Friday, October 30, 2009

Got Trees?

Chestertown – The Center for Environment & Society (CES) at Washington College and the Town of Chestertown are pleased to announce that the Town has received a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust in order to begin implementation of the Town’s Community Forest Master Plan.

This plan involves planting a minimum of 2,000 trees within the Town’s official boundaries over the next four years, beginning with this Fall/Winter planting season, in order to eventually reach a 45% tree canopy cover.

The Town is offering a “buy one tree, get one free” program for residents of Chestertown proper only; the coupons are available at Town Hall on Cross Street.

The Center for Environment & Society works to instill a conservation ethic by connecting people to the land and water.
It supports interdisciplinary research and education, exemplary stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and the integration of ecological and social values.  For more information, visit or call 410/810-7161.

From The Western Front To The Home Front: World War I Historian Presents Armistice Day Lecture At Washington College

Chestertown – Martha Hanna, Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will present “Husbands and Wives, Fathers and Children: Family Life and Military Service in France during World War I” at Washington College’s Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, November 11, at 5:30 p.m.

The event, this year’s Conrad M. Wingate Memorial Lecture in History, is being held on November 11 to honor the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

Dr. Hanna is a specialist in the history of modern France, with a particular interest in the First World War. During a research trip to Paris in  2000, she unearthed a previously unknown collection of wartime letters written by a peasant couple, Paul and Marie Pireaud.

The Pireauds had been married only six months when World War I began in 1914. Called up to serve in the French Army for almost five years, Paul saw action in some of France’s bloodiest battles, while Marie joined her parents and in-laws in tending the farm that had been left in their care.

The letters of Marie and Paul chronicle the day-to-day life, anxieties and abiding love of a couple separated by war.

Numbering well over a thousand letters, the Pireaud collection – perhaps the only extant collection of letters written by French peasants that includes the letters of both husband and wife – formed the foundation of Dr. Hanna’s latest book, Your Death Would Be Mine: Paul and Marie Pireaud in the Great War (Harvard University Press, 2008).

Examining wartime experience from the vantage points of both the military and home fronts, Your Death Would Be Mine was hailed by the London Review of Books as “a vivid picture of the Great War.” In a starred review, Booklist enthused, “Hanna offers a fascinating look at one peasant couple separated and in love….”

Your Death Would Be Mine won the American Historical Association’s 2007 J. Russell Major Prize, the Society for Military History’s 2008 Distinguished Book Award (Biography and Memoir category) and the 2007 Colorado Book Award for History/Biography.

Dr. Hanna also is the author of The Mobilization of Intellect: French Scholars and Writers During the Great War (Harvard University Press, 1996) and numerous articles on the cultural history of France during the early 20th century.

The Conrad M. Wingate Memorial Lecture in History is held in honor of the late Conrad Meade Wingate ’23, brother of late Washington College Visitor Emeritus Phillip J. Wingate ’33 and the late Carolyn Wingate Todd.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to “Husbands and Wives, Fathers and Children: Family Life and Military Service in France During World War I” is free and open to the public.

Washington College's Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Jazz Combo To Perform

Chestertown – The exciting drum and song traditions of a vibrant musical culture will come alive on campus when the Washington College Afro-Cuban Ensemble performs in Hotchkiss Recital Hall on Wednesday, November 11, at 9 p.m. The Washington College Jazz Combo also will perform, presenting enduring classics from the American jazz canon.

The Afro-Cuban Ensemble was founded in 2005 by percussionist and ethnomusicologist Kenneth Schweitzer, D.M.A., of the Washington College Department of Music. The November 11 concert will include Santeria drums and songs, rumba, popular sones and boleros (as in “The Buena Vista Social Club”) and Brazilian bossa nova.

Schweitzer also leads the Washington College Jazz Combo, which will round out November 11’s entertainment. The Jazz Combo is composed of a small group of Washington College students (both majors and non-majors) who show exceptional talent and motivation. The goal of the ensemble is to provide members with professional opportunities; playing in club-like settings and providing ambient music in a variety of venues both on and off campus.

Hotchkiss Recital Hall is located in the new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

Dance Program Hosts Community Dance Day

The Washington College Dance Program will host its Sixth Annual Community Dance Day at the Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center on Saturday, November 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

No prior dance experience is necessary to participate in the program, which is open to children grades K-8.

Members of the Nu Delta Alpha National Dance Honor Society, under the direction of Professor Karen Smith, will offer classes in hip-hop, Broadway dance and creative movement.

For more information, call 410/778-7237 or contact

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Acclaimed 'Second Nature' Art Exhibition Continues At Washington College's New Kohl Gallery

Rarely seen works by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro et al. displayed


“The first exhibition at the Kohl Gallery … is striking and wonderful … The work on view in that gallery is in every way interesting and delightful. It is a pleasure for the eye, a feast for the intellect, a wonderful view of the diversity and the humanity of the 19th century.… A great critic … said that in the past there had been an art for the gods, an art for kings and queens and princes, and that finally, in the 19th century, there was an art for mankind, an art of democracy, available to everyone…. landscape painting. I recommend that you rush right over as soon as you can to the Kohl Gallery and see this wonderful and varied show.”

-- Linda Nochlin, Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Modern Art, Institute of Fine Arts/New York University, contributing editor of Art in America and author of numerous groundbreaking books including Women, Art, and Power and The Politics of Vision


Chestertown – “Second Nature: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Landscape Painting,” featuring seldom-displayed masterworks from some of the major artists of the period, is on view at Washington College’s new Kohl Gallery through November 15.

The exhibition features 23 rarely seen paintings from a private collection, including artworks by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Frederic Edwin Church, Camille Corot, Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas Moran, Alfred Sisley and Thomas Worthington Whittredge.

The new gallery and its opening exhibition have been a hit – there were more than 1,200 visitors in the first week alone.

The masterpieces constitute an auspicious debut for the College’s first-ever climate-controlled, secure exhibition space, the 1,200-square-foot Kohl Gallery, funded by Washington College parents Benjamin and Judy Kohl.

