Israeli Film Festival: “Intimate Grammar” — March 1

Intimate Grammar, a film adaptation by director Nir Bergman, based upon the renowned author David Grossman’s book, will be the fifth film screened in The Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival on Thursday, March 1 at the Goldsmith Family Cinema at 8 p.m. This film explores the metaphoric and emotional field of grammar through a 12 year old boy, Aharon, who refuses to grow up. Film critic Laura Blum will deliver a talk entitled The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up as well as conduct a question/answer session after the screening.

The film is 110 minutes and has English subtitles. Admission is free and all are welcomed. 

Please note that our last screening will take place on Thursday, March 29 at the Goldsmith Family Cinema at 8 P.M. Film director and Wesleyan University Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Dani Menkin, will comment upon his movie Je T’aime, I Love Terminal as well as take questions from the audience. 

I hope to see you at the movies,

 Dalit Katz, Religion Department, Jewish and Israel Studies Certificate Program,Director of the Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival

“Is the University Universal?” by Prof. Neha Vora ’96 — 2/28

Is the University Universal?: South Asian Diasporas and Globalized Education in the Gulf Arab States

Neha Vora
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University
Tuesday February 28, 4:30-6:00pm
Russell House

A graduate of Wesleyan’s Feminism, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Prof. Vora is currently an assistant professor of anthropology and women’s studies at Texas A&M University.  Her book “Impossible Citizens: Dubai’s Indian Diaspora” is forthcoming with Duke University Press. Prof. Vora’s talk is sponsored by the South Asia Studies program, the Feminism, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, and the Middle East Studies program.
Talk Description
Extreme budget cuts, corporate partnerships, and neoliberalization of education have left many scholars wondering about the future of American universities. In particular, what will happen to liberal arts curricula, academic freedom, diversity, and critical thinking within higher education? The proliferation of branch campuses, particularly in Gulf Arab cities like Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai have added to these questions. This paper explores, through the experiences of South Asian diasporic youth in Dubai, some of the early impacts of this new distributed knowledge economy on forms of identification, belonging, and citizenship in the Gulf Arab States.

Neha Vora’s research focuses on forms of citizenship, belonging, and exclusion within the contemporary Gulf Arab States. In particular, she explores how economic, political, and social changes in countries like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar shape the on-the-ground experiences of the large Indian diaspora residing in the region. Although many accounts of migrants in these countries emphasize their lack of belonging, since legal citizenship is mostly unattainable, Dr. Vora’s research follows anthropological and interdisciplinary scholarship that multiplies and expands the concept of citizenship to include different forms and scales, including urban, diasporic, transnational, flexible, and substantive.

Be A Senior Interviewer! Info Sessions 2/29 and 3/1

Dear members of the Class of 2013,

The Admission Office is beginning the hiring process for the 2012-2013 Senior Interviewer position.  As many of you are aware, this position has direct impact on leaving your legacy at Wesleyan and shaping who will be in the freshman class. A brief job description includes: 

  •  interview prospective students in the summer and/or fall
  • Co-lead information sessions with Admission Deans to prospective students and families
  • Provide support during WesFest and other special events in the fall and spring
  • Other office tasks as needed such as data entry and answering phone calls/emails

We will have two open information sessions, Wednesday, February 29 at 12pm and Thursday, March 1at 12pm, where we will go over details of the position and answer questions. Current Senior Interviewers will also be there to answer your questions.  Both meetings will be held at the Office of Admission in the McKelvey Room and Beach Conference Room, respectively.

 Please see your e-mail of 2/21 for an attached application.  Note that the application deadlines for students on campus and for those studying abroad are Monday, March 19 & Monday, August 13 at 5pm, respectively. If you are unable to attend either of the two information sessions and would like to learn more about the position, I would encourage you to speak with any of our current Senior Interviewers or email me at

 For those of you who are abroad but can correspond by email, you’ll find pictures, profiles, and email addresses of the current crop at: .

Those on-campus candidates we would like to invite to participate in the first round of group interviews, during the lunch hours of the week of March 26 – March 30, will be notified by email on Thursday, March 22.  I hope this information is helpful. I look forward to getting to know a number of you better in the coming weeks. 

All the best, LaShawn Springer, Assistant Dean of Admission, (860) 685-2639


Invite a Faculty Member to Lunch!

