News from Hampshire College
  September 14, 2006

This electronic newsletter is designed to inform friends of Hampshire College about news stories involving Hampshire, and about the work and accomplishments of members of the college community. Media releases and announcements are regularly posted at (click on "News").

‘HABITS OF MIND’: Convocation on September 7 formally opened the academic year, welcoming new and returning students to campus. President Ralph Hexter, in his speech “Habits of Mind,” reminded all that “we are, ultimately, responsible for the habits of mind we engage in” and “under an obligation to speak as accurately and honestly as we possibly can… College students are often trendsetters, and perhaps we could make mature and reasoned dialogue, with attention to accuracy and complexity, wildly popular.” Convocation address

A PERFECT MATCH: In a recent L.A. Times “Column One,” readers learned more about the complicated process of presidential searches in general, and some specific details of the “carefully orchestrated courtship” that enabled Hampshire to lure President Hexter from a double-deanship at UC Berkeley. Read article

Peter Eisenman, photo by Gary Orlinsky
ART, EXILE, MEMORY: Peter Eisenman, architect of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, will participate in Remembering Those Left Behind, a panel discussion about memory, memorials, and memorialization scheduled for October 5 at 7 p.m. in Franklin Patterson Hall (in the main lecture hall). The panel is the fourth and final program in the Art, Exile, Memory series. Read more

CBD WORKSHOP GRANT: The National Science Foundation has awarded a $47,000 grant to Hampshire’s Culture, Brain, and Development program to host a national workshop next spring. Funding to support the project is also being provided by the Foundation for Psychocultural Research. Thirty-five leaders in research and undergraduate education at the intersections of culture, mind, brain, and development will participate in collaborative exploration of key issues and curriculum. Neil Stillings, dean of Hampshire’s School of Cognitive Science and professor of psychology, is principal investigator for the project, with CBD program director and anthropology professor Barbara Yngvesson and biological anthropology professor Deb Martin, now of UNLV, serving as co-PIs. Scheduled participants include such luminaries in the field as Lawrence Hirschfeld, author of Mapping the Mind and Race in the Making; Jesse Prinz, whose work brings results of contemporary CBD research to bear on philosophical questions, notably in his recent book Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion; and Geoffrey B. Sax, editor of the journal Human Development.


GARDEN PARTY: Retired faculty and staff, and those who have been at Hampshire for 25 years or more, joined President Hexter and Manfred Kollmeier at their home in Amherst for a garden party on August 22. View slideshow

LONDON DANCE: Dancers and choreographers Rebecca Nordstrom and Billbob Brown will perform the latest version of their “Hands and Feet Across the Water” program in London on October 8 at 4:30 p.m. in Bush Hall (310 Uxbridge Road). Nordstrom is a dance professor at Hampshire and Brown at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Tickets are available in London at 020 8222 6933 or

VALUES & TRANSFORMATIONS: Yes, you can still register for Family & Friends/Alumni Homecoming Weekend, which will take place on campus October 13-15. Read more and register online.


REMEMBERING & CELEBRATING ERIC SCHOCKET: Friends and colleagues of Eric Schocket, associate professor of American literature, have created a blog to allow everyone to remember and celebrate his life by sharing stories and memories about him. A remembrance service on campus is being planned for October 28; when all details are finalized, more information will be posted to the college Web site. Online memorial

GALLERY RECEPTION: A reception in the film/photo/video gallery on September 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. will celebrate the life and work of Meg Sanders (00F). An exhibit in the gallery throughout September features books and other artistic works by Sanders, photography by Emily Richardson (00F) and writings by Em Doran (00F). A memorial celebration for Richardson and Doran was held on campus September 9. For more information on the reception in memory of Meg Sanders, email


Matthew Pitt (92F) would love to see alums and friends of Hampshire who live in or near Winston-Salem, N.C., in attendance when he reads his short story, “Wanted: Rebel Song,” winner of the 2006 Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award, a national literary competition of the Salem College Center for Women Writers judged by National Book Award winner Ellen Gilchrist. Pitt’s reading is October 9 at 7 p.m. in the Salem Fine Arts Center. Another of his short stories, "Au Lieu des Fleurs," was recently cited as a Special Mention in the 2006 anthology Pushcart Prize XXX: Best of the Small Presses. Pitt lives and writes in Brooklyn, and is currently the emerging writer-in-residence at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona.

Aurelie Sheehan (80F) published her second novel, History Lesson for Girls, with Viking. The book is on some prominent reading lists and receiving positive national coverage. Read more

Jeannie Goldman (97F), a 2001 graduate who completed a Division III in fashion history and costume design, celebrates the second anniversary in October of the opening of Plum, the boutique she co-owns in Lower Manhattan. More about Plum

Fiona Otway (96F) is co-founder and a media instructor for Breaking the Silence, an organization that uses training in media literacy and peer leadership as a strategy to intervene in the spread of HIV/AIDS among youth in the Caribbean. The Breaking the Silence video was selected for showing at the Northamptonshire International Community Film Festival in Great Britain on September 16.

“9 Portraits” by Susan Mikula (76F), an installation of nine color portraits printed on nine-foot swathes of industrial mesh, will show in the exhibition hall of the Three Country Fairgrounds in Northampton on September 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. (opening reception) and September 30 from noon until 4 p.m.

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution September 8 honoring the Rev. Waitstill Sharp and Martha Sharp as “genuine American heroes” for their efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust. Their recent recognition by Yad Vashem as “Righteous Among the Nations” resulted from research and work by their grandson, Artemis Joukowsky III (81F). The Senate resolution includes mention that the organization founded to support the Sharps’ work, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, carries on their legacy by working to save the lives of the people of Darfur, Sudan, and to protect human rights worldwide.

Peter C. Evans (83F) has taken a position at Cambridge Energy Research Associates as director, global oil. He recently completed a Ph.D. in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology followed by a one year postdoc at MIT's Laboratory for Energy and Environment.

Annie Batya Sobel (95F), Deb Shoval (98S), Dan Arnow (98F), Emily Nepon (95F), and Julia Skloot (99F) are collaborating on the multimedia play, An Olive on the Seder Plate, scheduled to be performed October 6-8 at Times Square Arts Center in New York City (300 West 43rd Street). Read more

CORRECTION: A recent essay by Marci Riseman (88F) and an article about a renovation project at her home were printed in the San Francisco Chronicle magazine (not the San Francisco Gate, as we erroneously reported; sfgate is the Chronicle’s Web site). You can still read both online: “My Pink Boy” and “Remodeling the Shed