Division of Social Studies News by Date
Edris Tajik (Bard College '23) came to Bard last year from Afghanistan and is currently a senior majoring in Political Science. He has spent the past four years of his life on peace-building and youth empowerment projects through NGOs in Afghanistan. Edris has trained 240 students in Model United Nations and 120 students on peace-building initiatives as well as implemented six community-based projects. Edris is a Generation Change fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and is currently interning with the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. He intends to pursue a career in international relations.
Michael Nyakundi (Bard College Berlin '23) is a Kenyan national studying economics, politics, and social thought who is interested in criminal justice reform through public policy and law. He previously interned at the Kenyan State House analyzing the impact of President Kenyatta’s Big4 agenda and has volunteered with the Kenya Red Cross and Plan International on youth-police arbitration projects. Recently, Michael led a team of 500+ to address police brutality in Soweto slums Nairobi. His project, Project Ma3, co-won the Margarita Kuchma project award this past summer. As a Schwarzman Scholar, Michael hopes to deepen his knowledge of Sino-Kenya relations.
Schwarzman Scholars (est. 2015) is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. It was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 in an effort to promote international understanding and peace.
Schwarzman Scholars supports up to 200 Scholars annually from the U.S., China, and around the world for a one-year master’s in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University — ranked first in Asia as an indispensable base for China’s political, business, and technological leadership.
Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion — attending lectures, traveling around the region, and developing a better understanding of China.
Assistant Professor of Music Angelica Sanchez’s album Sparkle Beings is named one of the Best Jazz Albums of 2022 by the New York Times.
Professor of Literature Hua Hsu’s memoir Stay True is named one of the 10 Best Books of 2022 by the New York Times Book Review.
Professor of Comparative Literature Joseph Luzzi’s Botticelli’s Secret is named one of the Best Books of 2022 So Far in nonfiction by the New Yorker.
James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities Walter Russell Mead’s The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People is named among 100 Notable Books of 2022 by the New York Times Book Review.
Lexi Parra majored in human rights and photography at Bard College.
- As gang, police violence rages, a neighborhood tries to connect (Washington Post)
- Venezuelan-American Photographer Lexi Parra ’18 Named Recipient of a 2022 Getty Images Annual Inclusion Grant
- Bard College Student Wins Davis Projects for Peace Prize
“The DRE: Disturbance, Re-Animation, and Emergent Archives” Conference Features Keynote Speakers Elizabeth N. Ellis and Marisa J. FuentesBard College will host its inaugural Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck conference from October 20 through 22. This conference, “The DRE: Disturbance, Re-Animation, and Emergent Archives,” considers the topic of archives from a range of humanistic perspectives, with keynotes showcasing methods in Native American and Indigenous Studies and African and African-American Studies, as well as offering the viewpoints of contemporary artists on these topics. The DRE is the first of three annual conferences supported by Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck, part of the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities for All Times initiative.
On Thursday, October 20 at 5 pm, multimedia Tsitsistas/Suhtai Nation (a.k.a. Northern Cheyenne) artist Bently Spang will open the conference with a screening and presentation in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center followed by an opening reception at the Center for Experimental Humanities in New Annandale House. On Friday, October 21, keynotes by award-winning scholars bracket a day of smaller sessions exploring and modeling ethical practices in the archive, open to students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Marisa J. Fuentes, Presidential Term Chair in African American History and Associate Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, will deliver a keynote lecture, “Buried ‘Without Care’: Social Death, Discarded Lives, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade” on Friday at 9:30 am in the László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium of the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation (RKC). Dr. Elizabeth N. Ellis, Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University and citizen of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, will deliver the second keynote lecture, “Recovering Indigenous Histories of Survival: Enduring Louisiana Nations” on Friday at 4 pm in Bitó Auditorium, RKC. Friday’s events, which include concurrent workshops, screenings, and presentations, also take place in RKC. On the morning of Saturday, October 22,recipients of Rethinking Place student research funding will present on their work.
On Saturday, October 22 at 2 pm, Oglála Lakȟóta scholar and multimedia artist Kite aka Suzanne Kite MFA ’15 will close the conference with a talk, “Makȟóčheowápi Akézaptaŋ (Fifteen Maps),” at the Fisher Center’s LUMA Theater. This event is free and open to the public. Reserve your seat here.
For the full conference schedule, click here. All events are open to Bard College students, faculty, and staff. To register click here. Keynote addresses and Bently Spang’s opening artist presentation are open to the public dependent on space. Non-Bard community members who are interested in attending, please email: [email protected].
Bard’s “Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck” project affirms Bard’s tangible commitments to the principles and ideals of the College’s 2020 land acknowledgment and is supported by the Mellon Foundation’s 2022 Humanities for All Times. The Mellon grant offers three years of support for developing a land acknowledgment–based curriculum, public-facing Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) programming, and efforts to support the work of emerging NAIS scholars and tribally enrolled artists at Bard. Rethinking Place emphasizes broad community-based knowledge, collaboration, and collectives of inquiry and also attends to the importance of considering the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, upon whose homelands Bard sits.
