Bardian bard college fall 2012
dear bardians, In high school I was involved in publications and music. My brother told me that I’d have to choose between these pursuits in college to excel; he was attending a large university where it was a challenge to succeed in any field of interest, let alone in more than one. Thankfully I did not heed his advice. Having recently completed my fifth book of music-related photography, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a Bard education, which nurtured disparate interests and fostered connections among social issues, science, contemporary art, and literature. Articles within this issue of the Bardian highlight many of my personal and professional areas of interest: the 20th anniversary of CCS Bard, a program that has influenced international museum culture through its rigorous approach; Bard’s recent acquisition of the Longy School of Music, which expands the College’s wellestablished commitment to music and its role in our society; an exploration of high- and low-energy physics, with a focus on the new Higgs boson; and Teju Cole’s piece, weaving wondrous words into a visual rendition of the natural history museum. We have much of which to be proud. In 2011–12, members of the Board of Governors increased their giving by 40 percent over the previous year; I would like to thank them for their leadership and support of Bard’s national and international contributions to education. My colleagues on the Board are planning social events, networking opportunities, diversity mixers, and fund-raisers to engage and connect with you, dear readers, in the year ahead. We value the support you provide to Bard through conversations, donations, and public acknowledgment of your alma mater, and hope you will visit the new Alumni/ae Center on campus, which is a permanent testament to the achievements of Bard’s graduates. We are in the midst of a peer-to-peer giving campaign for that building; the campaign runs through December 31, 2012. You may make donations online in honor of friends and colleagues at http://annandaleonline.org/alumnicenter. Two Bardians from the Class of 1965 visited Seattle this summer. With Charlie Hollander I attended a Mariners game; with Stan Reichel and his wife, Elaine, photography and contemporary glass exhibits. Each time I connect with Bard alums I am invigorated by this community of interest. I look forward to hearing from you about how you can further connect with the College, or seeing you at the annual Holiday Party in New York City on November 29. And if you happen to be in Seattle, shoot me a note. If the sun is shining I’ll take you for a ride in my Studebaker . . . in exchange for a small donation to Bard.
Left to right: Michelle Dunn Marsh ’95, Mollie Meikle ’03, Jane Brien ’89, and Pia Carusone ’03 at the President’s Awards Ceremony (see p. 23)
Warm wishes, Michelle Dunn Marsh ’95 (firstname.lastname@example.org) President, Board of Governors, Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association
board of governors of the bard–st. stephen’s alumni/ae association
board of trustees of bard college
Michelle Dunn Marsh ’95, President Peter Criswell ’89, Vice President Maggie Hopp ’67, Secretary/Treasurer Robert Amsterdam ’53 Claire Angelozzi ’74 David Avallone ’87, Oral History Committee Chairperson Dr. Penny Axelrod ’63 Eva Thal Belefant ’49 Joshua Bell ’98, Communications and New Technologies Committee Chairperson Dr. Miriam Roskin Berger ’56 Jack Blum ’62 Randy Buckingham ’73, Events Committee Cochairperson Cathaline Cantalupo ’67 Tom Carroll ’81 Pia Carusone ’03 Kathleya Chotiros ’98 Charles Clancy III ’69 Andrew Corrigan ’00, Development Committee Chairperson Arnold Davis ’44, Nominations Committee Cochairperson Kit Kauders Ellenbogen ’52 Barbara Williams Flanagan ’60 Andrew Fowler ’95 Diana Hirsch Friedman ’68 R. Michael Glass ’75 Eric Warren Goldman ’98 George Hamel III ’08 Boriana Handjiyska ’02, Career Connections Committee Cochairperson Dr. Ann Ho ’62, Career Connections Committee Cochairperson Charles Hollander ’65 J. P. Kingsbury ’03 Erin Law ’93 Cynthia Hirsch Levy ’65
David E. Schwab II ’52, Chair Emeritus Charles P. Stevenson Jr., Chair Emily H. Fisher, Vice Chair Elizabeth Ely ’65, Secretary Stanley A. Reichel ’65, Treasurer
Isaac Liberman ’04 Peter F. McCabe ’70, Nominations Committee Cochairperson Steven Miller ’70 Anne Morris-Stockton ’68 Karen Olah ’65 Patricia Pforte ’08, Young Alumni/ae Committee Chairperson Susan Playfair ’62 Emilie Kate Richardson ’05 Reva Minkin Sanders ’56 Roger N. Scotland ’93 Kendall Serota ’04 Barry Silkowitz ’71 George A. Smith ’82, Events Committee Cochairperson Dr. Ingrid Spatt ’69 Walter Swett ’96, Nominations Committee Cochairperson Olivier te Boekhorst ’93 Paul Thompson ’93 Dr. Toni-Michelle Travis ’69 Brandon Weber ’97 Barbara Crane Wigren ’68 Dr. Dumaine Williams ’03 Ron Wilson ’75 Matt Wing ’06
Fiona Angelini Roland J. Augustine Leon Botstein, President of the College + David C. Clapp Marcelle Clements ’69* Melinda N. Donovan + Asher B. Edelman ’61 Robert S. Epstein ’63 Barbara S. Grossman ’73* Sally Hambrecht George F. Hamel Jr. Marieluise Hessel Matina S. Horner + Charles S. Johnson III ’70 Mark N. Kaplan George A. Kellner Murray Liebowitz Marc S. Lipschultz Peter H. Maguire ’88 James H. Ottaway Jr., Life Trustee Martin Peretz Stewart Resnick, Life Trustee Roger N. Scotland ’93* The Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, Honorary Trustee Martin T. Sosnoff Susan Weber Patricia Ross Weis ’52 +ex officio *alumni/ae trustee
above Andriana Chuchman (left) and Liam Bonner in The King in Spite of Himself during SummerScape 2012 (see p. 36) cover Kerry Ryan Chance ’02 (see p. 2)
Office of Development and Alumni/ae Affairs Debra Pemstein, Vice President for Development and Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7405, email@example.com Jane Brien ’89, Director of Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7406, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bardian FALL 2012 2
Shaping the New South Africa | William Stavru ’87
Tenacity and Transformation
CCS Bard at 20
Worlds without Measure | Paul Cadden-Zimansky
Education in Music and Engagement
Natural History | Teju Cole
Israel’s Challenge: Can Democracy and Zionism Coexist? | Peter Beinart
Published by the Bard Publications Office email@example.com ©2012 Bard College. All rights reserved.
Printed by Quality Printing, Pittsfield, MA
On and Off Campus
Anne Canzonetti ’84, Deputy Director of Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7187, firstname.lastname@example.org Joanna Tanger ’07, Program Assistant, Alumni/ae Affairs 845-758-7089, email@example.com
photos Richard Renaldi (cover), Karl Rabe (inside cover), Cory Weaver (above)
kerry ryan chance ’02
shaping the new south africa by William Stavru ’87
A march against forced evictions in Durban by the Abahlali baseMjondolo shack-dwellers’ movement
For her social-anthropological research that offers a rare glimpse into a perilous, politically volatile South African community, Kerry Ryan Chance ’02 has been named a 2012 New Faculty Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The esteemed fellowship provides funding for Chance’s two-year teaching position in the Anthropology Department at Harvard University, where she teaches courses on political violence, current African politics, and socioeconomics. Founded in 1919, the ACLS is a nonprofit coalition of 71 scholarly organizations whose mission is to advance studies in the humanities and social sciences. Each of the member groups focuses on a distinct academic field, but all promote rigorous research, scholarly publication, and education. The organization has been pivotal in helping new Ph.D.s secure academic appointments where they can teach and conduct research. Since 2009, 146 emerging scholars have been awarded New Faculty Fellowships. In 2012 the ACLS awarded over $15 million to more than 320 scholars worldwide through its numerous fellowship programs. Chance’s research to date has certainly been remarkable. During the last several years, she has been studying fire—not as a chemical reaction due to rapid oxidization, but as a symbol of political dissent. She spent two years in the notorious Kennedy Road shack settlement (shantytown) outside Durban, South Africa—the country’s third 2 kerry ryan chance ’02
largest city, with more than 3.5 million people—observing the lives of the black underclass in the restless postapartheid nation. City officials estimate that settlements around Durban experience five fires a day, some accidental, some intentional. In her dissertation, Chance offers a context for the fires, noting, “The appearance of fire . . . contains powerful political meanings amongst residents, and expresses a grammar of everyday interactions with state and party officials.” In conversation, she elaborates: “The use of fire by disenfranchised populations is quite common, and has a long history. In democratic South Africa, it is a way for the urban poor to shed light, almost literally, on the state’s failures. In many ways, economic liberalism has deepened disparities between ‘rich’ and ‘poor.’ Slum clearance and development projects are pushing poor people out of cities and into the urban periphery, where they often continue to live without basic services, such as electricity, public water, or health care.” A native of Unionville, Pennsylvania, Chance first traveled to South Africa as a junior at Bard. She was awarded an internship with the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, where she worked as a research assistant for Susan Levine ’87. Levine was studying attitudes toward HIV among college-age students. “It was through Susan Levine that I was able to get out of the classroom and conduct research on the ground,” Chance says. photo Courtesy of Abahlali baseMjondolo
Returning to Bard, Chance wrote her Senior Project, “Today We All Became War Correspondents: Media, Memory, and Witnessing 9/11,” under the guidance of Michèle D. Dominy, professor of anthropology and vice president and dean of the College. For the project, Chance conducted fieldwork in Manhattan from September 2001 to May 2002, seeking testimonies from people who were at the World Trade Center during the attack. The thesis explored how trauma and the media influenced personal narratives and examined the implications of witnessing and participating in such a historic, violent event. She found that eyewitnesses—whose legal, political, and ethnographic authority derives from their “unmediated” experience— made sense of their own experience through media technologies. After Chance graduated, South Africa beckoned again. “My interests in politics, memory, and political violence led me back to South Africa,” she says. Chance returned to the United States in 2004 to continue her education. She earned both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Chicago. “Bard prepared me extremely well for graduate school,” Chance says. “I went to Chicago having read a great deal of philosophy, social theory, and classic anthropology. I also was exposed to a lot of contemporary ethnography [a genre of writing about social and cultural life that relies upon long-term participant observation] and trained in ethnographic research methods, which were assets later on.” Her dissertation examines political activity among the urban poor, who have little voice and virtually no political capital with local or national governments in South Africa. Her research demonstrates how readily they are cut off from democracy building. “In South Africa a lot of avenues for political participation have been taken up by the state, such that participation is confined to political parties, state agencies, and NGOs [nongovernmental organizations],” she says. “In some cases, NGOs can be seductive, but ultimately they may not be the best representatives for community-based organizing and political strategies. They also align themselves closely with the government. Now the poor are organizing outside of NGOs and party politics, but their political activity is being recast and portrayed as criminal activity.” Chance’s next area of research takes the idea of criminalized political activity one step further, as she explores how development politics have become “judicialized.” She explains, “More and more, community action groups have turned to the legal system in their struggles for basic rights, services, and equity. The courtroom has become an even more crucial space of conflict, partly due to the increased criminalization of political action. It is where battles are fought over making life viable and secure.” However, even as community organizations fight for recognition and social justice, Chance has found that activist groups the world over are finding common ground through the methods they employ to raise awareness and promote change. Chance says, “An anti-eviction campaign emerged in Chicago, in response to the foreclosure crisis, that was similar to the campaigns of people protesting resettlement and housing evictions in South Africa. In fact, South Africans visited Chicago to work with activists there, much the same way that Arab Spring participants flew to New York to work with Occupy Wall Street.
Globalization has not only created interconnected economic markets, it’s also created strong connections among activist networks.” In the Kennedy Road shack settlement at the edge of Durban, Chance tracked the daily interactions between residents and state officials. The settlement was the national headquarters of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a poor peoples’ movement founded in 2005. The presence of Abahlali made the settlement a political target: armed supporters of South Africa’s ruling party attacked Kennedy Road in 2009 and drove the group’s members underground. Chance was forced to complete her research in secret. Asked about the inherent risks of fieldwork in the developing world, Chance says, “It can be extremely dangerous, but that’s because it’s extremely dangerous to be poor in South Africa. The residents of the Kennedy Road settlement, like the urban poor in other South African cities, are exposed daily to police harassment, surveillance, violence, forced evictions, and arrests.” Returning to the subject of fire, she adds, “In slums globally, shack fires are routine, injurious, and even deadly.” South Africa since apartheid has yet to fulfill its promise as a fully democratic state. After the nation’s incredible transition—which gave black South Africans the right to vote, maintain citizenship, and seek a better education—further transformation has been stifled, Chance says. “After the initial euphoria of liberation and the honeymoon period of new democracy, there’s been a rise in ethnic politics, police repression, cronyism, and an unfortunate restriction on free speech. People can access rights of citizenship they couldn’t before, but massive inequalities between rich and poor persist. The South African government has built more than two million homes for the poor in the last decade to take them out of the shack settlements, but an overwhelming amount of housing is still needed.” Given the topicality of her work, it is no wonder that Chance is receiving extensive recognition in her field. She has been invited to speak at Brandeis University, Williams College, and London School of Economics and Political Science, and in South Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Rhodes University, and Stellenbosch University. She has presented papers at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting and at conferences at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Even with the hectic pace of a professor’s life, Chance reserves time for other interests. “I’ve been reading F. Scott Fitzgerald lately— The Beautiful and Damned and his short stories for his insights on class politics. I also just finished Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities—more reading about uprisings,” she says with a laugh. “Fire has a large presence in the novel, and in light of present street activity and world politics, it’s worth reading, or rereading.” Chance is also busy revising her dissertation for publication. Even though she is focused on a future in academia, she hopes that her work and ideas resonate with the general public. “I published an article in Slate and would like to write more for popular media outlets. In the United States, the academic world can easily find itself separate from the broader public sphere, so it’s important for academics and artists to make an effort to engage with the general public.” shaping the new south africa 3
clemente course in the humanities
tenacity and transformation The Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities graduation ceremony, held in early summer, offered testimony to the transformative power of education, as 16 students—ages 16 to 79—crossed the proscenium of Olin Hall to celebrate a milestone that most of them thought would never occur. One graduate, Leah June, 25, had dropped out of Dominican College during her freshman year for health reasons and later also had to withdraw from a community college. She found her way back to school last fall, when her mother gave her information on Bard’s Clemente Course, a one-year college seminar for students who previously had been unable to further their education due to poverty or other circumstances. The curriculum consists of readings in philosophy, literature, art history, and history conducted over two semesters. During her brief speech at the ceremony, June praised her fellow students and her teachers, faltering a few times as she became overwhelmed by emotion; however, summoning great determination, she completed her talk, and handed out a single red rose to each Clemente instructor in Olin Hall on behalf of the entire class. For many Clemente students, the course is a turning point at which they develop the confidence to pursue a college degree and the conviction that education offers a path to a different and better life. June says that the course offered a perfect setting in which to tackle big ideas. “The diversity of our group and the intimacy of the class made the course worthwhile—no one felt stupid or judged—and the professors came to class prepared and energized,” she says. “Antigone was my favorite reading because I could relate to what Antigone was feeling. The story goes deeper than her defiance of the king.” June credits the course with changing her plans. She wants to pursue a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in speech pathology, and plans to work with special-needs children. To help enable participants’ access to education, the Bard Clemente Courses are free for students; books are distributed at no charge and any child-care and transportation costs are covered. To be accepted into the program, students typically must be able to read a newspaper in English and belong to a household whose total income falls within the program’s poverty guidelines. Upon completion of the course, students receive a certificate and six college credits from Bard, which they can transfer to any college or university. In addition, Library of America gives a free volume of poetry, American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, Volume Two: E. E. Cummings to May Swenson, to every Clemente Course graduate. For many of them, the course is life-changing. 4 clemente course in the humanities
The Clemente Course was the brainchild of Earl Shorris, a renowned writer and social activist, who died on May 27 in New York City, at age 75 (see p. 48). At 13, Shorris attended the University of Chicago on a full scholarship, but he didn’t finish. He worked as a newspaper reporter, writer, advertising executive, even as a bullfighter in Mexico, but he never lost his passion for the “great books” that he had studied at Chicago and his belief in the power of the humanities to impart to students a particularly valuable type of critical thinking, or “reflection.” His New York Times obituary, written by Paul Vitello, recounts how the idea for the course was born: It was while researching a book published in 1997, New American Blues: A Journey through Poverty to Democracy, that Mr. Shorris happened upon the vocation that would occupy his last years. He was interviewing inmates at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in Westchester County, New York, asking for their opinions on why poor people were poor. One inmate, Viniece Walker, told him it was because they lacked “the moral life of downtown” — meaning, she said, exposure to “plays, museums, concerts, lectures, you know.” “You mean the humanities,” Mr. Shorris replied, surprised by her answer. “Yes, Earl, the humanities,” she said. Ms. Walker’s words triggered an epiphany of sorts, Mr. Shorris wrote in a 1997 Harper’s essay: Poverty was an absence of reflection and beauty, not an absence of money. Thus inspired, Shorris began the Clemente Course in 1995 with 25 students at the Roberto Clemente Family Guidance Center in Manhattan’s East Village. Seeking help in maintaining and expanding the program, Shorris contacted Bard President Leon Botstein through a connection from the University of Chicago (where Botstein also had been an undergraduate). The opportunity to present low-income populations with a classical liberal arts education aligned quite well with Botstein’s vision of educational access for all, and so through his efforts and the work of Stuart Levine, then dean of the College, and Robert Martin, vice president for academic affairs, Bard became the home institution for the program in 1998. Martin remembers, “The clinching moment for me was when Earl told me about a Clemente student who, after being harassed, was ready to beat somebody up but then changed his mind because he wondered, ‘What would
Socrates have done?’” The College hired Martin Kempner, then an plify these books or teach at a lower level,” says van Zuylen. “David assistant professor of philosophy at Rutgers, to serve as the national Shein and I selected some of Bard’s most rigorous professors—such director of the Clemente Course. as Susan Merriam in art history and Christian Crouch in history— Since its founding, more than 5,000 students worldwide have as well as Duff Allen (MFA ’97), a writer and teacher at Kingston High completed the course, in places as far flung as Canada, Australia, and School, to discuss these subjects as though the ideas were alive and Korea. Bard’s own Clemente Course has granted more than 1,600 certheir best friends. The discussions got extremely intense. The students tificates to students. It has been taught in more than 20 cities across really put their lives on the table as they started to make connections the nation, in such places as Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Queens, New to the readings, and everything became existentially charged. It’s York; Holyoke, Massachusetts; and most recently in Kingston, New amazing to see them enter this realm of ideas and get comfortable York. Its distinct focus on education as a building block of social and confident with these texts. It has a profound impact on their selfequity has earned the Clemente Course coverage from the New York esteem and their self-worth.” Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Clemente graduate Marge Knox, 56, was elated to walk across other prominent news outlets. In 2000, President Clinton awarded the Olin Hall stage to receive her certificate and see multiple generaShorris the National Humanities Medal for his efforts at bringing tions of her family in the audience applauding her accomplishment. education to people who would typically be considered unlikely Not only were her son, daughter, grandchildren, and a great-grandstudents. child there, but nephews, a niece, and her bosses and colleagues from However, even the unlikeliest students have the capacity to surprise and inspire, themselves as well as others. The Clemente participants who held the stage for their commencement in Olin Hall profoundly impressed the audience of family members, Bard faculty, friends, coworkers, and the mayor of Kingston, Shayne Gallo, who delivered the commencement address. Most of the 16 students comprising the Kingston Clemente Class of 2012 hailed from Ulster County, across the Hudson River from Bard. From October to May, the students met two evenings each week at the Kingston Library, which provided a classroom free of charge. The students, a diverse group of white, Latino, and African American women and men—some with jobs, some without, some with high school diplomas and some not—had at least one thing in common: Despite missing out on earlier opportunities to pursue a college education, each now had the desire to tackle the most challenging, yet most gratifying, works of the Western canon. “Aristotle talked about real leisure as free thinking, Marina van Zuylen (left) presents a certificate to Clemente Course graduate Rita Reyes when you have time to think deep thoughts,” says Marina van Zuylen, professor of French and comparative literature at Bard, who is the national academic director of the Bard the Resource Center for Accessible Living in Kingston, where she Clemente Course and codirector of Bard’s local Clemente program works. During the ceremony, Knox offered these words to the audiwith David Shein, Bard’s dean of studies and visiting assistant proence: “I encourage you all to get out of your comfort zone, to get fessor of philosophy. “This course is high-powered leisure time, which around people who aren’t skin or kin to you and learn from them. is new for these students. They think incredibly hard in this class, and The material we covered in this course opened my mind, stimulated they are just as engaged as full-time undergraduates. Many of them thoughts, and stretched my imagination. Learning is a great thing come in thinking they have had failed lives, but all of them possess a because it makes you use muscles you didn’t even know you had. It profound interest in learning. They bring a different life experience teaches tolerance and it promotes conviction in your own beliefs.” to class.” Having already earned an associate’s degree before the Clemente Readings for the Bard Clemente Course in Kingston included Course, Knox hopes to continue on to earn a B.A. Sophocles’ Antigone, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Plato’s Republic, Tolstoy’s After the ceremony, van Zuylen remarked, “I’m the luckiest perThe Death of Ivan Illych, and Martin Luther King’s “Letter from son alive. I get to teach these students literature and get them to start thinking about big ideas. I see them change in extraordinary ways. As Birmingham Jail.” “Earl Shorris wanted Clemente students to learn they are transformed by ideas, they never fail to transform me.” from the academy’s best professors, faculty who wouldn’t oversimphoto Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’00
tenacity and transformation 5
ccs bard at 20
Ann Goldstein receives CCS Bard’s Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence at Capitale in New York City.
