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Alternative Universities as Sites of Creativity

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101

 

Artists to give talks on alternative universities as sites of creativity
Bruce High Quality Foundation University, Vincent Katz to lecture and hold workshop

Artists from the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU) and Vincent Katz, a professor of art at Yale University, will give talks on alternative universities as sites of creativity on Wednesday, April 20 at Grinnell College. The free and public talks will take place at 7:30 p.m. in room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell.

Earlier that day, the founders of BHQFU will hold a workshop, "B.Y.O.U.: Build Your Own University," in the Masonic Temple downtown, 928 Main St., Grinnell. The workshop on teaching and learning will take place from 1-3 p.m. It is free and open to the public. 

The founders of BHQFU will discuss "How to Die an Artist: Resistance and Futility." BHQFU, founded in 2009, is New York's Freest Art School. It provides tuition-free classes, residencies, workshops, exhibitions and public programs to a community of thousands of New Yorkers. The school is an alternative to contemporary art schools that emphasize professionalization.

Katz, a professor at the Yale University of Art, will discuss "Black Mountain College: Finding the Center in the Remote." His lecture will cover the pedagogy of Black Mountain College in terms of its location and locus, especially as related to the college’s later years. He also will discuss Black Mountain’s relevance today, as a model, and also consider parallels to modern remotely-operated web-based experience of culture.

Katz is a celebrated poet, critic, translator, editor and curator. His criticism has been published in numerous books, catalogues and journals, including in "Apollo," "Art in America," "ARTnews" and "Art on Paper," among others. He is also the author of “The Complete Elegies Of Sextus Propertius,” winner of the National Translation Award in 2005. 

He has curated several celebrated exhibitions, including an exhibition on Black Mountain College for the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, and “Street Dance: The New York Photographs of Rudy Burckhardt” for the Museum of the City of New York.

The Center for Humanities is sponsoring these events as part of this year's theme: Sites of Creativity: Streets, Salons, Studios, and Schools.
 

Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America

A panel of four Iowa-based writers, editors, thinkers, and environmentalists will discuss Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America, the country's first anthology of creative writing that explores hydraulic fracturing, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Debra Marquart, Carolyn Raffensperger, Frederick Kirschenmann, and Taylor Brorby will all read their work from the anthology and explore impacts of hydraulic fracking on Iowa.

The Center for Prairie Studies and the Environmental Studies Concentration are sponsoring the event.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

Debra Marquart

Marquart is a professor of English at Iowa State University, teaching in the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing and Environment. The author of a memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere and two poetry collections, she has received numerous honors for her work, including John Guyon Nonfiction Award, the Mid-American Review Nonfiction Award, a New York Times Editor's Choice commendation, and a 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Prose Fellowship.

Carolyn Raffensperger

Raffensperger is an environmental lawyer specializing in the changes in law and policy necessary to address climate change and preserve public health and the environment. She is executive director of the Science and Environmental Health network, and has edited three comprehensive volumes on the precautionary principle of environmental law. Her work has been featured in Gourmet magazine, the Utne Reader, Yes! Magazine, the Sun, Whole Earth, and Scientific American.

Frederick Kirschenmann

A national expert in sustainable agriculture, Kirschenmann is a family farmer, writer, and scholar on ecology. He has held numerous appointments, including director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. He also has served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. His farm has been featured in numerous publications, including National Geographic, Business Week, Audubon, and Gourmet magazine, for its diverse crop rotation and productivity without using synthetic inputs. His book, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, traces the evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years.

Taylor Brorby

The editor of Fracture, Taylor Brorby is an award-winning essayist, poet and environmentalist. He is currently pursuing his masters of fine arts in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. His work has been featured on Minnesota Public Radio and North Dakota Public Radio and in numerous newspapers. A talented writer himself, he is currently working on two poetry collections, one related to the Bakken oil boom and the other about the Adirondacks in upstate New York, as well as an essay collection about western North Dakota.