For more information, please visit rethinkingplace.bard.edu.
On HillTV's The Rising with Briahna Joy Gray and Robby Soave, Associate Professor of Economics Pavlina Tcherneva debates former Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore about whether the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed into law on August 16, will actually reduce inflation. Tcherneva says we are not going to see inflation go down overnight, however, she believes this bill steers us in the right direction. She emphasizes the significance of investments in green energy technologies in the United States while “including major components that are coveted by the conservatives,” such as “increasing energy production from the fossil fuel industry here in a very aggressive way.” She adds, “From the progressive point of view this was a Faustian bargain. We had to do some giveaways to the fossil fuel industry so that we could get this bill passed. But it does have some key components, some major investments in climate that we haven’t seen in decades.”
Out There Without Fear details the Jamaican popular dance form as a social, political, and cultural phenomenon, with lively depictions of the music and moves of the genre that has ignited passion as far away as Russia and Japan. The subjects interviewed also reflect on the impact of classism and sexism on dancehall in the Caribbean island nation.
“Abundant opportunities at Bard have supported my academic interest in Jamaica,” Powe says. A Community Action Award from Bard’s Center for Civic Engagement, support from the Trustee Leader Scholar program, and the Naomi Bellinson Feldman ’53 Internship Award (for student internships in music or the social sciences—in this case, both) gave her partial funding for the film, which she directed with producer Adtelligent, a social media company in Jamaica.
Powe says her time at Bard has been “a truly amazing journey,” one that began when she was on a global voyage during Semester at Sea, a four-month study abroad program for United World College students on a ship that takes them to four continents. She was aboard when she learned she had been accepted to the College.
She was an anthropology major because she is “very excited about local opportunities for anthropological study in Jamaica, a wellspring of culture.” Her Senior Project was a study of a Jamaican family’s participation in the national response to COVID-19, for which she received grants from the Anthropology Program and the Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard. Continuing interest in Out There Without Fear, the ideas for which were published in the Jamaica Journal in 2021, has Powe curating discussions on dancehall with Jamaican academics and dancers through universities and cultural centers around the world. She is working on her second documentary, Beverley Manley Uncensored, which follows the ex-wife of former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley and explores her reflections on the 1970s in Jamaica, a significant decade in Jamaican political history. The first episode of the documentary series premiered on Adtelligent TV in July 2022.
Powe notes the value of the Language and Thinking Program in setting her up to appreciate wrestling with big ideas. “L&T teaches you to read and write. I loved being exposed to great thinkers from around the world in the readings. My mind has been stretched by exposure in my classes across the disciplines—from Cuban documentaries, constitutional laws in Myanmar, Caribbean poetry, and Iranian art, to Spanish short stories. As an anthropology major, I need cultural literacy across diverse mediums.” Also, she says, “I appreciate that I was exposed to international cinema through screenings here. I didn’t know I would get that.”
In addition to being a peer counselor—which taught her about “being responsible for people my age and for their ideas about what to expect from their community”—she also decided to join the swim team. “I was stretched beyond my imagination of what was possible, and learned about patience and determination, showing up for practice, getting better over time. The discipline I learned in swimming enhanced my time management skills and focus.”
Bard has enriched Powe’s life “in three very significant ways.” The support she received to pursue academic interests outside the College—through independent study, grants, and student-led initiatives, supported by Bard’s energetic professors—“sped up where I want to be in my career.” She was exposed to “the spirit of internationalism in the College, the community, and academia as a whole,” which led to lifelong friendships; and she found “the freedom to try new things.” Oh, and another thing: “being allowed to make mistakes and try again.”
“My first impression was of a campus that’s huge and gorgeous, monumental and so beautiful,” he says. Academically, he was drawn to Bard because “I was attracted to the double major aspect and the fact that it was a small school. I wanted to do things with brains—neurology—and heart—drawing.” Deciding to pursue art on his own, he became a double major in biology and philosophy “because I’m obsessed with questions. What I love to do in my free time is think of new ways to do things and approach new things, and look at their philosophical implications. I love this type of thinking.” His Senior Project in philosophy looks at dependence theory and addiction, advised by Kathryn Tabb, assistant professor of philosophy.
Science at Bard is also exciting. “We have really high-tech stuff. We were able to collect soil, inventory the bacteria in it, and extract, isolate, and replicate its DNA.” His Senior Project, with Associate Professor of Biology Gabriel Perron as adviser, examines how temperature affects bacteria that are common in hospital infections.
Lowe’s interactions with Tabb, Perron, and Associate Professor of Biology Brooke Jude have inspired him. “Brooke is super welcoming and so warm and excited about things,” he says. “I got interested in genetics in her class.” And his associations with fellow students “have completely changed my life. My friends have taught me about morals, patience, relationships, confidence, community.”
