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Living Writers – an experience for the community

August 30, 2016

A photo of four book covers from Living Writers course

Living Writers — one of Colgate’s most popular courses, both on campus and in the wider Colgate community — will return with a new focus next week. Led by English professor Jennifer Brice, the class will feature conversations with authors from a wide range of genres, including journalism and poetry, cartoons and novels, as well as memoirs and short stories.

Online, the course will offer interactive materials for all 10 visiting writers on the ColgateX platform. Videos, podcasts, and Livestream events with the writers, as well as discussion boards with students on campus will also be accessible on the site. As in past years, participants can tailor the course to their own schedules and interests, engaging with as much (or as little) of the material as they see fit. (Enroll here.)

The class format will match each visiting writer with a member of the Colgate faculty. Professor Meg Worley (writing and rhetoric) will discuss the multifaceted approach of cartoons with Lynda Barry, the artist and author behind What It Is. Tim Byrnes (political science) will explore an industry’s exploitation of intellectually disabled men with reporter Dan Barry. The course will also feature Professor Peter Balakian and his Pulitzer Prize–winning Ozone Journal, a book of poems on the Armenian genocide and related topics. Jane Pinchin, who retired from the English department in 2015, will return to dialogue with author James Wood (The Nearest Thing to Life). And English professor Nimanthi Rajasingham will introduce Michael Ondaatje (Running in the Family).

Lessons begin on September 8 with Sundance Film Festival award winner Penny Lane, a documentarian and an assistant professor of art and art history at Colgate, introduced by Brice herself. Clips from Lane’s yet-to-be-released Nuts! documentary will be available to view and discuss online.


From the Colgate Scene: Poetry and memory with Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Balakian

April 19, 2016
Illustration by Joe Ciardiello

Illustration by Joe Ciardiello

With a pair of new books out in 2015 — one a collection of his essays; the other, new poems — poet and English professor Peter Balakian unpacks, among other things, how language can, in his words, “ingest” the violence of history. The author of the New York Times–bestselling The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response and the prizewinning memoir Black Dog of Fate, Balakian has been called “the American conscience of the Armenian Genocide.” Last spring, he was invited to read and lecture at more than a dozen universities and made various media appearances including CNN and NPR’s All Things Considered in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the 1915 slaughter of Armenians by the Turkish government. He received the 2012 Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance.

Excerpts from Vise and Shadow: Essays on the Lyric Imagination, Poetry, Art, and Culture trace his writerly sensibilities — first, their roots, and second, on the notion of poetry itself. Two poems from Ozone Journal, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, embody that expression.


Balakian wins Pulitzer Prize

April 18, 2016
Professor Peter Balakian teaches a class

Peter Balakian, the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in humanities, professor of English, and director of creative writing at Colgate. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Peter Balakian, the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in humanities, professor of English, and director of creative writing at Colgate, has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Ozone Journal, his collection of poems published last year by University of Chicago Press.

In making the announcement, the Pulitzer committee cited the collection’s title poem, which takes readers back to 2009 when Balakian worked to exhume the bodies of Armenian genocide victims, buried for generations in the desert of Syria. “In the dynamic, sensual language of these poems, we are reminded that the history of atrocity, trauma, and forgetting is both global and ancient,” the committee wrote, “but we are reminded, too, of the beauty and richness of culture and the resilience of love.”

“All of Peter’s work is marked by a profound ethical concern and an appreciation for how the past indelibly marks the present,” said English professor Constance Harsh, interim dean of the faculty and provost.

The Pulitzer Prize is the latest — and highest — praise for Balakian’s extensive writings. The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, a New York Times Notable Book and Best Seller, earned the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize. Black Dog of Fate, voted best book of the year by the New York Times, the LA Times, and Publisher’s Weekly, won the PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for the Art of the Memoir. His translation of Grigoris Balakian’s Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide 1915–1918 was a Washington Post book of the year.

“As a historian myself, I’ve always admired Peter’s ability to capture the past and make it immediate to our present concerns,” said Interim President Jill Harsin.

For more from Balakian on poetry and memory, read his feature article in the autumn 2015 Colgate Scene.


English department hosts Miltonathon

March 18, 2016
The serpent cake the English department served during Miltonathon.

Let them eat snake: English department serves a serpent-shaped cake during its Miltonathon

On Sunday, March 6, the English department hosted a live reading of the epic poem Paradise Lost, by John Milton.

Volunteers sat around the big oval table in the Fager Lounge and read the more than 10,000 lines from 12 books.

