Bardian Bard College Spring 2007
Festive Weekend Opens Hessel Museum Iran: Our Gravest Threat? Looking for Homer in Scandinavia Essential Lies
above Entrance to the CCS Galleries, with Daniel Burenâ€™s Cabane Eclatee Polychrome aux Mirroirs cover Exterior view of the CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art
Trevor Smith (standing), curator in residence at CCS, talks with Red Hook High School students during their visit to the galleries. The students are seated around Felix Gonzalez-Torresâ€™s Untitled (North); Smith stands in front of Sol LeWittâ€™s Double Asymmetrical Pyramids.
The core of the WXBC team: (from left to right) Karen Soskin ’07, Jen Holup ’07, Camilla Aikin ’08, Marten Elder ’08, and Erica Cohen-Taub ’09 (see page 59)
Dear Alumni/ae, It is hard for me to believe that this will be the last Bardian letter that I will write as president of the Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association. During the past two years, I have shared with you my personal thoughts about Bard, offered opportunities to reflect on our experiences at the College, and—yes—indulged in nostalgia. I also wrote about my goals as president: recognizing alumni/ae achievement, increasing alumni/ae involvement in the College, and encouraging alumni/ae giving. I believe we have made great strides. During CommencementReunion Weekends and in the pages of this magazine, we have lauded the achievements of alumni/ae. This issue of the Bardian, for example, profiles alumni/ae who are active in cyberspace and communications, dance, and research in the classics. An increasing number of individuals have stepped forward to take on responsibilities as class correspondents, actively gathering news from fellow alumni/ae. Last fall, alumni/ae hosted events in New York, Washington D.C., and—for the first time— Houston. New mentors join the Career Development Office mentor pool every month, and each semester alumni/ae share their experiences with students at Life After Bard Dinners and small roundtable discussions. Reunion committees are increasingly active. As Bard continues to face the necessity of raising $12 million each year in order to meet the financial aid needs of its students, more alumni/ae are giving, and the total amount raised from alumni/ae is increasing. Thank you! We alumni/ae all have our memories of college. Yet it is important to remember that although we cannot (and should not) discard our reminiscences, our alma mater continually looks forward. Bard has maintained its commitment to the true essence of liberal arts education, retaining the finest elements of classical education while simultaneously embracing the future. If you are reading this letter, it means that you have maintained a link with the College. I would like to personally address the significance of that link. I am hesitant to share such a personal story, as I know that many of you have had your own tragedies; however, I do so because I want to reinforce the importance of Bard connections. Last summer, I lost my brother, Peter, to a horrific mountain climbing accident in the Rockies. I, like you, have maintained several close friends from my years at Bard. My communications with other fellow alumni/ae have been more sporadic. After my brother died, I spoke with my best friend (and fellow alumna), Marilyn, who spoke with someone with whom she had been out of contact for many years, who subsequently contacted another of “our crowd.” The circle came round. The circle had been there—unbroken—all the time. The years and distance made absolutely no difference. It was as if we were sitting on main campus, and had picked up on a conversation that had ended just moments ago. These conversations continue on campus, today, among new Bardians. The forged connections will continue to enrich Bard alumni/ae for a very long time, provided that we all join together to ensure the future of the College. Thank you for being a part of Bard’s past, present, and future and for your continuing contribution to the College and its students. Sincerely, Ingrid A. Spatt ’69, Ed.D. President, Board of Governors Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association
Board of Governors of the Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association Dr. Ingrid Spatt ’69, President Michael DeWitt ’65, Executive Vice President Walter Swett ’96, Vice President Maggie Hopp ’67, Secretary Olivier teBoekhorst ’93, Treasurer Robert Amsterdam ’53 Claire Angelozzi ’74 Judi Arner ’68 David Avallone ’87 Dr. Penny Axelrod ’63 Cathy Thiele Baker ’68, Nominations and Awards Committee Cochairperson Belinha Rowley Beatty ’69 Eva Thal Belefant ’49 Dr. Miriam Roskin Berger ’56 Molly Northrup Bloom ’94 Jack Blum ’62 Carla Bolte ’71 Erin Boyer ’00 Randy Buckingham ’73, Events Committee Cochairperson Jamie Callan ’75 Cathaline Cantalupo ’67 Charles Clancy ’69, Development Committee Cochairperson Peter Criswell ’89, Career Connections Committee Chairperson Arnold Davis ’44, Nominations and Awards Committee Cochairperson Elizabeth Dempsey BHSEC ’03, Bard ’05 Kit Kauders Ellenbogen ’52 Joan Elliott ’67 Naomi Bellinson Feldman ’53 Barbara Grossman Flanagan ’60 Diana Hirsch Friedman ’68 R. Michael Glass ’75 Eric Warren Goldman ’98, Alumni/ae House Committee Cochairperson
Rebecca Granato ’99, Young Alumni/ae Committee Cochairperson Ann Ho ’62 Charles Hollander ’65 Dr. John C. Honey ’39 Deborah Davidson Kaas ’71, Oral History Committee Chairperson Richard Koch ’40 Erin Law ’93, Development Committee Cochairperson Cynthia Hirsch Levy ’65 Michelle Dunn Marsh ’95 Peter F. McCabe ’70, Nominations and Awards Committee Cochairperson Steven Miller ’70, Development Committee Cochairperson Abigail Morgan ’96 Jennifer Novik ’98, Young Alumni/ae Committee Cochairperson Karen Olah ’65, Alumni/ae House Committee Cochairperson Matt Phillips ’91 Susan Playfair ’62, Bard Associated Research Donation (BARD) Committee Chairperson Arthur “Scott” Porter Jr. ’79 Allison Radzin ’88, Events Committee Cochairperson Penelope Rowlands ’73 Reva Minkin Sanders ’56 Roger Scotland ’93 Benedict S. Seidman ’40 Donna Shepper ’73 George Smith ’82, Events Committee Cochairperson Andrea J. Stein ’92 Olivier te Boekhorst ’93 Dr. Toni-Michelle Travis ’69 Jill Vasileff MFA ’93, MFA Liaison Marjorie Vecchio MFA ’01, MFA Liaison Samir B. Vural ’98 Barbara Crane Wigren ’68 Ron Wilson ’75, Men and Women of Color Network Liaison Sung Jee Yoo ’01
SPRING 2007 FEATURES 6 FESTIVE WEEKEND OPENS HESSEL Museum’s Inaugural Exhibition Heralds New Era at CCS Bard 22 IRAN: OUR GRAVEST THREAT? A Discussion with James Phillips and Tom Parker
42 GARGOYLES AND GROTESQUES 46 HOLIDAY PARTY 2006
DEPARTMENTS 48 BOOKS BY BARDIANS
26 LOOKING FOR HOMER IN SCANDINAVIA Bard Team Explores Possible Origins of Greek Epics
52 ON AND OFF CAMPUS 62 CLASS NOTES
30 ESSENTIAL LIES Why We Need Fiction 34 GOOD CHEMISTRY On-Campus Research Opportunities for Undergraduates 36 TO THE POINT Bardians Study with West Point Cadets 38 DUSˇAN TY´NEK DANCE THEATRE 40 IS PRIVACY EXTINCT? Two Alumnae Discuss Aggregated Information
80 FACULTY NOTES
FESTIVE WEEKEND OPENS HESSEL Wrestle, Museum’s Inaugural Exhibition, Heralds New Era at CCS Bard The oaks and maples were stripped of color, as severely attenuated as Giacometti figures, and the wind made random assemblages of withered leaves. But the gray, gusty day couldn’t keep them away from the long-awaited grand opening of the CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art. On November 12, hundreds of attendees—Bard administrators and staff, artists and arts professionals, current and former students, and throngs of art lovers from all over the Hudson Valley and New York City, New England, and other points of the compass—converged upon the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS) on the Bard campus to celebrate the dedication of the new museum. Designed by James Goettsch and Nada Andric, the team responsible for the Center’s original facility, the 17,000-square-foot addition will ensure that works from the permanent collection of Marieluise Hessel enjoy a constant interplay with the public eye. Hessel, who founded the CCS with her former husband, Richard Black, in 1990, began collecting art of the moment—art that, by definition, had yet to be historicized—in the 1960s. She was drawn to work that challenged and subverted the status quo, work that flaunted convention and struggled with urgent, utopian notions of gender and identity, feminism, and the politics of AIDS, among other issues. She was, and remains, enamored of art that takes risks. But, as Bard president Leon Botstein pointed out in his salutatory remarks at the dedication, Hessel herself is a risk giver, a patron whose generosity in loaning her collection to Bard, along with her continued support of the graduate program and the largesse of her gift to the museum, make it possible for succeeding waves of CCS students to pursue the risky business of innovation and experimentation.
right At the opening: (from left to right) Jo Carole Lauder, Marieluise Hessel, Stan Chesley, and Susan Dlott opposite page Top: Tom Eccles (left) and Vasif Kortun; Center: Trevor Smith; Bottom: Artur Walther and Anne Ehrenkranz, member of the CCS Board of Governors previous page Bard College Conservatory of Music students performing a commissioned composition by Martin Creed in the Audrey and Sidney Irmas Atrium of the CCS. The words on the floor are part of Lawrence Weiner’s Bard Enter.
“My life has been truly enriched and made meaningful through this engagement with Bard College,” Hessel remarked over the weekend. “I’m so extremely proud of what’s been happening here over the last 15 years under [dean of graduate studies] Norton Batkin and [CCS executive director] Tom Eccles. . . . But we are especially proud of the nearly one hundred students that are now creating exhibitions all over the world.” The spirit was unabashedly festive at the opening of Wrestle, the museum’s inaugural show. Led by a black-clad conductor, sans baton and standing atop an amp, a single file of seated musicians from The Bard College Conservatory of Music—a kind of minimalist line drawn down the middle of the atrium—played a raucous piece by Martin Creed that was commissioned for the event. Here and there in the overflow crowd, there were spontaneous yips of joy, as artist and curator buddies or returning CCS classmates greeted one another with hugs and upraised glasses of Chardonnay. And when the white ribbon was cut and the museum officially opened, so many people streamed in that it was difficult at times to see what was on the walls. Curated by Eccles and Trevor Smith, curator in residence at the CCS, Wrestle is a bracing selection of paintings, drawings, sculpture, videos, and installations culled from the range and breadth of the Marieluise Hessel Collection. On opening day, it filled the new space and spilled over into the CCS Galleries at the opposite end of the atrium (that part of the show closed in December; the rest of Wrestle remains on view through May 27). Accompanying the exhibition is a hefty, superbly designed catalogue that is itself an objet d’art, complete with clear plastic inserts of Pipilotti Rist’s hot-pink images of erotically charged body parts. (Both the catalogue and Witness to Her Art, a book edited by curatorial program faculty members Rhea Anastas and Michael Brenson, were published by CCS Bard and released on the day of the opening.) Fittingly, the first thing one encounters upon entering the Hessel’s premiere exhibition is Thomas Struth’s large C-print, Audience II (Galleria Dell’Accademia) Florenz. Struth has taken a craning, face-scratching, casually attired gaggle of gallerygoers gazing at a work of art and effectively transformed them into a work of art. We, in turn, by regarding this image of a group of people regarding a work of art,
reflexively extend the equation. In one of the inner galleries, four words inked on paper by Rosemarie Trockel may echo, or complicate, or clarify one’s response to Struth’s photograph: “Image is a Burden.” The works in Wrestle challenge us to shoulder that burden and contend with it. Among the other works that visitors can grapple with are Ana Mendieta’s photos documenting her literal appropriation of a man’s beard; Gary Hill’s memento mori of a cruciform figure, circa 1983–87, whose head, hands, and feet form the separate parts of a constellation on five wall-mounted video monitors; Cady Noland’s sensational (in the tabloid sense) HORROR ON THE HILL (1993–94), which simultaneously fragments and monumentalizes the Watergate testimony of Martha Mitchell in a series of silkscreens on honeycomb aluminum; and Malerie Marder’s deceptively straightforward C-print portrait of her naked father, sitting on his blue bathrobe in front of the fireplace in an attitude that suggests an elderly, yet oddly expectant, odalisque. (Marder, incidentally, is a Bard alumna, class of ’93.) Holland Cotter, the New York Times critic who favorably reviewed the first show on the premises in 1992, in what was then called the Richard and Marieluise Black Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, lauded Wrestle for focusing upon art “as a rupturing rather than an enrapturing phenomenon: messy, unmannerly, irritated, compulsively posing questions,” and then posed one of his own: “Isn’t that the business of art and its institutions?” It is certainly the business of both Bard College and its Center for Curatorial Studies. Since the inception of its graduate program in 1994, the CCS has been a place where students are encouraged and expected to pose provocative questions, to discuss the issues those questions raise and creatively strive with them, and to let that striving germinate yet more questions. “I really believe in the mission, the dialogue and debate and provocation, that Bard allows, particularly in our field—we don’t get so many hours in the day to talk or think about why we do what we do,” says Ian Barry, CCS ’98, who was down for the opening from Saratoga Springs, New York, where he is an associate director and curator at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College. “The students who come through this program are interested in ideas; the kind of training they get here ensures that they will continue to explore and engage with art that is not necessarily easy for the public—that would be taking the path of least resistance.” Both Barry and his classmate, Jessica Hough CCS ’99, curatorial director at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, are excited that the CCS is stepping boldly into the public arena with the opening of the Hessel Museum. “The institution is making itself public, so [now] it has to be responsive to the public; that’s a different mandate [than a purely academic one],” says Hough. “It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens. But Tom Eccles has been doing public art for a while, and a little bit of that open spirit is going to be great.”
For his part, Eccles is ready to embrace the challenge. Since assuming the helm of the CCS on July 1, 2005, the native Scot, with master’s degrees in philosophy and Italian from the University of Glasgow, has been bubbling over with plans to increase the museum’s visibility and connect it in a meaningful way to the local and regional communities. On the Tuesday immediately following the opening, he arranged for 18 high school students from the nearby Red Hook School District to visit Wrestle; their community will also take part in All the Bells of Red Hook, a performance piece that will involve the simultaneous pealing of the village’s church bells in July, as part of the Martin Creed survey exhibition in the CCS Galleries. Eccles also plans to extend the hours of the museum and have continuous exhibitions that “follow the seasons,” he says, as well as coordinating lectures, performances, and special presentations with those of the annual Bard SummerScape festival. “We’re trying to increase the number of shuttle buses between New York City and Bard for openings and events, and we’d also like to connect with visitors to the region, and point people in the direction of Dia:Beacon, Olana, and other cultural sites and arts organizations,” he says. While the Hessel Museum will most certainly grant a greater public presence to the CCS, it will not do so at the expense of the academic program. In addition to the dramatically amplified gallery space, there are new classrooms, administrative offices, and a greatly expanded library and archive facility, thanks to substantial donations from Melissa Schiff Soros and Robert Soros, Laura-Lee Woods, and Hessel’s husband, Edwin Artzt. And CCS board member Audrey Irmas, in whose honor the entrance
will be named the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Atrium, has established a five-year challenge grant for exhibitions at the Center. At one of the satellite events on the day of the museum’s dedication, a large audience gathered at Blithewood to celebrate the publication of Witness to Her Art. There, they heard Helen Molesworth, chief curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, remark that the “true measure of any institution is the community that it fosters and creates.” By that standard, CCS Bard has been, and will continue to be, an unqualified success. Its interwoven community of graduates who have gone on to major curatorial postings, and who not only keep in touch but who work and collaborate with each other on projects around the globe, is about to be broadened and deepened by an infusion of art lovers, educators, and others who will now be visiting the new museum and taking part in the Center’s public programs on a year-round basis. In his New York Times review of Wrestle, Holland Cotter concluded that the exhibition “feels like an adventure.” So does the future of CCS Bard. —Mikhail Horowitz opposite page clockwise from top left (from left to right) Christina Lockwood, Isaac Julien, and David Teiger; Ulrike Po¨hl; (from left to right) Leon Botstein, Robert Soros, and Barbara Haskell; Nathan Madsen conducts student musicians of The Bard College Conservatory of Music left Giuseppe Penone, Sentiero (Path)
(Foreground) Janine Antoni, Saddle; (right rear) Doris Salcedo, Untitled; (left rear) Janine Antoni, Caryatid
(Left) Thomas Struth, Audience 2 (Galleria Dellâ€™Accademia), Florenz; (right) detail of Roni Hornâ€™s This is Me, This is You
Isaac Julien, Trussed
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Lahjaâ€”The Present
(Foreground) Rosemarie Trockel, Untitled
Gabriel Orozco, Carta Blanca
(Left) Richard Prince, Untitled; (center) Sigmar Polke, Untitled; (right) Christopher Wool, I Canâ€™t Stand Myself When You Touch Me
INAUGURATION OF THE HESSEL MUSEUM Opening Remarks by Leon Botstein In a dedicatory address at the inaugural gala for the Hessel Museum of Art, President Leon Botstein spoke about the role of art in a free society and the importance of the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS) to the Bard community. A transcript of his remarks follows. Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of all of us at Bard College, I want to thank each of you for coming. My formal task is to introduce Marieluise Hessel, cofounder of the Center for Curatorial Studies, to you. She, as is only fitting, will have the last word this evening. But I will take a moment before I cede the podium to her. I first want to thank all of my colleagues here at Bard, particularly the staff of the CCS and the CCS Board of Governors. I’m pleased to say that, as of our last CCS board meeting, Marieluise has become founding chairman of the CCS and Marc Lipschultz has become the new chairman. I want to thank Marc for taking on that assignment. This does not mean that Marieluise will be any less active. Rather, a new generation of leadership is coming forward to help see the Center through the next decade. I want to thank in particular Norton Batkin for his many years of service on behalf of the CCS. He is already Bard’s dean of graduate studies, so he will be closely associated with the program and will continue to teach in the program. I want to thank Debra Pemstein and her staff for arranging this weekend and evening. And I want to congratulate architects Jim Goettsch and Nada Andric. The Hessel Museum is a fabulous addition to the Bard campus, which is distinguished by wonderful architecture. Last but not least, I want to thank the trustees of the College, who have supported the commitment of Bard to graduate education and to the presentation of the arts—the new arts as well as the ones of the past. I am thrilled that CCS Executive Director Tom Eccles has been able to transplant his enthusiasms from New York City to Red Hook to make the CCS a destination point for people around the world who are interested in contemporary 20th-century and early 21st-century art. And now I turn to Marieluise. Many of you know that this entire project came about 20 years ago, when she wanted to find a way to use her collection. Collecting is a strange and wonderful sickness. For those of us who are collectors
Marieluise Hessel (left) and Leon Botstein
of anything, books for example, there is a passion for locating a continuity between one’s own life, which is limited, to the past and to the future through objects; for example, the idea of holding in one’s hand a book that was read and owned by someone else and will, in turn, end up in someone else’s possession. To collect art—art that is from a moment in time, that has the aura of creation in it—is to preserve it from its potential destruction and oblivion. To have seen it seen and re-seen by future generations is part of our struggle to resist the depression that we encounter logically when we think about our own insignificance and mortality. Collecting is a creative act, a struggle against insignificance and the difficulty of constructing meaning in life. Collecting doesn’t always have a very revealing underlying argument. People sometimes collect things that they like. But when one thinks about collecting art that has value and importance, people generally collect one artist, or they collect in a period, or they collect eclectically—not to be too poetic about it. I think that in Marieluise’s case, because of her own intellectual sojourn as a young woman in Mexico— a young German woman who married an Austrian Jew and who then lived in Mexico and came of age intellectually there—the relationship of art and history and art and politics became the central guiding principle for collecting. What’s remarkable about this collection is its consistent and disciplined capacity to be representative. The collection, from the moment Marieluise began in the ’60s, represents an effort to preserve the artistic expression of succeeding moments in time in sequence. And the artistic
expression represented does not serve the thesis about what was important or fashionable or significant. Rather, the collection reflects the fissures in society, the conflicts, the tensions, the lack and presence of affirmation or satisfaction. Often meaning seemed generational, and often it was directly political. Sometimes meaning was social, and sometimes it was moral, but it was never narrowly political. The art in the collection comes out of Marieluise’s concern with and interest in the evolution of a social order, including politics and forms of life. The collection was a way of documenting, through the eyes of artists, life as we live it. And it was systematic. It did not tend in one aesthetic direction, and it was not an attempt to argue for one kind of art as opposed to another art; rather, it showed an effort to represent an era of history through the arts. We often think of the arts as decorative. We think of the arts as enjoyable, perhaps valuable, but not central to the business of life and the task of constructing a social order and of deciding how we wish to live our lives. That was only part of Marieluise’s motivation. In her judgment, art was emotional. For her, art remains significant to the conduct of daily life. And therefore the entire collection is a kind of mirror of the complex history of 40, nearly 50 years. And it continues. Now, when we can stand and look at her new building and the show that Tom Eccles put together with Trevor Smith, and when we look at the catalogue, we can ask the question, “Was her assumption correct?”
We live in a time where artists have lost and endangered their lives for exercising an individual’s freedom of expression: consider the killing of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Holland, the threat to the cartoonists in Denmark, the closing of an opera production of Idomeneo in Berlin. In Europe, the place where Marieluise comes from and from which many of our intellectual traditions in the West derive, the willingness to defend free expression and dissent in the face of social and political pressures that have to do with the integration of diverse populations and the creation of a sense of tolerance, has become in fact dangerously weak. The only community that still has the courage and the guts to stand up for free expression is the community of artists—not the politicians, not the academics, not the journalists, but artists. Both this collection and the training of future generations of curators are therefore more important than they have ever been as a defense of the fundamental values of freedom and self-expression without fear and restriction. Marieluise’s documentation of this tense relationship between the art making in the world, the imagined world, and the way we live our lives is a lesson for future generations. It is our privilege at Bard to be its custodian and to make sure that we continue to push the limits of freedom, so that freedom is not lost for the rest of our citizens. In this spirit, it is a privilege and an honor that I present to you, with great gratitude, Marieluise Hessel.
(Left) Gallerygoers take in Thomas Schütte’s Dirty Dictators; (right) detail of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s Untitled (North)
CCS BARD PUBLISHES TWO BOOKS Both of these books were launched at the opening of the CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art on November 12, 2006.
WITNESS TO HER ART: ART AND WRITINGS BY ADRIAN PIPER, MONA HATOUM, CADY NOLAND, JENNY HOLZER, KARA WALKER, DANIELA ROSSELL AND EAU DE COLOGNE Edited by Rhea Anastas with Michael Brenson CCS Bard “Many of the best and most experimental works” in the Marieluise Hessel Collection are by women artists, Rhea Anastas writes in her introduction to Witness to Her Art, a book focusing on six artists whose works are represented in the collection—Mona Hatoum, Jenny Holzer, Cady Noland, Adrian Piper, Daniella Rossell, and Kara Walker—as well as Eau de Cologne, a magazine dedicated to women artists. Using critical writings, interviews, and artworks, the book contrasts artistic intentions with the ways sexism marks each artist’s reception. Each section of the book focuses on major projects by each artist, accompanied by essays by Norton Batkin, director of the CCS graduate program; Michael Brenson, Johanna Burton, Aruna D’Souza, Janet Kraynak, David Levi Strauss, Cuauhtémoc Medina, and Ann Reynolds, all of whom have taught at CCS; and Pamela Franks and Hamza Walker. At a panel at Blithewood to launch the book’s publication, Helen Molesworth, chief curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts, said the book
“makes an issue out of how things are connected,” and honors the modernist spirit of “experimentation, contestation, and doubt.” Anastas is a faculty member and the senior academic adviser for CCS programs; Michael Brenson, New York Times art critic from 1982 to 1991, is a CCS faculty member.
WRESTLE: MARIELUISE HESSEL COLLECTION Catalogue of exhibition curated by Tom Eccles and Trevor Smith; preface by Leon Botstein CCS Bard Wrestle, the opening exhibition of the CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, encompasses the work of disparate artists from the Marieluise Hessel Collection, which has been the chief educational resource of the CCS since the curatorial program’s inception. This catalogue features artist and curator questions and statements, in visual and written form, about the nature of identity, subjectivity, and the art of being seen. In an interview with Hessel printed here, cocurator Trevor Smith writes that the collector “described how, as she grew up in postwar Germany, America represented the future.” Hessel’s collection, Smith says, “limns the cultural tensions articulated in attempting to secure the course of that future.” The main catalogue is accompanied by a fascicle (with the exhibition’s title printed backwards) featuring the Wrestle works shown in the CCS Galleries adjacent to the galleries of the museum.
IRAN: OUR GRAVEST THREAT? A Discussion with James Phillips and Tom Parker On October 12, three days after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test, Middle East experts James Phillips and Tom Parker visited the New York City headquarters of the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program (BGIA) to debate the level of threat posed by Iran, which had also been engaging in nuclear activities. Do these nations present the greatest immediate threat to U.S. security? Is Iran the greater long-term threat? Are there links between the two in terms of nuclear technology? Phillips, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who has written extensively on Iran, the Middle East, and Islamic radicalism, and the BGIAâ€™s Parker, executive director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and a former British counterintelligence officer, discussed these and other questions in a debate simulcast to the Bard College campus. The Annandale audience could not only see and hear the conversation in real time, but also participate in the question-and-answer session. Jonathan Becker, dean of international studies, moderated the event, which was part of the James Clarke Chace Memorial Speaker Series. An abbreviated version of the speakersâ€™ remarks follows.