His advice to students looking at Bard? “Be willing to talk with people. Ask questions—it’s insane how much the faculty are willing to help you. Go up to a professor after class. It could change the whole course of your life.” He adds, “I have never seen so many resources. All the advice, whether academia or personal, is awesome.”
Extracurricular activities for Lowe make Bard “a place to destress,” such as the Surrealist Circus, which creates pop-up events with puppets, costumes, stilts, and acrobatics. Lowe also belonged to the Bard Bars rap club and Brothers at Bard, a mentoring group for young men, “which was a great place to be surrounded by people of color.” Slacklining among trees on campus is a favorite pastime, though juggling two majors means that finding time for activities outside of class is a challenge.
After Bard, Lowe plans to attend graduate school in philosophy; he hopes to teach philosophy of science or medical ethics at the college level. “Being able to see people interested in what I’m interested in is why I want to be a teacher.
“Bard is a place that forces me to think about things,” he says when asked how Bard has changed him. “It’s helped me see I can do whatever I want, so my studies don’t feel like work. I’ve found a way to do two Senior Projects and carry 21 credits and stay relaxed. I’m so excited about going to class. Bard’s given me a perfect metric for what I feel should be a baseline for an education. I’m charmed by this place; this is my safe haven.”
Recipients of the Veblen-Commons Award have made outstanding contributions to institutional economics in the tradition of Veblen and Commons. Award recipients have focused their work on some of the most important topics confronting human society. Such topics include exploring the underlying power relations within society, the origins and implications of inequality, feminist economics, the origins of discrimination, the enabling myths of the dominant groups, the continuing conflict between rights and duties, the possibilities offered by modern technologies and the use of those possibilities for good or ill, the causes of financial crises, among others. Previous recipients include Levy scholars James Galbraith (2020), John F. Henry (2017), Jan Kregel (2011), and Hyman P. Minsky (1996).
L. Randall Wray is a senior scholar at the Levy Economics Institute and professor of economics at Bard College. He is one of the original developers of Modern Money Theory. Wray’s most recent books are Why Minsky Matters (Princeton University Press, 2016), and A Great Leap Forward (Academic Press, 2020), and Handbook of Economic Stagnation(with Flavia Dantas; Elsevier, 2022). Four new books will be published in 2022/2023: Making Money Work for Us (Polity Press, Fall 2022), Money For Beginners (with Heske Van Doornen; Polity Press, 2023), Modern Monetary Theory: Key Thinkers, Leading Insights (editor; Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022), and The Elgar Companion to Modern Money Theory (with Yeva Nersisyan; Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023).
Wray is the author of Money and Credit in Capitalist Economies (Edward Elgar Publishing, 1990), Understanding Modern Money (Edward Elgar Publishing, 1998), The Rise and Fall of Money Manager Capitalism (with É. Tymoigne; Routledge, 2013), Modern Money Theory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; 2nd rev. ed., 2015), and Macroeconomics (with William Mitchell and Martin Watts; Red Globe Press, 2019).
Wray previously taught at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and at the University of Denver, and has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Paris, Bologna, Bergamo and Rome, as well as UNAM in Mexico City. He holds a BA from the University of the Pacific and an MA and a Ph.D. from Washington University, where he was a student of Minsky. He has held a number of Fulbright Grants, including most recently at the Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. He is the 2022 Veblen-Commons Award winner for contributions to Institutionalist Thought and will be the 2022-2023 Teppola Distinguished Visiting Professor at Willamette University, Salem Oregon.
Learn more about the Veblen-Commons Award here.
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The Hurston Fellowship recognizes the particular challenges that BIPOC women encounter in the academy. Few BIPOC women are tenured or tenure track and most occupy precarious positions at their academic institutions. It is not the aim of the fellowship to increase the number of BIPOC women to the pool of tenure and tenure-track applicants. The program exists to assist these underrepresented voices into the publication of their works.
“For many adjuncts the path to writing and research is closed. The institutions where they labor do not offer funds or sabbaticals for such work. The Hurston Fellowship is one way to help these women find time for their own work. Zora Neale Hurston was one of the first independent scholars—writing on an array of subjects from anthropology to fiction. Like Hurston, our fellows, without institutional support, must make their own way through the world of publication and research,” says Grover.
During their residency, Hurston Fellows may participate in a daily program of workshops and meetings, offered in collaboration with the Bard College Institute of Writing and Thinking. However, fellows may also choose to spend their time working, writing, and researching independently. The residency includes visits by literary agents and editors, as well as readings and lectures by established writers and scholars. This summer, the two guest lecturers include Carolyn Ferrell, author of Miss Metropolitan, which was recently shortlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and literary agent Charlotte Sheedy of Sheedy Lit in conversation with her client Jive Poetic about the agent-author relationship and how an idea becomes a book. Fellows will also be invited back to Bard College in October of the fellowship year for a weekend-long meeting and workshop.