The Kohl Gallery is located in the newly opened Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts, a $24-million renovation and expansion of the original performing arts center built more than 40 years ago.

Sponsored by Brown Advisory, “Second Nature” was curated by Donald McColl, Nancy L. Underwood Chair in Art History, Chair in the Department of Art and Art History and Director of the Kohl Gallery at Washington College.

Dr. McColl was assisted by students in last spring’s Museum Studies class at the College, by Kohl Gallery Interns Colleen Kearins ’09, Erin Harrison ’09, Riley Carbonneau ’10 and Andrea Roth ’11, and by alumni of, and colleagues in, the Department of Art and Art History.

Though its origins are traceable to the Renaissance, landscape painting flourished in the 1800s as never before. Artists, increasingly freed from state or church patronage, catered to a growing system of galleries, dealers and collectors. Landscape, previously considered a minor genre, began to garner new respect, and evolved in tandem with a reverence for natural beauty, and a national pride felt by artists for the sweeping vistas of their respective homelands.

Artists in the exhibition not only documented rare and distant species, and made images so powerful as to spur the formation of America’s first national park, but also helped lift the spirits of those who were too ill to walk in nature, by creating a likeness of a spring flower or a lush field that could well outlast its subject.

Visitors to the “Second Nature” exhibition see stirring examples from landscape painting’s apogee, including such works as Claude Monet’s “Le Val d’Antifer,” Thomas Moran’s “Tantallon Castle,” George Inness’ “Landscape with a Split-Rail Fence” and many others.

“Second Nature: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Landscape Painting” continues at the Kohl Gallery on Tuesdays through Saturdays through November 15. Gallery hours are: Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays from 2 to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (The gallery is closed Sundays and Mondays.) A $5 donation is requested. Students are admitted free of charge.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One Nation, Under Debt: 'I.O.U.S.A.' Screened At Washington College

CHESTERTOWN – The Washington College Republican Club will present a screening of the acclaimed (and alarming) documentary “I.O.U.S.A.: One Nation, Under Stress, In Debt” at Litrenta Lecture Hall on Sunday, November 1, at 7 p.m.

“I.O.U.S.A.” opened to resounding praise in 2008. The New York Times hailed it as “resolutely non-partisan … a documentary everyone should see.” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times declared, “‘I.O.U.S.A.’ accomplishes an amazing thing. It explains the national debt.”

The United States, as the film warns, is on the brink of a financial meltdown. Throughout history, the federal government has found it nearly impossible to spend only what has been raised through taxes.

Now, burdened with an ever-expanding government and military, increased international competition, overextended entitlement programs and debts to foreign countries that are becoming impossible to honor, America must mend its spendthrift ways or face an economic disaster of epic proportions, the documentary asserts.

Featuring candid interviews with both average American taxpayers and government officials, “I.O.U.S.A.” helps demystify the nation’s financial practices and policies. The film follows former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker as he quixotixally crisscrosses the country explaining America’s unsustainable fiscal policies to its citizens.

The film interweaves archival footage and economic data to paint a vivid and disturbing profile of America’s current economic situation. But the ultimate power of “I.O.U.S.A.” is that it moves beyond doomsday rhetoric to proffer potential financial scenarios and propose solutions about how Americans can recreate a fiscally sound nation for future generations.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to “I.O.U.S.A.: One Nation, Under Stress, In Debt” free and open to the public.

Washington College 2009-2010 Concert Series Continues With Lute Recital By Richard Stone

CHESTERTOWN – The 58th season of the Washington College Concert Series continues with a performance by lutenist Richard Stone in Hotchkiss Recital Hall on Sunday, November 1, at 4 p.m.

Stone has performed worldwide as a soloist and accompanist. The New York Times called his playing “beautiful” and “lustrously melancholy,” while the Washington Post described it as having “the energy of a rock solo and the craft of a classical cadenza.”
Stone recently completed a two-season nationwide solo tour performing the Bach lute suites.

The founder and co-director of the Philadelphia baroque orchestra Tempesta di Mare, Stone studied lute at SUNY Purchase and as a Fulbright Scholar at London’s Guildhall School. He is an instructor of baroque lute and theorbo (a type of lute with an extended neck) at the Peabody Conservatory.

The 2009-2010 Washington College Concert Series will continue with performances by the Gemini Piano Trio in Decker Theatre on January 23, the Lyric Brass Quintet on February 27 and pianist Inna Faliks on March 28.

Season tickets are available in advance or at the box office on performance nights. Single admission tickets, available at the box office, are $15 for adults, $5 for youth 18 and under. Hotchkiss Recital Hall is located in Washington College’s new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. For more information, call 410/778-7839.

Fifth Annual 100-Voice Choir Gospel Concert Set To Raise Spirits, Honor Alumnus Rev. Vincent Hynson '87, November 7

Charity Concert Raises Funds for Minority Student Scholarship Program at Washington College

CHESTERTOWN – On Saturday, November 7, the 100-Voice Choir returns to raise spirits and celebrate the life and example of the late Rev. Vincent Hynson, Washington College Class of 1987 alumnus and Kent County community leader.

The concert will be held at Decker Theatre in the College’s new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are just $7 per person and are available at the door or in advance from the Compleat Bookseller or Twigs and Teacups in downtown Chestertown.

This year’s concert—through the efforts of many volunteers and Sylvia and Bill Frazier of S & B Productions—will provide three hours of music, song and dance to put anyone and everyone “in the spirit.”

In addition to performances by the 100-Voice Choir, the concert’s line-up includes performances by guest soloists Rev. Tyrone Wilson and Sister Karen Frison, the Harp & Soul String Trio, the Variations, the Burke Family Singers, the Anointed Vessels, the Mount Plymouth Ensemble, and, back by popular demand after last year’s show-stopping performance, a special guest appearance by acclaimed gospel trumpeter Wade Johnson.

