Bardian BARD COLLEGE SPRING 2018
Dear Bard Alumni/ae, Family, and Friends: This is truly an inspiring time to be a Bardian. Bard’s commitment to outstanding undergraduate instruction in Annandale has never been stronger, and Bard is leading the way in education reform nationally and globally. Students’ lives and worldviews are expanded by the Bard Network, and issues of social justice are highlighted in the curriculum as well as in discussions on campus and in the work students do in the community and around the world. High school seniors are choosing Bard because they see, as we did when we were making that lifechanging choice, that it is different from other colleges, not just for its small class size and exceptional professors but because it takes risks to effect change in the world. In my role as an alumni/ae trustee I now have the honor of serving on the planning committee for Bard’s upcoming endowment campaign. The goal of Brandon Weber ’97 this campaign is to increase the endowment to a level that will secure the future of the College forever. You photo Kye Ehrlich ’13 will be hearing a lot more about the campaign as it develops, but if you have not yet been involved with Bard this is a perfect time. There are many ways to be part of this ambitious campaign and I hope all alumni/ae who love Bard will feel as energized as I do. This issue of the Bardian highlights a number of ways the Bard Network is working in the public good, from the amazing stories of Syrian students studying at Bard College Berlin to the remarkable artwork of alumni/ae that adorns the walls of the Freehand New York hotel. And of course there are all those intriguing Class Notes! Thanks to all who joined us over Reunion and Commencement Weekend to meet old friends and see in person the impact Bard continues to have on its students and the wider world. Don’t forget, you can follow @Bardimpacts on Instagram for updates on our local, national, and global outreach. Please feel free to contact me if you want to know more about the work of the Board of Governors or get involved with the new campaign. Brandon Weber ’97, President, Board of Governors, Bard College Alumni/ae Association email@example.com
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 Matthew Cameron ’04 Kathleya Chotiros ’98, Development Committee Chair Charles Clancy III ’69 Peter Criswell ’89 Arnold Davis ’44 Michelle Dunn Marsh ’95 Nicolai Eddy ’14 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 Maud Kersnowski Sachs ’86 J.P. Kingsbury ’03 Kenneth Kosakoff ’81 Darren Mack ’13 Paul Margolis ’76, Oral History Committee Cochair Peter F. McCabe ’70 Mollie Meikle ‘03, Young Alumni/ae Committee Chair Steven Miller ’70 Anne Morris-Stockton ’68 Anna Neverova ’07, Career Connections Committee Cochair Karen G. Olah ’65 Gerry Pambo-Awich ’08 Abhay Puskoor ’08
Jim Salvucci ’86 Henry Seltzer ’06 Dan Severson ’10 Michael Shapiro ’75, Oral History Committee Cochair Levi Shaw-Faber ’15, Communications Chair Genya Shimkin ’08, Young Alumni/ae Advisory Council of the Center for Civic Engagement Cochair Barry Silkowitz ’71 George A. Smith ’82, Events Committee Cochair Dr. Ingrid Spatt ’69 Geoffrey Stein ’82 Walter Swett ’96 Paul Thompson ’93 Zubeida Ullah ’97, Nominations Committee Chair Ato Williams ’12 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
board of trustees of bard college Charles P. Stevenson Jr., Chair Emeritus James C. Chambers ’81, Chair George F. Hamel Jr., Vice Chair Emily H. Fisher, Vice Chair Elizabeth Ely ’65, Secretary; Life Trustee Stanley A. Reichel ’65, Treasurer; Life Trustee Fiona Angelini Roland J. Augustine Leon Botstein + 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
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 1-800-BARDCOL firstname.lastname@example.org annandaleonline.org #bardianandproud @bardalumni @bardcollege @BardAlumni ©2018 Bard College Published by the Bard Publications Office email@example.com Printed by Quality Printing, Pittsfield, MA
opposite Commencement (see page 20) photo Pete Mauney ’93 MFA ’00 cover Freehand Hotel (see page 2) photo Adrian Gaut
Bardian SPRING 2018 2
The Art of Hospitality
A Humanistic Imperative
An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and an Epic
On and Off Campus
Books by Bardians
freehand new york
the art of hospitality by James Rodewald ’82 Alumni/ae photos by Isaac Diggs MFA ’03 Interior photos by Adrian Gaut
4 the art of hospitality
Opposite page Louise Smith ’13 This page Rowan Willigan ’15
If, during your time in Annandale, you lived in a dorm full of extremely creative people (or napped in one of the art studios) you may have had the good fortune to wake up to great Bard art. If not, you now have your chance. All you have to do is check in to the recently opened Freehand New York hotel, where all 395 guest rooms have murals on the walls—a few even have them on their ceilings—hand-painted by Bard students and alumni/ae. You’ll also see one of those murals in the ground-floor lobby, surrounded by beautifully restored original millwork. That conversation, between the building’s history and young artists’ creativity, continues throughout the property. The newly renovated building, on the corner of 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, began life in 1929 as the George Washington Hotel. Over the years it has been home to writers, musicians, and artists as diverse as W. H. Auden, Dee Dee Ramone, and Keith Haring, who lived in the building when it served as a School of Visual Arts residence hall. Andrew Zobler, a member of the Fisher Center advisory board and CEO and founder of Sydell Group, which also owns Freehand hotels in Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles, wanted to cultivate an ongoing artistic community in New York City, so he partnered with the Fisher Center, the Bard MFA Program, and the Office of Development and Alumni/ae Affairs to commission original artworks for the public spaces and guest rooms. “The challenge in New York, given the size of the project, was to make sure it remained true to the Bohemian spirit of Freehand,” says Zobler. “I think using the building as a blank canvas for young artists was the perfect way to give life to that spirit.” The first Freehand, which opened in an art deco building in Miami in 2012, sought to capture the ethos of a hostel, where social interactions are more frequent and less predictable, while still providing a high-quality hospitality experience. “The culture of the hostel remains core to the Freehand in New York,” says Zobler. “The idea is to create places for people to mix and get to know each other and exchange ideas. Art and performance help stimulate that interaction.” A panel made up of the hotel’s designers, Roman and Williams, and representatives of Freehand New York and Bard chose the artists after an extensive application process and blind portfolio review. The hotel’s guest room mural painters were Marty Abbe-Schneider ’14, Hannah Berger ’16, Kira Buckel ’16, Lukas Geronimas MFA ’11, Martin Katzoff ’19, Elizabeth Marshall MFA ’14, Isabelle Sigrid Marshall ’18, Louise Smith ’13, Scott Vanderveen ’16, and Rowan Willigan ’15. Leslie Fry MFA ’93, created sculptures for the Mezzanine Gallery, Lia Lowenthal MFA ’14 made framed tile panels as well as a piano installation, Vanderveen also painted the colorful gym mural and a mural on the ground floor, while Katzoff did a mural leading to the bar from the elevator on the roof. Several of those artists, along with Jordan Segal ’14 and Sarah Bastacky ’19, have framed pieces scattered throughout the hotel. Photographer Isaac Diggs MFA ’03 documented the project, which was managed by Zia Affronti Morter ’12 and Sean Leo ’14. freehand new york 5
6 the art of hospitality
Opposite page Leslie Fry MFA ’93 This page Elizabeth Marshall MFA ’14
Berger painted murals in some 45 rooms, an experience that has changed her attitude toward her own work. “More than anything, this project has taught me to step away and let go of my work after it’s complete,” she says. “Doing so many murals in such quick succession forbids attachment to any one of them. I hope to carry this impact into my personal studio practice.” The artists had to deal with logistical issues imposed by the spaces—furniture placement, windows, corners—but there were few specific guidelines for the artwork itself (no neon colors, not too much red, murals should have a gestural quality). “Constraints can be helpful,” says Berger. “I imposed more constraints upon myself—limiting the palette to one color, using one brush size—than anyone from the design team at Freehand did.” A visitor might experience a slight shock upon walking into a crisp, clean room and seeing unmistakably handmade markings on the walls. No matter how lovely the images, all those years of being told to keep that crayon on the coloring book makes its own mark. For Berger, however, that didn’t present a problem. “I’ve definitely drawn, painted, and stuck wads of gum onto plenty of walls and ceilings,” Berger admits. “But holding a brush up to a pristine hotel room wall still felt like an unfamiliar thing to do. With all the other construction going on throughout the hotel, however, it seemed less invasive and strange.” Handing over the keys, not to mention the bare walls, to a group of young artists shows a level of trust that perfectly reflects the Freehand culture. There’s a refreshing optimism to embracing the unknown, giving up control, and encouraging artistic freedom. Such an attitude goes hand in hand with trusting that people who are attracted to a place that seeks to go beyond the ordinary will want to interact with others who feel similarly. Each hotel has its own identity, and they all have a mix of room styles, from bunks to sprawling penthouse suites. They also share variety in their eating and drinking establishments. Freehand New York includes two restaurants from the king of the West Village, Gabriel Stulman; a rooftop bar that is an outpost of the phenomenal Broken Shaker, whose Miami location has made the World’s 50 Best Bars list four years running; the third location of Smile to Go from the owners of popular Bond Street café the Smile; and the George Washington Bar (also run by Stulman), in the former library room, where another remarkable piece of art can be seen: a portrait of our first president that was commissioned for the original hotel and has somehow survived the Great Depression, bankruptcy, the wounding and capture by F.B.I. agents of a fugitive on the most-wanted list, a drug raid in the early ’80s, and even the threat of demolition (averted
freehand new york 7
8 the art of hospitality
Opposite page Martin Katzoff ’19 This page Isabelle Sigrid Marshall ’18
with the help of a local historical society). Zobler says they considered introducing new art into that bar, but decided against it. “We wanted one space where you would really connect with the history of the building without modification. I think that room makes you feel rooted, and that is a good thing.” Iconic architecture from New York City’s history—with significant and playful modification—is on display on the same floor as the bar. Fry installed plaster sculptures in arched niches in the Mezzanine Gallery. “I meld forms from architecture, human anatomy, and plants,” Fry explains. Each sculpture is around four feet tall. In one, a classical male bust with a condensed cityscape atop his head is supported on a column covered in a whir of modes of urban transport, from bikes to VW bugs to high heels. In another, a large plant grows out of a heart cradled in human hands and is topped by that icon of the New York City skyline the Chrysler Building. “Some of the other architectural references are the Empire State Building, Guggenheim Museum, Washington Square Arch, and the hotel building itself,” says Fry. “The sculptures depict transformation, growth, and energy.” Much like the pulsating city itself, not to mention the kinds of guests the hotel will attract. One other ingredient in the hotel’s cultural stew is the Freehand Fellowship. Zobler’s Sydell Group engaged Live Arts Bard—the Fisher Center’s residency and commissioning program—and the Bard MFA Program to create an ongoing fellowship for multidisciplinary artists in residence at the hotel. The residencies offer alumni/ae of the MFA program and affiliated artists of Live Arts Bard a paid, yearlong fellowship; three months’ use of the hotel’s 520-square-foot rooftop studio; accommodations at the hotel; and opportunities to curate public programs and exhibitions in the hotel’s public spaces. Four fellowships will be awarded each year. Abraham McNally ’97 MFA ’03, one of the first fellows, incorporates into his work fabric from worn-out clothes that belonged to his three young children and poplar from trees he cut with his father on the family Christmas-tree farm in northern Vermont. “Both the wood and fabric are pieces of history, reminders of time past,” he says. “The materials are naturally distinct and often hard for me to control. My history and personal associations with these materials are critical, pulling me into an active conversation with the material, the past, and the present.” The other inaugural fellows are composer, pianist, and singer Dane Terry; performance artist Miguel Gutierrez; and installation artist Fawn Krieger MFA ’05. Zia Affronti Morter ’12, who administers the partnership, says it “brings the creative force of Live Arts Bard and Bard MFA to New York City by providing artists the time and space to create— a rare luxury in our current cultural climate—and a unique environment in which to share and workshop new work.” For discounted room rates, Bardians can go to freehandhotels.com/newyork and enter promo code BARDCOLLEGE.
freehand new york 9
syrian students at bard college berlin
a humanistic imperative by James Rodewald ’82
Muhannad Qaiconie ’20 in the library he founded.
More than 1 million refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in Germany in the last two years. About half were Syrians fleeing a conflict that has killed more than 400,000 and displaced millions more. It is a revolutionary war, a sectarian war, a civil war, a religious war, a proxy war; but its complexity makes it all too easy to forget that, more than anything, it is a human tragedy. In addition to the tragedy of lives lost is the heartbreaking fact that many of those forced to leave were students. Among the multitude of problems this influx has created for Germany—economic, cultural, political, logistical—finding a way for thousands of smart, resilient, and very motivated young men and women to continue their education has not been, understandably, the most pressing one. However, the conflict began in part
10 syrian students at bard college berlin
as a protest against the mistreatment of teenagers who had been arrested and tortured after painting revolutionary slogans on the walls of a school. Young Syrians have a lot at stake. A recent event at Luhring Augustine gallery in New York City, “From Surviving to Thriving: Syrian Refugees Speak,” put a few inspiring faces and names to the numbing numbers. One of the organizers, Sana Mustafa ’17, spoke movingly of what it meant to come to Bard to resume her studies. Even something as seemingly mundane as having her own room was transformative. She had a private place to mourn, process her loss and dislocation, and become more than just another faceless refuge; to become herself again.
photo ©UNHCR/Gordon Welters
In addition to Mustafa, panelists were former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson, President and CEO of Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Mark Hetfield, and Senior Vice-President, International Programs, International Rescue Committee Ciarán Donnely. Gallery owner and Bard College Trustee Roland J. Augustine moderated the discussion and opened the evening with a note from Bard President Leon Botstein, who was out of the country: “The issue is the need to provide the refugees the education and the passage to life, either as new citizens or as exiled or even as potential returnees to their countries. The tragedy of displacement for a young generation must be mitigated by educational opportunity as a humanistic imperative.” One of the difficulties of addressing this particular need for Syrians in Germany is that few of them speak German, so efforts initially focused primarily on language education. But Bard College Berlin was uniquely situated to do more right away: the language of instruction there is English, which many Syrians do speak. Augustine recognized this advantage. In 2015, after volunteering to work with refugees in Calais, France, an experience he calls “life changing,” Augustine thought about what could be done, “given that many of these remarkable and gifted young people had not only been displaced from their homeland but any possibility of future education had been eradicated.” As a trustee of the College he was intimately familiar with Bard’s long history of welcoming refugees (see Spring 2017 Bardian, page 8), and with the Bard network. “I thought particularly about the Bard Prison Initiative, which began 15 years ago and provides free education to qualified inmates at six medium- and maximum-security prisons in New York State. I thought, Why can’t we do something similar at Bard College Berlin for refugees?” In March 2016, Augustine and several other private donors joined together to provide five full scholarships, for students from areas of crisis, under the auspices of the Program for International Education and Social Change (PIE-SC). Last year an additional five scholarships were funded, and today the number stands at 16: 13 from Syria and one each from Greece, Afghanistan, and Iraq. A million-dollar donation was made anonymously last year, which provides funds for 20 matching scholarships specifically for Syrian students. Once those matches are fulfilled—likely in the 2019–20 academic year—30 students from areas of crisis will be fully enrolled at Bard College Berlin, with four years of tuition and room and board paid for by generous donors. A common criticism of initiatives like the PIE-SC scholarships is that they are too small in scale to be meaningful, and 16 divided by many thousands is certainly a small percentage. But people are not statistics. As Florian Becker, managing director of Bard College Berlin, says, “Of course we’re entirely aware that [the scholarships] can be dismissed as a drop in the bucket. But when you see what it does for those students, and what it means to their life situations, and to their perspectives, then I get impatient with that charge. Because of course we’re small and we cannot change the world, but we try to punch above our weight.”
That punch is powerful for those who are directly affected, but the Bard community, and society in general, also benefit. Wafa Mustafa ’20, Sana’s sister, is in the Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought degree program at Bard College Berlin. “I’m from Masyaf, a small village in the middle of Syria,” says Wafa. “I moved to the city to study journalism and media. Two months after I went to a protest in support of the revolution I was arrested by the regime. When I was released I went back to my college, but I was told I wasn’t a student there anymore. Then, in July 2013, our dad got arrested in Damascus.” His arrest meant that the family had to flee immediately to ensure that the regime wouldn’t come after family members and use them to force their father to talk. (Sana happened to be in the United States at the time on what was supposed to be a six-week exchange program; without a home to go back to, she was eventually granted political asylum.) They went to Turkey with virtually nothing but the clothes on their backs. “It was me, my mother, and my youngest sister,” Wafa continues. “One of us had to work because we needed money and we knew nobody and had no help from anyone. For three years I worked in Turkey, first with a radio station and then with a newspaper and then with a website as an editor and a reporter.” She worked 16 to 17 hours a day. The work helped push down the understandable depression she was experiencing: one of her closest friends had been killed, she was far from home and from the revolution she continued to believe in passionately, her father’s condition and whereabouts remained unknown, and the bureaucracy of applying for asylum was worthy of Kafka. “In Syria I always had the hope that I would continue my studies at some point,” Wafa explains. “But in Turkey it felt like: That’s it. This is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life.” In 2016, with the encouragement of Sana—who by then was studying in Annandale through a scholarship from the Institute of International Education’s Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis—Wafa applied to Bard College Berlin. “At the beginning I felt like a Pokémon,” says Wafa. “I was too scared to say anything in class. I was scared they would ask me to say my name and I would have a heart attack. And then classes started and everything got better. Teachers were so helpful. They motivated me. They kept telling me, it’s not about the language, it’s about the thoughts. And you have good ideas, you just need to say them. I’m thinking about this as a good time to collect knowledge. Eventually, I believe, I will go back to Syria.” Like Wafa Mustafa, Muhannad Qaiconie ’20 faced daunting obstacles in his journey. In 2013, after his family’s apartment in Aleppo was bombed, he left Syria for Lebanon, where he worked first in construction and then for a hairdresser. From there he moved to Turkey, where he was a hairdresser’s assistant, but after a year of sending money to help his family survive he decided he wanted to begin the difficult task of reuniting with them in Europe. That’s when his real odyssey began. Qaiconie survived the perilous Aegean crossing to Greece; finally made it through Macedonia after being sent back three times by police; traversed Serbia; and managed to get into immigrant-unfriendly
a humanistic imperative 11
Wafa Mustafa ’20
Hungary, where he paid $140 for a ride to Budapest and several hundred more for a ride across the Austrian border to Germany. After more than 1,500 miles by boat, bus, train, car, and on foot, he ended up in a jail cell in the German border city of Passau. However, instead of being treated once again like a piece on a board game—go back to Macedonia, do not pass Go, do not collect $200—Qaiconie was sent to an asylum center. There his daily life went from uncertainty, danger, and discomfort to uncertainty, restlessness, and bureaucracy as he waited for his application for asylum to be processed. A July 2015 article on Qaiconie and a fellow Syrian refugee in the Christian Science Monitor brought him a guardian angel. The writer, Kristen Chick, was contacted by a reader who was touched by his story. Chick put the two together by email and shortly thereafter Qaiconie got a note that said, “When I read Kristen’s newspaper story about you I thought: this young man is very special, I want to help him and his family. You seem like a very proud person (as you should be!), so I hope I do not offend by asking to help you. . . . I am not rich, but am happy to share with you. When you are my age, you can pay it back by helping someone else, OK?” Because of the financial assistance, Qaiconie no longer had to dedicate himself fully to merely staying afloat. That freed him to think about what he really wanted to do, and it didn’t take long for him to realize that what he most wanted was to resume his education. When he learned of PIE-SC’s newly established scholarship program, he applied to Bard College Berlin. But he didn’t just fill out forms: he had read about the College’s annual conference, which that year was called “Thinking Beyond ‘Crisis,’” and decided to attend. There he had a long conversation with Roger Berkowitz, associate professor of political studies and human rights, and the academic director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities in Annandale. Berkowitz was so impressed with the young Syrian he wrote a letter in support of his application. “I met Muhannad when he introduced himself to me at the conference,” recalls Berkowitz. “He was a young man deeply engaged in
12 syrian students at bard college berlin
questions around Hannah Arendt’s work. On his own he has read nearly her entire oeuvre. Given the difficulties of his life, that is something of an astonishing accomplishment. What is more, he has processed much of it and is clearly one of the most mature and openminded students I’ve encountered. I enjoyed talking to him as a reader of Arendt, and I am thrilled that he is now a student at Bard College Berlin.” And Qaiconie has already started paying it back, or, more accurately, forward. He is a founder of Baynatna (Between Us), the first Arabic library in Berlin. Between Us has quickly become a treasured place to gather and listen to music; browse books; share resources and ideas; hear authors read (in Arabic, often with German or English translation); and find fellowship. Furthermore, Marion Detjen, who taught a class on migration history that Qaiconie took, says that having students like him enriched the course for everyone. “How can you talk about this topic if you shut out the experiences of people who are now living with us and who have all this firsthand knowledge?” Detjen asks. Karam Alhamad ’20, who is studying for the Economics, Politics, and Social Thought degree at Bard College Berlin, also has a rich— and horrific—store of such firsthand knowledge. And he has shared what he witnessed through photographs and videos. Although he had always been interested in journalism, and even worked for the main newspaper in his hometown of Deir ez-Zor, a city on the Euphrates River in eastern Syria, it wasn’t until protests broke out in 2011 that he took up a camera. Over the following four years, he was jailed by the Syrian regime four times, the longest stint being 11 months in 2014, nine and a half of which was in the notorious Branch 235 prison (also known as the Palestine Branch). While there, ever the journalist, he kept track of the number of people who died. The total reached 73 before he was released. “When I got out I went into a Free Syrian Army area of the city, or so I thought, but I was shocked to find ISIS there,” recalls Alhamad. “That’s why I decided not to stay in Syria. But I couldn’t get a passport. I had a red line under my name. I was wanted by the regime. I still am. So I wasn’t allowed to leave. This led me to (cross illegally) into Turkey.” Once there, Alhamad found work with the Syrian opposition government and won a Leaders for Democracy Fellowship to study at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. “I applied for a visa from the U.S. Consulate and I got it, but the Turkish police wouldn’t allow me to leave,” Alhamad says. “So I talked to a French journalist I’d worked with and she did a story about the situation. After that I got a call from an assistant to the prime minister of Turkey telling me to go to the airport, that I could go, but officers there didn’t allow me to leave. They refused to talk to the prime minister’s assistant, so he told me to put him on speaker. Finally the officers allowed me to leave by the diplomatic gate. That was March 2015. I stayed in the U.S. for four months, two in Syracuse. Then I had a two-month internship with Amnesty International in Washington, D.C., as part of the fellowship.” Alhamad returned to Turkey, where he did consulting work and also had a long-term research job with a program funded by USAID.