Twenty years ago, there were graduate programs galore for aspiring painters and sculptors. There were doctoral programs for those desiring to be art historians, and M.B.A. degrees for those more inclined to arts administration. But there was one group of would-be arts professionals who were shut out. “They were those often neglected, sometimes maligned, and usually underpaid brainiacs known as curators,” said cultural commentator Linda Yablonsky at one of the many events last spring saluting the 20th anniversary of Bard’s Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS Bard), the country’s first-ever graduate program for those who conceive, organize, and mount museum and gallery shows. A lot has changed since CCS Bard graduated its first class in 1996, but not the spirit of discovery and innovation shared by its students and faculty. “A collective sense of adventure? Yes, I would say so,” says Sydney Jenkins, director of the art gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey and an alumnus of the inaugural CCS Bard graduating class. “When I went to interview I was still somewhat incredulous: curators and figures I had always admired—Peter Schjeldahl, Robert Storr, Lynne Cooke—would be teaching me, and not just giving one lecture? And it turned out to be true and wonderful.” Founded by Marieluise Hessel and Richard Black in 1992, CCS Bard has undergone many transformations and expansions, most significantly the construction of the Hessel Museum of Art in 2006. The 6 curatorial celebration
Center now comprises nearly 25,000 square feet of major exhibition spaces, a collection of more than 3,000 artworks from the 1960s to the present day, an extensive archive, and a 25,000-volume library. The academic program has also grown, but its foundation remains the College’s broad philosophy of interdisciplinary research and dialogue. The two-year M.A. program still offers the same handson transmission of knowledge and expertise from preeminent arts professionals to students that Jenkins so gratefully recalls. And it continues to confront the major curatorial issues of the day—investigating artistic production and circulation in the age of globalization, for instance, or exploring the sometimes fraught relationship between technology and aesthetics. “The most exciting thing is, you see these students come in, and they’re completely transformed by the time they leave,” says Tom Eccles, CCS Bard executive director. “In a sense, we’re not ‘training’ them to be curators. Curating is a very personal business—it doesn’t have to be about mounting shows in museums; it can be as diverse as deejaying an evening in the East Village. We’re giving our students the opportunity to discover the magic in it.” As for the impact of CCS Bard, its graduates can be encountered today at museums and galleries from Beirut to the Bronx, Mexico City to Milan, and South Korea to San Antonio, putting their CCS training to excellent use at the cutting edge of the contemporary art world.
clockwise from top left At Matters of Fact: Michael Ward Stout, president of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation (left), Marieluise Hessel, and Leon Botstein; Tom Eccles (center); Peter Hutton, Charles Franklin Kellogg and Grace E. Ramsey Kellogg Professor of the Arts (left), and Theresa Choi ’12; Alicia Ritson ’12 (left).
Several events and projects marked the 20th anniversary celebrations. The CCS Readers Series, a multidisciplinary, biannual publication, launched its first volume, Interiors, which addresses issues raised by a recent exhibition at the Hessel Museum, If you lived here, you’d be home by now. Online, as part of its newly renovated website (www.bard.edu/ccs), CCS Bard publishes the Red Hook Journal, a lively platform for discussion of contemporary curatorial issues. Kicking off the anniversary fetes, Matters of Fact, an exhibition curated by Eccles with curatorial associate Nathan Lee CCS ’11, opened at the Hessel Museum in March. A collaboration between CCS Bard faculty and current and former students, the exhibition restaged installations of works from the Arte Povera and Pattern & Decoration movements, and paid special attention to the relationship between Marieluise Hessel and the artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Félix González-Torres. Student thesis exhibitions for 2012 coincided with the exhibition in the museum and included work by more than 25 major international and emerging contemporary artists, including Tony Oursler, Kiki Smith, Jutta Koether, and Lygia Clark. In April, CCS Bard bestowed the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence upon Ann Goldstein, a widely respected curator who directs Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. The Hessel Museum also announced the naming of one of its central galleries with a $500,000 gift from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, in recognition of photos Karl Rabe
Hessel’s commitment to Mapplethorpe’s work and his foundation’s longstanding support of the Center’s mission. In June, CCS Bard opened two exhibitions that raise questions of exhibition practices and the institutional structures surrounding contemporary art, and presented a conference, “Why New Forms?” organized by CCS alums Dan Byers ’07 and Ruba Katrib ’06. The exhibitions, From 199A to 199B: Liam Gillick, curated by Eccles, and AntiEstablishment, curated by Graduate Program Director Johanna Burton, showcase the kind of curatorial ingenuity and critical rigor that lie at the heart of CCS Bard’s mission. Presenting many seminal works from the 1990s—most of which are on view in the United States for the first time—the Gillick retrospective includes more than 20 exhibitions and projects that were pivotal in shaping the way we view exhibition making, curatorial practice, and the role of the artist today. Such critical questions are also raised by the 13 artists and artist collectives included in Anti-Establishment. Both shows are on view through December 21, 2012. For more information, please visit www.bard.edu/ccs. Also in June, Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York presented Painting in Space, a group exhibition made possible by Bard Trustee Roland J. Augustine, to support CCS Bard’s Next Decade Campaign, which raises funds for the Center’s faculty and research and exhibition programs. Organized by Eccles and Burton, Painting in Space included works by 25 of today’s leading contemporary artists. ccs bard at 20 7
frontiers of physics
worlds without measure by Paul Cadden-Zimansky
On July 4th this year the celebration was worldwide. Hours before Independence Day festivities commenced in the United States, an international cohort of physicists reacted with jubilation to the announcement that a new particle had been discovered at the Large Hadron Collider—a mammoth experimental apparatus that straddles the border of Switzerland and France. The data from the collider indicated that this new particle was very likely the long-sought Higgs boson, the last missing piece of what is known as the Standard Model, which describes the fundamental particles that exist in the universe and how they interact with each other. Many of the celebrants were individuals who had spent decades constructing and testing the Standard Model. For them the announcement meant the capstone of a career, an experimental confirmation that the edifice to which they contributed is complete. For younger physicists, however, there was a dark lining to the announcement, the possibility that all the great discoveries now lie in the past, that the blank spots on the map have been filled in and no more frontiers remain to be explored. No one believes the Standard Model is the end of nature’s story, but there is the possibility of what some have called the “nightmare scenario” unfolding, where limitations of human and financial resources make observations of physics beyond
8 frontiers of physics
the Model a practical impossibility. The fear in the back of some of the younger physicists’ minds is that, after a century of finding new particles, the Higgs boson will be the last particle ever discovered. Although I am a still youngish physicist, I do not share this fear. My lack of concern stems less from a native optimism than from the fact that my colleagues and I look for new particles on rather different, and more plentiful, hunting grounds than the physicists who have been searching for the Higgs boson, a particle first conceived out of the meeting of two extremes in physics.
the two extremes Among physicists, those who search for the Higgs and tinker with the Standard Model are known as “high-energy physicists,” though they are more often termed “particle physicists” in the popular press. As the name implies, high-energy physicists search for particles by ramping up the temperature. Take any lump of matter and heat it up. As the temperature increases the lump will liquefy; heat the liquid further and its constituent atoms and molecules boil off in a gas; heat the gas and the atoms will start breaking apart into subatomic particles. The first subatomic particle ever discovered was the electron,
isolated over a century ago by heating up a chunk of metal to a few thousand degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that allowed these atomic constituents to be stripped off. What’s surprising about highenergy physics is that you don’t even need to start out with a lump of matter to produce particles. If you merely heat up empty space to a high enough temperature, subatomic particles like electrons can pop into existence via the strange alchemy of Einstein’s E = mc2, which states that concentrated energy can be manifested as particles with mass. The collisions that occur in the Large Hadron Collider are designed to concentrate as much energy into as small a space as possible, heating up the vacuum of space to a temperature thousands of times that of the center of the sun and then using detectors to monitor the particles that pop out of this vacuum. At the other end of the spectrum is my own subdiscipline of low-energy physics, usually called “solid-state” or “condensed matter” physics. In our experiments we tend to start with a lump of matter and ramp down the temperature, regularly cooling materials to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. The goal here is not to understand the constituent pieces that make up a material by heating it up, but to understand the dynamics occurring inside a material while it is still a cohesive whole. The lumps of matter of choice in my own research are quite simple elemental materials like aluminum and carbon.
unfounded, but to understand how cooling matter down rather than heating it up can help to understand the nature of matter itself requires returning to the origin of the Standard Model’s final piece, the Higgs boson.
fields and particles At the beginning of the 1950s a handful of particles were known, four of which make up everything in our daily experience: protons and neutrons, which form the nuclei of atoms; electrons, which orbit around the nucleus and complete the atoms; and photons, which are the constituent particles of light. Theoretical physicists were coming off a recent triumph, having completed a theory that explained many of the subtleties that occur in the interaction between electrons and protons. Each of these particles has an electric charge causing them to attract, an attraction that holds electrons in orbit inside atoms. Theorists had posited that underlying this attraction was a continuous field that permeated all of space, even the apparently empty vacuum. Electrons and protons communicated their attraction for each other through ripples in this continuous field. While the idea of an “electric field” had been around for over a century, what was new was the application of the strange rules of quantum mechanics to a
my colleagues and i look for new particles on rather different, and more plentiful, hunting grounds than the physicists who have been searching for the higgs boson, a particle first conceived out of the meeting of two extremes in physics. Now, there exist, both among physicists and in popular accounts of what they do, some rather unfortunate stereotypes regarding highand low-energy physicists. While high-energy physicists are seen as probing the fundamental constituents of the universe and piecing together a coherent and intellectually fascinating account of the building blocks of everything we see, their efforts and discoveries are thought to have little or no practical application. On the other hand, low-energy physicists are seen as developing an understanding of the panoply of effects that underlie technologies such as cell phones and solar cells, but are thought to contribute no insights into the basic physics that governs the universe. Because of these stereotypes, breakthroughs of the high-energy community tend to be trumpeted in the Science Times and Nova specials on PBS, while breakthroughs of the low-energy community are announced in the business pages and tech blogs. These stereotypes are unfair to both subdisciplines. In the course of constructing and running mammoth experiments like those at the Large Hadron Collider, high-energy physicists have had to surmount a number of practical obstacles. In doing so they have made critical contributions to the magnet technology used in MRI machines and invented the World Wide Web as a means of communicating the data their experiments produced. The low-energy stereotype is similarly
opposite page A computer simulation of the debris from a collision measured using the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector in the Large Hadron Collider. The yellow, red, and blue lines and bars signify detections of particles and energy spewing from the collision, with the two opposing red towers corresponding to two high-energy photons that have been produced by a Higgs boson decaying. above The data shows the number of such two-photon detections recorded at another detector at the Large Hadron Collider. The small bump in the energy range between 120 and 130 GeV is the excess number of detections above the expected background. This excess is one line of evidence that a new particle exists. ©European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Cern/Handout/dpa/Corbis
worlds without measure 9
continuous field. With this application, one could see that the continuous ripples actually had a discrete character; the ripples communicating the attraction could be viewed as particles zipping back and forth between electrons and protons. In addition to making spectacularly accurate, empirically verified predictions, this “quantum field” theory showed that any field that permeated space would have at least one particle associated with it— a minuscule ripple in the field. In the case of the electric field, the discrete ripples were none other than the already known photons. In the parlance of quantum field theory, physicists say that photons are “force carriers” mediating the interaction of charged particles. At the time, the mathematical mechanism of applying quantum mechanics to a continuous field in order to explain the origin of particles was very inviting: perhaps other forces, such as the attraction of protons and neutrons that binds them together in a nucleus, could be explained through a mediating particle; perhaps all particles are manifestations of ripples in space-pervading fields. However, hopes to explain other forces using quantum field theory ran into a serious technical impediment. One could write down equations for other possible fields, but whenever the rules of quantum mechanics were applied, the particles associated with these fields had zero mass. This result had been fine for the photon, which was
between current-carrying electrons flowing through the material and the protons and neutrons frozen in place inside it. While this theory was a triumph of low-energy physics, it contained an insight that would aid the high-energy community. A few individuals who started examining the theory and mulling over its structure and consequences noticed a peculiar feature. From the theoretical equations it appeared that the quantum particles associated with the electric field took on a very different character inside superconductors. Massless photons that can zip along at the speed of light as they travel through empty space slow down and stop upon entering a superconductor. According to the equations, photons are massless outside of a superconductor, but photons have mass inside of a superconductor. The mechanism by which photons acquire mass involves the interplay of the electric field and another field that arises in a superconductor due to the dynamics of its constituent electrons, protons, and neutrons. With the electric field alone, the photons would be massless, but the additional field inside a superconductor combines with the electric field to give photons mass. The mathematics of how this interplay of two fields works quickly migrated from low-energy theorists to high-energy theorists, and by the early 1960s a number of high-energy theorists were using this interplay to explain how par-
physicists on the low-energy end are hot on the trail of a particle thought to inhabit the interface between a superconductor and a new class of materials called topological insulators.
known to have no mass, but the photon was unique; all other known particles had mass, including the electrons, protons, and neutrons that comprise ordinary matter. By the middle of the 1950s, highenergy quantum field theorists were stuck. It seemed that there was no way to write down equations that predicted particles with mass.
the origin of the origin of mass During the same decade many members of the low-energy community were exploring an apparently unrelated problem. In 1911 scientists discovered that when certain elements, such as aluminum, lead, zinc, or tin, are cooled to temperatures within a degree or so of absolute zero, electric current, which usually flows through these metals with little resistance, can suddenly start flowing with no resistance at all. The mystery of this “superconductivity” remained for a generation, until technological advances allowed new experiments that probed details of what was going on inside these materials. Guided by the results of these experiments, low-energy theorists in the 1950s constructed a microscopic theory of superconductivity that explained how a zero-resistance current could arise from complex interactions
10 frontiers of physics
ticles traveling in the vacuum of empty space could have mass. Perhaps, they posited, there was a new field (later termed the “Higgs field”) that permeates all of space, combining with other fields and giving mass to their quantized ripples. Perhaps the entire universe is analogous to the interior of a superconductor. It took a few years for all the details of the mathematics to be ironed out and incorporated into the Standard Model, and a few decades for experiments to corroborate many of its predictions. One principal prediction that has eluded confirmation stems from the structure of quantum field theory: if a field exists there must be at least one corresponding particle, a ripple in the fabric of the field. For the Higgs field that gives particles mass, the corresponding ripple is the Higgs boson, the particle that appears to have finally emerged at the Large Hadron Collider.
worlds without measure In addition to showing how the study of low-energy phenomena can aid in understanding the nature of matter itself, this history illustrates that particles existing inside a material can be different from particles that exist in the empty space outside a material. In empty space,
as noted earlier, photons have no mass; but in the interior of a superconductor, photons have mass. In empty space, electrons have mass; but in the atomically thin layers of carbon that I study, electrons have no mass. Furthermore, mass isn’t the only property of particles that can be different inside of materials. Under the right conditions, my colleagues and I have confirmed that particles flowing through these carbon layers can have an electric charge that is 1/3 the charge of an electron in empty space. The conventional way of thinking about these effects, even among physicists, is a reductionist approach. One starts by imagining empty space. The space is then filled with various fields. Discrete ripples in these fields correspond to different fundamental particles, like photons and electrons. These fundamental particles interact with one another to form atoms, which in turn interact to make more complex items like materials, viruses, people, and planets. Electrons with no mass or fractional charge that exist inside a material are then conceived as a manifestation of an intricate dance of the conventional electrons that populate the vacuum of empty space. From this perspective the particles that exist in the vacuum are the basic building blocks from which everything else in the universe is constructed. While not an inconsistent view, this way of thinking can often be unhelpful. Rather than conceiving of the empty vacuum of space as the starting point, we can instead conceive of it as one of many materials that exist. Traveling through this “vacuum” material, we encounter one set of fields and particles, but as soon as we enter a different material, such as a metal, a superconductor, or atomically thin carbon, a different set appears. Each material is a different ecosystem populated by its own flora and fauna. Traveling from one material to the next, one sometimes finds very similar species of particles, but occasionally some radically new specimen appears. While this year’s big hunt in high-energy physics goes after the Higgs boson in the vacuum ecosystem, physicists on the low-energy end are hot on the trail of a particle known as a Majorana fermion, thought to inhabit the interface between a superconductor and a new class of materials called topological insulators. This peculiar, never-beforeseen beast is a particle with mass that serves as its own antiparticle: when two of them come into contact they are both annihilated in a puff of energy. Thanks to high-energy physicists, who have done a spectacular job cataloguing and organizing the particles that can inhabit the “vacuum” material, this material is the best understood of them all. But it represents only one of a practically infinite number of possible materials, most of which have been neither constructed nor explored, and each of which is inhabited by its own set of particles. As scientists at the Large Hadron Collider work to confirm that they have found the Higgs boson by the end of the year, you may see stories in the press hinting that such a confirmation represents an end to the discovery of new particles. Such stories erroneously imply that particles only exist in the vacuum; for us at the low-energy frontier, worlds without measure await.
Assistant professor of physics Paul Cadden-Zimansky received a B.A. in liberal arts from the Great Books program of St. John’s College, Santa Fe; an M.Sc. in philosophy and history of science from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a Ph.D. in physics from Northwestern University. His experimental research, conducted at Northwestern, Argonne National Laboratory, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and Columbia University, focuses on nanoscale devices whose properties are dominated by effects arising from quantum mechanical coherence. Before coming to Bard, he was a Columbia University Science Fellow, teaching the core curriculum Frontiers of Science course and subjecting the world’s thinnest material (graphene) to the world’s most powerful magnetic fields in order to study novel, two-dimensional electronic states of matter.
A meeting of high and low: a mammoth electromagnet used in the CMS detector. The magnet is made of a superconducting material that is cooled to a few degrees above absolute zero, while particle collisions inside the ring heat up the vacuum of space to temperatures hotter than the center of the sun. photo ©Martial Trezzini/epa/Corbis
worlds without measure 11
longy school of music of bard college
education in music and engagement
Visiting Artist Matt Haimovitz, with student Sara Birnbaum, teaching a master class in Longy’s Pickman Concert Hall
As part of the Experiential Education Program (EEP) at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, students interact with the local community—as do many Bard students through involvement with the College’s Center for Civic Engagement. One Longy student trio gave a series of performances at a neighborhood residential senior center. When the musicians came in for their second visit, an elderly man with a walker stood and shouted, “I wonder if they will they play the Mozart again?” After they did indeed reprise a section of the Mozart, a nurse told the trio that this was the first time the man had spoken a word in the six months he had been living at the center. Judy Hill Bose, associate director of teacher education and educational initiatives, has overseen EEP since 2009. To her, the anecdote demonstrates the power of music and of the program itself, whose stated mission is “to make a difference in the world.” EEP is a mandatory, yearlong program for all conservatory students enrolled in the 97-year-old school based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which merged with Bard in spring 2012. Longy has been making “a difference in the world” for almost a century. The school was founded by Boston Symphony member and renowned oboist Georges Longy, whose aim was to provide compre12 longy school of music of bard college
hensive training in musicianship and performance in the Paris Conservatory model. The curriculum emphasized individual attention to each student, as well as solfège and theory, as the basis of sound musical understanding—traditions still central to the school’s programs. Longy soon established itself as a small, intimate institution dedicated to high performance standards and rigorous musicianship training. When Longy’s daughter, Renée Longy-Miquelle, took over, she added her father’s colleagues from the Boston Symphony to the faculty and established Dalcroze Eurhythmics, which teaches concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression using movement; it became an important component of the school’s curriculum. In 1937, Longy established a close relationship with Harvard and Radcliffe colleges. In the following decades, many of Harvard’s most talented music students studied with Longy’s distinguished faculty, including Walter Piston, E. Power Biggs, Sarah Caldwell, and Olga Averino. In the 1940s, the scholar, harpsichordist, and early music pioneer Erwin Bodky began his 20-year tenure teaching historical performance and soon established Longy as a center in the revival of Renaissance and Baroque music. There followed a “golden age” that began under photo Courtesy of Longy School of Music of Bard College
organist, theorist, and director Melville Smith, with a small core of gifted conservatory students working as junior colleagues with their faculty mentors. Later in the 1940s, the Stradivarius String Quartet began its extended Longy residency, with violinist Wolfe Wolfinsohn and world-renowned violist Eugene Lehner, who coached chamber music at the school until his death in 1997. Today, the three programs at Longy are the Conservatory, offering degree and diploma programs in 12 departments for undergraduate and graduate students; Continuing Studies, giving lessons, classes, and ensemble offerings to avocational and nondegree adult students; and Preparatory Studies, which offers lessons, classes, and ensembles to young people up to 18 years of age. EEP is a core part of the Conservatory Program, designed to challenge students to think more broadly about music and its role in society, their own career options, and the best use of their skills. It requires them, individually or in a group, to design and create a multisession music project for performance in various community venues. “They’ll give talks, work with kids, and perform at community events, prisons, hospitals, colleges, shelters, and senior centers,” says Bose. “We prepare them for reality. It’s not a straight-ahead education course; it’s one that teaches them how to communicate.” Longy, says Bose, was the first U.S. school of music to offer such a program and make it mandatory. “How do we change students’ minds about what it means to be a musician?” she asks. “We are cultivating students who are as interested in interacting, sharing, and teaching as they are in performing.”
on the key principles of El Sistema, which has provided music lessons to more than one million underserved Venezuelan youth, changing lives and communities in the process. Among its former star pupils and perhaps its most notable success story is the amazingly gifted Gustavo Dudamel, the L.A. Philharmonic’s music director. This bicoastal alliance harnesses the synergies of the L.A. Philharmonic’s existing Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), Bard’s experience in developing renowned academic and socially based training programs, and Longy’s role as a leader in progressive training for performing and teaching musicians. As Bard President Leon Botstein has pointed out, “The traditions of music education at Longy and the efforts of Bard in the reform of public education, combined with the artistic distinction and civic leadership of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will make a historic contribution to music education where it is needed most.” The goal, according to Karen Zorn, president of Longy, is to help highly skilled musicians become teachers who can be active participants in the needy communities where many will serve. “We want to recruit very high-level performers, conductors, and composers who have this inkling, something inside them that says they want to give back,” Zorn has said. Another of Longy’s Bard-influenced initiatives is its new PreCollege Academy, offering students an early college experience akin to the innovative Bard High School Early Colleges. Beginning in January 2013, its core is the seminar “Perform. Write. Think.” Influenced by Bard’s signature Language and Thinking Program, it challenges students to explore their role in the community and the
how do we change students’ minds about what it means to be a musician? we are cultivating students who are as interested in interacting, sharing, and teaching as they are in performing.
This belief in civic engagement helped pave the way for Longy’s merger with Bard, which has its own long and respected tradition in this area. It also acted as a kind of philosophical bridge to Bard and Longy’s alliance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, resulting in the January 2012 launch of a series of joint, innovative musical education initiatives: Take a Stand, which supports social change through music, inspired by the Venezuela-based El Sistema (The System) philosophy of empowering students and transforming communities through music; and an associated master of arts in teaching (MAT) in music, a 12-month Bard/Longy degree program housed at the L.A. Philharmonic’s premier El Sistema–inspired teaching site at HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles) site (www.take-a-stand.org). Take a Stand provides a national platform of regular conferences and workshops for U.S. music programs and art educators that are pioneering their own El Sistema–influenced projects. It is also helping develop a pool of artistically accomplished, socially conscious music teachers through the new MAT degree, developed by Longy and based
role of the musician in the larger world, examining questions such as “Who is my audience?” and “What impact can I have on society?” The latter topic may well be on the minds of attendees on the afternoon of December 8, 2012, when Botstein is scheduled to give the keynote lecture at Discovery Day, a series of talks and discussions at Carnegie Hall. The event is aimed at exploring El Sistema, especially its influence on educational thinking in the Unites States. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with El Sistema founder José Antonio Abreu and a screening of the documentary Dudamel: Let the Children Play, in which Dudamel takes viewers on a journey around the world, introducing them to some of the young people experiencing the joy of music through El Sistema. Being held just one month prior to the anticipated January 2013 enrollment of Bard/Longy MAT’s first class in Los Angeles, the Carnegie Hall event is sure to highlight how Bard and its partners are taking a stand for integration of civic engagement and musical education. education in music and engagement 13
New York, 2010, Teju Cole
distinguished writer in residence
distinguished writer in residence
natural history by Teju Cole
The museum was anthropological in the obsolete style, and I could see the fluidity of the categories, on the one hand, of black, primitive, and native cultures and, on the other, the clusters of chimpanzee, mandrill, and gorilla families in the taxidermy displays in the adjacent hall, the context making the continuity between human and animal all but explicit, and I became even more strongly aware that the halls were full of children and young people having their heads passively stuffed with obscenities that they would, in the future and in some other context, draw on to shape their interactions with people from distant countries. The light was low in the big old rooms, but the displays were spotlit, and I was drawn in not just by the fossilized ideas about color, race, and kinship, but also by the dioramas, which brought to mind a friend whose father in the 1950s had been employed in building just such dead-life and living-death chambers, the animals stuffed and mounted with painted backgrounds, the amazing antelopes, greater kudu, elands, rhinos, and zebras, the dinosaur bones which were seamlessly falsified with casts and which testified to long-vanished violent struggles for survival, and above all the study cases full of stuffed birds, endless varieties of birds in the subtle coloration common to those inhabitants of the air—the spots, flecks, stripes, couple-color, the grays, browns, gray-browns, brown-grays, yellowish-whites, whites, blacks, and faded reds and greens, with dull yellow daubs where the eyes once were. Looking at these long-dead creepers, swallows, sparrows, wrens, nuthatches, thrushes, egrets, gulls, jays, diving ducks, titmice, crows, as well as the falcons, vultures, eagles, and all the surprising varieties of hawks, their feathers smoothed and folded, their feet tucked in beneath them so that each looked as though it were diving into water, I felt at moments the sensation of a bird pulsing in my enclosed hands like a feathery heart, and at other moments of myself turning into a bird and plunging heedlessly across the air with avian single-mindedness, and when I encountered the case full of owls, those marvelous night hunters who surpass us in sensitivity as master musicians do the tone-deaf, who, blindfolded, hunt mice by the sound of their scampering, their white, tufted faces out in some far region beyond secrets and the divulging of secrets, angelic, with all the terror the word implied, I was ready to believe anything, accept and endure anything for their sakes, ready to hand myself over as an uncomplaining servant of the natural world, particularly the world of feathered, beaked, and winged creatures, and this must have been why I thought later that night that the old erhu player I encountered in the subway at Grand Street, as shriveled and trembly as his instrument, and the Peking Opera singer who sang beside him, her voice thin and bright, her lipstick thin and bright, were also the image of marvelous unnamed birds who had somehow been captured by the mind’s eye in the middle of their flight, right in the middle of their swift and breathtaking flight. Teju Cole, writer, art historian, and street photographer, is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College. Born in the United States to Nigerian parents, he was raised in Nigeria. Now living in Brooklyn, New York, he is author of a novella, Every Day Is for the Thief, and a novel, Open City (see p. 41), which won the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award, New York City Book Award for Fiction, Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was short-listed for the National Book Critics Circle Award, New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature. He is a contributor to the New York Times, qarrtsiluni, Chimurenga, New Yorker, Transition, The Atlantic, and other publications. He is working on a booklength nonfiction narrative of Lagos and a Twitter project called “small fates.” This story was first presented at the 2012 PEN World Voices Festival. natural history 15
West Bank. ÂŠLarry Towell/Magnum 16 viewpoint
israel’s challenge: can democracy and zionism coexist? by Peter Beinart
Peter Beinart, a senior political writer for Newsweek/Daily Beast and editor of the blog Open Zion, visited Bard last spring to discuss The Crisis of Zionism—a book President Clinton calls “deeply important for anyone who cares about Israel, its security, its democracy, and its prospects for a just and lasting peace”—and the controversy it has triggered within the Jewish community. A Rhodes scholar and former editor of the New Republic, Beinart is also a professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and the author of two other books: The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again and The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris. His talk was sponsored by the Bard chapter of J Street, a national pro-Israel, pro-peace group, and the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities. An edited summary of Beinart’s remarks follows.
I always knew that the relationship between American Jews and Israel was a controversial subject. After my book came out [in March 2012], a friend asked if there had been any angry words, personal attacks, or ad hominem denunciations. And I said, “Outside of my own family?” The answer is, yes, there have been quite a few. As it happens, today is Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. It’s fitting on such a day for those of us who are Jewish, even those of us who are critical of Israeli policy, as I am, to reflect on what a blessing it is to live at a time when there is a Jewish state, whose mission statement is the protection of Jewish life around the world. I’m old enough to remember when this Jewish state sent planes to Ethiopia to pick up some of the most destitute people in the world, the Ethiopian Jews, and bring them back to reconnect with the people they had been disconnected from since the days when the Temple stood. Another thing we owe to Israel is the re-creation of Hebrew as a living language, something that has helped diaspora Jews maintain a Jewish identity. But perhaps most remarkable is the fact that, in 1948, while the stench of Jewish deaths still hung over Europe, and while Israel was
in a war for its survival with all of its Arab neighbors—with a ragtag military composed in significant number of people who had come straight from concentration camps—Israel’s founders wrote a declaration of independence that promised complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of race, religion, and sex. Despite the enormous trauma and suffering that the war brought to Israel’s Palestinian population and to the Palestinians who were expelled from or fled their homes, Israel gave the right of citizenship to those Palestinian citizens of Israel who remained within its borders, even though Palestinian refugees were not given the right of citizenship in Lebanon or Syria. Although there is an undeniable tension between Zionism and liberal democracy, there is a basis in Israel’s founding document for a greater reconciliation between those two principles, both of which I believe to be valid. There was some progress toward a deeper reconciliation of these principles just prior to [the Six-Day War in] 1967. From 1949 to 1966, Israel’s Palestinian citizens, although they had citizenship, lived under martial law. In 1966, as the result of political struggle, martial law was lifted. One of the great tragedies of Israeli history is that six months later, Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza and took control over millions of Palestinians, to whom it gave no citizenship at all. It is a population that has no right to vote; lives under a combination of military, Ottoman, and Jordanian law; and is dramatically restricted in its movement. Jewish settlers in the West Bank, meanwhile, live under civil law and have relative freedom of movement. In my view, if Israel continues to entrench itself in the West Bank to such a degree that it becomes impossible to create a contiguous, viable Palestinian state near the 1967 lines, then it will be impossible, in good conscience, to continue to call Israel a democracy. It will instead become something closer to an apartheid state. I don’t use the words “apartheid state” lightly. But in doing so, I’m quoting a phrase used by [former Israeli prime ministers] Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who both warned that this is the future Israel faces if it cannot extricate itself from the West Bank and allow the creation of a Palestinian state that gives the Palestinian population
israel’s challenge: can democracy and zionism coexist? 17
Palestinian Woman at the Check Point. ©Alex Majoli/Magnum
of the West Bank and Gaza citizenship, the right to vote, and the right to live under civil law in a state of their own. I am not suggesting that the Palestinians are blameless for the failure to create a Palestinian state. There have been significant failures of Palestinian political leadership, and violence against civilians has marred the Palestinian national movement. There has been a troubling tendency among Palestinian leaders to minimize the historic Jewish presence in, and connection to, the land of Israel, and I’m not sure whether the leadership is willing to make compromises on a large-scale right of Palestinian refugee return to Israel’s original boundaries, a necessary step toward a two-state solution. I think it’s fair to say that within the Palestinian population, and in the Arab world generally, there is a struggle over Israel’s right to exist. While neither side is thrilled about Israel’s existence, there is a struggle between people who will reluctantly come to terms with Israel’s right to exist if Palestinians have statehood [on the West Bank and Gaza] and those who want to extinguish the Jewish state, whether it takes a hundred years or longer, no matter how many people die. To those of us who care about the future and security of Israel, as well as the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people, it seems imperative that Israel act in a way that strengthens the hands of those people willing to live in peace with the Jewish state. When Israel builds 18 viewpoint
more and more settlements in the West Bank—and not just builds them, but subsidizes Israelis to move into the West Bank—it makes those Palestinians willing to live at peace with Israel in a two-state solution, like Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad [president and prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority], look like fools for thinking that they can achieve a two-state solution nonviolently. And it makes things easier for Hamas, Hezbollah, and other groups who have not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. Israel doesn’t have a huge margin for error in terms of its security. It has an absolute obligation to be smart; and we, as Israel’s supporters, have an obligation to try to help Israel be smart. American Jews, in domestic politics, are strikingly defined by liberal democratic values—78 percent voted for Barack Obama, a higher rate than women, Hispanics, and gays and lesbians, and almost twice the rate of white Protestants and Catholics. So how can it be that this community, so connected to the civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, and labor movements, can create an organizational infrastructure that often seems unconcerned about the struggle for democracy and human rights within the Jewish state? That continually defines being pro-Israel as supporting the policies of the Israeli government, even if those policies run directly counter to the principles in Israel’s Declaration of Independence?
I think the fundamental problem is that American Jews, at least as an organized community, have not found a way to talk about Jewish power. We still describe ourselves as a reviled and powerless population struggling merely to survive. If any of you know the joke about Jewish holidays . . . well, all Jewish holidays essentially consist of a single narrative: They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat. Ask young American Jews about the holiday of Purim, and they’re likely to say, “Oh, sure, I was taught about that. Haman tried to kill us, but Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordechai saved us, and then we get to eat our hamentaschen [a fruit-filled cookie], which is very tasty.” But that’s not how the Book of Esther ends. It doesn’t end with Jewish survival, but with Jewish power. It ends with King Ahasuerus giving Jews the right to retaliate against Haman’s people, and with Jews killing 75,000 people. Many Jews feel that what is most precious about Judaism is its ethical tradition, the idea that during our long night of oppression and powerlessness, we spun visions of human dignity and justice that inspired people across the world. That’s why American Jews have been at the forefront of so many struggles for human dignity and social justice. But if it turns out that this tradition of struggling for justice and dignity only has meaning when Jews are powerless, then what
But then he said, “Israel’s existence alone is not enough. The question is, how do we make this a state worth waiting 2,000 years for?” That’s a question we should be asking again today. I hope that in the answer Heschel’s Zionism, a liberal democratic Zionism, the Zionism of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, can be reborn for all of the people under Israeli control—Jewish and Palestinian together. One problem is that there is very little interaction between Israeli Jews and Palestinians today, except at the point of a gun. The dominant form of interaction between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank is when Israeli Jews do their military service. Before the Second Intifada [2000–05], large numbers of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza came into Israel to work. Those were not equal interactions, but they were still human interactions. Today, we are raising generations on both sides that have essentially no humanizing experience of the other. Polls show that it is the oldest cohort of Israeli Jews that tends to have the most liberal democratic perspective when it comes to Palestinians. I think that’s partly because they have had more interactions with them. Similarly, in Gaza, there is a whole generation that has never had any interaction with Israel. Most Jews grow up in places where they are part of a small minority. So in Israel, it’s a remarkable thing for them to see a Jewish
although there is an undeniable tension between zionism and liberal democracy, there is a basis in israel’s founding document for a greater reconciliation between those two principles, both of which i believe to be valid. good is it? What good is it if it cannot survive the confrontation with power? If that turns out to be the reality, and Israel collapses as a democratic project, and Zionism collapses as a democratic project, it will have profound implications on how we see Judaism itself. On this Yom Ha’atzmaut, I think the American Jewish organizational establishment should be saying that the State of Israel is a flawed but genuine experiment in democracy in a region that doesn’t have a lot of experience with democracy. It is a democracy that was won by past generations at a cost we can never fully comprehend. We need to be told that this state was not created to be another Hasmonean Dynasty [the last experience of Jewish statehood before our time, and a troubling experience of Jewish power and abuse of power], but instead as a state that had learned the lessons that Europe betrayed. Most of Zionism’s founders were people who originally wanted to live in the countries of their birth in Europe, and who desperately hoped that Europe would live up to the Enlightenment liberal ideals that they believed in fervently. They reluctantly came to the conclusion that they could not live safe, full lives in Europe, and that the Jewish state could be more true to Enlightenment principles than the countries they came from. [The Jewish philosopher] Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of my heroes, once said, “Dark and dreadful would be our lives today without the comfort and joy that radiates from the land of Israel.”
society, see the vast multitude of Jewish diversity from every corner of the Earth. I’m all for that experience, but not at the cost of pretending that Palestinians don’t exist, or only hearing about Palestinians through other voices, rather than letting them speak for themselves. When you see the reality of Palestinian life under occupation and hear the stories of people whose families were scattered by the War of Independence, which Palestinians call the Nakba [disaster], when you see people waiting at checkpoints, in humiliating conditions, to visit a family member, what you come away with are a lot of difficult questions and a deep sense of internal turmoil. To me that’s not a bad thing; in fact, it’s the glory of the Jewish tradition. The struggle to live ethically and safeguard ourselves is not supposed to be easy. My concern is that the conditions of power and privilege run counter to the best Jewish traditions if they’re not twinned with ethical responsibility. And at the heart of that ethical responsibility is seeing the way that a Jewish state wields power vis-à-vis those people under its domain who are not Jewish. And that to be true to our tradition, we have to demand that it wields that power in an ethical way and that it goes further: that it empowers and allows the empowerment of Palestinians who live between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, both by them having statehood and being more equal citizens of the State of Israel. israel’s challenge: can democracy and zionism coexist? 19
Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory A. Booker (right) and Omar G. Encarnación, professor of political studies
As graduating students lined up before Bard’s 152nd Commencement on May 26, President Leon Botstein walked through the throng, greeting and congratulating them. The Class of 2012 consisted of 452 undergraduates and 177 graduate students—including M.A., M.A.T., M.F.A., M.Music, M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. recipients. Honorary degrees were bestowed upon civil and human rights advocate Aryeh Neier; playwright Lynn Nottage; German biochemist and political activist Jens Reich; entrepreneur and philanthropist Lynda Resnick; and Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Booker, who delivered the commencement address, exhorted the graduates never to forget who they are and where they came from. “During my graduations, I would hear the same advice: remember who I was, no matter what happened,” Booker told the assembly, adding, “As one of my relatives put it, the degree you hold was paid for, not by you, but by the sweat, tears, sacrifice, and even blood of 20 commencement 2012
ancestors that you don’t even know.” He called this helping community “a conspiracy of love,” one that raised him and his parents, enabling them to achieve what they could not do alone. When his father wanted to go to college, Booker said, “he couldn’t afford it, but people in his town, whose names I do not know, insisted that he apply to a small, historically black college called North Carolina Central, and they said, ‘We will give you the money.’” His mother was a student at Fisk University in Tennessee; at her 50th reunion, she introduced her son to those who had held student voter registration drives in the South in the 1960s, “when it was dangerous to go out and register people to vote.” Both parents ended up working for IBM at a time when few African Americans were visible in the corporate world, boosted by the aid of others. “They would want me to understand that I drink deeply from wells of freedom and liberty that I did not dig,” Booker said. photo Scott Barrow
President Leon Botstein and members of the Class of 2012
He told of a woman with a crying baby seated next to him on a cross-country plane trip, when he was 19, on his way back to college at Stanford University. He decided to befriend the family. The grateful mother wrote to him years later when he was running for mayor of Newark, where her family ran a factory. “The little boy I was brutalizing [on the plane] with my jokes was now a young man who became one of my best campaign volunteers,” Booker recounted. “They employed lots of Newarkers and they did something that politicians love: they wrote me campaign contributions.” He continued, “At every moment, whatever you encounter is for your good. Make sure, in the very moment that you’re in, that you take risks, take chances. I believe in my heart of hearts that it is better to have your ship sunk at sea than have it rot in the harbor. Please, make sure, in the present moment, to take on the more difficult challenges. . . . I wasn’t born to fit in. We were all born to stand out. photo Karl Rabe
“You see, graduates, the hardest lesson I’m relearning over and over again is that the circumstances don’t matter; that my perspective of the world says less about the world than it says about me. And my challenge in life is to tell my truth to the world, to infuse at every moment my spirit, my authenticity, my courage. Life is not about the big challenge, the big election, the big job. To me, the most important things in life are the small moments, and the biggest thing you can do is a small act of kindness showing this world consistently, indefatigably, who you are at your core.” Botstein delivered his charge to the graduates with a twist. “I’ve decided to appeal to your sense of irony and humor,” he told them. “I may owe you the plain, unvarnished truth . . . but if I do tell you the truth in front of your justly proud parents and family, I will cloak it in the traditions of satire. . . . What I’m about to tell you, stripped of its evident appeal to parody, actually survives out there as truth.” 152nd commencement 21
He proceeded to deliver a Top Ten list of advice, “the 10 things I wish my own children to have learned from me.” His “advice” covered exhortations such as “never sleep” (“stay awake just in case you might miss something”) and “avoid exercise,” which is “a losing battle against aging and time, designed to lure you away from using your mind.” And, he said, “Never listen. Since you were little babies, adults have told you to listen. . . . Listening, like exercise, is among the most overrated habits. It is just a convenient invitation to become passive and irrelevant. It is far better to imitate us in the academy and your fellow citizens in the streets, on trains, and in airports: just keep on talking.” Stay at home (“live with your parents”) and don’t travel or expand your mind (“our computers offer easy access to any and all the images we would ever want to see”). “Ignore neighbors” and don’t make friends, Botstein advised. “Living with others is hard, frustrating, and bound to disappoint. If you really want to love your neighbor as yourself, you’ll leave that neighbor alone and in peace.” If you “keep your contact with others at a bare minimum,” Botstein suggested, “you’ll never have to worry about politics, and you’ll never have to get divorced. And you will not need to share the suffering of others or send solidarity to those who want to improve the plight of the less fortunate.” He went on, “Never tell the truth—no one wants to hear the truth,” and “resist paying taxes” since “we know the government is our
22 commencement 2012
enemy. It is wasteful, intrusive, and inefficient. We obviously can fend for ourselves in every way, each of us.” Finally, he said, “Remember as little as possible. Forgetting is the most secure path to happiness. Cultivating one’s memory is, in contrast, a source of anxiety. By struggling to remember, we’ve become susceptible to feelings of regret and nostalgia. We end up looking in the past rather than the present. . . . No one needs to know anything anymore. All one has to do is to have the right gadget handy, an iPhone, an iPad, or the next generation of a little box and look something up. . . . Simply live in the moment and remain free of any sense of loss or pain.” On a serious note he concluded, “I realize that much of this advice runs counter to what we here at Bard have tried to instill in you. But, on this august occasion, we finally need to tell you what people out there really believe. . . . Out there, you’ll be told that the cost of your education was too high, and the subject matter of the arts, the sciences, and the humanities are irrelevant and superfluous. The least I can do, therefore, as you enter the so-called ‘real world’ and assume completely your status as adults, is to warn you. Behind my attempt at parody is the fact that this College will, no matter what, continue to stand as a beacon of resistance. You will come to realize that and cherish your memories of Bard and Bard’s principles. You have earned your alma mater’s highest praise and deepest affection. May indeed the truth, and not what passes for the truth, serve you well. Congratulations.”
president’s awards ceremony John and Wendy Neu (1), trailblazers in recycling and other sustainable industries, received the Bard Medal, the Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association’s highest award. The Neus have employed graduates of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) as part of their belief that liberal education and initiative are resources as valuable as those of our natural world. “Bard is an amazing institution and this program [BPI] is a testament to that,” Wendy Neu said. 1
The John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science went to Fredric S. Maxik ’86 (2), founder and chief technology officer of Lighting Science Group Corporation, which develops innovative commercial lighting products using light-emitting diode technology. “Part of my time here at Bard was spent reflecting that there was a crack in the way I saw things, and out of that crack came light,” Maxik said in accepting the award. Carolee Schneemann ’59 (3), a pioneer in feminist and performance art, was awarded the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters. Schneemann—who spoke of “the odd necessity” of making art, for which “Bard allowed me a full ride”—is known for her cutting-edge uses of materials, including her own body, in her works.
New York State Senator Stephen M. Saland (4) was the recipient of the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service. The Poughkeepsie Republican, who cast the decisive vote in passage of the Marriage Equality Act in 2011, said, “I am humbled for receiving this award and for doing what is right.” Author Deborah Eisenberg (5) received the Mary McCarthy Award, given in recognition of “engagement in the public sphere” by an intellectual, artist, or writer. Eisenberg, whose fiction does not shy away from political outrage, said that for writers such as McCarthy, “fearlessness is not an obstacle.”