This is a reminder about the Daniel Family Commons Free Lunch Program.  This program is intended to promote informal faculty-student interaction outside the classroom. We have provided each faculty member with vouchers that enable them to take small groups of students to lunch at the Daniel Family Commons in the Usdan Center, and my office is making these same vouchers available directly to you!  Each voucher covers the cost of lunch for a faculty member and up to three students.

 Please consider inviting your favorite faculty member to lunch, and stop by my office (220 North College) to pick up a voucher.

 Bon appétit!  Dean Mike Whaley

“Digging Together: Community Archaeology” — The Berman Triangle Sat., Feb. 25

Students are invited to a symposium called ‘Digging Together. Community Archaeology: Practice and Potential.’ It will be held  Saturday February 25 from 1pm to 4pm at the former Cross Street AME Zion Church (160 Cross St, just down from Neon Deli, opposite the Freeman Athletic Center). The forum will be This is being held in advance of beginning excavations on the ‘Beman Triangle’ (between Vine, Cross, and Knowles) in partnership with the Cross Street AME Zion Church this April. The project is being run as a service learning class where Wesleyan students are putting into practice the principles of shared partnerships through community archaeology as they learn about the history of the Beman Triangle and the methods of archaeology. This site is of national importance, as it was a planned mid-nineteenth century settlement of property owning African Americans. Here members of the AME Zion Church community (Middletown’s was the third such Church to form) managed to live successful lives in the face of racist oppression at a national and local level. The excavations will explore the material remains of the daily lives of these households.

 At the symposium, the  three speakers will be discussing projects which work in collaboration between communities and archaeologists to engage in archaeological projects which produce exciting research outcomes, but in partnership with communities and which also engage with their own interests in specific sites.

 Further details about the symposium are online, along with more details of the Beman Triangle archaeology Project:


Celebrating Students ’13: Martin Kafina

I spent my summer interning with Yale Professor Nihal deLanerolle, who also teaches Neuroscience courses at Wesleyan.  After taking his class, “Functional Anatomy of the Brain,” I became interested in his research involving temporal lobe epilepsy and worked in his lab this past summer at the neurosurgery department of the Yale University School of Medicine.  I worked with a rodent population to localize and measure the affects of cellular damage from temporal lobe epilepsy.  In particular I learned about staining and subsequent microscopic examination techniques that can be performed on hippocampal sections to analyze the processes involved in inhibiting the physiologic effects of epilepsy.

 About 40 million people have epilepsy, and medical or surgical treatment is only effective in 45%. The pathology is not fully understood, but a history of febrile seizures in early childhood is common in temporal lobe epilepsy.  There seems to be neuronal loss in the hippocampus and reorganization of neural circuits.  Hopefully, elucidating certain molecular pathways involved with temporal lobe epilepsy will give us a handle on future treatments.       
Subletting an apartment on Yale’s campus in downtown New Haven, I had a change of scenery from my hometown of Lincoln, MA.  During my 8 week stay, I explored the city, met new people, and trained for the winter swim season.  Overall, life in New Haven and my work at Yale was a great experience.  It showed me the dedication of the Neuroscientists in the lab, and reinforced my belief that I made the right decision in choosing the Neuroscience and Behavior major at Wesleyan.

Playwriting Conference and Events — 2/23-26

The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the Center for African American Studies, the Center for the Arts, the Theater Department, the Writing Program, and Yale School of Drama have joined forces to present a week of events that highlight the art of playwriting. The series of talks, performances, and readings culminate in Wesleyan’s first conference on playwriting pedagogy and creative processes. Though the conference is closed to participants, all events are open to the public and several are free—so please help us spread the word!
Claudia (Theater Department)
Friday to Sunday, February 24-26
Playwriting Conference:
Contemporary Conventions, Cultural Innovations, Playful Traditions
The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life
Conference curators: Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento (Theater Department) and Ken Prestininzi (Yale School of Drama).
International guests: Brazilian playwright Newton Moreno and theater scholar Alberto Tibaji.
Participants: Migdalia Cruz (NO Passport), Erik Ehn (Brown University), Marcus Gardley (Hartford Stage, Brown University), Quiara Alegría Hudes (Wesleyan University,
In the Heights), Elizabeth Jackson (Wesleyan University), Matthew Maguire (New Dramatists, Fordham University), Deb Margolin (New Dramatists, Yale University), Charlotte Meehan (Wheaton College), Frank Pugliese (Yale University), Lucy Thurber (New Dramatists, Sarah Lawrence College), Wesleyan undergraduate playwriting students and members of Captain Partridge, graduate playwriting students from Brown University and Yale School of Drama.

