New Course: Performing the Posthuman: Music and Auditory Culture in the Age of Animanities

MUSC287 — Performing the Posthuman: Music and Auditory Culture in the Age of Animanities

Crosslisting: AMST 278, ENVS 287
Course Cluster: Animal Studies

This seminar engages questions of musical difference by addressing representations, tropes, and examples of posthuman performance, animal musicalities, music mimetic of nonhuman aurality, and cross-species and multi-species performance. Throughout the course we will think across varied types and categories of sounds to explore and contextualize familiar questions about how we sing, play, perform, stage, and sound musical identity, examining the intersections among the humanities, science and technology studies, and the sonic arts. “Animanities” is the name attributed by scholars to the musical response to the dilemma facing the humanities to value, take into account, and take seriously the aural and performance worlds of the nonhuman. It is necessary to include all human, more-than-human, sentient and non-sentient, machine, and animal sounding and musicking into the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, and sound studies. By listening across different kinds of auditory culture and sounding, scholars can interrogate questions addressing how traditions of listening shape our habits of perceiving others: how we hear nonhuman animals, how we incorporate nonhuman sounding into music composed by humans, how technology has played a role in the study and development of nonhuman and human musicality, and what it means to listen to and value sonic difference more broadly. Through discussions of musical and cultural difference that enrich ongoing discussions of race, gender, and sexuality we will come to a stronger understanding of music’s role in imagined and experienced natural worlds. Topics and case studies will include the pedagogies of audio bird guides; new age nature recordings, multi-species “collaborative” performances; sampled and electronically rendered animal and nature performance in digital video games; wildlife field recording and documentary soundtracks/sound design; forms of animal and environmental mimesis used by composers; the jazz aviary of exotic songbirds and chirping canaries in the publications and reception history of the 1930s–1960s that document female jazz singers and virtuosic operatic sopranos; they way nonhuman animal behavior influenced experimental music communities; and how human musical language and terminology was used to describe the musicking of nonhuman animals in documents circulated by the National Audubon Society and other wildlife guides and field recording initiatives. This seminar draws on the classroom community’s interdisciplinary backgrounds and interests as well as readings and case studies that cross and challenge disciplinary boundaries. Students can achieve success in this course without previous musical knowledge.

New Fall Course: THEA 279, Music Theater Workshop

Tony and Obie Award Winner, Greg Kotis (Urinetown) will be teaching the Music Theater Workshop, THEA 279. 

The course is described here:!wesmaps_page.html?stuid=&facid=NONE&crse=014313&term=1179

There are prerequisites, but, as ever, there are also prerequisite over-rides for students who have the appropriate skill set. 

Greg Kotis’s webpage lists this for info about him: 

Greg Kotis is the author of many plays and musicals including Michael von Siebenburg Melts Through the FloorboardsYeast Nation (Book/Lyrics), The Unhappiness PlaysThe Boring-est Poem in the WorldThe Truth About SantaPig FarmEat the TasteUrinetown (Book/Lyrics, for which he won an Obie Award and two Tony® Awards), and Jobey and Katherine.  His work has been produced and developed in theaters across the country and around the world, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, American Theater Company, Henry Miller’s Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Stage and Film, Perseverance Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Soho Rep, South Coast Rep, and The Old Globe, among others.  Greg is a member of the Neo-Futurists, the Cardiff Giant Theater Company, ASCAP, the Dramatists Guild, and is a 2010-11 Lark Play Development Center Playwrights Workshop Fellow.  He grew up in Wellfleet, Massachusetts and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife Ayun Halliday, his daughter India, and his son Milo.

