate in the destruction and rebirth of the cosmos.
’47 70th Reunion: May 26–28, 2017
The Challenge of Surrealism: The Correspondence of Theodor W. Adorno and Elisabeth Lenk
Please join Francis “Whit” Whitcomb (see page 30) at your reunion in May. For more information, call 845-758-7089 or visit annandaleonline.org.
edited and translated by Susan H. Gillespie, vice president of special global initiatives; founding director, Institute for International Liberal Education Minnesota University Press The first English translation of the correspondence between German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno and his graduate student Elisabeth Lenk from 1962 to 1969 provides a wealth of critical material for reassessing the significance of the surrealist movement and its successors.
Center for Curatorial Studies ’16 Humberto Moro has been appointed curator at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia. Future exhibition projects include solo shows by Glen Fogel, Liliana Porter, and Pia Camil. | The 2017 curatorial fellow at SculptureCenter in Long Island City, New York, Alexis Wilkinson curated In Practice: Material Deviance, which opened on January 28, 2017.
College in Prison: Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration by Daniel Karpowitz, lecturer in law and the humanities, BPI director of policy and academics Rutgers University Press Since 2001, Bard has provided hundreds of incarcerated men and women across the country access to a rigorous liberal arts education and bestowed degrees upon these exceptional individuals. Karpowitz’s book chronicles the Bard Prison Initiative’s evolution from a small pilot project to a national network of programs.
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’13 In the fall of 2016, Cora Fisher and her husband welcomed a son they named Henry Leo Issler. Cora is the curator of contemporary art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. | Annie Godfrey Larmon is a writer, editor, and curator based in New York City. She is a regular contributor to Artforum and her writing has also appeared in Bookforum, Frieze, MAY, Rhizome, and WdW Review. The recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for shortform writing, Annie is the editor of publications for the inaugural Okayama Art Summit and a former international reviews editor of Artforum.
Mackie has served as codirector of PARSE, a curatorial residency and art space in New Orleans. PARSE recently achieved 501(c)(3) status. Amy is fund-raising and grant writing, and looks forward to bringing a diverse range of international curators to New Orleans to give lectures, organize exhibitions and events, and engage with the local community.
’05 Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art in New York and curator of Frieze Projects at Frieze New York, has been announced as the curator of the Italian Pavilion for the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale, to be held May 13 through November 26, 2017.
Kelly Kivland is an associate curator at Dia Art Foundation, where she has worked since 2011. She curated Occasions and other occurrences hosted by Isabel Lewis and is working on upcoming commissions with François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea (2017), Joëlle Tuerlinckx (2018), and Renata Lucas (2018).
Fashion in Film Festival Director and Curator Marketa Uhlirova announces that the festival will have its biggest and most ambitious season this year to mark its 10th anniversary. Marketa curated Wearing Time: Past, Present, Future, Dream with cinema scholar Tom Gunning. The festival opened in March 2017 and runs across major London arts venues including the Barbican, Curzon Cinemas, Central Saint Martins, Rio, Prince Charles Cinema, Picturehouse Cinema, Horse Hospital, and Hoxton. It will tour New York’s Museum of the Moving Image later this year.
’10 Gabi Ngcobo has been appointed curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale, which opens in the summer of 2018. | Yulia Tikhonova is the new director of Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery at St. John’s University in Queens, New York. From January 9 through March 3, 2017, Yulia and the gallery presented DO IT!, an art collaboration performed globally in response to a collection of conceptual instructions provided by renowned artists. St. John’s version of DO IT! consisted of creative and humorous responses by faculty and students from the departments of visual art and design, English, creative writing, history, and core studies.
’09 Wendy Vogel was curator of the 2017 VOLTA Art Fair Curated Section, which took place in March 2017 in New York City.
’02 Programa de Pós-Graduação Em Artes VisuaisUniversidade Federal Do Rio de Janeiro nominated Luiza Interlenghi to publish an article based on her 2015 Ph.D. thesis, “Art in an Unstable Field: Strategies for Activating Contemporary Art Poetics beyond the Gallery,” in Arte & Ensaios Journal (#32, 2017). In the fall of 2016, Luiza cocurated Ponto Transição-Funarte Visual Arts, a group show including site-specific work, video, and performance by 28 Brazilian artists, two collectives, and 10 round tables on contemporary Brazilian art. Lastly, the book Desenlace: Teresa Serrano and Miguel Angel Ríos was released, part of the exhibition of the same name that Luiza curated in 2013.
’07 Emily Zimmerman is the new director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design. | For the spring 2017 semester, Florencia Malbran has been selected as the Craig M. Cogut Visiting Professor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown University.
’06 Sarah Bachlier joined the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, New York, as director of education in August 2016. | Since 2013, Amy
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’01 Ilaria Bonacossa has been appointed director of Artissima Contemporary Art Fair in Torino, Italy.