Events calendar:
Monday, February 20
7pm: screening of Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment, CFA Hall. FREE
“Cultural images of black America are tweaked, pulled and twisted like Silly Putty in this subversive, seriously funny new theater piece by the adventurous playwright Young Jean Lee… Ms. Lee sets you thinking about how we unconsciously process experience — at the theater, or in life — through the filter of racial perspective, and how hard it can be to see the world truly in something other than black and white.”
— Charles Isherwood, New York Times
Tuesday, February 21
8pm: an evening talk with Young Jean Lee, Memorial Chapel. FREE

Korean-born and Brooklyn-based playwright and director Young Jean Lee’s works deal with issues such as gender identity and race in unpredictable, inventive and humorous ways. A 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, Ms. Lee founded her own theater company in 2003, swiftly becoming one of this country’s most influential voices in experimental theater.
Thursday, February 23
8pm: An Evening of Spoken Word with Javon Johnson at Crowell Concert Hall
Spoken word/slam poet Javon Johnson merges the sharp criticism of critical race and gender theory with comedy, lyricism and hip-hop rhyme schemes to discuss the power of words, communication and performance. Mr. Johnson has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and BET’s Lyric Cafe, and co-wrote the poetic narration for Showtime’s basketball documentary Crossover.
Friday, February 24, 8pm
Good Goods by Christina Anderson, directed by Tina Landau. Yale Repertory Theatre.

Saturday, February 25
7pm & 10pm: SPILL
, co-created by Leigh Fondakowski and Reeva Wortel
Fayerweather Beckham Hall
A collaboration between writer Leigh Fondakowski (The Laramie Project, The People’s Temple, I Think I Like Girls) and visual artist Reeva Wortel (American Portrait Project), SPILL is a new play and installation that explores the true human and environmental cost of oil. SPILL is based in part on interviews with people from the Gulf Coast of southern Louisiana in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 2010, the largest environmental disaster in United States history.

Sunday, February 26
2pm & 7pm: SPILL
, co-created by Leigh Fondakowski and Reeva Wortel
Fayerweather Beckham Hall

Israeli Academic Award-winning “Restoration” — 2/23 at 8 p.m.

Restoration, nominated for 11 Israeli Academy Awards, in its Connecticut premiere, will debut as part of the Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival on Goldsmith Family Cinema  at Thursday, February 23 at 8 P.M.  Restoration, “marked by disquietly beautiful imagery” and “a handsome production of intriguing and perhaps incongruous surfaces” (Variety), is a new film from director Yossi Madmoni, and the only Israeli picture to be named as an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film centers on Mr. Fidelman’s attachment to his antique restoration workshop. After his longtime business partner dies, Fidelman rejects his son’s idea to sell his business in order to build an apartment complex on the site. Fidelman believes that with the help of his new apprentice, Anton, he will find a way to save and preserve his shop as well as his solitary world. Peter Gedrys, a professional restorer for more than 25 years, will deliver a talk Restoration: Embracing the Past While Creating the Future.

 The film is 105 minutes and has English subtitles. Admission is free and all are welcomed.

 Please mark your calendar for the screening of the adaptation of David Grossman’s novel Intimate Grammar by film director Nir Bergamn on Thursday,  March 1 at the Goldsmith family Cinema at 8 p.m.

I hope to see you and your students at the movies, Dalit Katz,

UCAB Events This Week — 2/23-25

Upcoming UCAB events:  

  • ·        Thursday 2/23: Massage Night. You desperately need a study break, but you can’t rationally justify one. We can though. Feeling knotty? Need a good back rub? Want to reach a state of absolute zen and focus? Let us knead your troubles away in the most productive break of the year yet.  Please arrive at 8:30pm in the Daniel Family Commons to sign-up for a massages. First come, first serve. These spots tend to fill up within seconds.
  • ·         Friday 2/24: The Help. “The Help” a movie about an aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid’s point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. 10pm in the West Dining Bay.
  • ·        Saturday 2/25: Sumo Wrestling. Release some stress and battle your fellow peers in authentic sumo wrestling suits! 11:59pm in the Usdan Café.

Don’t forget to like us on facebook and follow us on twitter (/wesusdan).