Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Visiting Historian Explores Role of the Public and Limits of Power in Continental Congress

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Historian Benjamin Irvin will discuss a little known event involving Martha Washington when he delivers the annual Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture at Washington College on Tuesday evening, April 5. Irvin’s lecture, “The Republican’s New Clothes: The Continental Congress Learns to Live by Its Own Articles of Association, 1774-1775,” will take place at 7 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center, on the College campus. A book signing will follow.
Irvin, who teaches history at the University of Arizona, will delve into an episode involving the Continental Congress and the local patriots of Philadelphia in 1775. In late November of that year, Congress members planned a ball in honor of Martha Washington, who would soon pass through the city on her journey to meet her husband, who was stationed in Cambridge. Why did this simple night of dancing provoke some Philadelphians to threaten to tear down the City Tavern? Irvin’s answer illuminates the state of the Continental Congress and its powers and limitations in the early days of our country’s life.
Irvin is the author of two books, Clothed in Robes of Sovereignty: The Continental Congress and the People Out of Doors (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2002), as well as numerous articles and reviews. He is also the recipient of many fellowships in the area of American history, including the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies (2003-2005) and the Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society (2000).
The Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture was established in 1989 in honor of a history professor who had taught at Washington College for 30 years. The endowed lecture series brings distinguished historians to campus to speak and interact with students in emulation of Dr. Goodfellow’s vibrant teaching style.

Monday, March 28, 2011

International Art Curator to Share Insights Into Contemporary Exhibition at WC's Kohl Gallery

CHESTERTOWN, MD—An expert on international contemporary art and art history, Dr. Julia P. Herzberg, will visit Washington College Wednesday, March 30 for a lecture on the work of professor Monika Weiss, whose powerful exhibition “Lamentations (Sustenazo)” is installed in Kohl Gallery through mid April. Following the 4:30 p.m. lecture in Decker Theatre, Weiss will join Dr. Herzberg on stage for a conversation about her art.
Celebrated vocalist Karen Somerville will open the event by singing the spiritualMother Child and Soon Ah Will Be Doneand a reception will follow Herzberg and Weiss’s conversation. The event is free and open to the public (some content in the Kohl Gallery exhibition may not be suitable for children).
Dr. Herzberg is an art historian, independent curator and Fulbright Senior Specialist whose wide-ranging work centers on art with interdisciplinary global contexts. Since 1990 she has organized more than 25 exhibitions of artists from around the world, including Monika Weiss, Wifredo Lam, Kaarina Kaikkonen, Leandro Katz, Pepón Osorio, Ernesto Pujol, Catalina Parra, Franco Mondini–Ruiz, Leandro Erlich, and Chen Xiaoyung.
As consulting curator at the Patricia and David Frost Museum at Florida International University, she recently curated “Navjot Altaf: Lacuna in Testimony, and Nela Ochoa: DNA and Art” (2009). She has also been a consulting curator for the 8th, 9th, and 10th Havana Biennial (2003, 2006, 2009) and was curator for the Official U.S. Representation for the III International Biennial of Painting Cuenca, Ecuador in 1991.
Dr. Herzberg has taught, lectured, and published in the United States and abroad.
Monika Weiss is an internationally recognized Polish-American artist who works in drawing, projected video, musical composition, performance and sculpture, often combining these elements in her public installations. The current exhibition at Washington College includes the first U.S. showing of “Sustenazo (Lament II),” which was created as part of her 2010 solo exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Ujazdowski Castle, in Warsaw.
“Sustenazo” was inspired by an event that took place at Warsaw’s Ujazdowski Castle when it was a hospital. On August 6, 1944, during the onset of the Warsaw Uprising, the German Army forced more than 1,800 patients and medical staff to abruptly evacuate the hospital overnight. With that incident as its reference point, Weiss’s art explores visual and musical aspects of the ancient feminine ritual of lamenting. She completed the work while on sabbatical from Washington College, where she serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History.
“Lamentations (Sustenazo)” is curated by Donald McColl, the Nancy L. Underwood Associate Professor of Art History at Washington College. For more information, please visit http://kohlgallery.washcoll.edu/. To read a review of the exhibition by former Washington Post art critic Mary McCoy in the Chestertown Spy, click here.
Photo: A still image from a projected video in the Lamentations exhibition, which will be installed through April 15 in the Kohl Gallery, Gibson Center for the Performing Arts, at Washington College, 300 Washington Avenue .