“The Miltonathon, which began last year, is a tribute to my late friend and colleague Professor George Hudson, who taught Milton at Colgate for over forty years,” said Professor Deborah Knuth Kleck, who now teaches the Milton course at Colgate, and started this event.

Marathon readings of Paradise Lost at other colleges exist, but Kunth Kleck has never heard of one that has the reader play parts. Participants at Colgate divided up roles as they read, so sometimes the narrator had only a couple of words — like “she said” — before a speech resumed. “Professor Judith Oliver, emerita professor of art and art history, for example, got to be God!” reported Kunth Kleck.

The day included a snake cake (pictured above, designed and executed by local baker Sharon Stevens) and live tweeting on Colgate’s Twitter feed. Every tweet was written by English major Emily Daniel ’18.

See all the posts below, including a video by Lizzie Souter ’16 and revised for 2016 by Dylann McLaughlin ’18.​

Read more


Interim Provost Constance Harsh invited to White House roundtable

November 21, 2015
Sustainability at Colgate University

Colgate’s sustainability efforts recognized by White House

On November 19, Interim Dean of the Faculty and Provost Constance Harsh participated in a roundtable discussion at the White House to take part in launching the American Campuses Act on Climate day of action.

“It was very good to witness the serious purpose that animated the participants,” Harsh said after the event. “Students have a real sense of urgency about this. Higher education has an important role to play here.”

Harsh joined a select group of higher education presidents, other campus and business leaders, as well as high-ranking government officials, including EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Karen Florini of the State Department, at the White House event.

Colgate has a nationally renowned commitment to sustainability. On Wednesday, Interim President Jill Harsin reiterated our commitment to sustainability in a letter to the White House. Specifically, Colgate’s commitments include:

  • Achieving carbon neutrality by 2019, our bicentennial
  • Making carbon neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students
  • Incorporating sustainable practices in all campus planning and building design from inception to implementation
  • Achieving a minimum of LEED Silver standards for all new construction and major renovations
  • Enhancing teaching and learning, creating long-term economic resiliency, building and restoring robust ecological systems, and supporting a healthier and more just society

“I am proud that Colgate is one of the higher education leaders in confronting climate change, particularly in our pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2019,” said Harsh.

Colgate also participated in the #ActOnCampus hashtag on Twitter, showing some of our sustainability successes.


Actor Josh Radnor offers perspective to students

October 5, 2015
How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor spoke to Professor Greg Ames's English class. Photo by Andrew Daddio

How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor spoke to Professor Greg Ames’s English class. Photo by Andrew Daddio

A student of the liberal arts himself, actor, writer, and director Josh Radnor stopped by to share his experiences with the Colgate community on Sept. 24. The How I Met Your Mother star first visited with English professor Gregory Ames’s Advanced Workshop class before hosting an event at the Palace Theater in the village that night. Read more


Colgate University faculty in the news

July 23, 2015
Buffalo Lockjaw is in an ad with Dockers

Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames featured in Dockers ad

Even though it’s summertime, Colgate faculty continue to make news. Here is a brief roundup.

Buffalo Lockjaw, the award-winning first novel by Greg Ames, assistant professor of English, was featured in a recent ad for Dockers men’s clothing (pictured above.)

Using the hashtag #BookAndALook, the ad copy read “Here’s a soon-to-be-classic look to pair with a soon-to-be-classic novel,” reminding people that they know a new classic the moment they see it. As people learn each year with the Living Writers series at Colgate, a powerful novel can elicit deep feelings and emotions in a reader through a bond of intimacy with the writer. The Dockers ad seeks to evoke the sensibility and attitude of contemporary literature and borrow a bit of it.

Carolyn Hsu, associate professor of sociology, wrote an editorial titled “Draft law may test resilience of Chinese civil society” for East Asia Forum. Her current research examines the rise of NGOs in the People’s Republic of China. NGOs are a new phenomenon in China — they barely existed at all 20 years ago, but now there are millions.

Nina Moore, associate political science professor, was interviewed by Sputnik on Tuesday about the Iran Nuclear Deal. Moore argued that this deal “already is an election issue and will continue to be one in the months ahead, perhaps necessarily so.” Read the full interview.

And finally, a few weeks ago, the Alumni Club of Boston organized a live viewing of the radio show You’re the Expert. Along with all the alumni in the audience, professor Krista Ingram was the guest on the show. You can hear it below:


Overheard at this week’s Colgate Writers’ Conference

June 19, 2015
Participants from this week's Colgate Writers' Conference gathered for a reception at Merrill House.

