Resilience Retreat 2017

Are you yearning to feel more grounded, capable, and confident?  We invite you to participate in an off-campus, all-expense paid, interfaith weekend retreat from October 6-8 to help you enjoy increased resiliency by discovering and cultivating your own inner strength and peace.  During this program, we will discuss key components of resilience, identify individual areas of strength and potential growth, learn specific tools and practices that can help us become more resilient, and reflect on the role of our faith/spirituality.  Space is limited!  For more information, please contact Rev. Tracy Mehr-Muska from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at tmehrmuska@wesleyan.edu.  To register, please fill out this form prior to 5pm on September 15https://goo.gl/forms/dQ7ERXw6CUjXhPzC3.

2017 Wes in the World Photo Contest

The Fries Center for Global Studies is excited to announce its annual Wes in the World Photo Contest! This contest offers students who have studied or live abroad to share their experiences with our community. We invite anyone who falls within this group to submit photographs that you feel best represent your experiences abroad. In doing so, you will support the Fries Center for Global Studies in our efforts to recognize and celebrate cultural diversity.

Here is how you can participate.

You can find the contest rules, submission guidelines, and upload your photos on this website: http://bit.ly/2whqxB2  

This year we have 5 categories for photo submission, as displayed below:

  • People: Single pictures portraying individual or groups of people.
  • Nature and Architecture: Single pictures of flora, fauna, structures, or landscapes.
  • Daily Life: Single pictures documenting either the ordinary or extraordinary elements in everyday life not normally considered news.
  • Contemporary Issues: Single pictures documenting cultural, economic, environmental, political, or social issues.
  • Sports: Single pictures that capture individual or team sports.

Entry Deadline: September 30, 2017

Prizes will be awarded to the winners in each category at a special event, to be hosted in the Fries Center for Global Studies during International Education Week (November 13-17).

If you have any questions about the photo contest, please email Kia Lor (klor@wesleyan.edu).

Usdan Center 10th Anniversary

Mark your calendar for September 7, 11am – 3pm, for the Usdan University Center’s 1oth Anniversary celebrating the Center and Student Life.  This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this amazing building by informing yourself about the rooms and services it can provide you throughout the year.  Review a display of the history of campus centers at Wesleyan – Downey House (1936), The Davenport Campus Center (1984), and now Usdan (2007).  Have a piece of Anniversary cake, and earn a chance to spin the prize wheel throughout the afternoon.  Listen to music from 2007 in the dining bay.  This is a must do event for your first week back on campus, and a great break from chasing classes.

Audition for Fall Faculty Production: The Pillowman

Our production this fall is The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh. Here is a note from the director, Visiting Professor-of-Practice Eddie Torres:

“In a world of violence, mistrust and apathy, the state of justice is struggling to survive in the wake of the Pillowman. Come out and take a stand…. AUDITION!”

A brief comment about the play from http://stageagent.com/shows/play/1434/the-pillowman:
“This brutal dark comedy from Martin McDonagh, the master of the horror-comedy, poses unanswerable questions: Can stories hold the power to cause atrocities? Where is the line between truth and fairy tale? Is a life of horror worth living at all? Drawing on inspiration as diverse as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Kafka, and Antonin Artaud, The Pillowman is a dark, twisty, and utterly unforgettable masterpiece from one of Ireland’s most treasured writers.”

All students are encouraged to audition, no matter of experience or academic focus. We would like to have as diverse a pool of talent as possible from throughout the Wesleyan student community.

Space Available in Introduction to Experimental Music (MUSC 109)

Introduction to Experimental Music (MUSC 109)

Fall 2017; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:50 p.m. – 4:10 p.m., RHH 003

This course is a survey of recent and historical electronic and instrumental experimental works, with emphasis on the works of American composers. Starting with early experimentalists, germinal works of John Cage and Henry Cowell, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff, and Morton Feldman will be studied; followed by electronic and minimal works of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, David Behrman, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier Robert Ashley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Arthur Russell, John Zorn, Julius Eastman and including discussions of recent work by composers, performers, and sound artists such as Pamela Z, Tristan Perich, Jacob Cooper, Lesley Flanigan,  Nick Hallett, Jace Clayton (DJ /rupture), Jennifer Walshe, and Object Collection. The course includes lectures, demonstrations, and performances, occasionally by guest lecturers.

Volunteering Opportunities in Middletown Involving Language Acquisition

Volunteer with ESL (English as a Second Language) children in the Middletown Public School System

Provide academic instruction and support to children at Woodrow Wilson Middle School as they continue to hone their English language skills.  Help with day to day assignments and classroom activities

  • Knowledge of Spanish / Arabic preferred, but not required
  • Minimum commitment: ~2 hours per week, between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm (WWMS school hours), preferably over the whole 2017-2018 academic year

Informational meeting: Have pizza with the middle schoolers you’ll be assisting!
Friday Sept. 15, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Highwaymen Common Room
Dept. Romance Languages & Literatures (300 High St)

For further information, please contact Phoebe Howe (phhowe@wesleyan.edu)

Teach elementary Spanish / French to Middletown children (ages 4-7) at the Russell Library (“Speak like Babar” / “Speak like Dora”)

  • Limited to 4 volunteers who will be enrolled in a French/Spanish class 221 or above (2 French/2 Spanish)
  • Commitment: 1 hour on Saturday (12-2 pm, October and November), plus several sessions to prepare lessons

Informational meeting
Friday Sept. 8, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
127 Downey House

For further information, please contact Prof. Ana Pérez-Gironés (aperezgirone@wesleyan.edu )

Take the Winter Session/Summer Session Course Survey

Take the Winter Session/Summer Session Course Survey!

Student feedback is the most important tool we have to build the winter session and summer session curricula. Take the course survey before Friday (9/1) and you’ll be entered in a raffle to win a prize from RJ Julia! If you have any questions or would like to offer additional feedback about winter session or summer session courses, contact winter@wesleyan.edu or call 860-685-2005.

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:

https://iasext.wesleyan.edu/regprod/!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: http://gregkotis.com/

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 seismont@wesleyan.edu 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
https://iasext.wesleyan.edu/regprod/!wesmaps_page.html?stuid=&facid=NONE&crse=015041&term=1179

Description:
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: artofdoingapplication@gmail.com

Only applications sent from wesleyan.edu 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.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/blu-blak-losangeles#/