Danielle Elizabeth Chin graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College in May 2013 with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in English and World Literatures and a minor in Creative Writing before receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree from The New School in Creative Writing with a concentration in creative nonfiction. She has been an Adjunct Professor in Creative Writing at Marymount Manhattan College since 2015, where she has taught Introduction to Creative Writing I, Introduction to Creative Writing II, Intermediate Creative Writing, an Independent Study in Nonfiction, and a Special Topics course. She has also served as a Writing Assistant at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and for the CUNY EDGE program. Her other professional experiences include working as a research assistant for poet David Lehman, a teaching assistant for novelist Sigrid Nunez, and an assistant at a literary agency. Her work has appeared in The Inquisitive Eater, The Best American Poetry Blog, and Side B Magazine.
Neşe Devenot ’09 received her PhD in 2015 from the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied psychedelic philosophy, the literary history of chemical self-experimentation (“trip reports”), and radical poetics. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bard College in philosophy and literature. Devenot is a Postdoctoral Associate at Institute for Research in Sensing (IRiS), University of Cincinnati, and is a Lecturer and Medical Humanities Program Assistant at Pennsylvania State University. She has held positions as a Postdoctoral Scholar in Medicine, Society, and Culture, in the Bioethics Department at the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University (2018-20) and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Humanities in the Humanities Program and English Department at University of Puget Sound (2015-18). Her research explores the function of metaphor and other literary devices in verbal accounts of psychedelic experiences. She was awarded “Best Humanities Publication in Psychedelic Studies” from Breaking Convention in 2016 and received the Article Prize for best publication in Romanticism Studies from European Romantic Review in 2020. She was a 2015-16 Research Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Timothy Leary Papers and a Research Fellow with the New York University Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, where she participated in the first qualitative study of patient experiences. She was a founding member of the MAPS Graduate Student Association, which she moderated during 2011-13, and has presented on psychedelics at conferences in the United States, Mexico, Canada, England, France, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Shoshanna Edwards-Alexander received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University in 2005, M.S.W. from University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work in 1995, and B.A. in sociology and history/gender studies from Saint Lawrence University in 1993. Before teaching, she worked as a social worker and counselor. She is a Visiting and Senior Adjunct Professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where she teaches in the Haub School of Business, School of Health and Education, and College of Arts and Sciences. She also serves as a diversity consultant at Saint Joseph’s University. Her research interests include anti-racist and social justice pedagogies, womanist and feminist epistemologies, teacher preparation educational programs, and intersectionality within leadership development. She presents on topics including leadership and student advocacy; mentoring and feminist perspectives; global engagement, training, and development; and social work and mental health. She has won several awards and special recognitions including the Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Teaching for the Gender Studies Program Department at Saint Joseph’s University (2014).
Mona Kareem holds a PhD and MA in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the American University of Kuwait. She is a research fellow at Center for Humanities at Tufts University (2021-2022) and a recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts literary grant. She has taught at Princeton, University of Maryland College Park, SUNY Binghamton, Rutgers, and Bronx Community College. She was an affiliated research fellow at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies at the Freie Universität of Berlin. Kareem is the author of three poetry collections. Her most recent publication Femme Ghosts is a trilingual chapbook published by Publication Studio in Fall 2019. Her work has been translated into nine languages, and appeared in Brooklyn Rail, Michigan Quarterly, Fence, Ambit, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Asymptote, Words Without Borders, Poetry International, PEN English, Modern Poetry in Translation, Two Lines, and Specimen. She has won several awards and honors including a nomination for the Best Translated Book Award in 2016 for her English translation of Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within, which was reprinted by English PEN in 2017.
Madhu H. Kaza received her MFA in fiction, M.Phil and MA in Comparative Literature from New York University, and a BA in English from the University of Michigan. She serves as Associate Director of Microcollege Program and Faculty Development at the Bard Prison Initiative and teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University. Born in Andhra Pradesh, India, Kaza is a writer, translator, artist and educator based in New York City. She is a translator of the feminist Telugu writers Volga and Vimala. She is the editor of Kitchen Table Translation and her own writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Guernica, The Yale Review, Two Lines, Gulf Coast, The Margins, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of grants and awards including a non-fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a Yaddo residency. She was the founding director of the Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library and has taught at New York University, The New School, and at Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking, among other institutions.
Obi Nwizu received her MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom and her BA in Print Journalism from Georgia State University. Born in Anambra State, Nigeria, raised in Atlanta, Georgia, but currently calling Harlem home, Nwizu is a lover of month-long international vacations, vegan food, afrobeat, and rom-coms. When not writing, she teaches creative writing for the City University of New York and composition writing for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Selected publications include “Gathered Pieces of the Sun” in The Almbec, “Grapeseed Fields” in Torch Literary Arts, and “Lust Painted Walls” in Imagine Curve.