Nelson Ogbuagu ’16 Wins Short Story Contest

Grinnell College senior and winner of the Nick Adams Short Story Contest, Nelson Ogbuagu Nelson Ogbuagu ’16 has been named the winner of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest 2016 Nick Adams Short Story Contest. His story, "Playing it Safe," was selected from the 32 stories submitted by students from ACM colleges.

Author Bill Hillman, who served as the final judge for the contest, awarded first prize to Ogbuagu, praising his story as “a psychological thriller and a coming of age tale of an introspective and sensitive youth” that “works on a lot of levels.”

A Chicago native, Ogbuagu is an economics major. His interest in writing, inspired by his love for hip-hop music and storytelling, started in high school, where he served as both an arts and entertainment and a sports editor.

He began to write short stories in a creative writing course he took at Grinnell with author Dean Bakopoulos, assistant professor of English.

“His mentorship, teaching, feedback, and general support as I developed in his classes and outside of them not only made me a better storyteller through writing, but also encouraged a type of self-exploration that made me believe that I had meaningful stories to tell,” Ogbuagu said.

These workshop-based courses require students to read each other’s work and give extensive critiques in class discussions. “After all of that feedback, we’d go and make a revision that was very deep, very heavy,” said Ogbuagu. “You really get a very sharp sense as to the different ideas that different types of writers have for the directions you can go with a story. It really informed how I could take a certain experience and craft it in a way that I hadn't originally considered.”

In addition to writing, Ogbuagu serves as co-chair of the All Campus Events Committee of the Student Government Association and co-leads the Latin American Dance club. This fall, he will join LinkedIn’s Business Leadership Program for global sales in San Francisco. He plans to continue writing and eventually pursue a master’s degree in fine arts.  

Grace Lloyd ’16, a senior from Allentown, New Jersey, was awarded honorable mention for her story "Crush." She is an English and theatre major with a concentration in technology studies. She is currently writing a novella with the mentorship of Bakopoulos and plans to continue writing after graduation.

The Nick Adams Short Story Contest has been held annually since 1973 by the ACM. Winners receive $1,000, made possible by a gift from an anonymous donor.

Racialized State Violence and the Movement for Black Lives

In a free, public event, Damon Williams ’14 will present “Bigger Than the Cops: Racialized State Violence and the Movement for Black Lives” at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in ARH Auditorium, Room 302.

After a brief presentation, Williams will join in a one-on-one conversation with Shanna Benjamin, associate professor of English. Alexandra Odom ’17 will introduce participants and set the stage for the discussion.

At 5 p.m., there will be a break for refreshments. Attendees will return at 5:15 p.m. for a workshop with Williams and Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociology.

Event sponsors include Alumni in the Classroom Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for the Humanities, Peace and Conflict Studies, the Departments of Sociology, American Studies, and Economics, and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations through Conference Operations and Events.

About Damon Williams ’14

After a brief presentation, Williams will join in a one-on-one conversation with Shanna Benjamin, associate professor of English at Grinnell College. Senior Alexandra Odom will introduce participants and set the stage for the discussion.

At 5 p.m., there will be a break for refreshments. Attendees will return at 5:15 p.m. for a workshop with Williams and Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociology at Grinnell.

Williams is a community producer, organizer, radio host, hip-hop performance artist, actor, teacher and public speaker from the south side of Chicago. He has performed across the country with his sister, Kristiana Colón, as the poetic duo April Fools. He also co-hosts "AirGo Radio," a weekly show on WHPK, Chicago Community Radio.

In addition, Williams co-chairs the Chicago chapter of Black Youth Project 100, a national political organization comprised of black youth ages 18-35. He co-edits the #LetUsBreathe Collective, an artistic activist organization that serves underprivileged people and creatively disrupts the anti-black racist status quo.

Committed to addressing economic inequality, Williams also serves as the co-director of the Ujamaa Jr. Investment Club, which promotes financial literacy and investment strategies.

Sparking Interest in STEM

Faculty from the Department of Chemistry presented demonstrations and information as part of the nearby Tama County Family STEM Festival 2016, held on April 3. This outreach event used interactive activities to introduce children and parents to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Grinnell College's representatives engaged the public with several demonstrations. 
 