Also featured will be an address by inspirational speaker Master Markel Newman.

Proceeds from the concert benefit the Vincent Hynson Scholarship at Washington College. The impetus of Washington College President Baird Tipson, the scholarship honors the late Rev. Vincent Hynson—beloved Kent County teacher, coach, pastor, and community leader—who passed away in 2004.

The scholarship is presented to an entering freshman who is a graduate of a secondary school in Kent County, who demonstrates financial need, and whose achievements and aspirations most closely emulate the values of community service exemplified by the life of Rev. Hynson. The scholarship covers 100 percent of the cost of tuition, room and board, books, and fees for the recipient.

“Vincent Hynson was a bridge-builder whose life was dedicated to uplifting our community,” said Dr. Tipson, who lends his voice to the tenor section of the choir. “His was the kind of life young people—and all people—should emulate. My hope is that this scholarship honors his life by helping local students who want to give back the chance to develop their talents and to realize their dreams through a Washington College education.”

To be considered for the Vincent Hynson Scholarship, interested students should submit a scholarship essay and complete all admissions and financial aid application requirements no later than February 15, 2010. Essay instructions and admissions and financial aid information are available from the Washington College Office of Admissions by calling 410/778-7700.

The 100-Voice Choir Gospel Concert is sponsored by S & B Productions, Washington College and the Kent County Arts Council. Seating is limited, so advance ticket purchases are recommended. For more information, contact S & B Productions at 410/778-6006, the Washington College Office of College Relations at 410/810-7111, of the Kent County Arts Council at 410/778-1149.

Long History Of Jews In Poland To Be Presented In Washington College Lecture

CHESTERTOWN – Washington College’s Office of the Provost & Dean will present “In Search of Polin: Chasing Jewish Ghosts in Today’s Poland,” a lecture/slide presentation by Dr. Gary S. Schiff, Adjunct Professor of History, at the Casey Academic Center Forum on Thursday, November 5, at 4:30 p.m.

“In Search of Polin” is based in part on Schiff’s summer 2009 trip to Poland, where, in addition to tracing some of his family roots, he was on the trail of “a thousand years of Jewish history.” Professor Schiff teaches courses in Jewish history at Washington College.

Prior to the Holocaust, the largest concentration of Jews in Europe was to be found in Poland – 3.3 million people, or roughly 10 percent of the Polish population.

The percentage was actually much higher in the cities; in Warsaw, for example, Jews comprised about a third of the population. In other cities, such as Bialystok, Jews were in the majority.

Poland’s Jewish population density was due to its rare open-door policy during the Middle Ages, when Jews were not only welcome, but invited with incentives. As early as the 13th century, Polish kings, in order to help bring their nascent land up to the economic standards of their contemporaries, offered liberal charters of rights and economic opportunities to entice more Jews to relocate there.

As restrictions, persecutions and expulsions periodically reared their heads further west throughout the medieval period, Jews continued to flock from throughout western and central Europe into Poland.

In the 1880s, pogroms under Russian rule spurred a mass exodus of Polish Jews to the United States. Poland was the largest source of Jewish immigrants to America.

Of the 3.3 million Jews in Poland at the onset of World War II, 3 million were killed in the Holocaust. Most of the survivors emigrated. Only a handful remain. Before the war, there had been more than 500 synagogues in Warsaw. After the war, only one remained.

In addition to the shocking death toll of Polish Jews, the vast majority of Jews from throughout Europe who were killed in the Holocaust died in Poland, where they arrived by the trainload to the infamous Nazi death camps built there.

The lingering echo of such horrors is the reason, said Schiff, that some Jews today consider Poland “one big Jewish cemetery, and won’t go back there, even to visit.”

But there is much of great historical interest left to see there as well, he notes. Schiff’s journey into Poland’s Jewish past included the personal – he toured the area where his family had lived since the 18th century and unearthed old family marriage records in the town of Ostrow’s City Hall – to the deeply historical – in Krakow, the old royal capital and the first Polish city to acquire a major Jewish presence, he found “a gold mine of Jewish history,” including famous synagogues and graves dating back to the 15th century.

On the other end of the spectrum, Schiff also visited the horrific concentration camps of Treblinka, Majdanek, Plaszow (where “Schindler’s List” was filmed) and Auschwitz, where at that site alone 1.1 million Jews, including 200,000 children, were put to death. “It’s so vast,” Schiff said of Auschwitz, “it’s hard to imagine evil on such a massive scale.”

Admission to “In Search of Polin: Chasing Jewish Ghosts in Today’s Poland” is free and open to the public.

Extended Hours Announced For New 'History On The Waterfront' Multimedia Walking Tour

Extra times added for Downrigging Weekend

CHESTERTOWN – During Downrigging Weekend, October 30-November 1, the popular new multimedia walking tour “History on the Waterfront: A Journey into Chestertown’s Past” will be open for extended hours.

The tour, created by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, opened October 9; its regular hours of operation are Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 40 p.m.

For Downrigging Weekend, tours will run during regular hours on Friday, and from 2 to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

“History on the Waterfront: A Journey into Chestertown’s Past” offers a walk back in time to an era when the streets of this port town bustled with revolutionaries and convicts, slave traders and heroes of the Underground Railroad.

The audio-guided tour, lasting approximately forty-five minutes, begins and ends at the home of the Starr Center, the c. 1746 riverfront Custom House. As participants stroll along the historic waterfront, they hear music, reenactments and firsthand accounts of life in the colonial port.

Exploring the inside of the Custom House, they delve into the lives of past residents, including Thomas Ringgold IV, who was both a leader in the fight for colonial rights and, at the same time, a large-scale slave trader.

Other actual historical figures in the tour include Isaac Mason, a young Chestertown slave who escaped through the Underground Railroad.

Participants have an opportunity to see one of Washington College’s most treasured artifacts, a 200-year-old painting of Chestertown, done by an anonymous artist a few years after the Revolution. One of the very few surviving depictions of an 18th-century Chesapeake landscape, and perhaps the richest in detail, the painting provides a unique visual entry point into the world the tour recreates.