Diego, and Rita Gonzalez, curator of contemporary art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and poetic commentary by 2000 Whitney Biennial artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz, was published by the Linda Pace Foundation.
’97 Rachel Gugelberger was promoted to curator at No Longer Empty in New York City. She was also named director of NLE Curatorial Lab (NLE Lab), a socially conscious platform for experimentation in curating. NLE Lab is a 15-week professional development program for emerging curators/arts professionals interested in gaining hands-on experience curating in an expanded field. NLE Lab extends No Longer Empty’s mission to curate community- and site-responsive exhibitions and programming in unique spaces.
’96 With Julie Martin and Daniel Neumann, Regine Basha curated 9 evenings + 50, a show commemorating the 50th anniversary of Experiments in Art and Technology’s 9 Evenings, for Fridman Gallery. Regine then joined the team at Pioneer Works as residency director. The residency at Pioneer Works hosts artists, musicians, technologists, and scientists. | The Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, Connecticut, under executive director and curator Robbin Zella, received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a $15,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, which will be used to expand the museum’s peer docent program into the Bridgeport parochial schools. This program trains students to be docents (tour guides), who introduce their classmates to the art and architecture in their region.
Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts ’14 Layli Long Soldier is a winner of the 2016 Whiting Awards, given annually to emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. In addition, her poem “Resolution (6),” a response to the Standing Rock protest to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline project, was featured in an interview with Layli on the PBS NewsHour in December 2016.
’99 Since graduating from CCS, Alejandro Diaz has been working as an artist. In 2016, his work “GODS BLESS AMERICA!” entered the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. A monograph featuring his work, Alejandro Diaz: It Takes a Village, with essays by Kathryn Kanjo, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art San
’13 The works of several MFA alumni are featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, including Jared Buckhiester, Dani Leventhal ’10, Carrie Moyer ’02, and Leilah Weinraub, who attended the MFA program. The exhibition runs to June 11, 2017.
Graduate Vocal Arts Program The Hexagon
’16 In celebration of the first decade of the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program (VAP), the newly formed Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program Alumni Association presented its first alumni-led concert on September 24, 2016, raising funds to ensure VAP’s continued success for many decades to come. Participants included Andrew Munn and Kelly Newberry as well as Lucy Fitz Gibbon ’15, Michael Hofmann ’15, Katherine Maysek ’15, Elizabeth Cohen ’14, Kameryn Lueng ’13, Marie Marquis ’13, Jacquelyn Stucker ’13, Lucy Dhegrae ’12, Matthew Patrick Morris ’12, Celine Mogielnicki ’10, Solange Merdinian ’09, and Melissa Wegner ’08.
’15 Musical America, a 100-year-old print and digital resource for the performing arts industry, named Sarah Tuttle its “new artist of the month” for December 2016. Sarah spent the summer of 2016 as a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center and is a member of the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater opera company in Germany.
’13 Marie Marquis won the 2016 Joy in Singing debut artist award. Joy in Singing is a nonprofit arts organization that promotes the knowledge and love of art song literature, assists the careers of recitalists and composers, and educates a wider audience in the joy of song.
by Robert Kelly, Asher B. Edelman Professor of Literature Black Widow Press The Hexagon is the middle term of the five long poems Kelly has written over the last decade—along with Fire Exit, Uncertainties, Heart Thread, and Calls. “If the Pentagon is war,” says Kelly, “then the hexagon—inner chamber of the hive—is peace. A link to video of Kelly reading from Hexagon at Bard Hall can be found at rk-ology.com.
Poems of Consummation by Vicente Aleixandre, translated from the Spanish by Stephen Kessler ’68 Black Widow Press First published in 1968, when its Nobel Prize–winning author was 70, this collection of poems contemplates old age and the enigma of death. These short intense poems deal with the elemental imagery of nature, the voice reaches out as if speaking from the eternal beyond. Kessler has translated 16 books, written 10 books of poetry, three collections of essays, and one novel.
Liberating Minds: The Case for College in Prison by Ellen Lagemann, Distinguished Fellow, Bard Prison Initiative The New Press Lagemann eloquently makes the case that it is imperative that access to higher education be extended to include the incarcerated. As the country faces a legacy of decades of overincarceration, offering college behind bars provides a corrective on the path back to a more democratic and humane society.
Tripping with Jim Morrison and Other Friends by Michael Lawrence ’65 Blackbird Digital Books Lawrence’s memoir captures his friendship and consciousness-altering explorations with UCLA classmate and legendary Doors front man Jim Morrison. LSD was a part of their landscape, but so was pancake breakfast with Lawrence’s mom. Each young artist carved his own path through creative, intense, and often chaotic times.