Remember the Titans Coach, Herman Boone To Speak at Washington College April 6

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Herman Boone, former head football coach at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., and the inspiration behind the 2000 blockbuster movie Remember the Titans, will speak at Washington College on Wednesday, April 6. His talk, “Remember the Titans: A Lesson in Multiculturalism,” will begin at 5 p.m. in Russell Gymnasium, Cain Athletic Center, 300 Washington Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.
Boone will provide the real-life story of his integrated T.C. Williams team and its efforts to overcome prejudice and racial tension and become champions.
Herman Boone began his career as a teacher and coach in 1958, leading football teams in Blackstone, Va., and Williamstown, N.C., to championship seasons. In 1971, after school officials in Alexandria merged three segregated high schools into one integrated one named T.C. Williams, they invited Boone to be head coach of their new football team. Boone’s approach to coaching not only produced a winning football team, but also tackled new challenges of integration, building positive race relations within the student body and the community.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Titans’ Virginia AAA State Championship game victory. Now retired from coaching, Boone frequently shares his story nationwide as a public speaker. His appearance at Washington College is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Department of Athletics, Student Development Programs, and Student Activities.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Trethewey to Read from Her Work April 1 at Washington College

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey, the featured literary light of this year’s Sophie Kerr Weekend at Washington College, will read from her work Friday, April 1 at 4 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts.
Trethewey is author of Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin), for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, and Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002), which was named a Notable Book for 2003 by the American Library Association. Her first collection, Domestic Work (Graywolf, 2000), was selected by Rita Dove as the inaugural 1999 Cave Canem Poetry Prize winner, recognized as the best first book by an African American poet. Her fourth book of poetry, Thrall, is scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in fall 2012.
In an introduction to Domestic Work, Rita Dove wrote that Trethewey “eschews the Polaroid instant, choosing to render the unsuspecting yearnings and tremulous hopes that accompany our most private thoughts—reclaiming for us that interior life where the true self flourishes and to which we return, in solitary reverie, for strength." Other poets have described her work as “nearly flawless,” and “a rare, beautiful gift to the reader.”
A native of Gulfport, Mississippi, Trethewey often writes about family history and growing up biracial in the American South. Her parents’ interracial marriage—she an African American native of Mississippi and he a white Canadian—was illegal in 20 states at the time. They eventually divorced and Trethewey’s mother remarried, to the man who would murder her.
Trethewey, who was 18 when her stepfather killed her mother, shared with radio interviewer Terry Gross the strange coincidence that, “Ten days shy of my mother’s 41st birthday, she was murdered. And ten days shy of my 41st birthday, I won the Pulitzer. I was very mindful of that strange coincidence—that at this point in both of our lives, this is what we had come to.” Her reflections on her mother’s life are part of Native Guard. She later chronicled childhood memories along with her family’s efforts to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina in a 2010 book of creative non-fiction titled Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (University of Georgia Press).
Currently a professor of English and the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Emory University, Trethewey has been published in several volumes of Best American Poetry, and in journals such as Agni, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and The Southern Review.
Among her many honors, Trethewey has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she will soon be inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
Trethewey’s reading kicks off the annual Sophie Kerr Weekend, which brings high school writers to the Washington College campus for a taste of its literary life with workshops, lectures and related arts events. The weekend also celebrates the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College’s literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the 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” and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.
For more information, visit http://english.washcoll.edu.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Washington College Joins Arts Council to Present Annual Kent County Poetry Festival

CHESTERTOWN, MD — Washington College and the Kent County Arts Council will present the fourth annual “Kent County Poetry Festival: A Day of Public Poetry in Celebration of National Poetry Month” at the Book Plate, 112 South Cross Street, on Friday, April 8, from 4 to 7 p.m.
People from throughout the county will gather to read aloud their favorite lines from the world of verse—a reminder that poetry, rather than being some rarefied specimen, is in fact a vital, living art with widespread appeal.
The public is welcome to simply drop by during the event to listen. Those who want to share a poem should register in advance by sending an email to poetry@washcoll.edu or by filling out one of the festival sign-up sheets posted throughout the county.
“This program is in the spirit of the ‘Favorite Poem Project’ pioneered by Robert Pinsky when he was Poet Laureate of the United States,” said Christopher Ames, Provost and Dean of Washington College. “The goal is to bring together diverse peoples in our community around the poetry people know and love to share and, in doing so, debunk the idea that poetry is just something for academics to study. During National Poetry Month, we want to illustrate the role that poetry can have in enriching our everyday lives.”
The organizer of the festival is Robert Earl Price, a poet and playwright who is lecturer and writer in residence in the Drama Department at Washington College. This year’s featured poet, Mark Nowak, the Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House at the College, will read a brief selection from his works. Nowak’s most recent book is Coal Mountain Elementary and he has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to support the development of his next work. The rest of the program will be devoted to community members reading their favorite poems.
For more information about the Poetry Festival, contact Leslie Prince Raimond at the Kent County Arts Council (kentcountyartscouncil@verizon.net) or Tom Martin at the Book Plate (bookplate@verizon.net).
Photo: Poet Mark Nowak, director of the Rose O'Neil Literary House, is the featured poet at this year's festival.

