From James Hall ’15:
Wesleyan will host The New York Times’ Amanda Cox, who will give a talk on “Data Visualization at the New York Times.” Cox has been an essential part of one of the most interesting developments in contemporary journalism, the growth of data journalism, which in the innovative contexts of papers such as the Times and the Guardian have brought the analytic edge of social science back into journalism, most often by uniting it with powerful images. As Wesleyan prepares to launch its own data journalism course next year Cox, who teaches such a course at NYU, couldn’t be a more timely speaker.
Place: Russell House
We somehow missed this in our Courses of Interest Spring 2014 post, but NY Times co-chief film critic A.O. Scott is teaching a course called “The Art of Film Criticism” next semester. This was verified by President Michael Roth’s Facebook status:
The course requires a POI (granted by the Film Studies Dept Chair Jeanine Basinger) and is open only to film majors, so you probably won’t be taking it. The description of the course:
This course will consider film criticism as a literary genre and an intellectual discipline, with the goal of helping students develop strong writerly voices and aesthetic points of view. Readings will include important critics of the past–including James Agee, Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael and Susan Sontag–and examples of criticism as it is currently practiced, with special attention to digital media. Writing assignments will focus on the techniques and challenges of analyzing complex works of art concisely and on deadline.
Former WESU personalities Aliza Simons ’09 and Dave Ruder ’05 write in from beyond the void (there’s life out there, it seems, if you look hard enough) about a pretty cool project they’re involved with this week. The two are members of composer-performer collective Varispeed which, just last week, performed a newly arranged rendition of composer Robert Ashley’s 1983 television opera Perfect Lives. (Ashley’s name should be familiar to students of Intro to Experimental Music: the acclaimed composer was a member, along with Alvin Lucier and others, of the Sonic Arts Union collective, and his pieces have been prominently featured in Lucier’s syllabus.)
“Dave and I were both members of WESU Middletown 88.1, too, where we both found a lot of inspiration,” Simons writes. The project was featured this week in a NYT article examining new interpretations of Ashley’s work. (Not that the 81-year-old isn’t still active in the scene.) For an excerpt: