2017 Issue 1

PAIGE KENNEDY ’84 CHARTS AN UNCOMMON LITERARY COURSE

BY GABRIEL POPKIN ’03 PAGAN KENNEDY ’84 has always seen things a little differently. When she recently met Abby Solomon, a 21-year-old with a rare genetic condition that prevents her from eating more than a few bites at a time, she didn’t focus on Solomon’s striking thinness, as many do. Instead she saw a beautiful…

THE BACKSTORY

The stories behind the words: Poems from Gina Athena Ulysse (“I am a storm,” from Because When God Is Too Busy) and Claudine Nash ’92 (“The Problem with Loving Ghosts,” from Parts per Trillion). GINA ATHENA ULYSSE Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, Me & The World (WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2017) Gina Athena Ulysse…

DIALOGUES ON THE CRISIS OF MASS INCARCERATION

Members of the Wesleyan community here and across the country are engaged in exploring, ameliorating, and solving the crises that surround the mass incarceration—and disenfranchisement—of a vast segment of the American population. This year on campus, a confluence of programs—from the First Year Matters Common Reading, to a Course Cluster, to the annual Shasha Seminar…

EDGAR BECKHAM: “TURN DIVERSITY INTO AN EDUCATIONAL ASSET”

The College of Letters annual report for 1968–69 notes that Edgar Beckham taught COL 370: The Literature of Black Experience: “It was the first course in black studies offered by a black instructor.“ EDGAR BECKHAM: “TURN DIVERSITY INTO AN EDUCATIONAL ASSET” Edgar F. Beckham came to Wesleyan from Hartford in 1951. As most students did,…

SHAWN DOVE ’84: THE MINISTRY OF REVERSING THE TREND

BY ANDREW FAUGHT SHAWN DOVE ’84: THE MINISTRY OF REVERSING THE TREND Twenty-one years ago, the Urban Institute think tank issued a report that highlighted 51 “promising” or “effective” programs that worked to improve the life outcomes of black men and boys, who trailed their white counterparts in categories ranging from high school graduation rates…

OTHER WORLDS

BY ERIC BUTTERMAN A U.S. Navy man, a customs inspector, even a cabbie—that’s a bio we can buy. But an acclaimed sci-fi novelist who didn’t publish his first book until after he had turned 50? Now that definitely sounds like a work of science fiction. Yet this is the life of 81-year-old Jack McDevitt, MALS…

TRUE BELIEVER: KEEPING THE CAMERAS ROLLING

Guiding religious scholar Reza Aslan through his “spiritual adventure series,” two alumni practice what they learned as film majors. A new CNN original series, Believer with Reza Aslan, employs the talents of two alumni who majored in film: executive producer and show runner Liz Bronstein ’89 and director Ben Selkow ’96. Additionally, Professor of Religion…

LETTER HOME: VISITING SWAZILAND WITH STEVE KALLAUGHER ’73 AND YOUNG HEROES FOUNDATION

By Steve Machuga, director of administrative systems, Wesleyan Information Technology Services LED BY STEVE KALLAUGHER ’73, we’ve just arrived by van at the Mlindazwe Orphan Care Point—a two-room, cinder-block building with a tin roof and a surrounding grass-and-dirt play yard. Steve reaches out and hugs Make (Mother) Maziya. She has the presence and dignity of…

EVERY PORTRAIT TELLS A STORY

When computer-analyst-by-day-artist-by-night Julia L. Kay ’83 invited fellow artists to draw each other via an online portrait drawing group, she had no idea how many, if any, would respond. Seven years later, almost 1,000 artists from 55 countries have contributed 50,000 creations to Kay’s international online collaborative art project, Julia Kay’s Portrait Party (JKPP). A…