“History on the Waterfront” was orchestrated by the Starr Center’s associate director, Jill Ogline Titus, and narrated by the Center’s director, Adam Goodheart. The Center’s program manager, Michael Buckley, who also produces the weekly radio series “Voices of the Chesapeake Bay,” oversaw the technical aspects of the production.

Students and faculty across several Washington College departments offered their talents to the creation of the tour, which showcases College and community expertise not just in American history, but in music, drama, and audio production. Those familiar with the local scene may make out several familiar voices, including that of Kent County’s beloved vocalist Karen Somerville.

Major funding was provided by the Maryland Humanities Council and other organizations, which saw the project as a landmark opportunity to connect Chestertown’s rich history to the larger stories of America, of the Chesapeake region, and of freedom and slavery in the 18th century.

The project, which will eventually include a web component and virtual tour, is funded by grants from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, and the PNC Foundation Legacy Project, with support from the Maryland Humanities Council.

For more information, call 410/810-7161; please check the Starr Center website at before visiting. Tours begin at the Custom House, 101 S. Water Street, at the intersection of Water and High Streets. They are free of charge.
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About the Starr Center
The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores our nation’s history – and particularly the legacy of its Founding era – in innovative ways. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, and especially by supporting and fostering the art of written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between past and present, and between the academic world and the public at large. From its base in the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown’s colonial waterfront, the Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students. Its guiding principle is that now more than ever, a wider understanding of our shared past is fundamental to the continuing success of America’s democratic experiment. For more information on the Center, visit

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

'Athey's Field': Washington College's Sports History Comes Alive In New Book

Chestertown – The long and colorful history of athletics at Washington College, from the earliest baseball teams fielded in the 19th century to the multi-faceted program of the present day, is chronicled in the new book Athey’s Field, published by the Literary House Press.

Edited by Justine Hendricks ’07, a writer on the Office of College Relations staff,  John Lang, lecturer in the Department of English, and Director of Communications Marcia Landskroener M’02, Athey’s Field contains a series of essays depicting the different eras, teams and characters that comprise the saga of Washington College sports. Included are portrayals of the figures – such as legendary coach Tom Kibler and Major Leaguer Bill “Swish” Nicholson – whose guidance and talent helped mold the school’s athletic program through the years.

Athey’s Field, as its title suggests, is dedicated to Edward L. Athey, a beloved coach and administrator at Washington College for nearly 50 years. The book has been produced in concert with the dedication, construction and recent opening of the College’s Athey Baseball Park.

Athey himself laid the groundwork for the book; its origins were in a comprehensive research project undertaken by Athey and others that yielded a treasure trove of Washington College sports history, much of which has found its way into the newly published work.

Athey, described in the book’s foreword as “the man who embodied Washington College Athletics for the entire second half of the 20th century,” enjoyed an illustrious 47-year career at the school. In addition to serving as Athletic Director for 39 years, he coached basketball for 13 years, was head baseball coach for 28 years, and distinguished himself as a soccer coach for 31 years. At various times he also coached track, tennis, cross country and junior varsity lacrosse.

In all, Athey amassed 690 varsity coaching victories at Washington College; he is the only coach in the College’s history with at least 600 wins at the school. He was inducted into the Washington College Hall of Fame in 1982, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

A key figure in the College’s athletics history, Athey also happens to be a devoted enthusiast of that history – he long has been considered a walking encyclopedia of Washington College sports facts, figures, obscure trivia and fond memories.

Several years ago, Athey, H. Hurtt Derringer ’59 and Charles B. Clark ’34 undertook the monumental task of researching and documenting the history of Washington College athletics. Old narratives were gathered, later entries were added, and a manuscript totaling more than 400 pages eventually grew out of the project; it is from this archive that the newly published Athey’s Field originally took shape. Essays from yesteryear have been interwoven with chapters contributed by present-day scribes to form a compendium that spans the decades.

Illustrated with vintage photographs and brimming with the lore of glory days, legendary players and championship seasons, Athey’s Field is available for $14.95. For ordering information, visit

'Song Yet Sung' Author James McBride Presents Reading At Washington College

Chestertown – Best-selling author and musician James McBride will present a reading from his acclaimed new book Song Yet Sung at Washington College’s Decker Theater in the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts on Thursday, October 29, at 4:30 p.m.

McBride has written for the Washington Post, People, the Boston Globe, Essence, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. He is the author of The Color of Water and Miracle at St. Anna.

In his latest work, Song Yet Sung, McBride follows a group of slaves as they escape to freedom through the swamps of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Publishers Weekly praised the work as “intricately constructed and impressive … McBride … nails the horrors of slavery as well as he does the power of hope and redemption.” The Washington Post noted, “McBride’s engagement with the historical continuum provides a new slant on an old subject. He may have set his novel in the 1850s, but he is writing about the hurdles we yet face.”

Song Yet Sung was chosen by the Maryland Humanities Council to represent the One Maryland One Book program for 2009, and was chosen by Washington College for its First-Year Book program.

The First-Year Book program gives new students a common experience over the summer and introduces them to Washington College’s tradition of bringing great writers to campus.

Song Yet Sung: A Reading by James McBride” is sponsored by the Rose O’Neill Literary House, the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the Department of English, the Dean of the College, Gunston Day School’s In Celebration of Books, Kent County Public Library, and the One Maryland One Book program of the Maryland Humanities Council.

Admission is free and open to the public.

'Poisoned Waters': Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist/Producer Presents 'Frontline' Documentary At Washington College

Chestertown – In Poisoned Waters, a PBS Frontline documentary showing at Washington College on October 28 at 7:00 PM in Litrenta Lecture Hall, veteran journalist Hedrick Smith examines threats to the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound.