Noted Expert on Italian Architect Palladio to Deliver Janson-La Palme Lecture in Art History

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Dr. Bruce Boucher, a distinguished expert on the highly influential 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, will deliver the eighth annual Janson-La Palme Distinguished Lecture in European Art History at Washington College on Wednesday, April 13.
Boucher, director of the University of Virginia Art Museum, will present "Palladio in a Cold Climate: The Pitfalls of Palladianism," at 5 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
The illustrated lecture will survey the characteristics of the great architect’s designs and discuss examples of his buildings. Addressing the translation of Palladio’s theories into modern realities, Boucher will point out the changes in scale and floor plans that complicate the notion of a lineal descent from the villas and palaces Palladio designed in the Vicenza region to today’s widespread use of the style. The talk will conclude with American buildings strongly influenced by Palladio, including Drayton Hall in Charleston, S.C.
Boucher’s career as an architectural historian, educator and curator spans more than 35 years. Prior to joining the University of Virginia Art Museum last spring, he spent seven years as curator of European sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago (2002-2009) and two years as a visiting researcher and curator at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (2000-2002). For the previous 24 years, he taught art history at University College London.

Author of numerous books, including Andrea Palladio: The Architect in His Time, Boucher lectures widely on Palladio and other Italian artists from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. He was chief curator of the exhibition, "Earth and Fire: Italian Terracotta Sculpture from Donatello to Canova," which was shown at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2001-2002. He also co-authored the exhibition catalog.

Boucher earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Classics and English from Harvard University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Language and Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Before entering Oxford, he traveled to Italy and fell in love with the art and architecture there, an experience that led him to change his course of research. After Oxford he went on to earn a doctorate at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.
A member of numerous professional organizations and advisory committees, Boucher has been recognized with many awards and honors, including the Alexander von Humbolt Fellowship and a fellowship at the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies at the Villa I Tatti. His monograph on the sculpture of Venetian architect Jacopo Sansovino won the prestigious Salimbeni Prize, awarded by the Fondazione Salimbeni in Florence to honor excellence in the writing of art history on an Italian subject.
The Janson-La Palme Distinguished Lecture in European Art History was established by Washington College Professor Emeritus Robert J. H. Janson-La Palme and his wife, Bayly, to bring internationally known scholars on European art to campus for public lectures and presentations. For more information, visit http://art.washcoll.edu.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Symposium Brings Top Chemists to WC to Focus on the Role of Metal Ions in Health

