News from Hampshire College
  April 26, 2007

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").

In order to graduate, every Hampshire student completes a final project of original work. They ask and attempt to answer questions that have perhaps never before been posed, with their findings often expressed in inventive ways. Recognition has already begun for stellar scholarly and creative work being completed by students who will graduate on May 19, 2007. We cite just a few examples below, and we invite all of you who plan to attend commencement to join us on campus the afternoon before for presentations by volunteering graduates of their Division III work.

FULBRIGHT FELLOW: Sophie Woodruff has been awarded two grants through the prestigious Fulbright Program. A research fellowship will enable her to extend work begun for her Division III on identity issues of women who are first and second generation Turkish immigrants in Berlin. The second grant, a critical language enhancement award, will fund summer study in Ankara to learn the Turkish language before she heads on to Germany in the fall. Woodruff first studied in Germany in spring 2005 as a participant in Hampshire’s program in Berlin, then returned in fall 2006 for ethnographic field research for the Div III. In addition to her Fulbright Fellowship research, she plans to pursue graduate studies at the University of Frankfurt/Oden, with eventual plans for law school and a career in international law with a focus on immigration policies.

WINNING TYPEFACE: As part of his Division III, David Ross designed and developed a typeface, Manicotti, which received the Certificate of Excellence in Type Design in the Type Directors Club 2007 international competition. The competition is widely regarded as “the premiere venue for the world’s best in type design.” Manicotti will be part of exhibitions touring the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. Learn more

POSTER PRESENTATIONS: Erik Benau’s Div III, “Reading, The Brain, and Reading the Brain,” explores possible connections between brain activity and short-term, working memory capacity in children and adults. Last summer Benau worked on a team project with graduate students and professors from other schools that helped him form the focus of his project. That team project explored communication disturbances in schizophrenia, and led to poster presentations at the Association for Psychological Science and at the Eastern Psychological Society. Learn more

‘SLIM TO NONE’: Katie Spero’s Div III reflects her interest in art as a teaching tool, and blends her skills as a playwright with scientific knowledge. When two people she knew developed eating disorders, Spero took an interdisciplinary approach to learning and understanding. She investigated eating disorders through gender, neuropsychology, cognitive science, and social science, working through Hampshire’s Culture, Brain and Development program. Then, she penned a one-act play on eating disorders, which was performed on campus with the actors also leading a forum on the topic. She has produced a curriculum guide that she plans to make available to teachers and school administrators to help educate young people about eating disorders. Read more


GREENHOUSE MOD: If you were ever connected with the Greenhouse Mod, here is your opportunity to assist a student with her Div III research: As part of her project, Jasmine Stine is building a student-run archive of the Greenhouse Mod in Enfield House. She seeks materials related to the mod and its history, such as photographs, essays, academic work, memorabilia, and planning documents. To contribute items or just to learn more about her project, please email

CIRCUS FOLK UNITE! Did you know that Hampshire has its own circus troupe? The student group—Circus Folk Unite!—formed in 2005. Recently, they performed “Panoply,” a circus and cabaret show, off-campus at the Northampton Center for the Arts, and were profiled in the local newspaper The Amherst Bulletin. Read article

INVENTION SHOWCASE: You are invited to join us on May 4 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Red Barn when students working in the Lemelson Program at Hampshire exhibit their projects. This is the ninth year for the popular showcase, which is attended by equipment designers, educators, engineers, and occupational and physical therapists, as well as the Hampshire community. In addition to assistive technology and universal design projects, students will display sculpture, woodworking, blacksmithing, sustainable design, and electronic devices. Hampshire’s Lemelson Program is featured in the April issue of Entrepreneur Magazine in “Ready to Launch,” an article about college programs for students who want to take inventions into the marketplace. Read article


