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Wed April 1, 2015
  • Uncharted Waters Theme Dinner

    5–7:30 p.m.
    Murray-Aikins Dining Hall

    Inspired by pirates, mermaids, and Captain Cook, Dining Services is pulling out the stops for its April 1 theme dinner.

    Start with pirates, mermaids, and bioluminescent fish. Throw in a coral reef, a scavenger hunt, surfboards, and navigating by the stars. Add delectable exotic foods. Now you have an idea of what’s in store at the Uncharted Waters dinner that—with the help of 20 Honors Forum students—will kick off SkidGenuity on Wednesday, April 1.

    It started when Bonnie Bertrand, a veteran theme-dinner planner as Dining Services’ assistant supervisor for catering and special events, told history professor Tillman Nechtman of her idea for a pirate-themed dinner, and he told her about his popular Scribner Seminar “Sailing the Seas with Captain Cook.” Together they hatched the Uncharted Waters theme.

    Nechtman’s aim in the course is to give students a keen sense of what it actually must have been like to be a member of Cook’s crew, visiting strange new lands and living for months on end in a three-masted schooner. Nechtman right away saw the dinner as an opportunity to share with a larger audience some of the academic content his students generated last fall in the course, which focuses on the three historic voyages Cook led into the Pacific in the late 1700s.

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    Cook’s missions encompassed science, exploration, and empire. He and his crew torpedoed such geographical myths as the “Great Southern Continent” and “Northwest Passage.” They tested the elements, sailing further south into the Antarctic than any European ship had dared to go. And they changed European perceptions of time itself as the first sailors to use an accurate nautical timepiece, a “chronometer” they called K1.

    “They left behind a world they called ‘modern’ and met diverse peoples—aboriginal Australians, New Zealand Maoris, Alaskan Inuits, and South Pacific islanders—who lived very much in the ‘past,’” notes Nechtman. “They crossed space, time, cultures, and the known and the unknown. At some point during the semester, someone always says, ‘This course isn't really about Captain Cook, is it? It’s about us.’”

    Nechtman’s seminar students are working with him on the dinner—along with five students of English professor Catherine Golden, who played a key role in last year’s Alice in Wonderland–themed dinner, and history professor Erica Bastress-Dukehart, who happens to have a special interest in sea monsters.

    Nechtman asked the students to pick a maritime subject and figure out a creative way to represent it in a display or interaction in Murray-Aikins Dining Hall. So it is that Andrei Tuluca ’18 will focus on bioluminescence, Alexis Traussi ’17 will work on maps and charts, Emily Meagher ’18 will cover 18th-century technologies used in navigation, and others will focus on staying healthy on a long voyage, seafaring songs of the late 1700s, and early modes of Polynesian surfing.

    Great food, of course, will be the centerpiece of the event, and Dining Services is pulling out the stops to imaginatively and deliciously reinforce the theme. For appetizers, look for fried calamari and a “marsh bar” featuring steamed clams, mussels, and shrimp. Entrees will include blue-corn–crusted mahi mahi, tacos with pineapple and coconut salsa, rum-glazed flank steak, and coffee-brine roasted pork shoulder with a sweet potato and plantain mash. For dessert, you’ll find key lime pie and pineapple upside-down cake. And don’t miss the “anti-scurvy bar,” featuring three citrus drinks.

    Theme dinners “always offer a lot of great interaction with students,” says Frank Esposito, Dining Services production manager. “There are a lot of moving parts that really get us going. It’s pretty cool how it all comes together.”

  • Bryan Stevenson: Just Mercy

    7 p.m.
    Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall

    Bryan Stevenson grew up poor in Delaware. His great-grandparents had been slaves in Virginia. His grandfather was murdered in a Philadelphia housing project.

    Living in Atlanta in his 20s, Stevenson was sitting in his car in front of his apartment listening to the radio one evening when a police SWAT unit shined a light inside and pulled a gun. "Move and I’ll blow your head off!" an officer shouted. Stevenson says the officers suspected him of theft and threatened him—because he is black.

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    That incident has fueled Stevenson’s drive to challenge racial bias and economic inequities in the U.S. justice system. He is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges, eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. A Harvard Law School graduate and recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, he has argued six cases before the Supreme Court.

    In his April 1 lecture, “Mercy, Redemption and Restorative Justice for the Condemned,” Stevenson will share the story he tells in a TED talk that has registered more than 2 million views and in Just Mercy, his critically acclaimed memoir, which one reviewer described as “an inspiring story of unbreakable humanity in the most desperate circumstances, and a powerful indictment of our broken justice system and the twisted values that allow it to continue.”

  • Government Department Lecture

    5:30 p.m.
    Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall

    "Boko Haram in Nigeria and the New World (Dis)Order," by Megan Turnbull of Brown University.