’41 Allen “Red” Wells, 98, died on January 16, 2017, in Shelburne, Vermont. During WWII, he served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Missouri, on which he observed the signing of the Peace Treaty that ended the war in 1945. He later worked for the Scintilla/Bendix Corporation as a tool and gauge inspector. He was predeceased by his former wife, Grace, and his brother, Horace. He is survived by his children, Jonathan and Kathleen, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
’43 Robert R. Potter, 96, died on December 16, 2016. He attended Bard as a premed, and received his V.M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He established the Pleasantville (New York) Animal Hospital, where he operated a veterinary practice for 20 years. Potter was a past president and medical director of the SPCA of Westchester. In 1971, he
Whereas: Poems by Layli Long Soldier MFA ’14 Graywolf Press This debut poetry collection by Long Soldier, winner of a 2016 Whiting Award, turns the legalese of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes back on itself and reinvents how Native American identity can be constructed in text.
Light Come Shining: The Transformations of Bob Dylan by Andrew McCarron ’99, Language and Thinking Program faculty Oxford University Press Employing psychological tools to look at three major events in Dylan’s life—his 1966 motorcycle accident and its aftermath, his conversion to Christianity in 1978, and his recommitment to songwriting and performing in 1987—McCarron finds a common thread in the Nobel laureate’s explanations for these “transformations.” Dylan’s spiritual death and rebirth echoes a story that has captivated us for centuries.
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opened the Fox Hill Wildlife Refuge on his farm in Salem, Massachusetts. He was also editor of “The Nature Trail” in the Greenwich Journal and Salem Press, a certified New York State Fire Instructor, and played tenor saxophone in local group the Five Notes. He is survived by three children, five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
’47 Nathaniel H. Polster, 93, died on April 28, 2015. After serving in the Army during WWII, he worked for an antipoverty program and lobbied for the National Cancer Institute. He also published a specialized medical newsletter. Survivors include his daughter, Nicole.
daughter, Margaret; sister, Ada; and brother, Victor. She is survived by her children E. Gabriel, John Jr., and James; and grandchildren Michael, Matthew, and Margaret.
’52 Wallace Scott Peyton, 88, died on July 16, 2016, at his home in Englewood, New Jersey. He held an M.F.A. from Yale University and worked in public relations and advertising. He was a former president of the Players Guild of Leonia, volunteered at the Englewood Public Library, and taught at the Tenafly Adult School. Peyton loved theater, opera, travel, wine, literature, and his pets. He is survived by his wife, Monica; his daughter, Courtney; and his son, Justin.
’50 Lloyd W. Linzell, 86, died on September 28, 2015. An engineer who worked in the defense and commercial sectors, Linzell liked current events, gardening, cooking, reading, and loved watching the Patriots. He was predeceased by his wife, Joyce; brother, Herb; and stepson, Scott. Survivors include his children, Carol, Theresa Catherine, Loren, Christine, and Daniel; his stepchildren, Debbie and Tracy; several grandchildren; and his sister, Marcella.
’51 Richard Johnson Muller, 87, died on October 17, 2016, in Alexandria, Virginia. His varied career ranged from country music DJ to PR consultant to member of the 1980 Reagan transition team for NASA. Muller loved life: he flew single-engine Cessnas, was a gourmet cook, a master gardener, and a self-proclaimed Anglophile who traveled widely. Muller is survived by his wife of 64 years, Barbara; children, Melissa, Richard Jr., and David; and four grandchildren. Carol Summers, 91, died on October 27, 2016, at his home in Santa Cruz, California. He studied woodcut printmaking at Bard College with the abstract artist Lou Shanker. Summers was known as a grand master of the medium, and his work has been exhibited in museums and art galleries around the world. Summers traveled extensively. He loved Mexico, particularly Guanajuato; he led architecture and folk art tours in Rajasthan, India; and hiked in the Himalayas. He was predeceased by his second wife, Elaine; third wife, Joan; and his sister, Mary. Survivors include his sons, Kyle and Ethan. Gertrude “Trudy” Elizabeth (Zerbs) Works, 87, died on September 6, 2016, in Beaver Island, Michigan. She received a management training certificate from Radcliffe (now Harvard) College, and taught at the Hathaway Brown school in Ohio. Works was predeceased by her husband, John;
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Rocco “Rocky” Frank Vacca, 91, died on December 25, 2016, in Poughkeepsie, New York. Vacca served during WWII and in the Korean War. He was past president of the Dutchess County Young Republican Club and a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Poughkeepsie. He was general manager of Allstates Design and Development and later worked for TAD Technical Services. He was predeceased by his brother, Savario. Survivors include his wife, Rosemarie; sons, Richard, John, Robert, and Anthony; grandchildren and great grandchildren; and a sister, Nell.
’53 Robert Cornell, 85, died on March 6, 2017, in Kingston, New York. Cornell studied music at Bard and wrote reviews for the school newspaper. He met Aaron Copland, whose music he greatly admired, through a college friend, Robert Kennedy ’54, and they maintained a long friendship. Cornell served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps; worked as an assistant to Lincoln Kirstein, cofounder of the New York City Ballet; was, concurrently, executive secretary of the Ballet Society, Museum of American Folk Art, New York Shakespeare Festival, and Institute for Advanced Studies in Theatre Arts; became general manager of the Hyde Park Playhouse; and later served as administrator of the New York City Ballet Guild. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mari.