JoAnne Akalaitis (6), playwright and director of the Bard Theater Program, was one of three honorees who received the Bardian Award, which is the Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association’s tradition of recognizing longtime members of the Bard community. The Wallace Benjamin Flint and L. May Hawver Flint Professor of Drama spoke of the “great pleasure” she received in working with students and fellow faculty. Burton Brody (7), professor of physics, also received the Bardian Award in recognition of his role in helping grow the Physics Program through the past four decades. Brody, who was described as “keeping the spirit of physics and science alive at Bard,” acknowledged Bard as a “diverse, rich community that has enriched me these 42 years.”
opposite page Honorary degree recipients (clockwise from lower left): Aryeh Neier and Lynda Resnick (at the President’s Luncheon); Jens Reich; Lynn Nottage (in procession)
all photos this spread Karl Rabe
Also receiving the Bardian Award was Frederick Hammond (8), Irma Brandeis Professor of Romance Cultures and Music History. An accomplished continuo performer, scholar, musical collaborator, and writer on Baroque music, Hammond called Bard “a wonderful experience.” 152nd commencement 23
On and Off Campus Welcome, Class of 2016
Master of Science in Economic Theory and Policy
The Class of 2016 has arrived on campus from across the United States and more than 50 countries including Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Finland, France, Jordan, and Vietnam. The 547 students are impressive individuals who bring unique interests, energy, and enthusiasm to the College. From mathematicians and cellists to beekeepers, this class was drawn from Bard’s largest pool of applicants yet. The entering class has many students who have traveled before coming to Bard as well as students who are entering college early. Members of the class include advanced scientific researchers who have worked in labs studying viruses; actors who have performed professionally in venues such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; newspaper interns, editors, and radio talk show hosts; entrepreneurs and fundraisers; valedictorians, student presidents, and a homecoming king; equestrians, table tennis and fencing champions; humans rights and environmental activists; filmmakers who have screened their work at international film festivals; Irish dancers and ballet dancers who have danced with professonal companies. They are musicians—vocalists and players of trombone, violin, oboe, piccolo, bagpipes, and steel drums—who have led their own bands, recorded multiple albums, and performed in youth orchestras, at jazz festivals, and even at Carnegie Hall. Having spent significant time on every continent, they speak many languages such as Russian, Greek, Thai, Latin, and Arabic. They are scientists including computer whizzes, biology researchers, and rainforest scholars. They are activists—raising money for global causes, advocates for solar energy and organic farming, volunteers for reproductive rights organizations, and legal interns for state government. Welcome, Class of 2016!
Bard is launching a two-year master’s degree program in fall 2013. The Levy Economics Institute Master of Science in Economic Theory and Policy draws on the expertise of an extensive network of scholars at the Levy Institute, a policy research think tank with over 25 years of experience in public policy research. The core curriculum emphasizes a deep understanding of economic and policy models at both the macro and micro levels. Specializations are offered in one of four Levy Institute research areas: macroeconomic theory, policy, and modeling; monetary policy and financial structure; distribution of income, wealth, and well-being, including gender equality and time poverty; and employment and labor markets. Graduate students also participate in a research assistantship at the Levy Institute, where leading scholars confront pressing economic problems. Through a 3+2 program, undergraduates in economics or related fields can earn both a B.A. and the M.S. in five years.
New Faculty at Bard
professor of German and research associate at the Arendt Center, served as Alexander von Humboldt/Feodor Lynen Research Fellow at the University of Chicago. His research includes 20th-century German literature and film, and the political dimensions of culture, art, and thought. Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing: Assistant Professor of Biology Bruce Robertson conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Montana and Michigan State University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center. His work focuses on the direct and indirect impact of human activities on biodiversity and animal behavior. Paul Cadden-Zimansky joins the College’s physics faculty (see p. 8). Amy Savage, director of the Citizen Science Program and visiting assistant professor of biology, joins Bard from a postdoctoral position at Yale University, where she collaborated with the Peabody Museum of Natural History and the Yale Center for British Art on science education projects. She also taught a seminar course on art, creativity, and the life sciences, which was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Division of Social Studies/Interdivisional: Peter Rosenblum, professor of international law and human rights, joins Bard’s Human Rights Program from Columbia Law School, where he was Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein Clinical Professor in Human Rights and codirector of the Human Rights Institute. Michael Specter, award-winning science, technology, global public health, and New Yorker writer, joins the faculty as visiting professor of environmental and urban studies. Specter teaches The Global Politics of Food, which examines our broken system of industrial agriculture and ways to feed the earth’s rapidly growing population safely and nutritiously. Miles Rodríguez, assistant professor of history and Latin American and Iberian studies, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for U.S.–Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His teaching interests include the Mexican Revolution and modern Latin America.
Among Bard’s distinguished faculty, new members joining the College include: Division of the Arts: Respected performing arts curator, dramaturg, and artistic director Gideon Lester joins the College as professor of theater and performance and director of theater programs, succeeding JoAnne Akalaitis, who has retired after 14 years as director of the Theater Program at Bard (and received the Bardian Award at the 2012 Commencement; see p. 23). Lester also will curate the professional Fisher Center and SummerScape theater and dance offerings. Lester has taught at Columbia University School of the Arts and at Harvard University, where he was a Fulbright and Frank Knox Scholar. Jeffrey Kahane is professor of music and the humanities at the College and The Bard College Conservatory of Music. Kahane, also music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, is a renowned keyboardist and conductor who received a master’s degree in classics from the University of Colorado. He teaches piano and conducting, as well as courses on connections between music and humanistic studies. Diana Al-Hadid, a sculptor, is visiting artist. Her most recent solo shows include exhibitons at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Alexander Bonus, assistant professor of music, was an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow at Duke University, where he also served as director of Collegium Musicum. His research interests include the history of metronomes and mechanical music. Division of Languages and Literature: Assistant Professor of Literature Marisa Libbon taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received numerous awards for her academic work and poetry. Her teaching interests include medieval history and culture, Old English language and literature, AngloNorman literature, Middle English, and paleography. Thomas Wild, assistant 24 on and off campus
Levy Berlin Conference The Levy Economics Institute and ECLA of Bard are organizing a conference at Deutsche Bank in Berlin, Germany, “The Hyman P. Minsky Conference on Financial Instability,” on November 26 and 27. Speakers are to include U.S. Ambassador to Germany Philip D. Murphy, European Central Bank (ECB) Chief Economist and Executive Board Member Peter Praet, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank Presidents Richard Fisher and Dennis Lockhart, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard, New York Fed First Vice President Christine M. Cumming, and ECB Vice President Vítor Constâncio. Support comes from the Ford Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Bard Welcomes Two New Trustees from Longy The newest members of Bard College’s Board of Trustees hail from the Longy School of Music of Bard College (see p. 12). Melinda N. Donovan is secretary of the Longy Board of Governors. As senior vice president and trust officer of Cambridge Trust Company, Donovan headed trust administration in wealth management for many years, overseeing the administration of trusts, estates, investment management, and IRA accounts, and was a member of the Management Committee of the trust company before retiring in June. In addition to serving on the board of the Longy School of Music since 1998, Donovan serves on the board of the Brookline Music School, near her home in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and of the Friends of Walker Pond in Brooksville, Maine. Matina S. Horner serves as chair of the Longy Board of Governors. Horner was president of Radcliffe College from 1972 to 1989 and has held numerous teaching positions, including the DeRoy Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of Michigan and an associate professorship of psychology at Harvard University. She later served as an executive vice president at TIAACREF, the retirement fund for teachers and other public servants. A dedicated educator, business leader, and community volunteer, Horner serves on numerous other boards of directors including BlackRock Equity/Liquidity Funds, Greenwall Foundation, Century Foundation, and Massachusetts General Hospital
Grants Support Sciences and Humanities The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program has awarded Bard $800,000 to support the College’s ongoing innovation of science education in the context of the liberal arts. Building on the success of Bard’s Citizen Science Program—an intensive introduction to the sciences for all first-year students—the HHMI award will fund the creation and implementation of a new model of scientific literacy for undergraduate education. An interdisciplinary team of Bard faculty and staff will work to develop a new definition of scientific literacy that can pertain to all college-level students; use this definition to innovate curricula, assessment tools, and faculty training strategies for Citizen Science and science courses for nonmajors; and disseminate their ideas on scientific literacy to other colleges and universities. The team includes Felicia Keesing, project director and professor of biology; Mark Halsey, associate dean of the college and associate professor of mathematics; Michael Tibbetts, associate professor of biology; Brooke Jude, assistant professor of biology; and Philip Pardi, director of college writing and visiting assistant professor of writing. The Henry Luce Foundation has recognized research efforts in Bard’s Division of Social Studies with a $50,000 grant through the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment. The grant supports faculty in developing innovative ways to integrate study of Asia and the environment into the core of Bard’s interdisciplinary curricula, adhering to Bard’s fundamental belief that education should be global in orientation and reach. The Bard project “Slow Water: Rivers and Community in Asia” will solidify Bard’s research and teaching partnerships in China, Japan, and South Korea; launch service learning opportunities; and bring participants from partner sites to a conference and retreat at Bard’s Annandale campus. The grant will also support the creation of a team-taught course, Environmental Politics in East Asia, envisioned to become a core course in the Environmental and Urban Studies Program and the Asian Studies Program. Kristin Lane, assistant professor of psychology, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which focuses on research to better understand the health of children, adults, families, and communities. The AREA grant supports Lane’s project, “The Lonely Scientist: How Implicit Science Construals, Stereotypes,
Melinda N. Donovan
Matina S. Horner. photo Lisa Cohen
(MGH) Institute of Health Professions. She also has chaired many boards, and is an active emerita trustee of the MGH. She is the widow of the late Joseph Horner, a former dedicated Longy trustee. Horner received her bachelor of arts degree from Bryn Mawr College and both her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. and Attitudes Contribute to the Gender Gap in Science Participation,” which investigates whether people believe that science is a solitary, rather than collaborative, endeavor, and if such beliefs impede women’s entry into these fields. The Simons Foundation, a private foundation based in New York City that advances research in mathematics and the basic sciences, has awarded Gregory D. Landweber, associate professor of mathematics, a Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians. This grant offers Landweber up to $35,000 for collaboration, travel, and research expenses for his research project, “Supersymmetry and K-Theory.” Swapan Jain, assistant professor of chemistry, has received a $35,000 grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement to support his investigation of genetic material in the fight against bacterial infections. The Single-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award funds three undergraduate research assistants to work on this endeavor. Jain’s project, “Synthesis of novel purine analogs and evaluation of their binding to xanthine phosphoribosyl transferase (xpt) riboswitch mRNA,” aims to design and synthesize purine analogs (pharmaceutical molecules) and determine their binding strength to xpt mRNA (messenger RNA molecules). RNA, like DNA, is essential genetic material that plays a vital role in protein formation. Highly structured RNA molecules present excellent targets for new antibiotics. “Over the last few decades, bacterial resistance to antibiotics has become a major problem,” says Jain. “New drug molecules that can bind to xpt mRNA tightly and inhibit bacterial growth can have great potential as pharmaceutical agents in the fight against bacterial infections.” Jain also received the Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship award for 2012, which provides $18,500 to support undergraduate research in chemical sciences and to bring a prominent researcher as guest lecturer to Bard. Lauren Rose, associate professor of mathematics, received a grant from the American Institute of Mathematics to bring a team of educators to the institute’s intensive weeklong program, “How to Run a Math Teachers’ Circle Workshop,” in Washington, D.C. Rose and her team then launched the Mid-Hudson Math Teachers’ Circle, which strives to improve mathematics education in middle schools by hosting regional bimonthly Math Teachers’ Circles. “We organize hands-on workshops for middle school teachers that make math come alive,” says Rose. “Teachers learn problem-solving strategies in a fun and supportive environment and come away with ideas for engaging students in the mathematics classroom.”
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Keeping Water Safe: Christophe Chung ’06 Few of us truly appreciate how our most essential element—water—makes its way from the source, through plumbing, and out a tap. In fact, millions around the world consider basic water and sewerage systems a far-off luxury. Fortunately, people such as Christophe Chung ’06, a water supply and sanitation consultant at the World Bank, are helping to bring the life-sustaining liquid to some of the world’s most water-scarce places, North Africa and the Middle East. The World Bank lends money for capital projects, provides infrastructureplanning expertise, and collaborates with public agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private firms to initiate projects in many developing countries. Chung is an urban water specialist working on teams that aim to upgrade and expand water infrastructure in Beirut, improve basic service delivery in slum areas of Cairo, and help implement pollution control programs in Lebanon and Egypt. He also works on a capacity-building project based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which trains public officials to better manage water resources. “I do believe the work is needed, especially now with so many transitions in the region,” says Chung. “But while I’ve developed a real love for infrastructure and utility management, I’ve come to realize that talking about it may not be the best pick-up line to use.” Bringing water and sewerage systems to poor urban and rural communities is critical to economic progress and social stability. Chung points out that contaminated water is the leading cause of cholera, dysentery, and typhoid— diseases that contribute to high infant and child mortality rates in some African nations. Illness decreases worker productivity, prevents children from attending school, and increases medical expenses for families already living on meager incomes. In addition, no industrial or agricultural product can be made or grown, packaged, and distributed without ample, sanitary water. Put simply, clean water saves lives. Chung helps with the planning and preparation necessary for getting these complex projects off the ground. Says Chung, “The World Bank requires that all proposed projects go through an extensive review to ensure that the project is beneficial, realistic, and self-sustaining by the time the bank’s involvement is complete. We also make sure that social and environmental safeguards are
Christophe Chung (center) in eastern Ethiopia, 2010, conducting water-quality tests.
When he was a senior, Chung won a Watson Fellowship, which provides college graduates with a $25,000 stipend for international travel and independent study. Fellows are chosen from among the nation’s leading colleges and universities. Recipients stay abroad for 12 months and delve deeply into a particular issue or project. Chung traveled to rural communities in Peru, Bolivia, Vietnam, and India, where he studied terrace farms—multileveled fields built into mountains and hills and supported by various types of retaining walls. Terraced fields reduce erosion and water runoff, making them more water efficient. Chung became particularly interested in how traditional farming techniques can be used to adapt to climate change and water scarcity. He also documented how rural residents maintain their agricultural livelihoods in the face of political difficulties, globalized food markets, and the constant pull of the city. “Rural farmers continually wrestle with the idea of leaving the farming life and moving to the city. This tension got me interested in urban migration and growth.” Returning to the United States, Chung worked as a program assistant in New York City for the UN Development Programme’s Equator Initiative and
i came to believe that stability is contingent upon basic considerations, like how people of different ethnicities and religions interact with each other in their day-to-day lives. taken into account so that the project doesn’t have an adverse impact on people and the environment. We consult with local governments and stakeholders, NGOs, community leaders, and universities to ensure that those affected by and benefitting from the project are taken into account in our project design and implementation. Also, at a very macro level, we have to evaluate the country’s existing capacity, finances and budgeting, and its ability to maintain or operate the system after it’s built.” Chung’s interest in addressing the challenges faced by residents of the Middle East began while he was a political studies major at Bard. However, it was an art history course about war and architecture that took his political thinking in a different direction. He says, “I was initially concerned with the broader question of how peace could be brought about through political system reform, but then I came to believe that stability is also contingent upon basic considerations, like how people of different ethnicities and religions interact with each other in their day-to-day lives. That led me to examine the role of public space in postwar stability and redevelopment, which drew me to explore the political dimensions of urban planning and architecture.”
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enrolled in the master’s program in urban planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2009. “Going from Bard to MIT seemed to fit,” he says. “What I appreciated at both places were the small classes, discussion-based learning, and emphasis on innovation and critical thinking.” In his master’s program, Chung became deeply interested in studying water and sanitation infrastructure. He spent the summer of 2010 in Ethiopia working for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; he conducted water-quality assessments in four refugee camps, where many children suffered from water-borne diseases. The very existence of the camps—their size and the relative spontaneity with which they appear—is exactly the type of social problem that urban planners hope to deter. Wrote Chung in his blog from Ethiopia: “The fact that a settlement of thousands—a virtual city—can form in the middle of nowhere, and a small office of individuals is made responsible for all aspects of the refugees’ lives, is challenging, to say the least.” Chung has been working at the World Bank for more than a year, and he plans on staying put. “I like Washington, D.C.,” he says. “After traveling so much, I’m happy to be settled. I’ve even started buying stuff for myself. Like furniture.”
ECLA of Bard New developments in the university’s international student body as well as its leadership mark this year at ECLA of Bard: A Liberal Arts University in Berlin. Twenty Bard students are the first to participate in the College’s new Bard in Berlin program—a distinctive course of study designed for matriculated students who want to take advantage of living and learning in one of the world’s most dynamic artistic centers and historically layered cities. Thirteen first-year students and seven juniors are spending the fall semester at ECLA of Bard, studying art and aesthetics, ethics and political theory, and literature and rhetoric in discussion-based lectures, focused seminars, and one-on-one tutorials. All classes are taught in English, but students are encouraged to study German as part of their studies. The first-year students traveled to Berlin immediately following the Language and Thinking Program at Bard in August. They make up the first Bard cohort to spend the beginning of their freshman year studying abroad in Bard’s international network of liberal arts programs. First-year students all live in the dorms of the ECLA of Bard campus. The Bard juniors—comprising philosophy, film and electronic arts, literature, theater, political studies, global and international studies, and economics majors—have the option of living on campus or in international student housing. Juniors are also encouraged to participate in Bard in Berlin’s extensive internship program, working for academic credit in NGOs, arts institutions, or other organizations throughout Berlin. This fall, internships include placements at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership; Scheunemann PR Consulting; Center of Dance; and Berlitz language center. Study abroad students benefit from ECLA of Bard’s small size and diverse international student body. Students, faculty, and administration create a strong and close-knit intellectual community on campus, which is located in the Pankow-Niederschönhausen neighborhood. The Bard in Berlin program is
CCE Awards Support Students’ Community Action In 2012, almost 40 students received the Bard Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) Community Action Award, which supports involvement with communities locally, nationally, and internationally. The recently created awards fund student participation in internships that help people around the world. This year’s summer internships included positions at The Paris Review, New Yorker, Children’s Defense Fund, PEN American Center, Planned Parenthood, and Open Society Institute (OSI). Some recipients traveled to Washington, D.C.; New York City; Los Angeles; and Iowa, while others remained near Annandale. International internships included research in Nepal, Brazil, India, Myanmar (Burma), Turkey, China, and Israel. Myat su san ’15, for example, an economics and political studies major from Myanmar, returned there to work as a training and research intern at Myanmar Egress Capacity Building Center, dedicated to promoting civic awareness among young people. “The great advantage of this internship is being able to observe how economic and political knowledge is applied to actual progress in a developing nation,” she says. Sarah Stern ’13, an anthropology major with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies, worked on outreach with the Encounter program’s Middle East office. Her internship was specifically geared toward developing awareness and understanding among American Jews around the complex issues of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Nadine Tadros ’14, an anthropology major also with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies, conducted research through the Archeological Studies Unit of Al-Quds Bard College for Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I am taking part in an effort to raise awareness of the shared heritage of the land,” says Tadros. Many students worked in New York City, including Mehdi Rahmati ’13, a human rights major with an internship at OSI. Committed to humanitarian
open to students from colleges and universities across the United States. Thomas Rommel is the new rector and provost of ECLA of Bard. Rommel was previously professor of literature at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, where he was a founding faculty member and closely involved in setting up the field of humanities. Rommel received his Ph.D. in 1995 and the Habilitation (highest German academic qualification) (venia legendi [university teaching certificate] in English philology) in 2000 from Tübingen University. His research interests focus on 18th-century literaThomas Rommel photo ©Jacobs University, Bremen ture and the history of ideas, Romanticism, literature and economics, and literary theory in the context of digital humanities. Before joining Jacobs University in 2001, he held positions at Northern Arizona University and Joensuu University in Finland. He has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University and Rice University. In 2002, Rommel was the first recipient of the Krupp College Teaching Award. In 2003, he was awarded the Bremer Kooperationspreis for innovative cooperative projects in the area of postcolonial and transcultural studies with Bremen University. Rommel aims to increase enrollment and faculty and to introduce new study programs for international students. “ECLA of Bard finds itself in an exciting period of expansion with the launch of the Bard in Berlin program and new exchange opportunities for students,” says Rommel. “At ECLA of Bard, diversity matters. Open, interdisciplinary academic debate and sound scholarship are the hallmarks of our excellent education in Berlin. The ECLA of Bard learning experience is highly interactive throughout, substantially based on small-group seminar collaboration and dialogue.” causes, especially education, Rahmati plans eventually to return to his native Afghanistan. Arthur Holland Michel ’13, a history major, had an internship editing for The Paris Review, while pursuing academic research related to his Senior Project topic on Peruvian immigration to New York City and New Jersey. Martha Orlet ’15 and Cassandra Settman ’13 had internships with Independent Thought and Social Action in India (ITSA), an organization cofounded by Riana Shah ’10, an alumna of Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. Orlet, who plans to launch an independent community arts project, says, “I gained unique insight into teaching painting and drawing to Indian youth while gaining knowledge of Indian culture and experience.” The Human Rights Project (http://hrp.bard.edu) also supports Bard students working in summer internship positions, some supplemented by grants from the CCE and other Bard offices. This year, longtime donor Tom Dengler ’61, a keen supporter of Bard’s Human Rights Program, provided a special gift in support of 11 select students. The 11 Dengler Fellows worked in internships that allowed them to practice what they are learning at Bard. Among them, Lauren Blaxter ’13 spent her summer with the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs in Jerusalem. Jessica Louise Channell ’14 interned for Women Helping Battered Women in Burlington, Vermont, allowing her to further her work experience in areas such as domestic violence, sexual education, and women’s rights advocacy. Sagiv Galai ’15 worked with Amnesty International (AI) in New York, assisting with AI’s participation in the World Social Forum in Tunisia and International Arms Trade treaty negotiations. Leela Khanna ’15 had an internship at the Centre for Social Research, a prominent women’s rights research and advocacy nongovernmental organization in New Delhi, India, while Margaret Kucera ’13 interned at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance headquarters in Chicago. (See www.bard.edu/civicengagement for more information.)
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Al-Quds Bard Reaches Milestones The Al-Quds Bard Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program graduated its first class of students who enrolled in the two-year graduate program in 2010. In a moving event on June 19 at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, West Bank, 42 students received master of arts in teaching degrees. Hasan Dweik, executive vice president of Al-Quds University, gave the commencement address. Other speakers included Ric Campbell, dean of teacher education and director of Bard’s MAT Program; Stanley A. Reichel ’65, treasurer of Bard’s Board of Trustees; and two graduating students. Mary Backlund, Bard’s vice president for student affairs and director of admission, was also in attendance. The Al-Quds Bard MAT graduates are all practicing teachers; most will continue to work for the Palestinian Ministry of Education, using their experience to become teacherleaders in secondary education. A number of graduates plan to pursue doctorates in education. The undergraduate Al-Quds Bard study abroad program was nominated as an “Innovative New Program—Study Abroad” finalist by GoAbroad.com. The site praised Bard and its international programs, writing, “All of Bard’s study abroad programs are based in deep partnerships with a local university who share a commitment to the theories and practice of liberal arts education. . . . There are very few options, if any, for students to study in an academically rigorous semester program in the West Bank. Even less opportunity exists to study today’s tough global challenges alongside Palestinian students.” The Al-Quds
From left: Ric Campbell, Hasan Dweik, graduate Rana Khateeb, and Stanley A. Reichel ’65, at Al-Quds MAT graduation. photo Ateiah M. Bassa
Bard study abroad program sent its first students to Abu Dis last fall; more arrive this semester. Their perspectives influence Palestinian peers for whom liberal arts pedagogy is new. Casey Asprooth-Jackson ’12 plans to make a film about the dilemma of housing in Israel and the West Bank. His study at Al-Quds, he says, gave him a unique opportunity for comprehensive research, interviews, and firsthand experience in the region.