Erick Leggans ’05, assistant professor of chemistry, demonstrated the density of invisible gasses by pouring carbon dioxide into a container with lit candles. The candles need oxygen in our air to keep burning. If the carbon dioxide is lighter than oxygen in the air, the candles will stay lit, but if the carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen, it will sink to the space around the candles and they will go out. Observers could see for themselves what happened.
 
Blown-up balloons and liquid nitrogen, which is extremely cold, were used by Cori Ortiz, assistant professor of chemistry, to show how volume is related to temperature. This relationship is known as Charles' Law, named after the scientist who came up with the formula in the late 1700s. 
 
In the activities led by Elaine Marzluff, professor of chemistry, color was used as an indicator to test the pH of liquids. Being able to see a change in color is also helpful for knowing when chemical reactions change the acidity of liquids. Red cabbage was used as the indicator to test different liquids such as water and juice. In one experiment, dry ice was added to tap water to observe a change in pH. 
 
The demonstrations chosen by the chemistry faculty for this festival were intended to be accessible concepts for young minds and to get them thinking about science in everyday experiences. 
 

Golf Course Season Pass Rates

Grinnell College welcomes you to play at the Grinnell College Golf Course, a public golf course located at 933 13th Ave.

April Hours

Thursday–Sunday, from noon–6 p.m.

Daily rates only, cash or check.

Rates

Daily

  • 9 Holes - $15
  • 18 holes/unlimited - $25
  • Cart (9 holes) - $10
  • Cart (18 holes) - $15

Season Passes

Look for future announcements regarding summer hours and activities.
 

A Book Talk with Dr. Edward C. Cohn

Grinnell College Libraries presents a book talk with Dr. Edward C. Cohn on Friday, April 15, at 4:15 p.m. in Burling Lounge. Dr. Cohn, Associate Professor of History, will discuss his book, The High Title of a Communist, published by Northern Illinois University Press in 2015. 

The High Title of a Communist analyzes the Soviet Communist Party’s system of internal discipline in the The High Title of A Communist by Ed Kohntwenty years after World War II, focusing on investigations of corruption, war-time collaboration with the Nazis, drunkenness, and sexual misconduct among Communists. Professor Cohn has now begun a new research project on the KGB’s efforts to fight dissent and political unrest in the Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. In particular, this project focuses on the tactic known as the “prophylactic conversation,” in which the KGB sought to prevent low-level offenders from becoming hardened enemies of the regime by “inviting” them to supposedly informal “conversations” or “chats.”

Edward Cohn came to Grinnell in 2007 after completing a Ph.D. in Russian history at the University of Chicago. A 1999 graduate of Swarthmore College, he worked for a year as a journalist before entering graduate school and specializes in the social and political history of the Soviet Union in the decades after World War II. Professor Cohn is also the chair of the Russian, Central, and Eastern European Studies concentration (RCEES). He travels frequently to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and is always happy to work with students on independent research projects related to the region.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If you plan to attend this event and need accommodation, please contact Burling Library as soon as possible to make your request.

Celebrate the Earth

Grinnell College will host a series of events throughout April and early May in celebration of Earth Month. The free, public events will be focused on local food, creativity, volunteering, and exploration.

The events will take place throughout the campus and city, with a focus toward "getting rooted in the community." Featured events include Fred Magdoff’s lecture “Capitalism and Agriculture” on April 11, the National Water Dance on April 16, and the Eco Fair on April 23.

Some events will take place off-campus at Arbor Lake Park and the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA), including a lake cleanup and woodland wildflower hike. Free transportation is provided from Grinnell's campus to these events. RSVP to Elizabeth Hill  for transportation.

Calendar of Events

Local Food

Monday, April 11

Fred Magdoff

4 p.m. Noyce 1022 (Roundtable)

7:30 p.m. Joe Rosenfield ‘25 Center, Room 101 (Public Talk)

Fred Magdoff, Professor Emeritus of Soils at the University of Vermont, will give a roundtable on “Soil and Soil Health” and a public talk on “Capitalism and Agriculture.”

