CSS Info Session — Feb. 6 at noon

An Invitation from the Tutors and Students in the College of Social Studies

The CSS Tutors and Students invite you to a CSS Info Session on Tuesday, February 6th, from 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m., in the CSS Lounge, PAC 406.

Several of the CSS Tutors and many of the CSS Students will speak.  This Info Session will offer you an opportunity to ask questions about the CSS.  Pizza will be served.

Please note:

  • Applications for the CSS will be available online beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6th, and are due by 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13th.
  • Interviews with CSS Tutors and Students will be held before Spring Break.
  • Check here for more information about the CSS: http://wesleyan.edu/css.

New Course: DANC378–Contemporary Dance from Global Perspectives

Repertory and Performance: Contemporary Dance from Global Perspectives (DANC 378, Sec 01).

Mon/Wed 2.50- 4.20pm at the Cross Street Studio.

This interdisciplinary course aims to understand contemporary dance and the moving body from global perspectives. It draws from a range of approaches to aesthetics and choreography, politics, and understandings of culture-at-large. Students will spend the majority of class time collaborating and learning various movement possibilities. In addition, they will also learn by viewing, discussing, and writing. There will be several guest classes with instructors representing the world of global contemporary dance today. The course is a combination of studio and lecture and will also include critical discussions of scholarly writing, watching and analyzing choreographic sequences on film, participating in guest master-classes, and attending on and off campus performances (including seeing performances in New York City).

This is a hybrid course focusing on studio and lecture components that relate to a range of subject areas and disciplines including (but not limited to) Dance, Film Studies, Anthropology, Eurasian Studies, African-American Studies, Theater, South Asian Studies, East Asian Studies, FGSS, History, and Music. Students will engage with multiple cultural practices, values, and traditions, and will learn to articulate a synthesized understanding of common aesthetic trends, structures, and ideologies.

Previous dance experience is NOT necessary.



Call for Submissions of Art/Performance on Disruption/Disaster Due: Feb. 1

The College of the Environment Think Tank is inviting proposals for creative work on the theme of “Disaster” and the ways in which humans confront or survive disasters, to be shared with the public on Friday, March 2, 2018 in the Memorial Chapel as part of an event hosted by the COE Think Tank.

Below is the description of the themes we are working with.

Proposals can be submitted for the creation of new work, or for existing work.  We are able to offer $200 honoraria. In addition to sharing the work at the March 2 event, we will ask you to talk about your project in 8-10 minute presentation with time for audience to respond and ask questions.

Proposals are due by Thursday, February 1, midnight, to Katja Kolcio – Kkolcio@wesleyan.edu

Selection will be determined by Tuesday, February 6.  Work must be completed by Monday, February 26 and the event will take place Friday, March 2, afternoon-evening.

Please include:

Your full name      Wesleyan University Email Address     Your Wesleyan University P.O Box # (for payment purposes only)     Your Wesleyan University ID # (for payment purposes only)     Your class year and major(s) if you have declared.     Are you an international student? (for payment purposes only)A 300 word (maximum) description of the work. A sample of the work or other relevant work if such exists.  A description of the format and technical requirements (Performance? Exhibit? Video? Music? Etc?)


Since its inception, the Earth has had a violent history of disruption and disasters.  Volcanic eruptions, transformations of the atmosphere, meteoritic collisions, mass extinctions, moving glaciers, plagues, disease, wars, politics and belief systems are but some of the perturbations, natural and otherwise, that disrupt the dynamic processes of the earth and all life that has lived on it. Natural and anthropogenic perturbations across a range of scales set the Earth, ecosystems and human communities onto different courses.  While disruptions and disasters have been an integral part of the history and evolution of the planet, the relationship between humans and their environment continues to evolve as perturbations shift in frequency, magnitude and type.  These perturbations arise from both non-anthropogenic  and anthropogenic  sources.  But there is also a growing human-environment interaction that leads to disruptions and disasters at a variety of scales.  While some of the anthropogenic factors depend upon technological advances (e.g., nuclear radiation) other factors are ancient (e.g., the use of fire to clear large areas for agricultural purposes, such as in Ukraine, Indonesia or South America).