Two days later, at a lecture on October 30 at 5:00 PM at the historic Prince Theatre in downtown Chestertown, Mr. Smith will explore how these two iconic bodies of water are indicators of a larger national problem.

Drawing on interviews with scientists, fishermen, bureaucrats, chicken farmers, whale watchers and other people who rely on and care deeply about America’s waterways, Smith tells a fascinating and disturbing story about the steep decline of our country’s biggest bodies of water.

He interviews watermen who lament the loss of the Bay’s seafood abundance and tracks the Chesapeake’s “dead zone” back to its biggest source — the proliferation of chicken houses (and manure) across the Delmarva Peninsula.  He also examines the perils to the Chesapeake and to Puget Sound from growth and development, as well as from the multiplicity of untested and potentially harmful chemicals that wind up in our waters.

Hedrick Smith is a Frontline producer and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly with the New York Times. What’s shocking about his latest feature on the water crisis is how well-known the problems are. Scientists for years have been scooping up samples with chemicals, mostly from everyday household products. They’ve been pulling PCB-riddled salmon out of the water for decades. There are documented cases weirdly mutated frogs with six legs, intersexed fish (males carrying eggs), and drinking water loaded with contaminants— two-thirds of which are so new they elude modern filtration methods.

By focusing on the home of the blue crab and the playground of the orca, which aren’t overwhelmingly similar, Smith highlights a pervasive decline in the nations waterways and he takes us beneath the surface to see the terrible trouble caused by sprawl-related pollution and unregulated toxic industrial, agricultural and municipal runoff.

Both events are free and open to the public.  Sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society, the Chesapeake Semester at Washington College, and Sultana Projects. For more information, visit or or call 410-778-7295.

Award-Winning Journalists Discuss 'Age Of Obama' At Washington College

Chestertown – Award-winning journalists from both sides of the political spectrum will convene to discuss “The Age of Obama: Do We Need a Middle Ground?” in Hotchkiss Recital Hall at Washington College’s Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts on Wednesday, October 28, at 7 p.m.

The event, presented as this year’s Richard Harwood Colloquy on National Affairs, will feature bestselling author and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and award-winning syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker. Moderating the disussion will be CNBC Washington correspondent and New York Times political writer John Harwood.

E.J. Dionne is a twice-weekly columnist for The Washington Post, writing on national policy and politics from a liberal perspective. He previous worked at The New York Times, covering local, state and national politics, and also serving as foreign correspondent in Paris, Rome and Beirut.

A professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Dionne has been a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio, ABC's “This Week” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He is the author of several books, including the bestseller Why Americans Hate Politics, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award nominee.

Kathleen Parker is an award-winning conservative syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group. Her twice-weekly opinion pieces appear in more than 350 newspapers. Parker started her column in 1987 when she was a staff writer for The Orlando Sentinel. Her column was nationally syndicated in 1995 and she joined the Washington Post Writers Group in 2006.

Her writings in support of American troops, first-responders and other front-line participants in the war on terror were among the reasons The Week magazine named her as one of the country’s top five columnists in 2004 and 2005.

John Harwood is the chief Washington correspondent for CNBC and a political writer for The New York Times. He began his career at The St. Petersburg Times, where he served as state capital correspondent, Washington correspondent and political editor. He was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University and subsequently spent 16 years at The Wall Street Journal, covering the White House, Congress and national politics. In addition to CNBC, Harwood also frequently appears on MSNBC, “NBC Nightly News,” “Meet the Press” and PBS’ “Washington Week.”

In 2002 Harwood was part of the Wall Street Journal team that won the Pulitzer Prize in the breaking-news category for its coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Also on that prize-winning team was Gerald Seib, with whom Harwood co-authored the 2008 book Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power, hailed by The New York Times as a major new work of Washington-insider journalism.

As the 2009 Richard Harwood Colloquy, “The Age of Obama” joins a long list of notable panels and lectures presented over the years. The series was established to honor the distinguished career of the late Washington Post columnist and ombudsman Richard Harwood (John Harwood’s father), who served as a trustee and a lecturer in journalism at Washington College. Speakers have included such political and media figures as Karl Rove, Howard Dean, Robert Novak, John McCain, James Carville, Judy Woodruff, Al Hunt, Mark Shields, and Paul Gigot.

Admission to “The Age of Obama: Do We Need a Middle Ground?” is free and open to the public.

Set Sail For Terror: 'Spectral Tide' Author Presents 'Phantom Ships And Ghostly Crews' At Washington College

Chestertown –  It will be a Halloween-week voyage into high-seas horror when Eric Mills, author of The Spectral Tide: True Ghost Stories of the U.S. Navy, presents a lecture and booksigning at Washington College’s Rose O’Neill Literary House on Tuesday, October 27, at 4 p.m.

In his talk, “Phantom Ships and Ghostly Crews: A Haunted History of the U.S. Navy,” Mills will offer up several hair-raising accounts from his book, newly published by the Naval Institute Press.

The Spectral Tide is the first-ever book that presents all of the U.S. Navy’s rich cargo of paranormal phenomena in one chilling volume.

The eerie list is long, a litany of ghostly occurrences down through the ages. There is the great Stephen Decatur, whose mournful apparition still stalks the halls of his famous home – said to be one of the most haunted spots in Washington, D.C.

Or consider the case of the USS The Sullivans, now a floating museum and the source of much disturbing spectral activity – poltergeists opening locks, hurling objects, and turning radar antennas that are no longer under electrical power. An employee quit the museum, on the threshold of madness, after bearing witness to the sudden appearance of a bloody, ectoplasmic face.

Then there are the repeated sightings of the handsome USS Lexington ghost, “polite . . . kind . . . smartly dressed in a summer white Navy uniform,” described by witnesses as having memorably piercing blue eyes.

From translucent sails to phantom crews, from the flaming ghost-ship to the infamous psychic anomaly at the Naval Academy, from spirit-infested aircraft carriers to battleships where the dead still linger, The Spectral Tide offers a haunted history of the U.S. Navy.