Saturday, April 16

Spring Fest

Noon-4 p.m. Ecohouse

Join Ecohouse members for a celebration of spring, local foods, music, and community. Explore Ecohouse’s environmental projects and take part in seed planting. Enjoy live music from student performers, springtime crafting, and more!

Wednesday, April 20

Richard Oppenlander

7:15 p.m. ARH Auditorium, Room 302

Consultant and researcher Richard Oppenlander, author of Food Choice and Sustainability, will guide the audience through a fact-filled journey of the food choice-animal agriculture-environment connection, revealing why humanity is currently on a path of pseudo-sustainability.

Friday, April 29

Food For Thought May Day Celebration

5-8:30 p.m. Cleveland Beach

Join members of Grinnell College’s Food For Thought group to celebrate early May Day. Bring a dish to the potluck and enjoy face-painting, music, and a discussion about campus food activism. Come and find out what Food For Thought is doing to increase the amount of “real food“ on campus!

Creativity

Saturday, April 16

National Water Dance

3 p.m. CERA

Join campus and community dancers and musicians in celebrating the importance of water in our lives.

Email Jan Graham to reserve transportation. Van leaves the Rosenfield Center drop-off zone at 2:15 p.m., and Mayflower Community at 2:25 p.m.. If driving on your own, meet at CERA’s Environmental Education Center at 2:50 p.m.

Monday, April 18

Site-Specific Studio Critique

1­–4 p.m. CERA

Join Professor Lee Emma Running and her Site Specific Studio class for the critique of their place-based art installations at CERA. Student art installations explore how we connect to the Iowa landscape.

Email Elizabeth Hill to reserve transportation

Wednesday, April 20

Ecohouse Movie Night

9 p.m. Bob’s Underground Café

Join Ecohouse members to watch The Secret Life of Plants, a 1979 documentary based on the book of the same name. The film features time-lapse photography of plants and fungi growing and an original score by musician Stevie Wonder.

Friday, April 22

20 Minutes @ 11: Culling the Herd

11 a.m. Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Faulconer Gallery/Room 131

Explore our human relationship to white-tailed deer with Professor Lee Emma Running, who will present her recent project “Cure” in which she carves and gilds the bones of roadkill, and CERA Manager Elizabeth Hill, who will provide background on deer management in Iowa.

Learn

April 12 and 14

Undergraduate Research Symposium

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Rosenfield Center, various locations

Undergraduate research panel and poster presentations include many student talks on local and global environmental and food justice topics. Arrive at 11 a.m. to grab a free lunch and full presentation schedule.

Panel presentations in Rosenfield Center, Rooms 202, 203, 209, 225-227

Poster session in Rosenfield Center, Room 101

Tuesday, April 19

Fracture: Essays Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America

7:30 p.m. Rosenfield Center, Room 101

Join Taylor Brorby (ed.) and Iowa-based writers and thinkers Debra Marquart, Carolyn Raffensperger, and Frederick Kirschenmann for a book reading and question and answer session on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Saturday, April 23

The Power is Ours!, Spiritual Reflections on Earth Day

12:30 p.m. Grinnell United Church of Christ

Join UCC members in welcoming Grinnell College faculty Liz Queathem and David Campbell, together with Associate Chaplain and Rabbi Rob Cabelli, who explore spiritual connections to Earth Day and climate change.

Thursday, April 28

Ecofeminist Organizing Workshop

4-5:30 p.m. ARH 102

Learn about inclusive organizing with two extraordinary activists! Join Bakken Resistance Pipeline Coalition co-founders and Women Food and Agriculture Network board members Ahna Kruzic and Dr. Angie Carter for a workshop on ecofeminist activism and organizing.

Explore

Saturday, April 23

Eco Fair

11 a.m.–1 p.m. Rosenfield Center, 1st floor and outdoor patio

SEC and Off-the-Grid students will present posters and demonstrations on topics pertaining to sustainable and off-the-grid living, including the tiny home movement, water sanitation and heating, backcountry camping tips, permaculture, urban gardening, and composting toilets.