photo Heike Steinweg
Deir ez-Zor by Karam Alhamad ’20
At that point he was just two semesters from earning the degree in petroleum engineering he’d begun studying for in Syria, so he began investigating ways of finishing his undergraduate work. “I got a scholarship to study in the U.S. through the Institute of International Education (IIE),” he says. “The U.S. school was going to allow me to transfer my credits. But because of Mister Trump, I couldn’t go to the U.S.” Yet again, a door was slammed in Alhamad’s face. But he had endured much worse, and remained undaunted. “IIE gave me two alternative options,” Alhamad says. “A medical engineering program in France was one, and the second was Bard College Berlin. I visited in May 2017, I liked it, and I decided to go. The big stretch for me at the beginning was that instead of having two more semesters to study before graduating, I would now have to study eight semesters. Before Mister Trump I could’ve graduated in two semesters and then maybe I would have gone on to earn a master’s in economics. But I love Bard College Berlin! And they were able to transfer some credits; also I got some credits for my work experience.” Though Alhamad is referring to his research and consulting work, his photography and video are also certainly creditworthy. His YouTube page is full of powerful images of what it means to live a life
surrounded by violence. To see small children being pulled from a bombed-out building is, of course, terrible. To see the lack of surprise on their faces makes it clear that this is all they have known. That is more terrifying than anything Hollywood could conjure. The videos are difficult to watch. But for Alhamad they can also be a salve. “After what I’ve been through and what Syria has been through, the way I think about the photos, the videos, my experiences, my body—it all makes me stronger, it makes me who I am,” says Alhamad, whose legs still show the scars of the torture he endured in prison. “I took the photos and videos and posted them to show people what’s going on in Syria—the cruelty of the Syrian government since 2011. Those photos touch my heart. Sometimes when I feel disconnected I go back to the photos and videos and I get tears in my eyes, but I need that to stay connected to what’s happening. I understand that for most people it’s a new thing, they have not witnessed such cruelty. But for me it’s an experience that should and must be understood by other people.” For more information on Bard College Berlin, or to make a gift to the scholarship program, visit berlin.bard.edu.
a humanistic imperative 13
an odyssey: a father, a son, and an epic by Daniel Mendelsohn
The Return of Ulysses, 1973, Giorgio de Chirico
14 book excerpt
image ÂŠ2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Private Collection/Peter Willi/Bridgeman Images
In his latest book, Daniel Mendelsohn, Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities, tells the moving and often hilarious story of the semester his father, Jay, drove three hours to Bard every week to sit in on his undergraduate Odyssey seminar, and the Odyssey-themed cruise the two took shortly thereafter. Jay, an 81-year-old mathematician and retired computer scientist, promised not to talk in class, but the essence of Bard is participation, and it didn’t take long for Mendelsohn père to make his presence felt. In An Odyssey, physical travels spark intellectual journeys, which are interwoven with deeply personal stories that lead the reader to consider the meaning of relationships and family, the ways subjectivity colors and creates memory, the nature of storytelling, how we learn, and what it means to be a true teacher. When I was growing up there was a story my father liked to tell about a long journey he and I once made, a story that hinged on a riddle. How, my father would inevitably ask at some point as he told this story, can you travel great distances without getting anywhere? Because I was a character in this story I knew the answer, and because I was only a child when my father started telling this story I naturally enjoyed spoiling his telling of it by giving the answer away before he reached the end of his tale. But my father was a patient man, and although he could be severe he rarely scolded me. The answer to the riddle was this: If you travel in circles. My father, who was trained as a mathematician, knew all about circles, and I suppose that if I had cared to ask him he would have shared with me what he knew about them; but because I have always been made nervous by arithmetic and geometries and quadratics, unforgiving systems that allow for no shadings or embellishments, no evasions or lies, I had an aversion even then to math. Anyway, his esteem for circles was not the reason he liked to tell this story. The reason he liked to tell it was that it showed what a good boy I had been— although now that I am grown up and have children of my own, I think that it is a story about him. A long journey. The story starts with a son who goes to rescue his father. The son in question was my father. It was the mid-1960s, and so he would have been in his mid-30s; his father, in his mid-70s. I must have been four or so; at any rate, I know that I wasn’t yet old enough to go to school, because that’s why I was the one chosen to accompany my father. It was January: Andrew, four years older than I, was in the second grade, and Matt, two years younger, was still in diapers, and my mother stayed home with them. Why don’t I take Daniel, Marlene? I remember my father saying, a remark that made an impression because until then I don’t think I’d ever done anything alone with him; Andrew was the one who went places with him. So it was I who went with Daddy, when the call came from my father’s mother, down to Florida. In those days his parents lived on the ninth floor of a high-rise apartment building in Miami Beach overlooking the water—a building, as it happened, that was located next door to the one in which my mother’s father and his wife lived. I doubt that the two couples spent a lot of time with each other. My mother’s father, Grandpa, was
garrulous and funny, a great storyteller and wheedler; vain and domineering, he devoted a good deal of thought each day to the selection of the clothes that he wore and to the state of his gastrointestinal tract. Although he had only one child, my mother, he’d had four wives— and, as my father once hissed at me, a mistress. The average length of these marriages was 11 years. My father’s father, by contrast—Poppy, the object of our traveling that January when I was four—barely spoke at all. Unlike my mother’s father, Poppy wasn’t given to displays of, or demands for, affection. A small man—at five-foot-three he was dwarfed by my tall grandmother, Nanny—he always seemed vaguely surprised, on those occasions when we drove to Kennedy Airport to pick up the two of them, when you gave him a welcoming hug. He liked being alone, and didn’t approve of loud noises. He’d been a union electrician. You’ll hurt the wiring! he would cry out in his slightly hollow voice if we ran around the living room; we would tiptoe around for the next 15 minutes, giggling. He took his modest enjoyments (listening to comedy shows on the radio, fishing in silence off the pier in back of his building) with quiet care—as if, by being cautious even in his pleasures, he might not draw the attention of the tragic Fury that had devastated his youth: poverty so dire that his father had to put his children in an orphanage, his mother and seven younger siblings and first wife all dead by the time he was a young man, losses so devastating that they’d left him “shell shocked.” This was the word I once overheard Nanny Kay whisper, gossiping under a willow tree one summer afternoon when I was 14 or so and was eavesdropping nearby. He was shell shocked, Nanny had said as she exhaled the smoke from one of her long cigarettes, explaining to her daughters-in-law, my mother and my aunts, why her husband, Poppy, was so quiet, why he didn’t like to talk much to his wife, to his sons, to his grandchildren; a habit of silence that, as I knew well, could be passed from generation to generation, like DNA. For my father, too, liked peace and quiet, liked to find a quiet spot where he could read or watch the ball game without interruption. And no wonder: I’d heard from my mother about how tiny his family’s apartment in the Bronx had been when he was growing up, and had always imagined that his yearning for peace and quiet was a reaction to that cramped existence, sharing a foldout bed in the living room with his older brother Bobby, who’d been crippled by polio (I remember the sound as he leaned his iron leg braces against the radiator before we got into bed), his parents just yards away in the one small bedroom, Poppy listening to Jack Benny on the radio, Nanny smoking and playing solitaire. For this reason—because the men in that family didn’t talk much to others, didn’t share their feelings and dramas the way my mother’s relatives did—it seemed strange to me that one day we had to rush down to Florida to be with Poppy, my small, silent grandfather. Only gradually did I perceive that he was gravely ill. We went to the airport and got on a plane and then spent a week or so in Florida in the hospital room, waiting, I supposed, for him to die. The hospital bed was screened by a curtain with a pattern of pink and green fishes,
an odyssey: a father, a son, and an epic 15
and the thought that Poppy had to be hidden filled me with terror: I dared not look beyond it. Instead, I sat on an orange plastic chair and I read, or played with my toys. I have no memory of what my father did during all those days at the hospital. Even when his father was well, I knew, they didn’t talk much; the point, I somehow understood, was that Daddy was there, that he had come. Your father is your father, he told me 10 years later when Poppy was really dying, this time in a hospital near our house on Long Island. Many of my father’s pronouncements took this X is X form, always with the implication that to think otherwise, to admit that X could be anything other than X, was to abandon the strict codes that governed his thinking and held the world in place: Excellence is excellence, period; or Smart is smart, there’s no such thing as being a “bad test-taker.” Your father is your father. Every day during Poppy’s quiet final decline in the summer of 1975 my father would drive to this hospital on his lunch break, a drive of 15 minutes or so, and sit eating a sandwich in silence next to the high bed on which his father lay, seeming to grow smaller each day, as desiccated and immobile as a mummy, oblivious, dreaming perhaps of his dead wife and many dead siblings. Your father is your father, Daddy replied when I was 15 and asked him why, if his father didn’t even know he was there, he kept coming to the hospital. That’s what you do. But that would come later. Now, in Miami Beach in 1964, he was sitting in the tiny space behind the curtain with the fishes, talking quietly with his mother and waiting. And then the tiny old man who was my father’s father, who had had a heart attack, did not die; and the drama was over. The English language has several nouns for the act of moving through geographical space from one point to another. The provenances of these words, the places they came from, can be interesting; can tell us something about what we have thought, over the centuries and millennia, about just what this act consists of and what it means. “Voyage,” for instance, comes to us from the Old French voiage, a word that comes into English (as so many do) from Latin, in this case the word viaticum, “provisions for a journey.” Lurking within viaticum itself is the feminine noun via, “road.” So you might say that “voyage” is saturated in the material: what you bring along when you move through space (“provisions for a journey”), and indeed what you tread upon as you do so: the road. “Journey,” on the other hand—another word for the same activity—is rooted in the temporal, derived as it is from the Old French jornée, a word that traces its ancestry to the Latin diurnum, “the portion for a day,” which stems ultimately from dies, “day.” It is not hard to imagine how “the portion for the day” became the word for “trip”: long ago, when a long journey might take months and even years— say, from Troy, now a crumbling ruin in Turkey, to Ithaca, a rocky island in the Ionian Sea, a place undistinguished by any significant remains—long ago it was safer and more comfortable to speak not of the “voyage,” the viaticum, what you needed to survive your movement through space, but of a single day’s progress. Over time, the part came to stand for the whole, one day’s movement for however long it takes to get where you’re going—which could be a week, a month,
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a year, even (as we know) 10 years. What is touching about the word “journey” is the thought that in those olden days when the word was new-born, just one day’s worth of movement was a significant enough activity, an arduous enough enterprise, to warrant a name of its own: journey. This talk of arduousness brings me to a third way of referring to the activity we are considering here: “travel.” Today, when we hear the word, we think of pleasure, something you do in your spare time, the name of a section of the paper you linger over on a Sunday. What is the connection to arduousness? “Travel,” as it happens, is a first cousin of “travail,” which the chunky Merriam-Webster dictionary that my father bought for me almost 40 years ago, when I was on the eve of the first significant journey I myself ever made—from our New York suburb to the University of Virginia, North to South, high school to college—defines as “painful or laborious effort.” Pain can indeed be glimpsed, like a palimpsest, dimly floating behind the letters that spell “travail,” thanks to the word’s odd etymology: it comes to us, via Middle English and after a restful stop in Old French, from the medieval Latin trepalium, “instrument of torture.” So “travel” suggests the emotional dimension of traveling: not what it’s made of, or how long it may last, but how it feels. For in the days when these words took their shape and meaning travel was above all difficult, painful, arduous, something strenuously avoided by most people, the vast majority of whom were very content to stay at home. The only word in the English language that conveys all of the various resonances that belong severally to “voyage” and “journey” and “travel”—the distance but also the time, the time but also the emotion, the arduousness and danger—comes not from Latin but from Greek. That word is odyssey. We owe this word to two proper nouns. Most recently, it derives from the Classical Greek odysseia, which is, technically speaking, a proper noun: it is the name of an epic poem about a hero called Odysseus. Now many people know that Odysseus’s story was one of voyages: he traveled far by sea, after all, and (ironically) lost not only everything that he started out with but everything he accumulated on the way. (So much for “provisions for a journey.”) People also know that he journeyed through time, too: the brevity of the trip from Greece to Troy, from Europe to Asia, mocked the unexpected length of his and the Greek army’s stay at that destination—10 years; and mocked, too, the 10 arduous years he spent trying to return home, where sensible people stay put. So we know about the voyages and the journey, the space and the time. What very few people know, unless they know Greek, is that the magical third element—emotion—is built into the name of this curious hero. A story that is told within the Odyssey describes the day on which the infant Odysseus got his strange name; that story conveniently provides the etymology for his name. Just as you can see the Latin word via lurking in viaticum (and, thus, in voiage and “voyage” as well), people who know Greek can see, just below the surface of the name Odysseus, the word odynê. You may think you don’t rec-
Daniel Mendelsohn, left, and his father, Jay, on their Odyssey-inspired trip.
ognize it, but think again. Think, for instance, of the word “anodyne,” which the dictionary my father gave me defines as “a painkilling drug or medicine; not likely to provoke offense.” Now the “an-” in “anodyne” is a prefix of negation—it means “without”; and so the “-odyne” can only mean one thing: pain. Which is to say that the hero of this vast epic of voyaging, journeying, and travel is, literally, “the man of pain.” He is the one who travels; he is the one who suffers pain. And how not? For a tale of travel is, necessarily, also a tale of separation, of sunderings from the ones you are leaving behind. The beginning of the Odyssey—which, curiously, neglects to mention its hero’s name, which we get only much later—makes clear who it is that Odysseus leaves behind. Most people know about his wife, Penelope: for many, the Odyssey is above all a poem about a man try-
photo Andrea Wyner
ing to get home to his wife. And yet this hero, when he voyaged to Troy, also left behind an infant son and a thriving father. The poem begins 20 years later, with the now-grown son setting out in search of his lost parent: four whole books (as its chapters are called) are dedicated to the son’s journeys before we even meet his father, who is the ostensible subject of the poem. And this poem ends not with the triumphant reunion of that man with his wife, one of the most beloved moments in the inventory of world literature—so beloved, some would argue, that it has eclipsed the real climax—but with a tear-stained reunion of that man with his own father, who is now an old and broken man. As much as it is a tale of husbands and wives, this epic is, perhaps even more, about fathers and sons.
an odyssey: a father, a son, and an epic 17
Family, 2011, John Ashbery
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image Estate of John Ashbery, courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York
john ashbery 1927–2017
exaltation by Ann Lauterbach
Poet John Ashbery, who taught at Bard from 1990 to 2008, died September 3, 2017, in Hudson, New York. Three months later, a memorial was held at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Short films and videos of Ashbery reading and speaking were shown, and pianist Sarah Rothenberg played John Cage’s In a Landscape and Erik Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1. Five of Ashbery’s friends spoke, including Ann Lauterbach, David and Ruth Schwab Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College, who delivered the following remembrance to a packed hall. “The reception that followed went on for a long time,” Lauterbach recalls. “Nobody wanted to say a final farewell to the poet who gave so much to so many.” He was a person of rare traits, or rather, rare in combination: kindness, humor, curiosity, and an erudite brilliance, always offered as the mild gift of the moment, without competition or self-regard. He loved being here and was able somehow to translate his love of being here into language, so that when you read his work you are reading being alive. He managed to escape the destructive, reductive aspects of the analytical, as well as the ever-increasing sense that one’s identity is of signal importance. I don’t think he was much interested in his identity as a person. I once heard him say, “I am John. Ashbery writes the poems,” and it is from him that I first heard Rimbaud’s remark “I is another.” This detachment of self and poet is perhaps what allowed for his work’s famous pronominal play. He was interested in others, other persons; in the human condition, wherever and however it manifested. He had meticulous taste, if taste is a form of discernment, and discernment a kind of care and humility toward the world, its material stuff as well as its arbitrary weathers. He was drawn to the local and the minor, the overlooked or unacknowledged, as well as to the various artifacts of culture, low, high, past, present. He had an apparently infinite fund of words and a capacious, flexible syntax into which to put them. He avoided high seriousness, finding a tonal range that distributed life’s acute energies, its sorrows and joys, across the distinctively modulated habitat of his poems. I think, for John, for Ashbery, the experienced world and language were close to synonymous, and it is this transformative reciprocity that gave his work its beautiful sense of deep optimism and affirmation.