Anyone more interested in Kotis could check him out here:

Transferring to Wesleyan: A Personal Perspective

Just like many eager high school seniors graduating this month (my younger sister included), I was beyond excited to travel far away from home to the small liberal arts college that I had applied to via Early Decision way back in December of the previous year. Like literally every piece of media ever produced about college, I was sure that I was heading to the place that was a perfect fit for me, where I would truly find myself (and other clichéd ideas). Shockingly, or maybe not given that one out of every three college students transfer at least once, I ended up deciding that my first institution wasn’t for me. This may seem like I was clear and levelheaded throughout the whole process, but I assure you that there were plenty of tears and panicked nights spent questioning whether I was really making the best decision picking up and starting anew someplace else. How could I know that I wouldn’t be just as unhappy at another school? The really scary part is, I couldn’t know, at least not for sure.

I spent a majority of weekends during my spring semester traipsing up and down the East Coast, taking tours filled with fresh-faced high school students, not so subtlety envying the time that they had left to find a school where they hopefully would be happy for a full four years. When the transfer decisions came in at the end of the semester (full disclosure: I ended up applying to eight schools, apparently with the understanding that I really wanted the “full” college admissions process that I had missed the first time around), Wesleyan was my favorite school to which I was accepted, making my decision easy but in no means certain. I anxiously spent the summer making sure that I was totally prepared to make the most of this second chance. I semi-obsessively examined all of the extracurricular activities that I could join, and agonized over picking the best dorm.

Maybe some of you incoming transfer students are doing the same thing, and perhaps there are some more calm and collected people out there (major props to you, my friends). However, as your friendly neighborhood rising senior, let me share some of the life lessons that I have gained in the past two years that will hopefully make your transition to Wesleyan as smooth as possible:

  • Use the transfer network – Wesleyan typically welcomes approximately sixty transfer students in the fall and fifteen students in the spring. This means that that there is a sizable population of transfers here, most of whom love to help connect incoming students with academic and extracurricular opportunities. And even if you manage to find something that none of us seems to be involved with, I’m sure that someone has a friend who is!
  • Though it’s hardly scientific, I would venture to say that transfer students are oftentimes in a disproportionate amount of leadership positions given the relatively small proportion that we make up in the general Wesleyan population. I have friends running the Wesleyan Jewish Community, singing their hearts out in acapella groups, starting on varsity sports teams, and serving in leadership roles on the WSA.
  • On that note, there’s nothing like a second chance to really push you to try new things! When I came to Wes in the fall of 2015, I went to the Students Activities Fair and signed up for a seriously ambitious number of clubs. Though I didn’t end up joining all of them, I tried a whole bunch of new things and met so many great people, many of whom I’m still friends with today!
  • A more logistical piece of advice – try to get your credits and major requirements sorted out as quickly as possible. I have friends who waited until the last minute to do so, please learn from their mistake; these things are much more stressful during your Senior Spring! Dean Phillips (Class of 2020) and Dean Wood (Class of 2019) are great resources and super approachable, so don’t hesitate to meet with them if you need any assistance getting everything completed.
  • Take a second to congratulate yourself on your bravery! Leaving a school, no matter the rationale for transferring, requires a tremendous leap of faith.
  • There are certainly times when having attended two colleges can be frustrating – needing to get two separate transcripts when applying for internships, answering the constant question of why you decided to transfer and the bonus question for those of us coming from women’s colleges, “did you come to Wesleyan for the boys?” (the answer being a hard no). However, I’m so grateful to be a transfer student – it has given me a great deal of perspective and I wouldn’t trade my first year of college at my previous institution for anything.

Not to speak for my fellow transfer students, but I’m sure that they’d all agree that we can’t wait to welcome you to campus in August! In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me at if you have any questions or concerns!

Sara Eismont, Class of 2018

Apply for New POI Course for Fall 2017: “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”

Title: “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”
Instructors: Michael Pope with Amanda Palmer!wesmaps_page.html?stuid=&facid=NONE&crse=015041&term=1179

Students learn collaborative creative super filmmaking powers before being dropped off on a metaphoric desert island with nothing but a camera phone and a song. Beauty Ensues.  This studio class will focus on non-traditional video production techniques towards a final project of a class-created music video featuring music and performance by Amanda Palmer. Students will co-create every aspect of this video, from conceptualization to editing to screening, with the final product being released to her Patreon community.

