Your 9AMs will now be earlier. By 10, minutes, yes. But ask me if I get to Pi before my 9AM in time to now make it to an 8:50.
Members of the Education Policy Committee (EPC) sent an all-campus email about the class time shift earlier today. The time shift would shift all morning classes 10 minutes earlier, and all afternoon and evening class times 10 minutes later. This would create a “common time” between 12:10 and 1:20 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and between 11:40 and 1:20 on Tuesdays and Thursdays that will make it easier for faculty to schedule meetings and other things that faculty people do.
The time shift will be part of a pilot program for the next 2 academic years. The email mentions that the class time shift accommodates a time change in the University faculty meeting. The email is included after the break.
Spring break is in view, but here’s one last distraction as you make the final push to tomorrow. If you’ve been feeling frustrated about sexism lately (or just always), this website is probably just going to make you angry, but it’s very interesting. Professor Ben Schmidt of Northeastern recently made an interactive chart allowing you to look at words used to describe professors on RateMyProfessors broken down by gender and department. Read on for some examples, thoughts on methodology, and general fuel for your anti-patriarchal rage.
Interested in Amy Bloom‘s famous Writing for Television class, held this spring? You know you are!
Professor Bloom is now accepting applications atamy[at]amybloom[dot]com. A description is available on WesMaps and all apps are due by November 10th!
Come to Shapiro on Monday night to get the insider scoop on the application process and the class itself. Past syllabi will be available and I’ll be answering questions about POI requests and expectations!
Date: Tonight Time: 7-8 PM Place: Shapiro Creative Writing Center, 167 High Street
“You’re having conversations about movies and about the work and about questions and disagreements… there’s so much that grows out of that so when someone graduates you’re not through talking to them yet about it all.”
Basinger is here pictured in the Goldsmith Family Cinema. This picture was taken from a New York Times Article featuring her book The Star Machine, about the height of the studio system in the 30s through 50s [Source].
As a newly admitted film major, one can imagine the anx-citement surrounding this interview. Jeanine Basinger, who is on record as “one of the most important film scholars alive today” and who built Wesleyan’s world renowned film program from the bottom up, is a name I have learned to revere since day one as a prospective film student. At the scheduled time, I dialed Professor Basinger’s office to be greeted with enthusiasm and an eagerness to get right to business. She expressed her hope that her husband would bring her a cup of coffee amidst her busy workday and we jumped right into the questions. She made the interview very easy for me, answering with depth and segue-ing effortlessly into questions I hadn’t even asked yet. We discussed the establishment of the College of Film and the Moving Image, which was announced just over a year ago, the liberal arts approach to cinema, and her relations with past film majors. By the end of the half hour, I was feeling reenergized, inspired, and more excited than ever to begin my journey as a Wesleyan University film major with Professor Basinger as a guide.
The following is the transcript of our interview, edited for clarity.
Could you tell me about the College of Film and the Moving Image – why the initiative was taken on and what differences it brings to the department?
The interesting thing is that all of the components that make up the college are things that we have in fact been doing for years. The designation of making it into the college is less of a change and more of a recognition of what we are and what we do.
“I know I’m an African-American, and I know I play the saxophone, but I’m not a jazz musician. I’m not a classical musician, either. My music is like my life: It’s in between these areas.”
We have reached the end of an era.
In a chilly, crowded rehearsal hall on December 3, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music AnthonyBraxton ended his last class of the semester, as he has for many years, discussing Ornette Coleman and the politics of being alive. But this was his last class session for undergraduates here at Wes–and after over 40 years of teaching, he’s ready to go. He was near tears as he described how lucky he has been to have worked so closely with so many great masters, and to have had the chance to work with college-age students for so long; his outlook on our generation is refreshing, given all the crap we’ve been getting lately. He expressed amazement at the ability of each generation to “do the work that needs to be done,” and said unequivocally that there is nothing this generation can’t do, if we set out to do it.