We first met in London, where I had been living for some years, in 1971. I had invited him to be the final reader in a series on contemporary poetry at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Our initial correspondence was somewhat vexed. Mr. Ashbery did not like to fly, and so would come over the ocean only if he, and his young companion David Kermani, could stay at the Ritz Hotel. I scurried around to raise more funds. A room was booked. But the auditorium at the ICA was not available, and so the reading would have to be held at the American Embassy. The Vietnam War was raging. Mr. Ashbery did not wish to read at the American Embassy. I wrote and told him that the American cultural attachés were also against the war. He read to a packed audience. The feeling in the room was one of rapt amazement, a kind of baffled delight suspended in the air. What kind of poetry was this, that moved across so many terrains, gathering up its incidents in a scanning net, but somehow never losing focus? What kind of voice was this, its cool register never rising to cathartic revelation, and yet bringing its listeners into intimacy with the worlds it made? What was this diction, threading the ordinary and the abstract into such surprising music? After the reading, I went up to him, flushed with disheveled wonder, “O Mr. Ashbery,” I said, “I love clichés.” He looked at me with an expression I came to know well, a mixture of amused assessment and affection. “And they love you,” he answered. I took him to Carnaby Street, where he bought himself a maroon velvet jacket. One night, in his room at the Ritz, after an Indian meal, he lay on the bed and read to a few of us, from a manuscript, a poem called “The New Spirit.” Ah, I remember realizing, a poem can include anything! A poem is not the cry of its occasion, it is the occasion! When, in 2007, Bard College celebrated John Ashbery’s 80th birthday, we chose for a title “This feeling of exaltation,” a phrase from the final line of his poem “A Blessing in Disguise.” I am one, among so many, for whom sharing the world with John Ashbery was, and is, a blessing, undisguised: I prefer you in the plural, I want you, You must come to me, all golden and pale Like the dew and the air. And then I start getting this feeling of exaltation.
Class photo by Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’00 Leon Botstein and Megan J. Smith photo by Karl Rabe Bard Awards Ceremony photos by Brennan Cavanaugh ’88
Megan J. Smith, entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist, delivered the commencement address at Bard College’s 158th Commencement on Saturday, May 26. Smith served as President Obama’s chief technology officer from 2014 to 2017 after working at Google for more than a decade. In her speech to the 469 undergraduates, 164 recipients of graduate degrees, and assembled friends and families, she focused on technology in the modern world. “The internet is not technology,” Smith said. “It’s really just us, connected. . . . We bring our racism, we bring our sexism, we bring our bullying. How can we fight against that and how can we be vigilant?” Because of the level of complexity of the world we are entering, she said, “It’s not okay to just be kind to individuals, you have to think in systems.” That led to the question of how to assemble the teams that will address these issues. Despite the complexity, Smith’s suggestion was the essence of simplicity: “Just start trying things, work together . . . take hold of your Bard education, think about your colleagues, and look deeply inside of yourself. What is it that you want to manifest in this world? How would you team up with your classmates and those you encounter on your journey, and how will you help each other make the world what we all deserve, which is the extraordinary planet thriving, vibrant, healthy, and including everyone?” President Botstein had some suggestions of his own when he delivered to members of the Class of 2018 what he called “the last piece of unsolicited advice they will receive as students at Bard.” Botstein presented a set of “seven virtues for our contemporary world,” but not, as might be expected, virtues to strive for. In fact, he said, they represented precisely the opposite: “characteristics that are merely masquerading as virtues.” 22 commencement 2018
“Forget the Seven Deadly Sins,” Botstein continued. “You can’t avoid committing them. But, concentrate on not falling prey to the seven deadly virtues.” You can read the full text of both commencement speeches at bard.edu/news/commencement; here are the seven “virtues,” and some ways to keep them at bay, in a highly condensed form. 1) Silence: Speak up for what you believe and do so with civility. 2) Change: Spend your time working to preserve things that mere fashion, ignorance, lack of loyalty, disregard, and neglect have placed into peril. 3) Transparency: A society that can’t do things in secret and keep secrets is not a free society. 4) Order: Messiness, inefficiency, and disorder are the proper context of artistic and scientific breakthroughs. Don’t subordinate a dream to order or the relentless tyranny of the clock. Take risks against efficiency and order. 5) Patience: There’s a short, slippery slope separating patience from passivity. Insist that progress in matters of justice be dealt with now. Patience is plausible only when dealing with members of your family. Their habits will never change. 6) Wealth: Don’t live your life for money. If you end up with surplus wealth, give it away. Wealth is paralyzing and corrupting. It distorts the relationships between and among people. Contemporary culture can be said to be in the thrall of wealth. We confuse wealth and excellence. 7) Happiness: The state of happiness emerges only out of the gritty reality of life. My happiness is reciprocal with yours. It derives from ensuring not only my neighbor’s well-being but that of total strangers. We will experience happiness only if we extend, systematically, as citizens, kindness to strangers.
Around the Globe Graduates on campuses of the Bard Network, nationally and internationally, reflect the diversity of cultures that Bard represents. AlQuds Bard College for Arts and Sciences will hold graduation ceremonies at its East Jerusalem campus on August 29. Some 170 students received Bard BA degrees at American University of Central Asia during its June 2 commencement at its campus in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. White House correspondent, CNN political analyst, and award-winning author April Ryan addressed more than 140 graduates at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on May 19. Bard College Berlin: A Liberal Arts University held ceremonies for 25 BA graduates from 12 countries on May 19. Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) Baltimore cel-
ebrated its commencement on June 7; BHSEC Cleveland awarded AA degrees on June 5; and BHSEC Manhattan, Queens, and Newark held their commencement on June 19. The Bard Prison Initiative celebrated its 17th commencement on June 9 at Woodbourne Correctional Facility. On June 21, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Smolny College) of St. Petersburg State University held its graduation ceremonies, awarding 114 BA degrees, 29 MA degrees, and 10 intercultural education certificates. Matt Glaser, artistic director of the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music, was the commencement speaker at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where 85 students graduated, 66 with MM degrees on May 12. On June 15, 12 MAT degrees in Longy’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program in Los Angeles were awarded.
bard awards ceremony 1
1 Eric Warren Goldman ’98 (center), with Ruth ’52 and David ’52 Schwab (left), Jane Brien ’89 (right) Myra Young Armstead (far right), and 2 U Ba Win (center) with Lawrence Kramer (left) and Nancy Leonard (right), both received the Bard Medal, the Bard College Alumni/ae Association’s highest honor. The John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science went to 3 Rebecca L. Smith ’93 (second from left), with Dean Barker ’93 (left), Terence Brown ’93 (right), and David Costello ’93 (far right). 4 Walead Beshty ’99 (left), with Tom Eccles (center) and Roland Augustine (right), earned the Charles Flint Kellog Award in Arts and Letters. 5 Cynthia Conti-Cook ’03 (right), with Megan Callaghan, accepted the John Dewey Aaward for Distinguished Public Service. 6 Author Lorrie Moore received the Mary McCarthy Award, given in recognition of public engagement. The Bardian Award, recognizing longtime members of the Bard community, was given to 7 Mary I. Backlund, and 8 Jeffrey Katz. 158th commencement
On and Off Campus Welcome to Bard’s New Faculty This spring, several distinguished artists and scholars joined Bard’s faculty, including internationally acclaimed filmmaker Charles Burnett, visiting artist in residence in the Film and Electronic Arts Program. In 2017, Burnett added a Governors Award (honorary Oscar) from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to his many other awards and honors, which include MacArthur, Rockefeller, and Guggenheim fellowships. His films have been lauded for their poetic storytelling and incisive observations of class, race, and social relationships. In 1990, the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry selected his first feature film, Killer of Sheep, which depicts the problems confronting working-class African Americans in South Central Los Angeles, for preservation. He received a BA and MFA from UCLA, and has taught at Howard University, California Institute of the Arts, and UC Berkeley. Annie Dorsen, visiting artist in theater and performance, is a director and writer who has worked in theater, film, dance, and digital performance. Recent projects include Youtube 1–4, a series of short videos made from YouTube comments; A Piece of Work, a deconstruction of Hamlet; and Hello Hi There, a dialogue inspired by a televised debate between Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault. Other works include the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange, which won an Obie and was the subject of a film by Spike Lee that appeared at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals; Magical, a 2010 collaboration with choreographer Anne Juren; and Pièce Sans Paroles, with Juren and DD Dorvillier. Dorsen earned her BA from Yale College and MFA from Yale School of Drama. She has taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, California Institute of the Arts, Brown University, and Bard (2012). Journalist, documentary filmmaker, and screenwriter Lisa Katzman ’81 also joins the Film and Electronic Arts Program as visiting artist in residence. She is coteaching Film 364: Personal Narratives with Burnett. Katzman’s current project, After Disasters, is a two-part documentary that explores the environmental and health effects of 9/11 and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Original screenplays include Rachel and Gerard, an interracial romance set in the art world of Chicago that will be directed by Burnett; and Deep Song, a commissioned adaptation of Dorien Ross’s Returning to A, a novel about an American woman learning flamenco guitar from Spanish gypsies in
the 1960s. Katzman received her MA from University of Chicago and has taught at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Tulane University, Brooklyn College, and Vassar College. Dawn Lundy Martin, distinguished writer in residence, is a poet, essayist, and activist whose collections include Discipline; A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize; Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life, winner of a Lambda Literary Award; and most recently Good Stock Strange Blood. She is also coeditor, with Vivien Labaton, of The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism. Martin received the American Academy of Arts and Sciences May Sarton Prize for Poetry in 2008. She is cofounder of the Third Wave Foundation, which for more than 20 years was the only national young feminist philanthropic organization. She is a member of the Black Took Collective, an experimental poetry and performance group. Her BA is from University of Connecticut, MA from San Francisco State University, and PhD from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. George D. Rose ’63, distinguished visiting professor of biophysics, has done groundbreaking research on protein folding. In 2011, he won a Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany and was named Honorary Hans Fischer Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Technical University of Munich. Two years later he was appointed Temporary Eminent Scholar in the Technical University’s Department of Chemistry. Rose, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University, earned his MS in mathematics and computer science and PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from Oregon State University. In 1999, he received the John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science. Margie Ruddick, visiting designer in residence, is an award-winning designer whose projects range from New York’s Queens Plaza to the Living Water Park in Chengdu, China’s first ecological park. She is the recipient of the Cooper Hewitt 2013 National Design Award for her innovative work in blending ecology with city planning. Ruddick is author of Wild by Design: Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing Landscapes. She received a BA from Bowdoin College and MLA from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Ruddick previously taught at Princeton, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Parsons School of Design, and Schumacher College in England.
Bard Music West The World of Henry Cowell In April, Allegra Chapman ’10 and Laura Gaynon, artistic directors of Bard Music West, presented their second festival exploring the mind and work of a contemporary composer. “The World of Henry Cowell,” at Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco, took audiences on a deep dive into the adventurous life and music of one of the 20th century’s greatest innovators. Three concerts over two days featured performances of Cowell compositions, works by his contemporaries and those who were influenced by him, and the world premiere of a commissioned dance piece inspired by Cowell’s collaboration with choreographer Martha Graham. Luosha Fang '11, violin; Allegra Chapman '10, piano; Laura Gaynon, cello, and Benjamin Pesetsky '11, page turner and festival advisor. photo Kevin Fryer
24 on and off campus
Student Fellowships, Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes Watson Fellowship Wilmary Rodríguez ’18 is one of 40 students in the nation to be awarded a 2018–19 Watson Fellowship. As a Watson Fellow, Rodríguez will receive $30,000 for a “year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States.” She will visit Singapore, South Africa, India, and Costa Rica, where she plans to “engage with children, families, and communities in the foster care system in order to explore how storytelling affects these systems and how these systems, in turn, influence peoples’ stories.”
Evan Tims ’19 photo Mána Taylor Hjörleifsdóttir
Wilmary Rodríguez ’18 photo Lexi Parra ’18
Davis Prize Alexis Parra ’18 won a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace prize. The award will support her work this summer in Venezuela with a local arts collective, where she will implement her project “Truth in Image Making: Empowering Caracas’ Youth through the Art of Photography.” Fulbright Awards Among the students who have received Fulbright Scholarships are Page Benoit ’18, who will work as an English teaching assistant and facilitate direct exchanges between school children in America and Georgia; Maddie Breshears ’18, who will spend the year at Trinity College Dublin, where she will continue her Senior Project research on nanomaterials; Adelina Colaku ’18, who will research Islamic radicalization in Kosovo and volunteer with student newspapers in public high schools; Nicola Koepnick ’18, who will teach English and study textile traditions in Malaysia; Elena LeFevre ’18, who will spend the 2018–19 academic year in Argentina teaching English and volunteering with a women’s rights NGO; and Bethany Zulick ’16, who will be a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Germany. Critical Language Scholarships The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program provides recipients with intensive foreign language study in 14 languages at sites worldwide. These eight-week programs are fully funded, including the costs of tuition, visas, airfare, home stays, and cultural enrichment/excursions. For the 2018 summer session, Evan Tims ’19, written arts and human rights major, was awarded a CLS for the study of Bangla at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Kolkata, India. Adelina Colaku ’18, who is majoring in economics and political studies, will study Turkish at the Azerbaijan University of Languages in Baku, Azerbaijan, after which she will be a Fulbright scholar in Kosovo.
Adelina Colaku ’18
Alexis Parra ’18
Saúl García Amezcua ’19 photo Summer-Grace Flemister ’19
Page Benoit ’18 photo Nora Levine
Corrina Gross ’19 photo Robert Gross
Maddie Breshears ’18
Lily Zacharias ’19
Elena LeFevre ’18
Gilman Scholarship Saúl García Amezcua ’19, joint major in political studies and human rights, won a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad at Bard College Berlin this semester. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Gilman scholarship aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. The late Rep. Gilman (R– N.Y.), who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Committee on International Relations, felt that study abroad encourages students to be contributors rather than spectators in the international community. Freeman Award Corrina Gross ’19, an Asian studies major with concentrations in Chinese and Japanese, won a Freeman Award for Study in Asia (FreemanASIA). She is spending three months pursuing her studies at Waseda University in Tokyo. The Freeman-ASIA program is designed to support U.S.-based undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. The program’s goal is to increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents with firsthand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures. Award recipients are required to share their experiences with their home campuses to encourage study abroad by others and fulfill the program’s goal of increasing understanding of Asia in the United States. Carnegie Essay Contest The Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs announced Lily Zacharias ’19 as a winner of the prestigious 2017 International Student /Teacher Essay Contest in the undergraduate category for her essay “Artificial Intelligence’s Ethical Challenges.” This year’s essay question was: In your opinion, what is the greatest ethical challenge facing the world today? Zacharias, who is majoring in political studies with a concentration in gender and sexuality studies, argued that we should be concerned about the myriad of new, complex, and challenging ethical issues being posed by artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. She is a research assistant for Bard Assistant Professor of Political Studies Michelle Murray and has previously worked as a research assistant and development associate at the World Policy Institute.
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Christopher Carroll ’13: Protecting the Rights of Performers Christopher Carroll ’13 fights every day on behalf of the musicians and performing artists who keep New York City’s multibillion-dollar nightlife industry so vibrant. Carroll, who is chief of staff for the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, American Federation of Musicians Local 802, the largest local union of professional musicians in the world, was instrumental in the creation of the New York City Office of Nightlife, the new city agency devoted to what goes on in restaurants, bars, and clubs between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. in the five boroughs. Headed by the recently hired “nightlife mayor” (officially the senior executive director of the Office of Nightlife), the agency is more than just a permitting office; it shapes policy and advocates for nightlife workers. “It’s been an incredibly exciting and fulfilling process,” says Carroll. “I’ve been pushing the agenda, making calls, getting meetings, recommending legislation to get us here. The
photo Theresa Couture
workers in New York’s nightlife industry face unique challenges. How do you get home from work at two in the morning, how do you ensure musicians can make a living? It’s tough. We make sure employers are not exploiting the musicians and performers who help their small businesses thrive. We find ways to make sure that the needs of all New Yorkers are taken care of. The arts and nightlife are an integral part of New York City’s cultural identity, so it’s important that the values of this community are protected.”
Carroll explains that the level of discipline, dedication, passion, attention to detail, and communication that is required to play music with 120 other people on stage helps him succeed in his public policy position. “Bard reinforced for me the value of the arts, performance, and creativity in our community and culture,” says Carroll. “I love working in arts legislation because I see it as vital. Arts are the lifeblood of a community—a common heritage that serves as a gift for future generations.”
Chelsea Manning at Bard
Bradley Manning—disclosed more than 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks that revealed human rights abuses and corruption connected to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in a military prison but released in 2017 after serving seven years when President Obama commuted her sentence. The day after being sentenced, Manning released a statement saying she identified as female and wanted to begin hormone therapy. Now an advocate for government transparency and queer and transgender rights, Manning announced her intention in January to run for a United States Senate seat in Maryland. Manning spoke to the Bard audience about artificial intelligence (AI) and resistance in the age of AI; activism and protest; transgender issues; and the intersection of technology and people’s lives. She emphasized that progress is often made by working outside of existing power structures and referenced her hunger strike in prison while seeking gender-reassignment surgery. She also spoke about government surveillance, protecting personal information and data, and how social media and mobile apps expose valuable information. “Whether it’s me as a trans person or me as a political dissident in my concerns about surveillance and the security state, it’s this notion of the state determining who does and does not have rights,” Manning said. “And I like to view rights as not something somebody gives you but something that you have and that you are able to assert.” The event was a collaboration between Bard’s Queer Student Association and the Arendt Center’s Tough Talks Lecture Series, a student-run initiative to provide a forum for explicitly unpopular views that some might deem unpleasant, uncomfortable, and unsafe.
The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities hosted “A Conversation with Chelsea Manning,” moderated by Assistant Professor of Political Studies Kevin Duong and Dean of the College Rebecca Thomas, at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts in February. About 800 people, mostly students, attended the sold-out event, which was followed by a Q&A. As an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, Chelsea Manning—then known as
Left to right: Rebecca Thomas, Kevin Duong, and Chelsea Manning. photo Karl Rabe
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Carroll, a self-described country boy from Hanover, New Hampshire, came to Bard’s Conservatory of Music intending to be a professional trumpet player. A career in public policy is not what he expected. “Luckily, I applied to a school that made me get a dual degree. Otherwise I would not have recognized that I had any passions beyond music and baseball,” he says. Carroll moved to New York City to join Mayor Bill de Blasio’s election campaign as a field organizer. He landed his first job in the mayor’s administration as a public affairs associate at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He credits his dual degree—music and political studies—as a deciding factor in securing the position. “I was in the third round of the interview process and it was going badly,” recalls Carroll. “I said, ‘This is what makes me different—my music degree— and having studied music on a world-class level at Bard.’”