BPI Celebrates 10 Years
From left: Vivian Nixon of College and Community Fellowship, Glenn Martin of Fortune Society, Max Kenner ’01, and Roland J. Augustine. photo Julienne Schaer
BPI graduates celebrate. photo China Jorrin ’86
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“A Decade of Remarkable Achievements” was the title of an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) hosted by Bard Trustee Roland J. Augustine and his business partner, Lawrence Luhring, at the Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York City on April 25. Bard President Leon Botstein and BPI Executive Director Max Kenner ’01 welcomed trustees, friends, alumni/ae, and faculty to the dinner at the gallery, which featured a performance by acclaimed jazz pianist Jason Moran, a 2010 MacArthur Fellow and the Kennedy Center’s artistic advisor for jazz. The gathering offered an opportunity to reflect on BPI’s extraordinary accomplishments during the past decade, including the success of BPI’s alumni/ae experience after prison. Many BPI graduates have gone on to enroll at first-rate graduate schools, while others have secured professional positions in business, industry, nonprofits, and the arts. Furthermore, BPI boasts a recidivism rate of 1 percent—far lower than the national average of 43 percent, as reported in a recent study by the Pew Center on the States— resulting in millions of dollars in taxpayer savings and, most important, transforming the lives of the graduates, their families, and their communities. The moving event also premiered a short film (http://vimeo.com/47115041) chronicling BPI from its beginnings as a Trustee Leader Scholar student-led, volunteer initiative in one prison to the largest program of its kind in the country, with nearly 300 incarcerated students across five New York State prisons enrolled in rigorous liberal arts programs. Looking to the future, BPI is expanding its national reach as leader of the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, working with other colleges and universities to help them establish similar programs across the country. Through the Consortium, BPI has already helped Wesleyan University and Grinnell College to establish college-in-prison programs. BPI is also expanding its reentry courses and career support for graduates upon release from prison. On June 3, BPI held its ninth commencement ceremony at Woodbourne Correctional Facility, where renowned social reformer and entrepreneur Herb Sturz accepted the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service and delivered the commencement address. Botstein conferred associate in arts degrees upon 18 graduating students, marking 200 Bard alumni/ae who have received degrees through BPI.
Telling the Difficult Stories: Gretchen Wilson ’97 Alumni/ae devotees of American Public Media’s Marketplace will be pleased to know that the show’s Africa correspondent is Bard’s very own Gretchen Wilson ’97. Wilson relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa, in September 2004, after graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She recalls, “Both my lease and my relationship ended, so I decided to pursue my dream of being an overseas radio reporter. My coworkers couldn’t believe I was moving to Johannesburg to freelance. People asked, ‘Are you crazy? You’re moving to Africa without a job—and you don’t know a single person?’ However, it was clear to me that this was my next step.” During the last eight years, Wilson has established herself as a political reporter who tackles serious labor, economic, and social justice issues. Her earliest efforts for Marketplace were her reports on the Zimbabwe national elections in 2005. Subsequent stories have taken her to Somalia, Tanzania, Botswana, and other African nations. Wilson is proudest of the stories that are the most difficult and dangerous to complete: a report on the brutal labor conditions at a Chinese-owned copper mine in northern Zambia; another on the Western corporate interests that are supporting economic development in Sudan, despite the government’s involvement in the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region. Yet Wilson maintains a sense of duty toward the people whose situations could benefit from worldwide media attention. She says, “I love this job. I’ve been arrested in Tanzania, under surveillance in Sudan, and nearly beaten by an angry mob in Botswana. I’ve had to sweet-talk border officials in Swaziland, and talk myself into and out of more places than I can remember. I’ve even had a face-off with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe about the food shortages in his country at a press conference after the 2005 elections. But what I really love are the moments of connection with people—sharing tea with refugees in Kenya, or laughing with farmers in the mountains of Lesotho. Everywhere I go, I meet ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They are role models in their communities and role models for me.”
Gretchen Wilson ’97. photo Candace Feit
interviewing people. She also took classes in radio journalism at a Seattle community college. In 2002, she applied to Columbia’s journalism school, and began the master’s program there that fall. Of her reporting in South Africa, she says, “My preference is to record a piece that hasn’t been broadcast anywhere else. I’ll get leads based on offhand things someone will say to me, for example, ‘The situation at the detention facility in Musina is very bad.’ That’s the beginning of my story.” After the initial tip, Wilson conducts research, then sets up interviews. “Those are often quiet moments,” she says, “just my recording equipment and me in someone’s home, as I listen to his or her story. When I have a series of interviews, I write a script, edit the story, and upload the piece to Marketplace.” Although a member of the media, Wilson finds U.S. news programs problematic. “When I come back to the States, I’m shocked by the sensationalism, the jingoism, and what to me seems like so much frenzied yelling on cable news.
what i really love are the moments of connection with people—sharing tea with refugees in kenya, or laughing with farmers in the mountains of lesotho. A native of Woodinville, Washington, Wilson attended Bard on an EEC (Excellence at Equal Cost) scholarship. Wilson and other Bardians participated in the AFL-CIO’s Union Summer program in 1996, in which she learned union organizing skills. While she completed her Senior Project in sociology, she worked with the Student Labor Coalition to help the food service workers on Bard’s campus organize a union. (The workers voted to unionize in spring 1997.) After graduation, Wilson moved to Seattle; in early 1998, she partnered with temporary workers and contractors at Microsoft to launch WashTech, the nation’s first union for high-tech workers. She says, “To build our organizing campaigns, we often wrote our own investigative stories about labor practices in the high-tech industry. What struck me was how our only real leverage was through the media. When we addressed a company directly, they ignored us. When we shared stories through the media, we were able to transform corporate policies and change people’s lives.” Continued activism, during the World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle in 1999 and the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, in 2001, led Wilson to obtain a formal education in journalism. She says, “I was enthralled by the early citizen journalists of Indymedia and their mantra: ‘Become the Media.’ Indymedia is a grassroots network that uses media production and distribution to promote social justice.” After 9/11, Wilson found a tape recorder and began
I know a lot of extremely dedicated journalists who work in television and I feel that their important work in the field can get lost, sadly. I’m often surprised by a glaring, unapologetic absence of considered analysis and objectivity.” Wilson thinks that viewers may be overwhelmed by this type of media news, which can create a disconnect with the public. “From my own professional perspective, it’s frustrating when I put myself and other people at risk to produce a story that I feel is important, and then I don't hear anything from the hundreds of thousands of people who have probably heard the broadcast. It can feel like the story has had no impact, even though Marketplace is broadcast on more than 330 stations in the United States. The people I featured go on living their lives. Injustice continues. And I need to go on to the next story. I ask myself if there’s another way I could be making a difference.” This past summer, Wilson was on maternity leave so that she could take care of her new son, Theo, born in November 2011, and his three-year-old brother, William. She is considering moving into television journalism, having done occasional stories for the BBC and other networks, and long-form magazine writing. She also hopes to not only report on social inequities but also help correct them. “I’ve done a lot of side research and writing about social entrepreneurship—using entrepreneurial and market-based ideas to affect largescale social change—and I may pursue some type of work in that field.”
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Bardians Honored with Fulbright Awards
Alumni/ae and members of the Junior Committee at the 2012 Bard Music Festival Gala Dinner at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City this spring. From left: Brent Lewis '09, Dionisio Martins '08, Anna Neverova '07, Rami Nagy Hemeid '05, Mia McCully '07, Alysha Glenn '09, Emma Richter '09, Sarah Paden '09, Lucas Pipes '08. photo Karl Rabe
Campus Recruitment Success: Nick Chan ’12 Nick Chan ’12, psychology major and captain of Bard’s men’s volleyball team, joins Morningstar Inc.—named one of Fortune magazine’s 2012 “100 Best Companies to Work For”—in Chicago this fall. Chan was one of 35 college graduates out of more than 1,000 applicants to be selected for Morningstar’s Development Program (MDP). Designed to help new recruits find their niche in the company, MDP is a two-year rotational placement, offering special projects and opportunities for participants to learn broadly about the fields of finance and investment. Furthermore, Morningstar embraces a “flat culture,” which values peer-to-peer collaboration over competition and promotes lateral movement within the company as opposed to the traditional trajectory of climbing the corporate ladder. As an account executive, Chan will work in sales and be responsible for maintaining relationships with his clients, who will be mostly financial advisers. After his first year, he will choose whether to stay in his position or rotate into another position at the company; for example, working in data analysis, equity analysis, or product consulting. Morningstar has been partnering with Bard’s Career Development Office (CDO) since 2009. “Morningstar is one of many organizations that the Career Development Office has cultivated,” says April Kinser, CDO director. “Students like Nick Chan, who started working with our office early on in his Bard career, are much better prepared as seniors to meet recruiters on campus and at our interviewing day in New York City each October.” Every year, Morningstar recruits one or two Bard seniors for their management training program in Chicago. “Morningstar actively recruits from liberal arts colleges. It is an independent financial research firm. They need independent critical thinkers,” says Chan. “The idea behind MDP mirrors why I chose a liberal arts education. Like choosing a major, I’ll be able to customize my career by a process of selection. The short-term and long-term benefits of this program are unbelievable.” After attending Morningstar’s recruitment presentation, Chan sent them his resume that same day. He attributes his success in landing this prestigious position to his rich experiences at Bard, as well as a few key mentors along the way. Chan’s pragmatic father urged him to pursue a liberal arts education despite significantly larger scholarship offers from technical colleges. Furthermore, Chan worked closely with the CDO to compile accomplishments that included
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Prestigious postgraduate fellowships have been awarded to several Bard graduates, including Sadaf Hasan ’12, from Brooklyn, New York, who won a Fulbright award for her project, “A City of Migrants: Exploring Oral Narratives of Domestic Workers in Amman.” Hasan, who studied political studies and human rights at Bard, will travel to Jordan to explore the plight of domestic workers from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines—often the largest group of workers excluded from labor laws and social protection in Jordan—and to document the diverse and complex realities of their lives as a way of making them visible and giving them voices. Duron Jackson MFA ’11, also from Brooklyn, won a Fulbright award to travel to Brazil to complete “African Roots in Contemporary Art Practices of Brazil.” His goal is to research artistic materials, processes, and iconography of the African diaspora, with a particular focus on Salvador da Bahia; his interest lies in how contemporary visual language manifests itself in Brazil, a country whose global art is historically significant and connected to social change. Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships are going to Maya Perlmann ’11, from Brookline, Massachusetts, who will head to Jordan, and Rachel Van Horn ’12, from Lawrence, Kansas, who will travel to Russia to teach English to Russian speakers and complete a community engagement project. a management trainee internship at Enterprise Rent-ACar, named “50 Best Places to Launch a Career” by BusinessWeek. Chan worked at Enterprise from the summer of his junior year through his senior year, winning professional accolades and high performance rankings. During this time, Chan also met another mentor, Bill McTighe, a man to whom he rented a car, who inspired him Nick Chan ’12. photo Jin Goh to write his Senior Project on conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold) and to use the academic opportunity Bard afforded him to pursue extensive independent research. Merging the fields of social psychology and consumer behavior, Chan designed and conducted a study that posed the question, “How does the presence of others impact our consumer behavior?” Chan studied the choices consumers made when purchasing a hypothetical cell phone based on price, ethical manufacturing practices, and the presence of someone else during the purchase. Pursuing his extracurricular interests at Bard, Chan led the men’s volleyball team for three years, winning two Skyline Conference championships. He interned at the Astor Home for Children in Rhinebeck, New York, worked as a Bard Response to Rape and Associated Violence Education (BRAVE) counselor, was vice president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and served as a senior class officer as director of fund-raising. Now, Chan is excited to continue to make the most of every opportunity— planning to get involved in Chicago’s lively beach volleyball scene and pursue an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business while working at Morningstar. “All the dots connected to get me this job,” Chan says. “I drew a mind map of my experiences at Bard and they translated into great interview conversation. For example, when Morningstar asked me to talk about a time I had to communicate sensitive information to a large group of people, I thought of my BRAVE presentations during first-year orientations.”
AUCA Graduates 128 Students with Bard Degrees A parade preceded the commencement ceremony at American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, with the Tien Shan mountain range rising up as a spectacular backdrop. The event took place on June 2 at the Kyrgyz National Philharmonic. Graduates, family, and friends listened to speeches from AUCA President Andrew B. Wachtel, U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Pamela L. Spratlen, and Bard College Executive Vice President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou. Of the 195 students who graduated from AUCA this year, 128 received dual degrees—a B.A. from Bard and diploma from the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education—as a result of the innovative partnership between Bard College and AUCA, which grants Bard-accredited degrees to eligible students in nine academic programs. Bard also was represented by Jonathan Becker, vice president and dean for international affairs and civic engagement; Celia Bland, writer in residence; and Peg Peoples, who was director of college writing and academic resources at AUCA for the past two years and now heads Bard’s Institute for Writing and Thinking. “The ceremony began with a parade of young women in a variety of national costumes carrying flags representing the various homelands of AUCA students,” says Bland. “These were followed by the graduating seniors, all marching in the Philharmonic, a huge marble building decorated with portraits of famous Kyrgyz poets, pennants proclaiming the different program names—Bard College’s banner
Andrew B. Wachtel (left) and Dimitri B. Papadimitriou (right) with graduate Nargiza Metyakubova at AUCA commencement. photo Zhamby Dzusubalieva
among them—and bouquets of flowers. When the degrees were awarded, the seniors threw their mortarboards into the air to whoops of triumph, wild applause, and blinding flashes from countless cameras held by family members.”
Smolny Commencement at Newly Restored Bobrinskiy Palace
Smolny commencement. photo Joseph Taylor
Bobrinskiy Palace opening ceremony. photo Joseph Taylor
The Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg State University (Smolny College) conferred degrees upon 88 undergraduate and 40 graduate students during its 2012 commencement. Undergraduates received two diplomas—a bachelor of arts degree from Bard College and a bachelor of arts and humanitarian sciences from St. Petersburg State University. Speakers at the June 30 ceremony included Bard President Leon Botstein; Valery Mikhailovich Monakhov, director of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Sergei Bogdanov, dean of the Philology Department at St. Petersburg State University. The commencement took place at Smolny College’s main academic building, the newly restored Bobrinskiy Palace. Located in one of the city’s oldest districts, Bobrinskiy Palace is one of St. Petersburg’s great buildings. Named after the distinguished family who resided there from 1798 to 1917, the palace was a gift from the Empress Maria Fedorovna to the family’s founding father, Count Aleksei Grigorievich Bobrinskiy, an illegitimate son of Catherine the Great and G. G. Orlov. It has a rich provenance—entertaining famous diplomats, literary figures (including Alexander Pushkin), and emperors in its grand halls during the 19th century. In 2001, the Federal Commission for the Administration of Government Property presented the Bobrinskiy Palace to St. Petersburg State University as the campus of Smolny College, now the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the major renovation completed this year, seven halls were fully restored—including floors, walls, and marble columns—by the firm Renaissance Restoration and its chief architect, Ivan Selilo. “When we first saw the palace, we were struck by how perfectly suited it is to be the campus of Russia’s first liberal arts college,” says Susan Gillespie, Bard’s vice president for special global initiatives. “The palace has five wings. One, of landmark importance, houses the library, conference hall, and music performance space. The other four wings are just right for seminar classes and faculty and staff offices. A vaulted space on the ground floor gives the cafeteria a historic feel. The arts are present in the images of cherubs playing musical instruments, and of women dancing.” Adds Michaela Walker ’15, “The Smolny building was so amazingly beautiful to begin with, I was skeptical about how they could make it any more so. But they did. It was so gorgeous, and had so many secret studying spots, that it was a joy to explore and take classes there.” on and off campus 31
Poet Laureate at Simon’s Rock Commencement Philip Levine, U.S. poet laureate, offered advice to his audience of 172 graduates when he delivered the commencement address at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College. “What can I as a poet possibly say that would be of use to you who today become graduates?” asked Levine at the May 19 event. “I too graduated college, more than once. And although I did not attend any of my graduations, the degrees have been of use to me. That’s probably because I went into teaching, where such documents are so highly valued that athletic coaches systematically lie about possessing them.” Levine told of a former student of his who, against his parents’ wishes, gave up medical school to study poetry at the graduate writing program at the University of Iowa. The student became an acclaimed poet and writing professor. “Do not hesitate to take the road less traveled,” Levine, paraphrasing Robert Frost, recommended to the 108 associate in arts and 64 B.A. graduates. The author of 20 collections of poetry, Levine has won the National Book Critics Circle Award (Ashes: Poems New and Old), National Book Award (What Work Is), and Pulitzer Prize for poetry (The Simple Truth).
BHSEC commencement. photo Thornton Studios
Early Colleges Mark Student Achievements Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) celebrated its 10th commencement at the historic United Palace Theater in New York City. Of the 277 associate in arts degrees awarded, 152 went to the graduating class from BHSEC Queens and 125 to graduates from BHSEC Manhattan. The BHSEC Queens graduates were the first ninth-grade class admitted to the school when it opened in 2008. Sherrilyn Ifill, noted law professor at the University of Maryland, civil rights lawyer, public affairs commentator, and chair of the board of the Open Society Foundations U.S. Programs, gave the commencement address before graduating students, family, friends, and other supporters at the June 27 event. Josh Thomases, deputy chief academic officer for instruction in the New York City Department of Education, spoke on behalf of Bard’s public school partner. Two graduating students, Nika Sabasteanski (BHSEC Manhattan) and Kendra Ellis (BHSEC Queens), also delivered speeches. Scholarship recipients included the first BHSEC Questbridge Scholarship winner, who now attends Vassar College, and the first Milken Scholar, who enrolled at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. In addition, the BHSECs had three Posse Foundation scholars this year—two from BHSEC Manhattan and one from BHSEC Queens. Ten graduates transferred to Bard College and one to Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College. BHSEC graduates also went on to Princeton University, Yale University, University of Chicago, Swarthmore College, Reed College, Cooper Union, and several other selective liberal arts colleges. More than 80 graduates now attend schools in the CUNY or SUNY systems—almost all were given full credit for their Bard College associate in arts degree. Meanwhile, John Weinstein (on leave from Bard College at Simon’s Rock) has been named principal of BHSEC Newark, which completed its first year under the leadership of Ray Peterson, who came out of retirement to serve as BHSEC Newark’s founding principal. Weinstein has an A.B. from Harvard and Ph.D. from Columbia University in modern Chinese comic drama. He has also presented research on early college education. Lori Ween (who taught at BHSEC Manhattan for eight years) is dean of studies, and Dumaine Williams ’03 is dean of students. This fall, BHSEC Newark nearly doubled in size—from 130 students to 240—with 120 new ninth-graders selected from the 1,900 Newark eighth-graders who indicated an interest in attending the early college.
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Philip Levine at Bard College at Simon’s Rock commencement. photo Lisa Vollmer Photography
Bard President Leon Botstein accepts the Alumni Medal at the University of Chicago on June 2. The award recognizes extraordinary achievement throughout the career of an alumnus/a. Botstein received his B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1967. photo Jason Smith
Arendt Fall Conference on Presidency Aiming to address the predicaments of leadership in our time and to encourage creative thinking about what place, if any, the role of a strong president must have in our future, the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College brought together artists, politicians, businesspeople, academics, and public intellectuals for its fifth international conference, “Does the President Matter?” (www.bard.edu/hannaharendtcenter). Speakers at the September 21–22 event included political activist Ralph Nader, former presidential candidate; Bernard Kouchner, former foreign minister of France and cofounder of Doctors Without Borders; John Zogby, founder of the Zogby Poll and author of The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream; Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party; Eric Liu, CEO of the Guiding Lights Foundation and domestic policy adviser to President Clinton; and Jeffrey Tulis, author of The Rhetorical Presidency. Also speaking were Walter Russell Mead, James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities, blogger at the American Interest, and author of Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World; Ann Norton, author of 95 Theses on Politics, Culture & Method; Richard Aldous, Eugene Meyer Professor of British History and Literature and author of Reagan and Thatcher; Tracy Strong, author of Politics Without Vision; Cornell Law School Professor Bernadette Meyler; and Todd Gitlin, author of Occupy Nation. The conference offered the opportunity to examine the fear of and the need for political leadership. Participants explored a number of questions, including: Is political leadership still possible in a time of splintered polities? Have focus groups and hyper-scrutiny brought about an end to inspired political leadership? What do we make of the demand for leaderless politics coming from Occupy Wall Street? And does the fracturing of the media and of the populace reduce the power of the presidency? Hannah Arendt did not always speak kindly of politicians, but she did praise political people, those who act and speak in the public realm. She believed political freedom requires the courage to risk one’s reputation and life in the public pursuit of the common good. Political actors, Arendt saw, are those citizens who act in unexpected ways and whose actions are so surprising and yet meaningful as to inspire citizens to envision a common purpose.