Sunday, April 24

Arbor Lake Cleanup

2 p.m. Arbor Lake Park, 123 Pearl Street

Join IOWATER club in removing waste and beautifying Arbor Lake Park. Be prepared to get dirty, please wear rain boots and old clothes.

Email IOWATER to register.

Meet at GORP room in Harris Center or at Arbor Lake Park.

Tuesday, April 26

Woodland Wildflower Hike

4:15-6:15 p.m. CERA

Join CERA Manager Elizabeth Hill on a 1.5 mile spring ephemeral wildflower hike at CERA.

Wear sturdy walking shoes. Hike starts 4:45 p.m. at CERA.

Van leaves from Rosenfield Center drop-off zone at 4:15 p.m. Email Elizabeth Hill to reserve transportation

Saturday, May 7

Tallgrass Audubon Bird Banding

8 a.m.-noon Bob and Connie VanErsvelde’s house

Join members of the Tallgrass Audubon Society to learn about bird banding and the natural history of migratory birds. Families welcome!

Van leaves from Rosenfield Center drop-off zone

Email Elizabeth Hill for transportation or address

Event Sponsors

Center for Prairie Studies, CERA, Environmental Studies, Faulconer Gallery, Peace and Conflict Studies, Food for Thought, Iowater, Student Environmental Committee, Ecohouse, Poweshiek County SWCD, Advancing Animal Compassion Together, Student Government Association.

These Heavy Sands

John RommereimThese Heavy Sands, a concert of new and recent music by John Rommereim, Blanche Johnson Professor of Music, will be presented at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in Herrick Chapel.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, includes four world premieres:

  • Together with the Voca String Quartet, soprano Rosie O’Brien ’16 will perform the premier of the featured work on the program: “These Heavy Sands Are Language,” with text by James Joyce.
  • The premiere of two songs will be sung by Rommereim with pianist Marlys Grimm: “The Gift” (text by Louise Erdrich) and “Elegy for a Walnut Tree” (text by W. S. Merwin).
  • Grimm, the College organist, will premiere “Veritas and Humanitas,” a piece written for the College’s annual commencement and reunion celebrations. 

Jazz saxophonist Mark Laver, assistant professor of music, will join with Rommereim to present improvisatory music for saxophone and piano. In addition, Laver will accompany the ensemble in a performance of Rommereim’s “Amara [grace].”

Flutist Claudia Anderson will perform “Weather Conversations,” a work for flute and electronics co-composed with Rommereim.

The Voca String Quartet will also perform “Illimitable Distance” from Rommereim’s 2004 string quartet, and selections will be offered from Rommereim’s chamber opera, “Rheingold,” a reimagining of Wagner’s opera commissioned by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture and performed with Craig Quintero’s Riverbed Theatre in Taipei in 2014. 

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations through Conference Operations and Events.

About John Rommereim

Rommereim conducts the Grinnell Singers and the Grinnell Oratorio Society and he teaches composition. He has conducted the Grinnell Singers on concert tours across the country and in Estonia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey.

Rommereim’s choral works have been performed by distinguished ensembles across the United States, including Magnum Chorum, the Princeton Singers, VocalEssence, Voces Novae, Roomful of Teeth, and The Rose Ensemble, for which he served as 2008-09 composer-in-residence.

The New York Times praised the “richly expressive” character of his work for voice and piano, “Into the Still Hollow (2006).” In addition to his numerous choral works, Rommereim has composed a chamber opera, songs, electronic music, and works for piano, organ, guitar, flute, saxophone quartet, brass quintet, and string quartet.

Swing into Spring Contra Dance

Grinnell College's Contra Dance club is holding its Second Annual Contra Dance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22. The free, public event will take place in Main Quad Dining Hall.

The dance will feature live music by Can I Get an Amen, one of Chicago's foremost folk bands. Nikki Herbst, a renowned contra dancer from Iowa, will be calling the social dances.

Contra dance is an American folk tradition, similar to square dancing. Fun for both skilled and beginner dancers, this live dance is a unique opportunity to experience one of America's folk traditions firsthand.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

This event is supported by the Grinnell Department of Music with funds from the Terri Thaler ’82 Memorial Endowment.