CHESTERTOWN—Washington College continues its celebration of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry Tuesday, April 5 with a symposium on the effects of metal ions on human health. Titled “Why Copper and Iron? Metal Ions We Need for Good Health,” the panel features presentations by a trio of award-winning chemists: Valeria C. Culotta, Caryn E. Outten, and Rosette Roat-Malone. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 5 p.m. in Decker Theatre, the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue.
Culotta, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, studies the role of metal ions and oxygen radicals in biology and disease. Metal ions such as copper, iron and manganese are not only trace nutrients but can be quite toxic. One mechanism of toxicity is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which have been implicated not only in aging but also in numerous human disorders from neurodegeneration to cancer. Culotta has shown that cells in higher organisms have evolved with “metal-trafficking pathways” that guide each metal to its proper destination in the cell. She also has discovered numerous genes and proteins for metal trafficking.
Outten, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of South Carolina, works in the complementary fields of biochemistry and bioinorganic chemistry with a focus on the role of iron in biological systems. She worked with Culotta at Johns Hopkins as a post-doctoral fellow (2001-2005) and began her career at USC with a Transition to Independent Position (TIP) Award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. TIP awards recognize talented new investigators who have demonstrated an ability to improve the scientific community’s understanding of the problems and mechanisms associated with exposure to environmental agents. In 2010, she received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECAS), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.
Roat-Malone, adjunct professor of chemistry at Washington College, has written two editions of the textbook Bioinorganic Chemistry: A Short Course ( 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2007). The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) of the American Chemical Society have supported her research in the development and testing of platinum coordination compounds as anticancer agents. She serves as a reviewer for NSF research grant applications and for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program. Through an NSF-funded Visiting Professorship for Women Award, she taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and completed research at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She will serve as moderator for the symposium and provide a “Primer on Metal Ions.”
The April 5 symposium is sponsored by the William James Forum and the Washington College Chapter of Sigma Xi. Following the presentations, the Washington College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Theta of Maryland will host a reception in the Underwood Lobby.
The William James Forum was founded in 1963 by the late Washington College professor of philosophy and religion Peter F. Tapke to honor the multitalented nineteenth century philosopher William James, who was also an artist, explorer, medical doctor, psychologist, and theologian. The Forum considers issues from any field of inquiry that have practical relevance to life and decision-making.

Sigma Xi, the international honor society of science and engineering, was founded in 1886 at Cornell University to reward excellence in scientific research and to encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among scientists in all fields. Sigma Xi has nearly 60,000 members in more than 500 chapters worldwide. The Washington College Chapter was founded in 2001.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sweatshop Activist to Share Nike Campaign

CHESTERTOWN—Jim Keady, the activist behind the Nike accountability campaign, “Team Sweat,” will visit Washington College Tuesday, March 22 to talk about his efforts to improve working conditions and wages in the sportswear giant’s overseas factories. Keady will speak at 4:30 p.m. in The Egg, a performance and meeting space on the first floor of Hodson Hall Commons. His interactive multi-media event includes role-playing, video footage, and a question-and-answer period. The event is free and open to the public.

Keady was forced to leave a soccer-coaching job at St. John’s University in New York in 1998 when he refused to wear the Nike logo on his team gear. He has since devoted much of his life to protesting the company’s workplace policies. He spent a month living among Nike workers in an Indonesian slum, allowing himself only the $1.25 daily wage a typical worker would receive.

He now serves as the director of Educating for Justice, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that educates and organizes citizens around issues of peace and justice. For more information: http://www.teamsweat.org

Photos: Top, a sign from a Team Sweat protest in Australia. Bottom, Jim Keady.

MacArthur Foundation’s International Specialist Will Discuss U. S. Foreign Policy, Human Rights

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Barry Lowenkron, the MacArthur Foundation’s vice president of international programs, will talk about human rights issues around the globe when he lectures at Washington College on Thursday, March 24, at 4:30 p.m.

The talk—“Is There a Place for Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy?”—will take place in Hynson Lounge, which is located inside Hodson Hall on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. It is free and open to the public. Lowenkron will offer a brief history of human rights in U.S foreign policy and discuss today’s global challenges.

Lowenkron’s career in foreign policy spans five U.S. Administrations, with posts in the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department and projects in countries that include Russia, China, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia and Sudan. He was the principal drafter of the landmark National Intelligence Publication, Global Trends 2010, which studied how demographics, food and water, and environment impact traditional national security interests. He has led high-level human-rights and democracy dialogues in key countries and was one of the architects of the Middle East initiative “Forum for the Future,” a multilateral effort to nurture indigenous reforms in economics, politics, education, and women’s rights.
Before joining the MacArthur Foundation in 2007, Lowenkron was Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, where he spearheaded the establishment of a global human-rights defenders fund and created core principles for the protection of non-governmental organizations.
Other past positions include Director of European Security Affairs at the White House National Security Council; Civilian Special Assistant to Gen. Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence; and senior member of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff under Secretaries Shultz, Powell, and Rice. He has also lectured at Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he earned a master’s degree.
Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences. For more information, visit www.washcoll.edu.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This Mon & Tues: The Beat Generation and All That Jazz!