RAY COPPINGER MOSAIC: Ewan Collins (87F), a mosaic artist who works in the tradition of the Italian masters, has created and presented to Hampshire a portrait of Professor Emeritus Ray Coppinger. On May 3 from 4 to 6 p.m., the mosaic—which is being mounted in the lobby of Adele Simmons Hall—will be dedicated, and the Ray and Lorna Coppinger Endowment celebrated. The Coppinger Endowment, which continues to grow, was established one year ago to provide support for student and faculty research. Please join the Coppingers and the college for this dedication and reception; RSVP to 413.559.5502 or To learn more about the Coppinger Endowment, please email

Ray Coppinger is one of the expert commentators in PBS Nature’s current two-part Dogs That Changed the World (April 22 and 29). Online video

‘THE HERETICS’: Joan Braderman, professor of video, film, and media studies, and Crescent Diamond (95F) are working on a film about the Women’s Art Movement of the 1970s. Braderman is writer and director, and Diamond is producer, with a working title of The Heretics. Braderman helped found Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics and the website for the film now makes all 27 issues, published from 1977 to 1992, publicly available as pdfs. Visit site


“Encounters,” the first solo exhibition of works on paper by Mequitta Ahuja (96F), is showing at BravinLee gallery in New York City through June 2. More information

The Wall Street Journal selected Malia Politzer (02F) as one of seven 2007 Robert L. Bartley Fellows, who will receive paid internships to work at the Journal editorial page worldwide. Politzer will work in Hong Kong this spring for The Wall Street Journal Asia. For her Hampshire Division III, the 2006 graduate spent a year doing independent research along the U.S.-Mexico border, and wrote an ethnographic and journalistic thesis examining the link between U.S. border policy and rising numbers of migrant deaths.

Gail Hershatter (70F) is a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient. Her book, The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past, will supply an account of an important but understudied population: elderly women in four central and south Shaanxi villages whose stories provide information about the cultural and social history of rural 1950s China, during the period of early socialism. Hershatter is Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute for Humanities Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her previous books include The Workers of Tianjin, 1900-1949; Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980s (co-authored); Dangerous Pleasures: Prostitution and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Shanghai, which received the American Historical Association’s Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women’s History; and Women in China’s Long Twentieth Century.

Amber (Phillips) Szoboszlai (94F) received a 2007 Emerging Public Policy Leader Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences. AIBS, an association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the benefit of society, presents the award to promising biology graduate students with demonstrated leadership skills and an interest in science policy. Szoboszlai is finishing a master’s degree in marine science at Moss Landing Marine Labs and working as a fellow for the California Sea Grant Program at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Her master’s research, which she expects to complete in May, uses field experiments to examine how some species of algae growing in the intertidal zone may modify environmental conditions to promote settlement and growth of another co-existing algal species. In September, she will begin her doctoral research in marine ecology at the University of California, Davis.

The latest collaboration of poet/performer Mike Ladd (88F) and pianist Vijay Iyer, working with Ibrahim Quraishi, explores identity in a time of media overload. First a collaborative performance piece and now released as an album, Still Life With Commentator takes “maximum creative risk,” according to its March 21 Boston Globe review, and “holds up a fun-house mirror to our culture of information overload,” said the recent New York Times review. Performance footage

When Ken Burns (71F) sat down recently for an hour’s conversation with Northeast Public Radio, he talked about the making of his forthcoming documentary The War, and about his own college days in what he jokingly called (and we appreciated) “a wholly shameless advertisement for Hampshire College.” Hear interview Burns also talked about his work and his experiences at Hampshire with National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. Hear interview

Looking for a graduate program in film that shares many creative attributes with Hampshire? Academy Award-winning filmmaker Rob Epstein (73F) has been named chair of a new program at California College of the Arts. Learn more

Robert Dryden (81F), assistant professor of English, Hillyer College, University of Hartford, has an essay, "'Luck Be a Lady Tonight': Jane Austen's Precarious Idealization of Naval Heroes in Persuasion" in Volume 13 of the journal 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era. Dryden analyzes Austen's knowledge of the British Navy and her rhetorical strategy when representing naval officers in her fiction.

Artist Guy Yanai (97F) included paintings from his Hampshire Division III on his new website. Easthampton Interiors