PHILLIPS Is Iran our gravest threat? I think it’s one of them. In the immediate short term, the most severe threat to the United States may be al Qaeda, which continues to advocate mass murder in order to install its vision of a worldwide Islamic utopia. But in the next three to seven years, Iran looms as a very severe threat. To be more precise, Iran’s revolutionary regime poses the threat. There are many common interests between the American people and the Iranian people, many congruent national interests. But the regime sees itself as the leader of a global Islamic movement, locked in a struggle with the West, and particularly with the United States, “the great Satan,” in Ayatollah Khomeini’s words. People are focused on the nuclear problem, but not on what the Iranian regime does to its own people, what it’s doing to its neighbors, or on the long-term revolutionary threat that it poses. In recent years Iran has become increasingly aggressive in seeking to overthrow the status quo in the Middle East. A military buildup has given it the largest ballistic missile arsenal in the region, mostly with the help of North Korea, which has also provided missiles, naval mines, and minisubmarines—a potential threat to oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz—and tunneling technology. North Korea is one of the world leaders in tunneling, having built hundreds of tunnels underneath the DMZ. And the Iranians are digging their nuclear facilities extremely deep. . . . You have to wonder what else North Korea, an energy-short, energy-hungry nation with nuclear capability, is transferring to Iran. But it is Iran’s ideological and terrorist threat that may do the most damage. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran has been one of the leading state sponsors of terrorism. It uses terrorism as a strategic tool to seize power, maintain power, and undermine the power of rival regimes in the Middle East. Indeed, it was an act of terror—the seizure of U.S. hostages in 1979—that enabled Khomeini’s supporters to overthrow the provisional government and outmaneuver the secular nationalists and leftists, thereby taking power. Iran’s attempts to export revolution have largely failed; as a Shiite, non-Arab nation, it does not have great appeal for the predominantly Sunni Arabs in surrounding nations. However, its efforts to export terrorism have paid off in a big way, particularly in Lebanon, where the Shia form the largest single group in a mosaic of 17 ethnic and religious groups. Iran helped create and finance Hezbollah, the Party of God, which it uses as a surrogate to attack its enemies.
Initially, Hezbollah attacked the French and American elements of the multinational peacekeeping force that was dispatched to Lebanon to separate the Israelis and PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization]. In 1983, Hezbollah attacked first the U.S. Embassy, then the Marine barracks, where 241 were killed. Hezbollah also took 15 American hostages in the late 1980s as pawns to extract arms from the United States; two were brutally murdered. Iran never really paid a price for these acts, and it learned that terrorism pays. Before 9/11, Hezbollah had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group. Even today it probably could do more damage to the United States than al Qaeda, including targets inside the United States, because it is very well organized, has very deep-rooted support networks within the Lebanese Shia diaspora, and is heavily financed by Iran. Iran has also had success in exporting terrorism to Sunni areas, even though some of the Sunni groups are so fundamentalist that they consider the Shia to be heretics. This may not make much sense in ideological terms, but it makes great geopolitical sense: radical Sunni Arab groups are in a better position than are Shiite groups to undermine Arab governments aligned with the United States and to pressure Western powers to withdraw from the Middle East. Sudan became a key partner in Iran’s efforts to reach out to radical Sunni movements. After a coup brought the Sudanese National Islamic Front to power in 1989, Iran provided Sudan with cheap oil and weapons. Hundreds of Iranian military advisers and Revolutionary Guards were dispatched to train Sudan’s army and internal security forces, as well as extremists from the Middle East and beyond who had taken sanctuary there. Sudan offered Iran a strategic foothold to outflank Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two of Iran’s chief rivals for leadership in the Middle East, and to extend its revolutionary influence throughout North Africa. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was also implicated in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American servicemen. U.S. and Saudi officials link senior Iranian intelligence officials to the Saudi Hezbollah cell that allegedly conducted the bombing. And Iran today has, at the least, a marriage of convenience with al Qaeda. U.S. intelligence officials have confirmed that Iran is harboring a number of top al Qaeda officials, including Osama Bin Laden’s son, Saad, and Saif Al-Adel, who has been linked to the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa. The 9/11 Commission found strong
evidence that at least eight (and possibly 10) of the 19 hijackers transited Iran on the way to or from Afghanistan before September 11. Iran probably didn’t know about the operation at that time, but the fact that it continues to grant al Qaeda sanctuary is extremely troubling. The crisis over Iran’s nuclear program has its roots in the startling 2002 discovery of secret uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and a heavy-water production plant in Arak, both of which Iran had hidden from the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. To avoid being referred to the U.N. Security Council, Iran agreed to suspend its enrichment efforts in October 2003. Undoubtedly, it was influenced by U.S. intervention in Afghanistan (to Iran’s east) and Iraq (to its west). But the installation of the hard-line Iranian government last year spelled the end of Iran’s diplomatic charade. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quickly renewed Iran’s enrichment efforts. Ahmadinejad was no doubt encouraged by the perception that the United States was bogged down in Iraq. A UN Security Council resolution gave Iran until August 31 to halt its uranium enrichment activities. Iran refused, but the Security Council has yet to make good on its threat to punish Iran for noncompliance. I think Iran is counting on Russia and China—who both have huge economic stakes in trade with Iran, including huge sales of military equipment—to protect its interests. [On November 2, both countries said they would not back a resolution calling for harsh sanctions against Iran.] Nonetheless, the Bush administration is correct to continue its full-court press at the Security Council, in order to raise the perceived costs inside Iran of Iran’s nuclear efforts. Over time this could undermine the Ahmadinejad government, or at least reduce the popularity of its nuclear program. And, finally, going to the Security Council also sets the stage as a last resort for the use of force if Iran continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It’s important to remember that Ahmadinejad is a true believer in Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution. Unlike his predecessor, who believed in a dialogue of civilizations, Ahmadinejad believes in a clash of civilizations, and he wants to lead that clash. Once this regime has nuclear weapons, it will use them to keep itself in power. And once Iran gets a nuclear weapon, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are all going to want them. This is going to lead to a very heavily nuclear-armed Middle East, and that’s not in the U.S. interests.
PARKER Historically, Iran has been one of the great pow-
ers of the world. It is a country that has aspirations to still be one of the great powers of the world. And it has every reason to have these aspirations. This isn’t a country cobbled together by the British; it is an ancient country with a long history of government. It is not a tin-pot dictatorship that has a history of pursuing world domination. It’s not North Korea. I don’t want to suggest that the current Iranian regime is anything other than extremely unpleasant. The list of people that it has conducted appalling human rights abuses against is very long. It includes groups like the Baha’i, homosexuals, trade unionists, and communists. It includes businessmen, because it’s easy for a corrupt regime to extort money from businessmen by arresting them and putting them in jail. That list also includes Islamic extremists. The worst single human rights abuse under the revolutionary regime was the mass murder of several thousand Sunni fundamentalists in the early 1980s. So I am skeptical of a strong link between al Qaeda and the Iranian regime. I know people are trying to find evidence of connections. I was in Iraq and I know where these things can lead. But Iraq is a real mess at the moment because of a nasty civil war going on between the Sunni, backed primarily by al Qaeda, and the Shia, backed primarily by Iran. With anywhere between 100,000 to 600,000 people dead, this doesn’t strike me as evidence of a very close relationship. We might argue that Iran is part of the gravest problem that we face, which is this growing civil war between Shia and Sunni, moderate and extremist, secular and religious. It’s a struggle for the soul of a religion, but it’s also a struggle rooted in old-fashioned nationalisms. The Iranians are Persian; they’re not Arabs. There is a strong antagonism between Iran and the Arab world. That’s why the Arab world does not look to Iran for leadership, although it sometimes looks to Iran for inspiration. The Ayatollah’s revolution is a tremendous source of inspiration for al Qaeda. It shows that an Islamic regime can run a country for decades. I’m not claiming that Iranian society is something to emulate, but it’s not in profound financial crisis, it didn’t get defeated by Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war [1980–1988], and it has tweaked the nose of the United States on several occasions and gotten away with it. As James said, there is a close relationship between Iran and Hezbollah. But you know what? Wouldn’t we be happy if al Qaeda had a state sponsor? Wouldn’t that make
life just that little bit easier, having somebody to threaten, somebody to have a dialogue with? Let me tell you a story. Six months ago I was part of a U.S. Department of Defense human rights briefing team in Lebanon. We did training for the Lebanese military. At that point, Hezbollah was part of the government, and the United States was extremely concerned not to offend them. People weren’t talking about the Marine barracks bombing, they were talking about a political party that, yes, had a militia attached, but was becoming socialized by its involvement in the political process. And this is something I urge you to remember: threats change, almost on an annual basis. When you start talking about threat, the main thing is: what are you going to do about it? Bomb Iran? I’ve worked in the field with the U.S. military in Iraq, and they are massively overstretched. There is no way that they can go into Iran and do anything other than create yet another destabilized regime in the Middle East, which is a bad place for destabilized regimes. I’m powerfully struck by [New York Times columnist] Thomas Friedman’s argument that the most effective national security strategy vis-à-vis the Middle East would be to develop an alternative fuel source. I think that probably is true. A new fuel source would massively affect the economies of these countries. Ahmadinejad is a very clever politician. Right now he sits on an awful lot of oil—and he knows we can’t push back. The only thing that is going to make a difference longterm in Iran is evolutionary regime change. The experience of Eastern Europe teaches us that the ideas of freedom, democracy, and representation are powerful, and they will out. Iranian youths aren’t clamoring for greater religious restrictions; they’re clamoring for MTV and al-Jazeera, to be able to listen to music, travel around, have jobs. There’s a lot of criticism internally in Iran, and that pressure will be felt. The Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center is translating academic articles about the nexus between human rights in the Islamic world and Islam into Farsi and putting them out on the Internet—we have a list of 42,000 people we send e-mail to inside Iran. This is a vibrant debate and these are attractive ideas. Think about it. Who would you vote for, the guy who says “Hand in your satellite dish, wear these clothes, do this, that’s closed,” or the fellow who says, “There’s a bright new future out there, let’s grab it with both hands”? You may be intimidated by the guns of the first guy, but I think you’re going to be root-
ing for the second guy. These things take time, but I don’t think we’re in such a dangerous situation that we can’t give it time. Even a nuclear Iran is not that big a threat. Having a nuclear weapon puts you in the nuclear weapons club, and being a member of the nuclear weapons club makes you a target for other people with nuclear weapons. All of the countries that Iran is most likely to threaten with nuclear weapons have them already, with, perhaps, the exception of Saudi Arabia. Israel has them, Pakistan has them, and so does the United States, with its presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. So this is not really about a rogue state professing an unreasonable regional aspiration; this is a state that feels threatened by a bunch of nuclear powers on its doorstep. Ahmadinejad has said stunningly stupid things, many about Israel. But Israel has nuclear weapons. You start doing that with a nuclear power when you’re a nuclear power, and you could well get hit first. So a nuclear Iran is contained by the same mechanisms that contained the Soviet Union and made sure that the Cold War didn’t become a hot war. We need to focus on what we already have on our plate. Failing in Iraq and Afghanistan is our gravest threat. Could Iran become a threat down the road? Yes. Will it carry out a 9/11? I think absolutely not. Will it kill 12 or 13 people in a bombing here or there? Possibly. It’s not fun, but you can deal with it. The worst possible mistake would be to overreact.
James Phillips received a B.A. from Brown University and M.A. and M.A.L.D. degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In addition to his position at the Heritage Foundation, he is a member of the board of editors of Middle East Quarterly. His articles on international terrorism, the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Persian Gulf security issues, among other topics, have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and USA Today. Tom Parker, a fellow at Brown University, has served as the United Kingdom’s special adviser on transitional justice to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad and as head of the CPA’s Crimes against Humanity Investigation Unit. He was also a war crimes investigator in Bosnia and Kosovo, and a U.S. representative investigating atrocities in Darfur, Sudan.
LOOKING FOR HOMER IN SCANDINAVIA BARD TEAM EXPLORES POSSIBLE ORIGINS OF GREEK EPICS
Four recent Bard graduates and William Mullen, professor of classics, spent last June and July sailing the Baltic in order to test an astounding theory put forth by Felice Vinci, whose studies trace the Homeric epics to the Baltic region. Vinci, author of The Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales: The “Iliad,” the “Odyssey,” and the Migration of Myth, asserts that he has reconciled geographic incongruities in Homer’s works that have confused scholars for hundreds of years. The towns, countries, and islands described in the Iliad and the Odyssey do not always match the geographical realities of the Mediterranean. Vinci’s new theory posits that the Achaeans were Baltic natives who migrated from Scandinavia to Greece around the 16th century BCE in search of warmer weather, after a climatic downturn (well documented by mainstream climatologists). They brought with them an established set of place-names. Vinci’s theory holds that the migrants, finding in the eastern Mediterranean a topography similar to the one they left, proceeded to remap configuraThe V-TEAM (from left to right): John Hambley, Caleb Morfit, tions of their Baltic homeland. Dane Klinger, Sophia Friedson-Ridenour, and William Mullen Intrigued by Vinci’s hypothesis, the Bard crew set out to investigate the theory substantially for the first time, so that full-scale scientific research on the analogies might follow. Repeating place-names, called “homotopes” (for example, New York State has its Ithaca, Troy, Syracuse, Carthage, Utica, and Rome), have led Vinci to a highly detailed reconstruction of the Homeric epics in an original Baltic setting. Vinci has matched place-names in the Homeric epics with more than 300 Baltic homotopes that fit the Mediterranean topography. Although Vinci’s work was translated into Russian in 2005 and published in English in January 2006, events that accelerated international discussion of the theory, no one had conducted extensive hands-on research of it. Until the Bard team stepped in. “I took it upon myself to spearhead the introduction of Vinci’s work,” Mullen says. “Vinci himself had been to only a small subset of the Baltic sites, and what the Bardians and I are doing is fully documenting the project.” The Bard team, originated by the students involved, consisted of Mullen, Sophia Friedson-Ridenour ’05, John Hambley ’06, Dane Klinger ’06 and BCEP ’06, and Caleb Morfit ’05. Called the V–TEAM (an acronym of Vinci Team for Epic Ancestor
Mapping), the group sailed for three weeks in a chartered 37-foot sailing yacht. Using Vinci’s homotopes, the journey retraced the Greek expedition to Troy, from the gathering of ships at the Bay of Aulis/ Bay of Norttälje, to stops in the Åland archipelago, to the plains of Troy/Troija. “If Vinci’s account of Homer’s Baltic origins were established as fact,” says Mullen, “we would all imagine the Iliad and Odyssey afresh in a new seascape which, when it was warmer by 4 degrees Celsius, must have been almost paradisal in its beauty. And the Bardians will have been among the first to witness a testimonial to the prodigious powers that peoples on the move have of taking their old stories with them and remapping them onto new places.” In Stockholm, the V–TEAM met Vinci. In July, Mullen and Vinci continued on their own, traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia, where Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage State Museum, had invited them to discuss Vinci’s work. Piotrovsky is helping to test Vinci’s theory by arranging collaboration between archaeologists from the Hermitage and the University of Pavia in Italy. The archaeologists are comparing Bronze Age and early Iron Age findings in Russia, Ukraine, the Black Sea, and the Mediterranean. Vinci and Mullen were also greeted by several scholars associated with Smolny College, Bard’s sister liberal arts college in St. Petersburg. Mullen then traveled to Bergen in southwest Norway and sailed for one week around Nordkapp, the northernmost point in Europe. According to Vinci, this setting was home to such famous figures and sites in the The towns, countries, and islands described in Odyssey as Scylla and Charybdis, Circe, Helios’s cattle, Iliad and the Odyssey do not always match the and the Phaeacians, Lestrygonians, Cyclops, Sirens, and “house of Hades.” The final leg of the trip brought geographical realities of the Mediterranean. Mullen to Copenhagen, where he met with a Danish playwright, Niels Djamkaer (who is working on having Vinci’s book translated into Danish). The V–TEAM (http://vteam06.googlepages.com) was funded by a grant from the Sea Education Association, as well as by private benefactors. The photographs taken by the V-TEAM, along with its daily blog (vteam06.blogspot.com), form the basis of an interactive CD-ROM, allowing viewers to explore the 2006 voyage, as well as Vinci’s theory, in greater detail. This, in turn, will form the basis of a more extensive CD-ROM that Mullen and Vinci plan to include in the jacket of future translations and editions of Vinci’s work. The research also led to V–TEAM presentations at such venues as the American-Scandinavian Foundation in New York City. Using Vinci’s book as a guide, the V–TEAM’s work presents, Mullen says, ample documentation in support of Vinci’s theory and contributes to a growing body of work surrounding the investigation and testing of it. SD Cinematografica, an Italian film company, is planning to make a documentary on Vinci’s thesis, and has expressed eagerness to join the crew of Mullen’s proposed V–TEAM ’07 voyage. The second trip plans to retrace routes and revisit sites of the Odyssey, a venture that will require a bigger ship and larger crew, which Mullen hopes to make more multinational in light of Vinci’s belief that his theory represents “an early instance of the unity of Europe.” If plans proceed as Mullen hopes, a V–TEAM ’08 would depart from St. Petersburg and sail down the Dnieper River to the Black Sea and thence to the eastern Mediterranean, retracing the southern migration route of Vinci’s “proto-Greeks.” —William Mullen, Sophia Friedson-Ridenour, John Hambley, Dane Klinger, Caleb Morfit
The necessity for fiction—as food for the psyche and sustenance for the soul—was the theme of a public lecture by Mario Vargas Llosa, author, critic, and journalist. Peruvian by birth and international in reputation, Vargas Llosa spoke at the invitation of Norman Manea’s Contemporary Masters class. In his lecture, “Cervantes and the Craft of Fiction,” the distinguished 21st-century writer used the 17th-century Spanish author, who was a contemporary of Shapespeare—and like that playwright, almost “fossilized,” and certainly “semideified through the respect and sanction of generation after generation,” Vargas Llosa said—as a springboard for a thoughtful verbal study of the uses of fiction in societies free or closed. With his novel Don Quijote de la Mancha, Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) raised the Spanish language “to previously unknown heights and set a symbolic maximum standard for those of us who write in Spanish,” said Vargas Llosa. “He renewed the fictional form, giving it vastly new complexity and subtlety, demonstrating how a work of fiction both destroys and recreates the world that gives it life.” That is, Don Quijote (published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615) is a work of fiction that is about fiction—how it operates in life, and the service that it offers.
This service comes into play because each of us lives our own story, according to Vargas Llosa, who noted that some of us tell stories in order to endure more easily the story that we’re living. Fiction is not primarily an entertainment, “although of course, if it is not also entertainment, then it is nothing,” he said. Vargas Llosa considers fiction first a rebellion against real life, and second, a compensation for those constrained by what he refers to as the “prison house” of their one destiny. For Vargas Llosa, fiction does not simply help us to escape boredom; rather, it “offers fleeting relief for an existential dissatisfaction.” Thanks to fiction, “we are more and we are others,” said Vargas Llosa. In fiction, we can lose ourselves and multiply, living many more lives than if we confine ourselves to the truth and the “prison of history.” Vargas Llosa believes we do not live by truth alone. We also need lies— lies invented freely, not those imposed upon us. Contrasting fiction with history, Vargas Llosa noted that literary truth is one thing, historical truth another. Literature recounts the history that historians can’t write, because the fiction writer is able to use deceptions and tricks of narrative to express profound, unsettling truths that can be exposed only obliquely.
The best proof that a society is indeed open may be found in the coexistence of fiction and history, where neither concept invades or usurps the other’s domain.
WHY WE NEED FICTION
Moreover, in Vargas Llosa’s view, these boundaries between literature and history are the prerogative of open societies. The best proof that a society is indeed open may be found in the coexistence of fiction and history, where neither concept invades or usurps the other’s domain. Vargas Llosa considers the reverse to be true in closed societies: fiction and history supplant each other, become confused, and ultimately change identities. In a closed society, power aspires not only to control actions, he said, but also to govern fantasy, dreams, and memory. Sooner or later, the past of a closed society is subject to manipulation, with a view toward justifying the present. Official history, the only one tolerated, becomes a stage for a magical transformation, with protagonists who appear or disappear, according to whether they are being resurrected or purged. In a closed society, Vargas Llosa continued, history is imbued with fiction—indeed, becomes fiction—because it is invented and reinvented in accordance with current political orthodoxy or the whims of those in power. Simultaneously, a system of censorship is usually established whereby literature must also fantasize within strict limits, so that subjective truths do not contradict or cast a shadow over official history, but rather serve to disseminate and illustrate it. The difference between historical truth and literary truth disappears. They become fused in a fabric that bases history in unreality and fiction in the established order. When a state, in its desire to control and decide everything, first appropriates from its citizens the right to invent and believe whatever lies they please, then exercises this right through historians, Vargas Llosa maintained, men and women suffer a loss that impoverishes their existence, even when their basic needs are satisfied. Real life has never been—and will never be—sufficient to fulfill human desires. Further, he averred, without the vital dissatisfaction that the lies of fiction both incite and assuage, there is never authentic progress. Literature that produces an alternative life, with no constraint other than that of its creators’ limitations, extends human life, Vargas Llosa asserted; it adds a dimension that fuels the “impalpable” and fleeting, but precious, life deep within us that we live only through lies. This is a right, said Vargas Llosa, “that we should defend without shame.” Reaction to Vargas Llosa’s lecture was enthusiastic. “He engaged both the ethics and the political questions that narrative fiction raises, as well as the psychology of the individual reader,” said Deirdre d’Albertis, associate dean of the college and associate professor of English. “As a fiction writer himself, he brought a wonderful struc-
tural awareness of the narrative art to his reading of a historical figure like Cervantes.” “He’s a wonderfully intellectual man, and that came shining through,” said Charles P. Stevenson Jr., chair of Bard College’s Board of Trustees. “Vargas Llosa spoke of how fiction both satisfies and whets the appetite for alternate realities. All through history, closed societies, like the Inca, have tried to control interpretation of the past and present. Fiction is fundamentally subversive, as it invites alternative views. Vargas Llosa, with his elegant manners, gracious dress, and refined style, emphasized through his remarks about Don Quijote the crucial importance of fiction —precisely because it is subversive and encourages dreaming. And of course Bard, where the writing and teaching of fiction are both first-rate, is proud to be ‘subversive’ in this sense of offering alternatives to a centrally controlled view of reality.” At the lively open class of Manea’s Contemporary Masters course two days after the October 12 lecture, Vargas Llosa held forth on the history behind, and history of, his writing of The Feast of the Goat, his 2000 novel about the 31-year dictatorship of General Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. During seven months that Vargas Llosa spent in the Dominican Republic in 1975, he was fascinated to discover that, though Trujillo had been killed 14 years earlier, memories of the dictator still “loomed over Dominican life,” causing people to retain their old circumspect habits and speak cautiously. Vargas Llosa found himself intrigued by the way the 31-year regime had so shaped the people that they paid homage to “the Chief” when there was no longer compulsion to do so. Vargas Llosa loved the country and Dominican people, and though he had vowed not to write again about dictators (as he had done in his 1969 novel, Conversation in the Cathedral), he found himself drawn to writing about Trujillo. Writing The Feast of the Goat was a long and complicated process—the book wasn’t completed until nearly 20 years after Vargas Llosa’s Dominican sojourn. “I need for an idea to pass the test of time,” the author said with a smile. “If, a few years later, I’m still obsessed, I know that I will have the strength that is necessary to finish the book.” As in his discussion of Cervantes, Vargas Llosa focused on his fascination with the dichotomy between the past and present, historical truth and the fictions that become truth. Through his own fiction, as well as his examination of that of Cervantes, Vargas Llosa explores what life could be like outside of the truth and the “prison of history.” Vargas Llosa’s research for The Feast of the Goat led him on
Sooner or later, the past of a closed society is subject to manipulation, with a view toward justifying the present. Official history, the only one tolerated, becomes a stage for a magical transformation, with protagonists who appear or disappear, according to whether they are being resurrected or purged. Mario Vargas Llosa speaks to a packed house in Olin Hall.
a journey in which he discovered a blurring of truth and myth. For example, a story he originally thought was a myth—that peasants gave Trujillo their daughters because they had heard of his legendary sexual appetite—turned out to be horrifyingly true. Other true and gruesome tales of torture and betrayal did not make it into the novel. “Things were much worse in the real world than in the novel,” Vargas Llosa declared. “There were things that I couldn’t put in the novel because they were unbelievable. No reader would have accepted that this was something that could happen. But it happened. It happened.” Unlike Conversation in the Cathedral, in which the dictator never actually appears, Vargas Llosa decided that Trujillo would be one of the main characters in The Feast of the Goat and would narrate part of the story. “So I had to try to invent a convincing Trujillo out of the real Trujillo,” Vargas Llosa said. “What exactly was the real Trujillo? Difficult to say. . . . What I wanted was to present Trujillo as he saw himself, with all the justifications.” In reality, Trujillo had a history of spinning fictions about himself. “He was totally convinced that he was the savior of this little country,” Vargas Llosa said. At the same time, presenting Trujillo as a character, albeit in the weakened, final stage of his life, the novelist said, “was the most difficult part of the book, because it’s difficult to write about a character that you hate.” Perhaps the epitome of this amorphous boundary between truth and historical fiction was the story Vargas Llosa told about a former Trujillo colonel who had been married to Trujillo’s daughter. When the author asked the military man if he had tortured and whipped a prisoner, the colonel answered, “You want to know the truth? I don’t remember.” The statement led Vargas Llosa to believe the
colonel had “probably been many, many times in this chamber of tortures and has whipped many, many prisoners.” Students attending the lecture and subsequent class leapt eagerly at the opportunity to interact with the acclaimed author. “He has a really exciting perspective about the merits of the novel,” said Mary Kate Donovan ’08, who is studying photography and Spanish literature. “He has a strong political slant that he puts into a social and historical context.” “He is one of the world’s most important writers, and I thought he fit perfectly with the theme of contemporary masters,” said Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture. “He was extraordinary in class, a generous and open-minded guest. The students were enchanted and extremely engaged. What was most instructive was that they were allowed to enter the laboratory of a writer: how the book was started, how written, how changed, in the process of making an idea into a novel.” —Debby Mayer and Cynthia Werthamer
Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1936. In the 1950s, while still a student, he began his lifelong work as a journalist, columnist, and editor. In the nearly 50 years of his remarkable writing career he has become one of the central authors of the Hispanic world, with more than 14 novels (most recently Travesuras de la niña mala, 2006), nine books of criticism, and five plays to his credit. His memoir A Fish in the Water focuses on his 1990 run for the presidency of Peru and his loss to Alberto Fujimori. Vargas Llosa holds a Ph.D. from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez.