Participants from this week’s Colgate Writers’ Conference gathered for a reception at Merrill House.

Now in its 20th year, the Colgate Writers’ Conference has blossomed into a cooperative literary haven for writers of all ages and literary interests. This past week, more than 40 writers enjoyed workshops, craft talks, and readings. For many, it was the opportunity to return to a collegiate environment (several even experienced an early morning fire alarm in a first-year residence hall) ripe with intellectual sharing and inspiration. They came, they wrote, they collaborated. Here are some reflections: Read more


Susanna Meyer ’15 awarded Fulbright to teach in Mexico

April 12, 2015

Susanna Meyer ’15, of Philadelphia, Pa., has been awarded a 2015 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Mexico.

Read more


Professor Peter Balakian tours U.S. in advance of 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide

March 11, 2015
Peter Balakian is seated a table teaching an English class in Lathrop Hall

Peter Balakian teaches an advanced writing class at Colgate. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

On April 24, 1915, the arrests of 250 cultural leaders in Constantinople/Istanbul set in motion the mass-killing of more than a million Armenians in Turkey. The Armenian genocide became the template for genocide in the 20th century.

Peter Balakian, Colgate’s Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the humanities, a leading international expert on the subject, has discussed the genocide on The Charlie Rose show and on 60 Minutes with Bob Simon. He is the author of numerous books including The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, and Black Dog of Fate, both New York Times “notables” and best sellers.

Read more


Celebrating Paradise Lost during the “Miltonathon”

March 9, 2015
Photo by Zoe Zhong '17

For more than eight hours, students and professors took turns reading from John Milton’s 10,000-line poem Paradise Lost. Photo by Zoe Zhong ’17

Devil’s food cupcakes with red, orange, and yellow “tongues-of-fire” frosting, chili said to be hotter than Hell, and Adam’s apple turnovers were just a few of the extra touches that brought the story of Satan, Adam, and Eve to life during the reading of Paradise Lost on March 1. Read more


Colgate Speaking Union offers students ways to learn and grow on a global stage

February 8, 2015
The Colgate Model UN Society competed in Peru last month.

The Colgate Model UN Society competed in Peru last month.

Colgate students earned three awards, including outstanding small delegation, as one of just three schools from the United States to participate in the Harvard National Model United Nations of Latin America in Peru last month.

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Howard Fineman ’70, H’11 takes on global editorial role at Huffington Post

January 16, 2015
20110515_commencement_867.jpg

Howard Fineman ’70, H’11, speaks at Commencement in 2011. (Photo by Andrew M. Daddio)

Howard Fineman ’70, H’11, one of Colgate’s most well-known alumni in the media field, has been appointed global editorial director at the Huffington Post. Fineman, who was previously an editorial director at the company, will now be in charge of supervising U.S. news coverage as well 13 international editions and others that will come online in the future.  Read more


A step forward for dance at Colgate

December 16, 2014
Colgate Professor Tanya Calamoneri dances during one of her classes

Professor Tanya Calamoneri leads a contemporary dance class. Photo by Andrew Daddio

You wouldn’t expect to walk into a dance class and see 14 men and only two women. But that’s the makeup of Professor Tanya Calamoneri’s Dance Imagery and Improvisation course. Read more


Professor Peter Balakian takes part in cultural exchange about Armenian genocide

December 5, 2014

Colgate Professor Peter Balakian recently joined four other American writers on a U.S. State Department-sponsored trip to Istanbul, Turkey, and Yerevan, Armenia.

The trip, part of the University of Iowa International Writers Program, was a cultural exchange designed to encourage dialogue between the two countries as the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide draws near.

Read more


Author Jonathan Franzen visits Colgate as part of Living Writers course

October 30, 2014
Jonathan Franzen at Colgate University

Jonathan Franzen speaks to students in the Living Writers course.

Our class starts the same way it does on any other Thursday, except this week English professors Jennifer Brice and Jane Pinchin walk in with renowned author Jonathan Franzen. They introduce him and say, “He knows the drill,” which we all know means we get to spend the next 75 minutes asking him any questions we want.

Franzen starts by saying, “I am a writer, and I am alive.”

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Living Writers brings renowned authors to classroom and to campus

September 18, 2014
The Colgate Community enjoys the Living Writers series together

Members of the Colgate community enjoy the Living Writers series together.