    Conducting field research in Nigeria since 2011, Turnbull is exploring subnational variation in state responses to militias, looking specifically at cases of collaboration, toleration, and repression.

  • Great Saratoga Chip-fest

    11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
    Murray-Aikins Dining Hall

    Are you an adventurous snacker? Here’s a chance to find out.

    Go to Murray-Aikins Dining Hall at the lunch hour Wednesday, April 1, and you'll find a clearly marked Saratoga Chips table where you can sample the most innovative chip flavors on the market—“from brands sold right here in Saratoga to chips from Korea,” says Lyssa Jackson ’16.

    “We’ll be introducing the Skidmore community to adventurous flavors like sriracha and cheddar-beer,” says Jackson. “We’ll also be inviting ideas for innovative new flavors, any of which have the potential to become new products.” At the end of their sampling, tasters will take a brief survey.

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    “The goal is to find out what flavors really excite Skidmore students, and create bagfuls of ideas for new flavors,” says Yoon Young Sim ’16, who will be bringing bags of Korea’s most popular honey-butter chips.

    Jackson and Sim are joined by Peter LaChance ’16 and Carol Li ’15 on the Saratoga Chips consulting team under the aegis of the Skidmore-Saratoga Consulting Partnership (SSCP). The team will offer its client a comprehensive strategy for raising brand awareness, entering the nationwide market, expanding flavor offerings, and selling to Millennials. A key challenge is to strategize how an association with Saratoga Springs can translate into a successful brand identity nationwide. SSCP has a track record here, having successfully consulted with the Saratoga Spring Water Company on its national expansion last year.

    This semester SSCP is also consulting with the Children’s Museum of Saratoga and the Marketplace on Broadway. All three teams will present their research and recommendations at Academic Festival this spring as well as to the executives and boards of their clients.

    SSCP is the public face of MB360, a service-learning course that provides pro bono business consulting to the wider community. Executive-in-Residence Colleen Burke directs SSCP and works closely with its student managers, Ezra Levy ’15 and Lauren Alexander ’15, to assure that it fulfills its mission “to enable the region’s for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises to realize their potential and achieve their goals—creative thought creating value.”

Thu April 2, 2015
  • Cabaret Troupe

    7 p.m.
    Free and open to the public
    Filene Recital Hall

    The student musicians, actors, directors, and crew of Cabaret Troupe present the musical Urinetown, a satire of capitalism and bureaucracy, with characters such as Penelope Pennywise, police officers Lockstock and Barrel, and Little Becky Two Shoes.

  • Lecture: Realms of Earth and Sky

    7 p.m.
    Tang Museum

    Four centuries of South Asian art

    Realms of Earth and Sky, a Tang Teaching Museum exhibition of South Asian paintings from the 15th to the 19th century, will be the focus of tours, lectures, and even a workshop on miniature painting.

    From the opulence of the Mughal court to stories of gods in human form, from battle scenes to intimate depictions of courtly love, the 43 historic paintings in the show offer visitors a chance to explore important cultural narratives that remain central to many belief systems on the Indian subcontinent. Portraiture, religious and literary texts, ragamala paintings, and works from both Mughal and Rajput traditions are represented in meticulously rendered tableaux contained in the small scale of manuscript or album pages.

    Leading scholars of Rajput painting—Molly Aitken from the City College of New York and Dipti Khera from New York University—will lecture on pleasure in South Asian painting. The lecture is made possible by the Alfred Z. Solomon Residency Fund.

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    “Their small scale actually makes them very powerful,” says Tang curator Rachel Seligman ’91. “The size, the detail, and the luscious colors create great intensity,” she says. The Malloy Wing galleries have been painted and lit to offer a feeling of warmth and intimacy for exploring works that originally would have been held in one’s hands.

    Art history professor Saleema Waraich, a specialist in South Asia, notes that “South Asian artists were not interested, consciously, in realism as a pictorial mode of representation.” Also, because the works illuminate important texts—“religious manuscripts, literary ones, and there are even several paintings that come out of representation of musical modes”—they offer rich opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

    Other related events:

    Artists’ Talk

    Artists Talha Rathore and Hiba Schahbaz will speak on the traditional techniques in Realms of Earth and Sky and how each has modernized and personalized them in her own practice. A specialist in miniature painting who studied at Pakistan’s National College of Arts, Rathore poetically describes dichotomies and anxieties in her work—for example, between the natural and the manmade, or between being an immigrant and feeling as if she belongs. Schahbaz, who also studied at Pakistan’s National College of Arts as well as Pratt Institute, investigates issues of self-identification: “By observing the symbolism and iconography of the cultures around me, I construct imagery that fuses the real with the imagined.” Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., Tang Museum

    Workshop

    Artists Talha Rathore and Hiba Schahbaz will offer two miniature-painting workshops. Admission is free but space is limited and reservations are required: call 518-580-8080. Friday, April 17, noon–2 p.m. and 2:30–4:30 p.m., Tang Museum

  • Sociology Department Lecture

    6:45 p.m.
    Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall

    "A Generation Indebted: Student Loan Debt and the Pursuit of the American Dream," by Jason Houle of Dartmouth College

    Houle is interested in disparities in mental health and well-being, social stratification and mobility, and life-course sociology. Cosponsored by Student Affairs and the Department of Sociology.