’55 Richard “Dick” Bertram Kraus, 84, died on October 31, 2016. At Bard, he was chief of the volunteer fire department and a member of ATO fraternity. Kraus served two years with the 18th Airborne Division of the U.S. Army and later worked for the Scott Paper Company in industrial sales. Kraus is survived by his wife, Anneta; “Sis” Stanton; children, Richard, Karen, and Melinda; and grandchildren.
Ellen R. Wolff, 82, died on August 6, 2016, in New York City. A graduate of Columbia University and Mannes College of Music, she was creative director at Scholastic Books and an editor at Simon & Schuster. A member of Mensa, Wolff spoke six languages, traveled extensively, spent time in Paris and St. Moritz, and loved art, literature, and classical music. She is survived by her brother, John, and his family.
’56 Richard “Dick” Avery, 83, died on February 3, 2017, in Scarborough, Maine. After graduating from Bard with a degree in sculpture, he entered the army. He spent two years landlocked in Oklahoma, then bought a one-way ticket to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, where he met his wife. They lived on a houseboat Avery built and then in a pole house he designed. He became a yacht dealer and helped build the St. Thomas Yacht Club. His greatest accomplishment was building a 41-foot trawler with his son in Maine and sailing it to St. Thomas. Avery loved classical music, the water, reading, and cats. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marianne; daughter, Ingrid; son, Morgan; two granddaughters, Emmy and Madelyn; and sister, Ann.
’57 Eleanor Kalfin-Royte, 80, died on November 30, 2016. She was a proponent of early childhood education, taught kindergarten in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and early childhood development at several Boston colleges. She is survived by her children, Jessica, Elizabeth ’81, and Joshua ’85; two grandchildren; and her brother, Robert.
’59 Raymond Gombach, 79, died on November 17, 2016. He studied drama at Bard and appeared in many stage and television productions. He was president and CEO of Latham Process Corp. and president of the Patch Open Foundation charity. He was a Biblical storyteller, model railroader, musician, expert on the history of FM radio, and author of storytelling books. He is survived by his wife, Jayne; children, James, Elizabeth, and Alexander; and seven grandchildren. Patricia L. Kay has died. She earned her M.A. from Columbia University and was a music educator. She was predeceased by her brother, Richard, who was a cellist at the Metropolitan Opera. She is survived by her sister, Phyllis.
’72 Donald “Don” McVinney, 66, died at his home in New York City on December 20, 2016. McVinney, a popular professor at Columbia University’s School
of Social Work, taught classes about treating alcoholism and substance abuse. He received several awards, including Outstanding Professor of the Year. He was on staff at Harlem United and wrote the book Chemical Dependency Treatment: Innovative Group Approaches. He worked at the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center in the early 1990s and was director of Triangle Treatment, which provided addiction treatment to the L.G.B.T. community. He also wrote a catalogue on a Picasso exhibit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and worked with artists including Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol. Survivors include his brother, Barry. Dean H. Wasserman, 61, died on May 21, 2012. Born in New York City, he graduated from New York Medical College. Wasserman worked for Valley Hospital and Hackensack Hospital Medical Center, New Jersey, and was medical director at the Vein Treatment Center in Paramus. Wasserman was on numerous surgical boards, including American Board of Surgery and Society of Vascular Surgery. He is survived by his wife, Regina; children, Amanda, Rebecca, Alec, and David; and siblings, Eric, Joann, and Cathy.
’73 Lee Horvitz, 66, died on July 23, 2016. He attended the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, studying under legendary acting coach Sanford Meisner. Horvitz toured the country playing Shakespeare and helped found the Oakland Ensemble Theatre, the only African-American Actors’ Equity theatrical company in the Bay area. He earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, taught philosophy at Miami University in Ohio, wrote many book reviews and travel articles, and helped elect Harold Washington as the first AfricanAmerican mayor of Chicago. Horvitz moved to New Orleans and, after hurricane Katrina struck, wrote scripts and produced films. He was predeceased by his brother, Philip, and fiancé, Jessica Lou Hawk. He is survived by his brothers, Bill and Wayne. Maggie A. Roche, 65, died on January 21, 2017. She played guitar and sang with her sisters Suzzy and Terre in the folk group the Roches. They were backup singers on Paul Simon’s 1973 album, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. The Roches recorded 10 albums as a trio as well as assorted duos throughout the years. They appeared on national television shows, including Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
’74 Robert Curran, 77, died on February 2, 2017. He was a well-known journalist and writer in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Born in Peckville, he grew up in
The Adolfas Diaries: Book 2 by Adolfas Mekas (1925–2011), professor emeritus of film Hallelujah Editions The second of three books of a journal written and translated by Mekas, this volume (February 1947 – October 1949) starts in a displaced persons camp in Germany and ends on a ship just days away from New York City. The entries are full of theater, film, music, and literature; hunger, scurvy, and nightmares; love and loss.