Our current world offers a series of profound challenges to humanity.  We are pushing our world towards a tipping point of climate change by our changes to the carbon cycle and use of fossil fuels. The social-political-ethnic-religious theater of rivalries and conflict intensifies as the environmental stage rotates. The biochemical machinery of humans and the biological world is now constantly challenged by exposure to a bewildering array of microbes, chemical, and other disturbance agents—to which, humans and other Earth inhabitants must continually adapt. In all of this, the human-environment relationship is cyclical. Both parts of the relationship manifest change in the other setting up an ever changing dynamic.

The 2017-2018 College of the Environment Think Tank will focus upon how humanity will confront and take measure of the human-environment relationship from diverse perspectives of biochemistry, ecology, socio-political-religious, somatics, art, and embodiment.

Thank you, 2017-18 Think Tank Members

Katja Kolcio, Chair and Professor of Dance

Ishita Mukerji, Professor of Integrative Science and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Marguerite Nguyen, Assistant Professor of English and East Asian Studies

Eiko Otake, Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the College of the Environment

Helen Poulos, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environment Studies

New Course: ENGL223: African Novel after Achebe MW 2:50-4:10 p.m.

  • ENGL223: African Novel after Achebe with Professor Lily Saint (MW 2:50): 
    • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2003 novel, PURPLE HIBISCUS, summons Chinua Achebe, the “grandfather of African literature,” in its opening line: “Things started to fall apart at home when my brother, Jaja, did not go to communion.” While Achebe remains a formative influence on Adichie and on many other contemporary African writers, the central preoccupations of African literature have shifted considerably in recent years. This class will consider recent topics animating the field. These include debates about Afropolitanism, the role of publication houses and prize committees in the canonization and circulation of texts, queer African literature, African-language literature, and the position of African literature vis-à-vis world literature. Readings will be chosen from among the newest novels and short stories in publication.

See Wesmaps for more information.

New Course: ENVS303/CGST303–Ukraine and Its Environment Time: TBA

Ukraine and Its Environment (ENVS 303 CGST 303)

WesMaps link https://iasext.wesleyan.edu/regprod/!wesmaps_page.html?stuid=&facid=NONE&crse=014802&term=1181

This course will include an intensive travel experience to Ukraine over Spring Break.

The cost of the course travel is covered by your tuition.

Please note, this year there are NO PREREQUISITES REQUIRED.

Space limited: POIs will be granted during Drop/Add period.

Contact Katja Kolcio kkolcio@wesleyan.edu and Barry Chernoff bchernoff@wesleyan.edu

Please note, this year there are NO PREREQUISITES REQUIRED. Space limited: POIs will be granted during Drop/Add period.


New Course: DANCE 251: Javanese Dance I T/Th 2:50-4:10 p.m.

New Course and Special Opportunity to study Javanese Dance with distinguished artist from Indonesia only this Spring 2018!

No previous dance experience required!

Javanese Dance I  

DANC 251.01 Spring 2018

T/Th 2:50-4:10 PM

World Music Hall

Credit: .5
Certificates: South Asia Studies


Course Description Instruction in the classical dance of central Java will begin with the basic movement vocabulary and proceed to the study of dance repertoires. At the end of the semester, an informal recital will be arranged with the accompaniment of live gamelan music. No previous dance experience necessary.


Trained in both classical and contemporary Javanese theatrical and dance forms, Pamardi is a prominent dancer and choreographer from the renowned Institute of the Arts in Surakarta, Java, Indonesia; he is considered one of the preeminent performers of both refined and strong form of Javanese dance. Pamardi has extensive performance experience in Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, China, India, Europe and the United States, and has taught dance in Indonesia, Japan, and the United States.