No Winners in “Just War” The concept of “just war” preoccupied the Bard College Debate Union team last spring. Team members and their counterparts from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point took on the question of whether war can be just in a public debate at Bertelsmann Campus Center. No winner was declared, because the “idea of just war was too serious for the eristic component of voting to be appropriate,” said Bard Professor of Classics William Mullen, the debate’s moderator. Each debate team consisted of two Bard students and two West Point cadets. Bardian Jesse Barlow ’14, who took the position that war cannot be just, said, “This is a choiceless choice, and I do not suggest that, if this country were ever to be suddenly attacked, that we should all stand by and let it happen. But nor should we say that in the murder of those who are attacking us we are justified, for they are our fellow humans, and as fellow humans, they carry an equality of life. We assert that the meaning of justice is the equality of all human life, and to take a human life for the preservation of a particular people, for the interests of one over another, is an assertion of inequality, and therefore an injustice, which is why war can never be just.” Bard student Tekendrajeet Parmar ’15 countered, saying, “When all means of humane intervention are exhausted, war becomes the only means to a greater peace. Although it may be idyllic to think of war as ‘a fossil of our human past,’ we must acknowledge bluntly its existence as a human phenomenon and
Mendelsohn Elected to Academy of Arts and Sciences Award-winning author and critic Daniel Mendelsohn has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mendelsohn, the Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College since 2006, this year joins the ranks of the most respected figures in academia, the arts, business, and public affairs—including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Leon Botstein, more than 250 Nobel laureates, and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. Mendelsohn was inducted at a ceremony on October 6 at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mendelsohn was born on Long Island and educated at the University of Virginia and Princeton University. Since 1991 his essays and reviews have appeared in many publications, most frequently in The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. He has also been the weekly book critic for New York and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, published by HarperCollins in 2006, is an international bestseller and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Jewish Book Daniel Mendelsohn photo Matt Mendelsohn Award. It won the Prix Médicis in France, among other honors, and has been published in more than 15 languages. Other books include a memoir, The Elusive Embrace (1999), a New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; a collection of reviews, How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken (2008), a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; and an acclaimed two-volume translation of the poetry of C. P. Cavafy (2009), also a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Mendelsohn’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Book Reviewing, and the George Jean Nathan Prize for Drama Criticism. its capability for a greater justice. Yes, war becomes a sacrifice for those who partake in it, but those who partake sacrifice themselves for a larger humanitarian peace. It turns into a greater injustice to disregard the fruits of their accomplishment by deeming their methods as amoral.” A question-and-answer session followed, and those in attendance applauded “the courage and eloquence of the speakers.” The debate was part of “Just War in Religion and Politics,” a West Point– Bard Exchange conference, organized by Bard Center Fellow Jacob Neusner, senior fellow at the Institute of Advanced Theology and Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism; College Chaplain Bruce D. Chilton ’71, executive director of the Institute of Advanced Theology and Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion; Jonathan Becker, vice president and dean for international affairs and civic engagement and associate professor of political studies; and R. E. Tully of the departments of English and philosophy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point. “War, like any deeply human activity, will exceed all efforts to regulate it,” Roger Berkowitz, associate professor of political studies and human rights and academic director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College, wrote in the introduction to the book that accompanied the conference. “What is needed, rather, is a determination to recall that justice, and not merely strategy and utility, has a place in war. What just war thinking offers is the insistent determination that those who fight not blind themselves to the illumination of justice amidst the fog of war.”
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Top: Working out at the Stevenson Athletic Center. photo Ken Treadway Bottom: The lounge area in the Bard Alumni/ae Center. photo Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’00
Bard’s Farm Nurtures Knowledge—and Vegetables The Bard College Farm, started earlier this year—with plenty of enthusiasm and financial assistance from Bard students, staff, and faculty, as well as community members—includes the largest cranberry bog in the Hudson Valley. The farm grew out of the love Bard’s students, faculty, and staff have for its Community Garden, which has been a haven for agricultural enthusiasts since 1997. After several hundred students signed a petition requesting the creation of a farm, Bard administrators said the College would provide the bulk of the $60,000 needed if students could raise a third of it. Through a series of fundraisers, including an online campaign and a campus Farm Fest featuring Bard bands and local food, students topped the required $20,000 by early spring. About 1.5 acres were tilled behind Ward Manor, and students, led by farm coordinator John-Paul Sliva, spread manure and leaf compost and readied the fence and irrigation systems. The farm is growing 30 kinds of vegetables, hops, and the cranberries—which no one else in the Hudson Valley is producing on a large scale. Students are learning to grow food in ways that are ecologically sound, demonstrate sustainable food production, and respond to the latest scientific and agricultural practices for growing crops. The farm’s relationship with Chartwells, the campus dining service, is burgeoning. By midsummer, Chartwells had bought the farm’s basil, radishes, Swiss chard, and summer squash, with sales of additional vegetables expected. The festive dinner in the Spiegeltent prior to the opening concert of the Bard Music Festival featured green beans and potatoes from the Bard farm. Student farmers made pickles, sold spicy arugula pesto at the Red Hook Farmers Market, and hosted children from Hudson, New York, who were on campus for a basketball clinic. Food sustainability and the environment were discussed during the Language and Thinking Program's Farm Panel, and first-year students were encouraged to sign
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A $2.1 million expansion and renovation project wrapped up at the newly renamed Stevenson Athletic Center, made possible by a gift from Charles P. Stevenson Jr., chair of the Bard College Board of Trustees, and two anonymous donors. The project included a 7,500-square-foot addition to the 59,000-square-foot structure, and improvements to existing facilities. The center now boasts four new squash courts; this winter, the Raptors will host their first home squash matches in more than a decade. The men’s squash team has only been playing away matches, because the previous courts did not meet College Squash Association width specifications. The Bard Alumni/ae Center opened several weeks after the adjacent Two Boots Bard, a restaurant with Bard connections, opened for business during Commencement/Reunion Weekend. Located across from the main entrance to the College, the center houses Bard’s Office of Development and Alumni/ae Affairs and offers alumni/ae a place to gather informally and interact with faculty and students, host small receptions, and organize readings and exhibitions. The eatery is part of the Two Boots chain started by filmmaker Phil Hartman, who was a visiting student at Bard in 1976 and is the father of Odetta ’11 and Leon ’08. The Bitó Conservatory Building, a gift from László Z. Bitó ’60 and Olivia Carino that is scheduled for completion in January, features geothermal heating and cooling. The Bitó Building will offer a 145-seat performance space that can be configured several ways, along with 15 teaching studios, a lounge, and a large classroom. Designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects LLP, the freestanding 16,500-square-foot structure is connected to Blum via a covered walkway. The Bitó Building also has one-touch audio and video recording and live streaming capabilities. Also new on campus is a building on Blithewood Road containing 12 music practice rooms. The kitchen and servery at Bard’s Kline Commons, offering a variety of cuisines, underwent a complete renovation and the addition of state-of-the-art cooking devices during the summer. up for a farm work day, which was followed by a local farm dinner sponsored by Chartwells. This fall, members of Bard’s Lifetime Learning Institute are helping Bard students harvest vegetables that will be sold to Chartwells. The farm’s goals are to sustain an organic farm that allows students to connect deeply with food and land through the processes of production, and providing local/sustainable produce to the school and community at large; to give students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to work on a farm and learn the skills needed to produce food organically and economically; to link classroom experiences and hands-on work in food production; and to model economically, and ecologically sustainable farming practices. Organizers also serve as a link to the community through workshops and children’s programming.
Harvesting vegetables on the Bard College Farm, from left, Nick Sugihara ’14, Justin Gero ’13, Matthew Constantino ’13, Emily Wissemann ’14, and Ben Gordon ’14. photo John-Paul Sliva
Roll Up! Roll Up! for Circus and the City Before it became a slogan conscripted by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth” referred to the circus of an earlier impresario: Dan Rice. Rice, who helped transform the circus business in the mid-19th century, is only one of many early showmen, performers, and artists whose work is featured in what might be described as “The Greatest Circus Exhibition on Earth.” Circus and the City: New York, 1793–2010, on view at the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) through February 3, 2013, uses the lens of New York City as a way of exploring the history, spectacle, and pageantry of what became the most popular form of entertainment in the United States. Curated by Matthew Wittmann, a curatorial fellow at the BGC, the exhibition features more than 200 objects and images selected from both local and national collections, including a series of thematic displays about parades, music, toys, elephants, posters, and other aspects of the circus business. These displays include prints and photographs of circuses parading through the city in different eras, as well as wooden carvings by Samuel A. Robb, New York’s preeminent manufacturer of show and shop figures, and a collection of the brightly colored posters that appeared all over the city whenever a circus came to town. Susan Weber, founder and director of the BGC, initiated the circus research project and is coeditor of The American Circus, a collection of essays about the history of the circus in the United States that accompanies the exhibition. Circus and the City also explores the circus’s appeal to children, and celebrates Jumbo, an African elephant that arrived in New York harbor in 1882 and touched off a craze known as “Jumbomania,” which generated a deluge of ephemera and memorabilia. By the turn of the 20th century, New York City was the circus’s most important market and the place where cutting-edge performances and exhibitions were introduced to the nation. This exhibition follows the history of the circus and the city through the 20th century by focusing on the Ringling Bros.
International Center of Photography Gordon Parks: A Hundred Years, an exhibition commemorating the centennial of the birth of the groundbreaking photographer, filmmaker, musician, and writer Gordon Parks, is on view at the International Center of Photography–Bard Program in Advanced Photographic Studies (ICP). It includes a large-scale photo mural and slideshow of more than 50 photographs he captured throughout his long, illustrious career. Curated by Maurice Berger, it is one of two installations running through January 6, 2013. The second, Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, examines the legacy of the apartheid system and its invidious penetration into all aspects of social existence in South Africa, from housing, public amenities, and transportation to education, tourism, religion, and businesses. Curated by Okwui Enwezor with Rory Bester, the exhibition honors the achievement of South African photographers. This complex and dramatic exhibition includes nearly 500 photographs, films, books, magazines, newspapers, and archival documents. Several photographic approaches, from documentary to the photo essay, examine the effects and aftereffects of apartheid’s political, social, economic, and cultural legacy. Visitors to ICP exhibitions over the summer were treated to an intriguing mix of compelling subjects. Weegee: Murder Is My Business chronicled the unique vision of freelance photographer Weegee, who specialized in photos of murder and mayhem in New York in the ’30s and ’40s. In Les Amies de Place Blanche Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm documented the subculture of transsexual young men who frequented the Place Blanche red-light district of Paris in the 1960s. These intimate and moving portraits were described by the New York Times as “a fascinating time capsule” that pays vivid tribute to these
and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which still visits Madison Square Garden every spring. There is memorabilia about the first visit of the Ringling Brothers to New York City in 1909; Arthur Feelig’s (aka Weegee) circus photography; and works of art by Walt Kuhn, Milton Avery, and other New York City artists who were inspired by the circus. A final section of the exhibition is devoted to the performers who thrilled New York audiences, featuring the animal trainer Clyde Beatty, the high-wire aerialist Karl Wallenda, the equestrienne May Wirth, and the clown Felix Adler. If you ever wanted to (or still want to) run away and join the circus, then this ambitious, compelling, landmark exhibition is for you (www.bgc.bard.edu).
Jumbo the Children’s Giant Pet (1882). Poster printed by the Hatch Lithographic Company, New York. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Tibbals Collection.
“girlfriends of Place Blanche.” Also on view were President in Petticoats! Civil War Propaganda in Photographs, which revealed the variety of photographs, ephemera, photo montages, and cards that sprang up just as the Civil War ended, and A Short History of Photography, a survey selected from ICP’s collection of more than 100,000 photographs ranging from the 1840s to the present. For more information, visit www.icp.org.
Gordon Parks, Ingrid Bergman, Stromboli, Italy (1949). photo ©The Gordon Parks Foundation
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Peter Dinklage (left) and Ethan Phillips in Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid. photo Cory Weaver
SummerScape Celebrated Saint-Saëns SummerScape 2012 explored the masterful oeuvre of Camille Saint-Saëns, whose long, prolific career was celebrated in the 23rd annual Bard Music Festival. With Saint-Saëns as its focal point, the operatic, theatrical, terpsichorean, cinematic, and musical fare of SummerScape delved deeply into French culture of the (mostly) late 19th and early 20th centuries and its enduring influence on contemporary art and thought. In keeping with the festival’s mission to resurrect operas that have been unfairly neglected, this summer saw the first staged revival of the 1887 version of Emmanuel Chabrier’s comic masterpiece, The King in Spite of Himself. A tandem production of Wexford Festival Opera and Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, the opera was directed by SummerScape veteran Thaddeus Strassberger and featured the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of its music director, Bard President Leon Botstein. “As usual Mr. Botstein confounds expectations by avoiding the obvious,” wrote Peter G. Davis in the New York Times. “The Chabrier opera is a real rarity, full of musical surprises,” not least among them the composer’s “quirky lyricism and unconventional harmonic procedures.” Erica Schmidt’s adaptation of Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid proved that the comedy, penned in 1673, still retains its relevance and bite. Sporting an allmale cast “whose wildly entertaining turns and drag posturing contribute to the riotous artifice” (New York Post), the farce provoked nonstop laughter in soldout houses—especially in the scenes between the pseudo-sickly Argan (Ethan Phillips of Star Trek Voyager fame), and his conniving maid Toinette, played to a fare-thee-well by the Emmy-winning Peter Dinklage.
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Let My Joy Remain, a concert-length dance by Béatrice Massin’s Compagnie Fêtes galantes, brought buoyancy and “splashes of anarchy” (Financial Times) to Baroque steps and gestures, melding them with modern dance. The summer’s film series, “France and the Colonial Imagination,” explored the legacy of French rule in Africa and Southeast Asia, with screenings of such classics as The Battle of Algiers, Pépé le Moko, and Casablanca. And the Spiegeltent, that perennial latenight crowd magnet, rollicked along with its bawdy cabaret performances, variegated bands, and fun-filled afternoon family shows. The 23rd Bard Music Festival—directed by Botstein, Robert Martin, and Christopher H. Gibbs, with Jann Pasler serving as this year’s scholar in residence—was rich and varied, with scholarly incursions and musical forays into all aspects of Saint-Saëns’s life, times, and creative milieu. The two weekends of symphonic, chamber, and choral concerts, along with talks and special events, illuminated what Pasler referred to as the composer’s “eternally young, ardent, [and] enthusiastic” music and mindset. Some of the high points were an unusual performance of the honoree’s Carnival of the Animals, which featured excerpts from the famous works Saint-Saëns quoted in his suite; a performance of his Old Testament oratorio Le déluge, neglected in its day but now considered one of his most enduring works; and a full production of Henry VIII, a Saint-Saëns grand opera that rivals, for sheer scale and harmonic and textural intricacy, his better-known Samson et Dalila. Writing in the New York Times, Steve Smith noted that “amid all the context and conjecture, you never forget that the Bard Music Festival is, at its core, a series of concerts meant to entertain and edify. Performers engaged by Bard invariably seem energized by the prospect of extending beyond canonical routine, and by an audience that comes prepared with open ears and open minds.”
Students Get Theater Production Experience Each summer, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts offers paid internships for Bard students to gain hands-on experience working on all Bard SummerScape productions under the guidance of the Fisher Center’s theater professionals. Production management interns perform general office duties, research props and scenery, assist in company management of the crew, track production schedules, and maintain archival records. Technical theater internships are designed to develop backstage production skills in electrics, AV, scenic carpentry, props, properties, and stagehand. Stage management interns are involved in the preproduction and rehearsal process, technical management, and coordination and smooth execution of all SummerScape operas and dramatic productions. Costume internships give students the opportunity to work with costume designers, professional drapers, and stitchers in costume construction, wardrobe maintenance, and dressing. For the 2012 SummerScape season, the Fisher Center had seven technical theater interns, three stage management interns, one production management intern, and one costume intern assisting in Bard’s spectacular theater and music productions. Madeline Wise ’12, a production management intern for two years, says, “I received my degree in theater, so as an actor, what was most valuable about working in the production office for SummerScape was getting a sense of how huge and comprehensive the network of support is for the performers. There is a whole teeming organism that allows the performers to do what they do.”
Live Arts Lab Spawns Innovative Art Forms Live Arts Bard (LAB), an innovative new residency and commissioning program that began in September, is designed to transcend the traditional boundaries of theater, performance, dance, music, film, and live art (the latter a term from the visual arts world, meaning art with live performers and encompassing artists working across traditional disciplines). Led by Gideon Lester, the College’s new director of theater programs, LAB is a partnership between the Theater and Performance Program and the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. “Our aim is to develop a fertile and nurturing community of visiting artists and students, working side by side to generate projects and new creative methodologies,” says Lester. Each year LAB will provide residencies for individual artists, or groups of collaborators, that will last between two weeks and three months, for activities such as: inaugurating projects at the Fisher Center, either during the annual Bard SummerScape festival or other times of year; developing residencies for projects commissioned by other institutions; directing productions or projects with Bard students; teaching semester-long courses in the Theater and Performance Program; teaching master classes and workshops for Bard students, for the public, or in local schools; and mentoring Bard students in the development of their own projects. The 2012–13 pilot program supports five residencies. By 2015, LAB will operate between seven and 10 residencies per year. Visiting artists in 2012–13 include internationally acclaimed musician, performer, and songwriter Amanda Palmer with her band, The Grand Theft Orchestra; director Annie Dorsen and performer Scott Shepherd (of the Wooster Group); New York–based choreographer and performer Jack Ferver; Hungarian theater director Jànos Szàsz; and acclaimed actress and writer Anna Deavere Smith with cellist Joshua Roman. During her residency in September, Palmer and her band developed their new stage show, which they intend to tour with internationally. They filmed a music video on campus and gave three concerts at the Fisher Center, and launched Palmer’s new album. Palmer’s husband, the novelist Neil Gaiman, gave a reading of a new story in front of a capacity audience. The couple will return to Bard in April 2013 to give another concert, “The Neil and Amanda Show.” In
Composer George Crumb (left) and Leon Botstein confer at Carnegie Hall following an all-Crumb concert by the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Botstein, who calls Crumb "one of the most original, profound, and important composers in all of 20th-century music." photo Matt Dine September 2013, Palmer will spend three more weeks at Bard developing a new musical with students. Also in September 2012, Dorsen and Shepherd collaborated with a group of French computer scientists to create False Peach, a computer play based on Hamlet. Dorsen is remaining at Bard for the fall semester and will teach two courses in the Theater and Performance Program. Ferver, whose residency begins January 2013, will develop All of a Sudden, a dance-theater collaboration with dramaturg Joshua Lubin-Levy, based on Tennessee Williams’s Suddenly Last Summer. After the residency Ferver will remain at Bard for the spring semester, where he will teach two courses in the Theater and Performance Program. Szàsz developed a student production that was produced in April 2011, while Deavere Smith and Roman plan to create On Grace, a multifaceted exploration of the quality of grace that will receive its world premiere at the Bard SummerScape festival in July 2013.
Amanda Palmer at the Richard B. Fisher Center. photo Stephanie Berger
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Alumni/ae Reunion Weekend 2012 brought more than 500 Bardians and their families back to campus May 25–27. There is nothing quite like Annandale in May—where it seems that all the blossoms know there is a party and bloom just in time. Whether climbing in the back of a pickup truck and heading to the falls, walking through the Blithewood garden, or getting covered in mud with teammates at the rugby game, coming back to Bard means something different for everyone. This year the weather was perfect and the sea of blankets at Blithewood for the barbeque and fireworks was bigger than ever. Older reunion classes enjoyed the elegance of Blithewood with a cocktail party and seated class dinners inside the mansion. Younger reunion attendees mingled at the alumni/ae reunion reception under the tent on Blithewood’s south lawn. Highlights included the President’s Awards Ceremony, which honored some of Bard’s most accomplished alumni/ae (see p. 23). Awardees spanned the gamut of experience, from groundbreaking feminist performance artist Carolee Schneemann ’59 to innovative lighting designer and researcher Fred Maxik ’86. Maxik’s company, Lighting Science Group Corporation, is generously retrofitting much of Bard’s outdoor lighting with lamps that represent significant energy savings using LED technology. The BardCorps Oral History Airstream trailer returned for the second year to record Bardians’ stories. Reunion attendees enjoyed tours of the new Bard College Farm, located in the shadow of Manor House, which is supplying organic vegetables to Chartwells (the Bard food service company), and growing hops and cranberries (see p. 34). The Bertelsmann Campus Center was again redecorated as the Annandale Roadhouse and offered refreshments along with pool, movies, and karaoke. On Saturday morning the life and work of Adolfas Mekas, professor emeritus of film who died May 31, 2011, was celebrated at the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center with movies, music, and tributes from professors, alumni/ae, and colleagues. Two Boots Bard officially opened across Route 9G from the main campus and was hopping all weekend with alumni/ae and new graduates and their families. To all those who made the trip to Alumni/ae Reunion Weekend 2012—thank you. We hope you will come again next year, especially if it is your reunion. Mark your calendars for May 24–26, 2013.
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1. Class of 2007 2. Class of 2002 3. Class of 1997 4. Class of 1992 5. Class of 1987 6. Class of 1982 7. Class of 1972 8. Class of 1962/63 9. Class of 1952 photos Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’00, 1–4; Ben Ganssos, 5–9
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save the date
MAY 24–26, 2013 ALUMNI/AE WEEKEND AND 153RD COMMENCEMENT
Editor’s note: More extensive versions of many of these notes, and additional notes, are posted on AnnandaleOnline.org. Class Notes of any length, with accompanying photos, may be posted there. For Reunion details, click on the tab on our website, AnnandaleOnline.org, or contact the Office of Alumni/ae Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-BARDCOL.
’12 Sam Abbott is studying for his master’s degree in public policy at Georgetown University. | Matthew Boisvert is in the Ph.D. program in neuroscience at University of California, San Diego. | Madison Fletcher is starting a Ph.D. program in chemistry at Temple University, Philadelphia. | Keziah Goudsmit and Anna Page Nadin are both attending The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. | Morgan Green spent this past summer as directing intern at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival. | Sadaf Hasan, a Fulbright Fellow in Jordan, will begin her research by documenting the oral narratives of migrant domestic workers in Amman. | Rachel Hyman works as an environmental education ranger at Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, where she leads daylong hikes and conducts lessons on the science of Canyon Country, a desert area. | Mujahid Sarsur is at Stanford University studying for an M.A. in liberal arts. | Yue Sun is completing an M.Music degree in classical violin performance at The Juilliard School, New York City.
de Música de Colón in Venezuela, along with several current Bard Conservatory musicians including the festival’s founding artistic director and violinist Leonardo Pineda. | Zoe Elizabeth Noyes received the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship for Mandarin Chinese this past summer.
’10 Olivia Conti recently received her M.A. degree in communication and rhetorical studies from Syracuse University and enters the doctoral program in rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin– Madison this fall.
’09 Nicholas Hippensteel spent the last year in Madrid, Spain, on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. | Emma Richter traveled this past summer with the Collegiate Chorale. They toured with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Israel and at the Salzburg Festival in Austria. | Tiantian Zhang (B.Mus.) received an M.Music, violin, in 2011 from Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and is now associate principal, second violin in the Houston Symphony.
’08 5th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013 To join the reunion committee of Hannah Byrnes-Enoch, Gerry Pambo-Awich, Patricia Pforte, and Genya Shimkin, please e-mail email@example.com or call 845-758-7089. Adriane Raff Corwin received a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study Hindi in Jaipur, India, this summer. | Patricia Pforte graduated with her master’s degree in museum studies from New York University in May. In August, she moved to California, where she volunteers for the Board of Governors of the Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association, as chair of the Young Alumni/ae Committee. | Genya Shimkin is attending the University of Washington for her master’s degree in public health.
