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Off-Campus Study in Religious Studies

Grinnell offers opportunities for students who want to continue their studies off-campus. Religious studies majors have lived in Hindu communities while studying in India, immersed themselves in the religious culture of Japan, studied with Buddhists scholars, and learned Hebrew in Jerusalem and Arabic in Cairo. Students also have arranged internships at Neighborhood Capital Budget Group and the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services. One student held a summer internship that combined work among Hispanics in inner-city Chicago with the study of Catholic liberation theology.

The John Mohan Russian Study Award 2013

Sydney Devine-Rausch ’13 and Sharon Tan ’14 received the 2012-13 John Mohan Russian Studies Award 

Devine-Rausch will be studying at Kuban State University in Krasnodar, Russia, and Tan will travel to St. Petersburg to study Russian on an SRAS program.

The John Mohan Russian Study Award provides students who have seriously pursued the study of Russian with an opportunity to develop their language skills in the Russian-speaking world.

The award enables Grinnell College students to pursue a intense language study during the summer after their second year, or a language study or a project of their own design after graduation.

Funding was raised by three devoted friends of the Russian department: Diane Fisher Perkinson ’82Sharon McKee ’82, and Emily Silliman ’81.

 Счастливого пути!

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

A somewhat belated congratulations to the Russian majors and Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies (RCEES) concentrators in the class of 2013!

We wish all the best to Russian majors Addie Anderson ’12.5Sydney Devine-Rausch ’13Jacob Goldsmith ’13Sahar Nahib ’13, and Christopher Squier ’13, and RCEES concentrators Doug Dobrzynski ’13 and Adam Lauretig ’13.

We wish them all the best as they embark on new adventures and journeys beyond Grinnell. Поздравляем с окончанием и желаем больших успехов!

About Us

At Grinnell, all studies take place within a liberal arts framework, focusing on the study of German literature and culture through the contexts of the arts, history, social history, philosophy, and politics.

No Program? No Problem!

Although several departments offer film courses each year and there is an active calendar of film-related events and film clubs at Grinnell, there is no film major or concentration. Nevertheless five Grinnellians presented research at national film conferences in April — making this the fourth year in a row that students from various majors have traveled to national cinema studies conferences to present their work.

“The first assignment in my Film Genres course is to write a conference abstract, which students then had the option to submit to various conferences,” says Theresa Geller, assistant professor of film theory and history in English.  

In response to the several abstracts she received from Grinnell students, Pamela Wojcik, professor of film, TV and theatre at Notre Dame, host of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) National Undergraduate Conference, wrote, “your students really stand out!”

They certainly did: Nearly half of Geller’s Humanities 290 class presented at two national conferences. Vilma Castaneda ’14, a sociology and gender, women’s, and sexuality studies (GWSS) major from Washington, D.C.; Claire Fleckenstein ’13, a French and GWSS major from Olympia, Wash.; and Brian Buckley ’14, an independent major in American studies presented at the undergraduate SCMS conference. Benji Zeledon ’14, a political science major and policy studies concentrator from Miami, and Victor Kyerematen ’14, an English major from Accra, Ghana, were the only undergraduates invited to individually present their original research at the 20th annual (dis)junctions Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Conference at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). 

Geller’s students were thrilled to meet others pursuing film studies. “The conference was a success, and being able to gain experience at that level went a long way,” said Kyerematen, who presented on the shifting form of racism in recent American films. “Everybody who attended was quite impressed [with us]. The other people on my panel had, on average, 10 years in academia each and had J.D.s and Ph.D.s; but to be honest, their writing wasn’t so far off from what we produce in class. … We made good friends in the English department [at UCR] and several of the grad students encouraged us to apply to the program.”

ACA-Media's "Please Mister, We'd Like to Put on a Show" talks about the SCMS conference starting at 23 minutes, and includes extensive information about Grinnell's film studies and interviews with Geller and students starting a little more than three minutes into the segment.  