The university’s signature Living Writers course brings 10 highly regarded authors to campus every year. The Colgate community is invited to attend their public readings in person or via the web at colgate.edu/livingwriters.
Read more


Join the Colgate community for Living Writers on ColgateX

August 17, 2014

Twenty-five years ago, professor Frederick Busch designed Living Writers as a way to bring students together with famous writers.

Today, professors Jane Pinchin and Jennifer Brice continue to teach Living Writers, which they revamped in 2009 for a new generation of undergraduates, and a new generation of online book lovers.

Read more


Intern harmoniously combines passion for music and writing

June 27, 2014
Zac Lomas ’15 (right) stands with Stephen Harrison, guitarist in the band The Chariot

Zac Lomas ’15 (right) stands with Stephen Harrison, guitarist in the band The Chariot.

Colgate students are participating in internships in a variety of fields and locations this summer. This post is by Zac Lomas ’15, a history and English double major from Buffalo, N.Y.

In the summer of 2012, I interned at a Buffalo-based law firm and promptly learned that I did not want to be a lawyer. However, during one day that summer, I was browsing the Internet for interviews with one of my favorite bands, called Every Time I Die, when I stumbled across a music website called MindEqualsBlown.net, and discovered that it was looking for writers. I sent in an application, wrote several trial pieces, and became a volunteer staff writer that September, thus beginning my journey into the world of music journalism.

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Colgate Writers’ Conference fosters inspiration and camaraderie

June 26, 2014
Photo by Andrew Daddio

Faculty and participants engaged in lively discussion during daily workshops. Photo by Andrew Daddio

For Katie Rice ’13, last week’s 19th Annual Colgate Writers’ Conference served as a chance to escape noisy New York City and focus on her writing in the summer serenity of Hamilton.

Read more


Summer internship blog series: Editorial intern finds her fit at Forbes

June 11, 2014
Steve Bertoni '02, Natalie Sportelli '15, and Kurt Badenhausen '94 (left to right) in the Forbes library. (Photo by Zach D Roberts)

Steve Bertoni ’02, Natalie Sportelli ’15, and Kurt Badenhausen ’94 (left to right) in the Forbes library. (Photo by Zach D Roberts)

Colgate students are participating in internships in a variety of fields and locations this summer.  This post is by Natalie Sportelli ’15, an English major from Jamesville, N.Y., who is working at Forbes magazine.

This summer, I moved to New York City to work for the editorial department at Forbes magazine. Covering business, politics, investing and more, Forbes Inc. is a dual-platform media company that publishes a biweekly magazine, operates a high-traffic website, and hosts summits where the world’s foremost leaders in their fields come together to discuss topics like philanthropy, health care, and entrepreneurship.

Read more


Jessica Hall ’14 awarded a Fulbright for teaching in South Korea

May 27, 2014

Jessica Hall ‘14, of Gallatin, Tenn., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to South Korea.

Hall, a double major in English literature and anthropology, has had a strong interest in South Korean music and theater since high school. Her senior thesis in anthropology focused on Korean popular music and the fan communities that have developed around it.

Read more


Emma Ellis ’14 awarded a Fulbright to teach in Mongolia

May 27, 2014

Emma Ellis ‘14, of Northwood, N.J., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Mongolia.

Ellis, an English major with a concentration in creative writing, was a peer consultant at Colgate’s Writing and Speaking Center, where she found helping students to effectively communicate their thoughts to be inspiring and personally gratifying. Ellis said she hopes to have similar impact on her students in Mongolia.

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Colgate’s Marjorie Bradley Kellogg earns award from NYC Theatre Development Fund

May 15, 2014
Marjorie Bradley Kellogg

Marjorie Bradley Kellogg was honored by the Theatre Development Fund. (Photo courtesy of Live Design)

Marjorie Bradley Kellogg, associate professor of English and scene designer at Colgate, was recently awarded The Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design. The prestigious award was presented by the Theatre Development Fund earlier this month at the Hudson Theater in New York City.

Kellogg was presented with the award by Kenny Leon, the director whose most recent Broadway work includes  Holler If Ya Hear Me, A Raisin in the Sun, and Fences.

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A Dream Play debuts

April 3, 2014
A rehearsal shot from A Dream Play, directed by Simona Giurgea

Rehearsal shot from A Dream Play, directed by Simona Giurgea and produced by English 259: Performance 1 students

How do we interpret and express our dreams? Twelve theater majors have set out to answer this question, among others, with the spring University Theater production of A Dream Play.

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