Awards and Honors Recognition for Bard Faculty Franco Baldasso, assistant professor of Italian and director of the Italian Studies Program, is the recipient of a 2018–19 Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies. Winners of the highly competitive fellowship receive a stipend, workspace, and room and board for a period of five months to two years at the American Academy in Rome. Theater and Performance faculty Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, playwright in residence, and Annie Dorsen, visiting artist in residence, were among the 173 recipients—from a pool of more than 3,000 applicants—of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship. They are two of the five fellows in Drama and Performing Arts (a third, David Levine, was until recently the director of visual and performing arts at Bard College Berlin). The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Richard H. Davis, professor of religion and Asian studies, a $91,328 grant to conduct a summer seminar, “The Bhagavad Gita: Ancient Poem, Modern Readers,” for college and university professors, to be held at Yale University in July. The three-week seminar will bring together teachers in many humanities disciplines to explore the interpretation and pedagogy of this ancient text, focusing both on the work in its original historical context and on how it has continued to live for modern readers. Seminar participants will also consider how best to integrate this Indian work into general humanities courses in modern American colleges and universities. Davis’s current research focuses on the reception history of the Bhagavad Gita and on a history of religions in early South Asia. Bard College Visiting Professor of Studio Arts Ellen Driscoll has been awarded the prestigious International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Educator Award for 2018. The annual award honors an artist who is a master of sculptural processes and techniques and has devoted his/her career to educating the next generation. Students in the 300-level political studies class Grand Strategy: From Sun Tzu To Clausewitz, taught by Malia K. Du Mont ’95, Bard Chief of Staff, and Walter Russell Mead, James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities, traveled to the U.S. Army War College and nearby Gettysburg battlefield thanks to a grant from the Mellon Foundation. Kevin Duong, assistant professor of political studies, won the 2017 Leo Strauss Award, which recognizes the best dissertation in political philosophy, from the American Political Science Association. Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Peter Kyle has been awarded a public diplomacy grant of $24,990 from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for a collaborative work with Ukrainian choreographer Anton Ovchinnikov. Kyle and Ovchinnikov are working on a yearlong research and performance dance project called Dancing Through Translation. This project is an outgrowth of Kyle’s 2016 Fulbright Specialist Project in Ukraine. Michael Martell, assistant professor of economics, has been given an Open Society Foundation Grant through American University in support of his research project Sexual Orientation in Social Institutions. Using Census data, American Time Use Survey data, and General Social Survey data, the project seeks to understand the impact of the formal institution of marriage equality as well as informal institutions of intolerance on the economic lives of lesbian and gay couples. The 2018 James Madison Medal, conferred by Princeton University each year on a distinguished alumnus or alumna of its graduate school, went to Daniel Mendelsohn, Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities. Joseph O’Neill, visiting distinguished professor of written arts, won a 2017 O. Henry Prize for his short story “The Trusted Traveler,” which was published in Harper’s. The story is one of the 11 short stories in O’Neill’s most recnt book, Good Trouble. For more faculty awards and honors, visit bard.edu/doc/events. Grants for Early College Hudson Bard Early College Hudson, which offers the first Bard early college courses to students in Columbia and neighboring counties, received a $450,000 grant over four years from the Galvan Foundation, and a $5,000 grant from the Alexander and Marjorie Hover Foundation.
State Education Department Support for BHSEC Queens Bard High School Early College Queens was one of only four colleges (and the only one from the independent sector) to receive a New York State Education Department grant through the Smart Transfer Early College High School Program. The award totaled nearly $1.5 million. Funding for BPI and Microcollege The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) received a $100,000 grant from the Tiger Foundation and a $50,000 grant from the Zegar Family Foundation, both in support of BPI’s mission to offer incarcerated men and women the opportunity to earn a Bard College degree while serving their sentences. Bard also received a $20,000 grant from the Charles H. Revson Foundation for the Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library, which builds on BPI’s values and success to bring high-quality, full-scholarship liberal arts education to communities often excluded from the university experience. Support for SummerScape Bard received three grants in support of the upcoming SummerScape 2018 production of Four Quartets, created by New York City–based choreographer Pam Tanowitz: $30,000 from the O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, Inc.; $25,000 from the T. S. Eliot Foundation; and $3,000 from the Barbara Bell Cumming Charitable Trust. State DEC Funding for Saw Kill Watershed and Arboretum The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded Bard $48,720 in 2017 Hudson River Estuary Grants to support stewardship awareness and planning through community science on the Saw Kill Watershed. Bard also secured $56,920 through the DEC Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control Program to support the use of goats to clear invasive plant overgrowth on the hillside near Blithewood Manor. Brothers at Bard Receives State Backing Brothers at Bard (BAB) is among the initiatives supported by a New York State Education Department award to Kingston High School of $600,000 over four years, as part of the My Brother’s Keeper Family and Community Engagement Program. BAB is a character development and academic enrichment mentorship program for young men of color from underserved communities. Founded in 2014 by Dariel Vasquez ’17 and Harry Johnson ’17, BAB works with Kingston High School students in grades 9–12. Each year, 10 to 15 BAB members serve as “big brothers,” or mentors. NYSERDA Grant for Energy Master Plan Development The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority awarded Bard a $64,000 grant to help develop a campus energy master plan. Working with Ecosystem Energy Services, Bard will evaluate its current and future energy footprint and create a roadmap for achieving its goals of campus energy and carbon neutrality by 2035. The grant includes $4,000 to support an internship for a graduate student at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy. Scholarship Funding for CCS Bard The Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS Bard) has received an award of $200,000 over four years to support annual financial aid packages and scholarship endowment from the 1434 Foundation. Hannah Arendt Center Receives Award The Gilder Foundation granted $150,000 over three years in support of the Plurality Project, a student-led initiative dedicated to free expression, at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities.
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Hannah Bronfman ’11: Spinning Wellness
photo Benjamin Rosser
Hannah Bronfman ’11 is an internationally known DJ, model, and founder of the online wellness startup HBFIT.com. Bronfman began DJing while she was at Bard. “My friend and I convinced the owner of the Black Swan pub [now Traghaven] in Tivoli to let us have a night at the bar,” she says. “We made the bar a lot of money, so from then on it was an easy sell.” When she went home to New York City, she was given the opportunity to DJ at some clubs, which launched a career that has had her traveling the world for nearly a decade. She spins for high-profile corporate clients: recent gigs include the launch of Adidas’s Futurecraft 4D sneaker, Art Basel events for American Express and London-based fashion label COS, and at Dean & Deluca for the New York City Wine and Food Festival.
HBFIT features original content pertaining to health, beauty, and wellness. “Growing up with a mother who was into holistic medicine, I’ve always had a love for wellness,” says Bronfman. “While I was at Bard my grandmother passed away. She suffered from anorexia in her early years and later years. This led to me becoming a health and wellness expert and devoting my life to living my healthiest and happiest version of myself.” In 2015, as Bronfman’s Instagram followers began to grow, she had an epiphany. “People were resonating with the content I was putting up, and it was about healthy lifestyle,” she says. “I realized that people wanted more conversation around wellness.” So she started a company to help others achieve that lifestyle as well. HBFIT is an online destination geared toward millennial women seeking knowledge about wellness and beauty. “We talk about ways to implement change into your life, body positivity, healthy habits to enforce,” Bronfman explains. Another facet of HBFIT’s platform comes from Bronfman’s love of cooking, which also developed at Bard. “There was a community of Bard students living off campus in Tivoli,” she reminisces. “We would host dinner parties that rotated every week. We would all bring a dish, or I would cook for everyone. I was really able to explore cooking, which is a huge part of my healthy lifestyle and HBFIT today. We’re not strict in how we define our eating habits. It’s about an overall higher consciousness of living.” Bronfman also cultivated her athletic side at Bard. She took dance classes and played intramural sports. Now she is a global ambassador for Adidas, appearing in print and digital campaigns, producing social media content, and traveling the world as a representative of the brand. “All my jobs feed into each other and work very well together,” she says. “I went to New Zealand to DJ for the opening of a new Tiffany’s store, so while I was there Adidas put together a promotional event and invited a bunch of women to do a dance class with me.” Bronfman married fellow DJ Brendan Fallis in 2017 and says the wedding was “one of the most incredible moments of my life.” She is proud of HBFIT and focused on staying at the forefront of wellness so that she can deliver the content her audience wants and needs. She is leading by example and honoring her grandmother by being the healthiest, happiest version of herself.
Genre-Bending Writer Wins Bard Fiction Prize Carmen Maria Machado has received the Bard Fiction Prize for her debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf Press, 2017). Machado shapes startling, genre-bending narratives centered around women and their bodies, often giving the metaphorical (women are invisible, for example) a queasy corporeality. The Bard Fiction Prize committee writes, “Machado’s stories are bizarre, hilarious, sexy, and addictively entertaining while troubling, complex ideas about femininity, queerness, gender, and sexuality lurk around the corner of every sentence. This book is an oddball masterpiece.” The collection was also a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award and Kirkus Prize. “I’m incredibly honored to receive the Bard Fiction Prize, the former winners of which I’ve long admired. I’m looking forward to joining the Bard community, meeting the students I’ve heard so much about, and working on my essay collection and novel(s)-in-progress in the Hudson Valley as the weather turns,” says Machado, who will be in residence at Bard College for the fall 2018 semester, during which time she will continue her writing, meet informally with students, and give another public reading. Machado’s memoir, House in Indiana, is forthcoming in 2019 from Graywolf Press. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, Elizabeth George Foundation, CINTAS Foundation, Speculative Literature Foundation, Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop,
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photo Tom Storm
University of Iowa, Yaddo Corporation, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is an artist in residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her wife. 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.
Greg Fox ’08: Giving the Drummer Some Before percussionist Greg Fox ’08 decided to enroll at Bard, he was living in Bushwick, Brooklyn, working in an instrument shop, and playing music. He had planned on studying sociology in college, but during Fox’s first year his adviser, Michael Donnelly (now professor emeritus of sociology), asked him a provocative question: If you are already a drummer, why aren’t you focusing on music? “Everything bloomed and exploded in a wild way,” recalls Fox. “He encouraged me to pursue art and music, so I shifted my trajectory. Art was never presented to me as anything I could actually pursue exclusively, without a backup plan.” Fox majored in integrated arts, studied the full gamut of art disciplines at Bard, and was influenced by many of those who taught him. Professor of Music Thurman Barker introduced him to the work of jazz percussionist Milford Graves, who became Fox’s longtime mentor. In a class led by Marina Rosenfeld (now MFA faculty in music/sound) he learned to make music in a more gestural way and to approach it as an art practice. “Her class continues to inform my work,” he says. “We continue to collaborate and have performed together at the Montreal Biennial, Guggenheim, and CCS Bard.” Classes Fox recalls as particularly influential were From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games with Assistant Professor of Film and Electronic Arts Ed Halter and The History of Technology and Economics in the Modern Period with Associate Professor of History Gregory Moynahan. For his Senior Project, Fox took over the Fisher Studio Arts Building and produced an installation of wood sculpture and largescale digital prints accompanied by a radio broadcast of one of his bands playing in Bard’s Chapel of the Holy Innocents. “People perceived me as working hard because of the output and productivity. But it didn’t feel like work. I was just doing what I wanted to do,” says Fox. Because he had been conditioned to believe that in order to do well at school he needed to be stressed out and miserable, Fox feared his Senior Project board would question his effort. He got an A+. After graduation, he toured with the band Teeth Mountain, then with Dan Deacon, before joining longtime friend Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s solo project Liturgy along with Tyler Dusenbury ’08 and Bernard Gann ’08. “I got in a van for two months, and, metaphorically, stayed in a van or plane for the next eight years—joining bands, quitting bands, starting my own bands,” he says. In 2011, Fox was named best drummer in the Village Voice’s Best of New York Awards.
photo Ana Carvalho Dos Santos
In 2016, he decided to give himself a year off and was awarded a residency at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, which led to a permanent position as the cultural center’s music curator. He has played on some 50 albums. His solo album The Gradual Progression and music videos of two of the album’s songs were released last year. One video is for the track “By Virtue of Emptiness,” which he describes as “the most honest piece of communication I’ve ever had in music.” In 2017, he toured Europe six times; he is just back from another European tour. “Life on the road can be grueling and uncomfortable,” he admits. “It’s completely impossible to do anything else and extremely difficult to maintain a relationship or start a family. It’s all about engaging in the work—if you’re doing that, you progress, and it’s a very cool way to be in touch with that inner process. For a lot of it, you’re on your own. I enjoy the time alone.” In addition to performing and recording, Fox teaches drumming workshops. Working with people who don’t consider themselves drummers, he is inspired by showing them that everyone has rhythm.
photo Brennan Cavanaugh ’88
In April, 30 alumni/ae from the classes of 1947 to 1961 gathered at the home of Asher B. Edelman ’61 for the Bard College NYC Reunion Social. This event brought together friends and classmates, some of whom had not seen each other for 60 years. The college archivist, Helene Tieger ’85, brought a selection of Bard memorabilia, publications, and journals to peruse over cocktails and conversation. Asher’s spectacular contemporary art collection and beautiful home provided a charming location for what is becoming an annual event. Thank you to Asher for hosting and to everyone who attended. on and off campus 29
Golden McCarthy ’05 Advocating for Immigrant Children Golden McCarthy ’05, a political science and Latin American and Iberian studies major, was introduced to the Migrant Labor Project and volunteered to teach English as a Second Language classes in Red Hook while attending Bard. “It was an opportunity to meet immigrant communities in the Hudson Valley,” says McCarthy. And it set her course. After graduation, she moved to Brooklyn, where her work and commitment to those communities and the legal issues surrounding immigration rights intensified. She enrolled in City University of New York School of Law, which emphasizes law in the service of social justice, to become an immigration lawyer. McCarthy landed her dream job right out of law school in 2013, and today she is children’s program director at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, a nonprofit organization providing free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody in Arizona. “The Florence Project has a national reputation for groundbreaking legal work,” she says. “Because we’re on the border, we must tackle complex questions of law. The work can be hard, but it’s invigorating. My supervising attorney was happy to give me certain cases to nurture my curiosity. The cases that excite me are ones that intersect the juvenile delinquency system and immigration law.” As she moves into her fifth year of law practice, McCarthy jokes that she is growing out of her “baby attorney” phase. She supervises the legal team that works with the Florence Project’s cases involving children, which averages about 550 clients at a time. “On any given day in Arizona, there are 4,600 immigrant detainees, and about 1,600 of them are children,” says McCarthy. “We give a Know Your Rights presentation and offer representation to as many clients as we can.” The State Bar of Arizona honored McCarthy with the 2017 Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award, which recognizes a lawyer whose service encompasses aggressive advocacy on behalf of individuals in extreme need as well as advocacy designed to address systemic issues affecting significant numbers of low-income people. McCarthy recently represented a 16-year-old girl from El Salvador who was raped by her half-brother, a Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member. She sought protection from local police, but they released him after one day. He continued to send her texts and follow her home from school, threatening to
kill her as revenge for the day he spent in jail. The girl’s family made arrangements for her to get to the United States and stay with family, so she traveled through Central America and Mexico. Detained by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing from Tijuana, she was transferred by Homeland Security to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement and moved into a group home in Arizona while removal proceedings were initiated. “That is when our office met her,” says McCarthy. “After getting to know her and her story, we decided the best course of action was to pursue asylum.” Under the current administration, predicting the outcome of asylum cases is challenging, but McCarthy is optimistic about the girl’s chances. Her office has a high grant rate (roughly 70 percent). “Immigrant communities are the life force of this country,” says McCarthy. “They are our neighbors, our teachers, our farmworkers, and our friends. There shouldn’t be a narrative of ‘us against them’ because they are our community; they are us. They do an incredible amount to survive and provide for their families. They are resilient and amazing people to be around. This teenage girl, for example, has this wonderful perspective on everything. I want to be able to help her stay in the United States. I just want to say to her, ‘Go and live your life, enjoy school, keep going.’”
Contemporary Fiction Writers Read at Bard
Bard Swimmer Wins Three Liberty League Titles
Karan Mahajan, whose novel The Association of Small Bombs won the 2017 Bard Fiction Prize, gave a reading in Weis Cinema on February 26 as part of the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series. Hosted by Bradford Morrow, professor of literature, Bard Center Fellow, and editor of Conjunctions, the series brings established and emerging writers to campus for free readings that are open to the public and followed by a Q&A. Mahajan received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction, New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. On April 2, Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Award–winning author Laura van den Berg read from recent work. Her second story collection, The Isle of Youth, won the 2015 Bard Fiction Prize and her forthcoming novel, The Third Hotel, will be published in August. On April 16, National Book Award–winning novelist Richard Powers read from his latest book, The Overstory. His other novels include The Echo Maker, which won the National Book Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Gain, which won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for best historical fiction. Powers was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1989 and received a Lannan Literary Award in 1999.
What will Dio Tzortzis ’19 do for an encore? In December 2015, the first-year student from Kalamata, Greece, became Bard’s third Liberty League champion (and its first swimmer) when he won the 100-yard fly; Perry Scheetz ’13 won the women’s steeplechase in 2013 and Garret Clifton ’17 won the men’s high jump in 2015 and 2016 (Austin Clark ’18 was the fourth, winning the long jump last spring). Last year, Tzortzis placed second in three events at the Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association Championships and was named to the weekly Liberty League Honor Roll for those achievements. And then, in the 2018 Liberty League Championships in late February, he earned titles in the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, and 100-yard backstroke. Deservedly, he was named Liberty League Swimmer of the Year. Tzortzis, an economics major, now holds Bard records in 17 of 22 men’s swimming events. He also became the first Bard swimmer to achieve an NCAA “B cut” time. His 4:00.30 in the 400-yard individual medley was more than two seconds faster than the time required to qualify as an alternate to swim at the NCAA Division III Championships in Indianapolis. Several swimmers around the country had faster times, so Tzortis wasn’t invited to compete . . . this year.
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photo Greer Millard
Levy Hosts Annual Conference and Summer Seminar
Get Engaged Student Action and Youth Leadership Conference
The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College hosted its 27th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference from April 17 to 18. This year’s conference, “Financial Stability in a World of Rising Rates and the Repeal of Dodd-Frank,” examined the effects of unprecedented policy changes recently undertaken in the United States and around the globe. Speakers from the world of finance, media, government, nongovernmental organizations, and academia gathered at Bard’s Blithewood Manor to discuss the historic challenges facing the United States and the global financial system, including those posed by a series of executive orders aimed at rescinding postcrisis financial regulations, while Congress debates reform or replacement of the Dodd-Frank legislation that provided financial stability over the last decade. Also discussed was the Trump administration’s “America First” policy and its implications for international financial flows and the position of U.S. financial institutions in global financial markets, particularly in relation to China’s strategy of global expansion and structural changes in European and developing-country political and financial systems. From June 17 to 23, the Institute hosted its ninth annual Hyman P. Minsky Summer Seminar at Blithewood. The seminar provides graduate students, recent graduates, and those at the beginning of their academic or professional careers a rigorous discussion of both the theoretical and applied aspects of Hyman Minsky’s economics, with an examination of meaningful prescriptive policies relevant to the current economic and financial outlook. It also provides an introduction to Wynne Godley’s stock-flow consistent modeling methods via hands-on workshops. The teaching staff for the summer seminar, organized by Levy Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Director of Research Jan Kregel, and Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray, included well-known economists working in the theory and policy tradition of Minsky and Godley.
For a week in March, 47 students from across Bard’s international network came together for the fifth annual Get Engaged Conference at the Central European University (CEU) campus in Budapest, Hungary. This dynamic, action-oriented, skill-building conference helps students develop their own sense of community leadership through workshops, networking, and presentations. Students from Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences in East Jerusalem, American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, Bard College Berlin, CEU, European Humanities University in Vilnius, and Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg State University (Smolny College) examined such topics as community organizing, public speaking, developing community partnerships, and empathic speech. The conference is designed to grow the network of young social entrepreneurs and change agents who are using the liberal arts as a creative tool to develop solutions to challenges in their communities.