Back in February, just before winter storm Nemo crippled most of campus, the CFA Hall hosted “Guns and Gun Violence: Crisis, Policy and Politics,” a panel discussion featuring various visiting scholars. Chaired by Wesleyan’s own Professor of History and African-American Studies Leah Wright, the discussion involved professors Saul Cornell, Kristin A. Goss, and Matthew Miller from Fordham, Duke, and Harvard, respectively—a rather stacked lineup of experts. The room was packed, but in his reflection on the discussion that ensued, Wesleying’s justicedescribed it as an echo chamber of predominantly left-leaning views:
While I will happily advocate for the liberal solution for many issues (with appropriate data as backup), I would also like to hear what people with “non-traditionally-Wesleyan” opinions have to say, especially with an issue as explosive as gun control. And this event would have been a perfect opportunity to bring in a panelist with a non-liberal perspective. But we didn’t. And we can tell ourselves all we want that this was because the “other side” simply isn’t correct, but in the end, that’s the real problem—we’re just talking to ourselves.
If you missed the event but remain interested, the Allbritton Center for Building Names That Sound Like Robots has only recently managed to post the entire thing on YouTube. Judge for yourself—watch it below, or at this link.
Last Thursday after class, I moseyed over to Shanklin 107 (stirring fond memories of freshman year Biodiversity class) for what I took to be a faculty panel discussion on “Transparency, Admissions Policy, and Financial Aid”—more succinctly, need-blind. When the discussion began, Professors Lim, Rouse, and Long, representing varying views, also seemed to interpret it as a cordial panel discussion on the issues surrounding need-blind. Seated at the far end of the panel, though, Professors Glenn and Skillman took it to be a full-throttle, boisterous debate—sparring over the meanings of a need-aware policy, university transparency, and whether or not Wesleyan can afford to remain need-blind (Glenn says yes, Skillman no). Both presented articulate and passionate positions (taking opposite positions), and both got pretty riled up. Suffice it to say audience members (my estimate would be 40 or 45 students) benefited from witnessing this direct confrontation of competing narratives.
Continuing Wesleying’s recent tradition of ‘Posting Videos of Important Shit Filmed By Ben Doernberg ’13,’ we’ve got video footage of the entire conversation below or on the YouTubes. Scroll past the jump for a more detailed rundown on who said what.
As Professor Glenn opened his remarks, “I guess reasonable people can disagree.”
While this semester has been filled with debates, discussions, and protests about the impending change to a Need-Aware admissions policy, the impacts of this change—both positive and negative—are enmeshed in much larger issues. These include the financial health of our university, the value we place on welcoming a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives on this campus, administrative transparency with both faculty and students, and access to a Wesleyan education. Dr. Glenn, Professor Lim, Professor Long, Professor Rouse, and Professor Skillman will help us think critically about what a Need Aware policy might mean. The goal of this panel is not to propose an “ideal policy” but to create a foundation on which further conversation can be had. Feel free to come and engage these professors in conversation, or just sit back and listen!
If you have specific questions for the panel, feel free to submit them to ProfessorPanel@gmail.com. See you there!
According to the Wesleyan Connection, eight Wesleyan faculty members have received tenure this month: Gloster Aaron, biology; Nadja Aksamija, art; Sally Bachner, English; Hilary Barth, psychology; Daniella Gandolfo, anthropology; Phillip Resor, earth and environmental sciences; Elise Springer, philosophy; and Deb Unferth, English. Go nuts, faculty friends. You’re free! An additional eight professors have been promoted.
Which brings us to an interesting query floating around popularmedia in recent months (and, well, decades): should tenure be abolished?
Not that, you know, those professors don’t deserve it. I can’t really speak for seven of them. The one I’ve studied with is indeed fab. But is tenure beneficial to students—or anyone—in the long run? Noting that as few as 31% of full-time college professors had tenure in 2007, a 2010 Slate article answers “No,” laying out the case with one snappy analogy:
Imagine you ran a restaurant. A very prestigious, exclusive restaurant. To attract top talent, you guarantee all cooks and waiters job security for life. Not only that, because you value honesty and candor, you allow them to say anything they want about you and your cuisine, publicly and without fear of retribution. The only catch is that all cooks or waiters would have to start out as dishwashers or busboys, for at least 10 years, when none of these protections would apply.