The Humorless Ladies of Border Control: Touring the Punk Underground from Belgrade to Ulanbaatar by Franz Nicolay, visiting instructor in music The New Press Nicolay spent five years travelling the world with a guitar in one hand, a banjo in the other, and an accordion on his back. His debut literary work explores the past and future of punk-rock culture in the postcommunist landscapes of Eurasia.
Abstract Expressionism for Beginners by Richard Klin, illustrated by Lily Prince MFA ’91 For Beginners This book captures abstract expressionism, the groundbreaking postwar American art movement that put New York City at the center of the international art scene, in a tangible, simplified way. It helps any reader appreciate iconic artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko.
Mister Monkey by Francine Prose, Distinguished Writer in Residence Harper This comic novel follows the storylines of a cast of quirky characters affiliated with a horrendous off-off-off-off Broadway children’s musical, Mister Monkey, about a playfully larcenous pet chimpanzee. Full of intrigue and human awkwardness, the book digs into the deep paradoxes of art, ambition, childhood, aging, and love.
Sex Offenders, Stigma, and Social Control by Diana Rickard ’89 Rutgers University Press In the context of Megan’s Law, Rickard explores the individual experiences of six convicted sex offenders—none serial pedophiles nor convicted of brutal sex crimes—as they try to reintegrate into society and cope with their highly stigmatized role as pariahs in a culture of zero tolerance.
The Greek Plays: Sixteen Plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides coedited by Mary Lefkowitz and James Romm, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics Modern Library This anthology, which includes fresh translations of classic masterpieces as well as playwrights’ biographies, clarifying introductions, helpful annotations, appendices by prominent classicists, a detailed timeline, and a list of adaptations of Greek drama to literature, stage, and film, elucidates the history of Greek tragedy and its influence.
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Olyphant then moved to New York, where he was editor of the Washingtonville Post, a reporter for the Times Herald-Record, and a reporter for the Newburgh Evening News. Curran won 10 writing awards and wrote the best-selling book The Haunted, which became a TV movie. At the Scranton Tribune, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for his series of stories on abuses at Clarks Summit State Hospital. He is survived by twin sisters, Patricia Curran Van Zandt and Paulette Curran Reaney. Sharon Perlman, 63, died on December 11, 2016, in Saint Petersburg, Florida. She received her M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, was chief resident in pediatrics at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and chief of staff at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her many accolades include Attending Physician of the Year awards and a Founders Award from the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology. Perlman was an avid adventurer and scuba diver, and rescued greyhounds. She is survived by her husband, Ron Frankel; daughters, Jaymie Tracy and Meagen Dom; grandchildren, Jackson and Allison; and sisters, Lauren and Robin, and their children.
worked as a merchandiser for Faded Glory, H&M, Old Navy, and Macy’s. She loved spending time with her pets Min-pin, Ziggy, and Di Vinci. Survivors include her father, Paul; her brother, Paul; and her sister, Melissa.
Jay Brown ’78. photo Courtesy of Greg Brown
’78 James “Jay” Granville Brown, 61, died on March 19, 2017. A well-known music video director, filmmaker, and photographer from Atlanta, Georgia, Brown studied film with Adolfas Mekas. Chair of the Bard College Board of Trustees James Chambers ’81 says, “Jay was a blazing comet. He was the reason I came to Bard. I was lost coming out of high school. Jay, a year older than me, told me about a mysterious and unknown college. So I followed him to Annandale. He taught me, a young jock from the South, that it was truly okay, even cool, and ultimately life-sustaining to study—and more importantly do—the arts.” Soon after college, Brown moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for Michael Trikilis Productions and Playboy Entertainment Group, producing and directing films and videos. Later he worked with and directed such musicians as Al Green, Boy George, the Sex Pistols, Faith No More, Little Richard, Debbie Gibson, Lisa Hartman, and Louise Goffin. His low-key charisma and engaging storytelling made him easy to be around, and people from all walks of life—musicians, actors, philosophers, and scientists—reveled in his company. Brown directed and produced the definitive documentary of world-famous folk artist Reverend Howard Finster, who turned to making art and building his environmental sculpture “Paradise Garden” after, he said, God charged him to illustrate his religious visions. Brown was predeceased by his father, James R. Brown, and his sister, Renee Elizabeth
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Brown. He is survived by his mother, Renee Reinhard Brown, and brothers, Chris and Greg.
Margo Pelletier (MFA) died on November 27, 2016, in Catskill, New York. A painter, printmaker, and sculptor, she showed in museums and galleries in the New York City area. Pelletier was one of the founding members of the artist community at 111 First Street in Jersey City, New Jersey, owned the print shop Colorgirls, and was founder, with her former partner, Nancy Mahl, of the artist advocacy group Progressive Culture Works. Pelletier’s work is in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Elizabeth Foundation, and the Bob Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. She attended Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, Hartford Art School, and earned her B.F.A. from Cooper Union of Science and Arts. In 2000, with her wife, Lisa Thomas, Pelletier formed Thin Edge Films. She directed Freeing Silvia Baraldini (2009) and Thirsty (2016) as well as the short films Out of Service (2004), Cast to the Wind (2008), and 142 Years (2012). Pelletier is survived by Thomas and four siblings: Joan Ellen, Renee Egan, Daryl Cerone, and John.
’01 Mark Anthony Podrasky, 60, died on January 21, 2017, in Seattle. He was an attorney and a mediator in Snohomish, Washington, and was passionate about cars and motorcycles. He also enjoyed sailing, biking, walking with his dog, Max, and exploring the Bay Area. Podrasky is survived by his wife, Julia; stepson, Joseph; stepdaughter, Kelsey; and sister, Lucia Shepard.
Matthew Lewis Chiocca, 37, died on March 29, 2017. After graduating from Bard, Chiocca earned degrees from Vermont Law School and Columbia University. He is survived by his mother, Debbie Howell; father, Bob Chiocca; brother, Joe; grandparents Betty and Frank Chiocca; and several stepsiblings.
’13 ’79 Alexander “Alex” Nicholas McKnight Sr., 86, died on October 28, 2016, at his home in Kingston, New York. He was born in Brooklyn and later lived in Germantown, Tivoli, and Rhinebeck. He had a lifelong passion for baseball, and when the Dodgers left Brooklyn he became an avid Mets fan. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and later worked as a purchasing agent for Pfizer Chemical Co. He was a member of the Reformed Church of Rhinebeck, the American Legion, and served on the board of the Quitman Resource Center. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; son, Alexander; daughter, Viola; stepdaughter, Susan; grandchildren, Alexander, Addison, and Sophie; and sister, Nancy.
’88 Pamela C. Guerzon-Dawson, 49, died on July 30, 2016. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and
Christopher J. Kendzierski, 36, died on August 24, 2016. Kendzierski loved tutoring, animals, fishing, hiking, gardening, music, concerts (especially Phish), playing baseball, and lending a helping hand to those in need. Kendzierski was predeceased by his father, John, and his grandparents. He is survived by his mother, Jane; brother, Michael; sister, Kerrie; niece, Halie; and nephews, Luke and Jack. Gabrielle “Gabby” Tillman, 23, died on July 6, 2016. Tillman was a prolific creator: her projects ranged from food styling, performance, film production, photography, sculpture, quilting, sewing, painting, and beyond. Her sensitivity and imagination were the foundation to her therapeutic, functional, and avant-garde approach to fashion design and life itself. Survivors include her parents, Arthur and Dana; a sister, Jacqueline; and her grandmother, Beverly Salasnek.
Faculty Misericordia: Together We Celebrate Laura Flax, 64, died on March 11, 2017. Flax was the clarinetist of the Naumburg Award–winning Da Capo Chamber Players for 20 years, a founding musician of the Bard Music Festival, principal clarinetist of the American Symphony Orchestra and the New York City Opera Orchestra, and a member of the faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard Pre-College. She was a frequent guest with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, St. Luke’s, Orpheus, and American Composers Orchestras. Her solo appearances included performances with the Jerusalem Symphony, Bard Festival Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, and the Puerto Rico Symphony. Flax was involved in over 100 premieres, including works by Elliott Carter, Philip Glass, Shulamit Ran, and Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts Joan Tower. In 1981, at Merkin Hall, Flax premiered Wings, which Tower wrote for her. “The image behind the piece,” Tower wrote, “is one of a large bird—perhaps a falcon—at times flying very high gliding along the thermal currents, barely moving. At other moments, the bird goes into elaborate patterns that loop around, diving downwards, gaining tremendous speeds.” Flax is survived by her twin daughters, Fanny Wyrick-Flax ’13 and Molly Wyrick-Flax ’14, who were born on opening night of the 1991 Bard Music Festival. David Jaffee, 62, died on January 20, 2017. He earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, but soon became interested in visual culture and shifted his focus to the way objects and images speak to history. He taught at City College of New York and at the Bard Graduate Center, where he was a professor and director of new media studies. Jaffee was the author of People of the Wachusett: Greater New England in History and Memory, 1630–1860 and A New Nation of Goods: The Material Culture of Early America as well as innumerable essays. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara, and is survived by his daughter, Isadora. Betty Louise Josephson King died in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 2, 2016. She attended McGill University, graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Russian, and earned a Ph.D. in microbiology from Harvard University. She taught biology at Bard College and Skidmore College for several years before returning to the Washington, D.C., area, where she was involved in forming Northern Virginia Community College’s biology department, where she taught for more than three decades. King was also an accomplished photographer and loved animals. Survivors include her sister, Nancy; brother, Bill; son, Geoffrey; and granddaughter, Alexandra.
by Stephen Schapiro ’55 Powerhouse Books Photographer Schapiro’s images capture the joy of the more than 600 children and adults with developmental disabilities and 1000-plus staff and volunteers busy at work and play at Misercordia, a residential program in Chicago for diverse individuals with developmental disabilities.