’11 Anja Boenicke (B.Mus.) has been awarded a grant from the Korean Government Scholarship Program and will begin graduate studies in the Global MBA Program at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, this fall. | Robert Goodis is studying for a J.D. in international human rights law from the American University Washington College of Law (WCL), and for an M.P.P. from the School of Public Affairs. | Taylor Lambert was cast in the lead role of Tom Warner in the movie Prep School. The feature film was shot in August in San Francisco. | In August 2012, Shawn Moore (B.Mus.) and Renata Rakova ’l2 (B.Mus.) performed at the first annual Festival
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’07 Grace Barber has worked as an ecological educator in Maine, a technician in a neuroscience lab in Los Angeles, and a conservation science technician at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in New York State. This fall, she begins her master’s degree in environmental conservation at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She had a wonderful time catching up with classmates at the reunion in May. | Corrie Siegel received a Six Points Fellowship, a grant for emerging artists who create new work that explores Jewish ideas and themes. Her work was on display at the Ben Uri Gallery, the London Jewish Museum
of Art; Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles; and Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, California. She is a founder and director of the gallery Actual Size Los Angeles, and manager of education of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. | Rachael Small is an M.F.A. candidate in literary translation at the University of Iowa. This summer, she was the only U.S. student chosen to attend the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. She is currently working on her second translation for the magazine France Fiction and edits eXchanges Journal of Literary Translation. | Joanna Tanger is working in the Office of Alumni/ae Affairs at Bard. Previously, she managed donor relations for a nonprofit that focuses on water filtration and hygiene education in developing countries. She also received her TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification and taught business English for the Skrivanek language school in Prague, Czech Republic.
’06 Matthew Cummings graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an M.F.A. in printmaking in May 2011. He works as an art handler at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. | Manon Hutton-DeWys completed her master’s degree in classical piano at Mannes College The New School for Music, New York. She began her Ph.D. in musical arts at CUNY Graduate Center this fall. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, and Bargemusic, among other venues in New York City. She is also on the piano faculty of Greenwich House Music School in the West Village. | Victoria Jacobs, along with Lilah Steece, Sarah (Mercer) Seder ’07, and Nathan Seder ’08, premiered While We Are Human, an evening-length interactive performance in July with their critically acclaimed, Seattle-based company Sapience Dance Collective. Victoria is a Gyrotonic instructor, writer, and dance artist loving life in the Pacific Northwest. | Eiren (Shea) Warneck is in her third year of a Ph.D. studying Chinese art history at the University of Pennsylvania. She also participated in an intensive Japanese program in Yokohama this summer.
’05 Jesse Aylen attended the Denver Publishing Institute this summer at the University of Denver. He lives in New York and works in publishing. | Anya Rose earned her master’s degree in ecology and environmental science from the University of Maine in 2010. She worked for a year and a half at the Richard Lewis Media Group in Boston, producing educational media for museums, and is currently attending Tufts University in Boston, studying for a master’s degree in teaching.
’04 Rainey Reitman’s recent op-ed in U.S. News & World Report criticized the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a proposed law that would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information. She also serves on the board of directors for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. | Joe Vallese (MAT ’05) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his creative nonfiction piece “Blood, Brothers,” which appeared in the fall issue of Southwest Review. | Yari Wolinsky is an independent filmmaker who ran a campaign through Kickstarter to fund the documentation of a 17thcentury wooden Polish synagogue destroyed by the Nazis. It is now being rebuilt by Handshouse Studio, a nonprofit, educational organization, as well as by students from around the world.
’03 10th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013 To join the reunion committee of Mollie Meikle, Pia Carusone, J. P. Kingsbury, Rita Pavone, and Dumaine Williams, please e-mail Mollie Meikle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-758-7089. Pia Carusone has a new job as assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to the DHS, “Pia and her team will be responsible for coordinating the public affairs activities of all of the Department’s components and offices, and serve as the federal government’s lead public information office during national emergencies or disasters.” | Matt Dineen began an interdisciplinary master’s degree program at Goddard College in February 2012. He lives in Philadelphia and serves on the events committee at Wooden Shoe Books, the city’s 35-yearold anarchist information and bookshop. | Daniel Lichtblau finished his first feature film as a producer with the documentary One Day on Earth. This summer, the film played in theaters across the country and will be released on home video and on demand this fall. | Lydia Willoughby got married in September 2011 to Amber Michelle Billey at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York. She completed an M.S. in library and information science from Long Island University that same month, and worked at CUNY LaGuardia Community College as a reference librarian. She and Amber now live in Burlington, Vermont.
’02 Carla Aspenberg completed a yearlong residency in printmaking at the Lawrence Arts Center, Kansas. | Cassandra “KC” Bull is in her seventh year teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently teaches kindergarten in a public school. She received her master’s degree in education from
Books by Bardians Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship by Richard Aldous, Eugene Meyer Professor of British History and Literature w.w. norton and company Aldous challenges the popular public image of Reagan and Thatcher’s unencumbered alliance to end the Cold War era. Drawing on newly declassified documents, diaries, and extensive oral history, the book vividly recreates dramatic and often discordant political and personal encounters between the two powerhouses.
Freedom’s Gardener: James F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America by Myra B. Young Armstead, professor of history new york university press Brown, an escaped slave who became enfranchised and employed as a master gardener in the Hudson Valley, kept meticulous diaries. This book weaves details from his life into an illuminating history of the emergent concepts of American freedom, national citizenship, free labor, and democratic practices in the years preceding the Civil War.
Rue des Lombards by Jane Evelyn Atwood ’70 éditions xavier barral Atwood’s exquisite black-and-white photographs document the seedy nightlife of the prostitutes who worked at 19 Rue des Lombards during the 1970s. With unabashed celebration, Atwood (winner of Bard’s Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters) captures “this mysterious secret world. Dark and sordid, yes, but a world where everything intrigued me.”
June by Daniel Brenner ’98 fence books Brenner’s second book of poetry follows his prizewinning debut collection. With the same incisive wit, he constructs a luminescent chorus of unexpected voices—“perfumed people”—who inhabit an intoxicating yet thoroughly sober world where “Gorgeous dolphins will thrash & / Radioactive wagons burn.”
The Anxious Gardener’s Book of Answers by Teri Dunn Chace ’83 timber press Addressing the 100 most common gardening mistakes and questions, this book offers sage and matter-of-fact advice on how to fix—or, even better, how to prevent—those everyday errors.
Open City by Teju Cole, Distinguished Writer in Residence random house This debut novel opens with Julius, a young half-Nigerian and half-German doctor, who embarks on a series of walks through New York City. Adrift in the city, he encounters a number of people who reveal stories about the layered history of New York’s immigrant life, and is forced to delve deeper into his own identity of exile.
class notes 41
Mills College in 2006. She has traveled and shown her films in the United States, Paris, Glasgow, and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. | Toni (Fortini) Josey and her husband, Allen, welcomed their son, Sawyer Hudson Josey, on July 8, 2011. His sister, Jacey Dale, is three. The family lives in Vermont, where they regularly run into Bardians. | Jessica Neptune completed her Ph.D. in American history at the University of Chicago in June, and was married to Andre Cross in Old Chatham, New York, in July 2012. In attendance were Liz Powers Howort ’05, Cynthia Conti-Cook ’03, Juan Carlos Diaz, Rebecca Wu-Norman, Jacob Mitchell ’04, Molly Gia Foresta ’04, and Diana Hill ’83.
at Cannes in May and the Toronto Film Festival in September. “It's definitely not a Bollywood film, a multiplex film, or a straight arthouse one. It’s changing the definition of what an Indian film can be,” he says.
’94 Andrew Nicholson wrote Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History, which won the American Academy of Religion’s 2011 Award for Best First Book in the History of Religions.
As usual, Erin, her husband Yani Tsakos ’87, and their girls came back and stayed at Bard for Reunion Weekend and had a great time.
’84 Eric Schaeffer created a new film, After Fall, Winter, which opened in February 2012. The film is the second of four he has made, separated by 15year intervals and focusing on the same character.
’83 30th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013 If you would like to be part of the committee, please e-mail email@example.com or call 845-758-7089.
20th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013
’01 Noel Brandis is married and living outside Chicago. She has been teaching Pilates at re:fit in Glenview, Illinois, for almost a decade, and is a member of The Luna Troop, a small dance company, which also recently recruited Diego Arispe ’05. | Bernard Geoghegan received a double Ph.D. in media studies from Northwestern University, Illinois, and Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany. He works at the Humboldt University, Berlin, as a postdoctoral researcher.
’00 Tracy Priest was named a 2011 Dewey Fellow by the New York Library Association’s Leadership and Management Section in recognition of her leadership as director of the Phoenicia Public Library after the library was devastated by fire earlier in the year. She recently joined the Bard Office of Development and Alumni/ae Affairs.
’98 15th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013 To join the reunion committee of Josh Bell, Kathleya Chotiros, and Jenn Novik, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-758-7089.
’97 Daniel Martinico premiered his feature film OK, Good at the 2012 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
’96 Sarah Smirnoff and Eric Crahan are still happily married and living in Harlem, New York. Eric recently started a position as editor of political science at Oxford University Press. Sarah is a senior project manager in software company Wireless Generation’s new curriculum division in Brooklyn. Their daughter Sadie starts second grade this fall.
'95 Ashim Ahluwalia's latest movie, Miss Lovely, is making the rounds of film festivals. It was shown 42 class notes
After nearly two decades in New York, Rudi Ganz
David Speciner left New York’s Alston & Bird, LLP in March 2012 after almost 28 years at that firm and its predecessors to became a partner at McLaughlin & Stern, LLP, another New York law firm.
moved to Chicago in April 2011 with his wife, Inna, and two youngest children, Maddox and Emma.
To join the reunion committee of Roger Scotland, Olivier te Boekhorst, and Paul Thompson, please e-mail email@example.com or call 845-758-7089.
’89 Denise Glover edited Explorers and Scientists in China’s Borderlands, 1880–1950 along with Stevan Harrell, Charles F. McKhann, and Margaret Byrne Swain (see p. 43). She and her colleague, Sienna Craig, edited a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity (vol. 5, no. 2). She also has released a CD, A Cold Frosty Morning, with her band, Rosin in the Aire.
Lynn Behrendt appeared in Monologues for Orpheus, a new play by Bard professor Robert Kelly, at a staged reading in Bard Hall.
’79 Noël Sturgeon recently accepted a job as dean of the faculty of environmental studies at York University in Toronto in an interdisciplinary environmental studies program.
’78 ’88 25th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013 To join the reunion committee of Jennifer Lupo, Al Varady, and Allison Villone, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-758-7089.
David Henderson had his exhibit, A Brief History of Aviation, featured at Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, from March to May 2012.
’73 40th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013
’87 Christina Griffith lives in New Mexico with her husband and 12-year-old stepson. She is an educational consultant for schools and organizations that support low income, first-generation, collegebound students. | David Phillips has been appointed vice provost for admissions and financial aid at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. | Bill Preston was recently reelected full-time president of American Federation of Government Employees, Local 17, AFL-CIO. He and his wife, Lauren, live in Mount Vernon, Virginia, and had a great time at the reunion in May.
To join the reunion committee of Randy Buckingham, Barbara Grossman, and Leslie Philips, please e-mail email@example.com or call 845-758-7089. Susan Lippman and Bill Lippman ’72 recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with friends and family.
’72 Mary (McFerren) Stobie is a regular columnist for the print and online editions of the Wheat Ridge Transcript in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. She has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, and Rocky Mountain News.
’86 Erin deWard writes audio description scripts for the Benefit Media Division of DuArt Film & Video, New York. These scripts translate visual images from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit into aural images for people who have limited or no vision.
’69 Christoph and Julia (Beasley) Mauran have eight grandchildren ranging in age from one to 21. Chris enjoys being semiretired, and says he should have sold his business years ago. He enjoys the best of
all possible worlds: a regular paycheck, part-time work, and no worries about bills. Julia continues to dance as hard as she can to stay in the same place.
’68 Andrew Frank’s music is now published by Schott Music in New York City. | Barbara Crane Wigren and her husband Jon hosted a gathering of Bardians—including fellow Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association Board of Governors members Cynthia Hirsch Levy ’65 and Diana Hirsch Friedman ’68—for Jon’s show at the Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, Massachusetts.
’66 In September 2011, Jimmy Camicia had his work, Change For A Dying Queen, filmed as part of a Michelle Handelman MFA ’01 installation, Beware the Lily Law. | Kathryn Stein started a new consulting business in biotechnology at katystein.com.
’65 Jim Banker and his wife Michele went on a Lindblad Expeditions trip to southeast Alaska, kayaking and hiking through temperate rain forests and catching sight of whales, otters, sea lions, bald eagles, and mountain goats. | Carole Fabricant is enjoying life after retirement; she recently visited Morocco, and has nearly finished the first draft of a novel. She also writes occasional scholarly book reviews. | Charles Hollander recently completed a threeweek trip of six ballparks, seeing 10 games (seven Major League and three Minnesota high school finals). He met lots of people along the way, including Claire Scheuren ’68 in Tucson, and Vicki Lindner ’66 in Denver, as well as going to a Mariners game with Michelle Dunn Marsh ’95. He and his wife Janet revel in grandson Griffin. | On his 70th birthday, David Jacobowitz rode his age in kilometers on a bike ride with son Saul ’01 around northern Vermont and up Smugglers’ Notch, north of Stowe. A few weeks later, he rode 70 miles in New York State. He has been doing bicycle advocacy work with nonprofit Local Motion and several other Vermont organizations. | Cynthia Hirsch Levy has retired from Bard’s Board of Trustees, but will remain active with the Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association Board of Governors. | Steve Lipson and his wife Serl are still playing golf and bridge (they became silver life masters this year) and enjoying their nine grandchildren. | Richard Lorr finished two steel sculptures that are on view in the streets of Takoma Park, Maryland. He had a small role in Milkshake, a movie that should appear this year. He and wife Kathy went to Thailand, Vietnam, and India in March. | Roderick Townley’s seventh novel for young readers, The Door in the Forest (Knopf), is
Spatiotemporal Data Analysis by Gidon Eshel, Research Professor princeton university press Introducing statistical and algebraic methods used to analyze spatiotemporal data in a range of fields, including climate science, geophysics, ecology, astrophysics, and medicine, Eshel provides applications of its mathematical theory and methods using real-world examples: studying the origins, rates, and frequencies of phenomena such as tornados and other storm mutations or the spread of flu epidemics.
The View We’re Granted by Peter Filkins, literature faculty, Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College johns hopkins university press In his fourth collection of poems, Filkins turns the quotidian matters of life—fishing, a soccer game—into transcendent moments of reflection. His blank verse digests the most profound grief—the death of a sister, a drowned two-year-old girl—and offers it back as song.
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano ’95, illustrated by Erin E. Stead roaring brook press In this charming story of anticipation, hope, and renewal, a little boy and his dog set out to plant a garden at the end of a long winter. After much work and expectation, the first hints of spring arise from the earth in the form of green buds and shoots.
American Sunshine: Diseases of Darkness and the Quest for Natural Light by Daniel Freund, assistant professor of social studies, BHSEC Manhattan university of chicago press Freund examines America’s obsession with sunlight dating back to the late 19th century, when skyscrapers and smog blocked out the sun’s rays. His study of America’s “diseases of darkness” (rickets and tuberculosis) gives new perspectives on the history of health, cities, and consumerism in American culture.
The Oxford History of Western Music, College Edition by Richard Taruskin and Christopher H. Gibbs, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Music oxford university press This college edition, based on the six-volume tome by Taruskin, offers a comprehensive and up-to-date history of the past 200 years of Western music. With unique study resources, including a companion website, score anthologies, and a CD set in MP3 format, this volume places key works into broader historical, cultural, social, and political contexts and provides in-depth discussion of the classical canon.
Explorers and Scientists in China’s Borderlands, 1880–1950 edited by Denise M. Glover ’89, Stevan Harrell, Charles F. McKhann, and Margaret Byrne Swain university of washington press With a preface by Glover, this book of essays examines the work and lives of pioneering Euro-American scientists and explorers—from botanists to ethnographers to missionaries—who studied and traveled to late imperial and Republican China.
class notes 43
now in paperback. Called “a suspenseful, thoughtprovoking fantasy” (Booklist), and “a lively blend of whimsy and unsettling mystery” (School Library Journal), it has been named a 2012 Kansas Notable Book. | Bob Weissberg spent 12 days in Portugal this spring, and July and August in the Catskills; he is planning trips to Montana and Europe. He still writes for various websites. | Dalt Wonk (Richard Cohen) and his wife Josephine Sacabo (Marialice Martin ’67) live in New Orleans. She is an actress and photographer. They run a limited-edition publishing operation called Luna Press. Nocturnes, the first book, is already out; the second, French Quarter Fables, will appear soon.
Ellen (Moskal) Mayne retired from being an educational media specialist for the Englewood Public Schools District. Her son, Bradford Forbes Mayne, died this past spring at the age of 33. He was an
60th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013
Diane (Miller) Himmelbaum retired in 2010 as a full professor of art from St. John’s University, New York, after 41 years of teaching. She now works full time in her studio.
Bard Center for Environmental Policy ’12
If you would like to be part of the committee, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-758-7089.
Patrick DiCiaccio interned at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the U.S. President this summer, researching the Environmental Protection Agency’s water programs and policies as they relate to the federal budget. In the fall, Patrick enrolled in the Master of Science in Finance Program at the University of Buffalo. | Rachel Savain started her new job in Haiti as policy advisor for VNG International, focusing on waste management policy. VNG is a Dutch nongovernmental organization concentrating on municipal infrastructure and capacity building. | Bartosz “Bartek” Starodaj is working for the German Marshall Fund of the United States as a program assistant in the Urban and Regional Policy Program. | Lucille Van Hook‘s graduate
Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts
work focused on energy efficiency programs in the residential sector. She is now fisheries program coordinator for the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association in Brunswick, Maine.
50th Reunion: May 24–26, 2013
(We know many of you celebrated last May with the Class of ’62, but if you want to come back and celebrate in 2013, we’d love to see you.)
Michelle Handelman exhibited Dorian, a cinematic perfume at the 53 Art Museum in Guangzhou, China, from December 2011 to March 2012. It was featured on the cover of the Chinese publication Gallery Magazine.
Prapti Bhandary is working for the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., in the Environment and Production Technology Division as senior research assistant.
expert in Internet security and hacking, and assisted the FBI.
Joan (Spielberg) Rich ’63 is retired from teaching art at the high school level. She still paints, makes baskets, and creates high-end crafts. Her baskets have been displayed at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. Joan enjoys living both in the Washington area and in Delaware, and has three grown children and seven grandchildren.
’54 The art of Louise Odes Neaderland was exhibited at the Stevenson Library in August. Her work uses the photocopier as “camera, darkroom, and printing press.” Her work has been shown nationally and internationally. Neaderland founded the International Society of Copier Artists in 1981 and published the I.S.C.A. Quarterly from 1982 to 2003.
’10 ’94 Robin Guarino, who was hired in 2008 at the Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music as the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera, was recently appointed coartistic director of Cincinnati’s Opera Fusion: New Works.
Michel Wahome is living in New York City and working for the New York Academy of Sciences as a program associate in innovation and sustainability.
’08 Andrew Lance works at Lorain County Community College, Ohio, as an associate member of the faculty in the science and mathematics departments. Andy is an instructor of introductory biology and ecology courses.
’07 Kristen Wilson and husband Miguel are pleased to welcome Alegra Elspeth Alvarado Wilson to the world. Alegra was born on her mom’s birthday, April 18, 2012.
’06 Louise Jensen began serving as the executive director of the Lassen Land & Trails Trust in Susanville, California, in October 2011. | Todd Olinsky-Paul has a new position as project director of Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), in Montpelier, Vermont.
’05 The Nuclear Fan (©1984, reprinted 1992), Louise Odes Neaderland '54, artists book, photocopied paper
44 class notes
Aubrey McMahon is a senior environmental analyst in the department of natural resources at
AKRF, a leading environmental, planning, and engineering consultancy. Aubrey lives in Canajoharie, New York.
’03 Andrea Colombel is working on the Greens to Green Conservancy, a project at her children’s school, the French-American School of New York. The conservancy will “undevelop” 84 acres of highly managed and manicured landscape into a series of natural habitats such as wetlands, swamps, and wildflower meadows. Andrea is also the founder and president of the Trace Foundation, which supports the development and continuity of Tibetan culture. | Gregory Payne works as a senior program coordinator in the Ohio Development Services Agency and Office of Energy for the State of Ohio. Gregory is responsible for program management and implementation for the Ohio Coal Development Office, as well as program development, energy policy research, and grant and contract management.
Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture ’12 Sarah Brown-McLeod has a new position as senior account executive in arts communication at Ruder Finn Partners in New York City. | Craig Lee, a Ph.D. student in the department of art history at the University of Delaware, spent the summer working as an intern at Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece Fallingwater, southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. | Jonathan Tavares has been awarded a three-year Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellowship at the Art Institute of Chicago, beginning in January 2013, in the department of decorative arts.
’10 Michelle Tolini Finamore has been appointed curator of fashion arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
’08 Christian Larsen presented his paper, “Barbarous Jungle Growth: Módulo Magazine and the Global Media Image of a Modern Brazil,” at the “Cultures of Decolonisation, c. 1945–1970” symposium at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, in May 2012.
’06 Jacquie Atkins is researching and cataloguing the kimono collection of a private European collector. In June, she presented a lecture, “Omoshirogara:
Joe’s Junk Yard by Lisa Kereszi ’95, foreword by Larry Fink, professor of photography damiani Kereszi’s intimate photographs of her father’s junkyard—a family business first opened by her grandfather in the 1950s—chronicle the triumph and tragedy of one family’s American Dream over three generations. Images taken as a teenager, and throughout her years at Bard, then Yale, comprise a personal narrative of hope, struggle, and impermanence against a haunting backdrop.
The Fifth Impossibility: Essays on Exile and Language by Norman Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture yale university press In this lucid collection of essays, Manea explores the psyche and language of the exiled writer. He writes passionately and critically about culture, censorship, linguistic roots, the difficulties of translation from the mother tongue, and what homelessness means to the writer.
The Uninnocent by Bradford Morrow, professor of literature and Bard Center Fellow pegasus books Morrow’s most recent collection of stories summons a masterful gothic sensibility and sinister humor to tell the intimate tales of an unsettling host of characters. In “The Hoarder,” a young man’s childhood hobby turns terrifyingly dark when he becomes obsessed with his brother’s girlfriend. In “Gardener of the Heart,” an archeologist attends his twin sister’s funeral to discover it is not she who has died, but someone closer.