CHESTERTOWN, MD— In 1978, Allen Ginsberg brought the iconoclastic poetry and freewheeling spirit of the Beat Movement to Chestertown. On a visit to Washington College, Ginsberg read his celebrated poem “Howl” to a packed house and, so the story goes, attempted to levitate a few stubbornly recalcitrant buildings.
This month, the spirit of the Beats will return to Washington College in The Beat Generation and All That Jazz, a two-day commemoration headlined by musician David Amram, an original member of the Beats who worked closely with Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others.
The program begins on Monday, March 28 with a screening of Howl at 7:30 p.m. in Norman James Theatre on the College campus (300 Washington Avenue). This 2010 film, starring James Franco, is a genre-bending hybrid mixing Ginsberg’s original reading of his epic poem with animation and a dramatization of the obscenity trial that followed in 1957. Amram, who often accompanied Ginsberg and Kerouac at coffeehouse “jazz/poetry” performances, will introduce the film.
On Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m., Amram will give a concert in Decker Theatre accompanied by Washington College’s own Tom Anthony on bass and Ray Anthony on drums. The trio will play favorites from Amran’s long and varied career, which has included collaborations with iconic musicians and composers ranging from Leonard Bernstein to Dizzy Gillespie and Willie Nelson. The concert will also include a screening of the short 1959 film, Pull My Daisy, narrated by Jack Kerouac with music by Amram.
In his post-Beat years, David Amram has gone on to a stellar career as a musician and composer, producing orchestral and chamber music works, operas, and scores for Broadway productions and feature films, including Splendor in The Grass and The Manchurian Candidate. He has authored three books, including the memoir Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac (Paradigm, 2008). During his visit to Washington College, Amram will also offer a special "music/poetry" workshop and open rehearsal for students. (Contact Professor Kenneth Schweitzer, kschweitzer2@washcoll.edu, for workshop registration).
“We’re excited to welcome the Beat Generation – in the multitalented person of David Amram – to Washington College,” said Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center. “More than thirty years after Allen Ginsberg’s legendary visit to campus, a new cohort of students will be able to come face-to-face with a movement that continues to inspire millions.”
Sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center and co-sponsored by the American Studies Program, the Department of Music, and the Rose O’Neil Literary House, both Beat Generation programs are free and open to the public.

Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in colonial Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience is dedicated to fostering innovative approaches to the nation’s past and present through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach, and a special focus on written history. For more information on the Center, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pianist Grace Kim in Solo Concert March 22

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Pianist Grace Eun Hae Kim will perform a solo recital on Tuesday, March 22, at 8 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts at Washington College. The program, which is free and open to the public, will feature works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff.
A lecturer in music at Washington College, Grace Kim has performed extensively as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, South Korea, Germany, and South Africa. Her performance of the Brahms C minor piano trio was broadcast on Maryland Public Television.
She is the winner of numerous top prizes in major international piano competitions, and her performances have been reviewed as “hypnotic from the first to the last note” (Die Rheinpfalz) and “provocative, lustrous and rich with emotional contrasts” (The Washington Post). For more information, please visit the artist’s website: www.pianist-gracekim.com.
Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences. The campus is located at 300 Washington Avenue in colonial Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. For more information: www.washcoll.edu.

Renowned Counterinsurgency Expert John Nagl Will Deliver Holstein Ethics Lecture on March 23

CHESTERTOWN, MD—One of the world’s top experts on national security and counterinsurgency, John A. Nagl, will deliver the Holstein Ethics Lecture at Washington College Wednesday afternoon, March 23. The talk, “Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife,” will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. The title is taken from Nagl’s 2005 book Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, a comparison of British and American strategies he first wrote as a dissertation at Oxford University.

Now president of the D.C.-based Center for a New American Security, Nagl spent 20 years as an armor officer in the United States Army, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and earning renown for his mentorship of junior officers. His last military assignment before retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel was at Fort Riley, KS, where he trained the transition teams that embed with Iraqi and Afghan units.

A distinguished 1988 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a Rhodes Scholar, Nagl later taught security studies at West Point and at Georgetown University. In 2007, he co-wrote the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. He has been published or interviewed by numerous national media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, 60 Minutes, NPR, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. For more information on John Nagl and the Center for a New American Security, visit http://www.cnas.org/node/72.

Dr. Nagl’s talk is sponsored by the Holstein Ethics Committee at Washington College, part of an ethics program founded by 1968 alumnus Richard Holstein to encourage students to examine the ethical aspects of their actions.

Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in colonial Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Exiled from America: Harvard Historian To Discuss Revolutionary War Loyalists

CHESTERTOWN, MD—History, as we know, is most often told by the victors. But the vanquished have stories of their own. In a March 23 presentation at Washington College, Harvard University historian Maya Jasanoff will reveal some of these stories, tracing the experiences of Americans loyal to the British crown and their forced exodus at the end of the American Revolution.