The course seeks to illuminate the creative process by way of mindful reflection, and physical training to promote creative cooperation between various artistic mediums. Students are expected to participate in team building physical exercises inspired by physical theater, Butoh and some physical meditations. Meaning:  Students will be be expected to participate in physical activity that includes jumping, running, yelling, and the like.

The course will allow us to sketch answers to questions like these, among others: How do you forge creative collaborations that allow you to realize your projects and that create the best conditions for your creative work? How do you raise awareness about your creative projects?

Taught by director Michael Pope who has shot, cut and directed the music videos for The Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer’s first solo album (Who Killed Amanda Palmer), in collaboration with Amanda Palmer as visiting co-creator, the course will culminate in a screening of the class-created video that will be part of a Wesleyan-hosted Amanda Palmer concert on Dec 9.

No prior film or video-making experience required, though all students seeking admission to the course are required to submit an application.

Only serious, fully engaged and enthusiastic students should apply. Students must commit to shooting the weekend of Nov 17-18-19 and must be available all day Sat and Sun Nov 18 and 19.

Students will be required to apply for this course by August 15. They will be notified of admission to the course by August 31.

Course enrollment limit: 15 (all class years allowed)
Grading mode: Cr/U for final grades. Students will be given an indication of whether they are passing the course by midterm.
Major Readings: Course Reader.

Other readings may include: “The Five Rings” Myamoto Musashi; “50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship”, Salvadore Dali;”Giovanni’s Room”, James Baldwin;

“Just Kids”, Patti Smith; “The Power of Movies”, Colin McGinn.

Assignments: Weekly assignments from individual students, collaborative assignments, final reflective essay of 5 pp.
Class meetings: W and F 2:40-4:10 pm

Additional information:
No prior film or video-making experience required, though all students seeking admission to the course are required to submit an application.

Only serious, fully engaged and enthusiastic students should apply. Students must commit to shooting the weekend of Nov 17-18-19 and must be available all day Sat and Sun Nov 18 and 19.

Students will be required to apply for this course by August 15. They will be notified of admission to the course by August 31.

Application to the “The Art of Doing”
Students are invited to submit this creative challenge for consideration for admission to “The Art of Doing”.

Applications should be submitted to this email address:

Only applications sent from email addresses will be considered.

There are two required parts to the application. Please make sure each part the application clearly indicates your name.

Part I. Create a digital still-image Self Portrait (photograph, collage, rendering).

Choose and incorporate three items into your self-portrait.

  1. One item to represent who you have been.
  2. One item to represent who you are now.
  3. One item to represent who you imagine yourself to be in the future.

Applicants are invited to interpret this exercise as best suits their creative strengths.

Part II. Please submit only one document that contains all the required elements A-D (detailed below). Please make sure this document clearly identifies you as the author. 

A. In 200 words or less, explain the significance of each item in Part A.
B.  In 200 words or less, explain why your interested in taking the course “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making It Happen”.
C.  In 100 words, or less, describe your experience with Cr/U courses and your attitude toward Cr/U courses.
D.  Applications should include

  1. List of current creative skills
  2. List of additional interests

E. Optional
Applicants are invited to submit up to three samples of creative work jpeg and mov files.
Note: mov files may be no longer than 180 seconds.

Please do not purchase any books until you have been notified about admission to the course.

Promo Video for “Blu Blak” by King Ali Emeka ’20

Please take a look at Class of 2020, King Ali Emeka’s promo for his upcoming short film entitled “Blu Blak.”  The film grapples with black masculinity and sexual assault as sixteen-year old Malcom skateboards through Los Angeles with his two friends in attempt to escape his past.  If the work resonates with you, please consider donating to the project and sharing the link below on your social media.