Bard College: The Montgomery Place Campus Montgomery Place is playing host to a wide variety of educational initiatives. Lyford Paterson Edwards and Helen Gray Edwards Professor of Historical Studies Myra Young Armstead taught The Window at Montgomery Place in the 19th Century, in which the estate served as a laboratory for understanding social hierarchies, social roles, cultural practices, and evolving ideas of nation and place during that time period. Julia Rosenbaum, associate professor of art history, taught Art through Nature: Landscape, Environment, and Design in America, using Montgomery Place as an example of how these concepts manifested themselves in the 19th and 20th centuries. Katrina Light, supervisor of food and agricultural programs, taught an Environmental and Urban Studies Program (EUS) practicum, Farm to Bard, examining the forces that shape the chain of food production from farm to table to compost. Margie Ruddick, visiting designer in residence, taught an EUS practicum that expanded on Rosenbaum’s course and brought it into the 21st century. Assistant Professor of Biology Bruce Robertson set up observation areas to research the effects of solar panels on bird behavior. Susan Fox Rogers, visiting associate professor of writing, and Lisa Sanditz, artist in residence, are working with five students to create a field guide of birds, trees, and plants of Montgomery Place, funded by Bard trustee Elizabeth Ely ’65 and the Center for Civic Engagement. A salon series on A. J. Davis’s architecture at the site, copresented with Hudson River Heritage, was held in the mansion in April and May. In fall 2018, a salon series on agriculture in the Hudson Valley, curated by Research Professor of Environmental Science and Physics Gidon Eshel, is planned. Renovations on the 1928 greenhouse, which is being used to start vegetable and flower seeds for the Bard College Farm and the Bard Prison Initiative, was completed with a $100,000 grant from the Burpee Foundation.
Up for Debate The Bard Debate Union hosted its eighth competition at Eastern New York Correctional Facility last December. The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) team faced Morehouse College, which is ranked among the best in the country. BPI defended the proposition that “Race-based affirmative action in college and university admissions should be eliminated,” and Morehouse opposed it. After a very close and exciting contest, BPI, the clear underdog coming in, was pronounced the winner by a narrow decision. The culmination of months of reading, research, preparation, and practice, the debate was one of BPI’s best performances since its debate team was established in 2013. Over those five years, BPI has won six and lost two, including wins over Harvard, West Point, and the University of Vermont. “This is an incredible achievement, speaking to the power of a liberal arts education,” says Ruth Zisman, term assistant professor of social studies and faculty adviser of the Bard Debate Union. David Register, BPI faculty fellow and director of debate, meets weekly with more than 20 members of BPI’s debate team to coach them. Members of the Bard Debate Union in Annandaleon-Hudson have the opportunity to collaborate with BPI debaters by working as BPI debate fellows. These fellows conduct research for BPI team members to use in their debates. Current BPI debate fellows are Adelina Colaku ’18 and Peymaan Motivalli-Aliabadi ’19. In March, Zisman and Register traveled to Smolny College, in St. Petersburg, Russia, with Estrella Frankenfeld ’20 and Elaina Taylor ’20 for the Second Bard Network Debate Conference. They were joined by students, faculty, and staff from Bard partner institutions Al-Quds Bard (East Jerusalem), American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), Bard College Berlin (Germany), European Humanities University (Lithuania), and Smolny for two days of lectures, workshops, and discussions about the role of debate in liberal arts education and best practices for running debate programs. All conference participants then took part in the two-day St. Petersburg Open Debate Tournament at Smolny, where they debated topics ranging from the implementation of a universal basic income to banning the personal use of automobiles and the decline of American leadership on the world stage. Members of the Debate Union also won the Season Opener Debate Tournament at the University of Rochester (Nathaniel Carlsen ’20 and Hannah Hutchinson ’20), the George Washington IV (Templeton Kay ’19 and Matt Caito ’20), and the North American Women and Gender Minorities Debate Championship (Clarence Brontë ’18 and Hutchinson).
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Lia Gangitano Wins 21st Annual Irmas Award
photo Domenica Bucalo
The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) has named Lia Gangitano the recipient of the 2018 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. In 2001, Gangitano founded Participant Inc., a not-for-profit art space. As curator of Thread Waxing Space her exhibitions, screenings, and performances included Spectacular Optical (1998), Luther Price: Imitation of Life (1999), Børre Sæthre: Module for Mood (2000), and Sigalit Landau (2001). She is editor of Blood and Guts in Hollywood: Two Screenplays by Laura Parnes and Dead Flowers (2010) as well as the forthcoming anthologies M Lamar: Negrogothic and The Alternative to What? Thread Waxing Space and the ’90s. She currently teaches at CCS Bard and is a recipient of a Skowhegan Governors’ Award for Outstanding Service to Artists as well as the inaugural White Columns/Shoot the Lobster Award. Gangitano was presented with the Irmas Award at a gala celebration and dinner on April 9. Tom Eccles, executive director of CCS Bard says, “Lia Gangitano is a curatorial pioneer presenting artists and artwork that have often been marginalized. Looking back over more than three decades of exhibitions and curatorial projects, we are delighted to celebrate the significant contribution Lia has made to the cultural life of New York City.” For the past 20 years, CCS Bard has recognized individuals who have defined new thinking, bold vision, and dedicated service to the field of exhibition practice with the Audrey Irmas Award, named after patron and CCS Bard board member Audrey Irmas, who bestowed the endowment for the award and is an active member of the Los Angeles arts and philanthropic community. The award, designed by artist Lawrence Weiner, also comes with the Audrey Irmas Prize of $25,000.
Jonathan Greene ’65: Poet, Publisher, Farmer In his first year at Bard, Jonathan Greene ’65 enrolled in Ralph Ellison’s course on American literature. He still has his notes from that class, in which Ellison pushed him to consider writing “in the context of its historical moment,” and still remembers catching rides down to New York City with Ellison, chatting about jazz in Ellison’s robin’s-egg-blue Chrysler. Greene also recalls how “Ellison had a unique way of smiling when he saw the irony of things, the truth behind a news story. He wouldn’t submit to standard ‘black nationalism’ story lines: for example, that blacks singlehandedly invented jazz and no whites could play the music. He did not follow that line or many other orthodoxies.” Other Bard faculty helped draw new lines for Greene: among them philosophy professor Heinrich Bluecher and his wife, political philosopher Hannah Arendt, whom Greene interviewed for his Senior Project on the Austrian writer Hermann Broch; and Justus Rosenberg, professor of foreign languages and literature, who was on Greene’s Senior Project board. Serendipity led Greene to dine with Dorothy Day and the Catholic Workers in Tivoli, and as head of the literature club he brought an extraordinary assemblage of now-canonical figures to Bard, including writers Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Louis Zukofsky, Saul Bellow, LeRoi Jones (later Amiri Baraka), Jerome Rothenberg, Paul Blackburn, and Asher B. Edelman Professor of Literature Robert Kelly, who would soon become a member of the faculty after Greene proposed Kelly to replace the outgoing German professor. In 1966, Kelly published Greene’s first book, The Reckoning, containing poems Greene had read to a Bard writing group that met weekly at Ward Manor. Since that first reckoning, Greene has written 35 more books, “mostly poetry, though the last is my strange memoir, Anecdotage. There are also two commonplace books, my correspondence with Thomas Merton, and A 17th Century Garner, a prose-poetry collection that came out of my Bard studies with Andrews Wanning.” (Wanning was professor of literature from 1951 to 1977.) And he is a publisher in his own right. “I started Gnomon Press in 1965 to produce books I wanted on my own bookshelves,” he says, “and in the hope that others would agree with my taste.” They did: Gnomon’s best-selling title,
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photo Dobree Adams
Gurney Norman’s Appalachian story collection Kinfolks, has sold more than 22,000 copies, with three stories adapted for an hour-long PBS special. Almost all Gnomon’s books are designed by Greene himself, and he also designs for other authors and distinguished presses like Knopf, Ecco, Copper Canyon, Rizzoli, and New Directions. Greene began setting and printing by hand from metal type. His designing has evolved in response to new printing technologies; he confesses to uncommon “typographic tastes,” particularly for little-known typefaces. After Bard and a stint in San Francisco, Greene moved to a Kentucky River farm, where he and his fiber artist–photographer wife live with chickens, horses, donkeys, and dogs. If this sounds idyllic, it is. But it isn’t retirement. Greene continues not only to design but to write. Gists Orts Shards (a collected edition of his commonplace books that includes quotes from Arendt, Bluecher, and Kelly) and a new book of poems, Afloat, came out in early 2018. —Micaela Morrissette ’02
Nancy J. Ruddy ’74: Designing Woman In 1987, Nancy J. Ruddy ’74 founded the architecture and interior design firm CetraRuddy with her husband, John Cetra, in the spare bedroom of their apartment. “The idea was to focus on what we thought would help society,” says Ruddy. “Housing design affects society in a very profound way—how people live, how community is created and nurtured—and John and I felt we could start a design-centered firm that was different from what we were seeing in New York City.” Today CetraRuddy, the largest architectural firm in New York with a female president, employs 108 people (52 percent of them women) and works concurrently on more than 20 projects, usually ranging from 75,000 to 1.2 million square feet in scale. More than 60 percent of their projects are multifamily residential buildings. Architecture is a male-dominated field, but Ruddy is committed to mentoring women architects. “I feel so lucky to have my own firm and to be able to live by my own code,” she says. “We are not afraid to experiment or innovate or fail.” Recent projects in New York include Swedish photography museum Fotografiska; a 60-story residential tower clad in bronze and glass, One Madison, which pays homage to great skyscrapers of the past; and the Lincoln Square Synagogue. “We worked with them for six months in the programming phase, developing ideas about functionality, how they wanted to pray and teach within the building,” says Ruddy. “The design of the building combined my art history background with my architecture practice. It is very modern but has much Judaic symbolism in it. The façade is five ribbons of glass, which represents the five books of the Torah; the interiors use the woods prescribed for the building of the ark and the walls of the first tabernacle; and it has a pale-blue ceiling with 613 points of light representing the 613 mitzvot [commandments].” International projects include a hotel in Saudia Arabia, three restaurants in the United Kingdom, a 50-story residential tower in Toronto, and two schools in India. “We are respectful of indigenous architecture,” says Ruddy. “We study local materials and patterns, balancing the forward-thinking elements that international clients are looking for with traditional ones. As architects we always begin with research about our clients, context, and sustainable materials. We have a responsibility for the earth, understanding that a building could be there for 200 years. Our buildings are very tactile and crafted. Handcrafted
photo ©Evan Sung
details make people feel good. It’s about adding important elements to the environment, creating memorable moments and memorable spaces.” Ruddy studied art history at Bard, which she describes as “the perfect combination of the spirit and soul, intimacy and rigor.” Her ongoing love of education is evident in her firm’s charitable activities. CetraRuddy runs a program called Bridges for third graders in a South Bronx public school. “We teach them how bridges around the world get built and about all the people involved in the process,” she says. “The principal feels it’s changed the worldview of her students, many of whom live in shelters or with single parents and have never gone more than 10 blocks from their school.” Recently, CetraRuddy launched a travel fellowship for employees. The first recipient, a young female Korean architect, went to Morocco to study the impact of different religions and traditions on the design of the country’s cultural and community spaces. “Architecture is a very collaborative process,” says Ruddy. “I am invigorated by exploring ideas with a group of smart, creative people. I love mentoring and helping people to grow and to be better architects as well as happier people.”
Iris Awards Bard Graduate Center (BGC) honored outstanding contributions to patronage and scholarship in the decorative arts at the 22nd Annual Iris Foundation Awards Luncheon on April 18 in New York City. The 2018 Outstanding Patron Award went to John C. Waddell, collector of modern design and decorative arts; Aileen Ribeiro, scholar of fashion and costume, received the award for Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship; Jason Sun, curator of Chinese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was recognized as Outstanding Mid-Career Scholar; and gallery owner Benoist F. Drut was recognized as Outstanding Dealer. Susan Weber, BGC’s founder and director, said, “Through philanthropy, scholarship, and professional commitment, these people have dedicated their careers to sustaining the heritage of our world as expressed through its material culture. We are proud to recognize their achievements.”
Left to right: Benoist F. Drut, Leon Botstein, Susan Weber, John C. Waddell, Jason Sun, Aileen Ribeiro, and Peter N. Miller. photo courtesy Gruber Photographers
Upcoming BGC Exhibition Focusing on the material artifacts produced with the intention of being offered as acts of faith, Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place (September 14, 2018 – January 6, 2019) provides a perspective on why humans across the globe create these material objects.
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Fisher Center Events
– N) Turns Four The Orchestra Now (TO
East Meets West, Again The second China Now Music Festival kicks off at Sosnoff Theater on October 19. The festival will present the diverse ways contemporary Chinese composers use music to reflect on their society, including its traditions and its often tumultuous history. barduschinamusic.org.
Four U.S. premieres highlight The Orchestra Now’s fourth season, which includes concert series under the baton and leadership of Leon Botstein at Carnegie Hall, Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, and free concerts in New York City and Hudson, New York. – Among the guest artists joining the more than 70 outstanding TON musicians— who receive three years of advanced orchestral and music studies training, leading to a Master of Music degree—are conductors Tan Dun and Fabio Luisi, violinist Vadim Repin, pianists Orion Weiss and Alessandro Taverna, soprano Elizabeth de Trejo, and baritone Michael Anthony McGee. On September 15, James Bagwell will conduct drone-metal composer Stephen O’Malley’s Un Vide dans le Ciel (U.S. premiere) as part of Basilica SoundScape, in Hudson, New York. At the Fisher Center on October 6 and 7, Botstein will conduct Brahms and England, with violinist Zhen Liu ’19, a winner of the 2017 Bard College Conservatory Concerto Competition. On the weekend before Election Day, November 3 and 4, Copland’s Lincoln Portrait will be performed at the Fisher Center. That will be followed, on November 11 at Rose Theater, by a concert conducted by Grammy and Academy Award–winning composer and conductor Tan Dun that will include his Cello Concerto: Intercourse of Fire and Water (U.S. premiere). Looking forward to 2019, in a copresentation with Repin’s Trans-Siberian Arts Festival, the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater will host De Profundis: Out of the Depths, on April 27 and 28. The program will include U.S. premieres of the newly commissioned De Profundis (Violin Concerto No. 3) by Lera Auerbach and Psalm 130: De Profundis by Joachim Raff, as well as settings of Psalm 130 by Virgil Thomson and Lili Boulanger. For tickets or additional information visit theorchestranow.org.
Debra Baxter MFA ’08 and Sandy Zane ’80. photo Luis Campos
KC Serota ’04 and Jane Brien ’89. photo Luis Campos
The Conservatory Celebrates Joan Tower On September 16th in the Sosnoff Theater, Bard College Conservatory of Music faculty members will perform works by Joan Tower in celebration of her 80th birthday. Faculty performers will include pianists Benjamin Hochman, Kayo Iwama, and Blair McMillen; clarinetist Anthony McGill, cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, violinist Laurie Smukler, and soprano Dawn Upshaw. The Da Capo Chamber Players, of which Tower was a founding member, and So– Percussion, codirectors of the percussion department, will also perform. Tower, Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts, has taught at Bard since 1972, and is regarded as one of the most important living American composers. In 1990, she became the first woman to win the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Silver Ladders, and the recording of her composition Made in America by Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony won three Grammy awards. fishercenter.bard.edu Montgomery Place Highlights the Hudson The Fisher Center is inaugurating a series of free, outdoor events at Montgomery Place, a National Historic Landmark overlooking the Hudson River. On September 15, there will be a film screening; A Celebration of Americana Music will take place on September 23; and a dance performance on September 29 rounds out the series. Advanced reservations are suggested. fishercenter.bard.edu
In April, Bard went to the desert. The Bard Southwest Arts Weekend in Santa Fe brought together more than 30 Bardians for an inspiring weekend of museum and gallery tours, yoga, and receptions culminating in a panel on the future of arts and education that featured President Leon Botstein and leaders of the Santa Fe arts community. The weekend was the brainchild of Santa Fe resident Sandy Zane ’80, who was showing the work of Bardian Debra Baxter MFA ’08 at her gallery form & concept. Sandy contacted the Office of Alumni/ae Affairs to suggest an alumni/ae weekend of arts-related events. A zombie puppet film by Devon Ludlow ’99 was also featured at the gallery. Wendelin Scott ’90 taught a yoga class at her popular Santa Fe studio, Yoga Source. Vice President of the Alumni/ae Association Board of Governors and Albuquerque resident KC Serota ’04 assisted in the planning, but irrepressible Sandy did the heavy lifting, arranging special tours and opportunities for the guests. The Meow Wolf experience was certainly a highlight. It was an inspiring weekend, which brought in alumni/ae from Colorado and as far away as California and New Jersey. Members of the classes of 1962 to 2017 were represented, new friends were made, and there is talk of another similar event next year. Stay tuned.
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In collaboration with Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music has launched the Chinese Music Development Initiative. The first comprehensive program for the study and performance of Chinese music in the United States, this partnership includes a new undergraduate degree program in selected Chinese instruments —erhu, pipa, and guzheng—at the Bard Conservatory. The Chinese instrumental performance degree program is the first to combine professional study of traditional Chinese instruments with the liberal arts. Student applications are now being accepted for fall 2018. Other components include an annual Chinese music festival focusing on music from contemporary China, to be held at Bard
and a major New York City venue; seminars and scholarly conferences on Chinese music, art, and social development; and an annual summer academy on the Bard campus for high-school students, featuring an orchestra of Chinese instruments. “This is the culmination of years of work building relationships with the music world of China, including the Conservatory Orchestra’s tour to China in 2012,” says Bard Conservatory Director Robert Martin. “This agreement is a major achievement of our new US-China Music Institute, led by the distinguished conductor, author, and educator Jindong Cai, and a wonderful enrichment of the life of the Bard community.” “This innovative step has historical significance in the development of Chinese music in the West,” says Central Conservatory President Yu Feng. “Our cooperation with Bard College, one of the finest liberal arts colleges in America, with a rich history of 158 years, sends out a clear Chinese voice to the world that we have entered into a new cooperation mode and a new stage through the integration of music and culture exchanges.” Overseen by Feng and Martin, the partnership will be strengthened by bilateral faculty appointments: President Feng and Yu Hongmei, chair of the Traditional Music Department of the Central Conservatory, will have faculty appointments at the Bard Conservatory, and Bard President Leon Botstein and Cai will have faculty appointments at the Central Conservatory. “This agreement is a milestone in Bard College’s international engagement,” says Botstein. “Our partnership with the Central Conservatory will result in deeper connections with China’s vibrant musical life and rich heritage.” A sold-out celebratory concert took place at the Fisher Center in January. Music from China: East Meets West featured a collaboration between The Orchestra Now and the Chamber Orchestra of the Central Conservatory and performed new works by Chinese composers using a combination of Chinese and Western instruments, with renowned soloists Yu Hongmei (erhu), Zhou Wang (guzheng), and Zhang Qiang (pipa). In March, the US-China Music Institute presented a conference, “Harmony and Power: The Role of Music in the Cultivation of the Literati in Ancient China,” at Bard.
News from Longy
Come On Aileen
This academic year, the Longy School of Music of Bard College accepted one of the largest classes in its 102-year history, with incoming master’s students from Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music, and many other conservatories around the world. They will be able to explore the therapeutic uses of music in a new performance and project-based course, Music as a Healing Art, which partners with local health care facilities. Additionally, in collaboration with the Music for Healing and Transition Program, Longy will offer an intensive, science-based summer institute, enabling musicians to become certified music practitioners (CMPs). CMPs play at the bedsides of ill and dying patients. Longy is also partnering with the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) to offer Longy students free tickets to all BEMF concerts and events throughout the year. This summer, select students majoring in historical performance will also participate in fellowships with BEMF to gain in-depth experience planning and executing a large-scale national music festival. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Longy’s Sistema Side by Side Series, which pairs Longy conservatory students with children, ages 6 to 17, from El Sistema–inspired programs across Massachusetts. In the process of rehearsing together, the children learn that hard work and dedication can open doors to new opportunities. This year, members of the Side by Side program performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, and the national anthem at a Boston Celtics game.