New Course: FIST232/MDST232: Obscure Enigma of Desire — MW 10:50 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

FIST232/MDST232   Obscure Enigma of Desire, MW 10:50AM-12:10PM; FISK210, Professor Jeff Rider

This course is an introduction to the study of the ways we create meanings when we read texts. It will focus on several deliberately obscure literary texts from twelfth-century France and will examine them in the light of the classical and medieval concepts of enigma, the marvelous (wonderful), fabula, and allegory as well as some modern theoretical works about how we understand narratives. We will seek to understand why deliberate obscurity is an important part of literature and how medieval authors created narratives that seem particularly meaningful precisely because they are obscure. We will consider why we feel these texts have meaning and the ways in which we make them meaningful to us.

This course will be co-taught in parallel with a course (in English) on the same subject offered at the Charles University in Prague by Professor Lucie Dolezalova. About half of the classes will be conducted together with the class in Prague through teleconferencing and Professor Dolezalova will teach one week of the course at Wesleyan and meet with students while she is here.


Marie de France, Lais; Chrétien de Troyes, The Knight of the Cart (Lancelot) and The Story of the Grail; The Quest for the Holy Grail; Aristotle, Poetics (excerpts); Cicero, On the Orator and On Invention (excerpts); Rhetorica ad Herennium (excerpts); Quintillian, The Oratorical Education (excerpts); Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights(excerpts); Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, On the Trinity, Questions Concerning the Heptateuch, and Expositions of the Psalms (excerpts); Isidore of Seville, Etymologies (excerpts); Aldhelm of Malmesbury, Enigmas (excerpts); Abelard, Christian Theology (excerpts); William of Conches, Commentaries on Boethius’s “Consolation of Philosophy” (excerpts); Hugh of Saint-Victor, On the Three Days, On Meditation, and Didascalicon (excerpts); Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles  and Summa Theologica (excerpts); Eleanor Cook, Enigmas and Riddles in Literature (excerpts); Rita Copeland and Stephen Melville, “Allegory and Allegoresis, Rhetoric and Hermeneutics”; Joseph Dane, “Integumentum as Interpretation”; Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics (excerpts); Peter Dronke, Fabula: Explorations into the Uses of Myth in Medieval Platonism (excerpts); Louis Mink, “History and Fiction as Modes of Comprehension”; Karl F. Morrison, “Hermeneutics and Enigma: Bernard of Clairvaux’s De consideratione”; Paul Ricoeur, “Metaphor and Hermeneutics,” “The Hermeneutical Function of Distanciation,” “What is a Text?” and “Appropriation”; Winthrop Wetherbee, Platonism and Poetry in the Twelfth Century (excerpts); Jan Ziolkowski, “Theories of Obscurity in the Latin Tradition”

New Course: ENGL373/MDST373: From Courtly Love to Cannibalism: Medival Romances MW 2:50-4 p.m.

English 373:  From Courtly Love to Cannibalism: Medieval Romances

MW 2:50-4 p.m., Professor Ruth Nisse

Romance is the narrative form of medieval sexualities and courtly love, but it also gives literary shape to social worlds in which a queer protagonist loses gender, skin color changes with religion, and a dog might be the hero of a tale. We will begin with texts that date from the Romance’s origins in 12th-century France and continue with the form’s development up to the well-known Middle English texts of the 14th century, including Sir Gawain and the Green Knight set at King Arthur’s court. Some of the topics we will consider are Romance’s engagement with the religious and ethnic conflicts of the Crusades, theories of good and bad government, and of course, Christian mysticism and the Holy Grail.


Béroul, Romance of Tristan Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances Marie de France, Lais Aucassin and Nicolette The Quest of the Holy Grail Romance of Silence Song of Roland Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Orfeo (Online) The King of Tars (Online) Richard Coer de Lyon (Online)