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The National Water Dance Comes to Grinnell

Ivy Kuhn ’16 and an ensemble will perform a dance as part of the National Water Dance project at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 16. Kuhn organized the event and choreographed the community-dance project as part of a Mentored Advanced Project with Celeste Miller, assistant professor of theatre and dance.

Kuhn's performance, which will feature the Tai Chi Women's Group, Grinnell Community Ensemble, and Pioneer String Quartet, will take place at the College's Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA). Sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies, it is free and open to the public.

The performance at CERA is one of more than 100 National Water Dance sites around the nation that will join together April 16 for a simultaneous event to bring awareness to the pressing issues of water. This event will be live-streamed on the National Water Dance website

National Water Dance is an organization that creates opportunities for dancers of all ages to experience the power of art and performance as a vehicle for social change by collaborating on the formation of a nationwide movement choir.

“Water is so obviously precious to human life — and to all life — that we shouldn’t need a dance to make us realize it. But this dance is taking place at locations all around the country on the same day and at the same time as a statement that we need to achieve an even more profound realization,” said Jon Andelson ’70, Rosenfield professor of science – anthropology and director of the Center for Prairie Studies. 

Each site of the National Water Dance project features a dance that is specifically choreographed to reflect a local water issue.

“I centered my choreography,” Kuhn said, “on the sensory elements of the prairie playing with the imagery of the extensive roots, gravity and sinking, the exchange between breath and contact, in contrast to the internal and external sense of water's fluidity and ability to flood and alter when there is nothing holding it in place.”

Audience participation will be invited at the April 16 event at CERA. “If you can move,” Andelson said, “you can participate in this dance.”

Those interested in participating in the dance are encouraged to attend one of the following workshops, which are open to all ages with no dance experience required:

  • Saturday, April 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m., North Room of the Grinnell Arts Center, 926 Broad St.
  • Saturday, April 9, 1-2 p.m., Caulkins Community Room at the Drake Community Library, 930 Park St.
  • Sunday, April 10, 3:30-4:30 p.m., room 209 of Grinnell College's Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave.
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2-3 p.m., Carmen Center, Mayflower Community, 616 Broad St.

Free, round-trip bus transportation to CERA on April 16 will be provided at 2:15 p.m. at the Rosenfield Center. Reservations can be made by contacting Jan Graham, 641-269-4384, by noon, Tuesday, April 13.

To drive to CERA, take Interstate-80 west from Grinnell to Exit 173. Go north on Highway 224 and turn right on the first gravel road (South 12th Avenue East), following it east about 1.5 miles to the main entrance of CERA.

Exploring Radical Politics in Jerusalem

Michael TeutschA free, public screening of "Café Ta´amon," light buffet dinner, and talk by the documentary's director, Michael Teutsch, will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101. No reservations are needed.

The Ta´amon on King George Street is one of the oldest cafes in Jerusalem and it is world famous. Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, drank coffee there, and so did Noble Peace Prize-winner Shimon Peres, former prime minister and president of Israel.

The cafe has been a meeting place for radical Leftist-political-activists, artists, politicians, and the literati. Israel and its political development have been fervidly debated here — in the past as well as today. The cafe, established in 1936, is history in a microcosm.

A Jewish family took the cafe over again in the 1960s. Together with Hamis, a Muslim, they cater to their guests day after day. The director precisely documents their everyday life. He shows the bistro, its owners, and customers. He moves away from them to investigate stories and comes back again — to Ta'amon and its record of contemporary history.

Movie poster for Cafe Ta'amon"This film takes us through the living history of a movement, the movement for peace and social justice," said K. Gibel Mevorach, professor of anthropology and American studies and Chair of the Cultural Films Committee: "It leaves us with the questions: 'What do activists do when the movement stalls, bogs down, or begins to fade away?' and 'What is revolutionary and transformative?'

"These are urgent questions for our times, not just there but here and everywhere," Gibel Mevorach added. "The path toward the fullest expression of rights and realization of potential for all human beings is fraught with challenges, full of unexpected successes and devastating or exhausting failures."

The Cultural Films Committee is sponsoring the event in conjunction with the Department of German.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system.  You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

The National Water Dance Comes to Grinnell

Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 3:00pm to 3:30pm
CERA

Featuring live music from the Pioneer String Quartet, dance performance by Ivy Kuhn and Ensemble, Tai Chi Women's Group, and the Grinnell Community Ensemble.

Over 100 sites in 35 states are coming together to bring attention to the pressing issues of water in the United States through embodied action! Come celebrate and bring awareness to the importance of water in our lives!