Embed in Egypt by Emine Gozde Sevim ’08 Kehrer Verlag In this photographic diary, Turkish photographer Sevim, who lived in Egypt during the revolution to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak, captures the stories of everyday people. She shows their personal moments during a tumultuous time of historical transition.
Factory: Andy Warhol by Stephen Shore, Susan Weber Professor in the Arts Phaidon Press At 17, Shore was invited to hang out at The Factory, Andy Warhol’s legendary studio, and spent almost every day of the following two years there taking pictures of the goings-on of famous artists, writers, and musicians. This book features photos from Shore’s personal collection taken between 1965 and 1967.
Projections of Memory: Romanticism, Modernism, and the Aesthetics of Film by Richard I. Suchenski, associate professor of film and electronic arts Oxford University Press This study of a small body of innovative cinematic work reexamines film history through the lens of some of its most ambitious and transformative artists, connecting and elevating 20th-century avantgarde long-form films to the traditions of 18th- and 19th-century Romantic literature, theater, painting, music, and philosophy.
The Light of Darkness: The Story of the Griots’ Son by Alhassan Susso MAT ’13 Light of Darkness This memoir traces Susso’s immigration as a nearly blind teenager from Africa’s smallest nation, Gambia, to America. Holding steadfast to his family tradition of serving as griots, the keepers of peoples’ history, he makes a life teaching high school history to immigrants in his new homeland.
Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus by Matt Taibbi ’92 Spiegel & Grau This book collects 25 pieces from Rolling Stone and two original essays Taibbi wrote while covering the 2016 presidential campaign. Documenting the failures of the left and the right, Taibbi heralds the collapse of American democracy as we know it.
class notes 47
Carl V. Mazzio, 53, died January 17, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. He received his B.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and his M.M. from The Juilliard School. He was a fellow at the 2007 Conductor’s Institute at Bard College and was the only American conductor selected to participate in the 2012 Sherborne Summer School. Mazzio was the principal trombone at the New Haven Symphony (1990-94) and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (1995 to 2001). He recorded on the NAXOS label and was a featured soloist, performing with the San Francisco Symphony, American Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Sacramento Symphony, San Francisco Brass Quintet, Hartford Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, Carmel Bach Festival, California Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Bard Music Festival, Evian Festival, Fantasy Recording Studios, on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and for Pope John Paul II at Candlestick Park. Mazzio is survived by his son, Clark, and longtime partner, Julie Robinson. Matt Phillips, 89, who came to Bard in 1964 to direct the nascent Procter Art Center and chaired the Bard College Art Department for nearly a quarter of a century, died on March 1, 2017. In his first years at the College, Phillips helped assemble a faculty in painting, sculpture, and art history that remains one of the finest in any liberal arts college. A longtime resident of Emeryville, California, he also had a summer home in Pray, Montana, where he made art and fly-fished on the Yellowstone River. Phillips was born in New York City and raised primarily in Philadelphia. He began his formal art education at the Barnes Foundation and earned a master’s degree in literature at the University of Chicago. After teaching stints at Penn State and the American College of Paris (now called American University of Paris), he joined the faculty at Bard. His first wife, Lois Shapiro was an active part of the Bard community, performing in several productions directed by drama professor Bill Driver. In 1968, Phillips and Shapiro divorced, and he married Sandra Sammataro ’67. Phillips retired from Bard in 1987 and moved to San Francisco, where Sammataro had taken a job as curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. They divorced in 1989. Phillips was also married for six years to paper conservator Susannah Hays, who collaborated with him on several limited-edition art books. Phillips is credited with reviving and promoting the monotype—a drawing made on a plate, usually metal, that is then transferred to paper—as a viable artistic medium. In 1967, he organized a Maurice Prendergast exhibit at Procter that brought long-overdue attention to that artist’s powerful body of work, and his 1971 Milton Avery 48 class notes
Staff Mary L. Clarke, 70, died on September 7, 2016. She was a longtime Milan resident and had worked in food service at Bard College for 25 years until her retirement in 2011. She was predeceased by a son, George; a grandson whom she raised, Andrew; and her brother John. In addition to her husband, William, she is survived by two brothers, Michael and William; children William, Christine, Susan, and Mary; 17 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.
