Faculty-Staff Achievements, March 24, 2014
Dan Nathan, associate professor and chair, Department of American Studies, was co-leader (with Joseph Bruchac) of a discussion March 29 on the film Freedom Riders at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. The film was one of four presented during the library’s “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle.” The series is part of the Bridging Cultures initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to encourage public conversations about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America.
Gregory Spinner, visiting assistant professor of religion, was the featured speaker March 23 in a “Town and Gown” program hosted by Saratoga Film Forum. He spoke following the screening of the film The Rabbi’s Cat (Le chat du rabbin), an animated movie based on the comic book series by Joann Sfar. Spinner called the film one of his favorites. He is also a co-curator of the current Tang Museum exhibition “Graphic Jews: Negotiating Identity in Sequential Art,” open until April 13. The film forum’s “Town and Gown” series introduces moviegoers to film-savvy scholars from area colleges whose work has been profoundly shaped by the movies.
Gordon Thompson, professor and chair, Department of Music, lectured on “Beatlemania! The Rise of the Beatles, 1963” Feb. 24 at Union College, Schenectady, as part of its Taylor Time series. This lecture focused on the cultural contexts of the band’s unprecedented emergence from a regional act to national celebrities. He was also a guest speaker for the symposium titled “Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles in Text and Image” on March 1 at the Kislak Center, the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. His paper, “Reconstructing Abbey Road: History, Mnemohistory and Memories of Working with the Beatles,” delved into the nature of collective memory and the recording of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
Jay Rogoff, visiting assistant professor of English, is the author of a fifth book of poems, titled Venera, published this month by Louisiana State University Press. According to the publisher, “The poem’s in Venera explore varieties of love, both sacred and profane, by drawing from the natural world. Personal intimacy, and the human imagination as evoked in Biblical narratives and art.” Read more here.
Linda Simon, professor emerita of English, is the author of “Battling the Invincible Predator” published in the Journal of American Culture, Vol. 37, Issue 1, March 2014.
Mary Zeiss Stange, professor of women’s studies and religion and director of the religion program, is one of two senior scholars aligned with the Center for Humans and Nature—a Chicago-based environmental think-tank—and its newly launched essay series, “Does Hunting Make Us Human?”
Under the rubric “Expanding Our Natural and Civic Imagination,” the center offers “questions for a resilient future” designed to “probe assumptions about nature and humanity’s place within it.” The first such question—“Does hunting make us human?”—features essays by Stange and fellow senior scholar Jan Dizard, Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of American Culture at Amherst College. Over the course of the next several months, twenty more responses to the question will appear from an array of writers and scholars, with online contributions from readers.
In the News
Ron Seyb, Joseph C. Palamountain Jr. Professor of Government, was interviewed March 20 on WNYT-TV regarding the Obama Administration’s sanctions against Russia in retaliation for the situation in Crimea.