Bus transportation leaving from the JRC at 2:15 p.m. Please reserve a spot by emailing Jan Graham by noon, Tuesday, April 13th.

Come Dance With Us! Seeking dancers of all ages!

Saturday, April 9, 2016 - 10:30am to Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 3:00pm
The National Water Dance Comes to Grinnell!

Seeking dancers of all ages! No previous dance experience necessary!

Come learn a simple dance phrase to be performed as part of the National Water Dance at CERA on Saturday, April 16th at 3:00 p.m.

This is a unique opportunity to bring attention to the pressing water issues in the United States through embodied action! Over 100 sites in the United States are participating now!

To join please attend one of the following workshops:

Saturday, April 9th 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Grinnell Area Arts, North Room

Saturday, April 9th 1:00-2:00 p.m. at the Drake Community Library, Caulkins Community Room

Sunday, April 10th 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Grinnell College, JRC 209

Tuesday, April 12th 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Mayflower Carmen Center

Performance: Saturday, April 16th 3:00-3:30 p.m. at CERA

Please contact Ivy Kuhn, organizer and choreographer for more information: kuhnivy[at]grinnell[dot]edu
 

Student and Faculty Exhibitions at Faulconer Gallery

Student and faculty exhibitions at Faulconer Gallery open with a combined reception at 4 p.m. Friday, April 8.

The student BAX Exhibition will be on view through May 1, while the Studio Faculty Exhibition will continue through June 19.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and admission is free. The gallery will be closed for Memorial Day on May 30.

Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX)

Caelum Froikin and Ezra Edgerton "Flipbook No. 1"

An electric flipbook created by seniors Caelum Froikin and Ezra Edgerton "Flipbook No. 1," 2016 Archival digital print, wood, power drill.

The Bachelor of Arts Exhibition features works in the creative arts by students at Grinnell College.

BAX is an exhibition of works by advanced third- and fourth-year art students. This year, the exhibition will feature works by 22 students in a variety of media including painting, photography, print, drawing, sculptures, textiles, interactive art, performance art, and installations.

Student-selected juror Jane Gilmor, professor emerita of art at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, will present awards at 4:15 p.m. during the opening reception. Gilmor is a nationally recognized artist from Iowa with work in the Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College Art Collection.  Her project, “(Un)Seen Work,” was featured in the Faulconer Gallery exhibition “Culturing Community” in 2010.

Students on the art department's student educational policy committee organize the exhibition with support from the Faulconer staff. They manage all the exhibition details from the submission of proposals, to the selection of a juror, to the installation and awarding of prizes.

This year's organizers are  Hannah Condon ’16, Hannah Kelley’16, and Lauren Roush ’16.  

Studio Faculty Exhibition also opens April 8

BAX will be shown in conjunction with the Studio Faculty Exhibition, which will feature work by professors in the art department:

  • Jeremy Chen
  • Mary Coats
  • Andrew Kaufman
  • Matthew Kluber
  • Evan McLaughlin
  • Andrew Orloski
  • Lee Emma Running
  • Jill Davis Schrift

20 Minutes@11

The Studio Faculty Exhibition will feature six 20-minute talks by Grinnell faculty and staff starting at 11 a.m. in Faulconer Gallery.

Tuesday, April 19 — "Death and Drifting: Conversations Between a Poet and an Artist."
Hai-Dang Phan, assistant professor of English, and Jeremy Chen, assistant professor of art, will converse about poetry and art.
Wednesday, April 20 — "Friday I'm in Love."
Matthew Kluber, associate professor art, will investigate the intersection of painting and digital technology.
Friday, April 22 — "Culling the Herd."
Elizabeth Hill, Conard Environmental Research Area manager, and Lee Emma Running, associate professor of art, will discuss our relationship to the wild herd of whitetail deer in Iowa.
Tuesday, April 26 — "Rube Goldberg: Vintage Wine and Marathon Training."
Andrew Orloski, art technical assistant, will explore how complex, deeply philosophical notions can be found in simple, everyday objects and actions.
Tuesday, May 3 — "Series in Progress."
Andrew Kaufman, associate professor of art, will discuss the motivations and processes of his new series of artworks, which are based on forms of fracture.
Friday, May 6 — "Sunday Morning."
Evan McLaughlin, lecturer in art, will discuss how being raised in a religious household during the rise of video game culture inspired his fascination with creativity.