Dianca London Potts earned her MFA in fiction from The New School, MA in English and MA in Humanities from Arcadia University, and BA in English from Temple University. She is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Writing Department at Pratt Institute and teaches writing courses at Eugene Lang Liberal Arts College at The New School and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, a VONA Voices alumna, and the former online editor of Well-Read Black Girl. Her words have been featured in Lenny Letter, The Village Voice, Vice, Shondaland, and elsewhere. Her memoir, Planning for the Apocalypse, is forthcoming from 37 Ink / Simon and Schuster.
About the Zora Neale Hurston Writing Fellowship at Bard College
The Zora Neale Hurston Writing Fellowship at Bard College is a 3-week residential program designed to enable writers from all disciplines who have not had the opportunity to develop their scholarship, specifically, those who are without access to sabbaticals or their institution’s research funding. We seek fellows who are currently employed as adjuncts or visiting professors with terminal degrees and who have not yet published a book length work. Prospective Fellows should submit a vita, a letter of recommendation by someone familiar with their work, and an abstract of the project they wish to work on during the three-week residency. The abstract should not exceed 2000 words. Applicants need a college or university affiliation and should have a minimum of five years of teaching as an adjunct, lecturer or visiting professor. The application deadline is April 15, 2023. All applicants will be notified of the admission Committee’s decision by May 15, 2023. To submit materials or for questions please email [email protected].
Rather than understanding Florida as the battleground of a contemporary right-wing culture war, Encarnación discusses “Florida’s dark and painful LGBTQ history,” with homophobic legislation spanning back to the 1950s, and the lack of any formal reckoning with that past as crucial in understanding the politics leading to this new law. “In the absence of such a reckoning, history continues to repeat itself in Florida with grave consequences for the state’s reputation, the welfare of its LGBTQ citizens, and even for the American nation as a whole,” he writes.
Computer science and Asian studies joint major Asyl Almaz ’24, from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, has been awarded $4,000 towards her studies via Bard’s Tuition Exchange at Waseda University in Tokyo for fall 2022. “Coming from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, it has not been an easy journey immersing myself into a different culture when I moved to America for college—let alone another one. I am so incredibly grateful to receive the Gilman scholarship to be able to spend a semester in Waseda. This will ensure that I will be able to not only step foot in another country and learn so many new things about Asian history and culture, but also to be able to afford the expenses that I will have to pay there,” said Almaz.
Music and Asian studies joint major Nandi Woodfork-Bey ’22, from Sacramento, California, has been awarded $3,500 to study at the American College of Greece for fall 2022. “I’m immensely grateful to have received the Gilman Scholarship. I look forward to spending a semester abroad in Greece as I expand and diversify my studies in music and culture. Studying abroad will help me build the global and professional skills needed to succeed in my future endeavors, and I’m thankful that the Gilman program has further helped me achieve this opportunity” said Woodfork-Bey.
Theater major Grant Venable ’24, from Sherman Oaks, California, received a Gilman-DAAD scholarship and has been awarded $5,000 to study at Bard College Berlin for fall 2022. “I am honored to be able to attend Bard College in Berlin with the help of the Gilman scholarship. This scholarship will allow me to pursue my passion for theater and challenge my work as a performance artist through my studies in Berlin,” said Venable.
Philosophy major Azriel Almodovar ’24, from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, has been awarded $3,500 to study in Taormina, Italy on Bard’s Italian Language Intensive program in summer 2022. “Thanks to the Gilman Scholarship, I am able to study abroad with no financial issues and really take advantage of all that the Italian Intensive Program has to offer. I am very grateful for being a recipient and look forward to my time abroad,” said Almodovar.
Since the program’s establishment in 2001, over 1,350 U.S. institutions have sent more than 34,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds to 155 countries around the globe. The program has successfully broadened U.S. participation in study abroad, while emphasizing countries and regions where fewer Americans traditionally study.
As Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, “People-to-people exchanges bring our world closer together and convey the best of America to the world, especially to its young people.”
The late Congressman Gilman, for whom the scholarship is named, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. When honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, he said, “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views but adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”
The Gilman Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE). To learn more, visit: gilmanscholarship.org
Madans asserts: “Had investments been made in maintaining and modernizing the health data infrastructure we would have had information on COVID-related deaths, hospitalizations, ambulatory care visits and symptoms along with information on the impacts of the pandemic on wellbeing. This would have allowed for immediate tracking of the pandemic at its earliest stages and the continuing monitoring of response capabilities as it changed course. Without this investment, the data that were produced were delayed and in many cases they were of limited quality, which hampered our ability to control the pandemic and meet the health and health care needs of the population.”