Jasanoff's talk, "Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, John S. Toll Science Center on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. Sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the program is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the talk.

Released just last month by Alfred A. Knopf, Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World has already been lauded far and wide as a masterpiece, upending past assumptions about the aftermath of the American Revolution.

"Losers seldom get to write history, but the American loyalists have at last got their historian with Maya Jasanoff," said historian Joseph J. Ellis, while Sean Wilentz noted that her "stunning reinterpretation … affirms her place as one of the very finest historians of the rising generation." British historian William Dalrymple agreed, calling Jasanoff "not just a very good writer, an indefatigable researcher, and a fine historian," but "also a bit of a genius."

When the British army evacuated the United States in 1783, thousands of American loyalists followed in its wake. Their numbers included wealthy white landowners, Mohawk Indians, and formerly enslaved blacks who had won their freedom aiding the British. Having cast their lot with the losing side, they fanned out from the newly-independent United States, seeking a future elsewhere in the British Empire. Some sailed to Britain itself, others to Canada, the Bahamas and the West Indies; still others journeyed even further, to India and Africa.

"This voyage into exile was a trip into the unknown..." Jasanoff writes. "For them, America seemed less 'an Assylum to the persecuted' than a potential persecutor." Yet wherever they went, Jasanoff argues, the American loyalists carried with them some startlingly "American" ideas. Transmitted around the world, these revolutionary legacies helped to redefine the British Empire.

"As revolutions ripple across the Middle East, we can't help but notice how small our world is," said Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center. "Maya Jasanoff's fascinating book reminds us this isn't a completely new phenomenon. The world was a pretty small place even in 1783."

Maya Jasanoff is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, where she teaches courses on modern Britain and the British Empire. She has recently held fellowships at the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Her first book, Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850 (Knopf, 2005), won the Duff Cooper Prize.

Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in colonial Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Based in the Custom House along the colonial waterfront, the College's C.V. Starr Center fosters the art of written history and explores our nation's past—particularly the legacy of its Founding era—in innovative ways, through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach. For more information on the Center, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Catholic University Scholar to Discuss Unholy Marriages of Politics and Religion

CHESTERTOWN—The Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College will host a lecture on the dangers of politicized religion on Tuesday, March 8 . Jeffrey Dirk Wilson, a philosophy professor at Catholic University of America, will present “Political Theology: A Clear and Present Danger—Lessons from the Third Reich to the Present” at 7 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue.

Wilson’s lecture will examine how theological concepts often have been wrenched from their religious contexts and invested in political movements, and will talk about the dangerous consequences that followed.
Professor Wilson works in the field of political philosophy and has special expertise in the area of religion and politics. He is an expert on the writings of the controversial pre-World War II German legal and political theorist Carl Schmitt, whose work advanced the idea that “all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts.” Wilson will highlight the dangers of this approach to state power and how the transcendence of God renders this approach theologically dubious.
Wilson’s talk is free and open to the public.

"Locavore" Literary Festival Brings Writers, Activists To Town to Dish About What We Eat