In his advance praise for the book, author James E. Wise enthused, “Eric Mills takes us into a world of mysterious shadows that haunt ships and give life to the voices of long lost seamen. Many of his tales are unknown or little known to readers of naval history which makes his work all the more compelling.  His literary style is almost poetic…. A fascinating read.  A book that should be included in every mariner's library.”

Mills also is the author of Chesapeake Rumrunners of the Roaring Twenties and Chesapeake Bay in the Civil War, which is now going into its fifth printing. His articles appear in Naval History, Proceedings, Chesapeake Bay Magazine and other publications. He is currently completing a master’s degree in history at Washington College, where he serves as Director of Media Relations.

With Mills’s October 27 presentation, the Rose O’Neill Literary House is relaunching its popular “Tea and Talk” series, which highlights the work of authors and scholars on the faculty and staff of Washington College.

The series continues on November 17 with “This is a Fragment of Me: Emerson and the Poetics of Metonymy,” a presentation by Assistant Professor of English Sean Meehan, author of Mediating American Autobiography: Photography in Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, and Whitman.

Admission to “Phantom Ships and Ghostly Crews: A Haunted History of the U.S. Navy” is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7899 or visit

One Earth, One Climate On October 24

CHESTERTOWN – The Center for Environment & Society is calling for all kayakers and canoeists to rally on the river on Saturday, October 24, at 10 AM, at the Washington College floating dock. This is an opportunity for individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations to take a stand (or in this case a paddle) to advocate for a safe climate future.

The event is one of many planned as part of
350º, an international movement to raise awareness of the need to stop global warming pollution.

Two years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced serious human and natural consequences if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million (ppm).

Currently the Earth’s atmosphere carries over 387 ppm of carbon dioxide – the leading cause of global climate change. Top climate scientists (James Hansen, Nicholas Stern and Rajendra Pachauri) have indicated that a safe climate future rests at 350 ppm (or less).

Actions across the globe will take place on October 24 - the International Day of Climate Action – to help spread awareness around this number and the forthcoming release of the United Nations new international climate change treaty.
  In Chestertown, the call to action is open to all.  Sign up with or call 410-778-7295.   The Center estimates it will take about 35 kayaks in the water to spell out 350º.

Washington College Drama Department Presents 'Frankenstein'

CHESTERTOWN – The Washington College Drama Department will present R.N. Stanberg’s stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” in Tawes Theatre on Friday and Saturday, October 23-24, at 8 p.m.

The production is a senior thesis directed by Lauren Davenport.

Set in the icy polar regions where scientist Victor Frankenstein has chased the creature he brought to life, this highly theatrical and emotional play traces Frankenstein’s path to the final confrontation with his intelligent, articulate, sensitive and powerfully violent creation.

Tawes Theatre is located in the new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail

Friday, October 16, 2009

DNR Program Manager Addresses the Question: Are Blue Crabs 'In A Pinch?'

CHESTERTOWN – What is the current status of Maryland’s most celebrated delicacy, the Blue Crab? Brenda Davis, Blue Crab Program Manager at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, will provide an update when she presents “Blue Crabs: Is the Population in a Pinch?” at Washington College’s Litrenta Lecture Hall on Tuesday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Joseph H. McLain Program in Environmental Studies.

The McLain Program was established at Washington College in 1990 to focus attention on and augment study in the fields of aquatic and environmental studies. The Program supports lectures and symposia featuring visiting scientists and other professionals on matters of environmental interest, particularly relating to the Chesapeake Bay.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to “Blue Crabs: Is the Population in a Pinch?” is free and open to the public.

Washington College Acquires New Waterfront Site Along Chester River

CHESTERTOWN, Md., Oct. 15, 2009 – Washington College announced today that it has acquired ownership of a 5.4-acre waterfront site along the Chester River.

Situated adjacent to the College’s boathouse, the newly acquired parcel will allow the College to expand its waterfront presence with improved and expanded athletic and recreational facilities, a public riverwalk, a waterfront academic center—including a new headquarters for the Center for Environment & Society—even a residential facility for some lucky students.

The new plans mark a dramatic redirection for the site, which for years had been home to an oil depot and agri-chemical supply facility, consequently suffering the ravages of pollution.           

“An ailing site is about to become clean and beautiful,” said Bryan Matthews, Washington College Associate Vice President for Administrative Services and one of the key College planners involved in the effort to acquire the property.

“Rather than condominiums, townhouses and apartments, college facilities and open space will prevail. Chestertown will have a beautiful waterfront gateway. Like most things, this didn’t happen by accident and it didn’t happen overnight.”

The acquisition comes as the culmination of a lengthy and detailed process of negotiation and site-testing. Due to its contiguous location, the property had long been coveted by the College, which is operating under a strategic plan that calls for taking fuller advantage of its proximity to the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay.

In June 2008 the executive committee of the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors approved an agreement to enter into a partnership with Leroy Kirby Jr. of Chestertown to acquire 75 acres of land – the 5.4-acre waterfront parcel plus the 70-acre parcel known as Stepne Manor located just inland from the river.

The College’s pre-acquisition strategies included the commissioning of an environmental site study of the acreage, following prescribed governmental testing standards, and with particular focus on the waterfront parcel that, from the late 19th century through the late 1980s, had been a fertilizer and bulk agri-chemical storage and distribution facility, as well as a petroleum fuel depot.

Earth Data Incorporated conducted a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment in spring 2008 and followed with an update in fall 2009. As expected, the study indicated surface and subsurface contamination.

Under the auspices of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (MDE-VCP), a comprehensive Phase II investigation more specifically defined the nature and extent of the contamination. The Phase II test, performed in spring 2009, identified the contaminants – toxaphene, arsenic, chromium and PAHs – and their location – concentrated in the 12 inches of soil closest to the surface. Additionally, the groundwater contained a contaminant, MTBE, above acceptable MDE standards. The series of tests also identified an estimated 7,500 cubic yards of petroleum-contaminated soils from a former fuel-storage site.