Mercer Greenwald ’22, a German Studies major from Williamstown, MA, has won a Fulbright Research and Teaching Assistantship Award in Austria for the 2022–23 academic year. As a Combined Research and Teaching Fulbright Scholar, Greenwald will spend the year immersed in the cultural life of the city of Vienna, where she will teach English and write an independent research project on the topic of “concomitant being” in the work of Austrian writer and thinker Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) and the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector (1920–1977). Greenwald will begin doctoral study in Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University in the fall of 2023.
Maya Frieden ’22 (they/them), an art history and visual culture major, has won a Fulbright Study/Research Award to support graduate study in the Netherlands for the 2022–23 academic year. Frieden will spend the year in the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s Master’s program, Art & Culture: Design Cultures. “I have often questioned the sustainability of the current pace at which the design industry is progressing. Embedded within every designed element--from object design to urban design--are intentions that can be sensed, even subtly, by those encountering them, and they frequently symbolize and materialize exclusionary or prohibitive ideologies,” says Frieden. “The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s Master’s program, Art & Culture: Design Cultures, understands the significance of historical, sociological and environmental research within the field of design, training students with the skills to interpret, discuss and interact with the discipline, so that we will be equipped to contribute in quickening the pace. By studying in this Master’s program, I will develop additional strategies for noticing the presence or absence of sensitivity within design, while also improving my capabilities for communicating such analyses, and working with those in positions that influence how our world is designed.”
Paola Luchsinger ’20, a Spanish major from Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Greece for the 2022–23 academic year. She will spend the year in Athens teaching English elementary through secondary students at Athens College–Hellenic American Educational Foundation. “As an English Teaching Assistant in Greece, I hope to gain an idea of Greek perceptions of American culture while also representing a positive image of the United States. I have chosen Greece as my destination because a year in Greece will give me the opportunity to become fluent in Greek through immersion and improve my knowledge of modern Greek society,” says Luchsinger.
Lance Sum ’21 (BHSEC Manhattan ’19), an anthropology major from Brooklyn, NY, won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Taiwan for the 2022–23 academic year. He intended to teach English and participate in intensive outdoor adventures, explore large influential cultural institutions in the major cities of Taiwan, host peer review writing and poetry sessions, and educate his Taiwanese community members about his experience in growing up in New York City. “I think Taiwan could offer me a more magnified perspective of a community who has preserved their own culture through much political and colonial pressure, an experience that would help me develop my cultural understanding for others,” says Sum.
Jordan Donohue ’22, a historical studies major, won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Brazil for the 2022–23 academic year. She will spend in the year teaching English and deepening her knowledge around music and farming. Continuing her past work with Indigenous groups internationally, she plans to engage with and learn from the Indigenous populations of Brazil. Additionally, Jordan has studied Portuguese for seven years and will utilize her time as a Fulbright scholar to advance her fluency and prepare for further academic research on the language and culture of Brazil.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program expands perspectives through academic and professional advancement and cross-cultural dialogue. Fulbright creates connections in a complex and changing world. In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals from all backgrounds. Program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English abroad. us.fulbrightonline.org.
Ashley Eugley ’22, from South Bristol, Maine, will challenge the hegemony of conventional, top-down scientific approaches by exploring community science initiatives in across four continents. She will work directly with communities and nonprofit organizations, seeking to learn how participatory science efforts diverge from the paradigmatic model and how they are leveraged to monitor change, combat environmental injustice, enhance resilience, and bolster agency. An Environmental and Urban Studies major with a focus on economics, policy, and global development, Eugley says: “Environment is everything: it is a determinant of health, happiness, and agency. Unfortunately, communities across the world lack access to clean air, potable water, and uncontaminated soil, factors that are essential to environmental security and justice. Rather than passively enabling environmental inequality to persist, communities can use participatory science to monitor hazards and leverage their findings to advocate for justice. This approach diverges from the mainstream paradigm of institutionalized science by empowering non-experts to use accessible scientific approaches to enhance their knowledge, resilience, and agency.” She will spend her Watson year in South Africa, Brazil, Australia, and Ireland
Andy Garcia ’22, from New York City, will visually theorize, through a photographic lens, what the present and future of the African diaspora would be if colonization and slavery had not occurred. Using using their 23andMe results as an itinerary, Garcia will confront the sinister colonial history that has caused fractures and gaps in the understanding of identity in African diasporic descendants. A photography major, Garcia says: “African diasporic people have ended up in these places as a result of immigration, expatriation, and slavery. In creating a visual Afro-futurist media grounded in my lens as a person whose identity has been fractured by colonialism and slavery, I will materialize theories on the future of the African diaspora. This engagement with my ancestral history will enable me to rethink notions of identity beyond just connections to land in a global history marked by forced and coerced immigration.” They will spend their Watson year in Spain, France, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt and, hopefully Pakistan.
