Category Archives: Alumni

What’s Going On in the Film Department?

“There has long been an inequality of opportunity within the film industry, and we know diversifying the film industry begins within our education at Wesleyan.”

On March 28, students from the University’s College of Film and the Moving Image released a letter, along with a list of signatures and testimonies, expressing dissatisfaction with aspects of Wesleyan’s Film Studies department. The letter called for systematic changes to the ways in which the department operates, including hiring three tenure-track professors (prioritizing women and POC), offering more diverse courses within the department, and reforming disciplinary procedures so that they are less reliant on “blanket threats” to drop students from the major or drop their theses.

The letter, which has been in the works since February, was a collaboration between a group of current film students – both majors and minors – as well as prospective film students. Before it was put into wide circulation on March 28, the letter was shared amongst students and alumni of the Film Studies department, along with a call for signatures and personal testimonies to present to the CFILM faculty. (From email circulation and tabling in Usdan, the letter received 175 signatures and eight accompanying testimonies.)

Read the full letter and testimonies after the jump:

Kool A.D. Brought His Kid to Wesleyan and Performed and There Were Lots of Zines at the Concert

“My Liberal University Cemented My Loyalty to Show Ponies” – Zine title

koolad

It has been 5 years since Das Racist broke up. And it has been almost 2 months since Heems added Wesleying on LinkedIn (see screenshot), and only 22 days since he started working for AGW Group, a Brooklyn-based marketing company. But this post isn’t about him.

heemsIt’s about Kool A.D., a different third of Das Racist. He’s coming off an exceptionally prolific 2016. He released 10 mixtapes in 2016, one of which had 100 tracks, as I previously mentioned on this website. He also published a book of 100 vignettes. 

Kool A.D. (or Victor Vasquez ’06) came back to campus this past Saturday to perform in Malcolm X House for the 2017 Disorientation Guide release party. His wife, Saba Moeel (aka CULT DAYS) opened for him, and they also brought their kid. This post is a retelling of what happened. I am really not fooling you. That’s all that it is.

Oh and also: there are 9 startlingly radical zines (which I received at the concert) that are embedded in this post as html flipbooks.

Overcoats Perform on NPR’s All Songs Considered

Overcoats perform a Tiny Desk Concert on March 1, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

As the electronic duo OvercoatsHana Elion ’15 and JJ Mitchell ’15 are quickly making a name for themselves in the indie music world. Yesterday they performed on NPR as part of All Songs Considered‘s Tiny Desk Concert series, which is a pretty big deal given who else has been featured. They also performed at this year’s South By Southwest festival earlier this month.

In their Wesleyan days, Overcoats played everywhere from Earth House’s intimate living room to the Spring Fling stage. Even as undergrads, their combination of sparse electronics and warm vocal harmonies allowed them to occupy a unique space in the campus music scene. Now, they’re looking forward to their debut album, Young, which comes out April 21.

You can watch Overcoats’ full Tiny Desk concert after the jump:

Screening of “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA”

making a killingFrom the Center for Film Studies:

Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA examines how guns, and the billions of dollars made from them, affect the lives of everyday Americans. It exposes the ways powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting responsible legislation for the sake of profit. Producer Tara Vajra ’10 will host a Q&A after the screening.

Date: Tomorrow – Tuesday, March 7th
Time: 8pm
Place: The Center for Film Studies

Seniors – Apply to be the Ford Fellow!

sdadadasFrom Gabriel Borelli ’16:

Hey, seniors! Has the job panic set in yet? There’s an excellent opportunity right here at Wesleyan for any graduate interested in writing and invested in writers.

Do you have excellent editing and interpersonal skills? Are you interested in the fields of teaching or publishing/editing? Would you like to begin your post-graduate career with a prestigious fellowship? If so, apply to be a Ford Fellow in the Writing Programs for the 2017-2018 academic year!

In an administrative role, the Ford Fellow assists in running the university’s Writing Workshop and supporting the First Year Seminar program. The Fellow’s teaching responsibilities include helping to train the university’s student writing tutors, designing and leading the seminar for veteran tutors, developing workshops and tutoring services for first-year students and other campus communities, and serving as the university’s senior writing tutor. The Ford Fellow will be instrumental in designing and updating the web page of writing resources for the entire Wesleyan community.

The Fellowship also includes a generous stipend, and the Fellow has graduate student status and is eligible to take two courses.

Please email the following application materials to Professor Meg Weisberg, Interim Director of Academic Writing (mweisberg[at]wesleyan[dot]edu)

  • A letter of interest explaining your academic experience and future plans
  • A transcript
  • A resume
  • Two academic papers, preferably with grades and the instructors’ comments
  • The names of two faculty members who can serve as references. Your references will be contacted if you are a finalist.