GOOD CHEMISTRY On-Campus Research Opportunities for Undergraduates As an alternative to the large-scale National Science Foundation (NSF)–funded undergraduate research opportunities at universities around the country, Bard’s summer research program in chemistry gives students a somewhat different experience. While work in an NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program is considered essential for graduate school, and most Bard chemistry students will spend a summer in such a program, a summer of research at Bard is the perfect complement. It also serves as a training ground in research procedures and instrumentation. James Morris ’07 researched at Bard before his REU summer; Skylar Ferrara ’07 researched at Bard after his REU summer. Morris had planned to participate in an REU program in the summer of 2006, between his junior and senior years, so in 2005 he was looking for a preparatory chemistry research opportunity. Craig Anderson, associate professor of chemistry, suggested he work at Bard, under Anderson’s direction. For Morris, the opportunity was perfect, providing immediate daily experience using the chemistry lab’s complex instrumentation and working under the close direction of a primary researcher. The research in Anderson’s lab is at a chemically fundamental level; however, the new compounds made and analyzed in the laboratory work may lead to uses in medicine, optics, and other areas. Morris synthesized novel platinum compounds and analyzed their spectral data. “It was my first time doing research ever,” says Morris of the experience. He immediately noticed a difference in the level of precision required and the types of materials available. “For the labs you do for a class, you use maybe a gram of some substance,” says Morris. “Doing real research with a material like platinum, the quantities are very tiny, maybe a tenth of what you’d use in class. You have to make a lot of adjustments and anticipate your results better.” Morris also had to get used to dealing with the unknown. “I was doing these particular reactions for the first time, and my results were new, not just to me, but to chemistry.”
Soon Morris had the skills necessary to work independently and spent a large part of the summer planning, performing, and analyzing a series of reactions. “The first week or so, Craig made sure that I picked the right solvents and he supervised my work on the NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer),” says Morris. “By the second week, I knew exactly where the project was headed, I was doing a fair amount of troubleshooting on my own, and Craig would follow my progress every day. The amount of research I was doing was probably a little unusual for an undergraduate in that I would do the entire process, from the reaction, through data spectra and documentation.”
“I was doing these particular reactions for the first time, and my results were new, not just to me, but to chemistry.”
Bard’s research lab includes an NMR, a polarograph, a high-performance liquid chromatograph, a magnetic susceptibility balance, two Fourier-transform infrared spectrophotometers, a gas-chromatograph/mass spectrometer, an ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer, and, in collaboration with Vassar College, an X-ray diffractometer. Approaching these instruments, Morris was nervous at first. “If you make a mistake with one of these instruments, it could take weeks to get a part or service.” he says. But in a few weeks, Morris was comfortable with the equipment. Morris’s research became part of a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Organometallic Chemistry: “Reactivity of cyclometallated platinum complexes with chiral ligands,” by Craig Anderson, Margarita Crespo, James Morris, and Joseph M. Tanski. The following summer when Morris went on to an REU program at the University of Cincinnati, a few differences between that program and Bard’s were apparent. The typical REU student is working for the first time in a
(From left to right) Skylar Ferrara ’07; Craig Anderson, associate professor of chemistry; and James Morris ’07
research lab, under the supervision of as many as 10 faculty members and many graduate students. Rather than analyze compounds themselves, students send the results of various reactions out of the lab for others to analyze. Morris found the REU program very valuable for certain experiences: the scale of work in a large laboratory, immersion in a graduate-type program, and a chance to evaluate a particular graduate school. The experience at Bard had ensured that he hit the REU ground running. Skylar Ferrara ’07 had done a summer in REU/NSF at the University of Idaho in the summer of 2005, between his sophomore and junior years. As with Morris, Anderson suggested Ferrara spend the following year researching at Bard. The chance to work directly with Anderson appealed to Ferrara. “When you do the REU program, the experiments are tailored to the graduate students,” says Ferrara. “Undergraduates work for the lab rather than for a specific faculty
member. There might be a hundred graduate students looking at the same research area.” Ferrara already knew his way around the Bard lab and needed little in the way of training. The excitement was in the research findings. The specific compounds that Ferrara was making in the lab had never been made before. He had the freedom to plan his approach and to run his own analysis on compounds. He also helped out a sophomore working in the lab that summer. “I got really good at using all the instruments at Bard,” he says. “You don’t get that kind of access in most programs.” Bard’s undergraduate summer research in chemistry is not a formalized program. For the past couple of years, Anderson has been able to fund undergraduate work through an Andrew Mellon Grant to Bard College. The experience complements the NSF/REU experience so well that a more formalized Bard program may be in the works. —Lucy Hayden
TO THE POINT Bardians Study with West Point Cadets The United States Military Academy at West Point is only 60 miles away from Bard, but philosophically, the two institutions are a million miles apart. Right? Not necessarily. In a pilot program this past fall, Jonathan Cristol ’00, visiting assistant professor of political studies at Bard, taught Bard–West Point Seminar: The Nature of Power. This course paralleled—and at times intersected with—a seminar in international relations taught by Scott Silverstone, associate professor of international relations at the Academy. The goal was to introduce a group of Bard students and West Point cadets to each other, and by extension, to diverse opinions and a wider worldview. Deans at both institutions encouraged the intersection. “It fits in with the broader scope of continuing West Point–Bard exchanges,” said Jonathan Becker, dean of international studies at Bard. For example, the model UN team that Becker leads has trained at West Point, and William Mullen, professor of classics, has initiated West Point–Bard joint seminars and activities since 1985. Last spring Becker, Mullen, and Michèle Dominy, vice president and dean of the college, met at West Point with Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, academic dean; three of the Academy’s vice deans; and the head of its English Department. All agreed that further cooperation was desirable. Out of that impetus, the Bard group formed the Academy/Bard Exchange.
above Aerial view of the United States Military Academy at West Point
Seeking curriculum that could be shared, “the sphere of international relations seemed perfect,” says Becker. “Especially in light of current U.S. foreign policy, interest was strong at both institutions to expose students to all sides of the issues and encourage them to challenge stereotypes and the accepted wisdom.” Twelve students (eight women, four men) enrolled in Cristol’s 300-level course, which he described as a seminar that would investigate physical violence, subtle psychological ties, and other control methods, in an attempt to understand the nature and role of power in the state system. Approximately one-third of the class meetings took place at West Point, where the Bardians joined the 13 cadets (11 men, two women) of Silverstone’s advanced international relations course—at 7:35 a.m., when that class met. The Bardians were in their travel van at 5:50 a.m. and ready for the start of the 55-minute class by the appointed hour—the Academy does not tolerate tardiness. Last September, Silverstone spoke at Bard. Prior to his talk (“Preventive War, American Democracy, and the Challenge of a Shifting Threat Environment”), he met with Cristol’s class and backgrounded them on West Point. Founded in 1802, the Academy was the first engineering school in the United States. In the mid 1980s, as the Army faced an increasingly complicated world, the course offerings were diversified. Today, international relations is the single largest major, said Silverstone. Academically, the cadets’ profile “would match yours,” he told the Bard students: in selecting an incoming class of men and women (16 percent of the cadet population is female), the Academy looks for intellectual ability and leadership qualities. Beyond that, the differences range from the quotidian—breakfast is mandatory, and cadets dress “as for class” in a gray uniform—to the philosophical, in that the cadets are being groomed to become second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Matriculating at the Academy requires a five-year commitment to the Army upon graduation. About a quarter of the Academy faculty are civilians; this is Silverstone’s sixth academic year teaching there. He is “Navy,” a former officer who flew for the Navy from 1985 to 1990 and served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon from 1990 to 1993. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 and left the Navy Reserves in 2000. Cristol’s concentration at Bard was political studies. He has a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University. He returned to Bard in 2005, where he is also
deputy director of the New York City–based Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program. There, in addition to teaching, he puts together the James Clarke Chace Memorial Speaker Series. One of his goals for the series is to expose students to “intelligent voices they wouldn’t otherwise hear and wouldn’t necessarily agree with,” he says. Cristol and Silverstone worked together to choose the topics to be discussed in the joint sessions of their courses: “Balance of Threat,” “Democratization and War,” “Clash of Civilizations,” and “America’s Role in the World.” Cristol’s class requires heavy reading—one major book on power and the international system each week, including Robert Kagan’s Of Paradise and Power, Hans Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations (the Brief Edition, edited by Kenneth W. Thompson), and J. Ann Tickner’s Gender in International Relations. “It is absolutely vital that you do all of the reading for this class,” says Cristol’s course syllabus. “For your West Point compatriots, failure to do the reading or turn in a paper on time is considered a ‘dereliction of duty’ and a crime. You should treat [your assignments] the same way.” During their first joint class in September, the students broke off into small discussion groups that continued throughout the semester. Cristol described the first meeting as “a terrific class—each side participated equally, and I was very proud of the Bard students.” The Bardians shared his enthusiasm for the joint seminar, he said. In addition, they were struck by a campus on which cadets marched with rifles, soldiers with guns checked the students’ passports, and the class met in a building called the Combating Terrorism Center. Nevertheless, Cristol said, “I think the Bard students will be surprised at how little difference there is generally between the Academy cadets and themselves.” —Debby Mayer
DUSˇAN TY´NEK DANCE THEATRE
“I like to feel like I’m seeing something a different way, with a new understanding, work that takes me to another place.” Aileen Passloff, L. May Hawver and Wallace Benjamin Flint Professor of Dance at Bard, is talking about dance—in particular, the work of choreographer Dusˇan Ty´nek ’97, who came to Bard from Karlovy Vary, a tiny spa town in the Czech Republic, intent on concentrating in the natural sciences. “While growing up, we would watch the dancing on Michael Jackson and Madonna videos and we thought that was modern dance,” says Ty´nek, whose company, Dusˇan Ty´nek Dance Theatre, received a glowing review in the New York Times last summer. Despite four years of competitive ballroom dancing in Czechoslovakia, Ty´nek had never been exposed to modern dance before he arrived at Bard. “Where I come from, you look at the arts and you don’t think of them as a real job,” says Ty´nek, whose father, nevertheless, is a professional jazz saxophonist. “You go to college to do something serious. A scientist is more established.” From the age of four, Ty´nek had dreamed of becoming a zoologist or a biologist. But then he signed up for Passloff’s flamenco class. “I think scientists make very good dancers. They know how to use their minds,” says Passloff, who saw immediately “that Dusˇan was a young man full of something, a kind of joyousness, an inquisitiveness. . . . He was extraordinarily musical, which is an essential part of flamenco. And joy is essential to flamenco as well.”
“The whole flamenco experience was eye-opening,” says Ty´nek. “Coming from competitive ballroom dance, which is all very fake, not about true emotions, but about the dazzle, the speed, the circusy tricks—Aileen’s class is the opposite of that. It’s about the humanity of movement, what you’re trying to say. She understands where you’re coming from—you’re a young kid, you need the discipline, and she teaches you that. As in ballet, flamenco is extremely codified. But with Aileen it’s about who you are: be true to the form—and to yourself.” Passloff gently steered Ty´nek toward studying more dance—Merce Cunningham, José Limón, and ballet—even as he plunged into his course work in the natural sciences, eventually spending a semester in Australia, at James Cook University, immersing himself in field classes in zoology. For a semester he did no dance; instead, he went bushwhacking through the rain forest in search of endangered amphibians. “It was amazing, incredible,” says Ty´nek. At the same time, he found himself beginning to reflect deeply on dance: “How far-reaching it is, how you can immediately affect the lives of your audience,” says Ty´nek, who is quick to add that dance is a form that incorporates biology, anatomy, psychology, and physics. Ty´nek returned to Bard to concentrate in dance. “Still,” he says, “my mind works very logically. The way I build dances, it’s math. I create all these tables of drawings, spatial relationships, graphs, timing. Working with music, it can be very complex. I invent different schemes and ideas for the space . . . logarithms.” If the intricate symmetries of Ty´nek’s dances are indeed mathematical, they are intensely human, too. In her July 17, 2006, New York Times review, Jennifer Dunning wrote that the “terrific Dusˇan Ty´nek Dance Theater [sic] swept through Dance Theater Workshop . . . like a cool breeze in a parched landscape,” going on to say that the “powerful” Kosˇile “often seems just about to become funny, even at its darkest and most mysterious.” What Dunning describes as a “fascinating choreographic vocabulary and imagination” seems to express a secret language of the body, one that communicates the strangeness of the human condition—its awkwardness and its grace. Watching a rehearsal of an excerpt of ScENes, presented last summer with Kosˇile, reveals how Ty´nek, who has been called “a dance poet— and a very rare one” by DanceView Times, encapsulates the quirks of a soul within the gesture of an outstretched finger, and a whole lifetime of relationships within a 10minute span. After graduating from Bard, Ty´nek received a scholarship at the Merce Cunningham Studio and danced with a
wide range of choreographers, including Cunningham and Lucinda Childs. These experiences fueled his desire to use abstract movement “to give the sense of ambience . . . to tell a story, evoke emotions.” He presented early works at both the Merce Cunningham Studio and in the Netherlands, where he danced for a year with Dance Works Rotterdam. He returned to New York hungry to form his own company and eager to choreograph dances imbued with a sense of theatricality. That his narrative bent—“the Eastern European love of storytelling and tales,” as Ty´nek puts it—has much to do with where he comes from is undeniable: “The older I get, the longer I’ve been in the United States, the more I realize that storytelling is very cultural. I brought it with me.” Kosˇile, which is scheduled to be presented, along with ScENes and a new commission, at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival in March, is inspired by a collection of 19th-century Czech ballads and centers on six white wedding shirts. “The shirts have become extensions of the dancers’ bodies,” says Ty´nek, “I’m using them as you would use the scarf or cape in flamenco.” The women in Kosˇile hold scarlet lilies in their mouths. It’s a dreamlike vision. “Dusˇan doesn’t mistrust his dreams,” says Passloff. “He draws on his wonderful good brains, his extraordinary heart. Most people think it’s not stylish, or too scary, or might get sentimental, to go in that direction. But it’s what makes me the most hopeful. I think the dance world is desperate for that: the humanity within the formal control. That’s what’s most striking about Dusˇan’s work.” —Stephanie Fleischman
opposite page (from left to right): Matthew Dailey, Nicholas Duran, and Elisa Osborne in ScENes. above (from left to right): Dusˇan Ty´nek, Vincent McCloskey, Matthew Dailey, and Alexandra Berger in Kosˇile.
What kind of information is being gathered, by whom, and for what purpose? What are the benefits and risks of Internet interactivity that, with a mouse click, generates personal information—sometimes willingly, often unwittingly, and usually assumed to be private?
IS PRIVACY EXTINCT? Two Alumnae Discuss Aggregated Information The World Wide Web is a very large, very open, very public space. With few boundaries, instant access, and highly sophisticated tools for searching, capturing, and aggregating data, the Internet provides an ever-expanding stream of information. That stream, however, flows both ways. A New York Times revelation that America Online (AOL) publicly exposed the “private” search queries collected from more than 600,000 of its customers has raised concerns among privacy advocates, advertising and marketing specialists, and media analysts.* What kind of information is being gathered, by whom, and for what purpose? What are the benefits and risks of Internet interactivity that, with a mouse click, generates personal information—sometimes willingly, often unwittingly, and usually assumed to be private? Media industry executives Susan Mernit ’74 and Karen Watson ’79 are involved daily with the issues of what is public and what is private in the context of the freewheeling, consumer-powered Internet platform. Mernit, whose concentration was in literature, began as a poet and arts administrator for the Academy of American Poets, then moved to print journalism. Joining Scholastic magazine in the early ’90s, she integrated their Internet technology and developed online services for their teacher title, Scholastic Instructor. In 1993, she launched Scholastic Network, one of the first education websites. “At Scholastic, I went from being someone with very little interest in technology to someone obsessed with the Internet,” she says. “And I completely fell in love with the promise of emerging technology.”
Mernit went on to a career as a noted Internet/digital media executive focused on developing and running Internet-based businesses. At Netscape.com, where she was vice president of programming, design, and production, she was credited with transforming the website into a premiere Internet destination. As vice president of network strategy at America Online, she helped build the AOL brand by establishing interactive communities. After founding her own media consulting company, Mernit is today senior director of product at Yahoo! Personals. An active blogger and citizen journalist (susanmernit.blogspot.com), Mernit
advises Internet users: if in doubt, don’t say it or write it or blog it. “Business people are trained to write nothing in an e-mail that they wouldn’t put on the front page of the newspaper,” she says. “Internet search technology and archiving make everything that you say, and do, very findable.” Watson, senior vice president of communications for Nielsen Media Research and the VNU Media Measurement and Information Group, agrees. “I’m the daughter of a federal judge—I grew up in the public eye and it has made me mindful of the extent to which nothing is really private,” says Watson. If the information is out there, she cautions, no matter how innocuous or personal, it can be uncovered, posted, and made public. With a concentration in social studies (her Senior Project was “The Impact of Television on McCarthyism”), Watson began in news and public affairs for Public Broadcasting Service, National Public Radio, and the MacNeil/ Lehrer Report. Since then, she has spent her career in media relations, marketing, and public affairs, recently joining Nielsen, a leading provider of television audience measurement and advertising-information services. Both Mernit and Watson agree that what makes the Internet such a valuable resource for connecting users to what they want—news and opinion, goods and services, access to entertainment, social networks, and online communities of every description—is also what makes information about those users equally valuable and, unless protected, vulnerable. “It’s important to separate out the threads of advertising, public identity and disclosure, and community-driven sharing,” says Mernit. “They all have
aspects of privacy, but how privacy is defined depends on context.” For those people who feed their personal information to the Internet via social networks, “privacy means trust in a safe environment where individuals are in control of what they wish to reveal,” says Mernit. “With personals, privacy itself is part of the value of the service.” While the AOL mishap has privacy implications, Mernit feels it is an anomaly and not common Web practice. “The more interesting question is what people choose to expose about themselves through the media,” says Mernit. “What are the implications of that?” Data is gleaned from the Internet in many ways, from search queries entered through, for example, Google, Yahoo!, and Ask.com, to Nielsen BuzzMetrics, which trawls public spaces (such as blogs, message boards, and chat rooms) for consumer “buzz” on a host of topics. “The technology aggregates mentions of products, issues, and people in order to give Nielsen clients some sense of how their businesses are doing,” says Watson. Web businesses, as in any business environment, closely track customer metrics to make strategic business decisions. “One of the beauties of the web is that you can look at a lot of different data: how many people clicked on an article or a photo, or interacted in a forum,” says Mernit. By analyzing this data, companies gain insight into their customers’ taste and interests so they can more accurately tailor content and advertising to them. Nielsen uses this data to identify and gauge television audience preferences. “The data tells creators of programming that audiences are not monolithic,” says Watson, “that they are diverse in their attitudes and lifestyles, that different things motivate and engage them.” Is privacy over? “We have less expectation of privacy then we once did,” says Watson. She points to OnStar as an example of the kind of tradeoff often made in today’s world. Using a Global Positioning System satellite, OnStar tracks individual drivers, providing travel directions and access to emergency aid. “OnStar helps us find our way, but only at the cost of having someone know where we are at all times,” says Watson. While we gain much from the technology, we are complicit in what we might lose. “It’s a double-edged sword,” she adds. “We are more willing to give up a measure of personal privacy for convenience and security.” —Jan Weber
* “Your Life as an Open Book: Privacy vs. Viewing the Internet User as a Commodity” by Tom Zeller Jr. for the New York Times, Business Day, August 12, 2006 Karen Watson
GROTESQUES What decorative, yet functional, object has been an architectural element for 4,000 years? A symbol in pagan societies? An instrument of early Christian propaganda? A practical feature on some of the world’s tallest buildings? The answer to all of the above: the gargoyle. Russell Sturgis’s Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture and Building defines a gargoyle as “a water spout projecting from a gutter and intending to throw the water away from the walls and foundation.” Today, “gargoyle” is a catchall term for a functioning decorative waterspout as well as for what architectural historians call a “grotesque.” Other than the fact that it doesn’t spout water, the purely decorative grotesque can hardly be distinguished from its gargoyle relative. Both serve as a visual break in the wall (usually exterior) of what is often an immense building, and they add considerable visual interest to otherwise humdrum structures. In early October a group of architecture enthusiasts took the opportunity to view some of Manhattan’s finest gargoyles during a walking tour that was led by Alfred Pommer, who has been leading walking tours in New York City for more than 18 years. Some of these photographs by Don Hamerman show a few of the creatures viewed during the tour of the Flatiron District, Gramercy Park, Union Square, and Greenwich Village. The tour was organized by the Public Programs Department of The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture (BGC). In addition to walking tours, Public Programs plans and manages an active schedule of lectures, panel discussions, study days, concerts, exhibition tours, trips, and studio visits. Exhibition-related programs complement the Center’s own exhibitions, while special-interest events, such as the “Gargoyles in Manhattan” walking tour, present a range of scholars, curators, artists, and designers, who address current topics in the wider field of the decorative arts and design. Pommer says his “gargoyle walk” is particularly popular. “The tour appeals to locals as well as visitors from the tristate area and from Europe because of the gargoyles and because we walk through four very different New York neighborhoods.” Asked what he finds intriguing about gargoyles, Pommer says, “They always seem to be looking at us, but we spend our days walking right by them and never notice that they’re there. They see us, but we don’t see them.”
Rebecca Allan, director of Public Programs at BGC, feels that the tour’s attendees enjoyed learning more about the history of gargoyles in New York. “At the turn of the last century, many of the Italian immigrants who came to New York were skilled masons and stone carvers who worked on the city’s town houses, monuments, and other buildings,” says Allan. “Working on gargoyles must have been creatively freeing for the carvers—they were able to exercise their artistic skills as they explored various kinds of distortion and exaggeration. And what better way for these artisans to participate in the culture of their new homeland? I think that contemporary New Yorkers respond to gargoyles because they remind us of the highly skilled artisans of earlier generations, establishing a place for themselves in a new country. International artisans still come to the city to live and to participate in the creation of great buildings and public sculpture.” The majority of New York’s gargoyles decorate secular buildings, as do most gargoyles in America. With the notable exception of Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., American churches rarely feature functioning gargoyles. New York’s still-unfinished Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, in Morningside Heights, has no true (i.e., waterspout) gargoyles, though this fact seems mere hairsplitting to gargoyle seekers who marvel at the stone creatures, angels, and other figures that hide in the corners, perch atop arched doorways, and gaze down from the façade of the world’s largest cathedral.