Quality Lighting for High Performance Buildings by Michael Stiller ’83 fairmont press Stiller, a lighting practitioner and teacher, shares his expertise on indoor lighting—explaining concepts like visual comfort, visual interest, and integrated design. The book offers an overview of the art and science of high-quality, energy-efficient lighting including LED lighting and digital control systems.
Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, A Championship Season, and Fenway’s Remarkable First Year by Glenn Stout ’81 houghton mifflin harcourt This definitive and award-winning history celebrates the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Stout tells the true story of the birth of baseball’s most beloved ballpark and includes original research on Fenway’s dramatic behind-the-scenes construction, as well as offering a vivid account of the glorious 1912 World Series.
Sex, Drag, and Male Roles: Investigating Gender as Performance by Diane Torr ’04 and Stephen Bottoms university of michigan press A medley of first-person memoir and commentary from performance artist Torr, blended with critical reflections from leading performance critic Bottoms, this book explores the long history of female-to-male cross-dressing. A pioneer of “drag king” performance, Torr concludes the book with her do-it-yourself guide to becoming a “Man for a Day.”
class notes 45
Novelty Textile Designs in Early Modern Japan,” at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. Her most recent publication, a chapter on “Novelty Textiles” in The Brittle Decade: Visualizing Japan in the 1930s, was published in June. | Katie (Hall) Burlison and Nicholas Burlison were married on May 19, 2012, in Mobile, Alabama. The couple happily resides in New Orleans. | Monica Obniski, assistant curator of American decorative arts at the Art Institute of Chicago, recently coauthored For Kith & Kin: The Folk Art Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago (Yale University Press). In the fall she presents the paper “The Impact of William Morris on the Arts and Crafts Movement in Chicago” at a symposium cosponsored by the Victorian Society in America and the Glessner House Museum.
Markús Andrésson has been appointed artistic director of Sequences Art Festival in 2013. Sequences Real-Time Art Festival was established in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2006, and will be held there for the sixth time in spring 2013 and biannually after that. | Chen Tamir will take up the post of curator at the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, starting in October.
Denise Markonish curated Oh, Canada, an exhibition of 62 contemporary Canadian artists at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts, on view until April 2013. A 400-page book published by MIT Press accompanies the show. | Tatjana Myoko von Prittwitz und Gaffron gave a talk, “‘Do you want a revolution without laughter?’ Joseph Beuys, a humorous Zen master,” at the conference “Deadly Serious Art: Strategies of Humor as Critique” at the Graduate Center, CUNY. As an artist she participated in the group exhibition The Zen of Contemplation at the Washington Art Association, Connecticut.
Cecilia Alemani was named the Donald R. Mullen Jr. curator and director of High Line Art program in New York City. | Erin Riley-Lopez joined Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, as curator of the Freedman Gallery. She will also teach contemporary art and gallery management/exhibition development courses.
Caroline Hannah (M.Phil. ’08) gave a talk in January to the Antiquarian Society at the Art
Institute of Chicago on painter Henry Varnum Poor and sculptor Wharton Esherick’s creative friendship. On August 11, 2011, she and husband Mark welcomed a son, Samuel Vincent Masyga.
Steven Matijcio was chosen as the curator/commissionaire of the fourth edition of the “NARRACJE: Installations and Interventions in Public Space Festival,” due to take place from November 15 to 18, 2012, in Gdansk, Poland.
’99 Sophie Davidson is living in Australia working on a project based in Arnhem Land, one of the five regions of the Northern Territory. As director of development for the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust, she is building an endowment fund to support the natural and cultural resource management of West Arnhem Land, an area rich in culture, with thousands of known rock art sites.
Center for Curatorial Studies ’11 Karin Campbell was recently appointed Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art at the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska. | Nathan Lee curated Undetectable for Visual AIDS at La MaMa La Galleria in New York City, and commissioned projects by Matt Wolf and Carl Williamson for Joe/Brains/Lamar at CCS Bard.
’03 Jimena Acosta is currently curating the exhibition Solidarity: A Memory of Art and Social Change, on view from September 27 through November 5 at Averill and Bernard Leviton A+D Gallery at Columbia College, Chicago. | Robert Blackson is one of five curators nationwide to receive a 2012 Curatorial Fellowship from The Andy Warhol Foundation. This award supports Blackson’s research of nonexhibition gallery programming. | Ingrid Chu, codirector and curator of the New York nonprofit Forever & Today, Inc., recently commissioned projects by Jack Early, Alison Knowles, Liz Magic Laser, and Slavs and Tatars, and published critical texts in frieze, Kaleidoscope, and Yishu magazines.
’08 Dan Byers was named the first Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.
46 class notes
Rachel Gugelberger curated Every Exit Is an Entrance: 30 Years of Exit Art and Collective/Performative at Exit Art, New York City; Data Deluge at Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; and Library Science at Artspace, New Haven, Connecticut.
’96 Anastasia Shartin received a $75,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation supporting The Bench Project, a community art project throughout the St. Croix Valley of western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota.
Graduate Vocal Arts Program ’11 Julia Bullock performed songs by Mussorgsky, Anton Rubinstein, and Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as a new composition by Yiwen Shen ’10 in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, and Wuhan as part of the Bard Music Festival and Bard College Conservatory of Music’s “Shanghai Refugees,” “Tchaikovsky and the East,” and “Mahler and His World” concerts during the June 2012 tour of greater China. Both Julia and Yiwen are currently graduate students at The Juilliard School.
’02 Sandra Firmin, curator of University at Buffalo Art Galleries, organized Charles Clough: The Way to Clufffalo.
’10 Michał Jachuła curated exhibitions by the artists Józef Robakowski, Shana Moulton, Adam Jastrze˛bski, and Angelika Markul. He is currently working on an exhibition of 20th- and 21st-century art textiles for the Zache˛ta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland.
Master of Arts in Teaching ’09
’01 Carina Plath cocurated Made in Germany Zwei at the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany.
’00 Greg Sandoval recently relocated from Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles to accept a position as curator of public programs at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
After teaching for three years at a small boarding school in northwestern Connecticut, Jeffrey Addis has moved to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and has accepted a position to teach upper school history at the Wilmington Friends School in Delaware. | Youmna Shami is teaching Arabic language and literature at Cornell University. She is also coauthoring, with the director of the Arabic program at Cornell, an Arabic textbook for advanced nonnative speakers, Living Arabic, which is under contract with Routledge publishing.
’05 Kathy Dudley, a member of the Hudson Valley Writing Project, will be speaking at the National Council of Teachers of English in Las Vegas from November 15 to 18. She will discuss developing and studying writing assignments across the curriculum in “New Tools for Professional Development.”
Fat Sex: The Naked Truth by Rebecca Jane Weinstein ’89 createspace This compilation of honest stories and commentary explodes stereotypes and explores the real-life experiences of large-size women and men in their romantic, intimate, and sexual relationships. With a foreword by comedian Margaret Cho, the book touches on extreme weight gain and loss, fetishes, and other tales from the sexual underground.
Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales
by Ali Wentworth ’88 harper Actress and comedian Wentworth shares stories about growing up as the daughter of President Reagan’s White House social secretary, rebelling against her blue-blood upbringing to blaze her own trail in Hollywood, and starting her own family with husband George Stephanopoulos. Quirky, endearing, and sometimes scandalous stories include her stints in L.A. sketch comedy and on Oprah.
Morton J. Bloch, 83, of Sarasota, Florida, formerly of Millerton, New York, died on July 13, 2011. After Bard, he attended New York University, and in 1950, took over the family business, Bloch’s Furniture Store, when his father became ill. He was most proud of having served on the Webutuck Board of Education from 1960 to 1970, including as board president. He is survived by his second wife, Lillian, and a son and two daughters.
’50 John “Jack” F. Collins, 87, of Old Lyme, Connecticut, died on July 24, 2011. Born in Danbury, Connecticut, he was a veteran of World War II and served in Battery “C” of the 309th Field Artillery Battalion of the 78th Infantry Division. After graduating from Bard, he attended Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven. Collins was a member of the faculty of Stephen Mitchell School in Wethersfield, Connecticut, and was an elementary schoolteacher and principal. He was predeceased by his wife, Claire Cornwall; his daughter, Ann Collins Nickerson; and his brother, Everett. David Loeffler Smith, 84, director of Massachusetts’s Swain School of Design from 1962 until 1966, died on July 25, 2012, in Exeter, New Hampshire. After serving in the Korean War, Smith studied painting with Bard’s Stefan Hirsh, as well as painters Hans Hofmann and Raphael Soyer. In 1980, he received the Swain Medal for outstanding service. Smith had 10 solo exhibitions in New York City, and in 2011, New Bedford Art Museum in Massachusetts held a retrospective of his work. He was visiting critic and guest lecturer at Maryland Institute College of Art, among other schools, and wrote for many American art magazines. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Jean Van Schoonhoven Smith, two daughters, and four grandchildren.
’53 Charles Robert “Bob” Lane died on November 16, 2011, in Newburgh, New York. Born on June 8, 1930, in Peekskill, New York, he was a retired teacher with the Cornwall Central School District. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War from
1953 to 1957. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Pitcher; a son, Thomas; and a daughter, Jennifer.
’65 Francis “Frank” Gerard Meunier Jr., 68, died on December 29, 2011. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and graduated from Bard with a B.A. in religion while also studying voice, opera, and sacred music. He received an M.A. in European history from the University of Ohio in 1967. Meunier was a former teacher at St. James High School, a private boarding school in Berlin, Connecticut, where he taught history and English. He was a lifelong member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Old Wethersfield, Connecticut, and a devoted member of the choir. His love of music and history was shared through his tutoring and lectures on opera, religion, and Gothic architecture, specifically English and French cathedrals. He is survived by his two brothers, Donald and Gary, and their families.
’71 Ira Rich died on January 4, 2012. He was born on August 27, 1943. He spent most of his working life as the editor of various community newspapers, combining his love of the printed word with his interest in community affairs, a logical outgrowth of his study of sociology at Bard. He will be greatly missed by his devoted partner, Fran Irizarry, his twin daughters, their partners, and his granddaughter. Mark B. Winters died on March 16, 2012. Born on June 7, 1948, in Manhattan, Winters lived there for most of his life, first working in the hospitality industry and then in personnel placement, helping many find gainful employment. He was a kind,
generous, and compassionate individual who reveled in the kaleidoscope of New York life and also nurtured his deep interest in the human family with his personal study of world culture, history, and politics. He is survived by his brother, Warren.
’72 Elaine Bak, 84, of Long Beach, California, died on September 15, 2010. She was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. She was president of the Long Beach chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America for 25 years, and had lived in the local area for 58 years. She also volunteered for many years at the Long Beach Memorial Hospital. She is survived by her daughter, Cheryl, and sister, Betty. Lydia Shectman, 63, died at her home in Ashland, Oregon, on March 18, 2012. Lydia won the gold medal in cycling at the 1986 Gay Olympic Games. She wanted any notices of her death to include her gratitude to Compassion & Choices of Oregon for the service they provide. She is survived by her longtime partner, Theresa Chan.
’74 Dawn (Fortunato) Rich died on April 12, 2011. She spent her last months in Seattle, Washington, with her daughters from her marriage to Ira. Prior to her illness, she ran a tax accountancy business on Long Island.
’76 Stuart Marcus, 57, of New York City, died on February 8, 2012. He was a poet, artist, and an avid book collector. He is survived by two sisters, Gwen and Nancy.
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’86 Adam Yauch, 47, a founder of the hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died on May 4, 2012, in New York City. Yauch, also known as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009. He cofounded the Beastie Boys with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz in 1979, and the group remained popular for more than 25 years. The Beastie Boys emerged from the New York punk scene in the late 1970s and were the first white group to successfully sing rap. Their 1986 album, Licensed to Ill, was the first hip-hop album to hit No. 1 on the albums chart, and featured what became one of their best-known songs “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party).” A Buddhist, Yauch was involved in the Free Tibet movement, and organized concerts in support. At the Bard President’s Awards Ceremony in May 2011, Yauch was presented with the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters. In April 2012, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with Yauch inducted in absentia due to his illness. His bandmates paid tribute by reading a letter from Yauch to the crowd. Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and daughter Tenzin Losel.
’91 Duncan Green McCowen died on September 24, 2011. He was born on May 23, 1968, in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from Bard with a B.A. in religious studies. For his junior year, he attended King’s College in London, England. He lived in Dutchess County, where he studied carpentry, specializing in restoration and the creation of period homes. He was considered an artist by many. McCowen was the owner of DM Custom Builders in New York. He was passionate about becoming self-sufficient, and had a large garden. He had two Scottish Highland cows that would come to his unique whistle, and his nightly visit to the barn with his dogs was a treasured time of reflection. McCowen was a general contractor and proprietor of Top Hammer Inc., working mostly in the Portland, Oregon, metro area. McCowen’s work was featured in Atomic Ranch magazine and in the catalogue of the lighting and hardware store Rejuvenation. McCowen is survived by his wife, Holly, and children Mallory, Caden, and Lucy.
’99 Jason Michael Martin, 34, died on April 10, 2012, in Saugerties, New York. Born in Burley, Idaho, he studied photography and painting at Bard with Steven Shore and Larry Fink, among others. Martin was a photographer, designer, and filmmaker and worked as an assistant for the photographer and filmmaker Danny Lyon. In 2000, he merged his
48 class notes
love of music with his passion for visual arts when he cofounded the 32B Media/Arts Project, a nonprofit recording studio and multiuse stage facility in Germantown, New York. He was also a respected cinematographer and filmmaker in collaboration with his wife, Anne Barliant, whom he married in 2009. Recent work included narrative shorts The Frontiersman’s Wife, Danse Macabre, and The Escapists, the latter a short that premiered at Anthology Film Archives, New York, as part of the NewFilmmakers series. He worked on Shoot Down, which won Best Documentary at the 2007 Sonoma International Film Festival. His work also appeared on TV channels IFC, MTV2, and PBS, and his photography and paintings have been featured in shows in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his parents.
’12 Renee J. Noble, 42, of Chatham, New York, died on December 15, 2011. She was born in Poughkeepsie, and was the mother of five children. Noble attended the University of Rhode Island, SUNY Albany, and The College of St. Rose, as well as Bard. She was a full-time student and also worked as a waitress for Mercato Restaurant in Red Hook, until she became ill. Noble loved knitting, arts and crafts, holistic healing, cooking, baking, and going on “peace walks.” She was the mother of Scout, Maisy, Joaquin, Violet, and the late Kayleigh.
Faculty Murray Reich, 79, died on April 23, 2012, in New York City. He was an abstract painter and professor emeritus of studio arts at Bard College, where he taught for 30 years, from 1967 until his retirement in 1997. “He was a valued colleague who made a lasting contribution to the teaching of art and to the importance of the arts in the curricular life of the college,” said Bard President Leon Botstein. Reich attended City College of New York and received his M.F.A. in painting from Boston University. As a young artist, he attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and studied at Hunter College in New York with painter Robert Motherwell and sculptor Richard Lippold. Following his first solo show at New York’s Max Hutchinson Gallery, Reich was awarded a Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship. His work was exhibited in two Whitney Museum of American Art annuals, as well as solo shows and group exhibitions. He served on the faculty of the graduate program in art at Hunter College, was the inaugural director of Tanglewood’s Summer Program in Art in Massachusetts, and
taught at Boston University, where his interests included fly-fishing and squash. In 2003, he began his Arrow Project, taking street photographs that created a counterpoint to his paintings. “I have been moved to make these photographs of arrow signs because of the poignancy of their situation,” he said. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Weatherford, and his son, Zeke.
Friends Ernest F. Henderson III, 87, died on July 24 at Sudbury Pines Extended Care Facility in Sudbury, Massachusetts. He joined the Bard Board of Trustees in 1971, served for many years as second vice chairman, and was elected Life Trustee in 2008. He and his wife of 55 years, Mary Louise Campbell ’50, who predeceased him in 2009, were loyal and generous friends of the College. They were instrumental in bringing computing to Bard by helping to build the Henderson Computer Resources Center and the Henderson Technology Laboratories. He is survived by his son, Ernest “Spike” Henderson ’81, and his daughter, Roberta, as well as three sisters and one brother and their families. Earl Shorris, who founded the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities (see p. 4), died on May 27 in New York City at the age of 75. Born in Chicago, he was admitted at 13 on a full scholarship to the University of Chicago. He left before graduating to work as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer—with a stint bullfighting in Juarez, across the border from El Paso, during his early 20s—before settling with his wife, Sylvia, in San Francisco. During the 1970s he worked as an executive for advertising agency N. W. Ayer and Sons. Shorris was a social critic and author. Among his many books were examinations of the American way of employment and commerce, magazine journalism on the death of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s, volumes about Latino history and identity, and social commentaries published by Harper’s Magazine and broadcast on National Public Radio. He also wrote novels known for their dark humor, such as The Boots of the Virgin (1968), which drew upon his brief career as a bullfighter. But it was the Clemente Course—providing college-level instruction for credit to economically disadvantaged individuals, which he established in 1995 with 25 students in Manhattan’s East Village —that cemented his reputation. It earned Shorris the National Humanities Medal, presented to him in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. Besides his wife, Shorris is survived by two sons, Anthony and James; a sister, Mary Jean Roberts; and four grandchildren.
Thank you to all who gave to their class gift and served on their reunion committees. Your generous gift celebrates the time you spent at Bard and shows your commitment to the future. 60th Reunion 1952 Morton Besen Judith Clark* Paul Cowan Fred Curtis Kit Ellenbogen (JBS)* John Feare Barbara Herst Constance Kaplan Elinor Kopmar Robert Ladd Joan Novick Jonathan and Iris Oseas Frances Sandiford David E. Schwab II and Ruth Schwartz Schwab (JBS) Robert Stempel Paul Vietz 50th Reunion 1962 Jack Blum Rebecca Boroson Linda Edmunds Peter Eschauzier Frances Feinerman Rayna Harman Ann Ho Alice Huige Mark Lambert Ralph Levine Robert Marrow Carroll Moshier Sarah Nisenson Susan Playfair (JBS) Eve Sullivan Naomi Taylor Holly Walker Anne Wellner de Veer 1963 (celebrated a joint 50th reunion with Class of 1962) Penny Axelrod (JBS) Rob Bauer Carol Butler
Robert Epstein Susan Gutow Wallace Loza Eve Lyon Robert Malcolm Michael Miller Jane Rady Lynes Joan Rich George Rose Lane Sarasohn Heywood Zeidman 1969 Philip Lyford 40th Reunion 1972 Richard Bilangi Susan Bodine Wendy Campbell Kate Draper Eric Gross Michael Hearn John Juhl John Katzenbach Marshall Kupchan William Lippman John Malnichuck Deborah Milligan Coralie Moorhead Kevin O’Brien Arthur Sata Madison Scott Elisabeth Semel Andrew Shookhoff Billy Steinberg Helaine Terry 30th Reunion 1982 Steven Bennish Lauren Bufferd Thomas Cassidy Marella Consolini Anthony Ellenbogen Susan Grigsby Lauren Hamilton Heather Harris Mary Anne Harvey Chris Kendall
Alice Knapp Tom Maiello Tabitha Matson-Haggerty Bruce Meservey Barbara Miral-Gatenio Christine Perret George Smith (JBS) Tami Spector Geoffrey Stein 25th Reunion 1987 Anne Wallace Allen David Avallone Sara Blumberg Steven Carpenter Daniel Cherubin Marisa Driscoll Christina Griffith William Hammerstein Jennifer Hunter Mary Ickes Robert Jacoby Nathalie Larsen Eva Lee Susan Levine Susan Lyne Gary Mosca Christopher Pennington William Preston Heidi Reischuck-Bensen Ilene Resnick Patrick Ryan Barbara Sampson Raissa St. Pierre William Stavru (JBS) Alison Vaccarino Pamela Wallace Jennifer Watterud Kristin Westad Susan Wilcox Amy Wrynn William Zide 20th Reunion 1992 Lisa Sanger Blinn Jeffrey Bolden Melissa Chevalier
Noah Coleman David Cote Kristen Coulibaly Sarah Everitt Kevin Foster Robert Greenbaum Joshua Kaufman Mark Lumadue David Nochimson George Pelletier Aaron Phillips Andrea Stein Alessandro Thompson Iren Valentine 15th Reunion 1997 Peter Brown Kirin Buckley Caroline Burghardt Joanna Dewald Michael Ennis Shira Gertz Bethany Halford Jennifer Hansen Cary Howie Julia McKenzie Munemo Sean O’Neill Esteban Rubens Eve Stahlberger Laura Stamas Marina Sun Seth Travins Thu Tu Karen Walker Brandon Weber Elizabeth Weiner Nicole Willis-Grimes Jennifer Winso 10th Reunion 2002 Imran Ahmed Jessica Anzelone Matthew Brophy Eliza Conly-Dwyer Joshua Geraghty Timothy Goldberg Boriana Handjiyska
Erin Horahan Toni Fortini Josey Melissa Mahoney Melanie Meyer Claire Michie Jennifer Nelson Tamara Plummer Jeffrey Rawson Gregory Roman Jonah Weiner Ryan Wheeler Kamran Zadeh 2003 Kathryn Hodges 5th Reunion 2007 Anonymous L. Ballinger Grace Barber Robyn Bianconi Desiree Costello Natasha David-Hays John Dawson Alexandra Eaton Gaia Filicori Katharine Hardy Peter Neely Anna Neverova Tracy Pollock Peter Rowland Joanna Tanger Stephen Tremaine Elisa Urena Alexander Weinstein Goldstone Family Foundation
Now it’s your turn. Alumni/ae Reunion Weekend 2013 celebrates the classes of 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, and their friends. If you would like to be on your committee or get more involved, please contact email@example.com. Spread the word and mark your calendars for Alumni/ae Reunion Weekend, May 24–26, 2013. * Names in bold signify committee members. Those designated (JBS) are members of the John Bard Society, which recognizes loyal alumni/ae, faculty, and staff who have made planned gifts to Bard. For more information contact Debra Pemstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-758-7405.
Fireworks at Blithewood, Commencement 2012. photo Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’00
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NOVEMBER 29, 2012 | 6â€“9 PM Image: Queen Mary design for an Omega workshop fabric, 1937, Duncan Grant. Private Collection/The Stapleton Collection/The Bridgeman Art Library
2012 Fall Bardian magazine