Applications are due MARCH 13, 2017 by 4:30 p.m. and interviews scheduled thereafter.

Deadline: Monday, March 13th at 4:30pm

More information here.

Queer Past, Queer Future

Alumni Jennifer Boylan ’80 and Alexander Chee ’89 read recent work, discuss queer lives and storytelling, and share their own experiences as LGBT writers at Wesleyan.

Jennifer Boylan, a professor at Barnard College, is the author of 15 books, including She’s Not There, the first bestselling work by a transgender American, and I’m Looking Through You, which contains a chapter on Wesleyan. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and currently serves as the national co-chair of GLAAD, the media advocacy nonprofit for LGBTQ people. Her new novel, Long Black Veil, is forthcoming in April 2017.

Alexander Chee teaches fiction writing and the essay at Dartmouth College. He is the author of the novels Edinburgh (Welcome Rain, 2001; Picador, 2002) and The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). Edinburgh, which partly takes place at Wesleyan, won the Iowa Writers’ Workshop’s Michener Copernicus Prize in Fiction, the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Editor’s Choice Prize, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Literary Award.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library with support from Academic Affairs.

Date: Friday, March 3rd
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library

What Can You Do with Anthropology? Alumni Panel + Open House

Alumni Panel-1

From Professor Margot Weiss:

What can you do after graduation with a degree in Anthropology? Come hear four recent Wes Alumni talk about life after Wesleyan!

Friday, February 17, 2017
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Russell House
reception with snacks to follow — department faculty will also be on hand to answer questions about the major.

Featuring:
Mariama Eversley ’14, Embedded Historian Fellow for Blights Out in New Orleans
Promiti Islam ’08, National Training Specialist at the Posse Foundation in New York City
Michele Ko ’16, Government Relations Associate at Planned Parenthood of New York City
Katie McConnell ’13, Master of Environmental Science candidate at Yale’s School of Forestry

Contact Prof. Margot Weiss with any questions! Click here for more.

Date: Friday, February 17, 2017

Time: 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Place: Russell House

Emma Starer Gross ’15 and Ananya Menon ’15 Change the Landscape of Children’s Entertainment with New Webseries

“Jeanine Basinger personally emailed to ask if we’d consider donating the series to Wesleyan’s archives.”

kkbb

Childhood can be a stressful time. On top of endless school days and social politics, children’s brains are often filled with pressing and relevant questions like “how will I make money after losing my job?” or “how do I know if I have an STI?”. Luckily, Emma Starer Gross ’15 and Ananya Menon ’15 are here to help these inquisitive young minds as hosts of their new webseries Kiddie Kiddie Bang Bang. In each episode Emma and Ananya break down a new topic with their wisdom and sage advice. Thankfully, they were able to take time out of doing their important work to answer some of our questions.

Students, Alumni React to Trump’s Muslim Ban

jfk-airport-new-york

Earlier today, thousands gathered at JFK International Airport to protest the detaining of 12 people from the list of seven majority-Muslim countries covered in Trump’s executive order from yesterday. This order has suspended all immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia for the next 90 days, regardless of visa and permanent resident status. The order also bans entry of all refugees for the next 120 days and the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Among those at JFK earlier today was Casey Smith ’17, who gives more information about what’s going on there:

At least a dozen refugees and immigrants from the now-banned Muslim-majority countries were detained by Customs and Border Patrol inside JFK and more–unclear how many–were detained at airports around the country. The protests were posted on Facebook by immigrants’ rights and human rights activists, including Linda Sarsour. Lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project and the ACLU were inside the airport, by the arrivals gate, working to get in touch with the detained refugees. At the time of writing one Iraqi refugee had been released but the others were still detained. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY-7) was inside the airport and at the protests all day to advocate for CBP to release the refugees. Protestors shouted “no ban, no wall” and that immigrants/refugees/Muslims are welcome here.

Smith also said that it is important that those who are directly affected by the ban be centered in conversations about the policy. Read past the jump for reactions to the news:

Concert: Jess Best ’14

jess_best_eventFrom the CFA:

Singer-songwriter Jess Best ’14, now based in Manhattan, returns to Wesleyan to perform her original soul and jazz compositions influenced by Erykah Badu, Joni Mitchell, and Esperanza Spalding. She will be accompanied by Connor Schultze on bass and Paul Bloom on piano.

Date: Sunday, January 29
Time: 3-4:30 PM
Place: Russell House

cfa link

You can listen to Jess Best’s latest album, Kid Again, here.