The cornerstone of “St. John the Unfinished” was laid in 1892 and work proceeded at a pace appropriate to a Gothic cathedral—characterized by lengthy dormant periods—until the late 1970s, when the cathedral’s dean, the Very Reverend James Parks Morton, began Cathedral Stoneworks, an apprenticeship program for local residents, especially underprivileged youth, who learned the traditional craft of stone carving under the supervision of the British stonemason James Bambridge. The apprentices became highly skilled artisans who have used their knowledge to work on the cathedral as well as other stone buildings in New York and all over the world. New York’s most famous gargoyles (which are nonfunctioning—thankfully) are the gleaming, brooding eagles that roost on the 61st floor of the majestic Chrysler Building, which was briefly the world’s tallest building when it was completed in 1930. In the process of photographing its construction, Margaret Bourke-White (see photo on page 42) fell in love with the building and decided to move from Cleveland to a Chrysler Building studio with a terrace that overlooked the gargoyles. Another of the city’s most beloved landmarks, the Woolworth Building, which also enjoyed the title of “world’s tallest building” for a time, features gargoyles on its façade and interior—including caricatures of the building’s commissioning owner (the five-and-dime-store king Frank Woolworth) and the architect, Cass Gilbert. Other excellent examples of Manhattan gargoyles are on the New York Life Building, the apartment house at 81 Irving Place, buildings along the east side of Gramercy Park, the larger apartment houses along Riverside Drive, and many of the brownstones near the American Museum of Natural History and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Contrary to popular thought, gargoyles did not originate with the flying buttresses of medieval French cathedrals and churches. In fact, the ancient Greeks placed gargoyles on the corners of roofs. Some of these, such as the lionshaped gargoyles on the corners of the Acropolis in Athens, which date from the fourth century bce, functioned as waterspouts. Terra-cotta gargoyles were found in the ruins of Pompeii. In the Ellora Caves of western India, the Kailasa Temple is a particularly masterful example of Hindu architecture, which often features gargoyles. Carved from a single rock during the eighth century ce, the temple is also among the world’s largest monolithic structures. The gargoyle in France—indeed, the origin of the word itself—can be traced to the legend of La Gargouille, a fierce dragon that lived beside the Seine near Rouen, where it
spouted water and fire, flooded farmland, devoured ships and men, and terrified everyone. For many years Rouen’s residents made an annual attempt to placate the dragon with a human sacrifice—usually a convicted prisoner—to no avail. Around 600 ce, the legend says, a priest promised to deliver Rouen from the dragon, if the villagers agreed to be baptized and to build a church. They consented, and the priest and that year’s convict approached La Gargouille. The priest subdued the dragon by making the sign of the cross, and the convict led the now-docile dragon back to the village. The people of Rouen tied La Gargouille to a stake and set it on fire. The dragon’s neck and head—toughened up, no doubt, by a lifetime of breathing fire—did not burn, and the villagers mounted the remnants on the wall of their hastily built church as a symbol of Rouen’s triumph over evil. La Gargouille’s relic became the model for the dragon that was eventually carved on the exterior of the cathedral at Rouen (where it can still be seen), and, subsequently, became the model for gargoyles. To this day, the archbishop of Rouen pardons one of the city’s convicted criminals each year on Ascension Day. In the 12th century, gargoyles began to appear on the churches that were being built throughout Europe as the Roman Catholic Church actively worked to convert people of other faiths to Christianity. Since few people were literate at the time, images were important in communicating ideas and telling stories. Familiar images of pagan origin were integrated into religious architecture as a way of encouraging
the populace to convert to Christianity. Perched on cornices and along high walls and towers, gargoyles also served as “sacred scarecrows,” shooing away evil. The figures were also intended to remind churchgoers, and passersby, of the consequences of sin; many early gargoyles depicted damned, tortured souls imprisoned in stone. More pleasant-looking, even humorous, gargoyles extended an invitation to churchgoers. Most gargoyles are carved from limestone, though many are made from copper or terra-cotta, a clay that is molded and then baked, and allows the sculptor to create pieces that are hollow and, therefore, lightweight. Gargoyle sculptors think about their designs from the bottom up; that is, they must visualize what a figure will look like from 20 or 50 or even 500 feet below. Features and details—noses, beaks, claws—must be magnified accordingly. Today, while they retain a vestigial spiritual meaning for some viewers, the vast majority of the gargoyles on secular buildings in New York City are exclusively decorative. It’s not hard to imagine, though, looking at these extant examples, how their ancient and medieval antecedents managed to cajole, terrify, amuse, and charm their viewers. —Kelly Spencer
Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association
Holiday Party 2006 If the Annandale campus has beautiful views of the Hudson River, so too do the Boylan Studios, located approximately 90 miles away from Bard, in the Starrett-Lehigh Building on the extreme western border of New York City’s Chelsea district. The reinvigorated neighborhood, replete with galleries, is generally considered to have replaced SoHo as the center of Manhattan’s arts scene. At the Boylan Studios, revelers met for the Bard–St. Stephen’s Alumni/ae Association’s 2006 Holiday Party, which took place on December 15. The exciting new and modern venue was a big success. Bardians—some with young families in tow—reminisced, discussed the future, and chatted on the wide range of topics that capture the interest of the College’s alumni/ae. President Leon Botstein was in attendance, as were numerous faculty members and administrators. The Alumni/ae Association extends a special thank you to the following, for helping to make the party a wonderful success: Boylan Studios, Grandiflora, Richard Lewit ’84 of Alison Wines & Vineyards, and The Magic Hat Brewery.
The Stupefying Flashbulbs by Daniel Brenner ’98 FENCE BOOKS
Daniel Brenner’s first book of poems, winner of the 2006 Fence Modern Poets Series, consists of short, idiosyncratic verses. An “evil cube” makes repeated appearances. Poet Thalia Field calls Brenner’s work “symbolist fantasy” and writes, “New words demand invention to describe moments missing from language.” Brenner lives in New Jersey and works as an independent contractor. Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance by Ian Buruma PENGUIN PRESS
The intersection of radical Islam and the secular West reached a collision in the 2004 murder of Theo van Gogh, Dutch filmmaker, provocateur, and great-grandnephew of famous artist Vincent. The killing, by a Dutch native of Moroccan descent named Mohammed Bouyeri, was apparent revenge for a film van Gogh helped make about women and Islam. Ian Buruma, Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism, returned to his native Netherlands to investigate the causes of a murder that sent shock waves around the world. Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades by Mary Cowhey ’81 STENHOUSE PUBLISHERS
Mary Cowhey opens this engaging book with the title anecdote, which refers to a discussion in her second-grade Peace Class in Northampton, Massachusetts, about whether the students are justified in “stomping” the ants they find roaming the classroom. Cowhey interweaves stories about teaching, questions about pedagogy, advice for encouraging diverse viewpoints, and lesson plans. A former community organizer, Cowhey has won numerous awards for teaching. Inside the Board Room: Reflections of a Former School Board Member by Howard Good ’73 ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD EDUCATION
Howard Good continues the examination he began in earlier books of what he considers to be the pathetic state of American public education. He discusses the incompetence built into most school boards, the ingrained attitudes that keep real teaching at bay, and the occasional joys that keep the teachers, and Good, on a quest for educational improvement. Good is a professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz. The Lacey Confession by Richard Greener ’63 MIDNIGHT INK
This novel, the second in “The Locator” series of mysteries, pits semiretired tracker Walter Sherman against a cabal of killers. The bad guys are after a secret document that would have worldwide repercussions if it were to become public: the confession of the mastermind behind President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The plot involves rebel Russians, a CIA– connected operative, and the Kennedy family. Richard Greener, a retired broadcast industry executive, lives in Atlanta.
From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games by Ed Halter THUNDER’S MOUTH PRESS
In 2003, when the U.S. Army Special Forces “invaded” the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the video game industry’s annual convention, to promote a military video game designed by combat experts, Ed Halter knew he wanted to tell the story of military life melding with art. This book explores how the development of video games has often been connected to military needs, and examines “dreams that become real through play.” Halter is visiting assistant professor of film. The Family Whistle: A Holocaust Memoir of Loss and Survival by Simon Eichel with Lee S. Kessler ’78 iUNIVERSE
Lee Kessler wrote this book from the post–World War II journals of Simon Eichel, who survived the Holocaust after being torn away from his home in Poland at the age of 15. He also lived through a Siberian labor camp before arriving in the United States in 1949. The book’s cover was designed by Robert B. Levers ’78. Kessler lives with his family in Connecticut. The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn HARPERCOLLINS
As a boy, Daniel Mendelsohn couldn’t understand why elderly relatives would cry when he entered a room during his family visits to Florida. He later discovered he looked just like a great-uncle who had died in the Holocaust. This and other discoveries led Mendelsohn to travel the world to interview survivors of his uncle’s town. His book combines memoir, detective story, and scholarly research to produce an evocative moral tale, called by the New York Times a “powerful work of investigative empathy.” Mendelsohn is Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities. (See Fall 2006 Bardian.) The Traveler’s Guide to the Hudson River Valley: From Saratoga Springs to New York City by Tim Mulligan BLACK DOME PRESS
The 20th-anniversary edition of this popular guidebook updates Tim Mulligan’s listings of the many attractions along the river that has been called “America’s Rhine.” He offers his opinions about the places he visits and includes interesting anecdotes about many, as well as useful contact information and viewing tips. Mulligan is director of external affairs for The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture. Against the Grain: Memoirs of a Zimbabwean Newsman by Geoffrey Nyarota ZEBRA PRESS
Geoffrey Nyarota calls his book “history from a personal perspective,” an account of the first 25 years of the republic of Zimbabwe. As a crusading journalist and founding editor of the country’s Daily News, Nyarota and his paper recorded the decline of the government under the regime of Robert Mugabe (see Fall 2006 Bardian). Nyarota, who was forced into exile after facing arrest and death threats, was visiting professor of political studies and human rights in 2006.
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Pretty Young Thing by Danielle Pafunda ’99 SOFT SKULL PRESS
This first collection of poems by Danielle Pafunda plays and wrestles with language in ways that demand attention from the reader. Sometimes alliterative (“Sure, her stockings were shorn”), sometimes elusive (“For a long time, I was convinced I had drowned as a baby”), these poems deal with questions of life, love, and relationships. Pafunda is pursuing a Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of Georgia. The Distributional Effects of Government Spending and Taxation edited by Dimitri B. Papadimitriou PALGRAVE MACMILLAN
Debate over the government’s role in taxation and public spending continues as never before, and this book presents theories, findings, and policies dealing with issues of income distribution and well-being in different levels of society. It also examines the costs and benefits of individual government programs, such as Social Security in the United States, and analyzes distribution systems in other countries. Dimitri B. Papadimitriou is Jerome Levy Professor of Economics, president of the Levy Economics Institute, and executive vice president of Bard College. The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater ’63 HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
Imagine being a child and having a father who decides, just like that, to move the family from Chicago to Los Angeles, based on pictures in a magazine. That’s what Neddie Wentworthstein’s dad resolves to do, and the amazing adventures that follow will have young—and perhaps even older—readers glued to their seats. This latest book by Daniel Pinkwater also lists in its cast of characters an amiable young ghost, a movie star, and a mysterious turtle carved from stone. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose HARPERCOLLINS
Francine Prose, visiting professor of literature, begins her latest book with a question she has been asked often: Can creative writing be taught? This book constitutes an answer of sorts, starting with the premise that writers learn not just by writing, but by reading other writers. She breaks down the process of writing, examining other writers’ words, sentences, and paragraphs, to distill the essence of good writing. To the Marrow by Robert Seder CAVANKERRY PRESS
In this first-person account of a bone-marrow transplant, Robert Seder counts the days up to, and after, his transplant, and describes graphically, yet gracefully, the procedure that he hoped would stop the aggressive lymphoma with which he was diagnosed when he was 44. His courage, emotions, and personal history are interwoven into the story. Seder, who was a teacher in the Workshop for Language and Thinking, died in March 2002, after a second bone-marrow transplant.
The First Hurt by Rachel Sherman ’97 OPEN CITY BOOKS
In sharp, wince-evoking detail, Rachel Sherman’s first short story collection mines memories of childhood and adolescence, then goes on to describe marriage and parenthood. Sherman paints her emotional portraits against the backdrops of summer camp, high school, and the suburbs; her protagonists balance angst with moments of tranquility and clarity. She lives and writes in Brooklyn. Amy Sillman—Works on Paper by Amy Sillman ’95 MFA, text by Wayne Koestenbaum GREGORY R. MILLER & CO., LLC
The work of Amy Sillman, faculty in painting at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, is by turns whimsical, thought-provoking, colorful, and frightening. In his essay “The Sexual Awkwardness of God: Sentences for Amy Sillman,” which accompanies her art, cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum writes of Sillman, “She insists on an optimistic palette, like a new, safe version of electroshock.” Sillman’s gouaches combine fantasy and reality, order and chaos, relationship and isolation. Stopping the Plant: The St. Lawrence Cement Controversy and the Battle for Quality of Life in the Hudson Valley by Miriam D. Silverman ’04 STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK PRESS
A plan in the late 1990s to build a coal-powered cement plant along the Hudson River in Columbia County, New York, mobilized area residents and environmentalists to organize against its construction. Miriam Silverman expanded her Senior Project research on the St. Lawrence Cement plant for this book, which chronicles the rise and fall of the project (which was not built) from both sides of the controversy. Silverman lives and writes in Brooklyn. The Return of the Player by Michael Tolkin ’72 GROVE PRESS
In this novel, Michael Tolkin returns, as his title suggests, to the world of The Player, his 1988 book (which became a Robert Altman movie of the same title) that introduced Griffin Mill. A studio executive who was flying high in the first novel, the hapless antihero, now 52, is looking for ways to get out of the Hollywood rat race. He is panicked about his future in Hollywood, a place that one character calls “the most positive force in nature.” Tolkin lives in Los Angeles. From Sweden to Woodstock: The Art and Career of Carl Eric Lindin by Tom Wolf DAVID COOK FINE ART
At the turn of the 20th century, artist Carl Eric Lindin went from a farm in his home country of Sweden to Woodstock, New York, where he became a central figure in a dynamic community of artists. Tom Wolf’s monograph, accompanied by plates and details of Lindin’s work, encompasses the artist’s life and influences, as well as art movements of the time. Wolf is professor of art history.
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Faculty Endows Botstein Prize In 2005 Bard College observed the 30th anniversary of Leon Botstein’s presidency. Seeking to honor this milestone, the College faculty—led by the Faculty Executive Committee—raised funds for the President Leon Botstein Prize, to be given each year to “a graduating senior with a strong academic record across the disciplines, who has been judged by the faculty to have demonstrated intellectual ambition, creativity, and integrity.” The first Botstein Prize will be awarded at Commencement 2007. Ethan Bloch, professor of mathematics, oversaw the fundraising and wrote a statement in honor of Botstein’s leadership. Botstein has “presided over an unprecedented increase in the size and caliber of our student body, the quality and vibrancy of our
Hannah Arendt Conference “Thinking in Dark Times: The Legacy of Hannah Arendt,” a twoday conference, highlighted Family Weekend. The event commemorated the centennial of the birth of political theorist, author, and activist Hannah Arendt (1906–1975). It included a tour of the book collection Arendt left to Bard and a visit to the graves in the Bard Cemetery of Arendt and her husband, Heinrich Bluecher, who taught at Bard for nearly 20 years. For Arendt—whose oeuvre includes such distinguished works as The Origins of Totalitarianism, Eichmann in Jerusalem, and The Human Condition—the very act of thinking was of paramount importance. Roger Berkowitz, a conference organizer and visiting assistant professor of political studies and human rights, put it this way in his introduction to the first panel discussion: “Thinking is not the opposite of action, it is a kind of action.” Discussion over the two days ranged from Arendt’s views on tyranny to the nature of democratic citizenship. Jeffrey Katz, dean of information services and director of libraries, showed attendees the online archive of works in the Hannah Arendt Collection (www.bard.edu/arendtcollection). The conference’s keynote speaker was Christopher Hitchens, longtime social commentator and iconoclast who has written for such publications as the Nation, Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Vanity Fair. Hitchens took Arendt’s writings on anti-Semitism as a starting point for discussing globalization, current Israeli-Palestinian affairs, and the war in Iraq. Conference sponsors were the Human Rights Project and the Jewish Studies and Political Studies Programs at Bard College, Wendy and Alex ’71 Bazelow, Burton Construction Corp., Barbara Dobkin, Fund for Constitutional Government, Richard Gilder, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Foundation, and Wasserman-Streit Y’DIYAH Memorial Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Katz said of the well-attended event, “It was an opportunity to see the kinds of things we think are remarkable here at Bard.” top Christopher Hitchens center Arendt biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl bottom Panel discussion of Arendt’s legacy in Olin Hall
faculty, the strength of our finances, the physical resources of the campus, and the prestige of the College,” the statement noted. “There are many college presidents who are accomplished both as scholars and as fund-raisers,” the statement continued, “but Bard has a president whose many talents and successes do not obstruct his primary motivation as a college president—his affection for young people and a concern for their education and welfare.” The full statement was read, and the prize announced, at the final faculty meeting of the 2005–06 academic year—to Botstein’s complete surprise, Bloch reports. (The president’s staff had been successful at intercepting e-mails regarding the prize.) At the request of Charles P. Stevenson Jr., chair of the Board of Trustees, Bloch also read the statement to the May 2006 trustee meeting.
Levy Lands Three New Grants
International Human Rights Exchange Finds Permanent Home
The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College has received grants that total more than $800,000 from the Ford Foundation, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The awards will benefit two research projects by Levy scholars. Grants of $312,000 and $250,000 from IDRC (a Canadian organization) and the Ford Foundation, respectively, will support a new joint initiative of the Levy Institute and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the Republic of South Africa to explore the gender dimensions of taxation and tax reforms in Kenya, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, India, Morocco, and the United
The International Human Rights Exchange (IHRE) in South Africa has expanded from a summer program to a full semester, and now can call one of South Africa’s most prestigious universities home. The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Bard begin their new joint program in July, when IHRE becomes a full semester study abroad program. “This gives students and faculty the opportunity to be in Johannesburg while the university is in session. The students will be able to do substantive internships,” says Susan H. Gillespie, vice president and director
Kingdom. The research addresses concerns that many tax codes are biased against women and that contemporary tax reforms tend not only to increase the burden on the poorest women, but fail to generate enough revenue to fund the programs needed to improve women’s lives. Caren A. Grown, codirector of the Institute’s Program on Gender Equality and the Economy, says the comparative studies will offer “specific lessons for gender-aware reforms, particularly in the context of globalization.” A $293,030 grant from the Sloan Foundation will support continued research on the Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being (LIMEW), a more comprehensive measure of wellbeing than the official measure of gross money income. The funds will enable the research team to extend the LIMEW back to 1962, thus “providing policy-relevant insights into current trends in economic inequality in the United States, from a comparative and historical perspective,” according to Senior Scholar Ajit Zacharias, principal investigator for the project along with Senior Scholar Edward N. Wolff. A second objective is to convene a symposium to study the feasibility of developing comparable LIMEW measures for countries other than the United States.
of the Institute for International Liberal Education at Bard. She adds that “Wits,” as the university is known, “is an intellectually exciting place. The program will be academically first-rate.” At Wits, the IHRE program will retain its distinctive mix of students—half from North America, half from Africa—for a total of 44 students in the first year. IHRE is an international, interdisciplinary program dedicated to the critical study of human rights theories and practices. Students take four courses during the semester, including a mentored internship, through which they accumulate 16 Bard credits. Begun in 2000 as a collaborative venture, IHRE was founded by Bard, Bryn Mawr, Morehouse, Oberlin, Spelman, Swarthmore, and Trinity Colleges in the United States; and the Universities of the Witwatersrand, Cape Town, Fort Hare, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, and Zimbabwe in southern Africa. The semester-long IHRE offered by Bard and Wits seeks to continue the program’s record of diversity. Over the course of its five-year history as an intensive summer program, IHRE served 349 students, of whom 72 percent were nonwhite and 59 percent were female.
Family Weekend 2006 Visitors to Bard enjoyed autumn’s falling leaves while experiencing the College’s annual Family Weekend of lectures, sample classes, music, panel discussions, campus tours, and sporting events. Festivities began Friday afternoon, October 27, with a welcoming reception sponsored by the Parents’ Network in Bertelsmann Campus Center. Michèle D. Dominy, vice president and dean of the college; Erin Cannan, dean of students; and David Shein, dean of Lower College studies, fielded questions in a lively “Ask the Deans” session. That evening, family members had the opportunity to attend an on-campus conference on the legacy of Hannah Arendt (see facing page); take in Liszt, Wagner, and Berlioz at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, during the third weekend of the Bard Music Festival; and watch Bard Raptors’ women’s volleyball square off against Penn State in Stevenson Gymnasium. A spirited student, faculty, and family spelling bee capped off the night. On Saturday, the Parents’ Network held its annual meeting, at which Jim Brudvig, vice president for administration, spoke about campus buildings and expansion. Families also became students for a morning—sampling science, history, anthropology, studio arts, literature, and mathematics classes. Leon Botstein answered questions in an “Ask the President” session. Luncheon, sports events, hard-hat tours of The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation, historical and horticultural walks, student dance performances, and a show on 1970s rock (with music historian Barry Drake) rounded out the day. The weekend closed with Sunday’s panel discussion, led by Botstein, “Midterm Election: America at Home and Abroad.” Family Weekend 2007 is October 26–28.
Visitors explore Bard during Family Weekend.
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BMF’S Tonal Colors Made Fisher Center Glow The divergent paths of Romanticism converged at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts in October, as the 17th annual Bard Music Festival—“Franz Liszt and His World”—culminated with two concerts in the Sosnoff Theater. “The New German School and Musical Narrative” featured the American Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Leon Botstein, performing works by Liszt, Richard Wagner, and Hector Berlioz; the concluding concert, “The War of the Romantics: Weimar and Leipzig,” showcased students and faculty of The Bard College Conservatory of Music in works by Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Richard Strauss. In between the orchestral and chamber concerts, a master class honoring Liszt’s extraordinary abilities as a teacher was offered to students and opened to the public in Olin Hall. October was also the occasion of an award, and the start of a new music season at the Fisher Center. The Bard Music Festival Princeton Paperbacks, the ongoing series of scholarly books that annually accompanies the festival, received an ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award. Each year, the composer celebrated by the festival is the subject of a collection of essays, accompanied by illuminating letters or critical writings by the composer. The American Symphony Orchestra opened its 2006–07 season at the Fisher Center with a bracing program of works by three masters—Mozart, Brahms, and Edward Elgar. The latter’s life and music will provide the theme of the 2007 Bard Music Festival.
On November 9, the resplendent soprano Dawn Upshaw (right) took part in a Meet the Artists evening at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Upshaw, a three-time Grammy winner who directs the new graduate program in vocal arts at The Bard College Conservatory of Music, was joined by composer Osvaldo Golijov (left), the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, for the presentation, which examined the nuts and bolts of the creative process as it applies to both composition and performance. The event, a collaboration between the Conservatory and Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, was moderated by Ara Guzelimian (center), Carnegie Hall’s artistic adviser.
Bard Celebrates a Beautifully Bleak Beckett Centenary It was a crisp, splendid autumn day, the maples a-shimmer in red, yellow, and gold beneath a sky of stainless blue—the perfect day, in other words, to enter a dark theater and experience the ne plus ultra in existential bleakness, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot,
Johnny Murphy, Alan Stanford, and Barry McGovern (left to right) in the Gate production of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.
at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Such striking contrasts were often in play over the two weeks in October that the Fisher Center set aside to celebrate the centenary of Beckett’s birth. There were three performances of Godot by the Gate Theatre of Dublin, whose director enjoyed a working relationship with Beckett in the late 1980s; several presentations of assorted selections from Beckett’s prose and monologues by Conor Lovett, Ally Ni Chiarain, and Lee Delong of the Gare St. Lazare Players Ireland; and a comprehensive series of screenings from the Beckett on Film project, which was initiated by the Beckett Estate and has committed all 19 of the playwright’s stage works to celluloid. Also shown was the austerely titled Film, Beckett’s only foray into screenwriting, in which Buster Keaton stars as a sorely beset agoraphobe who attempts, with mounting futility, to remove himself from the gaze of the world. The centenary “offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for members of the Bard community and the Hudson Valley” to see Beckett’s work performed by some of its leading proponents, said Tambra Dillon, director of the Fisher Center. “Having all the theaters filled with audiences new and old was a fantastic way to begin our first fall season.”
France Honors Manea Norman Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture and writer in residence, was honored last fall with the 2006 Prix Médicis étranger, France’s most important prize for foreign literature. Manea’s memoir, The Hooligan’s Return, received the prize, in a French translation (from the Romanian) published by Editions du Seuil. The book had been reviewed enthusiastically in numerous French publications, including Le Monde, Libération, and Le Figaro, and it won the Médicis prize on the first round of voting. It was also short-listed for France’s prestigious Femina Prize. Manea accepted the Médicis award at the Hˆotel de Crillon in Paris. The Hooligan’s Return was first published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2003. A portrait of the writer that ranges from his early childhood in prewar Romania to his return there in 1997, the book explores questions of repression, exile, life, and literature. In 2004 it received Italy’s Napoli Prize and was on the bestseller list in Germany. Named best foreign book in Spain in 2005, The Hooligan’s Return appeared in Holland in 2006 and will be published in China, Portugal, and Poland in 2007. The Prix Médicis étranger was first awarded in 1970. Among the previous recipients are Milan Kundera, Umberto Eco, Philip Roth, and Orhan Pamuk, the 2006 Nobel laureate in literature. Manea is the author of more than 14 volumes of fiction and essays, and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. His work has been translated into more than 15 languages.
San Franciscan Wins Bard Fiction Prize Peter Orner, an assistant professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, has won the 2007 Bard Fiction Prize. Orner was selected on the strength of his first novel, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (Little, Brown and Company, 2006), a story set in Namibia following that country’s independence in the early 1990s. He is also the author of Esther Stories (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner Books, 2001), a collection of character-driven short stories that was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Orner’s debut novel concerns the strikingly attractive Shikongo, a former guerrilla fighter, who arrives with her troublesome son at a boys’ school in the remote Namibian desert. Comparing its author to Saul Bellow and Graham Greene, the Boston Globe called it “a book unlike any I have ever read, a miraculous feat of empathy that manages to unearth—in the unlikeliest of spots—the infinite possibilities of the human heart.” The Bard Fiction Prize, which consists of a $30,000 cash award and a one-semester residency at the College, is bestowed annually to a writer of promise who is an American citizen and 39 years or younger at the time of application. The selection committee consists of three professors in the Division of Languages and Literature, Mary Caponegro, Robert Kelly, and Bradford Morrow. Previous recipients have been Nathan Englander (2002), Emily Barton (2003), Monique Truong (2004), Paul LaFarge (2005), and Edie Meidav (2006).