According to MDE recommendations, the agrichemical-corrupted soil will be blanketed with a fabric layer, then covered with two feet of clean soil. The petroleum-contaminated soil will be loaded onto trucks licensed to haul regulated waste material in Maryland to an MDE-approved disposal facility. Clean fill material from off-site will be delivered, placed and compacted in the excavation. As a follow-up component, groundwater will be monitored to ensure it meets MDE guidelines. Estimates project the cost for the entire clean-up at approximately $1.5 million.

In cleaning up the environmental mistakes of previous decades, the College will be taking the important first steps in reviving an optimally situated stretch of Chestertown riverfront. “In the coming years, the citizens of Chestertown will see a sick piece of land along the river come to life,” Matthews said.

The College hopes to create a new facility for its nationally ranked sailing and rowing teams, as well as enhanced recreational facilities.

John Seidel, Director of the College’s Center for Environment & Society, also foresees academic opportunities.

“The new waterfront complex could include labs for the sciences, a conference center, residential space for students and visiting lecturers and policy makers, as well as a ‘green technology’ incubator where students could intern,” Seidel said.

As envisioned by College planners, the project will include a community riverwalk, connecting the center of Chestertown to the waterfront’s wetlands and marshlands and eventually linking to a proposed “rail-to-trails” project.

“Our setting in Chestertown, amid the beauty of the Chester River and the Chesapeake, is a significant institutional advantage,” said Washington College President Baird Tipson. “We look forward to collaborating with the Town of Chestertown and Kent County in making the most of this new waterfront opportunity.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Washington College Student Team Tied for First in Global Business Competition

A Washington College student team is tied for first place in a global business strategy simulation. The web-based simulation, (published by academic publisher McGraw-Hill/Irwin), gives students the opportunity to virtually run a fictional footwear company in a fast-changing competitive environment. Washington College's team, comprised of Business Management seniors Nick Handrick and Daniel Pierce and International Studies sophomore Khalil Karrakchou, bested more than 3,200 teams from more than 200 colleges and universities around the world. Pierce, who is also minoring in Economics, says the competitive experience “has been a great way to apply everything I've been learning at Washington College. I especially the game's global perspective.” When the latest results are announced each Saturday, Pierce confesses he gets nervous. “Once you get a world ranking, you want to hold onto it.”

The competition pits Prof. Drischler's students in BUS 311 Global Business Strategy not just against other undergraduates, but against grad students from some of the world's leading business schools, and from business professionals. Prof. Drischler notes that many firms use this global simulation as a training program for employees, making the Washington College student achievement even more remarkable. Students have to consider exchange rates, economic conditions, marketing and pricing decisions, and other aspects of global business.

If you want to track how Prof. Drischler's students do from here on, visit Each week, the best-performing BSG-Online companies, as measured on four performance variables (overall score, eanrings per share, return on equity, and stock price), are recognized on the Top 100 list. During the week of Monday, October 5, through Sunday, October 11, there were 3206 teams from 201 colleges/universities participating in the simulation world-wide. Out of those schools, the Washington College team of Handrick, Pierce, and Karrakchou were in a three-way tie for first.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oxford Scholar To Explore 'Religious Freedom In A Secular Society' At Washington College

CHESTERTOWN – Roger Trigg, Professor of Theology at Oxford University and the Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion in Public Life, will discuss “Religious Freedom in a Secular Society” at Washington College’s Casey Academic Center Forum on Tuesday, October 20, at 5 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and its Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture.

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Warwick University, Dr. Trigg is now based at St. Cross College, Oxford, and Kellogg College, Oxford. He is the founding director of the Oxford Centre for Religion in Public Life and a leading expert on the intersection of religion and politics.

Dr. Trigg is the author of numerous books, including Religion in Public Life (Oxford University Press, 2007), which served as the foundation for an international conference, “The Atlantic Conversation on Religion in Public Life,” held at Windsor Castle in 2007.

In addition to having served as first chair of the British Philosophical Association, Dr. Trigg is a member of the Princeton-based Center of Theological Inquiry and a past president of the Mind Association.

The Goldstein Program and its Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.

Admission to “Religious Freedom in a Secular Society” is free and open to the public.

Global Warming, Or Mass Hysteria? 'Not Evil Just Wrong' Screened At Washington College

Presentation part of worldwide premiere

Chestertown – The Washington College Republican Club will present a counter-argument to climate-change doomsday scenarists with a screening of the new documentary “Not Evil Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria,” at Litrenta Lecture Hall on Sunday, October 18, at 8 p.m.

“Not Evil Just Wrong” is being unveiled with similar screenings internationally on that date; the Washington College presentation is being billed as part of “the world’s largest simultaneous film premiere in history.”

Created by the Irish husband-and-wife filmmaking team of Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, “Not Evil Just Wrong” was produced to rebut Al Gore’s 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth,” which sounded the clarion call of global-warming alarm.

Filmed in Ireland, Uganda, China, England, France and the United States, “Not Evil Just Wrong” seeks to debunk the claims made by Gore and other environmental activists, and to show the harm done to poor populations – be they in the Third World or in an impoverished town in American coal country – by ecology-spurred policy overreach.

As an example, the film chronicles how, after decades of debate, the World Health Organization decided to ban the pesticide DDT in 2006. Since then, some 40 million malaria deaths in the developing world might have been prevented if DDT had not been banned, according to experts cited in “Not Evil Just Wrong.”

On the global-warming front, the film contends that the evidence is inconclusive, compromised by “flawed science and sky-is-falling rhetoric.” If policies being considered are implemented, industries that rely on fossil fuels will be crippled, and entire communities in the heartland will become bastions of unemployment and poverty. “The damage that would be wrought,” the filmmakers assert, “is unjustified by the science.”

Co-director McAleer recently made news while attending a press conference for the Society of Environmental Journalists (of which he is a member) on October 9.