A Watson Year provides fellows with an opportunity to test their aspirations and abilities through a personal project cultivated on an international scale. Watson Fellows have gone on to become leaders in their fields including CEOs of major corporations, college presidents, Emmy, Grammy and Oscar Award winners, Pulitzer Prize awardees, artists, diplomats, doctors, entrepreneurs, faculty, journalists, lawyers, politicians, researchers and inspiring influencers around the world. Following the year, they join a community of peers who provide a lifetime of support and inspiration. More than 3000 Watson Fellows have been named since the inaugural class in 1969. For more information about the Watson Fellowship, visit: https://watson.foundation.
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Not the World’s War(Originally published in print by Indian Express, excerpt below)
by Sanjib Baruah
“Like sex in Victorian England . . . race is a taboo subject in contemporary polite society.” This is how the late R J Vincent, a highly regarded British international relations theorist, began his 1982 article, ‘Race in international relations’. Behind the diffidence about race, he said, there lurk dire apprehensions about racial divisions in international affairs. Apparently, Alec Douglas-Home, British prime minister in the early Sixties, was among the few politicians to publicly acknowledge such forebodings. Douglas-Home is reported to have said, “I believe the greatest danger ahead of us is that the world might be divided on racial lines. I see no danger, not even the nuclear bomb, which could be so catastrophic as that”.
His fears were not unfounded. It was during his brief tenure as prime minister (1963-64) that radical Black American leader Malcolm X appealed to the leaders of newly-independent African countries to place the issue of the persecution and violence against Blacks on the UN agenda. “If South African racism is not a domestic issue,” he said, “then American racism also is not a domestic issue.” US officials worried that if Malcolm X were to convince just one African government, US domestic politics might become the subject of UN debates. It would undermine US efforts to establish itself as leader of the West and a protector of human rights.
Two years ago, the worldwide protests against racism and police violence sparked by the police killing of George Floyd reminded everyone that the influential Black intellectual W E B Du Bois’s contention that America’s race problem “is but a local phase of a world problem” still resonates in large parts of the world.
Perhaps America’s Ambassador to the UN, Black diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield could have given some thought to DuBois’s prophetic words before commenting on the large number of African abstentions in the UN General Assembly vote deploring the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She vigorously rejected any analogy with the non-aligned stance of former colonial nations during the Cold War. The resolution was supported by an overwhelming majority of countries: 145 to 5 with 35 abstentions — India, China, and South Africa among them.
“The Talmud is like the Great Sea” so goes an old adage, “it is as it says, ‘All the streams go to the sea’” (Midrash Canticles Rabbah 5:14). Rather than viewing the Talmud’s formation as an abstract textual process, Secunda analyzes its emergence in cultural historical terms by locating it in the minds and mouths of Babylonian rabbis, in their scholarly circles and institutions, and alongside other religious communities in the Sasanian Iranian Empire (224-651 C.E.).
As the founder of the Me In Foundation, Oshuna-Williams seeks to increase artistic education opportunities for underrepresented youth through social and cultural awareness year-round programming. In her first semester at Bard College, Oshuna-Williams created the Me In Foundation as a Trustee Leader Scholar project. The Foundation allows youth scholars to share their stories through a variety of different art forms and currently works with over one-hundred and fifty K-12 students in Upstate New York and Atlanta. Oshuna-Williams is also a Mogul in Training at Usher Raymond’s non-profit organization, Usher’s New Look, where she facilitates conversations centered around college and career readiness as well as financial literacy. Oshuna-Williams continues to use her passion for storytelling to bring untold truths to the surface because, as she says, “Every story deserves to be heard by the characters who live it."
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact will provide these students with a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, fellows participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities to help provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
The fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, fellows are nominated by Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors, who are invited to select one outstanding student from their campus each year.
“Sydney Oshuna-Williams, a second year Posse scholar at Bard College, is a very active student addressing mental health healing in our student body (as a peer health educator specializing in the healing of BIPOC students) and securing pathways to creative careers for kids in our neighboring communities. Sydney is currently serving as a peer counselor (Bard's version of residential advisor) to support students in their living environments and a Sister2Sister mentor (a student-led mentorship program providing guidance and opportunity to young women of color). Sydney also partners Bard's neighboring school districts with schools in her home state of Georgia to bridge opportunity across geographical limitations,” said Bard President Botstein.
Nabanjan Maitra holds the position of Assistant Professor of Instruction at the University of Texas, Austin, where he has taught courses on the Religions of South Asia and Sanskrit. He has a PhD in the History of Religions from the University of Chicago with a focus on Hinduism. His book project, The Rebirth of Homo Vedicus, examines the formulation and implementation of a novel form of monastic power in a medieval south India monastery. He has pieces forthcoming in JSTOR Daily, Journal of South Asian Intellectual History, and edited volumes on monasticism in South Asia. Professor Maitra will join the Bard College faculty in Fall 2022.