Aileen Passloff, who taught dance at Bard from 1969 to 2016, is having a moment. Passloff introduced her student David Parker ’81 to the work of James Waring, a revered figure in New York City’s experimental dance scene of the 1950s and ’60s. On May 18–20 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Parker traced his roots in dance in Iconoclast Lineage, a program that included pieces inspired by Waring—Violin Phase and excerpts from A Mouthful of Shoes—and Passloff’s restaging of Waring’s Octandra and her own Nocturne. In April, Passloff attended opening night of the faculty dance concert at the Fisher Center, which included At the Window, a recent solo she choreographed on Charlotte Hendrickson ’07. Meanwhile, a film featuring Passloff (and Arthur Aviles ’87), Her Magnum Opus, directed by Marta Renzi, which was screened at Upstate Films in Rhineback last October, continues to be shown at film festivals and in independent theaters. Visit hermagnumopus.com for more information. And an anonymous alumnus has made it easier for Bard students to be exposed to great performances by funding a pilot program called the Passloff Pass. The fan of the former L. May Hawver and Wallace Benjamin Flint professor of dance established an initiative that makes tickets to select spring 2018 and mainstage SummerScape 2018 events available to Bard undergraduate and graduate student for just $5.
Yu Hongmei plays the erhu at the Music from China: East Meets West concert. photo Karl Rabe
US-China Music Institute Makes East-West Connection
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Reunions 2018 Classes of 2013, 2008, 2003, 1998, 1993, 1988, 1983, 1978, 1973, 1968, 1963, 1958, 1953, 1948 Photo by Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’00
Support the Bard College Fund today. Acting at the intersection of education and civil society has never been more important. annandaleonline.org/bardcollegefund We cannot do it without you.
Your classmates and friends want to know what you are up to. To submit Class Notes for the next issue, please email 50-100 words to alumni@ bard.edu. The deadline for the Fall 2018 Bardian is July 30.
’17 Liliya Galenkova-Riggs is working toward her PhD in comparative literature at the University of California, Davis. | Xing Gao is studying for an MM from Rice University, Shepherd School of Music. | Annie Garrett-Larsen (Natalie Lunn Technical Theater Award winner) is the lighting apprentice at the Cleveland Play House for the 2017–18 season. She is pursuing a career as a freelance lighting designer. | Meghan Hogan is a software engineer with Elsevier in Philadelphia. | Harry Johnson Jr. is more than halfway through his Watson Fellowship year. He has visited India, Nepal, Australia, and South Africa and will also travel to England and the Dominican Republic, exploring the ways sports are used as a tool for sustainable development. You can read more at harryajohnsonjr.wixsite.com/offszn. | Quinn McInerney is an investment specialist at Bank of America. | Naomi Wieser is pursuing her master’s in biomedical studies in Lausanne, Switzerland.
’15 Jorge Cortés Martínez is completing a master’s degree in international studies with a concentration in international economics at the HopkinsNanjing Center, a joint program between Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and Nanjing University. | On May 29, 2017, Elizabeth Winig married Morgan Bradley Watson, who serves in the U.S. Air Force. In August of 2017, they moved to Guam. Liz volunteers with a research group from Colorado State University monitoring and assisting in the survival of the Micronesian starlings that nest in bird boxes around the military base.
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Thank you to everyone who came back for our fifth reunion—we certainly did represent. Mark your calendars for Memorial Day Weekend 2023, and if you haven’t yet supported our class gift there is still time. Visit annandaleonline.org/bcf to make a gift. The Women’s Salon cohosted a centennial anniversary celebration of women’s suffrage in New York state. The Women’s Salon includes Bard Artist in Residence Jean Wagner and alumnae Hannah Mitchell, Julie Rossman ’06, Julia Tadlock ’06, and Leonie Bell ’12. | Grayson Morley is engaged to Jade Jones. They met at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, where they teach creative writing. Grayson received the 2018 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers for “Brent, Bandit King.” (Brooklyn Review) | Erin Smith was chosen by the Knowles Teacher Initiative as a member of its 2017 cohort of teaching fellows. She will begin her first year of teaching at San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo, California.
’16 Mohd Ahnaf Habib Khan is working as a senior associate at a Japanese investment bank called Mizuho. Mohd does stock valuation covering the internet and the interactive gaming sector for large institutional clients.
’13 5th Reunion
Elizabeth Winig ’15 and Morgan Bradley Watson
Opposite page bottom left: Elizabeth Falcone joined Bardians Renee Becerra, Elyse Foladare, Sarah Louis, Nina Quirk-Goldblatt, and Sarah Rosenthal at the Women’s March in New York City. | Jackie McLean, frontwoman of Roan Yellowthorn, wrote the essay “The Way I Am,” published by Curve Magazine.
Bard Community Barbecue at Blithewood photos.annandaleonline.org photos Pete Mauney ’93 MFA ’00
and still owns Robert S. Harrison Photography.
Rosie Lopeman had her first solo exhibit, Expire, Inspire, at John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York. She also participated in a three-month installation project at Gridspace Gallery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Rosie is a recent addition to the New York Studio School board of governors as alumni representative. | Martha Tuttle had her second solo show at Tilton Gallery in New York City. She received a Josef Albers Foundation Fellowship for travel as well as a Donald C. Gallup Research Fellowship from the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Yale University.
Emily Derian DeMartino and Camden Segal ’11 are pleased to welcome baby Lyra Kathleen Isabel DeMartino, born December 10, 2017. | Dan Severson married Amy Goldfeder, a designer and writer, on July 8, 2017 at the Hay-Adams in Washington, D.C. Daniel is currently practicing law at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C. | Heather Gladstone and Robert Harrison ’07 were married in Massachusetts and also celebrated their commitment to each other in a separate ceremony in Washington. Gladstone received her master’s in social work at Smith and is currently a social worker at Lopez Island Family Resource Center. Harrison is the assistant director of Lopez Center for the Community and the Arts
| Mary Knapp is roving ensemble accordionist in Broadway’s Tony Award–winning musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. The show was granted the 2017 ACCA award for outstanding Broadway chorus and also won outstanding ensemble at the 2017 Chita Rivera awards. tootsweetmusic.bandcamp.com | Nicole Nyhan is the new managing editor of Conjunctions, Bard College’s literary journal.
Lights Out; wood, plaster, burlap, twine, gesso; 2017; Rosie Lopeman ’11
Dan Severson ’10 and Amy Goldfeder. photo Joe and Katye Brier
class notes 39
’09 Saralee Gallien graduated with a BS from Duke University School of Nursing and has accepted a position as an ER nurse at University Medical Center New Orleans. Before she graduated, she teamed with author Neil Shirley of Chapel Hill to write the book Dixie Be Damned: 300 Years of Southern Insurrections in the American South (AK Press, 2015). She has been interviewed extensively in the South and on the East and West Coasts about the book, which is written from a unique anarchist historiographical perspective. | In January 2018, Lydia Spielberg joined the University of California Los Angeles Department of Classics as an assistant professor, having spent two and a half years as a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Lydia
received her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. She is still fixated on Tacitus.
’08 10th Reunion Thanks to everyone who made it back for reunion, still hard to believe it’s been 10 years. We look good! We—your hard working reunion committee of Hannah Byrnes-Enoch, Gerry Pambo-Awich, Genya Shimkin, and Ella Reily Stocker—want you to mark your calendars for Memorial Day Weekend 2023, and to stay involved with Bard. If you haven’t supported our class gift there’s still time, please visit annandaleonline.org/bcf.
Above: Francesca Carendi joined the Women’s March with Marian Villa, Joanna Tanger ’07, and Catherine Lopez ’07.
’07 Emma DeCorsey and her band, I Am The Polish Army, debuted their first album, My Old Man, which is listed as one of “15 Great Albums You Probably Didn’t Hear in 2017” by Rolling Stone. | Max P. Miller has produced the six-part miniseries What Does a C.E.O. Actually Do? for Freakonomics Radio. He also had two documentaries air recently. One, for KCRW’s UnFictional, about a fugitive who spent 31 years on the lam, and the second, on the CBC’s Doc Project, about a musician who lives in a van and performs in parking spaces.
’05 For the East Coast wedding (left to right): Adam Frowine, Anne Lawson ’07, Maggie Carson ’07, Zara Dowling ’07, Robert Harrison ’07, Heather (Gladstone) Harrison ’10, Jeremy Carter-Gordon ’11, Nicole Rhodes ’07, Joshua Rosenthal ’13, Tessa Dowling ’10, John Weinert ’07. Not pictured but in attendance: Chelsea (Sargent) Smiley ’10.
Tal Rosenberg, former culture editor for the Chicago Reader, is now the senior editor of Chicago Magazine. Rosenberg was a writer at the music magazine Stylus before joining the Reader as digital content editor in 2011. As culture editor since 2015, he oversaw and edited all arts and culture coverage for the alternative weekly.
’04 Gillian (Means) Tarr recently earned her PhD in epidemiology at the University of Washington. Her work using phylogenetics to better understand the epidemiology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 was funded in part by an NIH National Research Service Award. Gillian and her family will be moving to Calgary, Alberta, where she will begin a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric enteric infections. | Ronan Farrow won a Pulitzer Prize and an American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) award in Public Interest for his series of investigative reports in the New Yorker that exposed the sexual predation of the movie producer Harvey Weinstein. For the West Coast commitment ceremony (left to right): Ian Jones ’07, Willis Arnold ’07, Nick Risher ’07, Robert Harrison ’07, Heather (Gladstone) Harrison ’10, Sidi John Weinert ’07, Hannah Hancock Rubinsky ’07, Gracie Leavitt ’07, and Jamie Riley ’07.
40 class notes
’03 15th Reunion Well, that was fun! The class of 2003 rides again (good to know we’ve still got it). Thanks to everyone who came back. Mark your calendars for Memorial Day Weekend 2023, and if you haven’t yet supported our class gift there is still time. Visit annandaleonline.org/bcf to make a gift. Your trusty reunion committee of Pia Carusone, Cynthia ContiCook, Eben Kaplan, Ben King, J. P. Kingsbury, Mollie Meikle, Juliet Morrison, Dumaine Williams, and Lydia Willoughby thanks you! On June 23, 2017, Sarah Schendel married Case Q. Kerns at Cambridge City Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the couple lives. Sarah also started a new full-time job as assistant professor at Suffolk Law School in Boston.
’98 20th Reunion Thanks to everyone who made it back for reunion, it was great to see you on campus again. Super proud of our classmate Eric Warren Goldman (who was a return to college student but a ’98er nonetheless) getting the Bard Medal. Mark your calendars for Memorial Day Weekend 2023, and if you haven’t yet supported our class gift there is still time. Visit annandaleonline.org/bcf to make a gift. Your reunion committee—Josh Bell, Kathleya Chotiros, and Tommy Kirchmeier—thank you.
’96 John Grauwiler lives in Manhattan and works at Bard High School Early College Queens, where he coteaches 9th and 10th grade literature. He is also one of the founders/organizers of Gays against Guns, an inclusive, nonviolent, direct-action group committed to drawing attention to the public health gun-violence crisis and fighting for better gun policy. The organization was honored in OUT magazine’s OUT100 2017 for its contribution to the LGBT community and work in activism. John was also featured in Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizen Respond to Gun Violence.
’93 25th Reunion Hard to believe it’s been 25 years. Blithewood is as beautiful as ever, and seeing old friends at Bard is the best. Thanks to everyone who came back, and if you haven’t yet supported our class gift there is still time. Visit annandaleonline.org/bcf to make a gift. Reunion committee members Erin Law, Roger Scotland, and Paul Thompson thank you. Erin J. Law won the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award for her leadership in pro bono service and help launching Morgan Stanley’s pro bono program. Erin
Reunion Premiere: Saturday Social with Papa’s Best Batch photos.annandaleonline.org photos Brennan Cavanaugh ’88 and Jennifer Skura
was also honored with the Weil, Gotshal & Manges Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.
munication and public outreach. Andrew thinks the country would be in better shape if more Bard graduates ran for public office.
’89 Tanya Luttinger recently joined the Family Medicine Department of the Cheshire Medical Center.
’88 30th Reunion Thanks for coming back to enjoy the Bardness with us. It was great to see everyone and renew friendships and make new ones. If you haven’t yet supported our class gift there is still time. Visit annandaleonline.org/bcf to make a gift. Your reunion committee—Sibel Alparslan-Golden, Brennan Cavanaugh, Brett Fialkoff, Cormac Flynn, Amy Kuperferberg, Jennifer Lupo, Allison Villone Radzin, and Al Varady—is grateful.
’86 Andrew Zwicker won reelection to the New Jersey General Assembly in November 2017. The first physicist (and Bard graduate) elected to the New Jersey Legislature, he has been named chair of the newly formed science, innovation, and technology committee. Along with his legislative responsibilities, he remains at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, where he is the head of com-
’84 David Hartheimer is an attorney and founding member of the law firm Mayerson & Hartheimer. A nationally recognized expert in the restructuring industry, David is also the founder and president of the investment banking firm Clearbid Capital LLC. Prior to Clearbid, David was a senior attorney for the Department of Justice, Office of the United States Trustee, Eastern District of New York. David is a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the United States on bankruptcy and insolvency law, distressed mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and special situation financing. David lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York, with his wife and two teenagers.
’83 35th Reunion Thank you to everyone who came back to our reunion, it is so good to see Bard friends in Annandale and enjoy the beauty of Blithewood again. If you haven’t yet supported our class gift there is still time. Visit annandaleonline.org/bcf to make a gift. Gay Feldman and James Hart, your reunion committee, thank you. class notes 41
Jessica Bayer is director of Project Connect, a conference on interdisciplinary studies targeted at educators of all levels who are interested in exploring and implementing interdisciplinary practices in their own curricula. For more information or to register, visit projectconnectnc.com. In addition, Jessica is proud mom to three adult children. Hannah Bonner, 29, is a PhD candidate in film studies at the University of Iowa, Iowa City; Willie Bonner, 27, is a landscape designer working in Asheville; and Isabel Bonner, 20, is studying English in the honors program at UNC–Chapel Hill.
’80 Matthew Gordon was confirmed and sworn in as a Connecticut Superior Court Judge. Matthew’s practice has focused on professional, commercial, and municipal liability as well as personal injury, employment, and insurance-related litigation. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, the Litigation Council of America, and the Council on Litigation Management.
’79 The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and the Korean War Legacy Foundation selected Gale Carter, an award-winning leader and resident of East Chicago, Indiana, as one of the teachers to participate in their Peace Camp initiative to honor
Korean War veterans and enhance public awareness of the historic meaning of the Korean War through the classroom.
’78 40th Reunion Wow, that was an incredible weekend. Thank you to everyone who made the trip back to our old school. We are thrilled so many classmates were able to participate in the weekend’s events and that we had a chance to spend time together. No doubt the creative spirit of ’78 is alive and well. Thanks also to all our classmates and friends who made Commencement Jazzfest happen. Your reunion committee—Mary Caponegro, Clio Pavlantos, and Emily Rubin—adds their thanks. And if you haven’t yet supported our class gift there is still time. Visit annandaleonline.org/bcf to make a gift. Emily Rubin is teaching fiction in Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine Program and runs the Write Treatment Writing Workshops at Mount Sinai Cancer Centers in New York City. Publications this year include the Write Treatment Anthology Volume I and Exquisite, a collection of writings by the winners of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award. Emily lives in New York City and Columbia County, New York. emilyrubin.net
’76 Grant Harper Reid received the NAACP Black History Month Award in February 2018, and began his acceptance speech by specifying his authentic account of the Harlem Renaissance from his book Rhythm For Sale. He also introduced his latest book, Harlem Bible, which is described as being “In the spirit of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.” Harlem Bible also contains photographs of Jimi Hendrix taken in 1969 when he performed a Harlem benefit for Grant and the summer interns of the United Block Association.
’74 Loyal Bardian Thomas Graham is presenting his tin-can artwork this fall at the historic Alexander Dickson House in Hillsborough, North Carolina. After earning an anthropology degree from Bard, he worked for many years as a community psychiatrist. Now that he’s retired, he has more time to dedicate to his beautiful creations. Visit mikesarttruck.com/graham.html to check out his work.
’73 45th Reunion The reunion committee of Michael Bloom, Randy Faerber, Barbara Grossman, and Leslie Phillips want to thank everyone who was able to come
Class of 1978 40th Reunion photo Brennan Cavanaugh ’88
42 class notes
back for reunion—a terrific time was had by all. It was especially good to see our friend songwriter Billy Steinberg ’72 receive an honorary degree on stage with all the new graduates. If you haven’t had a chance to support our class gift, there is still time. And make sure to save the date for 2023—that’s our big five-O and we need to represent. Randy Faerber had a show of her new watercolors at the Center at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens, New York.
Books by Bardians Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian by Richard Aldous, Eugene Meyer Professor of British History and Literature W.W. Norton and Company Arthur M. Schlesinger’s influential book A Thousand Days redefined the art of presidential biography and gained him recognition as the architect of John F. Kennedy’s legacy. Aldous draws on oral history, rarely seen archival documents, and the official Schlesinger papers to produce a lively portrait of the preeminent historian.
Bringing School to Life: Place-Based Education Across the Curriculum by Sarah K. Anderson ’99 Rowman and Littlefield Place-based education brings students out of their classrooms and into their communities to connect curriculum with real life. At the heart of the education is locale: land, history, and culture. In this guide for implementation, Anderson addresses key elements including mapping, local history, citizen science, and integrated curricula. Gale Carter ’79
Cherokee Road Kill by Celia Bland, Written Arts Program affiliated faculty Dr. Cicero Books Bland’s collection centers on remembrance of the past and transcendence within the imprisonment of poverty. As Bard professor Robert Kelly writes, her poems “speak their own word. Word of a town, maybe, of a family, . . . or perhaps even, after reading, the sense of a nation-word that has been spoken.”
U-Boat Assault on America: Why the U.S. Was Unprepared for War in the Atlantic
Grant Harper Reid ’76. photo Hubert WIlliams
by Ken Brown ’88 Naval Institute Press When Nazi U-boats attacked merchant and U.S. naval vessels along America’s East Coast, the navy seemed powerless to stop them. Brown analyzes the U.S. response and what it took to train the men, muster the scientists, and defeat the German threat.
The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui MFA ’01 Abrams ComicArts This debut graphic novel documents the story of Bui’s family’s escape from war-torn Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives in America. When Bui becomes a mother, she reexamines the strength of family, importance of identity, and meaning of home.
Parisian Charm School: French Secrets for Cultivating Love, Joy, and That Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi by Jamie Cat Callan ’75 TarcherPerigee French women are legendary for their inner beauty, confidence, and unique personal style at every age. Callan, who has written several books on things French, offers a playful “syllabus” on rediscovering one’s most beautiful, fierce, romantic, engaging self and attracting the best in life. Vermilion Swirl, watercolor, by Randy Faerber ’73
class notes 43
’70 Robert Melnick is semiretired from the University of Oregon, where he has taught landscape architecture since 1982. His current research is on the impacts of climate change on cultural landscapes in the national parks. Recent reports can be seen at nps.gov/subjects/culturalland scapes/climate-change.htm.
’68 50th Reunion Now that was a reunion! More than 70 classmates and friends attended the many special events we organized over the weekend. Thank you to the committee members for all their work: Bob Edmonds, Mark Favus, Diana Hirsch Friedman, William Sherman, and Barbara Crane Wigren. If you haven’t already, there is still time to support the Class of 1968 Scholarship in honor of our reunion.
Honorary Degree Billy Steinberg ’72 James C. Chambers ’81, chair of the Board of Trustees (left), and songwriter Billy Steinberg ’72, who received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts. photo China Jorrin ’86
Stephen Kessler is the recipient of the 2017 Northern California Book Award in poetry translation for his version of Save Twilight: Selected Poems by Julio Cortázar. This is the fifth major honor Stephen has received for his work as a literary translator. His previous awards, all for his translations of the Spanish poet Luis Cernuda, include an NEA Fellowship, a Lambda Literary Award, the Academy of American Poets’ Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, and a PEN Center USA Literary Award.