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The first ever Chestertown Locavore Lit Fest celebrates local food and cooking Friday and Saturday March 25 and 26 with a satisfying smorgasbord of food journalists and writers talking about agriculture, fishing, recipes and the joys of healthy eating. Special guests will include the New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg, NPR contributor Bonnie Wolf and a food activist who challenges the wisdom of the vegetarian lifestyle.
The weekend kicks off Friday at 11:30 a.m. at a special lunch and book signing with Lierre Keith, a former vegan and the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability (2009, PM Press). The event will be held in the Hodson Hall Commons dining room at Washington College, where the staff will prepare a meal based on her philosophy of raising and eating grass-fed beef as an alternative to industrially produced animals. Locally sourced, grass-fed beef and local produce will be on the menu ($6.50 per person for general public). In the evening Keith will lecture about the moral, health and environmental issues that surround our food choices, and then join a moderated discussion about her controversial writings. Her talk will begin at 6 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the Washington College campus (300 Washington Avenue) with the reception scheduled for 7 o’clock and the Q&A to follow at 7:30 p.m.
The Vegetarian Myth has been described as part memoir, part nutritional primer, and part political manifesto. In the book, Keith, who spent 20 years as a vegan, reviews the history of agriculture and the damage it has caused the planet and shares her personal journey back to meat. She argues that well-intentioned vegetarians have been led astray by ignorance. A resident of Humbolt County, California, Keith is co-author with Aric McBay and Derrick Jensen of the upcoming Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet, scheduled for May release from Seven Stories Press.
On Saturday, local bookstores host more food-focused writers in a morning packed with culinary talk. It begins at 10 a.m. at the Bookplate (112 S. Cross Street) with a panel of three local food writers: Author Nancy Robson and bloggers Aundra Weissert and Tara Holste. Robson has written freelance articles for 35 years and authored two books: a memoir of her six years on a coastal tug titled Woman in the Wheelhouse, and the award-winning novel Course of the Waterman. A Master Gardener, she writes and edits sections on gardening and food for the Chestertown Spy.
A healthy living enthusiast, Aundra Weissert explores fitness, local food, sustainable living, and wellness in her Fit for Life blog. A 2008 graduate of Washington College, she serves her alma mater as Assistant Director of Admissions and teaches several Zumba fitness classes in town each week. Tara Holste is a passionate environmentalist and an avid supporter of foods grown on the Eastern Shore. Her "Fish in the Water" blog catalogs her quest to find a better way of living through growing, preserving, and loving food.

From 10:45 to 11:30 a.m., at the Bookplate, Lucie Snodgrass
, author of Dishing Up Maryland: 150 Recipes From the Alleghenies to the Chesapeake Bay (2010, Storey Publishing), will share what she learned by visiting 50 to 60 farms, vineyards and oyster ranches to present a portrait of the state’s bounty and kitchen expertise.A native of England who has lived throughout Europe, Snodgrass recently worked in the offices of Senator Barbara Mikulski and now lives and works on a 135-acre farm in northeastern Maryland.
The Festival moves down the block to The Compleat Bookseller (High and Cross streets) where NPR Food Commentator Bonny Wolf, author of Talking with My Mouth Full (2006, St. Martin’s Press), will speak from 11:45 to 12:30 a.m. Wolf contributes a monthly food essay to NPR’s award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday and is editor of “Kitchen Window, ” NPR’s weekly Web-only food column. Wolf has worked several decades as a reporter, editor and food critic at newspapers and magazines in New Jersey, Texas and Washington, DC. In the 1990s she wrote and published The Food Pages, a critically acclaimed food newsletter for the District of Columbia.
Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Parish Hall of Emmanuel Church (301 High Street), Paul Greenberg, author of the best-selling Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food (2010, The Penguin Press), will talk about how our love of seafood has influenced the history of four species of fish. Greenberg is a lifelong fisherman and an award winning writer whose book explores the history of the fish that dominate our menus—salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna—and examines where each now stands as a species. By examining the forces that get fish to our dinner tables, he shows how we can start to heal the oceans and advocate for a world where healthy and sustainable seafood is the rule rather than the exception. Greenberg’s Four Fish was a New York Times notable book for 2010.
The Locavore Lit Fest weekend is sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, the Washington College Anthropology Club, Chestertown Natural Foods, and Local Eastern Shore Sustainable Organic Network (LESSON). With the exception of the fee for lunch on Friday, all events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact 410-810-7162 or tholste2@washcoll.edu for more information or visit http://ces.washcoll.edu.
Friday, March 25
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Signing and lunch with Lierre Keith, Hodson Dining Hall
6:00-7:00 p.m. Lecture, Lierre Keith, author The Vegetarian Myth, Hynson Lounge
7:00-7:30 p.m. Light reception with appetizers and drinks
7:30-8:30 p.m. Discussion and Q&A with Lierre Keith
Saturday, March 26
10:00-10:45 a.m. Get Inspired: Local Authors on Local Foods, Bookplate
10:45-11:30 a.m. Lucie Snodgrass, author Dishing Up Maryland
, at the Bookplate.
11:45-12:30 p.m. Bonny Wolf, author Talking with My Mouth Full, Compleat Bookseller.
12:30-2:00 p.m. Lunch break- please visit one of the many restaurants in Chestertown!
2:00-3:00 p.m. Paul Greenberg, author Four Fish, Emmanuel Parish Hall

MIT Professor Examines Impact of iPods, iPads and Facebook on Human Relationships

CHESTERTOWN, MD—In the brave new world of Facebook, “smart phones” and Twitter, where both teens and adults would rather type than talk, are we more in touch but more isolated than ever before?