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A Bardian in the Senate Pressroom Matt Wing ’06 has won the Richard J. Roth Journalism Fellowship, provided annually by the New York State Senate. Designed for students at the graduate level who intend to pursue a career in journalism (but open to exceptional undergraduate applicants), the Roth fellowship offers a stipend of $29,500 and a full-time, 11-month appointment in the New York State Senate press office. “I’ll be writing press releases, talking points for main events, and speeches. I’ll do just about everything in the pressroom other than answering questions from reporters,” said Wing. “I’m excited because it is such a dynamic time in Albany. I want to learn how the New York State Senate press office operates and witness the workings of a legislative body firsthand.” A Brooklyn native and natural candidate for the fellowship, Wing has both interned and worked for 1010 WINS, a New York City news organization. He has also been an intern at WNYC, a public radio station. During his time at Bard, Wing was an active member of the student government and became class secretary during his senior year. His fellowship application was supported by letters of recommendation from President Leon Botstein and Mark Lindeman, assistant professor of political studies. As part of the Roth application, Wing wrote essays, a mock press release, a proposal for legislation, and a direct rebuttal to his own proposal. He was also interviewed twice in Albany before being selected as the sole recipient of this competitive fellowship.
History Project Seeks Bard Photographs A digital-image history project seeks photographs of the Bard campus and surrounding community from College alumni/ae and friends. The photos will be scanned (and the originals returned) by College Archivist Helene Tieger ’85 for a collaborative collection that is part of Hudson River Valley Heritage, which is administered by the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council. That collection (available at www.hrvh.org) already features thousands of images from numerous archives around the Hudson Valley, submitted by college, historical society, and cultural heritage organizations. For months the Stevenson Library staff scanned Bard-related photographs, wrote descriptions of them, and built a search engine that tells the story, in images, of the Bard College community. The Bard portion of the collaborative collection currently consists of 150 photographs divided into the following groups: Ward Manor, Bard architecture, Bard/Tivoli, Arendtiana (a supplement to the Hannah Arendt library held by Bard), Tivoli, and the Paul Hartzell ’15 Album. The latter, assembled by Hartzell, consists of 40 “album pages” with a total of 97 photos that give a sense of life at St. Stephen’s College during the years 1913–15. Among his favorites in the Bard collection, says Jeff Katz, dean of information services and director of libraries, are photographs of Albee Hall under construction in the 1930s, Eleanor Roosevelt visiting Ward Manor, and a “great image” of the old Saugerties-Tivoli ferry. The Bard collection can be found at www.hrvh.org/collections. Katz and Tieger welcome photographs and feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
Eleanor Roosevelt (seated right) during a visit to Ward Manor
The Robbins ‘Hood With the majority of Bard students choosing to live on campus, the recently completed expansion of Robbins House is a welcome addition to residence life. The impressive renovations gave faithful Robbins a new face and a big boost: 159 beds were added to its preexisting 67 beds. A mix of brand-new doubles (43) and singles (73) provide second-, third-, and fourth-year undergraduates with comfortable accommodations. The new residence hall also has provision for graduate students. Several single rooms boast private bathrooms, personal thermostats, and gorgeous views of the Catskill Mountains. The stunning Robbins building is fully air-conditioned, its floors accessed by a central elevator. Sunlight pours into bedrooms, common lounges, and hallways through wide expansive windows. A huge oval-shaped seminar room on the third floor
Bardian Scientists’ Summer Research On October 11, Bard science students shared the results of their summer research experiences with the community. The students reported on work they had done in the fields of biology, chemistry, and psychology, and several poster presentations were on display. Following is a list of research topics and institutions: Molecular Genetic Dissection of Neuronal Necrotic Cell Death in C. elegans By Samuel Israel ’09 Institution: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey The Effects of Interferon on the Development of the Zebrafish Visual System By Lauren Stutzbach ’07 Institution: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Structural Diversity Derived from Radical Cyclization of Functionalized Tetrahydropyridines By Mihai Duduta ’09 Institution: Boston University
overlooks a scenic meadow facing the Hudson River. The seminar room can function as an academic conference room, musical performance or practice space, and student common area. Robbins residents use the spacious state-of-the-art kitchen on the ground floor to cook and share meals. Lucky students were assigned quarters in the mint Robbins House during the May 2006 room draw. Residents moved in as early as the fall of 2006. There are currently seven peer counselors living in Robbins—veterans selected by Michael Ginsburg ’00, Bard’s director of residence life. “Robbins House supports Bard’s mission to forge a new sense of the educated student and promote a life of the mind not only in the classroom but also in residential and social life,” says Ginsburg. While student life in the new Robbins House is still finding its stride, students are already falling in love with their home away from home.
Irish Nutrition Research and Programs By Hannah Byrnes-Enoch ’08 Institution: University College Dublin Targeting of Epstein-Barr Virus Antigens to Dendritic Cells for Vaccination Against EBV-Associated Malignancies By Jie Zhang ’08 Institution: The Rockefeller University The Within-Field Temporal and Spatial Spread of Bean Pod Mottle Virus in Soybean By Young-Eun Choi ’09 Institution: Iowa State University Matrix Isolation Study of the Oxidation of Arsine by Chromyl Chloride By James Morris ’07 Institution: University of Cincinnati Design and Reactivity of Multidentate Iminic Ligands and their Platinum Complexes By Nussrah Hussain ’08 Institution: Bard College
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Disaster In Context Hurricanes batter American coastal regions every year, but few hit as hard as Katrina did. “Once a natural event is called a ‘disaster,’ it indicates a shift,” says Daniel Karpowitz, visiting assistant professor of political studies. “The event becomes a social phenomenon. Hurricane Katrina is perceived to have been catastrophic in terms of what it revealed about American social life.” More than a year after the initial devastation, political, economic, and structural problems continue to challenge recovery. Driven by student demand and sponsored through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, Bard’s Human Rights Program is offering New Orleans after the Disaster, a course that lays out the complexity of issues in post-Katrina New Orleans. Karpowitz and
Stephen Tremaine ’07, a Trustee Leader Scholar from New Orleans, mobilized more than 130 Bard volunteers for post-Katrina rebuilding efforts last January. This past summer he spearheaded two projects: a Geographical Information Systems map of the Broadmoor district, and teaching at McDonogh 35, one of the first public high schools to reopen.
guest professor Kristina Ford, New Orleans’s director of city planning from 1992 to 2000, coteach the workshop, which includes a two-week practicum in New Orleans during January intersession. Guest speakers and authors will also visit the class. The innovative course provides an academic context for Bardians to examine the issues and theories at stake in the city they have already demonstrated a commitment to helping. Last winter one-tenth of the Bard student body traveled to New Orleans and became involved in relief efforts. Several students returned in the summer of 2006 to teach in one of the few reopened public high schools. Bard volunteers also generated a comprehensive Geographic Information Systems map of the Broadmoor District in New Orleans—a contribution that significantly helped shape the city’s rebuilding plans.
Resolved: Bard Debate Team Heats Up
Club Sports at Bard
The Bard Debate Team started off the 2006–2007 season with a bang. Recruiting eight new first-year members and an additional assistant coach, Sherin Varghese, the team looks forward to another successful and dynamic year. Annually, the Cross Examination Debate Association formulates the intercollegiate debate topic that will be used in tournament competition throughout the nation. This year’s topic addresses four United States Supreme Court rulings. Thus far, Bard’s team has run a case that calls on the United States Supreme Court to overrule Planned Parenthood v. Casey on the grounds that the parental consent clause is unconstitutional, ageist, and patriarchal. The Bardians’ versatility— experimenting with styles ranging from highly performative (using music, poetry, and art) to more traditional (focusing on quantity and quality of specific research to refute their opponents’ points)—keeps other teams on their toes and makes Bard a very difficult team to beat. Going 6–0 in preliminary rounds and winning their three elimination rounds, Cassie Cornell ’09 and Julian Letton ’10 won the junior varsity division of this season’s first tournament, held at Cornell University. Letton was named first speaker; Cornell was named fifth speaker; and Travis Rubury ’09 was named 17th speaker in the junior varsity division. In the novice division, two of Bard’s first-year teams made it to elimination rounds. Frank Brancely ’10 and Max Stahl ’10 formed one team; Maia Fleming ’10 and Beverley Annan ’10 formed the other. Annan was named the 17th speaker in the novice division.
Tall, brawny, and broad-shouldered, William Ardito ’07 avidly participated in varsity sports in high school and even considered going to a large state school to play football. Now he’s the captain of the Bard men’s rugby team and feels “a more personal commitment to the game.” Rugby is one of several club sports that are becoming more popular among the Bard student body. Club sports are student run, and as such they enable Bardians to employ their leadership skills. They tend to be less competitive than varsity sports and attract students who genuinely want to foster common interests and promote them within the Bard community. The Bard Athletics and Recreation Department is increasingly supportive of students who express interest in starting new clubs. Jennifer Watson, director of club sports, and Andrea Connor, director of student activities, have created a manual (available online at www.bard.edu/athletics/club/) that thoroughly outlines how the process works. “I really want club sports at Bard to keep growing as they have over the past year,” says Watson, adding that she created the manual to “educate students and encourage them.” A list of existing and emerging club sports includes men’s rugby, women’s rugby, fencing, equestrian, ultimate Frisbee, swimming, cycling, baseball, and ice hockey. —Matthew Garklavs ’07
SEEN & HEARD NOVEMBER Singer/songwriter Dar Williams, who has toured with Joan Baez, Shawn Colvin, and Ani DiFranco, among others, performed at the Campus Center on November 1 as part of a voter rally. Pianist Martin Kasik, the 1999 winner of the New York Young Concert Artists Competition, led a Bard College Conservatory of Music master class on November 1 at Olin Hall. On November 2, the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture (BGC) hosted a lecture and book signing by Joseph J. Rishel, curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and author of The Arts in Latin America, 1492–1820. Amy Hollywood, professor at the Harvard Divinity School, visited Bard on November 2 to deliver the lecture “Traumatic Devotions: Mysticism and Memory in Late Medieval Mysticism.” Behind the amps: Karen Soskin ’07 (seated); Camilla Aikin ’08, Marten Elder ’08, Jen Holup ’07, and Erica Cohen-Taub ’09 (standing, left to right)
Listen Up . . . And tune in: Bard College’s radio station WXBC is making noise. Nominated for the 2006 College Music Journal’s (CMJ) College Radio Awards in two categories: Station of the Year and Biggest Improvement, WXBC has been amped up by a handful of passionate Bardians committed to college radio and new music. A dynamic group of students—Jen Holup ’07 (general manager), Karen Soskin ’07 (music director), Camilla Aikin ’08 (program director), Marten Elder ’08 (technical director), Erica Cohen-Taub ’09 (assistant music director)—and their adviser, Paul LaBarbera, currently run the station. “WXBC emerged as the only student-run, free-form, nonFCC-regulated, unlicensed, underfunded, East Coast college station (with no label loyalty or commercial sponsors) to be nominated as Station of the Year at the CMJ College Radio Awards,” Holup says. Supported by Bard’s Convocation Fund and alumni/ae contributors, WXBC’s minimal budget covers only immediate equipment needs. Attention for its programming is the result of loyal listeners’ word of mouth and student dedication. (Soskin works hard on public relations with indie record labels and keeps regular office hours two days a week). Broadcasting live from the basement of Manor House seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., WXBC has 77 student deejays airing a range of programs. The station’s 5-watt radio signal on 540AM only reaches campus, but fans from all over the world listen online at http://wxbc.bard.edu. “We’ve got a cult following in Australia who listen to us from their office cubicles and call in during shows,” says Soskin. “And for a while, we had university students from Tasmania calling us.”
The Colorado Quartet performed works by Mozart, Bartók, and Shostakovich in a November 5 concert at Olin Hall that was sponsored by The Bard Center. “The Lure of Gold: An Artistic and Cultural History,” a lecture by archaeometallurgist Hans-Gert Bachmann, was presented by the Bard Graduate Center at its New York City campus on November 6. On November 8, Bard in China and the Bard Economics Program presented a talk by New York University professor Andrew Ross, “Lessons from the Outsourcing Wars: Is the China Trade a Threat or an Opportunity?” Javier Corrales, an associate professor of political science at Amherst College who has written extensively on Argentina and Venezuela, and Bard’s Omar Encarnación, a specialist on Brazil, discussed “Latin America’s New Left: Implications for Inter-American Relations” on November 9 at Bard Hall in New York. The event was presented by the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program as part of its James Clarke Chace Memorial Speaker Series. Bard College Conservatory of Music students performed chamber concerts at Olin Hall on November 12 and 15. Novelist, short-story writer, and translator Lydia Davis read from recent work on November 13 at Weis Cinema. The 2003 MacArthur Fellow appeared as part of Bard’s Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series. The BGC presented “The Scented Imagination: The Mystery of Perfume in French Culture,” a lecture by Williams College professor Richard Stamelman, on November 16 in New York City.
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Science Research Pairs BHSEC and Chinese Students Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) is part of an international exchange program in science and technology, thanks to a grant from the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Six BHSEC students and six Chinese students are investigating the heavy metal and biologic pollutants found in the Hudson and Huangpu Rivers. The BHSEC students are fluent in Mandarin and attend a special class in research. Their Chinese counterparts are fluent in English and attend two of the top-ranked high schools in China, the High School of Fudan University and the No. 2 High School of East China Normal University, both in Shanghai. The stu-
Detail of the showroom/exhibition hall at the Bruno Mathsson Center in Värnamo, Sweden, with classic Mathsson furniture designs and prototypes on display
BGC Honors Swedish Designer Bruno Mathsson The first U.S. exhibition devoted exclusively to the work of Bruno Mathsson, a pioneer of Swedish modernism, opens on March 22 at The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture (BGC). Bruno Mathsson: Designer and Architect, which features approximately 150 examples of Mathsson’s work, runs through June 10 at the BGC’s New York City exhibition gallery. Mathsson (1907–1988) is best known for his iconic “Grasshopper” chair, which featured a woven webbed seat stretched across a pressed laminate frame that had been sculpted to resemble grasshopper legs. It was the designer’s belief that, along with aesthetic consideration, “the manufacturing of chairs should be an art form, so that sitting in one is not an art in itself.” His mastery of ergonomics is equally apparent in the “Eva” chair, which in the late 1930s was selected by the Museum of Modern Art for use in its public spaces. The self-taught designer worked into the 1980s, exploring other mediums—most notably, tubular steel—and creating pieces for the contemporary office environment. Throughout his long career he also experimented in architecture, designing modern houses with large expanses of glass to bring the outside in. Models of this work, including a full-scale model of his own glass weekend house, are among the objects on display at the BGC, along with photos, drawings, and furniture. For more information on this exhibition or related public programs, check the BGC website at www.bgc.bard.edu.
dents were paired as they began specific research; they communicated by e-mail and blog, until the Chinese students visited New York City, from January 24 to February 14. The BHSEC students will be in Shanghai March 24 through April 14. Their goals are to present their findings at the New York Academy of Sciences and, ultimately, to contribute to the restoration of both rivers. BHSEC’s partner on the Chinese side of the exchange is Xiangrong Wang, one of China’s leading experts in river pollution and restoration and a Fulbright scholar who spent the 2005–06 academic year at Bard. He is based at Fudan University and will make that university’s facilities available to the BHSEC students. Simultaneous with the exchange, BHSEC is comparing the ways in which science is taught in a liberal arts context and in China’s top schools.
Save the Date! CELEBRATE BARD HIGH SCHOOL EARLY COLLEGE THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2007 From its beginnings in Brooklyn to its home on East Houston Street, Bard High School Early College has guided five classes of students toward their future and created a vital community of students, faculty, administrators, parents, and alumni/ae. BREAKFAST BENEFIT A conversation with Leon Botstein, Bard College president, and Ray Peterson, BHSEC principal Moderated by NPR correspondent Margot Adler 7:45–9:30 a.m. Hotel on Rivington, 107 Rivington Street, New York City EVENING GALA Food, entertainment, and a silent auction 6:00–9:00 p.m. BHSEC, 525 West Houston Street, New York City Volunteers, donations, and celebrants are needed. For information go to www.bard.edu/bhsec/gala Join us to celebrate our success and help us continue to grow!
Bard’s Innovative Contemporary Reading Fiction Series presented Valerie Martin, award-winning author of Property, on November 27 at Weis Cinema. On November 30 at Bard Hall, The Bard College Conservatory of Music presented a concert by the Da Capo Chamber Players, who performed compositions and orchestrations by Bard students.
DECEMBER A concerto competition sponsored by The Bard College Conservatory of Music was held at Olin Hall on December 9. On December 11, Yale University’s David Brion Davis, author of Challenging the Boundaries of Slavery, closed out the first semester of the First-Year Seminar lecture series with a discussion of William Wilberforce and British abolitionism. Stuart P. and Elizabeth Feld of New York City’s Hirschl & Adler Galleries led a forum on American neoclassical furniture at the Bard Graduate Center on December 11.
Elizabeth Blodgett Hall with her mother, Margaret Kendrick Blodgett, 1964
Simon’s Rock: 40 Years Young Simon’s Rock College of Bard turned 40 this academic year and celebrated its past and future. Founded as Simon’s Rock in 1966 by Elizabeth Blodgett Hall (1909–2005), it was the first “early college,” designed to serve younger students, in the United States. Anniversary festivities began last September with a free concert by pianist Peter Serkin. In October all of Berkshire County (the Massachusetts home county of Simon’s Rock) was invited to Community Discovery Day for tours, talks, and sample classes. The exhibition Faculty in the Arts opened new gallery space in the Liebowitz Building, which is a red barn across the road from the main campus. Off campus, the College threw regional parties for alumni/ae, with the goal of persuading its 5,000 graduates—who live all over the United States and the world—to return to campus on Memorial Day weekend for an all-College reunion. Large gatherings took place in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C., with smaller parties held in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Florida, and Portland, Maine. In the works are an exhibition of historical material from the College, and, opening for the reunion, a show of alumni/ae art. Founding and longtime faculty—about a dozen people in all—have been interviewed as a way of capturing College history. A special issue of Simon’s Rock magazine is planned for this spring, incorporating much of that material. “Simon’s Rock is 40 years young,” says Susan Emerson Clapp, director of institutional advancement. “The College continues to thrive because it understands how to provide an extraordinary liberal arts education to adolescents.”
The Mark Morris Dance Group performed The Hard Nut, Morris’s quirky and beloved take on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on December 15, 16, and 17.
JANUARY On January 5, the Bard Graduate Center hosted a forum, “‘Fashionable Nudes: Female Neoclassical Dress in France and England, 1789–1815.” The event featured a talk by clothing historian Michelle Hargrave and guided visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Cora Ginsburg Gallery. Architectural historian Damie Stillman discussed the parallels between political thinking and neoclassical architecture in 18th-century Philadelphia during a public lecture at the BGC on January 11. In a January 16 program organized in collaboration with the Yale Center for British Art, the BGC presented a talk by architectural historian Daniel M. Abramson on the work and influences of British neoclassical architect Sir John Soane.
FEBRUARY The Bard College Conservatory of Music presented a master class with violinist Ani Kavafian at Olin Hall on February 6. The BGC, in collaboration with the Royal Oak Foundation, sponsored a lecture by Bruce Redford, “The Antic and Antique in 18th-Century England,” on February 7 at the Grolier Club in New York City. On February 8, the BGC presented a concert featuring the works of 18th-century composers, including Franz Joseph Haydn and Muzio Clementi, and performances by the IO Quartet, harpsichordist Byron Schenkman, and soprano Melissa Fogarty.
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COMMENCEMENT AND REUNION WEEKEND 2007 | MAY 25–27* CLASSES ENDING IN 2 AND 7 AND THEIR FRIENDS FROM THE SAME ERA ARE WELCOMED BACK TO CAMPUS. IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF ONE OF THESE CLASSES—2002, 1997, 1992, 1987, 1982, 1977, 1972, 1967, 1962–63, 1957, 1952, 1947, 1942, 1937—PLEASE JOIN US FOR YOUR REUNION. INFORMATION: JESSICA KEMM ’74 AT 845-758-7406 OR E-MAIL KEMM@BARD.EDU *MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND—MAKE RESERVATIONS EARLY!
SPRING 2007 ALUMNI/AE EVENTS CHELSEA GALLERY TOUR | APRIL 21 TOM WOLF, BARD PROFESSOR OF ART HISTORY, LEADS A TOUR OF ARTISTS’ STUDIOS IN NEW YORK CITY. INFORMATION: TRICIA FLEMING, ALUMNI@BARD.EDU OR 845-758-7089
12TH ANNUAL YOUNG ALUMNI/AE CITIES PARTY | APRIL 19, 20, 22 AND MAY 6 ACROSS AMERICA, BARDIANS GATHER FOR LIBATIONS. PARTIES TO BE HELD IN LOS ANGELES; SAN FRANCISCO; WASHINGTON, D.C.; BOSTON; AND NEW YORK CITY. INFORMATION: REBECCA GRANATO ’99, REBECCA.GRANATO@GMAIL.COM, or JENNIFER NOVIK ’98, JNOVIK@GMAIL.COM
TOUR OF THE MORRIS-JUMEL MANSION | SATURDAY, MAY 5 MANHATTAN’S OLDEST HOME COMES TO LIFE IN A TOUR ORGANIZED BY RANDY BUCKINGHAM ’73. LUNCH IN UPPER MANHATTAN, FOLLOWING THE TOUR. INFORMATION: TRICIA FLEMING, ALUMNI@BARD.EDU OR 845-758-7089
BARD FICTION READING | THURSDAY, JUNE 14 BARDIAN AUTHORS READ FROM RECENT FICTION. HOSTED BY JAMIE CAT CALLAN ’75. TIME: 6:00 P.M. PLACE: BOWERY POETRY CLUB, 308 BOWERY, NEW YORK CITY FEE: $5 COVER AT THE DOOR AND A ONE-DRINK MINIMUM. R.S.V.P.: ALUMNI@BARD.EDU INFORMATION: TRICIA FLEMING, ALUMNI@BARD.EDU OR 845-758-7089
’37 70th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or firstname.lastname@example.org
’40 Class correspondent: Dick Koch ’40, 516-599-3489
’42 65th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contact: Wayne Horvitz, email@example.com, 202-363-5099 Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or firstname.lastname@example.org
’47 60th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: Paul Munson, email@example.com; Frances Whitcomb, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or email@example.com From his 1995 chapbook Gold Mine, Walter Liggett has chosen the following haiku to share with fellow Bardians: You can not make a soul mortal. Pretend, perhaps souls don’t exist
’50 Retired ambassador Brandon Grove ’50 has become president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, in Washington, D.C. This not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization has an elected membership of 100 Americans who have made the most distinguished contributions to U.S. foreign relations and national security policy. The Academy is dedicated to promoting skilled diplomacy, informing Americans about key issues through its outreach programs, and, through its prizes, rewarding foreign affairs media coverage, books, and excellence in the conduct of diplomacy. Brandon spent 35 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, and is the author of an acclaimed memoir, Behind Embassy Walls: The Life and Times of an American Diplomat.
’52 55th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: Kit Ellenbogen, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill Lewitt, email@example.com; Bob Stempel, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or email@example.com
Class correspondent: Kit Ellenbogen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumni/ae, with spouses and friends, toured Storm King Art Center, a home to mammoth outdoor sculptures in Mountainville, New York. Reva Minkin Sanders ’56 organized the September outing. Above, in front of Shang, a steel sculpture by Mark di Suvero, are (left to right) Ali Chettih; Michael McDonough ’93; Mindy Chettih (Heller) ’75; Sanders; Jill Sanders-DeMott ’79; Maureen Hanagan; Victor Marrow ’65; Jessica Kemm ’74; Robert Locklin; and Sally Ryan, Storm King docent.
Judson Levin gave a talk titled “When Corruption Began in Congress” at the Tuttle Center of MRHS (Morningside Retirement and Health Services) in Manhattan at the end of October 2006. Levin, who has written several plays about the writing of the Constitution, suggested that Congressional greed and self-serving have never ceased, and that only the elected officials guilty of it have changed. In December, another of Judson’s plays, The Tall Bazille, was performed by The Morningside Players, a community theater in upper Manhattan. The play is based on the life of Frederic Bazille (1841–70), who studied and painted with Monet and Renoir and was killed in battle during the Franco-Prussian War, thus having had no opportunity to achieve the fame gained later by his two friends.
’53 Class correspondent:
Barbara Herst and Kit Ellenbogen got together for a day in August 2006 and established that, various medications aside, they’re in total agreement that they are exactly the same as they were when they met 58 years ago. Barbara continues to work in her design business part-time, leaving time to spend with her children and three grandchildren.
Naomi Feldman, email@example.com Robert Amsterdam is thoroughly enjoying retirement, spending much of his time biking in Central Park and visiting every museum and gallery that attracts him. He celebrated his 75th birthday by taking his entire family (wife Marcia, son, daughter, son-in-law,
CLASS NOTES | 63
and granddaughter) to the elaborate July 4th celebration at the Mohonk Mountain House near New Paltz, enjoying rowing, canoe-
sultant; does volunteer work; plays tennis on the local, state, and national level; and plays bridge. Carol tries to visit family in London,
ing, hiking, lovely gardens, and fine food. He is treasurer of his local Democratic Club, Park River Independent Democrats, and the machinations there are as much intrigue as he cares for.
Bangkok, Denver, New England, and Washington, D.C., as often as possible.