McKibben Lecture 2013: John Oakley

John H. Oakley, Chancellor Professor and Forest D. Murden Jr. Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, delivered the eighth annual McKibben Lecture in Classical Studies on April 25, 2013. His talk, entitled "Athenian White Lekythoi: Masterpieces of Greek Funerary Art," discussed the scenes found on white lekythoi and what these scenes tell us about classical Athenian perceptions of and reactions to death.

Professor Oakley received his B.A. from Rutgers University in Ancient History, and, also from Rutgers, his M.A. in Classics and his Ph.D. in Classical Art and Archaeology. He has taught at the College of William and Mary since 1980, with visiting appointments at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Princeton University, the University of Freiburg in Germany, and the University of Brussels. He is an expert on ancient Greek vases who has published a dozen books, including, with Cambridge University Press, a work on white lekythoi entitled Picturing Death in Classical Athens. In addition he has published over seventy-five articles and chapters, and he has lectured very widely. He is a longtime contributor of service to both the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Archaeological Institute of America. 

The McKibben Lecture in Classical Studies is sponsored by the Department of Classics and honors Bill and Betty McKibben, whose combined service to Grinnell College and to the greater Grinnell community totaled more than a century.

9th Semester 2012 Fellow

The Ninth Semester Fellowship in Studio Art is a competitive opportunity for continued independent research in the semester immediately following graduation. This fellowship provides financial support, studio space, time, and faculty feedback for a semester of creative research in preparation for graduate or professional work. In return for these benefits, the Ninth Semester Fellow assists the Department of Art through various tasks, such as helping install student art exhibitions, and studio lab monitoring. A presentation of created artwork in a formal exhibition is required at the conclusion of the semester. Ninth Semester Fellowship application procedure.

2012 Ninth Semester Fellow: Lauren Flynn

Srinivas Aravamudan becomes the Fifth Connelly Lecturer in Fall 2012

Srinivas is a Professor of English and Dean of the Humanities at Duke University.  He has also served as President of the CHCI (Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes).

Srinivas Aravamudan gained his PhD at Cornell University and has taught at the University of Utah, and at the University of Washington. He joined the Duke English Department in the Fall of 2000. He specializes in eighteenth century British and French literature and in postcolonial literature and theory. He is the author of essays in Diacritics, ELH, Social Text, Novel, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Anthropological Forum, South Atlantic Quarterly and other venues. His study, Tropicopolitans: Colonialism and Agency, 1688-1804 (1999, Duke University Press) won the outstanding first book prize of the Modern Language Association in 2000. He has also edited Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation: Writings of the British Romantic Period: Volume VI Fiction (1999, Pickering and Chatto). His book, Guru English: South Asian Religion in A Cosmopolitan Language was published by Princeton University Press in January 2006, and republished by Penguin India in 2007. A new book-length study, on the eighteenth-century French and British oriental tale, Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel, has just been published by the University of Chicago Press (2012); another on sovereignty and anachronism is forthcoming. His edition of William Earle's antislavery romance, entitled Obi: or, The History of Three-Fingered Jack appeared in 2005 with Broadview Press.

His specialties include: British Literature, Eighteenth Century Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Critical Theory, Modern to Contemporary, and Novels

His research summary includes: British Literature; Critical Theory; Postcolonial Literature

2012-2013 Distinguished Author: Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey is the 19th United States Poet Laureate [2012-2013]. In his citation, Librarian of Congress James Billington wrote "Her poems dig beneath the surface of history - personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago-to explore the human struggles that we all face." She is the author of Thrall [2012], Native Guard [Houghton Mifflin], for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, Bellocq's Ophelia [Graywolf, 2002], which was named a Notable Book for 2003 by the American Library Association, and Domestic Work [Graywolf, 2000]. She is also the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast [University of Georgia Press]. A memoir is forthcoming in 2013.