Summer Sendoffs 2017

Welcome new students and their families to Wesleyan at an upcoming Summer Sendoff in your area! These casual gatherings are a great opportunity to show the new cardinals what makes Wes special: you! So come ready to celebrate the summer, and say hello to the great class of 2021.

Event details and registration can be found on the Summer Sendoff website, and below.

Atlanta, GA, June 20
Austin, TX, July 16
Bay Area, CA, July 16
Boston, MA, July 19
Chicago, IL, August 15
Fairfield County, CT, August 10
Hong Kong, China, July 7
Los Angeles, CA, July 15
Mamaroneck, NY, July 20
New York, NY, August 3
Philadelphia, PA, August 3
Ridgewood, NJ, July 26
Seattle, WA, August 3
Seoul, Korea, July 1
Washington, D.C., TBD
Worcester, MA, July 20

Added locations, event details, and registration can be found on the Summer Sendoff website.


Contact Jenna Starr in University Relations at

We hope to see you there!

Summer Session Registration – Still Open

Summer 2017 classes include Intro to Financial Accounting, Bio, Chem, International Politics, Writing with Anne Greene, and more.  More information is available in WesMaps and on the Summer Session website.

To register:

  1. Print and complete the registration form (EP>Student>Summer Session>Registration Form). 
  2. Meet with your faculty advisor to have them sign your form.
  3. Bring your completed form with a check for payment to the Summer Session office (74 Wyllys) during business hours (8:30 am – 5:00 pm). You can also put the payment on your student account before bringing your form to the office.

 Session schedule and deadlines are online at

If you need any additional assistance, please contact the Summer Session office at 860-685-2005 or

Course Withdrawal Deadline 5/3 at 5pm

Screen-Shot-2014-09-24-at-11.39.14-AM-600x464The last day to withdraw from full-semester and second-quarter classes for the Spring 2017 semester is Wednesday, May 3.  Completed forms are due in the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. and must include the following signatures: instructor, faculty advisor, and class dean.

If you are thinking about withdrawing from a course:

  • Do use this time to talk to your professors, your advisors, and me about your concerns. If you can’t make my drop-ins, please email me at or call me at x2757 to schedule an appointment.
  • Do make sure you are taking advantage of all the resources available to you.
  • Do get the signatures of your instructor and advisor on your drop/add form. I cannot sign for either without his or her permission, so please save yourself the trouble of waiting to see me during drop-ins just for me to tell you that.
  • Do not wait until Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. to see me or you may find yourself waiting in a very long line!

Drop-in Hours: M 2-3, Tu 3-4, W 5-7, Th 11-12, F 2-4

Tips and Strategies to Prepare for the End of the Semester

Here are some tips and strategies that students use to prepare for final exams and other academic assessments.

Overall Strategies

  • “It gets to the point where I know I have to act like I am in a tunnel.” (Joey ‘18)
  • “I’m trying to figure that out. My strategy is to pay attention in class and try to understand what’s happening when learning it and then remembering it is a lot easier.” (Avi ‘20)
  • “Whenever you get the chance, put any effort you can into studying. Don’t let it build up. Don’t wait for midterms. Be on the lookout at least a week ahead of time.” (Ryan ‘18)
  • “I look over all my notes and my syllabus to make sure I’m not missing any part of the class and to make sure that I at least know something about each portion of the syllabus. Then I just sort of spend time thinking about it and hope that I do well…and sleep.” (Nathaniel ‘19)

Study Places

  • “I like to be in a quiet place where I don’t feel distracted. I also like eating a good meal before studying so you’re not distracted by hunger the whole time.”  (Sarafina ‘20)
  • “Vary your study locations. Just get up and move every couple hours so you don’t get tired.” (Campbell ‘19)

Time Management

  • “Plan your time wisely. Make a daily schedule and a weekly schedule of all the things that you should be doing so you are using your time most efficiently. Also like not forgetting to get a meal and enough sleep. And to take care of yourself.” (Steven ‘18)