Capitalism and Agriculture

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101
Fred Magdoff
Emeritus Professor of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont

4:00 p.m., Roundtable discussion, SCI 1022, Soil and Soil Health
7:30 p.m., Public Talk, JRC 101, Capitalism and Agriculture

Numerous social and ecological problems arise from the way that agriculture functions within capitalist economies. These include hunger in the midst of plenty, lack of nutrient cycling, poor rotations, inhumane raising of animals on factory farms, poor treatment of farm and slaughterhouse labor, and environmental pollution with pesticides and fertilizers. These are outcomes of a system in which the overriding goal and motivating force is profit. In such a system, decisions that makes sense from the narrow economic point, are frequently ecologically and socially irrational.

Fred Magdoff is Emeritus Professor of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont. His interests range from soil science to agriculture and food (science, production, economics, policy) to the environment to the U.S. economy. His science research was on ways to improve the soil fertility, especially focusing on the critical role of soil organic matter. He oriented his agricultural outreach activities to explaining the application of ecological principles to food production. He is the co-author of Building Crops for Better Soil: Sustainable Soil Management and What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism. He is co-editor of Agriculture and Food in Crisis: Conflict, Resistance, and Renewal. Creating an Ecological Society is due out later this year.

Scholars' Convo: Bestselling Author Roxane Gay

Roxane GayRoxane Gay, a 2014 New York Times bestselling author and feminist scholar, will give a free public reading at  11 a.m. Thursday, April 7 in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.. Her novels and essays have attracted international acclaim for their treatment of complex issues such as gender inequality, sexual violence, institutional racism and body image.

An accomplished scholar, Gay is an associate professor of English at Purdue University in Indiana. Her research interests include the intersections between race, gender, and popular culture, contemporary fiction, and the political novel.

Gay uses her personal experience with race, gender identity and sexuality to inform her analyses and deconstruction of feminist and racial issues in her work. In addition to her more serious scholarly and creative work, she is a well-known figure on social media, with tens of thousands of Twitter followers, many of whom are drawn to her often irreverent and humorous "instant" commentaries on major news events, politics, pop culture, and reality television.

Bad Feminist, her bestselling essay collection, is a personal manifesto that takes readers through the journey of Gay's evolution as a woman of color and describes how feminism affects Gay's own life — for better or worse. The essays cover a wide a range of topics, from competitive Scrabble to novels written by women to advice on acknowledging privilege.

Gay's writings on gender and racial inequality have won numerous awards in recent years and have appeared in Tin House, Oxford American, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon, and many other media outlets.

Gay's debut novel, Untamed State, explores the privilege that made Haitian-American Mireille Duval Jameson a target for kidnapping and the strength she must draw on to survive the kidnapping and reclaim her life. Deadline.com recently reported that the novel will be adapted for film by Beyond the Lights director Gina Prince-Bythewood. Gay is co-writing the script with Prince-Bythewood. Gugu Mbatha-Raw has been selected to portray Jameson.

Gay's latest book, Hunger, is scheduled to be released in June. Hunger focuses on Gay's experience with weight, body image, and building a positive relationship with food.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system.  You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

 

Andy Hamilton ’85 Named as Athletic Director

Andy HamiltonAfter completing a national search, Grinnell College today announced that Andy Hamilton ’85, who currently serves as interim athletic director, will become the College's next director of athletics and recreation, effective July 1.

Hamilton, who also serves as an associate professor physical education and head coach of both the men's and women's tennis teams, will succeed Greg Wallace, an associate professor of physical education who is on sabbatical this year. At the end of the 2015-16 academic year, Wallace will transition to senior faculty status and begin working with the admission office to assist in recruiting student-athletes.

"Andy Hamilton brings an outstanding combination of experience in coaching, teaching, mentoring and administrative management to this position," said Mike Latham, vice president for academic affairs and dean of Grinnell College. "His deep understanding of Division III athletics, record as a coach, excellence in the classroom, and commitment to the student-athlete ideal make him particularly well suited to this role. I am very confident he will provide excellent leadership for Grinnell athletics and the department of physical education."

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Hamilton has served as head men's tennis coach since 1995 and head women's tennis coach since 2007, leading both teams to multiple Midwest Conference championships.

During his career Hamilton also coached women's basketball, was a men's basketball assistant coach, and assisted with football. His tutorial course and offerings in sport sociology, sport journalism, and organization and administration of athletics have made valuable contributions to the curriculum. He will begin his new position following terms as assistant athletic director and interim athletic director.