Andy Ashlund and his wife, Janet, attended the 50th wedding anniversary of their friends John and Irene MacKenty on Martha’s Vineyard. Janet was maid of honor at the MacKenty’s wedding in Heidelberg, Germany, where they all worked for the U.S. Army. Carol Sonnenschein continues to carry out psychological/educational evaluations of children and adolescents suspected of having learning disabilities, and also consults once a week for a day school for emotionally disturbed children. She travels as often as possible to see her children and grandchildren on the West Coast, and to other places for fun (London quite often, and most recently Berlin and Prague). She regularly attends the opera, symphony, and theater.
’56 Eve La Salle Caram read from her novel, The Blue Geography, at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on June 1, 2006. She teaches fiction writing in the Writers’ Program at UCLA, as she has for nearly a quarter of a century, and is pleased and proud to have received the program’s Outstanding Instructor in Creative Writing award for 2006.
’57 50th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contact: Bob Bassler, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or email@example.com
’62 45th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: Penny Axelrod, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jack Blum, email@example.com; Rayna Harman, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ann Ho, email@example.com; Susan Playfair, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or email@example.com
’63 45th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: Penny Axelrod, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jack Blum, email@example.com; Rayna Harman, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ann Ho, email@example.com; Susan Playfair, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or email@example.com
Class correspondent: Penny Axelrod, firstname.lastname@example.org Carol August Butler has lived in La Jolla, California, for the past two decades. Widowed 10 years ago, she works as a financial con-
Richard L. Chorney has been working in adolescent residential treatment facilities since the winter field period of 1960–61. After a brief stint in law school, he returned to the Connecticut state facility where he had interned while at Bard, and climbed the career ladder there for 14 years. Having directed a large residential treatment center (RTC) in New York for 12 years, in 1986 he began a partnership at the Grove School in Madison, Connecticut, becoming its president and CEO. He purchased the 90-acre property in 2000 and is working with architects to build a new stateof-the-art facility. This program/property ownership has been a lifetime dream of Richard’s, and he is looking forward to a continued renaissance of what is the oldest continuously running RTC/therapeutic boarding school in the country. After almost 40 years as a senior vice president and creative director at several major New York advertising agencies, Ellen Perless is now working as a freelance creative consultant, which gives her more time to spend on her poetry. Her poem, “Requiem for One Violin,” was published in the fall of 2006 in Volume 5 of Margie, which has published her work previously. Mary Pottker Rosenbaum has added the title editor/administrator of Shalom, the newspaper of the Central Kentucky Jewish Federation, to her list of “retirement” part-time odd jobs. She still directs the Dovetail Institute for Interfaith Family Resources (www.dovetailinstitute.org) and enjoys her religiously, racially, and culturally mixed scrum of grandchildren. Melissa Shook retired from teaching photography in the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston, though she still teaches part-time. She now makes installations in clay and works in video, so it has become an exciting, if reluctant, retirement. Judith Trepp-Sklar is a painter (expressive minimalism), living and working in Zurich, Switzerland, during the winter months and in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in the summer. She had a one-person show at Art Forum Ute Barth, Zurich, in September 2006 (her work can be seen on the organization’s web page). She is interested in working with a gallery/dealer in the States—if any Bardians have ideas/contacts, she would appreciate it. She also writes criticism for ARTNews and Art in America.
’67 40th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: Joan Elliott, email@example.com; Maggie Hopp, firstname.lastname@example.org; Don Moore, email@example.com Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or firstname.lastname@example.org Maggie Hopp attended the wedding of Vindhya Tripathi (triplet sister of Dhruv Tripathi ’02) in New Delhi, India, in November 2006 (see photo, facing page).
’73 Jim Banks and Jeannie Motherwell ’74 were married on December 23, 2005.
Dhruv Tripathi ’02, Maggie Hopp ’67, Kapil Gupta ’96, and Abhik Siddiowi ’01 at the wedding of Dhruv’s sister, Vindhya, in New Delhi, November 2006
Nancy Golladay, a graduate of the Drama/Dance Program, is a faculty member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, which was recently awarded a 2006 Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre. Golladay leads BMI’s Librettist Workshop. The Tony Honors recognize significant contributions to the theater world by individuals and organizations that do not fit conventional Tony categories. The BMI Workshop’s 2006 Tony is the group’s third honor in the past two years, following a special 2006 Drama Desk Award “for nurturing, developing, and promoting new talent for the musical theater” and the 2005 Drama League Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre. Called “the Harvard of musical theatre” by the New York Times, the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop was founded to create a peer-group setting where new writers could practice their craft.
Class Correspondent: Barbara Crane Wigren, email@example.com
’74 David Rich retired from the University of Florida in 2003.
Anita Deidamia McClellan is still rocking as a single mother of two daughters.
’71 Yale University acquired 30 photographs from two series by Lawrence Merrill, director of the art school at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. The images from the first series come from a World Bank project coordinated by Jerri Dell ’73 that chronicled the daily lives of artisans in developing countries. According to Jock Reynolds, director of the Yale University Art Gallery: “In this remarkable body of work, two things stand out: depth of exploration and sensitivity to subject.”
Still the idealist, though far more realistic since her days at Bard, Ellen J. Tabachnick lives in San Francisco and is turning her legal experience to international human rights work. Upon departure from nearly 25 years of public interest law work at Legal Aid, specializing in immigrant access to social and health services and related state and federal civil rights, she received inscribed honors from numerous dignitaries including President Bill Clinton and U.S. Congressman George Miller. Most important, Ellen writes, she was fortunate to work on behalf of those without station in our broken society. She sends kind regards to all.
’75 ’72 35th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contact: Richard Freedman, firstname.lastname@example.org; John Katzenbach, email@example.com; Elisabeth Semel, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff contact: Jessica Kemm ’74, 845-758-7406 or email@example.com Rick DeGolia lives in Atherton, California, with his black lab, Shadow. He writes that 2006 was a year of major change for him as his youngest son, Ben, left home to finish high school in Zaragoza, Spain, and his oldest son, Alex, graduated from Swarthmore College. In addition to traveling and having fun with his kids, he hikes, swims, has a business-consulting practice, and is very active with Environmental Entrepreneurs, an organization that works with business leaders and politicians to address global warming. This group was instrumental in getting California legislation passed in 2003 to control CO2 emissions, effectively challenging the federal government’s preemption of mpg requirements for cars and trucks. He would welcome hearing from any of his Bard classmates. Best contact is e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jamie Cat Callan’s essay “The Semicolon Was Our Blinking Caution Light” appeared in the New York Times Modern Love column. Her new kit of writing exercises, The Writer’s Toolbox, is scheduled for release by Chronicle Books in April. Jamie has taught writing at New York University, Yale University, and Wesleyan University, Connecticut. Her students have included at-risk children, psychiatric patients, prisoners, brain surgeons, senior citizens, and cowboy poets in Montana. She is married to the scientist Bill Thompson and lives in Cape Cod.
’76 Class correspondent: Michele Petruzzelli, email@example.com Erik Kiviat coauthored The Hackensack Meadowlands, A Metropolitan Wildlife Refuge, a study conducted for the Meadowlands Conservation Trust in New Jersey. The study documents the Meadowlands’ biological diversity and offers plans for management and restoration. Erik is executive director of Hudsonia Ltd., an independent institute for environmental research and education based at the Bard College Field Station.
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30th Reunion: May 25-27, 2007
Andrea Zimmermann divides her time between Manhattan and Rhinebeck, New York. She occasionally attends functions at the Hungarian House to polish her Hungarian language skills and began studying German again in September 2006 at the German Learning Center in Yorkville. She has also volunteered at the finance and development office of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. Bardians can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Phil Carducci, email@example.com; Marvin Fell, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff Contact: Sasha Boak-Kelly, (845) 758-7407 or email@example.com
’78 Having completed graduate school two years ago, Ellen Adams works as a mental health and substance abuse counselor in a community mental health agency. She is happily divorced and living near the Shenandoah National Park. She would love to hear from classmates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
’81 Lolly Winston’s second novel, Happiness Sold Separately (Warner Books), was published August 8, 2006, and received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal, as well as four stars from People magazine. Her first novel, Good Grief, is now out in paperback and the rights have been optioned by Universal Studios. Lolly lives in Northern California, where she teaches writing and contributes essays to magazines and anthologies.
’82 25th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contact: Marella Consolini, email@example.com; George Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff Contact: Matthew Soper, (845) 758-7505 or email@example.com In September 2006 Terence (Ted) Bertrand-Dewsnap was appointed national director of the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities. The Clemente Course, launched by author and editor Earl Shorris in 1995 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, provides college-level education (with the award of college credits) in the humanities to low-income and minority populations with extremely limited access to postsecondary education. Students pay no tuition, and the course also provides books and class supplies, transportation to classes, and child care for individuals who could not otherwise attend. There are currently 15 courses located nationwide. Ted, who began in 1997 as a professor and academic director of courses in Manhattan and Brooklyn, earned his Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University. On May 6, 2006, Steven Colatrella married Silvia Bedulli, an Italian journalist, in Cremona, Italy, where the violin was invented. The couple currently lives in Padua, Italy. Steven is a professor of political science and sociology at the American University of Rome and John Cabot University in Rome. In November 2006, Marella Consolini became chief of staff at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She had previously enjoyed six wonderful years as executive director of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her husband, Jimmy Rodewald, soldiers on as drinks editor of Gourmet magazine—“Yeah,” Marella writes, “it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!”
’84 Gina Gonzalez Colleluori and Joe Colleluori ’82 have relocated with their two daughters to Basel, Switzerland, for the next few years. They are looking forward to exploring all that Basel has to offer and to traveling throughout Europe once they are more settled. They would love to hear from Bard alumni/ae in the area at firstname.lastname@example.org. In 2003, Leonard Schwartz was appointed professor of literary arts at Evergreen State College in Washington. Talisman House published his book of poetry, Ear and Ethos, in 2005. Bardians are invited to listen to his radio program, Cross-Cultural Poetics, which is archived on the web by Pennsound at www.writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/XCP.html.
’85 In June 2006, Mary Mason, Jennifer (Hauer) Vinsky ’86, and Alison Fennell Vaccarino ’87 gathered at Jen’s home in the Hudson Valley for the baptism of her first child, Lilian Claire Vinsky. Mary is a senior trial attorney at the Justice Department and lives in Washington, D.C. Alison lives with her husband and two children, Joseph and Lia, in Rhinecliff, New York, and teaches adult education classes. Jen, who is taking a hiatus from her work as a massage therapist to raise her daughter, lives with her husband in Port Ewen, New York. (See photo, facing page.)
’86 Laura Caruso lives with her sons, Jeremy and Benjamin, in Springfield, Missouri. She is a software designer and freelance writer. Mary Ann Steiner is a program officer at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., focusing on informal science education and youth and community programs. She is on leave from the Science Museum of Minnesota, where she directs the Youth Science Center. Two of Mark Street’s experimental films, Guiding Fictions and Alone, Apart: the dream reveals the waking day, were screened together with Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window in August 2006 as part of the River to River Festival in Manhattan. The Festival’s film series was organized by Tal Yarden ’81. At the screening, Mark was introduced and queried by actress Joan Allen. More information about Mark’s film work is available at www.markstreetfilms.com.
’91 Paul Bissex has been living in and around Northampton, Massachusetts, since 1992. After many years of freelance work in magazine design, technology journalism, and web development, he now works at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. Despite the fact that it is a vocational/technical program, it often makes Paul think of his days as a Bard student; it also makes him feel that he is somehow part of Leon’s crusade to subvert traditional secondary schooling.
Mary Mason, Jennifer (Hauer) Vinsky ’86, and Alison Fennell Vaccarino ’87
’87 20th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: David Avallone, email@example.com; Eva Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org; Gary Mosca, email@example.com; Chris Pennington, firstname.lastname@example.org; Raissa St. Pierre, email@example.com Staff contact: Sasha Boak-Kelly, 845-758-7407 or firstname.lastname@example.org Garrett Hicks’s company, Will Entertainment, manages film and television writers, animation artists, book authors, and illustrators, most of whom are writing for children’s or family audiences.
’89 Peter Criswell is acting director of the Port Program for the Scholar Ship. He codesigns experientially based port programs for a transnational, university-level, semester-long campus at sea, which travels to eight countries on five continents, for 700-plus participants engaged in intercultural leadership development. Peter also runs his own consulting business, facilitating workshops and retreats that focus on organizational development and team building. His e-mail is email@example.com. Chris Steussy was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant in 2004 and traveled to Ireland with his wife, Norma, and their kids, Isabella (6) and Calvin (4). His research focused on what is often referred to as the “Irish Potato Famine” and questioned whether its principal cause was an act of nature or public policy. Chris started teaching a Theory of Knowledge class in 2006 at San Diego High School, along with the history course he has taught for the last few years. He has been smoke-free for more than six years and is learning to surf.
’90 Class correspondent: Francie Soosman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nina DiNatale Miller has relocated to Brussels, where she is a program officer with an organization made up of members of parliaments throughout Europe who are advocates of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Bard alumni/ae passing through Brussels can reach her at email@example.com. Teal Bossung Rothschild was granted tenure and promotion to associate professor in the Sociology Department at Roger Williams University in May 2006. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Louis, and their son, Quinn. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
’92 15th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: Lisa Sanger Blinn, email@example.com; Simon Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org; Melissa Cahoon Chevallier, email@example.com; Roberta Harper-MacIntosh, firstname.lastname@example.org; Josh Kaufman, email@example.com; Andrea J. Stein, firstname.lastname@example.org Staff contact: Sasha Boak-Kelly, 845-758-7407 or email@example.com
Class correspondent: Andrea J. Stein, firstname.lastname@example.org Chidi Achebe, M.D., Dartmouth ’96; M.P.H., Harvard ’04, is working toward an M.B.A. in Yale University School of Management’s Leadership in Healthcare program. Chidi’s appointment in his early 30s as medical director of the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston made global headlines. He has appeared on television programs such as Basic Black and on WUMB radio’s Commonwealth Journal, and has been profiled in the Boston Globe and interviewed by the Nigerian press. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. In 2006 Mallory Catlett directed The Sewers at the OntologicalHysteric Theater in New York City and at the Dublin Fringe Theatre Festival in Ireland. Also in 2006, Juggernaut Theatre, which she directs, presented Oh What War, which reimagines Joan Littlewood’s World War I musical Oh What a Lovely War, at HERE’s annual Culturemart festival and at the Prelude Festival at the Segal Theatre, CUNY, both in New York City. In December 2005, Morgan Cleveland started a new job as school administrator for the East Bay Waldorf School, a private San Francisco Bay Area K–12 school. Who knew Dr. Mitchell
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Hutchinson’s Sociology of Education course would prepare her for this? She also entered a three-year master’s program in Waldorf School administration and community development, which began in the summer of 2006. Five weeks a year she will be in Spring Valley, New York, for course work. Her stint in July was a definite flashback to those muggy L&T days. She would love to hook up with old Bard pals (particularly from the classes of ’91 and ’92) when in the area, which will be for a couple of weeks in July, November, and March for the next three years. She can be reached at email@example.com. David Cote is living happily with clarinetist extraordinaire Meighan Stoops (a member of Bard’s resident ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players) in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. In the fall of 2006, Hyperion published his coffee-table book Wicked: The Grimmerie, a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical. David is the theater editor of Time Out New York, where he reviews Broadway and Off and Off-Off Broadway theater. He freelances for various publications, including the New York Times and Opera News. Ednie Garrison has moved to central Pennsylvania to take a job in the American Studies Program at Penn State, Harrisburg. She would like Bardians in the area to get in touch with her. Also, if anyone out there remembers the 1982 Barnard Sex Conference and has had their lives affected by it, she would be interested in hearing from them, as she is in the early stages of a collaborative research project to explore the afterlife of that pivotal feminist site of conflict and crisis. She and her colleagues are looking for people who attended, protested, or felt the aftershocks of the conference, and would be willing to be interviewed and/or to write about their experiences. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Jonah Gensler still works at the microenterprise nonprofit Trickle Up as the director for its U.S. program. Jonah married Mariana Canale on August 26, 2006, with his classmates Enrique Lopez and Laura Greene, along with Sumru Aricanli ’91, Renan Erkut ’91, Tim Oakes ’97, and Jamie Zelermyer ’95, all in attendance. Jonah and Mariana now live in Newark, New Jersey. Contact from friends is welcome: email@example.com. Laura Greene has been living in St. Petersburg, Russia, since June 2005. She works as Bard’s representative at Smolny College, which is a joint program of Bard and Saint Petersburg State University. Smolny is a B.A. program for Russian students, and Russia’s first liberal arts college. The program is fully accredited by the Russian Ministry of Education, and graduates receive two diplomas—Bard’s B.A. and Saint Petersburg State University’s baccalaureate in arts and humanities. Smolny had its fourth commencement in June 2006. Barbara L. (Fifield) Guzman, Esq., works at a law firm in Schenectady, New York—Englert, Coffey & McHugh, LLP—practicing matrimonial and family law. Her family is doing well, and her oldest started kindergarten in the fall of 2006.
Jamie Kulla lives in San Jose, California, and works for a tech firm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sharon McGowan received her master’s in occupational therapy back in 2003 and worked in neuro rehabilitation in Alexandria, Virginia, for three years with patients who had suffered strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. In 2006 she completed all of the course work for her certificate to teach elementary education, and then moved, with her husband, Chris Charnitski, to Quito, Ecuador. Chris teaches high school biology and Sharon is a student teacher at an international school. So far, they love Quito and plan on being there for at least two years. Marita Lopez-Mena’s “Growing Up Middle Aged” was included in a book of collected essays entitled Cut Loose: (Mostly) Older Women Talk About the End of (Mostly) Long-Term Relationships, edited by Nan-Bauer Maglin and published by Rutgers University Press in the summer of 2006. Nathan Murray-James is leading an enjoyably hectic life in central Maine with his wife, Kristin; two kids, Helen and Ruth; and two dogs and eight chickens. They live in an old farmhouse that in 25 years or so, perhaps, will see the completion of all the projects they have envisioned for it. Nathan started a private family practice office with a friend six years ago in Hallowell, Maine. David Steinberg has put the basics of his Bard education—free writing, mathematics, and seeing Phish way too many times—to good use. He has a monthly column on Jambands.com about music (and occasionally math), and was a major contributor to The Phish Companion: A Guide to the Band and Their Music. Profits from the book went to the Mockingbird Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has distributed more than $250,000 to music education–related charities. David sits on the board of directors as a founding director. He created the mathematically themed cover art for Trey Anastasio’s EP 18 Steps. He lives in Seattle with his girlfriend, Melissa, and two cats, First Cous and Last Cous. Stefan Weisman remains active as a composer, and is a recipient of a 2006 Bang on a Can “People’s Commission.” His opera/ theater piece DARKLING, commissioned by American Opera Projects, was included in the Guggenheim Museum’s “Works & Process” series, and premiered at the Classic Stage Company in March 2006. Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times called the music in this piece “personal, moody and skillfully wrought.” DARKLING will be performed in Berlin in 2007. In the fall of 2005, Stefan was appointed a lecturer in music at Princeton University, where he had previously taught aural musicianship, and he also joined the faculty of the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, as the instructor for Theory I. For more information, see www.stefanweisman.com.
’93 Michael Nicolas is the director of Central Services at Bard. Having previously served as operations manager at the College’s
Henderson Computer Resources Center, he was appointed to his present position in September 2006. Maisie Veeder and Beth Moran are officially triathletes, after having completed the Danskin Triathlon in Massachusetts on July 30, 2006.
’94 Gary Green’s photograph Great Spruce Head Island, No. 1 was included in the exhibition 100 Great American Photographs during the summer of 2006 at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The museum purchased the large Iris-printed photograph earlier this year for its permanent collection. Gary was also represented by two solo exhibitions at Zero Station in Portland, Maine, and at Safe-T-Gallery in Brooklyn. He is artist in residence at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland. Sara “Sarita” Mednick received her Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 2003. She moved west, did post-doc work at the Salk Institute for a few years, and then became an assistant professor in psychiatry at UCSD Medical School. She is married to Will Alaynick, and has just published her first book, Take a Nap! Change Your Life, with Workman Press. She is learning to be calm, have an open heart, and appreciate life. She sends her love and thanks to Bard, and asks that people never hesitate to connect at email@example.com.
Neil Westman ’97, awaiting a helicopter to carry him from Baghdad to Balad (see entry below)
Lisa Jarvis, firstname.lastname@example.org; Marina Kranz, email@example.com; Aerin Tedesco, firstname.lastname@example.org; Thu D. Tu, email@example.com; Brandon Weber, firstname.lastname@example.org; Adam Weiss, email@example.com Staff contact: Sasha Boak-Kelly, 845-758-7407 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Wolk Munemo ’97, email@example.com
Hoa D. Tu has been the principal of the Henry Street School for International Studies in New York City since 2004, when she created it in partnership with the Asia Society. The school is funded by the Gates Foundation.
Hunter Bivens is in New York City, raising his daughter, Miranda Ruby, and teaching at the Rosa Parks Campus of the College of New Rochelle.
Stacie Turner and Brian Berry are pleased to announce the birth of their children, James Christopher and Fiona Patience, on July 7, 2006.
’96 Class correspondents: Abigail Morgan, firstname.lastname@example.org; Gavin Kleespies, email@example.com Lori Talley, a sound and new media artist, and Judd Morrissey ’98, a writer and electronic language artist, were among the curators of OPENPORT, an international arts festival that took place over four weekends in February at Links Hall, an intimate performance space in Chicago. The festival featured live acts and real-time transmissions by artists working within performance, sound, and the language arts. Both Talley and Morrissey are faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
’97 10th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: Angela Bardeen, firstname.lastname@example.org; Josh Bell, email@example.com;
Rebecca Hoffman Chauvin and her husband, George “Andy” Chauvin ’95, were married in 2001. They live in Vermont and have a son, Alisdair Chauvin, who was born in 2004. Mehreen Kadri, better known as “Minnie,” gave birth to a baby girl, Eman Ara. She has been living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for a little over two years. In January 2006 she left her job in the treasury department of Standard Chartered Bank, where she sold foreign exchange and derivatives. Ana Martinez and Bryan Kamenetz had a beautiful baby, Ricky, in July 2005. They are still living in L.A. but plan to move to Spain in 2008. Ana can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Natasha Neal graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with an M.S.W. in 2002. She then moved to Chicago, got married, and had a baby (Bella Liora, born on March 4, 2006). She is taking time off from social work to raise Bella. Neil Westman is spending six of the last nine months of his Army contract in Iraq. He is excited about leaving the Army and looks forward to returning to teaching in the coming year. He’s also looking forward to seeing old friends and professors at the 10-year reunion in May.
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’98 Archana Sridhar received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Guatemala for 10 months. She is living happily in the capital city with her husband, Kevin, and studying tax law reform, philanthropy, and local nongovernmental organizations.
’00 Gretchen Hogue codirected the 2006 Portland (Oregon) Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival (PDX Fest) with filmmaker Matt McCormick. She also curated and has been touring with a program of films and videos by Portland women, which includes her most recent video, Where’s My Boyfriend? Owen Moldow and Abigail Loyd ’99 welcomed their first child, Beatrice Ann Moldow, into the world in August 2006. January Morelli married Matthew Mordus in June 2005 in the Bard Chapel of the Holy Innocents. The couple lives in Manhattan and had their first child in April 2006.
’01 Joshua Bardfield is the director of international services at the New York City–based nonprofit organization Global Health Partners. The organization’s primary function is to bring delegations of surgeons and medical professionals to teach local (incountry) doctors new skills to facilitate self-sustaining public health care delivery systems in Central America. In September 2006, Josh entered Columbia University’s Masters in Public Health program. Caroline Dworin lives in Manhattan and has worked in publishing for the past four years. Recently, she began writing for The City section of the Sunday New York Times, and, once a week, makes a nuisance of herself at the cartoon department of the New Yorker. She couldn’t be happier having her very own “rejection” file over there, since rejection, she supposes, is the next best thing to publication.
’02 5th Reunion: May 25–27, 2007 Contacts: Dorothy Albertini, email@example.com; Robyn Carliss, firstname.lastname@example.org; Toni Fortini, email@example.com; Erin Peck, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tamara Plummer, email@example.com Staff contact: Sasha Boak Kelly, 845-758-7407 or firstname.lastname@example.org Timothy Goldberg passed his admission to candidacy exam in the Mathematics Department at Cornell University and is now a Ph.D. candidate. Julia Mazawa lives in San Francisco, where she is the publicity director for the local radio station, KUSF. She is also an on-air disc jockey, broadcasting under the alias Momo.
Kathy Salerno is currently in her second year in the master’s program in communication sciences at Hunter College in New York City. She enjoys working with children and adults with communication disorders and looks forward to becoming a licensed speechlanguage pathologist. She misses playing soccer at Bard, living in Manor Annex, and (believe it or not) Kline food.
’03 Mneesha Gellman won a Rotary World Peace Fellowship in October 2005 and spent a semester in Buenos Aires, beginning a master’s program in international relations. She subsequently interned with the United Nations Development Programme’s Democratic Dialogue Project for Bolivia, and served as an elections monitor for that country’s July 2006 elections. She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, where she plans to complete her graduate studies at the University of Queensland.
’04 Ben Rubenstein (MAT ’05) teaches high school math at Bard High School Early College (BHSEC). He has also headed the BHSEC’s math tutoring center, where he developed an improvisational style of teaching, and cotaught the math component of BHSEC’s Early College Academy. Emily Steinberg was admitted into Princeton University and will pursue a Ph.D. in African history. Joe Vallese (MAT ’06) is a candidate for a master of fine arts degree in fiction at New York University, where he teaches in the Expository Writing Program.