’67 Kevin FitzPatrick, Blainie Logan, Spencer Mosse ’68, Pam Dandy Knap, and Joan Elliott were drama students at Bard and have been getting together every year in New York City since 2004 to hash out old stories and discuss favorite times at Bard.
Class of 1968 50th Reunion photo Brennan Cavanaugh ’88
44 class notes
’66 Jimmy Camicia will be appearing briefly, along with his company, in the film The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson on Netflix.
’63 55th Reunion Your reunion committee of Penny Axelrod and Phyllis Chesler thank all classmates for their support of Bard and encourage everyone to stay in touch. If you haven’t already made a gift, there is still time. Please visit annandaleonline.org/bcf.
Islamic Gender Apartheid: Exposing a Veiled War against Women by Phyllis Chesler ’63 New English Review Press An advocate for global women’s rights, Chesler tackles the moral atrocities of misogyny within patriarchal Islamic societies. Her book addresses topics such as the burka, child marriage, honor-based violence, acid disfiguring, and forced female suicide killers. She includes portraits of those who have defied gender injustice, often risking death.
Little Pig Saves the Ship Phyllis Chesler, emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies, is the author of 17 books, including the 1972 feminist landmark Women and Madness. Many of her books have been translated into European languages and into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Hebrew. She has published eight books in the 21st century, and this year she will publish a volume about honor killing as well as a new memoir, A Politically Incorrect Feminist: Creating a Movement with Bitches, Lunatics, Dykes, Prodigies, Warriors, and Wonder Women. Phyllis was recently appointed a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum, received a National Jewish Book Award for An American Bride in Kabul, and accepted a Defender of Women’s Rights Award from UJA-Federation of New York.
by David Hyde Costello ’94 Charlesbridge Too small to go to summer camp with his older brothers and sisters, Little Pig is left behind with Grandpa and Poppy. When the ship that he and Poppy made is swept into the current by a gusty wind, Little Pig needs to think fast to save the day.
Some Photos of That Day: 6754 Polaroids Dated in Sequence by Jamie Livingston ’79, edited by Hugh Crawford ’78 Hugh Crawford Books Weighing nearly 10 pounds, and full of the lightness and beauty of youth as well as the heaviness of illness and premature death, this collection of Polaroids—one a day for 18 years—is a labor of love and testament to the power of friendship between Crawford and Livingston.
Imagining the Chorus in Augustan Poetry by Lauren Curtis, assistant professor of classics Cambridge University Press Curtis examines how the ancient Greek chorus is reimagined in the early Augustan period of Roman poetry. In seminal texts such as Horace’s Odes and Virgil’s Aeneid, the chorus articulates fundamental questions surrounding the individual and community, poet and audience, performance and writing, Greek and Roman, tradition and innovation.
The Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion
David and Tammy Rosenthal ’68
by Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca ’98, and Georgeen Theodore Actar This encyclopedia inventories human-made tools (the authors call them “weapons”) used by architects, planners, policy makers, developers, real estate brokers, activists, and others to restrict or increase access to urban and suburban spaces. More than 50 contributors speculate on how these tools could create open cities and communities.
A Piece of Work
Kevin FitzPatrick ’67, Blainie Logan ’67, Spencer Mosse ’68, Pam Dandy Knap ’67, and Joan Elliott ’67
by Annie Dorsen, visiting artist in theater and performance Ugly Duckling Presse The second project in Dorsen’s “algorithmic theater” series, A Piece of Work uses computer algorithms to generate real-time adaptations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. With an introduction by Dorsen and screenshots of the system as it runs, this book documents the technological and poetic procedures of her algorithmic theater.
class notes 45
’58 60th Reunion Reunion Committee members Penny Shaw and Jonathan Tunick and classmates Nina and Peter Feldman want to say how terrific it was to be back on campus and how especially proud they were to see Carl Davis receive an honorary doctorate of fine arts (that’s the second honorary degree from our class!). Thank you to everyone who supported the class gift this year; if you haven’t yet, there is still time. Please visit annandaleonline.org/bcf to make a gift. After many years as a modern dancer and teacher of modern dance, Penny Shaw now has a private practice teaching the Alexander Technique and continues as the longtime director of Project HAPPY, a Hunter College Saturday recreation program for young people with disabilities. The 60th reunion of her graduating class coincided with the 5th reunion of the graduating class of her grandson Charlie Heller ’13. They attended together and loved every minute of it!
Honorary Degree Carl Davis ’58 Composer and conductor Carl Davis ’58 (right), recipient of a 2018 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, and classmate orchestrator, composer, and music director Jonathan Tunick ’58, who received the same honorary degree in 2013.
Bob Bassler was honored for his continued volunteer service related to the California State University, Northridge College of Arts, Media, and Communication. Although he retired in 1997 after 33 years in his position, which focused primarily on teaching sculpture, he has continued his voluntary activities and financial support for student grants and scholarships by participating on the Dean’s Circle executive board of the college and is a promoter and consultant in the installation of three-dimensional art projects on campus. In addition, he is still very dedicated to his regular practice of painting and creating various three-dimensional objects in the studio attached to his home in Northridge, California.
photo China Jorrin ’86
’53 65th Reunion Roger Phillips would like to let his classmates and fellow committee members Bob Amsterdam, Naomi Feldman, and Maurice Richter know what a terrific Alumni/ae Reunion Weekend it was at Bard. If classmates would like to see photographs they can view them at photos.annandaleonline.org. Thank you to everyone who has supported the class gift this year—if you haven’t yet, there is still time.
’48 70th Reunion
Blithewood Reunion Dinner Classes of 1953–78
photos.annandaleonline.org photo Brennan Cavanaugh ’88
46 class notes
Nancy Edelstein would like to send her regards to all her classmates and fellow alumni/ae from the 1940s. If you were in Annandale she hopes you enjoyed the reunion festivities. Nancy encourages all alumni/ae to stay in touch with Bard and each other. If you need assistance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 845 758-7867. And to make an end-of-year gift to Bard please visit annandaleonline.org/bcf.
Center for Curatorial Studies Character ’16 Staci Bu Shea was appointed curator at Casco in Utrecht, the Netherlands, after a yearlong curatorial fellowship at the institution. She cocurated the exhibition Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies at Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York City.
by Jay R. Elliott, assistant professor of philosophy Bloomsbury Press Philosophers working in the “virtue ethics” tradition have tried to explain why people commit evil based on shortcomings in character. More recently, philosophical situationalists have argued that situation rather than character influences human vice. Elliott’s book examines arguments and research on both sides of this debate within contemporary ethics.
Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda, and the War on Terror
Carla Acevedo Yates was promoted to associate curator at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. | Lindsey Berfond is assistant curator for public programs at Queens Museum in New York City.
by Helen C. Epstein, visiting professor of human rights and global public health Columbia Global Reports A powerful indictment of Western policy on Africa, Epstein’s book chronicles the 30-year reign of Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni. She recounts how roughly $20 billion in foreign aid earmarked for health care, education, and other public services was spent to prop up Museveni’s brutal regime.
’11 Nova Benway is a visiting faculty member at CCS Bard. As executive director of Triangle Arts Association, she oversees four artist studios hosting local and international artists as well as a public program series of talks, screenings, performances, and other events.
’10 Michal Jachula was appointed curator at Zacheta– National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland. His exhibition Maria Anto opened at Zacheta in November 2017, focusing on the extensive and complex artworks produced during the career of this female painter who successfully worked in a male-dominated environment for several decades.
’09 Summer Guthery is the founder and director of the Los Angeles–based nonprofit art space JOAN. The three-year-old organization’s mission is to support experimental practices by emerging and underrepresented artists.
’07 Markús Thor Andrésson now holds the position of chief curator, exhibitions and public engagement, at the Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland. | Florencia Malbrán curated the group exhibition Read My Lips at Usina del Arte in Buenos Aires. The exhibition showed how the marginalized, immigrationinformed La Boca neighborhood is seen or reenvisioned by five artists and one writer. | Emily Zimmerman teaches and mentors student interns at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design. She was recently named gallery director.
Twentieth-Century Boy: Notebooks of the Seventies by Duncan Hannah ’75 Knopf As a young artist from Minneapolis, Hannah arrived in New York City hungry for experience and attracted the attention of the city’s most glamorous scene makers. Based on notebooks he kept throughout the 1970s, this is a vivid account of life in an infamous and irresistibly freewheeling era.
The Raven’s Tale by Lisa Harris ’74 Ravenna Press Through medieval Europe and a modern-day fishing village—where the heroine seeks a new life with the help of a mysterious guardian angel and a wise, often amusing, shape-shifting black bird—Harris weaves the tale of an extraordinary woman’s spiritual awakening.
Fictitious Capital: Silk, Cotton, and the Rise of the Arabic Novel by Elizabeth Holt, assistant professor of Arabic Fordham University Press As France and Britain were unseating the Ottoman legacy in Beirut, Cairo, and beyond, financial speculation spurred an anxious mixture of hope and fear that inspired the rise of serialized Arabic novels embracing debt, dissimulation, and risk. Holt recasts the Nahdah, the 19th-to-early20th-century Arabic renaissance, as a response to capital flight.
Biotechnology and Infectious Disease: Modern Strategies for Finding, Evading, and Defeating Wicked Pathogens by Brooke Jude, assistant professor of biology Momentum Press As world populations increase, so do pathogens capable of causing human disease. Although infectious diseases are becoming more complex, biotechnological advances can be used to design effective ways to combat them. This text documents a core set of infectious agents as a method of describing ways to update diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
’05 Cecilia Alemani was appointed artistic director for the first edition of Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires. She is also, since 2011, the Donald R. Mullen Jr. class notes 47
director and chief curator at High Line Art in New York City. | In April 2017, Jennifer Mergel left the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to work independently. She remains vice president of programming for the Association of Art Museum Curators, and is working as founding director of the Curatorial Network Accelerator of Boston. As curator of the platform section of the 2018 Armory Show she organized 15 site-responsive installations and live performances under the exhibition theme The Contingent. From August through October 2018, for the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, she will debut in Boston the fog sculptures of Fujiko Nakaya along the Olmsted-designed Emerald Necklace park system.
’03 Jimena Acosta Romero cocurated the exhibition I Will What I Want: Women, Design, and Empowerment, which opened in Mexico City at muca-Roma in January 2018. | José Luis Blondet works as curator, special initiatives at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). José is teaming up with two other CCS Bard alumni/ae, Candice Hopkins and Ruba Katrib ’07, to curate Casa Tomada, the 2018 SITE Santa Fe biennial opening August 3, 2018 (sitelines2018.com). Candice was also named to the curatorial team of the Canadian pavilion of the 2019 Venice Biennale. The filmmaking collective Isuma will represent Canada | Ingrid Chu, codirector and curator at Forever & Today, Inc. in New York City, curated The Preservationists at Duddell’s in Hong Kong. | Marketa Uhlirova coedited the film The Inferno Unseen with Rollo Smallcombe, which was shown as part of the Fashion in Film Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image.
’97 Rachel Gugelburger cocurated the exhibition Hold These Truths at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, presented by No Longer Empty (NLE). She is the director of NLE Curatorial Lab, which is organizing the inaugural Southeast Queens Biennial in partnership with York College Fine Arts Gallery/CUNY. | Tomáš Pospiszyl heads the Department of Art Theory and History at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His latest book, An Associative Art History; Comparative Studies of Neo-Avant-Gardes in a Bipolar World, was published recently.
’96 Since 2016, Regine Basha has been residency director at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, where artists, musicians, scientists, and technologists work. Other continual projects include Basha’s Tuning Baghdad, an audio narrative presented on the radio and at Michael Rakotwitz’s pop-up dinners, Dar Al Sulh. Curatorial projects are updated yearly on bashaprojects.com. | Gilbert Vicario, the Selig Family Chief Curator at Phoenix Art Museum, recently organized Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism, a midcareer survey exhibition traveling to the Everson Museum of Art, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
City, are all influenced by her travels to Italy, where she returns to paint and draw frequently. Lily’s process includes plein air painting that inspires her larger studio works.
In Memoriam ’45 Robert Todd Lang, 93, died on February 6, 2018. After graduation, Lang joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and later served as a member of the special committee on shareholder voting rights of the American Stock Exchange. He was also involved in committees of the American Bar Association, among many other organizations. He is survived by his wife, Joann, and four children.
’47 Mark E. Stroock II, 95, died March 4, 2018. Stroock served as a sergeant in World War II, and after earning his BA from Bard went on to write for Time magazine, Barron’s, and the Hartford Courant. He joined Young & Rubicam in 1956, rose to senior vice president and director of corporate relations
Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts ’15 Emi Winter collaborated with MFA Sculpture faculty Nancy Shaver on a sculptural installation in Outliers and American Vangard Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
’02 Cassandra Coblentz is senior curator and director of public engagement at the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA). She curated the 2017 California Pacific Triennial: Building as Ever for OCMA.
’01 Dermis P. León curated Trouble Diaries: A Political Statement at Big House Contemporary Art Center in Wuhan, China, a series of exhibitions exploring new conceptual positions in female aesthetics after postfeminism theory. She was also named curator of Fountainhead Residency for upcoming artists from the Middle East and Central America.
’00 In January 2018, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy was appointed director of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
48 class notes
’14 Layli Long Soldier was awarded the National Book Critics Circle poetry prize for Whereas (Graywolf), an innovative text that examines history, landscapes, and identities, in particular the oftensilenced voices of Native American women. The awards are given annually to honor outstanding writing and to foster a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature. | Leigh Ruple opened her solo exhibition Lovers Way at Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York City.
Emi Winter MFA ’15 and Nancy Shaver. photo Zoe Leonard
’91 Lily Prince has exhibited nationally and internationally and her work has been included in numerous publications and commissions. The paintings in her current exhibition Recurring Waves of Arrival (inspired by a line in a John Ashbery poem) at Littlejohn Contemporary in New York
Lily Prince MFA ’91. Lago di Como, watercolor and gouache on paper, 2017
before retiring in 1987, and remained active as a consultant to the agency for another decade. He was a member of the National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League and served the membership and boards of many organizations, including the Office of Economic Opportunity, Covenant House, National Urban League, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, United Negro College Fund, and the Board of Education of the City of New York. Stroock was predeceased by his first wife, Hanna, of 58 years; his second wife, famed jazz pianist, Barbara Carroll; and his daughter, Caroline. He is survived by his son, Mark.
’49 Susan Harriet Moore Chamberlain, 90, died on December 28, 2017. She majored in Theater Arts at Bard and it was there that she met her husband, Charles Willard Chamberlain Jr. ’47, who was known as “Pete.” Susan was very active in volunteer work with numerous organizations. She is survived by her daughters Sharli Chamberlain Yoken and Virginia Bartlett Chamberlain. Jerry Bucci died on March 8, 2017. Bucci served in the United States Air Force Band in Riverside, California, and was a member of American Legion Post 1038 in Valhalla, New York. He was a talented musician who played clarinet, saxophone, and bass in his band, The JB Trio, before pursuing a career in education. Jerry received his doctorate in education from Columbia University. He taught psychology and was the department chairman at Westchester Community College. He is survived by his wife, Joan Granda; daughters Kimberly and Noelle; and stepchildren Christine Zemsky and Raymond Granda. He was predeceased by his first wife, Kathleen.
Kokomo by Michael Marcelle ’05 MATTE Editions A deeply personal exploration of trauma in a small town as well as an intense, hallucinatory journey into the very meaning of family and home, Kokomo is a photographic exploration of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The images draw from the aesthetics of 1980s horror films to conjure an alternate reality.
Vanished Faces (a performance of occult infections) by Peter Marra ’81 Writing Knights Press Marra’s writing explores alienation, addiction, love, and obsession. In Vanished Faces, 28 voyeuristic poems are laid out like rooms of a building. In “Room 22: A One Dimensional Theater of Disgrace,” “memory collapsed polluted / a recording machine broken / snapped black tips penetrate / in the July sticky rain . . . .”
Good Stock Strange Blood by Dawn Lundy Martin, distinguished writer in residence Coffee House Press This book, which grew out of an experimental libretto Martin wrote for the 2014 Whitney Biennial, ruminates on corporeality, black identity, academia, gender, politics, and the poem itself. “The book should be very interested in the thing you know as ‘blackness’. . . . What the book actually wants, however, is to know the distance between the ‘I’ and the ‘you.’”
Addicted to Rehab: Race, Gender, and Drugs in the Era of Mass Incarceration by Allison McKim, associate professor of sociology Rutgers University Press In this in-depth and innovative ethnographic account of two rehab programs for women, one in the criminal justice system and one in the private health-care system, McKim argues that the framework of addiction further stigmatizes criminalized women. Her study reveals a two-tiered system, bifurcated by race and class.
The Anatomy of a Museum: An Insider’s Text
Eva Anderson, 84, died in October 2017. She joined the year-old Baltimore Dance Theatre company in 1975, became artistic director three years later, and the troupe was soon renamed Eva Anderson Dancers. She was a pioneer educator whose mission was to “create and perpetuate American dance with special emphasis on African-American dance forms.” The granddaughter of a slave, Anderson incorporated African cultural themes in her work. She was named to the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007 for her contributions to the arts, and her costumes and props are on display at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Afrcan American History and Culture and the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Anderson was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Hyde Humbert “Buddy” Anderson. She is survived by her sons, Hyde Humbert Jr., David, and Joseph.
by Steven Miller ’70 Wiley Blackwell Based on a course Miller taught for 15 years, this guide provides an insightful look inside the workings of museums. From preparing walls to fundraising to security, he covers all the departments and disciplines of museum operations in an accessible and engaging book that includes entertaining anecdotes and useful pedagogical materials.
The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow, professor of literature Grove Atlantic Morrow’s latest novel follows Meta Taverner, a young musicologist who receives the gift of an original, 18th-century sonata manuscript. Setting out for the land of Dvořák and Kafka, she embarks on a search for the remaining movements of the sonata and the true composer of this hauntingly beautiful piece of music.
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Gerald Edwin Colson, 87, died on Feb. 7, 2018. In the midst of his undergraduate studies, Colson left for a stint in the Army and served in Korea. Upon returning to the United States, he and his longtime girlfriend, Sue, were married. He went on to complete his BA in chemistry, MBA at Cornell University, and then worked at Corning Glass Works for many years. He left corporate life after 20 years to manage, with Sue, Tuttle Brothers, a picture framing, paint, and art supply store. In addition to his wife, Gerry is survived by his son, David, and his daughter, Deborah. Barbara Wersba, 86, died on February 18, 2018. She was a professional actress until she fell ill in 1960 and was unable to work. During her lengthy recovery she turned, on the advice of a friend, to writing. The result was her first book for children, The Boy Who Loved the Sea (1961). She went on to write The Dream Watcher (1968); Tunes for a Small Harmonica: A Novel (1976), a National Book Award nominee; and The Carnival of My Mind (1982). Wersba wrote more than two dozen novels for children and young adults. She also reviewed children’s literature for the New York Times, wrote plays and television scripts, and taught writing. In 1994, she founded her own small publishing company, Bookman Press.
’60 Edward Kalish died on April 20, 2018, at the age of 78. After working as a journalist covering the film and music industries, Eddie moved into marketing and publicity. He was an executive at Paramount and MGM in New York City and moved to Los Angeles as senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Producers Sales Organization (PSO). There he oversaw campaigns for such films as Never Say Never Again, The Cotton Club, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension, Prizzi’s Honor, Short Circuit, and 9 1/2 Weeks. In 1987, after PSO went bankrupt, he joined with publicity executive Dennis Davidson to found Kalish/Davidson Marketing. A dozen years later Kalish launched Ambergate Associates, a broad-based entertainment consulting firm. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Gillian, daughter Amy, and son Justin.