Psychologist Sherry Turkle, who has researched technology's effects on society for more than three decades, explores this seeming contradiction in her new book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, released earlier this year by Basic Books. She will share her insights (face-to-face!) in a talk Thursday, March 24 at Washington College.

Sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a book signing, followed by a 7 p.m. talk in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. (Turkle was originally scheduled to visit Chestertown in early February, but had to postpone her trip because of extreme weather.)

Tagged “an important, controversial new book” by the Boston Globe, Turkle's provocative work has generated a great deal of media buzz, recently winning its author a guest appearance on The Colbert Report. The Guardian (UK) highlighted the book as a “cri de coeur” for putting down the BlackBerry, ignoring Facebook, and shunning Twitter, applauding it for its success in sparking debate about the merits of social networking.

Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also the founder and director of MIT's Initiative on Technology and Self. Dubbed “the Margaret Mead of digital culture” by an MIT colleague, she has been profiled in the New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired Magazine and has been a featured media commentator for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and NPR.

“Anxiety is part of the new connectivity,” Turkle finds, and these “anxieties migrate, proliferate.” Places like Facebook foster self-expression, but that self is often a fabrication. The same is true in social networking games such as Second Life, where participants create avatars that are better-looking, smarter, and more accomplished than themselves. This constant and intense connectedness often gets in the way of building a more real, face-to-face network of friendships, and may even interference with psychological development. Turkle argues that this generation of teenagers, accustomed to interacting with others through machines, are less empathetic than their predecessors, less mindful of the feelings of those around them.

“Social media has become an ingrained part of most of our lives,” says Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. “But as Sherry Turkle reminds us, it’s not something we should embrace without question.”

The talk and book signing are free and open to the public. Co-sponsors include the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Department of Psychology, and two student groups, Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the Washington College chapter of the national psychology honor society. For more on Alone Together, visit http://www.alonetogetherbook.com.

About the Starr Center
Based in the Custom House along Chestertown's colonial waterfront, the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College fosters the art of written history and explores our nation's past – particularly the legacy of its Founding era – in innovative ways, through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach. For more information on the Center, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.

Lecture Examines How Protestant-Catholic Conflicts Impacted Early Exploration in America

CHESTERTOWN—Dr. Andrea Frisch, Director of Graduate Studies in French at the University of Maryland, will lecture Monday, March 21 at 5 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of Miller Library on the Washington College campus. Her talk, entitled "Multicultural Encounters: How European Religious Disputes Shaped Early Modern Images of Amerindians," will explore the role played by religious differences between Catholics and Protestants during the early stages of the exploration of the Americas.

A specialist in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Frisch received her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of California at Berkeley. She researched law and literature for the 2004 book The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France (University of North Carolina Press, 2004) and recently completed a book about the impact of the civil wars of the sixteenth century on the literature and aesthetics of seventeenth-century France.

Her work has appeared in Representations, Romanic Review, Discourse, Esprit Créateur and Modern Language Quarterly. Frisch has received fellowships from the Newberry Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities and, most recently, from the National Humanities Center.

Sponsored by the College’s Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture, the Department of Modern Languages, and the Department of Art and Art History, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Empty Bowls Dinner Tonight to Help End Hunger

CHESTERTOWN—Washington College joins the international community in the fight against hunger with an Empty Bowls Project dinner to benefit the Kent County Food Pantry on Thursday, March 3 beginning at 5:30 in Hynson Lounge. Local potters, community members, and students joined ceramics professor Marilee Schumann in early February at an open studio “Bowl-a-thon” to make clay bowls for the event. The “Bowl-a-thon” bowls will be used to serve up to 100 guests a meal of soup and bread; at the end of the evening attendees will take home their bowls as a symbol of the “empty bowls” that can be found worldwide.

The Washington College Service Council has in years past held similar bowl-making events and then sold the bowls for donations to the local food pantry. This year, for the first time, student organizers Jesse Schaefer and Leah Sbriscia decided the Service Council would join the Office of Student Development and Chester River Artworks to host a dinner.

Empty Bowls events, first conceived by the non-profit Imagine Render Group’s initiative to improve communities through education and the arts, have been held across the United States and in at least a dozen other countries to raise money and awareness for organizations working to end world hunger.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and children. For reservations call 410-778-7752, or e-mail student_affairs@washcoll.edu.