’05 Betsaida Alcantara received a Public Policy Fellowship from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth Howort splits her time between coordinating Bard High School Early College’s Early College Academy (ECA) for local middle school students and serving as a writing tutor in the BHSEC Learning Center. She teaches the practicum in tutoring for first- and second-year students. During both the summer and the school year, she teaches the English component of the ECA. Clayton Kennedy has entered a graduate program in intercultural youth and family development at the University of Montana. Christian Kiley played the lead role of Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors at the Boston Center for the Arts for all of October 2006. After graduating, Salim Morsy worked at a nonprofit law firm in Manhattan as a research assistant. He lived in Brazil through the spring and summer of 2006 and expects to complete his master’s degree in European political economy at the London School of Economics this summer.
’06 Henry Seltzer was one of a dozen finalists for the New York Times’ “Win a Trip with Nick Kristof” contest, which received nearly 4,000 entries. His essay was published on the paper’s website. He works as an online reporter/writer for Us Weekly. In the summer of 2006, Peter Weinberg worked at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, dividing his time between Cambridge and Harvard’s Concord Field Station in Bedford. He was an assistant preparator in the mammalogy department, spending the majority of his time underground in a former Air Force missile emplacement outside Boston. Peter was responsible for producing study skins and skeletonizing specimens in the Dermestid beetle colony.
Program in International Education (PIE)
’97 Maria Stoian earned her M.S. degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2001. She works as a freelance video producer. In 2006 she was an associate producer of the new PBS series America’s Investigative Reports (AIR). Each of AIR’s weekly, documentary-style, half-hour episodes chronicles groundbreaking recent investigations that feature the reporters and editors who produced them.
’06 At the end of 2006, Morgen Mutsau was awarded his master’s in international relations from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa (where he was also the Ragga Riddimz DJ for the Voice of Wits). During his studies, he became the founding executive director of the Model African Union, a program similar to the Model United Nations. He now works in the corporate research department of the South African Social Investment Exchange, an Internet-based funding resource for nonprofit, community-based, and other nongovernmental organizations. He is proud to be the first male employee in this organization, otherwise staffed by powerful and intelligent women. Morgen takes particular satisfaction in doing work that makes contributions to improving the lives of many poor people.
exhibition at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn, opened in September 2006 and will become a permanent part of that venue, with Maddy continuing as a curator. Maddy also had work in the exhibition The Book as Art: Twenty Years of Artists’ Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, which closed in February after a four-month run at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
’90 Joan Giroux is a professor of sculpture at Columbia College, Chicago. Her 2006 projects included the Compassionate Action Enterprises public intervention I Am For/We Are For with Brooklyn high school students, and Voices, Echoes, Reflections, an installation in collaboration with artist Lisa Kaftori and Dr. Daniel Kaftori for the Forest Art Path Laboratory in Darmstadt, Germany.
’95 Eleanor Scott still lives in San Francisco and is performing, writing, and running her own summer camp, Story Camp. Lately, her time is taken up by her most captivating project to date: Kiran André Thomas Scott, born April 17, 2006.
’99 Keiko Narahashi won a 2006 fellowship grant in painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
’00 In the summer of 2006, Nina Bovasso participated in a number of group shows in New York City, at BravinLee Programs, Virgil de Voldère Gallery, International Print Center New York, and Dieu Donné Papermill. She was also included in a group exhibition titled Block Party at Daniel Weinberg in Los Angeles, and in a two-person exhibition with the British artist Daniel Sturgis at The Apartment in Athens, Greece. In the fall she had a solo exhibition at Inman Gallery in Houston. She teaches at the University of Georgia, where she is the Lamar Dodd Chair for 2006–07.
’01 Nina Max Daly was awarded a residency at the Millay Colony in Austerlitz, New York, for the month of November 2006. Her work was included in the juried show Art on Paper 2006 at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, from November 12, 2006 to January 21, 2007.
Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts MFA correspondent: Marjorie Vecchio MFA ’01, ABTOK@aol.com
’87 Maddy Rosenberg curated a group show titled The Artistbook Library, which featured works by more than 30 artists who employ the book form in media ranging from pamphlets to sculpture. The show, part of the yearlong interdisciplinary Library
In July 2006 Michelle Handelman’s video This Delicate Monster screened at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater as part of Scanners: The New York Video Festival. She also had work featured in the show Risky Business at P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York City in August 2006. Anthony E. Thatcher is the head of choreography at Laban in the United Kingdom.
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’04 Laurel Sparks was included in the Big Bang abstract painting exhibition at the Decordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, in January. A concurrent solo exhibition of paintings was on view at the Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston. Images can be viewed at www.laurelsparks.com. For his recent film, Books of James (2006, 74 min.), director Ho Tam was awarded the Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award by the Programming Committee at Outfest 2006, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Books of James is an experimental documentary on art, AIDS, and activism. Based on the writing, drawing, video footage, and personal revelation of James Wentzy, an artist/activist in New York City, the film illustrates a 30-year timeline from the late 1970s to the present, examining the changes in the social and political landscape of America. The film’s website is www.booksofjames.com.
’06 Ezra Parzybok and his wife, Brooksley Williams, had a daughter, Sanza Blaze Parzybok, on May 19, 2006. He most recently showed his work in New York at Emergency Arts, a new space in Chelsea.
Bard Center for Environmental Policy
’03 Gregory W. Payne is as an energy public policy liaison for the Office of Energy Efficiency at the Ohio Department of Development. Michelle Yost coordinates the Watershed Environmental Assistance Program for the Greene County (New York) Soil and Water Conservation District. The position requires an interdisciplinary approach to policy, science, economics, and politics in relation to New York City’s watershed agreement. Michelle’s involvement includes working on a turbidity reduction strategy for the Schoharie watershed.
Colleen Beaty is a research assistant at the Wildlife Habitat Council in Silver Spring, Maryland. In addition to her work as an environmental analyst, Jessica Butts volunteers as the District of Columbia representative of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Air Quality Public Advisory Committee. Aubrey McMahon directs the Stewardship Program for the New York City Soil and Water Conservation District. Steve Wilcox is one of four wildlife biologists working for a dual program of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Steve assists selected NRCS field offices with biology-related planning and outreach, informing farmers and ranchers about the benefits of involvement in Federal Farm Bill programs.
’06 Ben Hoen is a consultant working through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His work involves expanding his master’s thesis research on the impact of wind farms on property values. Ben and Patricia Hoen are also the proud parents of Augusten, 3, and Wade Simonson Hoen, born July 29, 2006. Dane Klinger is a seafood research associate at the Blue Ocean Institute (www.blueocean.org) in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Dane works within the Sea to Table program, which “helps seafood lovers better understand their relationship with the ocean through the seafood they eat.” Katrina Shindledecker is responsible for natural resource management and environmental compliance for the Taconic region under the auspices of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. On June 24, 2006, Katrina married John R. Middlebrooks in Springfield, Massachusetts. Suzi Zakowski is the director of operations for the Mountain Studies Institute in Silverton, Colorado. Her recent work includes completion of the Animas River Corridor Revitalization Plan. In the near future, she plans to move to a lower altitude and create an Office of Surface Mining/AmeriCorps VISTA program in the West. Her efforts continue to aid community groups in mining towns. The consequences of the work done by such groups reverberate deeply in the local culture as well as the regional ecosystem.
Rob Koch’s company, Apple Leaf, has launched a website, www.appleleafusa.com. Founded in 2002 in the Hudson Valley, Apple Leaf is an independent corporation that provides services to support environmentally and economically sound agricultural activities. The company offers advice and services to clients throughout the region, as well as in other parts of the United States and foreign countries.
The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture
Rachel Baker works for the University of Michigan Ross Business
Ayesha Abdur-Rahman left Sri Lanka, where she had been working on a decorative arts project, in December 2006. She researched private furniture collections in the island nation for a joint publication with the Sri Lanka National Museum.
School and has been focusing extensively on environmental issues in the health care field. In 2005 she received a grant supporting advocacy work around environmental issues for Michigan hospitals.
Melissa G. Post, curator of the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina, received the 2006 Jentel Critic at the Bray Residency. Designed to advance creative writing and thinking in the field of ceramic art, the six-week residency represents a collaboration between the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, one of the nation’s oldest residency programs, and the Jentel Foundation of Banner, Wyoming, one of the country’s newest. Melissa’s resultant essays on the work of the Bray’s Taunt, Lilian, and Lincoln fellowship recipients were published in an exhibition catalogue at the Bray as well as in the August/September issue of Ceramics Monthly. Her current critical writing projects include essays on sculptor Daniel Clayman and potter Daniel Johnston. She was also instrumental in bringing the internationally touring retrospective Observations, the Work of Ann Wolf to the United States. The Mint Museum is the sole U.S. venue for the exhibition, which runs through July 29.
Sarah Archer is the programs manager at Greenwich House Pottery in New York City’s West Village.
’03 After moving to Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, Melissa Cohn Lindbeck was invited by the Holly Springs Historical Preservation Society to give a talk on mourning jewelry. The October 2005 lecture augmented the society’s annual cemetery tour. Melissa is the founder and acting president of the Bryn Mawr Club of the Triangle, which has staged successful events for her undergraduate alma mater. This past June, she had an opportunity to catch up with Bard classmate Leslie Klingner, who had begun a new job in the curatorial department of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. They enjoyed discussing decorative arts against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Julie Muniz is the research assistant for American Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Since September 2005, Remi Spriggs has worked as the cataloguer for Quinn’s Auction Galleries, Falls Church, Virginia. In July 2005 she completed the Attingham Summer School in England as the Geoffrey Beard Scholar. In 2005, Alexa Griffith Winton presented a paper at the Design History Society conference in Delft, Netherlands, at the end of August, and another paper, on the architectural textiles of Dorothy Liebes, at the Textile Society conference in Toronto in October.
’04 Katherine Wahlberg is a financial adviser with Ameriprise Financial in Manhattan.
’05 Genevieve Ward Swenson and her husband, Erik, welcomed their son, Owen Roy Swenson, on February 22, 2006.
Emily Klug is the director at Leonard Fox, Ltd., in New York City, where she and BGC student Jennifer Klos are engaged in research for an exhibition featuring the costume and set designs for the Ballets Russes. An essay derived from Emily’s master’s thesis, “Mannequins and Display in France and America, 1890–1970,” is included in Display: The Places and Spaces of Fashion, a publication due out this spring.
Center for Curatorial Studies
’96 Sydney Jenkins, director of the gallery at the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts, Ramapo College of New Jersey, coordinated an exhibition titled Seeing Double, which ran from November 1 to December 15, 2006. The exhibition was curated by Jenny Moore ’05 and based on her thesis exhibition at CCS. Jenny is the 2005 recipient of the Ramapo Curatorial Prize, which includes a stipend as well as an exhibition budget.
’97 Prevailing Climate, an exhibition that was organized by Rachel Gugelberger and Jeffrey Walkowiak ’00 at the Sara Meltzer Gallery, won praise from New York Times critic Holland Cotter, who singled out Rachel and Jeffrey in his review. Rachel and Jeffrey are codirectors of the gallery, which is located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. They also participated in The International Airport Montello (IAM), a project commissioned by Art in General and organized by Sofía Hernández ’00. The project, done in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based artist’s collective known as eteam, consists of a series of recurring events in or about an abandoned airstrip. Brian Wallace is back in New York State, where he has settled into his position as curator at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.
’98 Victoria Noorthoorn curated Off / Fóra, the 29th Pontevedra Art Biennial in Pontevedra, Spain. The Biennial included 29 artists from Noorthoorn’s native Argentina, as well as from Chile and Uruguay—the first European Biennial to give Latin America such a central position.
’99 Xandra Eden, curator of exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, curated Dario Robleto: Chrysanthemum Anthems, a solo exhibition of sculpture. The exhibition will tour in 2007 to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where Jessica Hough ’98 is curatorial director, and to the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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’00 Alejandro Díaz, artist and independent curator, was selected for a major group exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2008. Mercedes Vicente, curator of contemporary art at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand, finished a major survey on Darcy Lange, a New Zealand video artist pioneer. While Mercedes was on a research trip in South Korea, she was able to get together with Jyeong Kim, who had just returned to Seoul from Busan, where she had been working on the Busan Biennale.
’01 Ilaria Bonacossa cocurated SUB–CONTINGENT, The Indian Subcontinent in Contemporary Art, at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy. Ilaria is an assistant curator at the foundation. Gabriela Rangel, director of visual arts at the Americas Society, gave a presentation titled “Maya Culture in Present Tense.” Her talk explored how the aesthetics of Maya craftsmanship have influenced and informed contemporary art practices in Mexico.
’03 Robert Blackson and Candice Hopkins edited and wrote the introduction to The Second Particle Wave Theory, a book documenting and accompanying a performance by Cherokee artist Jimmie Durham. The book was copublished by Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland, UK, where Blackson is curator. Hopkins is the director and curator of exhibitions at Western Front Society, Vancouver. Ingrid Chu, director and curator of RED-I Projects, organized and moderated a roundtable discussion at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. The event was part of the Peekskill Project, whose goal is to bring contemporary art out of the gallery and into the community. Bree Edwards is the program manager at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston. The Mitchell Center presents interdisciplinary public events, artist residencies, and courses that challenge and celebrate the intersections between the literary, visual, and performing arts. Jimena Acosta Romero is exhibition manager and black box programmer at MUCA (Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Artes), Mexico City. Jimena worked on a Melanie Smith retrospective with curator Cuauhtémoc Medina and with Mexican artist Diego Teo on a site-specific work for the museum’s project room.
Joanna Montoya is the coordinator of the Curatorial Program at the Jewish Museum in New York City.
’05 Anna Gray accepted the position of curatorial assistant at the Museum of Modern Art in October 2006. Amy Mackie has joined Taxter & Spengemann (Kelly Taxter ’03 and Pascal Spengemann ’04, gallerists and partners) as director of the Manhattan–based gallery.
Conductors Institute at Bard
’02 Sung Jin Hong has been conducting actively in the United States and Europe. He made his debut in France conducting Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Lyrique-en-Mer Festival in Belle-Île en Mer, and in the United Kingdom at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He made his international recording debut with Naxos, the world’s leading classical music label, in world premieres with musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic. His New York City debut was at Town Hall, conducting One World Symphony (for which orchestra he is artistic director) to a soldout house. He had the honor of being chosen by Maestro Kurt Masur, conductor laureate of the New York Philharmonic, to conduct a concert with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, and in master classes with the school. Hong also ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 3 hours and 26 minutes. He is a faculty member of the Promise Academy.
’03 An accomplished educator, performer, and conductor, Richard Haglund is in his fourth year as assistant conductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony. He is a finalist for the position of music director of the Quincy (Illinois) Symphony, which would include a guest conducting appointment in 2007. In 2006 he was again pops guest conductor with the Newburgh (New York) Symphony Orchestra, an invitation he had accepted for the previous six seasons. In the summer of 2006 he was a guest of the Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra in Bulgaria, where he conducted a concert of works by American composers to a completely sold-out house and made numerous appearances in Bulgarian media. This season, he will lead the Illinois Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony as well as in numerous pops and educational concert performances.
Claire Barliant writes that she has left the “hallowed auspices” of
Artforum for the magazine Modern Painters, where she is an associate editor. Lyra Kilston ’05 is also at Modern Painters as an editorial researcher.
In the fall of 2006, Elizabeth Askren-Brie began her sixth season as founding music director and orchestral conductor of the Chorus and Orchestra of Sciences Politiques (COSP). An international mix of young professionals and confirmed amateurs, COSP has per-
Bard High School Early College
’03 Olga Carmona is the admissions coordinator and Alumni/ae Association liaison at Bard High School Early College.
’37 Bartlett E. Chappell died on July 6, 2006. He was an army veteran of World War II. He is survived by his niece.
Sung Jin Hong '02 from the Conductors Institute with Maestro Kurt Masur (see entry, facing page)
formed more than 40 concerts throughout France and is in residence at the Fondation des Etats-Unis, Cité Universitaire. In June 2006 COSP presented an all-American program with the European premiere of Kyle Gann’s The Disappearance of All Holy Things from This Once So Promising World and the world premiere of George and Ira Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band, as reorchestrated by Eric Salzman. During the summer, she participated in Marin Alsop’s Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music in California.
James E. Magee, 90, an avid sailor and world traveler, died on July 4, 2006. A native of Brooklyn, he was a navy veteran of World War II, having served on the USS Salt Lake City and USS Sevier. He started his career as a reporter for the Trentonian newspaper, and retired as an underwriter for New York Life Insurance Company. He was active in the Rotary Club, was instrumental in the formation of the Girl Scouts’ Camp Shahaqua, and was an honorary member of the Nature Conservancy Foundation. He is survived by a brother, four children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
’48 Wendy Glass died on March 15, 2006. A member of Bard’s first class to graduate women, she went on to a long career as an art dealer in New York City, specializing in Japanese ukiyo-e prints, European graphics, and jewelry. She is survived by a brother, two children, and four grandchildren.
Hee Kyeong Gil, a resident of Buffalo, New York, is the music director and conductor of the Rapha Mission Orchestra in Korea.
Mary Gelb Park died on May 18, 2006. Raised in Glencoe, Illinois, she traveled to Paris, Rome, Venice, Padua, and Arles to study art after graduating from Bard. She then studied anthropology at Northwestern University and earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the Institute of Design in Chicago. One of her abstract collages received an award in a show juried by Robert Motherwell. After moving to Portland, Oregon, in 1964, she joined the Rape Relief Hotline and briefly taught art at the Hillside campus of Catlin Gabel School. Her paintings were exhibited at the Portland Art Museum and in the Portland branch of Utrecht Art. She is survived by her husband, Herbert; two daughters, Lucy Park ’82 and Margaret Park Bridges; two granddaughters; a brother; and a beloved cat, Jenny.
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program
’05 Gilana Chelimsky lives in Brooklyn and teaches modern global history at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts. Friends can contact her at email@example.com.
’06 Philip Watt teaches freshman English teacher at Dr. Susan McKinney Secondary School of the Arts in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. In the summer of 2005, he undertook a 4,000-mile motorcycle odyssey to explore his “First Nations” roots, visiting Canada and Oklahoma, where the Wyandot tribe has settled.
’51 Virginia E. “Ginny” MacAdie died on June 25, 2006. The sister of Bill Gaines, founder of MAD magazine, she met her husbandto-be, John A. MacAdie ’51, at Bard. After they married in 1950, they moved to Norwich, Connecticut, where they became radio personalities at WICH. Ginny helped organize the FISH (Friends
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in Service Here) program and volunteered at the William W. Bacchus Hospital, American Cancer Society, and many other
which he codirected with Katharine Kean. He is survived by his wife, Raffaella Trivi, and their daughter, Stella, both of Cádiz;
organizations. She is survived by her two sons, Bruce and Geoff ’74; her daughter-in-law; a sister-in-law; two nieces; and several grandchildren.
another daughter, Lumiere (French for “light”), also survives.
’56 Barry Winthrop, 71, activist and former executive committee member of the 504 Democratic Club and Disabled in Action, died on August 17, 2006. Despite having multiple disabilities, including being legally blind, he held an advanced degree in law and a doctorate in psychology. He leaves no known survivors.
’58 Rudi Stern, 69, a multimedia artist whose work with light won him international acclaim, died on August 15, 2006, at his home in Cádiz, Spain. Born Rudolph George Stern in New Haven, Connecticut, he earned a bachelor’s degree in studio arts from Bard and a master’s degree from the University of Iowa. Although he initially trained to be a painter, studying with Hans Hofmann and Oscar Kokoschka, he chose light as his medium after being inspired by a show of slide projections at the Bridge Theater in Manhattan’s East Village in the early 1960s. Soon afterward, he began collaborating with Jackie Cassen on psychedelic light shows for Timothy Leary, which evolved into what Stern called his “Theater of Light.” Throughout the ’60s and early ’70s, he designed lighting and light shows for theater productions, operas, television, and the movies, as well as for rock concerts by the Byrds, the Doors, and the Rascals. In 1972, Stern and Charles Schwartz opened Let There Be Neon, a gallery in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The pair quickly attracted attention for reviving the lost art of neon signage, creating single pieces and installations for Broadway shows; presentations by Laurie Anderson, Nam June Paik, and other avant-garde performance artists; and restaurants, bars, pizza parlors, and the like. The gallery, now located in TriBeCa, is still flourishing. In recent years, Stern resurrected his Theater of Light, doing shows at the Flamboyán Theater, La MaMa E.T.C., and other venues in the New York metropolitan area. The installations typically employed multiple screens, about 36 projectors, more than 5,000 hand-painted glass slides, and appropriately mesmerizing music. According to one reviewer, the experience was “a heroic performance . . . much more than a ‘light show,’ beyond psychedelic, and so much more than Fantasia, this [is] a marvel that one must see for one’s self.” Stern himself, responding to an interviewer’s question regarding the aptness of the term “theater” to describe a light show, said, “It’s theater because the intention of theater from the beginning, which is long lost now, is magic. Magic is an essential component of theater. It’s the space in which unexpected things can happen on a human scale.” Stern was also known for his pioneering of video art and for his making of documentary films, notably Haiti: Killing the Dream,
’63 Michael Bedar died on May 27, 2005. He is survived by his brother, two children, and a granddaughter.
’65 Robert Walker died on May 26, 2006. He began his career teaching writing to disadvantaged eighth-graders in Harlem and the Lower East Side in the 1960s. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in English at the University of Connecticut and become chair of the Languages and Literature Department at Worcester State College in Massachusetts. One of his proudest achievements was conducting a series of writing workshops in West Virginia in the 1990s that resulted in the publication of two volumes of short stories by West Virginia writers, both of which he edited and saw into print: Tales from the Springs (1994) and Tales, Too (1995). He was thrilled in 2005 to return to Beirut, Lebanon, where he had lived during his adolescence, and was working on memoirs about his time there when he died. He is survived by his wife, Ingrid Schlecht Walker ’66; a son, Christopher; and a granddaughter, Lucy.
’70 Jules Fried died on May 9, 2006, in Syracuse, New York. Born in Fürth, Germany, in 1947, he immigrated to the United States with his parents, who were Holocaust survivors. A gardener, radiocontrolled model airplane hobbyist, and licensed pilot, he operated a photography business in Syracuse for 35 years. He worked as a photojournalist in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before opening his business in Syracuse. He is survived by his wife, a sister, and a niece.
’73 Natalie Gass died on June 3, 2006, in New York City. She achieved high career goals in international finance; at the time of her death, she worked as a senior financial consultant with Bloomberg LP, Manhattan. She enjoyed traveling for work and pleasure, and was passionate about skiing. She is survived by her husband, Mounir, and son, Alex. Martha “Mellie” McNabb Nelson died on March 27, 2006. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she lived in Bluffton, South Carolina. She attended Bard and Syracuse University before returning to Tennessee, where she worked for many years in her family’s furniture business. She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Page Nelson III, and is survived by a son and a sister.
’75 Wayne S. Fenton, associate director for clinical affairs of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), died on September 3, 2006, following an assault by a patient for whom he had agreed to open his office on a Sunday afternoon. His killing made national headlines and was the subject of an essay in the Op-Ed
pages of the New York Times, in which the writer said that the tragic incident could become a “touchstone for one of the most contentious debates in psychiatry: whether people suffering from psychosis should be compelled to accept treatment to reduce the risk of violent outbursts.” After earning his B.A. at Bard, Fenton earned a medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1979, and completed a psychiatric residency and fellowship in social and policy studies at Yale University. Prior to his appointment at the NIMH, he was the medical director of Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, Maryland. One of the country’s leading experts on schizophrenia, he was dedicated to making life better for people with the disease, to which end he continued his private practice on weekends and evenings despite his full schedule. “All one has to do is walk through a downtown area to appreciate that the availability of adequate treatment for patients with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses is a serious problem in this country,” he told a Washington Post reporter in 2002. “We wouldn’t let our 80-year-old mother with Alzheimer’s live on a grate. Why is it all right for a 30-year-old daughter with schizophrenia?” He is survived by his wife, Nancy; three daughters; a son; his parents; and a brother and a sister.
’78 Theodora “Teddy” Babcock Hoe, 83, died on July 2, 2006. She attended Wellesley College and graduated from Bard with a degree in art history. At the Poughkeepsie Day School, she served as trustee emeritus, teacher, and volunteer. A dedicated community volunteer, she gave of her time over the years to Planned Parenthood of the Hudson Valley, Vassar Brothers Hospital, Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, American Cancer Society, and Catharine Street Community Center. She and her late husband, Edward “Ned” Hoe, were founding members of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House. She is survived by one son, four daughters, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
’96 Rebekah Brower Littlefield died on May 18, 2006, in San Francisco. She was just about to graduate from the State College in San Francisco and planned to attend law school. She is survived by her husband, her nephew, a half brother, and two half sisters.
’99 Cara Parravani died in Guilderland, New York, on June 13, 2006. After studying creative writing and Italian and completing her first novel at Bard, she worked as a journalist for several years and taught writing classes while studying at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She traveled extensively, spending time in Europe and Nepal. She recently finished her second novel and earned her M.F.A. from UMass Amherst. Her stories appeared in many literary journals, and in an exhibition in upstate New York, where they accompanied photographs by her sister, Christa Parravani ’99. In addition to her sister, she is survived by her mother and many relatives.