Al Gore was giving his first public question-and-answer session in four years. McAleer pointed out the nine major errors that a British High Court judge declared present in “An Inconvenient Truth” and asked Gore if his documentary should still be allowed to be shown to children in schools. (Gore’s film is still allowed to be shown to British schoolchildren, but teachers are now required by law to point out the nine flaws.)

McAleer’s microphone was then cut off.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to “Not Evil Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria” is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

'Hemingses Of Monticello' Author Gordon-Reed, 2009 George Washington Book Prize Winner Appears At Washington College

Chestertown – Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience welcomed Annette Gordon-Reed, winner of the 2009 George Washington Book Prize, for a special college celebration of the $50,000 award for the best book on the founding era in American history.

The celebration of Gordon-Reed's winning book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, took place on Thursday, Oct. 22, in the college’s new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. The event featured an insightful interview with Gordon-Reed hosted by Adam Goodheart, the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center, followed by questions from the audience.

A professor of law at New York University Law School, Gordon-Reed spent more than seven years working on The Hemingses of Monticello. Her meticulously researched account documents not only Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemings, but also the lives of four generations of the family that lived with Jefferson from the 1770s until he died in 1826.

In addition to garnering the highly coveted George Washington Book Prize (one of the most generous book awards in the country), The Hemingses of Monticello enjoyed an unprecedented trifecta in spring 2009 by also winning a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for History. In September 2009 the book added to its laurels by also winning the Frederick Douglass Prize, awarded annually to the year’s most outstanding work on the history of slavery.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Robert L. Johnson, Founder Of Black Entertainment Television, To Deliver Business Seminar At Washington College

Chestertown – Robert L. Johnson, founder and former chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), will deliver the annual J.C. Jones Seminar in American Business and receive the inaugural J.C. Jones Award for Visionary Entrepreneurship, in the Decker Theatre of the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts at Washington College on Tuesday, October 13, at 5 p.m.

Johnson was named by USA Today as one of the 25 most influential business leaders of the past 25 years. In 2001 he sold BET to Viacom for approximately $3 billion.

BET is the the nation’s first and leading television network providing entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African American audience. Under Johnson’s leadership, BET became the first African American-owned company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

After selling BET to Viacom, Johnson remained the Chief Executive Officer through 2006. He has since gone on to found and chair the RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that owns or holds interests in a diverse portfolio of companies in the banking/financial services, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production, gaming and automotive industries.

Johnson's talk is sponsored by the Department of Business Management, the J. C. Jones Seminar in American Business, and Washington College SIFE. Admission is free and open to the public.

Author Dan Chaon, National Book Award Finalist, To Give Reading At Washington College

Chestertown – Acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Dan Chaon, a National Book Award finalist, will present a reading in the Sophie Kerr Room at Washington College’s Miller Library on Tuesday, October 13, at 4:30 p.m.

The reading is presented as part of the 2009-2010 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series.

Born and raised in Nebraska, Dan Chaon is the author of the short-story collections Fitting Ends and Other Stories and Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Among the Missing also was listed as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2001” by the American Library Association, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, the Las Vegas Mercury and Entertainment Weekly, and was cited by Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post and the New York Times as one of the Notable Books of the year.

Chaon’s stories have been chosen for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories series and Pushcart Prize annual anthologies, having been published in noteworthy literary journals as TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, Crazyhorse, Gettysburg Review, MSS, Story, Helicon, Mid-American Review and elsewhere.

His first novel, You Remind Me of Me, was released in 2004 and praised by Publishers Weekly for its “elegant prose, haunting plot and knockout literary excellence.”

Chaon’s latest novel, Await Your Reply, recently published by Ballantine Books, is a book that weaves elements of the supernatural, it was hailed by the New York Times as “a strange, stunning new novel…. Mr. Chaon succeeds in both creating suspense and making it pay off, but Await Your Reply also does something even better. …Mr. Chaon manages to bridge the gap between literary and pulp fiction with a clever, insinuating book equally satisfying to fans of either genre.”

Chaon currently teaches creative writing at Oberlin College, where he holds the position of Houck Associate Professor in the Humanities.

The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College’s literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor”—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Admission to the Dan Chaon reading is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

'His Journey Westward': British Scholar Discusses James Joyce At Washington College

Chestertown – Dr. Andrew Gibson, a leading authority on the work of Irish author James Joyce, will present “His Journey Westward: Joyce’s ‘The Dead,’ Irish History, and Modernity,” at Washington College’s Rose O’Neill Literary House on Monday, October 12, at 4:30 p.m.

The event is presented as part of the 2009-2010 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series.

Written in 1907, “The Dead” became the final story in Joyce’s celebrated 1914 short-story collection Dubliners. The book’s reputation in general, and that of “The Dead” in particular, have grown over the years; many consider the collection to be Joyce’s most accessible work, and “The Dead” to be its masterpiece.

While scholarly interest in “The Dead” has been intense, the story also has left its stamp on popular culture. In 1987 it was made into a movie by John Huston; it was the great director’s last film (and a labor of love, as Joyce was one of his favorite authors). In 2000, it was adapted as a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.

In his October 12 lecture, Dr. Gibson will offer valuable insight on the historical context from which “The Dead” emerged. Post-colonial Ireland also was “post-catastrophic” Ireland, a land decimated and drastically depopulated both by the mid-19th-century Great Famine and by its resultant mass emigrations.

In “His Journey Westward,” Dr. Gibson will re-evaluate “The Dead” in the light of the Famine and its consequences for Ireland.

Dr. Gibson is Research Professor of Modern Literature and Theory at Royal Holloway, University of London, and a permanent advisory editor of the James Joyce Quarterly. He also is a member of the editorial board of Limit(e) Beckett, the new Anglo-French journal in Beckett scholarship. His published works include James Joyce: A Critical Life, Towards a Postmodern Theory of Narrative and numerous other books.

The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College’s literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor”—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Admission to “His Journey Westward” is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7879.