Greg WallaceIn announcing Hamilton's appointment, Latham also recognized the accomplishments of Wallace and thanked him for his dedicated and outstanding service.

"In addition to his leadership as director of athletics and recreation since 2007, Greg served as head men's golf coach for 15 years and head football coach for 20 years," Latham said. "During that span, the football team compiled a remarkable 68 victories and Greg was voted Midwest Conference coach of the year three times, in 1994, 1997 and 1998. The 1998 team is recognized as the best squad in program history, winning the league title outright while posting a perfect 10-0 mark "

In 2011, Latham added, Wallace was honored with a 35-year membership plaque from the American Football Coaches. He also earned the 1990 Grinnell Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Educator Award in recognition of his devoted service to the College and the community.

A Book Talk with Dr. Aysha Pollnitz

Grinnell College Libraries presents a book talk with Dr. Aysha Pollnitz on Friday, April 8, at 4:15 p.m. in Burling Lounge. Dr. Pollnitz, Assistant Professor of History, will discuss her book, Princely Education in Early Modern Britain, published by Cambridge University Press in May 2015. 

Princely Education in Early Modern Britain investigates one of the earliest attempts to use liberal Pollnitz book covereducation to effect political reform in Europe.  More specifically, it considers the fortunes of a humanist campaign, led by Erasmus of Rotterdam (c.1466-1536), to deter European princes from vainglorious warfare by teaching them knowledge of scripture and classical literature.  Erasmus’s prescriptions and curriculum had a particularly strong impact on the British isle, where humanist pedagogy transformed the upbringing of Tudor and Stuart princes between 1485 and 1649. The schooling of fifteenth-century princes had emphasized the sword but the education of Henry VIII and his successors prioritized the pen.  This shift in princely pedagogy played a critical and hitherto unappreciated role in reshaping the political and religious culture of early modern Britain.  Erasmus may have been intending to deter rulers from conquering additional territories but, in practice, his curriculum gave princes the skills and (inadvertently) the impetus to assert their supremacy over their subjects’ souls. Ultimately, a mode of education which was meant to prevent over-mighty monarchy in Europe actually taught kings and queens to extend their authority over church and state. 

Aysha Pollnitz arrived at Grinnell College in August 2013 following research fellowships at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC. She has taught at the University of Cambridge, Georgetown University, and Rice University, where she served as a resident faculty associate at Baker College. Dr. Pollnitz teaches courses on medieval and early modern European history, British history, the history of political and religious thought, on the history of sex, gender, and family, on cultural encounters, on the transmission of knowledge, and on historical method and argument. She has advised undergraduate and graduate student research on topics in British, European, and intellectual history.

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.

Performing Locally, Thinking Globally

For many, theatrical performances are a way to explore the unfamiliar, to experience things that are different from the place and people they call home. For Leda Hoffmann ’09, however, theatre has been a tool for making a strange new place feel like home.

The daughter of a foreign service officer, Hoffmann’s life before Grinnell was spread across multiple continents. While some might see moving around between Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Canada, and the United States as an obstacle to getting involved in a community, Hoffman dove headfirst into local theatre to make friends in each new city.  

So why did this internationally-inclined student choose to come to the middle of Iowa? The answer is simple: To get the benefits of international ideas without the distractions of a big city.

“I had never lived anywhere that wasn’t a big city, but going to Grinnell was easy for me,” she says. “Grinnell felt cosmopolitan enough that I knew if I went, there would be people from big cities, smaller towns, and all over the world.”

A theatre and dance major, Hoffmann directed numerous student-run plays during her time at Grinnell, working closely with theatre faculty. “Grinnell professors push you to do better,” she says. “To have professors and other students push you and go, ‘That’s not good enough, push harder. Ask more questions.’ That’s the whole point of going to Grinnell for me.”

This willingness to engage and challenge each other is part of what attracted Hoffman to Grinnell in the first place. “The people I talked to at Grinnell felt really honest and connected to what was going on there,” Hoffmann says. “It felt like a really strong community and one that felt true to whatever it wanted to be.”

After graduating, Hoffmann began her theatre career as an assistant lighting designer for Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. and later as an education apprentice at Hartford Stage in Connecticut. More recently, she has worked her way from education coordinator to literary coordinator and director at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

“When I started as an intern at the Repertory Theater, I did a lot of teaching literacy through theatre. After two years, I had enough connections in town to become a director,” says Hoffmann. “As director of community engagement, I create and execute the programs that ignite positive change in our community. It’s a job that combines my love of theater with the social justice mindset Grinnell instilled in me.”