Matt Phillips. photo Elizabeth Chapman
works-on-paper show continued a friendship with the artist’s widow, Sally Avery, that would lead, 10 years later, to the establishment of the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts on the Bard campus. Phillips was an able administrator, excellent curator, and a beloved a teacher, but he is best known for his own artwork. In 1977, Hilton Kramer wrote in the New York Times, “Matt Phillips is an artist who has made the monotype his special forte, and he exercises a remarkable control and very often an exquisite sensitivity in his handling of the painterly nuances that can be drawn from this branch of print-making.” Phillips was inspired by the French masters, particularly Pierre Bonnard. “I enjoy sensual subjects,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2002. “I don’t come down on the side of suffering and tragedy.” In 1982, Phillips did the illustrations for Asher B. Edelman Professor of English Robert Kelly’s book Mulberry Women: A Poem, which was published in an edition of 20. Phillips’s art is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, National Gallery of Art and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, among others. He showed at Meyerovich Gallery in San Francisco, where his most recent exhibition, “I Am Not Done with My Changes,” works on paper made from 2009 to 2012, was mounted in celebration of his 85th birthday. His sketchbooks, spanning 50 years, are in the Special Collections department at Stanford University Libraries. He was predeceased by Lois Shapiro and his daughter Elizabeth, a respected dealer in rare artists’ books. Survivors include his partner, poet Elizabeth Chapman; daughters Kate ’81 and Miriam; son Joshua; and a brother, Alan.
Mary Lee Sands Jabri, 80, died on August 20, 2016, in Springfield, Massachusetts. She graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School in Boston in 1958. Jabri was the daughter of the late Harold Collender Sands and Elizabeth Haynes Sands Colbath and stepdaughter of the late Elbridge Percy Colbath. She was also the widow of Marwan Anwar Jabri. Jabri is survived by her son, Charles. Elisabeth Turnauer-Derow, 90, died on November 13, 2016. Turnauer, a very private person, was born in Vienna. She emigrated after World War II and graduated from Barnard in 1948. She earned her M.D. from New York Academy of Medicine in 1952 and had a distinguished career as a pediatrician. She served for years in the Department of Pediatrics at Montefiore Hospital. She was deeply versed in the history of Vienna and its culture and wrote a chapter in the edited volume Vienna: Jews and the City of Music 1870–1938 on “ Women and the Musical Aesthetics of the Bourgeoisie.” She was also known for her culinary skills. Craig Claiborne, who used two of her recipes in the New York Times Cookbook, visited her in Hastings-onHudson, New York, in 1970 and wrote, “she is one of the best and most inventive cooks for miles around.” She was a great friend to many, not least the Bard Music Festival. She was predeceased by her husband of 37 years, Dr. Joshua Derow. They were both avid music lovers and travelers.
john bard society Pictured above are just some of the nearly 100 John Bard Society (JBS) members at their annual luncheon in New York City. JBS recognizes alumni/ae, faculty, and friends who have chosen to make a commitment to Bard’s future by including the College in their estate plans. Current Bard students and those who will follow in their footsteps extend thanks to those who attended, and to all JBS members. Recently the College received calls from two different faculty members. They had awe in their voices. Each had received paperwork outlining a bequest from an alumna they did not know. She had left eight percent of her estate, split evenly between the Theater and Performance Program and the Writing Program. Finding out that someone who graduated 47 years ago chose to remember the faculty and departments that had obviously meant so much to her was deeply moving to the current professors. Her legacy at Bard will live on. Yours can, too. No one enjoys making estate plans, but it has to be done. And the impact planned gifts—of any size—can have on students, faculty, and the future of the College is profound. Please consider joining this group of loyal and important Bardians. For further information on making a planned gift, please contact Debra Pemstein, vice president for development and alumni/ae affairs, at 845-758-7405 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries are confidential.
John Bard Society Holiday Luncheon 2016. photo Brennan Cavanaugh ’88
OPERA | July 28 – August 6
Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Bard College
THE 28TH BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL August 11–13 and 17–20
By Antonín Dvorˇák American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director Directed by Anne Bogart ’74
Chopin and His World
THEATER | July 13–23
FILM SERIES | July 27 – August 20
The Wooster Group
Chopin and the Image of Romanticism
A PINK CHAIR (IN PLACE OF A FAKE ANTIQUE) Directed by Elizabeth LeCompte
SPIEGELT ENT | June 30 – August 19
Two weekends of concerts, panels, and other events bring the musical world of Fryderyk Chopin vividly to life.
Cabaret, music, and more DANCE | June 30 – July 2
New York City Ballet MOVES Dances at a Gathering and other works by Robbins, Balanchine, and Peck With all-live music Peter Martins, ballet master in chief
tickets on sale now 845-758-7900 | fishercenter.bard.edu Special SummerScape discount for Bard alumni/ae: order by phone and save 20% on most Bard SummerScape programs. Offer limited to 2 tickets per buyer and cannot be combined with other discounts. The 2017 SummerScape season is made possible through the generous support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, the Board of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, the Board of the Bard Music Festival, Fisher Center and Bard Music Festival members, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, photo: ©Peter Aaron ’68/Esto
Bard College PO Box 5000 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000