Study Techniques

  • “Always carry a highlighter everywhere you go…put it in your back pocket.” (Mackenzie ‘19)
  • “I like to listen to really good music, like lots of rap…it has a steady beat, a set tempo for studying.” (Parichat ‘20)
  • “I use index cards, rewrite my notes, and review a lot ahead of time and as you go along.” (Valerie ‘20)
  • “I study in separate chunks with breaks rather than cramming. You should test yourself; don’t just look at the notes. Anticipate questions that will be on the exam; don’t just look at your study guide and say Ah! I know this, and then formulate it into a question.”  (Kelly ‘17)
  • “Because I am a sociology major, I read a lot of social theory. I have different color codes for each color of highlighter that indicate special things in the text and make it easy to hold onto, like words like therefore, hence, thus, or for questions or definitions. I use colors that contrast two things.”  (Grace ’17)

General Advice

  • “Don’t study with your friends.” (Willa ‘19)
  • “Laugh a lot with your friends, take breaks with Netflix, and workout.” (CiCi ‘18)


  • Last Day to Withdraw from Full Semester & 4th Quarter Classes – May 3, 2017
  • Classes End – May 10, 2017
  • Reading Period – May 11 – 15
  • Final Exams – May 16 – 19
  • University Housing Closes – May 20

These are terrific insights.  To learn more about the ways that the Class Deans Office can help you, please stop in during drop-in hours or schedule an individual meeting to see us.

To meet with an Academic Peer Advisor for studying or test-taking tips or time management strategies, go to

First-Generation Student End-of-the-Year Celebration Reception 5/4

The Office of Student Affairs, The Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the 2020 Class Council would like invite all first-generation students in every class year to a reception in celebration of the end of the academic year in Woodhead Lounge on Thursday, May 4, from 4:15-5:30pm.  If you are interested in attending this event, please RSVP through this form:


CEAS Application Deadline Extended to Friday 4/21

The College of East Asian Studies has extended its major application deadline to Friday, April 21.

If you are interested in applying to major in the College of East Asian Studies, please (a) fill out this application form  and then (b) declare the major using the major declaration form in your student portal.  You are eligible to apply if you have taken at least one CEAS class, including language.

While CEAS does allow students to declare after their first year, our major is designed as a three year major, and you will have a better experience if you can join your fellow majors starting in your first year (e.g., you will be invited to our end of the year party).

Good luck with the last few weeks of classes, and I hope to welcome some of you to the CEAS community.

Best regards,

Mary Alice Haddad
Chair, College of East Asian Studies
Professor of Government

Announcing the 2017 GLASS Prize

The GLASS (Gay, Lesbian, and Sexuality Studies) Prize is awarded for the best research and writing on a subject in queer, trans*, LGBT, or sexuality studies.

The prize is open to Wesleyan undergraduate students in all classes; senior essays and theses are preferred. The award includes no cash benefit, but the winner’s name will be published in the 2017 Commencement booklet.

Entries must be submitted in hard copy by 4pm on Thursday, April 20 to the Center for the Americas (look for the bin labeled “GLASS Prize” in the downstairs hallway).

If you have any questions, please contact the GLASS Prize chair, Prof. Margot Weiss (

More info at:

Register for Housing Selection by Noon on Monday

Please remember that in order to participate for housing selection you need to register before noon on Monday April 17, 2017.  The housing selection website can be found in your e-portfolio under “Residential Life”. You will need to accept the housing contract and lead paint agreement.  Once you have done that, you must register as group (this includes individuals which are considered “groups of one”).  To do so, click on the “Room Selection Nights” link in “Explore Housing” tab in the Housing Selection site.  At the bottom of the page you will find the links for registering a group. 

ResLife will host Milk & Cookies: Housing Selection Drop-In Q & A session tomorrow (4/14) from 2-5pm. If you have questions stop by the ResLife Office, grab a cookie, and get some one on one assistance.

If you have any questions, please contact

Liliana Carrasquillo-Vasquez
Assistant Director of Residential Life