East Asian Studies Lecture: “Luring the Immortals: An American Artist’s Experiences in a Chinese Garden” — Thurs., 4:30 p.m.


Luring the Immortals: An American Artist’s Experiences in a Chinese Garden

Ian Boyden

Thursday, October 31, 4:30 PM

Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies

for info — 860-685-2330

Witness to the drama of burgeoning China and how it responds to, incorporates, and sometimes eclipses its past, Asian art historian and visual artist Ian Boyden (‘95) presents a talk about recent experiences as the first artist-in-residence in the Jia Yuan Garden, a 17th century classical garden in the heart of Suzhou, China. At the invitation of an investment arm of China Telecom, Boyden was the art consultant in the garden’s extensive renovation, an experience that provided an incredible stage upon which to witness and participate in the surreal clash of recasting and leveraging old-world culture according to new-world values. In this highly visual talk, Boyden contemplates multiple forms of acculturation: that of the often awkward and hilarious ways the Chinese made sense of him, of his own struggles making sense of the quickly shifting identity of China, and of the way his evolving knowledge of Chinese culture filters and informs his own art practice. His wild art trajectory in Suzhou included introducing the concept of a place-based artist residency, designing and overseeing the construction of a 4,700 sq ft art gallery, making a series of installations responding to the garden, and ultimately holding a solo exhibition at the I. M. Pei-designed Suzhou Museum where his ink paintings were hailed as starting a new tradition of Chinese painting.

Artist’s website: http://ianboyden.com/

HIST Dept. Distinguished Lecture: Natalie Zemon Davis, 10/17 at 4:15 p.m.

Thursday, October 17, at 4.15 pm in Beckham Hall,
the History Department is hosting its annual Distinguished Lecture,

being delivered this year by

Professor Natalie Zemon Davis,

Henry Charles Lea Professor of History Emerita, Princeton University

A pioneering feminist historian who taught one of the earliest courses in North American on the history of women and became the second woman elected as president of the American Historical Association, Prof.
Davis broke new ground in the historical study of early modern European women’s lives and experiences in the 1970s, and shortly after began to develop new ways of thinking about gender and sexuality as categories of intersectional analysis in historically changing systems of power and meaning.   Natalie Zemon Davis has received honorary degrees from numerous universities in the United States and Europe.

In recognition of her pathbreaking historical work, in 2010 she was awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize, and in 2012 she received the National Humanities Medal. Her many books and articles include The Return of Martin Guerre (1983), Fiction in the Archives (1987), Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives (1995), The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France (2000), Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision (2002), and Trickster Travels (2006).

Tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 17 at 4.15 pm, Professor Davis will be presenting a talk from her current research, “Leo Africanus” Discovers Comedy:  A Mediterranean Adventure. This talk stages a dialogue between two theatrical traditions at the end of the Middle Ages: the popular theater of the Arabic and Islamic world and the theater of Christian Europe. It does so through the adventures of Hasan al-Wazzan (“Leo Africanus”), a Moroccan traveler and diplomat, who was captured by Christian pirates in 1518 and spent several years in Italy as a seeming convert before returning to North Africa. Her talk reflects on possible limits to cultural exchange and on the continuing vigor of alternate cultural traditions.

Her talk will be followed by a question and answer period and a campus wide reception with light  refreshments and beverages.

Lecture: “Wildlands, Woodlands, and Farmlands,” Wed., 9/25 7 p.m.

“Wildlands, Woodlands, and Farmlands:

The Past and Future of New England Forests and Farming”

               Brian Donahue                                                                            

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 – 7pm – PAC 001

Brian Donahue.jpg Brian Donahue is Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies on the Jack Meyerhoff Fund at Brandeis University, and Environmental Historian at Harvard Forest.  He teaches courses on environmental issues, environmental history, and sustainable farming and forestry, and chairs the Environmental Studies Program.

Donahue holds a BA, MA, and PhD from the Brandeis program in the History of American Civilization.  He co-founded and for 12 years directed Land’s Sake, a non-profit community farm in Weston, Massachusetts, and serves today on the Weston Conservation Commission and the Community Preservation Committee.  For three years he was Director of Education at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas.  He sits on several other boards including the Thoreau Farm Trust and The Land Institute.

Donahue is author of Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town (Yale University Press, 1999), which was awarded the book prize from the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.  He also wrote The Great Meadow: Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord (Yale Press, 2004), which won book prizes from the New England Historical Association, the Agricultural History Society, and the American Society for Environmental History.  His latest publication is American Georgics: Writings on Farming, Culture and the Land (Yale Press, 2011), an anthology co-edited with Edwin Hagenstein and Sara Gregg.

For more information, please contact Valerie Marinelli, 860-685-3733 or vmarinelli@wesleyan.edu

This lecture is sponsored by Wesleyan University’s Baldwin University Lectures, The Mellon Fund for Lectures in Ethics, Politics and Social Issues, The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, College of the Environment, Science in Society Program, Center for the Americas and History Department

Constitution Day Lecture with Ted Shaw ’76: “Looking Backwards, Looking Forward: The Persistence of Race in Twenty-First Century American Life” — 9/17, 7:30 p.m.




Looking Backwards, Lookng Forward:  The Persistence of Race in Twenty-First Century American Life”

Tuesday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Smith Reading Room, Olin Library

Ted ShawTed Shaw is Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University Law School and of counsel at the international firm of Fulbright and Jaworski.  He served as director-counsel and president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 2004 through 2009 and as a Wesleyan Trustee for 15 years.