’63 Fortune P. Ryan, 76, died on December 1, 2017. He was born in Manhattan and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Ryan was a longtime resident of Tivoli and Germantown. He was a familiar face on the Bard campus at alumni/ae gatherings as well as concerts and plays. He was a true character and part of the Bard culture. His presence both on and off campus will be missed. He is survived by his daughter, Emily Dixon-Ryan; his longtime companion, Pamela Adriance; and his sister, Cynthia. 50 class notes
’64 Olivia Cole, 75, died on January 19, 2018. Cole was the first African American to win an Emmy in the category of best supporting actress in a miniseries for her role as Matilda in the 1977 miniseries Roots. She appeared regularly on Broadway in the 1960s and ’70s, and for three decades, Cole held readings of Shakespeare’s plays in her adopted hometown of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where a friend quoted her as saying she thought that was where she had done her best work. Alice Hammond Soininen died on August 8, 2017. After 16 years of teaching, Soininen began working at the Hartford Insurance Company as a computer programmer and rose to the position of assistant director before retiring. Among her many pleasures included a 6,000-mile journey across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad in 2007. She is survived by Tom Soininen, her husband of 53 years, and their three children.
’65 Ken Shapiro, 76, died November 18, 2017. A native of Newark, New Jersey, Shapiro began showing up in commercials when he was two months old. Then known as Little Kenny Sharpe, he was a star in the days of live television and appeared often on Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater as “The Kid.” He directed, produced, cowrote, and starred in The Groove Tube, the seminal 1974 sendup of television that marked the feature-length movie debuts of artists like Chevy Chase ’68 and Richard Belzer. Its news show satire, complete with the signature sign-off line, “Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow,” was adopted by Chase on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” Shapiro went on to direct Chase in Modern Problems (1981), which he cowrote with Arthur Sellers and Tom Sherohman. Survivors include his wife, Kelly, sister Cookie, brother Stanley, daughters Rosy and Emily, and stepdaughter Danielle.
’70 Jeremy Hewat, 69, died February 20, 2018. Hewat was a talented musician, a lifelong Red Sox fan, an avid reader, and a skilled chef. He founded, owned, worked in, and managed several restaurants in the Northampton area, including Jake’s, Eastside Grill, and Acme Barbecue, and was most recently employed by Hampshire College’s dining service. Hewat was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Hannah Rose. He is survived by his wife, Debra; his children, Christopher, Rachel, and Samuel; and his brothers, Alan, Sandy, and Harry.
’73 Cheryl Davis-Noe, 67, died October 5, 2017. After graduating with a degree in economics, Davis-Noe chose to remain in Dutchess County. She worked
as an assistant to the dean of students at Bard College, a ski instructor at Hunter Mountain, and subsequently as a paralegal in Poughkeepsie. She received her JD from Yale and went on to work for various firms, including AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company in New York City as vice president and counsel. She became an accomplished employee benefits/ERISA attorney and was seated on many advisory committees. She was predeceased by her sister, Cynthia Chevins. DavisNoe is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Davis; husband, Jeffrey Noe; stepdaughter, Chelsea Noe; and brother, Christopher Chevins. Nancy Juell Griffith, 65, died on March 25, 2016. Griffith loved the theater, but after moderating in drama she changed her major to religion. She was especially engaged with courses taught by the late Reverend Frederick Shafer and the late David Pierce, with whom she wrote an honors thesis on Nietzsche. Griffith’s first loves were theater and film, and she worked in the industry for many years in a variety of positions, including set dresser and property assistant on more than 15 movies, including Joel and Ethan Coen’s first feature, Blood Simple, Big Daddy, One True Thing, and The Horse Whisperer, and TV shows such as Law and Order and Thirty Rock.
’75 Isabel Taylor Lopatin, 64, died on March 11, 2018. After receiving her BA from Bard College, Isabel earned an MBA from SUNY Binghamton and completed a master’s thesis in Islamic architecture at Hunter College. She also held numerous certificates and other professional qualifications in accounting, database programming, computer technology, and telecommunications. She managed programming teams at several Fortune 500 corporations, taught courses in database design and programming, and was director of administration at Glynwood Farm, where she worked since 2006. Isabel was also a medalist at the New York Orchid Show and lectured on orchid growing. She was an active congregant and sang in her church choir. She was predeceased by her father, Paul Schwartz, former head of the Bard Music Department. Survivors include her husband, Arthur; mother, Kathryn Carlisle Schwartz ’47; and sisters, Angela Schwartz and Julia Schwartz. As a result of an editing error, the tribute to Jamie Treanor ’75 that ran in the Fall 2017 issue of the Bardian listed him under the wrong class year. Tom Wolf, professor of art history, who was on Treanor’s Senior Project board, was kind enough to send the following reminiscence. Wolf also corrected the mistaken impression that Treanor was an art history major; his degree was in Languages and Literature. We regret the errors.
An elegant, generous, and witty person, always gracious, Jamie was sometimes described as “Bard’s Oscar Wilde.” He was upfront about being gay at a time when very few were. It was brave, and you could take it or leave it. As a result he knew who he was and he was at peace with himself. After graduating, he went on to manage the gift shop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art— one of the greatest, and largest, museums in the world—for several decades. When he decided to leave that job there was a bidding war for his services between a San Francisco museum and the Museum of Art and Design (MAD). He decided not to return to his hometown on the West Coast but to remain in New York, where he ran the gift shop at MAD for many years, happily married to his husband, August Ronga, with whom he lived for 38 years. He was a lovely person, and an asset to the Bard community.
’78 Alison Mckee Strong, 62, died on October 13, 2017. After Bard, Strong attended Vermont Law School, where she met her future husband, Mack Arthur Arnold. Strong spent her college and law school summers working alongside her father, Dick Strong, at the Star-Ledger. Alison and Arthur married in 1984 and they had two sons, Tyler and Hays, who were her greatest joy. Strong was a prosecutor for Essex County until illness cut short her promising career. In addition to Arthur, Tyler, and Hays, she is survived by her siblings, Larry, John, and Ashley.
’81 Ernest Spike Henderson, 62, died on October 31, 2017. He received his BA in economics and his academic interests later turned to law. Henderson specialized in disability law, and he was also a well known DJ, VJ, and karaoke entertainer on college campuses and at special events throughout the Northeast. He continued his involvement in music and sound production even as he practiced law, including developing an incredible collection of audio, video, and lighting systems. Henderson is survived by his sister Roberta.
’83 Dawn Felicioni, 61, died December 13, 2017. Felicioni studied art in all forms, and her thesis was on Montale’s poetry. She had recently completed her master’s degree in French and Italian languages. She was an exceptionally accomplished painter, sculptor, and photographer; an avid gardener; a gourmet cook; and a designer of clothing and cakes. She loved horses and spent many years riding and showing her beloved Rashidan. She was a good listener and an even better teacher. Like the rich, complicated patterns of the oriental carpets that she restored as a student, she was intricate and
America Classifies the Immigrants: From Ellis Island to the 2020 Census by Joel Perlmann, Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute Harvard University Press Efforts to categorize the more than 20 million immigrants who arrived in the United States between 1880 and 1920 shaped our laws and social policy. Perlmann looks at three crucial reforms to the U.S. Census: the introduction of Hispanic origin and ancestry (1980), recognition of mixed racial origins (2000), and a rethinking of the connections between race and ethnicity (proposed for 2020).
brooklynwind by James Poulos ’89 CreateSpace Poulos’s book of observations is a study on silence. Written in an experimental style, these personal musings add up to a philosophical reflection and meditation on the importance of silence and its relevance in the world.
My Father Wakes Up Laughing: The Story of Edward and Janet Simons and Their Musical Legacy by Jo Simons ’67 Jo Simons Simons chronicles the lives of her orchestra conductor father, Ed, and her mother, Janet. This humorous and joyful couple revolutionized the Rockland County, New York, music scene from 1950 to the present and inspired four generations of musicians in their family.
Wild Beads of Africa: Old Powderglass Beads from the Collection of Billy Steinberg by Jamey D. Allen, edited by Billy Steinberg ’72 Billy Steinberg Dedicated to 19th-century African powderglass beads (also called bodom or akoso beads), this volume showcases one of the world’s premier bead collections, assembled by songwriter Steinberg (“Like a Virgin”) over decades. Allen offers insights into the art and technology of powderglass bead making and provides a glossary of bead history, manufacture, and classification.
The Danger of Romance: Truth, Fantasy, and Arthurian Fictions by Karen Sullivan, Irma Brandeis Professor of Romance Literature and Culture University of Chicago Press Scholars have tended to dismiss the genre of romance as trivial or unrealistic; Sullivan shows how Arthurian literature of the Middle Ages defended itself against such criticisms. She argues that romance, in its Arthurian prototype and in more recent incarnations, expresses a truth in the world that realist genres deny.
I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street by Matt Taibbi ’92 Spiegel and Grau In his account of the life and death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man approached by police for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, then asphyxiated by a Staten Island cop using a banned choke hold, Taibbi scrutinizes issues around policing, mass incarceration, the underground economy, and racial disparity in law enforcement.
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unique. Felicioni is survived by her parents, Leonard and Norma, her sister June, and her brother Leonard Jr.
’15 Trygve Butler died on September 13, 2017. Butler is survived by his parents, Mona and Charlie; grandparents George Trytten, and Phyllis (Rossing) Trytten; and his sister, Sonja Butler.
Faculty Noemí Escandell Knapp, assistant professor of Spanish from 1976 to 1983, died March 7, 2018. She was 81. As the top female student in her class at Instituto de la Vibora in Havana, Cuba, she received a scholarship to study at Shorter College, in Rome, Georgia. (The top male student, whose score was lower than hers, was sent to Yale.) She left Shorter to marry Peter J. Knapp, a Sewanee physics student she met on a bus, but after several years of raising children she returned to her studies and finished her BA at Queens College, City University of New York. She then went on to Harvard, where she earned her MA and PhD and was a teaching fellow. Knapp also taught at Vassar, Marist, and Westfield State. She had two residencies at Millay Colony for the Arts and one at Fundación Valparaiso, in Spain; published three books of poetry: Ciclos, Cuadros, and Palabras; and won first prize in the Odón Betanzos Palacios Literature Contest in 1996. In addition to her former husband, she is survived by daughters Marta and Alice ’81; and sons Peter SR ’83 and Andrew. Joel Kovel, professor of social studies from 1988 to 2009, died on April 30, 2018. Kovel earned his BS from Yale in 1957 and MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1961. He graduated from Downstate Psychoanalytic Institute in Brooklyn in 1977, and from that year until 1983 was director of resident training in psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He was also a professor of psychiatry there until 1986, when he left to teach courses in Marx and Freud at the New School in Manhattan. “In his more than 20 years of teaching at Bard, Joel inspired students with his exceptional breadth of expertise and interests,” writes President Leon Botstein. “He was a prolific author and made contributions to our understanding of politics and the environment. He was politically committed and never shied from a public role.” Kovel is survived by his wife, Dee Dee Halleck; their daughter, Molly Kovel; stepsons Ezra, Peter, and Tovey Halleck; two children, Jonathan Kovel and Erin Fitzsimmons, from a previous marriage, to Virginia Ryan; and his brother, Alex.
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Jack Ludwig, 95, novelist and emeritus professor of English at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, died February 12, 2018. Ludwig was professor of English at Bard College from 1953 to 1958, when he accompanied Saul Bellow to the University of Minnesota. Ludwig, who was married, had an affair with Bellow’s wife and became the model for Valentine Gersbach, the “loud, flamboyant, ass-clutching brute” of Herzog, the book that made Bellow famous. Ludwig, however, was best known for his sports journalism. He wrote a vivid account of the famous 1972 Canada–Russia eight-game ice hockey series, Hockey Night in Moscow, as well as The Great Hockey Thaw: Or, the Russians Are Here; Five Ring Circus: The Montreal Olympics; Games of Fear and Winning: Sports with an Inside View; and The Great American Spectaculars: The Kentucky Derby, Mardi Gras, and Other Days of Celebration. He also published three novels, Confusions, Above Ground, and A Woman of Her Age. Ludwig earned his BA from University of Winnipeg and PhD from University of California at Los Angeles. He was predeceased by his brother, Bobby, and his first wife, Leya Lauer. He is survived by his second wife, Lucia Zoercher; his sister, Esther Karwandy; and daughters Danielle McLaughlin, Brina Ludwig Prout, and Emmy Ludwig Miller. William Mullen, professor of classics, died on November 2, 2017, two days shy of his 71st birthday. Mullen earned his BA from Harvard College, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He came to Bard in 1985, after stints at Boston University and St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, bringing with him his special interest in Greek and Latin epic and lyric poetry and the classical tradition in Western civilization. Four years later he was promoted to full professor, and was instrumental in the development of the Classics Program and FirstYear Seminar, which he directed from 1987 to 1990. “Bill Mullen was an exemplar of the commitment to liberal education,” writes President Leon Botstein. “Perhaps because he came to Bard directly from St. John’s, he cherished the inherent interdisciplinary character of the classics and believed deeply in the proposition that all students should avail themselves of a wide-ranging curriculum. Bill mirrored the nobility and honor of the vocation of scholar and teacher.” As chair of the Presidential Commission on the Curriculum from 1990 to 1993, Mullen introduced Rhetoric and Public Speaking to the Bard curriculum. He started what is now known as the West Point–Bard Exchange, which began as an educational seminar between the two institutions, and introduced the teaching of rhetoric to the Bard Prison Initiative. “He was a passionate advocate for public speaking,” recalls Roger Berkowitz, founder
and academic director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities. “He was working on a class called the Courage of Public Speaking that was to be part of the Courage To Be Seminar Series. He and I often dreamed of resurrecting a recitation prize for Bard students. I hope we can still make that happen, in his honor.” In 2013–14, Mullen served as distinguished visiting professor at the United States Air Force Academy, an honor of which he was particularly proud. His book on Pindar, Choreia: Pindar and Dance, originally published in 1983, was rereleased by Princeton University Press in 2016. Robert Kelly, Asher B. Edelman professor of literature recalls Mullen as, “Skilled and active in a profession that often seems to reward convention. In a branch of scholarship famously intolerant of radical inquiry, Bill was able to startle, enlighten—and sometimes even convince—colleagues with the freshness of his investigations. So in his magisterial study of Pindar, he could find the poet not just a clever mythographer and encomiast, but someone who could read the dance of the body into the dance of words, words that should set us moving again.” Mullen was predeceased by his sister Elizabeth Cobb and is survived by four siblings: Talmage Steele, Joseph Mullen, Janet DenUyl, and Christopher Mullen. Roswell Rudd, 82, died December 21, 2017. A visiting lecturer in music at Bard from 1972 through ’77, Rudd started out as a Dixieland trombonist and became one of the instrument’s first major avantgarde jazz practitioners. But work in free jazz was sporadic, so he often took day jobs as a tradesman or a cab driver, and he also worked on and off for 30 years as an assistant to ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, which ignited a fascination in Rudd for world musical traditions. “For those of us fortunate enough to have studied with Roswell, the experience was transformative,” says Michael (Fishel) Bresler ’72. “Besides being a thoughtful, intelligent, and inspiring teacher and player, he was just a beautiful person. An invaluable principle I got from him for staying true, and avoiding solos that are just flurries of notes, was “Simplify!” He honored me in 1972 by asking me to play on his recording Numatik Swing Band, and again four decades later when he agreed to play on my recording In Vald. I sent him the finished disc just a few weeks before he passed, and he graciously described the music as “healing.” Rudd is survived by Verna Gillis, his partner of 17 years, and his sons, Greg and Christopher. Richard C. Wiles, Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Economics Emeritus, died October 22, 2017. He was 83. Wiles earned his BA and MA from Boston
For additional tributes, please visit the Faculty Memorials and Remembrances section at annandaleonline.org
College and his PhD from Clark University, and taught at Bard from 1967 until his retirement in 1998. He served as acting Dean of the College in 1975–76. While at Bard, he established and edited the Hudson Valley Regional Review, founded in 1984 and published by the college until 2001. He was also the author of Tivoli Revisited: A Social History, published in 1981. Wiles was predeceased by his brother, James. He is survived by his sister, Elizabeth Katz; children Sharon, Stephanie, Gregory, and Kristin; and seven grandchildren, including Seth Wiles-Young ’12 Michael Tree, 84, Bard College Conservatory of Music viola faculty from 2005 through 2016, died March 30, 2018. He was born Michael Applebaum in Newark, New Jersey, but took the last name Tree at the suggestion of Efrem Zimbalist, the longtime director of the Curtis Institute, where Tree begun studying when he was 12. The violin prodigy, whose parents, Samuel and Sada Applebaum, were musicians and authors of numerous music education
texts, made his debut at Carnegie Hall at 20 and was a founding member, in 1960, of the Marlboro Trio. Though Tree first played the viola at Curtis after a donor made a grant contingent on all violin students studying the instrument for a year, it wasn’t until the idea of forming the Guarneri Quartet was hatched, in 1964, that Tree took up the viola fulltime. “I had played as a member of a student quartet,” Tree recalled in 2011, “and found it very, very enjoyable. So I said, ‘I’m on board. But I must play viola.’” Tree performed around the world and recorded more than 80 chamber music works. “Michael was a founding member of the faculty of the Bard Conservatory, and he offered a special warmth and wisdom that cannot be replaced,” says Robert Martin, director of the Conservatory. Tree also served on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard School, University of Maryland School of Music, and Rutgers University. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jani Kreck, and their children, Konrad and Anna.
Friends Liselotte Zinglersen, known to many as Lilo, died at age 60 on March 28, 2018. She was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and raised in Greenland and Australia. At 17, after being discovered by Elite Models, she moved to Paris and launched her modeling career. She appeared on the covers of Vogue, Marie Claire, and Linea Italiana while working with photographers such as Helmut Newton, Marco Glaviano, and Jean-Jacques Bogart. She left the modeling world to pursue a life with horses in upstate New York, a passion that was ignited in Lilo at a very young age. She was the founder of Viking Farm and mother to many horses. Lilo is survived by her two daughters, Sarah Bachelier CCS ’08 and Serena; her two sons, Sebastian and Lorenzo; her mother, Gunvor Knudsen; her sister, Tine Zinglersen; and the love of her life, Stefano Ferrari.
JOHN BARD SOCIETY LUNCHEON More than 50 John Bard Society (JBS) members gathered for the annual luncheon in December. For information on joining JBS please contact Debra Pemstein at email@example.com or 845-758-7405.
photo Brennan Cavanaugh ’88
OPERA | July 27 – August 5
Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Bard College
THE 29TH BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL August 10–12 and 17–19
By Anton Rubinstein American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director Directed by Thaddeus Strassberger
Rimsky-Korsakov and His World
THEATER | June 28 – July 22
DANCE | July 6–8
Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan
Music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein After the play by J. M. Barrie Adapted and directed by Christopher Alden New orchestrations by Garth Edwin Sunderland Music direction by Michael A. Ferrara MM ’15 Choreography by Jack Ferver
Two weekends of concerts, panels, and other events bring the musical world of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov vividly to life.
Text by T. S. Eliot Choreography by Pam Tanowitz Music by Kaija Saariaho, performed by The Knights Images by Brice Marden Featuring Kathleen Chalfant
FILM SERIES | July 26 – August 19
Rimsky-Korsakov and the Poetry of Cinema SPIEGELTENT | June 29 – August 18
Cabaret, music, and more
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 2018 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