  • Tour: Realms of Earth and Sky

    6 p.m.
    Tang Museum

    Four centuries of South Asian art

    Realms of Earth and Sky, a Tang Teaching Museum exhibition of South Asian paintings from the 15th to the 19th century, will be the focus of tours, lectures, and even a workshop on miniature painting.

    From the opulence of the Mughal court to stories of gods in human form, from battle scenes to intimate depictions of courtly love, the 43 historic paintings in the show offer visitors a chance to explore important cultural narratives that remain central to many belief systems on the Indian subcontinent. Portraiture, religious and literary texts, ragamala paintings, and works from both Mughal and Rajput traditions are represented in meticulously rendered tableaux contained in the small scale of manuscript or album pages.

    Gabriela Perez-Dietz ’15, an art history and anthropology double major, will lead a tour of the show with art-history faculty member Saleema Waraich. Perez-Dietz has been closely studying Realms of Earth and Sky for an independent study project.

    Read More

    “Their small scale actually makes them very powerful,” says Tang curator Rachel Seligman ’91. “The size, the detail, and the luscious colors create great intensity,” she says. The Malloy Wing galleries have been painted and lit to offer a feeling of warmth and intimacy for exploring works that originally would have been held in one’s hands.

    Art history professor Saleema Waraich, a specialist in South Asia, notes that “South Asian artists were not interested, consciously, in realism as a pictorial mode of representation.” Also, because the works illuminate important texts—“religious manuscripts, literary ones, and there are even several paintings that come out of representation of musical modes”—they offer rich opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

    Other related events:

    Lecture

    Leading scholars of Rajput painting—Molly Aitken from the City College of New York and Dipti Khera from New York University—will lecture on pleasure in South Asian painting. The lecture is made possible by the Alfred Z. Solomon Residency Fund. Thursday, April 2, 7 p.m., Tang Museum

    Artists’ Talk

    Artists Talha Rathore and Hiba Schahbaz will speak on the traditional techniques in Realms of Earth and Sky and how each has modernized and personalized them in her own practice. A specialist in miniature painting who studied at Pakistan’s National College of Arts, Rathore poetically describes dichotomies and anxieties in her work—for example, between the natural and the manmade, or between being an immigrant and feeling as if she belongs. Schahbaz, who also studied at Pakistan’s National College of Arts as well as Pratt Institute, investigates issues of self-identification: “By observing the symbolism and iconography of the cultures around me, I construct imagery that fuses the real with the imagined.” Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., Tang Museum

    Workshop

    Artists Talha Rathore and Hiba Schahbaz will offer two miniature-painting workshops. Admission is free but space is limited and reservations are required: call 518-580-8080. Friday, April 17, noon–2 p.m. and 2:30–4:30 p.m., Tang Museum

Fri April 3, 2015
  • Cabaret Troupe

    7 p.m.
    Free and open to the public
    Filene Recital Hall

    The student musicians, actors, directors, and crew of Cabaret Troupe present the musical Urinetown, a satire of capitalism and bureaucracy, with characters such as Penelope Pennywise, police officers Lockstock and Barrel, and Little Becky Two Shoes.

  • Senior Dance Capstones

    8 p.m.
    Free and open to the public
    Dance Theater

    Senior dance majors Kelly Polhemus, Anastasia Eckerson, and John Li will perform solos by professional choreographers, while Connor Milligan and Nikhita Winkler will have their choreography performed by student dancers.

Sat April 4, 2015
  • Cabaret Troupe

    7 p.m.
    Free and open to the public
    Filene Recital Hall

    The student musicians, actors, directors, and crew of Cabaret Troupe present the musical Urinetown, a satire of capitalism and bureaucracy, with characters such as Penelope Pennywise, police officers Lockstock and Barrel, and Little Becky Two Shoes.

  • Senior Dance Capstones

    2 and 8 p.m.
    Free and open to the public
    Dance Theater

    Senior dance majors Kelly Polhemus, Anastasia Eckerson, and John Li will perform solos by professional choreographers, while Connor Milligan and Nikhita Winkler will have their choreography performed by student dancers.

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