’06 Hallie Sarah Waters-Dashevsky, 22, died on October 15, 2006. A senior in the College’s Literature Program, she had also attended Union County College in her hometown of Cranford, New Jersey. She wrote poetry and fiction, and also made collages. She was a certified yoga instructor and a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford, and spent some of her happiest moments on stage at the Cranford Dramatic Club. She is survived by her mother, Virginia Waters; a brother, Adam; and two sisters, Anne Dashevsky and Karen Dashevsky.
Faculty Lawrence Sacharow, 68, an Obie Award–winning director who taught drama at Bard for five years, died on August 14, 2006, in Manhattan. As a young man in the early ’60s, Sacharow was drawn to the downtown theater scene after seeing a production of Edward Albee’s Zoo Story. He later enjoyed a long and fruitful association with Albee, winning a Lucille Lortel Award for his direction of the playwright’s Three Tall Women at the Vineyard Theatre in 1994. He won his Obie for a 1984 production of Len Jenkins’s Five of Us. Sacharow was an assistant professor of drama at Bard from 1973 to 1978. One year after leaving the College, he founded River Arts Repertory in nearby Woodstock, New York. River Arts operated for 14 years in Woodstock before relocating to New York City. While in Woodstock, Sacharow’s company presented the American premieres of Three Tall Women, Derek Walcott’s Viva Detroit, and Janusz Glowacki’s Hunting Cockroaches, along with Chekhov’s The Seagull, starring Joanne Woodward, and the only staged version of the movie classic Casablanca. The Concept, one of Sacharow’s earliest directorial efforts, pioneered the use of biographical theater. The play was written and performed by recovering drug addicts from Daytop Village, where Sacaharow taught in the summer of 1967. The Concept opened at Café La MaMa and subsequently had a three-year run Off Broadway. It was performed at the White House and the United Nations, and in 1994 it toured Russia under the auspices of the U.S. State Department, playing at the Moscow Art Theatre and the Gorky Theatre in St. Petersburg. In addition to his stint at Bard, Sacharow taught for 17 years at Fordham University, where he directed the theater program at the Lincoln Center campus. He earned a bachelor’s degree in theater and television production from Brooklyn College. He was a member of the Actors Studio Directors Unit and studied with Mira Rostova, Alan Schneider, and Lee Strasberg. He is survived by his wife, Michele; two daughters, Nina and Anya; and a grandson.
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Staff Livia Dober, 68, died on September 30, 2006, at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. An employee of the College for more than 20 years, she served as a switchboard operator—first in Ludlow, then at the security office when the switchboard was moved there. She retired in January 2006 and shortly thereafter moved to Morrisville, North Carolina, with her husband, Jerry, after residing for more than 40 years in Red Hook, where she had also been employed by the Red Hook School District. A 1949 immigrant to the United States from Brdo, on the Istrian Peninsula, she survived two Nazi occupations during World War II, and, according to her daughter, Tracy A. Dober, was freed on two occasions from firing squads (the second time when she was sixth next in line to be shot). “My mother knew what hunger and true fear were at an early age, and I believe that’s why it was so important to her to make sure she made our lives as easy as possible,” says Tracy. “She was an amazing and giving woman, and she loved the students at Bard, some of whom became close with her and were guests at our house for dinner.” She was an enthusiastic Yankees fan and loved to cook for her grandchildren, family, and friends. In addition to her husband of 48 years and her daughter Tracy, her survivors include her daughter Renée A. Ure; a sister, Dolores M. Lesica; a sister-in-law, Betty Snyder; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
JOHN BARD SOCIETY NEWS Donating from Your IRA In the Fall 2006 Bardian, the John Bard Society News shared information on the new opportunity for donating funds directly from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). This possibility is available only in calendar year 2007, but there are additional, continuing ways to donate from your IRA. Below are a few examples. For further information, please call Debra Pemstein, vice president for development and alumni/ae affairs, at 845-758-7405 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries will be kept confidential. Example 1 John and Sue, aged 71 and 73, are comfortably retired with income from various sources, including amounts they are required to withdraw from their IRAs each year. Their IRA withdrawal amounts are fully reportable as part of their adjusted gross income, potentially causing a number of adverse tax consequences, even when the IRA withdrawals are used to make charitable gifts. This year Sue and John, who support Bard annually, have been advised to contact their IRA administrator and make charitable gifts directly from their IRAs. They are pleased to learn that under the terms of the new tax law, they can make their gifts directly from their IRAs to Bard, without regard to percentage limitations and other provisions that might have limited their tax benefits in the past. Example 2 Samuel, aged 72, lives comfortably on his pension, savings, and Social Security. He is also required to take a minimum distribution from his IRA each year. This distribution is taxed and also results in more of his Social Security income being subject to tax. By having a portion of his mandatory IRA withdrawal go directly to charity, Samuel does not have to report that amount as income and avoids having to pay taxes on those funds. He also prevents additional tax on his Social Security benefits. Example 3 Sophie, aged 61, has saved and built a retirement portfolio that she believes is sufficient to fund her retirement. She has already provided for her loved ones in other
ways and has often thought of using her IRA to make a significant gift to Bard. When she discussed this idea with her advisers, she learned that she could make a withdrawal from her IRA and donate that amount on a nearly tax-free basis. While the amount she withdraws for her contribution will be considered taxable income, she will receive a charitable income tax deduction for that amount once her donation is complete. Example 4 Bernard, aged 30, recently started a new job. As he was filling out employment forms, the IRA beneficiary designation caught his eye. An annual donor to Bard’s alumni/ae fund, Bernard immediately thought of making Bard his IRA beneficiary, as that would be one more way to express his gratitude to his professors. These descriptions provide general information only. For specific information on your personal situation, please consult your legal and financial advisers.
John Bard Society Luncheon The John Bard Society held its annual luncheon on December 8, 2006. During the festivities, which took place at New York City’s historic National Arts Club, Leon Botstein, president of Bard, recognized those alumni/ae who have notified the College that they intend to include their alma mater in their estate plans. Botstein thanked the Bardians for their generosity and thoughtfulness. Robert Edmonds ’68, chair of Bard’s Planned Giving Committee, also spoke, providing strategies for careful estate planning and the writing one’s will. Luncheon attendees included (this page, from top to bottom): (from left to right) Herbert “Jimmy” Schwarz ’49, Robert Amsterdam ’52, Robert Edmonds, David Schwab ’52; Kit Kauders Ellenbogen ’52 (left) and Ruth Schwartz Schwab ’52; Leon Botstein; Elizabeth W. Ely ’65 (left) and Cynthia Hirsch Levy ’65
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F A C U LT Y N O T E S
John Ashbery, Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature, had new work published in the London Review of Books, New York Review of Books, PN Review, Times Literary Supplement, and New Yorker. His work was included in Best American Poetry 2006. His collection Chinese Whispers was published in a bilingual Spanish edition, and new translations of his poems appeared in Slovak and German. He read from his work at Yale University; the Downcity Poetry Series in Providence, Rhode Island; and The New Yorker Festival in New York City (where the program included part of Litany, his long poem written in two columns meant to be read simultaneously, which he performed with Ann Lauterbach, David and Ruth Schwab Professor of Languages and Literature). He was elected a foreign member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. He is the subject of two new critical studies: Ashbery’s Forms of Attention, by Andrew DuBois, and In Search of Communication and Community: The Poetry of John Ashbery, by Kacper Bartczak. James Bagwell, associate professor of music, led the Concert Chorale of New York when it appeared on Live from Lincoln Center for the opening concert of the Mostly Mozart Festival last July. This past December, he conducted six performances of The Nutcracker with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Tulsa Ballet. Roger Berkowitz, visiting assistant professor of political studies and human rights, published an article, “Democratic Legitimacy and the Scientific Foundation of Modern Law,” in Theoretical Inquiries in Law last year, and has a chapter, “Transcendence & Finitude in Drucilla Cornell’s Philosophy of the Limit,” in Memory, Imagination, Feminism: On Drucilla Cornell, forthcoming from SUNY Press. Leon Botstein, president of the college and Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities, contributed the essay “Unter Wunderkindern: Mozart in der europäisch-jüdischen Vorstellung” (Child Prodigies: Mozart in the European-Jewish Imagination) to the catalogue accompanying the Vienna Jewish Museum exhibition devoted to the life and works of Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart’s most gifted librettist. For a Festschrift in honor of the 60th birthday of Otto Biba, director of the Archive of the Society of the Friends of Music in Vienna, Botstein wrote “Viennese Traditionalism and Cosmopolitan Modernity in Conflict,” an essay on piano maker
Ludwig Bösendorfer. Recent speaking engagements included the keynote address at a Rye (New York) City School District conference on the inability of the Regents exams and other staterequired assessments to facilitate or measure learning in high school, and a speech on education and the media for journalists attending a seminar in Phoenix sponsored by the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media (based at Teachers College, Columbia University). At the Bard College conference marking the 100th anniversary of Hannah Arendt’s birth, Botstein participated in a panel discussion on the significance of Arendt’s Jewish identity in her life and works. A profile in the October 2006 issue of Gramophone—“Leon Botstein: Breaking the Conductor Mould”— examined the president’s championship of forgotten 19th- and 20th-century music, his founding of the Bard Music Festival (BMF), and his directorship of two symphony orchestras. For the third and final weekend of the BMF, he conducted the American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in “The New German School and Musical Narrative,” a program that featured the music of Liszt, Wagner, and Berlioz. For the Classics Declassified series in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Botstein led the ASO in a program on the art of the psalm. In addition he fulfilled regular conducting responsibilities with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the radio orchestra of Israel. Ken Buhler, artist in residence, will have an exhibition of paintings and works on paper at the Lesley Heller Gallery in New York City in May. He is the recipient of a fellowship, from the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, that consists of a summer 2007 residency in Ireland. Mary Caponegro ’78, Richard B. Fisher Family Professor in Literature and Writing, read her contribution to a series of collective fiction works at Printed Matter as part of an exhibition of sculpture by Rita McBride ’82. Caponegro also read at Brown University as part of its October Conjunctions anniversary celebration. Her story “Motion Censor” was solicited for Turtle, An Anarchic Salon, an exhibition curated by Donald Smith and Michael Shamberg and presented at Chelsea Space Gallery in London last June through August. Jonathan Cristol ’00, visiting assistant professor of political studies and deputy director of Bard’s Globalization and International Affairs Program, presented two papers last year: “President
Truman and the Recognition of the State of Israel” at the University of Virginia in June, as part of the biennial Policy History Conference; and “Good Peace, Bad Peace: Constructivism and Transnational Networks” at the International Conference on Governance, Institutions, and Networks at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago in October. He gave two invited talks last summer for the Louis August Jonas Foundation, “International Cooperation and International Relations Theory” and “The Iraq War: America and the Arab World.” At the invitation of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, he returned for a second year to the New Leaders Program. Richard Davis, professor of religion, edited Picturing the Nation: Iconographies of Modern India, which was published last fall by Orient Longman. In January he gave a lecture, “The Art of the Procession,” at the Nehru Centre in London, in association with the exhibition Chola: Sacred Bronzes of Southern India, on view at the Royal Academy of Arts. Tim Davis ’91, visiting assistant professor of photography, had solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and at Galerie Edward Mitterand in Geneva. He delivered a lecture at Columbia College, Chicago, and was invited by the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid to visit and photograph the museum. His portfolio of photographs illustrating Scott Turow’s novella, Limitations, ran over 16 weeks in the New York Times Magazine, and featured a number of pictures made on the Bard campus. Carolyn Dewald, professor of classical and historical studies, was awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Studies for her contribution to a forthcoming edition of Book I of Herodotus’s Histories, which she is writing with Rosaria Munson, professor of classics at Swarthmore College. Dewald was also coeditor of the 2006 Cambridge Companion to Herodotus. “Spanish Lessons for Moscow,” an essay by Omar G. Encarnación, associate professor of political studies, was published in the summer 2006 issue of Russia in Global Affairs. Last September he presented a paper, “Democracy and Dirty Wars in Spain,” as part of a panel on democratization and violence that he organized for the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, held in Philadelphia.
Christopher H. Gibbs, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Music, gave lectures for the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Cleveland Symphony, and for the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center. With Dana Gooley, he edited Franz Liszt and His World for Princeton University Press. Michelle Handelman, faculty in film/video at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, received a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council studio residency for 2006–07. Her video project This Delicate Monster was screened at Lincoln Center in July as part of the 2006 New York Video Festival and at Gallery Art-ClaimsImpulse Berlin. It was featured at the grand opening of 3LD Art & Technology Center in lower Manhattan. Rachel Harrison, faculty in sculpture, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, presented a solo exhibition at Greene Naftali Gallery in New York City from February 22 to March 31. Carla Harryman, faculty in writing, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, was coeditor of Lust for Life: On the Writings of Kathy Acker, published last year by Verso Books. Last fall Harryman taught a nonfiction seminar as a visiting writer at Ohio University and was an artist in residence for CRILCQ at the University of Montreal. Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler, faculty in photography, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, mounted solo exhibitions last year at the Miami Art Musuem and Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin. Group exhibitions in 2006 included Upsetting the Balance, at Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern; La Vie, La Ville, at La Biennale du Havre; No Peak No View, at Viper International Festival for film, video and new media, at Kunsthalle Basel; Kunst Lebt! at Landesmuseen Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart; and Melancholy, at Nationalgalerie, Berlin. This year Hubbard is presenting Hubbard/Birchler’s video work in relation to that of Gordon Matta-Clark in symposiums at Cornell University and Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Brenda Hutchinson, faculty in music/sound, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, spent five weeks last fall on The Bell Project, an east-to-west performance series of bell-ringing events in towns and cities across the United States, culminating with bell-ringing and lecture-demonstrations at the Exploratorium in
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San Francisco for the opening of its exhibition Listen on October 7 and 8. Her October 28 project, The Fun Show, featured a large
Mark Lytle, professor of history, published “Pictures That Changed Our Minds: Writing the History of the Sixties from
number of short acts in a modern turn on the old vaudeville variety show. It was the result of a two-week “recruitment” residency in small towns around the West Kortright Centre in East Meredith, New York.
Images” in OAH Magazine of History. Oxford University Press is publishing his new book, The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement.
Solo exhibitions by Michael Joo, faculty in sculpture, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, took place at the Rodin Gallery (Leeum Samsung Museum of Art), Seoul, South Korea, last November, and will be presented at the Paolo Curti/Annamaria Gambuzzi & Co., Milan, Italy, this spring. Group shows in 2006 that included his work were In The Darkest Hour There Will Be Light, Serpentine Gallery, London, England (November); Hot Dam, Denver Art Museum (October); 6th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (September); Paolo Curti/Annamaria Gambuzzi & Co. (July); Eretica, Museum Sant’Anna, Palermo, Italy (July); Implosion!, Anton Kern Gallery, New York City (June). Joo won the 6th Gwangju Biennale’s Ex Aequo Grand Prize for his installation Bodhi Obfuscatus (Space-Baby). Other Criteria in London published a monograph on Joo’s work last year and will release Distilled, a limited-edition portfolio of 20 of his photographs. David Kettler, Research Professor in Social Studies, coedited Limits of Exile, Volume 3, No. 1, of the Journal of the Interdisciplinary Crossroads. He also published “Political Science and Political Theory: The Heart of the Matter” in Making Political Science Matter: The Flyvbjerg Debate and Beyond (NYU Press, 2006) and “Exile and Return: Forever Winter,” in Journal of the Interdisciplinary Crossroads (April 2006). Ann Lauterbach, David and Ruth Schwab Professor of Languages and Literature and faculty in writing, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, published new poems in a chapbook, Nothing to Say (Belladonna Press), and in Conjunctions and A Public Place. Her essay “What Is A Day?” (on 9/11) was published in the Brooklyn Rail, and her memoir of Barbara Guest appeared in the Poetry Project Newsletter. She read from her work at the first annual Robert Creeley Memorial Conference at SUNY Buffalo and at Dia:Beacon, among other places; was a visiting writer for the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia; and was a visiting art critic at the Yale University School of Art during the fall of 2006, where she participated on a panel, “Powerful Art and Power.” Ken Lum, faculty in photography, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, delivered the keynote address to the Biennale of Sydney (Australia) symposium last August. Also in August he exhibited work in the Liverpool (England) Biennial and presented a solo show at the Galerie Grita Insam in Vienna, Austria. A large public art commission opened in mid-October in Vienna. This year his solo exhibitions include Galerie Nelson in Paris in February, and in May, Tang Contemporary Art in Beijing and Chosun Gallery in Seoul. In April he will work as curatorial assistant to Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) International Biennial 8.
Norman Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture and writer in residence, was elected to the Berlin Academy of Arts last spring. In the fall of 2006, the Romanian publishing house Editura Polirom issued a new edition of his novel The Black Envelope, and in Holland, ThiemeMeulenhoff published his memoir, The Hooligan’s Return. Two collections of new essays came out, from Editura Hasefer in Romania (The Nomadic Text) and Gruppo Saggiatore in Italy (The Fifth Impossibility). In France, Editions du Seuil released Compulsory Happiness (four novellas) and The Hooligan’s Return. Manea published short pieces in literary magazines in the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, and Romania during this period. He participated, with Orhan Pamuk and Salman Rushdie, in a Queens College debate on the art of writing. Thomas Martin, faculty in art history at Bard High School Early College, published “The Busts of Giulio Contarini” in The National Gallery of Canada Review last November. Edie Meidav, visiting assistant professor of writing and recipient of the 2006 Bard Fiction Prize, edited a special folio of fiction and poetry on visual writing for Five Fingers Review. She served as judge for the Big Ugly Review’s “flash fiction” contest. An excerpt from her novel-in-progress (concerning dystopia, the death penalty, and motherhood) was published in the 25th anniversary issue of Conjunctions, and a different excerpt appeared online in Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics. Last summer Meidav went on a book tour for the paperback edition of her novel Crawl Space, giving a reading in Oregon and moderating a panel on dystopia in northern California, where she was interviewed in print and on radio. In October she read at Night and Day in Brooklyn with Emily Barton, recipient of the 2003 Bard Fiction Prize. Sorry, Tree, a new collection of poems by Eileen Myles, faculty in writing, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, will be published by Wave Books in April. Myles will tour for the book in the spring and fall, joining forces with Sister Spit on “the next generation’s tour,” in April and May. Pierre Ostiguy, assistant professor of political studies and Latin American and Iberian studies, contributed a chapter to Reconfiguring Institutions Across Time and Space: Syncretic Responses to Challenges of Political and Economic Transformation, forthcoming this year from Palgrave Macmillan. His chapter, “Syncretism in Argentina’s Party System and Peronist Political Culture,” deals with the creation of Argentine national identity over a century ago and the later emergence of a Peronist political culture.
Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, executive vice president of the college and president of the Levy Economics Institute, was interviewed on July 14 by Jonathan Peterson at the Los Angeles Times regarding the growing household debt held by older families, and potential concern over it; on July 26 by Mara Der Hovanesian at Business Week regarding the Levy Institute’s Strategic Analysis Are Housing Prices, Household Debt, and Growth Sustainable?; on August 2 by Alix Stuart at CFO Magazine regarding credit derivatives; on August 3 by Steve Johnson at Reuters regarding foreign-reserve diversification and the U.S. current account deficit; and on August 8 by Tom Ramstack at the Washington Times regarding the effect of rising interest rates on borrowers with adjustable rate mortgages. He was a participant at the Ninth International Post Keynesian Conference sponsored by the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability at the University of Missouri–Kansas City on September 15–18. Matt Phillips, Asher B. Edelman Professor Emeritus of Art, had two exhibitions in February. His illustrations for The Song of Solomon, 18 boxed sets of hand-colored drypoints can be seen at the letterpress workshop of Peter Koch in Berkeley, California. Each set contains 12 drypoints and one engraving. A retrospective of his prints and works on paper, with a catalogue, is at the Old Print Shop in New York City, the first time in 41 years that most of his work from the 1960s has been seen. Sigrid Sandström, assistant professor of studio arts, coedited Grey Hope: The Persistence of Melancholy, an idiosyncratic compendium of texts and artwork that considers melancholy as a contributing essence to the psychic landscape. Sandström also wrote (with Gavin Morrison) one of the essays in the book, which was published last spring by Atopia Projects. Stephen Shore, Susan Weber Soros Professor in the Arts, presented work in a solo exhibition, The Biographical Landscape, at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles included his work in a group show, Where We Live. He photographed the advertising campaign that introduced a new line of Trussardi perfumes. The JGS Foundation released a 20minute DVD on Shore and his work, to be made available to educational institutions. Other interviews appeared in The Genius of Photography on BBC television and in Wanderlust, a film produced for the Independent Film Channel. Phaidon Press published The Nature of Photographs, an illustrated description of how photographs function visually. This is a new and much expanded edition of the book that was originally published in 1998 by Johns Hopkins University Press. James Sullivan, professor emeritus of studio arts, had work last summer in two group exhibitions at the Jonathan Shorr Gallery in New York City: We Don’t Need No Mind Control and Other Places. Karen Sullivan, associate professor of literature, published “The Vengeance of Saints, or the Conversion of the Blessed Carino of Balsamo,” an article on a medieval assassin who was ultimately beatified, in Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum, an annual publication. She gave a talk, “From Gregory IX to Benedict XVI:
Discourses of Inquisition,” at the 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies, held last May in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Attorney Alan Sussman, visiting associate professor of philosophy and faculty, Bard’s Globalization and International Affairs Program, represents an inmate at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Sussman organized a nationwide teach-in on the Guantanamo issue, which took place on October 5, 2006. Some 200 colleges (including Bard) and law schools participated. A program of speakers and experts on various legal, medical, religious, and journalistic issues was fed via the Internet to the participating schools, in the largest conference on Guantanamo to date. Some schools added local speeches and events. Elaine Thomas, assistant professor of political studies, published “Immigration and Changing Definitions of Citizenship in France, Germany and Britain” in the journal French Politics. She presented new work analyzing the changing role of human rights claims in West European debates regarding Muslim demands for cultural and religious accommodation on a panel, “Transnational Debates on Human Rights in the Muslim World,” at the International Studies Association conference in Chicago in March. Two new works by Joan Tower, Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts, premiered last year: “Chamber Dance,” commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, performed at Carnegie Hall; and “Copperwave,” commissioned by the American Brass Quintet, performed for the 100th anniversary of The Juilliard School. Suzanne Vromen, professor emeritus of sociology, published “Identities of Jewish American Women” in Jewry between Tradition and Secularism: Europe and Israel Compared (Brill, 2006). She gave a talk and led a postscreening discussion at the Yeshiva University Museum in New York City, in connection with the exhibition Resistance and Memory in Belgium: 1940–1945, Images Past and Present and the film Just A Link, which highlights the rescue of Jewish children by a woman resister. Vromen also made two presentations for educators at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City and gave two workshops for teachers in Facing History and Ourselves seminars, one at Teachers College, Columbia University, and one at Bard. Tom Wolf, professor of art history, contributed an essay, “Hervey White’s Maverick Colony and Its Artists,” to The Maverick: Hervey White’s Colony of the Arts, the catalogue that accompanied the exhibition of the same title, on view last fall at the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum. Japheth Wood, mathematics faculty, the Master of Arts in Teaching Program, traveled to Hungary last fall to collaborate with colleagues at Central European University and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. He presented his results on “minimal generators of band semigroups varieties” at the “Special Session on Universal Algebra and Order” at the January Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans.
FACULTY NOTES | 83
Untitled Icon #4, 2006, an archival digital print by Laura Steele â€™03, whose new, photographically based work uses the human form as a way of exploring spiritual identity.
Photograhy Cover: Karl Rabe Inside front cover and page 1: Letitia Smith 2–3: Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’99 4: (left) Eileen Baumgartner; (center and right) Don Hamerman 5: (left and right) Karl Rabe; (center) Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’99 6: Chris Kendall 7–10: Karl Rabe 11–18: Chris Kendall 19–20: Karl Rabe 22: ©Getty Images 26–27, 29: Courtesy of the V-TEAM 31: ©Peter Marlow/Magnum 33, 35: Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’99 36: ©Ted Spiegel/CORBIS 37: ©Kathy Eastwood, Pointer View, USMA Public Affairs Office 38–39: ©2006 Julie Lemberger 40: ©David Toerge/Black Star 41: Noah Sheldon 42: ©Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images 44–45: Don Hamerman 46–47: Noah Sheldon 52–53: Karl Rabe 54: (top) Karl Rabe; (bottom) Gate Theater of Dublin 55: (top) Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’99; (bottom) Kirstin Hepburn 56: (top) Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’99; (bottom) Donna Matthews collection 57: Don Hamerman 58–59: Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’99 60: Åke E:son Lindman 61: Unknown 62: ©Mark Peterson/CORBIS 63: Courtesy of Jessica Kemm ’74 65: Courtesy of Maggie Hopp ’67 67: Courtesy of Mary Mason ’85 69: Courtesy of Neil Westman ’97 75: Courtesy of Sung Jin Hong ’02 79: Noah Sheldon 80–81: Pete Mauney ’93, MFA ’99 84: Laura Steele ’03 Back cover: ©Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
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A FLORENTINE TRAGEDY THE DWARF American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, Music Director Directed by Oliver Tambosi Sets and costumes by McDermott & McGough
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