“The project team and I are deeply grateful to the Mellon Foundation for this opportunity and for consistently supporting innovation in the arts and humanities, especially at this crucial juncture. Liberal arts colleges by their nature are small, inter-knit communities and this makes them ideal sites to both explore challenging questions and test out long-lasting curricular development in the service of equity,” says Associate Professor of History and Dean of Graduate Studies Christian Ayne Crouch. “Bard College is fortunate to count Vine Deloria Sr. (Yankton Dakota/Standing Rock Sioux) among our distinguished alumni. Being able to honor the interdisciplinary intellectual legacy of Deloria Sr. and his family makes this grant especially meaningful. The Mellon Foundation’s support for developing partnerships in this grant with individuals both inside and outside of higher education enhances an already-exciting opportunity.”
Bard College’s grant is part of the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities for All Times Initiative created to support newly developed curricula that both instruct students in methods of humanities practice and demonstrate those methods’ relevance to broader social justice pursuits. Of the 50 liberal arts colleges invited to submit proposals, 12 institutions were selected to receive a grant of up to $1.5 million to be used over a three-year period to support the envisioned curricular projects and help students to see and experience the applicability of humanities in their real-world social justice objectives.
Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck asks: What would it look like to truly acknowledge the land beneath us, its history, and to collaborate with its continuing stewards? It affirms Bard’s tangible commitments to the principles and ideals of the College’s 2020 land acknowledgment by recognizing the need to address historical erasure and make space for marginalized epistemologies. Rethinking Place’s proposed curriculum and programming takes the acknowledgment of the land—and the brutal history which has unfolded on it—and offers a new way to approach this work that emphasizes inclusivity in order to build a future that is fundamentally distinct from this past.
Each year, Rethinking Place will feature articulated NAIS themes and frames in which faculty, students, and staff can begin thinking in interdisciplinary terms and will engage the following five components: curriculum development, annual conferences, conference workshops, collaborative signage and mapping projects, and post-doctoral program-building. In order to hold Native concerns at the forefront of this work, the project team is in conversation with the Cultural Affairs Office of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community and will also be in dialogue around Native arts with the Native-led Forge Project based in Taghkanic, New York.
Led by a diverse, interdisciplinary project team of Black, Latinx, and transgender faculty, as well as Native partners, Rethinking Place is being developed through Bard’s American Studies Program. Core members of Bard’s project team include: Associate Professor of History and Dean of Graduate Studies Christian Ayne Crouch (Principal Investigator), Associate Professor of Literature and Director of American Studies Peter L’Official (Project Coordinator), Associate Professor and Director of Environmental and Urban Studies Elias Dueker, Artist in Residence and Codirector of the Center for Experimental Humanities Krista Caballero, and Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies and master barber Joshua Livingston. Grant projects will also take place in collaboration with Bard’s Center for Experimental Humanities, Center for Human Rights and the Arts, and the Center for Environmental Sciences and Humanities and with faculty partners at Vassar College and Williams College.
This generous Mellon grant offers Bard the opportunity to contribute in innovative ways to the field of American Studies and in humanities fields more generally, and therefore increase broad and diverse enrollment in the humanities—particularly among members of communities marginalized by certain disciplines—and to restore humanities as a central component to the future of higher education and social justice.
“The Humanities for All Times initiative underscores that it’s not only critical to show students that the humanities improve the quality of their everyday lives, but also that they are a crucial tool in efforts to bring about meaningful progressive change in the world,” said Phillip Brian Harper, Mellon Foundation Higher Learning Program Director. “We are thrilled to support this work at liberal arts colleges across the country - given their unequivocal commitment to humanities-based knowledge, and their close ties to the local communities in which such knowledge can be put to immediate productive use, we know that these schools are perfectly positioned to take on this important work.”
More information about the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities for All Times Initiative can be found here.
Full Story in the Indian Express
Full Story on possefoundation.org
Full Story in the Indian Express
“Jonathan and I realized that there is very little engagement with local government here, when more engagement of local people and Bard means more civic literacy and a better functioning government,” said Cannan in an article appearing in the Red Hook Daily Catch. “Few people have access to youth voices, the perspective of someone who is current on certain trends that older people don’t have. Students are going to move into the world soon, and this experience gets them ahead of the times and properly engaged in politics.”
Bard College junior Sonita Alizada is one of six activists featured in the 2022 calendar by the coffee company Lavazza, titled “I can change the world.” This year’s calendar highlights activists who have devoted themselves to changing the world through art. Alizada is a rapper and refugee from Afghanistan who uses her platform to oppose child marriage. “I strongly believe that art, photography, music, and entertainment play a vital role in public perception and behavior,” says Alizada in an interview filmed at Bard's Blithewood Garden. Speaking of the other contributors, she observes, “Although we all have different back stories and our work may focus on different issues, everyone involved has focused on using their skills for positive change, and this is amazing.” Since 1993, Lavazza has published an annual calendar with accompanying photo shoots, interviews, and video series spearheaded by a leading photographer. This year it was the Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.