News from Hampshire College
    August 15, 2008

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 "More News").

Lee Spector
LANGUAGE LEARNING: Imagine a college where students can incorporate virtually any language into their individualized academic programs and projects. Hampshire intends to be that college, and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will assist us in transforming into a “language learning community.” More

EVOLVING ANSWERS: Can computerized Darwinian processes help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems? Using evolutionary computation, a Hampshire-based team led by Professor Lee Spector (at left) solved a century-old algebra problem with startling rapidity and efficiency, winning the 2008 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference’s top prize. More

ENTERING CLASS: On August 28, 456 new students will arrive on campus and officially join the Hampshire College community. The entering class of fall 2008 includes 417 first years and 39 transfers, plus five visiting students. More


PRINCESS GRACE AWARD: Division III student Josh Weissbach received the Cary Grant Film Award, a prestigious scholarship from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. The award supports undergraduate documentary work. Weissbach's Div III will be an experimental documentary exploring the relationship to space of three Cuban exiles living in Miami. More

CRISS CROSS CIRCUS: Eleven Hampshire students drove east to west this summer in an old school bus converted to run on vegetable oil. They used the magic of circus to entertain and educate audiences along their path. A post-apocalyptic landscape was the backdrop for their Criss Cross Circus summer tour. Video

DRAWN CONCLUSION: May graduate Sarah Clark’s Div III video, Drawn Conclusion, combined animation, illustration, and storytelling. Video

HOME: Emily-Rose Wagner’s documentary, Home, examines homelessness from the vantage point of the Los Angeles Public Library, which is often used as a haven. Wagner received a 2008 Sander Thoenes Division III research award to help defray the costs of fieldwork and research on the film, which was accepted into the 2008 Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival. More


Family and Friends Weekend
FAMILY AND FRIENDS: Please join us on campus October 23-26 for Family and Friends Weekend. No matter what your interests, there is sure to be something on the program this year to please you. MacArthur Fellow and Hampshire alumnus Peter Cole 77F will give a reading. Pulitzer Prize recipient Art Spiegelman will be here for a special reading and book signing arranged in collaboration with the Odyssey Bookshop. A panel discussion will feature alumni in writing and publishing fields. Alumni physicians will talk about socially responsible medicine. Visiting speaker Lawrence Krauss will deliver a Science and Religion Lecture on “The matter of origins and the meaning of life.” A twentieth anniversary memorial for Denice O’Neill 85F is scheduled. Social science faculty will discuss the Eqbal Ahmad Initiative. Add to all that the Alumni Reel, question-and-answer session for parents, annual farm festival, and many more scheduled exhibits, open classes, and OPRA activities. More

READING: Writer Jon Papernick will read on campus September 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the Adele Simmons Hall Auditorium. He is the author of Who by Fire, Who by Blood and The Ascent of Eli Israel. More

EXHIBITION IN BELGIUM: Art history professor Sura Levine is guest curator of Meunier in Seville, a significant exhibition opening in Brussels, Belgium, on September 19 at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Museum of Modern Art. Nineteenth-century Belgian realist painter and sculptor Constantin Meunier resided in the Andalusian city of Seville for six months in order to complete a full-scale copy of Pedro Campaña’s Descent from the Cross in the city cathedral. The show Levine is curating focuses on the imagery Meunier created of life in the cathedral, street life, the cigarette factory, entertainment, and Holy Week processions he witnessed while in Spain. Professor Levine will present a paper at the exhibit opening entitled “Between the Street and the Cathedral: Constantin Meunier’s period in Seville 1882-83.” More


Jim Tisdall
Akiva Freidlin 01F has been awarded a competitive Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship for Graduate Studies and will enter Columbia University’s writing program this fall. He plans to pursue a career in writing and journalism after completing an MFA in writing. More

Jim Tisdall 71F (at left) collaborated with blues and roots guitarist Dave Bromberg and jazz great Tyrone Brown on the CD Three Men in a Boat. More, including a link to tracks from the CD.

Fiber artist Reine Hewitt 96F is featured on the blog The Organic Mechanic. More

Joe Amon 87F wrote a chapter on health and human rights for the book China’s Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights Challenges, published by Seven Stories Press. Amon, who is director of the health and human rights division at Human Rights Watch in New York, also co-wrote a chapter on “Governance, human rights and infectious diseases” for The Social Ecology of Infectious Diseases, published by Academic Press.


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